Talk 52. Clear & Dull Mind, Soul after death, What is Meditation
Talks with Ramana Maharshi
June 9, 1935
A man from Cocanada asked: “My mind remains clear for two or three days and turns dull for the next two or three days; and so it alternates. What is it due to?”
M.: It is quite natural; it is the play of brightness and purity (satva), activity and passion (rajas) and darkness and dullness (tamas) alternating. Do not regret the dullness (tamas); but when brightness (satva) comes into play, hold on to it fast and make the best of it.
D.: What is the Heart?
M.: It is the seat (if such could be said of it) of the Self.
D.: Is it the physical heart?
M.: No. It is the seat wherefrom ‘I-I’ arises.
D.: What becomes of the jiva (individual soul) after death?
M.: The question is not appropriate for a jiva now living. A disembodied jiva may ask me, if convenient. In the meantime let the embodied jiva solve its present problem and find who he is. There will be an end of such doubts.
D.: What is dhyana (meditation)?
M.: The word dhyana usually signifies meditation on some object, whereas nididhyasana is used for enquiry into the Self. The triads persist until the Self is realized. Dhyana and nididhyasana are the same so far as the aspirant is concerned, because they involve the trinity, that is, the waking, dream and deep sleep states, and are synonymous with bhakti.
D.: How should dhyana be practised?
M.: Dhyana serves to concentrate the mind. The predominant idea keeps off all others. Dhyana varies according to the individual. It may be on an aspect of God, on a mantra, or on the Self, etc.