Thursday, 6 December 2012

Sri Annamalai Swami Says

Sri Annamalai Swami was a disciple of Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi. Here we shall note down some sayings of Annamalai Swami. Annamalai Swami was a Liberated person in his own right and I believe that Bhagavan Ramana's essential teachings are best conveyed through the works of Annamalai Swami.
Here is a short index for this topic: (the post numbers are listed)

1. Dont Get Attached to Temporary Mental states of Bliss: 1
2. Ignore Mind : 2,3,4,5,6,9
3. You are already the Self: 7,14
4. Ribhu Gita/Shastras as Aid to Self Enquiry: 8
5. Handling vasanas:11,12
6. Understanding that I am Self is a Must: 11
7: conviction:12,13

8. You Do not Need An Experience:7,15
9. Why Dont I See/Recognize Self ?: 15

10. Continuous Meditation: 16
11. True Meaning of Samadhi: 17
12: Manonasha is not thoughtlessness: 18
13. World is a Dream, Treat it as a dream: 19
14. Faith in Mind and Senses ? : 21


Page 333 : living by the words of Bhagavan
Q: I feel that the bhakti path is an effortless way. When I enquire "Who am I" I feel that I must make a great effort to make the mind subside. The Bhakti path seems to be more sweet, more joyfull and more effortless.
A: It is always good to worship the guru, but abiding in the guru's teachings is far better. You follow the bhakti path if you want to but you should remember that its almost impossible for a devotee to judge whether he is making progress or not. you should not jump to the conclusion that you are not making any progress with your self inquiry simply because you find it hard to do. And you should not think tht you will make more progress as a bhakta simply because you find it easy to generate joyful states of mind.
The same consciousness which is within you and within bhagavan's form is within all forms. we must learn to contact this consciousness by being aware of this all the time.

Q: I know that Bhagavan is in all forms but some times I find it easier to feel his grace by concentrating on an image of him. Self inquiry is such hard work. One rarely finds blissful or peaceful doing it. sometimes i feel like treating myself to a little bliss by looking at bhagavan's picture for a while.
A: There is nothign wrong with looking at Bhagavan's picture. Thats a good practise. But you should not get sidetracked from our main objective which is establishing yourself as consciousness. dont get attached to states of bliss or give them priority over the quest for Self. If you become attached to peaceful or blissful states you may lose your interest in the main quest. It is good to feel blissful and peaceful but don’t indulge yourself in these states at the expense of self inquiry. If you realize the inner Self, if you realize that there is not an atom which is apart from Self, you will experience the real peace and bliss of the Self. You will be the peace or the bliss rather than being the experiencer of it. if you experience temporary states of peace or bliss in the mind, the experiencer of that peace or bliss will not want to subside into the Self and disappear.
Don’t get attached to mental peace. Go beyond it to the real peace which comes from being the Self

Page 84 of Final Talks
What ever kind of thought arises, have the same reaction: 'Not me, not my business'. IT can be a good thought or a bad thought. Treat them the same way. To whom are these thoughts arising ? To You. That means you are not the thought.
You are the Self. Remain as the Self, and don't latch onto anything that is not the Self.


Page 86: Final Talks
Whatever thoughts come, ignore them. You have to ignore anything that is connected to the body-mind idea, anything that is based on the notion that you are the mind or the body. if you can do this, the raising of thought will not disturb or distract you. in a split second , it will run away.
All thoughts are distractiosn, including the thought ' i am meditating'. if you are the Self, darkness will not overcome you. what ever thoughts arise in that state wont affect you.


Page 82 of final talks
Sadhana, effort and practise , and any ideas you may have about them, are concepts that can only arise when you believe that you are not the Self, and when you believe that you have to do something to reach the Self.
Even the sequence "to whom has this thought come? To me" is based on ignorance of the truth. Why? Because its verbalising a state of ignorance; its perpetuating an erroneous assumption that there is a person who is having troublesome thoughts. You are the Self not some make-believe person who is having thoughts


Page 82, Final Talks
Remember , nothing that happens to mind is 'you', and none of it is your business. You dont have to worry about thoughts that rise up inside you.Its enough that you remember that the thoughts are not you.


Page 86 : Final Talks
Thoughts will come as long as the potential for them is inside you. Good thoughts, bad thoughts, they will keep coming.
There is nothing you can do about this flow, but at the same time, this flow of thoughts need not be a problem. Be the Self, be the peace that is your real nature, and it will not matter what comes up.

