Paul Brenton who visited Ramana Maharishi in 1931, placed before the latter two fundamental
questions: Is it necessary to renounce
the world and move to secluded jungles
or mountains to realise the Truth? What
method should be pursued to attain
In response to the first question, the
Maharshi said that solitude is in the
mind of a man. One might be in the
thick of the world and yet maintain
perfect equanimity; such a person is
always in solitude. Another may stay in
the jungle or mountain-top but still be
unable to keep the mind calm. Such a
person cannot be said to be in solitude.
Solitude, thus, is an attitude of
the mind; a detached man is always
Raman Maharshi further said that
the life of action need not be renounced
in case the seeker is able to meditate for
an hour or two every day. This is because
the spiritual currents generated during
meditation will continue to flow even in
the midst of one’s work. Then the seeker
can perform his worldly activities in
that very current at high efficiency
and output levels. Thus, while the seeker is engaged in search of God within’,
‘outer’ worldly activities go on spontaneously.
Replying to the second question, the Maharshi said that the method of Self-inquiry is the simplest and direct method for Self-realisation. He explained that the first and foremost of
all thoughts, the primeval thought in the mind of every man, is the thought ‘i It is only after the birth of this that any other thought can arise at all. The thought ‘I’ is also known as ahankar, ego, feeling of one’s personality.
Therefore, the seeker desirous of attaining nana must constantly ask himself the question, ‘Who am I?’ If you meditate on this question, said Ramana Maharishi, and “‘begin to perceive that neither the body and brain, nor desires are really you, then the very attitude of inquiry will eventually draw the answer to you out of the depths of your own being”
Something else will spontaneously arise from behind your mind and take complete pos-
session of you. That ‘something’ is the
Pure Self – infinite, divine and eternal.
The mind, according to Ramana
Maharshi, is a mere bundle of thoughts
and has no concrete existence. Further,
there can be no thoughts in the absence
of the thinker, the ego. Through
constant self-inquiry, when the seeker
delves deep into the innermost recesses
of his being, the ego gets dissolved and
merges in Pure Consciousness. When
this happens, the seeker attains the
exalted state of Self realisation.
Raman Maharshi illustrated the
process of annihilation of the ego by
giving the example of the stick that is
used in cremating bodies in the
cremation ground. The stick that helps
in pushing the bodies into the funeral
blaze is itself in the end consumed by
the same blaze. The stick is the ego
and the blaze is the fire of jnana,
Pure Consciousness, which abides in
eternity and destroys ignorance.
Therefore, the seeker who wishes to
extricate himself from the vicious cycle
of transmigration, “must retreat into
his impregnable citadel” by realising
his identity with the Pure, Immortal
Self, the One Ultimate Reality.
My thoughts! Below
This came to me through WhatsApp. A very wonderful well wisher sent it to me!
A coincidence – since I was thinking of Ramana Maharishi
A word of caution – this ego is so far within, so deep that when you get there – you realize that ego is a constant force in maya. It is not so easy to overcome. Also , it is a tangible force , not something abstract or imaginary
The tools to destroy it , is – going further deep within ! This is a significant step in conquering maya.
There are more layers above this though ! Ramana Maharishi operated at a higher level than this
The reassuring thing is 1-2 hours of going to this deep deep level is enough to reach Salvation
Ramana Maharishi stayed in that higher state most of his life not just 1-2 hours