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


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Words of Ramana Maharshi -- #123

If you withdraw your mind completely from the world and turn it within and abide there, that is, if you keep awake always to the Self which is the substratum of all experiences, you will find the world of which you are now aware is just as unreal as the world in which you lived in your dream.

                                                                                                                        -- Ramana Maharshi



Vedanta or the Upanishad (knowledge portion of the Vedas) speak about two things in general.


One is the Real and the other Unreal.


What is the Real thing???

The Real or the Ultimate Reality can only be ONE and non-dual. If it is dual, then there must be another thing from which these two realities have come up and hence these are not real but just dependent on the third thing.

Hence the Real is only ONE or ONENESS – it is one without a second.


This Real from which seems to spring up all the worlds and the things in the world is called as BRAHMAN in the Vedas.

Brihattvaat iti Brahma or That which is very big and is seen as the world (or rather shown or wrongly perceived as the world).


This Real thing is the substratum for all the changing things. This Reality must not be born since if it is born, then the thing that gave to this reality’s birth is the Reality and there cannot be two realities. Hence the Reality or Brahman has no birth. Since it has no birth, it doesn’t have any death. A thing has changes only if it is born and undergoes all changes upto death. But Brahman is without any birth and death and hence changeless.


As one knows that there must be a changeless substratum based on which changes seem to happen. Thus this world that we see as changing daily has this Supreme Being or Brahman as its substratum.


Thus we have the Reality as Brahman and unreal thing as the world (comprising the body, mind and other external objects).

This distinction between real and unreal is termed by Adi Sankara as Viveka or Discrimination.


What is the unreal thing here????

As there is nothing called DARKNESS, but darkness is only absence of light – similarly IGNORANCE of the REAL is called or termed as UNREAL. Thus when a person doesn’t realize the substratum of Brahman, then he sees the world and the dual things in the world.


Who am I – amongst this real and unreal???

The “I” or Consciousness termed as Atman or Self is nothing but Brahman alone. When it limits itself to this body and other adjunctions of mind and intellect, it is called Jeeva. When this Jeeva breaks off the adjunctions (which are unreal), it realizes its own reality with Brahman or Supreme Being.


There is the Supreme Akaasa or Space. We have a pot and the space inside the pot is called POT-SPACE. This pot-space is the Jeeva. It seems to get limited by the POT, but in fact it is the same with Maha Akaasa or Infinite SPACE only. When the body adjunctions of pot is broken, the Jeeva realizes its unity with the Brahman denoted by Maha Akaasa in this example. (Here POT is given as just a example and in reality there is no body and mind similar to existence of pot. This example is just cited to show that the individual Self is the same as Brahman, but limited to unreal adjunctions).


Thus, when a person withdraws his mind from this unreal world to the Reality underlying this world – that is the Self, then he realizes that there is nothing except the Self – one without a second. For this, the mind is turned inward by trying to enquiry into one’s own real nature. When a person enquires into his own real nature, he realizes that he is SELF, one without a second.


A person is dreaming. In dream, there is only the DREAMER. This same DREAMER becomes the multitude of objects in the dream. But only when he wakes up, does he realize that all that he was seeing was unreal and there was only the DREAMER or “I” all during the state of dream.


Similar is the experience in this waking state. There is only the WAKER or the pure “I”. When a person realizes his own real nature of Self or Brahman, at that time he realizes that whatever duality he was seeing was only the Self with different names and forms (similar to a dream).


One needs to tame the mind into seeing ONENESS in duality. The mind needs to be turned inward into enquiry the real nature of ONESELF and also to see the substratum of the Self or Brahman in the external world. This is accomplished only through practice. A dreamer comes out of the dream when he sees a ferocious lion ready to pounce upon him. Similarly in this waking world, when through practice, one sees ONENESS everywhere and delves deep into his own real nature of Self – he wakes up to the Ultimate Reality of ONENESS.


At that time, he realizes that there is no duality here – but only the Ultimate Reality – but which was seen as dual because of ignorance of the Reality.


