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Ramana's 40 Verses on Reality

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My interpretation of this line is that this means complete surrender. When one surrenders the self it is similar to just letting go, emptying yourself, so that the Self can shine.

 

For what it's worth, I have a .pdf of Ramana's complete works (700+ pages) that I can share with people if they'd like, just send me a message. I've personally found his methods of introspection a very powerful path.

AHA!

I thought you knew Ramana

B)

It just shines right through!

I'd love a copy, please.

:D

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22. The Divine gives light to the mind and shines within it. Except by turning the mind inward and fixing it in the Divine, there is no other way to know Him through the mind.

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22. The Divine gives light to the mind and shines within it. Except by turning the mind inward and fixing it in the Divine, there is no other way to know Him through the mind.

 

Truly a beautiful statement. I wish I could've been born a few decades earlier to have made a trek to see him but fortunately I can look where he points and realize what he saw.

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The Divine gives LIGHT to the mind and shines within it

 

I wonder if this is pointing to the experience of light during meditation. And turning the mind inwards, dwelling in that light, that is the way for the mind to experience the divine.

 

Unfortunately we habitually use words and language, which distance us from this experience.

 

{lookat that, a reply from Mal at last! Been working on those priorities :P}

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I wonder if this is pointing to the experience of light during meditation. And turning the mind inwards, dwelling in that light, that is the way for the mind to experience the divine.

I'll buy that approach only if you are using the word light in a figurative sense. If we take it literally we are stuck searching for a visual light or an experience of light in our heads and I don't think that's the direction we want to go in.

Unfortunately we habitually use words and language, which distance us from this experience.

Exactly! I think light here is pointing to the light of awareness. That which allows us to feel that we are an "I". That comes from somewhere untouchable and inexplicable. Searching for that source was Ramana's favorite exercise and the only thing that he felt would lead to awakening.

{lookat that, a reply from Mal at last! Been working on those priorities :P}

Proof of life!

:D

 

There is the perspective of how to "know Him" that I like to investigate. Most of us would agree that at some level the universe is fundamentally one great whole - Dao, Wu Ji, God, whatever. And yet, we do not routinely feel that we ourselves are a part of that. It's almost as if we feel that the universe is one great whole and then there's "I", which is separate. What Ramana is saying to me is that whatever it is that is Divine within the universe is also that which is Divine inside of us. Where better to approach and commune with this than inside our own mind where we can find that Divine light or spark that is our awareness, the sense of "I". That is where we find the connection and the oneness. Using the mind, one can't know this. Looking for the source of the mind, it can become apparent.

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I hope it's not premature to move on but this next verse really mystifies me...

 

23. The body does not say 'I'. No one will argue that even in deep sleep the 'I' ceases to exist. Once the 'I' emerges, all else emerges. With a keen mind enquire whence this 'I' emerges.

 

The body does not say 'I' - I think this is his way of saying the awareness or feeling of 'I' exists apart from the physical body. I can see that point. I also understand the progression of "Once the 'I' emerges, all else emerges." Finally, I've done a lot of enquiring after "whence this 'I' emerges."

I'm not sure I get the part about deep sleep. Can anyone shed some light on this? The way he phrases it is confusing to me.

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It took me a while to understand the deep sleep part of this as well. I think he is saying that during deep sleep there is no I. It emerges as we wake up.

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It took me a while to understand the deep sleep part of this as well. I think he is saying that during deep sleep there is no I. It emerges as we wake up.

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"I" emerges as we wake up.

 

So what is changing between the sleeping body with no "I" and the everyday waking body with it's isolationist personality of "I"? What happens between when we wake up and when our mind starts up with "I am awake" "I slept really badly" "I need to go to work" etc. Where does this sense of "I" come from? Malcolm (too many "I"s !) would say it's just a product of the brains endless flow of thoughts. Yet we have somehow come to believe that this chatter IS what we actually ARE!

 

Without meditation most people are unaware of this dichotomy. But through meditation we come to realise that we have awareness outside of this flow of chatter that we think of as "I". We thought we were the chatter but we can also be the observer of the chatter.

 

What I've been wondering is: is there something 'behind' even that pure awareness?

 

I can't remember where I read it but I think (IIRC) Buddhism has categorised levels of this sort of awareness.

eg. Chatter of the mind -> Observer or the Chatter -> Observer of the Observer -> etc.

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I hope it's not premature to move on but this next verse really mystifies me...

 

23. The body does not say 'I'. No one will argue that even in deep sleep the 'I' ceases to exist. Once the 'I' emerges, all else emerges. With a keen mind enquire whence this 'I' emerges.

