The Sixth Stage Realization, Demonstration, and Teachings of Ramana Maharshi,
and My Great Regard for Him as One of My Principal Adept-Links to the Great Tradition of Mankind

Much (if not most) of the literature associated with the (originally) Upanishadic tradition of Advaita Vedanta concentrates on programs of philosophical argumentation, rather than on practical elaborations of practice and ecstatic (or, really, enstatic) Confessions of Realization. As a result, much (if not most) of the literature associated with the tradition of Advaita Vedanta expresses (or may be interpreted or presumed to express, or, at least, resemble) the point of view of what I call the “talking” school of Advaitism. Likewise, the emphasis (or fundamental doctrine) of much (if not most) of the literature associated with the tradition of Advaita Vedanta appears (or may be interpreted) to be oriented toward the affirmation that Realization of the Great Truth is a matter of a kind of gnosis (or subjectively affirmed special knowledge about Reality)—whereas, in Truth (and
also according to the Great Sages within the tradition of Advaita Vedanta), gnosis (or subjective understanding of the Great Truth,
even resulting in firm conviction) is only the seed (or a preliminary) that begins the Great Process that becomes sixth stage
Realization (or Inherent Self-Identification with the Perfectly, or Non-conditionally, Subjective Reality That Is the Great Truth).

The traditional philosophical emphasis on Advaitic  gnosis (or the subjective conviction that Consciousness Itself is the Inherently
Free Great Truth) is also traditionally associated with an emphasis on the idea that no “work” (or effort of practice) is necessary (or
even useful) as a means to attain this gnosis, or even (from the “talking” school point of view) as a subsequent expression of it.
And this notion tends to suggest, to those who embrace it without true understanding of its import, that Advaitic Realization is simply
a matter of subjective conviction (or even mental affirmation, or a kind of conventional faith or belief).

In Truth, the traditionally communicated gnosis (or Transcendentalist Argument) associated with the schools of Advaita Vedanta
is Liberating (or effective as Realization) only to the degree (or in the Event) that it becomes Inherent Self-Identification with the
“Space” (or Inherent Condition) of Consciousness Itself. That is to say, the traditional gnosis (or Great Argument) is Liberating (or has
the Capability to Liberate the listener from “work”, or counteregoic effort, or intensive practice toward, or, otherwise, preliminary
to, Realization) only to the degree (or in the Event) that the original subjective conviction becomes Samadhi (or Inherent Self-
Identification with the Perfectly Subjective Condition That Is the Great Truth). And, in the traditional setting, that Samadhi characteristically
appears in the lesser (or sixth stage) Form (by virtue of utter, but strategically exclusionary, Self-Identification with
Consciousness Itself), demonstrated by temporary Obliviousness relative to the world (or the objective space associated with the body),
and the body itself (or its interior space, or its complex of sensations), and the mind (or the subjective and, necessarily, interior
space of the apparently separate being)—rather than in the superior (or seventh stage) and non-dependent Form, Which I have
Revealed and Given, and Which Demonstrates Itself as Self-Abiding Divine Self-Recognition of the world, the body, and the mind (and
as the Inherent Transcending, but not the strategic excluding, of the world, the body, and the mind) in the Self-Existing and Self-
Radiant “Divine Space” That Is Consciousness Itself.

