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Direct Words of Sri Ramana on Guru and Silence

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  • G
    G: For those that doubt that silence may be paramount and how effective it is versus endless verbalizations.... here is a little taste..... These are
    Message 1 of 11 , Mar 31, 2003
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      G: For those that doubt that silence may be paramount and
      how effective it is versus endless verbalizations.... here is a
      little taste..... These are the words of Sri Ramana.....


      S R: Silence is the most potent form of work. However vast and
      emphatic the sastras (scriptures) may be they fail in their effect.
      The Guru is quiet and peace prevails in all. His silence is vaster
      and more emphatic than all the sastras put together. These
      questions arise because of the feeling that, having been here so
      long, heard so much, exerted so hard, one has not gained
      anything. The work proceeding within is not apparent; In fact the
      guru is always within you.

      Question: Can the Guru's silence really bring about advanced
      states of spiritual awareness?

      Sri Ramana Maharshi: There is an old story, which
      demonstrates the power of the Guru's silence. Tattvaraya
      composed a Bharani, a kind of poetic composition in Tamil, in
      honour of his Guru Swarupananda, and convened an assembly
      of learned Pandits (pundits) to hear the work and assess its
      value. The Pandits raised the objection that a Bharani
      was only composed in honour of great heroes capable of killing
      a thousand elephants in battle and that it was not in order to
      compose such a work in honour of an ascetic.

      Thereupon the author said, "Let us all go to my Guru and we
      shall have this matter settled there."

      They went to the Guru and, after they had all taken their seats,
      the author told his Guru the purpose of their visit. The Guru sat
      silent and all the others also remained in mouna (silence). The
      whole day passed, the night came, and some more days and
      nights, and yet all sat there silently, no thought at all occurring to
      any of them and nobody thinking or asking why they had come
      there. After three or four days like this, the Guru moved his mind
      a bit, and the people assembled immediately regained their
      thought activity. They then declared, `Conquering a thousand
      elephants is nothing beside this Guru's power to conquer the
      rutting elephants of all our egos put together. So certainly he
      deserves the Bharani in his honour!

      Question: How does this silent power work?

      Sri Ramana Maharshi: Language is only a medium for
      communicating one's thoughts to another. It is called in only after
      thoughts arise. Other thoughts arise after the "I"-thought rises
      and so the "I"-thought is the root of all conversation. When one
      remains without thinking one understands another by menas of
      the universal language of silence.

      Silence is ever speaking. It is a perennial flow of language,
      which is interrupted by speaking. These words I am speaking
      obstruct that mute language. For example, there is electricity
      flowing in a wire.
      With resistance to its passage, it glows as a lamp or revolves as
      a fan. In the wire it remains as electric energy. Similarly also,
      silence is the eternal flow of language, obstructed by words.

      What one fails to know by conversation extending to several
      years can be known instantly in silence, or in front of silence.
      Dakshinamurti and his four disciples are a good example of this.
      This is the highest and most effective language.


      Questioner: Bhagavan says, `The influence of the jnani (self-
      realised) steals into the devotee in silence.' Bhagavan also
      says, `Contact with great men (mahatmas) is one efficacious
      means of realising one's true being'.

      Sri Ramana Maharshi: Yes. What is the contradiction? Jnani,
      great men, Mahatmas- do you differentiate between them?

      Questioner: No

      Sri Ramana Maharshi: Contact with them is good. They will work
      through silence. By speaking their power is reduced. Silence is
      most powerful. Speech is always less powerful than silence, so
      mental contact is the best.

      Question: Does this hold good even after the dissolution of the
      physical body of the jnani or is it true only so long as he is in
      flesh and blood?

      Sri Ramana Maharshi: Guru is not the physical form. So the
      contact will remain even after the physical form of the Guru
      vanishes. One can go to another Guru after one's Guru passes
      away, but all Gurus are one and none of them is the form you
      see. Always mental contact is the best.

