Nonduality: The Varieties of Expression




Shankar's Home Page


On the Act and Art of Translation


Sri Sadhu Om Swamigal's writings on Ramana


upadESa undiyAr
by Bhagawan Sri Ramana Maharshi


Synopsis of the Story of the futility of the vEdic and other actions to grant Self-Knowledge


Five Jewels in Praise of the Feet of Sri Ramana


On the eve of Sri Ramana Jayanti


Grateful Remembrance of Sri Bhagawan on His Mahasamadhi Day


New Insights into Self-Enquiry


The Papadam Song by Sri Bhagawan


Atma Bodha


Dakshinamurthy Stotra


Self-Knowing Song


  New(!) insights into Self-Enquiry
by R.K. Shankar

Dear All

As I have been practising Self-Inquiry, some new insights
from actual experience are coming in. May be, these
things will help others. Or, some others already know
this. In which case, they can communicate. And, that will
reinforce each other's experience and faith. The true
purpose of one's being in a satsang.

As I practise Self-Enquiry, I find that suddenly there is
an out and down rush of ego from within. And, that the
consciousness becomes too externalised, automatically
arresting the Self-Inquiry and bringing in world-inquiry(!).

In fact, once a devotee asked thus to Sri Bhagawan,
'Should we do Self-Enquiry always?' And, promptly Sri
Bhagawan replied, 'If we do not perform Self-Enquiry,
world-enquiry will automatically creep in. So, why not
persist in Self-Enquiry itself?'

This is, of course, good. As Sri Bhagawan has stated in
an answer to a question raised by our great Sri Siva
Prakasam Pillai and recorded in the small booklet titled
'Who am I?' Sri Bhagawan states that only if the enemy
soldiers (of thoughts, whatever these may be) come from
within the fort one by one, we can kill them by
Self-inquiry and gain entry into and occupy the fort (of
the Self)

However, this out and down rush of the ego occurs so
swiftly. And, it seems to occur in increasing degrees of
horizontal projection and downward fall. First there is
this increase of the width of the ego dragging and
pinning the attention on the 'other'. And then, there is
this increase in the depth of the reach of the ego,
dragging and pinning the attention on the 'grosser'.
Finally, the ego has struck the heel as is stated in
Genesis(!) of the Old Testament

Now, it is our turn to strike its hood, again, as stated
in Genesis(!) of the Old Testament, through Self-Enquiry
as suggested by Sri Bhagawan.

Sri Bhagawan has stated that this Self-Enquiry is to be
done in 3 steps.

1 'For whom is this thought?' (not verbally, but
inwardly) This is to turn the attention from the other.

2 Then, there will be the response from within 'For me'.

3 Then, we have enquire 'Who am I'? (not verbally, but

My difficulty was that once by the sudden out and down
rush of the ego, my consciouness becomes too heavily
externalized in thickness and depth, it becomes too
difficult to commence the enquiry by the 1st step 'For
whom is this thought?'

However, it suddenly struck me that I have to both lift
up and compact the ego. That is, shrink it both
horizontally and vertically. So, I started uttering the
words 'lift up' a couple of times. Without really knowing
what could be the result. This, compacted the ego so
quickly that the ability to enquire 'For whom is this
thought' was handed back to me, as it were. So, the
thought about vertical lifting up brings about the
horizontal compaction, surprisingly enough

And then, upon successfully commencing the Self-Enquiry
with the thought 'For whom is this thought', the vertical
lifting up occurs. So, the thought about horizontal
compaction, brings about the lifting up of the ego, less
surprising this time though(!) And also the awareness or
the response that 'For me is this thought' or 'I am the
thinker' powerfully returns at this stage.

Now, we can hold the attention lightly over the tip of
the compacted and lifted ego, and continue the attention
as to 'Who I am'. Thus, completing one cycle of the
process of Self-Enquiry through the mind.

Then, as Saint Sri Sadhu Aum has observed, this
self-attention automatically slackens. We can leave the
process for a couple of minutes. Chanting the Name
'Arunachala Siva'. Now, we are not chanting the Name of
God in vain, as the Old Testament warns us not to.

Then, we can recommence the process of Self-inquiry.

Yours in Sri Bhagawan
RK Shankar

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Nonduality: The Varieties of Expression