The Forum dedicated to Arunachala and Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi

Ramana Maharshi => The teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi => Topic started by: Japo on December 28, 2009, 02:14:48 AM

Title: Question about self-enquiry
Post by: Japo on December 28, 2009, 02:14:48 AM
Hello everyone!
In Wikipedia's article on self-enquiry it says:

Practice

"Beginners in self-enquiry were advised by Sri Ramana to put their attention on the inner feeling of ‘I’ and to hold that feeling as long as possible. They would be told that if their attention was distracted by other thoughts they should revert to awareness of the ‘I’-thought whenever they became aware that their attention had wandered. He suggested various aids to assist this process- one could ask oneself ‘Who am I?’ or ‘Where does this I come from?’- but the ultimate aim was to be continuously aware of the ‘I’ which assumes that it is responsible for all the activities of the body and the mind."


So, is one supposed to just repeat the word "I" in his/her mind in the beginning, and only after the inner feeling of I comes more clearly?


Thanks!
Title: Re: Question about self-enquiry
Post by: Graham on December 28, 2009, 03:38:39 AM
First and foremost Bhagavan stated that self-enquiry should be performed with the same intensity as that of a drowning man struggling for air, only then can it succeed.

Self-enquiry is holding on to the awareness of being that ‘you already are’. There is only one awareness, the one who is reading this article is the ego and the Self all in one, but the ego is the apparition covering the pure Self and that has to die to the real Self in order that self-realisation can take place. This is a mystery at first, but once accomplished it is very clearly understood.

Bhagavan often made the comparison of the actor in a Play - during the Play the actor assumes a completely different role, yet retains his true nature and combines the two. A good actor truly believes he is the role that he is playing, but after it is finished he discards the role and reverts to his original nature. In our case we have forgotten who we are and believe that our role is the Reality. Just as the actor is not two Beings, not two ‘I’s’, nor are we two ‘I’s’. It really is that simple.

However, our ingrained belief that the role we play is in fact the Reality is so strong, that it requires intense and prolonged effort to remove it.

To do this you must concentrate totally upon the awareness of ‘you’, without thought of any kind, or try to catch the ‘I-thought’ as it rises from within and then hold on to that firmly to the exclusion of all else.

The ‘I’ thought that you have to catch is a tangible and distinct force that rises from within the apparition created by the ego. It is this force that sustains the ego and gives it life, just as the actor gives life to his part in the play through his own personality. There is however an acute difference. The pure ‘I’ thought is devoid of personality as we normally understand it – it just IS.

This process requires intense, unbroken concentration, and in the majority of cases takes many years of hard effort and should be carried out, if possible, with eyes open. This does not involve physical or emotional strain of any kind, and strain should always be avoided.

When successful, awareness withdraws from the body into the crown of the head – this is usually very fast and experienced as receding from the feet upwards. At this point the breath becomes automatically controlled separate from that awareness of ‘being’ and it might even stop altogether. Even in this minor stage there is no concern whether the breath stops or not, because the body is already perceived as a heavy, cold and totally lifeless thing, not ‘you’, but something alien to you, a burden that you do not want. The awareness focussed in the crown of the head is however pristine in clarity and thought is suspended. This expansion of consciousness though devoid of bodily attachment is still the dark ego/mind complex.

At this point and in all of the following experiences the attention should be carefully, but powerfully turned towards the witness of all of this, with an intense thought-free longing to know who it is that sees it.

That in a nutshell is the process of Self-enquiry.
Title: Re: Question about self-enquiry
Post by: Japo on December 29, 2009, 04:46:09 PM
Thank you very much for making this clearer. But I have few other questions as well.

Quote
First and foremost Bhagavan stated that self-enquiry should be performed with the same intensity as that of a drowning man struggling for air, only then can it succeed. --

This process requires intense, unbroken concentration, and in the majority of cases takes many years of hard effort and should be carried out, if possible, with eyes open. This does not involve physical or emotional strain of any kind, and strain should always be avoided.

So can I practice self enquiry all the time? Nisargadatta Maharaj said:

"I gave my heart and soul, my entire attention and the whole of my spare time (I had to work to keep my family alive) . As a result of faithand earnest application, I realized my self (‘swarupa’) within threeyears"


So is it difficult to practice self enquiry while working or studying? Because when we work or study we have give more atenttion to outside world. And would you recommend self enquiry to be done as silent sitting (to give for example 45minutes to nothing but sitting and watching this feeling of I-am-ness)?

Quote
To do this you must concentrate totally upon the awareness of ‘you’, without thought of any kind, or try to catch the ‘I-thought’ as it rises from within and then hold on to that firmly to the exclusion of all else.
But this isn't literally a thought (like "I am this") but a feeling. Am I right?


