Thursday, January 31, 2008

“Who is the Seer?” When I sought within, I watched what survived the disappearance of the seer (viz. the Self). No thought arose to say, “I saw”, how then could the thought “I did not see” arise? Who has the power to convey this in words, when even Thou (appearing as Dakshinamurti) couldst do so in ancient days by silence only? Only to convey by silence Thy (Transcendent) State Thou standest as a Hill, shining from heaven to earth.

~ Bhagavan Ramana, verse 2, Sri Arunachala Ashtakam

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

He who removes the darkness

He who removes the darkness from within and without,
having obtained that eternal state made of light,
who uproots the ignorance of his devotees,
who though seeing and sporting in this universe
is beyond the universe,
to him, Sri Ramana,
the Guru of the world and destroyer of sorrow,

~ Kavyakantha Ganapati Muni, Sri Ramana Chatvarimsat (Forty Verses in Praise of Sri Ramana), Translated by Dr. Anil K. Sharma

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Do not limit yourself to the body

Establish yourself in the complete perfection of your own real nature. Do not limit yourself to the [body] upadhi.

Except through the rare medicine of direct experience it is impossible to escape from the I-am-the-body disease.

Unless the belief 'I am the body' is completely destroyed, true knowledge of the one Self is not possible.

The disappearance of the I-am-the-body notion, the wrong understanding that causes infatuation, is the experience of the Atma-swarupa.

In the state wherein the ego, the I-am-the-body delusion, has ceased, both yoga and bhoga [enjoyment], without becoming two, merge together as one.

~ verses 90-94, Individual Identity chapter, Padamalai, Teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi, Recorded by Muruganar, Translated by T. V. Venkatasubramanian, Robert Butler and David Godman, Edited and annotated by David Godman

Monday, January 28, 2008

your business is to find the real nature of the mind

M.: Realisation is already there. The state free from thoughts is the only real state. There is no such action as Realisation. Is there anyone who is not realising the Self? Does anyone deny his own existence? Speaking of realisation, it implies two selves - the one to realise, the other to be realised. What is not already realised, is sought to be realised. Once we admit our existence, how is it that we do not know our 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.

~ Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Guru's grace is always there

Visitor: In actual practice I find I am not able to succeed
in my efforts. Unless Bhagavan's grace descends on me I cannot succeed.

Bhagavan: Guru's grace is always there. You imagine it
is something, somewhere high up in the sky, far away, and has to descend. It is really inside you, in your heart, and the moment (by any of the methods) you effect subsidence or merger of the mind into its source, the grace rushes forth, spouting as from a spring, from within you.

~ Day by Day With Bhagavan

Saturday, January 26, 2008

The true Self never moves or changes

Vast, whole, immutable, the Self
Reflected in the mind's distorting
Mirror may appear to move.
Know that it is the image moving,
The true Self never moves or changes.

~ Sri Muruganar, verse 94, Guru Vachaka Kovai, Translation from the Tamil by Prof. K. Swaminathan

Friday, January 25, 2008

I did not have a long association with my Guru. My Guru merely told me, "You are not this, you are This." That is all. I accepted it with such conviction that the knowledge has flowered into what has come.

~ Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, Prior to Consciousness

Thursday, January 24, 2008


The amount of blissful grace that spreads out in your heart will
only be in proportion to the amount of true devotion that flows
steadily from you to God

Question: Then what is devotion [bhakti]?

Bhagavan: Whatever I do or consider myself doing is really the Lord's doing. Nothing really belongs to me. I am here for the service of the Lord. This spirit of service ... is really devotion supreme and the true devotee sees the supreme being as the Lord immanent in everything. Worship of Him by name and form leads one beyond all name and form. Devotion complete culminates in knowledge supreme.

~ verse 55 and accompanying comment from the chapter Love, Surrender and Devotion in Padamalai, Teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi, Recorded by Muruganar, Translated by T. V. Venkatasubramanian, Robert Butler and David Godman, Edited and annotated by David Godman

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

What is the sign of wisdom (viveka)?

Its beauty lies in remaining free from delusion after realising the truth once. There is fear only for one who sees at least a slight difference in the Supreme Brahman. So long as there is the idea that the body is the Self one cannot be a realizer of truth whoever he might be.

~ Spiritual Instruction of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Why not now?

My Guru told me that I am timeless, spaceless, without attributes. Then I decided that if that is the case why should I have any more fear? Who is to have fear? Suppose you meet a tiger: the tiger is going to eat you in any case, therefore there is some chance that if you attack the tiger it may run away, so why not take that chance?

Why not try and disidentify yourself from the body? Whatever unhappiness you have, whatever fear you have, is based entirely on identification with the body. Make an effort gradually to disidentify yourself from the body.

It is a simple thing. Death is inevitable, so why don't you accept what the Guru has told you, that death is something which cannot affect That which you are. This identification with the body is time-bound; why not disassociate yourself now?

Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, Prior to Consciousness

Monday, January 21, 2008

Thus it is sufficient if we cling to the feeling 'I' uninterruptedly till the very end. Such attention to the feeling 'I', the common daily experience of everyone, is what is meant by Self-attantion.

~ Sri Sadhu Om, The Path of Sri Ramana, (Part One)

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Though I try to bow to him,
He does not remain before me
As an object of my worship.
He does not allow any sense of difference.

Although the Guru and disciple appear to be two,
It is the Guru alone who masquerades as both.

~ Jnaneshvar

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Like a shadow that knows
no separation [from its object],
they follow behind Your twin holy feet,
caring not in what direction [they go].
As bones soften and dissolve,
they melt in yearning, and melt again,
as love’s river overflows its course.
Stammering, their hair on end,
all senses focussed on the One,
‘My Lord!’ they weeping cry.
The lotus of their heart blossoms,
as hands close like a flower bud.
Teardrops spring forth,
and ecstasy shows in their eyes,
as in them daily flourishes,
the love that never dies.
Praise be to Him who, as a mother,
nurtures such as these.

~ Manikkavachagar, Tiruvachakam

Friday, January 18, 2008

let the awareness first of all know its real nature

Sadhu Natananda, an old devotee of Sri Bhagavan and the compiler of Spiritual Instruction, came to Sri Bhagavan for the first time in 1918. With the fervant heart of an earnest sadhak he climbed up the hill to Skandashram and besought thus:

"It is my great desire that I should actually experience your gracious wisdom. Kindly fulfil my desire."

In those days Sri Ramana was not speaking much. Still he spoke kindly as follows:

"Is it the body in front of me which desires to obtain my Grace? Or is it the awareness within it? If it is the awareness, is it not now looking upon itself as the body and making this request? If so, let the awareness first of all know its real nature. It will then automatically know God and my Grace. The truth of this can be realised even now and here."

~ Bhagavan Sri Ramana, A Pictorial Biography, compiled and designed by Joan and Matthew Greenblatt

Thursday, January 17, 2008

My teacher told me to hold on to the sense 'I am' tenaciously and not
to swerve from it even for a moment. I did my best to follow his
advice and in a comparatively short time I realized within myself the
truth of his teaching. All I did was to remember his teaching, his
face, his words constantly. This brought an end to the mind; in the
stillness of the mind I saw myself as I am -- unbound.

~ Nisargadatta Maharaj, I Am That

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

According to Devarshi Narada, "total dedication of all actions at the altar of the Lord, and at all moments of forgetfulness of the Lord, excruciating pang" is supreme love-divine (bhakti).

~ Narada Bhakti Sutras

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

a rare and precious lovesickness

Papaji: From where has this desire 'I want to be free' arisen? This desire is a beautiful desire, and it is one which is rarely expressed. When you were growing up, how many people talked about this desire to you? When you went to restaurants with your friends and relatives, what did you talk about? Mostly each others' problems: divorces, families, relationships, jobs, personal dramas. Did you ever sit down with a member of family and hear him or her say, 'I am looking for freedom and I am desperate to get it. How much longer do I have to wait? It did not happen today. When will it happen?' Did you ever participate in conversations of this kind?

Q: Not very often.

Papaji: [laughing] I think you are exaggerating. This is such a rarely expressed sentiment, I doubt you heard it even once while you were growing up. I am not talking about some intellectual discussion in which two people exchange ideas on what freedom might be and how it might be attained; I am speaking of two lovesick people who are hurting inside because they cannot find a way to become one with freedom, their beloved. Many people speak about this, but how many of them are actually suffering inside because they cannot reach this elusive goal? That's very, very rare and very, very precious. This desire comes from a place that is not controlled by the mind. Mind cannot absorb or digest a desire like this, but at the same time it cannot stop it from arising and demanding your attention. When this desire for freedom makes you sick with longing for it, it has the power to bring about that freedom that it desires so badly. Just want it badly enough.

~ The Fire of Freedom, edited by David Godman

Monday, January 14, 2008

The Self is not somewhere far away to be reached. You are always that. You have only to give up your habit of identifying yourself with the non-self. All effort is only for that.

~ Bhagavan Ramana

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Yet the mind runs after ...

Q: There is more pleasure in dhyana than in sensual enjoyments. Yet the mind runs after the sensual enjoyments and does not seek the former. Why is it so?

Sri Ramana: Pleasure or pain are aspects of the mind only. Our essential nature is happiness. But we have forgotten the Self and imagine that the body or the mind is the Self. It is that wrong identity that gives rise to misery. What is to be done? This mental tendency is very ancient and has continued for innumerable past births. Hence it has grown strong. That must go before the essential nature, happiness, asserts itself.

~ S. Natanananda, Spiritual Instruction of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi

Saturday, January 12, 2008

If you enquire, you are not that which you take yourself to be. So, enquire what you are, drown in the Heart and be directly established as 'You are That'.

~ Guru Vachaka Kovai

Friday, January 11, 2008

Silent Worship

Enthroning in the heart the Lord supreme,
His true, unceasing natural worship
By the mind steady, self-absorbed
Proceeds in perfect silence.

