Where can the self be found ? (At the Feet of bhagavan -31)

In the state of deep sleep (sushupti), the Self experiences repose and unmixed bliss, and has the experience of coming out of it refreshed — from that ‘something’ into which the Self has receded while in deep sleep. What is that ‘something’? That is the Self, the Pratyag- atma, the unaffected Witness-Conscious-Self Aware. This is the unchanging Truth, the ground of one’s real Being, in the presence of which the states of waking, dreaming and sleeping pass in succession. It is this real Being that is the ‘I-I’ in the Heart. Sri Bhagavan urges that the basis of all manifestations be realised as the Self, self-aware as ‘I-I’ in the inmost core of the Heart, the Witness-Consciousness unmoved and unconditioned. This realization alone can give the experience of Oneness of the Self with All; and only on realization of That can selfless work (nishkama-karma) become a matter of course. Then everything one does becomes spontaneous and natural (sahaja-dharma), and that is the universal religion (viswa-dharma), so inner experience and the outer life become co-ordinated in Integral Existence. That is pure Devotion (bhakti), true Yoga, and Full Knowledge...

Who Am I ? (At the Feet of Bhagavan -30)

I am the Self (atman). I am Being-Consciousness. Being is my nature. I am the Self-aware Witness- Consciousness. I have no identity with the three states — waking, dream and sleep; they pass and re-pass in my presence. I am the Knower of Reality; I have my identity with the Divine. Being unattached to any fluctuations of the life-force and the mind, I have neither joys nor sorrows. These pertain to the states of waking and dream, which are the mental modes of the individual soul. In the waking state he is known as the [viswa]; in the dreaming state he is known as the radiant [taijasa]; in the sleeping state he is known as the wise [prajna]. I am the Knower of Reality. These three states are really non-existent, they function only as the result of the latent tendencies [vasana] of the mind; and even while they function and screen my real identity, I am the Self. I am the Present ever-present, so I am not newly discovered or obtained, only I have no delusion about myself. I am unborn (aja), so death cannot affect me. For me death does not mean the loss of a body, whether gross, subtle or causal. To me death means only identifying the self with the non-self. This is intoxication (pramada) and this intoxication is Death. So has Sri Maharshi taught. The discrimination which removes this intoxication (pramada) is Immortality. This Immortality is not obtained after prolonged penance and at some distant point of time. It is obtained here and now. As a result of this discrimination I steady myself to enquire...

The Knower and the Magician (At the Feet of Bhagavan-27)

People who visited Bhagavan used to discuss with Him the several aspects of spiritual life and also the attainment of psychic and magical powers (siddhi). Bhagavan used to say that we are all siddhas, because it is only after very great efforts and penances that we achieved this bodily existence. The purpose of this wonderful attainment is to achieve the greatest of all attainments — the pure Existence-Knowledge Bliss. But if we use embodiment only to gain psychic powers, we only put on more fetters — golden chains for iron ones. All the same, fetters are fetters, and to remove those of gold you have to requisition the service of the supreme fetter- breaker, namely one who has attained Nirvana. In the view of a knower [jnani], these powers are no more real than those gained in a dream. Suppose a beggar has a dream that he is a king ruling some kingdom. So long as the dream lasts, he has the pleasure and satisfaction of being the king, but the moment he wakes up he has to pick up his begging bowl again to appease his hunger. So too, these powers satisfy only so long as they pertain to the existence of the inner nature. But when that is found to be non-existent, then will come the rude shock of finding these powers as essentially false. To illustrate this principle, Bhagavan used to quote the story in the ‘Prabhulinga Lila’ of a great Siddha named Gorakhnath. After very great efforts of various kinds, this man had so perfected his physical body that it would not die even for...

Envoi (At the feet of Bhagavan – 24)

One of the Lord Buddha’s last recorded sayings was, “All compounds must dissolve; herein there is no cause for sorrow.” That precious and beloved body, so long treasured in our hearts as Sri Bhagavan, was, as a physical vehicle, a compound and had to separate in time into its component elements, disappearing from those eyes which so long delighted in it with reverent affection. So too, Sri Krishna found it expedient that His Gopi devotees be made to enrich their love for Him by withdrawing His outward Form from their adoring eyes. Then He sent Uddhava to hint to them how they could now be always in His presence and find Him ever dancing in their hearts. When the eyes of love have no longer to seek with yearning for the Beloved outside, the eye of the inner heart is turned within, and there realizes His living ecstatic presence. And so it has been with us. The inevitable happened on that April evening in 1950, and the dear body which had been so long the centre, the focus of our hearts’ gaze ceased to delight our eyes. Can we say that He is dead? Bhagavan dead? The word could have no meaning. How can He who lives in all the universe ever taste of death? “You think I am going away? But where am I to go? I shall remain here with you!” That was His promise while He was preparing us for the seeming separation. And those of us who loved Him here in Tiruvannamalai hold firmly to the faith which we feel confirmed by continual experience, that...

How the Mantra Came (At the Feet of Bhagavan – 23)

The mantra “Om namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya” fascinated me greatly in my early days; it so delighted me that I had always a vision of Sri Krishna in my mind. I had a premonition that this body would pass away in its fortieth year, and I wanted to have a darshan of the Lord before that time. I fasted and practised devotion to Vasudeva incessantly; I read Sri Bhagavad Gita and Srimad Bhagavatam with great delight. Then when I read in the Gita “Jnani tu atmaiva me matam” (In my view, the Jnani is my own Self ) I was greatly delighted. This line of thought came to me: “While I have at hand Bhagavan Sri Ramana, who is Himself Vasudeva, why should I worship Vasudeva separately?” Be it noted that all this was in my early days before settling with Bhagavan at His Ashram. So I wanted one single mantra, a single worship (devata), and a single scripture, so that there might be no conflict of loyalties. Sri Ramana Paramatman became easily the God to worship, His collected works easily became the gospel; as for the mantra, it struck me intuitively that “Om namo Bhagavate Sri Ramanaya” might be an exact parallel to “Om namo Bhagavate vasudevaya.” I counted the letters in this new mantra, and was very happy to find it also contained twelve letters; I told this all to Sri Bhagavan, and He gave the mantra His approval. Advanced practisers (sadhaks) and thinkers may laugh at this and say: “Why do you need a mantra while the Ocean of Bliss is there to be immersed into directly?”...