The back drop to this blog- I tend to be the person who prefers to err on the planning side rather than venture out unplanned . This trip to Tiruvannamalai was half and half- I did not have a clue of what to do, where to go, who to meet… it was all up in the air. It was just that I wanted to get there. The reason for this trip was the wonderful book “A search in secret India”. The visit by Paul Brunton to meet the Maharishee Ramana has been on my mind since I read the book 3 years ago.
Here are the three lessons that came my way
1. The Hill – “Arunachala—the Hill of the Holy Beacon.”
When you eagerly desire for guidance you get it, but maybe not in the same form you visualise- keep your senses open, most importantly your mind to observe & adapt to the help at hand.
I had visualised a guided tour by the Ashram for people wanting to explore the holy hill, finding none, I was ready to head back without being able to climb the hill. I found Dr Abhi just as he was bounding up the mythical hill of Arunchala. He was my teacher for the entire climb. Sometimes your gurus or teachers do not appear in the form you have come always imagined. They come in the form you can relate to you
2. The Maharishee – Silence Speaks
When you talk you dont learn is what we have all heard and ignored.
Shri Ramana’s silent gaze was supposedly enough to quieten the mind.
This is explained very well by Paul Brunton in his passage below:-
There is something in this man which holds my attention as steel filings are held by a magnet. I cannot turn my gaze away from him. My initial bewilderment, my perplexity at being totally ignored, slowly fade away as this strange fascination begins to grip me more firmly. But it is not till the second hour of the uncommon scene that I become aware of a silent, resistless change which is taking place within my mind.
One by one, the questions which I have prepared in the train with such meticulous accuracy drop away. For it does not now seem to matter whether they are asked or not, and it does not seem to matter whether I solve the problems which have hitherto troubled me. I know only that a steady river of quietness seems to be flowing near me, that a great peace is penetrating the inner reaches of my being, and that my thought-tortured brain is beginning to arrive at some rest.
How small seem those questions which I have asked myself with such frequency! How petty grows the panorama of the lost years! I perceive with sudden clarity that the intellect creates its own problems and then makes itself miserable trying to solve them. This is indeed a novel concept to enter the mind of one who has hitherto placed such high value upon intellect.
3. The question – Who am I?
Imagine you sitting in front of the Maharishee and asking a question “I want to know how to achieve enlightenment” The answers you would receive are :-
“You say “I”. ‘I want to know.’ Tell me, who is that I?”
“There is only one thing to be done. Look into your own self. Do this in the right way and you shall find the answer to all your problems.”
“Why should you trouble yourself about the future?” demands the sage. “You do not even properly know about the present! Take care of the present; the future will then take care of itself.”
“As you are, so is the world. Without understanding yourself, what is the use of trying to understand the world? This is a question that seekers after truth need not consider. People waste their energies over all such questions. First, find out the truth behind yourself; then you will be in a better position to understand the truth behind the world, of which yourself is a part.”
Italics Credits – Brunton, Paul. A Search In Secret India. Ebury Publishing. Kindle Edition.
This simple yet profound question “Who am I?” has been the starting point for many spiritual transformations. Does it mean anything to you? If yes- Dwell on it. Let the answers guide you to a deeper understanding of yourself ..