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 -- #197 When a person has the outlook of wisdom, he sees the world as Brahman only.
Ramana Maharshi is here explaining the path or way to realize the ultimate reality & the way a Jnaani sees the world. There are only two distinct entities in this illusory and phenomenal world. These are represented by different names but the most common used names for these two are DRIK and DRISHYA. Drik is the Subject or the Seer & Drishya is the Seen or the Objects. When a person distinguishes between these two entities, he is formally eligible for the ultimate and absolute reality of the Self. Until then, even though the person might have learnt any number of scriptures or sacred texts, the ultimate truth will not be apprehended in its full by the person. This distinguishing between the Drik or the Self and the Drishya or the non-Self is called Viveka or discrimination. Drik or the Seer is that which has existence of its own. It exists by itself, it is self-luminous and also it provides light to other objects also. Drishya or the objects don’t have existence of their own and they depend on the Self or the Seer for their existence.
A person with some intelligence can easily understand that if the Consciousness or the Self is not there, then there are no objects or the world. But even when the world that we perceive now is not there, Consciousness exists. Thus, Consciousness is a independent entity is the absolute reality whereas the world and the objects are only relative and depend for their existence on the Self.
The world that one sees depends on Consciousness for its existence. Any object that is seen is only Consciousness and not different from it. As the dream world and its objects are not real but only temporarily existing dreamer alone, similarly this world of duality is only Consciousness. It is the Consciousness that is seen as the multitude of objects. This is easily known by the very fact that if Consciousness is not there, then there are no objects. Again the perception of objects also depend on the Consciousness. When a person or the Consciousness doesn’t want to hear or see an object, the object is not perceived and has no existence. Thus, as Maharshi says the world is Brahman or the Self alone. But this ultimate reality that the world is the Self alone or the underlying reality about the world is the Self or Consciousness alone is realized only when a person develops the outlook of knowledge. Outlook of Knowledge is realizing the ultimate reality that “SARVAM KHALU IDAM BRAHMA” – everything is verily Brahman only. The Guru or father of Uddalaka says to his son Svetakethu in the Chandogya Upanishad that “O Son, everything is Brahman alone as the various gold ornaments of chain, necklace and ring are only Gold”. Similarly, the world that is perceived is only Consciousness with a name and form. Bharathi Teertha Swamigal says in Drik Drishya Viveka
“Sristhir naama brama roope satchidananda vasthuni
Abdhau phenaadivad sarva naama roopa prasaarana” Sristhi or Creation is the name and form or Brahman of the nature of Existence, Consciousness and Bliss. These depend on name and form and are like bubbles and waves in sea. Vidyaranya Swami says in Anubhooti prakaasam
Srishte pura sadeva aaseeth naama roopa vivarjitham” This world that is perceived now is Existence alone with a name and form. Before creation, there was Existence alone, without any name form. Any name and form do not create any new objects. Names and forms are unreal and the material is only the real thing. Gold necklace, chain and ring are only names and forms of Gold. These are only gold and the names and forms are only temporary and hence unreal. Thus, the world that is seen is only Consciousness or Self alone. When a person realizes this reality, he has the outlook of wisdom. Whatever he sees, he sees Consciousness only. Wherever his mind goes, he sees Consciousness alone. He doesn’t have any differences of sight. Krishna says in Gita that such a person is called a Yogi who sees oneness in Gold, mud and clay. Such a person when he sees only oneness everywhere, he doesn’t hate anybody nor does he love anybody. He doesn’t have any likes or dislikes. As likes and dislikes are not there, he is content with whatever he has and he doesn’t get sad or happy as everything is HIM only. This ultimate reality is the one and only path that leads to eternal bliss. Any other path followed will have duality and wherever duality is perceived, there will be sorrow and happiness arising out of likes and dislikes. Katha Upanishad says
“Manasaiva aaptavyam neha nana asthi kinchana
Mrithyoh sa mrithyum apnothi ya iha nana iva pashyathi”
The Self must be realized through the mind (by removing the thoughts of the mind and turning the mind internal into the Self and its nature). There is no duality, not even little here. He who sees seemingly appearing duality, he goes from death to death (here death indicates the state of sorrow and suffering).
