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Make An Effort To Be Without Effort – The Way To Self Realization

“Make an effort to be without effort," Sri Ramana Maharshi would say and this is truly the way to self realization. In fact, don't do anything because actually there is nothing to do. The whole trouble with us all is this constant doing, associating ourselves with all sorts of actions and circumstances and so putting apparent limitations on the Illimitable.

How can speech do more than point out to us our mistake! It can tell us only to "be", not to be this or to be that, because being this or that is back again in the realm of limitation and it is just exactly here Ramana Maharshi is trying to make us understand that we are wrong.

And is there really any method of reaching that which is eternally and for ever here and now? Yes, Sri Ramana taught Self Enquiry. Find out who is this eternal and ever conscious being you really are. The method of "Who am I" in fact. But that was all. "Just be yourself," in other words, and to be yourself you must get behind phenomena to the Eternal Witness and this can only be done by Self-enquiry.

Regulation of diet, restricting it to sattvic food taken in moderate quantities, is of all rules of conduct the best and is most conducive to the development of sattvic qualities of the mind. These, in their turn, assist us in the practice of Atma vichara or enquiry in quest of the Self. For the mind is the product of the food we eat, he explained; purify the food and the mind automatically becomes pure. Again: Likes and dislikes, love and hatred are equally to be eschewed. Nor is it proper to let the mind rest often on the affairs of worldly life. As far as possible one should not interfere in the affairs of others. Everything offered to others is really an offering to oneself; and if only this is realized, who is there that could refuse anything to others! If the ego rises all else will arise, if it subsides all else will also subside. The deeper the humility with which we conduct ourselves the better for us. If only the mind is kept under control, what matters it where one may happen to be?"

It all sounds so simple put like this, and yet how many of us succeed? No question here of going off and taking sannyasa, for as he says: "Renunciation is not discarding external things, but the cancellation of the uprising ego." And this can quite possibly be done more effectively in the world and amidst family life. For to the determined seeker some opposition is surely good; it gives him something to work on and keeps him alert, just as the aeroplane needs the opposition of the air to hold it aloft.

Source - From The Call Divine, January 1953