Words of Ramana Maharshi #1 If you make your outlook that of wisdom, you will find the world to be God


Thus Guru means “Tamaso ma Jyotir Gamaya”  -- one who helps in moving from ignorance to Light of Wisdom



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Thus Guru means “Tamaso ma Jyotir Gamaya”  -- one who helps in moving from ignorance to Light of Wisdom.
But Maharshi is bringing out a deep and subtle truth about a Guru.
A Guru is one who leads a person to Self-Realization. It is very much obvious from this that a Guru cannot give Self-Realization to the disciple because it is the disciple who has to realize it.
A Horse can be lead to a pond, but it cannot be made to drink water”
Sri Krishna says in Gita

Uddharet atman aatmaanam Na aatmanam Avasaadhayet.

Atmaiva hi atmano bandhuh Atmaiva ripuh atmanah”

The Self has to help the Self & the Self should not degrade the Self

Because the Self is the friend of the Self and the Self is the enemy of the Self”
Hence a Guru will lead one to the final step – but the final step the disciple himself has to take.
A Guru helps the disciple in vanquishing or removing all his karmas and their effects.

Thus the mind of the disciple becomes pure. In a pure mind, the Self shines easily.
For a disciple who has acquired total purity of mind, when the Guru instructs him the Supreme Truth of “TAT TVAM ASI” – “That Thou Art” – the disciple realizes the Self at that moment itself.
But for seekers who have not got full purity of mind, have to contemplate on this teaching and then realize the Self.
Lastly As Maharshi too tells, It is the Self that manifests itself as the Guru by the earnest desire and progress of the disciple.
The Great Dakshinamurthy prayer hymn tells

Ishvaro Gururaatmethi Murthy Bheda Vibhaagine


Vyomavad Vyaapta Dehaaya Dakshinamurthaye Namaha”
Self, Guru and GOD – it is one and the same thing with three different forms. To that Dakshinamurthy (who is the first Guru of all Gurus) who represents the three aforementioned forms and who has a body all-pervading like space – I offer my salutations
As a person cannot learn a thing without somebody guiding him, so is the importance of a Guru.
Vedas tell two qualities of a Guru

1. Srotrajna – Well versed in scriptures (not in the text, but the import of the Vedas which is nothing but about Brahman or Self).

2. Brahma Nishta – Always residing in the Self.
Let the Almighty guide us all to such a Guru and SadGurus capable of giving a glimpse of the Self to the disciple.


Words of Ramana Maharshi -- #60
The Self is pure and unaffected. The impurities affect only the ego.

                                                                                                                        -- Ramana Maharshi

Explanation:
Vedanta or the Upanishads proclaim that the Self is ever-pure and the witness to everything.
A person undergoes lot of changes in his body, mind, intellect, his attitude, his relationships – but He, the “I” or Consciousness in him remains the same.
He can never say that “I” the consciousness has changed.

The “I” consciousness is the Self. It is the sole witness of all the three different states of Wake, Dream and deep sleep. Even though there are lot of changes in these three states – the “I” or the person who experiences these states is the same.

Thus the Self or the “I” always remains the same. It is never affected by any impurities or other things.
AS the Sun is not affected by the barking of a dog or a person killing another person in sun-light or a person doing good deeds, So the Self remains unaffected by anything.
What gets affected here is the Ego.

Does the Ego really exist???

Vedanta says that the Ego does not exist – this is the ultimate reality.
But from a normal perspective, the Ego and the world have an apparent existence. They seem to exist apart from the Self. But when the ultimate reality dawns, one understands or realizes that nothing but the Self exists.
Even though, a person sees water in desert – the ultimate reality is that there is no water at all, only desert exists. But the apparent reality is that he sees water & thinks it to be different from desert. This is what is called Maya or Illusion.
The great thing here is that the Self is always unaffected by Maya. But the reflection of the Self in the intellect – called Ego or Jiva – is affected by attachments, likings, dislikings, anger, lust and all other things.
Thus, the reflection of the Self (just an illusion) is affected by impurities like the reflection of the Sun in different buckets of water (pure and impure) seems to get affected by the impurities in the water. The impurities in the mind makes it seem as if the Self is affected by it – but in reality only the Ego is affected by it.
Let us say a person gets angry with another person. This anger in fact affects his Ego or his mis-identification with the body, mind or the intellect. But even when he is angry or not angry, the Consciousness or “I” remains the same.

Even if a person is in America or in India – the “I” remains the same. A person can never say that “I don’t exist” – This “I” consciousness and existence always remains during different states of mind, during different attitudes and thoughts of the mind. This is beyond time and space and remains unaffected by time and space.

