Essential Teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi

Luthar.com

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.

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What is Saguna and Nirguna Brahman? By Dr. Harsh K. Luthar

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Harsh K. Luthar in Madison, WI

Questioner: What is meant in Hinduism by “Saguna Brahman” and how is that different from “Nirguna Brahman”

Answer: The term Saguna means “with attributes”. The term “Saguna Brahman” implies that God has a name and form and other attributes. Many Savikalpa Samadhis give rise to the (living) form of the Ishta Devata. Ishta Devta is one’s favored way of visualizing the divine. It might be Krishna, Jesus, Rama, the Goddess or some other Deity of choice.

Nirguna means “without attributes”. The term “Nirguna Brahman” implies that God as the Absolute Spirit and Pure Consciousness has no name and form or attributes. Nirvikalpa Samadhi reveals the Nirguna nature of the Self.

There are a number of books on Hinduism that discuss Saguna and Nirguna Brahman. Classic yoga texts like Patanjali’s yoga sutras explain various types of Samadhi states. All of such concepts and topics of discussion can also be found in…

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The Obstacle is the Mind ~ Sri Ramana

Mind is the obstacle
Photo art from Ramana Maharshi FB page. Contributed by John Wassenberg

Sri Ramana says that mind prevents us from seeing Reality as it is. Bhagavan was explaining to the devotees that for spiritual growth it was no use changing the environment or one’s station in life. The obstacle was not external but the conditioned mind (See Talk 54 in “Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi”).

Bhagavan said to the devotee, “Why do you think you are a grihasta (householder)? If you go out as a sanyasi (monk), a similar thought (that you are a sanyasi-monk) will haunt you. Whether you continue in the household, or renounce it and go to the forest, your mind haunts you.” Bhagavan in Talk 54.

“Where psychology ends, there philosophy begins. This is experience; the mind is born; we see it; even without the mind we exist. There is everyone’s experience to prove it.” Bhagavan in Talk 126.

Thoughts Change But Not You ~ Sri Ramana Maharshi

Thoughts change but not you
Photo art from John Wassenberg’s fb page.

Sri Ramana Maharshi says in Talk 524 (Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi), “You must exist in order that you may think. You may think these thoughts or other thoughts. The thoughts change but not you. Let go the passing thoughts and hold on to the unchanging Self. The thoughts form your bondage. If they are given up, there is release. The bondage is not external.”

Devotee says: But it is not easy to remain without thinking.

Sri Ramana replies: You need not cease thinking. Only think of the root of the thoughts; seek it and find it. The Self shines by itself. When that is found the thoughts cease of their own accord. That is freedom from bondage (Talk 524).

Bhagavan Ramana teaches that any thing that appears and disappears is not you. That which remains always, is you. The Advaitic system of Neti, Neti (not this, not this) is based on that. The aspirant analyzes everything that he or she perceives and says, “I am not the body, I am not the senses, I am not the mind, etc. Whatever can be perceived is not me as I am the one perceiving it.”

Continuing to reflect on this and doing Neti, Neti, (I am not this, I am not this), finally, that subjective pure awareness remains which cannot be denied. The Subject cannot deny It Self. Hence Advaita Vedanta declares that when you firmly reach the pure Subject which is only Awareness, you should abide in that. That You Are. Thou Art That. That I AM!