The Heart, Nirvikalpa Samadhi, and Self-Realization: By Harsha (Harsh K. Luthar, Ph.D)
A few of Harsha’s writings and responses to comments or questions have been organized and edited to cover the topics of Heart, Nirvikalpa Samadhi, and Self-Realization for easy access. The names of the questioners have been abbreviated to respect their privacy.
– Amanda, Editor.
Image courtesy of Lisa Connors (2002)
You seem to attach a unique meaning to the word “Heart” (e.g. “the depth of the Heart”, “the Original Face is the Heart”). Please forgive my ignorance by asking you: what does it really refer to? Than you for your enlightening answer!
Hi A. Let me welcome you and others who have recently joined the Sangha. Thank you for your presence. Your question is important as the word “Heart” is used differently depending on the context and the meaning varies.
We can distinguish between the three hearts. There is the physical organ that pumps blood, there is the Heart Center of Kundalini Yoga – a major psychic center, and then there is the Spiritual Heart, which is beyond the Sahasarara chakra and all the centers. It is the Center beyond all centers.
In Sanskrit, the word Hridyam is used and that is translated into English as the Heart. I am not a Sanskrit scholar but Hrid means Heart or Center. “Hridyam” means “Here is the Center.” It is the Same as Buddha Nature, The Original Nature, Self, Original Face, Shunya, etc.
When Upanishads mention the Hridyam or Hridya Gufa (Cave of the Heart) or Ramana Maharshi speaks of the Heart, they are speaking of this Center of Being…Pure Being, Pure Presence without edges, the Spiritual Heart. Upon seeing Suzuki’s quote, I was actually struck by the similarity between how I would describe the Heart and the way Suzuki described the Buddhist perspective. Here is the quote:
“All-knowledge is what constitutes the essence of Buddhahood. It does not mean that the Buddha knows every individual thing, but that he has grasped the fundamental principle of existence and that he has penetrated deep down into the center of his own being.”
Again the following quote from Suzuki is stunning for its beauty and clarity:
D.T. Suzuki (1870-1966)
“Penetrating deep down into the center of one’s own being one finds a nameless transparency, an awake space filled by all the world, from one’s own thoughts and feelings and body to the stars in the heavens. This still, spacious no-thingness is the heart of everyone’s being. Thus to find this no-thingness is to see that one is fundamentally united with all beings. At root there is only one – the One.”
Awakening to the One is primarily a matter of actual seeing, of bare attention, rather than intellectual understanding – vital as understanding is. As Suzuki said, “I see. This is it.” This seeing is not yet another state of mind that comes and goes. It is awake No-mind, the ground of being that underlies and is the source of all states of mind, including samadhi. The contents of mind come and go in No-mind.
The quotes of Suzuki are remarkable in that I (having a totally different background and training than Suzuki and a close affinity with Kundalini Yoga) find them resonating with the Truth of Being.
The Spiritual Heart transcends time and space and all reference points in terms of location. However, experience of Yogis and Jnanis shows that there is a particular “knot of the heart” in the heart region which some become aware of before the mind and Shakti are absorbed into the Self. That Is the Heart or the Center of Centers. We can talk about that another time. This post is already getting long!
Love to all
People often raise the point about the Heart— that if the Heart is the Self, how can it be contained in the body at a particular location! Of course, body and the whole universe are an appearance in the Heart It Self and the Heart is their Source. This Is Known When One Is the Heart and Recognizes It as One’s Own Being!
Sri Ramana did not ever say that it was “necessary” to meditate on the “Heart-center” for Self-Realization. The key word here is “necessary”! It is not “necessary” to do Japa either! But Bhagavan told Kunju Swami to do Japa as part of his spiritual routine after Kunju Swami had served him for twelve years and knew Bhagavan’s teachings inside and out. Kunju Swami had even by then glimpsed the Self in Kevala Nirvikalpa Samadhi!
