Recent Posts

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 [9] 10
A European gentleman began in measured tones and spoke clearly and slowly: "Why should individuals remain caught up in the affairs of this world and reap troubles as a result? Should they not be free? If they are in the spiritual world they will have greater freedom."

Bhagwan Sri Ramana Maharshi: The world is only spiritual. Since you are identifying yourself with the physical body you speak of this world as being physical and the other world as spiritual. Whereas, that which is, is only spiritual.

Devotee: Do the disembodied souls, i.e., the spirits, have a deeper insight and enjoy greater freedom?

Bhagwan Sri Ramana: Because you identify yourself with this body, you speak of the disembodied souls as being spirits. From these limitations you talk of their limitations and seek to know their capacities. Even the disembodied souls have subtle bodies, otherwise, you would not say 'disembodied souls'. Disembodiment means 'divested of this gross body'. Inasmuch as you endow them with individuality they are centred in their subtle bodies. Their limitations will be according to their own state. Just as you feel the burden of your limitations they also feel the burden of their limitations. What I meant by spirit and spiritual world is the absolute spirit and not relative. If you realise yourself as the spirit you will see that this world is only spiritual and not physical.

Devotee: Are their bodies temporary as our bodies are? Do they reincarnate?

Bhagwan Sri Ramana: These questions arise because you think yourself the body. This body has birth and death and when this body falls another body arises which is called reincarnation. But are you the body? If you find that you are not this body but the spirit, you will be free from gross or subtle bodies, and then there will be no limitations. Where is the world, physical or spiritual, in the absence of any limitations? How will the question of reincarnation arise?
Again, consider it from another point of view: You create a dream body for yourself in the dream and act with that dream-body. The same is falsified in the waking state. At present you think that you are this body and not the dream-body. In your dream this body is falsified by the dream-body. So that, you see, neither of these bodies is real. Because each of them is true for a time and false at other times. That which is real must be real for ever. But you say 'I'. This 'I'-consciousness is present all through the three states. There is no change in it. That is alone real. The three states are false. They are only for the mind. It is the mind which obstructs your vision of your true nature. Your true nature is that of infinite spirit. That was the case in your sleep. You note the limitations in the other two states. What is the difference due to? There was no mind in sleep, but it exists in the dream and the waking states. The feeling of limitation is the work of the mind. What is mind? Find it. If you search for it, it will vanish by itself. For it has no real existence. It is comprised of thoughts. It disappears with the cessation of thoughts.

Devotee: Do I remain then?

Bhagwan Sri Ramana: What is your experience in sleep? There were no thoughts, no mind, and yet you remained then.
Swami Sri Sambuddhananda asked,  "I think our Bhagavan has attained Self-realisation. Such beings are walking Upanishads. So I want to hear, from his own lips, his experience of Self-realisation."

Bhagavan Sri Ramana maharshi said, "You say you think I have attained Self-realisation. I must know what you mean by Self-realisation. What idea do you have in your mind about it?"

The Swami was not pleased with this counter-question, but added, after some time, "I mean the atman (soul) merging in the paramatman (Supreme or the Universal Soul)."

Bhagavan Sri Ramana then said, "We do not know about the paramatman or the Universal Soul, etc. We know we exist. Nobody doubts he exists, though he may doubt the existence of God. So, if one finds out about the truth or source of oneself, that is all that is required."

The Swami thereupon said, ?Bhagavan therefore says "Know Thyself".

Bhagavan Sri Ramana said, "Even that is not correct. For, if we talk of knowing the Self, there must be two Selves, one a knowing Self, another the Self which is known, and the process of knowing. The state we call realisation is simply being oneself, not knowing anything or becoming anything. If one has realised, he is that which alone is and which alone has always been. He cannot describe that state. He can only be that. Of course, we loosely talk of Self-realisation, for want of a better term. How to 'real-ise' or make real that which alone is real? What we are all doing is, we 'realised' or regard as real that which is unreal. This habit of ours has to be given up. All sadhana (spiritual practices) under all systems of thought is meant only for this end. When we give up regarding the unreal as real, then the reality alone will remain and we will be that."

The Swami replied, "This exposition is all right with reference to Advaita (Non-duality). But there are other schools which do not insist on the disappearance of triputi (the three factors of Knowledge, viz. knower, known and the process of knowing)) as the condition for Self-realisation. There are schools which believe in the existence of two and even three eternal entities. There is the bhakta (a devotee of God), for instance. That he may do bhakti (devotion), there must be a God."

