THE TRUTH IS ALWAYS APPARENT

The Truth Is Always Apparent

Book Description

Compiled from transcripts from Ananta Satsangs (27th August to 1st November 2018) these simple pointings, contemplations, and interactions with sangha are full of Ananta’s direct insights, love and laughter.
“What is apparent to You Now, without making any distinction, without using any terminology, not even Satsang terminology? We have made a nice nest with all the concepts about Consciousness, Awareness and ‘What I have to do to stay there’. Don’t rest even in that. Don’t make any conclusion, any judgment. I say to you that the Truth is apparent to You Now, the Complete Truth is apparent to You Right Now, fully. There is no time in which this is not true. Only our intellect seems to cloud it, our judgments, our interpretations, our labels. They seem to cloud it, but not really. In the Right Now, the Absolute Truth is apparent to You. But not to your mind.”

Satsang with Ananta

High above the noise and pollution of Bangalore traffic on Old Airport Road, Beings from all corners of the world gather on the top floor of a multi story building. Flowers are placed where Anantaji’s feet will be and on the altar with photos of His Master, Sri Moojiji. Incense is lit, water is poured, and the Sangha sit quietly waiting for Anantaji, or Father as most of the Sangha lovingly call Him, to enter the room. When Anantaji joins the room, the Sangha stand in reverence and respect until their Father is seated. Ananta opens His mac laptop, connects to google hangout where there are many more Sangha all around the world waiting to join in live. And Satsang begins with “Namaste everyone, a very warm welcome to satsang today, Satguru Moojiji ki Jai.”

About Ananta

Ananta gives Satsang with the blessings of his Master, Sri Mooji. He lives in Bangalore, India with his wife, son and daughter. He offers Satsang in Bangalore which is also broadcast live online in an interactive format. See website and/or Facebook for the many YouTube videos of online Satsangs, the other Ananta books, Satsang transcripts, audio recordings and general information. The Satsang schedule is usually pinned to the top of the Facebook pages.

Website: www.anantasatsang.org
Satsang with Ananta YouTube channel is: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmc83jyrwpCNBT2xywXVoLg/feed
Facebook site: https://www.facebook.com/satsangwithananta
Sangha Facebook site:https://www.facebook.com/groups/satsangwithananta
Audio recordings: https://soundcloud.com/satsangwithananta

This is the 15th book of Ananta Satsang excerpts (not including the paperback/kindle book on Amazon) taken from online Satsangs 27th August to 1st November 2018. These simple pointings, contemplations, guided inquiries and interactions with sangha are full of Ananta’s direct insights, love and laughter.

In deepest love and gratitude to Anantaji (affectionately called ‘Father’ by some, which seemed to just happen on its own) this book is an offering to all who are called to Truth, Self-Realization and freedom from suffering in the Presence of a True Master.

Much gratitude to those who made this book possible: the video team for the Satsang recordings (Dhristi and Mahesh); the transcripts team for the transcripts (Tejas, Dhruva, Jyotima, Meera, Pankaj, Prarthana, Aman, Drishti, Jyotika and Amaya). Book edited and compiled by Amaya. Cover and posting onto website by Krishna (thank you). This book has been transcribed to keep Ananta’s words as they were delivered (with minimal edits) so that his voice is heard as we read.

