Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi     1526 posts


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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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Forgetting everything that has to be obtained either in this world or in the next, enduring perfectly and with patience all the obstacles that come, and not being disheartened by any amount of poverty that comes, live in the way in which God’s Grace leads you.

(GURU VACHAKA KOVAI: 664)

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UPADESA SARAM

The Essence of Instruction

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.

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As in the night when the sun is not present, one sees the light in the moon, the man who is not present in the heart, sees merely the mind.

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Question: How is the ego to be destroyed ?
Maharshi: Hold the ego first and then ask how it is to be destroyed. Who asks this question ? It is the ego. Can the ego ever agree to kill itself ? This question is a sure way to cherish the ego and not to kill it. If you seek the ego you will find it does not exist.
That is the way to destroy it.

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REAL MEANING OF PUJA

Puja really is - the losing of one's individuality in that which is worshipped.

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It is the false identity of the Self with the body that causes the idea of preference, etc.
Are you the body?
Were you aware of it when you were fast asleep last night?
No!
What is it that exists now and troubles you?
It is `I'.
Get rid of it and be happy.

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People do all sorts of funny things
according to their preconceived notions.
We have merely to keep quiet
witnessing them.

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If the seer [drik, the ego] and the seen [drisya, the world] were different in their reality [sat], the act of seeing would never be possible. But since seeing is possible, know that they [the seer and the seen] have one and the same reality.

(GURU VACHAKA KOVAI: 639)

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PADAMALAI

The unreality of the ego

30 Neither in this world nor anywhere else
does there exist for you a malevolent enemy like the ego.

31 Enquire within and know the source of the ego so that the ego departs and the experience of Atma-swarupa surges.

32 If you enquire within yourself and know the nature of the powerful ego-ghost, then, like the [presumed] best man, it will run away and disappear.

Bhagavan: In a Hindu marriage function, the feasts continue five or six days. A stranger was mistaken for the best man by the bride's party and they therefore treated him with special regard. Seeing him treated with special regard by the bride's party, the bridegroom's party considered him to be some man of importance related to the bride's party and therefore they too showed him special respect. The stranger had altogether a happy time of it.

He was also all along aware of the real situation. On one occasion the groom's party wanted to refer to him on some
point. They asked for him. He scented trouble and made
himself scarce.

So it is with the ego. If looked for, it disappears. If not, it continues to give trouble.

Reality is simply the loss of the ego. Destroy the ego by seeking its identity. Because the ego is no entity
it will automatically vanish and reality will shine forth by
itself. This is the direct method. Whereas all other methods are done, only retaining the ego.

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Knowing THAT which survives the annihilation of ‘I’ is alone the true Tapas!

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