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


We, humans are endowed with INTELLECT to think out and come out of this wrong identification and to gain the HAPPINESS inherent in the Self

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We, humans are endowed with INTELLECT to think out and come out of this wrong identification and to gain the HAPPINESS inherent in the Self.
Let the Almighty guide us all to realize the Self like the lion cub and enjoy the HAPPINESS that we are desperately seeking externally.

 

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Words of Ramana Maharshi -- #112
The cause of one’s birth and one’s suffering are due to one’s straying from the Self. It is best to abide firmly as the Self.

                                                                                                                        -- Ramana Maharshi

Explanation:
Maharshi here explains the reason for suffering in this world.
The Self is described as “Nitya Buddha Suddha Muktha” – ever free, ever pure and ever-enlightened. And this Self one already is. This is known by the affirmation of the Chandogya Upanishad (part of Sama Veda) that “TAT TVAM ASI” – “THOU ART THAT”.
Then why does a person suffer????

This suffering is only for the mind.
As Yoga Vasistha says

Man Eva Manushyaanaam Kaaranam Bandha Mokshayoh

Bandhaaya Vishayaasaktam Muktaih Nirvishayam Smritam”
Mind alone is the cause for suffering and bondage.

When the mind is craving for external sense-objects, it is in bondage.


When the mind turns inwards and does not indulge in any sense objects, it lies in its true source of Self and in Bliss.
When a person is unaware of the ultimate Truth that “I am the eternal and non-dual Self” – he tends to limit himself to this mortal body and the mind. Thus he creates the bondage with “AHAM” or “I-ness” (Ego that identifies itself with the body and certain people) and “MAMA” or “MINE”.
Due to this I and Mine, he creates likes and dislikes and tends to get happiness as well as sorrow. He doesn’t realize that the happiness that we gain from external sense objects has a short duration only and is endowed with sorrow in itself.
Tapovan Maharaj, Guru of famed Swami Chinmayananda, explains that happiness is always accompanied with suffering with a beautiful

simile. He says “Enjoyment is the body and Suffering is the HEAD”. Without head, the body cannot exist – similarly the happiness from

external sense objects are in fact endowed with sorrow only.
There are two main enemies for a person – which are

1. KAMINI – or women denoting desire and lust.

2. KANCHANA - Wealth indicating all external sense objects.
When these two enemies are overcome, the person realizes his own real nature of Self.

All the sufferings are because of IGNORANCE of the Real nature of Self – that one already is.
When the mind goes to external objects, it tends to forget its own real source and the Self. Thus the person gets limited to the body and mind. Due to this, all sorrows and sufferings occur.

It is really interesting to note here that even though the person seems to suffer, it is the mind that creates the impression that “I am suffering”. Even during suffering and happiness, the “I” remains constant. This is the reason why after sometime, the sorrow vanishes. The Self or the pure Consciousness in a person – the “I” – remains without any change and full of bliss.

It is this eternal bliss that one enjoys during deep sleep where there is no body and mind but only pure “I”.
When one tries to remain as the Self even during waking state, he rejoices in the eternal bliss of the Self and no sorrows or sufferings are there for the person.
This real waking world-experience is like a madman thinking that “he is someone else or something else”. Let’s say a person forgets that he is a human and thinks that he is a dog. So he seems to get affected and enjoys and suffers like a dog. But all the moment, he is a HUMAN only, but just forgotten.
Wouldn’t it be really wise to try to realize the SELF and be your real nature rather than forgetting the real nature and falling into the external world of sorrows and sufferings. Only such people who try to be the SELF and realize their own real nature are really Blissful and happy always.
A person may seem to be happy with WEALTH, FAME And POWER. But all these will be taken away in a short time by TIME.
Adi Sankara says in Bhaja Govindam

Ma Kuru Dhana Jana Youvana Garvam

Harathi Nimeshaat kalah sarvam

Maya Mayam idam akhilam hitva

Brahma Padam Tvam Pravisha Vidhitva”
Don’t be pride of WEALTH, PEOPLE (Kith and Kin) or YOUTHFULNESS – because KALAM or TIME will take all these in a short time (without any prior notice also ). Knowing this illusory world, enter into Brahman (the SELF) and rejoice in the Bliss of the Self.
It is really high time that a person realizes the transitory and sorrowful nature of the world and realize one’s own real nature of Self. People who don’t even strive for this, should be called IGNORANT and FOOLISH PEOPLE.

Adi Sankara calls such people as MOODA MATHE – FOOLISH person without any intellect.

Sri Krishna says in Gita

Anityam Asukham Lokam Imam Praapya Bhajaswa Maam”

Having attained this transitory and sorrowful world – take Refugee in ME (as the SELF).
Let us all strive this very moment to realize the futility of this world and the external sense objects – and therefore strive to realize the SELF through seeing Oneness everywhere. Let us try to repeat to ourselves, each and every moment, that “I am the eternal Self – PERFECT and ONE WITHOUT A SECOND”.
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Words of Ramana Maharshi -- #113
Self-Enquiry directly leads to realization by removing the obstacles which make you think that the Self is not already realized.

                                                                                                                        -- Ramana Maharshi

Explanation:
Maharshi is here explaining the direct method that leads to Self-Realization.
This method which has been described in Yoga Vasistha and in Adi Sankara’s works is called “Vichara”.
Sankara says in his work Viveka Choodamani

Chittasya Shudhaye Karma Na Tu Vasthu upalabdaye.

Vasthu Siddhir Vicharena Na Kinchit Karma Kotibih
Work or Actions are meant only for the purification of the mind, and they don’t lead one to the SELF (Vasthu here indicates liberation or the Self). Self-Realization occurs only through Vichara or Self-Enquiry and not through crores of work.

Vichara means Enquiring into the Self, the “I” which is of the nature of Absolute Existence, Consciousness and Bliss.


The method to do this is to get into the root “I” from which all thoughts spring up. This is done by asking the question “Who am I?” to oneself.
The mind is like a drunken monkey. It keeps on jumping from one tree to another without any cause. When a person tries to figure out for whom the thoughts occur, he catches hold of the “I”. When this “I” is caught hold of, all other thoughts vanish – because this “I” is perfect and doesn’t need to think anything else. When a person thinks that “I am not perfect”, he thinks about things and other objects and ways to attain them. But when this “I” or Self is caught hold of, nothing else remains to be gained or known.
The mind makes one think that “I am not perfect and I need this and that”. This is not true. Because during deep sleep, there is the same “I” consciousness that is the witness and subject in both the waking and dream world. Also, in deep sleep, the “I” doesn’t require anything else – because this “I” is PERFECT and requires nothing other than itself as it is one without a second. This is the reason why every one wants to sleep daily and after waking up everyone says “I slept well” and “I slept happily”. During the deep sleep state, the mind is not there – only the “I” is present. The only problem in this state is that one is not aware of the happiness in that state.
But when a person comes into this waking and dream world – duality seems to appear like water in desert. The same “I” Consciousness itself becomes the Subject and Object. But when a person wakes up from the dream , he realizes that there was only “I” and nothing else in the dream. Similarly when a person wakes up into Self-Realization from this long dream of Waking World – he realizes that there was only “I” and nothing else. Until then, as in a dream, he sees different people and different things.

The Direct method to Self-Realization and waking up from this waking world is to Be the Self and reside in it. When a person remains as the pure “I” – he doesn’t experience the dual world, but sees only Self everywhere.

This “I” or the Self – a person already is, but is unaware as in the Dream state. But when a person through enquiry into the Self or the pure “I” Consciousness (that which remains during all states of waking, dreaming and deep sleep without any change) realizes his own real nature of Self – the dual world vanishes and he rejoices in the Bliss of the Self.
Thus all the methods including Self-Enquiry are just ways to remove the obstacles so that one may realize his own true nature of Self. If a mirror has dirt, then one cannot see his face in it. But when the dirt is removed, one can see his face shining in the mirror. In both cases of mirror with dirt and without dirt, the face is the same and it exists as the same only, but only one is unable to see it in the case of mirror with dirt. Similarly when a person removes the obstacles of ignorance, he finds himself as the shining Self – the Self, one without a second, that which is full of Bliss and Happiness only.
What are the obstacles to Self-Realization?

The main obstacle to Self-Realization is IGNORANCE about the SELF (or oneself).

This ignorance then creates desires in the person and he then works towards gratification of those desires.
This ignorance creates the likes and dislikes for the person. He creates impressions of “I” and “Mine” – I am the body, and these are my people and those are not people. Due to these likes and dislikes he falls into the trap of the SIX CROCODILES.
The SIX CROCODILES are


  1. Kaama or Desire

  2. Krodha or Anger – anger occurs when desire is not satisfied
  3. Lobha or Greed – again related to desire only


  4. Moha or Delusion – he gets deluded into the external objects, believing some things as HIS OWN.

  5. Madha or Pride --- he gets proud over his things (Thinking that these are my OWN)

  6. Matsarya or Jealousy – when others have what he doesn’t have (here also he sees different things).


One can easily understand that all these six crocodiles are there because a person sees duality in external objects. He takes some as his and others as not his. Because of this, he creates a desire for keeping up his things. This desire when not gratified creates anger in him. When this desire is satisfied, some higher desire comes up and he gets greedy over things. Due to possession of some things, he thinks that these are mine forgetting that DEATH will take away everything from him (Interesting thing to note here is that each day, this body dies during sleep and takes birth once a person wakes up ). Due to this possession, he gets deluded into believing them to be ETERNAL and REAL and gets pride over these things. Also he gets jealous about other people’s possessions – all these occur because he has the desire to become PERFECT. He forgets the REAL and ULTIMATE TRUTH that “I am the PERFECT and only EXISTING SELF”.
When a person enquires into his own real nature, he realizes through the Guru’s words that “TAT TVAM ASI” or THAT THOU ART – due to Guru’s words, he realizes the Ultimate Reality that “Aham Brahma Asmi” or I am BRAHMAN and “Ayam atma Brahma” or This Self is the same as Brahman (initially he thinks that God or Brahman is different from the Self – but realizes that they are both one and the same). This path is one of intellectual nature – and all paths, devotion, action and knowledge leads one to this Ultimate Step of SELF-ENQUIRY.

The Devotee initially sees himself separate from GOD and sees GOD everywhere. After continuing this practice, he realizes that the GOD whom I was seeing everywhere is ME ONLY. (Sri Krishna says in Gita that GOD is present in the heart of all beings). Thus ultimately  all paths lead to the Subject and realization that “I am THAT”.

Thus, when a person continuously follows the Vichara – the ignorance gets unveiled slowly. This takes effort from the person. With the help of continuous effort, this Vichara is followed and the Self is fully realized. For such realized souls, nothing but only ONE EXISTS.
Adi Sankara says in his work Bhaja Govindam the nature of Such realized souls

Yoga Ratho va Bhoga Ratho Va

Sanga RAtho Va Sanga Viheenah

Yasya Brahmani Ramathe Chittam

Nandhathi nandhati nandhati eva”
The Self –Realized person might be doing Yoga or he might be enjoying the worldly pleasures. He might be seen as attached to people and things and at other times he might be fully detached. But for such a person whose mind is residing in Brahman or Self – he always rejoices in the eternal Bliss of the Self.
Thus for a normal viewer, the realized soul might be seen as enjoying all worldly things, but from the viewpoint of the person, he will be seeing only ONENESS everywhere. Example of such people is King Janaka who was a fully realized soul, but was enjoying all the bhogas of a King.
One needs to attain this state of Jeevan Mukthi or Self-Realization.

Adi Sankara says that

Jeevan Mukthi Sukha Praapthi Janma Hetuh”

The Main aim or goal of this human birth is to rejoice in the eternal Bliss of Self-Realization.

