• What is the path of inquiry for understanding the nature of the mind?

That which rises as ‘I’ in this body is the mind. If one inquires as to where in the body the thought

‘I’ rises first, one would discover that it rises in the heart. That is the place of the mind’s origin.

Even if one thinks constantly ‘I’ ‘I’, one will be led to that place. Of all the thoughts that arise in

the mind, the ‘I’ thought is the first. It is only after the rise of this that the other thoughts arise. It is

after the appearance of the first personal pronoun that the second and third personal pronouns

appear; without the first personal pronoun there will not be the second and third.

  • How will the mind become quiescent?

By the inquiry ‘Who am I?’. The thought ‘who am I?’ will destroy all other thoughts, and like the

stick used for stirring the burning pyre, it will itself in the end get destroyed. Then, there will arise

Self-realization.

  • What is the means for constantly holding on to the thought ‘Who am I?’

When other thoughts arise, one should not pursue them, but should inquire: ‘To whom do they
arise?’ It does not matter how many thoughts arise. As each thought arises, one should inquire
with diligence, “To whom has this thought arisen?”. The answer that would emerge would be “To
me”. Thereupon if one inquires “Who am I?”, the mind will go back to its source; and the thought
that arose will become quiescent. With repeated practice in this manner, the mind will develop the
skill to stay in its source.

When the mind that is subtle goes out through the brain and the sense-

organs, the gross names and forms appear; when it stays in the heart, the names and forms disappear.  Not letting the mind go out, but retaining it in the Heart is what is called “inwardness” (antar- mukha). Letting the mind go out of the Heart is known as “externalisation” (bahir-mukha). Thus, when the mind stays in the Heart, the ‘I’ which is the source of all thoughts will go, and the Selfwhich ever exists will shine. Whatever one does, one should do without the egoity “I”. If one acts

in that way, all will appear as of the nature of Siva (God).
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  • Are there no other means for making the mind quiescent?
Other than inquiry, there are no adequate means. If through other means it is sought to control the
mind, the mind will appear to be controlled, but will again go forth. Through the control of breath
also, the mind will become quiescent; but it will be quiescent only so long as the breath remains
controlled, and when the breath resumes the mind also will again start moving and will wander as
impelled by residual impressions. The source is the same for both mind and breath. Thought, indeed,
is the nature of the mind. The thought “I” is the first thought of the mind; and that is egoity. It is from
that whence egoity originates that breath also originates. Therefore, when the mind becomes quiescent,
the breath is controlled, and when the breath is controlled the mind becomes quiescent. But in deep
sleep, although the mind becomes quiescent, the breath does not stop. This is because of the will of
God, so that the body may be preserved and other people may not be under the impression that it is
dead. In the state of waking and in samadhi, when the mind becomes quiescent the breath is controlled.
Breath is the gross form of mind. Till the time of death, the mind keeps breath in the body; and when
the body dies the mind takes the breath along with it. Therefore, the exercise of breath-control is only
an aid for rendering the mind quiescent (manonigraha); it will not destroy the mind (manonasa).
Like the practice of breath-control. meditation on the forms of God, repetition of mantras, restriction on food, etc., are but aids for rendering the mind quiescent.
Through meditation on the forms of God and through repetition of mantras, the mind becomes one-pointed. The mind will always be wandering. Just as when a chain is given to an elephant to hold in its trunk it will go along grasping the chain and nothing else, so also when the mind is occupied with a name or form it will grasp that alone. When the mind expands in the form of countless
thoughts, each thought becomes weak; but as thoughts get resolved the mind becomes one-pointed and strong; for such a mind Self-inquiry will become easy. Of all the restrictive rules, that relating to the taking of sattvic food in moderate quantities is the best; by observing this rule, the sattvic
quality of mind will increase, and that will be helpful to Self-inquiry.

 

