Author Topic: Intensity of self-enquiry  (Read 3476 times)


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Intensity of self-enquiry
« on: August 09, 2009, 07:13:27 PM »
I was going through this article here:

And this line caught my eye:
"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."

How to create such intensity?
Even if one artificially creates such intensity, is it really possible to sustain it over a long period of time?
Also, will it not lead to dangerous suppresssion of thoughts and desires which can later rise up uncontrollably, leading to disaster?

It seems to be a case of "Unless you have intensity you cannot practice, but unless you practice you cannot have intensity"!

Chuck Cliff

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Re: Intensity of self-enquiry
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2009, 02:05:38 AM »
I'm rather new at taking Ramana's teaching to heart, so take my comments with a dose of skepticism.

I'm not sure that "self inquiry" entails or implies "suppression of thought".  the effort is in paying attention to the spiritual heart or "hridaya" -- the empirical and its thoughts follow.
One western visitor reported that he placed his right hand on his right breast and told her, "Here lies the Heart, the dynamic, spiritual Heart. It is called Hridaya and is located on the right side of the chest".

Elsewhere he told another that he didn't mean that the spiritual heart was literally located in the physical body, that it was neither within or without, yet he told people this because that is where people people instinctively localize their personal identity.

How one might go about creating the "intensity of a drowning man" I have no idea. A drowning man's intensity, I suppose, comes with the realization that one is drowning.  Remember, Ramana himself told that his awakening occurred when he suddenly was overcome with a great fear of dieing -- he was, so to speak, a 16 year old drowning boy. 
There's a glory in the morning because the earth turns 'round, and a promise in the evening, when the sun goes down.


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Re: Intensity of self-enquiry
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2009, 02:03:38 PM »
Intensity comes with practice. One should not be concerned about such things as 'disaster of suppression', when your attention is on yourself, where is the disaster? and what are thoughts? One does not interfere with thoughts, simply takes attention away from them.

As you are drowning your whole attention is on the taking the air as fast as possible, so it is with self-inquiry, your attention is on yourself no matter whether there is heart inside or outside, or is it on the right or on the left. Even falling meteorite should not divert you from yourself.


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Re: Intensity of self-enquiry
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2009, 02:48:37 PM »
Dear srkudai and others,

I heard from Brahmasri Nochur Venkataraman:

There are Swabhava Karmas.  These are all works as per one's
attitude.  These should be done and completed only to wash
off these works and the vasanas thereto, which are all
attitudinal.   These people should continue to do these Swabahva Karmas along with the contemplation, "Who is doing all these?
Am I, is it my mind, my body etc?" Then one day these karmas will stop and one can be really be still, with total contemplation of the Self within.  An B.Tech. IIM., graduate spent 5 years in California, earning a million dollars and he has now come back to the outskirts of Patna, to sell vegetables at concessional rates for poor people, for three hours a day and spend the remaining time in being Summa, Be.
This is how his Swabhava karmas got dissolved.  The remaining
karma of selling vegetables would also end one day, soon.  One
cannot forcefully stop these destined karmas and seek VRS to
do self enquiry.  He will never succeed.

Then, there are Vihidha Karmas.  These are nitya anushtanams,
prescribed daily karmas like bathing, taking coffee and doing
sandhya vandhanam,  pujas and meditations.  These have also to be continued, because one cannot always be Summa, still.    One day these will also end up, on their own accord. Then one can do exclusively self enquiry, with minimum eating to keep the body fit.  There is no need for Sandhya, meditation, why, even bathing! 
(E.g. Seshadri Swamigal and Bhagavan Ramana in early years)

Some one asked Bhagavan Ramana:  "What is the use of pradakshina
of the Hill?  What benefit am I getting?"

Bhagavan Ramana said:  "You just do it because you cannot spend
that 4 hours in any useful way, like self enquiry or meditation.
Sooner, the pradakshina itself will become a meditation and self
enquiry practice." 

Arunachala Siva.     


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Re: Intensity of self-enquiry
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2009, 04:50:16 PM »
Dear nobody

A drowning man has nothing else on his mind. thus should a Sadhaka have nothing else on his mind than abiding in the self.

Thoughts will still surges from vasanas but by returning to self-attention, not being nourished will dissolve.

There is no straining, mental concentration or effort implied by "intensity".

Oh Arunachala, blazing fire of Jnana, in my heart I pray and think of Thee from afar, root out the ego, merging me in the Self.