Author Topic: Part 1- Few Thoughts By Annamalai Swami  (Read 1240 times)

ramana_maharshi

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Part 1- Few Thoughts By Annamalai Swami
« on: June 25, 2014, 02:36:14 PM »
QUESTION :  What is the easiest way to be free of the 'little self'?

Annamalai Swami: Stop identifying with it. If you can convince yourself "This 'little self' is not me", it will just disappear.

Question: But how to do this?

Annamalai Swami: The 'little self' is something which only appears to be real. If you understand that it has no real existence it will disappear, leaving behind it the experience of the real and only Self. Understand that it has no real existence and it will stop troubling you.

Consciousness is universal. There is no limitation or 'little self' in it. It is only when we identify with and limit ourselves to the body and the mind that this false self is born. If, through enquiry, you go to the Source of this 'little self', you find that it dissolves into nothingness.

Question: But I am very accustomed to feel "I am this 'little self'". I cannot break this habit merely by thinking "I am not this 'little self'".

Annamalai Swami: This 'little self' will only give way to the real Self if you meditate constantly. You cannot wish it away with a few stray thoughts. Try to remember the analogy of the rope which looks like a snake in the twilight. If you see the rope as a snake, the real nature of the rope is hidden from you. If you only see the rope, the snake is not there. When you have that clear and correct perception that the snake never at any time existed, the question of how to kill the snake disappears. Apply this analogy to the 'little self' that you are worrying about. If you can understand that this 'little self' never at any time had any existence outside your imagination, you will not be concerned about ways and means of getting rid of it.

Question: It all is very well but I feel that I need some help. I am not sure that I can generate this understanding by myself.

Annamalai Swami: The desire for assistance is part of your problem. Don't make the mistake of imagining that there is some goal to be reached or attained. If you think like this you will start looking for methods to practise and people to help you. This just perpetuates the problem you are trying to end. Instead, cultivate the strong awareness, "I am the Self. I am That. I am Brahman [impersonal Absolute Reality]. I am everything". You don't need any methods to get rid of the wrong ideas you have about yourself. All you have to do is stop believing them. The best way to do this is to replace them with ideas which more accurately reflect the real sate of affairs. If you think and meditate "I am the Self", it will do you a lot of more good than thinking, "I am the 'little self'. How can I get rid of this 'little self'"?
   
The Self is always attained, it is always realised; it is not something that you have to seek, reach or discover. Your vasanas [mental habits and tendencies] and all the wrong ideas you have about yourself are blocking and hiding the experience of the real Self. If you don't identify with the wrong ideas, your Self-nature will not be hidden from you.

You said that you needed help. If you desire to gain a proper understanding of your real nature is intense enough, help will automatically come. If you want to generate an awareness of your real nature you will be immeasurably helped by having contact with a jnani [realised being]. The power and grace which a jnani radiates quieten the mind and automatically eliminate the wrong ideas you have about yourself. You can make progress by having satsang [association] of a realised Guru and by constant spiritual practice. The Guru cannot do everything for you. If you want to give up the limiting habits of many lifetimes, you must practise constantly.

Most people take the appearance of the snake in the rope to be reality. Acting on their misperceptions they think up many different ways of killing the snake. They can never succeed in getting rid of the snake until they give up the idea that there is a snake there at all. People who want to kill or control the mind have the same problem: they imagine that there is a mind which needs to be controlled and take drastic steps to beat it into submission. If, instead, they generated the understanding that there is no such thing as the mind, all there problems would come to an end. You must generate the conviction, "I am the all-pervasive consciousness in which all bodies and minds in the world are appearing and disappearing. I am that consciousness which remains unchanged and unaffected by these appearances and disappearances". Stabilise yourself in that conviction. That is all you need to do.

Bhagavan [Ramana Maharshi] once told a story about a man who wanted to bury his own shadow in a deep pit. He dug the pit and stood in such a position that his shadow was on the bottom of it. The man then tried to bury it by covering it with earth. Each time he threw some soil in the hole the shadow appeared on top of it. Of course, he never succeeded in burying the shadow. Many people behave like this when they meditate. They take the mind to be real, try to fight it and kill it, and always fail. These fights against the mind are all mental activities which strengthen the mind instead of weakening it. If you want to get rid of the mind, all you have to do is understand that it is 'not me'. Cultivate the awareness "I am the immanent consciousness". When that understanding becomes firm, the non-existent mind will not trouble you.

Question: I don't think that repeating "I am not the mind, I am consciousness" will ever convince me that I am not the mind. It will just be another thought going on within the mind. If I could experience, even for a moment, what it is like to be without the mind, the conviction would automatically come. I think that one second of experiencing consciousness as it really is would be more convincing that several years of mental repetitions.