Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi     1526 posts


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'AHAM SPHURANA' (the light of 'I-I')
~ Sri Ramana Maharshi.

'I' is not known in sleep. On waking 'I' is perceived associated with the body, the world and non-self in general. Such associated 'I' is 'Aham vritti'. When 'Aham' represents the Self only it is 'Aham Sphurana'. This is natural to the 'jnani' and is itself called 'jnana' by 'jnanis', or 'bhakti' by 'bhaktas'. Though ever present, including in sleep, it is not perceived. It cannot be known in sleep all at once. It must first be realised in the waking state, for it is our true nature underlying all the three states. Efforts must be made only in the 'jagrat' state and the Self realised here and now. It will afterwards be understood and realised to be continuous Self, uninterrupted by 'jagrat, svapna, and sushupti. Thus it is 'Akhandakara vritti' (unbroken experience). 'Vritti' is used for lack of a better expression. It should not be understood to be literally a 'vritti'. In that case, 'vritti' will resemble an 'ocean-like river', which is absurd. 'Vritti' is of short duration, it is qualified, directed consciousness; or absolute consciousness broken up by cognition of thoughts, senses, etc. 'Vritti' is the function of the mind, whereas the continuous consciousness transcends the mind. This is the natural, primal state of the 'jnani' or the liberated being. That is unbroken experience. It asserts itself when relative consciousness subsides. 'Aham vritti' ('I-thought') is broken, 'Aham sphurana' (the light of 'I-I') is unbroken, continuous. After the thoughts subside, the light shines forth.

- 'Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi' (Talk-307)

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Q.: Why does an Upanishad say, “He whom the Atman chooses, to him alone does It reveal Itself, not to others”. Does not this seem arbitrary?

Ramana: No. It is correct. It chooses those only who devote themselves to It, who become Its devotees. Such It draws them inwards to Itself. One must turn inward to find the Atman. He who thinks of It, It will draw to Itself. All such thoughts as ‘Attainment is hard’ or ‘Self realisation is far from me’, or ‘I have got many difficulties to overcome to know the Reality’, should be given up, as they are obstacles; they are created by this false self, ego. They are untrue.
Do not doubt that you are the Reality; live in that understanding. Never question it by referring your realisation of it to some future time. It is because people are victimized and hypnotised by such false thoughts that the Gita says
that few out of millions realise the Self. The order of asramas [four stages of life] was established as a general principle, i.e. to regulate the gradual development of the ordinary run of humanity. But in the case of one highly mature and fully ripe for Atma vichara there is no graduated development. In this case jnana vichara, i.e. the Self enquiry and the blooming of jnana, are immediate and quick.

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Q: What should we meditate on?

M: Who is the meditator? Ask that question first. Remain as the meditator, then there is no need to meditate. It is the sense of doer ship that is the impediment to dhyana.

Q: What is to be meditated on?

Anything you prefer, but you should stick to one thing. Contemplation involves fight. As soon as you begin meditation other thoughts will crowd in, gather force and try to sink the single thought. The latter must gain strength by repeated practice. This battle always takes place in meditation.

Peace of mind is brought about by contemplation and through the absence of varying thoughts. Once dhyana is well- established it cannot be given up, but will go on automatically even when you are engaged in work, play or even sleep. It must become so deep-rooted that it is natural.

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THE UTTER ILLUSION OF DAILY LIFE

"We read the articles in a newspaper, but do not care to know anything about the paper itself. We take 'the chaff', but Not 'the substance'.

The substratum - on which all this is printed, is the paper, and if we know the substratum, all else will be known.

The One only is The Sat - The Existence; IT is the paper, whereas the world - the things we see - and we ourselves, are the printed words.

This 'external universe', is a 'cinema show', to 'The Realized One'.

It is free, and the performance goes on, day and night!

'The Realized One', lives and works in it, knowing that its objects and bodies (people), are 'illusory appearances', just as an ordinary person, knows the scenes and characters on the cinema screen at a theatre, are illusions, and do not exist in Real Life.

But the ordinary person takes the external objects of daily life as 'Real', whereas The Realized One, sees them only as 'illusory cinema pictures'."