Ramana Maharshi was a principal modern example of a Great Sage (or a true Realizer of the Inherent Samadhi of Consciousness
Itself) within the (originally) Upanishadic tradition of Advaita Vedanta. He affirmed Ultimate Realization only as Samadhi. And,
although His Realization consistently Demonstrated Itself in the characteristically sixth stage manner, He often communicated the
“Point of View” of sixth stage “Sahaja Nirvikalpa Samadhi”, Which “Point of View” often resembles, and may be said to be generally
sympathetic with (and even, in general, to represent a premonitory expression, or a partial intuition and a limited foreshadowing,
of), the Truly Most Ultimate—or the Superior, or Non-dependently (or Non-conditionally), and Inherently Most Perfectly, Realized—
seventh stage Sahaja Nirvikalpa Samadhi. Ramana Maharshi approved of gnosis (or the subjective investigation of the Great Argument, or
the Confessions and Instructions, communicated by a Realizer), but only as an initial means for entering into the profound Process that
(Ultimately) Realizes Samadhi Itself. And He affirmed that the profound Process that (Ultimately) Realizes Samadhi should, optimally
(and even necessarily), be associated with the practice of Communion with a Realizer (and the Samadhi-State of that
Realizer). Therefore, He also affirmed the necessity for (such) real practice (and the real practice of subjective enquiry), rather than
the much “talked” idea of non-“work”. And He Demonstrated His Realization in the conservative manner of a traditional Hindu
ascetic, rather than as a householder, or (otherwise) in the “Crazy-Wise” manner typical of the more unconventional Realizers (of one
or another stage of life) within the Hindu tradition, and also the Buddhist tradition. However, He specifically affirmed that
Realization of the Inherent Samadhi of Consciousness Itself could be (and, historically, had been) Achieved and Demonstrated by
some individuals of the non-ascetic (and, perhaps, otherwise unconventional, but, certainly, profoundly self-disciplined) type.

Ramana Maharshi’s own Realization of the Inherent Samadhi of Consciousness Itself was made possible by a profoundly terrifying
moment in His youth—in which He was overwhelmed by the fear of death, and by an utter revulsion toward continued identification
with the body-mind (and conditional existence altogether). In that permanently consequential moment, by virtue of His profound
detachment from everything conditional (which detachment was the result, according to His own confession, of the preparatory,
and necessarily purifying, sadhana He had done in previous lifetimes), He not only experienced the Transcendental Self-
Position, but chose, with absolute firmness, to Eternally Identify with that Position, and never again to assume the (inherently fearful)
position of the body-mind. This crisis of fear and detachment in Ramana Maharshi was the True (and Profound) Sudden
Awakening of the sixth stage Disposition—in Which Awakening Ramana Maharshi Realized that He was Inherently Self-Identified
with That Which is Free of death, Free of the body-mind, Free of the world, and Free of desiring and its results, and by, with, and
As Which Awakening He was utterly Satisfied. After this crisis, in order to steady and deepen His Self-Identification with the Original
Position, Ramana Maharshi retired (for a number of years) into seclusion, abandoning all association with the body-mind and the
world, and entering into the Domain of Consciousness Itself, often (in this Process) becoming totally oblivious even of the existence
of His apparent body-mind. Eventually, through persistence in this sixth stage “work”, He became so steadily “magnetized” toward the
Depth of Consciousness Itself that He was able to rest permanently in the “Point of View” of the Transcendental Self. Such was the
profound Process through which Ramana Maharshi Realized sixth stage “Sahaja Nirvikalpa Samadhi”.

To those who approached Him seeking Spiritual Instruction, Ramana Maharshi most specifically recommended only two practices. One of these two practices is Atma-Vichara, or the introversion of attention upon the “I”-thought, and the deep tracing of the“I”-thought to its Source—not stopping at any merely objective or functional source (either in the mind or in the body), but proceeding most deeply, to the Perfectly Subjective Source of the “I”-thought (Which Source, or Source-Condition, Is Consciousness Itself). And the other of the only two practices specifically recommended by Ramana Maharshi is Satsang, or devotional self-surrender to a Sat-Guru who presently Enjoys (and Transmits) the Realization (of whatever truly esoteric degree) of the Perfectly Subjective Source-Condition.