Thus let us all strive towards removing the obstacles and realizing the Ultimate Truth that “I am That eternal and non-dual Self”. The more and more a person repeats this Ultimate Truth that “I am THAT” – the lesser the thoughts and desires occur to him. Thus slowly his mind becomes calm and pure and all the ignorance is removed. Thus he realizes ultimately his own real nature of Self through repetition that “I am THAT”. It might seem that why should one repeat to oneself about one’s own nature. But this is required as one has forgotten his own nature and thinks that “I am the Body”. This “I am the Body and I am so and so” is so strong that one needs to remove this notion with the correct notion of “I am the SELF”.

As Adi Sankara puts it

Chidananda Roopah Sivoham Sivoham”

I am Siva (effulgent and auspicious Self), of the nature of Consciousness and Bliss.
Let the Almighty guide us all to realize the already realized Self through Self-Enquiry and repeating to oneself that “I am THAT”.

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Words of Ramana Maharshi -- #114
In the proximity of a great master, the ‘vasanas’ cease to be active, the mind becomes still and Samadhi results.

                                                                                                                        -- Ramana Maharshi

Explanation:
Often each person experiences a kind of Bliss and Peace in the presence of Mahatmas.
It is as simple as this – when a person is in a liquor shop it is but natural that the mind gets diverted into those thoughts.
A Mahatma is a Mahaan Atma or Great Being – he is fully realized. He is one who has conquered the mind and sense organs. He is one who has crossed over this ocean of Samsara – which is very tough to cross over.

He is one who is fully tuned into the Ultimate and Supreme Being of Brahman or Self.
How can one know that a person is a Mahatma or not???

Maharshi himself tells at lot of places that Peace is the sole criterion of a Mahatma. In his presence, perfect peace and bliss is experienced.
Vedas tell two main characteristics of a Mahatma

  1. Srotriya – One who is well-versed in the Vedas. This doesn’t mean he should chant each and every line of the Veda – but he should know the concepts of the Vedas. His teachings should be agreeing with the Vedas (they should not contradict the Vedas).


  2. BrahmaNistha – One who always resides in Brahman or Self. This can be known by the peace and happiness that one gains from the presence of such a Mahatma.


For a seeker, who is not well advanced, situations and surroundings do matter a lot. If such a seeker goes to a liquor shop or comes in contact with People with bad vibrations and vibrating mind – his mind also will wander and get affected by the vibrations.
This is mainly because the mind of such a seeker is turned outwards most of the time. When the mind is turned outward, it tends to get affected by the external objects as these objects create impressions in his mind. These impressions when they become very strong and one becomes addicted to them – they are called Vasanas or Latent Tendencies.
Even though a person may gain intellectual conviction and knowledge about the Self – still he may have vasanas. Until these vasanas are fully rooted out, a person is not fully realized and he moves from birth to death – until all the vasanas get burnt up completely.
But when a seeker or even a normal person comes in contact with a Mahatma – their mind is coming under the control of a Superior mind (Mind that is fully controlled and tuned with the Infinite). When a lower power comes under the control of a higher power – the higher power controls the lower power. Similarly in this case, the person’s mind gets the qualities of the Mind of the Mahatma. Since the Mind of a Mahatma is fully stilled and has merged completely into the Self – therefore the mind of the person also becomes still.

Thus the mind becomes blank. When the mind becomes blank, and when a person is aware of this blankness – this is called Samadhi. Thus due to the very presence of the Mahatma, a person gains the state of Samadhi.

When a person thus comes in contact with Mahatmas for a number of time, slowly his mind gets tuned with the Infinte Mind. Slowly he can feel the vasanas being burnt up. When the vasanas are fully burnt up, the person becomes Self-Realized and he then realizes his own real nature of Self – Absolute Existence, Consciousness and Bliss.
The Mahatma or Guru and their presence helps a person to remove the veil of ignorance (ignorance about the knowledge that I am the SELF) that in turn makes different impressions in the mind (vasanas) which turn give rise to different actions (for becoming perfect and for gaining happiness in the external world ) and these actions create more vasanas. Thus the vicious cycle of Vasanas and Action continues.
Unless a person gains purity of mind and these vasanas are burnt up – this continues from birth to death to birth to death.
This purity easily comes with the Grace of a Guru or Mahatma – effect of 1000s of years of tapas can be gained through one touch and glance of a SadGuru.
Adi Sankara (greatest of all Gurus) tells in his work Guru Ashatakam

Manah chet na lagnam guror angri padme

Tatah kim tatah kim tatah kim tatah kim”

What is the use of the mind which is not capable of contemplating on the Lotus Feet of the Guru. (as a person’s body stands on his feet, similarly the body or existence of a Guru lies in the Self, hence the feet of the Guru is the Self or Brahman itself. This is the reason why Guru’s feet is given very much importance).
Sri Sacchidananda Sivabhinava Narasimha Bharathi swamigal of Sringeri Sankara Math tells in his work Gurupaduka Stotram

Anantha Samsaara Samudhra Taara

Naukaayitaabhyaam Guru Bhakthidaabhyaam


Vairagya Saamraajyada Poojanaabhyam

Namoh Namah Sri Gurupadukaabhyaam”

I offer my prostrations to the sandal of the Guru (not even feet, but the footwear of Guru is praised here) which is like the twin-boat that helps one to cross across this infinite ocean of Samsara and which gives Dispassion to the people who worship it.
The Guru helps a seeker in removing the ignorance and thereby gives the Ultimate Truth through the Vedantic Statement of “TAT TVAM ASI” or THAT THOU ART.
Let the Almighty help us all to realize this Ultimate Truth and to mix regularly with Mahatmas

PS: I have often felt stillness of the mind when in contact with Mahatmas like Sri Sri Ravishankar, Mata Amritanandamayi and different sanyaasis of Ramakrishna Math and Chinmaya Ashram.
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Words of Ramana Maharshi -- #115
It is important for one who is established in his Self (atmanishta) to see that he does not swerve in the least from this absorption.

                                                                                                                        -- Ramana Maharshi

Explanation:
Maharshi is here emphasizing the importance of Abhyaasa or Effort in the path to Self-Realization.
Each and every one of us experience the Self during the state of deep sleep daily.

Also during times of meditation and bhajans and other times, one experiences the Self as pure Bliss. But the only problem here is that this state is not maintained for long time. It happens for just 2 or 3 minutes and then man goes back into ignorance.

