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Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi

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Here are 225 truths from his own words.

1. The mind is nothing but the thought “I”
2. Thoughts arise because of the thinker.
3. The thinker is the ego, which if sought will automatically vanish.
4. Without consciousness, time and space do not exist; they appear within Consciousness but have no reality of their own.
5. It is like a screen on which all this is cast as pictures and move as in a cinema show.
6. The Absolute Consciousness alone is our real nature.
7. Grace is within you; Grace is the Self.
8. Grace is not something to be acquired from others. If it is external, it is useless. All that is necessary is to know its existence in you.
9. You are never out of its operation.
10. The mind cannot seek the mind.
11. You ignore what is real and hold on to that which is unreal, then try to find what it is. You think you are the mind and, therefore, ask how it is to be controlled.
12. If the mind exists, it can be controlled, but it does not. Understand this by inquiry.
13. Seek the real, the Self.
14. The Eternal is not born nor does it die.
15. We confound appearance with Reality. Appearance carries its end in itself.
16. What is it that appears anew?
17. If you cannot find it, surrender unreservedly to the substratum of appearances; then Reality will be what remains.
18. Reality is simply loss of the ego.
19. Destroy the ego by seeking its identity.
20. Because the ego has no real existence, it will automatically vanish, and Reality will shine forth by itself in all its glory. This is the direct method.
21. All other methods retain the ego. In those paths so many doubts arise, and the eternal question remains to be tackled. But in this method the final question is the only one and is raised from the very beginning.
22. No practices (sadhanas) are even necessary for this quest.
23. Your duty is to Be, and not to be this or that.
24. “I am That I Am” sums up the whole truth; the method is summarized in “Be Still.”
25. The state we call Realization is simply being one’s self, not knowing anything or becoming anything.
26. If one has realized, one is that which alone is and which alone has always been. One cannot describe that state, but only be That. Of course, we loosely talk of Self-realization for want of a better term.
27. There is no help in changing your environment.
28. The obstacle is the mind, which must be overcome, whether at home or in the forest. If you can do it in the forest, why not in the home? Therefore, why change the environment?
29. The cause of misery is not in life without; it is within you as the ego.
30. You impose limitations upon yourself and then make a vain struggle to transcend them.
31. Why attribute to the happenings in life the cause of misery, which really lies within you? What happiness can you get from anything extraneous to yourself? When you get it, how long will it last?
32. The body itself is a thought.
33. Be as you really are.
34. There are no stages in Realization or degrees in Liberation.
35. There are no levels of Reality; there are only levels of experience for the individual.
36. If anything can be gained that was not present before, it can also be lost, whereas the Absolute is eternal, here and now.
37. It is not a matter of becoming but of Being.
38. Remain aware of yourself and all else will be known.
39. One comes into existence for a certain purpose.
40. That purpose will be accomplished whether one considers oneself the actor or not.
41. Everything is predetermined.
42. But one is always free not to identify oneself with the body and not to be affected by the pleasure and pain associated with its activities.
43. Engage yourself in the living present. The future will take care of itself.
44. Find out who is subject to free will or predestination and abide in that state.
45. Then both are transcended. That is the only purpose in discussing these questions. To whom do such questions present themselves?
46. Discover that and be at peace.
47. Your true nature is that of infinite spirit.
48. The feeling of limitation is the work of the mind.
49. When the mind unceasingly investigates its own nature, it transpires that there is no such thing as mind.
50. This is the direct path for all.
51. If one inquires as to where in the body the thought “I” first rises, one would discover that it rises in the heart; that is the place of the mind’s origin.
52. Grace is always present.
53. You imagine it is something somewhere high in the sky, far away, and has to descend. It is really inside you, in your Heart, and the moment you effect subsidence or merger of the mind into its Source, grace rushes forth, sprouting as from a spring within you.
54. You speak as if you are here, and the Self is somewhere else and you had to go and reach it…
55. …But in fact the Self is here and now, and you are always It.
56. It is like being here and asking people the way to the ashram, then complaining that each one shows a different path and asking which to follow.
57. The realized person weeps with the weeping, laughs with the laughing, plays with the playful, sings with those who sing, keeping time to the song.
58. What does he lose?
59. His presence is like a pure, transparent mirror. It reflects our image exactly as we are. It is we who play the several parts in life and reap the fruits of our actions. How is the mirror or the stand on which it is mounted affected? Nothing affects them, as they are mere supports.
60. The Consciousness of “I” is the subject of all of our actions.
61. Inquiring into the true nature of that Consciousness and remaining as oneself is the way to understand one’s true nature.
62. All that is required to realize the Self is to Be Still.
63. What can be easier than that?
64. If one gains the Peace of the Self, it will spread without any effort on the part of the individual.
65. When one is not peaceful, oneself, how can one spread peace in the world?
66. Unless one is happy, one cannot bestow happiness on others.
67. Happiness is born of Peace and can reign only when there is no disturbance. Disturbance is due to thoughts, which arise in the mind. When the mind is absent there will be perfect Peace.
68. Reality lies beyond the mind.
69. So long as the mind functions, there is duality. Once it is transcended, Reality shines forth.
70. Self-effulgence is the Self.
71. Satsang means association (sanga) with Being (Sat), which is the Self.
72. For whom is association?
73. The ultimate truth is so simple; it is nothing more than being in one’s natural, original state.
74. It is a great wonder that to teach such a simple truth a number of religions should be necessary, and so many disputes should go on between them as to which is the God-ordained teaching. What a pity!
75. Just be the Self, that is all.
