Friday, 15 February 2019

Thoughts and dreams appear only in the self-ignorant view of ourself as ego, not in the clear view of ourself as we actually are

A few months ago a friend wrote to me asking about a passage attributed to Annamalai Swami, but which I later found was a misquoted version of a passage from the book Annamalai Swami: Final Talks (perhaps because it had been translated from English into some other language and then back into English again), so I first replied regarding the wording of the misquoted version, and after finding the original passage I wrote another reply more appropriate to that wording. This article is adapted from these two replies.
  1. We can be aware of phenomena only when we rise as ego and not when we are aware of ourself as we actually are
  2. In order to be what we actually are we need to be aware of ourself alone and not anything else whatsoever
1. We can be aware of phenomena only when we rise as ego and not when we are aware of ourself as we actually are

My friend had been sent the misquoted version of the passage by another friend, who had found it somewhere on Facebook, where it was attributed to Annamalai Swami, and when my friend sent it to me he highlighted two portions in bold and asked me to help him understand them clearly. The passage as he quoted it was:
Everything we see during the waking state is a dream. These dreams are our thoughts that manifest. Bad thoughts produce bad dreams and good thoughts, good dreams; and if you do not have thoughts, you do not dream anything. But even if you dream, you must understand that your dream is also the Being. It is not necessary to suppress the thoughts or to think absolutely nothing to live being conscious of the Being. If you keep in mind that even the dreams of when you are awake and of when you sleep are the Being, then the thoughts and dreams that they produce can continue because they no longer they will represent you no problem. Simply, be the Self at all times and, in that state, you will know that everything that appears before you is nothing more than a dream.
In reply I wrote:

From all that I have read of what Annamalai Swami said it seems to me that his understanding of Bhagavan’s teachings was not very deep, clear or subtle, so many things he said are rather confusing and not in tune with what Bhagavan taught us.

He spoke only Tamil, so I do not know what word he used that has been translated as ‘the Being’, but it may have been uḷḷadu, which means either ‘being’ or ‘what is’, or it could have been some other word such as iruppu, which means ‘being’ or ‘existence’, or uṇmai, which means ‘is-ness’, ‘truth’ or ‘reality’. However, whichever word he used, I assume from the context that he meant what actually exists, in which case nothing can be other than that, because if anything were other than what exists it would not exist and would therefore not be anything.

However the important distinction that Bhagavan made is between what actually exists and what merely seems to exist, and as he said in the first sentence of the seventh paragraph of Nāṉ Ār?: ‘யதார்த்தமா யுள்ளது ஆத்மசொரூப மொன்றே’ (yathārtham-āy uḷḷadu ātma-sorūpam oṉḏṟē), ‘What actually exists is only ātma-svarūpa [the ‘own form’ or real nature of oneself]’. Everything other than our real nature, which is pure awareness, is just an illusory appearance, so though it seems to exist it does not actually exist.

However, though nothing else actually exists, whatever seems to exist cannot be other than what actually exists, just as the illusory snake does not actually exist, but it is not other than the rope, which is what does actually exist (at least as far as this analogy is concerned). This is why in the other sentences of the same paragraph Bhagavan said:
ஜக ஜீவ ஈச்வரர்கள், சிப்பியில் வெள்ளிபோல் அதிற் கற்பனைகள். இவை மூன்றும் ஏககாலத்தில் தோன்றி ஏககாலத்தில் மறைகின்றன. சொரூபமே ஜகம்; சொரூபமே நான்; சொரூபமே ஈச்வரன்; எல்லாம் சிவ சொரூபமாம்.

jaga-jīva-īśvarargaḷ, śippiyil veḷḷi pōl adil kaṟpaṉaigaḷ. ivai mūṉḏṟum ēka-kālattil tōṉḏṟi ēka-kālattil maṟaigiṉḏṟaṉa. sorūpam-ē jagam; sorūpam-ē nāṉ; sorūpam-ē īśvaraṉ; ellām śiva sorūpam ām.

The world, soul and God are kalpanaigaḷ [fabrications, imaginations, mental creations, illusions or illusory superimpositions] in it, like the [illusory] silver in a shell. These three appear simultaneously and disappear simultaneously. Svarūpa [one’s own form or real nature] alone is the world; svarūpa alone is ‘I’ [the ego or soul]; svarūpa alone is God; everything is śiva-svarūpa [the ‘own form’ or real nature of śiva, the one infinite whole, which is oneself].
When Bhagavan says, ‘svarūpa alone is the world’ and so on, what he means is that svarūpa alone is what seems to be the world, ego and God, because svarūpa alone is what actually exists, so whatever seems to exist cannot be other than that.

When Annamalai Swami says, ‘your dream is also the Being’, that is rather confusing, because it seems to imply that dream is what actually exists, which is not quite correct. Dream does not actually exist, although it is not other than what actually exists.

Annamalai Swami also gives a lot of importance to understanding, such as when he says, ‘you must understand that your dream is also the Being’, but though it is necessary for us to have a correct, deep and subtle understanding of Bhagavan’s teachings, mere understanding by itself is insufficient, because it needs to be applied in practice. For example, it is necessary for us to understand that what actually exists is only our own real nature and that everything else is just an illusory appearance, but what is the use of understanding this if we do not apply it in practice by attending only to ourself and not to anything else whatsoever?

Annamalai Swami says (according to what you quoted, though the last clause is grammatically incorrect), ‘If you keep in mind that even the dreams of when you are awake and of when you sleep are the Being, then the thoughts and dreams that they produce can continue because they no longer they will represent you no problem’, but merely keeping this in mind does not solve the real problem, which is ego, the false awareness ‘I am this body’, because what attempts to keep this in mind is only ego, so by keeping anything in mind other than ourself alone we are just perpetuating ego.

Thoughts and dreams appear only in the view of ourself as ego, so as long as any thoughts or dreams appear we have not ceased to rise as ego. As Bhagavan says in verse 26 of Uḷḷadu Nāṟpadu: ‘அகந்தை உண்டாயின், அனைத்தும் உண்டாகும்; அகந்தை இன்றேல், இன்று அனைத்தும்’ (ahandai uṇḍāyiṉ, aṉaittum uṇḍāhum; ahandai iṉḏṟēl, iṉḏṟu aṉaittum), ‘If ego comes into existence, everything comes into existence; if ego does not exist, everything does not exist’. In the clear view of our real nature, nothing exists or even seems to exist other than itself, because it is infinite, eternal and immutable, so in order to be as we actually are we need to be aware of nothing other than ourself.

