MISCELLANEOUS

Search for Self

CHENNAI: Being aware of the Self is a conscious awakening in the inner core of one’s consciousness. This awareness lies beyond the rational and intellectual experience. One has to delve deep into one’s self and search for it just as one would hold the breath and dive deep into water to search for an object that had sunk in it. Self awareness is central to spiritual experience and Sri Ramana Maharshi’s life exemplifies this subtle Jnana in tangible terms, pointed out Nochur Sri S. Venkataraman in a lecture.

Jnana is a fire that consumes the mind and on deep reflection one realises that the Self or the Eternal I is beyond the reach of intellect (Budhi), mind (Manas) and ego (Ahamkara). Sri Ramana Maharshi is a preceptor, who was neither schooled in the scriptures, nor did he have any formal Guru to initiate him into the spiritual path. Yet his life has made an impact in the spiritual quest of many.

For instance, it is said that Sri Ramana Maharshi himself was unable to explain the strong hold and vibrations the term Arunachala had over his inner being. This unexplained aspect of spiritual awakening is symbolic of its complex nature that easily defies rational questionings and approaches. At the same time Sri Ramana’s fascination with the Periyapuranam establishes the truth that he could melt with love at the many ways in which Siva maintained a rapport with His devotees.

The cumulative effect of the following factors — the magical quality of the name Arunachala to synthesise his spiritual awakening, the augmenting of this experience with the different facets of Siva’s grace and benign concern gained from his thorough knowledge of Periyapuranam and the simulated confrontation with death experience that brought to the surface the awareness of I to clarify the dichotomy between the body and the Self — completed his search for the Eternal Truth. To be able to confront death while living puts into perspective the philosophical significance of the ever present awareness. That is why a Jnani has no fear of death.

Arunachala the mountain symbolises the form and the formless aspects of the Brahman and instructs humanity about the Eternal Truth.

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