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333 Unbelievable!


About Shanmugam

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  1. @electroBeam I know what you are saying. This is said out of misunderstanding, by many people who only have theoretical knowledge of Vedanta. But I can clarify this.. You may have heard some Vedantins saying that the most qualified people for Advaita is the ones who can get the truth the moment they hear it. When someone points out the truth of who you are so skillfully, if you are a qualified person for Vedanta, you will get it and you will be instantly awakened. Listening to the truth that is skillfully pointed out by a Guru is called 'Sravana' which literally means listening. But what makes one such a qualified person? What kind of qualifications are they talking about? They are called Sadhana Chatustaya - fourfold qualifications with 6 virtues: So, if someone has completely and perfectly developed these qualifications, he/she will be actually be able to awaken, once they hear the truth pointed out. Such people are called 'Uththama adhikaris'. After they listen to the truth, if they still don't awaken, that only indicates that they have not developed these fourfold qualifications. So, they go through two more stages to compensate the incomplete development of fourfold qualifications, which are known as manana and nidhidhyasana. Manana is more commonly understood as reflecting over the truth repeatedly and niddhidhyasana is a type of meditation that is explained here: So what does this tell you? If someone is not awakened in the Sravana stage, he has obviously not done the prior step of developing fourfold qualifications correctly. If he has done it correctly, then he doesn't need anymore practice but he just needs to hear from a Guru as he points out the truth. Such a disciple who didn't complete the previous step properly is similar to a student who has arrears in a college semester. In other words, going through the stages of manana and nidhidhyasana is not normal even though it is more common. If you ask a vedanta student why many people have to go through manana and nidhidhyasana and why they didn't awaken once they heard the truth, they may probably tell you this : "that only happens very rarely to a few people, such a people are rare to find'... They will say as if it is an exception, but it is supposed to be the rule. Because, obviously, if they had worked harder on the fourfold qualifications, it would have happened. Where did they go wrong then? They went wrong because of the instructions like 'bhakti yoga, karma yoga and kriya yoga are limited' that you mentioned... Because, after hearing such instructions they tend to think "if they are limited, then why go through them? Let me directly listen to my guru, study scriptures and practice manana and nidhidhyasana... I think I have developed the fourfold qualifications". Most of the students of Vedanta do this mistake. But, if you ask any qualified guru how to develop these fourfold qualifications in the first place, he will tell you this: "You should practice Bhakti yoga, karma yoga or kriya yoga"... Because these practices help developing the fourfold qualifications by purifying the mind. Let me put it in a different way. You may heard many people say that you cannot do anything to get spirituality awakened. They will say that there is no action possible, nothing you can do can get you spiritual enlightenment. They are right, but this teaching is not complete. The truth is, you cannot do anything to get enlightened; but you can do many things to purify your mind, to develop these fourfold qualifications. That is why they say that enlightenment doesn't happen because of your doing but it happens because of grace. But what happens because of your doing is this purification of your mind, which gets you ready to receive that grace, which makes you to awaken as soon as the truth is pointed out. In some cases, the self knowledge (atma jnana) dawns automatically once the mind is completely purified. That means, developing these fourfold qualifications is the actual spiritual path. In other words, bhakti yoga, karma yoga or kriya yoga is the actual spiritual practice which occupies the longest time in a person's spiritual journey. That is why in Gita, Krishna says that there are only two paths: Action and knowledge. A person does some action to purify his mind, then the knowledge of the absolute reality dawns; finally he lives the rest of his life with the strength of his self-knowledge. This is the whole gist of Gita, as explained in the commentary of Adhi Shankara. You can download the free ebook of Shankara's Gita commentary here: All these three, bhakti yoga, karma yoga or kriya yoga come under the path of action (karma nistha); and the rest comes under path of knowledge (jnana nistha) . Karma nishtha leads to jnana nishtha... If self-realization can be compared to the top floor and if you compare spiritual practice as 18 steps leading to the top floor, then bhakti yoga, karma yoga or kriya yoga are spanned in the first 17 floors whereas the path of knowledge is the last step. How can anyone reach the last step without crossing the first 17 steps?
  2. All this confusion arises because we use 'I' or the self for two different things.. Which one is referred to should be understood depending on the context... 'I am feeling depressed' - Here the 'I' means, the the separate ego-based identity. It only exists when we think; thoughts create this little 'I', the entity which is created by the identification with the body and the contents of the consciousness.. When Buddha said there is no self, he was talking about this self. 'I am that, I am God, I am sat-chit-ananda'... - here the word 'I' means the absolute reality. When Jesus said 'I am the truth, the way and the life', he was talking about this 'I'.. This is beyond thought and this is experienced in its purity when there is no thinking. When Ramana Maharshi said everything is Self, he was talking about this Self.
  3. I will give a suggestion to everyone in general. Because, I see this happening in many places online. Dont try to judge others level of consciousness and find out how ignorant they are.. That would just reflect the state of consciousness of the person who is making such a judgement in the first place.. Usually, when seekers first discover the path, they start doing comparisons of others and start judging 'how unconscious these people are, how ignorant'. This is actually your own ego trying to pull you back. I have gone through such phases many times. No one is actually inferior to anyone.. Everyone passes through certain stages.
