Words of Ramana Maharshi #1 If you make your outlook that of wisdom, you will find the world to be God


Thus ultimately there is just one Supreme Reality – God or Brahman or Self or Christ Consciousness or Allah – and “TAT TVAM ASI” – “That Reality You Are”

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Thus ultimately there is just one Supreme Reality – God or Brahman or Self or Christ Consciousness or Allah – and “TAT TVAM ASI” – “That Reality You Are”.
Let the Almighty guide us all to still the mind through seeing Oneness everywhere.

Words of Ramana Maharshi -- #81
Thoughts, good or bad, take you farther and not nearer, because the Self is more intimate than thoughts.

                                                                                                                        -- Ramana Maharshi

Explanation:
What is the Self? What is its nature?

These are just some of the questions that a seeker of liberation has.
The Self is indescribable. A thing can be described only with respect or comparison with another thing. But the Self has no comparison, it is One without a second (Ekam Eva Adviteeyam).

The Self cannot be thought of. A thing can be thought of if it is different from the Subject. As a person cannot see himself with the help of his own eyes, similarly the Subject, being the Self, cannot  become an object of any of the sense organs or the mind or the intellect. Self is the Subject that gives light to all the other various things and objects.
One may put it jokingly that a person can see his face in a mirror.

But here too, the image is seen or perceived wrongly – it is not the correct thing that we see through a mirror.

The Self is without any qualities. A thing can have qualities when it is compared with some thing else. There is no comparison or substitute for the Self. It is the only thing that has not been compared to date. Because when a person realizes the Self, he realizes it as a non-dual thing or Only thing existing.

Self cannot be described in any way. But Vedas and Realized Souls speak of the Self as having the nature of Sat, Chit and Ananda (Existence, Consciousness and Bliss Absolute).
It is Nitya Suddha Buddha Mukta – Ever-pure, ever-enlightened and ever-liberated.
Thoughts are the bondages or the impurities that obstruct the realization of the Self.
Thoughts can be good and bad. Good thoughts are help one in removing the ignorance and impurities of the mind. Bad thoughts are those that makes one accumulate impurities and more and more ignorance.
Maharshi says here that thoughts, whether good or bad, leads one away from the Self. Because the Self can never be thought of with the mind.
Upanishads say

Yan Manasa Na Manuthe Yena Manam idam Manuthe.

Tadeva Brahma Tvam Viddhi Na idam yad idam upaasathe”

That which is not thought by the mind, that which gives the power of thinking to the mind – that is Brahman or Self you know – not what people tell “this”.
Self can never be said as this or that – because it is One without a second. It is the Only thing existing.
Ramakrishna Paramahansa brings out the same quote with a simile.

Bad thoughts are iron chains that bind the mind to the external objects and obstructs one to the realization of the Self.

Good thoughts are gold chains.
A chain is a chain. Thus even good thoughts lead one only away from the Self and not nearer.

Good thoughts lead one to the Self when they are used to remove away the bad thoughts and make the mind pure.
A thorn should be pulled with help of another thorn and then both the thorns are thrown away.

Good thoughts like Bhajan, Japa, Meditation (everthing except Self-Realization – all these are just paths to it) – these should be used to remove the Bad thoughts.

Once these bad thoughts are removed – then the Good thoughts should also be removed and then the Self is realized as shining in the spiritual heart.
One should never get attached to the good thoughts also – even these cannot give one Self-Realization – it can just remove the ignorance. Self-Realization is gained only through gaining Knowledge of the Self and by knowing completely that “I am The Self”.
Upanishads tell

Naayamaatma Pravachanena Labyah Na Medhaya Bahuuna Srutena

Yam ease Vrinuthe Tena Labyah Tas ease Atma Vivrunuthe tanuum svaam

This Atman or Self is not gained through Discourses of Vedas or Upanishads, not by Intellect (Mere intellect without experience) nor by hearing lot of discourses. That person who really wants to realize the Self, he realizes it and he resides in the eternal Blissful state of the Self.
Sankara says in Vivekachoodamani

Vadanthu Saasthraani Yajanthu Devaan

Kurvanthu Karmaani Bhajanthu Devathaah

Atmaikya Bhodena Vina Vimukthir Na Sidhyathi

Brahma Sataanthare Api”
Scriptures are spoken.

Homas or upasanas are done.

Actions are done.

Gods are worshipped through devotion.

But without the Knowledge that “I am That – That Supreme Being called God or Brahman or Self or Christ-consciousness” – Moksha or liberation is not attained even in hundreds lives of Brahma. (A life span of Brahma is roughly 3,00000000 years).

