Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi

happiness without a tinge of sorrow. At the same time everybody
loves himself best. The cause for love is only happiness. So,
that happiness must lie within oneself. Further, that happiness is
daily experienced by everyone in sleep when there is no mind.
To attain that natural happiness one must know oneself. For
that, Self-enquiry, ‘Who am I?’ is the chief means.
Happiness is the nature of the Self. They are not different. The
only happiness there is, is of the Self. That is the truth. There is
no happiness in worldly objects. Because of our ignorance we
imagine we derive happiness from them.
If, as a man generally imagines, his happiness is due to
external causes, it is reasonable to conclude that his happiness
must increase with the increase of possessions and diminish
in proportion to their diminution. Therefore, if he is devoid of
possessions his happiness should be nil. What, however, is the
real experience of man? Does it confirm this view? In deep sleep
the man is devoid of all possessions, including his own body.
Instead of being unhappy he is quite happy. Everyone desires
to sleep soundly. The conclusion therefore is that happiness is
inherent in man and is not due to external causes. One must
realize his Self in order to open the store of unalloyed happiness.
There is a story in Panchadasi, which illustrates that our
pains and pleasures are not due to facts but to our concepts.
Two young men of a village went on a pilgrimage to North
India. One of them died there. But the other having picked up
some job decided to return to his village only after some time.
Meanwhile he came across a wandering pilgrim and sent word
through him to his village about himself and his dead friend.
The pilgrim conveyed the news and in doing so inadvertently
changed the names of the living and the dead man. The result
was that the dead man’s people were rejoicing that he was doing
well and the living man’s people were in grief that he was dead.
I used to sit on the floor and lie on the ground. No cloth
spread out. That is freedom. The sofa is a bondage. It is jail for
me. I am not allowed to sit where and how I please. Is it not
bondage? One must be free to do as one pleases and should not
be served by others. ‘No want’ is the greatest bliss. It can be
realized only by experience. Even an emperor is no match for
a man with no wants.

SOURCE: Gems from Bhagavan, a necklace of sayings
by Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi on various vital subjects.


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