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

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

object:1.550 - 1.600 Talks
book class:Talks

Talk 550.

Somerset Maugham, a well-known English author, was on a visit to
Sri Bhagavan. He also went to see Maj. Chadwick in his room and there he suddenly became unconscious. Maj. Chadwick requested Sri
Bhagavan to see him. Sri Bhagavan went into the room, took a seat and gazed on Mr. Maugham. He regained his senses and saluted Sri

Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi
Bhagavan. They remained silent and sat facing each other for nearly an hour. The author attempted to ask questions but did not speak. Maj.

Chadwick encouraged him to ask. Sri Bhagavan said, "All finished.

Heart-talk is all talk. All talk must end in silence only." They smiled and Sri Bhagavan left the room.

Talk 551.

A man asked Sri Bhagavan: "How is it that Atma vidya is said to be the easiest?"
M.: Any other vidya requires a knower, knowledge and the object to be known, whereas this does not require any of them. It is the Self.

Can anything be so obvious as that? Hence it is the easiest. All that you need do is to enquire, "Who am I?"
A man's true name is mukti (liberation)
Talk 552.

There are some buildings in the Asramam. They used to have some plan which somehow could not be followed in entirety. Therefore 'A' and the
Sarvadhikari did not agree on many details and there used to be trouble between them. 'A' was once highly disgusted with the state of affairs. He asked Sri Bhagavan what could be done under the circumstances.

Sri Bhagavan said: "Which of the buildings was according to a plan made by these people here? God has His own plans and all these go on according to that. No one need worry as to what happens."
Talk 553.

The Asramites once asked Sri Bhagavan, "How were we all in our previous births? Why do we not know our own past?"
M.: God in His mercy has withheld this knowledge from people.

If they knew that they were virtuous, they will grow proud; contrariwise they will be depressed. Both are bad. It is enough that one knows the Self.

Talk 554.

M.: Just as a river does not continue its flow after its discharge into the ocean, so also a person loses all movements after he merges in the Self.


Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi
Talk 555.

Sri Bhagavan once recounted how Kavyakantha Ganapathi Muni asked Him: My own opinion is that a man can live on Rs. 3 a month.

What is Sri Bhagavan's opinion in the matter?
M.: A man can live happily only if he knows that he requires nothing wherewith to live.

Talk 556.

Maj. Chadwick asked Sri Bhagavan one night: The world is said to become manifest after the mind becomes manifest. There is no mind when I sleep. Is the world not existent to others at that time? Does it not show that the world is the product of a universal mind? How then shall we say that the world is not material but only dream-like?
M.: The world does not tell you that it is of the individual mind or of the universal mind. It is only the individual mind that sees the world. When this mind disappears the world also disappears.

There was a man who saw in his dream his father who had died thirty years earlier. Furthermore he dreamt that he had four more brothers and that his father divided his property among them. A quarrel ensued, the brothers assaulted the man and he woke up in a fright.

Then he remembered that he was all alone, he had no brothers and the father was dead long ago. His fright gave place to contentment.

So you see - when we see our Self there is no world, and when we lose sight of the Self we get ourselves bound in the world.

Talk 557.

A visitor asked: "We are advised to concentrate on the spot in the forehead between the eyebrows. Is it right?"
M.: Everyone is aware, 'I am'. Leaving aside that awareness one goes about in search of God. What is the use of fixing one's attention between the eyebrows? It is mere folly to say that God is between the eyebrows.

The aim of such advice is to help the mind to concentrate. It is one of the forcible methods to check the mind and prevent its dissipation. It is forcibly directed into one channel. It is a help to concentration.

But the best means of realisation is the enquiry "Who am I?" The present trouble is to the mind and it must be removed by the mind only.


Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi
D.: Are there restrictions to be observed in food?
M.: Sattva food taken in moderation.

D.: There are several asanas mentioned. Which of them is the best?
M.: Nididhyasana (one-pointedness of the mind) is the best.

Talk 558.

A visitor asked: "Sri Bhagavan! When I heard of you, a strong desire arose in me to see you. Why should it be so?"
M.: The desire arose in the same way as the body arises to the Self.

D.: What is the purpose of life?
M.: To seek to know the significance of life is itself the result of good karma in past births. Those who do not seek such knowledge are simply wasting their lives.

Talk 559.

A man asked Sri Bhagavan: "Sri Bhagavan can know when I shall become a Jnani. Please tell me when it will be."
M.: If I am Bhagavan then there is no one apart from me to whom jnana should arise or to whom I should speak. If I am an ordinary man like others then I am as ignorant as the rest. Either way your question cannot be answered.

Talk 560.

When Sri Bhagavan was taking His bath a few bhaktas were around
Him, speaking to themselves. Then they asked Him about the use of ganja (hashish). Sri Bhagavan had finished His bath by that time. He said: "Oh ganja! The users feel immensely happy when they are under its influence. How shall I describe their happiness! They simply shout ananda! ananda ..." Saying so, He walked as if tipsy. The bhaktas laughed. He appeared as if He stumbled, placed His hands round 'A' and cried "ananda! ananda!"
'A' records that his very being was transformed from that time. He had remained an inmate for the past eight years. He further says that his mind now remains at peace.


Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi
Talk 561.

D.: What is svarupa (form) and arupa (formless) of the mind?
M.: When you wake up from sleep a light appears, that is the light of the Self passing through Mahat tattva. It is called cosmic consciousness. That is arupa. The light falls on the ego and is reflected therefrom. Then the body and the world are seen. This mind is svarupa. The objects appear in the light of this reflected consciousness. This light is called jyoti.

21st October, 1938
Talk 562.

There is a statement in the book Vichara Sangraha that though a person realises the Self once, he cannot, for that simple reason alone, become a mukta. He continues to remain a victim of vasanas (latencies). Sri
Bhagavan was asked whether the realisation referred to was the same as the jnani's, and if so why there should be a difference in their effects.

M.: The experience is the same. Every person experiences the Self consciously or unconsciously. The ajnani's experience is clouded by his latencies whereas the jnani's is not so. The jnani's experience of the Self is therefore distinct and permanent.

A practiser may by long practice gain a glimpse of the Reality. This experience may be vivid for the time being. And yet he will be distracted by the old vasanas and so his experience will not avail him. Such a man must continue his manana and nididhyasana so that all the obstacles may be destroyed. He will then be able to remain permanently in the Real State.

D.: What is the difference between a man who makes no attempts and remains an ajnani, and another who gains a glimpse and returns to ajnana?
M.: In the latter case a stimulus is always present to goad him on to further efforts until the realisation is perfect.

D.: The Srutis say: Sakrit vibhatoyam brahmaloka (This knowledge of Brahman shines forth once and forever).

M.: They refer to the permanent realisation and not to the glimpse.

D.: How is it possible that a man forgets his very experience and falls back into ignorance?

Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi
Sri Bhagavan illustrated it with the following story:
There was a king who treated his subjects well. One of his ministers gained his confidence and misused the influence. All the other ministers and officers were adversely affected and they hit upon a plan to get rid of him. They instructed the guards not to let the man enter the palace. The king noted his absence and enquired after him.

He was informed that the man was taken ill and could not therefore come to the palace. The king deputed his physician to attend on the minister. False reports were conveyed to the king that the minister was sometimes improving and at other times collapsing. The king desired to see the patient. But the pandits said that such an action was against dharma. Later the minister was reported to have died.

The king was very sorry when he heard the news.

The arrogant minister was kept informed of all the happenings by spies of his own. He tried to foil the other ministers. He waited for the king to come out of the palace so that he might report himself to the king. On one occasion he climbed up a tree, hid himself among the branches and awaited the king. The king came out that night in the palanquin and the man in hiding jumped down in front of the palanquin and shouted his identity. The companion of the king was equally resourceful. He at once took out a handful of sacred ashes (vibhuti) from his pocket and scattered it in the air so that the king was obliged to close his eyes. The companion shouted victory ('jai') to the king and ordered the band to play so that the other man's shout was drowned in the noise. He also ordered the palanquin-bearers to move fast and he himself sang incantations to keep off evil spirits. The king was thus left under the impression that the dead man's ghost was playing pranks with him.

