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Nondual Highlights Issue #2300, Friday,
October 28, 2005 - Editor: Mark
The Supreme, the Mind and the Body
Q: From what you have told us, it appears that you are not quite
conscious of your surrounding. To us you seem extremely alert and
active. We cannot possible believe that you are in a kind of
hypnotic state, which leaves no memory behind. On the contrary, your
memory seems excellent. How are we to understand your statement that
the world and all it includes does not exist, as far as you are
Maharaj: It is all a matter of focus. Your mind is focused in the
world; mine is focused in reality. It is like the moon in daylight -
when the sun shines, the moon is hardly visible. Or, watch how you
take your food. As long as it is in your mouth, you are conscious of
it; once swallowed, it does not concern you any longer. It would be
troublesome to have it constantly in mind until it is eliminated.
The mind should be normally in abeyance - incessant activity is a
morbid state. The universe works by itself - that I know. What else
do I need to know?
Q: So a gnani knows what he is doing only when he turns his mind to
it; otherwise he just acts, without being concerned.
M: The average man is not conscious of his body as such. He is
conscious of his sensations, feelings and thoughts. Even these, once
detachment sets in, moves away from the center of consciousness and
happens spontaneously and effortlessly.
Q: What then is in the center of consciousness?
M: That which cannot be given name or form, for it is without
quality and beyond consciousness. You may say it is a point in
consciousness. Like a hole in the paper is both in the paper and yet
not of paper, so is the supreme state in the very center of
consciousness, and yet beyond consciousness. It is as if there were
an opening in the mind through which the mind is flooded with light.
The opening is not even the light. It is just an opening.
Q: An opening is just a void, absence.
M: Quite so. From the mind's point of view, it is but an opening for
the light of awareness to enter the mental space. By itself the
light can only be compared to a solid, dense, rocklike, homogeneous
and changeless mass of pure awareness, free from the mental patterns
of name and shape.
Q: Is there any connection between the mental space and the supreme
M: The supreme gives existence to the mind. The mind gives existence
to the body.
Q: And what lies beyond?
M: Take as an example: A venerable yogi, a master in the art of
longevity, himself over 1000 years old, comes to teach me his art. I
fully respect and sincerely admire his achievements, yet all I can
tell him is: of what use is longevity to me? I am beyond time.
However long a life may be it is but a moment and a dream. In the
same way I am beyond all attributes. They appear and disappear in my
light, but cannot describe me. The universe is all names and forms,
based on qualities and their differences, while I am beyond. The
world is there because I am, but I am not the world.
Q: But you're living in the world!
M: That's what you say! I know there is a world, which includes this
body and this mind, but I do not consider them to be more 'mine'
than other minds and bodies. They are there in time and space, but I
am timeless and spaceless.
Q: But since all exists by your light, are you not the creator of
M: I am neither the potentiality nor the actualization, nor the
actuality of things. In my light they come and go as the specks of
dust dancing in the sunbeams. The light illumines the specks, but
does not depend on them. Nor can it be said to create them. It
cannot be even said to know them.
Q: I am asking you a question and you are answering. Are you
conscious of the question and the answer?
M: In reality I am neither hearing nor answering. In the world of
events the question happens and the answer happens. Nothing happens
to me. Everything just happens.
Q: Are you the witness?
M: What does witness mean? Mere knowledge. It rains and now the rain
is over. I did not get wet. I know it rained, but I am not affected.
I just witness the rain.
Q: The fully realized man, spontaneously abiding in the supreme
state, appears to eat, drink, and so on. Is he aware of it, or not?
M: That in which consciousness happens, the universal consciousness
or mind, we call the ether of consciousness. All the objects of
consciousness form the universe. What is beyond both, supporting
both, is the supreme state, a state of utter stillness and silence.
Whoever goes there, disappears. It is unreachable by words, or mind.
You may call it God, or Parabrahman, or supreme Reality, but these
are names given by the mind. It is the nameless, contentless,
effortless and spontaneous state, beyond being and not being.
Q: But does it remain conscious?
M: As the universe is the body of the mind, so is consciousness the
body of the supreme. It is not conscious, but it gives rise to
Q: In my daily action much goes by habit, automatically. I am aware
of the general purpose, but not of each movement in detail As my
consciousness broadens and deepens, details tend to recede, leaving
me free for the general trends. Does not the same happen to a gnani,
but more so?