Annamalai Swami says, ‘be the Self at all times and, in that state, you will know that everything that appears before you is nothing more than a dream’, but if we remain just as our real nature (ātma-svarūpa), nothing whatsoever can ever appear before us. As Bhagavan says in the third paragraph of Nāṉ Ār?:
சர்வ அறிவிற்கும் சர்வ தொழிற்குங் காரண மாகிய மன மடங்கினால் ஜகதிருஷ்டி நீங்கும். கற்பித ஸர்ப்ப ஞானம் போனா லொழிய அதிஷ்டான ரஜ்ஜு ஞானம் உண்டாகாதது போல, கற்பிதமான ஜகதிருஷ்டி நீங்கினா லொழிய அதிஷ்டான சொரூப தர்சன முண்டாகாது.

sarva aṟiviṟkum sarva toṙiṟkum kāraṇam āhiya maṉam aḍaṅgiṉāl jaga-diruṣṭi nīṅgum. kaṟpita sarppa-ñāṉam pōṉāl oṙiya adhiṣṭhāṉa rajju-ñāṉam uṇḍāhādadu pōla, kaṟpitam āṉa jaga-diruṣṭi nīṅgiṉāl oṙiya adhiṣṭhāṉa sorūpa-darśaṉam uṇḍāhādu.

If the mind, which is the cause for all awareness [of things other than oneself] and for all activity, ceases [or subsides], jagad-dṛṣṭi [perception of the world] will depart [or be dispelled]. Just as unless awareness of the imaginary snake goes, awareness of the rope, [which is] the adhiṣṭhāna [basis, base or foundation], will not arise, unless perception of the world, which is kalpita [a fabrication, imagination or mental creation], departs, seeing svarūpa [one’s own form or real nature], [which is] the adhiṣṭhāna, will not arise.
Likewise in the fourth paragraph he says:
நினைவுகளைத் தவிர்த்து ஜகமென்றோர் பொருள் அன்னியமா யில்லை. தூக்கத்தில் நினைவுகளில்லை, ஜகமுமில்லை; ஜாக்ர சொப்பனங்களில் நினைவுகளுள, ஜகமும் உண்டு. சிலந்திப்பூச்சி எப்படித் தன்னிடமிருந்து வெளியில் நூலை நூற்று மறுபடியும் தன்னுள் இழுத்துக் கொள்ளுகிறதோ, அப்படியே மனமும் தன்னிடத்திலிருந்து ஜகத்தைத் தோற்றுவித்து மறுபடியும் தன்னிடமே ஒடுக்கிக்கொள்ளுகிறது. மனம் ஆத்ம சொரூபத்தினின்று வெளிப்படும்போது ஜகம் தோன்றும். ஆகையால், ஜகம் தோன்றும்போது சொரூபம் தோன்றாது; சொரூபம் தோன்றும் (பிரகாசிக்கும்) போது ஜகம் தோன்றாது.

niṉaivugaḷai-t tavirttu jagam eṉḏṟu ōr poruḷ aṉṉiyam-āy illai. tūkkattil niṉaivugaḷ illai, jagamum illai; jāgra-soppaṉaṅgaḷil niṉaivugaḷ uḷa, jagamum uṇḍu. silandi-p-pūcci eppaḍi-t taṉ-ṉ-iḍam-irundu veḷiyil nūlai nūṯṟu maṟupaḍiyum taṉṉuḷ iṙuttu-k-koḷḷugiṟadō, appaḍiyē maṉamum taṉ-ṉ-iḍattil-irundu jagattai-t tōṯṟuvittu maṟupaḍiyum taṉṉiḍamē oḍukki-k-koḷḷugiṟadu. maṉam ātma-sorūpattiṉiṉḏṟu veḷippaḍum-pōdu jagam tōṉḏṟum. āhaiyāl, jagam tōṉḏṟum-pōdu sorūpam tōṉḏṟādu; sorūpam tōṉḏṟum (pirakāśikkum) pōdu jagam tōṉḏṟādu.

Excluding thoughts [or ideas], there is not separately any such thing as world. In sleep there are no thoughts, and [consequently] there is also no world; in waking and dream there are thoughts, and [consequently] there is also a world. Just as a spider spins out thread from within itself and again draws it back into itself, so the mind makes the world appear [or projects the world] from within itself and again dissolves it back into itself. When the mind comes out from ātma-svarūpa, the world appears. Therefore when the world appears, svarūpa [one’s own form or real nature] does not appear; when svarūpa appears (shines), the world does not appear.
So long as we are aware of any world (any phenomena whatsoever), we have risen as ego and are therefore not aware of ourself as we actually are, and when we are aware of ourself as we actually are, we will not be aware of any world.

2. In order to be what we actually are we need to be aware of ourself alone and not anything else whatsoever

After writing the above reply, I explained to my friend that I was doubtful about the authenticity of the passage he had quoted because there is an obvious error in the clause ‘because they no longer they will represent you no problem’, so I asked him where he had found it, and he told me that he had been sent it by a friend who had found it quoted on Facebook. I therefore used Google to find the source of it and then wrote a second reply to my friend as follows:

I googled to see if I could find the original of the passage you quoted from Annamalai Swami, and I found a link on this page to a page where a PDF copy of Annamalai Swami: Final Talks is available. As you can see, what you quoted is an incorrect copy of the following passage on page 26:
Annamalai Swami: Everything we see in this waking state is a dream. These dreams are our thoughts made manifest. Bad thoughts make bad dreams and good thoughts make good dreams, and if you have no thoughts, you don’t dream at all. But even if you do dream, you must understand that your dream is also the Self. You don’t have to suppress thoughts or be absolutely thoughtless to abide as the Self. If you know that even your waking and sleeping dreams are the Self, then the thoughts and the dreams they produce can go on. They will not be a problem for you any more. Just be the Self at all times. In this state you will know that everything that appears to you is just a dream.
Though the wording here is somewhat different to what you quoted, much of what I replied to you still applies to this. I do not know what word he used that has been translated as ‘the Self’, but I assume he meant our real nature, which is what Bhagavan generally referred to as ātma-svarūpa or just svarūpa. When he says ‘dreams are the Self’, that is true in the same sense that an illusory snake is just a rope, but just as the rope is not a snake, our real nature is not a dream. That is, our real nature is what appears as dream, because nothing else actually exists, but dream is just an illusory appearance.

As Bhagavan makes clear in the third and fourth paragraphs of Nāṉ Ār?, which I cited in my previous reply to you, so long as we are aware of any world we are not aware of our real nature, and if we were aware of our real nature we would not be aware of any world. Therefore it is misleading to say, ‘If you know that even your waking and sleeping dreams are the Self, then the thoughts and the dreams they produce can go on. They will not be a problem for you any more’, because that implies that we can be aware of our real nature while being aware of dreams.

This is also implied in the final two sentences of this passage, ‘Just be the Self at all times. In this state you will know that everything that appears to you is just a dream’. How can we ‘just be the Self at all times’ unless we are aware of our real nature? But when we are aware of our real nature, we will know that that alone always exists and therefore dreams have never existed.

Therefore Annamalai Swami is wrong when he says, ‘You don’t have to suppress thoughts or be absolutely thoughtless to abide as the Self’, because so long as we are aware of any thoughts we have risen as ego and are therefore not abiding as the Self, our real nature. Thoughts seem to exist only in the view of ego, which is the first thought and the root of all other thoughts, so in order to ‘abide as the Self’ or be as we really are, we need to be aware of nothing other than ourself, which entails not being aware of any thoughts.

