Hold on to ‘I am’
Are you ever glad or sad? Do you know joy and sorrow?
Call them as you please. To me they are states of mind only,
and I am not the mind.
Is love a state of mind?
Again, it depends what you mean by love. Desire is, of
course, a state of mind. But the
of unity is beyond mind. To me, nothing exists by itself.
All is the Self, all is myself. To
myself in everybody and everybody in myself most certainly
When I see something pleasant, I want it. Who exactly wants
it? The self or the mind?
The question is wrongly put. There is no 'who'. There is
desire, fear, anger, and the mind says --
is me, this is mine. There is no thing which could be called
'me' or 'mine'. Desire is a state of the
perceived and named by the mind. Without the mind perceiving
and naming, where is desire?
But is there such a thing as perceiving without naming?
Of course. Naming cannot go beyond the mind, while
perceiving is consciousness itself.
When somebody dies what exactly happens?
Nothing happens. Something becomes nothing. Nothing was,
Surely there is a difference between the living and the
dead. You speak of the living as dead
of the dead as living.
Why do you fret at one man dying and care little for the
millions dying every day? Entire
are imploding and exploding every moment -- am I to cry over
them? One thing is quite
to me: all that is, lives and moves and has its being in
consciousness and I am in and beyond
consciousness. I am in it as the witness. I am beyond it as
Surely, you care when your child is ill, don't you?
I don't get flustered. I just do the needful. I do not worry
about the future. A right response to
situation is in my nature. I do not stop to think what to
do. I act and move on. Results do not
me. I do not even care, whether they are good or bad.
Whatever they are, they are -- if they
back to me, I deal with them afresh. Or, rather, I happen to
deal with them afresh. There is no
of purpose in my doing anything. Things happens as they
happen -- not because I make
happen, but it is because I am that they happen. In reality
nothing ever happens. When the
is restless, it makes Shiva dance, like the restless waters
of the lake make the moon dance. It
all appearance, due to wrong ideas.
Surely, you are aware of many things and behave according to
their nature. You treat a child as
child and an adult as an adult.
Just as the taste of salt pervades the great ocean and every
single drop of sea-water carries the
flavour, so every experience gives me the touch of reality,
the ever fresh realisation of my
Do I exist in your world, as you exist in mine?
Of course, you are and I am. But only as points in
consciousness; we are nothing apart from
This must be well grasped: the world hangs on the thread of
There are many points in consciousness; are there as many
Take dream for an example. In a hospital there may be many
patients, all sleeping, all
each dreaming his own private, personal dreams unrelated,
unaffected, having one
factor in common -- illness. Similarly, we have divorced
ourselves in our imagination from the
world of common experience and enclosed ourselves in a cloud
of personal desire and fears,
and thoughts, ideas and concepts.
This I can understand. But what could be the cause of the
tremendous variety of the personal
The variety is not so great. All the dreams are superimposed
over a common world. To some
they shape and influence each other. The basic unity
operates in spite of all. At the root of it
lies self-forgetfulness; not knowing who I am.
To forget, one must know. Did I know who I am, before I
Of course. Self-forgetting is inherent in self-knowing.
Consciousness and unconsciousness are
aspects of one life. They co-exist. To know the world you
forget the self -- to know the self you
the world. What is world after all? A collection of
memories. Cling to one thing, that matters,
on to 'I am' and let go all else. This is sadhana. In
realisation there is nothing to hold on to and
to forget. Everything is known, nothing is remembered.
What is the cause of self-forgetting?
There is no cause, because there is no forgetting. Mental
states succeed one another, and each
the previous one. Self-remembering is a mental state and
self-forgetting is another. They
like day and night. Reality is beyond both.
Surely there must be a difference between forgetting and not
knowing. Not knowing needs no
Forgetting presupposes previous knowledge and also the
tendency or ability to forget. I
I cannot enquire into the reason for not-knowing, but
forgetting must have some ground.
There is no such thing as not-knowing. There is only
forgetting. What is wrong with forgetting? It
as simple to forget as to remember.
Is it not a calamity to forget oneself?
