Fear and doubt are two sides of the same coin. This ancient currency of the human mind generates a vicious cycle; fear creates doubt and doubt creates fear, which ultimately leads to cynicism—the harsh closing of mind around dogmatic beliefs, ideas, and thoughts. It is a deeply ingrained strategy of mind for survival that only serves to continue this insidious cycle of suffering. The cyclical nature of fear and doubt is...
Rage is one of the most avoided or suppressed emotions, which can easily lead to an expression of this destructive force of the human mind and ego. This power of the human psyche is often the source of man’s inhumanity to man—the destruction of each other. But what exactly is rage? What if it is purely the genetic wiring of the human brain? What if rage actually has nothing to do with the deeply ingrained genetic movement of mind to fight to be right, or the movement of mind to seek revenge, or the root nature of jealousy? Are these nefarious emotions a barrier or a gateway to your natural happiness?
The trap of the ego is knowledge and the trap of the mind is thought. It is these two traps that either inflate or deflate the egoic identity, which is the root of all suffering. If you do not pay attention to the guidance and wisdom of Sri Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi you will miss important insights. If you do not pay attention you will simply be endlessly trapped by knowledge and thought—the endless stream of consciousness arising in what we collectively refer to as mind. But what is mind exactly?
HWL Poonja, better known as Papaji, instigated what has been recently coined the Neo Advaita Satsang movement. As the name suggests, neo means new—a new approach to Advaita Vedanta—the ancient non-dual teachings of the Vedas and Upanishads of India. Neo Advaita was Papaji’s “great experiment” to see if spreading satsang around the world with his students could alter the course of human history, which for centuries has been on the perilous trajectory of total extinction of the human race. Satsang, Papaji believed, was the only logical solution for ending the destructive nature of the human mind and ego, which is the root cause of all war and conflict.
Someone you love suddenly and unexpectedly dies, a relationship ends, or you realize on a deep level that nothing you have done in your life has produced any real contentment or any sense of lasting happiness. It is this fundamental disillusionment with life that evokes a natural question in your mind; what is the purpose of life? The moment this question arises in your consciousness it begins to ravage the shadows of your past and fills your ideas of the future with a sense of foreboding. Does anyone really know? What is life really all about anyway?!
Papaji is famous for comparing the mountain path of Ramana Maharshi to the razors edge. His eyes flashing with pure delight, Papaji would exclaim, “One thought is too much to carry on the razor's edge!” He knew the great secret of Ramana Maharishi. He knew the mind was the ten-headed demon that guards the ancient gateway of freedom—a single thought and you fall off his famous razors edge. Naturally, you might wonder how to stop your thoughts from knocking you off this mysterious edge?
When thinking of Arunachala the mind simply goes blank—falling endlessly into the vast no mind state of no one, nowhere, and from this silence springs the most sublime happiness. Certainly, this happiness has been written about and talked about since Ramana first popped into the global consciousness—but the direct experience of this happiness is beyond anything words can ever convey. Silence is the only true messenger.
The animal instinct to fight back, attack, and destroy is an aspect of the genetic mind that is perhaps the greatest nemesis of your natural happiness. This powerful movement of the genetic mind is based on primitive ideas of right and wrong or good and evil. It lives in the dualistic perspective of ‘us’ versus ‘them’ or one perspective versus another. Just take one small glimpse of the horrifying images of human suffering unfolding every day in the news and you can see for yourself the...
Most of our time and attention is given to the problems we face in life. Just when one problem is solved another problem pops up. Life seems caught up in the whirlwind of the ever-changing problems we face. It is the common experience to find ourselves happy one minute, sad the next, angry the next, and so on. This is the problem sickness of the world that generates varying degrees of misery as we move through life.
One of the many mysteries of Ramana Maharshi is his famous master and guru—Arunachala Siva—the sacred mountain of southern India believed to be the embodiment of Siva—the formless presence of God. This timeless master transformed Venkataraman, as he was known in his boyhood, into one of the greatest saints of India—Sri Ramana Maharshi—the great seer.
Around the world different spiritual perspectives, teachings, lineages, practices, ideas, realizations, and thoughts about freedom, self-realization, enlightenment, and the vast consciousness described as God, or pure being, are bantered about like a ping pong ball bouncing from one side of the table to another. This esoteric tug of war between different perspectives has evolved into an epic struggle to explain the unexplainable.