Adi Sankara in his work Drig Drishya Viveka explains the state of seeing oneness everywhere as

Dehaabhimane galithe vijnaathe parmaatmani.

Yatra yatra mano yaathi tatra tatra samaadhayah”

Overcoming and breaking the wrong notion that “I am the body” and by realizing the Supreme Being as one’s own Self, wherever the mind goes, it becomes SAMADHI. Wherever the mind is directed it becomes SAMADHI.


Gaudapada Acharya, the parama Guru of Adi Sankara and a disciple of Suka Brahma Rishi tells in his Mandukya Karika,

SwapnaMaye Yatha Drishyam

Gandharva Nagaram Yatha

Tatha Lokam Idam paschyathi

Vedantheshu vichakshanaih”

As a person sees a golden palace in Dream, similarly is the world seen and perceived – thus proclaim the great seers who have learnt Vedanta.


How can a person realize the oneness and rejoice in the eternal bliss of the Self???

Adi Sankara says

Yoga Rato Va Bhoga Rato Va

Sanga rato va sanga viheenah

Yasya Brahmani Ramathe Chittam

Nandhathi Nandhathi Nandhathi eva”


The person whose mind always resides in the Self or Brahman, he always rejoices in the bliss of the Self even though he might be seen (by others) as doing yoga or enjoying sensual pleasures, attached to things or not attached to things.


Thus the one and only way to enjoy the eternal bliss that one is constantly searching in the external world is to realize one’s own real nature of Self – that which is the witness or Sakshi to everything in this world, that which is the substratum to all the names and forms, the changeless base for the changing things and the Ultimate Reality, one without a second.


This Self – one already is – but unaware of. When awareness is brought up and the person truly realizes that “I am not this limited body nor the mind”, but I am the Self – he gains the eternal bliss of the Self and at that time there is nothing to be performed or achieved for him.


Adi Sankara says in his Nirvana Shatkam,

Chidananda Roopah Sivoham Sivoham”

I am Siva, I am Siva of the nature of Consciousness and Bliss Absolute.


Let the Almighty guide us all to realize the Ultimate Reality and thereby rejoice in the eternal Bliss inherent in the Self.


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 -- #124
The original state of this empty world, which is bewildering and crowded with many names and forms, is bliss.

                                                                                                                        -- Ramana Maharshi



The world that we see is nothing but names and forms only.


There is world only when the seer is present. The Consciousness is the seer of the world that is the seen. The Seen is, in fact, nothing but the Seer himself – but with a name and form.


There is gold-chain and gold-ring. Here the Reality is GOLD alone. The names and forms are only temporary and has no existence. As in dream where there is only the Dreamer who himself becomes the all of the dream world. Similarly in this waking world, what exists is only the Self or Consciousness. This Self is the substratum of the world – of the nature of names and forms.


Adi Sankara says in drik drishya viveka

Asthi Bhaathi Priyam Roopam Naamam cha ithi Amsa Panchakam.

Adhya Trayam Brahma roopo jagadroopo tatho dvayam”


There are five characteristics or qualities of a thing.







Existence, Consciousness and Bliss is the nature of the Self or Brahman. Whereas the world is of the nature of name and form.


It is very simple to realize that without the consciousness, there is no world. But even when the world is not there, as in Dream, there is Consciousness. Hence the Reality is the Consciousness alone.


The world that one sees is like the dream world – the one Self has become the many duality with names and forms.


Thus great saints see this world as Bliss alone – the Self or Brahman alone – whereas the normal ignorant person sees this world as ugly or sorrowful and full of sufferings. The problem is with the Seer.


When a person realizes the Supreme Truth that the Self is full of bliss and there is nothing but the Consciousness alone – which throws its light into other things – at that time, he realizes that there is no world or no mind and nothing but only the Self.


This Self one already is – but just has to realize it by removing the ignorance and the obstruction that “I am not realized”. This obstruction occurs due to mis identification of the body with the “I”. when the real “I” is known as pure Consciousness and bliss only – then the person sees the Self everywhere.


