The Best Yoga

Day by Day, on the 29-4-46,  in the afternoon, the following conversation between Ramana Maharshi and Mr Nanavati of Bombay has been recorded:

Mr Nanavati asked Bhagavan, “What is the heart referred to in the verse in Upadesa Saram where it is said ‘Abiding in the heart is the best karma, yoga, bhakti and jnana’?” 

Bhagavan: That which is the source of all, that in which all live, and that into which all finally merge, is the heart referred to. 

Nanavati: How can we conceive of such a heart? 

Bhagavan: Why should you conceive of anything? You have only to see wherefrom the ‘I’ springs. 

Nanavati: I suppose mere mauna in speech is no good; but we must have mauna of the mind. 

Bhagavan: Of course. If we have real mauna, that state in which the mind is merged into its source and has no more separate existence, then all other kinds of mauna will come of their own accord, i.e., the mauna of words, of action and of the mind or citta.

The verse mentioned is Upadeśa Sāram, verse 10. A translation with commentary follows.

hṛtsthale manaḥ svasthatā kriyā | 
bhakti yoga bodhāś ca niścitam ||10||
'The kriyā of abiding in one's natural state, i.e. mind set in the Heart, is without doubt, bhakti, yoga, and knowledge.' 

Here, kriyā (act, practice) refers to the one and only truly continuous, uncaused, meritorious ‘act’ (kriyāyoga). This is the state of eternal being, i.e. the Self. Where the mind finds this place (dhyāna), i.e. its place of birth, there is the culmination of Karma, Bhakti, Yoga, and Jñana. For the purified mind, this takes the form of constant remembrance, also called nididhyāsana. This is realisation  of one's natural state. Referring to this verse Sri Bhagavan proclaims, “...That is the whole truth in a nut-shell.” (from Talks; 222) 

In practice this may take the form of, daily attention to the silent murmur of Self, pulling the mind back through Self-enquiry (the sphuraṅa... 'I', 'I', 'I' ..., at times even seeming to manifest physically on the right side of the chest), the abolition of viyoga through work/actions attended to selflessly, without desire for any of the fruits, or, the bhakta's perpetual remembrance of Bhagavan in the temple of the Heart. 

From Talks: 
'Swa swarupanusandhanam bhaktirityabhidhīyate (Reflection on one's own Self is called bhakti). Bhakti and Self-Enquiry are one and the same. The  Self of the Advaitins is the God of the bhaktas.' (Talk; 274) 

D. : What is Jñana Marga
M. : Concentration of the mind is in a way common to both Knowledge and Yoga. Yoga aims at union of the individual with the universal, the Reality. This Reality cannot be new. It must exist even now, and it does exist. Therefore the Path of Knowledge tries to find out how viyoga (separation) came about. The separation is from the Reality only.' (Talks; 17) 


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