Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi     1511 posts


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The Self is like a powerful magnet within us. It draws us gradually to Itself, though we imagine we are going to It of our own accord: when we are near enough, It puts an end to our activities, makes us still, and then swallows up our personal current, thus killing our wrong personality. It overwhelms the intellect and overfloods the whole being. We think we are meditating upon It and developing towards It, whereas the truth is that we are iron filings and It is the Atman-magnet that is pulling us towards Itself. Thus the process of finding the Self is a form of Divine magnetism.

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Realise that the scenes that expand before you in the form of the world are just concepts of the mind. Otherwise, see the world as the form of God.

Those who ask 'where is God? He is not visible,' should enquire `Who am I? Where am I? and meet God there [ where the answer is found ]

To see him is to be consumed by him. Without turning inwards and merging in the lord, His light that shines within the mind and lends it all the light, how can we know the Light of Lights with the borrowed light of the mind?

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The Lord of the universe bears the whole burden. You only imagine that you do. You can hand over all your burdens to Him. Whatever you have to do, you will be made an instrument for doing it at the right time. Do not imagine that you cannot do it unless you have the desire to. It is not desire that gives you the necessary strength. The strength is the Lord’s.

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He who gives himself up to the Self that is God is the most excellent devotee. Giving one’s self up to God means remaining constantly in the Self without giving room for the rise of any thoughts other than the thought of the Self. Whatever burdens are thrown on God, He bears them. Since the supreme power of God makes all things move, why should we, without submitting ourselves to it, constantly worry ourselves with thoughts as to what should be done and how, and what should not be done and how not? We know that the train carries all loads, so after getting on it why should we carry our small luggage on our head to our discomfort, instead of putting it down in the train and feeling at ease?

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The ordinary man lives in the brain unaware of himself in the Heart. The enlightened one lives in the Heart. When he moves about and deals with people and things, he knows that what he sees is not separate from the one Supreme Reality which he realized in the Heart as his own Self.

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How to realise the Heart? There is no one who even for a trice fails to experience the Self. He is the Self. The Self is the Heart. When asked who you are, you place your hand on the right side of the chest and say `I am', thereby you unknowingly point out the Self. The Self is thus known.

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Though the ‘I’ is always experienced, yet one’s attention has to be drawn to it. Only then does knowledge dawn. Thus the need for the instruction of the Upanishads and of wise sages.

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If one knows that Bliss is none other than the Self the mind becomes inward turned. If the Self is gained all the desires are fulfilled.

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Only one’s own awareness is direct knowledge, as is the common experience of one and all. No aids are needed to know one’s own Self, i.e., to be aware.

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Someone enquired about the nature of perception.
M: Whatever state one is in, the perceptions partake of that state. The explanation is that in the waking state (jagrat) the gross body perceives gross names and forms; in swapna (the dream state) the mental body perceives the mental creations in their manifold forms and names; in the sushupti (deep dreamless sleep), the identification with the body being lost, there are no perceptions; similarly in the Transcendental state identity with Brahman places the man in harmony with everything, and there is nothing apart from his Self.

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Peace is the inner nature of humankind. If you find it within yourself, you will then find it everywhere.

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One who has wisely chosen the straight path of Self-inquiry,
can never go astray... for like the bright, clear Sun...the
Self-Awareness reveals itself to whomever turns towards it.

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Whoever dies or is lost, what is that to you? Die yourself and lose yourself, becoming one with love...

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D.: Which time is most suitable for meditation?
M.: What is time?
D.: Tell me what it is!
M.: Time is only an idea. There is only the Reality. Whatever you think it is, it looks like that. If you call it time, it is time. If you call it existence, it is existence, and so on. After calling it time, you divide it into days and nights, months, years, hours, minutes, etc. Time is immaterial for the Path of Knowledge. But some of these rules and discipline are good for beginners.