76. Because people want something elaborate and mysterious, so many religions have come into existence. Only those who are mature can understand the matter in its naked simplicity.
77. There is neither past nor future; there is only the present.
78. Yesterday was the present when you experienced it; tomorrow will also be the present when you experience it.
79. Therefore, experience takes place only in the present, and beyond and apart from experience nothing exists.
80. Even the present is mere imagination, for the sense of time is purely mental.
81. Because people love mystery and not the truth, religions cater to them, eventually bringing them around to the Self.
82. Whatever be the means adopted, you must at last return to the Self; so why not abide in the Self here and now?
83. There is no greater mystery than this: Being Reality ourselves, we seek to gain Reality.
84. We think that there is something hiding Reality and that it must be destroyed before the truth is gained. This is clearly ridiculous.
85. A day will dawn when you will laugh at your past efforts. What you realize on the day you laugh is also here and now.
86. If we look upon the Self as the ego, we become the ego, if as the mind we become the mind, if as the body we become the body.
87. It is thought that builds up layers in so many ways.
88. Take no notice of the ego and its activities but see only the light behind it.
89. The ego is the “I”-thought.
90. The true “I” is the Self.
91. The world does not exist in sleep and forms a projection of your mind in the waking state. It is therefore an idea and nothing else.
92. It is false to speak of Realization; what is there to realize?
93. The real is ever as it is.
94. All that is required is to cease regarding as real that which is unreal. That is all we need to attain wisdom (jnana).
95. The universe is only an object created by the mind and has its being in the mind. It cannot be measured as an external entity.
96. The world phenomena, within or without, are only fleeting and are not independent of our Self.
97. Only the habit of looking at them as real and located outside ourselves is responsible for hiding our pure Being.
98. When the ever-present sole Reality, the Self, is found, all other unreal things will disappear, leaving behind the knowledge that they are not other than the Self.
99. Either surrender because you realize your inability and need a higher power to help you, or investigate the cause of misery.
100. The Divine never forsakes one who has surrendered.
101. To identify oneself with the body and yet seek happiness is like attempting to cross a river on the back of an alligator.
102. In truth, you are Spirit.
103. The body has been projected by the mind, which itself originates from Spirit. If the wrong identification ceases, there will be peace and permanent, indescribable bliss.
104. Those who have realized the Self, which is the ground of fate and free will, are free from them.
105. Ramana’s reply to his mother, when she requested that he return home with her:
106. The Ordainer controls the fate of souls in accordance with their destiny (prarabdha karma). Whatever is destined not to happen will not happen, try as you may. Whatever is destined to happen will happen, do what you may to prevent it. This is certain.
107. The best course, therefore, is to remain silent.
108. The real state must be effortless. It is permanent.
109. Efforts are spasmodic and so also are their results.
110. When your real, effortless, joyful nature is realized, it will not be inconsistent with the ordinary activities of life.
111. In the interior of the heart-cave, the one Reality shines alone as “I-I” the Self.
112. The Heart is the only Reality.
113. The mind is only a transient phase.
114. To remain as one’s Self is to enter the Heart.
115. Apart from thought, there is no independent entity called “world.”
116. In deep sleep, there are no thoughts and there is no world. In waking and dreaming, there are thoughts, and there is a world, also.
117. Just as the spider emits the thread (of the web) out of itself and then withdraws it, likewise, the mind projects the world out of itself and then withdraws it back into itself.
118. The Self is all-pervading.
119. Therefore, no particular place can be allocated for leading a life of solitude.
120. To abide in the tranquil state that is devoid of thought is to lead a life of solitude and seclusion.
121. When your standpoint becomes that of wisdom, you will find the world to be God.
122. The question is one of outlook.
123. The universe exists within the Self.
124. Therefore, it is real, but only because it obtains its reality from the Self. We call it unreal, however, to indicate its changing appearance and transient form, whereas we call the Self real because it is changeless.
125. We see only the script and not the paper on which the script is written.
126. The paper is there, whether the script is on it or not. To those who look upon the script as real, you have to say that it is unreal — an illusion — since it rests upon the paper.
127. The wise person looks upon both paper and script as one.
128. Our real nature is Liberation, but we imagine that we are bound…
129. …we make strenuous efforts to become free, although all the while we are free.
130. A person goes to sleep in this hall and dreams he has gone on a world tour, traveling over various continents. After many years of strenuous travel, he returns to this country, enters the ashram, and walks into the hall.
131. Just at that moment, he wakes up and finds that he has not moved at all but has been sleeping. He has not returned after great efforts to this hall, but was here all the time.
132. If it is asked, “Why, being free, we imagine ourselves bound?” I answer, “Why, being in the hall, did you imagine you were on a world tour, crossing desert and sea?”
133. It is all mind.
134. With a smile, Ramana placed his little finger over his eye and said:
135. Look. This little finger covers the eye and prevents the whole world from being seen. In the same way this small mind covers the whole universe and prevents Reality from being seen.
136. See how powerful it is!
137. What is, is the Self. It is all-pervading.
138. We fill the mind with all sorts of impressions and then say there is no room for the Self in it.
139. If all the false ideas and impressions are swept away and thrown out, what remains is a feeling of fullness, which is the Self. Then there will be no such thing as a separate “I.”
140. Meditation on the Self, which is oneself, is the greatest of all meditations.
141. All other meditations are included in this.
142. True silence is really endless speech.
143. There is no attaining it because it is always present.
144. All you have to do is remove the coverings that conceal it.
145. Surrender is giving oneself up to the origin of one’s Being.
146. In due course, we will know that our glory lies where we cease to exist.
