Ramana Maharshi on nature of Mind
Question : What is the nature of the mind?
: The mind is nothing other than the `I'-thought. The mind and the ego
are one and the same. The other mental faculties such as the intellect
and the memory are only this. Mind [manas], intellect [buddhi], the
storehouse of mental tendencies [chittam], and ego [ahamkara]; all these
are only the one mind itself. This is like different names being given
to a man according to his different functions. The individual soul [jiva]
is nothing but this soul or ego.
Question : How shall we discover the nature of the mind, that is, its
ultimate cause, or the noumenon of which it is a manifestation?
Ramana Maharshi: Arranging thoughts in the order of value, the `I'-thought is the
all-important thought. Personality-idea or thought is also the root or
the stem of all other thoughts, since each idea or thought arises only
as someone's thought and is not known to exist independently of the ego.
The ego therefore exhibits thought activity. The second and the third
persons [he, you, that, etc.] do not appear except to the first person
[I]. Therefore they arise only after the first person appears, so all
the three persons seem to rise and sink together. Trace, then, the
ultimate cause of `I' or personality.
From where does this `I' arise? Seek for it within; it then vanishes.
This is the pursuit of wisdom. When the mind unceasingly investigates
its own nature, it transpires that there is no such thing as mind. This
is the direct path for all. The mind is merely thoughts. Of all thoughts
the thought `I' is the root. Therefore the mind is only the thought `I'.
The birth of the `I'-thought is one's own birth, its death is the
person's death. After the `I'-thought has arisen, the wrong identity
with the body arises. Get rid of the `I'-thought. So long as `I' is
alive there is grief. When `I' ceases to exist there is no grief.
Question : Yes, but when I take to the `I'-thought, other thoughts arise and
Ramana Maharshi: See whose thoughts they are. They will vanish. They have their root
in the single `I'-thought. Hold it and they will disappear.
Question : How can any enquiry initiated by the ego reveal its own unreality?
Ramana Maharshi: The ego's phenomenal existence is transcended when you dive into the
source from where the `I'-thought rises.
Source: from David Godman Excellent Book "Be As You
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