Ramana Maharishi’s Wisdom.
Ramana Maharishi’s Awakening by his own description:
“It was in 1896, about 6 weeks before I left Madurai for good (to go to Tiruvannamalai – Arunachala) that this great change in my life took place. I was sitting alone in a room on the first floor of my uncle’s house. I seldom had any sickness and on that day there was nothing wrong with my health, but a sudden violent fear of death overtook me. There was nothing in my state of health to account for it nor was there any urge in me to find out whether there was any account for the fear. I just felt I was going to die and began thinking what to do about it. It did not occur to me to consult a doctor or any elders or friends. I felt I had to solve the problem myself then and there. The shock of the fear of death drove my mind inwards and I said to myself mentally, without actually framing the words: “Now death has come; what does it mean? What is that is dying? This body dies.”
And at once I dramatised the occurrence of death. I lay with my limbs stretched out still as though rigor mortis has set in, and imitated a corpse so as to give greater reality to the enquiry. I held my breath and kept my lips tightly closed so that no sound could escape, and that neither the word “I” nor any word could be uttered. “Well then,” I said to myself, “this body is dead. It will be carried stiff to the burning ground and there burn and reduced to ashes. But with the death of the body, am I dead? Is the body I? It is silent and inert, but I feel the full force of my personality and even the voice of I within me, apart from it. So I am the Spirit transcending the body. The body dies but the spirit transcending it cannot be touched by death. That means I am the deathless Spirit. All this was not dull thought; it flashed through me vividly as living truths which I perceived directly almost without thought process. “I” was something real, the only real thing about my present state, and all the conscious activity connected with the body was centered on that “I”. From that moment onwards, the “I” or Self focused attention on itself by a powerful fascination. Fear of death vanished once and for all. The ego was lost in the flood of Self-awareness. Absorption continued in the Self continued unbroken from that time. Other thought might come and go like the various notes of music, but the “I” continued like the fundamental sruti note which underlies and blends with all other notes.”
Happiness is your nature.
It is not wrong to desire it.
What is wrong is seeking it outside
when it is inside.
Nearly all mankind is more or less unhappy
because nearly all do not know the true Self.
Real happiness abides in Self-knowledge alone.
All else is fleeting.
To know one’s Self
is to be blissful always.
…Bliss is not something to be got.
On the other hand you are always Bliss.
This desire [for Bliss] is born of the sense of incompleteness.
To whom is this sense of incompleteness?
Enquire. In deep sleep you were blissful.
Now you are not so.
What has interposed between that Bliss and this non-bliss?
It is the ego.
Seek its source and find you are Bliss.
Wanting to reform the world without discovering one’s true self is like trying to cover the world with leather to avoid the pain of walking on stones and thorns. It is much simpler to wear shoes.
– From `Happiness and God’s Grace’
by Ramana Maharshi.
We loosely talk of Self-realization, for lack of a better term. But how can one realize or make real that which alone is real? All we need to do is to give up our habit of regarding as real that which is unreal. All religious practices are meant solely to help us do this. When we stop regarding the unreal as real, then reality alone will remain, and we will be that.
Nobody doubts that he exists, though he may doubt the existence of God. If he finds out the truth about himself and discovers his own source, this is all that is required.
‘That inner Self, as the primeval Spirit,
Eternal, ever effulgent, full and infinite Bliss,
Single, indivisible, whole and living,
Shines in everyone as the witnessing awareness.
That self in its splendour, shining in the cavity of the heart
This self is neither born nor dies,
Neither grows nor decays,
Nor does it suffer any change.
When a pot is broken, the space within it is not,
And similarly, when the body dies the Self in it remains eternal.
Every living being longs always to be happy, untainted by sorrow; and everyone has the greatest love for himself, which is solely due to the fact that happiness is his real nature. Hence, in order to realize that inherent and untainted happiness, which indeed he daily experiences when the mind is subdued in deep sleep, it is essential that he should know himself. For obtaining such knowledge the inquiry ‘Who am I?’ in quest of the Self is the best means.”
