THE SAGE OF ARUNACHALA
“Shiva is the Being assuming all forms and the Consciousness seeing them. That is to say, Shiva is the background underlying both the subject and the object. Everything has its Being in Shiva and because of Shiva.”
By the will of the Creator, action bears fruit. Is action, then, supreme? No, it is inert, unconscious.
The fruits of actions are not everlasting and they call one to fall into the great ocean of ‘karma’ (action, causality), blocking spiritual progress.
That action which is done without personal desire and whose fruits are surrendered to the Lord, purifies the mind and leads to Liberation.
Ritual worship, repetition of sacred names, and meditation are done with the body, the speech, and the mind, and they progress in excellence in that order.
To serve the world, looked upon as the manifestation of the Lord, is to offer worship to the Lord of the Eight Forms (Water, Fire, Priest, Moon, Sun, Ether, Earth, Air).
Silent meditation, in the mind, is higher than the best devotional praise, or the uttering of sacred names, loudly or softly.
Like an unbroken flow of oil or a stream of water, continuous meditation is better than that which is interrupted.
Meditation on the identity of the individual and the Lord, ‘I am He’, is more purifying than meditation which assumes a difference between them.
By the power of meditation, devoid of thoughts, one is established in true Being, and this is supreme devotion.
The practice of fixing the mind in its own source in the Heart is, without doubt, true ‘bhakti’ (devotion), yoga, and understanding.
The mind may be subdued by regulating the breath, just as a bird is restrained when caught in a net. This practice controls the mind.
Mind and breath, manifesting in thought and action, branch out from a common source, the ‘Shakti’ (the creative and motivating power in the universe).
Absorption and destruction are the two kinds of mind control. When merely absorbed, it emerges again, but not when it is destroyed.
When the mind has been suspended by breath restraint, it may be annihilated by single-minded attention to the Self.
What action remains to be done by that great yogi whose mind has been extinguished, and who rests in his own true and transcendent state of Being?
If one’s attention is turned away from external objects of sense and focused on the light of the Self, that is the true vision of Reality.
Again, if one persists in asking, ‘What is this mind of mine?’, it will be found that there is really no such thing as mind. This is the Direct Path.
What one has thought of as his mind is merely a bundle of thoughts. All these thoughts depend upon the one thought of ‘I’, the ego. Therefore, the so-called mind is the ‘I’-thought.
If one asks himself, ‘Where does this “I” come from?’, it will vanish. This is the self-enquiry, or ‘atma-vichara’.
Where this ‘I’ vanished and merged in its Source there appears spontaneously and continuously an ‘I-I’. This is the Heart, the infinite Supreme Being.
And this uninterrupted ‘I-I’ is the true meaning of the term ‘I’ because when the waking ego ‘I’ daily disappears in deep sleep, the real ‘I’ remains.
This true ‘I’, the one Reality, is not the body, or the senses, or mind, or breath, or ignorance. These are all inert and insentient.
There is only one Being that can know Reality. That one-only Being is itself Reality and is itself Consciousness.
Both Creator and creature are essentially one and the same Reality. Their apparent differences are due only to differences in form and levels of knowledge.
When the creature abandons its illusory individual form and recognizes itself as without attributes, it sees the Creator as its own true Self.
Being the Self is knowing the Self, because there is only one Self, and not two. This Being and knowing the Self is abiding in the Reality.
True knowledge is beyond what we think of as ‘knowledge’ or ‘ignorance’ because in the State of Non-differentiation what other thing is to be known?
If one’s true Self is known, then there is neither birth nor death, but eternal Being, Consciousness, Bliss.
The jiva (individual ‘I’) who attains the state of Supreme Bliss, beyond any thoughts of bondage or freedom, is truly devoted to the Lord.
When the individual ‘I’ has disappeared and the real
‘I-I’ has been found, that is the excellent ‘tapas’ (efforts to obtain Realization). Ramana says this.