Posts Tagged ‘spiritual’

Kanjilal and Sanyasa Diksha

October 27, 2013

Today at Ramakrishna Math, a junior swami gave the lecture.  The following anecdote is from the notes I took during the lecture.

Kanjilal was a householder devotee of Sri Ramakrishna and frequented the Belur math.  During those visits he spent time conversing with Swami Brahmananda and other monks.  One day he asked Swami Brahmananda for sanyasa diksha. Swamiji told him that sanyasa was not for him. However, he kept asking time and again for sanyasa. Eventually, Swamiji obliged but told him that he would be given the Kaul Sanyasa diksha and not the Dashnami Sanyasa that the Ramakrishna order follows.

The date for the sanyasa was fixed. It was an amavasya. The time was middle of the night or past midnight.  Someone who knew the procedure was called to perform the rituals.  The time to offer the bali came.  However, when the bali was offered out of nowhere two huge jackals came picked the bali and threw it in the ganges river. This was a bad omen. The bali should not be touched by anyone and here it was thrown into the ganges! So the ritual was called off. Swami Brahmananda remarked to Kanjilal that he had warned him that sanyasa was not for him.

However, later after Swami Brahmananda passed away, he got sanyasa under the grace of Holy mother and Swami Sharadananda.

 

 

Notes and Anecdotes from some discourses

September 9, 2012

It is mentioned in Gospel (english translation of Kathamrit) that Sri Ramakrishna (SRK) used to weigh the hand of a person to know their nature. Swamiji is of the opinion that SRK must be feeling the vibrations rather than the weight of hand to know the extent of the Vairagya in the person. He added that NIMHANS actually has a machine that can film the vibrations in the body.

Once when SRK was traveling in a palanquin when a few robbers attacked it. The palanquin bearers ran to save their lives. SRK came out and and shouted so terribly loud that one robber died on the spot! and the others ran away.

Swamiji narrated the peacock and opium episode. Once SRK with a bunch of kids laughed as soon as M entered. SRK explained the cause of the laughter. A man fed a peacock with opium in the afternoon. The next day at exactly the same time the peacock came back. It had felt the intoxication and returned to have another dose. M too was like that peacock who got intoxicated by SRK and would keep coming to Dakshineshwar.

In 1978 The Hindu carried a news article about a Sadhu from Punjab who lived in a cave. One day he called all his disciples and with them surrounding him sat in meditation. Soon a blue flame, yogagni, arose from within him and consumed his body.  Such a form of giving up one’s body also finds mentions in the purana, where Parvati, unable to bear the insult of Shiva by her father, gives up her body in yogani.

Talking of places being holy Swamiji mentioned the incident about the Ramakrishna Ashrama at Ooty. Swami Shivanada (direct disciple of SRK) went walking around Ooty and at one place he stopped and asked that the ashrama be built there. Apparently, long ago Rishis did tapas there.

Ramakrishna’s first photograph

July 3, 2011

Today during the discourse swamiji narrated how the first photograph came about. Bhavnath, one of his devotees, got the photographer and asked Ramakrishna(RK) if he could take his picture. RK apparently did not like it and went and sat in the radhakrishna temple. Narendra (Vivekananda) happened to pass by and offered to help Bhavnath. He asked him to wait and went in to meet RK. RK, as always, was jubiliant on seeing Narendra. Narendra started asking him difficult questions in advaita. While answering him RK went into samadhi at which point Narendra asked the photographer to take the picture. However, RK’s posture was slightly inclined and the photographer tried to get the posture straight. However, when he tried to do so RK’s body floated up like a piece of paper. Narendra intervened, asked him to not touch and offered to correct the posture. The picture was taken. Later when the picture was shown to RK he was delighted and said that that was how people in a high state of yoga looked like. He added that this picture would be worshipped by lakhs of people. An enlarged version of this picture is in the main worship hall at Bangalore RK math.

