The Forum dedicated to Arunachala and Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi

Ramana Maharshi => The teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi => Topic started by: Nagaraj on March 20, 2009, 04:44:59 PM

Title: Bhagawan on 'Who am I' enquiry
Post by: Nagaraj on March 20, 2009, 04:44:59 PM

When I think ‘Who am I?’, the answer comes -
‘I am not this mortal body but I am chaitanya, atma, or
paramatma.’ And suddenly another question arises — ‘Why
has atma come into maya?’ or in other words ‘Why has God
created this world?’


To enquire ‘Who am I?’ really means trying to
find out the source of the ego or the ‘I’ thought.

You are not to think of other thoughts, such as ‘I am not this body, etc.’ Seeking
the source of ‘I’ serves as a means of getting rid of all other

We should not give scope to other thoughts, such as
you mention, but must keep the attention fixed on finding out
the source of the ‘I’ thought, by asking (as each thought arises)
to whom the thought arises and if the answer is ‘I get the thought’
by asking further who is this ‘I’ and whence its source?

When I sit for this enquiry, after some time slowly observing my thoughts
relaxing for sometime allowing my thoughts to settle down, when I feel
the thoughts are now relaxed, I begin enquiring myself.

First I keep asking my self who am I, Who am I then after sometime
I realize that I am actually ASKING as to who am I therefore it infers asking some
other entity.

Then I began to find out from where this question is being propped up. This also
still infers and I am looking somewhere to find out where the question is coming from

Then I realize that it should be the same. The questioner is to be sought.

As I keep asking who am I, I began giving stress to 'I'       

'I' am asking who am 'I'

Then I feel I should continue just at this 'I' focussing my attention.

Still I infer that this 'I' which I am focusing is also seeing (seeing is there only when seer is separate)

Logically I understand that I cannot ask myself who am I.

Bhagawan has said that this enquiry will eventually merge with itself. After sometime I am in a position not being able to
continue with the enquiry and sleep again in smasara.


Title: Re: Bhagawan on 'Who am I' enquiry
Post by: Subramanian.R on March 20, 2009, 04:57:46 PM
Dear Nagaraj,

Perseverence, continuous practice alone would help.  Recently,
at around 9.30 PM, I had some giddiness.  I did not know why.
I am a hypertension patient, with regular medicines.  But that day
it was unusual.  My wife was not at home overnight and she had
gone to her sister's place.  This lowly dog, kept the front door closed,
but not latched, so that I could ask someone to help me, if my
giddiness persisted.  I went to bed.  Bhagavan Ramana appeared
and seemed to tell me:  "Why are you not latching the door?  Do
you think that I cannot come to your help, when doors are latched?
If you have faith, I shall come to you even through the terrace,
floor and walls!"  I cried: Arunachala Siva, please forgive me and
then went to sleep!  The lack of total surrender comes up, whenever
there is a threat and our little ego gears up with a lot of protection
and safety measures!

Arunachala Siva.   
Title: Re: Bhagawan on 'Who am I' enquiry
Post by: Nagaraj on March 20, 2009, 11:07:21 PM
Dear Subramanian,

It is very clearly evident by your illustration that pure and complete
surrender pays immediately.

I found one more of Bhagawan's views on Who am I enquiry.

Dr. Srinivasa Rao asked Bhagavan, “When we enquire
within ‘who am I?’ what is that?”


It is the ego. It is only that which makes the
vichara also. The Self has no vichara. That which makes the
enquiry is the ego. The ‘I’ about which the enquiry is made is
also the ego. As the result of the enquiry the ego ceases to
exist and only the Self is found to exist.


Title: Re: Bhagawan on 'Who am I' enquiry
Post by: munagala on March 21, 2009, 09:56:17 PM
Dear Nagaraj and Srkudai,

As far as I have understood, asking "who am I?" is not self-enquiry.
Once we give up the thoughts(seen) only I (seer) remains.

This I is also a thought and our goal is to kill it by concentrating.
Here there is no concentration on the SEEN but on the SEER by reamaining as the SEER.

Imagine a state where we are fully aware when we sleep i.e sleeping with awareness.
No thoughts, no body feeling but only awareness of the I (SEER).

This is the exact state we should strive first. By practice the false I breaks and the real I shines forth.

It is difficult to pinpoint the I when the mind is attached to senses. By gradual practice the mind-senses connections break away.
Initially sleep might overpower you when the mind-senses connection is broken. We have to cross the stage by not giving way to sleep.

Arunachala Siva !
Title: Re: Bhagawan on 'Who am I' enquiry
Post by: matthias on March 22, 2009, 10:19:15 AM
I think self enquiery is the natural step from "this moment, or this self that is arising right now is not atman or brahman" to "this moment is allready what I desire, or this arising self is allready complete"

this moment is blissfull in nature, and it is just like it is...

the art is to work with the vasanas who work against this wrong notion of incompleteness and not beeing reality and sat shit ananda, who constantly tell us: no you are not that......where as we all know deepw ithin "you are that"

so meditation is a way to taste "it" and then we have to carry it with us...establish it more and more in our daily life...see what will distract it...see what nourishes it is like a science (the greatest//hardest on earth I suppose)

eventually when the state of simply presence is continously, it will also stay during dream and then finally during deep sleep....but this is happening naturally, by grace--no fight involved
Title: Re: Bhagawan on 'Who am I' enquiry
Post by: silentgreen on March 22, 2009, 08:33:39 PM
One should avoid pushing the self from outside during self-enquiry which sets up a subject-object relationship and inner conflict.