Nothing can be attained without effort. Only due to continuous effort of residing as the Self – the ignorance veil is removed and all vasanas and latent tendencies get burnt out. Until then, one need to continuously put effort to Be the SELF.
In order that  a person doesn’t forget a sloka or a formula – he repeats to himself the same sloka or formula again and again. This repeated effort is called Abhyaasa. This Abhyaasa is required to realize one’s own real nature of Bliss and to remove the forgetfulness of the Self. When one thus realizes one’s own Self – the door to eternal Bliss is revealed (the Bliss that one is seeking each and every moment in the external world and its objects).
What is Abhyaasa???

Sri Krishna says in Gita

Asamshayam Mahabaaho Mano durnigraham chalam.

Abhyaasena tu kaunteya Vairagyena Cha Grihyathe”
O Arjuna, It is really tough to control the mind. This happens only through Abhyaasa or Practice and Vairagya or Dispassion.
Yoga Sutras of Patanjali Maharishi says

Tatra Sthitau Yatno Abhyaasah”

Residing as the Self is Abhyaasa.
Sa Tu Deergha Kaala Nairantarya Satkaarasevito Dridabhoomih”

Abhyaasa becomes firmly grounded by


  1. Repeated for a long time

  2. Constantly doing

  3. With Love and Devotion


Abhyaasa thus happens when one tries with his full fervour and with high devotion to Be the SELF always and constantly.

Thus as Maharshi says, one may enjoy the Bliss of the Self for some time. But then again due to latent tendencies not being burnt up completely and due to ignorance veil fully not unveiled – he again goes into ignorance and forgets the real nature of Self.

Thus one needs to constantly repeat to oneself that “I am the SELF – all-pervading, ever-pure, ever-eternal and ever-enlightened”. When one has thus started repeating to oneself that “I am the SELF” – slowly all his actions are accompanied by this thought of “Brahmaivaham” or Brahman I am.
As Krishna says in Gita that “He whose actions have no intentions in them and are done without any expectation, his actions are burnt up in the fire of Knowledge and He is called Pandit.”
Thus slowly in this Fire of Knowledge (Self-Knowledge that I am the Self, one without a second) – all actions get burnt up and the latent tendencies also are  burnt up completely. Then when all the vasanas are rooted out, he realizes the ever-shining Self and becomes the Self – after this, there is no return for him into the delusion of this ocean of samsara (world).
Thus one needs to constantly spend atleast some time for reading spiritual books and the Upanishads (which speak about the SELF). When one reads such books, his mind gets focused on the matter of the Upanishads – which is the Self. This in turn, makes him reside as the Self (as the saying goes What the mind thinks, that it becomes).
When a person thus spends at least 30 minutes daily for spiritual studies and repetition to the mind that “I am the SELF” and argumentation with the mind about the real nature of the Self and world, slowly he gets the Bliss of the Self during those times.
One may here have a doubt that if a person repeats to oneself that “I am the SELF” – will I become the SELF? Isn’t it similar to telling that “I am a dog, I am a dog”, but still I will not become a dog????

The answer to this question of any seeker is that “What one has forgotten, one needs to repeat it to himself so that he realizes his forgotten nature”. Here a person is the Self only – nothing else. But he has forgotten it, hence repetition in the mind and concentrating on it is required to realize the reality.

There are mainly four Mahavakyas said in the Vedas contemplation on which leads to removal of ignorance and hence liberation.


  1. TAT TVAM ASI or THAT THOU ART – this is the Upadesa Vakya which a Guru instructs to his disciple that he is the Self and GOD whom he has been searching everywhere.

  2. Prajnaanam Brahma or Consciousness is Brahman – this is the Lakshana Vakya (Quality) which describes about the Brahman or the Self and tells that the Consciousness that gives its light to all things in the world is the Brahman or Self.

  3. Aham Brahma Asmi or I am Brahman – this is Anusandhaana Vakya or word upon which one meditates or contemplates. This states that this Self in this body (which seems to get limited into a body and mind) is the same as Brahman or God, the Supreme Being (one without a second and only ONE existing).

  4. Ayam Atma Brahma or This Self is Brahman – this is Anubhava Vakya or word of Experience. When a person contemplates on the above vakya that I am Brahman – slowly all ignorance veils are removed and the experience (direct experience and not just intellectual or sabda experience) that I am the SELF or Brahman dawns upon him. This is the Ultimate state of realization wherein one completely wakes up from this long dream of waking world.


Let the Almighty guide us all to spend at least some time for contemplation into the Self and realizing that “I am the SELF – with the Bliss that is being searched in the external world”.

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Words of Ramana Maharshi -- #116
The present trouble is to the mind and it must be removed by the mind only.

                                                                                                                        -- Ramana Maharshi

Explanation:
Maharshi is explaining the Ultimate Reality that the mind is the cause of all troubles and sorrow in this world.
As Yoga Vasistha puts it

Man Eva Manushyaanaam Kaaranam Bandha Mokshayoh.

Bandhaaya Vishayaasaktam Muktaih Nirvishayam Smritam”

Mind alone is the cause for bondage and liberation.

When it craves for external sense objects, it is in Bondage.

When it turns inwards and does not stick to any sense objects, it is Liberated.
As the Upanishads speak out that the Self is NITYA SUDDHA BUDDHA MUKTA – ever pure, ever enlightened, ever liberated. There is nothing called Mukti or liberation for the Self. It is already in liberation, it is already realized. It is full of Bliss only.
It is that which is Ekam Eva Adviteeyam or one without a second.
And the Upanishads speak out TAT TVAM ASI or THAT THOU ART. That Self which is of the nature of Bliss one already is.

Here a doubt occurs that why then Mukti and Self-Realization is being spoken of???

The forgetfulness of the Self – one’s own real nature – results in its reflection being created and “mind” takes shape. As Maharshi says that there is nothing called MIND, mind is only present when the Self is forgotten.

This Mind, the reflection of the Self (can be considered as the shadow of a person which has no real existence), creates bondages of “I” and “Mine”.

