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From: The Collected Works of Sri Ramana Maharshi:

Atma Bodha (Knowledge of the Self)


After a devotee sent to Sri Bhagavan a Tamil translation of Shankaracharya’s Atma Bodha,
Bhagavan composed a new translation in Tamil.
He did this translation very rapidly, working even at night, using a flashlight..!

‘Can Shankara, the enlightener of the Self,
be different from one’s own Self?
Who but he, does this day,
abiding as the inmost Self in me,
speak this in the Tamil language?’ — Sri Bhagavan.


1. This — Atma Bodha —is meant to fulfil the want of the seekers of liberation who, by their prolonged tapas, have already cleansed themselves of impurities and become mentally peaceful and free from desires.

2. Of all the means to liberation, knowledge is the only direct one — as essential as fire to cooking; without it, liberation cannot be gained.

3. Not being opposed to ignorance, karma does not destroy it. On the other hand, knowledge destroys ignorance as surely as light does darkness.

4. Owing to ignorance, the Self now appears to be covered up; on the removal of ignorance, the pure Self will shine forth of Itself, like the sun after the dispersal of clouds.

5. The jiva is mixed up with ignorance. By constant practice of knowledge the jiva becomes pure, because knowledge disappears (along with ignorance), as the cleansing nut with the impurities in the water.

But here is the world, how can the Self alone be real and non-dual?

6. Samsara is full of likes and dislikes and other opposites. Like a dream, it seems real for the time being; but, on waking, it vanishes because it is unreal.

Because the dream is negated on waking, I know it to be unreal; but the world persists and I find it only real.

7. So long as the substratum of all, the non-dual Brahman is not seen, the world seems real — like illusory silver in a piece of mother-of-pearl.

But the world is so diverse; yet, you say there is One only.

8. Like bubbles rising on the surface of the waters of the ocean, all the worlds arise from, stay in and resolve into the Supreme Being (Paramesa) who is the root cause and prop of all.

9. In the Being-Consciousness-Bliss, which is all permeating, eternal Vishnu, all these diverse objects and individuals appear (as phenomena) like various ornaments made of gold.

Yes, but what about the numberless individual souls?

10. Just as the all-pervading akasa (ether) appears fragmented in different objects (as in a pit, a jar, a house, a theatre hall, etc.) but remains undifferentiated on the limitations falling away, similarly with the single, non-dual ruler of the senses (seeming to function as gods, men, cattle, etc.).

But the individuals have different traits and function according to different conditions.

11. The traits, etc., are also superimposed. Pure water (tasteless by itself) tastes sweet, bitter, salty etc., according to the admixture in it (upadhis). Similarly, race, name status, etc., are all superimposed on the non-dual Self of all. What are these upadhis which play such tricks on the Self? They are gross, subtle and very subtle as described here.

12. The gross body made up of the five gross elements (earth, water, fire, air and ether) is meant to reap the fruits of past actions in the shape of pleasure and pain.

13. The subtle body consisting of the five airs, the mind, intellect, the ten senses and made up of subtle elements is also meant for enjoyment (as in dreams).

14. Inexpressible and beginningless ignorance is said to be the causal body (as in deep sleep). Know the Self to be other than these three upadhis.

If so, why is the Self not evident to me? On the other hand, Sruti says, ‘ This Purusha is made up of annarasa (essence of food).’

15. Just as a clear crystal (itself colourless) appears red, blue, yellow, etc., according to the background, so also the Self, pure and untainted, seems to be identical with the body, the senses, the mind, intellect or blissful ignorance (panchakosas) when in contact with them.

16. Just as husking the paddy exposes the grain within (the rice), so also should one judiciously separate the pure Atman from the sheaths covering it.

Atman is said to be everywhere. Why should it then be judiciously looked for within the five sheaths?

17. Though always and everywhere present, the Self does not shine forth in all places. Just as light is reflected only in a transparent medium, so also the Self is clearly seen in the intellect only.

