AHAM’s Glossary of Terms
by A. Ramana




Death - The end of all vital functions or processes in a cell or organism; the condition or quality of being deceased, dead or ceasing to live.

In the spiritual teaching of AHAM, death is not the opposite of life, it is the opposite of birth. And, what's more, the birth and death of the body is not the birth and death of one's being, or the Self. In the philosophy and spiritual teaching of AHAM, no one (no entity or person as such) was ever born, and no one ever dies. In Truth, there is not now, nor has there ever been, nor will there ever be an individual person or being. There is only the momentary and seeming rise into expression of the One Being that is apparently taking form and going through an apparent evolution and change of form; all of which is an expression of the One Self, like waves arising in one expanse of water. The death of the ego, or ending body-mind identification, is itself the one Ultimate Death that is really the re-awakening to the true Self, or the Awakening into and Conscious Abidance in Eternal and Infinite Life. (See: Death of the ego, below).

Death of the ego - The final, ultimate merging or dissolving of the separate sense of "I," and all sense of body-mind identification, into the One Reality of pure Being, or the Self. There is no birth and/or death to the true Self.

Deductive vs. Inductive Reasoning - The unique characteristic humans have over all animal species is our capacity and ability of dual reasoning. We are able to use the mind in a manner not available to lesser species in that we can reason both deductively and inductively.

Deductive reasoning is the process or method of going from the general to the particular. It is reasoning from a general law or principle (a stated premise) to a logical conclusion, arriving at a particular conclusion or prediction which is implied either formally or necessarily by such a premise. It is the kind of reasoning familiar in formal logic. An example is, theorems in mathematics or geometry are usually proven by deductive reasoning.

Inductive reasoning is arriving at logical conclusions or formulating general laws by the process of inferring. It is drawing conclusions based on the observation of particular instances. It is reasoning from the particular to the general. A general law is formulated as a consequence of observing many events or happenings, each having something in common, or each behaving in the same way under similar circumstances. For example, by the use of inductive reasoning Sir Isaac Newton "discovered" or formulated the Law of Gravitation by observing over time many instances of falling bodies.

Of the two, deductive reasoning processes data from the general to the particular; while inductive reasoning processes data from the particular to the general.

For the sake of simplicity, let's refer to them as "A" type and "B" type reasoning, respectively. Our conscious mind is capable of reasoning either "A" type or "B" type. "A" type means that we have the ability with the conscious mind to investigate any situation or remark before we "buy" it, or before we accept it as true. "B" type reasoning means it's not necessary to investigate or analyze a matter, remark or situation before we accept it; we can accept it as true on the assumption that it is true, without having analyzed or investigated it for ourselves. (Page 110-111, Handbook to Perpetual Happiness, by A. Ramana)

Delight - That which is beyond joy and that gives meaning or purpose to life. It is beyond sensation, or sensation is an attempt to translate the secret delight of pure existence itself, into the terms of physical consciousness. It is the Bliss, Ananda, of absolute conscious existence, the supreme nature of omnipresent Being.

Desire and Divine Aspiration - One's devotion to God, or desire to return fully to the Divine Self, to Truth, or the Highest Expression of Being, is the one desire or aspiration that can eventually free you from the pain of all other desires. It does this by freeing you of all other desires.

Desire and Demand - Desire and demand are similar, being actually two aspects of the same thing. Demand is a clear and firm request for fulfillment of a personal need that is difficult to ignore or deny. It is the level of desire or personal need that exists for bringing into being a particular type, kind or style of goods or services. In the business world, one effective principle of success is to find a need, bordering on demand, and fill it.

It is not necessary that feelings should be agitated or restless to be a desire. On the contrary, they can be quietly fixed and persistent to be considered desire, or simply be consistent or recurrent.

Demand is when you set your sights on claiming something to have or possess as an urgent requirement, such as a definite time, specific services or facilities, resources or assets, or particular actions. Desire is a more general term.

Desire - To crave or want something strongly, that is, wishing or longing for things in the world. This is the very principle and cause of all superficial life; and it's the cause of suffering. Desire can be either subtle or dynamic. Either way it is a mode, method or way that produces energy to flow outwardly or externally in consciousness, or the mind, and that ignorantly seeks delight in the form or object of the thing or things desired, rather than resting and drawing contentment from the Source of BEING, or Brahman (The Absolute). Desire is the primary stimulus by which life is motivated to continue in mental and/or physical form.

The desire for God or The Divine is the one desire that can free one from all other desires. At the core of this one desire, the strong urge for God or Bhakti, is actually the quality of Aspiration. It is the Spirit, or pure Being.

Desirelessness - abiding without any sense of need or expectation. [LMT]

Destiny or Fate - The apparently predetermined or inevitable events that happen to somebody or to something in which one is involved or engaged. A force or agency that predetermines what will happen to something, someone or some situation. The inner purpose of life that may be discovered or realized, that is revealed at the time of its occurrence. Something consequential that inevitably happens to somebody or something.

