Truth is Here and Now
My question is: What is the proof of truth? Followers of every
religion, metaphysical or
philosophical or ethical, are convinced that theirs is the only
truth, that all else is false and
take their own unshakable conviction for the proof of truth. 'I am
convinced, so it must be true',
say. It seems to me, that no philosophy or religion, no doctrine or
ideology, however complete,
from inner contradictions and emotionally appealing, can be the
proof of its own truth. They are
clothes men put on, which vary with times and circumstances and
follow the fashion trends.
can there be a religion or philosophy which is true and which does
not depend on somebody's
Nor on scriptures, because they again depend on somebody's faith in
them? Is there a
which does not depend on trusting, which is not subjective?
What about science?
Science is circular, it ends where it starts, with the senses. It
deals with experience, and
is subjective. No two persons can have the same experience, though
they may express
in the same words.
You must look for truth beyond the mind.
Sir, I have had enough of trances. Any drug can induce them cheaply
and quickly. Even the
samadhis, caused by breathing or mental exercises, are not much
different. There are
samadhis and carbon dioxide samadhis and self induced samadhis,
caused by repetition of
formula or a chain of thoughts. Monotony is soporific. I cannot
accept samadhi, however glorious,
a proof of truth.
is beyond experience. It is a qualityless state.
The absence of experience is due to inattention. It reappears with
attention. Closing one's eyes
not disprove light. Attributing reality to negative states will not
take us far. The very negation
In a way you are right. But don't you see, you are asking for the
proof of truth, without explaining
is the truth you have in mind and what proof will satisfy you? You
can prove anything, provided
trust your proof. But what will prove that your proof is true? I can
easily drive you into an
that you know only that you exist -- that you are the only proof you
can have of anything.
I do not identify mere existence with reality. Existence is
momentary, always in time and space,
reality is changeless and all-pervading.
Sir, I do not know what is truth and what can prove it. Do not throw
me on my own resources. I
none. Here you are the truth-knower, not me.
You refuse testimony as the proof of truth: the experience of others
is of no use to you, you
all inference from the concurring statements of a vast number of
independent witnesses; so it
for you to tell me what is the proof that will satisfy you, what is
your test of a valid proof?
Honestly, I do not know what makes a proof.
Not even your own experience?
Neither my experience, nor even existence. They depend on my being
And your being conscious depends on what?
I do not know. Formerly, I would have said: on my body; now I can
see that the body is
not primary, and cannot be considered as an evidence of existence.
I am glad you have abandoned the l-am-the-body idea, the main source
of error and suffering.
I have abandoned it intellectually, but the sense of being the
particular, a person, is still with
I can say: 'I am', but what I am I cannot say. I know I exist, but I
do not know what exists.
way I put it, I face the unknown.
Your very being is the real.
Surely, we are not talking of the same thing. I am not some abstract
being. I am a person,
and aware of its limitations. I am a fact, but a most unsubstantial
fact I am. There is nothing I
build on my momentary existence as a person.
Your words are wiser than you are! As a person, your existence is
momentary. But are you a
only? Are you a person at all?
How am I to answer? My sense of being proves only that I am; it does
not prove anything which
independent of me. I am relative, both creature and creator of the
relative. The absolute proof of
absolute truth -- what is it, where is it? Can the mere feeling 'I
am' be the proof of reality?
Of course not. 'I am' and 'the world is' are related and
conditional. They are due to the tendency
the mind to project names and shapes.
Names and shapes and ideas and convictions, but not truth. But for
you, I would have accepted
relativity of everything, including truth, and learnt to live by
assumptions. But then I meet you
hear you talking of the Absolute as within my reach and also as
supremely desirable. Words
peace, bliss, eternity, immortality, catch my attention, as offering
freedom from pain and fear.
inborn instincts: pleasure seeking and curiosity are roused and I
begin to explore the realm you
opened. All seems most attractive and naturally I ask. Is it
attainable? Is it real?
You are like a child that says: Prove that the sugar is sweet then
only I shall have it. The proof
the sweetness is in the mouth not in the sugar. To know it is sweet,
you must taste it, there is no
way. Of course, you begin by asking: Is it sugar? Is it sweet? and
you accept my assurance
you taste it. Then only all doubts dissolve and your knowledge
becomes first hand and
I do not ask you to believe me. Just trust me enough to begin with.
