Monday, January 18, 2016

Major Chadwick's I AM experience which was CONFIRMED by Bhagavan Ramana

From, Pages 243 & 244

Once, I asked Chadwick, “Are you realized?” I have put this question to all of the old devotees like Muruganar, Cohen, Osborne, Sadhu Natanananda, Devaraja Mudaliar and others. None of them either said yes or no - all smiled. When I asked him whether he was realized, he did not say yes or no. Instead, he told me, “I will tell you what happened. After many years of my stay with Bhagavan - four or five years, I committed the mistake of trying to evaluate how much I have progressed spiritually. This is a thing any seeker should not do. I felt that I have not progressed. Many who saw me in Ramanasramam, looked at me like I was a sage or a saint saying, "Oh! He is so fortunate. He is so close to Bhagavan. He meditates so much. He is already in that state." This created a contradiction in me as I personally felt that I was not progressing spiritually. However, having left the material life I could not go back to a worldly life either. I felt caught between the devil and the deep sea. I was sorrow stricken.

I ran to Bhagavan?s hall. He was alone. I told him, "Bhagavan, this is my plight. I am neither here nor there and this causes much sorrow in me." Bhagavan looked at me compassionately and said, "Chadwick, who says all this?" Immediately, there was a current like shock in my body and I literally ran to my room, shut the doors and went into a neutral state. I was not bothered whether I was spiritually maturing or whether I would be able to stay in the world. I was in a neutral state of silence. A few days passed like that wherein I was neither happy nor worried.” The only luxury that Chadwick allowed himself was taking his bath in a bath tub which he had in the verandah of his cottage. One day, shortly after the above incident, something happened unexpectedly. As Chadwick told me later, “I was taking my bath and very honestly Ganesan, I was not in a spiritual state or in a prayerful mood when it suddenly dawned - the "I AM"!” He experienced it - not just as words. He was so ecstatic that he did not even dry himself. He just wrapped a towel around his waist and ran to the Old Hall from where a few days back he had run away. Fortunately, this time too, Bhagavan was alone. In this spiritual ecstasy of experiencing the "I AM", where there was no Chadwick, just the "I AM", he asked Bhagavan, “Bhagavan, is THIS it?” Chadwick recounted, “Bhagavan gave me the most glorious smile, and then confirmed, "Yes, Chadwick, THIS is THAT!" I then asked him, "Bhagavan, is it so simple?" Bhagavan replied, "Yes it is that simple." Since then, I've never had any doubt.”
--- end extract from RamanaPeriyaPuranam.pdf ---

Ravi: Great to have this clear & simple description of Major Chadwick's I AM (unchanging awareness) experience, which was CONFIRMED by Bhagavan Ramana.

My humble view (could be wrong) is that Chadwick may have experienced some level of changeless pure consciousness which is separate from mind, intellect & body. But some mystics experience higher levels of pure consciousness where they experience that they are in others and that others are in them. And the paranormal knowledge that mystics have about thoughts and experiences of others seems to derive from this deeper level of consciousness that they are in.

Another small extract from RamanaPeriyaPuranam.pdf, Page 240:

Once, Chadwick was reading a book in which it was declared that one look of grace from the guru was enough to get liberation. Chadwick had a doubt, “If one look can give liberation to anyone, then why is everyone not liberated?” He went to Bhagavan and started telling him, “Bhagavan, this is what the scriptures say.” Not allowing him to go any further, Bhagavan uttered three words: “Coal, charcoal, gunpowder.” Puzzled, Chadwick asked, “Bhagavan, what do you mean by that?” Bhagavan replied, “The look of grace of the guru is always there and has the same power all the time. But, to receive it, the seeker has to have the same intensity and be on the same wavelength. That is why seekers are said to be like coal, charcoal or gunpowder. Coal takes a long time to ignite, charcoal takes less time and gunpowder ignites instantly. So, some seekers get it instantly, some seekers take more time and those seekers who do not listen to the teaching of the master and practice it, take a long, long time.”
--- end 2nd extract from RamanaPeriyaPuranam.pdf ---

Ravi: Chadwick was a retired Major from the British army who had seen action in World War I. He had moved to Bhagavan Ramana's ashram at Arunachala in 1935. He came to know of Bhagavan Ramana from Paul Brunton's book, "A Search in Secret India". I would like to say here that I was fascinated by Paul Brunton's book when I first read it as a young man.

I think the coal, charcoal and gunpowder example also applies to the "I AM"/unchanging awareness/unchanging consciousness experience. Some may be able to get onto that experience quickly once they embark on their spiritual practice (sadhana), whereas for others it may take much longer. Perhaps for some, such a "Who am I?" contemplation path itself may be  unsuitable and instead a path of devotion to God and actively participating in the world with activities and its fruits being offered to God, may be more suitable.

[I thank and have presumed that they will not have any objections to me sharing the above short extracts from their website on this post which is freely viewable by all, and does not have any financial profit motive whatsoever.]

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