18. The Self is realized in the intellect as the witness of the activities of, and yet separate from the body, the senses, the mind, intellect and gross nature (prakriti) as is a king in relation to his subjects.

The Self seems to participate in their activities; so he cannot be different from them, nor be their witness.

19. Just as the moon seems to move when the clouds around her move, so also the Self seems to the indiscriminating to be active, when actually, the senses are active.

To be active, the body etc., must also be intelligent; they are said to be inert. How can they act without the intelligent Self participating in their actions?

20. Just as men do their duties in the light of the sun (but the sun does not participate in them), so also the body, senses, etc., function in the light of the Self without its participating in them.

True, the Self alone is intelligence. I know myself to be born, growing, decaying, happy, or unhappy and so on. Am I right?

21. No. The characteristics (birth, death, etc.) of the body and the senses are superimposed on the Being-Consciousness-Bliss as is the blue in the sky by those who do not discriminate.

22. So also the characteristics of the mind, such as agency, etc., are by ignorance superimposed on the Atman, as are the movements of water on the moon reflected in it.

23. Only when the intellect is manifested, likes and dislikes, pleasure and pain are felt. In deep sleep, the intellect remaining latent, they are not felt. Therefore, they are of the intellect and not of the Atman (the Self). Here is the real nature of the Atman.

24. As light is the very sun, coldness the water, heat the fire, so also the eternal, pure Being-Consciousness-Bliss is the very Self.

At some time or other, every individual experiences, ‘I am happy’, and thus Being-Consciousness-Bliss experience is plain. How can one make the experience permanent and unchanging?

25. Being-Consciousness is of the Self; the ‘I’ mode or modification is of the intellect; these are distinctly two. However, owing to ignorance, the individual mixes them together and thinks ‘I know’ and acts accordingly.

26. Never is there any change (or action) in Atman nor knowledge in the intellect. Only the jiva is deluded into thinking itself to be the knower, doer and seer.

27. Like the snake in the rope, mistaking the jiva for the Self, one is subject to fear. If, on the other hand, one knows oneself not as a jiva but as the supreme Self, one is altogether free from fear.

28. Only the Self illumines the senses, intellect, etc., as a lamp does objects such as pots. The Self is not illumined by them as they are inert.

If the Self cannot be made known by the intellect, there will be no knower to know the Self and the Self cannot be known.

29. To see a light, no other light is needed. So also, the Self being self-effulgent, needs no other means of knowledge. It shines of itself.

If so, every one must be Self-realized, effortlessly, but it is not so.

30. On the strength of the Vedic teaching, ‘Not this, not this’, eliminate all the adjuncts (upadhis) and with the help of the mahavakyas, realize the identity of the jivatman (individual self) with the paramatman (the supreme Self).

31. The whole objective world such as the body, is born of ignorance and transient like a bubble on water. Know the Self to be distinct from it and identical with Brahman (the Supreme).

32. Being distinct from the gross body, birth, death, old age, debility, etc., do not pertain to me. Not being the senses, I have no connection with the objects of the senses such as sound, etc.

33. The srutis declare:`I am not the vital air (prana), not the mind, (but) pure (Being). Not being the mind I am free from likes and dislikes, fear, etc´.

34. `I am free from qualities and actionless, eternal, undifferentiated, untainted, unchanging, formless, ever free and pure´.

35. `Like ether, I am always pervading all, in and out, unswerving, ever equal in all, pure, untainted, clear and unshaken´.

36. `That which remains eternal, pure, ever-free, all alone, unbroken bliss, non-dual, Being-Consciousness-Bliss, transcendent Brahman (the same) am I ´.

37. Long, constant practice of ‘I am Brahman only’ destroys all vasanas (latent tendencies), born of ignorance as an efficacious remedy (rasayana) eradicates a disease.

38. Be dispassionate, keep the senses under control and let the mind not wander; sit in a solitary place and meditate on the Self as infinite and one alone.

39. Keep the mind pure; with keen intellect, resolve all that is objective into the Self and always meditate on the Self as clear and single like ether.

