Sometimes we see people debating the language and methodology of Sri Ramana’s teaching. The question is often raised, “What is the purest form of Ramana’s teaching”?
The answer is obvious. That form of the teaching is the purest, which works for you. What bring you to Self-Knowledge and Self-Realization is the highest teaching.
Sri Ramana’s teaching is very straight forward. Despite the volumes of books and hundreds of expert commentaries, the essential teaching is simple. It is all an open secret for everyone to see.
Sri Ramana always emphasized that our nature is that of pure, unstained consciousness. “Awareness is another name for you”, the Sage of Arunachala used to say. Our spirit is of the nature of unbroken awareness that continues regardless of what our physical makeup is or what mental state the mind is in (sleep, dreaming, waking). If we deeply understand this, we have arrived at the central truth of the teaching.
Sometimes the students of Advaita debate which words or terms best describe the process of inquiry. Those who know the nature of the Heart directly become indifferent to argumentation and do not quibble over trivialities.
All of these terms, self-attention, self-awareness, self-remembrance refer to the same process of the subject turning within to itself, the subject. Self-inquiry focuses the mind on its source and the result is clarity of awareness.
Awareness by its very nature is always aware of itself but it is not an object to itself. We cannot understand this except by being in the Heart of Awareness and being the Heart.
In the world of duality, Oneness can only be indicated, but it cannot be known. Oneness cannot be known in duality because it cannot be an object to itself. Oneness cannot be known in duality because it swallows up duality. To know the Oneness intimately, one has to become That and to recognize One Is That! Do you see the beauty of this paradox?
Sri Ramana used to say that there are not two selves where one self is aware of the second self. Similarly there are not two forms of awareness. However, through the duality and agency of the perceptual mind, we can say that awareness being aware of itself is a refined and a subtle form of atma vichara (Self-Inquiry).
Ultimately, even this duality, being that of the mind (that any method necessarily presumes), vanishes as One Awareness shines forth as the Self that is the Heart; that the ancients termed Sat-Chit-Ananda. Existence-Consciousness-Bliss. One whole mass without divisions.
Once Sri Ramana said the whole truth is contained in the words”Be Still”.
So if one is self-aware and still, one has grasped the method.
A quiet, peaceful, and content mind that is awake and turned within to its source has grasped the method and the process of Self-Inquiry. This process itself turns into the goal when the mind merges into the Heart for Self-Revelation.