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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Thus, the “I” remains the same all throughout. It is beyond time and space. A person sees a thing some distance apart – he identifies it as a rope. For him to identify it as a rope, the “I” or Consciousness must pervade the object – hence the “I” is all pervading and hence beyond space. We say “yesterday I was a boy, tomorrow I will go to office” – from these it is seen that yesterday also I was there, today also I am there and tomorrow also I will be there – hence “I” is beyond time also.


All the things in the world (dualistic world) are limited by time and space. This body is limited by 6 feet height and 2 feet width. The office building is limited by 5 acres. Similarly, the body remains healthy today but tomorrow it is unhealthy and suffers from fever and decay. Thus all things are limited by time and space.


But the Self or “I” Consciousness is never limited by time and space. For a thing to limit another thing, there should be an unchanging substratum. This substratum based on which time and space limit other things is the SELF. The Self is ever unlimited but the ignorance of this eternal reality brings the notion that “I am this body, I am the mind” and limitations are superimposed on the unlimited Self.


This superimposition is termed by Advaitins as Adhyaasa. This is like seeing snake in a rope. There is no snake at all, but the snake is wrongly seen because the rope is not perceived. Since one’s own real nature of Self is not known, therefore the superimposition of the limitations occurs. And the person feels that “I become happy, I become sad and all that”.


Here one may have a doubt as to “I am feeling sorrow, I am happy” so isn’t this “I” affected by this???

This “I” is never affected by anything. The pure “I” remains ever a witness to all the things in the world. Even during states of happiness and sorrow the “I” is ever present. But the feelings of happiness and sorrow are superimposed and hence a person feels that “I am affected by happiness and sorrow”.


There is sun. The dogs are barking at the sun. But the sun is not at all affected by this. A person sees the reflection of sun in a bucket of water. The water is muddy and hence he sees the sun as muddy. Ripples are created in the water and the sun seems to be shaking. But during all these states, the sun remains the same without any change at all.


Adi Sankara says in his work “Dakshinamurthy ashtakam”

Balyadishu api jagradaadishu tatha sarvaashtu avastashu api

Vyavrittasu anuvartamaanam aham iti antah sphuranam sada”


The Self is always pulsating as “I, I” – this is the Self that remains without any change amidst all the changing states of childhood, youth and old age, waking, dreaming and deep sleep, and also the stages of growth, existence, growth, change, decay and disease.


This Self is not at all different from the pure Consciousness or “I”. This pure Consciousness imagines limitations and limits itself to the adjuncts of body and mind – but all throughout it remains the same without any change at all. The Guru, Uddalaka instructs his son, the disciple Svetakethu, that “TAT TVAM ASI” or THAT THOU ART. He repeats this 9 times in order for svetakethu to understand or grasp it completely. This statement is not a mere fictitious statement but statement of eternal reality, statement of pure experience. There is no truth beyond this ultimate truth that “I am Brahman”.


Dattatreya, the great avadhuta, says in his avadhuta gita.

Atmaiva kevalam sarvam bhedaabhedo na vidhyathe.

Asthi naasthi katham brooyaam vismah prathi bhaathi me”.


There is only the Self (one without a second) without any differentiation. But still it seems perplexing to me that people tell that it is there and it is not there.


The import of this statement is that there is no two here, but only pure and non-dual Brahman or Self. Since it is non-dual, there cannot be either existence or non-existence because whatever is only the Self. Hence the Self is present always and one is already that. But a person remains ignorant about this eternal reality and thereby tends to fall into the illusory dual world and seems to get affected by the worldly things.


One should really realize and contemplate on the non-dual Brahman and repeat always that “I am Brahman, Whatever is only Brahman” – Sarvam Brahmamayam – everything is Brahman. When a person slowly contemplates on this continuously the thought becomes natural and he realizes the ultimate reality and experiences the natural state of Self – one without a second.


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. 