Bhagavan Sri Ramana replied, "Whoever objects to one having a God to worship, so long as he requires such a separate God? Through bhakti he develops himself, and comes to feel that God alone exists and that he, the bhakta (devotee), does not count. He comes to a stage when he says, "Not I, but Thou"; "Not my will, but Thy will." When that stage is reached, which is called complete surrender in the bhakti marga (path of devotion or love), one finds effacement of ego is attainment of Self. We need not quarrel whether there are two entities, or more, or only one. Even according to Dvaitis (dualists) and according to the bhakti marga (path of devotion), complete surrender is prescribed. Do that first, and then see for yourself whether the one Self alone exists, or whether there are two or more entities."

Bhagavan Sri Ramana further added, "Whatever may be said to suit the different capacities of different men, the truth is, the state of Self-realisation must be beyond triputis (knower, known and knowing). The Self is not something of which jnana (Knowledge) or ajnana (ignorance) can be predicated. It is beyond ajnana (ignorance) and jnana (knowledge). The Self is the Self; that is all that can be said of it."

Source: Day By Day With Bhagavan

Visitor: Are the siddhis (occult powers) mentioned in Patanjali's sutras true or only his dream?

Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi: He who is Brahman or the Self will not value those siddhis (occult powers). Patanjali himself says that they are all exercised with the mind and that they impede Self-realisation.

Visitor: What about the powers of supermen?

Bhagavan Sri Ramana: Whether powers are high or low, whether of the mind or super-mind, they exist only with reference to him who has the powers; find out who that is.

Visitor: When one attains Self-realisation, what is the guarantee that one has really attained it and is not under an illusion like the lunatic who thinks he is Napoleon or some such thing?

Bhagavan Sri Ramana: In a sense, speaking of Self-realisation is a delusion. It is only because people have been under the delusion that the non-Self is the Self and the unreal the Real that they have to be weaned out of it by the other delusion called Self-realisation; because actually the Self always is the Self and there is no such thing as realising it. Who is to realise what, and how, when all that exists is the Self and nothing but the Self?

Visitor: Sri Aurobindo says the world is real and you and the Vedantins say it is unreal. How can the world be unreal?

Bhagavan Sri Ramana: The Vedantins do not say the world is unreal. That is a misunderstanding. If they did, what would be the meaning of the Vedantic text: ?All this is Brahman?? They only mean that the world is unreal as world, but it is real as Self. If you regard the world as not-Self it is not real. Everything, whether you call it world or maya (illusion) or lila (play) or sakti (power), must be within the Self and not apart from it. There can be no sakti (power) apart from the sakta (powerful).

Visitor: Different teachers have set up different schools and proclaimed different truths and so confused people. Why?

Bhagavan Sri Ramana: They have all taught the same truth but from different standpoints. Such differences were necessary to meet the needs of different minds differently constituted, but they all reveal the same Truth.

Visitor: Since they have recommended different paths which is one to follow?

Bhagavan Sri Ramana: You speak of paths as if you were somewhere and the Self somewhere else and you had to go and reach it. But in fact the Self is here and now and you are that always. It is like you being here and asking people the way to Ramanasramam and complaining that each one shows a different path and asking which to follow.
Source: Day By Day With Bhagavan
Bhagwan Sri Ramana Maharshi: Therefore, while your aim is to transcend here and now these superficialities of physical existence through atma vichara (Self-enquiry), where is the scope for making the distinctions of 'you' and 'I', which pertain only to the body? When you turn the mind within, seeking the source of thought, where is the 'you' and where is the 'I'? You should seek and be the Self that includes all.

Devotee: But is it not funny that the 'I' should be searching for the 'I'? Does not the enquiry, 'Who am I?' turn out in the end an empty formula? Or, am I to put the question to myself endlessly, repeating it like some mantra?

Bhagwan Sri Ramana: Self-enquiry is certainly not an empty formula; it is more than the repetition of any mantra (sacred syllable). 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 realise the unconditioned, Absolute Being that you really are.

Devotee: Why should Self-enquiry alone be considered the direct means to jnana?