 

The body does not say 'I' - I think this is his way of saying the awareness or feeling of 'I' exists apart from the physical body. I can see that point. I also understand the progression of "Once the 'I' emerges, all else emerges." Finally, I've done a lot of enquiring after "whence this 'I' emerges."

I'm not sure I get the part about deep sleep. Can anyone shed some light on this? The way he phrases it is confusing to me.

 

Hi Xuesheng,

 

I think he says "even" as a subtle suggestion that the "I" exists neither in deep sleep, nor in any other state either. The "I" is a thought, which obscures the Self. He mentions deep sleep, because it is a time when we can all recognize that the thought of "I" disappears. Of course, it is difficult to talk about these things with language, hence the use of capital "S" Self, vs little "s" self, or capital "T" Truth vs. little "t" truth. Perhaps for "I" it is the opposite, with capital "I" I being the illusion, and little "i" i being the truth.

 

Well, anyway... ;)

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Hi Xuesheng,

 

I think he says "even" as a subtle suggestion that the "I" exists neither in deep sleep, nor in any other state either. The "I" is a thought, which obscures the Self. He mentions deep sleep, because it is a time when we can all recognize that the thought of "I" disappears. Of course, it is difficult to talk about these things with language, hence the use of capital "S" Self, vs little "s" self, or capital "T" Truth vs. little "t" truth. Perhaps for "I" it is the opposite, with capital "I" I being the illusion, and little "i" i being the truth.

 

Well, anyway... ;)

 

Exactly! I was trying to say something similar but you put it much better :)

 

Mal, thanks for the explanation about different 'levels' of awareness. I also think you hit the nail on the head about what he was trying to get at.

 

We're still 'here' even without the mind grasping at the first, and biggest, illusory thought, that we are our thoughts.. our memories, our minds. If we uproot this false belief Truth is revealed. But I suspect you know that already as well as some of the others in this thread :)

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Excellent points everyone. Very well put Todd! Your explanation makes perfect sense. It was his use of the word "even" that was bothering me. Thank you all for contributing to the thread, please continue!

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After rereading 23, I thought I understood a bit about where / when the 'I' thought emerges but I may have been fooling myself.

 

In meditation I can lose the 'I' thought. When sleeping it's not there. But at JUST the moment I wake up in the morning it's there with me. It seems obvious to me that when we are in a waking state the I follows... but that does not explain how it 'goes' during meditation.

 

I understand conceptually that there can be no 'I' entity - just a collection of senses and memories. I've experienced it through meditation but I cannot understand at what moment or condition does this assumption / thought arise or how to control it outside of meditation except for a few rare occasions were I've just felt that 'I am awareness' and dropped thoughts altogether.

 

So, my question is: when does the 'I' thought really emerge? If there were a way to stop that thought before it happened I can only assume this would keep awareness intact, inside, etc. and that we would just be alive and unconditioned in the deepest sense of the word...

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Can the "I" thought ever leave? If so, who would be aware that it is not there?

Even in deep meditation, when the I is not there, who is there to know it is gone?

I believe it is a natural consequence of the fact that we are aware and have a sensory apparatus.

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Can the "I" thought ever leave?

Yes - in different states (sleep, meditation, getting knocked out :))

If so, who would be aware that it is not there? Even in deep meditation, when the I is not there, who is there to know it is gone?

The idea of the self is replaced with the True Self. No 'object' would be aware... only awareness of awareness, i.e. subjectivity itself.

I believe it is a natural consequence of the fact that we are aware and have a sensory apparatus.

 

This comment made me think quite a bit..it's just doing what it's doing I guess. Meaning, we're aware of our senses/perceptions and give our awareness in conjunction with those thoughts/senses the label 'I'.

 

The misidentification comes when we think that we are just those sense impressions... the revelation is when we experience and understand we are the awareness behind them.

 

In my typical writing style I'm just spewing thoughts into my post ;)

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Yes - in different states (sleep, meditation, getting knocked out :))

Let's look at this further.

Sleep - even in dreaming, there is the "I", so only in dreamless sleep to be more specific.

Unconsciousness is a good answer, like dreamless sleep but those are two areas where the sensory apparatus and awareness are not operational.

 

Even in the most profound experiences, meditative or otherwise, there has always been a frame of reference from which the "I" is there for me. That does not mean it cannot go away. I still question if, as long as there is the sensory apparatus and conscious awareness, can the "I" perspective ever not be a part of that awareness?

