Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi     579 posts


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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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Atman is realized with murta manas [dead mind], that is, mind devoid of thoughts and turned inward. Then the mind sees its own source and becomes that [the Self].

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We are so engrossed with the objects or appearances revealed by the light that we pay no attention to the light. The thing to do is to concentrate on the seer and not on the seen, not on the objects, but on the Light which reveals them.

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All spiritual teachings are only meant to make us retrace our steps to our Original Source. We need not acquire anything new, only give up false ideas and useless accretions. Instead of doing this, we try to grasp something strange and mysterious because we believe happiness lies elsewhere.
This is a mistake.

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There is Being alone.
There is no you, nor I, nor he; no present, nor past, nor future.
It is beyond time and space, beyond expression. It is ever there.

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The jnani sees no one as an ajnani. All are only jnanis in his sight. In the ignorant state one superimposes one’s ignorance on a jnani and mistakes him for a doer. In the state of jnana, the jnani sees nothing separate from the Self. The Self is all shining and only pure jnana.
So there is no ajnana in his sight.

There is an illustration for this kind of illusion or superimposition. Two friends went to sleep side by side. One of them dreamt that both of them had gone on a long journey and that they had
had strange experiences. On waking up he recapitulated them and asked his friend if it was not so. The other one simply ridiculed him saying that it was only his dream and could not affect the other.
So it is with the ajnani who superimposes his illusory ideas on others.

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DREAMS OF THE JNANI

Mr. Cohen asks if the Jnani dreams.
Bh. Yes, he does dream, but he knows it to be a dream, in the same way as he knows the waking state to be a dream. You may call them dream No. 1 and dream No. 2. The Jnani being established in the 4th state – Turiya, the Supreme Reality – he detachedly witnesses the three other states – waking, dreaming and dreamless sleep – as pictures superimposed on it.

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Only if one knows the truth of love, which is the real nature of Self, will the strong entangled knot of life be untied.
The experience of Self is only love, which is seeing only love, hearing only love, feeling only love, tasting only love and smelling only love, which is bliss.

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The Self alone exists and is real. The world, the individual and God are, like the illusory appearance of silver in the mother- of-pearl, imaginary creations in the Self. They appear and disappear simultaneously. Actually, the Self alone is the world, the ‘I’ and God. All that exists is only a manifestation of the Supreme.

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You see various scenes passing on a cinema screen: fire seems to burn buildings to ashes; water seems to wreck ships; but the screen on which the pictures are projected remains unburnt and dry. Why? Because the pictures are unreal and the screen real.
Similarly, reflections pass through a mirror but it is not affected at all by their number or quality.
In the same way, the world is a phenomenon upon the substratum of the single Reality which is not affected by it in any way. Reality is only One.
Talk of illusion is due only to the point of view. Change your viewpoint to that of Knowledge and you will perceive the Universe to be only Brahman. Being now immersed in the world, you see it as a real world; get beyond it and it will disappear and Reality alone will remain.

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When you truly feel this equal love for all, when your heart has expanded so much that it embraces the whole of creation, you will certainly not feel like giving up this or that. You will simply drop off from secular life as a ripe fruit drops from the branch of a tree. You will feel that the whole world is your home.

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There is first the white light, so to call it, of the Self, which transcends both light and darkness. In it no object can be seen. There is neither seer nor seen. Then there is total darkness or avidya in which also no objects are seen. But from the Self proceeds a reflected light, the light of pure manas [mind], and it is this light which gives room for the existence of all the film of the world which is seen neither in total light nor in total darkness, but only in the subdued or reflected light.

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The final obstacle to meditation is ecstasy; when you feel great bliss and happiness, the tendency is to stay in that ecstasy. Do not yield to this (laya) but pass onto the sixth stage, which is great calm.
The calm is higher than ecstasy and it merges into samadhi (absorption in Self).
Successful samadhi causes a waking sleep state to encompass you, when you are always Consciousness, for Consciousness is your nature. Hence a person is always in samadhi, only he does not know it.
All one has to do is to remove the obstacles I have just mentioned.

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