What happens when a person becomes a TRUE BHAKTA???
Scriptures proclaim that when a person becomes a true devotee, God himself will show the ultimate step of ONENESS to him. Various stories in Puranaas bring this point out. Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa was very attached to the form of Kali & seeing Kali everywhere. He refused to go higher & thereby Kali had to send his Guru Totapuri Maharaj & prove that the ultimate & absolute reality is ONENESS (where there is neither any form nor any name). Thus even a true bhakta realizes that the God that I was seeing everywhere is not separate from me, but he is ME only. Only when this ultimate & absolute state of ONENESS is realized, sufferings & sorrow vanishes. Until then, one may fight over the form of God or over which God you are worshipping or over separate religions. Only when he realizes that there is nothing but Brahman only here & hence there is nothing to get sad or happy – he becomes content & complete. At this state, there is nothing but pure Consciousness alone (as in deep sleep) and therefore a person relishes the eternal and inherent bliss of the Self. On the eve of new year, let the already realized Self realize its own real nature through removal of ignorance & thereby relish in the inherent bliss which was being searched for in the external world (as a person having the necklace in his neck is searching for the necklace). Let the Almighty guide each one of us to realize the Self without wasting much time as each moment is uncertain and precious. 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 -- #182
The world is perceived by the mind through the senses. It is of the mind. The seer sees the mind and the senses as within the Self and not apart from it. The agent, remaining unaffected by the actions, gets more purified until he realizes the Self.
- Ramana Maharshi
Maharshi here explains about the world & the way to realization through actions. Brihadaranyaka Upanishad says
“Brahma Satyam Jagat mithya” – Brahman is the ultimate reality & the world is unreal only. Dattatreya says in Avadhuta Gita
The world consisting of the five elements is in the mind and not external. This is similar to dream & illusory experiences (magic) experienced by every person.
Even when a person tries to analyze the world, he knows that the world is not external but in the mind alone. Even as the dream is seen internal in the mind & seemingly and wrongly seen external, similarly this waking world is not external but internal in the mind alone. The simplest proof for the same is that “AS the MIND or the thinker, so is the world”. A person feels that the world is a hell to live in, whereas another person sees it as a heaven to live in. And the world can never proved through logic because whatever one sees in the world keeps on changing. Any changing thing can never be real & cannot have any existence of its own. Then there must be something that creates this world (something which creates these illusions but taking the power of changelessness from a changeless entity). This something is the mind – the mind creates illusions.
As the magician says that magic is not real but only created by the mind – similar is the world that we all perceive. Today we see a person living but the very next person we come to know that the person is dead. This is what happened in the thousands of people who lost their lives in the tsunami waves attack. It is not that one should completely renounce this world & go to a cave & meditate. But one needs to understand & logically evaluate this world. At that time, he will realize that the world has no logic in it & it has no reality at all. And he realizes that as the Seer, so is the Seen or the world. This only goes on to show that the world that we see has no ultimate or absolute reality but only relative & empirical reality. Such reality is of no use & is like getting admission to IIM-A in dream!!!! Only when a person realizes the futility of the world & the external sensual objects – does he strive to realize that there must be something higher, something real on which this world depends for its existence. Thus he comes to know through the scriptures that the world is nothing but Brahman alone which is of the nature of Bliss Absolute & by knowing which everything else becomes known. Thus the person gets attracted towards Brahman & the higher & eternal happiness. Then slowly as he tries to realize the Brahman or attain the Brahman, he realizes that the Brahman which was being searched in the external world is his own very nature. He realizes that “I am THAT BRAHMAN of the nature of Consciousness and Bliss Absolute. When a person realizes this, then he doesn’t renounce the world & sit like a rock – but he is the person who serves the most for the society because he sees everything as himself & hence he never will think bad about anyone & will pray for the welfare of HIMSELF which is in turn praying for the welfare of the society.
What one needs to note here is that Great spiritual leaders throughout the country have done the maximum help for the tsunami relief than other organizations because they are the only true people who give value for service more than the value for their own life!!!!
