A pure object is that which has nothing different from it in itself.
A cloth becomes impure when some different object mixes with the cloth. The Self is present everywhere & it is without a second (one only). Hence it is the only thing pure. When one thinks always about the Self & enquires into the Self, this called Atma Vichara. When this done, the mind becomes pure as it is concentrating on the ever-pure Self. But when the mind is not concentrating on the Self, it goes outwards and concentrates or thinks about other things in the world. This is called Loka Vichara, mind thinking about worldly objects. When the mind thinks about worldly objects, it gets the qualities of the world. What are the qualities of the world???
World is of the nature of duality and contains joy and sorrow in itself. Krishna says in Gita chapter 9, sloka 33
“Anityam Asukham Lokam Imam Prapya Bhajasva maam”
“Having attained the transitory or changing and sorrowful world, take refuge into Me”. Thus when one does Loka Vichara, he falls into duality and has to enjoy sorrow & joy in a cyclic manner. The one and only way to escape from this duality is to think about the Self which is beyond duality & is of the nature of non-duality. The moment a person leaves Atma Vichara or thought about the Self, the mind goes on to think about the world & falls into sorrow. Hence one should always think about the Self or GOD always and try to keep this thought every moment in his life.
Let the Almighty help us all do Atma Vichara every momen.
Words of Ramana Maharshi -- #38 You must first discern consciousness from insentience and be the consciousness only. Later you will realize that insentience is not apart from consciousness.
-- Ramana Maharshi
Explanation: The duality in the world & sufferings are due to mis identification of the Self with the insentient things. What are insentient things???
Insentient things are that which cannot exist by their own. They have no existence as such, but when given life by sentient thing seems as though sentient. Everything ranging from the body, mind and all other objects in the world are insentient. They are given light by the only sentient thing, the Self. This Self is of the nature of Absolute Existence, Consciousness, Bliss. Maharshi is talking here about the Self or the consciousness which repeats to oneself that “I exist” & due to which all other things become conscious. When a person links this consciousness with the insentient objects in the world, all sufferings arise. The way to remove these sufferings is to make the consciousness pure by delinking it with the insentient things. We have the consciousness that “I am the body. I am so and so”. This should be removed and I should first get the intellectual conviction that “I am consciousness, the Self, beyond the body, mind and all other things”.When one is not attached to the body, mind or other things – then he is not affected by the sufferings that occur to them. Thus he remains just a witness to the sufferings seen in the world.
Ramana Maharshi had cancer in his last days – but still, he was not affected by it. Tapovan Maharaj, guru of Swami Chinmayananda had throat cancer – but he lived peacefully as the Self without being affected even a bit by it. Thus when one separates the sentient or Real & the insentient or Unreal – he progresses towards Self-Realization fastly. This discrimination between Real & Unreal is called Viveka. When one is bestowed with Viveka, the Self slowly starts revealing its true nature of Bliss. One may then ask, then what are the insentient things???
As Maharshi says (this is the same as found in Vedas), once a person develops strong Viveka, he finds that the world is in fact not different from him. He finds that the same Self has become one and all in the world. The world is nothing but creation of mind due to its latent tendencies or impressions. It is the Self that seems to be diversified as different things in the world. With the help of Viveka, one realizes this truth to its ultimate. Maharshi used to always say that “only Self exists here, nothing but the Self”.
Adi Sankara pointed out from Brihadaranyaka Upanishad “Brahma Satyam Jagan Mithya, Jeevo Brahma eva Na parah” – “Brahman alone is true. The world is just an illusion. The Jeevatman is Brahman only & not different”. Thus one realizes the ultimate Truth of the Vedas that only one single Self exists, one without a second. Let the Almighty help us all do develop Viveka.
Words of Ramana Maharshi -- #39
One has only to remove the transitory happenings in order to realize the everpresent beatitude of the Self.
