Friday, September 22, 2017

Sri Ramana Maharshi on Many Gods, Relative Existence and Supreme Truth

D: Devotee
B: Bhagavan (Sri Ramana Maharshi)

Sometimes questions were also asked about the multiple gods of Hinduism. In this connection it should be explained that Hindus, like Christians or Muslims worship the One God.Some of the questions about God recorded above were put by Hindus. However, they also worship God manifested in various forms, one possibility or name or form or viewpoint not negating another.

D.: Why are so many gods mentioned?

B.: The body is only one, but how many functions are performed by it! The source of all these functions is one. It is the same with the gods.
It would sometimes be asked whether the various gods and their heavens were real. But such a question starts from the presumption of the reality of this physical world and the questioner’s body – a presumption which Bhagavan would not admit. Instead, he would turn this question, like all others, to the quest for Reality.

D.: Are the Gods, Ishvara and Vishnu, and their heavens, Kailas and Vaikuntha, real?

B.: As real as you are in this body.

D.: I mean, have they got a phenomenal existence like my body, or are they pure fictions like the horns of a hare?

B.: They do exist.

D.: If so, they must be somewhere; where are they?

B.: In you.

D.: Then they are only my idea; something which I create and control?

B.: Everything is.

D.: But I can create a pure fiction like the horns of a hare, or a partial truth, like a mirage; while there are also facts which exist irrespective of my imagination. Do the gods, Ishvara and Vishnu, exist like that?

B.: Yes.

D.: Is God subject to cosmic dissolution at the end of a cycle?

B.: Why should He be? A man who realises the Self transcends cosmic dissolution and is liberated; why should not Ishvara (God) who is infinitely wiser and abler than a man?

D.: Do gods and devils also exist?

B.: Yes.

D.: How are we to conceive of Supreme Divine Consciousness?

B.: As that which is.
Particularly interesting are the questions asked by a Muslim professor about the hymns which Bhagavan wrote to God in the form of Arunachala.

D.: I have been reading the Five Hymns. I find that the hymns are addressed by you to Arunachala. But you are a non-dualist, so how can you address God as a separate Being?

B.: The devotee, God and the hymns are all the Self.

D.: But you are addressing God. You are specifying this Arunachala Hill as God.

B.: You can identify the Self with the body, so why shouldn’t the devotees identify the Self with Arunachala?

D.: If Arunachala is the Self, why should it be specifically picked out among so many other hills? God is everywhere. Why do you specify Him as Arunachala?

B.: What has attracted you from Allahabad to this place? What has attracted all these people around?

D.: Sri Bhagavan.

B.: How was I attracted here? By Arunachala. The Power cannot be denied. Again Arunachala is within and not without. The Self is Arunachala.

D.: Several terms are used in the holy books. Atman, Paramatman, Para, etc. What is the gradation among them?

B.: They mean the same to the user of the words but they are understood differently by various persons according to their development.

D.: But why do you use so many words to mean the same thing?

B.: It depends on the circumstances. They all mean the Self. Para means not relative, or beyond the relative, that is to say the Absolute.

Bogger's Note: In this Q and A i.e. conversation, 

  • Bhagavan  gives importance to going deep within i.e. becoming introvert.
  • For this to happen, outside world and other subtle worlds are to be neglected. Focus has to be on SELF, 'I' or Brahman
  • Yet on vyavahArika satya i.e. empirical reality, our own existence, existence of various Gods and Goddesses and demi-gods and demi-godesses and their worlds is accepted.
  • The power of God is also accepted and revered. It cannot be neglected. Hence hymns on Arunachala were composed. But from standpoint of Atma-sthiti i.e. Supreme Reality, only one tatva exists. It is 'I' or 'Atman' or Brahman. SAntam Sivam Advaitam. Here Siva is not Lord Rudra or Shankara Bhagavan, but nirguNa and nirAkAra tatva i.e. attribuless, formless pure consciousness

Source: Teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi in his own words – Arthur Osborne

Sri Ramakrishna on Bhakti and Importance of Vairagya

After his meal Sri Ramakrishna rested a little on the small couch. Inside and outside his room crowded the devotees, among them Kedar, Suresh, Ram, Manomohan, Girindra, Rakhal, Bhavanath, and M. Rakhal's father was also present.

A Vaishnava goswami was seated in the room. Sri Ramakrishna said to him:

"Well, what do you say? What is the way?"

Goswami: "Sir, the chanting of God's name is enough. The scriptures emphasize the sanctity of God's name for the Kaliyuga."

