Spiritual Practice is Will Asserted and Re-asserted
The Westerners who occasionally come to see you are faced with a
very notion of a liberated man, a realised man, a self-knower, a
God-knower, a man beyond the
is unknown to them. All they have in their Christian culture is
the idea of a saint: a pious man,
God-fearing, fellow-loving, prayerful, sometimes prone to
ecstasies and confirmed by a
miracles. The very idea of a jnani is foreign to Western culture,
something exotic and rather
Even when his existence is accepted, he is looked at with
suspicion, as a case of self-
euphoria caused by strange physical postures and mental attitudes.
The very idea of a new
in consciousness seems to them implausible and improbable.
will help them is the opportunity of hearing a jnani relate his
own experience of realisation, its
and beginnings, its progress and attainments and its actual
practice in daily life. Much of
he says may remain strange, even meaningless, yet there will
remain a feeling of reality, an
of actual experiencing, ineffable, yet very real, a centre from
which an exemplary life
The experience may be incommunicable. Can one communicate an
Yes, if one is an artist. The essence of art is communication of
feeling, of experience.
To receive communication, you must be receptive.
Of course. There must be a receiver. But if the transmitter does
not transmit, of what use is the
The jnani belongs to all. He gives himself tirelessly and
completely to whoever comes to him. If
is not a giver, he is not a jnani. Whatever he has, he shares.
But can he share what he is?
You mean, can he make others into jnanis? Yes and no. No, since
jnanis are not made, they
themselves as such, when they return to their source, their real
nature. I cannot make you
what you already are. All I can tell you is the way I travelled
and invite you to take it.
This does not answer my question. I have in mind the critical and
sceptical Westerner who
the very possibility of higher states of consciousness. Recently
drugs have made a breach in
disbelief, without affecting his materialistic outlook. Drugs or
no drugs, the body remains the
fact and the mind is secondary. Beyond the mind, they see nothing.
From Buddha onwards
state of self-realisation was described in negative terms, as 'not
this, not that'. Is it inevitable? Is
not possible to illustrate it, if not describe. I admit, no verbal
description will do, when the state
is beyond words. Yet it is also within words. Poetry is the art of
putting into words the
There is no lack of religious poets. Turn to them for what you
want. As far as I am concerned,
teaching is simple: trust me for a while and do what I tell you.
If you persevere, you will find that
trust was justified.
And what to do with people who are interested, but cannot trust?
If they could stay with me, they would come to trust me. Once they
trust me, they will follow my
and discover for themselves.
It is not for the training that I am asking just now, but for its
results. You had both. You are
to tell us all about the training, but when it comes to results,
you refuse to share. Either you
us that your state is beyond words, or that there is no
difference; that where we see a difference,
see none. In both cases we are left without any insight into your
How can you have insight into my state when you are without
insight into your own? When the
instrument of insight is lacking, is it not important to find it
first? It is like a blind man wanting to
painting before he regains his eyesight. You want to know my state
-- but do you know the
of your wife or servant?
I am asking for some hints only.
Well, I gave you a very significant clue -- where you see
differences, I don't. To me it is enough.
you think it is not enough, I can only repeat; it is enough. Think
it out deeply and you will come to
what I see. You seem to want instant insight, forgetting that the
instant is always preceded by a
preparation. The fruit falls suddenly, but the ripening takes
time. After all, when I talk of trusting
it is only for a short time, just enough time to start you moving.
The more earnest you are, the
belief you need, for soon you will find your faith in me
justified. You want me to prove to you
I am trustworthy! How can I and why should l? After all, what I am
offering you is the
approach, so current in Western science. When a scientist
describes an experiment and
results, usually you accept his statements on trust and repeat his
experiment as he describes it.
you get the same or similar results, you need not trust him any
more; you trust your own
Encouraged, you proceed and arrive in the end at substantially
The Indian mind was made ready for metaphysical experiments by
culture and nurture. To the
words like 'direct perception of the Supreme Reality' make sense
and bring out responses
the very depths of his being. They mean little to a Westerner;
even when brought up in his own
of Christianity, he does not think beyond conformity with God's
commandments and Christ's
First-hand knowledge of reality is not only beyond ambition, but
also beyond conceiving.
Indians tell me: 'Hopeless. The Westerner will not, for he cannot.
Tell him nothing about self-
let him live a useful life and earn a rebirth in India. Then only
will he have a chance'.
say: 'Reality is for all equally, but not all are equally endowed
with the capacity to grasp it.
capacity will come with desire, which will grow into devotion and
ultimately into total self-
With integrity and earnestness and iron determination to overcome
all obstacles, the
has the same chance as the Oriental man. All he needs is the
rousing of interest'. To
his interest in self-knowledge he needs to be convinced about its
You believe it is possible to transmit a personal experience?
I do not know. You speak of unity, identity of the seer with the
seen. When all is one,
should be feasible.
To have the direct experience of a country one must go and live
there. Don't ask for the
A man's spiritual victory no doubt benefits mankind, but to
benefit another individual, a
personal relation is required. Such relation is not accidental and
not everybody can claim it.
the other hand, the scientific approach is for all.
'Trust-test-taste'. What more do you need? Why
the Truth down unwilling throats? It cannot be done, anyhow.
Without a receiver what can the
The essence of art is to use the outer form to convey an inner
experience. Of course, one must
sensitive to the inner, before the outer can be meaningful. How
does one grow in sensitivity?
