Andras Laszlo: Sri Ramana Maharsi

maharsi

This work of Dr. Andras Laszlo has appeared as the foreword for a work titled A nyilegyenes osveny (Budapest, 1998, Stella Maris).

English translation: PCC (Laszlo Kovari)

Bhagaván Srí Ramana Maharsi is (so far) the last Saint above Saints of India and the world. According to the most authentic circles and personalities, he was a Jivanmukta, i.e. somebody who has realized absolute, metaphysical Liberation (Awakening) still in his earthly-human life.

Who is Liberated (Awakened) and who isn’t, can’t be decided with full certainty – this question belongs to the realm of probabilities. Only someone who is himself Liberated may unmistakably recognize if somebody is liberated, but there’d be needed somebody else who is liberated to establish that this latter one is liberated and so on and so forth »ad infinitum«. The most we could say is: »if I am liberated I’d recognize all others who are«.

The probability that Bhagaván Srí Ramana Maharsi was Liberated-Awakened is incomparably higher than the case of anybody else in the XIX. And XX. Centuries, among those of course that we are aware of. This is beyond doubt reinforced by his life, by his supra-personal personality, by the heights and depths of his groundbreaking teachings and by the specific and universal nature of these teachings.

Maharsi’s sacred life with all its known details, the heights and depths of his teachings and of the certainty of his guidance, as well as their specificity to people while being universal in validity, far surpasses even the teaching and the life opus of the highly eminent Sri Ramakrsna.

Ramana Maharsi did not come forward as a World-teacher, didn’t go among the people to teach them, and never invited anybody to become his disciple. More and more people, although never too many, started to gather around him slowly and gradually, later in a somewhat faster pace. Some of these people had already reached considerable heights in terms of realization above realizations and some of these were below the level of beginners in terms of spirituality.

As far as we know the young Ramana already achieved the goal in his seventeenth year. His arya-dvija and brahamana heritage was an excellent starting position, but this alone doesn’t explain anything. In all likeliness he was born as a virtual Bodhisattva, a supposition which is supported by that he completed – as far as we know – the stages of preparation, pre-initiation, initiation, pre-realization and supra-realization without previously having completed any paths in the strict sense, through a single »transactus supravoluntaris«, in one single timeless moment.

Generally speaking, Bhagaván Srí Ramana Maharsi didn’t have a definite path and he never taught any; instead, he revealed the most fundamental essence of possible paths. Should we consider this yoga, it may rightfully called Adi-yoga (one of  the paths identified by Padmasambhava-Buddha was also called Adi-yoga, but this doesn’t concern our point).

Maharsi’s Adi-Yoga – should we use this expression- may hardly be considered to be tied to any world-cycle; it is hardly related to any specific modes of existence either. It clearly implies -among the general yoga paths- Bhakti, Karma, Jnana Yoga and in certain respects even Raja – Tantra Yoga, without being identical with any or all of these. What’s behind this implication is that what we may consider and call Maharsi’s Adi-Yoga is related – in the strictest sense- to the foundations, to the highest background of all these yogas.

The path proposed by Maharsi – as long as it is a true path – may be walked on the levels of -pre-preparation, preparation, »autocorrectificatio«, pre-initiation, initiation and on the level of metaphysical realization that is related and corresponds to prayoga and to yoga. Theoretically anybody may walk and practice this path and the possibility of failure is not too big here, however this doesn’t mean that this should be an easy path. In some respect it is easier, in another it is more difficult than other paths – and emphasizing that it’s ‘more difficult’ here is just as important as emphasizing that it’s ‘easier’.

It is quite certain that this path may be practiced in connection with any other true paths and we consider this to be quite significant. On Maharsi’s path the starting theme of »consideratio«,  »concentratio«, »meditatio«, and »contemplatio« is the question of »who am I?« which is not meant to be answered and which, at a certain level, is raised without and above words, concepts and »thematicum«; in fact this question is raised without and above actually raising the question.

