Monday, 1 February 2010

1/Feb/2010 - The Living Presence.

It has been nearly a month since I've been back from my visit to the Ramanasramam at Tiruvannamalai in India. The sequence of events leading me up to the visit have been outlined earlier in the blog. In a nutshell - there had been a vision, then the research leading upto the place 'seen' in the vision - identifying it as the holy mountain of Arunachala -and the confirmation of the path leading upto Bhagvan Ramana's samadhi at the ashram...a culmination brought about by his very Grace - for who am I?

Every aspect of my 'Vision' came to be so - in reality! The mountain path that I 'saw' was the same that I walked upon the holy mountain Arunachala, that leads towards the Virupaksha cave, the cave that Bhagvan lived and meditated in for many years. The huge boulders seemed to me to be the very ones - that he sat on! It occured to me that the 'face' I saw carved on the mountain in my 'vision' was the same as the one carved in the Elephanta caves near Mumbai to depict Lord Shiva. According to the Puranas (and Bhagvan himself) this mountain is supposed to be the direct manifestation of Lord Shiva and the oldest of the five 'Jyotirlingas'. ( I had NO knowledge about the existence of such a mountain or these legends prior to my vision or even know anything about Ramana Maharshi or his teachings, or where he lived or of his life.) The elephant that I had seen suddenly coming up on me - came just as suddenly upon me, in the Arunachelashwara temple (Lord Shiva's temple) just as I was about to enter the main temple, containing the sanctum sanctorum and the main deity. And the priest there lead us directly into the presence of the inner diety - without having solicited it, thought of it - we had 'Darshan'!

Such had been the unmistakeable power of that vision - so insistent was its call - that I was compelled to find all, in fact I was guided by grace and lead directly to the 'Real' place.

Bhagvan and Arunachala had called.

It feels to me, not just to be a culmination of the journey beginning with the vision but a culmination of the journey that began at birth, as if everything was leading upto this particular point. What has changed? Nothing really and yet everything has. The world is at it is but the prism through which it is viewed has changed. There was faith before but now there is Surrender. The world is real but not real enough in that the importance attached to all things is known to be temporary and transient. The search is for THAT that is ever-permanent and unchanging. I am far, far from Knowing but am content that at least the journey has begun, the path is clearer and the faith surer that he who put me here will guide me there.

This isn's about 'A God' to be prayed to, a God somewhere sitting high up in the heavens, separated from us, to be remembered when we are afraid, when we want or when we suffer. A God meteing out rewards and punishments to our 'good' and 'bad' behaviours as defined by societies at any given time a society. It is about discovering who I Am? that I AM!

HE- is a living presence in my life, Grace, that is ever pervading, in the here and now. The joy and bliss that suffuse my heart, just looking at his picture, is confirmation enough to me of his Loving, Living Presence. Whether HE and I remain separate as in duality, as is the case, now or whether there is finally a time when the Knowing of non-duality arises and the separation dissolves when the time arrives, whether now or after innumerable life-times, knowing that it is through his Grace alone, is enough! In fact Everything is Grace manifest!

Nothing matters any more but to carry on this journey, as for the time it takes - what does it matter? I am glad that I realise that I am wise to the extent that I know I am foolish!

Worldly acquistions, achievements, ambition and success are no longer centre - stage; The destructive play of Ego and self-importance is so evident and consequently there is no more getting swept in the currents of Ego and the labels it attaches to itself and others are no longer valid. Such peace! such freedom!

No longer is there a need to drag out the past - pain and bring it into the present; no longer is there a projection for the future, the futility of both is so apparent! I am far far far from enlightenment and perfection - am no Jnani and certainly not perfect and have not yet reached the level of ultimate 'jnana' but am content that the journey to finding out WHO AM I? has begun....

Saturday, 12 December 2009

12/Dec/09 - Random rumination: The problem of Pain and Evil.

A few 'insights' (if they can be called that!) have happened along this path that I am trundling along. I tend to call them 'insights' because they appeared spontaneously, without, any active thinking on my part; they appeared as though suddenly plucked out of space and put into my mindspace - with no prior thinking involved. The words simply appeared....

'All pain is Resistance, all evil is Ignorance'.

Once this appeared, then, began the thinking - the looking from all directions, to try and verify the accuracy of what had appeared. To apply it to every life situation and to check the validity of the 'insight'.

