Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian ramakris at EROLS.COM
Mon May 17 19:42:11 CDT 1999

Srinivas Sista <sista at ECN.PURDUE.EDU> wrote:

>> Actually that is indeed the situation.  The most famous proponent
>> this method, namely Ramana Maharshi admits this in many places. I
>> read the autobiographies of all his close disciples and they say
>> they could not do this for a very long time. For some, it took many
>> years after Maharshis death to engage in enquiry. Read for eg,
>> Devaraja Mudaliars autobiography or Ganapati Munis autobiography.
>> you they even had the benefit of personal association.
>True. He said that. In fact Ganapati Muni did have lot of difficulty
>settling down into enquiry. But, doesn't Ramana Maharshi also suggest
>enquiring about lower order questions which will eventually lead to
>grand enquiry "who am I"? I was trying to get at that. I should have
>explained a little more. What I was driving at was, enquiry need not
>start with "who am I". Since that is the last enquiry one undertakes
>before extinction.

Right. For the prepared person, the question "Who am I?" should lead
to realization. Sha.nkara bhagavat has pointed this out in his
aparoxAnubhUti. It is also true that  Ramana Maharshi  advised "lower
order enquiry" to certain people. But, I think we need to keep in mind
that answers are given by gurus according to the needs of the student.
If we read the "Talks with RM", he advised someone to do japa of
Gayatri, someone else to continue with his hatha yoga and pranayama,
and some one else to chant the name of Rama. There is no one magic
bullet for all students. You may find something easy, but Ravi and I
find something else easier. Guess what that is  :-).  Only a satguru
can point out which path will lead to vicAra most naturally for a

That is why it is essential to find a satguru. IMO, the sha.nkara
mathas serve this purpose admirably.


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