44. ‘I am’ is True, all else is Inference
The body appears in your mind, your mind is the content of your consciousness; you are the motionless witness of the river of consciousness which changes eternally without changing you in any way. Your own changelessness is so obvious that you do not notice it. Have a good look at yourself and all these misapprehensions and misconceptions will dissolve. Just as all the little watery lives are in water and cannot be without water, so all the universe is in you and cannot be without you.
The word exists in memory, memory comes into consciousness; consciousness exists in awareness and awareness is the reflection of the light on the waters of existence.
Destroy all habits of think- ing and seeing. The sense ‘I am’ is the manifestation of a deeper cause, which you may call self, God. Reality or by any other name.
The ‘I am’ is in the world; but it is the key which can open the door out of the word. The moon dancing on the water is seen in the water; but it is caused by the moon in the sky and not by the water.
The main point to grasp is that you have projected onto yourself a world of your own imagination, based on memories, on desires and fears, and that you have imprisoned yourself in it. Break the spell and be free.
Q: How does one break the spell?
M: Assert your independence in thought and action. After all, all hangs on your faith in yourself, on the conviction that what you see and hear, think and feel is real. Why not question your faith? No doubt, this world is painted by you on the screen of consciousness and is entirely your own private world. Only your sense ‘I am’, though in the world, is not of the world.
Once you realize that the world is your own projection, you are free of it. You need not free yourself of a world that does not exist, except in your own imagination! However is the picture, beautiful or ugly, you are painting it and you are not bound by it. Realize that there is nobody to force it on you, that it is due to the habit of taking the imaginary to be real. See the imaginary as imaginary and be free of fear.
Just as the colours in this carpet are brought out by light but light is not the colour, so is the world caused by you but you are not the world.
That which creates and sustains the world, you may call it God or providence, but ultimately you are the proof that God ex- ists, not the other way round. For, before any question about God can be put, you must be there to put it.
When you look at anything, it is the ultimate you see, but you imagine that you see a cloud or a tree.
Learn to look without imagination, to listen without distortion: that is all.
Stop attributing names and shapes to the essentially nameless and formless, realize that every mode of perception is subjective, that what is seen or heard, touched or smelt, felt or thought, expected or imagined, is in the mind and not in reality, and you will experience peace and freedom from fear.
To find water you do not dig small pits all over the place, but drill deep in one place only. Similarly, to find your self you have to explore yourself. When you realize that you are the light of the world, you will also realize that you are the love of it; that to know is to love and to love is to know.
Of all the affections the love of oneself comes first. Your love of the world is the reflection of your love of yourself, for your world is of your own creation.
45. What Comes and Goes has no Being
First words, then silence. One must be ripe for sil- ence.
Unselfish work leads to silence, for when you work self- lessly, you don’t need to ask for help.
Yet such is the magic of man’s mind and heart that the most improbable happens when human will and love pull together.
Q: What is wrong with asking for help when the work is worthy?
M: Where is the need of asking? It merely shows weakness and anxiety. Work on, and the universe will work with you.
All your problems arise because you have de- fined and therefore limited yourself. When you do not think your- self to be this or that, all conflict ceases. Any attempt to do something about your problems is bound to fail, for what is caused by desire can be undone only in freedom from desire.
You have enclosed yourself in time and space, squeezed your- self into the span of a lifetime and the volume of a body and thus created the innumerable conflicts of life and death, pleasure and pain, hope and fear. You cannot be rid of problems without abandoning illusions.
The person merely appears to be, like the space within the pot appears to have the shape and vol- ume and smell of the pot. See that you are not what you believe yourself to be. Fight with all the strength at your disposal against the idea that you are nameable and describable. You are not.
There is no other way out of misery, which you have created for yourself through blind acceptance without investigation.
all pain needs investigation. Don’t be lazy to think.
Q: Activity is the essence of reality. There is no virtue in not working. Along with thinking something must be done.
M: To work in the world is hard, to refrain from all unnecessary work is even harder.
All idea of self-improvement is conventional and verbal. As the sun knows not darkness, so does the self know not the non-self. It is the mind, which by knowing the other, becomes the other.
Just as a cloud obscures the sun without in any way affecting it, so does assumption obscure reality without destroying it.
Q: How is it that in spite of so much instruction and assistance we make no progress?
M: As long as we imagine ourselves to be separate per- sonalities, one quite apart from another, we cannot grasp reality which is essentially impersonal. First we must know ourselves as witnesses only, dimensionless and timeless centres of ob- servation, and then realize that immense ocean of pure aware- ness, which is both mind and matter and beyond both.
Your being a person is due to the illusion of space and time; you imagine yourself to be at a certain point occupying a cer- tain volume; your personality is due to your self-identification with the body. Your thoughts and feelings exist in succession, they have their span in time and make you imagine yourself, be- cause of memory, as having duration.
In reality time and space exist in you; you do not exist in them. They are modes of percep- tion, but they are not the only ones. Time and space are like words written on paper; the paper is real, the words merely a convention. How old are you?
