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

Is the world within you or without you? Does it exist apart from you? Does this world come and tell you 'I exist'?

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Is the world within you or without you? Does it exist apart from you? Does this world come and tell you 'I exist'?

                                                                                                                    --    Ramana Maharshi



                 The World that we see is the cause of sorrow for everyone. 


When we get something that we don't like -- we become sad.

When a person "dear to us" dies -- we become sad.

When we don't pass an exam -- we become sad.


Where from is this sorrow caused?

The sorrow is not caused from ur self, but by the mind which gets attached to the world.


Because of this reason -- Sri Krishna says to Arjuna in Gita that

"Anityam Asukham Lokam" -- The world is unreal and full of sorrow.


Maharshi here brings out the truth that the world is unreal(Anitya) -- it is something insentient. It cannot exist of its own. It depends on the Self --sentient-- for its existence.


Our Experience can be split into two

1. Sentient or Drik or Seer -- this is the Self and requires nothing else for its existence. One need not tell to himself that "I exist" but he is always aware of it.

2. Insentient or Drisya or Seen -- This does not have existence of its own -- it depends on something else for its existence. For Eg:- a stone or rock is insentient because it has no existence of its own, but depends on the Self for existence.


The Drik or the Self is the eternal Truth, and is one without a second.

The World is the Drisya and unreal.


Adi Sankara gives an example of how this world is created in the mind & is unreal.


"The World is like a town seen in the mirror, and exists in the Self -- when one sees something in a mirror, that object is created inside the mirror. -- This World is seen as multitude and outside the Self due to Maya or illusion like a Dream."

In Dream, we see a world and many many things -- these things were seen in the Self by the Self. In Reality nothing existed other than the Self in Dreaming state.

Similarly the World does not exist -- but is an illusion created by the mind. This world that we see is a Dream,  but a longer one as compared to the Dream during sleep.

When one awakes from this long Dream -- he realises that the Self only existed and whatever seemed to happen was nothing but illusion.


When one conquers the illusion of Jagat or World -- then one relishes the Blissful nectar of the Self.


Let the Almighty guide us all to wake up from this long dream of the world and its experience.



Words of Ramana Maharshi -- #12
If the fruits of actions do not affect the person, he is free from action.

In the seventh chapter of Gita, Arjuna asks if Karma is a method (sadhana). Krishna answers that it is so if done without the sense of doership.

                                                                                                                    --    Ramana Maharshi



                Ramana Maharshi here brings out the truth and explanation of Karma (actions) and Karma Yoga (path of action).


There are in total 14 worlds explained in the Upanishads. Seven are higher worlds and seven lower worlds. Of these 14 worlds, one of the world is the Bhoo Loka or our world (world of human beings).


The main feature of Bhoo Loka is work or Karma.

Nobody can escape doing work unless and until he attains the state of realization.


There are different paths to the Goal of Self-Realization. One among these is the Path of Action or Karma Yoga.

Karma Yoga is nothing but doing actions without expecting any results or fruits from it. Hence the person is unaffected by the fruits of the action, whether that be bad or good.


The famous and most known sloka in Gita brings out this Karma Yoga

"Karmanyeva adhikarasthe ma phaleshu kadachana.

Ma karma phala hetur  bhur ma te sangostavikarmani."

"Your right is to work only, but never to the fruit thereof. Be not instrumental in making your actions bear fruit, nor let your attachment be to inaction".


Karma Yoga put in a nutshell is "to do action without expectations and leave the feeling of doership".

The simplest way to perform this is to offer all the actions to a personal Deity.


As Maharshi says nobody can escape doing work in this world. But once a person is unaffected by the fruits and renounce the feeling of doership -- the Action does not affect him (even though he does action).


All the great saints have been living examples of this. Like, Swami Vivekananda was a saint -- but he did lot of actions in the world and was unaffected by all of them.


A Question naturally arises here --

If there is only Self here, then what is the importance of Karma and Action????

Self-Realization has mainly two steps.

