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

Thus when the three knots are broken, ignorance is removed and knowledge is gained. When this knowledge is gained, there is nothing else to be known

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Thus when the three knots are broken, ignorance is removed and knowledge is gained. When this knowledge is gained, there is nothing else to be known.
Sri Krishna tells in Gita chapter 7

Jnaanam Teham Savijnaanamidam Vakshyaami Asheshatah.

Yat Jnaatva Na iha Bhooyo Anyat Jnaatavyam Avashishyate”

I will tell you Knowledge along with Wisdom or Experience – knowing which there exists nothing else to be known.
What is this Knowledge knowing which everything else becomes known???

It is the Self-Knowledge or Self-Realization – knowing which everything else becomes known.
How come knowing this everything else becomes known???

Because the Self is of the nature of Chit or Knowledge. This Self is abundant resource of Knowledge. It is that which is non-dual. It is the only thing existing. It is Knowledge itself in nature.
All other knowledge that we gain from this material world are only Objective knowledge. But this Self-Knowledge is a Subjective Knowledge – knowing about the Subject. This Subject is the substratum for the objects (which are only superimpositions on the Subject as in deep sleep there is no object).
What is effect of gaining this Knowledge???

Bliss or Ananda is the nature of this Knowledge or Chit. Thus when a person gains or realizes his true nature of Self – he rejoices the eternal Bliss of the Self.
This is the reason why “Tarathi Shokam Atmavit” – “One who knows the Self overcomes sorrow” – says the Vedas.
Adi Sankara says that there are mainly two goals for any being.

  1. Sukha Praapthi or Happiness gaining

  2. Dukha Nivritti or Removal of sorrow.

These two are possible not through any other knowledge, but only through Self-Knowledge and by realizing the Self.
Sankara himself says that

Jeevanmukthi Sukha Praapthi Janma Hetuh” – Rejoicing the Bliss of JeevanMukthi or liberated while living is the goal of Human Birth.
Thus one should try to realize one’s own true and real nature of Self – Bliss infinite. When one goes into enquiring as to “Who am I” – he comes to the pure and eternal Consciousness. When a person removes the veils and impurities of the mind, then he realizes his own true nature of Bliss and rejoicing in the Bliss. Scriptures are just a means to gaining this knowledge and making a clear intellectual conviction that “I am the Self or Brahman”. Thus Scriptural teaching also called Vedanta is the only Subjective science that deals into the Subject and the result of Vedantic study is pure Bliss (that everyone is seeking each moment in external and objective things).
Let the Almighty guide us all to realize the Self through Vedantic study.
PS: Please send a mail to me, Hariram_Subramonia@infosys, with subject "subscribe quotes" to get these quotes directly in your inbox. Send a mail with subject "unsubscribe quotes" to stop getting quotes in your inbox. 

Words of Ramana Maharshi -- #109
The Mind, turned outwards, results in thoughts and objects. Turned inwards, it becomes itself the Self.

                                                                                                                        -- Ramana Maharshi



Mind – this is one of the most important thing for a seeker.


People tend to close their eyes and tend to meditate – but this Mind comes into play and spoils the sport.


What is Mind????

Sankalpa Vikalpaatmakam Manah – says Vidyaranya Swami in his great voluminous work Panchadashi.


Mind is that entity which comprises of thoughts and modifications or vrittis.


This mind is always practiced to turn outwards. Turning outwards means the mind that craves for sense objects. When this mind is not turned inward into One’s own real nature – it creates the dual world and lots of things.


Thoughts are just a subtle stage of the mind. When these thoughts go on increasing their power and their intensity, it tends to become gross objects. This is exactly what happens in dream state. A person thinks and he dreams and sees lot of dual things. But only after waking up does he realize that in Reality – there was only the “I” – who was the dreamer, the dream world and other things.


Yoga Vasistha says

“Vipra Prithivyaadi Manastham Na Bahyastham Kadaachana.

Swapna Brama Padartheshu Sarvair eva Anubhooyathe”

O Brahmin. The Earth and all other things are created only in the mind and not outside. This is experienced by all people during dream and illusory experiences of mirage and seeing rope in snake.

Vasistha again says

"Man eva manushyaanaam Karanam Bandha Mokshayoh

Bandhaaya Vishayaasaktam Muktaih Nirvishayam Smritam"


Mind alone is the cause of bondage and liberation.

Mind craving for sensual pleasures is in bondage and mind which has no craving and is turned inward is in liberation.


Vedas tell that the Self is realized when the mind becomes pure.


Mind can be compared with the water in a lake or a mirror. When the water is impure, the bottom of the lake (representing the Self) is not seen. But when the water is pure (meaning it doesn't crave for sense objects and goes inward into its source) -- the Self is seen as shining.