What ‘abiding as the Self’ (ātma-niṣṭhā) actually means is clearly implied by Bhagavan when he explains what complete self-surrender entails in the first sentence of the thirteenth paragraph of Nāṉ Ār?:
ஆன்மசிந்தனையைத் தவிர வேறு சிந்தனை கிளம்புவதற்குச் சற்று மிடங்கொடாமல் ஆத்மநிஷ்டாபரனா யிருப்பதே தன்னை ஈசனுக் களிப்பதாம்.

āṉma-cintaṉaiyai-t tavira vēṟu cintaṉai kiḷambuvadaṟku-c caṯṟum iḍam-koḍāmal ātma-niṣṭhāparaṉ-āy iruppadē taṉṉai īśaṉukku aḷippadām.

Being ātma-niṣṭhāparaṉ [one who is completely fixed in and as oneself], giving not even the slightest room to the rising of any cintana [thought] other than ātma-cintana [‘thought of oneself’, self-contemplation or self-attentiveness], alone is giving oneself to God.
Whether we call them thoughts, dreams or world, phenomena of any kind whatsoever appear only in the self-ignorant view of ourself as ego and not in the clear view of ourself as we actually are. Therefore in order to be what we actually are we need to be aware of ourself alone and not anything else whatsoever.

46 comments:

Sanjay Lohia said...

Thanks. This is the minimum we can do in gratitude for your tireless writings.

Sanjay Lohia said...

The ups and downs of a bipolar disorder are just thoughts…

It is we who project thoughts, but sometimes we are overwhelmed by thoughts. People get terrible depression. What is depression? It is nothing but thoughts. Some people are manic-depressives [it is now popularly known as bipolar disorder]. Sometimes they are very-very happy; sometimes they are very-very depressed. Sometimes everything seems extremely rosy; sometimes everything seems extremely gloomy. These are all thoughts. They are projecting all these thoughts, but they are a victim of their own thoughts.

Edited extract from the video: 2017-11-11 Ramana Maharshi Foundation UK: discussion with Michael James on the place of suffering (34.00)

Reflection: I know a friend who has bipolar disorder. His condition is relatively stable now, but he has gone through some terrible phases. So I would like to share with him what Michael says about manic-depressives. These ups and downs are just thoughts. So if one can control one’s thoughts, one can control one’s manic-depression, and if one can eradicate all thoughts by self-investigation, one can overcome manic-depression once and for all.

So Psychiatrists will be well advised to visit Bhagavan and learn from him the best treatment for depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and other such disorders. What is the treatment? Since these diseases are merely thoughts, one needs to calm one’s thoughts to calm the person and thereby to make him more balanced. This is the reason my friend was advised to mediate as a support to his medicines.



morrison said...

Sanjay

"Reflection: I know a friend who has bipolar disorder. His condition is relatively stable now, but he has gone through some terrible phases. So I would like to share with him what Michael says about manic-depressives. These ups and downs are just thoughts. So if one can control one’s thoughts, one can control one’s manic-depression, and if one can eradicate all thoughts by self-investigation, one can overcome manic-depression once and for all."

As someone who was once depressed enough to put a pistol to my head on several occasions with the intent of blowing my brains out, diagnosed with bipolar disorder, severe depression and so on I can say beyond any doubt that the cure was/is Bhagavan.

I have never been happier. Controlling thoughts by turning within is the answer for all problems, at least all my problems.

I hope my experience can help someone else.

Now that I broke my rule of not talking about myself, pardon me while I exit stage left.


Sanjay Lohia said...

Thanks, Morrison, for sharing you ordeal with bipolar disorder. It is tough to deal with it. I am glad you are happy now.

Sanjay Lohia said...

The dead are happy

Michael wrote the following in one of his recent articles:

Bhagavan used to say, the dead are happy. Because they are free of the troublesome adjunct, the body. When we mourn the dead, it is our own loss that we are mourning, but we should actually be happy for them, because they are happy, at least until they take another body.

Reflections: When our near and dear ones are dead, why do we mourn? It is because of our attachment to them. Even though we are no longer with them, their memory makes us mourn for them. But who is attached? It is our ego. So mourning indicates that our ego is still alive. A jnani never mourns because he is not attached to anybody.

Moreover, what Michael writes above makes sense. The dead are indeed happy because they have given up their root illusion, their body. They are happy because they are one with pure awareness, which in infinite, eternal and unalloyed happiness. In fact, our dead ones become part of ourself because they merge within, and there is only one within. Everything other than ourself is without.

So as long as they exist as oneself they are supremely happy. Yes, they may eventually take upon themselves another body and thereby make themselves miserable again, but that is beside the point. So it is foolishness to mourn the dead. How about celebrating the dead? I know this may not be possible for most of us, but actually, the death of others merits celebration.

Sanjay Lohia said...

Self-investigation is much deeper and more comprehensive than any scientific investigation could ever be

Michael wrote in his article: To understand consciousness can we rely upon the observations and theories of neuroscience? that ‘self-investigation is much deeper and more comprehensive than any scientific investigation could ever be’. So we are more ahead than scientists. Why? Michael gives an answer to this when he writes, ‘Science investigates the appearance (what seems to be), but it cannot enable us to know the reality (what actually exists), because appearance conceals the true nature of reality’.

Michael also writes in the article, ‘Suppose that our present state is just dream, as Bhagavan says. What weight should we give to any scientific research and theories?’

Sanjay Lohia said...

Either we allow our minds to go outwards or we turn in within; 99% of the time we are making the wrong choice

A friend: Suppose I am confused: should I eat the cake or not? Who decides the outcome?

Michael: What is eating the cake? It is our body. So whether you turn inwards or outwards it makes no difference. If the body is destined to eat the cake, it will eat the cake. But we have a choice: whether we allow our minds to outwards after cakes and such things or turn it within. 99% of the time we are making the wrong choice: we allow our minds to go outwards.

Edited extract from the video: 2017-11-11 Ramana Maharshi Foundation UK: discussion with Michael James on the place of suffering (1:47)

Reflection: Our outward life is dependent on the will of Bhagavan; our inward life is dependent on the choices we make. Bhagavan his doing his best to inspire us to turn within, but ultimately it is our choice: whether we choose to turn within or choose to continue to face outwards. Yes, 99% of the time we are making the foolish choice. We have to accept this and then go about rectifying our mistakes.


Sanjay Lohia said...

If you are real, all these people are also real

So long as we are in a dream, the dream world seems real. Bhagavan says this waking state is also a dream, but as long as we are experiencing this world, this body or person can’t be more real than all the other bodies and persons we experience. If I ask you, ‘are you real (as the person you seem to be)?’, you will reply, ‘of course I am real’. So if you are real, in your view, I am real; they are real…

The only way out of this is ‘who is seeing the world?’ Who is the dreamer? If we find out the reality of ourself, we will find out the reality of everything else.

