There have been many predictions for 2012, based on the Mayan calendar
But on this first day of a new year, I am reminded of what is really important and the essential teachings of the great sage Ramana Maharshi, who was born on December 30th 1879.
Ramana encouraged us to practice Self Inquiry by asking ourselves Who Am I? Instead of constantly looking outwards for answers and solutions, he suggested we look within and discover the ‘I’ which is the source of true happiness. At a time when we may be inundated by expectations and pressures to spend, buy presents, celebrate with friends and family, be happy when we may not necessarily be feeling that happy, eat drink and be merry, it can be inwardly nourishing to remember the true meaning of celebration.
“What exactly is this Self…? To understand this matter, it is first necessary for a man to analyse himelf. Because it has long been his habit to think as others think – he has never faced his ‘I’ in the true manner…. he has too long identified himself with the body and brain. Therefore, I tell you to pursue this enquiry: ‘ Who am I’…….. when a man knows his true Self for the first time, something else arises from the depths of his being and takes possession of him. That something is behind the mind; it is Infinite, Divine, Eternal.. Some people call it the Kingdom of Heaven, others call it the soul, Hindus call it Liberation. You may give it what name you wish. When this happens, a man has found himself… Unless and until a man embarks upon this quest of the true Self, doubt and uncertainty will follow his footsteps throughout his life….
What is the use of knowing about everything else when you do not know who YOU are? Men avoid this enquiry into the True Self…. if you meditate on this question ‘Who am I?’ … if you begin to perceive that neither the body nor the brain nor the desires are really you, then the very attitude of enquiry will eventually draw the answer to you out of the depths of your being…. Know the Real Self and then the Truth will shine forth within your heart like sunshine. The mind will become untroubled and Real Happiness will flood it, for Happiness and the True Self are identical. You will have no more doubts once you attain this Self-awareness.”
– The Life and Teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi –