Saturday, October 18, 2008

Q: All you say sounds beautifully convincing. yet my feeling of being just a person in a world strange and alien, often inimical and dangerous, does not cease. Being a person, limited in space and time, how can I possibly realize myself as the opposite; a de-personalized, universalized awareness of nothing in particular?

Maharaj: You assert yourself to be what you are not and deny yourself to be what you are. You omit the element of pure cognition, of awareness free from all personal distortions. Unless you admit the reality of chit, you will never know yourself.

Q: What am I to do? I do not see myself as you see me. Maybe you are right and I am wrong, but how can I cease to be what I feel I am?

M: A prince who believes himself to be a beggar can be convinced conclusively in one way only: he must behave as a prince and see what happens. Behave as if what I say is true and judge by what actually happens. All I ask is the little faith needed for making the first step. With experience will come confidence and you will not need me any more. I know what you are and I am telling you. Trust me for a while.

Q: To be here and now, I need my body and its senses. To understand, I need a mind.

M: The body and the mind are only symptoms of ignorance, of misapprehension. Behave as if you were pure awareness, bodiless and mindless, spaceless and timeless, beyond 'where' and 'when' and 'how'. Dwell on it, think of it, learn to accept its reality. Don't oppose it and deny it all the time. Keep an open mind at least. Yoga is bending the outer to the inner. Make your mind and body express the real which is all and beyond all. By doing you succeed, not by arguing.

~ I Am That

Thursday, October 9, 2008

O Mind, it is not wise for you to come out. It is best to go within. Hide yourself deep within the Heart and escape from the tricks of maya, which tries to ruin you by drawing you outwards.

[O Mind,] do not waste your life in roaming outside, pursuing wonders and wallowing in enjoyments. To know the Self through grace and to abide in this way firmly in the Heart is alone worthwhile.

Even if the jiva gives up all other attachments, eminence is only [to be found] in the cessation of the attachment to the flawed mind. Only the mind, the great delusion, is the fetter. Nothing else can bind the jiva in the same way [that the mind can].

If the mind is transcended, all else, which does not exist apart from the mind, is transcended also.

~ Padamalai

Thursday, October 2, 2008

What are the hindrances to the realization of the true Self?

I turned to him. "But you had no guru?" A rustle of shocked horror ran through the hall. But the Maharshi was not in the least disturbed by my audacious remark. On the contrary, he looked at me with a twinkle in his eye. Then he threw back his head and gave a joyous, whole-hearted laugh. It endeared him to me as nothing else could. A saint who can turn the laugh against himself is a saint indeed.

... I had been in despair at ever getting the Maharshi alone. It is hard to unburden the soul before a crowd. But early one morning I came into the hall and found him there unattended, emanating a wonderful stillness and peace. I asked quietly if I might talk with him. He nodded, smiling, and sent for someone to translate. On the arrival of a devotee, I put my first question.

"What are the hindrances to the realization of the true Self?"

"Memory chiefly, habits of thought, accumulated tendencies."

"How does one get rid of these hindrances?"

"Seek for the Self through meditation in this manner. Trace every thought back to its origin, which is only the mind. Never allow thought to run on. If you do, it will be unending. Take it back to its starting place -- the mind -- again and again, and it and the mind will both die of inaction. The mind only exists by reason of thought. Stop that and there is no mind. As each doubt and depression arises, ask yourself, 'Who is it that doubts? What is it that is depressed?' Go back constantly to the question, 'Who is the "I"? Where is it?' Tear everything away until there is nothing but the Source of all left. And then -- live always in the present and only in it. There is no past and future, save in the mind."

~ from Mrs. Piggot's account in Arunachala's Ramana: Boundless Ocean of Grace, Volume III