Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi     716 posts


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DO NOT WAIT …

Question: We know that the pleasures of this world are useless and even painful, yet we long for them. What is the way of ending that longing?

Bhagavan: Think of God and attachments will gradually drop from you. If you wait till all desires disappear to start your devotion and prayer, you will have to wait a very, very long time indeed.

- ‘Guru Ramana’, S.S Cohen

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Ask, It Will Be Given

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A new visitor to the Asramam was telling Bhagavan that he had been worshipping Lord Subrahmanya with great devotion for ten years, but the Lord had not chosen to appear before him. The devotee was obviously in anguish, and might have expected Bhagavan to give him some advice. But Bhagavan merely nodded his head and said, “Is that so?”

Muruganar who was sitting in the hall became emotional and said to the devotee, “Sir! Your prayers have been effective indeed! Look before you! Who is this, in front of your eyes?” The devotee opened his eyes wide and gazed at Bhagavan. Within moments, his eyes filled with tears of ecstasy and he exulted, “Yes! My prayers have been granted! My Subrahmanya is right here! I am fortunate indeed!”

Later in the evening, this devotee went to Muruganar and told him, “Thank you, Sir, for directing me. I looked at Bhagavan and saw Lord Subrahmanya with His two Consorts. Bhagavan Sri Ramana is none other than Lord Subrahmanya!”

- Saranagati, Oct 2008

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The word mukti (liberation) is so provoking. Why should one seek it? He believes that there is bondage and therefore seeks liberation. But the fact is that there is no bondage but only liberation. Why call it by a name and seek it?

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Sundaram (Sadhu Trivenigiri) was a spiritually-minded person. He came to the Ashram in 1933 and was taken on the staff. He worked for long years in the kitchen.
In 1932, as I stood before the deity of the Subramaniyam temple, the following words flashed into my consciousness: “Here I am God who does not talk. Go to Tiruvannamalai. The Maharshi is a god who talks.” This was how the Maharshi’s grace manifested itself to me. I had not even seen him at that time.

In 1933, after my wife’s death, I gave up my job and came to Sri Ramanasramam. As the sarvadhikari knew my family very well, he immediately engaged me for the Ashram work.

Prior to my arrival, I had been suffering from asthma for many years. It gave me a lot of trouble, but I did not mention it to Bhagavan. Once Bhagavan gave me a pinch of chutney he had prepared and said, “This is medicine for you.” I swallowed the same. Later I realized that I was completely cured of my asthma.
At night, after visitors had left, we would all collect around Bhagavan. We felt like a big family assembled after a day’s work. During those short hours, Bhagavan would inquire about our welfare, chat with us, make us laugh and also give us instructions for the next day.
Bhagavan always felt concerned about the welfare of his devotees. One day, for example, when Major Chadwick was down with a fever, Bhagavan asked, “How is he now?” When I replied that I did not know and had not seen him, he directed me to go and see him. He added, “He left his country and traveled thousands of miles, staying with us and making us his own. Should we not take care of him and look after his needs?”

Once, when I served food to Bhagavan, he asked, “Why did you serve me more than usual? How you dare make distinctions like this?” The people nearby pleaded for me. “No Bhagavan,” they said, “Sundaram did not serve you more. Look, we got as much as you did.” But Bhagavan would not be so easily appeased. “You do not know, the ego is strong in him. His giving preference to me is the working of his ego”, he said.

One morning when I was cutting vegetables along with Bhagavan, he said, “Sundaram! Take this hurricane light and pick up the mangoes that have fallen from the tree.” I said, “Yes”, but continued cutting the vegetables. Bhagavan said, “Sundaram, attend to what ‘I’ said first. It is from me that everything arises. Attend to it first.” I took this as an adesha and upadesa (order and instruction) to make the inquiry ‘Who am I?’ My friends also felt so.

One day the attendant Madhavan was binding a book. A devotee wanted a book from the library. Bhagavan asked Madhavan to get it saying, “You do my work; I will do your work.” And Bhagavan took the book and went on with the binding while Madhavan got the library book.

Once while meditating in the presence of Bhagavan, my mind persisted in wandering. I couldn’t control it. So I gave up meditation and opened my eyes. Bhagavan at once sat up on his couch and said, “Oh! You abandon it thinking it is the swabhava (nature) of the mind to wander. Whatever we practice becomes the swabhava. If control is practiced persistently that will become the swabhava.” Yet another upadesa for me.