1. Purity of mind -- The mind (which in reality does not exist) should be made pure so that the Self will shine. It is like cleaning the dirt in mirror so that u may be able to see ur face in the mirror.  (This is called Chitta suddhi).

            Nishkama Karma or Action without expectations helps to purify the mind.

2. Realization and Shining of the Self -- Only in a pure mind, the Self can be experienced and realized.


So Karma or Action done in the right way, without expectations and feeling of doership, helps one to attain the Self.


Let the Almighty guide us all to such Nishkama Karma, thereby leading to purity of mind and Self-Realization in turn.



Words of Ramana Maharshi -- #13
Do not leave Karma. You cannot do so.

Give up the sense of doership. Karma will go on automatically.

Karma will drop away from you.

                                                                                                                    --    Ramana Maharshi



Maharshi here again explains Karma Yoga and how it can be used for Self-Realization.  Karma Yoga is one of the simple ways to attain Self-Realization.
How can Karma Yoga lead one to Self-Realization?

Karma Yoga leads one to purity of mind and renunciation also called Sanyaasa or Tyaaga.

Renunciation leads one to concentrate on the Self which in turn leads to Self-Realization.
As Kaivalya Upanishad says

Na Karmana Na prajaya dhanena

Tyagena eka amritatvam aanashuh

Meaning “Not by Action, not by progeny, nor by wealth, but only by Renunciation people attain Liberation(Self-Realization)”.

This is one of the famous sloka chanted in the world. “Tyaga leads one to Self-Realization”.
As Sri Krishna says in Gita chapter 18,

It is indeed impossible for an embodied being to give up all activities. Therefore it is said that he who renounces the fruits of action is one who has truly renounced”.

Ramana Maharshi tells the same point in his quote.

Until the body is there and it is not thrown away(or shed off) – Karma has to be done. But one has the independence of choosing whether to be attached to it or not.
When one is not attached to the Karma and its fruits – then he has attained Sanyaasa.

Gita says

To give up work with expectations is called Sanyaasa by the wise.

Giving up the fruits and expectations of all work is called Sanyaasa by  Realized Souls”.
Unlike other paths, Karma Yoga can be easily implemented in daily life.
Let us all try to implement Karma Yoga, atleast for today, by giving up the sense of doership and be unattached to Karma for the whole day.
Let the Almighty guide us all to this Tyaaga and hence to real Sanyaasa.

Words of Ramana Maharshi -- #14

Question to Maharshi : Should not one give up wife, wealth, home?

Ramana Maharshi : Learn first what ‘samsara’ is?  Have there not been men living and getting realization.

            Maharshi brings out the point here that Self-Realization doesn’t require one to give up wife, wealth, home and all.
Let us try to analyze the term ‘Samsara’.

What is ‘Samsara’?

Samsara is that which is not real.

Samsara is called Bhava sagara – ocean of ignorance or attachment.

Samsara is all the experiences that the Self experiences. Anything apart from the Self is part of Samsara.

What is required for Self-Realization is to be unattached to the Samsara.

Vedanta never tells one not to possess things. But what Vedanta stresses is to give up the attitude of possession.

One can possess any thing, but what is required is to be unattached to the things.
This is what is called Detached Attachment.

One is not attached to anything – but possesses all the things.
Upanishads give a large no of examples to such people who possessed all the things in the world, but were Self-Realized. Examples are King Janaka (father of Sita devi) who taught Vedanta to Suka (son of Veda Vyasa), King Ambariksha whom even durvasa could not give a Saapa, Sri Krishna who had everything in this world yet was Self-Realized.
Samsara or the “world” exists only due to ignorance of the Self.
This is due to Maya or illusion.
How is this ignorance created?

Maya has two powers in itself.

  1. Avarana Shakthi – veiling power (non-apprehension)

  2. Vikshepa Shakthi – projecting power (mis-apprehension)

First the non-apprehension of the reality occurs. One is not aware of the Self. Due to this non-apprehension of the Self, mis-apprehension of the Self occurs in seeing the world and getting attached to it saying “This is my body, this is my friend, that is my enemy and all”.
The example quoted in Upanishads and by Adi Sankara is that of seeing snake in the rope.