M: What makes you say forty-eight? What makes you say: I am here? Verbal habits born from assumptions. The mind creates time and space and takes its own creations for reality. All is here and now, but we do not see it. Truly, all is in me and by me. There is nothing else. The very idea of ‘else’ is a disaster and a calamity.
How does personality come into being? By memory. By identifying the present with the past and projecting it into the fu- ture. Think of yourself as momentary, without past and future and your personality dissolves.
‘I am’ is ever afresh. You do not need to remember in order to be. As a matter of fact, be- fore you can experience anything, there must be the sense of being.
Once you have known pure being, without being this or that, you will discern it among experiences and you will no longer be mis- led by names and forms.
Self-limitation is the very essence of personality.
You know that there is a world, but does the world know you? All knowledge flows from you, as all being and all joy. Realize that you are the eternal source and accept all as your own. Such acceptance is true love.
Get rid of wrong ideas, that is all. Collecting right ideas also will take you nowhere. Just cease imagining.
Don’t try to understand!
on’t rely on your mind for liberation. It is the mind that brought you into bondage. Go beyond it altogether.
To find order you must search within. The world comes into being only when you are born in a body. No body — no world. First enquire whether you are the body. The understanding of the world will come later.
Millions eat bread, but few know all about wheat. And only those who know can improve the bread. Similarly, only those who know the self, who have seen beyond the world, can im- prove the world. Their value to private persons is immense, for they are their only hope of salvation. What is in the world cannot save the world; if you really care to help the world, you must step out of it.
Who was born first, you or the world? As long as you give first place to the world, you are bound by it; once you realize, beyond all trace of doubt that the world is in you and not you in the world, you are out of it.
Of course your body remains in the world and of the world, but you are not deluded by it. All scrip- tures say that before the world was, the Creator was. Who knows the Creator? He alone who was before the Creator, your own real being, the source of all the worlds with their creators.
Reality is neither subjective nor objective, neither mind nor matter, neither time nor space. These divisions need somebody to whom to happen, a conscious separate centre. But reality is all and nothing, the totality and the exclusion, the fullness and the emptiness, fully consistent, absolutely paradoxical. You cannot speak about it, you can only lose your self in it. When you deny reality to anything, you come to a residue which cannot be denied.
Q: How can it be? A child is born into the world, not the world into the child. The world is old and the child is new.
M: The child is born into your world. Now, were you born into your world, or did your world appear to you? To be born means to create a world round yourself as the centre. But do you ever create yourself? Or did anyone create you? Everyone creates a world for himself and lives in it, imprisoned by one’s ignorance. All we have to do is to deny reality to our prison.
Q: Just as the waking state exists in seed form during sleep, so does the world the child creates on being born exist before its birth. With whom does the seed lie?
M: With him who is the witness or birth and death, but is neither born nor dies. He alone is the seed of creation as well as its re- sidue. Don’t ask the mind to confirm what is beyond the mind. Direct experience is the only valid confirmation.
46. Awareness of Being is Bliss
Just like the wood produces fire which is not wood, so does the body produces the mind which is not the body. But to whom does the mind appear? Who is the perceiver of the thoughts and feelings which you call the mind? There is wood, there is fire and there is the enjoyer of the fire. Who enjoys the mind? Is the en- joyer also a result of food, or is it independent?
Q: The perceiver is independent.
M: How do you know? Speak from your own experience. You are not the body nor the mind. You say so. How do you know?
Q: I really do not know. I guess so.
M: Truth is permanent. The real is changeless. What changes is not real, what is real does not change. Now, what is it in you that does not change? As long as there is food, there is body and mind. When the food is stopped, the body dies and the mind dissolves. But does the observer perish?
Q: I guess it does not. But I have no proof.
M: You yourself are the proof. You have not, nor can you have any other proof. You are yourself, you know yourself, you love yourself. Whatever the mind does, it does for the love of its own self. The very nature of the self is love. It is loved, loving and lov- able. It is the self that makes the body and the mind so interest- ing, so very dear. The very attention given to them comes from the self.
Q: Iftheselfisnotthebodynorthemind,canitexistwithoutthe body and the mind?
M: Yes, it can. It is a matter of actual experience that the self has being independent of mind and body. It is being — aware- ness — bliss. Awareness of being is bliss.
To know that you are neither body nor mind, watch yourself steadily and live unaffected by your body and mind, completely aloof, as if you were dead. It means you have no vested in- terests, either in the body or in the mind.
I am not asking you to commit suicide. Nor can you. You can only kill the body, you cannot stop the mental process, nor can you put an end to the person you think you are. Just remain un- affected. This complete aloofness, unconcern with mind and body is the best proof that at the core of your being you are neither mind nor body. What happens to the body and the mind may not be within your power to change, but you can always put an end to your imagining yourself to be body and mind. What- ever happens, remind yourself that only your body and mind are affected, not yourself.
The more earnest you are at remembering what needs to be remembered, the sooner will you be aware of yourself as you are, for memory will become experience. Ear- nestness reveals being. What is imagined and willed becomes actuality — here lies the danger as well as the way out.
