Index, bigindex

classes ::: Talks, chapter,
children :::
branches :::

Instances, Classes, See Also, Object in Names
Definitions, . Quotes . - . Chapters .


object:1.300 - 1.400 Talks
book class:Talks
class:chapter

Talk 300.

A brahmachari youth who has graduated in science has been waiting here for Grace for the last four or five months in order that some job might drop on him like a ripe apple from the tree. He has been making no other efforts to secure a job. His brother yesterday came here to take him away to his parents. But the youth declined to go. An appeal was made to Sri Bhagavan.

Sri Bhagavan said: "I do not tell anyone to come nor ask him to go.

Everyone pleases himself here. He says he finds peace in the hall and he also wants a job. Evidently the job must be found in the hall itself so that his peace may not be disturbed. Peace is not in the hall. It is in the repose of the Self. It can be gained anywhere."
Some days later the youth threw away his sacred thread and appeared before Sri Bhagavan with his limbs shaking, which the young man later described as his Bliss (ananda). Sri Bhagavan told him not to make a habit of sitting in front of Him in the hall and ordered him out. Furthermore He continued: Even a fledgling is protected by the parent birds only till such time it grows its wings. It is not protected for ever. Similarly with devotees. I have shown the way. You must now be able to follow it up and find peace wherever you are.

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The young man thinks that Sri Bhagavan gave him upadesa in the following words: "The self (i.e. ego) must be subdued by oneself.

The man however has refused the offer of a job to him in one of the local schools and thinks that he has been given a mighty job by the
Hill or by Sri Bhagavan. "What that job is the world will know later", he says. He had further anticipated all this day's occurrences some months ago and had foretold them to his mother and to his friends.

He is further happy at the happenings.

Sri Bhagavan however compared him to another man who is in no way of the right type. And yet the boy thinks that he is Bhagavan in embryo. Later he turned mad and died.

Talk 301.

A gentleman enthusiastically recounted several of his experiences on following Sri Bhagavan's instructions and incidentally mentioned that he and Sri Bhagavan were born on the same day of the week and bore the same name ....

Sri Bhagavan completed it, adding "The same Self is in both."
Talk 302.

A young man from Trichy asked Sri Bhagavan on the mention in
Upadesa Manjari of atyanta vairagyam (total dispassion) as the qualification of a ripe disciple. He continued: "What is vairagya?
Detachment from worldly pursuits and desire for salvation. Is it not so?"
M.: Who has not got it?
Each one seeks happiness but is misled into thinking pain associated pleasures as happiness. Such happiness is transient. His mistaken activity gives him short-lived pleasure. Pain and pleasure alternate with one another in the world. To discriminate between the painproducing and pleasure-producing matters and to confine oneself to the happiness-producing pursuit only is vairagya. What is it that will not be followed by pain? He seeks it and engages in it. Otherwise, the man has one foot in the world and another foot in the spiritual pursuit (without progressing satisfactorily in either field).

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A question was again raised regarding the function of the Guru.

M.: Because the man is not able to help himself, finding himself too weak, he seeks more strength in the shape of a Guru.

Talk 303.

Mr. K. R. V. Iyer sought more light on nada (sound).

M.: He who meditates on it feels it. There are ten kinds of nadas.

After the final thundering nada the man gets laya. That is his natural and eternal state. Nada, jyoti, or enquiry thus take one to the same point. (The former are indirect and the last is direct).

D.: The mind becomes peaceful for a short while and again emerges forth. What is to be done?
M.: The peace often gained must be remembered at other times. That peace is your natural and permanent state. By continuous practice it will become natural. That is called the 'current.' That is your true nature.

Nada, photisms, etc., imply the existence of triputi (the triads of cogniser, cognition and the cognised). The current resulting from investigation for the Self is suddha triputi or pure triad - that is to say, undifferentiated triad.


26th December, 1936
Talk 304.

A Swiss lady described a photism she had to Sri Bhagavan. While she was sitting with her eyes wide open, she saw Sri Bhagavan's face becoming cherub-like and draped in glorious flowers. She was drawn in love towards that child-like face.

M.: The vision is in your mind. Your love is the cause. Paul Brunton saw me as a giant figure; you saw me like a child. Both are visions.

(The lady said: Paul Brunton asked me if I had any spiritual experience here, and I denied it. Now this happens).

M.: Do not be deceived by visions.

D.: If one is miles away in Europe and invokes your aid ....

M.: Where is Europe? It is in you.

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D.: I have come here; I would like Maharshi to come there. (Saying it, she laughed gently. Silence for some minutes).

M.: You see the physical body and so you find limitations. Time and space operate on this plane. So long as you think of the gross body there will be differences found as different bodies. On the other hand, knowledge of the real Maharshi will set all doubts at rest.

Are you in India now? Or is India in you? Even now this notion that you are in India must go. India is in you. In order to verify it, look to your sleep. Did you feel that you were in Europe or in India while asleep? You were nevertheless existing then the same as now.

Space is in you. The physical body is in space, but not you.

Paul Brunton had his eyes closed when he saw the vision, whereas you had your eyes open, you say.

D.: Yes. But I have never had vision; whereas he is a psychic.

After a few minutes she asked if it is an advantage or a disadvantage to see visions like this.

M.: It is an advantage.

Sri Bhagavan continued: Probably you had been thinking of a child and that appeared in the vision ......

D.: Yes, only of Siva - of His child-like face ....

M.: That's it.

D.: But Siva is the Destroyer ... (meaning, not a child).

M.: Yes - of sorrows.

After a few minutes Bhagavan continued: You will shortly go to sleep. When you wake up in the morning you will say "I slept well and happily". What happened in sleep is your real nature. That continues now too; otherwise it will not be your real nature. Get the state of sleep even now; it is Siva.

Have we got a form? Find that out before you think of Siva's form.

Did you not exist in sleep? Were you aware of any form then?
Were you with form in your sleep? You existed all the same. The
'I' which was in sleep is also now present. You were not the body according to your sleep-experience. You are the same now - that is without the body. Being without the body you were happy too in sleep. You are the same now too. That which is enduring must
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Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi alone be the real nature. There was no body but only experience of happiness in sleep. That endures now too. The Self is bodiless. If you are thus without body how can Siva be with body? If you are with body Siva also is with body. If you are not, He also is not.

D.: Why is He then Siva?
M.: Siva means embodiment of happiness - of auspiciousness.

She was very pleased. After a time she left.

Talk 305.

The visitors were talking among themselves and one of them said: "We, though familiar with our traditional teachings, are unable to follow these teachings (meaning Sri Bhagavan's). How can the foreigners unfamiliar with our ways follow Sri Bhagavan's teachings so easily?"
He seemed to sympathise with their attempts to understand us in spite of their handicaps, and also to pity them for want of proper equipment.

Sri Bhagavan remarked finally: Visions are better than no visions.

They get interested in that way. They do not take to foreign ideas; when once they do it, they stick on. So much for their merits.

Sri Bhagavan later referred to Sivaprakasam Pillai's vision. "Visions are not external. They appear only internally. If external they must assert themselves without there being a seer. In that case what is the warranty for their existence? The seer only."
Talk 306.

D.: There is something concrete necessary to meditate upon. How shall we meditate upon 'I'?
M.: We have become rooted in forms and so we require a concrete form for meditating upon. Only that which we contemplate will in the end remain over. When you contemplate the other thoughts disappear. So long as you need to contemplate there are other thoughts, Where are you? You contemplate because you exist. For the contemplator must contemplate.

The contemplation can only be where he is. Contemplation wards off all other thoughts. You should merge yourself in the source. At times we merge in the source unconsciously, as in sleep, death, swoon, etc.

What is contemplation? It is merging into the source consciously. Then
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Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi the fear of death, of swoon, etc. will disappear, because you are able to merge into the source consciously.

Why fear death? Death cannot mean non-being. Why do you love sleep, but not death? Do you not think now? Are you not existing now?
Did you not exist in your sleep? Even a child says that it slept well and happily. It admits its existence in sleep, unconsciously though. So, consciousness is our true nature. We cannot remain unconscious. We however say that we were unconscious in our sleep because we refer to qualified consciousness. The world, the body, etc., are so embedded in us that this relative consciousness is taken to be the Self. Does anyone say in his sleep that he is unconscious? He says so now. This is the state of relative consciousness. Therefore he speaks of relative consciousness and not of abstract consciousness. The consciousness is beyond relative consciousness or unconsciousness.

Again reverting to Tiruvachagam, Sri Bhagavan said: All the four foremost saints have given out their experiences in the very first stanza. (1) Undifferentiated worship. (2) Never-failing remembrance. (3) Unrisen thought. (4) The ego is not, the Self is.

All mean the same.

D.: But this truth is not realised.

M.: It will be realised in due course. Till then there is devotion (bhakti):
"Even for a trice you do not leave my mind." Does he leave you any moment? It is you who allow your mind to wander away. He remains always steady. When your mind is fixed, you say: "He does not leave my mind even for a trice". How ridiculous!

27th December, 1936
Talk 307.

Mr. Shamanna from Mysore asked Sri Bhagavan: Kindly explain
Aham Sphurana (the light of 'I-I').

M.: 'I' is not known in sleep. On waking 'I' is perceived associated with the body, the world and non-self in general. Such associated
'I' is Aham vritti. When Aham represents the Self only it is Aham
Sphurana. This is natural to the Jnani and is itself called jnana by jnanis, or bhakti by bhaktas. Though ever present, including
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Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi in sleep, it is not perceived. It cannot be known in sleep all at once. It must first be realised in the waking state, for it is our true nature underlying all the three states. Efforts must be made only in the jagrat state and the Self realised here and now. It will afterwards be understood and realised to be continuous
Self, uninterrupted by jagrat, svapna and sushupti. Thus it is akhandakara vritti (unbroken experience). Vritti is used for lack of a better expression. It should not be understood to be literally a vritti. In that case, vritti will resemble an 'ocean-like river', which is absurd. Vritti is of short duration, it is qualified, directed consciousness; or absolute consciousness broken up by cognition of thoughts, senses, etc. Vritti is the function of the mind, whereas the continuous consciousness transcends the mind. This is the natural, primal state of the Jnani or the liberated being. That is unbroken experience. It asserts itself when relative consciousness subsides. Aham vritti ('I-thought') is broken, Aham sphurana (the light of 'I-I') is unbroken, continuous. After the thoughts subside, the light shines forth.


31st December, 1936
Talk 308.

A question was asked regarding untouchability.

Sri Bhagavan said: The Non-self is untouchable. The social untouchability is man-made, whereas the other untouchability is natural and divine.

D.: Should the untouchables be allowed into our temples?
M.: There are others to decide it.

A question was asked regarding the avatars of Vishnu.

M.: Let us know our own avatara; the knowledge of the other avataras will follow.

Again there was a question on Isvara.

M.: Existence of Isvara follows from our conception of Isvara.

Let us first know whose concept He is. The concept will be only according to the one who conceives. Find out who you are and the other problem will solve itself.

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1st January, 1937
Talk 309.

D.: What is the difference between Aham Brahmasmi (I am Brahman) and Brahmaivaham (only Brahman I am).

M.: The former is Pratyaksha vritti (direct experience), whereas the latter is Paroksha jnana (indirect knowledge). The first begins with the realisation of Aham ('I'), whereas the later starts with the hearsay Brahman which cannot be apart from the Self, if the same has been realised.

Talk 310.

Mr. Greenlees: After leaving this Asramam in October I was aware of
Bhagavan's peace enfolding me for about ten days. All the time while busy in work there was an undercurrent of that peace of unity; it was almost like the dual consciousness while half asleep in a dull lecture.

Then it faded out entirely, and the old stupidities came in instead.

Work leaves no time for separate meditation. Is the constant reminder
"I am", trying to feel it while actually at work, enough?
M.: It will become constant when the mind becomes strengthened.

Repeated practice strengthens the mind; and such mind is capable of holding on to the current. In that case, engagement in work or no engagement, the current remains unaffected and uninterrupted.

D.: No separate meditation is necessary?
M.: Meditation is your true nature now. You call it meditation, because there are other thoughts distracting you. When these thoughts are dispelled, you remain alone, i.e., in the state of meditation free from thoughts; and that is your real nature which you are now attempting to gain by keeping away other thoughts. Such keeping away of other thoughts is now called meditation. When the practice becomes firm, the real nature shows itself as the true meditation.

Other thoughts arise more forcibly when you attempt meditation.

There was immediately a chorus of questions by a few others.

Sri Maharshi continued: Yes, all kinds of thoughts arise in meditation. It is but right. What lies hidden in you is brought out. Unless they rise up
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Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi how can they be destroyed? They therefore rise up spontaneously in order to be extinguished in due course, thus to strengthen the mind.

A visitor: All are said to be Brahman.

M.: Yes, they are. But so long as you think that they are apart they are to be avoided. If on the other hand they are found to be Self there is no need to say 'all'. For all that exists is only Brahman. There is nothing besides Brahman.

D.: Ribhu Gita speaks of so many objects as unreal, adding at the end that they are all Brahman and thus real.

M.: Yes. When you see them as so many they are asat, i.e., unreal.

Whereas when you see them as Brahman they are real, deriving their reality from their substratum, Brahman.

D.: Why then does Upadesa Sara speak of the body, etc., as jada i.e. insentient?
M.: Inasmuch as you say that they are body, etc., apart from the Self.

But when the Self is found this body, etc., are also found to be in it. Afterwards no one will ask the question and no one will say that they are insentient.

D.: Viveka is said to be discrimination between the Self and the nonself. What is the non-self?
M.: There is no non-self, in fact. The non-self also exists in the Self.

It is the Self which speaks of the non-self because it has forgotten itself. Having lost hold of itself, it conceives something as non-self, which is after all nothing but itself.

Then the discussion between the protagonists of various theories became warm.


2nd January, 1937
Talk 311.

The 'I' which rises will also subside. That is the individual 'I' or the 'I'concept. That which does not rise will not subside. It is and will be for ever.

That is the universal 'I', the perfect 'I', or realisation of the Self.

At 5-30 p.m. the Swiss lady complains to Sri Bhagavan that she gets a headache if meditation be prolonged for some time.

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M.: If the meditator and meditation be understood to be the same there will be no headache or similar complaints.

D.: But they are different. How shall we consider them to be the same?
M.: That is due to your outlook. There is only one and there are no differences. On meditation the relative consciousness will vanish. That is not annihilation; for Absolute Consciousness arises. The Bible itself says, "The Kingdom of Heaven is within you" . . . If you consider yourself to be the body there is some difficulty in understanding the statement. On the other hand if you know who you really are, the
Kingdom of Heaven and all are included in your true Self. They are concepts arising after the ego has arisen. Drishtim jnanamayeem krtva pasyet Brahmamayam jagat (Direct your look within and make it absolute). With that absolute awareness realised, look without and you will realise the universe to be not apart from the realised Absolute.

Because your outlook is externally directed you speak of a without. In that state you are advised to look within. This within is relative to the without you are seeking. In fact, the Self is neither without nor within.

Speaking of Heaven one thinks of it as above or below, within or without, since one is accustomed to relative knowledge. One seeks only objective knowledge and hence these ideas.

Really speaking there is neither up nor down, neither in nor out.

If they were real they must be present in dreamless sleep also. For what is real must be continuous and permanent. Did you feel 'in' or 'out' in sleep? Of course not.

D.: I do not remember.

M.: If there was anything there that could be remembered. But you admit your existence then. The same Self is now speaking. The Self who was undifferentiated in sleep is differentiated in the present state, and sees the diversity. The Real Existence is the only One devoid of objective knowledge. That is absolute consciousness. That is the state of happiness, as admitted by all of us. That state must be brought about even in this waking state. It is called jagrat sushupti. That is mukti.

D.: The ego is the one which reincarnates.

M.: Yes. But what is reincarnation? The ego remains the same. New bodies appear and hold it. The ego does not change. It does not leave
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Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi one body, seek and find another. Just see what happens even to your gross body. Suppose you go to London. How do you do it? You take a conveyance, go to the docks, board the steamer and reach London in a few days. What has happened? The conveyances had moved, but not your body. Still you say that you travelled from one part of the globe to the other part. The movements of the conveyances have been superimposed on your body. Similarly also with your ego. The reincarnations are superimpositions. For example, what happens in a dream? Do you go to the dream world or does it occur in you? Surely the latter. Just the same with incarnations. The ego remains changeless all along.

Again, there is no time and space in your sleep. They are concepts which arise after the 'I-thought' has arisen. Before the rise of the 'Ithought' the concepts are absent. Therefore you are beyond time and space. The 'I-thought' is only limited 'I'. The real 'I' is unlimited, universal, beyond time and space. They are absent in sleep. Just on rising up from sleep, and before seeing the objective world, there is a state of awareness which is your pure Self. That must be known.

D.: But I do not realise it.

M.: It is not an object to be realised. You are that. Who is there to realise and what?
Talk 312.

Mr. V. K. Cholkar, of Poona: It is said "Know thyself" or see who the "I" in you is. What is the way to do it? Is it by simply repeating the mantra mechanically all along or have you to do it, remembering every moment why you are repeating the mantra?
M.: You are always repeating the mantra automatically. If you are not aware of the ajapa (unspoken chant) which is eternally going on, you should take to japa. Japa is made with an effort. The effort is meant to ward off other thoughts. Then the japa becomes mental and internal. Finally, its ajapa and eternal nature will be realised.

For it will be found to be going on even without your effort. The effortless state is the state of realisation.

Mr. Cholkar again requested instructions from a practical point of view, i.e., suitable to himself.

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M.: It is not external and therefore need not be sought elsewhere. It is internal and also eternal. It is always realised. But you say you are not aware. It requires constant attention to itself. No other effort is necessary. Your effort is only meant not to allow yourself to be distracted by other thoughts.

The person was satisfied.

Talk 313.

Mr. Greenlees: Bhagavan said yesterday that, while one is engaged in search for "God within", outer work would go on automatically. In the life of Sri Chaitanya it is explained that while he sought Krishna (the
Self) during his lectures to students, he forgot where his body was and went on talking of Krishna. This rouses doubt whether work can safely be left to itself. Should one keep part-attention on the physical work?
M.: The Self is all. Now I ask you: Are you apart from the Self? Can the work go on apart from the Self? Or is the body apart from the Self? None of them could be apart from the Self. The Self is universal. So all the actions will go on whether you engage in them voluntarily or not. The work will go on automatically. Attending to the Self includes attending to the work.

D.: The work may suffer if I do not attend to it.

M.: Because you identify yourself with the body, you consider that the work is done by you. But the body and its activities, including the work, are not apart from the Self.

What does it matter whether you attend to the work or not? Suppose you walk from one place to another place. You do not attend every single step that you take. After a time, however, you find yourself at your destination. You notice how the work, i.e., walking, goes on without your attention to it. Similarly it is with other kinds of work.

D.: Then it is like sleep-walking.

M.: Quite so. When a child is fast asleep, his mother feeds him in sleep.

The child eats the food quite as well as when well awake. But the next morning he says to the mother "Mother! I did not take food last night". The mother and others know that he did. But he says that he did not. He was not aware and yet the action had gone on.

Somnambulism is indeed a good analogy for this kind of work.

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Take another example: A passenger in a cart has fallen asleep. The bulls move or stand still or are unyoked on the journey. He does not know these occurrences, but finds himself in a different place after he wakes up. He has been blissfully ignorant of the occurrences on the way, but his journey has been finished.

Similarly with the Self of the person. He is asleep in the body. His waking state is the movement of the bulls, his samadhi is their standing still
(because samadhi = jagrat sushupti) i.e., to say, he is aware of but not attached to actions. So the bulls are in harness but do not move. His sleep is the unyoking of the bulls, for there is complete suspension of activities corresponding to the release of the bulls from the yoke.

Still another example: Scenes are projected on the screen in a cinema show. But the moving pictures do not affect or alter the screen. The seer pays attention to the pictures and ignores the screen. They cannot remain apart from the screen. Still its existence is ignored. So also the Self is the screen on which the pictures, namely activities, are going on. The man is aware of the latter, ignoring the former. All the same he is not apart from the Self.

Whether aware or unaware the actions will continue.

D.: There is an operator in the cinema.

M.: The cinema show is made out of insentient materials. The screen, the pictures, lamp, etc., are insentient and require an operator, a sentient agent. In the case of the Self, it is consciousness itself and therefore self-contained. There cannot be an operator apart.

D.: Protested that he did not confuse the body with the operator as the above answer would imply.

M.: The functions of the body were kept in mind involving the need for the operator. Because there is the body - a jada object - an operator, a sentient agent, is necessary.

Because people think that they are jivas, Sri Krishna has said that
God resides in the Heart as the operator of the jivas. In fact there are no jivas and no operator. The self comprises all. It is the screen, the pictures, the seer, the actor, the operator, the light and all else.

Your confounding it with the body and imagining yourself as the actor amounts to the seer being represented as an actor in a cinema
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Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi picture. Imagine the actor in the picture asking if he could enact a scene without the screen. Such is the case of the man who thinks of his acting apart from the Self.

D.: It is like asking the spectator to act in the cinema picture.

Somnambulism seems to be desirable.

M.: There is the belief that the crow rolls only one iris into either eye to see any object. It has only one iris but two eye sockets. Its sight is manipulated according to its desire.

Or again the elephant has one trunk with which it breathes and does work such as drinking water, etc.

Again serpents are said to use the same apparatus for either seeing or hearing.

Similarly the actions and states are according to one's point of view. Sleep waking or waking sleep or dreaming sleep or dreaming wakefulness are about the same.

D.: We have to deal with a physical body in a physical waking world.

If we sleep while work is done or work when sleep overtakes us, the work will go wrong.

M.: Sleep is not ignorance; it is your pure state. Wakefulness is not knowledge; it is ignorance. There is full awareness in sleep; there is total ignorance in waking. Your real nature covers both, and extends beyond. The Self is beyond knowledge and ignorance.

Sleep, dream and waking are only modes passing before the Self.

They proceed whether you are aware or not. That is the state of the
Jnani in whom pass the states of waking, samadhi, deep sleep and dream, like the bulls moving, standing or being unyoked when the passenger is asleep as aforesaid. These questions are from the point of view of the ajnani; otherwise these questions do not arise.

D.: Of course they cannot arise for the Self. Who would be there to ask? But unfortunately I have not yet realised the Self.

M.: That is just the obstacle in your way. You must get rid of the idea that you are an ajnani yet to realise the Self. You are the Self. Was there ever a time when you were apart from the Self?
D.: So it is an experiment in somnambulism .... or in daydreaming.

Bhagavan laughed.

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3rd January, 1937
DROPS OF NECTAR
Talk 314.

In yesterday's answers, Sri Bhagavan said that the Self is pure consciousness in deep slumber, and He also indicated the Self of the transition from sleep to the waking state as the ideal for realisation.

He was requested to explain the same.

Sri Bhagavan graciously answered: The Self is pure consciousness in sleep; it evolves as aham ('I') without the idam ('this') in the transition stage; and manifests as aham ('I') and idam ('this') in the waking state.

The individual's experience is by means of aham ('I') only. So he must aim at realisation in the way indicated (i.e., by means of the transitional 'I').

Otherwise the sleep-experience does not matter to him. If the transitional
'I' be realised the substratum is found and that leads to the goal.

Again, sleep is said to be ajnana (ignorance). That is only in relation to the wrong jnana (knowledge) prevalent in the wakeful state. The waking state is really ajnana (ignorance) and the sleep state is prajnana (full knowledge). Prajnana is Brahman, says the sruti. Brahman is eternal.

