Ramana Maharshi (1879 – 1950) ‘the sage of Arunachala’. At the age of 16 he travelled to the holy mountain of Arunachala where he taught and drew disciples from around the world. He mostly kept silent seeking to teach through the power of meditation. He also wrote some poems.
Life of Ramana Maharshi
Ramana Maharshi was one of India’s greatest Spiritual Teachers of the Twentieth Century. Ramana Maharshi was born on December 30, 1879 in a village called Tirucculi about 30 miles south of Madurai in southern India. At an early age he had a profound experience in which he became acutely aware of the mortality of the body. This led on to a profound insight that He was not the Body, but spirit. After this experience he became absorbed in deep meditations, in which he began to experience his real self, which transcended ego.
With a glimpse of this higher consciousness Ramana lost interest in worldly life and travelled to the holy Mountain of Arunachala Here he spent several years meditating alone at the foot of the mountain, but gradually many seekers became attracted to the his divine personality and aura of peace and thus an ashram was built on the slopes of Arunachala, which continues today.
Ramana Maharshi taught seekers to silence the mind and try and discover the source of their thoughts. He taught the goal was to try and reach beyond their ego bound state and answer the question ‘Who am I?’ In the beginning this is a difficult task but eventually the power of the ego will be diminished by the power of the heart.
‘…Bliss is not something to be got.
On the other hand you are always Bliss.
This desire [for Bliss] is born of the sense of incompleteness.
To whom is this sense of incompleteness?
Enquire. In deep sleep you were blissful.
Now you are not so.
What has interposed between that Bliss and this non-bliss?
It is the ego.
Seek its source and find you are Bliss.
As in a well of water deep,
Dive deep with Reason cleaving sharp.
With speech, mind and breath restrained,
Exploring thus mayest thou discover
The real source of ego-self.
The mind through calm in deep plunge enquiries.
That alone is real quest for the Self.
(trans. Kapali Sastry)
THE SELF IS KNOWN TO EVERYONE
The Self is known to every one but not clearly.
You always exist.
The Be-ing is the Self. ‘I am’ is the name of God.
Of all definitions of God,
none is indeed so well put as the Biblical statement
‘I AM THAT I AM’ in Exodus (Chap.3).
There are other statements,
such as Brahmaivaham, Aham Brahmasmi and Soham.
But none is so direct as the name JEHOVAH = I AM.
The Absolute Being is what is – It is the Self.
It is God. Knowing the Self, God is known.
In fact God is none other than the Self
THERE IS NOTHING NEW TO GET
There is nothing new to get.
You have on the other hand,
to get rid of your ignorance,
which makes you think you are other than Bliss.
For whom is this ignorance?
It is to the ego.
Trace the source of the ego.
Then the ego is lost and Bliss remains over.
It is eternal You are That, here and now…
This is the master key for solving all doubts.
The doubts arise in the mind.
The mind is born of the ego.
The ego rises from the Self.
Search the source of the ego
and the Self is revealed.
That alone remains.
The universe is only expanded Self.
It is not different from the Self…
TO SRI GANESA
One day in 1912 a potter came to the Virupaksha Cave with a small image of Sri Ganesa that he had made and presented it to Sri Bhagavan. A disciple suggested that both he and Sri Bhagavan should write a verse to celebrate the occasion, and this is what Sri Bhagavan wrote.
Him who begot you as a child you made
Into a beggar; as a child yourself
You then lived everywhere just to support
Your own huge belly; I too am a child.
Oh Child God in that niche! Encountering one
Born after you, is your heart made of stone?
I pray you look at me !
FORTY VERSES ON REALITY 1-10
From our perception of the world there follows acceptance of a unique
First Principle possessing various powers.
Pictures of name and form,
the person who sees,
the screen on which he sees,
and the light by which he sees:
he himself is all of these.
All religions postulate the three fundamentals,
the world, the soul, and God,
but it is only the one Reality
that manifests Itself as these three.
One can say, 'The three are really three' only so long as the ego lasts.
Therefore, to inhere in one's own Being, where the 'I',
or ego, is dead, is the perfect State.
'The world is real.'
'No, it, is a mere illusory appearance.'
'The world is conscious.'
'The world is happiness.'
What use is it to argue thus?
That State is agreeable to all, wherein, having given up the objective outlook,
one knows one's Self and loses all notions either of unity or duality,
of oneself and the ego.
If one has form oneself,
the world and God also will appear to have form,
but if one is formless,
who is it that sees those forms, and how?
Without the eye can any object be seen?
The seeing Self is the Eye,
and that Eye is the Eye of Infinity.
The body is a form composed of the five-fold sheath;
therefore, all the five sheaths are implied in the term, body.
Apart from the body does the world exist?
Has anyone seen the world without the body?
The world is nothing more than an embodiment of the objects
perceived by the five sense-organs.
Since, through these five sense-organs,
a single mind perceives the world,
the world is nothing but the mind.
Apart from the mind can there be a world?
Although the world and knowledge thereof rise and set together
it is by knowledge alone that the world is made apparent.
That Perfection wherein the world and knowledge
thereof rise and set, and which shines without rising and setting,
is alone the Reality.
Under whatever name and form one may worship the Absolute Reality,
it is only a means for realizing It without name and form.
That alone is true realization,
wherein one knows oneself in relation to that Reality,
attains peace and realizes one's identity with it.
The duality of subject and object and trinity of seer, sight, and seen can exist
only if supported by the One.
If one turns inward in search of that One Reality they fall away.
Those who see this are those who see Wisdom.
They are never in doubt.
Ordinary knowledge is always accompanied by ignorance,
and ignorance by knowledge;
the only true Knowledge is that by which one knows the Self
through enquiring whose is the knowledge and ignorance.