Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi     579 posts


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Some people think that there are different stages in jnana. The Self is nitya aparoksha, i.e., ever-realized, knowingly or unknowingly.

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Once the private secretary to the Governor of Pondicherry came to the Ashram with a long list of questions written in an elaborate, complex style of French. Handing over the paper to Bhagavan, he sat on the window sill opposite the couch. Finding the questions in French, Bhagavan asked me to translate them.

As I was struggling with word-by-word translation and was finding the French difficult to translate, Bhagavan said, “That’s not necessary, just tell me the gist.” I scanned the questions and told Bhagavan that he really didn’t want oral answers but rather in the form of an experience.

Bhagavan paused for a moment, and then slowly turned his face in the direction of the questioner and rested eyes on him. After about 30 seconds, I noticed the man’s body trembling and shaking all over.

Then he blurted out, “Oh no, Bhagavan, not now! Please, Bhagavan, not now!” I was standing at the side of Bhagavan, watching this extraordinary scene and wondering what a being this Bhagavan was. He was a storehouse of power, yet so kind, gentle and compassionate.

- N. Balarama Reddy, My Reminiscences

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If you go by the way of your thoughts you will be carried away by them and you will find yourself in an endless maze.

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A group of people came on a visit to Sri Bhagavan. One of them asked: “How can I keep my mind aright?”
M.: A refractory bull is lured to the stall by means of grass. Similarly the mind must be lured by good thoughts.
D.: But it does not remain steady.
M.: The bull accustomed to stray takes delight in going astray. However he must be lured with luscious grass to the stall. Even so he will continue to trespass into the neighbour’s fields. He must gradually be made to realise that the same kind of good grass can be had in his own place. After a time he will remain in the stall without straying. Later a time will come when, even if driven out of the stall, he will return to the stall without going into the neighbouring fields. So also the mind must be trained to take to right ways. It will gradually grow accustomed to good ways and will not return to wrong ways.
D.: What are the good ways to be shown to the mind?
M.: Thought of God.

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The mind always seeks
external knowledge,
leaving aside knowledge about itself.

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Only he is a Jnani whose mind does not get agitated, who does not identify with and desire objects before him, and whose state of purity never shakes whether he lives on alms in poverty or enjoys the illusory state of being Brahma (demi God)

- Sorupa Saram, verse 89

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One day some new born squirrels had fallen out of their nest and landed on Ramana’s couch. Their eyes were still closed and they were very tiny. The mother, however, did not take them back. But how should one feed such tiny things? The squirrels laid in Ramana’s palm. His face was glowing with love and affection towards them. The devotees looked on helplessly, but he was happy and cheerful. He asked for some cotton and made a soft bed for them.Then he took a piece of the cotton, rolled it up so that the end looked like a sharp needle, dipped it into some milk and trickled it in their tiny mouths. This he did repeatedly. He looked after them with great care and love until they grew up and started running around. They did not run away, however, but always ran around their ‘mother’.

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One day a few squirrels came on to Bhagavan's sofa for their share of cashew nuts. The nuts in the tin, which used to be near Bhagavan, had been exhausted. Therefore, Bhagavan instead gave peanuts, but the squirrels would not eat them. They refused to eat and began to express their discontent in all possible ways. Bhagavan cajoled them. "We don't have cashew nuts my dears. What to do?" he said, but they could not be appeased. The squirrels showed their displeasure by crawling over the legs and hands of Bhagavan continuously.

Seeing their plight, Bhagavan asked his attendant Krishnaswami to go and find out if there was any stock of cashew nuts in the store room. Krishnaswami went to the kitchen and returned with a few cashew nuts. "Is that all?" asked Bhagavan looking at the cashew nuts.

Krishnaswami said, "Tonight, cooks are preparing payasam and they said that they can spare only this much."

Bhagavan was annoyed and said, "I see, payasam will not be less tasty if the cashew are a little less in quantity than usual. What a pity! These squirrels do not like anything else, and they are worrying me. The store keepers have declined to give cashew nuts saying that they will have to put them in the payasam. Who will be worried if there are no cashew nuts in the payasam? See how these children are worrying themselves for want of cashew nuts!" With that, the cashew nuts which should have gone to payasam went into the stomachs of the squirrels and also into the tin by the side for future feeding of the squirrels.