Similarly, the Self is already realized and one is already that. But as a pure face will be seen as impure in a mirror with dust, similarly, when the mind is turned outward & becomes beastly towards external sensual pleasures -- the pure face of one is not seen. But when the mirror is cleaned up, the face is seen as shining. Ultimately, there is no fault in the face -- but only in the mind.


When the mind is turned inward, one tries to find out his own real true nature -- at that time, the mind doesn't wander into the external sensual pleasures -- at this time, the mind verily merges into its Source -- the "I" Consciousness.


This is what everyone experiences during periods of deep sleep. At that time, the mind doesn't turn outward, but it gets merged into the Self -- but only to come back again once the person wakes up. One thus needs to always turn the mind inward -- and then one rejoices the pure eternal Bliss that one seeks in external sense objects.


The Self is already realized -- but one is not aware of it because the mind creates other external objects as it is turned outwards. But when the person turns the mind inwards, one realizes the Self. At that time, one realizes that there was no object, only pure Consciousness -- but not realized and forgotten.


This turning inward of the mind starts with the process of Meditation. Once a person gets full concentration, then he enters into Samadhi or Super Conscious state. At this state, the Self is realized as pure Existence, Consciousness and Bliss Absolute.


One should always try to turn the mind inward by the help of Meditation or Enquiry into "who am I". One should after this, always try to reside in the Self even though he might see different external objects. At that time, he will not be seeing different objects (according to his view) -- he will be seeing only the non-dual Brahman or Self everywhere -- One without a second.


Let the Almighty guide us all to realize the Self by turning the mind inward.


PS: Please send a mail to me, Hariram_Subramonia@infosys, with subject "subscribe quotes" to get these quotes directly in your inbox. Send a mail with subject "unsubscribe quotes" to stop getting quotes in your inbox. 

Words of Ramana Maharshi -- #110
Experience gained without rooting out all the ‘vasanas’ cannot remain steady. Efforts must be made to eradicate the ‘vasanas’; knowledge can only remain unshaken after all the ‘vasanas’ are rooted out.

                                                                                                                        -- Ramana Maharshi

What are vasanas or latent tendencies???

Yoga Vasistha defines vasanas as

Drida Bhaavanaya Tyakta Poorva apara Vicharam”

Strong and deep rooted tendencies (in pure English terms, addictions) – which lead to actions without thinking about the past or future.
Every drunkard knows that drinking is not good for health, but still he drinks.

Even though he knows very well that drinking will only lead to bad health – still he drinks. This is due to Vasana.

There are different types of Vasanas – good and bad. (Incidentally Maharshi says in another place that where there is good, there is bound to be bad also and that the Self is beyond both good and bad).

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa calls the bad vasanas as Iron chains and the good vasanas as Gold chains.
What are good and bad vasanas?

Those actions that tend to make one more nearer to realization are GOOD ones. That which tend to make one far from realization are BAD ones. But one should remember here that both are tendencies only.
Only when all tendencies are rooted out one realizes one’s own true and real nature of the Self – this experience will be continuous and without any gap. If any vasanas are still present, a person might get experience (temporary) for some time and then he will go back to old tendencies.
This is the obvious reason why Viswamitra (even after doing tapas for 1000s of years) fell for Menaka – as Vasanas were not fully rooted out. Whereas in the case of Janaka, after gaining the knowledge from Sage Ashtavakra – he always resided in the Self. All his vasanas were rooted out in the fire of Knowledge.
There are people who tend to fall into ritualistic portion of Vedas that include Sandhya Japa, Rudram Chanting and all other rituals. One should remember that these are only gold chains meant to purify the mind from the bad vasanas of sensual pleasures. A thorn is removed with the help of another thorn & both the thorns are thrown away.
Once a person progresses and gains purity of mind, then he should not just stick to the rituals – clinging to them as though they can give him real Bliss. All actions whether they are good ones or bad ones – can never give one Self-Knowledge as actions arise out of IGNORANCE.
Thus, the good vasanas like Pooja, Japa, Dhyana must be used to remove the bad vasanas. Once the bad vasanas are fully removed – one should try to realize his own real nature of Self without just clinging to good vasanas.

There are people who cry if they are not able to do Sandhya in a day (they might have been doing it for 20 or more years). The main effect of Sandhya wherein the Gayathri Mantra is chanted is to purify the mind and find out the person in the Solar Orb and gain Intellect so that the Self can be realized. The minimum effect of doing Sandhya is that one will not be clinging to it – he will not say that “Without doing Sandhya you are not a Brahmin”. He will not become sad if Sandhya is not performed in a day. This does not mean that one should not do actions. One should do actions, but not stick to it along.

