How do we realize the eternal – imperishable? – an excerpt from editorial of January 2021 issue of The Mountain Path magazine published by Ramana Maharshi Ashram.
To do this does not come out of a mere whim. It requires a sankalpa. An intention; a firm resolve; a commitment. The stronger the sankalpa the quicker will the veils of self-deception dissolve.
For all of us who are working towards liberation, every moment is an opportunity to correct our thoughts and behaviour. As thoughts arise that are not directly involved with the worldly activity necessary for our sustenance and well-being, we hold onto that sense of ‘I’ without a name or a form. That silent, still moment between two thoughts. We have a choice. When thoughts arise of remorse as to where and when we had acted inappropriately in the past and we would like to change it, we evoke the necessary strength to face our deficiencies and resolve to act differently in the future, thereby not succumbing to their persuasive allure. This is a saṅkalpa.
We mistakenly consider ourselves as one complete whole and attribute everything that goes on within us as ourselves. This is a quite wrong idea. We are full of contradictory and conflicting ideas about who we are. One way to disabuse ourselves of this perception is by creating an observer and an observed. To dispassionately observe each and every thought objectively. You do not say ‘I’ to a thought. If you do identify with a thought, then it has power over you. Consider how we justify our negative behaviour because we identify over time an accumulation of grievances with the sense of ‘I’.
Sri Ramana Maharshi teaches us a direct method that we can remain centered in that sense of true sense of ‘I’ created by asking ‘Who Am I?’ It gives us the ability to go to the root of all our thoughts. This thought-free space does not feed on negativity, the guilt, the anger, the anxiety. Just as we resist distractions when we are focused on something important, in the same way if we are fixated on the ‘I’ awareness, all will flow in a natural progression.
But of course the inevitable complaint arises that we cannot do it all the time. We cannot do it in a crisis or when we are not in the mood. There are all types of perfectly valid reasons why we should not do it or more to the point, cannot do it. Be that as it may, again it all depends on one’s sankalpa. Nothing is impossible if we dedicate our energy and concentration to it. There are countless tales of people who defied the odds and came through adversity. We all at some point in our lives did heroic acts unsung and unobserved.
But these words by themselves will not help you, only your thirst for the truth will.
Originally Published: www.hindu-blog.com