The sleep-experiencer is called prajna. He is prajnanam in all the three states. Its particular significance in the sleep state is that He is full of knowledge (prajnanaghana). What is ghana? There are jnana and vijnana. Both together operate in all perceptions. Vijnana in the jagrat is viparita jnana (wrong knowledge) i.e., ajnana (ignorance). It always co-exists with the individual. When this becomes vispashta jnana (clear knowledge), It is Brahman. When wrong knowledge is totally absent, as in sleep, He remains pure prajnana only. That is Prajnanaghana.

Aitareya Upanishad says prajnana, vijnana, ajnana, samjnana are all names of Brahman. Being made up of knowledge alone how is He to be experienced? Experience is always with vijnana. Therefore the pure 'I' of the transitional stage must be held for the experience of the
Prajnanaghana. The 'I' of the waking state is impure and is not useful for such experience. Hence the use of the transitional 'I' or the pure 'I'.

How is this pure 'I' to be realised? Viveka Chudamani says, Vijnana kose vilasatyajasram (He is always shining forth in the intellectual sheath, vijnana kosa). Tripura Rahasya and other works point out that
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Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi the interval between two consecutive sankalpas (ideas or thoughts) represent the pure aham ('I'). Therefore holding on to the pure 'I', one should have the Prajnanaghana for aim, and there is the vritti present in the attempt. All these have their proper and respective places and at the same time lead to realisation.

Again the pure Self has been described in Viveka Chudamani to be beyond asat, i.e., different from asat. Here asat is the contaminated waking 'I'. Asadvilakshana means sat, i.e., the Self of sleep. He is also described as different from sat and asat. Both mean the same.

He is also asesha sakshi (all-seeing witness).

If pure, how is He to be experienced by means of the impure 'I'? A man says "I slept happily". Happiness was his experience. If not, how could he speak of what he had not experienced? How did he experience happiness in sleep, if the Self was pure? Who is it that speaks of that experience now? The speaker is the vijnanatma (ignorant self) and he speaks of prajnanatma (pure self). How can that hold? Was this vijnanatma present in sleep? His present statement of the experience of happiness in sleep makes one infer his existence in sleep. How then did he remain? Surely not as in the waking state. He was there very subtle. Exceedingly subtle vijnanatma experiences the happy prajnanatma by means of maya mode. It is like the rays of the moon seen below the branches, twigs and leaves of a tree.

The subtle vijnanatma seems apparently a stranger to the obvious vijnanatma of the present moment. Why should we infer his existence in sleep? Should we not deny the experience of happiness and be done with this inference? No. The fact of the experience of happiness cannot be denied, for everyone courts sleep and prepares a nice bed for the enjoyment of sound sleep.

This brings us to the conclusion that the cogniser, cognition and the cognised are present in all the three states, though there are differences in their subtleties. In the transitional state, the aham ('I') is suddha (pure), because idam ('this') is suppressed. Aham ('I') predominates.

'Why is not that pure 'I' realised now or even remembered by us? Because of want of acquaintance (parichaya) with it. It can be recognised only if it is consciously attained. Therefore make the effort and gain consciously.

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Talk 315.

One of the attendants asked: Sri Bhagavan has said: 'Reality and myth are both the same'. How is it so?
M.: The tantriks and others of the kind condemn Sri Sankara's philosophy as maya vada without understanding him aright. What does he say?
He says: (1) Brahman is real; (2) the universe is a myth; (3) Brahman is the universe. He does not stop at the second statement but continues to supplement it with the third. What does it signify? The Universe is conceived to be apart from Brahman and that perception is wrong.

The antagonists point to his illustration of rajju sarpa (rope snake).

This is unconditioned superimposition. After the truth of the rope is known, the illusion of snake is removed once for all.

But they should take the conditioned superimposition also into consideration, e.g., marumarichika or mrigatrishna (water of mirage).

The mirage does not disappear even after knowing it to be a mirage.

The vision is there but the man does not run to it for water. Sri
Sankara must be understood in the light of both the illustrations.

The world is a myth. Even after knowing it, it continues to appear.

It must be known to be Brahman and not apart.

If the world appears, yet to whom does it appear, he asks. What is your reply? You must say the Self. If not, will the world appear in the absence of the cognising Self? Therefore the Self is the reality.

That is his conclusion. The phenomena are real as the Self and are myths apart from the Self.

Now, what do the tantriks, etc., say? They say that the phenomena are real because they are part of the Reality in which they appear.

Are not these two statements the same? That is what I meant by reality and falsehood being one and the same.

The antagonists continue: With the conditioned as well as the unconditioned illusions considered, the phenomenon of water in mirage is purely illusory because that water cannot be used for any purpose. Whereas the phenomenon of the world is different, for it is purposeful. How then does the latter stand on a par with the former?
A phenomenon cannot be a reality simply because it serves a purpose or purposes. Take a dream for example. The dream
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So it is with magical creations. They appear real and are yet illusory.

Similarly the universe cannot be real of itself - that is to say, apart from the underlying Reality.

Talk 316.

There is fire on the screen in a cinema show. Does it burn the screen?
There is a cascade of water. Does it wet the screen? There are tools.

Do they damage the screen?
That is why it is said achchedyoyam, adahyoyam, akledhyoyam, etc.

Fire, water, etc. are phenomena on the screen of Brahman (i.e., the
Self) and they do not affect It.


6th January, 1937
Talk 317.

Mr. Parkhi: Many visitors here tell me that they get visions or thoughtcurrents from you. I am here for the last month and a half and still I have not the slightest experience of any kind. Is it because I am unworthy of your grace? If so, I feel it disgraceful that I being Vasishtakulotpanna
(of the lineage of Vasishta) should not have your grace, while far-off foreigners should have it. Will you kindly suggest some prayaschitta
(method of expiation) for removing this disgrace?
M.: Visions and thought-currents are had according to the state of mind.

It depends on the individuals and not upon the Universal Presence.

Moreover, they are immaterial. What matters is Peace of Mind.

D.: Peace of mind is the result of trance. How is trance got?
M.: Trance is only absence of thoughts. That state prevails in sleep.

Do you have enduring peace of mind on that account?
D.: It is said in the journal maintained in the Asramam that trance is necessary.

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M.: Trance is not something apart to be got anew. Your natural state is that of trance.

D.: But I do not feel it.

M.: The fact of your contrary belief is the obstruction.

D.: Since I have not realised the Self I say that I do not understand my permanent state of trance.

M.: This is only a repetition. That is the obstruction. This arises because you think that the non-self is you. That is the mistake. Do not take the non-self to be the Self. Then the Self will be evident to you.

D.: I understand it theoretically but not practically.

M.: There are no two selves - for the self to speak of the non-realisation of the Self.

D.: It is still theoretical to me. How shall I get the trance?
M.: Trance is only temporary in its effects. There is happiness so long as it lasts. After rising from it the old vasanas return. Unless the vasanas are destroyed in sahaja samadhi (effortless samadhi), there is no good of trance.

D.: But trance must precede sahaja samadhi?
M.: Trance is the natural state. Although there are activities and phenomena, yet they do not affect the trance. If they are realised to be not apart from the Self, the Self is realised. Where is the use of trance, unless it brings about enduring peace of mind? Know that even now you are in trance whatever happens. That is all.

D.: But how shall I do it?
A scholar remarked: Yato vacho nivartante aprapya manasa saha
(where words fail to reach, along with the mind).

The questioner retorted: It is also said manasaiva aptavyam (to be realised with the mind only).

M.: Yes. The Pure Mind, i.e., the mind free from thoughts is the Self.

The pure mind is beyond the impure mind.

D.: Seen with the subtlest of subtle intellect by subtle seers.

M.: What was said of mind applies to this also.

D.: If trance be my natural state, why is it said that trance is necessary to be got before Realisation?
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M.: That means that one should be aware of his eternal state of trance.

Inattentiveness to it is ignorance. Pramado vai mrtyuh (inattention is death itself).

D.: How can I be attentive without getting trance beforehand?
M.: Very well. If you are so anxious for trance any narcotic will bring it about. Drug-habit will be the result and not liberation. There are vasanas in the latent state even in trance. The vasanas must be destroyed.

Another devotee: Can there be Self-Realisation before the vasanas are entirely destroyed?
M.: There are two kinds of vasanas: (1) bandha hetuh, causing bondage for the ignorant, and (2) bhoga hetuh, giving enjoyment for the wise. The latter do not obstruct realisation.

D.: Are the Self-realised persons reborn? e.g., Vamadeva, Jada
Bharata, etc.

M.: The Realised ones cannot be reborn. Rebirth is due to vasanas which are binding. But they are destroyed in the state of Self-realisation.

D.: Are we to take it that they had gone to the stage of kevala nirvikalpa but not to sahaja nirvikalpa?
M.: Yes.

D.: If only vasanas for enjoyment do not obstruct the state of realisation and if one can look upon the events of the world without his state of bliss being disturbed, it means that attachment alone is bondage. Am I right?
M.: Yes, quite. Attachment is bondage. Attachment disappears with the elimination of the ego.

D.: Realisation is said to be helped by Guru's Grace.

M.: Guru is none other than the Self.

D.: Krishna had Sandipini for his Guru and so Rama had Vasishta.

M.: Guru is said to be external for the seeker. The in-turn of the mind is brought about by the Guru. Since the seeker is out-ward-bent he is advised to learn from a Guru whom he will in due course find to be the Self.

D.: May I have Guru's Grace?
M.: Grace is always there.

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D.: But I did not feel the same.

M.: Surrender will make one understand the Grace.

D.: I have surrendered heart and soul. I am the best judge of my heart.

Still I do not feel the Grace.

M.: If you had surrendered the questions would not arise.

D.: I have surrendered. Still the questions arise.

M.: Grace is constant. Your judgement is the variable. Where else should the fault lie?
D.: I must be enabled to surrender myself.

M.: Thayumanavar has said: "Glory to Thee for enabling me to discuss so much and follow Thy words so far!"

7th January, 1937
Talk 318.

A Hindi gentleman asked how the fear of death could be got over.

M.: Find out if you were born before you think of death. Only he who is born could die. You are as good as dead even in sleep. What fear is there of death?
D.: How are we in sleep?
M.: Ask the question in sleep. You recall the experience of sleep only when you are awake. You recall that state by saying "I slept happily".

D.: What is the instrument by which we experience that state?
M.: We call it Mayakarana as opposed to the antahkarana to which we are accustomed in our other states. The same instruments are called differently in the different states, even as the anandatman of sleep is termed the vijnanatman of the wakeful state.

D.: Please furnish me with an illustration for the mayakarana experiencing the ananda.

M.: How can you say "I slept happily"? The experience is there to prove your happiness. There cannot be the remembrance in the wakeful state in the absence of the experience in the sleep state.

D.: Agreed. But please give me an illustration.

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M.: How can it be described? If you dive into water for recovering an article you speak of its recovery only after rising out of the water.

You do not say anything while remaining sunk in water.

D.: I do not have fear in sleep whereas I have it now.

M.: Because dwiteeyadvai bhayam bhavati - fear is always of a second one. Of what are you afraid?
D.: By reason of the perception of the body, the senses, the world,
Isvara, doership, enjoyment etc.

M.: Why do you see them if they cause fear?
D.: Because they are inescapable.

M.: But it is you who sees them. For whom is the fear? Is it for them?
D.: No, it is for me.

M.: Because you see them, you fear them. Do not see them and there will be no fear.

D.: What then should I do in the waking state?
M.: Be the Self; there will be no second thing to cause you fear.

D.: Yes. Now I understand. If I see my Self, then the sight is warded off the non-self and there is happiness. Yet there is the fear of death.

M.: Only the one who is born should die. See if you have been born at all in order that death should threaten you.

Talk 319.

Mr. Sridhar, a Hindu from Goa, asked: What is kousalam (skill) in Yogah karmasu kousalam (yoga is skill in action). How is that gained?
M.: Do actions without caring for the result. Do not think that you are the doer. Dedicate the work to God. That is the skill and also the way to gain it.

D.: Samatvam yoga uchyate (Equanimity is yoga). What is that equanimity?
M.: It is unity in diversity. The universe is now seen to be diverse. See the common factor (sama) in all the objects. When that is done equality in the pairs of opposites (dwandwani) naturally follows. It is the latter which is however spoken of as equanimity ordinarily.

D.: How is the common factor to be perceived in the diversity?
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M.: The seer is only one. They do not appear without the seer. There is no change in the seer, however much the others may change.

Yogah karmasu kousalam = Skill in work is yoga,
Samatvam yoga uchyate = Equanimity is yoga,
Mamekam saranam vraja = Only surrender to Me,
Ekamevadwiteeyam = Only one without a second, representing Karma, Yoga, Bhakti and Jnana convey the same meaning.

They are only the single Truth presented in different aspects.

Mr. Ekanatha Rao: Is Grace necessary for it?
M.: Yes.

D.: How to gain Divine Grace?
M.: By surrender.

D.: Still I do not feel Grace.

M.: Sincerity is wanting. Surrender should not be verbal nor conditional.

Passages from St. Justinian were read out to illustrate these statements.

Prayer is not verbal. It is from the heart. To merge into the Heart is prayer. That is also Grace.

The Alwar says: "I was all along seeking Thee. But on realising the Self
I find you are the Self. The Self is my all, and so you are my All."
D.: Impurities of limitation, ignorance and desire (anava, mayika, and kamya) place obstacles in the way of meditation. How to conquer them?
M.: Not to be swayed by them.

D.: Grace is necessary.

M.: Yes, Grace is both the beginning and the end. Introversion is due to Grace: Perseverance is Grace; and Realisation is Grace. That is the reason for the statement: Mamekam saranam vraja (only surrender to Me). If one has entirely surrendered oneself is there any part left to ask for Grace? He is swallowed up by Grace.

D.: The obstacles are powerful and obstruct meditation.

M.: If a Higher Power is recognised and surrendered to, how will they obstruct you? If you say "They are powerful," the source of their
Power must be held so that they do not obstruct you.

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Talk 320.

In the course of an informal conversation Sri Bhagavan pointed out that Self-Realisation is possible only for the fit. The vasanas must be eliminated before jnana dawns. One must be like Janaka for jnana to dawn. One must be ready to sacrifice everything for the Truth.

Complete renunciation is the index of fitness.

Talk 321.

D.: Miseries appear in jagrat. Why should they appear.

M.: If you see your Self they will not appear.

D.: If I turn to look who I am I do not find anything.

M.: How did you remain in your sleep? There was no 'I-thought' there and you were happy. Whereas there are thoughts flowering in the wake of the root-thought 'I' in the jagrat and these hide the inherent happiness.

Get rid of these thoughts which are the obstacles to happiness. Your natural state is one of happiness as was evident in your sleep.

D.: I do not know anything of my sleep experience.

M.: But you know that it was happiness. Otherwise you would not be saying "I slept happily". When there is no thought, no 'I', and nothing
In fact except yourself, you are happy. That is the whole Truth.

This is exactly what is conveyed by the Mahavakya Tatvamasi (You are That). Find your Self: and then "That" is known.

D.: How is that Brahman?
M.: Why do you want to know of Brahman apart from yourself? The scripture says "You are That". The Self is intimate to you and you cannot indeed be without the Self. Realise it. That is the Realisation of Brahman also.

D.: But I am unable to do it. I am too weak to realise my Self.

M.: In that case surrender yourself unreservedly and the Higher Power will reveal Itself.

D.: What is unconditional surrender?
M.: If one surrenders oneself there will be no one to ask questions or to be thought of. Either the thoughts are eliminated by holding on to the root-thought 'I' or one surrenders oneself unconditionally to the Higher Power. These are the only two ways for Realisation.

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Talk 322.

A cultured lady, daughter of a well-known solicitor of Madras asked:
What should one do in order to remain free from thoughts as advised by you? Is it only the enquiry "Who am I?"
M.: Only to remain still. Do it and see.

D.: It is impossible.

M.: Exactly. For the same reason the enquiry "Who am I?" is advised.

D.: Raising the question, no response comes from within.

M.: What kind of response do you expect? Are you not there? What more?
D.: Thoughts rise up more and more.

M.: Then and there raise the same question, "Who am I?"
D.: Should I do so as each thought arises? Well. Is the world our thought only?
M.: Leave this question to the world. Let it ask, "How did I come into being?"
D.: Do you mean that it is not related to me?
M.: Nothing is perceived in deep sleep; all these are seen only after waking; only after thoughts arise the world comes into being; what can it be but thought?
Another visitor asked: What should we do to make the mind still?
M.: First let the mind be caught hold of and brought here: then we shall consider ways and means of stilling it.

D.: I meant to say that it is always changing - even when we do our japa.

M.: Japa is meant only for stilling the mind.

D.: What japa is good for it?
M.: Anything suitable, such as Gayatri.

D.: Will Gayatri do?
M.: Can anything excel it? Only those who cannot do it look for others.

It contains the whole range of truth in it. Chanting (japa) will lead to dhyana (meditation) and it is the means for realising the Self.

D.: Will half an hour a day do for it?
M.: It must be done always, or as long as you can.

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Talk 323.

While explaining stanza 6 in Arunachala Ashtaka, Sri Bhagavan observed as follows:
The final word in the previous stanza asks, "Is there one?" The initial words in the present stanza answer, "Yes, there is the One....." It proceeds, "Though it is the only One, yet by its wonderful power it gets reflected on the tiny dot 'I' (the ego) otherwise known as ignorance or the aggregate of latent tendencies; this reflected light is relative knowledge. This, according to one's prarabdha (past karma now fructifying), manifests the inner latent tendencies as the outer gross world and withdraws the gross external world as the subtle internal tendencies; such power is called mind in the subtle plane and brain in the physical plane. This mind or brain acts as the magnifier to that
Eternal One Being and shows It forth as the expanded universe. In the waking and dream states the mind is out-ward bent and in sleep it is in-ward bent; with the mind as the medium, the one Supreme
Being seems diversified in the waking and dream states and remains withdrawn in the sleep state, or swoon, etc. Therefore you are only
That and cannot be otherwise. Whatever the changes, the same one
Being remains as yourself; there is nothing besides yourself."
The previous stanza says: Once exposed to sunlight, a sensitive plate cannot take on images; similarly, the mind (the sensitive plate), after exposure in Your Light, cannot reflect the world anymore. Moreover, the Sun is of You only. Should his rays be so powerful as to prevent images being formed, how much more so should Your Light be? It is thus said that there is nothing apart from the One Being, Yourself.

In the present stanza the tiny dot = the ego; the tiny dot made up of darkness = the ego consisting of latent tendencies, the seer or the subject or the ego rising, it expands itself as the seen, the object or the antahkaranas (the inner organs). The light must be dim in order to enable the ego to rise up. In broad daylight a rope does not look like a snake. The rope itself cannot be seen in thick darkness; so there is no chance of mistaking it for a snake. Only in dim light, in the dusk, in light darkened by shadows or in darkness lighted by dim light does the mistake occur of a rope seeming a snake. Similarly it is for the
Pure Radiant Being to rise up as the Ego - it is possible only in Its
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Light diffused through darkness. This darkness is otherwise known as the Original Ignorance (Original Sin). The Light passing through it is called Reflected Light. The Reflected Light on its own merits is commonly known as the Pure Mind or Isvara or God. Isvara is well-known to be unified with Maya: in other words the Reflected
Light is Isvara.

The other name - Pure Mind - implies impure mind also. It is the rajasic or active mind or the ego; this too can be projected from the former satvic mind through another reflection only; thus the ego is the product of the second darkness (avidya) Then comes the tamasic or the dull mind in the shape of antahkaranas (the inner organs); this appears as the world.

From the standpoint of the gross body it may be said to shine forth externally as the world by means of the brain.

But the gross body is of the mind only. The mind may be said to consist of four inner organs, or the principle composed of thoughts, or the sixth sense; or combining intellect with the ego, and chitta with the mind (i.e. memory-faculty with the thinking faculty), it may be taken to consist of two parts (the ego and the mind). In the latter case the vijnanatma (the intellectual Self) or the ego or the seer forms the subject, and the mental sheath or the seen, the object.

The waking, dream and sleep states have their origin in the Original
Darkness (mula avidya). With the mind outgoing and deriving experiences from its modes in the waking and dream states, and indrawn in sleep, experiencing with modes of Maya, a unique power regulates all activities of the individuals and of the universe. All these are only phenomena passing through the Reflected Light on the substratum of the Self-radiant Being.

Just as a rope-snake cannot be seen in broad daylight, nor rope itself in thick darkness, so also the world appears neither in the samadhi state of Self-shining pure Being or in deep sleep, swoon, etc. Only in Reflected Light (Light mixed with Darkness or knowledge soiled by Ignorance) can the world, not independent of its Source, seem to rise up, flourish and be resolved. Its diversity too cannot be exclusive of the Reality, the original Source. Here a play is going on in which the One Single Being becomes manifold is objectified and then
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Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi withdrawn. There must be a Sakti (Power) to do it, and wonderful too! She cannot also be independent of Her origin. In the Self-shining
Pure Being this Sakti cannot be seen. Nevertheless, Her actions are only too well-known. How sublime!
From Her sublime original activity (i.e., power vibrating) satva-filled reflection results; from it the rajasic ego; then tamasic thought-forms which are commonly known as knowledge, or the light corresponding to the magnifying lens. Just as the artificial light is projected through a lens on to the screen, so also the Reflected Light passes through thought (the magnifier) before expanding as the world beyond it; furthermore, thought, itself the world in-seed form, seems to be the wide external world. Such is the extraordinary Power! In this way
Isvara, individual and the world are only of the Reflected Light, having the Self-shining Single Being for the substratum.

Now, what is this 'I-thought' (the ego)? Is it the subject or the object, in the scheme of things?
Inasmuch as it witnesses all other objects in the waking and dream states, or at any rate we think that it does so, it must be considered to be the subject. On realising the Pure Self, however, it will be an object only.

Whose is this 'I-thought' (the ego)? This investigation forms the vichara.

'I-thought' and 'this'-thought are both emanations from the same light.

They are related to rajoguna and tamoguna respectively. In order to have the Reflected Light (pure satva), free from rajas and tamas it must shine forth as 'I-I', unbroken by 'this'-thought. This pure state momentarily intervenes between sleep and waking. If prolonged it is cosmic consciousness, or even Isvara. This is the only passage to the Realisation of the Self-shining Supreme Being.

Again there are two kinds of experiences in deep sleep as recollected after waking, that is, "I slept happily, unaware of anything". Happiness and ignorance are the experiences. Thus we see the Power modified as (1) avarana (darkness) and (2) vikshepa (diversity). The mind is the result of vikshepa.

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10th January, 1937
SOME REMINISCENCES
Talk 324.

(1) While in Skandasramam, Sri Bhagavan saw a white toad, small and long, at a distance of about 10 feet from Him. Sri Bhagavan stared at it and it stared at Him. Suddenly, it took a long jump and lodged itself precisely on one of the eyes of Sri Bhagavan who quickly closed it and so it was not injured.

(2) There were two peacocks which used to strut with their feathers spread out like a spangled fan. A cobra too used to take part in the pastime and raised its hood and moved about in their midst.

(3) Sri Bhagavan says that the peacock, as soon as it sights a green lizard, goes straight to it and meekly places its neck down before the lizard which bites it off and kills the peacock.

(4) Rangaswami Iyengar was once out on the hill. A leopard was nearby. He threw a stone. It turned towards him. He hurried away for his life. Sri Bhagavan met him on the way and asked what the matter was. Iyengar simply said 'leopard' as he was running. Sri Bhagavan went where the beast was and it moved away soon after. All this happened at the time of the plague. Leopards used to roam freely by the side of the temple, sometimes in twos and threes.

(5) Sri Bhagavan said, "A frog is often compared to a yogi. It remains quiet for a long time, the only sign of life being the rhythmic movement of the under-skin below the neck."
"Again frogs can remain for extraordinary long periods with their animation suspended. They are said to swallow their tongues.