Perhaps the most famous teaching of Papaji is his ruthlessly true statement, ‘Nothing Ever Happened.’ This quintessential teaching of Papaji is so far reaching it annihilates the mind’s natural ability to grab onto definitions or concepts that define how we perceive the world and ourselves. ‘What?!” Your mind can protest. How could nothing ever happen? Certainly, you have loads of experience that says the exact opposite. Lots of things happen every day—right? But nothing ever happened is the essence of freedom—how could anything happen right now? Nothing is now.
Ramana Maharshi is one of the greatest spiritual masters of all time. His name is the essence of his teaching—the great unveiling of the indescribable presence, which resides in the heart of all beings. His life and teaching was and is a direct pointing to this living presence that has the innate power and grace to end lifetimes of suffering.
The word freedom can evoke many different ideas about what it means to be free. Often we think of freedom as doing whatever you want, but the freedom of enlightenment has little to do with what you are doing or not doing or what you are feeling or not feeling. We like the idea of bliss or feeling good or doing whatever we want, but freedom has more to do with facing what is uncomfortable, facing our fear and pain directly—an uncomfortable, intimate, examination of what is really here deeper than the circumstances of our lives.
Once again the entire world is confronted with the face of terror and the prison of belief it represents. The recent terrorist attacks in Brussels and Paris is a prison of ideology deeply ingrained in the egoic feeling that we are separate. This separation lives in the proverbial ideas of good versus evil, or us versus them, or good guys versus bad guys, or Muslims versus Christians. What is perhaps more horrifying is the ordinariness of the terrorists that committed these diabolical acts. If you strip away the labels jihadist, terrorist, radicalized Islam, or even martyr you are left with the horrifying reality that these are simply ordinary people who are intent on killing and maiming other ordinary people.
We love movies for their innate ability to transform the ordinary moments of life into the extraordinary. In contrast, the mundane moments of our lives always seem to be an entangled monotony of ordinariness—a constant flow of change through the changeless presence that surrounds us and breathes us, which we usually overlook in the cacophony of changing circumstances that assault our senses. This invisible presence holds the eternal promise of freedom, but we find ourselves constantly distracted by the roller coaster of emotions rolling through our lives.
Perhaps you have heard the word satsang before and maybe even know what it means, but often the deeper meaning of this sacred meeting is misunderstood or completely unknown. Satsang is a Sanskrit term that means association with truth or association with the wise. It is a meeting held in the highest truth guided by someone who is considered enlightened, or awakened, with the sole purpose of directing your attention to the eternal freedom known as enlightenment or state of consciousness that liberates you from the karmic wheel of birth and death, but these words only scratch the surface of the life changing nature of satsang.
Life itself is a gift—the most indescribable divine love. When a mother holds her newborn baby she instantly feels this indescribable presence—the indescribable love of life itself. This pure divine essence is hidden over time by the deep-seated feeling that you are a unique individual, which serves to pull your attention into the story about your life and the lives of others generated by your mind and overlooks the sublime grace of the indescribable love in the core of your being.
Awakening happens in a fraction of a fraction of a second and mastery of the endless gyrations of mind that occur before, during, and after awakening, takes an entire lifetime. It is the willingness to take a deep look into the depth of your heart that a profound and mysterious transformation begins to take place. This transformation has a physical, mental, and emotional aspect. It can evoke the deepest sadness, rage, and fear—any emotion that has been suppressed throughout your life will suddenly, and sometimes with an unexplainable vengeance, push up from the depths to be released.
Sri Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi is a global phenomenon and profound mystery. Even though he left his body in 1950, his teaching is a tidal wave of consciousness that is still flowing around the world revealing the living freedom and happiness of our true nature. The Ramana phenomenon is tied to the simplicity of his teaching and the fact that his awakening and subsequent silence was a shift in consciousness so deep that his awakening is actually still happening right now in your own heart—the living truth that lives eternally in everyone’s heart.
A war is raging in the human consciousness that is reflected in the many conflicts erupting around the world. The war inside is always reflected in the war outside and the wars end begins with a return to peace—awakening to the peace and stillness of our true nature.
Ending the Self Torture of Seeking and Self-hatred by Kosi
Seeking freedom is in vogue. The spiritual subculture around the world is in hot pursuit of the all-illusive state of bliss known as enlightenment—the golden carrot that keeps you seeking, but never really finding the freedom you seek. Esoteric conversations about enlightenment and the lasting happiness it promises are buzzing in coffee shops and tearooms around the world—fueling an almost frantic search for the miraculous.