Ramana Advaita : A Clear Brief

In Maharishi Ramana’s own words …

This is a special post.

Only very pertinent comments will be approved

What is reality ? 
You are the supreme reality to yourself – the Self, the I that remains the same, still and silent, awake and aware, through your wakeful, dream and deep sleep states in life, from birth through death. 

Clearly, it is not the ego-being that waxes and wanes with its happy and miserable experience. 
You are awareness. Awareness is your another name. Since you are awareness there is no need to attain or cultivate it.

Your present knowledge is due to the ego and is only relative. Relative knowledge requires a subject and an object, whereas the awareness of the Self is absolute and requires no object. 

People want to see the Self as something new. But it is eternal and remains the same all along. They desire to see it as a blazing light etc. How can it be so ? It is not light, not darkness. It is only as it is. It cannot be defined. 

When a man realises the Self, what will he see ? 
There is no seeing. There is only being. The state of Self-realisation, as we call it, is not attaining something new or reaching some goal which is far away, but simply being that which you always are and which you always have been. 

All that is needed is that you give up taking the not-true as true. All of us are regarding as real that which is not real. We have only to give up this practice on our part.

At one stage you will laugh at yourself for trying to discover the Self which is so self-evident. There is no seer there to see anything. The seer who is seeing all this now ceases to exist and the Self alone remains. 

For those who live in Self as the beauty devoid of thought, there is nothing which should be thought of. That which should be 
adhered to is only the experience of silence, because in that supreme state nothing exists to be attained other than oneself.

It is false to speak of realisation. What is there to realise ? The real is as it always is. We are not creating anything new or achieving something which we did not have before. 

The illustration given in books is this. We dig a well and create a huge pit. The space in the pit or well has not been created by us. We have just removed the earth which was filling the space there. The space was there then and is also there now. Similarly we have simply to throw out all the age-long samskaras [innate tendencies] which are inside us. When all of them have been given up, the Self will shine alone. 

Liberation is our very nature. We are that. The very fact that we wish for liberation shows that freedom from all bondage is our real nature. It is not to be freshly acquired. All that is necessary is to get rid of the false notion that we are bound. When we achieve that, there will be no desire or thought of any sort. So long as one desires liberation, so long, you may take it, one is in bondage.

If you remain as you are now, you are in the wakeful state; this becomes hidden in the dream state; and the dream state disappears when you are in deep sleep. You were there then, you are there now, and you are there at all times. The three states come and go, but you are always there. 

It is like a cinema. The screen is always there but several types of pictures appear on the screen and then disappear. Nothing sticks to the screen, it remains a screen. Similarly, you remain your own Self in all the three states. If you know that, the three states will not trouble you, just as the pictures which appear on the screen do not stick to it. On the screen, you sometimes see a huge ocean with endless waves; that disappears. Another time, you see fire spreading all around; that too disappears. The screen is there on both occasions. Did the screen get wet with the water or did it get burned by the fire? Nothing affected the screen. In the same way, the things that happen during the wakeful, dream and sleep states do not affect you at all; you remain your own Self. 

There is only one state, that of consciousness or awareness or existence. The three states of waking, dream and sleep cannot be real. They simply come and go. It is the seer who says these come and go. The seer and the seen together constitute the mind. See if there is such a thing as the mind. Then, the mind merges in the Self, and there is neither the seer nor the seen. So the real answer to your question is, `They neither come nor go.' 

What is the difference between the mind and the Self ? 
There is no difference. The mind turned inwards is the Self; turned outwards, it becomes the ego and all the world. Cotton made into various clothes we call by various names. Gold made into various ornaments, we call by various names. But all the clothes are cotton and all the ornaments gold. The one is real, the many are mere names and forms. 

But the mind does not exist apart from the Self, that is, it has no independent existence. The Self exists without the mind, never the mind without the Self. 

