Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi     515 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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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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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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UPADESA SARAM

The Essence of Instruction

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

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UPADESA SARAM

The Essence of Instruction

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.

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What is your real nature? Is it writing, walking or being? The one unalterable reality is being. Until you realize that state of pure being you should pursue the enquiry. If once you are established in it there will be no further worry. No one will enquire into the source of thoughts unless thoughts arise. So long as you think ‘I am walking’ or ‘I am writing’, enquire who does it.

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Silence is the most potent form of work. The guru is quiet and peace prevails in all. His silence is more vast and more emphatic than the scriptures put together. In fact the guru is always within you. The guru’s silence is the loudest teaching. It is also grace in its highest form. Silence is the true teaching. It is the perfect teaching.

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Everyone is aware of the eternal Self. He sees so many dying but still believes himself eternal. Because it is the Truth. Unwillingly the natural Truth asserts itself. The man is deluded by the intermingling of the conscious Self with the insentient body. This delusion must end.

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One’s unceasing effort to turn the mind – which is always extroverted due to the force of habit [cultivated in past births] – towards Self by the Self-enquiry “Who am I?” is [the significance of] the great war being fought between devas and asuras [which is described in the Puranas].

(GURU VACHAKA KOVAI: 396)

[Sadhu Om: “In India many stories are recorded in books known as the Puranas, which tell of the wars being fought between devas [gods] and asuras [demons]. These wars should not be regarded as mere myths or events that happened only in the distant past, they are going on even today. They are the constant battle which is always being fought in the life of a sadhaka between his liking to attend only to Self and the habitual outward-going tendencies of his mind.”]

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When the mind [i.e., the ego’s attention] which wanders outside, knowing only other objects [2nd and 3rd persons] – begins to attend to its own nature, all other objects will disappear, and then, by experiencing its own true nature [i.e. Self], the pseudo-‘I’ will also die.

-GURU VACHAKA KOVAI, Verse 193.

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Ramana Maharshi: You can never find the mind through mind. Pass beyond it in order to find it non-existent.

Questioner: Then one must directly go to seek the ego. Is it so?

Ramana Maharshi: That's it. Mind, ego, intellect are all different names for one single inner organ (antahkarana). The mind is only the aggregate of thoughts. Thoughts cannot exist but for the ego. So all thoughts are pervaded by ego (aham). Seek wherefrom the `I' rises and the other thoughts will disappear.

~ from 'Talk 473'; 15th March, 1938

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