Tell me, what steps have you taken to separate your real self, that in you which is changeless, from your body and mind?
Q: I want to find reality.
M: What price are you willing to pay for reality? Any price?
Q: What is austerity?
M: Once you have gone through an experience, not to go through it again is austerity. To eschew the unnecessary is austerility. Not to anticipate pleasure or pain is austerity. Having things under control at all times is austerity. Desire by itself is not wrong. It is life itself, the urge to grow in knowledge and ex- perience.
It is the choices you make that are wrong. To imagine that some little thing — food, sex, power, fame — will make you happy is to deceive yourself. Only something as vast and deep as your real self can make you truly and lastingly happy.
Q: Do you advise me to come to India repeatedly?
M: If you are earnest, you don’t need moving about. You are yourself wherever you are and you create your own climate. Locomotion and transportation will not give you salvation. You are not the body and dragging the body from place to place will take you nowhere. Your mind is free to roam the three worlds — make full use of it.
Q: If I am free, why am I in a body?
M: You are not in the body, the body is in you! The mind is in you. They happen to you. They are there because you find them interesting. Your very nature has the infinite capacity to enjoy. It is full of zest and affection. It sheds its radiance on all that comes within its focus of awareness and nothing is excluded. It does not know evil nor ugliness, it hopes, it trusts, it loves. You people do not know how much you miss by not knowing your own true self. You are neither the body nor the mind, neither the fuel nor the fire. They appear and disappear according to their own laws.
That which you are, your true self, you love it, and whatever you do, you do for your own happiness. To find it, to know it, to cherish it is your basic urge. Since time immemorial you loved yourself, but never wisely. Use your body and mind wisely in the service of the self, that is all. Be true to your own self, love your self absolutely. Do not pretend that you love others as yourself. Unless you have realized them as one with yourself, you cannot love them. Don’t pretend to be what you are not, don’t refuse to be what you are. Your love of others is the result of self- knowledge, not its cause. Without self-realization, no virtue is genuine. Where you know beyond all doubting that the same life flows through all that is and you are that life, you will love all naturally and spontaneously. When you realize the depth and fullness of your love of yourself, you know that every living being and the entire universe are included in your affection. But when you look at anything as separate from you, you cannot love it for you are afraid of it. Alienation causes fear and fear deepens alienation. It is a vicious circle. Only self-realization can break it. Go for it resolutely.
47. Watch your Mind
What is done under pressure of society and circums- tances does not matter much, for it is mostly mechanical, mere reacting to impacts. It is enough to watch oneself dispassion- ately to isolate oneself completely from what is going on. What has been done without minding, blindly, may add to one’s karma (destiny), otherwise it hardly matters. The Guru demands one thing only; clarity and intensity of purpose, a sense of re- sponsibility for oneself. The very reality of the world must be questioned. Who is the Guru, after all? He who knows the state in which there is neither the world nor the thought of it, he is the Supreme Teacher. To find him means to reach the state in which imagination is no longer taken for reality. Please, understand that the Guru stands for reality, for truth, for what is. He is a realist in the highest sense of the term. He cannot and shall not come to terms with the mind and its delusions. He comes to take you to the real; don’t expect him to do anything else.
The Guru you have in mind, one who gives you information and instructions, is not the real Guru. The real Guru is he who knows the real, beyond the glamour of appearances. To him your questions about obedience and discipline do not make sense, for in his eyes the person you take yourself to be does not exist. Your questions are about a non-existing person. What exists for you does not exist for him. What you take for granted, he denies absolutely. He wants you to see yourself as he sees you. Then you will not need a Guru to obey and follow, for you will obey and follow your own reality. Realize that whatever you think yourself to be is just a stream of events; that while all hap- pens, comes and goes, you alone are, the changeless among the changeful, the self-evident among the inferred. Separate the observed from the observer and abandon false identifications.
Q: In order to find the reality, one should discard all that stands in the way. On the other hand, the need to survive within a given society compels one to do and endure many things. Does one need to abandon one’s profession and one’s social standing in order to find reality?
M: Do your work. When you have a moment free, look within. What is important is not to miss the opportunity when it presents itself. If you are earnest you will use your leisure fully. That is enough.
Q: In my search for the essential and discarding the unessen- tial, is there any scope for creative living? For instance, I love painting. Will it help me if I give my leisure hours to painting?
M: Whatever you may have to do, watch your mind. Also you must have moments of complete inner peace and quiet, when your mind is absolutely still. If you miss it, you miss the entire thing. If you do not, the silence of the mind will dissolve and ab- sorb all else.
The pleasure to be is the simplest form of self-love, which later grows into love of the self. Be like an infant with nothing standing between the body and the self.
In deep silence the self contemplates the body. It is like the white paper on which no- thing is written yet. Be like that infant, instead of trying to be this or that, be happy to be. You will be a fully awakened witness of the field of consciousness. But there should be no feelings and ideas to stand between you and the field.
