Tuesday, 31 December 2013


This is the essence; This is the essence!
This indeed is the essence of Ramana’s words!
Tell me who is the real You! Seek the real You!
You are not surely the putrid flesh.
The body is born, the body dies.
The body knows not itself in deep sleep.
You are Knowledge. Knowledge is You.
Knowledge-Eternal is never born nor dies.
In sleep is Awareness of Self, not of body
You alone witness absence of body-consciousness
Do not all know that body takes birth
Is there anybody who is aware of birth of Consciousness?
You are not the body as declared above.
Destroy the false notion that you are the body
Seek ceaselessly your real nature
Think no other thought.
If the root thought ‘I am the body’
Subside; then all other thoughts subside.
‘Who is aware of the body’ -This quest
Alone will eliminate ‘I am the body’ notion.
The deluded one who thinks ‘I am the body’
Will crave for food, clothes and desires thereon
He who is free from the delusion ‘I am the body’-
His mind will not crave for food, clothes and desires extensive
Even as the end draws nigh, get not perturbed
Be tranquil; it is all God’s work
Ponder not the body is one, two or three(gross, subtle or causal)
Vain is such pursuit.
If you observe attentively
There is no scope for body-consciousness at all
Reject all appearance that seems apart [from You]
Reject it as ‘Not I’
All other dogmas and tenets are garbage-like collections
Remove them all away.
Repeatedly questing ‘Who am I’
The I-thought alone stays
The rest will be ashes.
When I-thought gets burnt away
Know that ‘That is the Real You’; bereft of thought
That which neither rises nor sets is the Real You shinning effulgent
As the Self shines like the resplendent Sun
Be that, never falling back
This is the essence, this is the essence,
This indeed is the essence of Ramana’s Teaching.

 Sivaprakasam Pillai

Thursday, 19 December 2013


About twenty years ago I read a Christian book entitled Thank You God. Its basic thesis was that one should continuously thank God for the way things are right now, not petition Him for things to be different. That means thanking Him for all the terrible things that are going on in your life, not just thanking Him for the good stuff that is coming your way. And this should not just be at the verbal level. One needs to keep saying 'Thank you, God,' to oneself until one actually feels a glow of gratitude. When this happens, there are remarkable and unexpected consequences. Let me give you an example
There was a woman featured in this book whose husband was an alcoholic. She had organized prayer meetings at her local church in which everyone had prayed to God, asking Him to stop this man from drinking. Nothing happened. Then this woman heard about 'Thank you, God'. She thought, 'Well, nothing else has worked. Let me try this.' She started saying, 'Thank you God for making my husband an alcoholic,' and she kept on saying it until she actually began to feel gratitude inside. Shortly afterwards, her husband stopped drinking of his own accord and never touched alcohol again.
This is surrender. It's not saying, 'Excuse me God, but I know better than You, so would You please make this happen,' it's acknowledging, 'The world is the way You want it to be, and I thank You for it'.
When this happens in your life, seemingly miraculous things start happening around you. The power of your own surrender, your own gratitude, actually changes the things around you. When I first read about this, I thought, 'This is weird, but it just might work. Let me try it.' At that point in my life, I had been having problems with four or five people whom I was trying to do business with. Despite daily reminders, they were not doing things they had promised to do. I sat down and started saying 'Thank you Mr X for not doing this job. Thank you Mr Y for trying to cheat me on that last deal we did,' and so on. I did this for a couple of hours until I finally did feel a strong sense of gratitude towards these people. When their image came up in my mind, I didn't remember all the frustrations I had experienced in dealing with them. I just had an image of them in my mind towards which I felt gratitude and acceptance.
The next morning, when I went to work, all of these people were waiting for me. Usually, I had to go hunting for them in order to listen to their latest excuse. All of them were smiling, and all of them had done the jobs I had been pestering them for days to do. It was an astonishing testimonial to the power of loving acceptance. Like everyone else, I am still stuck in the world of doing-doing-doing, but when all my misguided doings have produced an intractable mess, I try to drop my belief that 'I' have to do something to solve this problem, and start thanking God for the mess I have made for myself. A few minutes of this is usually enough to resolve the thorniest of problems.
When I was sixteen, I took a gliding course. The first time I was given the controls, the glider was wobbling all over the place because I was reacting, or I should say over-reacting, to every minor fluctuation of the machine. Finally, the instructor took the controls away from me and said 'Watch this'. He put the glider on a level flight, put the controls in the central position and then let go of them. The glider flew itself, with no wobbles at all, with no one's hands on the controls. All my effects were just interfering with the glider's natural ability to fly itself. That's how life is for all of us. We persist in thinking that we have to 'do' things, but all our doings merely create problems.
I am not claiming that I have learned to take my hand off the controls of life and let God pilot my life for me, but I do remember all this, with wry amusement, when problems (all self-inflicted, of course) suddenly appear. A couple of weeks ago, for example, I found myself in the middle of a publishing drama that seemed to be utterly insoluble. It was such a mess, I didn't even try to talk to all the people involved. I went instead to Sri Ramana's samadhi, put the manuscript in front of it, and explained what had happened. I thanked him for the drama and added, 'This is your responsibility, not mine'. I had my eyes closed when I said this. When I opened them, an old friend was there, offering me some chocolate-chip cookies, something that had never happened before. I took them as Ramana's prasad. Later that day the problem was solved in five minutes. All the protagonists (who had been immovable antagonists the day before) came together and the work was completed amicably in record time.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013


