Maharshi’s Simple How to Guide on finding Your Self
After reading countless brilliant books on esoteric and spiritual guidance, I have come to the conclusion that despite the brilliance of many of them. You can often end up becoming blindsided by countless methods and ideologies in your search for finding true knowledge. ‘Be As You Are’ by Ramana Maharshi which was complied by David Godman is brilliant. The reason why this book is so brilliant is because of the clear and concise simplicity you will find in this book. I personally believe that due to it’s great simplicity, it is a must have for any person seeking to become more spiritual. Whether you have ambitions of finding god, finding peace/happiness, building the life you dreamed of or just simply finding yourself. This book is a one size fits all solution to many a complex problem!
Maharshi was not your typical New Age Guru
Ramana Maharshi was not the typical guru you will find in New age circles. I must also emphasise that he was not a Law of attraction coach. He was a highly unassuming man who lived a humble and quiet life. He didn’t seek fame, glory or hero worship, he simply wished to give people the keys to spiritual enlightenment in the most simple possible format. And when he used the terms ‘Spiritual enlightenment’. Maharshi wished us to understand that this term was about us simply finding peace of mind again.
I have come to enjoy Maharshis teachings on such a deep level, that I have practically discarded many of the books of gurus I used to read. My reason for this is because he never goes off on tangents. Maharshi keeps it plain and simple and emphasises the same point over and over again. Our only goal is to find the Self/God, this is the goal we must keep in mind and we do not need to concern ourselves or waste our time with anything other than this.
A Book for All Spiritual Seekers
I also wish to add that despite this book being based on Hindu Vedanta teachings. It can also be read by anyone interested in Buddhism, Taoism, Christianity or any other faith. This is a book that applies to all faiths and will give anyone a wider perspective on the true meaning of Spirituality. Maharshi wanted us to understand that all spiritual teachings have the same foundation and that was the discovery of the Self/ God. He also wished us to understand that finding this level of bliss and peace was something beyond all other achievements. You will also find many parallels in Maharshis teachings, with the more authentic Law of attraction/new thought teachers such as Neville Goddard, Joseph Murphy and Harriet Emilie Cady. All three of these writers, similar to Maharshi, kept their message clear, concise and on point.
Maharshi on How to find the Nature of Your Self
Maharshi is truly a sage that brings us back to the basics, he teaches us that in silence is how we truly find the true self and connect with God. He makes it very clear as I will show you in the following passages, that when we have found a place of stillness and quietness. We have then found the true self and are thereby connected to God.
I am now going to include some quotes from Maharshi himself from ‘Be As you Are’, I will allow the quotes to speak for themselves with as little commentary as possible from myself.
The Self As Pure Awareness / Consciousness
‘The reality which is the mere consciousness that remains when ignorance is destroyed along with knowledge of objects, alone is the Self’ – Ramana Maharshi
Maharshi conveys here that once we have found Stillness in the mind and non attachment to external objects. We are now in a place where we are truly looking inwards and have become aware of ourselves. Once we have achieved this stillness of mind and our rational reasoning ignorant thinking mind is not filled with thoughts. We have found our true Self Awareness, our true nature. Our true nature being peace and stillness of the mind.
Our true Self can only be experienced, when we learn to silence the mind and become aware of our true nature. We do this by drawing our focus within ourselves and withdrawing our focus from the external world around us and our numerous problems. There is nothing we need to attain or cultivate, we do not need a method to achieve this. We simply need to be aware of this pure inner Self that we are highly ignorant of. To find our Self, we must learn to simply ‘Be Still!’ and once we become still awareness will follow.
‘You Are Awareness. Awareness is another name for you. Since you are awareness, there is no need to attain or cultivate it. All that you have to do is to give up being aware of other things, that is of the Not- Self. If one gives up being aware of them then pure awareness alone remains and that is the Self’ – Ramana Maharshi
As you can clearly see here, Maharshi makes a complete mockery of endless spiritual teachings that urge us to seek this or to seek that or to ascend here or ascend there. Our true self is always present, we are merely ignorant of the fact it is always there. We do not need to go anywhere! We just need to become Aware of our true Self.
