Monday, August 9, 2010

Part 1

Go deep into the sense of 'I am' and you will find. 
Focus your mind on 'I am' which is pure and simple being. 
Take the first step first.
All blessings come from within.
Turn within.
'I am' you know.

Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi

Be with it all the time you can spare
until you revert to it spontaneously.

There is no simpler and easier way.
Before all beginnings, after all endings -- I am.

All has its being in me, in the 'I am'
that shines in every living being.
On a deeper level my experience is your experience.

Dive deep within yourself 
and you will find it easily and simply.

Go in the direction of 'I am'.

How do you find a thing you have mislaid or forgotten?
You keep it in your mind until you recall it.

The sense of being,
of 'I am',
is the first to emerge.
As yourself whence it comes,
or just watch it quietly.

When the mind stays in the 'I am', without moving,
you enter a state that cannot be verbalized
but can be experienced.
All you need to do is to try and try again.

Bring your self into focus,
become aware of your own existence.
See how you function,
watch the motives and results of your actions.

Study the prison you have built around yourself,
by inadvertance.

What is supremely important is to be free from contradictions:
the goal and the way must not be on different levels; 
life and light must not quarrel; 
behavior must not betray belief.
Call it honesty, integrity, wholeness; 
you must not go back, undo, uproot, 
abandon the conquered ground. 
Tenacity of purpose 
and honesty in pursuit will bring you to your goal.

We discover it by being earnest,
by searching, inquiring, questioning daily and hourly,
by giving one's life to this discovery.

Part 2

When I met my Guru, he told me:
"You are not what you take yourself to be.
Find out what you are.
Watch the sense 'I am', find your real Self."

I obeyed him, because I trusted him. I did as he told me.
All my spare time I would spend looking at myself in silence.
And what a difference it made, and how soon!

My teacher told me to hold on to the sense 'I am' tenaciously 
and not to swerve from it even for a moment.
I did my best to follow his advice 
and in a comparatively short time 
I realized within myself the truth of his teaching.
All I did was to remember his teaching, 
his face, his words, constantly.

This brought an end to the mind; 
in the stillness of the mind I saw myself as I am -- unbound.
I simply followed (my teacher's) instruction 
which was to focus the mind on pure being 'I am'
and stay in it.

I used to sit for hours together
with nothing but the 'I am' in my mind 
and soon peace and joy and a deep all-embracing love 
became my normal state.
In it all disappeared -- myself, my Guru, 
the life I lived, the world around me.
Only peace remained and unfathomable silence. 

My Guru ordered me to attend to the sense 'I am' 
and to give attention to nothing else.
I just obeyed.
I did not follow any particular course of breathing, 
or meditation, or study of scriptures.

Whatever happened, I would turn away my attention from it 
and remain with the sense 'I am'.
It may look too simple, even crude.
My only reason for doing it was that my Guru told me so.
Yet it worked!

Obedience is a powerful solvent of all desires and fears.
There is no sense of purpose in my doing anything.
Things happen as they happen -- 
not because I make them happen, 
but it is because I am that they happen.
In reality nothing ever happens.

When the mind is restless, 
it makes Shiva dance
like the restless waters of the lake make the moon dance. 
It is all appearance, due to wrong ideas. 

In whatever role I may appear 
and whatever function I may perform 
I remain what I am: 
the 'I am' 
immovable, unshakable, independent. 

When I say 'I am'
I do not mean a separate entity with a body as its nucleus. 
I mean the totality of being, 
the ocean of consciousness, 
the entire universe of all that is and knows.

I have nothing to desire for I am complete forever.
Words betray their hollowness.
The real cannot be described, it must be experienced.
I cannot find better words for what I know.

What I say may sound ridiculous.
But what the words try to convey is the highest truth.
All is one, however much we quibble.
And all is done to please the one source and goal of every desire
whom we all know as the 'I am'. 

Just like the sun is reflected in a billion dew drops, 
so is the timeless endlessly repeated.
When I repeat: 'I am, I am', 
I merely assert and re-assert an ever-present fact.

