How To Stop Arguing? – Part 1: By Dr. Ram Chandran

Editor’s note: This exceptional three part article was written by Dr. Ram Chandran, one of the co-founders of the Advaitin List. I believe the article can be of  great value to friends, co-workers, and lovers who find themselves arguing over many things. I have edited the original version only slightly to bring out the essential points of the articles which apply to all aspects of life.

How To Stop Arguing?

Friends, are arguments with your spouse, co-workers, boss, your girl friend or boy friend, or your parents disturbing you? Are you and your neighbor getting into heated discussions on who worships the true God? Whatever the reason for the arguments that have taken away your peace of mind, help is on the way!

Here is a partial list of argument stoppers that we can all employ on a daily basis when facing potential conflict in a conversation.

1. You may be probably right.
2. What you have said is certainly one way of looking at it.
3. I am more than happy to take your point into consideration.
4. I want to take little more time and I do plan to get back to you.
5. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and I respect what you have said.
6. Let’s postpone and talk about this when both of us are calm.
7. I am able to see the subtlety of your thoughts.
8.  I have come to the conclusion that arguing just isn’t worth it.
9.  Let’s respect each other’s position and agree to disagree.
10. Our opinions may differ but we can gain more by listening.
11.  There is some validity to what you are saying but we need more information to make a decision.

Of course, there are many more ways as well. Please share your favorite argument stopper line.

Keep in mind that most life situations are more complex. Constant arguments with a friend, spouse, lover, parent, neighbor, despite your sincerely wanting to stop may indicate more basic problems in the relationship that have to addressed. Unfortunately, there are no simple solutions.  Still one can adopt the attitude of good will and doing what is in the best interest of all concerned.

Now read Part -2!

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 !”

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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 :–

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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 !”

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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.”

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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.

How ?

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 !

 

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Related posts:

Satsang with Ganesan
Self nature, Faith and Attention
Wisdom and Action (No. 1)

V. Ganesan Bio

ganesan-1

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.

The Open Secret: By Dr. Harsh K. Luthar

The Open Secret

Looking outside, we discover the world and its many manifestations. Some are pleasant and some unpleasant. Without going on the mysterious journey of seeking the truth of reality, the mind does not accept its powerlessness to comprehend. Without this acceptance, there is always an underlying tension.

How can the conscious mind that is but a small manifestation of fullness of consciousness capture the reality of the original being whose nature is that of Sat-Chit-Ananda? How can that which is limited pretend to understand the infinite eye?

It is all an open secret. The answer is there without words. The mind cannot understand the source from where it sprang. It can only go back and become one with it.

When the mind which seeks, asks the questions, and doubts, surrenders to the divine will and consciously merges in the Heart, in that very instant, Reality shines forth as the Self in perfect Self-Revelation.

Nature of Reality: By Dr. Harsh K. Luthar

Nature of Reality

It seems to me that Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, Taoism and other religions and spiritual traditions use different words and concepts to describe the nature of Reality.

Even within the Shiva and Shakti traditions there are great debates about the nature of the highest state of existence. If we are speaking of the highest state, then differences can only be in the words used to describe it, not in the experience or in understanding of great Sages.

My teacher once commenting on the Buddhist teaching of Shunya (Emptiness) said that the ultimate state is not “nothingness” but No-Thing-Ness.  He meant that it is empty of all things, concepts, images.

That is my experience as well. The highest reality is nothing less than our own Reality. The Reality of the Self, the Heart, that the ancient called Sat-Chit-Anand. Truly, although we call it an experience for lack of words, it is the end of all experiences.  It is it self the foundation of experience.  That is the nature of the Self.  It is simple and pure being,  both fullness itself and also empty of all things.

Even the notion of no-self and self are concepts only and cannot do the Self justice.  In order to communicate, words have to be used to indicate the experience of the Reality. What ever term one uses to describe THAT, It is what It Is. We can call it God, God Consciousness, or the Self, or the no-self or Shunya, etc.

The words we use to describe reality are not independent of our culture, language, religion, and are historically embedded.  Knowing this, we should keep the company of the Truth, or Truth seekers.  This leads to refinement and Self-Awareness.

With gentle compassion for oneself and others, one should remain aware with a feeling of surrender to Lord of the Heart within whose very nature is that of Awareness.

Whether we meditate or engage in contemplative prayer, absolute awareness dawns in perfect stillness with clarity when the mind subsides into the Heart. The Unlimited Nature of “Now – The Present Moment”, becomes fully Self-Evident. The Self Sees It Self by It Self and Through It Self.

It is the Pure Self Seeing Eye. One without a second.