  4. @Shiva That is not what DesCartes intented to convey.. But many people misinterpreted the statement. First of all, He made a statement in Latin and not in English. The statement was 'cogito ergo sum' Just by reading that statement, anyone can misinterpret that as “Thought is the basis of existence, you cannot exist if you don’t have thoughts’…. But that is not what Rene Descartes intended to say. He said that you can doubt any belief or concept but you cannot deny your own existence. The doubt implies that there is a doubter. A doubter has to exist to doubt. If you don’t exist, you cannot doubt, and you cannot think. So, if you think, that actually means you exist. That is what he meant by saying ‘I think, therefore I am’. (this is more close to how Ramana Maharshi explains self inquiry) Here is more clear interpretation of the statement that I found in a forum:
  5. @onacloudynight Don't worry about giving it a name.. Your mind may be trying to pull you into the identification game.. If someone tells you 'yes, it is samadhi', then you will categorize it that way and put it in your spiritual resume and you may tend to identify with it. It is natural to pass through many beautiful moments in the spiritual path. But it is important to keep moving on.
  6. He is talking much about the mindfulness practice done for clinical usage and for some kind of utility. Also, all the studies done on mindfulness are based on just a 15 day or 30 day mindfulness practice, which is not really sufficient to test its effectiveness and the results it can produce on a long term basis. He seems to be more interested in criticizing how mindfulness is over hyped in media and how it is offered as a solution for everything. But he doesn't sound like a seeker. He is not talking about the effectiveness of mindfulness towards a spiritual awakening either. Mindfulness, when practiced for some kind of utility or gain may not produce the same results as mindfulness practiced for the sole reason of spiritual awakening. If you are interested in spiritual awakening, if you are really seeking to merge with the absolute reality and to transcend the limitations of feeling like a separate individual, then mindfulness is the best. I can say this by my own experience and also based on the reports of countless people. So, you don't have to worry about what that article says. He is just talking about the over hyped clinical mindfulness practiced to gain a particular benefit which is not at all related to what everyone in this forum are seeking.
  7. That is because your birth is an idea which has been developed based on the premise that there is a 'you' separate from existence. When the illusion of the separate 'you' is broken, the reality remains, which is unborn.
  8. @egoless I don't see any reason why it is not possible.. We cannot really generalize like this when it comes to enlightenment because each person still acts according to this own traits and uniqueness. But life becomes a game after enlightenment. You still live your life but the attitude towards it totally changes. Becoming a successful CFO doesn't have anything to do with enlightenment. It only has to do with that person's capabilities. If he is capable of becoming a successful CFO, he will. But he doesn't go about it with the same attitude or mindset that an unenlightened person has. He just does what is needed without worrying about success or failure.
  9. @John You don't see such examples because they don't become public figures.. The public figures who you see are only the tip of the iceberg. There are probably thousands of spiritually awakened people who continue to do the same thing after enlightenment. Actually, what you said is not a rule but an exception. Only a very few people give up their old jobs after enlightenment and create an organization to guide other people. As Brimstone rightly said, the change that occurs is actually a shift in the perception of self. That shouldn't necessarily change their lifestyle. After awakening, you may not be interested in personal success because you feel already complete, fulfilled and you won't have a necessity to accumulate or crave for anything. But you still continue the old life style and even try to go to the next step in the ladder for other reasons. What if you have a family and children to support, you still have to fulfill their dreams. Awakened ones hardly think about future. They act according to what the present moment or situation demands. But to others their actions may appear like motivated by craving for fulfillment. When people who are not awakened think about how it feels like living an awakened life, they can only think based on their limited, ego or identity based existence. So, they will always come to wrong conclusions no matter how intelligent they are. Because, somehow unconsciously they still assume that there is going to be duality (or being separate from the existence) after awakening. But after awakening, it opens a huge number of possibilities. You feel totally liberated from the prison of having a limited existence and you feel boundless. You may even act like a fool if you want to.
  10. If you are curious to know how Ramana Maharshi lived and what he spoke everyday with more precise details, then I would suggest you all to read the book 'DAY BY DAY WITH BHAGAVAN' - (From the Diary of A. DEVARAJA MUDALIAR) . It is actually a diary of a devotee, who has recorded many things in Ramana's life very precisely. You can download the book for free here: Maharshi/Ramana Maharshi - Day By Day With Bhagavan.pdf It includes not only the conversations with visiting seekers, but many casual conversations of Ramana from his day to day life.
  11. Spiritual path is for losers! You lose your interest in running on the hedonic treadmill; You lose your identification with your mind and body; You lose stress, anxiety, fear and dissatisfaction; Finally, you lose yourself in the ocean of consciousness. - written by a loser.
  12. @cirkussmile Did you read the disclaimer in my post? I know two people in India who were not genuine but used such techniques to convince that they are enlightened... One person turned out to be fake and caught up in sex scandal.. he is currently producing videos to show how to move coconuts with mind power, to attract some crowds ... I have personally met the other person (happened in 2008), who persuaded me to become his disciple and wanted me to prepare transcriptions for his talks. By the way, he himself was a disciple of the first person. He invited me to his house and his bookshelf was full of Osho's books. Later, when I checked his website, I found the contents to be exact copy and paste from Osho's talks., without missing even articles like 'a' and 'the'... When someone is a true seeker, it is not a big problem and he will eventually find his way.. But if you somehow get brainwashed to work for their organization and dedicate your own life to build someone else'e empire, that is when it becomes problem, especially if the guru is fake.