Self-Realization

Strictly speaking, there is nothing to realize.

Our natural state is happiness (peace, bliss, stillness). Happiness is available whenever unhappiness is absent.

Happiness is a state of being and unhappiness is a state of doing. Mental activity obscures natural peace. The more intense the activity, the more obscuring it is.

Asking our mind to find peace is like asking a muddy toddler to show us our immaculate living room. The mind is the principle of agitation, so it can’t show us the way to stillness or be still. The mind is a false limitation on consciousness – stillness is what we actually are.

Enlightenment is permanent, indescribable bliss. We need not acquire anything new, only give up useless accumulations. Instead of doing this, we try to grasp something mysterious because we think happiness lies elsewhere. This is our mistake. All that is required from us is to be still. What could be simpler than that?

Ramana Maharshi

The solution is the non-existence of the problem.

A man sees a coiled rope in twilight and thinks it’s a snake. He tiptoes around it carefully. If he were to look again, he would see it is only a rope.

People asked Ramana Maharshi what they should do to get enlightened. He told them they should reject the notion that they are not enlightened already. “Look for the one who seeks enlightenment,” he said.

You look for the barrier, but you can’t find it. You can’t find whatever is holding you back because it’s not there. We are always one thought away from stillness and peace.

“I have to find stillness and peace,” is that thought. Let it go, and you will see you’re already there.

Realization is permanently available.

If a spiritual insight is an indelible mark, then realization is a permanent eraser.

A spiritual insight is like exchanging a small prison for a magnificent one. Your conceptual scheme may be beautiful, but it has its limitations. You have to remember it, for one thing.

Realization is liberation. Liberation is permanently available here and now. To “attain” it, we must only want to simply be more than we want mental activity.

Ten thousand flowers in spring,
The moon in autumn,
A cool breeze in summer,
Snow in winter.

If your mind isn’t clouded by unnecessary things,
This is the best season of your life.

Wu Men

The end of suffering doesn’t have qualifying conditions.

We think we need to have a blinding insight, after which we’ll stop suffering. But the insight is that we don’t have to suffer.

Our primary confusion is the idea that realization has something to do with conceptual insights or external events.

We think we can abide in the stillness we are only after we’ve solved our problems or attained a new insight. We think we must find inner stillness externally. But stillness has nothing to do with external events. Stillness is what existed before mental activity arose, and it’s what is left when such activity ceases.


You need not aspire to any new state. Get rid of your present thoughts, that is all.

Ramana Maharshi