Talk 57. Spiritual Channels, Supernatural Powers, Granting Boons, Self-Realization Stages
Talk 55-56. Who am I? Why was I born? How to realize the Self?

Talk 57. Spiritual Channels, Supernatural Powers, Granting Boons, Self-Realization Stages

Talks with Ramana Maharshi

23rd June, 1935

Talk 57.

Sri Bhagavan said that sushumna is the name mostly mentioned in scriptures. Other names also occur; e.g., para, atma, amrita. It is also stated that sushumna becomes leena (merged in para). So it may be said that para is the terminology of jnana, whereas sushumna is that of Yoga.

24th June, 1935


Chapter XIV, Stanza 10 reads: “With yet further progress, invisibility also may result. Such an one, being pure consciousness only, flourishes as a siddha.”

Chapter XVIII, Last Stanza reads: “The glory of the siddhis is past imagination, they are equal to Siva, yea Siva himself, in being able to grant boons.”

The meaning is that, with Self-Realization, real and incessant tapas results. With the maturing of such tapas some jnanis can make their bodies intangible and invisible. They are known as siddhas.

Later, “the greatness of the siddhas is incomprehensible. They are equal to Siva and can even grant boons.” So said Sri Bhagavan.

There is an Upanishad mantra, atmajnam hyarchayet bhutikamah (one desirous of liberation or wealth must serve a Self-realised Sage). Here is no mention of siddha for granting boons. The Jnani can do so. The mantras again, swe mahimni pratishtitah (abiding in his own grandeur), anantam Brahma (Brahman is infinite), will seem confounding when read with the slokas cited above. Sarvam Khalvidam Brahma (All this is Brahman); Brahmavid Brahmaiva Bhavati (the knower of Brahman becomes Brahman Itself), show that a Jnani is sarvajna (all-knower). What then is the distinction between the Jnani and the siddha, and the ability of the latter to grant boons, implying the absence of it in the former?

This was the doubt. The master explained: “The Gita questions were asked in a certain spirit. The answers were according to it. People look to the body only and they want siddhis also. With Self-Realisation no powers can extend even into it, and how can they extend beyond? People anxious for siddhis are not content with their idea of jnana and so want siddhis associated with it. They are likely to neglect the supreme happiness of jnana and aspire for siddhis. For this they are going through the by-lanes instead of the royal path and so will likely lose their way. In order to guide them aright and keep them on the royal road alone the siddhis are said to accompany jnana. In fact jnana comprises all, and a Jnani will not waste even a thought on them. Let the people get jnana and then seek siddhis if they so desire.

I have said: sarira samsrayah siddhayah (the siddhis relate to the body), because their outlook is concerning the body. A Jnani and siddha are not different. In varan datum (to bestow boons) the boons include atmalabha (the gain of Self) also. The siddhis are not merely of an inferior order but of the highest order.

The sastras are meant to suit varying conditions. Their spirit remains the same. In Halasya Mahima there is a chapter on the eightfold siddhis. There Siva says that His bhakta never wastes a thought on them. Again Siva says that He never grants boons. The desires of the devotees are fulfilled according to their prarabdha only. When Iswara Himself says so, what of others? In order to display siddhis there must be others to recognise them. That means there is no jnana in the one who displays them. Therefore siddhis are not worthy of any thought. Jnana alone is to be aimed at and gained.

Sri Ramana Gita Chapter XVII, Verse 4, Translation in Tamil is inaccurate.

Sri Bhagavan pointed out the inaccuracy and corrected it. Vaidharbha’s question was: “In practice, the thoughts are found to manifest and subside alternately. Is this jnana?” Sri Bhagavan explained the doubt as follows:

Some people think that there are different stages in jnana. The Self is nitya aparoksha, i.e., ever-realised, knowingly or unknowingly. Sravana, they argue, should therefore be aparoksha jnana (directly experienced) and not paroksha jnana (indirect knowledge). But jnana should result in duhkha nivriti (loss of misery) whereas sravana alone does not bring it about. Therefore they say, though aparoksha, it is not unshaken; the rising of vasanas is the cause of its being weak (not unchanging); when the vasanas are removed, jnana becomes unshaken and bears fruit.

Others say sravana is only paroksha jnana. By manana (reflection) it becomes aparoksha spasmodically. The obstruction to its continuity is the vasanas: they rise up with reinforced vigour after manana. They must be held in check. Such vigilance consists in remembering = “I am not the body” and adhering to the aparoksha anubhava (direct experience) which has been had in course of manana (reflection). Such practice is called nididhyasana and eradicates the vasanas. Then dawns the sahaja state. That is jnana, sure.

The aparoksha in manana cannot effect dukha nivritti (loss of misery) and cannot amount to moksha, i.e., release from bondage because the vasanas periodically overpower the jnana. Hence it is adridha (weak) and becomes firm after the vasanas have been eradicated by nididhyasana (one-pointedness).


Mr. T. K. S. Iyer, a devotee, was speaking of the chakras Sri Bhagavan said: Atman (the Self) alone is to be realised. Its realisation holds all else in its compass. Sakti, Ganapati; siddhis, etc., are included in it. Those who speak of these have not realised the Atman. Atman is in the heart and is the Heart itself. The manifestation is in the brain. The passage from the heart to the brain might be considered to be through sushumna or a nerve with any other name. The Upanishads say pare leena – meaning that sushumna or such nadis are all comprised in para, i.e., the atma nadi. The yogis say that the current rising up to sahasrara(brain) ends there. That experience is not complete. For jnana, they must come to the Heart. Hridaya (Heart) is the alpha and omega.



Talk 55-56. Who am I? Why was I born? How to realize the Self?
Talk 57. Spiritual Channels, Supernatural Powers, Granting Boons, Self-Realization Stages

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