M: On the level of consciousness - yes. In the supreme state, no.
This state is entirely one and indivisible, a single solid block of
reality. the only way of knowing it is to be it. The mind cannot
reach it. To perceive it, does not need the senses; to know it, does
not need the mind
Q: That is how God runs the world.
M: God is not running the world.
Q: Then who is doing it?
M: Nobody. All happens by itself. You are asking the question and
you are supplying the answer. And you know the answer when you ask
the question. All is a play in consciousness. All divisions are
illusory. You can know the false only. The truth you must yourself
Q: There is the witnessed consciousness and there is the witnessing
consciousness. Is the second the supreme?
M: There are the two - the person and the witness, the observer.
When you see them as one, and go beyond, you are in the supreme
state. It is not perceivable, because it is what makes perception
possible. It is beyond being and not being. It is neither the mirror
nor the image in the mirror. It is what is - the timeless reality,
unbelievable hard and solid.
Q: The gnani - is he the witness or the Supreme?
M: He is the Supreme, of course, but he can also be viewed as the
Q: But he remains a person?
M: When you believe yourself to be a person, you see persons
everywhere. In reality there are no persons, only threads of
memories and habits. At the moment of realization the person ceases.
Identity remains, but identity has no being in itself; it is a
reflection in the mind of the witness, the ''I am', which again is a
mode of being.
Q: Is the Supreme conscious?
M: Nether conscious no unconscious, I am telling you from
Q: Pragnanam Brahma. What is this Pragna?
M: It is the unselfconscious knowledge of life itself.
Q: It is vitality, the energy of life, livingness?
M: Energy comes first. For everything is a form of energy.
Consciousness is most differentiated in the waking state. Less so in
dream. Still less in sleep. Homogeneous - in the fourth state.
Beyond is the inexpressible monolithic reality, the abode of the
Q: I have cut my hand. It healed, by what power did it heal?
M: By the power of life.
Q: What is that power? M: It is consciousness. All is conscious.
Q: What is the source of consciousness?
M: Consciousness itself is the source of everything.
Q; Can there be life without consciousness?
M: No, nor consciousness without life. They are both one. But in
reality only the Ultimate is. The rest is a matter of name and form.
And as long as you cling to the idea that only what has name and
shape exists, the Supreme will appear to you non-existing. When you
understand that names and shapes are hollow shells without any
content whatsoever, and what is real is nameless and formless, pure
energy of life and light of consciousness, you will be at peace -
immersed in the deep silence of reality.
Q: If time and space are mere illusions and you are beyond, please
tell me what is the weather in New York. Is it hot or raining there?
M: How can I tell you? Such things need special training. Or, just
traveling to New York? I may be quite certain that I am beyond time
and space, and yet unable to locate myself at will at some point of
time and space. I am not interested enough; I see no purpose in
undergoing a special Yogic training. I have just heard of New York.
To me it is a word. Why should I know more than the word conveys?
Every atom may be a universe, as complex as ours. Must I know them
all? I can - if I train.
Q: In putting the question about the weather in New York where did I
make the mistake?
M: The world and the mind are states of being. The supreme is not a
state. It pervades all states, but is is not a state of something
else. It is entirely uncaused, independent, complete in itself,
beyond time and space, mind and matter.
Q: By what sign do you recognize it?
M: That's the point - it leaves no traces. There is nothing to
recognize it by. It must be seen directly, by giving up all
searching for signs and approaches. When all names and forms have
been given up, the real is with you. You need not seek it. Plurality
and diversity are the play of the mind only. Reality is one.
Q: If reality leaves no evidence, there is no speaking about it.
M: It is, It cannot be denied. it is deep and dark, mystery beyond
mystery. But it is, while all merely happens.
Q: Is it the Unknown?
M: It is beyond both, the known and the unknown. But I would rather
call it the known, then the unknown. For whenever something is
known, it is the real that is known.
Q: Is silence an attribute of the real?
M: This too is of the mind. All states and conditions are of the
Q: What is the place of samadhi?
M: Not making use of one's consciousness is samadhi. You just leave
your mind alone. You want nothing, neither from your body nor your
- Nisargadatta, posted to NondualitySalon
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