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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This Anirvachaneeya is what the Upanishad means by Mithya (from the relative standpoint). (Brahma Satyam Jagan Mithya, Brahman is the reality and the world is illusory). Thus the world is indescribable from the standpoint of Ignorance (when viewed through an ignorant person who hasn’t yet realized the absolute reality of the Self). This view of ignorance is like a person seeing snake in rope. The snake exists for the person (as he sees it) but in reality it is not there – thus it is the view of ignorant person that causes it to exist.
Krishna thus says in Gita chapter 15-3

Na roopam asya iha tatho upalabhyathe” – the form of the world is not got as such from here.
Because a person is in Avidya and inside the world and tries to ascertain whether it is real or unreal. Only when he raises to the absolute reality can he really understand the meaning of the statement that WORLD IS ILLUSORY AND HENCE UNREAL (From the absolute standpoint). Trying to ascertain about the world is like trying to ascertain whether the dream world is real in the dream state!!!!
Then what is the purpose of creation????

There is no creation at all & if a person perceives creation it is only due to IGNORANCE. And the very purpose of the creation is to get rid of the IGNORANCE through the intellectual conviction and experience of the absolute reality of the Self.
The creation is seen due to SUPERIMPOSITION – says Sankara in his Brahma Sutra Commentary.

The absolute reality of Self or Consciousness is forgotten and because of this, the Self is superimposed on the non-Self of body and mind. As snake is superimposed on the rope through non-recognition of rope – similarly the world has been created and seen separately due to ignorance and superimposition.

This superimposition is due to the wrong notion that “I am the body and mind”. If “I am the body”, then when the body is cremated I should shout telling don’t cremate me. But this doesn’t occur. Also in the dream and deep sleep state, “I” am present but the body is not there. Hence I am not the body. Am I the mind??? No because in deep sleep, there was no mind & mind is that which keeps on changing but “I” remain the same in all the states of the mind and its thoughts. Hence I am beyond the body and the mind – I am the pure Consciousness that remains without any change in the changing states of the body and mind. I am the pure Consciousness that is of the nature of non-duality and is wrongly perceived as duality even as two moon are seen due to wrong perception and as snake is seen in rope & as the dream world is wrongly seen as external but is only the dreamer.
Thus when a person questions that what is the purpose of creation, this itself indicates that there is creation for HIM & this creation when used in the correct way leads one to eternal bliss of Self-Realization.
This Self-Realization or Atma Jnaana is not something inherent or limited to Hindu religion but this is the absolute reality underlying all religions. There is no religion or theory that can shake the foundation of this tradition of Vedas and the Upanishads about Self-Realization. These truths are not mere fictions but that which has come out of the experience of seers. A person if he is ready to follow the path of Upanishads realizes this reality & this is not something only meant for RISHIS and limited to SPECIAL PEOPLE. This Self is the only thing present. YOU ARE THAT, I AM THAT, WHATEVER IS IS ONLY THAT. This reality of pure non-duality can be experience by each person even as a person experiences this in the state of deep sleep when there is no “I” and “YOU” but only pure Consciousness and Bliss absolute.

If Swami Vivekananda, Swami Rama Teertha, Ramakrishna Paramahamsa & King Janaka and the householder of Vachaspathi Mishra and Sri Harsha & Kabir could realize it – each person can realize it because this is not external but inherent nature of oneself.

The only necessity in this path of Self-Realization is to gain a clear conviction about one’s own nature and to enquiry into one’s own nature through listening, reflecting and contemplating on the reality of the Self propounded and said in the Vedanta or Upanishads.
Each day when a person goes to deep sleep, he realizes this – then what is the problem for realizing this in this waking state??? It is the truth that is the only thing capable of giving one eternal and ever-lasting Bliss (that which is sought by rishis, kings, presidents, singers, professionals and all).
Let the great words of Sankara dawn upon each one of us

Chidananda roopah sivoham sivoham”

I am that auspicious Self (shiva means auspicious) of the nature of Consciousness and Bliss, I am that Self.
Let the Almighty help us all to realize the Self by seeing oneness everywhere.


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Words of Ramana Maharshi -- #164
Question: Is a Jnani different from a yogi? What is the difference?

Maharshi: Srimad Bhagavad Gita says that a jnani is the true yogi and also a true bhakta. Yoga is only a sadhana and jnana is the siddhi.


Maharshi is here explaining the difference between a jnani and yogi.

The scriptures proclaims that a jnaana and yoga are both synonymous terms which have difference only in the path or way. And both of these leads one to the ultimate and absolute reality of non-dual Self.