You get tired of my words 
because you do not see the living truth behind them.
Contact it and you will find the full meaning 
of words and of silence -- both.

I trusted my Guru.
What he told me to do, I did.
He told me to concentrate on 'I am' -- 
I did. 
He told me that I am beyond all perceivables and conceivables -- 
I believed.
You may choose any way that suits you; 
your earnestness will determine the rate of progress.

Part 3

First of all, establish a constant contact with your self, 
be with yourself all the time. 

Into self-awareness all blessings flow. 

Begin as a centre of observation, deliberate cognizance, 
and grow into a centre of love in action. 

'I am' is a tiny seed which will grow into a mighty tree -- 
quite naturally, without a trace of effort. 

Establish yourself firmly in the awareness of 'I am'. 
This is the beginning and also the end of all endeavour. 

Hold onto the sense of 'I am' to the exclusion of everything else. 
When thus the mind becomes completely silent, 
it shines with a new light and vibrates with new knowledge. 

It all comes spontaneously, you need only hold on to the 'I am'. 
Refuse all thoughts except one: the thought 'I am'. 

The mind will rebel in the beginning, 
but with patience and perseverance it will yield and keep quiet. 

Once you are quiet, 
things will begin to happen spontaneously and quite naturally, 
without any interference on your part. 

Just keep in mind the feeling 'I am', 
merge in it till your mind and feeling become one. 

By repeated attempts 
you will stumble on the right balance of attention and affection 
and your mind will be firmly established in the thought-feeling 'I am'. 

Whatever you think, say, or do, 
this sense of immutable and affectionate being 
remains as the ever-present background of the mind. 

To know what you are 
you must first investigate and know what you are not. 
And to know what you are not 
you must watch yourself carefully, 
rejecting all that does not necessarily go with the basic fact: 'I am'. 

Separate consistently and perseveringly 
the 'I am' from 'this' or 'that', 
and try to feel what it means to be
just to be
without being 'this' or 'that'. 

Give up all questions except one: 'Who am I'? 
After all, the only fact you are sure of is that you are
The 'I am' is certain. 
The 'I am this' is not. 
Struggle to find out what you are in reality. 

Cling to one thing that matters, 
hold on to 'I am' and let go all else. 
This is sadhana. 

cling to one thing that matters

In realization there is nothing to hold on to and nothing to forget. 
Everything is known, nothing is remembered.
Just remember yourself. 
'I am' is enough to heal your mind and take you beyond. 
Just have some trust. 

Stop searching, and see -- it is here and now -- 
it is that 'I am' you know so well. 
You cannot meaningfully say 'this is what I am'. It just makes no sense.
'I am' is first-hand and needs no proofs. Stay with it.
Be content with what you are sure of. 
And the only thing you can be sure of is 'I am'. 
Stay with it, and reject everything else. This is Yoga. 

Go back to that state of pure being, 
where the 'I am' is still in its purity 
before it got contaminated with 'this I am' or 'that I am'. 

Your burden is of false self-identifications -- abandon them all. 

Don't you see that it is your very search for happiness 
that makes you miserable? 
Try the other way: indifferent to pain and pleasure, 
neither asking nor refusing, 
give all your attention to the level on which 'I am' is timelessly present. 
Soon you will realize that peace and happiness 
are in your very nature and it is only seeking them 
through some particular channels that disturbs. 

Give your heart and mind to brooding over the 'I am', 
what is it, how is it, what is its source, its life, its meaning. 
It is very much like digging a well. 
You reject all that is not water till you reach the life-giving spring.
The 'I am' that pursues the pleasant and shuns the unpleasant is false; 
the 'I am' that sees pleasure and pain as inseparable sees rightly. 

Those who practise the sadhana of focussing their minds on 'I am' 
may feel related to others who have followed the same sadhana and succeeded.

