To Know that You do not Know, is True Knowledge
There is the body. Inside the body appears to be an observer and
outside -- a world under
The observer and his observation as well as the world observed all
together. Beyond it all, there is void. This void is one for all.
What you say appears simple, but not everyone would say it. It is
you, and you alone,
talks of the three and the void beyond. I see the world only, which
Even the 'I am'?
Even the 'I am'. The 'I am' is there because the world is there.
And the world is there because the 'I am' is there.
Yes, it goes both ways. I cannot separate the two, nor go beyond, I
cannot say something
unless I experience it, as I cannot say something is not, because I
do not experience it. What is it
you experience that makes you speak with such assurance?
I know myself as I am -- timeless, spaceless, causeless. You happen
not to know, being
as you are in other things.
Why am I so engrossed?
Because you are interested.
What makes me interested?
Fear of pain, desire for pleasure. Pleasant is the ending of pain
and painful the end of pleasure.
just rotate in endless succession. Investigate the vicious circle
till you find yourself beyond it.
Don't I need your grace to take me beyond?
The grace of your Inner Reality is timelessly with you. Your very
asking for grace is a sign of it.
not worry about my grace, but do what you are told. The doing is the
proof of earnestness, not
expecting of grace.
What am I to be earnest about?
Assiduously investigate everything that crosses your field of
attention. With practice the field will
and investigation deepen, until they become spontaneous and
Are you not making realisation the result of practice? Practice
operates within the limitations of
existence. How can it give birth to the unlimited?
Of course, there can be no causal connection between practice and
wisdom. But the obstacles
wisdom are deeply affected by practice.
What are the obstacles?
Wrong ideas and desires leading to wrong actions, causing
dissipation and weakness of mind
body. The discovery and abandonment of the false remove what
prevents the real entering the
I can distinguish two states of mind: 'I am' and 'the world isí;
they arise and subside together.
say: 'I am, because the world is'. You seem to say: 'The world is,
because I am'. Which is
Neither. The two are one and the same state, in space and time.
Beyond, there is the timeless.
What is the connection between time and the timeless?
The timeless knows the time, the time does not know the timeless.
All consciousness is in time
to it the timeless appears unconscious. Yet, it is what makes
consciousness possible. Light
in darkness. In light darkness is not visible. Or, you can put it
the other way -- in the endless
of light, clouds of consciousness appear -- dark and limited,
perceivable by contrast. These
mere attempts to express in words something very simple, yet
Words should serve as a bridge to cross over.
Word refers to a state of mind, not to reality. The river, the two
banks, the bridge across -- these
all in the mind. Words alone cannot take you beyond the mind. There
must be the immense
for truth, or absolute faith in the Guru. Believe me, there is no
goal, nor a way to reach it.
are the way and the goal, there is nothing else to reach except
yourself. All you need is to
and understanding is the flowering of the mind. The tree is
perennial, but the flowering
the fruit bearing come in season. The seasons change, but not the
tree. You are the tree. You
grown numberless branches and leaves in the past and you may grow
them also in the future
yet you remain. Not what was, or shall be, must you know, but what
is. Yours is the desire that
the universe. Know the world as your own creation and be free.
You say the world is the child of love. When I know the horrors the
world is full of, the wars, the
camps, the inhuman exploitations, how can I own it as my own
I am, I could not have created so cruel a world.
Find to whom this cruel world appears and you will know why it
appears so cruel. Your
are perfectly legitimate, but just cannot be answered unless you
know whose is the world.
find out the meaning of a thing you must ask its maker. I am telling
you: You are the maker of
world in which you live -- you alone can change it, or unmake it.
How can you say I have made the world? I hardly know it.
There is nothing in the world that you cannot know, when you know
yourself. Thinking yourself
be the body you know the world as a collection of material things.
When you know yourself as a
of consciousness, the world appears as the ocean of the mind. When
you know yourself as
are in reality, you know the world as yourself.