A person sees the rope. He doesn’t know the real nature of the rope. Hence he mistakes it to be a snake. Here first non-apprehension of the rope is there. Because of this, the rope is misapprehended for the snake.

How can this be removed????

Only by apprehension of the Truth, the realization of the Self.

When the Self is realized, there exists only the Self, one without a second.
Adi Sankara thus says in Bhaja Govindam

Jnate tatva kah samsarah

After knowing the Self, there is no Samsara”.
Thus when a person realizes the Self, there is no Samsara and Samsara ceases to exist.

After this stage – whatever work or action he does, he sees only the Self everywhere and hence Karma Yoga in its highest ideal is followed.
Let us discuss what Maharshi and Adi Sankara have to speak about Maya tomorrow.
Let the Almighty guide us all to remove this ignorance of the Self & thus conquer Maya.


Words of Ramana Maharshi -- #15
Maharshi on Maya
Question:  What is illusion?

Maharshi: To whom is the illusion? Find it out. Then illusion will vanish.
Maharshi: Maya is used signify the manifestations of the Reality. Thus Maya is only Reality.

            Today we are discussing about Maya or illusion.
The Upanishads and Vedas proclaim that before (used in a relative term only) there was only the Self, one without a second.

The Upanishads speak about the manifestation of the Self. They proclaim that the Self thought to itself that let me multiply. And Hence the world was formed. --- Care is required in interpretation and reasoning this thing. In fact there is nothing other than the Self.

Thus, Maya or the Primal Cause (Prakriti) veiled the Self and the Avyakritam or Avyaktam (Unmanifested form) was formed. This is the first creation that occurred.

This Unmanifested power then manifested itself as Hiranyagarbha or Mahat Tattva or Cosmic Mind.

From this was formed Ahankara or Ego, Chitta, Pancha Bhootas and this body (to make it short).
One can ask – how can we believe that such thing happened?

Each one experiences this.

When the Self is veiled – this is the state of deep sleep. Here only Self exists, but one is not aware of it (non-apprehension occurs).

After this, Mind comes into play and the state of Dream comes.

Next, the body seems to be created and the waking state and the whole waking world comes into play.
Here there is nothing other than the Self.

As in dream, the Self only exists and it creates in itself all the dream world that it sees.
Similarly in this waking world, only the Self exists. And its manifestations are what we see. Hence it is simple to understand that the manifestations are nothing but the Self only.

As electricity manifests in a bulb, light, fan and all – the Self manifests as the world of plurality.
Thus from non-duality, duality occurs.
This is what Maharshi is explaining about Maya. Maya is nothing but the Power of Self and hence it is nothing different from the Self.
Adi Sankara says about Maya

Yukti heena prakashasya sanjha maya

Maya is that which has no reasoning”.
Maya can have no reasoning because the intellect which helps in reasoning is itself a product of Maya.
Then how can one overcome it?

Maharshi says “find out for whom Maya is there, the experiencer of the Maya” – once we try to find the experiencer, the experiences ceases to exist. The experiencer is the one on whom all the experiences and things of experience depend on. If the Self ceases to exist, there is no world.
Everyone is searching for GOD in the whole world. GOD is there in us, inside our Heart only. (Hridayam means Hrithi ayam – the place that Self is). Once we find the Self in the heart and seek it, Maya goes off.
Sri Krishna in Gita 7th chapter says

Maya, full of three gunas of satva, rajas and tamas, is of divine nature and tough to overcome. Those who take refuge in Me (the Self), they overcome this Maya”.
Let we all seek the GOD or the Self in us and overcome this non-existing Maya.
Let the Almighty guide us all to conquer Maya.


Words of Ramana Maharshi -- #16
Do not allow yourself to be distracted. Enquire for whom there is distraction. It will not afflict you after a little practice.

                                                                                                                        -- Ramana Maharshi

            Mind is full of thoughts and distractions. It is scattered in different directions.

