Wisdom and Action (No. 2) – by V. Ganesan
“Everything as they are, is perfectly all right” — Bhagavan Ramana.
“Accept things as they are” — Bhagavan Ramana.
“Have faith” — Bhagavan Ramana.
“Surrender the ‘me’ to the ‘I AM’ “ – Bhagavan Ramana.
God and Guru are one and the same. Guru is ‘God’ in human form. Guru knows what is best for you and what is to be given to you, including your emotional fulfillments. He anticipates as how best he could extend his help to you.
Read the following fascinating ‘story’ :–
In the far South India there is an area where the lady-inmates would never be permitted to go out of the house, at all. There, the usual joke was that no lady ever knew the shape of the front door of the house !
A teen-age girl came upon a book on Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and was captivated by his life and teachings. She started reading books by Swami Vivekananda. Appreciating her deep interest in the lives of Saints, his uncle who had been to Arunachala, brought a book on the life and teachings of BHAGAVAN SRI RAMANA MAHARSHI, in Tamil [entitled: “Sri Ramana Vijayam”]. When she received the copy on her hands, she lost her body consciousness – the first time it was happening to her ! She kept the book in her Puja Room and whenever she wanted to open the book and read it, the very touch of it sent her into that state of ‘no body experience’. She understood that something great was contained in that book. At long last, she could succeed in opening the book. Lo ! The picture of the Maharshi in the frontispiece sent quivers of joy and ecstasy ! She then and there decided that Bhagavan Ramana was her Sadguru and that her place of residence was not that home but only at ARUNACHALA, at the Holy Feet of her Sadguru !
Her younger brother fully understood her spiritual aspirations and helped her to “run away” from home, without anyone’s knowledge. One dark night, he took her to the Railway station, bought her ticket to Tiruvannamalai and assured her that everything would be well. He had to stay back at home to tackle the terrible commotion that would be raised.
Safe did she reach Arunachala. But, her mind started haunting her with tremendous guilt of having ‘deserted’ her kith and kin and having run away from home like a ‘thief’ . She was crying all her way from station to the Ashram, uncontrollably. She suffered from great emotional trauma.
When she neared the Old Hall where her Sadguru Ramana was seated, she heard him talking loudly : “ I ran away from home, in the dark night, hiding myself behind trees and buildings. My brother had given me money to pay his school fees which I did not do, but ‘stole’ a portion of it. I was afraid all the way to the Railway Station lest any one should notice me, catch and hand me over to my uncle and brother. Inside the train compartment I hid myself till the train left the station. I was feeling terribly ‘guilty’ that I was deserting my kith and kin and was running away from home ‘like a thief’ ! But, no sooner the train left the station, there was total composure that ‘this was venturing only to fulfill a good cause’…….”
What a relief, what a blessing ! The pious girl’s ‘guilt’ took to flight ! She stepped into the Hall, prostrated to her Sadguru Ramana and when she looked up at Him, He was pouring His Blessings on her through His ‘Glance of Grace’ ! Was not the nod of His head total approval of her act ! To whom else she could totally surrender other than to her God, Guru Ramana ! Till she dropped her body at a ripe old age she lived at Arunachala, having a home in front of the Ashram – all her life, basking herself in His Glorious Presence ! Even after the Brahma Nirvana of Sri Bhagavan, she immersed herself in devotion to the teaching of her Sadguru.
Surrendering one’s “me” is the only ‘loss’ a seeker has to meet with. But, what a great gain it brings about : the Absolute Truth – “ I AM “ ! The Truth that is extolled in all scriptures and by all sages and saints !
Has not Jesus Christ proclaimed : “Only he who gives up his life [ ‘me’ ] will find it [ “I AM” ] ” ? Staying in the state of “I AM” brings about spontaneously the act of giving up the ‘me’. The ‘me’ is a never-existed state and “I AM” is the ever-existing state. Remember, Sri Bhagavan repeatedly said :”Affirm the Truth, the non-truth will drop off of itself” !
In this light, shift your attention from ‘work’ outside, to ‘Wisdom’ inside.
If you pay exclusive attention to ‘work’ , you will miss even tasting the ‘Wisdom’. Jesus Christ said: “Attain first the Kingdom of Heaven and all else shall be added to you”. Arthur Osborne, in one of his brilliant Editorials, wrote: “If one seeks to attain all else, the Kingdom of Heaven is not likely to be added !”
Bhagavan Ramana, on the very first day of his arrival at Arunachala, in 1896, declared before his Father – ARUNACHALA : “Thy Will be done”. The rest of his stay of 54 years, there was no ‘me’ for him to decide over ‘actions’ done, to say either ‘yes’ or ‘no’ . Actions happened in his presence – that’s all ! In a court case, when the Judge who came to the Ashram to examine him and asked him to sign the document, the Maharshi didn’t, as he had no name to sign, nor any form of identification as a ‘me’ to affix a signature as an individual ! All the time immersed, as he ever was in the Perfect State of “I AM”, where was any possibility of a ‘me’ to put out its hood !