Paraphrased extract from: 2017-10-14 Ramana Maharshi Foundation UK: discussion with Michael James on silence (1:06)

Sanjay Lohia said...

We are all Bhagavan’s children - brothers and sisters on the same path

As people who are interested in following Bhagavan’s path, we are in an extremely tiny minority. So exchange with other fellow devotes is very helpful. It not only clarifies our understanding but keeps us focused on Bhagavan’s teachings. Such discussion helps us in our manana, and manana helps us in our practice. I (Michael) feel that I am uplifted by the discussion with other devotees. I don’t feel I am higher than them or some such thing. We are all children of Bhagavan. We are all brothers and sisters on the same path.

However, such discussions cannot be a substitute for our practice. The most important thing is that we keep at our practice. We will fail a hundred times. We all get swept away by our desires. We are swayed this way and that way. In one verse in Aksaramanamalai, Bhagavan sings that ‘so that I may not be like a ship without a helmsman tossed about in the sea, you protect me and guide me’. We are all like a ship tossed around by a storm – we have so many desires, hopes, fears and so on, and these are tossing our minds here and there.

It is only by clinging to Bhagavan and his teachings that we can withstand this storm. So Bhagavan’s teachings are like a protective shield for us. Without Bhagavan’s teachings, we will be swept away by our vasanas and by so many telling us so many different things. If we didn’t have Bhagavan’s original teachings, we would get easily confused by all these things people say.

So study, reflection and discussion of Bhagavan’s teachings are so-so important. In fact, it is absolutely essential for most of us.

Paraphrased extract from the video 2019-02-17 Yo Soy Tu Mismo: Michael James discusses the importance of study, reflection and practice (27.00)

Reflection: I have been posting comments on this blog like a lunatic, but, as Michael implies, such lunacy is an absolute must for most of us. I don’t mean that we should all post such unending comments like I do, but we should somehow keep our minds focused on Bhagavan’s core teachings. Such reflection in the form of comments helps me a lot. I would have been like an orphan if had no opportunity to participate in this blog. So I cannot thank Michael enough for keeping this blog open for all.

As Michael implies, reading, reflecting and discussing Bhagavan’s core teachings protects us from the onslaught of many other inferior teachings. It protects us from many so-called gurus. It protects us from many devotees of Bhagavan who have not gone deep in their reflection and practice of Bhagavan’s teachings but nevertheless are trying to propagate Bhagavan's teachings.


Mouna said...

Sanjay, greetings

I don’t read comments anymore these days on Michael’s blog (I do read his main introductory comment always), but in this case for some reason perusing his last blog I landed on your last comment, which created a strange and weird impression with statements like "such lunacy is an absolute must for most of us.” or "I would have been like an orphan if had no opportunity to participate in this blog” or "such lunacy is an absolute must for most of us.” or "Bhagavan’s core teachings protects us from the onslaught of many other inferior teachings” or "It protects us from many devotees of Bhagavan who have not gone deep in their reflection and practice of Bhagavan’s teachings”

Let us remember that even Bhagavan's teaching is something that has to be used on our little ego self as a tool to turn inwards instead of becoming another obsesive sat-vasana which makes us turn our attention outwards (towards others, judgements or even the teaching itself) and makes us feel good about it, like “since I am obsessed, ergo I am a good devotee”.

I am not putting your intentions on the line (you already proved them very sane and humble), but as a friend and brother in Bhagavan that I feel towards you, I am just observing a feature, through and behind your own words, that can eventually, in my subjective opinion, be an obstacle in the longer run.

Please take this words merely as another opinion, as erroneous or certain they might be.
Be well,
Mouna

Sanjay Lohia said...

Mouna, Greetings. Yes, we need to warn each other from time to time if we feel that somebody’s ego is becoming fat and big. So your warning to me may be timely. I do sometimes feel that I am on the best path to salvation or that my very obsession with Bhagavan’s teachings is enough to take me to the goal. So, yes, these are unwanted thoughts and therefore needs to be avoided.

However, if we are following Bhagavan’s path with all sincerity, we are trying to undermine ego at every given opportunity, so our ego is generally kept under check. However, we cannot be complacent because this ego is an extremely cunning fellow. It will fool us in so many ways. So we need to ever vigilant. So thanks for reminding me to be vigilant and ever watchful of myself.

Mouna said...

Sanjay,
Thanks for your reply.
We are all on the same boat and Bhagavan is leading the course, while we sing together:
Row, row, row your boat
Gently down the stream,
Merrily merrily, merrily, merrily
Life is but a dream...

Be well friend
m

Sanjay Lohia said...

Isn’t it the greatest hope and the greatest joy know that you yourself are infinite and eternal happiness?

A friend: If we go deep into Bhagavan’s teachings, we will lose all meaning in life.

Michael: The external life has no meaning, so if we want to find meaning we have to find that within. The external life is like a dream, so what meaning do we expect to find in it? Why look for meaning in that which is not permanent? These things are here today but will disappear tomorrow. So if we want to find meaning and purpose in life, we need to find in that that always exists.

If we turn within and rest peacefully in Bhagavan, we will gain infinite and eternal happiness. What more can we ask for? What more meaning do we need? Isn’t it the greatest hope and joy to know that you yourself are infinite and eternal happiness?

Edited extract from the video: 2019-02-17 Yo Soy Tu Mismo: Michael James discusses the importance of study, reflection and practice


Sanjay Lohia said...

Back to the basics

The more we attend to ourself, the closer we are to pure awareness that we actually are. If we attend to phenomena, we are sustaining our attachment to those phenomena. But every time we choose to turn away from phenomena back towards ourself, we are slowly-slowly weakening our attachments and strengthening the love that we have towards ourself.

Edited extract from the video: 2017-10-14 Ramana Maharshi Foundation UK: discussion with Michael James on silence (1:29)

Reflections: Why did I title this reflection as ‘Back to Basics’? It is because this is the basics of Bhagavan’s teachings. Ultimately, we have to give up all our attachments towards all phenomena, but we cannot do this all at once. So this is why we generally need a long and sustained sadhana. A moment will come when we are able to give up all our attachments, and that will be the end of our story.

Sanjay Lohia said...

All my thoughts are about Sanjay and Sanjay’s life but am I Sanjay?

The choice is ours: what do we want? Do we want to be constantly thinking about our life in this world, or do we want to be resting in Bhagavan? So long as we have a strong interest in and concern about our external life, it is difficult to turn within. But the more we give up our interest in external things and take interest in resting peacefully within, the easier it will be to let go of external things and to turn within.

What are all my thoughts about? They are about Sanjay and Sanjay’s life, but am I actually Sanjay? So long as I feel I am Sanjay, I am naturally very concerned about Sanjay’s life, but am I really Sanjay? So I have to let go of my identification with Sanjay – let go of my interest in this Sanjay’s life. A few years hence Sanjay will be dead and gone, so why should I now take so much interest in Sanjay and Sanjay’s life?

