Sayings from Sri Muruganar's
“The Garland of Guru’s (Sri Ramana Maharshi’s) Sayings”
on the subject of Turning Inward
There are seven subcategories:
- Encouragement, the Goal, the Benefits - 25 sayings
- The Awareness watching Awareness approach to Self-inquiry and Self-abidance - 15 sayings
- Practice, Ernestness, Effort and Zeal - 10 sayings
- Ignoring and turning one's attention away from thought and towards Awareness watching Awareness - 14 sayings
- The Body - 16 sayings
- Turning Inward - 21 sayings
- Ignoring and turning one’s attention away from the world and towards Awareness watching Awareness - 108 Sayings (separate page)
Sri Muruganar spent decades in the company of Sri Ramana Maharshi. Reading the Sayings very slowly helps to understand what Sri Ramana and Sri Muruganar are attempting to convey in these Sayings.
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START TURNING INWARD:
Encouragement, the Goal, the Benefits (25 Sayings)
One who has wisely chosen the straight path of Self-inquiry
can never go astray;
for like the bright, clear Sun,
the Self-Awareness reveals itself to whomever turns towards it.
The deeper into the Heart one dives,
the greater grows the bliss enjoyed,
the intense bliss of the sole Self-Awareness,
which once appeared in various forms.
Once you are well established in the Heart,
true Awareness rises bright.
Then you live like an unsetting Sun,
Resplendent with the light of Truth,
enjoying the blissful peace of eternal Self-Awareness.
Worth pursuing is Self-inquiry,
worth enjoying is the infinite Self-Awareness.
Worth giving up is the ego sense.
To end all sorrow, the final refuge is one’s source,
the Self of pure Awareness.
The deeds we do in a dream do not touch our “waking” life,
and slip away when we “awake”.
Our deeds done in this clouded ego life, disappear and leave no trace,
when we wake up, in the divine white light of Self-Awareness.
They say that fate can never bind those heaven bound. What does this mean?
Not an iota of the past can touch those,
who dwell unceasingly
in the firmament of vast, boundless, borderless, full Self-Awareness.
A woman with a necklace around her neck imagines it is lost,
and after a long search elsewhere,
touches her own neck and there finds it;
even so, the Self-Awareness is here within.
Probe for it within and find it.
Except the path of Self-inquiry, probing the mysterious I-sense,
no other effort or action, however strenuously pursued,
can take one to the fount of bliss,
the treasure shining in the heart,
forever as the Self-Awareness.
I shall assert with certainty,
that when the mind as thoughts has ceased to function,
it remains as a temple of Awareness-Bliss,
hidden till then behind the veil of time.
The goal, the Truth, is Self-Awareness.
Reaching it is the annihilation of the painful illusion of birth.
Unbroken Self-Awareness is the true bright path of devotion or
Knowledge of our inherent nature,
as indivisible supreme Bliss,
wells up as love.
The strong one who abides in Being,
knows neither fear or doubt.
Bliss is the very nature of the Self-Awareness.
Self-Awareness is infinite Bliss.
Knowing this firmly,
abide in the Self-Awareness,
enjoying bliss forever.
The Self, the home of blissful Awareness,
is a vast ocean of serene peace.
He whose mind turns inward and dives deep within it,
gains the infinite treasure of its grace.
The ever-present Self-Awareness,
the radiant gem, this is the rarest, richest treasure.
Look within, and find and hold it fast.
Your poverty, the grand illusion, source of every trouble on earth,
with vanish without delay.
The pure unflawed Awareness of Being
is the transcendent state wherein both mind and breath find bliss.
This state of supreme grace,
surcharged with peace,
serves also as the medicine which to the sick, restless mind
restores healthful peace.
To those who dwell within the Heart,
loving the Self-Awareness,
bliss comes surging up,mounting ever higher,
as love, Self, grace, Awareness, peace and liberation.
Bliss is the real nature of the Self-Awareness.
Only when the Self-Awareness is gained,
is permanent, perfect, blissful peace attained.
In this Self-sovereignty,
non-dual, heaven-like, all pervasive,
no desire and no fear can exist.
Abiding as Self-Being,
living a life that is a steady unhindered flow of true love
welling up in the heart,
this is the bright, joyous Selfhood,
which ends forever the inveterate, false, deceitful ego.
That Heart which truly knows the Self-Awareness,
is full of love whence supreme Bliss wells up forever.
There, desire and its shadow, sorrow, have no place.
Such a life, whose nature is pure,
flows serenely calm from Being.
The river that has merged in the ocean,
will never lapse again into separateness.
No more will he who has reached his Being as Awareness,
forget the Self and be reborn.
If once the primal knot is cut,
never again can one be bound,
for this is one’s natural Being.
This is the divine state,
this is the supreme power,
this is the serene peace.
