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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Initially it will be tough to watch the mind for a long time. After some minutes, the mind will again wander off. Hence the easier way is to not bother about the mind but catch hold of the real “I”.


Thus one can say there are two ways to THOUGHTLESSNESS

  1. Catching hold of the real “I”

  2. Watching the mind.

The First path is suitable to only people who are really convinced and have a clear intellectual conviction that there is only SELF here and the SELF I AM – and this mind and other things are not me. It takes lot of practice and effort to gain such conviction. Hence the second method is suitable for initial seekers.


Initially one will be able to watch the mind only for 10 seconds. Then the mind will wander. But without getting depressed, one should again watch the mind. Slowly by practice one is able to do it easily and frequently. When one is comfortable with this watching of the mind, then the person can slowly try to catch hold of the real “I” (meaning pure Being). When a person tries to be the Self, then thoughts may come and go – still it will not affect such a person. He will always be residing in the Self only. Only the mind will be having thoughts.


Maharshi used to read newspapers. So one devotee asked Maharshi “how come you read newspapers, so you will have thoughts, right?”.

Maharshi answered “Yes, I have thoughts. When I read the newspaper, I will have thoughts. The moment I keep the newspaper away, all thoughts vanishes”.


This shows that even while reading the newspaper – there will strong conviction that “I am the SELF”. This is very similar to telling that one part of the mind or intellect will be contemplating on the thought that “I am the SELF” and will be residing in the real SELF – even though other parts may be doing actions like working or reading or playing etc.


Vedas tell that this stage where all actions continue but still the person remains as the Self is called “Nirvikalpa Samadhi”. This is like a OCEAN WITHOUT WAVES or can be considered as the BOTTOM OF THE OCEAN WHICH HAS WAVES – even though there are waves, but still the bottom is changeless and unmoving.


One need not worry hearing the word SAMADHI that this is only for saints and it is not possible for me. There is nothing like that. Each and every person is capable of doing it. Scriptures tell that every human being is capable of doing it. In Fact, in reality the person’s real and natural state is the state of SAMADHI which can be realized slowly through practice. When such a state is achieved wherein there is nothing but only the SELF and the person remains as the SELF itself – such a person is one who achieved what is to be achieved in this life – he is the person who has performed what is to be performed. Such a person is called the valiant or WISE. Such a person has no desires, no actions, no sorrow or suffering – but only Absolute and Eternal Bliss.


Let the Almighty guide us all to attain SAMADHI and thereby rejoice in the eternal Bliss of 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 -- #127
 Men want absolute and permanent happiness. This does not reside in objects, but in the absolute. It is peace, free from pain and pleasure – it is a neutral state.

                                                                                                                        -- Ramana Maharshi



The Ultimate goal of each and every living being is HAPPINESS. Everybody wants to be happy and live with peace at all times. In search of this happiness, man ponders over to various external objects. Some try to get happiness through chanting or doing rituals like homas. Others try to get happiness from music or ART. Still others try to get happiness through teaching or preaching of scriptures and other subjects so that they get name and fame. All these may be said to be good actions (good actions are those that help in Self-Realization and are helpful in cleansing the mind or purifying the mind). Other people try to get happiness from cigarettes and alcohol and drugs. Some others think that happiness is gained through sensual pleasures.


Thus everyone from the richest and richest of persons and the poorest of poor, the most intelligent and the most dull, the most powerful and least powerful – all have a common goal to gain Happiness – eternal and permanent happiness.


This search for happiness continues the moment this body is born in this world. A child tries to seek happiness from its mother’s breast. When it grows to some age, it seeks happiness in play items. When the child becomes a youth, it tries to get happiness from a partner of the other sex. Then after marriage, the happiness seems to lie in the wife. Once a child is born, it becomes the center of happiness. One doesn’t understand here that the very same child (that seemed to give happiness) is cursed by the person when he becomes old and is not taken care of and sent to a old age!!!!!!


Thus strange are the ways of Maya who controls this world through illusions and misidentifications.