Destiny or Free Will, which is it? - This is the age-old question or debate between philosophers or truth-seekers of all races, religions, all thinking people everywhere. It will continue to be, as long as man lives with the sense of separateness from God, his Source.

Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi answered this question like this: If a primitive man, visiting civilization for the very first time sees a TV set, he may be amazed and ask, "Does the little man in the box have the ability to say whatever he wants to say, or does he have to say what he is required to say?" Of course, the correct answer is "There is no little man in the box." In the same respect, there is no individual being that either has or does not have free will or destiny. There is only the One Infinite Being, the true Self, Who was neither born nor does He die.

Detachment - Usually, it means indifference to worldly concerns, including the lack of bias, prejudice or emotional involvement with what is occurring, or is likely to occur.

In AHAM, it means standing back from the apparent imperfections and weaknesses that normally occur in one's life, not identifying oneself with them or getting upset or troubled by the fact they are happening. But rather it is looking on them as being foreign to one's true nature, or Self, and thus remaining in the Here-and-Now Presence of the One Self, and calling on its Higher Power or Consciousness to eliminate or dissolve them in the Core or Source of being. It means intentionally withdrawing consciousness from the mind and its conditioned tendencies or patterns of Thought, its mental activities; and, with effort, remaining detached in the Heart, keeping attention centered in the Self, or in one's spiritual practice.

Devotee - One who has ardent feelings of Devotion and/or affection toward God, or the Higher Self, or the Guru.

Devotion (Bhakti) - Love and devotion for God, Truth, Guru, or the Self, and surrendering the ego to either one or all of these (which are not different).

Dharma - (Sanskrit) it literally means, "that which lays hold of and which holds things together." It means the rule of life as it is manifesting or normally occurring in the world; the Law, or the Rule of being; the norm; the standard of Truth; the rule of law or action; the principle of nature, action and life.

Dharma is the collective Indian conception or theory of the religious, social and moral rule of conduct. It is one of the four human interests: ethical conduct, the right law of individual and social life, encompassing appropriate action.

In the Bhagavad Gita, Dharma is more than either religion or morality, it is action controlled by our essential nature, or manner of being.

Dharma is any higher ideal we can propose to ourselves, with its principle of action, or its law of natural outworking.

To elaborate the last definition: Ideals are truths that have not yet fully realized themselves for man, e.g., the realities of a Higher Plane of existence that have yet to fulfill themselves on this lower plane of manifested life and matter, which is the body-mind's present field of operation.

The Ideal is an eternal Reality which we have not yet fully realized in the conditions of our usual life of limited separate being, or apparent individual existence.

Dhyana - In its highest sense Dhyana is inner concentration of consciousness on the Source, or meditation on the Self. Its ultimate purpose is to eventually direct attention inward, into pure Being, the natural state, or Samadhi.

Direct Realization - Since God's name is " I AM," everyone who constantly meditates on the pure I AM within himself will eventually Awaken to, or be taken into the heart of Being, the true Self, which is the location of the kingdom of God. This was Moses' own direct experience when he proclaimed, " I AM THAT I AM. " (Exodus 3:14) It was also Jesus' direct experience when he proclaimed, "I and the Father are One." (John 10:30)

Discipline - is mental self-control. It is to live or act in an orderly or controlled manner, according to a high standard of good conduct. It means obeying established or set rules of conduct, or using mental self-control to direct or change your behavior in compliance with established rules or ethics.

Self-discipline is a prerequisite to achieving success in almost any worthwhile endeavors, particularly ultimate success in one's spiritual practice.

The Divine - The Highest Supreme Truth; the very Supreme Being from which all has come, and into which all must ultimately return or subside. It is That from which all that is now occurring appears to arise, or comes into existence. It is That in which all and everything now lives and moves and has its being. It's That in which all that is has always and ever been - even though it's covered or concealed by the cloud of ignorance.

Divine Consciousness - The Highest Spiritual Consciousness; The Divine; That alone in which all exists, since All is the Divine.

"Doing your same old number" - Playing out your Act; or Racket; pretending. It is the contrived behavior patterns that one always uses to "look good," or that you think gets you what you want, at least before you noticed that this doesn't work; it is your old, automatic, outworn and probably now useless patterns (from before you attended AHAM's Living Meditation Training).

"Drop it" - A statement often spoken forcefully by Ramana when a person is stuck or caught up in a limiting, painful, ridiculous, stupid or outrageous position. He may say, "Drop it, right now, like a hot potato! And don't pick it up again!" With it, he may remind the person, "What you think about grows, and you become what you think about."

Duality - is believing in and living one's life based on the concept that the world has solid, objective reality independent of one's consciousness of it. This is identification with the body-mind as being the self, and the world as being real, or the ground of being and foundation principle of all life. This results in the conflict, confusion and contradiction of all the apparent opposites, i.e., all the relative assortments of good and evil, right and wrong, inside and outside, above and below, etc., which are therefore believed and thought to have independent and dynamic reality on their own.


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