D.: What is Jnana Marga?
M.: Concentration of the mind is in a way common to both Knowledge and Yoga. Yoga aims at union of the individual with the universal, the Reality. This Reality cannot be new. It must exist even now, and it does exist. Therefore the Path of Knowledge tries to find out how viyoga (separation) came about. The separation is from the Reality only.

D.: What is illusion?
M.: To whom is the illusion? Find it out. Then illusion will vanish.

Generally people want to know about illusion and do not examine to whom it is. It is foolish. Illusion is outside and unknown. But the seeker is considered to be known and is inside. Find out what is immediate, intimate, instead of trying to find out what is distant and unknown.

Talk 17.

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The Self alone is Knowledge., knowledge of the diversity is but false-knowledge, ignorance

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24th January, 1938
Talk 447.

Sri Bhagavan said that a saint Namah Sivaya who was formerly living in Arunachala must have undergone considerable difficulties. For he has sung a song saying: "God proves the devotee by means of severe ordeals. A washerman beats the cloth on a slab, not to tear it, but only to remove the dirt."

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The Ordainer controls the fate of souls in accordance with their prarabdhakarma (destiny to be worked out in this life, resulting from the balance sheet of actions in past lives). 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. The best course, therefore, is to remain silent.

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The body itself is a thought.
Be as you really are.

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News of someone’s death was brought to Sri Bhagavan. He said, “Good. The dead are indeed happy. They have got rid of the troublesome overgrowth - the body. The dead man does not grieve. The survivors grieve for the man who is dead. Do men fear sleep? On the contrary sleep is courted and on waking up every man says that he slept happily. One prepares the bed for sound sleep. Sleep is temporary death. Death is longer sleep. If the man dies while yet alive he need not grieve over others’ death. One’s existence is evident with or without the body, as in waking, dream and sleep. Then why should one desire continuance of the bodily shackles? Let the man find out his undying Self and die and be immortal and happy.”

Talk 64

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Longing for a tiny grain of pleasure, people toil so
hard using the mind to plough the field of the five
senses, but they never wish for the flood of Bliss
which is the fruit that comes by ploughing the Heart,
the Source of the mind, with [simple] Self-attention.
Ah, what a wonder!

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The self is like a pearl.
To find it you must dive deep down into silence, deeper and ever deeper until it is reached.

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An ajnani sees someone as a jnani and identifies him with the body. Because he does not know the Self and, mistakes his body for the Self, he extends the same mistake to the state of the jnani. The jnani is therefore considered to be the physical frame.

Again since the ajnani, though he is not the doer, yet imagines himself to be the doer and considers the actions of the body his own, he thinks the jnani to be similarly acting when the body is active. But the jnani himself knows the Truth and is not confounded.

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That inner Self, as the primeval Spirit, eternal, ever effulgent, full and infinite Bliss, single, indivisible, whole and living, shines in everyone as the witnessing awareness.

That self in its splendour, shining in the cavity of the heart, this self is neither born nor dies, neither grows nor decays, nor does it suffer any change.

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The seat of Realization is within and the seeker cannot find it as an object outside him. That seat is bliss and is the core of all beings. Hence it is called the Heart.

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Pre-occupation with theory, doctrine and philosophy can actually be harmful, insofar as it distracts a man from the really important work of spiritual effort, by offering an easier alternative which is merely mental, and which therefore cannot change his nature.

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Sometimes in his life a man becomes dissatisfied and, not content with what he has, he seeks the satisfaction of his desires through prayer to God. His mind is gradually purified until he longs to know God, more to obtain his grace than to satisfy his worldly desires. Then, God's grace begins to manifest. God takes the form of a Guru and appears to the devotee, teaches him the truth and, moreover, purifies his mind by association. The devotee's mind gains strength and is then able to turn inward. By meditation it is further purified and it remains still without the least ripple. That calm expanse is the Self.

The Guru is both external and internal. From the exterior he gives a push to the mind to turn it inwards. From the interior he pulls the mind towards the Self and helps in the quietening of the mind. That is Guru's grace. There is no difference between God, Guru and the Self.

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