Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi     529 posts


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Bhagavan explains the difference between jnana-yoga (path of knowledge) and dhyana-yoga (path of meditation) thus: jnana is like subduing a self-willed bull by coaxing it with the help of a sheaf of green grass, while dhyana is like controlling it by using force. Just as there are eight limbs for dhyana-yoga, there are eight for jnana-yoga. The limbs of the latter are more proximate to the final stage than those of the former. For instance, while the pranayama of technical yoga consists in regulating and restraining breath, the pranayama that is a limb of jnana relates to rejecting the name-and-form world which is non-real and realizing the Real which is Existence-Consciousness-Bliss.

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Fixing their minds on psychic centres suchas the Sahasrara (the thousand petalled lotus Chakra), yogis remainany lengths of time without awareness of their bodies. As long asthis state continues, they appear to be immersed in some kind of joy.But when the mind, which has become tranquil emerges and becomesactive again it resumes its worldly thoughts. It is thereforenecessary to train it with the help of practices like Dhyana(meditation) whenever it becomes externalised. It will then attain astate in which there is neither subsistence nor emergence.Question:It is said that the Sakti manifests itself in five phases, tenphases, a hundred phases and a thousand phases. Which is true?SriRamana Maharshi: Sakti has only one phase. If it is said to manifestitself in several phases, it is only a way of speaking. The Sakti isonly one. Question: How to churn up the Nadis (psychic nerves) sothat the Kundalini may go up the Sushumna?Sri Ramana Maharshi: Thoughthe Yogi may have his methods of breath control for his object, theJnani's method is only that of enquiry. When by this method the mindis merged in the Self, the Sakti or Kundalini, which is not apartfrom the Self, rises automatically.The Yogis attach the highestimportance to sending the Kundalini up to the Sahasrara, the braincentre or the thousand petalled lotus. They point out the scripturalstatement that the life current enters the body through thefontanelle and argue that, Viyoga (separation) having come about thatway, yoga (union) must also be effected in the reverse way. Therefore,they say, we must, by yoga practice, gather up the Pranas (vitalforce) and enter the fontanelle for the consummation of yoga. TheJnanis on the other hand point out that the yogi assumes theexistence of the body and its separateness from the Self. Only ifthis standpoint of separateness is adopted can the yogi advise effortfor reunion by the practice of yoga.In fact the body is in the mindwhich has the brain for its seat. That the brain functions by lightborrowed from another source is admitted by the yogis themselves intheir fontanelle theory. The Jnani further argues: if the light isborrowed it must come from its native source. Go to the source directand do not depend on borrowed sources. That source is the Heart, theSelf.The Self does not come from anywhere else and enter the bodythrough the crown of the head. It is as it is, ever sparkling, eversteady, unmoving and unchanging. The individual confines himself tothe limits of the changeful body or of the mind which derives itsexistence from the unchanging Self. All that is necessary is to giveup this mistaken identity, and that done, the ever shining Self willbe seen to be the single non-dual reality.If one concentrates on theSahasrara there is no doubt that the ecstasy of Samadhi ensues. TheVasanas, that is the latent mental tendencies, are not howeverdestroyed. The yogi is therefore bound to wake up from the Samadhibecause release from bondage has not yet been accomplished. He muststill try to eradicate the Vasanas inherent in him so that they ceaseto disturb the peace of his Samadhi. So he passes down from theSahasrara to the Heart through what is called the Jivanadi, which isonly a continuation of the Sushumna. The Sushumna is thus a curve. Itstarts from the lowest Chakra, rises through the spinal cord to thebrain and from there bends down and ends in the Heart. When the yogihas reached the Heart, the Samadhi becomes permanent. Thus we seethat the Heart is the final centre.[Note: Commentary by David Godman:Sri Ramana Maharshi never advised his devotees to parctise KundaliniYoga since he regarded it as being both potentially dangerous andunnecessary. He accepted the existence of the Kundalini power and theChakras but he said that even if the Kundalini reached the Sahsrara itwould not result in realisation. For final realisation, he said, theKundalini must go beyond the Sahasrara, down another Nadi (psychicnerve) he called Amritanadi (also called the Paranadi or Jivanadi)and into the Heart-centre on the right hand side of the chest. Sincehe maintained that self-enquiry would automatically send theKundalini to the Heart-centre, he taught that separate yoga exerciseswere unnecessary.The practitioners of Kundalini Yoga concentrate onpsychic centres (Chakras) in the body in order to generate aspiritual power they call Kundalini. The aim of this practice is toforce the Kundalini up the psychic channel (the Sushumna) which runsfrom the base of the spine to the brain. The Kundalini Yogi believesthat when this power reaches the Sahasrara (the highest Chakralocated in the brain), Self-realisation will result.Sri RamanaMaharshi taught that the Self is reached by the search for the originof the ego and by diving into the Heart. This is the direct method ofSelf-realisation. One who adopts it need not worry about Nadis, thebrain centre (Sahasrara), the Sushumna, the Paranadi, the Kundalini,Pranayama or the six centres(Chakras)

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Who is the Adhikari, i.e., the person competent to launch on this Atma Vichara, the Self-quest? Can anyone judge for himself if he has the necessary competency?