The injunction against the leftover food from the previous day is very much respected in the higher castes of South India. But Bhagavan insisted that avoidance of waste overruled everything else, and he would never permit God’s gift to be thrown away. As for giving the leftovers to beggars, it was not possible because Bhagavan insisted that beggars be given the same food as everyone else, and not some inferior stuff. Even dogs had to be fed from the common meal. Bhagavan would come to the kitchen in the early hours, see the leftovers from the night before, warm them up, dilute them, and add some more ingredients to make them palatable.

Bhagavan was neither a rebel nor a reformer. He did not discourage people from following their religious customs at home, but in the Ashram, he would not take any custom for granted. At Sri Ramanasramam he was both the religion and the custom.

- Face to Face

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Muruganar Swami speaks of Ramana Maharshi's Grace

I heard from devotees who had redeemed themselves by taking as their support the grace of the one at Tiruvannamalai, who is the embodiment of true jnana, and who shines as the flame of true tapas. When they spoke of the greatness of HIS grace, they melted in joy. Hearing them, I was lost in admiration and unceasing joy….

I went with eleven verses that began with 'Leaving Mount Kailas…’ and met the excellent Sage, the Jnana Guru, the ocean of mauna (silence), the bestower of Jnana.

In the same way that wax melts on encountering fire, on seeing HIS feet, my mind dissolved and lost its form. Like a calf finding its mother, my heart melted and rejoiced in HIS feet. The hair on my body stood on end. Devotion surged in me like an ocean that has seen the full moon. Through the grace of chitshakti (power inherent in consciousness), my soul was in ecstasy.

With an unsteady and quivering voice, I read the eleven verses and placed them at HIS feet. At that very moment HE graciously looked at me with HIS Lotus eyes. From that day on, the praises given out by my impartial tongue belonged only to HIM.

From the way HE bestowed HIS grace, becoming my Lord and Master, I was convinced that HE was Shiva himself. As my new ‘owner’, HE made my 'I’ and 'mine’ HIS own.

Even if I get submerged in the miry mud (of hell), I will not forget the mighty nobility of the bountiful bestower of grace.

- Muruganar, Guru Vachaka Kovai

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Bhagavan on Superstition

Many people consider it most auspicious to handle anything that their Guru has touched intimately. Old ladies would wait outside the bathroom to sip the water running from Bhagavan's bath, or the water on the ground left after HE had washed HIS feet on returning from a stroll. So it was considered especially blessed to eat from a leaf that Bhagavan had already used for HIS meal.
But Bhagavan himself was dead against such things and did HIS best to discourage them.
One day Bhagavan noticed a young girl hanging round and watching Him eating. She was obviously waiting for something. Eventually HE asked the dotting parents, who were watching with admiration, what it was all about. They explained that she was waiting for His leaf from which to take her own meal.
Bhagavan was very angry. So as a punishment to all who had allowed such things to happen, HE said that in future HE would remove HIS own leaf and and throw it outside, so that no one might get hold of it. Everybody was upset at this, one reason being that by then Bhagavan's rheumatism was so bad that to try and carry HIS leaf and at the same time support Himself with His stick would render Him unable to onto the rails at the side of the steep steps that led out of the dining room. But Bhagavan was adamant.
So a compromise was reached. In future all leaves were to be left in the dining room and were removed together by one of the servants and this custom persists to this day.

- A Sadhu's Reminiscences of Ramana Maharishi, Page 86

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Bhagavan on Suicide
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On another occasion I (Chadwick) asked Bhagavan about suicide. I had been cycling round the hill and on meeting a bus the thought had come into my head : "Why should I not concentrate on the Self and throw myself in front of the bus, so that in this way I may attain Moksha (liberation)!"
I told this to Bhagavan, but HE said that it would not work. Thoughts would spring up involuntarily as I fell, fear and shock would cause them, and thoughts coming, life would continue so that I would have to take another body. If I could still my mind sufficiently so that such a thing would not happen, then what was the need of suicide?

- A Sadhu's Reminiscences of Ramana Maharishi, Page 87

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As an example of eloquent silence can be for the sincere seeker, the following episode which I (Maj Chadwick) personally witnessed in the old hall will illustrate:

A gentleman from Kashmir came to the Ashram with his servant who could not speak a word of any other language except Kashmiri. One night when the hall was almost dark except for the pale grimmer of a single hurricane lantern, the servant came into the hall and stood before Bhagavan in a respectful manner jabbering something rapidly in his own language. Bhagavan said nothing, but lay quietly gazing at him. After a while the servant saluted and left the hall.