When, the dense darkness of ignorance is gone,
the Heart’s wide open firmament is filled with serene, clear, bright peace,
and an inner fount of love springs up,
which is true devotion,
the pure auspiciousness of Self-Awareness.
That which alone abides and shines as pure Awareness,
perfect peace, is the eternal Self.
the supreme state of Being That,
this is the fullness of liberation.
The troubles that result from change,
can never touch the Self-Awareness,
as changes and flaws in earth, water, fire and air,
do not affect the element ether,
which pervades and transcends them all.
The Awareness watching Awareness approach
If, instead of looking outward at objects,
you observe that looking,
all things now shine as I, the seer.
Perception of objects is mere illusion.
If you refrain from looking at this, that, or any other object,
then by that overpowering look into Absolute Being,
you become yourself the boundless space of pure Awareness,
which alone is real Being.
The only true and full Awareness is
Awareness of Awareness.
Until Awareness is Awareness of itself,
it knows no peace at all.
Is it not because you are yourself Awareness,
that you now perceive this universe?
If you observe Awareness steadily,
this Awareness as Teacher, will reveal the Truth.
If mind turned towards Awareness and concentrating on Awareness,
seeks the Self, the world made up of ether and other elements is real, as all things are Awareness,
the one sole substance of true Being.
True natural Awareness, which does not go after alien objects, is the Heart.
Since actionless Awareness shines as real Being,
its joy consists in concentration on itself.
In the Self, he stands firm fixed who dwells
and truly meditates on himself as pure awareness.
The method of Self-inquiry is:
to turn the outward-going mind back to its source,
the Heart, the Self-Awareness, and fix it forever there,
preventing the rising of the empty “I”.
True wealth is but the gracious silence
of steady, unswerving Self-Awareness.
This bright, rare treasure can be gained
only by those who earnestly strive for the extinction of all thoughts.
Losing the false ego in awareness,
and firm abidance as awareness, is true clarity.
In that flawless state of Being the Self-Awareness,
without a sense of “I” or “mine”,
the still abidance in and as pure Awareness,
this is the noblest victory worth winning.
Not like other things unreal, but always by its Being real,
the Self as permanent Awareness, has no other dwelling place, than in its own radiant Awareness.
That which unaided shines within as “I AM, I AM” without
the strong, true Being free from all adjuncts,
this pure Awareness, is our firm, authentic nature.
Awareness is not a quality of the Self. The Self is without qualities.
Awareness is not an action of the Self. The Self does nothing.
The Self, our Being, IS Awareness.
When one refrains from looking out and noting outward
and instead abides within the Heart in Self-Awareness,
the ego disappears.
The pure silence that then shines forth is the goal of Knowledge.
Practice, Earnestness, Effort and Zeal (10 Sayings)
If without wasting time,
one starts and keeps up steady self-inquiry,
one’s life becomes at once ennobled,
one is no more this wretched body,
and there wells up within one’s heart,
a sea of supreme bliss.
Even in this worldly life,
one’s labors bear no fruit without abundant faith.
Hence, till one merges in the boundless supreme bliss,
one’s spiritual practice should never slacken.
Since it was one’s own past effort,
that has now ripened into fate,
one can with greater present effort, change one’s fate.
True wealth is but the gracious silence of steady, unswerving Self-awareness.
This bright rare treasure, can be gained only by those who:
earnestly strive for the extinction of all thoughts.
A superstructure raised, without a strong foundation,
soon collapses in disgrace.
Hence, earnest seekers first ensure by every means,
their own stern self-discipline
through devotion and detachment.
Undeluded by whatever may come and go,
unwinking, watch the Self-Awareness,
because the little fault of forgetting for one moment,
one’s true Being as Pure Awareness,
brings tremendous loss.
Not knowing the value of this treasure,
people perish through mere laziness.
The great ones who have found the clue and traced and gained it,
they enjoy eternal bliss.
Uninterrupted and whole minded concentration on Self-Awareness,
our true, non-dual Being,
this is pure, supreme silence, the goal;
Not the lazy mind’s inertia,
which is but a state of dark illusion.
Swerve not from your true state,
thinking some thought,
but if you do,
do not commit the same foolishness again.
Do nothing you may regret later,
even if you did it once, never repeat it.
To err is human.
When those strong in virtue err,
they do not hide it in their pride.
Instead, they own up to their lapse,
and quickly reform themselves.
Ignoring and turning one’s attention away from thoughts
None can confront and overcome the mind.
Ignore it, then, as something false and unreal.
Know the Self-Awareness as the real ground and stand firm rooted in it.
Then the mind’s movements will gradually subside.
The ego image moves reflected in the mind’s waves.
How to stop this movement, how to regain the state of stillness?
Don’t observe these movements, seek the Self instead.
It is wisdom to gain and abide in silence.
