Thursday, 14 August 2014

Waking Up To Reality From The Three States Of Consciousness


Om Namo Bhagavate Shri Ramanaya

It is not some dry philosophy, but the day to day happening in each of our lives, from birth to death that we have missed to pay attention to-the waking state, the dream state and the deep sleep state.




"The world is a changing phenomena, an illusion." A spiritual comrade uttered in the course of a casual conversation.

The conversation drifted to the three states of consciousness-the waking, dreaming and the deep sleep states. They are alternating phases. A little scrutiny, and we can understand about these three states, which we experience every day from birth to death.

By the term "Real", we mean "Original", in the things that we encounter in our day to day life. We call "Original" because there is no change in them ever. So are the three states of consciousness, the waking state, where we engage in day to day activities; and the dream state, where we move about in our dreams with a different set of experiences, in a different world; and the deep sleep state, where our identity is totally lost, our original state?

So the three states will definitely have a common base for them to appear and disappear. If we can rationalise what this common source is, it is but our own "Self". "Self "is not to be looked upon as an object, but our own self.  When we say our own self, we deem it to be our body in the waking state. It cannot be our body, as our body is perceived by the mind. The mind has our presence for its base. Our own self cannot be the mind too, as the mind is totally absent in the deep sleep state; yet we claim that we slept soundly. Even in the absence of our mind, our being is proved. Our own Self is the source of the mind.

Only because we are present we are able to perceive our day to day activities and happenings in the waking state, through the mind.

We dream a beautiful sight, and we get elated and exclaim "Oh I had a beautiful dream!" We are able to exclaim so only because we were present in the dream state. Further more, in the dream state, we identify the self with a different body and we are in a different world altogether. Not the body that which is sleeping on the bed. We can't be that one too, as it also disappears once we are awake.

And in the deep sleep state, our identity is totally lost and we wake up saying that we had a wonderful sleep. We are able to say so only because there again was this consciousness, present even while we are sleeping soundly. There is absolutely no identification with any body. We are simply formless, until we wake up.

So which of these states can be our original state? They are all alternating. So can these alternating states be called real or original? We are so used to this alternating phenomena that we lose sight of the "real" thing.

 Hence that which is original is our own self or  OUR PURE PRESENCE, on the basis of which all perceptions through the mind is possible. Our own self is continuous in all the three states, even while the states alternate.

Ramana Maharshi says that the only difference between the waking state and the dream state is that the former is longer.

My friend said while we were discussing this, "But the dream state is in the subconscious mind." But truly, while in the dream state, did we know that it is the subconscious mind at play? It seems, that in whatever state we are, waking or dreaming, these states are true to us at the time of experiencing them!

Consciousness is reality.  In truth Consciousness is only one. One, complete whole. These states are considered true, only because we falsely identify ourselves with the body. When identification with the body is shed, all is, is only pure and plain Consciousness.

Ramana Maharshi says we or the "Self" is Sat (Truth or that which is Real) Chit (Knowledge or All knowing) Ananda (Bliss) and beyond the all three states. The one who realises this is the one who is truly awake.







Tuesday, 22 July 2014

The Path Back Home.....

This poem, "The Path Back Home," is a reflection of a peaceful stroll, alone in nature. The path leads and dissolves into the horizon, with me.... 



Tiny pink and yellow flowers, 
made occasional patches over the ground.
The breeze in the meadow brushed past,
The sun shied, behind the clouds,
A Kingfisher flapped its way towards me, unaware;
and swiftly turned away with an alert chirp.
The three-legged dog hopped and barked;
intrigued and agile,
A squirrel leaped from the roof of the cowshed,
onto the branch of a nearby tree.
I paced the path aimlessly that stretched in front,
A flock of birds took to flight,
to the left from the right.
A peacock started off from a branch of a tree,
and flew far beyond, surprising me.
A glimpse of the "Wordless One" having revealed itself,
from the depths of which thoughts emerged and sunk.
Thoughts of chaos showed up and slid,
back into the depths of peace--a seeming paradox so long hid!
A prayer arose and merged in the Source.
A thought to pen a poem too,
All dissolved in Stillness, without a do.....
For a while I tread the stretch and turned about;
to pace the path back homewards, without a doubt.
A subtle urge to trace the thoughts to their source,
to make an effort while in effortlessness, arose!
And from the depths of the truth it emerged,
"The path is the goal"........
Home is here, Heart is now!









Sunday, 22 June 2014

Wield Thy Weapon of Wisdom! - A poem of prayer to Ramana Maharshi

This poem is a plea to Bhagavan Ramana in the form of the Arunachala Hill in a mood of surrender to do away with the false ‘I’, or the little ‘I.’

 It is written, inspired by the talks of Brahma Sri Nochur Venkataraman on ‘Ulladhu Naarpadhu’ of Ramana Bhagavan, verse 2. Here he exposes one to a broader dimension of the ‘Fear of death’, by extending it to the changes that are constant in one’s life and not merely the death of the body. If we reflect our actions are towards steadying ourselves in order to encounter changes in future, the results of which are not in our control.

