Tom answers a question asked by a participant and clarifies what is means to ‘turn within’.
This video was recorded live during a Satsang meeting with Tom Das and put together by volunteers.
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For recommended reading for liberation see here: https://tomdas.com/2020/10/19/recommended-reading-books-for-enlightenment-liberation-and-self-realisation/
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SRI RAMANA GITA
ON CUTTING THE KNOT
1. On the night of the 14th of August, I put a question to Maharshi regarding granthibheda [severance of the knot] on which even the learned have doubts.
2. The effulgent Bhagavan Sri Ramana Rishi, listened to my question, thought for a while and in his divine way spoke.
3. “The nexus of the body and the Self is called the granthi. It is only by this connection with the Self that one is aware of the body.
4. This body is insentient. The Self is pure awareness. The connection between the two is deduced through the intellect.
5. O child, enveloped by the diffused light of pure awareness, the body functions. Owing to non-apprehension (of the world) in sleep, (swoon) and so on, the location of the Self has to be inferred.
6. Even as the subtle forces like the electric current pass through visible wires, the light of awareness flows through a nadi in the body.
7. The effulgent light of pure awareness, taking hold of a centre, lights up the entire body as the Sun illumines the world.
8. Owing to the diffusion of that light in the body, one has experiences in the body. That centre of radiation the sages say, is the Heart.
9. From the play of forces in the nadis one infers the flow of the light of awareness. The forces course through the body each hugging its special nadi.
10. The particular nadi through which pure awareness flows is called sushumna. It is also called atma nadi, para nadi and amrita nadi.
11. As the light pervades the entire body, one gets attached to the body, mistakes the body for the Self and regards the world as different from oneself.
12. When the discerning one renounces attachment and the identification of himself with the body and pursues one-pointed enquiry, a churning starts in the nadis.
13. With this churning of the nadis, the Self gets separated from the other nadis, and clinging to the amrita nadi alone, shines forth.
14. When the effulgent light of awareness shines in atma nadi alone, nothing else shines except the Self.
15. Anything that appears before (such a jnani) has no separate existence. He knows the Self as clearly as the ignorant one his body.
16. He for whom the atman alone shines, within, without and everywhere, as (clearly as) objects to the ignorant, is called one who has cut the nexus.
17. The nexus is two-fold; one the bond of the nadis, the other mental attachment. The perceiver, though subtle, perceives through the bond of the nadis the entire gross world.
18. When the light, withdrawn from all the other nadis, dwells in one nadi alone, the bond (between awareness and the body) is sundered and the light abides as the Self.
19. As a heated iron-ball appears as a ball of fire, this (body) heated in the fire of Self-enquiry shines as the Self.
20. The old vasanas pertaining to the body, (mind and so on) are destroyed. Being free from body-consciousness one never has the sense of doership.
21. Since such a one has no sense of doership, his karma, it is said, is completely destroyed. As nothing but the Self exists, no doubts arise for him.
22. Once the knot is cut, one is never bound again. This is considered the state of power supreme and peace supreme.”
This is the ninth chapter entitled ‘ON CUTTING THE KNOT’ in Sri Ramana Gita, the Science of Brahman and the Scripture of Yoga, composed by Ramana’s disciple Vasishta Ganapati.
Many say that (1) the mind (ie. thoughts) cannot be controlled and (2) the mind need not be controlled for liberation to result. Here is what is written in the Bhagavad Gita, chapter 6, verses 35 and 36:
Arjuna: The mind is very restless, turbulent, strong and obstinate, O Krishna. It appears to me that it is more difficult to control than the wind.
Lord Krishna said: O mighty-armed son of Kunti, what you say is correct; the mind is indeed very difficult to restrain. But by practice and detachment, it can be controlled.
Note the teaching here is clear – the mind can be controlled. Just practice is required. To find out more, please read Chapter 6 of the Bhagavad Gita which explains the meaning of ‘controlling the mind’, the method of doing so, and the result (Moksha)
‘It is mainly through enquiry (vichara) that he who is competent achieves knowledge of the Self; circumstance, time, and the grace of the Lord are but aids to the quest.’
~ Shankara (Vivekachudamani)
Tom: Some say that grace of god is required for liberation and so slacken and shy away from their sadhana. Grace of God is certainly needed, but Grace of God is always here. Shankara reminds us that it is Sadhana ie. Self-enquiry, that is the foremost factor that leads directly to liberation
Some say that all is One already, All is Divine, so no need to give anything up, no need to do anything. Whilst there is a truth in this, and whilst this type of teaching can provide us some limited time-bound relief (which is good as a start), it is almost always an ego-preservation strategy: the thinking mischief-causing mind is allowed to continue with its ideas and concepts and beliefs about ‘this’, and the genuine thought-free Blissful Realisation of That Which Always Is, is postponed yet again. Suffering and duality continue, apparently, and we remain stuck in illusion, apparently.
Why ‘apparently’? Because in Reality there was never any ignorance, any delusion, any duality or any suffering. Only Blissful Being ever really is.
‘This’ never was (referring to objective phenomena/maya).
There is only That (Divine Formless Spirit)…
…and That Thou Art.
To realise this is very simple: (1) Surrender all to the Him (or Her or It), (2) allow the mind to become first happy, then very calm and still, and then (3) enquire into yourself as per instructions of Bhagavan Guru Sri Ramana Maharshi
Bhagavan Ramana summarises the teachings using the Biblical phrase ‘Be Still and Know I Am God’
Om Tat Sat