Surrender to Your Own Self
I was born in the United States, and the last fourteen months I have
spent in Sri
now I am on my way back to the States where my mother is expecting me.
What are your plans?
I may qualify as a nurse, or just marry and have babies.
What makes you want to marry?
providing a spiritual home is the highest form of social service I can
think of. But, of course, life
shape otherwise. I am ready for whatever comes.
These fourteen months at Sri Ramanashram, what did they give you? In
what way are you
from what you were when you arrived there?
I am no longer afraid. I have found some peace.
What kind of peace is it? The peace of having what you want, or not
wanting what you do not
A little of both, I believe. It was not easy at all. While the Ashram
is a very peaceful place,
I was in agonies.
When you realise that the distinction between inner and outer is in
the mind only, you are no
Such realisation comes and goes with me. I have not yet reached the
immutability of absolute
Well, as long as you believe so, you must go on with your sadhana, to
disperse the false idea of
being complete. Sadhana removes the super-impositions. When you
realise yourself as less
a point in space and time, something too small to be cut and too
short-lived to be killed, then,
then only, all fear goes. When you are smaller than the point of a
needle, then the needle
pierce you -- you pierce the needle!
Yes, that is how I feel sometimes -- indomitable. I am more than
fearless -- I am fearlessness
What made you go to the Ashram?
I had an unhappy love affair and suffered hell. Neither drink nor
drugs could help me. I was
and came across some books on Yoga. From book to book, from clue to
clue -- I came to
Were the same tragedy to happen to you again, would you suffer as
much, considering your
state of mind?
Oh no, I would not let myself suffer again. I would kill myself.
So you are not afraid to die!
I am afraid of dying, not of death itself. I imagine the dying process
to be painful and ugly.
How do you know? It need not be so. It may be beautiful and peaceful.
Once you know that
happens to the body and not to you, you just watch your body falling
off like a discarded
I am fully aware that my fear of death is due to apprehension and not
Human beings die every second, the fear and the agony of dying hangs
over the world like a
No wonder you too are afraid. But once you know that the body alone
dies and not the
of memory and the sense of ĎI amí reflected in it, you are afraid no
Well, let us die and see.
Give attention and you will find that birth and death are one, that
life pulsates between being
non-being, and that each needs the other for completeness. You are
born to die and you die to
Does not detachment stop the process?
With detachment the fear goes, but not the fact.
Shall I be compelled to be reborn? How dreadful!
There is no compulsion. You get what you want. You make your own plans
and you carry them
Do we condemn ourselves to suffer?
We grow through investigation, and to investigate we need experience.
We tend to repeat what
have not understood. If we are sensitive and intelligent, we need not
suffer. Pain is a call for
and the penalty of carelessness. Intelligent and compassionate action
is the only remedy.
It is because I have grown in intelligence that I would not tolerate
my suffering again. What is
Nothing wrong, if it solves the problem. What, if it does not?
Suffering caused by extraneous
-- some painful and incurable disease, or unbearable calamity -- may
but where wisdom and compassion are lacking, suicide cannot help. A
foolishness reborn. Besides there is the question of karma to
consider. Endurance is usually
Must one endure suffering, however acute and hopeless?
Endurance is one thing and helpless agony is another. Endurance is
meaningful and fruitful,
agony is useless.
Why worry about karma? It takes care of itself anyhow.
Most of our karma is collective. We suffer for the sins of others, as
others suffer for ours.
is one. Ignorance of this fact does not change it. We could have been
ourselves, but for our indifference to the sufferings of others.
I find I have grown much more responsive.
Good. When you say it, what do you have in mind? Yourself, as a
responsive person within a
There is a body and there is compassion and there is memory and a
number of things and
collectively they may be called a person.
Including the ĎI amí idea?
The ĎI amí is like a basket that holds the many things that make a
Or, rather, it is the willow of which the basket is woven. When you
think of yourself as a women,
you mean that you are a women, or that your body is described as
It depends on my mood. Sometimes I feel myself to be a mere centre of
Or, an ocean of awareness. But are there moments when you are neither
man nor women, not
accidental, occasioned by circumstances and conditions?
Yes, there are, but I feel shy to talk about it.
A hint is all that one can expect. You need not say more.
Am I allowed to smoke in your presence? I know that it is not the
custom to smoke before a
and more so for a women.
By all means, smoke, nobody will mind. We understand.
I feel the need of cooling down.
It is very often so with Americans and Europeans. After a stretch of
sadhana they become
with energy and frantically seek an outlet. They organise communities,
become teachers of
marry, write books -- anything except keeping quiet and turning their
energies within, to find
source of the inexhaustible power and learn the art of keeping it
I admit that now I want to go back and live a very active life,
because I feel full of energy.
You can do what you like, as long as you do not take yourself to be
the body and the mind. It is
so much a question of actual giving up the body and all that goes with
it, as a clear
that you are not the body. A sense of aloofness, of emotional
I know what you mean. Some four years ago I passed through a period of
rejection of the
I would not buy myself clothes, would eat the simplest foods, sleep on
bare planks. It is
acceptance of the privations that matters, not the actual discomfort.
