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The Mountain Path





. "Entering ( m y ) home
and luring m e ( t o T h i n e )
w h y didst T h o u keep m e
prisoner in T h y heart's
cavern, O h A r u n a c h a l a ? "


Marital Garland of
Letters, Verse 3.

T. N.




Thou dost root out the ego of those
who meditate on Thee in the heart, Oh A r u n a c h a l a ! "
The Marital Garland of Letters, Verse 1.

Vol. I

JULY 1964

No. 3


Sri Ramanasramam,





A Path and A Guide

The need for r e m e m b r a n c e J o e l Goldsmith
Ramana S a d - G u r u G . L. N.
Pattinathu S w a m i K . R. R. Sasiry
B e y o n d P s y c h o l o g y P r o f . K. Subrahmanyam
The Dark N i g h t A . Rao
H o w I came to the Maharshi :
I I P . V. Sastri
SatoriF. O.
T h e M y t h o l o g y of A r u n a c h a l a T . K. S.
StillnessN. R. Krishnamurthi
The Heritage of Sri MaharshiMouni Sadhu

Editor :














The lesser and greater Jihad

The Futility of A r g u m e n t F r a n k Allen
Z e n training in Japan-Marie B. Byles
Y o u must cling t o o A . Devaraja Mudaliar
Seeing it s i m p l y W e i Wu Wei
T h e Virtuous W a y of L i f e
H . H. Sri J ay a Chamaraja Wadiyar
T h e Candle of the L o r d
Prof. Eknath Easwaran
T h e Tear.'n* of the Mask



Rs. 5 ;

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$ 30.


3 sh.;

" M a n y are called but f e w are c h o s e n "

Tribute to Sai BabaPaidi Venkateswarhx







Rs. 1 . 5 0 ;

$ 1.50.


A b o v e the three statesNagamma

A w a k e n i n g E t h e l Merston
Brief E t e r n i t y A Devotee
Book Reviews
The Blind SeerMuruganar
A s h r a m Bulletin
Letters to the Editor





The aim of this journal is to set forth the traditional wisdom of all religions and
all ages, especially as testified to by their saints and mystics, and to clarify the paths
available to seekers in the conditions of our modern world.
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No payment is made for contributions published.
Anything herein published may be re
printed elsewhere without fee provided due acknowledgement is made and the editor is previousl

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T. N. V E N K A T A R A M A N ,

The Mountain










Sri J. Krishnamurti

all the miseries



in one of his radio talks

in this world.


in life.

I feel




to moment.

that his statements


has stated

asks us not to follow


that the

any pattern



of life and says that



also says that we should not have any desire or aspiration

are all confusing

and in


on the subject ?_' R . S . SHIVAKUMAR,

a dry

it goes far to explain the need for this editorial.






is regarded

but to follow

no path,



or in writing,

as a spiritual teacher


to the Editor

It is characteristic





of appeals for

who are confused

not to accept any spiritual teaching

for no goal, entertain

If, as maintained in m y t w o previous e d i torials, Realization is the purpose of life, it

follows naturally that its quest is the first
and greatest call u p o n a man's efforts.
life is a path to b e trod " f r o m the unreal
to the Real, f r o m darkness to Light, f r o m
death to Immortality " , as said in the U p a nishads, and if, as the Masters have w a r n e d ,
it leads through u n k n o w n terrain and past
dangerous pitfalls, it also f o l l o w s that a
guide is necessary to s h o w the w a y . Q u e s tions of the choice of path and reliability of
the guide w i l l b e taken u p in later issues ;
first it seems necessary to d w e l l on this s e e m ingly so obvious point of the need f o r a c cepting a guide and f o l l o w i n g any path at
F o r although m o r e people t o - d a y than
ever b e f o r e can read about the c o n s u m m a tion attainable, n o t a f e w d o so as dilettant-



I quote this letter at the head of the Editorial instead of in the 'Letters



at being



es without any intention of m a k i n g the effort

to attain.
Unfortunately this tendency, strong a n y w a y o w i n g to natural "inertia, has b e e n
apparently sanctioned b y the writings and
speeches of J. Krishnamurti, w h o seems to
h a v e m a d e it his life w o r k to p r o c l a i m that
no effort need b e m a d e and n o guide f o l l o w e d . S o m e of his followers ( h o w can there
b e followers if there is n o guide ? ) d o i n deed explain that h e does not really m e a n
that no effort is needed, but that is the
impression his b o o k s and speeches give,
whether intended or not. If the impression
is not intended it is a pity it is given ; it is
a pity it is given w h e t h e r intended or not.
It is easy to see h o w some o n e c o u l d c o m e
to this conclusion, erroneous though it is.



Glimpses of higher perception, even of c o m plete Self-realization, glimpses called in Z e n

' satori
do c o m e to a person w h o is still on
the path or e v e n to one w h o has n o t con-*
sciously set foot on it and does not even k n o w
that there is a path. There are m a n y i n stances of this. W h o l e collections of them
have b e e n published.
A characteristic o f
them is that they occur spontaneously and
most often at a time w h e n one is not making
conscious effort.
O n receiving
such a
glimpse a person unacquainted w i t h the
teaching of the Sages might say to himself :
" So this is i t ! A n d no discipline w a s n e c e s sary, and no Master ! "

sity of consciousness of individuality, the i n dividuality itself seemed to dissolve and

fade a w a y into boundless being : and this not
a confused state, but the clearest of the clear,
the surest of the sure, the wierdest of the
w i e r d , utterly b e y o n d w o r d s , w h e r e death
w a s an almost laughable impossibility, the
loss of personality (if so it w e r e ) seeming
no extinction, but the o n l y true l i f e . . . .1 am
ashamed of m y feeble description. H a v e I
not said the state is utterly b e y o n d w o r d s ? "
H e further indicates a characteristic p a r a d o x
of this experience in a pregnant line o c c u r ring in an otherwise drab passage of ' T h e
Princess ' : " A n d all things w e r e and w e r e
n o t . " A n d y e t e v e n though, as a poet, h e
H o w e v e r , such glimpses do not m e a n that
must b e supposed to h a v e had m o r e i n t u i one has attained Realization. T h e Maharshi
tion than most people, he never understood
w a s quite definite about this. " Can the
it and it seems to h a v e enlightened neither
ego, w h i c h is in b o n d a g e as the m i n d , b e his life nor poetry. A m a n m a y even forget
c o m e the D i v i n e Self simply because it has
and d e n y it. Koestler describes in his early
once glimpsed that it is the Self ? Is this
autobiography h o w such an experience of
not impossible without the destruction of the
certitude came to him w h e n h e was a p r i s o m i n d ? Can a b e g g a r b e c o m e a king b y
ner in the Spanish Civil W a r , expecting to
simply visiting a king and declaring himself
b e shot ; and yet years later, in his s u p e r one ? "
A n d again : " Realization takes
ficial investigation into samadhi in ' The Y o g i
time to steady itself. T h e Self is certainly
and the R o b o t ' he s h o w e d himself sceptical
w i t h i n the experience of e v e r y o n e but not
of the v e r y possibility of it. O n l y in v e r y
in the w a y p e o p l e imagine.
One can o n l y
rare cases does such a p r e - g l i m p s e b e c o m e
say that it is as it i s . . . . O w i n g to the flucpermanent and stabilized. One such case w a s
tuations of the vasanas (inherent q u a l i t i e s ) ,
that of Ramana Maharshi and he w a s quite
Realization takes time to steady itself. S p a s insistent that w h e n it does not remain c o n m o d i c Realization is not e n o u g h to p r e v e n t
tinued, persistent effort is needed.
r e - b i r t h , but it cannot b e c o m e permanent as
l o n g as there are vasanas....
But if this is to
It is said b y Krishnamurti that one should
b e established further- effort is necessary."
abide in the true state of effortless, c h o i c e 1

T h e brief eternity of such a glimpse m a y

fail to b e understood and assimilated, fail to
absorb the m i n d and dissolve the ego, and
m a y thus leave a m a n u n c h a n g e d so far as
he or others can see. A n e x a m p l e of this is
Tennyson. He w r o t e in a letter to a friend :
a kind of w a k i n g trance I h a v e f r e q u e n t l y had, right u p f r o m b o y h o o d , w h e n
I h a v e b e e n all alone.
This has generally
c o m e u p o n m e through repeating m y o w n
n a m e t w o or three times to myself, silently,
till all at once, as it w e r e out of the i n t e n 1 The Teachings of Ramana Maharshi in his own
words, p. 177, Rider's edition, 228, Sri Ramanasramam edition.
2 Ibid., pp. 178/228-9.

less awareness and that effort only disturbs

this. But can one ? A b o u t this also the
Maharshi was quite definite. " Effortless and
choiceless awareness is our real nature. If
w e can attain that state and abide in it, that
is all right. But one cannot reach it w i t h out effort, the effort of deliberate meditation.
A l l the a g e - o l d vasanas
(inherent t e n d e n cies) turn the m i n d outwards to external
objects. A l l such thoughts h a v e to b e g i v e n
up and the m i n d turned inwards and that,
for most people, requires effort. Of course,
e v e r y teacher and e v e r y b o o k tells the a s p i s For an account of this see Ramana Maharshi
and the Path of Self-Knowledge,
pp. 18-19, Rider
& Co., London.



rant to k e e p quiet, but it is not easy to do

If any one doubts this let h i m t r y for h i m self instead of w e i g h i n g the statement of one
teacher against that of another. L e t h i m sit
d o w n and maintain effortless,
awareness of being without allowing any
distracting thoughts to c o m e in and see w h e ther h e can k e e p it up for e v e n thirty s e conds. If not let; him not speak of stillness
as an alternative to effort. Stillness is only
achieved through effort.

A n o t h e r argument used is that one actually

is the Self. Since there is no other, one must
be. So w h y strive to b e the Self ?
they add, the Maharshi himself said so. C e r tainly he did, but he also e x h o r t e d us to
strive to realize this and not just understand
it theoretically.
P a r t l y perhaps to guard
against the Scylla and Charybdis o n either
side of the true path o n the one hand that
no effort is needed and on the other that a
man b y his o w n effort can create or attain
the true state he sometimes represented
the effort required as a negative process.
" A l l y o u have to d o is to disrealize unreality
and Reality r e m a i n s . " This is a traditional
explanation given b y the Sages :
if the
clouds are r e m o v e d the clear sky remains ;
if water-lilies h a v e o v e r g r o w n a p o n d t h e y
o n l y have to b e r e m o v e d for the w a t e r to
appear ; it does not have to b e created.
T h e attitude taken up b y some Western
exponents of Z e n that all y o u h a v e to d o is
to b e spontaneous is another, m o r e subtle
e x a m p l e of the same error that n o effort is
needed, for spontaneity itself is not easy. Or
rather there is a l o w e r and a higher s p o n t a neity. A child of three toddles into a r o o m
and bangs spontaneously on the piano and
there is a hideous din ; an e x p e r t pianist
plays spontaneously and there is music ; the
difference b e t w e e n the t w o spontaneities is
years of effort and discipline.
M u c h is m a d e in Western Z e n of sudden
Enlightenment c o m i n g as a result of a b l o w
or a cryptic saying. Enlightenment, of course
does c o m e suddenly in any religion, just as
does the p r e - g l i m p s e I spoke of at the b e g i n 4 The Teachings of Ramana Maharshi in his own
words, pp. 70/83.



ning of this article, but it only comes to

one w h o has disrealized unreality to such an
extent as to b e receptive to it.
One who
has not m a y receive a h u n d r e d b l o w s or
have his nose t w e e k e d daily w i t h o u t w a k ing to Reality. A s for spontaneity, a Master
in any religion behaves with childlike s p o n taneity. A s Christ put it, he is like a little
child. T h e naturalness of B h a g a v a n w a s as
striking as his grandeur. But to try to
imitate this w o u l d only m a k e one a poseur.
Hanging apples on a tree does not m a k e it
an apple tree. What; is needed is to attain
the inner state that manifests o u t w a r d l y as
true spontaneity ; and this can o n l y b e done
b y persistent and disciplined effort.
But even if effort is needed, w h y a guru,
some ask. Once one grants that the Sages
k n e w w h a t they w e r e talking about w h e n
they said it w a s an arduous path beset with
dangers, it should be obvious that it is safer
to b e guided on it b y one w h o has g o n e
before and k n o w s the w a y . That is one e x planation ; another is that the guru is a m a n
of p o w e r . Grace flows through h i m to
strengthen and support his f o l l o w e r s . If y o u
are serious about assaying a tremendous task,
w h y light-heartedly reject aid w h i c h has
always been considered necessary in all but
v e r y exceptional cases ? If it has b e e n found
that o x y g e n is needed to c l i m b Everest, w h y
set out to d o it without ? A n d this is m o r e
than Everest.
Intellectuals are apt to consider o n l y the
first of these t w o explanations and to think
of the G u r u as o n e w h o explains the hidden
mysteries and r e m o v e s their philosophical
doubts ; but the infusion of p o w e r and r e m o v a l of impediments is an e v e n m o r e i m portant function and indeed m a y in some
cases suffice w i t h n o theoretical instruction
at all.
In illustration of this I w i l l q u o t e
f r o m a p o w e r f u l but little k n o w n G u r u of
recent times, an almost illiterate Bengali
w o m a n w h o spoke n o other language and y e t
had disciples w h o w e r e not Bengalis and to
w h o m she could not speak, that is Sri Sarada
Devi, the w i d o w of Sri Ramakrishna. " T h e
p o w e r of the G u r u enters into the disciple
and the p o w e r of the disciple enters into the
G u r u . That is w h y w h e n I initiate and




accept the sins of the disciple I fall sick. It self-reliant ? W h o is the self on w h i c h y o u
is e x t r e m e l y difficult to b e a G u r u .
A n d o n are to b e reliant ? That v e r y ego, that v e r y
another occasion w h e n s o m e one protested individual being, w h o m y o u believe to b e a
against her allowing an u n w o r t h y person to phantom and h o p e to dissolve into n o t h i n g t o u c h her feet, since it w o u l d cause her pain, ness.
actual physical pain and burning, she said :
A n d w h o is the G u r u ? H o w can any one o u t " N o , m y child, w e are b o r n for this p u r - side y o u guide y o u to the Self of y o u ? The
pose. If w e do not accept others' sins and G u r u is not outside y o u . T h e essential G u r u
sorrows and do not digest them w h o else is the Self in y o u r heart. The Maharshi o i i e n
w i l l ? W h o will bear the responsibilities of reminded his disciples that the outer G u r u
the w i c k e d and the afflicted "
In Christia- exists o n l y to a w a k e n the inner G u r u in the
nity Christ is " H e that taketh u p o n himself heart. W h e n that has been done he ceases
the sins of the w o r l d " ; and in Hindu m y t h o - to b e necessary. Can o n e then not dispense
l o g y Siva is represented as b l u e - t h r o a t e d w i t h the outer G u r u ? So long as y o u feel
f r o m the poison of h u m a n iniquity that he that y o u exist in the b o d y , so long w i l l the
G u r u also exist o u t w a r d l y and his G r a c e
W h a t , then, of the m o d e r n craving to b e strengthen and refresh y o u in y o u r efforts.
W h e n y o u feel ( n o t m e r e l y recognize t h e o 5 Holy Mother, being the Life of Sri Sarada
retically but feel constantly) that y o u are
Devi, Wife of Sri Ramakrishna and Helpmate in
his Mission, pp. 171 and 172, by Swami Nikhila- not the b o d y and feel inner grace and
nanda, Allen and Unwin.
awareness surge u p f r o m y o u r o w n heart,
I have taken the liberty in quoting these
sayings, translated as they are from the original the Guru also w i l l not need to b e manifested
Bengali, of substituting the word ' guru' for the o u t w a r d l y in a b o d y . But as long as y o u
author's 'teacher', since the latter word would live in fact on one plane it is n o use arguing
invite the very mistake against which I am protesting of equating the Guru with an instructor. f r o m another.


F r o m JOEL
If truth is not actively maintained in c o n sciousness, life b e c o m e s one of futility, a
waiting for something to happen. T h e h o p e d for and l o n g - a w a i t e d spiritual awakening,
w h i c h m a n y p e o p l e desire, but towards
attainment of w h i c h they m a k e no effort,
does n o t h a p p e n e x c e p t perhaps once in a
h u n d r e d years, or possibly to one out of a
million persons, and e v e n then, as w e k n o w
f r o m the history of m a n y to w h o h i it has
happened, it is of no value, because it came
without understanding
w i t h o u t any idea or k n o w l e d g e of h o w to
recapture it
T h e d e g r e e in w h i c h truth is kept active
in consciousness determines not only the d e gree of our ultimate spiritual illumination,

but the time of it. It could b e t o m o r r o w ,
n e x t w e e k , next m o n t h or next year ; but
that m o m e n t w e determine b y whether or
not truth is kept active in our consciousness
for an hour on Sunday, an hour e v e r y day,
t w o or three minutes out of e v e r y hour in
the day, or ultimately with almost e v e r y
breath w e breathe. It is possible to ' pray
without c e a s i n g if w e k n o w the inspired
passages of Scripture and those of mystical
or metaphysical writings, if w e are willing
to r e m e m b e r to apply them, and, a b o v e all,
_if w e are able to o v e r c o m e the inertia of the
h u m a n mind.


Spiritual Resources,
Allen & Unwin.)

p p . 104-106,


By G. L. N.Sri Bhagavan has said of Arunachaia in
his ' P a d i k a m ' : " M y L o r d ! w h e n any one
asks m e of Y o u r greatness Y o u h o l d m e
motionless like a statue, with b o w e d h e a d . "
Similarly do I find that m y m i n d falls n u m b
w h e n I w o u l d w r i t e about B h a g a v a n Sri
W h o is our A r u n a c h a i a Ramana ? H e h i m self g a v e the answer w h e n he w r o t e : " I n
the recess of the lotus-heart of all, f r o m
Vishnu d o w n w a r d s , there shines as pure
Consciousness the Paramatman w h o is the
same as Arunachaia or R a m a n a . "

Sri B h a g a v a n v/as gracious enough to refer

to this once w h e n I was taking l e a v e of him
to return to m y native place. He said :
" Have y o u seen this morning's mail ? S o m e
o n e has written that Arunachaia Ramana is
e v e r y w h e r e , so that w h e n e v e r he has an u r g e
to c o m e here that feeling makes him p o s t pone his visit."
H u m b l y I replied, expressing m y o w n point
of v i e w , w h i c h w a s quite different f r o m that
expressed in the letter : " Bhagavan, in this
b o d y I have realized y o u in y o u r divine f o r m
as m y Guru, m y Bhagavan. O n c e having
seen y o u , neither I nor any other can shake
off the feeling of l o v e for y o u r divine^ f o r m . "
A t that time I w a s attending to the A s h r a m
correspondence. I drafted a r e p l y to the
letter in question, s h o w e d it to Bhagavan
for his approval and sent it off. His remark
about this letter must h a v e b e e n his parting
message to m e , as it turned out that this w a s
to be the last time I ever saw h i m .
Sri B h a g a v a n also affirmed his universal
nature in the f o l l o w i n g manner in his b e n e 3

1 Eleven Verses on Sri Arunachaia.

2 The Collected Works
of Ramana
p. 98, Rider's edition, p. 110 in Sri Ramanasramam
3 Bhagavan never wrote letters himself.
letters were answered punctually, the same day,
the replies being drafted in the office and submitted to him for his approval or correction.

dictory verse to ' A t m a S a k s h a t k a r a w h i c h

he translated into Tamil : " A t m a S a k s h a t kara, w h i c h w a s taught b y Ishvara , to his
son Guha, is n o w p r o p o u n d e d in Tamil b y
that same L o r d , the D w e l l e r within m e , the
Ancient, the S u p r e m e . "

T h e p o w e r of Bhagavan is eternal and

a b o v e all siddhis (supernatural p o w e r s ) . A
siddhi is, transient, but B h a g a v a n is a Healer
w h o s e cure is permanent. He kindles a s p i ration in the heart of those w h o c o m e to him
oblivious of their eternal nature, turns their
mind i n w a r d with the enquiry ' W h o am I ? \
and helps them to realize the Self for w h o m
the w o r d I ' stands.
The m a i n t y p e of upadesa
used b y B h a g a v a n is Silence, as it w a s with
of old. D i v i n e bliss p e r meated those w h o sat around h i m . In this
silence the doubts of his devotees are cleared
up and their questions are either a n s w e r e d
or fade a w a v and cease to appear necessary.
This silence is a d y n a m i c force, eternal and
universal in nature.

Nevertheless, though universal, it is c e n tred at the A s h r a m w h e r e he lived, at T i r u vannamalai, at Arunachaia, the spiritual
centre of the w o r l d . Here again there are
the t w o points of v i e w , both true although
apparently contradictory.
Sri Ramana's Grace acts always, but
inscrutably and in diverse w a y s . W e find his
gracious and p r o f o u n d utterances in the small
v o l u m e of his Collected W o r k s , in collections
of his reported sayings and in b o o k s about
him. That is f o o d for the mind, but w h e n
the mind is turned inwards b y the e n q u i r y
' W h o am I ? ' he is there in the heart, e v e r
watchful, ever helpful. H e does n o t allow
the soul to get d r o w n e d but d r a w s it m e r c i 4 The Personal God.
5 The Collected Works, pp. 106/121.
Siva manifested as a youthful Guru with
elderly disciples whom he taught in Silence.


fully to his eternal a b o d e . Sometimes h e

appears in dreams and visions, blessing and
encouraging his old devotees and others too
w h o n e v e r saw h i m in the b o d y .

In ' The Marital Garland of Letters to Sri

Arunachala ' h e w r o t e : " M e r e thought of
Thee has d r a w n m e to Thee, O h A r u n a c h a l a . "
Alluding to this once, I said, " Bhagavan, the
thought of Arunachala d r e w y o u here, but
is it not still m o r e w o n d e r f u l that y o u d r e w

verse 9.

allusion to



of Nine

Gems ,


us here, w h o had n e v e r heard of y o u , and

lopped off our ego ? "
His answer
benign smile.

was his usual



Sri Ramana is an ocean of nectar teeming

with kindliness. He is gracious and f o r g i v ing. W e r e he to d w e l l on our slips and faults
w e w o u l d b e lost, but, ignoring t h e m , he still
guides us. H e instils h o p e w h e n w e are
dejected and stretches out his supporting
hand to lead us t o w a r d s the goal. T h e o n l y
things required of us are perseverance and
faith in him.

B y K. R. R. S A S T R Y
H e was a merchant prince living in K a v e ripattinam in the 15th Century.
His ships
sailed to foreign lands. Suddenly he r e a l i z ed that " N o w e a l t h w i l l f o l l o w y o u on y o u r
last j o u r n e y " and g a v e it all u p , setting
forth as a w a n d e r i n g mendicant f r o m the
shrine of Tiruvottiyur.

W h e n the b o d y b e c o m e s as t h o u g h
M y last prayer to Thee,
L o r d of Tiruvottiyur, is this :
M a y I w e a r T h y h o l y ashes,
With hands outstretched a b o v e ,
M a y I call T h y h o l y Name, O h S i v a !

L i k e our Maharshi, he taught the hard

w a y of detachment. The w o r l d w i t h its
treasures has only a phenomenal reality and
must b e spurned in order to realize P a r a matma, w h i c h alone is Real

A n d this one is his plea for Realization :

O n e of his Tamil p o e m s runs :

W h e n the last c o m a sets in, w h e n the
eyes shrink
A n d the senses fail,

Not running here and there,

Nor w o r k i n g on vain pursuits,
Seeking the c o m p a n y of the h o l y ,
Putting aside anger,
Clinging fast to virtue,
M a y I receive f r o m Thee the Everlasting
O h L o r d of Chidambaram !





In his * Sad V i d y a ' or ' F o r t y Verses c n

B h a g a v a n indicates the S u p r e m e
Reality w h i c h can b e approached
through the w a y of mysticism. Mystical
experience can neither b e gained nor e x p l a i n ed b y p s y c h o l o g y , w h i c h is the study b y the
human intelligence of its o w n mental m e chanism, its processes and products. This
study is often held to postulate some u r g e
behind the mechanism, but any such urge
is v e r y different f r o m the Reality w h i c h is
K n o w l e d g e free f r o m thoughts. " There is,
brethren, an u n b o r n , a n o t - b e c o m e , a n o t made, a n o t - c o m p o u n d e d . If there w e r e n o t
this unborn, n o t - b e c o m e , n o t - m a d e , n o t - c o m pounded there could not b e any escape f r o m
what is born, b e c o m e , m a d e and c o m p o u n d ed.'' Nirvana, thus referred to b y the B u d dha, is the same as what B h a g a v a n means
b y Reality. But p s y c h o l o g y can o n l y concern
itself w i t h " the born, b e c o m e , m a d e and
A c c o r d i n g to Hindu philosophy, Being is
e n v e l o p e d in progressively finer kosa
sheaths. The most gross of these is brute,
inert matter. This is, of course, insentient
and is ignored b y p s y c h o l o g y . It is k n o w n
as annamaya kosa or ' the f o o d sheath ', b e i n g
food for all organisms. N e x t comes t h e
pranamaya kosa or * breath sheath
in w h i c h
intelligence acts o n l y as the vital, biological
instinct. This, still b e l o w the l e v e l of p s y chology, reacts mechanically to stimuli for
the purposes of self-preservation and p r o creative self-perpetuation. A t the n e x t higher
level of manomaya or ' m i n d sheath
intelligence has created for itself a mental machine.
Here is a m o r e continuously purposive f u n c tioning, though t h e purposiveness is often
unconscious. A " c o m p u t e r " machine can
p e r f o r m some at least of the w o r k of t h e
mind at this level, but no machine can choose

its o w n purpose, though it can function efficiently o n c e its purpose has b e e n chosen for
it and " the w o r k s " set accordingly b y its
o w n e r . It is only at the vijnanamaya
' intelligence ' l e v e l that the h u m a n intelligence chooses its purposes, j u d g e s its o w n
functioning w i t h reference to them and
begins asking the question " w h a t for ? " ,
w h i c h w a s n e v e r raised in the l o w e r sheaths.
N o w it delights in its o w n w o r k i n g and loves
to k n o w f o r the j o y of k n o w i n g . The vital,
biological, instinctive urge has b e e n t r a n s cended as sole m o t i v e p o w e r . T h e science of
p s y c h o l o g y , like all other sciences, has its
birth at this level.
But the sciences falter as they approach its
upper frontiers, w h e r e it touches the fifth or
kosa, that is / the Sheath of
T h e m i n d here begins to lose selfconfidence. The instruments on w h i c h it has
relied so far, the senses and reason, n o longer
seem authoritative in their reports and findings ! A r e space and time themselves, the
f r a m e w o r k within w h i c h reason operates,
absolute entities ? T h e concepts of " d u r a tion " and " extension " and the appearance
of the " s p a c e - t i m e continuum " are portents
threatening the rule of vijnana.
A b t V o g l e r declared that out of three
sounds he framed, not a fourth ( c o m p o s i t e )
sound, but a star. The rules of arithmatic
w e r e themselves in danger ! Besides, the h u man intelligence began to recognize that r e a son w a s not the o n l y p o w e r it could r e l y on.
As C r o c e pointed out, w e d o not understand
a sentence b y sticking together the meanings
of its w o r d s .
A t some early stage in the
understanding of itthe m o r e intelligent: and
seasoned the reader, the earlier the s t a g e
the intelligence makes a leap and lands on
the m e a n i n g of the w h o l e sentence ; and
w o r d s , thereafter, have only a confirmatory
This p o w e r , in use f r o m d a y to
1 See The Collected Works of Ramana Maharshi, day, is " i n t u i t i o n " , w h e t h e r psychologists
Rider & Co., London, and Sri Ramanasramam,
like it or not. E v e n the scientist can o n l y



heap up mounds of data and await the m o m e n t w h e n he can leap to the top of them all
w i t h a victorious hypothesis ! Inventors h a v e
m a d e similar admissions of a saltatory p o w e r ,
b u t f o r w h i c h they w o u l d have been h e l p less. Studies such as Aesthetics, Ethics and
Metaphysics are founded on urges over w h i c h
reason and mechanistic m o d e s of thinking
h a v e never really had any valid jurisdiction.
B u t their usurpation has been of long standing ; and nineteenth century science, o v e r flowing into the twentieth, has conferred its
o w n worthless validating charter on the f o r ces of the fourth kosa aggressing across the
frontiers into the fifth. P s y c h o l o g y must l 3 e
confronted, at least at this late stage, with
a quo warranto
writ, w h e n it presumes to
operate in the region of Sad Vidya, w h i c h I
w o u l d translate as the " Urge to P u r e Being. '
It is an urge, at once a l l - c o n q u e r i n g and a l l pervading ; and reason, with all its p r e s u m p tion, has been only living, all along, on its
leavings. Vidya, here, is not a " science " or
a " lore " ; it is, the power of " Sat " ( B e i n g )
bursting through the obscurations of the h u m a n m i n d . " H o w can the m i n d - m o o n m e a sure the light of the Sun w h i c h is Reality ?
(Verse, 2 2 ) . "

Spiritual life begins w h e n the Sun of R e a l ity sets the pace for the activities of mirid
and its retinue, reversing the usual process.
President Radhakrishnan is fond of a story
of a group of Hindu sages visiting ancient
Athens and being p r o u d l y informed b y the
Athenian philosophers that they w e r e s e e k ing, with their investigations, to master all
h u m a n phenomena. T h e Hindus asked ;
" But h o w can y o u master things h u m a n
without first mastering the superhuman ? "
T h e Gita and Upanishads express this truth
w h e n they describe the Universe as an a s w a t h a - t r e e with its roots a b o v e and branches
" F r o m the Ultimate to the p r o x i m a t e '
this seems to b e the l a w of progression in
spiritual life. B h a g a v a n begins his teaching
w i t h the Being w h i c h is K n o w i n g and then
c o m e s d o w n to Mahesa, the personal G o d ,
and o n l y then to ourselves and the w o r l d
w e cognize. N o building u p of Truth is p o s sible w i t h all our efforts, intellectual and


moral. W e can never earn Liberation. L o v e ,

whether f r o m G o d or man, is a total act~
without processes and constituents. It cannot
b e built out of parts ; it cannot be led up to ;
reason, marshalling inter-connected p r o p o s i tions, cannot scientifically construct or e x plain it. It is basic, primal to the universe ;
no otherwise can it exist. The B u d d h a
speaks of L o v e that stands aloft, alone, looks
out in all directions and radiates its p o w e r
to all beings in the universe, seen and u n seen, b o r n and u n b o r n ! L o v e is so all-sufficient to itself that: it does not need even b e neficiaries ! The transition is abrupt f r o m all
our efforts, merits and attainments to that
w h i c h is B e i n g - K n o w i n g - L o v e . This a b r u p t ness is b r o u g h t h o m e to us b y the Upanishad
w h i c h e v e n represents it as arbitrariness.
" Brahman reveals Itself to him w h o m It
chooses." A t a m o r e h u m a n level our t e a chers h a v e emphasised the need for G r a c e
and L o v e and framed the doctrine of p r e v e nience. It is not our prayer that leads us to
G o d first prays through us.
" Thy
cry, Allah, w h e r e art Thou ? ' w a s itself
M y answer * here I am,' " says a Sufi. Unless
the w h o l e is k n o w n as the w h o l e (and, t h e r e fore, the A l o n e ) , nothing is k n o w n .
flight of the alone to the A l o n e " is n o t l o c o m o t i o n or a process. " Science " , w h i c h b e longs to the fcfurth level, does not seem to
h a v e a place here.

