Wednesday, 30 October 2013


Only gentleness and patience, and silence are receptive for being. 'I' is a thought-feeling, it is still an object. But what it really signifies is neither subject nor object. It is non-dual.

We can regain the purity and simplicity of a child when we stop arguing, worrying with ourselves and with others. The use of the mind confines us to the dictates of the mind, of duality and suffering. We ARE the Self, we only think we are a person.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013


The necessity of serious sadhana

1. In order that your mind should become firm, observe with full attention your duty, which is the practice of sadhana.

2. Instead of practicing sadhana superficially, follow it intensively in such a way that your mind is totally immersed in it.

3. Only the aspiration towards the fair firmament of supreme consciousness, which has no final goal other than mauna, is most worthy endeavor.

4. Grace will not combine with a bat-like mentality. Stick with intensity to one [path].

Bats nibble at one fruit and fly away, looking for another fruit to nibble at. They never stay long enough in one place to finish a single fruit.

5. All meditation practices are the means that enable the attainment of the strength of mind that is necessary for Atmanishta.

Question: How is the mind to be eliminated or relative consciousness transcended?
Bhagavan: The mind is by nature restless. Begin liberating
it from its restlessness; give it peace; make it free from
distractions; train it to look inward; make this a habit.
This is done by ignoring the external world and removing
the obstacles to peace of mind.

Question: How is restlessness removed from the mind?
Bhagavan: External contacts - contacts with objects other than itself - make the mind restless. Loss of interest in non-Self [vairagya] is the first step. Then the habits of introspection and
introspection and concentration follow. They are characterized by control of external senses, internal
faculties, [sama, dama, etc.] ending in samadhi
[undistracted mind].

Padamalai, edited by David Godman

Wednesday, 23 October 2013


Yesterday i went for the first time to the Samadhi Hall and the Old Hall in Sri Ramanasramam. Meditating there i was surprised as i am each year when i return. I am sure all who were there know what i try to express. In one word: It is indescribable. I sometimes hear people say, 'well, you know, Ramana is inside, so there is no need to go to India.' Of course that is true on an absolute level. But if we have never felt this embrace, sitting in His residence, how could we know?
Bhagavan himself has stated repeatedly that to come to Ramanasramam only serves the purpose to experience the universal nature of the Self. He was and He IS universal Being and Love.
Yet, a guru of mine once said, 'You don't grab the horns of a cow to get milk!' 
After coming to Arunachala for 29 years i am amazed to fall in love like for the first time! I can never memorize this, and it is always fresh and convincingly so!
Bhagavan once compared the Self to a rose when asked how it would be possible that this freshness remains.
So i wish all to come to His feet and be embraced by his Love.
Namo Ramanaya... Reinhard


"That fear was only on the first day, that is, the day of the awakening. It was a sudden fear of death, which developed, not merely indifference to external things. It also started two new habits. First, the habit of introspection, that is, having attention perpetually turned on my Self, and second, the habit of emotional tears when visiting the Madurai Temple. The actual enquiry and discovery of ‘Who I am’ was over on the very first day of the change. That time, instinctively, I held my breath and began to think or dive inward with my enquiry into my own nature.

‘This body is going to die,’ I said to myself, referring to the gross physical body. I had no idea that there was any sukshma sarira [subtle body] in human beings. I did not even think of the mind. I thought of the gross physical body when I used the term body, and I came to the conclusion that when it was dead and rigid (then it seemed to me that my body had actually become rigid as I stretched myself like a corpse with rigor mortis upstairs, thinking this out) I was not dead. I was, on the other hand, conscious of being alive, in existence. So the question arose in me, ‘What was this “I”? Is it the body? Who called himself the “I”?’

So I held my mouth shut, determined not to allow it to pronounce ‘I’ or any other syllable. Still I felt within myself, the ‘I’ was there, and the thing calling or feeling itself to be ‘I’ was there. What was that? I felt that there was a force or current, a center of energy playing on the body, continuing regardless of the rigidity or activity of the body, though existing in connection with it. It was that current, force or center that constituted my Self, that kept me acting and moving, but this was the first time I came to know it. I had no idea of my Self before that. From that time on, I was spending my time absorbed in contemplation of that current.

Once I reached that conclusion (as I said, on the first day of the six weeks, the day of my awakening into my new life) the fear of death dropped off. It had no place in my thoughts. 

‘I’, being a subtle current, it had no death to fear. So, further development or activity was issuing from the new life and not from any fear. I had no idea at that time of the identity of that current with the personal God, or Iswara as I used to call him. As for Brahman, the impersonal absolute, I had no idea then. I had not even heard the name then. I had not read the Bhagavad Gita or any other religious works except the Periyapuranam and in Bible class the four Gospels and the Psalms from the Bible. I had seen a copy of Vivekananda’s Chicago lecture, but I had not read it. I could not even pronounce his name correctly. I pronounced it ‘Vyvekananda’, giving the ‘i’ the ‘y’ sound. 

