Siva-astra to the ahamkara

egodust egodust at DIGITAL.NET
Mon Feb 24 19:52:16 CST 1997

To me, Bhagavan RM's teaching was formidable in the face of the arrogant
structure of the ego, unparalleled in this sense by any sage before or
since.  He gave us so many gems, any one of which is enough to push the
ego-idea over its own precipice, providing the listener is ready to hear.

Here, IMO, is one such gem, taken from LETTERS FROM SRI RAMANASRAMAM by
Suri Nagamma (page 65; 3rd Edition, 1985):

3 June 1946

Yesterday a gentleman came here--a devout Brahman.  [...]  He had asked
Bhagavan, "Even though people commit adultery and theft and take alchoholic
drinks and so on, can their sins be wiped out by doing japam with mantras
such as Panchakshari or Tarakam, or will the sins stick to them?"

Bhagavan: "If the feeling 'I am doing japa' is not there, the sins
committed by a man will not stick to him.  If the feeling 'I am doing the
japa' is there, why should not the sin arising from bad habits stick on?"

Questioner:  "Will not this punya extinguish that papam?"

Bhagavan:  "So long as the feeling 'I am doing' is there, one must
experience the result of one's acts, whether they are good or bad.
How is it possible to wipe out one act with another?  When the feeling
'I am doing' is lost, nothing affects a man.  Unless one realizes the
Self, the feeling 'I am doing' will never vanish.  For one who realizes
the Self, where is the need for japam?  Where is the need for tapas?
Owing to the force of prarabdha, life goes on, but he does not wish
for anything.  Prarabdha is of three categories, ichha, anichha, and
parechha (personally desired, without desire, and due to others' desire).
For him who has realized his Self, there is no ichha-prarabdha.
The anichha and parechha remain.  Whatever he does is for others only.
If there are things to be done by him for others, he does them, but the
results do not affect him.  Whatever be the actions that such people do,
there is no punya and no papa attached to them.  But they do only what
is proper according to the accepted standard of the world--nothing else."

Though Bhagavan told the questioner that for him who realizes the Self
there is no ichha-prarabdha but only anichha and parechha-prarabdha, his
usual views about the prarabdha-s can be found in his work UNNATHI

Example: "The jnani does not have present future and prarabdha karma;
to say that prarabdha remains, is only a reply to a question.  Just as
one of the wives cannot remain unwidowed when the husband dies, so also
the three karma-s cannot remain when the karta is gone."

(end of letter)


Aside from the primary message conveyed [in terms of karmayoga], the latter
observation also indicates that different approaches--taking into account
different dynamics and temperaments--dictate the variously flexible [type
and quality of] applied philosophy; viz. that there is no hardlined truth
to a given approach, being nothing more than a temporal and therefore
disposable strategy.



Frank Maiello
"Who am I apart from Thee?"

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