“Leave off the false notion and perceive intuitively the Real.”
In this short exchange between Ramana Maharshi and a visitor what strikes me is Ramana’s encouragement to “perceive intuitively the Real.” This makes it clear that the Real is not to be found within the realm of thought. He asks us to “leave off the false notion” – what is the false notion? It does turn our whole world upside down to even consider that what we believe to be reality is actually nothing more than a ‘false notion’. Elsewhere (in the Forty Verses on Reality) he says succinctly: “We timeless spaceless Being alone are”. Thus, all of our notions of time, of space, of multiplicity, of I and you and he and she, of we and they are false notions.
What does our world look like if we simply ‘leave off the false notion’? What are we left with as a means of understanding existence and life itself? What is our intuitive sense with which we can perceive the Real? We often speak of intuition but rarely do we give it the supreme importance it actually has. It is only with our intuition that we can connect with our true self and leave the world of concepts, notions, words etc. that are the foundation for our problems and suffering. All of our speech is so very explicit and shiny compared with the subtle and implicit perception of our intuition. Of course it takes a certain kind of attention that our culture more and more denies and belittles. Only when we realize that this other kind of attention is actually more important than all else in our life are we perhaps ready to devote our time and energy to developing it.
from talks with Ramana Maharshi:
Q: Can this physical body be made to disappear into nothingness?
RAMANA: Why this question? Can you not find out if you are the body?
Q: Can we have disappearance from sight (antardhana) like the yogis Vasishta or Viswamitra?
RAMANA: These are only physical matters. Is that the essential object of our interest? Are you not the Self? Why trouble about other matters? Take the essence; reject other learned theories as useless.
They who think that physical disappearance counts in freedom are mistaken. No such thing is needed. You are not the body; what does it matter if it disappears in one way or another? There is no great merit in such phenomena.
In what does superiority or inferiority consist? Achievement of the Real alone matters. The loss of the ‘I’ is the main fact, and not the loss of the body. Identity of the Self with the body is the real bondage. Leave off the false notion and perceive intuitively the Real. That alone matters.
If you melt a gold ornament before testing it to be gold, what matters it how it is melted, whole or in parts, or of what shape the ornament was? All that you are interested in is if it is gold.
The dead man sees not his body. It is the survivor that thinks about the manner in which the body is parted from. The realised have no death with or without the body, the realised man is equally aware and sees no difference. To him the one state is not superior to the other. To an outsider also the fortunes of a liberated one’s body need not be of any concern; mind your business. Realise the Self; after realisation there will be time to think of what form of death is preferable to you.
It is the false identity of the Self with the body that causes the idea of preference, etc. Are you the body? Were you aware of it when you were fast asleep last night? No! What is it that exists now and troubles you? It is ‘I’. Get rid of it and be happy.