Incidents from Ramana Maharshi’s Life – Bird in a Chimney

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The Bird in a Chimney (The cause of bondage)

Bhagavan used examples in life to each the ultimate truth. The cause of all misery and evil, beginning with the birth, experienced by jivas, is forgetfulness of the way one came. This is illustrated by Bhagavan by the following incident of a bird

caught in a chimney.

There was a chimney in the Hall, where Bhagavan used to give darshan. The chimney was closed on all the sides,

with a steel mesh, except at the bottom. One day a beautiful small bird somehow entered it from the bottom and was trapped in a condition diametrically opposed to the natural environment (the vast space where it could fly freely).

From he moment it entered the chimney, it was frantically struggling to escape, but all its efforts were futile. Why?

Because, forgetting the way it came, it was repeatedly trying to escape through the closed routes. Bhagavan took this example to reveal a great truth.

This bird has given up all the all pervasive space, its natural place, of residence. It has been caught in the limited space which is opposed to its nature. Not knowing how to escape from this prison, it is agitated and afraid. Like this bird, the jivas have also given up their natural place of residence, the vast space of consciousness. Through the delusion they have become trapped in the prison of the body without knowing how to escape, they are tormented by various afflictions.

The ceaseless efforts of the bird to reach its natural place of residence are unsuccessful because they are directed upwards,the way of bondage, instead of downwards, the way it came. Similarly,the reason why the Jivas’ ceaseless efforts to attain freedom are unsuccessful is because they are also directed outwards, the way of bondage, instead of inwards, the way they came. The natural tendency of the bird to go upwards asserts itself even in their attempts for freedom. Likewise the natural tendency of Jivas to roam outwards asserts itself even in their attempts at liberation. This is jivas’ natural tendency. If, through, true discrimination and awareness , the Jiva is made to turn Backfrom outward -directed sight to inward sight, and if it remains fixed there, it is certain to attain liberation in an instant.

This one upadesa will be sufficient for those genuinely thirsting for liberation.

(Source: Sri Ramana Darsana, Sadhu Natanananda.)

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