Whichever way you put it, it comes to the same. Givers there are
many; where are the takers?
Can you not share your own sensitivity?
Yes, I can, but sharing is a two-way street. Two are needed in
sharing. Who is willing to take
I am willing to give?
You say we are one. Is this not enough?
I am one with you. Are you one with me? If you are, you will not
ask questions. If you are not, if
do not see what I see, what can I do beyond showing you the way to
improve your vision?
What you cannot give is not your own.
I claim nothing as my own. When the 'I' is not, where is the
'mine'?. Two people look at a tree.
sees the fruit hidden among the leaves and the other does not.
Otherwise there is no
between the two. The one that sees knows that with a little
attention the other will also
but the question of sharing does not arise. Believe me, I am not
close-fisted, holding back your
of reality. On the contrary, I am all yours, eat me and drink me.
But while you repeat verbally:
give', you do nothing to take what is offered. I am showing you a
short and easy way to being
to see what I see, but you cling to your old habits of thought,
feeling and action and put all the
on me. I have nothing which you do not have. Self-knowledge is not
a piece of property to be
and accepted. It is a new dimension altogether, where there is
nothing to give or take.
Give us at least some insight into the content of your mind while
you live your daily life. To eat,
drink, to talk, to sleep -- how does it feel at your end?
The common things of life: I experience them just as you do. The
difference lies in what I do not
I do not experience fear or greed, hate or anger. I ask nothing,
refuse nothing, keep
In these matters I do not compromise. Maybe this is the
outstanding difference between us.
will not compromise, I am true to myself, while you are afraid of
From the Westerner's point of view there is something disturbing
in your ways. To sit in a
all by oneself and keep on repeating: 'I am God, God I am',
appears to be plain madness.
to convince a Westerner that such practices lead to supreme
The man who claims to be God and the man who doubts it -- both are
deluded. They talk in their
If all is dreaming, what is waking?
How to describe the waking state in dreamland language? Words do
not describe, they are only
Again the same excuse that words cannot convey reality.
If you want words, I shall give you some of the ancient words of
power. Repeat any of them
they can work wonders.
Are you serious? Would you tell a Westerner to repeat 'Om' or
'Ram' or 'Hare Krishna'
though he lacks completely the faith and conviction born of the
right cultural and
background. Without confidence and fervour, repeating mechanically
the same sounds,
he ever achieve anything?
Why not? It is the urge, the hidden motive that matters, not the
shape it takes. Whatever he
if he does it for the sake of finding his own real self, will
surely bring him to himself.
No need of faith in the efficacy of the means?
No need of faith which is but expectation of results. Here the
action only counts. Whatever you
for the sake of truth, will take you to truth. Only be earnest and
honest. The shape it takes hardly
Then where is the need of giving expression to one's longing?
No need. Doing nothing is as good. Mere longing, undiluted by
thought and action, pure,
longing, will take you speedily to your goal. It is the true
motive that matters, not the
Unbelievable! How can dull repetition in boredom verging on
despair, be effective?
The very facts of repetition, of struggling on and on and of
endurance and perseverance, in
of boredom and despair and complete lack of conviction are really
crucial. They are not
by themselves, but the sincerity behind them is all-important.
There must be a push from
and pull from without.
My questions are typical of the West. There people think in terms
of cause and effect, means
goals. They do not see what causal connection can there be between
a particular word and the
None whatsoever. But there is a connection between the word and
its meaning, between the
and its motive. Spiritual practice is will asserted and
re-asserted. Who has not the daring will
accept the real even when offered. Unwillingness born out of fear
is the only obstacle.
What is there to be afraid of?
The unknown. The not-being, not-knowing, not-doing. The beyond.
You mean to say that while you can share the manner of your
achievement, you cannot share
Of course I can share the fruits and I am doing so all the time.
But mine is a silent language.
to listen and understand.
I do not see how one can begin without conviction.
Stay with me for some time, or give your mind to what I say and do
and conviction will dawn.
Not everybody has the chance of meeting you.
Meet your own self. Be with your own self, listen to it, obey it,
cherish it, keep it in mind
You need no other guide. As long as your urge for truth affects
your daily life, all is well
you. Live your life without hurting anybody. Harmlessness is a
most powerful form of Yoga and
will take you speedily to your goal. This is what I call nisarga
yoga , the Natural yoga . It is the art of
in peace and harmony, in friendliness and love. The fruit of it is
happiness, uncaused and
Still, all this presupposes some faith.
Turn within and you will come to trust yourself. In everything
else confidence comes with
When a man tells me that he knows something I do not know, I have
the right to ask: 'what is it
you know, that I do not know?'
And if he tells you that it cannot be conveyed in words?
Then I watch him closely and try to make out.
And this is exactly what I want you to do! Be interested, give
attention, until a current of mutual
is established. Then the sharing will be easy. As a matter of
fact, all realisation is
sharing. You enter a wider consciousness and share in it.
Unwillingness to enter and to share
the only hindrance. I never talk of differences, for to me there
are none. You do, so it is up to you
show them to me. By all means, show me the differences. For this
you will have to understand
but then you will no longer talk of differences. Understand one
thing well, and you have arrived.
prevents you from knowing is not the lack of opportunity, but the
lack of ability to focus in your
what you want to understand. If you could but keep in mind what
you do not know, it would
to you its secrets. But if you are shallow and impatient, not
earnest enough to look and wait,
are like a child crying for the moon.