The power of humility, which bestows immortality, is the foremost among powers that are hard to attain. Since the only benefit of learning and other similar virtues is the attainment of humility, humility alone is the real ornament of the sages. It is the storehouse of all other virtues and is therefore extolled as the wealth of divine grace. Although it is a characteristic befitting wise people in general, it is especially indispensable for sadhus.

Since attaining greatness is impossible for anyone except by humility, all the disciplines of conduct such as yama and niyama, which are prescribed specifically for aspirants on the spiritual path, have as their aim only the attainment of humility. Humility is indeed the hallmark of the destruction of the ego. Because of this, humility is especially extolled by sadhus themselves as the code of conduct befitting them.

Moreover, for those who are residing at Arunachala, it is indispensable in every way. Arunachala is the sacred place where even the embodiments of God, Brahma, Vishnu and Sakti, humbly subsided. Since it has the power to humble even those who would not be humbled, those who do not humbly subside at Arunachala will surely not attain that redeeming virtue anywhere else.

The Supreme Lord, who is the highest of the high, shines unrivaled and unsurpassed only because he remains the humblest of the humble. When the divine virtue of humility is necessary even for the Supreme Lord, who is totally independent, is it necessary to emphasize that it is absolutely indispensable for sadhus who do not have such independence? Therefore, just as in their inner life, in their outer life also sadhus should possess complete and perfect humility. It is not that humility is necessary only for devotees of the Lord; even for the Lord it is the characteristic virtue.

Sri Ramana Darsanam, Sadhu Natanananda

One's greatness increases to the extent that one becomes humble. The reason why God is supreme to such an extent that the whole universe bows to Him is His sublime state of humility in which the deluded ego never rises unknowingly.
Is it not on account of His behaving so humbly, as one ever in the service of every creature, that God stands worthy of all the glorious worships ever performed by all the worlds? By seeing Himself in all, by being humble even to devotees who bow to everyone, and by naturally remaining at such a pinnacle of humility that nothing can be humbler than Himself, the state of being supreme has come to the Lord.

Living By the Words of Bhagavan


Q: If somebody wants to start practicing the teachings of Ramana Maharshi, where and how should they start?

David: This is another classic question: 'What should I do?' However, the question itself is misconceived. It is based on the erroneous assumption that happiness and peace are states that can be experienced by striving, by effort. The busy mind covers up the peace and the silence that is your own natural state, so if you put the mind in gear and use it to pursue some spiritual goal, you are usually taking it away from the peace, not towards it. This is a hard concept for many people to grasp.
People found their own inner peace in Sri Ramana's presence because they didn't interfere with the energy that was eradicating their minds, their sense of being a particular person who has ideas, beliefs, and so on. The true practice of Sri Ramana's teachings is remaining quiet, remaining in a state of inner mental quiescence that allows the power of Sri Ramana to seep into your heart and transform you. This can be summarized in one of Sri Ramana's classic comments: 'Just keep quiet. Bhagavan will do the rest.'
If you use the phrase 'practicing the teachings,' the following sequence is assumed: that Sri Ramana speaks of some goal that has to be attained, that he gives you some route, some practice, to reach that goal, and that you then use your mind to vigorously move towards that goal. The mind wants to be in charge of this operation. It wants to listen to the Guru, understand what is required, and then use itself to move in the prescribed direction. All this is wrong. Mind is not the vehicle one uses to carry out the teachings; it is, instead, the obstacle that prevents one from directly experiencing them. The only useful, productive thing the mind can do is disappear.
Sri Ramana himself always said that his true teachings were given out in silence. Those who were receptive to them were the ones who could get out of the way mentally, allowing Sri Ramana's silent emanations to work on them. In the benedictory verse to his philosophical poem Ulladu Narpadu Sri Ramana wrote, and I paraphrase a little: 'Who can meditate on that which alone exists. One cannot meditate on it because one is not apart from it. One can only be it.' This is the essence of Sri Ramana's teachings. 'Be what you are and remain as you are without having any thoughts. Don't try to meditate on the Self, on God. Just abide silently at the source of the mind and you will experience that you are God, that you are the Self.'