Now I have realised that
life as it comes and loving all it offers, is best of it. I shall
accept with glad heart whatever
and make the best of it. If I can do nothing more than give life and
true culture to a few
-- good enough; though my heart goes out to every child, I cannot
You are married and a mother only when you are man-women conscious.
When you do not
yourself to be the body, then the family life of the body, however
intense and interesting, is
only as a play on the screen of the mind, with the light of awareness
as the only reality.
Why do you insist on awareness as the only real? Is not the object of
awareness as real, while
But it does not last! Momentary reality is secondary; it depends on
Do you mean continuous, or permanent?
There can be no continuity in existence. Continuity implies identity
in past, present and future.
such identity is possible, for the very means of identification
fluctuate and change. Continuity,
these are illusions created by memory, mere mental projections of a
pattern where no
can be; Abandon all ideas of temporary or permanent, body or mind, man
or women; what
What is the state of your mind when all separation is given up? I am
not talking of giving
distinctions, for without them there is no manifestation.
When I do not separate, I am happily at peace. But somehow I lose my
bearings again and
and begin to seek happiness in outer things. Why is my inner peace not
steady, I cannot
Peace, after all, is also a condition of the mind.
Beyond the mind is silence. There is nothing to be said about it.
Yes, all talk about silence is mere noise.
Why do we seek worldly happiness, even after having tasted oneís own
When the mind is engaged in serving the body, happiness is lost. To
regain it, it seeks pleasure.
urge to be happy is right, but the means of securing it are
misleading, unreliable and
of true happiness.
Is pleasure always wrong?
The right state and use of the body and the mind are intensely
pleasant. It is the search for
that is wrong. Do not try to make yourself happy, rather question your
very search for
It is because you are not happy that you want to be happy. Find out
why you are
Because you are not happy you seek happiness in pleasure; pleasure
brings in pain and
you call it worldly; you then long for some other pleasure, without
pain, which you call
In reality, pleasure is but a respite from pain. Happiness is both
worldly and unworldly, within
beyond all that happens. Make no distinction, donít separate the
inseparable and do not
yourself from life.
How well I understand you now! Before my stay at Ramanashram I was
always sitting in judgement of myself. Now I am completely relaxed,
as I am. When I return to the States, I shall take life as it comes,
as Bhagavanís grace, and
the bitter along with the sweet. This is one of the things I have
learnt in the Ashram -- to trust
I was not like this before. I could not trust.
Trusting Bhagavan is trusting yourself. Be aware that whatever
happens, happens to you, by
through you, that you are the creator, enjoyer and destroyer of all
you perceive and you will not
afraid. Unafraid, you will not be unhappy, nor will you seek
the mirror of your mind all kinds of pictures appear and disappear.
Knowing that they are entirely
own creations, watch them silently come and go, be alert, but not
perturbed. This attitude of
observation is the very foundation of Yoga. You see the picture, but
you are not the picture.
I find that the thought of death frightens me because I do not want to
be reborn. I know that
compels, yet the pressure of unsatisfied desires is overwhelming and I
may not be able to
The question of resistance does not arise. What is born and reborn is
not you. Let it happen,
Why then be at all concerned?
But you are concerned! And you will be concerned as long as the
picture clashes with your own
of truth, love and beauty. The desire for harmony and peace is
ineradicable. But once it is
the concern ceases and physical life becomes effortless and below the
level of attention.
even in the body you are not born. To be embodied or bodyless is the
same to you. You
a point when nothing can happen to you. Without body, you cannot be
you cannot be robbed; without mind, you cannot be deceived. There is
no point where
desire or fear can hook on. As long as no change can happen to you,
what else matters?
Somehow I do not like the idea of dying.
It is because you are so young. The more you know yourself the less
you are afraid. Of course,
agony of dying is never pleasant to look at, but the dying man is
Does he return to consciousness?
It is very much like sleep. For a time the person is out of focus and
then it returns.
The same person?
The person, being a creature of circumstances, necessarily changes
along with them, like the
that changes with the fuel. Only the process goes on and on, creating
time and space.
Well, God will look after me. I can leave everything to Him.
Even faith in God is only a stage on the way. Ultimately you abandon
all, for you come to
so simple that there are no words to express it.
I am just beginning. At the start I had no faith, no trust; I was
afraid to let things happen. The
seemed to be a very dangerous and inimical place. Now, at least I can
talk of trusting the
or God. Let me grow. Donít drive me on. Let me proceed at my own pace.
By all means proceed. But you donít. You are still stuck in the ideas
of man and women, old and
life and death. Go on, go beyond. A thing recognised is a thing
Sir, wherever I go people take it to be their duty to find faults with
me and goad me on. I am fed
with this spiritual fortune making. What is wrong with my present that
it should be sacrificed to a
however glorious? You say reality is in the now. I want it. I do not
want to be eternally
about my stature and its future. I do not want to chase the more and
the better. Let me love
You are quite right; do it. Only be honest -- just love what you love
-- donít strive and strain.
This is what I call surrender to the Guru.
Why exteriorise? Surrender to your own self, of which everything is an