Q. How should a beginner approach Enlightenment or Spirituality? | Sri Ramana Maharshi

A visitor asked, “What should one, who is an absolute beginner, do in this (i.e., spiritual) line?”

Bhagavan: The very fact that you put this question shows you know what to do. It is because you feel the want of peace, that you are anxious to take some steps to secure peace. Because I have a little pain in my foot, I am applying this ointment.

Visitor: What is the method to be adopted for securing peace?

B: The conception that there is a goal and a path to it, is wrong. We are the goal or peace always. To get rid of the notion that we are not peace is all that is required.

V: All books say that the guidance of a Guru is necessary.

B: The Guru will say only what I am saying now. He will not give you anything you have not already. It is impossible for anyone to get what he has not got already. Even if he gets any such thing, it will go as it came. What comes will also go. What always is will alone remain.

The Guru cannot give you anything new, which you have not already. Removal of the notion that we have not realised the Self is all that is required. We are always the Self. Only, we don’t realise it.

The Asramam compounder asked some questions about his experiences during meditation. Bhagavan explained that the Self is the one reality that always exists and it is by its light all other things are seen. We forget it and concentrate on the appearances. The light in the hall burns, both when persons are present there and when they are absent, both when persons are enacting something as in a theatre and when nothing is being enacted. It is the light which enabled us to see the hall, the persons and the acting.

We are so engrossed with the objects or appearances revealed by the light that we pay no attention to the light. In the waking state or dream state, in which things appear, and in the sleep state, in which we see nothing, there is always the light of consciousness or Self, like the hall-lamp always burning.

The thing to do is to concentrate on the seer and not on the seen, not on the objects, but on the Light which reveals them

Day by Day with Bhaghavan, 16th September 1945, Afternoon

True Courage

True courage is not what we think it is. The real courage is not what we usually refer to in our everyday life. The real courage is to abide as the Self.

We are lucky to have Ramana and his teaching that give us all the needed instructions on how to do it and overcome potential difficulties with our practice.

So, the key is in our hands, to follow the teaching and end our suffering or not and see from your experience what that brings with it.

This video was recorded live during a Satsang meeting with Tom Das.

Are there levels or stages of realisation? | Self-Realisation | Moksha

Question: Are there levels or stages of Realisation?

Tom: Realisation is one, there are no degrees of realisation, it has no levels. There is no really such thing as realisation. The whole point of the teachings are just to get us to abide as the Self, to turn within, to be. Not to be this or that, just TO BE. And when you realise the Self, it is just Self being the Self. You realise this has always been realised. 

You don’t even realise in words, that’s just the way it has always been. It appears in ignorance that there are different levels of realisation. You can say Ramana is more realised than someone else, but there is no Ramana who is realised really. The body-mind doesn’t attain liberation. It is just Self-being the Self. There can be degrees of insight, but that is all on a level of ignorance. 

Ramana said that Realisation is one, there are only levels of ignorance. So you can have thick dense ignorance and you can have very fine subtle ignorance. And thick dense ignorance will cause much more suffering, much more delusion, much more distortion than the fine silky veil of ignorance that is barely there.

The distorting capacity of the small subtle ignorance is very small. There is minimal distortion there, minimal suffering, but it’s still ignorance. When our suffering gets less and less, it gets finer and finer. Subjectively to that person, it’s still suffering. If someone else is looking at that person, he/she could think they have a great life, but from their point of view, they are still suffering. 

The above conversation was transcribed by a volunteer from a live Satsang meeting with Tom Das. If you are interested in joining, please see www.tomdas.com/events

Q. Are there different levels of Moksha (Liberation) or Realisation? If so, how many are there?

Tom: Is there even such a thing as Moksha? Even to speak of Moksha is more ignorance, as it implies some entity that can be liberated, or something to be liberated from.

However…In more conventional terms we could say there are no levels of Moksha (as there is only Moksha), but there are various levels of ignorance. So all apparent levels of realisation appear in maya/are illusory/are based in ignorance.

Gaudapada in his commentary of the Mandukya Upanishad hints at this: see the first 2 verses I quote from him here together with my commentary: Advaita Vedanta: Gaudapada’s Method

There are various stages that the seeker tends to go through, however, see this link for more: Q. What are the stages of awakening?

There are also different types of Moksha, apparently (meaning from the point of view of ignorance), such as jivanmukti and videhamukti and numerous other classifications in the scriptures. But in essence we don’t have to worry about these as this is just more book knowledge. The scriptures and sages (such as Ramana) remind us that this is really more ignorance for the mind. Instead, keep it simple and just keep on with your basic Sadhana:

1. Be still (raja yoga)

2. Know who you are (jnana yoga)

3. Adore your God-Guru-Self (bhakti yoga)

4. Give thanks for all that comes your way (karma yoga)

Note – all of the above leads to a peaceful open indestructible stillness (Mouna or Atman/Brahman)

5. Dissolve into Divine Love (Moksha/Advaita/Bhakti/Jnana)

🙂

Can Enlightenment or Realisation be Transmitted?

I’m still asking people to subscribe to my YouTube Channel (Please subscribe!).  YouTube responds to increased subscriptions and likes by sharing the videos more widely, so your support is greatly appreciated.

As an incentive I’ll be posting some more videos in the next few days that cover the essential teachings, so if you’re subscribed you’ll automatically be notified of them.

Here is my latest video offering exploring transmission of enlightenment or liberation, enjoy!