Saturday, February 23, 2008

Ramana Maharshi's favorite Vedantic text

In the Tripura Rahasya (The Secret of the Three Cities), Ramana Maharshi's favorite Vedantic text, the sage Dattatreya tells his student, Lord Rama, "Listen! I will tell you the fundamental cause of salvation. Satsang, association with the wise, is the root cause for obliterating all suffering!"

By "association with the wise," Dattatreya meant keeping company with sages. Nowadays we use the word satsang as shorthand for any kind of program in which teaching and meditation take place, but when the yoga texts speak about satsang, they mean being with someone who is enlightened, someone whose very presence reminds you that a single wise and radiant Presence lurks inside every atom of the world. I've had teachers like that, and I have to say that there is no faster way to elevate your consciousness than hanging around with someone who knows who he or she is and who you are, and who won't let you get away with being anything less.

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