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ramana maharshi | who am I? | guru | self-enquiry | spiritual instruction | wisdom | words | silence | daily talks | reality | padam – the formless self
abide in the self | arunachala | annamalai swami | self alone is real | swami rama tirtha | real self | i am that | practical freedom | sun of self
h.w.l. poonja | freedom now | remembering | meeting ramana | who is aware of consciousness? | who are you? | words | no practice | final abode
eternal rest | lion's roar | peace is always everywhere | plunge into eternity | i am eternal self | summa iru | wisdom | here and now in lucknow
ma anandamayi | words | siddharameshwar maharaj | beyond nothing | perfection of material science | master key | non-action | self
nisargadatta maharaj | words | a great maharashtrian jnani | self-knowledge and self-realisation | meet the sage | detachment | awareness | who am I?
life | "i am" | guru and disciple | ranjit maharaj | meeting siddharameshwar | everything is nothing | forget everything | death is not true | real and unreal
u.g. krishnamurti | natural state | words | remembering | no separation | nothing to understand | chief joseph | way of the warrior | old tcheng | sayings
advaita | vedanta | devikalottara | supreme wisdom | atma sakshatkar | direct awareness of the self | vichara mani mala | jewel garland of enquiry
avadhuta gita | ever-free | ashtavakra gita | purest expression of truth | ribhu gita | heart | wisdom | bhagavad gita | essence | the song celestial
adi shankaracharya | atma bodha | aparokshanubhuti | dakshinamurti strotram | dasasloki | nirvana shatkam | drik drisya viveka | vivekachudamani
seng tsan | faith mind | gaudapada | mandukya karika | katha upanishad | death as teacher | yoga vasistha | dispassion | seeker's behaviour | essence
ramakant maharaj | reality has nothing to do with words | lama guendune rinpoché | free and easy | ellam ondre | all is one | william samuel | now

RAMANA  MAHARSHI

WORDS



Let there be peace and love among all beings of the universe. OM Shanti, Shanti, Shanti.

"The illusion created by the mind must be destroyed by the mind itself."


OUR
 duty is to be and not to be this or that. "I am that I am" sums up the whole Truth. The method is summed up in the words "Be still". Stillness means "destroy yourself". Every name and form is the cause of trouble. Give up the notion that "I am so and so".


2. All that we have to do is to give up identifying the Self with the body, with forms and limits, and then we shall know ourselves the Self that we always are.

3. Do not associate with the mind that rises like the goddess who smites men with love. Destroy it by abiding in the Self. Should you succumb to its spell and embrace it, alas, it will destroy your life by drowning you in the intoxication of pride. That demoness, the mind, is extremely adept at amorously caressing you with false pretences. Heed this warning! From now on, stay away from that utterly sinful woman, without even mentioning her name. That woman, the mind, is a great demoness whose embrace brings death to all. She somehow deceives everyone and brings them under her spell. She is an extremely cunning woman, a thief who practises deception. This murderess, this beautiful and seductive woman, is a despicable sinner who has totally ruined the lives of many an aspirant. She is an evil low-born woman who hates and torments your lawfully wedded wife, peace.

4. He who is forgetful of the Self, mistaking the physical body for it, and goes through innumerable births, is like one who wanders all over the world in a dream. Thus realising the Self would only be like waking up from the dream-wanderings.

5. Know that the path of knowledge and the path of devotion are interrelated. Follow these inseparable two paths without dividing one from the other.

6. The lazy state wherein you exist motionlessly and shine is the natural state. In that Supreme state you have become That. It cannot be attained except by direct, excellent and rare austerities. You should therefore honour those who are established in that laziness as holy beings.

7. One who asks himself "Who am I?" and "Where am I?", though existing all the while as the Self, is like a drunken man who inquires about his own identity and whereabouts.



 


8. Bliss is a thing which is always there and is not something that comes and goes. That which comes and goes is a creation of the mind and you should not worry about it.

9. An "I" rises forth with every thought and with its disappearance that "I" disappears too. Many "I"s are born and die every moment. The subsisting mind is the real trouble. That is the thief according to Janaka. Find him out and you will be happy.

10. During worldly activity, if your attention is fixed on the fundamental Reality, there is no difficulty. But ordinary people forget the Reality and take the name alone to be real. The different "I"s are not real. There is only one "I". The separate "I" is like a watchman in a fort. He is like the protector of the body. The real owner in everybody is only the one real "I". So, when the separate "I" surrenders to the real "I", then because the idea of a separate self who "owns" the body disappears, "I" and "mine" are eliminated. The true state comes into existence when, after sorting out what belongs to whom, the ego "I" surrenders itself to the real owner.

11. While in fact the body is in the Self, he who thinks that the Self is within the insentient body is like one who considers the cloth of the screen which supports a cinema picture to be contained within the picture.

12. Many fear that with the destruction of the mind, they themselves will cease to exist. But destruction of the mind is nothing to be feared. What we conceive of now as mind is only a combination of restlessness and dullness. By their elimination, the mind becomes pure. Such a mind is one's own real nature. The activities of one whose mind has been purified by Self-attention will continue to be done. He will even appear to do the work with greater attention and involvement. Yet he is unaffected and always stays in the felicity of non-dual bliss.

13. If you remain in the "don't want" state, everything will come to you. That is why both likes and dislikes are not wanted.

14. Does an ornament exist apart from the gold of which it is made? Where is the body apart from the Self? He who considers the body to be himself is an ignorant man. He who regards himself as the Self is the enlightened One who has realised the Self.

15. The one Self, the sole Reality, alone exists eternally. When even the ancient Teacher, Dakshinamurti, revealed It through speechless eloquence, who else could convey it by speech?

16. Since past and future have never been without the present, to know the Eternal Now is to know the Truth. The changeless, Infinite Self transcends time and space, which are relative to the body and the mind. The sage who has realised the Self transcends both freewill and destiny, with which only the ignorant are concerned. To the ignorant, the "I" is the Self limited to the body; to the wise, the "I" is the Infinite Self.

17. Though the non-dual knowledge [Advaita jnana] is difficult to attain, it becomes easy to attain when the true love for the feet of the Lord becomes intense, since His Grace, the revealing light which dispels ignorance, then begins to flow.

18. If the agent, upon whom the karma depends, namely the ego, which has come into existence between the body and the Self, merges in its Source and loses its form, how can the karma, which depends upon it, survive? When there is no "I" there is no karma.

19. Only when the Self is gained is permanent, perfect, blissful peace attained. In this Self-sovereignty, non-dual, heaven-like, all-pervasive, no desire and no fear can exist.

20. Beyond the reach of words extends the sage's greatness. None but he can know his state of being, vaster than the sky and than the mountain firmer. To experience it yourself, you should first shed your own body-consciousness.

21. He who turns inward with an untroubled mind to search where the consciousness "I" arises, realises the Self, and rests in That, like a river when it joins the ocean.

22. To all deep thinking minds, the enquiry about the "I" and its nature has an irresistable fascination. Call it by any name, God, Self, the Heart or the seat of consciousness, it is all the same. The point to be grasped is this, that Heart means the very core of one's being, the centre without which there is nothing whatsoever.

23. Where can you find true consciousness? Can you attain it outside yourself? You have to find it internally. Therefore you are directed inward. The Heart is the seat of consciousness. Or, it is consciousness itself.

24. When the mind unceasingly investigates its own nature, it transpires that there is no such thing as mind. This is the direct path to Truth for all.

