What is the meaning of Supreme?

Dear Harsha,

I have a very specific question about the quote from Ramana Maharshi’s talks with Paul Brunton. He says “By repeated practice one can become accustomed to turning inwards and finding the Self. One must always and constantly make an effort, until one has permanently realized. Once the effort ceases, the state becomes natural and the Supreme takes possession of the person with an unbroken current. Until it has become permanently natural and your habitual state, know that you have not realized the Self, only glimpsed it. ”

My question is about this word “Supreme.” I find this word also in Nisargadatta and I am wondering if it is an unsatisfactory attempt by the translator to translate some term, or if it is accurate. I mean, why not translate it as “the Self” or “I Am” or “God” ? My best guess is that it is a placeholder word for what is ineffable and inexpressible but within the possibilities of experience.

Curious to hear yours or anyone’s thoughts on this.


Answer: What you say makes sense David. I do not attach particular importance to the use of the word Supreme. Words to describe the ultimate mystery and state differ according to the language being used. Some word has to be used to indicate the Reality which makes everything appear real.

Ramana Maharshi’s teaching is that we should not think of the Self (Supreme Reality, Absolute) as something far away or mysterious. Ramana Maharshi indicated to Paul Brunton, (Author of  “Search in Secret India” and a number of other books) that what is Sahaj (easy and natural) for the Siddha is Sadhana (spiritual practice and effort) for the Aspirant.

Therefore, not only is the Self (Supreme Reality) within the realm of experience, there is never a time it is not being experienced even through the thickest veils of the mind. That which is perpetual, continuous, easy and natural is the Self.

Jnaneshwar, the great mystic poet has said that when a tank (pool) is full of water which is clear and still, it appears to be empty. That is a beautiful metaphor to describe the pure state of Awareness. The Self, that by its very nature is Fullness It Self, appears as Complete Emptiness because it is devoid of objects, concepts, and all experiences involving the mind.

In Sanskrit, Self is described in positive terms as Sat-Chit-Ananda. Pure Existence, Consciousness, and Bliss, all as One. One monolithic whole without any parts  but understood from three perspectives. It is the unbroken current of awareness permeating every state of consciousness and yet retaining complete and absolute independence, that independence being its very nature in totality.

The Self reveals the natural underlying current of bliss that is always ongoing but is covered up by the mind. Self is not in conflict with anything, as there is truly nothing outside it. It is the simplest and the most basic element underlying identity, yet volumes of scriptures and commentaries can be found everywhere that attempt to reveal the mystery of the Supreme Existence. It is only found in the Heart.

Harsh K. Luthar

4 thoughts on “What is the meaning of Supreme?

  1. “That which is perpetual, continuous, easy and natural is the Self.”….. Beautiful Harshji. But how to constantly abide in that ‘ongoing’ current that is awareness?? How to silence the mind and the vital completely and permanently??? It seems it’s a journey- two steps forward, one step backward!! …. Like Christina Rossetti asks: “Does the road wind uphill all the way?”


  2. He who seeks contant awareness is constantly aware. Being reality ourselves we seek to gain Reality, This according to Bhagwan is the greatest mystery.


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