Sri Krishna says in Gita chapter 4

Yatha Edhaamsi Samiddhognih Bhasmasaat Kuruthe Arjuna.

Jnaanagnih Sarva Karmaan Bhasmasaat kuruthe Tatha”.

As Fire burns wood into ashes – similarly all actions are burnt up in the fire of KNOWLEDGE.
Sarvam Karmaakhilam Jnaane Parisamaapyathe”

All actions end in KNOWLEDGE (or end when Knowledge is gained or realized).
How can this Knowledge be followed?

Krishna again says

Abhyaasena Tu Kaunteya Vairagyena Cha Grihyathe”

O Arjuna follow the dual things of Yoga – Practice and Dispassion.
When Effort or practice is put and one tries to remove vasanas, then only a person remains in the Self at all points of time. Only at that time, he thoroughly rejoices in the Self. At that time, all actions are burnt up, all vasanas rooted out – and what remains is only the non-dual Self.
Sri Krishna in Gita points out three steps to Self-Realization.

  1. Chitta Suddhi through Karma Yoga (Purity of mind through yoga of action wherein one just does the action without any expectation and any doership).

  2. Mano Naasham or Destruction of Mind (the mind is completely destroyed when through Jnaana a person fully gets realized that I am the Self or through Bhakthi when a Bhakta sees everything as just GOD).

  3. Vasana Kshayam or Rooting out of Vasana (the vasanas are rooted out through the Ultimate Knowledge and through practice).

The latent tendencies can be removed only if a person, in the first place, realizes that these are tendencies. Then he needs to move higher into better and good tendencies. Slowly the mind gets purified through the good actions. When the mind is purified, the person always resides in the Self. Slowly, as he continues to do this constantly through effort or Abhyaasa – the vasanas are rooted out.

A Bhaktha simply surrenders completely and unconditionally to the Ultimate GOD. When this is done, the EGO, mind and vasanas all are surrendered to Higher Power. Through this exercise, his mind becomes merged with the Higher Power. And he gains the qualities of the Higher Power (that of GOD or Brahman which is pure Bliss). Ultimately, he realizes that the Self or GOD was not outside him, but inside his heart – the spiritual heart which neither within or without – but everywhere.
As Sri Krishna says in Gita in Chapter 9

Api Chet Suduraachaaro Bhajathe Maam Ananya Bhaak

Sadhureva Sa Mantavyah Samyak Vyavasito hi Sah”

If a person does the most worst deed (prescribed by the Vedas as not to be done), but by remembering me Constantly and offering it to Me – then He is to be considered a Sadhu as he has the steadfast knowledge and practice of thinking and offering everything unto ME.
Kshipram Bhavathi Dharmaatma Shashvat Shaanthim Nigachathi

Kaunteya Prathijaaneehi Na Me Bhaktah Pranashyathi

Soon the person (who does bad deeds but remembering ME as the Self or Brahman), he becomes a virtous person and gains eternal Peace. O Arjuna, know for certain that my Devotee never perishes (this is a great promise given by Krishna which should be noted down by all devotees – that whatever tough situation one has, but GOD will never forsake a devotee).
Thus through either of the two paths of Bhakthi or Jnaana – a person constantly tries to reside in the eternal Blissful state. Slowly, due to practice, his vasanas get rooted up and ultimately he realizes his own Self and attains the state of Jeevan Mukthi (liberated while living itself).

It is interesting to note the definition of Abhyaasa given by Patanjali in his Yoga Sutras (Aphorisms of Yoga).

Tatra Sthithau Yatno Abhyaasah” – here Tatra mean “Tada Dreshtuh Svaroope Avasthanam” – there the seer remains in his natural state.

Trying or putting effort to reside in the natural state of Self is called Abhyaasa or practice.
This practice helps one to root out the vasanas and enjoy the eternal and natural bliss of the Self.
Let the Almighty guide us all to realize the Self and root out all vasanas.


PS: Please send a mail to me, Hariram_Subramonia@infosys, with subject "subscribe quotes" to get these quotes directly in your inbox. Send a mail with subject "unsubscribe quotes" to stop getting quotes in your inbox. 

Words of Ramana Maharshi -- #111
All that we have to do is to give up identifying the Self with the body, with forms and limits, and then we shall know ourselves as the Self that we always are.

                                                                                                                        -- Ramana Maharshi

Maharshi is here explaining the main cause of sorrow and suffering and the main obstruction to Self–Realization.
A person always identifies himself with his body. He says “I am fair, I have so much height, I am so-and so….”. All these are just misidentifications caused due to ignorance.

The body that is present here is not present in Dream or deep sleep. But still the “I” remains in those states. Enquiring thus, a person should realize that “I am not this body made of Pancha Bhootaas of Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Ether. But I am the Constant and Unchanging Self – the Consciousness that is the underlying reality of all three states of waking, dream and deep sleep.”