I had no notions of religious philosophy except the current notions of God, that He is an infinitely powerful person, present everywhere, though worshipped in special places in the images representing Him. This I knew in addition to a few other similar ideas which I picked up from the Bible and thePeriyapuranam. Later, when I was in the Arunachala Temple, I learned of the identity of myself with Brahman, which I had heard in the Ribhu Gita as underlying all. I was only feeling that everything was being done by the current and not by me, a feeling I had had ever since I wrote my parting note and left home. I had ceased to regard the current as my narrow ‘I’. This current, or avesam now felt as if it was my Self, not a superimposition.

While, on the one hand, the awakening gave me a continuous idea or feeling that my Self was a current or force in which I was perpetually absorbed whatever I did, on the other hand the possession led me frequently to the Meenakshi Sundaresa Temple [in Madurai]. Formerly I would visit it occasionally with friends, but at that time [it] produced no noticeable emotional effect, much less a change in my habits. But after the awakening I would go there almost every evening, and in that obsession I would go and stand there for a long time alone before Siva, Nataraja, Meenakshi and the sixty-three saints. I would sob and shed tears, and would tremble with emotion."

Avesasca asvatantrasya svatadrupanimajjanat. 
Paratadrupata Sambhoradyacchaktyavibhaginah.
(Tantraloka – Ahnika I, verse 173)

Avesa means the mergence or disappearance of the limited self into and becoming identical with Supreme Siva, who is at one with the Adi Sakti.

It is clear from other remarks he made on this subject that Bhagavan initially had no idea what had happened to him in 1896. He is, for example, on record as saying, apropos the death experience, that he initially thought he might have caught some strange disease, but was happy for it to stay since it was such a pleasant one. Having made it quite clear in this account that he knew nothing about God or Brahman, it is not surprising that he grasped at explanations that fitted the rather limited world-view he had acquired as a child and a teenager: possession or a disease. Within a few weeks, however, he understood that 'This is my own Self; this is not something imposed from outside, and it not is not something that is going to come and go.' The avesamof possession moved on to the avesam of Self-abidance.
David Godman

From an unedited account of the Self-realization experience that Narasimhaswami had written in 1930.


I (S.N.)beseeched him fervently in the following words:

“It is my great desire that I should actually experience your gracious wisdom. Kindly fulfill my desire.” 

In those days Sri Ramana was not speaking much. Still, he spoke kindly as follows: 

“Is it the body in front of me that desires to obtain my grace? Or is it the awareness within it? If it is the awareness, is it not now looking upon itself as the body and making this request? If so, let the awareness first of all know its real nature. It will then automatically know God and my grace. 
The truth of this can be realized even here and now.” 

Besides speaking like this, he also explained it in the following way, using examples from my daily experience that I could 
understand and relate to.

“It is not the body that desires to obtain the grace. Therefore, 
it is clear that it is the awareness that shines here as ‘you’. 
To you who are the nature of awareness there is no connection during sleep with the body, the senses, the life force [prana] and the mind. On waking up you identify yourself with them, even without your knowledge. This is your experience. All that you have to do hereafter is see that you do not identify yourself with them. In the states of waking and dream try to remain as you were in the state of deep sleep. 
As you are by nature unattached, you have to convert the state of ignorant deep sleep, in which you were formless and unattached, into conscious deep sleep. It is only by doing this that you can remain established in your real nature. 

You should never forget that this experience will come only through long practice. This experience will make 
it clear that your real nature is not different from the nature of 

Thursday, 3 October 2013


Thy Presence fills every nook and corner of the whole universe,
O Auspiciousness! Where can I invoke Thee?
You are everywhere, world’s refuge,
Can a special role be given? The holy Ganges flows from consciousness...
Thy feet—how to give obeisance! O Purity!
Marble-white complexioned,
Can oblations wash a speck? O Untainted! 
What can taint thee?
Cool waters drench not the heat absorbent,
Sandalwood disappears in Your calm.
When endless sky covers Thee
Garments are unnecessary—O Love!
Knowing the very ocean of wisdom
Needless, the sacred thread of knowledge
Precious jewels—ruby, pearly, amethyst
Fade, as Thou art Lord, gloss of all.
When Thou art the fragrance,
blossoming Flower garlands, can they adorn Thee?
When all appeased, will hunger, thirst remain
Since there is only Finis...finis...finis!
Thou are all-pervading! Where to circumambulate?
The Vedas have negated all description
How can I invoke Thee?
The lustrous sun-light fades before Thee
What of the camphor flame? [used in the arati-worship rite]
No place for any immersion [in holy water-tanks in temples]
Since you fill all surroundings. All desire to worship thee is banished. The concept of you being God and I being devotee has vanished. This is my invisible spontaneous prayer I got the light of understanding regarding the worship of thy feet Glory—Thy nature!