The pure ‘I’ is the reality, the absolute existence-consciousness-bliss. When that is forgotten, all miseries crop up; when that is held fast, the miseries do not affect the person.

                                                                                                                        -- Ramana Maharshi



The Vedas have two parts – one is the ritualistic portion called Karma Kanda and the other is the knowledge-portion called Upanishads.


The Upanishads speak about the Ultimate Reality and about how a person can realize that reality and thereby abide in eternal bliss without any miseries or sorrow.


Upanishads speak the doctrine of Brahman – that which is present everywhere and which is the ultimate reality in this changing dualistic world.


Adi Sankara was the foremost of the interpreters of the Upanishads and the theory or doctrine that Sankara gave importance and propagated is Advaita Vedanta wherein there is no duality but only absolute non-duality and pure Consciousness. This doctrine can be traced to the Upanishads, to various smritis like Gita, Manu Smriti and also to puranas like Bhagavad and other works of great mahatmas like avadhuta gita, ribhu gita, asthavakra gita amongst others.


This theory tells that there is suffering in this world only because of ignorance.


Ten people were crossing a river. They crossed the river and wanted to check if everyone was there. So they started counting. The first person started counting and to his surprise only 9 were counted (because he forgot to count himself). The second person started counting, he too found only 9. So every one started crying and weeping for the actually existing but seemingly lost person!!!


Seeing them cry, a passer-by asked them the reason for crying and found out the problem. He then counted each of them and there were 10. Then he told each one of them to count and told them that the 10th person is YOU ONLY. Thus they were very happy and satisfied.


As in this case, the tenth person is not created but he is forgotten. Similarly Self which is of the nature of pure Bliss (that which one enjoys during state of deep sleep) is forgotten. This is called ignorance. Due to this ignorance, people tend to turn their mind outwards insearch of happiness or bliss. But they are not able to find bliss or permanent happiness and hence end up suffering and crying.


So what a person needs to realize is that eternal bliss in ME itself – to say correctly, I am of the nature of eternal Bliss. But this has been forgotten by me and hence I need to realize it and wake up from this phenomenal world of suffering to the ultimate and absolute reality of the non-dual Self.


Thus we find that great mahatmas have been in forests and other places (seemingly suffering) but they have been rejoicing in the Self and even are able to give the same happiness to everyone else. Thus we find Sankara walking the whole of India and Vivekananda swimming through the strong currents of Kanyakumari and standing in the US after having lost his passport – but these great people were happy all the time. The miseries are seen because one doesn’t realize the ultimate Reality. One thinks that “I am the body, so and so are mine, these things I want to gain, these things I don’t want” and hence limits the limitless Self. He himself kills his Self and searches for the Self in other external objects like the lost tenth person.


When a person realizes this ultimate reality and gains a clear intellectual conviction about the same – the truth slowly dawns unto him. He slowly comes to rejoice in the eternal bliss of the Self and all miseries vanish.


Tarathi shokam Atma Vid” – one who knows the Self overcomes sorrow – says Upanishad.


If Swami Vivekananda was capable of realizing this truth, so also each person in this world – everyone is that Self only. But he is not knowing it. He is immersed in the long dream of waking world of dualistic things. When he turns towards himself and diverts the mind inner to the Self, he realizes that there is no sorrow, no duality, no suffering but eternal Bliss alone.


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 -- #138
One can be free in a town and may yet be bound in jungle retreats. It is all in the mind.

                                                                                                                        -- Ramana Maharshi



Maharshi here explains the concept of bondage and liberation as well as indicates that all things are in the mind only and not external.


As Upanishad says

Man eva manushyanaam kaaranam bandha mokshayoh.

Bandhaaya vishayaasaktam muktaih nirvishayam smritam”

Mind alone is the cause for liberation and bondage. When it is turned towards external sense objects, it is in bondage and when it is turned inwards and remains in its natural state without any thoughts, it is liberated.


Thus Liberation and bondage are only for the mind which is non-existent and depends only on its source of Self.


