Thursday 12 August 2010

We should seek guru only within ourself

A friend recently wrote to me asking:

My question is about the role of the teacher. When you read about spiritual practice it seems to me that most writers consider the intimate contact with a living (enlightened) teacher to be necessary. Since I don’t have a teacher and I can’t see how to meet one anytime soon (living in a small town far away from anyone in the least interested in atma-vichara) these writers create a nagging doubt in me. Am I just fooling myself? Should I just give up and live my life to the best of my ability and try to be ‘normal’?
In reply to this I wrote as follows:

People who talk of the need for a ‘living’ guru have clearly failed to understand the true nature of guru, and when they have failed to understand this they also fail to understand the true role of guru.

As Sri Sadhu Om used to say, guru alone is living, and we are all dead. That is, guru is the one ever-living reality, and we who have forgotten this reality are in effect dead, because we take this mortal body to be ourself.

Sri Ramana always emphasised that guru is not a body but the eternal self, and since self is immortal, guru is by definition ever living.

Saturday 9 January 2010

Sri Ramana’s mangalam verse to Vivekacudamani

When Sri Ramana translated Vivēkacūḍāmaṇi into Tamil prose, he composed a maṅgalam or ‘auspicious introductory verse’ for it.

Recently a friend asked me to translate this verse, because he was not satisfied with the translation of it on page 212 of The Collected Works of Ramana Maharshi, which is as follows:

Rejoice eternally! The Heart rejoices at the feet of the Lord, who is the Self, shining within as ‘I-I’ eternally, so that there is no alternation of night and day. This will result in removal of ignorance of the Self.
The original Tamil verse is:
அகமெனு மூல வவித்தை யகன்றிட
வகமக மாக வல்லும் பகலற
வகமொளி ராத்ம தேவன் பதத்தினி
லகமகிழ் வாக வனிசம் ரமிக்கவே.

ahameṉu mūla vaviddai yahaṉḏṟiḍa
vahamaha māha vallum pahalaṟa
vahamoḷi rātma dēvan padattiṉi
lahamahiṙ vāha vaṉiśam ramikkavē