The pure desire for Grace, free from
Other attachment, practicing
The state of silence sans an object,
Such merging in and being That
Amounts to mental worship true.

~ Sri Muruganar, Guru Vachaka Kovai

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Proceed further

D: I have no peace of mind.

M: Then bring your mind to me.

D: It disappears on enquiry.

M: Proceed further. Don't let go of the enquiry about the source of the mind. Be sure of your peace.

~ from The Ramana Way, Dec. 2007 (an excerpt from the forthcoming publication Know the Ramana Way -- Understanding the Mind Bhagavan Ramana Answers, edited by A.R. Natarajan)

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Do not even for a moment lose sight of the Self.

The importance of diving within, seeking the source of the mind, of the 'I," is stressed by Ramana in his Upadesa Saram: "Sinking the mind in the Heart, its source, is karma, bhakti, yoga, and knowledge."

In self-enquiry also Ramana stresses this point to Gambhiram Seshier. "Do not even for a moment lose sight of the Self. Fixing the mind on the Self or the 'I' and abiding in the Heart is the perfection of yoga, meditation, wisdom, devotion, and worship. Since the Supreme Being abides as the Self, constant surrender of the mind by absorption in the Self is said to comprise all forms of worship."

~ A. R. Natarajan, Timeless in Time

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

And thus love leads to enquiry.

One devotee expresses it: "To look at his face, so gripping, so incredibly gracious and so wise, yet with the innocence of a new-born child -- he knows everything there is to know. Sometimes a vibration starts in the heart -- Bhagavan -- it is the core of my being taking shape, my own externalized heart -- Who am I? -- And thus love leads to enquiry."

~ Arthur Osborne, Ramana Maharshi and the Path of Self-Knowledge

Monday, January 7, 2008

Question: I want to ask Swamiji about his own experience. Was his own experience a single event, an explosion of knowledge? Or did it happen more gradually, in a more subtle way?

Annamalai Swami: It was my experience that through continuous sadhana I gradually relaxed into the Self. It was a gradual process.

Question: So it is not necessarily something that happens with a big bang?

Annamalai Swami: It is not something new that suddenly comes. It is eternally there, but it is covered by so much. It has to be rediscovered.

~ Annamalai Swami Final Talks, edited by David Godman

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Why this distress?

Through his gentle smile, radiant Padam joyfully declares, 'Why this distress? Be happy by just remaining still.'

Bhagavan: Your duty is to be, and not to be this or that. 'I am that I am' sums up the whole truth, the method is summarized in 'Be still'.

And what does this stillness mean? It means 'Destroy yourself'; because, every name and form is the cause of trouble. 'I-I' is the Self. 'I am this' is the ego. When the 'I' is kept up as the 'I' only, it is the Self. When it flies off at a tangent and says 'I am this or that, I am such and such', it is an ego.

Question: Who then is God?

Bhagavan: The Self is God. 'I am' is God. If God be apart from the Self, He must be a selfless God, which is absurd. All that is required to realise the Self is to be still. What can be easier than that? Hence Atma-vidya [Self-knowledge] is the easiest to attain.

~ Padamalai

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Be Still

... Summa Iru means 'be still', 'remain still', or 'just be'. It was one of Bhagavan's most famous instructions. Muruganar himself has stated that his own enlightenment was brought about by Bhagavan giving him this instruction.

~ Padamalai

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Richly endowed with the divine wealth of his
grace, imparted through holy silence, those
beautious feet bring us to the safe shore of true
learning, clearing away every obstacle. What
power of word or speech might suffice to
describe them?

~ Sri Muruganar, Non-dual Consciousness ; The Flood Tide of Bliss (Sri Ramana Anubuti), translated by Robert Butler

Wednesday, January 2, 2008


Awareness is detachment, purity;
Awareness is propinquity to God;
Constant awareness is freedom from fear;
It is immortality; it is
Everything and all there is.

~ Guru Vachaka Kovai

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

This Stillness

To be calm and know "I AM THAT I AM", is really Bhagavan's one work. The inmost core, the Heart, the Divine shining all alone as `I-I', the Self-aware, is He. This centre simply IS; It is all Knowledge and all Bliss. It is from here that all begin to manifest, and in It all get lost. Being Itself That, It is all peace; no discord is there since the `I' or ego does not arise and has no `he' or `you' to oppose. Being the ever-present and all-pervading, the Supreme `I' is the Lord, Ramana who ever rejoices.

This state of Pure Bliss is the Supreme Man; the Truth Absolute is such as cannot be hidden under any cover. It spreads far and wide, and attracts to Itself kindred or seeking souls. It is Stillness, eternally expressive. Others can know it, enjoy it but cannot know its fullness nor Its source. They long to know, but the Stillness is unbreakable. Their longing grows and becomes an agony.

This Stillness, diamond hard, is milky kindness and at last responds ...

~ T. K. Sundaresa Iyer, At the Feet of Bhagavan