Namaste

ULLADU NAARPADU (also spelt as Ulladu Narpadu) – Verse #3

ULLADU NAARPADU
(also spelt as Ulladu Narpadu)

The famous Vedantic poem in Tamil by Bhagavan Ramana Maharishi
(consisting of two preliminary verses called Mangalam, 40 verses which form the main text , and another 40 verses called the Appendix)

Translation into English by Lakshmana Sharma
Detailed Commentary in Tamil by Lakshmana Sharma,
adapted into English by Profvk

(Continued from ULLADU NAARPADU – Verse No.2)

Introduction to Verse #3:

All Acharyas and religious scriptures do teach that this world is asat (not absolutely real), jaDam (inert) and dukhaM (full of miseries). The purpose of such teaching is for us to wean our minds away from the world, make it delve inward (*antar-mukha*), get the state of Experience of Self-Knowledge and stay there anchored to that state. Instead of making efforts through SadhanA towards that state, if we keep on simply repeating parrot-like that world is ‘asat, jaDam and dukhaM’, then we are no different from those who argue the opposite way that the world is sat (absolutely real), cit (sentient) and Anandam (pleasurable). This thought is the undercurrent in this verse by Bhagavan.

Text of Verse #3:

ulagu mey poyt-tOtRam ulagu aRivu Am anRu enRu
ulagu cugam anRu enRu uraittu en? ulagu viTTut-
tannai Orndu onRu iraNDu tAn atRu nAn atRa
annilai ellArkkum oppu Am.

Translation (Lakshmana Sharma)

Of what use is it to affirm “The world is real,” “It is an illusory appearance,” “It is consciousness,” “It is inert,” “It is happy,” “It is surely miserable”? That state of egolessness, transcending the creeds of duality and unity, which is our own by nature, and which is to be won by turning away from the world and experiencing the Real Self, is dear to all alike.

Translation (Prof. K Swaminathan)

`The World is true’; `No, it is a false appearance’; `The World is Mind’; `No, it is not’; `The World is pleasant’; `No, it is not’ — What avails such talk? To leave the world alone and know the Self, to go beyond all thought of `One’ and `Two’, this egoless condition is the common goal of all.

Translation (Osborne)

‘The world is real.’ ‘No, it is a mere illusory appearance.’ ‘The world is conscious.’ ‘No.’ ‘The world is happiness.’ ‘No.’ What use is it to argue thus? That State is agreeable to all, wherein, having given up the objective outlook, one knows one’s Self and loses all notions either of unity or duality, of oneself and the ego.

Word by word


ulagu : The world
mey: real or reality, true or truth
poyt-toTRam : false appearance
ulagu aRivu Am : the world is (nothing but) knowledge
anRu: No
ulagu cugam : the world is happiness
anRu: No
enRu uraittu en? : what is the use of arguing like this?
ulagu viTTu: throwing off the world
tannai Orndu: (by being absorbed in the heart) knowing the Self
onRu iraNDu : one, two
tAn: ego
atRu : devoid of
nAn atRa annilai: that state of I-lessness (nilai = state)
ellArkkum oppu Am : is agreeable to all.

Commentary by Lakshmana Sharma

There do exist two opposing contentions, namely, that the world is real or unreal. Again there exist two other opposing contentions, namely, that the world is conscious or inert. And, finally there exist two more, namely, that the world is happiness or a misery. These six contentions may even be classified as two: One is that the world is unreal, inert, and a misery; and the other is, that the world is real, conscious and pleasurable. The first one of these two is the contention of advaita-vedanta. In fact that is what many scholars and scriptures subscribe to and preach. In this work also this happens to be the teaching. What is the purpose of such a teaching? Just by paying lip-service to it, does one become elevated and fulfilled?

The purpose is this. The complete happiness that we seek will not come from the world. So we have to sacrifice it (that is, let go) and try to obtain the bliss of the Atma-svarUpa inside of us. If one is not interested in so trying, what if he considers the world this way or that way, says Bhagavan.

All of us want a never-changing happiness. Never have we obtained such a happiness in this world. Nor can we hope to obtain it. Worldly life becomes unhappy because of the various turbulences in our mind due to our desires and fears. Desire and Fear spring up only in our mind. The mind has its roots in our ego. Therefore we may obtain pure happiness only in an ego-less state.

Further, we think that happiness arises from the things of the world. That this is only ignorance can be seen even by worldly experience. If things of the world can produce happiness then it should follow that happiness is greater where such things of the world are in abundance and happiness is less where they are scarce. But that is not so. People who are poor and consequently lack many things of the world are seen to be happier than even the rich ones who have all the things of the world. Above all, every one obtains happiness in deep sleep where all the things of the world are absent. The person who wakes up from the sleep remembers how happily he slept. The conclusion is: It is wrong to think that happiness is from the things of the world.