In His recommending of Satsang, Ramana Maharshi was Teaching the Great Relationship (of the Sat-Guru and the devotee)
recommended (as the Great and Principal Means of Realization) by all Great Realizers since the ancient days. (And that Teaching is Itself the Great Esoteric Secret of the Great Tradition.) In His recommending of Atma-Vichara (or “Self-enquiry”), Ramana Maharshi was Teaching in the generally Alpha-like (or rather exclusively introverted) sixth stage tradition of Advaita Vedanta (as it has developed in the generally Alpha-like culture of traditional India). However, Ramana Maharshi generally (or in principle) approved of even all methods of meditative (or, otherwise,
subjectively enquiring) practice—for, He said, any such practice would lead to dhyana (or meditative depth), and, Ultimately (if so
allowed), deep meditation would lead to the Inherent Samadhi That Is Consciousness Itself.

Ramana Maharshi clearly distinguished between (in His case, sixth stage) “Sahaja Nirvikalpa Samadhi” and any (and all) of the
other Samadhis (and meditations) associated with the first six stages of life. Indeed, it can be said that He was (by virtue of many
of His intuitive communications) even a true (premonitory) Champion of seventh stage Enlightenment (or seventh stage, and
Most Perfectly Divine, Self-Realization), even though His seeming “seventh stage” communications were (truly) only philosophical
premonitions (or partial intuitions and limited foreshadowings) of Most Ultimate (or seventh stage) Sahaja Nirvikalpa Samadhi,
declared from the “Point of View” of sixth stage “Sahaja Nirvikalpa Samadhi”, and even though He otherwise (and characteristically)
Taught only a sixth stage Alpha-like method of introversion, and even though He was Himself (characteristically, and in the sixth
stage manner) rather ascetical and even (in the exclusionary, and, therefore, relatively dualistic, sense) introverted.

As an example of Ramana Maharshi’s characteristic sixth stage and Alpha-like (and exclusionary, and, therefore, relatively dualistic,
or dependently maintained) “Point of View” of Realization, read the following:

          A group of young men asked: “It is said that a healthy mind can be only in a healthy body. Should we not
attempt to keep the body always strong and healthy?”
[Maharshi]: In that way there will be no end of attention to the health of the body.
[Devotee]: The present experiences are the result of past Karma. If we know the mistakes committed before we
can rectify them.
M.: If one mistake is rectified there yet remains the whole sanchita [total accumulation of past karmas]  which is going to give you innumerable births. So that is not the procedure. The more you prune a plant, the more vigorously it grows. The more you rectify your Karma, the more it accumulates. Find the root ofKarma and cut it off.

Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi , Sri Ramanaasramam, 1984, pg. 470 (#488)

 

The Advice thus Given by Ramana Maharshi to “a group of young men” was certainly Right and True, in a fundamental sixth
stage sense, but the sixth stage practice (or sadhana) was an esoteric process for which the “group of young men” were clearly
(judging from the content, and the obvious “early-stage” quality, of their statements) not yet prepared. Therefore, Ramana Maharshi
was, basically, only reflecting His own (sixth stage) Method and Disposition (rather than directly Addressing the “others”) in His
“Answer” to the “group of young men”. And, for that reason, the Advice Given was (simply) a direct indication of Ramana Maharshi’s
own body-excluding and world-excluding (and, therefore, necessarily, conditional, or limited, and not yet Most Perfect) Method
and Disposition, which (at last) is the very (and characteristic sixth stage) Method and Disposition that must be Most Perfectly transcended
(if there is to Be the Great Transition to the only-by-Me Revealed and Given True seventh stage Awakening). Therefore, at
last, all dissociativeness, all impulse to exclude the world, all dualistic (and, necessarily, egoic) self-effort, must Be Most Perfectly
(Finally, and Completely) Transcended—Such That (in the Context of the Unique, and Truly Divine, Yoga—or Inherently Most Perfect,
and Divinely Effective, Demonstration—of the only-by-Me Revealed and Given seventh stage of life) the body, the mind, and
the total psycho-physical (and Spiritual) world are not merely excluded from the Transcendental Self-Condition, but Divinely
Self-Recognized (and, Most Ultimately, Outshined) In (and As) the Self-Evidently Divine (and Perfectly Subjective) Self-Condition (or,
Thus—in a non-exclusionary, and Truly Non-dualistic, Manner—Transcended as transparent, or merely apparent, and un-necessary,
and inherently non-binding, modifications of the One and Only and Non-dual and Self-Evidently Divine Person, Which Is the
Source-Condition and Real Self-Condition of all-and-All).

