Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi     1526 posts


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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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IN THE PROXIMITY OF BHAGAVAN

AFTER THE DEVOTEES who had gathered for the birthday celebration of Bhagavan left the Ashram, I approached him with my problem: “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.” It was this grace of Bhagavan that gave a start to my spiritual career. A new faith was kindled within me and I found in Bhagavan the strength and support to guide me forever.
Another day, questioned about the problem of brahmacharya, Bhagavan replied: “To live and move in Brahman is real brahmacharya; continence, of course, is very helpful and indispensable to achieve that end. But so long as you identify yourself with the body, you can never escape sex-thought and distraction. It is only when you realise that you are formless Pure Awareness that sex distinction disappears for good and that is brahmacharya, effortless and spontaneous.”
As advised by Bhagavan I engaged myself in nonstop japa, day and night, except during hours of sleep.

Viswanatha Swami in 'Surpassing Love and Grace'

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PROF KRISHNAMURTI IYER ABOUT BHAGAVAN'S BOYHOOD

The following account was given by M.S. Venkataraman who was a clerk in the Health Department of the District Board in Madurai.
M.S. Venkataraman was then just about ten years old, too young to participate fully in the outdoor adventures of the company. Nevertheless he had his share in them. The members of his family were co-tenants of the house with Subbier’s family. Every night, when the whole house was silent in sleep, Nagasami and Ramana whose beds were in a remote corner of the house, would appropriately adjust their pillows and cover them up with their bedsheets so that it would create the impression of their presence in their beds. It was the duty of little Venkataraman to bolt the door of the house when the brothers went out at about 11 p.m., and to admit them on their return at about 4 a.m.

Now let us turn our attention to Suppiah Thevar. At the time the author saw Suppiah Thevar he was employed in a firewood depot. He also conducted during the cool hours of the morning and evening a physical training school in which young men had training in silambam in which Thevar was an adept. Silambam is a sort of quarterstaff, a very hard bamboo stick of about five feet, to be whirled about so that the wielder could knock out any opponent who dared to come near. The stick was an instrument of defence as well as of attack. Strength of body and muscle was also developed by physical training in the school. Suppiah Thevar was a master in this field.

The following account was obtained from Suppiah Thevar who was himself an active participant in those activities.
The venue of the activities, fixed well in advance, would be either the sandy river bed of the Vaigai or the Pillaiyarpaliam Kanmoi (rain fed tank) close to Aruppukottai road, the outskirts of Madurai city. Every member of the group would, while passing the house of Ramana, leave a pebble at the door step. Nagasami and Ramana, as leaders of the group, would be the last to sally forth from the house after a check of the pebbles showed that all their friends had gone to the place of the meeting. There was rarely a defaulter. Ramana and his playmates had a jolly time playing games on the sandy bed of the Vaigai river or engaging in swimming contests in the Pillaiyarpaliam tank. They would then return sufficiently early to their beds without exciting the least suspicion of their absence from home.

The next account was obtained from Narayanasami. When the author met him he was Librarian in the Town Hall of Madurai, known as Victoria Edward hall.
Usually, the terrace of the house and the small room in which the boy Venkataraman made his “Self-enquiry” were vacant and rarely used by the families in the ground floor. Here the youngsters played. One of the games they played was what they called ‘throw-ball’. Young Ramana would roll his body into something like a ball and the sturdy group of youngsters would throw him from one player to another.

Sometimes the human ball fell down when the player failed to catch it. The wonder of it was that for all this rough tossing and dropping, there was not the least scratch on the skin, let alone any muscular sprain or bone fracture!
Narayanasami said that he used to see his friend sitting still for long stretches of time in the small room on the first floor. Narayanasami asked Ramana whether he could also do likewise. Forthwith Ramana told his friend to squat on the floor with his legs crossed (as in the semi-padmasana posture) and pressed a pencil point midway between his eyebrows. Narayanasami lost sense of body and world and sat still in a trance for more than half an hour. When he came to himself he saw Ramana sitting, with his face wreathed in smiles. Narayanasami said that he failed when he tried to repeat the experience by himself.

