The present book gives in simple language the main points of teachings of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharishi methodically as gathered from the talks which were compiled as well as from other available sources. The book shows that in the final analysis the benefit will be available from personal enquiry in the nature of one’s own self. Such books only create a base on which further reflection can be carried on.
In taking up the study of the teaching of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharishi I have attempted tot take assistance of his recorded words giving explanatory notes wherever required. I have however found it not necessary to quote the extracts from the talks as they are recorded because they were not written by Bhagavan himself and there could be divergence between the words spoken by him and what was recorded by the devotees. Yet there is no doubt that care was taken to make the message as authentic as possible especially referring them to Bhagavan wherever was found necessary.
Even then while the Tamil Telugu or Malayalam versions may said to be fully authentic assuming that Bhagavan had gone through all the manuscripts himself the same cannot be said about the translations available in English language. This is because many of the Sanskrit words cannot be really translated in English language without often distorting the meaning entirely. Besides the English language used in the translations also often appears too colloquial and archaic. Therefore the sentences had to be redrafted to convey the central message consistent with explanations given by Bhagavan on different occasions. The importance of these talks however cannot be and has not been minimized.
It would be presumptuous on my part or to that matter on the part of any one of claim that he has fully imbibed the teachings of Bhagavan or to that matter of any teacher. In fact no one ever claims to be so. If any one ahs really imbibed the teachings then that person will not waste his time in talking let alone attempt writing a book about them. He will remain in silent adoration of the Bliss of Knowing the self.
Therefore no scholarship nor any spiritual realization need be attached to this attempt towards this study. It is confirmed view of the present writer that teachers are not meant to pass on their own views as a precept faith or a dogma to be followed by the persons who come after them. Their essential role as they have repeatedly emphasized is to make the aspirants receptive to perceive the Truth as it really is by putting them on the path the way which would encouraging them as the occasion would demand while the aspirant himself walks on the path.
Sri Shankara has clearly mentioned that even the Vedas cannot deliver one from the Samsara they can only guide the aspirants in their search for deliverance Jnapakam hi Shastram na tu karakan iti Stihih. And again Sahstradidamea bhavati idam ishta sadhanam idam anishtashadnam iti sadhyasadhana sambandha vishesha abhivayktih.
The path had to be traversed by the aspirant himself and no one not even the teacher can traverse it for him. Any attempt or claim by any one howsoever great a teacher he might be that he can deliver the aspirant without the aspirant having to do anything is travesty of truth. Such person should be shunned for they are verily, the impediments on the way the path.
There is a statement attributed in Zen Buddhism which is relevant here. The means, the symbols, the idols, the gods and even the bodhisattva are only an assistance or aids like the staff traveler carries on his travels. They are to e carried and made use of only so long their need is felt in traversing the path. Once the person is confident of walking on his own legs then these aids are required to be dispensed with.
Even the Upanishadic teachers subscribed to this truth. in Maitri Upanishad (IV 5-6) it is clarified thus fire, air, sun, time, whatever it is, breath, food, Brahma, Rudra, Vishnu some meditate upon one some upon another. Tell us which one is best for us. Then he said to them. These are but the chief forms of the supreme the immortal the bodiless Brahman to whichever one each man is devoted here in his world he rejoices. For it has been said verily this whole world is Brahman. Verily these which are its chief forms one mediate upon worships and discards for with these one moves higher and higher in the worlds. And when all things perish he attains unity with the person yes with the person.
The present writer is fully aware of this fact. Therefore his very attempt to write this book shows that he is still on the path and he needs all the aids all the thoughts recorded in the talks and all the words contained in many other books as well. His attempt in this book is but his groping step on the path which he obviously is trading. Therefore the contents of the following pages are to be understood only as comprehension by his intellect and not the product of the clarity of his experience nor the illumination of the truth spoken by Bhagavan.
An attempt has been made to serially and logically present the basic principles of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharishi’s teachings so that they may be able to grasped by one who is reasonable given to intellectual introspection.
This may enable one as it did to the author to realize in course of time the way to the place of abidance which is the heart with the self present therein the Bliss of Being which is the purpose and the goal on that journey. Then perhaps it would be possible to dispense the aids one by one which be had taken assistance of.
Children’s Books (51)
Brahma Sutras (85)
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