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

Brahma atmaikyatva bodhena mukthir sidhyathi na anyatha”


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Brahma atmaikyatva bodhena mukthir sidhyathi na anyatha”.

Not through Sankhya darshana, not through yoga, not through karma nor through mere objective sciences – but only through the ultimate reality of identity of Brahman and the Self – does one attain liberation (from sorrow and the sorrow world). There is not another way than this.

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

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Words of Ramana Maharshi -- #161
Question: Is intellectual understanding of the Truth necessary?

Maharshi: Yes. Otherwise why does not the person realize Self or God at once, i.e, as soon as he is told that God is all or the Self is all? That shows some wavering on his part. He must argue with himself and gradually convince himself of the Truth before his faith becomes firm.

                                                                                                                        -- Ramana Maharshi

The Ultimate or Final Truth is the great dictum of AHAM BRAHMASMI or I am Brahman.
Adi Sankara gives three levels of reality or Satyams.

  1. Praathibhaasika Satyam or Temporary and reflected truth – this is the dream state and the rope being seen in snake. This is of a very short duration only.
  2. Vyaavahaarika Satyam or Emperical Truth – this is the world that we see. These are phenomenal and have relative reality only as once a person realizes the Self, everything vanishes off. Also the waking world that one sees is as unreal as the dream world because both the worlds negate each other. Whatever vaasanaas and dukha that we have in waking world is not carried over into the dream world and vice versa also. Thus this shows that both the world are relatively real and absolutely unreal only. But a normal person knows that the dream world is unreal whereas he doesn’t know the waking world to be so because of not waking up from this waking world to the Realization level.

  3. Paaramaarthika Satyam or Absolute Reality – this is the ultimate and absolute reality. The reality is that there is only ONE here, no TWO. Brahman is the reality and the world is illusory and has relative reality only (BRAMA SATYAM JAGAN MITHYA).

Thus we find Maharshi here explaining the absolute reality and giving the reason as to why an intellectual conviction about the Absolute Truth of TAT TVAM ASI or AHAM BRAHMASMI (That thou art or I am Brahman) is required.
As the Upanishads as well as Gita again and again proclaim that there is nothing new to be gained here. You are the Self. There is no God beyond the Self or the Consciousness. The Consciousness is the God.
Krishna says in Gita

Mattah parataram na anyat asthi kinchana”

There is nothing different from me, not even a single thing.
Is the “ME” here represents Vishnu (and his form)???

Anticipating this question, Krishna says

Avajaananthi Maam moodaah manusheem tanum asritam

Param bhaavam ajanantho mama bhoota maheswaram”

Those are FOOLS (Moodaah) those who consider me to be embodied and having a body!!!!. They don’t know my eternal and supreme nature of uncreated and eternal Brahman and the Lord of all elements and beings (this is relative God who is the creator but since creator too has a body we have to assume that Krishna here denotes the ultimate and non-dual Purusha or Brahman only here).
The teacher or Uddalaka explains to his son Svetakethu that

TAT TVAM ASI” – That Brahman or Self You already are. There is nothing more to do, but only to become aware of it and realize it.

But according to vaasanas and other things, Svetakethu is unable to grasp this truth and hence the father instructs the son 9 times and then the son understands and realizes it.
Thus the absolute reality is NON-DUAL Brahman or Self alone. There is no God who is separate from the Self – if such a God exists, then he is a dependent God as his existence depends on the Self’s or MY Consciousness. Thus the meaning of God (independence) vanishes and hence this is not true.
Krishna again and again repeats in Gita that

Ishwarah Sarva Bhootaanaam Hridheshe arjuna thistathi”

God resides in the heart of all beings.
Ajo api san avyayaatma bhootaanaam ishwaropi san

Prakrithim svaam adhistaaya sambhavaami atma mayaya”

Even though I am unborn and eternal Self, I manifest relatively as the God of all beings. This is with the help of Prakrithi or my own power of Maya.
As Maharshi says here, the intellectual person that we all are, we are not easily convinced when Sri Sri Ravishankar says that “You are God alone”, when Swami Vivekananda quotes from Upanishads and says “You are sons of immortality” – Hence intellectual conviction of this truth is necessary. This conviction is necessary to removed the wrong notion that I am ignorant, I am limited, I am different from God, I have to realize the Self and so-so.
Hence, when the person argues and with the help of Sruthi (Scriptures), Yukthi (logic) and Anubhava (experience) – realizes this ultimate reality – he gains complete faith and perceives the real nature of the world – Brahman alone with a name and form.