All the sorrow and suffering one faces in this world is due to this wrong identification and limiting the non-dual and infinite Self to a limited body, mind and people.
This is the obvious reason why Adi Sankara says in his work Upadesa Sahasri

Aham ithi Atma Dheerya cha Mama Iti Atmeeya Dheerapi

Artha Shoonye Yada Yasya Sa Atmajno Bhavet tada”.

When a person has no Aham and Mama – “I” (Ego-ness that identifies itself as having a body, mind and all) & “Mine” – at that very moment, he becomes a knower of the Self.
As the Vedas proclaim – there is nothing new to be gained here – but only the ignorance and misidentification has to be removed.
Krishna says in Gita chapter 2

Na Tvam Deho Na Te deho”

Neither are you the body nor do you have any body. Whatever exists is only the Self.
The way to remove this ignorance is first to increase the mind and make it infinite.

As Sri Sri Ravishankar beautifully puts it, make the LOCAL mind (the mind that identifies itself with just some people and things as its) GLOBAL (which identifies all the universe as its). When the expansion of the mind occurs, all the sense of MINE goes off – as there is no one who is not MINE.
When this expansion occurs, the mind becomes pure due to absence of liking and disliking (these likes and dislikes turn into anger and attraction, sorrow and joy).
As Vedas point out in Mundaka Upanishad

Jnaana Prasadena Vishudha Satvah Tatasthu Tam

Pashyathe Nishkalam Dhyaayamaanah”

Those who have got purity of mind through Knowledge, see the Self – one without any parts – during times of deep meditation.

Thus, the pure Mind is nothing but the Self only.
An initial seeker needs to have Viveka or Discrimination. Viveka means knowing which is the Real and unreal in this transitory world. For Eg: a person is dreaming. Here, during the transient state of dream, the Dreamer is the only Real thing whereas all other objects seen in the dream are only the manifestations of the same dreamer. Thus, as in dream, only the Dreamer “I” exists, similarly in this waking state, there is only the Self – of the nature of Pure Consciousness and Bliss Absolute. Whatever duality we see is only a reflection of the “I” Consciousness. If a person is unconscious, there is no world. Only when the Consciousness is present, the world of duality appears. Hence one should make the strong intellectual conviction that “Consciousness is the Real thing and the world is just temporary and dependent on the Consciousness”. As one gains this Viveka, he doesn’t go after the unreal things in the world, but seeks the Real thing – the Self. Once he progresses and realizes the Self – at that point, he realizes that there was no waking world at all, all were just the same Self (as in dream).
A story widely quoted by Scriptures (Upanishads) about Self-Realization.

A flock of sheep were going through a forest. A pregnant-lioness saw these flock and pounced over them. At the time the lioness was pouncing, it gave birth to a lion cub and died. Thus the lion cub got its birth amidst the sheep. So it started behaving like a sheep. It would eat grass and do other things that a sheep used to do. This continued for some years. One day, a lion saw this lion cub behaving like a sheep. It was surprised. It caught hold of the cub. The Cub started crying like a sheep (Due to latent tendencies, we tend to forget our real nature of PERFECTION and BLISS – and due to this we tend to cry and suffer like anything, even though the “I” is not affected by this suffering). The Lion took the cub to a river and showed the cub it’s face. The Lion told the cub “You are not a sheep, you are like me. You are a lion. See your face and my face. Both are similar. Hence behave like a lion.” The Cub then realized its own real nature of Lion and lived like a lion.

This is what is happening with each person. Everyone believes wrongly that “I am the body or the mind” and misidentifies the “I” with the body. Due to this, he creates many relationships and suffers due to all of them. But when a Mahatma in the form of Guru advises him that “TAT TVAM ASI” and through spiritual practices he realizes that “I am not this body, but the Self – full of bliss and consciousness.” At that time, like the lion cub, the person realizes his own real nature.
This shows that even before realizing, “I” was the Self only, but unaware of it. When realization dawns, a person wakes up from this long dream of waking world and misidentifications – then he realizes that he was suffering for nothing & that all the suffering that happened was due to the misidentification and not knowing one’s own real nature.
Thus, when a person gains purity of mind and realizes that “I am the Self” and this Consciousness is fully realized – all works, all sorrows, all joys – all duality ends in the non-dual Self.
At that time, he rejoices the eternal Bliss that he was seeking in the external world.

The human being is like the musk deer. The deer searches and runs here and there for the beautiful smell that comes from its own body. It searches for the smell in the external world, not knowing that it is in it itself – and due to this running falls into a trap and becomes a hunter’s victim.

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