Brahman is said to be sat-chit-ananda. What does that mean ? 
Yes. That is so. That which is, is only sat – truth, being. That is called Brahman. The luster of sat is chit – consciousness, knowledge, awareness; and its nature is ananda -- bliss. These are not different from sat. All the three together are known as satchidananda. 

If a man thinks that his happiness is due to external causes and his possessions, it is reasonable to conclude that his happiness must increase with the increase of possessions and diminish in proportion to their diminution. Therefore if he is devoid of possessions, his happiness should be nil. 

What is the real experience of man ? Does it conform to this view ? 
In deep sleep man is devoid of possessions, including his own body. Instead of being unhappy he is quite happy. Everyone desires to sleep soundly. The conclusion is that happiness is inherent in man and is not due to external causes. One must realise the Self in order to open the store of unalloyed happiness.

Existence is the same as happiness and happiness is the same as being. The word mukti – liberation, freedom -- is so provoking. Why should one seek it ? One believes that there is bondage and therefore seeks liberation. But the fact is that there is no bondage but only liberation.

Parable of ten foolish men ...
The ten foolish men in the parable forded a stream and on reaching the other shore wanted to make sure that all of them had 
in fact safely crossed the stream. One of the ten began to count, but while counting the others left himself out. `I see only nine; sure enough, we have lost one. Who can it be ?' he said. 

`Did you count correctly ?' asked another, and did the counting himself. But he too counted only nine. One after the other, each of the ten counted only nine, missing himself. 

`We are only nine', they all agreed, `but who is the missing one?' they asked themselves. Every effort they made to discover the `missing' individual failed.

`Whoever he is that is drowned', said the most sentimental of the ten fools, `we have lost him.' So saying he burst into tears, and the others followed suit. 

Seeing them weeping on the river bank, a sympathetic wayfarer enquired about the cause. They related what had happened and said that even after counting themselves several times they could find no more than nine. On hearing the story, but seeing all the ten before him, the wayfarer guessed what had happened. 

In order to make them know for themselves they were really ten, that all of them had survived the crossing, he told them, `Let each of you count for himself but one after the other serially, one, two, three and so on, while I shall give you each a blow so that all of you may be sure of having been included in the count, and included only once. The tenth missing man will then be found.' 

Hearing this they rejoiced at the prospect of finding their `lost' comrade and accepted the method suggested by the wayfarer. While the kind wayfarer gave a blow to each of the ten in turn, he that got the blow counted himself aloud. `Ten,' said the last man as he got the last blow in his turn. Bewildered they looked at one another. 

`We are ten,' they said with one voice and thanked the wayfarer for having removed their grief. 

However often Bhagavan * teaches us, we are not able to understand. 
* reverential address, meaning God 

People say that they are not able to know the Self that is all pervading. What can I do ? 
Even the smallest child says, `I exist; I do; this is mine.' 
So, everyone understands that the thing `I' is always existent.

What is the ego-self ? How is it related to the real Self ? 
The ego-Self appears and disappears and is transitory, whereas the real Self is permanent. Though you are actually the true Self you wrongly identify the real Self with the ego-self. 

How does the mistake come about ? 
See if it has come about. 

One has to sublimate the ego-self into the true Self. 
The ego-self does not exist at all. 

Why does it give us trouble ? 
To whom is the trouble ? 
The trouble also is imagined. Trouble and pleasure are only for the ego. 

Why is the world so wrapped up in ignorance ? 
Take care of yourself. Let the world take care of itself. 
See your Self. If you are the body there is the gross world also. If you are spirit all is spirit alone. 

It will hold good for the individual, but what of the rest ? 
Do it first and then see if the question arises afterwards. 

Is there avidya [ignorance] ? 
For whom is it ?  For the ego-self. 
Yes, for the ego. Remove the ego and avidya is gone. Look for it, the ego vanishes and the real Self alone remains. The ego professing avidya is not to be seen. There is no avidya in reality. All sastras [scriptures] are meant to disprove the existence of avidya. 

How did the ego arise ? 
Ego is not. Otherwise do you admit of two selves ?