To enable the seekers who have doubt regarding their own very nature of Self, Adi Sankara and other great Acharyas have given us a strong set of intellectual teachings (full in the three things of Sruthi, Yukthi and Anubhava) and progressively prove to us that “YOU ARE THAT”.

Since there is difference in the levels of people, thereby the time for realizing this also changes. Some may attain it in a day, for some it may take births. But if a person remembers this ultimate reality and follows the three steps of Sravana (listening), Manana (reflection) and Nidhidhyaasana (Contemplation) of the Upanishads and the works of Sankara and others – the ignorance veil will slowly be removed and he will realize the ultimate reality of “SAD EVA SOUMYA IDAM AGRA ASIT, EKAM EVA ADVITEEYAM” – O Son, there was existence only before (before this illusory creation), one without a second.
Vishnu teaches Brahma this truth in the Chatushloki bhagavatham

Anvaya Vyatirekena Yat Syaat Sarvathra sarvada”

O Brahma, the earnest seekers just to need to find out the ultimate reality through Anvaya (co-existence) and Vyatireka (co-absence) and ensure that this reality is present always and at all times.
Anvaya – if Brahman is there, the world is there.

Vyatireka – if Brahman is not there, the world is not there.
This shows that Brahman is the ultimate Reality – this Brahman is the Self alone of the nature of pure Consciousness. If a person is conscious, then there is everything. If consciousness is not there, then there is no world and nothing at all.
Vishnu continues

Etan matam samaathistha paramena samadhina

Bhavaan kalpa vikalpeshu na vimuhyathi karhichit”

Take this as my words and follow this and be absorbed always in this ultimate reality.

Therefore don’t get deluded into thoughts and other distractions.

Thus what a person needs to do is to remember at each and every moment that “I am that”. In order to remember this, he should get convinced of this truth. Once he is convinced and he contemplates at all times, he will slowly realize the reality and all ignorance will vanish. Thus, it doesn’t matter where a person is or what he is doing, but he needs to keep the contemplation going. When the contemplation is going, his work will become worship and Karma Yoga. The fruits of those actions will not disturb him in the least and hence he will get away from the clutches of likes and dislikes and the ignorance veil will be removed and he will rejoice in the bliss of the Self.

Krishna says about his in Gita,

Yad karoshi Yad asnaai yad juhoosi dadaasi yat

Yad tapasyasi kaunteya tad kurusva mad arpanam”

Whatever you do, whatever you eat, whatever yajna you do and whatever daana you do – whatever tapas or austerity you do, OFFER THAT UNTO ME AND DO IT.
What is the effect of this offering???

Shubha ashubha phalairevam mokshyase karma bandhanaihi

Sanyaasa yoga yuktaatma vimuktho maam upaishyasi”

Thus he will get away from the bondage of action and the fruits of good and bad. He will thus become a sanyaasin and gain liberation and attain Me.
As previously told, the “ME” in Gita everywhere refers not to Vishnu with four hands or the form of Krishna, but the Supreme Being Brahman and the Self only.
Even though, all this process is a subjective one and only a person can show the way to another person whereas each one has to follow the path himself – so only teachings and the truth can be told to people.
Hope the words of the great Maharshi and the scriptures as well as Gita give each one the ultimate bliss and thereby the non-dual Self Realization (the final goal of this human birth).
Let the Almighty help us all to realize the Self by seeing oneness everywhere.


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Words of Ramana Maharshi -- #162

The Jnani is fully aware that the true state of Being remains fixed and stationary and that all actions go on around him. His nature does not change and his state is not affected in the least. He looks on everything with unconcern and remains blissful himself.

                                                                                                                        -- Ramana Maharshi

Maharshi is explaining the state of a Jnaani. A Jnaani is one who has both Jnaana and Vijnaana. He is not a person who has just studied by-heart all the 4 Vedas and its parts – but he is a personal who has converted the knowledge into wisdom and put them into practice.
Such a Jnaani is termed as Sthithaprajna in Gita chapter 2 and as a Bhaktha in chapter 12.
He is a Jnaani who has known whatever is to known.