It is important to know both the theory and the practical applications as indicated by Bhagavan’s words, behavior, and interaction with many devotees over a period of over fifty years. Without understanding the totality of Bhagavan’s Pure Grace, we can get caught up and fixated upon certain words. It would be comical for us to make Bhagavan engage in professional wrestling with himself using his own words!
So yes, it is not “necessary” to do this and that and follow various spiritual practices. Bhagavan often said that “It is only “necessary” to enquire “Who am I”? And when the enquiry is ripe, the mind will automatically sink into the Heart! The Heart pulls the mind in like a huge magnet as if a black hole is sucking in the entire universe.
It is clear that whatever the mode of someone’s spiritual practice (Japa, Prayer, Nada, Kundalini, Devotion to a deity, various meditations, etc.), Bhagavan encouraged it in the context of Self Enquiry and was keen to make the devotees aware of the Heart. To think that Self-Enquiry is somehow inconsistent with another spiritual practice is a mistake. To suggest that Arthur Osborne did not understand Self-Enquiry because he was aware of the Heart-center as he did Self-Enquiry is certainly quite a leap! Sri Ramana spoke of the Heart in both physical terms and at the same time how it transcends the physical upon Realization! (see my quote at the end).
There really is no debate about the purest teaching of Self-Enquiry as Bhagavan gave it. Bhagavan encouraged people whatever their spiritual inclinations were and said that in the end, they will come to the Heart. Once we have direct knowledge of the Heart, we see that the Heart can certainly be experienced in relationship to the body! Why not? How can we limit the Heart? For the one who Knows the Heart, there is absolutely no conflict between knowing the Heart at various levels, and simultaneously transcending those levels completely.
Because it is the Same Heart at every level! That which is the True Heart center of the body is the Heart Center of Cosmos. It Is Pure Being. Here is the quote where Sri Ramana again speaks of Heart in physical terms and points out how Heart transcends the physical when the reference to the body evaporates.
With reference to the location of the Heart center on the right hand side of the human body, Sri Bhagavan said and I quote below:
“I had been saying all along that the Heart center was on the right, notwithstanding the refutation by some learned men that physiology taught them otherwise. I speak from experience. I knew it even in my home during my trances. Again during the incident related in the book “Self-Realization” I had a very clear vision and experience. All of a sudden a light came from one side erasing the world vision in its course until it spread all around when the vision of the world was completely cut out. I felt that the muscular organ on the left had stopped working; I could understand that the body was like a corpse, that the circulation of the blood had stopped and the body became blue and motionless. Vasudev Sastri embraced the body, wept over my death, but I could not speak. All the time I was feeling that the Heart center on the right was working as well as ever. This state continued for 15-20 minutes. Then suddenly something shot out from the right to the left resembling a rocket bursting in air. The blood circulation was resumed and normal condition restored. I then asked Vasudev Sastri to move along with me and we reached our residence.”
“The Upanishads say that 101 nadis terminate in the Heart and 72,000 originate from them and traverse the body. The Heart is thus the center of the body. It can be a center because we have been accustomed to think that we remain in the body. In fact the body and all else are in that center only.”
From “Talks with Ramana Maharshi”, Ninth Edition (1994), page 383.
Image courtesy of Dana Cocchiarella (2002)
As I said earlier, my comments about Bhagavan’s teachings are based on my own knowledge of the Heart as well as number of actual conversations from “Talks with Ramana Maharshi”. Many people attempt to present a sanitized version of Sri Ramana’s teaching and quote him selectively to support their own preconceived notions of how the teaching should be structured, organized, and presented to the public. That is fine and certainly useful for a variety of purposes. But the fact is that Sri Ramana spoke about the term Heart on many different levels, and this included the physical as well.
