Bhagavan Sri Ramana taught us that the only means
by which we can attain the supreme happiness of true selfknowledge is atma-vichara – self-investigation or self-enquiry – which is the simple practice of keenly
scrutinising or attending to our essential self-conscious
being, which we always experience as ‘I am’.
However, he also described this practice as the path of
self-surrender, because we cannot truly attend to our real
self without giving up our false individual self. Our
individual self or mind rises by imagining itself to be a
physical body, and it sustains its imaginary existence by
constantly attending to thoughts or objects, which it
experiences as other than itself. Without attending to
otherness, we cannot continue imagining ourself to be this
mind. Therefore when we turn our attention away from all
otherness towards our own essential self, our mind will
subside and lose its existence as a seemingly separate entity.
Since our true nature is not thinking, doing or
knowing anything other than ourself, but is just selfconscious being, we will become clearly conscious of our
true nature only to the extent to which we willingly
surrender our constantly thinking, doing and objectknowing mind. The reason why we think and know
objects other than ourself is because we love to do so, and
we love to do so because we wrongly imagine that we can
obtain happiness thereby. Therefore we will surrender our
thinking mind and remain as our true self-conscious being
only when we understand that happiness does not exist in
anything other than our own real self, and when our love
just to be our real self thereby becomes greater than our
love to think or know any other thing.
In other words, in order to succeed in our efforts to
know our real self and thereby to surrender our false
individual self, we must be consumed by overwhelming
love for our own true self-conscious being. True bhakti or
devotion is therefore the perfectly non-dual love that we
should each have for our own real self or essential being.