Thus nothing but the Self can help out the Self and once a person has true and unconditional devotion to the Self as Brahman or God, he slowly realizes that “I am the Eternal Blissful Self”.

Let the Almighty guide us all to seek the Self through seeing Oneness everywhere.


Words of Ramana Maharshi -- #82
Although in absolute truth the state of the Guru is that of oneself it is very hard for the Self which has become the individual soul (jiva) through ignorance to realize its true state or nature without the grace of the Guru.
All mental concepts are controlled by the mere presence of the real Guru. If he were to say to one who arrogantly claims that he has seen the farther shore of the ocean of learning or one who claims arrogantly that he can perform deeds which are well-nigh impossible, “Yes, you learn all that is to be learnt, but have you learnt (to know) yourself? And you who are capable of performing deeds which are almost impossible, have you seen yourself?”, they will bow their heads (in shame) and remain silent. Thus it is evident that only by the grace of the Guru and by no other accomplishment is it possible to know oneself.
Guru’s grace is beyond words or thoughts.

                                                                                                                        -- Ramana Maharshi

Explanation:
Gurur Brahma Gurur Vishnu Gurur Devo Maheswarah

Guru Sakshaat Param Brahma Tasmai Sri Gurave Namaha”

Guru is Brahma, Guru is Vishnu and Guru is Siva.

Guru is truly the Supreme Being or Brahman  -- To that Guru I offer my salutations.
Na Guror Adhikam Bhaavam Na Guror Adhikam Tapah

Tatvat Jnaanaat Param Nasthi Tasmai Sri Gurave Namaha”

There is no bhaava or thought greater than Guru. There is no Tapas or austerity greater than Guru. “TATVAT” or “THAT YOU ARE” is the Supreme Knowledge beyond which there is no knowledge – to That Guru who endows one this knowledge, I offer my prostrations.

On this day of Guru Poornima – which is the birthday of Veda Vyaasa – I first of all offer my prostrations to the Guru Parampara starting from Siva in the form of Dakshinamurthy and continuing to the current day Sankaracharyas and Mahatmas like Ramana Maharshi, Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa and others.
Sadasiva Samarambhaam Sankaracharya Madhyamaam.

Asmat Aacharya Paryantaam Vande Guru Paramparaam”

The Guru parampara that started from Siva and upto Adi Sankaracharya and continuing with the present day Sankaracharyas and other acharyas, I offer my prostrations to this Guru Parampara.
Guru Parampara can be listed down as

1) Siva in the form of Dakshinamurthy or Vishnu

2) Brahma

3) Vasistha

4) His son – Sakthi

5) His son – Parasara

6) His son – Vyaasa

7) His son – Suka

8) Gaudapada Acharya

9) Govindapada Acharya

10) Sankaracharya and his four disciples of Totakacharya, Suresvaracharya, Padmapada and Hastamalaka.
I, here, duly offer my prostrations to the holy feet of my Guru, Sadguru Mata Amritanandamayi Devi.
As Maharshi says here, without Guru’s grace, nothing is possible. Guru is the living embodiment of the Brahman of Vedas or God in human form.
Vedas tell

Yasya Deve Para Bhakthi Yatha Deve Tatha Guro

Tasya Ethe Kathitha Hi Arthaah Prakaasanthe Mahatmanah”

He, who has Supreme Devotion to God and similar devotion to Guru – whatever has been said will reveal its effect only on such a person

Maharshi mentions in Sad Darshanam that a person who has got a Sadguru is like a goat or deer caught in the mouth of the lion. Maharshi means to say that there is no escape from Liberation or Mukthi once a person gets such a Sadguru.
Guru Gita mentions

Gururaadi Anaadishcha Guru Parama Deivatam

Guro Parataram Nasthi Tasmai Sri Gurave Namaha”

Guru is beginning and beginningless also – Guru is Supreme God. There is nothing greater than Guru, I offer my prostrations to that Guru.
My Guru says,

If God is angry with a person, then Guru can help him out. But if Guru is angry, not even God can help him out”.
Vedas therefore say “Acharyavaan Purusho Veda” – Person having Guru knows the Brahman or Self or God.
Mundaka Upanishad says

Sa veda ethat Paramam Brahma Daama

Yatra Vishwam Nihitam Bhaathi Subram

Upaasathe Purusham Ye hi Akaamah

Te sukram Ethat Ati Varthanthi Dheerah”

He knows the Supreme Being or Brahman where world rests and pure consciousness shines. That courageous and wise person who duly worships the above knower of Brahman without any desires – he overcomes this vicious cycle of birth and death and attains immortality and full of eternal Bliss.
Maharshi himself tells in another place that rare are those people who are well matured due to their previous birth karmas who realize the Self without a Guru like Ramana Maharshi himself, Mata Amritanandamayi and others.
There are two types of knowledge one can acquire.