Table of Contents

  • 2About Ananta
  • 3Table of Contents
  • 7Look Inside
  • 9You Will Find That You Are Beyond All There Is
  • 11Any Conceptual Knowledge About the Non-phenomenal?
  • 12What Survives This Moment?
  • 18The Sense of Duality Itself Is Ego
  • 22Which Dust Will You Buy to Sprinkle in Your Eyes?
  • 24‘What IS’ Is Too Much for the Mind
  • 25Let Go of All the Instruments You Have
  • 26Self Is Unchanging
  • 28Separation Is Just an Idea
  • 31Question About Self-Inquiry
  • 34What Is Your Position?
  • 38Be the Cow that Jumped Over the Moon
  • 40Who Are You That Can Be Defined?
  • 42All Reports from the Checker Are Futile
  • 43Let’s Look at the One That Perceives
  • 46‘I Am Aware’ Is All the Knowing That Is Needed
  • 48What Is Your Seeing Like, Father?
  • 51Unlimited Insights Are Present in This Contemplation
  • 52Can Questions Be Asked Without the Mind?
  • 53What Can’t You Give Up Being Right About?
  • 54Don’t Be Attached to Any Idea
  • 55A Zen Koan
  • 56What Is Beyond Duality and Non-Duality?
  • 57This Idea of ‘All the Way’ Is Still ‘My Way’
  • 58Words Spoken in Satsang Are Just Pointers
  • 61 Go Hunting for Duality, Results Will Startle You
  • 62We Know the Truth, Still What Needs to Happen?
  • 64The Master’s Tools
  • 66This Is All There Is
  • 70Empty of The Idea of Emptiness
  • 71What Would You Say the Truth Is?
  • 73All Things Are Perfectly Resolved in the Unborn
  • 76‘I Do Not Know’ Is Good
  • 79Nothing Is Defined
  • 80In Satsang, Give Up Everything You’re Right About
  • 83Returning to Innocence
  • 84The Term ‘Meaningless’ Is Itself Meaningless
  • 86It’s Not Fun When Our Beliefs Are Questioned
  • 87Don’t Create Duality Out of Effort and Non-Effort
  • 88I Am Already Here
  • 90The Resisting of ‘What Is’ Is Due to Our Concepts
  • 92‘My Truth’ Is Not ‘The Truth’
  • 94Even One Concept Is a Bundle of a Full Belief System
  • 97Spiritual Knowledge Only Yields a Tired Mind
  • 98All Our Notions Are Presuming That ‘I Am Something’
  • 99There Is Enough Joy in This Very Moment
  • 101To Label ‘What Is’ Is the Avoidance of It
  • 102Ideas of Moving and Stillness Do Not Apply to the Reality
  • 103Intellect Cannot Fathom the Truth of ‘What Is’
  • 106You Rest Only When You Are Empty of Notions
  • 108How Can We Capture Is-ness?
  • 109No ‘Me’ Is Ever Truly Born
  • 110It’s Both Empty and Full and It’s Neither Empty nor Full
  • 111Where Am I Not?
  • 114Horn of a Hare
  • 117The Point and Pointlessness Are Both Meaningless
  • 119Why Would Truth Need a Defense?
  • 122The Cat Came for the Bowl of Milk Called Nirvana
  • 131Openness Is Empty of Ideas of Allowing or Holding Back
  • 132There Is No Duality Even of ‘I Am Brahman’
  • 133Get Rid of the Oppression of ‘Trying to Be Right’
  • 134Trying to Be Natural Is Already Unnatural
  • 135Now What is There?
  • 138A Special Brand of Nonsense
  • 139Who Am I?
  • 140What Is Most Natural to You Right Now?
  • 141No Concept of Zero, One or Two
  • 142Nobody Has Experienced a Brain
  • 144What Is It That You Can’t Think About?
  • 146What Do You Think Can Improve ‘This’?
  • 147Give Yourself This Gift of Not-Knowing
  • 148Every Definition Asserts as Well Denies Something
  • 150Some Answers Cannot Be Heard in the Mind
  • 152Leave Everything Unlabeled
  • 154Where Are You Now?
  • 155Without Certitude You Will Struggle to Struggle
  • 156What Do You Have to Be Right About?
  • 157We Never Know What Anything Is About
  • 158There Is No Suffering Without Duality
  • 160I Am All There Is
  • 162Just What Is, Is Already Perfect
  • 163Resolved in the Unborn
  • 166It’s About That ‘Nothing’ That the Mind Can’t Understand
  • 167Where Is It That Your Mind Cannot Go?
  • 169Your Reality Is Never Concealed
  • 170It’s Important to Throw Away What We Consider to Be Truth
  • 171Can You Get Hurt Without Knowing Anything?
  • 174Don’t Take That New Position
  • 176Get Out of the Game of Opposites
  • 178How Can I See No Distinction Between Me and Others?
  • 181The Truth Is Not in Any Concepts
  • 183Can You Struggle with No Mind?
  • 184All Conclusions Are Just Notions
  • 186Drop All of These Opposites
  • 188Drop All Knowing and Not-Knowing
  • 190You’re Not Holding Up Existence with An Idea
  • 191The ‘Person’ Is the Most Unstable Idea
  • 192Be Free of the Discriminating Intellect
  • 196Without Being Stained, Yet Not Dwelling in Stainlessness
  • 198Tend the Ox
  • 199‘Intelligent People’ Make Conceptual Knowledge Their Home
  • 201There Is Nothing to Attain
  • 204Right Now, The Absolute Truth Is Apparent to You
  • 208Is the One Fearing Emptiness Is Itself Empty or Not?
  • 209The Real Nature of Ignorance
  • 210Just Notice the Coming and Going of the Mind
  • 211There Are No Two [Advaita]
  • 212The Self Means Nothing
  • 213What Is the Ultimate Truth?
  • 214Test This: The Truth Is Apparent to You Now
  • 216There’s No Identification Unless Notions Are Believed
  • 219In One Concept All Concepts Are Contained
  • 220Who Makes the Decision of Identifying or Not?
  • 222This Tension of Not Knowing
  • 223Concepts Are Made to Get Rid of Concepts
  • 226This ‘Me’ Nobody Has Ever Seen
  • 227Allow Yourself to Remain Uncertain for a While
  • 229Advaita Is Your Natural Position
  • 233Is the Seeker Left?
  • 235There’s Never Ever Any Trouble in the Present Moment
  • 236Nobody Has Ever Existed Anyway
  • 238‘I Am’ Is No Trouble
  • 239Forget About Past and Future or Inside and Outside
  • 241The Whole Dictionary Is Nothing but a Circular Loop
  • 242What Perceives All Perception?
  • 243Are You Satisfied Having No Conclusions from the Mind?
  • 245We Take a Position About What Spills Out of the Mouth
  • 246The Only Way to Truth Is to Get the Blindfold Off
  • 248There Is Actually No Distinction Between Inside and Outside
  • 249Taking a Stand Is the End of Exploration
  • 250‘Keep Quiet’ Can Also Be a Concept
  • 252The Difference Between Conclusion and Insight
  • 253Openness Is Important, Not the Right Question or Answer
  • 254Truth is Wordless and Beyond Distinctions
  • 255Can the Perceiver Be Perceived?

