Understanding leads to Freedom
In many countries of the world investigating officers follow certain
practices aimed at
confessions from their victim and also changing his personality, if
needed. By a judicious
of physical and moral deprivations and by persuasions the old
personality is broken down
a new personality established in its place. The man under
investigation hears so many times
that he is an enemy of the State and a traitor to his country, that a
day comes when
breaks down in him and he begins to feel with full conviction that he
is a traitor, a rebel,
despicable and deserving the direst punishment. This process is known
struck me that the religious and Yogic practices are very similar to
'brain-washing'. The same
and mental deprivation, solitary confinement, a powerful sense of sin,
despair and a desire
escape through expiation and conversion, adoption of a new image of
oneself and impersonating
image. The same repetition of set formulas: 'God is good; the Guru
(party) knows; faith will
me.' In the so-called Yogic or religious practices the same mechanism
operates. The mind is
to concentrate on some particular idea to the exclusion of all other
ideas and concentration is
reinforced by rigid discipline and painful austerities. A high price
in life and happiness is
and what one gets in return appears therefore, to be of great
importance. This prearranged
obvious or hidden, religious or political, ethical or social, may look
genuine and lasting,
there is a feeling of artificiality about it.
You are quite right. By undergoing so many hardships the mind gets
Its condition becomes precarious; whatever it undertakes, ends in a
Then why are sadhanas prescribed?
Unless you make tremendous efforts, you will not be convinced that
effort will take you
The self is so self confident, that unless it is totally discouraged,
it will not give up. Mere
conviction is not enough. Hard facts alone can show the absolute
nothingness of the self-
The brain-washer drives me mad, and the Guru drives me sane. The
driving is similar. Yet the
and the purpose are totally different. The similarities are, perhaps
Inviting, or compelling to suffer contains in it violence and the
fruit of violence cannot be sweet.
are certain life situations, inevitably painful, and you have to take
them in your stride. There
also certain situations which you have created, either deliberately or
by neglect. And from these
have to learn a lesson so that they are not repeated again.
It seems that we must suffer, so that we learn to overcome pain.
Pain has to be endured. There is no such thing as overcoming the pain
and no training is
Training for the future, developing attitudes is a sign of fear.
Once I know how to face pain, I am free of it, not afraid of it, and
therefore happy. This is what
to a prisoner. He accepts his punishment as just and proper and is at
peace with the
authorities and the State. All religions do nothing else but preach
acceptance and surrender.
are being encouraged to plead guilty, to feel responsible for all the
evils in the world and point at
as their only cause. My problem is: I cannot see much difference
sadhana, except that in the case of sadhana one is not physically
constrained. The element of
suggestion is present in both.
As you have said, the similarities are superficial. You need not harp
Sir, the similarities are not superficial. Man is a complex being and
can be at the same time the
and the accused, the judge, the warden and the executioner. There is
not much that is
in a 'voluntary' sadhana. One is moved by forces beyond one's ken and
control. I can
my mental metabolism as little as the physical, except by painful and
protracted efforts --
is Yoga. All I am asking is: does Maharaj agree with me that Yoga
I agree that Yoga, as presented by you, means violence and I never
advocate any form of
My path is totally non-violent. I mean exactly what I say:
non-violent. Find out for yourself
it is. I merely say: it is non-violent.
I am not misusing words. When a Guru asks me to meditate sixteen hours
a day for the rest of
life, I cannot do it without extreme violence to myself. Is such a
Guru right or wrong?
None compels you to meditate sixteen hours a day, unless you feel like
doing so. It is only a
of telling you: 'remain with yourself, don't get lost among others'.
The teacher will wait, but the
is not the teacher, it is the mind that is violent and also afraid of
its own violence. What is of the
is relative, it is a mistake to make it into an absolute.
If I remain passive, nothing will change. If I am active, I must be
violent. What is it I can do
is neither sterile nor violent?
Of course, there is a way which is neither violent nor sterile and yet
supremely effective. Just
at yourself as you are, see yourself as you are, accept yourself as
you are and go ever deeper
what you are. Violence and non-violence describe your attitude to
others; the self in relation to
is neither violent nor non-violent, it is either aware or unaware of
itself. If it knows itself, all it
will be right; if it does not, all it does will be wrong.
What do you mean by saying: I know myself as I am?
Before the mind -- I am. 'I am' is not a thought in the mind; the mind
happens to me, I do not
to the mind. And since time and space are in the mind, I am beyond
time and space, eternal
Are you serious? Do you really mean that you exist everywhere and at
Yes, I do. To me it is as obvious, as the freedom of movement is to
you. Imagine a tree asking a
'Do you seriously mean that you can move from place to place?' And the
'Yes. I do.'
Are you also free from causality? Can you produce miracles?
The world itself is a miracle. I am beyond miracles -- I am absolutely
normal. With me
happens as it must. I do not interfere with creation. Of what use are
small miracles to me
the greatest of miracles is happening all the time? Whatever you see
it is always your own
that you see. Go ever deeper into yourself, seek within, there is
neither violence nor non-
in self-discovery. The destruction of the false is not violence.
When I practice self-enquiry, or go within with the idea that it will
profit me in some way or
I am still escaping from what I am.
Quite right. True enquiry is always into something, not out of
something. When I enquire how to
or avoid something, I am not really inquiring. To know anything I must
accept it -- totally.
Yes, to know God I must accept God -- how frightening!
Before you can accept God, you must accept yourself, which is even
more frightening. The first
in self acceptance are not at all pleasant, for what one sees is not a
happy sight. One needs
the courage to go further. What helps is silence. Look at yourself in
total silence, do not describe
Look at the being you believe you are and remember -- you are not what
you see. 'This I
not -- what am l?' is the movement of self-enquiry. There are no other
means to liberation, all
delay. Resolutely reject what you are not, till the real Self emerges
in its glorious
The world is passing through rapid and critical changes. We can see
them with great clarity in
United States, though they happen in other countries. There is an
increase in crime on one
and more genuine holiness on the other. Communities are being formed
and some of them
on a very high level of integrity and austerity. It looks as if evil
is destroying itself by its own
like a fire which consumes its fuel, while the good, like life,
As long as you divide events into good and evil, you may be right. In
fact, good becomes evil
evil becomes good by their own fulfilment.
What about love?
When it turns to lust, it becomes destructive.
What is lust?
Remembering -- imagining -- anticipating. It is sensory and verbal. A
form of addiction.
Is brahmacharya, continence, imperative in Yoga?
A life of constraint and suppression is not Yoga. Mind must be free of
desires and relaxed. It
with understanding, not with determination, which is but another form
of memory. An
mind is free of desires and fears.
How can I make myself understand?
By meditating which means giving attention. Become fully aware of your
problem, look at it from
sides, watch how it affects your life. Then leave it alone. You can't
do more than that.
Will it set me free?
You are free from what you have understood. The outer expressions of
freedom may take time
appear, but they are already there. Do not expect perfection. There is
no perfection in
Details must clash. No problem is solved completely, but you can
withdraw from it to
level on which it does not operate.