Tracing the "I" inwards towards the heart space keeping a pure subjective standpoint gives good result.
After sufficient vichara and the grace of the Self, a blissful inner space opens up and even the humming of the deeper self can be "heard". Self-enquiry becomes more and more spontaneous after this.

Om Shanti ..
Title: Re: Bhagawan on 'Who am I' enquiry
Post by: matthias on March 22, 2009, 11:46:23 PM
yes the inner sound becomes suddenly more conciuoss when you enter the silent hear yourself more clearly....I also experience this..

also the stuck body energies start to flow...everyting becomes more vibrant an living ....... mostly there coems a point of rme where a fear of letting go a certain point it feels too "good" :)

and then I get confused because my usual notion about life//self is not blissfull in nature, and when bliss arises without my aid.....naja then I rush in and say stop not further....

Title: Re: Bhagawan on 'Who am I' enquiry
Post by: Nagaraj on March 25, 2009, 05:24:29 PM
Devotee: When I concentrate, all sorts of thoughts arise and
disturb me. The more I try, the more thoughts rise up. What
should I do?

Bhagawan: Yes, that will happen. All that is inside will try to come
out. There is no other way except to pull the mind up each time
it wants to go astray and fix it in the Self.

Devotee: Bhagavan has often said that one must reject other
thoughts when one begins the quest; but thoughts are endless.
If one thought is rejected another comes up and there seems to
be no end at all

Bhagawan: I do not say that you must keep on rejecting thoughts.
If you cling to yourself, to the ‘I’ thought, and your interest
keeps you to that single thought, other thoughts will get rejected
and will automatically vanish.

Whatever else I read, understand, etc... finally I land up again here
in this who am I enquiry. we need to thoroughly understand this
for this alone is our key to unlock ourselves form prison!

Why cant we continuously cling on to the 'I' as mentioned by

Title: Re: Bhagawan on 'Who am I' enquiry
Post by: matthias on March 25, 2009, 06:05:55 PM
we do not have enough energy to "do" it
Title: Re: Bhagawan on 'Who am I' enquiry
Post by: silentgreen on March 25, 2009, 08:38:36 PM
If you cling to yourself, to the ‘I’ thought, and your interest
keeps you to that single thought, other thoughts will get rejected
and will automatically vanish.

One who shows deep interest for the deeper self,
the deeper self will start showing interest for him,
and will open up an inner space of peace.

Om Shanti ...

Title: Re: Bhagawan on 'Who am I' enquiry
Post by: Nagaraj on March 25, 2009, 10:50:58 PM
Dear Silentgreen,

True, deep interest on the Self alone will pull the Ego like a magnet and merge into itself!

someone asked, “Swami, how can we find the Self (Atma)?”

Bhagavan replied: “You are in the Self; so how can there be any difficulty
in finding it?”

“You say that I am in the Self, but where exactly is that
Self?” the questioner persisted.

Bhagavan replied: “If you abide in the heart and search patiently you will
find it,”

Title: Re: Bhagawan on 'Who am I' enquiry
Post by: Nagaraj on March 26, 2009, 01:17:35 PM
Dear Udai,

What you said is true. I found it illustrated by Bhagawan as below

Question: One has at times vivid flashes of a consciousness whose
centre is outside the normal self, and which seems to be
all-inclusive. Without concerning ourselves with
philosophical concepts, how would Bhagavan advise me
to work towards getting, retaining and extending those
rare flashes? Does Abhyasa in such experience involve

Maharshi: Outside! For whom is the inside or outside? Those
can exist only so long as there are the subject and object.

For whom are these two again? On investigation you will
find that they resolve into the subject only. So, who is the
subject? This enquiry leads you to pure Consciousness
beyond the subject.

The very first verse in Avadhoota Gita is as follows:

Ishwaranugrahagevam Punsaamadvaitavaasana
Mahadbhyaparitranam Vipranaamupajaayate

It is only through the Grace of God that in men with
knowledge is born a desire to experience cosmic unity (Advaita),
a desire which protects them from the great dangers of samsara.

Title: Re: Bhagawan on 'Who am I' enquiry
Post by: Nagaraj on March 27, 2009, 12:23:58 PM
It is enough to know what you are not. You need not know what you are. For as long as knowledge means description in terms of what is already known, perceptual, or conceptual, there can be no such thing as self-knowledge, for what you are cannot be described, except as except as total negation. All you can say is: ‘I am not this, I am not that’. You cannot meaningfully say ‘this is what I am’. It just makes no sense. What you can point out as 'this' or 'that' cannot be yourself. Surely, you can not be 'something' else. You are nothing perceivable, or imaginable. Yet, without you there can be neither perception nor imagination. You observe the heart feeling, the mind thinking, the body acting; the very act of perceiving shows that you are not what you perceive. Can there be perception, experience without you? An experience must ‘belong'. Somebody must come and declare it as his own. Without an experiencer the experience is not real. It is the experiencer that imparts reality to experience. An experience which you cannot have, of what value is it to you?

 - Nisargadatta Maharaj

Title: Re: Bhagawan on 'Who am I' enquiry
Post by: Subramanian.R on March 27, 2009, 01:38:35 PM
Dear srkudai,

Yes. Muruganar calls it as Suttarivu, the word used by Saiva Siddhantis.  The Self cannot be known by pointing out, as this and
that.  It is experiential.