All truly authentic teachings of »Traditionalitas Metaphysica« and especially those that are -directly or indirectly- more closely connected to metaphysical realization, on a supra-philosophical level correspond with a world-view that on the level of philosophy is known as »solipsism«.

»Solipsism« or more precisely »magicus solipsismus«, or -to put it even more precisely- »theourgomagicus solipsismus«, in a supra-philosophical sense is in close and direct relation with the basic view taught by Maharsi, or with the teachings of Advaita-Védánta-Váda, or of »tantric« Dvaitádvaita or with the basic teachings of Meister Eckhart.

The »magicus« attribute (just like the also plausible »magia« – »mageiá«, »máya«) doesn’t refer to the manifestation of siddhis here, but -in sense of true »theourgo-mageia«- to the ability of realization and to realization, in the sense of actualizing a possibility of power-dominance.

(We may assume that Maharsi was on the level of Mahasiddhas or even higher, but -although there were miraculous events around him- he was dismissive in terms of manifesting siddhis. Although it would have been no challenge for him, he didn’t consider it necessary even to cure himself magically.)

Both »solipsismus philosophicus«, and »solipsismus hyperphilosophicus« unequivocally teach that Conscious Existence may only have one single subject and this subject – in first case singular – is I, Myself; all »actionality« is my »actionality« and all objectivity, the totality of the objective world are my objectivity and my objective world. There exists a »Realitas Obiectiva« but there isn’t and there may not exist an objective reality independent of consciousness, of our consciousness and -first of all- of my consciousness. »Realitas Obiectiva« is the »Realitas Obiectiva« of Consciousness; »Realitas Obiectiva Illusoria« is both reality and illusion, simultaneously. Ultimately everything is I-Myself and besides me there is nothing and nobody. The equivalent of the Sanskrit »Atma« is »Auton«, which manifests itself as »Egon-Auton« (»Aham-Átmá«) and everything else (anybody or anything else)  is »Heteron«, i.e. essentially unrecognized »Auton«.

Maharsi -and this is obvious- was not a philosopher and his teaching was infinitely higher than any philosophy, even higher than hyper-philosophy, yet, although his teaching is neither »philosophia«, nor »hyperphilosophia«, but -essentially- »sophia«, its interpretation as »hyperphilosophia« is still possible and this is intelligible also on the level of »philosophia«. In light of this we may say that Ramana Maharsi -like »sophos«, the perfect ruler and possessor of »sophia« communicated a teaching that is without doubt »solipsistic«.

As a short digression, it’s important to note here that »antisolipsistic« conceptions and positions are always anti-traditional, anti-spiritual and anti-metaphysical and should be considered as such. This applies also to those who are otherwise the eminent representatives and interpreters of »Traditionalitas Spirituális et Metaphysica«, whom we maximally respect and whose work we consider to be indispensable, fundamental and groundbreaking.

It is also important to note that we consider adequate »philosophia« to be no more and no less than »propaedeutica«; we call »hyperphilosophia«  is a spiritual ‘bridge’ that connects »philosophia« with »sophia«. Many legitimate philosophies are possible but the most adequate line and the crown of philosophies is »solipsismus« or, more precisely, what the author of these lines in his other works referred to as »metidealismus transscendentali-immanentalis et immanentali-transcendentalis theourgo-magico-solipsisticus absolutus«.

This is the crown of »philosophia« and this is the only possible line of »hyperphilosophia« that leads to the achievement of »Sophia«.

The philosophical-hyperphilosophical study of this “line” is an excellent propaedeutic to the higher-deeper understanding of Maharsi’s views. We must consider »philosophia« to be invalid if it wants to stay only »philosophia« without ensuring its own transition to »hyperphilosophia« through its practitioners. »Hyperphilosophia« is also inadequate -and in this sense invalid- if it doesn’t serve as preparation for »transscensio sophiatica«.

