There is only Self and Self alone. Self is the only reality. It is pure consciousness. The world manifest is not real. Self is its substratum. It is immortal. It is knowledge. It is eternal peace. It is bliss. It is light. It is omnipotent, omniscient. There are no divisions in the Self. It is non-dual. It is un-definable. Water cannot wet it, fire cannot burn it. It has neither birth nor death. What the "Jnani" calls Self, a devotee call, as "God". Silence alone is the best way of expounding it.
The nature of Self is Existence, Knowledge, Bliss. That is way we aspire for happiness, love, beauty. It does not depend upon any other object. Our fondness for independence is an offshoot of it.
Just as the screen is the base on which figures are projected, so also this variegated world is a projection of it. The sense of ego masquerades the Self. Our selfish nature covers it.
To know the Self is our goal. Constant hearing, remembering and, establishing ourselves in it snaps our egoistic ties. The seer of the self alone gets himself extricated from the entanglements.
Liberation from what?
Liberation is clear of ignorance. What is ignorance? Egoism is ignorance. What is egoism? The thought, "I am the body", is ignorance. Freedom is our very nature. It shines in our heart. It is not a thing to be achieved after death. It is in existence now and here itself. It is pure. When one ceases to have attachments, he is said to be liberated. Even when we are aspiring for liberation, we are in fact liberated. When the truth is known, the nature of liberation will be vindicated.
Your nature is Godhood. God and Self are not different. God, Self, Grace - all mean the same. The God manifests everywhere. He is seated in the cave of our Heart. Mind is limited. God is unlimited. God as "Self" does not leave us. He confers peace. He is nearer to us than our body, sense organs, mind and, intellect. He is the ever present witness. We cannot hide anything from HIM. God should shower HIS grace on us. The power of our thoughts is that of the God. If we cast away our qualities of "Jeevahood" (individualized self or body I"), we become one with God. God reveals to the pure heart. Results follow our intentions of actions. If one acts with a purified mind, abiding in the Self, the reward is Godís grace.
A man of TRUE knowledge is Jnani. He is aware of his true nature. Just as the sun does not know what darkness is, so also Jnani does not know what grief is. Only Jnani can love this world. His outlook is that of Siva, whereas that of an Ajnani is that of "Sava" (corpse). Jnani knows that his body is in the self, whereas Ajnani thinks that his body has a Self. The body of the Jnani is a temple. He has no sense of doership. His very nature is Silence. Out of compassion only, and to do good to the world he speaks. His very existence does good. He spreads peace, power and light.
He that performs miracles is not a Jnani. He that is established in equanimity alone is a Jnani. The world is not different from himself. His glory can be perceived directly. The root of the "I" thought is enquired into by him. Only Jnani merges in the Self.
Atmadrastha alone is true Guru. God who is formless assumes the form of a Guru to save his devotees. True help comes from him. There is no parallels to the grace of Guru. External Guru though not real in the true sense of the term, yet, is essential. He turns your mind inwards, and enables you to realize your true nature. He protects you.
Publicity does not confer Gurudom. External show does not earmark one as a Guru. He, whose words penetrate into your heart alone can be deemed as Guru. You can discharge any kind of debts but not that debt you owe to your Guru.
The "I" thought, which emanates from the source is egoism. Only after its emergence, the rest of the thoughts emerge. The world is seen only when one is egoistic. As long as ego subsists body is taken as real, world is taken as real. God is taken as real. When ego is erased, body, world and God vanish. As long as the idea that "I am the body" persists egoism does not leave us. It alone results in restlessness. Ego has no form, but it exists catching hold of a form. It is neither a male, nor a female, but assumes such a role. The entire "Maya" or illusion is a creation of the ego. Real Self is like the vast sea, whereas ego is like a bubble, but, there cannot be a bubble without the sea. Identification with the little self is the cause of grief. When one identifies himself with the vast waters of the sea, the tiny bubbles cease to exist and with them the worldly sorrows also. The figure underneath the temple Gopuram (caryatid figure sculptured at the base of a tower) feels that it is carrying the entire structure, so also, the man of ego feels that he is helping the entire world. As long as the ego and the consequent ideas of doership continue, ignorance also continues: Lives deaths continue. If one enquires where from I thought has arisen, then his look centers round the origin and then only egoism drops out.
