Monday 20 February 2012

The Joy of Anonymity

K.V. Subramanian

I first noticed KVS in a queue outside the dining hall in Ramana Ashram at Arunachala. I was standing some distance behind him and it was his voice that initially caught my attention. It was a clear and distinctive Indian voice, speaking well enunciated and impeccable English. When I looked up to take note of the speaker I was surprised to see a small, fragile man in a long white dhoti and shirt, white hair flying out in all directions and a flowing, wispy beard, in much the same unconstrained condition.

As he spoke he bobbed his head up and down and made extravagant gestures with his hands augmenting thereby the meaning he was trying to convey.
'The Joy of Anonymity' is a phrase that very aptly depicts this humble and most unassuming man.

Right there and then, I decided I would have to get to know him better. The name KVS is an abbreviation for a much longer Tamil name ending in Subramaniam, however, that title is seldom used and the shorter version is the one by which he is addressed and known to all. KVS has a brilliant mind and a good understanding and command of close to thirteen different languages. He has extensive reading experience, an almost photographic memory and a vast life experience, much of which has been very challenging.

However it is not my intention to focus on the past of KVS, or even on his many and varied accomplishments. Of what importance are the details of a life? To be sure he has 'his story.' Yet it is not the story that is of interest here so much as his day to day, natural abidance with what is real. His 'living presence,' which flows in such an easy and unpretentious way might be overlooked, or even passed off as somewhat eccentric.

Right in our midst and often quite unnoticed, move those who have quietly and without fuss or fanfare discovered their inner wealth and the joy that spontaneously flows from dipping into the perennial spring of peace. They do not need to 'do' anything to benefit others. Their very presence spreads a fragrance throughout the surrounding atmosphere which spontaneously uplifts and enlivens.

It is inspiring to reflect upon the fact that we can rub shoulders, so to speak and move so closely with those who live and interact with the world and yet all the while have their existence from the infinite expanse of ego-less-ness. Those who are quietly demonstrating, in a completely un-contrived and natural way, the biblical axiom ‘to be in the world, but not of the world.’

Continue Reading in Masters, Mice and Men

Volume 3 of Shades of Awareness

Wednesday 15 February 2012

Following the Advice of the Guru

"Living near does not mean breathing the same air.  It means trusting and     
 obeying, not letting the good intentions of the teacher go to waste. 
 Have your Guru always in your heart and remember his instructions.
 This is the real abidance with the true.
 Physical proximity is least important.
 Make your entire life an expression of your faith and love for your teacher."            
 Nisargadatta Maharaj

Pearls of Searching

Having a clear, and balanced perspective on ones 'relationship' with the 'Guru' is extremely important.  But in the times that we live, not always such a simple matter. Where does one draw the line between, having complete faith, and retaining a sense of discrimination?

The 'line' is drawn at the point of our acceptance
The saying, 'when the disciple is ready, the Master will appear', is a statement of truth and one which i have verified personally on more than one occasion during my lifetime. For those of us who have had the good fortune of 'bumping into' our Masters, there is never any question of 'authenticity'.  In such instances, the heart 'knows' and its voice rings out loud and clear.

But for 'seekers' who are searching for an authentic guide, the choice of ones Guru should be made with the utmost care. What is the measure of an authentic Master?

Some of the qualities that we might notice when we come into contact with such a 'Being' should include; 
  •    Great Compassion.
  •    An instinctive sense of 'respect' that we may feel in their presence.
  •    The feeling of 'peace of mind' that naturally arises in the presence of a Master, is also a strong indicator of 'authenticity'.
Aside from looking for these qualities, we can but watch, listen, learn and wait until we are satisfied that we have found a Master in whom we can place our trust and our confidence, someone who will be able to lead us directly to the goal of 'realization'. 

Once we have 'accepted' a Master, we should be prepared to follow his/her instructions with complete confidence and faith. This is a really important point.

Nisargadatta Maharaj's life was a very clear example of a disciple following the words of his Guru. His master gave him very simple, short instructions, and  Maharaj took those instructions to heart and lived and breathed them until he could understand the 'truth behind them'. He didn't add to what his Master had told him, nor did he take away anything from the advice that he had received, he simply did exactly as he was told, with complete faith, until such time as he could experience for himself the truth of his Master's words.

Before accepting a 'Guru' as our guide, we must thoroughly investigate and question. This process can take years, but when we are satisfied and feel we can accept a Guru as our own, then ideally we should put aside all doubt and place our faith firmly and unshakably in his/her ability to guide us.  

Some people instantly 'know' when they meet their 'Guru', others search until they find someone they feel combines all or most of the qualities that they hold dearest to their ideal of such a figurehead. However the case may be, once a Guru is accepted as such, any half-hearted following from that point onwards, can bring about only unsatisfactory results.

Read more in Never Not Ever Here Now

Books by the Writer

Monday 6 February 2012

The Sage of Arunachala

Among thousands of men scarce one strive'th for Perfection;
of the successful strivers,
scarce one Knowe'th ME in essence.

Bagavad Gita

Recognizing the truth of who and what we really are, is the key to finding meaning and joy in this life. It is the permanent solution to ending suffering.

When a Being radiates that truth, through their own living-ness, whether they are in the body or not, its effects are extraordinarily powerful and all pervasive.

Sri Ramana Maharshi is the archetypal Guru of our times. Why, you might ask? 
  • Because in our age of technological advancement and complexity, his message is one of utter simplicity.
  • Because the question; who am I? cuts through the divisions created by religion and race.
  • Because, who am I? break down all the boundaries, placing before us, a truth that each and everyone of us can verify for ourselves, NOW.

Each of us is given the choice to recognize what is 'choice-less.'
To recognize the fact of our Awareness!

The Maharshi's life was a perfect manifestation of this living truth.
His 'after-life,' is a testament to that which crosses the boundaries of time and space.

Until the time when we are able to recognize the truth of our own nature, a 'Guru' is necessary. S/he, acts like a beacon of light in the darkness. When that 'truth' is realized and embodied, it can be understood that Guru and Self are one and the same...

Such have I known, Him of the lustrous eyes, Him whose sole look pierced to the heart, of wisdom deeper than the holy book, of Truth alone.

Arthur Osborne

Read more in Masters, Mice and Men
Volume Three in Shades of Awareness