Some people become “my people” and some others “other people”. Thus a liking for “my people” and disliking for “other people” is created. This causes the sorrows due to Anger, lust and other things. When “my people” have some trouble or problem, the mind also seems to suffer out of that. The Mind thus creates notions and limits the unlimited and infinite Self to a limited body and some thoughts.
Thus, the Self is ever realized. But the wrong notion, created by the mind, that “I am this body, named so and so, having so and so qualities, with so and so nature” causes suffering and sorrow. Thus, liberation is nothing but removal of the wrong notion that “I am the Body” which is removed only through the knowledge of the Self – that “I am that Supreme and unlimited Being, non-dual Self”.
Thus, the problem created by the mind must be removed by the mind only. This mind must be turned inward and must be concentrated and focused on a single object – be it GOD or a form of GOD or the formless Supreme Being Brahman or the Self. When thus mind becomes concentrated and only a single thought persists – the mind slowly starts merging into its source of Self. Slowly one is able to rejoice the Bliss of the Self. This is the reason why when a person hears to music, all other thoughts are warded off and hence he gets the part-bliss of the Self.

There is still another method of merging or destroying the mind. The Upanishads tell it “Manasa Mana Alokya” – See the mind with the mind. Here a person tries to see the mind and be just a witness to the thoughts of the mind. Thereby one realizes that there is no mind at all, and mind is nothing but a state where the Self or Reality is forgotten. Self can be considered as Light and Mind darkness. As one knows, there is no darkness but it is just absence of Light. When a person starts watching the mind, the thoughts of the mind ceases to exist – and a mind without thought has no existence and is called Self.

Thus the Self is already realized, but it is veiled due to the mind and its thoughts. One just needs to still the mind and destroy it by merging it with its source of Self through either watching it or concentrating on a single thought.
Let the Almighty guide us all to realize the Self through the destruction of the mind and focusing on a single Thought of either God or the Self.
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Words of Ramana Maharshi -- #117
All that is necessary is to give up this mistaken identity, and that done, the ever shining Self will be seen to be the single non-dual reality.

                                                                                                                        -- Ramana Maharshi

Explanation:
Maharshi explains the phenomena of the world and the Reality behind the world.
As Darkness is just absence of light, similarly a person sees duality in this world only because he hasn’t realized the Self.
A person is dreaming. In the dream he sees different things and thinks that all these are various things. Only when he wakes up, he realizes that all the variety he saw was nothing but the one and only “I”. This same “I” consciousness became the Subject and Object during dream.
Similarly the Vedas proclaim that

Sad Eva Soumya Idam Agra Aaseeth Ekam Eva Adviteeyam”

O Dear, there was only Reality here – one without a second.

Here the “there was” just shows the state that we are in now. During dream, all seems to be there and variety seems to exist. But the Reality is there is only one “I” in dream also. So telling it relatively it is quoted that “there was only Reality here”.

This Reality is being called by various names.

Ekam Sad Vipra Bahuda Vadanthi”

One Truth people call by different names.
As all ornaments, even though they have a name and form – still they are all GOLD only. Only for people who don’t know and realize that it is GOLD only – these seem to be different.
Thus only the outlook is the problem here. The problem is with wrong perception caused due to IGNORANCE.
This IGNORANCE is called as MAYA in Vedanta.

This MAYA occurs in two stages.


  1. Avarana or Veiling power – first the truth is veiled.

  2. Vikshepa or Projecting power – as the truth is veiled, it is being wrongly perceived and projected as something else.


Thus a person identifies himself, the pure “I”, as limited to a body and mind. He limits the limitless Self to a body.
Adi Sankara calls this as MAHA AKASA and GATA AKASA – the Supreme and Infinite Space, Space within a pot.

The infinite space seems to get limited into the adjunction of the pot. When the pot indicating the identification of body and mind is broken or removed through KNOWLEDGE, the limited Space reveals itself as the Infinite Space.
Thus when the wrongly identified and limited adjunctions of body and mind are removed through strong intellectual conviction and the practice of the truth through maintaining Oneness everywhere – the Unlimited and infinite SELF reveals itself. The SELF reveals itself as the non-dual reality, the Absolute Existence, Consciousness and Bliss.

The Same “I” or the pure Consciousness in a person is the Self. But due to limitations and wrong identifications it seems to get limited into the body and mind and seems to get into sorrow and suffering. But this Consciousness is never affected and it remains as a witness to all happenings of the mind. When a person realizes that He is the Consciousness and the Self – slowly the ignorance veil is removed and he realizes his own real nature of the Self.

According to Adi Sankara, one needs Mumukshutva or burning desire for liberation in order to remove the ignorance veil.

Even though the Self is already realized and one is already that – still latent tendencies remain which tend the person to forget his own real nature and fall into the non-existing and illusory dual world.
When a person has the strong desire to get liberated or realize the Self this very moment – this is called Teevra Mumukshutva. Such a person attains liberation in this very birth.
When a person has the desire to get liberated but still latent tendencies persist and because of this, he is not able always remember the Truth and Be the SELF, this is called Madhyama Mumukshutva. Such a person attains liberation in the next birth.
When a person says that I have some things to be performed, some duties to be completed and once they are completed, I will work for liberation, this is called Mandha Mumukshutva. Such a person attains liberation in the end of the present yuga.
When a person says that he is not interested in liberation and if it comes, by chance (as something falling from sky), then I will take it, this is called Ati Mandha Mumukshutva. Such a person never attains liberation.
Even though, from the Ultimate Level – there is no birth or death and only the non-dual Self, but still to practice the Truth and maintain equanimity with everything in the world and to completely realize the non-dual Self and see it everywhere – one has to work to remove the ignorance veil. Until the ignorance veil is removed, birth and death will continue (which are nothing but for the body only) as in dream one continues to see things until he wakes up.
Hence one needs to find out where one stands as to attainment of liberation or realization of the Self.

