A Light on the Teaching of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi

The Essence of Spiritual Practice
(Sadhanai Saram)

by Sri Sadhu Om

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Please note

This text is a selection of verses from a book written by Sri Sadhu Om, a direct disciple of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi, entitled « The Essence of Spiritual Practice » (Sadhanai Saram). Kindly note that this document is to be used for personal, non-commercial, educational and informational purposes only. The full English version can be easily found online in PDF format.

46. Gaining One-Pointedness in Self

246. For whatever thing a liking or love arises in you, upon that thing your mind will certainly gain one-pointedness, because such is the nature of the mind. Unless a real love for Self arises in you, you will not turn within and attend to it one-pointedly; instead you will always be telling some excuse or other for not doing so.

247. (When will a real love for Self arise in you?) Whatever your intellect decides to be the greatest and most worthy thing, for that thing alone will a love arise in you. The intellect of a mature spiritual aspirant will decide that Self-alone is the greatest and most worthy thing, and hence he will have real love for Self. But to the intellects of immature people, the objects of this world alone will appear to be great and worthy to be attained, and hence their desire for those objects will constantly be increasing.

248. (When will the intellect decide that Self alone is the greatest thing?) The intellect will esteem something as the greatest according to its decision as to what is eternal and what is ephemeral. What can be correctly decided by the intellect to be eternal? Only that thing, which can be decided to be real, is unquestionably eternal; other things are only ephemeral objects that are fit to be discarded.

249. (How to decide what is real?) Whatever exists always and unceasingly, whatever exists without ever undergoing any change, and whatever shines by its own light of consciousness without depending upon the aid of any other thing, either to know it or to make it known – that alone is to be decided as real, is it not?

250. Existing always and unceasingly, means to be deathless and indestructible; existing without ever undergoing any change, means to be devoid of movement (achala), either in time or in space; shining by its own light, means to be the consciousness that itself clearly knows its own existence, and not to be an insentient object that is known only by the aid of some other thing. Knowing that the definition of reality is such, scrutinize and decide what is real.

251. Whatever satisfies this definition of reality, having all the aforesaid three characteristics, alone is to be accepted as real. Therefore, scrutinize and see whether there is anything in this world that can satisfy this definition. If you scrutinize carefully, you will find that every object exists for some time and then disappears, that every object undergoes change and is devoid of stability, and that every object is known only by the aid of some other thing.

252. Therefore, none of the objects that are known through the five senses can satisfy the aforesaid definition of reality, and hence none of them can be said to be real. But consider yourself in the light of the three characteristics mentioned above, and decide whether or not you, who know those objects, can satisfy this definition of reality.

253. The body and world are ever changing. But your own existence is the consciousness “I am” that always exists unceasingly, and without undergoing any change, is it not? Did you not exist without any deficiency even in sleep, where everything else had become non-existent? Therefore, how can there be any other thing that is more real than you? Consider well and say.

254. All the four inner organs (or antahkaranas), namely the mind, intellect, knowledge (chitta) and ego, are ever undergoing change, and they cease to exist in sleep. But you are always the same “you”, are you not? Did any second “you” exist in your sleep to know you, who know all the objects that appear in waking and dream? You, who are the one and only “you,” alone existed in sleep, did you not?

258. Know that those people who have discriminated and clearly understood that Self is thus greater and more real than any other thing, will surely gain true love for Self, and even through forgetfulness they will never have desire for any other thing.

259. Those people who have a clear and unshakable understanding of their own reality, having thus discriminated and concluded that Self, the existence-consciousness “I am,” alone is real and eternal, will gain unlimited love to abide as Self and will thus attain the state of one-pointed Self-attention.

 

13. The Nature of Desire

25. When by one’s own inexpressible power one imaginarily sees the one real Self as many objects (the soul, world and God) and thinks oneself to be one among those objects, then one’s own natural self-love, which transcends thought, will assume the form of a thought and will appear to oneself, the individual who imagines thus, as desires for those objects, which are seemingly other than oneself.

26. Of all things, is not oneself the most beloved? When one limits oneself by imagining oneself to be a body, one sees all these things (the world and God), which are truly nothing but one’s own Self, as objects other than oneself, and hence one has desire for those objects. That desire is only a distorted form of the true self-love that is one’s own very nature.

