Ramana Maharishi answers 63 questions

General Concepts       

76. What would be the best form of spiritual practice?

The phenomenon we see are curious and surprising, but the most marvelous thing of it all is that we do not realize that it is the one, and only one illimitable force which is responsible for: (a) all the phenomena we see, (b) the act of seeing them. Do not fix your attention on these changing things of life, death and phenomena. Do not even think of the actual act of perceiving them but only of that, which sees all these things. That which is responsible for it all. From now onwards let your meditation be neither on the act of seeing nor on what you see, but immovably on that which sees.

77. Bhagavan, while we are in your presence, a certain halo of purity and peace surrounds us. It continues for some time after we leave. Then it disappears and the old stupidities return. Why is it so?

It is all the work of the mind. Like the battery it wears out and has to be recharged. But when the mind control is perfect, there will be no further trouble.

78. Swami, I am going away from you. I do not know when it would be possible for me to return. The devotees who are staying in the Ashram are enjoying the bliss of your company every minute. Will you grant it to us also?

If one thinks that a particular person should be protected he is not a jnani. If there is preference how can one be a jnani? The Lord always remains close extending his protection to those who have surrendered. The frog stays near the lotus but it is only the bees, which suck the honey of the flowers, however far away they may come from.

80. I curse my fate. My husband is totally absorbed in Bhagavan, he has no interest in family life.

(With a heart brimming with love) Meenakshi, why don’t you have faith in my words? What is there in the family life of which you are so enamoured? Your father had ten sons. Not one of them is prepared to give him a morsel of food. My protection is always there for you. Hereafter treat all those who care for you as members of your family.

84. I am afraid that the constant visits of my husband to the Maharshi might make him take to sannyasa. Kindly tell him to remain in the family.

Contact with samsara or family does not get over by voluntarily giving it up. A walking stick that supports it is kept with a person. But when he is asleep the stick falls off by itself.

85. Why should not the Maharshi help the ignorant mass by giving out instructions by means of lectures and educating the public thereby?

Is not God working? Is he making speeches? Can work be done only through speech? Do you know the amount of work that can be turned out silently without any speech?

86. Why does not the Maharshi harness his great energy with that of Mahatma Gandhi to strike off the fetters of slavery of Mother India?

You want to know about how the sages work and about other such problems of men. I tell you till you know what you really are; you cannot in the least understand any of these. Understand yourself first then everything will be clear to you. After sometime he added:

There is a saying of Swami Vivekananda that a rishi’s thought conceived in a cave has its effect on the whole world. It is literally true.

88. Is it permissible for ladies to do ‘Pranava-Japa’ (repetition of Om)?

The ultimate purpose of Pranava-Japa as of every other sadhana is jnana. For those who seek jnana through any sadhana, there is no prohibition be they men or women.

Bhagavan added, “People often get attached to their sadhana and take it as an end in itself. They forget that all sadhana in the world such as breath-control, japa, yoga, etc. are all means to a common end, namely mind-control. So all these doubts arise.”

89. What is meant by saying that the world is false?

(Strangely) It means that the world is real.

And Bhagavan quoted a Sanskrit verse, which says. “The world seen as world through ignorance is false, but the same world seen as Brahman through knowledge is real”

90. Are the world, ego and the body all the same thing?

Yes, they are one and the same thing. You can see the world cannot exist without mind, the mind cannot exist without what we call the ego and the ego cannot exist without a body.

93. Bhagavan, please accompany me to my native place. (A child)

Why do you think ‘I’ won’t accompany you? You can always take ‘me’ with you in your heart.

97. Please explain the meaning of true Brahmacharya.

To live and move in Brahman is real Brahmacharya; continence of course is very helpful and indispensable to achieve that. But so long as you identify yourself with the body, you can never escape sex-thought and distraction. It is only when you realize that you are pure formless awareness that sex distraction disappears. That is brahmacharya, spontaneous and effortless.

99. Bhagavan, people scoff at me, calling me a superstitious idolater.

Why don’t you retort by calling them worse idolaters? For, do they not wash, dress, embellish, feed and thus ‘worship’ their body so many times a day? Is not the body the biggest idol? Then who is not an idol worshipper?

100. Hatha yogic practices are said to banish diseases effectively and therefore recommended as necessary preliminaries to Jnana Yoga.

Let those who advocate them use them. It has not been the experience here. All diseases will be effectively annihilated by continuous self-enquiry.

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