Swallowing the tongue is a yogic practice. The animation is suspended.

The yogi does not die but the tongue must be drawn out by someone else before life-activity is resumed. It is a wonder how the frog brings out the already swallowed tongue and resumes activity."

11th January, 1937
(6) While reading "Raghuveeran" - Ramayana written in easy
Malayalam prose - there was a passage relating how Hanuman reached Lanka mentally before he crossed over physically to that
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Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi island. Sri Bhagavan emphasised the point that the mental approach accomplishes the purpose earlier than physical action.

(7) Sri Bhagavan related the following funny anecdote; Ezhuthachan, a great Malayali saint and author, had a few fish concealed in him when he entered the temple. Some enemy reported it to the worshippers in the temple. The man was searched and taken to the king. The king asked him "Why did you take the fish into the temple"? He replied: "It is not my fault. I had it concealed in my clothes. The others exposed the fish in the temple. The fault lies in exposure. Excreta within the body are not considered filthy; but when excreted, they are considered filthy. So also with this."

12th January, 1937
Talk 325.

Mr. Rama Sastri from Guntur District composed eight slokas on Sri
Bhagavan and read them out with feeling.

The Sastri then prayed for guidance. "I am a samsari unfit for jnana marga. The affairs of the world are distracting me. Please instruct me what I should do."
M.: Think of Bhagavan. How will the affairs of the world distract
Him? You and they are in Him.

D.: May I do nama smarana? What nama shall I take?
M.: You are Rama Sastri. Make that name significant. Be one with
Rama.


13th January, 1937
Talk 326.

In answer to a question by a long resident attendant Sri Bhagavan said: "Everybody complains of the restlessness of the mind. Let the mind be found and then they will know. True, when a man sits down to meditate thoughts rush up by dozens. The mind is only a bundle of thoughts. The attempt to push through the barrage of thoughts is unsuccessful. If one can by any means abide in the Self it is good.

For those who are unable to do so, chanting or meditation (Japa or dhyana) is prescribed. It is like giving a piece of chain to an elephant
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Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi to hold in its trunk. The trunk of the elephant is usually restless. It puts it out in all directions when taken out in the streets of the town.

If given a chain to carry the restlessness is checked. Similarly with the restless mind. If made to engage in japa or dhyana, other thoughts are warded off: and the mind concentrates on a single thought. It thus becomes peaceful. It does not mean that peace is gained without a prolonged struggle. The other thoughts must be fought out.

Here is another illustration. Suppose a cow plays rogue and strays into neighbours' fields to graze. She is not easily weaned from her stealthy habit. Think how she can be kept in the stall. If forcibly tethered in the stall she simply bides her time to play the rogue. If she is tempted with fine grass in the stall she takes one mouthful on the first day and again waits for the opportunity to run away. The next day she takes two mouthfuls; so she takes more and more on each succeeding day, until finally she is weaned from her wicked tendencies. When entirely free from bad habits she might be safely left free and she would not stray into neighbours' pasture land. Even when beaten in the stall, she does not afterwards leave the place. Similarly with the mind. It is accustomed to stray outward by the force of the latent vasanas manifesting as thoughts. So long as there are vasanas contained within they must come out and exhaust themselves. The thoughts comprise the mind. Searching what the mind is, the thoughts will recoil and the seeker will know that they arise from the Self. It is the aggregate of these thoughts that we call 'mind'. If one realises that the thoughts arise from the Self and abide in their source, the mind will disappear. After the mind ceases to exist and bliss of peace has been realised, one will find it then as difficult to bring out a thought, as he now finds it difficult to keep out all thoughts. Here the mind is the cow playing the rogue; the thoughts are the neighbours' pasture; one's own primal being free from thoughts is the stall.

The bliss of peace is too good to be disturbed. A man fast asleep hates to be awakened and ordered to mind his business. The bliss of sleep is too enthralling to be sacrificed to the work born of thoughts. The thought-free state is one's primal state and full of bliss. Is it not miserable to leave such a state for the thought-ridden and unhappy one?
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If one wants to abide in the thought-free state, a struggle is inevitable.

One must fight one's way through before regaining one's original primal state. If one succeeds in the fight and reaches the goal, the enemy, namely the thoughts, will all subside in the Self and disappear entirely. The thoughts are the enemy. They amount to the creation of the Universe. In their absence there is neither the world nor God the
Creator. The Bliss of the Self is the single Being only.

When Prahlada was in samadhi, Vishnu thought within Himself:
"This asura being in samadhi, all the asuras are in peace. There is no fight, no trial of strength, no search for power, nor the means for gaining power. In the absence of such means for power - yaga, yajna, etc., i.e., the gods are not thriving; there is no new creation; nor even is any existence justified. So I will wake him up; then the asuras will rise up; their original nature will manifest itself; the gods will challenge them: the asuras and others will then seek strength and adopt the means for its acquisition.

Yajnas, etc., will flourish; the gods will thrive; there will be more and more of creation, more of fight and I shall have enough to do".

So Vishnu awakened Prahlada, blessing him with eternal life and jivanmukti. Deva-asura fight was resumed and the old order of things was restored so that the universe continues in its eternal nature.

D.: How could God Himself wake up the asura element and bring about constant warfare? Is not Pure Goodness the nature of God?
M.: Goodness is only relative. Good always implies bad also; they always co-exist. The one is the obverse of the other.

Talk 327.

The audience in the hall were very attentively listening. One of them, a sincere devotee of Sri Bhagavan, was so impressed by it that he soon lost himself. He later described his experience as follows:
"I was long wondering where the 'current' starts, within the body or elsewhere. Suddenly, my body grew tenuous until it disappeared. The enquiry 'Who am I?' went on very clearly and forcibly. The sound of 'I-I-I' alone persisted. There was one vast expanse and nothing more. There was a hazy perception of the occurrences in the hall. I knew that people stood up to salute at the end of the Vedic chant. I
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Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi wanted to stand: the thought soon deserted me. I was again lost in the one expanse. The experience continued until I heard the voice of Sri
Bhagavan. That made me collect myself. Then I stood up and saluted.

A strange feeling continued for more than half an hour. I cannot forget it. It is still haunting me."
Sri Bhagavan listened to his words and was silent for some minutes.

A few observations fell from his lips:
One may seem to go out of the body. But the body itself is not more than our thought. There can be no body in the absence of thought; no outgoing or incoming in absence of body. However, owing to habit, the feeling of going out arises.

A particle of hail falling on the surface of the sea melts away and becomes water, wave, froth, etc., in the sea. Similarly, the subtle intellect, rising up as the tiny dot (ego) from the heart and bulging out, finally enters into and becomes one with the Heart.

Though milk remains as wide as the sea, can you drink it with a mouth as wide as the sea? You can suck it only through the tiny capillaries of the paps.

Nammalvar, the Vaishnavite saint, has said: "Only my Self is you". What does it mean? "Before I realised my Self I was wandering looking out for
You; having now realised my Self I see that you are my Self". How will this fit in with qualified monism? It must be explained thus: "Pervading my Self you remain as the antaryamin (Immanent Being). Thus I am a part of your body and you are the owner of the body (sariri)"
Having given up one's own body as not being oneself why should one become another's (God's) body? If one's body is not the Self other bodies also are non-self.

The protagonists of qualified monism think that individuality is necessary to experience the Bliss. Individuality, i.e., 'I-ness' should not be lost. Aha! The Self is not the body but your Self becomes the body of God! Is it not absurd?
Or if you make prapatti (surrender yourself) to God, you have made yourself over to Him and you are His and no longer yours. If He is in need of a body let Him look out for Himself. You need not say He is the owner of a body.

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17th January, 1937
Talk 328.

A European gentleman began in measured tones and spoke clearly and slowly: "Why should individuals remain caught up in the affairs of this world and reap troubles as a result? Should they not be free?
If they are in the spiritual world they will have greater freedom."
M.: The world is only spiritual. Since you are identifying yourself with the physical body you speak of this world as being physical and the other world as spiritual. Whereas, that which is, is only spiritual.

D.: Do the disembodied souls, i.e., the spirits, have a deeper insight and enjoy greater freedom?
M.: Because you identify yourself with this body, you speak of the disembodied souls as being spirits. From these limitations you talk of their limitations and seek to know their capacities. Even the disembodied souls have subtle bodies, otherwise, you would not say "disembodied souls". Disembodiment means "divested of this gross body". Inasmuch as you endow them with individuality they are centred in their subtle bodies. Their limitations will be according to their own state. Just as you feel the burden of your limitations they also feel the burden of their limitations. What I meant by spirit and spiritual world is the absolute spirit and not relative. If you realise yourself as the spirit you will see that this world is only spiritual and not physical.

D.: Are their bodies temporary as our bodies are? Do they reincarnate?
M.: These questions arise because you think yourself the body. This body has birth and death and when this body falls another body arises which is called reincarnation. But are you the body? If you find that you are not this body but the spirit, you will be free from gross or subtle bodies, and then there will be no limitations. Where is the world, physical or spiritual, in the absence of any limitations?
How will the question of reincarnation arise?
Again, consider it from another point of view: You create a dreambody for yourself in the dream and act with that dream-body. The same is falsified in the waking state. At present you think that you are this body and not the dream-body. In your dream this body is
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Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi falsified by the dream-body. So that, you see, neither of these bodies is real. Because each of them is true for a time and false at other times. That which is real must be real for ever. But you say 'I'. This
'I'-consciousness is present all through the three states. There is no change in it. That is alone real. The three states are false. They are only for the mind. It is the mind which obstructs your vision of your true nature. Your true nature is that of infinite spirit. That was the case in your sleep. You note the limitations in the other two states.

What is the difference due to? There was no mind in sleep, but it exists in the dream and the waking states. The feeling of limitation is the work of the mind. What is mind? Find it. If you search for it, it will vanish by itself. For it has no real existence. It is comprised of thoughts. It disappears with the cessation of thoughts.

D.: Do I remain then?
M.: What is your experience in sleep? There were no thoughts, no mind, and yet you remained then.

D.: When I try to meditate, I am unable to do so because my mind wanders. What should I do?
M.: Your question furnishes the answer. First, with regard to the first part of the question, you say you concentrate, but do not succeed.

'You' means 'the Self'. On what do you concentrate? Where do you fail? Are there two selves, for the one self to concentrate on the other? Which is the self now complaining of failure? There cannot be two selves. There is only one Self. That need not concentrate.

You ask, "But then, why is there no happiness?" What is it that prevents you from remaining as the spirit which you are in sleep? You yourself admit that it is the wandering mind. Find out the mind. If its 'wandering' stops, it will be found to be the Self - your 'I'-consciousness which is spirit eternal. It is beyond knowledge and ignorance.

D.: I am hard-worked and find little time to practise concentration.

Are there any aids for it? Is control of breath a good aid?
M.: Prana and mind arise from the same source. The source can be reached by holding the breath or tracing the mind. If you cannot do the latter the former will no doubt be helpful. Regulation of breath is gained by watching its movements.

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If the mind is watched thoughts cease. Peace results and it is your true nature. King Janaka said: "I have now found the robber (namely the mind) who has been robbing me of my 'I'-ness. I will instantly kill this thief." The perturbation owing to thoughts appears to rob the Self of its peace. The perturbation is the mind. When that ceases the mind is said to take flight. The Self remains as the undisturbed substratum.

Another person interposed: The mind must kill the mind.

M.: Yes, if there be the mind. A search for it discloses its non-existence.

How can anything that does not exist be killed?
D.: Is not mental japa better than oral japa?
M.: Oral japa consists of sounds. The sounds arise from thoughts. For one must think before one expresses the thoughts in words. The thoughts form the mind. Therefore mental japa is better than oral japa.

D.: Should we not contemplate the japa and repeat it orally also?
M.: When the japa becomes mental where is the need for the sounds thereof?
Japa, becoming mental, becomes contemplation. Dhyana, contemplation and mental japa are the same. When thoughts cease to be promiscuous and one thought persists to the exclusion of all others it is said to be contemplation. The object of japa or dhyana is the exclusion of several thoughts and confining oneself to one single thought. Then that thought too vanishes into its source
- absolute consciousness, i.e., the Self. The mind engages in japa and then sinks into its own source.

D.: The mind is said to be from the brain.

M.: Where is the brain? It is in the body. I say that the body itself is a projection of the mind. You speak of the brain when you think of the body. It is the mind which creates the body, the brain in it and also ascertains that the brain is its seat.

D.: Sri Bhagavan has said in one of the works that the japa must be traced to its source. Is it not the mind that is meant?
M.: All these are only the workings of the mind. Japa helps to fix the mind to a single thought. All other thoughts are first subordinated until they disappear. When it becomes mental it is called dhyana.

Dhyana is your true nature. It is however called dhyana because
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Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi it is made with effort. Effort is necessary so long as thoughts are promiscuous. Because you are with other thoughts, you call the continuity of a single thought, meditation or dhyana. If that dhyana becomes effortless it will be found to be your real nature.

Talk 329.

In the morning Sri Bhagavan read out a short passage from St. Estella in the Tamil Ramakrishna Vijayam. Its purport is: "Your enemies are lust, passion, etc. If you feel injured turn within and find out the cause of the injury. It is not external to you. The external causes are mere superimpositions. If you cannot injure yourself, will the all-merciful
God injure you in any manner?"
Sri Bhagavan further said that St. Estella was a good saint, whose teachings were quite sound.

Talk 330.

Sri Bhagavan, being asthmatic, is hoarse in throat. Oranges were brought as offerings. Pieces were distributed as usual. Sri Bhagavan was clearing His throat and was obliged to spit out the orange in His mouth. He said that He had to spit it out. A gentleman said: "Probably, it does not suit Sri Bhagavan's health."
M.: Would you say so if you had brought the fruits, instead of the other person?

18th January, 1937
Talk 331.

Mrs. Roorna Jennings, an American lady of the International Peace
League, asked Sri Bhagavan about the spread of Peace in the world.

Sri Bhagavan replied that if one gains the Peace of the Self it will spread itself without any effort on the part of the individual. When one is not oneself peaceful, how can that one spread peace in the world?
The lady asked if it was not true that the East has a scientific approach to the Realisation of the Self.

M.: You are already the Self. No elaborate science is necessary to establish it.

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D.: I understand the general truth of it. But there must be a practical method for it which I call 'science'.

M.: The cessation of such thoughts is the realisation of the Self.

Illustration: the necklace supposed lost. One does not see the world or one's own body, being away from the Self. Always being the Self, one sees everything else. God and the world are all in the Heart. See the Seer and everything will be found to be the Self. Change your outlook. Look within. Find the Self. Who is the substratum of the subject and the object? Find it and all problems are solved.

The lady was then told of the pamphlet, Who am I? She agreed to read it before asking further questions of Sri Bhagavan.

Talk 332.

D.: What are the three voids (Muppazh) () in Tamil?
M.: (1) Tat = Isvara turiya.

(2) tvam = jiva turiya.

(3) asi = asi turiya.

Turiya is the substratum of the waking, dream and sleep states.

D.: The first two are all right; what is the third?
M.: All-pervasiveness is said to be the waking; all-shining is said to be the dream; perfection (ananta) is said to be the sleep; that which underlies these is asi-turiya.

D.: It is so strange!
M.: Is that all? There is no limit to polemics. Listen, They say the mahavakya Tattvamasi is common; another containing five words Tat tvam asi ati nijam is the most secret one taught by Dakshinamurti in
Silence; corresponding to the five words they formulate five states.

Again look at Vichara Sagara; the author distinguishes adhara from adhishthana. According to him the rope is always adhara both when it looks like a snake and otherwise. The rope is adhishthana because it looks different from what it really is: that is common (samanya adhishthana). Again its appearance as the snake itself is visesha adhishthana. Then the question is raised:
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Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi the adhishthana of Jiva is one; that of Isvara is another; how can these two adhishthanas become one? He replies, there are the same adhara for both the adhishthanas.

Furthermore he mentions several khyatis;
(1) asat-khyati: rope being present, there appears the snake which is not present there.

(2) sat-khyati: rope itself looking like snake.

(3) atma-khyati: rope remaining unidentified, the remembrance of snake, formerly seen elsewhere, creates the illusion.

(4) akhyati: totally unreal.

(5) anayatha-khyati: mental image of snake projected and seen as if it were in front of oneself.

(6) anirvachaniya-khyati: inexplicable.

Here he raises the question: Should the world be any one of these, whether illusory or unreal; it must be the result of previous experience.

It must have been real at that time: real once, must be real always.

He answers it: the experience need not necessarily be real; not having seen a real snake, but only seeing a picture of it and gaining an impression, one can mistake a rope to be a snake. Thus the world need not be real.

Why waste time in such polemics? Only turn your mind inward and spend the time usefully.

In the union of the individual with the Supreme, the Supreme is hearsay and the individual directly experienced. You can make use only of direct experience; therefore look who you are.

Why is Isvara mentioned then?
Because you see the world and want to know how it came into being. They say that it was created by God. If you know that He created you and all else, your mind is a little satisfied and becomes less restless than otherwise. But it is not realisation. It can be only if you realise yourself; this is Perfection or Realisation, etc.

To resume polemics - the author of Vritti Prabhakara claims to have studied 350,000 books before writing this book. What is the use?
Can they bring in Realisation of the Self? Vichara Sagara is full of logic and technical terms. Can these ponderous volumes serve
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Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi any real purpose? However, some people read them and then seek sages only to see if they can meet their questions. To read them, to discover new doubts and to solve them, is a source of pleasure to them. Knowing it to be sheer waste, the sages do not encourage such people. Encourage them once and there will be no end.

Only the enquiry into the Self can be of use.

Those familiar with logic, Vritti Prabhakara, Vichara Sagara or Sutra
Bhashya, or similar large works, cannot relish small works like Truth
Revealed dealing only with the Self and that pointedly too, because they have accumulated vasanas. Only those whose minds are less muddy, or are pure, can relish small and purposeful works.

Talk 333.

Pratyabhijna = Prati + abhijna. abhijna is direct perception; prati is to be reminded of what was already known.

"This is an elephant" direct perception
"This is that elephant" is pratyabhijna
In technical works, pratyabhijna is used for realising the ever-present
Reality and recognising it.

Sunya (void or blank), ati sunya (beyond sunya) and maha sunya
(immense void), all mean the same, i.e., the Real Being only.


20th January, 1937
Talk 334.

Sri Bhagavan said that he felt no sensation in His legs though they were massaged. "If they serve the purpose of walking what does it matter if sensation is lost?" he asked. Then in the course of conversation he related that a ray of light has been found which, when projected, does not reveal the operator but enables him to witness the scene. So it is with siddhas. They are only pure light and can see others, whereas, they cannot be seen by others. For example Prabhulinga, while touring in the North, came across Goraknath. The latter displayed his yogic
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Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi powers e.g., when his arm was cut by a sword, the sword was blunted without inflicting injury on him. This is making the body proof against injury (kayasiddhi). Prabhulinga offered himself to be cut. When the sword was thrust, it passed through and through his body as if it was air and there was no injury on the body. Gorak was astonished and offered himself as the disciple of Prabhulinga.

Again, there was a dialogue between Siva and Parvati in Kailas.

Siva said that Allama was one who would not be affected by Her blandishments. Parvati wanted to try it and so sent Her tamasic quality to incarnate as a king's daughter on the Earth in order that she might entice Allama. She grew up as a highly accomplished girl. She used to sing in the temple. Allama used to go there and play on the drum. She lost herself in the play of the drum. She fell in love with him. They met in her bedroom. When she embraced him he became intangible. She grew lovesick. But a celestial damsel was sent to remind her of her purpose on the Earth. She resolved to overthrow Allama but did not succeed. Finally she went up to Kailas. Then Parvati sent Her satvic quality who was born as a Brahman sanyasini. When she surrendered to Allama she realised his true greatness.

Sri Bhagavan spoke very appreciatively of Nayana, i.e., Kavyakantha
Ganapathi Muni, for about an hour, how he wrote Uma Sahasram and Hara Sahasram, how he taught his students, how he engaged in dispute with Bhattasri Narayana Sastri, how meek and humble he was though so learned and capable, etc.

Sri Bhagavan related how Nakkirar, a Sanga Pulavar (Poet), faced the wrath of Siva on questioning some composition of Siva in Tamil, how he was taken captive by a spirit and afterwards released.

Nakkirar was doing tapas on the bank of a tirtha. A leaf fell down from a tree; half the leaf touched the water and the other half was on the ground. Suddenly the water-half became a fish and the land-half became a bird. Each of them was united to the other by the leaf and struggled to go into its own element. Nakkirar was watching it in wonder and suddenly a spirit came down from above and carried him away to a cave where were already 999 captives all of whom were tapo bhrashta (those who had fallen away from their austerities).

D.: Was Nakkirar a tapo bhrashta?
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Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi
M.: Yes. While engaged in contemplation why did he fall away from contemplation and take to watching the mysterious happening in front of him?
He continued to say how Nakkirar composed Tirumuruhatruppadai, and obtained the release of all the thousand prisoners.


21st January, 1937
Talk 335.

D.: How will the sexual impulse cease to be?
M.: When differentiation ceases.

D.: How can it be effected?
M.: The other sex and its relation are only mental concepts. The Upanishad says that all are dear because the Self is beloved of all. One's happiness is within; the love is of the Self only. It is only within; do not think it to be without: then differentiation ceases to operate.


22nd January, 1937
Talk 336.

A certain Vaisya who seems to have studied the Upanishads and
Srimad Bhagavad Gita asked some questions:
D.: How to realise the Self?
M.: The Self is always directly perceived. There is no moment when it is not so. How then is it to be ascertained? Find out the Self. You are that.

D.: But it is said the heart-knots are cut away and all doubts end when the Supreme is found. The word drishti is used.

M.: To be the Self is the same as seeing the Self. There are no two selves for the one to see the other.

Later, he continued the same question of investigation of the Self.

D.: How to realise the Self?
M.: It is already realised. One should know this simple fact. That is all.

D.: But I do not know it. How shall I know it?
M.: Do you deny your existence?
D.: No: how can that be done?
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M.: Then the truth is admitted.

D.: Yet, I do not see. How shall I realise the Self?
M.: Find out who says 'I'.

D.: Yes. I say 'I'.

M.: Who is this 'I'? Is it the body or some one besides the body?
D.: It is not the body. It is someone besides it
M.: Find it out.

D.: I am unable to do it. How shall I find it?
M.: You are now aware of the body. You were not aware of the body in deep sleep. Still you remained in sleep. After waking up you hold the body and say "I cannot realise the Self". Did you say so in your sleep? Because you were undivided (akhanda) then, you did not say so. Now that you are contracted within the limits of the body you say "I have not realised". Why do you limit your Self and then feel miserable? Be of your true nature and happy. You did not say
'I' in sleep. You say so now. Why? Because you hold to the body.

Find out wherefrom this 'I' comes. Then the Self is realised.

The body being insentient cannot say 'I'. The Self being infinite cannot say 'I' either. Who then says 'I'?
D.: I do not yet understand. How to find the 'I'?
M.: Find out where from this 'I' arises. Then this 'I' will disappear and the infinite Self will remain. This 'I' is only the knot between the sentient and the insentient. The body is not 'I', the Self is not
'I'. Who, then, is the 'I'? Wherefrom does it arise?
D.: Where from does it arise?
M.: Find out.

D.: I do not know. Please enlighten me.

M.: It is not from without. It is from within. Where does it come from? If elsewhere you can be led there. Being within, you must find it out yourself.

