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

Desha kaala vishayaathi varthiyat

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Desha kaala vishayaathi varthiyat

Brahma Tatvamasi Bhaavayaatmani”

Caste, creed, rule and all other things are far away from the Self (means the Self has no such distinctions).

Self is without a name or form or qualities or bad qualities.

Self is beyond Time and space and all external objects.

Meditate as “I am that Brahman -  the Self is that Brahman alone” (as of the nature stated above).


Sankara thus here gives an indirect implication as to how to do meditation at all times (even when activities are going on).


This is the same thing that Maharshi explains here. All activities will go on, but the mind will be fixed on the Self. Everyone breathes air but is unaware of it – it happens naturally. The thought of “I am the Self” or thought of God must become natural like breathing that one need not put an effort into it.


One may ask is this possible???

Yes, it is surely possible. The thought of Self or God is the real nature of a person. Only he has forgotten it. Hence remembering one’s own nature is the easiest thing to do. Also if a person like Vivekananda or Paramahamsa Yogananda among many could do it, why not us?


The scriptures proclaim at the top of their voice that this Self-Realization can be got by even a low-born man (according to caste). Yudhisthira was sent to Dharmavyaada who was a butcher. The Butcher taught the Brahma Vidya to Yudhisthira. Valmiki was a rogue and he became a sage and wrote great works. Vyasa was born of a fisher-woman – the same vyasa came to be called Veda Vyasa as he systematically put the Vedas and categorized them and also wrote the 18 puranas as well as Bhagavatham and Mahabharatha – also the Vedanta or Brahma Sutras.


Thus this realization of the Self can be got by anyone and from anyone. A person who knows this ultimate Reality and remains unaffected in all situations, sees all things as the Self without any distinctions of caste and creed – is a Guru.


Sankara proclaims in his commentary on Brahma Sutras that

If a person has realized the Self and remains unaffected and unattached to everything, always steadfast in the Self, he is my Guru even though he may be a low-born person”.


Thus each and every person is capable of realizing their own nature of Self or Bliss alone.

Thus the thought of “I am Brahman” must pursue even while working or drinking or eating. When a person thus always contemplates on the Self, he becomes unaffected to anything at all (because whatever he knows or sees is the non-dual Self). Thus whatever be the fruits of the actions, he is not at all affected by it.


Thus remaining unaffected by karma and always steadfast in the Self is termed as Karma Yoga.


As Krishna says in Gita

Sarvam karma akhilam partha jnaane pari samaapyathe”

All actions do end in the Knowledge of the Self – O Arjuna.


Thus everyone should always contemplate on the thought of “I am the Self, of the nature of Bliss Absolute”. Thus the person realizes the non-dual Self and becomes a jeevan-mukta or liberated while living 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 -- #146
A devotee: I want ‘prasad’.

Maharshi: It is always with you. All that is required of you is not to confound yourself with the extrovert mind but to abide as the Self. That is prasad.

                                                                                                                        -- Ramana Maharshi



Everyone needs prasad. When a person goes to a temple or to a saint,  he needs prasad – the prasad that he gets is just an external thing which is made up of but gross elements of earth, water, fire, air and ether.


Prasad – the Sanskrit word means “Prasaadayathi ithi prasad” – that which gives happiness is called prasad.


Can such external things give happiness???

Never. As Krishna says in Gita that all external pleasures will seem to be like nectar in the beginning but will turn out to be sorrowful in the end.


A person gets Laddu from Tirupathi.

Will he get happiness????

Yes, he will until he thinks that it is good. Let’s say that the news spreads that the laddu was of bad quality and some people are suffering due to food-poisoning after eating the laddu. Lo! goes the happiness!!!!!


I am not here, downgrading any prasad from any temple or saints. This is the ultimate reality which the Seers from ancient times proclaim in one voice.


Krishna says the same in Gita.

Upanishads proclaim that happiness from external objects can never be eternal as it lasts only for a short period of time.


