Posts by Harsha

Authentic Sources of Ramana Maharshi’s Teachings

A few years ago, I wrote a short article on some good sources of Sri Ramana Maharshi’s teachings.

https://luthar.com/2014/05/25/recommended-books-for-teachings-of-sri-ramana-maharshi-by-dr-harsh-k-luthar/

A number of other scholars/practitioners, including David Godman and Michael James have done admirable work of researching and identifying authentic sources of Bhagavan Ramana’s words. This is important for obvious reasons. We see too many misquotes of Sri Ramana’s teachings by people who are not intimate with Bhagavan’s teachings and whose main interest seems to be in finding nice sounding feel-good quotes.

Having said that the need to identify authentic sources of Sri Ramana’s teaching is important, it still needs to be acknowledged that the teachings transmitted via language, no matter how authentic and genuine a source is, have built-in limitations. That is why Bhagavan often stated that the highest teaching is always given in silence.

Sri Ramana used to say that once the basic teaching/method of self-inquiry is grasped, the books are of little use to the aspirant. It is the practical application of the teaching that matters. He stated this again and again in a variety of ways and in many different contexts in order to emphasize the point.

Despite the volumes written on Sri Ramana’s teachings, the teachings are easy to understand for a sincere person who makes the effort. The reason for that is that we are already the Self. Bhagavan is simply reminding us by speaking directly to our essence. Whatever the limitation of the language and the source, these words are full of the force of grace. It is up to us to be open to this power of grace.

Hence we have the ability to “Hear” Bhagavan Ramana, no matter what the source. It does not matter if we do not “Hear” him perfectly at first. It is the practice that purifies the mind and makes it subtle. It is then the teaching/grace works spontaneously and guides the mind to enter the Heart and understand the true nature of silence.

Sri Ramana never approved of devotees getting entangled with intellectual debates and losing their focus from the main purpose of life. Self Recognition.

All love. ❤️

Attaining Peace is the Goal

There is no end to self-improvement and learning my dear friends. If you want to reach the Heart, unburden yourself from the mind, and just be. That is essentially Sri Ramana’s teaching.

A peaceful mind has the capacity to surrender to its source, the Heart, where the individual consciousness merges with the Universal Being. It is That, which the ancient sages referred to as Sat-Chit-Ananda. Existence, Consciousness, Bliss.

All the various yogas and tantras have only one aim and that is to help the mind attain peace. All genuine spiritual teachings, without exception, are meant for making the mind peaceful.

MOUNTAIN GODDESS

MOUNTAIN GODDESS by Mira Prabhu

mira prabhu

14876327_10155479883214199_334843953_o-768x575When I first landed in Dharamsala in the foothills of the Himalayas, straight from the frenetic city of Manhattan, I was lost and bewildered by a strange new world. Soon I found my way to the Tibetan Library, where every morning a beautiful old Geshe, aided by an English female translator, patiently taught us the ancient scriptures. I was sitting outside the small cafeteria when I saw a woman I liked on sight, nonchalantly rolling a cigarette. I asked her to roll me one, whereupon she handed me the fixings and retorted sarkily that if I wanted one, I’d have to roll it myself. Oh, I thought, amused, liking her even more, for she reminded me of folks in Manhattan who are also uncomfortably direct but also possess shining hearts of gold if you stick around long enough to get past the prickly surface.

We became friends, and I discovered…

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SPIRITUAL OLYMPICS

SPIRITUAL OLYMPICS From Mira Prabhu

mira prabhu

13e269e7dd2189555144fd97b22322e4At the millennium, I flew from Manhattan to live in Dharamsala, home of the exiled Tibetans in the foothills of the Himalayas. Months later, my precious Micron laptop (it was the rare person who owned a laptop in those days) was stolen right out of my apartment, along with the backup disks. In one fell swoop, I had lost over ten years of my writing and research. I was, as you can imagine, devastated. (I plan to explain the fascinating series of events that led to this theft in another article, but right now all I want to do is share with you what one high lama said to me in the aftermath of this mini disaster.)

