Author Topic: Few Talks Of Ramana Maharshi  (Read 1035 times)


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Few Talks Of Ramana Maharshi
« on: March 15, 2010, 12:33:19 PM »
“How to avoid misery?” The Master answers: “Has misery a shape? Misery is only an unwanted thought. The mind is not strong enough to resist it. It can be strengthened by worship of God.” -- Talks 241

“I have no peace of mind. Something prevents it — probably my destiny.” Bhagavan answers: “What is destiny? There is no destiny. Surrender and all will be well. Throw all the responsibility on God. Do not bear the burden yourself. What can destiny do to you then?” -- Talks 244

“Siva made over all His possessions to Vishnu and went roaming about in forests, wildernesses and graveyards, living on begged food. He found non-possession to be higher in the scale of happiness than possessions. The higher happiness is freedom from anxiety — anxiety over how to protect the possessions and how to utilise them, etc.” -- Talks 225

“If happiness is due to one’s possessions, then it should increase and decrease proportionately to their increase and decrease, and becomes nil if one has nothing to possess. But is this true? Does experience bear this out? “In deep sleep one is devoid of possessions, including one’s own body; yet one then is supremely happy. Everyone desires sound sleep. The conclusion is that happiness is inherent in one’s own self and is not due to external causes. One must realise his Self in order to open for oneself the store of unalloyed happiness.” -- Talks 3

“What is happiness? Is it inherent in the Self or in the object, or in the contact between the subject and the object?” Bhagavan: “When there is contact with a desirable object or memory thereof, and when there is freedom from undesirable contacts, or memory thereof, we say there is happiness. Such happiness is relative and is better called pleasure. But we want absolute and permanent happiness. This does not reside in objects but in the Absolute. It is peace free from pain and pleasure — it is a neutral state.” -- Talks 28

“There is a state beyond our efforts and effortlessness. Until it is realised, effort is necessary. (This is the state of samadhi, which is blissful). After tasting such bliss even once, one will repeatedly try to regain it. Having once experienced the bliss of peace, no one would like to be out of it, or engage himself otherwise. It is as difficult for the Jnani to engage in thought as it is for an ajnani to be free from thought. Any kind of activity does not affect a jnani; his mind remains ever in eternal peace.” -- Talks 141

“The universe exists on account of the ‘I’-thought. If that ends there is an end of misery also. The person who is in sleep is also now awake. There is happiness in sleep but misery in wakefulness. In sleep there was no ‘I’-thought, but it is now while awake. The state of happiness in sleep is effortless. We should therefore aim to bring about that state even now. That requires effort.” -- Talks 222

“Your nature is happiness. You say that this is not apparent. See what obstructs you from your true being. It is pointed out to you that the obstruction is the wrong identity. Eliminate the error. The patient himself must take the medicine to cure his illness. If, as you say, the patient is too weak to help himself, then he must remain quiet, giving a free hand to the doctor. That is effortlessness.” -- Talks 295

“The desire for happiness is a proof of the ever-existent happiness of the Self. Otherwise how can desire for it arise? If headache were natural to human beings, no one would try to get rid of it. One desires only that which is natural to him. Happiness, being natural, it is not acquired. Primal bliss is obscured by the not-Self, which is non-bliss, or misery. Loss of unhappiness amounts to gaining of happiness. When misery is eliminated the bliss which is ever-present is said to be gained. Happiness mixed with misery is only misery.” -- Talks 619

“Why should there be suffering now?” Bhagavan: “If there were no suffering, how could the desire to be happy arise? If that desire did not arise,how would the quest of the Self be successful? What is happiness? Is it a healthy and handsome body, or timely meals and the like? Even an Emperor has endless troubles, though he may be healthy. All suffering is due to the false notion ‘I-am-the-body’. Getting rid of it is jnanam.” -- Talks 633

News of someone’s death was brought to the Master. He remarked: “Good. The dead are indeed happy. They have got rid of the troublesome overgrowth — the body.The dead man does not grieve. The survivors grieve for him. Do men fear sleep? On the contrary they court it and on waking up they remark that they have had a happy sleep. Yet sleep is nothing but temporary death. Death is a long sleep.” -- Talks 64

“See how a tree, whose branches are cut grows again. So long as the life-source is not affected it will grow. Similarly the samskaras sink into the heart in death: they do not perish. They are reborn. Just as a big banyan tree sprouts from a tiny seed, so the wide universe with names and forms sprouts forth from the Heart.” -- Talks 108

“As long as you feel yourself the doer of action so long you are bound to enjoy its fruits. But if you find out whose karma it is, you will see that you are not the doer. Then you will be free. This requires the Grace of God, for which you should pray to Him and meditate on Him.” -- Talks 115

