The Humble Knowledge of Oneself is a Surer Way to God

Sri Bhagavan said that vast study or high education was not compulsory for Self-realization (Cf. The humble knowledge of oneself is a surer way to God, than deep researches after science. -Imitation of Christ, By Thomas a Kempis )and that sometimes it could prove more a hindrance than a help. A highly educated Pandit has a greater samsara (family) than an ordinary man, whose immediate obstacles to the quest of the “Self ” only centre round his wife, children and a few relations and friends. If such a one can, by constant enquiry, break these bonds, he is well on the path to salvation, whereas a Pandit has, in addition to breaking the immediate ties of his relations, etc.

“Who is Attracted?”

Sri Bhagavan calmly asked him, “Who is attracted?” He replied “I am. Whenever I see her, my mind goes out to her and thoughts of being in her company etc., crowd into my mind.” Sri Bhagavan asked him to put the questions: “Who sees and who is attracted? Who is disturbed by lust? In whom do desires arise?” adding that the moment he put these questions he would find all these thoughts taking leave of him.

I am Wondering What to Ask

As this term is supposed to include every other quality needed to dub one a saint or Swami , the writer suggested to Mr. Iyer that no more questions were needed. He how- ever would not stop there but asked Sri Bhagavan if He knew that the Avadhuta had worked any miracles. Sri Bhagavan replied in the negative; and Narayana Iyer prompted the writer to put some questions. Not know- ing what questions to put, he hesitated, but as Mr. Iyer continued to goad him, he asked Sri Bhagavan if it was not a fact that both He and the Avadhutha Swami were doing tapas (penance) for some time at the same place and Sri Bhagavan replied that it was so, under a mango tree on the Hill. He was asked to put some more ques- tions but the writer was unable to do so. Sri Bhagavan was all the while looking at him, as if awaiting to hear his questions. He could not, therefore, desist any longer and said, “I am desired to put some more questions to you and I am wondering what to ask.”

Crumbs from His Table

Sri Bhagavan has repeatedly said in His authenticated publications and in reply to enquirers that the method of “Enquiry” i.e., “Who am I?” is the easiest and the most direct path leading to salvation, He has also nowhere and at no time deprecated other methods and paths — Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Ashtanga Yoga and so on — as will be seen from his reply to a query under the heading “Self- realization”.