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A Former Classmate Visiting Bhagavan

Aham Sphurana

A Glimpse of Self Realisation

New Book about Sri Ramana Maharshi

Available Worldwide

On  www.openskypress.com  and Amazon:

A Glimpse of Self Realisation

New Book about Sri Ramana Maharshi

“In my opinion, Aham Sphurana, a Glimpse of Self Realisation, will become a Treasure Trove of Wisdom to the Seekers of Truth in general, and particularly to the devotees of Bhagavan.”

Swami Hamsananda – Athithi Ashram, Tiruvannamalai

Available Worldwide

on  www.openskypress.com  and Amazon:

A Former Classmate Visiting Bhagavan

Mr. Abdul Wahab, a former classmate of Sri Bhagavan’s at the American Mission High School, Madurai, has paid a visit to the Ashram. The master is beaming with delight to see him. Then both the master and his former classmate shared with the Hall their reminiscences appertaining to each other.
B.: In those days I would be exceedingly fond of playing football. Sahib [for that was how Sri Bhagavan addressed the Moslem gentleman] would take particular care that he always played on the same side as myself. Once whilst playing I happened to injure my right leg, which then became inflamed and swollen. Sahib took me to a nearby hospital and ensured that some medicine was applied over the affected area. Only after the swelling had subsided somewhat could I return home; otherwise I would be upbraided by my elders, who did not approve in the slightest of me participating in games of any sort.


A.W.: I feel disturbed to ponder over the fact that I used to call Bhagavan familiarly by name for so many years, not recognising or realising his greatness. Venkateswaram Aiyyer was the name given to Sri Bhagavan at birth, since the kuladheivam of their family was Thirupathi Venkatachalapathy; however, at the time of enrolling him in school it was, for some reason, changed to Venkatraman.
            Sri Bhagavan used to take me to the Thirupparangundram Murugar Kovil often on Saturdays; he would insist that together with himself I also should visit the shrines of the various gods and come about in circumambulation around the temple. I would protest saying that I belonged to the Islamic faith, where idol-worship would be considered apostasy and heresy; but he would always overrule my objections, saying that these differences were not inherent in God but had merely been created by man.
          Bhagavan would also occasionally take me to Thirucchuzhi; he went there periodically to see his family. Bhagavan’s mother was an orthodox brahmin, but still she would serve me food whenever she saw me. On occasions when I declined to accompany him, he would meet me the next day and hand over a tiffin-box, saying, “Mother has asked me to give you these comestibles…”. Such was the kindness of Bhagavan’s mother…!

Both the Moslem and Sri Bhagavan had moist eyes at this point, and the master suddenly looked away from the Hall and at the window, remaining so for sometime. At the time of taking leave, the Moslem presented the master with a small quantity of thangabhasmam, saying, “I have procured it especially for Sri Bhagavan since I know that he is an asthmatic.”.
B.: This cannot be accepted. There are so many asthmatics around the world. If all of them start clamouring for thangabhasmam, will the quantity of gold left on the earth suffice? Moreover, why all these fancy things for me? Can I afford such things? I am a daridranarayanan [in service to the poor] who must make do with whatever is available. Such exotic items are for those who have a taste for them and are able to afford them. What can I afford? Nothing. Even the koupeenam I am wearing is given by somebody else, and not earned by me. What right have I got to partake of these fanciful indulgences? Some பழையது [    ] with a small quantity of buttermilk to go along with it will do for me.


A.W.: [piteously] Still, for my sake will Bhagawan not change his mind and accept my presentation?

A voice near the Sofa said – It is given as a token of the gentleman’s love and affection for Bhagavan; Bhagavan must kindly accept it for our sake if not for his own. Yet the master would not be persuaded.

