Similarly, when one awakes from this waking state to the state of Self-Realization, he understands that there was nothing there in the world except the Self. It was mere ignorance and illusion that seemed to create the world that we see. There is nothing new to be gained or attained – only to become aware that “I am that” (I am the Self). Whether one knows this eternal truth or not – he is the Self. The moment he knows that “I am the Self” – the sorrow that we suffer in the world can be removed and only BLISS is present at that time. Let the Almighty help us all to realize the ever-realized Self.
Words of Ramana Maharshi -- #45 Question: How to control lust, anger, etc.?
Maharshi: Whose are these passions? Find out. If you remain as the Self, there will be found to be nothing apart from the Self. There will be no need to control, etc.
Explanation: This world and the experience can be split into two things. Everything in this world is just two things.
1. Seer or Drik or Subject
2. Seen or Drisya or Object The Subject here is the “I” or the Self. All other things are nothing but objects of the Subject.It is thus not difficult to realize that without the Subject, there can be no object. Hence the Subject is the only real thing. The moment one realizes this and tries to find out the Subject or the Self, then all the objects lose their existence.
Whatever we are learning and doing in this world are towards the object – we are trying to learn about the objective world & forget to turn inwards and find out the Subject. Once the Subject is found, then it is not difficult to realize that there is no object in reality & it is the Subject that has become the Object. The one Self has become the dual world. How can one say that the Self has become the dual world???
As in the case of dream where the one Self becomes all things, similarly this world of plurality is nothing but the Self or the Supreme Brahman. Vedas proclaim that the Brahman thought that let creation begin & thus creation began (or seemed to begin like an illusion). Thus Brahman or GOD is the material cause and efficient cause for this world. It is also said that at the beginning there was only one Brahman. So if it has to change into the dual world, the world cannot be different from the Brahman. Thus one realizes that there is no creation happening here but just an illusion on Brahman. Upanishads therefore proclaim
Brahman is there in the front, Brahman is there in the back. Brahman is there in the left, Brahman is there in the right.
Brahman is there in the top and Brahman is there in the bottom. This whole world is nothing but Brahman only. Krishna says in Gita
“Matta Parataram Na Anyat Kinchit Asthi Dhananjaya”
“There is nothing different from Me” If a person with little intelligence can think out this that during dream there is only the Self, similarly this world is also just a mis-perception of Brahman or the Self.
This is the reason why the same object is viewed in different ways by different people.
One should have faith in the scriptures because the scriptures are words of GOD & these are words which the rishis experienced. One should have faith in these words & follow the path that a Self-realized soul tells one to. If one does so, one can find out that in reality, there was, there is and there will be only the Self. The Self is always pure, ever-liberated. It is the mind that is impure (the mind which in reality has no existence apart from the Self). So Once a person tries to be the Self or the “I” through constant enquiry and contemplation on the thought that “I am the Self” – he realizes his own true nature that was veiled due to his own ignorance. At that point, one will come to know that there was nothing but the Self & that “I am that Brahman all-pervading and one without a second”. Let the Almighty help us all to realize the ever-realized Self.
Words of Ramana Maharshi -- #46
When all have become the one Self, who is there to be loved or hated.
-- Ramana Maharshi
Explanation: Maharshi here brings out the truth propounded in sloka 7 of Isavasya Upanishad. The sloka says
“Yasmin Sarvaani Bhutaani Atmaivabhoot vijanatah.
Tatra ka shokah ko mohah Ekatvam Anupasyatah” “When a person knows that all the things are just the Self, then how can he have delusion or sorrow as he sees only One everywhere” This is the path of Knowledge or of Jnanis.A Jnani sees the Self everywhere whereas a Bhaktha sees GOD everywhere. The ultimate aim is to see Oneness which leads one to the state where he realizes that “I am that Self or Brahman, free of all delusions, ever-liberated and all-pervading and blissful”.
