Summer 2014 Trip to the NY Arunachala Ashram for Guru Purnima – Part 2

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Guru Purnima was celebrated in friendship and joy among Bhagavan Ramana devotees on Sunday, July 13 at the NY Arunachala Ashram. A large gathering of devotees attended the puja. By late afternoon, when the main Pooja was ending, many devotees had arrived for the dinner/prasad.

Here are some pictures of devotees on the day of Guru Purnima conversing joyfully and eating. The times given on the pictures are approximately one hour ahead. The ordering of the pictures is from later in the day with everyone eating prasad at the end of puja to earlier in the day with people having breakfast at the start of Guru Purnima.

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Summer 2014 Trip to the NY Arunachala Ashram for Guru Purnima – Part 1

Seeking Satsang with other Bhagavan Ramana devotees, on July 12, my daughter and I arrived at the Arunachala Ashram in Jamaica, NY, for Guru Purnima scheduled for Sunday, July 13.

Bhagavan Shrine at the NY Arunachala Ashram

We had visited the Arunachala Ashram in Nova Scotia, Canada, in the summer of 2013 and had very fond memories of that. We soon met and were greeted by some of the residents of the Ashram including Margo-ji, Ran-ji, Bhandu-ji, and Dennis-ji.

SRI DENNIS-JI

DENNIS-JI STANDING WITH MIRA-JI

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The Enlightenment Business: Wisdom For Sale

Originally posted on Luthar.com:

By Dr. Harsh K. Luthar

Dr. Luthar listening to a presentation

Religion and spirituality today are a big business. Generally the spiritual teachers, preachers, and the so called enlightened masters of the day are really motivational speakers and self styled self-help expert who are engaged in entrepreneurial ventures aimed at financial and commercial success.  Every year people spend billions of dollars buying the books, CDs, and self-help programs offered by such teachers.

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In Memoriam: Dr. Suryanarayana Raju

Dr. Suryanarayan Raju

Our friend and Bhagavan Ramana devotee Dr. Suryanarayana Raju left the body a few days ago. I never met Dr. Raju face to face, although we had talked about such a meeting happening at Arunachala in India. Our friendship was based on our common spiritual interests and the teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi.

I had interacted and corresponded with Dr. Raju over a number of years. I also edited and published several of Dr. Raju’s articles on luthar.com. I found Dr. Raju to be extremely bright, highly cultured, courteous, and respectful of everyone.  Dr. Raju exuded warmth, love, and was always generous and kind in his words towards me personally. He was most considerate and I felt much love, respect, and affection for Dr. Raju as well. Continue reading

Self-Inquiry or Atma Vichara: By Dr. Harsh K. Luthar

Originally posted on Luthar.com:

Self-Inquiry, also known as Atma Vichara in Sanskrit, is based on a philosophy that has its origins in the ancient teachings of Advaita Vedanta. Advaita is based on the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, and is found in a number of other scriptures that are considered sacred by the Hindus. Advaita means nonduality, the ultimate Oneness that pervades or underlies everything.

Essentially Advaita implies that even though there is a diversity of phenomena, it has its origins in God and that ultimately everything not only exists in God but also resolves itself into God. According to Advaitic sages, the nature of God is Sat-Chit-Ananda. Sat means Existence. It is the nature of God to Exist. Chit means Knowledge. It is the nature of God to Know. Ananda means spontaneous Joy. The nature of God is Bliss or Joy.

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What Is Witness Consciousness? By Dr. Harsh K. Luthar

Originally posted on Luthar.com:

Anandmayi Ma with Swami Yoganand

Witness consciousness as a concept and a spiritual practice has become better known now in the West. In the psychology of Advaita and Yoga of thousands of years ago, it has always been a fundamental tool for self development and self understanding on the path to Self-Realization.

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Wisdom Eye: The True Guru: By Dr. Harsh K. Luthar

Originally posted on Luthar.com:

“Who is a master? He is the Self after all.” Ramana Maharshi

The company of peaceful Sages (Satsangha) and living in Ahimsa (harmlessness) is considered the primary influence that leads to Self-Realization. The forced attempts to discard various habits and conditioning and practicing different techniques to calm the mind have built in limitations. However, such methods can be pursued with benefit if one is already inclined towards these practices.

When strong inner motivation is present, one is automatically propelled towards Self-Awareness and Meditation. The fog of confusion then quickly evaporates and leads to Self-Seeing, Self-Being, Self-Realization, and Silence of the Heart.

Meditation and mind calming methods, can be effective at many different levels if practiced in the context of a clear understanding. Such practices, however, cannot by themselves end the fundamental agitation of the mind which continues at more and more subtle levels and causes suffering.

The nature of the…

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