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Messages - eranilkumarsinha

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Dear devotees, what follows is wonderful delineation of Sri Bhagwan's Path of the Self-enquiry or the Atma-vichara by His Self-realized, Direct Disciple, Sri Robert Adams. Recently I read the book 'Silence of the Heart' and was deeply moved to see the beauty and profundity with which he has dealt with the Path which came direct from the state of his Realization, but nevertheless, is same as Sri Bhagwan's Teaching. Please go through it, for it has the power to snap the mind's resistance to awakening and enable to go all the way till the very end. 

Sri Robert Adams:

 To do affirmations, mantras, yoga exercises and so forth, will not awaken you. You start from the beginning. You simply admit to yourself that you exist. This is the truth. You do exist, don't you? So you say to yourself, "I exist. I know that for sure. I exist. I exist. That's all I know. I'm ignorant of everything else, but I do know that I exist, because here I am." And, as you keep saying this to yourself, "I exist," you begin to put more space between the "I" and "exist." "I...exist."

If you're doing this correctly, you'll soon find that "I" and "exist" are two separate words. In other words, you'll come to the conclusion that you exist as I. You'll have to ask yourself, ponder, "Who is this I that exists? What is I?" You never answer. It will come to you of its own accord. When you sleep and you awaken, you say, "I slept." When you dream you say, "I had a dream." And when you're awake, of course, you say, "I am awake." But that I is always there. You start to inquire within yourself, "What is this 'I' that exists at all times? It exists when I'm asleep, when I'm awake, when I dream. Who is this 'I'?" And now the inquiry starts. "Where does this 'I' come from? From whence cometh the 'I'?" You ask yourself. The answers are within yourself. And you keep asking yourself, over, and over, and over, and over again, "From whence cometh the 'I'? Where does the 'I' come from?" Or, again, "From whence cometh the 'I'? Where does the 'I' come from?" Or, "Who am I?" And you wait a little while, and you repeat the same question, "Where does the 'I' come from?"

While you're doing that, you follow the "I" deep, deep, within. You keep following the "I." You go deeper and deeper into the "I." Where does this 'I' come from? Who is this 'I'? Whatever answer comes to you is the wrong answer. Do not accept it, but do not deny it. You simply put it aside. And you continue with the Self-inquiry. "Who am I?" And you wait. And you ask again, "Who am I?" It is not a mantra. "Where did the 'I' come from? How did it get there? Who gave it birth? What is the source of the T?" You continue to abide in the "I."

As you continue this process, someday something will happen. To some people it comes like an explosion within where all your thoughts are wiped away. For you see, "I" is the first pronoun, and every thought that you have in the world, is attached to the "I." It is secondary. Think about that. Whatever you have to say about yourself has "I" in it. Everything in the world is about yourself. "I" am going to the movies. "I" am going bowling. "I" feel like crying. "I" feel terrible. "I" feel wonderful. "I" feel sick. "I" feel well. There's always an "I," "I," "I." What is this "I," and what is it all about? Everything is attached to the "I." Subsequently, when the "I" is wiped out, everything else is wiped out, and the troubles are over. All thoughts go with the "I."

Now, there's no answer to "Who am I?" When you get to the answer there will be emptiness, a void. You will be of the unborn. But it is not a void like you think. It is not emptiness like you think. For want of a better word you can call it Godliness, Nirvana, Sat-Chit-Ananda, Bliss Consciousness, Absolute Reality. It doesn't matter what name you give it. You will become That, and there will be no explanation. You will just become That, and you will feel a profound peace that you have never felt before. You will feel a bliss that is unqualified. You will try to explain it to yourself and to your friends, but you cannot. For the finite cannot comprehend the Infinite. There are no words.

That's the method you use. Self-inquiry. You follow the 'I' - thought to its source. How long does it take? It depends on yourself, how sincere you are, what else you're doing with your life. If you're using this like you do everything else?for instance if you say, Well today I'm going to practice the I-thought, then I'm going to go to a movie, then I'm going to go bowling, then I'm going to watch TV, then tomorrow I'll do the same thing," of course, what's going to happen in a case like that? Very little. But if you put your energy into it, and you practice it every chance you get, and you put this first in your life, you will see amazing results. Amazing results. But you have to put it first in your life.



