Self-enquiry – Vichara Sangraham (1)
Self-enquiry (Vichara Sangraham) is the first set of teachings that Ramana Maharshi ever offered. It was offered at about 1901, when he was a young man of about twenty-two. He was already a Jnani (Sage) in perfect Realization of the Self, in the resplendent bliss of Divine Knowledge. At that time he was living in Virupaksha Cave on the hill of Arunachala.
A number of disciples had already gathered round him. Although he had not actually taken a vow of silence, he seldom spoke, and so wrote his replies to certain questions put to him by Sri Gambhiram Seshayya, one of the earliest devotees. Sri Seshayya copied them in his diary. After his passing away, this diary was obtained from his brother. The questions and answers were edited by Sri Natanananda and published with Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi’s approval under the name of Vichara Sangraham, or Self-Enquiry.
Is there any way of adoring the Supreme which is all, except by abiding firmly as That!
Devotee: Master! What are the means to gain the state of eternal bliss, ever devoid of misery?
Maharshi: Apart from the statement in the Vedas that wherever there is a body there is misery, this is also the direct experience of all people. Therefore, one should enquire into one’s true nature which is ever bodiless, and one should remain as such. This is the means to gaining that state.