Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi     529 posts


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If we unceasingly investigate the form of the mind, we find there is no such thing as the mind. This is the direct path open to all.

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I told Bhagavan, “I don’t want moksha, I just want that the desire for women should not enter my mind.”
Bhagavan laughed and said, “All the mahatmas are striving only for this.”

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SERVICE TO THE GURU REMOVES IGNORANCE BY AND BY

While speaking to Mr. G. Shanmugham, a very sincere lawyer devotee, Bhagavan observed:

The sastras say that one must serve a Guru for 12 years for getting Self-Realisation. What does Guru do? Does he hand it over to the disciple? Is not the Self always realised? What does the common belief mean then? The man is always the Self and yet he does not know it. He confounds it with the non-self, viz., the body etc.

Such confusion is due to ignorance. If ignorance be wiped out the confusion will cease to exist and the true knowledge will be unfolded. By remaining in contact with realised sages the man gradually loses the ignorance until its removal is complete. The eternal Self is thus revealed.ra

This is the meaning conveyed by the story of Ashtavakra and Janaka. The anecdotes differ in different books. We are not concerned with the names and the embellishments. The tatva, i.e., the moral, must not be lost sight of.

The disciple surrenders himself to the master. That means there is no vestige of individuality retained by the disciple. If the surrender is complete all sense of individuality is lost and there is thus no cause for misery. The eternal being is only happiness. That is revealed.

Without understanding it aright, people think that the Guru teaches the disciple something like “TATVAMASI” and that the disciple realises “I am Brahman”. In their ignorance they conceive of Brahman as something more huge and powerful than anything else. With a limited ‘I’ the man is so stuck up and wild. What will be the case if the same ‘I’ grows up enormous? He will be enormously ignorant and foolish! This false ‘I’ must perish. Its annihilation is the fruit of Guru seva. Realisation is eternal and it is not newly brought about by the Guru. He helps in the removal of ignorance. That is all.

Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi, No 350

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Once a devotee asked Bhagawan:
‘How many Upanishads does one have to read to understand the Self?’ Bhagawan, in his usual style answered, ‘How many mirrors do you need to see your face?’

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REMAIN WHERE YOU ARE


At a quarter to ten this morning, just as Bhagavan was getting up to go for his usual short mid-morning walk, an Andhra young man approached the couch and said, “Swami, I have come here because I want to perform austerities (tapas) and don’t know which would be the proper place for it. I will go wherever you direct me.”

Bhagavan did not answer. He was bending down, rubbing his legs and knees, as he often does before beginning to walk, on account of his rheumatic trouble, and was smiling
quietly to himself. We, of course, eagerly waited to hear what he would say. A moment later he took the staff that he uses to steady himself while walking, and looking at the young man, said, “How can I tell you where to go for performing tapas? It is best to stay where you are.” And with a smile he went out.

The young man was confused. “What is the meaning of this?” he exclaimed. “Being an elderly person, I thought he would tell me of some holy place where I could stay, but instead of that he tells me to stay where I am. I am now near this couch. Does that mean that I should stay here near the couch? Was it to receive such a reply that I approached him? Is this a matter for jokes?”

One of the devotees took him out of the hall and explained, “Even when Bhagavan says something in a lighter vein there is always some deep meaning in it. Where the feeling ‘I’ arises is one’s Self. Tapas means knowing where the Self is and abiding in it. For knowing that, one has to know who one is; and when one realises one’s Self what does it matter where one stays? This is what he meant.” He thus pacified the young man and sent him away.

Similarly, someone asked yesterday, “Swami, how can we find the Self (Atma)?”

“You are in the Self; so how can there be any difficulty in finding it?” Bhagavan replied.

“You say that I am in the Self, but where exactly is that Self?” the questioner persisted.

“If you abide in the heart and search patiently you will find it,” was the reply.

The questioner still seemed unsatisfied, and made the rather curious observation that there was no room in his heart for him to stay in it.

Bhagavan turned to one of the devotees sitting there and said smiling, “Look how he worries about where the Self
is! What can I tell him?

What Is, is the Self. It is all-pervading.

When I tell him that it is called ‘Heart’ he says there is no room in it for him to stay. What can I do?

To say that there is no room in the heart after filling it with unnecessary vasanas* is like grumbling that there is no room to sit down in a house as big as Sri Lanka.
If all the junk is thrown out, won’t there be room? The body itself is junk. These people are like a man who fills all the rooms of his house chokeful with unnecessary junk and then complains that there is no room for keeping his body in it.