Post 7:

Page 292: living by the words of Bhagavan
Giving up the identity with the body and the mind is tapas, samadhi, dhyana and nishta.
Spiritual seekers have a very strange habit: they are always looking for a way to reach, attain,discover,experience, or realize the Self. They try many things because they cannot comprehend that they are already the Self. This is like running around looking for one's eyes with one's own eyes.
Why should you imagine that it is some new experience to be discovered or found ? You are the Self right now, and you are aware of it right now. Do you need a new experience to prove that you exist? The feeling "I am existing" is the Self. You pretend that you are not experiencing it, or cover it up with all kinds of false ideas, and then you run around looking for it as if it were something external to be reached or found. There is a story about someone like thus.
Once a king imagined that he was a poverty-striken peasant. He thought , "if I go and meet the king he may be able to help me by giving some money"
He searched for the king in many places but he could not find him anywhere. Ultimately he became very depressed because his search was not yeilding any results. One day he met a man on the road who asked him why he was so depressed.
He answered, " I am searching for the king. I think that he can solve all my problems and make me happy but I cant find him anywhere".
The man, who already recognized him, said with some astonishment, "But you yourself as the king!"
The king came to his senses and remembered who he was. His problems all ended the moment he remembered his real identity.
You may think that the king was fairly stupid but he had at least enough sense to recognize the truth when it was told to him.
The guru may tell his disciples a thousand times "You are the self, you are not what you imagine youself ot be", they all keep asking the guru for methods and routes to reach the place they are already are.


Page 293-294 living by the words of bhagavan
Q: Bhagavan said that repeating 'I am Self' or 'I am not the body' is an aid to enquiry but it does not constitute enquiry itself.
AS: The meditation "I am not the body or the mind, I am the immanent Self" is a great aid as long as one is not able to do self inquiry properly or constantly.
Bhagavan said, 'Keeping the mind in the heart is self-enquiry'. If you cannot do thys by asking "who am I?" or by taking the "I"-thought back to its source, then meditation on the awareness "I am the all pervasive Self" is a great aid.
Bhagavan often siad that we should read and study the Ribhu Gita regularly.
In Ribhu Gita its said: "That Bhavana "I am not the body, I am not the mind, I am Brahman, I am everything" is to be repeated again and again until it becomes natural state.
Bhagavan sat with us every day while we chanted extracts from Ribhu Gita which affirm the reality of the Self. Its true that he said that these repetitions are only an aid to self-enquiry, but they are very powerful aids.
By practising this way the mind becomes more and more attuned to the reality. When the mind has become purified by this practise its easier to take it back to the source and keep it there. when one is able to abide in the Self directly, one does not need aids like this. But if this is not possible these practises can definitely aid.

How to give up this false idea that mind is real ?
Annamalai Swami Answers: the same way that you give up any wrong idea. you simply stop believing in it. if this does not happen spontaneously when u hear the truth from a teacher, keep telling yourself "i am not the mind, i am not the mind. There is no mind; there is no mind. consciousness alone exists". if you have firm conviction that this is the truth, one day this firm conviction will mature to the point where it becoems your direct experience.

POST 10:

Living by the Words of Bhagavan , pg 281
If you try to meditate without understanding that your real nature is Self, and Self alone, your meditation practise will only lead you to more mental bondage.
Bhagavan once said, 'To keep the mind in the Self, all you have to do is remain still'
To realize the Self you dont actually have to do anything except be still. Just give up the identifying with the mind and hold onto the Self. That is enough. Be still and cultivate the awareness 'I am the Self;the Self is all'. What difficulties can arise from doing a simple practise like this ?