You are like a newly born child. It was there before, but not conscious of its being. At its birth a world arose in it, and with it the consciousness of being. Now you have just to grow in consciousness, that is all. The child is the king of the world — when it grows up, it takes charge of its kingdom. Imagine that in its infancy it fell seriously ill and the physician cured it. Does it mean that the young king owes his kingdom to the physician? Only, perhaps as one of the contributing factors. There were so many others; all contributed. But the main factor, the most cru- cial, was the fact of being born the son of a king. Similarly, the Guru may help. But the main thing that helps is to have reality within. It will assert itself.
Your coming here definitely helped you. It is not the only thing that is going to help you. The main thing is your own being. Your very earnestness testifies to it.
Be in- terested in yourself beyond all experiences, be with yourself, love yourself; the ultimate security is found only in self-knowledge. The main thing is earnestness. Be honest with yourself and no- thing will betray you. Virtues and powers are mere tokens for children to play with. They are useful in the world, but do not take you out of it. To go beyond, you need alert immobility, quiet attention.
48. Awareness is Free
The main thing is to be free of negative emotions — desire, fear etc., the ‘six enemies’ of the mind. Once the mind is free of them, the rest will come easily. Just as cloth kept in soap water will become clean, so will the mind get purified in the stream of pure feeling.
When you sit quiet and watch yourself, all kinds of things may come to the surface. Do nothing about them, don’t react to them; as they have come so will they go, by themselves. All that matters is mindfulness, total awareness of oneself or rather, of one’s mind.
Q: Why does the mind create all these divisions?
M: To divide and particularize is in the mind’s very nature. There is no harm in dividing. But separation goes against fact. Things and people are different, but they are not separate. Na- ture is one, reality is one. There are opposites, but no opposi- tion.
There is a difference between work and mere activity. All na- ture works. Work is nature, nature is work. On the other hand, activity is based on desire and fear, on longing to possess and enjoy, on fear of pain and annihilation. Work is by the whole for the whole, activity is by oneself for oneself.
Q: What is the purpose in reminding oneself all the time that one is the watcher?
M: The mind must learn that beyond the moving mind there is the background of awareness, which does not change. The mind must come to know the true self and respect it and cease covering it up, like the moon which obscures the sun during solar eclipse. Just realize that nothing observable, or experi- enceable is you, or binds you. Take no notice of what is not yourself.
Q: To do what you tell me I must be ceaselessly aware.
M: To be aware is to be awake. Unaware means asleep. You are aware anyhow, you need not try to be. What you need is to be aware of being aware. Be aware deliberately and cons- ciously, broaden and deepen the field of awareness. You are always conscious of the mind, but you are not aware of yourself as being conscious.
Look at it this way. The mind produces thoughts ceaselessly, even when you do not look at them. When you know what is going on in your mind, you call it consciousness. This is your waking state — your consciousness shifts from sen- sation to sensation, from perception to perception, from idea to idea, in endless succession. Then comes awareness, the direct insight into the whole of consciousness, the totality of the mind. The mind is like a river, flowing ceaselessly in the bed of the body; you identify yourself for a moment with some particular ripple and call it: ‘my thought’. All you are conscious of is your mind; awareness is the cognizance of consciousness as a whole.
If you want to live sanely, creatively and happily and have infinite riches to share, search for what you are.
The body has its urges and mind its pains and pleasures. Awareness is unattached and unshaken. It is lucid, silent, peaceful, alert and unafraid, without desire and fear. Meditate on it as your true being and try to be it in your daily life, and you shall realize it in its fullness.
Mind is interested in what happens, while awareness is in- terested in the mind itself. The child is after the toy, but the mother watches the child, not the toy.
The same power that makes the fire burn and the water flow, the seeds sprout and the trees grow, makes me answer your questions. There is nothing personal about me, though the lan- guage and the style may appear personal. A person is a set pat- tern of desires and thoughts and resulting actions; there is no such pattern in my case. There is nothing I desire or fear — how can there be a pattern?
Q: May I be permitted to ask how did you arrive at your present condition?
M: My teacher told me to hold an to the sense ‘I am’ tenaciously and not to swerve from it even for a moment. I did my best to fol- low his advice and in a comparatively short time I realized within myself the truth of his teaching. All I did was to remember his teaching, his face, his words constantly. This brought an end to the mind; in the stillness of the mind I saw myself as I am — un- bound.
The cup is conditioned by its shape, material, use and so on. But the space within the cup is free. It happens to be in the cup only when viewed in connection with the cup. Otherwise it is just space. As long as there is a body, you ap- pear to be embodied. Without the body you are not disem- bodied — you just are.
Q: What is meditation and what are its uses?
M: As long as you are a beginner certain formalized medita- tions, or prayers may be good for you. But for a seeker for reality there is only one meditation — the rigorous refusal to harbour thoughts. To be free from thoughts is itself meditation.
Q: How is it done?
M: You begin by letting thoughts flow and watching them. The very observation slows down the mind till it stops altogether. Once the mind is quiet, keep it quiet. Don’t get bored with peace, be in it, go deeper into it.
Watch your thoughts and watch yourself watching the thoughts.
The state of freedom from all thoughts will happen suddenly and by the bliss of it you shall recognize it.
