November 23, 2022
Ask Deepak

Meditation Confusion.


When your mind and heart are truly open abundance will flow to you effortlessly and easily.


Dear Deepak sir, Ramana Maharishi says that ‘meditation (dhyana) is very useful for spiritual ripening, however, it has a limitation of object – subject duality (when I am meditating on my breath and body sensations, then breath and body sensations are the object, observer is subject). Self-enquiry (vichara) transcends this duality by focusing directly on subject – focusing on ‘I am,’ consciousness and hence self-enquiry is the only way to reach unity consciousness/enlightenment. After one has ripened sufficiently through meditation, one should start ‘I am’ meditation as soon as one is ready for it’. While, you talk about meditation in almost every book that I have read of yours, I have not read about self-enquiry – focusing on ‘I am’ – in any of your books. do you disagree with Ramana Maharishi? or if you agree with Ramana Maharishi, have you talked about self-enquiry in any of your books? thank you very much, sir.


The “I am” presence that Ramana speaks of is the Atman, the higher self or pure consciousness. This is the same pure awareness that is experienced when the mantra fades away in meditation and we are in that gap between thoughts, where the self knows itself by itself. In that experience of awareness there is no subject-object duality. So both paths reach the same inner experience of Being.

Self-enquiry is a great path for enlightenment, but as a single practice it works best for most people who already have an experience of their true self beyond their mind and thoughts. Ramana Maharishi taught this path since he was born already so close to spiritual awakening and it worked for him. Ramana also did make it clear that meditation is important for most people in their spiritual journey. The concern is that if most people try to reach enlightenment simply by focusing on “I am” they would not be transcending anything, they would just be stuck on the thought of “I am.” 

Regarding mantra meditation, the whole point of meditation (dhyana) is to go beyond the subject –object duality and experience samadhi. The breath or the mantra are merely vehicles for the mind to transcend that objective experience and duality and know its own true self. As the self or atman becomes a more permanent and stronger presence through meditation, a natural and realistic path of self-enquiry evolves on its own.



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