How has the unreal come ? Can the unreal spring from the real ? 
See if it has sprung. There is no such thing as the unreal, from another standpoint. The Self alone exists. When you try to trace the ego, which is the basis of the perception of the world and everything else, you find the ego does not exist at all and neither does all this creation that you see. 

It is cruel of God's leela (play) to make the knowledge of the Self so hard. 
Knowing the Self is being the Self, and being means existence, one's own existence. No one denies one's existence any more than one denies one's eyes, although one cannot see them. The trouble lies with your desire to objectify the Self, in the same way as you objectify your eyes when you place a mirror before them. You have been so accustomed to objectivity that you have lost the knowledge of yourself, simply because the Self cannot be objectified. 

Who is to know the Self ? Can the insentient body know it ?  All the time you speak and think of your `I', yet when questioned you deny knowledge of it. You are the Self, yet you ask how to know the Self. Where then is God's leela and where is its cruelty ? Because of this denial of the Self by people the sastras speak of maya, leela, etc. 

Does my realisation help others ? 
Yes, certainly. It is the best help possible. But there are no others to be helped. 

That will take some years. 
Why years ? The idea of time is only in your mind. It is not in the Self. There is no time for the Self. Time arises as an idea after the ego arises. But you are the Self beyond time and space. You exist even in the absence of time and space. 

All books say that the guidance of a Guru is necessary. 
The Guru will say only what I am saying now. He will not give you anything you have not already got. It is impossible for anyone to get what he has not got already.

I see you doing things. How can you say that you never perform actions ? 
The radio sings and speaks, but if you open it you will find no one inside. Similarly, my existence is like the space; thou this body speaks like the radio, there is no one inside as a doer. 

I find this hard to understand. Could you please elaborate on this ? 
Various illustrations are given in books to enable us to understand how the jnani can live and act without the mind, although living and acting require the use of the mind. The potter's wheel goes on turning round even after the potter has ceased to turn it because the pot is finished. In the same way, the electric fan goes on revolving for some minutes after we switch off the current. The prarabdha [predestined karma] which created the body will make it go through whatever activities it was meant for. But the jnani goes through all these activities without the notion that he is the doer of them. 

It is hard to understand how this is possible. The illustration generally given is that the jnani performs actions in some such way as a child that is roused from sleep to eat eats but does not remember next morning that it ate. 

It has to be remembered that all these explanations are not for the jnani. He knows and has no doubts. He knows that he is not the body and he knows that he is not doing anything even though his body may be engaged in some activity. These explanations are for the onlookers who think of the jnani as one with a body and cannot help identifying him with his body. 

You are Bhagavan. So you should know when I shall get jnana. 
Tell me when I shall be a jnani. 

If I am Bhagavan there is no one besides the Self - therefore no jnani or ajnani. If otherwise, I am as good as you are and know as much as yourself. Either way I cannot answer your question. 

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:http://www.beasyouare.info/beasyouare.html

Journal : Awakening … Into The Truth

III             The Fact In The Way

There is no way to any absolute truth for those of us who are not taken up exclusively by the drive to know; untill then, facts would be the truth of our moments and action our refuge for what is in our desire and want or in our hatred and revulsion.

The desire to know the ” other ” drives us into subjective relationships and to objective studies along diverse disciplines : science, commerce, economics, politics, medicine, sociology, management, and the arts. Sure, we sharpen our intelligence during the course of our study in these fields. But that does not necessarily develop our intellect, our perspective and values system. The depths we illuminate in our intellect with our effort have a calming effect upon us. The process equips us with several skills to focus, study, observe and remember, analyse, concentrate, clarify and integrate… all of which come handy when we embark on an a-religious, matter-of-fact study of our self.