D.: From the head?
M.: Does the concept of 'head' arise after the 'I' or does 'I' arise from the head? If 'I' be in the head why do you bend it when sleep
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Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi overpowers you? 'I' is ever constant. So also must its seat be. If the head bends at one time and is erect at another time how can it be the seat of 'I'? Your head is laid flat in sleep. When awake it is raised up. Can it be the 'I'?
D.: Which is it then?
M.: 'I' comes from within. When asleep there is no 'I'. Just before waking there is 'I-thought'.

D.: The heart-knot is said to be between the eyebrows.

M.: Some say "between the eyebrows"; others "at the coccyx", and so on. All these are from the standpoint of the body.

The body comes after the 'I-thought'.

D.: But I cannot divest myself of the body.

M.: So you admit that you are not the body.

D.: If there is pain in this body, I feel it; but not if another body is injured. I cannot get over this body.

M.: This identity is the cause of such feeling. That is the hrdaya granthi (heart-knot).

D.: How is this knot to go?
M.: For whom is the knot? Why do you want it to go? Does it ask or do you ask?
D.: It cannot ask; I am asking.

M.: Who is that 'I'? If that is found the knot will not remain.

D.: The knot is concomitant with the body. The body is due to birth.

How is rebirth to cease?
M.: Who is born? Is the Self born? Or is it the body?
D.: It is the body.

M.: Then let the body ask how its rebirth may cease.

D.: It will not ask. So I am asking.

M.: Whose is the body? You were without it in your deep sleep. After the 'I-thought' arose the body arose. The first birth is that of 'Ithought'. The body has its birth subsequent to 'I-thought'. So its birth is secondary. Get rid of the primary cause and the secondary one will disappear by itself.

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D.: How is that 'I-thought' to be checked from rising?
M.: By Self-quest.

D.: I try to understand but without success. Can I find the Self by means of japa? If so, please tell me how.

M.: What japa? Why should you make artificial Japa? You can find out the eternal and natural japa always going on within you.

D.: Some upadesh will probably help me.

M.: If I say "Do - Rama, Rama" to one who has not struggled through books like you, he will do it and stick to it. If I say so to one like you who have read much and are investigating matters, you will not do it for long, because you will think, "Why should I do it?
Above all, who am I that should be repeating the mantra? Let me find who I am before I proceed further"; and so you will stop japa and begin investigation.

D.: It is said: The senses are out-going (paranchikhani); inward turned (is) sight (avrittachakshuh). What is avrittachakshuh
(inward-turned sight)?
M.: It does not mean replacement of the eyeball in the opposite direction. What is chakshuh?
D.: The eye.

M.: Does the eye see or is it someone behind the eye that sees? If the eye could see, then does a corpse see? The one who is behind the eye sees through the eye. He is meant by the word chakshuh.

D.: Divya chakshuh is necessary to see the glory of God. This physical eye is the ordinary chakshuh.

M.: Oh! I see. You want to see million-sun-splendour and the rest of it!
D.: Can we not see the glory as million-sun-splendour?
M.: Can you see the single sun? Why do you ask for millions of suns?
D.: It must be possible to do so by divine sight. "Where the sun shines not, etc. That is My Supreme abode". Therefore there is a state where this sun is powerless. That state is that of God.

M.: All right. Find Krishna and the problem is solved.

D.: Krishna is not alive.

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M.: Is that what you have learnt from the Gita? Does He not say that
He is eternal? Of what are you thinking, His body?
D.: He taught others while alive. Those around Him must have realised. I seek a similar living Guru.

M.: Is Gita then useless after He withdrew His body? Did He speak of His body as Krishna?
Natwewaham jatu nasam ... (Never I was not....)
D.: But I want a living Guru who can say the truth first hand.

M.: The fate of the Guru will be similar to the fate of Krishna.

The questioner retired. Later, Sri Bhagavan said: Divine sight means
Self-luminosity. The world divya shows it. The full word means the Self. Who is to bestow a divine eye? And who is to see? Again, people read in the books, "hearing, reflection and one-pointedness are necessary". They think that they must pass through savikalpa samadhi and nirvikalpa samadhi before attaining Realisation.

Hence all these questions. Why should they wander in that maze?
What do they gain at the end? It is only cessation of the trouble of seeking. They find that the Self is eternal and self-evident. Why should they not get that repose even this moment?
A simple man, not learned, is satisfied with japa or worship. A Jnani is of course satisfied. The whole trouble is for the book-worms.

Well, well. They will also get on.

Talk 337.

Mr K. R. V. Iyer: How is the mind to be purified?
M.: The sastras say: "By karma, bhakti and so on". My attendant asked the same question once before. He was told, "By karma dedicated to God". It is not enough that one thinks of God while doing the karma, but one must continually and unceasingly think of Him. Then alone will the mind become pure.

The attendant applies it to himself and says, "It is not enough that I serve
Sri Bhagavan physically. But I must unceasingly remember Him".

To another person, who asked the same question, Bhagavan said:
Quest of the Self, meaning, 'I am-the-body' idea must vanish. (Atma vichara = disappearance of dehatma buddhi).

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23rd January, 1937
Talk 338.

Mrs. Jennings, an American lady, asked a few questions:
D.: Is not affirmation of God more effective than the quest, "who am
I?" Affirmation is positive, whereas the other is negation. Moreover, it indicates separateness.

M.: So long as you seek to know how to realise, this advice is given to find your Self. Your seeking the method denotes your separateness.

D.: Is it not better to say 'I am the Supreme Being' than ask 'Who am I?'
M.: Who affirms? There must be one to do it. Find that one.

D.: Is not meditation better than investigation?
M.: Meditation implies mental imagery, whereas investigation is for the
Reality. The former is objective, whereas the latter is subjective.

D.: There must be a scientific approach to this subject.

M.: To eschew unreality and seek the Reality is scientific.

D.: I mean there must be a gradual elimination, first of the mind, then of the intellect, then of the ego.

M.: The Self alone is Real. All others are unreal. The mind and intellect do not remain apart from you.

The Bible says, "Be still and know that I am God". Stillness is the sole requisite for the realisation of the Self as God.

D.: Will the West ever understand this teaching?
M.: There is no question of time and space. Understanding depends on ripeness of mind. What does it matter if one lives in the East or in the West?
Sri Bhagavan referred the lady to a few stanzas in Truth Revealed and to Thayumanavar. She retired.

Later Sri Bhagavan said the whole Vedanta is contained in the two
Biblical statements:
"I am that I AM" and "Be still and know that I am God."
Mr. K. S. N. Iyer, a Railway Officer, said to Sri Bhagavan that the compiler of Cosmic Consciousness considers realisation to be possible only within certain limits of age in an individual's life.

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M.: Does anyone say "I must come into being before or after some age?"
He is here and now. Statements like this are misleading because people come to believe that they cannot realise the Self in this incarnation and must needs take chances in another. It is all absurd.

Talk 339.

With regard to Siva Visishtadvaita, (i.e., Saiva Siddhanta), Sri Bhagavan said: Garudoham bhavana 'I am Garuda' - conception does not make a garuda of a man. All the same the poisonous effects of snake-bite are cured. Similarly with Sivoham bhavana (I-am-Siva) conception also.

One is not transformed into Siva, but the ruinous effects of the ego are put an end to. Or the person retains his individuality but remains pure, i.e., fit for constituting a part of the body of Siva. Becoming so he can enjoy the Supreme Bliss. That is liberation - say the Saiva Siddhantis.

This simply betrays the love of their individuality and is in no way the true experience of liberation.

Talk 340.

Mr. Bose began, "After the return of body-consciousness ..."
M.: What is body-consciousness? Tell us that first. Who are you apart from consciousness? Body is found because there is bodyconsciousness which arises from 'I-consciousness' which again rises from consciousness.

Consciousness 'I-consciousness' body-consciousness body.

There is always consciousness and nothing but that. What you are now considering to be body-consciousness is due to superimposition.

If there is only consciousness and nothing but it, the meaning of the
Scripture Atmanastu kamaya sarvam priyam bhavati - (All are dear because of the love of the Self) becomes clear.

A question arises, why there should be suicides in that case.

Why does one do it? Because he is unhappy and desires to put an end to his unhappiness. He actually does it by ending the association with the body which represents all unhappiness.

For there must be a killer to kill the body. He is the survivor after suicide. That is the Self.

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Talk 341.

Mrs Jennings: Sri Bhagavan says that the state of Realisation is freedom from the tyranny of thoughts. Have not the thoughts got a place in the scheme of things - maybe on a lower plane?
M.: The thoughts arise from the 'I-thought' which in its turn arises from the Self. Therefore the Self manifests as 'I' and other thoughts.

What does it matter if there are thoughts or no thoughts?
D.: Are good thoughts helpful for Realisation? Are they not authentic via media, a lower rung of the ladder, to Realisation?
M.: Yes - this way. They keep off bad thoughts. They must themselves disappear before the state of Realisation.

D.: But are not creative thoughts an aspect of Realisation and therefore helpful?
M.: Helpful only in the way said before. They must all disappear in the Self. Thoughts, good or bad, take you farther and not nearer, because the Self is more intimate than thoughts. You are Self, whereas the thoughts are alien to the Self.

D.: So the Self finally absorbs its own creation which had helped its
Realisation. Whereas civilisation wrongly worships and so separates and 'short-circuits' its own creations which had helped its advance.

M.: Are you not distinct from thoughts? Do you not exist without them? But can the thoughts exist without you?
D.: Is civilisation generally, slowly but surely, advancing in the right direction towards this Self-Realisation?
M.: Civilisation is in the order of things. It will finally resolve itself
- as all others - in the Realisation of the Self.

D.: Is a fine type of primitive man nearer to Realisation than a civilised man governed by intellect and thought?
M.: A realised man may look a savage, but a savage is not a realised man.

D.: Is it right to think that all that happens to us are God's ordainment, and therefore only good?
M.: Of course it is. Yet all others and God are not apart from the Self.

How can thoughts of them arise when you remain as the Self?
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D.: Is 'surrender' accepting all physical annoyances such as ants, mosquitoes, snakes, etc., and, in accepting, willing or ceasing to be really hurt by them?
M.: Whatever it is, is it apart from you, the seer or the thinker?
A Parsi lady from the audience intervened: If they are not apart, do we not feel the sting of the ants?
M.: Whom does the ant sting? It is the body. You are not the body.

So long as you identify yourself with the body, you see the ants, plants, etc. If you remain as the Self, there are not others apart from the Self.

D.: The body feels the pain of the sting.

M.: If the body feels it, let it ask. Let the body take care of itself. How does it matter to you?
The American lady again: Does complete surrender mean that all noise and disturbance in our environment, even during meditation, must be accepted? Or should we seek a cave in a mountain for solitude? Did not Bhagavan do this?
M.: There is no going or returning. The Self is said to be unaffected by the elements, infinite, eternal. It cannot move. There is no place to move in for the Self.

D.: But, in the process of finding the Self, is this seeking external help spiritually legitimate?
M.: The error lies in the identification of the Self with the body.

If Bhagavan is the body you may ask that body. But understand him whom you address as Bhagavan. He is not the body. He is the Self.

Then she referred to an article in Harijan where it is said that everything is God and nothing belongs to the individual, and so on.

M.: Everything, the individual, God and all are only the Self.

Then she read some lines from Shelley and asked if Shelley was not a realised soul.

Within a cavern of man's trackless spirit
Is throned an Image so intensely fair
That the adventurous thoughts that wander near it
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Worship, and as they kneel, tremble and fear
The splendour of its presence, and the light
Penetrates their dreamlike frame
Till they become charged with the strength of flame.

M.: Yes. The lines are excellent. He must have realised what he wrote.

The lady then thanked Sri Bhagavan and retired.

Talk 342.

At 11 p.m. in the night a group of Andhras came from Guntur, consisting of a middle-aged woman with a sad but firm look, her mother and two men. They requested audience with Sri Bhagavan.

The woman said to Sri Bhagavan:
"When my son was in the womb my husband died. The son was born posthumous. He grew up all right for five years. Then he was attacked by infantile paralysis. When nine he was bedridden. Nevertheless he was bright and cheerful. For two years he was in that condition and now they say that he is dead. I know that he is only sleeping and will awake soon. When they said that he had collapsed I was shocked. I saw in a vision a sadhu who appeared to pass his hands over the child's body and the child awoke refreshed. I believe that sadhu is yourself. Please come and touch the boy so that he may get up," she prayed.

Sri Bhagavan asked what the doctor said.

She replied, "They say that he is dead. But what do they know? I have brought the boy all the way from Guntur to this place".

Someone asked: "How? Is the corpse brought here?"
She: They said that the corpse would be taken by paying special rates at 12 rupee per mile. We have paid Rs.150/- for it, and brought it as luggage.

M.: If your vision be correct the boy will wake up tomorrow.

She: Please touch him. May I bring him into the compound?
The others protested and persuaded them to leave.

They left and the next morning the corpse was reported to have been cremated.

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When asked, Sri Bhagavan said: It is said of some saints that they revived the dead. They, too, did not revive all the dead. If that could be done there will be no world, no death, no cemetery, etc.

One man asked: The mother's faith was very remarkable. How could she have had such a hopeful vision and still be disappointed?
Can it be a superimposition attendant on her child's love?
M.: She and her child not being real, how can the vision alone be a superimposition?
D.: Then how is it to be explained?
No answer.

Talk 343.

D.: Even as the hand is cut off, one must remain unaware of it because
Bhagavad Gita declares that the Self is different from the body.

M.: Does jnana consist in being unaware of the pain of injury?
D.: Should he not remain unaware of pain?
M.: Major operations are performed under anaesthetics, keeping the patient unaware of the pain. Does the patient gain jnana too, at the same time? Insensibility to pain cannot be jnana.

D.: Should not a Jnani (a sage) be insensible to pain?
M.: Physical pain only follows body-consciousness; it cannot be in the absence of body-consciousness. Mind, being unaware of the body, cannot be aware of its pains or pleasures. Read the story of Indra and Ahalya in
Yoga Vasishta; there death itself is said to be an act of mind.

Pains are dependent on the ego; they cannot be without the 'I', but
'I' can remain without them.

Talk 344
D.: Vichara Sagara relates four obstacles to Self-Realisation.

M.: Why only four? Some say they are nine. Sleep is one of them. What is sleep? It is only the obverse of waking. It cannot be independent of waking. Sleep is unalloyed Self. Do not think you are awake: sleep cannot be, nor the three states either. Only forgetting the Self you say you dreamt. Can anything exist in the absence of the Self?
Why do you leave it out and hold the non-self?
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As the mind tends to go out turn it inwards then and there. It goes out owing to the habit of looking for happiness outside oneself; but the knowledge that the external objects are not the cause of happiness will keep it in check. This is vairagya or dispassion.

Only after perfect vairagya the mind becomes steady.

The mind is only a mixture of knowledge and ignorance or of sleep and waking. It functions in five ways:
Kshipta (active);
Moodha (dull);
Vikshipta (distracted);
Kashaya (latent); and
Ekagrya (one-pointed).

Of these kashaya is only the latency of tendencies and not the tendencies themselves such as attachment, repulsion, etc.

Yourself being ananda (Bliss), why should you enjoy it saying,
"Ah! How blissful!" This is rasasvada.

During the marriage ceremonies a virgin feels happy as a bride without experiencing the embrace of man: this is rasasvada.

D.: Jivanmukti (liberated while alive) itself being ananda . . . .

Sri Bhagavan interrupted: Do not look for sastras. What is jivanmukti? What is ananda? Liberation itself is in doubt. What are all these words? Can they be independent of the Self.

D.: Only we have no experience of all this.

M.: What is not, is always lost; what is, is ever present, here and now. This is the eternal order of things. Example: necklace round the neck.

Talk 345.

Sri Bhagavan continued, after interval: Destroy the power of mind by seeking it. When the mind is examined its activities cease automatically.

Looking for the source of mind is another method. The source may be said to be God or Self or consciousness.

Concentrating on one thought, all other thoughts disappear; finally that thought also disappears. It is necessary to be aware while controlling thoughts, otherwise it will lead to sleep.

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D.: How to seek the mind?
M.: Breath-control may do as an aid but can never lead to the goal itself.

While doing it mechanically, take care to be alert in mind and remember the 'I-thought' and seek its source. Then you will find that where breath sinks, there the 'I-thought' arises. They sink and rise together. The
'I-thought' also will sink along with breath. Simultaneously another luminous and infinite "I-I" will manifest and it will be continuous and unbroken. That is the goal. It goes by different names - God, Self,
Kundalini-Sakti, consciousness etc., etc.

When the attempt is made it will of itself take you to the goal.

Talk 346.

Free will and Destiny last as long as the body lasts. But wisdom transcends both, for the Self is beyond knowledge and ignorance.

Talk 347.

The mind is a bundle of thoughts. The thoughts arise because there is the thinker. The thinker is the ego. The ego, if sought, will automatically vanish. The ego and the mind are the same. The ego is the root-thought from which all other thoughts arise.

Talk 348.

D.: There are times when persons and things take on a vague, almost transparent form, as in a dream. One ceases to observe them as from outside, but is passively conscious of their existence, while not actively conscious of any kind of selfhood. There is a deep quietness in the mind. Is it, at such times, ready to dive into the Self? Or is this condition unhealthy, the result of self-hypnotism? Should it be encouraged as a means of getting temporary peace?
M.: There is consciousness along with quietness in the mind; this is exactly the state to be aimed at. The fact that the question has been framed on this point, without realising that it is the Self, shows that the state is not steady but casual.

The word 'diving' is appropriate to the state of outgoing tendencies when the mind is to be diverted and turned within so as to dive below the surface of externalities. But when deep quietness prevails without
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Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi obstructing the consciousness, where is the need to dive? If the state be not realised as the Self, the effort to do so may be called 'diving'. The state may in that way be said to be suitable for realisation or 'diving'.

Thus the last two questions in the paragraph are unnecessary.

D.: The mind continues to feel partial towards children, possibly because of the form sometimes used to personify the Ideal. How can this preference be outgrown?
M.: Hold the Self. Why think of children and reactions towards them?
D.: This third visit to Tiruvannamalai seems to have intensified the sense of egoism in me and made meditation less easy. Is this an unimportant passing phase or a sign that I should avoid such places hereafter?
M.: It is imaginary. This place or another is within you. Such imaginations must end so that the places have nothing to do with the activities of the mind. Even your surroundings are not of your own accord; they are there as a matter of course. You must rise above them and not get yourself involved.

Talk 349.


SRI SANKARA'S PATH TO SALVATION
THROUGH DISCRIMINATION
A Note By Sri Maharshi
(In the current issue of The Vision is published the following note, being the translation by Mr. S. Krishna, M. A., of Sri Ramana Maharshi's preface to his translation of Sri Sankara's Viveka Chudamani or
"Crown-gem of Discrimination").

Every being in the world yearns to be always happy, free from the taint of sorrow; and desires to get rid of bodily ailments which are not of his true nature. Further, everyone cherishes the greatest love for himself: and this love is not possible in the absence of happiness.

In deep sleep, though devoid of everything, one has the experience of being happy. Yet, due to the ignorance of the real nature of one's own being, which is happiness itself, people flounder in the vast ocean of material existence forsaking the right path that leads to happiness and act under the mistaken belief that the way to be happy consists in obtaining the pleasures of this and the other world.

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A SAFE GUIDE: But alas, that happiness which has not the taint of sorrow is not realised. It is precisely for the purpose of pointing out the straight path to happiness that God Siva took on the guise of
Sri Sankaracharya, wrote the commentaries on the Triune Institutes
(Prasthana Traya) of the Vedanta, which extol the excellence of this bliss; and demonstrated it by his own example in life. These commentaries, however, are of little use to those ardent seekers who are intent upon realising the bliss of absolution, but have not the scholarship for studying them.

It is for such as these that Sri Sankara revealed the essence of the commentaries in this short treatise, "The Crown-gem of Discrimination", explaining in detail the points that have to be grasped by those who seek absolution, and thereby directing them to the true and straight path.

LEARNING WON'T DO: Sri Sankara opens the theme by observing that it is hard indeed to attain human birth, and one should (having attained it) strive for the realisation of the bliss of liberation, which is verily the nature of one's being. By jnana or Knowledge alone is this bliss realised, and jnana is achieved only through vichara or steady enquiry. In order to know this method of enquiry, says Sri Sankara, one should seek the favour of a Guru, and proceeds to describe the qualities of the Guru and his sishya and how the latter should approach and serve his master.

He further emphasises that in order to realise the bliss of liberation one's own individual effort is an essential factor. Mere book-learning never yields this bliss which can be realised only through enquiry or vichara, which consists of sravana or devoted attention to the precepts of the Guru, manana or deep contemplation and Nididhyasana or the cultivation of steady poise in the Self.

THE THREE PATHS: The three bodies - physical, subtle and causal - are non-self and are unreal. The Self, or 'I', is quite different from them.

It is due to ignorance that the sense of the Self or the 'I' notion is foisted on that which is not Self, and this indeed is bondage. Since from ignorance arises bondage, from Knowledge ensues liberation.

To know this from the Guru is sravana.

To reject the three bodies consisting of the five sheaths (physical, vital, mental, gnostic and blissful) as not 'I' and to extract through subtle
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Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi enquiry of "Who am I?" - even as the central blade of grass is delicately drawn out from its whorl - that which is different from all the three bodies and is existent as one and universal in the heart as
Aham or 'I' and denoted by the words Tvam (in the Scriptural dictum
- 'Tat-tvam-asi' - That thou art). This process of subtle enquiry is manana or deep contemplation.

THE BEATITUDE: The world of name and form is but an adjunct of
Sat or Brahman, and being not different from it is rejected as such and is affirmed as nothing else but Brahman. The instruction by the
Guru to the disciple of the Mahavakya, Tat-tvam-asi, which declares the identity of the Self and the Supreme, is upadesa. The disciple is then enjoined to remain in the beatitude of Aham-Brahman - 'I' the
Absolute. Nevertheless the old tendencies of the mind sprout up thick and strong and form an obstruction (to that state of beatitude). These tendencies are threefold and egoism, which is their root, flourishes in the externalised and differentiating consciousness caused by the forces of vikshepa or dissipation (due to rajas) and avarana or envelopment
(due to tamas).

CHURNING THE MIND: To install the mind firmly in the heart until these forces are destroyed and to awaken with unswerving, ceaseless vigilance the true and cognate tendency which is characteristic of the Atman and is expressed by the dicta, Aham Brahmasmi (I am
Brahman), and Brahmaivaham (Brahman alone am I) is termed nididhyasana or atmanusandhana, i.e., constancy in the Self. This is otherwise called Bhakti, Yoga and Dhyana.

Atmanusandhana has been likened to churning the curd to draw forth butter, the mind being compared to the churning rod, the heart to the curd and the practice of constancy in the Self to the process of churning. Just as by churning the curd butter is extracted and by friction fire is kindled, even so, by unswerving vigilant constancy in the Self, ceaseless like the unbroken filamentary flow of oil, is generated the natural or changeless trance or nirvikalpa samadhi, which readily and spontaneously yields that direct, immediate, unobstructed and universal perception of Brahman, which is at once Knowledge and Experience and which transcends time and space.

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LIMITLESS BLISS: This is Self-Realisation; and thereby is cut asunder the hridaya-granthi or the Knot of the Heart. The false delusions of ignorance, the vicious and age-long tendencies of the mind, which constitute this knot, are destroyed. All doubts are dispelled and the bondage of Karma is severed.

Thus has Sri Sankara described, in this "Crown-gem of
Discrimination," samadhi or trance transcendent, which is the limitless bliss of liberation, beyond doubt and duality, and has at the same time indicated the means for its attainments. To realise this state of freedom from duality is the summum bonum of life: and he alone that has won it is a jivanmukta (the liberated one while yet alive), and not he who has merely a theoretical understanding of what constitutes purushartha or the desired end and aim of human endeavour.

