Bhagavan Ramana’s Teachings- A Talk by Sri V. Ganesan

Sri V. Ganesan

The transcript of this talk by Sri V. Ganesan was sent to me by Sri Alan Jacobs who is the President of Ramana Maharshi Foundation in UK.

Harsh K. Luthar



” ‘DIRECT PERCEPTION’ IS ‘INSIGHT’ “Today, each one of us is directly going to dive within into oneself — into the “Inner Silence” — the “I AM”.

To understand and attain God, Truth, Liberation, Self-Realisation, Mukti, through outward sources, through external knowledge, seekers after Truth have already wasted 3,000 years. Yet, we remain ignorant — still not knowing what Truth is. At the same time, we have raised enormous Churches, Temples, Mosques and various religions, with their own scriptures.

If one truly takes notice of this tremendous contradiction between humanity’s great capabilities to achieve things outwardly and hopeless inabilities to attain inner Wisdom, one instantly recognises the lacuna in us. Realising this folly of ours is the beginning of dawning of Wisdom!

So, let us take the next saving step of listening to the sacred words of GURU RAMANA, who commands us to turn our outward-turned attention inwards, by diving within and be the Truth. He thus urges us not to waste any more time searching outside of oneself to find TRUTH.

Sri Bhagavan never asked anyone of himself about what mode of spiritual practice one was doing. Even if a visitor put questions to Sri Bhagavan about the modes of sadhana, he would reply:

“Who is the one who raises these questions? Find it out first. Then, you can enquire about them. You are there. You exist. That is certain. Admit your existence. If you come to know who you really are, you will realise that you are the birthless and deathless “I AM”, which is eternal, incomparable “WHOLE” – the “ONE”, transcending time, space, body and world.”

By diving within, one is blessed with the “Direct Perception” of Truth, which is the “Insight” of “I AM” — beyond all limitations as `time’, `space’, `body’ and `world’.

In the process of diving within, “three principles” are directly involved :

(1) Total Focus on the person who dives within : “YOU”
(2) Apply the act of diving within “DAILY” – the sadhana of Self-Enquiry constantly done, all alone, by oneself. That is, staying unmoved on “Reality” as the “NOW”, while rejecting the `unreality’ of `body’ and `mind’ which project `past’ and `future’.
(3) “OWN IT” Process – what all one has already understood, experienced and gained should become one’s own.

It would become easier to grasp the significance of these three principles, by recollecting the reminiscences of the Old Devotees of Sri Bhagavan. I will thus share with you three instances in the life of my teacher –T.K. SUNDARESA IYER — to elucidate the three principles. I am sure each one of you also is interested in listening to “stories” ! Are we all not a child still in our Heart?


In the later half of 1910s, when Sri Bhagavan was living at Skandashram up on the Mountain ARUNACHALA, T.K. Sundaresa Iyer { T.K.S. }, who was a youth living at the town, was daily going up the Hill and spending time with Sri Bhagavan.
On all such occasions, without fail he used to take with him a small quantity of raisins or sugar candy or something to eat, purchased from the market, as offering to Sri Bhagavan. T.K.S. was a poor teacher. One day, he had no money. He stood before Bhagavan with a dejected face and said, “Bhagavan ! This poor man has brought nothing….!” Bhagavan looked at him enquiringly and remarked, “Why ? You brought the main thing. All else is unimportant ! ”
T.K.S. looked up in wonder, not knowing what he had brought !
“Don’t you understand ? You brought yourself !”
Sri Bhagavan laughed heartily !

Yes ! Brothers and Sisters ! The most precious thing in the world is “YOU” — the `You’ in everyone of us ! Are we each not the `Truth’ ! What can be more important than the `Truth’ ! Sri Bhagagan, the Great Master says, “You are the main thing. All else is unimportant !” In the book : “WHO AM I ?”, our Master’s injunction is, “Abide by the words of the Master.” So, let us obey him. First thing first !

In another place, Sri Bhagavan emphatically said, “You are ever the fulcrum !” Hence, give total recognition of importance to “YOU” in the scheme of Spiritual Perfection. “YOU” ever are the “main thing”, while everything else is the “unimportant” !

