Tom: Traditionally Sravana refers to hearing the teaching. Manana refers to reflecting upon and thinking about the teaching which has been heard. Nididhyasana refers to prolonged meditation upon the Self, which culminates in Samadhi, which then leads to Moksha (Liberation).
The knot of the ignorance in the heart is broken completely only when one sees his Self as secondless through Nirvikalpa Samadhi
~Adhyatama Upanishad 1.17
Here is a quote from Sri Ramana Maharshi taken from Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi, Talk no. 249 – all writing below in black type is from Sri Ramana, with my comments being in red:
The effects of sravana may be immediate and the disciple realises the truth all at once. This can happen only for the well-advanced disciple.
[Tom: later Sri Ramana explains that this means that the advanced/ripe seeker immediately goes into Samadhi, which is the same as abiding as the Self, as soon as the teaching is heard]
Otherwise, the disciple feels that he is unable to realise the truth, even after repeatedly hearing it. What is it due to? Impurities in his mind: ignorance, doubt and wrong identity are the obstacles to be removed.
(a) To remove ignorance completely, he has to hear the truth repeatedly, until his knowledge of the subject-matter becomes perfect
(b) to remove doubts, he must reflect on what he has heard; ultimately his knowledge will be free from doubts of any kind;
(c) to remove the wrong identity of the Self with the non-self (such as the body, the senses, the mind or the intellect) his mind must become one-pointed. All these things accomplished, the obstacles are at an end and samadhi results, that is, Peace reigns.
Some say that one should never cease to engage in hearing, reflection and one-pointedness. These are not fulfilled by reading books, but only by continued practice to keep the mind withdrawn.
The aspirant may be kritopasaka or akritopasaka. The former is fit to realise the Self, even with the slightest stimulus: only some little doubt stands in his way, it is easily removed if he hears the truth once from the Master. Immediately he gains the samadhi state. [Tom: Sri Ramana is stating that by listening alone, or by some other minimal stimulus, the ripe seeker spontaneously goes into samadhi without the need for the intermediary steps of reflecting upon the teachings or meditating upon them.] It is presumed that he had already completed sravana, reflection, etc. in previous births, they are no more necessary for him.
For the other all these aids are necessary; for him doubts crop up even after repeated hearing; therefore he must not give up aids until he gains the samadhi state. Sravana removes the illusion of the Self being one with the body, etc. Reflection makes it clear that Knowledge is Self. One-pointedness reveals the Self as being Infinite and Blissful.
8 thoughts on “Sravana alone can result in Self-Realisation! Sri Ramana Maharshi on Sravana, Manana and Nididhyasana”
Loved your post.
Shravana is enough for the well-developed seeker.
All others have to take aids., as rightly pointed out by you.
Shree Adi Shankaracharya states that the two wings of the bird (seeker) are : gnyana (knowledge) & sadhana (practice).
LikeLiked by 1 person
1) Could you please explain what you mean by nididhyasana (one-pointedness) and how one should practice it?
2) I also would like to know a few things about the traditional Advaita teachings of Shankara. And NOT neo-advaita that became popular in the 19th-20th century.
Are there any dhyana or meditative practices in traditional Advaita school of Shankara, like sitting in a lotus posture, breathing techniques, emptying the mind and concentrating on a higher object etc. ?
LikeLiked by 1 person
See the recommended reading page here, there are sections that talk about Traditional Teachings as well as the teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi: https://tomdas.com/2020/10/19/recommended-reading-books-for-enlightenment-liberation-and-self-realisation/