~ ~ ~

Right Now,

the Absolute Truth Is Apparent to You

(unless you think about it)

~ ~ ~

7

Look Inside

What concept from the mind would be inviting for you, unless you consider you considered yourself to be ‘something’? The picture is appearing on the screen. One of the pictures we got attached to and said ‘this is me.’ And then wanted to solve it for this ‘me.’ [Smiles]

But are you the screen? Or the picture?

Are you the light? [Smiles] Or the character?

That is like the Bhagavan’s [Sri Raman Maharishi’s] beautiful question ‘In whose light does the sun shine?’

The other day we had beautiful visitor also, Sri. Prahalad Thippaniya. He sings these Kabir Bhajans; very beautiful. He was saying that ‘Find That, where there is no Sun or Moon. Find that house where there are no pillars.’ [Smiles] Isn’t it beautiful? What else did he say?

[Sangha]: Without a candle, is light.

A:Find that: without a candle, where there is light. [Sangha]: No happiness, sadness; no right, no wrong.

A:No happiness, sadness; no right, no wrong. [Sangha]: Without a tree, there are fruits.

A:Without a tree, there are fruits. [Smiles]

[Sangha]: That is the most beautiful home that…

A:That is the most beautiful home that you can have. [Sangha]: That is where the beloved resides.

A:Where the beloved resides. You see, at least there is one line of assurance is there. Otherwise to the mind, that sounds like the horrible place to be. [Chuckles] To the mind, it sounds like limbo. So, at least that one line of reassurance is there ‘That’s where the Beloved is.’ [Chuckles]

[Sangha member]: No day or night.

A:No day or night. [Sangha]: No inside, outside.

A:Now, was the Sage just fooling around? (‘I just say these things to confuse them.’) Or is it a real possibility?

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Are we going to be so attracted to ‘But what about my real life?’ None of us really knows what our ‘real life’ is but still, in Satsang, we remember our ‘real life’ so much, like ‘In the real world; what about in the practical arena?’ But you came to Satsang not for business advice. [Smiles] You came for ‘the self-discovery.’ To discover This; what Kabir is talking about …, which is empty of all opposites. Even the opposites of true and false do not apply; of light dark and don’t apply; of up and down don’t apply.

So, is this just a fantasy of a Sage? Or is he speaking from a recognition, which is palpable, which is alive? For thousands of years in Vedanta, the Sages have said ‘Find That is which is unchanging.’ Now where to find that? [Smiles] If you look in front you, can you find That? Look behind, look up, look down. Where in time and space you can find That which is unchanging? Where is it that you can look, which is not in time and space? Is it even possible for you to look at something which is not in time and space? [Smiles]

So, either the Sages were lying (that ‘Actually, we know that they can never look there anyway so let us just fool them.’) Or they were on to something? They came to a discovery, which is beyond time and space. That means it must be available Here and Now.

How to look? [Smiles] When we say ’We look inside’ …, where do you go when you look inside? Inside; what is it? Is it inside the body? [Smiles] When you look inside, inside what are you looking? Inside the body? How to define it? If you are looking inside the body, you will find flesh, blood, bones. So, what is this place inside? [Smiles] How big is it? How many square meters of this inside do you have? [Smiles] We are so busy measuring the sizes of our houses. How many square feet? How many square feet is your house on the outside; that we all know. How many square feet is your house on the inside? [Smiles] How will you start measuring? [Smiles]

All your conceptual knowledge, all our notions are about the phenomenal; the appearance of that comes and goes. And none of that applies to the unchanging Truth of what You Are.