POST 11:

Pg 282 of Living by the words of Bhagavan
Doing any sadhana without first understanding that the individual self is non-existent is self-indulgence. Its a form of spiritual entertainment in which the illusory "I" plays games with itself.
Saint Tayumanuvar once said,'Why all these maha yogas ? All these yogas are maya!'
When I say, 'Meditate on the Self' , I am asking you the be the Self, not think about it. Be aware of what remains when thoughts stop. Be aware of the consciousness that is the origin of all your thoughts. Be that consciousness. Feel that that is what you reall are. If you do this you are meditating on the Self. But if you cannot stabilise in that consciousness because your vasanas are too strong and too active , its beneficial to hold onto the thought 'I am Self, I am everything' If you meditate in this way you will not be cooperating with the vasanas that are blocking the Self-awareness. If you do not cooperate with the vasanas, sooner or later they are bound to leave you.
If this method does not appeal to you , then just watch the mind with full attention. Whenever the mind wanders, become aware of it. See how thoughts connect with each other and watch how this ghost called mind catches hold of your thoughts and says 'This is my thought'. Watch the ways of mind without identifying with them in any way. If you give your mind your full detached attention, you begin to understand the futility of all mental activities. Watch the mind wandering here and there , seeking out useless or unnecessary things or ideas which will ultimately create more misery for itself. Watching the mind gives us the knowledge of the inner processes. It gives us an incentive to stay detached from all our thoughts. Ultimately if we try hard enough, it gives us the ability to remain as consciousness , unaffected by transient thoughts


pg 274 , of living by the words of bhagavan
The best mantra is "i am the self, everything is my Self. Everything is one" If you keep this in your mind all the time, Self will eventually reveal itself to you.
Dont be statisfied with rituals and other kindergarten techniques. If you are serious, head directly for the self. Hold onto it as tenaciously as you can and dont let anything or anyone loosen your grip.

POST 13:

Pg 260 of Living by the words of Bhagavan
You must generate the conviction, "I am the all-pervasive consciousness in which all bodes and minds in the world are appearing and disappearing. I am that consciousness which remains unchanged and unaffected by these appearances and disappearances ". Stabilise yourself in that  conviction. Thats all you need to do.

Post 14:

Living by the words of bhagavan , conversations
Q.: What is the easiest way to be free of the 'little self'?
Annamalai Swami: Stop identifying with it. If you can convince yourself, 'This little self is not really me,' it will disappear.

Q.: But how to do that?
AS.: The little self is something that only appears to be real. If you understand that it has no real existence it will disappear, leaving behind it the experience of the real and only Self. Understand that it has no real existence and it will stop troubling you.
Consciousness is universal. There is no limitation or 'little self' in it. It is only when we identify with and limit ourselves to the body and the mind that this false sense of self is born. If, through enquiry, you go to the source of the 'little self', you find that it dissolves into nothingness.

Q.: But I am very accustomed to feel 'I am this 'little self' '. I cannot break this habit merely by thinking 'I am not this 'little self''.
AS.: This 'little self' will only give way to the real Self if you meditate constantly. You cannot wish it away with a few stray thoughts. Try to remember the analogy of the rope which looks like a snake in twilight. If you see the rope as snake the real nature of the rope is hidden from you. If you only see the rope the snake is not there. Not only that - you know that there never was a snake there. (Then) the question of how to kill the snake disappears... If you can understand that this 'little self' never at any time had any existence outside your imagination, you will not be concerned about ways and means of getting rid of it.

Q.: It is all very clear but I feel I need some help. I am not sure that i can generate this conviction by myself.
AS.: The desire for assistance is part of your problem. Don't make the mistake of imagining that there is a goal to be reached or attained. If you think like this you will start looking for methods to practice and people to help you. This just perpetuates the problem you are trying to end. Instead, cultivate the strong awareness, 'I am the Self. I am That. I am Brahman. I am everything.'.. The best way to (stop believing the wrong ideas about yourself) is to replace them with ideas which more accurately reflect the real state of affairs. ...
The Self is always attained, it is always realized; it is not something that you have to seek, reach or discover. Your vasanas and all the wrong ideas you have about yourself are blocking and hiding the experience of the real Self. If you don't identify with these wrong ideas, your Self-nature will not be hidden from you.

POST 15:

Q: You say that everything is the Self, even maya. If this is so, why cant I see the Self clearly ? If this is so, why can't I  see the Self clearly ?
Why is it hidden from me ?

AS: Because you are looking in the wrong direction. You have the idea that the Self is something that you see or experience . This is not so. The Self is the Awareness or consciousness in which the seeing and the experiencing take place.
Even if you don't see the Self, the Self is still there. Bhagavan some times remarked humorously: "People just open a newspaper and glance through it. Then they sau , ' I have seen the paper'. But really they haven't seen the paper , they have only seen the letters without the paper, but people always forget the paper while they are reading the words "

Bhagavan would then use this analogy to show that while people see the names and forms that appear on the screen of consciousness, they ignore the screen itself. With this kind of partial vision its easy to come to the conclusion that all forms are unconnected with each other and separate from the peron who sees them. If people were to be aware of the consciousness instead of the forms that appear in it, they would realize that all forms are just appearances which manifest within the one invisible consciousness.

