Ramana's Method

Nanda Kumar nkumar at OPPENHEIMERFUNDS.COM
Thu Oct 23 16:34:53 CDT 1997

Q: You say one can realize the Self by a search for it. What is the
character of this search?
A: You are the mind or think that you're the mind. The mind is nothing but
thoughts. Now behind every particular thought there is general thought
which is the 'I', that is yourself. Let's call this 'I' the first thought. Stick to
this 'I' thought and question it to find out what it is. When this question
takes strong hold on you, you cannot think of other thoughts.

Q: When I do this and cling to myself, that is, the 'I' thought, other
thoughts come and go, but I say to myself, 'Who am I?' and there's no
answer forthcoming. To be in this condition is the practice. Is it so?
A: This is a mistake that many people make. What happens when you
make a serious quest for the Self is that the 'I' thought disappears and
something else from the depths takes hold of you and that is not the 'I'
which commenced the quest. This is the real Self - the import of 'I'. It's not
the ego, but the supreme being itself.

Q: But you've said that one must reject other thoughts when one begins
the quest but the thoughts are endless. If one thought is rejected,
another comes and there's no end at all?
A: I do not say that you must go on rejecting thoughts. Cling to yourself,
to the 'I' thought. When your interest keeps you to that single idea, other
thoughts will automatically get rejected and they will vanish.

Q:How can my mind be still if I have to use it more than other people? I
want to go into solitude and renounce my headmaster's work.
A:No, you may remain where you are and go on with your work. What is
the undercurrent which vivifies the mind, enables it to do all this work?
Why, the Self! So, that's the real source of your activity. Simply become
aware of it during your work and do not forget it. Contemplate in the
background of your mind even whilst working. To do that, DO NOT
HURRY. Take your own time. keep the remembrance of real nature alive,
even whilst working and avoid haste which causes you to forget. Be
deliberate. Practice meditation and cause it to become aware of it's true
relationship with the Self, which supports it. (He gave similie, spoke of a
wheel, whether thin or thick, all within the same circle, so intellect-work
is within the same circle of Self). Do not imagine it's you who are doing
the work. Think that it is the underlying current which is doing it. Identify
yourself with this current. If you work unhurriedly, recollectedly, your
work or service need not be a hindrance.

Q:How is realization made possible?
A:There is the absolute Self from which a spark proceeds as from fire.
The spark is called EGO. In the case of the ignorant it identifies itself with
some object simultaneously with its rise. It cannot remain independant of
such association. This association is ignorance whose destruction is the
object of our efforts. If the ego's objectifying tendencies are killed it
remains pure and also merges in its source. We can seperate ourselves
from that which is external but not from that which is one with us.Hence
ego is not one with body. THIS MUST BE REALIZED IN THE WAKING

This is the end of the chapter on Advaitin experience in the course of
daily living. The rest of the book deals with standard Advaitam logic and
accounts of the experiences of realization of Ramana and Nisargadatta.

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