Friday, October 31, 2008

Handling desires on the spiritual path

Sometimes Bhagavan Ramana said that desires should be tackled prior to the practice of enquiry, but on other occasions he was equally insistent that self-enquiry, properly performed, was the most effective way of eliminating and renouncing desires. The following two dialogues illustrate this particular approach:

Question: What is the best way of dealing with desires, with a view to getting rid of them – satisfying them or suppressing them?

Bhagavan: If a desire can be got rid of by satisfying it, there will be no harm in satisfying such a desire. But desires generally are not eradicated by satisfaction. Trying to root them out that way is like pouring spirits to quench fire. At the same time, the proper remedy is not forcible suppression, since such repression is bound to react sooner or later into forceful surging up with undesirable consequences. The proper way to get rid of a desire is to find out, ‘Who gets the desire? What is its source?’ When this is found, the desire is rooted out and it will never again emerge or grow. Small desires such as the desire to eat, drink and sleep and attend to calls of nature, though these may also be classed among desires, you can safely satisfy. They will not implant vasanas in your mind, necessitating further birth. Those activities are just necessary to carry on life and are not likely to develop or leave behind vasanas or tendencies. As a general rule, therefore, there is no harm in satisfying a desire where the satisfaction will not lead to further desires by creating vasanas in the mind. (Day by Day with Bhagavan, 12th April, 1946)

Question: How am I to deal with my passions? Am I to check them or satisfy them? If I follow Bhagavan’s method and ask, ‘To whom are these passions?’ they do not seem to die but grow stronger.

Bhagavan: That only shows you are not going about my method properly. The right way is to find out the root of all passions, the source whence they proceed, and get rid of that. If you check the passions, they may get suppressed for the moment, but will appear again. If you satisfy them, they will be satisfied only for the moment and will again crave satisfaction. Satisfying desires and thereby trying to root them out is like trying to quench fire by pouring kerosene oil over it. The only way is to find the root of desire and thus remove it. (Day by Day with Bhagavan, 2nd January, 1946)

Source : Day by Day with Bhagavan by Sri Devaraja Mudaliar


Sunday, October 19, 2008

Bhagwan Ramana on importance of Direct Path

Once, when Ganapati Muni was present in the hall, a group of villagers asked, ‘How are we to control the mind?’ In reply Bhagavan asked them to look into the origin of the mind and explained the path of self-enquiry. Soon they left and Bhagavan as usual went out for a walk.

Remarking to the others [Ganapati] Muni said, ‘The path of Self-knowledge which Bhagavan teaches is so difficult even for the learned, and Bhagavan advocated it to the poor villagers. I doubt whether they understood it and still less whether they can practise it. If Bhagavan had advised them to practise some puja or japa, that would have been more practical.’

When this was conveyed to Bhagavan, he commented, ‘What to do? This is what I know. If a teaching is to be imparted according to the traditional way, one must first see whether the recipient is qualified or not. Then puja, japa or dhyana are prescribed step by step. Later the Guru says that this is all only preliminary and one has to transcend all this. Finally, the ultimate truth that “Brahman alone is real” is revealed and to realise this, the direct path of self-enquiry is to be taught. Why this roundabout process? Should we not state the ultimate truth and direct path at the beginning itself rather than advocating many methods and rejecting them at the end?’
(Bhagavan Sri Ramana, a Pictorial Biography, p. 74)


Friday, October 17, 2008

Cultivating peace through meditation

Peace is not something that can be cultivated from the outside .Many people cultivate it from the outside , but it is only an appearance .Deep down they are sitting on a volcano .It can erupt at any moment .Peace should be an inner worth , not an outer cultivation ; only then it is true , only then it is liberating .And inner peace comes only as a by-product of meditation .The more meditative you become , the more peaceful .



Monday, October 13, 2008

Rebel according to Osho

My rebel is a meditator .He loves peace , he loves people , he loves their well being and he will do everything for their natural growth .He will not impose any ideology .He will simply help everybody to be himself .Such a rebellion has never happened .



Sunday, October 12, 2008

Mental tendencies

In the peace of the Self, there are no vasanas. If you can establish yourself in the Self, all vasanas will be destroyed.Witness the vasanas as they arise but don't identify with them or act on them. If you want to get rid of your vasanas you must learn to practice non-involvement.

If you feel yourself identifying with a vasana when it starts to rise, remind yourself, 'This vasana is not me' and withdraw into the Self. If you learn to ignore your vasanas in this way they will eventually stop rising.

Annamalai Swami

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Saturday, October 11, 2008

Papaji on Buddhist Meditations

The following in a Conversation between David Godman and Papaji on the efficiency of formal buddhist meditations with regard to self enquiry .

David: You are telling people to ‘Be still’ and to ‘Be quiet’. This is the classic instruction of Ramana Maharshi. Many people from the Vipassana tradition came to see you in the late 80s and early 90s, and most of them had done years of meditation practice which resulted in a deep quietening of their minds. You generally say that formal meditation is not useful, but are not these Buddhist meditators better equipped to follow your ‘Be quiet’ advice than those who have done no meditation at all?