Arunachala Siva.
Title: Re: Bhagawan on 'Who am I' enquiry
Post by: Nagaraj on March 27, 2009, 03:11:50 PM
If this is understood. (even understanding is wrong word to use) then we will stop this very moment all our efforts towards realisation, and at the same time the Samsara would not affect us. Since Perception and Perceived are one and the same, we will not get affected by whatever is happening to us... it will only remain like a movie - whatever happens in the movie will not affect us, we will cease to become the character in the movie and just be!

Even if there is left over Vasanas to get identified or become the character in the movie, since we are aware that it is just a movie, we will know behind that I am just crying because I am now become the character in the movie. We will cry, but there wont be any pain!

We will stop making things happen rather we will be one with whatever is happening and make no effort to change anything.

Title: Re: Bhagawan on 'Who am I' enquiry
Post by: Nagaraj on March 27, 2009, 03:41:28 PM
Dear Udai,

Exactly :), There is pain but not making it a suffering is accepting that the perception of the pain(perceived) and preceptor is one and the same!

Deeply if we think about this, we will find that "When someone calls me a fool" it also arises from the Self itself. When we get to know that someone calling me a fool is false. there is actually no somebody at all for our ego to function.

Just like how everything originates from the Brahman (Self). The Self alone is the reason for everything.

When we enquire who am I, we will come across millions of thoughts moving around. we see that all these thoughts have been originating from me alone and slowly we let these thoughts pass knowing that they have originated from the eternal 'I' similarly the other persons etc also will be found to originate from the Self alone when we enquire deeper

Can there be any hate, anger, etc on our Self? Hence when anyone calls me a "fool" I would not let it affect me. Who is actually calling Whom a fool? is one and the same.

Title: Re: Bhagawan on 'Who am I' enquiry
Post by: Nagaraj on March 27, 2009, 03:51:13 PM
Is there a need within us ('you' 'I') to be acknowledged from somebody that we ('you' 'I') am/are realised?

Its this need that leads us to endless cycle! We may never be able to get such an acknowlegement for there has to be somebody apart to acknowledge something!

Like how Knowledge by itself is its own authority, it does not need and there is no other authority apart from itSelf!

Title: Re: Bhagawan on 'Who am I' enquiry
Post by: Nagaraj on March 27, 2009, 06:48:09 PM
Dear Udai,

Very True and excellent examples! :)

We have to abide in this thought constantly! But to abide in this thought is also an idea, an effort...

Now we know the eternal "I" now.

After death experience, Ramanar knew who HE really was, then He was always able to remain as He is.

Can we say now that we now know what WE really ARE?

I know this is just an attempt to comparison! But  you see... cant help!!!

What Do 'I' want ??????????

Title: Re: Bhagawan on 'Who am I' enquiry
Post by: Nagaraj on March 28, 2009, 02:26:46 AM
Devotee: When I try to meditate, I am unable to do so because my mind
wanders. What should I do?

Bhagawan: Your question furnishes the answer. First, with regard to the first
part of the question, you say you concentrate, but do not succeed.
‘You’ means ‘the Self’. On what do you concentrate? Where do
you fail? Are there two selves, for the one self to concentrate on the
other? Which is the self now complaining of failure? There cannot
be two selves. There is only one Self. That need not concentrate.
You ask, “But then, why is there no happiness?” What is it that prevents
you from remaining as the spirit which you are in sleep? You yourself
admit that it is the wandering mind. Find out the mind. If its ‘wandering’
stops, it will be found to be the Self - your ‘I’-consciousness which is
spirit eternal. It is beyond knowledge and ignorance.

Title: Re: Bhagawan on 'Who am I' enquiry
Post by: Subramanian.R on March 28, 2009, 10:00:08 AM
Concentration is only to ward off the other thoughts.  A security
guard at night duty at the entrance of the house, concentrates
to ward off the thieves and burglers.  The treasure in the house
stands safe.  The treasure does not walk off.  Only the thieves
should not walk in to burgle.

Arunachala Siva.
Title: Re: Bhagawan on 'Who am I' enquiry
Post by: Nagaraj on March 28, 2009, 05:01:29 PM
‘I exist’ is the only permanent, self-evident
experience of everyone. Nothing else is so self-evident
(pratyaksha) as ‘I am’. What people call ‘self-evident’ viz.,
the experience they get through the senses, is far from selfevident.
The Self alone is that. Pratyaksha is another name
for the Self. So, to do Self-analysis and be ‘I am’ is the only
thing to do. ‘I am’ is reality. I am this or that is unreal. ‘I am’
is truth, another name for Self. ‘I am God’ is not true.

- Sri Ramana

How true... as long as we are just 'I am' there is absolute peace.

Devotee: If I am not the body am I responsible for the
consequences of my good and bad actions?

Bhagavan: If you are not the body and do not have the
idea ‘I-am-the-doer’ the consequences of your good or bad
actions will not affect you. Why do you say about the actions
the body performs “I do this” or “I did that”? As long as you
identify yourself with the body like that you are affected by the
consequences of the actions and you have merit and demerit.

Devotee: Then I am not responsible for the
consequences of good or bad actions?

Bhagavan: If you are not, why do you bother about the

Devotee: Then does that mean that if one has not the
sense of ‘I do this’ or ‘I am the doer’ one need not do anything
at all?

Bhagavan: The question of doing only arises if you are
the body.

             Simply Be...