1. Indirect knowledge (which can be experienced and experience is the only proof) – Vedas and other sacred scriptures like Bible, Quran and others.


1. Direct knowledge – this is Guru who is the living representation and proof of the indirect knowledge.
Let the Almighty bless us all in the form of Guru and thereby help us to realize the Self in this very birth.

Words of Ramana Maharshi -- #83
Question: Is it right to think that all that happens to us are God’s ordainment and therefore only good?

Maharshi: Of course it is. Yet all others and God are not apart from the Self. How can thoughts of them arise when you remain as the Self?

                                                                                                                        -- Ramana Maharshi

Explanation:
Maharshi is explaining and answering the question of the questioner in two perspectives and two levels.
Does everything happen for good?

Yes it is. Whatever happens happens for the good.

Whatever is to happen will always happen.
A Bhaktha or devotee should always have the constant thought of God and he should always think that whatever is happening is happening with HIS will.

If something good occurs – he should consider it as GOD’s grace or blessing.

If something bad occurs – he should consider it as GOD’s wish.
This is the only way to attain Godhood or merge oneself with God which is the ultimate or final state of Bhakthi or Devotion.
Maharshi tells about Bhakthi in his work Upadesa Saram

Bhaava Soonyah Sad Bhaava Susthithih

Bhavana Bhalaath Bhakthih Uttamah”

The state where there is no thoughts and the mind gets merged into the Self (pure Existence) is the Highest Devotion and this occurs only due to repeated bhavana or thoughts and contemplation on the Self.

One can easily compare this with Adi Sankara’s definition of Bhakthi in his work Vivekachoodamani

Svasva Roopa Anusandhanam Bhakthirithi Abhidheeyathe”

Contemplating on one’s own true nature is called Bhakthi or Devotion.
Maharshi gives this answer to the questioner that everything occurs with the will of God only – this is from the level of a normal seeker who perceives duality and difference between God and himself or the Self.
Maharshi then speaks about the ultimate Reality that there can be no God or others separate from the Self. Without the “I” consciousness, there can never be any God and one can not even imagine about God or concentrate on Him without this “I” consciousness. Thus, God is not a separate entity – but it is the Self only.
When a person thus realizes that God is the Self only and remains as the pure Self – without any other thought – then there will no other thoughts of either God or other people – but only Self. At that time, God merges and becomes one with the Self.
Thus there is nothing greater than the Self. Devotees call it by name God – but if a devotee is trying to realize God who is outside him, then there is no end to his devotion and finally the devotee will get angry over God and start blaming God for not giving him Darshan.
Krishna mentions again and again in Gita that “I am present in the heart of all beings”

Bible says that “Kingdom of God is present in you”
Thus when a devotee realizes and understands that God is in the pure Heart and tries to follow the path of constant, unchanging and complete devotion – he realizes that the Self in him is the God to whom he was devoted.

Thus a Devotee merges himself with God & a Jnaani merges himself with the Self – ultimately there exists only the non-dual Self – full of Existence, Consciousness and Bliss Absolute.

This can be known from the famous Mahavakya of Chandogya Upanishad – “TAT TVAM ASI” – THAT (God or Supreme Being) THOU (this Self or consciousness) ART (are).
Let the Almighty guide us to this non-dual Self through either devotion or knowledge.

Words of Ramana Maharshi -- #84
The Self is said to be unaffected by the elements. It is infinite, eternal. It cannot move. There is no place to move in for the Self.

                                                                                                                        -- Ramana Maharshi

Explanation:
Maharshi is here explaining the nature of the Self.

The Self is indescribable and can be said to have so and so nature.
Yato Vaacho Nivartanthe, Apraapya Manasa Sah”

That which is beyond words and unattainable by the mind – that is Brahman or Self.
The most famous Lalitha Sahasranaamam says

ManoVachaam Agochara”

Unattainable and beyond the mind and words.
As a person cannot see himself with his eyes, similarly the Self which is the seer or perceiver of all the actions cannot be seen by the organs of perception. The Self is not an object of perception or of anything else. It is the Subject.
The Self is called as “Sakshi” or Witness. It is the witness to whatever is happening in this world composed of the five primal elements of Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Ether.
Adi Sankaracharya says in his work Dakshinamurthy ashtakam

In all the changing stages of childhood, youth and the states of waking, dreaming and deep sleep – the Self or the “I” Consciousness remains without changing”.


