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Ramana Maharshi and the Path of Self Knowledge.
A Theosophist asks whether Sri Bhagavan approves of the seatch for invisible Masters and retorts swiftly;
"If they are invisible now how can you see them?"
"In consciousness," replies the Theosophist.
Bhagavan, "In consciousness there are no others."
Meditation and Self Enquiry.
It is not thought but turning the mind inwards to the awareness beyond thought.
To seek one's self and merge in the Self, that is wisdom.
When thoughts arise during the meditation, one is not to follow them up but to watch them and ask; 'What is this thought? Where did it come from? And to whom? To ME - and who am I?' So each thought disappears when scrutinized and is turned back to the basic I-Thought.
There is no answer to the Who-am-I? question. There can be no answer for it is dissolving the I-thought, which is the parent of all other thoughts and piercing beyond to the stillness where thought is not.
It is not only as a technique of meditation that Sri Bhagavan prescribes Self-enquiry but as a technique of living also.
There is no going, no changing, for That which is universal.[Top]
Upadesa (Instruction) and the Guru.
It depends on the temperament and and spiritual maturity of the individual. There can be no mass instruction.
Except in the rarest of cases, Realization is possible only through the Grace of the Guru.
In the highest and truest meaning of the word the Guru is he who has realized Oneness with the Spirit that is the Self of all. This is Sat-Guru.
God, Guru and the Self are the same.
Submission to this Guru is not submission to any outside oneself but to the Self manifested outwardly in order to help one discover the Self within.
The master is within; meditation is meant to remove the ignorant idea that he is only outside.
When the wrong identification of oneself with the body ceases, the Master is found to be none other than the Self.
Being beyond otherness, there can be no relationship for him.
The Guru or Gnani (Enlightened One) sees no difference between himself and others.
From Bhagavan's point of view ther are no disciples, but from that of the disciple the Grace of the Guru is like an ocean.
Although the Sun is shining you must make the effort of turning to look at it if you want to see it.
What is Guru? Guru is God or the Self.
God appears to him (the disciple) in some form or other, human or non-human, to guide him as Guru in answer to his prayer.
Two things are to be done, first to find the Guru outside yourself and then to find the Guru within. There are two ways, either ask yourself;
The instruction, then, was to sit concentrating on the heart at the right side and ask:
What use is a fan when the cool, gentle southern breeze is blowing?
Self enquiry is the one infallible means, the only direct one, to realize the unconditioned absolute Being that you really are.
Having realized the Self, nothing remains to be known, because it is perfect Bliss, it is all.
The 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'.
The true answer will come of itself. No answer the ego can give can be right.
The Sage who has realised the Self is not aware of it, just as one in a drunken stupor is not aware of his clothing.
The Occult and Siddhis (special powers)
The occult is an obstacle to the spiritual.
Sadhana (Technique of Spititual effort)
Sadhana is simply an attack on the ego, and no amount of ecstasy or meditation can carry it to success so long as the ego remains entrenched in hope and feat, ambition and resentment, in any sort of passion or desire.
In the activities of life also, Sri Bhagavan enjoined surrender and submission to the Divine will, side by side with vichara (discrimination: Real / Unreal, Self / Ego.)
The outcome of one's activity rests with God, and all that one is responsible for is the Purity and Disinterestedness of it.
To abide in the Self, one must love the Self. Since God is in fact the Self, love of Self is love of God.
Thus, Bhakti and Gnani are one and the same
All other methods only lead up to Vichara.
LOVE leads to enquiry.
The teaching of Sri Bhagavan is the essence of all religions, proclaiming openly that which was hidden.
The Sadhana he enjoined was not dependent on any religion.
"Self-enquiry leads to the ultimate Truth behind all religion."
Gnana-marga, the path of self knowledge, is understanding of the heart, not theoretical knowledge. Theoretical or doctrinal knowledge may be a help but it may well equally well be a hindrance.
The real mouna is in the heart and it is possible to remain silent in the midst of speech just as it is to remain solitary in the midst of people.
All this is only activity of the mind. The more you exercise the mind and the more success you have in composing verses the less peace you will have. What use is it to acquire such accomplishments if you don't acquire peace?
Action cannot bring release from action, karma is the mechanism, not the cause of creation, and that it is necessary to go beyond action to contemplation. That one Self, the Reality, alone exists for ever.
There is no cause for alarm. The body itself is a disease; let it have its natural end.
The Gnani is not even anxious to shed his body; he is indifferent alike to the existence of the body, being almost unaware of it.
Do you know what Moksha is? Getting rid of non-existent misery and attaining the Bliss which is always there.
Even though the present state of the world seems inharmonious, it is part of the vaster harmony; and by developing Self knowledge one can both know this harmony and exert a far greater harmonious influence than by attempts to change the course of events.
Q: Will Maharshi give his opinion on the world as we are living in critical times?
A: Why should you worry about the future? You don't even know the present properly. Take care of the present and the future will take care of itself. As you are, so is the world. Without understanding yourself what is the use of trying to understand the world? First, find out the Truth behind yourself, then you will be in a better position to understand the Truth behind the world of which yourself is a part.
Ramana Maharishi Books.