30. You are Free NOW
It is not the theory that matters, but the way it is being tested. It is the testing of the theory that makes it fruitful. Experiment with any theory you like — if you are truly earnest and honest, the attainment of reality will be yours.
Q: But what can I do here and now?
M: You can be aware of your being — here and now.
Q: That is all?
M: That is all. There is nothing more to it.
Q: All my waking and dreaming I am conscious of myself. It does not help me much.
M: You were aware of thinking, feeling, doing. You were not aware of your being.
Q: What is the new factor you want me to bring in?
M: The attitude of pure witnessing, of watching the events with- out taking part in them.
Weak-mindedness is due to lack of intelligence, of understanding, which again is the result of non-awareness. By striving for awareness you bring your mind together and strengthen it.
A weak mind cannot control its own projections. Be aware, therefore, of your mind and its projections. You cannot control what you do not know. On the other hand, knowledge gives power. In practice it is very simple. To control yourself — know yourself.
There is no chaos in the world, except the chaos which your mind creates. It is self-created in the sense that at its very centre is the false idea of oneself as a thing different and separate from other things. In reality you are not a thing, nor separate. You are the infinite potentiality, the inexhaustible possibility. Because you are, all can be. The universe is but a partial manifestation of your limitless capacity to become.
Go to the source of both pain and pleasure, of desire and fear. Observe, investigate, try to understand.
Q: Desire and fear both are feelings caused by physical or mental factors. They are there, easily observable. But why are they there? Why do I desire pleasure and fear pain?
M: Pleasure and pain are states of mind. As long as you think you are the mind, or rather, the body-mind, you are bound to raise such questions.
Q: People die willingly quite often.
M: Only when the alternative is worse than death. But such readiness to die flows from the same source as the will to live, a source deeper even than life itself. To be a living being is not the ultimate state; there is something beyond, much more wonder- ful, which is neither being nor non-being, neither living nor not- living. It is a state of pure awareness, beyond the limitations of space and time. Once the illusion that the body-mind is oneself is abandoned, death loses its terror, it becomes a part of living.
31. Do not Undervalue Attention
Q: You say that in our real being we are all equal. How is it that your experience is so different from ours.
M: My actual experience is not different. It is my evaluation and attitude that differ. I see the same world as you do, but not the same way. There is nothing mysterious about it. Everybody sees the world through the idea he has of himself. As you think your- self to be, so you think the world to be. If you imagine yourself as separate from the world, the world will appear as separate from you and you will experience desire and fear. I do not see the world as separate from me and so there is nothing for me to de- sire, or fear.
Q: You are a point of light in the world. Not everybody is.
M: There is absolutely no difference between me and others, except in my knowing myself as I am. I am all. I know it for cer- tain and you do not.
Q: God made a most diversified world.
M: The diversity is in you only. See yourself as you are and you will see the world as it is — a single block of reality, indivisible, indescribable. Your own creative power projects upon it a pic- ture and all your questions refer to the picture.
All this is temporary, while I am dealing with the eternal. Gods and their universes come and go, avatars follow each other in endless succession, and in the end we are back at the source. I talk only of the timeless source of all the gods with all their universes, past, present and future.
M: Both the subjective and the objective are changeful and transient. There is nothing real about them. Find the permanent in the fleeting, the one constant factor in every experience.
Q: What is this constant factor?
M: My giving it various names and pointing it out in many ways will not help you much, unless you have the capacity to see. A dim-sighted man will not see the parrot on the branch of a tree, however much you may prompt him to look. At best he will see your pointed finger. First purify your vision, learn to see instead of staring, and you will perceive the parrot. Also you must be eager to see. You need both clarity and earnestness for self- knowledge. You need maturity of heart and mind, which comes through earnest application in daily life of whatever little you have understood. There is no such thing as compromise in Yoga.
If you want to sin, sin wholeheartedly and openly.
Nothing can block you so effectively as compromise, for it shows lack of earnestness, without which nothing can be done.
The problem is not yours — it is your mind’s only. Begin by disassociating yourself from your mind. Resolutely remind yourself that you are not the mind and that its problems are not yours.
Q: I may go on telling myself: ‘I am not the mind, I am not con- cerned with its problems,’ but the mind remains and its prob- lems remain just as they were. Now, please do not tell me that it is because I am not earnest enough and I should be more ear- nest! I know it and admit it and only ask you — how is it done? M: At least you are asking! Good enough, for a start. Go on pondering, wondering, being anxious to find a way. Be con- scious of yourself, watch your mind, give it your full attention. Don’t took for quick results; there may be none within your noti- cing. Unknown to you, your psyche will undergo a change, there will be more clarity in your thinking, charity in your feeling, purity in your behaviour. You need not aim at these — you will witness the change all the same. For, what you are now is the result of inattention and what you become will be the fruit of attention.
At- tention, alertness, awareness, clarity, liveliness, vitality, are all manifestations of integrity, oneness with your true nature.
Q: And I shall come to it through mere attention?
M: Do not undervalue attention. It means interest and also love. To know, to do, to discover, or to create you must give your heart to it — which means attention. All the blessings flow from it.
Q: You advise us to concentrate on ‘I am’. Is this too a form of attention?
M: What else? Give your undivided attention to the most impor- tant in your life — yourself. Of your personal universe you are the centre — without knowing the centre what else can you know?
Q: But how can I know myself? To know myself I must be away from myself. But what is away from myself cannot be myself. So, it looks that I cannot know myself, only what I take to be myself. M: Quite right. As you cannot see your face, but only its reflec- tion in the mirror, so you can know only your image reflected in the stainless mirror of pure awareness.