Maharshi: He whose mind has been purified through upasana [worship] and other means or by merit acquired in past lives, who perceives the imperfections of the body and sense-objects, and feels utter distaste whenever his mind has to function among sense-objects and who realises that the body is impermanent, he is said to be a fit person for self-enquiry.

By these two signs, that is by a sense of the transitoriness of the body and by non-attachment to sense-objects, one’s own fitness for self-enquiry can be known. (Sri Ramana Gita, chapter 7, verses 8, 9, 10, 11)

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SELF-ENQUIRY

Bhagavan: To ask the mind to kill the mind is like making thethief the policeman. He will go with you and pretend to catch... See Morethe thief, but nothing will be gained. So, you must turn inwardand see where the mind rises from and then it will cease toexist. B.: Of course, we are employing the mind. It is well knownand admitted that only with the help of the mind, can the mindbe killed. But instead of setting about saying there is a mindand I want to kill it, you begin to seek its source, and then youfind it does not exist at all. The mind turned outwards results inthoughts and objects. Turned inwards it becomes itself the Self.

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Q: What is the dif f erence between meditation [dhyana] and
investigation [vichara]?
A: Both amount to the same. Those unfit for investigation
must practise meditation. In meditation the aspirant forgetting
himself meditates 'I am Brahman' or 'I am Siva' and by this
method holds on to Brahman or Siva. This will ultimately end
with the residual awareness of Brahman or Siva as being. He will
then realise that this is pure being, that is, the Self.
He who engages in investigation starts by holding on to
himself, and by asking himself 'Who am I?' the Self becomes clear
to him.4
Mentally imagining oneself to be the supreme reality, which
shines as existence-conscious ness-bliss, is meditation. Fixing the
mind in the Self so that the unreal seed of delusion will die is
enquiry.
Whoever meditates upon the Self in whatever bhava [mental
image] attains it only in that image. Those
peaceful ones who
remain quiet without any such bhava attam the noble and
unqualified state of kaivalya, the formless state of the Self.
Q: Meditation is more direct than mvesttgatton because the
former holds on to the truth whereas the latter sifts the truth from
the untruth.
A: For the beginner meditation on a form is more easy and
agreeable. Practice of it leads to self-enquiry which consists in
sifting the reality from unreality. .
What is the use of holding on to truth when you are filled with
antagonistic factors? . . .
Self-enquiry directly leads to realIsation by removmg the
obstacles which make you think that the Self is not already
realised.6
Meditation differs according to the degree of advancement of
the seeker. If one is fit for it one might directly hold on to the
thinker, and the thinker will then automatically sink into his
source, pure consciousness. . .
If one cannot directly hold on to the thmker one must meditate
on God and in due course the same individual will have become
sufficiently pure to hold on to the thinker and to sink into
absolute being? . .
Meditation is possible only if the ego IS kept up. There IS the
ego and the object meditated upon. The method IS therefore
ndirect because the Self is only one. Seekmg the ego, that IS Its
source, the ego disappears. What is left over is the Self. This
method is the direct one.


From the Book "Be as You Are" The Teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi
page 116.

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Jnana is given neither from outside nor from another person. It can be realised by each and everyone in his own Heart. The jnana Guru of everyone is only the Supreme Self that is always revealing its own truth in every Heart through the being-conciousness 'I am, I am.' The granting of true knowledge by him is initiation into jnana. The grace of the Guru is only that Self-awareness that is one's own true nature. It is the inner conciousness by which he is unceasingly revealing his existence. This divine upadesa is always going on naturally in everyone.

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All metaphysical discussion is profitless unless it causes us to seek within the Self for the true reality. All controversies about creation, the nature of the universe, evolution, the purpose of God, etc., are useless. They are not conducive to our true happiness. People try to find out about things which are outside of them before they try to find out “Who am I?” Only by the latter means can happiness be gained.

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Correcting oneself is correcting the whole world. The sun is simply bright. It does not correct anyone. Because it shines, the whole world is full of light. Transforming yourself is a means of giving light to the whole world.

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Mind is consciousness which has put on limitations. You are originally unlimited and perfect. Later you take on limitations and become the mind.

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