One needs to work this very moment towards removing the ignorance veil and try to realize the already realized Self. Isn’t it really foolish to misidentify oneself with the body and thereby be like suffering and becoming sad over things? Only foolish and utter ignorant people will do so. The Intelligent person makes the intellectual conviction that I am the Self and then tries to remove the ignorance veil through always contemplating on the thought that “I am BRAHMAN”. When such thought is continued unceasingly, then the ignorance veil is slowly removed and one realizes the non-dual Self – the Ultimate Reality, the reality that is witnessing itself as variety in this long dream of WAKING WORLD.

Let the Almighty guide us all to have TEEVRA MUMUKSHUTVA that one may attain liberation this very moment and thereby realize the abode of infinite and eternal Bliss that one is constantly seeking in the external world.
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Words of Ramana Maharshi -- #118
The true destruction of the mind is the non-recognition of it as being apart from the Self. Even now the mind is not. Recognize it.

                                                                                                                        -- Ramana Maharshi

Explanation:
Mind and Intellect are nothing but reflections of the Self. These reflections are seen only because the Reality is not seen.
A person sees snake in rope where there is dim light only. In Reality, there is no snake, but since the person doesn’t realize that it is rope, he misidentifies it with snake.
A person sees water in desert. This water or mirage is nothing but an illusion. What is present in reality is desert only.
Similarly during dream a person sees various things. But only when he wakes up, he realizes that there was only the Self.
Thus the mind, the body and other things are nothing but the Self only. But since a person doesn’t know the Self, he thinks them to be separate and different from the Self. When such ignorance increases, he thinks that the Self is Body only and he has the thought that “I am the Body”. This wrong notion is to be removed in order to realize one’s own true nature of Self.

As Maharshi says here that even the mind is only the Self – the Consciousness of a person falls on an object and this Consciousness is being seen as a different object and called chair, car and other sense objects. But in Reality, it the same Consciousness of the person that is the underlying reality in everything including body and the mind.

There is a gold chain, gold necklace and gold ring. All these are nothing but Gold only. The difference lies in their name and form. This name and form is not the Reality, but the Gold underlying these names and forms is the Reality.
Adi Sankara says in Drik Drishya Viveka

Asthi Bhaathi Priyam Roopam Naama cha iti amsa panchakam.

Adhya Trayam Brahma roopam jagad roopo tato dvayam”

A thing has 5 qualities or parts

1) Asthi or Existence

2) Bhaathi or Consciousness

3) Priyam or Bliss

4) Naama or Name

5) Roopam or Form
The First three are said to be the characteristic of Brahman or the Self. The Rest two are called World.
The world is nothing but names and forms of the one Consciousness that is the underlying reality of the names and forms.
How does one know that Consciousness is the Underlying Reality???

Remove the Consciousness and then there is no world and nothing. But even when the world is not there during dream and deep sleep, the Consciousness is there (as one says that “I slept well”).
Thus the underlying Reality which is of the form of non-dual Self is the base and substratum for this dual world.

A person just needs to get the intellect conviction that the Self is all and then realize it by removing all obstacles and ignorance veil by seeing Oneness everywhere. When a person thus follows oneness everywhere, slowly the ignorance veil gets removed and he wakes up from the long dream of sleeping world and then rejoices the eternal and ever-lasting Bliss of the Self.

Let the Almighty guide us all to see Oneness everywhere and thereby gain the eternal Bliss of ever-realized Self.
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Words of Ramana Maharshi -- #119
What does it matter if the mind is active? It is so only on the substratum of the Self. Hold the Self even during mental activities.

                                                                                                                        -- Ramana Maharshi

Explanation:
The statement that Maharshi is making here is the path to Happiness and leading a successful and peaceful life.
These are the very essence of the Vedanta and Upanishads.
There is a drama going on. A person is enacting a role in the drama. But, even during sorrow situations and angry situations in the drama – the person has the strong intellectual conviction and knows crystal clear that “HE is SO and SO and this character that he is portraying is just a drama and not real.”
This is what is required in life. Each and every one should realize that “I can never be the Body” because the body perishes during dream and deep sleep – but the “I persists. This “I” is beyond even the mind and intellect, because even these require a Subject to work. This “I” is the real nature of a person. But a person thinks himself to be the body and mind. Due to this ignorance, whatever happens to the body and mind, he thinks that it happens to HIM and due to this, he suffers.

As a good actor will never, while acting, forget his real nature but just play his role with all energy, similarly a person needs to realize that this real “I” is the Self and that I am and then work in this world as if he is enacting in a drama or movie.

When a person follows this method, the mental activities will not affect him. His mind will be active and doing different things like crying or becoming sad, but still his intellectual conviction will always remain the same that “I am the non-dual Self, one without a second and of the nature of Existence, Consciousness and Bliss Absolute”.
What a person needs to realize is that even if he gets sad and falsely identifies the sorrows and sufferings of the body to the Self, still the “I” will remain the same. It will be the same always even during times of sorrow and happiness.
When a person thus follows this for some time, slowly the mental activities cease and he can remain as the Self at all times.
One needs to get the strong intellectual conviction that the Ultimate and only reality is the SELF and THAT I AM. When this conviction grows in strength, slowly he gets the strength to persist this thought even while doing actions or when active.
When a person thus catches the substratum of the Self, then he slowly gets the eternal Bliss of the Self.
Maharshi cites one example which Vidyaranya Swamigal has said in Panchadasi (famous introductory work for Vedanta).

One sees a film in a theatre. He sees lot of different thing in the screen. All things come and go, but the screen remains the same. The Self is the screen and different images on it are the thoughts in the mind. So, even when the mind is fully engrossed in thoughts, the Self remains the same and the “I” that a person refers to is the Self and not the body or mind.

Thus one needs to constantly have the thought and strong conviction that “I am the Self”. Due to this strong conviction, one realizes slowly that there is nothing in this world but only the Self. All the duality that he sees are just reflections and illusions wrongly superimposed on the Self. When thus a person realizes, the aim of the life is satisfied as He has nothing else to achieve and rejoices in the eternal bliss of the Self (the bliss that he was searching for).

Let the Almighty guide us to realize the Self and rejoice  the eternal bliss
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Words of Ramana Maharshi -- #120
There is happiness when agreeable things are presented to the mind. It is the happiness inherent in the Self – and there is no other happiness.