One might say, ‘It is all right for the Great Maharshi. But how about me, an ordinary person ?’ For an answer to such a query, we have to turn once again only to the very same Great Maharshi’s life. Take up one cue from many of Maharshi’s utterances, say : “Everything stated in the ancient texts are word by word true.” Have complete ‘faith’ in those sacred words of the Great Master.
Look ! How and what happened in his life :–
During Bhagavan’s Virupaksha Cave days, many supernatural visions and experiences occurred. Generally, he disapproved of giving importance to visions and supernatural happenings. But where Arunachala was concerned he did not conceal anything – rather, he was ever jubilant in describing them.
When questioned about the Siddhas [ realised beings] residing on the Hill and inside the Hill, Bhagavan narrated the following scintillating experience of his : “I was wandering on the Hill and suddenly I found a big cave. When I entered the cave, I saw a number of waterfalls, beautiful gardens, tanks within those gardens, well-laid paths, fine lighting – everything there was most pleasing. As I went further and further I saw a Realised Person [ Siddha Purusha ] seated, like Lord Dakshinamurti under a tree on the bank of the tank. Around him, a number of saints [ munis ] were seated. They were asking questions and he was replying to them. That place appeared to me as a very familiar one. That is all. I opened my eyes ! Subsequently, when I saw “Arunachala Puranam” [ “Ancient History of Arunachala” ] in Sanskrit, I found two verses in this regard. That cave and that Siddha Purusha have been described in them and so I was surprised that what had appeared to me was to be found in “Arunachala Puranam”. So, I translated those two verses into Tamil :
“O Arunachala ! Though you are in the Form of Fire, you have kept away the Fire and have taken the shape of a Hill mainly to shower your Blessings on people. You are always living here in the Form of a Siddha, in the interior of the cave. In you is Transcendental Glory, with all the enjoyments of the world, as well.”
Bhagavan continued : “Some time back, when the temple in Adi Annamalai was renovated, it has been reported that in the sanctum sanctorum of the temple, a large tunnel was found and when people tried to find out its extent they said that it was extending to the very centre of the Hill. I thought that which occurred to me and is in the Arunachala Purana appears to be true and that the tunnel was the way to the place I had seen. It is reported that the siddhas come from the cave inside to the temple through that tunnel !”
As a true seeker, one has to listen to the holy words of the Sadguru. Even a look, a gesture, a nod from the Guru is enough ! Look at how a wandering seeker “ Ramdas ” [ Swami Ramdas ] got enlightened in the presence of the Maharshi. And, listen to his words of spiritual advice to us, seekers :–
Ramdas went to Ramana Maharshi in a state of complete obliviousness of the world. He felt thrills of ecstasy in his presence. The Maharshi made the awakening permanent in Ramdas. How ?
Ramdas addressed Sri Bhagavan, thus : “ Maharaj ! Here stands before you a humble slave. Have pity on him. His only prayer to you is to give him
your Blessings.” The Maharshi turned his beautiful eyes towards Ramdas and looked intently for a few minutes into his eyes, as though he was pouring into Ramdas his Blessings through those orbs; then, shook his head to say he had blessed. A thrill of inexpressible joy coursed through the frame of Ramdas, his whole body quivering like a leaf in the breeze….
After many years, when Swami Ramdas was well-known, some people pleaded with Swami Ramdas : “You went to Ramana Maharshi and you got Illumination. Give us Illumination like that.” Swami Ramdas replied : “You must come to Ramdas in the same spirit and in the same state as he went to the Maharshi. Then, you will also get it. Where was his heart ? How intense was his longing ? What was world to him at that time ? If you come in that state, it is all right !”
We should conserve all our energies to help ourselves deeply spiritually
by again and again turning to the sacred words of the Maharshi. I quote here the words of guidance from another reputed mature soul, Swami Rajeswarananda :–
“ Sri Ramana Maharshi awakens in every one of us the dormant Divinity, the Potential Power, the Primary Principle, which is hidden behind the flow and flicker of our day-to-day, ordinary life. He sets before us, as the glory and goal of life, the Realisation of the Full Divine Consciousness of our own Self. The Self is not something to be created or attained, but which is fully aware of itself with an awareness that can neither begin nor end, as it is Eternal. He proclaimed the Absolute as the Self, the “I AM” in each individual life, ever being itself.”
In the last days of the Maharshi’s earthly life, the Ashram management sought his guidance as how they should conduct themselves in the future. They were intending to express as to what they should do after he dropped the body ! Bhagavan smiled at them and said : “ The same Higher Power which was running the Ashram till now, would also continue to take care of its further welfare.” The need for total surrender was the message !
How to give effect to total surrender in each one’s life ?
There is only one way and that is to put his direct teaching into effect. When a group of senior devotees, under the leadership of Muruganar, approached Bhagavan and prayed to give them his guidance, his crystal clear instruction was : “ Put my direct teaching into practice !”
Wisdom and Surrender are the two sides of the same coin. Without ‘Wisdon’, Surrender is impossible; and, without ‘Surrender’, Wisdom is incomplete !
