Saturday, May 18, 2024

Teachings of Self Realization: Sri Ramana Maharshi

Q: It is said that there is enlightenment and there is "ignorance." You are said to know about enlightenment. How is one to go from ignorance to enlightenment?

Bhagavan: We have to contend with our age-long conditionings. They will all go. 
We have simply to throw out all the age-long concepts, which are in us. 

Knowledge of "multiplicity" is ignorance. We have regarded as real what is unreal. We have to give up this attitude. That's all that is required for us to attain true knowledge (enlightenment]. 

"Differences" are a consequence of delusion. All knowledge based on differentiation is only ignorance. Perceiving objects as apart from oneself, the ignorant one is deluded. An ignorant person thinks that an individual "I" exists. 

To whom does illusion come? To the mind, or ego, who feels it is a separate entity: who thinks, "I do this"; or "this is mine." 

One suffers because of the idea that the body is "I". Misery is all due to this deluding connection. It is one's ignorant outlook that one should give up. 

It causes you needless grief.


Monday, May 13, 2024

Nirvana Shatakam

Verse 1

In the first verse is the negation of the subtle body and the subtle elements which form the subtle body.

mano-buddhyahaṅkāra-cittāni nāhaṁ
na ca śrotra-jihve na ca ghrāṇa-netre,
na ca vyoma-bhūmirna tejo na vāyuḥ
cidānanda-rūpaḥ śivo’haṁ śivo’ham. (1)

I am not the mind, intellect, ego or memory (the four aspects of what is known as antaḥkaraṇa). Nor am I (the five organs of perception) the ear, tongue, nose, eyes, (or skin), nor (the five elements) the space, earth, fire, air and water. 

I am pure Knowledge and Bliss, I am Śiva, auspiciousness itself.


Our inner instrument (antaḥkaraṇa) comprises of four aspects each having its own function. The mind that thinks or imagines, the intellect that discriminates and decides, the ego that calls itself the self, the doer and enjoyer, and the memory that recollects past experiences. 

The five senses are the ability to hear, feel, see, taste and smell. 

The sāttvika aspects of the five elements (space, air, fire, water and earth) in their subtle form are called the tanmātrās. They are the material cause that constitute the subtle body. 

The subtle body (sūkṣma śarīra) along with its constituent elements is here negated as not being the true Self. 

Obviously the true Self (ātmā) being the illuminator, or the enlivener of everything else including the subtle body, cannot be those illumined objects. Then, what is the true Self, the real I? 

The affirmation comes from Bhagavān Śaṅkara, 

‘I am of the nature of pure Consciousness and Bliss Supreme – the one Reality behind everything – I am Śiva, the auspicious.’ 

When we constantly and sincerely start practising meditation, chanting the verses and reflecting on them in this way, the mind slowly acquires a certain calmness, purity and clarity and becomes capable of abiding in the Truth.