David Godman is of course right when saying that Sri Ramana never taught that the Self could be limited to some physical location in the body! No one claims that, and certainly not Arthur Osborne! That is elementary. But David is too eager to dismiss or minimize a recurring theme in one aspect of Sri Ramana’s teaching which manifests time after time in the “Talks” in Bhagavan’s own words. This is why I found David’s condescension regarding Arthur Osborne’s interpretation of Bhagavan’s method and teaching to be somewhat misplaced.
Sri Ramana rarely missed an opportunity to speak of the Heart at any level! Bhagavan has described his own experiences so clearly and vividly in many different conversations so that a true devotee upon experience of the mind merging would instantly know the Heart without thought or doubt! The ancients called it Sat-Chit-Ananda, Nityam, Poornum. There are no adequate words for it.
Even in humor Bhagavan often spoke of the Heart. I recall Sri Ramana once insisted to a questioner that he (the questioner) already knew the Heart! The poor questioner, puzzled, asked whether Bhagavan was referring to him personally. Bhagavan said “Yes!” The questioner pointed to himself and again asked if Bhagavan was referring to him personally. Upon seeing that the questioner had pointed to himself on the right side of the chest, Sri Ramana immediately pounced on him and said something like, “See! There! You know its location (the Heart) intuitively as indicated by the pointing to it when referring to one’s own self!” :-).
Love to all
Sri T. K. Sundaresa Iyer was one among the few who had the privilege of not being addressed by Bhagavan in honorific terms: He fondly addressed him as ‘Sundaresa’ or ‘Sundaram’. However, he was known popularly only as TKS in the Ashram. His erudition in Vedantic literature was deep; he was proficient in Sanskrit, Tamil and English. So, he aptly fitted in to act as an interpreter to Sri Bhagavan, though most of his time he spent in the Ashram office attending to correspondence. Of course, in this also he was blessed because he had to show letters to Bhagavan and get hints from Him while answering certain letters…
“A staunch devotee living in England, Harry Dickman, was soaked in Sri Bhagavan’s teachings, though he could not have His darshan. He wrote asking for an explanation as to the term ‘Hridayam’ and its significance. I got from Bhagavan hints on how the reply should be formed. The following is the gist of the reply, which was approved by Bhagavan and sent to Harry Dickman:” -TKS
“Just as there is a cosmic center from which the whole universe arises and has its being and functions with the power or the directing energy emanating therefrom, so also is there a center within the frame of the physical body wherein we have our being. This center in the human body is in no way different from the cosmic center. It is this center in us that is called the Hridaya, the seat of Pure Consciousness, realized as Existence, Knowledge and Bliss. This is really what we call the seat of God in us.
It is this Hridaya that is said to be different from the physical heart, regulating the blood circulation. The Hridaya has its being on the right side and is not commonly known or felt. The primary thought in us arising as ‘I,’ when traced to its source, ends somewhere in us and this place, where all thoughts die, where the ego has vanished, is the Hridaya. From this center is felt and enjoyed the Pure Consciousness.
Hridaya described as ‘the literal, actual, physical seat of the intuition of the Self’ has the meaning explained above. Perhaps the words ‘physical seat’ may create some confusion. What it really means is that there is a center of Pure Consciousness in the physical body. It is related to the physical, but is not itself physical.
The word Hridaya is a composite of hrid and ayam – “centre, this”. It is the centre on the right, which we reach as a result of meditation. From the Hridaya, consciousness arises to the sahasrara through the sushumna and from there spreads out to all the parts of the body through the several ‘nadis’. Then alone we become conscious of the objects around us. Man, due to the illusion that these have real existence, experiences suffering, as he strays far away from his Self. The seat from where all these arise and manifest is the Hridaya.
Whether in sleep, joy, sorrow, fear or satisfaction, we return to this heart and that is why we feel lost to all consciousness of things around. If by meditation or Vichara we attain to our centre, the Hridaya, and thus are our real Self, we enjoy unalloyed bliss.