147. The pet squirrel is waiting for an opportunity to run out of its cage.
148. Ramana remarks:
149. All want to rush out. There is no limit to going out. Happiness lies within and not without.
150. All spiritual teachings are only meant to make us retrace our steps to our Original Source.
151. We need not acquire anything new, only give up false ideas and useless accretions.
152. Instead of doing this, we try to grasp something strange and mysterious because we believe happiness lies elsewhere. This is the mistake.
153. Forgetfulness of your real nature is true death; remembrance of it is rebirth.
154. What appears will also disappear and is therefore impermanent. The Self never appears and disappears and is therefore permanent.
155. It is the only Reality.
156. Environment, time, and objects all exist in oneself.
157. How can they be independent of me?
158. They may change, but “I” remain unchanging.
159. Make no effort either to work or to give up work; your very effort is the bondage.
160. What is destined to happen will happen. Leave it to the higher power; you cannot renounce or retain as you choose.
161. The feeling “I work” is the hindrance.
162. Ask yourself, “Who works?” Remember who you are. Then the work will not bind you; it will proceed automatically.
163. Realization is nothing to be gained anew.
164. You are the Self. You are already and eternally That.
165. There is never a moment when the Self is not; it is ever-present, here and now.
166. If Realization were something to be gained hereafter, there would be an equal chance of its being lost; this cannot be Liberation, which is eternal.
167. Realization consists of getting rid of the false idea that one is not realized.
168. What is called “mind” is a wondrous power residing in the Self.
169. It causes all thoughts to arise. Apart from thoughts, there is no such thing as mind. Therefore, thought is the nature of mind.
170. Self-inquiry directly leads to Self-realization by removing the obstacles which make you think that the Self is not already realized.
171. It reveals the truth that neither the ego nor the mind really exists and enables one to realize the pure, undifferentiated Being, which is the Self or the Absolute.
172. Free will and destiny last as long as the body lasts.
173. Wisdom transcends both, for the Self is beyond knowledge and ignorance.
174. Pain or pleasure is the result of past actions and not of the present…they alternate with each other.
175. One must always try to abide in the Self and not be swayed by the pain or pleasure met with occasionally.
176. One who is indifferent to pain or pleasure can alone be happy.
177. Thoughts change but not you.
178. Thoughts form your bondage and are not external to you, so no external remedy be sought for freedom.
179. What does it matter if the mind is active? It is only so on the substratum of the Self.
180. Hold to the Self even during mental activity.
181. The “I” casts off the illusion of “I” and yet remains as “I.”
182. Such is the paradox of Self-realization.
183. You give up various possessions. If, instead, you give up “I” and “mine,” you give them all up in one stroke and lose the very seed of possession.
184. Disinterest in the non-Self must be very strong to do this.
185. One’s eagerness must be equal to that of a person kept under water while trying to rise to the surface to breathe.
186. Be what you are.
187. That which is, is ever present. Even now you are It, and not apart from It.
188. The expectation to see and the desire to get something are all the working of the ego.
189. Be yourself and nothing more.
190. Pleasure or pain are only aspects of the mind. Our essential nature is happiness.
191. We forget the Self and imagine the body or the mind to be the Self. It I this wrong identity that gives rise to misery.
192. Happiness is inherent in everyone and is not due to external causes.
193. Because you have lost hold of the Self, thoughts afflict you; you see the world and doubts arise, along with anxiety about the future.
194. There is no use removing doubts.
195. If we clear one doubt, another arises, and there will be no end of doubts. All doubts will cease only when the doubter and his source have been found. Seek for the source of the doubter, and you find he is really nonexistent.
196. Doubter ceasing, doubts will cease.
197. Investigate the nature of the mind and it will disappear.
198. Because of the emergence of thought, you surmise that it has an origin and call that the mind.
199. When you inquire to see what it is, you find there is really no such thing as mind.
200. When the mind has thus vanished, you realize eternal Peace.
201. When the mind, turning inward, inquires, “Who am I?” and reaches the heart, that which is “I” (the ego) sinks crestfallen, and the One (Self) appears of its own accord as “I-I.” Though it appears thus, it is not the ego; it is the Whole.
202. It is the real Self.
203. The Self is free from all qualities.
204. Good or bad qualities pertain only to the mind.
205. The numeral one gives rise to other numbers. The truth is neither one nor two.
206. It is as it is.
207. Dvaita and advaita are relative terms. They are based on a sense of duality. There is actually neither dvaita nor advaita.
208. I Am That I Am…
209. Simple Being is the Self.
210. The limited and multifarious thoughts having disappeared, there shines in the Heart a kind of wordless illumination of “I-I,” which is pure Consciousness.
211. If one remains quiet without abandoning that understanding, then egoity—the individual sense of the form “I-am-the-body”—will be totally destroyed. And ultimately, the final thought, the “I”-thought, will also be extinguished, like camphor that is burned by fire.
212. The great sages and scriptures declare that this alone is Realization.
213. Meditation is your true nature now.
214. You call it meditation because other thoughts distract you. When these thoughts are dispelled, you remain in the state of meditation, free from thoughts.
215. When the practice becomes firm, your real nature shows itself as meditation.
216. When meditation is well-established, it cannot be given up. It will go on automatically, even when you are engaged in work or play. It will persist in sleep, too.
217. Meditation must become so deep-rooted that it will be natural to one.
218. Birth and death pertain only to the body…
219. …they are superimposed on the Self, giving rise to the delusion that birth and death relate to the Self.
220. If one dies while still alive, one need not grieve over another’s death.
221. Discover the undying Self and be immortal and happy.
222. Why do you worry about life and death?
223. Deathlessness is our real nature. The real “I” exists here and now.
224. There is neither creation nor destruction, neither destiny nor free will, neither path nor achievement.
225. This is the final truth.

