Go Beyond the l-am-the-body Idea
We are like animals, running about in vain pursuits and there seems
to be no end to it.
there a way out?
Many ways will be offered to you which will but take you round and
bring you back to your
point. First realise that your problem exists in your waking state
only, that however painful it
you are able to forget it altogether when you go to sleep. When you
are awake you are
when you are asleep, you are only alive. Consciousness and life --
both you may call
but you are beyond both, beyond God, beyond being and not-being.
What prevents you from
yourself as all and beyond all, is the mind based on memory. It has
power over you as long
you trust it; don't struggle with it; just disregard it. Deprived of
attention, it will slow down and
the mechanism of its working. Once you know its nature and purpose,
you will not allow it to
Surely, not all problems are imaginary. There are real problems.
What problems can there be which the mind did not create? Life and
death do not create
pains and pleasures come and go, experienced and forgotten. It is
that create problems of attainment or avoidance, coloured by like
and dislike. Truth and
are man's real nature and mind and heart are the means of its
How to bring the mind under control? And the heart, which does not
know what it wants?
They cannot work in darkness. They need the light of pure awareness
to function rightly. All
at control will merely subject them to the dictates of memory.
Memory is a good servant, but a
master. It effectively prevents discovery. There is no place for
effort in reality. It is selfishness,
to a self-identification with the body, that is the main problem and
the cause of all other
And selfishness cannot be removed by effort, only by clear insight
into its causes and
Effort is a sign of conflict between incompatible desires. They
should be seen as they are --
only they dissolve.
And what remains?
That which cannot change, remains. The great peace, the deep
silence, the hidden beauty of
remain. While it can not be conveyed through words, it is waiting
for you to experience for
Must not one be fit and eligible for realisation? Our nature is
animal to the core. Unless it is
how can we hope for reality to dawn?
Leave the animal alone. Let it be. Just remember what you are. Use
every incident of the day to
you that without you as the witness there would be neither animal
nor God. Understand that
are both, the essence and the substance of all there is. and remain
firm in your understanding.
Is understanding enough? Don't I need more tangible proofs?
It is your understanding that will decide about the validity of
proofs. But what more tangible
do you need than your own existence? Wherever you go you find
yourself. However far you
out in time, you are there.
Obviously, I am not all-pervading and eternal. I am only here and
Good enough. The 'here' is everywhere and the now -- always. Go
beyond the 'I-am-the-body'
and you will find that space and time are in you and not you in
space and time. Once you have
this, the main obstacle to realisation is removed.
What is the realisation which is beyond understanding?
Imagine a dense forest full of tigers and you in a strong steel
cage. Knowing that you are well
by the cage, you watch the tigers fearlessly. Next you find the
tigers in the cage and
roaming about in the jungle. Last -- the cage disappears and you
ride the tigers!
I attended one of the group meditation sessions, held recently in
Bombay, and witnessed the
and self-abandon of the participants. Why do people go for such
These are all inventions of a restless mind pampering to people in
search of sensations. Some
them help the unconscious to disgorge suppressed memories and
longings and to that extent
provide relief. But ultimately they leave the practitioner where he
was -- or worse.
I have read recently a book by a Yogi on his experiences in
meditation. It is full of visions and
colours and melodies; quite a display and a most gorgeous
entertainment! In the end they
faded out and only the feeling of utter fearlessness remained. No
wonder -- a man who passed
all these experiences unscathed need not be afraid of anything! Yet
I was wondering of
use is such book to me?
Of no use, probably, since it does not attract you. Others may be
impressed. People differ. But
are faced with the fact of their own existence. 'I am' is the
ultimate fact; 'Who am l?' is the
question to which everybody must find an answer.
The same answer?
The same in essence, varied in expression.
seeker accepts, or invents, a method which suits him, applies it to
himself with some
and effort, obtains results according to his temperament and
expectations, casts them
the mound of words, builds them into a system, establishes a
tradition and begins to admit
into his 'school of Yoga'. It is all built on memory and
imagination. No such school is
nor indispensable; in each one can progress up to the point, when
all desire for progress
be abandoned to make further progress possible. Then all schools are
given up, all effort
in solitude and darkness the vast step is made which ends ignorance
and fear forever.
true teacher, however, will not imprison his disciple in a
prescribed set of ideas, feelings and
on the contrary, he will show him patiently the need to be free from
all ideas and set
of behaviour, to be vigilant and earnest and go with life wherever
it takes him, not to enjoy
suffer, but to understand and learn.
the right teacher the disciple learns to learn, not to remember and
obey. Satsang, the
of the noble, does not mould, it liberates. Beware of all that makes
you dependent. Most
the so-called 'surrenders to the Guru' end in disappointment, if not
in tragedy. Fortunately, an
seeker will disentangle himself in time, the wiser for the
Surely, self-surrender has its value.
Self-surrender is the surrender of all self-concern. It cannot be
done, it happens when you
your true nature. Verbal self-surrender, even when accompanied by
feeling, is of little value
breaks down under stress. At the best it shows an aspiration, not an
In the Rigveda there is the mention of the adhi yoga, the Primordial
Yoga, consisting of the
of pragna with Prana, which, as I understand, means the bringing
together of wisdom and
Would you say it means also the union of Dharma and Karma,
righteousness and action?
Yes, provided by righteousness you mean harmony with one's true
nature and by action -- only
and desireless action. In adhi yoga life itself is the Guru and the
mind -- the disciple.
mind attends to life, it does not dictate. Life flows naturally and
effortlessly and the mind
the obstacles to its even flow.
Is not life by its very nature repetitive? Will not following life
lead to stagnation?
By itself life is immensely creative. A seed, in course of time,
becomes a forest. The mind is like
forester -- protecting and regulating the immense vital urge of
Seen as the service of life by the mind, the adhi yoga is a perfect
democracy. Everyone is
in living a life to his best capacity and knowledge, everyone is a
disciple of the same Guru.
You may say so. It may be so -- potentially. But unless life is
loved and trusted, followed with
and zest, it would be fanciful to talk of Yoga, which is a movement
Once I watched a mountain-stream flowing between the boulders. At
each boulder the
was different, according to the shape and size of the boulder. Is
not every person a
commotion over a body, while life is one and eternal?
The commotion and the water are not separate. It is the disturbance
that makes you aware of
Consciousness is always of movement, of change. There can be no such
consciousness. Changelessness wipes out consciousness immediately. A
of outer or inner sensations blanks out, or goes beyond
into the birthless and deathless state. Only when spirit and matter
Are they one or two?
It depends on the words you use: they are one, or two, or three. On
investigation three become
and two become one. Take the simile of face -- mirror -- image. Any
two of them presuppose
third which unites the two. In sadhana you see the three as two,
until you realise the two as one.
long as you are engrossed in the world, you are unable to know
yourself: to know yourself, turn
your attention from the world and turn it within.
I cannot destroy the world.
There is no need. Just understand that what you see is not what is.
Appearances will dissolve
investigation and the underlying reality will come to the surface.
You need not burn the house to
out of it. You just walk out. It is only when you cannot come and go
freely that the house
a jail. I move in and out of consciousness easily and naturally and
therefore to me the
is a home, not a prison.
But ultimately is there a world, or is there none?
What you see is nothing but your self. Call it what you like, it
does not change the fact. Through
film of destiny your own light depicts pictures on the screen. You
are the viewer, the light, the
and the screen. Even the film of destiny (prarabdha) is
self-selected and self-imposed. The
is a sport and enjoys to overcome obstacles. The harder the task the
deeper and wider his self-