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Annamalai Swami

1906-1995
Annamalai Swami was born in 1906 in a small village in Tamil Nadu, southern India. He was named Sella Perumal, and from an early age showed a keen interest in spirituality. In 1928, when he was 22 years old, he traveled to Tiruvannamalai to meet Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi who lived near the city along the base of the slope of the holy mountain Arunachala. Following in the footsteps of Sri Seshadri Swamigal, who saved the young Ramana from the ravages of insects and vermin in the underground vault he first inhabited, and Palaniswami, who stayed with Ramana in Virupaksha Cave and Skandasraman Cave, he became the Maharshi’s personal attendant and given the name Annamalai Swami (Annamalai is another name for Arunachala). Swami Annamalai’s duties, after being directed to do so by Sri Ramana, was to oversee all phases of the ongoing construction, continuing expansion, and positive growth of the Ramana Ashram, including the goshala (cow shed), dining hall, dispensary and other projects.

HOW THE ASHRAM LOOKED WHEN ANNAMALAI ARRIVED IN 1928

"Just remain like the sky and let thoughtclouds come and go."
QUESTION : What is the easiest way to be free of the 'little
self'?

The Self is always attained, it is always realised; it is not something that you have to seek, reach or discover. Your vasanas [mental habits and tendencies] 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 the wrong ideas, your Selfnature will not be hidden from you. You said that you needed help. If you desire to gain a proper understanding of your real nature is intense enough, help will automatically come. If you want to generate an awareness of your real nature you will be immeasurably helped by having contact with a jnani [realised being]. The power and grace which a jnani radiates quieten the mind and automatically eliminate the wrong ideas you have about yourself. You can make progress by having satsang [association] of a realised Guru and by constant spiritual practice. The Guru cannot do everything for you. If you want to give up the limiting habits of many lifetimes, you must practise constantly.

Most people take the appearance of the snake in the rope to be reality. Acting on their misperceptions they think up many different ways of killing the snake. They can never succeed in getting rid of the snake until they give up the idea that there is a snake there at all. People who want to kill or control the mind have the same problem: they imagine that there is a mind which needs to be controlled and take drastic steps to beat it into submission. If, instead, they generated the understanding that there is no such thing as the mind, all there problems would come to an end. You must generate the conviction, "I am the all-pervasive consciousness in which all bodies 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. That is all you need to do. Bhagavan [Ramana Maharshi] once told a story about a man who wanted to bury his own shadow in a deep pit. He dug the pit and stood in such a position that his shadow was on the bottom of it. The man then tried to bury it by covering it with earth. Each time he threw some soil in the hole the shadow appeared on top of it. Of course, he never succeeded in burying the shadow. Many people behave like this when they meditate. They take the mind to be real, try to fight it and kill it, and always fail. These fights against the mind are all mental activities which strengthen the mind instead of weakening it. If you want to get rid of the mind, all you have to do is understand that it is 'not me'. Cultivate the awareness "I am the immanent consciousness". When that understanding becomes firm, the non-existent mind will not trouble you. Question: I don't think that repeating "I am not the mind, I am consciousness" will ever convince me that I am not the mind. It will just be another thought going on within the mind. If I could experience, even for a moment, what it is like to be without the mind, the conviction would automatically come. I think that one second of experiencing consciousness as it really is would be more convincing that several years of mental repetitions. Annamalai Swami: Every time you go to sleep you have the experience of being without a mind. You cannot deny that you exist while you are asleep and you cannot deny that your mind is not functioning while you are in dreamless sleep. This daily experience should convince you that it is possible to continue your existence without a mind. Of course, you do not have the full experience of consciousness while you are asleep, but if you think about what happens during this state you should come to understand that your existence, the continuity of your being, is in no way dependent on your mind or your identification with it. When the mind reappears every morning you instantly jump to the conclusion "This is the real me". If you reflect on this proposition for some time you will see how absurd it is. If what you really are only exists when the mind is present, you have to accept that you didn't exist while you were asleep. No one will accept such an absurd conclusion. If you analyse your alternating states you will discover that it is your direct experience that you exist whether you are awake

or asleep. You will also discover that the mind only becomes active while you are waking or dreaming. From these simple daily experiences it should be easy to understand that the mind is something that comes and goes. Your existence is not wiped out each time the mind ceases to function. I am not telling you some philosophical theory; I am telling you something that you can validate by direct experience in any twenty-four hour period of your life. Take these facts, which you can discover by directly experiencing them, and investigate them a little more. 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. Question: When I began to do sadhana [spiritual practice] everything went smoothly at first. There was a lot of peace and happiness and jnana [true knowledge] seemed very near. But nowadays there is hardly any peace, just mental obstacles and hindrances. Annamalai Swami: Whenever obstacles come on the path, think of them as not me'. Cultivate the attitude that the real you is beyond the reach of all troubles and obstacles. There are no obstacles for the Self. If you can remember that you always are the Self, obstacles will be of no importance. One of the alvars [a group of Vaishnavite saints] once remarked that if one is not doing any spiritual practice one is not aware of any mind problems. He said that it is only when one starts to do meditation that one becomes aware of the different ways that the mind causes us trouble. This is very true. But one should not worry about any of the obstacles or fear them. One should merely regard them as being not me. They can only cause you trouble while you think that

they

are

your

problems.

The obstructing vasanas may look like a large mountain which obstructs your progress. Don't be intimidated by the size. It is not a mountain of rock, it is a mountain of camphor. If you light one corner of it with the flame of discriminative attention, it will all burn to nothing. Stand back from the mountain of problems, refuse to acknowledge that they are yours, and they will dissolve and disappear before your eyes. Don’t be deluded by your thoughts and vasanas. They are always trying to trick you into believing that you are a real person, that the world is real, and that all your problems are real. Don't fight them; just ignore them. Don't accept delivery of all the wrong ideas that keep coming to you. Establish yourself in the conviction that you are the Self and that nothing can stick to you or affect you. Once you have that conviction you will find that you automatically ignore the habits of the mind. When the rejection of mental activities becomes continuous and automatic, you will begin to have the experience of the Self. If you see two strangers quarrelling in the distance you do not give much attention to them because you know that the dispute is none of your business. Treat the contents of your mind in the same way. Instead of filling your mind with thoughts and then organising fights between them, pay no attention to the mind at all. Rest quietly in the feeling of "I am", which is consciousness, and cultivate the attitude that all thoughts, all perceptions are 'not me'. When you have learned to regard your mind as a distant stranger, you will not pay any attention to all the obstacles it keeps inventing for you. Mental problems feed on the attention that you give them. The more you worry about them, the stronger they become. If you ignore them, they lose their power and finally vanish. Question: I am always thinking and believing that there is only the Self but somehow there is still a feeling that I want or need something more. Annamalai Swami: Who is it that wants? If you can find the answer to that question there will be no one to want anything. Question: Children are born without egos. As they begin to grow up, how do their egos arise and cover the Self? Annamalai Swami: As young children may appear to have no egos but its ego and all the latent vasanas that go with it are there in seed form. As the child's body grows bigger, the ego also grows bigger. The ego is produced by the power of maya [illusion], which is one of the shaktis [powers] of the Self.

When maya is active. how does the Self manage to conceal its own nature from itself? Annamalai Swami: The Self. The fifth shakti. destruction. . The two cannot be separate. These three things are just ideas which are brought into an apparent existence when maya is present and active. It is the power of maya which makes us believe in the reality of things which have no reality outside our imagination. If you want to separate them at all. grace. When maya is totally inactive. when the identity with the body and the mind has been dropped. You just plug the leak. the sole effective way to dissolve it is the path shown by Bhagavan: one must do self-enquiry and discriminate between what is real and what is unreal. The five shaktis are creation. "What are these imaginary things?" the answer is. If you try to investigate the origin of maya with your mind you are doomed to fail because any answer you come up with will be a maya answer. you don’t waste time asking whether the hole was made by an Italian. a Frenchman or an Indian. Shanti and shakti are like the sea and its waves. no mind and no world. A flame has two properties: light and heat. is indivisible. the unmanifest aspect. which operate simultaneously. that is. It is a name for the dynamic aspect of the Self. Yet within this indivisible Self there are five shaktis or powers. Shakti and shanti [peace] are two aspects of the same consciousness. of being. preservation. veiling [maya shakti] and grace. The Self alone is real. and then watch how it takes you over each time you fail to keep your attention there. What exactly do you mean by shakti? Annamalai Swami: Shakti is energy or power. "Everything that is not the formless Self". is the vast unmoving body of water. When one is established in that state there is no body. Don't worry about where maya comes from. The waves that appear and move on the surface are shakti. But really they are not separate.Question: How does maya operate? How does it originate? Since nothing exists except the Self. which is maya. everything else is a figment of our imagination. the one place where you can be free of it. Question: You say that maya is one of the shaktis. If you ask. vast and all-encompassing. whereas waves are active. Put all your energy into escaping from its effect. If you want to understand how maya operates and originates you should establish yourself in the Self. which is infinite power and the source of all power. It is not helpful to enquire why there is maya and how it operates. If you are in a boat which is leaking. counteracts and removes the fourth shakti. with varying functions. Shanti is motionless. Shanti. there is an awareness of consciousness. you can say that shanti is the unmanifest aspect of the Self while shakti is the manifest.

If this is so. is always aware that shakti is not separate from him. "I have seen the paper". but people always forget the paper while they are reading the words. You have the idea that the Self is something that you see or experience. Could you please tell me exactly what they are and how they function? Annamalai Swami: Vasanas are habits of the mind.Bhagavan used to say that after realisation the jivanmukta [liberated one] experiences shanti within and is established permanently in that shanti. who is fully established in the shanti. even maya. The Self is the awareness or the consciousness in which the seeing and the experiencing take place. Alternatively. Natural laws. But really they haven't seen the paper. are all manifestations of this shakti. The universe is controlled by the one shakti." Bhagavan would then use this analogy to show that while people see the names and forms that appear on the screen of consciousness. Bhagavan sometimes remarked humorously: "People just open a newspaper and glance through it. After realisation one is aware that there is no individual people doing anything. Instead there is an awareness that all activities are the shakti of the one Self. In that awareness everything is his Self and all actions are his. the Self is still there. Then they say. This is not so. they have only seen the letters and pictures that are on it. why can't I see the Self clearly? Why is it hidden from me? Annamalai Swami: Because you are looking in the wrong direction. such as the laws that keep the planets in their orbits. This moves and orders all things. They are the mistaken . they would realise that all forms are just appearances which manifest within the one indivisible consciousness. With this kind of partial vision it is easy to come to the conclusion that all forms are unconnected with each other and separate from the person who sees them. it is equally correct to say that he never does anything. If people were to be aware of the consciousness instead of the forms that appear in it. This is one of the paradoxes of the Self. The jnani. There can be no words or pictures without the paper. Even if you don't see the Self. In that state of realisation he sees that all activities are caused by shakti. Question: You talk a lot about vasanas. That consciousness is the Self that you are looking for. Question: You say that everything is the Self. the ignore the screen itself. sometimes called Parameswara shakti [the power of the Supreme Lord]. You can be that consciousness but you can never see it because it is not something that is separate from you.

