[Advaita-l] Ramana's method

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Sat Oct 6 16:51:01 CDT 2012

On Sat, Oct 6, 2012 at 10:45 PM, Suresh <mayavaadi at yahoo.com> wrote:

> Namaste,
> Many people are of the view that Ramana's method of self-inquiry is
> effective to realize nondual awareness. But I am confused. By asking who am
> I, are we supposed to find an answer? What exactly is the point of the
> inquiry?
> Looking for some insights.
> Thanks,
> Suresh

Dear Suresh,

Sri Sada ji has explained well.  In the Ramana method it is said that the
'Who am I?' enquiry is intended to 'trace the I to its source' .  When this
is done this enquiry is said to have accomplished its purpose.  Here the
'I' is the ego and by the 'source' is meant the true Self.  When the ego
sense is 'traced to its source', that is, realized to be none other than
the real Self then all the wrong identifications born out of not realizing
so are said to cease.

This is not contradictory to the Vedantic method.  The 'aham' vRtti, the
jiva, is ultimately realized to be the 'aham sphuraNa', the Atman which is
none other than Brahman.


// Q: Kindly explain Aham Sphurana (the light of 'I' - 'I').

M.: 'I' is not known in sleep. On waking 'I' is perceived associated with
the body, the world and the non-self in general. Such associated 'I' is
aham vritti. *When Aham represents the Self only it is Aham Sphurana*. This
is natural to the jnani and is itself called jnana by jnanis, or bhakti by
bhaktas. Though ever present, including in sleep, it is not perceived. It
cannot be known in sleep all at once. It must first be realised in the
waking state, for it is our true nature underlying all the three states.
Efforts must be made only in the jagrat state and the Self realised here
and now. It will afterwards be understood and realised to be continuous
Self, uninterrupted by jagrat, svapna and sushupti.

Thus it is akhandakara vritti (unbroken experience). Vritti is used for
lack of a better expression. It should not be understood to be literally a
vritti. In that case, vritti will resemble an 'ocean-like river', which is
absurd. Vritti is of short duration; it is qualified, directed
consciousness; or absolute consciousness broken up by cognition of
thoughts, senses, etc. Vritti is the function of the mind, whereas the
continuous consciousness transcends the mind. This is the natural, primal
state of the jnani or the liberated being. That is unbroken experience. *It
asserts itself when relative consciousness subsides. Aham vritti
('I'-thought) is broken, Aham sphurana (the light of 'I'-'I') is unbroken,
continuous*. After the thoughts subside, the light shines forth. //


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