      Question: Is the operation of grace the mind of the Guru acting
      on the mind of the disciple or is it a different process?

      Sri Ramana Maharshi: The highest form of grace is silence. It is
      also the highest upadesa (teaching).

      Questioner: Vivekananda has also said that silence is the
      loudest form of prayer.

      Sri Ramana Maharshi: It is so for the seeker's silence. The
      Guru's silence is the loudest upadesa. It is also grace in its
      highest form.
      All other dikshas (initiations) are derived from Mouna (silence),
      and are therefore secondary. Mouna is the primary form. If the
      Guru is silent the seeker's mind gets purified by itself.

      Questioner: Sri Bhagavan's silence is itself a powerful force. It
      brings about a certain peace of mind in us.

      Sri Ramana Maharshi: Silence is never-ending speech. Vocal
      speech obstructs the other speech of silence. In silence one is
      in intimate contact with the surroundings. The silence of
      Dakshinamurti removed the doubts of the four sages. Mouna
      Vyakhya Prakatita Tattvam means the truth expounded by
      silence. Silence is said to be exposition.
      Silence is so potent.

      For vocal speech, organs of speech are necessary and they
      precede speech. But the other speech lies even beyond thought.
      It is in short transcendent speech or unspoken words (Para
      Vak).

      Question: Can everyone benefit from this silence?

      Sri Ramana Maharshi: Silence is the true Upadesa (teachings).
      It is the perfect upadesa. It is suited only for the most advanced
      seeker. The others are unable to draw full inspiration from it.
      Therefore they require words to explain the truth. But truth is
      beyond words.
      It does not admit of explanation. All that it is possible to do is to
      indicate it.

      Questioner: It is said that one look of a mahatma is enough, that
      idols, pilgrimages, etc., are not so effective. I have been here for
      three months, but I do not know how I have been benefited by the
      look of Maharshi.

      Sri Ramana Maharshi: The look has a purifying effect.
      Purification cannot be visualised. Just as a piece of coal takes a
      long time to be ignited, a piece of charcoal takes a shorter time,
      and a mass of gunpowder is instantaneously ignited, so it is
      with grades of men coming into contact with mahatmas. The fire
      of wisdom consumes all actions. Wisdom is acquired by
      association with the wise (Sat-sanga) or rather its mental
      atmosphere.

      Question: Can the Guru's silence bring about realisation if the
      disciple makes no effort?

      Sri Ramana Maharshi: In the proximity of a great master, the
      Vasanas (subtle impressions that lead to desires) cease to be
      active, the mind becomes still and Samadhi results. Thus the
      disciple gains true knowledge and right experience in the
      presence of the master. To remain unshaken in it further efforts
      are necessary. Eventually the disciple will know it to be his real
      being and will thus be liberated even while alive.

      Question: If the search has to be made within, is it necessary to
      be in the physical proximity of the Master?

      Sri Ramana Maharshi: It is necessary to be so until all doubts
      are at an end.

      Questioner: I am not able to concentrate by myself. I am in
      search of a force to help me.

      Sri Ramana Maharshi: Yes, that is called grace. Individually we
      are incapable because the mind is weak. Grace is necessary.
      Sadhu seva (serving a sadhu or a mendicant) will bring it about.
      There is however nothing new to get. Just as a weak man
      comes under the control of a stronger one, the weak mind of a
      man comes under control easily in the presence of strong
      minded sadhus. That which is only grace; there is nothing else.

      Question: Is it necessary to serve the Guru physically?

      Sri Ramana Maharshi: The Sastras (scriptures) say that one
      must serve a Guru for twelve years in order to attain
      Self-realisation. What does the Guru do? Does he hand it over to
      the disciple? Is not the Self always realised? What does the
      common belief mean then? Man is always the Self and yet he
      does not know it. Instead he confounds it with the non-Self, the
      body, etc. Such confusion is due to ignorance.
      If ignorance is wiped out the confusion will cease to exist and the
      true knowledge will be unfolded. By remaining in contact with
      realised sages the man gradually loses the ignorance until its
      removal is complete. The eternal Self is thus revealed.