Papaji: No, and I will tell you why not. When you meditate, you set up a goal or a target that you want to reach or attain. You have an idea of what the Self or God might be; you have another idea that you are separate from that God or Self; so you then plan a journey from where you imagine yourself to be to the state that you imagine to be the Supreme. It’s all imagination, including the experiences you have as a result of your practices.

The ego is very clever and very tricky. If it sees that you are striving towards a state you call ‘silence’ or ‘inner quietness’, it will create a mental realm inside you where you can go and experience, dualistically, a place where peace and silence seem to prevail. While you are in that realm, stray thoughts may be absent and you may be experiencing some peace and happiness, since these are the properties that you imagine the Self to have. But this realm of quiet is a mental state created by your idea of the Self and sustained by your intense concentration on it. That is why everyone says that the peace of meditation goes away when this kind of meditation stops. It may last for half an hour or so as a kind of after-effect, but sooner or later it vanishes. When the effort to sustain it ceases, the state itself vanishes.

The peace of the Self is something completely different. It doesn’t come and go according to how hard you focus on it. It’s there all the time. It reveals itself when the effort to focus on objects – physical or spiritual – ceases.

These Buddhist meditators have learned, through hard work, how to dwell in pleasant inner mental states. If I tell them to ‘Be quiet’, they go off into this mental realm and think that they are following my instructions. What I am actually saying is, ‘Give up the thinker, the one who wants to meditate on an object’. When that thinker goes, the peace of the Self remains. People who, through effort and desire, enjoy mentally induced experiences rarely want to give them up because they think they are signs of great progress.

In ancient times the rishis could create whole, apparently-real, worlds through the power of their imagination. In meditation you create inner spiritual worlds that you take to be real because they conform to your idea of what the Self might be.

Physical efforts produce physical results and mental efforts produce mental results. Since the Self is neither mental nor physical, it cannot be attained by mental or physical activity.

Poonja alias Papaji

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Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Respecting all dimensions of Life

It is important to not become identified with or attached to any spiritual tradition. Whilst Advaita reflects and addresses the very deepest level of awakened Presence, it is very easy for Advaita to become a concept in the mind of the seeker. When we become so present that Oneness is revealed, then of course we have transcended duality, which is what is meant by non-dualism. Of course there is no sense of self as a separate individual. But who is aware of that. Who is here in Oneness. Who is experiencing Is-ness. I am. Pure consciousness. Silent Presence. I am that I am. I would call this state God consciousness, but that is just my language. I am not sure what Ramana would call it, but we are speaking of the same thing.

We are multi-dimensional Beings, and to open into the deepest dimension of who we are, is not a denial of those other dimensions.

The pursuit of enlightenment can often be motivated by the desire to escape. There are many spiritual seekers who do not really want to be here. When asked why not, the reply is that there is too much suffering here. And they are right. The suffering exists because humanity is lost in unconsciousness. But without realizing it, they are also rejecting the natural world. If I ask them if they want to be here with the trees, the sky, the mountains or the birds, the answer is always yes.

You have to be very careful that you are not seeking to annihilate yourself in your involvement with Advaita. For those seeking to escape, Advaita offers a certain allure.

When I speak of God as Creator and Creation, I am addressing God as both. But I also say that beyond Creator and Creation I am, and God is. And beyond that, all that exists is eternal Is-Isness.

Another aspect of this is that, if Advaita is dismissive of the physical world as illusion, and I do not know if this is the case, then that would be a mistake. The only way to come out of the illusory world of the mind is to bring yourself present with something that is actually here in the moment with you. If that too is an illusion, then what will you be present with?

For me, this is Heaven on Earth, and everything in physical form is the body of God. When we are awake in the truth of life and Oneness, then we experience the living Presence of God in all things present. Who is experiencing that? I am! Pure consciousness. Silent Presence. I am that I am.

I can not imagine that Ramana would have a problem with that!

Leonard Jacobson


Saturday, October 04, 2008

Clarity of Understanding

Understand your own mind and its hold on you will snap. The mind misunderstands, misunderstanding is its very nature. Right understanding is the only remedy, whatever name you give it...Nothing you do will change you, for you need no change. You may change your mind or your body, but it is always something external to you that has changed, not yourself. Why bother at all to change? Realize once for all that neither your nor your mind, nor even your consciousness is yourself and stand alone in your true nature beyond consciousness and unconsciousness. No effort can take you there, only the clarity of understanding. Trace your misunderstandings and abandon them, that is all. There is nothing to seek and find, for there is nothing lost. Relax and watch the "I am". Reality is just behind it. Keep quiet, keep silent; it will emerge, or rather, it will take you in."

Nisargadatta Maharaj- I Am That p. 520