Just to add to this list, Patanjali says in his yoga sutras

Parinaama Taapa, Samskara dukhaih gunavritti virodhaascha, dukhameva sarvam vivekinah”

A person endowed with discrimination will surely know that all the happiness gained from external objects only lead to sorrow and pain. The happiness stays only for a short period and after that again sorrow comes. Also sorrow comes after enjoying the happiness because the person thinks about the previous experience and cries for getting that happiness. Also this happiness keeps on changing. It doesn’t remain permanently.


Thus the real prasad or happiness is inherent in the person.

Each and every person enjoys the real happiness when he is sleeping (in the state of deep sleep where he neither perceives the external world nor he creates a dream world of his own). Every person right from the President to a beggar sleep because they know that sleep gives them the happiness that they don’t get from the external objects. If sleep was not such a good experience, none would sleep and everyone would remain awake all the time.


The happiness that one gets during deep sleep is but a infinitesimal portion of the eternal bliss of the Self. Just imagine, if this happiness itself is just 1/1 lakh times of the eternal bliss of the Self, how would that bliss be?


Thus the Self is termed as ANANDA or Bliss Absolute (without any sorrow or pain or limited happiness).


Thus one finds here Maharshi proclaiming that the prasad is always available, because the Self is always there (there is not a single moment when the Self or “pulsating I” ceases to exist) and the inherent bliss is always present.


So why don’t all enjoy the happiness???

Because of ignorance of the Self which creates mis-identification of the Self with non-Self. The external objects that one sees is not real. If it were real, it should exist during sleep. But it ceases to exist during sleep. As the dream world is negated when a person wakes, similarly the waking world is negated when the dream world is attained. Thus proclaims the great rishi Yajnavalkya to King Janaka in Brihadaranyaka Upanishad.


A person endowed with intellect and discrimination will easily understand this. The sole reason for these sorrows are because of ignorance of the Self. When a person realizes that “I am the Self, one without a second”, he slowly tries to realize his own real nature through turning the mind inward. Until the mind is extroverted, the Self or seer cannot be known because the Self is the eye of the mind. The Self gives light to the mind, hence the mind sees and perceives objects. Hence with the mind, the Self cannot be seen.


But when the mind is turned inward, it merges into its source of Self. As the dreaming person merges the dream world into himself, similarly a person should turn his mind inward to the Self and realize the eternal bliss of the Self.


When thus a person abides as his pure nature, the Self, he gains the inherent and eternal bliss of the Self. Thus there is nothing to be done by the person, nothing to be gained, nothing to be lost – as there is only non-dual Self present for him.


Thus the ultimate prasad that one gets from God or any saint is abiding as the Self. All God and saints proclaim that one should abide as the Self, follow the path of spirituality and realize the Self – only this is the true prasad as only this can give one eternal bliss – neither can the four handed Vishnu nor the four headed Brahma can give one happiness. All the form Gods are present because of the eternal power of Brahman or the Self.


Leaving the Consciousness of the Self, there is no other God or person – because for an unconscious person there is nothing.


These are the broad views of great saints like Sankara and the Upanishads.

But this doesn’t mean one should not worship any God or not go to any temple. All this should be done. But one should realize that going to God is done just to keep the remembrance of God and to turn the mind inward. Only when a person sees that God everywhere and always thinks of him, he has given due respect and devotion to the God – else whatever he is doing is just a part-time visit to the God. But when a person always remembers God, does all work as worship unto him – he slowly turns an introvert (in the sense he turns his mind inward) and when the mind is turned inward, he realizes that the God he was seeing outside and everywhere is inside his heart and realizes that “I am that God.”


Kabir says in one of his poems

Oh God! I am searching for thee in the external world as a fish in the sea searches for water”.


This is the reason the great Mahavakya that Uddalaka instructs to his son-disciple Svetaketu that

TAT TVAM ASI” or THAT THOU ART. He repeats this 9 times with examples so that the student understands it correctly.