Likes and dislikes are responsible for social unrest. Attachment and anger are their substituted names. Desire is the root cause. Without desire there is no attachment, there is no hatred. Because of attachment, one will be subjected to the dualities. We mistakenly like those things which result in ultimate hardships. We like those who praise us. We hate those who abuse us. Hatred is like fire. As long as likes and dislikes continue, mind will be extroverted. It covers and hides the Self. Mind and sense organs get animated by the feelings of likes and dislikes. Our desire is our enemy. It kills our sense of discrimination and spreads unrest. Though it is difficult to conquer desire, yet it is not impossible. Desire can not be quenched by complying with it. Satisfaction of desires creates further desires. Without a thought, no action follows. If one enquires, wherefrom a thought originates, there at the root, one can see the Self. One shall be away from anger. An unagitated mind is like an immovable mountain.
After the rise of the "I" thought alone the rest of the thoughts originate. Mind is a bundle of thoughts, and is also termed as "Jeeva". Jeeva does not get extinct with the death of the body. It takes up a new body. In deep sleep we do not have thoughts, and hence, mind is also absent there. There is no body, no world in deep sleep. When we get awake, the first thought, the "I" thought arises, and the rest of the thoughts follow it. Wife and children alone do not constitute "Samsara". Your mind is your samsara. It does not leave you, if you run away from your house, wife and children. Mind has no form of name, but, it always adheres to a form or name. Food serves as source for the mind. The world is nothing but the creation of mind. Just as a spider spreads its own web and get entangled therein, and ultimately dies, so also the mind creates Samsara, and one gets entangled in that samsara and gets subjected to death. The mind which has created this world, has also the power to destroy it.
The brain is like a tape recorder, and the mind is its tape. Sense organs are speakers. That which is recorded in the tape is heard through speakers, likewise the latest tendencies of the mind are felt through our sense organs. A true guru pulls out the thought and destroys the mind.
Previous actions constitute latent tendencies and remain in seed form in the heart. They spread to the brain and evolve as thoughts. If the thoughts are removed one by one, there remains nothing like a mind. If the wood is removed the fire gets extinct. Without purification of the mind, knowledge cannot be had.
Mind and Prana (life force) have got origin in the same place - Heart. If the life breath is controlled, mind gets controlled. That is why Pranayana is recommended. As long as one thinks of things external, mind oscillates. As long as the mind is externalized, the original sin remains.
Godís grace controls the unruly elephant called "mind". Surrender confers energy to the Mind by a single unified attention and a purified Mind turns inwards, and such a purified Mind merges in its Source, the Heart, then that Mind becomes Self itself.
This is the essence of yoga.
Purification of the Intellect
Purification of the Intellect
Only by the purification of the intellect, one can hope to enter the practice of liberation, to whatever, caste, creed or sex or division in life one belongs. The impurities of the mind are to be washed off with the waters of devotion.
Control of Mind
Control of Mind
Mind cannot be controlled without the control of sensory organs. Without the control of the mind, inner organ will not be purified. Unless the inner organ is purified one cannot perceive the Self. Equanimity is the essence of Yoga. The down-fall of the sensuous is certain. The external bodily organs will be burnt in the burial ground. The subtle mind inside is responsible for future births. If one is in control of his senses, one can face the entire world even when it turns against him. Control of sensory organs is for superior to a real warrior. The Self effort along with divine grace are needed for control of senses. Constant thinking of the Self gets the senses under control.
Control of Sensory Organs
Control of Sensory Organs
Without the control of Mind, one cannot have peace. If the mind is under control, peace pervades all around. Egoism disturbs and creates unrest. The destruction of the Mind results in eternal peace. Self inquiry confers peace whereas worldly thoughts create unrest.
Discrimination put into practice leads to renunciation. If the doership is given up, work itself can be counted as renunciation. Without renunciation the tree of egoism cannot be cut, and that, constitutes Jnana or knowledge.
Sin and Virtue
Sin and Virtue
By doing good deeds one acquires virtue. By doing bad deeds one acquires sin. Both virtue and sin are within the purview of the mind. Virtue is a shackle with gold chain, whereas sin is that of iron chain. Both bind, the jeeva. Constant doing of virtuous deeds generates a desire to acquire knowledge and the knowledge confers liberation.
True belief and abidance in the Self is surrender. Surrender is the beauty of the Self. If one loves the God within, one purifies the intellect. If you are devoted to God, God gives you the boon of liberation, as well as mundane success.
