Won’t Karma obstruct Meditation? – Ramana

Thought for the Day

Won’t Karma obstruct Meditation?

Devotee: If everything happens according to karma (prarabdha, the result of one’s acts in the past) how is one to overcome the obstacles to meditation (dhyana)?

Maharshi: Prarabdha concerns only the out-turned, not the in-turned mind. One who seeks his real Self will not be afraid of any obstacle.

Words of Grace
Spiritual Instruction (Upadesa Manjari)
Practice (Abhyasa)
Item 21

Do what you feel like doing – Nisargadatta

Do what you feel like doing – Nisargadatta

Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

Q: I seem to have a clear idea of what needs be done, but I find myself getting tired and depressed and seeking human company and thus wasting time that should be given to solitude and meditation.

M: Do what you feel like doing. Don’t bully yourself. Violence will make you hard and rigid. Do not fight with what you take to be obstacles on your way. Just be interested in them, watch them, observe, enquire. Let anything happen — good or bad. But don’t let yourself be submerged by what happens.

I Am That
Awareness is Free
Item 48

Concentration is not thinking one thing – Ramana

Concentration is not thinking one thing

D.: Is concentration of mind one of the sadhanas?
M.: Concentration is not thinking one thing. It is, on the other hand, putting off all other thoughts which obstruct the vision of our true nature. All our efforts are only directed to lifting the veil of ignorance. Now it appears difficult to quell the thoughts. In the regenerate state it will be found more difficult to call in thoughts. For are there things to think of? There is only the Self. Thoughts can function only if there are objects. But there are no objects. How can thoughts arise at all?

The habit makes us believe that it is difficult to cease thinking. If the error is found out, one would not be fool enough to exert oneself unnecessarily by way of thinking.

D.: Is not grace more effective than abhyasa?
M.: Guru simply helps you in the eradication of ignorance. Does he hand over Realisation to you?

D.: We are ignorant.
M.: Inasmuch as you say you are ignorant, you are wise. Is he a madman who says that he is mad? Guru’s Grace is like a hand extended to help you out of water, or it makes your way easier for the removal of ignorance.

No one needs to worry as to what happens – Ramana

No one need worry as to what happens

There are some buildings in the Asramam. They used to have some plan which somehow could not be followed in entirety. Therefore ‘A’ and the Sarvadhikari did not agree on many details and there used to be trouble between them. ‘A’ was once highly disgusted with the state of affairs. He asked Sri Bhagavan what could be done under the circumstances.

Sri Bhagavan said: “Which of the buildings was according to a plan made by these people here? God has His own plans and all these go on according to that. No one needs to worry as to what happens.”

Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi
15th October, 1938
Talk 552.

Pondering on Words of Wisdom

It is very useful to ponder upon at least one of the Golden Guidance Tips of Wisdom before starting the day’s activities. Pondering on these Mini Guides helps to make the day go Easier. It makes us see and take things with the right perspective. Gradually, it also adds longer lasting Peace of Mind.

Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi generally placed self-improvement techniques under the categories of Practice and Dispassion. They become difficult ventures only when we think that we have to expect immediate results and success. However, these efforts usually shower benefits gradually. The more we reflect and ponder on these and understand their purposes, the more we get ready for meditation and self-enquiry. This itself creates some peacefulness in our minds.

Practice makes perfect is a well-known statement. Typically, it relates to worldly accomplishments. In the spiritual realm, Practice literally leads one to Perfection. So say the Sages. The more we practice meditation and self-enquiry, the happier and more peaceful we become, without really consciously changing our normal life routines. The important thing is to keep practicing these techniques consistently, and gradually we will find ourselves more calm, mentally strong, peaceful and happy, with ourselves as well as with others. The most significant process in Practice is the elimination of unnecessary, disturbing thoughts and sticking to one thought, which will also eventually merge into the Self – so say the great Sages.

Dispassion may seem like a very difficult task that means total lack of interest in life and act like a zombie. So it turns us off. But in its simple interpretation, it is something we often hear and mention in our normal lives. For example, we hear and say things like “You are the company you keep”, “Keep company with the wise and you will become wise. “, If you make friends with stupid people, you will be ruined. “, “Money does not buy Happiness” etc. We also hear parents say to their children, “I don’t want you hanging around those kids.” Of course, dispassion becomes more profound when it is used for checking and controlling the wandering mind by understanding what is really necessary for life, to find out what causes real happiness to pursue them, and to detect what causes misery to avoid them. Still very practical to ponder upon and follow. The more we practice dispassion as best as we can, the more the sense of relief.

Practice and Dispassion consist of numerous techniques to check, persuade, manage and control the mind and perform self-enquiry to give up false notions, break the spell of ignorance and withdraw into the Real, Blissful Self. I call my hour of meditation and contemplation “My Happy Hour”!

It is easy to suggest a possible, theoretical solution to a problem. However, very few follow their suggestion with a set of detailed steps to achieve the results of the solution. Here, as in all other things, Great Sages excel. Their teachings are complete. They seldom leave the devotee hanging in the dark, unless that is also for the devotee’s good! One is really lucky to come into contact with such Great Sages. If we keep them in mind, they changes us for the good automatically with His Love. This alone will do, if it is not possible to follow the other things.

Let go the passing thoughts – Ramana

Let go the passing thoughts

M.: You must exist in order that you may think. You may think these thoughts or other thoughts. The thoughts change but not you. Let go the passing thoughts and hold on to the unchanging Self. The thoughts form your bondage. If they are given up, there is release. The bondage is not external. So no external remedy need be sought for release. It is within your competence to think and thus to get bound or to cease thinking and thus be free.
D.: But it is not easy to remain without thinking.
M.: You need not cease thinking. Only think of the root of the thoughts; seek it and find it. The Self shines by itself. When that is found the thoughts cease of their own accord. That is freedom from bondage.

Talk with Ramana Maharshi
2nd October, 1938
Talk 524.