“Wanting to reform the world without discovering one’s true self is like trying to cover the world with leather to avoid the pain of walking on stones and thorns. It is much simpler to wear shoes.” ~Ramana Maharshi
After spending about twelve years in personal attendance on Bhagavan, I began to feel an urge to devote myself entirely to sadhana . However, I could not easily reconcile myself to giving up my personal service to Bhagavan. I had been debating the matter for some days when the answer came in a strange way.
As I entered the hall one day I heard Bhagavan explaining to others who were there that real service to him did not mean attending to his physical needs but following the essence of his teaching: that is concentrating on realizing the Self. Needless to say, that automatically cleared my doubts.
I therefore gave up my Ashrama duties, but I then found it hard to decide how, in fact, I should spend the entire day in search of Realization. I referred the matter to Bhagavan and he advised me to make Self-enquiry my final aim but to practise Self-enquiry, meditation, japa and recitation of scripture turn by turn, changing over from one to another as and when I found the one I was doing irksome or difficult. In course of time, he said, the sadhana would become stabilized in Self-enquiry or pure Consciousness or Realization.
Before recommending any path to an aspirant Bhagavan would first find out from him what aspect or form or path he was naturally drawn to and then recommend the person to follow it. He would sometimes endorse the traditional stages of sadhana , advancing from worship ( puja ) to incantation ( japa), then to meditation
( dhyana ), and finally to Self-enquiry ( vichara ). However, he also use to say that continuous and rigorous practice of any one of these methods was adequate in itself to lead to Realization.
– Kunju Swami
“As I Saw Him”