Ramana Maharshi: Self-Realisation is simply being one’s self

Ramana smiling

The state we call Realisation is simply being one’s self, not knowing anything or becoming anything.

If one has realised, one is that which alone is and which alone has always been. One cannot describe that state, but only be That.

Of course, we talk loosely of Self-Realisation for want of a better term.

Ramana Maharshi
(taken from the book Day by Day with Bhagavan, p. 296)

Tom’s comments:

Notice that the search for ‘understanding’ and the search for becoming ‘enlightened’ or ‘self-realised’ are both pursuits of the ego. The ego is looking for security and pleasure and has projected/created these fantasies which it tries to attain.

Instead of trying to attain a projected fantasy, why not instead look at what is actually happening? Look at yourself, look at the ego, the ‘I’. Ask yourself ‘what is this ego? Who am I?’ Investigate for yourself repeatedly and you will see that the ego, the ‘you’ is illusory – it’s just a bundle of thoughts that occur by themselves, spontaneously. ‘Your thoughts’ are not yours at all: note how you cannot chose to stop thinking, stop worrying, stop your addictions. You cannot chose to believe something you don’t. You cannot chose to not believe something you do believe. You cannot stop your ‘bad thoughts’. In fact you probably do not even know what exactly you will be thinking in 5 minutes time let alone tomorrow or 5 days from now.

Another point: if you happen to think you are a dinosaur, it doesn’t necessarily make you one. Similarly if you think that you are an ego (a doer, a thinker, an agent who has authorship over his/her actions), it doesn’t make it true. Yes, the idea of being a doer is just that: it is an idea, a belief that has been tacitly repeated to us and drummed into us since childhood. An oft-repeated lie is then (mistakenly) taken to be true.

In seeing this first-hand, there is no specific intellectual understanding or state of mind gained. It’s just that an illusion has been seen through, like seeing that a frightening snake is in fact just a harmless rope in poor light (or like realising that you are not in fact a dinosaur after all!).

No dogmas, no metaphysics, no complex body-twisting acrobatics, no beliefs and no rituals are necessary (although they may be a part of the apparent journey).

Then all there is is ‘what’s happening’, and what you thought was you is actually just a part of that happening. Or as Bhagavan puts it, all there is is ‘simply being one’s self’.

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