Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi     1525 posts


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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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Devotee: “Are we to keep anything against a rainy day; or to live a precarious life for spiritual attainments?”

Maharshi: “God looks after everything.” *

Talk 377

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Talk 480 (22nd March, 1938).

A European lady, Mrs. Gasque, gave a slip of paper on which was written: We are thankful to Nature and the Infinite Intelligence for your Presence among us. We appreciate that your Wisdom is founded upon pure Truth and the basic principle of Life and Eternity. We are happy that you remind us to "Be still and Know THAT".

What do you consider the future of this Earth? Answer: The answer to this question is contained in the other sheet.

Be still and know that I AM GOD. "Stillness" here means "Being free from thoughts".

D.: This does not answer the question. The planet has a future - what is it to be?

M.: Time and space are functions of thoughts. If thoughts do not arise there will be no future or the Earth.

D.: Time and space will remain even if we do not think of them.
M.: Do they come and tell you that they are? Do you feel them in your sleep?

D.: I was not conscious in my sleep.
M.: And yet you were existing in your sleep.
D.: I was not in my body. I had gone out somewhere and jumped in here just before waking up.

M.: Your having been away in sleep and jumping in now are mere ideas. Where were you in sleep? You were only what you are, but with this difference that you were free from thoughts in sleep.

D.: Wars are going on in the world. If we do not think, do the wars cease?
M.: Can you stop the wars? He who made the world will take care of it.
D.: God made the world and He is not responsible for the present condition of the world. It is we who are responsible for the present state.

M.: Can you stop the wars or reform the world?
D.: No.
M.: Then why do you worry yourself about what is not possible for you? Take care of yourself and the world will take care of itself.

D.: We are pacifists. We want to bring about Peace.

M.: Peace is always present. Get rid of the disturbances to Peace.

This Peace is the Self. The thoughts are the disturbances. When free from them, you are Infinite Intelligence, i.e., the Self. There is Perfection and Peace.

D.: The world must have a future.
M.: Do you know what it is in the present? The world and all together are the same, now as well as in the future.

D.: The world was made by the operation of Intelligence on ether and atoms.

M.: All of them are reduced to Isvara and Sakti. You are not now apart from Them. They and you are one and the same Intelligence.

After a few minutes one lady asked: "Do you ever intend to go to America?"

M.: America is just where India is (i.e., in the plane of thought).

Another (Spanish) lady: They say that there is a shrine in the Himalayas entering which one gets some strange vibrations which heal all diseases. Is it possible?

M.: They speak of some shrine in Nepal and also in other parts of the Himalayas where the people are said to become unconscious on entering them.

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Death experience of Bhagawan:

The turning point in Venkataraman’s life came spontaneously in mid-July 1896. One afternoon, the youth for no apparent reason was overwhelmed by a sudden, violent fear of death. Years later, he narrated this experience as follows:
It was about six weeks before I left Madura for good that a great change in my life took place . It was quite sudden. I was sitting in a room on the first floor of my uncle’s house. I seldom had any sickness and on that day there was nothing wrong with my health, but a sudden, violent fear of death overtook me. There was nothing in my state of health to account for it; and I did not try to account for it or to find out whether there was any reason for the fear. I just felt, ‘I am going to die,’ and began thinking what to do about it. It did not occur to me to consult a doctor or my elders or friends. I felt that I had to solve the problem myself, then and there.
The shock of the fear of death drove my mind inwards and I said to myself mentally, without actually framing the words: ‘Now death has come; what does it mean? What is it that is dying? This body dies.’ And I at once dramatized the occurrence of death. I lay with my limbs stretched out stiff as though rigor mortis had set in and imitated a corpse so as to give greater reality to the enquiry. I held my breath and kept my lips tightly closed so that no sound could escape, so that neither the word ‘I’ or any other word could be uttered, ‘Well then,’ I said to myself, ‘this body is dead. It will be carried stiff to the burning ground and there burnt and reduced to ashes. But with the death of this body am I dead? Is the body ‘I’? It is silent and inert but I feel the full force of my personality and even the voice of the ‘I’ within me, apart from it. So I am Spirit transcending the body. The body dies but the Spirit that transcends it cannot be touched by death. This means I am the deathless Spirit.’ All this was not dull thought; it flashed through me vividly as living truth which I perceived directly, almost without thought-process. ‘I’ was something very real, the only real thing about my present state, and all the conscious activity connected with my body was centred on that ‘I’. From that moment onwards the ‘I’ or Self focused attention on itself by a powerful fascination. Fear of death had vanished once and for all. Absorption in the Self continued unbroken from that time on. Other thoughts might come and go like the various notes of music, but the ‘I’ continued like the fundamental sruti note that underlies and blends with all the other notes. Whether the body was engaged in talking, reading, or anything else, I was still centred on ‘I’. Previous to that crisis I had no clear perception of my Self and was not consciously attracted to it. I felt no perceptible or direct interest in it, much less any inclination to dwell permanently in it.