That consciousness is the Self that you are looking for. You can be that consciousness but you can never see it because its not something that is separate from you.

Pg: 265-6 of Annamalai Swami 's living by the words of bhagavan.
This is called Recognition.

POST 16:pg 271-2, Living by the words of bhagavan

      Continuous inhalation and exhalation are necessary for continuation of life. Continuous meditation is necessary for all those who want to stay in the Self.
You divide your life up into different activities: "I am eating", "I am meditating", "I am working", etc. If you have ideas like these you are still identifiying with the body. Get rid of all these ideas and replace them with the single thought , "I am Self", Hold onto that idea and dont let it go. Dont give these "I am the body" ideas any attention.
"I must eat now", "I will go to sleep now", "I will have a bath now", all thoughts like these  are I am the body thoughts. Learn to recognize them when they arise and learn to ignore them or deny them. Stay firmly seated in the Self and dont allow the mind to identify with anything that the body does.
Modify message

Here is a conversation between annamalai swami and Ramana , pg 234 of Living by the words of bhagavan.

"Does Samadhi mean that one is unaware of everything ?" , I asked.
"No," said Bhagavan. "Mediation will go on without our effort. That is Samadhi"
"Then what is Sahaja Samadhi ?", I asked.
Bhagavan answered by saying , " In that state meditation will always be going on. In that State the thought , 'I am meditating' or 'I am not meditating' will not occur".

I then asked Bhagavan about periods in meditation when I was only aware of an all-pervasive blankness.
"Sometimes nothing is seen", I said. "Is this good?"
Bhagavan did not seem to approve of all these states, "In the beginning", he said, "It is good if meditators meditate with Self Awareness".

The state of Sahaja Samadhi contined to intrigue me. A few weeks later I asked him another question about it, "Can one practise sahaja samadhi right from the beginning?"
Bhagavan replied by saying that one could.
"But how to practise it ", I asked. "And how does one practise nirvikalpa samadhi ? How many different kinds of samadhi are there ?"
"There is only one kind of Samadhi", Said Bhagavan , "not many kinds. To remain temporarily subsided in the reality without any thought is nirvikalpa Samadhi. Permanently abiding in the Self without forgetting it is Sahaja Samadhi. Both will give the same happiness"
Post 18:
This is From living by the words of bhagavan :

Page 267, conversations with Annamalai Swami

Nothing can cause bondage for the Jnani because his mind is dead. In the absence of mind he knows himself only as consciousness. Because the mind is dead, he is no longer able to identify himself with the body. But even though he knows that he is not the body, its a fact that the body is still alive. That body will continue to live, and the Jnani will continue to be aware of it, until its own karma is exhausted. Because the jnani is aware of the body, he will also be aware of the thoughts and vasanas that arise in that body. None of these vasanas has the power to cause bondage for him because he never identifies with them, but they do have the power to make the body behave in certain ways. The body of the jnani enjoys and experiences thses vasanas although the jnani himself is not affected by them. that is why its some times said that for the jnani there are bhoga vasanas but no bandha vasanas.

The bhoga vasanas differ from jnani to jnani. some jnanis may accumulate wealth, some may sit in silence; some may study the sastras while others may remain illiterate; some may get married and raise families but others may become celibate monks. it is the bhoga vasanas which determine the kind of lifestyle a jnani will lead. The jnani is aware of the consequences of these vasanas without identifying with them. Because of this he never falls back into samsara again.

The vasanas arise because of habits and practices of previous life times. that is why they differ from jnani to jnani. When vasanas rise in ordinary people who still identify with the body and the mind, they cause likes and dislikes. some vasanas are embraced whole heartedly  while others are rejected as being undesirable. These likes and dislikes generate desires and fears which in turn produce more karma. while you are still making judgements about what is good and what is bad, you are identifying with the mind and making new karmas for yourself. when new karma has been created like this, it means that you have to take another birth to enjoy it.