Thus the prasad is present inherent & the only gratitude that a person can give for anyone in this world (from the state of realization, there is none other than Self ) is realization of the Self – wherein he realizes that whatever was, whatever is and whatever will be is only the Self – beyond time and space.


Let the great 33 crore Gods and great saints help us all to realize the Self thereby enjoy the real prasad.


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 -- #147
You ask “How is one to know the Self?”

Your difficulty is centred in “How”? Who is to know the Self? Can the body know it.

                                                                                                                        -- Ramana Maharshi



A devotee asks Maharshi the question as to How should one know the Self.


Knowledge can be split into Two. Mundaka Upanishad says they are “Para Vidya” and “Apara Vidya”.

Upanishad again gives explanation that everything, right from the 4 vedas of Rig, Yajur, Sama and Atharva, the Vedangaas of Siksha, Kalpa, Vyakaranam, Niruktam, Chandas and Jyotisham are all parts of Apara Vidya or lower knowledge. Para Vidya is knowledge about the Self or knowledge about the KNOWER.


Hence we can split knowledge into Subjective and Objective.

Every knowledge about this world comes under the Objective section – astrology, physics, chemistry, mathematics, computer – these all come under objective knowledge.


Vedas tell that Knowledge is that which gives a person happiness.

Gita says

Vidya Dadaathi Vinayam Vinayaat yaathi patrataam

Patratvaat dhanam apnothi dhanaat dharma tatah sukham”

Knowledge gives humility, humility gives one patience. Patience endows wealth and wealth brings about Righteousness and dharma gives one happiness.


Thus person who has knowledge is always happy – because he can get anything (ranging from money to fame) from knowledge. But the opposite is not possible A person having money cannot (compulsorily) get knowledge.


But all the objective knowledge cannot give one enduring and lasting happiness. Because the happiness gained from the external sense objects has limitations of time. It stays only for some time and after that one has to again work hard towards getting happiness.


If the joy in heaven is required, then one has to struggle hard to perform agnihotraadi pujas and yagas which has lot of conditions on them (which if not followed correctly will lead to HELL instead of Heaven). Once, a person struggles hard to perform these and gets the heavenly pleasures, he rejoices in those pleasures for some time. But when all his good fruits are exhausted, he has to return back to the human world (there ends the happiness of HEAVEN). One can easily know from puranas how hard Indra struggles (even amidst the happiness) to keep up his position of Devendra. It is almost comparable to presidents competing and trying to keep up their president post


Krishna says in Gita chapter 9

Traividya maam somapah pootapapah yajnair ishtva swargathim praarthayanthe.

Te punyam aasaadhya surendralokam ashnanthi divyaan divi deva bhogaan”


Te tam bhuktva svarga lokam vishaalam sheene punye martyalokam vishanthi

Evam trayeedharmam anuprapannah gatagatam kaamakaama labhanthe”


People who do the actions enjoined in the Vedas (with an eye to the fruits thereof) , attain heaven after being purified in mind. They attain heaven and enjoy amidst the heavenly gods.


But once they eat all their fruits, they come back to human world (once the punya or good fruits are exhausted). Thus the people who blindly (telling that Vedas proclaim so and so action for so and so people) follow the Vedic rituals, according to their desire for pleasures, come and go again and again.


Thus one finds that all the external sense objects can give only temporary happiness (which is filled with sorrow).


As Adi Sankara tells in his Brahma Sutra Bhashya that out of ignorance of the real nature of Self, the duality has arised – hence duality can be removed only by Knowledge of the Self.


This Knowledge of the Self is Subjective knowledge because it tells about the Subject, the real “I”. this Subjective knowledge is what the Upanishad speaks as Para Vidya or Supreme Knowledge.


