(Quote) from BE AS YOU ARE: The Teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi

1. THE SELF: This is the term that he used the most frequently. He defined it by saying that the real Self or real `I’ is, contrary to perceptible experience, not an experience of individuality but a non – personal, all-inclusive awareness. It is not to be confused with the individual self which he said was essentially non-existent, being a fabrication of the mind which obscures the true experience of the real Self. He maintained that the real Self is always present and always experienced but he emphasized that one is only consciously aware of it as it really is when the self-limiting tendencies of the mind have ceased. Permanent and continuous Self-awareness is known as Self – realization.

5.  JNANA:  The experience of the Self is sometimes called jnana or knowledge. This term should not be taken to mean that there is a person who has knowledge of the Self, because in the state of Self-awareness there is no localized knower and there is nothing that is separate from the Self that can be known. True knowledge, or jnana, is not an object of experience, nor is it an understanding of a state which is different and apart from the subject knower; it is a direct and knowing awareness of the one reality in which subjects and objects have ceased to exist. One who is established in this state is known as a jnani.

(Comment) Understanding the Nature of the Self as experienced through the traditional practice of Yoga and by self realized souls is not as simple as merely studying the material.  The study of the material is important as a basis or clue to the nature of Reality, but practice is equally important because practice does something remarkable. Essentially it radially alters the experiential perception of the practitioner.  One comes to realise that there is a way of Seeing that is completely different to that which we term normal perception and one can only understand this by experiencing it.  It cannot be conveyed except as an idea.  What also becomes clear is that at first this altered perception is not stable.  We pop in and out of it and eventually we come to see its absence is a kind of blindness.  In Yoga this wavering is attributed to the fluctuations of Mind Stuff or Citta. (Read: I.K.Taimni – The Science of Yoga to understand Citta).  Eventually, (through practice) this altered perception becomes stable until the state prevails.  Swami Bawra called it Stable Wisdom.   The effect of this stable perception is a doubtless knowledge, which deepens with time and practice. A dynamic state where Knowledge of Existence is Seen or perceived not learned. This Seeing eventually reveals the reality of the true Self to the practitioner. It then becomes possible to focus on anything one wishes to know about Cosmic Law and it is instantly present in awareness.  Only then can one properly realise the beauty of what is written above.

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