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Use the mind to investigate the manifested. Be like the chick that pecks at the shell. Speculating about life outside the shell would have been of little use to it , but pecking at the shell breaks the shell from within and liberates the chick.
Similarly , break the mind from within by investigation and exposure of its contradictions and absurdities. Since we know the world , we must concede for both a common Source , single but with the power of seeming many.
The picture of names and forms , the onlooker , the screen , the light that illumines — all these are verily It. From our perception of the world there follows acceptance of a unique First Principle possessing various powers. Pictures of name and form , the person who sees , the screen on which one sees , and the light by which one sees : one oneself is all of these.
On three entities — the individual , GOD and the world every creed is based. That " the One becomes the three " and that " always the three are three " , are said only while the ego lasts. To lose the " I " and in the Self to stay is the State Supreme. All religions postulate the three fundamentals , the world , the soul , and GOD , but it is only the one Reality that manifests Itself as these three.
One can say , " The three are really three " only so long as the ego lasts. Therefore , to inhere in one's own Being , where the " I " , or ego , is dead , is the perfect State. To leave the world alone and know the Self , to go beyond all thought of " One " and " Two " , this egoless condition is the common goal of all. That State is agreeable to all , wherein , having given up the objective outlook , one knows one's Self and loses all notions either of unity or duality , of oneself and the ego.
If Self has form , the world and GOD likewise have form. If Self is without form , by whom and how can form of world and GOD be seen? Without the eye , can there be sight or spectacle? The Self , the real Eye , is infinite. If one has form oneself , the world and GOD also will appear to have form , but if one is formless , who is it that sees those forms , and how? Without the eye can any object be seen?
The body is made up of the five sheaths ; in the term body all the five are included. Without the body the world is not. Has one without the body ever seen the world? The body is a form composed of the five fold sheath ; therefore , all the five sheaths are implied in the term , body. Apart from the body does the world exist? Has anyone seen the world without the body? The world is made up of the five kinds of sense perceptions and nothing else.
And those perceptions are felt as objects by the five senses. Since through the senses the mind alone perceives the world , is the world other than the mind? The world is nothing more than an embodiment of the objects perceived by the five sense organs.
Since , through these five sense organs , a single mind perceives the world , the world is nothing but the mind. Apart from the mind can there be a world? Though the world and mind rise and fade together , the world shines by the light of the mind. The ground whence the world and mind arise , and wherein they set , that Perfection rises not nor sets but ever shines. That is Reality.
Although the world and knowledge thereof rise and set together it is by knowledge alone that the world is made apparent. That Perfection wherein the world and knowledge thereof rise and set , and which shines without rising and setting , is alone the Reality. Under whatever name or form we worship It , It leads us on to knowledge of the nameless , formless Absolute.
Yet , to see one's true Self in the Absolute , to subside into It and be one with It , this is the true Knowledge of the Truth. Under whatever name and form one may worship the Absolute Reality , it is only a means for realizing It without name and form.
That alone is true realization , wherein one knows oneself in relation to that Reality , attains peace and realizes one's identity with it.
If one asks in one's Heart , " What is this ego? Only those who have found this know the Truth , and they will never be perplexed. The duality of subject and object and trinity of seer , sight , and seen can exist only if supported by the One. If one turns inward in search of that One Reality they fall away. Those who see this are those who see Wisdom. They are never in doubt. Note: " Twos " are pairs like pleasure-pain , knowledge-ignorance ; " threes " are triads like the knower , knowledge and the known.
There is no knowledge without ignorance ; and without knowledge ignorance cannot be. To ask , " Whose is this knowledge? Whose this ignorance? Ordinary knowledge is always accompanied by ignorance , and ignorance by knowledge ; the only true Knowledge is that by which one knows the Self through enquiring whose is the knowledge and ignorance. Without knowing the Self that knows , to know all objects is not knowledge ; it is only ignorance. Self , the ground of knowledge and the non-Self , being known , both knowledge and ignorance fall away.
Is it not , rather , ignorance to know all else without knowing oneself , the knower? As soon as one knows the Self , which is the substratum of knowledge and ignorance , knowledge and ignorance perish. True Knowledge is being devoid of knowledge as well as ignorance of objects. Knowledge of objects is not true knowledge.
Since the Self shines self-luminous , with nothing else for It to know , with nothing else to know It , the Self is Knowledge. Nescience It is not. That alone is true Knowledge which is neither knowledge nor ignorance. What is known is not true Knowledge. Since the Self shines with nothing else to know or to make known , It alone is Knowledge.
It is not a void. The Self that is Awareness , that alone is true. The knowledge which is various is ignorance. And even ignorance , which is false , cannot exist apart from the Self. False are the many jewels , for apart from gold , which alone is true , they cannot exist. The Self , which is Knowledge , is the only Reality. Knowledge of multiplicity is false knowledge.
This false knowledge , which is really ignorance , cannot exist apart from the Self , which is Knowledge-Reality. The variety of gold ornaments is unreal , since none of them can exist without the gold of which they are all made. But when the nature of the " I " is sought and the ego is destroyed , " you " and " they " are at an end. What shines then as the One alone is the true Self. If the first person , I , exists , then the second and third persons , you and they , will also exist.
By enquiring into the nature of the I , the I perishes. With it " you " and " they " also perish. The resultant state , which shines as Absolute Being , is one's own natural state , the Self. Past and future are dependent on the present. The past was present in its time and the future will be present too. Ever-present is the present. To seek to know the future and the past , without knowing the truth of time today , is to try to count without the number " One ".
Only with reference to the present can the past and the future exist. They too , while current , are the present. To try to determine the nature of the past and the future while ignoring the present is like trying to count without the unit. Without us there is no time nor space.
If we are only bodies , we are caught up in time and space. But are we bodies? Now , then and always — here , now and everywhere — we are the same. We exist , timeless and spaceless we. Apart , from us where is time and where is space? If we are bodies , we are involved in time and space , but are we? We are one and identical now , then , and forever , here , and everywhere.
Therefore we , timeless , and spaceless Being , alone are. To those who do not know the Self and to those who do , the body is the " I ". But to those who do not know the Self the " I " is bounded by the body ; while to those who within the body know the Self the " I " shines boundless. Such is the difference between them.
Use the mind to investigate the manifested. Be like the chick that pecks at the shell. Speculating about life outside the shell would have been of little use to it , but pecking at the shell breaks the shell from within and liberates the chick. Similarly , break the mind from within by investigation and exposure of its contradictions and absurdities. Since we know the world , we must concede for both a common Source , single but with the power of seeming many. The picture of names and forms , the onlooker , the screen , the light that illumines — all these are verily It.
Forty Verses on Reality Supplement (Complete)
The introduction and translation is taken from the book, Saddarshanam and An Inquiry into the Nature of Truth and Oneself. The Truth is silent. He is silent. He is the Silence. A name was given to him: Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi, and the eternal Silence, itself, poured forth in luminous verses, expressing the sublime, supreme Truth. This is Saddarsanam, The Revelation of Truth.