The Seers declare that pure silence
is firm abidance in egoless, true Awareness.
For such thought-free silence,
the means is clinging to the Self-Awareness
within the Heart.
The one true light there is, is pure Awareness.
Other kinds of knowledge clinging to it, and claiming to be real,
are ego-born conceptual clouds.
To trust them is sheer foolishness.
What if one knows, the subtle secret, of manifold inscrutable mysteries?
Until one knows the Awareness which reveals all other knowledge,
does one know the Truth?
The individual’s thirst will vanish,
only when the habits-predispositions-tendencies, of the frenzied mind, die,
and direct experience comes of pure Awareness.
If mirage water could quench thirst,
then only would indirect knowledge satisfy the individual’s longing.
Those who do not keenly seek and recognize
the Being Awareness shinning incessant in the heart,
sink deep into delusive illusion,
due to the denotative knowledge piled up by the mounting ego.
What we incessantly think of, that we become.
Hence, if we keenly seek the Self-Awareness,
and think of nothing else,
the malady of birth will cease,
and all thoughts will end.
What need is there for any thinking for those
who in the thought-free bliss of Self-Awareness, live their lives?
All they experience is bright stillness.
In this supreme state, there is no “other” and nothing to gain.
Shining as the bright void,
devoid of concepts raised by the villainous ego,
this is the true experience of infinite Being-Awareness,
the one non-dual bliss of pure silence.
When the ego, shaking off all tricky concepts,
finally merges in the silence of the Heart,
the fullness of blissful, bright Self-Awareness, this,
this is what the sages call transcendent speech.
The Self, who is pure Awareness, transcending thought,
is only known to heroic seers,
who with minds extinct,
abide thought-free within the Heart,
and not to those whose minds are still engaged in thought.
As in the sky covered with thick clouds,
no eye can see the glorious sun,
one fails to see one’s Self-Awareness,
when the mind firmament is darkened by a dense cloud of thoughts.
He who has vanquished thought,
only he sits like an emperor on the neck of the majestic elephant, knowledge.
Know for certain that the mind’s movements alone
give rise to birth and every cruel pain and sorrow.
The Body (16 Sayings)
Only the mind deluded by illusion’s might, and looking outward, sees the body.
The true Self knows no body.
To call the Self of pure Awareness, the body’s owner or indweller, is an error.
Like one who takes a crocodile for a boat,
and with its help tries to cross a river,
are those who, while they pamper the trivial flesh,
claim that they are earnest seekers of the living Self-Awareness.
(Give up the thought that this frail body is the Self-Awareness. Pursue the Self-Awareness, which is eternal bliss. To seek It, while cherishing the perishable body, is like trying to cross a river, using a crocodile for a raft. – Sri Ramana.)
Except the Self-Awareness, nothing exists.
But then the deep delusion that the body is one’s self,
makes one let go the solid, non-dual bliss of immortality,
and fall into birth and death.
Worship of the Formless is for him alone
who has left behind the notion “I am this form, this body.”
One who is still identified mentally with his body-form, worships only form,
though he may think he is worshipping the Formless.
Those who love,
deeming they are this putrid body of flesh,
that in a brief while turns clean food to filth,
are baser than the swine that feast on filth as food.
(Those who deem themselves the body, that soon converts clean food to filth, are worse than swine that feed on filth. – Sri Ramana)
What is conquest of the elements?
Destroying the ego, the attachment to the body,
made up of the five elements,
and scorning with contempt the flaws of the flesh,
which have nothing to do with the true Self-Awareness,
but are only based on the five elements.
He who, being ignorant of the truth that he is “I, I”, the Self-Awareness,
regards this body as himself,
can only perish with the perishing flesh,
caught in the web, the dreamlike web,
woven by his own illusions.
What is liberation, the bliss supreme attained by few?
And what is noble renunciation?
What is Death that brings immortality?
What is the highest achievement?
All are but this one thing:
the ending of the foolish, false illusion that “I am the body”.
When the sense that “I am the body” dies,
all troublesome illusions and confusions vanish once and for all.
Within the explored heart,
the non-dual Self of pure Awareness appears as “I, I”.
Our real Being, the Sun that never can see the darkness of illusion,
knows no trace of pain or suffering.
Misery is what one brings upon one’s self,
by fondly thinking that one is the body, not the Self-Awareness.
Blissful and auspicious is the Self-Awareness, our real Being.
One who knows this, sees in life no trace of suffering or pain.
Misery is what one brings upon one’s self,
by foolishly thinking that the body, not the Self-Awareness,
is one’s true self.
Not seeing one’s self as the One Self-Awareness,
one always suffers fear and aguish.
Destroy the “I am the body” thought,
and in Self-Awareness firmly fixed,
abide in real non-dual Being.
When the false notion “I am the body” dies,
what abides is what’s worth having,
the vast, bright, silent void, the Self-Awareness.