There is happiness all around. Self is happiness, pleasures derived from worldly objects do not result in true happiness. Only the desireless mind enjoys the happiness of the Self. The real nature of the Self is happiness and it itself is eternal.
There is no liberation apart from true knowledge. Though born in ignorance one should aspire to die in knowledge; though we are born crying yet, we have to leave this world smiling.
Future does not lie in the lines of our hands. It depends on our effort. Under the influence of astrological readings do not astray from life. Good results in good and bad in bad. When the call of the divine comes, we cannot resist.
If one runs when chased by a dog, the dog catches hold of him and bites, but when we stand firm the dog stops; likewise, only the men or courage can conquer the world. One should be capable of kicking the foot-ball of worldly objects. The timid cannot face his mental weakness. The riches are the possession of the courageous. Courage and love are essential to fly in the atmosphere of future, successfully. The only panacea for all diseases is courage.
We keep our body clean, but cleanliness of the mind is more important. The impurities of the body burn away in the burial ground, whereas the impurities of the mind accompany us in our new life. Always think of purity and get purified. Your body may be slain, but not your purity. If inquiry is like a engine to a train, purity is like railway lines; The train cannot move without the lines, without purity no self-inquiry can be done.
We do those acts which are forbidden by God. We do not do what we are commanded to do. Our weakness is our sin. Sin is behind fear. Grief comes out of sin. The sinner does not know anything about humility, dignity, discipline and good heart.
Good quality is superior to good appearance, and knowledge is superior to the good qualities . Unless one has got good qualities, he cannot acquire knowledge. They enhance discrimination, whereas bad qualities enhance ignorance. Men of good qualities become Mahatmas, and those of bad qualities become Duratmas. Without good qualities Self-realization is not possible. Without courage good qualities cannot be obtained, and the good alone shine in their lives.
Inner vision is superior to far sight. External vision may enable one to achieve mundane gains but inner vision is essential for having the vision of the Self. If you behave naturally and softly, the doors of the heart will be kept open for in-dwelling Self to shine.
What has been read should be made our own. It is like a driver who runs a car. Without a good driver, the car cannot reach its destination. Without a purified mind the goal cannot be attained. Only the subtle intellect can become our-Self. Oneís natural state can be gained, only by subtle intellect. Without a peaceful outlook, in the field of spirituality, progress is not feasible. Only men of peace loving nature are fortunate. They remain without any agitation. They alone can render real service to the society. They do not have egoism, and the thought that "I am the body" can be overcome, only by a peace loving attitude. The wakeful state, dream and deep sleep are only confined to the mind.
Destiny is confined only to the body, and has nothing to do with the Self. Identification with the body results in grief. Men are conferred the liberty not to identify with the body. By practice the identity within the body can be overcome. The body drops after the exhaustion of destiny. Donít give scope for vain thoughts, useless deeds and unnecessary desires. Utilize the freedom conferred by God. Restrain vain thoughts, and abide in Self. Then, new tendencies will not be generated, and you will be extricated from all sorts of bondage. If identification with the body is not overcome, grief results unless the latent tendencies are dropped away, the state of happiness cannot be enjoyed. For one who abides in the Self, there is nothing like destiny.
Glory of Knowledge
Glory of Knowledge
A jnani never claims any object as his own, whereas one who treads the path of action, feels the world as his. To maintain peace, law and order, a police force is essential, so also to maintain inner peace and to spread light, the preaching of men of knowledge are essential. He that preaches knowledge is superior than he that serves food.
Only ignorance binds the man, but not the world. Those that fall a pray to ignorance are as if they have fallen in whirl-winds. Attachment is the result of ignorance, and he that is attached commits sin. There is no greater sin than selfishness. The true Guru enables one to become sinless.
Acquisition of Knowledge
Acquisition of Knowledge
Mere wearing of ochre robes is not embracing sannyas. Forceful control over organs of action alone makes one a Jnani. A real Jnani is one whose latent tendencies are burnt. Prayer, meditation, incantation of the holy names, Self-inquiry, all aid purification of mind. If actions are done, without any sense of doership, they do not leave any latent impressions. To realize the presence of God every where is also Yoga. Without a lively faith, one cannot have the vision of Eeshwara.
Birth of a Man
Birth of a Man
For the true vision of the truth the body can be used as a bridge. Before the death of the body, have inner vision. Birth place is like a railway junction. From this junction one can travel upwards or downwards. Human birth, devotion to God and association with Sages are difficult to achieve. The longing to hear good words is a result of previous good births.