      Questioner: You say that association with the wise (Sat-sanga)
      and service of them is required of the disciple.

      Sri Ramana Maharshi: Yes, the first really means association
      with the unmanifest Sat or absolute existence, but as very few
      can do that, they have to take second best which is association
      with the manifest Sat, that is, the Guru. Association with sages
      should be made because thoughts are so persistent. The sage
      has already overcome the mind
      and remains in peace. Being in his proximity helps to bring
      about this condition in others, otherwise there is no meaning in
      seeking his company. The guru provides the needed strength
      for this, unseen by others.

      Service is primarily to abide in the Self, but it also includes
      making the Guru's body comfortable and looking after his place
      of abode. Contact with the Guru is also necessary, but this
      means spiritual contact. If the disciple finds the Guru internally,
      then it does not matter where he goes. Staying here or
      elsewhere must be understood to be the same and to have the
      same effect.

      Question: My profession requires me to stay near my place of
      work. I cannot remain in the vicinity of sadhus. Can I have
      realisation even in the absence of sat-sanga?

      Sri Ramana Maharshi: Sat is Aham Pratyaya Saram, the Self of
      selves. The sadhu is that Self of selves. He is immanent in all.
      Can anyone remain without the Self? No. So no one is away
      from sat-sanga.

      Question: Is proximity to the Guru helpful?

      Sri Ramana Maharshi: Do you mean physical proximity? What is
      the good of it? The mind alone matters. The mind must be
      contacted. Sat-sanga will make the mind sink into the Heart.

      Such associations both mental and physical. The extremely
      visible being of the Guru pushes the mind inward. He is also in
      the Heart of the seeker and so draws the latter's inward-bent
      mind into the Heart.

      Questioner: All that I want to know is whether sat-sanga is
      necessary and whether my coming here will help me or not.

      Sri Ramana Maharshi: First you must decide what is sat-sanga.
      It means association with Sat or Reality. One who knows or has
      realised Sat is also regarded as Sat. Such association with Sat
      or with one who knows Sat is absolutely necessary for all.
      Sankara has said that in all the three worlds there is no boat like
      sat-sanga to carry one safely across the ocean of births and
      deaths.

      Sat-sanga means sanga (association) with Sat. Sat is only the
      Self. Since the Self is not now understood to be Sat, the
      company of the sage who has thus understood it is sought. That
      is Sat-sanga. Introversion results. Then Sat is revealed.
    • Jeff Belyea
      Thank you for the post, Ganga. Enjoyed reading the ever-inspiring wisdom of Ramana. On a recent occasion I spent several hours talking with someone, and
      Message 2 of 11 , Mar 31, 2003
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        Thank you for the post, Ganga.
        Enjoyed reading the ever-inspiring
        wisdom of Ramana.

        On a recent occasion I spent several
        hours talking with someone, and enjoyed
        the company and the conversation.

        As I was leaving we offered each other
        the friendly gesture of a hug. In the
        silence of that hug more was communicated
        than in the preceeding hours of conversation.
        In those few seconds, a beyond-words,
        wonderful connection was made. The afterglow
        continues, resonates and radiates even now.

        And the last time you and I spent time
        together, we said very little, yet I came
        away feeling that we had come to know each
        other much more fully.

        Silence is truly golden.

        Much love and respect,

        Jeff
      • G
        ... Belyea wrote: J: Thank you for the post, Ganga. ... G: he has such clarity .... such a way with simplicity ... and direct
        Message 3 of 11 , Mar 31, 2003
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          --- In meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com, "Jeff
          Belyea" <jeff@s...> wrote:


          J: > Thank you for the post, Ganga.
          > Enjoyed reading the ever-inspiring
          > wisdom of Ramana.

          G: he has such clarity .... such a way with simplicity ... and
          direct communication.... no ambiguity ... just straight honesty....


