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Ramana Maharshi and Yogananda Meet

In The Teachings of Ramana Maharshi, Venkataraman Aiyer (1879-1950) says "Breath control is . . . an aid for diving inwards . . . Breath control is a help in controlling the mind (Osborne 1971, 145, 146)." He also says "Illusion itself is illusory (Osborne 1971, 17)." [Some overlooked themselves]

Yogananda and his fellowship teach that the art of breath can go further than easing interiorisation. There is research by Das and Gastaut - it documents that a form of kriya yoga can further it in at least one case. [Research findings].

From a Visit

In 1935 Yogananda visited the advaitist Venkataraman Aiyer, known as Ramana Maharsi (Dasgupta 2006: 82). Yogananda brought his secretary Richard Wright and two others with him. This is recorded:

29th November, 1935. Talk 106

D.: What is this Self again?

M.: The Self is known . . . The Be-ing is the Self. 'I am' is the name. . . .

D.: How to get Bliss?

M.: Bliss is not something to be got. . . . The universe is only expanded Self.

D.: What is the best way of living?

M.: The eye must be located somewhere. . . .

D. thanked Maharshi. He was told that the best way of thanking is to remain always as the Self.

Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi.

29th November, 1935. Talk 107

Later the Yogi (Swami Yogananda) asked: How is the spiritual uplift of the people to be effected? What are the instructions to be given them?

M.: They differ according to the temperaments of the individuals and according to the spiritual ripeness of their minds. There cannot be any instruction en masse.

D.: Are Yoga, religion, etc., antidotes to suffering?

M.: They [may] help you to overcome suffering.

Finally the Yogi rose up.

Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi.

AKT COMMENT: They were not quite on terms, as Yogananda's work consisted of mass-propagation of kriya yoga and thoughts.

If the Self is still talk, there are general yoga instructions, also for beginners. The Yoga Sutras and Yajnavalkya Yoga are examples. In both and in other ancient sources there is an emphasis on sticking to good moral. Buddha advocates it. That sound moral helps development, is taught by Rudolf Steiner too.

Steiner Throughout your training, you must continually increase your moral strength, your inner purity and your power of observation . . . Strive for purity of your moral character. Banish all thought of ever using knowledge gained in this way for dumb personal benefit, as you may gain a trifle power over your fellow-creatures. A rule: For every one step that you take in the pursuit of higher knowledge, take three steps in the perfection of your own character." (Wisdom of Rudolf Steiner).

Artists and the both-and

Most factors in a human life are common to many. The factors involve how the mind tends to work, and so on.

What may finally get unique and yet likable could be a final touch, like the rose flower of the rose-bush.

So general instructions are good for many, and human flowers, or individuals, could benefit from individual tending on top of that.


Ramana Maharshi and Yogananda meet and talk, Literature  

Dasgupta, Sailendra. Paramhansa Swami Yogananda: Life-portrait and Reminiscences. Lincoln NE: iUniverse 2006.

Osborne, Arthur ed. The Teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharsi in His Own Words. New ed. London: Rider, 1971.

Yogananda, Paramahansa. Autobiography of a Yogi. 1st ed. New York: Theosophical, 1946. Online.

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