Every step proves
disproves itself. You seem to want the proof of truth to precede
truth. And what will be the proof
the proof? You see, you are falling into a regress. To cut it you
must put a stop to asking for
and accept, for a moment only, something as true. It does not really
matter what it is. It may
God, or me, or your own self. In each case you accept something, or
somebody, unknown as
Now, if you act on the truth you have accepted, even for a moment,
very soon you will be
to the next step. It is like climbing a tree in the dark -- you can
get hold of the next branch
when you are perched on the previous one. In science it is called
the experimental approach.
prove a theory you carry out an experiment according to the
operational instructions, left by
who have made the experiment before you. In spiritual search the
chain of experiments one
to make is called Yoga.
There are so many Yogas, which to choose?
Of course, every jnani will suggest the path of his own attainment
as the one he knows most
But most of them are very liberal and adapt their advice to the
needs of the enquirer. All
paths take you to the purification of the mind. The impure mind is
opaque to truth; the pure mind
transparent. Truth can be seen through it easily and clearly.
I am sorry, but I seem unable to convey my difficulty. I and asking
about the proof of truth and
being given the methods of attaining it. Assuming I follow the
methods and attain some most
and desirable state, how do I come to know that my state is true?
Every religion begins
faith and promises some ecstasy. Is the ecstasy of the real, or the
product of faith? For, if it is
induced state, I shall have nothing to do with it. Take Christianity
that says: Jesus is your
believe and be saved from sin. When I ask a sinning Christian how is
it that he has not
saved from sin in spite of his faith in Christ, he answers: My faith
is not perfect. Again we are
the vicious circle -- without perfect faith -- no salvation, without
salvation -- no perfect faith, hence
salvation. Conditions are imposed which are unfulfillable and then
we are blamed for not fulfilling
You do not realise that your present waking state is one of
ignorance. Your question about the
of truth is born from ignorance of reality. You are contacting your
sensory and mental states in
at the point of 'I am', while reality is not mediated, not
contacted, not experienced.
are taking duality so much for granted, that you do not even notice
it, while to me variety and
do not create separation. You imagine reality to stand apart from
names and forms, while
me names and forms are the ever changing expressions of reality and
not apart from it. You ask
the proof of truth while to me all existence is the proof. You
separate existence from being and
from reality, while to me it is all one. However much you are
convinced of the truth of your
state, you do not claim it to be permanent and changeless, as I do
when I talk of mine. Yet I
no difference between us, except that you are imagining things,
while I do not.
First you disqualify me from asking about truth, then you accuse me
of imagination! What is
to you is reality to me.
Until you investigate. I am not accusing you of anything. I am only
asking you to question
Instead of searching for the proof of truth, which you do not know,
go through the proofs you
of what you believe to know. You will find you know nothing for sure
-- you trust on hearsay.
know the truth, you must pass through your own experience.
I am mortally afraid of samadhis and other trances, whatever their
cause. A drink, a smoke, a
a drug, breathing, singing, shaking, dancing, whirling, praying, sex
or fasting, mantras
or some vertiginous abstraction can dislodge me from my waking state
and give me some experience,
because unfamiliar. But when the cause ceases, the effect dissolves
and only a
remains, haunting but fading.
us give up all means and their results, for the results are bound by
the means; let us put the
anew; can truth be found?
Where is the dwelling place of truth where you could go in search of
it? And how will you know
you have found it? What touchstone do you bring with you to test it?
You are back at your initial
What is the proof of truth? There must be something wrong with the
question itself, for you
to repeat it again and again. Why do you ask what are the proofs of
truth? Is it not because
do not know truth first hand and you are afraid that you may be
deceived? You imagine that
is a thing which carries the name 'truth' and that it is
advantageous to have it, provided it is
Hence your fear of being cheated. You are shopping for truth, but
you do not trust the
You are afraid of forgeries and imitations.
I am not afraid of being cheated. I am afraid of cheating myself.
But you are cheating yourself in your ignorance of your true
motives. You are asking for truth,
in fact you merely seek comfort, which you want to last for ever.
Now, nothing, no state of mind,
last for ever. In time and space there is always a limit, because
time and space themselves are
And in the timeless the words 'for ever' have no meaning. The same
with the 'proof of truth'.
the realm of non-duality everything is complete, its own proof,
meaning and purpose. Where all is
no supports are needed. You imagine that permanence is the proof of
truth, that what lasts
is somehow more true. Time becomes the measure of truth. And since
time is in the mind,
mind becomes the arbiter and searches within itself for the proof of
truth -- a task altogether
Sir, were you to say: Nothing is true, all is relative, I would
agree with you. But you maintain
is truth, reality, perfect knowledge, therefore I ask: What is it
and how do you know? And what
make me say: Yes, Maharaj was right?
