The Perceived can not be the Perceiver
I have been moving from place to place investigating the various
Yogas available for
and I could not decide which will suit me best. I should be thankful
for some competent
At present, as a result of all this searching, I am just tired of
the idea of finding truth. It
to me, both unnecessary and troublesome. Life is enjoyable as it is
and I see no purpose in
You are welcome to stay in your contentment, but can you? Youth,
vigour, money -- all
pass away sooner than you expect. Sorrow, shunned so far, will
pursue you. If you want to be
suffering, you must meet it half way and embrace it. Relinquish your
habits and addictions,
live a simple and sober life, don't hurt a living being; this is the
foundation of Yoga. To find reality
must be real in the smallest daily action; there can be no deceit in
the search for truth. You say
find your life enjoyable. Maybe it is -- at present. But who enjoys
I confess I do not know the enjoyer nor the enjoyed. I only know the
Quite right. But enjoyment is a state of mind -- it comes and goes.
Its very impermanence
it perceivable. You cannot be conscious of what does not change. All
of change. But the very perception of change -- does it not
necessitate a changeless
Not at all. The memory of the last state -- compared to the
actuality of the present state gives
experience of change.
Between the remembered and the actual there is a basic difference
which can be observed
moment to moment. At no point of time is the actual the remembered.
Between the two there
a difference in kind, not merely in intensity. The actual is
unmistakably so. By no effort of will or
can you interchange the two. Now, what is it that gives this unique
quality to the actual?
The actual is real, while there is a good deal of uncertainty about
Quite so, but why? A moment back the remembered was actual, in a
moment the actual will be
remembered. What makes the actual unique? Obviously, it is your
sense of being present. In
and anticipation there is a clear feeling that it is a mental state
under observation, while in
actual the feeling is primarily of being present and aware.
Yes I can see. It is awareness that makes the difference between the
actual and the
One thinks of the past or the future, but one is present in the now.
Wherever you go, the sense of here and now you carry with you all
the time. It means that you
independent of space and time, that space and time are in you, not
you in them. It is your self-
with the body, which, of course, is limited in space and time, that
gives you the feeling
finiteness. In reality you are infinite and eternal.
This infinite and eternal self of mine, how am I to know it?
The self you want to know, is it some second self? Are you made of
several selves? Surely,
is only one self and you are that self. The self you are is the only
self there is. Remove and
your wrong ideas about yourself and there it is, in all its glory.
It is only your mind that
How am I to be rid of the mind? And is life without mind at all
possible on the human level?
There is no such thing as mind. There are ideas and some of them are
wrong. Abandon the
ideas, for they are false and obstruct your vision of yourself.
Which ideas are wrong and which are true?
Assertions are usually wrong and denials -- right.
One cannot live by denying everything!
Only by denying can one live. Assertion is bondage. To question and
deny is necessary. It is the
of revolt and without revolt there can be no freedom.
is no second, or higher self to search for. You are the highest
self, only give up the false
you have about your self. Both faith and reason tell you that you
are neither the body, nor its
and fears, nor are you the mind with its fanciful ideas, nor the
role society compels you to
the person you are supposed to be. Give up the false and the true
will come into its own.
say you want to know your self. You are your self -- you cannot be
anything but what you are.
knowing separate from being? Whatever you can know with your mind is
of the mind, not you;
yourself you can only say: 'I am, I am aware, I like It'.
I find being alive a painful state.
You cannot be alive for you are life itself. It is the person you
imagine yourself to be that suffers,
you. Dissolve it in awareness. It is merely a bundle of memories and
habits. From the
of the unreal to the awareness of your real nature there is a chasm
which you will easily
once you have mastered the art of pure awareness.
All I know is that I do not know myself.
How do you know, that you do not know your self? Your direct insight
tells you that yourself you
first, for nothing exists to you without your being there to
experience its existence. You
you do not know your self, because you cannot describe your self.
You can always say: 'I
that I am' and you will refuse as untrue the statement: 'I am not'.
But whatever can be
cannot be your self, and what you are cannot be described. You can
only know your self
being yourself without any attempt at self-definition and
self-description. Once you have
that you are nothing perceivable or conceivable, that whatever
appears in the field of
cannot be your self, you will apply yourself to the eradication of
the only way that can take you to a deeper realisation of your self.
You literally progress by
-- a veritable rocket. To know that you are neither in the body nor
in the mind, though
of both, is already self-knowledge.
If I am neither the body nor mind, how am I aware of them? How can I
foreign to myself?
'Nothing is me,' is the first step. 'Everything is me' is the next.
Both hang on the idea: 'there is a
When this too is given up, you remain what you are -- the non-dual
Self. You are it here and
but your vision is obstructed by your false ideas about your self.
Well, I admit that I am, I was, I shall be; at least from birth to
death. I have no doubts of my
here and now. But I find that it is not enough. My life lacks joy,
born of harmony between the
and the outer. If I alone am and the world is merely a protection,
then why is there
You create disharmony and then complain! When you desire and fear,
and identify yourself with
feelings, you create sorrow and bondage. When you create, with love
and wisdom, and remain
to your creations, the result is harmony and peace. But whatever be
the condition of
mind, in what way does it reflect on you? It is only your
self-identification with your mind that
you happy or unhappy. Rebel against your slavery to your mind, see
your bonds as self-
and break the chains of attachment and revulsion. Keep in mind your
goal of freedom, until
dawns on you that you are already free, that freedom is not
something in the distant future to be
with painful efforts, but perennially one's own, to be used!
