A Glimpse of Self Realisation
New Book about Sri Ramana Maharshi
“In my opinion, Aham Sphurana, a Glimpse of Self Realisation, will become a Treasure Trove of Wisdom to the Seekers of Truth in general, and particularly to the devotees of Bhagavan.”
Swami Hamsananda – Athithi Ashram, Tiruvannamalai
Ramana Maharshi on Consciousness
Q.: After investigating ‘Who am I?’ I find that blankness prevails. What do I do?
B.: Did you exist or not whilst the blankness mentioned by you prevailed? It is only because you existed then that you now are able to recollect having experienced something at that time. Is that correct?
B.: So, blanknesses come and go, but YOU always ARE. For YOU there is neither coming nor going. YOU ARE now as YOU always WERE and YOU will BE always as YOU ARE now. Is there any change in YOU, who are one and identical with the light of beingness of the Self? No. So, hold on to that YOU and do not be swayed by transitory, fleeting ephemera. Phenomena come and go. Do not bother about what has an origin and an end. Hold on to that which is changeless and absolute even in all that is changing and relative. Simply put, remain as That-which-IS and all your problems are over.
Q.: It needs effort to remain without thinking.
B.: In the beginning, yes. But as you practice more and more you will find the thought-free state to be the natural state and the state in which there are thoughts to be the alien state. Whatever it is that we practise, that becomes the svabhava [habit] of the mind. It is we who determine what the mind’s svabhavashould be.
Q.: But everything is said to be pre-destined.
B.: Free will holds the field in association with individuality and is as real as the ego. Whilst the ego lasts, so does free will.
Q.: What is the relationship between body-consciousness and “I”- consciousness?
B.: What IS, is only consciousness. Since consciousness is not different from subjective awareness, it is known as “I”-consciousness. Consciousness + upadhis [limitation] = qualified or conditioned consciousness. For example, consciousness + dehatma-buddhi [I-am-the-body] = body consciousness. In consciousness alone there is no variation. Changes take place in upadhis only. Red-hot iron can be hammered into any shape you want. What changes? Is there any change in the fire that imparts malleability to the iron? One more example which can be given is that of actors performing on a stage. There is a lantern which illumines the stage for the audience to see; without light therefrom no play can be seen at all; light from the lantern shines before the play commences, and continues during and after it. Many plays are performed in concatenation or succession but nothing happens to the lantern; it goes on shining light.
Q.: What am I? An actor in the play or the lantern?
B.: Why ask me? Find out!
Q.: How to get rid of attachment toward the body?
B.: Reflect on the inevitable fact that it will perish one day. We are born between shit and piss.[ “Inter faeces et urinam nascimur.“ A latin phrase attributed to one of the early church fathers] So, why at all harbour attachment towards this body which is made of potentially putrid substances? The body is not you. You are That which-IS.
Q.: Then how did I get this body- and why?
B.: The insentient body is altogether innocent. He is not the culprit. Does he say, ‘Here I am! I am your body; I am you.’? Did he even once say so? No. It is we who confound ourselves with the body. We take ourselves to be the body and think we suffer when it feels pain. Pain and pleasure are both imaginary. The body is already a dead body. Can it say, ‘I am experiencing pain.’ or ‘I am experiencing pleasure.’? The “I”-sense is not even remotely connected to anything physical. Being of the nature of consciousness, it emanates from the Self only. So, really there is no body but for the mind.
Edited by John David Oct 2021