FINAL FREEDOM: Thus defining a jivanmukta, he is declared to be free from the bonds of threefold Karmas (sanchita, agami and prarabdha).

The disciple who has reached this stage then relates his personal experience. The liberated one is free indeed to act as he pleases, and when he leaves the mortal frame, attains absolution, and returns not to this "birth which is death".

Sri Sankara thus describes Realisation that connotes liberation as twofold, i.e., jivanmukti and videha mukti referred to above. Moreover, in this short treatise, written in the form of a dialogue between a Guru and his disciple, he has considered many relevant topics.


6th February, 1937
Talk 350.

While speaking to Mr. G. Shanmugham, a very sincere lawyer devotee,
Bhagavan observed:
The sastras say that one must serve a Guru for 12 years for getting
Self-Realisation. What does Guru do? Does he hand it over to the disciple? Is not the Self always realised? What does the common belief mean then? The man is always the Self and yet he does not know it. He confounds it with the non-self, viz., the body etc.

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Such confusion is due to ignorance. If ignorance be wiped out the confusion will cease to exist and the true knowledge will be unfolded. By remaining in contact with realised sages the man gradually loses the ignorance until its removal is complete. The eternal Self is thus revealed.

This is the meaning conveyed by the story of Ashtavakra and Janaka.

The anecdotes differ in different books. We are not concerned with the names and the embellishments. The tatva, i.e., the moral, must not be lost sight of. The disciple surrenders himself to the master. That means there is no vestige of individuality retained by the disciple. If the surrender is complete all sense of individuality is lost and there is thus no cause for misery. The eternal being is only happiness. That is revealed.

Without understanding it aright, people think that the Guru teaches the disciple something like "TATVAMASI" and that the disciple realises
"I am Brahman". In their ignorance they conceive of Brahman as something more huge and powerful than anything else. With a limited
'I' the man is so stuck up and wild. What will be the case if the same
'I' grows up enormous? He will be enormously ignorant and foolish!
This false 'I' must perish. Its annihilation is the fruit of Guru seva.

Realisation is eternal and it is not newly brought about by the Guru.

He helps in the removal of ignorance. That is all.


7th February, 1937
Talk 351.

Dr. Subramania Iyer, Retired Health Officer of Salem, read out a passage which contained the instructions that one should know that the world is transitory, that worldly enjoyments are useless, that one should therefore turn away in disgust from them, restrain the senses and meditate on the Self to realise it.

Sri Bhagavan observed: How does one know the world to be transitory?
Unless something permanent is held, the transitory nature of the world cannot be understood. Because the man is already the Self, and the Self is the Eternal Reality, his attention is drawn to it; and he is instructed to rivet his attention on the Eternal Reality, the Self.

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Talk 352.


THE DIFFERENT CREEDS
The thought rises up as the subject and object. 'I' alone being held, all else disappears. It is enough, but only to the competent few.

The others argue, "Quite so. The world that exists in my sleep has existed before my birth and will exist after my death. Do not others see it? How can the world cease to be if my ego appears not?" The genesis of the world and the different schools of thought are meant to satisfy such people.

D.: Nevertheless, being only products of intellect they cannot turn the mind inward.

M.: Just for this reason the scriptures speak of "in-turned look", "onepointed look" and so on.

The Self being always the Self, why should only a dhira be illumined? Does it mean a man of courage? No; dhih = intellect; rah = watch; protection. So dhira is the one who always keeps the mind inward bent without letting it loose.


8th February, 1937
Talk 353.

D.: What is turiya?
M.: There are three states only, the waking, dream and sleep. Turiya is not a fourth one; it is what underlies these three. But people do not readily understand it. Therefore it is said that this is the fourth state and the only Reality. In fact it is not apart from anything, for it forms the substratum of all happenings; it is the only Truth; it is your very Being. The three states appear as fleeting phenomena on it and then sink into it alone. Therefore they are unreal.

The pictures in a cinema show are only shadows passing over the screen. They make their appearance; move forward and backward; change from one to another; are therefore unreal whereas the screen all along remains unchanged. Similarly with paintings: the images are unreal and the canvas real. So also with us: the world-phenomena, within or without, are only
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Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi passing phenomena not independent of our Self. Only the habit of looking on them as being real and located outside ourselves is responsible for hiding our true being and showing forth the others. The ever-present only Reality, the Self, being found, all other unreal things will disappear, leaving behind the knowledge that they are no other than the Self.

Turiya only another name for the Self. Aware of the waking, dream and sleep states, we remain unaware of our own Self. Nevertheless the Self is here and now, it is the only Reality. There is nothing else. So long as identification with the body lasts the world seems to lie outside us. Only realise the Self and they are not.

Talk 354.

An American lady, a theosophist, asked: What is the means by which my approach to my master may be made nearer?
M.: How far away are you now from him?
D.: I am away from him. But I want to get closer to him.

M.: If you first know your Self, you may then find out how far away the other is. Who are you now? Are you the personality?
D.: Yes, I am the personality.

M.: Is the personality independent of the Self?
D.: Sometimes.

M.: At what times?
D.: I mean I have some flashes of the reality and, at other times, I do not have them.

M.: Who is aware of those flashes?
D.: I, I mean my personality.

M.: Is this personality aware as being apart from the Self?
D.: Which Self?
M.: Which do you consider the personality to be?
D.: The lower self.

M.: Then I mean to ask if the lower self is aware independently of the Higher Self?
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D.: Yes, at times
M.: Who feels that she is away from the master, just now?
D.: The Higher Self.

M.: Does the Higher Self have a body and say that the master is away from it? Does it speak through your mouth? Are you apart from that?
D.: Can you kindly advise me how I can train myself to be aware of what I do even without the body, as in sleep?
M.: Awareness is your nature. In deep sleep or in waking, it is the same. How can it be gained afresh?
D.: But I do not remember what and how I did in my sleep.

M.: Who says "I do not remember"?
D.: I say now.

M.: You were the same then; why do you not say so in sleep?
D.: I do not remember what I say in sleep.

M.: You say, "I know, I remember", in the wakeful state. This same personality says "I did not know - I did not remember in sleep".

Why does not this question arise in sleep?
D.: I do not know what happens in sleep. That is the reason I ask now.

M.: The question affects the sleeping phase and must be raised there.

It does not affect the waking phase and there is no apparent reason for this question.

The fact is that you have no limitations in sleep and no question arises. Whereas now you put on limitations, identify yourself with the body and questions of this kind arise.

D.: I understand it, but do not realise it (i.e. unity in variety).

M.: Because you are in variety, you say you understand unity - that you have flashes, etc., remember things, etc.; you consider this variety to be real. On the other hand Unity is the reality, and the variety is false. The variety must go before unity reveals itself - its reality.

It is always real. It does not send flashes of its being in this false variety. On the contrary, this variety obstructs the truth.

Then some others pursued the conversation.

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M.: Removal of ignorance is the aim of practice, and not acquisition of
Realisation. Realisation is ever present, here and now. Were it to be acquired anew, Realisation must be understood to be absent at one time and present at another time. In that case, it is not permanent, and therefore not worth the attempt. But Realisation is permanent and eternal and is here and now.

D.: Grace is necessary for the removal of ignorance.

M.: Certainly. But Grace is all along there. Grace is the Self. It is not something to be acquired. All that is necessary is to know its existence. For example, the sun is brightness only. He does not see darkness. Whereas others speak of darkness fleeing away on the sun approaching. Similarly, ignorance also is a phantom and not real. Because of its unreality, its unreal nature being found, it is said to be removed.

Again, the sun is there and also bright. You are surrounded by sunlight. Still if you would know the sun you must turn your eyes in his direction and look at him. So also Grace is found by practice alone although it is here and now.

D.: By the desire to surrender constantly, increasing Grace is experienced, I hope.

M.: Surrender once for all and be done with the desire. So long as the sense of doership is retained there is the desire; that is also personality. If this goes the Self is found to shine forth pure.

The sense of doership is the bondage and not the actions themselves.

"Be still and know that I am God." Here stillness is total surrender without a vestige of individuality. Stillness will prevail and there will be no agitation of mind. Agitation of mind is the cause of desire, the sense of doership and personality. If that is stopped there is quiet. There 'Knowing' means 'Being'. It is not the relative knowledge involving the triads, knowledge, subject and object.

D.: Is the thought "I am God" or "I am the Supreme Being" helpful?
M.: "I am that I am." "I am" is God - not thinking, "I am God". Realise
"I am" and do not think I am. "Know I am God" - it is said, and not "Think I am God."
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Later Sri Bhagavan continued: It is said "I AM that I AM". That means a person must abide as the 'I'. He is always the 'I' alone.

He is nothing else. Yet he asks "Who am I?" A victim of illusion would ask "Who am I?" and not a man fully aware of himself.

The wrong identity of the Self with the non-self makes you ask,
"Who am I?"
Later still: There are different routes to Tiruvannamalai, but
Tiruvannamalai is the same by whichever route it is gained. Similarly the approach to the subject varies according to the personality. Yet the Self is the same. But still, being in Tiruvannamalai, if one asks for the route it is ridiculous. So also, being the Self, if one asks how to realise the Self it looks absurd. You are the Self. Remain as the Self. That is all. The questions arise because of the present wrong identification of the Self with the body. That is ignorance.

This must go. On its removal the Self alone is.

Talk 355.

D.: Does not education make a sage more useful to the world than illiteracy?
M.: Even a learned man must bow before the illiterate sage.

Illiteracy is ignorance: education is learned ignorance. Both of them are ignorant of their true aim; whereas a sage is not ignorant because there is no aim for him.

Talk 356.

D.: Why should there be sleep in the world?
M.: Owing to sin only.

D.: Can it be destroyed?
M.: Yes.

D.: It ends only after making itself felt, they say.

M.: Why then devotion to God?
D.: How can sleep be destroyed?
M.: Be not aware of its activities and effects.

D.: How can it be done?
M.: Only by enquiry of the Self.

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Talk 357.


REMINISCENCES
Sri Bhagavan was recounting some of the incidents of His stay in
Tiruvannamalai:
1. He was one day given a small speck of some substance on a leaf, to be licked off. It was said to be a good help for digestion. He licked it. Later He had His meal. After some time, the assembled persons appeared to be surrounded by Light (tejomaya). The experience passed away after some time.

2. While He was living in Pavalakunru. He intended to have a bath in one of the rills on the hillside. Palaniswami was informed of it.

The news spread, that Jada Padmanabhaswami, who was living on the Hill, had arranged with Palaniswami to take Sri Bhagavan to the hill near his cottage. Palaniswami, without informing Sri Bhagavan, managed to take Him there. A great reception awaited Him. A seat was arranged for Him, milk and fruits were offered and J. P. waited on Him with great kindness.

3. J.P., though represented in the book Self-Realisation as having sought to injure Sri Bhagavan, was really kind to Him and his pranks were misunderstood to be acts of malice. His only weakness was that he wanted to make capital out of Sri Bhagavan for raising funds; which, of course, the Maharshi did not like. There was nothing wrong with J.P.

4. Madhavaswami, the attendant, asked if Sri Bhagavan remained without food for months in the underground cellar in the temple.

M.: Um! - Um! - food was forthcoming - Milk, fruits - but whoever thought of food.

5. While staying in the mango-tree cave Sri Bhagavan used to string garlands for the images in the temple, with lotuses, yellow flowers
(sarakonnai) and green leaves.

6. After the completion of the Kalyanamantapam Sri Bhagavan had stayed there one night in disguise.

7. When He was sitting under a tree in the temple compound He was covered with dirt, for He never used to bathe. In the cold nights of
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December He used to fold up the legs, place his head between his legs and remain there without moving. Early in the morning the layer of dirt on His body was soaked with dew and mist and appeared white.

After drying up in the sun it appeared dark.

8. When living on the Hill Sri Bhagavan used to help in the pooja of
J. P., ringing the bell, washing the vessels, etc., all along remaining silent. He also used to read medical works, e.g., Ashtanga Hridayam in Malayalam and point out the treatment contained in the book for the patients who sought the other sadhu's help. That sadhu did not himself know how to read these works.


12th February, 1937
Talk 358.


A SCENE IN THE HALL
It is 8-20 p.m. Sri Bhagavan has returned after supper and stretched
Himself on the sofa. The light is dim; there are three men sitting on the floor; one is busy copying something from a journal; another is wrapt in meditation; and the third is looking around, having nothing to do. The hall is silent but for occasional clearing of the throat by Sri Bhagavan.

Madhavaswami, the attendant devotee, slips in noiselessly with a sheaf of betels in hand. He moves to the table. Sri Bhagavan who is reclining on the sofa, sees him and calls out, yet kindly; "Sh, Sh; what are you doing?"
The attendant softly murmurs, "Nothing", leaves the betel there and fumbles hesitatingly.

M.: "I do not want it." (The attendant softly settles down on the floor).

Sri Bhagavan: "Kasturi Pill - one after another, every day. The bottle will be empty - and more is ordered. I don't want it."
A devotee skilfully blames the olla podrida () of the day-meal for the indifferent health of Sri Bhagavan.

M.: "No - no - It was well made. It was good." silence, but for expectoration and eructation. After a few minutes, the attendant slips out and returns with a bottle in hand, goes near Sri Bhagavan and stretches out a pill saying: "Cummin seed-pill". Sri Bhagavan softly murmurs, "It contains
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Iyengar has in the meantime become wide awake from his meditation and looks on. The attendant is still holding out his hand with the pill.

Sri Bhagavan continues: "Who is to munch it?"
Rangaswamy Iyengar: "It need not be munched. It may be kept in the mouth and sucked." The attendant hastily agrees. "Yes - yes it is only to be sucked."
M.: "Give it to him" pointing to Rangaswami Iyengar. "Let him munch it or suck it. I do not want it."
The attendant returns disappointed and squats on the floor; again rises up.

M.: "Eh! - Eh! What do you do? I do not want." The attendant moves up to the medicine chest, murmuring "Kasturi pill - it will be effective". Sri
Bhagavan: "I shall soon be right even without it. Do not take it out. Eh!
- Eh! - keep it there - I won't take it - do what you like." The attendant again settles down and all remain silent before retiring to bed.


13th February, 1937
Talk 359.

At about 7-30 a.m. Sri Bhagavan was climbing up the hill after breakfast. Padananda went and prostrated, stood up and said, "All right, I have had darsan ... I shall return."
Sri Bhagavan smilingly, "Whose darsan? Why don't you say that you gave darsan to me?"
At about 9 a.m. a devotee from Poona (Mr. Parkhi) saluted Sri
Bhagavan and read out his ashtaka praying to Sri Bhagavan for
Grace. The piece finishes with a prayer for quick liberation (jhatiti mukti) and the devotee emphasised it.

M.: Mukti, i.e., liberation, is not to be gained hereafter. It is there for ever, here and now.

D.: I agree, but I do not experience it.

M.: The experience is here and now. One cannot deny one's own self.

D.: That means existence and not happiness.

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M.: Existence = happiness = Being. The word mukti (liberation) is so provoking. Why should one seek it? He believes that there is bondage and therefore seeks liberation. But the fact is that there is no bondage but only liberation. Why call it by a name and seek it?
D.: True, but we are ignorant.

M.: Only remove ignorance. That is all there is to be done.


14th February, 1937
Talk 360.

The aristocratic gentleman from Lucknow has written to Mr. Paul
Brunton that his wife has since lost that peace of mind which she had gained by her visits to Sri Bhagavan; so he desires that Sri Bhagavan may be pleased to restore the same peace.

When requested, Sri Bhagavan said, "It is due to weakness of mind that peace once gained is later lost."
Talk 361.

Mudaliar Swami, son of the lady who brings bhiksha every day to Sri
Bhagavan, related the following interesting incident:
During the time Sri Bhagavan was staying in Virupaksha Cave, Sri Bhagavan and Mudaliar Swami were walking together behind the Skandasramam site.

There was a huge rock about 15 feet high; it was a cleft, a girl (a shepherdess) was standing there crying. Sri Bhagavan asked the reason of her sorrow.

She said, "A sheep of mine has slipped into this cleft; so I am crying." Sri
Bhagavan descended into the cleft, took the sheep on his shoulders, climbed up to the surface and delivered the sheep to her. Mudaliar Swami says that it was a very remarkable feat for any human being.

Talk 362.

Mr Subbaramiah, a college professor from Nellore, asked about mukti.

M.: All questions relating to mukti are inadmissible; because mukti means release from bondage which implies the present existence of bondage. There is no bondage and therefore no mukti either.

D.: The sastras speak of it and its grades.

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M.: The sastras are not meant for the wise because they do not need them; the ignorant do not want them. Only the mumukshus look up to the sastras. That means that the sastras are neither for wisdom nor for ignorance.

D.: Vasishta is said to be a jivanmukta whereas Janaka was a videhamukta.

M.: Why speak of Vasishta or Janaka? What about oneself?
There were many new visitors this day. Two of them were speaking of Ganapati Muni in Sri Bhagavan's presence. Sri Bhagavan put in a few words in their talk:
(1) Some say that jnana and upasana are the two wings with which to fly to mukti. What is jnana? What is upasana? Jnana is ever present. That is the ultimate goal also. When an effort is made the effort is called upasana; when it is effortless it is jnana, which is the same as mukti.

(2) After some discussion among themselves, a visitor said: Some
Superior Power must help us to shake off the externalities.

Sri Bhagavan said: Who sees the externalities? Or do they say that they exist? If so let the world say that it exists.

Again, if the world is a projection from the interior it must be recognised that it is projected simultaneously with the 'I-thought'.

Either way the 'I' is the fundamental basis knowing which all else is known.

(3) Another said that Ganapati Muni used to say that he could even go to Indra-loka and say what Indra was doing but he could not go within and find the 'I'.

Sri Bhagavan added that Ganapati Muni used to say that it was easy to move forward but impossible to move backward.

Then Sri Bhagavan remarked: However far one goes there he is.

Where is moving backward? The same truth is contained in the mantra in Isa-Upanishad.

(4) In reply to a query how Ganapati Muni became an asu kavi
(inspired poet), Sri Bhagavan said; It is said that while he was making tapasya Siva appeared and gave him milk or honey to drink, after which he became asu kavi.

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20th February, 1937
Talk 363.

A European civilian, Mr. Dodwell, Deputy Secretary, Finance, Madras
Government, arrived with his wife before 1 p.m. and stayed in the hall till about 3-30 p.m.

The lady asked: The spiritual leaders in the West say that the spiritual centre is in India. Is there any contact among the spiritual leaders in India?
Or is contact possible between the leaders of the East and the West?
M.: What do you mean by spiritual centre?
D.: The spiritual centre is the seat of spiritual leaders.

M.: What do you understand by 'spiritual leaders'?
D.: In the West there is a crisis. Scientific knowledge is far advanced.

Such knowledge is used for generating destructive forces. There is a movement for making them constructive. When thus diverted it will be for the good of the world. The leaders of this movement are the redeemers.

M.: By 'spiritual leaders' we understand those who are 'spiritual' as opposed to 'physical'. Spirit is unlimited and formless. Such too is the spiritual centre. There is only one such centre. Whether in the
West or in the East the centre cannot differ; nor has it any locality.

Being unlimited it includes the leaders, the men, the world, the forces of destruction and of construction. There is no differentiation. You speak of contact because you are thinking of the embodied beings as spiritual leaders. The spiritual men are not bodies; they are not aware of their bodies. They are only spirit, limitless and formless. There is always unity among them and all others; nay, they comprise all.

The spirit is the Self. If the Self is realised, these questions cannot arise at all.

Mrs. Jinarajadasa from Adyar: Self Realisation sounds so easy, but yet is so difficult in practice.

M.: What can be easier? The Self is more intimate than anything else. If that cannot be realised, is it easy to realise what is apart and farther away?
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D.: Self Realisation is so illusory. How can it be made permanent?
M.: The Self can never be illusory. It is the only Reality. That which appears will also disappear and is therefore impermanent. The Self never appears and disappears and is therefore permanent.

D.: Yes - true. You know that, in the Theosophical Society, they meditate to seek the masters to guide them.

M.: The Master is within. Meditation is meant for the removal of ignorance, of the wrong idea that he is without. If he be a stranger whose advent you await he is bound to disappear also. Where is the use of transient being like that?
However, as long as you think that you are an individual or that you are the body, so long the master also is necessary and he will appear with a body. When this wrong identification ceases the master will be found to be the Self.

There is a stanza in Kaivalya:
"My Lord! You had remained as my Self within, protecting me in all my past incarnations. Now, by your Grace, you have manifested yourself as my master and revealed yourself as the Self ".

Just see what happens in sleep. There is no ego, no India, no seekers, no master, etc.; and yet you are - and happy too.

The ego, India, seekers, etc., appear now; but they are not apart from nor independent of you.

There was a large group of visitors on account of the election holidays and some of these also joined in the discussion.

One of them asked about reincarnation.

M.: Reincarnation can only be so long as there is ignorance. There is no incarnation either now, nor was there before, nor will be hereafter. This is the truth.

D.: What is the ego-self?
M.: The ego-self appears and disappears and is transitory, whereas the real Self always abides permanent. Though you are actually the true
Self yet you wrongly identify the real Self with the ego-self.

D.: How does the mistake come about?
M.: See if it has come about.

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D.: One has to sublimate the ego-self into the true Self.

M.: The ego-self does not exist at all.

D.: Why does it give us trouble?
M.: To whom is the trouble? The trouble also is imagined. Trouble and pleasure are only for the ego.

D.: Why is the world so wrapped up in ignorance?
M.: Take care of yourself. Let the world take care of itself. See your
Self. If you are the body there is the gross world also. If you are spirit all is spirit alone.

D.: It will hold good for the individual, but what of the rest?
M.: Do it first and then see if the question arises afterwards.

D.: Is there avidya?
M.: For whom is it?
D.: For the ego-self.

M.: Yes, for the ego. Remove the ego; avidya is gone. Look for it, the ego vanishes. The real Self alone remains. The ego professing avidya is not to be seen. There is no avidya in reality. All sastras are meant to disprove the existence of avidya.

D.: How did the ego arise?
M.: Ego is not. Otherwise do you admit of two selves? How can there be avidya in the absence of the ego? If you begin to enquire, the avidya which is already non-existent, will be found not to be or you will say it has fled away.

Ignorance pertains to the ego. Why do you think of the ego and also suffer? What is ignorance again? It is that which is non-existent.

However the worldly life requires the hypothesis of avidya.

Avidya is only our ignorance and nothing more. It is ignorance or forgetfulness of the Self. Can there be darkness before the Sun?
Similarly, can there be ignorance before the Self-evident and Selfluminous Self? If you know the Self there will be no darkness, no ignorance and no misery.

It is the mind which feels the trouble, misery, etc. Darkness never comes nor goes. See the Sun and there is no darkness. Similarly, see the Self and avidya will be found not to exist.

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D.: Sri Ramakrishna and others practised concentration.

M.: Concentration and all other practices are meant for recognising the absence, i.e., non-existence of ignorance. No one can deny his own being. Being is knowledge, i.e., awareness. That awareness implies absence of ignorance. Therefore everyone naturally admits nonexistence of ignorance. And yet why should he suffer? Because he thinks he is this or that. That is wrong. "I am" alone is; and not "I am so and so", or "I am such and such". When existence is absolute it is right; when it is particularised it is wrong. That is the whole truth.

See how each one admits that he is. Does he look into a mirror to know his being? His awareness makes him admit his existence or being. But he confuses it with the body, etc. Why should he do so?
Is he aware of his body in his sleep? No; yet he himself does not cease to be in sleep. He exists there though without the body. How does he know that he exists in sleep? Does he require a mirror to reveal his own being now? Only be aware, and your being is clear in your awareness.

