Talk 55-56. Who am I? Why was I born? How to realize the Self?
Talks with Ramana Maharshi
June 18, 1935
D.: Can advaita be realised by japa of holy names; say Rama, Krishna, etc.?
D.: Is it not a means of an inferior order?
M.: Have you been told to make japa or to discuss its order in the scheme of things?
22nd June, 1935
A youth of twenty asked how to realize the Self. He sat down in silence and waited more than an hour and then was about to leave. While doing so, he asked:
D.: How to realize Self?
M.: Whose Self? Find out.
D.: Who am I?
M.: Find it yourself.
D.: I do not know.
M.: Think. Who is it that says “I do not know”? What is not known? In that statement, who is the ‘I’?
D.: Somebody in me.
M.: Who is the somebody? In whom?
D.: Maybe some power.
M.: Find it.
D.: How to realise Brahman?
M.: Without knowing the Self why do you seek to know Brahman?
D.: The sastras say Brahman pervades all and me too.
M.: Find the ‘I’ in me and then there will be time to think of Brahman.
D.: Why was I born?
M.: Who was born? The answer is the same for all of your questions.
D.: Who am I then?
M.: (Smiling) Have you come to examine me and ask me? You must say who you are.
D.: In deep sleep the soul leaves the body and remains elsewhere. When it re-enters I awake. Is it so?
M.: What is it that leaves the body?
D.: The power, perhaps.
M.: Find out the power.
D.: The body is composed of five elements. What are the elements?
M.: Without knowing the Self how do you aim at knowing the elements?
The young man sat awhile and left with permission.
The Master remarked later: “All right. It will work.”