Friday, February 4, 2011

When I seek the 'I', I see nothing.

D (devotee).: When I seek the 'I', I see nothing.

B. (Sri Ramana Maharshi): You say that because you are accustomed to identify yourself with the body and sight with the eyes, but what is there to be seen? And by whom? And how? There is only one Consciousness and this, when it identifies itself with the body, projects itself through the eyes and sees the surrounding objects. The individual is limited to the waking state; he expects to see something different and accepts the authority of his senses. He will not admit that he who sees, the objects seen, and the act of seeing are all manifestations of the same Consciousness - the 'I-I'. Meditation helps to overcome the illusion that the Self is something to see. Actually there is nothing to see. How do you recognize yourself now? Do you have to hold a mirror up in front of your self to recognize yourself? The awareness is itself the 'I'. Realize it and that is the truth.

D.: When I enquire into the origin of thoughts, there is the perception of the 'I' but it does not satisfy me.

B.: Quite right. Because this perception of 'I' is associated with a form, perhaps with the physical body. Nothing should be associated with the pure Self. The Self is the pure Reality in whose light the body, the ego and all else shine. When all thoughts are stilled, pure Consciousness remains over.

Source: Teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi in his own words by Arthur Osborne, Chapter Three


Anonymous said...


What is this pure consciousness? This piece just sounds like pun, just metaphorical, cyclical in its argument, and not giving a scope for any other alternatives except what is said. When we have a material reality here that we are be a part of, how does it make sense to think this way, comparing our real life with some crazy comparisons.

I am trying to seek clarification on what consciousness means.



There are different paths, karma, bhakti, jnana and yog. it depends upon which ones suits you (according to your prakriti - nature).

Ramana Maharshi is not for everybody. His philosophy suits only for those who have only one goal in life - Self realisation. It suits sadhaka following advaita vedanta. So i do not posts many articles dedicated to him.

You are talking from practical standpoint, and Sri Ramana is talking from advaita standpoint i.e. non-dual. One needs to meditate according to advaita vedanta to understand Sri Ramana Maharshi.

This is not just dry philosophy but experience of Sri Ramana Maharshi and Ancient saints of vedas and upnishads. Spirituality is not just theory for discussion. It is a way of life and 100 % practical.

Regarding consciousness, without it one cannot experience anything. While you are sleeping, the consciousness is in the dream state, hence you do not know what is happening around you. It all depends upon where our consciousness is.

One who is regularly meditating, can experience that he is not thoughts or the body, he experience that he is an observer of his own thoughts and mind and later on his own body. This cannot be explained but only experienced. So consciousness is separated from the body, by the grace of God. Advaita separates (detach) this consciousness or awareness from body, mind and intellect - which is our true self which is pure consciousness.

Some things are difficult to explain in few words, so i feel it is better to let go, as one needs to have a diligent and dedicated study of advaita vedanta - bhagawat gita, vivek chudamani, tatva bodh, Sri Ramana Gita, Who am I, and some more shastras (step by Step). One also needs to meditate regularly with one goal in mind.

In short, advaita vedanta is not for all, as it talks only from non-dual standpoint where only atman or brahman exists and this world is experienced as an illusion - as taught by Sri Adi Shankaracharya.

Anonymous said...

The very fact that you have posed the line of inquiry indicates that you one day will have your question answered.
Imagine never having tasted a mango, and asking one who has to describe it, would any description suffice save tasting it for yourself?

Indiaspirituality Amrut said...

This is not my question. It is a question of a a devotee, which was answered by Sri Ramana Maharshi. Not everything I post are my queries.

The questioner asked Sri Ramana Maharshi who was abiding in SELF. Sri Ramana Maharshi is well recognized Advaita Saint and has given us shastras like Updeshsar and Sad-darshan Chalisi, which are accepted with gratitude by other Advaita Saints.

I do not post my personal views, as only one who has tasted mango can describe a mango.


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