The Root of Self-Inquiry: By Dr. Harsh K. Luthar

Realized Sages such as Bhagavan Sri Ramana have indicated the experience or the state of the Self.  It is what it is.

It is the Heart of Existence, and Existence It Self.  Sri Ramana used to say that It is only Being.

You can call it what you like. Self, No-Self, Shunya, Reality. What difference can it make? The ultimate Reality cannot be named. It has no name. There is no one outside of Reality to give it a name.

Ancient sages taught that the core of our being is pure Sat-Chit-Ananda which roughly translates from Sanskrit as Existence, Knowledge/Consciousness, Bliss as One.

It is devoid of thought or doubt or conflict, but utterly complete and supreme over its domain, its domain being no other than It Self.

It is the Eternal Reality which is not conscious of anything separate from it, being Pure Consciousness Itself.

It is beyond happiness and despair, destiny and free will, and beyond time and space.

It is beyond the different paths, philosophies, religions and conceptions of the Divine. All of these concepts are play of the mind which sees differences everywhere.

People with much confidence speak of their way, their path, and their religion. People speak of their God, their insights, their Realization, etc. This is all fine.

Self-Inquiry starts when an aspirant sincerely inquires with intensity, Who is this “I” which conceptualizes all such things.

The root question in Self-Inquiry is “Who Am I?” That is the method taught by Sri Ramana Maharshi for reflective Self-Inquiry.

Real introversion of the mind can only take place when we look directly for the source of our very existence.

The feeling and sense of “I” or “Me” that everyone has naturally, is the clue to resolving the mystery of Existence.

Where does this sense of “I Am” comes from. Looking within and following this sense to its source leads to the Knowledge of the Self.

Namaste and love to all

5 thoughts on “The Root of Self-Inquiry: By Dr. Harsh K. Luthar

  1. In the interest of an “interfaith approach”:

    Those interested in Atma Vicara often insist that “Who am I?” is the only way, only final way, most direct way etc. This pseudo logical argument that “I” is the most relevant aspect of the Self can result in the pride of claiming superiority over other spiritual practitioners.

    This argument that “I” is the most important aspect of Self, the only aspect that can be followed to completion, breaks down when we consider that the core of our being is three fold: Sat-Chit-Ananda.

    “I” might be an aspect of Sat or Chit, but your essential nature is also Ananda. The three aspects are inseparable. Bhakti Yoga and Karma Yoga are commentaries on following Ananda to completion. They are for those that RESONANT more with Ananda than Sat or Chit.

    Also, see this account of Bhagavan’s Death Experience:

    Over a dozen times Bhagavan describes “the current of energy”. He says that:
    “It was that current, force or center that constituted my Self”,
    “This current or avesam now felt as if it was my Self, not a superimposition.”

    According to this translation of Bhagavan “I” and the “current of energy” and Self are not separate.
    This validates those who prefer to follow an active approach to stimulating “the current of energy”: kundalini yoga. And … it also validates others who discover the “current of energy” in a passive fashion. That is: not by doing anything in particular to stimulate the energy directly, but discovering it passively and naturally as a part of Atma Vicara, Jnana Yoga, Hatha Yoga, Karma Yoga or other practices.

    At least that is my perspective.


  2. Dear elder brother Harsha,

    Ah, you ask a trick question “how did you become so wise?”

    This is a very strange phenomena: actually… I know nothing at all. Without the exposure to external stimulus these fleeting comments would never exist or arise. The experience of the mind & body and the unique style of my vehicle result in thoughts arising in response to situations. But there is no one there to be “wise”, although, effort is STILL required to be in this place. (damn!)

    Over the last year or more of deep study of Bhagavan I am in a very strange and precarious position: one foot on the dock and the other on the boat. I feel deeply connected to Bhagavan… yet the followers give me evil looks.

    I believe Bhagavan (or his interpreters) are correct in a way when saying things such as “atma vicara is the only way” but I have a slightly different interpretation. There are different levels to the spiritual quest. The initial level of intensive meditation can only be skipped by maybe 1 in some billions of people (ie Bhagavan). True, the next level after intensive meditation called Advaita is the only final level, but, each school (bhakti, karma, jnana…) will have it’s own unique commentary and thus I support just about everyone. This gets me in so much trouble. If only I could be opinionated life would be so much simpler.

    I’m trying to figure out: what was really the essence of Bhagavan and what was just an artifact due to the resonance of his particular mind/body, the time and place he was born, the culture in India etc.. Sometimes it seems that his follow on teachers are talking about a teaching for monks by monks and that the world does not actually exist. Another artifact of circumstances?

    I like this Talk 315 which restores the teaching of Sankara which seems to have drifted due to the monastic influence:

    M.: The tantriks and others of the kind condemn Sri Sankara’s philosophy as maya vada without understanding him aright. What does he say? He says:
    (1) Brahman is real;
    (2) the universe is a myth;
    (3) Brahman is the universe. (!!!)

    He does not stop at the second statement but continues to supplement it with the third. What does it signify? The Universe is conceived to be apart from Brahman and that perception is wrong. The antagonists point to his illustration of rajju sarpa (rope snake). This is unconditioned superimposition. After the truth of the rope is known, the illusion of snake is removed once for all.

    But they should take the conditioned superimposition also into consideration, e.g., marumarichika or mrigatrishna (water of mirage).

    The mirage does not disappear even after knowing it to be a mirage. The vision is there but the man does not run to it for water. Sri Sankara must be understood in the light of both the illustrations. The world is a myth. Even after knowing it, it continues to appear. It must be known to be Brahman and not apart.


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