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The I-am-the-body idea


80  The feeling of living in the body and the world is what destroys the life of firm swarupa, the being-consciousness.


81   Taking the body to be ‘I’ is the error that murders Brahman, that which is merged with you as Atma-swarupa.


82   Know the deceitful ego, a consummate impersonator, as a villainous murderer whose profession is death.


Though Brahman is essentially indestructible, Bhagavan often spoke of devotees who ‘killed’ or ‘murdered’ Brahman by not being aware of it.


83   Only the ego, the delusion that spreads by identifying with the insentient upadhi [the body], is bondage.


84   That which should be clearly known is the Self, mere consciousness. That which should be destroyed is attachment to the body.


Ulladu Narpadu, verse 17:


To those who do not know the Self and to those who do, the body is the ‘I’. But to those who do not know the Self the ‘I’ is bounded by the body; while to those who within the body know the Self the ‘I’ shines boundless. Such is the difference between them.12


85   The delusive life of [living in] the body and the world is the product of the ‘I’ sense that cherishes the body, which is just a corpse.


Question: Is there no dehatma buddhi [I-am-the-body idea] for the jnani? If, for instance, Sri Bhagavan be bitten by an insect, is there no sensation?


Bhagavan: There is a sensation and there is also the dehatma buddhi. The latter is common to both jnani and ajnani with this difference, that the ajnani thinks dehaiva Atma [only the body is myself], whereas the jnani knows all is of the Self [Atmamayam sarvam], or all this is Brahman [sarvam khalvidam Brahma]. If there be pain let it be. It is also part of the Self. The Self is poorna [perfect].13


86   Padam questions: ‘Why did you, who are in truth consciousness, consider your form to be a fleshy body and immerse yourself in misery?’


The cause of the I-am-the-body idea


87   The I-am-the-body mistake arises when objectification causes one to see sordid sense objects before first seeing one’s real nature.


88   Taking the body to be ‘I’ – an erroneous superimposition that is like calling mother-of-pearl ‘silver’ – is the confusion of the spinning mind.


89   The same confusion of the mind takes the perceptions of the five senses to be real. This results in an agitation of the mind that struggles with desires for them.


The destruction of the I-am-the-body idea


90   Establish yourself in the complete perfection of your own real nature. Do not limit yourself to the [body] upadhi.


91   Except through the rare medicine of direct experience it is impossible to escape from the I-am-the-body disease.


92   Unless the belief ‘I am the body’ is completely destroyed, true knowledge of the one Self is not possible.


93   The disappearance of the I-am-the-body notion, the wrong understanding that causes infatuation, is the experience of the Atma-swarupa.


94   In the state wherein the ego, the I-am-the-body delusion, has ceased, both yoga and bhoga [enjoyment], without becoming two, merge together as one.


Guru Vachaka Kovai, verse 62: He who has known the world appearance – an association that comprises the five sense perceptions – as his own Self, the consciousness that is the supreme, knows and experiences the same swarupa through his five senses as well.


Vilakkam: This verse explains the little-known fact that the sahaja state is experienced even in external perceptions. For him who truly knows sense perceptions to be his own Self, the world is not an obstacle. He experiences and enjoys his own Self in all perceptions and rejoices identically both internally and externally, without even a trace of the thought of bondage.


The slide show comprises photos of Muruganar, the author of Padamalai.

David Godman Books


Books by David Godman on Ramana Maharshi, his devotees and his teachings

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