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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We can see people fighting amongst themselves that “Bhakthi” is greatest and we are suitable only to Bhakthi and not to Jnaana. This is but the statement of an ignorant person. All the paths lead a person to the same ultimate Knowledge (distinguished from Jnaana which has Ajnaana also) – called Vijnaana and the realization of the non-dual Brahman. The ultimate goal that a person achieves or has to achieve through all of these four paths is Self-Knowledge called Brahma Vidya – wherein one finds that there is no two here, but just non-dual and eternal Self. This same Self is called as Brahman by the Jnaanis, God by Bhakthas and Kundalini Shakthi at the Sahasraara by Yogis. All these are but different terms to the non-dual Self. There is nothing separate from the Self- the pure Consciousness that gives light to everything else in the world and is the substratum for all the duality in this world.


Only ignorants fight over the path and that “my God, Vishnu” is greater than “your God Siva” and vice versa. The real bhaktha is one who sees his personal God, let it be Shakthi or Siva or Vishnu, everywhere. For that person, there is nothing but God alone. Even he has no existence, he gets merged into God. Thereby what remains is only oneness – called God. The same process when followed by contemplating on the Self and merging everything into the Self is called Jnaana or the path of Advaita as told in the Upanishads.


It is really interesting to mention here that whatever path a person might be following (mainly following), he will have to follow other paths too (but to a lesser degree). There occurs a time in all these paths, wherein one has to follow all these paths together. And when a person follows all the paths, mainly following a single path, he realizes that there is only one and one path and that is true Self-Knowledge. This is called Brahma Vidya – which is the one and only way to Self-Realization or in simpler words eternal Bliss.


Thus an intelligent person should follow, with full vigour, the path that suits his nature. Slowly he will see that all the paths come into him and that he is following all of them – and then comes the realization of the eternal Bliss in himself.


Thus the Ultimate Goal or Reality can be said to be “Aham Brahmaasmi” or realization or experience of the Ultimate Reality that “I am Brahman – I am the Supreme Being called as God or Shakthi or Vishnu or Siva or Self. I am that Being which is full of bliss alone. I am that which is one without a second and which is the only thing existing”.


When this ultimate reality of Oneness is followed either through seeing God everywhere or through seeing the Self everywhere – he slowly rejoices the eternal bliss and peace of the Self.


It is really tough to give a description and explanation about the different paths in a single mail (because lot of acharyas have written voluminous works and sutras for each of these paths). Hence I sincerely apologize for any confusion or misunderstanding, if any, caused by this mail. To know more about these paths, one needs to go through the works of Swami Vivekananda which is available in internet in the following site:  http://www.ramakrishnavivekananda.info.


Whatever name one calls the Supreme Being, it is the only thing existing – it is the creator, it is the created. It is the subject and also the objects as a single person becomes the dreamer and dream world during dream.


Let Maharshi bless each and every one in this world to open up the abundant treasure of Bliss inherent in the Self itself.


Let the Almighty guide us all to realize the Self and abide in the pure blissful and non-dual state.


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 -- #134
Question: Are there any signs to indicate the aspirant’s progress towards Self-realization?

Maharshi: The degree of freedom from unwanted thoughts and the degree of concentration on a single thought are the measure to gauge the progress.

                                                                                                                        -- Ramana Maharshi



Each and every seeker initially has some doubts regarding the progress in spiritual life. People often have doubts after meditating for days and years that nothing new is happening. Hence they get sad and all hope is lost and they stop practicing the various sadhanas.


Here, Maharshi explains the simplest and self-examining way of finding one’s own progress in spirituality.


Spiritual progress requires Sraddha (translated into English as Faith) for effects to take place. One needs to have faith in the word of scriptures and in the words of the Guru and should put all effort into the sadhana he is doing. The sadhanas of japa, dhyana, sandhya all have their effects – which surely comes only after practice of days or years.


