A common misconception in the inquiry method

Q: I practise hatha yoga and I also meditate `I am Brahman’. After a few moments of this meditation, a blank prevails, the brain gets
heated and a fear of death arises. What should I do?

A: I am Brahman' is only a thought. Who says it ? Brahman itself does not say so. What need is there for it to say it ? Nor can the realI’ say so.
For `I’ always abides as Brahman.

To be saying it is only a thought.
Whose thought is it ?
All thoughts are from the unreal I', that is theI’-thought.
Remain without thinking.
So long as there is thought there will be fear.

Q: As I go on thinking of it there is forgetfulness, the brain becomes heated and I am afraid.

A: Yes, the mind is concentrated in the brain and hence you get a hot sensation there.
It is because of the I'-thought. When theI’-thought arises fear of death arises simultaneously. With regard to
forgetfulness, so long as there is thought there will be forgetfulness.

First there is the thought I am Brahman', then forgetfulness supervenes. Forgetfulness and thought are for theI’thought only.
Hold on to it and it will disappear like a phantom. What remains
over is the real `I’ and that is the Self.

I am Brahman' is an aid to concentration since it keeps off other thoughts. When that one thought alone persists, see whose thought it is. It will be found to be fromI’. From where is the I'-thought ? Probe into it, theI’-thought will vanish, and the supreme Self will shine forth of itself. No further effort is needed.

When the one real I' remains alone, it will not be sayingI am Brahman’.
Does a man go on repeating I am a man'? Unless he is challenged, why should he declare himself a man? Does anyone mistake himself for an animal that he should say, 'No, I am not an animal, I am a man'? Similarly, Brahman orI’ being the only existing reality, there is no one there to challenge it and so there is no need to be repeating `I am Brahman’.

~ Be as you are. The teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi edited by David Godman

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