Edit: And how should I exactly make this effort in self-enquiry? If I just let go of thoughts. doesn't awareness naturally arise from there?
Title: Re: Question about self-enquiry
Post by: nonduel on December 29, 2009, 08:17:21 PM
Dear Japo,

One of the best book to learn and understand Self-Enquiry as taught by Sri Ramana is the book: "The Path of Sri Ramana" Part one by Sri Sadhu Om.

Love
Title: Re: Question about self-enquiry
Post by: Japo on December 30, 2009, 04:17:39 AM
Okay thank you very much :)

Quote
Imagine you are now going to play the role of a employee.
You are not the employee... just playing the role... like in a drama.

Initially one has to make a little effort not to forget that one is the one playing the role and not the role itself.

But with little practice ... one shall see that its very easy ... just play a role. As one plays in a stage drama ! not much different.

So too. know you are self and play as many roles as you want.

But there shouldn't be any idea of attainment of realization involved, am i right? And one more thing, should the question "Who am I" be asked every time I find that I find myself wondering in thoughts?
Title: Re: Question about self-enquiry
Post by: paul on December 30, 2009, 04:34:11 AM
Dear Japo, I have found extracts from the following books helpful:

a) Who Am I ? (Nan Yar ?)
The Teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi.

9. What is the path of inquiry for understanding the nature of the mind?

That which rises as ‘I’ in this body is the mind. If one inquires as to where in the body the thought ‘I’ rises first, one would discover that it rises in the heart. That is the place of the mind’s origin. Even if one thinks constantly ‘I’ ‘I’, one will be led to that place. Of all the thoughts that arise in the mind, the ‘I’ thought is the first. It is only after the rise of this that the other thoughts arise. It is after the appearance of the first personal pronoun that the second and third personal pronoun appear; without the first personal pronoun there will not be the second and third.

b) Ramana Maharshi: His Life
A biography by Gabriele Ebert

An extract taken from pages 128 and 129

Sometimes devotees would not ask their questions orally, preferring  to write them down on a slip of paper. Once a simple woman had written to him, “I am not learned in the Scriptures and I find the method of Self-enquiry too hard for me. I am a woman with seven children and a lot of household cares, and it leaves me little time for meditation. I request Bhagavan to give me some simpler and easier method.” Sri Ramana gave her the following practical advice, “No learning or knowledge of Scriptures is necessary to know the Self, as no man requires a mirror to see himself. All knowledge is required only to be given up eventually as not-Self. Nor is household work or cares with children necessarily an obstacle. If you can do nothing more, at least continue saying ‘I,I’ to yourself mentally all the time, as advised in ‘Who am I?’, whatever work you may be doing and whether you are sitting, standing or walking. ‘I’ is the name of God. It is the first and greatest of all mantras. Even OM is second to it.”


Recently I have lost my way with Self-enquiry but some of the recent posts have got me back on track with it. One of them from Graham about   Depression, despair and hopelessness in sadhana:   

The only advice I can give is 'never lose hope and never give in to despair in your efforts to Realize the Self. Meditate when sattva is predominant and when rajas and tamas are predominant, turn to prayer until they pass'.

Above all else, have faith in God and in yourself and it will all come right in the end. Nothing is more certain than that.

The other one was by Amiatall in the post on The Essence and Practise by Sadhu Om:

Know that a vichari (a person practicing Self-inquiry) who makes effort with the liking always to turn inwards to see the “I” with the inner eye, will not be able to experience the pure Self-consciousness merely by the process of sitting ma-jestically with closed eyes for a long period of time at one stretch.

If at one single attempt you strive persis-tently for long hours without limit,
to pull Selfwards and restrain the running mind without leaving your hold on Self-attention, you will find that you are not able to maintain a steady intensity of Self-attention. Therefore, after making one attempt for a few minutes, relax your effort for a while, and then again make a fresh attempt with renewed effort.

For me Self- enquiry is best done while out walking with our dog. On occasions there are not too many distractions and so I have tried to keep Self-enquiry  going for long periods very unsuccessfully with many many distractions but this one piece of advice trying it for many short periods allows me to complete each one without too many distractions.

This is something I will now try with renewed vigour
Paul.


