Essential Teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi
In the following extract from Gems from Bhagavan, we are reminded of the essence of Bhagavan Ramana’s teaching and inspired to realize the True Self.
THE STATE WE CALL realisation is simply being oneself, not knowing anything or becoming anything. If one has realised, he is that which alone is, and which alone has always been. He cannot describe that state. He can only be That. Of course we loosely talk of Self-Realisation for want of a better term.
That which is, is peace. All that we need do is to keep quiet. Peace is our real nature. We spoil it. What is required is that we cease to spoil it. If we remove all the rubbish from the mind, the peace will become manifest. That which is obstructing the peace must be removed. Peace is the only reality.
Our real nature is mukti. But we are imagining that we are bound and are making various strenuous attempts to become free, while we are all the time free. This will be understood only when we reach that stage. We will be surprised that we frantically were trying to attain something which we have always been and are. It is another name for us.
Our wanting mukti is a very funny thing. It is like a man who is in the shade voluntarily leaving the shade, going into the sun, feeling the severity of the heat there, making great efforts to get back into the shade and then rejoicing ‘How sweet is the shade. I have after all reached the shade!’ We are doing exactly the same. We are not different from the reality. We imagine we are different, i.e., we create the bheda bhava (the feeling of difference) and then undergo great sadhanas to get rid of the bheda bhava and realise the oneness. Why imagine or create the bheda bhava and then destroy it?
It is false to speak of realisation. What is there to realise? The real is as it is, ever. How to realise it? All that is required is this. We have realised the unreal, i.e., regarded as real what is unreal. We have to give up this attitude. That is all that is required for us to attain jnana. We are not creating anything new or achieving something which we did not have before.
Effortless and choiceless awareness is our real state. If we can attain it or be in it, it is all right. But one cannot reach it without effort, the effort of deliberate meditation. All the age long vasanas (impressions) carry the mind outwards and turn it to external objects. All such thoughts have to be given up and the mind turned inward. For that, effort is necessary, for most people. Of course everybody, every book says ‘Be quiet or still’. But it is not easy. That is why all this effort is necessary.
There is a state beyond our efforts or effortlessness. Until that is realised effort is necessary. After tasting such bliss even once, one will repeatedly try to regain it. Having once experienced the bliss of peace, no one would like to be out of it or engage himself otherwise.
You may go on reading any number of books on Vedanta. They can only tell you ‘Realise the Self’. The Self cannot be found in books. You have to find it for yourself in yourself.
If we regard ourselves as the doers of action we shall also be the enjoyers of the fruits of such action. If by enquiring who does these actions one realises one’s Self, the sense that one is the doer vanishes and with it go all the three kinds of Karma (viz. sanchita, agamya and prarabdha). This is the state of Eternal Mukti or Liberation.
The power of the sage’s Self-Realisation is more powerful than all occult powers. To the sage there are no others. But what is the highest benefit that can be conferred on ‘others’ as we call them? It is happiness. Happiness is born of peace. Peace can reign only when there is no disturbance by thought. When the mind has been annihilated there will be perfect peace. As there is no mind the sage cannot be aware of others. But the mere fact of his Self-Realisation is enough to make all others peaceful and happy.
The Maharshi Newsletter March/ April 1991 Vol.1 No.2