Bhagwan Sri Ramana: Because every kind of sadhana (spiritual practice) except that of atma vichara (Self-enquiry) presupposes the retention of the mind as the instrument for carrying on the sadhana (practice), and without the mind it cannot be practised. The ego may take different and subtler forms at the different stages of one's practice, but is itself never destroyed.
When Janaka exclaimed, "Now I have discovered the thief who has been ruining me all along. He shall be dealt with summarily", the King was really referring to the ego or the mind.

Devotee: But the thief may well be apprehended by the other sadhanas as well.

Bhagwan Sri Ramana: The attempt to destroy the ego or the mind through sadhanas (practice) other than atma vichara (Self-enquiry), is just like the thief assuming the guise of a policeman to catch the thief, that is himself. Atma vichara (Self-enquiry) alone can reveal the truth that neither the ego nor the mind really exists, and enables one to realise the pure, undifferentiated Being of the Self or the Absolute. Having realised the Self, nothing remains to be known, because it is perfect Bliss, it is the All.

Devotee: In this life beset with limitations can I ever realise the bliss of the Self?

Bhagwan Sri Ramana: That bliss of the Self is always with you, and you will find it for yourself, if you would seek it earnestly. The cause of your misery is not in the life without; it is in you as the ego. You impose limitations on yourself and then make a vain struggle to transcend them. All unhappiness is due to the ego; with it comes all your trouble. What does it avail you to attribute to the happenings in life the cause of misery which is really within you? What happiness can you get from things extraneous to yourself? When you get it, how long will it last? If you would deny the ego and scorch it by ignoring it, you would be free. If you accept it, it will impose limitations on you and throw you into a vain struggle to transcend them. That was how the thief sought to 'ruin' King Janaka. To be the Self that you really are is the only means to realise the bliss that is ever yours.
Source: Maharshi's Gospel
Devotee: "Is a Master necessary for realisation" Mrs. Piggot asked first.

Bhagwan Sri Ramana Maharshi: The realisation is the result of the Master?s grace more than teachings, lectures, meditation, etc. They are only secondary aids, whereas the former is the primary and the essential cause.

Devotee: What are the obstacles which hinder realisation of the Self?

Bhagwan Sri Ramana: They are habits of mind (vasanas).

Devotee: How to overcome the mental habits (vasanas)?

Bhagwan Sri Ramana: By realising the Self.

Devotee: That is a vicious circle.

Bhagwan Sri Ramana: It is the ego which raises such difficulties, creating obstacles and then suffers from the perplexity of apparent paradoxes. Find out who makes the enquiries and the Self will be found.

Devotee: What are the aids for realisation?

Bhagwan Sri Ramana: The teachings of the Scriptures and of realised souls

Devotee: Can such teachings be discussions, lectures and meditations?

Bhagwan Sri Ramana: Yes, all these are only secondary aids, whereas the essential is the Master's grace.

Devotee: How long will it take for one to get that?

Bhagwan Sri Ramana: Why do you desire to know?

Devotee: To give me hope.

Bhagwan Sri Ramana: Even such a desire is an obstacle. The Self is ever there, there is nothing without it. Be the Self and the desires and doubts will disappear. Such Self is the witness in sleep, dream and waking states of existence. These states belong to the ego. The Self transcends even the ego. Did you not exist in sleep? Did you know then that you were asleep or unaware of the world? It is only in the waking state that you describe the experience of sleep as being unawareness; therefore the consciousness when asleep is the same as that when awake. If you know what this waking consciousness is, you will know the consciousness which witnesses all the three states. Such consciousness could be found by seeking the consciousness as it was in sleep.

Question: God is described as manifest and unmanifest. As the former he is said to include the world as a part of his being. If that is so, we as part of that world should have easily known him in the manifested form.

Bhagwan Sri Ramana Maharshi: Know yourself before you seek to decide about the nature of God and the world.

Question: Does knowing myself imply knowing God?

Bhagwan Sri Ramana: Yes, God is within you.

Question: Then, what stands in the way o f my knowing myself or God?

Bhagwan Sri Ramana: Your wandering mind and perverted ways.

Question: Is God personal?

Bhagwan Sri Ramana: Yes, he is always the first person, the I, ever standing before you. Because you give precedence to worldly things, God appears to have receded to the background. If you give up all else and seek him alone, he alone will remain as the `I', the Self.

Question: Is God apart from the Self ?