You need not worry about your worries. 
Just be
Do not try to be quiet; 
do not make 'being quiet' into a task to be performed. 
Don't be restless about 'being quiet', miserable about 'being happy'. 
Just be aware that you are and remain aware.
Don't say: 'yes, I am; what next?' 
There is no 'next' in 'I am'. 
It is a timeless state.

Part 4

On waking up, 
was it not the sense 'I am' that came first?
The sense 'I am' is always with you, 
only you have attached all kinds of things to it -- 
body, feelings, thoughts, ideas, possessions, etc. 
All these self-identifications are misleading. 
Because of them you take yourself to be what you are not. 

What is mine is mine 
and was mine even when God was not. 
Of course, it is a very tiny little thing, a speck -- 
the sense 'I am', the fact of being. 

The light by which you see the world, which is God, 
is the tiny little spark: 'I am', 
apparently so small, 
yet the first and the last in every act of knowing and loving. 

Without the 'I am' there is nothing. 
All knowledge is about the 'I am'.
Outside the Self there is nothing. 
All is one and all is contained in 'I am'.

Give it all up and be ready for the real to assert itself. 
This self-assertion is best expressed in words: 'I am'. 
Nothing else has being. Of this you are absolutely certain. 

Instead of seeing things as imagined, 
learn to see them as they are. 
When you can see everything as it is, 
you will also see yourself as you are. 
It is like cleansing a mirror. 
The same mirror that shows you the world as it is 
will also show you your own face. 
The thought 'I am' is the polishing cloth. 

'I am' is ever afresh. 
You do not need to remember in order to be.
At present your being is mixed up with experiencing. 
All you need is to unravel being from the tangle of experiences. 
Once you have known pure being, 
without being this or that, 
you will discern it among experiences 
and you will no longer be misled by names and forms.

The 'I am' in movement creates the world. 
The 'I am' at peace becomes the Absolute.
In the immensity of consciousness a light appears, 
a tiny point that moves rapidly and traces shapes, 
thoughts and feelings, concepts and ideas, 
like the pen writing on paper. 
And the ink that leaves a trace is memory. 
You are that tiny point 
and by your movement the world is ever re-created. 
Stop moving and there will be no world. 

Look within and you will find that the point of light 
is the reflection of the immensity of light in the body, 
as the sense 'I am'. 

There is only light, all else appears.

The 'I am' is at the root of all appearance 
and the permanent link in the succession of events that we call life.
Human beings die every second, 
the fear and the agony of dying hangs over the world like a cloud. 
No wonder you too are afraid. 
But once you know that the body alone dies 
and not the continuity of memory and the sense of 'I am' reflected in it, 
you are afraid no longer. 

People differ, but all are faced with the fact of their own existence. 
'I am' is the ultimate fact; 
'Who am I?' is the ultimate question 
to which everybody must find an answer. 

Delve deeply into the sense 'I am' 
and you will surely discover that the perceiving centre is universal, 
as universal as the light that illumines the world. 
All that happens in the universe happens to you, the silent witness. 

On the other hand, whatever is done, 
is done by you, 
the universal and inexhaustible energy. 

Before the mind -- I am. 
'I am' is not a thought in the mind; 
the mind happens to me, I do not happen to the mind. 
And since time and space are in the mind, 
I am beyond time and space, eternal and omnipresent. 

You are not this, 
there is nothing of yours in this, 
except the little point of 'I am'.
'I am this, I am that' is dream, 
while pure 'I am' has the stamp of reality on it. 

You have tasted so many things -- all came to naught. 
Only the sense 'I am' persisted -- unchanged. 
Stay with the changeless among the changeful, 
until you are able to go beyond. 

When the 'I am myself' goes, 
the 'I am all' comes. 
When the 'I am all' goes, 
'I am' comes. 
When even 'I am' goes, 
reality alone is...

Part 5

There are many starting points -- 
they all lead to the same goal. 
You may begin with selfless work, 
abandoning the fruits of action; 
you may then give up thinking 
and in the end giving up all desires. 
Here, giving up (tyaga) is the operational factor. 

