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

My Guru, Mata Amritanandamayi Devi, explains a good story about forgetting about the Subject, the Self


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My Guru, Mata Amritanandamayi Devi, explains a good story about forgetting about the Subject, the Self.
Once, a person used to weekly take a cycle with some load from one town to another town. Between the villages, there was a checkpost where there used to be a policeman. Each time the policeman used to ask the person what he is smuggling. The person used to tell the policeman to check out the load and the policeman could find only stones each time. This happened for quite a long time. Then after long period, once the policeman met the person in some place and asked him to tell the truth behind “his going to other town weekly with just stones”. Then the person replied that “I am smuggling cycles”!!!
This is our state. Like the policeman we are not finding out the Subject, the Self and instead concentrate on the world and other things.
Even to the extent that people try to fight amongst themselves regarding the “Nature of the World – whether is unreal as Advaita tells or has temporary existence according to Vishistadvaita of Ramanuja or has real existence as per Dvaita of Madhvacharya.”
Sri Krishna again and again tells in Gita to find out the Real nature of the Self and take refuge in Me (me as the Supreme Being Brahman or the Self).
Scriptures from the Vedas to other works like Yoga Vasistha, Avadhuta Gita and Astavakra Gita – repeatedly tell, in one voice, that the world is like mirage in a desert. It is a long dream. Instead of trying to find out the nature of water in a mirage (which is futile), one should try to realize the Subject or “Who am I”.
When thus one tries to realize his own real nature, his mind gets pure and then he realizes that “he is the eternal and blissful Self – one without a second”.

At that time he realizes that the Object that one sees is not unreal – but it is only the Self and nothing else.

Brihadaranyaka Upanishad says

Sarvam Khalu Idam Brahma. Neha Nana asthi Kinchana”

Everything is verily Brahman. There is no duality here, not even little bit.
Thus one should really try to find out the Subject through repeated scriptural hearings and reflections on the Truth. One should always try to find out “Who am I, From where these worlds of dual objects sprang up”.
This truly leads one to Ultimate Reality of Non-dual Brahman or Self. IT is the Self or “Consciousness” that exists during all the three states of waking, dream and deep sleep. It is there even when one is sorrowful and happy. It is there during all the periods of childhood, youth and old age. It is the non-changing eternal thing that exists always. It is the Non-dual consciousness that due to ignorance seems to be split into dual things (as in dream).
When the Self is Realized through the enquiry into the Subject with the question “Who am I” and through the words and grace of a Guru, one rejoices the eternal Bliss and always resides in the eternal Bliss.
Let the Almighty guide us all to realize the Subject through this enquiry.
Words of Ramana Maharshi -- #97
One might be in the thick of the world and maintain serenity of mind; such a one is in solitude. Another may stay in a forest, but still be unable to control his mind. He cannot be said to be in solitude. Solitude is a function of the mind. A man attached to desire cannot get solitude wherever he may be; a detached man is always in solitude.

                                                                                                                        -- Ramana Maharshi

Maharshi here explains the way to peace of mind.
If we investigate into this world and the people in it, we will be able to find out that it is peace of mind and happiness that each and everyone is searching for.
A Software Engineer is working – in order to get money. He thinks that through money, happiness and peace of mind can be gained!!! But if a person investigates into this, he realizes that happiness and peace of mind is not in money or any other external object. If happiness was in money, then the most happy person would be Bill Gates or George Bush. But this is not the case. Even leaders of political parties strive hard to get the post of Primeministership so that they can get happiness. What a pity!!!!
A little investigation into money –

Let’s say a person gets some money – 1 crore. Is he happy after that??? No. Because then the fear comes as to whether the money will be safe or not. Also he will not get peace if the same amount of money is not there after some time.
A sadhu or saint like Ramana Maharshi who had no possession with him except the loin cloth – was always happy in his life and could give Happiness and peace of mind to whoever came to him. For eg: Paul Brunton and Arthur Osborne from foreign countries came to Maharshi and got the eternal Bliss of the Self.
Thus happiness is not in money or any other external things. The Happiness that a person gets by the external things is only a small amount of the inherent happiness in himself. This is the case why two people with the same kind of environment and surrounding react different – one cursing the world to be bad and sorrowful, while the other sees the world as blissful and divine.

Thus when one investigates, one realizes the futility of the external objects which in fact can give nothing but sorrow and sorrow only.