As Sri Krishna says about spiritual practice

Yat Tad Agre Vishamiva Parinaame Amritopamam”.

These spiritual sadhanas will seem to be like poison in the beginning but going forth, it will turn out to be NECTAR and endows bliss on the individual.


What is mostly required during sadhanas is Sraddha or unswerving faith.


When a initial seeker starts to sit for meditation, all sorts of thoughts will come into his mind. He needs to overcome these thoughts and try to fix his mind on a single thought – through practice this becomes easy. Slowly during the full time of meditation his mind  gets focused on the single-thought. After this progress, he finds this thought spreading into the whole time of a day. All throughout his work, sleeping, drinking, eating and all – the thought persists in one part of the mind. This is what Maharshi calls the progress of the aspirant in the path of spirituality.


When such thought is persisted – obviously due to the one-pointed mind – eternal bliss slowly gets pervaded into the aspirant’s mind. The seeker finds that he is always Blissful and happiness is there at all times for him. What to say of the eternal blissful nature of the Self which is inexpressible by words and thoughts and must be experienced by oneself.


This happiness is the inherent nature of a person – but still due to ignorance of the self and thereby the mind turning outwards into different things, the happiness is not realized or enjoyed. When the mind is concentrated on a particular object, slowly the mind gets calmed and slowly when the concentration is continued even that thought gets subdued and what remains is the pure Consciousness called Self.


One may think that is it possible to get one-pointed concentration???

Yes, it is. If a person can gain it, why not others. It just requires some effort of the seeker. People concentrate on money, lust, fame, power – and they do gain those things in life. But when a person seeks the eternal Happiness of the Self through contemplation and concentration on the embodiment of Bliss – self or Brahman or God – he verily becomes Brahman once the concentration is continuously persisted.


One needs to have faith in the experience and words of great mahatmas and in the scriptures. Faith is something that can even shake a mountain. It is interesting to note a Christian saint describing faith as “Belief in something that you don’t know so that you may come to know what you believe in”.


Everything in this world is based on faith alone. It is faith that makes one person sleep thinking that he will get up the next day. It is faith that makes people think that this quoting of Ramana Maharshi will reach them daily. It is faith that one will get salary at the end of the month that people are working in offices. Thus everything in this world is build upon Faith.


This faith when directed towards the higher happiness – eternal bliss – unlike the lower happiness which is temporary and got from external sense objects – leads one to the eternal bliss of the Self, the bliss that one is constantly seeking in the external world.


Let the Almighty guide us all to realize the Self and abide in the pure blissful and non-dual state.


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 -- #135

Work offered to God and done without any expectations of the fruits thereof helps in purification of mind and hence a help to liberation.

                                                                                                                        -- Ramana Maharshi



Maharshi is here explaining the path of Bhakthi or devotion and path of Action or Karma together.


One of the important thing for devotion is total and unconditional surrender and offering of work.

When devotion to God becomes complete, all actions don’t affect the person because he is not the doer – all works become YAJNAS or PUJAS for God. This is what Maharshi tells as work offered to God.


But it is not enough that one offers the work to God. Because normally we see that people offer work to God but want the fruits of promotion, higher salary, good partner, heaven and other things. This is not at all karma yoga. Karma yoga is that where there is no yearning for the fruits of the actions and the person just does karma as though doing puja to God (without any expectation). The only thing that the doer has to ask to God is “complete remembrance of GOD and always offering it to GOD”).


A true devotee just demands God to be in the heart or unceasing thought of God. Such devotion when turned towards work becomes karma yoga.


Sri Krishna says in Gita

Yat karoshi yad asnaasi yad juhoshi dadaasi yat.

Yat tapasyasi kaunteya tad kurushva mad arpanam”.

Whatever you do, whatever you eat, whatever pooja or offering you do, whatever you give to other people, whatever austerities you follow, O Arjuna, do that offering it to ME.