"Awaken, be free, be yourself. You are the joy of the world. The light that shines in darkness. You are a blessing to the universe. Love yourself always. When you love yourself, you love God. Forget about the past. Never dwell on the past. Remember, time and space does not exist. If time and space does not exist, then there cannot be a past or a future. For the past and the future is about space and time. And if there is no time and space, there cannot possibly be a past or a future. So who thinks about the past? Who thinks about the future? Even to say the 'I' does, the I-thought does, this again is mostly for beginners. Self-inquiry is very important, don't get me wrong. But the day has to come when you go beyond Self-inquiry. When you just realize and understand that there is no I-thought at all. It never existed. Therefore you do not have to get rid of it. There is nothing to get rid of, because nothing exists. You are total freedom, right this instant, right this minute."
Sri Robert Adams

Dear Devotees,

Self-inquiry is very important because it is the Self-inquiry the earnest and sincere practice of which reveals beyond an iota of doubt that the ego-mind-body complex is illusory and non-existent and what exists is the Self alone. It is then only that one understands that indeed everything, everything is an emanation of our own mind. Then only one can absorb the Teaching that it is folly to try to improve ourselves and situations in the world because everything is preordained, and the only freedom we have is not to react to persons and situations, go within and realize the Self. This, Sri Bhagwan has enjoined, is the only freedom we have.  This strong conviction  is obtained through Inquiry.  And once the falsity of the ego mind begins to dawn, it becomes easy to just be, to be still, because then there is no need to understand as to how to just be. There is no longer any need to understand it intellectually, to analyse it, to ponder over it. One knows within, with perfect clarity, what it means to just be, or be still.   

When there is no time, no space, no past, no future, then what it is that remains? It is "I AM, NOW".

Dear devotees, what follows is one of the most wonderful reminiscences, written by one of Sri Bhagwan's devotees, that I have ever read. Please go through it, for it is indeed His Grace that we keep on receiving His Guidance and Blessing on the path through such profound conversations and reminiscences, which further strengthen our resolve to go till the very end. Besides, we also obtain spiritual nourishment through these which sustain us in our pursuit of the Goal.   

Reminiscences of Ramana Maharshi -- Mercedes de Acosta:

