“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
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.
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”.
Editor’s Note: The following is the description of the luminous comet that streaked across the sky disappearing behind the holy hill of Arunachala at the time of Sri Ramana Maharshi’s Mahasamadhi. The devotees who saw it from far away realized that it was an “announcement” that Bhagavan Ramana had entered Mahanirvana.
14 April 1950:
At about 9 p.m., Monsieur Cartier-Brassen, the French photographer, who has been here for about a fortnight with his wife, related an experience of his to me.
“It is a most astonishing experience,’’ he said. “I was in the open space in front of my house, when my friends drew my attention to the sky, where I saw a vividly-luminous shooting star with a luminous tail, unlike any shooting star I had before seen, coming from the South, moving slowly across the sky and, reaching the top of Arunachala, disappeared behind it.
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.”