Ramana Maharshi’s first attendant, Palaniswami, had brought a copy of Ribhu Gita to his attention. Later in life, Ramana related how surprised he was at the time to hear an exact description of his own state recited in the Ribhu Gita and that it had been experienced by others as the bliss of the Self sought after by all true seekers. Ramana attributed unique value to it as being a lucid exposition of Supreme Truth. He quite often referred to it in his talks with devotees and seekers. He even stated that if one would repeatedly study Chapter 26 of the Ribhu Gita, one could spontaneously pass into the state of sahaja samadhi, or the natural state of true Self-realization.
When we say Shiva…
The word Shiva has become
synonymous with the third eye.
The third eye… What it means…
These two eyes are to look outside.
These two eyes are capable of showing you
the physicality of the existence; these two eyes
can only perceive that which is physical.
The third eye is an inward-faced eye.
It’s not gonna open up upon your forehead.
The third eye is an inward-looking eye.
But you have heard stories,
“Shiva opened his eyes,
and he burned Kama”.
In India there is a god of love and lust, called Kama (“kama” means lust, which you don’t like to face head-on, so you make it love [audience laugh]; because you need some aesthetic to it). So… He hides behind a tree, and shoots an arrow. And Shiva is hurt. Target is found and Shiva gets a little disturbed. Then he sees it’s Kama (that is, it’s his own lust coming up). Then he opens up his third eye, a fiery eye, and burns Kama, who is hiding behind a tree. Burned him into ashes. Then Shiva took the ashes of this burnt Kama; smeared himself. That put these things to rest for good.
That is the general story told to the people.
But you tell me: your lust arises within you, or behind the tree?
Now, you may go behind the tree; that’s another matter… [Roaring laughter]
But where does it arise? Within you! Desire is not hanging outside. It is not because a beautiful woman or a beautiful man is sitting there that your desire comes. Because the desire, the kama, is within you.
So he opened his third eye. And burned the kama within himself.
Not the one who is standing outside. Because he never, ever stood outside.
Please look at this and see. Your lustfulness, your desiring nature, never ever stood outside. It only stood inside.
So he opened his third eye; not this way [pointing outward]. Inward! Then he saw; this lustfulness. Which essentially means that some aspects are built into you, which make you feel incomplete. So you think you will find completion only by going towards something or somebody.
Lust is not just about the opposite sex. Shopping is lust! Because you have to go towards something. Only then life will be complete. Every desire is lust! Because,
“Without that, I cannot exist! I want that, because only when I have that,
this [lightly thumping his chest with both fists] will be complete!”
It may be a thing, it may be a position, it may be power, it may be sexuality… It doesn’t matter what it is. Essentially lust means, it creates a sense of incompleteness within you. And a longing for something, that it makes you feel, if you don’t have that, you are not complete.
So he decides to burn the kama within himself. He burned the kama, and then, instead of sweat, ash oozed out of the pores of his body. This is the yogic story. The common story told to the public is, he was hiding behind a tree, and burned him; opened his eyes and burned him; and then he took that ash and smeared himself. The yogic dimension of the story is, kama arose within him, he opened his third eye, burned him, and then ash slowly oozed out of his body, clearly showing him, everything is laid to rest.
[Video concludes with
introduction to next episode]
Everything that you know as yourself
should die. When I say death, it’s not
the physical death which is a problem.
The question is your losing
“Everything that I know as myself right now”.
Your personality. Your identity.
Once you learn to be an individual beyond
physiological and psychological formats,
that means you are for good.
This is what living death means.
So if you know how to be an individual, still,
without physiological and psychological format,
you are a living death.
If you are a living death,
you are eternal in your existence.
It is time
that you become living death,
so that you live
Sadhguru transcribed by Leon Hieros
My name’s Andrew. My question is, if you could please retrace the situation of pure Awareness in the face of injustice, or someone being obnoxious, or a workplace bullying situation, assuming that John Smith is playing King Lear, but with full awareness that he is still John Smith.