Therefore, reverse your approach to understanding true spirituality by shifting your attention from `unimportant things’ to the `main thing’. By looking out for gaining Truth, we wasted 3,000 years. Today, let us listen afresh to Moses declaration as coming from God : ” I AM THAT I AM “. The “I AM” within “You” is the “main thing”, all else are “unimportant things”, as emphasised by Bhagavan Ramana.

Now, let us dive within to be the “I AM”, the true nature of God. Sri Bhagavan, as ever, helps us. The “I AM” in God and the “I AM” in “You” are the same. In “Upadesa Saram” (verse 24), Sri Bhagavan declares : “In essence, God and Man are one and the same.” This “essence” is the “I AM”.

What is “I AM” ? To be simple, let us define “I AM” as the “Subject” and all else around it, including one’s body, as the “objects”. Imminently, look at the “Subject” which sees all forms of “objects”.

How do we know we have wasted 3,000 years ? Very simple ! By our paying great attention to the aspect of “time”. Now, let us take a “right-about-turn” as Sri Bhagavan puts it, a 180-degree turn as the British would put it and a “U” turn as the Americans would put it. That is, ignore the very aspect of “time”, totally, completely. What happens ? Is this not a very bold and dangerous challenge ? Yet, by accepting the challenge, true clarity sets in, since the burden of “time” is lifted off our shoulders, making us feel free to look at Truth afresh !

The seeing “Subject” – the “I AM” – is true, as it ever exists; but, the seen “objects” – time, space, body and world – are untrue, since they all appear and disappear. They do not have permanency due to this limitation. “I AM” is limitless. If we take ourselves to be the “body”, we will be limiting ourselves to `time’, and `space’. We are the birthless and deathless “I AM” — the eternal, incomparable “WHOLE” – the “ONE” which transcends `time and `space’.

To pay total attention to “I AM” and to ignore `time and `space’, is a big challenge. Will we be able to do it ? Yes ! Sri Bhagavan is helping us to meet the challenge and also for our solving it !
In one of the `Stray Verses ‘ that Sri Bhagavan wrote, he describes as how to deny `time’ and also, thus, overcome it.

“If there is no “I AM”, `time’ is not. But, we don’t investigate the “I” and take the body to be the “I”. So, `time’ eats us up. Are we the body ? We are ever there, for, having eaten up `time’, we are ever the One Self – in the past, present and future.”

In the following recording in “TALKS “, Sri Bhagavan emphasises that one should go beyond `time’ and `space’ :–
“Dr. Radhakamal Mukherjee, a well-known Professor, asked Bhagavan to extend His Grace to him, although he would soon be a thousand miles away from Him.

Sri Bhagavan said that `time’ and `space’ are only concepts of the mind. But “Swarupa” – the Real Self – lies beyond `time’ and `space’. Distance (space) does not count in the Self.” – “TALKS “, No.68 [ 21st July, 1935 ].

Let us abide as “I AM”, totally ignoring `time’ and `space’. Thus, we not only meet the challenge, but solve it, too. `You’ definitely can do it, if you apply yourself, daily, to `sadhana ‘.


Again, I want to take “You” to my teacher, T.K.S., for elucidation.

“Sri Bhagavan was at Skandashram and daily T.K.S. would spend time with him, without fail ! One day, T.K.S. felt, “Why was I visiting Sri Bhagavan, at all ? What was the use ? There seemed to be no inner advancement. Going up the Hill was meaningless. I did not go to Sri Bhagavan for 100 days. But, on the 101st day, I could not suffer the separation from Sri Bhagavan and hence I ran up !”
At the entrance itself Sri Bhagavan was waiting. T.K.S. fell at Bhagavan’s feet and cried. Sri Bhagavan lifted him up and said, “It is over three months since I saw you. Where were you ?”
T.K.S. told Sri Bhagavan how he thought that meeting him was of no use.
“All right,” Sri Bhagavan said, “maybe it is of no use, so what ? You felt the loss, did you not ?”
T.K.S. said that instantly he realised, we did not go to Sri Bhagavan for gaining something, but because away from him, there was no life for us.”

Apply the “visiting Sri Bhagavan up on the Hill” to the need for our pursuing the daily “spiritual sadhana ” ! We may not palpably notice any advancement, daily, in our sadhana ; but, without applying ourselves to spiritual sadhana there is no “essence” — there is no “joy” in our daily living !