David Godman, Interviews

Wednesday, 11 December 2013


Hi Reinhard -Hope you are doing fine. For the past 2 years I am kind of more serious in practicing Self-enquiry. I already started to see some positive flow. Having said that, there is only one single thought that disturbs or holds responsibility for any hampering, which is the fundamental hypothesis on which the entire "science of Being" rests. There is only one query which lingers in my practicing mind- 

"Why does Self have a wonderous power called "mind" and why this game of projecting a "world" and a "body form" with a complex mechanism allowing each mind component to realize & to get absorbed back? "
This thought was clinging to me right from the 1st time I read Michael James's 'Happiness and the art of Being' book. Thus only when i assume this the rest follows.

Many times, at least, these days, this thought haunts me. If i could kill this thought i would be comfortable. I know this cannot be answered like an objective Science experiment. But surprisingly in all the published literature this is not even questioned or raised with Bhagavan and more or less people seem to accept this fundamental assumption of the entire theory. Even no one questioned this with their talks with RM. Rest of the questions & their answers does not disturb me at all as once the basis is assumed rest follows on which I am clear at this juncture. I need one grand BIG help from you to resolve this. I know to satisfy a mind it needs a hard pull and a friendly approach rather than a thrust. Can you throw some light and point to any discussions by Bhagavan or Robert Adams, if any, on this fundamental aspect? That wouId be a great help. Thanks a lot.

Warm regards

This shows that you are deeply questioning. This is sometimes called the forbidden question. Notice that you ask from the mind system! To understand how a cinema functions you have to step outside of the position of a guest seeing a film. Understand the analogy? From the 'standpoint' of the Eternal there is no separation, no creation, no seeker, no liberation. Therefore the scriptures talk about maya, literally 'that which is not'. Bhagavan, when asked about his view would sometimes cite the Gaudapa Karika. III, v.48:

"No jiva ever comes into existence. There exists no cause that can produce it. The supreme truth is that nothing ever is born."

The practical solution is to verify all this in your own experience by exploring your own being. Is it changeful? Can you give it the main emphasis and only see thoughts from there? Our mind has no substantial core. Only thoughts verify other thoughts. As soon as being is allowed to be in the center a fundamental shift starts. SAT is not mental and the thoughts that get into contact with IT are becoming tuned like a musical instrument. That is why Bhagavan could teach through his mere beingness and presence. All that came and all who come today find this rock-like stillness filled with his warmth. In this we can trust enough to explore it within and find our own conviction.

Friday, 6 December 2013


4. Is the state of ‘being still’ a state involving effort or effortless?

It is not an effortless state of indolence. All mundane activities which are ordinarily called effort are performed with the aid of a portion of the mind and with frequent breaks. But the act of communion with the Self (atma vyavahara) or remaining still inwardly is perfect effort, which is performed with the entire mind and without break.

Maya (delusion or ignorance) which cannot be destroyed by any other act is completely destroyed by this perfect effort, which is called ‘silence’ (mouna).

5. What is the nature of maya?

Maya is that which makes us regard as non-existent the Self, the Reality, which is always and everywhere present, all-pervasive and self-luminous, and as existent the individual soul (jiva), the world (jagat), and God (para) which have been conclusively proved to be non-existent at all times and places.

6. As the Self shines fully of its own accord why is it not generally recognized like the other objects of the world by all persons?

Wherever particular objects are known it is the Self which has known itself in the form of those objects. For what is known as knowledge or awareness is only the potency of the Self (atma sakti). The Self is the only sentient object. There is nothing apart from the Self. If there are such objects they are all insentient and therefore cannot either know themselves or mutually know one another. It is because the Self does not know its true nature in this manner that it seems to be immersed and struggling in the ocean of birth (and death) in the form of the individual soul.


1. What is the method of practice?

"As the Self of a person who tries to attain Self-realization is not different from him and as there is nothing other than or superior to him to be attained by him, Self-realization being only the realization of one’s own nature, the seeker of Liberation realizes, without doubts or misconceptions, his real nature by distinguishing the eternal from the transient, and never swerves from his natural state. This is known as the practice of knowledge. This is the enquiry leading to Self-realization."

2. Can this path of enquiry be followed by all aspirants?

"This is suitable only for the ripe souls. The rest should follow different methods according to the state of their minds."