There is a fear of flux starting from our own body, mind, relationships, status, prospects, fortune etc. Therefore, death is immanent in everything and a way of transcending it as per Ramana’s words is to surrender the false identity for which these changes are apparent. Furthermore, the plea is to beseech Bhagavan to hasten the process, for the fear of being entangled in any forthcoming pleasure, which also carries the seeds of change. It is a prayer to bestow the state of equanimity in the face of pleasure and pain.

One then abides in the true Self or reality which is untouched by changes.

Wield Thy Weapon of Wisdom!

When the head drops low in a bow,
Wield Thy weapon of wisdom in a trice,
Strike the hood of the serpent ego,
Before another rise.

With shadows of death lurking around,
With uncertainty in all earthly claims,
Certainty is but Thy ground,
Hence, claim me with Thy aim.

Seeing death, hearing death, rather living death,
With death reigning high,
Breathing death in every breath
Deathless One, pray sever the ego knot in the tie.


 Every dusk sees a dawn
With streaks of death in the relative sky,
Quick to it I am  drawn, so wield Thy wisdom weapon,
For once for all to die.

Kill the ego with surrender you said,
None but Thou cast the state in me,
Blazing wisdom, Arunachala red,
Come claim Thy Kill that I be.

Thy weapon of wisdom is of love,
With death dead in Thy embrace,
With no trace of the little ‘I’ left
And all that remains is but Grace!

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Arunachala Siva -The Immovable Eternity

This poem highlights the nature of the moving mind constantly looking forward for the pleasures of the future. Belief in astrology and planetary transitions are most sought after ways to know the future. Its a prayer to   the sacred Arunachala Hill worshipped as Arunachala Siva, the immovable Self to grant its immobility drawing the ever restless mind to merge in it in surrender to go beyond time.

Year after year, when the (planet) transit happens,
The Guru (planet) swaps positions,
Spelling fortune to a few
For others, distaste anew

Joy eludes for some,
While others refereshingly hum.
The mind enjoys the rejuvenating change,
Or sinks in sorrow sudden and strange!

The changing Guru may cast the way of life,
Interchanging upheaval of pleasure and strife,
But can one rely for bliss eternal,
When the mind lost in the ethereal?

The true Sadguru full of Grace,
The seamless unchanging reality,
Leads the mind out of the dual maze,
Spreading bliss unperturbed for eternity!



Oh Arunachala Siva, the Guru eternal!
Do cast thy net of Grace,
To capture the mind in motion,
In a tight undivided embrace.

May the mind not wander, confounded,
Oh, Arunachala Siva, in constant motion,
May it rest in You, bliss abound,
Sans the least volition.

To seek thy feet is real fortune,
Which lends respite to the mind,
Beyond pleasure and pain, it gets attuned,
Hence I pray to bind.

Respite and rest only at thy feet,
Where the mind rests at its eternal seat,
Loses its motion and absolutely still,
Oh divine devouver, the vibrant Hill!

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Musings on the Changeless in Face of Change



“Better to understand for a single day the fleeting nature of things than to live for a hundred years without such understanding” - Buddha

Transience is the very nature of life.

Change is the only constant thing says Buddhism, and also a matter of common sense within the experience of all.

We cling to aspects of life - relationships, health, career, status etc etc. Little do we realise the aspect of change inherent in all the aforesaid aspects while we indulge in them. Realisation dawns only when a cherished relationship turns sour, when disease dispels sound heath, when there is a sudden change in career etc. Change also happens for the good, but in good days one is steeped in indulgence. Change speaks better in unhappiness.  It’s when the nature of transience is understood better.

The positive way of looking at change is to not to look at it as a disaster, but to consider it as simply a change. However, it seems beyond the human grasp. A simple understanding of the fact that life is made up of changes because the nature of life itself is a constant flow, helps gain an insight into it. Hence non-acceptance of change is like expecting a river to stand still. The journey goes on as the kaleidoscope of life presents fresh pictures and patterns. To go with the flow is the way.

Said and done non-acceptance of change is inevitable in face of a sudden change. Hence how is one to go with the flow? A deep understanding of change, or rather what are all subject to change starting from ourselves, and that which is changeless, will enable one to go with the flow.



Our body undergoes numerous changes from birth to death, and the mind is a continuous flux of changes with a variety of thoughts in succession, sometimes even contradicting our own convictions once formed before. Failing memory and other cognitive skills etc all pronounce change. If the very body is subject to change what then of the activities associated with the body?

What is that which is changeless? It is the sense of being, the sense of existence or the feeling of ‘I-ness’ if we may call, that is ever present. It is not the ‘I’ that we associate with our changing body and the ever changing mind, which assumes the body to be itself. It is beyond the body and the mind because it perceives both the body and the mind.

Ramana Maharshi rationalises the fact that one's body does not call itself the ‘I’. So when enquiring WHAT terms the body as ‘I’(the mind), one experiences the sense of true infinite b-e-i-n-g, without a limited feeling of ‘I’ pertaining to the body.

This being is changeless and ever present. One’s body, breadth, mind, intellect etc all has this changeless being or existence as the base. Holding on to the changeless as one’s true nature or the ‘self’ as expressed as the ‘Self’ in spiritual literature, helps to go with the flow.

