AT THE FEET OF BHAGAVAN
ABIDING IN THE SELF THERE IS NO SPACE-TIME
T.K. SUNDARESA IYER
Sri T. K. Sundaresa Iyer became a devotee of Ramana Maharshi in 1908. As his secretary and English interpreter, he became uniquely well-versed in his Gurudev's teachings. The following is from Sundaresa's book:
Abiding in the Self There is No Space-Time
Mr. and Mrs. S. were visitors from Peru to the Ashram. The couple narrated all their story to Bhagavan, all the privations they had undergone to have a look atSri Ramana Maharshi. Bhagavan was all kindness to them; He heard their story with great concern, and then remarked: "You need not have taken all this trouble. You could well have thought of me from where you were, and so could have had all the consolation of a personal visit." This remark of Sri Bhagavan they could not easily understand, nor did it give them any consolation as they sat at His feet like Mary. Sri Maharshi did not want to disturb their pleasure in being in His immediate vicinity, and so He left them at that.
Later in the evening Sri Maharshi was enquiring about their day-to-day life, and incidentally their talk turned to Peru. The couple began picturing the landscape of Peru and were describing the sea-coast and the beach of their own town. Just then Maharshi remarked: "Is not the beach of your town paved with marble slabs, and are not coconut palms planted in between? Are there not marble benches in rows facing the sea there and did you not often sit on the fifth of those with your wife?" This remarks of Sri Maharshi created astonishment in the couple. How could Sri Bhagavan, who had never gone out of Tiruvannamalai, know so intimately such minute details about their own place? Sri Maharshi only smiled and remarked:
"It does not matter how I can tell. Enough if you know that in the Self there is no Space-Time."
The Wanderling's spiritual guide and Mentor, the same person in real life that British playwright and author William Somerset Maugham modeled his spiritual traveler Larry Darrell from in The Razor's Edge, studied in India under the grace and light of the Enlightened sage Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi. Although throughout his life Ramana never exhibited even the slightest interest in Siddhis, occult abilities, or psychic powers to outsiders, he had a fully conscious bilocation experience he rarely discussed wherein he was translocated from his ashram in a matter of minutes to a devotee many, many miles away. Arthur Osborne, Ramana's biographer writes in Ramana Maharshi And The Path of Self-Knowledge (York Beach: Samuel Weiser, Inc., 1995, pages 96-97):
About a year after his first meeting with Sri Bhagavan, Ganapathi Muni experienced a remarkable outflow of his Grace. While he was sitting in meditation in the temple of Ganapati at Tiruvottiyur he felt distracted and longed intensely for the presence and guidance of the Bhagavan. At that moment Sri Ramana entered the temple. Ganapathi prostrated himself before him and, as he was about to rise, he felt the Maharshi's hand upon his head and a terrifically vital force coursing through his body from the touch; so that he also received Grace by touch from the Master. Speaking about this incident in later years, not Ganapathi Muni, but the Enlightened sage HIMSELF Sri Ramana Maharshi said:
"One day, some years ago, I was lying down and awake when I distinctly felt my body rise higher and higher. I could see the physical objects below growing smaller and smaller until they disappeared and all around me was a limitless expanse of dazzling light. After some time I felt the body slowly descend and the physical objects below began to appear. I was so fully aware of this incident that I finally concluded that it must be by such means that Sages using the powers of Siddhis travel over vast distances in a short time and Appear and Disappear in such a mysterious manner. While the body thus descended to the ground it occurred to me that I was at Tiruvottiyur though I had never seen the place before. I found myself on a highroad and walked along it. At some distance from the roadside was a temple of Ganapati and I entered it." (source)
The above bilocation experience is one of the most interesting in regards to Ramana --- and to that of most other bilocation or translocation experiences on record --- because not only was it documented on Ramana's side, it was also documented by the person on the receiving end of the translocation, Ganapati Muni. Osborne writes:
"About a year after his first meeting with Sri Bhagavan, Ganapathi Muni experienced a remarkable outflow of his Grace. While he was sitting in meditation in the temple of Ganapati at Tiruvottiyur he felt distracted and longed intensely for the presence and guidance of the Bhagavan. At that moment Sri Ramana entered the temple. Ganapati prostrated himself before him and, as he was about to rise, he felt the Maharshi's hand upon his head and a terrifically vital force coursing through his body from the touch; so that he also received Grace by touch from the Master."