For such a person who sees the Self everywhere – how can there be any love or hatred. Love occurs when one gets attached or likes something & hatred occurs when one dislikes a thing – In both these cases, one sees something different from himself. This causes the like and dislike. When one realizes the truth & sees only One everywhere – what to love or hate. Such a Self-realized person may seem to get attached to something, detached to something, he might be enjoying materialistic pleasures – but even then his mind rests always on the Self & he is always residing in the Supreme Truth of Self. The initial stage to this Self-realization (realizing one’s own true nature) is to see the Self everywhere. It is to see oneness everywhere. When a person goes on seeing oneness, his mind quietens & due to this, his true nature of Self is brought out. Thus he enjoys the real eternal BLISS of the Self. Maharshi & Adi Sankaracharya stress the point that there is nothing new to be gained here. Only to realize one’s own real nature. It is removing the ignorance that is mithya or illusory. The moment a person realizes that “I am the Self” or even thinks the thought that “I am the Self” – he enjoys the eternal bliss of the Self.
This helps in removing the sorrows or sufferings that are created by the mind in this world. Let the Almighty help us all to realize the ever-realized Self.
Words of Ramana Maharshi -- #47
You are diving into the Pure Self on occasions which you consider pleasurable. That diving reveals the Self-existent Bliss. -- Ramana Maharshi
Explanation: When we see a beautiful or liking object, we gain pleasure. When we hear to good music, we enjoy pleasure. Normally we think that these pleasures are in the external world or the objects. But this is not so. Maharshi mentions the same here. The happiness that we get during such times is just a fraction of the eternal Bliss present in the Self. The Mind is full of thoughts. When one tries to stabilize or concentrate these thoughts, then one raises above to the Intellectual level. Intellect is Satvic in nature and pure. When a person thus concentrates on some thoughts, he raises to the Intellect. The Self is reflected on the Intellect and this is called Jiva. Jiva is the one who sees and experiences everything in this world. This is the reason why Concentration or Meditation helps one to realize the Self. The Self shines in the place where the intellect is pure or concentration of thoughts occur. If the happiness was there in external objects, then everyone should feel the same. But a person finds this world a beautiful place to live and another place feels that it is very sorrowful place to live. Thus one can know or realize that Happiness is not in the external objective world – but it is in the subjective Self. The more a person tries to reduce the likes and dislikes – thereby making the mind pure can gain the eternal Bliss of the Self. This has been tried and experienced by lot of person from ancient rishis to the current days Swamis like Swami Chinmayananda, Swami Dayananda Saraswathi and Sri Sri Ravishankar and all. The more a person stays at the Reality of the Self – the more he realizes his own true nature and enjoys eternal Bliss of the Self.
The moment a person forgets his real nature and falls down into this objective world – he gains the plurality of joy and sorrow. An intelligent person must always try to reside in the Self – his real nature. He should intellectually enquire as to “Who am I” & find out the Self delving deep in the heart and always pulsating “I exist, I exist”.
The starting step to realizing this Self is to see oneness everywhere. If it is in the form of a GOD or Ishta Devata – or as the formless Brahman – or the Self – it doesn’t matter how one sees it. One should always try to see oneness in this world of duality. This oneness will lead one to removal of the duality of joy and sorrow, likes and dislikes thereby making his mind and intellect pure. And in this pure intellect, the Self reveals itself. Let the Almighty help us all to realize the ever-realized Self by seeing oneness everywheref.
Words of Ramana Maharshi -- #48
Question: Are all in liberation?
Maharshi: Where is all? There is no liberation either. It could be only if there was bondage and so, it follows, there is no liberation.
-- Ramana Maharshi
Explanation: There is only Oneness in this world. There is only one thing – the Self. The duality that one sees is due to ignorance of the real nature of the Self & due to identification of the Self or “I with the body and mind. Hence Maharshi says there is no “all” here. Only one thing Brahman or the Self, “I” exists. Liberation and Bondage is not for the Self. It is only for the mind. The Self is ever-free and ever-liberated. Due to ignorance of this real nature of the Self and oneself, a person thinks that he is liberated or bonded and so. In Yoga Vasistha, Vasistha says to Rama
Mind is the cause of bondage and liberation. When it is attached to sense objects, it is bondage & when it is not attached to any sense objects it is liberated. So Maharshi tells here that “You are not bonded, so how can liberation occur to you”.
