Some teachers who attended the Teachers’ Guild meeting in the town came on a visit to the hall. One of them asked Sri Bhagavan: “I seem to be wandering in a forest because I do not find the way.”
M.: This idea of being in a forest must go. It is such ideas which are at the root of the trouble.
D.: But I do not find the way.
M.: Where is the forest and where is the way unless they are in you? You are as you are and yet you speak of a forest and ways.
D.: But I am obliged to move in society.
M.: Society is also an idea similar to that of the forest.
D.: I leave my home and go and mix in society.
M.: Who does it?
D.: The body moves and does all.
M.: Quite so. Now that you identify yourself with the body you feel the trouble. The trouble is in your mind. You think that you are the body or that you are the mind. But there are occasions when you are free from both. For example in deep slumber, you create a body and a world in your dream. That represents your mental activities. In your waking state you think that you are the body and then the idea of forest and the rest arise. Now, consider the situation. You are an unchanging and continuous being who remains in all these states which are constantly changing and therefore transient. But you are always there. It follows that these fleeting objects are mere phenomena which appear on your being like pictures which move across a screen. The screen does not move when the picture moves. Similarly, you do not move from where you are even when the body leaves the home and mixes in society. Your body, the society, the forest and the ways are all in you; you are not in them. You are the body also but not this body only. If you remain as your pure Self, the body and its movements need not affect you.
D.: This can be realised only by the Grace of the master. I was reading Sri Bhagavata; it says that Bliss can be had only by the dust of the Master’s feet. I pray for Grace.
M.: What is Bliss but your own being? You are not apart from Being which is the same as Bliss. You are now thinking that you are the mind or the body which are both changing and transient. But you are unchanging and eternal. That is what you should know.
D.: It is darkness and I am ignorant.
M.: This ignorance must go. Again, who says `I am ignorant’? He must be the witness of ignorance. That is what you are. Socrates said, “I know that I do not know.” Can it be ignorance? It is wisdom.
Dream and sleep are for the same person as waking. You are the witness of both – they pass before you. Because you are out of meditation now, such questions arise.
What happens to the consciousness of a Realized one in sleep? Such a question arises only in the minds of unrealized beholders. He has but ONE state, which is unbroken throughout 24 hours, whether in what you call sleeping or waking. As a matter of fact the majority of people are all asleep, because they are not awake to the Self.
In the deep sleep state we lay down our ego (ahankara), our thoughts and desires. If we could only do all this while we are conscious, we would realize the Self.
The best form of dhyana or meditation is when it continues not merely in waking but extends to dream and deep sleep states. The meditation must be so intense as to not even give room for the consciousness of the idea ‘I am meditating’. As waking and dreaming are fully occupied by the dhyana of such a person, deep sleep may be considered to be part of the dhyana.
~Conscious Immortality p 97
THE WITNESS REALLY MEANS THE LIGHT THAT ILLUMINES THE SEER, SEEN AND THE PROCESS OF SEEING
Question : Is not the Self the witness only [sakshimatra]?
Bhagavan: ‘Witness’ is applicable when there is an object to be seen. Then it is duality. The truth lies beyond both. In the mantra, sakshi cheta kevalo nirgunascha, the word sakshi [witness] must be understood as sannidhi [presence], without which there could be nothing. See how the sun is necessary for daily activites. He does not however form part of the world actions; yet they cannot take place without the sun. He is the witness of the activities. So it is with the Self.
Bhagavan: Talking of the ‘witness’ should not lead to the idea that there is a witness and something else apart from him that he is witnessing. The ‘witness’ really means the light that illumines the seer, the seen and the process of seeing. Before, during and after the triads of seer, seen and seeing, the illumination exists. It alone exists always.
– Day by day with Bhagavan, 18th July, 1946
Q: Is it possible to enjoy samadhi while busy in worldly work?
Sri Ramana: The feeling ‘I work’ is the hindrance. Ask yourself ‘who works?’ Remember who you are. Then the work will not bind you; it will go on automatically. Make no effort either to work or to renounce; your effort is the bondage. What is destined to happen will happen.
If you are destined not to work, work cannot be had even if you hunt for it; if you are destined to work, you will not be able to avoid it; you will be forced to engage yourself in it. So, leave it to the higher power; you cannot renounce or retain as you choose.
Your own Self-Realization
is the greatest service you can
render the world.
“The I must remove the I, yet remain I.”