No Secret Methods

Sri Ramana Maharshi’s teaching is beautiful, unique, and direct. There is no encouragement of superstition, no secret mantras to be whispered in your ear, no fancy handshakes, no unusual postures or dance moves to learn, no dependence on rituals or outside forces. In Bhagavan’s teachings, there are no special requirements to meet, and no examinations by the Guru to test your worthiness.

Bhagavan says that you are the Self. Being the Self is nothing more than pure Being, Pure Existence. You have the power to discover the natural state of bliss inherent in you and abide as That.

The highest, the purest, the most sublime teaching that leads to Self-Realization is open to all. It is completely free. There are no initiation fees for special secret techniques and methods. That is why Bhagavan says, “No secret technique. It is all an open secret in this system in “Day by Day with Bhagavan” ~ (8-10-46).

Authentic Sources of Ramana Maharshi’s Teachings

A few years ago, I wrote a short article on some good sources of Sri Ramana Maharshi’s teachings.

https://luthar.com/2014/05/25/recommended-books-for-teachings-of-sri-ramana-maharshi-by-dr-harsh-k-luthar/

A number of other scholars/practitioners, including David Godman and Michael James have done admirable work of researching and identifying authentic sources of Bhagavan Ramana’s words. This is important for obvious reasons. We see too many misquotes of Sri Ramana’s teachings by people who are not intimate with Bhagavan’s teachings and whose main interest seems to be in finding nice sounding feel-good quotes.

Having said that the need to identify authentic sources of Sri Ramana’s teaching is important, it still needs to be acknowledged that the teachings transmitted via language, no matter how authentic and genuine a source is, have built-in limitations. That is why Bhagavan often stated that the highest teaching is always given in silence.

Sri Ramana used to say that once the basic teaching/method of self-inquiry is grasped, the books are of little use to the aspirant. It is the practical application of the teaching that matters. He stated this again and again in a variety of ways and in many different contexts in order to emphasize the point.

Despite the volumes written on Sri Ramana’s teachings, the teachings are easy to understand for a sincere person who makes the effort. The reason for that is that we are already the Self. Bhagavan is simply reminding us by speaking directly to our essence. Whatever the limitation of the language and the source, these words are full of the force of grace. It is up to us to be open to this power of grace.

Hence we have the ability to “Hear” Bhagavan Ramana, no matter what the source. It does not matter if we do not “Hear” him perfectly at first. It is the practice that purifies the mind and makes it subtle. It is then the teaching/grace works spontaneously and guides the mind to enter the Heart and understand the true nature of silence.

Sri Ramana never approved of devotees getting entangled with intellectual debates and losing their focus from the main purpose of life. Self Recognition.

All love. ❤️

The Tao Is Not Real

The wise say that the Tao that can be talked about is not The True Tao. Still, Sages such as Ramana Maharshi manage to indicate the existence of the underlying Reality with words and without words. Self-Realized sages point to the Truth easily and spontaneously. Knowledge of Reality is not just their first-hand knowledge but their very Being.

Sri Ramana, through his silence, words, and actions, was always pointing at the highest reality, the Heart of existence, the Self. Even in minor things like giving instructions on cooking and eating food, cutting wood, or other matters, Bhagavan was doing that.  Sages like that are more than just Satsang givers, good public speakers, and charismatic orators.

I am often reminded of the words of Sri Ramana who used to say that the Supreme Reality, whatever it is, must Always be Real. It cannot be more real sometime in the future than it already is right now.

Therefore, the central truth to be grasped by a devotee of Bhagavan Ramana is that whatever is real, permanent, eternal, must be Here and Now also. In this very moment, it must be so!

If the Self is not Here and Now and is to be gained at some future time, then it must be subject to loss also. What can be gained can also be lost!

Therefore the sages declare that That which is Real, Absolute, Eternal cannot be gained. It is because you are already That!  What You already Are cannot be attained because it is your very nature, very being.

Can we Accept This?

What undermines the acceptance of our Own Natural State?

What is your deepest knowing here and now?

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.