Mercedes de Acosta, a Spanish American who came to Sri Ramana in 1938, was a Hollywood socialite and scriptwriter for films. Long after meeting Sri Ramana she wrote the book Here Lies the Heart, which was dedicated to: Thou Spiritual Guide -Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi, the only completely egoless, world detached and pure being, I have ever known.
A Search in Secret India by Paul Brunton had a profound influence on me. In it I learned for the first time about Ramana Maharshi, a great Indian saint and sage. It was as though some emanation of this saint was projected out of the book to me. For days and nights after reading about him I could not think of anything else. I became, as it were, possessed by him. I could not even talk of anything else. Nothing could distract me from the idea that I must go and meet this saint. The whole direction of my life turned towards India. I felt that I would surely go there.
I had very little money, far too little to risk going to India, but something pushed me towards my goal. I went to the steamship company and booked myself one of the cheapest cabins on the S.S.Victoria.
In Madras I hired a car, and so anxious was I to reach the Ashram that I did not go to bed and traveled by night, arriving about seven O'clock in the morning. I was very tired as I got out of the car in a small square in front of the Arunachaleswara Temple. The driver explained he could take me no further. I turned towards the Ashram in the hot sun along the two miles of dust-covered road to reach the abode of the Sage. As I walked that distance, deeply within myself I knew that I was moving towards the greatest experience of my life.
When I first entered the hall, I perceived Bhagavan at once, sitting in the Buddha posture on his couch in the corner. At the same moment I felt overcome by some strong power in the hall, as if an invisible wind was pushing violently against me. For a moment I felt dizzy. Then I recovered myself. To my great surprise I suddenly heard an American voice calling out to me, "Hello, come in." It was the voice of an American named Guy Hague, who had already been with the Maharshi for a year. He came towards me, took my hand, leading me to a place beside him. I was able to look around the hall, but my gaze was drawn to Bhagavan, who was sitting absolutely straight looking directly in front of him.
His eyes did not blink or move. Because they seemed so full of light I had the impression they were grey. I learned later that they were brown, although there have been various opinions as to the colour of his eyes. His body was naked except for a loincloth. As he sat there he seemed like a statue, and yet something extraordinary emanated from him. I had a feeling that on some invisible level I was receiving spiritual shocks from him, although his gaze was not directed towards me. He did not seem to be looking at anything, and yet I felt he could see and was conscious of the whole world. Hague whispered, "Bhagavan is in samadhi."
After I had been sitting for sometime, Hague suggested that I go and sit near the Maharshi. He said, "You can never tell when Bhagavan will come out of samadhi. When he does, I am sure he will be pleased to see you."
I moved near Bhagavan, sitting at his feet and facing him. Not long after this Bhagavan opened his eyes. He moved his head and looked directly down at me, his eyes looking into mine. It would be impossible to describe that moment and I am not going to attempt it. I can only say that at that time I felt my inner being raised to a new level -- as if, suddenly, my state of consciousness was lifted to a much higher degree. Perhaps in that split second I was no longer my human self but the Self. Then Bhagavan smiled at me. It seemed to me that I had never before known what a smile was. I said, "I have come a long way to see you."
There was silence. I had stupidly brought a piece of paper on which I had written a number of questions I wanted to ask. I fumbled for it in my pocket, but the questions were already answered by merely being in his presence. There was no need for questions or answers. Nevertheless, I asked, "Tell me, whom shall I follow -- what shall I follow? I have been trying to find this out for years." Again there was silence. After a few minutes, which seemed to me a long time, he spoke, "You are not telling the truth. You are just using words -- just talking. You know perfectly well whom to follow. Why do you need me to confirm it?" "You mean I should follow my inner self?" I asked. His response was, "I don't know anything about your inner self. You should follow the Self. There is nothing or no one else to follow."
I asked again, "What about religions, teachers, gurus?" He said, "Yes, if they can help in the quest for the Self. Can a religion, which teaches you to look outside yourself, which promises a heaven and a reward outside yourself, be of help to you? It is only by diving deep into the spiritual Heart that one can find the Self." He placed his right hand on his right breast and continued, "Here lies the Heart, the dynamic, spiritual Heart. It is called hridaya and is located on the right side of the chest and is clearly visible to the inner eye of an adept on the spiritual path. Through meditation you can learn to find the Self in the cave of this Heart."
I said, "Bhagavan, you say that I am to take up the search for the Self by atma vichara, asking myself the question 'Who Am I?' May I ask who are you?" Bhagavan answered, "When you know the Self, the 'I', 'You', 'He', and 'She' disappear. They merge together in pure Consciousness."
To write about my experience with Bhagavan, to recapture and record all that he said, or all that his silences implied is trying to put the infinite into an egg cup. On me he had, and still has, a profound influence. I feel it presumptuous to say he changed my life. My life was perhaps not so important as all that. But I definitely saw life differently after I had been in his presence, a presence that just by merely 'being' was sufficient spiritual nourishment for a lifetime.


Know who you are. Understand your true nature. Practice Self-inquiry. Be yourself. Awaken to your true Self. Yet most people cannot do this because they're so involved in the world, that this maya keeps them from seeking themselves as God, as Absolute Reality. And it is difficult for most people to do this. There has to be a way for the average person to come up to the point where they can practice Self-inquiry.
Sri Rober Adams

Self-Inquiry (Atma Vichara)

Think how many years you'll be going through life,
believing you're a body, a mind, an ego.
The situations you've been through.
The agonies, the ecstasies,
the dualities.

You're beginning to see now that all of those things belong
to the 'I' -thought, to the personal self,
which is not really you.

You are total freedom, having absolutely nothing to do
with the personal self.

You simply have to ask yourself, Who is this personal self ?
Where did it come from? How did it arise?
How did it get a hold of me, and make me believe
I'm human?

That makes me feel I was born? And I have to die?
What is this personal self? Where did it come from?"

And as you follow the personal self, the 'I' -thought,
You'll begin to see it never existed.
It was never born.

It is absolutely nothingness.
And you'll become radiantly happy,
Full of Love,
Full of Peace.