Only when a person turns his mind inward and tries to find out his real nature – he gets the eternal Bliss of the Self.
Saints from time immemorial, from Jesus Christ, Adi Sankara, Ramanuja, Madhavacharya, Ramana Maharshi, Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, Swami Vivekananda, Sri Sri Ravishankar, Sai Baba, Mata Amritanandamayi, Aurobindo Ghosh  – just to mention a few have realized the place of eternal Bliss and frequently telling each one of us to realize that place and be eternal and reside in Bliss.
When does the mind get peace or solitude???

Maharshi tells here that desire is the root cause to not getting solitude. Desire comes when the person wrongly thinks that there is happiness is in the external world and tries to achieve things.
As Buddha said in his four teachings

1. There is suffering in the world.

2. The suffering has a cause.

3. The cause is desire.

4. There can be an end to suffering if desire is eliminated.
Thus when a person becomes detached to all the external things in the world, his mind slowly turns inward into the Self – the abode of eternal Bliss.
People may think that isn’t work anobstruction to Self-Realization??

Work done with the sense of doership and with aim to get some effects or results is the obstruction to Self-Realization. When a person just does his work by offering it to the Almighty or to the Self – the work becomes worship. Such a work where nothing is expected in return helps to purify the mind. When the mind is purified – the person stays in solitude.

When solitude is there – then the man realizes his own true and real nature of the Self – Absolute Existence, Consciousness and Bliss.

This is the obvious reason why Jesus said “The Kingdom of God is in you”.
How can one attain solitude???

The way is not to renounce work and go to a forest. Even then, if purity of mind is not gained, the thoughts will disturb him even there. Then there will no solitude even in forest.
Sri Krishna says in Gita

Karmani Eva Adhikarah te Ma Phaleshu Kadachan.

Ma Karma Phala Hetur Bhur Ma Te Sangotsa Vikarmani”

You have the right only to do action and not to the fruits of the action. Hence do work without expectation and also don’t get attached to not doing any work.
This Earth world is a world of WORK. Even Sanyaasis have to do some work. Work is inevitable. But when the work is done as being offered to God without any sense of doership and without any expectation – it leads one to solitude.
This is the obvious reason why Swami Vivekananda was doing lot of work – but still he was in solitude.
Maharshi says in Upadesa Saram

Karthuraajnaya Prapyathe Phalam – Karma Kim Param, Karma TadJadam”

Effect or fruits of action is got by the grace of the Creator. So how is karma great, karma is insentient.
Ishwaraarpitam Na Icchaya Kritam – chitta shodakam Mukthi Sadhakam”

Work offered to God and without any desire for fruits – helps in purification of mind and helps in liberation or Self-Realization.

So One just needs to do work as a actor acting in a drama and as if one is seeing a dream. Offering this work as a pooja to the Almighty, one slowly through practice gains solitude of mind and finally realizes his own real true nature of Self – that which one is already and one just needs to realize it and reside in the eternal Bliss of the Self.

Let the Almighty guide us all to offer work to Almighty and gain solitude of mind even in this busy schedule-world.
Words of Ramana Maharshi -- #98
No motive can be attributed to that Power, no desire, no end to achieve can be asserted of that one infinite, all wise and all-powerful Being. God is untouched by activities which take place in His presence, compare the Sun and the world activities.

                                                                                                                        -- Ramana Maharshi

Maharshi is here explaining about God, the ultimate Supreme Being.
Who is God or what is God???

God is not just a vague concept found out by religious or spiritual people. God is the ultimate Supreme Being from whom all the beings have taken their birth and unto whom all beings merge during Pralaya or Destruction. But still God is one who is not at all affected by his creations.
Here one can have a doubt that if only one Self is there, then how come creation and destruction is happening???

Adi Sankara says that there is no world being created or destroyed. All this is just a long dream or similar to illusion.
A person creates a world of his own in dream and rejoices in happy modes and cries in sorrow and anguish during sad moments – all these happen in his own created dream world. When the person is dreaming, the dream seems to be as real as the waking world. But once the person wakes up, he realizes that there was no world and nothing except his own Self – the “I” that seemed to be split into duality and multiple things.

Thus this world is also a long dream. It is like an illusion – water in desert or snake seen in rope. Actually, from the perspective of a Self-Realized Soul (one who has waken up to the Ultimate Reality of Oneness from this waking world), there is only One thing called Self or God or Brahman. Only for people who are still dreaming in this waking world, there are multitudes.