The disappointed man became desperate and retired into the forest for tapasya (austerities). After a long time the king happened to go hunting. He came across the former minister seated in deep contemplation. But he hastened away from the spot lest the ghost should molest him.

The moral of the story is that even though the man was seen in flesh and blood, yet the wrong notion that he was a ghost prevented right values being taken. So it is with a forced realisation of the Self.


Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi

22nd October, 1938
Talk 563.

A group of people came on a visit to Sri Bhagavan. One of them asked: "How can I keep my mind aright?"
M.: A refractory bull is lured to the stall by means of grass. Similarly the mind must be lured by good thoughts.

D.: But it does not remain steady.

M.: The bull accustomed to stray takes delight in going astray.

However he must be lured with luscious grass to the stall. Even so he will continue to trespass into the neighbour's fields. He must gradually be made to realise that the same kind of good grass can be had in his own place. After a time he will remain in the stall without straying. Later a time will come when, even if driven out of the stall, he will return to the stall without going into the neighbouring fields. So also the mind must be trained to take to right ways. It will gradually grow accustomed to good ways and will not return to wrong ways.

D.: What are the good ways to be shown to the mind?
M.: Thought of God.

23rd to 26th October, 1938
Talk 564.

Pandit Bala Kak Dhar, a jagirdar from Kashmir, had come all the way from Srinagar to have darshan of Sri Bhagavan on Deepavali Day. He gave a bundle of papers to Sri Bhagavan containing an account of his life and position. His talks with Sri Bhagavan were all of them personal.

One of his questions was: "Now that I have had the darshan of Sri
Bhagavan and it is enough for me, may I throw away all the charms, tantras and pujas into the river?"
M.: Daily puja as prescribed in the Dharma sastras is always good. It is for the purification of the mind. Even if one feels oneself too advanced to need such puja, still it must be performed for the sake of others. Such action will be an example to one's children and other dependents.


Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi
Talk 565.

A gentleman from Mysore asked: How is the mind to be kept in the right way?
M.: By practice. Give it good thoughts. The mind must be trained in good ways.

D.: But it is not steady.

M.: The Bhagavad Gita says: Sanaissanairuparamet (The mind must gradually be brought to a standstill); Atma samstham manah krtva
(making the mind inhere in the Self); Abhyasa-vairagyabhyam (by practice and dispassion).

Practice is necessary. Progress will be slow.

D.: What is the Self referred to in Atma samstham (fixing it in the Self)?
M.: Do you not know your Self? You certainly exist. Or do you deny your existence? The question may arise "Who is this Self", only if you do not exist, but you cannot ask anything unless you exist at the same time. Your question shows that you exist. Find out who you are. That is all.

D.: I have read many books. But my mind does not turn to the Self.

M.: Because the Self is not in the books; but it is in you. Reading books makes one learned. That is its purpose and it is fulfilled.

D.: What is Atma sakshatkara (Self-Realisation)?
M.: You are the Atma (Self) and that sakshat (here and now) also.

Where is the place for kara (accomplishment) in it? This question shows that you think you are the non-Self. Or you think that there are two selves, the one to realise the other. It is absurd.

That you identify yourself with the gross body lies at the root of this question. Well, this question arises now. Did it arise in your sleep? Did you not exist then? Certainly you did exist in sleep.

What is the difference between these two states that the question should arise now but not in sleep? Now you think that you are the body. You see things around you and you want to see the Self in a similar manner. Such is the force of habit. The senses are mere instruments of perception. You are the seer. Remain as the seer only.

What else is there to see? Such is the state in deep sleep.


Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi
Therefore this question does not arise then.

Atma sakshatkara (Self-Realisation) is thus only anatma nirasana
(giving up the non-Self).

D.: Is there only one Self or are there more selves?
M.: This is again due to confusion; you identify the body with the
Self. You think: "Here I am; here he is, there is another; and so on". You find many bodies and think they are so many selves.

But did you ask in your sleep "I am sleeping here, how many are there who are awake?" Does any question arise, for the matter of that? Why does it not arise? Because you are only one and there are not many.

D.: What is my tattva (truth)?
M.: You are yourself the tattva. Is there a different one to know the tattva of another? How can you exist apart from the tattva? The very fact of your existence makes you ask this question. Your very existence is the tattva. Give up the habiliments of the tattva and remain in your essential nature. All the Scriptures tell you only not to waste your efforts in non-truth - non-tattva. Give up the nontattva. Then tattva remains always shining pure and single.

D.: I want to know my tattva and my duties.

M.: Know your tattva first and then you may ask what your duties are. You must exist in order to know and do your duty. Realise your existence and then enquire of your duties.

26th October, 1938
Talk 566.

There is a Tamil paper Arya Dharmam. An article on Vairagyam appeared in it. Sri Bhagavan read it out in answer to a question. The article was briefly as follows: vairagya = vi + raga = vigataraga (non-attachment).

Vairagya is possible only for the wise. However, it is often misapplied by the common folk. For instance, a man often says "I have determined not to go to cinema shows." He calls it vairagya. Such wrong interpretation of the words and old sayings are not uncommon.


Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi
Again we often hear, "Dog seen, stone is not seen; stone seen, dog is not seen." It is ordinarily understood to mean that one cannot find a brickbat to throw at a stray dog. But this popular saying has a much deeper significance. It is based on a story:
A certain wealthy man's house was closely guarded. It had also a ferocious dog chained to a pillar at the gate. The dog and the chain were however very skilful pieces of art. They were sculptured in stone but appeared life-like. A pedestrian on the road once took fright at the sight of the ferocious animal and hurt himself in his attempt to dodge it. A kindly neighbour took pity on him and showed him that it was not a living dog. When the man passed by it the next time he admired the skill of the sculptor and forgot his old experience. Thus when he found it to be a dog, he could not see the stone of which it was made; and again when he found it a piece of sculpture he did not see any dog to hurt him. Hence the proverb. Compare it with 'The elephant hides the wood and the wood hides the elephant.' Here it is a wooden elephant.

Atma is always Sat-Chit-Ananda. Of these, the first two are experienced in all the states, whereas the last one is said to be experienced in sleep only.

The question arises how the true nature of the Self can be lost in the waking and dream states. It is, really speaking, not lost. In sleep there is no mind and the Self shines as Itself, whereas in the other two states what shines forth is the reflected light of the Self. Ananda is felt after the cessation of thoughts in sleep. It is also manifest on other occasions as love, joy, etc., priya, moda and pramoda. But they are all chitta vrittis (modes of mind).

When a man is walking in the street his mind is full of fleeting thoughts. Suppose he passes a bazaar where some fine mangoes are for sale. He likes the mangoes and purchases them. He is next anxious to taste them. So he hastens home and eats them and feels happy.

When the fleeting thoughts give way to the pleasure at the sight of mangoes, it is priya, when he gets them as his own, the pleasure is moda; lastly, when he eats them, the pleasure is pramoda.

All the three kinds of pleasure are owing to the disappearance of other thoughts.


Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi

3rd to 6th November, 1938
Talk 567.

Sri Bhagavan explained to Mr. MacIver the first few stanzas of Sad
Vidya as follows:
1. The first stanza is the auspicious beginning. Why should the subjectmatter of the piece be brought in here? Can knowledge be other than
Being? Being is the core - the Heart. How then is the Supreme Being to be contemplated and glorified? Only to remain as the Pure Self is the auspicious beginning. This speaks of attributeless Brahman according to the jnana marga (method of knowledge).

2. The second stanza is in praise of God with attributes. In the foregoing, to be as one Self is mentioned; in the present one, surrender to the Lord of all.

Furthermore the second indicates (1) the fit reader (2) the subjectmatter (3) the relationship and (4) the fruit. The fit reader is the one who is competent for it. Competence consists in non-attachment to the world and desire to be liberated.