If we find our self in a situation such as you describe, where we’re witnessing obnoxious behaviour, unjust behaviour, unkind behaviour, bullying in the workplace, dishonesty…
The outrage that we feel, doesn’t arise on behalf of a separate self.
The outrage that we feel arises on behalf of the love and intelligence that is inherent in pure Awareness.
So, sometimes people –I’m not suggesting this of you– sometimes people misunderstand the Non-dual teaching, and presume that, imagine that if one were fully established in one’s true nature, one would witness a circumstance such as this, and just smile peacefully, and blandly, and not have any response.
Well, that is one possibility. It’s true, that we may simply not get involved.
But it is by no means the only conclusion that would express the Non-dual understanding. We are just as likely to feel a sense of outrage –to a greater or lesser extent– because we feel that something that is absolutely true, is being violated.
For instance, someone being bullied would be an example of that; the understanding that we share our being, that we are the same as the other, is being violated in this act of violence from one person to another. And the outrage that we feel in the face of this behaviour, doesn’t arise on behalf of a personal self who is being diminished or undermined by the situation. On the contrary, the separate self is not present in our reaction; our reaction comes from love, and intelligence, and the sense of shared being. So, our outrage in that situation would be a practical response that comes from our Non-dual understanding. But it is a practical response tailored to a very particular situation.
How we express that outrage, varies both from person to person and from situation to situation. Some people… Ahm… You may try, to begin with, to reason with the person concerned… If reason doesn’t work, you may increase the volume (if plain reason is not sufficient to make them see the error in their behaviour); you may have to increase the volume or the intensity of your response, to such an extent (going to the other end of the spectrum now), very occasionally, force may be necessary. That would be an extreme situation, obviously. It’s unlikely to require physical force, though it may do, but it’s more likely to require verbal force, to begin with, and depending on the response you get… So you tailor your response to the situation.
So what is important is not our actual response,
but where our response comes from;
on whose behalf does our outrage arise.
Is it arising from the sense of a personal self who feels
diminished, or insulted, or disrespected, or ignored…
These would be personal emotions; emotions that arise on behalf of a
personal self who feels that they are not being valued as they should be.
Those are personal feelings.
And if those personal feelings arise,
instead of addressing the one that seems to trigger those feelings, we should
immediately turn around and address the self who feels diminished by them.
But in the case that you give…
outrage is not arising on behalf of a self that has been disrespected or ignored,
your outrage is arising on behalf of love and intelligence, and it should be fully expressed, however you as an individual bodymind feel is appropriate in the situation.
So, it may include… supporting someone to address the workplace issues…
… or, if necessary, seeking legal support…
Absolutely; all of the above; yes.
Yes. So at a very practical level…
Yes. And very practical, and… although the…
your feeling of outrage comes from the same place always,
you feel that something that is absolutely true, universally true,
has been violated, or is being violated, by this person in this situation,
nevertheless the way you express that outrage, could vary enormously,
depending on the situation.
And that is where your sensitivity
and your knowledge of the situation
is required to enable you to respond
And which, as you say, may include legal advice; it may involve an intervention with the person; you may decide not to intervene with the person, but go to their superior, or their employer… All sorts of… all sorts of… ahm…
There are many, many possibilities, but they would all be an expression of this same feeling that something fundamentally true, universally true, for all people, at all times, is being violated.
And it is your… your intervention in the situation as a bodymind…
You stand, at that moment,
or for love;
or for justice.
And you don’t take…
Your action is not based on a personal sense of a self.
Your personal self just…
You’re not aware of your personal self.
You are just acting as required; in the situation.
With no sense of the consequences for you as a person.
I don’t mean by that, that you would
put yourself in physical danger,
but you’re not thinking of yourself.
You’re thinking of bringing
love and justice and intelligence
to bear in this situation.
Rupert Spira transcribed by Leon Hieros
The other day in the meditation you said something like, “This is as good as it gets”, and there was a really subtle… like a recoil in me, you know, like a… Oh, but I want more… kind of a feeling; even after all these years and all these retreats. So. Just wondered if there was anything you could say on that.