Bhagwan Sri Ramana: The Self is God. `I am' is God. This question arises because you are holding on to the ego self. It will not arise if you hold onto the true Self. For the real Self will not and cannot ask anything. If God be apart from the Self he must be a Self-less God, which is absurd. God, who seems to be non-existent, alone truly exists, whereas the individual, who seems to be existing, is ever non-existent. Sages say that the state in which one thus knows one's own non-existence [sunya] alone is the glorious supreme knowledge. You now think that you are an individual, that there is the universe and that God is beyond the cosmos. So there is the idea of separateness. This idea must go. For God is not separate from you or the cosmos. The Gita also says:

'The Self am I, O Lord of Sleep, In every creature's heart
enshrined. The rise and noon of every form,
I am its final doom as well '(Bhagavad Gita, X.20).

Thus God is not only in the heart of all, he is the prop of all, he is the source of all, their abiding place and their end. All proceed from him, have their stay in him, and finally resolve into him. Therefore he is not separate.
Source: Be As You Are
Devotee: How is one to realise the Self?

Bhagwan Sri Ramana Maharshi: Whose Self? Find out.

Devotee: Mine, but who am I?

Sri Maharshi: Find out yourself.

Devotee: I don't know how.

Sri Maharshi: Just think over the question. Who is it that says "I don't know?" Who is the 'I' in your statement? What is not known?

Devotee: Somebody or something in me.

Sri Maharshi: Who is that somebody? In whom?

Devotee: Perhaps some power.

Sri Maharshi: Find out.

Devotee: Why was I born?

Sri Maharshi: Who was born? The answer is the same to all your questions.

Devotee: Who am I, then?

Sri Maharshi: (Smiling.) You have come to examine me? You must say who you are.

Devotee: However much I may try, I do not seem to catch the 'l'. It is not even clearly discernible.

Sri Maharshi: Who is it that says that the ?I? is not discernible? Are there two 'I's in you that one is not discernible by the other?

Devotee: Instead of enquiring "Who am I?", can I put the question to myself "Who are You?", since then, my mind may be fixed on You whom I consider to be God in the form of Guru. Perhaps, I would be nearer the goal of my quest by that enquiry than by asking myself "Who am I?"

Sri Maharshi: Whatever form your enquiry may take, you must finally come to the one I, the Self. All these distinctions made between the 'I' and 'you', Master and disciple etc. are merely a sign of one's ignorance. The 'I-Supreme' alone is. To think otherwise is to delude oneself.

Source: Maharshi's Gospel

Bhagwan Sri Ramana Maharshi: Those who have discovered great Truths have done so in the still depths of the Self.
The ego is like one's shadow thrown on the ground. If one attempts to bury it, it will be foolish. The Self is only one. If limited it is the ego. If unlimited it is Infinite and is the Reality.

The bubbles are different from one another and numerous, but the ocean is only one. Similarly the egos are many, whereas the Self is one and only one.

When told that you are not the ego, realise the Reality. Why do you still identify yourself with the ego? It is like saying, "Don't think of the monkey while taking medicine" - it is impossible. Similarly it happens with common folk. When the Reality is mentioned why do you continue to meditate Sivoham or Aham Brahmasmi(Shiva Am I or I Am Brahman)? The significance must be traced and understood. It is not enough to repeat the bare words or think of them.
Reality is simply the loss of the ego. Destroy the ego by seeking its identity. Because the ego is no entity it will automatically vanish and Reality will shine forth by itself. This is the direct method. Whereas all other methods are done, only retaining the ego. In those paths there arise so many doubts and the eternal question remains to be tackled finally. But in this method the final question is the only one and it is raised from the very beginning. No sadhana (spiritual practice) are necessary for engaging in this quest.
There is no greater mystery than this - viz., ourselves being the Reality we seek to gain Reality. We think that there is something hiding our Reality and that it must be destroyed before the Reality is gained. It is ridiculous. A day will dawn when you will yourself laugh at your past efforts. That which will be on the day you laugh is also here and now.

Devotee: So it is a great game of pretending?

Bhagwan Sri Ramana: Yes.
In Yoga Vasishtha it is said, "What is Real is hidden from us, but what is false, is revealed as true." We are actually experiencing the Reality only; still, we do not know it. Is it not a wonder of wonders? The quest "Who am I?" is the axe with which to cut off the ego.
Mr. Ward Jackson: The lady's difficulty is real and I sympathise with her. She asks, "If we could see the Self within ourselves, why should we have come all the way to see Him? We had been thinking of Him so long and it is only right that we came here. Is it then unnecessary to do so?"