Even though the Upanishads speak about the Self, they only point a person towards the Self, because all works and scriptures are just indirect experience only. Chinmayananda says that the Upanishads are like Mirrors. As a person cannot see his own eye with his own eye, but he sees it with the help of a mirror, similarly the Upanishads explain about the Self and path to realization of the Self.


As Maharshi says here, the Self cannot be known like a lump of clay or like Computer languages. Because the Self is the Knower and knower can never be known. Thus one can infer and understand that Self is always knowledge alone. But it has been forgotten and one has to just recollect and remove the ignorance veil so that Self is purely seen.


Thus through the methods prescribed by the Upanishads, no new knowledge is gained, but ignorance is removed thereby giving way to the Self-luminous Self full of Chit or Knowledge.


Upanishads speak about three stages to Self-Realization (which is not Self Attaining but removal of the ignorance that “I am not the Self”).

  1. Sravana or Hearing the truth from a competent teacher. A competent teacher is one who is well versed in Vedic truths and one who always abides in Brahman. (here the Guru has no sect and can even be a chandaala or tribal person. Sankara says in one of his works that if a tribal person is fully immersed in Brahman only, then such a person is my Guru).

  2. Manana or Reflection – Mentally repeating the truths heard from Guru through logic and reasoning. This removes the doubts and confusions regarding the truth heard from Guru.

  3. Nidhidhyasana or Contemplation – Trying to realize the truth by always contemplating on the truth and abiding in the Self.


When the Guru instructs one that “TAT TVAM ASI” – knowledge dawns.

Due to constant hearing or Sravana one gets rid of Samshaya Jnaana or doubts regarding the truth (whether advaita is true or whether Self is doer or enjoyer or both and all).


By reflection, Asambhaavana is got rid of. Asambhaavana is “Is the world unreal, is the Brahman non-dual, is it the Self only or different from Self, Is the Self same as God or different”. All this is removed by logically reflecting that there cannot be two seers or Subjects as then both will become Objects & a thing can never be an object and subject both. Therefore, the Subject is one only and hence the Sruthis proclaim that TAT TVAM ASI – THAT Brahman or God YOU ARE.


The last type of doubt still persists which is called Viparyaya Jnaana or wrong knowledge that “I see the world, but is it unreal”. This one understands when he applies intellect and thinks if this world is real it should be present during sleep. Since it is not there at that time, it is not real. Also if a person is conscious, there is world and if unconscious no world is there. Hence world is like snake seen in rope or water seen in desert, or the dream world wrongly seen in the dreamer alone.


Thus when a person follows these three paths, he realizes his own nature of Self thereby gaining Subjective knowledge of Self. This knowledge of Self is only capable of giving ever-lasting Bliss or Happiness.


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 -- #148

The body itself is a thought. Be as you really are. There is no reason to be depressed.

                                                                                                                        -- Ramana Maharshi



Maharshi is here explaining karma yoga and also the ultimate reality that there is no body created or present.


Yoga Vasistha says

Shareera sadanam raama na kenachid idam kritam

O Rama, this body has not been created by anyone here.


Samastham kalpanaamatram idam”

Everything is creation or imagination alone.


How is this imagination???

Sankara calls this illusory and ANIRVACHANEEYAM or indescribable.


All great Gurus proclaim that this world (which includes the body also) are like water in desert (this water is not real and illusory only). The water is not real, but still it is seen – hence sankara tells that it is neither real nor unreal. Not real because after enlightened or during deep sleep, it is not perceived – but not unreal because it is perceived at this current moment.


Here Maharshi gives the highest level of Reality – the state of realization – wherein one doesn’t see anything, but the Self alone. When thoughts are persisted, there will be duality – as we see different things here in this waking state as well as in dreaming state. But in the deep sleep state, where the mind is not there and hence nothing is perceived but only pure Bliss of the non-dual Self is perceived.


Thus the ultimate reality is that the body and everything are just thoughts. A Jnaani sees the world and everything as Self only, but an ajnaani sees it as sorrowful and sadness everywhere. Hence it is the mental state that matters.

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