40. Having discarded all names and forms, you are now the knower of the Supreme Being and will remain as perfect Consciousness-Bliss.

41. Being the same as Consciousness-Bliss, there is no longer any differentiation such as the knower and the known; and the Self shines forth as Itself.

42. If in this manner by process of constant meditation, the two pieces of wood, namely the Self and the ego are rubbed together, the flames from the fire of knowledge burn away the whole range of ignorance.

43. On knowledge destroying ignorance in this way, like the light of dawn scattering the darkness of night, the Self will rise like the sun in all its glory.

44. True, the Self is always here and now; yet it is not apparent, owing to ignorance. On ignorance being destroyed the Self seems as if it were gained, like the necklace on one’s own neck.

(The allusion is to the story of a lady wearing a precious necklace, who suddenly forgot where it was, grew anxious, looked for it everywhere and even asked others to help, until a kind friend pointed out that it was round the seeker’s own neck.)

45. Just as in darkness a post is mistaken for a man, so is Brahman in ignorance mistaken for a jiva. If, however, the true nature of a jiva is seen, delusion vanishes.

46. Knowledge arising on the experience of reality immediately destroys the ignorant perception of ‘I’ and ‘mine’, which resemble the delusion of direction in darkness.

47. A jnani who is a perfectly Self-realized yogi, sees by the eye of wisdom all objective phenomena to be in and of the Self and thus the Self to be the sole being.

How does he then act in the world?

48. Just as clay is the only material from which different utensils are formed (such as pots, jars, etc.), so he sees that the Self, too, is the whole universe and there is nothing but the Self.

49. In order to be liberated while yet alive, the sage should completely eschew the adjuncts (upadhis), and thus gain the real nature of Being-Consciousness-Bliss, like the maggot that turns into a wasp.

50. Having crossed the ocean of illusion and having killed the demons of likes and dislikes, the yogi, now united to shanti (peace), finds delight in the Self and so remains in his own glory.

51. The jivanmukta, freed from all desire for transient, external pleasures, delights in his own Self and remains clear and steady a like lamp in a pot.

52. Like the akasa (ether) which remains untainted by the objects contained therein, the muni (sage) remains untainted by the adjuncts (upadhis) covering him. Being the all-knower he remains like one that knows not, and moves about like the air uncontaminated by the objects it touches.

53. On the dissolution of the adjuncts (the body, senses, etc.), the sage now freed from particularities merges in the all-permeating Being (Vishnu), like water in water, ether in ether or fire in fire.

54. There is no gain over and above this gain, no pleasure over and above this bliss, no knowledge over and above this knowledge, know this to be Brahman.

55. That on seeing which nothing remains to see, on becoming which there is no more return to samsara, on knowing which nothing remains to know, know that to be Brahman.

56. What fills everything, above, below and around, itself Being-Consciousness-Bliss, non-dual, infinite, eternal, one only, know that to be Brahman.

57. What remains as immutable, unbroken Bliss, and as one only, that which even the scriptures indirectly denote by the process of elimination as ‘not this, not this’, know the same to be Brahman.

58. Dependent on a fraction of the inexhaustible Bliss of the Atman, all the gods such as Brahma enjoy bliss according to their grades.

59. Like the butter in milk, the objective universe is contained in it; all the activities are based on it alone. Therefore Brahman is all-pervading.

60. What is neither subtle nor gross, short nor long, produced nor spent, what is devoid of form, attribute, caste and name, know it to be Brahman.

61. By whose light the sun and other luminaries shine forth, but which is not itself illumined by them and in whose light all this is seen, know it to be Brahman.

62. Like fire in a piece of red-hot iron, Brahman permeates the whole world in and out and all through, makes it shine and itself also shines by itself.

63. Brahman is distinct from the universe, yet there remains nothing apart from Brahman. Should any other than Brahman appear, it is only an illusion like water in a mirage.

64. Whatever is seen or heard, it cannot be different from Brahman. True knowledge finds Brahman to be Being-Consciousness-Bliss and one without a second.