Another way to live

June 11, 2011

The picture of a sadhu, with ash smeared face and a large naamam (a U with a line bisecting it arising from the center) on the forehead, on the front cover got my attention to this book.  It is an account of Professor/Dr. Kapur’s experience with yoga and yogi’s. I use the word yogi here synonymously with sadhus swamis and sanyasis. There are extracts and summaries of several of his interviews with yogis. However, in all his travails Dr. Kapur never came across a yogi with powers (siddhis). So there are no stories about magical/supernatural powers or even mind reading. The one sadhu who was shown to him to be a realised soul Dr. Kapur suspects to be schizophrenic! In his interviews he asked the sadhus  why they chose the path.   The answers are varied ranging from “i was on the path from childhood” to “i took it to avoid misfortune” and “it was a way to meet the challenges of old age”!  There are detailed accounts of some of them and they form interesting reading.

Dr. Kapur also joined as an apprentice with a Guru to learn yoga. He narrates his experience during training and also the effects after continuing it when he was back home. These chapters make interesting reading. There is also an account on changes in his behavior at home after and before yoga in his wife’s words.  To quote her ” Having observed my husband’s practice for an year, i came to the conclusion that regular practice of yoga enhanced the positive aspects of his personality and reduced the negative aspects. However, interrupted practice proved to be  more harmful than not practicing at all”.

The comments and guidance from his guru are listed as bullets in a couple of pages. They are real gems. I skipped the parts which dealt with the theory of yoga and details on psyco-analysis.  On the whole this book is a good read.

Sri Ramana Maharshi-The Supreme Guru

March 1, 2011

I prefer to read books on spirituality at the end of the day. I like if the books are thinner, the font size is big enough and space between the lines is reasonable. Ofcourse, the content should do justice to the main story. This biographical book on Sri Ramana Maharshi, by Alan Jacobs, is all the above and more. I had already read (a lot) about Maharshi and yet liked going through his life story. The story of Maharshi preparing his mother for self realisation, about his ability to attend to problems of animals, about the cow Laxmi, about the white peacock are covered.

Visits of westerners and their conversations with Maharshi are also there. I had known about Paul Brunton’s visit but had never read about Somerset Maugham’s visit.  This book recounts both their  experience and includes a question answer session between the former and Maharshi.  There is also a Q&A session between SivaPrakasam Pillai and Maharshi.   Apparently Maugham ‘attempted to ask questions but did not speak.  (to which) Maharshi said  “All finished. Heart talk is all talk. All talk must end in silence only.” ‘ Apparently, in the book ‘The Razor’s edge’ Maugham has modeled the fictional guru on Maharshi.

The book has got plenty of full page length pictures of Maharshi, his surroundings and people who flocked to him. On the whole i enjoyed reading this book. However, i must admit i skipped through the poem by the author and the english translation from the Sanskrit of  the 40 verses in praise of Ramana.

Astrology and blame!

September 8, 2009

Sri Sri Ravishankar (Art of Living) makes interesting listening, thanx to his wits, even for a non-follower. Here is the explaination he gives for Astrology.  Whenever, there is a problem the usual tendency of the people is to find someone/something to blame.  Astrology shifts the blame that you would put on other people to the cosmos.  In case of some loss you would say “because of the saturn being retrograde i had the loss”….listen to the video.

Humility or the grace of Prabhupada

July 14, 2009

This video is a part of  7 videos on youtube. In these videos one of the disciples of Srila Prabhuda narrates his journey from being a drug addict to a Swami. Its humbling to see the Swami’s self-deprecating talk about his irreverant attitude towards Prabhupada. And how he had a grandiose view of himself. Apparently, there were times when he thought about himself as Shiva and sported a third eye !

Nisargadatta Maharaj

May 8, 2009

came to know from my sister that its Narasimha Jayanti. I googled for Narasimha Jayanti and this link put the date as 7th May. A day here and there is common. But just when i was about to leave the site i saw the link on Nisargadatta Maharaj. Books (written by others) on his sayings and conversations with visiting disciples are available for download here. I am not sure if its legal, though.
A must read for the questioning mind.


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