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Grace is always present.
You imagine it as something high in the sky,
far away, something that has to descend.
It is really inside you, in your heart.
When the mind rests in its source,
grace rushes forth,
sprouting as from a spring within you.

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Bhagavan’s Statements about Himself

" I have not given sannyas (the status of renunciate) to anyone, nor have I taken sannyas from anyone. I was living in Skandashram. My mother, who was also living there, passed away in 1922. Her corpse was brought to the foot of the hill and buried here and a samadhi (shrine) was built over it.

From that time puja was started here. After a while, I left Skandashram and came and stayed here. At no time have I taken any title. At no time have I initiated any disciples with diksha (formal initiation) or in any ritualistic way. I do not impose any restrictions or discipline on those who gather around me. I do not invite anyone to come to this place, nor do I tell anyone to leave this place. By birth, I am a Brahmin.

I was a Brahmachari (celibate student) when I came here (i.e. to Tiruvannamalai). Within an hour of arriving, I threw away my sacred thread, clothes, etc.; I shaved my head clean. I had about three rupees and threw it away, and since then I do not touch money. I accept in my hands things that can be eaten. I do not give upadesa (spiritual instruction) or call myself a guru. However, if questions are asked by seekers I answer them. Since 1907 people have called me ' Ramana Rishi'.

I am an 'athyashrami' (beyond the ashrams and castes) not falling within the category of any of the ashrams. This state is recognized in the sastras. It is explained in the Suta Samhita. The athyashrami can own property if necessary. He needs a guru, but the Self is my guru. The athyashrami is not bound to observe any rites. I have no desire to acquire properties, but things come and I accept them. I agree that to own property is worldly, but I do not hate the world.”

- from the court protocol

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Q: I find it said in Maha Yoga that in the beginning of meditation one may attend to the breath, that is, its inspiration and expiration, and that after a certain amount of stillness of mind is attained, one can dive into the Heart seeking the source of the mind. I have been badly in want of some such practical hint. Can I follow this method? Is it correct?

Sri Ramana Maharshi :

The thing is to kill the mind somehow.
Those who have not the strength to follow the enquiry method are advised to adopt pranayama as a help to control the mind.

This pranayama is of two kinds, controlling and regulating the breath, or simply watching the breath.

Q: For controlling the breath, is not the ratio 1:4:2 for inhaling, retaining the breath and exhaling best?

Sri Ramana Maharshi :

All those proportions, sometimes regulated not by counting but by uttering mantras, are aids to controlling the mind.
That is all.

Watching the breath is also one form of pranayama.

Inhaling, retaining and exhaling is more violent and may be harmful in some cases, for example when there is no proper Guru to guide the seeker at every step and stage.

But merely watching the breath is easy and involves no risk.

~ From Be as you are book

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Q.: Has the body any value to Self?

M.:
Yes,
it is through the body’s help
that Self is realised.

Q.:
What about diet?

M.:
Food affects the mind,
makes it more satvic (alive, vibrant, rhythmic),
for the practice of any kind of yoga.

Vegetarianism is absolutely necessary.

Q.:
Could one receive spiritual illumination
whilst eating flesh foods?

M.:
Yes,
but abandon them gradually
and accustom yourself to satvic foods.

However,
once you have attained illumination
it will make less difference what you eat,
as on a great fire it is immaterial
what fuel is added.

Source: Conscious Immortality, Ch.8.

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It happened......
Maharshi Ramana was dying.....
On Thursday April 13th, a doctor brought Maharshi a palliative to relieve the congestion in the lungs, but he refused it....
“It is not necessary, everything will come right within two days,” he said...
And after two days he died....

At about sunset, Maharshi told the attendants to sit him up....
They knew already that every movement, every touch, was painful, but he told them not to worry about that....
He was suffering from cancer – he had a cancer in his hand, very painful.... Even to drink water was impossible, to eat anything was impossible, to move his head was impossible.... Even to say a few words was very difficult....

He sat with one of the attendants supporting his head....
A doctor began to give him oxygen, but with a wave of his right hand he motioned him away....

