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Monday and Tuesday, March 5th and 6th

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  • andrew macnab
    Dear Friends, If you live in the New England area please be noticed that there will be a Satsang with Carlos at the Friends Meeting House in Cambridge, Mass on
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 7, 2001
      Dear Friends,

      If you live in the New England area please be noticed that there
      will be a Satsang with Carlos at the Friends Meeting
      House in Cambridge, Mass on Saturday March 17, at 11 am.

      Directions: the Friends Meeting House in Cambridge is located at 5
      Longfellow Park, off the Brattle Street a few blocks from Harvard
      Square.

      More about Carlos at http://riverganga.org/meetCarlos.htm

      Carlos just returned from Arunachala Ramanasraman.

      Best regards,

      Hur

      ________________________________________________________________


      In the Northeast we are swamped by freezing rain and snow and thankfully
      most of the schools and colleges have closed. So this morning sharing some
      favorite stories. Here is an instance of how after Dilip Kumar Roy's heavy
      depression was lifted.

      Harsha

      How I Came to the Maharshi - IV
      By Dilip Kumar Roy

      Dilip Kumar Roy is known throughout India as a famous singer, apart from
      which he himself composes songs and writes poems, especially devotional
      songs and poems to Sri Krishna. For many years he was an inmate of Sri
      Aurobindo Ashram at Pondicherry. Now he is the head of the Hari Krishna
      Mandir at Poona where, aided by his foremost disciple, Indira Devi, he acts
      as guru to the many Krishna bhaktas who come. This account of his visit to
      the Maharshi is taken on his own invitation, from his book The Flute Calls
      Still, reviewed elsewhere in this issue.

      "It happened in 1945, I think. I was still living as an inmate of Sri
      Aurobindo Ashram, even though I had come to feel a growing sense of
      isolation and begun to surmise that I was a misfit there. My sadness and
      sense of dereliction only deepened with time till what little peace I had
      left me completely and I felt all but stranded. But I need not go into the
      why and wherefore of it all; I would plunge straight into what keeps me
      company as one of the most unforgettable experiences I have ever had. It
      does, as it was a landmark in my life.


      After having been for weeks in the grip of a deep gloom, I . wrote straight
      to Sri Aurobindo. He wrote back at once giving me the needed permission,
      which I deeply appreciated.


      I took the train to Tiruvannamalai where Ramana Maharshi lived. But as the
      train rolled on I felt a deep and growing malaise ... How could I win the
      needed peace at the feet of one who was not my Guru when I could not attain
      it at the feet of my revered Guru, Sri Aurobindo, whose wisdom and greatness
      my heart had never once questioned.


      Well, I alighted at the station in a mixed frame of mind...


      But it was too late then, for I was already at the gates of Ramanashram. How
      could I return now, after having crossed the Rubicon? Besides, I was driven
      by an irresistible urge to meet in the flesh the great Yogi who - unlike my
      own preceptor, Sri Aurobindo - was available to all at all hours. And, to
      crown all, I wanted to test the Maharshi for myself and see whether he, with
      his magic compassion, could lift me out of the deep slough I had landed in.


      But he did, and against my worst prognostications at that, so that I could
      not possibly explain it away as a figment of autosuggestion. I mean - if
      there were any auto-suggestion here it could only be against and not in
      favour of my receiving the goods. But, as the Lord's ways are not ours, I
      won an experience I could never even have dreamed of. So listen with bated
      breath.


      I can still recapture the thrill of the apocalyptic experience that came to
      me to charm away as it were the obstinate gloom which had settled on my
      chest like an incubus. But, alas, words seem so utterly pale and banal the
      moment you want to describe an authentic spiritual experience which is
      vivid, throbbing and intense. Still I must try.


      I entered a trifle diffidently a big, bare hall where the Maharshi reclined
      morning and evening among his devotees and the visitors who happened to
      call. Accessible to all, the great saint sat on a divan looking straight in
      front at nothing at all. I was told he lived thus all the time, in sahaja
      samadhi, that is a constant super-conscious state. I was indeed fascinated
      by what I saw, but I will not even attempt to portray with words how
      overwhelmed I was (and why) by what met my eyes. For what is it after all
      that I saw? Just a thin, half-naked man, sitting silently, gazing with
      glazed eyes at the window. Yet there was something in him that spoke to me -
      an indefinable beauty of poise and a plenitude that cannot be limmed with
      words. I wrote afterwards a poem1 on him that may give a better idea, but I
      must not get ahead of my story.


