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#3911 - Wednesday, June 2, 2010 - Editor: Jerry Katz  

The Nonduality Highlights -    


The following exchange is from

Srkudai poses the first question and at the end answers it. I have not included the names of others who responded.



Practice of Self Inquiry --- Objective Questions

Please do not answer "Ask who am i" for any of these questions. The fundamental point is to understand the whole process of self inquiry correctly. Fortunately, repeating "who am i" is not self inquiry. And even asking "who am i" is not.

What is Self inquiry ? Self inquiry is a systematic way of getting established in the Self. Its a method to become totally convinced that I am Self. One who is Self need not do inquiry. Only he who is not established in Self has to do. These questions are designed to explain the method of Self inquiry in a systematic way.

Suppose I am afraid of darkness.
I was left alone at home, its total darkness and power is gone.
what should I do?

a) Call someone on the phone and talk.
b) Chant hanuman chalisa
c) Do japam
d) Do something to stop the thoughts of fear.
e) <any other answer you can think of?>

Suppose someone comes to me and asks me to summarize Ramana's teachings.
And I tell him.
He feels nice and praises me.
Thoughts of pride arise.
what to do ?

a) Tell myself that i should not feel proud.
b) Feel proud & talk more with that person.
c) Stop thoughts of pride.
d) Remind myself that its all God's grace.
e) <any other answer you can think of?>

After a few days, the person who talked to me in Question2, found me doing something wrong.
Getting angry, looking at a girl lustfully or some thing that is not "wise man's conduct" Wink. He criticizes me.
what should i do ?

a) Avoid him
b) Confess
c) Feel really bad and brood over it.
d) Criticize him again / Explain it off using some advaitic literature & twisted logic
e) <any other answer you can think of?>

I am rushing to my office, but someone is delaying it. There is lot of frustration. Despite telling the person is not stopping.what to do ?

a) Shout at the person.
b) do pranayama
c) feel bad that despite all my efforts i am getting frustrated.
d) Stop thoughts of frustration.
e) <any other answer you can think of?>


Udai Garu,

My honest answers for the questionere:

Question 1 Answer :  whenever i feel afraid or fear for something for some reason these days i am chanting Adi shankara's nirvana sathakam or recollect image of ramana maharshi.But i think i have no complete success in my effort always which means still my sadhana and faith is not perfect.

Question 2 Answer : Though i may feel little proud for a moment i immediately compare myself with ramana maharshi and then see how hopeless i am and my pride will vanish away.

Also i try to remember below article whenever someone praises me

Question 3 Answer : I feel nothing wrong.Infact i criticise myself and recently i revealed all my faults i had commited from my childhood to many of my friends/relatives which i think is very useful to eradicate ego/pride in us to some extent.

Question 4 Answer : Maybe if i face that situation then i patiently listen to him and when he left scold few little harsh words to myself.

But Solution is to be straightforward in our life as far as possible.Even our guru ramana was pretty straightforward in many matters in his life.WE should remember we cannot satisfy everyone in our life IT IS NEVER POSSIBLE for anyone and even saints are no expection.

Question 1:
e) do nothing;*
Question 2:
e) do nothing;*
Question 3:
e) do nothing;*
e) do nothing;*

* in a sense - be still. what can I do?

Suppose a fear arises at the moment, what can I do, really? This is so, i cannot deny it, it is happening.
The point is: why there should be concern about thoughts at all?
This is my experience and view at the moment.


Ramana Maharshi summed up his technique:

What is essential in any sadhana [practice] is to try to bring back the running mind and fix it on one thing only. Why then should it not be brought back and fixed in Self-attention? That alone is Self-enquiry (atma-vicara). That is all that is to be done!

Maybe this is a bit like your question 1.

Some years ago I would wake in the night with an intense fear of dying. Like I was dying at that very moment. I knew of Self-Inquiry and what had happen to Ramana.

All I could do was the think of the Self. I was too scared to ask as Ramana had. Night after night it would happen. It was really horrible. It's stopped now, and I feel I didn't use it as I should have. I would wish it back. 

c - Japam
d - God's Grace
e - Recognize the mistake
e - Ignore and move on


srkudai sir,

The 1st instance used to bother me until some time ago. I have no clue how, but the fear vanished of its own accord. I used to chant bhagavan's name whenever i was scared, but now a sudden power-cut in the middle of the night, even when i am alone, dosent bother me much, although it does me me alert and awake. So, remembering bhagavan's name and chanting does help in such situations.

I have experienced the 2nd instance also. Even in ramanasramam when i had gone this time, just narrating someone a part of bhagavan's life, possibly gave me a thrill and made me very happy and accomplished. They appreciated me and i felt good. Even when i sing at sri bhagavan's sannidhi and people say i sing well, i am elated. I am sure it creates a 'aham' in me, but feeling good about being able to share bhagavan's life with soemone is fine...isnt it? isnt there anything called a good 'aham' or a bad 'aham'!?