An up-and-coming Indian holy man visited the Ramana ashram after having been told by another holy man it would be highly beneficial if he were to visit Ramana. The up-and-coming holy man's home was some distance from the ashram. After traveling several days the holy man arrived only to discover that Ramana was the same person who told him to visit Ramana in the first place. Calling Ramana a fraud he decided to leave. A long time Ramana devotee by the name of Framji Dorabji interceded in an effort to convince the holy man to stay, telling him:
"No, no, you are mistaken. He has not moved out of this town in the last forty-eight years. It is either a case of mistaken identity or somehow, through his power, he managed to manifest himself in the Punjab while his physical body was still here. Some girl from America came here once and told a similar story. These things do happen occasionally."
Of course, as it turned out, the up-and-coming holy man was right in his ability to discern that the man in his house that evening and the man on the sofa in the meditation hall WAS Sri Ramana. The long time devotee, Framji Dorabji, whose devotion to Ramana and life at the ashram can be found starting on page 677 of The Human Gospel of Ramana Maharshi. The most interesting part is Dorabji talking of an AMERICAN GIRL having been at the ashram once and telling a similar story, that is, Ramana visiting HER via Siddhis or translocation, and she in turn going to the ashram because of it. To learn who that American girl was, please see:
A third equally interesting incident, cast in in a similar vein, especially so involving the Maharshi, America, and the use of the supernormal perceptual states of Siddhis, but a little too long to go into here, can be found by going to: THE MEETING: An Untold Story of Sri Ramana. Preceding the need for that specific Siddhi involved "meeting" to be put into place by the Maharshi in the first place was an unusual number of accumulative circumstances, the steps of which, as well as the end results, can be found quite graphically in:
SRI RAMANA MAHARSHI: THE LAST AMERICAN DARSHAN
RECOUNTING A YOUNG BOY'S NEARLY INSTANT TRANSFORMATION INTO THE ABSOLUTE DURING HIS ONLY DARSHAN WITH THE MAHARSHI
It should be noted that Adam Osborne, who, as a young boy grew up at the Ramana ashram and the son of Ramana's biographer Arthur Osborne mentioned previously, played a prominent role in the Last American Darshan as linked above.
Lee Lozowick has said that the venerated Indian holy man Yogi Ramsuratkumar, the heir to Swami Ramdas, was the source of his Awakening --- an Awakening that occurred at least ONE FULL YEAR BEFORE he ever met the yogi in the flesh in the first place. In an interview Lozowick was asked how it could be possible that someone would be the source of somebody else's Awakening that occurred before they ever met? Lozowick responded with:
"Well, to a spiritual master there's no such thing as the past, the present or the future. To us everything happens very linearly. In 1975 this shift of context happened for me. In 1976 I met Yogi Ramsuratkumar (i.e., for the first time). In 1983 I really dedicated myself to him as my teacher. But to him when Jesus was born might be fifty years in the future. And some person that to us hasn't even been born yet, to him is like a living, breathing presence. Time is completely malleable. So for a master like Yogi Ramsuratkumar the past, the present and the future are completely interchangeable, and he can shift them around at his will. I can't describe that according to a law of physics although I'm sure that's possible. But that's how it is."
Nowhere in the world of things spiritual, especially so as found in eastern religious beliefs, is time, the existence of time or the non-existence of time more prevalent or delivered or experience with a higher impact than what is found in the legend and stories surrounding the mystical hermitage high in the Himalayas hidden beyond the mists of time sometimes called Shangri-La, but also know by other names such as Shambhala and Gyanganj.
"We sat in meditation facing each other across the fire on an east-west axis with me facing east toward what would eventually be the location of the rising sun. At some point into our meditation, and non-Siddhi related, there was somehow a coalescing of our mind processes forming a single mental entity where we both able to understand each other's thoughts.
"In the thoughts he was willing to share he revealed he had spent many, many years as a young man on the other side of time in Gyanganj, but one day he passed through the monastery portals to the outside world and when he did, he became an old man."