Ramana Smriti

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A feeling of deficiency only arises because of the mind-deficiency. In truth no one has any kind of lack.

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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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The Self does not move. The world moves in it.
There is no reaching the Self. If the Self were to be reached, it would mean that the Self is not now and here, but that it should be got anew. 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. " ~ Talk 251
"Ignorance supervenes and draws a veil over the pure Bliss. Attempts are directed only to remove this ignorance. This ignorance consists in wrong knowledge. The wrong knowledge consists in the false identification of the Self with the body, the mind, etc. This false identity must go and there remains the Self." ~ Talk 251.

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DO NOT BE CARRIED AWAY BY THOUGHTS

D.: Can one remain without thoughts rising all the 24 hours of the day? Should I remain without meditation?

M.: What is ‘hours’ again? It is a concept. Each question of yours is prompted by a thought.

Your nature is Peace and Happiness. Thoughts are the obstacles to realization. One’s meditation or concentration is meant to get rid of obstacles and not to gain the Self. Does anyone remain apart from the Self? No! The true nature of the Self is declared to be Peace.

If the same peace is not found, the non-finding is only a thought which is alien to the Self. One practices meditation only to get rid of these alien fancies. So, then, a thought must be quelled as soon as it rises. Whenever a thought arises, do not be carried away by it. You become aware of the body when you forget the Self. But can you forget the Self? Being the Self how can you forget it? There must be two selves for one to forget the other. It is absurd. So the Self is not depressed; it is not imperfect: it is ever happy. The contrary feeling is a mere thought which has actually no stamina in it. Be rid of thoughts. Why should one attempt meditation? Being the Self one remains always realized, only be free from thoughts.

TALKS 462

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SELF-REMEMBRANCE

Remembering the Self, one’s real nature, without faltering even slightly,
is the eminent victory of true jnana.

With your consciousness hold fast to and never abandon the substratum, your real nature, the Supreme that can neither be held nor relinquished.

Is the Self something far away that you have to touch? The higher Self exists as one but it is only your thoughts that make you feel it is not.
You can neither think about it nor forget it.

Other than the thought of the Self, any other thought you ay associate with, is a mere mental construct, foreign to that Self.

Thinking of the Self is to abide as that tranquil consciousness. Padam, the true swarupa, can neither be remembered nor forgotten.

The Self is self-luminous without darkness and light, and is the reality which is self-manifest. Therefore, one should not think of it as this or that.
All such thoughts would only end in bondage. The purport of meditation on the Self is to make the mind take the ‘form’ of the Self. In the middle of the heart-cave is the pure Brahman directly manifest as the Self in the form of ‘I-I’. Can there be greater ignorance than to think of It in manifold ways, without knowing it as aforementioned?

-Padamalai p 76, 77

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CONDUCT FOR SADHAKAS

It is human nature to err. However, those strong ones who are mindful of their conduct should not, through overweening pride, cover up their faults but own up to them and correct themselves in an appropriate way. This is the proper course.
Guru Vachaka Kovai v 790

Since all the moral and religious observances that have been laid down protect the sadhaka for a long distance [along the path], they deserve to be fully observed, but if they obstruct the practice of the excellent vichara that bestows true jnana, then give them up as deficient.
Guru Vachaka Kovai v 791

Blessed be the feet of the yogi [Bhagavan] who says, ‘Discarding traditional rules of conduct will cause one’s ruin. Ponder [over them] and understand their [inner] significance.’
[Sri Ramana Pada Malai, v 37]

Lustrous Padam [Bhagavan] frequently speaks of the benefits of virtuous behavior [achara], advising devotees not to forsake traditional rules of conduct, but to cherish and observe them.
[Padamalai, p. 318, v 18]

When the sadhaka’s efforts result in failure, the benefit of this [effort] is to make him understand that Self-realisation can only be attained by the Guru’s grace, and not by personal exertion, thus preparing the sadhaka to seek the cool grace bestowed by the Guru.
Guru Vachaka Kovai v794