– The Collected Works of Sri Ramana Maharshi
(Page 39, Samuel Weiser Edition 1977).
Reality is simply the loss of ego. Destroy the ego by seeking its identity. Because the ego is no entity it will automatically vanish and reality will shine forth by itself.
– ‘Be As You Are’,
The Teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi
Edited by David Godman.
“God dwells in you, as you, and you don’t have to ‘do’ anything to be God-realized or Self-realized, it is already your true and natural state.” Just drop all seeking, turn your attention inward, and sacrifice your mind to the One Self radiating in the Heart of your very being. For this to be your own presently lived experience, Self-Inquiry is the one direct and immediate way.”
It is false to speak of realisation. What is there to realise? The real is as it is always. We are not creating anything new or achieving something which we did not have before. The illustration given in books is this. We dig a well and create a huge pit. The space in the pit or well has not been created by us. We have just removed the earth which was filling the space there. The space was there then and is also there now. Similarly we have simply to throw out all the age-long samskaras [innate tendencies] which are inside us. When all of them have been given up, the Self will shine alone.
– “Be As You Are”
The Teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi
Edited by David Godman.
There is no greater mystery than this, that we keep seeking reality though in fact we are reality. We think that there is something hiding reality and that this must be destroyed before reality is gained. How ridiculous! A day will dawn when you will laugh at all your past efforts. That which will be the day you laugh is also here and now.
Relative knowledge pertains to the mind and not to the Self. It is therefore illusory and not permanent. Take a scientist, for instance. He formulates a theory that the Earth is round and goes on to prove it on an incontrovertible basis. When he falls asleep the whole idea vanishes; his mind is left a blank. What does it matter whether the world remains round or flat when he is asleep? So you see the futility of all such relative knowledge. One should go beyond relative knowledge and abide in the Self. Real knowledge is such experience, and not apprehension by the mind.
– “Talks with Ramana Maharshi.”
‘I exist’ is the only permanent self-evident experience of everyone. Nothing else is so self-evident as ‘I am’. What people call self-evident, that is, the experience they get through the senses, is far from self-evident. The Self alone is that. So to do self-enquiry and be that ‘I am’ is the only thing to do. ‘I am’ is reality. I am this or that is unreal. ‘I am’ is truth, another name for Self.
– “Be As You Are”
The Teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi
Edited by David Godman.
“Heart” is merely another name for the Supreme Spirit,
because He is in all hearts.
The entire Universe is condensed in the body,
and the entire body in the Heart.
Thus the Heart is the nucleus of the whole Universe.
Your own Self-Realization
is the greatest service you can
render the world.
You and I are the same.
What I have done is surely possible for all.
You are the Self
now and can never be anything else.
Throw your worries to the wind,
turn within and find Peace.
From the website: Words of Wisdom.
Self is only Being –
not being this or that.
It is Simple Being.
There is the end of ignorance.
The following is Forty Verses On Reality by Sri Ramana Maharshi, translated by Arthur Osborne.
Forty Verses on Reality.
1. From our perception of the world there follows acceptance of a unique First Principle possessing various powers. Pictures of name and form, the person who sees, the screen on which he sees, and the light by which he sees: he himself is all of these.
2. All religions postulate the three fundamentals, the world, the soul, and God, but it is only the one Reality that manifests Itself as these three. One can say, ‘The three are really three’ only so long as the ego lasts. Therefore, to inhere in one’s own Being, where the ‘I’, or ego, is dead, is the perfect State.
3. ‘The world is real.’ ‘No, it, is a mere illusory appearance.’ ‘The world is conscious.’ ‘No.’ ‘The world is happiness.’ ‘No.’ What use is it to argue thus? That State is agreeable to all, wherein, having given up the objective outlook, one knows one’s Self and loses all notions either of unity or duality, of oneself and the ego.