D.: How is one to know the Self?
M.: "Knowing the Self" means "Being the Self". Can you say that you do not know the Self? Though you cannot see your own eyes and though not provided with a mirror to look in, do you deny the existence of your eyes? Similarly, you are aware of the Self even though the Self is not objectified. Or, do you deny your Self because it is not objectified? When you say "I cannot know the
Self" it means absence in terms of relative knowledge, because you have been so accustomed to relative knowledge that you identify yourself with it. Such wrong identity has forged the difficulty of not knowing the obvious Self because it cannot be objectified; and you ask. "How is one to know the Self?" Your difficulty is centred in "How"? Who is to know the Self? Can the body know it?
Let the body answer. Who says that the body is perceived now?
In order to meet this kind of ignorance the sastras formulate the theory of God's leela or krida (i.e., play). God is said to emanate as the mind, the senses and the body and to play. Who are you to say that this play is a trouble to you? Who are you to question the doings of God?
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Your duty is to be: and not to be this or that. "I AM that I AM" sums up the whole truth. The method is summed up in "BE STILL". What does "stillness" mean? It means "destroy yourself". Because any form or shape is the cause of trouble. Give up the notion that "I am so and so". Our sastras say: ahamiti sphurati (it shines as 'I').

D.: What is sphurana (shining)?
M.: (Aham, aham) 'I-I' is the Self; (Aham idam) "I am this" or "I and that" is the ego. Shining is there always. The ego is transitory;
When the 'I' is kept up as 'I' alone it is the Self; when it flies at a tangent and says "this" it is the ego.

D.: Is God apart from the Self?
M.: The Self is God. "I AM" is God. "I am the Self, O Gudakesa!"
(Ahamatma Gudakesa).

This question arises because you are holding the ego self. This will not arise if you hold the True Self. For the Real Self will not and cannot ask anything. If God be apart from the Self He must be a
Self-less God, which is absurd.

D.: What is namaskara (prostration)?
M.: Prostration means "subsidence of the ego". What is "subsidence"?
To merge into the source of its origin. God cannot be deceived by outward genuflexions, bowings and prostrations. He sees if the individuality is there or not.

Mr. Shamanna: Is there a sixth sense to feel "I AM"?
M.: Do you have it in your sleep? There is only one being functioning through the five senses. Or do you mean that each sense is independent of the Self and there are five selves admitting of a sixth to control them?
There is a power working through these five senses. How can you deny the existence of such Power? Do you deny your existence? Do you not remain even in sleep where the body is not perceived? The same 'I' continues to be now; so we admit our existence, whether there is the body or not. The senses work periodically. Their work begins and ends.

There must be a substratum on which their activities depend. Where do they appear and merge? There must be a single substratum. Were you to say that the single unit is not perceived, it is an admission of its being single: for you say that there is no second one to know it.

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All these discussions are only to get rid of ignorance. When that is done everything will be clear. It is a matter of competence, or ripeness.

D.: Cannot Grace hasten such competence in a seeker?
M.: Leave it to Him. Surrender unreservedly. One of two things must be done. Either surrender because you admit your inability and also require a High Power to help you; or investigate into the cause of misery, go into the source and merge into the Self. Either way you will be free from misery. God never forsakes one who has surrendered. Mamekam saranam vraja.

D.: What is the drift of the mind after surrender?
M.: Is the surrendered mind raising the question? (Laughter.)
Talk 364.

The Nellore Professor asked about visvarupa darsana.

M.: Visvatma darsana is visvarupa darsana i.e., the universal Self of the cosmic Self is the cosmos. Sri Krishna started the discourse in Chapter
II, saying, "I have no form". In Chapter XI, He says, "See my form as the Universe". Is it consistent? Again he says, "I transcend the three worlds", but Arjuna sees the three worlds in Him. Sri Krishna says,
"I cannot be seen by men, Gods, etc."; yet Arjuna sees himself and the Gods in Him. No one could see and yet Arjuna was endowed with divine sight to see Him. Does it not look a maze of contradictions?
The answer is that the understanding is wrong. Sthula dristi on the physical plane is absurd. Jnana dristi (subtle understanding) is necessary. That is why Arjuna was given divya chakshuh (divine sight). Can such sight be gross? Will such interpretation lead you to a right understanding?
Sri Krishna says Kalosmi, 'I am Time'. Does Time have shape?
Again if the universe be His form should it not be one and unchanging? Why does He say to Arjuna, "See in me whatever you desire to see?" That means that His form is according to the desires of the seer. They speak of 'divine sight' and yet paint the scene, each according to his own view. There is the seer also in the seen. What is all this? Even a mesmerist can make you see strange scenes. You call this a trick, whereas the other you call divine. Why this difference? Anything seen cannot be real. That is the truth.

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Talk 365.

As Sri Bhagavan was continuing in the same strain, a visitor asked how to overcome the identity of the Self with the body.

M.: What about sleep?
D.: There is ignorance prevailing.

M.: How do you know your ignorance in sleep? Did you exist in sleep, or not?
D.: I do not know.

M.: Do you deny your existence in sleep?
D.: I must admit it by my reasoning.

M.: How do you infer your existence?
D.: By reasoning and experience.

M.: Is reasoning necessary for experience? (Laughter)
D.: Is meditation analytical or synthetic?
M.: Analysis or synthesis are in the region of intellect. The Self transcends the intellect.

Talk 366.

Before leaving at 3-30 p.m., Mrs. Dodwell raised a second question, asking what is meant by neti-neti.

M.: There is now wrong identification of the Self with the body, senses, etc. You proceed to discard these, and this is neti. This can be done only by holding to the one which cannot be discarded.

That is iti alone.


21st February, 1937
Talk 367.

A Marathi lady, a casual visitor then taking leave, was almost on the point of bursting into tears; she asked; I know that mukti is impossible in one life. Still may I not have peace of mind in this life?
The Master looked at her very kindly and said smiling softly: Life and all else are in Brahman alone. Brahman is here and now. Investigate.

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D.: I am practising meditation for a number of years. Yet my mind is not steady and cannot be brought to bear on meditation.

M.: Again looked steadily at her and said: "Do it now and all will be right."
Talk 368.

A young girl of 9 or 10, whose mother is a Research Scholar in Sanskrit in the University of Madras, accompanied by Mr. Maurice Frydman met Sri Bhagavan in Palakothu at about 12 noon. Sri Bhagavan, as usual with Him, kindly smiled on her. She asked Sri Bhagavan: "Why is there misery on earth?"
M.: Due to Karma.

D.: Who makes Karma bear fruits?
M.: God.

D.: God makes us do Karma and gives bad fruits for bad Karma. Is it fair?
Sri Bhagavan almost laughed and was very pleased with her. Later he was coaxing her to read something on returning to the hall. Since then He is watching her.


22nd February, 1937
Talk 369.

A Marathi gentleman and wife, past middle age, are on a visit here.

They are quiet and simple. Both of them tearfully took leave and the gentleman even sobbed out a prayer for Sri Bhagavan's Grace. Sri
Bhagavan gazed at them, with his lips parted showing the row of white teeth. His eyes also had a tear in them.

Talk 370.

Sri Bhagavan was in the cattle-shed. People were working and he watched their work for a short time. Then someone came and said that a large number of visitors were waiting in the hall. Sri
Bhagavan in His calm way said: "Yes - yes, you do your work. Let
Me go for Mine. People are waiting for Me. Let Me go." - Then he left the place.

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23rd February, 1937
Talk 371.

There was a group of three middle-aged Andhras on a visit to
Sri Bhagavan. One of them kneeled and asked: I am performing hathayoga, namely basti, dhauti, neti, etc. I find a blood vessel hardened in the ankle. Is it a result of Yoga?
M.: The blood-vessel would have hardened under any circumstances. It does not trouble you as much now as it would otherwise. Hathayoga is a cleaning process. It also helps peace of mind, after leading you to pranayama.

D.: May I do pranayama? Is it useful?
M.: Pranayama is an aid for the control of mind. Only you should not stop with pranayama. You must proceed further to pratyahara, dharana, dhyana and samadhi. Full results are reaped finally.

Another of the group asked: How are lust, anger, acquisitiveness, confusion, pride and jealousy overcome?
M.: By dhyana.

D.: What is dhyana?
M.: Dhyana is holding on to a single thought and putting off all other thoughts.

D.: What is to be meditated upon?
M.: Anything that you prefer.

D.: Siva, Vishnu, and Gayatri are said to be equally efficacious. Which should I meditate upon?
M.: Any one you like best. They are all equal in their effect. But you should stick to one.

D.: How to meditate?
M.: Concentrate on that one whom you like best. If a single thought prevails, all other thoughts are put off and finally eradicated. So long as diversity prevails there are bad thoughts. When the object of love prevails only good thoughts hold the field. Therefore hold on to one thought only. Dhyana is the chief practice.

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A little later Sri Bhagavan continued:
Dhyana means fight. As soon as you begin meditation other thoughts will crowd together, gather force and try to sink the single thought to which you try to hold. The good thought must gradually gain strength by repeated practice. After it has grown strong the other thoughts will be put to flight.

This is the battle royal always taking place in meditation.

One wants to rid oneself of misery. It requires peace of mind, which means absence of perturbation owing to all kinds of thoughts.

Peace of mind is brought about by dhyana alone.

D.: What is the need then for pranayama?
M.: Pranayama is meant for one who cannot directly control the thoughts. It serves as a brake to a car. But one should not stop with it, as I said before, but must proceed to pratyahara, dharana and dhyana. After the fruition of dhyana, the mind will come under control even in the absence of pranayama.

The asanas (postures) help pranayama, which helps dhyana in its turn, and peace of mind results. Here is the purpose of hatha yoga.

Later Sri Bhagavan continued:
When dhyana is well established it cannot be given up. It will go on automatically even when you are engaged in work, play or enjoyment. It will persist in sleep too.

Dhyana must become so deep-rooted that it will be natural to one.

D.: What rite or action is necessary for the development of dhyana?
M.: Dhyana is itself the action, the rite and the effort. It is the most intense and potent of all. No other effort is necessary.

D.: Is not japa necessary?
M.: Is dhyana not vak (speech)? Why is japa necessary for it? If dhyana is gained there is no need for anything else.

D.: Is not a vow of silence helpful?
M.: A vow is only a vow. It may help dhyana to some extent. But what is the good of keeping the mouth closed and letting the mind run riot.

If the mind be engaged in dhyana, where is the need for speech?
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Nothing is as good as dhyana. Should one take to action with a vow of silence, where is the good of the vow?
D.: What is jnana-marga?
M.: I have been saying it for so long. What is jnana? Jnana means realisation of the Truth. It is done by dhyana. Dhyana helps you to hold on to Truth to the exclusion of all thoughts.

D.: Why are there so many Gods mentioned?
M.: The body is only one. Still, how many functions are performed by it? The source of all the functions is only one. It is in the same way with the Gods also.

D.: Why does a man suffer misery?
M.: Misery is due to multifarious thoughts. If the thoughts are unified and centred on a single item there is no misery, but happiness is the result. Then, even the thought, "I do something" is absent; nor will there be an eye on the fruit of action.

Talk 372.

D.: Horripilation, sobbing voice, joyful tears, etc., are mentioned in
Atma Vidya Vilasa and other works. Are these found in samadhi, or before, or after?
M.: All these are the symptoms of exceedingly subtle modes of mind
(vrittis). Without duality they cannot remain. Samadhi is Perfect
Peace where these cannot find place. After emerging from samadhi the remembrance of the state gives rise to these symptoms.

In bhakti marga (path of devotion) these are the precursors to samadhi.

D.: Are they not so in the path of jnana?
M.: May be. There is no definiteness about it. It depends on the nature of the individual. Individuality entirely lost, these cannot find a place. Even the slightest trace of it being present, these symptoms become manifest.

Manickavachagar and other saints have spoken of these symptoms.

They say tears rush forth involuntarily and irrepressibly. Though aware of tears they are unable to repress them.

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I had the same experience when I was staying Virupaksha cave.

D.: Sleep state is said to be the experience of Bliss, yet, on recollecting it the hairs do not stand on end. Why should they do so, if the samadhi state is recollected?
M.: Samadhi means sleep in waking state (jagrat sushupti). Bliss is overpowering and the experience is very clear, whereas it is different in sleep.

D.: Can we put it that in sleep there is no unhappiness, nor happiness, i.e., the experience is negative not positive.

M.: But the recollection is positive "I slept happily," says the man.

So there must be the experience of happiness in sleep.

D.: Does Bliss consist only in the absence of unhappiness, or is it anything positive?
M.: It is positive. Loss of unhappiness and rise of happiness are simultaneous.

D.: Can it be that the recollection of happiness in sleep is not clear and so there is no horripilation, etc.?
M.: The Bliss of samadhi is a perfectly clear experience and its recollection also is similar. But the experience of sleep is otherwise.


28th February, 1937
Talk 373.

H. H. The Maharajah of Mysore had a private interview with Sri
Bhagavan in the newly built bathroom from 9-15 to 9-30 a.m. His
Highness saluted Sri Bhagavan placing his head on Sri Bhagavan's feet and said:
I have read Sri Bhagavan's life and long had a desire to meet Him, but my circumstances are such that intentions of this kind cannot easily be carried into effect. Nor can I stay here as other disciples can, considering all my limitations. While I remain here for about 15 minutes, I shall now pray only for Thy Grace.

(On departure H. H. again saluted Sri Bhagavan as before and left after presenting two fine shawls and some money to the office).

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13th March, 1937
Talk 374.

H. H. The Maharajah of Travancore had an interview from 4-30 p.m. to 5-15 p.m.

Their Highnesses The Maharajah and the Maharani of Travancore who arrived at Tiruvannamalai by the 8 a.m., train visited the Asramam at 4-15 p.m. The public were excluded from the hall where Bhagavan sat. Even devotees who were daily visiting the hall were by a sad mistake excluded from the interview. The Royal party was introduced to Sri Bhagavan by a retired
District Magistrate. Two aides-de-camp, the Private Secretary to H. H. The
Maharajah, some officials of the Travancore State and an Advocate of
Mylapore were present. The discussion started by the District Magistrate went on about manas, concentration, Realisation, purpose of creation, etc.

Her Highness put some questions expressing her doubts and they were all explained by Sri Bhagavan. H. H. The Maharajah also took part in the discussion. The whole conversation was in Tamil and Malayalam.

During the visit of the Royal Family of Travancore, Her Highness appeared very cultured, vivacious and conversant with Malayalam,
Tamil and English. Most of the questions were put by Her Highness.

One of the questions was:
D.: What is the purpose of creation?
M.: It is to give rise to this question; investigate the answer to this question, and finally abide in the supreme or rather the primal source of all, including the Self. The investigation will resolve itself into one of quest for the Self and cease only after the non-self is sifted away and the Self realised in its purity and glory.

D.: How is the investigation to start?
M.: The Self is plain to all and the starting also equally plain.

D.: What is the starting point for one in my stage of development.

M.: Each one has some method of upasana or japa. If that is pursued in all sincerity with due perseverance, it will automatically lead to the investigation of the Self.

[The writer of these notes was not present and the above was gathered from one of the attendants of Sri Maharshi.]
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21st March, 1937
Talk 375.

A middle-aged Kanarese visitor asked about akarma (actionless act).

M.: Whatever one does after the ego has vanished is akarma.

Talk 376.

A learned Telugu visitor, who had composed a song in praise of Sri
Bhagavan, read it out, placed it at His feet and saluted. After a time he asked for upadesa.

M.: The upadesa is contained in Upadesa Saram.

D.: But oral and personal instruction is valuable.

M.: If there be anything new and hitherto unknown upadesa will be appropriate. Here it happens to be stilling the mind and remaining free from thoughts.

D.: It looks impossible.

M.: But it is precisely the pristine and eternal state of all.

D.: It is not perceived in our everyday active life.

M.: Everyday life is not divorced from the Eternal State. So long as the daily life is imagined to be different from the spiritual life these difficulties arise. If the spiritual life is rightly understood, the active life will be found to be not different from it.

Can the mind be got at by the mind on looking for it as an object?
The source of the mental functions must be sought and gained.

That is the Reality.

One does not know the Self owing to the interference of thoughts.

The Self is realised when thoughts subside.

D.: "Only one in a million pursues sadhanas to completion." (Bh.

Gita, VII, 3).

M.: "Whenever the turbulent mind wavers, then and there pull it and bring it under control." (Bh. Gita, VI, 26.) "Seeing the mind with the mind" (manasa mana alokya), so proclaim the Upanishads.

D.: Is the mind an upadhi (limiting adjunct)?
M.: Yes.

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D.: Is the seen (drisya) world real (satya)?
M.: It is true in the same degree as the seer (drashta), subject, object and perception form the triad (triputi). There is a reality beyond these three. These appear and disappear, whereas the truth is eternal.

D.: These triputi sambhava are only temporal.

M.: Yes, if one recognises the Self even in temporal matters these will be found to be non-existent, rather inseparate from the Self; and they will be going on at the same time.


22nd March, 1937
Talk 377.

A middle-aged Andhra visitor: A man is said to be divine. Why then does he have regrets?
M.: Divinity refers to the essential nature. The regrets are of
Prakriti.

D.: How is one to overcome regrets?
M.: By realising the Divinity in him.

D.: How?
M.: By practice.

D.: What kind of practice?
M.: Meditation.

D.: Mind is not steady while meditating.

M.: It will be all right by practice.

D.: How is the mind to be steadied?
M.: By strengthening it.

D.: How to strengthen it?
M.: It grows strong by satsanga (the company of the wise).

D.: Shall we add prayers, etc.?
M.: Yes.

D.: What of the one who has no regrets?
M.: He is an accomplished Yogi. There is no question about him.

D.: People cite disasters, e.g., earthquakes, famines, etc., to disprove
God. How shall we meet their contention?
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M.: Wherefrom have they come - those who argue?
D.: They say, "Nature".

M.: Some call it "Nature" - others "God".

D.: Are we to keep anything against a rainy day; or to live a precarious life for spiritual attainments?
M.: God looks after everything.


27th March, 1937
Talk 378.

In a conversation with an Andhra visitor, Sri Bhagavan quoted:
Asamsayam mahabaho mano durnigraham chalam
Abhyasena tu kaunteya vairagyena cha grhyate
- Bh. Gita, Ch. VI, 35
Without doubt, O mighty-armed Hero, the mind is restless, hard to curb.

Yet by constant effort, Partha, matched with detachment - curbed it is.

To explain vairagya Sri Bhagavan again quoted:
Sankalpaprabhavan kamams tyaktva sarvan aseshatah
Manasaivendriyagramam viniyamya samantatah
- (Ch. VI, 24)
Having cast out without remains all longing born of thought for self,
Having drawn in by mind alone his team of senses from all sides As for practice (abhyasa):
Sanaissanairuparamet buddhya dhritigrhitaya
Atmasamstham manah krtva na kinchidapi chintayet
- (VI - 25)
By slow approaches let him come to rest, with patient, rock-poised Will;
His mind at home in Selfhood pure,
Let him create no thought at all.

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Again for jnana:
Yato yato nischarati manas chanchalam asthiram
Tatastato niyamyaitad atmanyeva vasam nayet
- (VI - 26)
Though over and over the fickle mind, all restlessness, a-wandering goes,
Still over and over let his regain control, and poise it back in Self.


2nd April, 1937
Talk 379.

One Tirumalpad of Nilambur, a Malayali gentleman, asked Sri Bhagavan for an explanation of Atma Vidya. (Knowledge of the Self.)
M.: Sri Bhagavan explained this short piece of 5 stanzas as follows:
Chidambaram is the famous place of pilgrimage associated with Nandanar who sang that Atma Vidya is most difficult of attainment. Muruganar (a long-standing devotee of Sri Bhagavan) began however that Atma Vidya is the easiest of attainments. Ayye atisulabham is the burden of the song.

In explanation of this extraordinary statement, he argued that Atma being the Self is eternally obvious even to the least of men. The original statement and the subsequent reasoning are incompatible because there need be no attainment if the Self is the substratum of all selves and so obvious too. Naturally he could not pursue the theme further and laid the first four lines composed by him before
Sri Bhagavan for completion.

Sri Bhagavan admitted the truth of the disciple's statement and pointed out why the Self, though obvious, is yet hidden. It is the wrong identity of the Self with the body, etc.

D.: How did the wrong identity arise?
M.: Due to thoughts. If these thoughts are put an end to, the real Self should shine forth of itself.

D.: How are these thoughts to be ended?
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M.: Find out their basis. All of them are strung on the single 'I-thought'.

Quell it; all others are quashed. Moreover there is no use knowing all except the Self. If the Self is known all others become known.

Hence is Self-Realisation the primary and sole duty of man.

D.: How to quell the 'I-thought'?
M.: If its source is sought it does not arise, and thus it is quelled.

D.: Where and how to find it?
M.: It is in fact the consciousness which enables the individuals to function in different ways. Pure Consciousness is the Self. All that is required to realise the Self is to "Be Still."
D.: What can be easier than that?
M.: So Atma Vidya is the easiest of attainment.

Talk 380.

A European gentleman asked: How do you answer the question,
"Who are you?"
M.: Ask yourself the question, "Who am I?"
D.: Please tell me how you have found it. I shall not be able to find it myself. (The 'I' is the result of biological forces. It results in silence. I want to know how the Master finds it.)
M.: Is it found only by logic? The scientific analysis is due to intellect.

D.: According to J. C. Bose, nature does not make any difference between a worm and a man.

M.: What is Nature?
D.: It is that which exists.

M.: How do you know the existence?
D.: By my senses.

M.: 'My' implies your existence. But you are speaking of another's existence. You must exist to speak of "my senses". There cannot be 'my' without 'I'.

D.: I am a poor creature. I come to ask you, Great Master that you are, what this existence is. There is no special significance in the word existence. He exists, I exist and others exist. What of that?
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M.: The existence of anyone posited, shows your own existence.

"Existence is your nature."
D.: There is nothing strange in anything existing.

M.: How do you know its existence - rather than your own existence?
D.: What is new in the existence of anything? I take up your book and read there that the one question one should ask oneself is "Who am I?" I want to know "Who are you?" I have my own answer. If another says the same, and so too, millions of others, there is the probability of the Self. I want a positive answer for the question and no playing with words.

M.: In this way you are in the region of probabilities at the best.

D.: Yes. There are no certainties. Even God cannot be proved to be absolute certainty.

M.: Leave God alone for the time being. What of yourself?
D.: I want confirmation of the Self.

M.: You seek the confirmation from others. Each one though addressed as 'you', styles himself 'I'. The confirmation is only from 'I'. There is no 'you' at all. All are comprised in 'I'. The other can be known only when the Self is posited. The others do not exist without the subject.

D.: Again, this is nothing new. When I was with Sir C. V. Raman he told me that the theory of smell could be explained from his theory of light. Smell need no longer be explained in terms of chemistry. Now, there is something new; it is progress. That is what I mean, when I say that there is nothing new in all the statements I hear now.

M.: 'I' is never new. It is eternally the same.

D.: Do you mean to say that there is no progress?
M.: Progress is perceived by the outgoing mind. Everything is still when the mind is introverted and the Self is sought.

D.: The Sciences - what becomes of them?
M.: They all end in the Self. The Self is their finality.

(It was 5 p.m. Sri Bhagavan left the hall and the gentleman left for the station).

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Talk 381.

Mr. Bose, the Bengali Engineer, asked the meaning of the last stanza of Atma Vidya (Knowledge of the Self). Sri Bhagavan explained on the following lines:
There is the world perceived, the perception is only apparent; it requires location for existence and light. Such existence and light are simultaneous with the rise of mind. So the physical existence and illumination are part of mental existence and illumination. The latter is not absolute, for the mind rises and sinks. The mind has its substratum in the Self which is self-evident, i.e. its existence and self-luminosity are obvious. That is absolute being, continuous in sleep, waking and dream states also.