The corollary of Maharsi’s teachings -which we may rightfully consider solipsistic- is that it favors a »autotheisticus« (»autonotheisticus«) conception as opposed to a »heterotheisticus« (»heteronotheisticus«) one. Accordingly, I Myself am God according to my ultimate essence, i.e. the Self is identical with God and the Self is mine. Maharsi’s teaching posits the innate God as opposed to the external God, the identification with God or with the Godhead as opposed to considering God as being other than I. (Nothwithstanding that he didn’t consider it correct that people turning to him were following ‘statements’.)

What Maharsi was teaching in this respect could be defined as  a »autometapantholotheisticus« God-concept. An impersonal – supra-personal God-concept is much closer to this view than a personal one, although Maharsi’s position was, in a certain, special sense reflective of a ‘personal’ God-concept – in the sense that the God-head may be approached through the first case singular.

There didn’t exist philosophical or other types of problems for Maharsi, and he decidedly did not recommend such “problematification” for others, either.

Maharsi’s teaching is strongly focused on auto-identification and in relation to this, on the fundamental mistake of self-identifying with the body. We must know that Maharsi didn’t only consider the body in the strictest sense of the physical body with its “external” and “internal” experiences, although that too, but considered all “carriers” to be part of the body, including the various subtle bodies, the soul and even the spirit and the spiritual, although this latter one not in its highest form.

It belongs to the essence of all spiritual-metaphysical teachings in terms of realization that I must detach from myself all the Heterons -and thus all carriers-, but I must re-conquer them as Heterons and ultimately as the Heteron, by recognizing them as Auton. This is so -although in different words- in the teachings of Raman Maharsi, as well.

We noted earlier that Bhagaván Srí Ramana Maharsi didn’t come forward as a World-teacher. Despite of this -in terms of his normative rank- we must unequivocally consider him as a World-teacher. His authenticity and authority is on par with the historical Lao Tsu, the historical Buddha, the historical Jina, the historical Zarathustra, Jimmu Tenno, Romulus and Jesus Christ. His self-determined and undertaken mission -in terms of its external “scale”- was not as great as that of the Avatars, the Buddhas, the Jinas, the Zarathustras and that of the God-Kings that laid the foundations for Empires, but his inner, essential rank was on par with these.

The teaching and guidance of Maharsi doesn’t contradict a single spiritual-metaphysical teaching and those in turn do not contradict anything that Maharsi was teaching.

In terms of »realificatio metaphisica« or »suprarealificatio metaphisica«, Maharsi did not provide a “manual” for his current and future disciples. It’s not impossible that there were some disciples for whom he also provided methodical guidance but there are no precise, detailed and reliable references in this regard. This is what makes it significantly difficult to complete Maharsi’s path, besides some other factors and the lack of qualities on the part of the disciples.

It is probable that -apart from extraordinary cases / individuals – it is best to combine Maharsi’s path with some other paths, perhaps with the combination of some epistemological and tantric path, or similar.

With some exaggeration we may (and should) say that if somebody wants to follow a path of realization, the path identified, although not specified by Maharsi can’t be overlooked, but it’s useful to choose other paths that are comparable with this one and with each other, seeking out the guidance of masters or those more advanced on these paths.

Things that are directly connected to realization may only be presented through analogies. The “path” itself, “reaching” the “goal”,  and many others are just -adequate-metaphors. Sometimes -from a certain point of view- these may be given up, sometimes they must be given up. In a certain sense there is no path, in a certain sense there is no goal and there is nothing to realize, or the goal is already present and the path is already completed. All these statements are valid, just like statements different from these may be valid. All these statements are made or written following an inner order to be realized. An Acarya or a Guru may change somebody’s wording, he may change even his own wording sometimes; a disciple or future disciple should never be rigid about a particular terminology, but should be respectful to all.