Whether Sanjay is alive or dead, I am always here, so I should take interest in myself rather than in the person I seem to be. This is what is called self-surrender. That is, the self we are surrendering is the false identification with the person that we seem to be. When I surrender my false self, what I actually am only will remain.

So it is all a matter of letting go, of understanding that nothing is as important as being as I actually am. I have been living with this person for 56 years, but am I perfectly happy? No, as Sanjay I have been facing so many difficulties. But every night when I go to sleep, I leave Sanjay aside and I am perfectly happy. So why do I need Sanjay? I should leave this Sanjay aside and just be happy. That is our aim.

Edited extract from the video: 2019-02-17 Yo Soy Tu Mismo: Michael James discusses the importance of study, reflection and practice (1:06 to 1:13)

Reflections: Michael had used his name – Michael – as an example, but I have replaced it with Sanjay in order to internalise the message. Michael has put is so beautifully. This extract needs to be read and reread and assimilated. Spirituality is a serious business. If we want to succeed, we should make our sadhana a full-time job. Other things can go on in the side, why should I be so concerned about Sanjay’s problems?

Bhagavan is taking wonderful care of Sanjay and his needs, so why should I interfere in his work? Let Bhagavan take care of Sanjay. I should take care only of myself by remaining vigilantly self-attentive all the time.




Sanjay Lohia said...

If I stop and reflect as to what I was just thinking about, I invaribly realise that I was indeed thinking about Sanjay and Sanjay's life in this world. Why so much obsession with Sanjay? Am I Sanjay? If I am not Sanjay, who am I?

Unknown said...

Sanjay Lohia, you are doing the same as Salazar did, that is misusing and abusing Michael James's blog. Mr. James please do not delete this comment as you did the last one. You have so far deleted two of my posts even though they were not abusive at all.

One was in reference to Salazar and the other in reference to Sanjay's recent meaningless posts where he also introduces your posts of You Tube along with his own thoughts on whatever pleases him to do. Thanks kindly in advance for allowing this post to appear in case you do.

Sanjay Lohia please start your own blog. If anyone here is so interested in your meaningless lectures then they may may read it there.

Roger Isaacs said...

Hi Michael,

You say:
15 February 2019
so long as we are aware of any world we are not aware of our real nature, and if we were aware of our real nature we would not be aware of any world.


8 November 2018
what the ātma-jñāni sees and what the ajñāni sees is exactly the same, but what they each see it as is different


Your comments appear to be inconsistent. Please clarify.

At one time you say if we were aware of our real nature we would not be aware of any world while another time you say the atma-jnani sees exactly the same world as the a-jnani.
How can the atma-jnani see exactly the same world while "if we were aware of our real nature we would not be aware of any world ?!



Michael James said...

Roger, if you carefully read and consider what I wrote, you should be able to see that there is actually no contradiction. In my article of 8 November 2018, Everything depends for its seeming existence on the seeming existence of ourself as ego, what I wrote in the final two paragraphs of the fifteenth section, Uḷḷadu Nāṟpadu verses 17 and 18: what the ātma-jñāni sees and what the ajñāni sees is exactly the same, but what they each see it as is different, was:

“In the clear view of the ātma-jñāni, who is nothing other than brahman, nothing else actually exists, so there is no such thing as body or world. However, in the self-ignorant view of the ajñāni body and world seem to exist, so what the ajñāni sees as body and world is what the ātma-jñāni sees as ‘I’, the one infinite and hence formless reality.

“What the ātma-jñāni sees and what the ajñāni sees is exactly the same, but what they each see it as is different. Whereas the ātma-jñāni sees it as it actually is, which is just ‘I’, the one infinite, indivisible and hence formless reality, the ajñāni sees it as a multitude of forms, and sees ‘I’ as being limited to the extent of one of those forms, namely a particular body. This is the intended meaning (lakṣyārtha) of these two verses.”

Why do the ātma-jñāni and the ajñāni sees exactly the same thing? Because only one thing actually exists, so there is nothing other than that to be seen. What exists is ‘ēkam ēva advitīyam’, one only without a second. As Bhagavan says in the seventh paragraph of Nāṉ Ār?, ‘யதார்த்தமா யுள்ளது ஆத்மசொரூப மொன்றே’ (yathārtham-āy uḷḷadu ātma-sorūpam oṉḏṟē), ‘What actually exists is only ātma-svarūpa [the ‘own form’ or real nature of oneself]’.

That is, the ātma-jñāni is not a person but only ātma-svarūpa, which is pure awareness, otherwise known as brahman, so since in its clear view nothing else exists, it sees nothing other than that. In other words, it sees what actually exists as it actually is. The ajñāni also sees only that, because nothing else actually exists, but instead of seeing it as it is, that is, as one without a second, it sees it as a multiplicity of phenomena, namely a world, and it sees itself as one of those phenomena, namely a body.

This is the difference between ātma-jñāni, who is just ātma-svarūpa, and the ajñāni, who is ego (which is actually nothing other than ātma-svarūpa, because ātma-svarūpa alone is what actually exists). What the ātma-jñāni sees as itself, namely pure, infinite and formless awareness, the ajñāni sees as the forms of body and world, and what the ajñāni sees as the forms of body and world, the ātma-jñāni sees as formless awareness. What they see is exactly the same, but what they each see it as is different.

So long as we see ātma-svarūpa as body and world, we are not seeing it as it is, and when we see it as it is, we will not see it as body and world. We can either see the rope as a rope, or we can see it as a snake. We cannot see it as both at the same time.

Whether you choose to believe this or not is up to you, but this is my simple understanding of what Bhagavan taught us. If you choose to believe otherwise, I have no problem with that, because what we each believe is determined by our level of spiritual development, so it will evolve over time, until such time as we investigate ourself keenly enough to see that there is no ego to believe anything, and that what actually exists is ēkam ēva advitīyam, one only without a second.

Mouna said...

Unknown, greetings

Your recent post made me think about the “use and misuse” of a blog like this one we are part of (completely willingly because no one is forced to be part of it). To my knowledge, the most important use of this blog is to explore the teachings of Bhagavan in a way that will help each of us participants in our knowledge, understanding and practice of Bhagavan’s teaching (sravana, manana and nididhyasana). All other concerns gravitate around that use, which in order to work, has to be implemented in a respectful and civil way.

Each of us have different ways to communicate, either our questions or our understanding, so any judgment of “the other” as a person (what is called ad hominem) misses the point and I consider it a misuse of this media.

On the other hand, a healthy “fight” for the correctness of the ideas presented should be encouraged because it falls within the correct use of this media, the advancement of our understanding and practice of Bhagavan’s teachings.

I do not usually read the subsequent comments of Michael’s main postings because of lack of time due to my present lifestyle, but that doesn’t mean that Michael has to be the only one here presenting views on Bhagavan’s teachings. Many others contributed and will continue to contribute to that, and innumerable times I profit from this side comments.

