Monday 30 December 2013

Dhyāna-p-Paṭṭu: The Song on Meditation

தியானப் பாட்டு (Dhyāna-p-Paṭṭu), the ‘Meditation Song’ or ‘Song on Meditation’, is a joyful song that Sri Sadhu Om composed for young children to help them learn the practice of meditation on self (svarūpa-dhyāna) or ātma-vicāra (self-investigation or self-enquiry), as it is also called. Because of its uplifting and joyful tune and its simple and clear meaning, it is very popular among devotees who like to sing Tamil songs on Sri Ramana and his teachings.

Although this song was written for the benefit of children, it explains the practice of ātma-vicāra in such a clear and simple manner that it is useful for any of us who are seriously trying to experience ourself as we really are.

Though at first glance the first two verses seem to be describing the practice of dualistic meditation — meditation on God as other than oneself (anya-bhāva) — between verses 3 and 9 the attention of the meditator is gradually and gently turned away from the idea that God is anything other than oneself towards his real nature, the suddha-mauna-cit or ‘pure silent consciousness’ (verse 3) that shines blissfully (verse 4) in our heart as ‘I am’, the ‘witness who knows [all our] thoughts’ (verse 6).

Thursday 26 December 2013

The unique clarity and simplicity of Sri Ramana’s teachings

Yesterday a friend wrote to me quoting verse 579 of Guru Vācaka Kōvai:
Because of the non-dual nature of [our] enduring self, [and] because of the fact that excluding self there is no other gati [refuge, means or goal], the upēya [the aim or goal] which [we are to] reach is only self and the upāya [the means or path] is only self. Know them to be non-different.
and saying ‘I think only Bhagavan has provided such clarity on the path, as well as the goal that we should aim for’. To this I replied:

Yes, I too believe that ‘only Bhagavan has provided such clarity on the path, as well as the goal that we should aim for’. He has provided unsurpassed clarity on the goal we should seek and achieve, on the path by which we should seek and achieve it, and on the reason why seeking and achieving it is more important than anything else that we can do in this life.

I believe that the reason why his teachings are so clear and convincing is that they are so simple and so coherent, by which I mean that they all tie together so logically. They are also based on premises that are self-evident once he has pointed them out to us: that is, they are based on the following simple and clear analysis of our experience of ourself in our three states of experience, waking, dream and sleep.