      I touched his feet and then, without a word, sat down near him on the floor
      and meditated, my heart aheave with a strange exaltation which deepened by
      and by into an ineffable peace which beggars description. My monthold gloom
      and misgivings, doubts and questionings, melted away like mist before
      sunrise, till I felt I was being cradled on the crest of a flawless peace in
      a vast ocean of felicity and light. I have to use superlatives here as I am
      trying to describe as best I can my experience of an ineffable bliss and
      peace which lasted for hours and hours. I can well remember how deep was the
      gratefulness I felt towards the Maharshi on that sleepless and restful night
      as I reclined, bathed in peace, in an easy chair under the stars at which I
      gazed and gazed in an ecstasy of tears. And I recalled a pregnant saying of
      his: "Just be. All is in you. Only a veil stands between. You have only to
      rend the veil and then, well, just be."


      I had found this favourite remark of his rather cryptic heretofore. But in
      that moment I understood for the first time and wrote a poem in homage to
      the Maharshi."1
      _________________________
      1 - This poem has already been published in The Mountain Path of April 1964,
      p, 87.

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



      Annamalai Swami

      Annamalai Swami, a lifelong devotee of Sri Ramana Maharshi, was absorbed in
      his Master on November 9, 1995. He was 89-years-old. The Swami's remarkable
      story was edited by David Godman and published in 1994 by the Sri Annamalai
      Swami Ashram Trust.

      Annamalai Swami came to the Maharshi in 1928 and, at the Sage's behest,
      undertook the supervision in the construction of the Goshala (cow shed),
      Dining Hall, Dispensary and various other projects. In the mid-1940s,
      Bhagavan instructed him to leave the ashram and engage in intense sadhana.
      He would then occasionally meet the Maharshi on his walks, but never again
      in the fifty years that followed did he reenter Sri Ramanasramam, preferring
      to live a quiet, austere life in Palakottu. His small ashram borders the
      western boundary of Sri Ramanasramam and he was well known to many devotees
      and visitors to Tiruvannamalai.

      In the passage below, excerpted from Living By the Words Of Bhagavan,
      Annamalai Swami relates the incidents preceding his departure from Sri
      Ramanasramam.

      * * *
      MY days as an ashram worker were coming to a close, although I didn't
      realize it at the time. In retrospect I can remember only one small incident
      which indicated that Bhagavan knew that my time in the ashram was coming to
      an end.

      I was doing some digging with a crowbar when Bhagavan came and asked me,
      "Did you decide to do this work yourself or did Chinnaswami ask you to do it
      ?"

      I told him that Chinnaswami had asked me to do it. Bhagavan was not very
      pleased.

      "So, he has given you work. So, he has given you work. Why is he giving you
      work like this?"

      A little later Yogi Ramiah remarked to Bhagavan, "Annamalai Swami is working
      very hard. His body has become very weak. You should give him some rest."

      Bhagavan agreed with him. "Yes, we have to give him some rest. We have to
      give freedom to him."

      A few days later I went to Bhagavan's bathroom to help him with his morning
      bath. Madhava Swami and I gave him the usual oil bath and massage.

      When the bath was over Madhava Swami asked a question: "Bhagavan, the people
      who take ganja lehiyam [an ayurvedic preparation whose principal ingredient
      is cannabis] experience some kind of ananda [bliss]. What is the nature of
      this ananda ? Is it the same ananda that the scriptures speak of?"

      "Eating this ganja is a very bad habit," replied Bhagavan. Then, laughing
      loudly, he came over to me, hugged me and called out, "Ananda! Ananda! This
      is how these ganja-taking people behave!"

      It was not a brief hug. Madhava Swami told me later that he held me tightly
      for about two minutes. After the first few seconds I completely lost
      awareness of my body and the world. Initially, there was a feeling of
      happiness and bliss, but this soon gave way to a state in which there were
      no feelings and no experiences. I did not lose consciousness, I just ceased
      to be aware of anything that was going on around me. I remained in this
      state for about fifteen minutes. When I recovered my usual
      world-consciousness I was standing alone in the bathroom. Madhava Swami and
      Bhagavan had long since departed for breakfast. I had not seen them open the
      door and leave, nor had I heard the breakfast bell.

      This experience completely changed my life. As soon as I recovered normal
      consciousness I knew that my working life at Sri Ramanasramam had come to an
      end. I knew that henceforth I would be living outside the ashram and
      spending most of my time in meditation. There was a rule that only those who
      worked for the ashram could live there full-time. Those who wanted to spend
      their time in meditation had to live somewhere else. I thus knew that I
      would have to leave the ashram and fend for myself, but the thought of
      losing my regular meals and my room never troubled me.

      I made a belated appearance in the dining room to eat my last breakfast. As
      soon as I had finished eating I went up onto the hill to look for Bhagavan.
      I found him sitting on a big rock.