As I said before, we are not forced to read each other views, neither forced to read the blog at all! But if we do because it has some intrinsic value for our sadhana then is in our best interest to keep it within the natural boundaries that a discussion of these wonderful and valuable teachings have, meaning to focus more on the concepts presented and not on the “commentator” him or herself. As a popular image says: when we point someone with our finger we fail to notice that three fingers on our own pointing hand point towards us....

Be well
m

Unknown said...

Mouna,

Sir, with all due respects to you, I completely disagree with you and I bring to your attention your own comment of "18 February 2019 at 20:36" in this matter. Then why did you post that comment to Sanjay if you have to lecture me on this now when you yourself disagreed with him? What you did was actually correct and I fully support you for doing so but it was just a slap in the wrist for Sanjay Lohia's endless shenanigans here in this blog.

I also bring to your attention quote from Sri Sanjay Lohia himself which is Quote:

"Reflection: I have been posting comments on this blog like a lunatic, but, as Michael implies, such lunacy is an absolute must for most of us. I don’t mean that we should all post such unending comments like I do, but we should somehow keep our minds focused on Bhagavan’s core teachings.

As Michael implies, reading, reflecting and discussing Bhagavan’s core teachings protects us from the onslaught of many other inferior teachings. It protects us from many so-called gurus. It protects us from many devotees of Bhagavan who have not gone deep in their reflection and practice of Bhagavan’s teachings but nevertheless are trying to propagate Bhagavan's teachings.

End Quote of Sanjay Lohia.

Sanjay considered himself a lunatic for posting endless comments of this kind and also said that others should not post endless comments like he does here in this blog. I did not. So what does he mean by this? That it is okay for Sanjay Lohia to post inconsequential and unending comments like a lunatic that have no significance whatsoever to the original article of Mr. Michael James under which he is posting his comments and his own opinions day in and day out?

Then on top of all this, Sanjay Lohia has the audacity to say that other devotees of of Sri Ramana here have not not gone deep in their reflection and practice of Bhagavan’s teachings but nevertheless are trying to propagate Bhagavan's teachings.

Sri Mouna even though you have never abused or misused this blog in anyway, I am disappointed in your defense of Sanjay Lohia's actions in this blog which actually belongs to Mr.Micheal James. Sanjay Lohia is behaving in a manner as though this is his own personal blog.

And Sir Mouna you have no right to tell me in your own words "As a popular image says: when we point someone with our finger we fail to notice that three fingers on our own pointing hand point towards us...." after your own post of 18 February 2019 at 20:36 to Sanjay Lohia in this very matter.

Best Regards,
Sincerely.
Unknown.

Michael James said...

Unknown, regarding you last two comments, it is not clear to me why you think that Sanjay is ‘misusing and abusing’ this blog by writing comments on it, because what he writes does not in any way go against the Guidelines for Comments, namely: ‘All comments are welcome provided that they are relevant to Bhagavan’s teachings and do not contain personal criticism or abuse. Since we do not all understand his teachings in exactly the same way, any open discussion of them will naturally involve disagreement, but any disagreement should be expressed in a polite, respectful and reasonable manner. By all means criticise ideas that you disagree with, but please explain clearly why you disagree with them and do not allow your criticism to deteriorate into an attack on the supposed character, motive or other qualities of any person who expressed them’.

If you disagree with any of ideas expressed by Sanjay, you are welcome to explain why, because in that way there can be a fruitful discussion about how we should understand Bhagavan’s teachings, but instead discussing any ideas he has expressed, your recent comments seem to be just an ad hominem attack on him, so much so that I hesitated to allow them, because strictly speaking they are contravening the guidelines. Therefore please restrict your comments to discussing Bhagavan’s teachings and related ideas rather than criticising anyone personally.

Unknown said...

This comment is for Mr.James in respect to his post of 21 February 2019 at 10:57 to Mr. Isaacs.

Your reply to Mr. Isaacs does not make sense at all to an ajnani like me and seems filled with paradoxes. If what you said is from your own "impersonal" and direct experience as an "Atma-Jnani" and not that of an "ajnani" or as 'ego" of the "waking state" and "dream state" like I myself, then I will accept what you said without any reservations because then who am I to question YOU?

I now as "ajnani" or "ego" only experience or taste pure awareness or atma-jnana in deep state alone(because as per Sri Ramana Maharshi sushupti is also atma-svarupa itself) and not in the other two states filled with nonsensical conflicts, problems, occupational work, phenomena and objects.

Your quote: So long as we see ātma-svarūpa as body and world, we are not seeing it as it is, and when we see it as it is, we will not see it as body and world. We can either see the rope as a rope, or we can see it as a snake. We cannot see it as both at the same time. Unquote.

In that case how does an Atma-Jnani like Sri Ramana Maharshi function in the world of phenomenon and objects when he is unable to witness phenomena and objects like you said? (because you say witnessing both at same time is not possible.) Or, is it possible to do so for a Jnani like Sri Ramana Maharshi?

Your quote: Why do the ātma-jñāni and the ajñāni sees exactly the same thing? Because only one thing actually exists, so there is nothing other than that to be seen. Unquote.

But that is not my own direct experience as an ajnani or ego in waking and dreaming as I do not directly experience the same ONE truth as the Jnani does at any given time in my waking and dream states. I do not have direct experience of Sat-Cit-Ananda or Atma-svarupa in waking and dreaming like an Atma-jnani does.

That thing (Atma-svarupa)that you say ALONE and ONLY exists, I do not have any clue or experience about as ego or ajnani as I do so only in deep sleep when my ego is absent.

So it would be utterly arrogant and imprudent (like these neo-advaitins are) for me to say that I also see, witness and experience the same truth (atma-svarupa) as an Atma-Jnani like Sri Ramana Maharshi does during waking and dreaming also when I "as ego" am completely unaware and ignorant of the precious "atma-svarupa" itself.

Mr. James, you need not have to respond to this but I feel my post here is pertinent enough for many here in my own situation.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sanjay Lohia said...

Unknown has blamed me for ‘misusing and abusing Michael James's blog’. I do not know if I am trying to do this, but at least I am trying to ‘use’ this blog. We can misuse and abuse a thing only if we use it in the first place. However, I thank Michael for letting me know that what I write does not in any way go against the Guidelines for Comments.

Roger Isaacs said...

Hi Michael,
Your approach has value, thank you .... but it is not the truth.

Only the realized state of brahman is truth. Nothing that can be spoken is the truth.
No teachings or philosophies about brahman are either absolute, or complete, or are the truth. All that teachings can do is to point vaguely to that which is beyond thinking and conceptualization.

Subjective experience can never be described adequately using concepts, language and logic.
How can you use conceptual language to communicate the taste, sight, smell essence of a strawberry?
You might write endlessly about the sense experience of a strawberry from different perspectives... but NEVER can the essence be imparted. Therefore, precisely describing the way to Brahman or the actual realization of Brahman is impossible using conceptual language.

I am saying that you are putting too much emphasis on your logic and competition with those with other views. If you believe that the "no body - no world state" is the supreme and only way... then why aren't you spending hours per day devoted to that state?

You say that Annamalai Swami is wrong.