That is the stillness that Bhagavan was prescribing. But even though he knows that he is not the body. You can only escape the habits of the mind by abiding in consciousness as consciousness. When we think "I must meditate" or "I must make an effort" we are just organising a fight between two different vasanas. Rajoguna [a state of excessive mental activity]. and pull you outwards towards the world rather than inwards towards the Self. in Talks with Ramana Maharshi. it means that you should always abide in the Self. If mental activity is necessary while one is in sattva guna it takes place. Be who you are. on the other hand. Because the mind is dead. This happens so often and so continuously that the mind never gets a chance to rest or to understand its real nature. Ignore all the vasanas that rise in the mind and instead fix your attention in the Self. But for the rest of the time there is stillness. it is a fact that the body is . In that state you will feel very sleepy and mentally dull. Even our desire to transcend our vasanas is a vasana. tamoguna [a state of mental torpor] arises and predominates. Most of our ideas and thoughts are incorrect. produces emotions and a mind which is restless. Question: Bhagavan. Vasanas arise. bliss. When they rise habitually as vasanas they brainwash us into thinking that they are true. Just be still. Vasanas function in much the same the way. In sattva guna [a state of mental quietness and clarity] there is stillness and harmony. Did he mean "Be mentally still"? Annamalai Swami: Bhagavan's famous instruction "summa iru" [be still] is often misunderstood. Even if they are standing on bare rock they still try to scratch the ground. the Self cannot be felt. The fundamental vasanas such as "I am the body" or "I am the mind" have appeared in us so many times that we automatically accept that they are true. he is no longer able to identify himself with the body. It is a perpetual habit with them. He says that for the jnani there are bhoga vasanas but no bandha vasanas. Cocks like to claw the ground. They are habits and patterns of thought that appear again and again even if they are not wanted. Would Swamiji please clarify the difference. speaks of bhoga vasanas [vasanas which are for enjoyment] and bandha vasanas [vasanas which produce bondage]. It does not mean that you should be physically still. Question: Bhagavan often told devotees to "Be still". If sattva guna predominates one experiences peace. When tamoguna and rajoguna predominate. It is the vasanas which cover up the experience of the Self. clarity and an absence of wandering thoughts. catch your attention. If there is too much physical stillness. Annamalai Swami: Nothing can cause bondage for the jnani because his mind is dead.identifications and the repeated thought patterns that occur again and again. In the absence of a mind he knows himself only as consciousness.

some may study the shastra [Scriptures] while others may remain illiterate. The vasanas arise because of the habits and practices of previous lifetimes. and the jnani will continue to be aware of it. Question: So whatever happens to us in life only happens because of our past likes and dislikes? Annamalai Swami: Yes. but they do have the power to make the body behave in certain ways. That is . That is why they differ from jnani to jnani. Because the jnani is still aware of the body. But because the jnani makes no judgement about what is good or bad. but others may become celibate monks. he can witness all its activities without getting involved in them in any way. they cause likes and dislikes. Some vasanas are embraced wholeheartedly while others are rejected as being undesirable. While you are still making judgements about what is good and what is bad. Some jnanis may accumulate wealth. he is not creating any new karma for himself. That body will continue to live. until its own karma [destined action] is exhausted. it means you have to take another birth to enjoy it. The body of the jnani enjoys and experiences these vasanas although the jnani himself is not affected by them. you are identifying with the mind and making new karma for yourself. some may get married ands raise families. The jnani's body carries out all the acts which are destined for it. some may sit in silence. None of these vasanas has the power to cause bondage for him because he never identifies with them. and because he has no likes or dislikes. When new karma has been created like this. 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. The jnani is aware of the consequences of all these vasanas without ever identifying with them. The bhoga vasanas differ from jnani to jnani. When vasanas rise in ordinary people who still identify with the body and the mind. he will also be aware of the thoughts and vasanas that arise in that body. Because of this he never falls back into samsara [worldly illusion] again. Because he knows that he is not the body.still alive. Question: How can one learn not to react when vasanas arise in the mind? Is there anything special that we should be looking out for? Annamalai Swami: You must learn to recognise them when they arise. It is the bhoga vasanas which determine the kind of lifestyle a jnani will lead. These likes and dislikes generate desires and fears which in turn produce more karma. That is why it is sometimes said that for the jnani there are bhoga vasanas but no bandha vasanas.

with full attention. dislikes. That is why they are free of all bondage. The mind catches hold of sense impressions and processes them in such a way that they produce long chains of uncontrolled thoughts. watch how the five senses operate. When Bhagavan spoke like this he sometimes used the analogy of a besiged fort. enter the mind. sooner or later the fort willl be be empty. new thoughts will appear momentarily and then disappear. ‘Where have you come from?’ or ‘Who is the person who is having this thought?’ If you can do this continuously. How to go about doing this? Seal off the entrances and exits to the mind by not reacting to rising thoughts or sense impressions. “To whom is this thought coming?” as soon as the thought appears.. . challenge each emerging thought as it appears by asking. Annamalai Swami – Bhagavan [Ramana Maharshi] has said: ‘When thoughts arise stop them from developing by enquiring. judgements. if we hate or love someone or something. If we have likes or dislikes. ……………………………………………………………………………………. Don’t let new ideas.’ This is how self-enquiry should be practiced. Bhagavan said that we should apply these same tactics to the mind.the only way. It is the nature of the mind to seek stimulation through the five senses. and don’t let rising thoughts flourish and escape your attention. Bhagavan never like or disliked anything. etc. If one systematically loses off all the entrances to such a fort and then picks off the occupants one by one as they try to come out. likes. If you can stop the mind from reacting to sense impressions you can eliminate a large number of your vasanas. When you have sealed off the mind in this way. Learn to watch how the mind reacts to sense impressions. Jnanis never like or dislike anything. some bondage will arise in the mind. What does it matter if many thoughts keep coming up? Enquire into their origin or find out who has the thoughts and sooner or later the flow of thoughts will stop. Learn to watch how your senses behave. If you want to pay attention to a special area of danger. If you can catch them early enough and frequently enough they will not cause you trouble.

the siege will be lifted and the mind will regain some or all of its former strength. if you relax your vigilance even for a few seconds and allow new thoughts to escape and develop unchallenged. . Mind is only a collection of thoughts and the thinker who thinks them. The thinker is the ‘I’-thought. need a thinker to pay attention to them and indulge in them. If the thinker witholds his attention from rising thoughts or challenges them before they have a chance to develop. This will happen automatically as soon as you cease to be interested in any of your rising thoughts. undistracting images on the periphery of consciousness. In a real fort the occupants need a continuous supply of food and water to hold out during a siege. the primal thought which rises from the Self before all others. they will only be fleeting. the ‘I’-thought sinks into the Heart and surrenders. which identifies with all other thoughts and says. This surrender will only take place when the ‘I’-thought has ceased to identify with rising thoughts. the thoughts will all die of starvation.If you can maintain the siege for long enough. In the fort of the mind the occupants. which are thoughts. In that thought-free state you wlil begin to experience yourself as consciousness. However. or if they do. You challenge them by repeatedly asking yourself ‘Who am I? Who is the person who is having these thoughts?’ If the challenge is to be effective you must make it before the rising thought has had a chance to develop into a stream of thoughts. the occupants must surrender or die. towards the Self. When the supplies run out. the ‘I’-thought will always be directing its attention outwards rather than inwards. a time will come when no more thoughts arise. ‘I am this body’. leaving behind it only an awareness of consciousness. While there are still stray thoughts which attract or evade your attentoin. The purpose of self-enquiry is to make the ‘I’-thought move inwards. When you have eradicated all thoughts except for the thinker himself by ceaseless enquiry or by refusing to give them any attention. not as mind or body.

If you have the slightest interest in any particular thought. This book is written by David Godman and it contains wonderful account of Annamalai Swami Life with Ramana Maharshi. connect with other thoughts. If you hold this feeling of ‘I’ long enough and strongly enough. Stories of How Ramana Ashram was constructed. ‘I may be dead in seven days’.. and none of it is your business. each thought will dissolve at the moment that it appears. But if these things start happening to you. I am the Self. pages 272–73. it will evade your attentiveness. But to reach this level of disassociation you must have no attachments at all. Remember that nothing that happens in the mind is ‘you’. Annamalai Swami answers to meditation Questions of Seekers If you are having trouble with your enthusiasm for sadhana. Be aware of it so strongly and so intensely that no other thoughts have the energy to arise and distract you. These . the false ‘I’ wll vanish leaving only the unbroken awareness of the real. I am the Self. Let go of all the things that you pretend are important in your daily life and instead focus on the Self for twenty-four hours a day. fight back by affirming. consciousness itself. Do it and see what happens. immanent ‘I’. This will happen more easily if you are accustomed to reacting emotionally to a particular thought. It is enough that you remember that the thoughts are not you. Self-inquiry must be done continuously. Go deeply into this feeling of ‘I’. You don’t have to worry about the thoughts that rise up inside you.’. If you are truly watchful. ‘I am the Self.Source: from book “Living by the Words of Bhagavan”. Don’t take delivery of wrong beliefs and don’t identify with the incoming thoughts that will give you pain and suffering. It doesn’t work if you regard it as a part-time activity. and take over your mind for a few seconds. Continuous attentiveness will only come with long practice. You have to be vigilant. just tell yourself. Sadhana is a battlefield.

‘To whom do they come?’ This continuous enquiry will establish you in your own Self and you will have no further problems. The current of meditation must be present in all your activities. you will begin to have the experience of the Self. When you know that the snake of the mind never existed. when you know that the rope of reality is all that exists. Once we identify ourselves with the body by thinking this thought. question.As long as vasanas continue to exist they will rise and cover the reality. With practice. If you can hold on to this knowledge ‘I am Self’ at all times. This is the string on which all other thoughts are threaded. the ‘I am the body’ thoughts that come your way will no longer have the power to touch you. There is nothing wrong with looking at Bhagavan’s picture. doubts and fears will not trouble you again. . Thought after thought after thought. Don’t get attached to states of bliss or give them priority over the quest for the Self. But there is one thought that is continuous. It is a very good practice. meditation and work can go on simultaneously. There are so many thoughts in the mind. By questioning ‘Who am I?’ and by constantly meditating. A strong determination to pursue enquiry in this way will dissolve all doubts. one comes to the clarity of being. maya will not affect us anymore. affect you or make you suffer. When the rejection of mental activities becomes continuous and automatic. It also follows that if we cease to identify with the body. obscuring awareness of it. though it is mostly sub-conscious: ‘I am the body’. no further practice is necessary. But you should not get sidetracked from you main objective which is establishing yourself as consciousness. Meditation must be continuous.affirmations will lessen the power of the ‘I am the body’ arrows and eventually they will armour-plate you so successfully. maya follows. As often as you become aware of them.

inside you and in front of you. This meditation has . If you don’t forget that. mind is just a Self-inflicted area of darkness in which the light of the Self has been deliberately shut out. Bhagavan is always present. ‘Meditate on the Self’ I am asking you to be the Self. The ego is the ‘I am the body’ idea. Hold onto that. Don’t allocate periods of time for this. Remove this idea and you shine as the Self. not think about it.One must keep one’s attention on the Self if one wants to make progress on the spiritual path The thoughts that come and go are not you. In the same way. When I say. Drop the identification with the body. If you don’t cover the vision of Bhagavan with your ego. Brahman alone remains. Don’t regard it as something you do when you sit with your eyes closed. The Self is pure energy. that will be enough. and you know yourself to be that Brahman. Be aware of what remains when thoughts stop. that will be enough. The mind and the body are both inert. These experiences are making you too body-conscious. Whatever comes and goes is not you. it means that you should always abide in the Self… In sattva guna [a state of mental quietness and clarity] there is stillness and harmony. pure power. Be aware of the consciousness that is the origin of all your thoughts. If you can give up duality. Be that consciousness. but to make this discovery continuous meditation is required. Your reality is peace. Just be aware of the Self and try to pay as little attention as possible to the body. Any energy or peace you experience can only come from the Self. clarity and an absence of wandering thoughts. Bhagavan’s famous instruction ‘summa iru’ [be still] is often misunderstood. That is the stillness that Bhagavan was prescribing. If mental activity is necessary while one is in sattva guna it takes place. But for the rest of the time there is stillness… If sattva guna predominates one experiences pleace. bliss. It does not mean that you should be physically still.

