Sukhasana, the Asana of Happiness – Ramana


Ramana Marahshi on asanas:

Questioner: But hatha yoga is so much spoken of as an aid.

Ramana’s Answer: Yes. Even great pandits well versed in the vedanta continue the practice of it. Otherwise their minds will not subside. So you may say it is useful for those who cannot otherwise still the mind.

Q: What are asanas [postures or seats]? Are they necessary?

A: Many asanas with their effects are mentioned in the yoga sastras. The seats are the tiger- skin, grass, etc. The postures are the ‘lotus posture’, the ‘easy posture’ and so on. Why all these only to know oneself? The truth is that from the Self the ego rises up, confuses itself with the body, mistakes the world to be real, and then, covered with egotistic conceit, it thinks wildly and looks for asanas [seats]. Such a person does not understand that he himself is the centre of all and thus forms the basis for all.

The asana [seat] is meant to make him sit firm. Where and how can he remain firm except in his own real state? This is the real asana.

Attaining the steadiness of not swerving from the knowledge that the base [asana] upon which the whole universe rests is only Self, which is the space of true knowledge, the illustrious ground, alone is the firm and motionless posture [asana] for excellent samadhi.

Q: In what asana is Bhagavan usually seated?

A: In what asana? In the asana of the Heart. Wherever it is pleasant, there is my asana. That is called sukhasana, the asana of happiness. That asana of the Heart is peaceful, and gives happiness. (The name comes from the Sanskrit words Sukha meaning “pleasure”, and Asana (आसन, Āsana) meaning “posture” or “seat” and also “foundation”.)

There is no need for any other asana for those who are seated in that one.

(excerpt from “Be As You Are – The Teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi” by David Godman


7 thoughts on “Sukhasana, the Asana of Happiness – Ramana

  1. All true, but displays a misperception common to non-practitioners of the integrated petals of yoga (as Sri Maharshi was)…

    Hatha is given as one petal of the flower of yoga. Yoga is union and integration, not only of the petals (various ‘components’ of yoga, such as breath regulation, meditation, asana, etc.), but of all facets of life.

    Regardless of whether one is enlightened as to their true nature and dwells in that (as Maharshi undoubtedly did), we still live here in the one place we possibly can (Now) in a temple/temporary envelope of body/mind/spirit.

    Asana help move energy through the body and integrate it with mind and spirit. It preserves health so one can live more fully in this moment and polishes one as an instrument of the Divine.

    Rare is the person who achieves growth of any kind in an unhealthy body and resultant unstable/unclear mind. Asana helps the regular person more cleatly perceive and manifest the Divine.

    …or such has been my experience, along with that of countless sages throughout the millenia… : )

    • Dear Onesadhaka,
      I apologize for my reply only now, several days later, as I have been on the road traveling. I enjoyed reading your response and I definitely agree with you – I myself am a yoga practitioner and just do not feel quite right if I don’t go into that space of deep mindful body movements and postures daily.

      I do also agree with Ramana that even the best asana will be of no use if it is not performed with great joy and pleasure. Perhaps we agree in this spirit!

      Hari Om!

  2. Pingback: God, Guru and Grace: Shri Ramana Maharshi | The Epiphanator

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