Unexpectedly, a group of devotees sitting on the verandah outside the hall began singing Arunachala-Siva a bhajan that Maharshi liked very much.....

He liked that spot, Arunachala, very much; the hill he used to live upon – that hill is called Arunachala.....
And the bhajan was a praise, a praise for the hill....

On hearing it, Maharshi’s eyes opened and shone....
He gave a brief smile of indescribable tenderness....
From the outer edges of his eyes tears of bliss rolled down....

Somebody asked him,
“Maharshi, are you really leaving us?”

It was hard for him to say, but still he uttered these few word....
“They say that I am dying...but I am not going away...
Where could I go?
I am always here.”

One more breath, and no more....
There was no struggle, no spasm, no other sign of death...only that the next breath did not come....

What he says is of immense significance...
“Where could I go? I am always here.”
There is nowhere to go....
This is the only existence there is, this is the only dance there is.... where can one go?

Life comes and goes, death comes and goes... but where can one go?
You were there before life.....

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TANGA KAI

meaning 'golden-hand', was Bhagavan's boyhood nickname.
He was given it because whichever team he played for always won. The touch of his hand was regarded to be auspicious, so he was asked to touch some special food preparations as well. Also, Seshadri Swami had this name as a boy.

On the evening of the day after jayanti Sri Bhagavan was seated on the couch in the meditation hall. S. Narayana Aiyer, professor of mathematics in the Madurai College, told a few Stores about the time when he was at school with Bhagavan in Dindigul.

At one point he said, 'When we played team games, we would divide into two groups that were invariably headed by Ramana and me. The group led by Ramana would always win. So, the two groups would vie with each other to get ‘Tanga-kai’ as their leader.'

When Aiyer related this, Sri Bhagavan laughed and said, 'You see Narayana, I now have no body. I lost it long ago when I came here. Since I am bodiless, where is the hand that holds the title Tanga-kai? Of the two of us leaders, one of us has disappeared through the loss of his body. You, the survivor, must succeed to the title. You are now ‘Tanga-kai' Narayana. To commemorate your accession to this title you can have my old walking stick.'

It was made of sandalwood and it had been presented to him by a rich devotee. Bhagavan did not like new or expensive products. If devotees gave them, Bhagavan might use them once to make the donor happy. Afterwards, they would be put in an ashram storeroom.

While presenting the stick, Bhagavan continued, 'Do they not usually give a medal along with a title? Where am I to go for a
gold –medal? In the place of a medal, you shall have this walking stick.’
At the conclusion of his speech, Bhagavan presented Professor Narayana with the symbol of his new title.

Tanga-kai, meaning 'golden-hand', was Bhagavan's boyhood nickname.
He was given it because whichever team he played for always won. In Tamil Nadu, this name is often given to people who have demonstrated that they have a lot more luck than is statistically probable.

- Prof Krishnamurti, The Power of the Presence

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TANGA KAI

meaning 'golden-hand', was Bhagavan's boyhood nickname.
He was given it because whichever team he played for always won. The touch of his hand was regarded to be auspicious, so he was asked to touch some special food preparations as well. Also, Seshadri Swami had this name as a boy.

On the evening of the day after jayanti Sri Bhagavan was seated on the couch in the meditation hall. S. Narayana Aiyer, professor of mathematics in the Madurai College, told a few Stores about the time when he was at school with Bhagavan in Dindigul.

At one point he said, 'When we played team games, we would divide into two groups that were invariably headed by Ramana and me. The group led by Ramana would always win. So, the two groups would vie with each other to get ‘Tanga-kai’ as their leader.'

When Aiyer related this, Sri Bhagavan laughed and said, 'You see Narayana, I now have no body. I lost it long ago when I came here. Since I am bodiless, where is the hand that holds the title Tanga-kai? Of the two of us leaders, one of us has disappeared through the loss of his body. You, the survivor, must succeed to the title. You are now ‘Tanga-kai' Narayana. To commemorate your accession to this title you can have my old walking stick.'

