Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Ramana Maharshi on Dhyana Meditation, Self Inquiry meditation

Ramana Maharshi on Dhyana Meditation, Self Inquiry meditation

Question : Is not dhyana [meditation] one of the efficient processes for realization?
Ramana Maharshi : Dhyana is concentration on an object. It fulfils the purpose of keeping away diverse thoughts and fixing the mind on a single thought, which must also disappear before realization. But realization is nothing new to be acquired. It is already there, but obstructed by a screen of thoughts. All our attempts are directed to lifting this screen and then realization is revealed.

If seekers are advised to meditate, many may go away satisfied with the advice. But someone among them may turn round and ask, `Who am I to meditate on an object ?' Such a one must be told to find the Self. That is the finality. That is vichara.

Question : Will vichara alone do in the absence of meditation?
Ramana Maharshi : Vichara is the process and the goal also. `I am' is the goal and the final reality. To hold to it with effort is vichara. When spontaneous and natural it is realization." If one leaves aside vichara, the most efficacious sadhana, there are no other adequate means whatsoever to make the mind subside. If made to subside by other means, it will remain as if subsided but will rise again. Self-enquiry is the one infallible means, the only direct one, to realize the unconditioned, absolute being that you really are.

Question : Why should self-enquiry alone be considered the direct means to jnana?
Ramana Maharshi : Because every kind of sadhana except that of atma-vichara [self-enquiry] presupposes the retention of the mind as the instrument for carrying on the sadhana, and without the mind it cannot be practised. The ego may take different and subtler forms at the different stages of one's practice, but is itself never destroyed.

When Janaka exclaimed, `Now I have discovered the thief who has been ruining me all along. He shall be dealt with summarily', the king was really referring to the ego or the mind.

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