Nevertheless, it is not at the

level that the consummation takes
place. The sages w h o called it a kosa m a d e
it evident that this ananda is less than the
of the Supreme,
B h a g a v a n is firm that e v e n this
kosa is only a constituent of the b o d y . He
says so, almost in passing, in verse 5. Most
of us are stationed at the meeting point of
the fourth and fifth levels. W o h a v e to l o o k
b e l o w and above. A t the level b e l o w , w e
find that the m i n d has throughout been a c quisitive and domineering. It has added to
its possessions and p o w e r b y gathering k n o w l e d g e ( w h i c h itself requires a certain m o d e
of strenuous discipline) and b y imposing
order on w h a t it has c o m e to k n o w .
order, w b i c h the m i n d calls " the l a w s of
nature " , w h i c h it professes to h a v e o n l y d i s -




covered, is shaped b y the mind's shape,

t h o u g h the m i n d does not k n o w it. A t the
level a b o v e , as the mind enters into it, it
gains awareness of quite another kind.
place of the excitement of conquest, w h i c h it
has experienced hitherto, it n o w k n o w s the
bliss of being conquered.
W e m a y call it
a passive state if w e please, because it is not
induced b y our desiring it and willing it.
St. G r e g o r y the Great distinguishes b e t w e e n
the pleasures w h i c h w e desire b e f o r e w e get
them (and w h i c h are, after w e h a v e had
them, productive of disgust) and the s p i r i tual pleasures w h i c h w e did not care f o r b e fore w e had them, but w h i c h w e d e v o t e d l y
cherish w h e n they have b e s t o w e d themselves
on us. The ananda of the fifth l e v e l seems
passive because it is of the latter kind. This
is a creative passivity. Even as the m i n d is
o v e r w h e l m e d and subjugated, it delights in
the mastering p o w e r holding it inescapably
in its e m b r a c e and participates in its act,
e v e n to the point of abiding in energetic
identification with this p o w e r .
In such
" passive " m o m e n t s the h u m a n intelligence
g r o w s in bliss and strength and gains the
assurance that it is m o v i n g t o w a r d s its o w n
fulfilment. It has o n l y to m a k e itself r e c e p tive and Reality pours into it, exalting it.
T h e seeming magnitude or triviality of the
occasion ( b y any conventional, external stand a r d ) is irrelevant, because it is the welling
u p f r o m the depth that matters, not the a c c i dental opening of the surface soil b y the
pickaxe. Sri Ramakrishna mentions a recluse
on a Himalayan slope w h o spent his life in
front of a beautiful w a t e r - f a l l , ever m u r muring " T h o u hast done w e l l , O L o r d , T h o u
hast done v e r y w e l l indeed.''
A thing of
beauty is a j o y for ever, not in the sense
that the thing itself will endure for ever,
but because the j o y it provides is an e m a nation of the one source that endures.
this sense the " thing " is an Epiphany.
are acts of genuine, pure ethical value, w h e ther they b e " little, nameless u n r e m e m b e r ed acts of kindness and of l o v e " or a s t o u n d ing acts of m a r t y r d o m .
The " science " of
Ethics will n e v e r explain the ethical urge.


It is g o o d to d w e l l for a w h i l e on t h e l e v e l
the anandamaya
kosa, for b e y o n d this


there is neither guide n o r signpost such as

can b e p r o v i d e d b y our o w n experience ! A n d
yet there is a long w a y to go. This is t h e
springboard f r o m w h i c h one has to take the
plunge like a d i v e r w h o , w i t h breath and
speech controlled, seeks the treasure sunken
in the stream (verse 2 8 ) . Odungutal
progressive subsidance of the self) and o n rutal ( o n e - i n g ) w e r e favourite w o r d s w i t h
Bhagavan ; the last kosa of all teaches u s
h o w in passivity of a certain kind is^ positive
strength and h o w the intelligence must c o n sent to b e submerged in o r d e r that it m a y
b e exalted and fulfilled.
H e r e is another
m y s t e r y w h i c h is a challenge to r e a s o n t h e
unreality of our individual selves, our p h y sical bodies and the material w o r l d .
Comm o n sense refuses to admit that these are
unreal and y e t their unreality has b e e n r e peatedly p r o c l a i m e d b y the seers. B h a g a v a n
explains h o w they are real o n l y within the
Real. ( V e r s e 8 ) .
That o n e is real in t h e
measure in w h i c h o n e responds to the " R e a lity of That W h i c h Is " is illumined b y the
m y s t e r y of artistic creation. T h e emotions
are like b r i c k and mortar ; t h e y b e l o n g to
the sphere of the mason. T h e tranquility is
the presiding p o w e r w h i c h belongs t o the!
architect. T h e emotions and the tranquility
do not cancel each other out because they
belong to different levels and spheres a l t o gether.
It is in this light that Verses 17
and 1 8 o n the reality of the physical b o d y
and the material w o r l d a r e t o b e u n d e r stood.
Evil and suffering are so real to the sufferer and are so poignant for one w h o w i t nesses them that it m a y b e taken as sheer
heartlessness f o r anyone to indulge in t h e o rising about them. The theologies w h i c h offer
glib solutions seem blasphemies. But the sense
of exaltation w h i c h great t r a g e d y produces
(and w h i c h is among the highest human
manifestations of ananda) provides an a n s w e r to the p r o b l e m in the m a n n e r of e x p e r i ence, not explanation. " A s flies to w a n t o n
boys are w e to the gods, t h e y kill us f o r
their s p o r t " is a statement at Lear's l e v e l of
agony. " O n such sacrifices the gods t h e m selves t h r o w i n c e n s e " is a statement at t h e
King Lear level, the l e v e l of Shakespeare's






T h e " t e n t h - m a n - f a l l a c y " is
frequently mentioned in our b o o k s of s c r i p tural exegetics and there is no m o r e n e c e s sary and useful pill in the kit of the spiritual
W e are constantly tempted to
consider ourselves spectators and j u d g e s of
the universe, standing, so to speak, outside
it, leaving out of account the truth that w e
should always b e reminding ourselves t h a t "
w e are the Universe. Said Sri Ramakrishna,
" Evil is in the universe as poison in t h e
c o b r a " t h e poison is not poisonous to him
w h o secretes it. T o g r o w into oneness w i t h
it ( t o b e ' o n e d ' as in V e r s e 8) is spiritual

has received into its b o s o m .

B e y o n d this
kosa is the invisible light.
T h e p r o o f of
this ? To touch the Reality, all that is n e e d e d is to project further the line that has
its o w n
" compulsive
course " so far. That w h i c h was insentient,
then m e r e animal instinct, the vital urge,
mechanical mentation, t h e self-regulative
intelligence, intuition, inspiration and m y s t i cism cannot be alien to us. " It is not the
k n o w n , n o r y e t the u n k n o w n " .
The five
sheaths have all of t h e m to b e transcended
( V e r s e 5) ; the ultimate is b e y o n d the jnana
and the ajnana, the k n o w l e d g e and the i g n o rance, of our intelligence. Faith is n o t u n It is to go further w i t h
B h a g a v a n mentions the t e n t h - m a n - f a l l a c y critical credulity.
safely so v e r y far, o u r in verse 37 (counting the nine m e n and
w a t c h e d h i m all
m o u r n i n g the passing a w a y of the tenth
m e m b e r of the band, w h o is in fact the m o u r B h a g a v a n and the B u d d h a are prophets
ner w h o has d o n e t h e counting but forgotten
those w h o seek through p u r e intuitive
t o count h i m s e l f ) , but the w h o l e of the for
' F o r t y Verses ' is an e x p o s u r e of this fallacy. understanding. Explaining the universe, its
T h e ' nine m e n ' and the t e n t h ' f o r m only creation and dissolution, treating the r e l a an illustration and one has to pass on to the tionships of a postulated " s o u l " to a p o s t u They
truth, for t h e illustration has necessarily to lated " G o d " is not their business.
stop short of the truth. This truth is that the begin with h u m a n awareness and lead u p to
tenth m a n emerges out of the nine, h a v i n g pure Awareness.

b e e n successively the first m a n , t h e second,

and so on, n o w being simultaneously all the
ten ! The Taittiriya Upanishad, w h i c h dwells
o n the e x p o s i t o r y m e t h o d of the five sheaths,
mentions each successive stage as being more*
satisfying, but n e v e r denies the previous
N o t o n l y is the Truth all the five
sheaths but it is also the p o w e r w h i c h
passes on f r o m o n e sheath to another. It is
indeed the u p w a r d urge on w h i c h the five
sheaths h a v e been strung, like pearls on a
The u p w a r d urge, the tapas, that
w i l l g i v e us n o rest at any level, but w i l l
push us b e y o n d the five and m a k e us r e cognise itself as the Highest is Brahman.
T h e anandamaya
kosa is only t h e irradiated
mist that swathes the peak of the hill. A t
the foot of the hill, it w a s t h e blanketing
f o g , darkness visible. A t the top it is t h i n nest and appears as visible light. The nature
of light is, in itself, to b e invisible ; t h e
nature of mist is t o obscure. The anandamaya kosa is the mist, t h e bright cloud, i m pregnated b y the g l o r y of the light that it

That is the beginning and the end.

Buddha's eightfold path begins w i t h " right
u n d e r s t a n d i n g " and culminates in " right
A w a r e n e s s . " B h a g a v a n begins w i t h
" k n o w l e d g e " that w e are and ends w i t h the
Being that is A w a r e n e s s . The individual e n t i ty finds itself, alas, i n v o l v e d in the whirling
w h e e l of samsara.
It can find its rest, not
b y m o v i n g out of the w h e e l , but o n l y b y
m o v i n g to its centre ; but it does not k n o w
this yet. B h a g a v a n sees samsara
as t h e
w h o l e clutter of man's clumsy mental a p p a ratuses w i t h w h i c h h e hopes to " k n o w " the
w h e e l and even perhaps, to escape f r o m it.
The Buddha sees samsara as staying i n v o l v ed in a life of dukkha (suffering) constantly
under the threat of disease, decrepitude and
death, w h i c h only e x e m p l i f y this
Both descriptions are fundamentally the
T h e Upanishad gives the answer to the
question " what is dukkha (suffering) ? " b y
defining its antonym, sukha ( b l i s s ) .
Vast is bliss." It f o l l o w s that the restricted



is misery. Alas, it is not the privations of

life that constitute misery for the illumined
ones, but the nature of our satisfactions in
life. It is our jnana,
our petty, restricted
" k n o w l e d g e " that B h a g a v a n w o u l d have us
escape from. Is it not curious that B h a g a van never mentions r e - b i r t h in the w h o l e of
the Forty Verses ? W e k e e p o n solemnly
busying ourselves with the w h o l e c a b o o d l e
of the mind, rushing about inside the c o c o o n
of our o w n w e a v i n g . B h a g a v a n asks us to


w i n g our w a y out of it. For the B u d d h a

it is pathetic that w e live i n v o l v e d in a l t e r nations of satisfaction and desire, b o t h w h a t
c o m e to us and w h a t w e go on inducing in
ourselves, o n l y to end in the final frustration
of old age and death. T h e life of most of
us is a s e e - s a w b e t w e e n aperitifs and e m e tics. It grievesi the seers to see us, their f e l l o w beings, as doddering imbeciles or as
maudlin addicts. This is their " compassion
as they appeal to us to b e ourselves.


By A . R A O

In the soul's dark night

I knew the taste of tears unshed,
The hopeless seeming fight,
Pain for my daily bread.
The hammer blows of God
Sculptured from the living flesh,
As from a lifeless clod,
The new man made a fresh.
The only one escape
Was such my mind could not come by,
Could not even shape
To curse God and die.
Yet through it all I knew
The mind flagellant and a fake,
Clinging to the untrue.
Self-tortured for desire's sake.
The fake, the evil ghost, the impostor me,
The camel straining at the needle's eye,
Craving and he who craves, must cease to b e
Simply give up and be content to die.
Since there's no other way, better cut quick,
Slay and have done, than make an endless tale,
Flogging then coddling, caring for when sick.
Then sentencing to hunger when he's hale.
Ruthless Compassion ! Most compassionate
When most unmoved by anguish of the cry
Of that false self who stands within the gate
That shutters out the radiance of the sky.

By P. V . S A S T R I
Which is the greater
man's heart ?


to change

In M a y 1 9 4 5 m y eldest son, w h o w a s 23
years old, married, d e v o u t and a v e r y p r o mising y o u n g m a n , passed a w a y . T h e event
was so terrible and caused such grief that it
was thought I w o u l d not survive it. I n e g lected practically all m y w o r l d l y duties for
some time. Later I w a s s o m e h o w attracted
to Ramanashram and w e n t there w i t h the
w h o l e of m y family. Ordinarily people,
under such circumstances, w o u l d g o to o b tain p e a c e and get rid of their s o r r o w . B u t
that w a s not the idea of myself and m y w i f e .
Having read about Sri Krishna's bringing
Sandipani's son b a c k to life, w e w e r e so m a d
as to think of getting o u r son restored to life
b y the grace of B h a g a v a n Sri Ramana. W e
w e r e prepared to sacrifice our all f o r that.
W e left f o r Tiruvannamalai and, reaching
the A s h r a m at 11 a.m. entered the hall w h e r e
Bhagavan used to sit. O u r one idea w a s to
beseech him to bring o u r son b a c k to life ;
but despite our intense desire w e f o u n d that
w e could not open o u r m o u t h s to speak. W e
simply sat silent till B h a g a v a n rose for d i n ner and e v e r y one w e n t out. T h e n w e too
w e n t b a c k to w h e r e w e l o d g e d . W e w e n t
again in the afternoon, w h e n
assembled in the hall, w i t h the same p u r p o s e
but w i t h the same result. In that w a y eight
days passed.
Each m o r n i n g and afternoon
w e w a n t e d to i m p l o r e B h a g a v a n to bring
our son b a c k to life b u t w e could not utter
a w o r d in his presence. O n the eighth e v e n ing w e talked it o v e r together o n coming out
of the hall and decided that it w a s n o u s e
staying any l o n g e r since our purpose had n o t
been fulfilled. S o w e decided to l e a v e n e x t
A t that m o m e n t a gentleman of the n a m e
of S u b b a r a o m e t us. H e w a s f o r m e r l y a p l e a -




a tombstone


to change

der, I think at Nellore, and had c o m e to

Tiruvannamalai and settled d o w n as o n e of
the resident devotees. W e had m a d e friends,
perhaps because I also a m a pleader.
asked m e what w e w e r e talking about, so I
told him our w h o l e story. I admitted that
w e felt peace in Bhagavan's presence, but
the m o m e n t w e left the hall our grief burst
out again like a volcanic eruption ; and yet
w e w e r e unable to speak out and put o u r
desire before Bhagavan.
M r . Subbarao promised to take us to Sri
Bhagavan n e x t day and introduce us to h i m .
W e agreed and n e x t day, on being i n t r o d u c ed, told Bhagavan about our grief and in a
general w a y asked for his help. Sri B h a g a v a n n o d d e d his head and said " Seri,
( A l l right, A l l r i g h t ) . But w e still f o u n d
ourselves unable to talk any m o r e , still less
to tell h i m w h a t it w a s that w e really w a n t ed. A g a i n w e felt constrained to sit there
speechless. That evening w e decided to
Mr. Subbarao had not helped us.
Ramana w o u l d not let us go. The thought
occurred to m e that I should b u y some b o o k s
published b y the A s h r a m , so I w e n t to t h e
bookstall. The gentleman in charge w a s
in meditation, but he opened his eyes i m mediately and asked us to c o m e in. O n b e ing questioned b y him I repeated our w h o l e
story. H e said that the Maharshi w a s c a p a ble of bringing the b o y b a c k to life, but
since the b o y was a highly religious and
really devout y o u n g m a n h e w o u l d h a v e g o n e
to better regions and w o u l d not like to c o m e
b a c k to us. I assured h i m that he l o v e d us
so m u c h and w e l o v e d him so m u c h that he
w o u l d really c o m e b a c k if it w e r e possible.
T h e gentleman then put m e another question.



Suppose B h a g a v a n brings him b a c k to y o u

and then both of y o u die, what will the p o s i tion b e then ?
This question dispelled the
thick cloud of illusion that had e n v e l o p e d us
and at last w e saw that our attempt to get
our son b a c k w a s sheer madness. I felt at
the time and still feel n o w that it was n o t
the bookseller that w a s talking to m e like
that but really B h a g a v a n speaking through
W e abandoned the h o p e of getting our son
b a c k to life and also our plan of leaving
W e stayed for about t w e l v e
m o r e days, until our m o n e t a r y resources
w e r e exhausted. T h e rest of our stay at the
A s h r a m was o n l y for the purpose of o b t a i n ing peace.
Sri Ramana's " all r i g h t " had


been meant to help us in the only w a y in

w h i c h a realized Guru w i l l help. His g r a c e
was b e s t o w e d on us and he b e g a n to w o r k
silently in our hearts to r e m o v e the thick
clouds of s o r r o w and end the volcanic o u t bursts of grief. He began to instil p e a c e and
d e v e l o p real k n o w l e d g e in us. Silently and
s l o w l y the grace is still w o r k i n g in that
direction. W h a t w e w a n t e d to h a v e w e w e r e
actually prevented f r o m asking for.
w e r e also not allowed to go a w a y in a m o o d
of despair. W e w e r e blessed w i t h his grace
and uplifted in the right w a y .
Because this is an experience of an e x t r a ordinary t y p e I feel that it is appropriate to
m a k e it k n o w n to all the devotees of B h a gavan.

I first learnt of Sri R a m a n a Maharshi w h e n
I came across the b o o k * A Search in Secret
I n d i a ' b y Paul Brunton in 1943 o r 1944. It
m a d e a tremendous impression on m e and
I must have read it three or four times ; but
s o m e h o w it did not occur to m e that I could
go to Tiruvannamalai and meet B h a g a v a n
in actual flesh and blood. A p p a r e n t l y I w a s
.not destined to ; m a y b e because I w a s not
mature enough.
N e x t I r e m e m b e r hearing
about his Mahasamadhi
(leaving the b o d y )
in A p r i l 1950 w h e n it was broadcast all
o v e r India. I felt v e r y v e r y sorry that I had
missed having his darshan.
One day in 1961 I happened to visit a
friend w h o had a v e r y pious and d e v o u t
l a d y staying with him. There w a s a small
gathering there of people w h o had c o m e to
hear her talk on the spiritual life.
I also
stayed to listen. The w o r d s that stuck in
m y mind w e r e :
" D o n ' t delay any longer.
The time to b e g i n y o u r sadhana is here and
n o w . It will b e too late w h e n y o u get old ;
either y o u w i l l not h a v e the energy or ill
health will prevent it. Don't put it off on
the excuse that y o u are still w o r k i n g p r o fessionally or in business or that y o u still
h a v e to arrange y o u r daughters' marriages

and get y o u r sons fixed up in life b e f o r e y o u
can attend to anything else."
I returned h o m e in a v e r y thoughtful
Sadhana meant for m e Bhagavan.
Fortunately I had one or t w o b o o k s about
h i m and his teaching written b y some of his
old and devoted followers. I read and reread
them and was completely o v e r c o m e .
direct m e t h o d of S e l f - e n q u i r y as explained
in t h e m simply captivated m e and w o u l d not
leave m e . I got all the b o o k s I could and
went through them ; and then the idea of
visiting Sri Ramanasramam arose in m e . A n
article that appeared in a w e e k l y paper about
the continued spiritual life there converted
the idea into a firm decision. I arrived there
for the first time at the end of 1961, just
after Bhagavan's Jayanti
(birth a n n i v e r sary).
A l t h o u g h it is said that Bhagavan's t e a c h ings are crystal clear and do not require a n y
explanations, I w o u l d nevertheless submit
that for a n e w sadhaka ( a s p i r a n t ) , especially
a dunce like m e , and one w h o has not sat
at his lotus feet, b o o k s written b y his old
disciples are a great help in understanding
his terse and incisive writings and s a y i n g s
at least in the early stages.



Sri Ramanasramam t o - d a y has a v e r y calm

and peaceful atmosphere and yet vibrant
w i t h p o w e r . I h a v e f o u n d it m o r e c o n d u c i v e to meditation than any other place I
The presence of B h a g a v a n is felt
e v e r y w h e r e and m o r e strongly than I can
say. In fact I can fully endorse the p o e m b y
S. P. M u k h e r j e e in the first issue of
Mountain Path' and should like to quote it
h e r e as saying w h a t I want to say.

W e have not seen y o u , B h a g a v a n ;
W e h a v e not approached y o u r lotus-feet ;
Y e t do w e find
The n o w and the then are the same for us,
T h e b o d y - p r e s e n c e , the presence in the
These are the same.


One thing only d o w e k n o w

Ramanashram is a beacon still.


I was delighted to find that o n e is at p e r fect liberty to do w h a t one likes there and
not do what: one does not like. N o c o m p u l sory ritual or discipline. There are certain
rituals and pujas, but y o u are at liberty to
attend them or not, as y o u please. In fact
y o u are left alone to f o l l o w y o u r o w n path.
That does not mean that n o one is helpful.
On the contrary, I f o u n d that the inmates
and devotees are always willing to help
w h e n help is needed ; o n l y they do n o t i n t e r fere w h e n interference is not needed.
There is a mysterious p o w e r that draws
you to the A s h r a m again and again. It is
like a magnet. Each year n o w I c o m e b a c k
for as m u c h time as m y w o r k w i l l allow.
i T h i s is the correct form.
The ' T h a t ' which
crept in at the beginning of the last line in our
January issue was unauthorised.

B y F. O.
Some years after Bhagavan left the body his Jayanti (birth anniversary) was being celebrated
on a roof terrace in Calcutta in the cool of the evening.
Among the devotees present was a
teen-age girl on whose face, as she sat in meditation, an expression of radiant serenity was seen.
Later she put her experience in words, so far as is possible. The following is what she wrote.

I am not the m i n d nor the b o d y f o u n d panding f r o m the heart. It engulfed t h e

myself in the h e a r t ; that m e that lives after w h o l e universe. It didn't feel any m o r e . T h e
death. There w a s breath-taking j o y in t h e only real thing was G o d (Bhagavan, A r u n a feeling * I a m ' , the greatest possible earthly c h a l a ) .
I couldn't identify myself as any
j o y , the full e n j o y m e n t of existence. N o w a y speck in that vastnessnor other p e o p l e
to describe itthe difference b e t w e e n this there was only G o d , nothing but G o d . T h e
j o y and c o m p l e t e happiness of the m i n d is w o r d ' I ' had no meaning any m o r e ; it
greater than b e t w e e n the blackest misery meant the w h o l e u n i v e r s e e v e r y t h i n g is
and the fullest elation of the mind.
G r a - G o d , the only Reality.
d u a l l y r a p i d l y m y b o d y seemed to b e e x -


By T. K, S.
A venerable Brahmin, steeped in ancient lore, one of the seniormost of the Maharshi's devotees,
tells these stories of the symbolism and mythology of Arunachala, It will be seen that apparently fantastic stories have a precise symbolical meaning.

Sri Arunagiri Y o g i ever shines as the

Supreme L o r d with the three lines of sacred
ash and the tilak spot o n his b r o w , a lustrous
garland about, his neck, the king of serpents
t w i n e d round his head and the crescent m o o n
on his head, all signs of supremacy.

W e shall
story w a s

relate h o w the Self-effulgent Siva,

appeared o n earth and h o w the
told b y Siva Himself to Gnana
the great Tamil poet-saint.

Singing the praise of Arunachala, the O n e

Being, accompanied b y Unnamulai, her of
the unsullied breast, called also U m a , Gnana
Sambanda, the child Saint, beheld a v e n e r a ble old B r a h m i n gathering flowers b y the
roadside. Gnana Sambanda asked h i m c o u r teously w h e r e h e had c o m e f r o m and w h a t
he w a s doing there.

The old Brahmin, w h o w a s none other than

Arunachala Siva Himself, replied : " I c o m e
f r o m Arunachala. That is m y h o m e . I c o m e
to gather flowers to b e used in t h e w o r s h i p
of the L o r d . "
Gnana Sambanda thereupon asked h o w far
a w a y it w a s and in what direction. T h e o l d
B r a h m i n r e p l i e d : " I t cannot b e far a w a y
since, old as I a m , I c o m e here e v e r y d a y
to gather flowers f o r worship there. I will
put y o u on a g o o d path to arrive t h e r e . "
In this w e see the allegory of t h e Guru,
the manifestation of the Self, showing the
path to the aspirant and declaring that the
G o a l is " n o t far a w a y . "
Gnana Sambanda asked f o r further i n f o r mation about A r u n a g i r i and w a s told the
f o l l o w i n g stories.

1 A Personification of Arunachals.
2 A name for Arunachala.
3 Siva's Spouse or Shakti,





Arunachala is the essential basis of all this

universe. H e is a manifestation of S a m b h u
w h o in ancient times appeared as a c o l u m n
of fire to settle a dispute that h a d arisen
b e t w e e n f o u r - f a c e d B r a h m a and Vishnu of
the f o u r arms.

B o t h of them w e r e manifested forth f r o m

Sadasiva, w h o s e will it w a s t o appear as

4 A name for Siva.



In both the ego-sense arose, each
deeming himself greater than the other, and
the struggle b e t w e e n them raged until the
universe was in danger of destruction f r o m
it. Then L o r d Chandrasekara decided that
He should assert His supremacy for the s a l vation of the universe. He thereupon a p p e a r ed as a vast column of fire b e t w e e n the t w o
struggling gods.
T h e t w o gods w e r e p e r p l e x e d at seeing
this column of fire transcending the ends of

the universe. T h e y agreed that w h i c h e v e r

of them could discover either end of it was
the greater.
Vishnu t o o k the f o r m of the
Varaha and began digging
5 This recalls
of the universe
hidden treasure
6 Lord of the

the hadith by which the creation

is explained in Islam: " I was a
and longed to be known.'* (Editor)
Crescent Moon, a name for Siva.



through the nether w o r l d s . Brahma t o o k the

f o r m of a swan and soared u p w a r d s to find
the summit. Even though Vishnu descended
to the fourth l o w e r w o r l d he could not find
the end but returned a c k n o w l e d g i n g defeat.
Brahma also failed to reach the summit, but
in flight he caught a flower falling f r o m p a r a dise and, taking it b a c k w i t h him, claimed
to have reached the summit and f o u n d it
In this m y t h Siva, the Destroyer, is the
Self or Enlightenment, destroyer of the i l l u sion of a separate individual being ; Vishnu,
the Preserver, is the ego-sense, preserver of
the apparent individual being, stringing all
its moments together into an apparent entity.
He delves d o w n into himself, seeking in vain
for the truth of Being. Brahma, the Creator,
is the m i n d w h i c h falsely assumes the c r e a tive function, soars aloft into ideas and t h e o ries, e v e n receives an intuition fallen f r o m
paradise and claims w r o n g l y that it; is E n lightenment.
A p p e a r i n g before them, the S u p r e m e L o r d
blessed Vishnu for his truth and devotion,
but Brahma he cursed, saying that for this
offence no temples should b e dedicated to
him. A n d indeed, to this day temples are
raised to Siva and Vishnu but not to B r a h ma. A t that time B r a h m a had a fifth head
rising a b o v e the four faces with w h i c h hb
is n o w depicted, but Siva in his anger struck
it off.
T h e fifth head of Brahma is the q u i n t e s sence b e y o n d the four elements, the centre
a b o v e the directions of space, the pure k n o w ledge a b o v e the earthly k n o w l e d g e of m i n d
and senses. It is equivalent to the third e y e
of Siva, the unitary k n o w l e d g e b e y o n d d u a l ity. Its being struck off is equivalent to t h e
' fall of m a n ' in the Christian tradition :
man or mind being deprived of the direct
intuition of paradise and reduced to the
w o r l d of opposites, the w o r l d of g o o d and
evil and the strife b e t w e e n them.
Then, it is said, Vishnu intervened w i t h
a prayer to the L o r d , reminding H i m that
Brahma is the L o r d of the four V e d a s , to
w h i c h his four faces correspond, and that the
Vedas are not m e r e meaning but the primal
basic sound b y w h i c h the universe is created



and held in being, and. if the L o r d of the

Vedas was destroyed the universe w o u l d
c r u m b l e into ruin. T o this S a m b h u replied
that B r a h m a w a s still the L o r d of the V e d a s
and that w h a t e v e r place the V e d a s w e r e
chanted w o u l d b e his temple. A n d so it has
been and is.

