A Selection of Teachings
Sri Gajapathi Aiyyer’s Unpublished 1936 Journal
Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi
A certain man who, I learn, puts on juggling performances every year during the Karthigai Deepam festival, has come to the Hall; he has questions to ask of the master—
Q.: Does Sri Maharshi possess the power to turn his body invisible at will? Does Sri Maharshi possess the power to materialise objects out of nothing or thin-air?
B.: Sri Maharshi does not even possess a will.
Q.: [somewhat smugly] Now I would please like Sri Maharshi to witness my spectacular abilities.
The man then proceeded to extract from his baggage a long rapier of the sort used in fencing-games, and attempted to entertain the master and the Hall by endeavouring to swallow whole the same.
Just before he could carry out any such feat of his, however, the sarvadhikari[manager] who had evidently heard of what was going on here, rushed into the Hall and ushered – in fact, threw – him out. After coming back inside, he commented,
“If that trickster [சில்மிஷக்காரன்] ever tries to make his way back inside again, those in the Hall – any one of you – please come and alert me at once…”.
B.: He was not trying to hoodwink us, but only endeavouring to demonstrate his talents. That spatha [rapier] which was shown by him did not have any folding or retraction mechanism. It is necessary to practice for years together so that the body’s inherent and natural reflexes can be overcome and defeated, in order that the instrument may be thrust all the way inside the alimentary-canal; it is certainly not an easy feat to accomplish. People slog for years together like this in order to gain the appreciation of others in society.
What is the use? One day somebody else will come along and steal our throne within a few minutes, and then we will lie forgotten and abandoned on the roadside. Instead of expending one’s energies uselessly outwards like this and then suffering needlessly later on, one must deploy this given lifetime towards the cause of Realising the Self.
Q.: Not all can understand the technical nuances of Ajata Advaita; it requires a highly evolved intellect so to do.
B.: It is enough if the belief that the world is real be given up.
Q.: Is it necessary to believe the world to be a projection of one’s own mind?
B.: We look for beliefs to harbour only after we have lost hold of that which is actually Real. If the Real be held on to all the time, the question of what to believe and what not to believe will never arise. The believer himself being altogether fictitious, can anything believed by him be true or correct?
Hold on continuously and incessantly to the Beingness of the Self—without anticipating or expecting anything in return or by way of reward—until the Self Reveals Himself; then there will be no requirement to go on asking questions, such as “Shall we believe in this?” or “Shall we believe in that?”.
Edited by John David Oct 2021