As long as there are causes, there must also be results. As long as people are bent on dividing and separating, as long as they are selfish and aggressive, such things will happen. If you want peace and harmony in the world, you must have peace and harmony in your hearts and minds. Such change cannot be imposed; it must come from within.
As long as people are as they are, the world must be as it is.
The world is like a sheet of paper on which something is typed. The reading and the meaning will vary with the reader, but the paper is the common factor, always present, rarely per- ceived: When the ribbon is removed, typing leaves no trace on the paper. So is my mind — the impressions keep on coming, but no trace is left.
A thing is because you know it to be either in your experience or in your being. Your body and your mind exist as long as you believe so. Cease to think that they are yours and they will just dissolve. By all means let your body and mind function, but do not let them limit you. If you notice imperfections, just keep on noticing; your very giving attention to them will set your heart and mind and body right.
All illness begins in the mind. Take care of the mind first, by tracing and eliminating all wrong ideas and emotions. Then live and work disregarding illness and think no more of it. With the removal of causes the effect is bound to depart. Man becomes what he believes himself to be. Abandon all ideas about yourself and you will find yourself to be the pure witness, beyond all that can happen to the body or the mind.
49. Mind Causes Insecurity
Once I know the true source of the answers, I need not doubt them. From a pure source only pure water will flow.
If you take people to be what they think themselves to be, you will only hurt them, as they hurt them- selves so grievously all the time. But if you see them as they are in reality, it will do them enormous good. If they ask you what to do, what practices to adopt, which way of life to follow, answer: ‘Do nothing, just be. In being all happens naturally.’
Stop misusing your mind and all will be well with you. You need not set it right — it will set itself right, as soon as you give up all concern with the past and the future and live entirely in the now.
Only in the mind of man there is chaos. The mind does not grasp the whole — its focus is very narrow. It sees fragments only and fails to perceive the picture. Just as a man who hears sounds, but does not understand the language, may accuse the speaker of meaningless jabbering, and be altogether wrong. What to one is a chaotic stream of sounds is a beautiful poem to another.
You are because you behave accordingly; you are not because it does not last. Can you be a king or a beggar for ever? All must change. You are what does not change. What are you? Janaka said: Yes, I am neither king nor beggar, I am the dispassionate witness. The Guru said. This is your last illusion that you are a gnani, that you are different from, and superior to, the common man. Again you identify yourself with your mind, in this case a well-behaved and in every way an exemplary mind. As long as you see the least difference, you are a stranger to reality. You are on the level of the mind. When the ‘I am myself’ goes, the ‘I am all’ comes. When the ‘I am all’ goes, ‘I am’ comes. When even ‘I am’ goes, reality alone is and in it every ‘I am’ is preserved and glorified.
Diversity without separateness is the Ultimate that the mind can touch. Beyond that all activity ceases, because in it all goals are reached and all purposes fulfilled.
50. Self-awareness is the Witness
The personal needs a base, a body to identify oneself with, just as a colour needs a surface to appear on. The seeing of the colour is independent of the colour — it is the same whatever the colour. One needs an eye to see a colour. The colours are many, the eye is single. The personal is like the light in the col- our and also in the eye, yet simple, single, indivisible and un- perceivable, except in its manifestations. Not unknowable, but unperceivable, un-objectival, inseparable. Neither material nor mental, neither objective nor subjective, it is the root of matter and the source of consciousness. Beyond mere living and dying, it is the all-inclusive, all-exclusive. Life, in which birth is death and death is birth.
It is all very simple; it is the presence of the person that complicates. See that there is no such thing as a permanently separate person and all becomes clear. Awareness — mind — matter — they are one reality in its two aspects as immovable and movable, and the three attributes of inertia, energy and harmony.
Q: What comes first: consciousness or awareness?
M: Awareness becomes consciousness when it has an object. The object changes all the time. In consciousness there is movement; awareness by itself is motionless and timeless, here and now.
Imagine a big building collapsing. Some rooms are in ruins, some are intact. But can you speak of the space as ruined or in- tact? It is only the structure that suffered and the people who happened to live in it. Nothing happened to space itself. Simi- larly, nothing happens to life when forms break down and names are wiped out. The goldsmith melts down old ornaments to make new. Sometimes a good piece goes with the bad. He takes it in his stride, for he knows that no gold is lost.
Sepa- rateness causes fear and aggression, which again cause vio- lence. Do away with man-made separations and all this horror of people killing each other will surely end. But in reality there is no killing and no dying. The real does not die, the unreal never lived. Set your mind right and all will be right. When you know that the world is one, that humanity is one, you will act accord- ingly. But first of all you must attend to the way you feel, think and live. Unless there is order in yourself, there can be no order in the world.
By all means go and get killed yourself — if that is what you think you should do. Or even go and kill, if you take it to be your duty. But that is not the way to end the evil. Evil is the stench of a mind that is diseased. Heal your mind and it will cease to project distorted, ugly pictures.