In the course of tracing ourselves back to our source, when all thoughts have vanished, there arises a throb from the Hridaya on the right, manifesting as ‘Aham’ ‘Aham’. This is the sign that Pure Consciousness is beginning to reveal itself. But that is not the end in itself. Watch wherefrom this sphurana (throbbing) arises and wait attentively and continually for the revelation of the Self. Then comes the awareness, oneness of existence.
When we steady our breath we feel the steadying of our thoughts. Then the thoughts turn inward and melt away at a point. Watching this point, where the thoughts vanish, will also help us to merge ourselves in the Hridaya.”
– From “Moments Remembered” by Sri T. K. Sundaresa Iyer.
Image courtesy of Lisa Connors (2002)
Nirvikalpa Samadhi can be viewed both as a transient experience or that which reveals the Sahaj state, depending on one’s own understanding, practice, and direct knowledge of the Self.
In Nirvikalpa Samadhi, mind, memory, will, etc., are fully absent and yet there is fullness and wholeness of pure consciousness. When one consciously “comes out”, one realizes there is no coming in and out. It is not the reliance on memory that allows one to say, “Oh, I had the Nirvikalpa Samadhi experience”. It is simply that the Self-Knowledge is not an experience and yet It Is Self-Revealing to It Self in all states of consciousness. The Self is always in its own state and has absolutely no requirement of memory to know itself.
Since thoughts, prana, imagination, ideas, hopes, dreams, desires, possibilities, time, space, are absorbed and absent in Nirvikalpa Samadhi, the Self-Recognition as Sat-Chit-Ananda is pure and clear. It Is Pure Self-Knowing serene like a calm ocean or a quiet sky.
In “Coming out”, of Nirvikalpa Samadhi, the same Self-Recognition is known to be bursting forth in all states of consciousness. The role of memory does not have anything to do at all with Nirvikalpa Samadhi.
Knowing clearly the Self in Nirvikalpa Samadhi, one Knows directly that it is the same Self in waking and other states. This Knowing is prior to thoughts, does not depend on ideas or concepts, and completely transcends memory.
Love to all
I experienced Nirvikalpa Samadhi when I was 23. It happened after many years of practice of meditation and self-enquiry. The normal period of spiritual practice for me per day was between six to twelve waking hours and the practice often continued into sleeping hours.
If I can generalize from my own experience and that of sages who engaged in long term practice, Nirvikalpa Samadhi comes usually after going through many different kinds of spiritual experiences and other Savikalpa Samadhis.
Although, it is not hard to talk of Samadhi and such things, without actual experience such talk is not meaningful. I find many questions and comments about Nirvikalpa Samadhi to rest purely on speculation.
Unless a person is a spiritual genius of the caliber of Sri Ramana, long term spiritual practice of some type is needed to Recognize and Realize the Self.
Nirvikalpa Samadhi and deep sleep are like night and day. In Nirvikalpa Samadhi Self Knows It Self By It Self and Through It Self. It is Fullness of Pure Consciousness and not unconsciousness. Nirvikalpa takes one beyond intuitive knowledge and Reveals the Self in Actuality as Pure Sat-Chit-Ananda.
The comments by Sri Shankra in Vivekachudamani on Nirvikalpa Samadhi and those by Sri Ramana in his recorded conversations on Nirvikalpa Samadhi and Sahaj Samadhi are based on the authority of experience.
One can understand the practice of the Sahaj state easily after Nirvikalpa Samadhi.
Love to all
The nature of Nirvikalpa is known clearly only when the Self is Known. Self is Nirvikalpa. Nirvikalpa is simply a term which means “without kalpas” or “without thoughts” or “without imagination”, etc. Self is beyond words, thoughts, feelings, and imagination. Yet, it is not a state of unconsciousness like deep sleep. Those who equate Nirvikalpa Samadhi with deep sleep and make all sorts of pronouncements have only known and enjoyed the Self-bliss in complete unconsciousness of deep sleep. Self, however, is never unconscious, its nature being pure consciousness itself.
