BHAGAVAN Sri Ramana Maharshi has taught us that eternal happiness is one’s real nature and the best way for realising it is for the Self to be itself. In other words one has just to be. Abiding as the Self, which is Pure Consciousness, is the greatest happiness, perfect and permanent. Any other form of so-called happiness, obtained from external sources is illusory and evanescent. It might go the way it came. So, the pursuit of the Self by the continuous quest “Who am l?” is the safest and surest way to dispel ignorance and remain as the Self.

I had once approached Bhagavan and asked him about the different locations suggested for concentration in various srutis, e.g., between eyebrows, tip of the nose, heart centre, muladhara, etc. Bhagavan who was reclining on the couch, got down and took out a copy of Sri Ramana Gita, from the rotating shelf nearby and opened it right on the page containing the sloka: If the Heart be located in anahata chakra 1, how does the practice of yoga begin in muladharas?

In yoga shastra, anahata chakra is the fourth, and muladhara is the first and lowest of the six centres in the spinal chord. It looked like a miracle when the book opened on the right page; but such experiences are common to devotees of Sri Bhagavan. He added in Malayalam, “Why should one desirous of coming to Tiruvannamalai first go to Kasi (Banaras) or Rameswaram and then come here? Why not straight to Tiruvannamalai instead of the long detour”? I felt a great sense of remorse when Sri Bhagavan had to point out this sloka from Sri Ramana Gita to me. Though I had with me a sacred treasure, a volume of Sri Ramana Gita in Malayalam in Sri Bhagavan’s own handwriting, given to me with his blessings, I had not closely studied it, or tried to put into practice the instructions contained therein. The whole of the fifth chapter entitled hridaya vidya deals with the technique of meditation and elucidates points regarding the respective functions of nerve centres, nadis, etc.

Also, at the daily vedaparayana at the Ashram in Sri Bhagavan’s presence, the verse appearing in Mahanarayana anuvakam at the end of Purushasuktam underlines the above instructions:
The Hridayam (the heart which is the place of meditation) resembles an inverted lotus bud. A span below the throat and above the navel. . .

So, the continuous quest Who Am I?, guided by the grace of Sri Bhagavan, who is always with us, will lead one to the Heart centre, the seat of Consciousness, which is neither within nor without, all pervading and eternal This supreme awareness is all that IS, and abiding therein is the ultimate goal.

Let us now have a look at recent developments in scientific knowledge At one time the world around us was supposed to consist of matter, made up of molecules and atoms. Physicists chased them further and broke them down to nucleus, electrons, quanta, waves, particles and fields. Einstein said that the universe of our experience consists of matter and energy in a space-time-continuum He established the famous equation E= MC2, where C is a constant representing the velocity of fight. Matter and energy became interchangeable. Max Planck, famous for his quantum theory, added a further dimension to this, stating that it is consciousness that is fundamental and that matter is derivative of consciousness As a corollary even space and time are only concepts of our consciousness. Thus scientists are veering round to the conclusion that since every object is a sum of its qualities and these qualities are perceived by us the whole objective universe of matter and energy, atoms and stars does not exist except as a construction of consciousness.

Yoga Vashista says:

All things that exist everywhere are experienced by us; there is nothing here anywhere which has not been experienced by us.

Bhagavan has told us that the world as such is not real It is real as Brahman or Consciousness. The world we see and experience with our senses is a product of the mind; the mind is part of the ego, which rises from Pure Consciousness, which is the same as Reality. One has to realise That and just BE.

The Other Worlds

Someone enquired of Bhagavan: “People talk of Vaikunta, Kailasa, Indraloka, Chandraloka, etc. Do they really exist?” Bhagavan replied: “Certainly. You can rest assured that they all exist. There also a swami like me will be found seated, and disciples like this will also be seated around. They will ask something and he will say something in reply. Everything will be more or less like this. What of that? If one sees Chandraloka, he will ask for Indraloka, and after Indraloka, Vaikunta and after Vaikunta, Kailasa, and then this and that, and the mind goes on wandering. Where is shanti? If shanti is required, the one correct method of securing it is by Self-enquiry and through Self-enquiry Self-realisation is possible. If one realises the Self, one can see all these worlds within one’s Self. The source of everything is one’s own Self. Then this doubt will not arise. There may or may not be a Vaikunta or a Kailasa but it is a fact that you are here, isn’t it? How are you here? Where are you? After you know about these things, you can think of all these worlds”.