T h e n the t w o gods prayed to S a n k a r a to

w i t h d r a w His effulgence and let the c o l u m n
of fire assume the appearance of an inert
hill that the w o r l d might b e blessed and not
destroyed b y it.
Graciously hearing their
prayers, the L o r d w i t h d r e w the effulgence
into himself and remained in the f o r m of a
hill with the name of A R U N A C H A L A , that
those w h o c o m e to it or e v e n turn to it in
their heart m a y b e blessed in this life and
ultimately attain Liberation. E v e r y year at
the festival of K a r t i k a i a beacon of g h e e
donated b y devotees is lighted on the s u m mit of Arunachaia in reminder of its real
nature as a c o l u m n of fire.




thought only of saving the lingam, w h i c h she

clasped to her b o s o m , so that the f o r m of
her b o d y w a s imprinted on the w e t clay.
Then the v o i c e of the L o r d w a s heard :
" Let this lingam remain sacred in the w o r l d ,
perpetuating the imprint of Shakti u p o n
Siva. I Myself am manifested in the w o r l d
as Arunachaia, the b o o n - c o n f e r r i n g L i n g a m
of Light. G o there and do penance at the
A s h r a m of Rishi Gautama, under his g u i d ance, and there I will reveal M y radiant
f o r m to y o u . '
Here U m a is the great p r o w e s s of Siva, i n separable f r o m H i m sent forth into m a n i f e s tation in order to find her w a y b a c k to union



In m y article e n t i t l e d / The Secrets of A r u nachaia

I told h o w Uma, the Spouse of
Siva, k n o w n also as G o w r i and as Parvati,
playfully closed the eyes of the L o r d w i t h
her hands and t h e r e b y brought about the
dissolution of the universe, w h i c h exists o n l y
in the sight of Siva. I indicated also the
symbolism of this m y t h .
, 8

S a m b h u remained unaffected.
It is the
same to him whether there is kalpa or p r a laya, manifestation or dissolution. U m a ,
h o w e v e r , His Shakti or * E n e r g y ' had to do
penance in order to b e r e - u n i t e d w i t h the
L o r d . F o r this purpose she w e n t to K a n c h i p u r a m w h e r e , taking u p her a b o d e beneath
a n e v e r - a g i n g m a n g o - t r e e beside the K a m p a
tank, she p e r f o r m e d all the prescribed duties
and penance. She m a d e a S i v a - l i n g a m of
clay, consecrated it and w o r s h i p p e d it w i t h
great fervour. T o test her constancy Siva set
the K a m p a river in flood ; but the goddess



w i t h the L o r d w h o is her B e l o v e d and the

v e r y Self of her. First she does penance
under the ageless tree of revealed dharma,
fulfilling all the obligations of the l a w . T h e n ,
b y making and worshipping the lingam of
clay, she adds devotion to duty. W h e n t h e
river of fate floods she clings o n l y to the
lingam, showing that devotion is h e r sole
treasure. O n l y then is she directed to the)
Hill of Enlightenment w h e r e her G u r u
7 Falling at full moon in October or November awaits her.

by the Western


8 In our issue of April 1964.


9 Another Gautama, not the Buddha.







Receiving the D e v i at his A s h r a m , Rishi

Gautama b o w e d d o w n to her and said : " I
perceive that y o u are here at the behest of
L o r d Siva. Arunachala is His most sacred
place. Here the L o r d revealed Himself to
B r a h m a and Vishnu and assumed the f o r m
of the Hill that is called A r u n a g i r i . "
T h e attitude of the G u r u to his disciple is
indeed one of reverence, since he sees
in him the b e l o v e d of the L o r d . W h e n our
Bhagavan was asked once about people p r o s trating before him he said " Before they b o w
d o w n to m e I h a v e already b o w e d d o w n in
m y heart to the Siva in t h e m . "
Gautama then gave U m a instruction in t h e
f o r m of stories about Arunachala. He told
her h o w Brahma once created a beautiful
maiden t o distract the yogis f r o m their p e nance, b u t so enchanting was she that B r a h ma himself fell in l o v e with her and pursued
her. She changed into a deer to escape h i m
and he g a v e chase as a stag. Then she
changed into a bird and he into the m a l e
bird. A s a bird she flew here and cried out :
" A r u n a c h a l a , I submit to T h e e ! " I m m e d i a tely a hunter e m e r g e d f r o m the hill to p r o tect her. B r a h m a w a s freed f r o m the illusion
of desire and p r a y e d for forgiveness.
s^id : " Y o u are cleansed of y o u r sins b y the
m e r e sight of Arunachala. I a m the effulgence of A r u n a g i r i , the S u p r e m e W h o l e . G o
round Arunachala silently a hundred times
and y o u will b e purified." B r a h m a did so
and b e c a m e L o r d of the paradise of S a t y a loka.
. T h e b e a u t y of M a y a is such that Being
itself b e c o m e s enamoured of it. The allure
of the mind's fabrications is such that t h e
mind itself pursues them. O n l y on receiving
an intuition of the Self is it freed f r o m the
snare of delusion. T h e n it is bidden to r e v o l v e constantly around the Heart in silence,
that is in stillness of m i n d .
The n e x t story Gautama told concerns
Vishnu. H a r i is the substratum of the u n i verse. A t the beginning of each k a l p a



10 A name for Vishnu,

n Cycle of manifestation.



Brahma issues forth f r o m him to p e r f o r m

the of creation.
Once, h o w e v e r , Hari
slept untimely and Siva had to undertake
the w o r k for h i m .
Just as the universe goes through alternate
phases of manifestation and dissolution, so
does the sadhaka through phases of e x p a n sion and contraction. He m a y , h o w e v e r , fall
into a state of laya or y o g i c sleep, pleasant
but infructuous, and cease f r o m inner strife.
He must shake himself out of this and turn
to Arunachala, to the heart, for r e n e w e d
O n w a k i n g , Hari said : " This is the w o r k
of Maya. W h a t shall I do to e x p u n g e this
sin ? I shall take refuge at the feet of S a n k a r a . " A t this v e r y thought, S a m b h u stood
before him and said : " I am Arunachala, b y
m e r e l y looking at w h i c h darkness is d e s t r o y ed.
Though o u t w a r d l y a hill of earth and
stone, I am fire inwardly. The rains that are
absorbed in Arunachala do not flow out.
A n y t h i n g sought there is obtained. W o r s h i p
Arunachala and take up y o u r w o r k again."

The rain of Grace that falls u p o n the heart

does not flow forth in waste but remains
there to fertilise it.
In S a t y a - y u g a Arunachala was visible fire
(the radiance of Truth naked and v i s i b l e ) ;
in the second age it was a m o u n d of gems
(the inexhaustible treasures of spiritual p o w e r s and experiences w e r e apparent to a l l ) ;
in the third it was of gold and n o w , in this
k a l i - y u g a , it is a hill of earth and stone, its
radiance concealed.
A t all times, but especially on auspicious
occasion such as Sivaratri (the Night of S i v a )
and Kartikai, w h e n a beacon is lit on the
summit, Gods and invisible Rishis go round
Arunachala, blessing the humans w h o go
round and fulfilling their wishes. T h e r e is no
spot m o r e sacred. Mt. Kailas is the a b o d e of
Siva but Arunachala is Siva Himself.
A l l this Rishi Gautama explained t o . P a r v a t i , w h e r e u p o n she decided to do penance
here and requested h i m to give her a hut to
live in, w h i c h he gladly did. T h o u g h s e e m ingly young, her devotion and detachment
w e r e great. Her frail b o d y shone like a g o l den creeper, full of lustre.

12 A name for






A f t e r spending some time at the A s h r a m

of Rishi Gautama, U m a established herself
in a tapovanam,
a place of austerities, at P a valakunru on a spur of Arunachaia. She put
aside her j e w e l l e r y , let her hair g r o w u n k e m p t and matted, clad herself in the bark
of a tree and smeared her b o d y w i t h sacred
ash. She n o w lived a life of severe tapas.
A t this time the d e m o n Mahishasura c r e a t ed such h a v o c that not only was the w h o l e
earth disturbed b u t the heavens also. F e a r ing for their safety, the Devas appealed to
U m a for protection.
The d e m o n attacked
her tapovanam
and fierce battle raged b e t w e e n his forces and her attendants. The l a t ter w e r e driven back, and finally U m a h e r self assumed her terrible f o r m as Durga, her
of the sixteen arms, and sallied forth against
him, a w e a p o n in e v e r y hand.
L o n g and
fierce was the battle b e t w e e n them, but in
the end Durga o v e r t h r e w the asura, trod him
underfoot and pierced him with her trident.
Then she cut off his head and danced in
triumph on it. The Devas rained
upon her and sang her praises. There w a s



divine music in the heavens. A l l the d i r e c tions of space w e r e brightened.

Finally, as this m y t h indicates, the e g o of
the sadhaka rises up in revolt and must b e
destroyed. Until this is done the higher,
heavenly faculties are disturbed as w e l l as
the purely human, the gods as w e l l as m e n .
There is disturbance e v e r y w h e r e and danger
of total ruin. But the d e m o n can b e d e s troyed only b y the sadhaka himself. Neither
G o d nor Guru can do it for him. W h e n he
achieves v i c t o r y there is rejoicing in heaven
and earth.
In the neck of the slain asura Durga b e held a S i v a - l i n g a m . She touched it and it
adhered to her hand and w o u l d not c o m e
off. This m a d q her fear that the d e m o n had
been a S i v a - b h a k t a , a devotee of the L o r d ,
and that she had committed a sin in slaying
Rishi Gautama re-assured her but she
was not convinced. Then came the v o i c e of
Siva instructing her h o w to m a k e ablution
in the sacred waters, and after due ablution
the lingam came a w a y . It w a s consecrated
and w o r s h i p p e d on earth under the n a m e of
sin-destroying l i n gam,' and the sacred waters as ' khadga






the Ganges. I am ahankara

and y o u the
intellect. I am P u r u s h a and y o u are P r a k riti.
Y o u are that Shakti w h i c h brings
about creation, preservation and destruction.
Imagining yourself to h a v e a separate e x i s tence f r o m m e has b r o u g h t all this suffering
u p o n y o u . A w a k e n o w f r o m this delusion.''





Surrounded w i t h the fires of tapas on all

four sides and with her eyes raised towards
the sun, A m b i k a , the D i v i n e Mother, shone
like a j e w e l . A t sunset on the evening of K a r tikai the full m o o n rose a b o v e the horizon to
gaze u p o n her splendour.
A radiant light
burst forth on the crest of Sonagiri.
and B r a h m a appeared. U m a s l o w l y w a l k e d
around Arunachala, singing praises to t h e
L o r d . S u d d e n l y He stood motionless b e f o r e
her glorious in His o w n radiance. She stood
with downcast eyes b e f o r e Him.
" Oh D e v i ! " , He said, " W h y should y o u
suffer ? A r e y o u not One with M e and w o r shipful in all the w o r l d s ? A r e w e not One,
like the m o o n and its rays ? A r e w e n o t u n i t ed b e y o n d time and space ? I am N a r a y a n a
and y o u are L a k s h m i .
I am B r a h m a and
you Saraswati.
I am the Ocean and y o u

So saying, L o r d P a r a m e s w a r a lifted her up

and she was absorbed into his being. M e r g ing, they b e c a m e one androgynous w h o l e , the
right side red and the left white, the right
side male and the left female. Thus w a s the
Mystic Union achieved as h u m a n and Divine
b e c a m e one w h o l e . Thenceforth w a s she
and H e A n n a m a l a i .
H e r e at
the place of their union, at this Arunachala,
G r a c e is abundant and sadhakas are blessed
in their efforts.
This is the heart-centre ;
this is the H o l y Hill.





is The I-sense.
16 The Spirit.

13 Vishnu's Spouse or Shakti.

17 Universal, Primordial Substance,

14 Brahma's Spouse or Shakti.

is The Supreme God.

By N. R. K R I S H N A M U R T I
In stillness the m i n d - b o d y - w o r l d c o m p l e x
dissolves. T h e ego has t o b e created, m a i n tained and then dissolved. A n d yet there is
no ego to b e dissolved.
It does not exist.
Neither do its shadows mind, b o d y , w o r l d .
This is the ultimate truth revealed b y the
enquiry ' W h o a m i ? '
W h o would kick a
s h a d o w ? It is said that the light and heat
of A t m a playing o n the desert of M a y a g e n e rates the mirage of the m i n d - b o d y - w o r l d

W h o is it that asks ' W h o am I ? ' Ask' this

and the ego is n o w h e r e at all. A l l that is is
pure B e i n g - A w a r e n e s s - B l i s s I A M ^
without beginning or end ; and
this forever IS
this A r u n a c h a l a R a m a n a - S i v a - S a n t h a m , the O n e without a
second. T h o u g h t is no m o r e , e v e n enquiry has
exhausted itself and one is still and abides
as one is, the core of existence,- the Heart.
O m Tat






Mouni Sadhu is well known to many of our readers through his book
(Allen & Unwin) in which he describes his stay at Tiruvannamalai
of the Maharshi and the enormous influence that the Maharshi had on him.

M o r e than sixty years ago, S w a m i V i v e kananda expressed a f a r - r e a c h i n g truth : " A

g o o d thought, e v e n w h e n generated in a
secluded cave, w i l l invariably have its r e p e r cussion throughout the w h o l e w o r l d . " In
other w o r d s , spiritual energy like its junior
sister material energy, does n o t go astray or
A t that time, the penetration of Eastern,
especially Vedantic, philosophy into the W e s tern w o r l d was only just starting. V i v e k a nanda, with his w o r l d - w i d e travelling and
lecturing about Y o g a , w a s one of its ablest
exponents in his o w n day.
A l m o s t at the same time, in the silent
caves of the h o l y mountain of Arunachala,
a y o u n g asceticVenkataraman, the future
Great Rishi of India, w h o m w e k n o w as B h a gavan Sri Ramana Maharshi, started his s p i ritual w o r k for humanity.
T h e potent current of meditation b o r n
f r o m his state of true Samadhi, has since
e n v e l o p e d our globe. If a single thought
leaves its impression on the mental aura of
a planet, w e can hardly imagine the actual
results of a constant stream of spiritual e n e r g y such as that w h i c h for m o r e than fifty
years radiated f r o m Sri Maharshi.

'In Days of Great

during the lifetime

life to the ancient teaching, and b y his o w n

e x a m p l e s h o w e d to us that Realization is
possible here and n o w .
B o o k s giving the Master's teachings and
commenting u p o n them, are n o w spreading
o v e r the w o r l d .
Little w o n d e r then, that
those w h o are ripe for it and w h o s e destiny
draws them to the quest of Realization, r e s pond and accept the teaching given for this
epoch. Thus they gradually b e c o m e able to
perceive the inner Light, the ' inner G u r u '
spoken of b y the Maharshi.
V e r y striking is another p h e n o m e n o n : in
letters f r o m all parts of the w o r l d , I can see
that people have f o u n d the teachings of the
Great Rishi and the idea of using the Vichara
to b e something they already k n e w in their
o w n depths. T h e y often say that, after r e a ding a f e w pages, d e v e l o p m e n t and u n d e r standing flow as if through a r i v e r - b e d p r e pared long ago. A n d they find that the
teaching belongs to them. Truth is not d i s c o v e r e d but recognized.

T h e r e are also those w h o h a v e not y e t

encountered any of the Maharshi's teachings
or read anything about him, and y e t of t h e m selves seek to penetrate into their o w n m y s terious inner realm, in w h i c h to find the final
In the early part of this century the c e n - enlightenment.
T h e y seek their Self.
tral Vedantic teaching of Self-Realization as k n o w that there is no such thing as a result
the goal of man's attainment was little without a cause. A potent Cause must b e
k n o w n in the West, although it had continued behind the n e w trend in man's eternal Search.
in an u n b r o k e n stream in India as w e l l as T o . m e it is utterly clear : it is the spiritual
through the Sufi saints of Islamic countries inheritance f r o m o n e of the perfected, f r o m
and the Buddhist Masters of various schools. a life manifesting Truth, a life w h i c h some
It was Sri Maharshi w h o m a d e it k n o w n of us w e r e privileged to witness w i t h o u r
throughout the w o r l d in the f o r m of t h e mortal eyes.
quest for the Self.
T h e " I - c u r r e n t " , to w h i c h the Maharshi's
Acting' for our present e p o c h as a s u p r e m e
messenger of Truth, Sri Maharshi' g a v e n e w

teaching turns us, w o r k s b e y o n d the v e i l of

religion. It reaches m e n of different d e n o -




minations and speaks equally w e l l to the

Rishi's o w n c o u n t r y m e n , to Christians, B u d dhists, Muslims and others.
Here w e see another characteristic of the
Master's inheritance : Sri Maharshi neither
created nor propagated any n e w religion or
He did m u c h m o r e , giving us
the k e y with w h i c h to open the hidden t r e a sure of all true religions, to understand and
then to practise them with inner e n l i g h t e n ment, and not w i t h g l o o m y indecision, doubt



and lack of faith as some m a y have done b e fore.

The Master e v e r abides with us in his s p i ritual energy, permeating this w o r l d of r e l a tivity, as he told us before he left his b o d y .
The immense spiritual accumulator he
charged during his visit to our planet as a
living man, assists and inspires seekers w h o
are ripe enough to realize his teaching and

That m e t h o d b y w h i c h a man makes spiritual progress is the best

for him.
He should not change it for another w h i c h m a y not seem
right to him or please him or be useful to him.







" Believers ! M a k e w a r on the infidels w h o

d w e l l around y o u and b e severe w i t h them.
K n o w that A l l a h is with the v i g i l a n t . " W a r
is under ho stigma in Islam. Indeed, it is
enjoined in the Qur'an in a n u m b e r of places.
Nor is it necessarily defensive. The small
Muslim c o m m u n i t y of Medina w a s naturally
on the defensive at first, but after o v e r c o m i n g
the M e c c a n idolators the Muslims, still in the
lifetime of M o h a m m a d and in obedience to
him, p r o c e e d e d to subjugate t h e rest of A r a bia and to equip an expedition for t h e i n v a sion of Syria. Indeed, fighting w a s an o b l i gation and those w h o shrank f r o m it w e r e
r e b u k e d as sternly as A r j u n a was b y K r i s h na : " I f y o u do not go to battle H e w i l l
punish y o u severely and will replace y o u b y
Those w h o died in battle acquired
the proud title of shaheed.
This is translate d as ' m a r t y r ' , but it is f r o m the same root
as shahada, the ' testimony ' or ' witness ' that
there is n o god but G o d and that M o h a m m a d
is his Prophet. It implies that they died as
witnesses to the truth of Islam and earned
paradise b y so doing.
This militancy can b e explained in terms
of the distinction that A r t h u r O s b o r n e has
s h r e w d l y pointed out in his ' B u d d h i s m and
Christianity in the Light of Hinduism
betw e e n a w o r l d - r e n o u n c i n g and a, w o r l d - s a n c tifying religion. Since Christians w e r e e n j o i n e d to r e n o u n c e the w o r l d and render
unto Caesar the things that w e r e Caesar's,
they could live as w e l l in a pagan as a C h r i s tian country. Indeed, the persecution or at
least discrimination that they w e r e l i k e l y to
suffer w o u l d serve to keep their faith s c r e w ed u p to pitch and w e e d out the smug, t h e
w o r l d l y and the weaklings. Islam, on the
other hand, was not o n l y a faith but a w a y
of life with its. c o d e of civil and criminal lav/
and its injunctions governing trade, marriage,

, 3

l Qur'an, IX, 123.

zQur'an, IX, 39.
3 Published by Rider & Co., London.

inheritance, etc. Muslims w e r e not e n j o i n e d
to renounce the w o r l d b u t to m o u l d it to a
harmonious and divinely sanctioned pattern
of life. A n d this could only b e done if they
w e r e the rulers.
This does not mean that no other religion
w a s to be tolerated. There is a cryptic s a y ing in the Qur'an : " N o compulsion in r e l i gion " c r y p t i c because it can b e taken as a
statement to mean that compulsion is i m possible in matters of faith or as an i n j u n c tion to mean that no compulsion is to be,
used. The latter seems the m o r e plausible
Other monotheists, such as J e w s
and Christians, termed ' P e o p l e of the B o o k '
since they also had a revealed scripture, w e r e
not to b e exterminated or, f o r c i b l y converted
but, after conquest, to b e t a x e d and p r o t e c t ed. " Out of those w h o have b e e n given a
B o o k , m a k e w a r on such as d o not believe
in A l l a h and the last day and f o r b i d w h a t
Allah and His P r o p h e t have f o r b i d d e n and
f o l l o w the religion of truth, ( a n d do* s o ) u n til they are subjugated and p a y taxes and
recognize y o u r s u p r e m a c y . "
Muslims did
not always keep to this. For instance, o n the
conquest of Persia Zoroastrianism w a s p r a c tically extirpated, although a monotheistic
religion, surviving only among those f e w of
its f o l l o w e r s w h o escaped to the hospitable
shores of India to f o u n d the Parsi c o m m u n i t y .
But then, in what religion h a v e m e n lived
up to their scriptures ? A n d w h a t rulers of
subject peoples have resisted the i n t o x i c a t ing presumption of superiority ?
F o r idolatry toleration w a s not obligatory,
since M o h a m m a d himself set the e x a m p l e of
smashing the idols at M e c c a and banning
their w o r s h i p . Perhaps that accounts for the
savage persecution that so m a n y Muslim
rulers indulged in India. Sufis m a y h a v e
perceived the beauty and profundity behind
the i d o l - w o r s h i p , a K a b i r or a Nanak m a y
h a v e p r o c l a i m e d that one could call alike on

* Qur'an, IX, 29.




B a m or Eahim, even a M o g h u l prince like

Dara Shikoh m a y have w e l c o m e d ' The M e e t ing of the T w o Seas ' a n d been put to death
for it b y his fanatical brother A u r a n g z e b e ;
but in general Muslim ruling classes lacked
the w i l l to understand.
Islam, then, does not c o n d e m n w a r ; but
does any religion ? Christ declared that he
w a s c o m e to bring not peace but a s w o r d and
that e v e n m e m b e r s of the same f a m i l y w o u l d
take u p arms against each other for his
A n d so it has been. His prediction
l^as been simply fulfilled. In the Bhagavad
Gita A r j u n a falls into a pacifist m o o d and is
c o n v i n c e d b y Krishna that he should do his
d u t y as a Kshatriya b y fighting.
W h a t then of the ahimsa that Gandhi p r o claimed and that is so w i d e l y honoured, at
least in theory, t o - d a y ? In ancient India
ahimsa, n o n - v i o l e n c e , was an obligation upon
t h e sadhu, the w o r l d - r e n o u n c e r . Having r e n o u n c e d w o r l d l y ends, he naturally had to
r e n o u n c e w o r l d l y means also. But it w a s
never expected that a ruler should abjure
w a r f a r e and none of the scriptures enjoin
ahimsa as a general obligation ; it w o u l d b e
a denial of the v e r y conception of a K s h a triya caste to do so. W h e t h e r Gandhi himself
meant ahimsa to i m p l y renunciation of w a r
b y sovereign states is hard to say, because
the one statement he held to quite consistentl y w a s the statement of his o w n inconsistency. Certain it is that he encouraged
Indians to j o i n the British a r m y in the first
w o r l d w a r and that at the v e r y end of his
life he did nothing to dissuade the g o v e r n ment of independent India f r o m sending
troops to defend Kashmir.
W a r is a horrible thing and always has
been, but the feeling of revulsion against it
is quite recent.
In fact it dates f r o m t h e
time w h e n total nuclear destruction b e c a m e
a danger to b e r e c k o n e d with. Fear of such
destruction is sensible and w e l l g r o u n d e d
and efforts should certainly b e m a d e to p r e vent at least m a j o r w a r s f r o m breaking out ;
but these efforts should b e recognized for
w h a t they a r e t h e o u t c o m e of f e a r a n d
not dressed u p in idealistic phraseology to
m a k e it appear that m a n has suddenly b e c o m e better than h e e v e r w a s b e f o r e : b e -



cause that is hypocrisy. One thing is definite

in Gandhi's teaching ; that is that he distinguished b e t w e e n ahimsa based on idealism and
n o n - v i o l e n c e based on fear and hated to see
the latter parading as the f o r m e r .
A l t h o u g h w a r is horrible in itself, it has
an important symbolism. There is an inner
as w e l l as an outer war. It is r e c o r d e d that
w h e n M o h a m m a d returned to Medina with
his followers after one of their battles he
said : " N o w w e h a v e c o m e b a c k f r o m the
lesser jihad to the greater " f r o m the w a r
against outer enemies to each man's w a r
against the enemies within himself. Islam is
b y no means alone in stressing this s y m b o l ism : the B h a g a v a d Gita is interpreted b y
m a n y commentators as implying the need for
inner strife, w h i l e the Christian Church on
earth is entitled the ' Church Militant.'
Outer pacifism is as admirable as w a r is
horrible unless it means putting u p with
w h a t the Hindus call
w r o n g , injusticeout of fear, for then it is
But in m o d e r n times there is an
inner pacifism also, and this is w h o l l y to b e
condemned. A m o n g the ever g r o w i n g groups
and circles of people w h o understand that
there is a higher reality are m a n y w h o hold
that it is sufficient to understand mentally
or to believe in the divine verities without
making effort, without taking u p arms against
the forces of obstruction in oneself.
people shirk w h a t M o h a m m a d called ' the
greater h o l y w a r . ' T h e y are like the * h y p o crites ' of w h o m the Qur'an speaks, w h o p r o fessed verbal s y m p a t h y w i t h the striving
Muslims but w e r e not prepared to face d a n ger or m a k e any sacrifice in the cause. " T h e
day will surely c o m e w h e n y o u w i l l see the
true believers, m e n and w o m e n , w i t h their
light shining before them and o n their right
hand and a v o i c e singing to them : ' R e j o i c e
this day. Y o u shall enter gardens w a t e r e d b y
running streams in w h i c h y o u shall abide f o r ever.' That is the supreme achievement. O n
that d a y the hypocrites, both m e n and w o m e n ,
will say to the true believers : * Wait, for us so
that w e can b o r r o w some of y o u r light.' T h e y
w i l l b e answered : ' G o b a c k and yourselves
seek a light.' T h e n a w a l l with a gate in it
shall b e established b e t w e e n them, on the i n -



side of w h i c h shall b e m e r c y but on the o u t side punishment. T h e y w i l l call o u t : * W e r e

w e not on y o u r side ? ' But the answer w i l l
be :
Y e s , but y o u fell into temptation and
w a v e r e d , y o u doubted and w e r e deluded b y
y o u r o w n desires till the Divine p r o n o u n c e ment came and the Dissembler d e c e i v e d y o u
about Allah. T o d a y no ransom shall b e a c cepted f r o m y o u or f r o m the unbelievers ;
the fire is y o u r abode and protector : an evil
end ! ' "


hungry for adulation, concerned about the

impression he makes ? O b v i o u s l y not. That
means that b e f o r e the ground can b e cleared
for Realization a w h o l e j u n g l e of tangled
impulses and desires has to b e cleared out.
A n d h o w do the ' inner pacifists' p r o p o s e to
do that ? D o they hold that it is a simple
thing to do and requires n o effort or t e c h nique ?
Spiritual Masters in all ages have
w a r n e d that it is not ; and t o - d a y p s y c h i a t rists confirm the warning. T h e patient w o n ' t
The term for Realization in Islam is Fana, get b a c k to h u m a n n o r m a l c y without a d m i t ting the existence of complexities and need
a w o r d r e m a r k a b l y similar to ' N i r v a n a '
for effort ; and the inner peace, the stillness,
since its literal meaning is * extinction \ It
the calm expanse of m i n d that the spiritual
has a certain similarity to the Hindu
nirviaspirant must achieve in order to m a k e the
kalpa samadhi \ meaning Realization in a
dawning of Realization possible goes far b e state of t r a n c e ' . To b e perfected it must b e
y o n d anything the psychiatrist conceives of.
f o l l o w e d b y Baqa or stabilization', in w h i c h
H o w then can it b e attained without effort ?
there is a full return to outer awareness
simultaneously w i t h inner Realization. This
It m a y b e o b j e c t e d that the types of effort
is the Hindu sahaja samadhi.
It is the state prescribed on a spiritual path are not in fact
w h i c h Western Z e n writers l o v e to refer to techniques for eliminating the egoistic i m w h e n , as they put it, " a tree is again a tree pulses w h i c h obstruct Realization, that c a l l and a mountain a m o u n t a i n . "
ing on the N a m e of G o d or being mindful
seekers of one's breathing or l o o k i n g inwards to e x throughout the w o r l d today, in fact the only perience the reality of oneself cannot r e m o v e rancour or pride or other m a n i f e s t a question of importance, is w h a t should be
tions of egoism. But w h o is qualified to say
done to attain Realization and w h a t path or
that ?
The psychiatrist's t e c h n i q u e also is
methods to f o l l o w . T h e ' inner pacifists
not a direct h e a d - o n attack on c o m p l e x e s ,
* h y p o c r i t e s ' as the Qur'an calls them, are
and yet experts with learning and e x p e r i e n c e
those w h o hold that nothing need b e done,
say that it w o r k s . A n d the spiritual t e c h n i no effort m a d e , no e n e m y fought :
" just
ques enjoined b y the Masters are based on
carry on quietly and it w i l l all c o m e to y o u . "
deeper learning and m o r e p r o f o u n d e x p e r i T h e error of this attitude can b e exposed ence going b a c k f o r centuries ; and m a n y
b y putting the question f r o m the opposite h a v e f o u n d that they w o r k e d . T o - d a y also
end : not ' what must be done to attain R e a - those w h o use t h e m energetically u n d e r p r o lization ? ' but ' w h a t prevents Realization ? ' per guidance as w e a p o n s in the greater h o l y
The w o r d sahaja
means n a t u r a l ' ; sahaja
w a r find them efficacious. It is the ' h y p o samadhi,
therefore, is ' natural samadhi \ crites ', those w h o prefer not to fight, w h o
A n d the Maharshi never tired of reminding complain that they w o u l d b e ineffective a n y us that Realization is natural t o us, that it w a y .
is our natural state. Then w h a t withholds us
Soon after a person sets forth o n the great
f r o m it ? The answer is fairly o b v i o u s : the
enterprise it sometimes happens that an e x e g o w i t h all its tangled roots. Can one
perience of o v e r w h e l m i n g b e a u t y comes to
imagine a state of permanent, natural Reali-^
h i m , a perception of a truer, higher Reality
zation dawning on a person w h o is jealous
that h e w i l l never b e able t o forget till the
lest s o m e o n e else attain it b e f o r e him, d i s end of his life. This is an e n c o u r a g e m e n t
tracted b y the thought of a beautiful w o m a n ,
to persevere, a foretaste of w h a t is to b e
irritable w h e n p e o p l e disagree w i t h h i m ,
achieved. It carries its o w n credentials and
is b e y o n d the possibility of doubt. It can b e
5 Qur'an, LVII, 12-15.



explained as the Grace of G o d or G u r u on

the y o u n g aspirant. Or it can b e explained
as the n e w l y a w a k e n e d aspiration m o m e n tarily tearing aside the veil of the ego w h i c h
it is not y e t p o w e r f u l enough to destroy f o r ever. It will not last, and the aspirant m a y
b e dejected, feeling that h e has slipped b a c k
instead of making progress ; h o w e v e r , its
m e m o r y will hold h i m to the quest and d r a w
him o n w a r d s until, perhaps after long striving, it begins to be accessible to him again.


