Ramana Maharshi – Just Sitting There On The Rocks

Around the age of 31, Swami Lakshman Joo, the great yogi mystic philosopher, and exponent on Kashmiri Shaivism went to Tiruvannamalai to meet Bhagavan Ramana and spent a few weeks there. Speaking about his experiences with Sri Ramana, he later said, “I felt those golden days were indeed divine”. He is shown below in one of the pictures that were taken when he was there.

The greatest yogis of the day and Shankracharyas came and visited Bhagavan Ramana and saw an ordinary frail man, who had nothing, sitting there on the rocks. Although Bhagavan did not try to impress anyone, the highest adepts instantly saw that they were in the presence of the Eternal Presence ItSelf.

What Is All This?

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.

Sri Ramana and the Yogi Devotees

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.

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.

Essence of Ramana Maharshi’s Teachings

Everything is transient.

Our body, mind, perceptions of the world and how we see others are always in flux.

Even our ideas of who we are, tend to change over time.

We have the inherent capacity to notice our pure sense of existence, the feeling of “I AM” that never changes and is always with us.

This awareness is subtle and intangible and in the background.

If we bring it to the forefront, pay attention to it, cultivate it, It leads to the Heart and becomes the door to eternity.

It leads us beyond duality to our Self. This is the essence of Sri Ramana’s teaching.

Namaste

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.”