-- Ramana Maharshi
Explanation: The world is transitory in nature. Everything keeps changing in time and space. The world can be said to exist in time, space & causation. The only constant quality in these things is “change”. For anything to change, there must be something changeless thing with respect to which it changes. This changeless substratum of the changing world is the Self. The Self is of the nature of Absolute Existence, Consciousness, Bliss. The Consciousness or “I” factor in a person remains the same whatever changes happens in the world. The “I” remains a constant & does not change with time & space. Hence it is the substratum based on which time and space function. If a person gets attracted to this changing world, he will not be able to enjoy the eternal beauty of the changeless Self. Hence one has to remove this changing world & its things. When the world is removed, what remains is the substratum, the Self. Sri Krishna says in Gita chapter 9, sloka 33.
“Anityam Asukham Lokam Imam Prapya Bhajasva Maam”
“Having attained this transitory and sorrowful world, take refuge in Me”. When a person takes refuge in the Self, the world loses its existence. After realizing the Self, one finds that the world was not different from the Self, but it was the Self that had become everything in the world. It is illusion that causes the non-dual thing to appear as dual in different names and forms.
The starting way to remove the transitory world is by seeing GOD or Self everywhere. Every moment, one should see GOD only. Whatever he does, he should offer it to GOD. Wherever he is walking, he should think that it is like Pradakshina or GOD. Lying down for sleeping, he should think that he is prostrating to GOD. While eating, he should think that he is doing Yajna for GOD.
Would like to mention the translation of one of verse of Hari Nama Keerthanam in Malayalam written by Ezhuttachan. “Whatever I see is Narayana’s image.
Whatever I hear is praise of Narayana.
Whatever I do is Archana to Narayana.
Whatever is here is Narayana only” Thus following the path of Oneness, one realizes the Self that has become the world & thus enjoys the beauty of the Self. Let the Almighty help us all do develop this Supreme Devotion to GOD or Self.
Words of Ramana Maharshi -- #40
Seer, the seen and the sight are all manifestations of the same consciousness – namely, ‘I’ – ‘I’. Contemplation helps one to overcome the illusion that the Self must be visual. In truth, there is nothing visual. How do you feel the ‘I’ now? Do you hold a mirror before you to know your own being? The awareness is the ‘I’.
-- Ramana Maharshi
Explanation: In this world of duality, we have the distinction of three (as popularly called). For seeing any thing, we should have
1. Seer or the person seeing
2. Seen or the object that is seen
3. Sight or the medium or action that is taking place. There is only one thing here. All these are just manifestation of the one consciousness. It is because of the consciousness of a person that he sees all other things. It is similar to dream. In dream, we have just one person or consciousness. This “I” sees different-different things. But it is not tough to apprehend the truth that only “I” was there during dream.
Similar is the case with this waking state. The only difference is that the duration of this waking state is longer than dream. One needs to just wake up to the level of pure-consciousness from this waking state. Ancient rishis, Mahatmas, and saints like Jesus have shown us that it is possible to wake up from this waking state. Only when u do so, u achieve your true nature of Self (pure-consciousness). How can one achieve this???
Contemplation on the real nature of the Self helps one to realize the Self. Lot of people think that when will I see the Self.
This thought itself is futile. Because it is the Self that gives sight to all other things. Hence how can Self be seen??? The Self is the consciousness in you. It keeps on telling you that “I exist, I exist”. One does not need to repeat or say that “I exist” for him to exist. One also does not see the “I” any time. But still people know fully that “I” exist or they exist. This “I” that keeps on telling to one that “I exist” is the Self. It is of the nature of Absolute Existence, Consciousness, Bliss. There is nothing new to gain here nor anything to be lost. Whatever is there, that has to be grasped.
One has to just realize that “I am the Self” – the consciousness that keeps on telling every moment that “I exist” – that consciousness I am. The way to this is to always repeat to oneself that “I am the Self” and to try to be the Self always. Try to keep up the thought of “I am the Self” all the time.
The more a person goes on contemplating on this thought – the more he gets the Bliss of the Self. Slowly, the illusion of the world will vanish and he will realize that “I am the Self” and that whatever is there in the world is only the Self. He will realize that only the Self exists, one without a second.
