Swami Bharatananda

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Maurice Frydman is one of most extraordinary people I’ve ever come across and virtually nothing is known about him.” said David Godman, one of the foremost and infatigable exponents of Ramana Maharshi’s life and teachings. Maurice Frydman was born a polish jew in 1894, in Warsaw. Exceptionally bright at school, he was a prolific inventor, spoke many European and Indian languages, and was an earnest and passionate seeker of truth. He has explored many traditions, including Judaism, Orthodox Christianity, and the Theosophical movement of Annie Besant. He devoured books from all possible traditions, particularly interested in all the great writings of Hinduism. Over the years, he met and was close to numerous spiritual teachers like J. krishnamurti, Ramana Maharshi, swami Ramdas, and Nisargadatta Maharaj. He wrote a book on Ramana Maharshi, ‘Maharshi’s Gospel’, and was responsible for recording and publishing the now classic ‘I Am That’ by Nisargadatta Maharaj. He lived in India during the later part of his life, becoming an Indian citizen, and was associated with Mahatma Gandhi, inventing a new implement on the famous Indian spinning wheel, the Charkha. He was given the Indian name Swami Bharatananda when he was initiated as a Hindu monk or sannyasi by Swami Ramdas. Ramana Maharshi refused him this initiation, saying that “Sannyas is taken from within; not from without”. Maurice also greatly helped to organise the Dalaï Lama’s escape to India and to find places for the Tibetan refugees, like Dharamsala. But, “there is no mention of Maurice in any of the books related to either Dalai Lama‘s escape or the smuggling in of the Buddhist manuscripts from Tibet. I have never seen a person as Self-effacing as Maurice”, wrote V. Ganesan. Maurice Frydman died in Bombay in 1976, after an accident. Nisargadatta Maharaj, who held Maurice in high esteem, and considered him as a true jnani, was by his side. Of the days spent in Ramana Maharshi’s presence, Maurice wrote: “We took a cupful when the ocean was at our feet.”

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Here are two Extracts from Maurice Frydman’s poetry: 

I am at the end of the tether 
and can’t break the cord 

All my going ahead 
is a deceitful dream, 

All my thinking not true, 
all my feeling not pure, 

All my doing not right, 
all my living not clear. 

I am tied to myself 
by myself through myself, 

The knot out of reach, 
I am in your hands.

There is a Heart and a mind, 
and a body and soul 
Waiting for you. 

You will come when you choose, 
And whatever you like 
you are welcome to do. 

 

* * * 

 

Heavy with the mud of many lands 
I was flowing lazily, 

Making obstacles of myself 
out of my unholy accumulations. 

Suddenly I awakened 
to the freshness of endless beauty, 

And felt the eternal environment 
of endless peace. 

My beloved I have found you, 
and yet never were we separated, 

Every drop of my being is you 
and yours is the force of my flow, 

Never are we apart 
and yet I always strive after you. 

The flow of creation will go on 
with me or without me, 

Only do not make me forget 
that I am none 

and that you only exist and create 
in ever-changing mobility. 

 

~~~

Poetry by Maurice Frydman (1901-1977)

Painting by Edwin Lord Weeks (1849-1903)
‘Temples and bathing ghat at Benares’ – wikiart

~~~

 

– Maurice Frydman’s poetry is from the book:
Face to Face with Sri Ramana Maharshi’ – by Laxmi Narain – (Sri Ramana Kendram, Hyderabad)

– Read this more extensive biography of Maurice Frydman here.

Bibliography:
– ‘I Am That’ – by Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj – (Chetana Pvt.Ltd)
– ‘Maharshi’s Gospel’ – by Ramana Maharshi and Maurice Frydman – (Sri Ramanasramam)

Websites:
Maurice Frydman (Wikipedia)
Paula Marvelly, An Interview with Sri V. Ganesan
’The Human Gospel of Ramana Maharshi’, As Shared by V. Ganesan

 

The Innermost Light

“The innermost light, 
shining peacefully 
and timelessly 
in the heart, 
is the real Guru. 
All others merely show the way.”