Bhagwan Sri Ramana Maharshi: You have done well in having come. "Isvaro gururatmeti" (The Self is the God and Guru). A person seeks happiness and learns that God alone can make one happy. He prays to God and worships Him. God hears his prayers, and responds by appearing in human shape as a Master in order to speak the language of the devotee and make him understand the Reality. The Master is thus God manifest as human being. He gives out His experience so that the seeker might also gain it. His experience is to abide as the Self. The Self is within. God, Master and the Self are therefore seeming stages in the Realisation of the Truth. You have doubts on reading books. You have come here to have them cleared. That is only right.

Mrs. H. R.: I understand the Self to be the Master and must be sought within. So I can do it where I live.

Bhagwan Sri Ramana: The understanding has been theoretical. When it is put into practice difficulties and doubts arise. If you can feel the presence of the Master where you are, your doubts are readily overcome, for the Master's part consists in removing the doubts of the seeker. The purpose of your visit is fulfilled if the doubts do not arise hereafter, and you apply yourself steadily in the search for the Self.

Devotee: As I said before, we see, feel and sense the world in so many ways. These sensations are the reactions to the objects seen, felt etc., and are not mental creations as in dreams, which differ not only from person to person but also with regard to the same person. Is that not enough to prove the objective reality of the world?

Bhagwan Sri Ramana Maharshi: All this talk about inconsistencies and their attribution to the dream world arises only now, when you are awake. While you are dreaming, the dream was a perfectly integrated whole. That is to say, if you felt thirsty in a dream, the illusory drinking of illusory water did quench your illusory thirst. But all this was real and not illusory to you so long as you did not know that the dream itself was illusory. Similarly with the waking world; and the sensations you now have, get coordinated to give you the impression that the world is real.
If, on the contrary, the world is a self-existent reality (that is what you evidently mean by its objectivity) what prevents the world from revealing itself to you in sleep? You do not say you have not existed in your sleep.

Devotee: Neither do I deny the world's existence while I am asleep. It has been existing all the while. If during my sleep I did not see it, others who are not sleeping saw it.

Bhagwan Sri Ramana: To say you existed while asleep, was it necessary to call in the evidence of others so as to prove it to you? Why do you seek their evidence now? Those 'others' can tell you of having seen the world (during your sleep) only when you yourself are awake. With regard to your own existence it is different. On waking up you say you had a sound sleep, so that, to that extent you are aware of yourself in the deepest sleep, whereas you have not the slightest notion of the world?s existence then. Even now, while you are awake, is it the world that says 'I am real', or is it you?

Devotee: Of course I say it, but I say it of the world.

Bhagwan Sri Ramana: Well then, that world, which you say is real, is really mocking at you for seeking to prove its reality while of your own Reality you are ignorant.
You want somehow or other to maintain that the world is real. What is the standard of Reality? That alone is Real which exists by itself, which reveals itself by itself and which is eternal and unchanging.
Does the world exist by itself? Was it ever seen without the aid of the mind? In sleep there is neither mind nor world. When awake there is the mind and there is the world. What does this invariable concomitance mean? You are familiar with the principles of inductive logic, which are considered the very basis of scientific investigation. Why do you not decide this question of the reality of the world in the light of those accepted principles of logic?
Of yourself you can say 'I exist'. That is, yours is not mere existence, it is Existence of which you are conscious. Really, it is Existence identical with Consciousness.

Devotee: The world may not be conscious of itself, yet it exists.

Bhagwan Sri Ramana: Consciousness is always Self-consciousness. If you are conscious of anything you are essentially conscious of yourself. Unselfconscious existence is a contradiction in terms. It is no existence at all. It is merely attributed existence, whereas true Existence, the sat, is not an attribute, it is the Substance itself. It is the vastu. Reality is therefore known as sat-chit, Being-Consciousness, and never merely the one to the exclusion of the other. The world neither exists by itself, nor is it conscious of its existence. How can you say that such a world is real?
And what is the nature of the world? It is perpetual change, a continuous, interminable flux. A dependent, unselfconscious, ever-changing world cannot be real.
Maharshi's Gospel
Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 [9] 10