TOP =======UNDERSTANDING HINDUISM========
Miscellaneous Q &
LIFE IN THE
Sri Ramana Maharshi:
"You should stay just where you are now. But where are you now? Are you in the house
or is the house in you? Is there any house apart from you? If you become established in
your own place, you will find that all things have merged into you and such questions will
Sri Ramana: "You are to
remain in your true state."
Sri Ramana,: "If
objects have an independent existence, that is if they exist somewhere apart from you,
then it may be possible for you to retire from them. But they do not. They owe their
existence to you, to your thought, so where can you retire from them? As for reading books
on Vedanta, you can go on reading any number but they can only tell you to realise the
Self within you. The Self cannot be found in books. You have to find it for yourself in
Sri Ramana; "It is only
to the spectator that the enlightened householder seems to be occupied with his domestic
duties; for even though apparently engaged in domestic duties, he is not really engaged in
any activity at all. His outer activity does not prevent him from realising the perfect
peace of withdrawal, and he is free from the restless urge to activity even in the midst
of his activities."
Sri Ramana: "The
discharge of his duties by a householder such as this, who works for the support of his
family, quite unmindful of his own physical comforts in life, should be regarded as
selfless service rendered to his family, whose needs it is his destiny to meet. It may,
however, be asked what benefit such a householder derives from the family. The answer is
that there is no benefit for him from the family as such, since he has made the discharge
of his duties to them a means of spiritual training and since he finally obtains perfect
contentment by realising the supreme Bliss of liberation , which is the ultimate goal of
every path and the supreme reward. He therefore stands in need of nothing from the members
of his family or from his family life."
Sri Ramana: "Solitude
is in the mind of a man. One man may be in the thick of the world and yet maintain perfect
serenity of mind. Such a person is always in solitude. Another may live in the forest but
still be unable to control his mind. He cannot be said to be in solitude. Solitude is an
attitude of the mind. A man attached to the things of life cannot get solitude, wherever
he may be, whereas a detached man is always in solitude."
Sri Ramana: "The inner
silence is self-surrender. And that means living without the sense of ego."
Sri Ramana: "Action performed unselfishly purifies the mind and helps it to fix itself in meditation."
Question: "But suppose we were to meditate constantly without activity?"
Sri Ramana: "Try and
see. Your latent tendencies (vasanas) will not let you. Meditation only comes gradually
with the gradual weakening of the vasanas by the grace of the Guru."
Sri Ramana: "The Guru
is one who at all times abides in the profound depths of the Self. He never sees any
difference between himself and others and is quite free from the idea that he is the
Enlightened or the Liberated One, while those around him are in bondage or the darkness of
ignorance. His self-possession can never be shaken under any circumstances and he is never
Sri Ramana: "The Guru is the Self. At sometime a man grows dissatisfied with his life and, not content with what he has, seeks the satisfaction of his desires through prayer to God. His mind is gradually purified until he longs to know God, more to obtain His Grace than to satisfy worldly desires. Then God's Grace begins to manifest. God takes the form of a Guru and appears to the devotee, teaches him the Truth and, moreover, purifies his mind by association with him. The devotee's mind thus gains strength and is then able to turn inward. By meditation it is further purified until it remains calm without the least ripple. That calm Expanse is the Self.
The Guru is both outer and inner. From
outside he gives a push to the mind to turn inward while from inside he pulls the mind
towards the Self and helps in quieting it. That is the Grace of the Guru. There is no
difference between God, Guru and Self."
Sri Ramana: "Yes, but
it is only a temporary help. It is mental fasting that is the real aid. Fasting is not an
end in itself. There must be spiritual development at the same time. Absolute fasting
weakens the mind too and leaves you without sufficient strength for the spiritual quest.
Therefore eat in moderation and continue the quest."
"Self-reform automatically results in social reform. Attend to self-reform and social
reform will take care of itself."
Sri Ramana: "The Society consisting of followers of their respective customs may be likened to the body, and its members to the limbs. Just as a limb subserves the good of the body, so a member contributes to the good of the Society, and prospers.
One should always so function in mind, speech and body as to promote the good of Society and also wake up one's own people to do likewise.
One should first organise one's group to be
helpful to Society, and then build up its prosperity with a view to advance the prosperity
of the entire Society."
Sri Ramana: "Peace is
for the purification of one's own mind, and power is for the progress of Society. The
Society should first be elevated by means of power, and then peace established."
Sri Ramana: "Fraternity
through equality is the supreme
Sri Ramana: "Now, I will ask you a question. When a man gets into a train, where does he put his luggage?"
Devotee: "Either in the luggage compartment or in the luggage van.
Sri Ramana: "He doesn't carry it on his head or in his lap while on the train?"
Devotee: "Only a foolish would do so."
Sri Ramana: "It is a thousand times more foolish to bear your own burden once you have undertaken the spiritual quest, whether by the path of knowledge or devotion."
Devotee: "But can I
relinquish all my responsibilities. all my
Sri Ramana: "You remember the temple tower? There are many statues on it, aren't there? Well, there are four big ones at the base, one at each corner. Have you seen them?"
Sri Ramana: "Well, I tell you that the huge tower is supported by these four statues.
Devotee: "How is that possible? What does Bhagawan mean?"
Sri Ramana: "I mean
that to say that is no more foolish than saying that you bear all the cares, burdens and
responsibilities of life. The Lord of the universe bears the whole burden. You only
imagine that you do. You can hand over all your burdens to Him. Whatever you have to do,
you will be made an instrument for doing it at the right time. Do not imagine that you
cannot do it unless you have the desire to. It is not desire that gives you the necessary
strength. The strength is the Lord's."
SRI RAMANA MAHARSHI
Ramana Maharshi (1879-1950) was one of the
greatest spiritual teachers of modern-day India. At the age of seventeen he attained a
profound experience of the true Self without the guidance of a Guru and thereafter
remained conscious of his identity with the Absolute (Brahman) at all times. After some
years of silent seclusion he finally began to reply to the questions put to him by
spiritual seekers all over the world.
At the age of seventeen Ramana suddenly had
an experience of death one day in which he realised that the body dies but the
consciousness is not touched by death. "I" am immortal consciousness. "All
these," he later reported, "were no idle speculations. They went through me like
a powerful , living truth that I experienced directly, almost without thinking. ' I ' [the
true I or Self ] was reality, the only reality in this momentary state. All conscious
activity that was related to my body flowed into this ' I '. From that moment, all
attention was drawn as if by powerful magic to the ' I ' or the Self. The fear of death
was permanently extinguished. From this time on I remained fully absorbed in the 'Self '.
In South India, Alick McInnes, a Scottish scientist, witnessed the strange spectacle of Sri Ramana Maharshi on his evening walk. Within seconds of his leaving his house, cattle tied up in stalls in the village half a mile away would struggle to get out of their ties. When released, they careered along the road to accompany the old man on his walk, followed by all the dogs and children of the village. Before the procession had gone far, wild animals and even snakes joined it from the jungle. Thousands of birds appeared, almost blotting out the sky. There were tiny tits, huge kites, heavy-winged vultures and other birds of prey, all flying in harmony around the Maharshi on his walk. When he returned to his room, said McInnes, all the birds, animals and children would quietly disappear.
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