Author Topic: Benefits Of Self Enquiry ?  (Read 3970 times)

ramana_maharshi

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Benefits Of Self Enquiry ?
« on: November 01, 2012, 06:52:00 PM »
materialist benefits
=> health wise great benefits like helps us to control anger,make us to behave like good human being,makes us feel elevated,guides us for the proper way to make us feel happy,controls ego,avoid negative thoughts to great extent like lust,greed etc... and make sure rajo guna and tamo guna are controlled to great extent...

all these benefits can make us feel the inner calmness and a good human being.

Spiritual side?

soul gets promotion? if yes to where??
where/why did the commet of ramana maharshi disappear?

For me practicing self enquiry i can clearly see materialist benefits visible but spiritual side i am not unfortunately not totally convinced...

Any thoughts please?

Jewell

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Re: Benefits Of Self Enquiry ?
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2012, 07:35:00 PM »
Dear Sri Prasanth, I believe there are many spiritual benefits which we cannot see. And for me,material benefits are one and the same with spiritual. It all depends on individual,his nature,and how will all manifest. Even Bhagavan said that we dont need to be aware what is happening inside. I also believe that is the best way. We dont need to have visions,trances,etc,to know that we progress,that depends what is Your way,and Your nature. "Soul gets promotion?"- It is good one! :) And i think that answer Your question. We dont need to see what is happening,coz even if we see,it is still illusion. So,i believe selfinquiry is the mettod which cannot fail,and sooner or later we will see some sort of change.

Jewell

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Re: Benefits Of Self Enquiry ?
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2012, 07:42:19 PM »
Dear Sri Prasanth, You know,many times i was so tired with all the teachings,trying,contradictions,i was just fed up. I think i could see smoke coming from my ears. Even,when i ask myself,Who is the one who is angry,Who Am I,i start answering:"I am an idiot." :) From same reasons,nothing spectacular happened. But,now,i see that is better,and my heart tells me everything is as it should. Even that anger was needed at some point. With love and prayers,

Nagaraj

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Re: Benefits Of Self Enquiry ?
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2012, 07:44:47 PM »
Not getting any benefit is the biggest benefit!

॥ शांतमात्मनि तिष्ट ॥
Remain quietly in the Self.
~ Vasishta

Subramanian.R

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Re: Benefits Of Self Enquiry ?
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2012, 07:46:48 PM »
The only benefit is that one forgets everything and immerses in the bliss of Self - the bliss that passeth understanding.

Arunachala Siva.

sanjaya_ganesh

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Re: Benefits Of Self Enquiry ?
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2012, 07:47:19 PM »
Can we not leave "self enquiry" alone without a "cost benefit analysis" :) ?

Well said, Nagaraj garu :) - Stopping to look for any benefit is the benefit.

Sanjay
« Last Edit: November 01, 2012, 07:52:50 PM by sanjaya_ganesh »
Salutations to Bhagawan

ramana_maharshi

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Re: Benefits Of Self Enquiry ?
« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2012, 09:42:50 PM »
Dear Nagaraj garu,

ofcourse you are benefitted sir...

many westerners who came to ramana maharshi left their bad habits like non-veg etc...

and there are many materialist benefits i pointed and i am sure all have benefitted by those..

example: previously whenever i used to get angry i just went ahead and showed my anger now thanks to bhagavan ramana's self enquiry i could implement self enquiry and getting benefitted to great extent.

So surely i am in debt to guru ramana who is my doctor/guru/teacher in my whole life..

But somehow i am not totally convinced in spiritual side   :( 
 

Ravi.N

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Re: Benefits Of Self Enquiry ?
« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2012, 09:59:21 PM »
Prashant,
Here are a couple of Excerpts from an interview that David Godman gave;may be of help.

Maalok: When the topic of Ramana Maharshi's teachings comes up, most people think of self-inquiry, the practice of asking oneself 'Who am I?' You haven't even mentioned this.

David: I'm laying the foundation, as they say in court. I'm trying to put it in a proper perspective. People came to Sri Ramana with the standard seekers' question: 'What do I have to do to get enlightened?' One of his standard replies was the Tamil phrase 'Summa iru'. 'Summa' means 'quiet' or 'still' and 'iru' is the imperative of both the verb to be and the verb to stay. So, you can translate this as 'Be quiet,' Be still,' Stay quiet,' 'Remain still,' and so on. This was his primary advice. 

However, he knew that most people couldn't naturally stay quiet. If such people asked for a method, a technique, he would often recommend a practice known as self-inquiry. This is probably what he is most famous for. To understand what it is, how it works, and how it is to be practiced, I need to digress a little into Sri Ramana's views on the nature of the mind. 
Sri Ramana taught that the individual self is an unreal, imaginary entity that persists because we never properly investigate its true nature. The sense of 'I', the feeling of being a particular person who inhabits a particular body, only persists because we continuously identify ourselves with thoughts, beliefs, emotions, objects, and so on. The 'I' never stands alone by itself; it always exists in association: 'I am John,' 'I am angry,' 'I am a lawyer,' 'I am a woman,' etc. These identifications are automatic and unconscious. We don't make them through volition on a moment-to-moment basis. They are just the unchallenged assumptions that lie behind all our experiences and habits. Sri Ramana asks us to disentangle ourselves from all these associations by putting full attention on the subject 'I', and in doing so, prevent it from attaching itself to any ideas, beliefs, thoughts and emotions that come its way. 

