Ramana Maharshis Who am I? I need help understanding it

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steve Davidson
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Ramana Maharshis Who am I? I need help understanding it

Post by steve Davidson » Sun Jun 16, 2019 1:23 am

I am re-reading Ramana Maharshis little book "Who am I?" right now and still am having trouble understanding certain parts of it. I was hoping someone here has a better understanding of it than me and can explain what he means exactly or even better if someone has experienced for themselves what he is talking about it in it and can share their perspective and understanding from their experiences of it. I will post a few excerpts from it than I am having trouble with, they will be in quotes, and if you can add anything to it, I would be very thankful and appreciative for it.

"When will the realization of the Self be gained? When the world which is what-is-seen has been removed, there will be realization of the Self
which is the seer."

"Will there not be realization of the Self even while the world is there (taken as real)? There will not be. Why? The seer and the object seen are like the rope and the snake. Just as the knowledge of the rope which is the substrate will not arise unless the false knowledge of the illusory serpent goes, so the realization of the Self which is the substrate will not be gained unless the belief that the world is real is removed."

" Apart from thoughts, there is no independent entity called the world. In deep sleep there are no thoughts,
and there is no world. In the states of waking and dream, there are thoughts, and there is a world
also. Just as the spider emits the thread (of the web) out of itself and again withdraws it into itself,
likewise the mind projects the world out of itself and again resolves it into itself. When the mind
comes out of the Self, the world appears. Therefore, when the world appears (to be real), the Self
does not appear; and when the Self appears (shines) the world does not appear. When one
persistently inquires into the nature of the mind, the mind will end leaving the Self (as the residue).
What is referred to as the Self is the Atman. The mind always exists only in dependence on
something gross; it cannot stay alone. It is the mind that is called the subtle body or the soul (jiva)."

"What is the nature of the Self? What exists in truth is the Self alone. The world, the individual soul, and God are appearances in
it. like silver in mother-of-pearl, these three appear at the same time, and disappear at the same
time. The Self is that where there is absolutely no “I” thought. That is called “Silence”. The Self
itself is the world; the Self itself is “I”; the Self itself is God; all is Siva, the Self."

"Is there no difference between waking and dream?
Waking is long and a dream short; other than this there is no difference. Just as waking happenings
seem real while awake. so do those in a dream while dreaming. In dream the mind takes on
another body. In both waking and dream states thoughts. names and forms occur simultaneously."

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dijmart
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Re: Ramana Maharshis Who am I? I need help understanding it

Post by dijmart » Sun Jun 16, 2019 3:45 am

steve Davidson wrote:
Sun Jun 16, 2019 1:23 am


"When will the realization of the Self be gained? When the world which is what-is-seen has been removed, there will be realization of the Self
which is the seer."
Hello Steve!

Hope you've been well.

I'm not a scholar of Ramana but let's give this quote a look.

So, he doesn't really mean the world will disappear, he means the "belief" the world is real will be removed (it exists, as it's experienced, but ultimately unreal). Attention can then turn from an outward projection onto objects for ones happiness, to inwards to ones Self.

Dij

Ps. My explanation holds for quote 2 also.😊
Take what you like and leave the rest.

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Re: Ramana Maharshis Who am I? I need help understanding it

Post by dijmart » Sun Jun 16, 2019 5:43 am

steve Davidson wrote:
Sun Jun 16, 2019 1:23 am

" Apart from thoughts, there is no independent entity called the world. In deep sleep there are no thoughts,
and there is no world. In the states of waking and dream, there are thoughts, and there is a world
also. Just as the spider emits the thread (of the web) out of itself and again withdraws it into itself,
likewise the mind projects the world out of itself and again resolves it into itself. When the mind
comes out of the Self, the world appears. Therefore, when the world appears (to be real), the Self
does not appear; and when the Self appears (shines) the world does not appear. When one
persistently inquires into the nature of the mind, the mind will end leaving the Self (as the residue).
What is referred to as the Self is the Atman. The mind always exists only in dependence on
something gross; it cannot stay alone. It is the mind that is called the subtle body or the soul (jiva)."
The body/mind (therefore thoughts) and the world, arise "together" as one apparent reality. In deep sleep there is no mind, no thoughts, so no world.

So, ..."when the world appears (to be real), the Self
does not appear". My first post explains this part.

"What is the nature of the Self? What exists in truth is the Self alone. The world, the individual soul, and God are appearances in
it. like silver in mother-of-pearl, these three appear at the same time, and disappear at the same
time. The Self is that where there is absolutely no “I” thought. That is called “Silence”. The Self
itself is the world; the Self itself is “I”; the Self itself is God; all is Siva, the Self."
What are your questions regarding this?

The Self is whole, complete, nondual, awareness/consciousness, not only is it "you" the substratum, but also all "things/objects" are within, created from and permeated by the Self.
"Is there no difference between waking and dream?
Waking is long and a dream short; other than this there is no difference. Just as waking happenings
seem real while awake. so do those in a dream while dreaming. In dream the mind takes on
another body. In both waking and dream states thoughts. names and forms occur simultaneously."
So, in dream, the dream and dream characters are within the mind. In the waking state, the apparent person and waking life story happen within awareness/consciousness.