                                                                                                                        -- Ramana Maharshi

Explanation:
Maharshi is giving the answer to the question knowingly or unknowingly each one of us are looking for.
What is the question????

Where is Happiness and how can I gain it? – this is the Ultimate goal and aim of each human being.
Just an enquiry into this question will make one realize that the ultimate aim of each person is HAPPINESS that stays for long and is eternal.
A child searches for its mother since it gets happiness by seeing the mother and by sleeping in her lap.

A youth is in search of a perfect partner whom he can love, who will ensure perfect happiness through that love.

A worker is in search of money because he thinks that by having money he will gain peace of mind and happiness.

A father thinks that his happiness is in the child, the little baby that is so beautiful and cute and without whom he cannot live even for a second.
Is happiness in all of these things????

If happiness is in money, then each and every person should get happiness from it. But this is not the case. Some people get happiness from it while others even though living amidst lot of money have no happiness or peace of mind.

Thus, one can easily come to the conclusion that happiness is not in the external sense objects that one sees, but is in the SEER or the person who perceives objects.
A person, when he gets money, seems to get happiness from money – but he doesn’t realize that it is nothing but a little part of the happiness that is present in him which comes out as happiness.
Think about this situation:

A person thinks that he gets happiness from his wife. But when he is about to die, even hugging with his wife will not give him happiness. So, the happiness is in the common thing in these two cases and that is the person himself – it is the attitude of the person which gives rise to the internal happiness being expressed as external happiness. This internal Bliss of the person gets revealed itself during such times of satisfaction and contentment.
This is the reason why the husband Yajnavalkya says to his wife Maitreyi in Brihadaranyaka Upaishad

The Husband is loved for the sake of the Self and not for the sake of the Husband.”
Adi Sankara thus pin points two main aims for a human being


  1. Sukha praapthi or avaapthi – gain of Happiness

  2. Dukha Nivritti – removal of sorrow.


These two are in fact not different. When a person gains happiness, the sorrow gets removed off automatically as Light dispels Darkness.
But the fact that happiness that one seems to get from external things is limited and short-living. After some time, he has to suffer due to sorrow. This is the reason why Happiness and Sorrow are said to be the two sides of the same coin.

But the happiness gained or inherent in the Self is eternal in nature and is hence called Bliss. This Bliss once unveiled, gets permanent and never does one lose it in his life.

We can see that great mahatmas like Ramana Maharshi, Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, Swami Vivekananda and Swami Tapovan Maharaj have revealed the eternal abode of Happiness inherent in the Self and hence are content and satisfied with all the little-possessions that they have. Maharshi had just a kaupina or loin-cloth as his possession. Swami Vivekananda has the ochre dresses and a turban as his possession. Ramakrishna Paramahamsa had just the temple and idol of Kali as his possession.  But all these great beings had HAPPINESS that is of the nature of eternal Bliss and that which is being searched each moment by all living beings.
Thus one can see that Happiness is not external but internal and inherent in the Self. When a person thus tries to realize his own real nature of Self – that which is beyond the body and the mind, that which is eternal and that which pulsates each moment that “I exist, I exist” – he is revealed the door to immortality and the door to eternal Bliss. This eternal Bliss is being enjoyed by each person during the state of deep sleep – but one is unaware of it during that state. In the state of deep sleep, there is nothing but the pure Self alone. This goes on to show that Happiness is in the Self and it is not unknown due to ignorance of the Self.
How can a person be ignorant of the Self – his very own existence???

This ignorance is caused not by “not knowing of the Self” but by knowing the non-self as the Self or wrongly knowing the Self. A person identifies himself with this limited body and mind and this makes him think that “I am the body or I am the mind”. This wrong thought is responsible for ignorance of the Self. When the person removes this wrong notion and realizes that “I am the Self beyond everything and the one without a second”, this ignorance gets removed once and for all. When thus this ignorance is removed once and for all, the Self is completely realized as the non-dual Reality wherein there is no duality of real and unreal, happiness and sorrow – but only Reality, only Bliss, only pure Love.

Let the Almighty guide us all to realize the Self thereby becoming immortal and getting the eternal Bliss of the Self.
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Words of Ramana Maharshi -- #121

It is the human mind that creates its own difficulties and then cries for help. Is God so partial as to give peace to one person and sorrow to another?

                                                                                                                        -- Ramana Maharshi

Explanation:

 

Maharshi is here explaining the Reality that all the difficulties and sorrow is created by the human mind and not by God.

 

Who is GOD???

Swami Chinmayananda says

God is not a sultan of sky, sitting amidst clouds and showering his blessings on selected individuals”.

 

God is one who is the Supreme Cause of this universe or the world of duality.

If God is the Supreme Cause, he must know everything about this world (in order to create it), hence he is All-Knowing.

 

A person when he gains real knowledge – he gets happiness and peace out of that knowledge. Hence God must be a person who is full of Bliss as there is nothing that he doesn’t know. Only when a person is imperfect, does he think about doing things and if those don’t work out becomes sad. But God is perfect and hence he has nothing to accomplish and hence full of Bliss and Peace.


 

If God is the Supreme Cause of this universe, then every creature in this world is his creation and thereby his son/daughter. No father will want his children to suffer. Hence the sufferings that we see in this world is not given to us by God.

 

A Simple example to this would be nothing but the life of Great Avatars or living forms of God. Right from Jesus to Krishna to Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa to Ramana Maharshi – they never gave sorrow to others, in fact they could bestow bliss and show people the way to eternal Bliss (inherent in the Self).

 

As Sri Krishna affirms in Gita that

Kaunteya Prathijaanihi Na Me Bhaktah Pranashyathi”

O Arjuna, know well that my Devotee never ceases to exist or never perishes.

 

Then why is suffering there in the world???

This suffering is not the creation of God, but creation of our own very mind.

 

God has created the Self as not separate from him, but as HIMSELF. This is why the Upanishads proclaim that “TAT TVAM ASI” – THAT SUPREME BEING YOU ARE.