It is because we refuse to accept any given situation as it exists and then attempt to change it to what we think is an ideal situation and fail miserably to do either, that there consequently is pain. Acceptance is key to any situation. That of course does not mean that we stop 'doing' anything, or stop taking appropriate action to try and rectify a situation or bring about a solution. Karma forms a part of the experience of life but we must inevitably accept that, which cannot be changed. Of course this is a well - known psychological fact, which it is, but for me, the above arose spontaneously with no prior active thinking whatsoever. The appearance was non-contextual wasn't a thought, it was just that - An Appearance.

The second half was a bit more difficult to fathom. 'Evil' can appear in many ways and takes many forms. I took the worst possible scenario and the most obvious form - people killing each other - wars, murders, terrorism. In each case, the act arises out of one person or group, wanting to prove a point to another; wanting to prove themselves superior to others and out of plain hate; this hate again arises out of ignorance of the 'other'; each reason thus has its root in the inherent ignorance - of the truth of a situation; ignorance of the nature of other's reality; ignorance of another's situation; ignorance of the other's motivation; ignorance of the other's culture, religion and; ignorance of the purpose of being human and finally and the root of all roots - Ignorance of our 'true' nature.

And that leads to the questions - what IS my true nature?

Who am I?

(to be contd...)

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

9/Dec/09 - Growth.

Through all this, I ask myself - what have I actually learnt? If anything?

Everything that is happening, all the drama of visions unfolding, of energy movements, of spontaneous kriyas and mudras occuring - instinctively I know, I should not attach much importance to them. These phenomena are temporary by their very nature, they shall come and they shall go. Why get attached to them? And what purpose do they serve? I look upon them only as an ecouragement - manifestations, that confirm that there is certainly more to this Infinite Universe than what is observable merely by the five senses, so limited are they! And yet we build up our entire lives around what is perceived through these limited instruments. 'I' am merely the witness.

There have been no sudden and dramatic shifts in 'consciousness', no upheavals and no dramas of epic proportions on my spiritual path. It appears as though all this is not a 'journey' as in getting somewhere or 'achieving' something. Instead, it has been a steady 'chipping away' of dross, if you will, something I wasn't even 'aware' was happening, until suddenly - I was - AWARE.

I became aware of an 'Awareness' that was 'aware'. I found myself observing the drama of what is termed as 'me'/'I'. Again 'I' am aware that I haven't yet reached THAT which every spiritual guru worth his salt talks about! But the frequency with which I once got lost in the drama of thoughts, emotions, personalties and generally the chaos-that the world -appears- to be, has reduced to a great extent. Most of the time, in situations, that have the potential to generate a great deal of stress, do not generate it - because - this 'Awareness' steps in, of its own doing!

For all that has happened and is happening, I have no sense of 'doership', it has happened because it has happened, perhaps because of THAT which is, no effort is mine. All I can 'feel' and 'know' is that it is THY will. That too is a dualistic thought - I am Aware - that it is. But. It does not matter to me, It too shall pass, as does everything.

Thoughts, I am beginning to see, are really of no consequence, they merely muddy the waters. Philosophising is helpful to some extent, a theorising, but ultimately, 'KNOWING' is what should be and I am not there yet. Again I don't think I can really 'do' anything, only when Grace is granted, perhaps, that I will know THAT which IS.

Meanwhile I am content to just BE.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

8/Dec/09 - Lightning.

Around 1999-2000, I had an intense and vivid vision/dream (?), which in retrospect seems to me to have been one of the most important marker in this journey. It was a pointer, a precursor of things to come....

I 'saw' that there was a Lighthouse at the edge of a Pier. I was sitting on the edge of the pier on the lowermost steps of the Lighthouse, with my legs in the ocean. Dolphins were gambolling around my feet, laughing up at me! Suddenly a a very bright bolt of lightning struck the ocean right in front of me. At the point of impact, the the lightning bolt exploded into a million splinters of beautiful, coloured light. So bright was the light, such was the intensity, that my hands flew up to cover my eyes and I woke up!

I have never forgotten this dream or was it a vision?! Such was the vividness, that its been etched forever in my mind. I can't help wonder if this bolt of 'lightning' was actually a depiction of the 'Kundalini' Shakti herself? Such is the intensity of colours, the vividness, the 'realness'! Such is the magnitude of meaning, that makes itself apparent, impresses upon the mind, it is impossible to ignore or to just dismiss it as being without meaning.

