- Religion and Philosophy»
Liberation, even while alive!
Be quiet and be still.
Watch your thoughts without involvement!
If there are no thoughts, there will be no agitation of mind. Thoughts are sometime like breeze when it is favorable, but negative thoughts are like the ‘typhoons’ in the firmament of the heart. Hence instead of getting pleasant thoughts at some time and disruptive thoughts majority of time, why not strive for a ‘thoughtless state’? Have we not noticed serene surface of a deep lake in the midst of tall trees. Most of the time, there won’t be any breeze due to the thick wall of trees around. At those times, the bottom of the lake will be crystal clear with fishes gliding. An occasional leaf drop from the trees may cause a small ripple in the surface of the lake. But, remember that even the small ripple is capable of producing minute waves which travel unto the edge of the lake but it won’t be visible to the naked eye.
Just like a pebble causes more such ripples, though smaller in size, yet they distort the surface of the lake. At that time, the bottom of the lake won’t be clear as before! Why I give these examples. Each thought, however insignificant it may be, causes a little agitation in our mental consciousness. Hence, the yogis, sages and saints try to keep their conscious though free by focusing only on the self.
Shri Ramana Maharishi, who was practicing the “I” thought identifying himself with the Omni self, never suffered due to agitations. He was just witnessing the monkey mind and remained indifferent to its pranks. He knew fully, he is none but Brahman, the supreme which is always in a state of ecstasy! Hence he always counselled the visitors who enquired him about the spiritual sadhana, they need to undertake. Ramana used to tell them, “Enquire who I am”. If somebody gets some doubt, he will ask them the vital question, “to whom, the doubt arose? When they answer, “it is to me”, he will ask them the next question, ‘who is this me or rather “I”. They will indicate their body! He will quip, “No! You are not a body or mind or intellect. You are the indestructible Atma . You are Immortal. Bodies take birth and die. But the soul is ever-present everywhere and remains in constant Bliss. But to understand this cosmic truth, a lot of efforts are required on the part of worldly individuals.
Slowly, they need to shed their selfishness and concentrate on the ever present Self. One must remain indifferent to the pulls and pushes of the mind. Thoughts cannot be quelled by force! By standing apart from the thought process, one has to observe his mind and thoughts. This needs practice constantly. Never identify yourself with the thoughts. Thoughts are not you. The perishable body is not you nor the intellect or senses. All these constitute the ‘scene’ category. You are the “SEER” within. Just a small example! Every mother goes behind the child to feed it. But the child will be naughty and run hither and thither. The mother becomes tired and stops wherever she was. Instantly, the child runs to the mother in panic. So long as the mother runs behind the child, the child is confident. Once the mother stops pursuing, the child will become panicky and run towards the mother! This is the secret behind mind control. Do not run after each thought. Stop and simply observe the mind. The mind will come back to you in the sense that the thoughts will subside on its own.
Practice this observer status regularly without relenting to any thought. Within a month of two, the thoughts will subside on its own. When none is interested and remain indifferent to the thoughts, they will die on its own. Only the frantic perusal of thoughts makes it strong. Do not feed the thoughts! Starve it into submission! This is the way practiced by Ramana and he achieved Self-Realization, even when he was alive. This is known as “Jeevan Muktha” in Sanskrit language. Liberated even while one is alive! They will remain as ‘Torch bearers’ to the future generation. Thus, without calling many overseas devotees gathered around Ramana to listen to his immortal teachings. Paul Brenton is one such visitor, who has penned a beautiful book on Ramana. If one is intent, he can achieve this realization in this birth itself!