God is the End of All Desire and Knowledge
Where are you coming from? What have you come for?
I come from America and my friend is from the Republic of Ireland. I
came about six
ago and I was travelling from Ashram to Ashram. My friend came on
What have you seen?
I have been at Sri Ramanashram and also I have visited Rishikesh.
Can I ask you what is your
of Sri Ramana Maharshi?
We are both in the same ancient state. But what do you know of
Maharshi? You take yourself to
a name and a body, so all you perceive are names and bodies.
Were you to meet the Maharshi, what would happen?
Probably we would feel quite happy. We may even exchange a few
But would he recognise you as a liberated man?
Of course. As a man recognises a man, so a jnani recognises a jnani.
You cannot appreciate
you have not experienced. You are what you think yourself to be, but
you cannot think yourself
be what you have not experienced.
To become an engineer I must learn engineering. To become God, what
must I learn?
You must unlearn everything. God is the end of all desire and
You mean to say that I become God merely by giving up the desire to
All desires must be given up, because by desiring you take the shape
of your desires. When no
remain, you revert to your natural state.
How do I come to know that I have achieved perfection?
You can not know perfection, you can know only imperfection. For
knowledge to be, there must
separation and disharmony. You can know what you are not, but you
can not know your real
You can be only what you are. The entire approach is through
understanding, which is in the
of the false as false. But to understand, you must observe from
The Vedantic concept of Maya, illusion, applies to the manifested.
Therefore our knowledge of
manifested is unreliable. But we should be able to trust our
knowledge of the unmanifested.
There can be no knowledge of the unmanifested. The potential is
unknowable. Only the actual
Why should the knower remain unknown?
The knower knows the known. Do you know the knower? Who is the
knower of the knower?
want to know the unmanifested. Can you say you know the manifested?
I know things and ideas and their relations. It is the sum total of
all my experiences.
Well, all actual experiences. I admit I cannot know what did not
If the manifested is the sum total of all actual experiences,
including their experiencers, how
of the total do you know? A very small part indeed. And what is the
little you know?
Some sensory experiences as related to myself.
Not even that. You only know that you react. Who reacts and to what,
you do not know. You
on contact that you exist -- 'I am'. The 'I am this', 'I am that'
I know the manifested because I participate in it. I admit, my part
in it is very small, yet it is as
as the totality of it. And what is more important, I give it
meaning. Without me the world is dark
A firefly illumining the world! You don't give meaning to the world,
you find it. Dive deep into
and find the source from where all meaning flows. Surely it is not
the superficial mind that
What makes me limited and superficial?
The total is open and available, but you will not take it. You are
attached to the little person you
yourself to be. Your desires are narrow, your ambitions -- petty.
After all, without a centre of
where would be the manifested? Unperceived, the manifested is as
good as the
And you are the perceiving point, the non-dimensional source of all
yourself as the total.
How can a point contain a universe?
There is enough space in a point for an infinity of universes. There
is no lack of capacity. Self-
is the only problem. But you cannot run away from yourself. However
far you go, you
back to yourself and to the need of understanding this point, which
is as nothing and yet the
I came to India in search of a Yoga teacher. I am still in search.
What kind of Yoga do you want to practice, the Yoga of getting, or
the Yoga of giving up?
Don't they come to the same in the end?
How can they? One enslaves, the other liberates. The motive matters
through renunciation. All possession is bondage.
What I have the strength and the courage to hold on to, why should I
give up? And if I have not
strength, how can I give up? I do not understand this need of giving
up. When I want something,
should I not pursue it? Renunciation is for the weak.
If you do not have the wisdom and the strength to give up, just look
at your possessions. Your
looking will burn them up. If you can stand outside your mind, you
will soon find that total
of possessions and desires is the most obviously reasonable thing to
do. You create
world and then worry about it. Becoming selfish makes you weak. If
you think you have the
and courage to desire, it is because you are young and
inexperienced. Invariably the object
desire destroys the means of acquiring it and then itself withers
away. It is all for the best,
it teaches you to shun desire like poison.