25. The mind is merely thoughts. Of all thoughts, the thought "I" is the root. Therefore the mind is only the thought "I".

26. Whence does this "I" arise? Seek for it within; it then vanishes. This is the pursuit of wisdom.

27. Where the "I" vanishes, there appears another "I-I" by itself. This is the Infinite Self.

28. This is always the true import of the term "I". For we do not cease to exist even in the deepest sleep, where there is no waking "I".

29. The body, senses, mind, life-breath and ignorance are all insentient and not the real. "I am" is the real. This was Moses' realisation: "I am that I am". These [sheaths] I am not.

30. As there is no second being to know that which is, "that which is" is consciousness. We are That.

31. He who is forgetful of the Self, mistaking the physical body as being it, and goes through innumerable births seeking his Self, is like one who wanders all over the world in a dream. Thus, realising the Self would only be like waking up from the dream-wanderings.

32. Where can I go? I am here.

33. While in fact the body is in the Self, he who thinks that the Self is within the insentient body is like one who considers the cloth of the screen, which supports the cinema picture, to be contained within the picture.

34. Reality must be always real. It is not with forms and names. That which underlies these is the Reality. It underlies limitations, being itself limitless. It is not bound. It underlies unrealities, itself being real. Reality is that which is. It is as it is. It transcends speech. It is beyond the expressions "existence, non-existence", etc...

35. Give up the notion, "I am impure." The Self is ever pure. All this is the work of the mind. If you get at the basis of the mind all these wrong notions disappear.

36. You are the mind, or rather you think that you are the mind. But the mind is nothing but thoughts. Now behind every particular thought there is a general thought which is the "I", that is yourself. Let us call this "I" the first thought. Stick to this "I"-thought and question it to find out what it really is. When this question takes strong hold on you, you cannot think of other thoughts.

37. What happens when you make a serious quest for the Self is that the "I"-thought as a thought disappears; something else from the depths takes hold of you and that is not the "I" which commenced the quest. That is the real Self, the import of I. It is not the ego nor the mind. It is the Supreme Being Itself.

38. I do not say that you must go on rejecting thoughts. If you cling to yourself, say the "I"-thought, and when your interest keeps you to that single idea, other thoughts get rejected; automatically they vanish.

39. Rejection of thoughts may be necessary for a time or for some. You fancy that there is no end if one goes on rejecting every thought when it rises. No. There is an end. If you are vigilant, and make a stern effort to reject every thought when it rises, you will soon find that you are going deeper and deeper into your own inner Self, where there is no need for your effort to reject the thoughts.

40. It is impossible for you to make an effort beyond a certain extent. Now, it is impossible for you to be without effort. When you go deeper, it is impossible for you to make any effort.

41. The very fact that you are possessed of the quest of the Self is a manifestation of the Divine Grace. It is effulgent in the Heart, the inner being, the real Self. It draws you from within. You have to attempt to get in from without. Your attempt is earnest quest, the deep inner movement is Grace. That is why I say there is no real vichara [enquiry] without Grace, nor is there Grace active for him who is without vichara. Both are necessary.

42. From the standpoint of the path of knowledge it is the Supreme state of the Self, which is the Sadguru. It is different from the ego-self, which you call your self.

43. The ego-self is the jiva [individual]. It is different from the Lord of all [the Absolute]. When through disinterested devotion the individual self approaches the Lord, He graciously assumes name and form and takes the self into Himself. Therefore, they say the Guru is none other than the Lord. He is a human embodiment of the Divine Grace. The real Guru is God himself in human form. Who can doubt this?

44. In the case of certain great souls God reveals himself as the light of their light from within.

45. Whatever I do or consider myself doing is really the Lord's doing.

46. Nothing really belongs to me.

47. I am here for the service of the Lord.

48. The spirit of surrender and service is really Supreme devotion, and the true devotee sees the Supreme Being as the Lord immanent in everything. Worship of Him by name and form leads one beyond all name and form. Complete devotion culminates in Supreme knowledge.

49. Even when in the beginning devotion [bhakti] is actuated by worldly desires, it does not cease when the desires are fulfilled. It increases by an unshakable faith growing perfectly into a Supreme state of realisation.

50. Stripped of the ego he establishes himself naturally in Supreme Self-awareness.

51. Both knowledge and devotion lead you to a state of Supreme peace that passeth all understanding.

52. The quest for the self I speak of is a direct method, indeed superior to the other meditation; for, the moment you get into a movement of quest for the self and go deeper and deeper, the real Self is waiting there to take you in; and then whatever is done is done by something else and you have no hand in it. In this process, all doubts and discussions are automatically given up just as one who sleeps forgets, for the time being, all his cares.

53. When one is a sufficiently developed soul he becomes naturally convinced.

54. Really, no theory is necessary for the man who seriously desires to approach God or to realise his own true being.

55. To anniihilate recurrent vasanas and bring to being knowledge free from dread, delusion and desire, know that the true mantra is but devotion to the Guru's feet.

56. To stick to a position unassailed by thoughts is meditation or concentration; you are watchful. But the condition grows more intense and deeper when your effort and all responsibilities are taken away from you; that is the state of focus of attention.

57. The ego's phenomenal existence is transcended when you dive into the Source wherefrom arises the limited feeling of "I"-ness [aham-vritti].

58. The jnani appreciates all distinctions, but he always perceives and experiences the one Reality in all of them. That is why he has no preferences. Whether he moves about, or talks or acts, it is all the one Reality in which he acts or moves or talks. He has or sees nothing apart from the one Supreme Truth.

59. The transcendental Awareness I speak of is the natural state [sahaja samadhi]. For, here you are naturally poised, you remain calm and composed even while you are active; you realise that you are moved by the deeper real Self within. You have no worries, no anxieties, no cares. Here you realise there is nothing belonging to you, the ego, everything is done by Something with which you get into conscious union.

60. Natural being or natural abidance itself is without concepts. For, in this state the mind is free from doubts. It has no need to swing between alternatives of possibilities and probabilities. It has no active predispositions [vikalpas] of any kind. It is sure of the Truth. It feels the presence of the real. Even when it is active, it knows it is active in the Reality, the Self, the Supreme Being.

61. The Self makes itself felt in the pure mind so that even when you are in the midst of thoughts you feel the Presence, you realise the Truth that you are one with the deeper Self and that the thought-waves are there only on the surface.

62. The mind gets clear of impurities and becomes pure enough to reflect the Truth, the real Self. This is impossible when the ego is active and assertive.

63. What you call your self now is not the real Self which is neither born nor dies.

64. The body is matter, insentient; it never knows, it is always the known.

65. The moment the ego-self tries to know itself, it changes its character; it begins to partake less and less of the insentient, in which it is absorbed, and more and more of the consciousness of the Self.

66. The ego-self, when it feels the necessity to know its own origin or feels impelled to rise above itself, takes the suggestion and goes deeper; and there discovers the true Source and Reality of itself. So the ego-self, beginning to know itself, ends in perceiving the Self, its true Self.

67. The Heart is the one Supreme centre of the Self. You need have no doubt about it. The real Self is there in the Heart behind the ego-self.

68. Self cannot be known with your mind. You cannot realise it by imagination, when I tell you here is the centre [pointing to the right side of the chest]. The only direct way to realise it is to cease to fancy and try to just be yourself. Then you realise, or you automatically feel that the centre is there. This is the centre, the Heart of being, spoken of in the scriptures as the cavity of the Heart.

