The Self Cannot Be Found In Books

“You may go on reading any number of books on Vedanta. They can only tell you ‘Realize the Self’. The Self cannot be found in books. You have to find it for yourself in yourself.” Bhagavan Ramana in Gems ~ Chapter 8.

Sri Ramana here states the truth directly and unmistakably. No matter how many books one reads, one cannot gain Self-Realization.

Reading, thinking, and conceptualizing involve mental activity. Yet, it is this mental activity that distracts us and covers up the pure essence of being.

It is the mind itself that has to subside into the Heart and dissolve in it. Upon the merging of the mind in the Heart, the Self, recognition of our true nature is instantaneous. With the mind absent as the intermediary, the wordless Realization is immediate. One recognizes and says that “It has been Me all along. I am the Self.”

This recognition is beyond thoughts, words, and concepts. We use the words only to indicate that our real Self stands always Self-revealed.

Bhagavan Ramana teaches that once we become conscious of our power of attention to scan its own nature, we should focus on that.

in the classic quote given at the beginning of the article, Bhagavan Ramana emphasizes the role of deliberate and conscious introversion of the mind by shifting our attention from perceptions to the perceiver via self-inquiry.

OM Shanti!

Namaste

Note: The featured picture is from Mirela Skerbic on Facebook

The Nature of Joy

I have left all my practices,

and words of the wise

now sound like noises

in the city at lunch time.

On entering the heart of awareness,

I saw that

joy is simply the glow of contentment

devoid of longing.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Nature of the Ego

“When the ego rises, all things rise with it. When the ego is not, there is nothing else. Since the ego thus is everything, to question ‘What is this thing?’ is the extinction of all things”.

The quote above from Bhagavan Ramana is from ‘Reality in Forty Verses’ (‘Ulladu Narpadu’), v. 26. It can be found in Bhagavad’s “Collected Works”.

Here Bhagavan eloquently points out that one cannot force oneself to give up the ego. The very attempt to discard the ego, is itself based on the assumption of separation from the whole. In other words, the effort to conquer the ego is based on egotism!

Such forced efforts to overcome the ego end up only reinforcing the notion that we are “separate” from the Universal Existence. With such attempts, the nonexistent phantom of the ego appears real in our imagination.

Hence Bhagavan Ramana says, “Question, what is this thing, this ego which manifests as a sense of separateness from the whole”? Where does it come from?”

This inquiry requires us to simply bring our attention to the sense of identity, the sense of “I AM”. It is only by bringing quiet, nonjudgmental attention on the ego, that the ego can be see through as unreal. The method is simple and yet the mind has to be made pure and subtle to grasp it.

Love to all

Namaste

 

Your Karma Ate My Dogma…Part 3

Mira Prabhu, residing at Arunachala in South India, explains the nature of karma in her characteristic straightforward way that everyone can understand.

mira prabhu

dalai-lama-addressSometime during the mid-90s, at a workshop at Omega, situated in Rhinebeck, upstate New York, I asked Bob Thurman, ex-Buddhist monk and father of the lovely Hollywood star, Uma Thurman, to explain the laws of karma. Bob shrugged and said he didn’t know of any. Much later, when I moved to Dharamsala from Manhattan, I realized how many versions of karmic theory there are—and not just in the Hindu world, but reflected in the four different schools of Tibetan Buddhism.Just for the record, the laws of karma according to my Gelupa Buddhist guru are as follows:
  • that karma is definite–meaning that acts that cause pleasure result in pleasure, that acts causing pain bring pain back, while neutral acts have no apparent effect;
  • that karmic energy increases exponentially–which means that if you steal one measly rupee, at least four rupees will be stolen from you;
  • that one cannot become…

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How to Begin Self-Inquiry: By Dr. Harsh K. Luthar

The play of concepts is endless. Concepts about the body, the mind, spirit, etc. It is the quicksand which entangles one more and more. It is the stuff of religion, philosophy, spirituality, great writers, great thinkers, great teachers, great leaders, etc.

The presumption to teach and help others to improve themselves reveals the unrelenting grip of the ego. Sri Ramana used to say that our first duty is to realize our true nature.

The wise say, that, “I am the doer” notion is bondage (See the Bhagavad Gita). This is a very deep philosophy and requires a subtle understanding of how to remain balanced in life. 

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Bhagavad Gita and Karma Yoga

No one who is born in this world can remain inactive. Bhagavad-Gita teaches that each person should follow their dharma (sacred duty) and take actions accordingly.

For example, the dharma of a teacher is to share knowledge. Dharma of a business person is to engage in commerce. Dharma of a warrior is to protect the innocent and fight for justice.

In the Bhagavad-Gita, Sri Krishna says to Arjuna that as a warrior, he has the duty to fight against injustice and lead others who look up to him.

However, Sri Krishna adds that even when one takes actions, it should be done without ego attachments as a matter of dharma that fulfills a higher purpose.

This approach to life is known as karma yoga and is taught by Bhagavan Krishna in the Bhagavad-Gita.

According to karma yoga, one should act carefully according to dharma with respect for all life.

After having done one’s best, one should not be attached to the outcomes. Instead, one should surrender all the fruits (results) of the actions to Lord with the attitude, “Not my will but thy will my Lord.”

Keeping the Lord in mind in all actions purifies the mind and frees the yogi from worry and anxiety.

Remain Calm and Aware: By Dr. Harsh K. Luthar

The feeling/awareness of one’s existence manifests through the mind as “I”. Hence we say, I do this, I do that, I am a doctor, I am a sanaysi, I am a householder, I am a student, I am a husband, I am a wife, etc.

Bhagavan Ramana’s teaching is to quietly bring attention to this sense of “I” by asking “Kohum”.

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