Sri Ramakrishna: "Yes, there is no doubt about the sanctity of God's name. But can a mere name achieve anything, without the yearning love of the devotee behind it? One should feel great restlessness of soul for the vision of God. Suppose a man repeats the name of God mechanically, while his mind is absorbed in 'woman and gold'. Can he achieve anything? Mere muttering of magic words doesn't cure one of the pain of a spider or scorpion sting. One must also apply the smoke of burning cow-dung." (A primitive medicine used by the villagers for scorpion bites.)

Goswami: "But what about Ajamila then? He was a great sinner; there was no sin he had not indulged in. But he uttered the name of Narayana on his death-bed, calling his son, who also had that name. And thus he was liberated."

Sri Ramakrishna: "Perhaps Ajamila had done many spiritual things in his past births. It is also said that he once practised austerity; besides, those were the last moments of his life. What is the use of giving an elephant a bath? It will cover itself with dirt and dust again and become its former self. But if someone removes the dust from its body and gives it a bath just before it enters the stable, then the elephant remains clean.

"Suppose a man becomes pure by chanting the holy name of God, but immediately afterwards commits many sins. He has no strength of mind. He doesn't take a vow not to repeat his sins. A bath in the Ganges undoubtedly absolves one of all sins; but what does that avail? They say that the sins perch on the trees along the bank of the Ganges. No sooner does the man come back from the holy waters than the old sins jump on his shoulders from the trees. (All laugh.) The same old sins take possession of him again. He is hardly out of the water before they fall upon him.

"Therefore I say, chant the name of God, and with it pray to Him that you may have love for Him. Pray to God that your attachment to such transitory things as wealth, name, and creature comforts may become less and less every day.

Source: Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Sri Ramakrishna on God with form and formless Brahman Satchidananda

Sri Ramakrishna went with the devotees to the northeast verandah of his room. Among them was a householder from the village of Dakshineswar, who studied Vedanta philosophy at home. He had been discussing Om with Kedar before the Master. He said, "This Eternal Word, the Anahata Sabda, is ever present both within and outside."

Sri Ramakrishna: "But the Word is not enough. There must be something indicated by the Word. Can your name alone make me happy? Complete happiness is not possible for me unless I see you."

Devotee: "That Eternal Word itself is Brahman."

Sri Ramakrishna (to Kedar): "Oh, don't you understand? He upholds the doctrine of the rishis of olden times. They once said to Rama: 'O Rama, we know You only as the son of Dasaratha. Let sages like Bharadvaja worship You as God Incarnate. We want to realize Brahman, the Indivisible Existence-Knowledge-Bliss Absolute.' At these words Rama smiled and went away." 

Kedar: "Those rishis could not recognize Rama as an Incarnation of God. They must have been fools."

Sri Ramakrishna (seriously): "Please don't say such a thing. People worship God according to their tastes and temperaments. The mother cooks the same fish differently for her children, that each one may have what suits his stomach. For some she cooks the rich dish of pilau. But not all the children can digest it. For those with weak stomachs she prepares soup. Some, again, like fried fish or pickled fish. It depends on one's taste.

"The rishis followed the path of jnana. Therefore they sought to realize Brahman, the Indivisible Existence-Knowledge-Bliss Absolute. But those who follow the path of devotion seek an Incarnation of God, to enjoy the sweetness of bhakti. The darkness of the mind disappears when God is realized. In the Purana it is said that it was as if a hundred suns were shining when Rama entered the court. Why, then, weren't the courtiers burnt up? It was because the brilliance of Rama was not like that of a material object. As the lotus blooms when the sun rises, so the lotus of the heart of the people assembled in the court burst into blossom."

As Sri Ramakrishna uttered these words, standing before the devotees, he suddenly fell into an ecstatic mood. His mind was withdrawn from external objects. No sooner did he say, "the lotus of the heart burst into blossom", than he went into deep samadhi. He stood motionless, his countenance beaming and his lips parted in a smile.

After a long time he returned to the normal consciousness of the world. He drew a long breath and repeatedly chanted the name of Rama, every word showering nectar into the hearts of the devotees. Sri Ramakrishna sat down, the others seating themselves around him.

Sri Ramakrishna (to the devotees): "Ordinary people do not recognize the advent of an Incarnation of God. He comes in secret. Only a few of His intimate disciples can recognize Him. That Rama was both Brahman Absolute and a perfect Incarnation of God in human form was known only to twelve rishis. The other sages said to Him, 'Rama, we know You only as Dasaratha's son.' 