But suppose he should sit d o w n and say :

" It came to m e spontaneously so I, w i l l w a i t
for it to c o m e again spontaneously.
should I m a k e any effort to retrive it ? " H e
will be remaining inactive with all the t w i s t ed complexities and hidden or o p e n i m p u rities inside him w h i c h render its stabilization impossible. He will be like the * h y p o crites ' of the Qur'an w h o sympathised v e r b a l l y but w o u l d not fight. His fate w i l l b e
the same.


Verses 196 to 803 of the Paramatthdka Sutta
Translated by FRANK ALLEN
The person who is prejudiced in favour of one particular philosophical system is prejudiced against other systems. Such a
person disputes and does not overcome the habit of disputing.
He seizes upon anything that seems ' g o o d t h a t looks ' good
sounds ' good \ on particular actions that appear to him to be
g o o d u p o n anything he thinks is ' good'and in so doing he
labels other things ' bad

Experts are agreed that the man who labels things ' b a d ' is thereby
making it impossible for himself to see them as they really are.
Therefore the disciplined one should not colour what he sees and
hears nor pin his faith on virtue and, achievement.
He should not found or favour any organized system of philosophy
either by word or deed. He should not consider himself ' better'
or ' worse ' than another, nor ' equal \
Being without prejudices and favour, uninfluenced by convention,
he does not associate himself with any formal religion or sect;
he is not bound by any set rules.
For him there is no need to strive to become this or that, in this
world or the next. And he has ceased to study the philosophies
for he no longer requires the solace that philosophy offers.
As regards things seen and heard he remains unswayed by prejudice : such a Brahmin is not to be misled.
He accepts nothing, prefers nothing, takes to no particular philosophy. Not on account of his virtues and achievements does the
(true) Brahmin fare to the Further Shore, never more to return.


By M A R I E B. B Y L E S
In Journey into Burmese Silencel Miss Byles
meditational practices in a Buddhist centre open
which is to form part of a book under the title
seen and experienced at Zen meditation centres
Miss Byles

gives a delightful
and attractive account of
to the laity in Burma.
In the present a/rticle,
Paths to Inner Calm, she describes what she has
in Japan.

is also author of Footprints of Gautama the B u d d h a 2 , a fictionalised biography

The Lotus and the Spinning Wheeli, a book of reflections


on the life and teachings





For t w o months I lived in a Z e n temple

in the Daitokuji c o m p o u n d o n the outskirts
of K y o t o , the chief centre of Buddhist l e a r n ing in Japan. E v e r y evening I meditated at
the zendo or meditation hall established e s pecially for Europeans and conducted o n a l most identical lines with that of the zendo
of the m o n a s t e r y a f e w minutes a w a y .
F r o m the scenic flagged r o a d w a y the m o nastery l o o k e d like any other of the b e a u t i ful temples in Daitokuji, except for the p i l lars on either side of the g a t e w a y a n n o u n c ing* it to b e a centre for Z e n training. There
are t w o training periods, one f r o m the b e g i n ning of M a y to the end of J u l y and the
other f r o m the beginning of N o v e m b e r to the
end of January. A t other times most of t h e
m o n k s go h o m e .
B e f o r e the c o m m e n c e m e n t of the summer
training period, the roshi, or spiritual t e a cher, delivered an informal sermon which
l a y people might attend. A b o u t eight or nine
lay p e o p l e came ; w e sat o n the tatami mats
with seven m o n k s dressed in dark b l u e c o t ton g o w n s in front of us. T h e smiling roshi
entered dressed in dark b r o w n w i t h a small
c u r v e d stick and a rosary o v e r his wrist.
He, too, sat on the floor. In front of h i m w a s
a reading desk e x a c t l y the right height to
hide his lips and h e spoke in a v e r y l o w
voice. I should not think anyone heard and
I w a s told that this sermon is generally r e garded as an opportunity to m a k e u p for
arrears of sleep. T w o of the m o n k s w e r e
1 Allen and Unwin.
2 Rider & Co.

availing themselves of this. F r o m the end of

March, m o n k s in residence had b e e n arising
at 3 a.m. and meditating previously during a
portion of the night.
T o understand the nature of a Z e n m o n a s t e r y today, it must b e b o r n e in m i n d that it
resembles a theological training
rather than a Catholic monastery.
all the y o u n g m e n w h o c o m e , are there to
b e trained as temple priests. Perhaps they
have inherited a temple. T h e monastery t e a ches b o t h the art of meditation and of t e m ple management.
T h e m e t h o d of meditation varies according
to the sect. In the Rinzai sect it c o m m e n c e s
w i t h concentration on the long outgoing
breath and then allowing the i n - g o i n g breath
to flow in naturally ; the breaths are c o u n t ed u p to ten. W h e n proficiency has been
obtained in this breathing m e t h o d , a k o a n is
g i v e n as the subject for meditation. This is
a question like a riddle and nonsensical on
the face of it. There are said to b e s e v e n teen h u n d r e d koans.
T h e correct answers
must b e found intuitively. O n e of the first
is, " W h a t was y o u r original face b e f o r e y o u
w e r e b o r n ? " (This is m o r e or less the s a m e
as Ramana Maharshi's question, " W h o are
you ? " )
T h e meditation is b r o k e n at the
end of e v e r y half hour w h e n stiff l i m b s m a y
b e stretched. A s w e l l it m a y b e b r o k e n b y
the m o n k or priest in charge w h o strides
silently round the zendo w i t h a w o o d e n baton
k n o w n as Manjusri's sword, w h i c h he uses
to strike o v e r the shoulder ( t w i c e on each
shoulder in summer and four times in w i n t e r ) any meditator w h o appears sleepy or



w h o for some other reason he thinks w o u l d

benefit b y being w h a c k e d .
Z a z e n or meditation is considered the e s sence of Z e n training, but in practice t e m p l e - m a n a g e m e n t plays nearly as great a part.
This requires proficiency in m a n y varied
matters b o o k - k e e p i n g , r e p a i r - w o r k , care
of priceless picture-scrolls, cleaning, cooking,
g r o w i n g vegetables, caring for the exquisite
gardens with their m o s s - l a w n s ,
azalea bushes and espaliered pines. Most of
these temples in K y o t o are " national t r e a sures " and the G o v e r n m e n t pays 7 0 % of the
cost of repairs.
But other than this they
have had no regular i n c o m e since the Meiji
Restoration t o o k a w a y their lands and r e venues. T h e y must therefore depend upon
donations and in K y o t o m o s t l y f r o m tourists.
B y and large the temples are not wealthy
and the priest and his w i f e , f o r he is usually
married, must b e able to d o most of the w o r k
themselves without paid labour.



the end of four years he will b e free. But

e v e n then it is not an easy life he faces.
N o w that there are m a n y and varied avenues
of e m p l o y m e n t open to promising y o u n g
men, f e w e r and f e w e r resort t o the Z e n m o nastery for training.
T h e priest at the
temple w h e r e I stayed, told m e that at the
monastery w h e r e he trained there used to b e
f o r t y - s i x m o n k s and that n o w there w e r e
only sixteen. A t Daitokuji the n u m b e r s had
fallen to seven. He foresaw the time w h e n
temples w o u l d b e cared for b y those w h o
w e r e not Zen-trained. " L i k e caretakers of
a m u s e u m , " I suggested and he agreed.
Most Europeans w h o h a v e b e e n at Z e n
monasteries have been there o n l y as guests
for a limited, period.
But one evening the
European lady w h o established the European
Z e n d o , herself a Z e n priest, Mrs. R u t h Sasaki,
told us of an A m e r i c a n w h o h a d b e e n a c cepted at one of the most austere m o n a s t e ries.
He w o u l d b e there for perhaps ten
years, and at least f o r sixteen months. H e
had a w i f e and t w o small b o y s . His w i f e
had given her consent, and still wished to
help Zennists.

The religious side of the training includes

meditation, but also the conduct of the v a r i ous ceremonies principally in h o n o u r of the
Founders and departed spirits ; and sutraA s is required b y this monastery, the
chanting is an art all to itself.
It is obvious that not all w h o inherit a y o u n g m a n had crouched w i t h his head on
temple, or for some other reason need to the ground b e f o r e the gate for three days
This is n e v e r granted
train as Z e n priests, are suited to the t r a i n - seeking admission.
y he had w o r n a m a r k
ing, and w h e t h e r suited or not, nothing is
m a d e easy for t h e m . The m o n k ' s life is a u s - on his forehead and up till the v e r y last he
He w a s
tere and w i t h o u t intentional friendliness. Its was afraid he might b e refused.
o b j e c t is to turn t h e m out " tough as nails " , accepted, but not into the b o s o m of a friendly
I read s o m e w h e r e . T h e y must b e prepared family. Monastery life is always hard and
for the bitter cold of winter without artifi- cold and this m o r e so than most.
cial heating and w i t h o p e n w i n d o w s and
I met his w i f e before I left K y o t o .
s n o w b l o w i n g on shaven heads, scanty c l o t h - was planning to let her house and return to
ing and prohibition of overcoats and socks A m e r i c a for a year.
indoors. T h e f o o d is strictly vegetarian and
" O n l y for a year ? " asked one of the Z e n
p o o r vegetarian at that, and the hours of m e m b e r s . " W h y c o m e b a c k at all w h e n y o u
sleep are deliberately curtailed.
Japanese can't see y o u r husband ? "
life is harder than ours, but at the m o n a s " But I have seen h i m , " she said.
" He
tery it is m a d e harder than it need b e . A n d had a free d a y and c a m e h o m e recently, H e
the m e t h o d of training in meditation and
w o u l d hardly leave the larder, he w a s so
Zanzen interviews w i t h the roshi aim at
hungry. T h e y get only three hours sleep a
creating fear and tension " Y o u must b e
night. A t the end of a y e a r he w i l l decide
cruel to b e k i n d , " I was told.
whether to stay for o n l y sixteen months o r
Unless a m a n has a definite v o c a t i o n h e for an indefinite period. That is w h y I shall
must face the ordeal as he w o u l d an o p e r a - c o m e b a c k t h e n . "
tion without an anaesthetic, k n o w i n g that at
P e o p l e w h o wish to train as Z e n priests




must put u p w i t h this austerity, b u t w h y

should a European w h o has n o n e e d to ? I
c a m e to the conclusion that this w a s like the
question, " W h y do p e o p l e c l i m b M o u n t
Everest ? " and the reply,
" Because it's
W h e t h e r it b e a m o u n t a i n or a
monastery, it is a challenge and s o m e w i l l
always b e r e a d y to take it u p , n o matter
w h a t the physical and mental suffering e n tailed, and no matter w h a t the risk to health
and e v e n life.
Z e n training " turns t h e m out t o u g h as
nails " . A picture rose to m i n d of the Sa^
murai warriors w h o w e r e calm, serene and
also tough as nails, and not afraid to kill
themselves if h o n o u r d e m a n d e d it. Z e n and
the military had w o r k e d together, and the
spirit of the soldier still runs t h r o u g h Z e n
training. But w h a t I queried w a s w h e t h e r
the w o r l d t o - d a y needs the Samurai. I s u g gest that the future is rather w i t h the spirit
of Mahatma Gandhi, and l o v i n g kindness and



w o o d e n platforms o n either side of the zendo,

and I could hear t h e m being w h a c k e d . C a r r y ing the s w o r d of Manjusri, the Bodhisattva of
w i s d o m , the m o n k in charge cannot err.
A n d the w h a c k i n g is carried out w i t h p r o per b o w i n g and ritual. A l l t h e same I w a s
glad he did not c o m e to the shrine r o o m
w h i l e I w a s there !
Part w a y through the meditation session,
t h e bell rang for Sanzen, and m o n k s and l a y
E u r o p e a n trainees lined u p f o r interview
w i t h the roshi. On three occasions there w a s
w h a t seemed to b e a frantic stampede a m o n g
the m o n k s . It w a s occasioned b y a y o u n g
m o n k b*eing told to return to the roshi's
r o o m , and being terrified to do so.
and angry w o r d s w a s rained u p o n h i m to
f o r c e h i m in, and one of the m o n k s had to
be taken b y his leg and shoulders and
thrust in.

T h e last occasion I visited the m o n a s t e r y

w a s to i n t e r v i e w the roshi. It t o o k m e seven
w e e k s of persistency b e f o r e I w a s at l e n g t h
granted an appointment.
I visited the monastery three other times.
I asked h i m , " W h y are y o u r disciples so
T h e first was for a v e r y elaborate c e r e m o n y
afraid of y o u . Y o u l o o k smiling and gentle
at the c o m m e n c e m e n t of the s u m m e r t r a i n enough n o w . "
ing period.
A l l the Daitokuji priests c a m e
" A h , " he replied, " a teacher has to h a v e
dressed in their splendid robes, and a f e w
t w o faces. Y o u see m y visitor's face. B u t
lay p e o p l e as w e l l as the m o n k s . T h e roshi
m y disciples see m y teacher's f a c e . I h a v e
preached a sermon to the shrine, not to the
to b e stern to them. That is the o n l y w a y
audience ranged o n each side, and once
they can l e a r n . "
again several bent o v e r b o o k s , and appeared
A n d so, in addition to the physical a u s to b e taking the opportunity to m a k e u p for
terity, the m o n k must e x p e c t to m e e t mental
arrears of sleep ! It w a s a v e r y beautiful
and emotional cruelty deliberately inflicted.
c e r e m o n y in the midst of austerely beautiful
Y o u and I can never see the roshi's other
face e x c e p t in pictures. There w a s an e s p e T h e second time w a s for meditation in the cially striking picture o n the w a l l screen o f
shrine r o o m , for l a y p e o p l e are n o t a l l o w e d one of the Daitokuji temples. It s h o w e d a
to meditate w i t h the m o n k s in the zendo. stern f a c e d roshi w i t h a sinister glint in his
I w a s a trifle n e r v o u s because I had been s i d e w a y s - l o o k i n g eyes, and his stick uplifted ;
w a r n e d that the m o n k w h o w i e l d e d " M a n - slinking in at the b a c k w a s a pale shrunken
jusri's s w o r d " to w h a c k the meditators, had and terrified m o n k . E v e n the c o n v i n c e d
a v e r y h e a v y hand, and w h e n o v e r the age European trainee must e x p e c t for at least a
of sixty one's bones b e c o m e b r i t t l e !
The y e a r to feel his knees trembling each t i m e
stick is not used in the European Z e n d o , he goes into t h e roshi's small r o o m . H o w
though w h y I do not k n o w for it is used in m u c h m o r e the y o u n g Japanese w h o must
all Z e n monasteries of all Z e n sects.
" Y o u train o n l y so as to b e c o m e a t e m p l e p r i e s t !
h a v e to b e cruel to b e k i n d , " I w a s again
A n d then at the end of it all, w i l l y o u
told. The m o n k s sit lotus style on the high h a v e f o u n d enlightenment ? N o n e of the Z e n

THE M 6 U N T i l N
priests I met appeared to h a v e o u t w a r d signs
of any deeper enlightenment than the a v e rage of one's well-intentioned friends at
h o m e . I often used to think of s i m p l e - m i n d ed Brother L a w r e n c e , a c o o k in a Christian
monastery, w h o m e r e l y practised the p r e sence of G o d ; it seemed to m e he p r o b a b l y
k n e w m o r e about satori, enlightenment and
his " original face " than Z e n masters w h o
f o u n d the answers to the seventeen hundred

But w h a t about the idea of the Western

exponents of Zen, w h o say all y o u h a v e to
d o is to b e spontaneous, and then one d a y
the roshi twists y o u r nose, and y o u have
Realization ?
W e l l , that is just a Western idea. W e s t erners import some things that are not there.

A n d n o w , leaving aside Z e n training, let

us turn to its p o e t r y and art and some of
its pithy stories. I do not think Z e n has
anything to add to Mahayana Buddhism,
Shintoism and Taoism. But it has gathered
w i s d o m f r o m all these, and long after its
training has been forgotten, some of its
stories, its poetry and art w i l l live.
Here is a story that might h a v e c o m e f r o m
the B u d d h a himself. It is of a nun g o i n g
on pilgrimage w h o c a m e to a village at s u n set and none w o u l d offer her a night's l o d g ing. She w e n t into the fields and lay at the
foot of a c h e r r y tree. A t midnight she w o k e
and saw the c h e r r y blossoms laughing to
the misty m o o n . O v e r c o m e w i t h the beauty,
she rose and b o w e d t o w a r d s the village
saying :



Through their kindness in refusing me

I found myself beneath the blossoms on
the night of the misty moon.
A n d listen to some of the p r o f o u n d truth
as w e l l as beauty in verses like these :
You remain silent and it speaks.
You speak and it is silent.


When you are not in antagonism to it,

It turns out to be the same as complete

The wild geese do not intend to cast
their reflections.
The water has no mind to receive their

The same applies to Z e n art and the a b i lity of the artist to identify himself w i t h
nature. A n d then there is the superb s y m bolism of the o x - h e r d i n g pictures. The m a n
catches sight of the .tail of the o x , his o w n
self ; this is satori ; he follows it, tames it,
rides it, loses both himself and the o x , and
then returns to ordinary life spreading a
W e can learn f r o m Z e n p o e t r y and art,
as w e can learn f r o m Catholic mystics. T o
do this there is no need to b e c o m e a Zennist
or a R o m a n Catholic, nor to undertake p r a c tices alien to our thought and temperament
nor to expect that Z e n or R o m a n C a t h o l i cism w i l l bring us enlightenment any better
than other religions and w a y s of training.

By A . D E V A R A J A M U D A L I A R
In India w e c o m p a r e the aspirant w h o
strives to the child of the m o n k e y that
clings to its mother as she j u m p s f r o m tree
to tree and the devotee w h o relies completely
on the grace of the G u r u to that of the cat
that is quite helpless and is therefore p i c k e d

up b y its mother and carried in her mouth.

Alluding to this, I said o n c e that I was like
the kitten and had cast the w h o l e r e s p o n siblity on Bhagavan. H e laughed but w o u l d
not agree.
He said " Both are neceesary ;
I will hold y o u but y o u m u s t cling t o o . "



It is surely axiomatic that a phenomenon

( a n appearance, an o b j e c t ) cannot p e r f o r m
any action w h a t e v e r on its o w n initiative,
as an independent entity. In China this w a s
illustrated b y C h u a n g - t z e in his story of t h e
s o w w h o died w h i l e suckling her piglets :
the little pigs just left her because their
mother was no longer there. In Europe,
e v e n at that early date, the same u n d e r standing is expressed b y the w o r d animus
w h i c h " a n i m a t e s " the p h e n o m e n a l aspect
of sentient beings, and this forms the basis
of most religious beliefs. But whereas in the
W e s t the " animus " was regarded as p e r sonal to each phenomenal object, being t h e
sentience of it, in the East the " a n i m u s "
was called " heart " or " mind " or " c o n s ciousness ", and in B u d d h i s m and Vedanta
was regarded as impersonal and universal,
" B u d d h a - m i n d " , " Prajna " , " A t m a n " etc.
W h e n this impersonal " m i n d " comes into
manifestation b y objectifying itself as s u b ject and o b j e c t it b e c o m e s identified with
each sentient object, and the concept of " I "
thereby arises in human beings, w h e r e b y
the phenomenal w o r l d as w e k n o w it and
live it, appears to b e what w e call " r e a l " .
That, incidentally, is the only " r e a l i t y "
( t h i n g - n e s s ) w e can ever k n o w , and to use
the term " r e a l " ( a thing) for w h a t is not
such, for the p u r e l y subjective, is an abuse
of language.
In this process of personalising " m i n d "
and thinking of it as " I " , w e t h e r e b y m a k e
it, w h i c h is subject, into an object, whereas
" I " in fact can never b e such, for there is
nothing o b j e c t i v e in " I " , w h i c h is e s s e n tially a direct expression of subjectivity. This
object!vising of pure subjectivity, calling it
" m e " or calling it " m i n d " , is precisely
w h a t constitutes " b o n d a g e " . It is this c o n i F o r a note on Wei W u Wei see our issue of
April 1964.
See also the review of his latest
work in this issue.


cept, termed the I - c o n c e p t or ego or self,

w h i c h is the supposed b o n d a g e f r o m w h i c h
we' all suffer and f r o m w h i c h w e seek " l i b e ration " .
It should be evident, as the B u d d h a and
a hundred other A w a k e n e d sages have sought
to enable us to understand, that w h a t w e
are is this " animating " m i n d as such, w h i c h
is n o u m e n o n , and not the phenomenal o b j e c t
to w h i c h it gives sentience. This does not
mean, h o w e v e r , that the phenomenal o b j e c t
has no kind of existence w h a t e v e r , but that
its existence is m e r e l y apparent, w h i c h is
the meaning of the term " p h e n o m e n o n " ,
that is to say that it is o n l y an appearance
in consciousness, an objectivisation, without
any nature of its o w n , being entirely d e p e n dent on the m i n d that objectivises it, w h i c h
mind is its o n l y nature, v e r y m u c h as in the
case of any dreamed creature, as the B u d dha in the D i a m o n d Sutra, and m a n y others
after him have so patiently explained to us.
This impersonal, universal m i n d or c o n s ciousness, is our true nature, our o n l y nature,
all, absolutely all, that w e are, and it is c o m pletely devoid of I-ness.
This is easy enough to understand, and
it w o u l d b e simple indeed if it w e r e the
ultimate truth, but it is not, for the obvious
reason that no such thing as an o b j e c t i v e
" m i n d " could exist, any m o r e than an " I "
or any other object, as a thing-in-itself.
What it is, h o w e v e r , is totally d e v o i d of any
o b j e c t i v e quality, and so cannot b e visualised, conceptualised, or in any w a y referred t o
for any such process w o u l d automatically
render it an o b j e c t of a subject.which b y d e finition it can never be. That is because the
" m i n d " in question is the unmanifested
source of manifestation, the process of w h i c h
is its division into subject and o b j e c t ; and
antecedent to such division there can b e no
subject to p e r c e i v e an o b j e c t , and no o b j e c t
to b e perceived b y a subject. Indeed, and as



revealed b y sages such as P a d m a Sambhava,

that w h i c h is seeking to conceive and to
n a m e this unmanifested source of m a n i f e s tation is precisely this " w h o l e m i n d " that
is the " animating " or prajnatic functioning
w h i c h itself is the seeking, so that the sought
is the seeker thereof. P r o f o u n d l y to u n d e r stand this is A w a k e n i n g to w h a t is called
" enlightenment".
This reasoned visualisation, therefore, like
all doctrine, is m e r e l y conceptual, devoid of
factuality, a structure of theoretical i m a g i nation, a symbolical diagram devised in order
to enable us to understand something i m m e diate that can n e v e r b e c o m e k n o w l e d g e . Y e t
that ultimate " s o m e t h i n g " , w h i c h is no
" t h i n g " , is nevertheless w h a t the universe
is, and all that w e are.
T h e psychological " I - c o n c e p t " has no
nature of its o w n , is no " t h i n g * , and could
not possibly create genuine " b o n d a g e " .
There cannot b e any such thing as b o n d a g e
at all, but o n l y the idea of such. T h e r e is
n o liberation, for there is n o " thing " f r o m
w h i c h to b e freed. If the w h o l e conceptual
structure is seen as what it is, it must n e c e s sarily collapse, and the b o n d a g e - e n l i g h t e n ment nonsense w i t h it. That is called A w a kening, awakening to the natural state
w h i c h is that of e v e r y sentient being. Sri
Ramana Maharshi taught just that w h e n he
said that " e n l i g h t e n m e n t " is o n l y being rid
of the notion that o n e is not " e n l i g h t e n e d " ,
and Maharshi might have been quoting the
T a n g dynasty Chinese sage H u i - h a i , k n o w n
as the Great Pearl, w h e n he stated that
Liberation is liberation f r o m the notion of
" liberation".
He might also h a v e been
quoting H u a n g - p o (d. 8 5 0 ) , of w h o m he is
unlikely ever to h a v e heard, w h e n t h e y both
used the same w o r d s , full of h u m o u r , to
s o m e o n e asking about " h i s " m i n d : each
sage asked in reply, " H o w m a n y minds have
you ? "


H o w m a n y minds had they, those t w o

y o u n g m e n ? W h y , none at all. Not o n l y
not t w o , but not one. Nor w e r e they t h e m selves a " m i n d " , for there could not b e
such a thing as a " mind " for them to b e .
Neither " they " nor " m i n d " ever had, or
ever could have, any o b j e c t i v e being w h a t ever, for never has any kind of o b j e c t i v e
being been, nor will such e v e r be. A l l that,
and e v e r y " t h a t " that ever was thought up
and " t h a t " is the most purely o b j e c t i v e
of pronouns is the essence of the gigantic
phantasmagoria of objectivity, w h i c h w e
spend our lives building u p , and in w h i c h
w e search desperately for some " t r u t h "
that could not possibly b e there. T h e w h o l e
vast construction is a phantasy, a dream, as
the Buddha ( o r w h o e v e r w r o t e it in his
n a m e / told us in the D i a m o n d Sutra, and
the truth that a dream represents, or m i s represents, of w h i c h it is a reflection or a
deflection, is the dreaming source of it w h i c h
is all that it: is. That source can n e v e r have
a name, because a n a m e denotes a p h e n o menon>and
dreamer, but a functioning that is called
dreaming. Sri Bhagavan called it " I - I " :
if it must b e called anything, n o nominal
f o r m could ever c o m e nearer, or b e less m i s leading as an indication, than his t e r m .
A l l objectivisation is conceptual, all c o n c e p t u a l l y is inference, and all inference is
as e m p t y of truth as a v a c u u m is e m p t y of
air. M o r e o v e r there is no truth, never has
been and never could b e ; there is no t h u s ness, suchness, is-ness, nor anything positive
or negative whatever. There is just; absolute
absence of the cognisable, w h i c h is absolute
presence of the unthinkable and the u n k n o w a b l e w h i c h neither is nor is not.
Inferentially this is said to b e an immense
and radiant splendour untrammelled
notions of time and space, and utterly b e y o n d the dim, reflected sentience of temporal and finite imagination.

H e t o w h o m the Eternal W o r d speaketh is set free f r o m a multitude

of opinions.
The Imitation of Christ.


In the days when









titles were


as a cultural

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H . H . SRI J A Y A


and intellectual


of his books

is ' Dattatreya,

of Advaitic

Gita published



had a private

by Allen




The Way







Since then he has

an upholder

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an anno~


in this





with Bhagavan, and he himself is a known

are glad to be able to publish



of Hindu culture.

is reviewed

Ancient Indian literature is full of r e f e rences to the advantage and necessity of

leading an ethical w a y of life. In the e a r liest literary record of India, the Rg
one finds appreciative statements m a d e of
the righteous w a y of life w h i c h a m a n is
called u p o n to adopt. G o d Varuna, the p r e siding deity of the moral order of the u n i verse, is often i n v o k e d in v e r y h u m b l e terms
to c o m e to the aid of m a n and to help h i m
in leading a sincere life characterised b y the
cultivation of truth and goodness. T h e V e d i c
seers are never tired of requesting the gods
to bless them with fortitude w h i c h w a s so
essential to them in order to lead the right
kind of life. The same t h e m e is continued
in the philosophic treatises called Upanisads
w h e r e it is pointed out that the ethical w a y
of life alone can bring to m a n m u c h coveted
prize of Liberation. The greatness and the
g l o r y of f o l l o w i n g the virtuous w a y of life
is also the subject matter for treatment, in
the succeeding stages of Indian literature,
science and art. A thoughtful observation
m a d e in the m i g h t y Indian Epic, the Mahabharata, on the nobility of a righteous life
merits our earnest attention and reflection.
Yudhisthira, the eldest of the P a n d a v a b r o thers and the hero of the epic p o e m , was
once confronted b y a Yaksa or celestial being
near a lake to w h i c h Yudhisthira w e n t in
order to drink water. T h e latter did not
allow Yudhisthira to partake of the waters
of the lake until he answered convincingly
i Published




at this Ashram.

still used in India,

an outstanding

of that purest



this article



certain questions. A n d one important q u e s tion that was addressed to Yudhisthira

related to the virtuous w a y of life. The
celestial being asked h i m : " W h a t e x a c t l y
constitutes * the w a y ' "
Yudhisthira answered : " T h e g o o d is the




w a y ' " (Santah, Dik).