~ Nisargadatta Maharaj

 

~

The quote is from Nisargadatta’s book ‘I Am That’

Photo by Alain Joly

~

 

Bibliography:
– ‘I Am That’ – by Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj – (Chetana Pvt.Ltd)

Website:
Nisargsadatta Maharaj

 

 

Le carillon de Bénarès

I’m sharing here a new page for the people speaking French only. If you are bilingual, you can check it too, since a few articles have not been shared on the main blog in English…

Voici une nouvelle page de la section En Français, où textes, poésies, citations vous sont proposés comme autant de mises en abîme de l’Être. Voici l’une d’elles:

 

A Bénarès, il est une rue qui descend doucement en serpentant,
Une artère où se répète chaque jour un événement extraordinaire.
Le soir venu, à l’heure où la nuit se pose, où la lumière des échoppes
Fait briller bracelets, pans de soie, et ustensiles,
Les habitants de la cité rentrent chez eux, empruntant
Les nombreux rickshaws qui descendent le long de cette avenue.
Les vélo-rickshaws de Bénarès ont une particularité étonnante,
Une sonnette placée sur la roue qui, par l’effet des rayons venant la frapper,
Produit quand on l’active une sonnerie continue et harmonieuse.
Du flot incessant des conducteurs de rickshaws avertissant de leur présence
Se répandait alors un carillon qui inondait la nuit de sa pureté,
Et remplissait la rue d’une atmosphère sonore féerique à nulle autre pareille.
Là, dans cette rue tout près du Gange sacré,
Des hommes simples, parmi les plus pauvres,
Nous offraient par le simple fait de pédaler
Une nuée de sons, cascades et tintinnabulements,
Composant une symphonie
Dont la splendeur ravive encore aujourd’hui ma mémoire endormie.
La musique céleste des rickshaws-wallahs de Bénarès.

 

~~~

Texte et photo de Alain Joly

~~~

 

Les autres articles présentés :
– ‘Prompt comme l’oiseau’ (texte court)
– ‘La solitude de l’Être’ (citations)
– ‘Les passants de l’abîme’ (poésie)

Quatre mises en abîme de l’Être… (LIRE LA SUITE)

 

‘I am’ is the door

Here is a reminder from Nisargadatta Maharaj. It is necessary and terribly efficient to look into these matters for ourselves. This is why I like to share here the parts of a spiritual teaching that sounds like ‘something to do’, something to experiment and verify for ourselves:

Just keep in mind the feeling ‘I am’, merge in it, till your mind and feeling become one. By repeated attempts you will stumble on the right balance of attention and affection and your mind will be firmly established in the thought-feeling ‘I am’. Whatever you think, say, or do, this sense of immutable and affectionate being remains as the ever-present background of the mind.
~ Nisargsadatta Maharaj

~~~

Further exploring on the subject:

The knowledge ‘I am’ is God’s signature in the mind. It is the portal through which awareness localises itself as the mind and the same portal through which the mind passes in the opposite direction as it investigates its essential nature. The knowledge ‘I am’, or the knowledge of our own existence – awareness’s knowing of its own being – is our primary knowledge, upon which all other knowledge and experience depend. Until the nature of ourself is known, it is not possible to have correct knowledge about any other thing. Thus, there is no higher knowledge than to know the nature of oneself, the nature of ‘I’.
~ Rupert Spira

~

It is the simple that is certain, not the complicated. Somehow, people do not trust the simple, the easy, the always available. Why not give an honest trial to what I say? It may look very small and insignificant, but it is like a seed that grows into a mighty tree. Give yourself a chance!
~ Nisargadatta Maharaj

~

Look at yourself steadily — it is enough. The door that locks you in, is also the door that lets you out. The ‘I am’ is the door. Stay at it until it opens. As a matter of fact, it is open, only you are not at it. You are waiting at the non-existent painted doors, which will never open.
~ Nisargadatta Maharaj

 

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The picture is by Thomas Mühl/Pixabay

Bibliography:
– ‘The Nature of Consciousness’, – by Rupert Spira (Sahaja Publications)
– ‘I Am That‘ – by Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj (Non-Duality Press)

Website:
Rupert Spira
Nisargsadatta Maharaj (Wikipedia)

Suggestion:
Fleeing to God (other pointers from the blog)

 

Suffering Leads to Joy

This is the first of a series of texts or essays that will be presented in the future. Different subjects of spiritual interest will be explored in turn. Writing this text started with answering a simple question: ‘How did it all begin for me?’…

 

“Come, come, whoever you are.
Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn’t matter.
Ours is not a caravan of despair.
Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times.
Come, yet again, come! come!”

~ Rumi

 

How did it all begin for me? This. This deep interest in finding out what life is about. This love of Truth. This spiritual search. In what cradle did it come to existence, in what fertile soil did it come to grow? I remember how acute the desire for change was as a young man. For this was all there was to it at the time. A big, raw, sincere desire to change, to be different. I was unhappy, dissatisfied with what I was. Surely it was the first seed, the primary cause of this journey. The path leading to that change in myself I had no idea about. I had to feel my way along, through random books, exotic places. Except for one intuition though, that there was something more to life than finding happiness solely through acquisitions, through changing the person that I happened to be. Otherwise I would have gone for it in a more acute way. Instead, I turned towards some kind of spiritual call, knowing nothing of it. I rushed into a tunnel of unknowing.

An essay on the subject of suffering. (READ MORE…)