69. It is perhaps more proper to say that the Self is the Heart itself than to say that it is in the Heart. Really, the Self is the centre itself. It is everywhere, aware of itself as "Heart", the Self-awareness. Hence I have said, "Heart is Thy name."

70. The liberated or Self-realised man lives in the Heart. When he moves about and deals with men and things, he knows that what he sees is not separate from the one Supreme Reality, the Brahman which he realised in the Heart as his own Self, the real.

71. The ordinary man sees things as outside himself. He is separate from the world, from his own deeper Truth, from the Truth that supports both him and what he sees. The man who has realised the Supreme Truth of his own existence realises that it is the one Supreme Reality that is there behind him, behind the world. In fact, he is aware of the One, as the real, the Self in all selves, in all things, Eternal and Immutable, in all that is impermanent and mutable.

72. When you go deeper within yourself you lose yourself, as it were, in the abysmal depths, then the Reality which is the Atman, the true Self that was behind you all the while, takes hold of you. It is an incessant flash [or current] of "I"-consciousness, you can be aware of It, feel It, hear It, sense It, so to say; this is what I call "aham sphurti" [Self-manifestation].

73. The real form or nature of realisation is existence-consciousness.

74. In direct knowing, you can feel yourself one with the One that exists. The whole body becomes a mere power, a force-current. Your life becomes a needle drawn to a huge mass of magnet; and, as you go deeper and deeper, you become a mere centre and then not even that; for you become a mere consciousness. There are no thoughts or cares any longer, they were shattered at the threshold. It is an inundation. You are a mere straw, you are swallowed alive, but it is very delightful. For you become the very thing that swallows you. This is the union of the individual with the Absolute, self with Reality, the loss of ego in the real Self, the destruction of falsehood, the attainment of Truth.

75. That in which all these worlds seem to exist steadily, that of which all these worlds are a possession, that from which all these worlds rise, that for which all these exist, that by which all these worlds come into existence and that which is indeed all these – that alone is the existing reality. Let us cherish that Self, which is the Reality, in the Heart.

76. If you are destined or chosen to do a particular thing, it will be done.

77. The Lord of the universe carries the whole burden. You imagine you do. You can hand all your burden to his care. Whatever you have to do, you will be made an instrument for doing it at the right time. Don't think that you cannot do it unless you have the desire to do it. Desire does not give you the strength to do. The strength is the Lord's.

78. You are a limb of society. Society is the body, individuals are its members, its limbs. Just as the various limbs help and cooperate with one another, and thus are happy, so each must unite with others in being helpful to all, in thought, speech and action.

79. Real equality and fraternity form the true goal, for then Supreme peace may reign on earth, and the earth herself can be a single household.

80. I have often said that Self-attainment is the greatest good to society.

81. Conscious death is the purpose of evolution and conscious immortality whilst in the flesh. If you do not make Atma Vichara, [Self-enquiry] then Loka Vichara [deliberation about worldly affairs] will creep in.

82. Maharshi does not criticise any of the extant methods. All are good for the purification of the mind. The purified mind alone is capable of grasping his method and sticking to it in practice.

83. Does sleep lead to liberation? It is wrong to suppose that simple inactivity leads one to liberation. Absence of mental operations is solitude. Mind control is not one's birth right. The successful owe their success to perseverance.

84. The more one does not forget the Self, the more do elevating qualities become ours. Through Self-enquiry the blooming of Self-knowledge is immediate and quick.

85. If you seek God with your whole heart, then you may be assured that the Grace of God is also seeking you. Mind is intangible. The surest way of control is to seek it.

86. There is a class of people who want to know all about their future and past births. They ignore the present. The load of the past is the present misery. Why recall the past? It is a waste of time.

87. Forgetfulness of your real nature is the real death; remembrance of it is true birth. It puts an end to successive births. Yours is then Eternal life. The intellect always seeks to have external knowledge, leaving knowledge of its own origin.

88. The ego-ridden mind has its strength sapped and is too weak to resist torturing thoughts. The egoless mind is happy. As a matter of fact the majority of people are asleep, because they are not awake to the Self.

89. God is the same for those who say that the world is real and their opponents. Their outlooks are different. You need not enmesh yourself in such disputations The goal is one and the same. Look to it.

90. The Self is a powerful hidden magnet. It draws us gradually to itself.

91. The mind resting in the Self is in its natural state, but instead of that our minds are resting in outward objects.

92. The wrong identification with the body arises because we have lost our moorings and swerved from our original state.

93. From whatever directions the pilgrims foregather, they must enter the Kaaba [a cuboid-shaped building in Mecca] only by one passage.

94. For the worthy disciple the work is within himself and not without.

95. The difficulty is that a man thinks he is the doer; it is a mistake. It is the higher power which does everything and man is only a tool. If he accepts that position he is free from trouble. Otherwise he courts it.

96. I have said that equality is the true sign of realisation. The very term equality implies the existence of differences. It is a unity that the jnani perceives in all differences, which I call equality. Equality does not mean ignorance of distinctions. When you have the realisation, you can see that these differences are very formal, they are not at all substantial or permanent, and what is essential in all these appearances is the one Truth, the real. This, I call unity.

97. For those who are open and ready to silently receive the Truth in the Heart, it is easily "heard", quietly radiating from the Supreme silence and stillness.

98. Realisation is nothing to be gained afresh, it is already there. All that is necessary is to get rid of the thought, "I have not realised".

99. Stillness or peace is realisation. There is no moment when the Self is not. So long as there is doubt or the feeling of non-realisation, the attempt should be made to rid oneself of these thoughts. They are due to the identification of the Self with the not-Self. When the not-Self disappears, the Self alone remains.

100. There is no reaching the Self. If Self were to be reached, it would mean that the Self is not here and now but that it is yet to be obtained. What is got afresh will also be lost. So it will be impermanent. What is not permanent is not worth striving for. So I say the Self is not reached. You are the Self; you are already That.

101. The mind turned inwards is the Self; turned outwards, it becomes the ego and all the world. Cotton made into various clothes we call by various names. Gold made into various ornaments, we call by various names. But all the clothes are cotton and all the ornaments gold. The One is real, the many are mere names and forms.

102. This complete Wholeness pervades all creation within and without like formless space.

103. True knowledge [jnana] is given neither from outside nor from another person. It can be realised by each and everyone in his own Heart. The jnana Guru of everyone is only the Supreme Self that is always revealing its own Truth in every Heart through the being-conciousness "I am, I am." The granting of true knowledge by him is initiation into jnana. The Grace of the Guru is only that Self-awareness that is one's own true nature. It is the inner conciousness by which he is unceasingly revealing his existence. This divine upadesa is always going on naturally in everyone.

104. True knowledge essentially consists in possessing an eye of equality for all.

105. The mind is nothing but the thought "I". Thoughts rise because of the thinker. The thinker is the ego which if sought will automatically vanish.

106. This world is not other than the mind and the mind is not other than the Heart.

107. You are where you have always been.

108. When the wrong identification of oneself with the body ceases, the master will be found as none other than the Self.

109. A fledgling is protected by the parent birds only till such a time it grows wings. It is not protected forever. Similarly with devotees. I have shown the way. You must now be able to follow it up and find peace wherever you are.

110. If objects had an independent existence, then it would be possible for you to go away from them. But they do not exist apart from you, they owe their existence to you, to your thoughts. So where can you go to escape them?

111. Effort is meant as a way not to allow oneself to be distracted by thoughts. Having once experienced the bliss of peace, one will not engage oneself otherwise.