65. Only the eye of wisdom can see the omnipresent Being-Consciousness-Bliss, but not the eye of ignorance for a blind eye cannot see the sun.

66. Like gold freed from dross, the jiva (sadhaka) has all his impurities burnt away by the fire of knowledge bursting into flames fanned by sravana, manana and nidhidhyasana (hearing, reflection and contemplation) and now he shines forth by himself.

67. Because the sun of knowledge, the chaser of darkness has risen, the Atman shines in the expanse of the Heart as the omnipresent sustainer of all and illumines all.

68. He who bathes in the clear, warm, ever-refreshing waters of the Atman, which being available everywhere, here and now, need not be sought for in special centres and seasons; such a one remains actionless. He is the knower of all; he pervades all and is ever immortal.

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Dealing with desires

Feb 24, 1936

Question: How to root out the sexual impulse?
Ramana: By rooting out the false idea of the body being the Self. There is no sex in the Self.
Question: How to realize it?
Ramana: Because you think you are the body, you see another also as a body. Difference in sex arises. But you are not the body. Be the real Self. Then there is no sex.

January 21, 1937

Question: How will the sexual impulse cease to be?
Ramana: when differentiation ceases.
Question: How can it be effected?
Ramana: The 'opposite' sex, and its relation, are only mental concepts. The Upanishad says that all are dear because the Self is beloved to all. One's happiness is within, the love is of the Self only. It is only within; do not think it to be without. Then differentiation ceases to operate.

October 15, 1938

A person was badly distracted by sexual thoughts. He fought against them. He fasted three days and prayed to god so that he might be free from such thoughts. Finally, he decided to ask Ramana about it.

Sri Ramana listened and remained silent for about two minutes, then he said: Well, the thoughts distract you and you fought against them. That is good. Why do you continue to think of them now? Whenever such thoughts arise, consider to whom they arise and they will flee away from you.

From TALKS with Ramana Maharshi.

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Don't believe your thoughts.
I am the body is a thought.
I am the mind is a thought.
I am the doer is a thought.
Worry is only a thought.
Fear is only a thought.
Death is only a thought.

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By a steady and continuous investigation into the nature of the mind, the mind is transformed into That to which the ‘I’ refers; and that is in fact the Self.

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Engage yourself in the living present. The future will take care of itself.

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Though you may not believe all that is said of God, believe at least " there is God ". This seed is very potent in its growth. It has such great might that in due course you will not see anything but God - you will not see even yourself.
Truly, God is all.

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"Sri Bhagavan now warned the hearers against the mistake of disparaging a Jnani for his apparent conduct and again cited the story of Parikshit. He was a still-born child. The ladies cried and appealed to Sri Krishna to save the child. The sages round about wondered how Krishna was going to save the child from the effects of the arrows (apandavastra) of Asvatthama. Krishna said, 'If the child be touched by one eternally celibate (nityabrahmachari) the child would be brought to life.' Even Suka dared not touch the child. Finding no one among the reputed saints bold enough to touch the child, Krishna went and touched it, saying, 'If I am eternally celibate (nityabrahmachari) may the child be brought to life.' The child began to breathe and later grew up to be Parikshit.

"Just consider how Krishna surrounded by 16,000 gopis is a brahmachari! Such is the mystery of jivanmukti! A jivanmukta is one who does not see anything separate from the Self.

"If however a man consciously attempts to display siddhis he will receive only kicks."

(Bhagavan in 'Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi' 449)

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- Since thoughts obscure our natural clarity of thought-free self-conscious being, just as dark clouds obscure the clear light of the sun, and since thoughts can exist only when we attend to them, the only means by which we can free ourself from the illusory clouding effect of our thoughts and thereby experience our real self as it truly is — that is, devoid of all thoughts— is to turn our attention away from all thoughts towards our own essential self-conscious being, which we always experience as 'I am'.

- Such self-attention or self-attentiveness is not an action, but only a state of just being as we always really are.

