I find the following quote to be a valuable addition to the well-known teachings. Some authors are fond to merely quote Paul Brunton who reported Sri Ramana
saying that a separate spiritual practice is only for the merest spiritual novice. That is at least one-sided, in my experience. A subtle and concentrated silent state reached much more easily
during sitting meditation seems a wonderful asset for inquiry. Of course this should expand and penetrate all our daily active life as well.
"Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi has unraveled the mystery of the universal truth, the real behind the apparent. It is in this context his emphasis on self-inquiry assumes importance. The penetrating search within opens up awareness of pure consciousness. Another time he said:
"Effort is needed. If the mind becomes single-pointed it becomes a great force and can turn inward to the heart easily.''
"One's effort is essential. It is only the wise endowed with equanimity and renouncing the fruit of action who are freed from the shackles of birth and death. They concentrate exclusively on Self-knowledge."
Q: At times the meditation becomes easy, but that remains only for a short period - and it is again disturbed by unwanted thoughts.
Bhagavan Ramana Mahrashi: "Yes - maybe - resist the thoughts - you should have more willpower to obtain steadfastness. Slight disturbances should be ignored, taking care to pursue further without break. A sustained effort will bring about results. Moreover, you may fix up a certain time for meditation as a daily routine which will go a long way for development!"
More Talks with Ramana Maharshi, NN Rajan
N.N. Rajan was for fifteen years with Sri Ramana Maharshi with all his love and intensity. See the interview from min. 48.55.
Guru Ramana - an Interview Documentary
N.N. Rajan (N.Nataraja Iyer - 1906-94), Station Master at Tiruvannamalai Railway Station, came under Sri Ramana’s influence in 1935. He authored Sri Ramana Dhyanam and The Bloom of Inner Glory.
"Being a householder, I felt that it was not right for me to follow a spiritual path alone, so I began taking my wife and children also to the Ashram. Within a few months, I found to my astonishment, quite a conspicuous change in my wife and noticed that she had outstripped me in her understanding of Bhagavan. She had become a greater devotee and was imbibing more peace from him. My children also enjoyed his presence. Bhagavan had a special fondness for children and often used to joke with them and touch or caress them, though he scrupulously avoided touching adults or being touched by them. The children themselves derived a certain peace and joy from his presence and would sometimes sit motionless before him, as though under a spell, free from childish wrigglings.
"I am not exaggerating when I say this. Once my daughter, who was only just over two, sat quietly by herself in a corner of the hall for about two hours, sitting cross-legged like adults and not even speaking. My wife and I did not notice this as we were absorbed in meditation, but the Maharshi did. When I went to the Ashram early next morning, I was surprised and delighted to hear the Maharshi telling one of the devotees, “Rajan’s little daughter Kutti was sitting cross-legged away from her parents for about two hours and she never stirred the whole time.”
It was delightful to hear him talk about the incident and to realize how closely he had watched her while we knew nothing about it. Of course, it was due to his Grace; a child would otherwise never act like that. He was omnipotent but was extremely unostentatious. He would never reveal his powers openly and behaved quite simply like an ordinary man.
The following is from Rajan’s interview as recorded in the video Guru Ramana:
"Bhagavan is the Supreme Being in flesh and blood, perfection to the core. They say an avatar, but he is not an avatar, just above that state. He is Supreme Being personified. Face to face he sat among us; we slept with him, took food with him and sat at his feet for years together.
"We hear about rishis in the annals of history, but we do not hear anything about such a great sage. He is the greatest sage of our time. In the Vedic age also there were rishis but they had their own impulses: they got anger, they got lust. Can we say any such thing about Bhagavan? No.
"As Major Chadwick said, “If at all there is anybody fit to express the greatness of Bhagavan, it is Bhagavan himself.” Will Bhagavan ever do that? That is the greatness of Bhagavan. His bewitching smile, his beaming forehead, his glittering radiant eyes, his sweet voice and measured words and his majestic form are unmatchable."
The following is from Rajan’s diary dated November 6, 1943:
After a brief discussion between Major Chadwick and Bhagavan on the necessity of periodic action to ensure that the body remains healthy, there was a ten-minute silence. Then a devotee asked, “It is stated that one should dive into oneself with a keen one-pointed mind-controlling speech and breath. Is it necessary to control the breath also?”
Bhagavan replied, “If all thoughts are controlled, automatically the breath is also controlled. By intense and sustained practice it will become habitual. Controlling the breath through various yogic exercises is like putting brakes to the train when the engine is working. But by watching the source of the mind with full concentration, the thoughts would get controlled. This method will be more effective and easy. It is like shutting the power of the engine and thereby stopping the train completely.”
- Face to Face