Title: Re: Question about self-enquiry
Post by: Nagaraj on December 30, 2009, 12:46:29 PM
Dear I,

“If the enquiry, ‘Who am I?’ were a mere mental questioning, it would not be of much value,” observes the Maharshi; “The very purpose of self enquiry is to focus the entire mind at its source.” The source of the psychosis “I” (aham-vritti) is the Self. In enquiry what we should do is we must trace the psychosis to its root, instead of running along with it only to get lost in the welter of external objects. The reason why we should start from the ahamvritti is obvious. We must begin with that with which we are familiar. The aham-vritti, or what the Maharshi calls, “I-am”-ness is the one infallible clue in our quest after the Self. No other clue can lead us direct to Self-realization. The Maharshi explains the object of this method in these words: “The search for the Source of the aham-vritti is not merely the search for the basis of one of the forms of the ego but for the very Source itself from which arises the “Iam”-ness. In other words, the quest for and the realization of the Source of the ego in the form of aham-vritti necessarily implies the transcendence of the ego in every one of its possible forms.” The method of Self-enquiry is, no doubt, not an easy one. But there is no other means to Self-realization; and every other sadhana must culminate in Atma-vichara.

One potent mode of Self-enquiry which is advocated by the Maharshi and which is extensively taught in the Upanishads is to analyse the three states of experience, viz., waking, dream and sleep.

The net result of such an enquiry is that while the states and their contents change and pass, the Self remains constant and unchanging. It is selfluminous
and shines by itself. In dream there is not the function of the external sense-organs; yet the Self is. In sleep even the mind goes to rest; but the Self stands as the sole witness of the absence of objects there. In order to teach that the Self is not to be confused with the three changing states, it is referred to as Turiya.

“Truly speaking,” says the Maharshi, “pure Consciousness is indivisible, it is without parts. It has no form and shape, no ‘within’ and ‘without’. There is no ‘right’ nor ‘left’ for it. Pure consciousness, which is the Heart, includes all; and nothing is outside or apart from it. That is the ultimate Truth.”

Self-realisation, however, is not a matter of mere theoretical conviction. It is, no doubt, true that even he who is intellectually dissatisfied with the pluralistic view is far superior to those who have not received that awakening. But the Wisdom that liberates is intuitive, and makes us aware of our true nature in such a way that there is no return to ignorance and unwisdom. In the final experience there is no fragmentation of consciousness, nor is integration of Bliss. There one is the Self, which is Existence-Knowledge-Happiness. It is not a state which is to be newly acquired. It is already there. It has always been there. All that is necessary is to get rid of the delusion “I have not realised.” The lid of ignorance that covers the Truth should be lifted. When the darkness of avidya is dispelled, the self-luminous Intelligence is realised to be the ever-shining light and the sole reality.

It is not possible to realise the Self, if there is attachment to the objects of sense. Hence all our Scriptures are unanimous in advocating the need for dispassion or vairagya. Not by works, nor by progeny nor wealth, but by renunciation alone is immortality to be gained. But true renunciation does not consist in external symbols such as sack-cloth and ashes. The outer marks have no value if there is not dispassion within. The following advice was given by the Maharshi to a grihastha who was tormented by the thought that his was a despicable position unhelpful to spiritual advancement; “Why do you think you are a grihastha? Similar thoughts that you are a sannyasin will haunt you, even if you go out as a sannyasin. Whether you continue in the household or renounce it and go to the forest, your mind haunts you. The ego is the source of thought. It creates the body and the world, and it makes you think of being a grihastha. If you renounce, it will only substitute the thought of sannyasa for that of grihastha and the environment of the forest for that of the household. But the mental obstacles are always there for you. They even increase greatly in the new surroundings. It is no help to change the environment. The obstacle is the mind: it must be got over whether in the home or in the forest.” These words, however, should be interpreted with great care. They were given in an answer to a grihastha who was trying to assess the relative value of his own asrama and sannyasa. If he was really keen on renunciation, he would not have argued or hesitated. One who feels the burning heat of a red-hot iron rod does not take even the space of a moment to let go his hold of it. Final sannyasa comes as the fruit of a long endeavour in spiritual culture. Hence what must be developed in order to deserve it is the inner spirit of detachment. True vairagya must spring from within.

Swami Rajeswarananda & Dr TMP Mahadevan

Salutations to Sri Ramana
Title: Re: Question about self-enquiry
Post by: Nagaraj on December 30, 2009, 01:51:47 PM
Dear I,

What the Guru does is first explains the disciple about the existence of such exalted (state), the student begins only by intellectually understanding That (state). Its like, the teacher says there is a place called Bombay to the student, and the student, though, he actually would never have visited that place but at the same time, the student cannot possibly deny the existence of a place called Bombay. Its the same thing, whether one has seen the moon or not, no one can deny the existence of moon.

Like the analogy of Shankara in Satasloki, The student who wishes to become verily like his Guru, the Guru (Sculpter) first teaches the art to the student and makes the statue which is not really there, and then makes the statue and makes the student a Guru himself.

