Body and Mind are Symptoms of Ignorance
We were discussing one day the person -- the witness -- the
far as I remember, you said that the absolute alone is real and
the witness is absolute
at a given point of space and time. The person is the organism,
gross and subtle, illumined by
presence of the witness. I do not seem to grasp the matter
clearly; could we discuss it again?
also use the terms mahadakash, chidakash and paramakash. How are
they related to person,
and the absolute?
is nature, the ocean of existences, the physical space with all
that can be
through the senses. Chidakash is the expanse of awareness, the
mental space of time,
and cognition. Paramakash is the timeless and spaceless reality,
the infinite potentiality, the source and origin, the substance
and the essence, both
and consciousness -- yet beyond both. It cannot be perceived, but
can be experienced as
witnessing the witness, perceiving the perceiver, the origin and
the end of all manifestation, the
of time and space, the prime cause in every chain of causation.
What is the difference between vyakta and avyakta?
There is no difference. It is like light and daylight. The
universe is full of light which you do not
but the same light you see as daylight. And what the daylight
reveals is the vyakti, The person
always the object, the witness is the subject and their relation
of mutual dependence is the
of their absolute identity. You imagine that they are distinct and
separate states. They are
They are the same consciousness at rest and in movement, each
state conscious of the other.
chit man knows God and God knows man. In chit the man shapes the
world and the world
man. Chit is the link, the bridge between extremes, the balancing
and uniting factor in every
The totality of the perceived is what you call matter. The
totality of all perceivers is what
call the universal mind. The identity of the two, manifesting
itself as perceptibility and
harmony and intelligence, loveliness and loving, reasserts itself
The three gunas, sattva--rajas--tamas, are they only in matter, or
also in the mind?
In both, of course, because the two are not separate. It is only
the absolute that is beyond gunas.
fact, these are but points of view, ways of looking. They exist
only in the mind. Beyond the
all distinctions cease.
Is the universe a product of the senses?
Just as you recreate your world on waking up, so is the universe
unrolled. The mind with its five
of perception, five organs of action, and five vehicles of
consciousness appears as memory,
reason and selfhood.
The sciences have made much progress. We know the body and the
mind much better than
ancestors. Your traditional way, describing and analysing mind and
matter, is no longer valid.
But where are your scientists with their sciences? Are they not
again images in your own mind?
Here lies the basic difference! To me they are not my own
projections. They were before I was
and shall be there when I am dead.
Of course. Once you accept time and space as real, you will
consider yourself minute and short-
But are they real? Do they depend on you, or you on them? As body,
you are in space. As
you are in time. But are you mere body with a mind in it? Have you
I had neither the motive nor the method.
I am suggesting both. But the actual work of insight and
detachment (viveka-vairagya) is yours.
The only motive I can perceive is my own causeless and timeless
happiness. And what is the
Happiness is incidental. The true and effective motive is love.
You see people suffer and you
the best way of helping them. The answer is obvious -- first put
yourself beyond the need of
Be sure your attitude is of pure goodwill, free of expectation of
who seek mere happiness may end up in sublime indifference, while
love will never rest.
to method, there is only one -- you must come to know yourself --
both what you appear to be
what you are. Clarity and charity go together -- each needs and
strengthens the other.
Compassion implies the existence of an objective world, full of
The world is not objective and the sorrow of it is not avoidable.
Compassion is but another word
the refusal to suffer for imaginary reasons.
If the reasons are imaginary, why should the suffering be
It is always the false that makes you suffer, the false desires
and fears, the false values and
the false relationships between people. Abandon the false and you
are free of pain; truth
happy -- truth liberates.
The truth is that I am a mind imprisoned in a body and this is a
very unhappy truth.
You are neither the body nor in the body -- there is no such thing
as body. You have grievously
yourself; to understand rightly -- investigate.
But I was born as a body, in a body and shall die with the body,
as a body.