Why is it so? Because in truth,
the only state free from all pain and all desire is pure Self-Being.
The darkness of illusion never touches
the seer who knows his true identity as pure Awareness,
vast as the sky, bright as the sun.
Only the blind, who think they are bodies,
suffer from dark ignorance.
Why do you suffer in vain,
believing you are hemmed in by the body?
Even in sleep, when you are free from thoughts of separateness,
your being abides intact and whole.
True silence is the state of being Self-Awareness in the heart
when the false, foolish sense that one is but the body, is no more.
Mere verbal silence, undertaken without inquiring “Who am I?”,
is no better than a mental trick.
Turning Inward (21 Sayings)
To those who look within,
the highest good gained by the Master’s grace
is wakeful sleep, the fourth state,
the undying flame, the sweet, uncloying fruit, forever fresh.
True poetry, springs only from the calm heart’s clarity,
which follows the elimination of the ego,
by inward search, and finding out that none of the five sheaths is I.
Only a one-pointed mind, turned inward,
succeeds in Self-inquiry.
Weak, faltering minds, like green banana trees,
are not fit fuel to feed this fire.
Self-Awareness alone is the true Eye.
One has direct immediate knowledge, only of the Self-Awareness .
But minds averted from the Self-Awareness,
look through the senses at a world other than the Self-Awareness,
and mistakenly think it can be known directly.
Only those foolish folk,
who have not searched and found the Truth supreme, the Heart,
flounder in fear, in the treacherous illusion.
Those who have known the supreme bliss,
the boundless flood of heavenly brightness,
fear no more.
The boat moves in the water,
but water should never enter into it.
Though one lives in the world,
the world should not occupy one’s mind.
Not like a boat’s sail, outspread wide and worn away by wind and weather,
but like the humble anchor, sunk in the vast ocean’s depth,
the mind should plunge and settle in the heart of wisdom.
Though one should win at one stroke all the powers people yearn for,
all one’s learning is just wasted,
if one fails to undo the primal knot,
and to reclaim the one sole, perfect Jewel,
Non-existent illusion, this alone,
seeming to be real and powerful,
makes fools of even the cleverest folk,
and smiles inwardly, with wonder at its own success.
“A dream in a moment comes and goes. This ‘waking’ life is enduring.”
Such argument is but the trick played by mind and illusion conspiring.
The inner light, self-luminous, shines all the time as I, as I.
To go from place to place in search of That,
is like looking at noon, torch in hand, for the bright Sun
which hides the full moon from our sight.
You who in eager search of Truth,
roam over the world looking for saints,
when you examine what they teach as definitive,
it is only the empty sky of pure Awareness.
Seekers hurrying round the world in search of teachers,
find at last that their paternal gift
is only the marvelous sky of ‘mere’ Awareness.
The true physician is one’s Self-Awareness.
Hence, people tell the would-be Teacher:
“Before you start prescribing medicines for us,
first cure yourself (of blindness),
and then come to us.”
Reality is one and only one.
This permanent and perfect Being,
has been described variously by sages
who with keen minds have searched the Heart,
and there experienced It.
Though thus Reality is one,
all schools concede at first, three primal entities, God, individual and world,
because the discursive, outward looking mind
cannot straightaway, face the unity of Being.
In the mere presence of the Lord, Himself free from all traces of thought,
individuals set out in numerous paths of action, work away,
and wearied, turn inward and return to freedom.
That which Is, forever shines in Grace as I,
the Self-Awareness, the Heart.
Can that be blamed for lacking Grace?
The fault is theirs who do not turn within
and seek the Self-Awareness, in love.
Mind turned inward and ego dead,
there shines the Self, the Being-Awareness,
and though transcending form and feature,
It appears as Teacher.
Thus does God, the Self-Awareness,
bestow as Teacher, His Grace.
Why should God’s glance of Grace,
which falls on all alike, seem to avoid some “sinners”?
The universal Eye avoids no creature.
We are blind, for we look outward, not within.
What else is death, but straying from,
the perfect state of Being the immortal Self,
home of eternal love and supreme bliss,
the heaven of true Awareness?
Ignoring, turning one’s attention away from the world and towards Awareness watching Awareness (108 Sayings)
This is such a large collection of quotes, I have given it its own web page. You
can read the 108 Sayings on the subject of turning one’s attention away from the
world by clicking this link:
(Turning away from) The WORLD - 108 Sayings
Reading, discussing, and thinking about spiritual teachings are examples of an outward
turned mind. You can read quotes by Sri Ramana Maharshi on that subject by clicking
On Reading and Discussing
If you would like to purchase a copy of the book “The Garland of Guru’s Sayings”
by Sri Muruganar, this link has a list of
You can read other Direct Path Teachings by clicking this link:
in: Awareness watching Awareness