As the subjective being, our self is never without an object, whether in ourself or about the other. Our being is complicatedly diffused among others-in-self and self-in-others projections in the mind, revealed in dream state, but the differentiated subject – object paradigm obviously persists. In deep sleep, the being is apparently in a state of undifferentiated “absence,” and there is no subject-object divide in awareness. There is a consciousness though that arises when we wake up with the memory of being “blissfully asleep”. 

The entire cyclic sway from differentiated to undifferentiated consciousness, and back, from all to nothing and back, is moot. It isn’t just diurnal but very exactly sums up our lifetime as well, through birth to death and back, at all kinds of entry to exit and back, and every psycho-vital experience with their respective extremities : love and hate, thirst and quench, want and meet, desire and fulfill, eat and expel, breathe and asphyxate, etc. And, I am told, the same circumscribed motion qualifies the cosmos and universal being through manifesting big bang to extinguishing big crunch and back, creation to destruction and back, magnetic pole shifts through great terrestrial flood to ice age and back, shift of solar phenomenon from our present sun to the nest one that is getting prepared, and galactic shift from Milky Way to another in its place. 

Every cyclic sway that we become aware of reveals the same flooding … growth, abundance, extinction and freeze, whereafter the cycle repeats. The sages oft declare : as within, so without; know thyself and the cosmos will be revealed. The journey however is full of unknown details, the process punctuated with inscrutable operating and decision nodes. We start with being the ” I ” in this differentiated awareness, in an indescribably extensive game of alternating between the “other” and the self, outwaiting the crowded focus till it simplifies to one object, which stays and begins to reveal itself. It shows up the attachments and anchors upon ourself as the object is brought back again and again and retained in the metal frame, untill all psycho-vital bonds of relatedness disssolve and the finitude in our knowledge of the object extends to include its being entire over all space and time. 

That about outlines the classic Raja-Yoga method to union with pure being. What remains in our perception is knowledge of the object as it is, without any taint or flaw contributed by the mind – the perceiving organ – and without any subjectivity on part of the perceiver himself. The method suggests we next take up progressively subtle objects such as a thought, concept or idea, followed by concentrating on the subject being itself. The object specific knowledge are important only for the challenges they offer : of scale over space and time and of penetration into layers of being. The capacities we broadly acquire along the way are towards attaining knowledge that is immutable and without doubt, breaking through our own limitations, our immensely arresting happiness born of the sense of fulfillment, and the singularity of doing away with the individuated sense of being we have of ourself.

The method rips us away from our dream-like everyday existence in family – work – food – sex – ablutions – relationships – thought – action routine. Withdrawn from all but a frame in the mind, it gets killingly intense at times, when however we end up learning the most. The journey we cover within us is real, with a presence that throws us off at first, perhaps for long, but intensifies and deepens with time, raising a whole gamut of rich impressions latent in our mental being, filling the psychological universe with images and drives that inexorably draws us in. No matter what the scientists say and the dialectical materialists inform, this question of how we have come to this start is shrouded in mystery and does not resolve untill the will and wilfulness gives way to thought and contemplation, to meditation, and to the vigorous urge to join in the drama in our lives ! 

Life begins to cumulatively clarify in the layered impressions of our memory of world, body, relationships, our own being qualified by its ignorance, our knowledge, want and will. The forever situation becomes here and now; the self in the experience is closely watched in the measure of its want; the hidden link of experienced quality with subconscious infiltrations is mapped in vitality; the action is truly anchored in awareness and performed with our whole heart…

But all that only enables us to expand and intensify the awareness … the results may continue to be as unsatisfactory as they’ve always been. However, the difference hereon is that nothing escapes our attention. We fail at every outlined step; but now we know : a very big deal, for we now would get up and on to doing and improve every time ! Every twig, leaf and motion is in our watch : the others and ourself are known real time and included in our thought and behaviour. There is a constant feedback loop, at times surprisingly in advance, with the body we own and owe to, the breath flowing in out, through ablutionary exercise, the things we have now also have us … We are happy with our feelings, comfortable with our relationships, watchful of subconcious interpretations, mindful of our emotions, desires, will, thought, values, actions and their consequences … These are our facts of the way. Our sight is clear on our self, afloat on a sea of subconscious impressions with an unceasing stream of desire, want, will and thought passing through it, claiming it. We compulsively make happy choices, preferring one or other, and are at ease between life and our witnessing reference. And we know every trace of that which we are bringing over from the previous moment and are not bothered : because we are happy with it.