Let the Almighty guide us all to realize the Ultimate Reality and thereby rejoice in the eternal Bliss inherent in the Self.


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 -- #125
All Karma can be destroyed by acquiring knowledge of the Self.

                                                                                                                        -- Ramana Maharshi



Maharshi is here putting forth the truth told by Sri Krishna in Gita Chapter 4.


Sri Krishna says

Sarvam Karma Akhilam Partha Jnaane Pari Samaapyathe”

O Arjuna, all actions culminate in Knowledge.


Yatha Edhaamsih Samidhognih Bhasmasaatkuruthe Arjuna.

Jnaanagnih sarva Karmaani Bhasmasaat kuruthe Arjuna.”

O Arjuna, As fire burns the wood piece  into ashes, similarly all Karma or Actions are burnt up into ashes in the fire of Knowledge.


Now one may have a doubt as to how knowledge destroys all actions???

Adi Sankara beautifully explains this in his introduction in the commentary on Isavasya Upanishad.


Actions are born out of desire. A person has desire to gain something, let’s say gain money. Therefore, he works (does some action) in a company so that he may gain money. A person does rituals because he has the desire to attain Heaven as Vedas tell that by performing rituals, one attains Heaven. Hence all actions are caused by desires.


Desire is there because of imperfection. A person thinks that he has no money and this imperfection causes him to have the desire to earn money which in turn makes him do actions to satisfy or gratify the desires. Ultimately all desires can be traced to two desires (as Adi Sankara puts it).


  1. Sukha prapthi or Attainment of Happiness

  2. Dukha Nivritthi or Removal of Sorrow.

All the desires in this world can be finally traced to these two desires. One can easily understand that these two desires are closely linked with each other. The Happiness here mentioned is not the temporary happiness that one gets from worldly objects but permanent happiness which is also termed Bliss and is beyond happiness and sorrow. The Bliss is eternal and beyond time and space. This once revealed or attained is never lost again.


A person has these desires because he thinks he doesn’t have happiness (here I have mentioned he thinks because in Reality, a person or the Real “I” is full of Bliss only – but the person misidentifies the “I” with the body and mind and hence thinks that he has no happiness). So Ultimately, IMPERFECTION is the cause of desires. This imperfection or thought of imperfection is due to absence of Knowledge – because of the ignorance that “I am this body” and absence of the Knowledge that “I am the Self of the nature of Existence, Consciousness and Bliss Absolute”. Thus desires are caused due to IGNORANCE.


As Ignorance causes desires which in turn makes a person do actions, the termination of ACTIONS is only through the Self-Knowledge – the knowledge that “I am the Self – one without a second”.


Thus does Krishna says that “All actions culminate in Knowledge”.


These three – IGNORANCE, DESIRE and ACTIONS are called Hridaya Granthis or knots of the heart.


IGNORANCE – rudra Granthi situated in the space between eyebrows.

DESIRE – vishnu granthi situated in the heart.

ACTIONS – brahma granthi situated in the genital organ.


These three represent Aajnaa chakra, hridhi chakra and mooladhara chakra. When one breaks all these knots he reaches the SAHASRAARA or the thousand petalled chakra in the head which denotes eternal bliss of the Self.


These knots are broken only when a person realizes that “TAT TVAM ASI” or THAT THOU ART.


One may again have a doubt here that don’t great Jnaanis like Ramana Maharshi and Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa do actions is the form of eating, drinking, sleeping amongst other actions???

The great saints are seen to be doing actions – only from the perspective view of the person seeing them (third-person view). As regarding the Jnaanis, they have nothing but only the Self – Ekam Eva Adviteeyam – one without a second. Hence for them, all the actions have been burnt up, the ignorance has been completely burnt out and the duality has been removed off completely. For them, there is nothing but the non-dual Brahman or Self. It is only for the other people that these saints seem to be doing actions.


Sri Krishna beautifully explains this in Gita

Na Me Partha Asthi Kartavyam Trishu Lokeshu Kinchana.

