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Complete One-Pointedness Of Devotion – Sri Ramana Maharshi

The word one describes so many facets of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi’s life. Bhagavan is the foremost example of complete one-pointedness of devotion. Bhagavan surrendered to one God, Arunachala, staying at one place, Tiruvannamalai, the abode of Arunachala, for the entire period of his life from his flight from home in 1896 to his Brahmanirvana in 1950. Bhagavan had one lesson for everyone, and it can be summarized as: ‘Enquire and find out who or what you are. Leave all discussions about the world and its ways, even about noble intentions like the desire to serve humanity, and first solve the mystery about yourself.’ What is Self-enquiry but one-pointed attention to one’s own true essence? To do Self-enquiry is to withdraw attention from the many (the world, the variety seen in the world) and focus all attention to the One, i.e., the Self. It is a negation of the subject-object duality in such a manner that the subject alone remains.

All his life, Bhagavan taught Self-enquiry, and all his answers to seekers can be seen as exhortations to do Self-enquiry. Countless serious seekers found the magic of Bhagavan’s physical presence kindling Self-enquiry in them. And now, when Bhagavan is no more in the body, the magic continues: one who genuinely seeks Bhagavan’s grace, has Self-enquiry kindled in him. Indeed, Bhagavan has said that there are two paths for a seeker to consider according to his predispositions: Self-enquiry and surrender, but Bhagavan is quick to point out that surrender does not involve merely surrendering one’s possessions to God, but essentially surrendering oneself to God, and to surrender oneself, one has to first know oneself. Also, real surrender results in the complete extinguishing of the ego and the consequent attainment of true knowledge of oneself. Bhagavan was never tired of emphasising the need for absolute one-pointed devotion.

One may wonder if such single-minded, one-pointed devotion to God is possible for an ordinary person involved in numerous activities, and tied up with numerous relationships in the world. To that Bhagavan would say that one could very well give one’s entire attention to God and still carry on the activities of the world with an attitude of surrender; one need not worry about the activities; they would go on anyway.

Source - Excerpts from article titled 'Loka Vichara versus Atma Vichara' by Sanjeev Kumar Nath published in the Mountain Path January - March 2022 issue.