All beings desire happiness always, happiness without a tinge of
sorrow. At the same time everybody loves himself best. The cause for
love is only happiness. So, that happiness must lie in one. Further
that happiness is daily experienced by everyone in sleep, when there
is no mind. To attain that natural happiness one must know oneself.
For that, Self-Enquiry, 'Who am I?' is the chief means.
Existence or Consciousness is the only reality. Consciousness plus
waking we call waking. Consciousness plus sleep we call sleep.
Consciousness plus dream, we call dream. Consciousness is the screen
on which all the pictures come and go. The screen is real, the
pictures are mere shadows on it.
Mind is a wonderful force inherent in the Self.
That which arises in this body as 'I' is the mind.
When the subtle mind emerges through the brain and the senses, the
gross names and forms are cognized. When it remains in the Heart names
and forms disappear... If the mind remains in the Heart, the 'I' or
the ego which is the source of all thoughts will go, and the Self, the
Real, Eternal 'I' alone will shine. Where there is not the slightest
trace of the ego, there is the Self.
4."Who Am I?" - Enquiry
For all thoughts the source is the 'I' thought.
The mind will merge only by Self-enquiry 'Who am I?' The thought 'Who
am l?' will destroy all other thoughts and finally kill itself also.
If other thoughts arise, without trying to complete them, one must
enquire to whom did this thought arise. What does it matter how many
thoughts arise? As each thought arises one must be watchful and ask to
whom is this thought occurring. The answer will be 'to me'. If you
enquire 'Who am I?' the mind will return to its source (or where it
issued from). The thought which arose will also submerge. As you
practise like this more and more, the power of the mind to remain as
its source is increased.
There are two ways of achieving surrender. One is looking into the
source of the 'I' and merging into that source. The other is feeling
'I am helpless myself, God alone is all powerful and except throwing
myself completely on Him, there is no other means of safety for me',
and thus gradually developing the conviction that God alone. exists
and the ego does not count. Both methods lead to the same goal.
Complete surrender is another name for jnana or liberation.
6.The Three States: Waking,Dream and Sleep
There is no difference between the dream and the waking state except
that the dream is short and the waking long. Both are the result of
the mind. Our real state is beyond the waking, dream and sleep states,
7.GRACE AND GURU
I have not said that a Guru is not necessary. But a Guru need not
always be in human form. First a person thinks that he is an inferior
and that there is a superior, all-knowing, all powerful God who
controls his own and the world's destiny and worships him or does
Bhakti. When he reaches a certain stage and becomes fit for
enlightenment, the same God whom he was worshipping comes as Guru and
leads him on. That Guru comes only to tell him 'That God is within
yourself. Dive within and realize'. God, Guru and the Self are the
The state we call realization is simply being oneself, not knowing
anything or becoming anything. If one has realized, he is that which
alone is, and which alone has always been. He cannot describe that
state. He can only be That. Of course we loosely talk of
self-realization for want of a better term.
That which 'Is' is peace. All that we need do is to keep quiet. Peace
is our real nature. We spoil it. What is required is that we cease to
In the centre of the cavity of the Heart the sole Brahman shines by
itself as the atman (Self) in the feeling of 'I'-'I'. Reach the Heart
by diving within yourself, either with control of breath, or with
thought concentrated on the quest of Self. You will thus get fixed in
Asked 'How does a grihastha (householder) fare in the scheme of Moksha
(liberation)?' Bhagavan said, 'Why do you think you are a grihastha?
If you go out as sanyasi (ascetic), a similar thought that you are a
sanyasi will haunt you. Whether you continue in the household or
renounce it and go to the forest, your mind goes with you. The ego is
the source of all thought. It creates the body and the world and makes
you think you are a grihastha . If you renounce the world it will only
substitute the thought sanyasi for grihastha and the environments in
the forest for those of the household. But the mental obstacles will
still be there. They even increase in the new surroundings. There is
no help in change of environment. The obstacle is the mind. It must be
got over whether at home or in the forest. If you can do it in the
forest, why not at home? Therefore, why change your environment? Your
efforts can be made even now - in whatever environment you are now.
The environment will never change according to your desire'.
11.Fate and Freewill
Freewill and destiny are ever existent. Destiny is the result of past
action; it concerns the body. Let the body act as may suit it. Why are
you concerned about it? Why do you pay attention to it. Freewill and
destiny last as long as the body lasts. But jnana transcends both. The
Self is beyond knowledge and ignorance. Whatever happens, happens as
the result of one's past actions, of divine will and of other factors.
There are only two ways to conquer destiny or be independent of it.
One is to enquire for whom is this destiny and discover that only the
ego is bound by destiny and not the Self and that the ego is
The other way is to kill the ego by completely surrendering to the
Lord, by realizing one's helplessness and saying all the time, 'Not I,
but Thou oh Lord' and giving up all sense of 'I' and mine, and leaving
it to the Lord to do what he likes with you. Complete effacement of
the ego is necessary to conquer destiny, whether you achieve this
effacement through self-enquiry or bhakti marga (Path).
A jnani has attained Liberation even while alive, here and now. It is
immaterial to him as to how, where and when he leaves the body. Some
jnanis may appear to suffer, others may be in samadhi; still others
may disappear from sight before death. But that makes no difference to
their jnana. Such suffering is apparent, seems real to the onlooker,
but not felt by the jnani, for he has already transcended the mistaken
identity of the Self with the body.
The jnani does not think he is the body. He does not even see the
body. He sees only the Self in the body. If the body is not there,
but only the Self, the question of its disappearing in any form does
13.Practice, Dedication and Devotion
In the light of the life and teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi, the
devotees of Arunachala Ashrama believe that spiritual practice
(sadhana) is essential. Peace, joy and immortality are available to
those aspirants who dedicate themselves to the practice of meditation
and Self-enquiry, devotion and dedication. The Grace of the Guru is
always present, but this Grace is only fully experienced by those few
sincere sadhakas (spiritual aspirants) who devote their lives to the
practice of the teachings.
We believe that Sri Ramana Maharshi did not live for his time alone.
His presence and guidance can be experienced now just as when he was
physically present. Those who turn to him with sincere aspiration and
longing, those who try their best to apply his teachings, will feel
his Grace and guidance. There is no doubt about this.
In Arunachala Ashrama, Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi remains the
teacher and Guru. Lectures and discussions may have a place in an
aspirant's life, but Arunachala Ashrama is maintained in a manner that
allows visitors and residents to absorb the teachings of Sri Ramana
Maharshi through silence. His teachings are always being disseminated
in Silence, and to hear them we must silence our mind. Lectures and
discussions can obscure His silent teaching in the Heart.
"Silence is the ocean in which all the rivers of all the religions
Sri Maharshi did say that a Guru was necessary. He also said that the
Guru may not be external, as in his case. Again, upon his physical
demise he said that he was not leaving, as he was never identified
with the body; meaning, he is present even now.
The truth is that no one can give us liberation. The way can be
pointed out, directions can be given. Our intense earnestness and
total dedication to the goal is the most essential factor. If we
become obsessed with this one thing - realizing Truth-Truth, a
physical Guru (if necessary) and all else will be drawn to us
automatically. The Guru will come to us when we are ready. We simply
need to attend to making ourselves ready and the rest is automatic.
For those with faith in the Maharshi's living presence there are no
doubts in this matter.