30. The love for happiness is only the love for Self, because Self alone is happiness. But if one imagines that this world, which is nothing but Self, is something other than oneself, then on account of self-love the objects of the world will seem to be objects of pleasure, and hence the love for that Self, which appears as objects other than oneself, will assume the form of desire. This is the great wrong.

31. When the true knowledge dawns that everything is only “I”, then the extroverted love which desirously springs towards other objects, will remain pervading everywhere in the form of mere Being and will no longer spring towards anything else. The love that thus remains as mere Being, having ceased to move in the form of thoughts, alone is Siva, who is Self.

35. When we limit our true nature of undivided existence-consciousness-bliss by wrongly accepting an insignificant body to be “I”, desire arises for those objects of the world that are favorable to this limited “I”, and aversion arises for those objects which are not favorable to it. This desire and aversion are a twofold reflected shadow of our real nature, which is bliss (ananda) or love (priya).

37. Only by the experience of Self-knowledge will all desires be burnt and destroyed in such a manner that they can never again revive. Nobody has ever overcome the power of desires merely by fighting and struggling for any number of years against the wandering nature of the five senses.

 

30. The Disappearance of Otherness

158. The entire appearance of this world that is seen, including we (the individual or jiva) who see it, is a mere false appearance like a dream. If we keenly scrutinize the source (the real “I am”) from which the seeing ego rises, and thereby enter the heart and firmly abide there, the reality will shine forth (and the appearance of the triad – the seer, seeing and object seen – will disappear).

159. If we attain the otherness-free knowledge (ananya jnana), that this world is nothing but our own Self, seen wrongly in our self by our self through our power of imagination, then the delusion of desire for or fear of the world (the objects we see in front of us), will never rise again; and we will merge in and become one with Self. This alone is our natural state.

160. Self alone exists. Except oneself, nothing exists. But if one takes this pure consciousness, which exists and shines as “I”, to be the body, everything will assume a form and appear to exist. If one inquires, “Is this ‘I’ only the body, or is it something else?” and thereby sees the true nature of “I”, everything will cease to exist. See thus.

161. If you ask, “For what reason is it said, that if one inquires and knows oneself, this entire world would disappear?” The reason is that the result attained by the inquiry “Who am I?” is the destruction of the unreal individual (jiva), the ego, who is immersed in activity due to his taking the body to be himself. (That is, since the entire world-appearance depends for its seeming existence upon the ego who sees it, and since the ego itself has no real existence of its own, when the real “I” is known, the ego will be found to be truly non-existent; whereupon, the world-appearance will vanish, having no one to see it and thereby to give it a seeming existence).

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Ces Satsangs sont coordonnés par l’équipe de l’Ashram et ‘Les Amis d’Ajatananda Ashram’, et se dérouleront en anglais, avec une traduction simultanée en français. Vous pourrez donc écouter et voir Swamiji en plein écran et suivre son enseignement qui sera basé sur un texte de l’Advaita et suivi, comme à chaque Satsang, par une session de questions-réponses.

Attention ! Afin de pouvoir participer, votre inscription est obligatoire. Veuillez cliquer sur le bouton “Inscrivez-vous ici” situé sous la description de l’événement pour accéder au formulaire d’inscription.

Pour soutenir l’enseignement de Swamiji et l’Ajatananda Ashram, nous conserverons le principe de la donation consciente. Si vous le souhaitez, vous pourrez faire votre donation au moment de votre inscription.

Le lien Zoom, les infos complémentaires pour la réunion et le texte qui sera commenté par Swamiji vous seront envoyés la veille de l’événement. Nous vous suggérons d’imprimer le texte ou de l’afficher sur un appareil supplémentaire pendant les Satsangs.

Nous vous invitons à garder votre caméra activée et à afficher vos nom et prénom comme nom d’utilisateur ainsi que votre pays pendant la durée de chaque Satsang en signe de pleine participation. À ce sujet, vous pouvez lire ici nos recommandations complémentaires.

Par ailleurs, s’il vous est impossible d’assister au Satsang en raison de vos obligations professionnelles ou de différence de fuseaux horaires n’hésitez pas à nous contacter en suivant ce lien. Nous ferons de notre mieux pour vous proposer une alternative.

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