Meditation of God's name
Meditation of God's name
Constant meditation of oneís "Ishtadevata" also releases one from this cycle of birth & death. Meditation is like bathing. It purifies the mind, we turn our attention on the baby who cries "Ma", so also constant repetition of Godís name attracts divine grace. The stick used in the burning pyre also is consumed by its fires, so also the fire of knowledge ultimately burns the impurities of the man of practice and leaves the residue of release.
Essence of Yoga
Essence of Yoga
The yoga of action says "do your duty without any eye on the results". The path of devotion says "merge in Me". The rajayoga lays importance on mind control. The path of knowledge encourage discrimination between the real and the unreal. The path of Ramana is Self-inquiry. It means absorption of the mind in the Self. The ultimate end is Self-realization.
Glory of Devotion
Glory of Devotion
To the one in the spiritual field, there may not be any cooperation from his relations, or neighbors and he may have to travel single handed. It requires courage. Only the undiluted and absolute trust in God, helps a "Sadhak". To constantly remember God, is devotion. Such devotion is a great weapon which cuts ignorance.
Mind is illusion. It creates body and the world, and all differences and distinctions. Self is pure, and there are no divisions in it. It is not a mixture. We are over-looking the fundamental problem as to the origin of "I". The body is felt only after the emergence of "I". Because of the illusion, the question, "Who am I?" is not put. One has to inquire wherefrom this "I" has originated? What is its source. As long as we grope in this illusory world, we shall not leave the feet of the Lord. We shall not discard a true Guru or Teacher.
Constant listening of the Self, results in knowledge, which culls out ignorance all together. Unfortunately people do not resort to this constant hearing. People worship stones, break coconuts, but do not heed the saying of a Jnani. He that is accustomed to see God, only in stones cannot see the Lord who shines in his own heart. That does not mean worship of Gods in stones is condemned. It only means, "do not discard the God shining in the cavity of your own Heart". Do not circumscribe your thoughts only to this body. See God in all and everywhere.
Order of Practice
Order of Practice
Worship of the deity with flowers is inferior to mental repetition of the name of the God. External utterances of the names of Gods are inferior to mental repetition. Mental repetition is inferior to the intellectual inquiries. As a result of inquiry, identification with the body goes and identification with the Self increases. The sense organs forcibly controlled may lift their hoods at any time.
"I" thought is the first to evolve and to be rid of, that is the real penance. As a result of penance our true nature will be realized. The inquiry, "Who am I", will take us to the source wherefrom the mind originates. It results in self-abidance. It results in the discovery of truth. It results in release. The "Who am I" inquiry can be done in any state and at all places. He that sees the house of the death and returns even while living acquires eternal peace.
How to Live
How to Live
There is no greater penance than good living. Our good behavior removes the ugliness in us and shows us the pathway to liberation. We shall not do any harm to anybody, either through our body, mind or word. One shall not play the dual roles of Jackyl and Hyde. Only the good behavior enables control of our senses, and he that has control over his senses can achieve anything.
Picking up holes in Others
Picking up holes in Others
Give up finding fault with others. You point out the mistakes in others because such mistakes are primarily in you. First set right your house. Reform yourself before trying to reform others.
The mind of one full of divine thoughts itself purifies - Do good to society, if you can. Never try to retaliate others even if you are hurt.
Craving for Name and Fame
Craving for Name and Fame
Craving for name and fame is also a kind of mental fall. It matures as emotion, and will be responsible for many ills. To have superiority complex, is itself a sort of slavery. It is a product of egoism. If one realizes that, there is Self and Self alone all craving for fame and name ceases.
Without acquiring knowledge and immortality and reaching the peaceful heights, acts done are not only sinful but also create fear. As long as one identifies himself with body, family clan, or religion, he will have fear and grief pursues. Self is limitless. All limitations result in fear. The good qualities of one who leads a life of fear do not shine. If one abides in the Self where is room for fear?
Skill will be attained by patience. Without patience one cannot face adverse circumstances. Success and failure are to be born equally with patience. The desire and anger can be discarded only by a patient one.
Anger is another name for desire. Without desire there cannot be anger and without anger there cannot be any sorrow. Anger burns body and mind, and results in diseases. Until one acquires the happiness of the Self, anger does not get completely removed.