It all sounds very beautiful, but does not answer my question. Why
is there so much suffering in
If you stand aloof as observer only, you will not suffer. You will
see the world as a show. a most
Oh, no! This lila theory I shall not have. The suffering is too
acute and all-pervading. What a
to be entertained by a spectacle of suffering! What a cruel God are
you offering me!
The cause of suffering is in the identification of the perceiver
with the perceived. Out of it desire
born and with desire blind action, unmindful of results. Look round
and you will see -- suffering is
Were a man to create his own sorrow only, I would agree with you.
But in his folly he makes
suffer. A dreamer has his own private nightmare and none suffers but
himself. But what kind
dream is it that plays havoc in the lives of others?
Descriptions are many and contradictory. Reality is simple -- all is
one, harmony is the eternal
none compels to suffer. It is only when you try to describe and
explain, that the words fail you.
I remember Gandhiji telling me once that the Self is not bound by
the law of non-violence
The Self has the freedom to impose suffering on its expressions in
order to set them right.
On the level of duality it may be so, but in reality there is only
the source, dark in itself, making
shine. Unperceived, it causes perception. Unfelt, it causes feeling.
Unthinkable, it causes
Non-being, it gives birth to being. It is the immovable background
of motion. Once you are
you are at home everywhere.
If I am that, then what causes me to be born?
The memory of the past unfulfilled desires traps energy, which
manifests itself as a person.
its charge gets exhausted, the person dies. Unfulfilled desires are
carried over into the next
Self-identification with the body creates ever fresh desires and
there is no end to them, unless
mechanism of bondage is clearly seen. It is clarity that is
liberating, for you cannot abandon
unless its causes and effects are clearly seen. I do not say that
the same person is reborn. It
and dies for good. But its memories remain and their desires and
fears. They supply the
for a new person. The real takes no part in it, but makes it
possible by giving it, the light.
My difficulty is this. As I can see, every experience is its own
reality. It is there -- experienced.
moment I question it and ask to whom it happens, who is the observer
and so on, the
is over and all I can investigate is only the memory of it. I just
cannot investigate the
moment -- the now. My awareness is of the past, not of the present.
When I am aware, I do
really live in the now, but only in the past. Can there really be an
awareness of the present?
What you are describing is not awareness at all, but only thinking
about the experience. True
(samvid) is a state of pure witnessing, without the least attempt to
do anything about the
witnessed. Your thoughts and feelings, words and actions may also be
a part of the event;
watch all unconcerned in the full light of clarity and
understanding. You understand precisely
is going on, because it does not affect you. It may seem to be an
attitude of cold aloofness,
it is not really so. Once you are in it, you will find that you love
what you see, whatever may be
nature. This choiceless love is the touchstone of awareness. If it
is not there, you are merely
-- for some personal reasons.
As long as there are pain and pleasure, one is bound to be
And as long as one is conscious, there will be pain and pleasure.
You cannot fight pain and
on the level of consciousness. To go beyond them you must go beyond
is possible only when you look at consciousness as something that
happens to you and not in
as something external, alien, superimposed. Then, suddenly you are
free of consciousness,
alone, with nothing to intrude. And that is your true state.
Consciousness is an itching rash
makes you scratch. Of course, you cannot step out of consciousness
for the very idea of
out is in consciousness. But if you learn to look at your
consciousness as a sort of fever,
and private, in which you are enclosed like a chick in its shell,
out of this very attitude will
the crisis which will break the shell.
Buddha said that life is suffering.
He must have meant that all consciousness is painful, which is
And does death offer delivery?
One who believes himself as having been born is very much afraid of
death. On the other hand,
him who knows himself truly, death is a happy event.
The Hindu tradition says that suffering is brought by destiny and
destiny is merited. Look at the
calamities, natural or man-made, floods and earthquakes, wars and
revolutions. Can we
to think that each suffers for his own sins, of which he can have no
idea? The billions who
are they all criminals justly punished?