In the same way they fill the mind with all sorts of impressions and then say there is no room for the Self in it.

If all the false ideas and impressions are swept away and thrown out what remains is a feeling of plenty and that is the Self itself. Then there will be no such thing as a separate ‘I’; it will be a state of egolessness.

Where then is the question of a room or an occupant of the room? Instead of seeking the Self people say, ‘no room! no room!’, just like shutting your eyes and saying there is ‘no sun! no sun!’. What can one do under such circumstances?”

10th September, 1947, 'Letters from Sri Ramanasramam'

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SAMADHI

This morning, a European who was sitting in front of Bhagavan said through an interpreter:

“It is stated in the Mandukyopanishad that, unless samadhi, i.e., the 8th and last stage of yoga, is also experienced, there can be no liberation (moksha) however much meditation (dhyana) or austerities (tapas) are performed. Is that so?”

Bhagavan: “Rightly understood, they are the same. It makes no difference whether you call it meditation or austerities or absorption, or anything else. That which is steady, continuous like the flow of oil, is austerity, meditation and absorption. To be one’s own Self is samadhi.”

Questioner: “But it is said in the Mandukyopanishad that samadhi must necessarily be experienced before attaining liberation.”

Bhagavan: “And who says that it is not so? It is stated not only in the Mandukyopanishad but in all the ancient books. But it is true samadhi only if you know your Self. What is the use of sitting still for some time like a lifeless object?

Suppose you get a boil on your hand and have it operated under chloroform; you don’t feel any pain at the time, but does that mean that you were in samadhi? It is the same with this too. One has to know what samadhi is. And how can you know it without knowing your Self? If the Self is known, samadhi will be known automatically.”

Meanwhile, a Tamil devotee opened the Tiruvachakam and began singing the “Songs on Pursuit”. Towards the end comes the passage,

“Oh, Ishwara (personal God), You are trying to flee, but I am holding You fast. So where can You go and how can You escape from me?”

Bhagavan commented with a smile: “So it seems that He is trying to flee and they are holding Him fast! Where could He flee to? Where is He not present? Who is He? All this is nothing but a pageant. There is another sequence of ten songs in the same book, one which goes,

‘O my Lord! You have made my mind Your abode. You have given Yourself upto me and in return have taken me into You. Lord, which of us is the cleverer? If You have given Yourself up to me, I enjoy endless bliss, but of what use am I to You, even though You have made of my body Your Temple out of Your boundless mercy to me? What is it I could do for you in return? I have nothing now that I could call my own.’

This means that there is no such thing as ‘I’. See the beauty of it! Where there is no such thing as ‘I’, who is the doer and what is it that is done, whether it be devotion or Self-enquiry or samadhi?”

8th September, 1947
Letters from Sri Ramanasramam

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‎'Heart' is merely another name for the 'Supreme Spirit,' because 'He' is in all hearts. The entire Universe is condensed in the body, and the entire body in the Heart. Thus the 'Heart' is the nucleus of the whole Universe.

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There is no goal to be reached. There is nothing to be attained. You are the Self. You exist always. Nothing more can be predicated of the Self than that it exists. Seeing God or the Self is only being the Self, that is yourself. Seeing is Being. You, being the Self, want to know how to attain the Self. It is like a man being at Ramanasramam and asking how many ways there are of going to Ramanasramam and which is the best way for him. All that is required of you is to give up the thought that you are this body and give up all thoughts of external things or the non-Self. As often as the mind goes out towards objects, stop it and fix it in the Self or 'I'. That is all the effort required on your part. Ceaseless practice is essential until one attains without the least effort that natural and primal state of mind which is free from thought, in other words, until the 'I', 'my' and 'mine' are completely eradicated and destroyed.

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If the mind is happy, not only the body but the whole world will be happy. So one must find out the way of becoming happy oneself. One cannot do this except by finding out about oneself by Self-enquiry. To think of reforming the world without doing that is like thinking of covering the whole world with leather to avoid the pain caused by walking on stones and thorns when the much simpler method of wearing leather shoes is available. When by holding an umbrella over your head you can avoid the sun, will it be possible to cover the face of the whole earth by tying a cloth over it to avoid the sun? If a person realises his position and stays in his own self, things that are to happen will happen. Things that are not to happen will not happen. The shakti that is in the world, is only one. All these troubles arise if we think that we are separate from that shakti.

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ILLUSION IS ILLUSORY

BHAGAVAN: All admit creation by the Divine Energy, but what is the nature of this energy? It must be in conformity with the nature of its creation.

