Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi     511 posts


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Satsangh means association with Sat or Reality. One who knows or has realized Sat is also regarded as Sat. Such association is absolutely necessary for all. Sankara has said, “In all the three worlds there is no boat like satsangh to carry one safely across the ocean of births and deaths.”

"Gems From Bhagavan" - Chapter VII

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The following is verse 40 of “Reality in 40 Verses” by Sri Ramana Maharshi:

“If asked: ‘Which of these three is final liberation: - with form, without form, or with and without form?’ I say, ‘Liberation is the extinction of the ego which inquires ‘With form, without form, or with and without form?’”

Liberation is the extinction of the ego.
Liberation is the extinction of the ego that inquires.
Liberation is the extinction of the ego that speculates about what liberation is or is not.
Liberation is the extinction of the ego that wonders if the experience it has had is liberation or not.
Liberation is the extinction of the ego that imagines the Self has parts or qualities or aspects or form.
Liberation is the end of the ego that experiences.
Liberation is the end of experience.
Liberation is the end of the experiencer.

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SHOWING ADVAITA IN ACTIVITIES

84. Question: Sri Bhagavan has written that one should not show advaita (non-duality) in one's activities. Why so? All are one. Why differences?

Bhagavan: If you saw someone molesting a woman would you just let him go, thinking "All is one?" There is a scriptural story about this. Some people once gathered together to test whether it is true, as said in the Bhagavad Gita, that a jnani (realized being) sees everything as one. They took a Brahmin, (a member of the highest Hindu caste system), a cow, an elephant, and a dog to the court of King Janaka, who was a jnani. When all had arrived, King Janaka sent the Brahmin to the place of Brahmins, the cow to its shed, the elephant to the place allotted to elephants, the dog to its kennel. He then ordered his servants to take care of his guests and feed them all appropriate food. The people asked, "Why did you separate them individually? Is not everything one and the same for you?"

"Yes, all are one," replied Janaka, "but self-satisfaction varies according to the nature of the individual. Will a man eat the straw eaten by the cow? Will the cow enjoy the food that a man eats? One should only give what satisfies each individual person or animal. Although the same man may play the role of all the characters in a play, his actions will be determined by the role that he is playing at each moment. In the role of a king, he will sit on a throne and rule. If the same person takes on the role of a servant, he will carry the sandals of his master and follow him. His real Self is neither increased nor decreased while he plays these roles. The Jnani never forgets that he himself has played all these roles in the past."

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You need not aspire for or get any new state.
Get rid of your present thoughts, that is all.

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When Poonja met Ramana Maharshi, and asked him, "Have you seen God?" Maharshi replied, "Anything that you see cannot be God. Whatever you see must be an object of your senses. God is not an object of your senses. God is the one through whom all things are seen, tasted, touched, heard and smelt, but He himself cannot be seen because He is the seer, not an object of sight." This meeting with Ramana Maharshi ultimately led him to the profound state of awakening, Self-realisation.

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The Main indication to recognize a saint is total equality. In that word of equality itself you can feel the tone of differentiation. Equality does not mean not finding differences or partiality. It means, with practical experience, identification of that true self as an under current in all those differences and remaining with a balanced uniformed approach towards everything.

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Don't reach for bliss or speak of realization too quickly.

It is amazing how beautiful the the foreplay can be,

but it is all still in relation to a body.

It is the darkness that we must enter~

if we are to Awaken completely from this dream.

Death is the doorway.

Everything prior however subtly, is still about "me".

This teaching is for those who are really burning for Freedom.

While living, we must enter death itself.

The moth must kiss the Flame!

Death is the doorway.