Must one suffer only for one's own sins? Are we really separate? In
this vast ocean of life we
for the sins of others, and make others suffer for our sins. Of
course, the law of balance rules
and accounts are squared in the end. But while life lasts, we affect
each other deeply.
Yes, as the poet says: 'No man is an island'.
At the back of every experience is the Self and its interest in the
experience. Call it desire, call it
-- words do not matter.
Can I desire suffering? Can I deliberately ask for pain? Am I not
like a man who made for
a downy bed hoping for a good night of sleep and then he is visited
by a nightmare and he
and screams in his dream? Surely, it is not the love that produces
All suffering is caused by selfish isolation, by insularity and
greed. When the cause of suffering
seen and removed, suffering ceases.
I may remove my causes of sorrow, but others will be left to suffer.
To understand suffering, you must go beyond pain and pleasure. Your
own desires and fears
you from understanding and thereby helping others. In reality there
are no others, and by
yourself you help everybody else. If you are serious about the
sufferings of mankind, you
perfect the only means of help you have -- Yourself.
You keep on saying that I am the creator, preserver and destroyer of
this world, omnipresent,
omnipotent. When I ponder over what you say, I ask myself: 'How is
it that there is so
evil in my world'.
There is no evil, there is no suffering; the joy of living is
paramount. Look, how everything clings
life, how dear the existence is.
On the screen of my mind images follow each other in endless
succession. There is nothing
Have a better look at yourself. The screen is there -- it does not
change. The light shines
Only the film in between keeps moving and causes pictures to appear.
You may call the
-- destiny (prarabdha).
What creates destiny?
Ignorance is the cause of inevitability.
Ignorance of what?
Ignorance of yourself primarily. Also, ignorance of the true nature
of things, of their causes and
You look round without understanding and take appearances for
reality. You believe you
the world and yourself -- but it is only your ignorance that makes
you say: I know. Begin with
admission that you do not know and start from there.
is nothing that can help the world more than your putting an end to
ignorance. Then, you
not do anything in particular to help the world. Your very being is
a help, action or no action.
How can ignorance be known? To know ignorance presupposes knowledge.
Quite right. The very admission: 'I am ignorant' is the dawn of
knowledge. An ignorant man is
of his ignorance. You can say that ignorance does not exist, for the
moment it is seen it is
more. Therefore, you may call it unconsciousness or blindness. All
you see around and within
is what you do not know and do not understand, without even knowing
that you do not know
do not understand. To know that you do not know and do not
understand is true knowledge, the
of an humble heart.
Yes, Christ said: Blessed are the poor in spirit...
Put it as you like; the fact is that knowledge is of ignorance only.
You know that you do not know.
Will ignorance ever end?
What is wrong with not knowing? You need not know all. Enough to
know what you need to
The rest can look after itself, without your knowing how it does it.
What is important is that
unconscious does not work against the conscious, that there is
integration on all levels. To
is not so very important.
What you say is correct psychologically. But when it comes to
knowing others, knowing the
my knowing that I do not know does not help much.
Once you are inwardly integrated, outer knowledge comes to you
spontaneously. At every
of your life you know what you need to know. In the ocean of the
universal mind all
is contained; it is yours on demand. Most of it you may never need
to know -- but it is
all the same.
with knowledge, so it is with power.
you feel needs be done happens unfailingly. No doubt, God attends to
this business of
the universe; but He is glad to have some help. When the helper is
all the powers of the universe are for him to command.
Even the blind powers of nature?
There are no blind powers. Consciousness is power. Be aware of what
needs be done and it
be done. Only keep alert -- and quiet. Once you reach your
destination and Know your real
your existence becomes a blessing to all. You may not know, nor will
the world know, yet
help radiates. There are people in the world who do more good than
all the statesmen and
put together. They radiate light and peace with no intention or
tell them about the miracles they worked, they also are wonder
struck. Yet, taking nothing as
own, they are neither proud, nor do they crave for reputation. They
are just unable to desire
for themselves, not even the joy of helping others knowing that God
is good they are at