A seeker asked, “The ancients say that for a person who wants to know the real state, sadhana (spiritual practice), sravana (listening to the Truth), Manana (reflection on the Truth) and Nidhidhyasana (abidance in the Truth) are absolutely necessary till the very end. Is that so?”
Bhagavan replied: “They are necessary only to get rid of the various things that come from outside and that too for purposes of sadhana only, but not for realising the Self. One’s own self is there at all times and in all places. Sravana etc are to be resorted to only to get rid of external influences but if they are regarded as the most important things they will be the cause of the development of further ego such as ‘I am a learned man, I am a great man’ and the like. That is a big samsara. It is difficult to get rid of it later on. It is bigger than a wild elephant. It will not yield ordinarily.”
“For that wild elephant, it is said that Guru Kataksham (the Grace of the Guru) is like seeing a lion in its dream”, said the questioner.
“That is true. If an elephant sees a lion in its dream, it wakes up startled and will not sleep again that day for fear that the lion might appear again in a dream. In the same way in a man’s life which is also akin to a dream, it is not Guru Kataksham alone, but also sravana, manana, nidhidhyasana etc that are akin to the sight of a lion in a dream. As they go on getting these dreams they wake up, and again go to bed and by efflux of time they may some day get a lion’s dream called Guru Kataksham in an intense manner. They get startled and obtain jnana. Then there will be no more dreams and they will not only be wakeful at all times but will not give room for any dreams of life but will remain alert until that true and real knowledge is obtained. These lion’s dreams are unavoidable and must be experienced”, said Bhagavan.
With some surprise the questioner asked, “are Sravana etc and Guru Kataksham akin to dreams?”. “Yes, that is so. For those who realise the truth, everything is akin to a dream. That being so, what do you now say, is the truth? During sleep you have no control over this body. You wander about in various places with different bodies. You do all sorts of things. At that time everything appears real. You do everything as if you are the doer. It is only after you wake up that you feel that you are so and so, that what you experienced in the dream is unreal and that it was only a dream. …
…. When you are able to understand your state which had been existent all the time, you will then understand that all the rest is a dream. When that is known, the feeling that the Guru is different from you will disappear. But then, since this realisation must come about because of Guru Kataksham, that Guru Kataksham is likened to the dream of a lion. That dream must be intense and must imprint itself in one’s mind. It is only then that a proper wakefulness will come about…”
Courtesy: Letters from Ramanasramam by Suri Nagamma