Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Ramana Maharshi

Thanks to Charlie Hayes - The Eternal State - for this excerpt from Ramana Maharshi.

A Dialogue with Sri Ramana Maharshi

Question: How can I attain Self-realisation?

Bhagavan: Realisation is nothing to be gained afresh; it is already there. All that is necessary is to get rid of the thought, ‘I have not realised’.

Stillness or peace is realisation. There is no moment when the Self is not. So long as there is doubt or the feeling of non-realisation, the attempt should be made to rid oneself of these thoughts. They are due to the identification of the Self with the not-Self. When the not-Self disappears, the Self alone remains. To make room, it is enough that the cramping be removed; room is not brought in from elsewhere.

Question: Since realisation is not possible without vasana-kshya [destruction of mental habits and tendencies], how am I to realise that state in which the vasanas [mental tendencies] are effectively destroyed?

Bhagavan: You are in that state now!

Question: Does it mean that by holding on to the Self, the vasanas should be destroyed as and when they emerge?

Bhagavan: They will themselves be destroyed if you remain as you are.

Question: How shall I reach the Self?

There is no reaching the Self. If Self were to be reached, it would mean that the Self is not here and now but that it is yet to be obtained. What is got afresh will also be lost. So it will be impermanent. What is not permanent is not worth striving for. So I say the Self is not reached. You are the Self; you are already That.

The fact is, you are ignorant of your blissful state. Ignorance supervenes and draws a veil over the pure Self which is bliss. Attempts are directed only to remove this veil of ignorance, which is merely wrong knowledge. The wrong knowledge is the false identification of the Self with the body, mind, etc. This false identification must go, and then the Self alone remains.

Therefore, realisation is for everyone. Realisation makes no difference between the aspirants. This very doubt, whether you can realise, and the notion ‘I-have-not-realised’ are themselves the obstacles. Be free from these obstacles also.

In the experience of one’s own true state of knowledge, one’s real nature, the ideas of bondage and liberation do not exist. There is no attainment of liberation from bondage in the ultimate state of supreme truth, except in one’s imagination.

It is because the mind, the vain ego, is habituated to the thought of bondage that enthusiastic efforts to attain liberation arise. Separation and union exist only through the ignorance of the jiva [the individual self]. They do not exist in the nature of the real, which is jnana [true knowledge] only.

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