Author Topic: Solitude and self enquiry  (Read 4240 times)

sanjaya_ganesh

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Solitude and self enquiry
« on: October 08, 2013, 10:04:01 AM »
This question was nagging me for a long time and wanted to post something that answered my own doubts by Bhagawan.

SOLITUDE MEANS ONLY CONTINUOUS PRACTICE

D: When I spent an hour or two on the hill yonder, I sometimes found even better peace than here, which
suggests that a solitary place is after all more conducive to mind-control.
B: True, but if you had stayed there for an hour longer, you would have found that place too not giving you the calm of which you speak. Control the mind and even Hell will be Heaven to you. All other talk of solitude, living in a forest etc., is mere prattle.

D: If solitude and abandonment of home were not required, where then was the necessity for Sri Bhagavan to come here in his seventeenth year?
B: If the same force that took this (meaning himself ) here, should take you also out of your home by all means let it, but there is no use of your deserting your home by an effort of your own. Your duty lies in practice, continuous practice of Self-enquiry.

D: Is it not necessary to seek the company of the wise (the Saints and Sages)?
B: Yes; but the best sat-sangam is inhering in your “Self”. It is also the real guhavasam (living in the cave). Dwelling in the cave is retiring into your “Self”. Association with the wise will certainly help a great deal.

Crumbs from His Table
Salutations to Bhagawan

atmavichar100

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Re: Solitude and self enquiry
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2013, 01:32:32 PM »
If solitude is chosen to escape from the problems / challenges that we have in our day to day life then we can never be in peace wherever we go .But if you take to solitude for a few days to have a break from your day to day life and to sit and introspect your life , your thoughts etc then you will come back more clear and refreshed after this break .
For a person who has well advanced in his spiritual journey he will naturally take to solitude if such an option exists before him but otherwise he will be be comfortable wherever he is .
One of the reasons why early morning meditation ( in Brahma Muhurta )  is prescribed in our scriptures is that there is no disturbance during that time and we can do our sadhana in perfect solitude even if we stay in a big city .
« Last Edit: October 08, 2013, 01:41:57 PM by atmavichar100 »
However many holy words you read, however many you speak, what good will they do you if you do not act on upon them? - Buddha

sanjaya_ganesh

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Re: Solitude and self enquiry
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2013, 06:32:03 AM »
PRACTICE DURING ACTIVITY:
‘What always is, is true.’

Mr. Ekanath Rao, an Engineer, asked Sri Bhagavan if solitude is necessary for vichara.
M.: There is solitude everywhere. The individual is solitary always. His business is to find it out within, and not seek it without.
D.: The work-a-day world is distracting.
M.: Do not allow yourself to be distracted. Enquire for whom there
is distraction. It will not afflict you after a little practice.
D.: Even the attempt is impossible.
M.: Make it and it will be found not so difficult.
D.: But the answer does not come for the search inward.
M.: The enquirer is the answer and no other answer can come. What comes afresh cannot be true. What always is, is true.
TALKS NO 44

Salutations to Bhagawan

sanjaya_ganesh

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Re: Solitude and self enquiry
« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2013, 08:58:05 AM »
D.: I shall be more definite. Though a stranger, I am obliged to confess the cause of my anxiety. I am blessed with children. A boy - a good brahmachari - passed away in February. I was grief-stricken. I was disgusted with this life. I want to devote myself to spiritual life. But my duties as a grihini do not permit me to lead a retired life.

Hence my doubt.

M.: Retirement means abidance in the Self. Nothing more. It is not leaving one set of surroundings and getting entangled in another set, nor even leaving the concrete world and becoming involved in a mental world. The birth of the son, his death, etc., are seen in the Self only. Recall the state of sleep. Were you aware of anything happening? If the son or the world be real, should they not be present with you in sleep? You cannot deny your existence in sleep. Nor can you deny you were happy then. You are the same person now speaking and raising doubts. You are not happy, according to you. But you were happy in sleep. What has transpired in the meantime that happiness of sleep has broken down? It is the rise of ego. That is the new arrival in the jagrat state. There was no ego in sleep. The birth of the ego is called the birth of the person. There is no other kind of birth. Whatever is born is bound to die. Kill the ego: there is no fear of recurring death for what is once dead. The Self remains even after the death of the ego. That is Bliss - that is Immortality.
Salutations to Bhagawan

sanjaya_ganesh

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Re: Solitude and self enquiry
« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2013, 02:57:03 PM »
AIDS TO SELF ENQUIRY - Alan Jacobs

“Those who leave the path of Self Enquiry, the way of liberation, and wander off along the myriad forest tracks, will encounter only confusion”. Bhagavan Ramana.


