The death of the ego
in the words of Sri Ramana Maharshi
Extract of the book GURU VACHAKA KOVAI
written by Sri Muruganar a great disciple of Sri Ramana Maharshi
63 The Loss of Individuality
351. When scrutinized, is there any existing thing such as ego, the troublemaker, except a mere name [‘I’]? Certainly not! If at all anything exists [for the name ‘I’], it is truly Self, just as the thing which exists for the false [name] snake is truly a rope.
352. When the ego dies, its base, the supreme Self, shines in all Its fullness. No harm comes to You, Self, when the ego dies. Therefore don’t be afraid.
353. Those who have sacrificed their mind as an offering to Shiva in the blazing fire of the supreme Jnana-Tapas [i.e. Self-enquiry], are Shiva Himself. Knowing thus, we should also perform this Sacrifice and attain the State of formless Shiva.354. Do not doubt, with fear, what will happen when you completely lose your individuality [jiva-bodha]. The true State of Self will then Itself be yours, just as one will permanently remain firm on the ground when one loses one’s hold on the branch of a tree.
355. Since in sleep, where the world loses its reality, everyone truly knows his existence and the non-exis-tence of ‘I am this’ [i.e. his individuality], all must accept the Reality of the indestructible Self.
356. The State in which the thought ‘I’ [i.e. the ego] does not rise even a bit is the State ‘I am Brahman’. Does anyone become non-existent in sleep, where the thought ‘I’ does not rise?
357. If we scrutinize properly, the state of ‘I’-lessness is our Real State of Consciousness, in which the inertness of the fleshy body is fully removed. Does one not survive the loss of individuality [in sleep] without being affected? Know this truth by abiding in the State of Wakeful-Sleep [i.e. Turiya or Jnana].
358. To remain without ‘I’ is the State of Jnana – Self; truly, it is the blissful and peaceful State ‘I am Shiva’. Know that the same is the Kaivalya [i.e. Non-dual] State of Brahma-Nirvana, which is glorified as the State of transcending birth and death.
64 The Pure ‘I’ (Suddhahankara)
359. When the ego, ‘I am the body’, is annihilated, the unlimited and unbroken ‘I’ [Self] shines forth. The shining forth of this ‘I’ is not fictitious like the ego, which takes birth in a filthy body on earth and suffers in bondage.
360. Know that the natural, unbroken and ever-existing Heart, ‘I’, which shines free of delusion, is the Suddhahankara [pure ‘I’] which is seen in Jivanmuktas, since it has no sense of doership in any activity.
361. Those who live a perfect life of Mei-Jnana, attained by the destruction of the impure ego – ‘I am this fleshy body’ – will be revelling in Self, unmindful of the body, with great Peace devoid of desire.
65 The Shining Forth of Self
362. Only when one’s own Source, the Heart, is known through enquiry, will the false first person, ‘I’, fall down; and only when that false first person falls abashed, will the true First Thing, Self, spring forth in all its Glory.
363. When the insubstantial ghost, the ego – which rises from the darkness of ignorance and whose dance is itself all this universe – is enquired into, it disappears like the bridegroom’s friend [in the story], and when it disappears, Self, the Sun, rises up tearing away the darkness of ignorance, Maya.
364. The ending of the ego (1), by its drowning into the Space of Silence, is our [true life of] living as the Space of Jnana. Therefore when the ego disappears, like a false dream, into its Source, the Real ‘I’ [Self] will shine forth spontaneously.
365. This body is the cross. The ego (2) – the identification ‘I am the body’ – is Jesus. The killing of the ego through Self-enquiry is the crucifixion of Jesus. The survival of Self from the death of the ego, and Its shining forth as the Supreme Thing is His Resurrection.
366. The death of the ego in the unlimited Silence – the non-dual Truth – and the shining forth of Self is the Kaivalya-Siddhi [i.e. the attainment of Oneness]. In that State of Jnana, pure Bliss will gloriously blaze forth as one’s own [true] Nature.
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