B.: Why all these fancy items? You yourself have family-members who are suffering from asthma: is that not so? Is this body more important than or in any way superior to those bodies? How is it that ignoring them you have brought this medicine over to me? If you give this to those who truly need it, they will feel happy. I have no use for such things. I cannot think “Oh! we are taking medicine for our good health.” and feel elated. [smiling, in demure fashion saying—] I hope you are not angry with me…!

 

The old school-friends both laughed heartily. Presently the Moslem gentleman prostrated in front of the master and departed from the Hall. 

Edited by John David Oct 2021

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Mrs Piggot’s Diary

Aham Sphurana

A Glimpse of Self Realisation

New Book about Sri Ramana Maharshi

Available Worldwide

On  www.openskypress.com  and Amazon:

A Glimpse of Self Realisation

New Book about Sri Ramana Maharshi

“In my opinion, Aham Sphurana, a Glimpse of Self Realisation, will become a Treasure Trove of Wisdom to the Seekers of Truth in general, and particularly to the devotees of Bhagavan.”

Swami Hamsananda – Athithi Ashram, Tiruvannamalai

Available Worldwide

on  www.openskypress.com  and Amazon:

Mrs Piggot’s Diary

I was told that the Maharshi had his finger on the pulse of the whole ashram, although he appeared prima facie totally unconcerned with all mundane affairs. For instance, when in the Hall, he was supposed to know what was going on even in the kitchenand incidentally I was surprised to find that he himself assisted in the cutting up ofvegetables for the daily meal.
             I was also told that he knows what is passing in the minds of people. Of this latter ability, I had a small personal experience. It was in the afternoon, and I was in the far corner of the Hall reading the translation of a collection of aphorisms written inso it appeared to mea flowery and artificial vein. I was bored and slightly irritated.   
             Suddenly one of the devotees stood before me with another book in his handall the ashram books were bound in brown paper and looked exactly alikeand said, ‘Bhagavan asks me to give you this. He thinks it will be more sympathetic to your type of mind.’ It was!
             How could Bhagavan know what I was reading? I was sitting far away, with many people in between us, blocking his line of vision. But I had previously noticed that many times he would answer a question in my mind whilst it was only in the process of being formulated. This happened too often to be a coincidence.


Q.: Sometimes I feel thought stopping and the feeling of beingness underneath is exposed and revealed. At the same time a pulsating sensation is felt on the right-hand side of the chest. Is it right?
B.: Yes. Thoughts must cease and reason disappear for ‘I-I’ to rise up and be felt. Feeling is the prime factor and not reason.

 
Q.: Why should it be felt in the chest but not in the head?
B.: Because body-consciousness is located there.


Q.: When I see outside the sensation disappears. What is to be done?
B.: It must be held on to incessantly.


Q.: If one is active in the world whilst holding on to such sensation, will his actions be always right?
B.: They ought to be. However, such a person is not concerned with the right or wrong of his actions. Such a person’s actions are God’s and therefore they must be right.


Q .: Why then are the restrictions of food given for such persons also?
B.: Your present experience is due to the influence of the physical atmosphere you presently find yourself in. Can you have it outside this atmosphere? Now in you the experience is spasmodic. Until it becomes permanent, practice is necessary. Restrictions of food are aids for such experience to be repeated. After one gets established in Truth the restrictions drop away naturally. Moreover, foodinfluences the mind and for this reason the same must be kept pure.


Every experience has to end and the last day of my visit to the
ashram arrived, and with it a great sadness filled my heart. I must go back to worries, problems and irritations. Here all was peace. Here it was comparatively easy to live in the mood of the spirit. Is this why so many holy people retire to solitude, I wondered.
I had my farewell talk with Bhagavan. He was so gentle and human. We discussed thedifficulties of everyday life and mundane problems. I asked again about the relation of the body to the ‘I’. He gave this simile:
“You came up from the bungalow this morning in a cart. Yet you do not say, “The cart came up.” You say, “I came up.” You did not make the mistake of identifying yourself with the cart. In the same way, look upon your body as you do the cart. Treat it well, and it will be a good servant and instrument. But do not be deceived into thinking that it is ‘I’.”