It has to be continued all the time. Your ultimate need is to get established in the changeless peace of the Self.’ This is how selfenquiry should be practiced. a Tamil saint whom Bhagavan often quoted. It is enough that you remember that the thoughts are not you.to be continuous. You have to keep up the enquiry. ‘This is just happening on the surface of my mind. Through that one sentence I attained a peace and a happiness that can never be explained in words. What he told me was just one sentence. You don’t have to worry about the thoughts that rise up inside you. Annamalai Swami – Bhagavan [Ramana Maharshi] has said: ‘When thoughts arise stop them from developing by enquiring. For this you have to give up all thoughts. Do it while eating.’ In every moment you only have one real choice: to be aware of the Self or to identify with the body and the mind. I am not this mind or the wandering thoughts. Tayumanuvar. What does it matter if many thoughts keep coming up? Enquire into their origin or find out who has the thoughts and sooner or later the flow of thoughts will stop. “To whom is this thought coming?” as soon as the thought appears. By doing this you will penetrate deeper and deeper and become detached from the mind. Having heard this. I held onto consciousness. . walking and even talking. This will only come about after you have made an intense effort. and none of it is your business.’ Then go back into enquiry ‘Who am I?’. ‘To whom is this happening?’ all the time. Remember that nothing that happens in the mind is ‘you’. but I cannot describe the bliss I attained from holding onto that one simple sentence. If you are having trouble remind yourself. wrote in one of his poems: ‘My Guru merely told me that I am consciousness.

In the fort of the mind the occupants. . need a thinker to pay attention to them and indulge in them. When the supplies run out. If one systematically loses off all the entrances to such a fort and then picks off the occupants one by one as they try to come out. When you have sealed off the mind in this way. ‘Where have you come from?’ or ‘Who is the person who is having this thought?’ If you can do this continuously. etc. or if they do. In a real fort the occupants need a continuous supply of food and water to hold out during a siege. enter the mind. a time will come when no more thoughts arise. the occupants must surrender or die. How to go about doing this? Seal off the entrances and exits to the mind by not reacting to rising thoughts or sense impressions. In that thought-free state you wlil begin to experience yourself as consciousness. undistracting images on the periphery of consciousness. if you relax your vigilance even for a few seconds and allow new thoughts to escape and develop unchallenged. sooner or later the fort willl be be empty. judgements. not as mind or body. they will only be fleeting. dislikes. Bhagavan said that we should apply these same tactics to the mind. which are thoughts. If you can maintain the siege for long enough.When Bhagavan spoke like this he sometimes used the analogy of a besiged fort. Don’t let new ideas. with full attention. the siege will be lifted and the mind will regain some or all of its former strength. challenge each emerging thought as it appears by asking. new thoughts will appear momentarily and then disappear. likes. and don’t let rising thoughts flourish and escape your attention. However.

the primal thought which rises from the Self before all others. While there are still stray thoughts which attract or evade your attentoin.If the thinker witholds his attention from rising thoughts or challenges them before they have a chance to develop. This surrender will only take place when the ‘I’-thought has ceased to identify with rising thoughts. Let go of all the . Stories of How Ramana Ashram was constructed. This book is written by David Godman and it contains wonderful account of Annamalai Swami Life with Ramana Maharshi. ‘I am this body’. ‘I may be dead in seven days’. the ‘I’-thought will always be directing its attention outwards rather than inwards. The thinker is the ‘I’-thought. Mind is only a collection of thoughts and the thinker who thinks them. the thoughts will all die of starvation. The purpose of self-enquiry is to make the ‘I’-thought move inwards. Source: from book “Living by the Words of Bhagavan”. towards the Self. leaving behind it only an awareness of consciousness. pages 272–73. Annamalai Swami answers to meditation Questions of Seekers If you are having trouble with your enthusiasm for sadhana. When you have eradicated all thoughts except for the thinker himself by ceaseless enquiry or by refusing to give them any attention. the ‘I’-thought sinks into the Heart and surrenders. which identifies with all other thoughts and says. just tell yourself. This will happen automatically as soon as you cease to be interested in any of your rising thoughts. You challenge them by repeatedly asking yourself ‘Who am I? Who is the person who is having these thoughts?’ If the challenge is to be effective you must make it before the rising thought has had a chance to develop into a stream of thoughts.

the ‘I am the body’ thoughts . Do it and see what happens. it will evade your attentiveness. But to reach this level of disassociation you must have no attachments at all.things that you pretend are important in your daily life and instead focus on the Self for twenty-four hours a day. You have to be vigilant. Remember that nothing that happens in the mind is ‘you’.. It is enough that you remember that the thoughts are not you. You don’t have to worry about the thoughts that rise up inside you. It doesn’t work if you regard it as a part-time activity. and none of it is your business. If you hold this feeling of ‘I’ long enough and strongly enough. the false ‘I’ wll vanish leaving only the unbroken awareness of the real. immanent ‘I’. connect with other thoughts. Self-inquiry must be done continuously. These affirmations will lessen the power of the ‘I am the body’ arrows and eventually they will armour-plate you so successfully. Be aware of it so strongly and so intensely that no other thoughts have the energy to arise and distract you. Go deeply into this feeling of ‘I’. and take over your mind for a few seconds. But if these things start happening to you. consciousness itself. Sadhana is a battlefield. each thought will dissolve at the moment that it appears.’. If you are truly watchful. I am the Self. ‘I am the Self. Continuous attentiveness will only come with long practice. I am the Self. fight back by affirming. This will happen more easily if you are accustomed to reacting emotionally to a particular thought. Don’t take delivery of wrong beliefs and don’t identify with the incoming thoughts that will give you pain and suffering. If you have the slightest interest in any particular thought.

As long as vasanas continue to exist they will rise and cover the reality. It also follows that if we cease to identify with the body. When the rejection of mental activities becomes continuous and automatic. A strong determination to pursue enquiry in this way will dissolve all doubts. though it is mostly sub-conscious: ‘I am the body’. obscuring awareness of it. By questioning ‘Who am I?’ and by constantly meditating. maya follows. Don’t get attached to states of bliss or give them priority over the quest for the Self. one comes to the clarity of being. If you can hold on to this knowledge ‘I am Self’ at all times. question.that come your way will no longer have the power to touch you. you will begin to have the experience of the Self. As often as you become aware of them. Once we identify ourselves with the body by thinking this thought. But you should not get sidetracked from you main objective which is establishing yourself as consciousness. The current of meditation must be present in all your activities. meditation and work can go on simultaneously. . ‘To whom do they come?’ This continuous enquiry will establish you in your own Self and you will have no further problems. affect you or make you suffer. when you know that the rope of reality is all that exists. It is a very good practice. There are so many thoughts in the mind. Thought after thought after thought. maya will not affect us anymore. When you know that the snake of the mind never existed. There is nothing wrong with looking at Bhagavan’s picture. But there is one thought that is continuous. no further practice is necessary. Meditation must be continuous. doubts and fears will not trouble you again. With practice. This is the string on which all other thoughts are threaded.

Bhagavan is always present. clarity and an absence of wandering thoughts. If you don’t cover the vision of Bhagavan with your ego. These experiences are making you too bodyconscious. not think about it. Your reality is peace. it means that you should always abide in the Self… In sattva guna [a state of mental quietness and clarity] there is stillness and harmony.One must keep one’s attention on the Self if one wants to make progress on the spiritual path The thoughts that come and go are not you. It does not mean that you should be physically still. Drop the identification with the body. Just be aware of the Self and try to pay as little attention as possible to the body. mind is just a Self-inflicted area of darkness in which the light of the Self has been deliberately shut out. Be that consciousness. Be aware of the consciousness that is the origin of all your thoughts. Any energy or peace you experience can only come from the Self. That is the stillness that Bhagavan was prescribing. pure power. When I say. bliss. If you don’t forget that. Be aware of what remains when thoughts stop. Hold onto that. Remove this idea and you shine as the Self. But for the rest of the time there is stillness… If sattva guna predominates one experiences pleace. that will be enough. The Self is pure energy. . ‘Meditate on the Self’ I am asking you to be the Self. The ego is the ‘I am the body’ idea. Whatever comes and goes is not you. If mental activity is necessary while one is in sattva guna it takes place. that will be enough. In the same way. Bhagavan’s famous instruction ‘summa iru’ [be still] is often misunderstood. The mind and the body are both inert. inside you and in front of you.

. ‘To whom is this happening?’ all the time. Remember that nothing that happens in the mind is ‘you’. It has to be continued all the time. Do it while eating. Having heard this. walking and even talking. This will only come about after you have made an intense effort. If you are having trouble remind yourself. wrote in one of his poems: ‘My Guru merely told me that I am consciousness. I held onto consciousness. but to make this discovery continuous meditation is required. Brahman alone remains. You have to keep up the enquiry. I am not this mind or the wandering thoughts. You don’t have to worry about the thoughts that rise up inside you. and you know yourself to be that Brahman. What he told me was just one sentence. It is enough that you remember that the thoughts are not you. This meditation has to be continuous. By doing this you will penetrate deeper and deeper and become detached from the mind. Don’t regard it as something you do when you sit with your eyes closed. a Tamil saint whom Bhagavan often quoted. but I cannot describe the bliss I attained from holding onto that one simple sentence.’ In every moment you only have one real choice: to be aware of the Self or to identify with the body and the mind.’ Then go back into enquiry ‘Who am I?’. ‘This is just happening on the surface of my mind. Tayumanuvar. Through that one sentence I attained a peace and a happiness that can never be explained in words. and none of it is your business. Don’t allocate periods of time for this.If you can give up duality.

page 263 Bhagavan's famous instruction 'summa iru' [be still] is often misunderstood. Living by the Words of Bhagavan. That is the stillness that Bhagavan was prescribing. clarity and an absence of wandering thoughts.Your ultimate need is to get established in the changeless peace of the Self. For this you have to give up all thoughts. Living by the Words of Bhagavan. — quoted in David Godman. page 267 Meditation must be continuous. Quotes from Annamalai Swami When the rejection of mental activities becomes continuous and automatic. The current of meditation must be present . you will begin to have the experience of the Self. If mental activity is necessary while one is in sattva guna it takes place. bliss. it means that you should always abide in the Self… In sattva guna [a state of mental quietness and clarity] there is stillness and harmony. — quoted in David Godman. It does not mean that you should be physically still. But for the rest of the time there is stillness… If sattva guna predominates one experiences peace.

Be aware of it so strongly and so intensely that no other thoughts have the energy to arise and distract you. page 39 In the same way. This will happen more easily if you are accustomed to reacting emotionally to a particular thought. each thought will dissolve at the moment that it appears. meditation and work can go on simultaneously. Living by the Words of Bhagavan. 'Meditate on the Self' I am asking you to be the Self. If you are truly watchful. Be aware of the consciousness that is the origin of all your thoughts.in all your activities. — quoted in David Godman. Be that consciousness. not think about it. But to reach this level of disassociation you must have no attachments at all. page 30 If you can hold on to this knowledge 'I am Self' at all times. it will evade your attentiveness. Living by the Words of Bhagavan. — Annamalai Swami: Final Talks. — quoted in David Godman. If you have the slightest interest in any particular thought. — quoted in David Godman. — Annamalai Swami: Final Talks. Living by the Words of Bhagavan. immanent 'I'. the false 'I' wll vanish leaving only the unbroken awareness of the real. With practice. pages 342–43 Self-inquiry must be done continuously. — Annamalai Swami: Final Talks. connect with other thoughts. If you hold this feeling of 'I' long enough and strongly enough. and take over your mind for a few seconds. no further practice is necessary. That is its nature. page 274 When I say. page 282 Go deeply into this feeling of 'I'. mind is just a Self-inflicted area of darkness in which the light of the Self has been deliberately shut out. page 327 Continuous attentiveness will only come with long practice. page 299 The Self is always alert. Living by the Words of Bhagavan . — quoted in David Godman. — quoted in David Godman. consciousness itself. It doesn't work if you regard it as a part-time activity. page 57 . Living by the Words of Bhagavan.. Be aware of what remains when thoughts stop.