One needs to have faith that this path will surely lead to realization and should give it a try. We try many other things, but are not ready to give this a chance. This has been from ancient times, realized by various people. Only one needs to put effort into it. Let us all try to put some time to this thought that “I am the Self” for today.
Let the Almighty help us all do develop this contemplation on “I am the Self”.
Words of Ramana Maharshi -- #41
The feeling that I have not realized is the obstruction to realization. In fact it is already realized. Otherwise, the realization will be new. It has not existed so far. It must take place hereafter. What is born will also die.
-- Ramana Maharshi
Explanation: It is the rule or law of nature that what is born has to undergo the six changes of birth, growth, existence, change, disease and death. These six are applicable to all the insentient things in the world. In fact, it is applicable to the world also. What is born has to die at last. The Self has no birth or death. How can one say the Self has no birth or death???
It is said in all the scriptures. Gita says in chapter 2 “The Self does not take birth, nor does it die”. Gita mentions in different places that “reaching where or which level no one ever returns, that is My (Self’s) abode”.The Self is ever-present and ever-realized. Even from the childhood to old age, the “I” or consciousness remains without any change. Only the other factors like body, mind and all change. Beyond the changing world, there is the unchanging Self.
Also as Maharshi says, if realization is something to be gained, then it will also be lost. Hence it is called Self-realization & not Self-attainment. It is knowing or becoming aware that “I am that”. Even if a person says that “I have not realized the Self or I am not the Self, he is the Self.” There is a story or parable mentioned in the scriptures. A pregnant-lioness was about to pounce on a flock of sheep. When it pounced on them, it gave birth to a lion cub & died. The lion cub thus took its birth & fell among the sheep. Hence it started to do things like a sheep. It forgot the reality that it is a lion. It used to eat grass and bleat like the sheep. Then one day, a lion saw this and was surprised. It caught the lion-cub & took it to a river. The lion-cub started crying. Then the lion told the cub that see your image in the river. You are like me. You should roar & behave like a lion, because you are a lion. Thus the lion cub realized its true nature that it is a lion. Similar is the case with Self-realization. We are all that. But we are not aware of it. When a guru or self-realized person tells us that “You are that or Tat Tvam Asi”, we realize our real nature. At each moment, we are the Self only. Only we are unaware of it. Since we are unaware of it, we get mingled with the world & suffer a lot due to this. The moment a person realizes that “I am the Self”, he realizes his true real nature. This is similar to a man seeing a bad dream during sleep & when he wakes up, he realizes that all that he saw was unreal & that nothing happened to him & he was the same always.
One may ask a valid question here that “how can I believe something that I don’t know & believe the nature of the Self that I haven’t yet realized”???
The Self is already realized. Only the veil of ignorance over this truth has to be removed. St. Augustine defines faith as “believing in something that you don’t know so that you may come to know what you believe”. Hence, one should go by the scriptural teachings & words of a SadGuru & follow it until one realizes his own veiled true nature. We are all Self only & nothing new to be done here. Just become aware of the Self & all the world & its duality will vanish by itself. Let the Almighty help us all do realize the ever-realized Self.
Words of Ramana Maharshi -- #42 Self is not reached. You are the Self. You are already that.
-- Ramana Maharshi
Explanation: Scriptures tell one that “You are the Self”. There is nothing like Self-attainment or Self-reaching, it is Self-realization. It is just knowing that “You are That”. When one goes to a Sadguru who is a realized soul – after doing service to the guru & thereby purifying one’s own mind, the Guru then tells the disciple that “TAT TVAM ASI” or “THAT THOU ART”. When a person who has fully purified his mind hears this teaching of the Supreme from the Guru, that very moment he realizes his own true nature of Self – and he is liberated from the duality of the world (joy and sorrow). When one realizes or becomes aware of his true nature – he knows that whatever had happened before that was just an illusion & it was due to his ignorance of the Real nature of the Self. One may then ask why then all the paths or Yogas? These are just aids to purification of the mind or removal of obstacles that veil the real nature of the Self. When one follows these path, he reaches the final goal of the Self which is already there. These are just methods to remove the veil that is obstructing one to realizing one’s own true nature.