- Attending to anything other than ourself is an action, because it involves a seeming movement of our attention away from ourself towards that other thing.

- Attending to our own essential self-conscious being, on the other hand, is not an action, because it is a state in which our attention rests in itself without moving anywhere or doing anything.

- Therefore Sri Bhagavan often described this state of self-attention as the state of 'just being' or 'being as we are'.

Michael James: 065. Sri Ramanopadesa Nunmalai — English translation by Sri Sadhu Om and Michael James.

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Language is only a medium for communicating one’s thoughts to another. It is called in only after thoughts arise; other thoughts arise after the ‘I-thought’ rises; the ‘I-thought’ is the root of all conversation. When one remains without thinking one understands another by means of the universal language of silence.

Silence is ever-speaking; it is a perennial flow of language; it is interrupted by speaking. These words obstruct that mute language. There is electricity flowing in a wire. With resistance to its passage, it glows as a lamp or revolves as a fan. In the wire it remains as electric energy. Similarly also, silence is the eternal flow of language, obstructed by words.

What one fails to know by conversation extending to several years can be known in a trice in Silence, or in front of Silence - e.g., Dakshinamurti, and his four disciples.

That is the highest and most effective language.

Talk 246

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Don’t believe your thoughts.
‘I am the body’ is a thought.
‘I am the mind’ is a thought.
‘I am the doer’ is a thought.
Worry is only a thought.
Fear is only a thought.
Death is only a thought.
Watch your thoughts,
Give attention to your thoughts.
Just by giving attention to your thoughts & letting them go,
they lose the ability to convince you about anything or make you suffer.
What used to feel like a rope earlier is now only a burnt rope. It has no power.

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

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Devotee: Does one who has realized the [God] Self lose the sense of "I"?

Ramana: Absolutely.

Devotee: Then there is no difference between yourself and myself, that man over there, my servant. Are all the same?

Ramana: All are the same, including those monkeys.

Devotee: But the monkeys are not people. Are they not different?

Ramana: They are exactly the same as people. All are the same in One Consciousness.

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A feeling of deficiency only arises because of the mind-deficiency. In truth no one has any kind of lack.

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SAHAJA SAMADHI

Talk 465.
Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi
6th March, 1938

Sri Bhagavan explained to a retired Judge of the High Court some points in the Upadesa Saram as follows:

(1) Meditation should remain unbroken as a current. If unbroken it is called samadhi or Kundalini sakti.

(2) The mind may be latent and merge in the Self; it must necessarily rise up again; after it rises up one finds oneself only as ever before. For in this state the mental predispositions are present there in latent form to remanifest under favorable conditions.

(3) Again the mind activities can be completely destroyed. This differs from the former mind, for here the attachment is lost, never to reappear. Even though the man sees the world after he has been in the samadhi state, the world will be taken only at its worth, that is to say it is the phenomenon of the One Reality.

The True Being can be realised only in samadhi; what was then is also now. Otherwise it cannot be Reality or Ever-present Being. What was in samadhi is here and now too.

Hold it and it is your natural condition of Being. Samadhi practice must lead to it. Otherwise how can nirvikalpa samadhi be of any use in which a man remains as a log of wood? He must necessarily rise up from it sometime or other and face the world. But in sahaja samadhi he remains unaffected by the world. ...

Practice lies in one of the two courses: devotion or knowledge. Even these are not the goals. Samadhi must be gained; it must be continuously practiced until sahaja samadhi results. Then there remains nothing more to do.

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If the ego is, everything else also is.
If the ego is not, nothing else is.
Indeed, the ego is all.
Therefore the enquiry as to what this ego is is the only way of giving up everything.

