"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, February 12, 2017

Japa Cannot be Stopped

Sri Ramana Maharshi

Mrs. C. then asked, “Am I not then to say (in answer to my own question ‘Who am I?’) ‘I am not this body but a spirit etc.’?” 

Bhagavan then said, “No. The enquiry ‘Who am I?’ means really the enquiry within oneself as to wherefrom within the body the ‘I’-thought arises. If you concentrate your attention on such an enquiry, the ‘I’-thought being the root of all other thoughts, all thoughts will be destroyed and then the Self or the Big ‘I’ alone will remain as ever. You do not get anything new, or reach somewhere where you were not before. When all other thoughts which were hiding the Self are removed, the Self shines by itself.” 

Mrs. C. then referred to the portion in the book (Who am I ?) where it is said, “Even if you keep on saying ‘I’, ‘I’, it will take you to the Self or reality” and asked whether that was not the proper thing to be done. I explained, “The book says one must try and follow the enquiry method which consists in turning one’s thoughts inwards and trying to find out wherefrom the ‘I’, which is the root of all thoughts, arises. If one finds one is not able to do it, one may simply go on repeating ‘I’, ‘I’, as if it were a mantram like ‘Krishna’ or ‘Rama’ which people use in their japa. The idea is to concentrate on one thought to exclude all other thoughts and then eventually even the one thought will die.” 

On this, Mrs. C. asked me, “Will it be of any use if one simply repeats ‘I’, ‘I’ mechanically?” I replied, “When one uses ‘I’ or other words like ‘Krishna’, one surely has in one’s own mind some idea of the God one calls by the name ‘I’ or anything else. When a man goes on repeating ‘Rama’ or ‘Krishna’, he can’t be thinking of a tree as the meaning behind it.” 

After all this, Bhagavan said, “Now you consider you are making an effort and uttering ‘I’, ‘I’ or other mantrams and making meditation. But when you reach the final stage, meditation will go on without any effort on your part. You can’t get away from it or stop it, for meditation, japa, or whatever else you call it, is your real nature.”

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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