When a person realizes that the Self is unaffected by anything, he remains calm and nothing affects him. He sees sorrow and joy as the same. He experiences the real true bliss of the Self.
Once the ultimate reality dawns through making the intellectual conviction that there is no two things here & by seeing oneness everywhere, a person realizes that the Self only exists, one without a second.
Let the Almighty guide us all to realize and always remember that the Self is pure and unaffected.

Words of Ramana Maharshi -- #61
Question : I am in search of a ‘force’ to help me.

Maharshi : Yes, that is called Grace. Individually we are incapable because the mind is weak. Grace is necessary. ‘Sadhu seva’ is meant only for it.

                                                                                                                        -- Ramana Maharshi

Explanation:
Here Maharshi explains beautifully the concept of Grace which has so much importance in day-to-day life as well as in spiritual life.
The Self is explained in Upanishads as “Yatho Vaacho Nivartante, Apraapya Manasa sah” – That which cannot be reached by words and unattainable by the mind.
To realize the Self through the mind (which cannot realize the Self) is the bottom line of Self-Realization. This requires tremendous energy as well as upliftment of the mind and intellect to a higher plane or level.
Thus one needs the Grace and blessings of GOD (which is not different from the Self) to realize that which cannot be realized by the mind and intellect.
This is what is being explained in the very famous Gayatri Mantra.

A short insight into Gayatri Mantra.


OM BHUR BHUVA SUVAH

TAT SAVITUR VARENYAM

BHARGO DEVASYA DHEEMAHI

DHEEYO YO NAH PRACHODAYAAT”
Om is GOD. Om pervades all the trinity of Bhoo loka, bhuva loka (land of manes or forefathers) and Swarga Loka. O Sun Lord! You who are the creator of this universe, I contemplate on your divine and effulgent rays. Let the rays uplift my intellect so that I am able to realize the Self (that which gives light to the intellect)”.
Thus the starting prayer in spirituality is that one should get the upliftment of the intellect to get the subtle knowledge about the Self – the subtlest of the subtle.
Thus Grace is very much necessary in a spiritual life.
Even in normal life, we see that rank holders don’t get job whereas persons who are not very intelligent get job very easily. This is called Grace. What our efforts can’t bring about, grace can bring about.
Maharshi also explains how this Grace can be gained.
Grace can be attained by “Sadhu Seva” – serving the Saintly people or Mahatmas. Adi sankaracharya says in his work Vivekachoodamani that three things are very tough in human life – “Man hood, Burning desire for liberation and the will to surrender to a man of wisdom”. Thus when one surrenders to a saint whose very life is the embodiment of peace and compassion, Grace automatically flows unto the person. These saintly people are great devotees of GOD. And As Sri Krishna says that “It is enough to please my devotee and I become pleased by it”. Sri Rama did not give his darshan to Tulsidas until Tulsidas wrote the Hanuman Chalisa praising Hanuman.

Let us all try to serve the saintly Mahatmas who are found plenty in our sacred Bharat (India – Land of Mahatmas) and thus be ready to get the Grace of the Almighty that will in turn help us to realize the real true nature of the Self (that we already are).

Let the Almighty guide us all to Sadhus and Mahatmas and hence help us to serve them to attain Grace of the Almighty.

Words of Ramana Maharshi -- #62
People ask : “How did ignorance  (avidya) arise at all?”

We have to answer them: “Ignorance never arose. It has no real being. That which is, is only ‘vidya’ (knowledge).”

                                                                                                                        -- Ramana Maharshi

Explanation:
Maharshi is answering one the question that a normal seeker & all the people in the world ask.
A Seeker who has just started his spiritual progress starts by asking “What is this world? How was it created? Why was it created? What is the ignorance that Advaitins speak about & how did this ignorance come?”
Maharshi answers these questions in the simplest and shortest way possible.
Trying to find out where darkness has come is really futile. Because one knows that there is no darkness at all, absence of light seems to create darkness. Just bring in light, darkness vanishes (even though it has no existence).
When the light of knowledge is absent, darkness of ignorance seems to exist (even as water seems to exist in desert). But once the light of knowledge dawns, ignorance becomes just an illusion.
And knowledge is the essence of the Self – that we truly are. We are conscious of a thing because of the Consciousness or Knowledge. There is nothing like ignorance for this Supreme Self-Knowledge.
Sri Krishna says in Gita

Na asatho vidhyato bhaavo, Na abhaavo vidhyate satah”