He again stressed the necessity to see only the Self in everything.
Act automatically, so to speak, and let ‘It’ do the work. And ‘It’ always will. Do not look for results. Do what is right at any given moment and leave it behind you then and there.”


At the end of our talk, he quoted that wonderful saying from the Upanishad:
‘When a man understands that he is the Self and therefore that he has himself become all things, what sorrow, what trouble can there be, to him who has once beheld this unity?’

 

As I went to say goodbye in the evening the ashram people clustered round in sympathy for my departure. I felt I had made and was leaving true friends. They were so simple and yet so genuine. There was a service taking place in the adjoining temple and an old Sanskrit hymn was being chanted. Just as I stepped into the cart the temple bell rang. This brought a smile of happiness on everyone’s face. Apparently, to hear a temple gong in the act of departure is a wonderful omen and brings peace. As I left Tiruvannamalai in the dawn of the next morning, I caught a last glimpse of Arunachala, the Holy Mountain, on which lives one of the saints of earth. It was red and glowing in the rising sun. I wept with joy to behold the sight.

Edited by John David Oct 2021

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Mixed Blogs

Aham Sphurana

Jaws of the Tiger

Q.: Has anyone succeeded in winning the admiration of Maharshi himself?
B.: Oh! yes.
Q.: Who?
B.: You.
Q.: [face superciliously lights up with pompous joy, but manages to modestly utter] How can that be? I am a spectacularly worthless creature. Even after years of repeatedly visiting the sacred soil of Tiruvannamalai, I remain an unenlightened person.
B.: That is it.

Mechanism
Blog Posts

Suppressing Our Mechanisms

I would say that that seeing of our nature is like the first step in an ongoing process that reveals everything that’s been suppressed or been jumped over, and in that process it’s really a fire, but ultimately the fire is not for any person, it’s actually for the benefit of all beings.

Aham Sphurana

J.Krishnamurti’s, Dissolution of the Order of the Star

Q.: I cannot so easily let go of everything as suggested by Bhagavan, because my family will raise objections if I try to renounce the world.
B.: There is no need to leave home. Discard the contents of the mind and thus throw the faculty of mind away. That is real renunciation. Physical renunciation will make you think, ‘I have renounced everything.’ Nothing could be more dangerous. Here we practise only mental renunciation.

Ramana Maharshi, Aham Sphurana
Aham Sphurana

Non-Doing

Q.: If I stay at the root of the mind or abide as pure consciousness, will I Realise the Self?
B.: The question shows that the arbitrary mental conceptualisation, ‘Realising the Self’, is still present in the mind. Staying in the root of the mind should be a matter of course; it must be the natural state. On the other hand, you are trying to deliberately do it so that you can thereby gain the reward you call ‘Self-Realisation’. Can it work? No.

Aham Sphurana

Destiny

Q. Is it true that Bhagavan has said, “If a man is destined not to Realise the Self, no matter what manner of aid or assistance is offered unto him or stands available so as to be plunged into ready deployment by him, he will not Realise the Self. On the other hand, if a man is destined to Realise the Self, no matter what manner of hindrance or trammel is placed across his path or is forced to be encountered by him, he will Realise the Self.”?
B.: The statement is correct.

Aham Sphurana

The Count

A sallow-faced gentleman, a foreigner, wearing a pencil moustache approaches Bhagavan after everyone has left the hall. I am instantly reminded of Count Orlok in Nosferatu, played so memorably by Max Schreck. He creeps near the Sofa, his long hands slightly outstreched in Bhagavan’s direction. I am glad he does not notice me, hidden away as I am in the Shadows at the back of the Hall. The attendants are asleep a yard or so away from me, and these prone bodies have also evidently escaped his attention. I want to cry out a warning to Bhagavan, but I am worried for my own safety. I wait with bated breath for the anticipated lines to be spoken.

