Thursday, 22 September 2016

Ramana Maharshi On Self Inquiry And Self Realization | Sri Ramana Maharshi About Self Enquiry

Ramana Maharishi and the Enquiry(Inquiry) into the Self

Ramana Maharishi a renowned saint is from Tamil Nadu – India. He advocated like, many other Hindu saints, the theory of renunciation. The renunciation of worldly desires to acquire the desire to attain God. He propagated the theory through the concept of Advaitha  and its essence - Aham Brahmaasmi. That is “I am the Brahman” or the supreme being. His means to attain the Supreme Being is called the Self – Inquiry.

About Shri Ramana :

Shri Ramana was born to Sundaram Iyer and Alagammal of Thiruchuzhi, in Tamil Nadu as Venkatarama Iyer on December 30th 1879.Shri Ramana had a normal childhood. But he was not interested in schooling. One eccentric aspect of his childhood is his sound sleep. He always went into a state deep sleep that even if he was beaten he would not realise it. So his friends named him “Kumbakarna” – a character from Ramayana, which is known for its long and deep sleep.

As a child he had a high retentive memory. Due to early death of his father, his family moved into his uncle’s house at Madurai. Only there he came to know about the place Thiruvannamalai or otherwise “Arunachala”. As a child he got the name of the place deeply carved in his mind.

Sri Ramana Maharshi's First Sight of Enlightment and Self Realization

During the summer 1896, he experienced his own death like experience. He also had out of body experiences. Wherein he could realise the state of his soul existing outside his body and unconnected from other materialistic substances. At first he thought it was a spirit or he was infected with a peculiar fever. But he found the experience to be pleasant. The pleasantness made him ask for more and thus began his enquiry into the self.

What is Self-Enquiry?

“That which comes and goes, rises and sets, is born and dies is the ego. That which always abides, never changes and is devoid of qualities is the self.” This is the definition of self given by Shri Ramana himself. He also stated that the self is awareness. The self is constant and uninterrupted awarenesss. Self – enquiry is to find the true nature of the self, that is awareness.  It is the process of being unaware of other worldly affairs, and turning your mind to be aware on the clear, pure, static self.

Self-Enquiry is the investigation of the aham or I or Naan (Tamil).If we realise that the I – factor is the deep hidden self and not your name or character or your relation or your body. This gives the answer to the question – Who am I? Or Naan Yaar ? in Tamil. It is the process of clearing away the unwanted thoughts and silencing your mind to hear the voice of the self.

How to perform the self – enquiry?

The process of self-enquiry(inquiry) of course is not easy. It is the art of silencing the mind of its mundane thoughts. One should ask the question – Who am I? But silence the mind of its earthly answers and divert it to the state of inner self.  Simply put clear away all the thoughts and remain thoughtless so that all our concentration is on the state of deep awareness.  In this state we experience a calm, deep peace and joy. In this state we realise that we are actually nothing but the Brahman.

Shri Ramana lived a life of dis-attachment. He was affected by cancer and attained a state of Mahanirvana on April 14, 1950 in his ashram in the Arunachala hills. 

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