When you awake from the dream, you as the apparent person realize it was just a dream, but then one that's awakened also realizes the body/mind and life story are not the end point either, as like I said, these are within awareness, your true nature.

Dij

steve Davidson
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Re: Ramana Maharshis Who am I? I need help understanding it

Post by steve Davidson » Sun Jun 16, 2019 7:11 am

Hi Dij,

Good to see you. I am well and hope you are well too! Thanks for chiming in. The first post you wrote, regarding quotes one and two is very helpful, spot on, i get it, it makes perfect sense.

Quote 3 gets a little more complicated, about how in the deep sleep state there is no mind and hence no world. Yet in waking state there is a mind and hence a world. Ramana supposedly was living in the Self, the Heart, with his mind merged or dissolved into it, and yet there was still apparently a world for him. This is part of my confusion.

And quote 5 about the waking and dream worlds being really of no difference. We all seem to take the waking world as real and look upon the dream world as unreal. According to Ramana, it seems he is suggesting the waking world is just as unreal as the dream world. That is hard to comprehend and truly get.

My questions about the nature of the Self is basically is it just pure Awareness? It is the substratum in which all objects appear in it, it is formless and cannot be located? But if so, this body we all take to be ourselves or identify with in some way, this is appearing in Awareness? Where is this Awareness, is it everywhere? It gets a little confusing to me this part.

In the dream state, when we wake up, it is easy to see we were sleeping on our bed and it was all a creation of our mind. Somehow we created the dream body which we took as ourselves and also created all the other characters in the dream which we took to be separate from us and separate individuals, but interestingly enough they are all unreal, even though they seemed so real and also were all a part of us, were One. So when we awaken (in waking reality) to who we really are, do we also see that this apparent body is just another character imagined and all others we see too are not really separate individuals but the One Self who is playing and imagining all of this. This is so hard to really accept, so different than how we normally see reality.

Also, form what i read, even some of Ramanas long time devotees had a hard time with this whole premise that the world does not exist when we are in deep sleep. They would argue with him and say others were awake while they sleep and saw the world. Ramana would not accept it and would not compromise and insisted the world only exists when there is a mind to see it or something like that.

Thanks again for sharing your take on this, it is very helpful and i am hoping others will join in too and share their understanding of they see these statements from Ramana and how they live it, in daily life. For it is one thing to just accept this as a theory and another to live it in daily life.

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Re: Ramana Maharshis Who am I? I need help understanding it

Post by kiki » Sun Jun 16, 2019 8:22 pm

My questions about the nature of the Self is basically is it just pure Awareness? It is the substratum in which all objects appear in it, it is formless and cannot be located?
What you fundamentally are is formless pure Awareness.
But if so, this body we all take to be ourselves or identify with in some way, this is appearing in Awareness?

What you believe and identify yourself to be exists on the relative level of existence and is only an appearance that is witnessed by pure awareness. That which is witnessed is always on the relative level of existence, and that which witnesses is on the fundamental level of existence. Everything on the relative level of existence is analogous to the waves on the ocean. They may appear to be separate from one another, but they aren't in reality because they are actually created out of the ocean itself, while the Self is analogous to the still silent depth of the ocean from which things arise; those things appear, change and finally disappear back into the depths of the ocean, and all of that is witnessed by pure awareness.

In other words, it is ALL awareness; it is all one and therefore nondual in nature, and YOU are THAT. Awareness recognizes all things as ITSELF. One could say that the relative level of existence is the mirror in which awareness sees itself. Without things "out there" in the relative world of forms to see awareness simply exists as knowing-ness.

Prior to awakening one believes oneself to be separate from everything else - "I" am here and everything else is over there, separate from "me". After awakening and abidance has taken root one sees/recognizes itSELF in the mirror of relative existence. There is no sense of separation from anything by an isloated "me" entity, there is just the knowing-ness of awareness in all things - the ocean is knowing the wave and recognizes itSelf AS the wave.
Where is this Awareness, is it everywhere?
What seems to be "things" are momentary appearances (forms) and are relative to one another, and as such they seem to have a specific location. Pure awareness, on the other hand, is formless and therefore has no specific location. One could say it's both everywhere and nowhere.
It gets a little confusing to me this part.
I hope I have brought some clarification.
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steve Davidson
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Re: Ramana Maharshis Who am I? I need help understanding it

Post by steve Davidson » Sun Jun 16, 2019 8:35 pm

Thank you Kiki for taking the time and posting all of that in response to my questions, it is appreciated. Yes, it is all helpful. But I am a slow learner and it will take some time to truly grasp all of this.