Title: Re: Bhagawan on 'Who am I' enquiry
Post by: S.Subramanian on March 29, 2009, 11:05:40 PM
The enquiry can also be made with the search 'Where is the origin of thought?'  When thoughts are withdrawn by this enquiry, 'I am' starts to flash (sphurana).  At this state the mind is very calm and unperturbed.  Body seems to be floating and actions are effortless.  However, this is not a realized state.  Often we may slip down from this state.
Title: Re: Bhagawan on 'Who am I' enquiry
Post by: Subramanian.R on March 30, 2009, 11:37:20 AM
Dear S. Subramanian,

I am happy you mentioned this variation.  Sri Sadhu Om says:
Who am I? is also Whence am I?  (Wherefrom am ?).  But here,
one caution.  The origin is not merely the Heart Centre, but the Self,
which is everywhere.  Heart Centre can of course, be used for
initial period.

Arunachala Siva. 
Title: Re: Bhagawan on 'Who am I' enquiry
Post by: Nagaraj on March 31, 2009, 12:03:05 AM
Yes both are employed in finding the source!

I was contemplating today about the Self and following thoughts occurred to me

To be Self is absolutely free. What it is to be absolutely free? It means to be OneSelf. That is one should not be a slave. Slave of any kind!. You do something only for your Self alone and not for anyone, not because someone wants you to do something!

I thought deeply - everybody has desires, we know desires spring from ignorence. But how? I thought further. I took the example of a typical person from an IT industry, for a sincere person has ambitions etc... to do something in life etc... where does this ambition spring forth? for example we know Mr Narayana Murthy, when we for the first time saw him in a TV or directly, being the cynosure of eyes among media, people, among big industrialists, or may be the one close person who admires him so very much. It begins here. We want to be the cynosure of eyes for somebody - media, industrialists, or for even the close person who has a awe for Mr Narayana Murthy. the desire springs here, we also want to be the awe for somebody.

Similarly, in a cinema crazy country like ours, when one sees the Hero with all styles and glamour, wearing the cool googles, the desire springs to be like him, to be like a Shah Rukh Khan or a Rajinikanth, again for whom? they become awe for us because of the attention they get from the media, people and crazy galore that they get. We want all that and we try to become a Shahrukh Khan or a Rajinikanth.

Similarly, is the case even with spirituality, we want to be like Sri Ramana, Sri Ramakrishna or Sri Sarada, or Vivekananda, thinking deeply, off course this desire is good for a Mumukshu but further we must discriminate ourselves and realise that I am trying to be like Ramana, Ramakrishna just like the desire to be a Narayanamurthy, to be a CEO, to be a Super Hero, to be a great devotee like Hanuman, etc...

Thus what happens in that we imbibe all their qualities, like we start behaving like Narayanamurthy, Shahrukh Khan, or a Rajinikanth, etc... some times even like other realised souls without our Self's idea and imagining that would give us all the happiness bliss and we would fulfill the purpose of our lives!

This this is so subtle, that we may not even become aware ourselves whom are we imitating, imbibing. It begins right from our childhood, our parents tell us we should become a scientist like Einstein, become a Hero like Kamal Hassan, become the President like Abdul Kalam etc... we get lost then, we forget our Self then and there and begin to focus on our objective!

Most popular is young people easily pick up the qualities of the street smart guys who is able to handle things in a heoric way, or in a very comedy way and gets attention of the people. This begins in school.

In all this, we forget to be ourselves. We are not any of them above, we cannot be anybody! We are but ourselves!

Thus I came to conclusion, that to abide as Self is to be free from some of the above or similar misconceptions and be independently as the Self alone! How to abide as Self - By not trying to be like somebody!

The best course is to imitate a Truly realized Guru, because imitating a truly realized Guru would only lead us to our Self for he operates himself as a pure Self alone where as the others operate from a different perspectives. I decided to the best of my abilities, I would each time, each moment think what Bhagawan would do for this situation, this moment, what would he be thinking about, what would be the best response for something to somebody, how would be bear insults, how he would remain calm even during testing times, how he is able to show the smile even with pain.

I also realized, that the problems of Samsara also arise out of being somebody else. there is no samsara when we dont be somebody else and just be. The best answer or to understand "Just Be" or "Summa Iru" is I felt to not be somebody else and just be! it makes more sense now!

To Abide as Self is to not to abide as Somebody's Self - off course both are the same Self, thats the whole problem! the same Self trying to be some other Self! Its not possible, the Self can only be itSelf!

This whole thing is so subtle, we need to just find out all that we are imitating, when we find the source of all our existing responses we would be able to trace it to somebody else. once we come to know it it looses its grip and we get closer to the Self.

What they call genes is only this, we primarily imitate our parents, grandparents, bulk part of our personality is not us - the Self but of our parents, grand parents and then the society, people, friends.


This I concluded!


Title: Re: Bhagawan on 'Who am I' enquiry
Post by: Subramanian.R on March 31, 2009, 10:48:30 AM
To have "role models", is natural for every person.  This makes him
work for his improvement/evolution.  But what sort of role models?
Herein lies the big difference.  A true seeker keeps a sublime role model like Vivekananda or Bhagavan Ramana.  Such role models do
him good in life.  Bhagavan Ramana Himself went to Meenakshi-
Sundareswara Temple in Madurai, everyday and started staying a
long time before 63 Saints and cried uncontrollably, asking them or
Siva:  "When can I become like one of them?"  This feeling towards
sublime role model does good for one's life. 

But they are boys who see the 'stunt masters' in films and do
'stunts' or drag race and die.  Many youngsters seeing some film
heroes come to Chennai to 'act' in films and end up as street beggers or petty thieves.

The silk worm inside the cocoon, imagines itself a butter fly and in due course, becomes a butterfly!  This example comes in Vivekachoodamani.