[Source: The Essential Teachings of Ramana Maharshi, Edited by Matthew Greenblatt]

http://www.reenagagneja.com/ramana-maharshi-225-truths

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Begin from the beginning: give attention to the fact that you are. At no time can you say " I was not". All you can say is "I don't remember". You know how unreliable is memory. Accept that, engrossed in petty personal affairs, you have forgotten what you are; try to bring back the lost memory through the elimination of the known. You cannot be told what will happen, nor is it desirable; anticipation will create illusions. In the inner search, the unexpected is inevitable; the discovery is invariably beyond all imagination. Just as an unborn child cannot know life after birth, for it has nothing in its mind with which to form a valid picture, so is the mind unable
to think of the real in terms of the unreal, except by negation: "Not this, not that". The acceptance of the unreal as real is the obstacle; to see the false as false and abandon the false brings reality into being.

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The reward of self-knowledge is freedom from the personal self. You cannot know the knower, for you are the knower. The fact of knowing proves the knower. You need no other proof. The knower of the known is not knowable. Just like the light is known in colours only, so is the knower known in knowledge.

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Merely assuaging fears and satisfying desires will not remove this sense of emptiness you are trying to escape from; only self-knowledge can help you. By self-knowledge I mean full knowledge of what you are not. Such knowledge is attainable and final; but to the discovery of what you are there can be no end. The more you discover, the more there remains to discover.