 However bad other people may be, one should bear no hatred for them. Both desire and
hatred should be eschewed. All that one gives to others one gives to one’s self. If this truth is
understood who will not give to others? When one’s self arises all arises; when one’s self becomes
quiescent all becomes quiescent. To the extent we behave with humility, to that extent there will
result good. If the mind is rendered quiescent, one may live anywhere.
  •  What is the nature of the Self?
What exists in truth is the Self alone. The world, the individual soul, and God are appearances in
it. like silver in mother-of-pearl, these three appear at the same time, and disappear at the same
time. The Self is that where there is absolutely no “I” thought. That is called “Silence”. The Self
itself is the world; the Self itself is “I”; the Self itself is God; all is Siva, the Self.
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Is not everything the work of God?
Without desire, resolve, or effort, the sun rises; and in its mere presence, the sun-stone emits fire,
the lotus blooms, water evaporates; people perform their various functions and then rest. Just as in
the presence of the magnet the needle moves, it is by virtue of the mere presence of God that the
souls governed by the three (cosmic) functions or the fivefold divine activity perform their actions
and then rest, in accordance with their respective karmas. God has no resolve; no karma attaches
itself to Him. That is like worldly actions not affecting the sun, or like the merits and demerits of
the other four elements not affecting all pervading space.
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Of the devotees, who is the greatest?
He who gives himself up to the Self that is God is the most excellent devotee. Giving one’s self up to
God means remaining constantly in the Self without giving room for the rise of any thoughts other
than that of the Self. Whatever burdens are thrown on God, He bears them. Since the supreme power
of God makes all things move, why should we, without submitting ourselves to it, constantly worry
ourselves with thoughts as to what should be done and how, and what should not be done and how
not? We know that the train carries all loads, so after getting on it why should we carry our small
luggage on our head to our discomfort, instead of putting it down in the train and feeling at ease?

What is non-attachment?

As thoughts arise, destroying them utterly without any residue in the very place of their origin is

non-attachment. Just as the pearl-diver ties a stone to his waist, sinks to the bottom of the sea and

there takes the pearls, so each one of us should be endowed with non-attachment, dive within

oneself and obtain the Self-Pearl.

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Is it necessary for one who longs for release to inquire into the nature of categories (tattvas)?

Just as one who wants to throw away garbage has no need to analyse it and see what it is, so one

who wants to know the Self has no need to count the number of categories or inquire into their

characteristics; what he has to do is to reject altogether the categories that hide the Self. The

world should be considered like a dream.

Is there no difference between waking and dream?

Waking is long and a dream short; other than this there is no difference. Just as waking happenings

seem real while awake. so do those in a dream while dreaming. In dream the mind takes on

another body. In both waking and dream states thoughts. names and forms occur simultaneously.

Is it any use reading books for those who long for release?

All the texts say that in order to gain release one should render the mind quiescent; therefore their

conclusive teaching is that the mind should be rendered quiescent; once this has been understood

there is no need for endless reading. In order to quieten the mind one has only to inquire within

oneself what one’s Self is; how could this search be done in books? One should know one’s Self

with one’s own eye of wisdom. The Self is within the five sheaths; but books are outside them.

Since the Self has to be inquired into by discarding the five sheaths, it is futile to search for it in

books. There will come a time when one will have to forget all that one has learned.

ramana

What is happiness?

Happiness is the very nature of the Self; happiness and the Self are not different. There is no

happiness in any object of the world. We imagine through our ignorance that we derive happiness

from objects. When the mind goes out, it experiences misery. In truth, when its desires are fulfilled,

it returns to its own place and enjoys the happiness that is the Self. Similarly, in the states of sleep,samadhi and fainting, and when the object desired is obtained or the object disliked is removed,

the mind becomes inward-turned, and enjoys pure Self-Happiness. Thus the mind moves without

rest alternately going out of the Self and returning to it. Under the tree the shade is pleasant; out in

the open the heat is scorching. A person who has been going about in the sun feels cool when he

reaches the shade. Someone who keeps on going from the shade into the sun and then back into the

shade is a fool. A wise man stays permanently in the shade. Similarly, the mind of the one who

knows the truth does not leave Brahman. The mind of the ignorant, on the contrary, revolves in the

world, feeling miserable, and for a little time returns to Brahman to experience happiness. In fact,

what is called the world is only thought. When the world disappears, i.e. when there is no thought,

the mind experiences happiness; and when the world appears, it goes through misery.

What is wisdom-insight (jnana-drsti)?

Remaining quiet is what is called wisdom-insight. To remain quiet is to resolve the mind in the

Self. Telepathy, knowing past, present and future happenings and clairvoyance do not constitute

wisdom-insight.

What is the relation between desirelessness and wisdom?

Desirelessness is wisdom. The two are not different; they are the same. Desirelessness is refraining

from turning the mind towards any object. Wisdom means the appearance of no object. In other

words, not seeking what is other than the Self is detachment or desirelessness; not leaving the Self

is wisdom.

What is the difference between inquiry and meditation?

Inquiry consists in retaining the mind in the Self. Meditation consists in thinking that one’s self is

Brahman, existence-consciousness-bliss.

What is release?

Inquiring into the nature of one’s self that is in bondage, and realising one’s true nature is release