Sri Ramana Maharshi - Interview

There is a single immanent reality, directly experienced by everyone, which is simultaneously the source, the substance and the real nature of everything that exists. A number of different names, each one signifying a different aspects of the same indivisible reality - the Self.

The Self is the real "I", contrary to perceptible experience, not an experience of individuality but a non-personal, all inclusive awareness.

It is not to be confused with the individual self which is essentially non-existed, being a fabrication of the mind which obscures the true experience of the real Self.

The real Self is always present and always experienced but one is only consciously aware of it as it is really is when the self-limiting tendencies of the mind have ceased.

Permanent and continuous Self-awareness is Self-realization.

What is self-awareness and how can we obtain and cultivate it?

You are awareness. Awareness is another name for you. Since you are awareness there is no need to attain or cultivate it. All that you have to do is to give up being aware of other things that is of the not-Self. If you give up being aware of them then pure awareness alone remains, and it is the Self.

If the Self is itself aware, why am I not aware of it even now?

There is no duality. Your present knowledge is due to the ego and is only relative. Relative knowledge requires a subject and an object, whereas the awareness of the Self is absolute and requires no object.

The Self is ever present. Everyone wants to know the Self. You don't need a help to know the Self. It is "I am that I am", it is simply BEING.

When we realize the Self, what we will see?

There is no seeing. Seeing is only being. The state of Self-realization is not something new or reaching some goal which is far away, but simply being that you always are and which you always have been. Be the Self.

How to know this by direct experience?

If you talk of knowing the Self, there must be two selves, one a knowing self, another the self which is known, and the process of knowing. The state we call realization is simply being yourself, not knowing anything or becoming anything. Be the Self is realization of the Self.

You are the Self, you are already that. All attempts towards Self-realization are directed only to remove ignorance which is merely wrong knowledge, the false identification of the Self with the body and the mind.

"I exist" is the only permanent self-evident experience of everyone. Nothing else is so self-evident as "I AM". What you call self-evident, that is, the experience you get through the senses, is far from self-evident. "I AM" is reality. I am this or that is unreal. "I AM" is truth, another name for the Self or God or Supreme, Absolute. "I AM" is beyond existence and non-existence.

Establish yourself firmly in "I AM" awareness, just be as you are. This is beginning and end of all endeavors.