Monday, March 28, 2011

Formless Existence-Consciousness: Sri Ramana Maharshi Dialogues

Q: When a man realizes the Self, what will he see?

A: There is no seeing. Seeing is only being. The state of Self-realization, as we call it, is not attaining something new or reaching some goal which is far away, but simply being that which you always are and which you always have been. All that is needed is that you give up your realization of the not-true as true. All of us are regarding as real that which is not real. We have only to give up this practice on our part. Then we shall realize the Self as the Self; in other words, 'Be the Self'. At one stage you will laugh at yourself for trying to discover the Self which is so self-evident. So, what can we say to this question?

That stage transcends the seer and the seen. There is no seer there to see anything. The seer who is seeing all this now ceases to exist and the Self alone remains.

Q: You sometimes say the Self is silence. Why is this?

A: For those who live in Self as the beauty devoid of thought, there is nothing which should be thought of. That which should be adhered to is only the experience of silence, because in that supreme state nothing exists to be attained other than oneself.

Q: What is mouna [silence]?

A: That state which transcends speech and thought is mouna. That which is, is mouna. How can mouna be explained in words?

Sages say that the state in which the thought ‘I’ [the ego] does not rise even in the least, alone is Self [swarupa] which is silence [mouna]. That silent Self alone is God; Self alone is the jiva [individual soul]. Self alone is this ancient world. All other knowledge’s are only petty and trivial knowledge’s; the experience of silence alone is the real and perfect knowledge. Know that the many objective differences are not real but are mere superimpositions on Self, which is the form of true knowledge.

Q: As the bodies and the selves animating them are everywhere actually observed to be innumerable how can it be said that the Self is only one?

A: If the idea 'I am the body' is accepted, the selves are multiple. The state in which this idea vanishes is the Self since in that state there are no other objects. It is for this reason that the Self is regarded as one only. Since the body itself does not exist in the natural outlook of the real Self, but only in the extroverted outlook of the mind which is deluded by the power of illusion, to call Self, the space of consciousness, dehi [the possessor of the body] is wrong. The world does not exist without the body, the body never exists without the mind, the mind never exists without consciousness and consciousness never exists without the reality. For the wise one who has known Self by diving within himself, there is nothing other than Self to be known. Why?

Because since the ego which identifies the form of a body as 'I' has perished, he [the wise one] is the formless existence-consciousness. The jnani [one who has realized the Self] knows he is the Self and that nothing, neither his body nor anything else, exists but the Self. To such a one what difference could the presence or absence of a body make?

It is false to speak of realization. What is there to realize? The real is as it is always. We are not creating anything new or achieving something which we did not have before. The illustration given in books is this. We dig a well and create a huge pit. The space in the pit or well has not been created by us. We have just removed the earth which was filling the space there. The space was there then and is also there now. Similarly we have simply to throw out all the age-long samskaras [innate tendencies] which are inside us. When all of them have been given up, the Self will shine alone.

Q: But how to do this and attain liberation?

A: Liberation is our very nature. We are that. The very fact that we wish for liberation shows that freedom from all bondage is our real nature. It is not to be freshly acquired. All that is necessary is to get rid of the false notion that we are bound. When we achieve that, there will be no desire or thought of any sort. So long as one desires liberation, so long, you may take it, one is in bondage.

Excerpt from Dialogues of Sri Ramana Maharshi from the Book 'Be As You Are: The Teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi' by Sri Ramana Maharshi.

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