112. Truly there is no cause for you to be miserable and unhappy. You yourself impose limitations on your true nature of Infinite Being, and then weep that you are but a finite creature. Then you take up this or that spiritual practice [sadhana] to transcend the non-existent limitations. But if your sadhana itself assumes the existence of such limitations, how can it help you to transcend them? Hence, I say, know that you are really Infinite, pure Being – the Self Absolute. The only way to be rid of your grief is to know and be the Self. How can this be unattainable?

113. Since you identify yourself with the physical body, you speak of this world as being physical and the other world as spiritual. Whereas, that which is, is only spiritual. The realised being does not see the world as different from himself. When you are the Self, the world appears as Reality.

114. Reality exists by Itself, reveals Itself by Itself and is Eternal and unchanging. Of yourself you can say "I exist". That is, yours is not mere existence, it is existence of which you are conscious. The world neither exists by itself, nor is conscious of its existence. Was the world ever seen without the aid of the mind?

115. There could be no world without the Self. If the world be taken as consciousness, it is always real.

116. The only useful purpose of the present birth is to turn within and realise the Self. All that is required is to be still. There is nothing else to do.

117. "I-I" is the Self. "I am this" is the ego. When the "I" is kept up as the "I" only, it is the Self. When it flies off on a tangent and says "I am this or that", it is ego. I am forever here.

118. One may be in the thick of the world and yet maintain perfect serenity of mind; such a person is always in solitude. Another may stay in the forest, but still be unable to control his mind. He cannot be said to be in solitude.

119. Solitude amounts to making the mind still. Where is the forest and where is the way unless they are in you? The screen does not move when the picture moves. Similarly, you do not move from where you are even when the body leaves home and mixes in society. Your body, society, the forest and the ways are all in you. If you remain as pure Self, the body and its movements will not affect you. The mind must be overcome whether at home or in the forest. If you can do it in the forest, why not at home?

120. If you really want liberation, cast away the pleasures of sense objects as though they were poison.

121. Our real nature is to be without a body. What is death but giving up the body? Deathlessness is our real nature.

122. There is neither past nor future. There is only the present.

123. Man is guilty of theft, in thinking himself to be a being separate from that pure indivisible consciousness, which is the true nature of the Supreme.

124. Every man is divine and strong in his real nature. What are weak and evil are his habits, his desires and thoughts, but not himself.

125. If you keep to the thought of the Self, and intently watch for It, then even that one thought which is used as a focus in concentration will disappear and you will simply BE, with no "I" or ego.

126. Because you are accustomed to identifying yourself with the body, and sight with the eyes, you say you do not see anything. What is there to be seen? Who is there to see? How do you see? There is only one consciousness, which manifests as the "I"-thought, identifies itself with the body, projects itself through the eyes and sees the objects around. The individual is limited in the waking state and expects to see something different. The evidence of his senses will be the seal of authority. But he will not admit that the seer, the seen and the sight are all manifestations of the same consciousness.

127. Giving one's self up to God means remaining constantly in the Self without giving room for the rise of any thought other than the Self.

128. Find out who is subject to free will or predestination and abide in that state. Then both are transcended. Discover That and be at peace.

129. Happiness is your nature. It is not wrong to desire it. What is wrong is seeking it outside when it is inside.

130. The sense of body is a thought; the thought is of the mind, the mind rises after the "I"-thought. If that is held, the other thoughts will disappear. There will then be no body, no mind, not even the ego.

131. Have compassionate love for others but keep it secret; do not make a display of it or talk about it. If your desires are fulfilled, do not be elated, and if you are frustrated do not be disappointed. The elation may be deceptive; it should be checked, for initial joy may end in final grief. After all, whatever happens, you remain unaffected, just as you are.

132. Activity of the mind is weakness and consequently miserable; passivity is strength and therefore blissful.

133. The flow of the river stops, once it reaches the ocean and becomes one with the ocean. Likewise, if one's mind is always meditating on the Self, eventually it becomes Atmamayam [the same nature as the Self].

134. Become angry with anger. Desire is the root of anger. Desirelessness is Absolute happiness.

135. When you give up thinking of outward objects and prevent your mind from going outwards and turn it inward and fix it in the Self, the Self alone will remain.

136. He is a real man who does not let go his hold on the Self state while he is attending to whatever problems come of their own accord and without his desire.

137. He who thinks "I am the body" is committing the sin of suicide. He who thinks "I am the Self" is a person of very great fortune. A moment of meditation on "I am the Self" will destroy all accumulated past actions just as the sun destroys darkness. How can karma remain undestroyed in the one who constantly meditates like this?

138. When sleep comes, be awake. Sleep when you are awake. This is to sleep without sleeping. To be free from worries is to sleep without sleeping.

139. There is no other way to succeed than to draw the mind back every time it turns outwards and fix it in the Self.

140. The man who loves the all-supporting God with the understanding that nothing can be achieved by his own actions, and who expects instead that all actions will be performed by God alone, that man is led every minute by God along the path of Truth.

141. Everyone is seeing himself everywhere. One is in the same state that God and the world are in.

142. Natural devotion is to know one's Self and to remain permanently in that state without forgetting it.

143. God is tinier than the atom and larger than the cosmos. All are forms of God. Because of our sense of difference we think that we are an individual person. There is no mistake greater than this in the world.

144. One can only think of spoiling others after one has spoiled oneself.

145. No one succeeds without effort. Those who succeed owe their success to perseverance.

146. Perfect bliss is Reality [Brahman]. Perfect peace is of the Self. That alone exists and is consciousness. That which is called happiness is only the nature of Self; Self is not other than perfect happiness. That which is called happiness alone exists. Knowing that fact and abiding in the state of Self, enjoy bliss eternally.

147. If a man thinks that his happiness is due to external causes and his possessions, it is reasonable to conclude that his happiness must increase with the increase of possessions and diminish in proportion to their diminution. Therefore if he is devoid of possessions, his happiness should be nil. What is the real experience of man? Does it conform to this view?

148. In deep sleep man is devoid of possessions, including his own body. Instead of being unhappy he is quite happy. Everyone desires to sleep soundly. The conclusion is that happiness is inherent in man and is not due to external causes. One must realise the Self in order to open the store of unalloyed happiness.

149. Every place is your place.

150. What is this? Who knows?

151. Desire is illusion. Desirelessness is God.

152. The natural name of every person is "mukti" [liberation].

153. The more you get fixed in the Self, the more other thoughts will drop off by themselves.

154. There is nothing to be seen in the Real.

155. Do not even for a moment lose sight of the Self.

156. We are in our Self. We are not in the world.

157. There is no greater mystery than this: being Reality ourselves, we seek to gain Reality. Our real nature is liberation. But we imagine we are bound. We thus make strenuous efforts to become free while all the while, we are free. We will be surprised that we were frantically trying to attain something which we have always been and are.

158. To be the Self that you really are is the only means to realise the bliss that is ever yours. The Self you seek to know is verily yourself. Bliss is not added to your nature, it is merely revealed as your true and natural state. Bliss of the Self is always with you. And you will find it for yourself, if you seek it earnestly.

159. You will know in due course that your glory lies where you cease to exist. The ego is like a very powerful elephant which cannot be brought under control by anything less powerful than a lion, which, in this instance, is no other than the Guru, whose very look makes the elephant-like ego tremble and die. Then the master sees that you are in a fit state to receive guidance, and He guides you.

160. The master is both "within" and "without". He gives a push from "without" and exerts a pull from "within", so that you may be fixed at the Centre.