If a person doing relief work is given a choice for choosing his own life & the welfare of the world – he will obviously choose his own life. This is due to the wrong knowledge that “I am different from the world” and due to the notion that “I am in the world”. But when a person realizes his own very Self, he realizes that the world is in HIM & he is not in the world. This sentence might seem little contradictory to experience or first thought, but just give a thought to the above bolded line. If the Consciousness in a person is there, then there is the world. IF Consciousness is not there, then there is no world at all. This shows that the world depends on Consciousness and that it is the Consciousness of the individual which makes the external world living & gives light to the worldly sensual objects. Upanishads proclaim
“Na tatra sooryo bhaathi na Chandra taarakam
Na ima vidhyutho bhaanthi kuto ayam agnih
Tameva bhaantham anubhaathi sarvam
Tasya bhaasa sarvam idam vibhaathi”
There, in the state of Self-Realization, neither the Sun shines nor the moon shines, not even lightning, then how can Fire shine. Its own luminousity others follow – due to its shine, all other things get their light or existence. To see the Sun, one needs the eye. Even if the eye is there, the Sun need not be seen (if a person is seeing a beautiful women passing by, he doesn’t see the Sun even though the Sun is always present). Here, the mind or intellect doesn’t give its light to the eye & hence Sun is not seen. The mind or intellect in turn get their light from the Self-luminous Self.
There is only one thing in this world which requires no light – that is Consciousness. Even in darkness, one doesn’t need a lamp to know one’s own existence – it is the Consciousness which is Self-luminous & hence it doesn’t require any external light for its existence.
Thus the world that one sees is not external but internal in the mind – like the dream where the dreamer, the dream world & the dream experiences are not external but in the mind only. Thus when a person realizes this, the world becomes HIS, everything in this world becomes his own very Self – there is nothing different from himself & hence he doesn’t become sad or angry over things (because there is nothing apart from him). Only when this ultimate reality is known, can a person really help the world – because all other help done by individuals can only reach the body or mind of the affected (not even the mind). Only realized people can reach out to the hearts of the affected people. Only they can give real help to the affected. (Please don’t take these as an offense & like I am giving a comment against all such relief & social services, but what one needs to know & realize is that the BEST SERVICE ONE CAN GIVE TO THIS WORLD IS TO REALIZE ONE’S OWN SELF – because even the world that one sees is not real & helping out the unreal is like doing social service in dream. But when a person realizes the Self then he sees the Self only everywhere & only at that time, he can reach out to different people as everything is the Self only). As Maharshi says “the ACTOR or the Self remains unaffected even during various good & bad actions”. Krishna says in Gita
“Na Maam karmaani limpanthi na me karma phale spriha
Ithi yo maam abhijaanaathi karmabhir na sa bhadhyathe” The fruits of actions don’t taint Me, nor do I have any craving for the effects of actions – One who knows the Self or Me as such, he is not affected by actions.
What one needs to realize here that even though a person may do all bad actions or all great actions – still the Self remains the same, the Consciousness remains the same. What is the proof for the same??? Dream experience is the proof for the same. Even though the person dreams that he is doing Ashwamedha yajna or seeing Vishnu & doing pooja or he is killing 1000s of people – still the person remains the same. Similarly the Consciousness or the Self remains unaffected by all the actions that happens in this world because the world itself is nothing but the Self alone.
The Seen or the objects can never affect the Subject because both are different & have different meanings & imports. Thus when a person realizes this & does all actions as an offering to Brahman or God & without any craving for the fruits thereof, his mind becomes pure. As a person sees his face clearly in a pure mirror & sees his own face as having dirt in a dirty mirror – similarly the Self is completely seen as Absolute & eternal bliss in a pure mind & is seen as being affected by sorrow & sufferings in a dirty or impure mind. Impure mind is mind with anger & desire. One should note here that the Self is the same, only that it seems to be changing or seems dirty with respect to the mind. Thus the Self is known only in a pure mind. Purity of mind can be achieved either through knowledge or through actions or through devotion. All these are nothing but means to purity of mind. Once the mind becomes pure, then the person realizes through enquiry that “I am the Self, I am the substratum of the world, I am the Seer as well as the Seen. There is no difference or duality in this seemingly dual world. Whatever is present is only Consciousness.” When a person realizes this, then he doesn’t gets affected by the happenings in the world or to his body & mind – because for him, there is no world or body or mind but only pure Self. This has to achieved or realized by each person if eternal bliss is to be rejoiced. Until then, the search for happiness continues & continues but only ending in sorrow & sufferings. Brihadaranyaka Upanishad says
Mrityoh sah mrityum apnothi ya iha nana iva paschyathi”
The Self is to be realized through a pure mind. There is no duality in this world (not even little).
