'Leave god alone; hold on to the self'

Published: 21st October 2013 08:43 AM  |   Last Updated: 21st October 2013 08:43 AM   |  A+A-

M: Do not fix your attention on all these changing things of life, death, and phenomena. Think only of that which sees all these things. That which is responsible for it…  The results of this concentration will soon show themselves in all sorts of unconscious clairvoyance, in peace of mind, in power to deal with troubles, in power all round, always unconscious power.  - Glimpses of Life and Teachings of Ramana Maharshi, F.H Humphreys.

Isn’t it strange that among the teeming millions of the world, the genuine spiritual seekers, those who care for the beauty of the inner life, are hardly in thousands? Many are called. But few remain steady and vigilant. One wonders what the endless grind of daily life offers? The same things over and over again, the same dependence on others, the same desire and fear filled life holds its grip firmly. Many are far too given to the fascination. Is it because its joys alone are in our field of experience? We know little or nothing about the much talked about experience of Self-abidance, of the natural state which is so much eulogized in the scriptures. Those who are serious about reaping the dividends of the Ramana Way must make an earnest attempt, should they not, to find out and eliminate the obstructions to the awareness of this state?

The first thing which strikes is the inability to stay on track, minding one’s business. We give our attention to non-essentials, to others. A few questions put to Ramana would illustrate. An American lady wants to know form him about Samadhi. He patiently explains but the lady keeps arguing in circles till Ramana closes the session by saying ‘You will know when you are in samadhi’. On another occasion there was a regular free for all in the hall among the devotees about various philosophical schools, about the relative merits of Advaita, Visishtadvaita, Dvaita and son on. After sometime Ramana said, ‘This kind of dispute itself is eternal. Do not engage in it. Turn inward and put an end to all this. There can be no finality in disputations’. Sometime who had been told in detail about self-enquiry said, ’Meditation  on God is difficult’ hearing which Ramana remarked, ‘Leave God alone. Hold on to the Self’. There would be so much interest about what happens after death, in past lives, the state of jnanis, and so on that Ramana would appear to be annoyed at the waste of energy by such peripheral and futile drift of thought. A visitor wished to know how the state of Vasishta and Janaka differed. Ramana advised “Why do you seek to know the state of others, even if it be of jnanis? What do you gain by knowing about others? You must know your own nature. ” Another chipped in with the question, ‘Can one disappear from sight like the yogis Vasishta and Viswamitra?’ Ramana asked, “Is this the essential object of our interest? These are only physical matters. You are not the body. Think about essential things’. Such concern about the body would keep cropping up time and again evident in such questions as ‘What happens to the body after realisation? Does it or does it not exist?’ Ramana would merely say ‘This question can be asked after realisation, should the need arise then’. Instances like these are so many, one can readily observe that  the ‘Talks’ is replete with them not with standing the persistent way in which Ramana would bring one back to essentials, the natural state and self-enquiry.

A.R.Natarajan Founder President, Ramana Maharshi Centre for Learning, Bangalore

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