161. The master is within. But as long as you think you are separate or that you are the body, so long is the master from "without" necessary. When the wrong identification of oneself with the body ceases, the master will be found as none other than the Self.

162. Does the Guru hold you by the hand and whisper in your ear? Because you think you are a body, you think he also has a body, to do something tangible with you. But his work lies within, in the spiritual realm. Leave it all to the master. Surrender to Him without reserve.

163. One of two things must be done: either surrender yourself, because you realise your inability and need a higher power to help you. Or investigate the cause of misery; go into the Source, and so merge in the Self. Either way, you will be free from misery.

164. God or Guru never forsakes the devotee who surrenders. God takes the form of a Guru and appears to the devotee, teaches him the Truth, and purifies his mind by association. His presence is like a pure, transparent mirror. It reflects our image exactly as we are.

165. The disciple takes refuge in the Guru as enjoined by the scriptures. He waits upon the Guru, unable to bear the burning winds of samsara. The teacher, that is, the knower of Reality, castes upon him his gracious glance and touches his soul inwardly, giving him assurance of protection: "My learned disciple, have no fear. No harm shall come to you hereafter. I will give you a single mighty means by which you can cross the terrible, fathomless ocean of samsara and thus obtain Supreme bliss."

166. Just as the big banyan tree sprouts from a tiny seed, so do jivas and the whole universe with name and form sprout up from the subtle samskaras.

167. The ego is insentient, united with the light of the Self. But the ego and the light cannot be seen as distinct from each other; they are always untied. Just as a river does not continue its flow after its discharge into the ocean, so also a person loses all movements after he merges in the Self. Unbroken "I-I" is the ocean Infinite; the ego remains only a bubble on it. The bubble too is water; when it bursts, it only mixes with the ocean. But even when it remains a bubble, it is still a part of the ocean.

168. The ocean, being the store of all waters, evaporates; clouds are formed and rain falls, giving rise to rivers which, as soon as formed, become restless, course along as if to find their origin, and repose only after being discharged into the ocean. Similarly, the individual emanating from the Heart is restless and becomes eager to find his own Source. The way is the trail of the ego into the Heart.

169. Heart is another name for Reality. It is neither inside nor outside the body. There can be no in and out for it, since It alone is. This world is not other than the mind, the mind is not other than the Heart. The Heart rejoices at the feet of the Lord, who is the Self, shining within.

170. Call it by any name – God, Self, the Heart or the seat of consciousness – it is all the same. The point to be grasped is this, Heart means the very core of one's being, the Centre, without which there is nothing whatever.

171. Illumination arises from the heart and reaches the brain, which is the seat of the mind. If the mind is turned inward towards the Source of illumination, objective knowledge ceases, and the Self alone shines in the Heart.

172. In the centre of the cavity of the Heart, the sole Reality [Brahman] shines as Self [Atman]. That which is the Source of all, That in which all live, and That into which all finally merge, is the Heart. Concentrating on the Heart is the same as concentrating on the Self. Heart is another name for the Self.

173. The realised being sees only the Self. If objects had an independent existence, then it would be possible for you to go away from them. But they do not exist apart from you, they owe their existence to you, to your thoughts. So where can you go to escape them? Where can you go, fleeing the world and objects?

174. Even while you were dreaming, if you felt thirsty, the illusory drinking of illusory water did quench your illusory thirst. But all this was real so long as you did not know that the dream is illusory. Similarily, the waking world and the sensations you now have are co-ordinated to give you the impression that the world is real.

175. But for whom is the illusion? There must be one who is deluded. Illusion is ignorance. Maya is "what is not". What is left over is the true Self.

176. The "I" casts off the illusion of "I" and yet remains as "I". Such is the paradox of Self-realisation. Take the case of [devotion] bhakti. I approach the Lord [Ishwara] and pray to be absorbed in Him. I then surrender myself in faith. What remains afterwards? In place of the original "I", perfect self-surrender leaves a residuum of God in which the "I" is lost. This is the highest form of devotion and surrender.

177. Thus there is a state beyond effort and effortlessness. Until it is realised, effort is necessary. After tasting such bliss, even once, one will repeatedly try to regain it.

178. Effort is meant as a way not to allow oneself to be distracted by thoughts. Having once experienced the bliss of Peace, one will not egage oneself otherwise. It is as difficult for a jnani to engage in thoughts as it is for an ajnani to be free from thought.

179. Nearly all mankind is more or less unhappy because nearly all do not know the true Self. Real happiness abides in Self-knowledge alone. All else is fleeting. To know one's Self is to be blissful always.

180. Bliss is not something to be got. On the other hand you are always bliss. This desire [for bliss] is born of the sense of incompleteness. To whom is this sense of incompleteness? Enquire. In deep sleep you were blissful. Now you are not so. What has interposed between that bliss and this non-bliss? It is the ego. Seek its Source and find you are bliss.

181. What will not happen will never happen, whatever effort one may put forth. And what will happen will not fail to happen, however much one may seek to prevent it. This is certain. The part of wisdom therefore is to stay quiet.

182. Your own Self-realisation is the greatest service you can render the world.

183. You need not aspire for or get any new state. Get rid of your present thoughts, that is all.

184. Realisation is our true nature. It is nothing new to be gained. What is new cannot be Eternal. Therefore there is no need to be doubting whether we would gain or lose the self.

185. Mind is consciousness, which has limitations. We are originally unlimited and perfect. Later on we take on limitations and become the mind.

186. The mind is only a bundle of thoughts. The thoughts have their root in the "I"-thought. Whoever investigates the true "I" enjoys the stillness of bliss.

187. Pleasure or pain are only aspects of the mind. Our essential nature is happiness.

188. To become aware of anything is to disconnect the mind from the Self and that is unhappiness.

189. Turn the mind inward and cease thinking of yourself as the body; thereby you will come to know that the Self is ever happy. Neither grief nor misery is experienced in this state.

190. When we turn the mind inwards, God manifests as the inner consciousness.

191. Wanting to reform the world without discovering one's true Self is like trying to cover the world with leather to avoid the pain of walking on stones and thorns. It is much simpler to wear shoes.

192. Have faith in God and in your Self; that will cure all. Hope for the best, expect the best, toil for the best and everything will come right for you in the end

193. Know that the eradication of the identification with the body is charity, spiritual austerity and ritual sacrifice; it is virtue, divine union and devotion; it is heaven, wealth, peace and Truth; it is Grace; it is the state of divine silence; it is the deathless death; it is jnana, renunciation, final liberation and bliss.

194. Aim high, aim at the Highest, and all lower aims are thereby achieved. It is looking below on the stormy sea of differences that makes you sink. Look up, beyond these and see the One Glorious Real, and you are saved.

195. There is neither creation nor destruction, neither destiny nor free will, neither path nor achievement. This is the final Truth.

196. If the mind falls asleep, awaken it. Then if it starts wandering, make it quiet. If you reach the state where there is neither sleep nor movement of mind, stay still in That, the natural real state.

197. What is illusion? To whom is the illusion? Find it out. Then illusion will vanish. Generally people want to know about illusion and do not examine to whom it is. It is foolish. Illusion is outside and unknown. But the seeker is considered to be known and is inside. Find out what is immediate, intimate, instead of trying to find out what is distant and unknown.

198. The pure mind is itself Brahman; it therefore follows that Brahman is not other than the mind of the sage.

199. All are Gurus to us, the wicked by their evil deeds say, "Do not come near me." The good are always good, therefore all are like Gurus to us.