Sri Robert Adams

Sri V. Ganesan:
The scriptures say, "Pramadav vai mrtuyhu", meaning inattention is death. This obviously means attention is life. Inattention means, giving importance to the non-self, that is, the body, mind and world. Attention means paying total attention to the Self. Bhagavan puts it beautifully, "Attention paying attention to attention is attention". He further states, "Such attention paid to the Self, leads one to wisdom".
Turning our attention inwards is true attention. Whereas, turning it outwards to the body, mind and world is inattention. For, at that moment of giving importance to the outside, we completely lose touch with the Self. Every such moment of loss of attention to the Self lands us in ignorance, uncertainty, and confusion. These draw us towards death. Not knowing the Self is inattention. Consciously turning inwards to the Self is attention. Jesus Christ said, "To live with me is like living near the fire; and, to be away from me is to be away from the kingdom of God." Here, "To live with me" means attention. While, "to be from me" is inattention. Bhagavan too, once quoted Jesus Christ, "Give up this life, if thou wouldst live!" "this life", refers to inattention. Life commands one to turn inwards, and thus, be the Self through total attention. Another great saint said, "Pay full attention to life and not to the modes of living!" Outward attention drains our spiritual energy, whereas inward attention enriches us with peace, quietude and bliss. Hence, Bhagavan repeatedly emphasized, "Plunge within", "Be the Self!"

This constant movement from the past to the future, creates an illusion as if it takes place in the present. If pointed attention is paid to the present, we will realize that no movement at all takes place in the NOW! To be in the NOW, actually and factually, is to not manufacture thoughts of the past and future. This means we should remain without any form of mental, vibratory movement. Vibratory movements are noises echoed in the mind. The
present, the NOW, is total stillness and silence. Giving up thoughts of the past and future is surrender. To remain in the NOW is thus, true surrender. Burning off of all movements towards the past and the future, in the flame of the motionless NOW, can take place only in the silence of the Self. The silence of the Self, absorbing the noises of the mind into its silence, is surrender. Surrender is the supreme state where past and future, the two unreal states, dissolve into the one totality.
Source: Drops from the Ocean

Dear Devotees,

When you practiced Self-inquiry you must have arrived at the vital understanding and gained the cleat insight that the moment we turn our attention to the Now, you feel the presence and peace. Understanding will surely dawn that entering the Now is to at once become aware of the 'I Am'. We understand that the Self or the ever existing Truth is ever-flowing in the Now, and never in the false, imagined and mere psychological time of the past and future. If we are able to understand it, compulsive striving away from the Now ceases, and the joy of Being begins to ensue and even flows into everything we do. Therefore, it follows that the Self-realization is not a time-bound end of the sadhana or the practice. It takes place only in the Now. In the "Now" alone is the true reality, it knows no difference between a moment and eternity, both of which belong to the realm of unreal time. It is as it is!

Dear devotees, "I Am, Now" is the Self and the only Life. Let our attention be on the Life and not mere living and the life situation.


Question: Robert, it seems that it comes down to the mind or the ego trying to dis-identify with itself, and trying to identify with the mystery. Is that enough to produce the shift?

Sri Robert Adanas: That's enough to produce the shift. When the mind begins to wonder about itself, it becomes weak. So the more you ask the question, the weaker the mind becomes. If you make statements, you keep saying to yourself, "I am God, or I am Consciousness, or I am Absolute Reality," the mind likes that, because it wants to become God. It wants to be God, so then the ego thinks it's God. And you walk around with a chip on your shoulder. But when you go the other way, when you ask, Who am I, where did the mind come from?" the mind becomes weak, it doesn't like that. As you said, it begins to see the mystery and becomes weaker and weaker. It devours itself, so to speak. But of course the ultimate truth is, there is no mind, so do not concentrate on the mind doing anything. But ask, To whom does the mind come?"

Dear devotees, there is no doubt that the above wonderful insight into Sri Bhagwan's Teaching of the Self-inquiry is very helpful to all those who are following this Teaching.
I wish to only say that it is very helpful indeed on this Path if the mind is not taken to be real. But only saying that there is no mind will not do. The state of "no mind" means that one does not seek to change anyone or anything of his own volition anymore, does not react to anyone or anything anymore, does not live in the psychological times of the past and future anymore but dwells in "here and now", and thus gradually learns to be quiet and remain as the mere witness.