Next morning his master came to Bhagavan and complained. “Bhagavan, you never told me you could speak Kashmiri, was it fair?”

“Why, what do you mean?” asked Bhagavan. “I know not a single word of your language.”

Bhagavan asked the gentleman how he had got hold of this absurd idea and the latter explained:

“Last night my servant came to you and asked you several questions in his language. He tells me that you answered him in the same language and cleared his doubts.”

“But I never opened my mouth,” Bhagavan replied !!!!

- A Sadhu’s Reminiscences of Ramana Maharshi, Page 62

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When Narayana Iyer’s eldest daughter was to be married, Narayana Iyer had no money for the betrothal. According to Hindu tradition, there is a ceremony and a pooja for which a few things are necessary. Narayana Iyer’s wife said, “Why don’t you go and appeal to Bhagavan?” He replied, “I will never go and appeal to Bhagavan for material things.” She prayed to Bhagavan silently, telling him of the importance of the betrothal.

The couple then went to see Bhagavan and prostrated before him. They did not breathe a word of the matter. The next morning, the postman arrived with a money order of fifty one rupees. (I myself have seen the counterfoil of this money order - Narayana Iyer has shown it to me.) It had come from Ahmedabad, which is a good thousand miles away from Tiruvannamalai. There was a message saying, “Letter follows.” The couple bought whatever they needed with the money. The prospective groom came and was received well and the wedding was fixed. The couple waited anxiously for the letter that was to follow. The letter arrived later from a Gujarati gentleman in Ahmedabad. The couple did not know him at all. He wrote, “Dear Narayana Iyer, Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi appeared in my dream and told me that I have to immediately telegraph a money order of rupees fifty one. He also gave me your address. I do not know you and I do not know what the money is for. Please do not refuse the money. Please accept it.” (I have seen that letter too.) Narayana Iyer, his wife and their daughter went before Bhagavan. They wept and prostrated before him and said, “Bhagavan, what grace are you showering on us!” Bhagavan read the letter as though someone else had showered the grace! He then focused his attention on both of them and said, “Why doubt? Why should you not ask me?”

This is what I want to share with you. It is not just for spiritual fulfillment that we have come to the master. When the supreme master is capable of granting you the highest thing, which is Self realization, will he not fulfill your prayers for mundane things?

- ‘Ramana Periya Puranam’ by V.Ganesan
(Inner Journey of 75 Old Devotees)

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'IF YOU WORSHIP A STONE...'

Two visitors came to Bhagavan and one of them said: 'My friend has taken as his guru a man who is not even a sadhu. I brought him here so that he would give up his guru and follow you, Bhagavan. Please make him do so'.

Bhagavan replied sternly: 'Who are you to say who is the right guru for him? By what power can you make out what a man really is? And are you sure that the guru counts so much? All depends on the disciple! Even if you worship a stone with great devotion, it will be seen as God.'

- Kanakammal, Cherished memories

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8th January 1946

(22) MOKSHA

A few days ago, a lady, a recent arrival, came into the hall at about 3 p.m. and sat down. All the time she was there, she was trying to get up and ask something of Sri Bhagavan. As Bhagavan appeared not to have noticed her and was reading a book, she waited for a while.

As soon as Bhagavan put the book aside, she got up, approached the sofa and said without any fear or hesitation,

“Swami, I have only one desire. May I tell you what it is?” “Yes,” said Bhagavan, “What do you want?” “I want moksha,” she said. “Oh, is that so?” remarked Bhagavan. “Yes, Swamiji, I do not want anything else. Is it enough if you give me moksha,” said she.

Suppressing a smile that had almost escaped his lips, Bhagavan said, “Yes, yes, that is all right; that is good.” “It will not do if you say that you will give it sometime later. You must give it to me here and now,” she said. “It is all right,” said Bhagavan. “Will you give it now? I must be going,” said she. Bhagavan nodded.

As soon as she left the hall, Bhagavan burst out laughing and said, turning towards us, “She says that it is enough if only moksha is given to her. She does not want anything else.”

Subbalakshmamma, who was seated by my side, took up the thread of the conversation and quietly said, “We have come and are staying here for the same purpose. We do not want anything more. It is enough if you give us moksha.”

“If you renounce, and give up everything, what remains is only moksha. What is there for others to give you? It is there always. THAT IS,” said Bhagavan.

“We do not know all that. Bhagavan himself must give us moksha.” So saying she left the hall. Looking at the attendants who were by his side, Bhagavan remarked,

“I should give them moksha, they say. It is enough if moksha alone is given to them. Is not that itself a desire? If you give up all the desires that you have, what remains is only moksha. And you require sadhana to get rid of all those desires.”