200. All bad qualities centre round the ego. When the ego is gone, realisation results by itself. There are neither good nor bad qualities in the Self. The Self is free from all qualities. Qualities pertain to the mind only.

201. If there is anything besides the Self there is reason to fear. Who sees the second? First, the ego arises and sees objects as external. If the ego does not rise, the Self alone exists and there is no second.

202. We loosely talk of Self-realisation, for lack of a better term. But how can one realise or make real That which alone is real? All we need to do is to give up our habit of regarding as real that which is unreal. All religious practices are meant solely to help us do this. When we stop regarding the unreal as real, then Reality alone will remain, and we will be That.

203. Nobody doubts that he exists, though he may doubt the existence of God. If he finds out the truth about himself and discovers his own Source, this is all that is required.

204. Remain still, with the conviction that the Self shines as everything yet nothing, within, without, and everywhere.

205. Every living being longs always to be happy, untainted by sorrow; and everyone has the greatest love for himself, which is solely due to the fact that happiness is his real nature. Hence, in order to realise that inherent and untainted happiness, which indeed he daily experiences when the mind is subdued in deep sleep, it is essential that he should know himself. For obtaining such knowledge the enquiry "Who am I?" in quest of the Self is the best means.

206. Reality is simply the loss of ego. Destroy the ego by seeking its identity. Because the ego is no entity it will automatically vanish and Reality will shine forth by Itself.

207. God dwells in you, as you, and you don't have to "do" anything to be God-realised or Self-realised, It is already your true and natural state. Just drop all seeking, turn your attention inward, and sacrifice your mind to the one Self radiating in the Heart of your very being. For this to be your own presently lived experience, Self-enquiry is the one direct and immediate way.

208. It is false to speak of realisation. What is there to realise? The Real is as It is always. We are not creating anything new or achieving something which we did not have before. The illustration given in books is this. We dig a well and create a huge pit. The space in the pit or well has not been created by us. We have just removed the earth which was filling the space there. The space was there then and is also there now. Similarly we have simply to throw out all the age-long innate tendencies [samskaras] which are inside us. When all of them have been given up, the Self will shine alone.

209. There is no greater mystery than this, that we keep seeking Reality though in fact we are Reality. We think that there is something hiding Reality and that this must be destroyed before Reality is gained. How ridiculous! A day will dawn when you will laugh at all your past efforts. That which will be the day you laugh is also here and now.

210. Relative knowledge pertains to the mind and not to the Self. It is therefore illusory and not permanent. Take a scientist, for instance. He formulates a theory that the earth is round and goes on to prove it on an incontrovertible basis. When he falls asleep the whole idea vanishes; his mind is left a blank. What does it matter whether the world remains round or flat when he is asleep? So you see the futility of all such relative knowledge. One should go beyond relative knowledge and abide in the Self. Real knowledge is such experience, and not apprehension by the mind.

211. "I exist" is the only permanent self-evident experience of everyone. Nothing else is so self-evident as "I am". What people call self-evident, that is, the experience they get through the senses, is far from self-evident. The Self alone is That [Reality]. So to do Self-enquiry and be that "I am" is the only thing to do. "I am" is Reality. I am this or that is unreal. "I am" is Truth, another name for Self.

212. "Heart" is merely another name for the Supreme Spirit, because He is in all hearts. The entire universe is condensed in the body, and the entire body in the Heart. Thus the Heart is the nucleus of the whole universe.

213. You and I are the same. What I have done is surely possible for all. You are the Self now and can never be anything else. Throw your worries to the wind, turn within and find peace.

214. Vichara [the inner quest] begins when you cling to your Self and are already off the mental movement, the thought-waves.

215. Where the "I" merges, another entity emerges as "I-I" of its own accord. That is the perfect Self.

216. Enquiring into the nature of one's self that is in bondage and realising one's true nature is release.

217. Though the "I" is always experienced, yet one's attention has to be drawn to it. Then only knowledge dawns. If the ego is, everything else also is. If the ego is not, nothing else is. Indeed, the ego is all. Therefore the enquiry as to what this ego is is the only way of giving up everything.

218. 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 one's true nature.

219. To attain natural happiness one must know one's Self. For that Self-enquiry – "Who am I?" – is the chief means. There can be satisfaction only when you reach the Source; otherwise there will be restlessness. The aim is to reach the root of the "I"-sense.

220. That in which all these worlds seem to exist steadily, That of which all these worlds are a possession, That from which all these worlds rise, That for which all these exist, That by which all these worlds come into existence and That which is indeed all these – That alone is the existing Reality. Let us cherish that Self, which is the Reality, in the Heart.

221. To see God but not the Self that sees is only to see a projection of the mind. God is seen by him who sees the Self. But one who has lost the ego and seen the Self is none other than God.

222. When scriptures speak of "seeing the Self" and "seeing God", what is the truth they have in mind? How does one see the Self? How does one see God? To see Him is to be consumed by Him.

223. God is always the first person, the I, ever standing before you. Because you give precedence to worldly things, God appears to have receded to the background. If you give up all else and seek Him alone, He will remain as the I, the Self.

224. You cannot by any means escape the Self. You want to see God in all, but not in yourself? If all is God, are you not included in that "all"? To see God is to be God. There is no "all" apart from God for Him to pervade. He alone is.

225. The Eternal, unbroken, natural state of abiding in the Self is jnana. To abide in the Self, you must love the Self. Since God is verily the Self, love of the Self is love of God; and that is bhakti. Jnana and bhakti are thus one and the same.

226. Whether you meditate on God or on the Self is immaterial; the goal is the same. All kinds of thoughts arise in meditation. They rise up spontaneously in order to be extinguished in due course. Thoughts are vasanas accumulated in innumerable previous births. Their annihilation is the aim. Atman, the Self, is realised with mryita manas, i.e. mind devoid of thoughts and turned inward. Then the mind sees its own Source and becomes That.

227. But he who thinks, raises troubles. The real "I" is silent. Thoughts are the enemy. Thoughts amount to the creation of the universe. In their absence there is neither world nor God the creator. Give up thoughts and you need not give up anything else.

228. Thoughts alone make up the mind. Of all thoughts, the "I"-thought is the root. What is called "mind" is but the notion "I". When one turns within and searches whence this "I"-thought arises, the "I" vanishes and wisdom's quest begins.

229. Because of the emergence of thoughts, we surmise something from which they start. That we term "mind". But what is mind? The mind is only a bundle of thoughts. Thoughts arise because there is a thinker. The thinker is the ego, the root-thought from which all other thoughts arise. If sought, it will vanish automatically.

230. Destroy the power of the mind by seeking it. When the mind is examined, its activities cease.

231. But if you go the way of your thoughts, you will be carried away by them and you will find yourself in an endless maze. As thoughts arise they should be destroyed then and there in the very place of their origin, through enquiry.

232. "Who am I?" will destroy all other thoughts, and like the stick used for stirring the burning pyre, will itself be destroyed in the end. As long as there are impressions of objects in the mind, so long is the enquiry "Who am I?" required. As long as there are enemies within the fortress, they will continue to sally forth; but if they are destroyed as they emerge, the fortress will fall into our hands.

233. But Self-enquiry is not the mind's inspection of its own content. It is tracing the mind's first mode, the "I"-thought, to its Source which is the Self.

234. Of all the thoughts that arise in the mind, the "I"-thought is the first. It is only after the arising of this thought that others arise.

235. When other thoughts arise, one should not pursue them, but should enquire: "To whom do they arise?" It does not matter how many thoughts arise. As each thought arises, one should enquire with diligence, "To whom has this thought arisen?"