Adi Sankara says in his work Bhaja Govindam

Balasthaavat Kreedasaktah

Tarunasthaavat Tharuneesaktah

Vridhasthaavat Chintaasaktah

Pare Brahmani Ko pi na sakthah”

When in childhood one becomes attached to playing, when a youth, he gets attached to a beautiful woman, when of old age, he becomes attached to THINKING and WORRYING – Alas, no one is attached or trying to realize BRAHMAN.


A person never realizes that Happiness that he is seeking is not in external objects but is inherent in him. He doesn’t realize that HAPPINESS is the natural state.


This Happiness is eternal and ever present. One rejoices this happiness during the state of deep sleep. The only difference in that state is that he is unaware of it at that state and a ignorance veil persists during that period.


If Happiness is inherent in a person, why doesn’t he realize it????

A person doesn’t realize the happiness in him because he is always extroverted. He is seeking the external objects in the hope of getting happiness from the objects. Only when the person turns the mind inward and restrains the mind from seeking the external objects does he realize the Self and thereby gain eternal Bliss.


There is a thief in the house. But the house owner is searching for the thief outside, in all places, except his own house. As long as the person seeks the thief outside, he will not find him. But the moment he searches inside his own house, he catches the culprit.


This is the state of Happiness. Happiness is inherent but since the mind is turned outwards, it doesn’t realize the happiness in its own very source of Self.


Scriptures tell that GOD is there in the heart of all beings.


There is a good story about the place of GOD. GOD is being searched here and there but not being found.


It so happened that in old days, people gained power due to penance and started disturbing GOD in kailas and vaikunta. Thus the GODs (different Gods are mentioned in the Vedas or Hindu tradition – these are all one and the same GOD with different name and form) called a meeting to discuss this issue. Slowly they discussed and found out a solution. The good part is this solution was implemented and after that people are struggling to find GOD and only rare few find him. The hiding place was INSIDE the PEOPLE (in the heart of people).


This GOD is of the nature of Absolute Bliss. That is present inside whereas as everyone is searching outside.


Srimad Bhagavatham tells a real incident similar to this story.

Vishnu killed Hiranyaaksha, the demon with the avatar of Koorma. Thus the brother of Hiranyaksha, Hiranyakashipu was very angry over it and he sent out his sentries to find and kill Vishnu. This asura had got powers and varas too. Thus Vishnu was a bit afraid. Vishnu then hid himself inside Hiranyakashipu and came out in the form of his child PRAHLADA.


Thus the Happiness that one is knowingly or unknowingly seeking is inside oneself. One just needs to realize that “I am the SELF – full of Bliss alone. I am not this body as this body will die off and is dying each day during deep sleep. If I am not the body, then how can there be feeling of EGO or “I-ness” and “Mine-ness”. Everything in this world is only GOD and is pervaded by GOD.” This GOD is present inside oneself. This GOD is of the nature of pure HAPPINESS – that is devoid of both happiness and sorrow – the non-dual and peaceful state.


When a person realizes that everything is but GOD and tries to find out the GOD in HIM, then the ignorance veil slowly gets unveiled. Slowly he gains the eternal bliss. When this Bliss is gained, then there is nothing else to be gained as that state is one of non-dual state.


Let the Almighty guide us all to discover the GOD inherent and thereby reach the ever-reached Goal of HAPPINESS.


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 -- #128

Satisfaction can be only when you reach the source. Otherwise restlessness exists.

                                                                                                                        -- Ramana Maharshi



A person starts from his house to come to office. He has to travel 15 kms in two different buses. The moment the person starts from the house, slight restlessness starts in his mind (please note here that it is in the mind and according to the mental nature of different people, the degree of restlessness also varies). Only the moment he reaches office after a travel of 30 minutes or 1 hour – does the restlessness vanish and his mind becomes quiet and then satisfaction occurs.


What is Satisfaction or Samtripthi???

Satisfaction can be said to be another word for Happiness. Satisfaction endows happiness and happiness ensures satisfaction. When a work is done completely and perfectly, a person becomes satisfied. This Satisfaction is the ultimate aim or goal of life. Only when satisfaction is there, eternal happiness can come – as otherwise, the mind is restless and wandering hither and thither in search of happiness.


