ANNAMALAI SWAMI | self alone is realIt contains transcripts of talks that Annamalai Swami held with seekers during the last six months of his life. His advice about how to practice Self-enquiry is unusually valuable because he worked hard at the practice himself; because he succeeded; and because he explains what to do very plainly and clearly. Question: I want to ask Swamiji about his own experience. Was his own experience a single event, an explosion of knowledge? Or did it happen more gradually, in a more subtle way?
#7 ANNAMALAI SWAMI SELF AWARENESS PRACTICE INSTRUCTIONS
Annamalai Swami was a direct disciple of Sri Ramana Maharshi who realized the Self after practicing Self-enquiry for decades. This experience gave him first-hand knowledge of how to perform Self-enquiry successfully, making his advice especially valuable to seekers. His teachings, which he delivered in plain, direct language, have been recorded in two books, both of which we recommend. Soon after his birth, his father, who was an astrologer, came to the conclusion that the boy would become a sannyasin, a monk. To prevent this from happening his father decided to keep him illiterate by taking him out of school at a very early age.
When the rejection of mental activities becomes continuous and automatic, you will begin to have the experience of the Self. Bhagavan's famous instruction 'summa iru' [be still] is often misunderstood. It does not mean that you should be physically still; it means that you should always abide in the Self… In sattva guna [a state of mental quietness and clarity] there is stillness and harmony. If mental activity is necessary while one is in sattva guna it takes place. But for the rest of the time there is stillness… If sattva guna predominates one experiences peace, bliss, clarity and an absence of wandering thoughts.
Annamalai Swami: Stop identifying with it. If you can convince yourself "This "little self" is not me", it will just disappear. Question: But how to do this? Annamalai Swami: The "little self" is something which only appears to be real. If you understand that it has no real existence it will disappear, leaving behind it the experience of the real and only Self.
Annamalai Swami interviewed by Madhukar Thompson
He was named Sella Perumal, and from an early age showed a keen interest in spirituality. In , when he was 22 years old, he traveled to Tiruvannamalai to meet Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi who lived near the city along the base of the slope of the holy mountain Arunachala. Following in the footsteps of Sri Seshadri Swamigal, who saved the young Ramana from the ravages of insects and vermin in the underground vault he first inhabited, and Palaniswami, who stayed with Ramana in Virupaksha Cave and Skandasraman Cave, he became the Maharshis personal attendant and given the name Annamalai Swami Annamalai is another name for Arunachala. Swami Annamalais duties, after being directed to do so by Sri Ramana, was to oversee all phases of the ongoing construction, continuing expansion, and positive growth of the Ramana Ashram, including the goshala cow shed , dining hall, dispensary and other projects. The Self is always attained, it is always realised; it is not something that you have to seek, reach or discover. Your vasanas [mental habits and tendencies] and all the wrong ideas you have about yourself are blocking and hiding the experience of the real Self. If you don't identify with the wrong ideas, your Selfnature will not be hidden from you.