Life is Love and Love is Life
Is the practice of Yoga always conscious? Or, can it be
quite unconscious, below the
In the case of a beginner the practice of Yoga is often
deliberate and requires great
But those who are practising sincerely for many years, are
intent on self-realisation
the time, whether conscious of it or not. Unconscious
sadhana is most effective, because
is spontaneous and steady.
What is the position of the man who was a sincere student of
Yoga for some time and then got
and abandoned all efforts?
What a man appears to do, or not to do, is often deceptive.
His apparent lethargy may be just a
of strength. The causes of our behaviour are very subtle.
One must not be quick to
not even to praise. Remember that Yoga is the work of the
inner self (vyakta)
the outer self (vyakti). All that the outer does is merely
in response to the inner.
Still the outer helps.
How much can it help and in what way? It has some control
over the body and can improve its
and breathing. Over the mind's thoughts and feelings it has
little mastery, for it is itself the
It is the inner that can control the outer. The outer will
be wise to obey.
If it is the inner that is ultimately responsible for man's
spiritual development, why is the outer
much exhorted and encouraged?
The outer can help by keeping quiet and free from desire and
fear. You would have noticed that
advice to the outer is in the form of negations: don't,
stop, refrain, forego, give up, sacrifice,
see the false as false. Even the little description of
reality that is given is through denials
'not this, not this', (neti, neti). All positives belong to
the inner self, as all absolutes -- to Reality.
How are we to distinguish the inner from the outer in actual
The inner is the source of inspiration, the outer is moved
by memory. The source is untraceable,
all memory begins somewhere. Thus the outer is always
determined, while the inner cannot
held in words. The mistake of students consists in their
imagining the inner to be something to
hold of, and forgetting that all perceivables are transient
and, therefore, unreal. Only that which
perception possible, call it Life or Brahman, or what you
like, is real.
Must Life have a body for its self-expression?
The body seeks to live. It is not life that needs the body;
it is the body that needs life.
Does life do it deliberately?
Does love act deliberately? Yes and no. Life is love and
love is life. What keeps the body
but love? What is desire, but love of the self? What is fear
but the urge to protect? And
is knowledge but the love of truth? The means and forms may
be wrong, but the motive
is always love -- love of the me and the mine. The me and
the mine may be small, or may
and embrace the universe, but love remains.
The repetition of the name of God is very common in India.
Is there any virtue in it?
When you know the name of a thing, or a person, you can find
it easily. By calling God by His
you make Him come to you.
In what shape does He come?
According to your expectations. If you happen to be unlucky
and some saintly soul gives you a
for good luck and you repeat it with faith and devotion,
your bad luck is bound to turn.
faith is stronger than destiny. Destiny is the result of
causes, mostly accidental, and is
loosely woven. Confidence and good hope will overcome it
When a mantra is chanted, what exactly happens?
The sound of mantra creates the shape which will embody the
Self. The Self can embody any
-- and operate through it. After all, the Self is expressing
itself in action -- and a mantra
primarily energy in action. It acts on you, it acts on your
The mantra is traditional. Must it be so?
Since time immemorial a link was created between certain
words and corresponding energies
reinforced by numberless repetitions. It is just like a road
to walk on. It is an easy way -- only
is needed. You trust the road to take you to your
In Europe there is no tradition of a mantra, except in some
contemplative orders. Of what use is
to a modern young Westerner?
None, unless he is very much attracted. For him the right
procedure is to adhere to the thought
he is the ground of all knowledge, the immutable and
perennial awareness of all that happens
the senses and the mind. If he keeps it in mind all the
time, aware and alert, he is bound to break
bounds of non-awareness and emerge into pure life, light and
love. The idea -- 'I am the witness
will purify the body and the mind and open the eye of
wisdom. Then man goes beyond illusion
his heart is free of all desires. Just like ice turns to
water and water to vapour, and vapour
in air and disappears in space, so does the body dissolve
into pure awareness (chidakash),
into pure being (paramakash), which is beyond all existence
The realised man eats, drinks and sleeps. What makes him do
The same power that moves the universe, moves him too.
All are moved by the same power: what is the difference?
This only: The realised man knows what others merely hear;
but don't experience. Intellectually
may seem convinced, but in action they betray their bondage,
while the realised man is always
Everybody says 'I am'. The realised man too says 'I am'.
Where is the difference?
The difference is in the meaning attached to the words 'I
am'. With the realised man the
'I am the world, the world is mine' is supremely valid -- he
thinks, feels and acts
and in unity with all that lives. He may not even know the
theory and practice of self-
and be born and bred free of religious and metaphysical
notions. But there will not be
least flaw in his understanding and compassion.
I may come across a beggar, naked and hungry and ask him
'Who are you?' He may answer: 'I
the Supreme Self'. 'Well', I say, 'suffice you are the
Supreme, change your present state'. What
He will ask you: 'Which state? What is there that needs
changing? What is wrong with me?
Why should he answer so?
Because he is no longer bound by appearances, he does not
identify himself with the name and
He uses memory, but memory cannot use him.
Is not all knowledge based on memory?
Lower knowledge -- yes. Higher knowledge, knowledge of
Reality, is inherent in man's true
Can I say that I am not what I am conscious of, nor am I
As long as you are a seeker, better cling to the idea that
you are pure consciousness, free from
content. To go beyond consciousness is the supreme state.
The desire for realisation, does it originate in
consciousness or beyond?
In consciousness, of course. All desire is born from memory
and is within the realm of
What is beyond is clear of all striving. The very desire to
go beyond consciousness
still in consciousness.
Is there any trace, or imprint, of the beyond on
No, there cannot be.
Then, what is the link between the two? How can a passage be
found between two states
have nothing in common? Is not pure awareness the link
between the two?
Even pure awareness is a form of consciousness.
Then what is beyond? Emptiness?
Emptiness again refers only to consciousness. Fullness and
emptiness are relative terms. The
is really beyond -- beyond not in relation to consciousness,
but beyond all relations of
kind. The difficulty comes with the word 'state'. The Real
is not a state of something else --
is not a state of mind or consciousness or psyche -- nor is
it something that has a beginning and
end, being and not being. All opposites are contained in it
-- but it is not in the play of opposites.
must not take it to be the end of a transition. It is
itself, after the consciousness as such is no
Then words 'I am man', or 'I am God' have no meaning. Only
in silence and in darkness can it
heard and seen.