Self-enquiry – Vichara Sangraham (8)
Why is it said that only the mind which is the internal organ, shines as the form of all, that is of soul, God and world?
As instruments for knowing the objects, the sense organs, are outside, so they are called outer senses; and the mind is called the inner sense because it is inside.
But the distinction between inner and outer is only with reference to the body; in truth, there is neither inner or outer. The mind’s nature is to remain pure like ether.
What is referred to as the Heart or the mind is the collocation of the elements (of phenomenal existence) that appear as inner and outer. So there is no doubt that all phenomena consisting of names and forms are of the nature of mind alone.
All that appear outside are in reality inside and not outside. It is in order to teach this that in the Vedas also, all have been described as of the nature of the Heart. What is called the Heart is no other than Brahman (Real Self).
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.