All know that they must die some time or other; but they do not think deeply of the matter. All have a fear of death: such fear is momentary.

Why fear death? Because of the 'I-am-the-body' idea. All are fully aware of the death of the body and its cremation. That the body is lost in death is well-known. Owing to the I-am-the-body notion, death is feared as being the loss of Oneself. Birth and death pertain to the body only; but they are superimposed on the Self, giving rise to the delusion that birth and death relate to the Self.

In the effort to overcome birth and death man looks up to the Supreme
Being to save him. Thus are born faith and devotion to the Lord. How to worship Him? The creature is powerless and the Creator is Allpowerful. How to approach Him? To entrust oneself to His care is the only thing left for him; total surrender is the only way. Therefore he surrenders himself to God. Surrender consists in giving up oneself and one's possessions to the Lord of Mercy. Then what is left over for the man? Nothing - neither himself nor his possessions. The body liable to be born and to die having been made over to the Lord, the man need

Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi no longer worry about it. Then birth and death cannot strike terror. The cause of fear was the body; it is no longer his; why should he fear now?
Or where is the identity of the individual to be frightened?
Thus the Self is realised and Bliss results. This is then the subject-matter: freedom from misery and gain of Happiness. This is the highest good to be gained. Surrender is synonymous with Bliss itself. This is the relationship.

Fruit is to reflect on the subject-matter and gain Knowledge which is ever-present, here and now. The stanza ends with "the immortal ones."
3. The five senses mean the subtle functions (tanmatras), namely, hearing, touch, seeing, taste and smell. Variations of these form the whole universe; they vary according to the three gunas as follows: by tamas (dullness) the gross elements; by rajas (activity) the instruments for knowing objects; by sattva (clearness) the different kinds of knowledge of the senses; also: by tamas - the gross objects i.e., the world; by rajas - the vital airs and the karmendriyas by sattva - the sense organs of perception (jnanendriyas).

Karmendriyas are organs of holding, walking, speech, evacuation and reproduction.

Now consider the ringing of the bell; the sound is related to hearing; the bell is the object, the modification of tamoguna. The rajasic tanmatras, changing as the vibrations of sound, extend round the bell, then as ether get connected with the ear in order to be felt as sound.

The knowledge recognising it as sound is the sattva tanmatra.

So also the other senses: Touch (vayu) - air tanmatra; form (rupa) - tejas tanmatra; taste (ap) - water tanmatra; smell (prithvi) - earth tanmatra.

To understand the tanmatras as the subtlest particles of matter is not right, for it is incomplete. They are only the subtle forms of sound, touch, sight, taste and smell, which form the whole components of the universe. Such is the creation of the world.

For want of proper terminology these ideas cannot be rightly expressed in foreign languages.


Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi
4. This stanza says that all are agreed on one point. What is it? The state beyond duality and non-duality, beyond subject and object, beyond jiva and God, in short, beyond all differences. It is free from ego. "How to reach it?" is the question. By giving up the world, it says. Here "the world" stands for thoughts relating to it. If such thoughts do not arise, the ego does not rise up. There will be no subject nor object. Such is the state.

Talk 568.

Mr. V. G. Sastri showed a cutting to Sri Bhagavan. It contained some prophecy of Sri Rama Tirtha that India would reach the full height of her former glory before 1950 AD
Sri Bhagavan said: Why should we think that India is not already in the height of her glory? The glory is in your thought.

7th November, 1938
Talk 569.

In reply to Sri K. L. Sarma, Sri Bhagavan spoke about Dakshinamurti stotra as follows:
I originally intended to write a commentary on it. Mr. Ranganatha Iyer took away my Tamil version of the stotra and printed it along with
Appalapattu. He later asked me to enlarge it. I had the introduction ready. He saw it and took it away for printing. I did not proceed with the work. As for the stotra:
Brahma, the creator, created four sons from his mind. They were Sanaka,
Sanandana, Sanathkumara and Sanatsujata. They asked their creator why they were brought into existence. Brahma said: "I must create the universe. But I want to go to do tapas for realising the Self. You are brought forth in order that you may create the universe. That will be by multiplying yourselves." They did not like the idea. They wondered why they should take the trouble on themselves. It is natural for one to seek the source. They therefore wanted to regain their source and be happy. So they did not obey the commands of Brahma but left him. They desired guidance for realisation of the Self. They were the best equipped individuals for Self-Realisation. Guidance should be only from the best of Masters. Who could it be but Siva - the yogiraja. Siva appeared before them sitting under the sacred banyan tree. Being yogiraja should

Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi
He practise yoga? He went into samadhi as He sat; He was in Perfect
Repose. Silence prevailed. They saw Him. The effect was immediate.

They fell into samadhi and their doubts were at an end.

Silence is the true upadesa. It is the perfect upadesa. It is suited only for the most advanced seeker. The others are unable to draw full inspiration from it. Therefore they require words to explain the Truth.

But Truth is beyond words. It does not admit of explanation. All that is possible to do is only to indicate It. How is that to be done?
The people are under an illusion. If the spell is removed they will realise the Truth. They must be told to realise the falsity of the illusion. Then they will try to escape its snares. Vairagya will result. They will enquire into the Truth, i.e., seek the Self. That will make them abide as the Self. Sri
Sankara, being the avatar of Siva, was full of compassion for fallen beings.

He wanted all of them to realise their blissful Self. He could not reach them all with His Silence. So he composed the Dakshinamurti stotra in the form of a hymn so that people might read it and understand the Truth.

What is the nature of the illusion? All are in the grip of enjoyment, i.e., bhokta, bhogyam, bhoga. This is due to the wrong notion that bhogya vastu (the objects) are real. The ego, the world and the creator are the fundamentals underlying the illusion. If they are known to be not apart from the Self there will be no more illusion.

The first four stanzas deal with the world. It is shown to be the same as the Master whose Self is that of the seeker also, or the Master to whom the seeker surrenders himself. The second four stanzas deal with the individual whose Self is shown to be the Self of the Master.

The ninth stanza deals with Isvara and the tenth with the siddhi or
Realisation. Such is the scheme of the stotra.

Which is the darpana (mirror) here? A mirror, as we know it, is an insentient object which reflects light. What corresponds to a mirror in an individual? The light of the Self-luminous Self is reflected on the
Mahatattva. The reflected light is the mind-ether or the pure mind. This illumines the vasanas (latencies) of the individual and hence the sense of 'I' and 'this' arises.

Again, a superficial reading of the slokas makes one believe that the bondage, liberation, etc., are all related to the Master i.e., Sri
Dakshinamurti. It is absurd. Surrender to Him is meant.


Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi
Talk 570.

A visitor: Nirguna upasana is said to be difficult and risky. He quoted the verse from Sri Bhagavad Gita, avyaktahi etc. (the manifest, etc.)
M.: What is manifest is considered to be unmanifest and doubt is created. Can anything be more immediate and intimate than the
Self? Can anything be more plain?
D.: Saguna upasana seems easier.

M.: Do what is easy for you.

Talk 571.

Multiplicity of individuals is a moot point with most persons. A jiva is only the light reflected on the ego. The person identifies himself with the ego and argues that there must be more like him. He is not easily convinced of the absurdity of his position. Does a man who sees many individuals in his dream persist in believing them to be real and enquire after them when he wakes up?
This argument does not convince the disputant.

Again, there is the moon. Let anyone look at her from any place at any time; she is the same moon. Everyone knows it. Now suppose that there are several receptacles of water reflecting the moon. The images are all different from one another and from the moon herself. If one of the receptacles falls to pieces, that reflection disappears. Its disappearance does not affect the real moon or the other reflections. It is similar with an individual attaining Liberation. He alone is liberated.

The sectarian of multiplicity makes this his argument against non-duality.

"If the Self is single, if one man is liberated, that means that all souls are liberated. In practice it is not so. Therefore Advaita is not correct."
The weakness in the argument is that the reflected light of the Self is mistaken for the original Light of the Self. The ego, the world and the individuals are all due to the person's vasanas. When they perish, that person's hallucinations disappear, that is to say one pitcher is broken and the relative reflection is at an end.