The Vedas start with the question

Kasmin u bhagavo vijnaate sarvam idam vijnaatam bhavathi ithi”

By knowing which everything else is known, tell me that O Lord.
As by knowing a handful of sand, all sand is completely known – similarly by knowing the Self or the knower, everything else is known.
Krishna says in Gita

Yad jnaatva na iha bhooyo anyat jnaatavyam avashishyathe”

Knowing which, there remains nothing else to be known.
Jnaani is one who has known this ultimate truth of Non-dual Brahman. When the knower is known, there remains nothing else to be known. All the efforts of materialistic and worldly scientists are towards knowing the objective world. They don’t bother to find out the Subject and know the Subject in its entirety. They forgot the reality that when the Subject is known everything else is known because the Object depends on the Subject for its existence and is a dependent entity whereas the Subject is independent and non-dual and absolute reality.

Because of searching for objective knowledge, man gets deluded into the dualities of sorrow and happiness. When his knowledge is recognized he becomes happy but when the same knowledge is being competed by another person, then he becomes sad. Thus he is always deluded and fetched into this duality of sorrow and happiness.

The one and only way-out of this vicious circle is to know the KNOWER. The scriptures tell that when a person doesn’t perceive object only at that time he gets the eternal bliss of the Self. The proof for the same is the state of deep sleep. During dream and waking, he sees objects and this causes delusion and sorrow. Whereas in deep sleep, there is no object and hence he remains as the Seer or the Subject of the nature of Consciousness and Bliss. But this happiness and time period of this state is limited and hence he again comes into waking and dream state. This coming back is due to ignorance and during deep sleep, ignorance is not removed but only veiled. When a person with discriminative faculty realizes that all the objects lead only to sorrow and hence he tries to find out his own real nature of Bliss alone (without any limitations of body and mind) – then he proceeds in the right direction to eternal Bliss. Slowly the ignorance veils are removed and he rejoices in the bliss of the Self. Such a person who has realized his own real nature of Self is called a Jnaani – a jnaani who has put into practice the truths of the Vedanta that “TAT TVAM ASI” – That Supreme and blissful being YOU ARE. For the Jnaani, there  is no world or delusion because he perceives only the Subject.
As a lover even when doing his works and job constantly remembers his love & the thought of his love doesn’t go out of his mind even for a second, similarly for the jnaani, the absolute reality of THAT I AM is never gone and even if he will seem to be doing work, he will be in fact contemplating on the Self and rejoicing in the bliss of the Self alone.

Each one of us have to reach this level and become a jnaani by removing the ignorance. Every one is a jnaani but has not realized it as there is ignorance veil. This ignorance veil leads to distractions and causes multitude in the non-dual Self. Thus a person says that “I am thin”, “I am sad”, “I am 30 years old” etc. This is due to ignorance that the pure Consciousness or the “I” is wrongly identified with the body and the mind (which are inert and get their light from the self-luminous Self).

Adi Sankara thus says in his introduction to Brahma Sutras that this world and the things are caused only due to superimposition of the non-Self on the Self. This is like seeing snake in a rope and seeing water in desert. The world that one sees is as unreal as the dream world that seems very true in the state of dream. But when the dreamer wakes up, he realizes that there was no dream and the world there and that all this were his own creations and he himself had become the whole world.
It is easy for a person with discrimination to know that the world is dependent and thereby not real. That is called Real which is present at all times and is beyond time and space. But the world that we see is temporary and disappears when we sleep and when we die. Also the world exists because of the consciousness in us. If there is Consciousness, then the world is there. If there is no Consciousness, then there is no world at all.
Thus all great scriptures from time immemorial proclaim that “BRAHMA SATYAM JAGAN MITHYA” – Brahman is the Reality and the world is only illusory and therefore unreal.
When a person gains the clear conviction about this ultimate reality of the world and that the world of name and form is only Brahman (as the substratum).
Bharathi Teertha swamigal says in Drik Drishya Viveka

Sristhir naama brahma ropee satchidananda vasthuni.

Abdau phenaadivad sarva naama roopa prasaarana”

Creation is the name and form in the ultimate Reality of Brahman of the nature of Existence, Consciousness and Bliss. This is like bubbles in water (which are only names and forms of water and therefore water alone is the reality).

There are different gold ornaments, gold chain, gold ring and gold necklace. All these are only gold. But the ignorant person is deluded and says that these are chain and ring only. Thus the person gets deluded into the name and form of GOLD which is the underlying principle of chain, ring and necklace. Similarly the world is only Brahman or Consciousness (SARVAM BRAHMA MAYAM – everything is pervaded by Brahman. ISHAVAASYAM IDAM SARVAM – everything here is pervaded by GOD). But the ignorant person thinks the world as separate from oneself and due to this separated feeling, he creates likes towards some objects and dislikes towards other objects. These likes and dislikes causes sorrow and happiness which in turn make him work toward happiness and more happiness respectively, This work again is created out of the ignorance that “I am not full and I have to attain some things”. Thus work again increases ignorance which again causes duality and the vicious circle continues. Since a body of 100 years is not enough to enjoy all these and gain contentment, thereby births and deaths continue until a person realizes the bliss in himself, the perfectness in himself and thereby becomes content and gets liberated.

