Unveiling Bliss: The Quest Within

Unveiling Bliss: The Quest Within

A genuine seeker remains undeterred by the transient allure of names, forms, and the worldly affairs, constantly seeking the divine essence that lies beyond.

In the 13th verse of 'Forty verses on Reality' by Sri Ramana Maharshi, he emphasizes the absolute reality of the Self, the 'I AM' awareness. The Kathopanishad further underscores the transformative power of focusing unwaveringly on one's beingness, leading to the realization of Brahman. The profound mahavakya 'That art Thou' (Tat Tvam Asi) signifies the realized state of the supreme principle (tattvabh vam), proclaiming one's existence as Brahman.

The mantra 'Who am I?' serves as the mahavakya, guiding seekers to inquire within, transcending the limitations of the mind. It is not enough to merely acknowledge the Self with the mind; true understanding dawns when one delves into self-inquiry and witnesses the infinite nature within. Even the ignorance that clouds this understanding is illuminated by the very beingness it seeks to unveil.

Analogous to goldsmiths or thieves who recognize only the gold in ornaments, a true seeker sees beyond names and forms, recognizing the divine essence as the fundamental reality. Worldly attachments lose their significance, and the seeker turns inward, yearning for the divine truth behind external manifestations.

The story shared by Sri Ramana Maharishi illustrates the awakening from the dream of worldly problems. Like the friend awakening the dreamer to the absence of thieves, the ultimate truth reveals that all worldly predicaments are illusions. This realization is the direct path to enlightenment, far surpassing external solutions to transient problems.

Attachments to names and forms, without understanding the divine reality behind them, lead to misery. Vedanta teaches that true wisdom transcends both knowledge and ignorance, allowing one to abide in the Self, pure awareness. Abiding in such transcendence brings the cherished peace that eludes those entangled in the ephemeral world.

When desire for sense objects is merely controlled, traces of desire linger. However, in the presence of the supreme truth, these traces dissolve completely. Vishayarasa, the essence of worldly pleasures, finds its sublimation in contact with the source of all rasas—the param, the Atman, shining as 'I'. A seeker's ultimate goal is not external solutions but the internal dissolution of all worldly attachments.

To be free from the habit of extroversion, a seeker withdraws relentlessly from the sensory plane, resting the mind habitually in the essence behind all names and forms. The story from Vasudeva mananam exemplifies how meditating on a buffalo as Brahman, ignoring its name and form, leads to self-realization.

Objects of perception externalize the mind's thoughts, just as gold transforms into various ornaments. All these manifestations, whether as individuals or nations, are nothing but the Atman—the Self. The essence, Chit, is the truth. Emotions are like bubbles and waves in the ocean of awareness, rising and falling. Pure awareness remains the constant amidst the transient.

In the quest for self-realization, a seeker, like the dancing village girl, engages deeply in the world while never losing sight of the divine essence within. This natural establishment in one's own Self is the true samadhi, an awareness that withstands the storms of temptations and miseries.

By Nochur Sri Venkataraman

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