Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi     507 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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Having known one's nature one abides
As being with no beginning and no end
In unbroken consciousness and bliss.

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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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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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What is it that exists now and troubles you? It is 'I'. Get rid of it and be happy.

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... not even uttering the word “I”, one should enquire keenly thus: “Now, what is it that rises as ‘I’”. Then, there would shine in the Heart a kind of wordless illumination of the form ‘I’ ‘I’. That is, there would shine of its own accord the pure consciousness which is unlimited and one, the limited and the many thoughts having disappeared. If one remains quiescent without abandoning that (experience), the egoity, the individual sense, of the form ‘I am the body’ will be totally destroyed, and at the end the final thought, viz. the ‘I’- form also will be quenched like the fire that burns camphor. The great sages and scriptures declare that this alone is release.

From 'Self-Enquiry'

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A person begins with dissatisfaction. Not content with the world he seeks satisfaction of desires by prayers to God; his mind is purified; he longs to know God more than to satisfy his carnal desires. Then God’s Grace begins to manifest. God takes the form of a Guru and appears to the devotee; teaches him the Truth; purifies the mind by his teachings and contact; the mind gains strength, is able to turn inward; with meditation it is purified yet further, and eventually remains still without the least ripple. That stillness is the Self.

The Guru is both exterior and interior. From the exterior he gives a push to the mind to turn inward; from the interior he pulls the mind towards the Self and helps the mind to achieve quietness. That is Grace.

Hence there is no difference between God, Guru and Self.

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The experience of Vedanta is possible only for those who have completely given up all desires. For the desirous it is far away, and they should therefore try to rid themselves of all other desires by the desire for God, who is free from desires.

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For a realised being the Self alone is the Reality, and actions are only phenomenal, not affecting the Self. Even when he acts he has no sense of being an agent. His actions are only involuntary and he remains a witness to them without any attachment.

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Abhyasa [spiritual practice] consists in withdrawal within the Self every time you are disturbed by thought. It is not concentration or destruction of the mind but withdrawal into the Self.

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Look. This little finger covers the eye and prevents the whole world from being seen. In the same way this small mind covers the whole universe and prevents Reality from being seen.

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