Only when a person realizes the ultimate reality that the world is a long dream wherein the objects are only the Self or Consciousness alone, can he gain eternal and infinite bliss. Until then, the search for happiness continues in the external objects & as all scriptures mention the external objects can never give happiness as they are the very source of sorrow (and the happiness that one gets depends on the individual and the mind’s state). As the dream world has no real existence, but seems to exist in the dream state similarly this waking world seems to exist but has no existence whatsoever. Because this waking world can never come from pure Consciousness which is the very nature of the Self and every person. Consciousness is perfect and complete. As it is poorna, there can never arise any desires. Therefore the world or its objects cannot come from the Consciousness or veil the Consciousness. Therefore if the world is seen, it is only an illusion and therefore not at all existing. It only seems to exist like the water seen in desert in a mirage. Purusha Sookta says
“Ajaayamaanah bahudhaa vijayanthe” – Remaing unborn, it manifests itself. Here, manifestation can never happen as it is unborn and as it is unborn it is without any changes. Manifestation can happen only if an object undergoes changes but Consciousness can not undergo any changes as it is partless and complete. Therefore the manifestation is only illusory and unreal. Therefore the world that is perceived is unreal and has no existence at all.
When Upanishads tell that the world is unreal, it only points out that the dual world is unreal whereas the world is only the Self seemingly appearing in different forms and names as in dream. Therefore the world that is perceived is only the Consciousness with different names and forms. This outlook is called Jnaana and this very knowledge guides a person to the absolute reality of Oneness and infinite and eternal bliss of the Self.
As Sankara says in Bhaja Govindam, when a person realizes this reality – even while seeing the world he sees the world as not dual but as Brahman or the Self alone. Thus such a person always rejoices in the Self whether he is enjoying sensual pleasures or doing yogic practices. “yoga ratho va bhoga ratho va sanga ratho va sanga viheenah
Yasya Brahmani ramathe chittam nandhathi nandhathi nandhathi eva” A person might be doing yoga or enjoying pleasures. He might be attached to people or detached to people, but still such a person whose mind always resides in the Self, he rejoices, rejoices and rejoices alone. As Sankara mentions in Nirvaana Shatkam
“Chidananda roopah sivoham sivoham”
I am the Self of the nature of Consciousness and Bliss, I am the Self. 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 -- #198 There is no liberation. It could be only if there was bondage. There was really no bondage and so, it follows, there is no liberation.
Liberation and bondage are both relative terms. These are present only when there is duality or difference. The ultimate or absolute reality which is the Supreme Cause of this seemingly appearing world can be ONE only because if the reality is TWO, then there will be something which these two depend on & thus there goes an infinite regression. Similarly the ultimate reality is unborn because if it were born, then that which gave birth to it will become the ultimate reality and this reality will cease to be an ultimate reality. As the ultimate reality is without birth, it cannot have any of the six modifications of birth, growth, existence, change, disease and death. As the ultimate reality is without any of the six modifications, it is partless. Since it doesn’t have any parts, there is no internal difference like hands and feet of the human body in the reality. As it is changeless, there can never occur any manifestation of the reality. Thus, the world that we see can never come out of its ultimate cause of Consciousness. Thus, the world has no real existence, but seems to exist like the dream world or water in desert. The ultimate reality cannot be different from the Self or Consciousness because the very experience of each person shows that if Consciousness is there, the world is there & if Consciousness is not there, then there is no world at all. Also, even when the world is not present (as in deep sleep), Consciousness is present. Thus, the world that one sees is only illusory appearance in the ultimate reality of Consciousness. Such a thing like the world, which seems to exist but has no real existence in its substratum or cause of Consciousness is called MITHYA or illusory or unreal.
Since, there is no world at all & there is no differences in the Consciousness, there is neither liberation nor bondage. This is the reason why the scriptures proclaim that the Self is “Nithya Suddha Buddha Mukta” – ever-pure, ever-enlightened and ever-liberated.
This ultimate reality is what Ramana Maharshi is explaining here. The Self has neither bondage nor liberation because it is ever-free & ever-detached and can never attach to the illusory world or its objects. Bondage normally occurs with the worldly objects like people or things. But when the world itself is illusory or unreal, how can there arise bondage??? As there is no bondage, therefore there is no liberation also. Now, one may have a real doubt regarding this statement of Maharshi as to why I am then suffering and why I am still attached to people but still Maharshi says that there is no bondage?????
Each person’s experience shows that even during times of bondage, the pure Consciousness remains untainted and unaffected. The very statement of a person that “I am in bondage” shows that the “I” is different from bondage. This “I” is not the Ego, but pure Consciousness. This pure Consciousness is unaffected like the Sun to the worldly activities on Earth. Thus, even during bondage or during liberation, the Self or “I” remains the same. Therefore the scriptures proclaim that the “I” is a mere witness to all the happenings in the seemingly appearing world. A person goes to sleep. He sleeps on a bed. He doesn’t move at all from the bed during the complete time of sleeping, but still he dreams like he is going to a place, he is working, he is marrying, he is being chased by elephants, he is being killed and all. All these actions seem to be real during the state of dream, but when the person wakes up, he realizes that there was neither any actions nor was there any objects and that all was his own illusion only.