— Annamalai Swami: Final Talks. 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. Through that one sentence I attained a peace and a happiness that can never be explained in words. 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.' ………………… Page 333 : living by the words of Bhagavan Quote Q: I feel that the bhakti path is an effortless way. a Tamil saint whom Bhagavan often quoted. — Annamalai Swami: Final Talks. 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. wrote in one of his poems: 'My Guru merely told me that I am consciousness. A: There is nothign wrong with looking at Bhagavan's picture. For this you have to give up all thoughts. Self inquiry is such hard work. Having heard this. A: It is always good to worship the guru. 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. page 63 Tayumanuvar. 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. What he told me was just one sentence. page 59 Your ultimate need is to get established in the changeless peace of the Self. we must learn to contact this consciousness by being aware of this all the time. Thats a good practise. 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. but I cannot describe the bliss I attained from holding onto that one simple sentence. The same consciousness which is within you and within bhagavan's form is within all forms.In every moment you only have one real choice: to be aware of the Self or to identify with the body and the mind. But you should not get sidetracked from our main objective which is establishing yourself as . more joyfull and more effortless. but abiding in the guru's teachings is far better. I held onto consciousness.

Remain as the Self. You have to ignore anything that is connected to the body-mind idea.consciousness. IT can be a good thought or a bad thought. have the same reaction: 'Not me. Don’t get attached to mental peace. if you realize that there is not an atom which is apart from Self. You will be the peace or the bliss rather than being the experiencer of it. To whom are these thoughts arising ? To You. It is good to feel blissful and peaceful but don’t indulge yourself in these states at the expense of self inquiry. if you can do this. not my business'. the raising of thought will not disturb or distract you. including the thought ' i am meditating'. dont get attached to states of bliss or give them priority over the quest for Self. POST Page 86: Final Talks 3: Quote Whatever thoughts come. it will run away. if you experience temporary states of peace or bliss in the mind. you will experience the real peace and bliss of the Self. If you realize the inner Self. You are the Self. Treat them the same way. darkness will not overcome you. If you become attached to peaceful or blissful states you may lose your interest in the main quest. the experiencer of that peace or bliss will not want the Self to subside into the Self and disappear. what ever thoughts arise in that state wont affect you. if you are the Self. That means you are not the thought. and don't latch onto anything that is not the Self. in a split second . Go beyond it to the real peace which comes from being POST Page 84 of Final Talks 2 Quote What ever kind of thought arises. POST Page 82 of final talks 4 Quote . anything that is based on the notion that you are the mind or the body. All thoughts are distractiosn. ignore them.

Good thoughts. POST Page 86 : Final Talks 6: Quote Thoughts will come as long as the potential for them is inside you. Final Talks 5 Quote Remember . effort and practise .Sadhana. but at the same time. be the peace that is your real nature. its perpetuating an erroneous assumption that there is a person who is having troublesome thoughts. and when you believe that you have to do something to reach the Self. they will keep coming. and it will not matter what comes up. and none of it is your business. Why? Because its verbalising a state of ignorance. nothing that happens to mind is 'you'. You are the Self not some make-believe person who is having thoughts POST Page 82. are concepts that can only arise when you believe that you are not the Self. this flow of thoughts need not be a problem. Even the sequence "to whom has this thought come? To me" is based on ignorance of the truth. Post Page 292: living by the words of Bhagavan 7: Quote . Be the Self. You dont have to worry about thoughts that rise up inside you. and any ideas you may have about them. There is nothing you can do about this flow.Its enough that you remember that the thoughts are not you. bad thoughts.

I think that he can solve all my problems and The man. I am the immanent Self" is a great aid . There is a story about someone the king he may be like able to help me thus. He thought . you are not what you imagine youself ot be". You pretend that you are not experiencing it. This is like running around looking for one's eyes with one's own eyes. Ultimately he became very depressed because his search was not yeilding any results. or cover it up with all kinds of false ideas. said with some astonishment.Giving up the identity with the body and the mind is tapas. He answered.experience. AS: The meditation "I am not the body or the mind. by giving some money" Once a king imagined that he was a poverty-striken peasant. POST Page 293-294 living by the words of bhagavan 8: Quote 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. One day he met a man make the moment the truth he remembered when it on the me road happy who but asked I him why cant king!" his was real told identity. they all keep asking the guru for methods and routes to reach the place they are already are. Spiritual seekers have a very strange habit: they are always looking for a way to reach. or realize the Self. dhyana and nishta. and then you run around looking for it as if it were something external to be reached or found. to him.discover. who already recognized him. They try many things because they cannot comprehend that they are already the Self. samadhi. Do you need a new experience to prove that you exist? The feeling "I am existing" is the Self. anywhere". and you are aware of it right now. Why should you imagine that it is some new experience to be discovered or found ? You are the Self right now. His problems all ended the You may think that the king was fairly stupid but he had at least enough sense to recognize The guru may tell his disciples a thousand times "You are the self. he find was him so depressed. "if I go and meet He searched for the king in many places but he could not find him anywhere. "But you yourself as The king came to his senses and remembered who he was. attain. " I am searching for the king.

then meditation on the awareness "I am the all pervasive Self" is a great aid. consciousness alone exists". if this does not happen spontaneously when u hear the truth from a teacher. I am not the mind. 'Keeping the mind in the heart is self-enquiry'. POST Living by the Words of Bhagavan . I am Brahman. there is no mind. Bhagavan said. i am not the mind. POST 9 Quote How to give up this false idea that mind is real ? Annamalai Swami Answers: the same way that you give up any wrong idea. Bhagavan often siad that we should read and study the Ribhu Gita regularly. pg 281 10: . you simply stop believing in it.as long as one is not able to do self inquiry properly or constantly. one does not need aids like this. keep telling yourself "i am not the mind. If you cannot do thys by asking "who am I?" or by taking the "I"-thought back to its source. There is no mind. Bhagavan sat with us every day while we chanted extracts from Ribhu Gita which affirm the reality of the Self. When the mind has become purified by this practise its easier to take it back to the source and keep it there. Its true that he said that these repetitions are only an aid to self-enquiry. By practising this way the mind becomes more and more attuned to the reality. if you have firm conviction that this is the truth. when one is able to abide in the Self directly. I am everything" is to be repeated again and again until it becomes natural state. But if this is not possible these practises can definitely aid. one day this firm conviction will mature to the point where it becoems your direct experience. In Ribhu Gita its said: "That Bhavana "I am not the body. but they are very powerful aids.

then just watch the mind with full attention. 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'. Its a form of spiritual entertainment in which the illusory "I" plays games with itself. become aware of it. its beneficial to hold onto the thought 'I am Self. What difficulties can arise from doing a simple practise like this ? POST Pg 282 of Living by the words of Bhagavan 11: Quote Doing any sadhana without first understanding that the individual self is non-existent is selfindulgence.the Self is all'. you begin to understand the futility of all mental activities. If this method does not appeal to you . unaffected by transient thoughts . it gives us the ability to remain as consciousness . That is enough. Watching the mind gives us the knowledge of the inner processes. But if you cannot stabilise in that consciousness because your vasanas are too strong and too active . Be that consciousness. Be still and cultivate the awareness 'I am the Self.'Why all these maha yogas ? All these yogas are maya!' When I say. Ultimately if we try hard enough. Whenever the mind wanders. not think about it. Feel that that is what you reall are. your meditation practise will only lead you to more mental bondage. Just give up the identifying with the mind and hold onto the Self. It gives us an incentive to stay detached from all our thoughts. Bhagavan once said. Saint Tayumanuvar once said. 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. If you do this you are meditating on the Self. and Self alone. Be aware of what remains when thoughts stop. Be aware of the consciousness that is the origin of all your thoughts. Watch the mind wandering here and there . all you have to do is remain still' To realize the Self you dont actually have to do anything except be still. Watch the ways of mind without identifying with them in any way. If you give your mind your full detached attention. 'Meditate on the Self' . seeking out useless or unnecessary things or ideas which will ultimately create more misery for itself.Quote If you try to meditate without understanding that your real nature is Self. I am asking you the be the Self. sooner or later they are bound to leave you. 'To keep the mind in the Self.

POST Pg 260 of Living by the words of Bhagavan 13: Quote You must generate the conviction. If you can convince yourself.: What is the easiest way to be it to free of will do the 'little self'? Annamalai Swami: Stop identifying with it. If you understand that it has no real existence it will disappear. Self will eventually reveal itself to you. "I am the all-pervasive consciousness in which all bodes and minds in the world are appearing and disappearing. of living by the words of bhagavan 12 Quote The best mantra is "i am the self. conversations 14: Quote Q.POST pg 274 . Stabilise yourself in that conviction. head directly for the self.: not Q. 'This little self is really But me. I am that consciousness which remains unchanged and unaffected by these appearances and disappearances ".: The little self is something that only appears to be real. Post Living by the words of bhagavan .' how disappear. that? AS. Thats all you need to do. . everything is my Self. Everything is one" If you keep this in your mind all the time. Hold onto it as tenaciously as you can and dont let anything or anyone loosen your grip. If you are serious. Dont be statisfied with rituals and other kindergarten techniques. leaving behind it the experience of the real and only Self.

I cannot break this habit merely by thinking 'I am not this 'little self''. If you don't identify with these wrong ideas. you go to the source of the 'little self'. I am Brahman. you find that it dissolves into nothingness. through enquiry. it is always realized. Instead. This is not so..Understand that it has no real existence and it will stop troubling you. POST 15: Q: You say that everything is the Self. even maya.: But I am very accustomed to feel 'I am this 'little self' '. But really they haven't seen the paper . There is no limitation or 'little self' in it. If you only see the rope the snake is not there. I am That. Try to remember the analogy of the rope which looks like a snake in twilight.. AS. I am everything. You cannot wish it away with a few stray thoughts. If you see the rope as snake the real nature of the rope is hidden from you. Then they sau . Your vasanas and all the wrong ideas you have about yourself are blocking and hiding the experience of the real Self.: It is all very clear but I feel I need some help. why cant I see the Self clearly ? If this is so. the Self is still there.. Not only that . You have the idea that the Self is something that you see or experience . Bhagavan some times remarked humorously: "People just open a newspaper and glance through it. This just perpetuates the problem you are trying to end. Consciousness is universal. it is not something that you have to seek. you will not be concerned about ways and means of getting rid of it. ' I have seen the paper'. The Self is the Awareness or consciousness in which the seeing and the experiencing take place. .'. Don't make the mistake of imagining that there is a goal to be reached or attained. I am not sure that i can generate this conviction by myself. If you can understand that this 'little self' never at any time had any existence outside your imagination. If this is so. your Self-nature will not be hidden from you. If you think like this you will start looking for methods to practice and people to help you. Q.: This 'little self' will only give way to the real Self if you meditate constantly. (Then) the question of how to kill the snake disappears. The Self is always attained. cultivate the strong awareness. 'I am the Self. but people always forget the paper while they are reading the words " . AS. It is only when we identify with and limit ourselves to the body and the mind that this false sense of self is born. reach or discover. If. Q.: The desire for assistance is part of your problem.you know that there never was a snake there. Even if you don't see the Self.. they have only seen the letters without the paper. why can't I see the Self clearly ? Why is it hidden from me ? AS: Because you are looking in the wrong direction.. 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.

he said.Bhagavan would then use this analogy to show that while people see the names and forms that appear on the screen of consciousness. Hold onto that idea and dont let it go. "Sometimes nothing is seen". Get rid of all these ideas and replace them with the single thought . etc. Bhagavan answered by saying . they ignore the screen itself. Dont give these "I am the body" ideas any attention. bhagavan 16:pg words Continuous inhalation and exhalation are necessary for continuation of life. You divide your life up into different activities: "I am eating". "I will have a bath now". Swami Living 's living by called by the the words of of bhagavan. "But how to practise it ". I asked. In that State the thought . A few weeks later I asked him another question about it. " In that state meditation will always be going on. "I am meditating". pg 234 of Living by the words of bhagavan. "It is good if meditators meditate with Self Awareness". "Can one practise sahaja samadhi right from the beginning?" Bhagavan replied by saying that one could. "No. I asked. If you have ideas like these you are still identifiying with the body. Stay firmly seated in the Self and dont allow the mind to identify with anything that the body does. I said. "I am working". That consciousness is the Self that you are looking for. "Is this good?" Bhagavan did not seem to approve of all these states. Learn to recognize them when they arise and learn to ignore them or deny them. The state of Sahaja Samadhi contined to intrigue me. "I will go to sleep now". I then asked Bhagavan about periods in meditation when I was only aware of an allpervasive blankness. 'I am meditating' or 'I am not meditating' will not occur". "And how does one practise nirvikalpa samadhi ? How many different kinds of samadhi are there ?" ." said Bhagavan. Continuous meditation is necessary for all those who want to stay in the Self. Pg: 265-6 This POST of Annamalai is 271-2. "In the beginning". "I am Self". I asked. That is Samadhi" "Then what is Sahaja Samadhi ?". 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. You can be that consciousness but you can never see it because its not something that is separate from you. "Mediation will go on without our effort. Recognition. Quote "Does Samadhi mean that one is unaware of everything ?" . "I must eat now". they would realize that all forms are just appearances which manifest within the one invisible consciousness. If people were to be aware of the consciousness instead of the forms that appear in it. POST 17 Here is a conversation between annamalai swami and Ramana . all thoughts like these are I am the body thoughts.

