The Sage of Arunachala, 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.
Many of them were world class poets and scholars. But they led quiet, unpretentious, and humble lives fully content in the grace of Bhagavan Ramana.
In outward appearance, Sri Ramana appeared as an ordinary sadhu sitting quietly on the rocks of Arunachala, and wandering the holy hill at times.
The yogis of the highest wisdom upon meeting him recognized him instantly as the king of yogis, serene and content, whose very presence was the blessing they had been seeking.
The message of Sri Ramana is simple and echoes the Upanishads.
Sri Ramana used to say that wherever we go, our mind follows. We cannot escape our troubled mind riddled with endless concerns, anxieties, and fears. Even if we run away to a forest or some holy place or sanctuary, the mind is still with us.
Truly, the conflicted and conditioned mind is like our shadow.
It is the ancient teaching of sages and scriptures that our mental state at the time of death determines our next birth. If at the time of death, we fully surrender to the Lord, the Universal Being, then we merge in God and are freed from all sorrows.
We usually think of that at the time of death what we have loved and thought about during life. Hence the purest souls who have devoted their whole life to serving the God of Love merge in that Universal Love immediately at the time of death and achieve complete liberation.
The greatest yogis of the day and Shankracharyas came and visited Bhagavan Ramana.
They saw an ordinary frail man, who had nothing, sitting there on the rocks.
Bhagavan Ramana did not try to impress anyone.
The highest yogic adepts and saints instantly saw that they were in the presence of the Eternal Presence ItSelf.
The ultimate Reality cannot be named. It has no name. There is no one outside of Reality to give it a name.
Realized Sages such as Bhagavan Sri Ramana have indicated the experience or the state of the Self. It is what it is.
It is the Heart of Existence, and Existence It Self. Sri Ramana used to say that It is only Being.
You can call it what you like. Self, No-Self, Shunya, Reality. What difference can it make? The ultimate Reality cannot be named. It has no name. There is no one outside of Reality to give it a name.
Ancient sages taught that the core of our being is pure Sat-Chit-Ananda which roughly translates from Sanskrit as Existence, Knowledge/Consciousness, Bliss as One.
It is devoid of thought or doubt or conflict, but utterly complete and supreme over its domain, its domain being no other than It Self.
It is the Eternal Reality which is not conscious of anything separate from it, being Pure Consciousness Itself.
It is beyond happiness…
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Sri Ramana’s teaching is that the ego/mind merges in the Heart in two ways.
First, we can investigate the nature of the ego and examine the sense of “I” that we naturally feel and see where it arises. To do this, one needs to still the mind and with a purified and subtle intellect trace the “I” back to its source, the Heart. This is the yogic path of Jnana.
The second approach is to simply surrender the ego/mind without reservation to the Lord and accept that it is never our will but the Lord’s will as to what happens. If this attitude of “not my will but thine my Lord” penetrates deeply into our being, then we become accepting of everything. We see that worries and anxieties associated with ego/mind do not belong to us as we have surrendered our individual identity to the Lord. This is the approach of devotion and leads to the ego/mind merging into the Heart where the Lord sits as Eternal Existence.
“If ego rises, all will rise. If the ego merges, all will merge. The more we are humble, the better it is for us”. ~ Sri Ramana in “Gems”, Chapter XIII.
Photo art in this article is from Andreas Farasitis.