Ramana Maharshi Aham Sphurana
Aham Sphurana

Reference Books and Translation

Much of the content presented here, showing Bhagavan reeling off verses from the Bible and other texts, are done so with the implicit assumption that the reader would naturally give himself to understand that Bhagavan was reading out from a book; certainly Bhagavan did not burst out with these lines of prose or, as the case may be, poetry, from extempore memory – at least, not in a majority of the cases.

Blog Posts

A Poem From Nataraj

I am nothing
I am everything

Everything I thought I was is just a thought
Nothing real, or grabbable.

I feel like I don’t exist
Im in oneness with everything I see
I walk and I am empty
I write but I don’t write
It’s a happening
No ones there doing anything
Free from my illusion
I feel safe

Aham Sphurana

Libelling Bhagavan

7th August, 1936
Early in the morning as usual the sarvadhikari [manager] arrives with wet dhoti [cotton wrap] and prostrates in front of Bhagavan whose eyes are closed. The meditating Aghori and myself are the only others in the Hall. Observing the master in a meditative inflection of comportment, I have, as always on such instances, closed my eyes. The sarvadhikari rises; he lingers for a fraction-of-a-second longer than usual. Then he moves toward the door.

Master Connection
Blog Posts

An Individual Connection to the Master

“Wow, this silence and bliss is so beautiful.” He gets up and says, “I’m going downstairs to make some yoghurt.” So, I follow Him down, and I said, “Why did you do that?” He said, “Where’s your silence now?” I said, “Well, it’s still here.” He said, “This is why I did it.”

Blog Posts

The Teachings of Vedanta

Some argue that because the Self is already realized, only the unenlightened mind-ego entity can get enlightened. Others say that since only the Self exists, there is no ego to get enlightened. These apparently opposing views suggest that ignorance both exists and does not exist.

Ramana Maharshi, Aham Sphurana
Aham Sphurana

Mrs. Piggot Introduces the Ashram And Bhagavan’s Meetings in 1934

I had visited India on several occasions prior to this trip, but this was
my maiden venture off the beaten track.
I was told of Sri Ramana Maharshi, and even from the little I heard, I knew I would travel anywhere and put up with any inconvenience in order to meet him and experience the sanctity of his presence. The friend who gave me the welcome news of the Maharshi’s existence offered to take me to him, and so we arrived at Tiruvannamalai late one afternoon.

Aham Sphurana

Renunciation

Q.: How does viveka [discernment] differ from
vairagya [renunciation]?
B.: Mere intellectual discernment of the real from the unreal is not of any great use. The unreal must be totally shunned, that is to say, the mind must be divested of any inclination to pursue it. One’s vasanas [ tendencies of mind] must be incinerated to the point of complete annihilation in the fire of vairagya; otherwise rebirth cannot be successfully avoided. Viveka may stop with intellectualisation and mental contemplation of the truth. But without vairagya Jnana cannot be achieved

Ramana Maharshi in ramanashram
Aham Sphurana

Guru’s Grace

Q.: The terms Aham-sphurana [Self-realization] and Sahaja-asamprajnatha-samadhi [oneness with God] are synonymous. Am I correct? _
B.: No.

Q.:Why not?
B.: Sometime after a fire is lit underneath a pot containing water, only an empty pot will be left. Yet, the space inside the pot is always vulnerable to being filled-up again. If the pot is smashed into pieces, it is quite ruined and there can be no scope any more for depositing anything into it.

Ramana Maharshi, Aham Sphurana
Aham Sphurana

40th Anniversary Event

Late in the evening today, the sarvadhikari [manager] requested the master to formally oversee and approve of the preparations the Ashram has made, for the celebrations arranged for tomorrow. Tomorrow is the 40th anniversary of the day on which the master is said to have attained Eternal Union with Arunachala: 1st September, 1896.
Many devotees, Indians as well as Caucasians, have gathered together here now, and the place is overflowing with people.