Thursday, March 01, 2007

Q&A with Ramana Maharshi

12th June, 1937

426. Mr. Das, of Allahabad University: Has the food which one usually takes anything to do with increase or decrease of one's spirituality? That is, does it influence spirituality for good or bad?

M.: Yes. Sattvic food in moderate quantity is helpful to spiritual development.

D.: For a grihi, i.e., a man of the world (householder) what conduct in life will help him most spiritually?

M.: Dhyana or Bhakti, which means the same thing.

D.: What is meant by taking the name of God? How to reconcile the following two ideas?

The Bible Says: "Do not take the name of God in vain."
The Sastras enjoin taking the name of God all the time.

M.: One should not use the name of God artificially and superficially without feeling. To use the name of God one must call upon Him and surrender to Him unreservedly. After such surrender the name of God is constantly with the man.

D.: Has man any Free-Will or is everything in his life pre-destined and pre-ordained?

M.: Free-Will holds the field in association with individuality. As long as individuality lasts so long there is Free-Will. All the Sastras are based on this fact and they advise directing the Free-Will in the right channel.

Find out to whom Free-Will or destiny matters. Abide in it. Then these two are transcended. That is the only purpose of discussing these questions. To whom do these questions arise? Find out and be at peace.

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