Jerry Katz
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Highlights #904

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Friday, November 30

GLORIA LEE contributed everything in
the highlights today!


Art Of Dying from 'All Things Must
Pass' album
George Harrison

There'll come a time when all of us
must leave here
Then nothing sister Mary can do
Will keep me here with you
As nothing in this life that I've been
Could equal or surpass the art of
Do you believe me?

There'll come a time when all your hopes are fading
When things that seemed so very plain
Become an awful pain
Searching for the truth among the lying
And answered when you've learned the art of dying

But you're still with me
But if you want it
Then you must find it
But when you have it
There'll be no need for it

There'll come a time when most of us return here
Brought back by our desire to be
A perfect entity
Living through a million years of crying
Until you've realized the Art of Dying
Do you believe me?


Sunrise doesn't last all morning
A cloudburst doesn't last all day
Seems my love is up and has left you with no warning
It's not always going to be this gray

All things must pass
All things must pass away

Sunset doesn't last all evening
A mind can blow those clouds away
After all this, my love is up and must be leaving
It's not always going to be this gray

All things must pass
All things must pass away
All things must pass
None of life's strings can last
So, I must be on my way
And face another day

Now the darkness only stays the night-time
In the morning it will fade away
Daylight is good at arriving at the right time
It's not always going to be this gray

All things must pass
All things must pass away
All things must pass
All things must pass away

~ George Harrison


Remember the Reasons Why You Came Here

Satsang with Robert Adams

December 23, 1990

I welcome you with all my heart and with all my being. It's
good to see you all here, everyone of you. In 1947 I went to
Ramana Maharshi. After spending around three days talking
with Ramana, I settled down with the devotees, in the hall,
and I used to sit at the right side of the hall against the
wall, watching all the people come in. They had devotees,
disciples, and seekers. The devotees were always the same.
They never said much. They were immersed in themselves. The
disciples and the seekers quarreled with each other.

I recall a particular Indian who was very quarrelsome with
the disciples, and he used to find fault with everybody. He
would go to Ramana and say, "So and so is doing this, so and
so is doing that.” And Ramana would tell him, "Remember the
reasons why you came here and keep silent.” The reason of
course was to find the Self, and not to interfere with
anybody else. But there were all kinds of incidents going on.
Sikhs came, Hindus, Westerners, Buddhists, Zen Buddhists.
People were practicing hatha yoga. All these things were
happening in front of Ramana. But it didn't faze Ramana one

I recall a Westerner, I'm trying to think of his name, Henry
Wells, from Scotland. He apparently had read a lot of books
about Ramana, and this was his first visit. He came into the
hall, and I was watching this. He ran over to Ramana and
prostrated himself on his stomach, and started going crazy.
His feet were shaking, and he was chanting. The devotees
wanted to pick him up, and Ramana said, “Let him stay.” When
he came out of it he told Ramana, "At last I have found you.
You are my father, my mother, my son, my daughter, my
friend.” And Ramana just smiled at him. And I said to myself,
and I was only 18 years old, I said to myself, “Someone this
enthusiastic... let's see what happens, if it lasts.”

The days went by and he kept prostrating himself every day
for about a month. Then he finally stopped, and he sat down
like everybody else. And after about 2 months or so, looking
around the room at everybody, and he started complaining,
that this wasn't right, that wasn't right. After about 4
months of being there he donated $40,000 to the ashram, and
I'm just watching all these things going on. After about 6
months of being there, he started to find fault with the
management. At that time Ramana's brother was managing the
ashram. He started to whisper to the other disciples, of
course the devotees would have nothing to do with this. It
was the disciples and the seekers. He started spreading
rumors. He hardly ever talked to me. I guess I was too young.
He was about 45 years old.

When about the 7th month he came over to me one day and he
asked me, outside the ashram, "Do you think Ramana is really
enlightened?” So I just smiled at him. I didn't answer and
walked away. He started getting devotees to fight against
each other and rebel against the rules of the ashram.

On about the 8th month he saw me again and he tells me, "Do
you think it is right for Ramana to stand naked like this?
Let's buy him some clothes and dress him up, so when some
Westerners come they won't be frightened.” So I told him what
Ramana said: "Remember the reason for why you came.” This
went on.

A couple of days later I didn't see him in the hall. Second
day passed and I didn't see him. Third day passed and I
didn't see him. And the fourth day I enquired, "What happened
to him?” And the house guest he was living with said, "Oh,
Henry packed his suitcase and went back to Scotland,” and
nobody ever heard from him again.

The point of the story is this. If you realize the reason why
you came you'll be interested in one thing, awakening. And
that will dominate your life. Nothing else will. You will not
be concerned with what somebody else is doing, and you will
be at peace with yourself and everybody else. Everything is
preordained anyway. Everything is karmic. So what's going to
happen will happen, whether you like it or not. So why get
insulted. Why get your feelings hurt. Be at peace.