Annamalai Swami had extensive personal contact with Bhagavan and many consider him to be "self realized".
On the other hand... Bhagavan died before you were born and you are an a-jnani (unrealized). All that you know of Bhagavan is from writings and from what you have heard from other unrealized people. So who should we believe better represents Bhagavan? You or Annamalai Swami? At least perhaps Annamalai Swami may have some useful points to respectfully ponder? "ponder" meaning manana aka contemplation.

I wonder what Bhagavan would have said had you called Annamalai Swami WRONG in the ashram? :-)

If both Bhagavan and Swami Annamalai Swami were realized... then what's the difference?
[end part 1]

Roger Isaacs said...

[part 2]
You do have a point, but so do Bhagavan and Annamalai Swami and Bhagavan is apparently on both sides of the issue.

You are WRONG in declaring your particular logical position as superior and absolute as compared with all others. Your emphasis on Michael James is RIGHT and Annamalai Swami is WRONG certainly sounds egoic.
IMO the best teaching tool is to encourage manana contemplation on the issues rather than declaring RIGHT and WRONG. Right and wrong are dualistic and egoic.

You make a career of finding fault with (apparently) realized people. You find fault with Nisargadatta, Krishnamurti, Papaji, Annamalai Swami. They are WRONG and you are RIGHT.
Could this be ego on your part?

You declare that all thought must stop.... then declare the superiority of your thought patterns over others!

Your attention is apparently caught in an ego-thought exercise in which you evaluate situations & then proclaim that you are right or have the only correct perspective. Philosophy is successful when the topic under consideration vanishes leaving pure awareness... not when one proclaims one's superiority.

Yes, you do have a point in emphasizing such things as:
In order to be what we actually are we need to be aware of ourself alone and not anything else whatsoever
This is inspiring. Thank you.

But this position is not absolute, it is not the only perspective but it may be valuable.

Bhagavan, Annamalai Swami and others (such as Nisargadatta Maharaj) also emphasize the opposite that the transcendental state does not necessarily need to exclude thoughts or world. Only that awareness on Self must be primary.

I suppose you think Godman is also WRONG when he quotes Bhagavan in Be as You Are:

Q: Is nirvikalpa samadhi (no awareness of body or world) absolutely necessary before the attainment of sahaja?
A: Abiding permanently in any of these samadhis, either savikalpa or nirvikalpa, is sahaja [the natural state]. What is body consciousness? It is the insentient body plus consciousness. Both of these must lie in another consciousness which is absolute and unaffected and which remains as it always is, with or without the body-consciousness. What does it then matter whether the body consciousness is lost or retained, provided one is holding on to that pure consciousness? Total absence of body-consciousness has the advantage of making the samadhi more intense, although it makes no difference to the knowledge of the supreme.


At any rate, you are the authority.
IMO being an authority is WRONG. :-)
The best is to culture manana (contemplation) in the student.
The answers lie within and are beyond anything that can be communicated.
Holding on to the opinions of authority may be useful in the beginning and it is called "religion", but outward authority must be overcome in favor of looking within. It is the ego which takes positions for or against certain ideas.

best wishes,
R

Roger Isaacs said...

Hi Michael,
You have a forum here where you compete with and stand in judgment over all other spiritual teachers and proclaim that you alone are right.
You even compete with Ramana Maharishi proclaiming that his views in "Talks" for example are corrupt.

Did Bhagavan ever do this?
In the ashram with Bhagavan... was a main theme dissecting and proclaiming other teachings and disciples "WRONG"?
Of course not.

And you put an emphasis on "belief". "Why should we believe what Bhagavan taught us?" etc...
Did Bhagavan ever emphasize "belief". No.
Bhagavan emphasizes direct experience, not belief.

Don't you see: even if you translate every word correctly your teaching is entirely different than Bhagavan due to such issues.
You are going the direction of a authoritarian belief based religion which has no resemblance to the original teaching.

If you actually believe that you have the key... then I suggest that you go into seclusion and practice with utmost passion and vigilance what you teach: stay in this state you describe "no body, no world in awareness" endlessly until you are realized. THEN.... teach from the state of realization. Otherwise, while you teach that others are WRONG... it is like the old chinese saying "when you point one finger out blaming others note that your other 3 fingers point back to yourself."

Unknown said...

Mr. James said or implied above in the article (in his own words)

Quote: "that one has to suppress thoughts or be absolutely thoughtless to abide as the Self’, because so long as we are aware of any thoughts we have risen as ego and are therefore not abiding as the Self, our real nature. Thoughts seem to exist only in the view of ego, which is the first thought and the root of all other thoughts, so in order to ‘abide as the Self’ or be as we really are, we need to be aware of nothing other than ourself, which entails not being aware of any thoughts. Unquote.

Mr. James is 100% correct in his explanation here and J. Krishnamurti also said exactly the same all along for over 6 decades of his life regarding useless thoughts in the brain or unnecessary thinking in the brain during waking state. J.K. also said that this would also automatically result in a "no dreams state" while asleep. It is a well known fact that J. Krishnamurti (as he himself always asserted) never used to have any dreams whenever he slept.

Jeremy Lennon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Aham said...

.


We can argue ad nauseam as to whether Mr James is "right or wrong". His devotion to Truth is impressive and worthy of respect as far as I am concerned.

Although to say this isn’t "entirely" correct. After all,.....we are dreaming (imagining).


Q: Are then past and future mere imagination?
RM: Yes, even the present is mere imagination, for the sense of time is purely mental. Space is similarly mental. Therefore birth and rebirth, which take place in time and space, cannot be other than imagination.



.

Aham said...

.

Self is thought-free. Yet paradoxically, thoughts may or may not continue.

Clouds or no clouds, boundless and unblemished the sky remains.


RM: In the realised man the mind may be active or inactive, the Self alone remains for him.

.

Unknown said...

AHAM, There was a specific reason for me to post that comment in this thread, saying Mr. James was 100% correct in what he said regarding that quote of his. That comment was not posted merely to praise him or just of the hat. It is not my intention to post comments here unnecessarily or to praise Mr. James for no reason at all.

Jeremy Lennon said...

"In every religion and authentic spiritual tradition throughout the ages there have been people who have attained the same non-dual experience that Sri Ramana attained – the experience of true self-knowledge. In this book I shall refer to such people as ‘sages’, a term which I will use not just in the usual general sense of a ‘person of great wisdom’ but in the more specific sense of a ‘person of self-knowledge’. Thus whenever I use the term ‘sage’, I use it as an English equivalent of the Sanskrit term jñāni, which means a ‘person of jñāna or [true] knowledge’, or more specifically ātma-jñāni, a ‘person of ātma-jñāna or self-knowledge’.

Just because a person is said to be a saint, prophet, seer, ṛṣi, mystic or some such revered being, he or she may not necessarily be a true sage, because such appellations do not specifically denote a person who has attained true self-knowledge. True sages are however the cream of the saints, prophets, seers, ṛṣis and mystics of all religions and all times, and a sample of such sages may be found in every religion and spiritual tradition."