D.: Are there degrees of illusion?

B.: Illusion itself is illusory. It must be seen by somebody outside it, but how can such a seer be subject to it? So, how can he speak of degrees of it?

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.
-Talks No. 446

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LEOPARDS AND SNAKES

The other day I learnt of one more incident in Bhagavan’s life on the hill and so I am writing to you about it. When Bhagavan was living in Virupaksha Cave, the roar of a leopard was heard from the place where drinking water was available nearby. By the time the scared devotees had gathered some plates and drums in order to make a noise and drive the leopard away, it had drunk the water it required and gone away with one more roar. Bhagavan looked at those frightened devotees and said to them in an
admonishing tone, “Why do you worry so much? The leopard intimated to me by the first roar that she was coming here. After drinking water she told me by another roar that she was going. She went her own way. She never meddled with your affairs. Why are you so scared? This mountain is the home of these wild animals, and we are their guests. That being so, is it right on your part to drive them away?” Perhaps with the intention of relieving them of their fears, Bhagavan added, “A number of siddha purushas (holy beings) live on this mountain. It is perhaps with a desire to see me that they come and go, assuming various shapes. Hence, you see it is not right for you to disturb them.”
From that time onwards, the leopard used to come frequently to that place to drink. Whenever the roar was heard, Bhagavan used to say, “There you are! The leopard is announcing her arrival.” Then again he used to say, “The leopard announces her departure.” In this manner he used to be quite at ease with all the wild animals.
One devotee asked Bhagavan whether it is true that, when living on the mountain, he was friendly with snakes, and one snake crawled over his body, one climbed up his leg and so on. In reply, Sri Bhagavan said:
“Yes, it is true. A snake used to come to me in all friendliness. It used to try to crawl on my leg. At its touch my body used to feel as though it was tickled, so I withdrew my leg; that is all. That snake used to come of its own accord and go away.”

- Letters 1st January, 1946

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NO ONE SUCCEEDS WITHOUT RIGHT EFFORT

D.: What is to be our sadhana?

M.: Sadhana for the sadhaka is the sahaja of the siddha. Sahaja is the original state, so that sadhana amounts to the removal of the obstacles to the realization of this abiding truth.

D.: Is concentration of mind one of the sadhanas?
M.: Concentration is not thinking one thing. It is, on the other hand, putting off all other thoughts which obstruct the vision of our true nature. All our efforts are only directed to lifting the veil of ignorance. Now it appears difficult to quell the thoughts. In the regenerate state it will be found more difficult to call in thoughts. For are there things to think of? There is only the Self. Thoughts can function only if there are objects. But there are no objects. How can thoughts arise at all?
The habit makes us believe that it is difficult to cease thinking. If the error is found out, one would not be fool enough to exert oneself unnecessarily by way of thinking.


D.: How can the rebellious mind be brought under control?

M.: Either seek its source so that it may disappear or surrender that
it may be struck down.

D.: But the mind slips away from our control.

M.: Be it so. Do not think of it. When you recollect yourself bring it back and turn it inward. That is enough.

No one succeeds without effort. Mind control is not one’s birthright. The successful few owe their success to their perseverance.

A passenger in a train keeps his load on the head by his own folly. Let him put it down: he will find the load reaches the destination all the same. Similarly, let us not pose as the doers, but resign ourselves to the guiding Power.

Talks 398

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WHO IS THE RIGHT GURU?


Two visitors came to Bhagavan and one of them said: 'My friend has taken as his guru a man who is not even a sadhu. I brought him here so that he would give up his guru and follow you, Bhagavan. Please make him do so'.

Bhagavan replied sternly: 'Who are you to say who is the right guru for him? By what power can you make out what a man really is? And are you sure that the guru counts so much? All depends on the disciple! Even if you worship a stone with great devotion, it will be seen as God.'

Kanakammal in 'Cherished memories'

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There is nothing to attain and no time within which to attain. You are always That. You have not got to attain anything. You have only to give up thinking you are limited, to give up thinking you are this body.

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Setting apart time for meditation is only for the merest spiritual novices. A man who is advancing will begin to enjoy the deeper beatitude whether he is at work or not. While his hands are in society, he keeps his head cool in solitude.

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On the 7th of this month [January 1947] Dr T. N. Krishnaswamy, a devotee of Bhagavan, celebrated the Jayanthi of Sri Ramana in Madras. It seems a Pandit mentioned in the course of his lecture on the occasion that there was a reference somewhere that Bhattapada [Kumarila Bhatta] would be born in Thiruchuli as Ramana.