The fact is that the Self is never bound. There can therefore be no
Release for It. All the troubles are for the ego only.


Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi

10th November, 1938
A question was asked why it was wrong to say that there is a multiplicity of jivas. Jivas are certainly many. For a jiva is only the ego and forms the reflected light of the Self. Multiplicity of selves may be wrong but not of jivas.

M.: Jiva is called so because he sees the world. A dreamer sees many jivas in a dream but all of them are not real. The dreamer alone exists and he sees all. So it is with the individual and the world.

There is the creed of only one Self which is also called the creed of only one jiva. It says that the jiva is only one who sees the whole world and the jivas therein.

D.: Then jiva means the Self here.

M.: So it is. But the Self is not a seer. But here he is said to see the world. So he is differentiated as the Jiva.

Talk 572.

D.: Of what use is the fear of death which is common to all?
M.: True, it is common to all. Such fear serves no useful purpose because being overpowered by the latent tendencies of the mind the man dies a natural death. It does not lead him to non-attachment and he cannot investigate the matter.

D.: How then are you giving the same instruction without distinction to visitors?
M.: What do I say? The ego in each one must die. Let him reflect on it. Is there this ego or is there not? By repeated reflection one becomes more and more fit.

11th November, 1938
Talk 573.

Mr. Ranganatha Ayyar, a devotee of fourteen years' standing, is on a visit here. He asked: How long is the interval between one's death and reincarnation?
M.: It may be long or short. But a Jnani does not have any such changes; he merges into the universal Being, so says the
Brihadaranyaka Upanishad.


Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi
Some say that those who after death pass into the path of light are not reborn, whereas those who after death take the path of darkness are reborn after they have enjoyed the fruits of karma in their subtle bodies.

If one's merits and demerits are equal, they are directly reborn here.

Merits outweighing demerits, the subtle bodies go to heavens and are then reborn here; demerits outweighing merits, they go to hells and are afterwards reborn here.

A yogabrashta is said to fare in the same manner. All these are described in the sastras. But in fact, there is neither birth nor death.

One remains only as what one really is. This is the only Truth.

Talk 574.

D.: What are asanas (postures or seats)? Are they necessary?
M.: Many asanas with their effects are mentioned in the Yoga sastras.

The seats are the tiger-skin, grass, etc.; the postures are the 'lotus posture', the 'easy posture' and so on.

Why all these - only to know oneself? "I am the body; the body requires a seat; it is the earth," thinking thus, he seeks seats. But in sleep did he think of the support or the bed: the bed on the cot and the cot on the earth? Did he not exist in sleep too? How was he then?
The truth is - Being the Self, the ego rising up, confusing himself with the body, mistaking the world to be real, differentiating the objects, covered by the ignorance of the 'I'-conceit, he thinks wildly and also looks for seats. He does not understand that he himself is the Centre of all and thus forms the basis for all.

If questioned he talks of the effects of seats and footwear in terms of gravitation, magnetism and so on. Without them he imagines that the power of his austerities will dwindle away.

Wherefrom do they all derive their power? He looks to the effects, seeks their causes and imagines them to be the power of seats and of footwear. A stone thrown up falls back to the ground. Why? Owing to the gravitation, says he. Well - are all these different from his thoughts?
Think and say if the stone, the earth and gravity are different from his thoughts. They are all in his mind only. He is the Power and the wielder of it. He is the Centre of all and their support. He is also the Seat.


Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi
The seat is meant to make him sit firm. Where and how can he remain firm except in his own real state? This is the Seat.

Talk 575.

D.: How to conquer desire, anger, etc.?
M.: Desire or lust, anger, etc., give you pain. Why? Because of the 'I'conceit; this 'I'-conceit is from ignorance; ignorance from differentiation; differentiation from the notion of the reality of the world and this again from 'I-am-the-body' idea. The last can be only after the rise of the ego.

The ego not arising, the whole chain of mishaps disappears. Therefore prevent the rise of the ego. This can be done by remaining in your own real nature; then lust, anger, etc., are conquered.

D.: So then all these have their root in ignorance.

M.: Quite so. Ignorance gives rise to error, error to conceit, etc. What is ignorance? Can it be of Pure Brahman which is only the Self or
Pure Knowledge? Only let the questioner know his own Self, i.e., be the Knowledge; this question will not arise. Because of ignorance he raises the question. Such ignorance is of the questioner and not of the Self. The sun seen, no darkness persists.

There is hoarded wealth in an iron safe. The man says it is his own; the safe does not say so. It is the ownership-conceit that is responsible for the claim.

Nothing is independent of the Self, not even ignorance; for ignorance is only the power of the Self, remaining there without affecting It. However it affects the 'I'-conceit, i.e., the jiva.

Therefore ignorance is of the jiva.

How? The man says, "I do not know myself." Are there then two selves - one the subject and the other the object? He cannot admit it. Is then ignorance at an end for him? No. The rise of the ego is itself the ignorance and nothing more.

Talk 576.

Sutra Bhashya:-
The sutras are meant to elucidate and establish the meanings of the texts. The commentaries try to do so by bringing in the opponent's views, refuting them and arriving at conclusions after long discussions; there are also differences of opinion in the same school of thought;

Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi again protagonists and antagonists. Also different schools of thought interpret the same text in different ways and arrive at different conclusions, contrary to each other.

How then is the purpose of the sutras served?

15th November, 1938
Talk 577.

Pure Being

Supreme Being (This shines forth)
Pure Mind - Sattva mind - Isvara
Rajas the ego (Aham)

Tamas the world (Idam)

All these are Vedantic terminology

Talk 578.

Coming here, some people do not ask about themselves. They ask:
"Does the sage, liberated while alive (Jivanmukta), see the world? Is he affected by Karma?
What is liberation after being disembodied? Is one liberated only after being disembodied or even while alive in the body? Should the body of the sage resolve itself in light or disappear from view in any other manner? Can he be liberated though the body is left behind as a corpse?"
Their questions are endless. Why worry oneself in so many ways?
Does liberation consist in knowing these?
Therefore I say to them, "Leave liberation alone. Is there bondage?
Know this. See yourself first and foremost."
Talk 579.

Avarana (veiling) does not hide the jiva in entirety; he knows that he is; only he does not know who he is. He sees the world; but not that it is only Brahman. It is light in darkness (or knowledge in ignorance).


Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi
In a cinema show the room is first darkened, artificial light is introduced; only in this light are the pictures projected.

For differentiation a reflected light is thus necessary. A sleeper dreams, he is not out of sleep: only in the darkness or ignorance of sleep can he see the unreal dream objects.

Similarly the darkness of ignorance gives rise to the knowledge of the perceptions of the world.



This veiling is a characteristic of ignorance; it is not of the Self: it cannot affect the Self in any manner; it can veil only the jiva.

The ego is insentient: united with the light from the Self, it is called jiva. But the ego and the light cannot be seen distinct from each other; they are always united together. The mixed product is the jiva, the root of all differentiation. All these are spoken of to satisfy the questioners.



Ether = Jnana



Air = Mind



Light = Intellect



Water = Memory

(Solar plexus)


Earth = The Ego


Such is the representation of the subtle body. The senses and other organs act separately, whereas the inner organs and the vital airs can work only in unison. Therefore the former are vyashti (individualistic) and the latter are samashti

Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi
Avarana (veiling) gives rise to two kinds of veiling.

Avarana within veils drik (the seer) and drisya (the seen)
outside veils the
Lord's Creation

'I-am-the-body idea'


Jiva is not independent of Isvara; nor ignorance of maya. Only on waking up from sleep, the man perceives the body and the world, but not in sleep.

On the strength of the present knowledge he understands that he remained in deep sleep also. Therefore in sleep jiva must be concluded to be in pure state in which the body and the world are not perceived.

