Over many centuries man has never stopped his question for the legendary philosopher stone or as named by some the wish fulfilling stone; that substance of which it is said cantrasmute base metals into gold.
As for those who seek truth sincerely, base metal signifies nothing but the mind gold signifies the spiritual liberation and the wish fulfilling gem is that teaching or single word even uttered by a true realized being.
Hence exhausted spiritual seekers can definitely take heart for not only one piece of that most sought after goal is between our hands right now rather an entire mine of those wish fulfilling ratnas (gems) has been uncovered.
Emerging directly from the ancient ocean of Advaita Ma knows best how to cut and polish and then deftly juggle these ratnas before holding them out with a fully child-like innocence for our weary souls to embrace.
It was at the end of 2009 when the first edition of this book get published under ma’s blessing and ever since then I have continued to try and absorb the ever since then I have continued to try and absorb the ever unfolding revelation it contains.
Ma’s last recorded satsang was held on December 2010, which ma herself funsang I thought it was important to get this last meeting published and available for Ma’s devotees I look the opportunity to also re organize the book by subject matter; for easy identification I have highlighted the new funsang material in grey.
Being inspired by the epic of navratans (the nine gems) I decided to divide the book in to nine clusters or chapter fitting in all the ratnas ma graciously disclosed to us.
Now the natural question for the reader who did not get a chance to meet ma may be who is ma?
Words are quite boring actually to tell you the truth. There is nothing new about the words right? The dictionary is so limited and the words right? The dictionary is so limited and the words are so limited expressions are so limited Ma said.
All I know for sure is that ma cannot be boxed up in any definition and the more we try to take her for granted the more she fills the space with her roaring laughter.
Ma apparently played the game ‘Hind & Seek’ extremely well throughout her life (much as gems hides deep in the earth), keeping herself away from the world of words as much as possible by living comfortably in a cocoon unknown to the outside world at all declaring herself not even once as a guru.
Yet how could she declare herself other than that when she herself in her own words says “A free being is always a humble being” painting at the outer wall of her residence in the boldest font: “I’m not a guru. Instead of wasting your time trying to meet me you can go to Ramanashram…”
The time I stated getting acquainted to the world of the gurus I had constructed a naïve image I would say now about what a guru is by observing their outer world like the way dress talk and live all these things by which people usually judge celebrities.
To me for instance the guru was someone who sits on their fancy chair surrounded by people fanning them day and night looking after comfort without blinking their eyes or even opening their mouth. The guru by my standard in that period was someone travelling around the world preaching and inaugurating ashrams and institution in their own name etc.
But having been given the golden chance to live under the shade of Ma’s divine care along with her gemlike sannyasi disciples all I can say is that my mind later got its first fundamental lesson: that it’s true what ma used to declare she was not a guru at all.
Tell me which guru will take the rickshaw and go to the vegetable market taking one their shoulders the grocery shopping and playing the bills to coming back to the house to begin the cooking process?
Which guru will stand in the kitchen all day long just to insure feeding their children with the most sattvic food needed for their sadhana?
Which guru for goodness sake has no special room or bed or even a chair in the place they run? Which guru will spend the afternoon sweeping and arranging the house before receiving some visitors and then getting into the kitchen again for dinner cooking? Which guru will carry a tray of coffee cups serving their visitors in person? Can you still call her a guru?
Which guru will take the burden of confronting and straightening the stray mind of each disciple on daily basis? Which guru will stay the whole night up watching over their disciples while they slept as she rarely slept herself? Which guru will turn down tens of invitations to give satsangs abroad preferring to stay close to their disciples?
Which guru will open the satsang by “Om if the ocean was whisky and I was a duck I’d divine to the bottom for to never come up. The ocean is not whisky and I am no duck I give this satsand in such a sadness then bursts into loud laughter?
But again if Ma was not a guru how come she could offer Advaitic ratnas of the most absolute knowledge with such clarity and simplicity; her own life an example of advaita lived. The answer to me is short and simple: Ma is not only a guru for she is beyond the beyond even.