“Your idea of will-power is success insured, whereas willpower should be understood as the strength of mind which meets success and failure with equanimity. It is not synonymous with certain success. Why should one’s attempts be always attended with success? Success develops arrogance and one’s spiritual progress is thereby arrested. Failures on the other hand are beneficial, inasmuch as they open one’s eyes to one’s limitations and prepare him to surrender himself. Therefore one should try to gain equipoise of mind under all circumstances. That is will-power. Again success and failure are the results of prarabdha and not of will-power. One man may be doing only good and yet prove a failure. Another may do otherwise and yet be uniformly successful. This does not mean that the will-power is absent in one and present in the other.” -- Talks 423

“Leave off false notions and perceive intuitively the Real.That alone matters. If you melt a gold ornament what matters how it is melted, whole or in parts, or of what shape the ornament had been? You are only interested in the gold. Realise the Self.” -- Talks 31

“Celibacy is certainly an aid to realisation among so many other aids.” -- Talks 17

“Is not then celibacy indispensable? Can a married man realise the Self?” Bhagavan: “Certainly, it (Realisation) is a matter of fitness of mind. Married or unmarried one can realise the Self, because the Self is here and now.” -- Talks 17

“How does a grihasta fare in the scheme of Moksha?” Bhagavan: “Why do you think yourself to be a grihasta? If you go out as a sannyasi, the thought that you are a sannyasi will haunt you. You will be only substituting one thought by another. The mental obstacles are always there. They even increase in new surroundings. There is no help in the change of environment. The mind is the obstacle. Therefore why change the environment?” -- Talks 54

“How to turn the mind away from the world, you say? Is there a world apart from the Self? Does the world say that it exists. It is you who say that there is a world.Find out the Self who says it.” -- Talks 81

“You say that the world is materialistic. Whether it is materialistic or spiritual, it is according to your outlook. Make your outlook right. The Creator knows how to take care of His creation.” -- Talks 240

“Does Bhagavan believe in evolution?” Bhagavan: “Evolution must be from one state to another When differences are not admitted, how can evolution arise? You say that when Sri Krishna tells Arjuna that after several births the seeker gains knowledge and thus knows “Me”, denotes evolution. But you must not forget that the Gita begins with “Neither I was, nor you, nor these chiefs, etc.”; “neither it is born, nor does it die, etc.” So there is no birth, no death, no present as you look at it. Reality was, is, and will always be. It is changeless.” -- Talks 264

“There is fire on the screen in a cinema show: does it burn the screen? There is a cascade of water: does it wet the screen? There are tools: do they damage the screen? Fire and water are only phenomena on the screen of Brahman and do not affect it.” -- Talks 316

A Spanish lady writes in a letter: “If the individual self merges in the universal Self, how can we pray to God for the uplift of humanity?” Bhagavan comments: “They pray to God and finish with, ‘Thy will be done.’ If His will be done why do they pray at all? It is true that the Divine will prevails at all times and under all circumstances. The individuals cannot act of their own accord. Recognise the force of the Divine will and keep quiet. Each one is looked after by God. He has created all. You are among 2,000 millions. When He looks after so many will He omit you? “Again there is no need to let Him know your needs. He knows them Himself and will look after them.” -- Talks 594

“The mind is like akasa (ether of space). Just as there are objects in space, so there are thoughts in the mind.... One cannot hope to measure the universe and study the phenomena. It is impossible. For the objects are mental creation; it is like trying to stamp with one’s foot on the head of one’s shadow; the farther one moves the farther goes the shadow’s head.” -- Talks 485

“You speak of the vision of Siva. Vision is always of an object, which implies the existence of the subject.Whatever appears must also disappear. A vision can never be eternal. But Siva is eternal. He is the consciousness. He is the Self.“TO BE is to realise — hence I AM THAT I AM. I AM is Siva. Nothing can be without Him. Therefore enquire ‘Who am I?’ Sink deep and abide as the Self. That is Siva as BEing.Do not expect to have visions of Him.” -- Talks 450

“There is no being who is not conscious and therefore who is not Siva. Not only he is Siva but also all else. Yet he thinks in sheer ignorance that he sees the universe in diverse forms. But if he sees the Self he will not be aware of his separateness from the universe. Siva is then seen as the universe. But (unfortunately) the seer does not see the background. Think of the man who sees only the cloth and not the cotton of which it is made, or the pictures and not the screen; or the letters which he reads and not the paper on which they are written. Siva is both the Being assuming the forms in the universe as well as the consciousness that sees them. That is to say Siva is the background underlying both the subject and the object — Siva in repose and Siva in action. Whatever it is said to be, it is only Consciousness, whether in repose or in action.” -- Talks 450

“The Cosmic Mind, being not limited by the ego, has nothing separate from itself and is therefore only aware. This is what the Bible means by ‘I am that I Am’.” -- Talks 187

“When Sita was asked by the wives of the Rishis who was her husband among the then assembled Rishis in the forest, she denied each one as he by turn was pointed to her, but simply speechlessly hung down her head when Rama himself was pointed out. Her silence was eloquent. The Vedas are similarly eloquent in ‘Neti’, ‘Neti’ (‘not this’, ‘not this’) and then remain silent. Their silence is the Real state. This is the meaning of teaching through silence.When the source of the ‘I’-thought is reached, it vanishes and what remains over is the Self.” -- Talks 130