          J:> On a recent occasion I spent several
          > hours talking with someone, and enjoyed
          > the company and the conversation.
          >
          > As I was leaving we offered each other
          > the friendly gesture of a hug. In the
          > silence of that hug more was communicated
          > than in the preceeding hours of conversation.
          > In those few seconds, a beyond-words,
          > wonderful connection was made. The afterglow
          > continues, resonates and radiates even now.

          G: yes when the heart moves it is much more present than
          words ..... Silence remains ever present and stills all within it's
          path.... it brings it to an emptiness of content suffused with the
          ever present Source and it's purity .... no mattter what the outer
          appearances of the moment.....


          J: > And the last time you and I spent time
          > together, we said very little, yet I came
          > away feeling that we had come to know each
          > other much more fully.
          >
          > Silence is truly golden.

          G: it appears i speak much ... over the net words appear....
          but in person the words are falling away .... more and
          more every day there is less need to speak.... spent the
          afternoon with a friend but conversation was so lacking
          whereas Silence is the Vastness filled to the brim with
          the Whole .... Source/Existance - One ...... a moving dance
          of creation - sustaining and destruction all in the ever
          present moment...... it's vastness and openness are
          filled with Bliss....

          this is transmitted within the presense of a Guru when
          that Guru is open to the stillness and does not disturb
          it by speaking and sullying it's beauty and Wholeness of
          Purity and Wonder.....

          it was within the 1/2 hour of Silence that everyone was
          moved during darshan in Newport.... it opened hearts.....
          the time speaking feeds minds....

          Silent transmission is indeed valid when one is within the
          Stilled mind of Being.....

          shanti om


          >
          > Much love and respect,
          >
          > Jeff
        • judirhodes
          Do you think you could parade around the fact of what a little woman you really are any better? Eh, Ganga? Judi ... honesty.... ... it s ... the ... dance
          Message 4 of 11 , Mar 31, 2003
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            Do you think you could parade around the fact of what a "little
            woman" you really are any better? Eh, Ganga?

            Judi



            --- In meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com, "G"
            <crystalkundalini@h...> wrote:
            > --- In meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com, "Jeff
            > Belyea" <jeff@s...> wrote:
            >
            >
            > J: > Thank you for the post, Ganga.
            > > Enjoyed reading the ever-inspiring
            > > wisdom of Ramana.
            >
            > G: he has such clarity .... such a way with simplicity ... and
            > direct communication.... no ambiguity ... just straight
            honesty....
            >
            >
            > J:> On a recent occasion I spent several
            > > hours talking with someone, and enjoyed
            > > the company and the conversation.
            > >
            > > As I was leaving we offered each other
            > > the friendly gesture of a hug. In the
            > > silence of that hug more was communicated
            > > than in the preceeding hours of conversation.
            > > In those few seconds, a beyond-words,
            > > wonderful connection was made. The afterglow
            > > continues, resonates and radiates even now.
            >
            > G: yes when the heart moves it is much more present than
            > words ..... Silence remains ever present and stills all within
            it's
            > path.... it brings it to an emptiness of content suffused with
            the
            > ever present Source and it's purity .... no mattter what the outer
            > appearances of the moment.....
            >
            >
            > J: > And the last time you and I spent time
            > > together, we said very little, yet I came
            > > away feeling that we had come to know each
            > > other much more fully.
            > >
            > > Silence is truly golden.
            >
            > G: it appears i speak much ... over the net words appear....
            > but in person the words are falling away .... more and
            > more every day there is less need to speak.... spent the
            > afternoon with a friend but conversation was so lacking
            > whereas Silence is the Vastness filled to the brim with
            > the Whole .... Source/Existance - One ...... a moving
            dance
            > of creation - sustaining and destruction all in the ever
            > present moment...... it's vastness and openness are
            > filled with Bliss....
            >
            > this is transmitted within the presense of a Guru when
            > that Guru is open to the stillness and does not disturb
            > it by speaking and sullying it's beauty and Wholeness of
            > Purity and Wonder.....
            >
            > it was within the 1/2 hour of Silence that everyone was
            > moved during darshan in Newport.... it opened hearts.....
            > the time speaking feeds minds....
            >
            > Silent transmission is indeed valid when one is within the
            > Stilled mind of Being.....
            >
            > shanti om
            >
            >
            > >
            > > Much love and respect,
            > >
            > > Jeff
          • asimpjoy
            Hi Ganga, This reminds me of what its like when I hang out with you. The momentum of my internal dialogue gets suspended, ... And a different kind of energy
            Message 5 of 11 , Mar 31, 2003
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              Hi Ganga,