While the devotees in the Asramam were searching for these references, Bhagavan himself said, ‘Nayana [Ganapati Muni] said that Skanda (Lord Subramanya) was born first as Bhattapada, then as Sambandha (Thirujnanasambandhar), and in the third birth as Ramana. The appellation, “dravida sisuhu” used by Sri Sankara in Soundarya Lahari refers to Sambandha, doesn’t it? Therefore Sambandha must have existed prior to Bhattapada who was a contemporary of Sankara. Nayana said that Sambandha was of a later date than Bhattapada. One is not consistent with the other; which of the above versions is the authority for the aforesaid lecturer’s statement is not yet known.’

Surprised at these words which were meant to throw everyone off his guard, I said, ‘Why so much discussion about it? We may ask Bhagavan himself. Doesn’t Bhagavan know who He is? Even if He does not tell us now, there is His own reply to the song asking, “Who is Ramana?” written by Amritanatha Yatindra while Bhagavan was dwelling on the Hill.’

Bhagavan replied, ‘Yes-yes!’ with the smile of approval on His face.’ He waited for a while, and then said, ‘Amritanatha is a peculiar person. He is very interested in all matters. When I was on the Hill he used to come now and then, and stay with me. One day I went somewhere. By the time I returned, he had composed a verse in Malayalam, asking “Who is Ramana?” left it there and went out. I wondered what was written on the paper, so I looked at it and found out. By the time he returned I [had] composed another verse in reply, in Malayalam, wrote it down below his verse and put the paper back. He liked to attribute supernatural powers to me. He did so when he wrote my biography in Malayalam. Nayana had it read out to him, and after hearing it, tore it off, saying, “Enough! Enough!” That was the reason for his posing this question also. He wanted to attribute some supernatural powers to me, as “Hari” or “Yathi” or “Vararuchi” or “Isa Guru”. I replied in the manner stated in the verse. What could they do? They could not answer. A Telugu translation of those verses is available, isn’t there?’

‘Yes, there is. Isn’t Bhagavan’s own version enough for us to establish that Bhagavan is Paramatma himself?’ I said.

Bhagavan smiled, and lapsed into mouna. (Letters from Sri Ramanasramam, 29th January 1947)

Amritanatha Yati posed the following question in a verse: ‘Who is this Ramana in the Arunachala cave, who is renowned as the treasure of compassion? Is he Hari [Vishnu] Sivaguru [Subrahmanya], Yativara [Siva] or Vararuchi [the principal scholar at the court of King Vikramaditya]? I am desirous of knowing the Guru’s mahima [greatness].’

This is Bhagavan’s reply, taken from Collected Works, page 142:

In the recesses of the lotus-shaped hearts of all, beginning with Vishnu, there shines as absolute consciousness the Paramatman, who is the same as Arunachala Ramana. When the mind melts with love of him and reaches the inmost recess of the Heart wherein he dwells as the beloved, the subtle eye of pure intellect opens and he reveals himself as pure consciousness.

Source: http://sri-ramana-maharshi.blogspot.in/2008/07/who-were-you-ramana.html

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Once Bhagavan was circumambulating the Hill of Arunachala with His devotees as it was customary of Him to do so. There was also a little boy in the group who used to go around the sacred Hill. When all the others sang and chanted along their way around the Hill, the little boy walked silently. Once while going around the Hill, when all the others had completed their singing, Bhagavan enquired the little boy as to why he did not sing while the others sang. Prompt came the reply from the little boy which made Bhagavan shake with laughter. “Do Jivanmuktas ever sing?"

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As told by Ramana himself:
One day when Palaniswamy and myself went round the hill and came near the temple it was 8 p.m. As we were tired, I lay down in Subrahmanya temple. Palani went out to fetch food from the choultry.

He (the head of the mutt) was going into the temple. As usual there were a number of disciples around him. One of them saw me and told them about it. That was enough.

While returning, he came with ten of his disciples and stood around me. He began saying, ‘Get up, Swami. We shall go.’ I was in mouna then, so I showed by signs that I wouldn’t accompany them. Was he the man to listen to me?

‘Lift him up bodily, lift,’ he said to his disciples. As there was no alternative, I got up. When I came out, there was a bandy ready. ‘Get in, Swami,’ he said. I declined and showed them by signs that I would prefer to walk and suggested that he should get into the bandy. He took no notice of my protestations.

