ēkātma vastu

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Ramana – Verse 5 of Ēkātma Pañcakam:

“That which always exists is only that ēkātma vastu [the one reality or substance, which is our own true self]. Since the ādi-guru at that time made that vastu to be known [only by] speaking without speaking, say, who can make it known [by] speaking?”

The word ēka means ‘one’, ātma means ‘self’, and vastu is the Sanskrit equivalent of the Tamil word poru, which means the absolute reality, substance or essence. Therefore the ēkātma vastu, which Sri Ramana declares to be eppōdum uḷḷadu, ‘that which always is’, is the one absolute reality or essential substance, which is our own true self.

In the kaliveversion of Ēkātma Pañcakam Sri Ramana added two more words to qualify uḷḷadu, which means ‘that which is’, namely taadu oiyāl, which mean ‘by its own light’. Thus he declared not only that the ēkātma vastu is the only thing that always exists, but also that it is ‘that which always exists by its own light’, that is, by its own light of non-dual self-consciousness, ‘I am’.

The compound word ādi-guru means the ‘original guru’, and is a term that denotes Sri Dakshinamurti, a form of God that symbolizes the revelation of the absolute reality through silence, which is the ‘supreme word’ or parā-vāk, and which Sri Ramana describes poetically as ‘speaking without speaking’, that is, communicating the truth without thought or spoken words. Since the ēkātma vastu is our own thought-free and therefore absolutely silent self-conscious being, it can only reveal itself by shining within us silently and clearly as ‘I am I’, without the obstruction of any thoughts or words.

Since this silent, thought-free, peaceful and absolutely clear experience of pure non-dual self-conscious being, I am, is the true and natural state of our real self, which is the one absolute reality or essential substance that we call ‘God’, Sri Ramana says that the original and most beautifully appropriate name of God is only ‘I’, ‘am’, ‘I am’ or ‘I am I’.

Though ‘I’ and ‘am’ are two separate words, they both denote our single, non-dual and absolutely indivisible sense of self – our essential consciousness of our own being, our fundamental knowledge of our own existence. Each of these two words is therefore implied in the other.

Source: Michael James, Happiness and the Art of Being, PDF p. 268

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