The misunderstanding is based on your idea that you are the body. Examine the idea, see its inherent con- tradictions, realize that your present existence is like a shower of sparks, each spark lasting a second and the shower itself — a minute or two. Surely a thing of which the beginning is the end, can have no middle. Respect your terms. Reality cannot be momentary. It is timeless, but timelessness is not duration.
51. Be Indifferent to Pain and Pleasure
I am now 74 years old. And yet I feel that I am an infant. I feel
clearly that in spite of all the changes I am a child. My Guru told me: that child, which is you even now, is your real self (swarupa). Go back to that state of pure being, where the ‘I am’ is still in its purity before it got contaminated with ‘this I am’ or ‘that I am’. Your burden is of false self-identifications — abandon them all. My Guru told me — ‘Trust me. I tell you; you are divine. Take it as the absolute truth. Your joy is divine, your suffering is divine too. All comes from God. Remember it always. You are God, your will alone is done’.
I did believe him and soon realized how wonderfully true and accurate were his words. I did not condi- tion my mind by thinking: ‘I am God, I am wonderful, I am beyond’. I simply followed his instruction which was to focus the mind on pure being ‘I am’, and stay in it. I used to sit for hours together, with, nothing but the ‘I am’ in my mind and soon peace and joy and a deep all-embracing love became my nor- mal state. In it all disappeared — myself, my Guru, the life I lived, the world around me. Only peace remained and un- fathomable silence.
There is only one mistake you are making: you take the inner for the outer and the outer for the inner. What is in you, you take to be outside you and what is outside, you take to be in you. The mind and feelings are external, but you take them to be intimate. You believe the world to be objective, while it is entirely a projection of your psyche. That is the basic confusion and no new explosion will set it right. You have to think yourself out of it. There is no other way.
Watch your thoughts as you watch the street traffic. People come and go; you register without response. It may not be easy in the beginning, but with some practice you will find that your mind can function on many levels at the same time and you can be aware of them all.
It is only when you have a vested interest in any particular level, that your attention gets caught in it and you black out on other levels. Even then the work on the blacked out levels goes on, outside the field of consciousness. Do not struggle with your memories and thoughts; try only to include in your field of attention the other, more important questions, like ‘Who am I?’ ‘How did I happen to be born?’ ‘Whence this uni- verse around me?’. ‘What is real and what is momentary?’ No memory will persist, if you lose interest in it; it is the emotional link that perpetuates the bondage.
You are always seeking pleasure, avoiding pain, always after happiness and peace. Don’t you see that it is your very search for happiness that makes you feel miserable? Try the other way: indifferent to pain and pleasure, neither asking, nor refusing, give all your attention to the level on which ‘I am’ is timelessly present. Soon you will realize that peace and happiness are in your very nature and it is only seeking them through some particular channels, that dis- turbs. Avoid the disturbance, that is all. To seek there is no need; you would not seek what you already have. You yourself are God, the Supreme Reality.
o begin with, trust me, trust the Teacher. It enables you to make the first step — and then your trust is justified by your own experience. In every walk of life ini- tial trust is essential; without it little can be done. Every underta- king is an act of faith. Even your daily bread you eat on trust! By remembering what I told you you will achieve everything. I am telling you again: You are the all-pervading, all transcending rea- lity. Behave accordingly: think, feel and act in harmony with the whole and the actual experience of what I say will dawn upon you in no time. No effort is needed. Have faith and act on it.
It is in your own interest that I speak, because above all you love yourself, you want yourself secure and happy. Don’t be ashamed of it, don’t deny it. It is natural and good to love oneself. Only you should know what exactly do you love. It is not the body that you love, it is Life — perceiving, feeling, thinking, doing, loving, striving, creating. It is that Life you love, which is you, which is all. Realize it in its totality, beyond all divisions and limitations, and all your desires will merge in it, for the greater contains the smaller. Therefore find yourself, for in finding that you find all.
Everybody is glad to be. But few know the fulness of it. You come to know by dwelling in your mind on ‘I am’, ‘I know’, ‘I love’ — with the will of reaching the deepest meaning of these words.
Remember to re- member: ‘whatever happens — happens because I am’. All re- minds you that you are. Take full advantage of the fact that to experience you must be. You need not stop thinking. Just cease being interested. It is disinterestedness that liberates. Don’t hold on, that is all. The world is made of rings. The hooks are all yours. Make straight your hooks and nothing can hold you: Give up your addictions. There is nothing else to give up. Stop your routine of acquisitiveness, your habit of looking for results and the freedom of the universe is yours. Be effortless.
Ecs- tasies come and go, necessarily, for the human brain cannot stand the tension for a long time. A prolonged ecstasy will burn out your brain, unless it is extremely pure and subtle. In nature nothing is at stand-still, everything pulsates, appears and dis- appears. Heart, breath, digestion, sleep and waking — birth and death everything comes and goes in waves. Rhythm, periodicity, harmonious alternation of extremes is the rule.
When I say: remember ‘I am’ all the time, I mean: ‘come back to it repeatedly’. No particular thought can be mind’s natural state, only silence. Not the idea of silence, but silence itself. When the mind is in its natural state, it reverts to silence spontaneously after every experience or, rather, every experience happens against the background of silence.