What is difficult, is to decipher the meaning!


Yesterday, I was woken up again at night - by an intense buzzing in the ears and the feeling of electricity coursing through my body. My teeth were vibrating with what felt like an electrical charge, which caused some discomfort and this is what woke me up. The charge coursing through was not something imagined. The currents of energy over my face lasted for some time, the currents flowing quite strongly through my nostrils. This is something that happens quite often.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

22/Nov/09 - Kundalini ?? (2)

- Then came the phase of intense kriyas. Often when I meditate or simply concentrate, energy in my body moves and gently but insistently pushes me into various postures which seem to be various yogic asanas. These are fluid and graceful – if I attempt to do these on my own, I am simply unable to do them and certainly with no grace what so ever! Now, I find, there are 'mudras' that happen spontaenously. My hands move gracefully of their own volition, with the fingers assuming various positions.

- I often searched for the images meaning of these 'mudras' on the net and have found various images, corresponding, to the Buddhist and yogic traditions in India. Apparently, these mudras cause an allignment and manipulation of energy fields around the body, corresponding to the various 'chakras' or energy centres around the body. I have through experienced that these postures have at various points concentrated on areas specifically associated with these so called chakras (and correspondingly at the positions various glands in our bodies). Its very interesting to note that these chakras and the glandular locations are almost identical -

(these of course are my own observations and conjectures and do not assert them as being the truth!)

- The 'Sahasrara' chakra at the top of the head seems to corresponds to the Hypothalamus, which isn't a gland in itself, but is responsible for controlling the endocrine glands.
- The 'Ajna' chakra between the eyes, corresponds to the location of the Pineal gland.
- The 'Vishuddha' chakra supposedly located at the throat, corresponding to the Thyroid gland.
- The 'Anahata' chakra at the Heart location seems to correspond to the 'Thymus'glands.
- The 'Manipura' chakra to the Pancreas at Solar Plexus and the
- 'Swadhistan' and 'Muladhar' chakra possibly to the adrenals and ovaries and testes.

And whenever these 'mudras' occured, they seemed to centre on each of the above locations and often there was an innate knowing that let me know that it was all for my benefit - that these 'functions' were being corrected in some way.

And one of the most amazing aspects of all this is the presence of vision of what I call the 'Inner Guru' - split second before a mudra would occur, I could 'see', a pair of beautiful , lavender-blue, hands performing the mudra! It was as if I was being guided, or rather my hands were being guided to perform those mudras!

I have no way of explaining any of this, all I can say, is that perhaps grace in some small measure has been granted to this undeserving person, who can only bow her head in total surrender and supplication......

Saturday, 21 November 2009

21/Nov/09 - Kundalini?? (1)

Over the last two years - there has been an occurence of certain phenomena, symptoms that seem to match in description to what has been classically described - as the 'Kundalini ' awakening. I am still not entirely sure that it is what it is, perhaps it could just be 'Pranotthana', an increase of the Prana in the body prior to an actual awakening, which is often said to mimic an actual awakening. Certainly my symptoms aren't as severe as those described by Gopi Krishna in his books. But they are certainly 'things' that I can't ignore, because they are so out of the realm of what we would describe as 'normal' and that they are so 'real', not something that my imagination has conjured up!

The signs and symptoms started off as follows-
- A violent rocking of the spine whenever I meditated, it was a rocking that began at the base of the spine, and made me move back and forth and sometimes sideways. I could stop it if I willed it to stop and if I opened my eyes and stopped concentrating or meditating.

- Soon I began to feel energy movements all over my body, most of the times this was accompanied by intense bliss and intoxication - almost as if drunk! This bliss could be so intense that it was almost like experiencing a body orgasm without any thought of sex. Sometimes there actually were orgasms - again without any sexual thoughts whatsoever. This still continues to happen but to a much lesser degree now.

- Then sometimes, the energy seemed to get stuck in the head, generating intense pressure from within, as if trying to get out. This caused a great deal of discomfort - but it felt different to any type of headache - a tension headache or even a migraine. Later I learnt to lessen the pressures somewhat by concentrating on my heart. The energy seemed to flow into the heart lessening the pressure in the head and sometimes even by eating. I presume it was then utilised in the act of digestion itself. This seems to tie in without Gopi Krishna's experience, where he stressed the importance of eating properly and the overall effect on energy.

