Papaji is famous for comparing the mountain path of Ramana Maharshi to the razors edge. His eyes flashing with pure delight, Papaji would exclaim, “One thought is too much to carry on the razor's edge!” He knew the great secret of Ramana Maharishi. He knew the mind was the ten-headed demon that guards the ancient gateway of freedom—a single thought and you fall off his famous razors edge. Naturally, you might wonder how to stop your thoughts from knocking you off this mysterious edge?
When thinking of Arunachala the mind simply goes blank—falling endlessly into the vast no mind state of no one, nowhere, and from this silence springs the most sublime happiness. Certainly, this happiness has been written about and talked about since Ramana first popped into the global consciousness—but the direct experience of this happiness is beyond anything words can ever convey. Silence is the only true messenger.
The animal instinct to fight back, attack, and destroy is an aspect of the genetic mind that is perhaps the greatest nemesis of your natural happiness. This powerful movement of the genetic mind is based on primitive ideas of right and wrong or good and evil. It lives in the dualistic perspective of ‘us’ versus ‘them’ or one perspective versus another. Just take one small glimpse of the horrifying images of human suffering unfolding every day in the news and you can see for yourself the...
Most of our time and attention is given to the problems we face in life. Just when one problem is solved another problem pops up. Life seems caught up in the whirlwind of the ever-changing problems we face. It is the common experience to find ourselves happy one minute, sad the next, angry the next, and so on. This is the problem sickness of the world that generates varying degrees of misery as we move through life.
One of the many mysteries of Ramana Maharshi is his famous master and guru—Arunachala Siva—the sacred mountain of southern India believed to be the embodiment of Siva—the formless presence of God. This timeless master transformed Venkataraman, as he was known in his boyhood, into one of the greatest saints of India—Sri Ramana Maharshi—the great seer.
Around the world different spiritual perspectives, teachings, lineages, practices, ideas, realizations, and thoughts about freedom, self-realization, enlightenment, and the vast consciousness described as God, or pure being, are bantered about like a ping pong ball bouncing from one side of the table to another. This esoteric tug of war between different perspectives has evolved into an epic struggle to explain the unexplainable.
Perhaps the most famous teaching of Papaji is his ruthlessly true statement, ‘Nothing Ever Happened.’ This quintessential teaching of Papaji is so far reaching it annihilates the mind’s natural ability to grab onto definitions or concepts that define how we perceive the world and ourselves. ‘What?!” Your mind can protest. How could nothing ever happen? Certainly, you have loads of experience that says the exact opposite. Lots of things happen every day—right? But nothing ever happened is the essence of freedom—how could anything happen right now? Nothing is now.
Ramana Maharshi is one of the greatest spiritual masters of all time. His name is the essence of his teaching—the great unveiling of the indescribable presence, which resides in the heart of all beings. His life and teaching was and is a direct pointing to this living presence that has the innate power and grace to end lifetimes of suffering.
The word freedom can evoke many different ideas about what it means to be free. Often we think of freedom as doing whatever you want, but the freedom of enlightenment has little to do with what you are doing or not doing or what you are feeling or not feeling. We like the idea of bliss or feeling good or doing whatever we want, but freedom has more to do with facing what is uncomfortable, facing our fear and pain directly—an uncomfortable, intimate, examination of what is really here deeper than the circumstances of our lives.
Once again the entire world is confronted with the face of terror and the prison of belief it represents. The recent terrorist attacks in Brussels and Paris is a prison of ideology deeply ingrained in the egoic feeling that we are separate. This separation lives in the proverbial ideas of good versus evil, or us versus them, or good guys versus bad guys, or Muslims versus Christians. What is perhaps more horrifying is the ordinariness of the terrorists that committed these diabolical acts. If you strip away the labels jihadist, terrorist, radicalized Islam, or even martyr you are left with the horrifying reality that these are simply ordinary people who are intent on killing and maiming other ordinary people.