4. If one has form oneself, the world and God also will appear to have form, but if one is formless, who is it that sees those forms, and how? Without the eye can any object be seen? The seeing Self is the Eye, and that Eye is the Eye of Infinity.
5. The body is a form composed of the five-fold sheath; therefore, all the five sheaths are implied in the term, body. Apart from the body does the world exist? Has anyone seen the world without the body?
6. The world is nothing more than an embodiment of the objects perceived by the five sense-organs. Since, through these five sense-organs, a single mind perceives the world, the world is nothing but the mind. Apart from the mind can there be a world?
7. Although the world and knowledge thereof rise and set together it is by knowledge alone that the world is made apparent. That Perfection wherein the world and knowledge thereof rise and set, and which shines without rising and setting, is alone the Reality.
8. Under whatever name and form one may worship the Absolute Reality, it is only a means for realizing It without name and form. That alone is true realization, wherein one knows oneself in relation to that Reality, attains peace and realizes one’s identity with it.
9. The duality of subject and object and trinity of seer, sight, and seen can exist only if supported by the One. If one turns inward in search of that One Reality they fall away. Those who see this are those who see Wisdom. They are never in doubt.
10. Ordinary knowledge is always accompanied by ignorance, and ignorance by knowledge; the only true Knowledge is that by which one knows the Self through enquiring whose is the knowledge and ignorance.
11. Is it not, rather, ignorance to know all else without knowing oneself, the knower? As soon as one knows the Self, which is the substratum of knowledge and ignorance, knowledge and ignorance perish.
12. That alone is true Knowledge which is neither knowledge nor ignorance. What is known is not true Knowledge. Since the Self shines with nothing else to know or to make known, It alone is Knowledge. It is not a void.
13. The Self, which is Knowledge, is the only Reality. Knowledge of multiplicity is false knowledge. This false knowledge, which is really ignorance, cannot exist apart from the Self, which is Knowledge-Reality. The variety of gold ornaments is unreal, since none of them can exist without the gold of which they are all made.
14. If the first person, I, exists, then the second and third persons, you and he, will also exist. By enquiring into the nature of the I, the I perishes. With it ‘you’ and ‘he’ also perish. The resultant state, which shines as Absolute Being, is one’s own natural state, the Self.
15. Only with reference to the present can the past and the future exist. They too, while current, are the present. To try to determine the nature of the past and the future while ignoring the present is like trying to count without the unit.
16. Apart, from us where is time and where is space? If we are bodies, we are involved in time and space, but are we? We are one and identical now, then, and forever, here, and everywhere. Therefore we, timeless, and spaceless Being, alone are.
17. To those who have not realized the Self, as well as to those who have, the word ‘I’ refers to the body, but with this difference, that for those who have not realized, the ‘I’ is confined to the body whereas for those who have realized the Self within the body the ‘I’ shines as the limitless Self.
18. To those who have not realized (the Self) as well as to those who have the world is real. But to those who have not realized, Truth is adapted to the measure of the world, whereas to those that have, Truth shines as the Formless Perfection, and as the Substratum of the world. This is all the difference between them.
19. Only those who have no knowledge of the Source of destiny and free-will dispute as to which of them prevails. They that know the Self as the one Source of destiny and free-will are free from both. Will they again get entangled in them?
20. He who sees God without seeing the Self sees only a mental image. They say that he who sees the Self sees God. He who, having completely lost the ego, sees the Self, has found God, because the Self does not exist apart from God
21. What is the Truth of the scriptures which declare that if one sees the Self one sees God? How can one see one’s Self? If, since one is a single being, one cannot see one’s Self, how can one see God? Only by becoming a prey to Him.
22. The Divine gives light to the mind and shines within it. Except by turning the mind inward and fixing it in the Divine, there is no other way to know Him through the mind.