Nirvikalpa Samadhi is completely different from all types of Savikalpa Samadhis. In Nirvikalpa, the seed “I” itself vanishes. No one remains to know anything. There is only Pure Self-Knowledge, in continuous knowing of It Self. Its nature is that of Sat-Chit-Ananda. Existence, Consciousness, Bliss.
Self is fullness of consciousness, fully and perpetually transparent to itself as one whole. That is Sahaj. Sahaj means natural. Consciousness is the nature of Self. Consciousness is natural to the Self. When the Self rests in its natural state spontaneously and all effort has disappeared,
that is called Sahaj. The beauty of Nirvikalpa Samadhi lies in allowing us to clearly recognize the perpetual Self-knowing in all states as it is only the Self knowing It Self in all states of modifications of the mind and all states of consciousness.
The truth is that no matter how clever the terminology and how subtle the expression of the experience of the Self, it misses the mark. It is because the Self has no point of Reference in experience being It Self the very Foundation on which All experience appears to take place..
From “Atma Vidya” (“Sage of Arunachala”).
“When you have not understood yourself, what is the point in understanding other things? When you have understood yourself, what else is there to understand?”
Love to all
Image courtesy of Seika (2001)
Based on my experience, there are many different types of Samadhis. Samadhis associated with Kundalini Yoga involve a loss of body consciousness as in sleep (but there is retention of awareness at subtle levels). In higher Samadhis, typically the body is temporarily paralyzed as in sleep. Traveling to celestial planes, visions of angels, gods and the Goddess take place during various types of Samadhis brought on by the rising of the Kundalini Shakti. The highest Samadhi is Nirvikalpa Samadhi. Here, not only the body consciousness, but any remaining mental consciousness is also lost, so there is no room for visions, thoughts, doubts, etc. The mind itself having been swallowed up, time and space disappear. Here Fullness of Awareness Recognizes It Self in All Clarity. That Is Self. Pure Sat-Chit-Ananda.
S. has given some excellent quotes from Ramana Maharshi on Samadhi. To add to this, if I recall correctly, Paul Brunton had asked Sri Ramana when Sahaj Samadhi should be practiced. The Sage of Arunachala stated that Sahaj Samadhi should be practiced from the very beginning! There is deep meaning in this statement and it requires serious reflection. Sri Ramana further added that what is natural for a Siddha is the practice for the aspirant. I will pass this on to HarshaSatsangh along with S.’s quotes followed by Swaminaryanji’s Sanskrit quotes from the scriptures.
Love to all
S.’s quotes of Sri Ramana on Samadhi:
It would be hard to excel the answers that Ramana Maharshi gave on the subject of samadhi in “Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi, 5th ed., 1972; Ramanashram,Tiruvannamalai.”
p.84: “When the senses are merged in darkness it is deep sleep; when merged in light it is samadhi. Just as a passenger when asleep in a carriage is unaware of the motion, the halting or the unharnessing of the horses, so also a jnani in sahaja samadhi is unaware of the happenings, waking, dream and deep sleep. Here sleep corresponds to the unharnessing of the horse. And samadhi corresponds to the halting of the horse, because the senses are ready to act as the horses are ready to move after halting.
In samadhi the head does not bend down because the senses are as though inactive; whereas the head bends down in sleep because the senses are merged in darkness.
In kevala samadhi, the activities (vital and mental), waking, dream and sleep, are only merged, ready to emerge after regaining the state other than samadhi.