A little background, so you can empathize with just how terrible I felt: I had left Manhattan after selling my beautiful apartment. Word spread that I was a “rich foreigner” and so I…

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The Tao Is Not Real

The wise say that the Tao that can be talked about is not The True Tao. Still, Sages such as Ramana Maharshi manage to indicate the existence of the underlying Reality with words and without words. Self-Realized sages point to the Truth easily and spontaneously. Knowledge of Reality is not just their first-hand knowledge but their very Being.

Sri Ramana, through his silence, words, and actions, was always pointing at the highest reality, the Heart of existence, the Self. Even in minor things like giving instructions on cooking and eating food, cutting wood, or other matters, Bhagavan was doing that.  Sages like that are more than just Satsang givers, good public speakers, and charismatic orators.

I am often reminded of the words of Sri Ramana who used to say that the Supreme Reality, whatever it is, must Always be Real. It cannot be more real sometime in the future than it already is right now.

Therefore, the central truth to be grasped by a devotee of Bhagavan Ramana is that whatever is real, permanent, eternal, must be Here and Now also. In this very moment, it must be so!

If the Self is not Here and Now and is to be gained at some future time, then it must be subject to loss also. What can be gained can also be lost!

Therefore the sages declare that That which is Real, Absolute, Eternal cannot be gained. It is because you are already That!  What You already Are cannot be attained because it is your very nature, very being.

Can we Accept This?

What undermines the acceptance of our Own Natural State?

What is your deepest knowing here and now?

One Perfect Soul

There always have been and there always will be beautiful, evolved, and God-realized souls. Regardless of when they lived and where they lived, one can be in tune with their essence. Time and distance do not hinder the movement of grace.

Even if we do not have the physical presence of great sages in our life, we can have spiritual fellowship by creating a mental atmosphere filled with their vibrations and teachings.

My teacher used to tell me that there is always at least one perfectly God-realized soul somewhere in the Universe.

Practice Sahaj Samadhi

When Paul Brunton asked Sri Ramana about when Sahaj Samadhi should be practiced, the sage said and I paraphrase….”right from the beginning….that which is the practice of the Sadhaka is the state of the Siddha.”

People are surprised when they hear this. How can we practice the highest state from the beginning?

But this is exactly what Sri Ramana meant. Practice being absolutely natural from the very start!

Recognition of our nature as pure awareness is the goal. Awareness scanning Awareness, Awareness being Aware of Awareness is the method. Awareness abiding in Itself is the essence of the nondual realization. Sri Ramana is clear on that point.

However, Sri Ramana gave the essential teachings in a variety of ways in his own words to suit the devotees. Sri Ramana’s words and sentiments that poured forth are imbued with a certain energy if one is in tune with the Sage of Arunachala.

Self-Realization is a matter of sincere effort and whatever method one is using gradually clarifies into Self-Awareness. I recall Sri Ramana saying one time to an obviously sincere devotee something like ..”Realization will be forced upon you in spite of yourself…”

Note the term, “Forced upon you, in spite of yourself.” It totally bypasses any loyalty to a particular approach or method. Ramana’s own realization, you may recall, was “forced” upon him. The Divine does not ask our permission before the Self-revelation.

It is the sincerity of aspirant’s effort which calls forth Grace that leads to Realization. Ramana knew this intimately as only a Self-Realized Sage can know. A variety of works by Sri Ramana, the ancient stories he used from scriptures, or recorded conversations or recollection of devotees may be (and are) useful.

What I sense in some Ramana devotees is a certain rigidity and adherence to a sanitized structure of Sri Ramana’s teaching. It is only the play of the mind which in its narrowness assumes that it knows the Truth. In fact, Truth is what swallows up the mind! Even a great teaching repeated often without sensitivity to others and without in-depth understanding that comes from being the Heart, becomes ineffective.

Sri Ramana used to say that the highest teaching he gave us was in Silence. How one comes to this Silence and Recognizes It as one’s own essence as Awareness, as Sat-Chit-Ananda, is unique to all.

Did Sri Muruganar not write in one of his poems that……..the path a sage takes to Self-Realization is like that of a bird that flies in the sky. It leaves no trace.