Instead, he told his disciples, ‘What are you looking at? Lift Swami and put him in the cart.’ There were ten of them and I was alone. What could I do? They lifted me bodily and put me into the cart. Without saying anything more, I went to the mutt.

He had a big leaf spread out for me, filled it with food of all kinds, showed great respect and began saying ‘Please stay here always.’ Palaniswami went to the temple, enquired about me and then came to the mutt.

After he came, I somehow managed to escape from there.That was the only occasion on which I got into a cart after coming to Tiruvannamalai. Subsequently whenever new people arrived they sent a cart, asking me to go over to their place.

If once I yielded, I was afraid there would be no end to that sort of invitation and so I sent back the cart, refusing to go. Eventually they stopped sending carts. But that was not the only trouble with them.

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Turning the mind inward is done by practice and dispassion and that succeeds only gradually. The mind, having been so long a cow accustomed to graze stealthily on others estates, is not easily confined to her stall. However much her keeper tempts her with luscious grass and fine fodder, she refuses the first time; then she takes a bit; but her innate tendency to stray away asserts itself; and she slips away; on being repeatedly tempted by the owner, she accustoms herself to the stall; finally even if let loose she would not stray away. Similarly with the mind. If once it finds its inner happiness it will not wander outward.

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Liberation is our very nature. We are that. The very fact that we wish for liberation shows that freedom from all bondage is our real nature. It is not to be freshly acquired. All that is necessary is to get rid of the false notion that we are bound. When we achieve that, there will be no desire or thought of any sort. So long as one desires liberation, so long, you may take it, one is in bondage.

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Bliss is a thing which is always there and is not something which comes and goes. That which comes and goes is a creation of the mind.

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This morning when I got to the Asramam, one of the Asramites was speaking
freely with
Bhagavan and was saying, “Yesterday evening, the people who came from
Madras asked you
some questions, but you did not answer. Why was that? In the past when
Sivaprakasam Pillai
wrote a verse beginning ‘Udalinai veruthum’ I am told that you were also
silent. Why,
Bhagavan? Does it mean that no one can become a Realized Soul, a jnani,
unless he lives in a
lonely place like that?”
“Who said that?” Bhagavan replied. “The nature of the mind is determined by
its former
actions, its samskaras. People are able to continue to do all their work
and yet pursue their
Self-enquiry and ultimately become Realized Souls. Janaka, Vasishta, Rama,
Krishna and
others like them, are examples of this. Again, for some it would appear
impossible to do this
and they have to go to solitary places to become Realized Souls through
Self-enquiry. Of
these, Sanaka, Sanandana, Suka, Vamadeva, are amongst the examples.
Self-enquiry is
essential for whomever it may be. It is called ‘human effort
(purushakara)’ . The course of the
body follows according to our fate (prarabhdha) . What more can we say about
it?” added
Bhagavan.

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There is nothing new to get.
You have on the other hand,
to get rid of your ignorance,
which makes you think you are other than Bliss.
For whom is this ignorance?
It is to the ego.
Trace the source of the ego.
Then the ego is lost and Bliss remains over.
It is eternal You are That, here and now...
This is the master key for solving all doubts.
The doubts arise in the mind.
The mind is born of the ego.
The ego rises from the Self.
Search the source of the ego
and the Self is revealed.
That alone remains.
The universe is only expanded Self.
It is not different from the Self.

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Bliss is not something to be got.
On the other hand you are always Bliss.
This desire [for Bliss] is born of the sense of incompleteness.
To whom is this sense of incompleteness?
Enquire. In deep sleep you were blissful.
Now you are not so.
What has interposed between that Bliss and this non-bliss?
It is the ego.
Seek its source and find you are Bliss.

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Question: You say one can realize the Self by a search for it. What is the character of this search?

Bhagavan: You are the mind or think that you are the mind. The mind is nothing but thoughts. Now behind every particular thought there is a general thought, which is the 'I', that is yourself. Let us call this 'I' the first thought. Stick to this 'I'-thought and question it to find out what it is. When this question takes strong hold on you, you cannot think of other thoughts.

Question: When I do this and cling to my self, that is, the 'I'-thought, other thoughts come and go, but I say to myself 'Who am I ?' and there is no answer forthcoming. To be in this condition is the practice. Is it so?

Bhagavan: This is a mistake that people often make. What happens when you make a serious quest for the Self is that the `I'-thought disappears and something else from the depths takes hold of you and that is not the 'I' which commenced the quest.

Question: What is this something else?

Bhagavan: That is the real Self, the import of 'I'. It is not the ego. It is the Supreme Being itself.


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