Similarly, in this waking world, everything seems to be real but nothing is real. Everything seems to exist, but nothing exists in reality because whatever is being seen is only Consciousness and illusions seen in Consciousness.
Thus, there is neither bondage nor liberation for the Self. Sankara says in Nirvana Shatkam
“Na dharmo na cha artho na kaamo na mokshah
Chidananda roopah sivoham sivoham” I am the Self of the nature of Consciousness and Bliss. I neither have any righteousness or desires or liberation. Now a person might have the doubt then why do Mahatmas and scriptures proclaim that one should strive for liberation????
The scriptures proclaim that the Self is already realized and liberated. But the illusory mind comes into picture because of ignorance of the real nature of the Self like snake is seen in rope when the real nature of rope is not known. As the mind creeps in, thoughts begin to flow in. These thoughts tend a person to desire this and that. These desires are gratified by actions & due to the fruits of these actions, more desires arise & actions continue. Thus the vicious circle continues.
What the scriptures mean by liberation is liberation from the thoughts of the mind, liberation from the illusory mind and its thoughts. When there are thoughts, the reality of the Self is veiled and hence a person seems to suffer and get sorrow (even though during these times of suffering also, it is the Ego that gets identified with the objects that suffers and the Self remains without any suffering). The sufferings are not of the Self but for the Ego. The Ego is nothing but identification of the Self or Consciousness with the unreal objects of body and mind. When these identifications are removed, then the Self shines purely and hence a person rejoices in the eternal bliss of the Self. During other times, the Self is not known and hence knowing the Self through removal of the ignorance veils is called liberation and when a person plunges more and more into the ocean of ignorance by forgetting the Self and performing actions and desiring things is called bondage.
When the mind is not attracted to objects and is free from thoughts, it is in liberation. Thus, liberation and bondage are for the illusory mind & not for the Self. As the bondage in itself is illusory, therefore illusory knowledge or liberation is required to remove this illusory bondage. A person is sleeping. A lion comes near to him & he wakes from the dream. As the dream lion wakes up the person similarly the illusory liberation wakes up a person from the long dream of illusory world. Thus the one and only thing that helps a person to remove bondage is knowledge about oneself. A person is always realized and always liberated but the person is unaware of this liberation & hence knowledge comes to help the person in studying himself and finding out who he is & what this world is. Thus, when a person gets the knowledge that “I am the Self” (even though he is already the Self), all illusory created ignorance which affects the Ego and not the Self are rooted out & hence the real bliss of the Self is rejoiced. Now, one may have the doubt as to how ignorance came about????
The Upanishads proclaim that there can never be ignorance in the ultimate reality which is full of knowledge and is non-dual in nature. Hence, even ignorance is unreal and the unreal knowledge about one’s own nature removes this illusory knowledge. When thus ignorance is removed, what remains is the natural state of the Self which is Consciousness and Bliss that is enjoyed or experienced during the state of deep sleep.
Thus Adi Sankara proclaims that even trying to find out the cause of ignorance is part of ignorance alone because knowledge shows a person that the ignorance is illusory and hence tells him that there is no ignorance at all. Hence searching for a hare with horns. Thus, the Self is already realized and each one is that only. But this ultimate reality is veiled by ignorance which has to be removed. This removal of ignorance is also illusory alone as there has been no ignorance and no bondage but only Consciousness alone exists. The Upanishad proclaim “SARVAM KHALU IDAM BRAHMA” – All this is verily Brahman. Thus if only ONE is there, where is the existence of the world and other things. Hence there is no illusion, no ignorance and no bondage. Whatever is present is only the Self of the nature of Existence, Consciousness and Bliss. This ultimate reality has been forgotten and each person has to be made to know this knowledge. This is the very aim of all Masters, all the scriptures. When a person realizes this ultimate reality, he laughs at whatever seemed to have happened (like a person laughs after waking up from a bad dream because nothing has happened at all) because there was nothing at all & everything was just an illusion. As explained previously, there can never be any difference or bondage in the Self which is pure Consciousness. Hence whatever bondage seems to be present is an illusion only. This is the ultimate reality proclaimed by the scriptures of all religion and the great Masters who have realized this reality. As the father Uddalaka says to Svetakethu that “TAT TVAM ASI” – That thou art – that absolute being you are, similarly we all are that ultimate Brahman alone & not different from it.
