If we find the company of good people on our path, it enhances our life in every way.
In Sanskrit, we call this, Satsang (Spiritual Fellowship).
Sages emphasize the power of Satsang to transform our life.
The Satsang need not be physical or face to face. Coming into contact with the thoughts of great saints and yogis via books or other media also constitutes Satsang.
Sri Ramana used to say that physical contact with the Guru is not important. It is the mental and spiritual contact that is critical and central for our growth.
Know yourself to be free
and realize your bliss.
Thinking yourself bound
will make you miss
that which is easily found
by being still.
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.”
The basic tenet of Advaita-Vedanta is that our original nature, the nature of the Self, is Sat-Chit-Ananda-Nityam-Purnum. Sat means Existence. Chit refers to Consciousness. Ananda means Bliss. Nityam mean Eternal. Purnum means whole or complete.
These are not qualities of the Self but its very nature as One monolithic whole. The Self is One without a second, A Mass of Conscious Bliss that is Eternal and Whole. When we experience the Self, we see that the ancient sages were very precise in describing our nature. It is unmistakable and leaves no room for any thought or doubt. Sages teach us that what comes and goes is not our true nature. What is transient has no permanent power or hold on us.
Although we view our personality as made up of mental traits and thoughts, Advaita teaches us that even our mind and thoughts are transient as they are constantly undergoing change. If our identity is based on mental fluctuations, suffering is the natural result.
Sri Ramana, the Sage of Arunachala, taught that through reflection, introspection, and self- inquiry, we can see through our mental conditioning, be free of it, and go beyond it.
Then we see that what comes and goes is not our nature.
Here is a conversation with Sri Ramana and a visitor to illustrate this point.
A visitor said: “I suffer from worries without end; there is no peace for me…” Sri Ramana asked: “Do these worries affect you in sleep?” The visitor admitted that they did not.
Sri Ramana asked him again: “Are you the very same man now, or are you different from him that slept without any worry?”
The visitor said, “Yes, I am the same person.”
Sri Ramana then said: “Then surely those worries do not belong to you. It is your own fault if you assume that they are yours.” (From Maha Yoga by K. Lakshmana Sarma).
Ramana Maharshi often spoke about the true nature of solitude. He has explained a number of times that silence, peace, and solitude are not a function of our environment but our mental state. Indeed solitude is in the mind and not to be found somewhere outside.
“You may go on reading any number of books on Vedanta. They can only tell you ‘Realize the Self’. The Self cannot be found in books. You have to find it for yourself in yourself.” Bhagavan Ramana in Gems ~ Chapter 8.
Sri Ramana here states the truth directly and unmistakably. No matter how many books one reads, one cannot gain Self-Realization.
Reading, thinking, and conceptualizing involve mental activity. Yet, it is this mental activity that distracts us and covers up the pure essence of being.
It is the mind itself that has to subside into the Heart and dissolve in it. Upon the merging of the mind in the Heart, the Self, recognition of our true nature is instantaneous. With the mind absent as the intermediary, the wordless Realization is immediate. One recognizes and says that “It has been Me all along. I am the Self.”
This recognition is beyond thoughts, words, and concepts. We use the words only to indicate that our real Self stands always Self-revealed.
Bhagavan Ramana teaches that once we become conscious of our power of attention to scan its own nature, we should focus on that.
in the classic quote given at the beginning of the article, Bhagavan Ramana emphasizes the role of deliberate and conscious introversion of the mind by shifting our attention from perceptions to the perceiver via self-inquiry.
Note: The featured picture is from Mirela Skerbic on Facebook