The unreal never has any being & the real never has non-being”
Yad astheetha Tad Eva asthi” – “Whatever is will always exist” – the only thing existing is the pure Consciousness, Self or Atman.
Even when one sees darkness, there is the underlying knowledge that tells him that “darkness is there” – so this Knowledge or Consciousness never ceases to exist. It is one with Existence & is of the nature of BLISS – SAT CHIT ANANDA (Existence Consciousness Bliss Absolute).
Trying to find out about the unreal things – everything except the SELF is unreal – is very futile
Sri Krishna says in Gita Chapter 15

The world can never known, in its whole, from here. Only when a person reaches beyond this world, he understands or realizes that there was no world at all”
Whatever existed or exists or will exist is the SELF – pure Consciousness. Without this there is no life & nothing at all.
Hence Adi Sankaracharya instructed in all his works to seek the Real thing, the SELF in you – rather than trying to find out the reality of the unreal or illusory world.
As one can never find out about the water in a mirage in the desert – similarly one can never understand the world. But when the SELF is realized, everything else becomes known.

Sri Krishna says in Gita numerous times

Yad Gatva Na Nivartante” – “Realizing or Attaining which one never returns”.

Yat Jnaatva na anyat Jnaatavyam Avashishyate” – Knowing which, there remains nothing else to be known.
Adi Sankaracharya says in his work Viveka Choodamani

Avijnaate Pare Tatve Sastraadheetisthu Nishphaalah


Vijnaatepi Pare Tatve Sastraadheetisthu Nishphaalah”
Without the knowing the Supreme Truth that “I am the SELF” – the scriptures are of no use.

After knowing the Supreme Truth also, the scriptures are of no use”
Once one knows the Supreme Truth – he realizes that there is only one SELF, one without a second – hence what else is there for him to be known (including the scriptures as these have no existence – only SELF exists).
Thus one should try to turn inward and find out “WHO I AM?” and enquire into this – rather than enquiring into the SELF.
Let the Almighty guide us all to QUESTION about the REAL THING rather than knowing the UNREAL thing.


Words of Ramana Maharshi -- #63
Question : Prakruti (nature) is too powerful.

Maharshi : See the “Purusha” (lord) also. What can prakruti do then?

                                                                                                                        -- Ramana Maharshi

Explanation:
There are six philosophies called Darshanas that explain everything in this world from the SELF to the Supreme Being to the world. These six philosophies are based on the theory mainly that Supreme Being called GOD exists & hence these are called Asthika philosophies.
These six philosophies are

1. Nyaya and Vaiseshika (2 philosophies)

2. Sankhya and Yoga (2 philosophies)

3. Purva Mimamsa (or just mimamsa) and Uttara Mimamsa (called Vedanta)

Two-two philosophies are grouped together because of the equality in their theories.

Sankhya Theory speaks about Purusha and Prakruti. This theory is accepted by Vedanta which is based on the Upanishads (knowledge portion of the Vedas).
The Vedanta philosophy is the best and final of all philosophies as it speaks about the Supreme Self-knowledge knowing which ignorance is removed & ONENESS is realized.
The Supreme Being called Brahman is also called Purusha (Supreme Lord). In normal terms, Purusha is GOD (omni-present, omni-scient and eternal being). This Purusha has a power in himself called Prakruti or Maya. This Prakruti is called Nature.
Purnam Anena Iti Purushah, Puri Shayanaat va Purushah” – This is how Adi Sankaracharya describes Purusha in his commentary of Bhagavad Gita.

That which exists in full in everything is called Purushah. Also that which lies or resides in the village or town of this body is called Purushah”.
Purusha is full in himself & has no desire or ambition. So how does the world come out of him???

The answer to this question is – the world is created by Prakruti, the power inherent in Purusha. This power is also called Maya (Ya Ma Sa Maya – that which does not exist is called Maya).
This Maya creates all things out of no cause & finally these things go to no cause (during Pralaya or destruction).
Sri Krishna says in Gita

Ajo api san avyayaatma Bhootanaam ishwaropi san.

Prakrutim svaam avastabhya sambhavaami Atma Mayaaya”

Even though I am eternal and unborn and the lord of all beings, I take birth due to Maya in Atman with the help of my own Prakruti.”
So Prakruti has no existence of itself – and it depends on Purusha for its existence.

Vedanta says that Purusha and Prakruti are inseparable & there exists only Purusha & due to illusion prakruti seems to exist.

If Purusha is considered as Sun, then its rays are Prakruti.

