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Talks With Ramana Maharshi - 1

Talks With Ramana Maharshi - 1

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Published by rajwiladi

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Published by: rajwiladi on Oct 19, 2011
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 Volume One
The “Talks”, first published in three volumes, is now issued a handyone-volume edition. There is no doubt that the present edition will bereceived by aspirants all over the world with the same veneration andregard that the earlier edition elicited from them. This is not a book to be lightly read and laid aside; it is bound to prove to be an unfailingguide to increasing numbers of pilgrims to the Light Everlasting.We cannot be too grateful to Sri Munagala S. Venkataramiah (nowSwami Ramanananda Saraswati) for the record that he kept of the“Talks” covering a period of four years from 1935 to 1939. Thosedevotees who had the good fortune of seeing Bhagavan Ramanawill, on reading these “Talks”, become naturally reminiscent andrecall with delight their own mental record of the words of theMaster. Despite the fact that the great Sage of Arunachala taughtfor the most part through silence, he did instruct through speechalso, and that too lucidly without baffling and beclouding the mindsof his listeners. One would wish that every word that he utteredhad been preserved for posterity. But we have to be thankful forwhat little of the utterances has been put on record. These “Talks”will be found to throw light on the “Writings” of the Master; andprobably it is best to study them along with the “Writings”,translations of which are available.Sri Ramana’s teachings were not given in general. In fact, the Sagehad no use for “lectures” or “discourses”. His words were primarilyaddressed to the particular aspirant who felt some difficulty in hisspiritual path and sought to have it resolved. But, as the samedifficulties arise in the quest after the Self and as the method of resolving them is the same, the Maharshi’s replies to questions havethe quality of universality.It is not all that can ask the right questions or frame them properly.The “Talks” of the
, therefore, is not simply to answer to thepoint, as in an examination paper. He has often to get behind thewords that constitute a question and correct the questioner even in
* Originally written for the Second Edition.
the matter of questioning. And, when irrelevant and futile questionsare asked, it is not his business to satisfy the idle curiosity of thequestioner or confirm him in his delusions. Sri Ramana does notleave his interlocutor in the place where he was. As one of the devoteesput it, All our questions are from our standpoint, and Sri Bhagavan’sreplies are from his standpoint. The questions are not only answered,but are also undermined.”Various are the attitudes with which one may approach a saint. Scepticsand agnostics, theists and atheists, seekers of miracles and hunters of psychic phenomena - all used to go to the Maharshi. Each wouldnaturally put questions that came uppermost to his or her mind; andthe nature of the questions would depend on the attitude and interestsof the person concerned. The glory of the Master lay in removing theattitudes and interests that were base and making the devotee long forrealizing the Supreme Truth.Visitors to the Asramam often used to put questions to Sri Ramanaabout occult powers and psychic phenomena. Is it not good toacquire occult powers such as telepathy? Is not the power to makeone’s body invisible a mark of mature wisdom. Can one read others’minds? The Master’s reply to all such questions was that the occultand the miraculous are not the spiritual. The supernormal powersare more hindrances than helps in the path to the Supreme Spirit.Some questioners were interested in matters relating to the dead:What happens to the dead? Can one see them? Here again, SriRamana taught that these problems were irrelevant and that noseeker after the truth should be concerned with them. An aristocraticand distinguished lady-visitor once enquired: ‘Maharajji, can wesee the dead?’ The Master replied: ‘Yes’. The lady asked: ‘Canthe
show them to us?’ The Master: ‘Yes, they may. But donot ask me to show them to you; for I cannot’. The lady: ‘Do yousee them?’ The Master: ‘Yes, in dreams.Sri Ramana’s central teaching is: Self-inquiry. Instead of wanting toknow this and that, seek to know the Self. Ask ‘Who am I?’ insteadof asking about a hundred other things. Self-inquiry ought to be theeasiest of all tasks. But it seems to be the most difficult because wehave become strangers to our Self. What one has to do is simple - to

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