- There were times, when I would feel very irritable and loose my temper often, this was a direct result of feeling strange 'crawling' sensations on my body - that is the closest word I can find to describe the sensations, but that's not quite how it was. And aches and pains all over the body, flu like symptoms, without any cold or cough or fever. The 'crawling' has almost disappeared but the aches and pains have remained. And I am trying to resolve whether there are any medical reasons behind it just to eliminate all possibilities. I do not want to blindly believe that this is the result of the Kundalini. During this time I have developed problems with my thyroid and I am taking thyroxine to remedy it. It is often been documented (from whatever I have read on the net itself and many books) that CFS (chronic fatigue syndrome) is often a result of Kundalini.

- I have had a phase - when I experienced severe heat flushes in my body in the middle of winter( and I am a person who feels constantly cold!) so this was very strange indeed. I would have night sweats and extreme heat in my head, palms, spine. I even went to the doctor to check whether I was experiencing menopausal symptoms! The doctor eliminated that possibility completely. And these symptoms stopped as abruptly as they had begun.

- Often as I lie down quietly in bed, just before falling asleep, I have found that beautiful 'bubbles' of extremely blissful energy blows up from thebase of my spine to my neck. This energy is specifically concentrated in my spine is not 'scattered' all over body. It follows a very clear path and my spine often 'jerks' as if having received an electric shock, albeit and extremely mild one. And often I wondered how this could possibly be 'Kundalini' which has been described variously as a 'roar' up the spine with extreme heat.

- And then one day - it happened! This laser like spasm of intense heat shooting up in a concentrated beam up my spine but it stopped at thebase of my neck as if unable to proceed any further, as if it had encountered a 'block' and fallen down again! I felt as if I had been scalded by a hot liquid over my spine. Next day when I looked at my back, I found a large boil on my spine, just at the base of my neck. It certainly looked like the 'real' thing if only for a second. Just as well it didn't last longer or go further - god alone knows what would have happened and whether I could have handled 'IT'. This never happened again, though the pleasant 'bubbling' in the spine has continued and I am grateful, that the goddess is giving me only as much as I can handle.

- Then came the phase of intense 'kriyas'. Often when I meditate or even simply concentrate, energy in mybody moves and gently but insistently pushes me into various postures, yogic postures and asanas. These are fluid and graceful - if I attempt to do these on my own, I am simply unable to do them, and certainly there is no grace what so ever!

(to be contd...)

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

18/Nov/09 - Confirmation!

I am so elated! I think, I finally have, a definitive confirmation, that the hill / mountain in my vision was definitely Arunachala - especially with regards to the message that somehow transmitted itself to me, that said -

'This is the place where no time and space exists!'

The confirmation being as follows -
(I came across this information on David Godman's website)

A devotee of Sri Ramana Maharshi was trying to convince Bhagwan to visit his native Chidambaram and the temple of Shiva therein. He tried to convince Bhagwan by citing that the Shiva-linga in Chindambaram was of more importance because it was the one that represented the element of 'Space' - and space contained the remaining four elements of earth, fire, water and air. And that the Shiva-linga in the Arunachala was one that represented the Fire.

On hearing this Bhagwan was known to have said that all the five elements are creations of the Shakti (the feminine energy) she is superior to them all. They can exist only when Shakti has lost her identification with Lord Shiva. Therefore more important is the place where Shakti merges than the place where all elements merge. Which in turn means that Space itself cannot exist because Shakti herself does not exist as herself any more - she has merged with the Supreme Lord herself!

Therefore it follows that no 'Space' exists in the Arunachala and consequently no 'Time'!

My faith needs nothing more than this to convince me - that the Mountain in my vision was indeed the sacred Arunachala!

I have been wondering - what is leading me on to this quest? Why am I on this so called 'spiritual' path? What am I seeking? The answer that comes to my mind - is well - to find answers! To fundamental questions, like, why was this universe created? Why are we here? What is the purpose of all creation? of humanity? Knowledge or ('Dnyan / Jnan' in sanskrit) -for me is the ultimate goal.

And again it is said -
'Arunachala is a secret kshetra. Because it is this place that bestows jnana and because most people have so many other desires and do not truly want jnana, Arunachala has always remained comparatively little known. But to those few who seek jnana, Arunachala always makes itself known through some means or other.'

(The above information has been taken from David Godman's website.)

And so it has...