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One is often pushed out of this state of joy by the mind, which is linked to the past, to the known, to objective happiness. One might notice during meditation that the mind is sometimes literally itching to move away to its known field, thoughts and more thoughts.
All the problems of the seekers on the Ramana path lies in this half way stage when one is losing his anchorage in the ego, but has not yet been able to steadily abide at the source of the mind. Ramana has pointed out that the search for the source of the mind is the most intense activity requiring undistracted and total attention of an integral mind. Whereas normally, the intensity of one's mind varies from lazy wool-gathering to complete attention. Therefore there is every possibility of one being taken off guard, taken for a ride. The vagabond mind used to straying needs consistent and persistent inward effort to be focused on the inward search.
The spiritual path is not a bed of roses even for a very earnest seeker. Like the rough and smooth of the external life in the world, here too there are many on and off moods. One day, one may be floating in joy and on another day one could well be down in the dumps. We have the 'dark nights of the soul'. This difficulty is heightened on the Ramana path because one has to find the truth, not away from life, but in the very thick of activity. In any activity there is always danger for the seeker unless one is constantly able to relate the action and the thought to the mosaic of love for Ramana. There should be no seeking of or finding any enjoyment from the action or the thought.
This is precisely the time when one has to totally depend on Ramana's grace through constant prayer. One must hold on to the remembrance of his mighty power to shield the devotee from becoming a victim of his self-chosen erroneous ways when he is off guard. At this stage the tears of suffering of a seeker can be assuaged by Ramana, the 'Master of Maya', who alone can scatter 'maya, dark and intense'. Each of Muruganar's sacred verses has the power to turn the tide, by instilling confidence in Ramana's protective might. One of these verses from 'Ramana Deva' can be recalled and repeated in one's own mind often when confronted by the deep-rooted malaise of attachments born of repeated thinking in a particular direction.
True, I am vile, you immaculate.
But I have reached your feet and stand before you
Lord supreme, you can transmute
All that you touch into yourself.
Such is your glory. Then it is your duty,
Blue-throated friend within me dwelling
Ramana, mighty Lord, your duty,
To turn me into Shiva and make me shine.
For the courageous, the persistent, Ramana-dependent seekers, the crossing of the mental barrier, the delinking with the past is bound to happen. New vistas of vast spaces of the mind and heart are sure to open up.
The dawn of Ramana's grace is felt in greater vigilance against marauding thoughts, in the restoration of faith in self-enquiry and search for the source of mind. Gradually the power of the Self to draw the mind to itself would be felt, until one is irresistibly, 'That which is ever existing, the blissful Self'. The pure mind would be aware of the dance of the Self, as a surge of joy felt as 'I', 'I', in the heart.
About the author
Sri A.R.Natarajan has had the opportunity of a long association of over 50 years with the Ramanashram. He was the editor of "Mountain Path" for two years. He was the secretary of Ramana Kendra, New Delhi for ten years. He founded the Ramana Maharshi centre for learning, a non profit institution. He has authored more than thirty six books and eleven pocket books on the life and teachings of Bhagavan Ramana.
Chat With The Devotees Of Bhagwan Ramana Maharishi