52. Being Happy, Making Happy is the Rhythm of Life
When the beloved suffers, don’t you suffer too? And do you cease to love, because you suffer? Must love and happi- ness come and go together? Is love merely the expectation of pleasure?
Then what is love? Is it not a state of being rather than a state of mind? Must you know that you love in order to love? Did you not love your mother unknowingly? Your craving for her love, for an opportunity to love her, is it not the movement of love? Is not love as much a part of you, as consciousness of being? You sought the love of your mother, because you loved her.
Q: Then, why was I unhappy all my life?
M: Because you did not go down to the very roots of your being. It is your complete ignorance of yourself, that covered up your love and happiness and made you seek for what you had never lost. Love is will, the will to share your happiness with all. Being happy — making happy — this is the rhythm of love.
53. Desires Fulfilled, Breed More Desires
If you are angry or in pain, separate yourself from anger and pain and watch them. Externalization is the first step to libera- tion. Step away and look.
The physical events will go on hap- pening, but by themselves they have no importance. It is the mind alone that matters.
If you deal with society you must accept its ways, for its ways are your ways. Your needs and demands have created them. Your desires are so complex and contradic- tory — no wonder the society you create is also complex and contradictory.
Everybody does the same mistake: refusing the means, but wanting the ends. You want peace and harmony in the world, but refuse to have them in yourself. Follow my ad- vice implicitly and you will not be disappointed.
I cannot solve your problem by mere words. You have to act on what I told you and persevere. It is not the right advice that liberates, but the action based on it. Just like a doctor, after giving the patient an injection, tells him: ‘Now, keep quiet. Do nothing more, just keep quiet,’ I am telling you: you have got your ‘injection’, now keep quiet, just keep quiet. You have nothing else to do. My Guru did the same. He would tell me something and then said: ‘Now keep quiet. Don’t go on ruminating all the time. Stop. Be silent’.
Q: It is all theory which does not fit the facts. I am returning to Europe with nothing to do there. My life is completely empty.
M: If you just try to keep quiet, all will come — the work, the strength for work, the right motive. Must you know everything beforehand? Don’t be anxious about your future — be quiet now and all will fall in place. The unexpected is bound to happen, while the anticipated may never come. Don’t tell me you cannot control your nature. You need not control it. Throw it overboard. Have no nature to fight, or to submit to. No experience will hurt you, provided you don’t make it into a habit. Of the entire uni- verse you are the subtle cause. All is because you are. Grasp this point firmly and deeply and dwell on it repeatedly. To realize this as absolutely true, is liberation.
Pain and pleasure are in the mind. Change your scale of values and all will change. Pleasure and pain are mere disturbances of the senses; treat them equally and there will be only bliss. And the world is, what you make it; by all means make it happy. Only contentment can make you happy — de- sires fulfilled breed more desires. Keeping away from all desires and contentment in what comes by itself is a very fruitful state — a precondition to the state of fulness. Don’t distrust its apparent sterility and emptiness. Believe me, it is the satisfaction of de- sires that breeds misery. Freedom from desires is bliss.
What you need will come to you, if you do not ask for what you do not need. Yet only few people reach this state of com- plete dispassion and detachment. It is a very high state, the very threshold of liberation.
There are always moments when one feels empty and estranged. Such moments are most desirable for it means the soul had cast its moorings and is sailing for dis- tant places. This is detachment — when the old is over and the new has not yet come.
whatever you come across — go beyond.
The waters of life are thundering over the rocks of objects — desirable or hateful. Remove the rocks by insight and detach- ment and the same waters will flow deep and silent and swift, in greater volume and with greater power.
if you desire to be free, neglect not the nearest step to freedom. It is like climb- ing a mountain: not a step can be missed. One step less — and the summit is not reached.
54. Body and Mind are Symptoms of Ignorance
Mahadakash is nature, the ocean of existences, the physical space with all that can be contacted through the senses.
Chidakash is the expanse of awareness, the mental space of time, perception and cognition.
Paramakash is the timeless and spaceless reality, mindless, undifferenciated, the infinite potentiality, the source and origin, the substance and the essence, both matter and consciousness, — yet beyond both. it cannot be perceived, but can be experienced as ever witnes- sing the witness, perceiving the perceiver, the origin and the end of all manifestation, the root of time and space, the prime cause in every chain of causation.
Once you accept time and space as real, you will consider yourself minute and short-lived. But are they real? Do they depend on you, or you on them? As body, you are in space. As mind, you are in time. But are you mere body with a mind in it? Have you ever investigated?
The true and effective motive is love. You see people suffer and you seek the best way of help- ing them. The answer is obvious — first put yourself beyond the need of help. Be sure your attitude is of pure goodwill, free of expectation of any kind.
Those who seek mere happiness may end up in sublime indif- ference, while love will never rest.
As to method, there is only one — you must come to know yourself — both what you appear to be and what you are. Clarity and charity go together — each needs and strengthens the other.