Salutations to Sri Ramana

Title: Re: Question about self-enquiry
Post by: Nagaraj on December 30, 2009, 02:25:39 PM
Dear I,

Yes, thats true. Eventually, he has to see it himself, and will see that He - Itself is That Self - Mumbai.

Salutations to Sri Ramana
Title: Re: Question about self-enquiry
Post by: Subramanian.R on January 01, 2010, 08:36:51 PM
As paul rightly observed the Who am I? sums up everything.
The Path of Ramana by Sri Sadhu Om is a carefully written
detailed commentary. 

Arunachala Siva.
Title: Re: Question about self-enquiry
Post by: nonduel on January 03, 2010, 11:37:18 PM
Dear All,

A few questions on Self-Enquiry:

Does it has to be done in, scheduled or not, sitting session in addition to all activities?
Eyes open or closed?
Has Sri Ramana anwered these?

Love
Title: Re: Question about self-enquiry
Post by: Subramanian.R on January 04, 2010, 06:43:28 AM
Dear nonduel,

1. Inititally some scheduled time should be allotted.  Preferably
at night, when the world around is quiet.  This scheduled time
should be increased.

2. In due course, it becomes uninterrupted throughout the day,
even during work and in work-stations.

There are many conversations in "Talks" and "Day By Day" and "Letters from Sri Ramanasramam" and "Maharshi's Gospel", covering these aspects.

3.  He has told Annamalai Swami (vide Sri Ramana Ninaivugal -
Tamil by Annamalai Swami) once:  "Opening the eyes and doing
self enquiry or meditation is better in the beginning.  Closing the
eyes would create rush of unwanted thoughts in larger measure.
It is like throwing a ball at a wall, standing very close to that wall.
The ball will rebound with higher speed to hit you.  If you throw
a ball at a wall from a distance, the rebounding ball will not come
speedily."

Arunachala Siva.
Title: Re: Question about self-enquiry
Post by: Subramanian.R on January 04, 2010, 11:11:41 AM
Dear srkudai,

With open eyes, if one does meditation or self enquiry, only the
mind jumps out the five external senses, like eyes, ears, nose,
etc.,  It is a regular soccer game.

With closed eyes, the mind does free-for-all games, like Shaolin
Soccer or Rugby.

Arunachala Siva.
Title: Re: Question about self-enquiry
Post by: nonduel on January 04, 2010, 06:46:13 PM
Dear Subramanian-ji,

Yes I have come accross some of these references that you have pointed out. I remember Sri Ramana telling Annamalai Swamy to abide in the self all throughout the day when he was working hard at a building project, not just in sitting sessions. I try to abide the self (self-attention) uninterruptedly throughout the day, eyes open. Doing sitting sessions occasionally with eyes closed. Every night, I always lie in bed for sleep abiding in the self, which often delays my falling asleep.

I was just wondering if Bhagavan ever directly pointed out that sitting sessions with eyes closed are better or that neither one or the other is "better".

I have came accross many accounts where Self-Realisation occured unexpectedly, that is, not in sitting sessions, not even thinking about it.

Love


Dear nonduel,

1. Inititally some scheduled time should be allotted.  Preferably
at night, when the world around is quiet.  This scheduled time
should be increased.

2. In due course, it becomes uninterrupted throughout the day,
even during work and in work-stations.

There are many conversations in "Talks" and "Day By Day" and "Letters from Sri Ramanasramam" and "Maharshi's Gospel", covering these aspects.

3.  He has told Annamalai Swami (vide Sri Ramana Ninaivugal -
Tamil by Annamalai Swami) once:  "Opening the eyes and doing
self enquiry or meditation is better in the beginning.  Closing the
eyes would create rush of unwanted thoughts in larger measure.
It is like throwing a ball at a wall, standing very close to that wall.
The ball will rebound with higher speed to hit you.  If you throw
a ball at a wall from a distance, the rebounding ball will not come
speedily."

Arunachala Siva.
Title: Re: Question about self-enquiry
Post by: Japo on January 04, 2010, 10:03:11 PM
Thank you again for helpful replies and comments :) reading them make tensions of my mind dissapear.


In Nan Yar ""Who am I" Bhagavan says:
"If other thoughts arise, one should, without attempting to complete them, enquire, 'To whom did they occur?' What does it matter if ever so many thoughts arise? At the very moment that each thought rises, if one vigilantly enquires 'To whom did this appear?' it will be known 'To me'. If one then enquires 'Who am I?' the mind will turn back to its source and the thought that had arisen will also subside."


Do you yourself say to yourself this ("to whom did this thought occur?") when mind wonders. Or is this just meant to be seen?
Title: Re: Question about self-enquiry
Post by: nonduel on January 05, 2010, 12:24:55 AM
Dear Japo,

Who Am I? To whom? from whence?   All of this only means to keep the attention on the self. The feeling "I". Thus when a thought surges, you return your attention on "I".