The Lord is impossible to attain by any stratagem.
Yet for those who in their minds are clearly convinced
That to attain Him is not within their power,
Who have become wearied by their efforts,
And in whom the mischievous antics of the ego
Have become thoroughly stilled,
He will easily fall into their grasp.
[Sri Ramana Sannidhi Murai, ‘Keerthi Tiruvahal’, lines 343-346]

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One can be free in a town and may yet be bound in jungle retreats. It is all in the mind

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There are only two ways in which to conquer destiny or be independent of it. One is to enquire who undergoes this destiny and discover that only the ego is bound by it and not the Self, and that the ego is non-existent. The other way is to kill the ego by completely surrendering to the Lord, by realising one’s helplessness and saying all the time: ‘Not I, but Thou, Oh, my Lord’, and giving up all sense of ‘I’ and ‘mine’ and leaving it to the Lord to do what he likes with you. Surrender can never be regarded as complete so long as the devotee wants this or that from the Lord. True surrender is love of God for the sake of love and for nothing else, not even for the sake of salvation. In other words, complete effacement of the ego is necessary to conquer destiny, whether you achieve this effacement through Self enquiry or through bhakti-marga.

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WESTERNERS

Question: Is it harder for Westerners to withdraw inwards?

Sri Ramana Maharshi: Yes, they are Rajasic (mentally overactive) and their energy goes outwards. We must be inwardly quiet, not forgetting the Self, and then externally we can go on with activity. Does a man who is acting on the stage in a female part forget that he is a man? Similarly, we too must play our parts on the stage of life, but we must not identify ourselves with those parts.
In the West it will be only those disgusted with material life who will earnestly turn to the path.

Conscious Immortality

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Grace is in the beginning, middle and end (Sri Ramana).

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Q: "Is there a heaven svarga and a hell naraka?"
Bh: "There must be someone to go there!"
Who are you?

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At least on one’s birthday one should mourn one’s entry into this world (samsara). To glorify and celebrate it instead is like delighting in decorating a corpse. To seek one’s self and merge in the Self — that is wisdom.

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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.

It is suited only for the most advanced seeker.

The others are unable to draw full inspiration from it. Therefore they require words to explain the truth. But truth is beyond words. It does not admit of explanations. All that is possible to do is to indicate it.

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SILENCE


'In the ecstasy of devotion one may sing and one may dance, but it is mouna (silence) that bestows liberation.'

'Open your eyes! Know the light that shines through your eyes; shine in the Heart as the greatest of all lights, which transcends all thought.'

-Padamalai, pp. 195; 63

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God does not require an intermediary .

You know that you are weak and helpless. How then can you help others? If you say, “By prayer to God”, God knows His business and does not require your intercession for others.

Help yourself so that you may become strong. That is done by complete surrender. That means you offer yourself to Him. So you cannot retain your individuality after surrender. You then abide by His Will.

Thus Silence is the Highest of all achievements

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You can feel yourself one with the One that exists.

The whole body becomes a mere power, a force-current.

Your life becomes a needle drawn to a huge mass of magnet and as you go deeper and deeper, you become a mere centre and then not even that, for you become a mere Consciousness;

there are no thoughts or cares any longer -- they were shattered at the threshold -- it is an inundation.

You, a mere straw, are swallowed alive,but it is very delightful,for you become the very thing that swallows you.

This is the union of jiva with Brahman, the loss of ego in the real Self, the destruction of falsehood, the attainment of Truth.

From: SAT-DARSHANA BHASHYA & TALKS WITH MAHARSHI

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Let any amount of burden be laid on Him, He will bear it all. It is, in fact, the indefinable power of the Lord that ordains, sustains and controls everything that happens. Why then, should we worry, tormented by vexatious thoughts, saying: ‘Shall we act this way? No, that way,’ instead of meekly but happily submitting to that Power?

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EVERYTHING IS PERFECT

Everything that happens inside and out is preordained by Ishwara, an agent of Brahman, for our spiritual development and must therefore be willed by us as well.

If we had three wishes they would be that things are only as they are, as they are, as they are.

If we are so willing then we are in harmony with the divine will,
for 'In His Will is our peace',

Welcoming the Lord to do whatever he wants with us.

As complete effacement of the egotistic will is necessary to conquer destiny.

So be it.

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