              This reminds me of what its like when I hang out with you.
              The momentum of my internal dialogue gets suspended,
              ... And a different kind of "energy" begins to take place?
              - even amongst all the activity and small talk!

              Is Silence then the most potent action there is???

              I sat in Silence this morning,
              And watched my mind chatter.
              ... I wonder if it will ever end?

              Pure Silence seems to remain just out of reach,
              Because the internal dialogue just keeps on going.
              ... And yet there is that sweet fragrance of another dimension.

              It is calling.

              With love and affection,
              Tony
            • G
              ... Namaste - ... G: this is one reason that it is of value.... ... G: it is one way to cut through things rapidly.... ... G: where is it rising from
              Message 6 of 11 , Mar 31, 2003
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                --- In meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com, asimpjoy
                <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                >
                > Hi Ganga,
                Namaste -


                > This reminds me of what its like when I hang out with you.
                > The momentum of my internal dialogue gets suspended,
                > ... And a different kind of "energy" begins to take place?
                > - even amongst all the activity and small talk!

                G: this is one reason that it is of value....

                > Is Silence then the most potent action there is???

                G: it is one way to cut through things rapidly....


                > I sat in Silence this morning,
                > And watched my mind chatter.
                > ... I wonder if it will ever end?

                G: where is it rising from ?

                > Pure Silence seems to remain just out of reach,
                > Because the internal dialogue just keeps on going.
                > ... And yet there is that sweet fragrance of another dimension.
                >
                > It is calling.

                G: it will come ... sometimes you try to hard... don't try to get it -
                relax in it .....


                > With love and affection,
                > Tony
              • devianandi
                This reminds me of what its like when I hang out with you. The momentum of my internal dialogue gets suspended, ... And a different kind of energy begins to
                Message 7 of 11 , Mar 31, 2003
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                  This reminds me of what its like when I hang out with you.
                  The momentum of my internal dialogue gets suspended,
                  ... And a different kind of "energy" begins to take place?
                  even amongst all the activity and small talk!
                  >
                  > G: this is one reason that it is of value....
                  >
                  > > Is Silence then the most potent action there is???
                  >
                  > G: it is one way to cut through things rapidly....
                  devi: my Guru is extremenly powerful probably due to being silent
                  since 1952, very profound activity
                  >
                  >
                  > > I sat in Silence this morning,
                  > > And watched my mind chatter.
                  > > ... I wonder if it will ever end?

                  devi: when you leave creation it will
                  >
                  > G: where is it rising from ?
                  >
                  Pure Silence seems to remain just out of reach,
                  > > Because the internal dialogue just keeps on going.
                  > > ... And yet there is that sweet fragrance of another dimension.
                  > >
                  > > It is calling.
                  >
                  > G: it will come ... sometimes you try to hard... don't try to
                  get it -
                  > relax in it .....
                  >
                  >
                  devi: i remember you making fun of my Guru Baba Hari Dass for being
                  silent...
                • G
                  ... for being silent... G: one may remain in silence and still speak... it has to do with the mind and not the movement of the mouth.... mouni is silent
                  Message 8 of 11 , Mar 31, 2003
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                    --- In meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com,
                    devianandi <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                    >

                    > devi: i remember you making fun of my Guru Baba Hari Dass
                    for being silent...