236. Thereupon, 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. Thus, when the mind stays in the Heart, the "I" which is the source of all thoughts will go, and the Self which ever exists will shine.

237. Self-enquiry is the one, infallible means to realise the unconditioned Absolute Being that you really are. The very purpose of Self-enquiry is to focus the entire mind at its Source. Every kind of sadhana except Self-enquiry [Atma-vichara] presupposes the retention of the mind. While the ego may take different forms, it is itself never destroyed. The attempt to destroy the ego through sadhanas other than Self-enquiry is like the thief assuming the guise of a policeman to catch the thief that is himself.

238. Atma-vichara alone can reveal the truth that neither the ego nor the mind really exists, and enable one to realise the pure, undifferentiated Being of the Self. Having realised the Self, nothing remains to be known.

239. All the texts say that one should render the mind quiescent; once this has been understood, there is no need for endless reading. In order to quieten the mind, one has only to enquire 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.

240. Thus there will come a time when one will have to forget all that one has learned.

241. You need not cease thinking. Only think of the root of thought; seek It and find It. The Self shines by Itself. When That is found, thoughts cease of their own accord. That is freedom from bondage. Let go the passing thoughts and hold on to the unchanging Self. No external remedy need be sought for release [moksha]. It is within your competence to think and thus be bound, or cease thinking and thus be free.

242. To identify oneself with the body and yet seek happiness is lie attempting to cross a river on the back of an alligator. In such an endless tangle, there will be no peace. The body is a necessary adjunct of the ego. If the ego is killed, the Eternal Self is revealed in all its glory.

243. Since you identify yourself with the physical body, you speak of this world as being physical and the other world as spiritual. Whereas, that which is, is only spiritual. The realised being does not see the world as different from himself.

244. For a realised being, the Self alone is the Reality. If you consider yourself the body, the world appears to be external. But when you are the Self, the world appears as Brahman.

245. That world which you say is real is mocking you for seeking to prove its reality while of your own Reality you remain ignorant. What is the standard of Reality? That alone is Real which exists by Itself, which reveals Itself by Itself and which is Eternal and unchanging. Does the world exist by itself? Was it ever seen without the aid of the mind? Of course you can say, "I exist". That is, yours is not mere existence, it is Existence of which you are conscious. The world neither exists by itself, nor is it conscious of its existence.

246. The Self alone is Reality. There could be no world without the Self. Vedanta says that there is no diversity [nana], meaning that all is the same Reality. If the world be taken as consciousness [chit], it is always Real. There is only one thing Real! Let your standpoint become that of wisdom, then the world will be found to be God.

247. In what does all this universe exist? What is all this, from what does it arise? For what and by what does it all appear? It is the Self alone that is the cause.

248. That inner Self, primeval Spirit, Eternal, ever effulgent, full and Infinite bliss, single, indivisible, Whole and living, shines in everyone as the witnessing Awareness. That Self in its splendour, shining in the cavity of the Heart as the subtle, pervasive, yet unmanifest ether, illumines this universe like the sun.

249. This Self is neither born nor dies, it neither grows nor decays, nor does it suffer any change. When a pot is broken, the space inside it is not; similarly, when the body dies, the Self in it remains Eternal.

250. All that appear outside are in reality inside. What is called the Heart is no other than Brahman. The distinction between inner and outer is only with reference to the body. In truth, there is neither inner nor outer.

251. For whom is there inside or outside? They can be only so long as there are the subject and the object. For whom are these two again? Both resolve into the subject. See who is in the subject. Investigation leads you to pure consciousness beyond [it].

252. The body is within the Self. Yet one imagines one is inside the inner body, like the viewer who imagines the screen on which the picture is shown is within the picture. Consciousness is the csreen on which all the pictures come and go.

253. Pure consciousness is indivisible. It has no form and no shape, no "within" and "without". Nothing is outside or apart from It. Consciousness can have no particular place assigned to it in the physical body. What is the reason? The body is itself a mere projection of the mind, and the mind is but a poor reflection of the radiant Heart. How can That, in which everything is contained, be Itself confined to a tiny part of the physical body?

254. But people do not understand this. You say "I have come to this ashram all the way from my country beyond the Himalayas." But that is not the Truth. Where is "coming" or "going" or any movement whatever for the one, all-pervading Spirit which you really are? You are where you have always been. This is the simple Truth. But to a person who considers himself a subject living in an objective world, it appears as something altogether visionary!

255. So you see it is wrong to suppose that awareness has passing phases. The Self is always aware. Subjects and objects are creations in pure consciousness. Consciousness is the same as the Self. Get rid of subject and object and pure consciousness will alone remain.

256. As a lamp banishes all darkness with its light, so the effulgence of the Self, which is pure consciousness, annihilates the veiling darkness arising from ignorance. It shines of itself.

257. But when the sun has risen, there is no need for a lamp. So it is with the mind and the Heart. When the mind is turned inwards, the Source of illumination shines forth by itself. Can there be darkness before the sun? Can there be ignorance before the self-luminous Self?

258. To see a light, no other light is needed. So also, the Self, being self-luminous, needs no other means of knowledge. The white light of the Self transcends both light and darkness. From the Self proceeds the light of pure mind, which gives room for the existence of all the film of the world.

259. You are surrounded by sunlight. Still, if you would know the sun, you must turn your eyes in its direction. See the sun, and there is no darkess. See the Self, and ignorance will be found not to exist.

260. The sun illumines the universe, whereas the Sun of Arunachala is so dazzling that the universe is obscured and an unbroken brilliance remains. The ordinary lotus blossoms in the light of the visible sun, whereas the subtle Heart blossoms only before the Sun of suns. May Arunachala make my Heart blossom so that His unbroken brilliance may shine all alone!

261. The Lord [Ishwara] said, "Since this linga rose up as a Hill of Fire, It shall be known as Arunachala. When a fight arose between Brahma and Vishnu, I manifested myself in the form of light in order to remove heir delusion. Thus I became the unmoving linga named Arunachala."

262. For the human eye, it is only a form of earth and stone. But its real form is Jyoti. When Brahma and Vishnu saw it, it appeared as a pillar of light enveloping the whole universe. It was only later that it appeared as a mountain. This is Ishwara's gross body. Jyoti itself is the subtle body, illumination which fills the whole universe. That which is beyond these is Reality.

263. A-ru-na means sat-chit-ananda, the identity of the individual self and the Supreme Self. Arunachala means Hill of Wisdom.

264. Inside the hill, there is a cave which is brilliance itself, gloroius with light. If one enquires, "Who am I?", if one enquires whence this "I" springs – and realises it – then, within one's heart, the omnipresent Lord Arunachala will shine as "I".

265. The finality of the universe is the Lord Arunachala. Meditating on Him, there is a mental vibration "I" to which all are reduced. The seat of realisation is within. The seeker cannot find it as an object outside himself. Hence it is called the Heart. The only useful purpose of the present birth is to turn within and realise it. There is nothing else to do.

266. Arunachala is within and not without. The Self is Arunachala. How does one realise the Self? All that is required to realise the Self is to be still.

267. If you hold this feeling of "I" long enough and strongly enough, the false "I" will vanish leaving only the unbroken awareness of the real, immanent "I", consciousness itself.

268. Whatever is destined not to happen will not happen, try as you may. Whatever is destined to happen will happen, do what you may to prevent it. This is certain. The best course, therefore, is to remain silent.