As bad as to remember oneself continuously. There is a state
beyond forgetting and not-
-- the natural state. To remember, to forget -- these are
all states of mind, thought-bound,
Take for example, the idea of being born. I am told I was
born. I do not remember. I
told I shall die I do not expect it. You tell me I have
forgotten, or I lack imagination. But I just
remember what never happened, nor expect the patently
impossible. Bodies are born and
die, but what is it to me? Bodies come and go in
consciousness and consciousness itself
its roots in me. I am life and mine are mind and body.
You say at the root of the world is self-forgetfulness. To
forget I must remember What did I
to remember? I have not forgotten that I am.
This 'I am' too may be a part of the illusion.
can it be? You cannot prove to me that I am not. Even when
convinced that I am not -- I am.
Reality can neither be proved nor disproved. Within the mind
you cannot, beyond the mind you
not. In the real, the question 'what is real?' does not
arise. The manifested (saguna) and
(nirguna) are not different.
In that case all is real.
I am all. As myself all is real. Apart from me, nothing is
I do not feel that the world is the result of a mistake.
You may say so only after a full investigation, not before.
Of course, when you discern and let
all that is unreal, what remains is real.
Does anything remain?
The real remains. But don't be mislead by words!
Since immemorial time, during innumerable births, I build
and improve and beautify my world. It
neither perfect, nor unreal. It is a process.
You are mistaken. The world has no existence apart from you.
At every moment it is but a
of yourself. You create it, you destroy it.
And build it again, improved.
To improve it, you must disprove it. One must die to live.
There is no rebirth, except through
Your universe may be perfect. My personal universe is
Your personal universe does not exist by itself. It is
merely a limited and distorted view of the
It is not the universe that needs improving, but your way of
How do you view it?
It is a stage on which a world drama is being played. The
quality of the performance is all that
not what the actors say and do, but how they say and do it.
I do not like this lila (play) idea I would rather compare
the world to a work-yard in which we are
You take it too seriously. What is wrong with play? You have
a purpose only as long as you are
complete (purna); till then completeness, perfection, is the
purpose. But when you are complete
yourself, fully integrated within and without, then you
enjoy the universe; you do not labour at it.
the disintegrated you may seem working hard, but that is
their illusion. Sportsmen seem to make
efforts: yet their sole motive is to play and display.
Do you mean to say that God is just having fun, that he is
engaged in purposeless action?
God is not only true and good, he is also beautiful
(satyam-shivam-sundaram). He creates
-- for the joy of It
Well, then beauty is his purpose!
Why do you introduce purpose? Purpose implies movement,
change, a sense of imperfection.
does not aim at beauty -- whatever he does is beautiful.
Would you say that a flower is trying to
beautiful? It is beautiful by its very nature. Similarly God
is perfection itself, not an effort at
The purpose fulfills itself in beauty.
What is beautiful? Whatever is perceived blissfully is
beautiful. Bliss is the essence of beauty.
You speak of Sat-Chit-Ananda. That I am is obvious. That I
know is obvious. That I am happy is
at all obvious. Where has my happiness gone?
Be fully aware of your own being and you will be in bliss
consciously. Because you take your
off yourself and make it dwell on what you are not, you lose
your sense of well-being of being
There are two paths before us -- the path of effort (yoga
marga), and the path of ease (bhogamarga).
lead to the same goal -- liberation.
Why do you call bhoga a path? How can ease bring you
The perfect renouncer (yogi) will find reality. The perfect
enjoyer (bhogi) also will come to it.
How can it be? Aren't they contradictory?
The extremes meet. To be a perfect Bhogi is more difficult
than to be a perfect Yogi. I am a
man and cannot venture judgements of value. Both the Yogi
and the Bhogi, after all,
concerned with the search for happiness. The Yogi wants it
permanent, the Bhogi is
with the intermittent. Often the Bhogi strives harder than
What is your happiness worth when you have to strive and
labour for it? True happiness is
All beings seek happiness. The means only differ. Some seek
it within and are therefore called
some seek it without and are condemned as Bhogis. Yet they
need each other.
Pleasure and pain alternate. Happiness is unshakable. What
you can seek and find is not the
thing. Find what you have never lost, find the inalienable.