The classic way of doing this is to start with some experienced feeling or thought. I may be thinking about what I am going to eat for dinner, for example. So, I ask myself, 'Who is anticipating dinner?' and the answer, whether you express it or not, is 'I am'. Then you ask yourself, 'Who am I? Who or what is this ''I'' that is waiting for its next meal?' This is not an invitation to undertake an intellectual analysis of what is going on in the mind; it is instead a device for transferring attention from the object of thought - the forthcoming dinner - to the subject, the person who is having that particular thought. In that moment simply abide as the 'I' itself and try to experience subjectively what it is when it is shorn of all identifications and associations with things and thoughts. It will be a fleeting moment for most people because it is the nature of the mind to keep itself busy. You will soon find yourself in a new train of thought, a new series of associations. Each time this happens, ask yourself, 'Who is daydreaming?' 'Who is worried about her doctor's bill?' 'Who is thinking about the weather?' and so on. The answer in each case will be 'I'. Hold onto that experience of the unassociated 'I' for as long as you can. Watch how it arises, and, more importantly, watch where it subsides to when there are no thoughts to engage with. 

     This is the next stage of the inquiry. If you can isolate the feeling of 'I' from all the things that it habitually attaches itself to, you will discover that it starts to disappear. As it subsides and becomes more and more attenuated, one begins to experience the emanations of peace and joy that are, in reality, your own natural state. You don't normally experience these because your busy mind keeps them covered up, but they are there all the time, and when you begin to switch the mind off, that's what you experience


     It's a kind of mental archaeology. The gold, the treasure, the inherent happiness of your own true state, is in there, waiting for you, but you don't look for it. You are not even aware of it, because all you see, all you know, are the layers that have accumulated on top of it. Your digging tool is this continuous awareness of 'I'. It takes you away from the thoughts, and back to your real Self, which is peace and happiness. Sri Ramana once compared this process to a dog that holds onto the scent of its master in order to track him down. Following the unattached 'I' will take you home, back to the place where no individual 'I' has ever existed. 

     This is self-inquiry, and this is the method by which it should be practiced. Hold on to the sense of 'I', and whenever you get distracted by other things revert to it again. I should mention that this was not something that Sri Ramana said should be done as a meditation practice. It is something that should be going on inside you all the time, irrespective of what the body is doing. 

     Though Sri Ramana said that this was the most effective tool for realizing the Self, it must be said that very few people actually achieved this goal. For most of us the mind is just too stubborn to be overcome by this or any other technique. However, the effort put into self-inquiry is never wasted. In fact, it's a win-win situation for most people; either you get enlightened, or you just get peaceful and happy"

continued...

Ravi.N

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Re: Benefits Of Self Enquiry ?
« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2012, 10:06:02 PM »
Maalok: Listening to your answer above - that very few people achieved the goal of Self-realization even when practicing self-enquiry - people could be discouraged to even try. Perhaps in this context it would be helpful for you to elaborate on what is meant by complete Self-realization? Is Self-realization difficult or rare? Is it rare because people don't practice self-inquiry properly?

David: Self-realization is the definitive ending of the experience of the individual 'I'. It is a permanent state of knowing awareness, that contains, inherent within it, the understanding that one's true identity is the substratum out of which the world and all its names and forms appear. Many people have brief glimpses of this reality, but lose them when the mind, the individual 'I' reasserts itself. I believe that the permanent eradication of this sense of being an individual person is a rare event, although I know many people who would disagree with me on this subject. 

I once asked Nisargadatta Maharaj why some people, such as Ramana Maharshi, realized the self very quickly through a single act of self-inquiry, whereas others spent fifty years meditating and failed to reach the same state. I was curious to hear his answer because I knew that at this stage of his teaching career he was persistently maintaining that reincarnation did not happen. This meant that he couldn't say that people such as Sri Ramana arrived in this world with an advantage over other people who might not have done as much meditation in their previous lives. 

In his reply he said that some people were born with a pure 'chemical' and some were not. I think he got the 'chemical' analogy from the layer of chemicals that coats a film. From what I gathered talking to him, we are all issued with a film for our life, that is to say, a more-or-less pre-determined script that plays itself out as our lives. The quality of the chemical is determined by a coming together of all sorts of factors that are mostly prevalent at the time of conception: our parents' genes, astrological configurations, the environment we are due to be brought up in were a few that he named. Those who have the good luck to be issued with a good chemical realize the Self, and those who have a bad or dirty chemical never do, irrespective of how much they try. 

