Ramana

 

A visitor asked: What to do to get liberation (moksha)?

M.: Learn what liberation is.

D.: Should I do worship (upasana) for it?

M.: Worship is for mind control (chitta nirodha) and concentration.

D.: Should I do idol worship? Is there any harm in it?

M.: So long as you think you are the body there is no harm.

D.: How to get over the cycle of births and deaths?

M.: Learn what it means.

D.: Should I not leave my wife and family?

M.: How do they harm you? First find out who you are.

D.: Should not one give up wife, wealth, home?

M.: Learn first what samsara is. Is all that samsara? Have there not

been men living among them and getting realisation?

D.: What are the steps of practical training (sadhana) for it?

M.: It depends on the qualifications and the nature of the seeker.

D.: I am doing idol worship.

M.: Go on with it. It leads to concentration of mind. Get one-pointed.

All will come out right. People think that freedom (moksha) is

somewhere yonder and should be sought out. They are wrong.

Freedom (moksha) is only knowing the Self within yourself.

Concentrate and you will get it. Your mind is the cycle of births

and deaths (samsara).

D.: My mind is very unsteady. What should I do?

M.: Fix your attention on any single thing and try to hold on to it.

All will be right.

D.: I find concentration difficult.

M.: Go on practising. Your concentration will be as easy as breathing.

That will be the crown of your achievements.

D.: Are not abstinence and pure food helpful?

M.: Yes, all that is good. (Then Maharshi concentrates and silently

gazes at vacancy, and thus sets an example to the questioner).

D.: Do I not require Yoga?

M.: What is it but the means to concentration?

D.: To help concentration, is it not good to have some aids?

M.: Breath-regulation, etc., are such helps.

D.: Is it not possible to get a vision of God?

M.: Yes. You see this and that. Why not see God? Only you must know

what God is. All are seeing God always. But they do not know it.

You find out what God is. People see, yet see not, because they

know not God.

D.: Should I not go on with repetition of sacred syllables, (mantra

japa), e.g., Krishna or Rama’s name, when I worship images?

M.: Mental japa is very good. That helps meditation. Mind gets

identified with the repetition and then you get to know what

worship (puja) really is - the losing of one’s individuality in that

which is worshipped.

D.: Is the Universal Soul (Paramatma) always different from us?

M.: That is the common belief, but it is wrong. Think of Him as not

different from you, and then you achieve identity of Self with God.

D.: Is it not the Advaita doctrine to become one with God?

M.: Where is becoming? The thinker is all the while the Real. He

ultimately realises the fact. Sometimes we forget our identities, as

in sleep and dreams. But God is perpetual consciousness.

D.: Is not the Master’s guidance necessary, besides idol worship?

M.: How did you start it without advice?

D.: From sacred books (puranas).

M.: Yes. Someone tells you of God, or Bhagavan Himself tells you.

In the latter case God Himself is your Master. What matters it who

the Master is? We really are one with Master or Bhagavan. The

Master is God; one discovers it in the end. There is no difference

between human-guru and God-guru.

D.: If we have done virtuous action (punya) the achievement will not

leave us. I hope.

M.: You will reap your destiny (prarabdha) that way.

D.: Will not a Wise Master be a great help in pointing out the way?

M.: Yes. If you go on working with the light available, you will meet

your Master, as he himself will be seeking you.

D.: Do not we go to Heaven (svarga), etc. as the result of our actions?

M.: That is as true as the present existence. But if we enquire

who we are and discover the Self, what need is there to think

of heaven, etc.?

D.: Should I not try to escape rebirth?

M.: Yes. Find out who is born and who has the trouble of existence now.

When you are asleep do you think of rebirths or even the present

existence, etc.? So find out whence the present problem arises and

there is the solution also. You will discover that there is no birth, no

present trouble or unhappiness, etc. All is That; All is Bliss; we are

freed from rebirth in fact. Why fret over the misery of rebirth?