Liberation is not an acquisition but
matter of courage, the courage to believe that you are free already
and to act on it.
If I do as I like, I shall have to suffer.
Nevertheless, you are free. The consequences of your action will
depend on the society in
you live and its conventions.
I may act recklessly.
Along with courage will emerge wisdom and compassion and skill in
action. You will know what
do and whatever you do will be good for all.
I find that the various aspects of myself are at war between
themselves and there is no peace
me. Where are freedom and courage, wisdom and compassion? My actions
merely increase the
in which I exist.
It is all so, because you take yourself to be somebody, or
something. Stop, look, investigate,
the right questions, come to the right conclusions and have the
courage to act on them and see
happens. The first steps may bring the roof down on your head, but
soon the commotion will
and there will be peace and joy. You know so many things about
yourself, but the knower you
not know. Find out who you are, the knower of the known. Look within
diligently, remember to
that the perceived cannot be the perceiver. Whatever you see, hear
or think of,
-- you are not what happens, you are he to whom it happens. Delve
deeply into the
'I am' and you will surely discover that the perceiving centre is
universal, as universal as the
that illumines the world. All that happens in the universe happens
to you, the silent witness. On
other hand, whatever is done, is done by you, the universal and
It is, no doubt, very gratifying to hear that one is the silent
witness as well as the universal
But how is one to cross over from a verbal statement to direct
knowledge? Hearing is not
Before you can know anything directly, non-verbally, you must know
the knower. So far, you
the mind for the knower, but it is just not so. The mind clogs you
up with images and ideas,
leave scars in memory. You take remembering to be knowledge. True
knowledge is ever
new, unexpected. It wells up from within. When you know what you
are, you also are what
know. Between knowing and being there is no gap.
I can only investigate the mind with the mind.
By all means use your mind to know your mind. It is perfectly
legitimate and also the best
for going beyond the mind. Being, knowing and enjoying is your own.
First realise your
being. This is easy because the sense 'I am' is always with you.
Then meet yourself as the
apart from the known. Once you know yourself as pure being, the
ecstasy of freedom is
Which Yoga is this?
Why worry? What makes you come here is your being displeased with
your life as you know it,
life of your body and mind. You may try to improve them, through
controlling and bending them
an ideal, or you may cut the knot of self-identification altogether
and look at your body and mind
something that happens without committing you in any way.
Shall I call the way of control and discipline raja yoga and the way
of detachment -- jnana yoga?
the worship of an ideal -- bhakti yoga?
If it pleases you. Words indicate, but do not explain. What I teach
is the ancient and simple way
liberation through understanding. Understand your own mind and its
hold on you will snap. The
misunderstands, misunderstanding is its very nature. Right
understanding is the only remedy,
name you give it. It is the earliest and also the latest, for it
deals with the mind as it is.
you do will change you, for you need no change. You may change your
mind or your body,
it is always something external to you that has changed, not
yourself. Why bother at all to
realise once for all that neither your body nor your mind, nor even
your consciousness is
and stand alone in your true nature beyond consciousness and
unconsciousness. No effort
take you there, only the clarity of understanding. Trace your
misunderstandings and abandon
that is all. There is nothing to seek and find, for there is nothing
lost. Relax and watch the 'I
Reality is just behind it. Keep quiet, keep silent; it will emerge,
or, rather, it will take you in.
Must I not get rid of my body and mind first?
You cannot, for the very idea binds you to them. Just understand and
I am unable to disregard, for I am not integrated.
Imagine you are completely integrated, your thought and action fully
co-ordinated. How will it
you? It will not free you from mistaking yourself to be the body or
the mind. See them correctly
'not you', that is all.
You want me to remember to forget!
Yes, it looks so. Yet, it is not hopeless. You can do it. Just set
about it in earnest. Your blind
is full of promise. Your very searching is the finding. You cannot
Because we are disintegrated, we suffer.
We shall suffer as long as our thoughts and actions are prompted by
desires and fears. See
futility and the danger and chaos they create will subside. Don't
try to reform yourself, just see
futility of all change. The changeful keeps on changing while the
changeless is waiting. Do not
the changeful, to take you to the changeless -- it can never happen.
Only when the very idea
changing is seen as false and abandoned, the changeless can come
into its own.
Everywhere I go, l am told that I must change profoundly before I
can see the real. This
of deliberate, self-imposed change is called Yoga.
All change affects the mind only. To be what you are, you must go
beyond the mind, into your
being. It is immaterial what is the mind that you leave behind,
provided you leave it behind for
This again is not possible without self-realisation.
What comes first -- the abandoning of the mind or self-realisation?
Self-realisation definitely comes first. The mind cannot go beyond
itself by itself. It must explode.
No exploration before explosion?
The explosive power comes from the real. But you are well advised to
have your mind ready for
Fear can always delay it, until another opportunity arises.
I thought there is always a chance.
In theory -- yes. In practice a situation must arise, when all the
factors necessary for self-
are present. This need not I discourage you. Your dwelling on the
fact of 'I am' will soon
another chance. For, attitude attracts opportunity. All you know is
second-hand. Only ‘I am' is
and needs no proofs. Stay with it.