The difference that seems to exist is only an illusion and doesn’t affect the reality even the least. Hence bondages come and go, relations come and go, sorrows come and go – but “I” am the same. A person might be married or might be strictly following brahmacharya or might be a sanyaasin but until he realizes this ultimate reality, he will have to suffer from the dualities of sorrow and happiness (even though during suffering also, he is not suffering but the Ego identification makes him feel that he is suffering – what a miracle!!!! ).
There is no other path or way to the cessation of sorrow than this path of absolute knowledge because any other path will only produce new things & only knowledge can remove the sorrows because knowledge tells one that there is no sorrow at all whereas all other paths will only add to the sorrow by mitigating it or giving a temporary solution. Through absolute knowledge about oneself, one realizes that there is no sorrow but only eternal bliss of the Self. At that time, the person completely rejoices in the eternal bliss of the Self. 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 -- #199 If one cannot directly hold the thinker, one must meditate on God; and in due course the same individual will have become sufficiently pure to hold the thinker and sink into absolute Being.
The experience of a person (that is, the world and its experience) can be split into two distinct categories. One is the Subject and other the object. The object is unreal because it has no separate existence and depends on the Subject for its existence. The Objects are just illusions seemingly appearing in the Subject due to ignorance of the Subject.
Upanishads proclaim that the world is nothing but thoughts alone. The dream world is an example and equivalent to the current waking world that each one perceives. The dream world is nothing but the thoughts of the dream alone. The dream world happens because the dreamer dreams and enters into thoughts. Thoughts are propelled when the reality is not known and hence desires spring up. But when the reality of pure Consciousness is known, no thoughts come and only pure absolute Existence remains. Thus, the waking world is also like the dream world and the objects are only thoughts & have no absolute reality. Thus, the Subject or the thinker is the real thing whereas the objects are unreal things seemingly appearing on the Subject. When the thinker is known, no thoughts arise. This is because the thinker is pure Consciousness and Bliss. The thinker is ever-content, ever-realized, ever-liberated and ever-blissful in nature. As the inherent bliss of the thinker is not known, due to this ignorance thoughts creep in (due to desires of becoming happy and perfect). Thus the objects seem to exist. Do the objects really exist????
The objects have no existence at all. Because if the objects have any existence, they should remain during the state of deep sleep, but the objects are not there in deep sleep. This only shows that the Objects are only names and forms of the One Consciousness, the Subject. Thus whatever is seemingly appearing is also the absolute reality alone. The water seen in mirage is nothing but the reality of desert alone. The dream objects seen in dream are nothing but the dreamer alone. The dream objects seem to exist in the dreamer. Similarly this waking world and its objects have no absolute existence – they only seem to exist at this point of time. Even the very concept of time is based on the thinker or the Subject only & there is a different time in waking state as well as in dream state!!!! This only shows the limitation of time.
The ultimate reality is the Subject (without any objects). This subject is the thinker & when the Subject is hold on to or a person realizes that “I am the Subject, I am the Self of the nature of Existence, Consciousness and Bliss absolute”, then all sorrows vanish & there remains only the eternal bliss of the Self. This cessation of sorrow is the ultimate goal of every being. This sorrow is not real because it is created due to the ignorance of one’s own blissful nature. Hence any amount of devotion or actions can not remove this ignorance. This ignorance can be rooted out only through the ultimate Knowledge that “I am the Self, I am blissful, whatever is present is only the Self and nothing else, there is nothing different from Me”. But not all persons are suitable or eligible to gain this knowledge. People whose mind are extroverted cannot follow this ultimate path suddenly because their mind is not at all used to such kind of enquiry and introvertedness. Thus for such people, meditation on God, the path of Bhakthi an other paths are put forth. When a person meditates on the form of Krishna or Siva, his mind develops concentration. This in turn makes the mind introverted in nature. When the mind is introverted, it tries to seek the source & thereby the person is able to enquire into his own nature of Bliss & he is capable of apprehending the ultimate knowledge put forth in the Upanishads. Thus, the path of devotion and the path of action help a person to grasp the ultimate knowledge of the Upanishads or the ultimate reality of one’s own real nature.
One thing to be remembered here is that even when a person doesn’t know his real nature or even when he is following the path of enjoying sensual pleasures or devotion, he is the Self only. A person is always the pure Consciousness and bliss. But he is unaware of his own very nature. All efforts are to remove this ignorance veil that has covered his own very nature of Bliss. Thus, all the paths only lead a person ultimately to the highest reality of non-dual Self, non-dual Existence, non-dual Consciousness, one without a second.
