Thursday, March 27, 2008

Be true to yourself.

Bhagavan Ramana asks us to ask ourselves, "Who am I?" and to ask now, instead of dillydallying. He says, "Take the plunge into the depths of being." The delay in taking the plunge is due to our thinking that there is something hiding our reality and that it must be destroyed before reality is gained. "It is a great game of pretending," says Bhagavan. Pretension ends when we let the dead bury the dead, cease to take thought for the morrow and live in the present. "There is only the present," says Sri Ramana.

Are we sincerely prepared to take the plunge? Most of us would rather postpone it for some reason or other. If we seriously wish to know the truth, if we truly desire to find out what we are, what life is, what is truly sacred, we have only to look, without any further delay, within.

That is the plunge. To look, to act. There is no technique or stored-up knowledge necessary to help us look within, to be what we really are.

We have kept a jewel in the safe. To take possession of it, all we have to do is open the safe. The jewel of reality, the kingdom of heaven is within. So look within. Then the life principle reveals itself. It is there as the "I" in which there is no "me", "you" or "he".

A few days before Sri Bhagavan dropped the body, Sri Sivananda Swami, one of his attendants, asked him with tears in his eyes, "Bhagavan! I am not learned. I do not know anything. Please bless me with a few words of upadesa so that I too may be redeemed."

Smiling graciously, Bhagavan said, "Be true to yourself."

When the Swami recounted this to me years later, I was thrilled. I sensed how deeply that simple sentence had impressed the artless attendant. It was Sri Bhagavan's testament of truth and freedom, not only for Sivananda Swami, but for all his devotees.

Are we true to ourselves? Begin with an honest answer. That's the beginning of the ending.

Bhagavan said, "It is grace which makes you ask Who am I?". And, "There is no answer to Who am I? The asking is the answer."

Lord Krishna says in the Gita (X:20), "I am the Self, O Gudakesa, seated in the hearts of all beings. I am the beginning, the middle and the end of all beings." That "I" is you!

When you look, what happens? You become silent. Watch. Follow. This silence is life, our true nature. Remain in that silence -- that's all. Thinking is not our real nature. Put a stop to it. Just be. Dive within and be that silence. That silence is the real "you". That's the reality. This is Bhagavan Ramana's assurance. Be courageous, a dheera. Accept this and act. We may say, "It's all right for a Ramana Maharshi. It was possible for him. But not for me. I am nowhere near it at all."

Bhagavan anticipated this. "In this quest," he said, "the first thing to give up is the notion that it is difficult. Such a thought is the sure way of handicapping oneself."

Have faith in the grace of Sri Maharshi. Take the plunge. Faith is essential. Grace flows.

~ V. Ganesan, The Mountain Path, December, 1991

No comments: