“You know that you know nothing. Find out that knowledge. that is liberation (mukti)” ~ Bhagavan speaking in Talk 12 (Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi).
A man had asked the Maharshi to say something to him. When asked what he wanted to know, he said that he knew nothing and wanted to hear something from the Maharshi. Bhagavan gave the response above. (See Talk 12).
Bhagavan used to say that the only direct knowledge we have is that “I Exist”. All other knowledge is via inference. Hence the Self-Inquiry, “Who Am I?” was advised by Bhagavan as the primary spiritual practice.
Bhagavan’s teaching goes right to the heart of the matter. What is it that we truly know for certain? What is our deepest knowing? Bhagavan used to say that what we consider “knowledge” is indirect and only through inference.
Bhagavan’s teaching is that only the fact of our existence is direct knowledge. I know I exist. Every one knows “I AM”. There can be no dispute about that. Hence, in Bhagavan’s teaching, that is the starting point for one’s inquiry into the nature of reality.
Asking, “Who am I?” and reflecting on the essence of this question allows us to notice the feeling-awareness of “I AM” that appears to be always be there with us although it is often in the background. Meditation or self-inquiry in this approach is to simply stay with that pure feeling of existence-awareness, indifferent to thoughts, mental patterns, and habitual scripts of self created dramas that are always playing out in the mind and are going on automatically.