The same evening Dr. Ananthanarayana Rao, a devotee of Bhagavan brought from Madras 2 viss (about 2.7 kg) of cashew nuts, saying he had brought them for the squirrels. With a smile, Bhagavan said to Krishnaswami, the attendant, "Look at this! They are earning whatever they want. There is no need to beg anybody. These cashew nuts are squirrel's property. Keep them carefully. Note that they should not be given to the store room"

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Mr. Mac Iver, a resident devotee, asked Bhagavan if he might go to Switzerland where a Guru was inviting him.

Sri Bhagavan said: Some force brought him here and the same force is taking him to Europe. Let him always remember the world is only the projection of the mind and the mind is in the Self. Wherever the body may move the mind must be kept under control. The body moves, but not the Self. The world is within the Self, that is all.

- Talk 514

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All your cares are His.
Such is surrender.

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The Experience of Enlightenment

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 and the attainment of Truth.

~ Ramana Maharshi ( From 'Satdarshana Bhashya and Talks, p 21)

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As long as a man is the doer, he also reaps the fruit of his deeds, but, as soon as he realizes the Self through enquiry as to who is the doer his sense of being the doer falls away and the triple karma is ended. This is the state of eternal Liberation.

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To a devotee who was praying that
she should have more frequent visions
of Siva, Bhagavan said,
“Surrender to Him and
abide by His Will,
whether He appears or disappears;
await His pleasure....
If you ask Him to do as you like
it is not surrender but command to God... You cannot have Him obey you
and yet think you have surrendered....
He knows what is best and
when and how to do it....
His is the burden....
You have no longer any cares....
All your cares are His....
Such is surrender....
That is bhakti..."

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*What is meditation?*

This was a question haunting a small boy. His parents were at wit's end, as they could not explain it in a simple language the boy could comprehend.

Once the family went for a dharshan to Shri Ramana Maharishi. The boy put forward his question to Ramana Maharishi.

Shri Ramana laughed to himself. Then with smiling face, he asked his devotee to serve the boy dosa from the kitchen.

So, on a plain leaf, a dosa was served. Shri Ramana looked at the boy and said,

*" Now I will say "Hmm"* *Then only you should start eating. Then again I will say "hmm" After that no piece of dosa should be left on your plate."*

The boy agreed. He was so excited. Others were watching expectantly. Now the boy was eagerly waiting for the signal by looking at Shri Ramana's face. When he gave the signal "hmm" the boy started eating. Now his attention was on Shri Ramana. He wanted to finish dosa before the signal. The boy was eating dosa in a hurry , tearing big chunks of dosa, but, all the time keeping his attention on Shri Ramana. The dosa was reducing in size gradually. There was a small piece left. The boy was looking anxiously at Shri Ramana for the second signal. The moment he gave the signal, the boy immediately put the dosa in his mouth.

Now Shri Ramana asked him " where was your attention till now? On me or on Dosa?"

The boy replied " On both"

Shri Ramana said" Yes. You were actively involved in finishing dosa, with your attention on me. You were not distracted at all.
Like this when you do your daily activities with your attention or thoughts on God in the back ground, it is known as meditation."

The two signals "hmm" are birth & death. Within these two events, one can engage in meditation, as demonstrated by Shri Ramana Maharishi. But to understand this we all need divine grace to mellow & mature. We all differ from each other and hence take different time to comprehend this great truth.

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ASSOCIATION WITH SADHUS

The wise ones will shun the company of those inveterate disputants who babble empty and useless words because they have not subdued themselves through the knowledge of the path of dharma, and have not steadfastly focused on the ideal of life by cherishing it within.
Guru Vachaka Kovai v 328

Many are the evils [that arise] if one associates with crazy fools with confused minds who babble with their ‘holy’ mouths. Know that only association with those in whom the mind has died and pure mauna shines is excellent association.
Guru Vachaka Kovai v 329

O Mind! Sever quickly and completely the painful connection with the ignoble people who utter ruinous lies and who comfort themselves in an improper way. Reach and associate with those [jnanis] who are abiding in the state of tranquility, free of restlessness.
Guru Vachaka Kovai v 330

Muruganar : Sri Ramana has expressed similar sentiments about associating with worldly-minded people in Aksharamanamalai verse 20:
Saving me from the cruel power of those who are [like hunters] with their sharp swords and cunning snares, bestow your grace liberally, O Arunachala, and unite with me.

