Tuesday 31 March 2015

All phenomena are just a dream, and the only way to wake up is to investigate who is dreaming

In the seventeenth paragraph of Nāṉ Yār? (Who am I?) Sri Ramana advises us that if we wish to know what we really are, we should completely ignore and reject everything else:
குப்பையைக் கூட்டித் தள்ளவேண்டிய ஒருவன் அதை யாராய்வதா லெப்படிப் பயனில்லையோ அப்படியே தன்னை யறியவேண்டிய ஒருவன் தன்னை மறைத்துகொண்டிருக்கும் தத்துவங்க ளனைத்தையும் சேர்த்துத் தள்ளிவிடாமல் அவை இத்தனையென்று கணக்கிடுவதாலும், அவற்றின் குணங்களை ஆராய்வதாலும் பயனில்லை. பிரபஞ்சத்தை ஒரு சொப்பனத்தைப்போ லெண்ணிக்கொள்ள வேண்டும்.

Wednesday 25 March 2015

Is there any real difference between waking and dream?

A couple of months ago a friend wrote to me asking:
You often say that there is, in essence, very little difference between the dream and waking states. Upon reflection it indeed does seem to be so.

However, there does seem to be one substantial difference. There is continuity in the waking state both of location and body. When we enter the waking state we always find ourselves in the same place we left it at. We also find ourselves with the same body that went to sleep.

The dream state, on the other hand, is not like that at all. When we enter the dream state we often find ourselves in completely different places. One time we may find ourselves in the UK, another time in America or some place of our youth, etc. We may even find ourselves travelling somewhere in the outer space.

Saturday 14 March 2015

Self-attentiveness and self-awareness

A friend recently wrote to me three emails in which he asked a series of questions about the practice of self-investigation (ātma-vicāra), and the following is adapted and expanded from the replies I wrote to each of his questions:

Friday 6 March 2015

Intensity, frequency and duration of self-attentiveness

A friend recently sent me an email in which he wrote, ‘I now clearly see that it is bhakti alone that can make me better and stronger at atma-vicara’, to which I replied:

Yes, Sri Ramana used to say that bhakti (love or devotion) is the mother of jñāna (knowledge or true self-experience), and what he meant by bhakti in this context was only the love to experience nothing other than ourself alone, as he clearly implied in verses 8 and 9 of Upadēśa Undiyār:

Monday 2 March 2015

Investigating ourself is the only way to solve all the problems we see in this world

More than a year ago a friend wrote to me asking some questions about Sri Ramana’s teaching that what we now believe to be our waking state is actually just another dream, and last month he followed this up with a series of three more emails asking various questions, most of which were concerning the same subject. This article is adapted from the replies that I wrote to these four emails.

First reply:

In his first email my friend asked how we got ourself into this state of dream or forgetfulness if our real state is consciousness or spirit, and how it is possible for us to remain all the time in the state of self-abidance or self-awareness if we are at work, and finally: ‘Can you be in the state [of self-awareness] and yet optimally perform in the dream state (in the world) or do you forgo one when doing the other?’ In reply to this I wrote: