Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi     1511 posts


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He is, even while working, in solitude. To engage in your duty is the true namaskar... and abiding in God is the only true asana.

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Dr. Syed: ,What is salvation? What did Christ mean by it?

M.: Salvation for whom? and from what?

D.: Salvation for the individual and from the sorrows and sufferings of the world.

M.: Whose are the sorrows, etc.?

D.: Of the mind.

M.: Are you the mind?

D.: I shall now explain how this question arose. I was meditating. I began to reflect on the Grace shown by Christ to some devotees who got salvation. I consider that Sri Bhagavan is similar. Is not salvation the result of similar Grace? That is what I mean by my questions.

M.: Yes. Right.

D.: The booklet Who am I? speaks of swarupa drishti (seeing the essence). Then there must be a seer and the seen. How can this be reconciled with the Ultimate Unity?

M.: Why do you ask for salvation, release from sorrow, etc.? He who asks for them sees them also.
The fact is this. Drishti (sight) is consciousness. It forms the subject and object. Can there be drishti apart from the Self? The Self is all - drishti, etc.

D.: How to discern the ego from the Perfect ‘I-I’?

M.: That which rises and falls is the transient ‘I’. That which has
neither origin nor end is the permanent ‘I-I’ consciousness.

D.: Will continuous thought on the Self make the mind more and more refined so that it will not think of anything but the highest?

M.: There is the peaceful mind which is the supreme. When the
same becomes restless, it is afflicted by thoughts. Mind is only
the dynamic power (sakti) of the Self.

D.: Are the sheaths material and different from the Self?

M.: There is no difference between matter and spirit. Modern science admits that all matter is energy. Energy is power or force (sakti). Therefore all are resolved in Siva and Sakti i.e., the Self and the Mind.
The kosas are mere appearances. There is no reality in them as such.

D.: How many hours a day should one devote to meditation?

M.: Your very nature is meditation.

D.: It will be so when ripe, but not now.

M.: You become conscious of it later. That does not mean that your
nature is now different from meditation.

D.: What about practice?

M.: Meditation must always be practised.

D.: A Persian mystic says: “There is nothing but God.” The Quran
says: “God is immanent in all.”

M.: There is no ‘all’, apart from God, for Him to pervade. He alone is.

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

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To all deep thinking minds, the enquiry about the ‘I’ and its nature has an irresistible fascination.

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1. What are the marks of a real teacher (Sadguru)?

Steady abidance in the Self, looking at all with an equal eye, unshakeable courage at all times, in all places and circumstances, etc.

2. What are the marks of an earnest disciple (sadsisya)?

An intense longing for the removal of sorrow and attainment of joy and an intense aversion for all
kinds of mundane pleasure.

3. What are the characteristics of instruction (upadesa)?

The word ‘upadesa’ means : ‘near the place or seat’ (upa - near, desa - place or seat). The Guru who is the embodiment of that which is indicated by the terms sat, chit, and ananda (existence, consciousness and bliss), prevents the disciple who, on account of his acceptance of the forms of the objects of the senses, has swerved from his true state and is consequently distressed and buffeted by joys and sorrows, from continuing so and establishes him in his own real nature without differentiation.

Upadesa also means showing a distant object quite near. It is brought home to the disciple that the Brahman which he believes to be distant and different from himself is near and not different from himself.

-from CHAPTER 1: INSTRUCTION (Upadesa) of 'Spiritual Instruction

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There is no reaching the Self. If Self were to be reached, it would mean that the Self is not here and now but that it is yet to be obtained. What is got afresh will also be lost. So it will be impermanent. What is not permanent is not worth striving for. So I say the Self is not reached. You are the Self; you are already That.

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Look for it, the ego vanishes. The real Self alone remains.

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A subtle illumination will be experienced as ‘I-I’ which is no other than the Absolute, the Self, seated in the lotus of the Heart, in the city of the body, the tabernacle of God.

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ONE PATH AND DIFFERENT FORMS OF ITS expression

D: Which path is best suited to me? Won’t all help be
provided by God?


Bhagavan: Bhakti, Karma, Jnana and Yoga, all these paths are one. You cannot love God without knowing Him nor know Him without loving Him. Love manifests itself in everything you do and that is Karma. The development of mental perception (Yoga) is the necessary preliminary before you can know or love God in the proper way.

D: Can I go on thinking “I am God”? Is that right practice?

B: Why think that? In fact you are God. But who goes on thinking or saying “I am a man”, “I am a man”? If any contrary thought, for instance, that one was a beast had to be put down, then of course you might say “I am a man”. To the extent of crushing down the wrong notion that one is this or that, according to one’s erroneous fancies, to that extent the idea that he is not these but God or Self, may be indulged in, as a matter of practice but when practice is over, the result is not any thought at all (such as ‘I am God’) but mere Self-realization. That is beyond conceptual thought.

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The real state must be effortless. The effortless samadhi is the true one and the perfect state. It is permanent.

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Bliss comes to you by sweet grace,
through the self-surrender you perform
lovingly in the Heart.

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"Who am I"

Question No 24: What is happiness?

Bhagawan: Happiness is the very nature of the Self; happiness and the Self are not different. There is no happiness in any object of the world. We imagine through our ignorance that we derive happiness from objects. When the mind goes out, it experiences misery. In truth, when its desires are fulfilled, it returns to its own place and enjoys the happiness that is the Self. Similarly, in the states of sleep, samadhi and fainting, and when the object desired is obtained or the object disliked is removed, the mind becomes inward-turned, and enjoys pure Self-Happiness. Thus the mind moves without rest alternately going out of the Self and returning to it. Under the tree the shade is pleasant; out in the open the heat is scorching. A person who has been going about in the sun feels cool when he reaches the shade. Someone who keeps on going from the shade into the sun and then back into the shade is a fool. A wise man stays permanently in the shade. Similarly, the mind of the one who knows the truth does not leave Brahman. The mind of the ignorant, on the contrary, revolves in the world, feeling miserable, and for a little time returns to Brahman to experience happiness. In fact, what is called the world is only thought. When the world disappears, i.e. when there is no thought, the mind experiences happiness; and when the world appears, it goes through misery.

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The enquiry “Who am I?” is the principal means to the removal of all misery and the attainment of the supreme bliss. When in this manner the mind becomes quiescent in its own state, Self-experience arises of its own accord, without any hindrance. Thereafter sensory pleasures and pains will not affect the mind. All (phenomena) will appear then, without attachment, like a dream. Never forgetting one’s plenary Self-experience is real bhakti (devotion), yoga (mind-control), jnana (knowledge) and all other austerities. Thus say the sages.

-from 'Self-Enquiry' ('VICHARASANGRAHAM'), Q&A No. 12

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If one meditates keenly on the state that prevails at the end of waking and just before sleep, one attains unending happiness.

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When the goal is reached, when you know the Knower, there is no difference between living in a house in London and living in the solitude of a jungle.

-Bhagavan quoted in ''A Search in Secret India' by Paul Brunton

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Know well that the experience of Bliss exists only in Self and never in this life of delusion, and hence achieve Self-Knowledge, which is the Space of Grace and the final state of Supreme Silence.

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"Who am I"

Question No 21: Is it necessary for one who longs for release to inquire into the nature of categories (tattvas)?

Bhagawan: Just as one who wants to throw away garbage has no need to analyse it and see what it is, so one who wants to know the Self has no need to count the number of categories or inquire into their characteristics; what he has to do is to reject altogether the categories that hide the Self. The world should be considered like a dream.

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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.

-from Talk 246

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Bhagavan elaborated on this in an explanation he gave to Lakshmana Sarma:

If the eye that sees be the eye of flesh, then gross forms are seen; if the eye be assisted by lenses, then even invisible things are seen to have form; if the mind be that eye, then subtle forms are seen; thus the seeing eye and the objects seen are of the same nature; that is, if the eye be itself a form, it sees nothing but forms. But neither the physical eye nor the mind has any power of vision of it’s own. The real eye is the Self; as he is formless, being the pure and infinite consciousness, the reality, he does not see forms.
[MahaYoga p83]

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AS YOU ARE SO IS YOUR EXPERIENCE

52 If one corrects one’s gross vision, transforming it into the eye of jnana, and if one attentively views [the world] with that eye of truth that is wholly jnana, then the world which was previously seen as the form of the five elements, beginning with space, will be only the Brahman that is entirely consciousness. (GVK)

This idea appears in Ulladu Narpadu, verse 4:
Bhagavan: If one’s self is a form, then it follows that the world and the Supreme will have form also. If one’s self is not a form, who is there to see their forms, and how? Is there anything that is seen whose nature is other than that of the eye [that sees]? That eye is in reality the Self, the infinite eye.

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Devotee: Can't a Guru give us realization as a gift?

Sri Bhagavan : The Guru is a very powerful aid on the path, but your effort is also essential; it is 'you' who 'sees' the Sun -- can your spectacles do it for you? You have to 'see' your 'True Nature'.

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D.: I want to know how I can gain that peace of mind. Kindly be pleased to advise me.
M.: Yes - devotion and surrender.

D.: Am I worthy of being a devotee?
M.: Everyone can be a devotee. Spiritual fare is common to all and never denied to anyone - be the person old or young, male or female.

D.: That is exactly what I am anxious to know. I am young and a grihini (housewife). There are duties of grihastha dharma (the household). Is devotion consistent with such a position?

M.: Certainly. What are you? You are not the body. You are Pure Consciousness. Grihastha dharma and the world are only phenomena appearing on that Pure Consciousness. It remains unaffected. What prevents you from being your own Self?
Talk 250

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Question No 19: What is non-attachment?

Bhagawan: As thoughts arise, destroying them utterly without any residue in the very place of their origin is non-attachment. Just as the pearl-diver ties a stone to his waist, sinks to the bottom of the sea and there takes the pearls, so each one of us should be endowed with non-attachment, dive within oneself and obtain the Self-Pearl.

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SAGEHOOD AS AN IDEAL

Q. Do you have thoughts?
Sri Ramana: I usually have no thoughts.

Q. But when you are reading?
A. Then I have thoughts.

Q. And when someone asks you a question?
A. Then, too, I have thoughts when replying, not
otherwise.

Q. How can I keep the idea of that real state always
before me?
A. Because you think you are a body you are not able to keep that single idea, you are not firm!
The idea that you must go to Tiruvannamalai and see Maharshi is only a function of the intellect.

Really no help is required. You are already in your original state; how can anyone help you to arrive where you already are? The help given is only to clear out your wrong notions. The great men, the gurus can help only by removing the obstacles in your way.

A child and Jnani are in some ways similar. The child ceases to think of incidents after they have passed off. Thus
it shows that they do not leave deep impressions on the child's mind. So too with a Jnani.

Conscious Immortality

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What does stillness mean? It means ‘Destroy yourself’; because every name and form is the cause of trouble. ‘I-I’ is the Self. ‘I am this’ is the ego. When the ‘I’ is kept up as the ‘I’ only, it is the Self. When it flies off at a tangent and says, ‘I am this or that. I am such and such’, it is the ego.

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