When the offering is complete and perfect, then there is no expectations of the fruits thereof. Because of this, the person remains the same and poised at times of bad results and at times of good results also. He remains like the Sun to all the actions of the world. He remains like the lotus leaf which is present in water but is never wet by the water.


When a person thus follows this path of Action along with devotion to God,

Subha asubha phalairevam mokshyase karma bandhanaih

Sanyaasa yoga yuktatma vimuktho maam upaishyasi”

Thus he becomes free from good and bad fruits and gets liberated from the bondage of Karma (or I am the doer – doer ship).


Thus a person becomes pure and purity of mind is achieved. All scriptures proclaim that the pure mind is called Self. Thus when the mind is purified, the Self is realized and the person rejoices in the eternal  bliss of the Self.


When a person clearly analyzes this path of action, he can easily see that this path is very similar to the path of Knowledge where a person concentrates on the Self and its realization. When the action is completely renounced, then the man becomes perfectly unattached to all the things in the world. This gains more strength by practice and he thereby tries to realize the higher happiness inherent in the Self. When he thus strives for the happiness, the eternal truth of the Self reveals itself to the person.


What a person needs to remember is that one is already realized and one is the non-dual Self, but just not aware of or just ignorant of this truth. When through the different paths to the truth, the person removes the ignorance, then he realizes his own real and eternal nature of Self. Thus there is no Self newly created, but only forgotten Self and real nature is remembered again. It is like the dreamer dreaming all sorts of things like he is eating, dying and other things whereas he is the same and only one present. Similarly when a person follows the different paths to realization, the ignorance veil slowly gets removed and this is indicated by the happiness and peace that he gets during all times. Thus he realizes his own real nature of Self. A person just needs intellectual conviction and purity of mind to realize this eternal truth of unlimited happiness and pure Being of Self.


Let the Almighty guide us all to realize the Self and abide in the pure blissful and non-dual state.


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 -- #136

One should never cease to engage in hearing, reflection and one-pointedness. These are not fulfilled by reading books, but only by continued practice to keep the mind withdrawn.

                                                                                                                        -- Ramana Maharshi



Maharshi is hearing the three steps to Self-Realization as mentioned in the Upanishads and emphasized by Sankara and his followers.


What are the three steps???

The three steps are

Sravana or Hearing – hearing of the scriptural teachings from a competent teacher is Sravana. Here a person gets the a clear view about the non-dual Self. He understands the eternal truth of non-dual Self, pure Consciousness.


But mere sravana will never do because it will be like a person going to hear discourse of bhagavatham where the person tells one to continuously think good and think about God. But once the discourse is over and the person comes back to home, he forgets everything and the very same person does bad things that are forbidden in the Vedas and hence faces sorrow and suffering in life. Thus sravana is listening of the truth from an experienced or realized soul. Here it is not mere hearing, but listening of the truth. Mere hearing is one hears something and grasps it wrongly and interprets in another way – he is not at all concentrated on the truth told by the teacher. Thus when listening to the teacher, one should have pure faith and with concentrated mind one should do it.


The truth that the teacher tells is forgotten after some time – one doesn’t forget it when he gains a clear intellectual conviction of the truth from his brain and intellect. This is called reflection or manana – or reflection of the eternal truth in the intellect with logic and clarity. When a person reads a book and then tries to figure out the truth in the statements and ascertains it with his intellect, the concepts become very clear. This is what reflection does. With the help of reflection, a person gains the clear conviction of the truth that he had heard from the teacher or the scriptures.


Reflection just gives one indirect knowledge as the truth has still not been experienced by the person. This experience or realization occurs when a person continuously contemplates on the truth with one-pointed concentration – this is called Nidhidhyasana. When the person tries to experience the eternal truth of Self – that which he had reflected upon – through the ways enjoined in the Vedas for the same – slowly he realizes the teachings of the teacher – and this becomes direct knowledge.