When a person realizes that “I am the FULL, perfect and blissful Being” – he remains unaffected by the activities in the world like the sun that remains unaffected by all the activities in the world. Therefore he just does work for the sake of work, neither expecting anything nor getting attached to it. This is the natural state of the Self which remains the same “I” in all the states of happiness, sorrow, work, rest, sleep and everything. Thus the person realizes his own real state and then he remains as firm as the Meru Mountain. He then is always immersed in the eternal bliss of the Self.
Adi Sankara thus says in Bhaja Govindam

Yoga ratho va bhoga ratho va sanga ratho va sanga viheenah

Yasya brahmani ramathe chittam nandhathi nandhathi nandhathi eva”

The person whose mind is always immersed in the Self might be doing yoga or enjoying pleasures. He might be attached to people and he might be fully detached to everything. But in all these states, he rejoices in the bliss of the Self.

The immersing in the Self is nothing but pure Being, that is realizing one’s own real nature of Consciousness-Bliss. Unless this is realized, the man will be struggling for happiness and running hitherto and thitherto seeking Vishnu and Siva for boons to make himself happy, doing austerities like pranayama, meditation and Samadhi, singing lot of bhajans – but the ultimate happiness can be gained only through realizing that “I am THAT”. Neither devotion for an external God nor working of austerities and Samadhi can give one the eternal bliss of the Self. The bliss of the Self is known only through the ultimate knowledge that “I am THAT” – this is the knowledge that I am FULL, I am perfect, I am Bliss itself, I am Brahman, I am God.

When a person completely realizes this, the world will lose its value as he will not the least be affected by the activities in the world and will remain as firm as a mountain. Here firmness doesn’t denote utter ignorant state of insentient matter – but a state of pure Bliss, a sentient state of Consciousness but endowed with full Bliss that is got only through realizing the eternal reality of one’s own real nature of the Self (that which is neither the doer nor the enjoyer of all actions).
Na Karmana Na prajaya dhanena tyagena eka amritatvam anashuh

Parena naakam nihitam guhaayam vibrajatho yad yathayah vishanthi”

Not through work, not through progeny nor through wealth but only through Renunciation (of the ego and doer ship that makes one realize one’s own nature of Self) people attain immortality or liberation. That state which the Yogis realize is greater than Heaven and they see the Self shining in the intellect cave of the heart (luminous Self).
Every one has to realize this and until then, the search for happiness here and there will continue (but without any permanent effect). The day will arrive when all the objective science has to be warded off and the Subjective Science of Vedanta has to be studied which is the only way to realize the Self and Become immortal and rejoice in the eternal bliss of the Self.
Let the Almighty help us all to realize the Self by seeing oneness everywhere.


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 -- #163

Question: Since individual souls and the Brahman are one, what is the cause of the creation?

Maharshi: The object of creation is to remove the confusion of your individuality. The question shows that you have identified yourself with the body and therefore see yourself and the world around. You think that you are the body. Your mind and intellect are the factors of your wrong identity.


Maharshi is here explaining the normal doubt of the initial seeker.
A seeker is told to seek the Subject or the Self. To avoid distractions towards the objects, his experience is split into two – the Subject of Self and the Object of the world. The Subject is the real and independent entity whereas the object is only dependent on the Self and is absolutely unreal.
From the highest standpoint of Advaita Vedanta, there has been no creation because there can  happen no creation from the perfect and complete Brahman (one without a second). Hence the creation is unreal from the absolute stand point. Then the question arises as to then what does one see now?? The world that one sees, how can they be unreal because one perceives it???

Thus Sankara says that the world is not unreal from this empirical and phenomenal standpoint but it is indescribable or Anirvachaneeyam. It is indescribable because it is not real as it doesn’t last long, it is present only in waking state and not in the dream and deep sleep state & real is that which exists always (beyond time and space). The world is also not unreal because one perceives it, it is not like a heavenly kingdom of imagination (from this relative standpoint of world). Thus the world is termed Anirvachaneeya and the power of Brahman that causes this world is also termed Anirvachaneeaya (beyond description through words).

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