As if Ma was indicating to all with her denials of gurudom the mistaken images we already had drawn around the guru in general making fun indirectly of those widely spread dogmatic conceptions.
All I know about her past life is that she is form a Chennai Brahmin family inspired from a young age Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and Sharada Ma. Somehow she wanted to live the way they had lived. And her dream came true when she met her husband now her disciple who had a similar dream. So they were married for the world to escape the family pressure but lived like a brother and sister inside the house.
Both were chartered accountants they had a practice in Hyderabad the place and period that witnessed publicly the emanation of the principle spark of Ma’s illuminated reality and one day they suddenly gave up everything to live on the road of tiruvannamalai in order to practice another advice of Sri Ramakrishna about the non touching of money.
They took one meal a day from a nearby free-food center and did not touch any money. They lived like this for a year but Ma’s Indian disciples could not tolerate this and they bought a place and constructed a house for Ma’s and kept supporting her financially as she didn’t charge for her guidance or satsang meetings.
Ma was silent by nature but was forced to give these satsang(s) one people started thronging at her doors in December 2002. Slowly she reduced the satsang frequency from what one was like a 24 hour non-stop meeting to twice a week then one a week etc. and finally altogether stopped giving these meeting in 2006 February.
Ma affectionally and spontaneously started giving these non-stop satsangs; the luster of her genuine words acted as a catalyst drawing crowds from far and wide but slowly she withdrew herself from his higher pedestal and limited herself to guiding a few genuine seekers (her own words are “Quality is more important than the quantity”, retreating into a more cloistered life.
Ma spent her life in the body humbly and selflessly serving her children every step they took and fulfilling immediately every need that might arise aiming at engulfing them in the ideal atmosphere that aiming at engulfing them in the ideal atmosphere that would help them carry on with their sadhna alone. I overheard her many times telling visitors ‘They are here not to work of me they are here to work on themselves.
Beings the embodiment of Advaita itself Advaita to ma was not just a subject for taking the talk but a path to walk the walk on without a single compromise. I have been told that when she was living on the roads someone stopped by and told her place and road are same then ma replied laughing yeah I know this is why I chose the road.
Unlike the hardness of stones Ma’s spoken language was so soft straightforward; a nectar-like stream that keeps running’s till it makes sure of its falling into the innermost heart of the questioner citing often from Hollywood movies and rock & roll lyrics making humorous for our contemporary mind to grasp.
A good example is but of course I got a last message for the world. Whenever death come tell the death; bond James bond said die another day so we won’t die today. That the last message whenever death comes we should be ready to tell the death on the face: die another die we won’t die today (Laughs), Ma said in her Funsang.
Those pauses that people resort to usually after a question is raised to them in order to perfect their another as much as possible Ma never knew; and being humor her replies came out always as a beautifully faceted earring especially designed and crafted to the questioner ears.
The same questioner would feel even more relived if her reply was adorned with that iconic starting laughter. The laugh that would shock the questioner and give the immediate realization that he is sitting before none other than the most prominent form of Kali, Attahasayuta, ‘The one who laugh loudly.
Before Ma loomed in the horizon of my life I knew life about the various spiritual philosophies of India leave alone the great Advaita but like many I was haunted by a mess of existential and metaphysical inquiries people usually try to lessen the feverish intensity of these pressing question by taking extra hefty doses of life getting engaged in its ever spinning wheel.
Ma emerged out of the blue into my life. I breathed my release as I thought I had finally found the one who I could bombard with my amassed question which is exactly what has occurred to many people who have met Ma.
But the moment my eyes fell on Ma all my question vanished completely narrowing themselves down to one question only Oh gem of all gems where were you hidden all this time? Despite this personal experience Ma kept encouraging me to ask again and again, and whenever I did question ma’s exposition always dusted my mind leaving behind a crystal clear receptivity and quietness.
Though ma is apparently draped in traditional deep inside she is the most affectionate mother one would ever meet in life to the extent that I realized that before meeting Ma I was living the life of an orphan.
Working on this compilation allowed me to travel back and be present in those satsangs held before I was graced by Ma’s appearance it took me to a world I yearned for since my soul was born giving me the chance to be alone and in very close contact with the miraculously healing ratnas of truth that Ma dispensed.