God is the Ultimate Being (in this waking world and also for Self-Realized souls) who is the substratum to this changing and transitory world.
Patanjali describes God in Yoga Sutras

Klesha Karma Vipakashayair Aparaamrishtah Purusha Vishesha Ishwarah”.

God is a Person for whom there is no ignorance, and who is unaffected by work and its fruits and who has no desire.
God is defined as Infinite and all-pervading.
Krishna says in Gita

Ishwarah Sarva Bhootanaam Hrideshe Arjuna Thisthathi”

O Arjuna, God is situated in the heart of all beings.
Qualities of God

It is really foolish to attribute qualities to God – because God or the Self is beyond qualities. Qualities can be attributed to a thing if there is something different from that thing. But God is all-pervading and omni-present – one without a second. Thus qualities cannot be attributed to God from the perspective of God-Realized Souls. As dream cannot be given some quality or description by a waking person, similarly God cannot be given any attribute to Self-Realized people. But a person can give qualities to the dream while he is dreaming. Hence God can be attributed some qualities in order to prove his all-pervasiveness and to prove that “he is the Ultimate and Non-dual Brahman, one without a second”.
There must be a creator for this world. That creator is called God. It is from Him that all beings take birth, sustain life and unto whom all beings merge during death.

Since God has created this universe, he must be all-knowing. A person cannot create a thing without knowing completely about it. Hence God is all-wise. As he is all-knowing, he is the Supreme Power. Power comes when knowledge is there. Thus God is the Supreme Power.

God is all-knowing and Supreme Power – thus he has no desire. Desire occurs when one has something lacking in Him. This lacking occurs due to ignorance.
A person gets the desire to learn Microsoft .Net because he doesn’t know it. A person gets the desire to rule the world because he doesn’t really know or experience the ruling of the world. But for God, who is all-knowing and powerful, there can be no desire.
God is Non-dual. If there was something different from God, then there must a cause that is giving birth to both these two things. So that extra thing must be more powerful than God. So God’s powerful character has no meaning. Thus one can conclude that God is Non-dual – one without a second.
God is all-pervasive. If a person creates something, we say that he has put his life unto it. This is how, people tell that a painter gives his breath to his paintings. Thus God must be present in all his creations. Thereby, God is all-pervading – there is not a single place he is not present.
God has no birth and has no starting. If God had birth or a starting, there must a thing from which God came – that thing then has to have more knowledge and power than God and the Supreme Power of God has no meaning. Thus God has no birth since he is Supreme Cause for all the living beings in this world as well as all other worlds.
As God has no birth, he has no death and all the six qualities of a thing in this world.
A thing has six changes in this world.

1) Janma or Birth

2) Astitva or Existence

3) Vriddhi or Growth

4) Parinaama or Change

5) Apakshaya or Disease

6) Naasha or Death
Everything in this world, starting from insentient things like a computer, table, rock to man and other living beings – all undergo these six changes.
But God since he has no birth – doesn’t undergo these six changes.
As God is infinite and omni-present and without any changes – he is a sole witness to whatever is happening in the world. He is the substratum by which all things and activities happen, but still he is unaffected by it. A dreamer sees the dream world, but once he wakes up he realizes that he was the whole time unaffected by the dream world.
Maharshi is giving the example of Sun here.

There are a lot of activities going on in this Earth world or Bhoo loka. There are good things and bad things going on in this world. But the Sun is unaffected by all these activities, whether good or bad. A dog barks at the Sun. A Brahmin offers his prostration to the Sun daily morning. The Rishis offer pooja and yagnas to Sun. A thief kills another person in the presence of Sun. But still the Sun is the same, remaining as just the witness to all these activities.
Similarly, God is just a witness to whatever actions are going on in this world. Whatever actions a person does, so the reactions he gets (this is also due to the witness of God – without God, the sentient light – there is no life in anything in this world).

This God or Witness is not anywhere external – but it is in the heart of everyone. The “I” Consciousness that remains the same during all the three states waking, dreaming and deep sleep and called “Self” is God only. The world is nothing but God only. It is only the vision and the eye that are wrong which tends one to see God as different from oneself and as not present in everything.

