Ramana Maharshi: Be still

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All the texts say that in order to gain release one should render the mind quiescent; therefore their conclusive teaching is that the mind should be rendered quiescent; once this has been understood there is no need for endless reading.

Ramana Maharshi (from Who Am I)

One of the problems of Ramana’s teachings is that they are so simple. Most people do not want to be still and keep the mind quiet. They want to avoid themselves by discussing and understanding the concepts.

Now conceptual discussion has its place, but once one has understood the import of the teachings, namely silence, then it is time to sit down and shut up. Muruganar, who is regarded as Ramana’s closest and most influential devotee, says the same about Ramana’s teachings in his masterpiece Guru Vachaka Kovai:

What our Master clearly teaches by way of great, good, powerful tapas (spiritual effort) is only this and nothing more
Apart from this the mind has no task to do or thought to think

Guru Vachaka Kovai
(verse 773)

And in case you still haven’t got the message, here’s another quote from Who Am I, which is the publication that Ramana had issued at his Ashram as an introduction to his teachings. Note that the Sanskrit word ‘Jnana’ below literally means ‘knowledge’ and in a spiritual context refers to Self-Knowledge/Realisation or Liberation itself:

Questioner: What is wisdom-insight (jnana-drsti)?
Ramana Maharshi: Remaining quiet is what is called wisdom-insight.

Ramana Maharshi (from Who Am I)

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