Alan Jacobs reads Talk 146 - Talks With Sri Ramana Maharshi
Alan Jacobs reads Talk 146 - Talks With Sri Ramana Maharshi
If there be a goal to be reached it cannot be permanent. The goal must already be there. We seek to reach the goal with the ego, but the goal exists before the ego. What is in the goal is even prior to our birth, i.e., to the birth of the ego. Because we exist the ego appears to exist too. If we look on the Self as the ego then we become the ego, if as the mind we become the mind, if as the body we become the body. It is the thought which builds up sheaths in so many ways. The shadow on the water is found to be shaking. Can anyone stop the shaking of the shadow? If it should cease to shake you would not notice the water but only the light. Similarly to take no notice of the ego and its activities, but see only the light behind. The ego is the I-thought. The true `I' is the Self.
Realization is already there. The state free from thoughts is the only real state. There is no such action as Realization. Is there anyone who is not realizing the Self? Does anyone deny his own existence? Speaking of realization, it implies two selves - the one to realize, the other to be realized. What is not already realized, is sought to be realized. Once we admit our existence, how is it that we do not know the Self?
D.: Because of the thoughts - the mind.
M.: Quite so. It is the mind that stands between and veils our happiness. How do we know that we exist? If you say because of the world around us, then how do you know that you existed in deep sleep?
D.: How to get rid of the mind?
M.: Is it the mind that wants to kill itself? The mind cannot kill itself.
So your business is to find the real nature of the mind. Then you will know that there is no mind. When the Self is sought, the mind is nowhere. Abiding in the Self, one need not worry about the mind.
D.: How to get rid of fear?
M.: What is fear? It is only a thought. If there is anything besides the Self there is reason to fear. Who sees the second (anything external)? First the ego arises and sees objects as external. If the ego does not rise, the Self alone exists and there is no second (nothing external). For anything external to oneself implies the seer within. Seeking it there will arise no doubt, no fear - not only fear, all other thoughts centred round the ego will disappear along with it.
D.: This method seems to be quicker than the usual one of cultivating qualities alleged necessary for salvation (sadhana chatushtaya)?
M.: Yes. All bad qualities centre round the ego. When the ego is gone Realization results by itself. There are neither good nor bad qualities in the Self. The Self is free from all qualities. Qualities pertain to the mind only. It is beyond quality. If there is unity, there will also be duality. The numeral one gives rise to other numbers. The truth is neither one nor two. 'IT is as IT is.'
D.: The difficulty is to be in the thought-free state.
Reality is simply the loss of the ego. Destroy the ego by seeking its identity. Because the ego is no entity it will automatically vanish and Reality will shine forth by itself. This is the direct method. Whereas all other methods are done, only retaining the ego. In those paths there arise so many doubts and the eternal question remains to be tackled finally. But in this method the final question is the only one and it is raised from the very beginning. No sadhanas are necessary for engaging in this quest.
Have you seen God?' I asked. 'And if you have, can you enable me to see him? I am willing to pay any price, even my life, but your part of the bargain is that you must show me God.'
'No,' he (Ramana Maharshi) answered. 'I cannot show you God or enable you to see God because God is not an object that can be seen. God is the subject. He is the seer. Don't concern yourself with objects that can be seen. Find out who the seer is.' He also added, 'You alone are God,' as if to rebuke me for looking for a God who was outside and apart from me.
At the conclusion of his words he looked at me, and as he gazed into my eyes, my whole body began to tremble and shake. A thrill of nervous energy shot through my body. My nerve endings felt as if they were dancing, and my hair stood on end. Within me I became aware of the spiritual Heart. This is not the physical heart. It is, rather, the source and support of all that exists. Within this Heart I saw or felt something like a closed bud. It was very shiny and bluish. With the Maharshi looking at me and with myself in a state of inner silence, I felt this bud open and bloom. I use the word ‘bud’ but this is not an exact description. It would be more correct to say that something that felt bud-like opened and bloomed within me in the Heart. And when I say ‘heart’ I don’t mean that the flowering was located in a particular place in the body. This Heart, this Heart of my Heart, was neither inside the body nor out of it. I can’t give a more exact description of what happened. All I can say is that in the Maharshi’s presence, and under his gaze, the Heart opened and bloomed.
The key stone of Maharshi's teaching is Self Enquiry or Atma Vichara is infallible direct path to Self Realization coupled with total devotion of surrender to God, Self or Guru, broadly speaking Sri Baghavan tells us that the immortal self or sachidananda or pure Existence, Consciousness, Awareness, Bliss is already there inherent in each of us, The difficulty is we do not recognize that our true nature or essential 'I AM-NESS' , because it is veiled and obscured by many latent tendencies and habits of the egotistic mind which act as a mirror and project the dream of the world , the body and the mind. our identification with mind and the body is the chief reason for our failure to know us ourself who really we are . Through persistence self enquiry, devotion and surrender of the egotistic mind to God, or the Satguru in the spiritual heart , this obscuration and identification is gradually and gracefully removed and the immortal self is realized . That is the full power of absolute consciousness. and is known . The world is seen as real because the substrate is perceived to be as ???
In January 1938, Somerset Maugham, the British novelist, visited Sri Ramanashram for a few hours. The brief contact he had with Bhagavan inspired Maugham so much, he decided to use him as the model for a fictional Guru in The Razor's Edge, a novel of his that was published a few years later in 1944. Maugham also wrote a non-fiction account of his visit in an essay entitled 'The Saint', which was published twenty years after the event in 1958. The following account, which is taken from this essay, records Maugham's impressions of this meeting with Bhagavan.
He uttered a few words of cordial greeting and sat on the ground not far from the pallet on which I lay. After the first few minutes during which his eyes with a gentle benignity rested on my face, he ceased to look at me, but, with a sidelong stare of peculiar fixity, gazed, as it were, over my shoulder. His body was absolutely still, but now and then one of his feet tapped lightly on the earthen floor. He remained thus, motionless, for perhaps a quarter of an hour; and they told me later that he was concentrating in meditation upon me. Then he came to, if I may so put it, and again looked at me. He asked me if I wished to say anything to him, or ask any question. I was feeling weak and ill and said so; whereupon he smiled and said, 'Silence is also conversation'. He turned his head away slightly and resumed his concentrated meditation, again looking, as it were, over my shoulder. No one said a word; the other persons in the hut, standing by the door, kept their eyes riveted upon him. After another quarter of an hour, he got up bowed, smiled farewell, and slowly, leaning on his stick, he limped out of the hut, followed by his disciples.
There is no greater mystery than this, that we keep seeking reality though in fact we are reality. We think that there is something hiding our reality and that this must be destroyed before reality is gained. It is ridiculous! A day will dawn when you will yourself laugh at all your past efforts. That which will be on the day you laugh is also here and now. So it is a greater game of pretending . Yes. In Yoga Vasishta it is said 'What is real is hidden from us. What is false is revealed as true'. We are actually experiencing reality only. Still we do not know it. Is it not a wonder of wonders? The quest Who am I is the axe with which to cut our Ego.