The same bhava (idea) is found in Maharatnamala:
‘It is said that the complete destruction of vasanas is Brahman and moksha.’

- Letters from Sri Ramanasramam

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Free from Vasanas and yet their Core

D.: Distractions result from inherited tendencies. Can they be cast off too?

M.: Yes. Many have done so. Believe it! They did so because they believed they could. Vasanas (predispositions) can be obliterated. It is done by concentration on that which is free from vasanas and yet is their core.

D.: How long is the practice to continue?
M.: Till success is achieved and until yoga-liberation becomes permanent. Success begets success. If one distraction is conquered the next is conquered and so on until all are finally conquered. The process is like reducing an enemy’s fort by slaying its man-power - one by one, as each issues out.

D.: What is the goal of this process?

M.: Realizing the Real.
D.: What is the nature of the Reality?

M.: (a) Existence without beginning or end - eternal.
(b) Existence everywhere, endless, infinite.
(c) Existence underlying all forms, all changes, all forces, all matter and all spirit.

Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi, ch 29

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HAND YOUR BURDEN TO THE LORD TO HOLD

D. When I am here I am convinced; I am impressed.
But when I go out and think of society or of my country
and I remember your answer 'know thyself.'

M. What can you do to society or your country when you are weak? You must become strong first.
But I tell you, Self-attainment is the supreme strength.
Do not fear that you will lose strength to act when you become a jnani.

D. I have that fear.

M. You should not have it. If you are destined or chosen to do a particular thing, it will be done.

D. Then should I resign everything? Can I not perform tapas and ask God to grant my desires?

M. You can. But there must be some Abhyasa, some sadhana for tapas or for your prayers to reach God. When you are in the Sadhana whether it is medi-
tation or prayer, will you be thinking of your desires or of God?

D. If I think of my desires in meditation, it is no dhyana at all.

M. Then take it that there is the same dhyana, the same tapas, the same meditation, for both. Sakama or nishkama, whether it is actuated by desire or is disinterested.
Even when your desires are fulfilled, the tapas grows. It does not cease. That is the true character of tapas. It is the same in the case of bhakti also.

Now I put a question to you. When a man with luggage gets into a railway carriage where does he keep it?

D. He keeps it in his compartment or in the luggage-van.

M. So he does not carry it upon his head or on his lap?

D. None but a fool would do so.

M. If you call him a fool who keeps it on his head, thousand times more foolish is it to bear your burden when you get into the spiritual life, whether it is vichara-marga, the path of knowledge or bhakti-marga, the path of devotion.

D. But can I throw off all my responsibilities, all my commitments?

M. Now, look at the temple tower, gopura. There are many statues in it and there is a big statue, one in each corner. Have you seen them?

D. Yes. I have.

M. Now I tell you this. The big tall tower is sup-
ported by those statues.

D. How can that be? What do you mean?

M. I mean when speaking thus, that it is not more
foolish than your attitude when you say that you have
to carry and are carrying all cares, burdens, responsibilities,
etc

The Lord of the universe carries the whole burden.
You imagine you do. You can hand all your burden to his care. Whatever you have to do you will be made an instrument for doing that at the right time. Do not think you cannot do it unless you have the desire to do it. Desire does not give you the strength to do. The strength is the Lord's.

D. Am I to understand that you are giving me the essence of Karma yoga.

M. It is the essence of Karma yoga, of bhakti yoga, why, even of jnana yoga, for even though the paths, in the beginning, may differ, they all eventually lead to this position.

- Sat Darshana Bhashya and Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi

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At about 4 p.m. Sri Bhagavan, who was writing something intently, turned His eyes slowly towards the window to the north; He closed the fountain pen with the cap and put it in its case: He closed the notebook and put it aside; He removed the spectacles, folded them in the case and left them aside. He leaned back a little, looked up overhead, turned His face this way and that; and looked here and there. He passed His hand over His face and looked contemplative. Then He turned to someone in the hall and said softly:

Maharshi: The pair of sparrows just came here and complained to me that their nest had been removed. I looked up and found their nest missing."

Then He called for the attendant, Madhava Swami, and asked: "Madhava, did anyone remove the sparrows' nest?

The attendant, who walked in leisurely, answered with an air of unconcern: "I removed the nests as often as they were built. I removed the last one this very afternoon."