B y this answer, he
w a s indicating to the questioner that m a n
fulfils himself o n l y b y leading a g o o d and
virtuous life.

a l m s - g i v i n g and of cultivating a c o m p a s sionate attitude t o w a r d s all beings. Sri

Sankaracharya makes these concepts clearer
in his c o m m e n t a r y on the
W h e n the Father of the universe
w a s instructing the gods, h e k n e w that there
w a s the danger of the gods b e c o m i n g u n r u l y
because t h e y could have everything they
w a n t e d on account of their acquired merit.
Therefore, he w a s cautioning t h e m against
committing such an offence and advised
them to practise control of the senses.
Sankara points out the reason w h y P r a j a pati or the Father of the universe asked m e n
to practise charity. It w a s because there
w a s the likelihood of m e n b e c o m i n g g r e e d y
and cheating their f e l l o w - b e i n g s of their
rightful share. H e n c e the advice that they
should cultivate the habit of giving gifts to
others. T h e n again the Father realised that
there w a s always a chance of the demons
misusing their natural strength and t h e r e f o r e called u p o n t h e m to cultivate the virtue
of * compassion \

In order to understand the full content of

the expression " g o o d w a y of life " it is w e l l
to b e s t o w attention on an episode mentioned
in the Brhadaranyaka
to it, once the gods, m e n and demons w e r e
residing w i t h their Father, B r a h m a , learning
the sacred scriptures. The period of their
studentship w a s o v e r and the gods r e q u e s t e d their Father k i n d l y to g i v e t h e m his final
instructions. T h e Father consented to do so
and cryptically uttered the single syllable
" Da " . T h e gods said that t h e y understood
t h e instruction and it w a s that t h e y should
control themselves (Damayata).
A n d Brahma
confirmed their understanding. It w a s n o w
the turn of the m e n to get instruction and
w h e n t h e y sought f o r it B r a h m a repeated
the syllable " Da " . T h e m e n claimed that
t h e y too understood h i m and said that the
instruction in their case w a s that t h e y must
These three main ethical principles r e c e i v e
practise charity (Dana).
A n d B r a h m a agreed
c h attention at the hands of Indian t h i n k w i t h their interpretation also. N e x t c a m e
and preceptors of l a w . Sage Y a j n a v a l k y a
the turn of the d e m o n s . M u c h to their s u r r
m m e n d s control of the senses, a l m s - g i v prise they f o u n d their Father p r o n o u n c i n g
f o r the third time the syllable " D a " . T h e ing and m e r c y as g o o d qualities w h i c h are to
d e m o n s w e r e q u i c k to f o l l o w h i m and r e p - b e practised b y all human; b e i n g s . The B h a l i e d that t h e y also u n d e r s t o o d his a d v i c e gavad Gita insists that a m a n aspiring to the
and it w a s that they should practice c o m - highest spiritual v a l u e should cultivate these
V y a s a , the r e v e r e d author Of
passion (Dayaddhavam).
A n d the Father principles.
desires that h u m a n b e agreed w i t h this interpretation too. W e also
l e a r n f r o m the Upanisiad that w h e n it t h u n - ings should dedicate themselves to the p e r ders, the sounds of ' D a ' are heard a n n o u n c - f o r m a n c e of tapas or austerity and that this
i n g the instruction of B r a h m a that e v e r y o n e is w e l l done b y the faithful observance of
in the universe should practise the virtues s e l f - c o n t r o l , charity and compassion. He is
of control, charity and compassion. These firmly of the v i e w that tapas or austerity of
virtues constituted the v e r y t e x t u r e of man's this nature w i l l m a k e a m a n great.
disg o o d life and it w a s therefore man's d u t y
to cultivate these in his o w n interest.

A n n o t a t e d thus, the m e a n i n g of the e x pression " t h e g o o d w a y " b e c o m e s clear. It

is the assiduous attention to b e b e s t o w e d
b y all m e n of w i s d o m on t h e three principal
virtues of controlling the senses, of practising
1 Mahabharata : Aranyaparva : 297.60-61.
2 Brhadaranyaka


V. 2.1.

3 Adanta yuyam svabhavatah

ato danta bhavata iti'
Sankara's Commentary: V . 21.
4 Svabhavato lubdha yuyam
ato yatha saktya
Ibid: V. 2.2.
5 Krura yuyam himsadiparah,
ato dayaddhyam pranisu
day am kurwata iti\
Ibid: V. 2.3.
6 Yajnavalkya smrti:
7 X V I . 1.
8 Mahabharata:



position is b o u n d to b e c o m e f a m o u s t o o and
such is the opinion of Yudhisthira, an e x e m plar of Indian v i r t u e .
Sage V y a s a is n o less enthusiastic
about t h e practice of compassion. H e is of
the v i e w that it is the highest of all virtues
paro dharmah) .
N o t less is
his admiration f o r t h e principle of Dama o r
control of t h e m i n d .

1 0


These virtues w e r e practised b y f a m o u s

m e n of India and their activities are r e c o r d ed in the l e g e n d a r y lore and literary texts.
One r e m e m b e r s often the name of J i m u t a v a hana, the great V i d y a d h a r a prince, w h o offered himself as f o o d f o r Garuda t h e leader of
the birds and thus saved the lives of m a n y
serpents w h i c h otherwise w o u l d h a v e b e c o m e
victims of the g r e e d y birds' w r a t h . "
unparallelled e x a m p l e of a-person w h o p r a c tised charity of an extraordinary k i n d is d e s cribed in -the p o e m R a g h u v a m s a . " H e w a s
R a g h u , son of Dilipa. He did m a n y glorious
deeds, conducted w a r s and achieved notable
victories. Having gained universal s o u v e r e ignty, h e p e r f o r m e d a great sacrifice called
" V i s v a j i t " in w h i c h h e g a v e a w a y all the
wealth' h e had. Indeed h e b e c a m e so poor
that w h e n a y o u n g sage called Kautsa c a m e
and requested of h i m a gift of m o n e y , t h e
king h a d h a r d l y a n y w i t h h i m to give, and
so had to g o to w a r with K u b e r a , t h e G o d
of Wealth. A m o n g s t those w h o practised
the control of t h e senses to the full m a y b e
mentioned t h e great Bhxshmacarya
of the
Mahabharata. H e w a s the son of K i n g S a n tanu and Ganga, t h e river goddess. W h e n
Santanu, father of Bhishma w a s o l d h e d e sired to m a r r y again.
Bhishma found a
beautiful damsel f o r h i m . B u t the parents
of the b r i d e desired that t h e son t o b e b o r n
to their daughter should o c c u p y the throne
after Santanu instead of Bhishma. T h e great
Bhishma readily consented and n o t o n l y r e n o u n c e d the throne f o r himself b u t also r e mained a b a c h e l o r until his death.
9 I b i d : 3.297-49.
1 0 I b i d : 3.297-55.
11 Ibid:
12 Vide ' Nagananda'a

13 Raghuvamsa.

drama of Sriharsa.

Canto IV and V .

T h e r e are also instances r e c o r d e d In a n cient Indian religious and secular texts of

people suffering a fall o n account of their
n o n - a d h e r e n c e to these important principles
of virtue. T h e life of the sage Visvamitra
is a case in point. He w a s b o r n a Ksatriya
b u t b y intense austerities h e w a n t e d to b e c o m e a great R s i or seer. Unfortunately h e
d e v e l o p e d a liking for Menaka, a celestial
beauty. This m o v e d h i m a w a y f r o m his i n ^

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t i g h t l y

T h e lesson to b e d r a w n is that

those w h o possess the strength of a giant

should use it in a virtuous w a y and f o r t h e
g o o d of mankind.
T h e B h a g a v a d Gita takes cognisance of t h e
role of the g o o d life in the progress o f an
individual. It mentions steadfastness, sacri-




fice, study, peacefulness and modesty as

general characteristics of the g o o d w a y of
life. It speaks of t w o types of quality, the
divine and the d e m o n i a c and points out that
fortitude, purity, v i g o u r and forgiveness are
qualities w h i c h belong to the ' d i v i n e ' w h i l e
arrogance and u n w i s d o m belong to the d e moniac. The chief purpose of this teaching
is to call the g o o d to the divine w a y of life
and m a k e them discard the d e m o n i a c .
other w o r d s , it calls u p o n people not to c o m bine p o w e r w i t h pride but with G o d . " T h e
result is v e r y like the combination of Siva,
the G o d , and Sakti, his consort, w h i c h brings
happiness to the sakta or devotee.

14 Isavasya Upanisad :

W h a t is the ultimate goal of the ' g o o d

w a y of life ' ? The Brihadaranyaka U p a n i sad w h i c h speaks of the episode of Brahma
and his repetition of the syllable Da ' thrice,
gives also the answer t o this question. T h e
Upanisad analyses the w o r d " S a t y a " or
Truth into three syllables, Sa ti and yam and
identifies the first and the last syllables w i t h
Truth. It finally points out b y implication
that the person w h o practises the g o o d w a y
of life characterised b y the three Da's Dama,
Dana and Daya will k n o w and realise Truth
or B r a h m a n , and this realisation is the u l timate goal of the g o o d w a y of life.


15 Brhadaranyaka :


V. 51.

A l l the various doctrines and paths originating at different times a n d

in different countries lead ultimately to the same Supreme Truth, l i k e
the m a n y different paths leading travellers f r o m different places to the
same city. It is ignorance of the A b s o l u t e Truth and misunderstanding
of the different doctrines that causes their followers to quarrel in bitter
animosity w i t h one another. T h e y consider their o w n particular dogmas
and paths to b e the best, as e v e r y traveller m a y think though w r o n g l y ,
his o w n to b e the o n l y or the best path.

H e w h o sees all beings in the same Self and the same Self in all
beings does not hate a n y b o d y . W h e n a m a n k n o w s that all beings are
ultimately the Self and realizes this unity in experience there remains
no delusion or grief for him.

I, Lalla, w a n d e r e d far in search of Siva, the omnipresent L o r d . A f t e r

m u c h wandering, I f o u n d H i m at last within myself, abiding in His o w n
Lalla, a Kashmiri woman

M a n y are the means of crossing the ocean of reincarnation of w h i c h

the pure w o r d s of the V e d a s speak ; but Tulasi says : Real peace of heart
cannot b e attained without giving up the notions of ' I ' and mine \



By Prof. E K N A T H E A S W A R A N
A f e w years ago I was taken b y a friend
to visit the T r u m a n M u s e u m in I n d e p e n dence, Missouri, and among the exhibits I
saw there nothing impressed m e m o r e d e e p l y than a little clay l a m p presented to P r e sident T r u m a n b y the Jewish c o m m u n i t y of
Boston. This l a m p is said to belong to the
days of K i n g D a v i d of the Old Testament.
A t its base w a s an inscription w h i c h m a y b e
translated : The Spirit of Man is the Candle
of the Lord. (Proverbs
20 : 27).
H o w this candle is to b e lit has b e e n r e vealed b y founders of e v e r y religion, b y
Krishna and Christ, b y the B u d d h a and M o h a m m a d , b y Zoroaster and L a o - T z u . If I
m a y put in a nutshell the principles that
g o v e r n all m a j o r religions, it w o u l d b e v e r y
simply : (1) that all life, the entire p h e n o menal w o r l d , has as its basis something that
is completely divine ; (2) that it is possible
for e v e r y o n e to k n o w this divine g r o u n d of
all existence ; ( 3 ) that life has o n l y one p u r p o s e n o t to m a k e m o n e y , nor to e n j o y p l e a sure, nor to achieve success, nor to attain
f a m e b u t to k n o w and b e united w i t h the
divine ground of our existence.
I h a v e v e r y little interest in theology, in
metaphysics or e v e n in philosophy. M y
approach to the scriptures is entirely on the
basis that they are practical manuals to the
art of living, and the truths in t h e m are
verifiable b y a n y o n e prepared to u n d e r g o
a certain ethical and mental discipline.
" T h e B h a g a v a d Gita," says A l d o u s H u x ley, " is perhaps the most systematic s c r i p tural statement of the Perennial P h i l o s o p h y . "
Scholars says that it w a s c o m p o s e d about
2500 years ago, but I, w h o am n o scholar in
in this field, w o u l d unhesitatingly declare
that the Gita is timeless. It is based upon
the Upanishads w h i c h h a v e been called b y
Schopenhauer the most noble, m o s t exalted
study of all mankind. There is a v e r y simple
Sanskrit verse about the Gita : all the U p a nishads are c o w s . The m a n w h o milks the

c o w s is Krishna. The calf is A r j u n a , and y o u

and I are the drinkers of the milk, the i m mortal elixir that comes f r o m the Upanishads.
In the Upanishads there is a h e a r t - b r e a k ing cry that has b e e n echoing d o w n through
the ages : " F r o m the unreal lead m e to the
Real. F r o m darkness lead m e to Light.
F r o m death lead m e to I m m o r t a l i t y . "
In one of the most p r o f o u n d of the U p a nishads, the Katha
there is a
significant dialogue b e t w e e n Y a m a , the K i n g
of Death, and the b o y Nachiketa, w h i c h m a y
b e interpreted in this w a y . Nachiketa asks :
" Is there no w a y to conquer death ? "
K i n g of Death, after testing h i m as a w o r t h y
disciple, declares tt fs greatest of secrets that
has c o m e d o w n through all religions. " A s
long as y o u identify yourself with the b o d y ,
w h i c h is subject to change, so long w i l l y o u
b e subject to the greatest of changes w h i c h
is called death. If b y some means y o u c o u l d
break through this identification w i t h the
changing b o d y and learn to identify y o u r self instead w i t h the changeless A t m a n , the
L o r d seated w i t h i n the Lotus of y o u r Heart,
then y o u w o u l d transcend death h e r e and
Nachiketa then asks the K i n g of
Death : " Please tell m e h o w I can transcend
death here and n o w . " To this the K i n g of
Death replies : " In order to attain this i m mortal state y o u must learn to bring the
m i n d under complete control through o n e pointed meditation on G o d . He w h o reaches
this level of consciousness b e c o m e s united
w i t h G o d t h r o u g h His infinite grace and is
freed f r o m the c y c l e of birth and d e a t h . "
It is said in the Psalm : " B e still and
k n o w that I am G o d . "
T o k n o w G o d , to
k n o w the) divine g r o u n d of o u r existence, w e
h a v e t o go far b e y o n d the senses, the i n t e l lect and the m i n d , w h i c h are but finite i n s truments ; and l o g i c tells us that a finite
instrument cannot b e used for fathoming the
infinite. The precious experiences of m y s tics all over the w o r l d bear witness to this


knowing. " The
natural senses cannot possess G o d or unite
t h e e to H i m ; n a y , thy i n w a r d faculties of
understanding, w i l l and m e m o r y can o n l y
reach after G o d , but cannot b e the p l a c e o f
His habitation in thee. B u t there is a root
or depth of thee f r o m w h e n c e all these f a c u l ties c o m e forth, as lines f r o m a centre, or
as branches f r o m the b o d y of t h e tree. This
depth is the unity, the e t e r n i t y I had a l most said the infinityof thy s o u l ; l o r it
is so infinite that nothing can satisfy it o r
g i v e it rest but the infinity of G o d . " This is
the testimony of W i l l i a m L a w , a British m y s tic of the eighteenth century.
In the Gita L o r d K r i s h n a w h o is the v e r y
understanding Teacher in the heart of e v e r y o n e g i v e s A r j u n a a practical lesson in m e d i tation : " R e p o s e y o u r m i n d , concentrate
y o u r m i n d , still y o u r m i n d c o m p l e t e l y in M e .
T h e n y o u w i l l b e united w i t h m e in this
v e r y life, here and n o w . "
A r j u n a points
o u t : " It is easier to control the w i n d than
the m i n d . " Krishna says : " A r j u n a , I k n o w
it is v e r y difficult to control the m i n d , but
there is a v e r y simple secret : regular, s y s tematic, steadfast p r a c t i c e . "
A s our meditation deepens, w e are rather
taken aback to discover that w e have s e l d o m b e e n able to exercise control o v e r o u r
m i n d . W e do not l i v e intentionally. A s w e
learn, through meditation, to exercise c o n trol o v e r the deeper levels of consciousness,
w e b e g i n to get o v e r this obsessive identification w i t h the b o d y and are able to use the
b o d y . W e are able to get o v e r this o p p r e s sive identification w i t h the m i n d and are
able to use the mind. In order to use these
instruments for fulfilling the supreme p u r p o s e of life, w e h a v e to b e c o m e detached in
a great m e a s u r e f r o m them, and this is w h a t
meditation enables us to do as soon as it
begins to deepen.
G o o d health, p e a c e of
m i n d , a capacity to face adequately t h e
storm and stress of life, and integration o f
character w h i c h takes place w h e n all desires
a r e subordinated t o this s u p r e m e d e s i r e :
these are the m a r k s of the m a n w h o is m a k ing progress on the path of meditation.
St. Francis of Assissi refers to t h e b o d y
as B r o t h e r Ass. H e says : This is Brother



Ass, and I am the rider. A s l o n g as I c o n sider myself part of Brother Ass, I h a v e n e i ther liberty n o r the capacity to l i v e i n t e n tionally.
W h e n w e l o o k around us w e m a k e t h e
discovery that w e are m o r e the slaves of
our possessions than the masters. Gandhiji's
campaign against c o m p u l s i v e possessiveness
has its inspiration f r o m the mystics of all
ages w h o w a r n us : If y o u w a n t to b e free,
don't be attached. This is no plea for p o v e r ty, but for detachment. It is possible for a
labourer in his cottage to be attached to his
f e w coppers and clay pots, as it is possible
for a king in his palace to be detached and
Ramakrishna has s u m m e d u p the w h o l e
teaching of the Gita in one w o r d . T h e w o r d
gita in Sanskrit reversed b e c o m e s
w h i c h means renunciation.
This does not
mean p o v e r t y , nor m o n o t o n y but a d y n a m i c ,
creative quality w h i c h enables y o u to l i v e
as the master and not as the victim of life.

The Gita lays d o w n three paths to the

supreme goal of life : k a r m a y o g a o r the
path of action, jnana y o g a or the path of
k n o w l e d g e , bhakti y o g a or the path of d e votion.
( 1 ) K a r m a y o g a means the path of w o r k
or action as an offering to G o d . E v e r y act
must b e p e r f o r m e d as an offering to G o d ,
and there must b e no craving after the fruits
of action, w h i c h is v e r y , v e r y difficult.
( 2 ) Jnana y o g a is usually understood in
the West as the path of the intellect. It is
m o r e correctly the path of gnosis in the
G r e e k sense of the w o r d , a transcendental,
superconscious m o d e of k n o w i n g .
( 3 ) Bhakti y o g a is the path of devotion.
W h e n w e are able to tap the vein of devotion
inherent in all of us, this path b e c o m e s a
swift, safe and sweet one.
I b e l i e v e that all threeaction, k n o w l e d g e
and d e v o t i o n h a v e a legitimate place in our
daily life, but they must b e "Based on the
regular and systematic practice of m e d i t a tion.
T h e c l i m a x of meditation is called in S a n s krit samadhi, sam meaning with and adhi
meaning Lord.
It is a sound educational
a x i o m that k n o w i n g is a function of being,




and w e c o m e to k n o w G o d because in His Krishna enthroned in m y heart, or shall I

infinite grace H e allows us to j o i n H i m b y identify myself with the b o d y that is s u b " actual participation " as one of the C a t h o - j e c t to change ? Krishna says : Y o u can
lic mystics calls it. W h e n samadhi or b e - never afford to lose y o u r vigilance because
c o m i n g united w i t h G o d has b e c o m e p e r m a - y o u have to b e constantly and ceaselessly
nent it is called Moksha b y the Hindus and striving.
Y o u r will has to b e so resolute
Nirvana b y the Budhhists. T h e m a n w h o has that y o u will not allow anything to m a k e
attained union with G o d has c o m e to learn y o u s w e r v e f r o m the Goal. A l l mystics, ail
for himself w h o h e is and after that h e has saints, are agreed this is the highest destiny
only one purpose or ostensible purpose in to w h i c h all mankind m o v e s . The poet, the
life, that is to remind others w h o t h e y are.
musician, the painter, the sculptor, yes, many
Meditation develops the most precious c a - are artistic, but o n l y a small segment of their
The m a n of
pacity that m a n can have, the capacity to personality contains beauty.
o d ; n o t just
turn anger into compassion, fear into f e a r lessness and hatred into l o v e . I am never one n a r r o w sector, but e v e r y cell of his c o n tired of repeating that this is the greatest sciousness is filled with this beauty, this
miracle of meditation, not seeing visions, not glory, this effiulgence.
hearing voices but the capacity to purify the
heart of all that is selfish and degrading.
" Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall
see G o d . "
The Gita gives a perfect picture of the
m a n w h o has b e c o m e o n e w i t h G o d . Krishna
says : There is n o one so dear to m y heart
as he w h o w i t h l o v e for e v e r y o n e f r i e n d
and foe, for those w h o attack him, villify
him, torture h i m w i l l have o n l y kindness
and compassion.
A s Jesus says : " L o v e
y o u r enemies, bless them that curse y o u , d o
g o o d to them that hate y o u , and p r a y for
them that despitefully use y o u . and p e r s e cute y o u . "
In life all of us need happiness, but all
of us need s o r r o w too.
S o r r o w can enable
us to g r o w spiritually, and I doubt if there
has b e e n any mystic w h o s e heart has n o t
b e e n b r o k e n m a n y times b e f o r e attaining
union w i t h G o d . Therefore, w h e n s o r r o w is
necessary for his spiritual g r o w t h , the m a n
of G o d will w e l c o m e it with open arms. Put
h i m amidst p o v e r t y , amidst wealth.
h i m healthy, m a k e h i m sick. M a k e h i m f a mous, m a k e h i m infamous. H e w i l l still b e
content ; he w i l l still b e t h e same because
he has identified himself with that w h i c h
does not change. W h y should h e b e affected
b y changes outside w h e n he k n o w s w h o
dwells in his consciousness ?
E v e r y m o m e n t in life w e hav^ this choice
to m a k e : Shall I identify myself w i t h m y
atman, m y soul, w i t h the Christ within, the

W h e n Dr. Oppenheimer, the distinguished

A m e r i c a n atomic scientist, witnessed the e x perimental explosion of the atomic b o m b on
the desert of N e w M e x i c o he recalls that
w h a t immediately flashed into his m i n d w a s
t h e terrible line f r o m the* Gita : " I am c o m e
as T i m e , the waster of the people, r e a d y for
the hour that ripens to their d o o m . "
this subject Meister Eckhart says : " T i m e
is w h a t keeps the light f r o m reaching us.
There is no greater obstacle to G o d than
time. A n d not only time but temporalities,
not only temporal things but t e m p o r a l affections ; not only temporal affections but the
v e r y taint and smell of t i m e . "
W ^ e n w e practice meditation, w e are b e ing delivered out of time, w h i c h means that
w e are being delivered out of the J a w s of
the K i n g of Death. In one of the d e e p l y
m o v i n g devotional h y m n s of Sankara, w e
are told : Don't: b e p r o u d of y o u r youth, y o u r
wealth, y o u r name.
T i m e w i l l steal these
f r o m y o u in the twinkling of an eye. T h e r e fore, take shelter at the feet of the L o r d .
T o repeat w h a t I said earlier, death is a
great change in w h i c h these chemical c o n s tituents of the b o d y are resolved into a n other state. Y o u are subject to death o n l y
w h e n y o u identify yourself w i t h y o u r b o d y
w h i c h is in a state of chemical flux. K r i s h na says : T h r o u g h meditation on the L o r d ,
b y identifying yourself with the L o r d , y o u can
b r e a k through o n c e and for all this primal
compulsion, this a g e - o l d fallacy that y o u are



the b o d y . A s Jesus says to Martha : " I am the

resurrection and the life. He that believeth
in M e , though he w e r e dead, yet shall h e b e
always a l i v e . " Krishna says again : Learn
to focus all y o u r consciousness on M e , and
it is m y responsibility to release y o u , to r e s -

cue y o u f r o m this cycle of birth and death

that is called life.
Thou Wilt Light My Candle:
Lord My God will Enlighten My
(Psalm 18 : 2 8 ) .


By H A R I N D R A N A T H



There comes a timebut do not ask

When since I know not
This I know and this
Only that unto each one comes nemesis,
A sparkling night naked with an excess
Of splendour troubling hearts with loneliness ;
The jet-black diamond hour which tears the mask
Nature hath wrought with cunning,
Most intricate of masks, both you and me,
Self-evaders who keep running
After brief thrills of time from dusk till morning,
From morn to dusk-tide, scorning
The tactiturn rapture of Eternity
That instant of unmasking is divine
And hence, a seal of everlastingness,
Torture-packed instant on which angels press
Their heavenly weight so man's dividing line
Between himself and him be cancelled quite,
Unmasking in sheer process of the Light
Demanding sacrificial torture. Lo !
The butcher dooms the animal at one blow,
Marking an act of mercywhile, though odd
It might appear, the hammer-strokes of God
Are never-ending since, when they began
To strike at the nailed mask unnailing each
With sheerest smashing, until the nails spin
Scattering around and whirling beyond reach
Of that same mask or even the face which wore i t :
I had a mask onceLove, you came and tore it
To shreds, sweet heaven's representative !
That I might cease to perish, start to live
A new life-lease lent to me by such grief
As hath a deep contempt for beauty that is brief !








Is there any w a y of recognizing t h e pearls

of esoteric truth about w h i c h I spoke in m y
previous article ? N o infallible w a y , but a
g o o d general rule is that they w i l l b e found
t o b e those sayings of Christ's w h i c h m o d e r n
Christians ignore. F o r instance, h a v e y o u
e v e r heard a sermon preached on the text
that m a n y are called but f e w are chosen ?
Or read an exposition of it b y a theologian
or apologist ? Perhaps b y the
predestinationists of the early
Church, but not since then. T o - d a y w e pass
it o v e r in uneasy silence.
Called to what ? Chosen for w h a t ?
F o r m e m b e r s h i p of the Christian Church ?
Or any of them ? Can one imagine a b o a r d
of missionaries screening
conversion ( o r , in Christian countries, for
baptism or confirmation)
about one in ten ?
T h e n to heaven ? That w o u l d carry the
rather grim corollary that most people g o to
A n d indeed, Christ's teaching does
sound grievously like that w h e n he warns
t h a t : " w i d e is the gate and b r o a d the w a y
that leadeth to destruction, and m a n y there
b e w h i c h go in threat : because strait is the
gate and n a r r o w the w a y w h i c h leadeth u n to life, and f e w there b e that find i t . "
But/ isn't it possible just: to b e neutral ? It
w o u l d b e generally agreed that f e w people
are striving in a Christian w a y , making their
life a p a t h w a y to salvation, finding the strait
gate and f o l l o w i n g the n a r r o w w a y , but
that f e w also are actively vicious or d e s t r u c tive.
Most p e o p l e are just m a k i n g w h a t
they can of their life, not exerting t h e m selves to raise it to a godlike l e v e l but also
not sinking to a bestial or diabolical level,
Can't they avoid b o t h Christ's w a y s and just
m a k e life a camping ground to b e e n j o y e d
w h i l e it lasts, with no thought of w h e r e it
m a y lead to ? That is not what Christ taught.
H e mentioned no third possibility ; only the
t w o r o a d s u p or d o w n . A n d h e said that

m o s t f o l l o w the latter.
T h e r e is a saying
ascribed to him in Islamic countries w h i c h ,
although not contained in the gospels, fits in
w e l l with his teaching ; that is : " The w o r l d
is a bridge ; pass o v e r but d o n o t build a
house on it." W h a t is reported in the g o s pels is that Christ: specifically repudiated
neutrality b y saying that those w h o w e r e not
w i t h him w e r e against h i m . Christianity is
not a c o m f o r t a b l e r e l i g i o n n o t f o r those
w h o t a k e it seriously, n o t for those w h o heed
Christ's warnings.
It w a s not comfortable
for his contemporaries.
I said that in the
first of this series of articles, and some r e a ders t o o k offence, thinking that I w a s attributing the b l a m e for it to Christ. T h e b l a m e
w a s on those w h o needed aggressive h a n d l ing ; the b l a m e is on those t o - d a y w h o r e fuse to heed the warning, clear t h o u g h it is.
Religious injunctions reflect spiritual l a w s
w h i c h are as natural and universal on their
level as physical l a w s are on theirs.
Despite appearances, a tree cannot cease t o g r o w
or d e c a y and just stand still, remaining as it
is. N o r can a h u m a n b o d y . U p to a certain
age the process of g r o w t h takes place in it.
F r o m an e v e n earlier age, perhaps f r o m birth,
processes of decay are also active in it. W h y
should w e suppose that the h u m a n soul is
e x e m p t f r o m this l a w , that it can stand aside
f r o m change and shirk its destiny, taking
neither the n a r r o w n o r the b r o a d w a y but
just camping out and having a g o o d time ?
N o t e that I say * s o u l ' and n o t ' spirit
T h e Mediaeval schoolmen distinguished b e t w e e n ' animus
and ' spiritus \ T h e Spirit
is indeed changeless, birthless, deathless, O n e
with the Father, perfect as y o u r Father
w h i c h is in h e a v e n is perfect ; but the S p i rit is a b o v e the l a w s of change, just IS ; and
to realize its identity w i t h the Spirit is just
the task w h i c h the soul has to take u p .
Philosophical technicalities apart, it is
clear to all that m a n as he is on earth is

2 St. John, X , 30.

i S t . Matthew, VII, 13-14.