Smooth behavior is also essential for achieving Atmavidya (Knowledge of Self). Without a tender heart, one cannot become a sage. It brings novelty to life, and touches the doors of the hear, confers coolness and enhances power and enables mutual understanding between man and man.
The love we cherish towards the God is called devotion whereas the love towards the downtrodden is called compassion. It is one of the divine qualities. Fortunate are the compassionate. It awakens love. If you show compassion towards the needy, God confers grace on you.
Without any ostentation and with pure heart, charity should be done. It diminishes our sins, eliminates our hatred. One shall not publicize the charities given by him/her.
Putting truth into practice is Dharma. Knowledge is not different from Dharma. Knowledge and Dharma are the two faces of the same coin. The society which goes astray from the path of Dharma suffers. The path of Dharma liberates one from this illusory world.
Knowledge is our goal. There is nothing equal to knowledge either in this world or in the other. The goal of happiness can be had only through Jnana. It is not a thing which can be manufactured in factories. Our very nature is Jnana. If one discards his own Self and if he starts searches in the outer world, he may not be able to achieve peace. It is our very nature. Enjoyment of worldly pleasures may quench our sensory thirst, but mental coolness can be had only by abiding in the heart. The ignorance gets burnt after attainment of Jnana. One has to dive deep and search for Jnana, for God; and one shall be as restless as a fish out of water, until he acquires Jnana. Life is like a dream, and if one realizes the same, he gets awake.
Small vessels get heated quickly. So also, congested minds get subjected to hurry and worry. Calm composure is needed for one who treads the path of spirituality. Bodily health and mind control enable one to grow in sound knowledge. Hurtful words shall not make us angry. Anger kills calm thinking, and such a one cannot have true discrimination. Mental lethargy is more harmful than bodily idleness. The sense of discrimination has to be exercised in all our dealings.
He that covets others property cannot have any faith or progress. Control of the mind can alone make one non-covetous. By non-coveting one may not have mundane pleasure and progress, yet it takes one from the earth to heaven, serving as a bridge, and by establishing peaceful sovereignty.
True renunciation consists in discarding our egoism at the feet of the God. The result of our actions shall be aimed for the uplift of the society. Expectation of selfish results is nothing but business. He that is addicted to business, cannot donate anything selflessly. He cannot taste the fruits of devotion. A true "Tyagi" will always be immersed in divine pleasure. Without renunciation one cannot either acquire Jnana or become a Yogi.
The degrees serve only to feed empty stomachs. To live, such education may be required. But, true education culls out divinity from within. Such divinity spreads light all around. Faithful persuasion enables one to acquire such an education. By miracles and by show the Self cannot be vindicated. Only by Self education and awareness, one can experience the happiness of it.
All are afraid to spend the time alone, but we came alone into this world, and leave the same alone. Attachments and entanglements do not leave one who has got lies and dislikes. First the reason for ill-health is to be diagnosed before the commencement of the treatment. Contact with sages, Grace of the guru and spiritual practice expose our weaknesses. Mental contact with a true Guru is needed. Solitude generates thinking and discriminatory capacity. Just as fasting is essential for maintenance of sound bodily health, solitude essential for mental development.
Associations with the Sage
Associations with the Sage
The sage confers benefits unasked for, whereas the divine tree and cow confer good only to those who pray for. Contact with the sages and saints confer all that is needed. The great scientist Einstein also stressed the need for association with sages and saints. Lord Buddha expressed compassion wherever and whenever hardships are felt. The ailment of any part of our body makes one shed tears, so also the ailments felt in any part of this cosmic Universe, make the sages and saints shed tears.
True friendship is a rare thing to be found. Most of the friendships made are motivated by selfish desires. Stones pelted in small pots make the entire water dirty and polluted, so also the "I" with the undesirable makes us muddy. They estrange our good qualities. Though water is same every where, yet we drink only waters found at pure spots. Likewise, though all are one, yet only a few deserve to be endeared, Sri Madhva swami said, "It is better to become a prey to a tiger than to get into the fold of a bad hand". He that does not read when the light is burning, cannot hope to read when it is extinguished. Beware of the bad, because of not reason whatsoever they create hurtful feelings and for them to get healed it takes much time.
One has to eat for living, but shall not live only for eating. Hunger also is a kind of disease and it needs medicine. We have to take the medicine of food to heal the disease of our hunger. Moderate food in moderate quantities is sattvic food. Lord Krishna, Sri Bhagavan Ramana both stress the need for taking moderate food. The food we consume should develop our sattvic qualities. Moderate food, moderate speech and, moderate sleep are required.