269. One might be in the thick of the world and yet maintain perfect serenity of mind; such a person is always in solitude. Another may stay in the forest, but still be unable to control his mind. He cannot be said to be in solitude.

270. Solitude amounts to making the mind still. Where is the forest and where is the way unless they are in you? The screen does not move when the picture moves. Similarly you do not move from where you are even when the body leaves home and mixes with society. Your body, society, the forest and the ways are all in you. If you remain as pure Self, the body and its movements will not affect you. The mind must be overcome whether at home or in the forest. If you can do it in the forest, why not at home?

271. Time is only an idea. There is one Reality. Whatever you think It is, It looks like that. If you call It time, It is time. If you call It existence, It is existence, and so on. After calling It time, you divide It into days and nights, months, years, hours, minutes, etc... Time is immaterial for the path of true knowledge.

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

273. Thus there is a state when words cease and silence prevails. Silence is the ocean into which all the rivers of all the religions discharge themselves. It is the speech of the Self. What one fails to know by conversation extending several years can be known in a trice in silence. That which is, is silence.

274. From silence came thought, from thought, the ego, and from ego, speech. So if speech is effective, how much more so must be its Source? If of yore, the first of teachers revealed it through unbroken silence, who can reveal it in spoken words?

275. Such is Dakshinamurti. What did he do? He was silent. Truth is beyond words. It does not admit of explanation. All that is possible to do is to indicate It.

276. The Guru's silence is more vast and emphatic than all the sastras [scriptures] put together. His silence is the highest expression of the realised non-duality which is after all the true content of the Vedas. Though he instructs his disciples, he does not pose as a teacher, in the full conviction that the teacher and disciple are mere conventions born of illusion. And so he continues to utter words.

277. If he mutters words incoherently like a lunatic, it is because his experience is inexpressible like the words of lovers in embrace. If his words are many and fluent like those of an orator, they represent the recollection of his experience, since he is the unmoving non-dual One without any desire.

278. The jnani weeps with the weeping, laughs with the laughing, plays with the playful, sings with those who sing, keeping time with the song. What does he lose? His presence is like a pure, transparent mirror.

279. If you really want liberation, cast away the pleasures of sense objects as though they were poison. This body is finally consumed, whether by earth, fire, beast, or birds. He who mistakes this body for the Self gets attached to it. Only he who overcomes this infatuation attains liberation.

280. What prevents you from being your own Self? The Self is always here. It is you. Why do you worry about life after death? Whatever is born is bound to die. What is birth and what is death? Death is another name for us.

281. It says in the Upanishads that the jnani looks forward to the time when he can throw off the body just as a labourer carrying a heavy load looks forward to laying it down. Our real nature is to be without the body. What is death but giving up the body?

282. But when the body is dead, am I dead? This body, is it I? The fact is, their is neither birth nor death. Deathlessness is our real nature.

283. This complete Wholeness pervades all creation within and without like formless space. What is all this? It is the Self alone. That is the real Truth. This treasure safely guard within your Heart.

284. People think freedom is somewhere yonder and should be sought outside. They are wrong. Freedom is only knowing the Self within yourself. Concentrate, and you will get it.

285. Knowledge of the Self, which knows all, is knowledge in perfection.

286. Let what comes come, let what goes go. Why do you worry?

287. If one’s mind has peace, the whole world will appear peaceful.

288. When the mind becomes extinguished, the Supreme state, in which this world once and for all ceases to appear as real, is won.

289. Whatever form your enquiry may take, you must finally come to the one I, the Self.

290. If you go on working with the light available, you will meet your master, as He Himself will be seeking you.

291. Real happiness abides in Self-knowledge alone. All else is fleeting. To know one's Self is to be blissful always.

292. No long process is necessary to know the Self. Is it to be pointed out by another? Does not everyone know that he exists? Even in utter darkness when he cannot see his hand, he answers a call and says "I am here".

293. All mistake the "mind-consciousness" for "Self-consciousness". There is no "mind" in deep sleep; but no one denies his being in sleep. Even a child says on waking, "I slept well," and does not deny its existence. The "I" rises up, the "mind" turns outward through the five senses and perceives objects, this they call "direct perception".

294. Asked, if "I" is not directly perceived, they get confused, because "I" does not announce itself as an object in front and only the perception with the senses can be recognised by them as "knowledge"; this habit is so strong with them.

295. A stanza in Thevaram says : "O sages, eager to get over all misery, worry not about inferences and examples ! Our light is ever shining forth from within ! With mind clear, live in God!"

296. This is direct perception. Will the common people admit it? They want God to appear in front of them as a bright Being, mounted on a bull. Such a vision once originated must also end. It is therefore transient. Thevaram speaks of the Eternal and ever-experienced Being. This Thevaram takes one directly to the Reality.

297.
The nature of the ego is similar to that of an elf, being very enthusiastic, rising in many wicked ways by means of innumerable imaginations, being erratic in behaviour, and knowing only things other than itself. But the nature of Self is mere existence-consciousness.

298. Even though the reality of the Self has been explained in many ways, the Truth of It remains unspoken because It can only be known by directly experiencing It. Those who seek liberation are prevented from having this direct experience by their minds which hold onto the deeply-rooted conviction "I am the body-mind".

299. From the Self proceeds a reflected light, the light of pure mind [manas], and it is this light which gives room for the existence of all the film of the world, which is seen neither in total light nor in total darkness, but only in the subdued or reflected light.

300. Surrender itself is a mighty prayer.

301. Guru and God can only indicate the path by saying, "You are That". Nothing else can be done. Walking along the path is the work of the disciple.

302. You speak of the world and happenings in it. They are mere ideas in you. The ideas are in the mind. The mind is within you. And so the world is within you.

303. Every being in the world yearns to be happy. Yet, due to ignorance of the real nature of their own being, which is happiness itself, people flounder in the vast ocean of material existence.

304. Pure consciousness, which is the Heart, includes all, and nothing is outside or apart from It. That is the ultimate Truth.

305. The purpose of worshipping the impersonal Supreme Being is the incessant remembrance of the Truth that you are Reality [Brahman].

306. Abiding in this state of Self, having attained Supreme bliss, which is devoid of bondage and liberation amounts to abiding in God. When one enjoys the bliss which is not of this world, he is as divine as God and in such a state there are no differences like individual soul and God.

307. To individuals [jivas] who are deluded into taking the false to be true, the Guru, who is Self, the Light to all the gross lights of the universe, exposes the falseness of their truth.

308. A master is one who has meditated solely on God, has flung his whole personality into the sea of God and drowned and forgotten it there, till he becomes only the instrument of God; and when his mouth opens it speaks God’s words without effort or forethought; and when he raises a hand, God flows again through that, to work a miracle.

309. No matter how many thoughts thus occur to you, if you would with acute vigilance enquire immediately as and when each individual thought arises to whom it has occurred, you would find it is to "me". If then you enquire "Who am I?" the mind gets introverted and the rising thought also subsides.

310. In order to realise that inherent and untainted happiness, which indeed one daily experiences when the mind is subdued in deep sleep, it is essential that one should know one's Self. For obtaining such knowledge, the enquiry, "Who am I?" in quest of the Self is the best means.

311. The life of action need not be renounced. If you meditate for an hour or two every day, you can then carry on with your duties.

312. By incessantly pursuing within yourself the enquiry "Who am I?", you will know your true Self and thereby attain salvation.

313. All that is required to realise the Self is to "Be still". What can be easier than that?

314. Peace is the inner nature of humankind. Finding it within yourself, you will find it is everywhere.

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