Self Enquiry is the Direct Path and Bhagavan’s great contribution for the modern age for all.

Self Enquiry is the back bone of the main weapon in Bhagavan’s teaching for eliminating the vasanas, tendencies and vrittis, the thought forms which act as a veil and occlude your Real Self.

Total Surrender will also achieve the goal, but this way is slower as in the beginning we are only capable of partial Surrender.

To start Self Enquiry is not easy!  We must have a  very great yearning and strong wish to commence. Pray for grace in this respect. It starts with the mind , turning inwards at 180 degrees and with concentration probing inward, beneath the skin, to find the source of the I Thought or ego.

Many find the right side of the chest is an effective doorway to enter the interior and eventually the heart, where the source of the ego dwells.

The first aid is therefore to increase our power of concentration, without thought interfering. Most concentration spans are about 4 minutes. One can increase its power by practice. Gaze at a portrait of Bhagavan, or a candle or a spot on the wall to increase the power of your concentration for longer periods. It will help you all through your life!

The next aid is study. One must read about Self Enquiry as Bhagavan taught it. His two essays WHO AM I and SELF ENQUIRY are essential. They can be downloaded from this site or read from Collected Works. Read them over and over again until they have sunk in. They are not very long. Then one can read from the index on Self Enquiry in Talks With Ramana Maharshi – which can also be downloaded from the main Ramanasramam site as can David Godman’s Be As You Are , from his site, which has three chapters in his book on S.E.

FIND THE WAY EASIEST FOR YOU!.

1. It could be holding the breath , to stop thought and diving into the heart to find the source of the I thought, or just diving without holding the breath.

2. It could be questioning when thoughts or emotions arise, and asking “to whom does this  thought or feeling come? – to me” Then ask “who am I?”, with attention again seeking for the source of the I thought.

3. It could be paying attention to The Self- Self attention- or paying attention to awareness, or being Aware of your own Awareness.

4. It could be holding onto your ‘Real I thought’ (not the I am the body thought)  or your feeling of the essential I AMNESS, with attention, whenever it arises.

5. Repeat I-I-I-I as a mantra. it will take you there eventually.

6. Recite ytour favourite Mantra and then trace  back to where the source of the mantra comes from.

Perseverance, continued practice and great faith are needed. Each time you enquire, it will gradually loosen identification with the mind and body and start the severing of the Granthi Knot which holds the ‘I am the body, notion.” Your Self, the inner Guru will guide you, and modify the practice as needed. Adjustments will be made so that vasanas come out (Self Enquiry is a purifying practice), the nadis churned and the granthi knot eventually severed

Self Enquiry is linked to devotion, it must become emotional not only from the head or mind, and then it is easier to reach to the source of the I thought.

Read the beginning quote once again please.

SELF ENQUIRY IS THE DIRECT APPROACH TO SELF REALISATION. It is His great gift, made available to all, pray for his Grace to initiate and guide you into the most suitable approach for you.
Salutations to Bhagawan

Subramanian.R

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Re: Solitude and self enquiry
« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2013, 03:11:54 PM »
Dear Sanjay,

Nice compilation of Sri Bhagavan's prescriptions for Direct Path and Realization.  Thanks.

Arunachala Siva.

sanjaya_ganesh

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Re: Solitude and self enquiry
« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2013, 07:16:47 AM »
Go deeply into this feeling of ‘I’. Be aware of it so strongly and so intensely that no other thoughts have the energy to arise and distract you. If you hold this feeling of ‘I’ long enough and strongly enough, the false ‘I’ will vanish leaving only the unbroken awareness of the real, immanent ‘I’, consciousness itself.