Q: How am I to get such stainless mirror?
M: Obviously, by removing stains. See the stains and remove them. The ancient teaching is fully valid.
Q: What is seeing and what is removing?
M: The nature of the perfect mirror is such that you cannot see
it. Whatever you can see is bound to be a stain. Turn away from it, give it up, know it as unwanted.
Q: All perceivables, are they stains? M: All are stains.
Q: The entire world is a stain. M: Yes, it is.
Q: How awful! So, the universe is of no value?
M: It is of tremendous value. By going beyond it you realize yourself.
Q: But why did it come into being in the first instance? M: You will know it when it ends.
Q: Will it ever end?
M: Yes, for you.
Q: When did it begin? M: Now.
Q: When will it end? M: Now.
Q: It does not end now? M: You don’t let it.
Q: I want to let it.
M: You don’t. All your life is connected with it. Your past and fu-
ture, your desires and fears, all have their roots in the world. Without the world where are you, who are you?
Q: But that is exactly what I came to find out.
M: And I am telling you exactly this: find a foothold beyond and all will be clear and easy.
32. Life is the Supreme Guru
Q: What is the right use of mind?
M: Fear and greed cause the misuse of the mind. The right use of mind is in the service of love, of life, of truth, of beauty.
You can spend an eternity looking elsewhere for truth and love, intelligence and goodwill, imploring God and man — all in vain. You must begin in yourself, with yourself — this is the inexo- rable law. You cannot change the image without changing the face. First realize that your world is only a reflection of yourself and stop finding fault with the reflection. Attend to yourself, set yourself right — mentally and emotionally. The physical will follow automatically. You talk so much of reforms: economic, so- cial, political. Leave alone the reforms and mind the reformer. What kind of world can a man create who is stupid, greedy, heartless?
You cannot change the world be- fore changing yourself. I did not say — before changing every- body. It is neither necessary, nor possible to change others. But if you can change yourself you will find that no other change is needed. To change the picture you merely change the film, you do not attack the cinema screen!
All you need is to stop searching outside what can be found only within. Set your vision right before you operate. You are suffer- ing from acute misapprehension. Clarify your mind, purify your heart, sanctify your life — this is the quickest way to a change of your world.
Biologically we need very little; our problems are of a different order. Problems created by desires and fears and wrong ideas can be solved only on the level of the mind. You must conquer your own mind and for this you must go beyond it.
Q: What does it mean to go beyond the mind?
M: You have gone beyond the body, haven’t you? You do not closely follow your digestion, circulation or elimination. These have become automatic. In the same way the mind should work automatically, without calling for attention. This will not happen unless the mind works faultlessly. We are, most of our time, mind and body-conscious, because they constantly call for help. Pain and suffering are only the body and the mind scream- ing for attention. To go beyond the body you must be healthy: to go beyond the mind, you must have your mind in perfect order. You cannot leave a mess behind and go beyond. — the mess will bog you up. ‘Pick up your rubbish’ seems to be the universal law. And a just law too.
Q: What did he tell you?
M: He told me I am the Supreme Reality.
Q: What did you do about it?
M: I trusted him and remembered it.
Q: Is that all?
M: Yes, I remembered him; I remembered what he said.
Q: You mean to say that this was enough?
M: What more needs be done? It was quite a lot to remember the Guru and his words. My advice to you is even less difficult than this — just remember yourself. ‘I am’, is enough to heal your mind and take you beyond. Just have some trust. I don’t mislead you. Why should I? Do I want anything from you? I wish you well — such is my nature. Why should I mislead you?
Commonsense too will tell you that to fulfil a desire you must keep your mind on it. If you want to know your true nature, you must have yourself in mind all the time, until the secret of your being stands revealed.
Q: Why should self-remembrance bring one to self-realization? M: Because they are but two aspects of the same state. Self- remembrance is in the mind, self-realization is beyond the mind. The image in the mirror is of the face beyond the mirror.
To help others, one must be beyond the need of help.
Be happy to make happy.
Q: Let others take care of themselves.
M: Sir, you are not separate. The happiness you cannot share is spurious. Only the shareable is truly desirable.
Q: Right. But do I need a Guru? What you tell me is simple and convincing. I shill remember it. This does not make you my Guru.
M: It is not the worship of a person that is crucial, but the steadi- ness and depth of your devotion to the task. Life itself is the Supreme Guru; be attentive to its lessons and obedient to its commands. Whey you personalize their source, you have an outer Guru; when you take them from life directly, the Guru is within. Remember, wonder, ponder, live with it, love it, grow into it, grow with it, make it your own — the word of your Guru, outer of inner. Put in all and you will get all. I was doing it. All my time I was giving to my Guru and to what he told me.
Grow in talent and develop in skill. Desire what is worth desiring and desire it well. Just like you pick your way in a crowd, passing between people, so you find your way between events, without missing your general direction. It is easy, if you are earnest.
M: There are no needs, desires only.
Q: To eat, to drink, to shelter one’s body; to live?
M: The desire to live is the one fundamental desire. All else de- pends on it.
Q: A thing so universal cannot be wrong.
M: Not wrong, of course. In its own place and time nothing is wrong. But when you are concerned with truth, with reality, you must question every thing, your very life. By asserting the necessity of sensory and intellectual experience you narrow down your enquiry to search for comfort.
Find out for yourself. Question every urge, hold no desire
legitimate. Empty of possession, physical and mental, free of all self-concern, be open for discovery.
Have your Guru always in your heart and remember his instructions — this is real abidance with the true. Physical proximity is least impor- tant. Make your entire life an expression of your faith and love for your teacher — this is real dwelling with the Guru.