HOPE SAVAGE: The Beat Generation's Missing Woman
DOING HARD TIME IN A ZEN MONASTERY
However, Shangri-La, Shambhala, or Gyanganj notwithstanding, not everybody that count themselves as followers, advocates, or devotees, or who find themselves interested in the history, background, and accomplishments of the Bhagavan Sri Ramana, spiritually or otherwise, appreciate the sacredness of the ashram and the grounds within which it stands. Nor do they know, possibly because of that sacredness, that the Ramana Ashram grounds was once the focal point and major destination for one of the most fascinating aspects to ever unfold. That "aspect" was multifold in behavior in that it flowed within the singularity of the grounds of the ashram and recorded for having done so by two separate sources and two separate authors. The problem arises because, even though they are by separate authors in separate books writing about separate incidents, they are talking about the exact same person as well as the exact same time, place, and time period at the ashram with Sri Ramana. In the first incident as it is written, Ramana saw the boy as a boy, in the second as it is written, again, at the same time and place, he saw the boy as a man. See:
MAP AND HISTORY OF THE RAMANA ASHRAM
TIME TRAVEL: MEETING YOURSELF
THE CODE MAKER, THE ZEN MAKER
SHANGRI-LA, SHAMBHALA, GYANGANJ, BUDDHISM AND ZEN
THE SPIRITUAL ELDER AND THE SANTA FE CHIEF
In RESOLVING THE MIND: Buddha's Enlightenment a paper by Kido Inoue, Inoue writes:
By the time one becomes aware of something, it is already in the past. It has assumed a form; and it is the traces of the form that we apprehend. That is, the present moment is an empty world in absolute time (i.e., no time, no space) where the intellect does not reach, because it is the domain transcending all existence. The cognitive function itself is a qualified and perverted abstraction of the absolute world of no-time and no-space. Therefore it can never embrace the present moment. Shakyamuni Gotama, the Buddha, was able to probe this far intellectually. A victim by personal experience, he thoroughly observed the functioning mental faculties. He had pushed the intellect to its limit.
But there was no way he could have understood that the intellectual function of recognition was the cause of the gap, or separation, and the seed of man's confusion. Hence, he could not have intellectually realized that throwing away the gap was the decisive means to resolving his Great Doubt.
Dharmadhatu literally means "realm of dharmas," and refers to the collection of all dharmas. "Attaining Buddhahood" (Enlightenment, Awakening to the Absolute, etc.) --- as the Buddha had to do above in resolving his Great Doubt --- means having transcended all and any limitations that are due to artificial concepts, subconscious activities, desires and feelings, will and attachment, time and space, etc., and having regained the original state of Dharmadhatu in harmonious oneness.
Dharmadhatu is neither limited by space nor by time. According to the correct view of Dharmadhatu, like the Jeweled Net of Indra wherein each jewel reflects all the other jewels, all dharmas in the past, all dharmas at present and all dharmas in the future are all together in the Dharmadhatu. Ordinarily people can experience only a minute part of all dharmas at present, and therefore people sustain the view that dharmas in the past are gone and future is unpredictable. If one practices according to Buddhist teachings and thereby comes out of the bondage of the fixed view of a space-and-time framework, then it is possible to experience or witness dharmas in the past as well as dharmas in the future.
The following, written by the Wanderling regarding Eternity, of which both the philosophical and physical aspect of Eternity seems to reflect imbeded within its nature a space-time component, is found in the Addendum to ON REBIRTH: Buddhism and Reincarnation:
"The key to rebirth is the return to the mix of that which you are 'made' to be used again. An entity cognizant of the passage of time might extrapolate, feel, or sense a possibility of anything from the immediate to eons. To that entity, YOU for example, it could seem forever or it could be right now. However, in eternity NO time exists. In that there is no start or finish in eternity, otherwise it wouldn't be eternity, no reference points exist to measure against, hence there can be no time. With no time, immediate or eons become moot. Whether something is instantaneous or takes forever is just the same. If ALL that which you are made of reconstituted itself into an entity that is again cognizant of time would be pure happenstance. Sorry."
AT THE FEET OF BHAGAVAN
ANALOGIES IN TIME AND PLACE
OF COBRAS, SCARABS, MASERATIS, AND ZEN
ZEN ENLIGHTENMENT: THE PATH UNFOLDS
Fundamentally, our experience as experienced is not different from the Zen master's. Where
we differ is that we place a fog, a particular kind of conceptual overlay onto that experience
and then make an emotional investment in that overlay, taking it to be "real" in and of itself.
ZEN ENLIGHTENMENT IN A NUTSHELL
ON THE RAZOR'S
WHEN INFINITIES COLLIDE
POWER OF THE SHAMAN
THE BEST OF THE MAUGHAM BIOGRAPHIES:
SPIRITUAL GUIDES, GURUS, AND TEACHERS INFLUENTIAL IN DARRELL'S LIFE OTHER THAN THE MAHARSHI: