Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi     1511 posts


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Mourning is not the index of true Love.
It betrays love of the object, of its shape only.

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"BHAGAVAN, IS THIS IT?"

Once, I asked Chadwick, “Are you realized?” I have put this question to all of the old devotees like Muruganar, Cohen, Osborne, Sadhu Natanananda, Devaraja Mudaliar and others. None of them either said yes or no - all smiled. When I asked him whether he was realized, he did not say yes or no. Instead, he told me, “I will tell you what happened. After many years of my stay with Bhagavan - four or five years, I committed the mistake of trying to evaluate how much I have progressed spiritually. This is a thing any seeker should not do. I felt that I have not progressed. Many who saw me in Ramanasramam, looked at me like I was a sage or a saint saying, „Oh! He is so fortunate. He is so close to Bhagavan. He meditates so much. He is already in that state.‟ This created a contradiction in me as I personally felt that I was not progressing spiritually. However, having left the material life I could not go back to a worldly life either. I felt caught between the devil and the deep sea. I was sorrow stricken. I ran to Bhagavan‟s hall. He was alone. I told him, „Bhagavan, this is my plight. I am neither here nor there and this causes much sorrow in me.‟

Bhagavan looked at me compassionately and said, „Chadwick, who says all this?‟ Immediately, there was a current like shock in my body and I literally ran to my room, shut the doors and went into a neutral state. I was not bothered whether I was spiritually maturing or whether I would be able to stay in the world. I was in a neutral state of silence. A few days passed like that wherein I was neither happy nor worried.” The only luxury that Chadwick allowed himself was taking his bath in a bath tub which he had in the verandah of his cottage. One day, shortly after the above incident, something happened unexpectedly. As Chadwick told me later, “I was taking my bath and very honestly Ganesan, I was not in a spiritual state or in a prayerful mood when it suddenly dawned - the „I AM‟!”

He experienced it - not just as words. He was so ecstatic that he did not even dry himself. He just wrapped a towel around his waist and ran to the Old Hall from where a few days back he had run away. Fortunately, this time too, Bhagavan was alone. In this spiritual ecstasy of experiencing the „I AM‟, where there was no Chadwick, just the „I AM‟, he asked Bhagavan, “Bhagavan, is THIS it?” Chadwick recounted,

“Bhagavan gave me the most glorious smile, and then confirmed, „Yes, Chadwick, THIS is THAT!‟ I then asked him, „Bhagavan, is it so simple?‟ Bhagavan replied, „Yes it is that simple.‟ Since then, I‟ve never had any doubt.”

V. Ganesan in 'Ramana Periya Puranam'

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Realize your pure Being. Let there be no confusion with the body. The body is the result of thoughts. The thoughts will play as usual, but you will not be affected.

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GURU VACHAKA KOVAI

FOCUSSING INTENTLY ON THE SOURCE

782 To investigate what is our birth place and to merge in that birth place is of all methods the best for rooting out the suffering that exists only in the place we have entered.

Muruganar: The miseries of birth appear only in the place that one has entered, that is, the mind that manifests as the body and the world. They do not arise in the place of one's birth, the Heart. Therefore, by enquiring through Self-ward attention, 'What is the place of my birth?', a person should reach and abide in his source, the Heart. Out of all the techniques that are suitable for destroying the miseries of birth, this is the best.

Just as a woman, suffering intolerably in her father-in-law's house, obtains peace in her mother's house, so the mind, harried by samsaric suffering, wins peace by returning to its source.

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Keep your mind still. The aim of all practices is to give up all practices.

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Questioner: How shall I overcome my passions?

Sri 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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See to whom are the changing thoughts.
They will be found to arise after the 'I-thought'.
Hold the 'I-thought'.
They subside.
Trace back the source of the 'I-thought'.
The Self alone will remain.