He, who sees (seemingly appearing) duality – he moves from death (sorrow) to death (sorrow).
But when a person realizes his own divine & absolute nature, all sorrow vanishes & only bliss remains.
As Sankara says
“Yasya Brahmani Ramathe Chittam
Nandhathi Nandhathi Nandhathi eva”
He whose mind resides in the Self or he who remains as the Self, he rejoices, rejoices, rejoices & rejoices. Let the Almighty guide each one of us to realize the Self without wasting much time as each moment is uncertain and precious. 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 -- #183 Yoga Vasistha clearly defines Liberation is the abandonment of the false & remaining as Being.
- Ramana Maharshi
Yoga Vasistha is considered one of the best Vedantic works taught by Vasistha to Sri Rama. When Sri Rama was 14 years old, Vishwamitra was doing a yajna & some demons were troubling his yajna & hence he wanted King Dasharatha to send his son Rama to kill the demons. Dasharatha called up Rama & told him about the same. Rama replied that “I have no interest in worldly things, I see only sorrow everywhere, whatever is there in this world is full of sorrow & suffering only, hence I don’t have any interest in worldly things & hence I will not go to kill the demons”.
This state is what is termed as VAIRAGYA or dispassion in Vedanta. Unless a person realizes the futility of the worldly sensual pleasures, he will not strive forward to realize the higher & eternal happiness inherent in the Self. Thus dispassion is one of the important quality required in a seeker of realization.
Thus Sri Rama had the highest form of dispassion & hence he was instructed by Vasistha into the absolute reality of the Self. This teaching of Vasistha to Rama spans to 32000 slokaas & is a voluminous work called Yoga Vasistha which is inevitable for any seeker of Self Realization. One point to be noted here is that there are two types of dispassion, Apara or lower & Para or higher. The lower dispassion occurs when a person gets sorrow from this world & because of the sorrow, he wants to escape & get happiness somewhere else. The dispassion one feels towards the world when one’s beloved dies is an example for this lower type of dispassion. The higher type of dispassion is when a person realizes that the world & its happiness are transient & realizes that there is a higher happiness & strives for that higher happiness. Because he wants to get the eternal bliss, he gets dispassionate towards the world. A seeker has to gradually move from the lower dispassion to the higher dispassion. Only when a person has the higher dispassion can he realize the subtle truth of the Upanishads, the subtlest of the subtle Self. The truth propounded in Yoga Vasistha is very systematic & with the help of stories. It explains the highest truth of absolute reality & takes Rama from dispassion to liberation. The importance of this work is known through great beings like Adi Sankara, Vidyaaranya, Ramana Maharshi, Swami Rama Tirtha – quoting from it frequently.
Yoga Vasistha speaks about the reality from the absolute viewpoint. It tells that the world that one sees & perceives has no reality at all. The world that one sees now is like the dream world – without any real existence of its own & only illusory. Thus it tells that liberation is not trying to become something – but Being one’s pure nature. All the problems in life occur due to trying to be like something, trying to be a father, trying to be a mother, trying to be a teacher. All these are false notions superimposed on the pure Consciousness.
