BHAGWAN RAMANA MAHARHSI
In the midst of terrible Suffering and Ignorance there emerges, a man every century who serves as a Beacon of Light for the entire mankind and guides the whole of Humanity from Darkness to Light, from Suffering to Joy and Happiness, from Cruelty to Love and Compassion. Ramana Maharshi was one such light that guided millions to the Realm of Knowledge, Love and Happiness.
Sri Ramana at the age of Seventeen, was overcome suddenly by the fear of death. Instead of being afraid or avoiding the question of death, at the thought of which the whole of mankind has trembled and tried to avoid for a million years, the great sage directly enquired into the reality of death. The Sage enacted his real death at that instant without any procrastination, with the question “Who is that dies ?” , the body will be cremated now, the body by itself is not me “ . In this way enquiring with the question “Who Am I ?” the Great Sage realized the eternal self and thereby transcended the realm of Birth, Death, Suffering , Space and Time. The Great Sage did not have to do years of practice, nor had to renounce to realize the Truth. The Greatest Man the Mankind has ever seen was now easily established in the Self. The Young Sage now felt the worldly life of doing homework and grammar a futile and meaningless exercise. With a simple note that he was going to his father, he left his home and came to Arunachala he left his home and came to Arunachala to stay eternally with the supreme.
The Great Teachers in the past have proclaimed themselves as saviors, prophets and traveled widely attracting a large following and on the other hand created innumerable beliefs, sects and religions that has led to major conflicts. But the uniqueness of the Sage of Arunachala, was that he never spoke about his realization nor did he proclaim that he was the teacher nor did he want anybody to become his follower, he remained silent in meditation. But large crowds were attracted for in his presence a deep and abiding peace was experienced by all those who went to him. His teaching emphasized on the enquiry of the ego, which is nothing but a bundle of thoughts with “I” as the core thought. By enquiring into the core thought “I”, with the question “Who Am I ?? ” the false ego which is nothing but the bundle of memories of centuries will be found to be false and the real self, which is eternal and infinite, which is pure bliss and our real nature will be regained.
The mind by its nature is fickle and is extrovert, ever interested in pursuing pleasure and avoiding pain. This makes it very weak as it always in a state of conflict and duality of pleasure and pain, good and bad etc. The mind also identifies itself with the body and the thinking is always focused on the past or the future. The Great Sage Ramana taught a very simple and easy method to prevent the mind from running around the world, by questioning “Where Am I?”. By questioning in this way the mind is brought into a state of attention into the present, which actually carries with it the stamp of reality. Similarly the enquiry “Who Am I ?” will end the delusion that one is a Body , or the senses, as the mind when questioned ”Who am I ? ” remains silent for it does not know the answer but is ever interested in knowing the answers for all the irrelevant worldly things like “What happens after death ?? How did the world come into existence ??”. When the enquiry into the mind is started the mind is rendered quiescent and the process of self identification with Nationality, Body, Caste, Religion , Beliefs etc comes to an end. And the mind frees naturally and effortlessly from the prison of its own creation. When this enquiry is pursued until the mind is rendered pure and strong, the reality shines by itself without any effort, with the death of the questioner. The death of the Ego marks the beginning of real knowledge.
The traditional methods required one to renounce and practice austerity for many years to be free of the effects of the action of the individual. They relied on certain Do’s and Don’ts, but failed to make Man free from the crutches of effects of Action he might have done in the state of ignorance. Though the laws generally reduce the punishment if the crime is done in a state of inebriety, but the Law of Karma does not leave any individual for he has to reap for his actions, whether Good or Bad. Bhagwan Ramana discovered a new method of enquiry by which man can be free from the effects of Karma, but also the way of perfection in Action. Generally man feels that he is the doer of action, does some action, with a motive of desire or fear, and expects huge rewards. In recent times the trend has been that he does nothing but expects great rewards and recognition in a very short time. For that great soul who can understand the teaching here is a very simple way, that is questioning the doer, by asking “Who is the doer ?? “ That is for example if a person is riding a Bike if he questions, “Who is the Rider??” On enquiry it would be found that the body controls the bike and the engine along with the combination of fuel and air drives the bike, but the ego if not questioned will say, “I drove the bike for a very long distance “. On Enquiry “Iam the doer “ thought will vanish and the wise man will see Action in Inaction and Inaction in Action. And by effectively understanding the teaching the man can be free from the effects of action and the action since is done without the actor, there will be no Gainer of rewards, nor a griever for loss and the action takes place perfectly in silence.
Ocean of CompASSION
Ramana Maharshi was an Embodiment of Truth, Love and Compassion. He looked at all living beings with an equal eye and was compassionate to all living beings, ever respecting all who came, but demanding no respect for himself. Various kind of animals came into his hall and approached Bhagvan. He loved and respected animals and treated them with gentle care and compassion. Sick animals had there sickness cured by the universal doctor, some animals left this worls and was absorbed in him eternally. This is what one of the devotee had to say about one of the incidents :
"In the roof of the Old Hall, squirrels would build nests. Once, some new-born squirrels dropped on Bhagavan's sofa. Their eyes remained yet unopened and the size of each baby may not have been more than an inch; they were very red in color with fresh flesh, absolutely tender to touch. The mother squirrel ignored them. Now what to do? How to feed and attend to such tender things? The baby squirrels were in the palm of Bhagavan. Bhagavan's face glowed with love and affection for them. While there was a question mark in the faces of those who surrounded Bhagavan, He Himself was happy and cheerful. He asked for some cotton to be brought. He made a soft bed for them. He also took a bit of cotton and squeezed it to such a tiny end, the end portion looked like a sharp pin. He dipped it in milk and squeezed milk into the tiny mouths. At regular intervals, Bhagavan repeated this act of compassion.
He tended them with great care and love till they grew up and ran around."
The Light of the Sun has the Limitation of Distance, but the Compassion and the Light of the Sage of Ramana fills the Whole Universe, limitless and eternal. The teaching can be explained, but his compassion is beyond description and beyond imagination, for he is the embodiment of Truth or God.