Work, Practice, Celibacy
Talk 17 D. War and Crime
Talk 17 B. English Scholar asks more questions

Work, Practice, Celibacy

Mr. Evans-Wentz began to ask questions, mostly relating to Yoga preliminaries, for all of which Maharshi replied that they are aids to Yoga, which is itself an aid to Self-realization, the goal of all.

D.: Is work an obstruction to Self-realization?
M.: No. For a realized being the Self alone is the Reality, and actions are only phenomenal, not affecting the Self. Even when he acts he has no sense of being an agent. His actions are only involuntary and he remains a witness to them without any attachment.

There is no aim for this action. Even one who is still practising the path of Wisdom (jnana) can practise while engaged in work. It may be difficult in the earlier stages for a beginner, but after some practice it will soon be effective and the work will not be found a hindrance to meditation.

D.: What is the practice?
M.: Constant search for ‘I’, the source of the ego. Find out ‘Who am I?’ The pure ‘I’ is the reality, the Absolute Existence-Consciousness- Bliss. When That is forgotten, all miseries crop up; when that is held fast, the miseries do not affect the person.

D.: Is not brahmacharya (celibacy) necessary for realisation of the Self?
M.: Brahmacharya is ‘living in Brahman’. It has no connection with celibacy as commonly understood. A real brahmachari, that is one who lives in Brahman, finds bliss in the Brahman which is the same as the Self. Why then should you look for other sources of happiness? In fact the emergence from the Self has been the cause of all the misery.

D.: Celibacy is a sine qua non (essential condition) for Yoga?
M.: So it is. Celibacy is certainly an aid to realization among so many other aids.

D.: Is it then not indispensable? Can a married man realize the Self?
M.: Certainly, it is a matter of fitness of mind. Married or unmarried, a man can realize the Self, because that is here and now. If it were not so, but attainable by some efforts at some other time, and if it were new and something to be acquired, it would not be worthy of pursuit. Because what is not natural cannot be permanent either. But what I say is that the Self is here and now and alone.

Talks With Ramana Maharshi – Part 1
January 24, 1935
Talk 17.

Talk 17 D. War and Crime
Talk 17 B. English Scholar asks more questions
Talk 17 C. Work, Practice, Celibacy

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