Even if you were to acquire the experience, the ultimate experience, for which you long, you wouldn’t want it for long. You’d get bored of it and want to replace it. How many people have found the partner that they longed for, all their life, only to separate two years later, or twenty years later. Sooner or later, even the best object we can imagine, fails to satisfy us. Now we blame the object or the person, but it’s not the object’s or the person’s fault. No object can satisfy us.
We project our longing for happiness onto objects, and for as long as that object seems to fulfill us, we say, “I love that object”, or “that person”. But as soon as the object or the person ceases fulfilling us, we say, “I dislike them” and we leave.
No objective experience can give us the lasting peace and happiness for which we long. We have to, at some point, we have to see that, to look that fact in the face, clearly.
No objective experience… no marvellous relationship… no wonderful teacher… no particular state of mind… no condition of the body… no state of health… no state of wealth…
None of these…
We have to see, clearly, sooner or later, that none of these will give us happiness.
As long as our desire for happiness is invested in objective experience, we will always be trying to replace this experience, with that experience.
But when it is really clear to us, no experience will bring us the happiness for which we long, then our motive to replace the current experience with a new experience, begins to diminish.
[Sweetly] I don’t mean that we no longer have desires…
that we don’t think, I’d like to go to the movies or see a friend.
But our desires are no longer motivated by the search for happiness.
They come from the sense of fulfillment; they come from our peace.
Now that’s what I meant when I said, “This is as good as it gets”:
this current situation… there is nothing that is not present
in our current situation that would prevent us
from being fully happy in this moment.
And that is true of every moment.
In every… situation…
In every situation.
Just see that what you essentially are, this naked being, is inherently fulfilled.
No thought, feeling, sensation, perception, activity, or relationship
that any of us have ever had, has ever added anything to our essential being.
Our essential being is in exactly the same pristine condition now,
as it was when we were five-year-old children.
Nor has any experience,
any awful or painful experience,
diminished or harmed or hurt our self.
But all that is necessary is
to see clearly that our self is self-fulfilled;
it is not fulfilled by an object, or an other;
to know that that is the place of peace;
that is the place of resolution;
that is the place of fulfillment;
and to stand as that;
not to move towards that, in your life;
but to stand as that, to move from that.
You can still desire activities and relationships,
and enjoy activities and relationships; thoughts and feelings.
But not as a source of happiness.
As a means of expressing and sharing and celebrating your happiness.
And when I say “happiness”, I don’t mean that you have to be singing
and dancing; I just mean the sense of being at ease.
What John Cline called “the ease of being”.
I Am. There’s nothing missing, in this moment.
That’s what I mean by “happiness”.
I feel complete. Full.
I don’t need anything to fulfill me, or fill me up.
To move through the world,
from that point of view.
To meet people,
not as potential sources of love, or happiness.
But just to meet people, just for the sharing of our being.
And people will feel it immediately.
When you meet someone, and
you don’t want anything from them;
you don’t want to be fulfilled by them;
you don’t need to receive love from them.
Just having that attitude –you obviously don’t verbalize it, but–
just having that attitude, the other will feel it. Immediately.
They will feel so safe. They will like to be with you.
Because they don’t feel that you are projecting onto them
the impossible demand of producing happiness or love, for you.
And as a result,
this friendship will be a true friendship;
it will be a true sharing of being,
whatever form that sharing of being takes.
And if there is this true sharing of being,
then it is an intimate relationship.
Intimate relationship has nothing to do
with whether you’re sexually intimate or not.
You can have very intimate relationships
with people that you have no physical contact with.
And likewise, you can have sexual relationships
with people with whom there is no real intimacy.
What we long for
is not sexual relationships.
It is intimate relationships.
And it is intimate relationships,
just the sharing of our being,
without any projection or expectation.
And that is the quality of friendship that we share on these retreats. It’s why friendship is such an important part of these retreats; it’s why we have so much free time to go for walks, and sit around the fire chatting, and to have meals, and… It’s because this… this friendship is the… It is the magnification and the sharing of our being.