This is your misconception. Enquire, investigate, doubt yourself
and others. To find truth, you
not cling to your convictions; if you are sure of the immediate,
you will never reach the
Your idea that you were born and that you will die is absurd: both
logic and experience
All right, I shall not insist that I am the body. You have a point
here. But here and now, as I talk
you, I am in my body -- obviously. The body may not be me, but it
The entire universe contributes incessantly to your existence.
Hence the entire universe is your
In that sense -- I agree.
My body influences me deeply. In more than one way my body is my
destiny. My character, my
the nature of my reactions, my desires and fears -- inborn or
acquired -- they are all based
the body. A little alcohol, some drug or other and all changes.
Until the drug wears off I become
All this happens because you think yourself to be the body.
realise your real self and even drugs
have no power over you.
My body kept a few habits which may as well continue till it dies.
There is no harm in them.
You eat meat?
I was born among meat-eating people and my children are eating
meat. I eat very little -- and
Meat-eating implies killing.
Obviously. I make no claims of consistency. You think absolute
consistency is possible; prove it
example. Don't preach what you do not practise.
back to the idea of having been born. You are stuck with what your
parents told you: all
conception, pregnancy and birth, infant, child, youngster,
teenager, and so on. Now, divest
of the idea that you are the body with the help of the contrary
idea that you are not the
It is also an idea, no doubt; treat it like something to be
abandoned when its work is done.
idea that I am not the body gives reality to the body, when in
fact, there is no such thing as
it is but a state of mind. You can have as many bodies and as
diverse as you like; just
steadily what you want and reject the incompatibles.
I am like a box within box, within box, the outer box acting as
the body and the one next to it --
the indwelling soul. Abstract the outer box and the next becomes
the body and the one next to it
soul. It is an infinite series, an endless opening of boxes, is
the last one the ultimate soul?
If you have a body, you must have a soul; here your simile of a
nest of boxes applies. But here
now, through all your bodies and souls shines awareness, the pure
light of chit. Hold on to it
Without awareness, the body would not last a second. There is in
the body a current
energy, affection and intelligence, which guides, maintains and
energises the body. Discover that
and stay with it.
course, all these are manners of speaking. Words are as much a
barrier, as a bridge. Find the
of life that weaves the tissues of your body and be with it. It is
the only reality the body has.
What happens to that spark of life after death?
It is beyond time. Birth and death are but points in time. Life
weaves eternally its many webs.
weaving is in time, but life itself is timeless. Whatever name and
shape you give to its
it is like the ocean -- never changing, ever changing.
All you say sounds beautifully convincing. yet my feeling of being
just a person in a world
and alien, often inimical and dangerous, does not cease. Being a
person, limited in space
time, how can I possibly realise myself as the opposite; a
of nothing in particular?
You assert yourself to be what you are not and deny yourself to be
what you are. You omit the
of pure cognition, of awareness free from all personal
distortions. Unless you admit the
of chit, you will never know yourself.
What am I to do? I do not see myself as you see me. Maybe you are
right and I am wrong, but
can I cease to be what I feel I am?
A prince who believes himself to be a beggar can be convinced
conclusively in one way only: he
behave as a prince and see what happens. Behave as if what I say
is true and judge by what
happens. All I ask is the little faith needed for making the first
step. With experience will
confidence and you will not need me any more. I know what you are
and I am telling you.
me for a while.
To be here and now, I need my body and its senses. To understand,
I need a mind.
The body and the mind are only symptoms of ignorance, of
misapprehension. Behave as if you
pure awareness, bodiless and mindless, spaceless and timeless,
beyond 'where' and 'when'
'how'. Dwell on it, think of it, learn to accept its reality.
Don't oppose it and deny it all the time.
an open mind at least. Yoga is bending the outer to the inner.
Make your mind and body
the real which is all and beyond all. By doing you succeed, not by
Kindly allow me to come back to my first question. How does the
error of being a person
The absolute precedes time. Awareness comes first. A bundle of
memories and mental habits
attention, awareness gets focalised and a person suddenly appears.
Remove the light of
go to sleep or swoon away -- and the person disappears. The person
(vyakta) contains all space and time, the absolute (avyakta) is.