- Living by the Words of Bhagavan, p. 299

Salutations to Bhagawan

sanjaya_ganesh

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Re: Solitude and self enquiry
« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2013, 07:20:05 AM »
Sivaprakasam Pillai: ―Are there no other ways of destroying the mind?‖
Maharshi: ―There is no other adequate method except Self-Enquiry. If the mind is lulled by other means, it stays quiet for a little while, but then springs up like a wave and resumes its former activity.‖

Sivaprakasam Pillai: ―But when will all the vasanas, tendencies, and instincts, such as that of self-preservation, are subdued within us?‖
Maharshi: ―The more you withdraw into the Self, the more these tendencies wither and finally drop off.‖

Sivaprakasam Pillai: ―Is it really possible to root out all these tendencies that have been soaked in our minds through many births?‖
Maharshi: ―Never yield room in your mind for such doubts. Instead, dive into the Self with a firm resolve. If the mind is constantly directed to the Self by Self-Enquiry, it is eventually dissolved and transformed into the Self. When you see any doubt, do not try to elucidate it. Instead try to recognize who it is and to whom the doubt occurs.‖

Sivaprakasam Pillai: ―How long should one go on with this Self-Enquiry?‖
Maharshi: ―As long as there is the least trace of an impulse in your mind-citadel, it will keep on making sorties. If you eradicate each one as it comes out, the citadel will fall to you. Similarly, each time a thought rears its head, crush it with Self-Enquiry. Stamping out all thoughts at their source is called vairagya or dispassion. Vichara or Self-Enquiry continues to be necessary until the Self is realized. What is required is continuous and uninterrupted remembrance of the Self.‖

Salutations to Bhagawan

sanjaya_ganesh

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Re: Solitude and self enquiry
« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2013, 02:07:16 PM »
To do self-enquiry one must completely surrender; To Surrender completely, one must do self-enquiry.

-Sanjay
Salutations to Bhagawan

sanjaya_ganesh

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Re: Solitude and self enquiry
« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2013, 02:17:02 PM »
Once Kunju Swami felt he could not continuously meditate or pursue Self-Enquiry and stay in the Self. He confessed to Bhagavan, ―Bhagavan, I am not able to do this. The flow gets interrupted.‖ Bhagavan said, ―Why? It is very easy. Before you go to sleep, meditate and go into the Self. When you fall asleep, your whole sleep is a meditation of staying in the Self. The moment you wake up in the morning, again go into meditation for a few minutes and remain as the Self. Throughout the waking state, the undercurrent of remaining in the Self will be there, even though you will be working, arguing, and quarreling. This substratum will always keep you in the Self.‖ Kunju Swami said, ―This is the most beautiful and practical teaching I have received from him.‖



Left to right, top row: Annamalai Swami, Ramanatha Brahmachari, not known, Ramaswami Pillai, Kunju Swami.
Sitting: T. P. Ramachandra Iyer, Bhagavan, Chinnaswami.
Salutations to Bhagawan

Jewell

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Re: Solitude and self enquiry
« Reply #10 on: October 11, 2013, 02:26:33 AM »
Dear Sanjay ji,

Wonderful,just wonderful posts!!!

Thank You!

With love and prayers,

sanjaya_ganesh

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Re: Solitude and self enquiry
« Reply #11 on: October 11, 2013, 07:24:04 AM »
Established in the Self, Annamalai Swami started teaching Self-Enquiry. It was the time when there was prevalent a misnomer that Self-Enquiry was for the intellectuals and scholars; the lay people did not have the capacity or alertness to focus their attention on the Self for Self-Enquiry. He taught the common village folks thus: ―If you keep the light on, all the time darkness can never enter your room. Even if you open the door and invite the darkness to come in, it cannot enter. Darkness is just the absence of light. In the same way, the mind is a Self-inflicted area of ignorance, in which the clear divine light of the Self has been deliberately shut off. Go back to your own Self.‖ Annamalai Swami was very categorical: ―If you have some interest in the path of Self-Enquiry, you should follow it, even if you feel that you are not very good at it. If you want to do Self-Enquiry effectively and properly, you should stick to that practice alone. Other methods may be good in their own right way, but they are not good as preparations for Self-Enquiry. If you are serious about becoming a good violin player, take lessons from a good teacher and practice as much as you can. If you encounter some difficulties, you do not switch to clarinet for a few months. You stay with your chosen instrument and keep practicing until you get it right. The best preparation for Self-Enquiry is Self-Enquiry practice only.‖