D.: Is not jiva the reflected light, the 'I-thought'?
M.: He is also a jiva; before it also he is jiva; the one of them is related to the other as cause and effect. The sleeper jiva cannot be independent of Isvara. On waking he says "I am the body". If all the worlds together form virat, the body is a tiny dot in it. Thus the body is in and of virat. What belongs to the jiva then? Only the conceit makes him claim the body as himself but not the others.

He cannot be independent of virat. Similarly,
(1) Isvara
(Causal Cosmic Being) Prajna (individual being in deep sleep)
(2) Hiranyagarbha
(Causal Subtle Being) Taijasa (individual subtle being)
(3) Virat
(Causal gross Being) Visva (individual gross being)
(4) Maya
(Causal Ignorance adjunct to Isvara) Ignorance adjunct to
(5) Brahman
(Cause) Jiva (Effect)
They say that all these five groups should be unified. This they call the unity of the Five. All these are only polemics!

Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi

17th November, 1938
Talk 580.

A party from Rajkot came in a bus. They consisted of four chiefs and four ladies with attendants and a bodyguard. They arrived at 11 a.m.

After lunch in their room, they had a short conversation at 12-45 p.m. and left at 1-5 p.m.

One of them said: Here is the mother of the Thakore Saheb. We have come a long distance for the darshan of Sri Maharshi. Will He kindly give us some instructions?
Sri Bhagavan smiled and answered: Good that they have come such a long distance for the sake of darshan. It is enough that they have said it. What is there for me to say? (Lunch bell).

At 12-45 p.m.

D.: Is a Jnani different from a yogi? What is the difference?
M.: Srimad Bhagavad Gita says that a Jnani is the true yogi and also a true bhakta. Yoga is only a sadhana and jnana is the siddhi.

D.: Is yoga necessary?
M.: It is a sadhana. It will not be necessary after jnana is attained.

All the sadhanas are called yogas, e.g., Karma yoga; Bhakti yoga;
Jnana yoga; Ashtanga yoga. What is yoga? Yoga means 'union'.

Yoga is possible only when there is 'viyoga' (separation). The person is now under the delusion of viyoga. This delusion must be removed. The method of removing it is called yoga.

D.: Which method is the best?
M.: It depends upon the temperament of the individual. Every person is born with the samskaras of past lives. One of the methods will be found easy for one person and another method for another. There is no definiteness about it.

D.: How is one to meditate?
M.: What is meditation? It is commonly understood to be concentration on a single thought. Other thoughts are kept out at that time. The single thought also must vanish at the right time. Thought-free consciousness is the goal.

D.: How is the ego to be got rid of?

Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi
M.: The ego must be held in order to get rid of it. Hold it first and the rest will be easy.

D.: How is that to be held?
M.: Do you mean to say that there is one ego to hold another ego or to eliminate the other? Are there two egos?
D.: How shall I pray to God?
M.: There-must be 'I' who prays to God. 'I' is certainly immediate and intimate, whereas God is not thought so. Find out that which is more intimate and then the other may be ascertained and prayed to if necessary.

19th November, 1938
Talk 581.

When a child held something to be offered to Sri Bhagavan by the parents, they cajoled the child to offer it to Sri Bhagavan. The child did so gladly. Sri Bhagavan remarked: Look at this! When the child can give a thing away to Jeja it is tyaga. ( Jeja -God). See what influence Jeja has on children also! Every gift implies unselfishness.

That is the whole content of nishkama Karma (unselfish action). It means true renunciation. If the giving nature is developed it becomes tyaga. If anything is willingly given away it is a delight to the giver and to the receiver. If the same is stolen it is misery to both. Dana, dharma, nishkama Karma are all tyaga only. When 'mine' is given up it is chitta suddhi (purified mind). When 'I' is given up it is jnana.

When the nature to give away is developed it results in jnana.

Again a little later, a young boy came all alone, unescorted by his parents.

He had come from Chengam in a bus. Sri Bhagavan remarked, "The boy has left his parents to come here. This is also an instance of tyaga."

21st. 22nd November, 1938
Talk 582.

To an Andhra gentleman Sri Bhagavan said: If one goes on wanting, one's wants cannot be fulfilled. Whereas if one remains desireless anything will be forthcoming. We are not in the wife, children, profession, etc.; but they are in us; they appear and disappear according to one's prarabdha.


Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi
The mind remaining still is samadhi, no matter whether the world is perceived or not.

Environment, time and objects are all in me. How can they be independent of me? They may change, but I remain unchanging, always the same. The objects can be differentiated by means of their names and forms, whereas each one's name is only one and that is 'I'. Ask anyone, he says 'I' and speaks of himself as 'I', even if He is Isvara. His name too is 'I' only.

So also of a locality. As long as I am identified with the body so long a locality is distinguishable; otherwise not. Am I the body?
Does the body announce itself as 'I'?
Clearly all these are in me. All these wiped out entirely, the residual
Peace is 'I'. This is samadhi, this is 'I'.

Talk 583.

Mr. V. Ganapati Sastri showed Sri Bhagavan a letter from a Spanish lady,
Mercedes De Acosta, saying she would be coming here the next day. Sri
Bhagavan remarked: "See the trouble to so many because I am here."

23rd November, 1938
Talk 584.

A certain visitor began to pull the pankah. Sri Bhagavan said: "Because it is cold, they have placed fire by my side. Why should the pankah be pulled?"
Then he continued: "On a cold morning, when I was in Virupaksha cave, I was sitting in the open. I was feeling cold. People used to come, see me and go back. A group of Andhra visitors had come. I did not notice what they were doing. They were behind me. Suddenly a noise 'tak' - and water over my head! I shivered with cold. I looked back. They had broken a coconut and poured the water on me. They thought that it was worship. They took me for a stone image."
Talk 585.

Sri Bhagavan said that this town is peculiar in that there are nine roads leading to it, not counting the railroad; navadware pure dehe (in the body - the city of nine gates).


Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi
Talk 586.

An Andhra visitor asked: How is one to be quiet? It is so difficult to be so.

Should we practise yoga for it? Or is there any other means for it?
M.: What is not difficult looks difficult. A man is prone to wander about. He is told to stay quiet at home, but finds it difficult to do so because he wants to wander about.

D.: Is there any particular upasana which is more efficacious than others?
M.: All upasanas are equally efficacious. But each one takes easily to one kind of upasana which suits his previous vasanas.

24th November, 1938
Talk 587.

The Spanish lady and her lady friend have come. They asked: You say the Heart is on the right. Can you explain how it is so?
Sri Bhagavan handed over the extract from the Psychological Review of Philadelphia for her to read. He also added. The Heart is the place wherefrom the 'I-thought' arises.

D.: So you mean the spiritual Heart as distinguished from the physical heart?
M.: Yes. It is explained in Ch. V of Sri Ramana Gita.

D.: Is there any stage when one might feel the Heart?
M.: It is within the experience of everyone. Everyone touches the right side of his chest when he says 'I'.

Both the ladies kneeled before Sri Bhagavan one after another and asked for blessings. Then they left for Pondicherry on their way to Colombo.

25th November, 1938
Talk 588.

To an Andhra seeker, Sri Bhagavan said: Sannyasa is mentioned for one who is fit. It consists in renunciation not of material objects but of attachment to them. Sannyasa can be practised by anyone even at home. Only one must be fit for it. Again.


Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi
A Kutichaka is one who takes sannyasa and lives in a hermitage;
A Bahudaka is one who takes sannyasa and goes to places of pilgrimage;
A Hamsa is an upasaka sannyasi;
A Paramahamsa is a realised sannyasi.

27th November, 1938
Talk 589.

Somasundara Swami, a long standing devotee, asked: There is akasa in a mirror and it reflects images. How are these contained in the mirror?
M.: Objects remain in space. Objects and space are together reflected in the mirror. Just as the things are found in space, so they are in the reflection also. The mirror is itself thin. How can these objects be contained in its compass?
D.: How does the akasa in a pot illustrate this point?
M.: There is no reflection in the akasa of the pot. The reflection is only in the water in it. Keeping several pots filled with water in a tank, the akasa is reflected equally in the water in each of the pots and in the water of the tank. Similarly the whole universe is reflected in each individual.

