Essential answers from Baghawan Ramana Maharishi


Ramana Maharishi did not leave behind too many writings.
In fact, his teaching was rarely described in the written word and that is why the 14 essential questions and answers recorded by Shivaprakasham Pillai have gained great value and have become very well known by lovers of the Path of Self.


Ramana Maharishi was not concerned with creating an ashram, spiritual current, or movement. He never asked for anything, but around him were huge crowds of people searching for inner truth. The ashram founded near his meditation site at the foot of the holy mountain Arunachala appeared because devotees wanted it and not Ramana.

And he agreed.

Near him, many beings have known spiritual enlightenment, and the pilgrimages that took place in this way generated spiritual aspiration and inner achievements, without those present around him making a specific spiritual effort, very consistent and intense.

On the Way of the Heart, the approach is that of searching and revealing the Self, of the same nature as that accomplished by Bhagawan’s disciples, but accomplished in the midst of life, sustained and even demanded by Life itself, transfigured and divinized.

The 14 questions asked by Shivaprakasham Pillai and the corresponding 14 answers given by Sri Ramana Maharshi.

Sri Pillai: Swami, who am I? And how can salvation be achieved?
Bhagavan: Through the constant introspection “Who am I?” you will know yourself and thus gain salvation.

S.P.: Who am I?

Bh.: The real self or self is not the body, nor any of the five senses, nor the objects of the senses, nor the organs of action, nor prana (breath or life force), nor the mind, nor even the state of deep sleep where there is no consciousness of them.

S.P.: If I am none of these, then what else am I?

Bh.: After rejecting them all one by one by saying “it’s not me”, what remains, the only one, is the “I” and that is Consciousness.

S.P.: What is the nature of that consciousness?

Bh.: It is Sat-chit-Ananda (Existence-Consciousness-Bliss), in which not even the faintest trace of the thought “I” persists. It is also called mauna (Silence) or Atma (Self). It’s the only thing that really exists. If in the world-ego-God triad everyone is considered as a separate entity, all three are mere illusions, like the faint glimmer of silver in mother-of-pearl. God, the ego, and the world are in reality Shivaswarupa (form of Shiva) or Atmaswarupa (form of spirit).

S.P.: How can we achieve this Reality?

Bh.: When things seen disappear, the true nature of the seeker or subject appears.

S.P.: Can’t you reach that stage simultaneously with the reception of external objects?

Bh.: No, because he who sees and what is seen are like a string that resembles a serpent. Until you get rid of the serpent’s deceptive appearance, you can’t see that it’s just the string.

S.P.: When will external objects perish?

Bh.: When the mind, the origin of all thoughts and activities, disappears, external objects will also be consumed.

S.P.: What is the nature of mind?

Bh.: The mind consists only of thoughts. It’s a form of energy. It manifests itself as the world. When one immerses oneself in the Self, then Self-realization takes place; when it appears, the world instantly appears, and the Self is not realized.

S.P.: How will the mind disappear?

Bh.: Just by questioning “Who am I?”. Although this is, in turn, a mental operation, it destroys all mental operations, including itself, just as the stick with which the fire of the funeral pyre is stirred up is reduced to ashes after the complete combustion of the pyre and corpses. Only then does Self-Realisation follow. The thought of the self is destroyed, the breath and other signs of vitality capitulate. The ego and prana (resistance or life force) have a common source. Whatever you do, do it without selfishness, that is, without the feeling “I do this.” When a man reaches that state, then his own wife also appears to him as the Universal Mother. True Bhakti (devotion) is the submission of the ego to the Self.

S.P.: Is there no other appropriate method for destroying the mind?

Bh.: No, except for the investigation of the Self. Otherwise soothing her mind gives her only temporary calm, after which she rummages again and resumes her old activity.

S.P.: When will our instincts and tendencies (vasanas), such as the instinct of self-preservation, be subjected?

Bh.: The deeper you sink into the Self, the more these tendencies wither and eventually die out completely.

S.P.: Is it possible to uproot all these tendencies infiltrated in our minds during so many previous lives?

Bh.: Never allow your mind to harbor such doubts, but descend into Yourself with firm determination. If the mind is constantly directed toward the Self through this interrogation, it will eventually be dissolved and transformed into the Self. Whatever doubt you feel, do not try to clarify it, but find out to whom it appears.

S.P.: How long should you persevere in this search?

Bh.: As long as there is in the mind even the faintest trace of impulses capable of generating thoughts. As long as the enemy occupies a citadel, his surrounded soldiers will not hesitate to rush outside. If you kill them one by one, as they go outside, the citadel will eventually fall into your hands. Likewise, every time a thought raises its head, crush it with investigation. The root cutting off of all thoughts is called vairagya (lack of passions). So the vichara (interrogation of the Self) continues to be necessary until He is realized. What is required is the ceaseless and eternal reminder of the Self.

S.P.: Isn’t this world, with everything that happens in it, the result of God’s will? And if so, why would God want it?

Bh.: God has no purpose. He is not restricted by any activity. The deeds of the world cannot touch Him. Liken Him to the sun. It rises without any desire, effort or effort, but from the moment it ascends into the sky, a multitude of actions begin to occur on earth: the lenses placed in the path of its rays generate sparks in the foci, the bud of the lotus opens, the water evaporates, and every creature begins its doing, which it continues for a while, And in the end he leaves her. But the sun is not affected by any such work, because it simply acts according to its nature, by fixed laws, without any particular goal, and is only the witness. The same is true of God. Or make the analogy with space (ether). Earth, water, fire and air are all contained in him and in him follow their metamorphoses, without affecting him. The same happens with God: He has no desire, no purpose in His acts of creation, maintenance, destruction, withdrawal, and salvation, to which creatures are subject. Because they burn the fruit of their actions in harmony with His laws, they are responsible, not God, who is not restricted by anything. ”

Read also
“”Ramana Maharishi – the master without a master”


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