Krishna thus says in Gita chapter 5

Sankhya yogau prithak bhaalaah pravadanthi na panditaah.

Ekam api aasthithah samyak ubhayoor vindhate phalam”.
Sankhya denotes knowledge. Only children (and ignorant fools) speak of knowledge and yoga as different, but not wise men. Because if a person follows one of this strongly and correctly, he gets the fruits of both (because the fruit of both is Self-Realization alone).
Also, here Yoga doesn’t indicate the normal term of yoga used in day-to-day life which has only two things in it – Asanas and pranayanama. According to Patanjali and scriptures, these two are both two of the eight steps to the final goal of Self-Realization.

Yoga word is taken from “Yuj” denoting unity or united ness. This united ness is of the Jeeva and Ishvara (individual Self and God). When this unity is known, then what remains is only the knower without the knowledge and the object of knowledge. Hence the remaining entity is only EXISTENCE alone (non-dual Self). This is what is the aim of Jnaana or the path of knowledge as prescribed by the Upanishads.
Thus Jnaana and Yoga do not lead to different goals but they lead to the one same goal but the paths are different. Thus Jnaana marga and Yoga maarga are different but Jnaani and Yogi are one and the same.
Thus Krishna says that

Teshaam jnaani nitya yukta ekabhakthir vishishyathe”

Of the four kinds of people (seeker of knowledge, seeker of wealth, seeker seeking end of sufferings and the Jnaani or liberated person) – the Jnaani is the greatest and true bhaktha (devoted) because he has one-pointed devotion.

Here even Krishna restrains from telling that the EKA BHAKTHI or one-pointed devotion is to ME (because this one-pointed devotion is the state where is none other to be devoted to, there is no separate entity than ONESELF to get devoted or to know).

What Krishna means here by the Jnaani is the Yogi too because Krishna is declared as YOGESWARAH (God of Yogis or greatest Yogi) in the end of Gita.
One may again ask about DEVOTION?

Bhakthi is of two types. One is the lower Bhakti called Aparaa Bhakthi in which the triads of Bhaktha, Ishwara and the path of Bhakthi is present. Here the separated feeling of God and myself is there. But when this Bhakthi gains concentration and is continued, the Bhaktha slowly realizes that the God that he was devoted to is only ME. This is the state of EKA BHAKTHI or just ONENESS. This Bhakthi is termed Paraa Bhakthi or Superior Bhakthi which is the same as Self-Realization or God-Realization.
Thus Sri Ramakrishna followed the Aparaa Bhakthi seeing Goddess everywhere and maintaining himself as the son of Mother Kali. But then he realized that there is no place without Kali and that he himself is Kali and there is no duality here.
All the paths of DEVOTION, KNOWLEDGE, YOGA all lead one to this state of non-duality where one perceives the Consciousness only everywhere. Even though there is only Consciousness everywhere (SARVAM BRAHMA MAYAM JAGAT – The world is full of Brahman. GOD is present everywhere – MATTA PARATARAM NA ANYAT ASTHI DHANANJAYA –O Arjuna, there is nothing different from ME in this seemingly different and dual world), but due to ignorance of this knowledge, a person perceives duality.
In order to remove this delusion or ignorance of duality one needs to follow either of the paths which ultimate leads to the non-dual Knowledge called ATMA VIDYA or BRAHMA VIDYA which is that “TAT TVAM ASI – THAT THOU ART” and “AHAM BRAHMA ASMI – I am Brahman”. Thus whatever be the path, but the ultimate goal is the realization of one’s own real nature of Self.

It is really foolish to fight over about the different paths and proclaiming that MY PATH is greater and so on. The wise will never spent futile time on this, but  he will follow either of these paths and will get the Supreme Truth from the mouth of the Guru and ascertain it from the scriptures and realize it through experience of the Reality.

Thus Maharshi says the Yoga is the means and Knowledge is the end – here maharshi is not meaning mere knowledge but knowledge endowed with EXPERIENCE, the non-dual Knoweldge called Vijnaana of the Self. This ATMA VIDYA is the final goal of all the paths and this JNAANA is realizing that I am THAT non-dual Self. Thus the path of scriptural knowledge and yoga are different in their means but not in ends & the both these leads one to the non-dual Knowledge of the Self.
Krishna explains and tells the importance of this ATMA VIDYA in Gita chapter 4

Na hi jnaanena sadrisham pavitram iha vidhyathe

Tat svayam yoga samsidhaha kaalena atmani vindhathi”

There is nothing more pure and better than Knowledge. This is because for a person who has attained yoga, the Self reveals itself after some time (as steadiness and conviction of the truth occurs).
Yatha Edhamsihi samidhognih bhasmasaat kuruthe arjuna

Jnaanagnih sarva karmaani bhasmasaat kuruthe tatha”

As Fire burns wood into ashes, similarly Knowledge Fire destroys actions and its fruits.
Realization of the Self is required because of forgetting the Self. In fact, the Self is ever realized – the only thing required is to remove the ignorance veil of the bliss of the Self. Thus Knowledge of the Self doesn’t create a new objective knowledge like computers or science but it just removes the ignorance veil of the Self as a person wakes up from dream when he sees a lion attacking him.