 

"I" have had a very profound experience of loss of separation, oneness, whatever you want to call it, that changed me forever, and yet "I" was still a part of that experience. It was still experienced by that which is aware that "I" associate with me, despite the fact that "I" came to understand that "I" is not the same as me. I'm getting into linguistically challening territory but I get a sense that others here can relate to what I'm trying to get at.

 

I guess what I'm trying to imply is that "I" is there to some degree as long as the me is alive, regardless of perspective or level of awakening or insight. Does that hold water? On the other hand, perhaps there is a state in which the "I" is gone but then what is it that is there to communicate and function? If there is no "I", how would the organism provide for itself? Would this be a desirable or advantageous state? An interesting person who speaks of this conundrum is UG Krishnamurti (no relation to J Krishnamurti).

http://www.well.com/user/jct/

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Unconsciousness is a good answer, like dreamless sleep but those are two areas where the sensory apparatus and awareness are not operational.

 

...

 

I guess what I'm trying to imply is that "I" is there to some degree as long as the me is alive, regardless of perspective or level of awakening or insight. Does that hold water? On the other hand, perhaps there is a state in which the "I" is gone but then what is it that is there to communicate and function? If there is no "I", how would the organism provide for itself? Would this be a desirable or advantageous state? An interesting person who speaks of this conundrum is UG Krishnamurti (no relation to J Krishnamurti).

http://www.well.com/user/jct/

 

How do you know that awareness is not functional in deep sleep? If it is not functional, then what maintains reality when you are in deep sleep? Does reality disappear and then reemerge? Is nothing constant or true? Is reality different from awareness? What is reality? Is it outside of your experience?

 

Of course, if we are good non-dualists, then those questions raise some hairy issues, but it wouldn't do us any good to assume that the non-dual perspective is true (no matter what our experiences may have been), and then to adjust our beliefs accordingly.

 

I think these questions are at the heart of 23. They are evoked by the "even".

 

The standard of truth for me at the moment is what I know in this moment, without reference to the past, or to any other thought for that matter. By this standard, the only answer to any question lies in being. It is either immediate, or it is a distraction from what is.

 

If we take such a standard to be true, then we are not living up to our standards, since the standard is a thought. So how do we live up to our standards?

 

What is it that moves into thought? What is it that thinks it needs to know, or to do anything else for that matter?

 

A working hypothesis, which Ramana seems to point at again and again, is that there is something which exists in every state, even in states where everyone can admit that there is no experience of "I". Hence, there can be existence without the "I". Ramana further points into our lived experience when he states that "The body does not say 'I'." Hence there can be an experience of the body without the arising of "I". The question then becomes, for those who have some experience of existence without the "I" thought (which is all of us, given that we all sleep), is it possible to live and function without this "I"? What is it that beats our heart and breathes us when there is no "I"? Is it possible to die into that, to realize that we are that, and to let it live our lives?

 

If it is not possible, what is it that keeps this from happening? What never wants this to happen, no matter what it tells itself?

 

These questions are eating me up, though stillness is where its at

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What is it that beats our heart and breathes us when there is no "I"?

What is it that beats our heart when there is an "I"? Does the "I" do the breathing when breathing occurs with intent? Or does it just take credit for that? How about when breathing occurs without intent? Who or what does it then? Are they different? The relationship between voluntary and involuntary action is a fascinating one.

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What is it that beats our heart when there is an "I"? Does the "I" do the breathing when breathing occurs with intent? Or does it just take credit for that? How about when breathing occurs without intent? Who or what does it then? Are they different? The relationship between voluntary and involuntary action is a fascinating one.

 

Also good questions. I suspect that they can only be answered in being.

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What is it that beats our heart when there is an "I"? Does the "I" do the breathing when breathing occurs with intent? Or does it just take credit for that? How about when breathing occurs without intent? Who or what does it then? Are they different? The relationship between voluntary and involuntary action is a fascinating one.

 

Very good questions. Ill need to contemplate a bit more before I'm able to give a well thought answer. My immediate reaction is that we are getting caught up in the words. Maybe we can use 'self' vs. 'Self' to help instead of "I"?

 

My initial thought is that the source/force of both is the same. I don't think they are different only in their aspects of one another. Meaning, the self is manifest from the Self. The possibility of thought is only available because of life itself. The possibility of breathing is available because of life itself. So whether or not we're thinking about it, breathing happens.

 

But how? That's the question I have... not sure if there's even an answer or a reason to persue it outside of curiosity..

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24. This inert body does not say 'I'. Reality-Consciousness does not emerge. Between the two, and limited to the measure of the body, something emerges as 'I'. It is this that is known as Chit-jada-granthi (the knot between the Conscious and the inert), and also as bondage, soul, subtle-body, ego, samsara, mind, and so forth.

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