23. The body does not say ‘I’. No one will argue that even in deep sleep the ‘I’ ceases to exist. Once the ‘I’ emerges, all else emerges. With a keen mind enquire whence this ‘I’ emerges.
24. This inert body does not say ‘I’. Reality-Consciousness does not emerge. Between the two, and limited to the measure of the body, something emerges as ‘I’. It is this that is known as Chit-jada-granthi (the knot between the Conscious and the inert), and also as bondage, soul, subtle-body, ego, samsara, mind, and so forth.
25. It. comes into being equipped with a form, and as long as it retains a form it endures. Having a form, it feeds and grows big. But if you investigate it this evil spirit, which has no form of its own, relinquishes its grip on form and takes to flight.
26. If the ego is, everything else also is. If the ego is not, nothing else is. Indeed, the ego is all. Therefore the enquiry as to what this ego is, is the only way of giving up everything.
27. The State of non-emergence of ‘I’ is the state of being THAT. Without questing for that State of the non-emergence of ‘I’ and attaining It, how can one accomplish one’s own extinction, from which the ‘I’ does not revive? Without that attainment how is it possible to abide in one’s true State, where one is THAT?
28. Just as a man would dive in order to get something that had fallen into the water, so one should dive into oneself, with a keen one-pointed mind, controlling speech and breath, and find the place whence the ‘I’ originates.
29. The only enquiry leading to Self-realization is seeking the Source of the ‘I’ with in-turned mind and without uttering the word ‘I’. Meditation on ‘I am not this; I am That’ may be an aid to the enquiry but it cannot be the enquiry.
30. If one enquires ‘Who am I?’ within the mind, the individual ‘I’ falls down abashed as soon as one reaches the Heart and immediately Reality manifests itself spontaneously as ‘I-I’. Although it reveals itself as ‘I’, it is not the ego but the Perfect Being, the Absolute Self.
31. For Him who is immersed in the bliss of the Self, arising from the extinction of the ego, what remains to be accomplished? He is not aware of anything (as) other than the Self. Who can apprehend his State?
32. Although the scriptures proclaim ‘Thou art That’, it is only a sign of weakness of mind to meditate ‘I am That, not this’, because you are eternally That. What has to be done is to investigate what one really is and remain That.
33. It is ridiculous to say either ‘I have not realized the Self’ or ‘I have realized the Self’; are there two selves, for one to be the object of the other’s realization? It is a truth within the experience of everyone that there is only one Self.
34. It is due to illusion born of ignorance that men fail to recognise That which is always and for everybody the inherent Reality dwelling in its natural Heart-centre and to abide in it, and that instead they argue that it exists or does not exist, that it has form or has not form, or is non-dual or dual.
35. To seek and abide in the Reality that is always attained, is the only Attainment. All other attainments (siddhis) are such as are acquired in dreams. Can they appear real to someone who has woken up from sleep? Can they that are established in the Reality and are free from maya, be deluded by them?
36. Only if the thought ‘I am the body’ occurs will the meditation ‘I am not this, I am That’, help one to abide as That. Why should we for ever be thinking, ‘I am That’? Is it necessary for man to go on thinking ‘I am a man’? Are we not always That?
37. The contention, ‘Dualism during practice, non-dualism on Attainment’, is also false. While one is anxiously searching, as well as when one has found one’s Self, who else is one but the tenth man?
38. As long as a man is the doer, he also reaps the fruit of his deeds, but, as soon as he realizes the Self through enquiry as to who is the doer his sense of being the doer falls away and the triple karma is ended. This is the state of eternal Liberation.
39. Only so long as one considers oneself bound, do thoughts of bondage and Liberation continue. When one enquires who is bound the Self is realized, eternally attained, and eternally free. When thought of bondage comes to an end, can thought of Liberation survive?
40. If it is said, that Liberation is of three kinds, with form or without form or with and without form, then let me tell you that the extinction of three forms of Liberation is the only true Liberation.
From the website: Words of Wisdom.