[A Marathi-language abhanga, translated into English, written by Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, and sung daily as part of the morning bhajan session of songs and chants]

And that is how I go about now, and ceaselessly repeat the Prayer of Jesus, which is more precious and sweet to me than anything in the world. At times I do as much as 45 miles a day, and do not feel that I am walking at all. I am aware only of the fact that I am saying my Prayer. When the bitter cold pierces me, I begin to say my prayer more earnestly and I quickly get warm all over. When hunger begins to overcome me, I call more often on the name of Jesus, and I forget my wish for food. When I fall ill and get rheumatism in my back and legs, I fix my thoughts on the Prayer and do not notice the pain. If anyone insults me I have only to think, ‘How sweet is the Prayer of Jesus!’ and the grievance and the anger alike pass away and I forget it all.
I have become a kind of fool; I don’t worry about anything any longer and nothing attracts me anymore and nothing vain can hold my interest. The one thing I wish for is to be alone, and all by myself to pray, to pray without ceasing; and doing this, I am filled with joy. God knows what is happening to me!

-The Way of a Pilgrim

Fra Giovanni


To Countess Allagia Aldobrandeschi on Christmas Eve, 1513. 

I am your friend and my love for you goes deep.
There is nothing I can give you which you have not got,
but there is much, very much, that, while I cannot give it, you can take.
No heaven can come to us unless our hearts find 
rest in today. Take heaven!

No peace lies in the future which is not hidden in
this present little instant. Take peace!

The gloom of the world is but a shadow. Behind it,
yet within our reach is joy. 
There is radiance and glory in the darkness could we but see - and to see
we have only to look. I beseech you to look!

Life is so generous a giver, but we, judging its
gifts by the covering, cast them away as ugly,
or heavy or hard. Remove the covering and you
will find beneath it a living splendor, woven of
love, by wisdom, with power.

Welcome it, grasp it, touch the angel's hand that
brings it to you. Everything we call a trial, a
sorrow, or a duty, believe me, that angel's hand
is there, the gift is there, and the wonder of an
overshadowing presence. Our joys, too, be not
content with them as joys. They, too, conceal
diviner gifts.

Life is so full of meaning and purpose, so full of
beauty - beneath its covering - that you will find
earth but cloaks your heaven.

Courage, then, to claim it, that is all. But courage
you have, and the knowledge that we are all pilgrims
together, wending through unknown country, home.

And so, at this time, I greet you. Not quite as the
world sends greetings, but with profound esteem
and with the prayer that for you now and forever,
the day breaks, and the shadows flee away.

-Fra Giovanni Giocondo

This letter was written by Fra Giovanni Giocondo to his friend, Countess Allagia Aldobrandeschi on Christmas Eve, 1513. 

Born in Venice, Giocondo would become a priest, a scholar, an architect and a teacher. He was indeed a true 'renaissance man.'

In 1496 Giocondo was invited to France by the King and made royal architect. If you've ever been to Paris and walked across the beautiful bridges Pont Notre-Dame or the Petit Pont -- both of these were designed by Giocondo.

Frà Giovanni Giocondo war ein italienischer Altertumsforscher und Architekt der Frührenaissance, geb. 1435 zu Verona. Er scheint die erste Hälfte seines Lebens hauptsächlich der klassischen Gelehrsamkeit gewidmet zu haben, die er mit dem Studium der antiken Architektur verband. In dieser Periode unterrichtete er den berühmten Julius Caesar Scaliger auf dessen väterlichem Landsitz Lodrone (zwischen Brescia und Trient) in der griechischen und lateinischen Sprache. In Rom und anderen Städten Italiens sammelte G. mehr als 2000 Inschriften, die er Lorenzo de' Medici widmete; eine Abschrift befindet sich in der Biblioteca Magliabecchiana zu Florenz. Er schrieb Noten zu Cäsar, Vitruv, Frontinus. Seine illustrierte Vitruv-Ausgabe erschien 1511 in Venedig. Andere Autoren ließ er zum erstenmal drucken, so auch Catos Schrift "De rebus rusticis". Sein Ruf als Architekt war bereits begründet, als ihn Ludwig XII. 1499 zum Bau der Brücke Notre Dame nach Paris kommen ließ. Während seines dortigen Aufenthalts fand er ein 1508 von Aldus Manutius herausgegebenes Manuskript von Plinius dem Jüngeren. 1509 hatte er Treviso gegen den Kaiser Maximilian zu befestigen. 1512 führte er einen Hauptpfeiler der Etschbrücke in Verona von neuem wieder auf. In seiner Vaterstadt erbaute er den Palazzo del Consiglio. Im Jahr 1514 wurde er nach Rom berufen, wo er als Architekt von St. Peter in Gemeinschaft mit Raffael und Giuliano da San Gallo tätig war, jedoch nur für kurze Zeit, da er am 1. Juli 1515 starb.