Ramana Maharshi (1879-1950)
Talks on Time (1935 & 1938)
24th January, 1935
Visitor: Which time is most suitable for meditation?
Ramana: What is time?
Visitor: Tell me what it is!
Ramana: Time is only an idea. There is only the Reality. Whatever you think it is, it looks like that. If you call it time, it is time. If you call it existence, it is existence, and so on. After calling it time, you divide it into days and nights, months, years, hours, minutes, etc. Time is immaterial for the Path of Knowledge. But some of these rules and discipline are good for beginners.
(The visitor on this occasion was W. Y. Evans-Wentz, an English research scholar of Oxford University. He brought a letter of introduction from Paul Brunton and arrived on a visit. He translated The Tibetan Book of the Dead, Life of Milarepa, and wrote Tibetan Secret Doctrines.)
21st July, 1935
The Professor asked Sri Bhagavan [Ramana Maharshi] to extend His Grace to him although he would soon be a thousand miles off. Sri Bhagavan said that time and space are only concepts of mind. But swarupa (the Real Self) lies beyond mind, time, and space. Distance does not count in the Self. The lady with him was most reluctant to leave the Master and return home. The Master said, "Think that you are always in my presence. That will make you feel right." They left after dusk.
(The Professor was Dr. Radhakamal Mukerjee, fair man of middle age, with a peaceful look, practising yoga or meditation, has had some occult experiences and desires the mystery to be unravelled by the Master. He has written a book and had it published by Longmans Green & Co., London. He find Self-Realization hard to attain and requires the Master's help.)
27th December, 1938
G. V. Subbaramiah, an Andhra devotee, mentioned something about time.
Ramana: What is time? It posits a state, one's recognition of it, and also the changes which affect it. The interval between two states is called time. A state cannot come into being unless the mind calls it into existence. The mind must be held by the Self. If the mind is not made use of there is no concept of time. Time and space are in the mind but one's true state lies beyond the mind. The question of time does not arise at all to the one established in one's true nature.
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