3 St. Matthew, V , 48




trail, another claiming to b e what he is not,

and b e hard put to it to count t w o or three
w h o are still striving in a g o o d w a y .
e v e n of those, h o w m a n y will attain ?
' Morte d'Arthur ' is a v e r y sad story. The
w h o l e noble c o m p a n y of knights
gathered together at K i n g Arthur's court for
the feast of Pentecost, and w h i l e they w e r e
seated at the R o u n d Table the Sangraal
passed through the hall on a b e a m of light,
but veiled so that none actually saw it. They
w e r e asked w h o w o u l d undertake its quest
and all alike pledged themselves and rode
forth w i t h courage and high hopes.
h o w e v e r , soon turned back, finding the tug
The n a r r o w path Christ spoke of is the
of the w o r l d too strong ; some perished b y
path leading to salvation or realization. T h e
the w a y ; some w e r e daunted or o v e r t h r o w n
t w o are the same. The exaggerated i m p o r b y the dragons of the e g o ; some b e tance ascribed to death leads p e o p l e to d i s witched or cast into dungeons b y e n c h a n t tinguish b e t w e e n after-death salvation and
ers, the false guides w h o beset the path ; some
realization achieved in this life," but really
turned aside to lesser quests or settled d o w n
there is no difference.
Neither is attained
in castles along the w a y ; some attained a
without effort. The effort must b e c o n t i n u single vision of the Sangraal and r e ous.
Even of those w h o find the
cognized that, for them, that was sufficient
gate ', f e w f o l l o w the ' n a r r o w path ' to the
achievement for this lifetime ; and out of
end. This is stated even m o r e explicitly in
all that noble c o m p a n y only three pursued
the B h a g a v a d Gita, w h i c h reminds us that the quest to its end.
e v e n those w h o are called are f e w c o m p a r e d
For the m a n y w h o have been called but
with the m a n y not called, that e v e n those
will not be chosen, w h o have f o u n d the
w h o find the strait g a t e ' are f e w , let alone
' strait g a t e ' but do not tread the ' n a r r o w
those w h o f o l l o w the ' n a r r o w p a t h ' to the
p a t h ' to the end, the Bhagavad Gita does
end. " A m o n g thousands perhaps one strives
indeed offer a consolation, one that is at the
f o r Realization ; a m o n g thousands w h o strive
same time compassionate and logical. A r j u n a
for Realization perhaps one k n o w s M e as I
asks Krishna about those w h o strive but fail
to achieve and is assured that no effort is
O n e w h o takes the n a r r o w path needs no
E v e n those w h o fail to bring the
scripture to tell h i m this. He sees all the
quest to a g o o d end, to the ultimate Goal,
c o m p a n y of his friends or f o r m e r friends, all
in this lifetime retain what progress they
the society in w h i c h he used to m o v e , o c have m a d e and will be so circumstanced in
cupied with their w o r l d l y aims and frustratheir next birth as to enable them to take
tions, satisfied or dissatisfied, but in neither
up again f r o m w h e r e they stopped and to
case willing to turn a w a y f r o m it all and
press on further.
W h i c h also explains the
seek true happiness.
H o w Christ's heart
p h e n o m e n o n of those w h o , like the Maharshi,
must h a v e ached w h e n he spoke of the broad
attain the Goal with the v e r y little effort
path and the m a n y w h o tread i t ! Even after
m a d e in this lifetime.
setting forth, a m a n m a y l o o k around at his
But what is a clear message apparent to
companions or f o r m e r companions in the
all seeks f r o m the v i e w p o i n t of the quest is
quest; and see this one fallen b a c k into a c a meaningless in any other context. W h e n will
d e m i c scholarship, that one f o l l o w i n g a false
Christians w a k e up to the heritage Christ
them and the warnings he gave ?
4/bid., VII, 3.
~ ~

not changeless or perfect. Therefore he c a n not abjure the need for effort w h i c h his
h u m a n h o o d lays u p o n him. Even to h u m a n
observation it is clear that he w h o does not
i m p r o v e deteriorates, that sitting out f r o m
the dance of nature, or trying to, means l o s ing one's place in it and falling back. But
it is not left to h u m a n observation, it is d e termined b y Christ ; and he leaves no c a m p ing ground b e t w e e n the t w o w a y s . B y not
taking the arduous one p e o p l e are ipso facto
f o l l o w i n g that w h i c h , he says, leads to d e s truction. That they are the vast m a j o r i t y is
an appalling thought ; but that does not m a k e
it any the less a fact.


By P A I D I


The author of this article gives little factual information about Sai Baba.
In India he is so
well known that it is not necessary.
Foreign readers are referred to The Incredible Sai B a b a ' *
Briefly : he was a great saint living at the turn of the century died in 1918. He had both Hindu
and Muslim disciples, refusing to say that he belonged
to either religion.
He wrote
(which is perhaps why he is so little known outside India) but worked an extraordinary
profusion of miracles.
Like the Maharshi, he appointed no successor but remained himself the guru
after death. He still appears in dreams and visions to those who turn to him with true devotion,
answers their prayers, cures sickness, grants boons, removes obstacles.
This explains why, with
no organized propaganda and no institution in his name, his devotees are Jar more numerous now
than in his lifetime.

Man is in quest of G o d and G o d is in

search of m a n f r o m all eternity. The quest
for G o d differs f r o m m a n to man. T h e h i g h est function of e v e r y religion is to p r o v i d e
a path leading b a c k to our original H o m e
f r o m w h i c h w e have strayed a w a y . . Indeed,
each religion has various paths, those in
one being similar to those in another. W h a t ever the path m a y be, the goal or d e s t i n a tion is the same for all ; God-realization or
Self-realization or Moksha or S a l v a t i o n or
Fana or Nirvana are different names of the
identical state ultimately to be reached. It
is v e r y difficult to reach this goal without
a guide. A s the Kathopanishad puts it :

" O Ignorant M e n ! A w a k e ! Arise !

A p p r o a c h a S u p r e m e G u r u w h o will d i s pel y o u r darkness ! The path is as hard
and sharp as a razor's edge. A n d never
stop till the goal is r e a c h e d . "
" W h o but a G u r u will rescue y o u ? "
Jalaluddin R u m i , a great Persian Sufi saint
says " T h i s path can b e t r o d d e n only through
an intermediary, the guru. But he alone is
* The Incredible Sai Baba by Arthur Osborne
published by Orient Longmans, Calcutta, and
Rider & Co., London.
1 Eastern writers are apt to presume this, but
actually salvation' is used by Christian writers
to indicate a state short of Nirvana, where the
separate individual being still exists, although
beatified. (Editor.)

a guru w h o is dead to self and is established

in Identity. He is one w h o is a b o v e the
' shariyat'
( f o r m a l religious o b l i g a t i o n s ) .
H e can help in the path of fariquat ( e x p e riences leading to realization of G o d ) . So,
seek such a one, that y o u m a y attain union
with the L o r d . "

again says, " I was






the current of the W o r l d and its traditions.

On the w a y , I m e t t h e true G u r u w h o
s h o w e d m e the path to L i g h t . " " The B o d y
is a poisonous creeper, the G u r u is a s t o r e house of nectar ; e v e n though a G u r u c o u l d
b e f o u n d only at the cost of y o u r head, y o u
should consider the bargain c h e a p . " " T h e
true G u r u is a valiant knight.
He shoots
with full force and strikes f r o m navel to
c r o w n ; the w o u n d is not visible o u t w a r d l y ,
but the inside is shattered to bits."
T h e G u r u Gita declares : " Difficult it is to
renounce sense-objects, difficult is the vision
of Truth, difficult is the attainment of S e l f realization, w i t h o u t the grace of the G u r u . "
T h e r e are gurus and gurus these days.
E v e r y m a n w h o can p e r f o r m miracles or
has attained some p o w e r s or w h o can gather
a g r o u p of disciples calls himself a G u r u .
H o w can one w h o has not himself realized,
enable others to realise the Self ? Says the
G u r u Gita again : " The G u r u w h o has no
k n o w l e d g e , w h o is a liar and a hypocrite
should b e shunned. He does not k n o w h o w
t o bring peace to himself. H o w can he bring
it to others ? " It is like the blind leading
the blind w h i c h ultimately results in both
of them falling into a ditch of darkness.
That is w h y the scriptures h a v e laid dbwn
the qualities needed for a Guru. T h e y are
( 1 ) he must be v e r y able and discriminating ;
( 2 ) he must b e full of spiritual w i s d o m ;
( 3 ) he must b e pure and clear-sighted ; ( 4 )
he must always b e imperturbable and g o o d natured ; ( 5 ) he must speak little and b e
free f r o m the six enemies : lust, anger,
greed, attachment, pride and j e a l o u s y ; ( 6 )
his conduct must b e upright, free f r o m lust
and acquisitiveness and, most important of
all ( 7 ) he must b e self-controlled and in
fact, Self-realized, so that he can show G o d
to others w h o seek Him.
First and foremost, a G u r u must be selfrealized. T h e Upanishads say that one w h o
k n o w s the B r a h m a n b e c o m e s the Brahman.
T h e r e are degrees of realization. These are
said t o b e Gurus, S a t - G u r u s and Samartha
S a t - G u r u s . T h e r e are also Swamijis, Saints
and Sages. Gurus are on the fourth p l a n e ;
S a t - G u r u s on the fifth and sixth ; and
Samartha S a t - G u r u s on the seventh plane

and b e y o n d .
This last
as the flowering of an
Bhagavan Ramana and
recent examples of this

category are as rare

aloe. Sri Sai Baba,
Sri Ramakrishna are

Sri Sai Baba has really no name. M a n y

such surprises occur in his life. H e declared:
" T h e y call m e Sai Baba. M y father's n a m e
is also Sai Baba. M y G u r u is Venkusa. M y
religion is K a b i r . M y caste is Parvardhigar
( G o d ) . " He meant to say that He is n a m e less and that all names belong to Him. He
is birthless and deathless and hence f a t h e r less : He is a b o v e all religions, hence all
religions belong to H i m ; and He is a b o v e
the castes.
T h e w o r d ' S a i ' is Persian and means, a
saint or a fakir, and the w o r d * B a b a ' is the
Hindi for father, so that the w h o l e name
means the Saintly F a t h e r ' . It w a s simply
a term of endearment and respect.

" * S a i ' is the name given to a person w h o
has reached the highest stage of ' P a r a m a hamsa ' of our Scriptures." A Paramahamsa
is none other than the A v a d h u t a ' w h o s e
characteristics are delineated in detail in the
' Avadhuta Gita'.
So the A v a d h u t a is the e m b o d i m e n t of the
Brahman. He walks amidst us as B r a h m a n
and his precepts are meant to guide us in
our d a y - t o - d a y life.

Sri Sai B a b a Himself declared o u t r i g h t :

" T h e G u r u is all the G o d s . Trust in the
Guru fully. That is the only
" Listen m o t h e r , " he said to a l a d y devotee
w h o asked h i m for initiation into a mantra :
" m y G u r u never taught m e any mantras,
so h o w shall I b l o w any into y o u r ears ? Just
r e m e m b e r that the Guru's t o r t o i s e - l i k e
l o v i n g glance brings happiness. D o not t r y
to get a mantra or instruction f r o m a n y b o d y .
M a k e m e the sole o b j e c t of y o u r thoughts
and action, and y o u w i l l certainly attain
Paramartha (the spiritual goal of l i f e ) . L o o k
at m e w h o l e - h e a r t e d l y and I in turn will

2 This is a far from simple Question.

It will
be taken up in a later issue of ' The Mountain
Path'. For the time being the author's statements
are merely recorded.
s For an elucidation of this strange expression
see below the description of the three types of
initiation. (Editor).




l o o k at y o u w h o l e - h e a r t e d l y ; sitting in this
mosque, I speak the pure truth. Neither
practice nor scripture is necessary. H a v e
faith and confidence in y o u r Guru. Believe
fully that the G u r u is the sqle actor or doer.
Blessed is he w h o k n o w s the greatness,
grandeur and glory of his Guru and thinks
him to b e Siva, Vishnu and B r a h m a (the
T r i m u r t h i ) and Parabrahman Incarnate."
A g a i n he said : " K e e p straight on y o u r
o w n course. The W o r l d maintains a w a l l of
differentiation b e t w e e n oneself and others,
b e t w e e n y o u and m e . Destroy this wall. G o d
is the Supreme L o r d . Precious and enduring
are His w o r k s . Y o u r o b j e c t will b e fulfilled
in due c o u r s e . "

" Guru's grace is y o u r only sadhana. Jnana

(spiritual k n o w l e d g e ) comes in its w a k e . "
" T h e r e are plenty of paths to the G o a l
f r o m each place. But the w a y is r u g g e d and
beset with tigers and bears. If one has a
guide with him there is no difficulty. The
tigers and bears m o v e aside. If there is n o
guide, there is a deep y a w n i n g pit o n the
w a y and there is the danger of falling into
" S t i c k to y o u r o w n G u r u with unabated
faith w h a t e v e r the merits of other Gurus
and h o w e v e r little the merits of y o u r o w n . "
" W e must not give up attachment to our
o w n Guru, but firmly rely on him and h i m
O n one occasion, in order to stress the
value of faith, he said : " It is not the G u r u
w h o makes himself y o u r Guru, but y o u w h o
regard him as y o u r G u r u b y having faith
in him. Take a bit of b r o k e n pot and regard
it as y o u r G u r u and see whether y o u r goal
or aim is reached or n o t . "
O n another occasion, h o w e v e r , stressing
the p o w e r of the Guru, he said : " I k n o w
w h o are m y people and I d r a w them to m e
e v e n if they are a thousand miles a w a y , like
a bird with a string tied to its f o o t . "
One of the m a n y peculiarities of Sai B a b a
w a s his habit of asking for m o n e y , often
specific amounts, sometimes quite
coins. In general no G u r u w i l l d o this. Sri
Ramakrishna could not e v e n touch m o n e y ;
he felt an actual burning f r o m it. Sai Baba's







" B a b a wants t w o ha'pence, faith and

If an aspirant had absolute, undivided faith
in h i m and intense l o v e , regarding him as
the sole A c t o r or D o e r in this w o r l d , and this
w o r l d as belonging to him, and if he b o r e
pain and pleasure w i t h equanimity, Sai B a b a
w o u l d b e highly pleased w i t h h i m and bless
Nishta is absolute faith in the Guru, c o m plete surrender to the G u r u of the w h o l e
b o d y , mind, soul and possessions. T h e Tai-ttiriya Upanishad says, " He w h o has supreme
devotion to G o d and to the G u r u as to G o d
to that blessed soul these truths reveal
Sai Baba says, " T h e G u r u is all the G o d s .
Trust in the G u r u fully. That is the only
A n aspirant should r e m e m b e r his G u r u as
a l o v e r r e m e m b e r s his b e l o v e d w h o is n e v e r
out of his m i n d for a m o m e n t .
A n aspirant should fix his m i n d on the
G u r u as a c o w does on its calf w h i l e grazing
in the forest, not forgetting it e v e n for a
A n aspirant should think of his G u r u as a
beggar thinks of the f e w coins he has scraped
together, w h i c h he counts e v e r y n o w and then
and does not forget even for a m o m e n t .
A n aspirant should b e attracted
G u r u as a m o t h is to a flame.



A n aspirant should b e i m m e r s e d in l o v e
for the G u r u like a fish in the w a t e r w h i c h
it cannot leave without dying.
Therefore, faith is nothing but s e l f - e f f a c e m e n t w h i c h says that :
" So long as I existed in m e , the G u r u
did not ;
N o w the G u r u exists, the ' I ' is g o n e
N a r r o w is the lane of l o v e , it cannot
h o l d b o t h the ego and the L o r d . "
Sai B a b a says that patience is courage. It
ferries y o u across to the far shore. It gives
manliness, eradicates sin and dejection and
o v e r c o m e s all fear.



A n aspirant w h o has patience bears all the

assaults of fate. He endures w i t h e q u a n i m i t y j o y s and sorrows, pleasures and pains,
in fact all the pairs of opposites.
As a
are due
one has
but o n e

matter of fact, all j o y s and sorrows

to past k a r m a . One has to reap w h a t
sown. T h e r e is no escape f r o m this,
can accept it w i t h a calm and quiet

Sai Baba said that w o r l d l y j o y and sorrow

are a m e r e delusion. A w o r l d l y m a n is
f o r c i b l y d r a w n to j o y as h e believes it to b e
true happiness, but it is not. It is in a c c o r d ance with his s e l f - m a d e k a r m a that one m a n
gets delicacies and another stale, l e f t - o v e r
f o o d . The latter fancies himself u n h a p p y at
that and the f o r m e r h a p p y ; but the result
in either case is m e r e l y the satisfaction of
S o m e c o v e r themselves w i t h lace
shawls and others w i t h rags ; both alike serve
m e r e l y to c o v e r the b o d y . T h e pairs of o p p o sites such as j o y and s o r r o w , pleasure and
pain, are o n l y due to thought. W h e n e v e r
any idea of j o y or s o r r o w , pain or pleasure,
happiness or unhappiness arises in our m i n d ,
w e must firmly resist it and not g i v e r o o m
to. it, because it is o n l y a trick p l a y e d b y t h e
T h e six enemies : lust, anger, covetousness,
delusion, pride and jealousy, are equally
delusive. T h e y m a k e the unreal a p p e a r real.
O n e must c o n q u e r them. T h e n w a v e s of
passion w i l l not rise u p . Otherwise, they
w i l l enslave and destroy us. If they are e l i minated and discrimination put, in charge,
then delusive pleasures and pains, j o y s and
s o r r o w s , gains and losses w i l l no l o n g e r
affect us.
The aspirant should h a v e patience at;
h e l o v e s or values is lost.
The Lord
the L o r d
choicest blessings u p o n him, He w i l l take e v e r y thing a w a y f r o m h i m , so that nothing should
stand as an obstacle to the blessed union
b e t w e e n the d e v o t e e and the L o r d . A devotee
feels the t h r o b of the L o r d in g o o d and b a d
fortune, in pleasant and unpleasant fate, in
gain and loss, life and death, and in fact, in




That is true patience.

That is

Faith and patience are the manifestations
of the grace of the Guru. The m o r e t h e y are
d e v e l o p e d in the d e v o t e e , the m o r e blessed
he is, as he silently and surely reaches the
a b o d e of the b e l o v e d .
There is a c o m m o n belief that without i n i tiation, there can b e no spiritual progress.
But this initiation can b e either f o r m a l or
Diksha or initiation is the opening of the
heart to Divine Consciousness. It can b e of
three types : ( 1 ) B y touch, w h i c h is c o m pared to a bird sitting on its eggs to hatch
them ; ( 2 ) B y sight, w h i c h is c o m p a r e d to a
fish, m e r e l y keeping its eggs in s i g h t ; ( 3 )
B y thought, w h i c h is c o m p a r e d to the t o r toise, w h i c h buries its eggs and m e r e l y
thinks of them.
The last t w o methods are those of Sri Sai
' L o o k at m e w h o l e - h e a r t e d l y and I
will l o o k at y o u ' refers to the second. If
an aspirant e v e n thinks of Sai Baba w i t h
intense l o v e , Baba turns to h i m in response ;
and his response is p o w e r f u l enough to n u r ture and guide the aspirant.
B a b a enters
his being and takes charge of his sadhana b y
pushing him f r o m outside and pulling h i m
f r o m within. This descent of the conscious
p o w e r of the G u r u or of G o d is essential ;
without it there is no fulfilment.

In the B h a g a v a d Gita, Sri Krishna says,

" Oh A r j u n a ! H o w s o e v e r m e n approach m e ,
even so do I seek them ; all m e n f o l l o w m y
path f r o m all sides."
Similarly, each devotee saw the deity of his
w o r s h i p in Sri Sai Baba. T o some devotees
of L o r d R a m a , he appeared in the physical
f o r m of R a m a ; to Krishna worshippers He
s h o w e d himself as L o r d Krishna ; to devotees
of Datta He appeared as L o r d Dattatreya ;
to some Christians, like Captain Hate, h e
appeared as Christ, w h i l e some Vittal w o r shippers saw L o r d Pandurang in him and
some Siva worshippers L o r d Siva. S o m e
devotees he w e l c o m e d in the f o r m of their
o w n Gurus.
4 A l s o of Sri Ramana Maharshi. (Editor).
5 The present tense is used because this stil]
remains true. (Editor).



Just as different rivers, taking their rise

in different places, flow f r o m the East, the
West, the South and the North to mingle
w i t h the same ocean, so devotees of G o d in
various forms found in Sri Sai Baba an
incarnation of P a r a - B r a h m a n w h o includes
Brahma (the C r e a t o r ) , Vishnu (the P r o t e c t o r ) and Siva (the D e s t r o y e r ) ,
Sai Baba insisted on the essential unity
underlying the varied forms of religion ; and
it was the essence that he was concerned
with. He declared, " A l l Gods are One.
There is no difference b e t w e e n the Hindu
' R a m ' and the Muslim * R a h i m '. The m o s que and the temple are the same. B e wise
and united. G o d will protect y o u . " The great
Saint, Kabir, also says : " Hari is in the East,
Allah is in the West, L o o k into y o u r heart,
for there y o u will find both R a h i m and R a m . "
" A l l the m e n and w o m e n of the w o r l d
are His living f o r m s , " said Sai Baba. " K a b i r
is the child of A l l a h and of R a m ; He is m y
Guru, He is m y P i r . "
To establish brotherhood among his Hindu
and Muslim followers, Sri Sai Baba arranged a * Sandal Procession ' on the birth anniversary of Sri Rama. Shakkar Dalai, a M u s lim of Korahli, was in charge of it. A similar procession is taken out in h o n o u r of
great Muslim saints. Sandal paste etc. was
put in the flat metal dishes and carried with
burning incense in procession to the a c c o m paniment of music through the village, and
then, after returning to the m o s q u e in which
Sai Baba lived, the contents of the dishes

6 Pronounced ' P e e r ' ;

Muslims for guru '.

a name used by



w e r e t h r o w n on the Nimbar and walls. So,

on the same day, the procession of the M u s lim flags b y the Hindus and that of the
Hindu Sandal b y the Muslims w e r e p e r f o r m e d simultaneously. This still continues
without any obstruction or objection.
Even in his m o s q u e , Sai Baba a l l o w e d the
Hindus to worship him in their o w n w a y .
S o m e Muslim fanatics tried to persuade him
to ban the Hindu practice of worshipping a
Guru, but he flatly refused. Once a Maulvi
pleaded to be allowed to cut the throats of
the Hindu worshippers, but Baba told him :
" First, cut mine and then the others, because
it is on account of m e and in accordance
with m y will that they are coming here and
worshipping m e . "
Seeing this firm attitude of Baba's, they
gave up their objection.
The Perfect Master not only b e c o m e s G o d
but, after achieving God-realization, comes
d o w n to the ordinary mortal consciousness of
man. Thus he possesses simultaneously G o d consciousness and m e n t a l - s u b t l e - g r o s s - c o n s ciousness. The w o r l d is never without such
G o d - m e n . Such Supreme Sages of this age
have been Bhagavan Ramana, Sri R a m a krishna and Sri Sai Baba.
L o r d Krishna declared in the Bhagavatam :
" The Sadhus are m y heart, as I am theirs.
T h e y k n o w only Me! and I k n o w only t h e m . "
W h o is nobler, happier or m o r e blessed
than those w h o bear this relationship w i t h
Him, w h o have fastened H i m to the door of
their heart with the cord of L o v e ?

Being under the spell of T h y Maya, none k n o w s that T h o u art the


Thou art the heart of all beings.

Blind to this truth, they search

for Thee outside themselves. T h o u art the sole Truth ; all else is illusory.
The wise k n o w this and meditate on Thee in their hearts.



By N A G A M M A
6th Sept,, 1947.
Last m o n t h , w h i l e m y s i s t e r - i n - l a w w a s
Staying here, the proof of the T e l u g u version
of ' V i c h a r a Mani M a l a ' w a s r e c e i v e d f r o m
the printer. In the afternoon B h a g a v a n c o r rected it and then passed it on to m e . On
reading it, m y s i s t e r - i n - l a w asked m e the
wasn't quite sure myself so I said something
or other but she w a s not quite satisfied.
Bhagavan noticed and said : " W h a t is the
matter ? Is there some mistake ? "
" N o , " I replied ; " she is asking the m e a n ing of swapnathyantha
" It means absolutely dreamless sleep,"
Bhagavan said k i n d l y .
" W o u l d it b e t r u e , " I asked, " to say that
a Jnani does not h a v e dreams at all ? "
" He has no d r e a m - s t a t e , " B h a g a v a n r e p lied.
M y s i s t e r - i n - l a w w a s still not satisfied,
but as p e o p l e began to talk about other
things w e had to l e a v e the matter there.
O n l y at night she said to m e : " It is said in
Vasishta that the Jnani only appears to p e r f o r m actions but they do not affect him at
all. W e ought to h a v e asked B h a g a v a n the
real m e a n i n g of t h i s . "
" Y o u k n o w h o w compassionate B h a g a v a n
i s , " I replied. " He w i l l find some occasion to
remove your doubts."
W h e n w e w e n t to the A s h r a m at 8 o ' c l o c k
n e x t m o r n i n g it so h a p p e n e d that B h a g a v a n
w a s just explaining this v e r y point to S u n 2

*For a note on Nagamma's letters see our issue

of January 1964.

daresha Iyer. Eagerly availing herself of the

opportunity, m y s i s t e r - i n - l a w again t o o k u p
the subject. " It is not o n l y the d r e a m state
but all three states that are unreal to the
Jnani," B h a g a v a n told her. " T h e real state
of the Jnani is w h e r e none of these three
states exist."
" T h e w a k i n g state also is equivalent
a dream, isn't it ? " I asked.


Y e s , " he replied. " W h e r e a s a d r e a m lasts

a short time, this lasts longer. That is
o n l y difference."
T h e n is sleep also a d r e a m ? " I asked.

" N o , " he replied, " sleep is an actuality.

H o w c a n it b e a d r e a m w h e n there is n o
mental activity ? H o w e v e r , since it is a state
of mental v a c u u m , it is avidya
and therefore must b e r e j e c t e d . "

" But is sleep also said to b e a

state ? "
I persisted.


" S o m e m a y h a v e said so for the sake of

" but
really there is nothing separate. Short and
long duration apply only to the d r e a m and
w a k i n g states. S o m e one m a y say w e have
lived so long and these houses and belongings
are so clearly evident to us that it surely
cannot be all a d r e a m ; b u t w e have to r e m e m b e r that e v e n dreams seem long w h i l e
they last. It is o n l y w h e n y o u w a k e u p that
y o u realize it o n l y lasted a short time. In
the same w a y , w h e n one attains Jnana ( R e a lization) this life is seen to b e m o m e n t a r y .
Dreamless sleep means nescience ; therefore
it is to b e rejected in f a v o u r of the state of
pure Awareness."
M y s i s t e r - i n - l a w then interposed :

" It is

2 Taken as it stands, this cryptic reply could be

said that the bliss that occurs in d e e p sleep
Actually, the Jnani experiences the
dream-state as much as, but no more than, the
other two states of waking and deep sleep. Bha3 When thought ceases it can be superseded
gavan did sometimes have dreams and he might either by a blank, as in sleep, or by pure) Awarerelate one to devotees, just as he might speak ness, as in samadhi or Turiya.
Sleep is, thereabout some waking action, but his real state, as fore, a sort of dark counterpart of the luminous
is explained lower down in this letter, was beyond state of undifferentiated Being-Awareness.
The state of the Jnani is referred to as is why Bhagavan says it must be rejected as not
the ' F o u r t h b e i n g beyond the three
being the true alternative to multiplicity but only
states commonly experienced.
* a simulacrum of it. (Editor).



is experienced in samadhi as well, but h o w

is that to be reconciled with the statement
that sleep is a state of nescience ? "
" That is w h y sleep also is to b e r e j e c t e d , "
B h a g a v a n replied. " It is true that there
is bliss in sleep but one is not aware of it.
O n e only k n o w s about it afterwards w h e n
one w a k e s up and says that one slept well.
Samadhi means experiencing this bliss while
remaining a w a k e . "
" S o it means w a k i n g or conscious sleep ? "
I asked.
" Y e s , that is s o , " h e said.
M y s i s t e r - i n - l a w then b r o u g h t up the
other, cognate question that had w o r r i e d her.
" It is said in Vasishta that a Jnani seems
to others to b e engaged in various activities,
but actually he is not affected b y them at
all. Is it because of their different outlook
that it seems so to others, or is he really
unaffected ? "
" He
is really


" P e o p l e speak of favourable visions both

in dream and w h i l e a w a k e ; w h a t are
they ? " she asked.
" T o a Jnani they all seem the same," he
H o w e v e r she persisted :
" It is stated in
Bhagavan's b i o g r a p h y that Ganapati Muni
had a vision of B h a g a v a n w h e n he w a s at
Tiruvottiyur and B h a g a v a n at T i r u v a n n a malai and that at the v e r y same time B h a gavan had a feeling of accepting homage.
H o w can such things be described ? "
Bhagavan answered cryptically : " I have
already stated that such things are w h a t are
k n o w n as divine visions." He then a s s u m ed silence, indicating that he w a s not willing
to continue the talk.

4 See Ramana Maharshi and the Path of SelfKnowledge, p. 96, by Arthur Osborne, Rider & Co.
5 See the footnote on ' S i l e n c e i n Nagamma's
previous letter in The Mountain Path of April,
1964. (Editor).


a record


by Ethel


O n e day, as w e w e r e sitting quietly in the

hall, B h a g a v a n silent, a fine old m a n at the
back, blind, half paralyzed and seemingly
half mad, suddenly j u m p e d u p , his face
radiant, laughed l o u d l y and b o w e d to B h a gavan first and then to all of us repeatedly.
He l o o k e d so h a p p y and B h a g a v a n smiled so
radiantly at h i m , with such l o v e in his eyes,
that I w e p t with emotion. Later the old m a n
told us that at that m o m e n t h e had got r e a lization of the Self, for w h i c h h e had been
searching for the last fifty years. His face
was so simple and child-like.