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The yogis say that there is a nadi [?] called the jivanadi, atmanadi or paranadi. The Upanishads speak of a centre from which thousands of nadis branch off. Some locate such a centre in the brain and others in other centres. The Garbhopanishad traces the formation of the foetus and the growth of the child in the womb. The jiva [?] is
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considered to enter the child through the fontanelle in the seventh month of its growth. In evidence thereof it is pointed out that the fontanelle is tender in a baby and is also seen to pulsate. It takes some months for it to ossify. Thus the jiva comes from above, enters through the fontanelle and works through the thousands of the nadis which are spread over the whole body. Therefore the seeker of Truth must concentrate on the sahasrara [?], that is the brain, in order to regain his source. Pranayama [?] is said to help the yogi to rouse the Kundalini Sakti which lies coiled in the solar plexus. The sakti [?] rises through a nerve called the Sushumna [?], which is imbedded in the core of the spinal cord and extends to the brain. If one concentrates on the Sahasrara [?] there is no doubt that the ecstasy of samadhi ensues. The vasanas, that is the latencies, are not however destroyed. The yogi is therefore bound to wake up from the samadhi, because release from bondage has not yet been accomplished. He must still try to eradicate the vasanas in order that the latencies yet inherent in him may not disturb the peace of his samadhi. So he passes down from the sahasrara to the heart through what is called the jivanadi, which is only a continuation of the Sushumna. The Sushumna is thus a curve. It starts from the solar plexus, rises through the spinal cord to the brain and from there bends down and ends in the heart. When the yogi has reached the heart, the samadhi becomes permanent. Thus we see that the heart is the final centre. Some Upanishads also speak of 101 nadis which spread from the heart, one of them being the vital nadi. If the jiva comes down from above and gets reflected in the brain, as the yogis say, there must be a reflecting surface in action. That must also be capable of limiting the Infinite Consciousness to the limits of the body. In short the Universal Being becomes limited as a jiva. Such reflecting medium is furnished by the aggregate of the vasanas of the individual. It acts like the water in a pot which reflects the image of an object. If the pot be drained of its water there will be no reflection. The object will remain without being reflected. The object here is the Universal Being-Consciousness which is all-pervading and therefore immanent in all. It need not be cognised by reflection alone; it is self-resplendent. Therefore the seeker's aim must be to drain away the vasanas from the heart and let no reflection obstruct the Light of Eternal Consciousness. This is achieved by the
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search for the origin of the ego and by diving into the heart. This is the direct method for Self-Realisation. One who adopts it need not worry about nadis, the brain, the Sushumna, the Paranadi, the Kundalini,

pranayama [?] or the six centres. The Self does not come from anywhere else and enter the body through the crown of the head. It is as it is, ever sparkling, ever steady, unmoving and unchanging. The changes which are noticed are not inherent in the Self which abides in the Heart and is self-luminous like the Sun. The changes are seen in Its Light. The relation 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 placed against a green leaf it shines green, and so on. The individual confines himself to the limits of the changeful 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. The reflection of Consciousness is said to be in the subtle body (sukshma sarira [?]), which appears to be composed of the brain and the nerves radiating from it to all parts of the trunk, chiefly through the spinal column and the solar plexus. When I was on the Hill, Nayana (Kavyakantha Ganapathi Muni) once argued that the brain was the seat of the vasanas, because it consisted of innumerable cells in which the vasanas were contained and illuminated by the light of the Self which projected from the heart. Only this set a person working or thinking. But I said, "How can it be so? The vasanas must be with one's Self and can never remain away from the Self. If, as you say, the vasanas be contained in the brain and the Heart is the seat of the Self, a person who is decapitated must be rid of his vasanas and should not be reborn. You agree that it is absurd. Now can you say that the Self is in the brain with the vasanas? If so, why should the head bend down when one falls asleep? Moreover a person does not touch his head and say `I'. Therefore it follows that the Self is in the Heart and the vasanas are also there in an exceedingly subtle form. "When the vasanas are projected from the Heart they are associated with the Light of the Self and the person is said to think. The
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vasanas which lie imbedded in an atomic condition grow in size in their passage from the heart to the brain. The brain is the screen on which the images of the vasanas are thrown and it is also the place of their functional distribution. The brain is the seat of the mind, and the mind works through it." So then this is what happens. When a vasana [?] is released and it comes into play, it is associated with the light of the Self. It passes from the heart to the brain and on its way it grows more and more until it holds the field all alone and all the vasanas are thus kept in abeyance for the time being. When the thought is reflected in the brain it appears as an image on a screen. The person is then said to have a clear perception of things. He is a great thinker or discoverer. Neither the thought that is extolled as being original, nor the thing, nor the country which is claimed to be a new discovery, is really original or new. It could not manifest unless it was already in the mind. It was of course very subtle and remained imperceptible, because it lay repressed by the more urgent or insistent thoughts or vasanas. When they have spent themselves this thought arises and by concentration the Light of the Self makes it clear, so that it appears magnificent, original and revolutionary. In fact it was only within all along. This concentration is called samyamana [?] in the Yoga Sastras. One's desires can be fulfilled by this process and it is said to be a siddhi [?]. It is how the so-called new discoveries are made. Even worlds can be created in this manner. Samyamana [?] leads to all siddhis. But they do not manifest so long as the ego lasts. Concentration according to yoga ends in the destruction of the experiencer (ego), experience and the world, and then the quondam desires get fulfilled in due course. This concentration bestows on individuals even the powers of creating new worlds. It is illustrated in the Aindava Upakhyana in the Yoga [?]