 

Hence we find Krishna telling in Gita that

Mattah Parataram Na Anyat Asthi Dhananjaya”

There is nothing different from Me, O Arjuna.

 

Vasudeva Sutam Devam Kamsa Chaanura Mardhanam

Devaki Paramanandam Krishnam Vande Jagadgurum

Son of Vasudeva and the destroyer of evil powers of Kamsa and Chanura (these evil powers represent the evil qualities of the mind and the Ego), and son of Devaki who was of the form of eternal and Supreme Bliss – to that Krishna who is the Jagadguru, I offer my prostrations.


 

The Self or real “I” Consciousness that one is, is of the nature of Existence, Consciousness and Bliss. This is not different from God or Brahman because it is non-dual in nature.

 

People who are daring and courageous enough to enquiry into their own real nature of Self – they gain eternal Bliss that is beyond words and thoughts. It is only when a person misidentifies the unlimited “I” – which rejoices the eternal bliss of the Self during the state of deep sleep, but suffers due to misidentification caused by the mind in the states of dream and waking state.

 

This mind creates the impression and wrong identification that “I am this body” and limits itself to certain things. It forgets that it gets the power of thought from the Self and that it is not different from the Self – and that everything in this dual world is nothing but various names and forms of the one Supreme Self – one without a second.

 

Thus, God is not partial and can never be so – because he is not different from you. It is the mind (which exists only due to the consciousness of the Self) that creates the sense of duality and differences in this world.

 

When a person remembers that God is in the heart and thereby tries to see the God or the Self everywhere – he slowly realizes the eternal Truth that there is nothing but ONE only in this dual world. All the duality is seen because the underlying non-dual Reality is not perceived.

 

One just needs to remove the ignorance veil through contemplation that “I am that Self” or contemplating on the form of God everywhere and at all times. Slowly his mind becomes pure and he realizes that there was/is no mind different from the Self. Only when the Self is forgotten, it is wrongly perceived as the mind – as snake is seen in rope or water seen in desert because of not perceiving desert.


 

Let the Almighty give us the strength to not to complain but to contemplate on God or Self without any interruptions.

 

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Words of Ramana Maharshi -- #122


The essential aim of Vedas is to teach us the nature of the imperishable ‘atman’ and show us that we are that.

                                                                                                                        -- Ramana Maharshi

Explanation:

 

The word Veda denotes Knowledge.

 

This knowledge is not normal objective knowledge, but this is Subjective Knowledge, Knowledge about the true and real nature of the Self and Knowledge about “Who am I” or Knowing oneself. This Knowledge is beyond knowledge and ignorance.

 

The Upanishad starts with the disciple asking the Guru a question

Kasmin u bhagavo vijnaathe sarvam idam vijnaatam bhavathi ithi”

By knowing which everything else becomes known, do Tell me about that.

 

It is the Self that by knowing which everything else becomes known.

 

Sri Krishna says

Yat jnaatva na iha bhooyo anyat jnaatavyam avashishyathe”.

After knowing which, there remains nothing else to be known – that is Me, the Supreme Being or Brahman or the Self.

 


The Vedas speak about the Self or Atman as one and the same as Brahman or the Supreme Being – Brahman which is present everywhere.

 

We find in Upanishads

Brahmaiva idam amritam purastaat

Brahma Paschaat Brahma Dakshinatasch uttaram

Adah cha urdhvam cha prasritam Brahmaiva idam

Viswam idam varishtam”.

Brahman is present everywhere as immortality. Brahman is in the front and the back. Brahman is in the right and in the left. Brahman is present in the top and bottom. This whole world is nothing but Brahman alone.

 

This same Brahman is the Self – TAT TVAM ASI or THAT THOU ART.

 

Thus, the Vedas teach one that there is the Self which is the Reality underlying all the names and forms in this changing world. As a person doesn’t realize or recognize the underlying reality, he sees only the duality. A goldsmith sees gold in gold-chain, gold-necklace and gold ring. Whereas an ignorant person sees all these as different, but in reality all these are nothing but GOLD alone. Similarly it is the Self that is shining everywhere in this world.

 

The Vedas through great statements proclaim that THAT THOU ART – you are that SELF which is beyond everything and which is the only one existing – one without a second.

 

All the sufferings and sorrows are due to ignorance of this Ultimate Reality that “I am THAT”. This is due to lack of knowledge of the scriptures. Lack of study of Vedas and vedantic texts. Instead of studying these great and subjective scriptures, one goes behind all the objective sciences in this world – searching for money and other things. All these objective sciences can never give a person Happiness and Peace of Mind. Happiness and Peace of Mind is gained only when a person realizes his own real nature of Self – the PERFECT. When he removes the ignorance that “I am not perfect”, he realizes his own real nature of the Self and thereby realizes that there is nothing to be gained here nor lost. Hence he always resides in the Self and rejoices in the eternal Bliss of the Self – the bliss that one searches all over the world in external things (forgetting that it is inherent in himself).


 

Just notice the statement of King Janaka once he realized the Self.

 

Kim Upadeyam asthi iha Yatnaad Samsaadayaami Kim

Yatah Sthirasya Shuddhasya Chitah Ka Me Asthi Kalpana”

What do I have to gain through effort or without effort. When I am the PERFECT and STABLE and PURE Self, why should I Imagine things and desire things?

 

Na Abhivaanchaami Sampraaptham Na Sampraaptham Tyajaami aham.

Swatcha Atmani Thisthaami Yan Mamaasthu tadasthu me”.

I will not desire to gain new things, neither will I renounce already existing things.

I will remain as the pure Self or pure Be-ing whatever may happen.

 

Thus, it is the scriptures that indirectly helps one in removing the ignorance veil and pointing out the true nature of the PERFECT and Ultimate Reality of Self and tells that “YOU ARE THAT”.

 

Thus by reading scriptures and contemplating on the teachings of the scriptures and through learning them from a Guru (and by Guru’s grace), one realizes his own real nature of Self – the pure Existence, Consciousness and Bliss. At that time, there is nothing to be performed and pure Bliss only remains – one without a second.




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