“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
Mira Prabhu is one of the most gifted Indian writers who used to live in Manhattan. Her writing is brilliant, eloquent, deeply insightful, and imbued with the authentic flavors of Indian mysticism. I should also add that Mira’s writings are a lot of fun to read and captivate the reader.
As a little girl growing up in the vibrant heart of south India, I overheard my father warn a friend that a certain woman whom he referred to by name—a stranger to me—was so clever she could even “draw blood out of a stone.”
My father—a charismatic and handsome fellow gifted with a silver tongue—caught my attention with his vivid language. How I burned to meet this sorceress who could coax a crimson stream of blood out of ungiving stone! What other supernatural gifts must she possess? I wondered dreamily.
Soon after, the whole family attended a wedding in the community. In the crush of adults milling about, I heard someone greet a formidable woman—dressed in a resplendent peacock-blue silk sari bordered with gold—with the name my father had used for the woman with the magical ability. Greatly excited, I ran up to this wondrous creature on sturdy little legs…
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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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