Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi     515 posts


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During worldly activity, if your attention is fixed on the fundamental reality, there is no difficulty. But ordinary people forget the reality and take the name alone to be real. The different "I"'s are not real. There is only one 'I'. The separate "I" is like a watchman in a fort. He is like the protector of the body. The real owner in everybody is only the one real 'I'. So, when the separate "I" surrenders to the real "I" , then, [because the idea of a separate self who 'owns' the body disappears] , "I" and 'mine' are eliminated. The true state comes into existence when, after sorting out what belongs to whom, the ego "I" surrenders itself to the real owner.

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Absence of thought does not mean a blank.

There must be someone to be aware of that blank. Knowledge and ignorance pertain only to the mind and are in duality, but the Self is beyond them both. It is pure Light.

There is no need for one Self to see another.
There are no two selves.

What is not the Self is mere non-self and cannot see the Self. The Self has no sight or hearing; it lies beyond them, all alone, as pure Consciousness.

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So long as one desires liberation, so long, you may take it, one is in bondage.

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Here is Bhagavan’s brief account of how he resolved this question during his ego-death experience in 1896 in Madurai.

When I scrutinised within the mind ‘Who is the seer?’ the seer became non-existent and I saw that which remained. The mind does not [now] rise to say ‘I saw’; how [therefore] can the mind rise to say ‘I did not see’. (Arunachala Ashtakam, verse two, tr. Sadhu Om)

Questioning ‘Who am I?’ within one’s mind, when one reaches the Heart the individual ‘I’ sinks crestfallen, and at once reality manifests itself as ‘I-I’. Though it reveals itself thus, it is not the ego ‘I’, but the perfect being, the Self Absolute. (Ulladu Narpadu, verse 30)

‘Whence does this ‘I’ arise? Seek this within. This ‘I’ then vanishes. This is the pursuit of wisdom. Where the ‘I’ vanished, there appears an ‘I-I’ by itself. This is the infinite [poornam]. (Upadesa Undiyar, verses 19 and 20).

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At present we are conscious of ourselves as a set of adjuncts with object knowing consciousness in which our attention seemingly move away from the self towards the object with separation between knowing subject and known object. In self-enquiry we withdraw our attention from thoughts and objects so that attention rests in self without any oscillation. To posit our attention in this state is the aim of self-enquiry.

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All the activities that the body is to go through are determined when it first comes into existence, it does not rest with you to accept or reject them. The only freedom you have is to turn your mind inward and renounce activities there.

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Gradually the obstacles are all overcome and your current becomes stronger. Everything comes right in the end. Steady determination is what is required.

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The state of being is permanent and the body and the world are not. They are fleeting phenomena passing on the screen of being-consciousness which is eternal and stationary.

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The Bliss of Self is always yours and you will find it if you seek it earnestly.
The cause of your misery is not in your outer life; it is in you, as your ego. You impose limitations on yourself and then make a vain struggle to transcend them.
All unhappiness is due to the ego. With it comes all your trouble.

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PRAYERS

They pray to God and finish with: ‘Thy will be done’. If
His will be done, why do they pray at all? It is true that the
Divine will prevails at all times and under all circumstances.
Individuals cannot act of their own accord. Recognise the force
of the Divine will and keep quiet. Everyone is looked after by
God. He created all. You are only one among two thousand
millions. When He looks after so many, will He omit you?
Even common sense dictates that one should accept His will.
There is no need to tell Him your requirements. He knows
them Himself and will look after them.

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It is stupor which you must guard against. That sleep which alternates with waking is not the true sleep. That waking which alternates with sleep is not the true waking. Are you awake now? No. What you have to do is to wake up to your true state.

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To be still is not to think you have lost hold of yourself. Turn inward. If the mind's source is sought, it will vanish leaving the Self behind.

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Any kind of activity does not affect a Jnani; his mind remains ever in eternal Peace.

