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Ramesh Balsekar Quotes and Teachings

Ramesh Balsekar (May 25, 1917 to September 27, 2009) was a teacher of Vedanta. This is a collection of quotes and teachings of Ramesh S. Balsekar. The quotes have been collected mainly from books, magazine and newspapers.

The question of free will versus predetermination is really not free will versus, or free will against, predetermination. The free will is part of this predetermination. You consider free will as something you have as a result of a certain thought. But that thought occurring, leading to what you think is your free will is part of the totality of functioning. So it is really a misconception to consider free will as opposed to predetermination.

Self-realization is effortless. What you are trying to find is what you already are.

The whole point is that the mind-intellect, which is ego, is conditioned from the beginning that everything must have a purpose. Life must have a purpose. Why, because life is precious. You watch Nature and you see that life is anything but precious. Life has no value. Don’t you feel it? It has no value. A bird lays eggs, and another one eats them, and then something else eats it.


The real meaning of life is that life has no meaning it just happens.

The surest sign of spiritual progress is a total lack and concern about progress.

Every perceptible thin, including one’s body, is realized to be nothing but a product of the mind.

The only ultimate understanding is that nothing is, not even he who understands.

If you have the choice between enlightenment and a million dollars, take the million dollars! Because if you get the million dollars, there will be somebody there to enjoy the million dollars; but if you get enlightenment there's no one there to enjoy the enlightenment.

The meaning of life is that life has no meaning other than the living of it as a dream over which one has really no control.

To consider that the world has no meaning or purpose is merely to say that the world is not centered on humanity. Without his ideals and motivations, an individual is frightened of being a nothing in the nothingness of a purposeless world. In actuality, man's ideals of "purpose" as the basis of life and nature are nothing but his own conditioned concepts.

Nature cannot be seen in terms of human thought, logic or language. What appears cruel and unjust in nature seems so only when the matter is considered from the viewpoint of a separated and estranged individual human. But the rest of nature is totally unconcerned because the rest of nature is not human-hearted.

We do not really live but are being lived. There is nothing anywhere but the one universal, impersonal 'I', and not a single object anywhere has any existence independent of it. Once there is a clear apprehension that an individual human being is an inseparable part of the totality of phenomenal manifestation and that he cannot pull himself out of the totality as an independent and autonomous entity, man naturally ceases to have personal intentions. When he is convinced that living is a sort of dreaming in which he cannot have any effective control either over his circumstances or his actions therein, all his tensions cease, and a sense of total freedom takes over. He then willingly and freely accepts whatever comes his way within the totality of functioning that this dream-life is.

Separation is the absence of love, and love is the absence of separation.

Words can never transfer understanding. They can only open the way for one's intuition to rise into consciousness.

Insecurity can never disappear until the sense of separation itself disappears.

All these concepts have only one purpose: they are pointers to the Truth.

When the understanding is deep there is a feeling of gratitude and surrender to the Guru or consciousness or Totality or God.

All the items which make for insecurity have existed since time immemorial – poverty, disease, death, war – and all along there have been a comparatively few persons of understanding who have accepted insecurity as an intrinsic part of what we call life.

Essentially, what the average person wants out of life is just one thing: happiness. It is in this quest that he goes through life day after day in the firm belief that he will somehow, someday find final satisfaction through the things and circumstances of his world. There comes a time, however, when man gets utterly tired, physically and mentally, of this constant search because he finds that it never ends. He comes to the startling discovery that every kind of satisfaction has within itself the roots of pain and torment. At this stage his search cannot but take the turn inwards toward that happiness which is independent of external things.

Ramesh Balsekar Quotes on Enlightenment

  • Enlightenment is total emptiness of mind. There is nothing you can do to get it. Any effort you make can only be an obstruction to it.
  • For enlightenment to happen the perceiver must turn right around and wake up to the fact that he is face to face with his own nature – that ‘HE IS IT.’ The spiritual seeker ultimately finds that he was already at the destination, that he himself IS what he had been seeking and he was in fact already home.
  • When the apparent but illusory identity called a person has disappeared into the awareness of total potentiality that it is and has always been, this is called enlightenment. (Source: A Net of Jewels by Ramesh Balsekar)

Ramesh Balsekar on Past – Present – Future

  • The past is dead and the future is no-existent. There is only the present moment, the eternal present moment from which can be witnessed the illusory movement of the future into the past.
  • The present moment is not between the future and the past, but is the constant timeless dimension, outside duration.
  • The flow of time cannot be witnessed except from a position outside of duration.
  • It is stupid to live either in the frustration and successes of the past or in the projections of fears and hopes for the future. Remaining in the present moment, unconcerned with happiness or unhappiness, is the ‘within’ – the Kingdom of God, where there is nothing to be sought. (Source: Advaita on Zen and Tao – Insights on Huang Po and Lao Tzu by Ramesh Balsekar: Page 61.)

Ramesh Balsekar Quotes on Consciousness

  • Consciousness is the One without the second; the Source of everything. The totality of manifestation, and everything therein, is Consciousness Itself.
  • There is no individual entity as insubstantial shadow, whereas what we really and truly are, is Consciousness Itself, the formless Brahmn.
  • Whether the manifested universe exists or not, Consciousness is there as the subjective Absolute... There is no relationship between Consciousness and the universe. The truth is that Consciousness alone exists and is immanent in what appears as the universe.
  • God is that formless subjectivity, pure Potential, the infinite, universal Consciousness which alone exists even after the cosmic dissolution.
  • The final truth, as Ramana Maharishi, Nisargadutta Maharaj and sages before them have clearly stated, is that there is neither creation nor destruction, neither birth nor death, neither destiny nor free will, neither any path nor any achievement.

Basic Teachings of Advaita by Sage Ashtavakra

Sage Ashtavakra condenses the essence of Advaita in the following five verses:
  1. Desire is the root of ignorance, and so long as desire persists, the sense of the acceptable and the unacceptable, which is the sprout and branch of the tree of samsara, must necessarily continue.
  2. Activity begets attachment, abstention from activity generates aversion. Rid of the bondage of opposites, the man of wisdom, established in the Self, lives like child.
  3. One who is attached to samsara wants to renounce it in order to free himself from misery, but one who is not attached continues to live in samsara, and yet lives happily.
  4. He who seeks enlightenment as a seeker, and is still identified with the body as a doer, is neither a jnani nor a yogi, and suffers misery.
  5. Unless everything is totally forgotten, you cannot be established in the Self, even if Shiva, Krishna or Brahma be your preceptor.
(Source: Advaita on Zen and Tao by Ramesh Balsekar Page 60 and 61)

Ramesh Balsekar Thoughts on Enlightenment

  • From enlightenment one attains real bliss. Real bliss is the absence of even wanting the bless. It is total acceptance or total surrender. With total acceptance there is surge of great tranquility, peace and trust.
  • Enlightenment is an understanding in phenomenality of what the position is. It is an understanding pure and simple in which there is no comprehender and no one to surrender anything. This understanding can only come at the proper time and no one can say when. So long as there is expectation and a ‘me’ wanting, it is difficult that it may occur.
  • Enlightenment is the removal of the identification with the individual body-mind-mechanism. In a jnani (the enlightened one) there is no separate doer. All concepts have ceased. All that has changed is the jnani’s attitude, the perspective and understanding. A jnani merely witnesses. A jnani witnesses even his role. A jnani witnesses all the reaction, without getting involved. He does not react nor does he accept.