The world consists of variety, which is the function of the mind.

The mind shines by reflected light - i.e. light reflected from the self.

Just as the pictures in a cinema show are seen only in diffused, i.e. artificial light, but not in a strong glare or in thick darkness, so also the world pictures are perceptible only in diffused, i.e. reflected light of the Self through the darkness of avidya (ignorance). The world cannot be seen either in pure ignorance as in sleep, or in pure light as in Self-Realisation. Avidya is the Cause of variety.

The Engineer said that he understood it only intellectually.

M.: Because intellect holds you at present, i.e. you are in the grip of intellect in the waking state when you discuss these matters.

Later it was added that Grace is needed for Realisation.

The Engineer asked how Grace has to be got.

M.: Grace is the Self. It is not manifest because of ignorance prevailing. With sraddha, it will become manifest.

Sraddha, Grace, Light, Spirit are all synonymous with the Self.


5th April, 1937
Talk 382.

A Telugu gentleman, quiet in look, but learned in philosophy, asked
Sri Bhagavan about manolaya.

Sri Bhagavan said that everything is contained in Upadesa Saram, a copy of which the man was holding in his hand.

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D.: What is mind?
M.: See what it is.

D.: It is sankalpa vikalpatmaka (made up of thoughts and their changes).

M.: Whose sankalpa (thought)?
D.: Sankalpa is the nature of the mind.

M.: Of what is the sankalpa?
D.: Of the externalities.

M.: Quite so. Is that your nature?
D.: It is of the mind.

M.: What is your nature?
D.: Suddha Chaitanya (Pure Conscious Light).

M.: Then why do you worry about sankalpa and the rest.

D.: The mind is admitted to be changing and unsteady (chanchala and asthira).

M.: It is also said in the same place that the mind is to be introverted and made to merge into the Self; that the practice must be long because it is slow; and must be continued until it is totally merged in the Self.

D.: I want prasad, i.e., Grace, for it.

M.: It is always with you. All that is required of you is not to confound yourself with the extrovert mind but to abide as the Self. That is prasad.

The gentleman saluted and retired.

Talk 383.

Swami Lokesananda, a sanyasi, asked Sri Bhagavan: Is there prarabdha for a jivanmukta?
M.: Who is the questioner? From whom does the question proceed?
Is it a jivanmukta who is asking?
D.: No, I am not a mukta as yet.

M.: Then why not let the jivanmukta ask the question for himself?
D.: The doubt is for me.

M.: Quite so. The ajnani has doubt but not a Jnani.

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D.: According to the creed that there is no creation (ajatavada), the explanations of Sri Bhagavan are faultless; but are they admissible in other schools?
M.: There are three methods of approach in Advaita vada.

(1) The ajatavada is represented by no loss, no creation, no one bound, no sadhaka, no one desirous of liberation, no liberation.

This is the Supreme Truth. (Mandukya Karika, II - 32).

According to this, there is only One and it admits of no discussion.

(2) Drishti Srishtivada is illustrated thus:- Simultaneous creation. There are two friends sleeping side by side. One of them dreams that he goes to Benares with his friend and returns. He tells his friend that both of them have been in Benares. The other denies it. That statement is true from the standpoint of one and the denial from that of the other.

(3) Srishti Drishtivada is plain (Gradual creation and knowledge of it).

Karma is posited as past karma, etc., prarabdha, agami and sanchita. There must be kartritva (doership) and karta (doer) for it. Karma (action) cannot be for the body because it is insentient.

It is only so long as dehatma buddhi ('I-am-the-body idea') lasts.

After transcending dehatma buddhi one becomes a Jnani. In the absence of that idea (buddhi) there cannot be either kartritva or karta. So a Jnani has no karma. That is his experience. Otherwise he is not a Jnani. However an ajnani identifies the Jnani with his body, which the Jnani does not do. So the ajnani finds the Jnani acting, because his body is active, and therefore he asks if the Jnani is not affected by prarabdha.

The scriptures say that jnana is the fire which burns away all karma
(sarvakarmani). Sarva (all) is interpreted in two ways: (1) to include prarabdha and (2) to exclude it. In the first way: if a man with three wives dies, it is asked. "can two of them be called widows and the third not?" All are widows. So it is with prarabdha, agami and sanchita.

When there is no karta none of them can hold out any longer.

The second explanation is, however, given only to satisfy the enquirer. It is said that all karma is burnt away leaving prarabdha alone. The body is said to continue in the functions for which it
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There is no body or karma apart from the Self, so that the actions do not affect him.

D.: Is there no dehatma buddhi (I-am-the-body idea) for the Jnani?
If, for instance, Sri Bhagavan be bitten by an insect, is there no sensation?
M.: There is the sensation and there is also the dehatma buddhi. The latter is common to both Jnani and ajnani with this difference, that the ajnani thinks dehaiva Atma (only the body is myself), whereas the Jnani knows all is of the Self (Atmamayam sarvam), or (sarvam khalvidam Brahma) all this is Brahma. If there be pain let it be. It is also part of the Self. The Self is poorna (perfect).

Now with regard to the actions of the Jnani, they are only so-called because they are ineffective. Generally the actions get embedded as samskaras in the individual. That can be only so long as the mind is fertile, as in the case of the ajnani. With a Jnani the mind is surmised; he has already transcended the mind. Because of his apparent activity the mind has to be inferred in his case, and that mind is not fertile like that of an ajnani. Hence it is said that a jnani's mind is Brahman. Brahman is certainly no other than the jnani's mind. The vasanas cannot bear fruit in that soil. His mind is barren, free from vasanas, etc.

However, since prarabdha was conceded in his case, vasanas also must be supposed to exist. If they exist they are only for enjoyment
(bhogahetu). That is to say, actions bear twofold fruits, the one for enjoyment of their fruits and the other leaving an impress on the mind in the form of samskaras for subsequent manifestation in future births. The jnani's mind being barren cannot entertain seeds of karma. His vasanas simply exhaust themselves by activities ending in enjoyment only (bhogahetuka karma). In fact, his karma is seen only from the ajnani's standpoint. He remains actionless only. He is not aware of the body as being apart from the Self. How can there be liberation (mukti) or bondage (bandha) for him? He is beyond both. He is not bound by karma, either now or ever. There is no jivanmukta or videhamukta according to him.

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D.: From all this it looks as if a Jnani who has scorched all the vasanas is the best and that he would remain inactive like a stock or stone.

M.: No, not necessarily. Vasanas do not affect him. Is it not itself a vasana that one remains like a stock or stone? Sahaja is the state.

Talk 384.

The conversation turned on vasanas. Sri Bhagavan said that good tendencies and bad ones (suvasana and kuvasana) are concomitant
- the one cannot exist without the other. Maybe that the one class predominates. Good tendencies (suvasana) are cultivated and they must also be finally destroyed by jnana.

A young prodigy was mentioned. Sri Bhagavan remarked that latent impressions of previous births (purva janma samskara) were strong in him.

D.: How does it manifest as the ability to cite well-known saints? Is it vasana in the form of a seed only?
M.: Yes. Predisposition (samskara) is acquired knowledge and kept in stock. It manifests under favourable circumstances. One with strong samskara understands the thing when presented to him much quicker than another with no samskara or weak samskara.

D.: Does it hold good with inventors also?
M.: "There is nothing new under the sun." What we call inventions or discoveries are merely rediscoveries by competent men with strong samskara in the directions under consideration.

D.: Is it so with Newton, Einstein, etc.?
M.: Yes. Certainly. But the samskaras, however strong, will not manifest unless in a calm and still mind. It is within the experience of everyone that his attempts to rake up his memory fail, whereas something flashes in the mind when he is calm and quiet. Mental quiet is necessary even for remembrance of forgotten things.

The so-called genius is one who worked hard in his past births and acquired knowledge and kept it in store as samskaras. He now concentrates his mind until it merges in the subject. In that stillness the submerged ideas flash out. That requires favourable conditions also.

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6th April, 1937
Talk 385.

Mr. Vankata Rao, an Andhra gentleman, in the course of conversation with Sri Bhagavan, was told:
"Until you gain jnana you cannot understand the state of a Jnani.

There is no use asking about the work of Isvara and the rest. Some ask why Siva went naked in Daruka forest and spoiled the chastity of the rishi's wives.

The puranas which record this incident have also said that Siva had previously saved the Devas and the universe by consuming the poison halahala at the time of churning the ocean of milk. He, who could save the world from the deadly poison and lead the sages to emancipation, had also wandered nude amongst their women. Their actions are incomprehensible to ordinary intellects. One must be a
Jnani to understand a Jnani or Isvara."
D.: Should we not learn the jnani's ways and imitate them?
M.: It is no use. Vasanas are of four kinds:
(1) Pure (Suddha), (2) Impure (malina), (3) Mixed (madhya) and (4)
Good (Sat), according as the jnanis are the Supreme (varishta), the best (variya), better (vara), and good (vit). Their fruits are reaped in three ways: (1) of our own will (swechha), and by others' will
(parechha) and involuntarily (anichha). There have been jnanis like Gautama, Vyasa, Suka and Janaka.

D.: Was Vyasa also a Jnani?
M.: Yes. Certainly.

D.: Why then did the bathing angels don clothes when he appeared before them, but not when Suka passed?
M.: That same Vyasa sent Suka to Janaka for instruction; Suka was tested by Janaka and finally he returned convinced of Vyasa's greatness.

D.: Is jnana the same as arudha?
M.: So it is.

D.: What is the relation between bhakti and jnana?
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M.: Eternal, unbroken, natural state is jnana. Does it not imply love of Self? Is it not bhakti?
D.: Idol worship does not seem good. They worship the formless
God in Islam.

M.: What is their conception of God?
D.: As Immanence, etc.

M.: Is not God even then endowed with attributes? Form is only one kind of attribute. One cannot worship God without some notions.

Any bhavana premises a God with attributes (saguna). Moreover, where is the use of discussing the form or formlessness of God?
Find out if you have a form. You can then understand God.

D.: I admit I have no form.

M.: All right. You have no form in sleep, but in the waking state you identify yourself with a form. See which is your real state. That is understood to be without form on investigation. If you know your
Self to be formless by your jnana, should you not concede the same amount of jnana to God and understand Him to be formless?
D.: But there is the world for God.

M.: How does the world appear? How are we? Knowing this, you know God. You will know if He is Siva, or Vishnu or any other or all put together.

D.: Is Vaikuntha in Paramapada, i.e., in the transcendent Self?
M.: Where is Paramapada or Vaikuntha unless in you?
D.: Vaikuntha, etc., appear involuntarily.

M.: Does this world appear voluntarily?
The questioner returned no answer.

M.: The self-evident 'I', ignoring the Self, goes about seeking to know the non-Self. How absurd!
D.: This is Samkhya Yoga. Being the culmination of all kinds of other yogas, how can it be understood to start with? Is not bhakti antecedent to it?
M.: Has not Sri Krishna started the Gita with Sankhya?
D.: Yes. I understand it now.

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Talk 386.

D.: In Sri Ramakrishna's Life it is said that an idol, Ramlal was animate. Is it true?
M.: Can you account for the animation of this body? Is the movement of the idol more mysterious than the movement of this body?
D.: Metal does not move itself.

M.: Is not the body a corpse? You will probably consider it a mystery if the corpse moves. Is that so?
Talk 387.

Three persons came on a short visit; the eldest of them asked: There is one process of creation mentioned in the Upanishads and another in Puranas. Which of them is true?
M.: They are many, and meant to indicate that the creation has a cause and a creator should be posited so that one might seek the cause. The emphasis is on the purpose of the theory and not on the process of creation. Moreover, the creation is perceived by someone. There are no objects without the subject, i.e., the objects do not come and tell you that they are, but it is you who says that there are the objects.

The objects are therefore what the seer makes of them. They have no existence independent of the subject. Find out what you are and then you understand what the world is. That is the object of the theory.

D.: The soul is only a small particle whereas the creation is so huge.

How can we surmise it?
M.: The particle speaks of the huge creation; where is the contradiction?
Talk 388.

Later Sri Bhagavan continued:
There are so many theories, scriptural and scientific. Have they reached any finality? They cannot. Brahman is said to be subtler than the subtlest, wider than the widest. Anu is an atom, infinitesimal. It ends in subtle perception. The subtlety is of the sukshma body, i.e., the mind. Beyond the mind there is the Self. The greatest of things are also conceptions, the conceptions are of the mind; beyond the mind there is the Self. So the Self is subtler than the subtlest.

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There may be any number of theories of creation. All of them extend outwardly. There will be no limit to them because time and space are unlimited. They are however only in the mind. See the mind; time and space are transcended and the Self is realised.

Creation is explained scientifically or logically to one's own satisfaction. But is there any finality about it? Such explanations are called krama srishti (gradual creation).

On the other hand, drishti srishti (simultaneous or sudden creation) is yugapad srishti. Without the seer there are no objects seen. Find the seer and the creation is comprised in him. Why look outward and go on explaining the phenomena which are endless?
Talk 389.

With regard to presents to Sri Bhagavan, He observed: Why do they bring presents? Do I want them? Even if I refuse they thrust presents on me. What for? If I accept them I must yield to their wishes. It is like giving a bait to catch the fish. Is the angler anxious to feed the fish? No, he is anxious to feed on the fish.

Swami Lokesananda, a sannyasi: What is meant by jnana and vijnana?
M.: These words may mean differently according to the context.

Jnana = samanya jnana or Pure consciousness. Vijnana = Visesha jnana. Visesha may be (1) worldly (relative knowledge); and (2) transcendental (Self-Realisation).

Mind is necessary for visesha; it modifies the purity of absolute consciousness. So vijnana represents intellect and the sheath composing it, i.e., relative knowledge. In that case jnana is common
(samanya) running through vijnana samjnana, prajnana, ajnana, mati, dhirti - different modes of knowledge (vide: Aitareyopanishad,
Chapter 3) or jnana is paroksha (hearsay) and vijnana is aparokska
(direct perception) as in jnana vijnana triptatma, one perfectly content with jnana and vijnana.

D.: What is the relation between Brahman and Isvara?
M.: Brahman is called Isvara in relation to the world.

D.: Is it possible to speak to Isvara as Sri Ramakrishna did?
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M.: When we can speak to each other why should we not speak to
Isvara in the same way?
D.: Then why does it not happen with us?
M.: It requires purity and strength of mind and practice in meditation.

D.: Does God become evident if the above conditions exist?
M.: Such manifestations are as real as your own reality. In other words, when you identify yourself with the body as in jagrat you see gross objects; when in subtle body or in mental plane as in svapna, you see objects equally subtle; in the absence of identification as in sushupti you see nothing. The objects seen bear a relation to the state of the seer. The same applies to visions of God.

By long practice the figure of God, as meditated upon, appears in dream and may later appear in jagrat also.

D.: Is that the state of God-realisation?
M.: Listen to what happened once, years ago.

There was a saint by name Namdev. He could see, talk and play with Vithoba as we do with one another. He used to spend most of his time in the temple playing with Vithoba.

On one occasion the saints had assembled together, among whom was one Jnandev of well-established fame and eminence. Jnandev asked
Gora Kumbhar (a potter-saint) to use his proficiency in testing the soundness of baked pots and find out which of the assembled saints was properly baked clay. So Gora Kumbhar took his stick and gently struck each one's head in joke as if to test. When he came to Namdev the latter protested in a huff; all laughed and hooted. Namdev was enraged and he sought Vithoba in the temple. Vithoba said that the saints knew best; this unexpected reply upset Namdev all the more.

He said: You are God. I converse and play with you. Can there be anything more to be gained by man?
Vithoba persisted: The saints know.

Namdev: Tell me if there is anything more real than you.

Vithoba: We have been so familiar with each other that my advice will not have the desired effect on you. Seek the beggar-saint in the forest and know the truth.

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Accordingly Namdev sought out the particular saint mentioned by Vithoba. Namdev was not impressed with the holiness of the man for he was nude, dirty and was lying on the floor with his feet resting on a linga.

Namdev wondered how this could be a saint. The saint, on the other hand, smiled on Namdev and asked, "Did Vithoba send you here?" This was a great surprise to Namdev who was now more inclined to believe the man to be great.

So Namdev asked him: "You are said to be a saint, why do you desecrate the linga?" The saint replied. "Indeed I am too old and weak to do the right thing. Please lift my feet and place them where there is no linga." Namdev accordingly lifted the saint's feet and placed them elsewhere. But there was again a linga below them.

Wherever the feet were placed then and there appeared a linga underneath. Namdev finally placed the feet on himself and he turned into a linga. Then Namdev understood that God was immanent and learnt the truth and departed. He went home and did not go to the temple for several days. Vithoba now sought him out in his home and asked why Namdev would not go to the temple to see God.

Namdev said: "Is there a place where He is not?"
The moral of the story is clear. Visions of God have their place below the plane of Self-Realisation.

Talk 390.

D.: When I read Sri Bhagavan's works I find that investigation is said to be the one method for Realisation.

M.: Yes, that is vichara.

D.: How is that to be done?
M.: The questioner must admit the existence of his self. "I AM" is the
Realisation. To pursue the clue till Realisation is vichara. Vichara and Realisation are the same.

D.: It is elusive. What shall I meditate upon?
M.: Meditation requires an object to meditate upon, whereas there is only the subject without the object in vichara. Meditation differs from vichara in this way.

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D.: Is not dhyana one of the efficient processes for Realisation?
M.: Dhyana is concentration on an object. It fulfils the purpose of keeping away diverse thoughts and fixing the mind on a single thought, which must also disappear before Realisation. But Realisation is nothing new to be acquired. It is already there, but obstructed by a screen of thoughts.

All our attempts are directed for lifting this screen and then
Realisation is revealed.

If a true seeker is advised to meditate, many may go away satisfied with the advice. But someone among them may turn round and ask,
"Who am I to meditate on an object?" Such a one must be told to find the Self. That is the finality. That is Vichara.

D.: Will vichara alone do in the absence of meditation?
M.: Vichara is the process and the goal also. 'I AM' is the goal and the final Reality. To hold to it with effort is vichara. When spontaneous and natural it is Realisation.

Talk 391.

The same sannyasi visitor, Swami Lokesananda, asked about samadhi.

M.: (1) Holding on to Reality is samadhi.

(2) Holding on to Reality with effort is savikalpa samadhi.

(3) Merging in Reality and remaining unaware of the world is nirvikalpa samadhi.1
(4) Merging in Ignorance and remaining unaware of the world is sleep. (Head bends but not in samadhi).

(5) Remaining in the primal, pure natural state without effort is sahaja nirvikalpa samadhi.

D.: It is said that one remaining in nirvikalpa samadhi for 21 days must necessarily give up the physical body.

M.: Samadhi means passing beyond dehatma buddhi (I-am-the-body idea) and non-identification of the body with the Self is a foregone conclusion.

There are said to be persons who have been immersed in nirvikalpa samadhi for a thousand years or more.

1. See table on next page
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373

All these four kinds of savikalpa samadhi are attended with effort

There are all manner of thoughts which rise up from the Reality within and manifest themselves.

Hold on to that Reality.


Merging in the Inmost Being which is the One Reality giving rise to all thoughts, etc., and remaining unaware of anything else.


(Antar)
Internal

When these kinds of nirvikalpa samadhi are not attended with effort and it is realised that the waveless ocean of external samadhi and the steady flame of internal samadhi are identical, the state is said to be

This state is compared This state is compared to the waveless ocean to a flame unagitated by whose waters are still and currents of air, but burning quite steady

Merging in the one
Reality underlying all the phenomena and remaining unaware of the transitory

The mind is afflicted by
Kama, Krodha, etc. See wherefrom they arise and how they have their being.

Hold on to their source.


(Drisyanuvidha)
The mind jumps from one object to another. Keep it steady, fixed on the
Reality behind them

(Sabdanuvidha)
There are the external phenomena which are said to have their origin from the Single Reality. Search for It and hold on to it.


(Bahya)
External

(Antar)
Internal

NIRVIKALPA SAMADHI

(Bahya)
External

SAVIKALPA SAMADHI

They can be further subdivided thus:

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Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi
Talk 392.

(Swami Lokesananda continued another series of questions).

D.: They say that Kundalini must be roused before Realisation and that its awakening makes the body feel hot. Is that so?
M.: The yogis call it Kundalini Sakti. It is the same as vritti 1 of the form of God (Bhagavatakara vritti) of the bhaktas and vritti of the form of Brahman (Brahmakara vritti) of the jnanis. It must be preliminary to Realisation. The sensation produced may be said to be hot.

D.: Kundalini is said to be of the shape of a serpent but vrittis cannot be so.

M.: The Kundalini of jnana marga is said to be the Heart, which is also described in various ways as a network of nadis, of the shape of a serpent, of a lotus bud, etc.

D.: Is this Heart the same as the physiological heart?
M.: No, Sri Ramana Gita defines it as the origin of the 'I-thought'.

D.: But I read that it is on the right of the chest.

M.: It is all meant to help the bhavana (imagery). There are books dealing with six centres (shadchakra) and many other lakshyas
(centres), internal and external. The description of the Heart is one among so many lakshyas. But it is not necessary. It is only the source of the 'I-thought'. That is the ultimate truth.

D.: May we take it to be the source of the antahkaranas?
M.: The inner organs (antakaranas) are classified as five: (1)
Knowledge - Jnana; (2) Mind - Manas; (3) Intellect - Buddhi; (4)
Memory - Chitta; and (5) The ego - Ahankara; some say only the latter four; others say only two, namely (1) Manas, mind and (2)
Ahankara, the ego; still others say the Antahkarana is only one whose different functions make it appear differently and hence its different names. Heart is thus the source of the Antahkaranas.

There is the body which is insentient; there is the Self which is eternal and self-luminous; in between the two there has arisen a phenomenon, namely the ego, which goes under these different names, mind
(manas), intellect (buddhi), memory (chitta), the ego (ahankara),
1. vritti = mode of mind
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Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi power (sakti), life current (prana), etc. Seek your source; the search takes you to the Heart automatically. The antahkaranas are only ideas (kalpana) to explain the subtle body (sukshma sarira). The physical body (sarira) is made up of the elements: earth, air, fire, water and ether; it is insentient. The Self is pure and self-luminous and thus self-evident. The relation between the two is sought to be established by positing a subtle body, composed of the subtle aspects of the five elements on the one hand, and the reflected light of the Self on the other. In this way the subtle body which is synonymous with the mind, is both sentient and insentient, i.e., abhasa. Again, by the play of the pure quality (satva guna) on the elements, their brightness (satva aspect) manifests as the mind
(manas), and the senses (jnanendriyas); by the play of rajas (active quality), the raja (active) aspect manifests as life (prana) and limbs
(karmendriyas); by the play of dullness (tamas) the tama (dark) aspect manifests as the gross phenomena of the body, etc.

D.: But the mind is reputed to have these three qualities also.

M.: Yes. There is purity (satva) in satva (in the pure quality); activity in it (rajas in satva); and dullness also (tamas in satva); and so on,
Suddha satva is quite pure; misra (mixed satva) is a combination of satva with other qualities. The quality satva implies only its predominance over the other two qualities.

Later Sri Bhagavan continued: The intricate maze of philosophy of different schools is said to clarify matters and reveal the Truth.

But in fact they create confusion where no confusion need exist.

To understand anything there must be the Self. The Self is obvious.

Why not remain as the Self? What need to explain the non-self?
Take the Vedanta for instance: They say there are fifteen kinds of prana.