By A D E V O T E E

Suddenly I was not. Seeing remained,

Not any one who saw. Thoughts still appeared..
No one to think. And all this was not new,
No change of state, for I not only was not
But never had been ; only through some spell
Ignorancesufferingsinwhat name you will
Imagined that I was.

Or just as well
It could be said that suddenly I was,
For Being, Self, whatever name you give,
Just was, and I was That, no other self.
It is a simple thingno mystery.
The wisdom of the Sages all comes down
To simple being.
Again this state was lost.
Sisyphus-like, the heavy stone rolled down.
Again was need to tear my love from others,
Alone through the night, with much toil to strive
To the lost homeland, to the Self I am.
Though a world appear, yet will I not cling to i t ;
Though thoughts arise, yet will I cherish them not.
More deep the mischief of the imposter me
That sees himself and themor thinks he sees,
He who complains he has not yet achieved.
Who is it that achieves ? Or who aspires ?
What is there to achieve, when being is
And nothing else beside, no second self ?

lIgnorance in the Hindu interpretation, suffering in the Buddhist, original sin in the Christian.



When Joel Goldsmith heard of the founding of
' The Mountain Path' he immediately sent us his
good wishes and took out a life subscription. Our
readers will recall the article on The Infinite
Way in L i f e ' that he wrote for our April issue.
He also sent us copies of all his books (about a
dozen, mostly published by Allen and Unwin in
England and Harper and Row in America). This
was a valuable acquisition. There is a deceptive
simplicity about them.
They display no knowledge of Eastern doctrines, employ no philosophical terminology, scarcely ever quote from or even
refer to any book except the Bible, and yet they
are pure advaitic teaching, the pure doctrine of

" Y o u r Selfhood is the unconditioned Selfhood. So is my Selfhood. It is wholly spiritual:

It is, in fact, Spirit Itself, which has no race,
nationality or religion. This Selfhood of you and
of me co-exists with God, has co-existed with
God in the Is-ness which God iswithout beginning and without endingand this Selfhood has
known individual expression throughout all time.
" Y o u are this Selfhood and I am this Selfhood, living as one of God's incarnations; and
that Selfhood remains eternal in the heavens, u n touched and unaffected by the surroundings in
which we find ourselves.
With birth, however,
there has sprung up around the one Self a sense
of human identity, and from the moment of conception this begins to be identified with its surroundings
" To accept intellectually the truth that we are
that unconditioned Self is one thing, but to e x perience It in a measure is another thing, and to
experience It in Its completeness is quite another."
C A Parenthesis in Eternity', p. 138-9).
Never has advaitic teaching been so simply e x pressed and widely distributed for ordinary people of goodwill in the Christian world. Moreover,

* W h i l e g o i n g t o P r e s s w e have just heard

of his u n e x p e c t e d d e m i s e



f o l l o w e r s a n d friends.



his m a n y

this teaching has not gathered dust on the bookshelves ; it has led to the founding of the Infinite Way groups throughout the countries of the
Although the teaching given to the Infinite Way
groups through the books of Joel Goldsmith accords with that of the Maharshi, the path followed is different.
It is not Self-enquiry but
dwelling on a number of pregnant biblical texts
such a s :
" I and my Father are One," " Be still
and know that I am God." " T h e kingdom of
heaven is within you." It will be observed that
this has great affinity with the use of Mahavakyas, which was one of the methods, recommended by Sankaracharya.
Another difference is that the Infinite Way
technique includes the practice of spiritual healing (which has been an important element in the
Christian tradition from the beginning) whereas
the Maharshi deprecated any use of powers.
However, Joel Goldsmith insists again and again
that healing must never be the goal to be aimed,
It must be viewed as no more than a b y product of spiritual progress. " T h e object of the
Infinite W a y is to develop spiritual progress, not
primarily to produce health out of sickness or
wealth out of lack." (Ibid., p. 121).
as he explains in ' The Art of Spiritual Healing',
the method of healing taught is not to concentrate
on either the patient or the disease or to make
any conscious attempt to heal. Having taken cognizance of the patient's needs, the healer is simply
to turn his mind to God, still thoughts, stop interfering, and* allow the Divine Grace to flow
through him.
He is not to attempt to use God
but to allow God to use him. " I f we were asked
to give spiritual help to someone who needed
physical healing, mental stability or moral r e generation, our only possibility of success would
be in proportion to our ability to be still, to r e frain from using spiritual power, and let spiritual
power flow through us."
C A Parenthesis in
Eternity', p. 127).
All the books say the same, and yet they are
never stale, there is no dull repetition.
remain vital and urgent from beginning to end.
Spiritually there is not much to saythat Being
IS, that you are That, that the One appears in
many forms.
But the mind constantly forgets,



asserts itself and needs reminding. One can distinguish the reminders that stem from illumination and those of the theorist who repeats
what he has learnt. Joel Goldsmith's are of the
former category.
W O R L D INVISIBLE, A Study in Sages, Saints
and Saviours. By Prynce Hopkins.
(Traversity Press, Penobscot, Maine, U.S.A., pp. 165,
Price not mentioned.)
Dr. Hopkins prefaces his quest with the following statement.
" The peregrinations among
sages, saints and saviours herein described who,
traditions Hindu,
Christian seek to penetrate to some reality
beyond the visible world were undertaken by me
in the spirit of scientific enquiry. From the time
I entered the Scientific School at Yale and followed, elsewhere, with study for advanced degrees in psychology, I have been trained to apply
the scientific attitude, and, so far as possible,
scientific . techniques to all problems. 1 was
taught to renounce the hope of absolute certainty
but to be content with the formulations which
held the greatest probability of accounting for all
facts known at the time." This means that his
quest was foredoomed to failure because the approach was wrong. He was trying to assess the
higher or spiritual knowledge, which is absolute
certainty, by the lower or rational, which can
only estimate probabilities, whereas it is only by
letting go the lower that the higher can be attained. As Chuang Tzu said:
" I f you get rid of
small wisdom great wisdom will come in."
prudent rationalist like Dr. Hopkins wants to investigate the great wisdom by the light of the
small before opening the door to it, and of course
never discovers it.
Personally he was impressed by the Maharshi
who, he says " had achieved jivanmukti if ever
man did."
" A m o n g all whom I met in India,
Maharshi remains to me the truest figure of the
sage." Nevertheless, he believed that he was discussing with the Maharshi as one philosopher
with another and never understood that the
Maharshi had transcendental knowledge, absolute
certainty, and was trying to show him the way
to it.
This limitation is only too common among
As Christ said:
" I thank thee O
Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou
hast hid these things from the wise and prudent
and hast revealed them unto babes.'
What is
not, or should not be, is the extraordinary inaccuracy which makes even the superficial infor-



mation given by Dr. Hopkins unreliable. He tells

us, for instance (on page 20) that he met the
leader of the Egyptian Sufis and adds: " Because
of their greater liberality, the Shi'ahs have been
especially hospitable to this famous order of
Muslim mystics (the Sufis) who have, therefore,
flourished in Persia and given to this country
much of its greatest poetry."
There is no such
thing as Egyptian Sufism, any more than there is
Spanish monasticism, nor is there an order called
Sufism any more than there is a Christian order
called monasticism. There are a number of Sufi
orders, each with its own head and all of them
international. Furthermore, all of them are Sunni
and none Shi'ah.
The great Persian poet-saints
were all Sunnis ; it is only in more recent centuries that Shi'ism has overspread Persia.
The information given about the Maharshi is
also misinformation.
W e are told that he ran
away from home in order to have leisure to think
out the answer to the question ' Who am I ? '
Actually he left home after having already realized the Self and passed beyond the need for
thinking out. W e are also told that the discipleg
who gathered round him were simple peasants.
They were anything but.
Contrary to the introductory paragraph quoted
above, the book is mainly about Buddhist teachings and practices and scarcely mentions Islamic.
The occasional expositions of doctrine, Hindu or
Buddhist, partake of both the author's faults:
the lack of understanding common to rationalists
and the inaccuracy peculiar to the author.
H O W GOD C A M E INTO M Y LIFE : Series I and
(Bhavan's Book University, Bombay-7,
pp. 46 and 53, Re. 1 each.)
Tales of Divine Intervention in physical form
were much commoner in ages of faith than they
are now. Even in recent times they are not altogether
modern or fairly modern instance is the appearance of Mother Kali to Sri Ramakrishna when
his longing and desperation had reached the point
of his seizing a sword to put an end to his life.
There was one that Ramana Maharshi told about
an engine driver who neglected his work to
attend a bhajan, a session of religious singing.
He was threatened with dismissal if it happened
Nevertheless when he next heard the
bhajan he was drawn to it so irresistably that
he could not refrain.
Next day he went sadly
to report his fault but was met with incredulity:
" What do you mean ?
You turned up on duty
as usual.
You signed the attendance book as
usual." He had been impersonated. W . B. Yeats




wrote a poem about a similar instance happen-


ing in Ireland.

diverse lines of spiritual effort down the ages in

There are other cases.

If they

are less common than in ages of faith it is perhaps because faith itself provides an atmosphere











The writer dwells upon what he considers to

be the crux of the teaching in this scripture, the








' field ' from the ' knower of the field', and deepen-


ing of this awareness of the Inner Person till its

these two little volumes

nine very varied cases of Divine


India and its message is of perennial import.


while materialism impedes it.

The first of


the benefit of Indian saints or devotees in

earlier centuriesthe trusting child from


hands a statue took food, the dutiful wife who

identity with the Supreme Self




is realised.



pretations, which are remarkably





was impersonated so that she could attend bhajan,

The author is convincing in his appraisal of the

the poet-saint for whom God worked as a ser-

Gita as primarily a spiritual rather than an ethi-

vant, and others.

cal or social guide-book.


second volume




is modern


but not

out genuine


among the humble, the editor has compiled a list




persons some of



all, for


inclusion for

and Annie Besant's conversion to occultism.








stories are not well told.


ship continues to flourish in many countries.

now republished


in a paperback

edition for sale in India, was certainly one of the

influences that carried him to fame.
find it fascinating reading.

Many will

Those who follow the

path of Advaita or Identity, however, may be put

which attracts


class of reader : that is by the undue prominence

of the miraculous powers he ascribes to various
Masters and, to a lesser extent, claims for himand the super-natural

events he


Such powers are an ignis fatuus which can well

lure the wayfarer aside from the path ; and followers of a Swami who* describes them with such
relish are particularly liable to this danger, even
though the Swami himself may warn against it.


Sri Jay a Chamaraja Wadiyar.
Pp. 68.

By H.H.

(Orient Long-

Price Rs. 3 ) .




the Upani-

shads, Sri C. Rajagopalachariar points out, rightly,

that these


are not meant












different, the routes taken are many and consequently the lines of exposition are varied.


author takes up a few of these Upanishads, viz.






Taittiriya and Mundaka, introduces their subjectmatter in his own words and then proceeds to
give some portions of the original with renderings
in English, and a connecting and running

In places he differs from the




his own




which, however, are not always acceptable.

renderings also have, at times


(Katha 11-23-24),

a tendency to move away from the text.

By Prof.
K. R. R. Sastry. (Pub. Author. 29 Dwarka
Colony, Edward Elliots Road, Madras 4. Pp.
96. Price Rs. 4 ) .
The author of this book is evidently fortunate
in being able to look back upon his career of
65 years with an amount of satisfaction that is
not given to most. He speaks of his varied inningsf
as an educationist,

a lawyer,

a jurist, a palm-

reader on the sly, a journalist and finally a confident seeker after Realisation, in a racy style and

In giving the main characteristics of Indian culture,

Pp. 67. Price Re. 1).

lessons imparted by the sages to their disciples.

Even after his death his Self-Realization Fellow-

mans Ltd.


Though the object of all the Upanishads is one,

Paramahamsa Yogananda is one of those Swamis



In introducing his selections from


that feature


By Parama-

who is better known in the West than in India.

oft' by just


van's Book University, Chowpatty, Bombay-7.

(Jaico, Bombay, pp. 510,

price Rs. 5 ) .



Teacher, but are more in the nature of notes of

OF A Y O G I :

hansa Yogananda.

mode of studying this scripture.





of his dead




He keeps close to the

tradition of Upasana in dwelling upon the proper



lets the reader have a peep into this bright progression







underlines its spiritual fundamentals and chooses

correspondence and autobiographical reminiscences

the Bhagavad-Gita as best illustrating this tradi-

brought together in this miscellany.










figures and has been, so to say, a theosophist on

the fringe.

But the Master who has given him

real solace of the spirit is the Maharshi.


sage of Arunagiri, Maharishi Ramana, stilled all








his memory, as I go to sleep with the never ending quest over the Self within the right side of
my heart.

I feel the strength of a lion when I

take refuge

in him.


Master has saved


from many a slippery situation in London, New


. . . In

his life

found the M u n i ;





in his eyes projected towards

the Ever-distant we got the Diksha of initiation."

Interesting though sketchy.





' Buddha's






would have been even more so thirty years ago.

The Venerable Piyadassi speaks from the heart
of the Theravada Establishment and he makes no
bones about it.

He simply hands on to us the

tradition as it was


on to him,


authoritatively, and, by means of lucid and comprehensive expositions of the key concepts, makes
quite sure that we understand what he is talking
Any student aspiring to come to grips with an
ancient tradition must at least acquire a working
knowledge of its vocabulary, for which there is

an exact equivalent

in the modern


guages of the West. Here again our author serves


us well.


His thoughtful translations of the many

words involved are always followed by their Pali



dassi Thera.


Some thirty-five


Pp. 239.



Price 30 s.)

years ago, when m y




the basic concepts of


and nibbana, he leads us with scholarly precision

in Buddhism was first aroused, the literature on

through the threefold division of the Noble Eight-

the subject available! in English was already quite

fold Path, sila, samadhi and panna, morality, con-


centration and wisdom. Morality, with its empha-









sis on loving-kindness

and compassion,


of these last intent on proving a thesis and dis-

the heart, concentration the will, and wisdom the

proving that of his immediate predecessor, offer-


ed the innocent enquirer a rich ard bewildering

choice of fare.

One learned that Buddhism was

Here we have a truly integral yoga.

In the section on concentration it is pointed out

that jhana or samadhi, however lofty, is never an

something excitingly esoteric ; it was not esoteric

end in itself

at all but a charter for rather out-moded rationa-

purifying the mind and fitting it for the one all-

but simply

serves the purpose of

lists ; it was a solar myth ; it-agreed-with-modern-

important task, insight into the doctrine and its

science ; it was a providential soil for the sowing

eventual realization.

of the gospel;

and to add to the confusion, or

perhaps to dispel

it, there were those


published essays of Dr. D. T. Suzuki.

The Theravada, ruthlessly pragmatic and frankly

dualistic, offers little solace to the metaphysically

True, there were the excellent translations of

Samsara is no Maya but terribly real.

Herein perhaps lies its attraction and value for

the Pali Text Society, but these stately volumes

the modern

were obviously

external God, so difficult apparently even for an

not for






is no


on an

Buddhist Society, then in its infancy, was making

Anglican bishop to believe in, no reliance on a

noble efforts to sort things out, but with so many

guru, so difficult nowadays to find.

Right Views in the arena it- had its work cut out


and endeavouring

to offer



fair forum to all protagonists.




human guru.




dispenses not only. with

the need for God but even with the need for a
' The doctrine and discipline which

I have set forth and laid down for you, let them

change, and the Buddha's unchanging dhamma is

be your teacher after I have gone . . . "

now in the hands of more reliable exponents.


have been a necessary warning against false and



authoritarian teachers so prevalent in any age, but

authoritative presentations of the dhamma, both

any one who has attempted to practise the W a y

years there has been

an ample


This may

Hina and Mahayana, from scholarly Buddhists who

of Mindfulness or the various exercises in con-

are also living the life and practising its discipline.









Visuddhi Magga soon finds himself in need of a

erudite pupil of a revered and erudite teacher,

wise and reliable guide not only to clarify the






the Venerable Vajvanana Sangha Nayaka of Co-

texts but also to save him from the many delu-

lombo, is the latest in the field and we can only

sions, excesses and shortcomings to which every

regret that he was not there earlier.




is prone.




The venerable author offers us the Buddha

Dhamma as the solution to our ills. In such a
practical book it would have been encouraging if
he had told us something of the fruits the Buddha
Dhamma is bearing in this twentieth centuryworld. Is the Noble Eightfold Path still producing Arahats, Anagami and Sakadagami ? Are
there Stream-Winners in the Buddhist lands t o day?
LIVING : By Wei W u Wei. (Hong Kong University Press. Pp. 55. Price H.K. $ 5.00).
To a generation no longer content with the
bland agnosticism of its grandparents and in open
revolt against the sophisticated indifference of the
inter-war years, Advaita-Tao-Zen is beginning to
look suspiciously like the perfect answer. The
difficulty is that the answer turns out to be a
no answer. There is simply the realization that
there is no questioner and no question. A doctrine
whose ultimate ideal is Silence and which d e mands the abandonment of all points of view is
hardly one to write about. A few stray words
of Ramana Maharshi or a Zen Master may put
one on the right track, but if the unwary enquirer
goes on to read a dozen or so books about' Zen
or Advaita he is likely to find himself back in the

Wei W u Wei is one of the very few exponents

who seem aware of this difficulty. Confining himself to short dialogues and aphoristic meditations,
he drives home what has to be driven home and
scrupulously avoids all side issues. After all, the
doctrine has not so very much to say only the
basic truths which are repeated and repeated
until they perhaps do their work and conceptual
split-mind realizes itself as whole-mind.
Wei W u Wei's repetitions are never monotonous.
His masterly manipulation of the English language
and the feeling he gives us of being not so much
his ' public' as privileged participants in his own
forthright efforts to understand make him an
ever stimulating companion on the way. His
books are not to be read through but worked with.
He may be the star pupil, but we are all in the
class together, and it's an exciting class.
When the doctrine went East with Bodhidharma
it quickly shed its Indian decor and most of its
Aryan metaphysics. The pragmatic but endless
sculptures of the Mahayana were reduced to brief
questions and answers about everyday things and
a providential whack on the head. The question
inevitably rises what happens now that the doctrine is taking a bold leap West. Its first heralds,
finding the Oxford dictionary inadequate, were


forced to teach us a little classical Sanskrit and

Chinese. But language is largely the expression of
national psyche and it is not the ultimate goal
of the doctrine to make Western minds oriental.
In a short foreword Wei W u Wei discusses the
problem he is himself boldly tackling: " I t may
be doubted whether an entirely modern presentation of oriental or perennial metaphysics would
be followed or accepted as trustworthy at present.
Probably an intermediate stage is necessary, during which the method should be a presentation
in modern idiom supported by the authority of
the great Masters, with whose thoughts and technical terms most interested people are at least
generally familiar."
His latest attempt to do this is very much as
before. It is much shorter than his previous books
and perhaps on that account even more potent.
R . F . ROSE.

THE G O D - P O S S E S S E D :
By Jaques Lacarriere.
(Allen and Unwin. Pp. 237. Price 35 s.)
No one has done a greater disservice to Christianity than the Emperor Constantine. Previous to
his time it was a persecuted religion, so that the
mere fact of accepting it meant rejection of 'this
world'. When ' this w o r l d ' became nominally
Christian it suddenly became possible to accept
both. A new mode of rejection was needed. In
Egypt this took the form of anchorites going out
into the desert, living lives of almost incredible
hardship; and from this Christian monastieism
took its origin.
The God-Possessed', translated into English by
Roy Monkcon, gives a, scholarly but vivid account
of these Desert Fathers, of the later rise of corporate monasticism among them, and of the spread
of both movements into the Syrian and Judaean
fieserts. The author is inclined, after the style of
modern scholarship, to give a psychological explanation of the forces of good and evil that were
evoked by this austere life in the harsh and weird
conditions of the desert. However, he gives the
accounts faithfully and with scholarly criticism
and is not altogether blind to the powerful forces
that were engendered.
One of the things that gives credence to the
accounts is that by no means all the ascetics were
revered as saints or credited with supernatural
powers. That some attained powers and were
stabilized in a spiritual state there can be no
doubt. What is most interesting (and the author
recognizes this) is that some advanced beyond
powers and visions back to an apparent normality.
He quotes from the 'Treatise of Prayer' of E v a grius Ponticus, a 4th century Egyptian ascetic:



" When








within yourself, do not let your intelligence receive

not tell us) lapsed into wedded celibacy after four

years and into divorce after ten.

the impression of any shape at a l l ; remain in an

insubstantial state in the presence of the Insubstantial."

Even visions of

Christ and his angels

were to be rejected.





The book ends rather unsatisfactorily,


him reconciled with the Church but as yet only

as a layman.

A sequel is promised; but unless a

real fire is kindled within him it seems unlikely





transcendence of the ordinary laws of good and

to lead to a satisfactory outcome whether in the

Church or outside it.

evil which the Old Testament indicates by saying

that a man has become ' a law unto h i m s e l f a n d





which modern Christians protest so piously against

TO V E D A N T A :

when they see it alluded to in Eastern religions :

being No. 165-166 of ' Vedanta and the W e s t ' .

" Man- had reached the supreme state of asceticism


where his inner cleansing was so thorough that he

$ 1.50.)




words of

Diadochus of


'without sin and even without risk, give himself

up to good living and licentiousness, since he was
no longer subject to passion and so could indulge
in forbidden pursuits.' "

It should be added, h o w -

ever, that one sign of this is that he would not

want to.

By Donald Hayne. (Hut-

Pp. 303. Price 30s.)

Faith is not the same as intellectual conviction.

It is an inner certitude experienced emotionally
and felt physically as a vibrant current. It infused
the mind and by the mind is directed to the particular dogmas of whatever religion cne may follow,
but its foundations lie much deeper.

Fr. Hayne

does not seem to have understood this. He was a


priest and a lecturer on religion at a

University when he found his intellectual conviction waning.

A t the same time he began to feel

emotional stress from enforced celibacy.

faith could have withstood this twofold
intellectual conviction could n o t :


and the result

By Swami Prabhavananda,




He tells us then of the vicissitudes of a life no
longer sheltered, struggling for means of subsistence, which he found at length in Hollywood.
Also of his religious quest.

Although put off by

jthe extreme Protestants, he was strongly attracted to the Anglicans. He appreciated the intellectual eminence, the sincerity and the graciousness
that he found

among them, but was eventually

repelled by that lack of fire from which he himself (though he does not seem aware of it) suffered so badly.

He meditated for a while with the











' To me the Sermon on the Mount represents the

essence of Christ's Gospel,'
Swami Prabhavananda declares.
Those who read the article on
' Spiritual Traditions of the Greek Orthodox
Church' by Fr. Lazarus in our issue of Jan. 1964
will remember that he denounces this as a
modern heresy.
The essence of Christianity, he
claims, is the good news of the incarnation, death
and resurrection of Christ.
Certain it is that
Christian mysticism has been inspired rather by
this good news and its symbolism in the aspirant's own being, while those who are satisfied
with the leavings of religion after mysticism has
been lost, that is with ethics and devotion, cling
rather to the Sermon on the Mount.
Swami Prabhavananda does not go very deep
in his interpretation.

What distinguishes it is the

way he draws parallels to Christ's teachings at

every point from Vedanta or from the sayings of
Sri Ramakrishna.

He has some pleasant stories

to tell about Sri Ramakrishna and his immediate






was Swami Prabhavananda's own guru.


was stomach ulcers and other psychosomatic illness which pursued him till he left the priest-







By Martin Lings.


(Allen and Unwin, pp. 224,

price 28 s.)
Although Shaikh Ahmad Al-'Alawi died as r e cently as 1934, the title chosen by Mr. Lings for
this study of him is misleading, since he was a
conservative turned towards the heritage of the
past and took no cognizance of twentieth century
trends except to oppose them.
The book begins with an attractive account of
the Shaikh by a French doctor who, while remaining an agnostic, developed affection and respect for him.

It then continues with autobiogra-

enough to satisfy him. He also tried marriage but

phical notes left behind by the Shaikh

(whether due to this same lack of fire he does

This makes it rather scrappy.






ground when






he comes to doctrine.



the Sufi



standing on the prostrate form of a sadhu prea-


ches patience to him.


doctrine of










' Oneness of B e i n g w h i c h


covering the hard rock of his realization won by

shows to be the same as Advaita or Identity.




subsequent chapters he shows how Shaikh Ahmad


Miracles sometimes issued from




the grand Sufi tradition, also

the wonder




of his devotees but



taught 'this supreme doctrine couched in Sufi ter-

apologetically slurred over by the Swami himself.

minology and based on the symbolical interpre-

His life

tation of certain Quranic verses.

autobiographical account is filled with references

to his invocation of the Name and complete reliance on it.
In Quest of G o d ' tells the story
of his early wanderings before he attained illumination.
The present work, now republished,
continues the story up to his settling down at
Anandashram where so many thousands of people came to know and love him.

This leads him into the curious mistake of classing Sufism, and indeed Islam itself, rather on the
side of jnana-marga than bhakti-marga. Actually,
a marga is a path, not an outlook. There is no
reason why a bhakta should not understand
Advaita. Many of the great Hindu bhaktas have.
What makes them bhaktas is that they follow a
path of bhakti, that is of love, worship, devotion,
submission, using techniques such as ritualistic
worship and invocation of the Divine Name.
This implies that Sufism is a characteristically
bhakti tradition and Shaikh Ahmad was a true
Certainly the Shaikh's poems, with extracts
from which the book ends, show rare understanding and ecstatic exaltation.
Unfortunately the
awkward translation makes them far from easy
to read.
Most people who write about a saint nowadays seem to feel the need to equate him with
the Maharshi.
It is a pity that Mr. Lings thus
lifts out of context a saint who, even if not Bhagavan, was gracious and powerful in his own right
and stands in no need of comparisons to establish his greatness.


Swami Ramdas.




(Published for Anandashram










each part.)
Swami Ramdas of Anandashram
advaitin and a bhakta.

was both an

He said :

" Ramdas is

like the river Ganges which, having reached the




running towards it."






He found life more zestful

because he had found its culmination.


tion did not deaden life for him but lighted it


A n aura of cheerfulness was always about

him and nothing of that gloomy austerity which

is sometimes supposed to be an
of holiness.


When he talked he bubbled with joy.

The Swami is a good raconteur with an impish

and teachings are inseparable, and his







India by





By arrange-


Pp. X X V I I and 959.



(Delhi-6, Varanasi-1, Patna-4.)

ment with




Price Rs. 18.

This compilation is a masterpiece of editorial

ability. It brings together extracts illustrative of
Indian wisdom and thought, both spiritual and
secular, through the ages, from the Vedas down
to Vinobha Bhave.
Scholars from the U.S.A.,
England, India and Pakistan have made contributions conforming to the pattern set by the
general editor and his team.
Assisted by Dr. R. Weilen




of Columbia


i.e. Vedic

to the






Upanishads) and Dr. S. N. Hay of the University

of Chicago (who was in charge of the section on
Modern India and Pakistan) the Editor compiled
this volume as part of the Columbia
programme of general education.


The introduc-

tion to the section on (later) Hinduism is by A.

Yarrow, who was the original editor of the scheme,
when it first came up.



From London University's






Basham is responsible for the section on Jainism

and Buddhism, and J. B. Harrison for


I. H. Qureshi of the Centre for Pakistan Studies

at Columbia was in charge of the account of the
Muslim revival in India from the 19th Century

R. N.

Dandekar of the


and Prof.


of Madras University were in charge of sections

on Hinduism.
Others too numerous to mention have contri-

sense of fun.

He describes, for instance, a jost-

buted- to the volume, but it is its planning and



arrangement in sections that gives it its peculiar








It is so compiled as to give a bird's-eye



a vast region of wisdom



and thought.

in any area










in a general





a stimulus for each one of us to go afresh to



this region may find this a valuable point of departure







and with

are chosen


The extracts

in an objective

discernment, the


keeping themselves well in the background and

their introductions being short, though useful.


is particularly


(Ganesh, Madras. Pp. 1 3 2 . Price

Rs. 4.)

It might be possible to cavil at

inevitable in a book of this scope.


Translated with commentary by Dr. T. M. P.


will be interested to

some items of inclusion or omission, but that is


S A N K A R A ' S H Y M N TO SIVA (Sivanandalahari) :

find such a wealth of documents and quotations

illustrating it.




sang hundreds



hymns to the Supreme Self conceived in many


None of these are more inspiring than

Sivananda Lahari, a song of the Inner Light, of

the fervent heart in communion with Siva.







waves of spiritual emotion in the heart of singer


and listener alike.

Dr. T. M. P. Mahadevan, a

fact it is a compendious guide to further studies.

lifelong champion of Sri Shankara's absolute m o -

But it

it were

nism, has given us in this book an able transla-

arranged according to subjects and not alphabe-

tion and thoughtful commentary on this m e m o -


rable hymn to Siva.

would be



even more


useful if











most widely read and interpreted, not only

great acharyas but by men of action also.



is as it should be, for in spiritual life each aspirant follows his own path.





In a simple style, K. Padmanabhan has given

his own exposition of the yogas of action, love
and knowledge


in the




rapid survey he also considers the commentaries

on this universal scripture by great teachers of

The present book is a consecutive statement of

the truths of the Gita, which the author regards
as an allegory of the soul fighting for

various schools, notably Shankara, Ramanuja and



Swami Rajeswarananda's introduction enhances

There is no very penetrating per-

the value of the book.

sonal insight, but such unpretentious studies are






Re. 1.00).

prastana traya, the Bhagavad Gita has been the

against desire.