It was made of sandalwood and it had been presented to him by a rich devotee. Bhagavan did not like new or expensive products. If devotees gave them, Bhagavan might use them once to make the donor happy. Afterwards, they would be put in an ashram storeroom.

While presenting the stick, Bhagavan continued, 'Do they not usually give a medal along with a title? Where am I to go for a
gold –medal? In the place of a medal, you shall have this walking stick.’
At the conclusion of his speech, Bhagavan presented Professor Narayana with the symbol of his new title.

Tanga-kai, meaning 'golden-hand', was Bhagavan's boyhood nickname.
He was given it because whichever team he played for always won. In Tamil Nadu, this name is often given to people who have demonstrated that they have a lot more luck than is statistically probable.

- Prof Krishnamurti, The Power of the Presence

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HEAVEN IS A WASTE OF TIME

Visitor: It is said in the scriptures that by doing virtuous deeds people are assured of heavenly enjoyments after death.

Bhagavan: Maybe. But are you sure that what all you do are virtuous actions only? Even then after heavenly life, you have to experience the fruits of actions which had not yet fructified. One would have to roll again and again, endlessly, in the cycle of birth.

V: That is why I sought Bhagavan's clarification.

Bh: Our aim should be the attainment of eternal bliss by realizing the truth. How can you aspire for karmic results?

V: Without proper understanding, many people are mad after heavenly enjoyments.

Bh: One might think that heaven is a place of enjoyment. However, things are not very different from this world there. Attachments, prejudices, jealousies etc. are there too. That enjoyment too is perishable for everything is centered on the ego. Because of pleasures, one's mind would not then turn inward in search of truth.

It is such a waste!

After the good karma which gave one the enjoyments of heaven are over one has to return.

What needs to be done is to inquire: 'for whom is this desire for heavenly enjoyment?' Such an inquiry is an absolute necessity.

V: People wrongly superimpose permanence on heavenly enjoyments.

Bh: How can it be? Everlasting bliss can be obtained only by eliminating the cycle of birth and death. Heaven is not the place for the realization of truth.

V: It means that we should not aspire for the fruits of actions but surrender them to God. This also implies we should make an attempt to attain self-knowledge here and now.

Bh: We do not know where heaven is nor as to how it is.
But we aspire for unknown things. In contrast, all the requirements for self-knowledge is ready at hand.
Why bother about unknown things when the wise ones
have shown us the way to attain Self-knowledge here itself?

- N.N.Rajan, More Talks With Ramana Maharshi,
13.4.42 afternoon

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EVERY living being longs to be happy; untainted by sorrow; and everyone has the greatest of love for himself; which is solely due to the fact that happiness is his real nature. Hence in order to realize that inherent and untainted happiness, which indeed he daily experiences when the mind is subdued in deep sleep, it is essential that he should know himself. For obtaining such knowledge the enquiry; "Who am I?” in the quest for the Self is the best means.

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Q: Is it possible to speak to Iswara [God] as Sri Ramakrishna did?

Sri Raman Maharshi : When we can speak to each other why should we not speak to Iswara in the same way?

Q: Then why does it not happen with us?

Sri Raman Maharshi : It requires purity and strength of mind and practice in meditation.

Q: Does God become evident if the above conditions exist?

Sri Raman Maharshi :

Such manifestations are as real as your own reality. In other words, when you identify yourself with the body, as in the waking state, you see gross objects. When in the subtle body or in the mental plane as in dreams, you see objects equally subtle. In the absence of identification in deep sleep you see nothing. The objects seen bear a relation to the state of the seer. The same applies to visions of God.

By long practice the figure of God, as meditated upon, appears in dreams and may later appear in the waking state also.

Source Book: Be as You Are

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Bhagavan: In meditating on an object whether concrete or abstract you are destroying the sense of oneness and creating duality.

Disciple : So what meditation would help me?

Bhagavan: No meditation on any kind of "object" is helpful. You must learn to realize that the "subject and object are one". In meditating on an object whether concrete or abstract you are destroying the sense of oneness and creating duality. Meditate on what you are in reality.
An you you will find…

D: find What?

