ecstasy and calm

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Q: So one should not try to perpetuate blissful or ecstatic states?

Ramana: The final obstacle in meditation is ecstasy; you feel great bliss and happiness and want to stay in that ecstasy. Do not yield to it but pass on to the next stage which is great calm. The calm is higher than ecstasy and it merges into samadhi. Successful samadhi causes a waking sleep state to supervene. In that state you know that you are always consciousness, for consciousness is your nature. Actually, one is always in samadhi but one does not know it. To know it all one has to do is to remove the obstacles. Continue reading

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the universe is real

Something to contemplate:

Ramana Maharshi:

“Shankara was criticized for his views on maya (illusion) without being understood. He said that

(1) Brahman (creative principle which lies realized in the whole world) is real,

(2) the universe is unreal, and

(3) The universe is Brahman.

He did not stop at the second, because the third explains the other two. It signifies that the universe is real if perceived as the Self, and unreal if perceived apart from the Self. Hence maya and reality are one and the same.”

Source: David Godman, “Be As You Are, The Teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi” p. 180

My Comments:
Recognize the Self when in the world. Everything shines equally. Nothing can be less than anything else. As long as anything is treated with disdain or any lack of respect, then one is perceiving ‘apart from the Self.’ Continue reading

special states

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Am I in a “special state” after a particularly remarkable shift in perspective?

The question as to as “special state” is an interesting one – this shift that I am in shows me more clearly what all the sages mean, especially Ramana and the Zen masters when they say that there is no enlightenment and no liberation when one realizes that everything already is the Big Mind, or the Self, and only our little mind taking a limited perspective creates a world of separation from Self, Buddha Mind, or God, which are all the same thing.

To say “only the little mind” is, of course, an understatement, since it sounds like the “little mind” should not be a big hindrance to just remaining as “what is”, which is the one vast and mysterious Universal Being showing up as many. Continue reading

Encounter with Ramana

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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 all ages, 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

Ramana Maharshi Self Inquiry Meditation

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Question: You say one can realize the Self by a search for it. What is the character of this search?
Ramana Maharshi: You are the mind or think that you are the mind. The mind is nothing but thoughts. Now behind every particular thought there is a general thought, which is the ‘I’, that is yourself. Let us call this ‘I’ the first thought. Stick to this ‘I’ -thought and question it to find out what it is. When this question takes strong hold on you, you cannot think of other thoughts.

Question : When I do this and cling to my self, that is, the `I’-thought, other thoughts come and go, but I say to myself `Who am I ?’ and there is no answer forthcoming. To be in this condition is the practice. Is it so?
Ramana Maharshi :  This is a mistake that people often make. What happens when you make a serious quest for the Self is that the `I’-thought disappears and something else from the depths takes hold of you and that is not the `I’ which commenced the quest.

Question : What is this something else?
Ramana Maharshi :  That is the real Self, the import of `I’. It is not the ego. It is the Supreme Being itself. Continue reading

Sukhasana, the Asana of Happiness – Ramana

Happiness

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.
Continue reading

Sukhasana, the Asana of Happiness – Ramana

Happiness

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.
Continue reading

The Undercurrent That Vivifies the Mind

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_maharshi_monkey_devoteeRamana: 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

Introduction to Ramana Maharshi

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