"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

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Be Still

Sri Ramana Maharshi

D.: How is one to know the Self? 

M.: “Knowing the Self” means “Being the Self”. Can you say that you do not know the Self? Though you cannot see your own eyes and though not provided with a mirror to look in, do you deny the existence of your eyes? Similarly, you are aware of the Self even though the Self is not objectified. Or, do you deny your Self because it is not objectified? When you say “I cannot know the Self” it means absence in terms of relative knowledge, because you have been so accustomed to relative knowledge that you identify yourself with it. Such wrong identity has forged the difficulty of not knowing the obvious Self because it cannot be objectified; and you ask. “How is one to know the Self?” Your difficulty is centred in “How”? Who is to know the Self? Can the body know it? Let the body answer. Who says that the body is perceived now? In order to meet this kind of ignorance the sastras formulate the theory of God’s leela or krida (i.e., play). God is said to emanate as the mind, the senses and the body and to play. Who are you to say that this play is a trouble to you? Who are you to question the doings of God?

Your duty is to be: and not to be this or that. “I AM that I AM” sums up the whole truth. The method is summed up in “BE STILL”. What does “stillness” mean? It means “destroy yourself”. Because any form or shape is the cause of trouble. Give up the notion that “I am so and so”. Our sastras say: ahamiti sphurati (it shines as ‘I’). 

D.: What is sphurana (shining)? 

M.: (Aham, aham) ‘I-I’ is the Self; (Aham idam) “I am this” or “I and that” is the ego. Shining is there always. The ego is transitory; When the ‘I’ is kept up as ‘I’ alone it is the Self; when it flies at a tangent and says “this” it is the ego. 

D.: Is God apart from the Self? 

M.: The Self is God. “I AM” is God. “I am the Self, O Gudakesa!” (Ahamatma Gudakesa). This question arises because you are holding the ego self. This will not arise if you hold the True Self. For the Real Self will not and cannot ask anything. If God be apart from the Self He must be a Self-less God, which is absurd. 

D.: What is namaskara (prostration)? 

M.: Prostration means “subsidence of the ego”. What is “subsidence”? To merge into the source of its origin. God cannot be deceived by outward genuflexions, bowings and prostrations. He sees if the individuality is there or not. 

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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