 When I commented that this all sounded very deterministic, and that there didn't seem to be much point in spiritual effort if the quality of our issued chemical determined whether or not we got enlightened or not, he said that some people came into the world with a chemical that was only very slightly impure. These people, he said, could realize the Self by associating with a realized teacher and by having a strong and earnest desire to know and be the truth. In this particular model, the people who meditate or do self-inquiry for years without success are not necessarily doing it wrongly or badly, they are simply in the unfortunate majority whose chemical is so impure, no amount of effort will clarify it. And since there is no reincarnation, the effort these people make is not carried forward into future lives. 

I found this unique model - I have never heard or read about this theory anywhere else - to be quite perplexing. In the years that I was going to see Nisargadatta Maharaj, the front cover of I Am That, his own book of teachings, contained a detailed statement by him on how reincarnation took place. Yet, during the last years of his life, I never once heard him admit that reincarnation was true, or say that effort or maturity in one life could be carried forward into another. 

     The disciples of Sri Ramana I have been with, such as Lakshmana Swamy and Papaji, have all said that spiritual effort in past lives is carried forward, making it possible for enlightenment to happen relatively quickly in the final birth. When I asked Lakshmana Swamy why he had realized the Self so quickly in this life, he said that he had finished his work in previous lives, and Papaji said he had memories of being a yogi in South India in his previous life. 

     Sri Ramana never talked about his previous lives, although he did concede once that he must have had a Guru in some other life. I personally feel that he completed all his spiritual work in some other body and arrived in his final birth in a state of such utter purity and readiness that enlightenment came to him virtually unasked while he was still in his teens. 

     I think people need to take a long-term view when they take to self-inquiry or any other practice. It's not bad to think of enlightenment as something that might occur at any moment, in fact I think it's a laudable attitude to have, but at the same time one should not be disappointed if it doesn't happen. For many people, asking oneself 'Who am I?' is chipping away at a mountain of ignorance and mental conditioning. It may bear fruit in this life, but if it doesn't, the benefits will be carried forward to some other incarnation. Meanwhile, the practice, if it is carried out regularly, will give you enough peace and quiet to justify the investment of time and energy you put into it, here and now.


Hari

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Re: Benefits Of Self Enquiry ?
« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2012, 10:07:41 PM »
Not getting any benefit is the biggest benefit!



Dear friend, even not "not getting" is a problem. The problem is expecting any benefit says the Lord teaches in Bhagavad Gita.
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Nagaraj

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Re: Benefits Of Self Enquiry ?
« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2012, 10:33:54 PM »
Sri Ravi, excellent article, thank you.

Not getting any benefit is the biggest benefit!


Dear friend, even not "not getting" is a problem. The problem is expecting any benefit says the Lord teaches in Bhagavad Gita.

Sri Hari, yes, what you have said is true! Sri Prashant, i tried to say, not getting any benefit is the biggest benefit, that is to say, the one that is expecting benefit is killed little by little, one by one, to be annihilated completely some time or the other, isn't this the biggest benefit? Who remains to get any benefit? If the one that gets benefits is killed in the next blink!

It is not the benefit that is important, but rather, it is the killing of the beneficiary, that is the true benefit! Who remains to benefit? (nobody!) Even if one gets some benefits, that will soon be killed, and so on, endlessly, till it is completely annihilated! Yet, even though there is no benefit, still it is a benefit, greatest benefit, for nobody, which yet, remains, to own such a benefit  (which classically can be said, as both the beneficiary and the benefit is one and the same!) so this is the greatest benefit we can get i.e, not getting anything, as the one that is killed ceases from accepting any benefits, and because of which, there is nobody to reap any benefits, and it happens to be the greatest benefit!

« Last Edit: November 01, 2012, 10:55:57 PM by Nagaraj »
॥ शांतमात्मनि तिष्ट ॥
Remain quietly in the Self.
~ Vasishta

ramana_maharshi

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Re: Benefits Of Self Enquiry ?
« Reply #11 on: November 02, 2012, 01:04:05 AM »
Dear ravi garu and nagaraj garu,

Thanks a lot for your kind suggestions.



« Last Edit: November 02, 2012, 01:11:23 AM by prasanth_ramana_maharshi »

cefnbrithdir

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Re: Benefits Of Self Enquiry ?
« Reply #12 on: November 02, 2012, 02:43:30 PM »
The only benefit is that one forgets everything and immerses in the bliss of Self - the bliss that passeth understanding.

Arunachala Siva.

Dear Subramanian Sir

Do you understand bliss and peace as meaning different things or as different ways of talking  about the same  ?

"that passeth understanding"  so reminds me of Paul writing to the Philippians 


" And the peace of God, which passeth  all understanding, will keep (in a state of settlement and security) your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus......"  and   "whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me - put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you".

Thank you

Subramanian.R

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Re: Benefits Of Self Enquiry ?
« Reply #13 on: November 02, 2012, 02:46:20 PM »
Dear cefnbrithdir,

Peace is ice and bliss is water. But  both are the same but with different forms.

Arunachala Siva.