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There is nothing in the world that you cannot know, when you know yourself. Thinking yourself to be the body, you know the world as a collection of material things. When you know yourself as a centre of consciousness, the world appears as the ocean of the mind. When you know yourself as you are in reality, you know the world as yourself.

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Believe me, there is no goal, nor a way to reach it. You are the way and the goal, there is nothing else to reach except yourself. All you need is to understand, and understanding is the flowering of the mind. The tree is perennial, but the flowering and the fruit-bearing come in season. The seasons change, but not the tree. You are the tree. You have grown numberless branches and leaves in the past, and you may grow them also in the future - yet you remain. Not what was, or shall be, must you know, but what is. Yours is the desire that creates the universe. Know the world as your own creation and be free.

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You are what you are, timelessly, but of what use is it to you unless you know it and act on it? Your begging bowl may be of pure gold, but as long as you do not know it you are a pauper. You must know your inner worth and trust it and express it in the daily sacrifice of desire and fear.

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The limited only is perfectible. The unlimited is already perfect. You are perfect, only you don't know it. Learn to know yourself and you will discover wonders.

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Unless you know yourself well, how can you know another? And when you know yourself, you are the other.

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Deepen and broaden your awareness of yourself and all the blessings will flow. You need not seek anything, all will come to you most naturally and effortlessly.

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If you want to live sanely, creatively and happily, and have infinite riches to share, search for what you are.

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You do not know what you are and therefore you imagine yourself to be what you are not. Hence desires and fear and overwhelming activity in order to escape.

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Be interested in yourself beyond all experience, be with yourself, love yourself; the ultimate security is found only in self-knowledge. The main thing is eartnestness. Be honest with yourself and nothing will betray you.

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Experience, however sublime, is not the real thing. By its very nature it comes and goes. Self-realization is not an acquisition. It is more of the nature of understanding. Once arrived at, it cannot be lost. On the other hand, consciousness is changeful, flowing, undergoing transformation from moment to moment. Do not hold on to consciousness and its contents. Consciousness held, ceases. To try to perpetuate a flash of insight, or a burst of happiness is destructive of what it wants to preserve. What comes must go. The permanent is beyond all comings and goings. Go to the root of all experience, to the sense of being. Beyond being and not-being lies the immensity of the real. Try and try again.

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All experience is illusory, limited and temporal. Expect nothing from experience. Realization by itself is not an experience, though it may lead to a new dimension of experiences. Yet the new experiences, however interesting, are not more real than the old. Definitely realization is not a new experience. It is the discovery of the timeless factor in every experience. It is awareness, which makes experience possible. Just like in all the colours light is the colourless factor, so in every experience awareness is present, yet it is not an experience.

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There is no such thing as the experience of the real. The real is beyond experience. All experience is in the mind. You know the real by being the real.

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Most of the people vegetate, but do not live. They merely gather experiences and enrich their memory. But experience is the denial of Reality, which is neither sensory nor conceptual, neither of the body nor of the mind, though it includes and transcends them both.

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Experience leaves only memories behind and adds to the burden which is heavy enough. You need no more experiences. The past ones are sufficient. And if you feel you need more, look into the hearts of people around you. You will find a variety of experiences which you would not be able to go through in a thousand years. Learn from the sorrows of others and save yourself your own. It is not experience that you need, but the freedom from all experience.

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At present your being is mixed up with experiencing. All you need is to unravel being from the tangle of experiences. Once you have known pure being, without being this or that, you will discern it among experiences and you will no longer be misled by names and forms. Self-limitation is the very essence of personality.

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Above all, we want to remain conscious. We shall bear every suffering and humiliation, but we shall rather remain conscious. Unless we revolt against this craving for experience and let go the manifested altogether, there can be no relief. We shall remain trapped.

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All experience is necessarily transient. But the ground of all experience is immovable. Nothing that may be called an event will last. But some events purify the mind and some stain it. Moments of deep insight and all-embracing love purify the mind, while desires and fears, envies and anger, blind beliefs and intellectual arrogance pollute and dull the psyche.

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An event becomes an experience only when I am emotionally interested. I am in a state which is complete, which seeks not to improve on itself. Of what use is experience to me?

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Most of your experiences are unconscious. The conscious ones are very few. You are unaware of the fact because to you only the conscious ones count. Become aware of the unconscious. Desire and fear are the obscuring and distorting factors. When mind is free of them the unconscious becomes accessible.

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Now I know nothing, for all knowledge is in dream only and not valid. I know myself and I find no life nor death in me, only pure being, not being this or that, but just being.

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You must unlearn everything. God is the end of all desire and knowledge.

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