One of the best book explaining this in detail, and in terms very easy to understand, is Sri Sadhu Om's "The Path of Sri Ramana" part one. All your questions and more will be clearly answered.

It is available as an e-book for free on Michael James web site:  http://www.happinessofbeing.com/path_ramana.html#part_one
At the bottom of the page you will find the link for downloading it.

Quote from Michael James web page mentionned above:
In the seventh chapter, ‘Self-Enquiry’, Sri Sadhu Om explains in great detail the correct meaning of the term atma-vichara – self-enquiry or self-investigation. That is, in essence he explains that atma-vichara is the simple practice of self-attention or self-scrutiny – focusing our attention keenly and exclusively upon our own essential self-conscious being, ‘I am’.

Hope this is helpful.

Love
Title: Re: Question about self-enquiry
Post by: amiatall on January 05, 2010, 12:30:19 AM
Thank you again for helpful replies and comments :) reading them make tensions of my mind dissapear.


In Nan Yar ""Who am I" Bhagavan says:
"If other thoughts arise, one should, without attempting to complete them, enquire, 'To whom did they occur?' What does it matter if ever so many thoughts arise? At the very moment that each thought rises, if one vigilantly enquires 'To whom did this appear?' it will be known 'To me'. If one then enquires 'Who am I?' the mind will turn back to its source and the thought that had arisen will also subside."


Do you yourself say to yourself this ("to whom did this thought occur?") when mind wonders. Or is this just meant to be seen?

No. In the beginning if it is hard for you to just hold your attention then verbalization can help but that eventually must be dropped and will drop by itself because you are the Self and what is not the Self will drop by itself, that's all, you just remain still.
Merely see to whom these thoughts and 'world' arises, watch it, watch the watcher, see the seer.

Some good saying can be remembered:
"The ego controls all thinking."
"The ego creates arguments against the Direct Path as a preservation strategy."
"If, instead of looking outward at objects,
you observe that looking,
all things now shine as I, the seer.
Perception of objects is mere illusion. "

Title: Re: Question about self-enquiry
Post by: nonduel on January 05, 2010, 12:32:17 AM
Dear Skrudai-ji,

I really like your posts and appreciate your directness and to the core of the teaching. I personally feel a lot of humour in them and I am glad you are on this forum LOL!!!

Like this one...no beating around the bush, no hesitations......how does it matter??...its the mind that is jumping!....essentially I Am jumping   ;D ::)

Love :-*



Dear Subramanian,
             :)
With closed eyes mind projects dream world!
how does it matter ?

Eyes themselves are in mind! so whether they are open or closed ... its the mind that is jumping!

The problem is not even that the mind is jumping ... its that "my mind" is jumping!
Essentially ... "I am jumping!" !

Love!
Silence
Title: Re: Question about self-enquiry
Post by: Japo on January 05, 2010, 08:42:02 PM
thanks, this practice already felt easier, but I'm still wondering how important it is to actually do the enquiry "Who am I" verbally. One guy said that if we don't ask this question often, there may be only peace but not insight and realization. I doubt it... isn't the "goal" ultimately just being ourselves?
Title: Re: Question about self-enquiry
Post by: nonduel on January 05, 2010, 09:24:42 PM
Dear Japo,

Enquiry isn't repeating like a "parrot" Who Am I? Enquiry is "returning" your attention to yourself, "I". Or to the "I Am" of Sri Nisargadatta. Because repeating is using the mind, while Realisation is destroying the mind...See?

You can use the question once if it helps you "return" to Self-Attention and then abide in that beingness. Otherwise you will relentlessly repeat "To Whom do these thoughts arrise?" and never abide in the self, Self-Attention. Because thoughts continously surge and the "need" to repeat the question will never cease.

But if you abide in the self, you will notice that thoughts are less. It will become automatic that when a thought appears you will return to Self-Attention without the need of these questions.

Permit me to repeat again to read Sri Sadhu Om's book I mention previously.

Hope this is helpful.

Love


thanks, this practice already felt easier, but I'm still wondering how important it is to actually do the enquiry "Who am I" verbally. One guy said that if we don't ask this question often, there may be only peace but not insight and realization. I doubt it... isn't the "goal" ultimately just being ourselves?
Title: Re: Question about self-enquiry
Post by: Japo on January 05, 2010, 11:52:08 PM
thank you nonduel, I'm currently reading "I Am That" and "Be as You Are" but I'll check it out later. :)
Title: Re: Question about self-enquiry
Post by: nonduel on January 06, 2010, 01:22:46 AM
Dear japo,

You will see in reading I AM THAT that Sri Nisargadatta comments that it seems "crude" and too simple...but it works.