In the absence of mind he knows himself only as consciousness. and the Jnani will continue to be aware of it. The jnani is aware of the consequences of these vasanas without identifying with them. "not many kinds. Permanently abiding in the Self without forgetting it is Sahaja Samadhi. some may get married and raise families but others may become celibate monks. some may sit in silence. and because he has no likes and dislikes. when new karma has been created like this. because he knows that he is not the body. he will also be aware of the thoughts and vasanas that arise in that body. some may study the sastras while others may remain illiterate. POST Annamalai Swami pg 24 of Final Talks 19: . The vasanas arise because of habits and practices of previous life times. you are identifying with the mind and making new karmas for yourself. These likes and dislikes generate desires and fears which in turn produce more karma. he can witness all its activities without getting involved in them in any way. he is not creating any new karma for himself. they cause likes and dislikes. But even though he knows that he is not the body. Both will give the same happiness" Post 18: This is Page From 267. its a fact that the body is still alive. while you are still making judgements about what is good and what is bad. but they do have the power to make the body behave in certain ways. that is why they differ from jnani to jnani. it means that you have to take another birth to enjoy it. The bhoga vasanas differ from jnani to jnani."There is only one kind of Samadhi". some vasanas are embraced whole heartedly while others are rejected as being undesirable. But because the jnani makes no judgements about what is good or bad. there is no possibility of any new karma being created. There will be no rebirth for the jnani because once the mind has been destroyed. he is no longer able to identify himself with the body. The jnani's body carries out all the acts which are destined for it. that is why its some times said that for the jnani there are bhoga vasanas but no bandha vasanas. Said Bhagavan . Because the mind is dead. To remain temporarily subsided in the reality without any thought is nirvikalpa Samadhi. it is the bhoga vasanas which determine the kind of lifestyle a jnani will lead. When vasanas rise in ordinary people who still identify with the body and the mind. The body of the jnani enjoys and experiences thses vasanas although the jnani himself is not affected by them. Because the jnani is aware of the body. None of these vasanas has the power to cause bondage for him because he never identifies with them. until its own karma is exhausted. That body will continue to live. some jnanis may accumulate wealth. living by the with words of bhagavan : conversations Annamalai Swami Quote Nothing can cause bondage for the Jnani because his mind is dead. Because of this he never falls back into samsara again.

Your vasanas sprout and expand miraculously . not its ephemeral contents. Just be the Self at all times. and if you have no thoughts . then the thoughts and the dreams they produce can do on. creating a whole waking-dream world for you. You want some experience which will convince you that what I am saying is true. watch all the thoughts come and go. You can have that experience if you give up your life-long habit of inventing an 'I' which claims all thoughts as 'mine'. POST 20: When the mind appears every morning don't jump to the usual conclusion. Bad thoughts make bad dreams and good thoughts make good dreams. They will not be a problem for you any more. See it as a dream. he further explains: Quote The waking state which you take to be real. You are allowed to run free. IF you hold onto the knowledge "I am Self". If you cultivate this attitude of indifference towards the mind. you will know that the dreams are laso the Self. Just remain like the sky and let thought-clouds come and go. ." Instead. Dont lose sight of the Self. If you know that even your waking and sleeping dreams are the Self. the substratum on which this vast believable dream is projected. watch these thoughts come and go without identifying with them in any way. Recognize that it is just an expansion of your thoughts. Come to the conclusion. You dont have to supress thoughts or be absolutely thoughtless to abide as the SElf. Like the snake which appears in the rope. Be conscious of yourself as consciousness alone. these thoughts are mine. gradually you will cease to identify yourself with it …………………………………………. 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. you dont dream at all. If you can resist the impulse to claim each and every thought as your own. and you wont get entangled in them. like space. by direct experience. But even if you do dream. you must understand that your dream is also the Self. in pg 25. These dreams are our thoughts made manifest. you will come to a startling conclusion: you will discover that you are the consciousness in which the thoughts appear and disappear. Clouds come and go in the sky but the appearance and disappearance of the clouds doesn't affect the sky. that you are really consciousness itself. Your real nature is like the sky. "This is me. In this state you will know that everything that appears to you is just a dream. you will discover that the mind is only an illusion which appears through ignorance or misperception.Quote Everything we see in this waking state is a dream.

As the thought entered his mind. Annamalai Swami were attracted to them. The sun was at its peak and Annamalai Swami was not wearing any sandals. So soon his feet starts burning from heat but he could not change his feet as it was an order from Maharshi.Annamalai Swami. From Raman Maharshi answer. Raman Maharshi laughingly said “all saints are striving only for this”. Once he expelled all the female workers so that he can avoid them. The pain in his feet started increasing and suddenly a thought arises in him that the pain he is experiencing has replaced the sexual desire. Ramana Maharshi abruptly ended conversation and left him. Maharshi advised him “Why you pay attention to evil thought? Why don’t you meditate? To whom does this thought came. After some days Annamalai Swami was again disturbed by sexual thoughts to the extent that he could not eat or sleep properly for three days. he was given charge of constructing more buildings for the Ashram.Speaks on Sexuality Annamalai Swami is an Disciple of Raman Maharshi. The thought will leave you on its own accord. Meditate on your Self and all desires will leave you. After some time when that woman came out of room. Annamalai Swami was totally captivated by her beauty and lust. when he saw a beautiful woman going to meet Raman Maharshi. But Raman Maharshi stressed him to employ them. You are not the body nor the mind. When Annamalai Swami was staying at the Ashram of Sri Raman Maharshi.” …………………………………. . Amongst the construction workers there were some very attractive females and occasionally.. Annamalai Swami was some times troubled by sexual thoughts but some how he used to avoid the thoughts. Annamalai Swami was assured that he was not alone in this suffering. Suddenly Raman Maharshi came out and asked Annamalai Swami to stand on a particular rock and Maharshi started conversing with him. you are the Self. Once he told Ramana Maharshi that he doesn’t want Moksha but he wants to get rid of the desire for women. At last he thought of taking Maharshi’s help. But one afternoon Annamalai Swami was sitting in his room.

an initial experience of the Self may slip away. that is ignorance. if we take the unreal body to be the Self. It speaks of the need for vigilance even after the Self has been experienced for the first time. abidance in the Self may not be firm and irreversible. they will rise up again and the experience will be lost. If we take the mirage to be real water. one .Annamalai Swami: Initially. While they are there. As soon as ignorance comes. Vigilance may be needed to maintain it. 'To whom does this ignorance come?' A strong determination to pursue enquiry in this way will dissolve all doubts. is the highest return you can render me. There is a verse in Kaivalya Navaneeta that Bhagavan often quoted. In this verse the disciple is speaking to his Guru: 'Lord. you are the reality remaining as my inmost Self. Similarly. there is always the possibility that we may again take the unreal to be real. Glory! Glory to your holy feet!' The Guru replies: 'To stay fixed in the Self without the three kinds of obstacles [ignorance. I do not see how I can repay your grace for having liberated me. uncertainty and wrong knowledge] obstructing your experience. By questioning 'Who am I?' and by constantly meditating. you must question it.' The Guru knows that without vigilance. that is also ignorance. Q: Why is this experience not enough? Annamalai Swami: If vasanas are still there. ruling me during all my countless incarnations! Glory to you who have put on an external form to instruct me.

Final Talks. The following questions were asked by an aristocratic.looking American lady.comes to the clarity of being. it is not something to be sought or attained as a new experience. It is within us and nowhere else. Q. 'To whom do they come?' This continuous enquiry will establish you in your own Self and you will have no further problems. When you know that the snake of the mind never existed. when you know that the rope of reality is all that exists. As often as you become aware of them. Annamalai Swami recorded conversations with Bhagavan in the late 1930s. question. Our real nature is the 'I' feeling which is always experienced by everyone.: What is the truth that I have to attain? Please explain it and show it to me. edited by David Godman …………………………. our minds are . Although we are always experiencing it. As long as vasanas continue to exist they will rise and cover the reality. Bhagavan's answers are a succinct summery of his practical teachings. obscuring awareness of it. ~ Annamalai Swami. Although we seek to attain it in various ways. doubts and fears will not trouble you again. Bhagavan: What we have to attain and what is desired by everyone is endless happiness.

After this thought rises it expands in a moment into several thousand thoughts and conceals the Self. 'To whom have these thoughts come' . the bliss of Brahman.wandering. The root of the illusion is the thought which ignores the Self and thinks instead.: What is the way to not get rid of other gone. why did so many sadhanas come to be created? Bhagavan: The sadhanas came to be formed only to get rid of the thought that the Self is something to be newly attained. If it changes after a while you will know that other thoughts have Q. This is like a person saying with his own tongue that he has no tongue. Q. The reality of the Self will only shine if all these thoughts are removed.: I am now sitting peacefully without the thought 'I am this body'. Afterwards.: If that is so. Is this the state of reality? Bhagavan: This state must remain as it is without any change. what remains is only Brahmananda. thinking in ignorance it is something apart from us. thoughts? Bhagavan: They can only be removed through the powerful effect of the enquiry. Q. 'I am this body'. always seeking it.

I hastened to Tiruvannamalai the very same day. I had read a little before coming here.………………. I then took him to Bhagavan. I saw Bhagavan's picture and was instantly captivated. "Even fools have become extremely wise by coming to Bhagavan. One day somebody showed me the book Nan Yar (Who Am I?). J.Jayaraman was the interviewer and James Hartel the videographer. which means. I felt speechless and senseless. close to the big temple. Also. I then went to Sri Bhagavan. I once overheard Muruganar sing a line from a Tamil verse. and received his blessings. However. in favor of Chadwick. Bhagavan was coming from the Hill. When I asked Bhagavan what bondage and liberation meant. [Before coming to Tiruvannamalai] I had had a dream in which Bhagavan was coming down the Hill. On drinking that water. but nothing else happened like in the dream. I was asked to vacate the room I had been occupying at that time." I am sure that Muruganar was referring to me when he sang this song. I chanced to meet Seshadri Swami near the Rettai Pillaiyar Koil. Bhagavan only laughed in reply. An Interview with Annamalai Swami The following is transcribed from a November 1989 videotaped interview with Annamalai Swami. who was building the Old Hall. His Living Presence video production. Major Chadwick When Chadwick arrived in Tiruvannamalai he mistook me for Bhagavan and prostrated before me. I also saw Gopal Rao. it is true that Bhagavan literally taught me how to read and write. When I came to the Ashram there was just a shed over the Mother's shrine and Bhagavan was seated there. which happened to be a full moon day. Chadwick did . Coming to Bhagavan I came from Tondanguruchi where I had a stall to distribute water to the needy. I went up to him and washed his feet with water. Some of this interview is featured in the Guru Ramana. When I came here. Muruganar was astonished that I did not even know the fundamentals of Advaitic teachings. When I arrived at Tiruvannamalai. In the course of my work.

