Every spiritual quest contains effort on part of seeker and later comes a stage when effort is actually a hindrance to the quest. It needs lot of preparation of body-mind complex to make them fit to receive the ultimate reality. In usual circumstances one needs a lot of ground work before doing self-inquiry. Saints like Ramana Maharshi are born with minimal or no contents in their mind and so their mind is already empty and capable of doing self-inquiry without prior preparation. At the time of his death experience he did self-inquiry on the problem of death and his self-inquiry is over in just 20 minutes and a new being is born in him. Old Venkatraman is no more there and there is only a void, emptiness filled with bliss came into being which cannot be named though Ganapathi Sastri gave him a fittest name as Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi. Such event is rare even in spiritual history and we should not imitate him. Common people like us require some preparation before doing self-inquiry. We cannot do self-inquiry without stilling of the mind. We cannot do
self-inquiry when thought flow is out of control. For many of us spirituality means some sort of “doing”. Such people even if they start doing self-inquiry they go on “doing” it with the help of thought. Thought is a response of memory and memory clouds perception. Thought is the result of current of past, even in the present and projected future the current of past continues. Mind separates itself from that current and feels as though it is a separate entity and in the process it gives rise to three entities, the thinker(False I), past and the future as though they are separate from one another. Thinker cannot go to the past, unless he is a product of the past. He and the past are one, not separate. Memory is ever continuing from the past, in the present, into the future. So the so called observer and the observed both belong to ast and so essentially they are same and so “doing” self-inquiry with thought keeps us in status quo though we have a feeling that we are doing self-inquiry sincerely for many many years with thought. That is why preparation of mind is required and mind should be empty of contents so that our perception is clear and we see the things “as it is” but “not as you like to see them.” Body, mind, heart, Soul are a single unit and are not contradictory to each other. This life is an opportunity for love and awareness to blossom. There is no fun of punishing the body like a sado-masochist and there is no fun of doing self-inquiry with thought because of lack of understanding. Life is a gift and we must be greatful to the opportunity given to us by the existence to do self-inquiry. It is better to do it with the background of proper understanding about self-inquiry. We continuously go on enclosing our mind through ego process and we say “Truth” is hidden. In self-inquiry limitations of mind are gone and the obvious Truth is revealed to us. Self-realization is not a reward of an spiritual practices. Reality comes into being when the mind is quiet and mind can be quiet only when it is simple when it is no longer in the habit of acquiring, storing, condemning, judging, comparing. It is only the simple mind that can comprehend the reality. So preparation of mind from present state of complexity to simple state is mandatory to comprehend the reality.
SHIVA SŪTRA-S by V RAVI
Shrimad Bhagavad Gita (In Hindi) by Ramananda Prasad, Ph.D.
YOGA OF GITA - INTRODUCTION by VIBHAKAR VITTHAL LELE
Self-inquiry is The Art of Unveiling The Self by P.V.S.SURYANARAYANA RAJU.