Essential teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi


How to actually do Self-Inquiry/Self-Enquiry/Atma Vichara

How to actually do self-enquiry:

Here is a video detailing the theory and practice:

Here is a guided self-inquiry – short version:


Robert Adams: there’s only one problem

robert adams ramana maharshi

Robert Adams:

There is only one problem that affects everyone. And that is, you think. It’s your thoughts that get you into trouble.

You have an opinion on almost everything. If you would only learn to control your thoughts you would become absolutely free.

Even now, while I’m talking to you, there are many thinking of something else. Your mind appears to have complete control over you. Now if your mind were real you would have a battle on your hands.

But, since your mind doesn’t even exist, you merely have to see the mind for what it really is, the Self.

There is no mind. There are no thoughts. There is only the Self.

All the scriptures of the world have tried to explain this. Be still and know that I am God. Focus you mind on God, and all will go well with you. They’re saying the same thing.

Clarifications on Self-Enquiry

Q. ​Hi Tom, when Ramana says in the book  ‘Who am I’ ‘cultivate the constant and deep contemplative ‘remembrance’ (smrti) of the true nature of the Self’ – would this be like repeatedly bringing the attention back to what is here now with the understanding that the Self is all that is?

Tom: Not quite, although that can be part of it. It means to know:

(1) the essence of who you are, experientially, is unchanging and is also unaffected by gross and subtle objects

(2) there is no lasting fulfillment in objects, which are all transient

(3) the essence of you does nothing (the self is not a doer)

(4) it means to lose interest in objects as sources of pleasure, happiness or fulfillment as we bathe in the bliss of simply being (ourselves).

All this is captured by the words sat-chit-ananda (being-consciousness-bliss), which indicate the nature of the Self.

Turn away from the gross and subtle world-objects.

Not allowing the concept/thought ‘I’ to rise up, wielding the weapon ‘who am I’ to strike down any such thoughts, remain as the Self.

If this all sounds too complex, don’t worry: it is intuitively ‘grasped’, so to speak, through simply allowing the mind to rest and be still and allowing ‘the truth’, so to speak, to arise within naturally.