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.