Love
Title: Re: Question about self-enquiry
Post by: viswanathan on January 06, 2010, 02:39:59 AM
Dear Devotees
      With regard to  our doubts whether  effort  is  required for self enquiry and if so how long, I quote as under( in italics) from Mr.Arthur Osborne’s book, "The Teachings of Bhagavan Ramana Maharishi’s In His  Own Words" ,the answer given by Bhagavan on the question on Choiceless Awareness which was advocated by Sri.J.Krishnamurthi

A young man from Colombo, Ceylon, said to Bhagavan:
J. Krishnamurthi teaches the method of effortless and choiceless
awareness as distinct from that of deliberate concentration.
Would Sri Bhagavan be pleased to explain how best to practise
meditation and what form the object of meditation should take?

B.: Effortless and choiceless awareness is our real nature. If we
can attain that state and abide in it, that is all right. But one cannot
reach it without effort, the effort of deliberate meditation. All the
age-old vasanas (inherent tendencies) turn the mind outwards to
external objects. All such thoughts have to be given up and the
mind turned inwards and that, for most people, requires effort. Of
course, every teacher and every book tells the aspirant to keep
quiet, but it is not easy to do so. That is why all this effort is necessary.
Even if we find somebody who has achieved this supreme state of
stillness, you may take it that the necessary effort had already been
made in a previous life. So effortless and choiceless awareness is
attained only after deliberate meditation. That meditation can take
whatever form most appeals to you. See what helps you to keep
out all other thoughts and adopt that for your meditation.

In this connection Bhagavan quoted some verses from the
great Tamil poet and saint, Thayumanavar, the gist of which is
as follows: Bliss will ensue if you keep still, but however much
you tell your mind this truth, it will not keep still. It is the
mind that tells the mind to be still in order for it to attain bliss,
but it will not do it. Though all the scriptures have said it and
though we hear it daily from the great ones and even from our
Guru, we are never quiet but stray into the world of Maya
(illusion) and sense objects. That is why conscious, deliberate
effort is needed to attain that effortless state of stillness.1
Title: Re: Question about self-enquiry
Post by: Subramanian.R on January 06, 2010, 11:50:01 AM
I agree more with Bhagavan Ramana (as quoted by Arthur Osborne)
and Sri Sadhu Om, than Nisargadatta Maharaj and J.Krishnamurti.

Effort is necessary not merely for keeping the thoughts away
but also to make the inbuilt vasanas dry up.  This is reflected
in Bhagavan Ramana's Sri Arunachala Ashtakam, Verse 5, "by
rubbing the mind with mind"

Bhagavan Ramana says in Vichara Sangraham, in answer to Gambhiram Seshayyar's question:

#
After the mind has been made to stay in the Self, which is its
deity, and has been rendered indifferent to empirical matters
because it does not stray away from the Self, how can the mind
think as mentioned above?  (above = Seshayyar's question:
When there is activity in regard to works, we are neither the agents
of those works not their enjoyers.  The activity is of the three instrumetns (i.e the mind, speech, and body). Could we remain
unattached thinking thus?)

#

Do not such thoughts constitute bondage?  When such thoughts
arise due to residual impressions (Vasanas), one should restrain
the mind from flowing that way, endeavour to retain it in the Self-
state, and make it indifferent to empirical matters.  One should not
give room in the mind for such thoughts as : "Is this good? Or
is that good? Can this be done? Or, can that be done?"  One
should be vigilant even before such thoughts arise and make the
mind stay in its native state.  If any little room is given such a
disturbed mind will do harm to us while posing as our friend.  Like
the foe appearing to be a friend, it will topple us down.  Is it        not because one forgets one's Self, that such thoughts arise, and cause more and more evil?

#

While it is true, that to think through discrimination, 'I do not do
anything', 'all actions are performed by the instruments', is a means
to prevent the mind from flowing along thought-vasanas, does it
not follow that only if the mind flows along thought-vasanas that
it must be restrained through discrimination as stated before?

#

Can the mind that remains in the Self-state think as 'I' and as 'I
behave empirically thus and thus'?  In all manner of ways possible,
one should ENDEAVOUR gradually not to forget one's true Self
that is God.  If that is accomplished, all will be accomplished.
The mind should not be directed to any other matter.  Even though
one may perform, like a mad person, the actions are all the result
of Prarabdha Karma, one should retain the mind in the Self-state
without letting the thought 'I do' arise.  Have not countless bhaktas performed their numerous empirical functions with an attitude of
indifference?

Arunachala Siva.   
 