                    G: one may remain in silence and still speak... it has to do with
                    the mind and not the movement of the mouth.... mouni is silent
                    mind.... but many confuse it with no speaking ... although
                    sometimes when the mind is stilled then also one simply finds
                    no need to speak....
                  • devianandi
                    devi: i remember you making fun of my Guru Baba Hari Dass for being silent... G: one may remain in silence and still speak... it has to do with the mind
                    Message 9 of 11 , Mar 31, 2003
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                      devi: i remember you making fun of my Guru Baba Hari Dass
                      for being silent...

                      G: one may remain in silence and still speak... it has to do
                      with the mind and not the movement of the mouth.... mouni is
                      silent mind.... but many confuse it with no speaking ...
                      although sometimes when the mind is stilled then also one simply
                      finds no need to speak....
                      devi: i'm sure that baba hari dass doesn't get confused..i still
                      answer that inner silence, added to this, outer silence is more
                      powerful then inner silence with verbalization...
                    • asimpjoy
                      (snip) ... G: where is it rising from ? **** T: I don t know? Intellectually I say it is a biochemical reaction in the brain. First there is a perceptual
                      Message 10 of 11 , Mar 31, 2003
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                        (snip)
                        > I sat in Silence this morning,
                        > And watched my mind chatter.
                        > ... I wonder if it will ever end?

                        G: where is it rising from ?

                        **** T: I don't know?
                        "Intellectually" I say it is a biochemical reaction in the brain.
                        First there is a perceptual stimulus, which then creates the reaction
                        of thought, and then thinking creates the reaction of more thought -
                        challenge and response, and then another challenge and another
                        response, and so on and on.
                        ... A habitual process that just keeps on going, with seldom even a
                        brief pause.

                        However, I don't think this is what you are asking, is it?
                        ... And so I say I don't know.

                        Where does it come from? And where does it go?
                        ... I don't know. I don't know?

                        Maybe I need to pay better attention?

                        Love,
                        Tony
                      • G
                        ... reaction of thought, and then thinking creates the reaction of more thought - challenge and response, and then another challenge and another response, and
                        Message 11 of 11 , Mar 31, 2003
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                          --- In meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com, asimpjoy
                          <no_reply@y...> wrote:
                          >
                          > (snip)
                          > > I sat in Silence this morning,
                          > > And watched my mind chatter.
                          > > ... I wonder if it will ever end?
                          >
                          > G: where is it rising from ?
                          >
                          > **** T: I don't know?


                          > "Intellectually" I say it is a biochemical reaction in the brain.
                          > First there is a perceptual stimulus, which then creates the
                          reaction of thought, and then thinking creates the reaction of
                          more thought - challenge and response, and then another
                          challenge and another response, and so on and on.
                          > ... A habitual process that just keeps on going, with seldom
                          even a brief pause.
                          >
                          > However, I don't think this is what you are asking, is it?
                          > ... And so I say I don't know.

                          G: really can you believe that chemicals make up thoughts ...?
                          if that were true then a chemical could make one a genius...
                          quit trying to give an intelligent answer and really look at it....

                          so when thoughts come and go does that mean that
                          chemicals are not stable that they also come and go?
                          what chemical composition comprises the word OM ?
                          very quickly one can see that this doesn't hold water.....


                          g:> Where does it come from? And where does it go?


                          T:> ... I don't know. I don't know?
                          > Maybe I need to pay better attention?

                          G: so how deeply have you really been enquiring into the nature
                          of things? chasing and second guessing thoughts is not
                          looking deeply into the nature of things... that is simply creating
                          more surface motion... you need to observe ... patiently.....

                          then question.... then equiry will begin..... when one get's sick
                          and tired of it all..... then they will start to enquire and will
                          confront themselves head on ... then barriers will fall.....


                          >
                          > Love,
                          > Tony

                          shanti om and love
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