Ramana Maharshi

Q: In the early stages would it not be a help to a man to seek solitude and give up his outer duties in life?

Sri Ramana Maharshi :

Renunciation is always in the mind, not in going to forests or solitary places or giving up one’s duties.

The main thing is to see that the mind does not turn outward
but inward.

It does not really rest with a man whether he goes to this place or that or whether he gives up his duties or not.

All these events happen according to destiny.
All the activities that the body is to go through are determined when it first comes into existence.

It does not rest with you to accept or reject them.
The only freedom you have is to turn your mind inward and renounce activities there.

Q: But is it not possible for something to be a help, especially to a beginner, like a fence round a young tree? For instance, don’t our books say that it is helpful to go on pilgrimages to sacred shrines or to get sat-sanga?

Sri Ramana Maharshi :

Who said they are not helpful?
Only such things do not rest with you,
whereas turning your mind inward does.

Many people desire the pilgrimage or sat-sanga that you mention, but do they all get it ?

Q: Why is it that turning inward alone is left to us and not any outer things?

Sri Ramana Maharshi :

If you want to go to fundamentals,
you must enquire who you are and find out
who it is who has freedom or destiny.

Who are you and why did you get this body
that has these limitations ?

~ From Be as you are book


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