April 25th, 2010

Liberation at home

Ramana Maharshi was asked if a householder could attain liberation.

"Why do you think of yourself as a householder?  If you become a wandering monk, a similar thought--that you are a renunciate--will haunt you.  Whether you continue as a husband and father, or renounce your family and go to the forest, your small self will still accompany you.  The self is the source of your thoughts.  It creates the body and the world and makes you think you are really a householder.  If you renounce the world you will only substitute the thought renunciate for the thought householder and the environment of the forest for that of the household.  But the mental obstacles are always there.  They even increase in new surroundings.  There is no help in the change of environment.  The obstacle is the mind.  It must be overcome, whether at home or in the forest.  If you can do it in the forest, why not at home?  Therefore, why change the environment?  Your efforts can be made even now, whatever your environment may be." -- quoted in Stephen Mitchell,  The Gospel According to Jesus, page 238.Collapse )