‘The Self is ever-present. Each one wants to know the Self. What kind of help does one require to know oneself? People want to see the self as something new. But it is eternal and remains the same all along. They desire to see it as blazing light etc.. How can it be so? It is not light, not darkness, it is only as it is. It can not be defined. The best definition is ‘I am that I am’ – Ramana Maharshi
Again, It is here right this very second just waiting to be acknowledged. It is only our cluttered analytical mind that stops us from witnessing our true inner hidden nature. Our true state of being, is when we have silenced the mind and experience a sense of complete awareness. We do not need a guru or spiritual master! We must simply learn to experience the ‘Silence’ and become ‘Aware’ of it.
You must not seek to keep defining this experience with lavish terms as the new age always wishes you too. We simply need to experience it for ourselves. We don’t need to become a New person or transform ourselves. Our true self is lying hidden underneath all of the soil we have placed on top of it. You just need to remove the dirt and you have found your Self again. Once we have rediscovered the self, we have regained our consciousness once more.
‘The state of Self Realisation as we call it, is not attaining something new or reaching some goal far away, but simply being that which you always are and which you always have been.’ – Ramana Maharshi
Again, your true self is something you have simply lost awareness of. We have been conditioned by society, family and friends to believe we are worthless or inadequate in some form or another. You have just become ignorant of who you truly are. You do not need to find yourself, just become aware of who you truly are!
Learning to Silence the Mind to experience Your Self
‘Q – You sometimes say the Self is Silence. Why is this? A – For those who live in Self as the beauty devoid of thought, there is nothing which should be thought of. That which should be adhered to is only the experience of silence, because in that supreme state nothing exists to be attained other than oneself’ – Ramana Maharshi
The supreme state of bliss, peace and happiness when we connect with the heart is self realisation. We do not need to go to other dimensions, have visions of divine figures. We also don’t need to have mystical experiences to understand this. The supreme state we are looking for is hidden beneath our conscious reasoning mind. It is the inner self we must connect with. Silence is our method for recognising this supreme state of being. .
‘That silent Self alone is God, Self alone is the individual soul, Self alone is this ancient world. All other knowledges are petty and trivial knowledges. The experience of the silence alone is the real and perfect knowledge.’ – Ramana Maharshi
Again all other knowledge is unnecessary, our focus is to remain solely on finding the Self we to discard all other trivial information. Too much knowledge gathering can simply lead us to more confusion. More confusion leads to greater disharmony of the mind. We are trying to seek peace of the mind here, not disorder of the mind. We are trying to seek the Silence, we experience the silence by freeing our minds from all attachment and clinging to the external world. This is the true definition of constructive meditation.
This is not a book about financial prosperity it must be added, it is a book about something much greater than material gains. It is a book which teaches people how to attain mental prosperity over all other things. This is a book about discovering your true Self and nature. It is a easy to understand method for finding mental peace and supreme bliss. My only regret is the fact, I found Maharshis work so late in my journey and not at the very beginning of my journey.
‘The Self cannot be found in books. You have to find it for yourself in yourself’ – Ramana Maharshi
I hope I have helped to add clarity to your search today for finding your your true self. ‘Be As You Are’ is a marvellous book for any spiritual seeker, who is lost amongst the sea of self help books in the modern age. If you are seeking to become more spiritual or even if you wish to understand the foundations for a more prosperous life. This could be the only book you may ever need in your collection. As Maharshi says himself, the Self can not be found in books but only for yourself in yourself.
Much credit must also go to David Godman for compiling Maharshi’s teachings in a such an orderly manner in one book. His work here was extraordinary. The book is not overly long, but captures the true essence of Maharshi’s message to the world in its entirety.