During deep sleep, there is no fatherhood, motherhood, teacherhood, professional hood & all. That is the real nature of the Self & one’s own very nature. The pure Consciousness is one’s own very nature, but still a person thinks that he is the body and the mind & creates wrong notions. Thus Vasistha says that abandonment of all false things or false notions is liberation. One has to remember that one is already & always the Self, but he is unaware of it as he thinks himself as something else. As the person while dreaming thinks that “I am running, I am killing, I am eating, I am doing pooja” – but in fact he is not at all doing anything & unaffected by anything, similarly a person thinks that “I am doing work, I am speaking, I am writing, I am reading among other activities”, but in fact no action can even touch him or his real nature. As Krishna says
“Na Maam karmaani limpanthi na me karma phale spriha”
Actions don’t taint, neither do I have craving for the fruits of the actions. Thus the pure Consciousness remains the same – as the desert remains the same even when a person sees water in the desert. The wrong notion of water in the desert is the cause of all problems. It causes a person to run for the water & once he doesn’t get the water, he becomes sad & weeps!!! Such is the sad state of human beings. Without knowing that the eternal bliss which is being sought in the external world is inherent in HIM, he searches for it here & there – only to get happiness (mixed with sorrow). And when sorrow comes, weeping he approaches Krishna or Siva for help!!!
Sorrows are not the creation of God. If God is a being full of knowledge & full of Bliss, how can his creation have any sorrow????? Thus sorrow is neither the creation of God nor the real nature of a person (because if sorrow is natural, then one can never get rid of it – but happiness is natural as it can never be got rid of as it is present even in deep sleep. But during waking state, the happiness is forgotten & therefore wrong knowledge causes sorrow even which doesn’t taint a person).
Thus, all the problems are due to wrong knowledge about one’s own real nature. Now, one may ask the question How did the wrong knowledge come to ME who is full of Bliss???? Thus the scriptures reply that wrong knowledge doesn’t come to Me for only the creation of the non-existent mind. When the reality is not known or apprehended, other things are superimposed on the reality by the Mind. When the mind is sought out, it vanishes & there occurs a state of thoughtlessness which is called as Liberation. But when the Self or the source of the mind is not known, a person creates superimposition on the reality & thereby gets deluded into it. When the reality of rope is not known, snake if superimposed on the rope. Even when snake is being seen in the rope, the reality of rope remains the same without getting least affected. Similarly even when the Self is wrongly identified with the body & mind, the Self or “I” remains the same. It is the same “I” which gets sorrow & happiness, bondage & liberation. All these dualities never affect the Self, but there are only for the mind & for getting rid of the mind. If one asks wherefrom the mind came???? This doesn’t have any clear answer – it is like asking whether hen came first of egg came first. When the Self is not known, mind comes into picture & gets into bondage. But when the thoughts of the mind are removed, the real nature of Self is revealed & one realizes that I was never in bondage, I was the same only, I am bliss eternal only. Vasistha says
“Chit chetya kalitha bandhah tan mukthaa mukthiruchyate
Pure Consciousness when gets mixed with thoughts is called bondage & removal of the thoughts is called liberation.
Pure Consciousness devoid of any thoughts is called the Self – this is in short the essence of Vedanta. As the face is seen dirty in a dirty mirror & seen as good in a clean mirror – similarly the Self is seen as impure and as in bondage by the mind full of thoughts & seen as pure Consciousness and Bliss in the mind free of thoughts. One should note here that the face remains the same even when the mirror is dirty or clean, similarly the Self always remains the same, one without a second and of the nature of Existence, Consciousness and Bliss absolute. When a person realizes this, then all the craving for external sensual pleasures stops & there ends all sorrow & sufferings. As Sri Sri Ravishankar tells
“Stop becoming, just Be your own real Self”. Thus, liberation is not attaining the Self but just being the pure Self by removing ignorance & other wrong superimposed notions. As Padmapaada acharya says in his commentary of Adi Sankara’s commentary on Brahma Sutras
“Nitya sudha budha mukta atma aham” I am the Self, ever-free, ever-pure, ever-enlightened & ever-realized. When this ultimate reality is known, then all sorrows vanish because at that time a person doesn’t see anything different from himself. He only sees the Self, one without a second, thus what sorrow or delusion can he have?? Thus he rejoices in the eternal bliss of the Self. As the tsunami waves have struck and it might strike again – it is high time that one realizes this ultimate reality & tries to realize one’s own real nature of Self before shedding off this mortal body & taking birth in either human form or other animal forms.