Master: Self-realization is not something that needs to be achieved. He is already in us. All we have to do is eliminate the idea of “I didn’t realize It.” Silence and peace means Self-realization the feeling that we have not realized Him, we must make sustained efforts to completely eliminate these thoughts. They are due to the fact that we realize a confusion between the Self and what is not the Self. When the latter disappears, the Self is left alone. To make room for Him, it is enough to remove the crowd from your mind. There is no need to bring the necessary space by taking it from somewhere else.
Disciple: Since realization is not possible without Vasanakshaya (annihilation of Vasanas – tendencies, psychic latents that provoke the appearance of desires), how should I realize this state in which vasanas are effectively destroyed?
Master: You are in this state right now.
Disciple: This signifies that, immersing myself in the Self, the Vasanas will be destroyed as they present themselves?
Master: They are destroyed by themselves if you remain in the natural state of immersion in the Self.
Disciple: How can I achieve Self-realization?
Master: It’s not about getting the Self. If it had been something that should have been conquered, it would have meant that it is not already here, now and forever. Therefore, he is not permanent. Is it worth making so much effort for something that doesn’t last? That is why I say that the Self does not conquer itself. You are the Self, you are already the One. In reality you ignore your natural state of preafericire. This ignorance will dominate and put a veil over the pure Self that is bliss. Your efforts must be uniquely directed towards the elimination of this veil that is the identification of the Self with the body, with the mind, etc. Ignorance must disappear to leave room for the Self. The achievement is accessible to all. It makes no difference between aspirants. The only obstacles come from doubts about your capabilities and from the belief that you have to say ‘I have not achieved’. You need to remove these obstacles entirely.
Disciple: What happens in the state of Samadhi? Does thinking still subsist in this state?
Master: Only Samadhi allows us to discover the truth. Thoughts throw a veil on Reality that, therefore, it is impossible to achieve entirely in states other than that of Samadhi. In Samadhi, only one and one feeling survives: “I am” that excludes any other thought. “I am” means “to always remain at peace.”
Disciple: What do I need to do to get the state of Samadhi again and find the Peace I feel here?
Master: The present experience is due to the influence of the ambience in which you are integrated here. Do you find the same state when you’re away? This is, for the time being, a transitional state, and the practice is indispensable for it to become permanent.
Disciple: There are times when sudden lights shine against the background of a consciousness whose center is on the outside of the ordinary self and which seems to encompass the totality. Independently of any philosophical concept, how do you advise me to act to achieve, maintain and accentuate these far too rare illuminations? Does abhyasa (spiritual practice) for attaining such experiences necessarily imply withdrawal (isolation)?
Master: On the outside. Who experiences an exterior and an interior? They are concurrent in the existence of the subject and the object. But, who again, is aware of the latter? After a deep examination you will discover that they were never but one: the subject. Then look for who this unique topic can be. This analysis will end up leading you to pure consciousness, beyond the subject. What you call the “ordinary self” is the mind. Narrow limitations encompass this mind while pure consciousness is beyond any limitation. We can reach it through a search of the kind that I have already mentioned.
Get- The self is always there. You only have one thing to do, which is to eliminate the wave that hides it.
To maintain – The self from the moment it was realized, becomes our direct and immediate experience.
Withdrawal – To remain in oneself means loneliness. Nothing is peculiar to the Self. Withdrawal involves passing in one place or from one state to another. But neither one nor the other can be external to the Self. All is the Self; withdrawal is impossible because it is unthinkable.
Abhyasa – means not to let anything come to mind that disturbs the inherent peace of the Self. But, you are always in this natural state, whether you practice Abhyasa or not. To remain as you are, without questions and doubts, this is your natural state.
Disciple: when the state of Samadhi is lived, can siddhiss be obtained at the same time?
Master: In order to manifest the Siddhis, other people must recognize them. Any person who thus (indiscriminately) shows his powers, cannot be a Jnani (liberated) Therefore, the Siddhis do not deserve even the shadow of a thought. Jnana (ultimate knowledge) must be the sole purpose of your search.
Disciple: Does my achievement help others?
Master: Yes, this is the greatest service you can do to them. He who discovered great truths has reached the silent depths of the Self. But there is no ‘other’ that needs to help him. The realized being sees only the Self, as the goldsmith is only attentive to the gold of the jewelry ornate with precious stones that are given to him for evaluation. When you identify with your body, you are also fatally aware of names and forms. But when you transcend the body, the idea of “the others” also disappears. The Realized Being sees that the world is no different from itself.
Disciple: Wouldn’t it be preferable for the saints (the realized beings) to live in the presence of others?
Master: For them there is no “other” near which they can live. The self is the only reality.
Disciple: but shouldn’t I try to help the suffering world?
Master: The force that created you, also created the world. If she takes care of you, she can just as well take care of the world. Because God created the world, it is His job to deal with it, not yours.
Disciple: and our duty as patriots?
Master: your duty lies in BEING and not in being something or something else. “I am who I am” – here is the essence of the whole truth. The method can be summed up in the phrase:
“To remain in Peace.”
and what does peace mean? She wants to say “Destroy your lower nature” because every name and every form are a cause of peace disturbance. “I-I” is the Self. “I am this” is the ego. When the “I-l” remains alone and unique, he is the Self. When he looks at himself and says “I am this or that, I am like this or that”, then it is the ego.
Disciple: Then who is God?
Master: The self is God. The feeling of “I am” is God. If God were external to the Self, there would have been a God devoid of Himself, and a Godless Self, which is absurd. All that is needed for Self-realization is to BE RECONCILED. What could be easier? That’s why Atma-Vidya is the easiest way forward.
Excerpt from the work “Who am I?” by Ramana Maharishi