Maharshi: Self-enquiry and self-surrender
Main article: Ramana Maharshi
Ramana Maharshi's primary teachings are documented in the book Nan Yar (Who am I), originally written in Tamil (see note at the end of this section about Nan Yar). Given below are selections from the book:
- Since all trace of the 'I' does not exist, alone is Self.
- Self itself is the world; Self itself is 'I'; Self itself is God; all is the Supreme Self (siva swarupam)
Although his primary teaching was Self-Enquiry, he was also known to have advised the use of Self Surrender (to one's Deity or Guru) as an alternative means, which would ultimately converge in to the path of Self-Enquiry.
Ken Wilber describes the Witnessing (or Observing) Self in the following terms:
"This observing Self is usually called the Self with a capital S
, or the Witness, or pure Presence
, or pure Awareness
, or Consciousness
as such, and this Self as transparent Witness is a direct ray of the living Divine
. The ultimate "I AM" is Christ
, is Buddha
, is Emptiness
itself: such is the startling testimony of the world's great mystics
He adds that the Self is not an Emergent
, but an aspect present from the start as the basic form of awareness, but which becomes increasingly obvious and self aware "as growth and transcendence matures." As Depth increases, consciousness shines forth more noticeably, until:
"shed[ding] its lesser identification with both the body and the mind ... in each case from matter to body to mind to Spirit... conciousness or the observing Self sheds an exclusive identity with a lesser and shallower dimension, and opens up to deeper and higher and wider occasions, until it opens up to its own ultimate ground in Spirit itself. And the stages of transpersonal growth and development are basically the stages of following this Observing Self to its ultimate abode, which is pure Spirit or pure Emptiness, the ground, path and fruition of the entire display."
 In a similar vein, Evelyn Underhill states:
"It is clear that under ordinary conditions, and save for sudden gusts of “Transcendental
Feeling” induced by some saving madness such as Religion, Art, or Love, the superficial self knows nothing of the attitude of this silent watcher—this “Dweller in the Innermost”—towards the incoming messages of the external world: nor of the activities which they awake in it. Concentrated on the sense-world, and the messages she receives from it, she knows nothing of the relations which exist between this subject and the unattainable Object of all thought. But by a deliberate inattention to the messages of the senses, such as that which is induced by contemplation, the mystic can bring the ground of the soul, the seat of “Transcendental Feeling,” within the area of consciousness: making it amenable to the activity of the will. Thus becoming unaware of his usual and largely fictitious “external world,” another and more substantial set of perceptions, which never have their chance under normal conditions, rise to the surface. Sometimes these unite with the normal reasoning faculties. More often, they supersede them. Some such exchange, such “losing to find,” appears to be necessary, if man’s transcendental powers are to have their full chance."