Mind and the World are not Separate
I see here pictures of several saints and I am told that they are
Who are they and how did it all begin?
We are called collectively the 'Nine Masters'. The legend says that
our first teacher was
Dattatreya, the great incarnation of the Trinity of Brahma, Vishnu
and Shiva. Even the 'Nine
(Navnath) are mythological.
What is the peculiarity of their teaching?
Its simplicity, both in theory and practice.
How does one become a Navnath? By initiation or by succession?
Neither. The ‘Nine Masters' tradition, Navnath Parampara, is like a
river -- it flows into the ocean
reality and whoever enters it is carried along.
Does it imply acceptance by a living master belonging to the same
Those who practise the sadhana of focussing their minds on ‘I am'
may feel related to others
have followed the same sadhana and succeeded. They may decide to
verbalise their sense of
by calling themselves Navnaths. It gives them the pleasure of
belonging to an established
Do they in any way benefit by joining?
The circle of satsang, the 'company of saints', expands in numbers
as time passes.
Do they get hold thereby of a source of power and grace from which
they would have been
Power and grace are for all and for the asking. Giving oneself a
particular name does not help.
yourself by any name -- as long as you are intensely mindful of
yourself, the accumulated
to self-knowledge are bound to be swept away.
If I like your teaching and accept your guidance, can I call myself
Please your word-addicted mind! The name will not change you. At
best it may remind you to
There is a succession of Gurus and their disciples, who in turn
train more disciples and
the line is maintained. But the continuity of tradition is informal
and voluntary. It is like a family
but here the family is spiritual.
Do you have to realise to join the Sampradaya?
The Navnath Sampradaya is only a tradition, a way of teaching and
practice. It does not denote
level of consciousness. If you accept a Navnath Sampradaya teacher
as your Guru, you join his
Usually you receive a token of his grace -- a look, a touch, or a
word, sometimes a
dream or a strong remembrance. Sometimes the only sign of grace is a
significant and rapid
in character and behaviour.
I know you now for some years and I meet you regularly. The thought
of you is never far from
mind. Does it make me belong to your Sampradaya?
Your belonging is a matter of your own feeling and conviction. After
all, it is all verbal and
In reality there is neither Guru nor disciple, neither theory nor
practice, neither ignorance nor
It all depends on what you take yourself to be. Know yourself
correctly. There is no
What proof will I have that I know myself correctly?
You need no proofs. The experience is unique and unmistakable. It
will dawn on you suddenly,
the obstacles are removed to some extent. It is like a frayed rope
snapping. Yours is to work
the strands. The break is bound to happen. It can be delayed, but
I am confused by your denial of causality. Does it mean that none is
responsible for the world
The idea of responsibility is in your mind. You think there must be
something or somebody
responsible for all that happens. There is a contradiction between a
multiple universe and a
cause. Either one or the other must be false. Or both. As I see it,
it is all day-dreaming. There
no reality in ideas. The fact is that without you, neither the
universe nor its cause could have
I cannot make out whether I am the creature or the creator of the
'I am' is an ever-present fact, while 'I am created' is an idea.
Neither God nor the universe have
to tell you that they have created you. The mind obsessed by the
idea of causality invents
and then wonders 'who is the creator?' The mind itself is the
creator. Even this is not quite
for the created and its creator are one. The mind and the world are
not separate. Do
that what you think to be the world is your own mind.
Is there a world beyond, or outside the mind?
All space and time are in the mind. Where will you locate a
supramental world? There are many
of the mind and each projects its own version, yet all are in the
mind and created by the mind.
What is your attitude to sin? How do you look at a sinner, somebody
who breaks the law, inner
outer? Do you want him to change or you just pity him? Or, are you
indifferent to him because of
I know no sin, nor sinner. Your distinction and valuation do not
bind me. Everybody behaves
to his nature. It cannot be helped, nor need it be regretted.
Life lives on life. In nature the process is compulsory, in society
it should be voluntary. There
be no life without sacrifice. A sinner refuses to sacrifice and
invites death. This is as it is, and
no cause for condemnation or pity.
Surely you feel at least compassion when you see a man steeped in
Yes, I feel I am that man and his sins are my sins.
Right, and what next?
By my becoming one with him he becomes one with me. It is not a
conscious process, it
entirely by itself. None of us can help it. What needs changing
shall change anyhow;
to know oneself as one is, here and now. Intense and methodical
investigation into one's
What about the chains of destiny forged by sin?
When ignorance, the mother of sin, dissolves, destiny, the
compulsion to sin again, ceases.
There are retributions to make.
With ignorance coming to an end all comes to an end. Things are then
seen as they are and
If a sinner, a breaker of the law, comes before you and asks for
your grace, what will be your
He will get what he asks for.
In spite of being a very bad man?
I know no bad people, I only know myself. I see no saints nor
sinners, only living beings. I do
hand out grace. There is nothing I can give, or deny, which you do
not have already in equal
Just be aware of your riches and make full use of them. As long as
you imagine that you
my grace, you will be at my door begging for it.
begging for grace from you would make as little sense! We are not
separate, the real is common.
A mother comes to you with a tale of woe. Her only son has taken to
drugs and sex and is
from bad to worse. She is asking for your grace. What shall be your
Probably I shall hear myself telling her that all will be well.
That's all. What more do you expect?
But will the son of the woman change?
He may or he may not.