That does not mean that one has to forsake the body or the mind or refrain from activities. In fact one cannot owing to one's limited identity with the body. However, the body and the sense of individuality appear on the very base, the b-e-i-n-g, like the waves that have the ocean for their base.

One will have to have a firm understanding of the fact about the transient nature of things associated with the body, mind complex. As a result there is a great sense of acceptance which results in peace to go with the flow of life or to simply live in the present. With continuous practise of holding on to the being, one understands that one is not the doer of things as things happen according to the divine will.

So what enables one to hold on to the being? In my experience it is purely GRACE for even while effort is investe, it is Grace alone which even enables one to put in the required effort.













Saturday, 5 January 2013

About Miracles - A Different Outlook!

Om Namo Bhagavate Shri Ramanaya!

The womb of miracles is Grace, which is none other than the Self. Miracles here, may be defined as not the glaring ones as in Physic powers, Clairvoyance or materialising objects etc that bears the stamp of doership. They are simply divine interference in day to day life that are too very natural, and could often escape from even an alert eye. Such were those which took place in the presence of Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi.

Any ardent seeker's life is peppered with miracles or divine interference. There are two common outlooks towards miracles. While most intellectual seekers on the path of Self realization often have a self imposed indifferent attitude towards miracles, seekers on the path of bakti or devotion often get lost in miraculous happenings. In my humble opinion, I guess focusing on Grace, the underlying factor of miracles than focusing on miraculous happenings themselves, or being aware of miracles rather than being indifferent to them voluntarily could be the right attitude, as Grace is none other than the Self.



Grace strengthens faith and bestows surrender which in turn thins doership. It aids one to rest and relax in it even at times of turbulence or dynamic action. While Bhagavan Ramana did not accept doership to the numerous miracles that dotted his devotees' life, He claimed miracles to be the 'automatic divine activity' as stated by Sadhu Om Swami, a great devotee of Bhagavan.  Ramana simply stated miracles as occurrences  in the presence of any divine being.

Ramana once told Rangan, His childhood friend that all the latter's sufferings were a dream and nothing more, if centered in "Grace" or the "Self". However, His Grace did not fail to intervene in numerous occasions to smooth out the wrinkles in Rangan's life.

Cherishing and shunning miracles are both states of mind. While to transcend the opposites is the end of a spiritual journey, tuning the mind to Grace rather than dwelling on miracles themselves, is the way to deal with miracles in the course of one's journey (Though in reality there is no journey from the standpoint of  the "Self")

Can the manifestations of Grace infused with Grace alone, be different from Grace it self?

Om Namo Bhagavate Shri Ramanaya!


Sunday, 8 January 2012

Eradicating the ego

Om Namo Bhagavate Shri Ramanaya

Ramana had His own way of eradicating the ego, whenever it showed up in his disciples. Muruganar, one of the greatest devotees of Bhagavan Ramana, a remarkable poet, had an urge to pen something akin to Siva Puranam (a great work on Lord Siva by the great saint Manickavasagar) about Ramana. Devotion took the shape of words as it poured down on paper. Muruganar was however doubtful if he should call it ‘Siva Puranam’ owing to his firm belief that Ramana was none other than Shiva, or ‘Ramana Puram’. Unable to discern the same he left it for Bhagavan to decide. Bhagavan graciously wrote ‘Ramana Puranam’ in each page and also Himself being a poet par excellence, added a few more verses.

The work was completed and was presented to Bhagavan for proof reading, Bhagavan found at the beginning of the verses that He had penned, “Written by Bhagavan” added by Muruganar.


Picture shows indian mystic Ramana Maharshi, 1879-1950. It was taken by G. G. Welling around 1940. Copyright-holder is Sri Ramanasramam, Tiruvannamalai, 606603, Tamil Nadu, India: "The copyright holder gives permission to any visitor to wikipedia to download the photographs."

The Master said, “Oh from here Bhagavan has written?” The open question was simply a bash to the ego. Was not the whole poem an outcome of His Grace? Was He not the sole poet?

That one simple question cut asunder the sense of doer-ship, stemming out of the sense of an individual identity, the ‘I’, the ego. He is the only reality that shines as the self in all manifestations. When one is focused on multiplicity owing to focusing on outward manifestations, separate identity blinds the truth of the one underlying, unifying essence in all manifestations, the Self.

In a conversation with a devotee of Bhagavan regarding this episode, she recalled an incident where another devotee strongly objected to his name being published for his writings. If the objection was to avoid the possible swelling of the ego, it is also a subtle but sure instance of the existence of the ego in another form, harbouring the sense of ownership to one’s name. Even with regards to me, when I was impelled to write this blog, the fear of the ego getting boosted was inevitable. However it took some time to realise before taking to writing, that He is the sole doer and the seeming individual actions are all but His. Are not all movements that of the Cosmic Dancer’s?

It is a simple revelation that the life of the Master is as important as His teachings, for His life itself is a great teaching. It is a treasure trove were gems of practical wisdom sparkles to light up the path of spiritual seeking.

Om Namo Bhagavate Shri Ramanaya