The student is made to commit the names to memory and also their functions. The air goes up and is called prana; goes down and is called apana; operates the indriyas and is called something. Why all this?
Why do you classify, give names and enumerate the functions, and so on? Is it not enough to know that one prana does the whole work?
The antahkarana thinks, desires, wills, reasons, etc., and each function is attributed to one name such as mind, intellect, etc. Has anyone seen the pranas or the antahkaranas? Have they any real
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Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi existence? They are mere conceptions. When and where will such conceptions end?
Consider the following: A man sleeps. He says on waking that he slept. The question is asked: 'Why does he not say in his sleep that he is sleeping?' The answer is given that he is sunk in the Self and cannot speak, like a man who has dived in water to bring out something from the bottom. The diver cannot speak under water; when he has actually recovered the articles he comes out and speaks. Well, what is the explanation?
Being in water, water will flow into his mouth if he were to open the mouth for speaking. Is it not simple? But the philosopher is not content with this simple fact. He explains, saying that fire is the deity presiding over speech; that it is inimical to water and therefore cannot function! This is called philosophy and the learners are struggling to learn all this! Is it not a sheer waste of time? Again the
Gods are said to preside over the limbs and senses of the individual
(vyashti). They are the limbs and senses of Virat (samashti). So they go on explaining Hiranyagarbha, etc. Why should confusion be created and then explained away? Ah! Fortunate is the man who does not involve himself in this maze!
I was indeed fortunate that I never took to it. Had I taken to it,
I would probably be nowhere - always in confusion. My purva vasanas (former tendencies) directly took me to the enquiry "Who am I?" It was indeed fortunate!

11th April, 1937
Talk 393.

D.: There is a short account of the spiritual experiences of St. Theresa, in the March number of the Prabuddha Bharata. She was devoted to a figure of the Madonna which became animated to her sight, and she was in bliss. Is it the same as Saktipata?
M.: The animated figure indicates depth of meditation (dhyana bala).

Saktipata prepares the mind for introversion. There is a process of concentration of mind on one's own shadow which in due course becomes animated and answers questions put to it. That is due to strength of mind or depth of meditation. Whatever is external is also
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Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi transitory. Such phenomena may produce joy for the time being.

But abiding peace, i.e., santi, does not result. This is got only by the removal of avidya (ignorance).

Talk 394.

D.: How is the mind to be stilled?
M.: Looking at the mind with the mind, or fixing the mind in the Self, brings the mind under control of the Self.

D.: Is there any yoga, i.e., a process for it?
M.: Vichara (investigation) alone will do.

Talk 395.

D.: How is Poorna Brahman to be attained? What is the method best suited to a grihasta?
M.: You have already said poorna, i.e., perfection. Are you apart from
Poorna? If apart from it, will it be poorna? If not apart how does the question arise? The knowledge that Brahman is poorna and that you are not apart from the same is the finality. See it and you will find that you are not a grihasta or any limited being.

D.: What are the tatvas?
M.: Knowledge of poorna Brahman will elucidate the other matters automatically.


12th April, 1937
Talk 396.

A Dutch lady, Mrs. Gongrijp, an ardent theosophist, who had worked long in Java and is now living in Adyar, came here for a short visit.

She asked: Theosophy speaks of tanha, meaning thirst for rebirth.

What is its cause?
M.: Thirst for rebirth is the desire to be reborn so as to end successive births. The spirit is at present moribund; it must be revived so that rebirth may take place after the present apparent death. Forgetfulness of your real nature is the present death; remembrance of it is the rebirth. It puts an end to successive births. Yours is eternal life.

D.: I take tanha to mean 'clinging to life' - the desire for eternal life.

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M.: No doubt it is so. How does the desire arise? Because the present state is unbearable. Why? Because it is not your true nature. Had it been your real nature no desire would disturb you. How does the present state differ from your real nature? You are spirit in truth.

However that spirit is wrongly identifying itself with the gross body. The body has been projected by the mind; the mind itself has originated from the spirit. If the wrong identification ceases, there will be peace and permanent untellable bliss.

D.: Life is of the body and rebirth is to incarnate in another body.

M.: Mere change of body produces no effect. The ego associated with this body is transferred to another body. How can that satisfy anyone?
Moreover, what is life? Life is existence which is your Self. That is life Eternal. Otherwise can you imagine a time when you are not?
That life is now conditioned by the body and you wrongly identify your being with that of the body. You are life unconditioned. These bodies attach themselves to you as mental projections and you are now afflicted by 'I-am-the-body' idea. If this idea ceases you are your Self.

Where or how were you before being born? Were you in sleep?
How were you? You exist then too without the body. Then the ego arises, and then the mind which projects the body. 'I-amthe-body' idea is the result. Because the body exists you say that it was born and that it will die, and transfer the idea to the Self saying that you are born and that you will die. In fact you remain without the body in sleep; but now you remain with the body.

The Self can remain without the body, but the body cannot exist apart from the Self.

'I-am-the-body' thought is ignorance; that the body is not apart from the Self is knowledge. That is the difference between knowledge and ignorance.

The body is a mental projection, the mind is the ego; and the ego rises from the Self. So the body-thought is distracting and strays away from the Self. For whom is the body or the birth? It is not for the Self, the Spirit. It is for the non-self which imagines itself
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Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi separate. So long as there is the sense of separation there will be afflicting thoughts. If the original source is regained and the sense of separation is put an end to, there is peace.

Consider what happens when a stone is thrown up. It leaves its source and is projected up, tries to come down and is always in motion until it regains its source, where it is at rest. So also the waters of the ocean evaporate, form clouds which are moved by winds, condense into water, fall as rain and the waters roll down the hill in streams and rivers, until they reach their original source, the ocean, reaching which they are at peace. Thus, you see, wherever there is a sense of separateness from the source there is agitation and movement until the sense of separateness is lost. So it is with yourself. Now that you identify yourself with the body you think that you are separate from the Spirit - the true
Self. You must regain your source before the false identity ceases and you are happy.

Gold is not an ornament, but the ornament is nothing but gold.

Whatever shape the ornament may assume and however different the ornaments are, there is only one reality, namely gold. So also with the bodies and the Self. The single reality is the Self. To identify oneself with the body and yet to seek happiness is like attempting to cross a river on the back of an alligator. The body identity is due to extroversion and the wandering of the mind. To continue in that state will only keep one in an endless tangle and there will be no peace.

Seek your source, merge in the Self and remain all alone.

Rebirth means discontent with the present state, and desire to be born where there will be no discontent. Births, being of the body, cannot affect the Self. The Self remains over even after the body perishes. The discontent is due to the wrong identity of the Eternal Self with the perishable body. The body is a necessary adjunct of the ego. If the ego is killed the eternal Self is revealed in all its glory.

The body is the Cross. Jesus, the son of man, is the ego or 'I am-the-body' idea. When he is crucified, he is resurrected as the Glorious Self - Jesus, the Son of God! - "Give up this life if thou wouldst live"
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Talk 397.

D.: Fear is consequent on the possibility of non-existence. It pertains to the body. One is not aware of the body in sleep. One is not afraid of, but courts sleep, whereas one dreads death. Why is this difference between the two outlooks?
M.: Desire of sleep or fear of death are when the mind is active and not in the respective states themselves. The mind knows that the body entity persists and reappears after sleep. Therefore sleep is not attended with fear but the pleasure of non-bodily existence is sought. Whereas the mind is not sure of reappearance after the so-called death and dreads it.


14th April, 1937
Talk 398.

Dandapani, a resident devotee now on a North Indian tour, sent an extract from the Modern Psychological Review which stated that the dynamic centre of the Heart is on the right and not on the left whereas the physical organ is on the left.

Conversation followed on that subject.

M.: The yoga marga speaks of the six centres each of which must be reached by practice and transcended until one reaches sahasrara where nectar is found and thus immortality. The yogis say that one enters into the paranadi which starts from the sacral plexus whereas the jnanis say that the same nadi starts from the heart. Reconciliation between the seeming]y contradictory statements is effected in the secret doctrine which distinctly states the yogic paranadi is from muladhara and the jnana paranadi is from the Heart. The truth is that the paranadi should be entered. By yogic practice one goes down, then rises up, wanders all through until the goal is reached; by jnana abhyas one settles down directly in the centre.

D.: Is not para followed by pasyanti, etc.?
M.: You are speaking of vak which is divided into (1) para, (2) pasyanti,
(3) madhyama and (4) vaikhari; Vak is prana sakti whereas the mind is tejorupa or chit sakti. The sakti is the manifestation of the unmanifest origin.

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The Yogis attach the highest importance to going up to sahasrara i.e., the brain centre or the thousand-petalled-lotus. Some yogis say that there are other centres higher up with greater involutions e.g.,
100,000 (100) petalled or 100,000,000 (108) petalled ones. Let us omit them for the present. They point out the scriptural statement that the life-current enters the body through the fontanelle and argue that, viyoga (separation) having come about that way, yoga
(union) must also be effected in the reverse way. Therefore we must by yoga practice, gather up the pranas and enter the fontanelle for the consummation of yoga. The jnanis point out that the yogi assumes the existence of the body, its separateness from the Self, and therefore advises effort for reunion by the practice of yoga.

In fact, the body is in the mind which has the brain for its seat, which again functions by light borrowed from another source as admitted by the yogis themselves in their fontanelle theory.

The Jnani further argues: if the light is borrowed it must come from its native source. Go to the source direct and do not depend on borrowed resources. Just as an iron ball comes into being separate from the mass of iron, gets fiery, in fire, later cools down giving up the fire, but must again be made fiery to reunite with the original mass, so also the cause of separation must also form the factor of reunion.

Again if there is an image reflected there must be a source and also accessories like the Sun and a pot of water for reflection. To do away with the reflection either the surface is covered up corresponding to reaching the fontanelle according to the yogis or the water is drained away which is called tapas (Tapo Brahmeti - tapas is Brahman).

That is to say, the thoughts or the brain activities are made to cease.

This is jnana-marga.

All these are however on the assumption that the jiva is separate from the Self or Brahman. But are we separate? "No", says the
Jnani. The ego is simply wrong identity of the Self with the non-self, as in the case of a colourless crystal and its coloured background. The crystal though colourless appears red because of its background. If the background is removed the crystal shines in its original purity. So it is with the Self and the antahkaranas.

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Still again the illustration is not quite appropriate. For the ego has its source from the Self and is not separate like the background from the crystal. Having its source from the Self, the ego must only be retraced in order that it might merge in its source.

The centre of the ego and its core is called the Heart, the same as the Self.

A gentleman asked if the yogis also reach the anahata and thus realise the Heart-centre as is done by the jnanis but in a different way.

M.: Anahata is not the same as the Heart-centre. If so, why should they wander further on to Sahasrara? Moreover, the question arises because of the sense of separateness persisting in us. We are never away from the Heart-centre. Before reaching anahata or after passing it, one is only in the centre. Whether one understands it or not, one is not away from the centre. Practice of yoga or vichara is done, always remaining in the centre only.

D.: What is to be our sadhana?
M.: Sadhana for the sadhaka is the sahaja of the siddha. Sahaja is the original state, so that sadhana amounts to the removal of the obstacles to the realisation of this abiding truth.

D.: Is concentration of mind one of the sadhanas?
M.: Concentration is not thinking one thing. It is, on the other hand, putting off all other thoughts which obstruct the vision of our true nature. All our efforts are only directed to lifting the veil of ignorance. Now it appears difficult to quell the thoughts. In the regenerate state it will be found more difficult to call in thoughts.

For are there things to think of? There is only the Self. Thoughts can function only if there are objects. But there are no objects. How can thoughts arise at all?
The habit makes us believe that it is difficult to cease thinking. If the error is found out, one would not be fool enough to exert oneself unnecessarily by way of thinking.

D.: Is not grace more effective than abhyasa?
M.: Guru simply helps you in the eradication of ignorance. Does he hand over Realisation to you?
D.: We are ignorant.

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M.: Inasmuch as you say you are ignorant, you are wise. Is he a madman who says that he is mad? Guru's Grace is like a hand extended to help you out of water, or it makes your way easier for the removal of ignorance.

D.: Is it not like a medicine to cure the disease of avidya?
M.: What is medicine for? It is only to restore the patient to the original state of health. What is this talk of Guru. Grace, God, etc.? Does the Guru hold you by the hand and whisper something in your ear? You imagine him to be like yourself. Because you are with a body you think that he is also a body in order to do something tangible to you. His work lies within. How is Guru gained? God, who is immanent, in his Grace takes pity on the loving devotee and manifests Himself as a being according to the devotee's standard.

The devotee thinks that he is a man and expects relationship as between bodies. But the Guru, who is God or Self incarnate, works from within, helps the man to see the error of his ways, guides him in the right path until he realises the Self within.

After such realisation the disciple feels, "I was so worried before. I am after all the Self, the same as before but not affected by anything; where is he who was miserable? He is nowhere to be seen."
What should we do now? Only act up to the words of the master, work within. The Guru is both within and without. So he creates conditions to drive you inward and prepares the interior to drag you to the centre. Thus he gives a push from without and exerts a pull from within so that you may be fixed at the centre.

In sleep you are centred within. Simultaneously with waking your mind rushes out, thinking this, that and all else. This must be checked. It is possible only for the agent who can work both within and without. Can he be identified with a body? We think that the world can be conquered by our efforts. When frustrated externally and driven internally, we feel "Oh! oh! There is a power higher than man." The existence of the higher power must be admitted and recognised. The ego is a very powerful elephant and cannot be brought under control by anyone less than a lion, who is no other than the Guru in this instance; whose very look makes the elephant tremble and die. We will know in due course that our
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Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi glory lies where we cease to exist. In order to gain that state, one should surrender oneself saying "LORD! Thou art my Refuge!" The master then sees "This man is in a fit state to receive guidance," and so guides him.

D.: What is Self-surrender?
M.: It is the same as self-control; control is effected by removal of samskaras which imply the functioning of the ego. The ego submits only when it recognises the Higher Power. Such recognition is surrender or submission, or self-control. Otherwise the ego remains stuck up like the image carved on a tower, making a pretence by its strained look and posture that it is supporting the tower on its shoulders. The ego cannot exist without the Power but thinks that it acts of its own accord.

D.: How can the rebellious mind be brought under control?
M.: Either seek its source so that it may disappear or surrender that it may be struck down.

D.: But the mind slips away from our control.

M.: Be it so. Do not think of it. When you recollect yourself bring it back and turn it inward. That is enough.

No one succeeds without effort. Mind control is not one's birthright.

The successful few owe their success to their perseverance.

A passenger in a train keeps his load on the head by his own folly.

Let him put it down: he will find the load reaches the destination all the same. Similarly, let us not pose as the doers, but resign ourselves to the guiding Power.

D.: Swami Vivekananda says that a spiritual Guru can transfer spirituality substantially to the disciple.

M.: Is there a substance to be transferred? Transfer means eradication of the sense of being the disciple. The master does it. Not that the man was something at one time and metamorphosed later into another.

D.: Is not Grace the gift of the Guru?
M.: God, Grace and Guru are all synonymous and also eternal and immanent. Is not the Self already within? Is it for the Guru to bestow
It by his look? If a Guru thinks so, he does not deserve the name.

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Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi
The books say that there are so many kinds of diksha (initiations
- hasta diksha, sparsa diksha, chakshu diksha, mano diksha, etc.)
They also say that the Guru makes some rites with fire, water, japa, mantras, etc., and call such fantastic performances dikshas, as if the disciple (sishya) becomes ripe only after such processes are gone through by the Guru.

If the individual is sought he is nowhere to be found. Such is the
Guru. Such is Dakshinamurti. What did he do? He was silent; the disciples appeared before him. He maintained silence, the doubts of the disciples were dispelled, which means that they lost their individual identities. That is jnana and not all the verbiage usually associated with it.

Silence is the most potent form of work. However vast and emphatic the sastras may be, they fail in their effect. The Guru is quiet and peace prevails in all. His silence is more vast and more emphatic than all the sastras put together. These questions arise because of the feeling, that having been here so long, heard so much, exerted so hard, one has not gained anything. The work proceeding within is not apparent. In fact the Guru is always within you.

Thayumanavar says: "Oh Lord! Coming with me all along the births, never abandoning me and finally rescuing me!" Such is the experience of Realisation.

Srimad Bhagavad Gita says the same in a different way, "We two are not only now but have ever been so."
D.: Does not the Guru take a concrete form?
M.: What is meant by concrete? Because you identify your being with your body, you raise this question. Find out if you are the body.

The Gita says: param bhavam ajanantah (Bh. Gita IX - II) - that those who cannot understand the transcendental nature (of Sri
Krishna) are fools, deluded by ignorance.

The master appears to dispel that ignorance. As Thayumanavar puts it, he appears as a man to dispel the ignorance of a man, just as a deer is used as a decoy to capture the wild deer. He has to appear with a body in order to eradicate our ignorant "I-am-the-body" idea.

385


Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi

15th April, l937
Talk 399.

Mr. Bose, the Bengali Engineer, has since read Gaudapada Karikas and Sir S. Radhakrishnan's Indian Philosophy and so asked questions as follows:
D.: Is there any genuine difference between dream experience and waking state?
M.: Because you find the dream creations transitory in relation to the waking state there is said to be a difference. The difference is only apparent and not real.

D.: Is the waking state independent of existing objects?
M.: Were it so, the objects must exist without the seer; that is to say, the object must tell you that it exists. Does it do so? For example, does a cow moving in front of you say that she is moving? Or do you say of your own accord "There is a cow moving"? The objects exist because of the seer cognising them.

D.: Gaudapada in Mandukya Karikas says that there is no difference between the two states from the standpoint of Reality-Absolute.

M.: Of course not.

D.: I believe Bhagavan also says so. Prof. Radhakrishnan in his Indian
Philosophy says that in his Brahma Sutra Commentary Sri Sankara makes a distinction between the two states. Is it a fact? If so, what is it? How can there be any distinction from the viewpoint of reality?
So long as the mind exists in any form there will be distinction.

But from the standpoint of Atman, non-dual Brahman, can there be any distinction?
M.: The dream is for the one who says that he is awake. In fact, wakefulness and dream are equally unreal from the standpoint of the Absolute.

D.: In pure Advaita can evolution, creation or manifestation have any place? What about the theory of vivarta according to which
Brahman appears as the world without forgetting its essential nature, like the rope appearing as snake?
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Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi
M.: There are different methods of approach to prove the unreality of the universe. The example of the dream is one among them. Jagrat, svapna and sushupti are all treated elaborately in the scripture in order that the Reality underlying them might be revealed. It is not meant to accentuate differences among the three states. The purpose must be kept clearly in view.

Now they say that the world is unreal. Of what degree of unreality is it? Is it like that of a son of a barren mother or a flower in the sky, mere words without any reference to facts? Whereas the world is a fact and not a mere word. The answer is that it is a superimposition on the one Reality, like the appearance of a snake on a coiled rope seen in dim light.

But here too the wrong identity ceases as soon as the friend points out that it is a rope. Whereas in the matter of the world it persists even after it is known to be unreal. How is that? Again the appearance of water in a mirage persists even after the knowledge of the mirage is recognised. So it is with the world. Though knowing it to be unreal, it continues to manifest.

But the water of the mirage is not sought to satisfy one's thirst. As soon as one knows that it is a mirage, one gives it up as useless and does not run after it for procuring water.

D.: Not so with the appearance of the world. Even after it is repeatedly declared to be false one cannot avoid satisfying one's wants from the world. How can the world be false?
M.: It is like a man satisfying his dream wants by dream creations.

There are objects, there are wants and there is satisfaction. The dream creation is as purposeful as the jagrat world and yet it is not considered real.

Thus we see that each of these illustrations serves a distinct purpose in establishing the stages of unreality. The realised sage finally declares that in the regenerate state the jagrat world also is found to be as unreal as the dream world is found to be in the jagrat state.

Each illustration should be understood in its proper context; it should not be studied as an isolated statement. It is a link in a chain.

The purpose of all these is to direct the seeker's mind towards the one Reality underlying them all.

387


Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi
D.: Is there that difference in the philosophy of Sankara and Gaudapada which the learned Professor wants us to believe?
M.: The difference is only in our imagination.

D.: Sir S. Radhakrishnan writes:
"The general idea pervading Gaudapada's work that bondage and liberation, the individual soul and the world are all unreal, makes a caustic critic observe that the theory which has nothing better to say than that an unreal soul is trying to escape from an unreal
Supreme Good, may itself be an unreality. It is one thing to say that the unchangeable reality expressing itself in the changing universe without forfeiting its nature is a mystery, and another to dismiss the whole changing universe as a mere mirage. If we have to play the game of life we cannot do so with the conviction that the play is a show and all the prizes in it are mere blanks. No philosophy can consistently hold such a theory and be at rest with itself. The greatest condemnation of such a theory is that we are obliged to occupy ourselves with objects the existence and value of which we are continually denying in theory. It only shows that there is something else which includes and transcends the world but it does not imply the world is a dream."
M.: As was already said, the purpose of the whole philosophy is to indicate the underlying Reality whether of the jagrat, svapna and sushupti states, or the individual souls, the world and God.

There are three outlooks possible:(1) The Vyavaharika: The man sees the world in all its variety, surmises the creator and believes in himself as the subject. All these are thus reduced to the three fundamentals, jagat, jiva and Isvara. He learns the existence of the creator and tries to reach him in order to gain immortality. If one is thus released from bondage, there are all other individuals existing as before who should work out their own salvation. He more or less admits the One Reality underlying all these phenomena. The phenomena are due to the play of maya. Maya is the sakti of Isvara or the activity of Reality. Thus, existence of different souls, objects, etc., do not clash with the advaitic point of view.

(2) The Pratibhasika: The jagat, jiva and Isvara are all cognised by the seer only. They do not have any existence independent of
388


Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi him. So there is only one jiva, be it the individual or God. All else is simply a myth.

(3) The Paramarthika: i.e., ajatavada (no-creation doctrine) which admits of no second. There is no reality or absence of it, no seeking or gaining, no bondage or liberation and so on.

The question arises why then do all the sastras speak of the Lord as the creator? How can the creature that you are create the creator and argue that the jagat, jiva and Isvara are mental conceptions only?
The answer is as follows:You know that your father of this jagrat state is dead and that several years have elapsed since his death. However you see him in your dream and recognise him to be your father, of whom you were born and who has left patrimony to you. Here the creator is in the creature. Again, you dream that you are serving a king and that you are a part in the administrative wheel of the kingdom. As soon as you wake up all of them have disappeared leaving you, the single individual, behind. Where were they all? Only in yourself.

The same analogy holds good in the other case also.

D.: In the Vyavaharika, above mentioned, how does maya come in?
M.: Maya is only Isvara-Sakti or the activity of Reality.

D.: Why does it become active?
M.: How can this question arise? You are yourself within its fold. Are you standing apart from that universal activity in order to ask this question? The same Power is raising this doubt in order that all doubts may finally cease.

D.: The dream world is not purposeful as the jagrat world, because we do not feel that wants are satisfied.

M.: You are not right. There are thirst and hunger in dream also. You might have had your fill and kept over the remaining food for the next day. Nevertheless you feel hungry in dream. This food does not help you. Your dream-hunger can be satisfied only by eating dream-food. Dream-wants are satisfied by dream-creations only.

D.: We recollect our dreams in our jagrat but not vice-versa.

M.: Not right again. In the dream you identify yourself with the one now speaking.

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Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi
D.: But we do not know that we are dreaming as apart from waking as we do now.

M.: The dream is the combination of jagrat and sushupti. It is due to the samskaras of the jagrat state. Hence we remember dreams at present. Samskaras are not formed contrariwise; therefore also we are not aware of the dream and jagrat simultaneously. Still everyone will recollect strange perplexities in dream. One wonders if he dreams or is awake. He argues and determines that he is only awake. When really awake, he finds that it was all only a dream.



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