Nanavaaptavyam avaaptavyam vartha eva cha karmaani”

O Arjuna, there is nothing in the three worlds as duty or action for Me. I have nothing to be attained through action, but still I engage myself in action.


The first part of the sloka explains the view of Saints of Realized souls like Krishna that “nothing is there to be done as everything is only Self and no ignorance for actions to be performed”. The second part explains that “but I still engage in actions” – this is from the view of Arjuna and other people.


Hence we hear great mahatmas telling that “I haven’t done anything but I am always situated in the Self only”.


Tapovan Maharaj, Guru of famed Swami Chinmayananda, went to a cave in Himalayas (upper part of Himalayas). He saw a old saint doing Tapas there. Maharaj asked the saint “why are you doing tapas and that too at this cave at such old age”. The saint replied in fluent Sanskrit that “I have nothing to do in this world. I am fully immersed in the eternal bliss of the Self. I just want to spend my last years in this cave where lot of great saints have spent their life and contemplate always on the Self and rejoice in the Bliss of the Self.”


Such is the state of realized souls – for whom there is no action as ignorance has been sprouted out and there remains the ever luminous and self-luminous Self – of the nature of Bliss.


Thus one comes to realize that all actions are caused due to IGNORANCE and are terminated only in KNOWLEDGE. Once knowledge is gained, even though the person may seem to be doing actions, still for the person there is no action and only the pure and eternal bliss of the Self.


Here Knowledge denotes Self-Knowledge, the Ultimate Knowledge that “I am that” which is called Self-Realization and is the one and only way to eternal Bliss. The more stronger the person realizes his own real nature through removal of ignorance veil – by gaining knowledge about the Self (both direct and indirect – direct through experience and indirect through scriptural hearing and reflections on the scriptures).


Let the Almighty guide us all to remove ignorance through knowledge and realize the ever-realized Self.


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 -- #126

Bliss is a thing which is always there and is not something which comes and goes. That which come and goes is a creation of the mind and you should not worry about it.

                                                                                                                        -- Ramana Maharshi



Bliss or Ananda is always there. Because it is the nature of the Self – the very nature of the Consciousness that is the substratum for the universe of duality


Vedas tell

Tarathi Shokam Atma Vit”

One who knows the Self overcomes sorrow.


Adi Sankara says

Yasya Brahmani Ramathe Chittam

Nandhathi Nandhathi Nandhathi Eva”

One whose mind is always fixed on Brahman – he always rejoices.


The Self is termed as Sat Chit Ananda or Existence, Consciousness and Bliss Absolute. The Bliss that one enjoys during the state of deep sleep is the proof of the eternal Bliss present in the Self or Real “I”.


A seeker may have the doubt that what is SELF???

Self is the Drik or the seer – the “I”, the pure Consciousness that sees all other things, that perceives all other things in this world.


If Bliss is the natural state of the Self, then why do people not enjoy that Bliss???

Bliss is always present, but one doesn’t realize it because of the ignorance veil created by the mind. The mind creates different thoughts which come and go. A minute there will the thought of Coding. The very next minute, there will the thought of Going back to HOME. Thus these thoughts are which are changing and the mind always fluctuate between one thought to another.


Maharshi is here explaining the way to realize the Self or the substratum that underlies these thoughts.

One just needs to forget the thoughts and don’t bother about the mind – but BE THE SELF. When a person realizes the Self, the substratum – the mind ceases to exist.


When a person tries to see the mind with the mind – it is meant here that one should try to watch the mind. Maharshi explains elsewhere that mind is a rogue who has no existence at all – like water in mirage. Once a person tries to find out water in the desert, he realizes that there is no water at all. Similarly when a person tries to find out the mind, the mind vanishes and the state where there are no thoughts or just pure mind exists is called SELF. This is the natural state of a person. This is the state of eternal Bliss.


The reason why a child always rejoices is due to Be-ing the Self and no thoughts coming up. Even though the child is unaware of this bliss, still the state of thoughtlessness is responsible for gaining the eternal Bliss.

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