3rd instance would make me ashamed of myself. I believe that if you claim to be a devotee of bhagavan, then behave like one. Not that i can claim to be a fitting devotee, but i aspire to! I have short-comings and would give in to anger, selfish-ness and other things, but i remind myself of sri bhagavan's teachings and work on it rectify them slowly. so, as bhagavan said, i would not remind myself of the mistake. what has happened has happened. Try not to slip again..

4th instance - in such situations, i am slowly cultivating the art of trying your best and leaving the rest to sri bhagavan. If there is nothing you can do, then no point getting frustated, angry etc etc. If your work has to be done, it will be done. You did what you could, and now if without your fault you face failure, then accept it with grace. sri bhagavan wills so. When i went to arunachaleswarar temple on sivaratri day, it was sri bhagavan who helped me get darshan, even when no tickets were even being sold that day! and what, within a span of 10 mins of my entrance, i was facing sri arunachaleswarar himself!! And i remember distinctly telling within myself 'bhagavan sorry! i wont be able to have your darshan today. It is impossible!'

In all instances, cultivating faith and surrendering is the key. I am a rank new comer. I try and fail so many times. Above, I may have sounded as though i have conqered all feelings, but just the other day i blew my lid off over something stupid! but...i say forget it, say sorry to sri bhagavan and dont repeat it!

To make yourself still, what do you do ??




Dear srkudai,

I shall take up only Question No. 1 first.  Simple darkness in a room or a house where I am alone does not deter me, unless there is some knee pain or shooting hypertension causing giddiness.  I shall do nothing but chanting within my lips the Maha Mantra given to me: Arunachala Siva, Arunachala Siva, till I get sleep.  It has worked in my case quite well.


dear srkudai,

I don't know if I can say that I am involved when mind gets agitated. I cannot find words to explain it. "I" am ever still, no need to do anything to be still. Even if preconditioned fear or so arises out of nowhere it is recognized immediately and automatically for what it is. (the reason i cannot find words is because i don't remember actually the last time mind got agitated heavily, quite some time passed, the enquiry into the Self which Ramana got me involved in, now goes automatically, it seems like the appearance has nothing to do with I, like a dream, you can dream that you have such and such personality with bad and good qualities, but in reality you have nothing to do with a personality, so changing thoughts, changing expressions, changing understanding is still in that dream, it truly has nothing to do with liberation, not even that, the concepts (such as liberation) themselfs are of a dream. Some processes are going on with a body/mind but I am not concerned. Still, the whole time, through various experiences the knowledge "i am not the mind" lead me, but the paradox is that the knowledge and ignorance are of the mind itself.). Don't know why i am even writing this to you or comming here, but anyway i sense greatness in you  Cheesy have a nice evening.

Am i disappearing? yes and no
i am not, still i am
Am i liberated? yes and no
what is liberation? but a created concept which depends on AM

I am at awe what these fingers tries to tell
listen, the ego is truly the personification of hell
Read these words that are flowing without a second thought
What for, all the time, humans fought?

Chithram Chithram!
The first words that comes to mind
To be written on the first line
This is a great mystery indeed
Why we seek Reality while being it.


Srkudai's answers:

Fear is a state of mind. When mind is full of thoughts of fear, and i am unconsciously identifying with the mind and saying "I am afraid" ... That is not the time to "Get rid of the state of mind". That is the time to "understand that the state of mind cannot touch me".

Japam , Pranayamam etc are Excellent methods but misplaced here. if i repeat god's name, the state of mind changes. the mind becomes calm and the thoughts of fear are replaced with other thoughts. So there is feeling of comfort.

But That is not what i want. i want to face it.

When Shastras say "I Cannot be Touched By Thoughts" . That means, i should see this. I should See how the thoughts of Fear Cannot Touch me, Who am Consciousness.
"I am Afraid" is a misperception.
"I Fear" is a misperception.

Coz, I am Consciousness in whose presence these thoughts are floating.

IF Thoughts are not "Touching" ME
      Why do i need to do japam to remove the thoughts?
If Thoughts are "Touching" Me,
      Its Misperception, and i need to remind myself that i am Consciousness and Remain as Consciousness.

I would Rather Stand in the Darkness ... Allow the thoughts to pass ... And Remain As Consciousness.
Not trying to avoid the situtation. Not trying to run away. not trying any sort of ESCAPE.

Japam is a method to remind myself that i am Consciousness... not a method to escape or change the states of mind.

Mind becomes calm, i say i am calm
Mind becomes agitated, i say i am agitated!

this is wrong understanding. mistaken vision.

as long as i keep repeating this ... i will keep trying to change mind.

Somewhere i have to cut this Knot!

I am not the mind! Therefore i do not resist what is happening in mind! its not my business!

Mind Suggests fear, mind suggests running away, mind suggests lots of things. the whole body will react to mind... but i remain as consciousness... motionless... mind jumps for some time and finally gives way. its hard, but it is vanquishing the mind. disagree with it. it has no power of its own

no thought of mind is a command. all thoughts are mere suggestions.We need not listen.

This is Self Inquiry.

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