Be assured that That which ever shines [for all] is certainly the true Existence of Self, 'I am'. When the True God is thus realised as one's own Self, without doubt or misconception, the Supreme Bliss will brim over.
V. 292, Guru Vachaka Kovai (GVK)

293. Having known for certain that everything which is seen, without the least exception, is merely a dream, and that it [the seen] does not exist without the seer, turn only towards Self --- Sat-Chit-Ananda --- without attending to the world of names and forms, which is only a mental conception.
V. 293, GVK

Dear Devotees,

What is seen is merely a dream, and it does not exist without the seer. But what about the seer of this dream? Is the seer real? No. we now know that the seer is also an unreal dream, like the seen itself! Self or Brahman is said to possess five aspects---Existence, Consciousness, Bliss, name and form, of which Existence, Consciousness and Bliss alone are real, and name and form are unreal. Since our Goal is to know ourselves as the Self and as naught else, the Teaching exhorts us to turn towards the Self---Existence-Consciousness-Bliss---without attending to the unreal name and form.
Dear devotees, if we attend to the Existence-Consciousness-Bliss, that is, the Self or Brahman, instead of attending to the unreal names and forms, then only the whole universe can be known as Existence-Consciousness-Bliss, that is, as the Self or Brahman, and not as names and forms.   

The seer (thinker or the ego) of the dream sees his own name and form and myriad other names and forms, all different from him, and is restless. Is it now.  Always rising, setting and wandering, it is almost always unhappy and in a state of lack for this or that. 

Therefore, Sri Bhagwan taught:

"Do not wander outside, eating the scorching sand of worldly pleasures, which are non-Self; come home to the Heart where Peace is shining as a vast, everlasting, cool shade, and enjoy the feast of the Bliss of Self."


Self-enquiry is certainly not an empty formula; it is more than the repetition of any mantra. If the enquiry, 'Who am I?" were a mere mental questioning, it would not be of much value. The very purpose of Self-enquiry is to focus the entire mind at its Source. It is not, therefore, a case of one 'I' searching for another 'I'. Much less is Self-enquiry an empty formula, for it involves an intense activity of the entire mind to keep it steadily poised in pure Self-awareness. Self-enquiry is the one, infallible means, the only direct one, to realize the unconditioned, absolute Being that you really are.
Bhagwan Sri Ramana

Dear Devotees,

Self-enquiry begins with the 'I' and ends with the 'I'. 'I' casts off the illusion of the 'I' and yet remains as the 'I'. This implies that unlike in meditation, in Self-enquiry there is only the subject, from the beginning to the end, without the object.
Sri Bhagwan has taught that if the mind becomes introverted through enquiry into the source of 'I'-ness in us, the tendencies or predispositions become extinct. The light of the Self falls on the vasanas or the predispositions and produces the phenomenon of reflection we call the mind. Thus, when the vasanas or the predispositions become extinct, can the mind remain? No way. Mind also disappears, being absorbed into the light of the one Reality, the Heart or the Self.

If we ask "Who Am I?", and stay as the 'I', OUR  BEING  ALONE, without thought, the I-thought will vanish and delusion will disappear for ever. In the floodlight of the Self everything else will disappear.   

Therefore, dear devotees, the existential and the most fundamental question "Who am I?" should be deeply rooted within us, as someone wrote, like a new seed nestled deep in the soft earth and damp with water. The question "Who am I?" should not be an abstract question to consider with our discursive intellect, for the question cannot remain confined to the intellect but is concerned with all that is the 'I'.  Never try to seek an intellectual answer, and prevent being pulled away by thoughts and objects by the contrivances given by Sri Bhagwan Himself, that is, 'To whom' and "Who am I?" and stay as the 'I', which is but the Self-attention, here and now

Devotee: To me sleep is a mere blankness.

Sri Bhagwan: That is so, because your waking state is a mere effervescence of the restless mind.

Devotee: What I mean by blankness is that I am hardly aware of anything in my sleep; it is for me the same as non-existence.

Sri Bhagwan: But you did exist during sleep.

Devotee: If I did, I was not aware of it.

Sri Bhagwan: You do not mean to say in all seriousness you ceased to exist during your sleep! (Laughing). If you went to sleep as Mr. X, did you get up from it as Mr. Y?

Devotee: I know my identity, perhaps, by an act of memory.

Sri Bhagwan : Granting that, how is it possible unless there is a continuity of awareness?

Devotee: But I was unaware of that awareness.

