Do Not Interfere If Possible

One day, one of the devotees came to Bhagavan Ramana and said in an excited whisper, “Look, Bhagavan! Just look at that man!” Everyone turned to look. We saw a gentleman who was asleep in the meditation hall, swaying back and forth. The devotee who had approached Bhagavan complained, “I have been watching this person for the past few days. He (pretends to meditate) but always sleeps in Bhagavan’s presence.” 

Bhagavan looked at the complaining devotee and said, “That man is doing what he came here to do. But what about you? Did you come here just to check on people, and see who is awake and who is asleep and who is meditating? Why don’t you mind your own business?” 

Seeing the overzealous devotee rebuked like this, all the others burst out laughing.

Bhagavan did not like it at all when people complained about others. He used to say that as long as a person concentrated on the work he was engaged in, he would not even notice what others were doing. One can find the time to criticize others only when one’s attention wandered from the work at hand.

Source: From Cherished Memories by T.R. Kanakammal

This story is both funny and instructive. Bhagavan says to leave alone what others are doing in terms of spiritual practices, karma yoga, sleeping, etc., but focus on yourself. After all, self-inquiry is not a group activity. 🙂

Indeed, Bhagavan was most reluctant to accept invitations to criticize others on their spiritual path, even if it was different than the one he advocated. On more than one occasion, Bhagavan told devotees that they should mind their own business and keep in mind what their original purpose was in coming to Bhagavan.

Essence of Ramana Maharshi’s Teachings

Everything is transient.

Our body, mind, perceptions of the world and how we see others are always in flux.

Even our ideas of who we are, tend to change over time.

We have the inherent capacity to notice our pure sense of existence, the feeling of “I AM” that never changes and is always with us.

This awareness is subtle and intangible and in the background.

If we bring it to the forefront, pay attention to it, cultivate it, It leads to the Heart and becomes the door to eternity.

It leads us beyond duality to our Self. This is the essence of Sri Ramana’s teaching.

Namaste

All Are In God

“Whether you make dhyana of God or of Self, it is immaterial. The goal is the same. But you cannot escape the Self. You want to see God in all, but not in yourself? If all are God, are you not included in that all?” Sri Ramana speaking in Talk 254 (Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi).

Devotee: Is the Universal Soul (Paramatma) always different from us? 

Sri Ramana: That is the common belief, but it is wrong. Think of Him as not different from you, and then you achieve identity of Self with God. (Talk 31).

Death Is Another Name For Us

Losing a loved one is a natural cause of grief for us.

We have to eventually reconcile with the fact of death of those we loved, and cherish the joy that arises in the heart when we think of them.

Sri Ramana reminds us, “True love is shown by the certainty that the object of love is in the Self and that it can never become non-existent.”

Sages teach us that the death of the body is inevitable. We are not the body but the Spirit. That is the message of Bhagavad-Gita as well.

The Fundamental Truth Of Being Alone

We have come alone in this world.

We will leave alone.

Behind all the glamour and colors of this world, the great joys and laughter, and all the pain and horrific suffering, the fact of being alone is a constant for all beings.

Meditation on this fundamental truth serves as a gateway to Self-Realization.

Describing this state, Maharshi Patanjali (Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras) says in Book 1, the third verse, “The Seer now rests in His own nature.”

The Nature of Satsang

If we find the company of good people on our path, it enhances our life in every way.

In Sanskrit, we call this, Satsang (Spiritual Fellowship).

Sages emphasize the power of Satsang to transform our life.

The Satsang need not be physical or face to face. Coming into contact with the thoughts of great saints and yogis via books or other media also constitutes Satsang.

Sri Ramana used to say that physical contact with the Guru is not important. It is the mental and spiritual contact that is critical and central for our growth.

All Love

The Magic Of Palm Reading

My father was a professor of mathematics.

Ever since I was a child, I remember my father reading palms for fun and entertainment. He read palms on demand and instantaneously!

No was ever refused. Someone could come to him off the street and ask to have their palm read. My father would stop immediately, hold the persons hands and look at all the lines on both palms and give his reading.

My father was always positive about what he said and was careful to couch anything negative by emphasizing the power of prayer and the role of will power. His readings were optimistic and he was very enthusiastic about communicating how destiny could be overcome by hard work and sincerely praying to God for help.

My father motivated people. He told them to not focus on their weaknesses and worry, but to enhance their strengths through mantra meditation and prayer.

Anyone who came to our house would have both their palms carefully examined and told about their future and given advice as well to overcome any obstacles!

The picture given above is of my father from the early 1970s. I was serving as his assistant and helping out managing the lines of people who wanted their palms read.

Whenever my father read palms, great crowds would gather.

No one was ever charged. All the readings were completely free.