All Knowledge is Ignorance
Are we permitted to request you to tell us the manner of your
Somehow it was very simple and easy in my case. My Guru, before he
died, told me:
me, you are the Supreme Reality. Don't doubt my words, don't
disbelieve me. I am telling
the truth -- act on it. I could not forget his words and by not
forgetting -- I have realised.
But what were you actually doing?
Nothing special. I lived my life, plied my trade, looked after my
family, and every free moment I
spend just remembering my Guru and his words. He died soon after and
I had only the
to fall back on. It was enough.
It must have been the grace and power of your Guru.
His words were true and so they came true. True words always come
true. My Guru did nothing;
words acted because they were true. Whatever I did, came from
within, un-asked and
The Guru started a process without taking any part in it?
Put it as you like. Things happen as they happen -- who can tell why
and how? I did nothing
All came by itself -- the desire to let go, to be alone, to go
You made no efforts whatsoever?
None. Believe it or not, I was not even anxious to realise. He only
told me that I am the
and then died. I just could not disbelieve him. The rest happened by
itself. I found myself
-- that is all. As a matter of fact, I was astonished. But a desire
arose in me to verify his
I was so sure that he, could not possibly have told a lie, that I
felt I shall either realise the full
of his words or die. I was feeling quite determined, but did not
know what to do. I would
hours thinking of him and his assurance, not arguing, but just
remembering what he told me.
What happened to you then? How did you know that you are the
Nobody came to tell me. Nor was I told so inwardly. In fact, it was
only in the beginning when I
making efforts, that I was passing through some strange experiences;
seeing lights, hearing
meeting gods and goddesses and conversing with them. Once the Guru
told me: 'You are
Supreme Reality', I ceased having visions and trances and became
very quiet and simple. I
myself desiring and knowing less and less, until I could say in
utter astonishment: 'I know
I want nothing.'
Were you genuinely free of desire and knowledge, or did you
impersonate a jnani according to
image given to you by your Guru?
I was not given any image, nor did I have one. My Guru never told me
what to expect.
More things may happen to you. Are you at the end of your journey?
There was never any journey. I am, as I always was.
What was the Supreme Reality you were supposed to reach?
I was undeceived, that is all. I used to create a world and populate
it -- now I don't do it any
Where do you live, then?
In the void beyond being and non-being, beyond consciousness. This
void is also fullness; do
pity me. It is like a man saying: 'I have done my work, there is
nothing left to do'.
You are giving a certain date to your realisation. It means
something did happen to you at that
The mind ceased producing events. The ancient and ceaseless search
stopped -- l wanted
expected nothing -- accepted nothing as my own. There was no 'me'
left to strive for. Even
bare 'I am' faded away. The other thing that I noticed was that I
lost all my habitual certainties.
I was sure of so many things, now I am sure of nothing. But I feel
that I have lost nothing by
knowing, because all my knowledge was false. My not knowing was in
itself knowledge of the
that all knowledge is ignorance, that 'I do not know' is the only
true statement the mind can
Take the idea 'I was born'. You may take it to be true. It is not.
You were never born, nor will
ever die. It is the idea that was born and shall die, not you. By
identifying yourself with it you
mortal. Just like in a cinema all is light, so does consciousness
become the vast world.
closely, and you will see that all names and forms are but
transitory waves on the ocean of
that only consciousness can be said to be, not its transformations.
the immensity of consciousness a light appears, a tiny point that
moves rapidly and traces
thoughts and feelings, concepts and ideas, like the pen writing on
paper. And the ink that
a trace is memory. You are that tiny point and by your movement the
world is ever re-
Stop moving, and there will be no world. Look within and you will
find that the point of light
the reflection of the immensity of light in the body, as the sense
'I am'. There is only light, all else
Do you know that light? Have you seen it?
To the mind it appears as darkness. It can be known only through its
reflections. All is seen in
-- except daylight.
Have I to understand that our minds are similar?
How can it be? You have your own private mind, woven with memories,
held together by
and fears. I have no mind of my own; what I need to know the
universe brings before me, as
supplies the food I eat.
Do you know all you want to know?
There is nothing I want to know. But what I need to know, I come to
Does this knowledge come to you from within or from outside?
It does not apply. My inner is outside and my outer is inside. I may
get from you the knowledge
at the moment, but you are not apart from me.
What is turiya, the fourth state we hear about?
To be the point of light tracing the world is turiya. To be the
light itself is turiyatita. But of what
are names when reality is so near?