If Purusha is considered as fire, then its power of burning is Prakruti.
So it is easy to understand that these are not two entities but just one entity. Out of illusive power, the prakruti seems to exist & again merges back into Purusha.
Thus when a person tells Maharshi that Prakruti or Nature is powerful (in that it creates natural calamities which no one can stop), Maharshi tells there is the Lord or Purusha whose power Prakruti is. Without Purusha, prakruti has no existence. Without sun, there can be no rays at all.
Thus everything that we see – Prakruti – is nothing but only Purusha (illusory power of Purusha).

Thus when one gets control of the Purusha or the SELF, Prakruti or Nature helps him.
This can be seen from the lifes of all self-realized saints. Nature helps them wherever they are and whatever they are doing.
Let the Almighty guide us all to realize the Purusha in us.
Words of Ramana Maharshi -- #64
Maharshi : There is a Guru for everyone. I admit a Guru for me also.

Question : Who is your Guru?

Maharshi : The Self.

                                                                                                                        -- Ramana Maharshi

Explanation:
Guru – This is a very important word and person without whom Self-Realization is impossible.
In Guru Gita, Siva explains to Parvathi about a Guru

Tamaso Ma Jyotir Gamaya” – This is what a Guru does – he removes the ignorance in the disciple with the help of light in the form of Self-Knowledge.

Guru Gita says

Na Guror Adhikam Bhaavam Na Guror Adhikam Tapah.

Tattvat jnaanaat param naasthi Tasmai Sri Guruve Namaha

There is no bigger thought or Bhaava than Guru. There is no Tapas greater than Guru. There is no greater Knowledge than the knowledge of “TAT TVAM ASI – THAT THOU ART”.

I offer my prostrations to that Guru who gives this Self-Knowledge.
Vedas tell that “Acharyavaan Purusho Veda” – A person having Guru only knows the Self.
As a person unaware about how to reach a particular place asks a fellow-person (who knows how to reach the place) “how do u go to this place” and the fellow-person shows him the way, similar for a seeker Guru guides him to the SELF.
Adi Sankaracharya had a Guru in Govindapada Acharya.

Ramakrishna Paramahamsa had a Guru in Totapuri Maharaj.
Guru’s grace can do what a seeker is doing as tapas for 12 years.
One may then have the doubt here that there was no Guru for Maharshi???

A Guru is a person who knows the SELF – hence Guru is none other than the Self. Hence the Guru for Maharshi is the SELF (no physical form-Guru).
Maharshi also says elsewhere that he had no Guru because of his samskaraas and his previous birth karmas.

Also Maharshi was a ever-liberated person – and for such persons they are themselves GOD in an avatar or incarnation. Hence they don’t need Guru in physical form for Self-Realization as they are already realized.
Lastly the sloka of Dakshinamurthy says

Ishwaro Gururaatmethi Murthy Bheda vibhaagine”

It is one SELF taking the three different forms of GOD, Guru and SELF.
Due to the earnest desire of a seeker, the SELF manifests itself in the form of GURU and hence makes him realize his own true nature of SELF.
Let the Almighty guide us all to realize the Purusha in us through a Guru.

Words of Ramana Maharshi -- #65
The Heart is the Self. It is not within or without. The mind is its ‘shakti’. After the emergence of the mind, the universe appears and the body is seen to be contained in it.

                                                                                                                        -- Ramana Maharshi

Explanation:
The Self is positioned in the Heart – proclaim the Vedas and Self-Realized souls.
This Heart is not the biological heart but the spiritual Heart situated on the right side near the chest.
The Self or Atman is one which is subtler than the subtlest and grosser than the grossest – “Anoor aneeyaan Mahato Mahiyaan”.
It is all-pervading because it is the only thing existing – One without a second. This Atman is called in Vedas as Brahman. Brahman is full and complete in itself.
The Shakti of the Self or Atman is the “Mind”.
When a person sleeps (deep sleep) – there is no mind & hence only the Self is there. Since only Self is there, there is only infinite Bliss. But there is ignorance veil there & hence he is not aware of the Bliss at that time. But when he wakes up he says “I slept happily”.

When he wakes up or enters the waking state or dream state – the mind is present which creates the waking world or the dream world.
In dream, there is only the “I”. But the mind creates different things, but in reality only the “I” exists. This “I” exists in different forms and names during dream. But once a person wakes up from the dream, he realizes that only the “I” or Self existed at that time.
Similary this waking state is a long dream where there is only “I” but the mind creates the universe and the body. Hence a person attached to the body finds himself in the world, whereas a self-realized soul finds the world in him.


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