The constant cycle of want and pleasure, joy and misery, ordeal and achievement, hope and anguish … engenders a whole range of attitude. Most people battle through life to fulfill their need and meet their want. Many forever strive to profit, deeming it all as an euphemism of life itself. Some who succeed also grow dissatisfied, tired of the status quo. They search for a way out of it. Of the last, some buy time for their leisure and self-actualisation; some despair and live in depression; others summon the will to work for the welfare of others or for causes that would herald a change. Only a scant few have the clear sight, vigour and the mental preparedness to take a turn away from it all for a time and direct their search into hitherto uncharted terrain, to the self abiding with transcending paradigms.

*  *  *

I loved these accounts from a whacky lady … http://clotildajamcracker.wordpress.com/

Journal : Awakening … Into The Truth

II          What is the truth ?

It is that which supports the entire tangible and intangible domain, that exists by its own potency and cannot be contradicted. It is everything material, physical, mental, psychological and spiritual … all that are perceived to exist of their own accord and power. It is existence that comes to be, whose being cannot be denied in its moment or eternity, through which it continues to be. It is the substratum with which the unmanifest subsists, of which forms are manifest, into which all being de-manifest and subside.

We could have an idea of the truth as an all-inclusive sum of facts and the history of each over time, if we knew. Whether in respect of objects, the subject, or both in their relatedness, truth is a realisation that is over and above what we know, that circumscribes and permeates all we experience and perceive, and is hence transcendental. It is inseparable from its knower, forever preceding it, constituting and illuminating it, casting its light upon the mind and all things in our sense and perception. In the absence of the knowledge of this truth, our sense of the self is without the eternity at its support and the truncated awareness remains in its individuated in-itself emptiness that we abhor or its transient for-itself preoccupations that take us through respective existential cycles of will and want, emotion and thought, idea and vitality.

An objective fact is a local truth of the moment that excludes us. Clearly, it is impossible for us to be objective about a being, person or thing, with which we already relate. If it isn’t the thing, then our subjectivity would be found in the act, the need of being objective or drive behind it. The most unrelated of facts or object is perceived with its form and nature, its causes and effects, while our attention is led to the dark domains of ignorance within us. It makes us dream of horror, romance, profit or sheer disinterest, while our perception of the image in our awareness changes in tune with frame in our dream. It might take years for the mind to clarify, and ages if the intent is to purify.

Truth arises when we are aware of being as it is, without our least interpretation of it. It may start with anything phenomenal – physical or mental, but soon extends to include our self and the universe. It takes a while, a long while from the start, before the mutating interpretations of being die down and give way to the unchanging perception. We then know the truth.

However wide its scale, the knowledge of the fact remains formal, leaving the knowledge we have of ourself untouched and instead prompts us with emotions and drives that lead us to action, with a profit in view. It doesn’t become intimate and informal until our enquiry expands to discover how the fact, its sources and effects, subserve our environment near or far, or directly impact our body, senses, mind and being. Inclusive extension and interpretive absence – nothingness, if we will – transports awareness past the veils of ignorance upon it … when there is no distance or separation, and cognitive mediate, between ourself and the truth : we then know ourself as the truth and the truth as our self, and find in ourself the capacity for perspective that includes both the fact of being and the being in truth. As a corollary, we then assign to the object being the same importance we reserve for ourself, and every fact is owned subjectively with the same regard as the body-mind bing assumes in our sense.