Rupert Spira transcribed by Leon Hieros
Ahm, I don’t really know how to articulate it… But something about, you know… You talk about the layers of… the layers of the body, the layers of the self, the layers of resistance… Ahm, I’m just wondering, how that might show up in physical… pain. You know, pain is the description of something that… that we’ve seen, so it’s… You know, it has that label.
Well, yeah. Pain is…
Sometimes pain is just functional pain, you know, like a toothache, or…
And it’s not psychological, it’s just… something is not right,
and needs attention or a painkiller of something.
And it sometimes… it’s honest, clear what the pain is.
And it might be that it’s resistance, or chronic resistance,
or a feeling that is embedded somehow… constricted… not allowed to unfold,
or… There could be many possibilities. We don’t mind what it is; but…
Well. It’s hard to discriminate.
If it’s the first kind of pain, then you know what it is,
you have to… You can do something.
Or you have to… you have to [sensitively lowering her voice]
somehow deal with it, and… bear it… and hope that it gets better…
But usually there’s something that we can do for that kind of pain.
The second, the psychological-physical, “psychosomatic” pain, requires… ah…
Well, requires what we were doing this morning, a quality of welcoming.
So the first requirement is that we have to take our stand.
We have to somehow be open to the possibility, or recognize…
–because we know it already, but–
experientially recognize that
right this moment,
is this borderless Presence
That may not be self-evident. It might be that you are very early in your expression of this so-called “Non-dual” understanding. So that might need some clarifying, both at the level of the mind and then at the level of feeling: “What does it mean?”
Again, this is what we’re doing here, but I’m not sure where you are in your process.
Once we take our stand, you could say, as the sky –the sky is transparent; it’s borderless; it doesn’t have a preference in terms of the weather systems– so that means that you are experiencing yourself as something that is quite unfocused, and… unbothered. The sky doesn’t mind.
So as soon as you feel bothered, you know that you’ve narrowed your perspective again, that you’ve taken a point of view, as a cloud in fact –a cloud viewing another cloud– and so in this approach, you have to… When that happens, you can’t undo it; you will have to see it first. When you see it –meaning you feel it, you experience it, you see that this focusing of attention appears on the radar of experience as a contraction or resistance, and it’s appearing in Awareness.
So, in that seeing, in a way, the focusing relaxes. And it’s on and on and on throughout the session like that. It’s… [undulatingly moving her hand] it’s… I think you said, “back and forth, back and forth…”
So, sometimes you’re back in the body,
as the body, as the resistance…
Stuck. Lost in experience.
And then, “A!” Ellen says something, or you
realize it, and somehow there’s space again.
You are tasting the openness that you are!
And then, therefore, the tears can flow, or…
[knowing, compassionate look]
And in terms of pain, over time, in this exploration,
we find that whatever psychosomatic contraction…
–which is what the separate self is, at the level of the body–
it’s what I-Awareness becomes when I believe myself to be a body;
a contraction, and, you know: Ouch!
In order to maintain that [separate self], there’s a lot of
tension that is generated at some localized, various places:
around the head… in the shoulders… in the feeling centres…
Depending on each of us… on our… preferences! [Laughs]
So, over time you find that these relax, and pains soften.
No, you go ahead.
It’s just, as you were saying, that… The other thing that occurred to me was, one that will… It’s what you said earlier, that there’s no [inaudible 13 seconds]
However, most of us,
at some point during the sessions,
we will feel the arising of an agenda!
But that’s perfect.
Because then we can, instead of taking the train of the agenda, and saying,
Yeah, I’m gonna get rid of this terrible resistance blah blah blah,
Ah, agenda… Let’s see…
Let’s see what it’s made of; where… how does it appear on the body…
This anticipation, this… this desire; this… whatever we wanna call it;
and you know, there might be also a thought that comes with it,
but you’re even more interested in
What is an agenda at the level of the body?
What is agenda-ing, at the level of the body.