Apart from her Funsang only 10 hours of video recording out of hundreds of her satsang are available since Ma was not keep on making them into books or in popularizing them. In a way these conversations are extremely valuable since Ma has left her body and these words become the only treasure available from her whole ocean of wisdom.
Like the fiery Arunachala in Tiruvannamalai people can only tell superficial aspect about its mystical holiness; the same thing goes for Ma whatever I told barely touches on her as again her true mystical story nobody can tell.
All I can say to those who did not get yet that grace to have a darshan of this long awaited true ratnas a guru that can probe into the sanctum sanctorum of their inner heart filling it t the brim with the greatest treasure of all time I would say that they will find in this book luminous guidance that will certainly impart the infinite healing and love of infinite being.
Lastly the gems which luckily lie in your hands right now were given by Ma in care free manner but we should definitely handle them with care.
Pranamas at the lotus feel to Sri. Radha Ma the eternal Crown jewels of my beings.
The English title of this beautiful book is advaitic gems And it is indeed a treasure chest filled with many precious jewels set in the pure gold of the non-Dual advaitic truth. These well cut gems are presented with great love compassion wisdom and humor by a devoted lady Guru who with true humility paradoxically denies that she is one. Her name is Radha Ma and she is familiar figure in Tiruvannamalai often neighborhood of sacred mount Arunachala where she has made her home.
First of all I would like to relate some details of my personal relationship with Radha Ma, which qualities me to write this forward. I was in Tiruvannamalai for a short stop over on my way back from Tasmania in the April of 2003 where I had been visiting some of my family who live there. On arrival very good old friend informed me there was a wonderful new teacher currently giving marvelous satsongs at the kannapa temple on Arunachala. Her name was Radha Ma and he described her as being a totally free being. I trusted this informant and was determined to go and hear this teacher at the very first opportunity. The next day I visited the Kannapa Temple and to my delight I saw and heard a beautiful lady sanyasin answering profound questions on Advaita ringing tones with incredible accuracy. I was inexplicably drawn towards her and beyond and shadow of a doubt I experienced a strong vibration of sacredness coming from her which touched and entered my heart.
After the satsang was over I went and spoke to her and told how much I appreciated what she had there was obviously some inward connection between us and when she heard I would only be in Tiruvannamalai for a few days she said she would make have. She fulfilled her promise and I benefited from several instructive private interviews with her during which she clarified certain question and difficulties I had about Advaita generally and Ramana Maharshi great Teachings. I was convinced I had any questions or difficulties when I returned home. From then on to this very year every time I have been to Tiruvannamalai she has gone out of her way to guide me in may sadhana and clarify my understanding of Ramana teaching and Advaita. So a personal relationship developed between her myself and the small circle of devoteed who had settled down in Tiruvannamalai to be near her Adviat Monastery which she had founded and where she lives with a few chosen Sanyasins.
Over the subsequent years she has directed me to focus more and more on the immanence of the self in my heart and assisted me greatly in my Sadhana of self enquiry through making sure the practice of Divine into the heart which I had adopted as prescribed by Ramana Maharshi to Ganapathi Muni in the Ramana Gita was fully understood by me and carried out correctly. It would take very many pages more than this foreword allows to recount all the many details of the great help she given to me over seven years and the great help she has given to me over seven years and the many experiences I have enjoyed in her presence through her satsangs interviews and trips that she arranged to visit the Holy temples of southern India. Suffice to say this makes me feel qualified to write the foreword to her wonderful book through my personal relationship with her and my undoubted certainty that here is a very great Jnana teacher of wisdom love and compassion.
Since those early years Radha Ma has not only become to many devotees who have been attracted to her in Tiruvanamalai but she has reached a much wider public through the publication of that she has given a long interview and answered question from the author. As a consequence she has become well known to an increasingly large Advaitic circle worldwide. I was privileged to be invited by the publisher of that book to write the very first review which appeared for Amazon as well as writing the commendation on the DVD which accompanied the book. Referring to another review which appeared on the Amazon sites I must quote the words of Bodhi Heeren where after mentioning all the distinguished Indian teachers and Gurus who appear in this book he writes “But above all shines the gorgeous Radha Ma a truly natural born mystic whose spontaneous answers are pure delight”. I could not agree more with Bhodhi Heeren whose opinion I whole heartedly share.
