Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi complete, ZNAM I WIEM, SZTUKA WOJENNA, Księgozbiór Wielkiej Pradżni

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© Sri Ramanasramam, Tiruvannamalai
First Edition 1955
Reprints 1958, 1963, 1968, 1972, 1978,
1984, 1989, 1994, 1996, 2000,
ISBN: 81-88018-07-4
Price: Rs.
CC No: 1057
Published by
V.S. Ramanan
President, Board of Trustees
Sri Ramanasramam
Tiruvannamalai 606 603
Tamil Nadu
Tel: 91-4175-37292
Fax: 91-4175-37491
Designed and Typeset at
Sri Ramanasramam
Printed by
Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi
The “Talks”, irst published in three volumes, is now issued a handy
one-volume edition. There is no doubt that the present edition will be
received by aspirants all over the world with the same veneration and
regard 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 unfailing
guide to increasing numbers of pilgrims to the Light Everlasting.
We cannot be too grateful to Sri Munagala S. Venkataramiah (now
Swami Ramanananda Saraswati) for the record that he kept of the
“Talks” covering a period of four years from 1935 to 1939. Those
devotees who had the good fortune of seeing Bhagavan Ramana
will, on reading these “Talks”, become naturally reminiscent and
recall with delight their own mental record of the words of the
Master. Despite the fact that the great Sage of Arunachala taught
for the most part through silence, he did instruct through speech
also, and that too lucidly without bafling and beclouding the minds
of his listeners. One would wish that every word that he uttered
had been preserved for posterity. But we have to be thankful for
what little of the utterances has been put on record. These “Talks”
will be found to throw light on the “Writings” of the Master;
and probably 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 Sage
had no use for “lectures” or “discourses”. His words were primarily
addressed to the particular aspirant who felt some dificulty in
his spiritual path and sought to have it resolved. But, as the same
dificulties arise in the quest after the Self and as the method of
resolving them is the same, the Maharshi’s replies to questions have
the quality of universality.
It is not all that can ask the right questions or frame them properly.
The “Talks” of the Guru, therefore, is not simply to answer to the
point, as in an examination paper. He has often to get behind the
words that constitute a question and correct the questioner even in
* Originally written for the Second Edition.
Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi
the matter of questioning. And, when irrelevant and futile questions
are asked, it is not his business to satisfy the idle curiosity of the
questioner or conirm him in his delusions. Sri Ramana does not leave
his interlocutor in the place where he was. As one of the devotees put
it, “All our questions are from our standpoint, and Sri Bhagavan’s
replies 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.
Sceptics and agnostics, theists and atheists, seekers of miracles and
hunters of psychic phenomena - all used to go to the Maharshi. Each
would naturally put questions that came uppermost to his or her
mind; and the nature of the questions would depend on the attitude
and interests of the person concerned. The glory of the Master lay in
removing the attitudes and interests that were base and making the
devotee long for realizing the Supreme Truth.
Visitors to the Asramam often used to put questions to Sri Ramana
about occult powers and psychic phenomena. Is it not good to
acquire occult powers such as telepathy? Is not the power to make
one’s body invisible a mark of mature wisdom. Can one read others’
minds? The Master’s reply to all such questions was that the occult
and the miraculous are not the spiritual. The supernormal powers are
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, Sri Ramana
taught that these problems were irrelevant and that no seeker after the
truth should be concerned with them. An aristocratic and distinguished
lady-visitor once enquired: ‘Maharajji, can we see the dead?’ The
Master replied: ‘Yes’. The lady asked: ‘Can the
show them to
us?’ The Master: ‘Yes, they may. But do not ask me to show them to
you; for I cannot’. The lady: ‘Do you see them?’ The Master: ‘Yes,
in dreams.’
Sri Ramana’s 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 dificult because we
have become strangers to our Self. What one has to do is simple - to
Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi
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 identiications 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 ind that the ego disappears letting
the eternal Self shine. So the best discipline is the inquiry: ‘Who am
I?’ This is the greatest
. This is the true
. The thought
‘I am not the body’ (
) is exhalation (
); the inquiry
‘Who am I?’ (
) is inhalation (
); the realization ‘I am He’
) is retention of breath (
). 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
is necessary. But
even those who adopt the discipline of devotion (
) reach the
same goal. If one surrenders one’s ego to either the
or God,
one realizes the Self.
Sri Ramana’s teachings as found in the “Talks” will bring hope to
everyone. No one need think that he is beyond the pale of redemption.
An old American visitor once asked the Master, ‘Maharshi, do you
think we are bad boys’? The Master’s characteristic reply was, ‘Do
not tell me so. But you need not think you are bad boys’. Anything that
is bad in us will surely be removed, if only we listen to the Maharshi’s
wise words that are recorded in the present book.
And, may we read it with a view to preparing ourselves for
understanding the Master’s higher teaching which was through
University of Madras,
August 1l, 1958.
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