      "I have decided to leave the ashram," I said. "I want to go to Palakottu to
      live alone and meditate."

      "Ah! Very good! Very good! Very good!" exclaimed Bhagavan.

      The decision clearly had his approval. How could it be otherwise since it
      was Bhagavan himself who gave me the experience which precipitated the
      decision?

      After getting Bhagavan's permission I packed my possessions and locked my
      room. I also locked all the other places that were in my charge.

      I took the bunch of keys to Chinnaswami and told him, "I have decided to go
      and live in Palakottu. Please take these keys and keep them."

      Chinnaswami was, quite naturally, very surprised. "Why are you leaving?" he
      asked. "You have constructed all these buildings. You have done so much
      here. How can you go after doing all this work? Where will you sleep? How
      will you eat? You will have many troubles because you have no way of
      supporting yourself. Don't go, stay here."

      I told him that I would not change my mind. I also tried to give him the
      keys but he refused to accept them. I didn't want another argument with him
      so I just handed over the keys to Subramaniam, who was also in the office,
      and left.

      It was an abrupt change in my life. Within a few hours of having the
      experience I was walking to Palakottu, knowing full well that I had left all
      of my old working life behind me.


      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


      _____________________________________________________________________________


      White Wolfe:

      out of nothing, the one spirit
      ascends and descend as water
      one drop became two,
      yin and yang,
      father and mother,
      light and dark,
      birth and death
      being and not-being
      something and nothing
      love and higher love
      the two became the fertile womb of creation and creatures
      dancing as one the endless dancing of the dance of chance
      that we who are many may join hands to become a new one
      and love may spiral further up and further into higher love forever

      a raindrop in the wind descends as one into the good earth
      in the fecund darkness it continues its journey downward
      seeking the other who is most like itself and they another
      muitual surrender so that two coalesce to create a new one
      a fresh pond to a stream to a tarn to a river to a lake to a sea
      and finally the seas surrender into the infinite deep blue ocean

      blue water arising into whites cloud disappearing into blue sky

      the way of water is the of surrender, the middle way of sacred love

      listen to the water seeking water beneath the still running waters

      see the waters dance the dance of chance and listen to it song

      the dance is the song of love, the love of the song is the dance

      the Beloved calls us to sing and dance, dance and sing

      join the the orchestra, the chorus and the ballet,

      dance, sing and play for you are love and love is you


      _____________________________________________________________________


      Jeff Rasmussen:


      I've moved my Taoism site to a new location, and have been actively
      updating it.

      I was hoping to exchange links with other sites. Taoist would be
      okay, but I'd like to especially have other practices.

      You can take a look at:

      http://symynet.com/tao_te_ching/

      and contact me, either here, or at links@..., if you've got a
      site.


      "bless the web, every strand o' it,"

      JR


      ____________________________________________________________________



      Can anyone comment on this, please?

      The idea that the world is purely an illusion is a misconception commonly
      attributed to Advaita Vedanta; whereas it's really not saying that at all!
      It is vitally important to understand this. If not, we're propounding dualism.
      Advaita is telling us the entirety of what is, Manifest and Unmanifest,
      Immanent and Transcendental, Relative and Absolute, Phenomenal and
      Noumenal, Physical and Spiritual, is ONE BEING.

      ____________________________
      love,
      Cyber Dervish

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


      Do you see... *BEING*....as a noun (person, place, or thing) or a verb (meaning
      process)?
      could it be both?

      Ed

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      True.

      Advaita Vedanta does NOT view the world/universe as "purely an
      illusion." However, it does view it as one would view a film or a
      shadow... the film or shadow is there, but it "depends" on something
      prior to it. There is something prior to the world/universe that
      causes it to be perceived. According to Shankara's interpretation
      it's a sort of "overlay" on Brahman. However, this is interpreted
      slightly differently by different texts, gurus and all that.

      Nowhere in Vedanta however has it ever been stated that the world is
      purely an illusion. It's called 'Maya' for a reason -- *as* Maya
      it's an existent thing... the confusion comes in because Maya is
      referred to often as "unreal." Unreal in the sense, again, of a
      movie playing on the screen, or a shadow, but existent as itself,
      depending on Brahman to be perceived.

      Also, inherent in Hinduism is very much the viewpoint that anything
      that does not last is unreal. This viewpoint is not so prevalent in
      Western culture (in the West something can be temporary but still
      real) so this has to be taken under consideration.

      One final point: The 'realized' sage will see all of the above as
      conceptual nonsense. Things are as they are, and that's enough.

      Namaste,

      Omkara

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      Whose illusion would it be?

      _____________________________________________________________________
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