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Me and Ramana Maharshi!
|by Dr. Varanasi Ramabrahmam|
Every human life is a work of art in its own way; a beautiful verse; an enchanting song; a melodious music; a charming and cheering drama; a pleasant action; a refreshing bliss; a comforting peace; fragrance of silence. The lives of eminent human beings are all these.
Sri Ramana Maharshi is one such eminent human being. He is a Seer; a Saint; a Sage; a Self-Realized person; a Maharshi. I am an admirer and Ekalavya-like disciple of Sri Ramana Maharshi. I owe my insight of Brahmajnaana or Aatmajnaana to Sri Ramana Maharshi.
I am always grateful to my parents who lived a life of spirituality and who gave me this body together with the abilities of mind to get initiated to and grasp the intricacies of the Knowledge of the Self.
I have many times read the life history of Sri Ramana Maharshi. And I have gone through with contemplation his expressions about Brahmajnaana. I had many intimate mental conversations with Sri Ramana Maharshi about his near-death experience, life, expressions, and answers he gave to his disciples. He enlightened me so much about Brahmajnaana or Aatmajnaana or Knowledge of the Self. It benefitted me to arrive at and propose a modern scientific theory of human cognition, language acquisition and communication processes.
This series is fiction. The narration is in dialogue form and is in conversation style. The narration is verse like and takes poetic form in presentation; and the prose many times transforms into poetic rhythm. The essence of Self Realization is presented in a lucid way with the help of these conversations with Sri Ramana Maharshi and my extensions of them with due directions from Sri Ramana Maharshi through my intuition. And commentaries on social living, and related issues will also evolve.
I rate Sri Ramana Maharshi equal in intellect to great physicists like Planck, De Broglie, Einstein, and many eminent scientists of those times (1879-1950) who are contemporaries to Sri Ramana Maharshi. I present my write-up reflecting this aspect and understanding too.
Sri Ramana Mahrshi has experienced, and very well expressed the “physics” of consciousness and mind helped by his experience and earlier Indian spiritual expressions. I also mimic through this fiction many of Sri Ramana Maharshi’s expressive styles; in prose, poetry and present the traditional and scientific insight contained in Brahmajnaana or Aatmajnaana which surely and definitely benefits the discerning and interested reader irrespective of one’s own faith, creed, nationality or the like.
This narration will be a comprehensive presentation of consciousness, mind and their functions in a charming and simple language. I also take the help of information available in various Indian spiritual texts at appropriate places. The course of the conversation does not take a particular order.
I: What is salvation?
Sri Ramana Maharshi: Getting rid of all mental impressions is salvation. “vaasanaataanavam brahma moksha iti abhidheeyate”
I: How to cultivate calmness of mind?
Sri Ramana Maharshi: Possessing an absolute faith is a must to calm the mind; faith in the approach; faith in the text and teacher; and faith in oneself. Cultivating, engaged in and maintaining a stable and harmonious relationship with one’s near and dear ones and fellow-beings highly benefit the aspirant in attempts to calm the mind. And many times lack of such a harmonious relationship obstructs the setting of peace in the mind and mere observation or practice of a meditative technique in an academic or mechanical way many not help the individual in his/her aim or quest. Calming the mind is a process of de-learning illusory knowledge, relearning the real nature of human-being and then practice the knack of completely unlearning or be unaware of all the new knowledge too but not the insight gained. Meditation and calming the mind are synonymous with Self Realization which are a process reverse to the process of generation of thoughts.
I: What is Meditation?
Sri Ramana Maharshi: Find out wherefrom this ‘I’ springs forth and merge at its source; that is tapas-meditation.
I: We modern-minded individuals are always very much worried about current societal situations and are agitated and are tempted to do something directly to repair the society. How to go about it? ?
Sri Ramana Maharshi: We must perform our ordained duty sincerely and dissolve into the nature at the destined moment. To cleanse situations around us is not possible. All things take place according to their naturally guided course.
I: What is the meaning of “Brahma sat jagat mithya jivo brahmaiva na aparah”?
Sri Ramana Maharshi: Brahma sat jagat mithya jivo brahmaiva na aparah - means “What is present always is Brahman in the form of eternal consciousness and jagat (which is moving or transient is virtual superimposition over it) is adhyasa and mithya (unreal): jiva (self-consciousness) is Brahman (pure consciousness) Itself, and is not different or separate”. Brahman means pure consciousness or unoccupied awareness. Jagat means perception of inner mental world and impressions in the form of bhavas (feelings, thoughts). Jiva means self-consciousness. Consciousness becomes pure or self- consciousness depending on the perceptions. If Divinity within is perceived it is pure consciousness or unoccupied awareness. If the mental traits, relations with near and dear (ego) happiness, sorrow, body, outer physical world are perceived it is self-consciousness. Self-consciousness is superimposition over pure consciousness; so also is perceived physical world.
I: Brahma sat jagat mithya actually means?
Sri Ramana Maharshi: The perceived world in the form of feelings, thoughts, and remembrances is called jagat, and this is mithya, meaning virtual and transient. Thus mental perceptions are virtual and transient superimpositions over our consciousness and they appear this moment and disappear next moment. These mental projections are reversible transformations of mental energy maya. Vedanta never says outer physical world is mithya. It says that only the mental perceptions of physical world and the associated experiences are mithya or virtual.
We miss the paper and only read the script written over it and rejoice or otherwise. Even though the paper is holding the written script, we are lost in the written matter over the paper and never are aware of the paper the base of the script.
Similarly, we miss the screen which holds the pictures projected by the projector in a cinema hall. We are lost in the drama of the pictures, identify with the situations projected there and feel joy or sorrow or experience all feelings as if they are all real. We never realize all these pictures are mere projections and the screen is holding them. Without screen there are no pictures.
Similarly, without Brahman or Atman we will not be able to be conscious or aware of our mental functions. Without Brahman or Atman serving as consciousness and base or background, we cannot be aware of our thoughts, feelings or experiences or communications or cognitions. All our mental perceptions are projections of mind over this pure consciousness, whose nature is Being-Pure Consciousness-Bliss (sat-chit-ananda) and is a state of peace, silence, calmness and content-free contentment. Mental perceptions are reversible virtual mental energy-transformations and this mental energy is sourced from Brahman or Atman. When no perceptions or experiences are in mental view we are prajnaanam (content-free mental space).
Thus elders say let us not be carried away by the virtual mental projections in the form of thoughts, feelings or experiences which are superimpositions over pure consciousness; and see them as virtual pictures over the cine-screen and give them that importance only and enjoy the drama of mind without losing poise, peace, serenity and equanimity. Let us always focus on the pure consciousness Brahman or Atman and reap the benefits of spiritual knowledge while not neglecting our destined duties as a social person. Then we can perform our worldly duties more efficiently and responsibly.
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Comments on this Article
09/04/2013 07:38 AM
05/28/2013 01:14 AM
J R Ramamurthy
05/26/2013 21:40 PM
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