Arunachala Siva. 
Title: Re: Bhagawan on 'Who am I' enquiry
Post by: Nagaraj on March 31, 2009, 11:18:03 AM
Yes the best course is to imitate a Truly realized Guru.

Mind by itself is conditioning. but whether we use the word deconditioning or something else, thats what we are trying to do when we meditate, when we enquire who am I, either voluntarily or involuntarily. we try to condition our mind towards the Guru, which is already conditioned on somethig else. we don't decondition, but again condition it towards a Guru. We should also remember that Mind is not separate form the Self, the Self itself is Mind and Mind itself is Self i.e. Rope and Snake.

We cannot and have no option to operate without our mind. So the best resort is to only imitate a Guru. as we keep imitating a Guru, who himself operates as Self, eventually we condition (decondition) ourselves involuntarily to abide as Self. Like how Nisargadatta Maharaj imitated his Guru for 3 years and became a Guru himself.

Title: Transitional 'I'
Post by: Nagaraj on March 31, 2009, 11:46:16 AM
After having retired for the night, one has first to relax
from the restlessness and the tension of intellectual activity.
When sleep is nearing, one has to try to keep as the last thought
the resolution to meet as the first thing on awakening the
experience of the true ‘I’.

Deep and sincere longing will always succeed in this
experiment, if not immediately then after some attempts. The
first thing emerging from sleep into waking consciousness is
always the true ‘I’ pure, silent, absolute in itself, remaining all
alone for a few seconds, or even longer by practice. Other
thoughts start only a little later, testifying to the little known
fact that ‘Consciousness’ is not necessarily the same as thinking.

What is possible once even for a moment can be extended
by practice. This experiment gives you the advantage that
you now know the aim of endeavour. It will help you in your
further sadhana like leavening in the dough.

Sri Ramana Maharshi called this the ‘transitional I’ and
stressed the importance of this experience:
This transitional ‘I’ is a moment of pure awareness, which
is aware only of itself as ‘I’, pure identity in itself.

The ‘I’-thought’ is only limited ‘I’. The real ‘I’ is unlimited,
universal, beyond time and space. Just on rising up from
sleep and before seeing the objective world, there is a state
of awareness which is your pure Self. That must be known.

The moment you succeed, keep very quiet and observe:
this ‘I’ neither thinks nor wills; it has no qualities, is neither
man nor woman, has neither body nor mind; it has no trace of
the ‘person’ which you thought yourself to be up to now. It is
simply conscious of itself as ‘I am’. Not ‘I am this’, ‘I am
that’ — only ‘I am’.

But beware. It is not your ‘I-person’, who has this
‘I-Consciousness’ as an object, but this Consciousness is your
real ‘I’. This pure be-ing ‘I am’ is the first glimpse of the true
Identity, which is by nature Pure Consciousness.

To make this test of awakening in the morning is important
insofar as one knows afterwards what the goal for which we
embarked looks like. It also makes it easier to recognise it in
other circumstances. Moreover, this silent, alert awareness is
the last experience which the seeker can reach by his own
effort. For when his ‘personal I’ is wiped out, then all his
effort too has automatically reached its end. Where there is
no ‘personal I’ there cannot be any effort. What remains is a
consciousness which no longer feels but is listening within;
no longer thinks, but is silent; no longer wills, but lets happen
what will happen. It is exactly the state which reveals itself as
‘I am’, the true Identity.

Last but not the least it is this great experience of the true
identity of man which turned the schoolboy Venkataraman
into the world famous sage Ramana of Arunachala!

- Sri Ramana Maharshi
Title: Re: Bhagawan on 'Who am I' enquiry
Post by: Subramanian.R on March 31, 2009, 12:11:15 PM
The transitional 'I' is the one which stays in the Self during the sleep
and emerges out, after a trice of time in between as the egoistic I
in the morning.  The time interval is the 'glory of the Self' that is retained by the ego.  And that is as good as the Self.   Then the play
of ego starts.  Several ways have been recommended by advanced
seekes in this regard.  The one is to say some mantra, say, "Om Namo
Bhagavate Sri Ramanaya Namah", till one gets sleep.  If this practice
is continued for long, automatically, you will get this mantra on your waking up and that will purify your day's actions. 

In fact, I have been saying Arunachala Siva....Arunachala Siva...
which is the mantra given by Bhagavan Ramana, at the beginning of
Aksharamana Malai. This helps to a great extent.

Arunachala Siva. 
Title: Re: Bhagawan on 'Who am I' enquiry
Post by: Nagaraj on April 01, 2009, 11:27:10 AM
Dear Subramanian,

Yesterday, I too kept chanting Arunachala Siva till I fell asleep, I dint know when I fell asleep, then the very first thing I remembered in the morning was Arunachala Siva. There was a very short moment, I was neither asleep, nor awake, but then I began to think where was I in that moment, just now? before I asked this question to myself!


Devotee: What will it be like when one achieves Self-realization?

Bhagawan: The question is wrong, one does not realize
anything new”

Devotee: I do not get you, Swami

Bhagawan: It is very simple. Now you feel you
are in the world. There you feel that the world is in you

Title: Re: Bhagawan on 'Who am I' enquiry
Post by: Subramanian.R on April 01, 2009, 11:39:19 AM
Arunachala Siva is a Mahamantra, which is the cure-all in my life.
There are many personal miracles in my life, due to his mantra. 
I cannot reveal them.  Bhagavan Ramana started Akshara Mana
Malai with Arunachala Siva.  On the day of His departure from this
world, people chanted Arunachala Siva... Arunachala Siva, in chorus.
Bhagavan heard this and shed tears of Ananda.  This is the mantra,
from beginning to end in His life and should be in our lives too.