Title: Re: Question about self-enquiry
Post by: Subramanian.R on January 06, 2010, 12:51:40 PM
Again Bhagavan Ramana answers this point in Upadesa Manjari,
as told to Natananda.  In Chapter II - on Abhyasa, He says like this:

Natananda:  Is the state of 'being still' a state involving effort or
effortless?

Bhagavan:  It is not an effortless state of indolence.  All mundane
activities which are ordinarily called effort, are performed with the
aid of a portion of the mind and with frequent breaks.  But the act
of communion withthe Self (Atma Vyavahara) or remaining still
inwardly is an intense activity which is performed with the entire
mind and without break.

Maya (delusion or ignorance) which cannot be destroyed by any other act,is completely destroyed by this intense actiivity which is called
Silence (Mauna).

Arunachala Siva.   
Title: Re: Question about self-enquiry
Post by: amiatall on January 06, 2010, 07:45:28 PM
Lets remember the Garlands (I can't help posting it... it is beautiful.):

I shall assert with certainty,
that when the mind as thoughts has ceased to function,
it remains as a temple of Awareness-Bliss,
hidden till then behind the veil of time.

True natural Awareness, which does not go after alien objects, is the Heart.
Since actionless Awareness shines as real Being,
its joy consists in concentration on itself.

The method of Self-inquiry is:
to turn the outward-going mind back to its source,
the Heart, the Self-Awareness, and fix it forever there,
preventing the rising of the empty “I”.

!!!Even in this worldly life,
one’s labors bear no fruit without abundant faith.
Hence, till one merges in the boundless supreme bliss,
one’s spiritual practice should never slacken. !!!

None can confront and overcome the mind.
Ignore it, then, as something false and unreal.
Know the Self-Awareness as the real ground and stand firm rooted in it.
Then the mind’s movements will gradually subside.

The ego image moves reflected in the mind’s waves.
How to stop this movement, how to regain the state of stillness?
Don’t observe these movements, seek the Self instead.
It is wisdom to gain and abide in silence.

The one true light there is, is pure Awareness.
Other kinds of knowledge clinging to it, and claiming to be real,
are ego-born conceptual clouds.
To trust them is sheer foolishness.

What if one knows, the subtle secret, of manifold inscrutable mysteries?
Until one knows the Awareness which reveals all other knowledge,
does one know the Truth?




Title: Re: Question about self-enquiry
Post by: Subramanian.R on January 07, 2010, 02:10:12 PM
Dear amiatall,

Very true.  Sri Sankara says:  "O Siva, you are a hunter of animals.
Why don't you keep this monkey of mind, at your feet?  I shall
be free from its nuisances and be one with you."  (Sri Sivananda
Lahari.)

Arunachala Siva.
Title: Re: Question about self-enquiry
Post by: Japo on February 21, 2010, 07:54:11 PM
Hello again. I read a quote from Nisargadatta Maharaj in which he advices a seeker to think about his teachings. So can thinking actually help in the path to Self-Realization? Didn't Sri Bhagavan say that all thinking comes from the ego??
Title: Re: Question about self-enquiry
Post by: Sadhak on February 21, 2010, 08:50:36 PM
Dear Japo and friends,

Yes thinking helps the beginner. How can one meditate or perform japa without thinking? How is any vichara possible? In the same vein I can understand where Maharaj is coming from. He seems to indicate vichara.

If we are going to look at the teachings of jnanis, we need to study them in some detail like we read Bhagawan. As for Krishnamurti, he used the word 'work at it' instead of the word effort. It involves intense vichara. Some people erroneously concluded that he was saying liberation is possible by doing nothing (like the apple falling on newton's head while he was asleep!). And some have become gurus teaching people how to do nothing by effortless meditation!  Krishnamurti himself said, 'the word is not the thing'. Using the Zen analogy, teachings of jnanis are like fingers pointing to the moon. Look at the moon, don't quarrel over the fingers.
Title: Re: Question about self-enquiry
Post by: Sadhak on February 22, 2010, 12:02:33 AM
Quote
what is there to do, or to think, or to feel
what is there to realize
who is there to realize
there is only one conciousness


So say deluded minds also.    ;D
Title: Re: Question about self-enquiry
Post by: Sadhak on February 22, 2010, 03:01:19 AM
Glad you found some humor.

Step out of the ashram gates and you will run into many preaching this as gurus. The fee of course must be paid to them, not to the one consciousness. ;D



Title: Re: Question about self-enquiry
Post by: Subramanian.R on February 22, 2010, 10:43:34 AM
Gurus are aplenty outside the Asramam gates.  But most of them
are like fake CDs, which have attractive covers and pirated books
which contain a nice wrapper but a thousand printing mistakes inside.