In sahaja samadhi the activities, vital and mental, and the three states are destroyed, never to re-appear. However others notice the jnani active, e.g. eating, talking, moving, etc. He is not himself aware of these activities, whereas others are aware of his activities. They pertain to his body and not to his Real Self, swarupa. For himself, he is like the sleeping passenger –or like a child interrupted from sound sleep and fed, being unaware of it. The child says the next day that he did not take milk at all and that he went to sleep without it. Even when reminded he cannot be convinced. So also is sahaja samadhi.”
p. 105: “Samadhi transcends mind and speech, and cannot be described. For example, the state of deep slumber cannot be described; samadhi state can still less be explained…..Consciousness and unconsciousness are only modes of the mind. Samadhi transcends the mind.”
p. 121: “Samadhi is one’s natural state. It is the under-current in all the three states. This–that is ‘I’–is not in those states, but these states are in it. If we get samadhi in our waking state that will persist in deep sleep also.”
p. 123: “Jnana, once revealed, takes time to steady itself. The Self is certainly within the direct experience of everyone, but not as one imagines it to be. It is only as it is. This Experience is samadhi.”
p. 135: “When the one who asks the nature of samadhi and the method of getting into it vanishes, samadhi will result.”
p. 357: “Holding on to Reality is samadhi. Holding on to Reality with effort is savikalpa samadhi. Merging in Reality and remaining unaware of the world is nirvikalpa samadhi.”
Merging in ignorance and remaining unaware of the world is sleep. (Head bends, but not in samadhi). Remaining in the primal, pure natural state without effort is sahaja nirvikalpa samadhi.
Samadhi means passing beyond dehatma buddhi (I-am-the-body idea) and non-identification of the body with the Self is a foregone conclusion.”
p. 358: “The yogis call it Kundalini Shakti. It is the same as vritti of the form of God (Bhagavatakara vritti) of the bhaktas and vritti of the form of Brahman (Brahmakara vritti) of the jnanis. It must be preliminary to Realization . The sensation produced may be said to be hot.
The kundalini of jnana marga is said to be the Heart, which is also described in various ways as a network of nadis, of the shape of a serpent, of a lotus-bud, etc. The Heart is the origin of the ‘I’-thought.”
p. 381: “External samadhi is holding on to the Reality while witnessing the world, without reacting to it from within. There is stillness of a waveless ocean. The internal samadhi involves loss of body-consciousness.
What is body-consciousness? Analyse it. There must be a body and consciousness limited to it which together make up body-consciousness. These must lie in another Consciousness, which is absolute and unaffected. Hold it. That is samadhi. It exists when there is no body-consciousness because it transcends the latter, it also exists when there is the body-consciousness. So it is always there. What does it matter whether body-consciousness is lost or retained? When lost it is internal samadhi; when retained it is external samadhi. That is all. A person must remain in any one of the six samadhis so that sahaja samadhi may be easy for him.”
p. 552: “What is samadhi? Samadhi is one’s essential nature. How then can it come and go?”
p. 553: “The effortless samadhi is the true one and the perfect state. It is permanent. When the real, effortless, permanent, happy nature is realised it will be found to be not inconsistent with the ordinary activities of life.”
On page 359, there is a tabular representation, which I shall try to copy in a future post.
Hi. I would like to ask everyone if they can explain what these two samadhis are like? Are they related to nirguna and saguna?
Harsha responds and writes:
The Self is Always Self-Referring by nature. God Always Points to HimSelf, there being nothing else. When the Self appears to refer to It Self through the power of Maya, The Great Shakti which rises from the Self, that is Savikalpa. Because the manifestations of the Goddess cannot be counted, the types of and number of experiences in Savikalpa may be said to be innumerable and are not limited to but include a variety of mental states where thought processes can be observed as going on automatically, visions of saints, visitations to celestial heavens in the subtle body, perceptions of gods and angels and appearances of the Goddess.
In Nirvikalpa, the agency of all experiences, Maya, the Great Mother, The Shakti, The Supreme Goddess, The Inherent Power of the Self, Whose Nature is That of Grace takes the mind and merges it in the Heart and Reveals HerSelf to Be the Heart. The ancients called it “entering the Cave of the Heart.” For lack of better words, this state of Being may be called “Deep Awake”. It has no reference point as It Is Self. Only You. Only Self – Awake – Sat Chit Ananda, devoid of the mind and all suffering.
