Is there any way of adoring the Supreme
which is all, except by abiding firmly as that!
What is the means to gain the state of eternal bliss,
ever devoid of misery?
Apart from the statement in the Veda that wherever there
is body there is misery, this is also the direct experience
of all people; therefore, one should enquire into one's
true nature which is ever bodiless, and one should remain
as such. This is the means to gaining that state.
What is meant by saying that one should enquire into
one's true nature and understand it?
Experiences such as "I went; I came; I was; I did" come
naturally to everyone. From these experiences, does
it not appear that the consciousness "I" is the subject
of those various acts? Enquiry into the true nature
of that consciousness, and remaining as oneself is the
way to understand, through enquiry, one's true nature.
How is one to enquire: "Who am I?"
Actions such as 'going' and 'coming' belong only to
the body. And so, when one says "I went, I came", it
amounts to saying that the body is "I". But, can the
body be said to be the consciousness "I," since
the body was not before it was born, is made up of the
five elements, is non-existent in the state of deep
sleep, and becomes a corpse when dead? Can this body
which is inert like a log of wood be said to shine as
"I" "I"? Therefore, the "I" consciousness which at first
arises in respect of the body is referred to variously
as self-conceit (tarbodham), egoity (ahankara),
nescience (avidya), maya, impurity (mala),
and individual soul (jiva). Can we remain without
enquiring into this? Is it not for our redemption through
enquiry that all the scriptures declare that the destruction
of "self-conceit" is release (mukti)? Therefore,
making the corpse-body remain as a corpse, and not even
uttering the word "I," one should enquire keenly
thus: "Now, what is it that rises as 'I'?" Then,
there would shine in the Heart a kind of wordless illumination
of the form 'I' 'I'. That is, there would shine of its
own accord the pure consciousness which is unlimited
and one, the limited and the many thoughts having disappeared.
If one remains quiescent without abandoning that (experience),
the egoity, the individual sense, of the form 'I am
the body' will be totally destroyed, and at the end
the final thought, viz. the 'I'-form, also will be quenched
like the fire that burns camphor.* The great sages and
scriptures declare that this alone is release.
without leaving any sediment.
Sri Ramanasramam, Tiruvannamalai, India.