It's interesting, this morning I was looking through a
magazine and I found an article by a devotee who lived at the
ashram for quite a while talking about the same subject. Mary
would you like to read it?

Now listen carefully to this. It's called Mind the business
for which you have come.

“All events in life are shaped according to the Divine plan.
What is bound to happen will happen. What is not to happen
cannot be brought about by any human effort. On this point
Ramana was quite categoric. When Deva Raja Mudalar questioned
him as to whether only important things in one's life, such
as major occupation or profession, alone are predetermined,
or even trifling acts, Ramana replied, ‘Everything is

“One of the purposes of birth is to go through certain
experiences which have been marked out in the karmic
unfoldment of this life. The whole program is chalked out.
This would apparently be a damper to all effort, for one
would be puzzled as to what the responsibility of man is. Is
he an automation of karmic forces? Where do his free will and
effort come in?

“Ramana points out that there is another deeper purpose to
life. That is to search and find out the truth for oneself.
He would say that the only useful purpose of life is to turn
within and realize there's nothing else to do. Ramana would
therefore constantly din into everyone the fact that the
ultimate truth is Sat-Chit, immediately available here and

“When Natananananda asked Ramana, ‘Is it possible for
everyone to know directly without doubt what exactly is one's
true nature?,’ prompt came the reply, ‘Undoubtedly it is
possible. The ultimate truth is so simple,’ Ramana would say.
‘It is nothing more than abiding in one's own state.’ This is
the essential message of all religions and creeds. Leaving
aside the automatic course of our lives regulated by the
Creator, according to His Law, one's duty is to channel
effort to be self-aware. Steadfastness of purpose is in
treading the inner path through vigilant self-enquiry. On
such enquiry as to the Source of the individual, the enquirer
merges in the conscious Source.

“The inner odyssey is seldom smooth sailing. Full many a
delusion would wean one away. For instance, people who go to
Shri Ramana ashram to breathe its rarified atmosphere, while
there, instead of surrendering to His flowing Grace, they
would get involved in the happening of the ashram management.
Ramana used to jovially remark of some visitors on their
first visit to Shri Ramana ashram, they seemed to be alright.
On the second visit they discovered that the ashram is not
properly run. On the third visit they start giving advice. On
the fourth they know best how to run the place. And on the
fifth they discover that the management is not responsive. On
the sixth they suggest that the present staff should walk out
leaving the ashram to them They would thus get bogged down in
things which are irrelevant for the search. When such people
complained, Ramana would say: ‘Mind the business for which
you have come.’

“This would apply, of course, not only to their visit to Shri
Ramana ashram, but also to the purpose of human life itself.
One has to constantly keep before the minds eye the
liberating purpose, the only worth while one of freeing
oneself from the karmic chain by discovering the hidden
truth. Ramana would even seemingly chide if one failed to
pursue one's own sadhana, but spent time thinking and talking
of others

“A devotee once told Ramana: ‘I have been here for many
years. People got into Samadhi. I close my eyes for a minute
and my mind travels around the world.’ Ramana replied: ‘Why
do you think about others? Let them meditate, sleep or snore.
Look to yourself. Whenever your mind goes astray bring it
back to the quest.’

“Once Bhagwan told a devotee to wake up, look at the mirror,
it shows the growth to be got rid of. Instead of waiting
time, start shaving. Similarly, heaven knows when the
allotted time would end. Hence not to seek the truth by
vigilant self-enquiry is truly suicidal. Many would like to
blame their circumstances for their indolence and laziness
and failure to pursue self-enquiry. Ramana would ask, ‘Why
depend on that which is not in your hands. Go ahead with the
business which is in your hands, under your control, leaving
aside what you cannot do anything about.’

“Proper utilization of God given freedom of turning the mind
is what is needed all the time. As for adverse circumstances
in life of which everyone has a belly full, while
sympathizing, Ramana would at the same time say, ‘You are
always free not to be affected by the pleasure and pain
consequent on action.’ The teeth have to be taken out of an
event by an attitudinal change which neutralizes it.

“Sometimes Ramana would advise leaving things to the sure
hand of the Sat Guru, and to stick single mindedly to the
effort which would make one self-aware. Ramana would say,
‘Why don't you do what the first class railway passenger
does? He tells the guard his destination, locks the door and
goes to sleep. The rest is done by the guard. If you can
trust your Guru as much as you trust the railway guard, it
will be good enough to make you reach the destination.’ Again
when someone pestered him for the darshan of Shri Krishna, he
said, ‘Why don't you leave the shaktakara of Krishna to
Krishna.’ We also have the pointed advice given by him to
Ganapada Muni. ‘Remain all the time steadfast in the heart.
God will determine the future for you to accomplish the work.
What is to be done will be done at the proper time. Don't
worry. Abide in the heart.’

