Travels & Pilgrimages with Thatha
Questions & Answers
सतसं्गतवे ननससं्गतवं |
Sath sangathve nissangathvam
ननससं्गतवे ननममोहतवं |
ननशछलततवे जीवनमरुि्तदह |
-भ्गवान आदद शंकर ||
-Bhagavan Aadhi Shankara
Company of the wise begets unattachedness Unattachedness leads to freedom from delusion Void of delusion brings steadfastness Steadfastness paves the way for emancipation
Antevasi, yes we are each a small wave of the Ocean of Truth, Source of our each breath and Source of our each thought. A very well attended Guru Purnima Today. All of us enjoyed blessings of Thatha. Memories of this year Guru Purnima are wonderful! Thatha was so full of energy even after giving away all his Punyam from his account. We were collapsing after 10 p.m. but he and my mother who was over 90 were still talking with so much energy. In the evening session, explanation given by Maharishi Narayan Devotee was profusely praised by Thatha. It was a wonderful day with full of divine energy. Thatha blessed Gnaneswar that he would become the most sought after scientist by not only ISRO but also by NASA and make his parents feel proud.
A young man asked a monk, ‘What is ego?’ The monk in turn asked him, ‘Who are you?’ The young man gave his name.
‘It is your name; who are you?’ monk countered. Young man: I am a boy.
Monk: It is your gender; who are you? Youngster: I am a student
Monk: It is your present station, vocation in life; who are you?
Young man after thinking for a while said, ‘I am the son of so-and-so.’
‘That is your relation with your parents,’ smiled the monk, Who are you?
‘I am a Bengali’, said the young man.
‘That is your mother-tongue. Who are you?’ ‘I am an Indian and a Hindu.’
‘That is your nationality and religion. Who are you? ’
Young man who has by now reached his wits end: ‘I am a human being’.
Monk retorted: ‘That is your species, the homo sapiens.
Who are you?’
Having nothing more to say, the young man finally told: I don’t know.
The monk directed: Come after ‘I’ has gone.
(Note: Monk didn’t say ‘Come after I have gone’, which literally means after he has left the place. But what he meant is not that)
Next day the boy returned and pleaded with all reverence to the monk:
‘Sir, I don’t know who I am. But I want to know’.
‘Well, that is what Vedanta teaches,’ continued the monk.
Vedanta says man’s deepest core or substance within, is not conditioned by any description and that un-conditioned substance is called Athman or Self. The Athman is what a man is. Ego is what he appears to be. Athman is true, ego is false. Athman is never born nor dies; ego comes into being through ignorance and dies when wisdom dawns in a person. In the above narration, the monk was Ramana Maharishi.
Swami Vivekananda’s beautiful explanation of association.
Explaining meaning of ‘Association’ he said: “A rain drop falls from the sky.
If it is held by clean hand, it is pure enough for drinking.
If it falls in gutter, its value drops so much that it can’t be used even for washing your feet.
If it falls on a hot surface, it will evaporate. If it falls on a lotus leaf, it shines like a pearl.
And finally, if it falls in an oyster, it becomes a pearl.
The drop is the same, but its existence and worth depends on whom it is associated with.
Always be associated with people who are good at heart.
You will experience your own inner transformation”.
Today once again Thatha blessed a man who was suffering for the past ten years from a skin problem for which all doctors like allopathy, ayurveda and other types of therapies could not give relief and gave up hope. He just tested the devotion and then with a simple remedy assured him that he will be cured since he is good and shows sympathy towards others, honest and sincere in all that he does. Like miracle, immediately things recommended by Thatha reached hands of that devotee so that he need not have to go in search of them. That is our Thatha the great! Once again he denied that he did nothing except advising the concerned person what came at that particular moment. He explained about using them once more and sent them with a big smile of relief in their faces. Both husband and wife thanked Thatha profusely and left. When shared that with Thatha, he said that faith is bhakthi or devotion. Whether a child or middle aged or old age, one should have faith, and without that nothing can happen. Even a Guru will bless a person depending upon his state of mind, whether he has faith, and only when he has proved that he deserves help or guidance from Guru, he will bless.
Thatha also shared his experience with his Guru, how he was made to disintegrate his body into so many parts and asked to assemble them again to understand anatomy of body. That is how he was taught about so many things. Guru’s methods will be different, depending upon the requirements of disciple. Not that all hundred were trained in the same way. Do not think that space is empty. It is full of atoms. It has so much energy that when an object travels through space, it can be burnt into ashes if it hits against anything or some atoms. Creation is so wonderful that everything is interconnected and interdependent. For example, even planet earth is dependent on space, without space it cannot exist and it eats its food from the space. We are created in such a way that any intake means there should be equal amount of output in different forms from the body. Otherwise body cannot survive. Same is the case with all types of things in this creation. Without understanding this simple law, we claim ownership of many things and dancing with ego, always using words like “I” and ‘mine’!
Then we discussed about an incident in which a lady gynecologist doctor whose uterus had been earlier removed was reportedly blessed with a child by Puttaparthi Sathya Saibaba. Thatha smiled and said “Saintly personalities can do anything. Raghavendra, Puttaparthi and Shirdhi Saibabas are all saintly persons. You educated people say that there are nine holes in the body. No? Then through these holes, anything can be put inside the body also. Since spare parts of body for all living beings are available in the space, it is possible to create once more. Any part removed from the body except heart, can be recreated like this using spare parts from space”.
Thatha says: Each one of us is accountable to our creator. Since our bodies are created out of combination of many atoms, on the final judgement day, we will be asked to give account for all atoms given to us how we used them. We should keep our income and expenses account ready for that day. We should be in a ready condition to submit account even before we are asked. All atoms are working day and night without any rest. For a second if inhalation and exhalation stops, we are no more. That is how we are programmed by the creator. Even air is dependent on trees and plants to purify it. So even air cannot be proud about itself. Let us thank our creator for making us aware about all these things and secrets of creation through Divine messages and our Thatha!
Thatha has started preparing me mentally that any time he may have to leave if the situation warrants, just like I go to kitchen to prepare food every now and then. When I requested him to stay till Rakhi Purnima on 7th August, Thatha asked me: Are you not going to kitchen to prepare food? Are you in a position to get things just by ordering something? You will go every now and then. So also if situation warrants my presence, I need to go. Ramana Maharishi says: “The state of a jnani is neither sleep nor waking but intermediate between the two.
There is the awareness of the waking state and the stillness of sleep. It is the state of perfect awareness and of perfect stillness combined. It lies between sleep and waking; it is also the interval between two successive thoughts. It is not dullness but it is bliss. It is not transitory but it is eternal. “Swami Gnananandagiri used to say: “Thoongaamal Thoonguvadhu”, means remaining asleep but in wakeful state. This is what Thatha is when he sits in balcony. Thatha says, “You too can be”. There is difference of hell and heaven between doing and Being.
Raksha Bandhan is not only for protection but to remind that yourself is always Self. Self and self are ever connected, ever One, never separate. We had an opportunity to be That Oneness with Dattatreya and Thatha on this day. Special thanks to Namratha for selecting light woolen Rakhis well thought out, not to hurt Thatha. It finally turned out to be flower-like look when many such Rakhis were tied in his hand. Thatha told that was something new for him.