Maharshi: That's it. That is why the sparrows complained. The poor little ones! How they take the pieces of straw and shreds in their tiny beaks and struggle to build their nests!

Attendant: But, why should they build here, over our heads?

Maharshi: Well - well. Let us see who succeeds in the end (After a short time Sri Bhagavan went out).

(3rd March, 1939, Talk 640)

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Do not tell this path to all. Only the few who manifest anxiety to know the Truth and an eagerness to find it, should be told. With all others be silent and keep it secret.

~ Conscious Immortality

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Swami Yogananda: Why does God permit suffering in the world? Should He not with His omnipotence do away with it at one stroke and ordain the universal realization of God?

Ramana Maharshi: Suffering is the way for Realisation of God.

Yogananda: Should He not ordain it differently?

Maharshi: It is the way.

Yogananda: Are yoga, religion, etc., antidotes to suffering?

Maharshi: Who suffers? What is suffering?

On hearing this Swami Yogananda became silent.

Talks With Ramana Maharshi
November 29th, 1935

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Do not meditate — be
Do not think that you are — be
Don't think about being — you are

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BHAGAVAN ON SELF-ENQUIRY AND VISIONS

Bhagavan: All that is needed is to give up thinking of objects other than the Self. Meditation is not so much thinking of the Self as giving up thinking of the not-Self. When you give up thinking of outward objects and prevent your mind from going outwards and turn it inward and fix it in the Self, the Self alone will remain.

At this point, K.M. Jivrajani interposed, “Has one necessarily to pass through the stage of seeing occult visions before attaining Self-realization?”

Bhagavan: Why do you bother about visions and whether they come or not?
K.M. Jivrajani: I don’t. I only want to know so that I shan’t be disappointed if I don’t have them.

Bhagavan: Visions are not a necessary stage. To some they come and to others, they don’t, but whether they come or not you always exist and you must stick to that.
K.M. Jivrajani: I sometimes concentrate on the brain center and sometimes on the heart — not always on the same center. Is that wrong?

Bhagavan: Wherever you concentrate and on whatever center there must be a 'you' to concentrate, and that is what you must concentrate on. Different people concentrate on different centers, not only the brain and the heart but also the space between the eyebrows, the tip of the nose, the tip of the tongue, the lowermost chakra and even external objects. Such concentration may lead to a sort of laya in which you will feel a certain bliss, but care must be taken not to lose the thought ‘I Am’ in all this. You never cease to exist in all these experiences.

K.M. Jivrajani: That is to say that I must be a witness?
Bhagavan: Talking of the ‘witness’ should not lead to the idea that there is a witness and something else apart from him that he is witnessing. The ‘witness’ really means the light that illumines the seer, the seen and the process of seeing. Before, during and after the triads of seer, seen and seeing, the illumination exists. It alone exists always.

Again today a visitor put questions: I do not understand how to make the inquiry ‘Who am I?’
Bhagavan: Find out whence the ‘I’ arises. Self-inquiry does not mean argument or reasoning such as goes on when you say, “I am not this body, I am not the senses,” etc.: all that may also help but it is not the inquiry. Watch and find out where in the body the ‘I’ arises and fix your mind on that.

18.and 19.4.46, Day by Day with Bhagavan

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SRI BHAGAVAN SPEAKS ABOUT HUMILITY:

The power of humility, which bestows immortality, is the foremost among powers that are hard to attain. Since the only benefit of learning and other similar virtues is the attainment of humility, humility alone is the real ornament of the sages. It is the storehouse of all other virtues and is therefore extolled as the wealth of divine grace. Although it is a characteristic befitting wise people in general, it is especially indispensable for sadhus.

Since attaining greatness is impossible for anyone except by humility, all the disciplines of conduct such as yama and niyama, which are prescribed specifically for aspirants on the spiritual path, have as their aim only the attainment of humility. Humility is indeed the hallmark of the destruction of the ego. Because of this, humility is especially extolled by sadhus themselves as the code of conduct befitting them.

Moreover, for those who are residing at Arunachala, it is indispensable in every way. Arunachala is the sacred place where even the embodiments of God, Brahma, Vishnu, and Sakti, humbly subsided. Since it has the power to humble even those who would not be humbled, those who do not humbly subside at Arunachala will surely not attain that redeeming virtue anywhere else.

The Supreme Lord, who is the highest of the high, shines unrivaled and unsurpassed only because he remains the humblest of the humble. When the divine virtue of humility is necessary even for the Supreme Lord, who is totally independent, is it necessary to emphasize that it is absolutely indispensable for sadhus who do not have such independence? Therefore, just as in their inner life, in their outer life also sadhus should possess complete and perfect humility. It is not that humility is necessary only for devotees of the Lord; even for the Lord, it is the characteristic virtue.

