Abandon Memories and Expectations
I am an American by birth and for the last one year I was staying in
an Ashram in Madhya Pradesh,
Yoga in its many aspects. We had a teacher, whose Guru, a disciple
great Sivananda Saraswati, stays in Monghyr. I stayed at Ramanashram
also. While in Bombay
went through an intensive course of Burmese meditation managed by
one Goenka. Yet I have not
peace. There is an improvement in self-control and day-to-day
discipline, but that is all. I
say exactly what caused what. I visited many holy places. How each
acted on me, I cannot
Good results will come, sooner or later. At Sri Ramanashram did you
Yes, some English people were teaching me and also an Indian
yoga, residing there permanently, was giving me lessons.
What are your plans?
I have to return to the States because of visa difficulties. I
intend to complete my B.Sc., study
Cure and make it my profession.
A good profession, no doubt.
Is there any danger in pursuing the path of Yoga at all cost?
Is a match-stick dangerous when the house is on fire? The search for
reality is the most
of all undertakings for it will destroy the world in which you live.
But if your motive is love
truth and life, you need not be afraid.
I am afraid of my own mind. It is so unsteady!
In the mirror of your mind images appear and disappear. The mirror
remains. Learn to
the immovable in the movable, the unchanging in the changing, till
you realise that all
are in appearance only and oneness is a fact. This basic identity --
you may call God, or
or the matrix (Prakriti), the words matters little -- is only the
realisation that all is one.
you can say with confidence born from direct experience: 'I am the
world, the world is myself',
are free from desire and fear on one hand and become totally
responsible for the world on the
The senseless sorrow of mankind becomes your sole concern.
So even a jnani has his problems!
Yes, but they are no longer of his own creation. His suffering is
not poisoned by a sense of guilt.
is nothing wrong with suffering for the sins of others. Your
Christianity is based on this.
Is not all suffering self-created?
Yes, as long as there is a separate self to create it. In the end
you know that there is no sin, no
no retribution, only life in its endless transformations. With the
dissolution of the personal 'I'
suffering disappears. What remains is the great sadness of
compassion, the horror of the
Is there anything unnecessary in the scheme of things?
Nothing is necessary, nothing is inevitable. Habit and passion blind
awareness heals and redeems. There is nothing we can do, we can only
according to their nature.
Do you advocate complete passivity?
Clarity and charity is action. Love is not lazy and clarity directs.
You need not worry about
look after your mind and heart. Stupidity and selfishness are the
What is better -- repetition of God's name, or meditation?
Repetition will stabilise your breath. With deep and quiet breathing
vitality will improve, which
influence the brain and help the mind to grow pure and stable and
fit for meditation. Without
little can be done, hence the importance of its protection and
increase. Posture and
are a part of Yoga, for the body must be healthy and well under
control, but too much
on the body defeats its own purpose, for it is the mind that is
primary in the beginning.
the mind has been put to rest and disturbs no longer the inner space
(chidakash), the body
a new meaning and its transformation becomes both necessary and
I have been wandering all over India, meeting many Gurus and
learning in driblets several
Is it all right to have a taste of everything?
No, this is but an introduction. You will meet a man who will help
you find your own way.
I feel that the Guru of my own choice can not be my real Guru. To be
real he must come
and be irresistible.
Not to anticipate is best. The way you respond is decisive.
Am I the master of my responses?
Discrimination and dispassion practised now will yield their fruits
at the proper time. If the roots
healthy and well-watered, the fruits are sure to be sweet. Be pure,
be alert, keep ready.
Are austerities and penances of any use?
To meet all the vicissitudes of life is penance enough! You need not
invent trouble. To meet
whatever life brings is all the austerity you need.
What about sacrifice?
Share willingly and gladly all you have with whoever needs -- don't
invent self-inflicted cruelties.
What is self-surrender?
Accept what comes.
I feel I am too weak to stand on my own legs. I need the holy
company of a Guru and of good
Equanimity is beyond me. To accept what comes as it comes, frightens
me. I think of my
to the States with horror.
Go back and make the best use of your opportunities. Get your B.Sc.
degree first. You can
return to India for your Nature Cure studies.
I am quite aware of the opportunities in the States. It is the
loneliness that frightens me.
You have always the company of your own self -- you need not feel
alone. Estranged from it
in India you will feel lonely. All happiness comes from pleasing the
self. Please it, after return
the States, do nothing that may be unworthy of the glorious reality
within your heart and you shall
happy and remain happy. But you must seek the self and, having found
it, stay with it.
Will compete solitude be of any benefit?
It depends on your temperament. You may work with others and for
others, alert and friendly,
grow more fully than in solitude, which may make you dull or leave
you at the mercy of your
endless chatter. Do not imagine that you can change through effort.
Violence, even turned
yourself, as in austerities and penance, will remain fruitless.
Is there no way of making out who is realised and who is not?
Your only proof is in yourself. If you find that you turn to gold,
it will be a sign that you have
the philosopher's stone. Stay with the person and watch what happens
to you. Don't ask
Their man may not be your Guru. A Guru may be universal in his
essence, but not in his
He may appear to be angry or greedy or over-anxious about his Ashram
or his family,
you may be misled by appearances, while others are not.
Have I not the right to expect all-round perfection, both inner and
Inner --- yes. But outer perfection depends on c
on the state of the body, personal
social, and other innumerable factors.
I was told to find a jnani so that I may learn from him the art of
achieving jnana and now I am
that the entire approach is false, that I cannot make out a jnani,
nor can jnana be conquered by
means. It is all so confusing!
It is all due to your complete misunderstanding of reality. Your
mind is steeped in the habits of
and acquisition and will not admit that the incomparable and
unobtainable are waiting
within your own heart for recognition. All you have to do is to
abandon all memories and
Just keep yourself ready in utter nakedness and nothingness.
Who is to do the abandoning?
God will do it. Just see the need of being abandoned. Don't resist,
don't hold on to the person
take yourself to be. Because you imagine yourself to be a person you
take the jnani to be a
too, only somewhat different, better informed and more powerful. You
may say that he is
conscious and happy, but it is far from expressing the whole truth.
Don't trust definitions
descriptions -- they are grossly misleading.
Unless I am told what to do and how to do it, I feel lost.
By all means do feel lost! As long as you feel competent and
confident, reality is beyond your
Unless you accept inner adventure as a way of life, discovery will
not come to you.
Discovery of what?
Of the centre of your being, which is free of all directions, all
means and ends.
Be all, know all, have all?
Be nothing, know nothing, have nothing. This is the only life worth
living, the only happiness
I may admit that the goal is beyond my comprehension. Let me know
the way at least.
You must find your own way. Unless you find it yourself it will not
be your own way and will take
nowhere. Earnestly live your truth as you have found it -- act on
the little you have understood.
is earnestness that will take you through, not cleverness -- your
own or another's.
I am afraid of mistakes. So many things I tried -- nothing came out
You gave too little of yourself, you were merely curious, not
I don't know any better.
At least that much you know. Knowing them to be superficial, give no
value to your experiences,
them as soon as they are over. Live a clean, selfless life, that is
Is morality so important?
Don't cheat, don't hurt -- is it not important? Above all you need
inner peace -- which demands
between the inner and the outer. Do what you believe in and believe
in what you do. All
is a waste of energy and time.