or He would not come near me. sculpture." Some of His comments were hard to believe because no indication of such things was found then.not like this and said that if I vacated he would not stay at the Ashram. "So you are showing off your bhakti. or just ordered me to go and do it. Chadwick gave me an umbrella. astrology and other fine arts. I knew none of these when I came to Bhagavan. Bhagavan would indicate with only a few words or signs. saying. During my early days with Bhagavan. You go and supervise that work. He appreciated my hard work and sincerity. Once. The mason was a little annoyed. Bhagavan again asked me to go and see what the mason was doing. Bhagavan used to say. "Go and see what the mason is doing." So I went there." I reflected that Bhagavan could have told me this in the first instance itself. When Bhagavan asked me to go and see what the mason was doing for the third time. That is when he came out with his intentions and said. He wouldn't be happy and would say. Although my father was proficient in masonry. Then Bhagavan came near me and chided me. But that wasn't Bhagavan's way." Construction Work I knew nothing about masonry work before coming here. I now asked Bhagavan why he kept repeating the same question. I tried to remove all three. but made the same reply. . I will never come near you. It was in very subtle ways that Bhagavan extracted work from the devotees. the mason thought that Bhagavan was mad as he was just asking him the same question again and again. He was very subtle. and very gentle. One day. I even used to learn a little bit of English from Chadwick. "This whole place is going to be very active with many buildings. Bhagavan taught me everything. Bhagavan laughed and remarked that I should have been an engineer in my previous birth. he once told me. I was in a dilemma because it was Bhagavan who insisted that I behave normally. If you got up from your seat when Bhagavan passed by. "If you behave like this on seeing me. shy. I complied. After sometime. when Bhagavan came by. . asked him what he was doing and conveyed the reply to Bhagavan." The irony is that some others in the Ashram used to scoff at me for wearing these in Bhagavan's presence. shaded eyeglasses and sandals to use when I was supervising or working in the hot sun. Thenamma Paati asked Bhagavan how I could apply my mind to supervise all the construction work that was going on and still be devoted to Bhagavan.Someone can attend to the work here. It was then agreed that the two of us would share the room. This is how I became very friendly with Chadwick. Why not behave normally even when I come.

" This was of course in jest but it also meant that I could understand Bhagavan's subtle instructions and follow them meticulously. Also. and personally massaged my head for a long time. Bhagavan asked me. . in Tamil. just like printed letters." On another occasion. Bhagavan once again gave me a few hints and I managed to get it right the third time.When the storeroom was being built. and it can be seen at the store entrance even today. Bhagavan came up to me and said. I banged my head hard against the tap. and you are answering about another. give hints. However. Though I had pain in my head. Bhagavan was very particular about doing things meticulously and perfectly. the word 'padi' stands for both 'measure' as well as for 'steps'. and whenever I had difficulty. "How many padis?" meaning how many steps I was constructing. the name "Sri Ramanasramam. On all cupboards and other furniture. Bhagavan would encourage me to take up such work. This was great appreciation showered upon me by Sri Bhagavan. Bhagavan insisted that I should draw the image of Arunachala on the wall of the Ashram Store. The same thing happened with the arch of the Ashram entrance. A little later. don't bother with it. "If I would just look in one direction. He said. I also thanked the tap for giving me this opportunity to receive a massage from the golden this opportunity to receive a massage from the golden hands of Sri Bhagavan. Tiruvannamalai" had to be written very neatly. Bhagavan was standing there and giving me instructions. I honestly felt that I was overworked. Bhagavan came and instructed me. you would construct a structure there. Bhagavan wanted me to make an image of Arunachala in cement. Once I was about to construct some steps when Bhagavan came and hit me three times. I had been asked to repair some dilapidated steps behind the Dining Hall. which was to give up the 'I am-the-body' idea. it did not come out the second time as well. even if that should mean sacrificing my body. Bhagavan would come. As I got up. Bhagavan gave me a playful slap and said. I kept reminding myself of Bhagavan's teaching. I was building some steps near the water tap. One day I was feeling tired and was reclining against a wall. and encourage me to do it perfectly. Bhagavan came back and said. Bhagavan asked Madhavaswami to bring zambak (medicinal ointment). "I'm asking about one padi. but if that's difficult for you. When it did not come out properly. "I thought I could make that request. I thought he wanted to know how many measures of cement I was ordering." I felt badly about the thoughts I had entertained and resolved that in the future I would definitely undertake and fulfill any of Bhagavan's requests." I asked Him why that should be so. Now. I asked Ramaswami Pillai to get three or four measures of cement. It was a solemn pledge I made to myself. "I'm afraid to even look at you. In those days money and materials were scarce. not getting enough rest. I was feeling a little dejected. The three dimensional aspect is also visible on account of the cement being plastered accordingly.

I explained that it would be jivahimsa to kill hundreds and thousands of ants by stepping upon them or by closing the opening through which they came out. "You are not doing it for yourself. And since at that time I felt that whatever bhakti I had. i. Disturbing Ants One day after lunch we noticed lots of ants in the Old Hall disturbing the devotees. He said.e. "Why are you doing this? It's only our Annamalai. yet when we went out.. When Bhagavan asked me what I was doing. I was jumping all over in order to avoid crushing them. However. "Bhagavan says 'our Annamalai'. on hearing this said. In the days when I still used to live in the Ashram. I cleared the area of ants. Fleeing to Polur Bhagavan always taught jnanamarga. He said that it was freedom from this desire that all great people had sought and suffered for. Upon hearing this.In the earlier days. While we worked on the construction Thenamma and Subbu-lakshmiamma used to do the cooking nearby. I was feeling that Bhagavan did not want me to stay there." He then quoted from Chapter thirteen of Bhagavad Gita where Krishna says that even killing is permitted if it is for the benefit of the world. Rangaswami and I used to massage the soles of Bhagavan's feet with oil. When the Dining Hall was being built. Bhagavan asked me to inspect the area and do the needful. and put our heads against His feet to receive His grace after completing the massage. I was wondering what reply Bhagavan would give. Bhagavan used to pretend to be asleep when we did this. a brahmin by the wish of Sri Bhagavan. Bhagavan used to dig the earth with a huge gaddapare (crowbar) and Santhamma used to mix mortar with water. I once told Bhagavan that I didn't even desire moksha. Why should you segregate him like this?" Chinnaswami. but just wanted to be saved from the attractions of women. Bhagavan told them. . As I was not a brahmin. we had to stop this practice of ours. sealed the entrance and cemented it. had evaporated. When I went and lifted a stone. it is for the sake of others. no one ever talked about jnanamarga or even bhaktimarga. Madhavaswami. I was entrusted with the mason's work. the women used a large white cloth as a partition between them and us. millions of ants rushed out. so he has become an ichcha brahmin". when large crowds started coming to the Ashram regularly.

The flower toss-up indicated that I should go back to Bhagavan and I began walking back promptly. I boarded the train to Tiruvannamalai without a ticket. I had heard that if one stood chest deep in water. let me through saying that he had already checked my ticket. when I got down at Tiruvannamalai. and was weak and exhausted by the time I reached Polur. and unless that is finished. That's when the owner of a small roadside hotel invited me in and fed me sumptuously with great reverence. "How could you go away? You have so much work to do here. the stationmaster. In the afternoon on the third day. I begged at Nair Mangalam's place and many other places with no luck. In fact one person wondered why I had to leave a holy place like Tiruvannamalai and wander elsewhere. Bhagavan graciously said.I walked without any food for two days. Similarly. while the ticket examiner checked all other passengers. I went straight to Bhagavan and narrated all that had happened. I then plucked a little flower in order to toss it up to divine if I should go back to the Ashram or leave Bhagavan permanently and go out as a wandering mendicant. I felt that Bhagavan was quoting the song from the supplement to the forty verses which . it would aid in withstanding hunger. I did that in a tank just outside Polur for a while before leaving for the samadhi of Vithoba in Polur. None wished to give me alms. he totally ignored me. This helped me regain some of my strength. he also gave me two rupees for my travel expenses. how could you go?" I was standing near Bhagavan and He gave me a steady look of Grace. Besides. All these events discouraged me. I took this as a good omen and a vindication of my decision to return to Bhagavan. However. a lady took pity at my plight and offered me two glasses full of thin gruel. who usually checks all the tickets.

suffering bruises all over his body. Once. What shortcomings can you face in your life?" Animals Bhagavan was extraordinarily kind towards birds. I was present when the crow." This song came to my mind. The next day when He asked me to bring the dove to Him. though Bhagavan had not uttered a word. it was suggested that I could have a Linga tattooed on my hand. But my father preferred a Linga itself to be tied to my left hand. Tincture was applied all over. Bhagavan smiled at me. the bird had by then recovered so much that it flew off. he saw a dog chasing a squirrel.means "When you have the association of great men. When the samadhi was being built for Valli. squirrels. remaining? in mouna. Bhagavan tried to prevent the dog from harming the squirrel by interposing his stick in between them. He massaged its head. and kept the dove for the whole day. He stumbled and fell down the steps. Bhagavan personally attended to the bird and treated it with zambak and other oils. I was very thin and could easily go inside the tiny dome to do the plastering work. Once a big dove fell down on being attacked by a vulture. On seeing this Sivalinga tied to my left arm. Plaster was applied on all the wounds. In the process. In fact. etc. Bhagavan was particularly interested in rituals for the samadhis of the birds and animals and wanted special pujas to be done for such samadhis with offerings of milk. like going on a yatra. and gave me another look of Grace. There are many instances when Bhagavan showered grace by his look. as Bhagavan was descending the steps near the Valli deer's samadhi. cows. Bhagavan used to repeatedly tell me. and Valli the deer. died in His hands. Bhagavan repeatedly said. etc. and at a Linga in the left. so also Jacki the dog. dogs and peacocks. "You have the Lord tied to your hand. That gave me great confidence and I declared in the presence of Bhagavan that I would stay put and do whatever Bhagavan asked of me. and helped me complete the samadhi. and there are even photographs of Bhagavan with plaster all . where is the need for following the usual injunctions expected of a seeker. upon rising every morning one should look at the sun in one's right hand. As I was interested in following this injunction. "God is in your own hands. The Tamil religious calendar says that. which causes a burning sensation. Bhagavan used to stand outside and hand me chuna and other material. towards which Bhagavan showed extraordinary kindness. What more do you want?" It was my father who had this Linga tied to my arm. The crow was very fortunate to die in His hands. Many people used to witness this with awe and wonder. He showed visible partiality towards animals over humans.

realizes He who has no desires has no But where there is There will be ever-increasing When desire. For instance." Once when I had more than one eatable to offer Bhagavan. <1-. or what I would do for food. . he remarked. and that I should be released from this strain. away. "Yes. His attendant. even here on It is the nature of desire never to be But he who utterly gives it up Eternal Fulfillment at that very moment. to the idol of Annamalai in the Arunachaleswara Temple. which stops at each Mandap and is offered food. said. "Yes.2 --> No Desires. "Just like Annamalai. as well as at other places. Madhavaswami. dies Undying bliss prevails. he would say." and he repeated it thrice. if I told him that I made just one sambhar." Resolving to put an end to the tension and mental suffering. fulfilled. Bhagavan also said. Bhagavan then suddenly got up and holding me by the shoulder." Bhagavan was comparing his receiving food at the Ashram. A little later I went into the bathroom when Bhagavan was being given an oil bath." I felt such a great joy when he held me that I handed over the keys of my room to Bhagavan immediately and left for Palakottu. Annanamalayar has Mandavapadi. I went up the hill to meet Bhagavan and requested permission to stay in Palakottu. I had no thoughts about where I would stay. sorrow's sorrow. that's good for you.mp3. Bhagavan used to occasionally inquire about my cooking and made encouraging comments. One day Yogi Ramaya was accompanying Bhagavan and told him that I had become very weak from so much hard work. Moving to Palakottu I moved to Palakottu during the time when the Dining Hall was being built under my supervision. Bhagavan said. Bhagavan had come to this place and even had some food cooked by me. earth. Yes. desire sorrows. "It will only be like this. When I left the Ashram. Munagala Venkatramaiah gave me shelter at Palakottu and I cooked my own food. We all have witnessed these phases in Bhagavan's life. Bhagavan underwent such suffering even for animals. remarked that many sadhus are known to take ganja (hemp) and asked him how one would feel on consuming ganja. "Oho! one sambhar! That's very good. yes. No Sorrow sorrow.over His body. he should be given freedom.