Arunachala Siva.
Title: Re: Question about self-enquiry
Post by: Japo on February 22, 2010, 03:53:46 PM
Subramanian, I would like to get an answer from you to my question. Can thinking about reality or teachings be a helpful method in the path ot Self-Realization? Didn't Bhagavan say to get rid of all thinking?
Title: Re: Question about self-enquiry
Post by: Subramanian.R on February 23, 2010, 10:19:50 AM
Dear Japo,

Bhagavan Ramana did not read anything, excepting Periya Puranam,
a little of Bible as a school lesson and a few songs of Tayumanavar.
His was a unique example, where Brahmanhood was attained without
knowing the word Brahman.  But at the same time, He did not want
to oversimplify the matter for all.  He said in Who am I?  - Since all
books say that mano-nigraha, controlling of mind or killing of thoughts
as the final Truth, one should not read books to an unlimited extent.
He thus permitted reading to some extent.  I have started this process
of unlearning.  I no more read all sorts of books.  JK, UGK, Echkart
Tolle and others have gone to the attic in my flat.  I confine myself
prayers for about two hours, mostly Tamil prayer songs and to the
daily newspaper and those of Sankara and Bhagavan. Even this,
I am sure would stop one day, and I shall remain Summa.
 
Again, He said that abiding in thoughtlessness would take one to
attainment.  But He knew that for everyone, this is not possible.
Hence, He said - Reduce the thoughts.  Observe the trice second,
between two thoughts.  Take one mantra or a word, to quell the
other thoughts.  He said Siva, Siva to Muruganar, Annamalai Swami and to a unknown Harijan.  This one thought will quell the other thoughts.  He gave me Arunachala Siva.  This works very well in my case.  This is more sublime than the plethora of thoughts about the objective world.  This takes you, albeit temporarily, to the state of killing of the mind or if you want to use a different phrase, the state of thoughtlessness.

In a thoughtless state,  the Suddha Manas or Pure mind or the Self takes over the works in one's day to day life. 

Arunachala Siva.           
Title: Re: Question about self-enquiry
Post by: amiatall on February 23, 2010, 08:54:56 PM
Japo, how can you think about reality? Try and tell me if you succeeded, if not... then it is your answer.

Title: Re: Question about self-enquiry
Post by: Japo on February 24, 2010, 12:20:00 AM
Quote
Japo, how can you think about reality? Try and tell me if you succeeded, if not... then it is your answer.
I'm still trying to figure it out  :P


And thank you very much Subramanian  :)

Quote
He gave me Arunachala Siva.  This works very well in my case.  
Wow, did you meet Sri Bhagavan?! Have you written about this meeting in the forum?
Title: Re: Question about self-enquiry
Post by: Subramanian.R on February 24, 2010, 10:59:25 AM
I have not seen Bhagavan in body, since I was born after He attained
Maha Nirvana.  Should one get mantra only when He comes with
body?  How did Walter Kiers work out his realization?  How
did Swami Ramanagiri work out his deliverance?  They were
guided in their own countries and for Swami Ramanagiri, He directed
him from Almora to Tiruvanmiyur, (near Chennai) and from there
to T'malai and He further asked him to go to a village near Madurai,
I think, it is Vadipatti.  His Samadhi is there in Vadipatti.

There are Westerners who came to T'malai after Maha Samadhi and
are still staying there.  E.g. Lucy Ma's daughter.

Arunachala Siva. 

       
Title: Re: Question about self-enquiry
Post by: Subramanian.R on February 26, 2010, 11:07:30 AM
The outside Guru pushes you inside.  The Guru inside is pulling you
back from within. 

Arunachala Siva.
Title: Re: Question about self-enquiry
Post by: Japo on March 29, 2010, 12:17:34 AM
Out of topic question, but I remeber Bhagavan once advising meditator to look at the tip of the nose. Why is this and how long should one concentrate on it?
Title: Re: Question about self-enquiry
Post by: Subramanian.R on March 29, 2010, 07:19:34 AM
It is only for stilling the mind.  The eyes looking at the tip of the
nose cannot look at anything else. And there will be no thoughts.
Hence mind is said to be stilled.  It is not a Yoga practice.

Arunachala Siva. 
Title: Re: Question about self-enquiry
Post by: Japo on May 29, 2010, 11:59:07 PM
In the book 'Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi Volume III', page 480, a person asks: "Am I to think “Who am I”?
And Sri Bhagavan replies: "You have known that the ‘I-thought’ springs forth. Hold the ‘Ithought’
and find its moola (source)".


How can we know whether the person asking meant to ask: "Am I to think: "Who am I?" or "Am I to think who am I?" (i.e verbally thinking about himself)? Does the original recording of this conversation still exist?