Liberation is for the mind. The moment a person knows or realizes or identifies himself with the Self – he becomes the Self ever-liberated. Hence there is no bondage or liberation for the Self. All the different yogas and paths are just to remove the veil of ignorance & to realize the true nature of oneself. “I am the Self” – This whether realized or not-realized is the ultimate Truth. If one realizes it, then all the sorrows vanish. If not, then one gets affected by the sorrows and joy in the world (In reality the Self is not at all affected by this, but the mind is affected and the person thus thinks that “I” am affected by it). The only way to realize the true nature is Vichara or Self-Enquiry. Adi Sankaracharya says in Vivekachoodamani
“Karma is meant for purification of mind and not for realizing the Self.
The Self can be realized only through Enquiry and not by any number of Karma”. One should try to enquire each moment to himself that “who am I” – and should try to go into the final “I” & try to stay there all the time. By practice one will always be able to be the Self & unaffected by the actions and everything in the world. Let the Almighty help us all to realize the Self through Enquiry.
Words of Ramana Maharshi -- #49 To remain without questions and doubts is the natural state. -- Ramana Maharshi
Explanation: The natural state is that of the Self – eternal Blissful nature. The Self is of the nature of Oneness and one without a second. All questions and doubts arise when there is twoness – only duality can pose questions and give rise to doubts. When there is only the Self, then what doubts or questions can arise? Then one may ask, how come doubts and questions arise now even though only Self exists?
Questions and doubts are not asked by the Self or it does not come from the Self. It comes from the mind. The mind alone is responsible for all these things. The very nature of mind is thoughts & thoughts take the shape of questions or doubts. It is like when one sees snake in a rope, doubts and questions arise as to which snake it is, is it poisonous and so on. But the moment one realizes that there is no snake – all doubts vanish and only the rope exists. This is the reason why no doubts occur during deep sleep where only the Self in the form of limited-Ego exists.
Doubts occur only after we wake up or in dream state. Once a person knows or realizes that he is the Self – there exists no doubt because at that moment he realizes that there is only Self & the world is nothing but misperception of the Self. Sri Krishna says in Gita that
“I will teach you Brahma Vidya or Atma Vidya knowing which there exists nothing else to be known.” Upanishads proclaim
Sheeyanthe cha asya karmaani Tasmin Drishte Paravare.”
“The knots of the heart get broken, All doubts vanish, all karmas lose their effect for a person who realizes the Atma-Brahman Aikyam or that I am Self or Brahman.”
One has to just remove the ignorance & one will realize that “I am the Self”. He is the Self even now, but is unaware because of ignorance. Once this ignorance is removed with the help of Knowledge of the Self, all doubts vanish & he realizes the ultimate truth that “There is only the Self here and nothing but the Self”. Vichara is the method that Maharshi advices for removal of ignorance. Ignorance is automatically removed when one gains Knowledge (Atma Vidya). Thus when one enquires as to who the doubter is, he will find out that the doubter is the Ego in the form of Mind & will find out that “I” is beyond all this. Thus he will realize his own real Nature. The time for Self-realization depends on the nature of an individual.
The more one has ignorance, the more time it takes to remove it & realize the Self.
For this, Abhyaasa or Practice is required. Practice leads one slowly to the ultimate truth of the Self. Guru’s or GOD’s grace is inevitable for spiritual progress.
What is grace?
We see situations where a well-qualified person & a less-qualified person attend an interview. But it so happens that a less-qualified person gains the job. This is called Grace. For a seeker (person progressing in spiritual path), Grace is very very important. One may find oneself in great trouble or problem, but this grace protects and helps him out. Grace can be got by Surrendering completely to a Guru or GOD. Surrender must also be accompanied by compassion for the poor, the needy. When a person helps a poor, GOD’s grace automatically flows towards him. This can be experienced at the same moment by the peace of mind that one gains at that time.
Let the Almighty help us all to get the Grace of GOD and Guru.
Words of Ramana Maharshi -- #50
A Higher Power is leading you. Be led by the same. The Higher Power knows what to do and how to do it. Trust it.