Hence, applying oneself daily to the act of diving within and remaining in the “Inner Silence” through Self-Enquiry is absolutely essential. It is imperative. That is, staying unmoved as “Reality” in the “NOW” while rejecting the unreality of `body’ and `mind’ which project the `past’ and the `future’, is absolutely important – daily, too !

The “I AM” in “YOU” is the Truth and it is ever “HERE ” and “NOW “. The book, “TALKS ” contains 650 pages and in it, Sri Bhagavan gives emphasis to this truth of “HERE ” and “NOW ” in 35 different places and on different contexts ! One, thus, has necessarily to wake up to the importance of the truth of “HERE” , ” NOW ” , ” ALWAYS ” and “I AM “.

Yet, seekers may raise a doubt of why then they are not visibly noticed or palpably felt. Sri Bhagavan clears this valid doubt.

TALKS, No.197 [ May 9, 1936 ]

Devotee : If “I AM” is always `here’ and `now’, why do I not feel so ?

SRI BHAGAVAN : That is it ! Who says it is not felt ? Does the real `I’ say it or the false `I’. Examine it. You will find it is the wrong `I’. The wrong `I’ is the obstruction. It has to be removed in order that the true `I’ may not be hidden. The feeling that I have not realised, is the obstruction to Realisation. In fact, it is already realised – there is nothing more to be realised.
Otherwise, the realisation will be new; that it has not existed so far and that it must take place hereafter. What is born anew will also die. If Realisation be not eternal, it is not worth having.
Therefore, what we seek is not that which must happen afresh. It is only that which is eternal but not now known due to obstructions – it is that we seek
All that we need do is to remove the obstruction. That which is eternal is not known to be so because of ignorance. Ignorance is the obstruction. Get over this ignorance and all will be well.
The ignorance is identical with the `I’-thought. Find its source and it will vanish.
The `I’-thought is like a ghost, which although not palpable, rises up simultaneously with the body, flourishes and disappears with it. The body-consciousness is the wrong `I’. Give up this body-consciousness. It is done by seeking the source of `I’. The body does not say `I AM’. It is you who say, `I am the body’ !
Find out who this `I’ is. Seeking its source it will vanish !
* * * * * * *

TALKS, No.96 [ Nov.13, 1935 ]

SRI BHAGAVAN : That which has a beginning MUST ALSO END. Only when the ever-present Consciousness is realised will it be permanent. Consciousness is indeed always with us. Everyone knows `I AM’ ! No one can deny his own being. The man in deep slumber is not aware ; while awake, he seems to be aware. But, it is the same person. There is no change in the one who slept and the one who is now awake. In deep sleep, he was not aware of his body ; there was no body-consciousness. In the wakeful state he is aware of his body ; there is body-consciousness. Therefore, the difference lies in the emergence of body-consciousness and not in any change in the Real Consciousness. The body and body-consciousness arise together and sink together. All this amounts to saying that there are no limitations in deep sleep, whereas there are limitations in the waking state. These limitations are the bondage ; the feeling : “the body is `I’ ” is the error. The false sense of `I’ must go. The real `I’ is always there. It is `here’ and `now’ .

It never appears anew and disappears again. That which is must also persist for ever. That which appears anew will also be lost. Compare deep sleep and waking. The body appears in one state, but not in the other. Therefore, the body will be lost. The Consciousness was pre-existent and will survive the body.

In fact, there is no one who does not say `I AM’. The wrong knowledge of `I-am-the-body’ is the cause of all the mischief. This wrong knowledge must go. That is Realisation. Self-Realisation is not acquisition of anything new nor it is a new faculty. It is only removal of all forms of camouflage.

The ultimate Truth is simple. It is nothing more than being in the pristine state. This is all that need be said. Still, it is a wonder that to teach this simple Truth, there should come into being so many religions, creeds, methods and disputes among them and so on !
Oh the pity ! Oh the pity !