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dijmart
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Re: Ramana Maharshis Who am I? I need help understanding it

Post by dijmart » Sun Jun 16, 2019 11:18 pm

Hiya,

Well, I didn't get an email notification there were any responses to the thread. *sighs*

Looks like Kiki answered your question. He's better at explaining this stuff anyways.
Take what you like and leave the rest.

steve Davidson
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Re: Ramana Maharshis Who am I? I need help understanding it

Post by steve Davidson » Mon Jun 17, 2019 1:22 am

I am not getting email notifications either, i think it is not working, nor if you get private messages.

I still am very interested in hearing how others live Ramanas teachings such as these in their daily lives.

How has his teachings transformed your daily life? How do you take this knowledge or understanding that you are Awareness and live from it,

especially in relationships and in work/job and dealing with this world? Do you see this world mostly as a dream? Do you see others as yourself?

Really trying to get a feel for how this knowledge changes ones everyday daily life.

steve Davidson
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Re: Ramana Maharshis Who am I? I need help understanding it

Post by steve Davidson » Mon Jun 17, 2019 4:32 am

Dij,

What you shared was very helpful and i like how you phrase it, dont sell yourself short :-)

I am interested in anything you have to share about this topic, i know you were into Vedanta and studying it.

I am interested in anything you have to share, whether specifically about what i wrote or anything you have discovered on your spiritual path of studying Vedanta and other spiritual teachings.

I am really trying to put all this together, and especially how it plays out in ones daily life. Thanks again and i love your avatar btw.

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Re: Ramana Maharshis Who am I? I need help understanding it

Post by oak tree » Mon Jun 17, 2019 2:21 pm

Hi Steve

Following Ramana's teachings too. I remember reading Ramana gives two methods: Self enquiry or surrender. I do both but it seems surrender works best for me. Surrender leads to peace and silence.

Daily life is still challenging. Sometimes there is identification and I get upset when things happen. But I quickly return to peace.

I spend a couple of hours in silence per day. Really feel drawn to do this.

It seems I've become kinder and more open to other people than before. There is less worry and less need for security. Life is more enjoyable.

I found Robert Adams teachings helped me understand Ramana better. I particularly like his book Silence of the Heart.

How are the teachings transforming your life Steve?

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Re: Ramana Maharshis Who am I? I need help understanding it

Post by steve Davidson » Mon Jun 17, 2019 6:36 pm

Oak Tree, glad you are following and living Ramanas teachings too.

Thanks for sharing a little how it has touched your daily life.

I have read a little of Robert Adams and find him very good. I read many different sources and they all help to elucidate Ramanas teachings better as well as Tolles etc. I have read all of Tolles books and find them very helpful too.

The teachings definitely help my life, but i am not transformed or live from a place of nonduality. When i look at the world i see a separate world from me and separate individuals and still identify myself as a separate person. However, inwardly, there is some peace and relative happiness and a knowing that i am more than my physical body/form.

My waking and dream states still contain me, a ego that i identify with as myself. I enjoy the deep sleep state when i as a individual do not seem to exist and no problems and no world and bliss.

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Re: Ramana Maharshis Who am I? I need help understanding it

Post by turiya » Fri Jun 21, 2019 2:09 am

steve Davidson wrote:
Mon Jun 17, 2019 6:36 pm
I read many different sources and they all help to elucidate Ramanas teachings better...
I agree. Sometimes, one teacher will say something a certain way and their wording just doesn't quite "click" for me. Then later, I'll hear the same teaching expressed another way by a different teacher, and I have an immediate "Oh! Now I see!" moment.

As for the Ramana excerpts you posted... maybe Rupert Spira's way of wording things in this video will be helpful?:

(The most helpful part for me starts at 17:00, so that's where I'm starting it... but the whole thing is good/worth listening to! :D)

https://youtu.be/zGE1xlMUUhM?t=1026
“We ourselves are not an illusory part of Reality; rather are we Reality itself illusorily conceived.” - Wei Wu Wei

steve Davidson
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Re: Ramana Maharshis Who am I? I need help understanding it

Post by steve Davidson » Fri Jun 21, 2019 7:40 am

Thank you Turiya, for that video link. It was good and helpful. It does help explain Ramanas teachings in a different context, expression.

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Re: Ramana Maharshis Who am I? I need help understanding it

Post by Webwanderer » Fri Jun 21, 2019 1:49 pm

"When will the realization of the Self be gained? When the world which is what-is-seen has been removed, there will be realization of the Self
which is the seer."
Many very good answers have been posted on a good subject. Here's my take. All worlds of form, whether this physical one,or the dream world, or the astral worlds, or whatever one can perceive in this or any higher dimension, are the same in that they are imagined (focused) into being - albeit some more ridged than others. This includes worlds individually imagined such as a dream, or collectively imagined such as this physical world, or any others in higher realms of being.

When one comes to clearly recognize that all such worlds are products of creation, and attention can be removed from them by choice, only the imaginer - or seer - will remain. Thus realization of Self.

WW

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Re: Ramana Maharshis Who am I? I need help understanding it

Post by steve Davidson » Fri Jun 21, 2019 5:55 pm

WW, nicely stated. I see what you are pointing out and it is a nice summary, addition to what Ramana said about it. I think it is very spot on, thank you for sharing.

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