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The Self does not come from anywhere nor does it enter the
body through the crown of the head. It is as it is, ever shining, ever steady, unmoving and unchanging. The changes which are noticed are not inherent in the Self, for the Self abides in the heart and is self-luminous like the sun. The changes are seen in Its light. The relationship between the Self and the body or the mind may be compared to that of a clear crystal and its background. If the crystal is placed against a red flower it shines red, if against green it shines green, and so on. The individual confines himself to the limits of the changeable body or of the mind which derives its existence from the unchanging Self. All that is necessary is to give up this mistaken identity and, that done, the ever shining Self will be seen to be the single, non-dual Reality.

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Why raise questions of what happens after death? Why ask whether you were born, whether you are reaping the fruits of your past karma, and so on? You will not raise such questions in a little while when you fall asleep. Why? Are you a different person now from the one you are when asleep? No, you are not. Find out why such questions do not occur to you when you are asleep.

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Brahman or the Self, is like a cinema screen and the world like
the pictures on it. You can see the picture only so long as there
is a screen. But when the observer himself becomes the screen
only the Self remains.

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When you come out of prison you will see your mind is there intact. All your knowledge is intact, but you're out of it. It'll be working automatically and it will beautifully run your life. The problem is when you get involved. When you merely become a witness consciousness the mind is automatically functioning.

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You are spirit in truth. However that spirit is wrongly identifying itself with the gross body. The body has been projected by the mind; the mind itself has originated from the spirit. If the wrong identification ceases, there will be peace and permanent untellable bliss.

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Your search to attain me is like searching all over the world, ceaselessly straining to find the necklace around your own neck.

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Just as a man would dive in order to get something that had fallen into the water, so one should dive into oneself with a keen, one-pointed mind, controlling speech and breath, and find the place whence the 'I' originates.
The only enquiry leading to Self-realization is seeking the source of the word 'I'.

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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.

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Mind is a wonderful force inherent in the Self.
That which arises in this body as 'I' is the mind.
When the subtle mind emerges through the brain and the senses, the gross names and forms are cognized.
When it remains in the Heart, names and forms disappear.
If the mind remains in the Heart, the 'I' or the ego which is the source of all thoughts will go, and the Self, the Real, Eternal 'I' alone will shine. Where there is not the slightest trace of the ego, there is the Self.

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Entering the Heart means remaining without distractions. The Heart is the only Reality. The mind is only a transient phase. To remain as one's Self is to enter the Heart. Because a man identifies himself with the body he sees the world separate from him. This wrong identification arises because he has lost his moorings and has swerved from his original state. He is now advised to give up all these false ideas, to trace back his source and remain as the Self. In that state, there are no differences. No questions will arise. All the sastras are meant only to make the man retrace his steps to the original source. He need not gain anything new. He must only give up his false ideas and useless accretions. Instead of doing it he tries to catch hold of something strange and mysterious because he believes that his happiness lies elsewhere. That is the mistake. If one remains as the Self there is bliss. Probably he thinks that being quiet does not bring about the state of bliss. That is due to his ignorance. The only practice is to find out "to whom these questions arise."

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The perception of 'I' is associated with a form, maybe the body. There should be nothing associated with the pure Self. The Self is the unassociated, pure reality, in whose light the body and the ego shine. On stilling all thoughts the pure consciousness remains.

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Knowing the Self is being the Self, and being means existence, one’s own existence. No one denies one’s existence any more than one denies one’s eyes, although one cannot see them. The trouble lies with your desire to objectify the Self, in the same way as you objectify your eyes when you place a mirror before them. You have been so accustomed to objectivity that you have lost the knowledge of yourself, simply because the Self cannot be objectified. Who is to know the Self? Can the insentient body know it? All the time you speak and think of your ‘I’, yet when questioned you deny knowledge of it. You are the Self, yet you ask how to know the Self.

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The Self is ever-present. Each one wants to know the Self. What kind of help does one require to know oneself? People want to see the Self as something new. But it is eternal and remains the same all along. They desire to see it as a blazing light etc. How can it be so? It is not light, not darkness. It is only as it is. It cannot be defined. The best definition is ‘I am that I am’. The srutis [scriptures] speak of the Self as being the size of one’s thumb, the tip of the hair, an electric spark, vast, subtler than the subtlest, etc. They have no foundation in fact. It is only being, but different from the real and the unreal; it is knowledge, but different from knowledge and ignorance. How can it be defined at all? It is simply being.

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