Swami Chinmayananda saysGod is not a celestial being, sitting amidst clouds and showering his blessings on selected individuals only.”
God is only Bliss in nature. There is no word sorrow for God. It is the wrong perception of water in desert that causes one to go towards it and get sad as he does not get water. But desert is the same always. God is only Blissful in nature. And this Bliss one gets during deep sleep but is unaware of it.
One just needs to realize that God is present everywhere and that the “I” Consciousness is God and that it is just a witness to all activities and purely Bliss in nature.
Let the Almighty guide us all to surrender completely and unconditionally to God, the witness of all the transitory world – the God who is present in the heart of all beings, the God that is the “I” Consciousness or Sel.f
Words of Ramana Maharshi -- #99
If the Atman be realized to be only unitary there is no second and therefore no cause for fear.

                                                                                                                        -- Ramana Maharshi

Maharshi is here explaining the main and important characteristic of Atman or the Self.
What is Self or Atman???

Self or Atman is normally explained by Vedanta in two ways.

The First way is called “Neti Neti” – “Not this, not this” – negation of the Non-Self.

The Self is that which illuminates everything in this world. What is that which illuminates the things in the world??? It is the Consciousness of a person that illuminates things. This is the obvious reason why an unconscious person does not perceive the world. Thus it is the “I” Consciousness that is the substratum for the world.

This “I” persists during all the 24 hours in a day – during waking, dream and also in deep sleep. This is the reason why Tennyson said “Men may come, men may go – but I live for ever”.
This “I” is eternal. A thing is not eternal when it comes under the constrains of time and space. The time and space concepts are not found in deep sleep, but the “I” is found even there. A person once he wakes up exclaims “I slept happily”. Thus time and space are concepts which are based on the “I” or the Self. Thus “I” is eternal – beyond time and space.
This “I” is that which gives the eyes their power of sight, the ears the power of hearing, the nose the power of smelling, the skin the power of touch and the tongue the power of taste. But for the “I” – nothing can be perceived.
Hence, the Self is called “eye of eye”. If that is the case, how can the “I” be perceived. The “I” is the Subject that experiences and perceives the various objects. The Subject can never become an object.
Mundaka Upanishad says

Na chakshusha grihyathe Na api Vaacha.

Na anyair devair Tapasaa Karmano Va.

Jnaana Prasaadena Vishudhasatwah

Tatasthu tam pasyathe Nishkalam Dhyaayamanah”

The Self cannot be perceived through the sense organs nor do the organs of action (word, hands, legs, excretory organs and reproductory organs). The Self cannot be perceived through austerities or by actions (rituals). Those who having got purity of mind through the Knowledge of the Self, realize the Self (without any parts) during times of deep meditation and samadhi.
Thus the Self cannot be explained by words or thoughts.
Taittiriya Upanishad says

Yato Vacho Nivartante Apraapya Manasa Sah”

The Self is beyond words and not attainable by the mind (impurified mind).
Lalitha Sahasranaama says

Mano Vachaam Agochara”

Unattainable by mind and words.
Therefore, the Vedas try negating all the objects thereby reducing everything to the Self. When all the objects are negated – then what remains is the Subject or the Self.

This process of Negating is called “Neti, Neti”.
Sita was once tested by some saints. Different forms of a same saint were shown before her. One of them was Rama. Sita was told to identify Rama. When she came to each saint who was not Rama, she said “No, No”. When she came before Rama, she just remained silent and bowed her head.
Similarly, the Vedas point to everything other than the Self telling “not this” and they remain silent when the Self is reached.
Then how can one realize the Self???

When everything else has been negated, one develops a dispassion towards all objects. Due to this dispassion, the mind tries to concentrate on the Real thing, the Self. When the mind becomes concentrated – it becomes pure. In a pure mind, the Self is realized.
Maharshi tells that the Self is already realized. Only the ignorance of the mind has to be removed. When ignorance is removed, then the Knowledge and Realization of the Self dawns.
This Self is termed as “Ekam Eva Adhviteeyam” – “One only, without a second”.

There is nothing different from the Self. The Self is Non-dual. The Consciousness in a person gives light to different objects in the world. So, it is the Consciousness that is being seen as a different name and form in the various objects. Thus the Substratum of the objects is the Self. Only foolish people fall into the various names and forms, forgetting the hidden Real thing of Self. A goldsmith recognizes gold-chain, gold-necklace and gold-ring as GOLD only. Whereas an ignorant person things that these are different things and gets deluded.

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