[Advaita-l] Ramana Yoga Sutras (2)

S Jayanarayanan sjayana at yahoo.com
Sun May 23 17:57:50 EDT 2021

(Continued from previous post)
I. “atma nishtho bhava” Inhere in the Self
1. ‘Atman’ denotes the body, the prana, the mind, the
buddhi, the individual and the ultimate. But here ‘Atman’
is only used to indicate the ultimate. Normally Self is the
word used to indicate the ultimate and self (lower case) is
used to indicate the individual entity. Already we are firm
in the notion of our individuality and this requires no teaching
from the Master. The master emphasizes that the aim should
be inherence in the ultimate.
2. By implication, the master insists that the sadhaka
turn away from all the affairs and ideas of the world. He
must be literally dead to it, so that he may be reborn in the
divine realm. The master teaches that we should strictly
abandon all activities, contacts and social functions of the
world, whether good or bad, whether for individual or for
social benefit. The aspirant should be a ‘nissanga’ (nonattached).
He should not allow himself to be carried away
by such propaganda suggesting that ‘living in society means
participation in it for the good of society’, or for that matter,
for any portion of society or even for individuals. He should
be non-attached even to individual matters, including the
attainment of mystic powers or better worlds, called
‘heaven’ in Christian and Mohammedan religions, ‘svarga’
in the Hindu and Buddistic religions and the several lokas
of Indra, Agni, Varuna, etc. (Indra, Agni and Varuna are
the devas or deities mentioned in the Vedas. They have
their own worlds or lokas). In the Ramana doctrine, there
is no God or gods, angels or archangels, powers or hosts
to rely upon for attaining this state of Self-inherence.
3. ‘Nishtha’ comprises two ideas: ‘shtha’ indicates
‘being in’; ‘nish’ means ‘firmly, never to come out’. The
use of ‘nish’ indicates that in the Ramana doctrine, once
one attains the highest state, there should be no coming
back down. In the Yoga Sastra the sadhaka comes down
to earth again even from the states of highest samadhi.
When the power of his concentration slackens, he reverts
to his normal state of consciousness—jagrat. Ramana
distinguishes this state as the state of practice and not the
state of attainment of the goal, which he calls the sahaja
state, the native state, the original state. According to him,
it is only when one forgets his pristine state that the notions
of himself, the world and the Lord of the World occur.
4. This aphorism defines the goal. It must be noted
that in Ramana’s opinion all other activities, even the
divination of the world, are futile. Without that knowledge
one can never understand his relation to the world and to
the Lord, nor the lesser aim of perfecting the world, which
will not and cannot be successfully done.
(Continued in next post)

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