Sri Bhagwan: No. Who says you are unaware in sleep? It is your mind. But there was no mind in your sleep? Of what value is the testimony of the mind about your existence or experience during sleep? Seeking the testimony of the mind to disprove your existence or awareness during sleep is just like calling your son's evidence to disprove your birth! Do you remember, I told you once previously that existence and awareness are not two different things but one and the same? Well, if for any reason you feel constrained to admit the fact that you existed in sleep be sure you were also aware of that existence. What you were really unaware of in sleep is your bodily existence. You are confounding this bodily awareness with the true Awareness of the Self which is eternal. Prajnana (Self or Brahman), which is the source of 'I-am'-ness, ever subsists unaffected by the three transitory states of the mind, thus enabling you to retain your identity unimpaired. Prajnana is also beyond the three states, because it can subsist without them and in spite of them. It is that Reality that you should seek during your so called waking state by tracing the aham-vritti to its Source. Intense practice in this enquiry will reveal that the mind and its three states are unreal and that you are the eternal, infinite consciousness of Pure Being, the Self or the Heart.

Dear Devotees,

Because our conscious experience is limited to the duration of the extroversion of the mind, we call this extroversion as the waking state. But fact is that even in the waking state our minds are asleep to the Self, and therefore, we are, fast asleep even in the waking period.
'I'-ness is what is, by usage, known as the aham-vritti, which rises form the Self or Brahman and subsides into the Self only if its tendency to identify itself with thoughts and objects ceases.

Dear devotees, now the question arises as to why the 'I'-ness should alone be chosen as the means of Self-enquiry. Because rising from the Self, it has the scent of the Self, i.e. consciousness. The Self-enquiry by following to the clue of the aham-vritti or the 'I'-ness is just analogous to the dog tracing its master by his scent. Just as the master's scent is an infallible clue for the dog and to that scent it holds on undistractedly while searching for him and finally succeeds in tracing him, likewise  in our quest for the Self, the one infallible clue is the aham-vritti or the 'I'-ness or the 'Iam'-ness which is also the primary datum of all our experiences. Obviously, there is no other clue as direct as the 'I'-ness or the aham-vritti which can lead us directly to Self-realization.   


Devotee: How does individuality emanate from the Absolute Self, and how is its return made possible?

Sri Bhagwan: As a spark proceeds from fire, individuality emanates from the Absolute Self. The spark is called the ego. In the case of the ajnani, the ego identifies itself with some object simultaneously with its rise. It cannot remain without such association with objects. This association is due to ajnana, whose destruction is the objective of one's efforts. If this tendency to identify itself with objects is destroyed, the ego becomes pure and then it also merges into its source. The false identification of oneself with the body is dehatma-buddhi or 'I-am-the-body'-idea. This must go before good results can follow.

Devotee: How am I to eradicate it?

Sri Bhagwan: You exist in sushupti (state of sleep-anil) without being associated with the body and the mind, but in the other two states you are associated with them. If you were one with the body, how could you exist without the body in sushupti? You can separate yourself from what is external to you but not from that which is one with you. Hence the ego cannot be one with the body. This must be realised in the waking state. The three states are studied in order to gain this knowledge.

Dear devotees, in the state of sleep, we are neither aware of the body nor have the mind with its dualistic concepts and ideas, yet we are happy. So, it is established beyond doubt whatever that we exist even without the body-mind complex. We are the unintermittant awareness, the Self. But in the waking state we appear to cover our real nature with the reflected 'body-mind' consciousness , and we find ourselves miserable most of the time. Therefore, Sri Bhagwan kept on exhorting us to give up the clinging to and cherishing the loathsome and ephemeral body as real, and instead ask 'Who Am I?', and know and remain as the Self (I Am) in the Heart. Self  Itself is the real Life and rest everything else is its content. When we remain as mere Awareness, as 'I Am', ego, body mind, et al--all contents, are revealed to be illusory, and the Self shines forth as the Life Itself, as the Awareness Itself, as the Existence Itself, transmuting all the contents such as ego, body, mind, etc., into Itself. Indeed, our glory lies where we cease to exist as the non-entity called 'ego-body-mind'.   


