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 this video Tom responds to a question whether to get married and have kids or stay single and concentrate on attaining liberation. Tom warns us to beware of the mind racing towards liberation, which can be egoic.
This video was recorded live during a Satsang meeting with Tom Das and put together by volunteers.
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
When the mind starts to become profoundly still, and starts to shake off the notion ‘I am a body-mind, I am a person’, then not only does deep Bliss-Oneness-Love start to arise and the sense of individuality wane, but the intuition-seeing occurs that all of these things we perceive – such as body, mind and world – all of these are intuited-seen-perceived to be just a mere dancing of thought, a mere projection of mind-stuff, like a dream: empty, unreal, illusory, nothing more.
As thoughts markedly and profoundly slow down, all this comes to be seen directly.
(Here a questioner asks are there not many jivas? Sri Ramana informs the questioner there is only one jiva)
A question was asked why it was wrong to say that there is a multiplicity of jivas. Jivas are certainly many. For a jiva is only the ego and forms the reflected light of the Self. Multiplicity of selves may be wrong but not of jivas.
Sri Ramana Maharshi: Jiva is called so because he sees the world. A dreamer sees many jivas in a dream but all of them are not real. The dreamer alone exists and he sees all. So it is with the individual and the world.
There is the creed of only one Self which is also called the creed of only one jiva*. It says that the jiva is only one who sees the whole world and the jivas therein.
*Tom: This is called the doctrine of eka jiva vada (the view there is only a single jiva/ego/person). Our own body-mind, and the body-mind of apparent others are all projections of the Self. Like a dream, it appears we are many, but actually this entire dream world is an illusion, and there is only the Dreamer, the Self, the Consciousness from which all is projected. Tat Tvam Asi, You are That.
The above is an excerpt taken from this longer post that further explores this theme:
Here we will see how a clear teaching is given and then distorted by the mind, only for Bhagavan Sri Ramana to make clear the essential teaching again in order to keep us on the clear and direct path. The following passage is taken from Day by Day with Bhagavan, page 193, recounting events from 10th April 1946:
Dr. Masalavala gave Bhagavan a letter addressed to him by a friend of his. Bhagavan perused it. Some portions of it were not cogent. With other portions there could be no quarrel.
The letter said that all is contained in asti (sat), bhati (chit), priya (ananda), nam and rup, that the first three constitute reality, and the rest the fleeting and unreal; that jnana consists in seeing only the reality and not the nam-rup, that the first three constitute aham and the next two constitute idam (this).
Tom: we can see here the teaching of ‘nama, rupa, sat, chit, ananda’. ‘Nama’ means name, ‘rupa’ means form, ‘sat’ means being or reality or truth, ‘chit’ means consciousness or knowingness and ‘ananda’ means happiness or bliss. Note that here the word ‘priya’ (which means beloved) is used instead of the more commonly used ‘ananda’,
The first two of these, nama-rupa (name and form) constitute the entire observable world of objects, including trees, cars, people, buildings (ie. gross objects), but also subtle objects such as thoughts, feelings, emotions, spiritual experiences, dreams, visions, etc, etc. These objects, gross and subtle, come and go, and together can be considered to be Maya (illusion).
The latter three, sat-chit-ananda, refers to the Self, the Unchanging Ever-Present Reality, the Pure Consciousness that you are. The text clearly states that Jnana (knowledge, ie. spiritual knowledge or liberation) consists ofseeing only Reality and not nama-rupa, ie to remove objects and abide only as Self.
In the next line Ramana agrees that sat-chit-ananda refers to ‘aham’, aham meaning ‘I’, as the true ‘I’ is the Self, and nama-rupa refers to ‘idam’, idam meaning ‘this’, referring to all perceived phenomena, ie. all objects, gross or subtle:
Bhagavan agreed and said, “‘I’ and ‘this’ between them exhaust everything.” The letter also said that seeing Brahman alone in everything and everywhere is jnanottara bhakti. With reference to this, Bhagavan said, “This is a matter of mere words, whether you call the stage of seeing only Brahman, jnanottara bhakti or bhakti-uttara jnana.
Tom: Jnanottara bhakti means ‘Bhakti (love), which is higher than Jnana (knowledge)’. This term is often used by schools of vedanta that prefer Bhakti and state that Bhakti is superior to Jnana (knowledge). Bhakti-uttara Jnana means the opposite, namely ‘Jnana which is higher than Bhakti’. Ramana here makes it clear that this is all just linguistic juggling, implying that there is no need to quibble about which is higher, Jnana or Bhakti. In fact they are, ultimately, one and the same.
In reality, saying ‘We must see Brahman in everything and everywhere’ is also not quite correct. Only that stage is final, where there is no seeing, where there is no time or space. There will be no seer, seeing and an object to see. What exists then is only the infinite eye.”
Tom: many teachers state that we should see everything as Brahman and Brahman in everything, and this is true Jnana or Liberation. Here Sri Ramana corrects this mistaken view, stating that we must eventually go beyond this too and renounce name and form in order to discover and abide as the pure Self, devoid of objects, devoid even of notions or perception of time and space. That is which there are no triads of object, subject or seeing. In that ‘place’, there is only the Self and no objective universe whatsoever. Nama and Rupa are completely removed, as per the original teaching stated above.
This is where our sadhana should take us!
We should not get off the sadhana train at an earlier stop thinking we have reached the destination!
In Who Am I? Ramana is asked the following:
Question: How long should inquiry be practised? Sri Ramana: As long as there are impressions of objects in the mind, so long the inquiry ‘Who am I?’ is required
Let us give thanks to Sri Ramana’s teachings that point out the direct path and encourage us not to leave the sadhana early and remain caught and bound in Maya’s clutches!
Here Sri Ramana not only outlines how we can discover for ourselves the truth of the world, but also he succinctly outlines the path to liberation:
If, on the contrary, you withdraw your mind completely from the world and turn it within and abide thus, that is, if you keep awake always to the Self, which is the substratum of all experience, you will find the world, of which alone you are now aware, just as unreal as the world in which you lived in your dream.