The Self is defined as “Nitya Suddha Buddha Mukta or ever pure, ever liberated and ever-enlightened”. The Self is always full and hence is called “Paripurna”. It is that which cannot be seen or perceived through the eyes or any other sense organs. It is beyond the organs of speech and the mind. “Yato vaacho nivartante apraapya manasa sah” – the Self cannot be attained by words or thoughts.


But then one may have a doubt as to then what is the mind? And who am I, associated with the mind or pure Self?

I” or pure Consciousness is the Self – it is of the nature of Absolute Existence, Consciousness and Bliss. It is one without a second. The mind is just a reflection of the Self and it is illusory like water in mirage and like the dream world. When a person forgets his own real nature, all other things creep in and dual world is perceived and experienced. This is what is termed as Maya or Illusion. This theory can be traced long back into the times of Sri Rama. We find Rama telling to Lakshmana in Rama Gita that there is only the Self, the non-dual and ever-existing and sentient entity.


When the reality of the Self is realized, the mind has no existence and merges into its source, the Self. As the bottom of lake can be seen when the water is pure, as a person can see his own image in the mirror when mirror is clean – similarly when the mind is made pure of impurities, it gets merged into the Self and the person enjoys the eternal bliss of the Self.


Such a person who has realized the non-dual Self, sees no duality or the dual world – whatever he sees is the Self only.


Ezhutachchan in his famous work Harinamakeerthanam says

Whatever I see is the form of Narayana.

Whatever I hear is the verses of Narayana.

Whatever I do is archana or puja of Narayana.

Whatever is – only Narayana.”


Thus everything is pervaded by one single entity – or there is no everything, but only non-dual Brahman or Self.


A person who realizes this non-dual Self, he always remains in the bliss of the Self irrespective of whether he is in a market or in a temple or in a wine shop. Because for such a person, there is no market, no world – but only Self.


Adi Sankara thus says in his work Bhaja Govindam

Yoga ratho va bhoga ratho va

sanga ratho va sanga viheenah

yasya brahmani ramate chittam

nandhati nandhathi nandhathi eva”.

A person whose mind is always residing in Brahman, he rejoices always in the bliss of Self whether he is seen as doing yoga or enjoying sensual pleasures or attached to people or detached to everyone.


As a lover always thinks of his love – even when he is working, sleeping, drinking and eating – so should a seeker of God or Self Realization always think of Brahman or Self or God. When this thought is constantly persisted, he finds that this thought is present during all times and even if he is in a crowded and noisy place, he will be always blissful.


This bliss or the state that Sankara points out is the natural state of each and every person. It is only when a person limits himself to the wrong notions of “I am this body, I am so and so” and creates attachments or aversions. When the person slowly with the help of scriptures, reasoning and experience realizes his own real nature of Bliss – he overcomes all attachment and all actions ends and he rejoices in the non-dual Brahman – the state of pure Bliss alone.


This state of natural and eternal bliss is the goal which each person has to attain (it cannot be called goal as goal would mean something new being achieved but still taking into consideration the ignorance veil that is present and removal of it, this is called a goal as a person waking up from sleep calls waking a goal). This has to be attained and this bliss is enjoyed daily during times of deep sleep. When a person with the help of scriptures and words of great people follows the specified path of Self-Realization (the steps of listening, reflecting and contemplating on Brahman and the eternal truth), he realizes his own forgotten real nature of Bliss Absolute.


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 -- #139
Personality is the root-cause of external activities. It must sink for gaining the highest good.                                                                                                                        -- Ramana Maharshi



Maharshi is here explaining the Ego which is nothing but limited consciousness.


The root cause of all activities that tend a person to enjoy happiness and sorrow together is Ego or personality.


What is Ego or personality?

A person thinks that “I am this body, I am so- and so, I have a name, these are my people, my relatives and my friends. Some others are my enemies and so on”. These thoughts that limits the pure Consciousness is the main cause of miseries and sorrow in this dualistic world.


