He uses memory, but memory cannot use him.
Discrimination leads to Detachment
You are all drenched for it is raining hard. In my world it is always fine weather. There is no night or day, no heat or cold. No worries beset me there, nor regrets. My mind is free of thoughts, for there are no desires to slave for.
Questioner: Are there two worlds?
M: Your world is transient, changeful. My world is perfect, changeless. You can tell me what you like about your world — I shall listen carefully, even with interest, yet not for a moment shall I forget that your world is not, that you are dreaming.
Q: What distinguishes your world from mine?
M: My world has no characteristics by which it can be iden- tified. You can say nothing about it. I am my world. My world is myself. It is complete and perfect. Every impression is erased, every experience — rejected. I need nothing, not even myself, for myself I cannot lose.
But your words do not reach me. Mine is a non-verbal world. In your world the unspoken has no existence.
In mine — the words and their contents have no being. In your world nothing stays, in mine — nothing changes. My world is real, while yours is made of dreams.
M: The talk is in your world. In mine — there is eternal silence.
My silence sings, my emptiness is full, I lack nothing. You can- not know my world until you are there.
Q: It seems as if you alone are in your world.
M: How can you say alone or not alone, when words do not apply? Of course, I am alone for I am all.
Q: Still you have a name and shape, display consciousness and activity.
M: In your world I appear so. In mine I have being only. Nothing else. You people are rich with your ideas of possession, of quantity and quality. I am completely without ideas.
Q: Are you happy?
M: In your world I would be most miserable. To wake up, to eat, to talk, to sleep again — what a bother!
Q: So you do not want to live even?
M: To live, to die — what meaningless words are these! When
you see me alive, I am dead. When you think me dead, I am alive. How muddled up you are!
My experience is that everything is bliss. But the desire for bliss creates pain. Thus bliss becomes the seed of pain. The en- tire universe of pain is born of desire. Give up the desire for pleasure and you will not even know what is pain.
Q: Why should pleasure be the seed of pain?
M: Because for the sake of pleasure you are committing many sins. And the fruits of sin are suffering and death.
Q: Yousaytheworldisofnousetous—onlyatribulation.Ifeel it cannot be so. God is not such a fool. The world seems to me a big enterprise for bringing the potential into actual, matter into life, the unconscious into full awareness. To realize the supreme we need the experience of the opposites. Just as for building a temple we need stone and mortar, wood and iron, glass and tiles, so for making a man into a divine sage, a master of life and death, one needs the material of every experience. As a woman goes to the market, buys provisions of every sort, comes home, cooks, bakes and feeds her lord, so we bake ourselves nicely in the fire of life and feed our God.
Your mistake lies in your belief that you are born. You were never born nor will you ever die, but you believe that you were born at a certain date and place and that a particular body is your own.
Why do you worry about the world before taking care of yourself? You want to save the world, don’t you? Can you save the world before saving yourself? And what means being saved? Saved from what? From illusion. Salvation is to see things as they are. I really do not see myself related to anybody and anything. Not even to a self, whatever that self may be. I remain forever — undefined. I am within and beyond — intimate and unapproachable.
Q: How did you come to it?
M: By my trust in my Guru. He told me: ‘You alone are’ and I did
not doubt him. I was merely puzzling over it, until I realized that it is absolutely true.
Q: Conviction by repetition?
M: By self-realization. I found that I am conscious and happy
absolutely and only by mistake I thought I owed being- consciousness-bliss to the body and the world of bodies.
Q: You are not a learned man. You have not read much and what you read, or heard did perhaps not contradict itself. I am fairly well educated and have read a lot and I found that books and teachers contradict each other hopelessly. Hence what- ever I read or hear, I take it in a state of doubt. ‘It may be so, it may not be so’ is my first reaction. And as my mind is unable to decide what is true and what is not, I am left high and dry with my doubts. In Yoga a doubting mind is at a tremendous disad- vantage.
M: I am glad to hear it; but my Guru too taught me to doubt — everything and absolutely. He said: ‘deny existence to every- thing except your self.’ Through desire you have created the world with its pains and pleasures.
Pain is the back- ground of pleasure, all seeking of pleasure is born in pain. and ends in pain.
M: What does it matter? It is the mind that is dull or restless, not you. Look, all kinds of things happen in this room. Do I cause them to happen? They just happen. So it is with you — the roll of destiny unfolds itself and actualizes the inevitable. You cannot change the course of events, but you can change your attitude and what really matters is the attitude and not the bare event. The world is the abode of desires and fears. You cannot find peace in it. For peace you must go beyond the world. The root cause of the world is self-love. Because of it we seek pleasure and avoid pain. Replace self-love by love of the Self and the pic- ture changes. Brahma the Creator is the sum total of all desires. The world is the instrument for their fulfilment. Souls take what- ever pleasure they desire and pay for them in tears. Time squares all accounts. The law of balance reigns supreme.
Q: To be a superman one must be a man first. Manhood is the fruit of innumerable experiences. Desire drives to experience. Hence at its own time and level desire is right.
M: All this is true in a way. But a day comes when you have amassed enough and must begin to build. Then sorting out and discarding (viveka-vairagya) are absolutely necessary. Every- thing must be scrutinized and the unnecessary ruthlessly des- troyed. Believe me, there cannot be too much destruction. For in reality nothing is of value. Be passionately dispassionate — that is all.
24. God is the All-doer, the Gnani a Non-doer
What we call the will of God is not a capricious whim of a playful deity, but the expression of an ab- solute necessity to grow in love and wisdom and power, to ac- tualize the infinite potentials of life and consciousness. Just as a gardener grows flowers from a tiny seed to glorious perfection, so does God in His own garden grow, among other beings, men to supermen, who know and love and work along with Him.