- Sri Ramana Darsanam, Taken from http://davidgodman.org/interviews/al4.shtml

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"THE TROUBLE LIES WITH YOUR DESIRE TO OBJECTIFY THE SELF"

16th February, 1937
A visitor remarks that it is cruel of God’s leela to make the knowledge of the Self so hard.

Bh. (laughing) - Knowing the Self is being the Self, and being means existence – one’s own existence, which no one denies, any more than one denies one’s eyes, although one cannot see them.

The trouble lies with your desire to objectify the Self, in the same way as you objectify your eyes when you place a mirror before them. You have been so accustomed to objectivity that you lost the knowledge of yourself, simply because the Self cannot be objectified.

Who is to know the Self? Can the insentient body know it? All the time you speak and think of your ‘I’, ‘I’, ‘I’, yet when questioned you deny knowledge of it. You are the Self, yet you ask how to know the Self. Where then is God’s leela and where its cruelty? It is because of this denial of the Self by people that the Shastras speak of maya, leela, etc.

- Guru Ramana

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The man who loves the all-supporting God with the understanding that nothing can be achieved by his own actions, and who expects instead that all actions will be performed by God alone, that man is lead every minute by God along the path of Truth.

Padamalai, p 250

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The man who loves the all-supporting God with the understanding that nothing can be achieved by his own actions, and who expects instead that all actions will be performed by God alone, that man is lead every minute by God along the path of Truth.

Padamalai, p 250

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Thoughts come and go. Feelings come and go.
Find out what it is that remains.

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Question: I have read in a book by Romain Rolland about Ramakrishna that nirvikalpa samadhi is a terrible and terrifying experience. Is nirvikalpa so terrible? Are we then undergoing all these tedious processes of meditation, purification and discipline only to end in a state of terror? Are we going to turn into living corpses?

Bhagwan : People have all sorts of notions about nirvikalpa. Why speak of Romain Rolland? If those who have all the Upanishads and vedantic tradition at their disposal have fantastic notions about nirvikalpa, who can blame a westerner for similar notions? Some yogis by breathing exercises allow themselves to fall into a cataleptic state far deeper than dreamless sleep, in which they are aware of nothing, absolutely nothing, and they glorify it as nirvikalpa. Some others think that once you dip into nirvikalpa you become an altogether different being. Still others take nirvikalpa to be attainable only through a trance in which the world-consciousness is totally obliterated, as in a fainting fit. All this is due to their viewing it intellectually.
Nirvikalpa is chit – effortless, formless consciousness. Where does the terror come in, and where is the mystery in being oneself? To some people whose minds have become ripe from a long practice in the past, nirvikalpa comes suddenly as a flood, but to others it comes in the course of their spiritual practice, a practice which slowly wears down the obstructing thoughts and reveals the screen of pure awareness ‘I’-’I’. Further practice renders the screen permanently exposed. This is Self-realization, mukti, or sahaja samadhi, the natural, effortless state. Mere nonperception of the differences [vikalpas] outside is not the real nature of firm nirvikalpa. Know that the non-rising of differences [vikalpas] in the dead mind alone is the true nirvikalpa.

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Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi

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IT IS NOT YOUR WORK

D: Is a set meditation necessary for strengthening the mind?

M: Not if you keep the idea always before you that it is not your work. At first, effort is needed to remind yourself of it, but later on it becomes natural and continuous. The work will go on of its own accord, and your peace will remain undisturbed.

Meditation is your true nature. You call it meditation now, because there are other thoughts distracting you. When these thoughts are dispelled, you remain alone — that is, in the state of meditation free from thoughts; and that is your real nature, which you are now trying to gain by keeping away other thoughts. Such keeping away of other thoughts is now called meditation. But when the practice becomes firm, the real nature shows itself as true meditation.

- Maharshi's Gospel

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Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi

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WORK AND RENUNCIATION

Disciple: What is the highest goal of spiritual experience for man?

Maharshi: Self-realization.

D: Can a married man realize the Self?

M: Certainly. Married or unmarried, a man can realize the Self; because That is here and now.

If it were not so, but attainable by some effort at some time, and if it were new and had to be acquired, it would not be worth pursuit. Because, what is not natural is not permanent either. But what I say is that the Self is here and now, and alone.

- Maharshi's Gospel

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