Author Topic: About Self-enquiry  (Read 1289 times)


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About Self-enquiry
« on: April 03, 2010, 06:10:28 PM »
I just wanted to post these quotations from Sri Ramana and Sri Sadhu Om, because I felt them to be very helpful, good and simple instructions to atma-vichara. Also posting and writing this makes this practice clearer as for myself (Who?!!   :))

So, Sri Ramana Maharshi said that the thought 'who am I?' will destroy all other thoughts.
And I practiced two weeks according to this guy's instructions ( He instructs to say "Who am I?" and then when thoughts arise, ask again this question ("Who am I?"),  and then wait for thoughts to rise again and then ask "Who am I?" etc. But luckily I now stumbled across Sri Sadhu Om's book "The path of Sri Ramana - part one". And in it he says this is wrong approach.

"In Sanskrit, the terms ‘atman’ and ‘aham’ both mean
‘I’. Hence, ‘atma-vichara’ means an attention seeking ‘Who
is this I?’ It may rather be called ‘I-attention’, ‘Self-attention’
or ‘Self-abidance’."

Some who try to follow the former one, ‘Who am I ?, simply begin either vocally or mentally
the parrot-like repetition ‘Who am I ? Who am I ?’ as if it
were a mantra-japa. This is utterly wrong! Doing japa of
‘Who am I?’ in this manner is just as bad as meditating
upon or doing japa of the mahavakyas such as ‘I am
Brahman’ and so on, thereby spoiling the very objective for
which they were revealed! Sri Bhagavan Himself has
repeatedly said, “‘Who am I?’ is not meant for repetition
(japa)” !

Also in Nan-Yar Ramana Maharshi says "the thought who am I?' [that is, the effort we make to attend
to our essential being
] --
 If [we thus] investigate 'who am I?' [that is, if we turn our attention back towards ourself and keep it fixed firmly, keenly and vigilantly upon our own essential self-conscious being in order to discover what this 'me' really is],

And elsewhere he says: “Always keeping the mind (the attention) fixed In Self (in the feeling ‘I’) alone is called Self-enquiry’'

Also to one questioner Sri Ramana replied: "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."

And to another questioner he said:`Who am I ?' is not a mantra. It means that you must find out where in you arises the `I'-thought which is the source of all other thoughts.