 

It is strange that it is the same “I” that had the childhood stage of the body and mind & it is the same “I” that is enjoying the youth stage of the body and mind. It is the same “I” that goes into sleep and dreams things and again wakes up to this waking world.
Thus it is not difficult to understand that this “I” remains the same in all situations and times.
This “I” is like the Sun’s rays. The sun’s rays falls on a poor person and a rich person, on a wicked person and a righteous person. But the rays are not affected at all.
Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa says that there is a lamp or lantern in the street. A person uses it to see the road and walk home. Another person, a thief, uses it to rob people. Thus it is the same lamp that is being used for good and bad purposes. But the lamp remains at all times, unaffected by the usage of it.
The Self is similar – it is the witness and is never affected by any happenings of the body (world) and the mind. It is always full of Existence, Consciousness and Bliss. It is this Bliss of the Self that a person enjoys during deep sleep state – but is unaware of it at that time.
Maharshi says that one should live in “Jagrat Sushupti” – Sushupti is deep sleep, Jagrat is awake. One should enjoy the bliss of the deep sleep state that is the natural state of the Self – in the waking state itself.
The Self is infinite – because during deep sleep, one finds only oneself and there is nothing else. A thing is finite when it is limited by some adjunctions or conditions. Such a finite thing limited by space can move from one place to another.

But the Self is the only thing present – hence all-pervading. Hence it cannot move to another place as there is no another place for the Self.

Vishnu Sahasranaama says in the starting about Vishnu


Viswam Vishnur
Viswam means one who has entered the world – meaning one who is all-pervading.

Vishnu means one who is present everywhere.
Such a person is called the Self in Vedas. The Self with a name Vishnu and four handed form is called Vishnu. The same Self when it has ashes smeared is called Siva.
Thus the Self is immovable. It is also eternal as it never ceases to exist. The body daily dies during sleep and takes birth during waking state. But the Self or “I” consciousness remains the same and does not die during this changing states.
Thus the Self is eternal and the only Reality in this world. When a person thus realizes the Seer or Subject (unchanging) that sees the changing things – he realizes the Ultimate Reality that these changing things are in fact the Self only, but wrongly perceived as water seen in desert or snake seen in rope or silver seen in nacre.
If a person thus realizes his real nature of Self – the Witness and the eternal thing – then the sorrow and suffering in the world caused due to misidentification of oneself with the Body and Mind can be avoided.
Let the Almighty guide us to this non-dual Self – The Witness to all this changing things and that which is wrongly perceived as the changing things.


Words of Ramana Maharshi -- #85
Destroy the power of mind by seeking it. When the mind is examined its activities cease automatically. Looking for the source of mind is another method. The source may be said to be God or Self or Consciousness.

                                                                                                                        -- Ramana Maharshi

Explanation:

What is Mind???

Mind or Manas is called as Sankalpa-Vikalpaatmakam or one full of thoughts and modifications.
The Power of the mind is to wander like a drunken monkey. It moves hither and thither and as a result of this, puts a person into all the dualities of bondage-liberation, sorrow-joy, birth-death, attachment-aversion, desire-anger and others.
This power of the mind when destroyed makes it pure and enables it to merge with its Source –which is the Self.
As Vedas speak,

Self is known in a pure mind. A purified mind is in itself the Self.
Maharshi is giving here two methods of destroying this power of the mind.

1) The easiest and simplest way to destroy this power is to examine it. The mind pushes a person from one thought to another because he is not aware of the thoughts or the mind. When a person creates awareness of the mind and is at all times aware of the thoughts in the mind – the mind ceases to exist (as without thoughts, there is no mind and such a mind is called as Self in Vedanta).

2) Another way of destroying the mind is to find its source. This is called Vichara or Self-Enquiry. When a person thus enquires into wherefrom this mind comes, he finds that the mind rises from the Ego. The Ego in turn rises from the Self. This Self is not different from God. From the Supreme Being called God or Self or Brahman, the Ego springs up creating an individuality of its own, creating all the limitations and adjunctions. From this Ego, the mind rises creating different modifications without realizing that the Self is real thing and on forgetting the Self, these things are superimposed and wrongly perceived on the Self.


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