“Grace is always there, but practice is necessary.” -- Talks 220

“There is no entity by the name mind. Because of the emergence of thoughts we surmise a thing from which they start. That we term mind. When we probe to see what it is, there is nothing like it. Buddhi or intellect is the thinking or discriminating faculty. But these are mere names. Ego, mind and intellect are all the same. Whose mind? Whose intellect? The ego’s. Is the ego real? No. We confound the ego and call it intellect or mind.” -- Talks 237

“To realise the Self effort is necessary. Just as water is got by boring wells, so also you realise the Self by investigation.” -- Talks 240

“Meditation is sticking to one thought. That single thought keeps away other thoughts; distraction of mind is a sign of its weakness. By constant meditation it gains strength, i.e., weakness of fugitive thoughts gives place to the enduring background free from thoughts. This expanse devoid of thoughts is the Self. Mind in purity is the Self.” -- Talks 293

“The Bible says, ‘Be still and know that I am God.’ Stillness is the sole requisite for the realisation of the Self as God. The whole Vedanta is contained in the two Biblical statements: ‘I AM THAT I AM’, and ‘BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD’.” -- Talks 338

“Deep sleep is nothing but the experience of pure being.” -- Talks 617

“A child and a Jnani are similar in a way. The interest of the child in things ends with the things. These leave no impressions in the child’s mind. The same is the case with the Jnani.” -- Talks 9

Note: Desires are the cause of all our trouble. We look around this magnificent world of diversity and desire the things which impress us most, and so do our best to obtain them.We sacrifice a lot and suffer any amount of inconvenience for the sake of the desired object till we get it. Yet our trouble does not end with this acquisition, for new aims and objects rise before us and lure us into new desires and what we call new needs, for which we have again to exert and again to suffer; and so on and on endlessly. Thus we remain bound hand and foot to the world without rest and without satisfaction. But the Jnani, having cultivated and achieved desirelessness, has not the least interest in the world around him, so that his perceptions do not leave any impression on his mind. Even if he evinces an interest in an object it is only one of curiosity, much like that of a child in its surroundings, which passes away the moment it turns its back on them.

“A Self-realised being cannot help benefiting the world His very existence is the highest good.” -- Talks 210

Note: This should satisfy those who criticise the Jnani as a useless ascetic, should they be fortunate enough to read it.The wisdom that flows from his lips and the purity of his life and conduct stand as shining ideals for humanity to emulate, or aspire for, which no amount of preaching Socialism,Communism and philanthropy can do. What has all this preaching created except more antagonism, more divisions,more jealousy, and thus more hatred in the world. If these preachers really mean well and are sincere, they should turn into true ascetics and become Saints themselves and see the difference between their old preaching and the good they can do with their holiness and purity by their mere presence. If they cannot do that, they should mind their own business, and try to bring peace and good to themselves before they can stand before the world and boast of doing good to others.


..... to think is not your real nature. (Talks 184).

Just on waking from sleep and before becoming aware of the world there is that pure ‘I’—‘I’. Hold it without sleeping or without allowing thoughts to possess you. If that is held firm it does not matter even though the world is seen. The seer remains unaffected by the phenomena. (Talks, 196).

Your duty is to be; and not to be this or that. ‘I AM THAT I AM’ sums up the whole truth. The method is, summed up in ‘BE STILL’. What does stillness mean? It means ‘destroy yourself ’. Because any form or shape is the cause of trouble. Give up the notion ‘I am so and so’. (Talks, 363).

It is in the mind that birth and death, pleasure and pain,in short, the world and ego, exist. If the mind is destroyed all else are destroyed too. Note that it should be annihilated, not just made latent. For the mind is dormant in sleep. It does not know anything. Still, on waking up you are as you were before.There is no end of grief. But if the mind be destroyed the grief will have no background and will disappear along with the mind. (Talks, 195).

‘Be still and know that I am God’. To be still is not to think. Know, and not think, is the word! (Talks, 131).

Solitude is in the mind of man. One might be in the thick of the world and maintain serenity of mind; such a one is in solitude. Another may stay in the forest but still be unable to control his mind. He cannot be said to be in solitude. Solitude is a function of the mind. A man attached to desire cannot get solitude wherever he many be; a detached man is always in solitude. (Talks, 20).

Jnana-marga and bhakti-marga are one and the same. Selfsurrender leads to realisation just as enquiry does. Complete self-surrender means that you have no further thought of ‘I’.Then all your vasanas are washed off and you are free. You should not continue as a separate entity at the end of either course. (Talks, 31).

Dvaita and Advaita are relative terms. They are based on the sense of duality. The Self is as It is. There is neither dvaita nor advaita, I AM THAT I AM. Simple Be-ing is the Self. (Talks, 433).

Source: HUNTING THE ‘I’ according to Sri Ramana Maharshi By LUCY CORNELSSEN