This Self is ever realized, ever pure, ever enlightened & ever liberated. It is only ignorance that causes one to think that “I am this body, I am a sinner, I am a devotee of God and so on”. When the real nature of oneself is known, then this ignorance which is not real vanishes and paves the way to the realization of the eternal bliss of the Self. The attempt of a seeker should to try to realize his own real Self than trying to do lot of pranayamas or samadhis or trying to find out an external  God. This is the only way to get eternal bliss and there is no other way. All hearing of scriptures, being in the midst of great liberated people, reflecting on the truth of scriptures – all these help one to realize the Self through removal of ignorance.

Let the Almighty help us all to realize the Self by seeing oneness everywhere.


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Words of Ramana Maharshi -- #165
Realization amounts to elimination of ignorance and nothing more or less.

                                                                                                                                    - Ramana Maharshi

Everyone in this world is searching for some thing or the other. Either be it money or fame or something else.
Adi Sankara beautifully tells that all the desires of people can be ultimately traced to two things.

  1. Dukha Nivritthi – Removal of sorrow

  2. Sukha Praapthi – Attaining happiness.

Each individual, be it an animal or bird or human – all have the same common goal of HAPPINESS. People find different ways to get this happiness, through money, through power, through enjoyment of sensual pleasures, devotion, yoga, rituals and all. But what a person needs to give a thought is WHERE is HAPPINESS situated?

The Happiness that is mentioned is not just mere happiness from the external sensual pleasures which are temporary and filled with sorrow in the end. The Happiness that a person seeks is eternal Happiness. In order to get ever-lasting HAPPINESS he even tries to reach SWARGA – but he doesn’t realize that the scriptures proclaim that if a person goes to SWARGA, he has to return back to this world after all his merits or punya get exhausted.

Swami Rama Teertha in his lecture in America, tells that this HAPPINESS is not external but it is inherent in oneself itself. It is not in the external sense objects, it is not in the body, it is not in the mind or intellect, but it is one’s own real nature. When a person realizes his own real nature of Self (beyond the body and mind and of pure Consciousness), he rejoices in the eternal bliss of the Self.
The process of enjoying the bliss inherent in the Self is called Realization. Self-Realization is not something to gained through action or through siddhis – but it is realizing one’s own real nature.
The Upanishads speak about the story of a old woman who searches for her lost necklace. She searches it in the house and outside but is not able to find it and hence is very sad. Then a friend of the woman told to her that the necklace is in your neck itself. The old woman checked it out & became very happy and said “I have got back the necklace”.
Actually she never lost the necklace but was ignorant about the existence of the necklace in her own heart. Hence when she realized that it is in her heart, she said I got it back. Really she never got it back because it was never lost.

Similar is Self-Realization. The Self is always and already realized. But this realization is veiled by ignorance and the divertions caused by the mind due to this ignorance. This Self is of the nature of Bliss alone as this is experienced by every one is deep sleep. When a person wakes up from deep sleep, he proclaims “I slept well, I slept happily”. Thus there was happiness for the whole period of deep sleep, but he was not aware of it. But when he wakes up, the thoughts spring up and create wrong notions of “I am the body, I am the mind and so on”. Because of these wrong notions, pure happiness is not got from external sense objects (as these objects are illusory and unreal like the objects in dream & can never give one lasting happiness). But when he realizes the futiliy of turning the mind external into all things and turns his mind inward & enquires into his own real nature – he finds the abode of true bliss. He realizes that he was always Bliss alone, but did not know it or realize it.

Thus Realization is not gaining anything new, but realizing or becoming aware of one’s own real nature of Self. This Realization is got only through knowledge as only knowledge is capable of removing ignorance.
Neither can devotion, action or yoga give one realization because all these impose external goals or things to be attained new – only KNOWLEDGE & the truth of the scriptures tells one that YOU ARE ALREADY THAT & tells one about one’s own nature.
Thus the Knowledge of Self removes the ignorance of the Self as light removes darkness. This is the only path to realization and any person following all other paths have to reach at this stage of non-dual Knowledge wherein the ultimate and absolute Truth of “I AM BRAHMAN or AHAM BRAHMA ASMI” is realized.
A serious doubt here is what are the things that one needs to do to realize this KNOWLEDGE?

