Spiritual seekers are advised by the great Master, Bhagavan Ramana to turn inward. In 'Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi' we read "The only useful purpose of the present birth is to turn within and realise it. There is nothing else to do" and "The Self is not found in external objects. Turn your look within and plunge down; you will be the Self."
Sri Ramana Maharshi's teaching has the refrain 'know thyself' "What exists in truth is the Self alone. The world, the individual soul, and God are appearances in it, like silver in mother-of-pearl, these three appear at the same time, and disappear at the same time. The Self is where there is absolutely no 'I' thought. That is called 'Silence'. The Self itself is the world; the Self itself is 'I'; the Self itself is God; all is Siva, the Self."
An earnest effort is made here to draw the seeker back to the one and only ' practice' our Master insisted on: 'Self–enquiry'. The seeker is thus exposed to the paramount importance, and true significance of treading the "Path of Sri Ramana".
To tread the path of true spirituality, the Great Master Bhagavan Ramana, gave immense importance to inward-turned sadhana rather than to indulge in outward-turned good words. The recorded ‘Talks’ of the Maharshi, contained in the various published books, abound with statements confirming this, like” Practice is very important”, “Practice, Practice more”. There can be no two opinions on this.
The real significance of what the Master referred to as “practice” is revealed in the following report of an ardent sadhaka-devotee, S.S. Cohen: “Once, the devotee who was in charge of English Correspodence in the Ashram office was unavailable and the Sarvadhikari [Manager] asked Major Chadwick, who was living in the ashram, to take his place. Chadwick refused but felt a prick of conscience for doing so. After dinner that night, when we were alone or almost alone with Bhagavan Chadwick told Him about it and asked whether he had done right. Bhagavan answered that Chadwick was doing him greater service by meditating,thereby greatly relieving the latter’s mind.”
There is also another significant incident, reported in ramana smrti, in the case of shantamma, the ashram lady-cook. Shantamma complained that her working all the time in the kitchen deprived her of doing meditation in the presence of Bhagavan. Sri Bhagavan’s reply is equally important: “Let the hands and legs do the work and the mind be merged in meditation.”
While the apparent contradiction explicit in these two instances makes one face the fact that perhaps one has no choices with regard to the body’s circumstances, one should not fail to notice the inherent freedom that one has to meditate , inwardly, all through, under all conditions.
In His holy presence, there prevailed total freedom, which included identification or non-identification with the course of events or ordained. However, the earnest seekers, like B.V. Narasimha Swami, Paul Brunton, Muruganar, S.S. Cohen, Mungala Venkataramaiah, Nayana, kAnnamalai Swami, Viswanatha Swami, Kunju Swami, did chosseonly to live in isolated huts put up in an adjoining flower-garden, named ‘Palakottu’, dedicating themselves to the practice of meditation and turning inward, doing self-enquiry, the enquiry of ‘Who am I?. This had the approval of Sri Bhagavan as well. It should be noted that they refrained from engaging in activities they were not related to their sadhana. When a true seeker was seen indulging in any unnecessary outward activity, Sri Bhagavan did reprimand him! These true seekers were thus guided, constantly too by Him, to delve within and meditate. And for the fresh seekers this forms a pointer as to where their true choice lies.
An effort is made here to genuinely draw the seeker back to the one and only ‘practice’ our Master insisted on-“”self-enquiry”. In the following pages, seekers are exposed to the true importance, true significance of treading the “Bhagavan Ramana Path.
The first section presents the beauty of the advent of our Master at Arunachala. The second section gives a few absorbing articles to enable the seeker acquaint himself with the depth of what he has to grasp. The third section, which is more important, deals with the ‘why’ and the ‘how’ of the ‘Process”. The last section which is the most important portion of the book, quotes the Words of wisdom of the master. Seekers are requested to inwardly imbibe the essence of this great message given by the Master, by assiduously adhering to the constant practice of self-enquiry.
Positively, the Master is the Truth! That Master- Bhagavan Ramana-Asserts that every one of us too nothing but the Truth. How grateful we must all feel towards the Guru for revealing this Truth to us! What could we offer as recompense?
The Master Himself guides us as to how we should express our surrendered gratitude to the Guru . He says that diving within and reaming as the Movement less Being is the true recompense, the true homage to the Guru. He also reveals that one’s own Heart is the abode of the Twin Holy Feet of the Master. Surrendering the seeker’s head at the Holy Feet of the Sad-Guru is the supreme culmination of this Royal Path of Bhagavan Ramana-“Mind merging in the Heart”!
Undistracted by any form of outward movements, let the true seekers take the inward plunge and thereby be dissolved in the meditation Supreme. Total dissolution of all that is external and the blossoming of the inner blissful silent sun-Sad –Guru Bhagavan Ramana-are simultaneous and synonymous.
Bhagavan ramana is the Self! To be the Self is, therefore, the seeker’s sole Total Activity, Greatest Ritual, Noblest Service and Highest Offering!
I am greateful to the President, Sri Ramanasramam for bringing out this book helping all seekers.
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