-- Ramana Maharshi
Explanation: Seekers or people on the path to Self-Realization can be broadly classified into two – path of Knowledge and path of Devotion. Here Maharshi is referring to GOD and the Self both as the Higher Power. When one surrenders to a Higher Power, the power takes you into its Control. Hence one need not worry about anything. Just surrendering will do. GOD or Brahman is perfect and complete. It is omnipresent and omniscient. There is nothing that it does not know. Hence it knows how to guide one to it. Surrendering helps in the destruction of the Ego & thereby one realizes the Self. The Ego is the reflection of the Self & hence not real. When the Ego rises, the mind rises and the world that we see comes into picture. Once the source of the Ego is sought & Ego is destroyed, on remains as the pure eternal Self. Surrendering is the easiest and simplest way of doing it. This is the path of Devotion as told in the Vedas. GOD is not different from the Self. It is the Self that manifests itself as GOD and the Guru. At the moment, normal people are under ignorance and hence suffer a lot. Thus surrendering to the higher power will make the power take care of them. For people who cannot intellectually make the conviction that “I am the Self” and see the Self in one and all – this is the easiest way. Supreme Devotion or surrendering completely to GOD helps one to destroy the Ego & what remains is only GOD. The devotee becomes one with GOD at the final stage of Devotion. Hence what remains is GOD. GOD here is Brahman or the Supreme Being which is not different from the Self.
Hence in reality the path of Devotion (Supreme Devotion) and path of Knowledge are not different – both lead to Oneness – the Supreme Being Brahman. Let the Almighty help us all to surrender to the Higher Power.
Words of Ramana Maharshi -- #51
It is the attachments (raga, dwesha) which are injurious. The action is not bad in itself. There is no harm in eating three or four times. But only do not say “I want this kind of food and not that kind” and so on.
-- Ramana Maharshi
Explanation: Raaga is liking something and Dwesha is disliking something. Likes and dislikes disturbs the mind & destroys the natural inherent peace of the mind that comes from the Self. Likes and dislikes leads to Kaama and Krodha (desire and anger) – desire to get what one likes & angry when one gets disliked thing. One should be indifferent to all the things in the world. When this raaga and dwesha are overcome, the mind becomes silent & stable. It becomes peaceful. As all scriptures and Mahatmas say “Mind alone is the reason for bondage and liberation.” The Self is ever-liberated. It is the mind that causes all sorrow and joy and makes one shift from one thing to another. When the mind is made indifferent to all things, it turns inward and peace ensures. In such a calm or pure mind, the Self shines & one realizes one’s own true nature and enjoys eternal Bliss. As Maharshi, action is not bad in itself. It is the doer’s attitude that makes action – bad action.Fighting a war is not bad action. But the thought of killing one’s own kith and kin that Arjuna had caused the action to seem bad. The same Arjuna once told the Supreme Truth by Sri Krishna performed the same action that he considered bad!!!
Action becomes bad when one brings in likes and dislikes to it – saying “I want this and I don’t want this”.
Bahavo Jnaana Tapasa Pootha MadBhaavam Aagataah” Removing the qualities of likes and dislikes, and taking refugee in ME (the eternal Self), many people with the help of Tapas in the form of Self-Knowledge have attained Me (Self). These likes and dislikes lead one to Anger and desire. Krishna says that Anger leads to delusion. Delusion destroys Smriti or Thinking capacity. This in turn destroys Buddhi. Destruction of Buddhi leads to total Destruction (this means it leads to total sorrow where one keeps on crying about different things). This likes and dislikes occur because one sees multitude or duality everywhere.
For a Bhaktha or Jnani, there is only GOD or the Self everywhere – hence whom to like and whom to dislike? Thus this like and dislike can be overcome by making our life a Brahma Yajna. What is Brahma Yajna?
Brahmaiva tena ganthavyam Brahma Karma Samaadhina”
This is the sloka from Gita chapter 4, which Brahmins and Sanyaasis chant before partaking food.
Brahman is the Oblation, Brahman is the items offered in the Yajna like ghee and all. Brahman is the fire of knowledge. This Yajna is done by Brahman himself & Brahman is to be attained by this Yajna. This Yajna is done with the thought that “All is Brahman alone”