This path of KNOWLEDGE is not tough as thought. There are only some few things to be done to realize the Self.

  1. Seeing ONENESS everywhere.

  2. As a result of ONENESS, removal of desire and anger (which presupposes duality)

  3. Purification of Mind

  4. Listening to the eternal Truth from a competent teacher (TAT TVAM ASI or THAT THOU ART). This truth is the subtlest of the subtle and hence it can be known only by a pure mind.

  5. Reflection on the Truth told by the teacher and the implications of the scriptures.

  6. Contemplating on the eternal Truth of AHAM BRAHMA ASMI (I am Brahman).

The first three steps can be said to be prerequisites to the other three steps.

Thus what one needs to do is just to see oneness everywhere and remove seeing duality everywhere. If one doesn’t see duality anywhere, then the person doesn’t get likes or dislikes and is liberated from the clutches of desire and anger. When this is fulfilled, the mind becomes extremely pure.

Such a pure mind, when made introvert easily realizes the ultimate reality that “I am not the body or mind, but the pure Consciousness”.

The more and more the conviction that “I am pure Self” grows, the more and more bliss of the Self is realized and when one follows this contemplation of the absolute reality of “I am the Self” through removal of the wrong notions of “I am the body and mind” – he realizes his own real nature of Self & the ignorance veil is completely removed. Thus he gets liberated even while living.
Adi Sankara says in Upadesa saahasri

Deha atma jnaana vad, deha atma jnaana badhakam.

Na ichchan api sa muchyathe”.

When a person gains the clear conviction that “I am the Self” similar to the wrong notion that normal people have that “I am the body” – then even though he doesn’t want liberation, he is liberated.
Such a person is the person who has known his own real nature – others are just fools getting deluded into sensual pleasures and sense objects due to the wrong notion that “I am the body”. The body gets buried but doesn’t shout that “Don’t burn me” because it is insentient and not “I”. The body is absent during sleep but still “I” am there. This clearly shows that “I am not the body, but that which sustains the body and gives it its existence”. Only ignorant fools will hanker after sensual pleasure leaving away the real bliss of the Self & get deluded into that notion that “I am the body” even though it is pretty clear that “I am not the body”.
Sankara says “what to say about these, but that these are the ways of Maya”!!!!!
Krishna says in chapter 7

Deivi hi esha gunamayi mama mayaa duratyaya.

Maam eva ye prapadyanthe mayaam etaam taranthi the”

My Maya is divine and has three gunas of Satva, Rajas and Tamas & it is really tough to cross over or overcome. But those who take refuge in Me alone (here Me indicates the Self alone and not the form of Krishna or Vishnu) cross over this ocean easily.
Everyone has to realize this eternal reality and until then, there will sorrows and happiness, falls and rise, anxieties, worries and everything. When the Self is realized, all these vanish giving way to 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 -- #166
Reality is One only. How can It be realized? Realization is thus an illusion. Practice seems to be necessary. Who is to practice? Looking for the doer, the act and the accessories disappear.

                                                                                                                                    - Ramana Maharshi


Reality is that which is beyond time, space and causation. If a thing is limited by time, then it cannot be real as it will cease to exist after a particular time. The body that each one of us have is not real because it was not there 25-30 years before and seems to be present now & tomorrow it will not be present (after death) – hence this body is not real as it is limited by time. Also reality must be present everywhere because if a thing is present only in 5 X 5 feet, it is limited by space. Whatever is limited by space comes under the control of time also. When a thing is limited by space (let’s say only in India it is present), then it is present in that space only and absent in other spaces. Thus it is not eternal and hence not real.

The Reality should thus be beyond time and space. Such a reality cannot be TWO – because if TWO comes, then there is a limitation by space as where one is there, another will not be there & also by time as when one is there, the other will be absent. Thus again it gets to the final situation that Reality is only ONE. Thus Advaita or ONENESS is the absolute Reality whereas in the empirical or phenomenal world, there can  be many realities that are realities with respect to space and time but not beyond them.

Thus the Upanishads proclaim “SAD EVA SOUMYA IDAM AGRA ASEET, EKAM EVA ADVITEEYAM” – Reality alone was there before, O beautiful one, of the nature of One without a second.

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