"The very first step in understanding what this is all about is giving up the concept of an active, volitional 'I' as a separate entity and accepting the passive role of perceiving and functioning as a process." - Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

Sunday, January 22, 2017

'I' - The Basis

Sri Ramana Maharshi

Mr Subbaramiah, a college professor from Nellore, asked about mukti.

M.: All questions relating to mukti are inadmissible; because mukti means release from bondage which implies the present existence of bondage. There is no bondage and therefore no mukti either. 

D.: The sastras speak of it and its grades.

M.: The sastras are not meant for the wise because they do not need them; the ignorant do not want them. Only the mumukshus look up to the sastras. That means that the sastras are neither for wisdom nor for ignorance. 

D.: Vasishta is said to be a jivanmukta whereas Janaka was a videhamukta. 

M.: Why speak of Vasishta or Janaka? What about oneself? 

There were many new visitors this day. Two of them were speaking of Ganapati Muni in Sri Bhagavan’s presence. Sri Bhagavan put in a few words in their talk: 

(1) Some say that jnana and upasana are the two wings with which to fly to mukti. What is jnana? What is upasana? Jnana is ever present. That is the ultimate goal also. When an effort is made the effort is called upasana; when it is effortless it is jnana, which is the same as mukti. 

(2) After some discussion among themselves, a visitor said: Some Superior Power must help us to shake off the externalities. Sri Bhagavan said: Who sees the externalities? Or do they say that they exist? If so let the world say that it exists. Again, if the world is a projection from the interior it must be recognized that it is projected simultaneously with the ‘I-thought’. Either way the ‘I’ is the fundamental basis knowing which all else is known. 

(3) Another said that Ganapati Muni used to say that he could even go to Indra-loka and say what Indra was doing but he could not go within and find the ‘I’. Sri Bhagavan added that Ganapati Muni used to say that it was easy to move forward but impossible to move backward. Then Sri Bhagavan remarked: However far one goes there he is. Where is moving backward? The same truth is contained in the mantra in Isa-Upanishad. 

(4) In reply to a query how Ganapati Muni became an asu kavi (inspired poet), Sri Bhagavan said; It is said that while he was making tapasya Siva appeared and gave him milk or honey to drink, after which he became asu kavi.

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सर्वानुग्राहकत्वेन तद्स्म्यहं वासुदेवः॥

That in whom reside all beings and who resides in all beings,
who is the giver of grace to all, the Supreme Soul of the universe, the limitless being:
I AM THAT. -- Amritabindu Upanishad