Thursday 29 May 2008

God as both nirguna brahman and saguna brahman

In continuation of my previous two articles containing extracts from the currently incomplete draft of The Truth of Otherness, the following is the first of several extracts from the second chapter, which is entitled ‘God’:

The ultimate truth about God is that he is our own real self, our fundamental and essential self-conscious being, which we always experience as ‘I am’. That is, he is both our being and our consciousness of our being — our perfectly non-dual being-consciousness or sat-chit.

He is our own essential being, and the essential being of everything that is or appears to be. He is the infinite fullness of being, which is the ultimate reality and essence of all things. He is the source, substratum and support of everything.

He is the absolute reality, which shines in the heart or innermost core of every sentient being as the knowledge ‘I am’. He is the ancient and eternal ‘I am’, the timeless ‘I am’, the omnipresent and all-pervading ‘I am’, the infinite ‘I am’, the absolute ‘I am’, the immutable and indivisible ‘I am’, the non-dual ‘I am’, the one and only truly existing ‘I am’, the all-transcending ‘I am’, the essential ‘I am’ other than which nothing is.

Friday 23 May 2008

The world is a creation of our imagination

In continuation of my previous post, Introduction to The Truth of Otherness, the following brief extract from The Truth of Otherness is all that I have so far drafted for the first chapter, ‘The World’. Needless to say, if I ever happen to complete writing this book, I would include in this chapter a detailed discussion of many other important truths that Sri Ramana has revealed to us about the nature of this world, particularly about how we experience it only due our pramada or slackness in self-attentiveness — that is, our failure to abide firmly in our natural state of absolutely non-dual self-conscious being.

God is not some being outside ourself who one day decided to create this universe. He is our own real self, which in truth just is, and never does anything. Therefore, this universe is truly created not by God, but only by our own kalpana-sakti or power of imagination. However, if we wish for any reason to attribute the creation of this vast and wonderful universe to God rather than to our own imagination, we should at least understand that he has created it only through the channel of our own mind or power of imagination.

If we wish to maintain that God created this world, we are in effect maintaining that he is not real in the absolute sense of the term, because the absolute reality is mere being, which never does anything. All doing or action involves change, and is therefore transient and unreal. Since action is unreal, whoever performs action is equally unreal. Something that is real cannot do something that is unreal.

Thursday 22 May 2008

Introduction to The Truth of Otherness

As I explained in the introduction to Happiness and the Art of Being, pages 55 to 58, I began to form it as a book by compiling some reflections on the teachings of Sri Ramana that I had originally written for my own benefit, because I find writing to be a valuable aid to the practice of self-investigation and self-surrender, since it helps me to deepen and clarify my understanding and is therefore an effective way of doing manana or deep reflective meditation upon his teachings.

When I thus began to compile my personal musings into the form of a book, I arranged them under various chapter headings, which I divided into two parts. Thus an early draft of Happiness and the Art of Being consisted of two parts, ‘The Essentials’ and ‘The Peripherals’, with ten chapters in the first part and eighteen in the second part.

However, when I began to compile ‘The Four Yogas’, which was one of the chapters that I planned to include in the second part, I soon found that it would be too long to form a single chapter, because I was trying to include in it some detailed musings that I had begun to write about certain fresh meanings that emerge from the Yoga Sutra of Patanjali when we carefully consider it in the clear light of Sri Ramana’s teachings, so I decided to separate such musings from the rest of the chapter and form them into an appendix.

Friday 16 May 2008

Happiness and the Art of Being — complete Spanish translation is now available

Pedro Rodea has translated into Spanish many English books on the teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana, including Nan Yar? (Who am I?), Upadesa Undiyar, Sri Arunachala Pancharatnam (with the commentary by Sri Sadhu Om), Guru Vachaka Kovai (from the English translation by Sri Sadhu Om and me), Maharshi’s Gospel, Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi, Day by Day with Bhagavan and Be As You Are, and his translations are posted either as PDF files or as zipped Word documents on his AtivarnAshram website. Some of his translations, such as Guru Vachaka Kovai, have also been published as printed books by Ignitus Ediciones.

In a post that I wrote on 22nd August of last year, Spanish translation of Happiness and the Art of Being, I said that Pedro was also translating Happiness and the Art of Being into Spanish, and that his translation of some of the chapters was available on the AtivarnAshram website. Recently he completed this translation, and it is now available on the AtivarnAshram website as a PDF e-book, which can be opened by clicking on the following link:

La Felicidad y el Arte de Ser:
Introducción a la filosofía y la práctica de las enseñanzas espirituales de
Bhagavan Sri Ramana

Some selected passages from this Spanish translation can also be accessed through links on the Michael James page of the AtivarnAshram website.

Thursday 15 May 2008

Sri Ramanopadesa Nunmalai — English translation by Sri Sadhu Om and Michael James

In a post that I wrote on September 25th of last year, Sri Arunachala Stuti Panchakam — English translation by Sri Sadhu Om and Michael James, I announced the publication of the word-for-word meaning and English translation by Sri Sadhu Om and me of Sri Arunachala Stuti Panchakam, the 'Five Hymns to Sri Arunachala' composed by Bhagavan Sri Ramana, and I mentioned that within the next few months it would be followed by a similar book containing the word-for-word meaning and English translation by Sri Sadhu Om and me of Upadesa Nunmalai, the 'Garland of Teaching Texts' or 'Garland of Treatises of Spiritual Instruction', that is, the poems such as Ulladu Narpadu that Sri Ramana wrote conveying his teachings or upadesa.

This translation of Upadesa Nunmalai has now been published under the title Sri Ramanopadesa Noonmalai and is available for sale in Sri Ramanasramam Book Stall. To the best of my knowledge, this is the first book to contain the word-for-word meaning in English for each verse of these poems.

The following is a copy of the introduction that I wrote for this translation of Upadesa Nunmalai:

"So that we may be saved, [graciously] reveal to us the nature of reality and the means to attain [or experience] it." This is the prayer that Sri Muruganar made to Bhagavan Sri Ramana when requesting him to compose Ulladu Narpadu, and these are the words with which he begins the first verse of his payiram or preface to this great work.