Life becomes meaningful if we joyously tread the inward path,
remembering that ours is to do the Vichara and it is for the
inner source to do the rest. Then bliss is not the end
product to be found on reaching the goal, but is felt all
along the homeward, heartward journey.”

There's another article prior, previous to that , before
that. The Purpose of Life, by Lucille Osborne. Let Jay read

“Those whose spiritual effort is in the right direction get
progressively closer to their perfect Self, become more
peaceful, happier and are increasingly liked and helped by
those with whom they come into contact. Some of the negative
category will attend rigorously only to externals like
clothing and pure food which will not help them much if it
combines with egocentric selfish behavior and possessiveness.
They will do anything to be able to possess a few more things
of scarcely any importance. They do not realize the harm they
do to themselves getting deeper into samsara with all its
problems and suffering, away from realizing the glorious
peaceful joy in their heart.

“This pertains also to those in positions of power who treat
the people with whom they deal without goodwill, sincerity,
or even truthfulness. They will usually be disliked, have a
few friends, if any. Those who associate with them will
either have some affinity, or feel sorry for them, combined
usually with reluctance to forgo some convenience or other.
Not a particularly spiritual motive. One might say that a
misguided seeker forfeits the great opportunity of gaining
the greatest fortune possible for a human being. The purpose
of life is to return to the Source. The source is mysterious,
glorious, peaceful joy, which is God in everybody's heart.
This is realization. We do not gain it. It is always there in
the heart. Only the obstructions, vasanas, have to be removed
to reveal it.”

Thank you Jay. Any question about that before we go on?
Everybody understand it perfectly? O.K. Let’s play a song.

Hello again. It's good to be with you. I talk to many people
during the week, both on the telephone and in person. I speak
to Zen Buddhists, Hindus1 Americans, all kinds of people, and
80% tell me they're enlightened. Most of them tell me they've
experienced the Void. Some say they've seen lights. Some say
they hear certain sounds. And they say, "What do you think?”
So I remark, "Somebody has to be present to experience these
things. As long as somebody is present, and somebody is
present or you'll not be able to tell me about it, then
there's no enlightenment. Find out who is present, and hold
on to that you, because you are present to experience the
Void. You are present to experience the light or the sound.
Who is that you? Find out. Hold on to that you. Hold on to I.
I was present to experience the Void. As long as I am present
I cannot possibly be enlightened, because I still exist.”

It is like a movie theater. Let's take rather a stage
theater, stage play, where the lights shine on the players
and on the audience. When the play is over the audience and
the actors both leave, but the light still shines, even
though it shines on nothing. So the empty theater is the
Void. The light is still shining on the Void as well as on
the people.

A better example is: we see a room full of furniture, the
eyes look and they see. Then somebody turns off the light.
The eyes are still there but they don't see anything. That's
how the Void is compared to the seer. There has to be a seer
to see the Void. Who is that seer? And you find out by
self-enquiring, "Who am I? Where did the I come from? What is
the Source of I that sees all these things?” Remember, all
this phenomena is a projection of your mind. The mind appears
to be very powerful. It projects voids, light, sounds,
images, as well as the entire universe, and as well as your
body and mind. It projects itself out of the mind. The idea
is to stop the projection, and you stop the projection
through self-enquiry. This is the fastest way.

So whenever you have some experience, go beyond the
experience. Because there has to be somebody to have the
experience. Just like the eyes see when it's light, and the
eye is still there when it's dark, so the I is present when
you sleep, the I is present when you dream, the I is present
when you are awake. Find out who the I is. Dive deep within.
Work on yourself. Just like the article we read before,
forget about the world, forget about others, forget about
your body, and enquire of the Self. Find out who the Self is.
Who are you? Are there two I's or one I?

There cannot possibly be two I's because that's duality.
There has to be one I only. Find the source of the I. Follow
it diligently until you merge with the source. Then you will
find that you're happier than you've ever been in your life.
When you touch the source of I you have bliss, you have
Absolute Reality, you have God. This is the most important
question in life. Nothing else is so important. Can you think
of anything else that is as important? Then why do you worry
so much about others? Why do you get mixed up with all kinds
of problems? Do your duty. Enquire. Find the source of I. It
doesn't make any difference how long it takes. Think of how
many incarnations you had to go through in order to be in
this class today. Make yourself happy. Forget about your
troubles. They don't exist. Only God exists as yourself. But
you must find it out for yourself. Do it.

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Jerry Katz
photography & writings

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