Salutations to Bhagawan

sanjaya_ganesh

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Re: Solitude and self enquiry
« Reply #12 on: October 11, 2013, 10:07:25 AM »
In 1933, Subbaramayya came to Bhagavan, soaked in sorrow. On his second visit, he had another bothersome issue. A Mahatma initiated him into a mantra, and he was chanting that very scrupulously. When he came to Bhagavan and met his gracious glance, that mantra dissolved in the silence. He could no more chant that mantra and he started feeling guilty. ―Have I done something wrong?‖ He asked Bhagavan, ―Bhagavan, suddenly it has stopped. I feel I have a fear,‖ Bhagavan said: ―You have done a lot of japa of that mantra. Its fruit has brought you here. Why do you fear? All other paths eventually lead to Self-Enquiry. This is the direct path.‖ At a much later date, he questioned about the difference between japa made by the mind and meditation. Bhagavan‘s answer was: ―They are the same. In both, the mind is concentrated on one thing, whether you are doing japa or meditation. The mind is focused on one thing either on the mantra or on the Self. Mantra, japa, meditation, jnana, these are all only different names. As long as they require assumed effort, we call them by these names. As the Self is realized, abidance is without effort.‖

Salutations to Bhagawan

sanjaya_ganesh

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Re: Solitude and self enquiry
« Reply #13 on: October 11, 2013, 02:42:59 PM »
(103) HUMAN EFFORT

4th April, 1947

A devotee who was a frequent visitor to the Ashram arrived two or three days ago. Ever since his arrival he has been looking all round the hall frequently. I was expecting him to ask Bhagavan some questions. This afternoon he sat near Bhagavan and slowly commenced asking questions:

“Swamiji! Everyone in this hall is seated with his eyes closed.
Do all of them get results?”

“Certainly! Each person will get results according to his thoughts,” Bhagavan replied humorously.

Question: Vasishtam also says the same thing. In some places it is stated that human effort is the source of all strength. In others it is said that it is all divine grace. It is not clear which of them is correct.

Bhagavan: Yes, they say that there is no God other than the karmas of the previous birth, that the karma done in the present birth in accordance with sastras is known as purushakara, (human effort), that the previous and present karmas meet for a head-on fight like rams, that the one that is weaker gets eliminated. That is why they say one should strengthen purushakara. If it is asked what is the origin of karma, they say, such a question should not be raised as it is like the eternal question, which is earlier, the seed or the tree? Such a question is for mere argument and not for deciding finally what is what. That is why I say, first find out who you are. If one asks ‘Who am I? How did I get this dosha (fault) of life?’ then there will be Self-realization. Dosha will get eliminated and shanti will be obtained. Why even obtained? It (the Self) remains as it IS.”

In Vasishtam, in the second canto of Mumukshu Vyavahara, there are slokas containing this bhava (import):

‘Who am I? How did this faulty samsara come into being?’ Such investigation is known as the ‘Path of Enquiry’ (Vichara). By Vichara, Reality is understood, and such
understanding brings repose in the Self; then follow
tranquillity of mind and cessation of all sorrow.

Letters from Sri Ramanasramam
Salutations to Bhagawan

sanjaya_ganesh

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Re: Solitude and self enquiry
« Reply #14 on: October 11, 2013, 10:31:25 PM »
MORE TALKS WITH SRI RAMANA MAHARSHI
N.N. Rajan


A devotee who was a frequent visitor to Sri
Ramanasramam, wanted to ask Bhagavan some doubts about the Self. In the meantime some of us sitting with him started some points amongst ourselves in order to help him.

D: By whom is the Self is known?
Bhagavan: By none.

D: Then how is one to proceed to learn something about the Self?
B: You cannot know the Self. You can only remain as the Self.

Finding that the devotee was unable to understand and broadly smiling at us Bhagavan began to elaborate.

Bh: Things which can be known are only within the ambit of knowledge, but Self is pure knowledge itself, it is self-iliumined. It cannot be known by anything else. There is only the One and nothing else. It is the pure consciousness within. It is only being as the Self and not knowing it. Remain as the Self. That is your natural state.

D: It is said that if one knows the Self, everything else is known. Hence I wished to know.

Bh: Yes. But there is no knowing or becoming. Consciousness within is only one and it is universal. It remains only as an uninvolved witness. It lends vitality to all objects and all our activities-perception, feeling, Linking, speaking, etc.

Salutations to Bhagawan