Or, you may not bother about any thing you want, 
or think, or do 
and just stay put in the thought and feeling 'I am', 
focussing 'I am' firmly in your mind. 

All kinds of experience may come to you -- 
remain unmoved 
in the knowledge that all perceivable is transient, 
and only the 'I am' endures.

What do you love now? 
The 'I am'. 
Give your heart and mind to it, think of nothing else. 
This, when effortless and natural, is the highest state. 
In it love itself is the lover and the beloved.

Before the world was, consciousness was. 
In consciousness it comes into being, 
in consciousness it lasts 
and into pure consciousness it dissolves. 

At the root of everything is the feeling 'I am'. 
The state of mind: 'there is a world' is secondary, 
for to be, I do not need the world, the world needs me.

Go home, 
take charge of your father's business, 
look after your parents in their old age. 
Marry the girl who is waiting for you, 
be loyal, be simple, be humble. 
Hide your virtue, live silently. 

The five senses and the three qualities (gunas) 
are your eight steps in Yoga. 
And 'I am' is the Great Reminder (mahamantra)
You can learn from them all you need to know. 
Be attentive, enquire ceaselessly. 
That is all.

Everything is a play of ideas. 
In the state free from ideation (nirvikalpa samadhi) 
nothing is perceived. 
The root idea is: 'I am'. 
It shatters the state of pure consciousness 
and is followed by the innumerable sensations and perceptions, 
feeling and ideas, 
which in their totality constitute God and His world. 

The 'I am' remains as the witness, 
but it is by the will of God that everything happens.

In my world nobody is born and nobody dies. 
Some people go on a journey and come back, 
some never leave. 
What difference does it make since they travel in dreamlands, 
each wrapped up in his own dream. 
Only the waking up is important. 

It is enough to know the 'I am' as reality and also love.

As it is natural for the incense stick to burn out, 
so it is natural for the body to die. 
Really, it is a matter of very little importance. 
What matters is that I am neither the body nor the mind. 
I am.

Don't identify yourself with an idea. 
If you mean by God, the Unknown, 
then you merely say: 'I do not know what I am'. 
If you know God as you know yourself, you need not say it. 

Best is the simple feeling 'I am'. 
Dwell on it patiently. 
Here patience is wisdom; don't think of failure. 
There can be no failure in this understanding.

That which makes you think you are human is not human. 
It is but a dimensionless point of consciousness, 
a conscious nothing; 
all you can say about yourself is: 'I am'. 

You are pure being, awareness, bliss. 
To realize that is the end of all seeking. 
You come to it when you see 
all you think yourself to be as mere imagination 
and stand aloof in pure awareness 
of the transient as transient, 
imaginary as imaginary, 
unreal as unreal.

You assert yourself to be what you are not

and deny yourself to be what you are.
You omit the element of pure cognition,
of awareness free from all personal distortions.
Unless you admit the reality of consciousness,
you will never know yourself.

Behave as if what I say is true

and judge by what actually happens.
All I ask is the little faith needed for making the first step.
With experience will come confidence
and you will not need me any more.
I know what you are
and I am telling you.
Trust me for a while.

The world cannot give us
what it does not have;
unreal to the core,
it is of no use for real happiness.
It cannot be otherwise.
We seek the real
because we are unhappy with the unreal.

Happiness is our real nature

and we shall never rest
until we find it.
But rarely do we know where to see it.

Once you have understood

that the world is but a mistaken view of reality,
and is not what it appears to be,
you are free of its obsessions.

Only what is compatible with your real being

can make you happy;
and the world,
as you perceive it,
is its outright denial.

As long as we believe 
that we need things to make us happy,
we shall also believe
that in their absence we must be miserable.

Mind always shapes itself according to its beliefs.
Hence the importance of convincing oneself
that one need not be prodded into happiness;
that, on the contrary,
pleasure is a distraction and a nuisance,
for it merely increases the false conviction
that one needs to have and do things to be happy
when in reality it is just the opposite.