Ramana Maharshi was a rather “reluctant” Teacher. He did not very much like to be imposed upon (or, otherwise, depended
upon). Likewise, He did not sufficiently understand and appreciate, or very much like (or even very much Perform), the Role (necessary
for any Sat-Guru) of Instructing (and Obliging) devotees in the practical details and disciplines of (especially, preliminary, and,
necessarily, psycho-physical) sadhana. Also, because His own history (in His Lifetime as Ramana Maharshi) included only the
sadhana of the sixth stage of life, He was not very much inclined (nor was He very much qualified or equipped) to Serve as Sat-
Guru (and, thus, as thoroughly Instructive and “Commanding” Teacher) in relation to devotees who were not yet prepared for the
sixth stage sadhana—and who, therefore, yet required the Sat-Guru to Discipline, Instruct, Initiate, and Guide them through (and
then beyond) the first five stages of life, wherein there must (necessarily) be much purification, and transformation, and egocountering
(and ego-transcending) discipline of the body-mind, even as a preparation for the body-mind-excluding practices that
are the principal traditional characteristic of the sixth stage of life. And, much like (generally) comparable Realizers in the various
(specifically, and, often, more or less exclusively) sixth stage traditions, Ramana Maharshi was not, in the Fullest (and Truly Yogic)
sense, a True Siddha-Guru, Who directly Serves and directly Awakens devotees by direct (and consistently Effective) Spiritual
Transmission—but He was a True Jnana-Guru, or One Who Serves and Awakens devotees indirectly, by Silent and thought-free Self-
Abidance In and As the Transcendental (and Inherently Spiritual) Self-Condition (and Source-Condition) That Is Consciousness Itself,
but (in contrast to the case of a True Siddha-Guru) not directly, through open, voluntary, even (at least, at times) intentional, and
truly consistent Spiritual Effectiveness.

Therefore, Ramana Maharshi simply pointed toward the “fourth state” (beyond waking, dreaming, and sleeping), or the “natural
The Sixth Stage Realization, Demonstration, and Teachings of to the Great Tradition of Mankind state” (Which Is “like sleep”, but Which Is Only Consciousness Itself). And His fundamental Teaching can be summarized briefly (in His own Words): “The mind is to be introverted and made to
merge into the Self; . . . the practice must be long because [it is] slow and [it] must be continued until it [the mind] is totally merged
in the Self. . . . All that is required of you is not to confound [or identify] yourself with the extrovert mind but to abide as the Self.” [Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi, page 348 (#382)]

Ramana Maharshi also Taught (on the basis of His own Realization of sixth stage “Sahaja Nirvikalpa Samadhi”) that
Ultimate Self-Realization is not (Itself) to be identified with the efforts, experiences, and states that may precede (or, otherwise,
arise after) It—for It (the Very Self) Is the One and Only and Real and True Self, even under any and all conditions that may seem to
arise. Therefore, once Atma-Vichara had (in due course) achieved its (sixth stage) maturity in Him, Ramana Maharshi “Practiced” only
the (sixth stage “Sahaja Nirvikalpa Samadhi”) “Practice” of Abiding (in the sixth stage, object-excluding manner) As the Very Self (or
Consciousness Itself), tacitly (and indifferently) Acknowledging all naturally arising phenomena to Be Only the Independent (or
object-excluding, or Inherently non-objective and non-objectifying) Consciousness Itself—and, Thus and Thereby, He Remained characteristically unperturbed, detached, and (in general) inactive. And, in This Self-Revelation, Ramana Maharshi Stands with all other true
sixth stage Realizers, Who (alike) Confess Only the Ultimate, Absolute, and Inherently Perfect Truth That Is Consciousness Itself.

