A conversation between Ramana Maharishi (M) and a Devotee (D) on August 29th 1936 ….
A Maharani Saheba spoke in a gentle and low voice, but quite audibly:
D.: “Maharajji, I have the good fortune to see you. My eyes have had the pleasure of seeing you, my ears the pleasure of hearing your voice.”
“I am blessed with everything that a human being would like to have.” Her Highness’s voice choked. With great strength of mind she rallied and proceeded slowly, “I have all that I want, a human being would want …. But … But … I … I … do not have peace of mind … Something prevents it. Probably my destiny….”
There was silence for a few minutes. Then Maharshi in his usual sweet manner spoke:
M.: “All right. What need be said has been said. Well. What is destiny? There is no destiny. Surrender, and all will be well. Throw all the responsibility on God. Do not bear the burden yourself. What can destiny do to you then?”
D.: Surrender is impossible.
M.: Yes. Complete surrender is impossible in the beginning. Partial surrender is certainly possible for all. In course of time that will lead to complete surrender. Well, if surrender is impossible, what can be done? There is no peace of mind. You are helpless to bring it about. It can be done only by surrender.
D.: Partial surrender – well – can it undo destiny?
M.: Oh, yes! It can.
D.: Is not destiny due to past karma?
M.: If one is surrendered to God, God will look to it.
D.: This being God’s dispensation, how does God undo it?
M.: All are in Him only.
D.: How is God to be seen?
M.: Within. If the mind is turned inward God manifests as inner consciousness……God is in all and in the seer. Where else can God be seen? He cannot be found outside. He should be felt within. To see the objects, mind is necessary. To conceive God in them is a mental operation. But that is not real. The consciousness within, purged of the mind, is felt as God……The objects or feelings or thoughts are all mental conceptions. The mind rises after the rise of the I-thought or the ego. Wherefrom does the ego rise? From the abstract consciousness or Pure intelligence.
D.: Is it the soul?
M.: Soul, mind or ego are mere words. There are no entities of the kind. Consciousness is the only truth……Its nature is Bliss. Bliss alone is. There is no enjoyer to enjoy pleasure.
Enjoyer and joy – both merge in it……Soul and God are only mental conceptions.
D.: Is God only a mental conception?
M.: Yes. Do you think of God in sleep?……If God be real He must remain always. You remain in sleep and in wakefulness – just the same. If God be as true as your Self, God must be in sleep as well as the Self. This thought of God arises only in the wakeful state. Who thinks now?
D.: I think.
M.: Who is this ‘I’? Who says it? Is it the body?
D.: The body speaks.
M.: The body does not speak. If so, did it speak in sleep? Who is this I?
D.: I within the body.
M.: Are you within the body or without?
D.: I am certainly within the body.
M.: Do you know it to be so in your sleep?
D.: I remain in my body in sleep also.
M.: Are you aware of being within the body in sleep? ……The fact is, you are neither within nor without. Sleep is the natural state of being.
D.: Then sleep must be a better state than this.
M.: There is no superior or inferior state. In sleep, in dream and in the wakeful state you are just the same. Sleep is a state of happiness; there is no misery. The sense of want, of pain, etc., arises only in the wakeful state. What is the change that has taken place? You are the same in both, but there is difference in happiness. Why? Because the mind has risen now. This mind rises after the ‘I-thought’. The thought arises from consciousness. If one abides in it, one is always happy…….The sense of body is a thought; the thought is of the mind, the mind rises after the ‘I-thought’, the ‘I-thought’ is the root thought. If that is held, the other thoughts will disappear. There will then be no body, no mind, not even the ego.
D.: What will remain then?
M.: The Self in its purity.
(Talks with Ramana Maharishi – Talk 244)