Sri V. Ganesan:

"Established in the Self, Annamalai Swami started teaching Self Enquiry. A misconception prevalent at that time was that Self Enquiry was only for intellectuals and scholars, and that lay men did not have the capacity or alertness to turn their attention inwards and do it. Annamalai Swami taught even ordinary village folk how to do Self Enquiry. It is very thrilling how he taught them: "Since you say that you have forgotten your real Self, the only way is to go back to it. If you keep the light on all the time, darkness can never enter your room. Even if you open the door and invite the darkness to come in, it cannot enter. Darkness is just the absence of light. In the same way, the mind is a self-inflicted area of darkness in which the light of the Self has been deliberately shut off. So, go back to your own Self." Somebody said that since Self Enquiry was very difficult he was wondering whether he should practice some other path like devotion or karma and then come to Self Enquiry. Annamalai Swami was very categorical: "If you have some interest in the path of Self Enquiry you should follow it even if you feel that you are not very good at it. If you want to do Self Enquiry effectively and properly, you should stick to that method alone. Other methods may be good in their own right but they are not good as preparations for Self Enquiry. If you are serious about becoming a good violin player, you take lessons from a good teacher and practice as much as you can. If you encounter some difficulties, you do not switch over to clarinet for a few months! You stay with your chosen instrument and keep practicing till you get it right." See the simple, but vivid, example he uses! The best preparation for Self Enquiry is the practice of Self Enquiry. Even now there are villagers who guided by Annamalai Swami, are practicing Self Enquiry."

Dear devotees, yes, the best preparation for the Self-inquiry is the practice of the Self-enquiry itself. Sri Muruganar, the Poet has sung in one of his verses that those who take to the pure path of Self-inquiry are never derailed because, like the Sun, this supremely Direct Path itself reveals to them its own unchallengeable clarity and uniqueness. Once taken up, the Self-enquiry never has to yield and change its course, because the Self is within the direct experience of everyone, albeit partially, but nonetheless, no one can deny. At least we have the 'I' to start with.  Moreover, this path is compared to the Sun, it has been advised to take the Self to be the Sun, and the Self-inquiry to be its ray. How beautiful! If we hold the ray , can the Source remain elusive for long?


Trace the 'I' to the Source
As you try to understand these things, as you begin to ponder what I'm talking about, you look for a way to remove everything from your mind, to empty the mind. You begin to inquire. To whom do all these thoughts come? To whom does the feeling of humanity come? To whom does this universe come? To whom does the ego come? And you smile to yourself. You keep still. You will soon realize that everything comes to you. It comes to you. I think these things. I believe this and I believe that. I feel hurt. I feel this way, I feel that way. A new revelation comes to you. "I." You begin to see that the I-thought is the culprit. From the moment you get out of bed in the morning, you begin with the 'I', and it never ends till you fall asleep. Therefore the only peace you ever get is when you are in deep sleep.

When you are in deep sleep, the 'I' returns to the Heart, to the Source. There is nothing going on. Nothing happening. At that time you are unconsciously Self-realized. This is why when you get up in the morning and you say to yourself, "I slept well," you're talking about the 'I'. I slept well. What you really mean to say is, the 'I' wasn't interfering with your life. But as soon as you begin to think, you say, "I am late for work. I have to catch the bus. I have a headache. I have to eat breakfast." And you go on and on with this I, and it never stops. All day long it's I, I, I, I. Think about this. Am I not telling you the truth? You're always thinking about, "I this," and "I that." Till the night time comes again, you go to sleep. And again the 'I' goes back into the Source, into the Heart, and you're at peace once more. Until you wake up and it starts all over again. After doing this for a million years, you get to the stage when you'll ask yourself, "Who am I? What is this I? How did it arise? From whence does it come?" And this is the beginning of wisdom, when you inquire for the Source of the 'I'. You ultimately begin to trace the 'I' to the Source. When you do this finally, when the 'I' is in the Source, it is just like when you're in deep sleep, except that you're conscious.

Think about this for a moment. In deep sleep you have no I, for it has returned to the Source. You're totally happy, but you're unconscious of it. When you attain what we call Self-realization, it means the 'I' has returned to the Source while you're awake. There's nobody left to think. There's no one left to worry, or to fret, or to be unhappy. You have merged with the Infinite, with the All-Pervading Brahman. If you understand this, and you practice this, you will become the happiest person in the world. For on the way to finding the I-Source you begin to feel happier and happier every day. The old thoughts melt away. The old you dissolves. You become free.