For you. Because it’s different for all of us.
You also said something…
You talked about offering to altar…
There’s something quite rich about that.
Yeah. That’s nice. That’s good; because…
In my experience, sometimes when you’re lost in “suffering”,
or in separation, or in believing that I am this bodymind,
and if we’ve lost sight of… I won’t say “God”, but…
If we’ve lost sight of the sweet… the sweetness, the…
So, before we can actually really step into the recognition of I Am God,
we somehow… we have to turn back towards God. As the separate self.
At this moment, we are the separate self! That’s what we believe!
So. That separate self needs to take herself to the shrine! [laughs understandingly]
Chris, even though she’s believing yourself to be a separate self;
in the heart, in her own heart, there’s such a longing…
In her body, there’s such a thirst for the Truth…
So, that thirst, or longing; or sadness, whatever it is,
takes you to the shrine…!
And there, you kneel in front of the altar…
The only thing you can do; is surrender.
My teacher used to say, “It sooo helped me,
to offer your experience to the altar”.
And “experience” means
And in doing that,
you realize that it’s not a doing.
First you do it, and then you realize,
Oh, it’s the…
It’s the nature of experience
that it surrenders itself back to Presence.
Oh, I am… I!
I is the altar.
Ellen Emmet transcribed by Leon Hieros
In winter’s house there’s a room
that’s pale and still as mist in a field
while outside in the street every gate’s shut firm,
every face as cold as steel.
In winter’s house there’s a bed
that is spread with frost and feathers, that gleams
in the half-light like rain in a disused yard
or a pearl in a choked-up stream.
In winter’s house there’s a child
asleep in a dream of light that grows out
of the dark, a flame you can hold in your hand
like a flower or a torch on the street.
In winter’s house there’s a tale
that’s told of a great chandelier in a garden,
of fire that catches and travels for miles,
of all gates and windows wide open.
In winter’s house there’s a flame
being dreamt by a child in the night,
in the small quiet house at the turn in the lane
where the darkness gives way to light.
Ahm… I am in New York City, in lockdown, and I am comfortable in my awareness with my… my self, my soul, my… Infinite… whatever we want to describe it as. But when you mentioned the tantric thing… ahm… it made me wonder if… I was sort of feeling this energy, like a kind of pull. I wouldn’t say it was like an anxiety or stress energy, I would say it felt more empathic… like an empath… ahm… where… and obviously right now in this current environment that we are in, you sort of feel this –or I feel this– powerful energy that… like… that… maybe like the madness of what’s going on in… just the energy of everywhere right now… Ahm… And it made me think, you know, if you’re like a monk sitting in a cave, meditating, but there’s all the craziness of the world outside… How do you… You… I think you would say, “Well, don’t worry about that, just focus on your own… inner… you know, awareness / happiness / peace”. But, how can you do that? Because also the lady from England with the pictures behind her, she was talking about unity, and, even though it’s about finding your awareness in yourself, don’t you feel the collective energy right now, that is so… such a shift…
Well, of course…
… massive shift right now; I mean, the world is going through such an amazing moment, that I sort of virtually feel selfish, just sitting with my own awareness! Is that… Does that make sense, what I’m saying?
Yes, it makes sense, what you’re saying.
But why do you feel that this is selfish?
What is the one thing…
I agree that the anxiety, the fear, the distress that people are feeling, are palpable on the streets, if you go out now.
And if you read the news, or… It’s palpable. I agree with you.
What is the one thing that everybody wants at this time?
Relief from anxiety, fear, uncertainty.
And so, to discover this peace,
where it lies, and the means to it,
is not selfish. It is the least selfish
of all activities. It’s not a personal activity!
It is discovering that, which everybody longs for,
and not only discovering it, but discovering the pathway
by which or through which it may be accessed,
which will enable you then to share it with others
with whom you come in contact,
in whatever form you share it.
And I do share it, I mean as well as I can…
Everyone here shares in their own way.
