"The very first step in understanding what this is all about is giving up the concept of an active, volitional 'I' as a separate entity and accepting the passive role of perceiving and functioning as a process." - Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

Friday, February 2, 2018

Questions to Bhagavan

Sri Annamalai Swami

Q: What other questions did Swamiji ask during his early days at the Ramanasramam?

AS: When I first came to Bhagavan I used to ask questions about liberation. What is bondage? What is freedom? And so on.

Muruganar, who was sitting next to me on one of these occasions, laughed and said, "This boy doesn't even know what liberation is and what bondage is."

I think he was amused by the innocence of my enquiries. After I began serving Bhagavan, I listened very attentively to all the philosophical explanations that he gave. I also talked to Chadwick and other devotees about various aspects of Vedanta. I gradually absorbed the teachings until a point came where I could say that I had a good working knowledge of Bhagavan's teachings and various other systems that were being discussed in his presence.

In one of his later songs Muruganar wrote about Bhagavan, "You make wise people of those who come to you in an ignorant state. This is the grace of Ramana."

I always felt that this was a reference to me. 

It wasn't easy in the beginning. When I first came to the ashram, I was so forgetful that I rarely remembered anything that Bhagavan said. Because I was so forgetful, I used to keep a paper and pencil and write down whatever Bhagavan was saying. 

I felt that my forgetfulness was a hindrance to absorbing Bhagavan's teachings, so one day I approached him and said, "Bhagavan. my memory is very bad. Could you please bless me with a good one?"

Bhagavan looked into my eyes for a few minutes without saying anything. From that day on my memory became very clear and sharp, so much so, I gave up carrying my pencil and paper. 

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सर्वभूताधिवासं यद्भूतेषु च वसत्यपि।
सर्वानुग्राहकत्वेन तद्स्म्यहं वासुदेवः॥

That in whom reside all beings and who resides in all beings,
who is the giver of grace to all, the Supreme Soul of the universe, the limitless being:
I AM THAT. -- Amritabindu Upanishad