Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Ramana Maharshi: Self-Inquiry, Ego and One's True Self

Sri Ramana Maharshi
"What we find in the life and teachings of Sri Ramana," wrote the great psychologist, Carl Jung, "is the purest of India, with its breath of (a) world liberated and liberating humanity. It is a chant of millenniums. In India, he is the whitest spot in a white space."

A modern-day sage, Sri Ramana Maharshi lived and taught a path of radical self-inquiry in order to realize one's true nature and self. "Whatever the means adopted, " he observed, "you must at last return to the Self."

"So," he asked, "why not abide as the Self here and now? What is not permanent is not worth striving for. You are the Self. You are already perfect."

"Meditation," he observed, "is your true nature. You call it meditation now because there are thoughts distracting you. When these thoughts are dispelled you will remain alone in the state free from thoughts, and that is your real nature."

"The path of self-inquiry frees one from the unceasing fear and turmoil resulting from taking the ego to be real," he remarked. "By becoming free of the ego illusion one experiences true freedom and supreme peace. It is this path that takes one from the apparent duality of the individual and the world to the bliss of one's real nature. Through this awakening to self-awareness, even by imperfect glimpses, one begins to sense a reality not confined to the ego's world. And this current of awareness is ultimately revealed as the Self - pure consciousness.

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Mount Arunachala
Referring to the Bhagavad Gita, Ramana Maharshi observed, "(O)ne must realize that he is not the doer, but that he is only a tool of some Higher Power. Let that Higher Power do what is inevitable and let me act only according to its dictates. The actions are not mine; therefore, their results cannot be mine, either. If one thinks and acts so, where is the trouble?"

"Be fixed in the Self and act according to nature without the thought of doership" he notes, "(t)hen the results of action will not affect you. That is manliness and heroism."

Thus," he concludes, "'inherence in the Self  'is the sum and substance of the Gita's teaching."
[Talks with Ramana Maharshi, Inner Dimensions, pp. 48-49.]

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