Is ignorance bliss? A seeker’s dilemma

Sometimes to those who are on the spiritual path, it can seem like those who are in full ignorance are happier. It can feel like ignorance is bliss, but it isn’t. It’s deep, deep suffering.

There are few things about spiritual seeking…First, the spiritual seeker has a certain type of sensitivity, which makes them more sensitive to suffering, because they are more aware of it often. That self-aware aspect can intensify suffering that wouldn’t bother other people so much. Some spiritual seekers have fairly nice lives outwardly. But inwardly they are suffering intently because they are more sensitive to their suffering because the awareness is there.

The other thing about the spiritual path is that it is often an isolating path, which also makes it difficult. There is no one to share it with, very few people understand this, because most people are not seekers of liberation, they are seekers of other things.

The other thing is there is nothing you can do about it. Say ignorance was bliss, probably with this there is no turning back! I’m sorry to say, you can’t go back!

Sri Ramana Maharshi did not say you have to love me, you have to devote yourself to me – that is not the essence of the teaching at all. That is actually to miss the point to what he is actually pointing towards. He said you’ve got to follow my teachings. You have to follow the Guru’s instruction.

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

See https://tomdas.com/events for further information.

Who is the thinker? Removing illusion and delusion

In silence thoughts lessen.

The attachment to thinking and to desire gradually weaken until they eventually fade and die.

If we relinquish the sense of limitation, that limiting belief “ I am the body” then the ego disappears consumed by silence, stillness, being.

Deeper silence and stillness where nothing is lacking.

This video was recorded live during a Satsang meeting with Tom Das and put together by volunteers.

See https://tomdas.com/events for further information.

Online Satsang & post-satsang ‘social’ is now twice a week

We meet online every Thursday 8pm and every Sunday 3pm, UK time (currently BST, which is GMT+1)

After the meeting we have a post-satsang ‘social’ where attendees can informally chat and get to know each other better.

All are most welcome.

See tomdas.com/events for more information and how to join

The importance of Manana (contemplating the teachings)

This is a very important verse from Shankara. Most people concentrate on the point being made about samadhi when reading this verse, but note how it states that manana is ‘one hundred times’ superior to sravana.

Yesterday in Satsang, we were talking about manana and how we can do this more effectively, and how this naturally will lead to nididhyasana and then samadhi and then full realisation. You will start to find that the motivation to do practice will increase.

Thinking about the teachings, seeing the tricks the ego keeps on playing on you to perpetuate itself, seeing the very nature of the ego for yourself, writing this all down and reflecting upon it means the ego has less room to manoevure. Write down all your thoughts, write down all your insights, get it all on paper.

At this point in the teaching it is helpful to do this as the mind, being very fickle and forgetful will quickly forget the insights you have previously made, thus perpetuating itself.

As you engage with this aspect of the teaching, you will see how just powerful it indeed is, how the ego has less and less room to move in, how the ego weakens naturally, and how peace and love more and more come into you, merging with your very Being.

Namaste 🙏

The path of the Brave and Fearful | Sri Ramana Paravidyopanishad | Guru Vachaka Kovai |

Thank you for those who attended Satsang with me yesterday. It was wonderful to be with you all 🙏 Here is a video from the meeting:

Here are some the verses that I mentioned during the Satsang that I wasn’t able to fully remember and quote verbatim at the time, plus a few extra verses at the end (the last 3 verses):

Sri Ramana Paravidyopanishad, verses 211 & 212:

211. Only two paths are laid down for the aspirant to deliverance: for the valiant, the quest of one’s own Self, and for the fearful, self-surrender to God. In these two all the paths are included.

[Commentary by Lakshmana Sarma: A great many paths are known and followed, but all come under these two. The valiant one has been already described. The other is the one who is afraid of samsara, but is unable to take to the quest taught by Bhagavan as being the direct path. On this direct path all preconceived notions are dropped, as will be seen later. Self-surrender is the final step in the practice of devotion to God, which is the only other alternative to the direct path.]

212. This two-fold path has been taught by the most holy one, Ramana, thus: ‘Either seek the root of the ego-sense [the ‘I’ that rises within the body] or surrender that ego-sense to God to have it destroyed [by His grace].’

Verses from Guru Vachaka Kovai:

745.
To say that someone practising
Sustained enquiry for the Self, the God
Who is all Awareness, suffered from
Mental derangement, would be like
Saying that some poor fellow died,
Alas, by drinking nectar.

354.
Don’t ask in fear and doubt, “What, what
Will happen if I once for all
Give up this separate self of mine?”
Whoso lets go the bough he clings to
Lands safe on solid earth. You are bound
To reach the real Self.

394.
Forgetfulness of Self is real death.
To overcome the fear of body’s death
We needs must constantly remember
The Self. For self-enquiry then,
There is no fixed rule of time or place.

834.
Courageous ones who know no fear
Find and renounce the world as worthless,
And so gain wisdom true. Others
Are foolish folk by falsehood blinded.

174.
In meditation deep, while yet
A trace of ego lingers, fear
And trembling may sometimes occur.
But when the ego dies at last
In Pure Awareness, quaking stops.
Stillness alone prevails.