Monday, November 13, 2006

Purity of Mind

Bhagavan Ramana explains about purity of mind and we link it with another question on why some seekers get a glimpse of the Self, but it is not permanent.

Mr K. R. V. Iyer (Talk 337, Jan 22, 1937): How is the mind to be purified?

Bhagavan: The sastras say: "By karma, bhakti and so on". My attendant
asked the same question once before. He was told, "By karma
dedicated to God". It is not enough that one thinks of God while
doing the karma, but one must continually and unceasingly think
of Him. Then alone will the mind become pure.

The attendant applies it to himself and says, "It is not enough that I
serve Sri Bhagavan physically. But I must unceasingly remember Him".

A question was raised as follows by Maj. A. W. Chadwick (Talk 95, Nov 13, 1935):-
Mr. Edward Carpenter, a certain mystic, has written in a book that he
had Self-Realisation on some occasions and that its effects lasted
sometimes afterwards, only to be gradually lost. Whereas Sri Ramana
Gita says, "Granthi (knot = bondage), snapped once, is snapped for
ever." In the case of this mystic, the bondage seems to have persisted
even after Self-Realisation. How can it be so?

Dev.: Having once experienced the Supreme Bliss, how can one stray
away from it?
Bhagavan: Oh yes! It happens. The predisposition adhering to him from time
immemorial will draw him out and so ignorance overtakes him.
D.: What are the obstacles to remaining steady in unbroken Bliss?
How can they be overcome?
B.: The obstacles are:
(1) Ignorance which is forgetfulness of one's pure being.
(2) Doubt which consists in wondering if even the experience was
of the Real or of the unreal.
(3) Error which consists in the "I-am-the-body" idea, and thinking
that the world is real. These are overcome by hearing the truth,
reflection on it and concentration.

The talk goes on ... and comes to the necessity for purity.

Devotee.: It looks then as if even hearing the Truth is limited to a very few.

Bhagavan: The seekers fall into two classes; kritopasaka and akritopasaka.
The former having already overcome his predisposition by steady
devotion, his mind thus made pure, has had some kind of experience
but does not comprehend it; as soon as instructed by a competent
master, permanent experience results.

The other class of seeker needs great effort to achieve this end.
How will the hearing of the Truth, reflection and concentration
help him?

(By a strange coincidence, this conversation happened exactly 71 years back)