Satisfaction thus occurs when the source or goal is achieved. Until the goal is achieved, restlessness exists. This restlessness is nothing but fluctuations of the mind – various thoughts coming into the mind.


When the source of the mind, the Self or pure Consciousness is realized, then there is on fluctuation as this eliminates all thoughts of imperfection, sorrow, suffering. It ensures one eternal Bliss and perfect peace. When such a peace is there, then why will the mind think thoughts??? The mind thinks different thoughts as it has desires and wants different ways to gratify those desires.


But when this stage of perfect peace and perfect non-dual Happiness is achieved, there will be no thoughts – I other words, there will be no mind but only the Self – the state where all the illusions disappear and the self-luminous Self shines. When a dreamer wakes up from the dream, all the dream world disappears as though they had no existence whatsoever. The dream world that the dreamer created disappears as the illusion of snake in rope (seen in dim light).


This is the ultimate goal of human kind – that has been elaborately dealt within the Vedanta or Upanishads.


It is really interesting and encouraging to see what King Janaka says when he realizes the Self

Kim Upadeyam Asthi Iha Yatnaad Samsaadhayaami Kim.

Yatah Sthirasya Sudhasya Chitah Ka Me Asthi Kalpana”

There is nothing to be attained or gained here. When I am the pure and stable and eternal Consciousness or Self – why should I imagine (or bring thoughts to the mind)????


Na Abhivaanchaami Asampraaptham Na Sampraaptham Tyajaami aham.

Swaccha Atmani Thistaami Yan Mamaasthu Tadasthu Me”

I will not try to gain new things nor will I renounce the existing things – I will remain as the pure Self (pure Being) whatever happens.


This is what is the ultimate goal of Vedanta. The illusions that have been created of the dual world and the dual nature of sorrow and happiness are due to IGNORANCE (ignorance of the ultimate and non-dual nature of Oneself). Thus this is completely removed by the Knowledge of Self. This Knowledge is that “TAT TVAM ASI” – THAT THOU ART as heard from the Guru. This knowledge becomes direct when the disciple realizes the truth through experience as “Aham Brahma Asmi” – I am Brahman.


One already is the realized Self. One is already at the source. But the non-existing mind creates things as it doesn’t realize the real nature and source of Self – thus ignorance causes this dual world and makes one think that “I am ignorant, I am not realized, it will take me years to realize”.


What a person needs to have in this dual world is the CLEAR INTELLECTUAL Conviction about the real nature of the Self. When thus a person has clear conviction and puts these teachings of the Guru and scriptures into practice either through surrender to GOD and seeing him everywhere or through the enquiry path of knowledge wherein the source of mind is sought and realized as the Self.


Thus when a person slowly removes the ignorance veil, he realizes the non-dual Reality and that he is the abundant source of Bliss and eternal Peace. From that moment, there is no restlessness, no thoughts, no worries – but only pure Being without any distinction of subject and object.


Note here Krishna explaining this stage

Yatha edhamsih Samiddhognih bhasmasaat kuruthe arjuna.

Jnaanaagnih sarva karmaani bhasmasaat kuruthe thatha.”

As blazing fire burns firewood into ashes, so does Knowledge burns all actions into ashes.


Jnaanam Labdhva Paraam Shanthi Achirena Adhigatchathi”

Once Knowledge (Supreme Knowledge that is subjective and hence beyond knowledge and ignorance) is gained, then follows Supreme and eternal Peace (immediately).


Let us all try to realize the Self and rejoice in the eternal bliss of the non-dual Self wherein there is nothing to be done, nothing to be gained or lost, nothing to desire, nothing to think but only PURE AND ABSOLUTE CONSCIOUSNESS.


Let the Almighty guide us all to realize the Self in this very birth and thereby overcome this vicious cycle of birth and death – happiness and sorrow.


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 -- #129
Question: How to avoid misery?

Maharshi: Has Misery a shape? Misery is only unwanted thought. The mind is not strong enough to resist it.

                                                                                                                        -- Ramana Maharshi



Eradication of Misery is the goal of each human being in this world.


Nobody wants to suffer. Everyone wants to be Happy and peaceful all the time.


Adi Sankara thereby quotes that there are two main aims or goal of a person.

