"Arunachala"- continued Shri Ramana Maharishi said,"...

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Discourse by His Holiness Shri Shri Nimishananda Guruji in Tiruvannamalai continues.This is in continuation of my previous post titled Arunachala.

Pujya Guruji quotes the great sage Ramana Maharishi - “Shri Ramana Maharshi who was the second avatar or incarnation of Shri Dakshinamurthi said – “Set aside all your external relationships and ask yourself – Who am I?” When we are awake, we identify ourselves with our name, fame, family and profession. However, when a king and a beggar are sleeping next to each other, both of them are equal in the state of sleep. During sleep, all distinctions pertaining to the physical body drop away. So we should ask ourselves – “Who am I when I sleep?” Deep within all of us are only Souls or Atmas. As we circumambulate Arunachala today, innumerable devotees will walk with us. Externally they may all be strangers, but internally they are also Atma Jyotis who have come here seeking the Grace of Arunachala. When we maintain the constant awareness that basically we are all divine Souls, nobody in the world is a stranger to us. This awareness should continue to throb within us whether we are working, walking, talking or resting. Then the Grace of Lord Arunachala will flow to us in all its abundance. Though God’s Grace is always flowing to us, we are able to receive it only when our minds are focused on Divinity. We may go to Tirupati, Tiruvannamalai, Badri, Kedar or Kashi. No matter where we go or how many times we go, we will receive divine Grace only as long as we keep our minds completely focused on Divinity. Otherwise, though we are always surrounded by the infinite ocean of Grace, not single drop can percolate into us.”

“Why do we find it so difficult to keep our minds focused on Divinity? Why is the mind pulled hither and thither so easily? All the mental preoccupations which disrupt our inner awareness and focus are generated by the ego. It is the ego that is responsible for shattering our mental peace. So, as we go around Arunachala today we should pray – “Arunachala, please remove my ahankara or ego. It is because of my ego that I am being born again and again. All my bad thoughts and feelings are generated by the ego. This is preventing me from experiencing constant peace and happiness. You are the only one who can dissolve my ego and liberate me from its shackles.” Our receptivity to Grace also depends on our level of ego. The greater the ego, the less the Grace. That is why some devotees experience profound peace on their very first pilgrimage while others take years to change. If our troubles and problems have still not been resolved after many prayers and pilgrimages, it means that our level of ego is very high. Today all of us are truly blessed to be sitting here at the Lotus Feet of Arunachala. If we feel that we chose to come here, it is egoistic thinking. If we are aware that we are here because Arunachala called us, it is true humility. We should always remember that very little is really in our control. That is why we often say – “Man proposes, God disposes.” The feeling that we are controlling our life is only an illusion created by our ego. So let us close our eyes and pray – “Arunachala, You called me here because the level of my ego is very high. I bow down before You. Please remove my ego.” When we approach Him with humility and surrender, Arunachala will dissolve us into Himself. He will remove our thoughts and eradicate our ego. We will just melt into Him and His Grace will surround us. Then as we go on the Giri Pradakshina or circumambulation, we will feel that every particle of sand is a Shiva Linga and every morsel of food we eat is His Prasada.”

“All the Sages have told us to discard the ego. What happens when we remove the ego? The mind becomes like a beautiful, sparkling mirror. Then as we look at its still surface we realise – “I am not the body, mind or intellect. I am the Soul. I have so many divine powers and qualities. There is no limit to what I can accomplish if I bring them out.” However, we will be able to bring out all these divine powers only when we activate the Soul. How do we activate the Soul? We only have to pray to Arunachala to remove our ego. Then He will dissolve the ego, activate the Soul and automatically all our divine powers will blossom.”

“Arunachala will also teach us how to think in every situation and how to stop thinking when it is not necessary. At present all of us think too much. Even a small problem generates a multitude of unnecessary thoughts in our minds. We begin to think – “I am never free from problems…why am I the one who is always targeted by such problems?...I will always be beset by problems…These problems will simply eat me alive…” etc. Such unnecessary, unwholesome thoughts attack us frequently because we react to each and every circumstance. When people talk harshly to us, we also talk back in anger. Our mind continues to seethe with furious thoughts for a long time after the interaction is over. Such negative thoughts have converted our minds into gigantic dust bins. We need great awareness to purify the mind. By giving us the awareness that we think too much, Arunachala changes our attitude and perception. When our perception changes, our thinking changes. When our thinking changes, our speech and actions change. When our speech and actions change, the quality of our life changes. Then we are always overflowing with immense peace and contentment. When we have peace of mind and purity of thought, our speech acquires great power. People will listen to us with rapt attention and implement whatever we say. So their lives are also transformed. Through Lord Arunachala’s Grace may all of you become channels to transform millions of beings. May your lives always overflow with peace, bliss and humility. May all beings be happy.”