You are holding on to the need for a proof, a testimony, an
authority. You still imagine that truth
pointing at and telling you: 'Look, here is truth'. It is not so.
Truth is not the result of an effort,
end of a road. It is here and now, in the very longing and the
search for it. It is nearer than the
and the body, nearer than the sense 'I am'. You do not see it
because you look too far away
yourself, outside your innermost being. You have objectified truth
and insist on your standard
and tests, which apply only to things and thoughts.
All I can make out from what you say is that truth is beyond me and
I am not qualified to talk
You are not only qualified, but you are truth itself. Only you
mistake the false for the true.
You seem to say: Don't ask for proofs of truth. Concern yourself
with untruth only.
The discovery of truth is in the discernment of the false. You can
know what is not. What is --
can only be. Knowledge is relative to the known. In a way it is the
counterpart of ignorance.
ignorance is not, where is the need of knowledge? By themselves
neither ignorance nor
have being. They are only states of mind, which again is but an
in consciousness which is in its essence immutable.
Is truth within the realm of the mind or beyond?
It is neither, it is both. It cannot be put into words.
This is what I hear all the time -- inexpressible (anirvachaniya).
It does not make me wiser.
It is true that it often covers sheer ignorance. The mind can
operate with terms of its own
it just cannot go beyond itself. That which is neither sensory nor
mental, and yet without
neither sensory nor the mental can exist, cannot be contained in
them. Do understand that
mind has its limits; to go beyond, you must consent to silence.
Can we say that action is the proof of truth? It may not be
verbalised, but it may be
Neither action nor inaction. It is beyond both.
Can a man ever say: 'Yes, this is true'? Or is he limited to the
denial of the false? In other
is truth pure negation? Or, does a moment come when it becomes
Truth cannot be described, but it can be experienced.
Experience is subjective, it cannot be shared. Your experiences
leaves me where I am.
Truth can be experienced, but it is not mere experience. I know it
and I can convey it, but only if
are open to it. To be open means to want nothing else.
I am full of desires and fears. Does it mean that I am not eligible
Truth is not a reward for good behaviour, nor a prize for passing
some tests. It cannot be
about. It is the primary, the unborn, the ancient source of all that
is. You are eligible
you are. You need not merit truth. It is your own. Just stop running
away by running after.
still, be quiet.
Sir, if you want the body to be still and the mind -- quiet, tell me
how it is done. In self-
I see the body and the mind moved by causes beyond my control.
dominate me absolutely. The mighty 'I am', the creator of the
universe, can be wiped
by a drug temporarily, or a drop of poison -- permanently.
Again, you take yourself to be the body.
Even if I dismiss this body of bones, flesh and blood as not-me,
still I remain with the subtle
made up of thoughts and feelings, memories and imaginations. If I
dismiss these also as not-
I still remain with consciousness, which also is a kind of body.
You are quite right, but you need not stop there. Go beyond. Neither
consciousness, nor the 'I
at the centre of it are you. Your true being is entirely
un-self-conscious, completely free from all
with whatever it may be, gross, subtle or transcendental.
I can imagine myself to be beyond. But what proof have l? To be, I
must be somebody.
It is the other way round. To be, you must be nobody. To think
yourself to be something, or
is death and hell.
I have read that in ancient Egypt people were admitted to some
mysteries where, under the
of drugs or incantations, they would be expelled from their bodies
and could actually
standing outside and looking at their own prostrate forms. This was
them of the reality of the after-death existence and create in them
a deep concern with
ultimate destiny, so profitable to the state and temple. The
self-identification with the person
the body remained.
The body is made of food, as the mind is made of thoughts. See them
as they are. Non-
when natural and spontaneous, is liberation. You need not know what
to know what you are not. What you are you will never know, for
every discovery reveals
dimensions to conquer. The unknown has no limits.
Does it imply ignorance for ever?
It means that ignorance never was. Truth is in the discovery not in
the discovered. And to
there is no beginning and no end. Question the limits, go beyond,
set yourself tasks
impossible -- this is the way.