True brahmacharya is abidance in Brahman, Lord Krishna is married, yet is called a "Nitya brahmachari". Marriage is not an obstacle for self-realization. Rama did marry. Krishna did marry. And almost all our ancient sages of the Upanishadic period married. The sexual instinct is also a mental concept. If one thinks only of the Self, the rest of the thoughts get eliminated. Leaving the house and running to forests is not of any help as long as the same mind is carried. Atma is above stages in life.
MoneySri Valmiki in his epic Ramayana stated that God bundled the entire "Maya" and did put it as the bundle of wealth. Money is needed but it does not give knowledge. Social status may be enjoyed by the monied but the goal of life is the discovery of the Truth. Money is man made whereas Truth is God given. Our very nature which is Atma is itself peace. If by money liberation can be purchased the propertied do have it. First money should be spent for the good and on the good. The virtues of the previous lives may make one fortunate, but one shall not become proud because of the same. One shall not be proud of his possessions.
Sleep and Death
In deep sleep your body is not there, so also the world and God and mind, yet after waking up you say "I have slept happily". The happiness of deep sleep is known only after waking up. If one knows how to enjoy the happiness of deep sleep in the wakeful state then true happiness can be experienced. In deep sleep our contact with the body and the world is snapped, but we are not afraid of it whereas we afraid of death. Why? After getting up from the sleep your body, your world, your riches are seen by you and because of that you are not afraid of deep sleep; but death is also like deep sleep. It is also only a thought. That which brings out change is death. You remain as you are, though after death the body takes another body or another environment. There is no change in the Self. If breath is stopped this body becomes a corpse. While alive each is carrying his own corpse, but after death his corpse is carried by four. Every body is afraid of the burial ground, but it is like our motherís womb. The body born from the womb of the mother is taken of by the burial ground. When the body is burnt, all its five elements get merged in the primal elements. Dream is short, whereas our wakeful life is long. The subtle body enjoys dreams, whereas the gross body enjoys the wakeful life.
True Birth and Death
True Birth and Death
You are not born along with your body, and you do not die with its death. You are born when the "I" thought is born and when the "I" thought merges in the Self that is true death. Ego-sense is birth. Its death is true death. Hence, the birth of the body is not the real birth, nor its death is real death. The ego brings in the external world. When it is turned inwards, true spiritual path commences. Instead of travelling miles together outwards, it is better to travel an inch inwards. Then you can start tasting the bliss of the Heart. See and look wherefrom the ego emanates. That shows the Self. The search and abidance in the source only extinguish egoism.
Religion is a creation of the mind. It is called "Mata". There are several religions like Hinduism, Christianity, Buddhism, Islam etc. In fact, there are as many religions as there are minds. The creeds and religions are only creating feuds, dissension and wars, resulting in blood-shed. Religion is acting as opium instead of making the people wise. Men are becoming slaves to religions. The Self is there even prior to the birth of the religions. The purpose of the religion is to show the path to the realization of the Self. If welfare of the society is not the goal of any religion, such a religion is not worth its name. One may worship his own God; but his love of religion and his love of God shall not make him hate the other. There is no God without the Self. In the name of religion and personal Gods, men are fighting with each other, only for their own aggrandizement. Religions are creating narrow domestic walls. Our concepts and precepts are standing in our way to find out the Truth. There is no God higher than Truth. Change of religion does not release one, but on the other hand change of the mind does.
Man is social animal. Society is a congregation of men. If the men change, the society changes. A selfless man alone can reform the society. He that lives for the welfare of the society is a Mahatma. The fruits of oneís action are to be given to the society, it is real worship. He that cannot love his neighbor cannot hope to love God. God cannot be known on considerations of business, Character is an ornament. It gives power. Without character, there is no individual progress. As long as there is ignorance poverty persists. A Guru is needed to get release from ignorance. Choose one depending on your temperament. The Guru shall be full of compassion and knowledge and shall be helpful to you in your search for Truth. Learn the science and knowledge of Self. Constantly think of it, and without that the ignorance cannot be driven away. Along with ignorance births, bonds and grief continue. Ignorance cannot be conquered by ignorance. Associate yourself with a Jnani, serve him, acquire his grace; and be rid of your ignorance. If during your life-time you do not know the techniques of eradicating ignorance, how can you hope to learn it after your demise?