Vasishta and in the Ganda Saila Loka in the Tripura Rahasya. Although the powers appear to be wonderful to those who do not possess them, yet they are only transient. It is useless to aspire for that which is transient. All these wonders are contained in the one changeless Self. The world is thus within and not without. This meaning is contained in verses 11 and 12 - Chapter V of Sri Ramana

Gita "The entire Universe is condensed in the body, and the entire
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body in the Heart. Thus the Heart is the nucleus of the whole Universe." Therefore Samyamana relates to concentration on different parts of the body for the different siddhis. Also the Visva [?] or the Virat [?] is said to contain the cosmos within the limits of the body. Again, "The world is not other than the mind, the mind is not other than the Heart; that is the whole truth." So the Heart comprises all. This is what is taught to Svetaketu by the illustration of the seed of a fig tree. The source is a point without any dimensions. It expands as the cosmos on the one hand and as Infinite Bliss on the other. That point is the pivot. From it a single vasana starts, multiplies as the experiencer `I', experience, and the world. The experiencer and the source are referred to in the mantra [?]. Two birds, exactly alike, arise simultaneously. When I was staying in the Skandasramam I sometimes used to go out and sit on a rock. On one such occasion there were two or three others with me including Rangaswami Iyengar. Suddenly we noticed some small moth-like insect shooting up like a rocket into the air from a crevice in the rock. Within the twinkling of an eye it had multiplied itself into millions of moths which formed a cloud and hid the sky from view. We wondered at it and examined the place from which it shot up. We found that it was only a pinhole and knew that so many insects could not have issued from it in such a short time. That is how ahankara [?] (ego) shoots up like a rocket and instantaneously spreads out as the Universe. The Heart is therefore the centre. A person can never be away from it. If he is he is already dead. Although the Upanishads say that the jiva functions through other centres on different occasions, yet he does not relinquish the Heart. The centres are simply places of business (vide Vedanta Chudamani). The Self is bound to the Heart, like a cow tethered to a peg. The movements are controlled by the length of the rope. All its wanderings centre around the peg. A caterpillar crawls on a blade of grass and when it has come to the end, it seeks another support. While doing so it holds on with its hind-legs to the blade of grass, lifts the body and sways to and fro before it can hold another. Similarly it is with the Self. It stays in the Heart and holds other centres also according to circumstances. But its activities always centre round the Heart.

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The final obstacle in meditation is ecstasy; you feel great bliss and happiness and want to stay in that ecstasy. Do not yield to it but pass on to the next stage which is great calm. The calm is higher than ecstasy and it merges into samadhi.

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The attempt to destroy the ego or the mind through sedans(practices) other than atma-vichara(self inquiry) is just like the thief pretending to be a policeman to catch the thief, that is, himself. Atma-vichara (self inquiry) alone can reveal the truth that neither the ego nor the mind really exists, and enable one to realize the pure, undifferentiated being of the Self or the absolute. Having realized the Self, nothing remains to be known, because it is perfect bliss, it is the all.

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See whose thoughts they are. They will vanish. They have their root in the single `I'-thought. Hold it and they will disappear.

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The birth of the `I'-thought is one's own birth, its death is the person's death. After the `I'-thought has arisen, the wrong identity with the body arises. Get rid of the `I'-thought. So long as `I' is alive there is grief. When `I' ceases to exist there is no grief.

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The mind is nothing other than the `I'-thought. The mind and the ego are one and the same.

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The conception that there is a goal and a path to it is wrong. We are the goal or peace always. To get rid of the notion that we are not peace is all that is required.

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What is bliss but your own being ? You are not apart from
being which is the same as bliss. You are now thinking that you are the mind or the body which are both changing and transient. But you are unchanging and eternal. That is what you should know.