Then where does the happiness we enjoy have its source? JnAnis and the Upanishads opine that only the Atma-svarUpa is Bliss. Of course we might ask; How is it then we are not enjoying that happiness always? Since we do enjoy happiness, off and on while we are awake or we dream and, continuously when we are in deep sleep, it follows that there is something which obstructs our happiness when we are awake or when we dream, and also, that obstruction is not there in deep sleep. This obstruction is called the mind and the ego. It is there in the waking state and in the dreaming state but it is not there in our state of deep sleep. This ego is the thought of ‘I’. Its nature shall be explained later.

Further, in deep sleep there is no awareness of the world. Therefore it is also clear that the appearance of the world is also an obstruction to happiness. But the world does not appear without the presence of the ego. Nor does the ego rise without the appearance of the world. Actually that the two rise and fall together will be clear from a later verse in this text.

Thus the teaching is that the world is a non-entity (*tucham*) (that is, insignificant, worthless) and is not the means for happiness; what is full of happiness is only the Atman. This teaching is also logically acceptable. Therefore what should be sought after is Self-Realisation; and what should be thrown off is the world.

Also there is no question of having that Realisation experience without throwing off the world. In order to obtain the Self we have to become inward-looking and with one-pointed mind we should seek for it. The inward look and the one-pointednes will not be possible until we cease to look outward. Ceasing to look outward is what is meant by the words ‘ulagu viTTu’ in the verse.

What does the world matter for us since anyway we have to sacrifice it. Why should we have to enquire about it? By the enquiry about the world we may come to conclude either it is real or unreal. Either way since it has been declared *tucham* we have to wean it away from us. So even without the enquiry we may throw it off even now. It follows therefore that researching about the world is not necessary. To research the world, what deserves to be thrown off, is like delving into garbage that deserves only to be thrown into the dustbin.

But the one who thus turns his mind away from the world and leads it into enquiry about the Self must have reached a high level of maturity. In other words he must have an intense bhakti in the svarUpa of the Self and a total dispassion towards the opposite – which hides it – namely, the world. That is the person who can follow the sAdhanAs mentioned here, without turning his mind to the affairs of the world. He would reach the goal of Self Realisation very soon — as is obvious from the very life story of our Bhagavan.

[Footnote: This statement about Bhagavan getting his spiritual fulfilment by sAdhanA and abhyAsa is what the world outwardly believes. The real truth is not so. But History follows only what generally appeals and appears to the world. The analogy here is in accordance with that understanding of the world.]

The complete state of happiness obtained by these highly eligible spiritual seekers who have not the least attachment towards worldly matters is something that is not amenable to argument or logic. The words ‘onRu iraNDu tAn atRu’ are indicative of this. It means that the Atman realisation is not to be talked about as either advaita (‘one’) or dvaita (‘two’); for to talk about it there does not exist an ego there. This is the meaning of ‘tAn aTRu’ (= devoid of self). Nor does the ‘I’-thought rise there. This is the meaning of ‘tAn aTra nilai’ .

It is this experience that everybody wants. There is no one who will not like it. Bhagavan’s ending words ‘ellArkkum oppu Am’ of the verse are a little puzzling. Most people don’t even know the existence of such an Atman Realisation; how then does the Bhagavan say that this is agreeable to all? Bhagavan explains the secret as follows.

All people love their sleep; because it is always an unmixed blessing. Between ‘sleep’ and the ‘egoless state’ mentioned here there are two common characteristics. In both the ‘I’-concept does not rear its head. In both there is no external or internal world. It is for this very reason that sleep is blissful. So the state of Self-Realisation is not in any sense lower than the state of sleep. Indeed that is actually far higher than sleep-state. Because the ego as well as the mind, both known to be the cause of all misery, are lost in the darkness of Ignorance. The bliss of sleep is also not significant. In Self Realisation, on the other hand, the mind is lost in the jnAna-svarUpa and is one with it; so there is no mind now. And so there is no scope for the mind to rise again, the world to appear and the samsAra to envelop you. Further, the experience of the Atman is a complete one. Consequently it is far far higher than sleep. Those who love sleep cannot say no to this higher experience. That is why it is said that it is agreeable to all. He who loves sleep but does not want Self Realisation is like one who says that I would like to have a rupee but not a gold sovereign. This is the considered conclusion of advaita vedanta.

