The Hole

You live your life on the edge of a hole incomprehensibly wide and deep. The funny thing is that you think you’re not aware of the hole when everything you do, see, know, and feel including you itself is merely your effort not to fall in. You don’t have to find the hole. It’s what […]

Read More

When your attraction toward the Self increases

Richi asked the other day: Will sustained effort transform into effortlessness or is effort the very veil separating me from my Self? And in this second case, how can the mind make no effort, at all? I think this is an exceptionally good question because it leads straight to the heart of the matter. It’s […]

Read More

Department of totally missing the point

Somebody once asked me, “How do I free myself from conditioning?” I said, “Stop believing your opinions.” He answered, “But my opinions are true!” Photo by Felipe Carranza was taken during a sunrise in Bagan, Myanmar. Courtesy National Geographic.

Read More

The stick that stirs the fire

Let’s look at this well-known quote from Ramana Maharshi’s pamphlet Who Am I? The thought ‘who am I?’ will destroy all other thoughts, and like the stick used for stirring the burning pyre, will itself in the end get destroyed. There are two separate ideas in this statement: 1. A thought exists which, when you […]

Read More

Two sutras on meditation

1. Like your hand on a puppy’s belly: The quivering, the warmth. “Oh! It’s alive!” 2. Like a kite string tugging your hand. You tug back. The dynamic give and take. Unpredictable, surprising, never the same. (The second one is based on a remark by Rajiv Kapur on this page.)

Read More

Self-enquiry is the simulation of sahaja samadhi

If there’s one quote from Ramana that every serious seeker should know, it’s this one: Inquiry consists in retaining the mind in the Self. That’s from Who Am I? Here’s the same sentence in another translation: The name ‘ātma-vicāra’ [refers] only to [the practice of] always keeping the mind in [or on] ātmā [oneself]. That’s […]

Read More

Peas in a Pod

The eyes are the same, don’t you think? Both these guys realized the Self spontaneously as children, and both were spending a lot of time absorbed in the Self when these pictures were taken. The guy on the left grew up to be Ramana Maharshi, who said that nirvikalpa samadhi can’t bring about Self-realization. Maybe […]

Read More

Two ways to stretch

There are two ways to stretch. One way is by feel. You reach or arch or bend or unbend until you find the position that feels right. You know by feel when you’ve unkinked the kinks and decompressed the compression. The second way is by following instructions in a book or from a teacher. Sound […]

Read More

Ramana Maharshi boa_52

Imitating Ramana

From V. Ganesan’s book Ramana Periya Puranam: Sadhu Natanananda raged, “What a fool you are! What do you think you have come to Bhagavan for? For what function has he chosen you? It is only to make you like him!” Photo: Sri Ramanasramam catalog number boa_52

Read More

Dr. TNK

T. N. Krishnaswami

Dr. T. N. Krishnaswami, known as Dr. TNK, took most of the photos in Sri Ramanasramam’s archives. In the 1930s when he was a medical student he came from Madras with friends to visit Sri Ramanasramam for the first time. He brought a camera and took this picture: People at the ashram liked the photo […]

Read More