Self Knowledge, By Ramana Maharshi
By Ramana Maharshi
Self knowledge is an easy thing,
The easiest thing there is.
The Self is something that’s entirely real
Even for the most ordinary man,
It could be said that a clear gooseberry
Is an illusion by comparison.
The Self, which shines as Sun within the Heart,
Is real and all-pervading, ‘Twill reveal
Itself as soon as false thought is destroyed
And not one speck remains. For this thought is
The cause of the appearance of false forms,
The body and the world, which seem to be
Real things in spite of Self, which steadfast stands.
The ever-changeless, firm as Truth itself.
When Self shines forth darkness will be dispersed,
Affliction cease and Bliss alone remain.
The thought “I am the body” is the string
On which are threaded diverse thoughts like beads.
Therefore on diving deep upon the quest
“Who am I and from whence?” thoughts disappear
And consciousness of Self then flashes forth
As the I-I within the cavity
Of every seeker’s Heart. And this is Heaven,
This is that Stillness, the abode of Bliss.
What is the use of knowing everything
Except the Self? What else is there to know
For anyone when Self, Itself, is known?
On realizing in oneself the Self,
Which is the only self-effulgent One
In myriads of selves, the Light of Self
Will clearly shine within. This is indeed
The true display of Grace, the ego’s death,
And the unfolding of the Bliss Supreme.
In order that the bonds of destiny
And all its kindred may at last be loosed,
And so that one may also be released
From the dread cycle of both birth and death,
This path than others is far easier,
Therefore be still and keep a silent hold
On tongue and mind and body. That which is
The Self-effulgent will arise within
This is the Supreme Experience. Fear will cease.
This is the boundless sea of Perfect Bliss!
Annamalai, the Transcendental One,
That is the Eye behind the eye of the mind,
Which eye and other senses cognize,
Which in there turn illuminate the Sky,
And all the other elements as well,
That is again the Spirit-sky in which
The mind-sky doth appear, That shines within
The Heart which is of every thought quite free,
And with gaze fixed within remains as That;
Annamalai, the Self-effulgent shines.
But Grace is needed most. So faithful be
Unto the Self and Bliss will then result.