The people who collect round you, and who know you for many years,
maintain that when you
'it will be all right' it invariably happens as you say.
You may as well say that it is the mother's heart that saved the
child. For everything there are
I am told that the man who wants nothing for himself is
all-powerful. The entire universe is at
If you believe so, act on it. Abandon every personal desire and use
the power thus saved for
All the Buddhas and Rishis have not succeeded in changing the world.
The world does not yield to changing. By its very nature it is
painful and transient. See it as it is
divest yourself of all desire and fear. When the world does not hold
and bind you, it becomes
abode of joy and beauty. You can be happy in the world only when you
are free of it.
What is right and what is wrong?
Generally, what causes suffering is wrong and what removes it, is
right. The body and the mind
limited and therefore vulnerable; they need protection which gives
rise to fear. As long as you
yourself with them you are bound to suffer; realise your
independence and remain happy. I
you, this is the secret of happiness. To believe that you depend on
things and people for
is due to ignorance of your true nature; to know that you need
nothing to be happy,
self-knowledge, is wisdom.
What comes first, being or desire?
With being arising in consciousness, the ideas of what you are arise
in your mind as well as
you should be. This brings forth desire and action and the process
of becoming begins.
has, apparently, no beginning and no end, for it restarts every
moment. With the
of imagination and desire, becoming ceases and the being this or
that merges into pure
which is not describable, only experienceable.
world appears to you so overwhelmingly real, because you think of it
all the time; cease
of it and it will dissolve into thin mist. You need not forget; when
desire and fear end,
also ends. It is the emotional involvement, the pattern of likes and
dislikes which we call
and temperament, that create the bondage.
Without desire and fear what motive is there for action?
None, unless you consider love of life, of righteousness, of beauty,
motive enough. Do not be
of freedom from desire and fear. It enables you to live a life so
different from all you know, so
more intense and interesting, that, truly, by losing all you gain
Since you count your spiritual ancestry from Rishi Dattatreya, are
we right in believing that you
all your predecessors are reincarnations of the Rishi?
You may believe in whatever you like and if you act on your belief,
you will get the fruits of it; but
me it has no importance. I am what I am and this is enough for me. I
have no desire to identify
with anybody, however illustrious. Nor do I feel the need to take
myths for reality. I am only
in ignorance and the freedom from ignorance. The proper role of a
Guru is to dispel
in the hearts and minds of his disciples. Once the disciple has
understood, the confirming
is up to him. Nobody can act for another. And if he does not act
rightly, it only means that he
not understood and that the Guru's work is not over.
There must be some hopeless cases too?
None is hopeless. Obstacles can be overcome. What life cannot mend,
death will end, but the
What gives you the assurance?
The Guru and man's inner reality are really one and work together
towards the same goal -- the
and salvation of the mind They cannot fail. Out of the very boulders
that obstruct them
build their bridges. Consciousness is not the whole of being --
there are other levels on which
is much more co-operative. The Guru is at home on all levels and his
energy and patience are
You keep on telling me that I am dreaming and that it is high time I
should wake up. How does
happen that the Maharaj, who has come to me in my dreams, has not
succeeded in waking me
He keeps on urging and reminding, but the dream continues.
It is because you have not really understood that you are dreaming.
This is the essence of
-- the mixing of the real with unreal. In your present state only
the sense 'I am' refers to
the 'what' and the 'how I am' are illusions imposed by destiny, or
When did the dream begin?
It appears to be beginningless, but in fact it is only now. From
moment to moment you are
it. Once you have seen that you are dreaming, you shall wake up. But
you do not see,
you want the dream to continue. A day will come when you will long
for the ending of the
with all your heart and mind, and be willing to pay any price; the
price will be dispassion and
the loss of interest in the dream itself.
How helpless I am. As long as the dream of existence lasts, I want
it to continue. As long as I
it to continue, it will last.
Wanting it to continue is not inevitable. See clearly your
condition, your very clarity will release
As long as I am with you, all you say seems pretty obvious; but as
soon as I am away from you
run about restless and anxious.
You need not keep away from me, in your mind at least. But your mind
is after the world's
The world is full of troubles, no wonder my mind too is full of
Was there ever a world without troubles? Your being as a person
depends on violence to
Your very body is a battlefield, full of the dead and dying.
Existence implies violence.
As a body -- yes. As a human being -- definitely no. For humanity
non-violence is the law of life
violence of death.
There is little of non-violence in nature.
God and nature are not human and need not be humane. I am concerned
with man alone. To
human I must be compassionate absolutely.
Do you realise that as long as you have a self to defend, you must
I do. To be truly human I must be self-less. As long as I am
selfish, I am sub-human, a
So, we are all sub-human and only a few are human. Few or many, it
is again 'clarity and
that make us human. The sub-human -- the 'humanoids' -- are
dominated by tamas
and rajas and the humans by sattva. Clarity and charity is sattva as
it affects mind and action.
the real is beyond sattva. Since I have known you, you seem to be
always after helping
world. How much did you help?
Not a bit. Neither the world has changed, nor have I. But the world
suffers and I suffer along
it. To struggle against suffering is a natural reaction. And what is
civilization and culture,
and religion, but a revolt against suffering. Evil and the ending of
evil -- is it not your own
preoccupation? You may call it ignorance -- it comes to the same.
Well, words do not matter, nor does it matter in what shape you are
just now. Names and
change incessantly. Know yourself to be the changeless witness of
the changeful mind.