Jesus Christ and Sufism: By Mourad Rashad

To be attached to the world means that you are not yet ready for the Divine to take hold of your heart and mind. The way or path is only a preparation for you to be ready to receive the Divine. When you become ready, God Chooses you.  You have to offer yourself to the Divine, you have to offer your heart and mind to the Divine in order that the Divine takes hold of your mind and heart. You are God’s bride. Unless you – the Bride - are ready, God will not choose you and come to take charge of you.

In the Gospel of Thomas Logion No.75 “Jesus said: “Those who are waiting at the door are many, but those who shall enter the bridal chamber are only the solitaries”. Again in Matthew 22:14 “For many are called, but few are chosen”.

For you to become the vehicle of God or the bride of God, you have to be solitary. You have to empty your heart and mind from everything but Him. You have to empty your heart and mind from yourself and your world. Nothing should distract you from your way and nothing should occupy your heart or mind. Anything that occupies your heart and mind is a barrier, a dam between you and the Divine.  Solitary means, you want only  God to reside in your heart and mind and to take charge of  your whole life, as if you are offering your life to him as a sacrifice or as a token for your devotion to Him. When God takes hold of you, then you have found your solitary jewel, a solitary jewel that will make your life the richest of the rich. God will not accept  from you anything less than your whole life. If your heart and mind contain anything besides God, then you are not of the solitary, you are not of the chosen and you will not be chosen.

Al Junaid, also called the glass-maker, the great Sufi Master, said: ” The Divine takes hold of man’s heart and mind, till this man experiences nothing other than the Divine, as if he was possessed by the Divine”.

ULLADU NAARPADU (Also spelt as: Ulladu Narpadu) – Verse #2

ULLADU NAARPADU

(Continued from ULLADU NAARPADU -Verse No.1)

The famous Vedantic poem in Tamil by Bhagavan Ramana Maharishi
(consisting of two preliminary verses called Mangalam, 40 verses which form the main text , and another 40 verses called the Appendix)

Translation into English by Lakshmana Sharma
Detailed Commentary in Tamil by Lakshmana Sharma,
adapted into English by Profvk

Introduction to Verse #2:

The Theory of the Self that is taught here is not to be comprehended by the smartness of the intellect or by logic or by book-knowledge. Learning it that way will not lead you anywhere. The path of Self-Enquiry that will be detailed hereafter will help to vanquish the ego, mind as well as the appearance of the world and thus establish one in the Nature of the Self. That is the Knowledge of the Self says Verse #2.

Text of #2:

Mummudalai emmadamum muRkoLLum
Or mudale mummudalaai niRkumenRum
Mummudalum mummudale yennal ahamkaaram irukkumaTTe
Yaan keTTut-tannilaiyil niTRal talai.

Translation (Lakshmana Sharma)

All the faiths that prevail in the world affirm, to begin with, (the existence of) the world, the soul and God. The two contentions, namely that One Reality is sensed as threefold, and that there are three distinct entities, are upheld (as intellectual convictions) while the sense ‘I am the body’ persists. But the highest state is that of being firmly established in one’s own real Nature (as the Real Self), by giving up that delusion.

Translation (Prof. K. Swaminathan)

On three entities — the individual, God and the world — every creed is based. That `the One becomes the three’ and that `always the three are three’, are said only while the ego lasts. To lose the `I’ and in the Self to stay is the State Supreme.

Translation (Osborne)

All religions postulate the three fundamentals, the world, the soul, and God, but it is only the one Reality that manifests Itself as these three. One can say, ‘The three are really three’ only so long as the ego lasts. Therefore, to inhere in one’s own Being, where the ‘I’, or ego, is dead, is the perfect State.

Word-by-word

Mummudalai: The three primalities
Em madamum : Every faith
muRkoLLum : takes as fundamentals.
Or mudale : Only one fundamental entity
Mummudalai : as the three entities
nirkum endRum : manifests ever;
mummudalum: all the three entities
mummudale : are really three entities
ennal : (this) statement (holds)
ahamkAram irukkumaTTe : only so long as the ego lasts.
Yaan : the ego of this self
keTTu : being lost or vanquished
tannilaiyil : in one’s own Nature
nitRal : being established, anchored
talai: is the foremost, important. (talai = head; topmost thing)

[Note by VK: Please note that my word-by-word translation matches with the translation of Osborne and not with the others].