" After moving to Palakottu I used to come to Bhagavan every day at around eight at night. I shall tell you the story of how this house was designed. My friend Arumugham and I were planning to build a small thatched shed for me to live in.100. like a son with his father. "He who. without saying so explicitly. and stay till about 9:00 o'clock. "Will the house have an upper floor? Will there be a mortared top?" etc. Bhagavan conveyed to Arumugham the design he had in mind for my house. He said in a stern voice. Once Bhagavan visited me when I was removing the scaffolding from my house. thinks that he is different from the Lord will reach the same lower state as does a non-believer. I was nearing the garden thinking about Bhagavan's directive to me to stay put at Palakottu when I heard Him call me. Bhagavan would inspect my work and instruct me." I felt that Bhagavan was telling me not to move out of Palakottu. etc.Whenever I was engaged in construction work at the Ashram or at Palakottu. "Will you use mortar. "Does this mean that you do not like to meet me here. including one on Bhagavan.?" he asked. He beckoned me to him and said in a very strong and stern voice. Do Not Move Out One day He told me very clearly and sternly. Arumugham settled for that very plan and bought 4000 bricks the next day. or is it that you don't want me to come to the Ashram at all?" Bhagavan remained silent. I wanted to see the film. "So you have come to see the shadow of Bhagavan. He then asked many leading questions related to the design of the house. not even to visit the Ashram. after dinner. That same evening. Thus. bricks. stayed here for a month. which was served at 7:30. At about 9 o'clock I left the Hall. When I told Bhagavan the reason. along with lime-making equipment for a small lime factory. as I could not complete the construction for want of money. a lady came from Ramaswami. This means . When I arrived and prostrated before Bhagavan. One night I saw Bhagavan completely enclosed in a piece of cloth. This look of Bhagavan made Arumugham a big contractor years later. Bhagavan heard our discussions from afar and inquired about our plans from Arumugham. along with help from Vaikuntavasagar. Shadow Bhagavan Once. I have never left Palakottu since. lime. Stay put here and don't move to the next house or even the next room. and donated Rs. there were films being shown at the Ashram. I used to converse freely with Bhagavan. I asked him. "Don't move out anywhere. This house was completed with that money. "Oho! So you have to remove this scaffolding for the sake of money?" and went away. he said. despite the right spiritual maturity. except for the nose.

but people always forget the paper while they are reading the words. If this is so. If people were to be aware of the consciousness instead of the forms that appear in it. You have the idea that the Self is something that you see or experience. Then they say." This touched me very deeply. Bhagavan also said. If you follow somebody else's path. the Self is still there. you have happiness. they have only seen the letters and pictures that are on it. There can be no words or pictures without the paper. But really they haven’t seen the paper. and that Bhagavan wanted me to avoid the entire society. Go within. Bhagavan sometimes remarked humorously: “People just open a newspaper and glance through it.that you no longer have the real Bhagavan in you and have hence come to see this shadow-Bhagavan. One day. With this kind of partial vision it is easy to come to the conclusion that all forms are unconnected with each other and separate from the person who sees them. ……………………… Annamalai Swami. You can be that consciousness but you can never see it because it is not something that is separate from you. one has peace. ……………… Sat Sangha Salon .” Bhagavan would then use this analogy to show that while people see the names and forms that appear on the screen of consciousness. they would realise that all forms are just appearances which manifest within the one indivisible consciousness. The Self is the awareness or the consciousness in which the seeing and the experiencing take place." So I interpreted it to mean that I should be alone. This is how I interpreted His words. That alone will lead you to Ananda. "Why have you come to see me? You have happiness. “I have seen the paper”. That consciousness is the Self that you are looking for. after this incident. I went up the hill wanting to meet Bhagavan when he returned from his walk. This is not so. "Ananda is not what you get from somewhere else. He again looked at me sternly and said. Even if you don’t see the Self." I couldn't understand his words then. but after a lot of reflection I realized that when one is away from society. even maya. they ignore the screen itself. You have to follow your own self. On the Self Question: You say that everything is the Self. it will only lead you to destruction. why can’t I see the Self clearly? Why is it hidden from me? Annamalai Swami: Because you are looking in the wrong direction.

that all our activities are predetermined and that our only real choice is either to identify with the body that is performing the actions or with the underlying Self in which the body appears. have no power to deviate from God’s ordained script. because we. or is it individual effort? . I assume that these predestined acts are all ordained by God. and that as a consequence. if I make an effort to listen to the sound ‘I-I. ‘It will be a predestined act’. If I remember the Self.SKIP TO CONTENT       HOME AB OUT J E AN KLE IN B AB A ME HE R OS HO O. will that be an act that has always been destined to happen in this moment?’ And Bhagavan replied.ME DIT AT ION S ANGHA JUNE 10. is this also God’s will? Or. is this God’s will? And if I forget to remember at a certain moment. taking my own case. Someone once said to him: ‘If I drop this fan. is this God’s will. 2013 · 2:37 PM ↓ Jump to Comments Only One Real Choice – Annamalai Swami Question: Bhagavan (Ramana Maharshi) once remarked that free will is non-existent. A question arises out of this. as individuals. nothing happens that is not God’s will.

-Annamalai Swami Discrimination – Annamalai Swami Question: ‘All is one’ may be the truth. but one can’t treat everything in the world equally. Your thoughts were elsewhere. ‘All is one. I stayed away from it because I didn’t want to be nauseated by the bad smell. his peace will sink into you to such an extent that you will find yourself in a state of peace. I could smell the stench of the sewage even though I was a long way away.’ or ‘I should not do that. then use your discrimination wisely. Everything is the Self. ‘I must do this. That is what Bhagavan said. If you spend time in the proximity of a jnani. The Self simply animates you and makes you do all the things that need to be done. It looks after your body. you no longer have any ability to decide or discriminate. So I say. ‘You are the Self. They were not on tending the lamp. a great power takes you over and runs your life for you. but that doesn’t mean that you have to put yourself in dangerous or health-threatening places. Forgetfulness or non-forgetfulness is not a part of your destiny. it makes you say the right things to the people you meet. If you choose the latter course.’ is no longer there. or you can go down to that trench I told you about and make yourself sick by inhaling the fumes there. In every moment you only have one real choice: to be aware of the Self or to identify with the body and the mind. In circumstances such as these you don’t say. you choose to spend all your time with people whose minds are always full of bad thoughts. The knowledge ‘everything is the Self’ may be there. their mental energy and vibrations will start to seep into you. It was your forgetfulness and your lack of vigilance that caused the light to go out. it puts you in the right place at the right time.’ If this is not your experience. or you can identify with the Self and have the understanding that the body is performing its predestined activities. pretending that ‘all is one’ may get you into trouble. The ego that thinks. God did not make you forget the Self. or predestination.’ and paddle through the sewage. Advaita may be the ultimate experience. and in doing so forget the Self. Everything is the Self. In daily life one still has to discriminate and make distinctions. This power takes you over so completely. When you have become one with the Self. If. instead. You can choose to sit in a flower garden and enjoy the scent of the blooms. It is something you can choose from moment to moment. So. while you still have an ego. the light goes out. He said that you have the freedom either to identify with the body and its activities. You yourself are making that choice every second of your life. If you have an oil lamp and you forget to put oil in it.Annamalai Swami: Forgetfulness of the Self happens because of non-enquiry. animated and sustained by the power of the Self. ‘Remove the forgetfulness through enquiry’. If you are not in this state. use it to inhale the fragrance that you find in the presence of an enlightened being. Annamalai Swami: I once went for a walk near the housing board buildings [government flats that were built in the 1970s about 300 metres from Annamalai Swami’s ashram]. . and the power of discrimination that goes with it. don’t blame God or God’s will. I tell you regularly. There was a sewage trench on one side of the building. but it is not something that mind that still sees distinctions can practice.

Simultaneously. I was wondering when you would come. In that state you won’t need it and you won’t miss it. It contained a photo of the Maharshi. You need a body that is in good working order in order to realise the Self. Next morning I decided to go and have his darshan . About ten days after my arrival I asked Bhagavan how I could attain Selfrealisation? He replied. It was like immersing myself in a cool pool after being in the hot sun.Electricity is a useful form of energy.you can attain Self-realisation. In fact. an intense desire arose within me to go and see him. When I sat down and Bhagavan gazed at me in silence for about 10-15 minutes. But I was delighted to hear him speak like this because it seemed to indicate that it was my destiny to stay with him. Realising the Self is the only useful and worthy activity in this life. or how long he had been waiting."I was waiting for you. but it is also potentially harmful. Having arrived at about 1 p. Afterwards." As I was pondering over these remarks. the Self will take care of everything and you won’t have to worry about anything anymore. That night I had a dream in which I saw the Maharshi walking from the lower slopes of the hill towards the Ashram. . you won’t be able to because the mind that previously did the worrying. "If you give up identifying with the body and meditate on the Self. he shifted to Palakottu near the Ashram to live alone and meditate. I saw Bhagavan walk down the hill as I had seen in the dream. when I approached the hall. As soon as I saw the photo I had the feeling that this was my Guru." As a new comer I was too afraid to ask him how he knew. a wandering sadhu gave me a copy of Upadesa Undiyar by Sri Ramana. a part of the dream I had repeated itself in real life.m. Don’t put your finger in the socket. -Annamalai Swami Ramana Maharshi Devotee Annamalai Swami (Extracted from ‘Face to Face with Sri Ramana Maharshi’) Annamalai Swami (1906-1995) since his childhood had a natural inclination towards spirituality. After being closely involved in many construction projects for ten years under direct supervision of Sri Ramana. He came to Sri Ramana in 1928 and got a job with the Ashram. Use it wisely. Bhagavan surprised me by saying.. thinking ‘all is one’. At that time Madhava Swami was doing the job by himself. I asked for permission to stay. the choosing and the discriminating will no longer be there. so keep the body in good repair till that goal is achieved. In 1928. which was granted and I got a job as Bhagavan's attendant. I had a great feeling of physical relief and relaxation.

who had been his attendant at the Skandasram. He managed to track down the tiger but when he raised his rifle to shoot. he felt paralysed . fast. Bhagavan asked me to supervise construction work within the Ashram. He just looked at the leopard and said. I had many spiritual talks with Bhagavan but his basic message never changed. "The path of self-enquiry is the aircraft you need." In the years that followed. which I was to distribute to everyone in the Ashram. stop identifying with the body and try to be aware of the Self.A few days later I asked. My big assignment was supervising the construction of the cowshed. he looked at me and said. which is your real nature. Sometime later. When I went back to the hall and kept the empty plate under Bhagavan's sofa. While I was distributing the sweets outside the hall I went to a place where no one could see me and secretly helped myself to about double the quantity that I was serving to others. When I had been an attendant for about two weeks. After serving as an attendant for a month. It is only because of your mind that it seems that there is no movement. It was always: "Do selfenquiry. "Did you take twice as much as everyone else?" I was shocked because I was sure that no one had seen me do it. They rarely came into the Ashram but at night they frequented the place where Bhagavan used to urinate. The editor of The Sunday Times. My original name was Sellaperumal. ‘Poda’ [Go away!] and the leopard walked away. You are already travelling very quickly towards realisation. It is direct. published a long complimentary article about Bhagavan after he had his darshan .and easy to use. who was much impressed by Bhagavan. The problem was of funds. Soon after I came I was given a new name by Bhagavan. This incident made me realise that it was impossible to hide anything from Bhagavan. brought a large plate of sweets. Why do you not give us a spiritual aircraft in which we can quickly and easily cross over the sea of samsara?'' Bhagavan replied. the prince went for a tiger hunt. Madras. And within a few days my new identity got established.the Collector of Vellore. Once when a leopard appeared he was not in the least afraid. who came for Bhagavan's darshan . "Scientists have invented and produced the aircraft which can travel at great speeds in the sky. One day Bhagavan mentioned that I reminded him of Annamalai Swami. This article came to the attention of a prince in North India." When I first came to the Ashram there were still some leopards in the area. which came almost under miraculous circumstances.