Arunachala Siva. 
Title: Paradox of Advaita
Post by: Nagaraj on April 01, 2009, 01:57:07 PM
“There is no such thing as realising the Self ” – Bhagavan has
often said this in order to remind those who asked that the
Self alone is, now and eternally, and is not something new to
be discovered. This paradox is of the essence of non-dualism"

In answer to a question as to what is the best way to the goal,
Bhagavan said: ‘There is no goal to be reached. There is nothing to
be attained. You are the Self. You exist always. Nothing more can
be predicated of the Self than that it exists. Seeing God or the Self
is only being the Self, that is yourself. Seeing is Being. You, being
the Self, want to know how to attain the Self. It is like a man being
at Ramanasramam and asking how many ways there are of going
to Ramanasramam and which is the best way for him. All that is
required of you is to give up the thought that you are this body and
give up all thoughts of external things or the non-Self. As often as
the mind goes out towards objects, stop it and fix it in the Self or
‘I’. That is all the effort required on your part.'

Despite this paradox, however, Bhagavan also stressed the
necessity of effort.

Ceaseless practice is essential until one attains without the
least effort that natural and primal state of mind which is free
from thought, in other words, until the ‘I’, ‘my’ and ‘mine’ are
completely eradicated and destroyed.

It is in order to safeguard the viewpoint that there is nothing
new to be discovered that Advaita explains that it is only a
question of removing the screen of ignorance, just as by
removing water-plants one reveals beneath them the water
that was already there, or as the removal of clouds reveals the
blue sky that is there already but was hidden by them.

The Self always is. There is no knowing it. It is not
some new knowledge to be acquired. What is new and not here
and now cannot be permanent. The Self always is, but
knowledge of it is obstructed and the obstruction is called
ignorance. Remove the ignorance and knowledge shines forth.
In fact, it is not the Self that has this ignorance or even
knowledge. These are only accretions to be cleared away. That
is why the Self is said to be beyond knowledge and ignorance.
It remains as it naturally is – that is all.

Sometimes people complained of the difficulty of quelling
thoughts. Bhagavan brought them round again to Self-enquiry
by reminding them that it is the thinker or, in case of doubt,
the doubter whom one must examine. There may be a thousand
doubts, but one does not doubt the existence of the doubter.
Who is he?

- Sri Ramana

Title: Re: Bhagawan on 'Who am I' enquiry
Post by: Subramanian.R on April 01, 2009, 06:09:53 PM
Dear srkudai,

Yes. Sadhana is only  for the 'middle class' people, as in many other aspects of life!

Arunachala Siva.
Title: Re: Bhagawan on 'Who am I' enquiry
Post by: Nagaraj on April 01, 2009, 07:59:59 PM
Dear Udai,

Very true,

Sadhana is necessary for those persons who are not able to firmly establish themselves as the Self at all times.

The word Sadhana itself means 'leading straight to a Goal' or 'establishment of Truth' or 'accomplishment' or 'completion' or 'perfection'

Its like the Balance scale - weighing equally in the middle.

neither prejudiced by past not in fear of the future. The moment only the moment.

Sadhana is necessary only if the weighing scale is imbalanced either this way or the other.


Title: Re: Bhagawan on 'Who am I' enquiry
Post by: Subramanian.R on April 02, 2009, 11:29:48 AM
Yesterday, in a TV serial someone was telling:  All Jnana Sastras,
are not necessary for an outright fool, because he cannot make
use of them.  They are also not necessary, for a realized person,
because he knows the purport of Jnana Sastras.  These are only
for the middlings, who does not know, but who wants to know.

Arunachala Siva.   
Title: Re: Bhagawan on 'Who am I' enquiry
Post by: Nagaraj on April 02, 2009, 02:12:11 PM
Some months back, I happened to see a discovery channel programme, A young Buddhist monk somewhere near Nepal Tibet border sat under a Banyan Tree for months together and it caught the attention of the Discovery channel crew members and they made a documentary of the young monk. The set few cameras for covering the young monk's activities continuously. This exercise was carried on for a period of more than 3 months.

The Young monk did not move an inch, nor opened his eyes, nor had food of water. It seems he took a vow to meditate for 13 years till he becomes a Buddha or the enlightened.

Hearing about this young monks intense Tapas, his Guru came to him and had his Darshan and left. This Guru spoke to the Discovery crew members about some yogic techniques, breath and others by which one is able to attract the moisture in the Atmosphere and other energies in the air by which a Yogi can sustain His body and remain with water or food for days together.

about 3 months passed by the crew members still find the young Monk unmoved. Huge crowds began flocking around the monk and some people who were guarding the monk created a circle and began collecting money from people who wanted to have darshan of the monk. Soon there was a lot of disturbances.

The Young Monk one night sometime after 3 months got up and went into the forest and no one could trace his whereabouts. The close associates said that the monk wanted solitude and left the place.

It was an interesting documentary. I was reminded of Bhagawan who remained motionless of ?? number of weeks in the Pathala Linga Shrine.

What stops us from such deep enquiry? They say its because of our Vasanas. Either we don't have the 100% desire for Self enquiry, we usually have 50% 60% 70% or so and the rest 50% 40% or 30% for worldly desires. we want both! thats the whole problem!