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In the inmost core, the Heart
Shines as Brahman alone,
As 'I - I', the Self aware.
Enter deep into the Heart
By search for Self, or diving deep
Or with breath under check.
Thus abide ever in Atman.
(Ramana Gita, ch.ii, v 2)

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THE PRAYER OF A MASON

While attempting to save a squirrel from a dog, Ramana accidentally broke his collarbone in 1942. It took sometime for the collarbone to heal. This accident also weakened him considerably. It had hardly healed, yet Ramana wanted to join a staunch devotee, T.P.R, and his friend, when
they informed him that they were going to Skandasramam. It was immediately after lunch. Naturally the two devotees were afraid that the hot sun and Ramana's frail health would make such a trip inadvisable. Thinking that they had persuaded him out of it, the two friends set out on their own only to find Ramana trailing behind them, slowly, along with his attendant Rangaswami. Somehow Ramana managed to reach Skandasramam, with their help, after three gruelling
hours in the hot sun. Why he should have done so was a mystery to them.

Soon they discovered the reason. A solitary mason was doing some odd jobs there. Ramana told him, 'I came for your sake. Your prayers dragged me here.' Ramana himself explained what his prayer was. "As you know four days ago, in connection with the raising of pillars for the New Hall they had a special worship. With the doctor's permission the sthapati had taken me for this function. Many had come.

One of them was this mason. He thought, 'How lucky are these people who are constructing this hall! To see their work Bhagavan himself has come. How will Bhagavan come and see the work, which I am doing at Skandasramam with such patient care? It is a year since he has come to Skandasramam. It would be too much to hope that he would
do so now. How wonderful would it be if he did'."
Ramana then personally inspected the work. Understandably the mason was in the seventh heaven.

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29--4--1946 -- Afternoon



Mr.Nanavati asked Sri Bhagavan : " I suppose mere Mouna in speech is no good ; but, we must have Mouna of the mind."



Sri Bhagavan : Of course. If we have real Mouna - that state in which the mind is merged into its source - and, has no more separate existence, then all other kinds of Mouna will come of their own accord, i.e., of words, of action and of the mind or chitta.



Sri Bhagavan also quoted in this connection the following from Saint Thayumanavar :



" சித்த மௌனஞ் செயல்வாக் கெலாமௌனஞ்

சுத்த மௌனமென்பால் தோன்றிற் பராபரமே. "



[ If I get pure Mouna (quiescence), I shall have Mouna of chitta, mind, word and deed. ]



Sri Bhagavan added : "Such Mouna is not 'inertness', but great 'activity'. It is the most powerful speech."




--- from " Day by Day with Bhagavan " , p. 215, 168

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Why should you trouble yourself about the future? You do not even properly know about the present. Take care of the present, the future will take care of itself.

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Mind always wants a certain theory to satisfy itself.
Really, no theory is necessary for the man who seriously desires to approach God or to realise his own true being.

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Is it the world that says "I am real", or is it you?

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When a person has realized,
a universal life-current takes possession of him
and he becomes an instrument in its hands.
His own separate will is gone.
This is the real Self-surrender.
This is the highest kundalini (the divine cosmic energy),
this is real bhakti (devotion),
this is jnana (knowledge of the Self).

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God, on being worshipped, bestows steadiness in devotion which leads to surrender. On the devotee surrendering, God shows His mercy by manifesting as the Guru. The Guru, otherwise God, guides the devotee, saying that God is in you and He is the Self. This leads to introversion of the mind and finally to realization.

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BHAGAVAN'S DIALOGUE WITH AN AMERICAN LADY

The following questions were asked by an aristocratic-looking American lady. Bhagavan's answers are a succinct summary of his practical teachings.

Question: What is the truth that I have to attain? Please explain it and show it to me.

Bhagavan: What we have to attain and what is desired by everyone is endless happiness. Although we seek to attain it in various ways, it is not something to be sought or attained as a new experience.

Our real nature is the 'I' feeling which is experienced by everyone. It is within us and nowhere else.

Although we are always experiencing it, our minds are wandering, always seeking it, thinking in ignorance that it is something apart from us. This is like a person saying with his own tongue that he has no tongue.

Question: If this is so, why did so many sadhanas [spiritual
practices] come to be created?

Bhagavan: The sadhanas came to be formed only to get rid of the thought that it [the Self] is something to be newly attained.

The root of the illusion is the thought which ignores the Self and which thinks instead, 'I am this body'.
After this thought rises it expands in a moment into several thousand thoughts and conceals the Self. The reality of the Self will only shine if all these thoughts are removed. Afterwards, what remains is only Brahmananda [the
bliss of Brahman].

Question: I am now sitting peacefully without the thought 'I am this body'. Is this the state of reality?