The jnani's body carries out all the acts which are destined for it. But because the jnani makes no judgements about what is good or bad, and because he has no likes and dislikes, he is not creating any new karma for himself. because he knows that he is not the body, he can witness all its activities without getting involved in them in any way. There will be no rebirth for the jnani because once the mind has been destroyed, there is no possibility of any new karma being created.

POST 19:

Annamalai Swami pg 24 of Final Talks
Everything we see in this waking state is a dream. These dreams are our thoughts made manifest. Bad thoughts make bad dreams and good thoughts make good dreams, and if you have no thoughts , you dont dream at all. But even if you do dream, you must understand that your dream is also the Self. You dont have to supress thoughts or be absolutely thoughtless to abide as the SElf. If you know that even your waking and sleeping dreams are the Self, then the thoughts and the dreams they produce can do on. They will not be a problem for you any more. Just be the Self at all times. In this state you will know that everything that appears to you is just a dream.

in pg 25, he further explains:
The waking state which you take to be real, is just an unfolding of dream that has appeared to you and minifested in front of you on account of some hidden desires or fears. Your vasanas sprout and expand miraculously , creating a whole waking-dream world for you. See it as a dream. Recognize that it is just an expansion of your thoughts. Dont lose sight of the Self, the substratum on which this vast believable dream is projected. IF you hold onto the knowledge "I am Self", you will know that the dreams are laso the Self, and you wont get entangled in them.

POST 20:

When the mind appears every morning don't jump to the usual conclusion, "This is me; these thoughts are mine." Instead, watch these thoughts come and go without identifying with them in any way. If you can resist the impulse to claim each and every thought as your own, you will come to a startling conclusion: you will discover that you are the consciousness in which the thoughts appear and disappear. You are allowed to run free. Like the snake which appears in the rope, you will discover that the mind is only an illusion which appears through ignorance or misperception.

You want some experience which will convince you that what I am saying is true. You can have that experience if you give up your life-long habit of inventing an 'I' which claims all thoughts as 'mine'. Be conscious of yourself as consciousness alone, watch all the thoughts come and go. Come to the conclusion, by direct experience, that you are really consciousness itself, not its ephemeral contents.

Clouds come and go in the sky but the appearance and disappearance of the clouds doesn't affect the sky. Your real nature is like the sky, like space. Just remain like the sky and let thought-clouds come and go. If you cultivate this attitude of indifference towards the mind, gradually you will cease to identify yourself with it.

POST 21:

Q: I know that listening to the Guru and believing his words is important. When he says, 'You are the Self. The world is not real," and so on, I can accept that what he says is true, but my belief in the truth of those words does not seem to make it my experience.

Annamalai Swami: You must believe the Guru and you must also believe your own experience because the Guru is not telling you to add another belief to your mind. He is instead telling you to look at your own experience of yourself, and in doing so, disregard everything else.

There is a story that Ram Tirtha used to tell. A man who was a little mad lived in a small village with his wife. His friends liked to tease him and make fun of him because they all thought he was stupid.

One day, one of them said, 'We have some bad news for you. Your wife has become a widow.'

He believed them and started crying out in grief, 'My wife has become a widow! My wife has become a widow!'

Some of the people he passed on the street laughed at him and said, 'Why are you mourning? You are very much alive. How can your wife be a widow if you yourself are alive to complain about it?'

'My closest friends have told me this,' he replied, 'and I trust them. They are very reliable people. If they are saying that my wife has become a widow, it must be true.'

We would think that a man who behaved like this was utterly stupid because he chose to believe the words of others instead of his own experience. But are we any better? We believe, on the basis of indirect information provided by the senses, that we are the body. The experience of 'I am', of the Self, is present in all of us, but when the mischievous senses gang up on us and try to make us believe something that is patently untrue, we believe them and ignore our direct experience.

Then we grieve about our state, lamenting, 'I am bound; I am unenlightened; I am not free'.

And even when the Guru comes along and says, 'You are the Self. You are free. Why do you insist on believing this misinformation that the mischievous senses are giving you?' still you do not believe the truth.

You tell him, "The senses have always given me reliable information in the past. I have learned to trust them. What they tell me must be true.'

And so you go on grieving and complaining, even when your direct experience and the words of the Guru agree with each other and reveal the truth.

~ Annamalai Swami, Final Talks, edited by David Godman