Do not Undervalue Attention
As I look at you, you seem to be a poor man with very
facing all the problems of poverty and old age, like
Were I very rich, what difference would it make? I am what
I am. What else can I be? I am neither rich nor poor, I am
Yet, you are experiencing pleasure and pain.
I am experiencing these in consciousness, but I am neither
consciousness, nor its content.
You say that in our real being we are all equal. How is it
that your experience is so different from ours.
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 yourself 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 desire,
You are a point of light in the world. Not everybody is.
There is absolutely no difference between me and others,
except in my knowing myself as I am. I am all. I know it
for certain and you do not.
So we differ all the same.
No, we do not. The difference is only in the mind and
temporary. I was like you, you will be like me.
God made a most diversified world.
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 picture and all your questions
refer to the picture.
A Tibetan Yogi wrote that God creates the world for
purpose and runs it according to a plan. The purpose
good and the plan is most wise.
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
Do you know them all? Do you remember them?
When a few boys stage a play for fun, what is there to see
and to remember?
Why is half humanity male and half female?
For their happiness. The impersonal (avyakta) becomes the
personal (vyakta) for the sake of happiness in
relationship. By the grace of my Guru I can look with
equal eye on the impersonal as well as the personal. Both
are one to me. In life the personal merges in the
How does the personal emerge from the impersonal?
The two are but aspects of one Reality. It is not correct
to talk of one preceding the other. All these ideas belong
to the waking state.
What brings in the waking state?
At the root of all creation lies desire. Desire and
imagination foster and reinforce each other. The fourth
state (turiya) is a state of pure witnessing, detached
awareness, passionless and
It is like space, unaffected by whatever it contains.
Bodily and mental troubles do not reach it -- they are
outside, 'there', while the witness is always 'here'.
What is real, the subjective or the objective? I am
inclined to believe that the objective universe is the
real one and my subjective psyche is changeful and
transient. You seem to claim reality for your inner,
subjective states and deny all reality to the concrete,
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
What is this constant factor?
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
you want to sin, sin wholeheartedly and openly. Sins too
have their lessons to teach the earnest sinner, as virtues
-- the earnest saint. It is the mixing up the two that is
so disastrous. Nothing can block you so effectively as
compromise, for it shows lack of earnestness, without
which nothing can be done.
I approve of austerity, but in practice I am all for
luxury. The habit of chasing pleasure and shunning pain is
so ingrained in me, that all my good intentions, quite
alive on the level of theory, find no roots in my
day-to-day life. To tell me that I am not honest does not
help me, for I just do not know how to make myself honest.
You are neither honest nor dishonest -- giving names to
mental states is good only for expressing your approval or
disapproval. 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.
I may go on telling myself: 'I am not the mind, I am not
concerned with its problems,' but the mind remains and its
problems 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 earnest! I know it and admit it and only ask you
-- how is it done?
At least you are asking! Good enough, for a start. Go on
pondering, wondering, being anxious to find a way. Be
conscious of yourself, watch your mind, give it your full
attention. Don't look for quick results; there may be none
within your noticing. Unknown to you, your psyche will
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.
Why should mere attention make all the difference?
So far your life was dark and restless (tamas and rajas).
Attention, alertness, awareness, clarity, liveliness,
vitality, are all manifestations of integrity, oneness
with your true nature (sattva). It is in the nature of
sattva to reconcile and neutralise
and rajas and rebuild the personality in accordance with
the true nature of the self. Sattva is the faithful
servant of the self; ever attentive and obedient.
And I shall come to it through mere attention?
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.
You advise us to concentrate on 'I am'. Is this too a form
What else? Give your undivided attention to the most
important in your life -- yourself. Of your personal
universe you are the centre -- without knowing the centre
what else can you know?
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.
Quite right. As you cannot see your face, but only its
reflection in the mirror, so you can know only your image
reflected in the stainless mirror of pure awareness.
How am I to get such stainless mirror?
Obviously, by removing stains. See the stains and remove
them. The ancient teaching is fully valid.
What is seeing and what is removing?
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.
All perceivables, are they stains?
All are stains.
The entire world is a stain.
Yes, it is.
How awful! So, the universe is of no value?
It is of tremendous value. By going beyond it you realise
But why did it come into being in the first instance?
You will know it when it ends.
Will it ever end?
Yes, for you.
When did it begin?
When will it end?
It does not end now?
You don't let it.
I want to let it.
You don't. All your life is connected with it. Your past
and future, your desires and fears, all have their roots
in the world. Without the world where are you, who are
But that is exactly what I came to find out.
And I am telling you exactly this: find a foothold beyond
and all will be clear and easy.