All existence, beings and things, including our body and thought, are matters of fact. The material ones are gross; the mental forms we sense are subtle. We may have a degree of intimacy with our material possessions and with bodies that please us, that we use frequently or sensually interact with, but the sense of that intimacy is subtle, within us, as a form of mind-stuff = feeling or emotion, thought or knowledge. The sense we have for each object is a historical reduction of experience subtly impressed upon our mental being, as a drive of one kind or other – desire or revulsion, hatred or want, or any other in between.

Infrequently, in evolved minds, the urge would transcend the desire – hate spectrum of vitality and will, and lead to curiosity, awareness of a gap in our knowledge that bothers, causing an irrepressible need to know. It is the hallmark of a refined human being.

Serialised Story : LIFETIME IN 36 HOURS

The story untill now …

https://vamadevananda.wordpress.com/?s=serialised+story&submit=Search

I turned to another live page of my book of rules. 

” Be mindful of all you perceive, within and without. Be aware of everything in your experience. Be giving, not wanting. Never use a word without holding its truth within. And, always … always believe that there is someone looking after you, that you are not alone. ” 

” Wait … I wish to write that down in my diary.” 

She pulled out a small notebook with orange plastic cover, a little thick for its size but looking somewhat delicate. She wrote from memory on its first page that had been left blank, and was stuck at a couple of places. I had no memory of what I had reeled out but she was accurate at prompting the keywords. 

” What you said seemed to describe the ways I would love to have and be. They touch me, as if they are my own long-lost nature, some of which I still have and follow but imperfectly. Thank you, for sketching so fully what I need to restore to myself.” 

” I believe every word of yours. Mindfulness and conscientiousness are supreme virtues on the path you seek to travel. There will be exceptions, some spiritually agreeable, some for pragmatic reasons, and others in error. Mistakes do not matter, however big, if they are clear in our awareness.” 

” I’m both elated and daunted.” 

” As it should be. Now leave both these imaginations behind.” 

I indicated a pause in our conversation and looked away. Speech was not the way beyond a point. Silence, contemplation and meditation was. Awareness of the involved fundamental drive, or cause, in the internal process was essential to know and free ourselves. Outside, it was mid-day for trees, cattle and herdsmen. 

I know there is no gain involving oneself with anyone other than whom the universe ordains. But we invariably transgress the law because of our wilfulness riding on aroused emotions and flared want. We all make moves of our own and arrive where we do. Then, consequences take over our spiritual lives : that evolutionary electable, which happens in moments, then takes years, decades and lifetimes. 

Ambition was an oxymoron in the spiritual context. 

* * *

I had been deep asleep : the body was at complete rest and so was I, absolutely. There was no other. Waking up, I found we were at a major station; hawkers were calling out for wares on their trollies. I found her gazing on me with a softness that tugged deep, triggering my alarm. I bought two rich chocolate bars and gave one to her with palpable joy. She took it with a laugh. 

It was just past noon and, I thought, dinner was an hour away. The train gave a heave and began to pull. The passing platform seemed crowded and colourful. A moment’s snapshot. It would take a compilation of all moments it offered, to present the content of what it was. How it relates to each person out there would be defined by how it serves, over time, and what that meant to each one. But a summary conclusion had to have its origin in the intent behind its creation. And that was true of each being, person and thing. Hard to find but … harder to accept. I smiled to myself. 

” I want to hear more from you.” 

This was bold and I met it with respect. ” About what ?” would have been pedantic, if not naive. 

” This is a call of love. Not necessarily for the person you believe I am but for what you experience with the words you hear. It is already yours. All of it. You do not need me or my words for that. If at first you can’t regain it, think of me and it will all come back to you.” 

” But why not directly from you ?” 

” Because I am just another imperfect person, who will be with you for a short while. What you need is someone who will be with you anytime you need and recede when you do not. It will be all you and yours, at your entire convenience. With perhaps better results and zero complications.” 

” Maybe I’ll do just that after we’ve parted. But for now … I am not at all apprehensive about imperfections and complications.” 

” Perfect. Let’s introduce ourselves.”

To be continued …   A spiritual thriller in the making.

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