Whether the nominative case, which is the first case,
appears or not, the sentences in which the other cases
appear have as their basis the first case; similarly,
all the thoughts that appear in the heart have as their
basis the egoity which is the first mental mode 'I',
the cognition of the form 'I am the body'; thus, it
is the rise of egoity that is the cause and source of
the rise of all other thoughts; therefore, if the self-conceit
of the form of egoity which is the root of the illusory
tree of samsara (bondage consisting of transmigration)
is destroyed, all other thoughts will perish completely
like an uprooted tree. Whatever thoughts arise as obstacles
to one's sadhana (spiritual discipline), the mind should
not be allowed to go in their direction, but should
be made to rest in one's self which is the Atman;
one should remain as witness to whatever happens, adopting
the attitude 'Let whatever strange things happen, happen;
let us see!' This should be one's practice. In other
words, one should not identify oneself with appearances;
one should never relinquish one's self. This is the
proper means for destruction of the mind (manonasa)
which is of the nature of seeing the body as self, and
which is the cause of all the aforesaid obstacles. This
method which easily destroys egoity deserves to be called
devotion (bhakti), meditation (dhyana),
concentration (yoga), and knowledge (jnana).
Because God remains of the nature of the Self, shining
as 'I' in the heart, because the scriptures declare
that thought itself is bondage, the best discipline
is to stay quiescent without ever forgetting Him (God,
the Self), after resolving in Him the mind which is
of the form of the 'I'-thought, no matter by what means.
This is the conclusive teaching of the Scriptures.
Sri Ramanasramam, Tiruvannamalai, India.
often refered to the "first person" rather than
the "nominative case" to make the same point.
For a longer discussion, see Ramana's
First Person Is Really a Place.