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Copyright 2001 Realization.org.

 

 
 
  CLASSICS
 

Self-Enquiry
By Ramana Maharshi

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QUESTION 30


Disciple:
Even though the heart and the Brahmarandhra alone are the loci fit for meditation, could one meditate, if necessary, on the six mystic centres (adharas)?

Master: The six mystic centres, etc., which are said to be loci of meditation, are but products of imagination. All these are meant for beginners in yoga. With reference to meditation on the six centres, the Shiva-yogins say, "God, who is of the nature of the non-dual, plenary, consciousness-self, manifests, sustains and resolves us all. It is a great sin to spoil that Reality by superimposing on it various names and forms such as Ganapati, Brahma, Vishnu, Rudra, Mahesvara, and Sadashiva", and the Vedantins declare, "All those are but imaginations of the mind." Therefore, if one knows one's Self which is of the nature of consciousness that knows everything, one knows everything. The great ones have also said: "When that One is known as it is in Itself, all that has not been known becomes known." If we who are endowed with various thoughts meditate on God that is the Self we would get rid of the plurality of thoughts by that one thought; and then even that one thought would vanish. This is what is meant by saying that knowing one's Self is knowing God. This knowledge is release.

 

QUESTION 31


Disciple:
How is one to think of the Self?

Master: The Self is self-luminous without darkness and light, and is the reality which is self-manifest. Therefore, one should not think of it as this or as that. The very thought of thinking will end in bondage. The purport of meditation on the Self is to make the mind take the form of the Self. In the middle of the heart-cave the pure Brahman is directly manifest as the Self in the form 'I-I'. Can there be greater ignorance than to think of it in manifold ways, without knowing it as aforementioned?

 

QUESTION 32


Disciple:
It was stated that Brahman is manifest as the Self in the form 'I-I', in the heart. To facilitate an understanding of this statement, can it be still further explained?

Master: Is it not within the experience of all that during deep sleep, swoon, etc., there is no knowledge whatsoever, i.e. neither self-knowledge nor other-knowledge? Afterwards, when there is experience of the form "I have woken up from sleep" or "I have recovered from swoon" -- is that not a mode of specific knowledge that has arisen from the aforementioned distinctionless state? This specific knowledge is called vijnana. This vijnana becomes manifest only as pertaining to either the Self or the not-self, and not by itself. When it pertains to the Self, it is called true knowledge, knowledge in the form of that mental mode whose object is the Self, or knowledge which has for its content the impartite (Self); and when it relates to the not-self, it is called ignorance. The state of this vijnana, when it pertains to the Self and is manifest as of the form of the Self, is said to be the 'I'-manifestation. This manifestation cannot take place as apart from the Real (i.e. the Self). It is this manifestation that serves as the mark for the direct experience of the Real. Yet, this by itself cannot constitute the state of being the Real. That, depending on which this manifestation takes place is the basic reality which is also called prajnana. The Vedantic text Prajnanam Brahma teaches the same truth.

Know this as the purport of the scripture also. The Self which is self-luminous and the witness of everything manifests itself as residing in the vijnanakosa (sheath of the intellect). By the mental mode which is impartite, seize this Self as your goal and enjoy it as the Self.


Copyright Sri Ramanasramam, Tiruvannamalai, India.

 

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This page was published on Realization.org on June 9, 2000.


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