The above is taken from Happiness and the Art of Being (Second Edition), Introduction p.33. It seems pertinent to the discussion here.

Roger Isaacs said...

Hi Michael, Aham,

Aham, I like a couple of your comments above such as "RM: In the realised man the mind may be active or inactive."

The image I wish to bring to attention:
Although separated in time.... time is part of the illusion so time doesn't matter:
Imagine Bhagavan sitting in the ashram with S.A. [Swami Annamalai] AND Michael James... and Michael James is informing Bhagavan and S.A. as he says above:
From all that I have read of what Annamalai Swami said it seems to me that his understanding of Bhagavan’s teachings was not very deep, clear or subtle, so many things he said are rather confusing and not in tune with what Bhagavan taught us.
And S.A. is "WRONG"....

How absolutely ridiculous for M.J. to chastise and criticize S.A. as he does in this blog. S.A. spent decades (?) in Bhagavan's presence and is considered by many to be realized.

We are told repeatedly that attention must be subtler than the body.
The body has numerous layers, the emotional body, the intellectual body as well as the physical body.

Michael, please realize:
When you do such things as proclaim you have the ONLY way to God, that your teaching is superior to S.A., superior to Nisargadatta Maharaj, superior to Krishnamurti, superior to Papaji etc...

This is attachment to the intellectual body!!!

Nothing in creation is absolute. There is no teaching which could be absolute. Nothing on the intellectual level is absolute but only a perspective a pointing. If you say that your teaching is absolute... you are claiming that the BODY, your intellectual body, is absolute.... and this is false.

Swami Annamalai is perhaps pointing from a different direction than you... but as far as everything I've read of him his understand is FROM the realized state where as you aren't.

It is said that when a teaching is from the realized state it will last for 1000 years.
But when non-realized people teach they ALWAYS do so using COMPARISON. The teaching of non-realized beings is always COMPARATIVE and therefore weak. (paraphrasing Zen Master Ta Hui from the 12th century).

Thus, M.J. you rely on comparing your teaching with others and claim that you have the ONLY way. But you see taking a position in the intellect results in division, religion against religion. By attacking S.A. you are creating controversy and division in the ashram turning one disciple against another!!! How absolutely shocking!!!
While the attention is so riveted and fascinated by intellect it fails to attain to Being.
The intellectual body is STILL the "body" or part of creation, ultimately YOU are subtler.

Roger Isaacs said...

Michael,
I do appreciate your passion and persistence.
But when you insist that you have the ONLY way then it's natural for me to respond "not this".
I have on occasion over years thought how nice it would be if we could sit together in a bar (tequila or carrot juice) and compare notes. We have so much in common. But it's not so interesting when you have all the answers. As for me, occasionally I feel "not this...." but I can articulate not a single answer with precision.

Unknown said...

Regarding post of 1 March 2019 at 08:48. Yes. Pertinent quote posted here and well said by Mr. James because it is actually the case unfortunately.

Aham said...

Mr Isaacs,

Why be concerned if Mr James does or doesn’t consider Annamalai Swami a jnani? After all, Sri Ramana says only the jnani knows.

Regardless, if you resonate with Annamalai Swami then that is enough, proceed.
I for one am fond of Annamalai Swami, as are many others.


"When you do such things as proclaim you have the ONLY way to God,...."

"the ONLY way to God..."


What does it mean, the only way?

Perhaps it means no matter your chosen approach (prayer, japa, pilgrimage, meditation, visualization, good deeds, who am I?) one must come to Stillness.

If stillness is the only way, I must agree. However there are countless means to arrive at such.


"Nothing in creation is absolute. There is no teaching which could be absolute. Nothing on the intellectual level is absolute but only a perspective a pointing. If you say that your teaching is absolute... you are claiming that the BODY, your intellectual body, is absolute.... and this is false."

Agreed. As such I must now apply the same to your points. Consequently, yours, along with mine and Mr James' all disappear.

And it is lovely when that happens.

Unknown said...

Mr. Isaacs, did you post that recent two-star review of Michael's book on Amazon ? It has a similar content like your recent comments.

Unknown said...

Mr. Michael James and Roger Isaacs,

Comment of 7 March 2019 at 16:01 was not posted by me who regularly posts as Unknown. Mr. James, I am sure you can make this out from my internet IP address or source of my city location from my computer.

To make things clear that review at Amazon mentioned above was posted by Salazar under another pseudonym as Paul. It was not posted by Mr. Roger Isaacs and one can easily make out from the writing in the review. It has Salazar written all over it from the style of posting his comments.

Mr. James please do not delete this comment of mine as it has relevance to the above comment of 7 March 2019 at 16:01.

Thank You.

Unknown said...

Mr. Roger Isaacs, It was not me (who has posted some comments here as Unknown earlier) who posted that comment of 7 March 2019 at 16:01 as Unknown where you are mentioned. This is just to clarify. Best wishes to you.

Roger Isaacs said...

Hi "Unknown": I have NOT posted any public comments about Michael or his work or books except for here.

Also Unknown said...

Mr. Isaacs, thank you for the clarification. I changed the handle since, for reasons unknown to me, "Unknown" is attached to his handle and is not willing to share it.

This is just another example of to how many, even trivial, things we are attached to without even noticing.

Unknown said...

Also Unknown,

It is not a question of attachment. If many people post under the same handle then people will not know which person posted a particular comment. For example if I start posting comments using "Also Unknown' handle then people may think you posted that particular comment. So it is a matter of basic common sense than a problem of attachment to a handle.

Krishna Santh said...

with heavy heart i write this Michael James.

you should focus on practical tips that you can offer on self enquiry rather than criticizing very disciple of Bhagavan from Lakshmana swamy to annamalai swami to papaji.

do not you realize Sadhu Om himself has composed so many devotional songs on bhagavan and arunachala which are now published by RMCL in CDs? some of the songs directly praising the divine name of Ramana. would you dismiss all of them ?

dont you realize Bhagavan has regarded this hill of arunachala as God and praised it in many occasions and encouraged giri pradakshina?

dont you realize Bhagavan prescribed to read Ribhu Gita even to cooks and he himself participated in the readings ( Ribhu Gita is full of traditional manana sentences and bhava)

how are you going to dismiss all other aspects which Bhagavan wrote?

what are you going to achieve by dragging each and every direct disciple of Bhagavan?

I had high regard for your works earlier. now this whole blog is becoming a ISCKON equivalent of Sri Raman literature. that was never the intention of Bhagavan Ramana.

completely trying to create a fanatic set of teachings.and if we quote any Bhagavan passages for dualistic devotion to the arunachala hill you will dismiss them as unauthentic?

i advise please focus on staying with innermost sense of I feeling rathen poking into every Master like this. Sadhu Om if he was alive he would have asked you to stop these type of articles.

Anonymous said...

Thanks. When I read Sanjay’s post first, I didn’t agree with it at all. Reading your post I am getting curious now. Is it possible to contact you? If so, how do I contact you?