Inadequate respect towards Srí Ramana Maharsi is rather difficult, but unfortunately, even this is not impossible. All “following” may become flawed and this applies to following Maharsi, as well. Following Maharsi exclusively is gravely flawed and doesn’t correspond with Maharsi’s spiritual intentions, either.

Hopefully the teachings of Bhagaván Srí Ramana Maharsi, of this spiritual giant, that have been published in Hungarian will become and remain important mile stones in increasing the spiritual-metaphysical light for everybody.

MAIN EVENTS IN THE LIFE OF BHAGAVÁN SRÍ RAMANA MAHARSI

At 1am on December 30th, 1879, in Tiruculi, near Madurai in South India, Venkataraman, later Ramana Maharsi, is born as the second child of a brahmana family.

In 1892, following the death of his father, he moves with his brother to his relatives in Madurai and continues his education first in the local Scottish high school, later in the high school of the American Mission.

In the middle of July in 1896 he experiences a spontaneous death experience -without any physical trigger- which results in the perfect realization of his Self. From this moment on his Self-awareness never weakens.

On August 29th, 1896, without informing his mother and relatives, he leaves Madurai and with one rupiah in his pocket he sets out for the sacred mountain of Arunacala, near Tiruvannamalai.

On September 1st, 1896 he arrives in Tiruvannamalai, he gets rid of his clothes and the rest of his money and spends almost all his time in samadhi, in various spots within the local temple.

His relatives find him in 1898 and his uncle from Madurai goes to see him and to take him home.

In December 1898 his mother also goes to see him but her attempt to take him home also fails.

In February, 1899 he moves to the Arunacala mountain and lives in various caves, mostly in the Virupaksa cave or in Mango-grove cave in the summer.

In 1900-1902, his first work is born from the written answers he gave to his first disciple, Gambiram Sesayya. It’s titled Vicára Sangraham (Self-inquiry) which gets published only years later.

1902 – His second work is born from the answers he gave to the questions of Sivaprakasam Pillai, with the title Nán Jár? (Who am I?), which also gets published later.

1905 – Due to a pest epidemic the town is deserted and Maharsi moves to the Pacaiamman-shrine at the foot of the mountain.

1907 – Kávyakantha Ganapati Muni pays him a visit, who’ll become perhaps his best disciple. He is the one who gives the wise man who was previously called Brahmana Svami the name Bhagavan Srí Ramana Maharsi.

1908 – He translates Sankaracarya’s works Vivekacudamani and Drgdrsyaviveka to Sanskrit proze.

1911 – His first Western disciple visits him: Frank H. Humphreys.

1912 His second death experience.

1915 Hymns to Arunacala.

1916 He moves into Skandasram which was established by one of his disciples.

1917 His mother moves to him to Skandasram. Ganapati Muni writes Srí Ramana Gíta, the Sanskrit summary of Maharsi’s teachings in poetic form.

1922 His mother dies. In the middle of December he moves his base to Ramanasramam at the foot of the mountain.

1927 He writes the Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Sanskrit versions of Upadesa Saram (The essence of spiritual instruction), a philosophical poem.

1928 He writes his poem called Ulladu Nárpadu (Sad-Vidyá, or Fourty poems about Reality) which later becomes his most commented work.

1933 He translates two short agamas to Tamil.

1939 Laying the foot-stone for the Mathrubhutesvara temple above the grave of his mother.

1940 He selects the forty two most important verses of the Bhagavad Gita and translates them to Telugu and Tamil.

1946 On September 1st a celebration is held in the asram on occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of Maharsi’s arrival to Arunacala.

1947 He writes Ekatma Pancakam (Five verses on the self).

1948 He translates Sankaracarya’s Atmabodha to Tamil

1949 Consecration of the Mathrubhutesvara-temple

1950 On April the 14th, at 8 o’clock and 47 minutes in the evening: mahanirvana (parinirvana) of Ramana Maharsi.  Exactly in this moment a slow moving, bright comet appears on the sky moving from south to north and then disappearing behind the peak of Arunacala.

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