Sri Robert Adams

Sri Robert Adams:

"I love every one of you unequivocally, unconditionally, just the way you are. Ask yourself this question. Why come to satsang? Ask yourself this question. You come to hear Robert mumble? You come to hear Robert give a lecture? Or did you come to sit with Robert? Of course the last is the right answer. You came to sit with me in the Silence. In the Silence is where all the power is. In the Silence is where all the answers are. Because when we talk, when we use words, words have their place, but what can the words really do? Think of the billions and billions of words that have been spoken since the beginning of time. Where does it end for us, for humanity, for the world? Think of how many words you spoke since you got out of bed. Think of all the words you spoke. What have these words done for you? They are worthless. So sitting in the Silence is magic. This is when things begin to happen, wonderful things. Peace comes to you. Happiness comes to you all by itself. Joy comes to you. When you sit in the Silence you remember who you are. We come to see we are all one Self. What does this mean? It means we are not separate, we are One Self. Think of that. We are all the One Self."

"Wonderful" is all I can say. Anil

An excerpt from Sri Robert Adams' "Satsang":

People ask the silly question, "When does the soul come into the birth, in the body? The third month, the fourth month, the sixth month?" Try to understand this teaching, there is no soul that comes into anybody. You have always existed. The Self is the Self. When you take on the body you are still the Self.
As the body grows through experiences you are still the Self. As the body appears to go through diseases, illnesses, situations in this world you are still the Self. When the body gets old and seems to die you are the same Self that existed before you were born.
It's like a chalkboard. The chalkboard exists and you draw your baby being born on the chalkboard. Then you draw a picture of a baby growing up on the chalkboard. Then you draw a picture of the baby having cancer when he becomes a man or a woman. Then you draw a picture of the person dying on the chalkboard.

From the very beginning the chalkboard was there. The chalkboard was always there. The pictures were different but the chalkboard was always there. In reality you are like the chalkboard. You are the Self, pure intelligence. The Self can never die and was never born. There is no disease that can affect it. It is all-pervading. And you are That. You have to begin to feel this.
You have to let go of the clinging to the body. By letting go I mean, do not feel that you are being persecuted, that you are being laughed at, that something is wrong with you. That you have any sickness or diseases. Always try to understand when this happens to you. Who has these things? The image on the chalkboard. It is the image that has these problems not you. You are totally free. You have always been free and you will always be free. There never was a time when you were not free. So it's wrong identification. Identify with the reality.
This is how you should look at your everyday affairs, at your business. Look at your home life. Look at the world, look at what is happening in the world the same way. Images! Everything is images. The light of the self appears to cause these images to take form and to do whatever it has to do. But there is only the Self, this is the reality and the images do not even exist.
We don't even say, "They appear to exist." For when you think they appear to exist you're giving them value, you're giving them power. You're believing in them as if they were reality. So you have to ask the question. "To whom do they exist? To whom do these images exist? They exist to me. I feel them." As soon as you say this to yourself immediately the answer should come to you. It is the I, the I-thought that feels the images not you. You are free and clear, you have absolutely nothing to do with the I-thought.
Now when you have done this you have separated the disease the problems where they may seem to be from yourself haven't you? Because the I-thought is out here some place. It has nothing to do with you. The I-thought feels sickness, it feels a headache. The I-thought feels that when something good happens you're happy in this world. That is all the I- thought that feels this. So you just watch. You observe.
As you keep doing something like this as you understand what I'm talking about you will notice that the pain disappears. For after all who has the pain? The I-thought, not you. Therefore look at yourself as two separate entities, this will help. You look at yourself as the I-thought which goes through the world and has all kinds of experiences in the world, good and bad, rich and poor, sick and healthy. And the self which is absolute reality and is free and clear of everything.
This simply means that what you call sickness or disease or a problem is outside of your jurisdiction. It appears to exist by itself, it is not you. You have absolutely nothing to do with these things. Do not judge by appearances. Do not try to analyze or figure it out. For you get deeply involved when you do this. Even discussing this is not right. This is between you and yourself. There is absolutely nothing to discuss. Nothing to talk about.
You remember the chalkboard analogy. And you realize that you've always been, you always will be. There never was a time when you were not and these other things were simply images that seemed to be superimposed on the self. So do not identify with the disease itself. Do not identify with the problem or whatever. Rather identify with the Self. The one that has always been. I am That!
It's not really hard. As you go through everyday experiences always catch yourself. Always catch yourself thinking. Catch yourself worrying, being afraid. And immediately understand that you are the chalkboard. You are the absolute reality that has never changed. It has always been and will always be. You are perfect.

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