Commentary by Lakshmana Sharma:

The individual (JIva), God (Ishvara), the Universe (Jagat) are the three things which are first talked about by every school of rligious thought. The difference between different schools arises in the question whether those three are different or the same. Two arguments exist; one that the three are the manifestations of the One and the other that the three are distinct truths. To whatever of these two one holds, his ego has not subsided. Ego is the ignorant belief that this body is the ‘I’. It is the one who has the ego that prefers the argument. So long as the ego lasts one has not understood the Truth by experience. He cannot comprehend the truth of these three. Only in the ego-less state all the truths come to light. That indeed is the state of jnAna. Therefore, whatever school one may belong to, — advaitin or dvaitin – his faith in that school is not jnAna. It is called *parokshha-jnAnaM*.

[Note by VK: ‘parokshha’ in Sanskrit means ‘invisible to the eye’;
Therefore ‘paroksha-jnAna’ means
‘second-hand knowledge’ or ‘indirect knowledge’.
aparokshha’ means visible, perceptible.
In other words, ‘aparokshha’ and
pratyaksha’ (= visible to the eye, directly perceptible)
mean the same thing)]

But the word ‘parokshha-jnAnam’ which consists of two words, is self-contradictory. The Atman is ‘nitya-aparokshhaM’, that is, ‘ever pratyakshhaM’. How can it be termed as ‘parokshhaM’?

Advaita knowledge is a Self-Experience; it is not a religion or school of thought as other schools are – this is Bhagavan’s opinion. Religion or school of thought is a creation of the mind. Other religions are objects of thought for the mind. Advaitam is not so. Only when the mind is vanquished, it becomes a direct perception. Only when the ego is vanquished, mind also vanishes; therefore until ego vanishes, there can be no jnAna. When ego vanishes, jnAna will be yours. This is the explanation of Bhagavan.

Further, to whatever school one belongs, one should try to rise up spiritually by the sAdhanas that school prescribes and encourages, rather than trying to establish by argument that the tenets of his school are the truths. Instead of concentrating the mind on the differences between different schools and religions, it is best to involve oneself in the methodologies prescribed.This will be clear from the following anecdote about Bhagavan.

Some one brought a religious work and submitted it to Bhagavan. Bhagavan scrutinised a few pages of it and then spoke to the devotee as follows:

“This work contains criticisms of many schools of religious thought, including Advaitam. Every school is glorified by a preliminary account – called ‘MaNDanaM’; and then follows a ‘khaNDanaM’ (criticism). But in writing the ‘MaNDanaM’ portion, the account instead of giving a truthful account introduces an objectionable item in it so that when the ‘khaNDanaM’ portion comes the school can be criticized. All these arguments constitute a waste of effort. What all schools and religions unanimously emphasize is: If the seeker eradicates from his mind all mental constructs like ‘I’ and ‘mine’, he can certainly obtain the highest level of spiritual evolution. There is no dispute on this. Therefore adherents of all schools and religions should devote themselves to following this universally acceptable sAdhanA. Why fight about what the nature of that salvation that may be obtained at the end of the sAdhanA would be? Let it be this way or that way! Should we have to decide now itself that it would be only this way and not that way? Why not wait to see it when you really reach it?

The punchline in this verse is its fourth line. It is the highest state obtainable. ‘To inhere in one’s own Being, where the ‘I’, or ego, is dead, is the perfect State’. There is nothing either higher than it or equal to it. This is indicated by the use of the word ‘talai’ (head, topmost part).

Qn. Relevant to Verse #1 and Bhagavan’s answer.

Recall that Verse #1 said that everything that you see is really Brahman. In Talks Bhagavan explains to a visitor who asked if the world is perceived even after Self-Realization:

M.: From whom is this question? Is it from a JnAni or from an ajnAni?

D.:From an ajnAni.

M.: Realise to whom the question arises. It can be answered if it arises
after knowing the doubter. Can the jagat or the body say that it is?
Or does the seer say that the jagat or the body is? The seer must be
there to see the objects. Find out the seer first. Why worry yourself
now with what will be in the hereafter? Sri Bhagavan continued: What does it matter if the jagat is perceived or not perceived? Have you lost anything by your perception of jagat now? Or do you gain anything where there is no such perception in your deep sleep? It is immaterial whether the world is perceived or not perceived. The ajnAni sees the JnAni active and is confounded. The jagat is perceived by both; but their outlooks differ. Take the instance of the cinema. There are pictures moving on the screen. Go and hold them. What do you hold? It is only the screen. Let the pictures disappear. What remains over? The screen again. So also here. Even when the world appears, see to whom it appears. Hold the substratum of the ‘I’. After the substratum is held what does it matter if the world appears or disappears? The ajnAni takes the world to be real; whereas the JnAni sees it only as the manifestation of the Self. It is immaterial if the Self manifests itself or ceases to do so.

(Talk 65.)

(Continued in ULLADU NAARPADU – Verse No.3)