“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
From the very gifted and insightful mystic writer from Arunachala, Mira Prabhu. Thank you Mira.
Anyone who has grown up in a traditional community knows that one is strongly urged to never speak about the skeletons rattling around in both individual and community closets. As for me, I was so open with strangers right from the get go that my conformist mother would warn me to hush. “Your big mouth will get you into trouble,” she’d say sternly. “There’s no need to tell everyone how you think or feel. If you continue like this, no one will marry you.” I would snigger, thrilled at the thought that this innate habit of frank communication would repel prospective partners who didn’t appreciate honesty. Life had thrown enough chains on me already—why on earth would I want one more?
My mother was wrong. My wildness drew people to me. But I had seen too much already to be dazzled by the usual courtship rituals and already horrified by what…
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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.
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”.
The Sage of Arunachala, Sri Ramana Maharshi, gave us the purest teachings.
If we look at the devotees of Sri Ramana, we see that they were some of the greatest yogis and jnanis of their day.
Many of them were world class poets and scholars. But they led quiet, unpretentious, and humble lives fully content in the grace of Bhagavan Ramana.
In outward appearance, Sri Ramana appeared as an ordinary sadhu sitting quietly on the rocks of Arunachala, and wandering the holy hill at times.
The yogis of the highest wisdom upon meeting him recognized him instantly as the king of yogis, serene and content, whose very presence was the blessing they had been seeking.
The message of Sri Ramana is simple and echoes the Upanishads.
We are elated and happy when things go our way.
We are sad and depressed when reality unfolds differently than our expectations.
How pitiful is our lot my friends, thrown about here and there with the changing winds!
Everyday, the world, as perceived via the mind invites us to ride the roller coaster of emotions fueled by fear, anxiety, anger, and hatred.
A Sage centered in the Heart of Love is always indifferent to such an invitation.
How truly fortunate to come into the orbit of Sages who give the purest teachings of Ahimsa (nonviolence) and Self-Realization.
Bhagavan Ramana used to say, “Wise people examine their own minds.”