Whether one is rich or poor, famous or unknown, bright or dull, wise or foolish, religious or an atheist, each experiences pleasures and pains, joys and sorrows, tears and laughter, victories and defeats in their life.
At some point, one may ask “What is all this?”
“Who am I that has all these experiences?”
Thus, as if compelled, the sages start to reflect on the nature of their existence and the mind.
The quest to know the nature of existence starts us on the journey to our own Heart, which is indeed the Universal Heart.
The Sage of Arunachala, Bhagavan 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. But they led quiet, unpretentious, and humble lives fully content in the grace of Bhagavan.
The message of Sri Ramana is to turn the mind within to see our true nature; and then we will see everything to be full of spirit.
In his life, Bhagavan exemplified his realization and manifested immense compassion for all beings. Bhagavan related to plants, trees, birds, animals, and people as sacred and treated everyone who came within his orbit with the utmost respect and love.
In every generation, in every field, from sciences and humanities to business and politics, it is the young people who lead the way. Between the ages of 12 and 17, many children are already close to reaching the height of their creativity and intellectual powers. These gifts and abilities that shine at a young age continue to be developed and refined well into their 20s, 30s, and 40s.
In Chess, sometimes children become International Masters by the age of 11 (see the case of Praggnanandhaa of India). The youngest Grandmaster of Chess (Karjakin of Ukraine) achieved that distinction by the age of 13. The same thing happens in Mathematics, Music, and Sciences and we see prodigies everywhere breaking new ground in their fields and advancing society. Albert Einstein put forward his General Theory of Relativity at the age of 26 and published four major papers that revolutionized the whole field of physics.
In Business also, we clearly see the extraordinary talents of the young people as entrepreneurs and innovators who are founders of some of the biggest companies in tech today. Young people see the world with fresh eyes and have a tremendous capacity to come up with novel approaches to address challenges faced by society. It happens in the spring of youth. Energy, intelligence, sensitivity, and passion come together to ignite a volcano of creative energy.
Children are our treasure and our future. We have a sacred responsibility to protect them from fear and harm and nurture them in every way so they can fulfil their potential. As an educator, I feel deep pride when I see young people in high schools and colleges, and universities, find their voice and become leaders. There is no other choice but for talented young people to come forward and take leadership roles in every field including business and public service.
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.
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.”
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.”
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.