This is the natural mental state of those who have rejoiced, even briefly, in the light of the Self.

Those who have realized the truth are alone the possessors of faultless virtues. Apart from these, everyone else is only base of nature. Hence, he who longs for the fortune of liberation must redeem himself only by resorting to those of the aforementioned meritorious ones who shine as reality through the knowledge of reality that is devoid of the world-delusion.
Guru Vachaka Kovai v 332

Muruganar : All the rare virtues automatically seek and reach those who have realized the truth through purity of mind. Hence, in order to emphasize that only they deserve to be called virtuous who are naturally replete with all the noble traits, it has been said ‘Those who have realized the truth are alone the possessors of faultless virtues’. In those people who do not have true jnana, even though they may be extremely virtuous in the external conduct they observe, the ego that is the source of all evil traits remains in their hearts without perishing. Therefore it was said: ‘everyone else is only base of nature.’ While all other things may be obtained from [these unenlightened] people, the knowledge of reality – that which bestows the bliss of peace, the redemption that is free of the mind – can only be obtained from these meritorious ones. Those who are fit to be accepted as Gurus have [thus] been indicated.

Bhagavan: Humility and self-restraint are the marks of those transformed and radiant beings who embody the quality of virtue.
[Padamalai, p.130, v. 26]

Bhagavan: All good or daivic qualities are included in jnana and all bad asuric qualities are included in ajnana. When jnana comes all ajnana goes and all daivic qualities come automatically. If a man is a jnani he cannot utter a lie or do anything wrong. It is, no doubt, said in some books that one should cultivate one quality after another and thus prepare for ultimate moksha, but for those who follow the jnana or vichara marga their sadhana is itself quite enough for acquiring all daivic qualities; they need not do anything else.

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It is necessary by a courage-imbued intellect to gently gently [calmly and gradually] make the mind achieve motionlessness. Great charioteer, fix the mind [your attention] in [or on] ātman [yourself]; do not think even the slightest of anything else at all.

('Bhagavad Gītā Sāram': v. 27 [Bhagavan's translation of 'Bhagavad Gītā': 6.25])

___________________________________________________________

- Translated by Michael James.

தீரஞ்சேர் புத்தியினாற் சித்தத்தை மெல்லமெல்ல

நேரச் செயவேண்டு நிச்சலன — மாரதனே

சித்தத்தை யான்மாவிற் சேர்த்திடுக மற்றெதுவு

மித்தனையு மெண்ணிடா தே.

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At the end of about five months in the village, I was down with
severe malaria and had to be taken to Gudur, where the doctor declared
that I was likely to die. I, however, had a strong determination that I would
not die until I had seen my guru again. I placed a picture of Bhagavan by
my bedside and meditated on it throughout the ordeal. Whenever I looked
at the picture I felt as if Bhagavan was laughing or smiling at me. I am
convinced that it was the power and grace of Bhagavan that kept me alive
and enabled me to make a full recovery within two months.
I arrived at Sri Ramanasramam during the navaratri celebrations
of 1949. In the afternoon of the Vijayadasmi day, I stood in front of the
Mother’s shrine [See photograph no. 16 in the book], waiting for Bhagavan
to appear. He came accompanied by Swami Satyananda, entered the new
hall [Attached to the Mother’s shrine], and took his seat on the stone sofa.
I went up to him and made a full prostration. When I stood up, he looked
intently at me for a few moments. I withdrew and sat near a pillar outside
the hall where I could do Self-enquiry undisturbed.
Bhagavan could still see me from where he was sitting. Shortly
afterwards, I saw Muruganar taking a seat close to Bhagavan. After a
few minutes Muruganar came and sat down next to me. A few other
devotees came and sat near us. I closed my eyes and began meditation on
‘Who am I?’
Within a few minutes, the gracious smiling face of Bhagavan
appeared within me on the right side of the chest. There was something
like a lightning flash that resulted in a flood of divine light shining both
within and without. Bhagavan’s face was still smiling on the right side of
the chest. It seemed to be lit up with radiance that exceeded innumerable
lightning flashes rolled into one. The bliss and joy these experiences gave
brought tears to my eyes. Finally, the internal picture of Bhagavan
disappeared and the Self absorbed my whole being.
I remained in that state without body consciousness for about
three hours. The experience was so intense that even when I opened my
eyes I found myself incapable of either speaking or moving. I remained
where I was for another three hours because I was incapable of movement
of any kind. At about 9 p.m. I rose to my feet and very slowly made my
way back to my allotted place in the men’s dormitory of the Ashram.