D.: The mouths of the pots must be above the surface of the water in the tank.

M.: Yes, it must be so. Otherwise can the pots be recognised if sunk in the tank?
D.: How does the reflection take place there?
M.: Pure ether cannot take reflections; only the ether of water can do so. Glass cannot reflect objects; only a plate of glass with an opaque lining on its back can reflect the objects in front of it. Similarly Pure
Knowledge does not contain objects in it nor reflect objects. Only with the limiting adjunct, the mind, it reflects the world.

Neither in samadhi nor in deep sleep does the world remain. There cannot be illusion either in bright light or in total darkness. Only in dim light a rope seems a snake. Similarly Pure Consciousness remains light only; it is pure knowledge. The mind rising from it is deluded that the objects remain apart.

D.: So then the mind is the mirror.


Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi
M.: Mind - mind what is it? It is a mixture of Chit (intelligence) and sankalpas (thoughts). Therefore it forms all these - the mirror, light, darkness and the reflections.

D.: But I do not see it.

M.: Chidakasa (chit-ether) is Pure Knowledge only, It is the source of mind. Just at the moment of rising up, the mind is only light; only afterwards the thought "I am this" rises up; this 'I-thought' forms the jiva and the world.

The first light is the pure mind, the mind ether or Isvara. Its modes manifest as objects. Because it contains all these objects within itself it is called the mind-ether. Why ether? Like ether containing objects it contains the thoughts, therefore it is the mind-ether.

Again, just as the physical ether though accommodating all the gross objects
(the whole universe) is itself the content of the mind-ether, so also the latter is itself the content of Chit-ether. The last one is Chit Itself. There are no things contained in it. It remains as Pure Knowledge only.

D.: Why call it ether? Physical ether is not sentient.

M.: Ether denotes not only the insentient physical ether but also Pure
Knowledge. Knowledge does not consist in knowing objects: this is relative knowledge. But Knowledge in its purity remains all alone,
One, unique, transcendent Light!
D.: Well - should we be imagining it in our meditation?
M.: Why imagine? We can think of another only if we are independent of it, whereas here we cannot remain independent of this Pure
Knowledge. Rather, only IT is! How can It be imagined to be so and so or such and such?
D.: How are we to proceed?
M.: Only get rid of the non-self.

D.: It looks all right now; but later it is all forgotten.

M.: Your forgetfulness implies knowledge, for you know you forgot; otherwise how can you speak of forgetting it? So forgetfulness also is Chit-akasa (Chit-ether) only.

D.: How then is it not clear to me?
M.: Chit is knowledge pure and simple. The mind proceeds from it; the mind is made up of thoughts. Darkness or ignorance interposing.


Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi
Pure Knowledge seems different from what It really is; the same is seen as 'I' and the 'world' which are full of desire, attachment, hatred, etc. Therefore desire, etc., are said to veil the Reality.

D.: How to be rid of thoughts? Is it as said in the Atma-Vidya - the eye of the mental eye, etc.?
M.: There the mind stands for ether, Being (sat); and the eye for knowledge (chit); both sat and chit together form the universe.

D.: How to realise the same?
M.: As pointed out in the Atma Vidya "being the eye of the mental eye, the ether of the mental ether.....", meaning, the Knowledge behind the relative knowledge, the Chit-Ether containing the mental ether, remains as the Only One always shining bright.

D.: Still I do not understand. How shall I realise it?
M.: It is also said, "Remain free from thoughts," and "It is realised only in the mind drawn within." Therefore, the mind made free from thoughts, and merged in the Heart. is Chit Itself.

D.: Is the aforesaid mental ether Isvara or Hiranyagarbha?
M.: Can the latter remain independent of the former? The same is
Isvara and Hiranyagarbha.

D.: How do they differ from each other?
M.: The Immanent Being is called Isvara.

D.: Is not the Immanent Being Chit-akasa only?
M.: Immanence can only be with Maya. It is the Knowledge of Being along with Maya; from this subtle conceit Hiranyagarbha; from the latter the gross conceit virat. Chit-atma is Pure Being only.

13th December, 1938
Talk 590.

Two ladies, one Swiss and the other French, visited Maharshi. The younger of the ladies asked several questions, of which the most important was: "Brahman is the same as jiva. If the jiva be under illusion it amounts to saying that Brahman is under illusion. How is that possible?"
M.: If Brahman be under illusion and wants disillusionment let Him raise the question.


Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi

14th December, 1938
Talk 591.

D.: Seekers who are in immediate proximity of the Master can get grace by darsana, sparsana, etc. (look, touch, etc.). But how does one get the same grace when the person is at a distance?
M.: By yoga drishti (yogic look).

Mr. Chopra, a Punjabi employed in Singapore, is on a visit here and raised a few questions.

D.: What is the efficacy of the name?
Sri Bhagavan read out the extract from the Vision. It was a translation of Namdev's stanzas.

D.: How does the name help Realisation?
M.: The original name is always going on spontaneously without any effort on the part of the individual. That name is aham - 'I'. But when it becomes manifest it manifests as ahamkara - the ego. The oral repetition of nama leads one to mental repetition which finally resolves itself into the eternal vibration.

D.: But these are all mental or physical.

M.: The mind or the mouth cannot act without the Self. Tukaram, the great Maharashtra Saint, used to remain in samadhi in the day and sing and dance at night with large crowds of people. He always used to utter the name of Sri Rama.

Once he was answering calls of nature and also saying "Ram,
Ram". An orthodox priest was shocked at the unholy mention of the sacred name and so reprimanded him and ordered him to be silent when he answered calls of nature.

Tukaram said, "All right!" and remained mute. But at once there arose the name of Rama from every pore of Tukaram and the priest was horrified by the din. He then prayed to Tukaram
"Restrictions are only for the common people and not for saints like you."
D.: It is said that Sri Ramakrishna saw life in the image of Kali which he worshipped. Can it be true?

Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi
M.: The life was perceptible to Sri Ramakrishna and not to all. The vital force was due to himself. It was his own vital force which manifested as if it were outside and drew him in. Were the image full of life it must have been found so by all. But everything is full of life. That is the fact. Many devotees have had experiences similar to those of Sri Ramakrishna.

D.: How can there be life in stone? It is unconscious.

M.: The whole universe is full of life. You say the stone is unconscious.

It is your self-consciousness which now speaks of unconsciousness.

When a person wants to see if there is an article in a dark room he takes a lamp to look for it. The light is useful for detecting the presence and the absence of the thing. Consciousness is necessary for discovering if a thing is conscious or not. If a man remains in a dark room one need not take a lamp to find him. If called, he answers. He does not require a lamp to announce his presence.

Consciousness is thus self-shining.

Now you say you were unconscious in sleep and self-conscious in the wakeful state. Which is the Reality? The Reality must be continuous and eternal. Neither the unconsciousness nor the self-consciousness of the present is the Reality. But you admit your existence all through. The pure Being is the reality. The others are mere associations. The pure
Being cannot be otherwise than consciousness. Otherwise you cannot say that you exist. Therefore consciousness is the reality. When that consciousness is associated with upadhis you speak of self-consciousness, unconsciousness, sub-consciousness, super-consciousness, humanconsciousness, dog-consciousness, tree-consciousness and so on. The unaltering common factor in all of them is consciousness.

Therefore the stone is as much unconscious as you are in sleep. Is that totally devoid of consciousness?
D.: But a dog-consciousness is different from my consciousness. I cannot read the Bible to the dog. The tree again does not move whereas I move and act.

M.: Call the tree a standing man; and call the man a moving tree.

An American gentleman who also took part in the conversation would not allow Sri Bhagavan to explain and so it stopped here.


Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi
Talk 592.

The Punjabi gentleman referred to the popular belief of a worm being metamorphosed to a wasp (bhramarakita nyaya) which Sri Bhagavan had mentioned to the ladies in the course of conversation yesterday.

