Self-enquiry – Vichara Sangraham (15)
The mind, sense-organs, etc., have the ability to perceive; yet why are they regarded as perceived objects?
Drisya (Known object)
The seen object (for example, the pot)
|2||The eye organ||Body, Pot, etc.|
|3||The sense of sight||The eye organ|
|4||The mind||The sense of sight|
|5||The individual soul||The mind|
|6||Consciousness (the Self)||The individual soul|
As shown in the above scheme, since we, the consciousness, know all objects, we are said to be the knower (drik).
The categories ending with pot are the objects seen, since they are what are known (drisya).
In the table of ‘knowledge – ignorance (i.e. knower-known)’ given above, among the knowers and objects of knowledge, it is seen that one is ‘knower’ in relation to another. Yet, since that one is an ‘object’ in relation to another, none of those categories is, in reality, the ‘knower’.
Although we are said to be the ‘knower’ because we know all, and not the ‘known’ because we are not known by anything else, we are said to be the ‘knower’ only in relation to the known objects.
In truth, however, what is called the ‘known’ is not apart from us. And so we are the Reality that transcends those two (the knower and the known). All the others fall within the knower-known categories.
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.