M: You will discover. It is not for me to say what experience it would be. It would reveal itself. Hold on to it.

D: But you have often said that one must reject other thoughts when he begins the quest, but the thoughts are endless; if one thought is rejected, another comes and there seems to be no end at all

M: I do not say that you must go on rejecting thoughts. If you cling to yourself, say the I-thought, and when your interest keeps you to that single idea, other thoughts get rejected, automatically they vanish.

D: And so rejection of thoughts is not necessary?

M: No. It may be necessary for a time or for some. You fancy that there is no end if one goes on rejecting every thought when it rises. No. There is an end. If you are vigilant, and make a stern effort to reject every thought when it rises, you will soon find that you are going deeper and deeper into your own inner Self, where there is no need for your effort to reject the thoughts. The effort is sublimated in just awareness of the Self.

D: Then it is possible to be without effort!

M: Not only that, it is impossible for you to make an effort beyond a certain extent.

D: I want to be further enlightened. Should I try to make no effort at all?

M: Here it is impossible for you to be without effort. When you go deeper, it is impossible for you to make any effort.

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Attention to one's own Self, which is ever shining as 'I', the one undivided reality, is the only raft with which the individual, who is deluded by thinking 'I am the body', can cross the ocean of unending births.

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The life-current has passed through
innumerable incarnations, births and
deaths, pleasures and pains, etc., just
as the water current in a river flows
over rocks, pits, sands, elevations
and depressions on its way, but
still the current is unaffected.

The pleasures and pains, births
and deaths, are like undulations
on the surface of seeming water
in the mirage of the ego. The only
reality is the Self from where the
ego appears, and runs through
thoughts which manifest
themselves as the
universe.

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Intellect is a tool of the Self, which uses it for measuring variety. It is not without Self. How could there be manifestations of intellect without its seed existing?
Q. Where are memory and forgetfulness located?
A. In the chitta (intellect).
People like inventors searching for new material inventions make their discoveries in a state of self-forgetfulness. It is in a condition of deep intellectual concentration that this forgetfulness of the ego arises and the invention is revealed. This is also a way of developing intuition. Hence a sharpened concentrated intellect is useful and even essential in material matters, but the revelation or intuition takes its own time to arise and one must await it.

Conscious Immortality

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THE STRAIGHT PATH?

Bhagavan spoke about the way in which in the old days he used to climb to the peak [of Arunachala Mountain] at any time he felt like it, and that by any route or even no route. He said only the grass- cutters knew some of the routes he used.

“Sometimes people would come from Madras and other parts and, setting out to reach the top of the hill, would stray near Skandasramam. Finding me seated there, they would ask me for the route to the hill top. When I told them the route was to their right and turned northward, some would say. ‘Do you know who we are and wherefrom we come? We are from Madras. None of your tricks with us. The top is here straight above us and you want to lead us astray.’

I used to keep quiet. They would try to climb in a straight line, and after a long time, they would return tired out, finding that all their efforts to reach the peak were in vain. Nearing me, they would bow their heads in shame and go away, avoiding me.”

From "Day by Day", 24-11-45 Morning

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Q: While making japa for an hour or more I fall into a state like sleep. On waking up I recollect that my japa has been interrupted. So I try again.

Sri Ramana Maharshi :
`Like sleep', that is right.
It is the natural state.
Because you are now associated with the ego,
you consider that the natural state is something
which interrupts your work.
So you must have the experience repeated
until you realize that it is your natural state.
You will then find that japa is extraneous
but still it will go on automatically.
Your present doubt is due to that false identity,
namely of identifying yourself with the mind that does the japa.
Japa means clinging to one thought
to the exclusion of all other thoughts.
That is its purpose. It leads to dhyana which ends in Self-realization or jnana.

