Sri Ramana Maharshi

Awakening:- this current of awareness, fostered by continual effort, grows ever stronger & more constant until finally it leads to Self-realization, to sahaja Samadhi, the state in which pure blissful awareness is constant & uninterrupted & yet without impeding the normal perceptions & activities of life. It is rare indeed for this consummation to be attained during the life on earth. In the case of Sri Bhagavan it occurred only a few months later & with no quest, no striving, no conscious preparation. He himself has described it. “It was about six weeks before I left Madura for good that the great change in my life took place. It was quite sudhen. I was sitting alone ina room on the first floor of my uncle’s house. I seldom had any sickness, & on that day there was nothing wrong with my health, but a sudden violent fear of death overtook me. There was nothing in my state of health to account for it, & I did not try to account for it or to find out whether there was any reason for the fear. I just left ‘I am going to die’ & began thinking what to do about it. It did not occur to me to consult a doctor or my elders or friends; I felt that I had to solve the problem myself, there & then. Brunton: What exactly is this Self of which you speak? If what you say is true there must be another self in man. Sri Ramana: Can a man be possessed of two identities, two selves? To understand this it is first necessary for a man to analyse himself. Because it has long his habit to think as others think, he has naver faced his ‘I’; in the true manner. He has not a correct picture of himself; he has too long identified himself with the body & the brain. Therefore I tell you to pursue this enquiry, ‘Who am I?’ You ask me to describe this true Self to you. What can be said? It is That out of which the sense of the personal ‘I’ arises & into which it will have to disappear. Brunton:- Disappear? How can one lose the feeling of one’s personality? Sri Ramana:- The first & foremost of all thoughts, the primeval thought in the mind of every man, is the thought ‘I’. It is only after the birth of this thought that any other thoughts can arise at all. It is only after the first personal pronoun. ‘I’, has arisedin the mind that the second personal pronoun ‘you’, can make its appearance. If you could mentally follow the ‘I’ threads until led you back to its source you would discover that, just as it is the first thought to appear, so it is the last to disappear. This is a matter which can be experienced. The Journey:- venkataraman’s changed mode of life caused friction. School work was more neglected than ever &, ever thought it was not now for games but for prayer & meditation, his uncle & elder brother became increasingly critical of what seemed to them an unpractical. From their point of view, Venkataraman was simply the adolescent son of middle-class family who should pull his weight & equip himself to earn money & help the other. The crisis came on August 29th, some two months after the Awakening. Venkataraman had been given an exercise in Bain’s English Grammer to copy out three times for not learning it. It was the forenoon & he was sitting upstairs in the same room with his elder brother. He had copied it out twice & was about to do so the third time when the futility of it struck of it struck him so forcibly that he pushed the papers away &, sitting cross-legged, abandoned himself to meditation. Seeming Tapas:- Leaving the temple, Venkataraman wandered out into the town, Someone called out to ask whether he wanted his tuft removed. The question must have been inspired, for there was no outer sign that this Brahmin youth had renounced or intended to renounce the world. He immediately consented & was conducted to the Ayyankulam Tank where a number of barbers plied their trade. There he had his head completely shaved. Then, standing on the steps of the tank, he threw away his remaining money—a little over three rupees. He never handled money again. He also threw away the packet of sweets which he was still holding “Why give sweets to this block of a body?”