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What is bliss but your own being ? You are not apart from
being which is the same as bliss. You are now thinking that you are the mind or the body which are both changing and transient. But you are unchanging and eternal. That is what you should know.

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Your Idea of Will-power is success insured. Will-power should be understood to be the strength of mind which makes it capable for meeting success or failure with equanimity.

It is not synonymous with certain success. Why should one’s attempts be always attended with success. Success develops arrogance and the man’s spiritual progress is thus affected. Failure on the other hand is beneficial, in as much as it opens the eyes of the man to his limitations and prepares him to surrender himself.

Self- surrender is synonymous with eternal happiness. Therefore one should try to gain the equipoise of mind under all circumstances. That is Will –Power.

Again, success and failure are the results of accumulated fate and not of will power.
A man may be doing only good and noble actions and yet prove a failure. Another man do otherwise and yet be uniformly successful. This does not mean that the will power is present in the one and not in the other.

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Ramana Maharshi on overcoming Passions

Question - How shall I overcome my passions?

Ramana Maharshi - Find their root and then it will be easy. (Later) What are the passions? Kama (lust), krodha (anger), etc. Why do they arise? Because of likes and dislikes towards the objects seen. How do the objects project themselves in your view? Because of your avidya, i.e., ignorance. Ignorance of what? Of the Self. Thus, if you find the Self and abide therein there will be no trouble owing to the passions.

(Later) Again, what is the cause of the passions? Desire to be happy or enjoy pleasure. Why does the desire for happiness arise? Because your nature is happiness itself and it is natural that you come into your own. This happiness is not found anywhere besides the Self.

Do not look for it elsewhere. But seek the Self and abide therein. Still again, that happiness which is natural is simply re-discovered, so it cannot be lost. Whereas the happiness arising from other objects are external and thus liable to be lost. Therefore it cannot be permanent and so it is not worth seeking. Moreover craving for pleasures should not be encouraged.

One cannot put out burning fire by pouring petrol over it. An attempt to satisfy your craving for the time being, so that the passion may later be suppressed, is simply foolish.There are, no doubt, other methods for the suppression of passion. They are (1) regulated food, (2) fasting, (3) yoga practice, (4) medicines. But their effects are transitory. The passions reappear with greater force as soon as the check is removed. The only way to overcome them is to eradicate them. That is done by finding their source as stated above.

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Ramana Maharshi on overcoming Passions

Question - How shall I overcome my passions?

Ramana Maharshi - Find their root and then it will be easy. (Later) What are the passions? Kama (lust), krodha (anger), etc. Why do they arise? Because of likes and dislikes towards the objects seen. How do the objects project themselves in your view? Because of your avidya, i.e., ignorance. Ignorance of what? Of the Self. Thus, if you find the Self and abide therein there will be no trouble owing to the passions.

(Later) Again, what is the cause of the passions? Desire to be happy or enjoy pleasure. Why does the desire for happiness arise? Because your nature is happiness itself and it is natural that you come into your own. This happiness is not found anywhere besides the Self.

Do not look for it elsewhere. But seek the Self and abide therein. Still again, that happiness which is natural is simply re-discovered, so it cannot be lost. Whereas the happiness arising from other objects are external and thus liable to be lost. Therefore it cannot be permanent and so it is not worth seeking. Moreover craving for pleasures should not be encouraged.

One cannot put out burning fire by pouring petrol over it. An attempt to satisfy your craving for the time being, so that the passion may later be suppressed, is simply foolish.There are, no doubt, other methods for the suppression of passion. They are (1) regulated food, (2) fasting, (3) yoga practice, (4) medicines. But their effects are transitory. The passions reappear with greater force as soon as the check is removed. The only way to overcome them is to eradicate them. That is done by finding their source as stated above.

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Lakshmi

The most favored of all the animal devotees was a cow named Lakshmi. She was brought along with her mother as a gift to Bhagavan. He felt he could not properly care for the cows and so they were taken to farm in a neighboring village. After Lakshmi had been with the farmer for a year or more he went one evening to Ramanas ashram for prayers bringing Lakshmi and her mother with him for a visit. Lakshmi was irresistibly attracted to Ramana and must have noted carefully the way to the ashram. The next day she appeared on her own and from then on came every day returning, by herself the farm in the evening. At some point along the way she became a permanent member of the ashram. During her life at the ashram, Lakshme bore several calves at least three of them on Bhagavan’s birthday.. She was extremely devoted to Bhagavan and he showed her the utmost Grace and kindness.

