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His Grace Ever Manifest

Om Namo Bhagavate Shri Ramanaya

“Grace is both the beginning and the end. Introversion is due to Grace; Perseverance is Grace; and Realisation is Grace” says Ramana Maharshi-Talks 319

It would be the experience of every Ramana devotee, who has dedicated himself to the practice of Self enquiry, to experience the Grace of the Guru enveloping him, taking control of his life. This results in diminishing of the sense of ego-the ‘I’ sense which is identifying oneself with the body and the mind.

The showers of Grace in every minute detail of life are inexplicable and beyond one’s imagination; the sudden manifestation of it, yet very subtly and naturally, placing things in order leaves one dumbstruck.

Will basking in the ‘thought of Grace’ (in different situations) threaten one’s practice in subduing the ego and rather enriching it? In my humble opinion it depends on the mind-set of the people. When Grace has begun to manifest in one’s material life, it is sure to guide one to the ultimate as well. In my humble opinion, may be one will be caught in the snares of materialism in the beginning. However the manifestation of Grace in one’s material life also brings about exhaustion in the enjoyment of material pleasures, bringing in discrimination. One understands that all pleasures are time bound and one starts yearning for the eternal. Being already in the Guru’s fold, the manifestation of Grace diverts the attention from the end achieved to the thought of Bhagavan Himself. Bhagavan Ramana becomes the object of one’s thoughts.

A friend (a Ramana follower, steeped in the practice of Self enquiry) once asked me, “Why are you so enamoured by Him (His form)?” Another (an ardent devotee of Bhagavan) cautioned me on my yearning to visit the ashram for the creation of fresh vasanas or impressions. In both the cases the questions clearly pointed out an attachment on my side to the Guru’s form. While (purely by His Grace) that I make a little effort to practise His teachings, in my humble opinion, I feel that while I am attached to my own form and other forms in the name of relationships (though in the process of making efforts in practising), I feel that an attachment towards the Guru’s form begins to culminate the attachment to all other forms in His. Furthermore attachment to the Guru’s form brings about liberation and not binding as in other attachments.

I recall Shri Alan Jacobs ji’s beautiful words of wisdom in the ‘Ramana Maharshi Centre for Learning,’ Bangalore, “One does not fall in love with Bhagavan, but one rises in love with Bhagavan!”

From another angle, manifestation of Grace and the thought of it slowly but surely endows the spirit of surrender in one. Having seen Grace manifested in different occasions, the sense of doer-ship slowly gives way to surrender as one understands clearly the exercise of the higher power. Living slowly becomes effortless.

Even in the very words of Bhagavan, to a devotee confessing about the difficulty of surrendering completely, “Yes, complete surrender is impossible in the beginning. Partial surrender is certainly possible for all. In course of time that will lead to complete surrender” In fact Bhagavan Ramana vouchsafes that partial surrender can undo destiny. He also states, “Complete surrender is another name for jnana or liberation,” (Day by Day with Bhagavan(1-3-46 Morning)

Even while we follow Self enquiry steadfastly (by enquiring ‘Who am I’ with the rise of every single thought, which is absolutely necessary), the very existence of the idea of engaging in the thought of Grace will slow down one’s practice will also have to be questioned. Is Bhagavan not both within and without?

Well, it all depends on the mind set of individuals being different, and each one progressing in one’s one pace. Here I recall Sarada akka (Saradha Natarajan, the President of Ramana Maharshi Centre of Learning) saying in one of our conversations, “Whether you cross half the well or little more or little less, you are still inside the well!”

However whatever mind-set one has and wherever one stands in his practise, Ramana’s unfailing and compelling Grace will no doubt guide the seeker in realising the truth of himself.

Om Namo Bhagavate Shri Ramanaya

Image Courtesy : Sri Ramanasramam, Tiruvannamalai



My Trip Alone To Ramanashram-Tiruvannamalai

My Trip Alone To Ramanashram -Tiruvannamalai
Om Namo Bhagavate Shri Ramanaya
A miracle of miracle, A miracle that can be called the greatest, Of all miracles that takes place in His presence, Is the miracle of His presence in one’s life!
This write up is a letter to my friends who always accompanied me on trips to seek Arunachala, where we basked in His Grace. They were great times that are etched out in memory. Though we are scattered geographically, but in each possible conversation, Arunachala makes Himself present. So I couldn’t help but put down in words this trip alone to rush to His Feet. It is just a simple sharing of the beauty of the ordinary, in the midst of the grandeur of the extraordinary, ‘Arunachala’
I boarded the bus to Pondicherry enroute to Thiruvannamalai at 8.30 AM on 6/10/2011 and reached Ramanashram at 1.45 PM. Since the meal timings had elapsed, I walked up to Shri Sheshadri Swamy asharm for food that the canteen provided. I did a quick namaskar to Shri Seshadri Swamy…

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,…

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 mad…

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, …