When this ultimate reality is not known, all sorrows and delusions affect the person (or his Ego). The person or pure Consciousness seems to get identified with the body and mind & is termed the EGO. This egoistic “I” suffers due to pains in the body, due to troubles for the people whom it likes. This suffering continues and all the external happiness can never give the person completely and permanent bliss because the objects are only sources of sorrow. Whatever happiness a person seems to get from the external objects is only a small fraction of the inherent bliss of the Self. But, when this wrong identity is removed by realizing one’s own real nature, there is nothing to be gained, nothing to be achieved. The person realizes that “I am perfect, I am full, I am of the nature of eternal bliss, There is nothing different from me and hence I have neither sorrow nor happiness, I have neither anger nor desires, I have neither attraction nor aversion, I am always liberated and realized”. The one and only way to remove sorrow and worries is the knowledge about oneself because sorrow is not real & only illusory. Illusory sorrow which is created by ignorance cannot be removed by any God or external being sitting in Heaven or Vaikunta, but only by the ultimate realization that there is no sorrow at all and that whatever is present is Consciousness alone of the nature of Bliss absolute. The very sacred Bhagavatham says in the concluding skandha
“Vedanta saaram yad brahma atmaikyatva lakshanam.
Vasthu adviteeyam tan nishtam kaivalyam prayojanam”
Bhagavtham has told the essence of Upanishads which is the absolute reality of ONE Existence and of the nature of equality between the Paramatman (the Supreme Being, Brahman) and the Jeevatman (the individual being, Atman or Self) which is of the nature of one without a second. The very purpose or goal of Bhagavatham is to attain the state of absolute being (kaivalyam).
This is what the great Bhagavtham itself concludes about the ultimate reality and realization.
Vishnu tells to Brahma in the chatushloki Bhagavatham
“Etan matham samaathistha paramena samaadhina
Bhavaan kalpa vikalpeshu na vimuhyathi karhichit”
Knowing the ultimate reality, may you establish yourself in Samadhi or Absorption in the Self. May you not enter into thoughts or distractions which are unreal at any moment. King Janaka proclaims in Yoga Vaasistha
“Kim upadeeyam asthi iha yatnaad samsaadayaami kim
Yatah sthirasya sudhasya chitah ka me asthi kalpana”
What do I have attain through effort and without effort, I am the pure Consciousness without any changes or modifications, hence why should I imagine or enter into thoughts. This state also shows that there are no thoughts at all in reality, when a person realizes his own real nature of Consciousness; he realizes that there is no thoughts, there are no objects but only pure Consciousness exists. All the various paths like removal of thoughts, devotion, meditation, study of scriptures, nishkaama karma or selfless actions all lead one to this ultimate reality of Existence alone, one without a second. Adi Sankaracharya says about the world in Aparokshanubhooti
All these are caused due to ignorance and the world and its objects are removed by knowledge. Sankalpa or thoughts (imagination) is the creator of the seemingly appearing world. Vishnu says to Gaadi in Yoga Vasistha
The world consisting of five elements of Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Ether is only in the mind and not outside at any moment. Each person experiences this at moments of sleep and illusory experiences of water in mirage, silver in nacre and snake in rope. Sage Dattatreya says in Avadhuta Gita
The world consisting of five elements is like water seen in desert (unreal). Katha Upanishad says
“Manasaiva aaptavyam neha nana asthi kinchana
Mrityoh sa mrityum apnothi ya iha nana iva pashyathi”
The Self is to be realized though a pure mind, there is no duality here (not even little). He who sees seemingly appearing duality, he moves from death to death (means he suffers or seems to suffer and cries even though he is not at all affected by the suffering).
Isn’t it a pity that the Self or pure Consciousness is not at all affected by any actions be it good or bad, but still a person wrongly identifies this pure “I” with the body and mind & thinks himself to be suffering and crying!!!!!
Such people who don’t know their own very nature of Consciousness and Bliss are termed as MOODAAH by the Upanishads and by great saints like Sankara. Those are ignorant fools and idiots who without striving for the ultimate reality of one’s own nature, are deluded into the external objects and wrongly identifying with the body and mind cry to a Super Being of God for removal of seemingly existing sorrows (unreal sorrows) This ultimate reality when realized, there remains nothing else to be known because there is no second object to be known. Such a state of Oneness can only give one permanent happiness and completeness (perfect and contented). As Sankara says (each and every person is the Consciousness alone)
“Chidananda Roopah sivoham sivoham”– I am the Self of the nature of Consciousness and Bliss, I am the Self.
Let the Almighty guide each one of us to realize the Self without wasting much time as each moment is uncertain and precious.