Letter 108

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9th April, 1947
Yesterday morning, a group of Andhras arrived, and started questioning Bhagavan within ten minutes of their arrival.

Question: “Bhagavan teaches us always to know ourselves. He should kindly teach us how to know ourselves, and bless us.”

Bhagavan’s reply: “The kindness is always there. You should ask for something that is not there, and not for something that is there already. You should believe with all your heart that the kindness is there. That is all.”

Another said: “In the Vedic recitations that are conducted here daily, they say, ‘thasya sikhaya madhye paramatma vyavasthithaha’. What is ‘sikhaya madhye’ (in the middle of the summit)?”
Bhagavan’s reply: “‘Sikhaya madhye’ means, ‘in the middle of the summit of the fire’ and not ‘in the tuft of the hair of the Vedas’. It means that the Paramatma resides in the centre of the fire of Knowledge that is generated by churning of the Vedas.”

Question: “In what asana is Bhagavan usually seated?”
Bhagavan: “In what asana? In the asana of the heart.

Wherever it is pleasant, there is my asana. That is called sukhasana, the asana of happiness. That asana of the heart is peaceful, and gives happiness. There is no need for any other asana, for those who are seated in that one.”

Another said: “The Gita says, ‘sarva dharman parithyajya mamekam saranam vraja’ (discard all dharmas and seek refuge in Me). What are the dharmas that are conveyed by the expression ‘sarva dharman’?”
Bhagavan: “‘Sarva dharman’ means ‘all the dharmas of life’. ‘Parithyajya’ means ‘having discarded those dharmas’.

‘Mamekam’ means ‘Me, the Ekaswarupa (the only one Self)’.

‘Saranam vraja’ means ‘take refuge’.”

Question: “The expression ‘hridaya granthi bhedanam’ occurs in Sri Ramana Gita. What is meant by it?”
Answer: “That is what I say, ‘going away’, ‘exit’, ‘extinction of all vasanas’, ‘destruction of the ego’, ‘I’, ‘destruction of jivathva’, ‘destruction of the mind’, and so many other names.

All mean the same thing — mano nasanam (destruction of the mind) is hridaya granthi bhedanam. The word jnanam also means the same thing — some technical word for the sake of recognising.”

When the conversation started, an attendant switched on the fan, finding it to be stuffy in the hall. Bhagavan got it stopped, remarking ‘why this?’ and turning to those nearby said, “Look here! Many people ask how anyone can continue to engage in performing karma after he has become a Jnani.

In reply to that question, in the olden days, they used to quote the potter’s wheel as a comparison. As the wheel turns round and round, the pot emerges. Even after the pot is finished and the turning of the wheel is stopped, the wheel does not stop revolving for some time longer. In these days we can cite the example of the electric fan. We switched it off, but it did not stop revolving for some time after. Similarly, even after one becomes a Jnani, he does not give up the physical body so long as actions which he is destined to perform with it remain unfinished.”

Suddenly a little baby of about eight months began to prattle “Thatha, Thatha” behind my back. When Bhagavan heard those sweet words, he lifted his head and asked who it was. I said, “It is our little child Mangalam.” Bhagavan is very fond of babies. He said, “Is it she? I thought it is some older girl. Has she already begun to call out ‘Thatha, Thatha’?” The child continued to say, “Thatha, Thatha.” Bhagavan said to those nearby, “See this wonder! Children first begin to say the word ‘Thatha’ which means ‘than than’. ‘Thanthan’ — ‘it is its own self’ — is the same with our minds also. The word ‘I’ comes out first, automatically. Only thereafter the words ‘you’, ‘he’, etc. are uttered, just as all other words follow the word ‘thatha’ in the case of little children. It is only after the feeling ‘aham’ (ego) comes that the other feelings follow.”

It was nearly 9 o’clock and so Krishnaswamy turned on the radio to verify the time. After the clock struck nine the radio ended with the words ‘namaste to all’. Bhagavan smiled and said, “The radio announcer says, ‘namaste to all’ as if he and they were different. Is he not one of them? It amounts to this, that he is saluting himself also. They do not realise that. That is the strange thing.”

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