It is always the false that makes you suffer, the false desires and fears, the false values and ideas, the false relationships be- tween people. Abandon the false and you are free of pain; truth makes happy — truth liberates.
Q: But I was born as a body, in a body and shall die with the body, as a body.
M: This is your misconception. Enquire, investigate, doubt yourself and others. To find truth, you must not cling to your convictions; if you are sure of the immediate, you will never reach the ultimate. Your idea that you were born and that you will die is absurd: both logic and experience contradict it.
The entire universe contributes incessantly to your exis- tence. Hence the entire universe is your body. In that sense — I agree.
All this happens because you think yourself to be the body. Realize your real self and even drugs will have no power over you.
The idea that I am not the body gives reality to the body, when in fact, there is no such thing as body; it is but a state of mind. You can have as many bodies and as diverse as you like; just remember steadily what you want and reject the incompatibles.
Without awareness, the body would not last a second. There is in the body a current of energy, affection and intelligence, which guides, maintains and energizes the body. Discover that current and stay with it.
Of course, all these are manners of speaking. Words are as much a barrier, as a bridge. Find the spark of life that weaves the tissues of your body and be with it. It is the only reality the body has.
Q: What happens to that spark of life after death?
M: It is beyond time. Birth and death are but points in time. Life weaves eternally its many webs. The weaving is in time, but life itself is timeless. Whatever name and shape you give to its ex- pressions, it is like the ocean — never changing, ever changing.
Q: All you say sounds beautifully convincing, yet my feeling of being just a person in a world strange and alien, often inimical and dangerous, does not cease. Being a person, limited in space and time, how can I possibly realize myself as the oppo- site; a de-personalized, universalized awareness of nothing in particular?
M: You assert yourself to be what you are not and deny yourself to be what you are. You omit the element of pure cognition, of awareness free from all personal distortions. Unless you admit the reality of chit, you will never know yourself.
A prince who believes himself to be a beggar can be con- vinced conclusively in one way only: he must behaves as a prince and see what happens. Behave as if what I say is true and judge by what actually happens. All I ask is the little faith needed for making the first step. With experience will come con- fidence and you will not need me any more. I know what you are and I am telling you. Trust me for a while.
The body and the mind are only symptoms of ignorance, of misapprehension. Behave as if you were pure awareness, bodi- less and mindless, spaceless and timeless, beyond ‘where’ and ‘when’ and ‘how’. Dwell on it, think of it, learn to accept its realty. Don’t oppose it and deny it all the time. Keep an open mind at least. Yoga is bending the outer to the inner. Make your mind and body express the real which is all and beyond all. By doing you succeed, not by arguing.
55. Give up All and You Gain All
The universal is not aware of the particular. The existence as a person is a personal matter. A person exists in time and space, has name and shape, beginning and end; the universal includes all persons and the absolute is at the root of and beyond all.
You insist that your world is independent of your mind. How can it be? Your desire to know other people’s minds is due to your not knowing your own mind. First know your own mind and you will find that the question of other minds does not arise at all, for there are no other people. You are the common factor, the only link between the minds. Being is consciousness; ‘I am’ applies to all.
You are like a man who says: ‘I need a place where to keep my things, but of what use is space to me?’ or 'I need milk, tea, coffee or soda, but for water I have no use’. Don’t you see that the Supreme Reality is what makes everything possible?
My heart wants you awake. I see you suffer in your dream and I know that you must wake up to end your woes. When you see your dream as dream, you wake up.
But in your dream itself I am not interested. Enough for me to know that you must wake up. You need not bring your dream to a definite conclusion, or make it noble, or happy, or beautiful; all you need is to realize that you are dream- ing.
Within the immensity of space floats a tiny atom of consciousness and in it the entire universe is con- tained.
When you are love itself, you are beyond time and numbers. In loving one you love all, in loving all, you love each. One and all are not exclusive.
Freedom from all desire is eternity. All attachment implies fear, for all things are transient. And fear makes one a slave. This freedom from attachment does not come with practice; it is natural, when one knows one’s true being. Love does not cling; clinging is not love.
All craving is due to a sense of insufficiency. When you know that you lack nothing, that all there is, is you and yours, desire ceases.
Q: To know myself must I practise awareness?
M: There is nothing to practise. To know yourself, be yourself. To be yourself, stop imagining yourself to be this or that. Just be. Let your true nature emerge. Don’t disturb your mind with seeking.
Q: It will take much time if I just wait for self-realization.
M: What have you to wait for when it is already here and now? You have only to look and see. Look at your self, at your own being. You know that you are and you like it. Abandon all im- agining, that is all. Do not rely on time. Time is death. Who waits — dies. Life is now only. Do not talk to me about past and future — they exist only in your mind.
If you want to help the world, you must be beyond the need of help. Then all your doing as well as not doing will help the world most effectively.
Be empty of all mental content, of all imagination and effort, and the very absence of obstacles will cause reality to rush in.
If you really want to help a person, keep away. If you are emotionally committed to helping, you will fail to help.
A man is really helped when he is no longer in need of help. All else is just futi- lity.