SELF-ABIDANCE & THE SELF
Listen to this video a few times so the teaching goes in
The Following teaching statements of Sri Ramana Maharshi are taken from the text Guru Vachaka Kovai (Garland of Guru’s sayings). This text is widely consider to be the most authoritative text on Sri Ramana’s verbal teachings – you can download it using the link below.
In the following video I have read the quotes to form a guided meditation/guided contemplation. You are invited to sit comfortably and allow these soothing words to wash over you and guide you to the Self.
393.One who has wisely chosen the straight path
Of self-enquiry can never go astray;
For like the bright, clear Sun, the Self
Reveals itself direct to whoso
Turns towards it.
391. Those who do not dive into the Heart
And there confront the Self in the five sheaths hid
Are only students answering out of books
Clever questions raised by books,
And not true seekers of the Self.
835. Renouncing this phenomenal world
Which seems to, but does not, exist
We gain (the great ones say) the Self,
The Awareness shining all unseen.
755. If without wasting time one starts
And keeps up steady self-enquiry,
One’s life becomes at once ennobled,
One is no more this wretched body,
And there wells up within one’s heart
A sea of bliss supreme.
647. If you refrain from looking at this
Or that or any other object
Then by that overpowering look
Into absolute Being you become
Yourself the boundless space of pure
Awareness which alone is Real
432. …If you observe
Awareness steadily, this Awareness
Itself as Guru will reveal
291. For those who seek eternal life
The assurance stands: the senses five
Retracted tortoise-like, the mind
Turned homeward to the Self and there
Abiding is pure bliss.
130. When will the fool, who thinks the body
And the world are permanent and clings
To them, find peace? Only when this
Folly leaves him and he trusts
And like a limpet clings to That,
The Self within. Thenceforward he
Shall never more know pain.
390. Without abiding in calm solitude
As the Being-Awareness shining in the heart,
To tear oneself away and look for truth
Fussing everywhere without,
Is like searching with a lighted torch
For a diver in deep water sunk.
420. The knowledge that ignores the Self,
The knower, and holds as true the field
Perceived, is but illusive folly…
293. Know that these countless things are pictures
In a dream and none is real
Apart from the beholder. Shun
This phantom world of names and forms
And dwell in the pure, blissful being
697. …Not an iota of the past can touch
Those who dwell unceasingly
In the firmament of Self-Awareness,
Vast, boundless, frontierless and full.
921. None can confront and overcome
The mind. Ignore it, then, as something
False, unreal. Know the Self
As the real ground and stand firm-rooted
In it. Then the mind’s movements will
898. When we with mind serene and still
Experience pure unbroken Being,
That is samadhi. In this state
The mind, abiding as the Self
Supreme, shares God’s own Being.
399. If in this manner day after day
Practice is maintained, the mind
Is rendered flawless, pure, the quest
Becomes so easy that the moment
It begins the Heart is reached.
877. Only when the world-illusion goes
Does the blissful light of Self arrive.
Life lived in this bright, blissful light
Is our true, natural life. Other ways
Of life are full of trouble and fear.
974. Unbroken Self-awareness is
The true, bright path of devotion or love.
Knowledge of our inherent nature
As indivisible Bliss supreme
Wells up as Love
418. The only true and full awareness
Is awareness of awareness.
Till awareness is awareness
Of itself, it knows no peace at all.
Q. Isn’t it unhealthy and inhumane to turn away from the world and turn within? No disrespect, but denial of the world did not work for me – integration is working. Who said God loved loved us any less for embracing neurosis? God loves us maybe even more.
Tom: I know what you mean, especially with such strong language like ‘vile ways’*. It can seem inhumane and even unhealthy to deny what we consider to be an aspect of ourself. The purpose of this teaching is liberation from suffering, and this turning within is the only way I know of to attain that aim. It is also the traditional way that has been taught in various cultures for millennia – in my view, the reason this simple but radical teaching has stuck around for so long is because it works, and it is the only one that works (it goes by different names in different traditions).
The strong language is only to encourage you to turn within. There are many other aspects of life, and integration as you put it can be wonderfully healing and positive, and that is good of course, but my experience is that positive and healing as it is, it is not ultimately liberating – that is, it improves the prison but does not free one from suffering in its totality. For that Self-Enquiry or Abiding as the Self is required, and that means to turn within to find the divine within. We do not need to suppress neurosis – that is unhealthy – but just allow it and all things to be, but turn our attention away from them and all other objects towards our self – then we discover the Kingdom of Heaven within – only then can we truly say that all is one, and it not be a belief or concept in the ego-mind. Only then does suffering end.
*A version of this question was originally asked after I posted the following verses on Facebook; they are teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi taken from the wonderful text Guru Vachaka Kovai:
75. Only mad folk perplexed because
They deem the false world to be real
Find joy in this illusion.
The truly wise find joy in nothing
But Awareness which is Being.
76. Those well established in the Self,
True Being, will never pursue the world’s
Vile ways. For such descent into
The false allurements of the world
Is yielding to the animal weakness
77. What does one gain, you well may ask,
By giving up the wealth immense
Of worldly pleasure and seeking only
The benefit of true Awareness
Is the unbroken prevalence
Of peace within the heart, the bliss
Of one’s own natural being.
Direct pointing in 3 mins!
The following is an excerpt from the book ‘Annamalai Swami Final Talks’ (bold added by me):
Question: One can have a temporary experience of the Self, the underlying reality, but then it goes away. Can you offer any guidance on how to stabilise in that state?