My dearest friends, even though prejudice, hatred, violence, and wars are embedded in world history, these have never been able to completely overshadow the enormous capacity many people have demonstrated in every age, to love, to nurture, to heal, to be peacemakers, and to forgive without reservation. Even when there is darkness all around, if one candle is lit, there is potential for other candles to be lit through it. That is the beauty of the Sangha. Be that Candle. Keep the flame of your love burning, so others can learn to love through you, and the light of wisdom and compassion will guide your way.
May all beings be healthy and happy and enjoy fullness without being too full.
Sri Ramana spent many years cooking for others at the Ashram and even gave precise instructions to those in the kitchen on cooking! He was a taskmaster and did not allow any food to be wasted.
The Upanishads remind us that food is sacred. “Food (anna) itself is Brahma” ~ Taittiriya Upanishad.
Bhagavan Ramana taught the devotees that food influences our body and mind, and should be selected with care, prepared well, and eaten in moderation.
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Sri Ramana used to say that what we give to others, we give to our self. That is the basic truth of the spiritual path.
Awareness quietly aware of itself is the subtlest spiritual practice.
Its power can be understood fully when the mind is free from agitation.
The ancient sages knew that to make the mind calm and peaceful we must reflect on the interconnectedness of life and treat all life as precious and sacred.
Sri Ramana used to say that what we give to others, we give to our self.
That is the basic truth of the spiritual path.
May all beings be free from sorrow.
In this essay, I suggest that the philosophies and perspectives of the gradual or the direct path are not inherently meaningful. Their truth lies only in being teaching tools. Words and concepts such as the “direct path” and the “gradual path” are meant to point at the truth but they are not themselves the truth. The Truth must reveal itself to us in our own Heart.
A Popular Dichotomy
A popular dichotomy has emerged about Enlightenment in the West since the 1970s between the schools of “gradual enlightenment” and “instant enlightenment”. Some of this can probably be traced back to Poonja ji’s and Nisargadatta Maharaj’s disciples returning to the west in the 1970s and 1980s from India and bringing their understanding of Advaita Vedanta with them as given to them by their teachers. However, because many of these students deviate from traditional Advaita as taught in the classic lineage of Adi Shankracharya, they are referred to as neo-advaitins.
Given this thesis and antithesis between the gradual path and the direct path, I address the following question:
It is said that there are two approaches to the Truth of Being or Reality which some call Enlightenment or Self-Realization. A gradual path and a direct path. What is the truth of it? Are their really two paths? If…
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You are the peacemaker.
By Dr. Harsh K. Luthar
Mahavira, the Jain prophet of nonviolence and an advocate for the principle of Ahimsa (Universal Love), said 2500 years ago that all beings have the natural desire to live and thrive.
Wanting to be safe, happy, and in a nurturing community is not unique to any particular country, culture, religion, or spiritual tradition. In fact, it is not even unique to human beings. Animals, birds, sea creatures, plants and trees, and all forms of life seek safety and nurturance.
Enjoying success at the expense of others and by harming others, including nature and the environment, cannot be sustained over the long term. This is a simple but an ancient truth.
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Giving to others is really giving to oneself. ~ Sri Ramana
Bhagavan says, “Giving to others is really giving to oneself.” Bhagavan continues, “If one knows this truth, would one ever remain without giving?” (See Chapter XIII “Gems from Bhagavan.” Bhagavan here states the fundamental truth of reality at every level.
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