Spiritual Teaching from the World's Faith Traditions
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“Can the ego, which is in bondage as the mind, become the Divine Self simply because it has once glimpsed that it is the Self? Is this not impossible without the destruction of the mind?
Can a beggar become a king by simply visiting a king a declaring himself one?
“Realization takes time to steady itself. The Self is certainly within the experience of everyone but not in the way people imagine. One can only say that it is as it is...
Owing to the fluctuation of the vasanas (inherent qualities).
Realization takes time to steady itself. Spasmodic Realization is not enough to prevent rebirth,
but it cannot become permanent as long as there are vasanas...
But if this is to be established further effort is necessary.”
The Teachings of Ramana Maharshi, by Arthur Osborne, p. 177.
But even if effort is necessary, why a guru, some ask? Once one grants that the Sages knew what they were talking about when they said spiritual attainment is an arduous path beset with dangers, it should be obvious that it is safer to be guided on it by one who has gone before and knows the way. That is one explanation; another is that the guru is a person of power. Grace flows through him to strengthen and support his followers. This can hold true for the simple guide or teacher to the highest jagat guru (world teacher). The prerequisite for both is that they know the way from traveling on it, never by just talking about it. Bhagavan Ramana was no exception. The Maharshi firmly declared to one who said that he never did sadhana or had a guru, “How do you know that I did not have a guru and did great effort, whether in this life or in one previous?”
Bhagavan said that in the final sense “God and Guru are one.” This is not said to glorify and enthrone a human guru as a God. But more to firmly reiterate that the work at hand is beyond human capacity. To demonstrate this Sri Sarada Devi said, “The power of the Guru enters into the disciple and the power of the disciple enters into the Guru. That is why when I initiate and accept the sins of the disciple I fall sick. It is extremely difficult to be a Guru. But, my child, I was born for this purpose. If I do not accept others’ sins and sorrows and do not digest them who else will?”
(Some of the above is paraphrased from the writing of Arthur Osborne).
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Sri Ramana on Spiritual Effort
This booklet is dedicated with respectful thanksgiving to Arthur Osborne, who in his life of discipleship to Sri Ramana Maharshi sought to bring understanding for those “of little dust”.