Do understand 

that what you think to be the world
is your own mind.

Once you have seen

that you are dreaming,
you shall wake up.
But you do not see,
because you want the dream to continue.

A day will come

when you will long for the ending of the dream,
with all your heart and mind,
and be willing to pay any price;
the price will be dispassion and detachment,
the loss of interest
in the dream itself.

However great and complete is your world,

it is self-contradictory and transitory
and altogether illusory.

You are the Self, here and now. 
Leave the mind alone, 
stand aware and unconcerned, 
and you will realize 
that to stand alert and detached, 
watching events come and go, 
is an aspect of your real nature. 

A quiet mind is all you need. 
All else will happen rightly, 
once your mind is quiet. 
As the sun on rising makes the world active, 
so does self-awareness affect changes in the mind. 
In the light of calm and steady self-awareness, 
inner energies wake up and work miracles 
without any effort on your part. 

Do understand that you are destined for enlightenment. 
Co-operate with your destiny, 
don't go against it, don't thwart it. 
Allow it to fulfill itself. 
All you have to do is to give attention 
to the obstacles created by the foolish mind.

Moods are in the mind and do not matter. 
Go within, go beyond. 
Cease being fascinated by the content of your consciousness. 
When you reach the deep layers of your true being, 
you will find that the mind's surface-play affects you very little.

What was never lost can never be found.

Your very search for safety and joy 
keeps you away from them.
Stop searching, cease losing.
The disease is simple 
and the remedy equally simple.
It is your mind only 
that makes you insecure and unhappy.
Anticipation makes you insecure; memory, unhappy.
Stop misusing your mind and all will be well with you.
You need not set it right, it will set itself right,
as soon as you give up all concern 
with the past and the future
and live entirely in the now.

It is only when you are satiated with the changeable
and long for the unchangeable
that you are ready for the turning round
and stepping into what can be described,
when seen from the level of the mind,
as emptiness and darkness.
For the mind craves content and variety,
while reality is, to the mind, contentless and invariable.

The problem is not yours -- it is your mind's only.
Begin by disassociating yourself from your mind.
Resolutely remind yourself that you are not the mind
and that its problems are not yours.

How can an unsteady mind make itself steady?
Of course it cannot.
It is the nature of the mind to roam about.
All you can do is to shift the focus of consciousness beyond the mind.

Stop making use of your mind and see what happens.
Do this one thing thoroughly. That is all.

The real is beyond,
you are beyond.
Once you have understood that nothing perceivable
or conceivable can be yourself,
you are free of your imaginations. 

To see everything as imagination,
born of desire,
is necessary for self-realisation.
We miss the real by lack of attention
and create the unreal by excess of imagination.
You have to give your heart and mind to these things
and brood over them repeatedly.
It is like cooking food.
You must keep it on the fire for some time
before it is ready.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Part 6

Maharaj: You can have for the asking all the peace you want.

Questioner: I am asking.

Maharaj: You must ask with an undivided heart and live an integrated life.

Questioner: How?

Maharaj: Detach yourself from all that makes your mind restless. Renounce all that disturbs its peace. If you want peace, deserve it.

Questioner: Surely everybody deserves peace.

Maharaj: Those only deserve it who don't disturb it.

Questioner: In what way do I disturb peace?

Maharaj: By being a slave to your desires and fears.

Questioner: Even when they are justified?

Maharaj: Emotional reactions, born of ignorance or inadvertance, are never justified.
Seek a clear mind and a clean heart. All you need is to keep quietly alert, inquiring into the real nature of yourself. This is the only way to peace.

Truth is simple and open to all. 
Why do you complicate? 
Truth is loving and lovable. 
It includes all, accepts all, purifies all.
It is untruth that is difficult and a source of trouble. 
It always wants, expects, demands. 
Being false, it is empty, 
always in search of confirmation and reassurance. 
It is afraid of and avoids inquiry. 
It identifies itself with any support, 
however weak and momentary. 
Whatever it gets, it loses and asks for more.