By K. Padmanabhan, with an introduction

Swami Rajeswarananda.

from the R a m a n a D e v a Malai (Tamil)



Like the sun which, never resting,

Seeks and seeks but finds no trace
Of darkness,
So our Master cannot see
Our foe, delusion;
Cannot see,
So blind is he.


The hot season in Tiruvannamalai is from the
middle of March to the middle of June, so this is
not usually a time for visitors. In the middle of
June the monsoon begins, and although this does
not always mean rainor not before Augustit
means cool winds and cloudy skies, so that from
then on the weather is agreeable.


When Morarji Desai, former Chief Minister of

Bombay State, former Finance Minister of the
Central Government, paid us a visit we were surprised to hear that he came here first as early
as 1935 when Bhagavan was not yet widely
known and few of the present Ashram buildings
had yet been erected. He later sent us a letter
confirming this:
" I stayed in the Ashram for a day and was in
the presence of Sri Ramana Maharshi for an
hour or more, when I felt complete peace within and had no questions to ask.
It was an
unforgettable experience of life. When I took
leave of him he asked me to leave only after
taking lunch, which I had the privilege of
having with him.
Seeing him convinced me
that he was a realized soul and affected me
Another friendly visitor who had first come in
1935 (though too young then to understand much
that was said) was the Yuvaraja of Travancore.
We were delighted to find that he was already
a subscriber to ' The Mountain Path \
He was
accompanied by the Yuvarani.
Sri Sayaji Laxman Silam, Lieutenant Governor
of Pondicherry, also came on a visit here with
his family.



This annual function came off on 20th March,

The devotees of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi
know that at the time of the Kumbhabhishekam
of Sri Mathrubutheswara shrine, Bhagavan consecrated by His touch the Meru Chakra that was
made specially for the shrine. A meru in granite
is a rare production and rarely comes off all
right, and in this case it is undoubtedly due to

the Grace of Sri Bhagavan working through the
When the Meru was fitted in its nitch,
a few of those present saw Bhagavan sitting in
the inner shrine and guiding Sri Vaidyanatha
Stapathi in his work.
A t the conclusion of it
all Bhagavan placed his hands on the Meru as
well as the Mathrubhutheswara Lingam.
After the Brahmanirvana of Bhagavan, when
the devotees were feeling that some tangible activity was needed to restore the spiritual atmosphere of the Ashram, it came intuitively to
Sadhu Arunachala (Major Chad wick) i that neglect of the Meru at the shrine of the Mother was
a great indiscretion, if not a crime against the
divinity. So he took it upon himself to organise
the worship of the meru and the then management readily agreed with him. And so the Puja
started in earnest.
The regular saparya paddathi was followed for
the Sri Chakra Puja, with its argala stotras,
Chathushshashti upacharas and sahasranama (1,000
names) and thrisathi (300 names). Our thrisathi
is unique in that every 20 names of the Mother
is preceded by one of the 15 mantras of the Sri
The thrisathi by itself is sarvartha
purthi as said by Acharya Sankara in his commentary on the same.
The addition of the Sri
Suktha mantras adds greater efficacy to the
thrisathi archana. In the usual course comes the
ashtothra also (108 names of the Mother). Then
comes the solemn offering of sthothras.
These pujas, lasting about 3 hours, go on right
through the year on Fridays, full Moon days and
the first day of the Tamil month, i.e. the day
the sun moves into a new sign of the Zodiac.
Anybody sending ten rupees can participate in one
of these pujas; they should also send their names,
nakshatras and gotras.
When one year of the puja was completed
Sadhu Arunachala felt that the anniversary of the
commencement of the puja should be celebrated
and consulted others as to how best this could
be done. It was unanimously agreed that the
best would be a havan which is a costly affair.
The havan is a whole day ceremony lasting from
early morning till late in the evening with sevei F o r a note on whom see our Ashram Bulletin
of January 1964.



ral oblations.
When the offerings in the havan
have cooled down, after several days, the sacred
ashes are taken out and distributed as prasad to
Contributions to the conduct of this
annual function are always welcome.

On April 17th we assembled at the grave of

Alan Chadwick, who was for many years prominent here, to celebrate the second anniversary
of his passing away. Devaraja Mudaliar presided
and Venkatakrishnayya made a speech in his
honour, both of them devotees of long standing
who had known Major Chadwick well.
During the celebration an unobtrusive little man
dressed only in a white dhoti and with a green
shawl over his shoulders slipped in and sat on
the floor among the others. W e found out later
that he was Basheer Baba of Chennur, a follower
of the great Sai Baba, about whom we have an
article in this issue.
Like his great master, he
observes neither Hindu nor Muslim orthodoxy.
Like him also, he is credited with miraculous
He displayed none here, though cn his
arrival at the gate of the Ashram, when told that
his driver had a letter for the Ashram President,
he rightly remarked, with no previous information
to that effect, that the President was away.i
He was strongly impressed by the Presence of
Bhagavan and the atmosphere of peace at the


suktha, etc.
Ekadasa Rudra Mahanaysa Abishekam was performed.
During the arthi after the
Sahasranamam (that is during the burning of
camphor that marks the end of the puja, after the
chanting of the thousand names of Bhagavan), the
grace of Bhagavan's Presence was very powerfully
Tiruchuzhi T. V. Natarajan and his party of instrumentalists played Nadaswaram on and off
throughout the day, adding greatly to the attraction.
The many guests were entertained to lunch by
the Ashram, apart from which there was largescale feeding of the poor.
In the afternoon Om Sadhu gave a recital of
Ramana bhajan.
In the evening Brahma Sri Bangalore Krishna
Bhagavathar gave a harikatha on Purandaradasar.
By nightfall most of the guests had departed,
though a few were making a longer stay.

W e referred in our Ashram Bulletin of Jan.

1964 to the edifice that is under construction for
the shrine of the Maharshi and the meditation hall in front of it.
rather slow owing both
funds and to the extremely skilled nature
of the work. The superstructure for the shrine
has now been completed out of grey stone
Arunachala, which goes
black like marble when
polished suitably.

brought us news of the Arunachala Group which
meets every second week under the direction of
Mouni Sadhu at 423 Middleborough Road, Box
Hill, Victoria, just outside Melbourne.
Aradhana, the 14th anniversary of Bhagavan's
leaving the body, fell as late as May 9th this
year. There was such an influx of visitors that
even the office of ' The Mountain Path' had to
be taken over as a temporary camping ground.
The function started at five in the morning with
the singing of ' Arunachala Stuti' and Ramana
The actual puja started at 8 with
the chanting of the Taittiriya and Mahanarayana
Upanishads and Sri Rudra Chamaka, Purusha-

This is only the first

stage of what is being
two photographs will
beautiful has already
been achieved.

1 The President went on a pilgrimage to North

India and so was away from the Ashram for two
months and returned in time only for Aradhana


The Pillar


One significant change that has come over Sri

Ramanashram is that it is beginning to be more
of a residential ashram than it was formerly.
During the lifetime of Sri Bhagavan, as will be





explained in our editorial of January 1965, devotees were not encouraged to make a long stay
Recently the tendency to lengthier visits
and to settling down here has increased and it has
begun to be felt in the Ashram that the growth
of a residential colony of devotees and aspirants
has now become appropriate. Indeed, the Ashram
has constructed far more living accommodation
since the Maharshi left the body than before and
still has an extensive building programme on
The immense magnetism of Bhagavan's
Presence draws people here, young and old, men
and women, Indian and foreign, and it is not
always easy to accommodate all who come.
A few recent residents tell here how they came.
R O N A L D ROSE is an asset net only to the Asht to ' T h e Moun-


b u

tain Path', as those who

read his book reviews
in this issue will ap~
vessel came to anchor
here it had looked in at
various ports of call,
including a Theravada
monastery in Ceylon.
" I think I can claim
that I was one of the
most reluctant and u n hopeful pilgrims ever
to make the journey
had already been wanRonald Rose
dering around in the
East for several years and the prospect of visiting one more fashionable ashram with many
Western devotees did not fill me with enthusiasm.
I had long ago read Brunton's book and forgotten
all about it. And in any case, Maharshi was no
longer alive.
" The thing that immediately impressed me
about Bhagavan's ashram was the remarkable
spirit of freedom that pervades it. I did not then
realize that this was a heritage from Bhagavan
The President and devotees were kind
and helpful but no one started preaching at me
or trying to make me a devotee.
Sensing my
reclusive nature, they tactfully left me much to
" To me this spirit of freedom is still the great
feature of our ashram. Bhagavan has drawn his
devotees from every nationality, creed, caste and
temperament. Yet we are all living happily toge-



ther, each getting on with his own work and no

one interfering with another or laying down the
law. W e are not making self-conscious efforts to
practise brotherly love or charity. It just happens, and to my mind only Bhagavan's living presence among us can account for it.
" Being an insatiable reader, I went first to the
bookshop and, on the advice of the attendant,
bought ' Self -Realization ' and Who am I ? \ I
had read many better written and more exciting
lives of saints, but inexplicably ' Self -Realization'
spoke straight to my heart. After I had spent a
few days around the samadhi (shrine) Bhagavan
became more real to me than any teacher I had
met in the flesh. I felt, and I still feel, no regret
that I never actually saw him sitting on the couch
in the little hall. How can we regret when he is
so gracious to those of us to whom, for one reason or another, he did not choose to manifest his
physical presence?

" Like many pragmatic Westerners I was at

once taken by the simplicity and directness of
Bhagavan's message, which seemed to epitomise
all I had learned from other teachings while discarding all that was unduly complicated and
superfluous. As a matter of fact, ' W h o am I ? '
was at first a little too simple and direct for me.
It was only after reading the ' T a l k s ' and other
records of Bhagavan's message that I discovered
this little pamphlet actually contains everything
the aspirant needs."




In contrast to him, HUGO M A I E R heard of

Germany and, knowing immediately that selfenquiry
his Guru, came direct from Germany to our
Ashram some years ago and has now settled down

pull of Arunachaia and Bhagavan were so strong

that I gave up my job and came back to the
Ashram, which is now my home. I experience
the dynamic presence of Bhagavan, my Guru, and
he guides me every moment."

" I came to know of Bhagavan through my

teacher Heinrich Juergens, with whom I was
practising healing. He conducted yoga classes
for many years and even concluded them with
prayers to Christ, Ramakrishna and Bhagavan.
spending some months in London, I
came to the Ashram in 1959 and the moment I
entered it I spontaneously felt I was not coming
to a new place but to my own heme. It is my
spiritual home. I have never felt so much at
home anywhere, even in Germany. First I was
put up in the common dormitory and then in a
room outside the Ashram. Then the Ashram President was kind enough to invite me to stay in
the Ashram, giving me a well furnished room
where I am now living comfortably. Living here
at the foot of Arunachaia is both sadhana and
siddhi, just as the Mountain and the path leading to its summit are inseparable and the same.
Here the experience of peace which I already
had is deepened and prolonged. What more do
I want?"

In connection with his poem ' A Beacon Still'

in our January issue and his short note on * Naga
Baba' in our April issue, I mentioned how
S. P. MUKHERJEE, a retired engineer from Cal^
cutta, built a house and settled down here with

' Upasana *
his wife.

The above is their house, which they

have named ' Upasana '.

ROBIN N O R M A N of Perth, Australia, first came
here alone in 1961 and next year returned with
her mother. Last year she again came alone, and
now she regards herself as a resident, not a visitor. She has been accommodated in a small
Ashram guest-house.
" I had been interested in spiritual matters
even before I heard about Bhagavan. I read
a few books on Hinduism and Tibetan B u d dhism. But at the age of 20 I had the intense
and genuine urge to have a Guru and something
told me that I would find him in England!
Immediately I sailed for England, and there, in
a bookshop, the picture of Bhagavan on the dustjacket of ' I n Days of Great Peace' attracted me
so deeply that I stood motionless for some time
before it. I knew spontaneously that he was my
Guru. When I learned about him and his Ashram
the urge to come here grew in me and within a
year I was here. I left after a short visit but
came again next year with my mother. I returned
to Australia with her and took up a job, but the

"People often ask me why I left my home and

down here at the foot of Arunachaia.
give ?
" If a moth on a dark
night suddenly comes
across a dazzling brilliant light, he will jubilantly get caught in its
rays. Will he care if
any one reminds him
that the light is neither
in his home town nor
even in his province
and so he should leave
it alone ? The discovery
of the light is the
of his life and also perhaps its sole purpose!



" M y story is short.

since my



visit to Kamanashram in 1951 it was m y single pointed prayer to Bhagavan to keep me here
and in
order to strengthen my
prayer I brought my
wife here the following
year and she not only
fervently but
endorsed all my plans
for achieving my heart's
" Once
it was the
dream in my life to
build a small cottage at
the foot of the radiant
Hill, beside Sri Ramanashram ; to-day it is a
reality. All our pravers
and everything we asked for granted.
" Contented and happy
as we are, we sing: O Bhagavan! Keep us
here for ever ! '

" H e r e we stay and here we wish to die like

the moth who buzzes round the light till the
dawn breaks!
" O n e thing only do we knowRamanashram is
a beacon still."



The Ramana Bhakta Sabha of Madras celebrated its annual Guru* Puja on April 26th.
was chanting of the
Vedas followed by a
rendering of
* Sri Ramana
conducted by its composer, Om Sadhu of
has by now
quite a reputation both
music. Sri M. P. Periasami Thooran expressed grateful
appreciation on behalf of the
at 5 p.m. every Sunday at 94, Mowbray's
Road, Alwarpet, M a d ras.





The Prem Sangh was founded by Dr. R. Padmanabhan, M.B.B.S., Palghat, a very ardent devotee
of Sri Bhagavan on 28-7-47. It is at present composed of twelve families following various avocations. One is a Major in the army, another a
teacher while others are businessmen, engineers,
etc. Some live in Palghat, others in Calcutta,
Bombay, Hyderabad, Madras, Trivandrum, Coimbatore, etc.
The institution has the blessings of Sri Bhagavan, who was informed about its foundation in
1949 and with benign grace nodded His approval.

and Objects

The members are to strictly follow Sri Bhagavan's method of Sadhana and spread His message
by practice even more than by precept. The families should demonstrate that it is possible to follow the spiritual path while leading a life in the
world. This is strictly according to Sri Bhagavan's
advice. Members are to perform regular puja to
Sri Bhagavan daily, read His works and books
about Him and His teachings and meet in any
religious centre once a year. The Prem Sangh
has conducted annual camps at Palani, Chidambaram, Tirupati, Tiruchendur, Cape Comorin, Palghat, Dakshineswar (Calcutta), etc. The members
had also the good fortune to visit the blessed
chamber in Madurai where our Master had His
illumination and also His sacred birth place in
During the camp, which normally lasts five to
seven days, the members go through a very strict
discipline of spiritual practice. There are various
programmes such as Probhat Pheri
bhajan), Suryanamaskar, Asanas, Puja to Sri
Bhagavan, with chanting from the Upanishads,
Gita Parayanam, discourses, discussions, bhajan,
etc. One day is devoted to silent contemplation.
No opportunity is missed to meet and mix with
the wise and great and benefit by their advice.

of conduct



1. All members should consider themselves the

children of Sri Bhagavan and hence there should
be mutual regard and respect.
2. Tobacco in any form and alcohol are forbidden.
3. Members should take only vegetarian food.
4. They should perform meditation early in the
morning, then puja to Sri Bhagavan and again
meditation before going to bed at night.
5. In order to develop a good understanding

among members, they should correspond regularly.

6. Since health is very vital for sadhana, m e m bers should take proper care of the body.
7. No time should be wasted on unnecessary
discussions on politics or other non-spiritual matters.
The motto of the Prem Sangh is indicated by
the letters PREM as follows:
stands for Purity of Thought
for Righteousness of Action
means that the Members should be ever
' Energetic'
M : that their goal is Mukthi

The members experieme the benign Grace of

the Lord and have conducted their last two camps
in the Ashram. They are thrilled to feel the
Presence of Sri Bhagavan and His guiding hand
in their day to day life.
This year they camped at our Ashram from
18th to 22nd May. During their stay they d e lighted the Ashramites with their bhajans, etc.
They also arranged for a visit from Sri Anna
Subramania Iyer, head of the Ramakrishna Mission Home of Madras. He delivered a lecture in
the Ashram hall in English and Tamil on ' Swami
Vivekananda on the Upanishads \

Sri RamanasramamLife
(In continuation of the list already published in
our April issue.)





Dr. Subramaniam, Thirumullaivayil.

Somisetty Satyanarayana, Kandukur.
Dr. K. Parthasarathi Aiyengar, Chamarajanagar.
Devan Hukam Chand, Ambala Cantt.
Shiavax R. Vakil, Bombay.
Major Hanut Singh, Babina Cantt.
Satyanarayan Tandon, Kanpur.
N. D. Patel, Tirupathi.
K. C. Kapur, Kanpur.
Om Nath Rohatgi, Kanpur.
A Devotee, Sri Ramana Nagar.
Lakshminarasimha Ganesh Bhatt, Teppadmath.

The Mountain





V. T. Seshadri, Vellore.
Ch. Sathyanarayana, Madras.
M. L. Vasudevamurthy, Chikmagalur.
Madan S. Abichandani, Bombay.

Pallempati Venkateswarlu, Hyderabad.

M. Subramanyam, Hyderabad.
S. Srinivasan, Trichy.
B. Venkatadri, Madras.
Kisor (Gandhi), Ahmedabad.
Dhiruben G. Patel, Bombay.
Mrs. K. Khosla, Bangalore.
Popatlal B. Kotak, Bombay. *
N. Sambasivan, Madras.
Smt. Namagiri Sambasivan, Madras.
Dr. Atma Ram, Agra.
Major I. J. Taneja.


Fritz Kreie, West Germany.

Peter Greider, Zurich.
Rex Uhl, Berkeley, Calif.

Path Life Subscribers


published in our April issue)


Mrs. Thalia E. Gage, London.
A. E. Gladwell, Cornwall.
Miss Blanchard, Shrewsbury,
Peter Bright, Paignton.
Peter Greider, Zurich.


to the &bito\

I have followed your name for many years and

given lengthy notices to Ramana Maharshi's books,
which are my treasures. Among all the Masters
he is the only one whose presence is often vivid
and alive to me, as now when writing to you. It
is like a blessing.
W e have waited for such a journal for years,
and I am sure it is winning acclaim the world
over. How necessary is the subject matter of your
own (second) editorial, especially to Christians
owing to their erroneous teaching. And that is
a magnificent" article by D. E. Harding, author of
* On Having No Head
In connection with my work I am obliged to
glance at countless numbers of magazines, but
yours is the only one that I read from cover to
cover. It is a joy and a challenge.

The poem ' Ahad' is based closely on certain

lines from the Qur'an and the title is the Arabic
word for ' OneThank
you for the
translation but too few of our readers speak German to justify our publishing it.EDITOR.

The reproduction of the Maharshi's photograph

is excellent. The living, enlightened eyes and the
benevolent smile are most encouraging for one
seeking to make better and more constant efforts
to realize the Self.
In the April issue a correspondent from Alabama objected to these pictures, but his objections were suitably answered by the Editor. Even
an unlettered person can derive inspiration from
such a picture one who lives by intuition and
not by intellect.

Editor, ' Science of Thought Review


Many congratulations on the second number of

' The Mountain PathHow
good Douglas Harding
was! . . . My only quarrel with him is that he
will call his way of doing the vichara ' Zen'. The
discipline or technique is quite different in Zen,
though the question asked is the same. The koan
which is equivalent to ' Who am I ? ' is Who is
repeating the Buddha's name ? ' or who is doing
whatever one is doing at the moment? The stress
is on the * who ? ' and not on the Buddha's name.
Then there i s : ' What is my face before I was
born ? ', which is, to me, really the same as * Who
am I ? '. This answers K. K. Ghosh's letter. Both
koans are found in Ch'an and Zen.



Liking very much the poem ' A h a d ' by Arthur

Osborne, may I ask you to explain in one of your
next issues the meaning of the title, Ahad ? The
poem wanted me to translate it into German and
I enclose herewith a copy of my translation.
Maybe you have use for it.





A publication like this is sorely needed worldwide. Others in its general area like The Middle W a y ' or the East-West philosophical journals
are excellent, but they do impose limits, either
of one religious outlook, however broad, or of
Those of us at the bottom of the Path, but seeking light from whatever source is to-day shedding it, need such a journal as yours. Its regular

but too rare (may it one day be monthly)

advent can provide a seasonal quickening that
purblind and halting spirits require.

R O Y A.


New York.

The second number leaves the first far behind.

Even Sagittarius is getting more m e l l o w !
the articles are excellent, each in its own way.
In the reviews I admire your deftness in meeting claims of unicity (whether for Ramakrishna
or Jesus) without questioning attainment.
Buddha's banter of Sariputra is an excellent stick
with which to beat all such dogmatists.
The Letters to the Editor and the comments
they elicit provide a very lively and informal con-













the cover picture





in the


mental in his realization of Enlightenment.



cently I came across the following words on page

the temple tank

20 of Sri Krishna Prem's ' Y o g a of the Kathopa-

in front of the mountain and the



" The mystic


death which played


of the Sri Chakra Puja show that Bhagavan r e -

essential part in all the ancient rites of initiation

jected nothing, not even ritual.

is in fact the gate through which must pass all


who seek the light of wisdom.


New Delhi.






with them.


They found the magazine instructive,

W e could have sold more

. . .

Will you kindly send us 10 copies of the present

(No. 2)

issue and 10 copies of each issue

thereafter until further notice.


I congratulate

. . .

you as the publisher

Mr. Osborne as the editor upon very


it in terms


Psychologists will


write will all be quite true.

copies you sent us and our people were delighted

helpful and inspiring.




writers in those of self-abnegation and what they




of this outstanding new magazine.


It is these things

but it is also much more for here, as always, the

ancient symbols have a wealth of content to which
it is impossible to do full justice with our modern
conceptual thought.

The Mystic Death is a real

death and, like all that is real, it has its dangers...

It has also been said that ' h e who would cross
the threshold of any world must leave fear behind him."
Does this not relate directly to the answer that

as a fearless schoolboy, gave to the personal

query ' Who am I ? ' ?


will bring Bhagavan's Grace to many thousands



who are hungrily reaching for peace and enlightenment.

In most cases, of course, the initiatic death is a

Church of Spiritual Philosophy and Vedanta

Center, St. Petersburg, Florida, U.S.A.

(To the Managing Editor)




in Bhagavan's

real spiritual

The second issue also

death and

case it was the real



The magazine is very fine and indeed worthy of

has come out in a grand manner and the illustra-

its source.

tions add to it.

news of the Ashram, and I am glad that it has

The variety of articles will just

suit the different types of devotees.

I was particularly interested in the

I realize the

decided to establish Sri Ramanasramam Charities,

great responsibility you have undertaken and the

which must certainly help to maintain the Ashram

hard work you have. I hope Sri Bhagavan's Grace

in its place of eminence.

will work through you in making devotees appre-


ciate the high quality of future issues also. I shall

do m y best to support the journal from here.
P. V .






on the

The 'Ashram





It is an excellent

Bulletin' brings one into



This is something that I have felt the need


job that you and Sri Ganesan have made of ' T h e


relationship with Sri Ramanashram and other d e -



California, U . S . A .





it is what





is required








Long may it prosper as a worthy vehicle of the

myself who never saw the Master in his physical

Grace of beloved Bhagavan.


A s one for whom four months' practice of Bhagavan's

' Who

brought greater


I ?







Even though his presence is felt in one's

own being, a contact on this physical plane with

those who knew the Master in the flesh is often
longed f o r ; also to know of others who have found

than did four years cogitation on Anatta in Bud-

their way to the Master after his

dhist monasteries, I found the 'Ashram Bulletin'

(physical death)








description of Bhagavan's last hours in the body.















death was


must be a great help to all.




I went through it from cover to cover and en-


A careful reading of the lines objected to will

joyed it thoroughly, particularly the Ashram B u l -

show that

letin and book reviews.


The only suggestion I

have is that you should try and include articles

on the lives and teachings of saints and mystics.
has carried

each issue of 'The

on some


saint or


We hope to continue the series and invite


to send

an article


in such articles.EDITOR.

Kindly continue with the wonderful photos of

Sri Bhagavan.
M y sincere wishes for a glorious
success for ' The Mountain Path '.


Please continue your delightful articles on Lord

It was a joy to read the article in
the April issue.
N. R. K.,

After reading the article on Arunachala I realized why Bhagavan called Arunachala
(the Heart).


I felt a spiritual exhilaration be-

yond description.





is given





(p. 108).

around the Hill.

Dakshinamurti is Dakshina _|_ A m u r t i : ' Dakshina'




the power







He is the Regent of the South, even the

Therefore he would ipso facto face

South itself.
the North.

Even T. K. S. says on pp. 106-7


this is a tradition of the Hill)

that this Siddha


on the


is Siva,



slope, so he would be sitting facing the north.





will this universe

created by Maya, to Him

who is incarnate as the Guru, to Him in the

Effulgent Form facing South, to Him be this prostration ! "
T. K . S.

I was delighted with Joel Goldsmith's article

" T h e Infinite Way of Life'. He is a true Advaitin and his teachings are having a wide effect
in the world.
I sincerely hope ' The Mountain
Path' will encourage such contributions which
are not merely intellectual but are based on true
T. S.,

' The Mountain Path

suited to Sri Ramana.

is a lovely journal, just


Dowager Maharani of Vizianagaram, Banaras,


I am delighted to have The Mountain Path and

am enjoying reading it and finding it most helpful and instructive.



Farnham, Surrey.

Mr. Vakil takes objection to the statement that

the Guru is the North Pole and traditionally faces
' North P o l e ' is used here in the sense
that it is the Dhruva, the Supreme, to which our
attention is always riveted.
W e always cling to
the Supreme Guru, that is Lord Siva, who is D a k shinamurti.


less '. So Dakshinamurti-Ramana, though appearing to have a form, was and is always formless
Arupa Atma, yet with absolute control and sway
over Maya.
That is why Dakshinamurti is described in the Dakshinamurti Stotra as :
" mayaviva vijrumbhayath
yapi maha yogiva
yassvachchaya thasmai sree gurumurthaye nama idam Sri
Dakshinamurtaye."" To Him who like a magician or even like a yogi, displays by His own



under his control, and ' A m u r t i ' meaning ' Form-



But having lived at the Blessed Feet of


T. K. S. seems to have tripped up in doing his




meaning that is according to the Puranic tradi-




Bhagavan Sri Ramana I have heard from him that


Up to now



I have gone through the articles and find them

of substantial value for those who like to probe
into the hidden values of life in its relationship
to what we call spirituality.




Embassy of West Germany, New Delhi.




I read all the fine articles with interest. I am

sure your magazine

will be a success with






did, however,




other less direct paths in which the mind is train-

the thousands of devotees all over the world. May

ed to hold to one thought in order to keep it still

Bhagavan bless all your undertakings.

and keep

May he

bless each one that has a part in it.




Your request to write in experiences of the

blessings and guidance of Sri Bhagavan will inspire many devotees, and for my part I give below
my own experience, as follows.







is very

be published.






It will probably




I would like to say how much I enjoyed reading the first issue of ' The Mountain



look forward to the next issue which, I believe,

will reach me any day now.
I cannot help but feel that to the Realized Man
the phenomenal

world must also be a


Would you agree that, the source of all

being perfect


order and







through his consciousness and thus find the same

order and harmony in every aspect of this phenomenal


tions of karma ?

is apart from

certain opera-

Would you agree that all such

phenomena are but a deformation of Pure Consciousness operating as lesser powers ?

The Maharshi said that concentration was holding






must go before realization.



Did he mean by this

realization of the Self or the realization of that

last and single thought, which would appear to
be in accord with psychological teaching ?




Keswick, England.

a realized



man, having perfect






saint complaining

of them


All powers







holding to one thought

Who am I ?


This ques-

tion has been eluding me for many years past,

as I am sure it has quite a few others.
problem consists of this that, having used that
question as a starting point according to the instructions of Bhagavan, the question recedes into
a feeling (as maybe inner quests must of necessity) or sensation moving around a vacuum-like
Presuming that this is not too stupid a
procedure (if we can call " setting the dogs on
the scent" a procedure), I am struck by the phenomenon that when the monkey-mind returns to
the scene he does so with a slight but, for me,
striking variation of the question from ' Who am
I ? ' to ' What is I ? ' (never ' Who is I ? ' or
' What am I ? ')
To me the sound of ' Who am
I ? ', pronouncing it inwardly and waiting in the
stillness that surrounds the questioner, seems just
a tinge too logical and grammatically correct,
whereas its sense is, of course, neither.
And, coming out of the stillness, the monkey
experiences greater peace and satisfaction and the
dogs seem to sniff more intensely with that variation What is I ? ' in the air.

In short, if it weren't preposterous to think so,

I would feel that variation to be an improvementfor myself.
Since I understand that Bhagavan on numerous occasions expressed himself
in English, giving instructions for the use of the
query Who am I ? ', curiosity has been aroused
as to the Tamil and Sanskrit forms of the question as compared with the variant ' What is I ? '.
Are they, either grammatically or otherwise, near
to each other in either language ?



It is often helpful to vary the words of a formula, as they may become a fetish.
In this case,
however, neither the question nor the answer is
really verbal.
The question is a turning inwards
to the reality of oneself and may or may not
be accompanied by a form of words; the answer
is an indefinable consciousness of I-ness.
expression " a sensation moving around a vacuumlike centre"
shows that the writer is certainly
on the t-,uck of it.




heard of a
a dis-

are, of course, par-,

of Pure

M y first question is :



else is there ?






or calling them

and phenomena

and this is the


harmony ?
ticularisations or deformations

In either case the



but has any




saints have undergone





harmony reflected in the phenomenal


other thoughts

state to be aimed at is pure thought-free



of Self*

but eliminating


As a point of fact, the Tamil would

yar', literally " Iwho ?