. Bhagavan never asked anyone for money and he forbade the sarvadhikari from asking for donations.by a wave of fear. on what scale and what material be used. when I went to him with my daily report." The paralysis left him and he killed the tiger and saved his own life in the process. While the work was going on. Two days after all the quarrels about the size of the cowshed. appear today on the top of the eastern wall of the dining hall. I will not only send you Rs. Knowing that Bhagavan would not eat fruits unless everyone else was given an equal share. Our finances were always in a precarious position but we never experienced any real financial crisis. If instructions were complicated he would sometimes sketch a few lines on a piece of paper to clarify or illustrate what he was saying. and told me what to do. He drew up the plans for Ashram buildings. he avoided use of the money for the purpose. But he would say. he would tell me the work to be done the following day. but also donate the head and skin of the tiger. Some months later. 1.000. We would start projects when no money was available to pay. In the 1930s Bhagavan alone decided when and where the buildings should be built. I just witness all that happens”. "If successful. Bhagavan himself wrote in Tamil ‘Pakasalai’ in big letters on a piece of paper. Suddenly he remembered about Bhagavan and prayed saying. Bhagavan would frequently come out to see what we were doing. guiding me at all stages of the work. the postman appeared with Rs. Yet somehow enough donations came to complete every building. 1.000 to the sarvadhikari for buying fruits for Bhagavan. as the tiger was within attacking distance. These along with the year ‘1938’ and ‘Sri Ramanasramam’ in devanagari script. Once when Bhagavan was very sick. happily ignoring all predictions of imminent financial doom made by the sarvadhikari. Frydman complained to Bhagavan that his donation had not been properly spent. For any difficult jobs he would even explain how to go about it. enough donations would come to cover all costs. When he gave me plans he would always say that it was only a suggestion. Maurice Frydman gave Rs. "I am not connected with any of the activities here.1000. He bombarded us with advice and instructions and would occasionally join in the work himself. Bhagavan took a keen interest in the construction work. In the evening. He never presumed to give me orders.

Bhagavan said rather angrily. But there is one thought that is continuous. he lived peacefully and silently in his little ashram. He also provided spiritual guidance to seekers who wanted his help and guidance. maya follows. "When you give something you should regard the matter as closed. though it is mostly sub-conscious: ‘I am the body’. Annamalai Swami There are so many thoughts in the mind. Once we identify ourselves with the body by thinking this thought. Till the end of his life in 1995. Why use this gift to further your ego?" Annamalai Swami moved to Palakottu (a colony abutting the Ashram) in 1938. This is the string on which all other thoughts are threaded. It also follows that if we cease to identify with the body. maya will not affect us anymore. Thought after thought after thought. .

at the foot of the Hill.** That totally changed him. Annamalai Swami studiously put that instruction into daily practice to its very letter – he had not stepped into the road. but should wander about only towards the north. under the direct stewardship of Sri Bhagavan. He sought the guidance of the Master. the rest of his life ! He had not also moved out of Arunachala. Who will guide us with a direct and simple. Bhagavan gave a few personal advices. but this soon gave way to a state in which there were no feelings and no experiences. The only solution to this Herculean problem. hugged me and called out : Ananda ! Ananda ! This is how these Ganja-taking people behave ! It was not a brief hug. What is the nature of this Ananda ? Is it the same Ananda the scriptures speak of ? Bhagavan replied: “Eating this Ganja is a very bad habit”. Annamalai Swami came to Sri Bhagavan in 1928 and was made an attendant to the Master. even for a single day ! In Annamalai Swami’s own words : “I went to Bhagavan’s bathroom to help him with his morning bath. In 1938. he was entrusted with the supervision of all important construction projects of the then growing up ‘Sri Ramanasramam’ .1 by V Ganesan This posting is from a series of ‘sharings’ given by V Ganesan in the winter of 2008/2009 in Tiruvannamalai. there was a feeling of bliss and happiness. I . he had a great spiritual awakening through an embrace of him by Sri Bhagavan. Noticing the potentiality in him as a hard worker.— Annamalai Swami – Final Talks – p. Sri Bhagavan encouraged him to construct a dwelling at the adjacent ‘Palakottu’. Madhava Swami asked a question : ‘ Bhagavan ! The people who take Ganja Lehiyam [ an Ayurvedic medicine whose principal ingredient is cannabis ] experience some kind of Ananda [ bliss ] . Bhagavan Ramana . No theoretical methods. for instance. experiential approach to it. lies on a practical. When the bath was over. yet natural experience-oriented practical solution to the dissolution of the “me” ? Most assuredly. laughing loudly. and. he wanted to dedicate his whole time in meditation and contemplation. which lay on the southern side. helping him with practical advices during the construction. postulated throughout the past centuries seem to have helped us. he came over to me. poses us with an enormous hurdle. He did it with an exemplary zeal. Initially. Then. He approved of his living alone outside the Ashram. I did not lose consciousness. After the first few seconds I completely lost all awareness of my body and the world. not to move out towards the southern side of his tenement. Then on. 14 “ ALL IS ONE ” – No. years later. he shared it with fellow-seekers. at all. Madhava Swami and I gave him the usual oil bath and massage. as well. Bhagavan Ramana has already solved the insoluble conundrum ! ANNAMALAI SWAMI had elicited it from the Great Guru. perhaps. for ten years — from 1928 to 1938. ==================================================================== How to give up the “me” ? Even to contemplate on its being given up.

******* Bhagavan Ramana clearly points out that there is only one way not to be affected by the miseries caused by the ‘me’ : Talks No. I cannot break this habit merely by thinking ‘ I am not this little self ’ . Try to remember the analogy of the rope which looks like a snake in twilight. you will not be concerned about ways and means of getting rid of it. AS : This ‘little self’ will give way to the real Self only when you meditate constantly. Not only that. long after the Master had dropped the body. If.. I am very accustomed to feel ‘ I am this little self ’ . you know that there never was a snake there. Understand that it has no real existence and it will stop troubling you. There is no limitation or ‘little self’ in it. This is well brought out through a dialogue a Westerner had had with Annamalai Swami. reclusive life and to meditate continuously on the Self. Question : What is the easiest way to be free of ‘the little self ’ ? Annamalai Swami : Stop identifying with it. As soon as I regained normal consciousness I knew that my working life at the Ashram had come to an end. he was able to stabilize himself in SelfAwareness.” Sri Bhagavan told him to lead a quiet. After many years of arduous and unremitting effort. Annamalai Swami pleaded with the Maharshi as how to give up the ‘me’ . the snake is not there. how to do this ? AS : The ‘little self’ is something which only appears to be real. ‘This little self is not really me ’ . through enquiry. If you can understand that this ‘little self’ never at any time had any existence outside your imagination. If you see only the rope. Q : But. The Master not only gave him an answer but also totally eradicated the ‘me’ in him.532 : . Consciousness is universal. it will just disappear.This experience completely changed my life. leaving behind it the experience of the real and only Self. Apply this analogy to the ‘little self’ that you are worrying about. When you have that clear and correct perception that the snake never at any time existed. He used the term ‘the little self’ instead of the ‘me’ . If you see the rope as a snake. uninterruptedly and with effortless ease. If you can convince yourself. you go to the Source of this ‘little self’ .just ceased to be aware of anything that was going on around me…. the real nature of the rope is hidden from you. It is only when we identify ourselves with and limit ourselves to the body and the mind that this false self is born. the question of how to kill the snake disappears. you find that it dissolves into nothingness. If you understand that it has no real existence it will disappear. You cannot wish it away with a few stray thoughts. Q : But.

however heinous it be. can any sin. That must go before the essential nature. ‘ Do not come near me ’ .541 : A certain visitor asked Sri Bhagavan : There is so much misery in the world because wicked men abound in the world.Devotee : Is there no way of escape from the miseries of the world ? Maharshi : There is only one way and that consists in not losing sight of one’s Self. survive his dhyana ? ” ************************************* Bhagavan Ramana not only explained why one should do dhyana but also insisted that one should constantly be in touch with one’s Self. Talks No. To enquire “Who Am I ?” is the only remedy for all the ills of the world. The good are always good. **************************** ..536 : “The person soaked in the “I-am-the-body” idea is the greatest sinner and he is a suicide. the mind runs after the latter and does not seek the former. happiness. But we have forgotten the Self and imagine that the body or the mind is the Self. Yet. If one remains always in dhyana . How can one find happiness here ? M : All are gurus to us. The experience of “I-am-the-Self” is the highest virtue. under any circumstances. asserts itself. It is that wrong identity that gives rise to misery. Even a moment’s dhyana to that effect is enough to destroy all the stored up age-old tendencies [ sanchita karma ] . *************************** Talks No.540 : Once Annamalai Swami asked : There is more pleasure in dhyana than in sensual enjoyments. Hence it has grown strong. Our essential nature is happiness. It is also perfect Bliss. viz. Why is it so ? M : Pleasure or pain are aspects of the mind only. all persons are like gurus to us. What is to be done ? This vasana [tendencies] is very ancient and has continued for innumerable past births. ************************** Why has Sri Bhagavan been consistent in insisting on one experiencing the Self ? Talks No. It works like the Sun before whom darkness is dispelled. The wicked say by their evil deeds. So then.

to all ! Talks No. ****************************** Why did Sri Bhagavan repeatedly emphasize the efficacy of “Self-enquiry” ? Talks No. There is nothing external which is not also internal. The good persons will not care to make plans previous to their actions. On the other hand. What does it matter where and how you are placed ? The essential point is that the mind must always remain in its source. one generally experiences that doing good to others one suffers. The world is not external to you. knowledge and the object to be known. Close the mental eye and all will be right. Why should it be so ? Maharshi : Pain or pleasure is the result of past karma (past actions) and not of the present karma. so that I may devote all my time to meditation only. Why so ? For. If the mind is active. whereas this does not require any of them. God who has sent us into the world has His own plan that will certainly work itself out.542 : Annamalai Swami asked : I often desire to live in solitude where I can find all I want with ease. “Who Am I ?”.Should one not run away to solitude to obtain peace ? Talks No. There is no use closing your eyes. Is such a desire good or bad ? M : Such thoughts will bestow a janma (another birth) for their fulfillment. .546 : Annamalai Swami asked : A person does something good but he sometimes suffers pain even in his right activities. When one is active one should not care for the results and must not be swayed by the pain or pleasure met with occasionally. One must suffer or enjoy them patiently without being carried away by them. It is the Self. ****************** In the day-to-day working.551 : A man asked Sri Bhagavan : “How is it that Atma Vidya is said to be the easiest ?” M : Any other vidya (learning) requires a knower. The mind is all. Another does something wicked but is also happy. one doing wicked deeds enjoys happy environments and success. Pain and pleasure alternate with each other. He who is indifferent to pain or pleasure can alone be happy. A man’s true name is Mukti (Liberation) . All that you need do is to enquire. even solitude becomes like a market place. How is it ? This is a common doubt. Can anything be so obvious as that ? Hence it is the easiest. One must try to hold on to the Self.

bringing out the worth and greatness of the work. at every level and of any faith. This tiny book incorporates ideas of immense use to spiritual aspirants. Sri Bhagavan himself had gone through it and given chapter headings for the benefit of seekers. What is the significance ? “All Is One” is an old Tamil publication commended by Sri Bhagavan. ——————————————————————————————————————— . He told Annamalai Swami to read it “if he desired Moksha (Emancipation) ” . perhaps. In our next session.****************** The topic chosen for this session’s “Sharing” is entitled : “All Is One” . we will further deal with it.