Upon opening the eyes, One Knows that Nirvikalpa is not only the experience but simultaneously the ground of all experience and perception and is Ever-Present. We exist in that Only and We Are That. It permeates all states of mind and all manifestations of Shakti and is the Changeless Substance of Awareness from which all things arise. Now how will one truly distinguish between Nirguna and Saguna and Savikalpa and Nirvikalpa? We speak in one way or another due to our background, training, and learning, and the Silence of the Heart supports it. Its light is always shining through the mind as the mind cannot hide it completely. Upon the mind becoming subtle and pure, it appears to shine forth more and more. The Silent Self Awareness continuously Reveals It Self as our Self-Nature.
Love to all
Image courtesy of Lisa Connors (2002)
I am reminded of a beautiful truth or insight often indicated metaphorically. The top of the mountain, the highest height, symbolically can refer to the spiritual/psychic height of Sahasarara Chakra. When Kundalini Shakti moves up, its last resting place is the “top of the mountain.” From there, if one is totally and utterly indifferent to the highest height, there can be a “jump off the cliff” so to speak. Grace allows for this jump into the arms of Divine Beloved. It requires total faith and trust in the Guru/God/Self/Heart/ or call it what you will for the ultimate surrender of the mind itself. It is with that “fall” into the deepest abyss of emptiness that One Knows the Highest Height and the Deepest Depth are not different. The Fullest Fullness and the Emptiest Emptiness are Totally Identical. It is easy to see why mystics become mad, break with traditions, and are willing to sing their songs even when they are despised. With the cup always to the lips brimming with divine intoxication, it is easy to see why mystics become poets. The Same Sameness Everywhere.
Image courtesy of Dana Cocchiarella (2002)
In the same way, once realisation is attained, the scripture is no longer needed. If realisation has indeed taken place in a particular body-mind mechanism, where is the need to go to the Vedas or any other pramaana for verification? Surely only the ego could want to check to see if the “state” experienced corresponds with a description given in the Vedas? If there is genuine realisation, there would no longer be any ego or state.
There can be no need to go and look to check in which direction the finger is pointing if he is now looking directly at the moon himself.
Well put D. and you raise an important issue and I will pass this on to HarshaSatsanga as well.
Confirmation is relevant for those who are in the “in-between” stage. We can see this in the conversation between Sri Ramana and Kunju Swami. When Kunju Swami experienced the Self in the presence of the Sage, he was satisfied and went home. He was, however, unable to become steady in his knowledge. Upon going back to Arunachala, he asked to have his doubts clarified. I believe Sri Ramana asked Kunju Swami to get the scripture “Kaivalya Navneeta” from the shelf and read a particular verse which means that the experience of the Self, even when gained once, can be lost due to the strength of vasanas (latent tendencies). To steady oneself in the Supreme Knowledge one has to hear the truth again and again from the Guru and reflect on it and remain aware of it holding on to it. When the vasanas have substantially thinned out, Self-Awareness dominates and no room is left for doubt, thoughts, questions, etc.
As Ramana Maharshi has stated again and again, while Kevala Nirvikalpa Samadhi gives Direct Knowledge in Total Clarity of The Self, the latent tendencies will at times appear to draw the mind of the Yogi out again. Therefore, the Sage of Arunachala has said that the aim should be to become aware fundamentally of one’s true primal state. This is the easy and natural state our sages refer to as Sahaj Samadhi. Here the question of the mind being drawn out of its source does not exist at all and therefore all talk about confirmation of Self etc., is moot. Self is the Self. It is beyond all concepts and scriptures. The Guru disappears in the Self. Self Refers to It Self as Pure Consciousness That Is Whole. It Reveals It Self Continuously as It Is. Once Realized, who remains to confirm or deny it?
Love to all