Nor do I mean to imply that… You said… earlier on you said,
“I’m sure you would just say, ‘Turn away from all of this, and go to…’”
Well, actually no, I wouldn’t just say that.
I would say that the most important thing in life,
either in this crisis situation, or indeed in any situation,
is to find access to peace and happiness.
Why? Because it is the one thing that we want, above all else.
But I would not suggest that we do this to the exclusion of paying attention to our… not only looking after our own body, but looking after those with whom we come in contact, whether they are family members, friends, neighbours, community…
And particularly in this time of crisis,
I would recommend, that each of us
does whatever we feel we can do
to attend to the situation,
and to help people,
not just in the ultimate way,
not just to find peace and happiness,
but in alternative ways, as well.
But in a way, Rupert, it appears as an inside job, though, because… I mean, random example: Just walking outside in Manhattan, to the bank, to line up to, you know, go into the bank, five people at a time, you could feel like –palpable was the perfect description– you can feel just this… sort of energy that is very different to the usual streets of Manhattan, and… you virtually feel… you know, it just feels like all these lone people, walking along the street, lining up… There’s sort of a d… there’s a… it feels like such a… everyone’s kinda in it on their own, in a way… It… You know, when you see them – you can chat to someone, say hello, obviously, all of that, but… but it just feels like… ahm, this shift that is so… internal, for every one. Does that make sense?
It makes sense. I went, first thing this morning… I got on my bicycle and just bicycled down to our local deli, and –just as you described, on a slightly smaller scale in Oxford– there was a queue of people… Only two people, the shop is tiny, and they sell organic produce, and… and… only two people allowed in the shop, and everyone… there was a queue down the road, and everyone was six feet apart, so I joined the queue… [sweetly smiling] And we were all… chatting with each other… In fact, I chatted… In the time when I waited –normally I would have gone into the shop with three of four other people and all my groceries and left– I found myself in a queue for twenty minutes talking to people that I had never seen in my life, whom I may well… – some of them I might have seen because we’re local, but other I hadn’t…
And it was such a feeling of community and friendliness… We were no longer strangers to each other; we were joined together in our common humanity.
What was… Not only was… is there fear palpable on the streets, but also our common humanity is palpable on the streets, and I experience people’s openness, people’s friendliness… Ehm… I tend to be a rather quiet… I don’t often get… if I… in a situation like that, I might just go into the shop and get my groceries and leave. I found myself chatting, with all the people in the queue, and it was so… There was so much love, and warmth, and community, and… irrespective of… of who the people were, or where we came from… There was a… All we were feeling was our shared humanity, and… it was very lovely.
So, even in times like… I’m sure there are many people on this meeting this evening, who have experienced this, and… So, it doesn’t take much. You find yourself standing in a queue, or be at six feet away from your next… but just to start up a conversation with them and, irrespective of the content of the conversation, to just communicate this warmth, and love, and affection, and peace to them.
And they will come away from the conversation feeling that they have been blessed by you. When I say “blessed by you”, I don’t mean anything extraordinary, or religious, or… I just mean that they have been blessed by your peace; they felt that you were not afraid; you were just one with the moment; no problem. They will have felt that their being, which they may not have previously had access to –because of their fear, and their anxiety– will have been magnified, by your presence, and they will feel the peace of their own being. And they will feel that you have blessed them. They will not formulate it like that, probably, but you have blessed them. You blessed them with your peace… That’s beautiful…
Aw… Thank you. I’ll try… Haha.
You don’t even need to try, Joanna.
If you’re in touch with your peace…
Peace is contagious…
If you’re in touch with it,
it just communicates itself,
through a smile…
You don’t even need to try, Joanna.
Just be in touch with your innate peace
and it will just share itself naturally,
in your own unique way,
with whoever you come in contact with.
That is the greatest thing you could offer your fellow New Yorkers at this time.
Just smiling at a stranger as you walk down the street is a communication of this peace.
There could never have been a time, at least in our generation, when this was more needed than now.
Thank you, Joanna.
Rupert Spira transcribed by Leon Hieros