Is there any progress in your condition? When you compare yourself
yesterday with yourself
do you find yourself changing, making progress? Does your vision of
reality grow in width
Reality is immovable and yet in constant movement. It is like a
mighty river -- it flows and yet it
there -- eternally. What flows is not the river with its bed and
banks, but its water, so does the
guna, the universal harmony, play its games against tamas and rajas,
the forces of darkness
despair. In sattva there is always change and progress, in rajas
while tamas stands for chaos.
three Gunas play eternally against each other -- it is a fact and
there can be no quarrel with a fact.
Must I always go dull with tamas and desperate with rajas? What
is the radiance of your real nature. You can always find it beyond
the mind and its many
But if you want a world, you must accept the three gunas as
inseparable -- matter -- energy
life -- one in essence, distinct in appearance. They mix and flow --
in consciousness. In time and
there is eternal flow, birth and death again, advance, retreat,
another advance, again retreat
apparently without a beginning and without end; reality being
timeless, changeless, bodyless,
awareness is bliss.
I understand that, according to you, everything is a state of
consciousness. The world is full of
-- a grain of sand is a thing, a planet is a thing. How are they
related to consciousness?
Where consciousness does not reach, matter begins. A thing is a form
of being which we have
understood. It does not change -- it is always the same -- it
appears to be there on its own --
strange and alien. Of course it is in the chit, consciousness, but
appears to be outside
of its apparent changelessness. The foundation of things is in
memory -- without memory
would be no recognition. Creation -- reflection -- rejection:
Brahma--Vishnu--Shiva: this is
eternal process. All things are governed by it.
Is there no escape?
I am doing nothing else, but showing the escape. Understand that the
One includes the Three
that you are the One, and you shall be free of the world process.
What happens then to my consciousness?
After the stage of creation, comes the stage of examination and
reflection and, finally, the stage
abandonment and forgetting. The consciousness remains, but in a
latent, quiet state.
Does the state of identity remain?
The state of identity is inherent in reality and never fades. But
identity is neither the transient
(vyakti), nor the karma-bound individuality (vyakta). It is what
remains when all self-
is given up as false -- pure consciousness, the sense of being all
there is, or could be.
is pure in the beginning and pure in the end; in between it gets
which is at the root of creation. At all times consciousness remains
the same. To know
as it is, is realisation and timeless peace.
Is the sense 'I am' real or unreal?
Both. It is unreal when we say: 'I am this, I am that'. It is real
when we mean 'I am not this, nor
knower comes and goes with the known, and is transient; but that
which knows that it does not
which is free of memory and anticipation, is timeless.
Is 'I am' itself the witness, or are they separate?
Without one the other cannot be. Yet they are not one. It is like
the flower and its colour. Without
-- no colours; without colour -- the flower remains unseen. Beyond
is the light which on
with the flower creates the colour. realise that your true nature is
that of pure light only, and
the perceived and the perceiver come and go together. That which
makes both possible, and
is neither, is your real being, which means not being a 'this' or
'that', but pure awareness of
and not-being. When awareness is turned on itself, the feeling is of
not knowing. When it is
outward, the knowables come into being. To say: 'I know myself' is a
contradiction in terms
what is 'known' cannot be 'myself'.
If the self is for ever the unknown, what then is realised in
To know that the known cannot be me nor mine, is liberation enough.
Freedom from self-
with a set of memories and habits, the state of wonder at the
infinite reaches of the
its inexhaustible creativity and total transcendence, the absolute
fearlessness born from the
of the illusoriness and transiency of every mode of consciousness --
flow from a deep
inexhaustible source. To know the source as source and appearance as
as the source only is self-realisation.
On what side is the witness? Is it real or unreal?
Nobody can say: ‘I am the witness'. The ‘I am' is always witnessed.
The state of detached
is the witness-consciousness, the 'mirror-mind'. It rises and sets
with its object and thus
is not quite the real. Whatever its object, it remains the same,
hence it is also real. It partakes of
the real and the unreal and is therefore a bridge between the two.
If all happens only to the 'I am', if the 'I am' is the known and
the knower and the knowledge
what does the witness do? Of what use is it?
It does nothing and is of no use whatsoever.
Then why do we talk of it?
Because it is there. The bridge serves one purpose only -- to cross
over. You don't build houses
a bridge. The 'I am' looks at things, the witness sees through them.
It sees them as they are --
and transient. To say 'not me, not mine' is the task of the witness.
Is it the manifested (saguna) by which the unmanifested (nirguna) is
The unmanifested is not represented. Nothing manifested can
represent the unmanifested.
Then why do you talk of it?
Because it is my birthplace.