The So called Vasanas - We want them, the desires. There are 2 ways from here.

1.  control all your desires and meditate. do not allow the desires to take hold of you. This is very very tough.
2.  accept the Ashrama you are in. for Ex Grihasthasrama entitles for the householder to desire rightfully and enjoy the materialistic life for some years and then retire to the forest to know the Self.

But most of us probably want both the (1) and (2) we sometimes want to curb all our desires and sometimes want to enjoy for lacking the poise to control our desires.

The Yogic path also describes the Ashtanga Yoga:

Yama           -Social discipline
Niyama   -Discipline of the self
Asana   -Physical discipline through the practice of postures
Pranayama   -Mental discipline through breath control
Pratyahara   -Discipline of the senses through withdrawal
Dharana   -Concentration
Dhyana   -Meditation
Samadhi   -Self-realisation

The famous Yoga Teacher BKS Iyengar says one should not jump the Ashtanga Yoga say from Yama to Dharana and Samadhi, Its not possible. One has to pass all the 8 stages to Samadhi else it will be endless cycle.

Title: Re: Bhagawan on 'Who am I' enquiry
Post by: Nagaraj on April 02, 2009, 05:32:11 PM
Dear Udai,

What you say is very true. being the Substratum of all the activities is to abide and remember the Self constantly! I saw this documentary I think around the months of Jan - Feb 2008

I have been moving round and round or like the waves up and down for equipoise. I know I am just dabbling myself intellectually. sometimes I feel I am even the simple layman innocent person is far ahead of me spiritually, the person does not even understand anything. Such implicit faith. The person reads the Sai Sat Charitra every day and says (mara Manda) roughly translated as 'my dull headed brain' does not understand a word of what is written in the book but I just read it because I know Baba will bless me take care of me. I can die but I can never get such simple faith in me.

This journey to know more and more is always continuing. It is never ending. What is meditation after all? infact even this moment as I am typing this post I am concentrated in this topic of meditation, the mind is focussed on this subject. Time passes and then when it ends the mind dabbles thinking about Sri Ramana and Tiruvannamalai, etc... The mind is constantly engaged. What does it seek? The seeking has to end! Sri Ramana says Meditation is your true nature. sometimes I wonder what is meditation after all. Is it to sit in solitude and enquire, is it to sit and do Japa, is it to be engaged in some work not knwing the time pass by, is it to keep chanting some mantra always, is it to be close to nature and be aware the air touch you, is it to be sensitive to the smell of the nature, is it to to feel the ground softly when we walk step by step feelingly, is it to show love and care towards fellow humans, is it to think some beauty like Arunachala Krishna Rama? In a way all of the above are types of meditation suiting each ones abilities.

But anything which is not constant cannot be your true nature, it has to last permanently being the substratum. all the above kinds of meditations seem temporary for me, as its happening in Chitta - Imagination.

I don't seem to know what my question is after all, what am I really seeking? all the knowledge that I have gained is as good as the pile of waste even though I am aware of the possible answers myself for the doubts raised. This seems to be beyond the dirt. the dirt has to be wiped out!

Title: Re: Bhagawan on 'Who am I' enquiry
Post by: Subramanian.R on April 02, 2009, 05:36:27 PM
Dear Nagaraj,

Even though Bhagavan Ramana has explained this in detail, in His
Vichara Manjari to Gambhiram Sesha Iyer, He said that it need not
be followed step by step or it need not adhered to strictly.  For
example Bhagavan Ramana did not prescribe any Asana, only
Sukasana was all that needed.  He did not prescribe breath control,
as per Ashtanga Yoga, mere watching of breath would be adequate.
Bhagavan was like a Manduka, a frog!  This is the word from which
the name Maandukya Upanishad came.  A frog simply jumps from one place to its place of prey!  Bhagavan Ramana jumped from 16.
Chokkanatha Street, West Towers, Madurai to the Self that is
Arunachala Siva.  He was like a surace-to-surface missile, like a
Patriot or Scud missile used in Gulf War!  From the Nirvana Room,
He also jumped to the summit of Arunachala as a meteor at 8.47
PM, on 14th April 1950!

Arunachala Siva.
Title: Re: Bhagawan on 'Who am I' enquiry
Post by: Nagaraj on April 02, 2009, 06:57:24 PM
Dear Subramanian,

I feel in Jnana Marga, these Ashtanga mentioned is involuntarily achieved and leads one to Samadhi without necessarily with the awareness of the person.


  Ahimsa: non-violence, inflicting no injury or harm to others or even to one's ownself, it goes as far as nonviolence in thought, word and deed.
  Satya: truth in word & thought.
  Asteya: non-covetousness, to the extent that one should not even desire something that is not his own.
  Brahmacharya: abstain from sexual intercourse; celibacy in case of unmarried people and monogamy in case of married people. Even this to the                 extent that one should not possess any unholy thoughts towards any other man or woman except one's own spouse. It's common to associate   Brahmacharya with celibacy.
  Aparigraha: non-possessiveness

Niyama refers to the five observances
  Shaucha: cleanliness of body & mind.
  Santosha: satisfaction; satisfied with what one has..
  Tapas: austerity and associated observances for body discipline & thereby mental control.
  Svadhyaya: study of the Vedic scriptures to know about God and the soul, which leads to introspection on a greater awakening to the soul and God within,
  Ishvarapranidhana: surrender to (or worship of) God.

Asana: Discipline of the body: rules and postures to keep it disease-free and for preserving vital energy. Correct postures are a physical aid to meditation, for they control the limbs and nervous system and prevent them from producing disturbances.

