‘The Idea Of Difficulty Is Itself An Obstacle To Realisation’

Over the years, I’ve quite often heard conversation partners and meditation students say, “Yes, but X is hard,” “Y is difficult,” and “Z is challenging.” But who says this? For whom this difficult? Who is putting up the illusory blockade?

In “Talk 244,” Sri Ramana Maharshi deftly meets the resistance of a disciple:

D[isciple]: How can the mind be made to vanish?
M[aharshi]: No attempt is made to destroy it. To think or wish it is itself a thought. If the thinker is sought, the thoughts will disappear.
D.: Will they disappear of themselves? It looks so difficult.
M.: They will disappear because they are unreal. The idea of difficulty
is itself an obstacle to realisation
. It must be overcome. To remain
as the Self is not difficult.

Again, who says, “It looks so difficult?”

Only the ego says that. It is the ego-arising whose temporary, illusory existence is bound up with proclaiming–and, indeed, with holding onto–the idea that such and such is difficult. For its shadowy existence lasts only so long as it grips onto this form–the form of difficulty.

Thus, Sri Ramana cuts to the chase: “The idea of difficulty is itself an obstacle to realisation.” In which case, just see what the source of this I-thought is. Again, whose doubts are these? Whose difficulties? Who is the doubter filled with difficulties?

He often concludes, “Go straight to the source, abide there, and all will be well.” Indeed, “To remain as the Self is not difficult,” provided that one gives up–surrenders–each and every form of resistance, every single vasana.