  1. 1)      Sukha Praapthi or Gaining of Happiness

  2. 2)      Dukha Nivritti or Removal of Sorrow


Any aim or goal can be trace to these two ultimate goals.


Here, Maharshi gives the definition of misery and thereby explains the dualities of sorrow and happiness.


From the perspective of the Self, there is only ONE – the one without a second. This is Ultimate Reality which each every one has to realize and such realized people are called Jeevan Mukthas.

Then, there is the perspective of the world, wherein multitude and duality are perceived. This is like dream world where the ultimate reality is ONE DREAMER ALONE. But since it is not realized in dream, the duality is seen and a person gets deluded over the duality.


The duality in the dream was the creation of the mind which is not present during deep sleep (and hence nothing is perceived in deep sleep). Scriptures tell that this waking world is nothing but the creation of the mind.


This is the reason why at times a thing gives Happiness and at other times, the same thing gives one sorrow. Thus the happiness and sorrow are not real and not in the object, but in the state of the Subject alone.


Maharshi here questions whether misery has any shape. Misery has no shape or form. It is just a thought. The thought is to be removed in order to remove misery. The mind must be trained to resist the thoughts.


How can mind resist thoughts which is its very nature???

Thoughts are eradicated when the real source of the mind is achieved. When a person realizes that everything in this world is but names and forms of the one Ultimate Being called Self or Brahman – then no thoughts affect him. He remains like an ocean without waves. The waves are thoughts which hinder the real and pure state of wavelessness. When a stone is thrown into a still lake, it causes ripples – these ripples are thoughts. The mind must be made strong by realizing its source or by concentrating on the Ultimate Being called GOD. When surrender to GOD comes, everything that happens doesn’t disturb the person – because it is GOD who is doing everything and hence GOD will take care of things. This surrender should be complete and total – not like calling GOD at times of suffering and sorrow and at other times forgetting GOD.


Thus there are two paths to control mind – Bhakthi or path of Surrender and Jnaana or path of Knowledge. (even though there are many other, these can be said to be the most suitable for people)


Narada defines Bhakthi in Narada Bhakthi Sutras as

Tad arpitha Akhila aacharatha – Tad vismarane parama vyakulatha cha”.

Offering all actions unto HIM and always thinking of him – when one forgets him, he should repent for the same.


When such total surrender comes, there is no individual there – but the individual gets merged into GOD. And as the definition goes, GOD is one who is beyond this illusory world and whom no actions or results affect. When a person thus gets converted to GOD, he is the person who has achieved what is to be achieved. He gets merged into Brahman or the Self (which is not different from GOD). Thus he realizes the eternal bliss inherent in GOD (at this time, there is no separation between GOD and him as the EGOistic “I” has vanished). This is the path of Bhakthi or Devotion.


It is not devotion wherein one just makes part time invocation to GOD and part time seeking through temples. It is not devotion wherein one blames GOD for all faults and sufferings and the Happiness he endows upon himself.


As Krishna says

Idam Sariram Kaunteya Kshetram ithi Abhidheeyathe”

O Arjuna, this body is called Temple.


Why is this body called Temple???

Because it has GOD in it. “Ishavarah Sarva Bhootanaam Hridheshe Arjuna Thisthtahi” – O Arjuna, God resides in the heart of all beings.


Various ignorant people will have the opinion that Bhakthi is easy and Jnaana is tough and not for us. There is no such differentiation between Bhakthi or Jnaana. Both lead one to the Ultimate Reality of Bliss. In one, a person who hasn’t got his intellect much developed and is not able to resist the thoughts of the mind – surrenders everything to GOD – Bliss Absolute. Thus what remains is Bliss only. This is the path of Devotion. Whereas in Jnaana – a person realizes the Bliss inherent in himself (the GOD in him) through control of the mind which comes only through the clear intellectual conviction that whatever exists is only Bliss – nothing but pure Bliss.


Both these paths lead one to Bliss alone. The Bliss capable to putting an end to Misery and Sorrows (not like happiness from spouse or children which ends the moment the spouse and children disobey or not act according to one’s wish). This state is called Samadhi and state of pure Being.

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