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Theosophical Encyclopedia

Mahā Yoga

A Sanskrit term from mahā meaning “great” and yoga meaning “union.” It is the direct method of finding the truth about ourselves. It has been described as a process of unlearning since its practitioners need to unlearn, or rather come to an understanding that knowledge for its own sake has no bearing on ultimate Truth. The basis of Maha Yoga lies in the Upaniads, but Maha Yoga Masters maintain that merely reading or studying these scriptures is not enough; rather one has to be taught by a Living Teacher. One of the most important Living Teachers was the Sage of Arunachala, Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi, whose teachings are regarded as a primary authority.

Maharshi taught that the primary objective was the search for the real Self. He wrote, “The direct method of winning the real Self is diving into the heart, seeking the source of the ‘I am;’ the meditation, ‘I am not this, I am That’ is of course helpful, but it is not itself the method of finding the Self . . . you are told that the ego is not your real Self; if you accept it then you have only to search for and find that which is your real Self, the real being of which the ego is a false appearance.”

Maharshi taught that the quest for the real Self consists in gathering together all the energies of body and mind by banishing all alien thoughts, and then directing all those energies into a single current, namely the resolve to find the answer to the question, “Who am I?”

P.S.H.

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