We approach the Guru in the restlessness of our mind and find no satisfaction in anything done
or achieved. He gives us His benign look of Grace; in that one look is the real touch of Grace. His proximity is the harbour of Peace, in Him you find your haven of safety. He is the healer of all sores in you. You seem to be melted and lost in Him. You are now still. The Guru says, “Be still, and Know that I am God.” This knowing is the understanding of the absolute and relative values of Life.

Understanding what? It is the distinctive knowledge (the vijnana) of the eternal unchanging Truth of your self. In the background of this eternal and unchanging Truth, the changeful and varying states of your doership move about and cloud your understanding of the Real Truth of your Being.

To put this more clearly, in the words of Sri Bhagavan, “You are the Self (atman).” Now no one will deny he is the Self, the eternal changeless basis of himself. This Self is Pure Being, conscious of Itself. It is Pure Bliss, in the sense that in Itself it is not touched or affected by the pleasures and pains of your varying states. Know to fix yourself as this Self, and to abide as such, unmoved by the fluctuating feelings of pain and pleasure, which pass and re-pass before you, the unaffected Self.

There must be no clouded vision of yourself. Whatever the nature of your doership and enjoyership, painful or pleasurable, you are always tranquil in the firmness of your real Being, as realised by the distinctive knowledge (vijnana) of yourself. This is the surest way to Peace, as taught by the Upanishads and by Bhagavan Sri Ramana.

Now you have been told about the constant part of yourself, and you also have to be told about the variable quantity in you. It is the mind. This is responsible for all your moods and states of being, and their activities, painful and pleasurable. Its nature is to identify itself with the body and induce it to activities, leading to pleasure or pain. This is due to its rajasic (active) and tamasic nature (inert and dark).

Through these qualities the mind not only identifies itself with the gross body, but it also veils and hides the constant part of yourself, the atman (real Self ). But there is also a saving grace about the mind. Apart from its rajasic and tamasic nature, there is in it a sattvic aspect (calm, harmonious). The wise try ever to enhance this sattvic aspect through all activities dedicated to God. You can learn how to improve this aspect of the mind through study of the Srimad Bhagavad Gita. This sattvic aspect should be so developed as to first control the rajasic and tamasic qualities (gunas), and later to annihilate them, so that the sattvic quality comes to be 100 per cent of the mind. In this state the mind can be used as an instrument to get understanding (vijnana) of the constant quantum of your Being — the Sat-chit- anandam, or Being-Consciousness-Bliss.

This understanding can be had by separating the mind from the gross body, to which it has been so long outwardly projecting, and taking it inwards towards the Self, your constant Being. When the mind is so trained as to be more and more in contact with the Self, then there arises perfect understanding and abidance in the Real.

You are really free in yourself; the clouds do not really affect you. Yet you are also outwardly active, according to the latencies of the past karma in you, which work out according to the law of that karma. The potter has given up his hold on the wheel; yes, but the wheel still moves on owing to the momentum still left in it.

In the same way you move, and yet you are unaffected, no longer clinging to the action. You do; yet you feel you are no more the doer. You enjoy or suffer; yet you feel you are no more the one who suffers or enjoys. You are a mere witness of all things in your varying states: waking, dreaming and sleeping. You are you, or I am I, or the Self is the Self; and these states pass and re-pass. This is the state of real knowledge (jnana) or real devotion (bhakti). This is the message of the Gita. This is equally the message of our benign Guru, Sri Ramana Maharshi.

Let us heed it and in our desperate need take full courage. May Sri Gurudeva so bless us that we abide as the Self, and so have done with the egoic ‘I’ and its endless round of coming and going. Lokamanya Tilak declared: “Swaraj is my birthright, and I shall have it.” So too Gurudeva declares, “Pure Knowledge is your Birthright, and you shall have it.”