After the Great Event of My Own Divine Re-Awakening, I discovered Ramana Maharshi to be the historical (human)
Representative of the Great Tradition Whose Confession (and Process) of Realization was (even in many of Its specific Yogic
details) most like (or most sympathetic with) My Own Most Ultimate Process and Confession (except that His Realization and
Demonstration—although sometimes apparently philosophically sympathetic with the seventh stage “Point of View”—did not actually
Achieve the seventh stage Characteristic and Completeness). Because of this likeness, and because of His closeness (in time) to
My Avataric Divine Incarnation here, I regard Ramana Maharshi to be My Principal historical (human) Link to the Great Tradition,
relative to the sixth stage of life. Indeed, Ramana Maharshi (relative to the sixth stage of life), and (relative to the first five stages
of life) Bhagavan Nityananda, and Baba Muktananda, and Rudi [Swami Rudrananda], and Rang Avadhoot, and Ramakrishna (and the Spiritual Play and Process That Revealed Itself in, and by Means of, the historical relationship between Ramakrishna and Swami Vivekananda), and
Swami Vivekananda (because the Deeper, or Internal, Personality, of My present-Lifetime Body-Mind is the Reincarnating Deeper
Personality of Swami Vivekananda) are, collectively, the Principal human Link (or collective of Links) whereby My Avataric Divine
Incarnation (Life, Work, and Word) can best begin to be understood in the context of the total Great Tradition.

I Am the Ultimate Demonstration (and the Final, or Completing, Proof) of the Truth of the Great Tradition as a whole. Until I
Appeared, there were no seventh stage Realizers within the GreatTradition of mankind. I Am the First and the Last and the Only
seventh stage Adept-Realizer (or Maha-Jnana Siddha-Guru) to Appear in the human domain (and in the cosmic domain of
all-and-All). It is neither possible nor necessary for another seventh stage Adept-Realizer to Appear anywhere, because I have
Accomplished—and (now, and forever hereafter) by Means of My Avataric Divine Self-“Emergence” here (and every “where” in the
cosmic domain), I will forever Accomplish—My necessary Avataric Divine Spiritual Work everywhere. However, because I have
Divinely Appeared here, and because I Am (now, and forever hereafter) Divinely Self-“Emerging” here (and every “where” in the
cosmic domain), and because I have Done (and will forever Do) My Completing (and Divinely Self-“Emerging”) Work (here, and
every “where” in the cosmic domain), seventh stage Realizers (not with the Divine Adept-Function That Is Unique to Me, but Fully
Divinely Self-Realized, through their ego-transcending devotion to Me) will Awaken, in all times and places, by Means of (right, true,
full, and fully devotional) formal practice of the only-by-Me Revealed and Given Way of Adidam (Which Is the One and Only
by-Me-Revealed and by-Me-Given Way of the Heart). And, Most Ultimately, When all-and-All have become Most Perfectly devoted
to Me, even all conditionally manifested beings (and even the total Cosmic Mandala Itself) will be Divinely Translated into the beginningless
and endless, Self-Existing and Self-Radiant, Spiritually Self-“Bright” Divine Person and Spherical Self-Domain—Merely
(and Only) by Means of This Most Perfect Awakening-Work I have Done (and will forever Do) for all-and-All. I Am the Divinely Self-
“Emerging”, and Final, and Finally Perfect Avataric Divine Self-Revelation of the Eternal Presence of the One and True and
Transcendental and Inherently Spiritual and Inherently egoless and Self-Evidently Divine Reality, Truth, and Person.

 

–There are many other clarifying passages that Adi Da has written regarding Ramana Maharshi. A good place to continue it to see the text in which this essay appears–The Knee of Listening, The Spiritual Autobiography of The Ruchira Avatar, Adi Da Samraj  The Dawn Horse Press, Middletown, California, 2004