The following is an excerpt from a wonderful book called “Face to Face with Sri Ramana Maharshi” by David Godman. Many who came to Ramana’s Ashram in Tiruvannamali, in the south of India for a short visit or for longer wrote later of their impressions and experiences.
Sanjiva Rao, B.A., who belonged to the pre-Independence Indian Educational Service was one of these. These are his inspiring reminiscences of his encounter with Ramana:
Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi is a strange figure – one of the strangest and yet one of the most fascinating and striking personalities of all times. As a matter of fact he belongs not to any age, but to allages, not to time but to eternity.
The Maharshi has renounced as valueless all that the modern world values most. He has no use for money; he is no respecter of rank and position. His detachment is as complete as it is perfect. Nothing seems to possess the power to disturb his super-poise, his marvelous tranquility and peace. Continue reading →
Answer: The radiance of consciousness-bliss, in the form of one awareness shining equally within and without, is the supreme and blissful primal reality. Its form is silence and it is declared by jnanis (Self-realized ones) to be the final and unobstructable state of true knowledge [jnana]. Continue reading →
The following nine answers to questions posed to Ramana, an excerpt from what is known as “Nan Yar” (Who am I?) speak to me especially these days.
Please see the very useful introduction by T. M. P. MAHADEVAN , University of Chennai, India, following this excerpt.
16. What is the nature of the Self?
What exists in truth is the Self alone. The world, the individual soul, and God are appearances in it. like silver in mother-of-pearl, these three appear at the same time, and disappear at the same time. The Self is that where there is absolutely no “I” thought. That is called “Silence”. The Self itself is the world; the Self itself is “I”; the Self itself is God; all is Siva, the Self. Continue reading →
Visitor: How can my mind be still if I have to use it more than other people? I want to go into solitude and renounce my headmaster’s work. Ramana: No. You may remain where you are and go on with the work. What is the undercurrent which vivifies the mind, enables it to do all this work? It is the Self. So that is the real source of your activity. Simply be aware of it during your work and do not forget it. Contemplate in the background of your mind even whilst working. To do that, do not hurry, take your own time. Keep the remembrance of your real nature alive, even while working, and avoid haste which causes you to forget. Be deliberate. Practice meditation to still the mind and cause it to become aware of its true relationship to the Self which supports it. Do not imagine it is you who are doing the work. Think that it is the underlying current which is doing it. Identify yourself with the current. If you work unhurriedly, recollectedly, your work or service need not be a hindrance.
This is an excerpt from David Godman’s book, “Ramana Maharshi – Be As You Are”, p. 130
This short dialog between Ramana Maharshi and a questioner gives some insight into the state that according to Ramana is most suitable to allow realization of the Self, that underlying quality of Consciousness that is like the screen in the movie theater. We are usually focused on the shapes moving on the screen. When that focus shifts to the screen itself we realize the Self which is undying and unborn. As this realization of the Self deepens and begins to be effortless we realize that which connects us to every other being in existence. Then understanding and compassion take the place of struggle and fear.
Questioner: There are times when persons and things take a vague, almost a transparent form, as in a dream. One ceases to observe them as outside, but is passively conscious of their existence, while not actively conscious of any kind of selfhood. There is a deep quietness in the mind. Is it at such times that one is ready to dive into the Self? Or is this condition unhealthy, the result of self-hypnotism? Should it be encouraged as yielding temporary peace?
Ramana: There is Consciousness along with quietness in the mind; this is exactly the state to be aimed at. The fact that the question has been framed on this point, without realizing that it is the Self, shows that the state is not steady but casual.
The word ‘diving’ is appropriate when there are outgoing tendencies, and when, therefore, the mind has to be directed and turned within, there is a dip below the surface of externalities. But when quietness prevails without obstructing the Consciousness, where is the need to dive? If that state has not been realised as the Self, the effort to do so may be called ‘diving’. In this sense the state may be said to be suitable for realization or diving. Thus, the last two questions you have put do not arise.
The following statements by these gentlemen on the topics of reincarnation, karma and presence reflect my own views. Many years ago as a young man I had a vision of great magnitude in which I was standing on a wide path, a road, which came spiraling up from below. It was like an endless funnel and this road, this path, was spiraling around and up the inside of this funnel-like landscape. I recognized it as the path of time and of myriad past human generations. As I gazed mesmerized by the sheer magnitude of this scenario, someone on the opposite side of this ‘inverted mountain’ waved to me. In that moment I waved in return and recognized that the one ‘over there’ was me in another life. Continue reading →
Excerpt from the introduction to “Ramana Maharshi – Be As You Are” – by David Godman
“In 1896 a sixteen-year-old schoolboy walked out on his family and, driven by an inner compulsion, slowly made his way to Arunachala, a holy mountain and pilgrimage centre in South India. On his arrival he threw away all his money and possessions and abandoned himself to a newly-discovered awareness that his real nature was formless, immanent consciousness. His absorption in this awareness was so intense that he was completely oblivious of his body and the world; insects chewed away portions of his legs, his body wasted away because he was rarely conscious enough to eat and his hair and fingernails grew to unmanageable lengths. Continue reading →
BHAKTI (devotion) AND JNANA(knowledge of the real Self)
D: Sri Bhagavata outlines a way to find Krishna in the heart by prostrating to all and looking on all as the Lord Himself. Is this the right path leading to Self-realization? Is it not easier thus to adore Bhagavan in whatever meets the ‘mind’, than to seek the supramental through the mental enquiry, “Who am I?”