Next day afternoon I went up to Sri Bhagavan, prostrated before
him and handed him a note via his attendant Venkataratnam. The note,
which I had written in Telugu said, “Bhagavan, in your presence and by
the quest [Who am I?] I have realised the Self.” He read the note, looked
at me for a moment, and then his face lit up in a radiant smile. For sometime
we looked at each other. Then he broke the silence by asking me where I
had come from. “Gudur”, I replied. “That is in Nellore district, isn’t it?”
Enquired Bhagavan. “Yes!” I answered. This was the only conversation
I ever had with Bhagavan. After giving him those two brief replies, I
didn’t speak again for another 13 years.

~ Face to Face with Sri Ramana Maharshi
p. 169

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The very fact that you are possessed of the quest for the Self is a manifestation of the divine grace.

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To the extent we behave with humility, to that extent good will result.

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HELPING OTHERS

Cast all claims, aspirations, desires to serve humanity and schemes to reform the world upon the Universal Power which sustains this universe. He is not a fool. He will do what is required. Lose the sense, 'I am doing this.' Get rid of egoism. ...

Have compassionate love for others but keep it secret; do not make a display of it or talk a out it. If your desires are fulfilled, do not be elated, and if you are frustrated, do not be disappointed. The elation may be deceptive; it should be checked, for initial joy may end in final grief. After all, whatever happens YOU remain unaffected, just as you are.

Q: But how can I help another with his problems?

M: What is this talk of another? there is only the One. Try to realize there is no 'I', no you, no he, only the ONE SELF which is all.If you believe in the problem of another, you are believing in something outside the Self. You will help him best by realizing the oneness of everything, rather than by outward activity.

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Correcting oneself is correcting the whole world. The Sun is simply bright. It does not correct anyone. Because it shines, the whole world is full of light. Transforming yourself is a means of giving light to the whole world.

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ALL VISIONS ARE MENTAL - REALITY IS ONE

Miss Umadevi, a Polish lady convert to Hinduism, asked Sri Bhagavan: I once before told Sri Bhagavan how I had a vision of Siva at about the time of my conversion to Hinduism. A similar experience recurred to me at Courtallam. These visions are momentary. But they are blissful. I want to know how they might be made permanent and continuous. Without Siva there is no life in what I see around me. I am so happy to think of Him. Please tell me how His vision may be everlasting to me.

M.: You speak of a vision of Siva. Vision is always of an object. That implies the existence of a subject. The value of the vision is the same as that of the seer. (That is to say, the nature of the vision is on the same plane as that of the seer.) Appearance implies disappearance also. Whatever appears must also disappear. A vision can never be eternal. But Siva is eternal The pratyaksha (vision) of Siva to the eye signifies the existence of the eyes to see; the buddhi (intellect) lying behind the sight; the seer behind the buddhi and the sight; and finally the Consciousness underlying the seer. This pratyaksha (vision) is not as real as one imagines it to be, because it is not intimate and inherent; it is not first-hand. It is the result of several successive phases of Consciousness. Of these, Consciousness alone does not vary. It is eternal. It is Siva. It is the Self.

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D.: The Gita was taught for action.

Maharshi.: What does the Gita say? Arjuna refused to fight. Krishna said, “So long as you refuse to fight, you have the sense of doership. Who are you to refrain or to act? Give up the notion of doership. Until that sense disappears you are bound to act. You are being manipulated by a Higher Power. You are admitting it by your own refusal to submit to it. Instead recognise the Power and submit as a tool. (Or to put it differently), if you refuse you will be forcibly drawn into it. Instead of being an unwilling worker, be a willing one.

“Rather, be fixed in the Self and act according to nature without the thought of doership. Then the results of action will not affect you. That is manliness and heroism.”

Thus, ‘inherence in the Self’ is the sum and substance of Gita teaching. Finally, the Master Himself added, “If a man be established in the Self these doubts would not arise. They arise only until he is established there.”

D.: Then of what use is such reply to the enquirer?

M.: The words still have force and will surely operate in due course.

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Do not suffer through chasing after the world and its ways, but attain peace by running along the straight path to the Heart.

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