It is in the nature of the mind to imagine goals, to strive towards them, to seek out means and ways, to display vision, energy and courage. These are divine attributes and I do not deny them. But I take my stand where no difference exists, where things are not, nor the minds that create them. There I am at home. Whatever happens, does not affect me — things act on things, that is all. Free from memory and expecta- tion, I am fresh, innocent and wholehearted. Mind is the great worker (mahakarta) and it needs rest. Needing nothing, I am unafraid. Whom to be afraid of? There is no separation, we are not separate selves. There is only one Self, the Supreme Reality, in which the personal and the impersonal are one.
Your mind projects a structure and you identify yourself with it. It is in the nature of desire to prompt the mind to create a world for its fulfilment. Even a small desire can start a long line of action; what about a strong desire? Desire can produce a universe; its powers are miraculous. Just as a small matchstick can set a huge forest on fire, so does a desire light the fires of mani- festation. The very purpose of creation is the fulfilment of de- sire. The desire may be noble, or ignoble, space (akash) is neutral — one can fill it with what one likes: You must be very careful as to what you desire. And as to the people you want to help, they are in their respective worlds for the sake of their de- sires; there is no way of helping them except through their de- sires. You can only teach them to have right desires so that they may rise above them and be free from the urge to create and re-create worIds of desires, abodes of pain and pleasure.
Just as a sleeping man forgets all and wakes up for another day, or he dies and emerges into another life, so do the worlds of desire and fear dissolve and disappear: But the universal wit- ness, the Supreme Self never sleeps and — never dies. Eternally the Great Heart beats and at each beat a new universe comes into being.
Being nothing, I am all. Everything is me, everything is mine. Just as my body moves by my mere thinking of the movement, so do things happen as think of them. Mind you, I do nothing. I just see them happen.
Q: Do things happen as you want them to happen, or do you want them to happen as they happen?
M: Both. I accept and am accepted. I am all and all is me. Being the world I am not afraid of the world. Being all, what am I to be afraid of? Water is not afraid of water, nor fire of fire. Also I am not afraid because I am nothing that can experience fear, or can be in danger. l have no shape, nor name. It is attachment to a name and shape that breeds fear. I am not attached. I am no- thing, and nothing is afraid of no thing. On the contrary, every- thing is afraid of the Nothing, for when a thing touches Nothing, it becomes nothing. It is like a bottomless well, whatever falls into it, disappears.
Q: Can you influence the world by your attitude? By separating yourself from the world you lose all hope of helping it.
M: How can it be? All is myself — can’t I help myself? I do not identify myself with anybody in particular, for I am all — both the particular and the universal.
Q: Can you then help me, the particular person?
M: But I do help you always — from within. My self and your self are one. I know it, but you don’t. That is all the difference — and it cannot last.
Q: And how do you help the entire world?
M: Gandhi is dead, yet his mind pervades the earth. The thought of a gnani pervades humanity and works ceaselessly for good. Being anonymous, coming from within, it is the more powerful and compelling. That is how the world improves — the inner aiding and blessing the outer. When a gnani dies, he is no more, in the same sense in which a river is no more when it merges in the sea; the name, the shape, are no more, but the water remains and becomes one with the ocean. When a gnani joins the universal mind, all his goodness and wisdom become the heritage of humanity and uplift every human being.
Q: We are attached to our personality. Our individuality, our being unlike others, we value very much. You seem to de- nounce both as useless. Your unmanifested, of what use is it to us?
M: Unmanifested, manifested, individuality, personality (nirguna, saguna, vyakta, vyakti); all these are mere words, points of view, mental attitudes. There is no reality in them. The real is experienced in silence. You cling to personality — but you are conscious of being a person only when you are in trou- ble — when you are not in trouble you do not think of yourself.
Surely, you must sleep in order to wake up. You must die in order to live, you must melt down to shape anew. You must de- stroy to build, annihilate before creation. The Supreme is the universal solvent, it corrodes every container, it burns through every obstacle. Without the absolute denial of everything the tyranny of things would be absolute. The Supreme is the great harmonizer, the guarantee of the ultimate and perfect balance — of life in freedom. It dissolves you and thus re-asserts your true being.
Neither for yourself nor for others, but for the work’s own sake. A thing worth doing is its own purpose and meaning. Make nothing a means to something else. Bind not. God does not create one thing to serve another. Each is made for its own sake. Because it is made for itself, it does not interfere. You’ are using things and people for purposes alien to them and you play havoc with the world and yourself.
Q: Our real being is all the time with us, you say. How is it that we do not notice it?
M: Yes, you are always the Supreme. But your attention is fixed on things, physical or mental. When your attention is off a thing and not yet fixed on another, in the interval you are pure being. When through the practice of discrimination and detachment (viveka-vairagya), you lose sight of sensory and mental states, pure being emerges as the natural state.
Q: How does one bring to an end this sense of separateness? M: By focussing the mind on ‘I am’, on the sense of being, ‘I am so-and-so’ dissolves; ‘I am a witness only’ remains and that too submerges in ‘I am all’. Then the all becomes the One and the One — yourself, not to be separate from me. Abandon the idea of a separate ‘I’ and the question of ‘whose experience?’ will not arise.
Q: You speak from your own experience. How can I make it mine?
M: You speak of my experience as different from your experi- ence, because you believe we are separate. But we are not. On a deeper level my experience is your experience. Dive deep within yourself and you will find it easily and simply. Go in the di- rection of ‘I am’.