"Can everyone comprehend Brahman, the Indivisible Existence-Knowledge-Bliss Absolute? He alone has attained perfect love of God who, having reached the Absolute, keeps himself in the realm of the Relative in order to enjoy the divine lila. A man can describe the ways and activities of the Queen (Queen Victoria.) if he has previously visited her in England. Only then will his description of the Queen be correct. Sages like Bharadvaja adored Rama and said: 'O Rama, You are nothing but the Indivisible Satchidananda. You have appeared before us as a human being, but You look like a man because You have shrouded Yourself with Your own maya.' These rishis were great devotees of Rama and had supreme love for God."

Source: Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna

Saturday, April 22, 2017

ChatuH Sloki Bhagavat - Gujarati

।। श्री गुरुवे नमः ।। 
।। श्री कृष्ण परब्रह्मर्पणमस्तुः ।। 
।। श्री चतुः श्लोकि भागवत् ।।
ચતુઃ સ્લોકી ભાગવત્ - સસ્તુ સાહિત્ય

શ્રી ભગવાન બોલ્યા: હું તમને અનુભવ અને ભક્તિથી યુક્ત પરમ ગુહ્ય જ્ઞાન તથા તેનાં સાધનો કહું છું, તે તમે ગ્રહણ કરો; તેમ જ હું જેવા સ્વરૂપવાળો, જેવી સત્તાવાળો અને જેવાં રૂપ, ગુણ તથા કર્મવાળો છું, તે સર્વનું તાત્ત્વિક જ્ઞાન તમને મારી કૃપાથી પ્રાપ્ત થાઓ (તે જ્ઞાન આ પ્રમાણે છે:) સૃષ્ટિની પૂર્વે હું જ હતો, બીજુ જે સ્થૂળ, સૂક્ષ્મ, અને એ બન્નેનું જે કારણ માયા છે તે કંઈ ન હતું (કેમ કે તે વખતે માયા પણ અંતર્મુખપણે મારામાં લીન હતી), સૃષ્ટિની પછી પણ હું જ રહું છું. જે આ જગત દેખાય છે તે પણ હું જ છું અને પ્રલય પછી તે જે બાકી રહે છે તે પણ હું જ છું, જે વાસ્તવિક વસ્તુ નથી તે પણ જે આત્મારૂપ આશ્રયને લીધે જણાય છે અને જે વાસ્તવિક વસ્તુ નથી  જણાતી, તેને મારી માયા જાણવી. જેમ ચંદ્ર એક જ છે, તો પણ નેત્રના વિકારને લીધે બે હોય એવો આભાસ થાય છે. અને રાહુ ગ્રહમંડળમાં રહેલો છે તો પણ દેખાતો નથી. જેમ પાંચ મહાભૂતો નાનામોટા પ્રત્યેક ભૌતિક પદાર્થમાં સૃષ્ટિની પછી દાખલ થયેલાં છે. (કેમ કે તે તે પદાર્થોમાં તેઓ દેખાય છે) અને દાખલ થયેલાં પણ નથીં; (કેમ કે સૃષ્ટિ પહેલાં જ કારણસ્વરૂપે તે મહાભૂતો તે તે ભૌતિક પદાર્થોમાં રહેલાં જ છે) તેમ હું પણ તે તે મહાભૂતોમાં અને સર્વ ભૌતિક પદાર્થોમાં રહ્યો છું, છતાં નથી પણ રહ્યો. આવી મારી સર્વત્ર સ્થિતિ છે. આત્માનું તાત્વિક સ્વરૂપ જાણવા ઇચ્છતા પુરુષે એટલું જ જાણવાનું બસ છે કે જે વસ્તુ અન્વય અને વ્યતિરેકથી [] સર્વ સ્થળે સર્વદા છે તે જ આત્મા છે. તમે મારા આ મતને સારી રીતે એકાગ્ર ચિત્તે અનુસરો, જેથી તમે પ્રત્યેક કલ્પની ભિન્ન ભિન્ન સૃષ્ટિમાં મોહ પામશો નહિ

[] અન્વય અને વ્યતિરેક તે આ પ્રમાણે દરેક કર્યમાં કારણસ્વરૂપે રહેવું તે અન્વય છે અને કારણ અવસ્થામાં તે તે કર્યોથી જુદા થવું તે વ્યતિરેક છે; અર્થાત્ જાગ્રત આદિ અવસ્થામાં તે તે અવસ્થાના સાક્ષીરૂપ આત્માનો અન્વય છે અને સમાધિ વગેરેમાં જાગ્રત, સ્વપ્ન તથા સુષુપ્તિથી વ્યતિરેક છે. – શ્રીધર સ્વામી

।। ईति श्री भगवानव्यासकृत चतुः श्लोकि भागवत् सम्पूर्णम् ।।
।। हरि ॐ ।।

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