Now in her splendid new book Advaitic Ratnas she cogently answers a wide variety of devotees questions covering the whole field of Advaita Vedanta and self Realization often referring to Sri Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi whom she clearly loves. Questions are posed by several different intelligent persistent interrogator and virtually the whole range of issues concerning the crucial teachings of Enlightenment and spiritual practice are covered in these compelling satsang dialogues. She answers each questioner with unfailing accuracy according to his or her needs but in such a way that we may all learn and benefit from her eloquent prescriptions advice and guidance.
This book is indeed a precious gem to be treasured since she had decided not to give public talks anymore and these are the only available materials about her teaching. They have been discriminately gathered from five DVD of her talks covering ten whole hours. This is in spite of the pact that she has been giving talks for almost three years.
This magnificent book will also serve as a valuable guide for all those earnest aspirants keen to understand the full implication of the advanced teaching of Sri Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi who she often quotes devotedly in her replies and obviously regard him with the greatest love and reverence. The book also provides a useful glossary giving clear and helpful definitions of the Sanskrit and Tamil words which often crop us in the Advaitic literature and in her dialogue.
I am positively certain that Advaitic Ratnas will prove a most useful book of reference and guidance for devotees as they proved with their Sadhna and encounter new question. I am equally positive that it will find a permanent place as a classic of Advaitic literature. I would strongly advice every earnest spiritual aspirant to aspect Radha Ma’s generous invitation to read and study her words and enjoy a refreshing bathe in the ocean of her compassionate wisdom.
“If you say that it is all truth and tell them to buy it then won buy it. But the moment you say it is rubbish then they will buy it.” This was Radha Ma’s advice when she and premanda talked about making a book of her saying. So I have to tell you: this “Advaitic Gems” are all nonsense and pure rubbish.
And of course in a way it truly is because Truth can never be told. Beings in the presence of someone like Radha Ma, some beautiful soul who has become what we all are born to be: one with the source is what really matter. Imbibing their silence bathing in their presence. The magic of the lit candle and the flame that jumps to lighten up the unlit.
But though word can nt convey the truth still they can function as “fingers pointed to the moon”. I still remember vividly the first time I picked up a book by my mater Osho the gut feeling that “this is truth speaking”, the heart beating the tears pressing on the eyelids. And over the years I’ve met this feeling that this is truth with others like Sunyata and his “Dancing with the voide” or the works of Eckhart tolle.
This is of course in one way absolutely subjective and yet these book seem to touch something objective seem to come from the truth that we all are part of and that the heart recognize. But rarely has someone said it so loud and clear and uncompromising as this beautiful honest unpretentious India woman. She seems to be like Ramana Maharshi said of the fore mentioned Sunyata a rare born mystic someone who somehow hadn’t been caught in the same trap as most of us have been. Of parental and social conditioning in short; the world of the mind and the ego.
These transcriptions cover a vast array of topics relevant for the seeker: guru enlightenment sadhana death mind. And whereas so many modern teachers talk about gradual enlightenment and redefine the word so that you can have anger and desires and thoughts and even ego and still be enlightened Radha Ma makes it abundantly clear that: you either have seen the mind is an illusion or you have not every other type of experience is still inside the mind inside the illusion. And unlike many advaitins who seem to regard seeking and sadhna as some of the worst activities you can engage in she boldly states: “I don’t say like other that this very seeking for liberation should be stopped that it is taking you farther away from the self or anything. You should have the seeking until you are liberates until you are reality free”.
This book is truly a collection of gems the truth transmitted with Grace gracefulness and a healthy dose of humor. I’ve been grateful to write this foreword and I’m sure that every person hearted open minded reader will feel moved and perhaps even transformed reading it. Golden rubbish indeed.
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