The normal technique used to focus the mind is by concentrating on a single object. This makes the mind single-pointed. Due to this single-pointedness, concentration occurs. At this stage, there is the concentrator or meditator and the object of concentration. As one goes on concentrating, the distinction between the concentrator and the object of concentration vanishes. At that point only the Awareness or Consciousness in its pure form exists. This is called Samadhi or Nirvikalpa Samadhi (without any Vikalpas or forms).
This is the technique prescribed in the system of Yoga propagated by the great saint Patanjali.
Ramana Maharshi here gives the simplest way of attaining this Samadhi.
The Mind is what creates the world that we see.

There is something that illumines the mind and without which the Mind has no existence.

This is the Self.

Kena Upanishad proclaims this

That which illumines the Mind and which is not illumined even by the mind, That is Brahman or the Self”.
The only way the mind can be conquered is by being the Self. Once a person concentrates or tries to be the Self, then even the mind loses its attention.
When one concentrates on the Object (the world), the Subject is forgotten. When one concentrates on the Subject, the Self, the Objects have no importance.
In Yoga Vasistha, there is the story of Mahabali.

Mahabali was taught the knowledge of Brahman or the Self by his father Virochana (who was the son of Prahlada). Virochana explained the truth with a small example. This is what he taught to Mahabali.

There is a kingdom which is far away from the sea, the earth and everything in this world. A king rules this kingdom. This kingdom can not be conquered even by hundreds of thousands of Devas and Asuras put together. The King has a minister who does all his duties in a very good way. But at times the minister fumbles. The Minister can never be attacked directly as he is like a venomous cobra. But the King, if he wishes, can conquer minister.

The Kingdom is – Kingdom of Moksha or Liberation.

The King is – Self

The Minister is – the Mind.
How can one control the minister???

By cessation of desires.
Thus one can attain Liberation when one finds out the King and seeks him. Then the King will be easily able to control the minister.
Once a person seeks the Self, the distractions will vanish. The only practice or method to be followed to become the King is to seek the Self and repeat to oneself the truth that “I am the Self, one without a second, ever pure, ever-enlightened, ever-liberated”.

Nitya Sudha Budha Mukta Atma Aham”
Let the Almighty guide us all to seek and reside in the Self.


Words of Ramana Maharshi -- #17

Ramana Maharshi on Realization
Realization implies perfection. When you are limited, your perception is also limited. At that time, your knowledge is also imperfect. What value is that imperfect knowledge?

                                                                                                                        -- Ramana Maharshi

            Realization is or rather should be the goal of human beings.
Adi Sankara says in Viveka choodamani that “Human birth is the rarest among births and is considered greatest”.
Human birth is considered great because humans have “Intellect”, the sixth sense.

All other beings do not have an option of choosing their actions. Human beings have this freedom. A human can do good or bad or whatever he wants. Further he has the intellect to distinguish between good and bad.

Dogs can bark only.

Cats can meow only.
Upanishad tells that all beings other than humans are a prey to one of the five senses of Sound, Touch, Sight, Taste and Smell.

Sound – Elephant is the being which falls a prey to sound. An elephant can be easily trapped by making sounds of female elephants.

Sight – Flies or Glowworms. These fall a prey to the light of fire and fall into it.

Taste – Fish. The fish falls a prey to the taste & hence with the help of a bait can be caught.

Smell – Deer. Deer doesn’t know that the good smell comes from its body itself. It searches for this everywhere and hences runs here and there and falls a prey to wild animals.
These animals do not have an option but to follow these actions. Humans have been given the freedom of choosing their actions. Whether one wants to be driven by the senses (controlled by the senses) or whether he wants to control the senses – he can choose it.
Thus this human birth, greatest of all births, should be utilized to Realize the Self.
What is Realization????

It is knowing or finding out that “I” am the Self, free of bondage and ever free. When this consciousness of “I am the Self” dawns, one finds the world to be nothing but the Self.

This is what perfection is.  Perfection is achieved when one becomes limitless and unlimited. A limited thing cannot be perfect because there can be something greater than that. But unlimited thing is perfect.

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