A person sleeps daily. During that state of deep sleep, where he experiences no world and also dreams – in that state there is no limitations, no personality and no individuality. That is the inherent nature or the real Self. A persons gains pure happiness during that state as he says after getting up that “I slept well”. This is the real nature of the Self – that which each person is. But during this state of waking, a person limits his own Self and thinks that he has a personality and he has all adjuncts of body and mind.


This limitation is the cause of all miseries and sorrow. What a person needs to ponder on is that “Am I getting limited really? Am I getting affected by all this limitations?”


There is the vast space. We find a room and a pot. The space inside the room is called room-space and space inside the pot is pot-space. These are limited by the adjuncts of pot and room. But does these adjuncts really limit the vast space??? No Never. Therefore the Self is not all affected by all limitations and the adjuncts. It remains as pure a witness like the Sun for all activities happening in the world.


When a person thus realizes that “I” am the Self – all-pervading and of the nature of Absolute Existence, Consciousness and Bliss – slowly these adjuncts are broken and he realizes his own real nature of eternal bliss.


This eternal bliss is what every person gets during deep sleep. There is not even a single person from American president to Indian president to a poor beggar who do not want to sleep. Everyone wants to sleep – this is because one enjoys the pure Bliss of the Self during deep sleep. What a person tends to forget is that the eternal bliss that he gets during deep sleep is inherent in himself and not external. When he realizes that inherent bliss is inside only and not out – he tries to find out Who he is really? Thus he turns his mind inward and finds out that all the adjuncts and limitations of the body and mind are merely illusions like water seen in desert and foam in sea. The foam in sea seems to be different from water – but an intelligent person knows that the foam is water alone and not different from it – it just has a name and form. Names and forms never create new things – they are just mere external appearances. Only an ignorant person will say that gold-chain is different from gold-necklace. An intelligent person and a gold smith will say that all these are but gold only – but with a different name and form.


Thus we find, Bharathi teertha swami of sringeri saying in Drik Drishya Viveka

Asthi Bhaathi Priyam roopam naamam cha ithi amsa panchakam

Adhya trayam brahmaroopam jagadroopo tatho dvayam”

Each thing has five qualities or components.

1.         Existence

2.         Consciousness

3.         Bliss

4.         Name

5.         Form

The first three represent Brahman or the Self (the real thing) and the other two of name and form represents the world (which is temporary and has apparent reality only).


The great Brihadaranyaka Upanishad says

Brahma Satyam Jagan mithya Jeevo Brahmaiva Na parah”

Brahman is the Reality and the world is just an illusion – The individual Self or “I” is the same as Brahman and not different from it.


The world is superimposed on the ultimate reality of Brahman. As the dream world is nothing but the dreamer only, similarly the waking world is only the Seer or the Consciousness.


When a person thus realizes that “I am the all-pervading Brahman or Self, I am of the nature of peace and bliss” – slowly the ignorance veil that veils the reality that “I am the Self” and because of this veil all the other limited notions of “I am the body and mind” – all these are removed or eradicated. Thus he comes to rejoice in the eternal bliss of the Self – the inherent nature of oneself.


When a person realizes the Self by knowing completely that this body, the mind and the world are nothing but names and forms of the one Ultimate Reality of Brahman or Self, he totally rejoices and gets the happiness that he was searching elsewhere in external sense objects. (an intelligent person will know that the Consciousness is that which throws light to other objects and the world, even this body. If a person is unconscious, there is nothing but when he is conscious there is everything. This shows that Consciousness is the substratum of everything here and hence there is only consciousness here and nothing else. Only the view differs and ignorant people see duality here whereas the knowledge person sees only the Self).


Krishna says in Gita

Bahunaam janmanaam anthe jnaanavaan maam prapadhyathe

Vaasudeva sarvam ithi sa mahatma sudurlabah”

After many births, a jnaani seeks and attains me – such a mahatma is tough indeed who sees Vasudeva everywhere.

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