Saturday, April 4, 2009

Is there anything to be taught at all

This is an old post I did on my other blog. I think it may have some relevance here

Ramana and Yati

-Somewhere in his books Guru Nitya Chaitanya Yati recalls his experience of meeting Sri Ramana Maharshi for the first and last time of his life. Yati had received his initiation into the order of sanyasins and was still troubled by his lack of insight into the real and the unreal. To any one, whether he has received initiation or not, this is a hard task.

Yati’s belonged to the school of Jnana Yogi’s. They seek the real by stripping the delusions away one by one till they reach the indivisible one. Only the very strong could do that, though the teaching could be condensed into a posture of silence. Many things could hinder one from realizing it. Mere intellect or hard work at meditation would not make it happen. There has to be some inward change, it could be likened to a purification of sorts, though in reality there is nothing to be purified about. What is needed is a change in perception; this could happen in a single moment or after years of struggle or not at all.

Yati was suffering in soul. He hit upon the hardest course he could pick on to bring on the necessary change in him. He went on a journey on foot through the vast Indian sub continent. He slept where ever he could at nights and ate whatever the people gave him when asked. There were occasions he went completely hungry on for days, merely subsisting on water.

Many including the great Vivekananda had performed this “rite’ in their time. It was on this journey he visited Ramana Maharshi at his Ashram. Ramana had left home at sixteen in search of truth and had become enlightened after spending years in meditation at Arunachala, a holy mountain in the south India. He rarely spoke and as Yati found out had the habit of not looking at others most of the time.

The tradition of Guru is very strong in India, the seekers of truth believe that if the Guru or a real liberated individual sets his eyes on the aspirant that would egg him on his way towards the truth. Yati waited for days, he saw others being considered by the great Guru but when he was near the Guru would be immersed in a blissful state a would not even glance at him. This grieved him. He was physically not well at that time; his journey was taking its toll on his frame. More than that he was not at peace with himself, it seemed that the truth was eluding him.

The utter neglect of Ramana cut him to the quick. At last he decided to depart. He went to say good bye to the great guru. The guru was still immersed in inner bliss and seemed as if not aware of Yati at all. Yati rose to go after prostrating before the guru and then for a fleeting second Ramana’s eyes rested on his eyes. Yati felt a shock coursing through his entire being. He was stunned and stood rooted to the spot. Then Ramana looked away and that was that, there were no advices, no instructions, no other communications.

To me Ramana looks like a perfect example of a Jnana Guru. He taught only one thing. “Seek what you are”. He knew it would lead people towards truth and liberation. Narayana Guru also taught in similar manner. “There is nothing in Vedanta to learn. What the waves are to sea- so are we to reality” But alas, the simpler the truth is, the harder it is to digest. Some might even think that these great souls are putting others on. They were telling the honest truth, there is no seeking, no quest, no complexity. What you seek has already been obtained. The only need is for a change in perspective. Some are so entrenched in their perishable lives that they would not dare look at the truth squarely even if it’s held aloft for them to see.

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