On June 17, 1948 Lakshmi became very ill and it was clear that her time had come to an end. Bhagavan went to her and said: “Amma (Mother), do you want me near you?” He sat down beside her and cradled her head in his lap putting one hand on her head and one over her heart just as he had done when his own human mother lay dying. He gazed into her eyes for a long time and lay his cheek against hers stroking her gently. She focused all of her attention on Bhagavan and was conscious up to the end, her eyes bright and clear. On June 18th at 11:30 am she left her body peacefully. She was buried in the Ashram compound and given full funeral rights. Her grave was beside that of a deer, crow and dog which Bhagavan had also buried there. A stone was placed over her grave with her likeness carved into it. On the stone was also engraved the epitaph he had written for her stating that she had attained (Mukti) final liberation. The word mukti is used in two different ways. Generally when it is said that someone has attained mukti it means that they have died. The more spiritual term Mukti means that the soul (usually a very advanced soul) has attained final liberation from this realm of existence. When Bhagavan was questioned as to which definition he was referring to when speaking of Lakshmi, did he mean that she had died or that she had attained liberation, he said Mukti - final liberation!

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Sri Ramana Maharshi and the Ashram Animals.

Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi the Indian Saint showed the same consideration to the animals whom destiny had brought into contact with him as to the people. And animals were drawn to him just as people were. Birds and squirrels would build their nests close to him and mother monkeys were often seen to bring their babies to him for blessings in the same way human mothers would bring their children for blessings. He never referred to animals in the usual Indian style as ‘it’ but always as ‘he’ or ‘she.’ At meal time at the ashram the animals were always fed first, then any beggers who might have chanced by, and then the devotes. He referred to the ashram dogs as “the Lads.”

Many animals found their way to the ashram including dogs, cats, cows, peacocks, squirrels, birds and monkeys. Squirrels would hop through the window of Ramana’s room. He always kept treats for them by his side. The animals felt his Grace and he loved them in return.

Despite protests from his followers, Ramana would not have the snakes who inhabited the ashram grounds killed. He felt that the human beings had invaded their home and that they should be respected. He treated the snakes with the greatest reverence and respect and no one was ever harmed by one. Many animals would gather in the evenings when Bhagavan sat in the hall to talk and pray with his devotees. On occasions when Bhagavan would be delayed, the animals would come to the hall and peer anxiously in the direction of his empty couch. Bhagavan was very intimate with the animals especially the local monkeys who considered him one of their own. Once Bhagavan had been walking with a group of people. They had gone much farther than they expected that day and had become very hungry. Out of nowhere appeared a band of monkeys who swarmed to the top of a high fig tree shaking its branches so that all of the fruit dropped to the ground for Bhagavan and his followers. The monkey left as quickly as they had appeared taking no fruit for themselves.

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418. The only true and full Awareness is Awareness of Awareness. Until Awareness is Awareness of itself, it knows no peace at all.

432. Is it not because you are yourself Awareness, that you now perceive this universe? If you observe Awareness steadily, this Awareness as Teacher, will reveal the Truth.

52. If mind turned towards Awareness and concentrating on Awareness, seeks the Self, the world made up of ether and other elements is real, as all things are Awareness, the one sole substance of true Being.

435. True natural Awareness, which does not go after alien objects, is the Heart. Since actionless Awareness shines as real Being, its joy consists in concentration on itself.

742. In the Self, he stands firm fixed who dwells and truly meditates on himself as pure awareness.

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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]

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You need not stop thinking. Just cease being interested. It is disinterestedness that liberates. Don't hold on, that is all.

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Question: In turning the mind inwards, are we not still employing the mind?

Sri Ramana Maharshi: Of course we are employing the mind. It is well known and admitted that only with the help of the mind can the mind be killed. But instead of setting about saying there is a mind, and I want to kill it, begin to seek the source of the mind, and you find the mind does not exist at all. The mind, turned outwards, results in thoughts and objects. Turned inwards, it becomes itself the Self.

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Question: Why is concentration ineffective?

Sri Ramana Maharshi: To ask the mind to kill the mind is like making the thief the policeman. He will go with you and pretend to catch the thief, but nothing will be gained. So you must turn inward and see from where the mind rises and then it will cease to exist.

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