Get rid of the present thoughts, that’s all
A large group of Punjabis arrived here in a pilgrim special. They came to the Ramanasramam at about 8-45 a.m. and sat quiet for a long time.
At about 9-20 one of them said: “Your reputation has spread in the Punjab. We have travelled a long distance to have your darsan. Kindly tell us something by way of instruction.” There was no oral reply.
Sri Bhagavan smiled and gazed on. After some time the visitor asked: “Which is the best – the yoga, the bhakti or the jnana path?” Still Sri Bhagavan smiled and gazed as before.
Sri Bhagavan left the hall for a few minutes. The visitors began to disperse. Still a sprinkling of them continued to sit in the hall. A long standing disciple told the visitor that Sri Bhagavan had replied to his questions by His Silence which was even more eloquent than words.
After Sri Bhagavan returned, the visitor began to speak a little. In the course of his speech, he asked:
D.: It is all right for those who believe in God. Others ask – Is there a God?
M.: Are you there?
D.: Quite so. That is the question. I see before my eyes a battalion of sepoys passing. Therefore I am. The world must have been created by God. How shall I see the Creator?
M.: See yourself, who sees these, and the problem is solved.
D.: Is it to sit silent or to read sacred books or to concentrate the mind? Bhakti helps concentration. People fall at the feet of the bhakta. If it does not happen he feels disappointed and his bhakti fades.
M.: The longing for happiness never fades. That is bhakti.
D.: How shall I get it quicker? Suppose I concentrate two hours today. If I try to lengthen the period the next day, I fall asleep because I get tired of the job.
M.: You do not get tired in sleep. The same person is now present here. Why should you be tired now? Because your mind is restless and wanders, it gets tired, and not you.
D.: I am a business man. How shall I get on with business and get peace of mind also?
M.: This is also a thought. Give up this thought also and remain as your true Self.
D.: It is said: Do your duty without any expectation of results. How shall I get that frame of mind?
M.: You need not aspire for or get any new state. Get rid of your present thoughts, that is all.
D.: How shall I get the bhakti necessary for it?
M.: It is bhakti to get rid of thoughts which are only alien to you (i.e. the Self).
D.: What is thought-force, mesmerism, etc.? There was a doctor in Paris called Dr. Coue. He was illiterate, but yet was able to cure many incurable diseases by will-force. He used to say: Generate power to cure yourself. The power is within you.
M.: It is through the same will-power that the seat of all diseases, the body, has risen.
D.: So it is said thoughts manifest as objects.
M.: This thought must be for mukti (liberation).
D.: God must enable us to get rid of the other thoughts.
M.: This is again a thought. Let that which has incarnated raise the question. You are not that because you are free from thoughts.
Talks with Ramana Maharshi
15th March, 1938