Do Not Interfere If Possible

One day, one of the devotees came to Bhagavan Ramana and said in an excited whisper, “Look, Bhagavan! Just look at that man!” Everyone turned to look. We saw a gentleman who was asleep in the meditation hall, swaying back and forth. The devotee who had approached Bhagavan complained, “I have been watching this person for the past few days. He (pretends to meditate) but always sleeps in Bhagavan’s presence.” 

Bhagavan looked at the complaining devotee and said, “That man is doing what he came here to do. But what about you? Did you come here just to check on people, and see who is awake and who is asleep and who is meditating? Why don’t you mind your own business?” 

Seeing the overzealous devotee rebuked like this, all the others burst out laughing.

Bhagavan did not like it at all when people complained about others. He used to say that as long as a person concentrated on the work he was engaged in, he would not even notice what others were doing. One can find the time to criticize others only when one’s attention wandered from the work at hand.

Source: From Cherished Memories by T.R. Kanakammal

This story is both funny and instructive. Bhagavan says to leave alone what others are doing in terms of spiritual practices, karma yoga, sleeping, etc., but focus on yourself. After all, self-inquiry is not a group activity. 🙂

Indeed, Bhagavan was most reluctant to accept invitations to criticize others on their spiritual path, even if it was different than the one he advocated. On more than one occasion, Bhagavan told devotees that they should mind their own business and keep in mind what their original purpose was in coming to Bhagavan.

All Are In God

“Whether you make dhyana of God or of Self, it is immaterial. The goal is the same. But you cannot escape the Self. You want to see God in all, but not in yourself? If all are God, are you not included in that all?” Sri Ramana speaking in Talk 254 (Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi).

Devotee: Is the Universal Soul (Paramatma) always different from us? 

Sri Ramana: That is the common belief, but it is wrong. Think of Him as not different from you, and then you achieve identity of Self with God. (Talk 31).

Death Is Another Name For Us

Losing a loved one is a natural cause of grief for us.

We have to eventually reconcile with the fact of death of those we loved, and cherish the joy that arises in the heart when we think of them.

Sri Ramana reminds us, “True love is shown by the certainty that the object of love is in the Self and that it can never become non-existent.”

Sages teach us that the death of the body is inevitable. We are not the body but the Spirit. That is the message of Bhagavad-Gita as well.

The Fundamental Truth Of Being Alone

We have come alone in this world.

We will leave alone.

Behind all the glamour and colors of this world, the great joys and laughter, and all the pain and horrific suffering, the fact of being alone is a constant for all beings.

Meditation on this fundamental truth serves as a gateway to Self-Realization.

Describing this state, Maharshi Patanjali (Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras) says in Book 1, the third verse, “The Seer now rests in His own nature.”

Free style interpretation of Ashthavakra Gita verses 3.9 to 3.14

Whether honored or tormented, in laughter or tears
the wise man, who is aware of his Self-Nature
does not see the body and mind as his own
and releases them to their natural ways.
Freedom from duality comes from Self-Knowledge
and reveals the joy that takes one beyond all sorrows.

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Here are the original verses from the Asthavakra Gita 3.9-3.14

Whether feted or tormented, the wise man is always aware of his supreme self-nature and is neither pleased nor disappointed. 3.9

The great-souled person sees even his own body in action as if it were someone else’s, so how should he be disturbed by praise or blame? 3.10

Seeing this world as pure illusion, and devoid of any interest in it, how should the strong-minded person feel fear, even at the approach of death? 3.11

Who can be compared to the great-souled person whose mind is free from desire even in disappointment, and who has found satisfaction in self-knowledge? 3.12

How should a strong-minded person who knows that what he sees is by its very nature nothing, consider one thing to be grasped and another to be rejected? 3.13

An object of enjoyment that comes of itself is neither painful nor pleasurable for someone who has eliminated attachment, and who is free from dualism and from desire. 3.14

The Search For True Love

The search for true love is really the search for the ultimate reality of this universe.

It manifests outwardly as the search for that perfect person, the search for God, the search for the mystery of our existence.

Underlying all fears and anxieties is the fundamental agitation of not knowing who we are.

To solve this existential riddle, Sri Ramana advocates the sincere and keen inquiry that focuses on the question, “Who Am I?” 

It is this inward focus with intent and intensity, that leads the mind to dive deep into the very heart of the unknown.

It is in the deepest core of our being, that we find the Heart, that is in reality the Self.

One never feels complete until one realizes that one who has been pursued and sought as one’s true love is one’s own Self.

In coming close to the Self, one is drawn to the Self, and then by Grace merges with the Self, the very Heart of Existence and becomes That.

Bhagavan Ramana used to say, “The Self is always there. It is you. There is nothing but you.”