Tuesday, March 22, 2011

What is There to Realize?

It is false to speak of realization. What is there to realize? The real is as it is always. We are not creating anything new or achieving something which we did not have before. The illustration given in books is this. We dig a well and create a huge pit. The space in the pit or well has not been created by us. We have just removed the earth which was filling the space there. The space was there then and is also there now. Similarly we have simply to throw out all the age-long samskaras [innate tendencies] which are inside us. When all of them have been given up, the Self will shine alone.

- Sri Ramana Maharshi, posted to AlongTheWay

Ramana Maharshi is a revered Indian saint who experienced enlightnenment at he age of sixteen. He spent a good portion of his life in silence. When he spoke, his words were very powerful. He has been a pointer toward Truth for many thousands of people. Though I never met him, I do consider him one of my teachers.

I love the image of space. The idea that it's always there and objects arise and dissolve within this space.  We don't do anything except move objects around in the space. The objects might be snow that we shovel or furniture that we arrange in our home. Or the objects could be our habits of thinking or our long-held beliefs. Ramana tells us, as all sages do, to let go of the attachment to all objects. We are the space - the vast openness in which everything is. We can't describe this with words or use the mind to understand.  We simply BE.

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