These questions were asked by Paul Brunton to Maharishi Ramana in the year 1925. Maharishi lived in Samadhi at Virupakasa cave and Paul Brunton was a journalist from the U.K. And reached to find the truth of human life. I will use the language of this conversation.
Question; The wise men of the West. Our scientists are greatly honoured for their cleverness. Yet they have confessed that they can throw, but little upon the hidden truth behind life. It is said that in your land who can give what our western sages fail to reveal. Is that so? Can you assist me to experience enlightenment? Or is the search is itself a mere delusion?
I have now reached my conversational objective and decided to await the Maharishi’s response. He continues to stare thoughtfully at me. Perhaps he is pondering over my question ten minutes pass in silence.
At last his lips opened and he says gently.
” You say I. I want to know tell me, who is that I? “
What does he mean? He has cut now across the services of the interpreter and speaks directly in English. Bewilderment creeps across my brain.
” I am afraid I do not understand your question,” I reply blankly.
” Is it not clear.Think again”
I puzzle over his words once more. An idea suddenly comes into my mind. I point a finger toward myself and mention my name.
” And do you know him?”.
“All my life” I smile back at him.
“But that is only your body! again I ask,’ who are you”
I can not find a ready answer to this extraordinary query.
The Maharishi continues,” Know first that I then you shall know the truth.”
My mind hazes again. I was deeply puzzled. this bewilderment finds verbal expression. but Maharishi reached the limit of his English, for this, he turned to the interpreter and the answer was slowly translated to me.
” There is only one thing to be done. look into your self, and through constant meditation, light can be found.”
“I have given myself up to the meditation upon the truth but I see no signs of progress.”
” How do you know that no progress has been made? it is not easy to perceive one’s progress into the spiritual realm”.
” Is the help of a master necessary?”
“It might be.”
” Can a master help a man to look into his own self in the way you suggest?”
” He can give the man all he needs for this quest .such a thing can be perceived through personal experience.”
” how long will it take to get some enlightenment with a master’s help?”.
” It all depends on the maturity of a seeker’s mind. the gunpower catches the fire in an instant, while much time needed to fire coal.”