Sri Bhagavan recalled some interesting reminiscences:
1. "I had previously heard of this bhramarakita nyaya. After I came to
Tiruvannamalai, when I was staying in Gurumoortham, I noticed a red wasp construct a hive in which it placed five or six grubs and then flew away. My curiosity was roused and I wanted to test the truth of the oftquoted nyaya. I waited some days, maybe ten days. I then tapped the hive. It broke and there I found that all the five or six grubs had united together and taken the shape of a wasp, but it was white.

2. Later when I was in Virupaksha Cave, I saw a red wasp construct five or six hives in each of which it placed five or six grubs and flew away. After about ten days, a black beetle, smaller than the wasp, buzzed round the hives and closed each of then, with a little black mud and flew away. I was wondering at the intrusion of the beetle on the hive of the wasp. I waited a few days and then gently opened one of the hives. Five or six black bodies came out and each of them was a black beetle. I thought it strange.

3. Again when I was in Pachyamman Temple, I saw a red wasp constructing five or six hives on a pillar in the temple. It placed five or six grubs in each of them and buzzed away. I watched it for several days. The wasp did not return. There was no black beetle also.

After about fifteen days, I opened one of the hives. All the grubs had united into a white mass of wasp-like form. It dropped down and was stunned by the fall. After a few minutes, it began to crawl. Its colour was gradually changing. In a short time, there were two little specks on its sides which grew into wings as I watched and the full-grown wasp flew away from the ground.

4. When I was in the Mango-Tree Cave I noticed a caterpillar-like worm crawl up a wall. It stopped in one place and fixed two spots which it later connected up with a thin filament from its body. It held the filament with its mouth and rested its tail end on the wall. It remained so several days. I was watching it. It shrivelled up in course of time. I wondered if

Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi there was life in it. So I gently tickled it with a thin stalk. There was no life within. I left it there. But in a few days more I found that there was only a thin dry skin left behind and the inner thing had flown away.

5. I had also seen the flies carrying tiny grubs on their legs which they deposited on offal. The grubs later flew away as flies."
D.: They may be eggs laid by the flies.

M.: But they move and struggle and then shape themselves as flies.

Talk 593.

Sri Bhagavan mentioned another interesting reminiscence. "When I was a boy I had seen the fishermen divert water from its main course and keep a pot through which the diverted water flowed. The artificial way was spread with tobacco stems. Strangely enough the larger fishes always took the new way and fell into the pot. The fishermen who were simply sitting quiet used to take the fish out from the pot and throw them into their baskets. I thought at the time it was strange.

Later, when I was staying here I heard some man recite a piece from
Thayumanavar which mentioned the same trick of the fishermen."

15th December, 1938
Talk 594.

The Spanish lady, Madam Mercedes De Acorta, has written a letter to
Mr. Hague, the American mining engineer who is here as a temporary resident for the last two months. She has raised a few questions there:
"If the individual Self merges into the universal Self, how can one pray to God for the uplift of humanity?" The question seems to be common among the thinkers of the West.

Sri Bhagavan said: They pray to God and finish with "Thy Will be done!" If His Will be done why do they pray at all? It is true that the
Divine Will prevails at all times and under all circumstances. The individuals cannot act of their own accord. Recognise the force of the Divine Will and keep quiet. Each one is looked after by God.

He has created all. You are one among 2,000 millions. When He looks after so many will He omit you? Even common sense dictates that one should abide by His Will.


Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi
Again there is no need to let Him know your needs. He knows them
Himself and will look after them.

Still more, why do you pray? Because you are helpless yourself and you want the Higher Power to help you. Well, does not your
Creator and Protector know your weakness? Should you parade your weakness in order to make Him know it?
D.: But God helps those who help themselves.

M.: Certainly. Help yourself and that is itself according to God's Will.

Every action is prompted by Him only. As for prayer for the sake of others, it looks so unselfish on the surface of it. But analyse the feeling and you will detect selfishness there also. You desire others' happiness so that you may be happy. Or you want the credit for having interceded on others' behalf. God does not require an intermediary. Mind your business and all will be well.

D.: Does not God work His Will through some chosen person?
M.: God is in all and works through all. But His presence is better recognised in purified minds. The pure ones reflect God's actions more clearly than the impure minds. Therefore people say that they are the chosen ones. But the 'chosen' man does not himself say so.

If he thinks that he is the intermediary then it is clear that he retains his individuality and that there is no complete surrender.

D.: Are not the Brahmins considered to be the priests or intermediaries between God and others?
M.: Yes. But who is a Brahmin? A Brahmin is one who has realised
Brahman. Such a one has no sense of individuality in him. He cannot think that he acts as an intermediary.

Again, as for prayer, a realised man does not see others as different from oneself. How can he pray at all, and to whom and for what?
His very presence is the consummation of happiness for all. So long as you think that there are others different from you, you pray for them. But the sense of separateness is ignorance. This ignorance is again the cause of feeling helplessness. You know that you are weak and helpless. How then can you help others? If you say, "By prayer to God", God knows His business and does not require your intercession for others.


Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi
Help yourself so that you may become strong. That is done by complete surrender. That means you offer yourself to Him. So you cannot retain your individuality after surrender. You then abide by
His Will. Thus Silence is the Highest of all achievements.

Silence is the ocean in which all the rivers of all the religions discharge themselves. So says Thayumanavar. He also adds that the Vedic religion is the only one which combines both philosophy and religion.

16th December, 1938
Talk 595.

The two lady visitors returned in the morning and the younger one asked:
"Is the experience of the Highest State the same to all? Or is there any difference?"
M.: The Highest State is the same and the experience is also the same.

D.: But I find some difference in the interpretations put on the Highest

M.: The interpretations are made with the mind. The minds are different and so the interpretations are different.

D.: I mean to ask if the seers express themselves differently?
M.: The expressions may differ according to the nature of the seekers.

They are meant to guide the seekers.

One seer speaks in the terms of Christianity, another in those of Islam, a third of Buddhism, etc. Is that due to their upbringing?
M.: Whatever may be their upbringing, their experience is the same.

But the modes of expression differ according to circumstances.

Talk 596.

A visitor asked: Sri Bhagavan said last night that God is guiding us.

Then why should we make an effort to do anything?
M.: Who asks you to do so? If there was that faith in the guidance of
God this question would not have arisen.

D.: The fact is that God guides us. Then what is the use of these instructions to people?

Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi
M.: They are for those who seek instructions. If you are firm in your belief in the guidance of God, stick to it, and do not concern yourself with what happens around you.

Furthermore, there may be happiness or misery. Be equally indifferent to both and abide in the faith of God. That will be so only when one's faith is strong that God looks after all of us.

Mr. Chopra asked: "How shall I secure that firm faith?"
M.: Exactly. It is for such as these who want instructions. There are persons who seek freedom from misery. They are told that God guides all and so there need not be any concern about what happens.

If they are of the best type they at once believe it and firmly abide by faith in God.

But there are others who are not so easily convinced of the truth of the bare statement. They ask: "Who is God? What is His nature?
Where is He? How can He be realised?" and so on.

In order to satisfy them intellectual discussion is found necessary.

Statements are made, their pros and cons are argued, and the truth is thus made clear to the intellect.

When the matter is understood intellectually the earnest seeker begins to apply it practically. He argues at every moment, "For whom are these thoughts? Who am I?" and so forth, until he is well-established in the conviction that a Higher Power guides us.

That is firmness of faith. Then all his doubts are cleared and he needs no further instructions.

D.: We also have faith in God.

M.: If it had been firm no questions would have arisen. The person will remain perfectly happy in his Faith in the Omnipotent.

D.: Is the enquiry into the Self the same as the above mentioned faith?
M.: The enquiry into the Self is inclusive of all, faith, devotion, jnana, yoga and all.

D.: A man sometimes finds that the physical body does not permit steady meditation. Should he practise yoga for training the body for the purpose?

Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi
M.: It is according to one's samskaras (predispositions). One man will practise hatha yoga for curing his bodily ills; another man will trust to God to cure them; a third man will use his will-power for it and a fourth man may be totally indifferent to them. But all of them will persist in meditation. The quest for the Self is the essential factor and all the rest are mere accessories.