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MANO NASA
Unless the force that activates thought is driven deeply within and destroyed, it is impossible to enjoy one’s own experience of jnana.
Muruganar: In having no settled principles, nothing else matches the mind. Its perception and evidence are completely unreliable. Its nature is to prostitute itself. At an opportune moment for deceiving the sadhaka, it will jump outwards towards sense objects. So long as the mind survives, its nature will not change. Hence, the mind should be destroyed at its roots by unceasing dhyana and vichara. Until the mind has been destroyed, no sensible aspirant should remain satisfied and think he has accomplished all that needs to be done.
Padamalai, p 145, 146

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Silence, which is devoid of the assertive ego, alone is liberation.

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Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi: Talk 616:

D.: Is the Jivanadi an entity or a figment of the imagination?

M.: 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
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
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
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
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 Consciousness within, purged of the mind, is felt as God.

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There never was and never will be a time when all are equally happy or rich or wise or healthy. In fact none of these terms has any meaning except in so far as the opposite to it exists. But that does not mean that when you come across any one who is less happy or more miserable than yourself, you are not to be moved to compassion or to seek to relieve him as best you can. On the contrary, you must love all and help all, since only in that way can you help yourself. When you seek to reduce the suffering of any fellowman or fellow-creature, whether your efforts succeed or not, you are yourself evolving spiritually thereby, especially if such service is rendered disinterestedly, not with the egoistic feeling 'I am doing this', but in the spirit 'God is making me the channel of this service; He is the doer and I the instrument'.

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D.: How is one to overcome regrets?

M.: By realising the Divinity in him.

D.: How?

M.: By practice.

D.: What kind of practice?

M.: Meditation.

D.: Mind is not steady while meditating.

M.: It will be all right by practice.

D.: How is the mind to be steadied?

M.: By strengthening it.

D.: How to strengthen it?

M.: It grows strong by satsanga (the company of the wise).

D.: Shall we add prayers, etc.?

M.: Yes.

D.: What of the one who has no regrets?

M.: He is an accomplished Yogi. There is no question about him.

D.: People cite disasters, e.g., earthquakes, famines, etc., to disprove God. How shall we meet their contention?

M.: Wherefrom have they come - those who argue?

D.: They say, “Nature”.

M.: Some call it “Nature” - others “God”.

D.: Are we to keep anything against a rainy day; or to live a precarious life for spiritual attainments?

M.: God looks after everything.

Talk 377

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Like a deer caught in the jaws of a tiger, those
who are trapped by the Sadguru's knowledge-
bestowing glance of grace will never be
abandoned. Rather, they are destined to lose
their individuality, their restricted nature, and
attain liberation.

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BHAGAVAN'S PROMISES

When devotees surrendered their problems to Sri Ramana, it was the same as surrendering them to God. They were submitting to the same divine authority, surrendering to a living manifestation of that same power. Here are some statements that Sri Ramana made on this subject. I have taken them from a book I am currently working on. Each sentence was originally recorded by Muruganar in Tamil verse:

My devotees have the qualifications to rejoice abundantly, like children of an emperor.

Abandon the drama [of the world] and seek the Self within. Remaining within, I will protect you, [ensuring] that no harm befalls you.

If you inquire and know me, the indweller, in that state there will be no reason for you to worry about the world.

For the cruel disease of burning samsara to end, the correct regimen is to entrust all your burdens on me.

In order that your needless anxieties cease, make sure that all your burdens are placed on me through the brave act of depending totally on grace.

If you completely surrender all your responsibilities to me, I will accept them as mine and manage them.

When bearing the entire burden remains my responsibility, why do you have any worries?

Long ago you offered your body, possessions and soul to me, making them mine, so why do you still regard these things as 'I' and 'mine' and associate yourself with them?

Seek my grace within the Heart. I will drive away your darkness and show you the light. This is my responsibility.

David Godman, Interviews

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Everything has to be done in a hurry.
Everybody has some train to catch.
They visit this swami in a rush and want to carry away a parcel of liberation and salvation.
They read something here and there and they think they are learned and ready for liberation.
Who wants salvation?
To whom is the liberation?
Instead of simply turning within and being the silence which is saturated within the Heart, they roam about outside and remain agitated without peace.
Everything is already within.
The one who searches is the very thing one is searching for.
Stillness is the truth.

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