How am I to practice desirelessness?
No need of practice. No need of any acts of renunciation. Just turn
your mind away, that is all.
is merely the fixation of the mind on an idea. Get it out of its
groove by denying it attention.
That is all?
Yes, that is all. Whatever may be the desire or fear, don't dwell
upon it. Try and see for yourself.
and there you may forget, it does not matter. Go back to your
attempts till the brushing away
every desire and fear, of every reaction becomes automatic.
How can one live without emotions?
You can have all the emotions you want, but beware of reactions, of
induced emotions. Be entirely
and ruled from within, not from without. Merely giving up a thing to
secure a better
is not true relinquishment. Give it up because you see its
valuelessness. As you keep
giving up, you will find that you grow spontaneously in intelligence
and power and inexhaustible
love and joy.
Why so much insistence on relinquishing all desires and fears? Are
they not natural?
They are not. They are entirely mind-made. You have to give up
everything to know that you
nothing, not even your body. Your needs are unreal and your efforts
are meaningless. You
that your possessions protect you. In reality they make you
vulnerable. realise yourself as
from all that can be pointed at as 'this' or 'that'. You are
unreachable by any sensory
or verbal construction. Turn away from them. Refuse to impersonate.
After I have heard you, what am I to do?
Only hearing will not help you much. You must keep it in mind and
ponder over it and try to
the state of mind which makes me say what I say. I speak from truth;
stretch your hand
take it. You are not what you think yourself to be, I assure you.
The image you have of yourself
made up from memories and is purely accidental.
What I am is the result of my karma.
What you appear to be, you are not. Karma is only a word you have
learnt to repeat. You have
been, nor shall ever be a person. Refuse to consider yourself as
one. But as long as you do
even doubt yourself to be a Mr. S0-and-so, there is little hope.
When you refuse to open your
what can you be shown?
I imagine karma to be a mysterious power that urges me towards
That's what people told you. You are already perfect, here and now.
The perfectible is not you.
imagine yourself to be what you are not -- stop it. It is the
cessation that is important, not what
are going to stop.
Did not karma compel me to become what I am?
Nothing compels. You are as you believe yourself to be. Stop
Here you are sitting on your seat and talking to me. What compels
you is your karma.
Nothing compels me. I do what needs doing. But you do so many
unnecessary things. It is your
to examine that creates karma. It is the indifference to your own
suffering that perpetuates it.
Yes, it is true. What can put an end to this indifference?
The urge must come from within as a wave of detachment, or
Could I meet this urge half way?
Of course. See your own condition, see the condition of the world.
We were told about karma and reincarnation, evolution and Yoga,
masters and disciples. What
we to do with all this knowledge?
Leave it all behind you. Forget it. Go forth, unburdened with ideas
and beliefs. Abandon all
structures, all relative truth, all tangible objectives. The
Absolute can be reached by absolute
only. Don't be half-hearted.
I must begin with some absolute truth. Is there any?
Yes, there is, the feeling: 'I am'. Begin with that.
Nothing else is true?
All else is neither true nor false. It seems real when it appears,
it disappears when it is denied. A
thing is a mystery.
I thought the real is the mystery.
How can it be? The real is simple, open, clear and kind, beautiful
and joyous. It is completely
of contradictions. It is ever new, ever fresh, endlessly creative.
Being and non-being, life and
all distinctions merge in it.
I can admit that all is false. But, does it make my mind
The mind is what it thinks. To make it true, think true.
If the shape of things is mere appearance, what are they in reality?
In reality there is only perception. The perceiver and the perceived
are conceptual, the fact of
Where does the Absolute come in?
The Absolute is the birthplace of Perceiving. It makes perception
too much analysis leads you nowhere. There is in you the core of
being which is beyond
beyond the mind. You can know it in action only. Express it in daily
life and its light will
legitimate function of the mind is to tell you what is not. But if
you want positive knowledge, you
go beyond the mind.
In all the universe is there one single thing of value?
Yes, the power of love.