~ From ' Be as you are ' ~

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Q: It is said in Aparoksha Anubhuti that hatha yoga is a necessary aid for enquiry into the Self.
Sri Ramana Maharshi :
The hatha yogis claim to keep the body fit so that the enquiry may be conducted without obstacles.
They also say that life must be prolonged so that the enquiry may be carried to a successful end.
Furthermore there are those who use some medicines [kayakalpa] with that end in view.
Their favourite example is that the screen must be perfect before the painting is begun.
Yes, but which is the screen and which the painting ?
According to them the body is the screen and the enquiry
into the Self is the painting.
But is not the body itself a picture on the screen, the Self ?
Q: But hatha yoga is so much spoken of as an aid.

Sri Ramana Maharshi :
Yes.
Even great pandits well versed in the vedanta continue the practice of it. Otherwise their minds will not subside.
So you may say it is useful for those who cannot otherwise still the mind.

~ From Be as you are book ~

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THE SELF IS ALREADY PERFECT

Q. How can I progress?
A. Why go on pruning the ego? That is just what it wants
— to be the center of attraction!

From "Conscious Immortality"

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HUMILITY
“In fact you must become nothing…”
496 God humbly and enthusiastically worships all beings at all times as though taking upon himself for all time menial service to them. Is it not because of this that he has become privileged to receive the great and pre-eminent forms of worship performed each day by all the beings of all the worlds?
497 As devotees of God see only their own Self in everything, they behave with humility towards all of them. But since God humbles himself even before his devotees, He has attained, as his nature, that state in which there is nothing inferior to him. Is it not because of the supremacy of this extreme humility that He has attained the state of God?
Muruganar: The implication is that the proper way to attain the state of God is to remain subsided, without the ego.
On many occasions Bhagavan told me [Annamalai Swami]:
'Become envious of anyone lower than you. You must become very small. In fact you must become nothing. Only a person who is nobody can abide in the Self Bhagavan often spoke to us about the necessity of humility. On another occasion he told me, 'No one should be our inferior. One who has learned to be the inferior will become superior to all.’
Living by the Words of Bhagavan
GURU VACHAKA KOVAI

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Talk 475.
16th March, 1938
Sri Maharshi read out a news item from a paper to the following effect:
A forest guard armed with a rifle was going in the jungle and noticed two
bright spots in a thicket. On closer approach to find out what they were,
he was face to face with a huge tiger within a few yards of him. He threw
down his gun and assumed a prayerful attitude towards the jungle king.
The tiger stood up and slowly moved away without injuring him.

From "Talks With Sri Ramana Maharshi"

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BHAGAVAN IN CONSCIOUS IMMORTALITY

Q: Why is it sometimes I find concentration on the Self so easy and at other times hopelessly difficult?

Bhagavan: Because of vasanas. But really it is easy, since we are the Self. All we have to do is to remember that. We keep on forgetting it, and thus think we are this body, or this ego.

If the will and desire to remember the Self are strong enough, they will eventually overcome vasanas.

There must be a great battle going on inwardly all the time until the Self is realized. This battle is symbolically spoken of in scriptural writings as the fight between God and Satan. In our Sruti, it is the Mahabharata, where the asuras represent our bad thoughts and the devas our elevating ones.

All such thoughts as ‘attainment is hard’ or Self-realization is far from me, or ‘I have many difficulties to overcome to know Reality’, should be given up, as they are the main obstacles, created by the false self, the ego. They are untrue.

Do not doubt that you are the Reality; live in that understanding.

Never question it by referring your realization of it to some future time. It is because people are victimized and hypnotized by such false thoughts that the Gita says that few out of millions realize the Self.

Give yourself up to deep meditation. Throw away all other considerations of life. The calculative life will not be crowned with spiritual success.

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' Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi '

Grace is always there. "Dispassion cannot be acquired, nor realization of the Truth, nor inherence in the Self, in the absence of Guru's Grace," the Master quoted.

Practice is necessary. It is like training a roguish bull confined to his stall by tempting him with luscious grass and preventing him from straying.

Then the Master read out a stanza from 'Tiruvachakam ' which is an address to the mind, saying: "O humming bee (namely, mind)! Why do you take the pains of collecting tiny specks of honey from innumerable flowers? There is one from whom you can have the whole storehouse of honey by simply thinking or seeing or speaking of Him. Get Within and hum to Him (hrimkara)."

(Talk 220)

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