In this regard, the following dialogue between Sri Bhagavan and a senior devotee, G.L.Narasimha Rao throws greater light :–
Sri Bhagavan replied to G.L.Narasimha Rao, thus : “ You say that on final analysis all that I see or I think or I do is One. But, that really comprises two notions : the ‘all’ that is seen and the ‘I’ that does the seeing, thinking and doing, and says ‘I’. Which of these two is the more real, true and important ? Obviously, the ‘seer’, since the ‘seen’ is dependent on it. So, turn your attention to the ‘seer’ , who is the source of your ‘I’ and realize that.
This is the real task .
Up to now, you have been studying the ‘object’ , and not the ‘subject’ . Now, find out for what Reality this word ‘I’ stands. Find the entity which is the source of the expression of ‘I’ . That is the SELF — the SELF of all selves.
The simplicity of it made GLN burst out : “Then, Bhagavan ! ‘Self-Realisation’ is very easy, just as you say in your poem : ‘ Atma Vidhya ’ [ ‘Song on Self-Knowledge’ ] ! “
Sri Bhagavan smiled and said : “Yes, yes ! It seems so at first, but there is difficulty too. You have to overcome your present false values and wrong identifications . Therefore, the quest requires concentrated effort and steadfast abidance in the Source when this is reached.”
While giving such a warning, Sri Bhagavan also added words of solace :
“But, don’t let that deter you. The rise of the urge to seek for the ‘I’ itself is an act of Divine Grace . Once this urge gets hold of you, you are in its clutches. The grip of Divine Grace never relaxes and finally devours you ,
just as the prey in a tiger’s jaws is never allowed to escape ! ”
Giving up of the ‘me’ is indicated when Sri Bhagavan said : “You have to overcome your present false values and wrong identifications”. The ‘me’ is nothing but a conglomeration of ‘false values’ and ‘wrong identifications’ !
Long for, pine for experiencing the “I AM” – that’s all that is needed ! Grace will flood one’s Heart that pines for “I AM” experience ! The Great Compassionate Guru Ramana assures our doubting minds, with these assertive words : “The rise of the urge to seek the ‘I’ itself is an act of Divine Grace” and adds : “The grip of Divine Grace never relaxes and finally devours you [ the ‘me’ ].”
All that is required of a seeker is to turn one’s attention within. Then, one can experience the splendour taking place within oneself – the ‘me’ dropping of its own accord and “I AM” spontaneously asserting itself !
The glorious words of Bhagavan Ramana : “Shift your attention from non-truth to Truth” , when adhered to, helps one to transcend the ‘me’ [drowned in one’s endless activities] and get established in “I AM” [the vibrant SELF] !
“Begin with the beginning”, commanded our Great Master. The beginning of the quest for Truth, can begin only in ‘you’; and, its ending also can take place only in ‘you’.
“There are no others”, is yet another powerful guidance from Sri Bhagavan.
One begins the quest only in oneself — with a ‘me’ — and ends up with the Truth – experience of “I AM” — also within oneself ! That is, one [ say, Ganesan ] begins the quest with a ‘me’ [body-mind] and ends it also in himself with the Illumination : “ I AM THAT I AM” ! The profound declaration made by GOD three thousand years ago !
The ‘me’ has a time and a history !
“I AM” is NOW !
V. Ganesan Bio
Born in 1936, up to the age of 14 years old, Ganesan grew up in the presence and proximity of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi. His sacred memory of the Great Master is rich in its content; and, even at that tender age he could see Sri Ramana as the greatest compassionate human being.
On April 14, 1950 – the day the Great Master chose to leave the body – the adolescent Ganesan stood near the entrance to the room where Sri Ramana was lying and was fortunate to witness the brilliant flash of Light that later moved towards the top of the Holy Hill – Arunachala.
Ganesan obtained a Master’s Degree in Philosophy; and, then came to stay permanently at “Sri Ramanasramam, Tiruvannamalai” – the sacred abode of Sri Ramana Maharshi – taking care of the Old Devotees of Sri Ramana. He did it as his sole sadhana (spiritual practice). In that way, he collected the reminiscences of Sri Maharshi from those Old Devotees which have never before been recorded.
His close contacts with sages and saints, including Swami Ramdas, Mother Krishnabai, J. Krishnamurti, Nisargadatta Maharaj and Yogi Ramsuratkumar, he says, have deepened and widened his understanding of the ‘Direct Teaching’ of the Maharshi. However, he feels himself to be an insignificant ‘dust’ at the Holy Feet of Bhagavan Ramana.
He has traveled widely and spread the ‘Direct Teaching’ of Sri Ramana Maharshi, in its pristine purity, wherever he was invited to give talks.
He has authored a few books on the life and teaching of Bhagavan Ramana. Among others, “Purushothama Ramana”, “Be the Self”, “Moments Remembered”, “Direct Teaching of Bhagavan Ramana” and “Practising Self-Enquiry” , are very popular.
At the veranda of his cottage – “Ananda Ramana” – he meets earnest seekers, every Monday and Thursday, between 9.30 and 11 a.m., sharing with them the spiritual treasure entrusted with him by all these holy and sacred souls.