Maharshi here tells that mere book reading will never bring upon these stages or steps – what is firstly required is turning the mind inward. When the mind is turned external into some sense objects, it is not able to concentrate on the subtle truth of Self. Thus the mind is turned inward with the help of practice and continuously trying to follow the above three steps of hearing, reflecting and contemplating. Adi Sankara tells that one needs to continuously follow these three steps until the process of pure Being – or Self remembrance, remembering the eternal truth of “I am Brahman” – becomes natural like breathing. Everybody breathes air without their own knowledge. To go a step further, these steps need to be followed and the thought of “I am Brahman” needs to be persisted as a lover always thinks of his love.


Sri Ramakrishna paramahamsa gives the example of a sweeper women. This women works in a rich person’s house. She does all the work, and even calls the rich person’s son as “Rama” (or my son) – but all the time she is doing all this works, her mind is constantly fixed on her house and her own children.


An actor acting in a film, never forgets his real name – but only acts even though he is some other person and not the real person.


Similarly the thought has to persisted until it becomes natural. The above the three steps when following with sincerity, devotion and continuity will grant one the eternal bliss of the Self.


A person should always remember one thing that there is nothing new to be gained here. Self-Realization or Bliss is not something that has to be got after 20 years of practice or after attaining of Vaikunta. As all scriptures state, whatever exists always exists. Whatever new is gained, it will surely be lost (only that it will be conditioned by time and space and hence lost after some time). Thus Self-Realization and bliss is already available. The eternal bliss of the Self is daily experienced by each person during deep sleep. One is already the Self – the problem is the ignorance of this ultimate reality. This ignorance has to be overcome and not self to be gained afresh. All the different paths of Jnana, Karma, yoga and bhakthi as also the above three steps are only for removing the Self and not for gaining of the Self.


In Yoga Vasistha, vasistha says to Rama

Yad asthi iha tadeva asthi” – whatever exists only exists.


Krishna says in Gita

Na asatho vidhyathe bhaavo na abhaavo vidhyathe satah”

The unreal never has any existence, whereas the real never ceases to exist.


What is the Real???

The Real is the Self.

Ajo nityah sasvatoyam purano”

I am the Self, unborn, eternal and ever new and existing from ancient times (meaning beyond time and space).


Thus the ultimate Reality is the “I am the Self – non-dual and one without a second”. Only this reality has been forgotten and one has to remember it again and has to remove the strong ignorance of “I am the body, I am the mind, I am not realized, I have no bliss” and all others so that the reality shines itself and then the person rejoices in the eternal bliss of the Self.


It is really high time to realize one’s own real nature and to put one’s whole effort into removing the ignorance rather than going after sensual pleasures. This is why Adi Sankara says “Sampraapthe sannihite kaala nahi nahi rakshati dukren karane” – your time is nearing each moment (death is waiting to get rid of this body and to take another body) and hence all knowledge that you have learned will not help you but only Seeking Govinda will help you. Govinda here means the Self – one who is the controller of Go or sense organs – that is the Self.


Let us all try to realize the ever-realized Self in this very birth and thereby rejoice in the eternal bliss that is being sought in the external world.


Let the Almighty guide us all to realize the Self and abide in the pure blissful and non-dual state.


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 -- #137
We limit ourselves first, then seek to become the unlimited that we always are. All effort is only for giving up the notion that we are limited.

                                                                                                                        -- Ramana Maharshi



Here Maharshi gives the real nature of oneself as also the cause for all sorrows.


Who am “I”???

The “I” that is meant here is not the egoistic I that thinks that “I am so and so, I have so much money, these people are mine and all”. The “I” meant here is that Consciousness that is the witness to all the three states of waking, dreaming, sleep, that remains the same during growth, existence, birth, death, decay and disease – all these are but variations that occur to an insentient thing. The Consciousness or “I” remains the same during waking – we say “I see, I hear, I do” – so also in dreaming (“I dream, I enjoy the pleasures, I dreamt”) as also in the deep sleep state – waking from which one says “I slept well”.

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