The effect of the death experience brought about a complete change in Venkataraman’s interests and outlook. He became meek and submissive without complaining or retaliating against unfair treatment. He later described his condition:
One of the features of my new state was my changed attitude to the Meenakshi Temple. Formerly I used to go there occasionally with friends to look at the images and put the sacred ash and vermillion on my brow and would return home almost unmoved. But after the awakening I went there almost every evening. I used to go alone and stand motionless for a long time before an image of Siva or Meenakshi or Nataraja and the sixty-three saints, and as I stood there waves of emotion overwhelmed me.

Source:Ashram web site

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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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Siva shines within each jiva as a witness, [enabling] him [the jiva] to experience his prarabdha through his [Siva’s] presence. Whoever knows his nature to be mere being-consciousness, without imagining through ignorance that he is the experiencer of prarabdha, shines as that supreme person, Siva".- GVK, 151

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When the mind,
turning inward,
inquires,
"Who am I?"
and reaches the Heart,
that which is "I" (the ego/'I' thought)
sinks crestfallen,
and the One (Self)
appears of its own accord
as "I-I" (pulsating consciousness).
Though it appears thus,
it is not the ego;
it is the Whole.

Source:
The Essential Teachings of Ramana Maharshi: A Visual Journey

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Married or unmarried , a man can realise the Self, because that is here and now. If it were not so, but attainable by some efforts at some other time, and if it were new and something to be acquired, it would not be worthy of pursuit. Because what is not natural cannot be permanent either. But what I say is that the Self is here and now and alone ~ in Talk 17.

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The one, infinite, unbroken whole [plenum] became aware of itself as ''I''. This is its original name. All other names, for example Om, are later growths.' (Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi, talk no. 9)

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PROFESSOR KRISHNAMURTI ABOUT BHAGAVAN

Prof Krishnamurti Aiyer, professor of physics said about Bhagavan:

" I observed the personal habits of Bhagavan and tried to follow his example. One noticed in Bhagavan's daily life, personal cleanliness, tidiness of dress, habitual wearing of vibhuti and kumkum on the forehead; equal sharing of all enjoyments with those around one; strict adherence to a time schedule; doing useful work however 'low' it be; never leaving a work unfinished; the pursuit of perfection in every action; ... never considering oneself superior to others; speaking the truth always, or strict silence if the expression of a truth would hurt or lower the reputation of others; perfect self-help, never asking another to do a piece of work which can be done by oneself; taking full responsibility for failure, if any, without shifting the blame on others; accepting success and failure with equanimity; never disturbing the peace of another; leaving the leaf-plate or plate clean after eating; complete non-interference in the affairs of others..."

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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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“How am I to rise above my present animal existence? My own efforts in that direction have proved futile and I am convinced that it is only a superior might that could transform me. And that is what has brought me here.”
Bhagavan replied with great compassion: “Yes, you are right. It is only on the awakening of a power mightier than the senses and the mind that these can be subdued. If you awaken and nurture the growth of that power within you, everything else will be conquered. One should sustain the current of meditation uninterrupted. Moderation in food and similar restraints will be helpful in maintaining the inner poise.

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