A man may have mastered the Vedanta philosophy and yet remain unable to control his thoughts. He may have a predisposition
(purva samskara) which takes him to practise hatha yoga. He will believe that the mind can be controlled only by yoga and so he will practise it.

D.: What is most suitable for gaining facilities for steady dhyana?
M.: It depends on one's samskara. One may find hatha yoga suitable and another man nama japa, and so on. The essential point is the atma-vichara - enquiry into the Self.

D.: Is it enough if I spend some time in the mornings and some time in the evenings for this atma-vichara? Or should I do it always
- say, even when I am writing or walking?
M.: Now what is your real nature? Is it writing, walking, or being? The one unalterable reality is Being. Until you realise that state of pure being you should pursue the enquiry. If once you are established in it there will be no further worry.

No one will enquire into the source of thoughts unless thoughts arise. So long as you think "I am walking," "I am writing," enquire who does it.

These actions will however go on when one is firmly established in the Self. Does a man always say, "I am a man, I am a man, I am a man," every moment of his life? He does not say so and yet all his actions are going on.

D.: Is an intellectual understanding of the Truth necessary?
M.: Yes. Otherwise why does not the person realise God or the Self at once, i.e., as soon as he is told that God is all or the Self is all? That shows some wavering on his part. He must argue with himself and gradually convince himself of the Truth before his faith becomes firm.


Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi

20th December, 1938
Talk 597.

A Swiss lady, Mrs. J. C. S. Hick-Riddingh, asked: "Does SelfRealisation imply occult powers also?"
M.: The Self is the most intimate and eternal Being whereas the siddhis are foreign. The one requires effort to acquire and the other does not.

The powers are sought by the mind which must be kept alert whereas the Self is realised when the mind is destroyed. The powers manifest only when there is the ego. The ego makes you aware of others and in its absence there are no others to be seen. The Self is beyond the ego and is realised after the ego is eliminated. The elimination of the ego makes one unaware of others. How can the question of others arise and where is the use of occult powers for a Self-Realised Being?
Self-Realisation may be accompanied by occult powers or it may not be. If the person had sought such powers before Realisation, he may get the powers after Realisation. There are others who had not sought such powers and had attempted only Self-Realisation.

They do not manifest such powers.

These powers may also be sought and gained even after SelfRealisation. But then they are used for a definite purpose, i.e. the benefit of others as in the case of Chudala.

Sikhidhvaja was a pious king. His spouse was Chudala. They received instructions from a sage. The king, being busy with the administration of his kingdom, could not put the instructions into practice, whereas Chudala put them into practice and gained
Self-Realisation. Consequently she appeared more charming than before. The king was struck by her growing charm and asked her about it. She said that all charm was due to the Self and he was only noting the charm of Self-Realisation in her. He said that she was silly. There were great tapasvis who could not realise the Self even after long periods of tapas and what about a silly woman who was all along in the family and in the worldly life?
However, Chudala was not offended because she was firm in the
Self and only wished that her husband should realise the Self and

Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi be happy. She then thought that unless she could prove her worth by manifesting some extraordinary powers he could not be convinced and she began to seek occult powers and gained them. But she did not betray them just then. Constant association with her made the king dispassionate. He began to dislike the worldly life and desired to retire into the forest for performing tapasya. So he told his wife that he wanted to leave the world for the forest. She was delighted at the development, but pretended to be very much concerned with his unkind decision. He hesitated out of consideration for her. In the meantime, his dispassion gained in force and he decided to leave home even without her consent.

When the queen was sleeping one night he suddenly left the palace by stealth and retired into the forest. He was seeking some solitary spot where he could perform his tapas. When the queen woke up she did not find her husband and immediately found out by her occult powers what had really happened. She rejoiced in her husband's determination. She called the ministers and said that the king had gone on some important business and that the administration should be carried on as efficiently as ever. She herself administered the state in the absence of the king.

Eighteen years passed. She then knew that the king was fit for
Self-Realisation. So she appeared to him disguised as Kumbha and so on. He then realised the Self and returned to rule the kingdom with the queen.

The point is that occult powers are sought and gained for the benefit of others by Self-Realised persons also. But the sages are not deluded by the possession of such powers.

D.: Does the sage use occult powers for making others realise the Self or is the mere fact of his Self-Realisation enough for it?
M.: The force of his Self-Realisation is far more powerful than the use of all other powers.

Inasmuch as there is no ego in him, there are not others for him.

What is the highest benefit that can be conferred on others? It is happiness. Happiness is born of Peace. Peace can reign only when there is no disturbance. Disturbance is due to thoughts which arise in the mind. When the mind itself is absent there will be perfect

Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi
Peace. Unless a person had annihilated his mind he cannot gain peace and be happy. Unless he himself is happy he cannot bestow happiness on others.

When there is no mind he cannot be aware of others. So the mere fact of his Self-Realisation is itself enough to make all others happy.

D.: Can samadhi come and go?
M.: What is samadhi? Samadhi is one's essential nature. How then can it come or go?
If you do not realise your essential nature, your sight remains obstructed. What is the obstruction? Find it and remove it. So one's efforts are meant only for the removal of obstructions which hide the true vision. The real nature remains the same. When once it is realised it is permanent.

D.: But Mr. Brunton says that he had one hour's samadhi. Therefore
I asked the question.

M.: A practiser gains peace of mind and is happy. That peace is the result of his efforts. But the real state must be effortless.

The effortless samadhi is the true one and the perfect state. It is permanent. The efforts are spasmodic and so also their results.

When the real, effortless, permanent, happy nature is realised it will be found to be not inconsistent with the ordinary activities of life. The samadhi reached after efforts looks like abstraction from the external activities. A person might be so abstracted or live freely among people without detriment to his Peace and Happiness because that is his true nature or the Self.

21st December, 1938
Talk 598.

Sri Bhagavan shows great humour at times: He read Upamanya Bhakta
Vilas which contains a passage where Arunachalesvara is said to have robbed Tirujnanasambandar and his group of followers of all their possessions by His bhutaganas disguised as dacoits. Sri Bhagavan remarked: "Siva Himself was waylaid in Tiruvudal Utsava and He practised the same trick on His devotees. Can it be so?"

Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi
Talk 599.

A saying of Laotze from Tao Teh Ch'ing was read out in the hall: "By his non-action the sage governs all."
Sri Bhagavan remarked: Non-action is unceasing activity. The sage is characterised by eternal and intense activity. His stillness is like the apparent stillness of a fast rotating top (gyroscope). Its very speed cannot be followed by the eye and so it appears to be still. Yet it is rotating. So is the apparent inaction of the sage.

This must be explained because the people generally mistake stillness to be inertness. It is not so.

24th December, 1938

questions, comments, suggestions/feedback, take-down requests, contribute, etc
contact me @ or via the comments below
or join the integral discord server (chatrooms)
if the page you visited was empty, it may be noted and I will try to fill it out. cheers






1.550 - 1.600 Talks
select ::: Being, God, injunctions, media, place, powers, subjects,
favorite ::: cwsa, everyday, grade, mcw, memcards (table), project, project 0001, Savitri, the Temple of Sages, three js, whiteboard,
temp ::: consecration, experiments, knowledge, meditation, psychometrics, remember, responsibility, temp, the Bad, the God object, the Good, the most important, the Ring, the source of inspirations, the Stack, the Tarot, the Word, top priority, whiteboard,

--- DICTIONARIES (in Dictionaries, in Quotes, in Chapters)

--- QUOTES [0 / 0 - 0 / 0] (in Dictionaries, in Quotes, in Chapters)

KEYS (10k)


*** NEWFULLDB 2.4M ***

--- IN CHAPTERS (in Dictionaries, in Quotes, in Chapters)


1.550_-_1.600_Talks, #Talks, #Sri Ramana Maharshi, #Hinduism
  object:1.550 - 1.600 Talks

change font "color":
change "background-color":
change "font-family": 45331 site hits