Bhagavan: This state must remain as it is without any change.
If it changes after a while you will know that other thoughts have not gone.

LIVING BY THE WORDS OF BHAGAVAN, p. 214, 215

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“Holding the mind and investigating it is advised for a beginner. But what is mind after all? It is a projection of the Self. See for whom it appears and from where it rises. The ‘I-thought’ will be found to be the root-cause. Go deeper; the ‘I-thought’ disappears and there is an infinitely expanded ‘I-consciousness’. That is otherwise called Hiranyagarbha. When it puts on limitations it appears as individuals.”

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Upadesa Saram

(The Essence of Instruction)

By Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi

ALL 30 VERSES



1. Action yields fruit,
For so the Lord ordains it.
How can action be the Lord?
It is insentient.

2. The fruit of action passes.
But action leaves behind
Seed of further action
Leading to an endless ocean of action;
Not at all to moksha.

3. Disinterested action
Surrendered to the Lord
Purifies the mind and points
The way to moksha.

4. This is certain:
Worship, praise and meditation,
Being work of body, speech and mind,
Are steps for orderly ascent.

5. Ether, fire, air, water, earth,
Sun, moon, and living beings --
Worship of these,
Regarded all as forms of His,
Is perfect worship of the Lord.

6. Better than hymns of praise
Is repetition of the Name;
Better low-voiced than loud,
But best of all
Is meditation in the mind.

7. Better than spells of meditation
Is one continuous current,
Steady as a stream,
Or downward flow of oil.

8. Better than viewing Him as Other,
Indeed the noblest attitude of all,
Is to hold Him as the `I' within,
The very `I'.

9. Abidance in pure being
Transcending thought through love intense
Is the very essence
Of supreme devotion.

10. Absorption in the Heart of being,
Whence we sprang,
Is the path of action, of devotion,
Of union and of knowledge.

11. Holding the breath controls the mind,
Like a bird caught in a net.
Breath-regulation helps
Absorption in the Heart.

12. Mind and breath (as thought and action)
Fork out like two branches.
But both spring
From a single root.

13. Absorption is of two sorts:
Submergence and destruction.
Mind submerged rises again;
Dead, it revives no more.

14. Breath controlled and thought restrained,
The mind turned one-way inward
Fades and dies.

15. Mind extinct, the mighty seer
Returns to his own natural being
And has no action to perform.

16. It is true wisdom
For the mind to turn away
From outer objects and behold
Its own effulgent form.

17. When unceasingly the mind
Scans its own form,
There is nothing of the kind.
For everyone
This path direct is open.

18. Thoughts alone make up the mind;
And of all thoughts the `I' thought is the root.
What is called mind is but the notion `I'.

19. When one turns within and searches
Whence this `I' thought arises,
The shamed `I' vanishes
And wisdom's quest begins.

20. Where this `I' notion fades,
Now there as I, as I, arises
The One, the very Self, The Infinite.

21. Of the term, `I' the permanent import
Is `That'. For even in deep sleep
Where we have no sense of `I'
We do not cease to be.

22. Body, senses, mind, breath, sleep --
All insentient and unreal --
Cannot be `I',
`I' who am the Real.

23. For knowing That which Is
There is no other knower.
Hence Being is Awareness
And we are all Awareness.

24. In the nature of their being, creature and creator
Are in substance one.
They differ only
In adjuncts and awareness.

25. Seeing oneself free of all attributes
Is to see the Lord,
For He shines ever as the pure Self.

26. To know the Self is but to be the Self,
For It is non-dual.
In such knowledge
One abides as That.

27. That is true knowledge which transcends
Both knowledge and ignorance,
For in pure knowledge
There is no object to be known.

28. Having known one's nature one abides
As being with no beginning and no end
In unbroken consciousness and bliss.

29. Abiding in this state of bliss
Beyond bondage and release,
Is steadfastness
In service of the Lord.

30. All ego gone,
Living as That alone
Is penance good for growth,
Sings Ramana, the Self.

(Translated by Prof. K. Swaminathan)

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Upadesa Saram
(The Essence of Instruction)


26. To know the Self is but to be the Self,
For It is non-dual.
In such knowledge
One abides as That.

27. That is true knowledge which transcends
Both knowledge and ignorance,
For in pure knowledge
There is no object to be known.

