Self-inquiry | Ramana Maharshi's teachings

Sri Ramana’s (1879-1950) central teaching is: Self-inquiry. Instead of wanting to know this and that, seek to know the Self. Ask ‘Who am I?’ instead of asking about a hundred other things. Self-inquiry ought to be the easiest of all tasks. But it seems to be the most difficult because we have become strangers to our Self. What one has to do is simple - to abide as the Self. This is the ultimate Truth. This is one’s eternal, natural, inherent state. On account of ignorance we identify ourselves with the not-I.

The most subtle of all these identifications is with the ego. Let us search for the root of the ego. Where from does this pseudo-I arise? At the end of this quest we shall find that the ego disappears letting the eternal Self shine. So the best discipline is the inquiry: ‘Who am I?’ This is the greatest japa. This is the true pranayama.

. the thought ‘I am not the body’ (naham) is exhalation (rechaka);

. the inquiry ‘Who am I?’ (koham) is inhalation (puraka);

. the realization ‘I am He’ (soham) is retention of breath (kumbhaka).

The fruit of Self-inquiry is the realization that the Self is all, and that there is nothing else. For those who follow this method no other sadhana is necessary. But even those who adopt the discipline of devotion (bhakti) reach the same goal. If one surrenders one’s ego to either the Guru or God, one realizes the Self.

- T. M. P. Mahadevan, from the forward of Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi, volume 1

MysticSaint Thoughts:
"He who knows himself knows God" says the Mystic Master, Muhammad the Messenger of God and the journey of knowing oneself is the journey of Self-Inquiry. This Self-Inquiry, leading to Self-Realization was the central teaching of ancient Indian Philosophy and Religion. And although it may not be so explicit in the foreground of the teachings, but it is always the highest teaching, the highest ground in all world spiritual traditions. In Jewish, Christian and Islamic tradition, this has always been the paradigm of gnostic, the mystical traditions or the Marifat.

The Self with capital S is the Divine that Reside in us. "And (His Signs are also) in yourselves. Can ye then not see?" (The Quran 51.21) And the primary goal of the human birth is to realize, then attain that Self and to abide in that Self. The Quran speaks (2:138) this as "Sibghata Allahi": Colour yourself in the Colour of God. And way to colour ourselves in God is to attain the attributes of God. That is the journey from God, in God and to God. Indeed we are from God and to Him is the return journey. Thus in essence we are Divine and the full-circle comes to completion in our journey back to the Divine. The fruit of Self-inquiry is the realization that the Self is all, and that there is nothing else. La ilaha illa Huwa, there is not other reality but the Divine Reality Alone.

:: previous posts
. Conscious Breath
. Yoga Resources on Breathing
. Breathing Resources

: further read
. divine sahaja yoga - yoga research

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Technology of the Heart: Self-inquiry | Ramana Maharshi's teachings
Self-inquiry | Ramana Maharshi's teachings
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