( 3 ) ” OWN IT ” PROCESS
Once, Sri Bhagavan said that a true seeker should put into practice TWO PROCESSES :
“DESERVE the Truth” PROCESS and “OWN the Truth” PROCESS.
We already have dealt with the first `two principles’, which gave us a clear grasp of the `theory’ and `practice’ of Truth and the enormous significance of applying both of them in the daily living of a spiritual seeker. For convenience sake, we may call them both together as the “DESERVE the Truth” Process.
NOW, we will look into the third and final PROCESS, which is equally very important. It is the “OWN the Truth” PROCESS.
May we turn again to T.K.S. and listen to his own words?
“Once, I got a job offer in another town which carried a good salary. I intimated my consent and received an appointment order by telegram. I showed the telegram to Sri Bhagavan. “All right, go,” he said.
But, even before I left the Hall and his Presence, I felt gloom settling over me and I started shivering and complained in my grief : “Forty years I have been with Sri Bhagavan and now I am going away.What shall I do away from Sri Bhagavan ?”
“How long have you been with Bhagavan ?” Sri Bhagavan asked.
“Forty years,” I replied.
Then, Sri Bhagavan turning to the devotees, said : “Here is someone who has been listening to my teaching for forty years and now says he is going somewhere away from Bhagavan !”
{ Nonetheless, due to Sri Bhagavan’s Grace, the job fell through ! }

– – – – – – – –

Let us ponder over the above dialogue, awhile ! Why such a feeling of pandemonium for such a staunch follower of Sri Bhagavan’s teaching ? Is it not clear that if one pays attention to `time’ and `space’, instead of steadily rooted in the “I AM”, the gloom is an unavoidable, necessary `evil’ a seeker has to face ? Only the Master’s Grace is capable of warding off such set in gloom ! Thus, one has to turn within to the “Guru” who is none other than one’s own ever existing “Inner Silence” – the “I AM” !

Once, an University Professor of Philosophy, very much enamoured after listening to the explanation that Sri Bhagavan gave to a verse in “Forty Verses on Reality” — ULLDAU NARPADU , in all emotion, said : “Bhagavan ! You are the Greatest Teacher ! Your teaching is the Greatest Teaching !” Sri Bhagavan gave a compassionate look at him and said : “Teacher and Teaching, for whom ?”

Yes, Sir ! The Greatest Teacher is there and the Greatest Teaching is also there – it is undeniable ! But, yet there is a “missing link” in this Golden Spiritual Chain ! The missing link is “YOU” ! “Teacher –Teaching –YOU” – this is the `Golden Spiritual Chain’ !

Sri Bhagavan is helping the “YOU” in every one of us to wake up and complete the precious “Eternal Chain” ! And, thus make full use of it, in our daily life. There is no alternative left for us except applying ourselves studiously to sadhana. Sri Bhagavan royally commands us to wake up to Spiritual Perfection !
Let us all abide by the Master’s “Words of Wisdom” !
To conclude, I want to read two passages from “TALKS “. The first one, is making the Teaching absolutely clear, that we have to apply it “NOW”. The second one, is Sri Bhagavan’s confirmed assurance to each one of us, that “He is always with `YOU’ “, supporting you and helping you through and though !
What more do we need !


“TALKS “, No.367 [ Feb.221, 1937 ]

A Maharashtrian lady – a casual visitor – then taking leave of Sri Bhagavan, was almost on the point of bursting into tears ; and, asked : “I know that `Mukti ` (Liberation) is impossible in one life. Still, may I not have peace of mind, in this life ?”
The Master looked at her very compassionately and said smiling softly : “Life and all else are in `Brahman ` alone. `Brahman ` (`Truth’) is here and now. Investigate.”
The lady said : “I am practising meditation for a number of years. Yet, my mind is not steady and cannot be brought to bear on meditation.”
The Master again looked steadily at her and said : “Do it NOW. All will be all right !”


“TALKS “, No.68 [ June 21, 1935 ]
The lady accompanying Dr.Radhakamal Mukherjee, was most reluctant to leave the Master and go back to home.
The Master said : “Think that you are always in my presence. That will make you feel all right !”


Let us dive within “NOW” and let us all be blessed with the “Direct Perception” of Truth –- which is the “Insight” of “I AM” – beyond all limitations of `time’, `space’, `body’ and `world’ !

May Sri Bhagavan bless us all!

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