28. Having known one's nature one abides
As being with no beginning and no end
In unbroken consciousness and bliss.

29. Abiding in this state of bliss
Beyond bondage and release,
Is steadfastness
In service of the Lord.

30. All ego gone,
Living as That alone
Is penance good for growth,
Sings Ramana, the Self.

(Translated by Prof. K. Swaminathan)

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Upadesa Saram
(The Essence of Instruction)

22. Body, senses, mind, breath, sleep --
All insentient and unreal --
Cannot be `I',
`I' who am the Real.

23. For knowing That which Is
There is no other knower.
Hence Being is Awareness
And we are all Awareness.

24. In the nature of their being, creature and creator
Are in substance one.
They differ only
In adjuncts and awareness.

25. Seeing oneself free of all attributes
Is to see the Lord,
For He shines ever as the pure Self.

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Upadesa Saram
(The Essence of Instruction)


16. It is true wisdom
For the mind to turn away
From outer objects and behold
Its own effulgent form.

17. When unceasingly the mind
Scans its own form,
There is nothing of the kind.
For everyone
This path direct is open.

18. Thoughts alone make up the mind;
And of all thoughts the `I' thought is the root.
What is called mind is but the notion `I'.

19. When one turns within and searches
Whence this `I' thought arises,
The shamed `I' vanishes
And wisdom's quest begins.

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Upadesa Saram
(The Essence of Instruction)

13. Absorption is of two sorts:
Submergence and destruction.
Mind submerged rises again;
Dead, it revives no more.

14. Breath controlled and thought restrained,
The mind turned one-way inward
Fades and dies.

15. Mind extinct, the mighty seer
Returns to his own natural being
And has no action to perform.

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Upadesa Saram

(The Essence of Instruction)

4. This is certain:
Worship, praise and meditation,
Being work of body, speech and mind,
Are steps for orderly ascent.

5. Ether, fire, air, water, earth,
Sun, moon, and living beings --
Worship of these,
Regarded all as forms of His,
Is perfect worship of the Lord.

6. Better than hymns of praise
Is repetition of the Name;
Better low-voiced than loud,
But best of all
Is meditation in the mind.

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Upadesa Saram

(The Essence of Instruction)

1. Action yields fruit,
For so the Lord ordains it.
How can action be the Lord?
It is insentient.

2. The fruit of action passes.
But action leaves behind
Seed of further action
Leading to an endless ocean of action;
Not at all to moksha.

3. Disinterested action
Surrendered to the Lord
Purifies the mind and points
The way to moksha.

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Upadesa Saram
(The Essence of Instruction)


There is a legend that a group of rishis once lived in the Daruka forest together, practising rites by which they acquired supernatural powers. By the same means they hoped to attain final liberation. In this, however, they were mistaken, for action can only result in action, not in the cessation of action; rites can produce powers but not the peace of liberation which is beyond rites and powers and all forms of action. Siva determined to convince them of their error and therefore appeared before them as a wandering sadhu. Together with him came Vishnu in the form of a beautiful lady. All the rishis were smitten with love for this lady and thereby their equilibrium was disturbed and their rites and powers were adversely affected. Moreover their wives, who were also living with them in the forest, all fell in love with the strange sadhu. Incensed at this, they conjured up an elephant and a tiger by magic rites and sent them against him. Siva, however, slew them easily and took the elephant's skin for a robe and the tiger's for a wrap. The rishis then realized that they were up against one more powerful than themselves and they bowed down to him and asked him for instruction. He then explained to them that it is not by action but by renunciation of action that one attains liberation.

The poet Muruganar wanted to write a hundred verses on this theme but he could not readily proceed beyond seventy verses. It then occurred to him that Bhagavan was the proper person to write the verses relating to Siva's instructions. He therefore begged Bhagavan to compose them and Bhagavan accordingly composed thirty Tamil verses. He himself later rendered them into Sanskrit. These thirty verses were subsequently translated by Bhagavan into Telugu under the name of Anubhuti Saram first, and Upadesa Saram afterwards. Bhagavan likewise rendered them into Malayalam. The Sanskrit version, Upadesa Saram, was chanted before him daily together with the Vedas and continues to be chanted before his shrine; that is to say, it is treated as a scripture. He refers to the various paths to liberation, grading them in order of efficiency and excellence, and showing that the best is Self-enquiry.

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