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Be Still – Important Teaching In Hinduism

The grace of the guru can only function without any impediment when one can ‘be still’ in the true sense of the expression. ‘Being still’ does not mean ‘to be physically inactive’; it is the mind that should dissolve into pure consciousness. When the mind attends to the sense of self it is no more the mind as such, it is the consciousness aspect of the Self (atma-chit-rupam).

Our sense of individuality or ego sense generally identifies with our body-mind complex. However, one can discern that our identity is more with the mind than with the body. This can be easily verified by anyone. When one is physically ‘here’ and mentally ‘elsewhere’ such a person is really ‘there’ and not ‘here’ at that point of time. A person is ‘here’ whose mind is united with the body.

Varaha Temple In Khajuraho

Sri Ramana Maharshi says: ‘Mind is nothing but thoughts; “I thought” (ego self ) is the root of all thoughts. “I thought” is (therefore) the mind.’

So long as latent tendencies (vasanas) are present, thoughts will erupt one after another. It is not possible for anyone to be in a state of pure awareness while in the grip of unconscious identification with thoughts.

Sri Ramana Maharshi instructs us to investigate the ‘I thought’ with the pure mind, that is, with the attention withdrawn from objects and turned towards the subject.

Alternatively Sri Ramana Maharshi also suggests surrender of the mind to Arunachala (Shiva), the Self or Heart.

When one’s mind is thus immersed in the Self without emerging as a separate entity, Grace automatically takes over and dissolves the mind.

The ‘I thought’, the root of all thought is lost forever and Self brightness alone remains.

To ‘be still’ is the same as to be established in the Self after the dissolution of the mind, the ego self. Thereafter, who is there to make the effort ? The so-called seeker does not exist. The maker of effort has been liquidated and no more effort by way of spiritual practice is possible as an act of will (iccha). Like breathing ‘being still’ becomes a spontaneous expression of spiritual activity.

Sri Ramana Maharshi says: ‘When one is immersed in the (everlasting) bliss of the Self effulgence, revealed after the destruction of the ego self, nothing more remains to be done. How can he think of his state of being (which transcends the mind) who knows nothing apart from Himself.’

Source - The Mountain Path (magazine of Ramana Maharshi Ashram Tiruvannamalai) January 2005 - page 16 -17