Sri Muruganar was one of the most important of Sri Ramana Maharshi’s devotees: he spent over 20 years being lovinginly devoted to his Guru, Sri Ramana, and he was, to my knowledge, the only living person who Sri Ramana said had realised the Self.
In the wonderful text Sri Guru Ramana Prasadam, Sri Muruganar writes verse after verse after verse explaining how through his Guru’s Grace and Teachings he too came to fully realise the Self.
On page 137 he writes about the true nature of the world or universe, as follows:
‘The viewpoint [that there is] a phenomenal world is given as a provisional hypothesis principally for those of low and middling attainment, who are the vast majority, and who do not have both an intense longing to realise the truth and a total absense of desire for sense enjoyments, resulting from perceiving the inherent defects [of those sense enjoyments].
‘In the scriptures themselves, enlightened Jnanis proclaim that the world appears to the ego-mind – formed by the know joining consciousness with the insentient (cit-jada granthi) – and that the Self remains in total union with that world.
However, in truth, nothing exists apart from the one Self. Hence, from the ultimate viewpoint, it remains unattached, there being nothing other than itself – like the underlying screen in a cinama show.‘
In the following PDF file below, the nature of liberation is described in detail in a way I have not seen elsewhere.
One of the books I highly recommend on my recommended reading list is ‘Manonasa’ by Michael Langford. There are many wonderful aspects about this book that give the genuine seeker of liberation many hints, tips and instructions that are not commonly found elsewhere, hence the potential value of this book. As with many of Michael Langford’s books, the style in which it is written will not suit everyone, but a genuine seeker will hopefully be able to look past any apparent or perceived stylistic deficiencies to find the treasure buried within.
So therefore I do recommend you buy and read this book for yourself.
There is a section of the book that describes Liberation or Manonasa in great detail in a way I have not found elsewhere – and this can be particularly valuable to some seekers – you can download the relevant section below as a PDF file:
In the PDF file the following is explained:
-The nature of Manoasa
-An important barrier to Manonasa
-Quotes from various different sources and sages to show that this is the traditional teaching of various sages and not just Michael Langford’s personal views
-Explanations as to how this can actually be the case
Namaste & Blessings
Here are some resources and links relating to this superb traditional Advaita Vedanta text that gives us a step-by-step method for Self-Realisation and Liberation.
Attributed to Sri Shankara, written approximately 1400 years ago, Vivekachudamani (‘The Crest Jewel of Discrimination’ or the ‘The Highest Treasure of Wisdom’) was also recommended by Sri Ramana Maharshi who said this text explains ‘…in detail the points that have to be grasped by those who seek liberation, and thereby directing them to the true and direct path‘:
Shankara’s Vivekachudamani as translated by Sri Ramana Maharshi: https://tomdas.com/2019/03/04/vivekachudamani-as-translated-by-sri-ramana-maharshi/
Sri Ramana’s introduction to Vivekachudamani where he summarises the entire path to liberation: https://tomdas.com/2019/02/25/ramana-maharshis-introduction-to-shankaras-crest-jewel-of-discrimination-vivekachudamani-and-summary-of-its-teachings/
The 10 most important verses of Vivekachudamani as selected by Sri Ramana Maharshi: https://tomdas.com/2020/05/14/the-ten-most-important-verses-of-shankaras-vivekachudamani-according-to-sri-ramana-maharshi/
Is Vivekachudamani sexist? https://youtu.be/VPZw6cgczLw
A more traditional verse by verse translation of Vivekachudamani by Swami Madhavananda: https://tomdas.com/2018/10/01/vivekachudamani-crest-jewel-of-discrimination-by-shankara/
A more accurate verse by verse translation of Vivekachudamani with word for word transliteration and translation by Achyarya Pranipata Chaitanya:
See below for the link to download the 108 Upanishads as a PDF file
Tom: note this is not my view, but the view of Vedanta, ie. the Upanishads, also known as Shruti. The Upanishads and Jnanis state this again and again in various ways. The highest authority in the Vedanta teachings are the Upanishads. In fact, strictly speaking, ‘Vedanta’ simply refers to the teachings found in the Upanishads. If we actually read the Upanishads for ourselves – there are 108* classical Upanishads – we will see this same teaching being given again and again.
The knot of ignorance in the heart is broken completely only when one sees his Self as secondless through Nirvikalpa Samadhi
~ Adhyatma Upanishad 1.17
Hasn’t Guru Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi told us that all paths must end in Silence, also known as Nirvikalpa Samadhi, also known as Jnana, which is nothing other than the Pure Objectless Self!
However, to answer your question directly, it is also my own view. My views on this remain unchanged – what made you think otherwise?**
Namaste and Pranams 🙏
*There are classically 108 Upanishads, all of which are considered to be authoritative in Vedanta teachings. However 10-12 of the Upanishads have more recently been designated ‘Major Upanishads’ as these are the ones that Sri Shankara wrote commentaries upon, and the remaining 96-98 Upanishads are often referred to as ‘Minor Upanishads’. However strictly speaking the so-called Minor Upanishads are no less important than the so-called major ones, and traditionally many think the Minor Upanishads are for the more advanced students of Vedanta. Often the ‘Minor’ Upanishads teach a very clear and direct approach to Vedanta, so perhaps Shankara just commented on those Upanishads that were less easy to understand? Either way, read them for yourself if you get the chance. You can find them here:
**This reply was given to someone who thought my views on this matter had changed
Here is a prayer or salutation that was read out by someone at Satsang this Thursday. It is taken from the wonderful text Yoga Vasistha, where it is referred to as a prayer:
‘Salutations to that reality in which all the elements, and all the animate and inanimate beings shine as if they have an independent existence, and in which they exist for a time and into which they merge.
‘Salutations to that consciousness which is the source of the apparently distinct threefold divisions of knower, knowledge and known, seer, sight and seen, doer, doing and deed.
‘Salutations to that bliss absolute (the ocean of bliss) which is the life of all beings whose happiness and unfoldment is derived from the shower of spray from that ocean of bliss.‘
~Vasistha’s Yoga (translated by Swami Venkatesananda)
As you can see, the prayer is naturally divided into three sections, with each one corresponding to Sat-Chit-Ananda (Reality-Consciousness-Bliss), which refers to the Self, ie. what we truly are, or Brahman, the Divine Absolute. So this is really a prayer to God, Brahman, or a Prayer to Ourself:
I bow down and worship my Own True Self!
Some consider Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi’s text ‘Ulladu Narpadu’ or ’40 verses on Reality’ to be the most profound teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana.
Here in the first invocatory verse of Ulladu Narpadu, Bhagavan Sri Ramana summarises the path of knowledge:
1. Unless Reality exists, can thought of it arise? Since, devoid of thought, Reality exists within as Heart, how to know the Reality we term the Heart? To know That is merely to be That in the Heart.
In the second invocatory verse he summarises the path of Love or Bhakti:
2. When those who are in dread of death seek refuge at the feet of the deathless, birthless Lord Supreme, their ego and attachments die; and they, now deathless, think no more of death.
Therefore, in just these two verses, the entire teaching is summarised. Let us contemplate upon them, meditate upon them and realise their essential teaching!
Wishing you all a wonderful 2022!
Happy New Year!
Did you know that many Vedanta and Vedic texts contain what are now often called ‘Law of Attraction’ Teachings? Including the text Tripura Rahasya, a text recommended by Sri Ramana Maharshi?
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.