Pranayama: control of breath. Beneficial to health, steadies the body and is highly conducive to the concentration of the mind. Similarly when we just observe our breath, the breathing is normalized.  any how the purpose is achieved.

Pratyahara: withdrawal of senses from their external objects.

Dharana: concentration of the citta upon a physical object, such as a flame of a lamp, the mid point of the eyebrows, or the image of a deity.

Dhyana: steadfast meditation. Undisturbed flow of thought around the object of meditation (pratyayaikatanata). The act of meditation and the object of meditation remain distinct and separate.

Samadhi: oneness with the object of meditation. There is no distinction between act of meditation and the object of meditation.

In what ever way one goes Bhakti Marga, Yoga Marga Jnana Marga or even Karma Marga, these Ashtanaga are, either voluntarily or involuntarily reached. All though one need not learn intensely the Asanas and all, the basic Asanas i.e. to sit in Sukhaasana is also achieved only after Yama Niyama.

These Ashtangas are the ingredients to Samadhi or is natural to the enlightened person.


Title: Re: Bhagawan on 'Who am I' enquiry
Post by: Subramanian.R on April 03, 2009, 12:31:49 PM
Dear Nagaraj, srkudai,

Bhagavan Ramana has also described the Ashtanga, the eight limbs
of Raja Yoga, as applicable in Jnana Yoga.  This is the same as
Aparokshanubhuti of Sankara.  I did not mention about this, as
Nagaraj may be further confounded.  But the fact remains that
Bhagavan Ramana stressed only Sukasana and watching the
breath to most of the devotees.

Arunachala Siva.   
Title: Re: Bhagawan on 'Who am I' enquiry
Post by: Nagaraj on April 03, 2009, 06:50:42 PM
Dear Udai, Subramanian,

Thanks for your posts. I was just trying to convey the same thing. Yes Bhagawan and Shankara respectively have conveyed the real essence of the attitude one should have. These Ashtangas i.e. Yama, Niyama, etc... - I was just trying tell that these things are by default achieved by whatever Sadhana one pursues, the end of Yoga is to achieve that equipoise, to achieve at that Sukhasana to sit comfortably for long periods forgetting ones own body. similarly, when one just watches his breath alone, the objectives of Ashtanga are naturally achieved, when one watches ones own breath, his breath becomes natural, which is the goal of Pranayama, when ones enquires into himself, he will by default develop the qualities of Yama and Niyama. As the practice increases one achieves Prathyahara Dharana and Dhyana and finally one gets established in Samadhi.

I would'nt deny that I am incomplete. Yes some sort of incompleteness exists. I seem to find no specific reason for it. If God willing, If it happnes I would love to meet Sri Suddhananda. I did check out his website and I found him inspiring. Am just faithfully waiting for a Guru. They say the Guru comes when the disciple is ready. perhaps I am not yet ready! only rare souls like Sri Ramana, Dhathathreya did not even require a Guru. I have visited some Gurus. The Shankaracharya of Sringeri and Shakatapuram are the only Gurus I have met. But when I stand in front of them, I find myself humbled, I am unable to talk with their holiness. I feel I am not yet ready even to talk to a Guru. Each time I visit Sringeri, usually I have a lot of clarifications and questions to ask. But when I see Him, a voice within somes up - Do I even need to tell my questions to Guru? Who am I after all to ask questions, I am far less matured spiritually than several others who are able to converse with the Guru at ease.

I am just waiting. What could be more auspicious than to serve a Guru day and night? I just pray.  God willing, I will be able to meet Sri Suddhananda.

Its like you know, when the mother leaves the small baby alone and the Baby simply cries and cries to see the mother and get in her folds.

Title: Re: Bhagawan on 'Who am I' enquiry
Post by: silentgreen on April 03, 2009, 09:18:14 PM
If book-reading develops yearning in the heart of the seeker, it has served its purpose.
The inner guru which has planted the yearning in the heart will also lead towards the Self, provided the seeker remains faithful to him.

Since ancient times, various sages and saints have expressed the same Self in different ways.
When a person is thirsty what is the need to know how water is called in all the languages of the world.
Instead the seeker should find out the source of water and drink it.
Title: Re: Bhagawan on 'Who am I' enquiry
Post by: Subramanian.R on April 04, 2009, 11:23:47 AM
Dear silentgreen,

Yes.  Bhagavan Ramana has said, inter alia, the following two things
also in Who am I?

1. There is no use in limitless reading of books.  I am still not able
to practise it fully.

2. Since all actions in the world are done by Parameswara Sakti,
why not you leave the burden to Him and keep quiet and instead,
keep on thinking whether I should  this or do that?  Even here,
the mischievous ego does not listen.  We are planning, constantly
planning, day in and day out, for something or other.  Everyday
when I read Who am I? I think:  Bhagavan!  Why I am not able to
follow these things fully?

Arunachala Siva.   
Title: Re: Bhagawan on 'Who am I' enquiry
Post by: silentgreen on April 04, 2009, 09:11:42 PM
Dear srkudai,

Nice to hear your story.
It is true, God alone knows his ways.

Om Shanti ...
Title: Re: Bhagawan on 'Who am I' enquiry
Post by: Nagaraj on April 04, 2009, 11:38:20 PM
Dear Udai,

:) Its really very inspiring to read your experiences. Pure Consciousness - I am reminded about the Mahavakya - Prajnanam Brahma - "Consciousness is Brahman" which appears in the Aitareya Upanishad of the Rig Veda.