When one follows these paths, the obstructions are removed and the veils are removed – thus what remains is the Self. The simplest way to realize is by repeating to oneself that “I am that Self”. Once goes on comtemplating on this thought, the mind becomes pure as it is concentrating on the pure Self. This in turn helps one to realize the true nature of the Self. Let the Almighty help us all do realize the ever-realized Self.
Words of Ramana Maharshi -- #43
The Self does not move. The world moves in it. You are only what you are. There is no change in you. So then, even after what looks like departure from here, you are here and there and everywhere.
-- Ramana Maharshi
Explanation: The Self is explained in the Upanishads as Immovable. Why is the Self immovable?
The Self is immovable because it is all-pervading & omni-present. For an object to move, it must be restricted to a certain space only. But the Self is beyond time and space. It gives time and space – their meaning. Hence it cannot move and is immovable. The world moves in the Self. How come the Self, which is the one and only thing present have the world moving in it.?
Maharshi is explaining this in the current perspective of waking state.Even in this unreal waking state, the Self or “I” consciousness remains without any change. A person does all things. He has grown up (his body). His age has increased. But the “I” remains the same, without any change.
Even in a day, during waking state, dream state and dreamless sleep state – the “I” remains the same. This waking state negates the dream state & the dream state negates the waking state. Hence these are not real. The real thing is that which gives light to these – the Self or the “I” consciousness. This “I” is the real thing. What does it matter whether the other things go or remain? Whatever happens, joy or sorrow, it is the mind that is getting affected. The “I” remains the same always. Hence Maharshi says that don’t bother about the unreal, bother about the real Self. How come then that different things are perceived if there is only the Self present?
There is only Self present. But due to ignorance of the real nature of the Self, various things are seen. These various things are not different from the Self, it is Self with a name and form. Once the name and form are removed, one can see the Self. One sees a mirage in desert. In reality, there is no mirage, there is only desert there. When the person understands this, then he realizes that there was only desert there and no mirage at all. There is no world here, only the Self. As different gold ornaments are just names and forms of GOLD and hence they are not different from GOLD, Similarly this world is just an illusion of name and form on the Supreme Being, Brahman (which is the same as the Self). Without the Self – nothing exists in this world & hence it is not tough to apprehend the Reality that there is only the Self here. When thus one sees only the Self in all places, all the sufferings that happen in the so-called world will be removed. One will then enjoy the real eternal BLISS of the Self.
Let the Almighty help us all to realize the ever-realized Self.
Words of Ramana Maharshi -- #44
Wakefulness passes off, I am;
The dream state passes off, I am;
The sleep state passes off, I am.
-- Ramana Maharshi
Explanation: Ramana Maharshi brings out the eternal Truth, the Reality of the Real in this quote. Vedas call this “Satyasya Satyam or Truth of the truth”.
The eternal Truth is that “I am that all-pervading, ever-liberated, ever-existing Self, one without a second”. A person experiences three states in a day.
First is the waking state – where there is a world of duality (or rather seems to be there). The second state is the Dreaming state where another world is created by the mind. The third state is the deep sleep state where there is nothing but only the Consciousness. The perplexing thing here is that the waking experience negates the dream experience & the dream experience negates the sleep state. All the three experiences negate each other. If this was not the case, one could have done the work unfinished for the day in this waking world after entering into sleep. The only thing common and changeless in these three changing state is the “I” consciousness. The Consciousness remains without any change in all these three states.The Real thing is that which is not changing & is eternal. Hence the Consciousness or the Self is the only real thing in the world. All other things that we see are unreal (in the sense that it is the same as the Self). In the dream state, there is only the Self there. But one sees different things & a world is created. The world is nothing but an illusion. There is only the Self that has become everything in the world.