Saturday, June 22, 2013

From ‘Face to Face with Sri Ramana Maharshi – Enchanting and Uplifting Reminiscences of 202 persons’ published by Sri Ramana Kendram, Hyderabad

Bhagavan was deeply interested in the construction of the shrine built on his mother’s samadhi. He attended every function connected with it. At night, when no one was about, he would walk round and round the construction consecrating it. That he should take such a demonstrative part in anything has a very deep significance.

Bhagavan listened like a child to passages from Shakespeare’s plays and Keats’ letters …. On Keats’ letter on ‘negative capability’ his passing comment was: “So there are Upanishads in English as in Sanskrit.”

Despite the Maharshi’s profound reverence for and frequent reference to the gods, his predominant concern was with impersonal jnana.

“ ….My hair was all matted and my body was completely covered with dust.” He added that at that time he was never aware of the passage of time. Sometimes, when he tried to stand up, his head would reel and he would lose his balance. When this happened he concluded that he must have spent many days in a state in which he had not been conscious of the world….. When asked whether he had any food in those days, he replied, “When there is no consciousness of the body, the bodily functions are also suspended.”

Bhagavan’s head would shake continuously and without the stick to support he could not walk or even stand upright. These were not symptoms of old age …. These were marks left on him by the stupendous experience of atmanubhuti in Madurai! When asked about this condition, Bhagavan remarked, “What do you think would happen to a small thatched hut inside which a big elephant is kept tied up? Would’nt it be shattered? Same is the case here!”

The Maharshi did not heal in the accepted form of the word…. I asked him if one could use spiritual power for healing. He remarked, “Yes, if you think it worthwhile,” but added, “it required a great deal of force, which might be used more profitably in other directions.”

“No, it is not repeating or meditating on ‘Who am I?’. It is to dive deep into yourself and seek the place from which the ‘I’ thought arises in you and to hold on to it firmly to the exclusion of any other thought. Continuous and persistent attempt will lead you to the Self.”

I followed Bhagavan’s instructions and started doing japa of the sun mantra. In a short time, I began to feel the effect of the japa. The severity of the heat lessened and eventually I began to experience, instead of the severe heat, a pleasing coolness. …..Later ….the effect of chanting this mantra was permanent. I can now walk in the summer on tar roads with bare feet without discomfort.

If you observe the breathing one-pointedly, such attention will lead you into kumbhaka (retention)

“What books should I read for spiritual progress?” ……. “Books? Why books?” the Maharshi queried ….. added, “Make your heart pure and you are bound to see the light!”

Q. How shall I realize God?

A. God is an unknown entity. Moreover, He is external. Whereas the Self is always with you and it is you. Why do you leave out what is intimate and go in for what is external?

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