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You Will Find That You Are Beyond All There Is

If all our concepts are about things which are just coming and going eventually, how about if we give Empty-ness or Not-knowing a chance? … without even knowing what you will get as a result?

Suppose it was not a business deal; it was just Truth for Truth’s sake. Just Truth for Truth’s sake; no promise of peace, love, joy, bliss. Nothing offered to you. Just because it was worth it because it is the Truth.

Like in ‘The Matrix.’ In the matrix, you can have all the fun; the wine is there, the good food is there. But what if on offer was just Reality for what it is, naked of any pretense?

What do you really want? Is it that ‘Once I find it, what will I get out of it? What happens to ‘me’ in the matrix? Like will I have a halo? Will I share Satsang?’ [Chuckles]

You find that You are beyond All There Is; much beyond All There Is. That is your discovery.

But are you still attached to this coconut, that all the benefits of that discovery should come to this? [Pointing towards the body] That’s why I ask you in Satsang: Suppose you did a hundred years of sadhana and you found You are All There Is! But you woke out of that body that had started the sadhana, and woke out of that sadhana and the one sitting next to you is the Sage! Would that be a fair deal? You found that You are All There Is, no? So, it shouldn’t matter which body is showing the symptoms of enlightenment. You see?

Somewhere we are attached to what should happen for ‘this one.’ We say we find the boundless ocean. Ashtavakra said [paraphrasing] ‘I am the boundless ocean in which the arcs of the universes, they come and go.’ [Then we wonder]: ‘So, once I’ve found that, what’s in it for me?’ [Laughing] This is our question. ‘Once I find I am that boundless universe, I’m that boundless ocean in which the arcs of the universes come and go (as arcs, you see) …, I am that boundless …, so what does it mean for the wave that I consider myself to be?’

Somewhere our attachment to one particular body/mind instrument seems to get a hold of us in this way. It could be because all our thoughts are about this, because the centrality of our visual perspective seems to be that. The design of this leela or play seems to be this way. And everything you can know through this device [pointing to the head] …, like will you go to Siri or Alexa and say ‘Siri, who am I in reality? What is my Unchanging Truth?’ You’ll not do that. You would say ‘What a stupid thing to do!’ Like ‘Alexa, what is my Unchanging Reality?’ …, would you do that? No. Why?

This mind is just like that; a store house of concepts. How can you expect it to reveal your true identity?

So, you cannot contain the ocean in this tiny cup. [Silence] And as you let go of this (let your mind float away and come back as often as it likes and float away again) in this simplicity Your

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complete Truth is absolutely apparent to You. But it is not apparent to your mind. So, if you’re waiting for mind to give a certificate, then it can seem to go on and on.

For how many does it still seem like we are having a three-way conversation? Like there’s you sitting in the middle, there’s one voice coming from here [Ananta’s voice] and there’s another voice which is coming from the mind which is saying ‘Yes, yes, no, no; yeah, I saw that.’ And you, poor thing, are stuck in a tennis match. [moving his head from side to side]

Mostly that voice will be saying ‘What is he saying? How can I get it?’

I’m saying: There is nothing to get. You Are It.

The voice says ‘But how can I get it, that I Am It?’

[Chuckles] This three-way relationship is going to be painful because both sides are unrelenting. [Laughter in the room] You mostly get frustrated with me; why? Because I’m unrelenting. And the mind is also completely unrelenting. It’s saying ‘You are this person, you are this body/mind, you have responsibilities, and you have a life …’

I’m saying: You are way greater! All of this can happen through the Supreme Intelligence which runs all of this. All of this is happening but You are beyond all phenomena, beyond all of this.

But because both players seem so unrelenting, if you have investments on both sides, it can seem like a painful thing; like trying to board an airplane with one foot on the ground.

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Any Conceptual Knowledge About the Non-phenomenal?

Do you have some conceptual knowledge about the non-phenomenal? I can say it slowly. Do you have some conceptual knowledge about something which is not phenomenal? All knowledge is about things which are in time and space. Even when we say ‘The truth is unchanging’ we are still making temporal boundaries. We are still defining it in terms of time. So, if all our conceptual knowledge is about that which changes, which comes and goes, it’s about phenomena, we are looking for that unchanging Reality which is beyond birth and death, then doesn’t it make sense when the Sages say ‘Don’t rely on this conceptual knowledge’? And sometimes the Sage will give you a reassurance and say: There is a deeper knowing. Trust that.’

When we are empty of notions, is there a difference between the sound of the bird and the sound of the ambulance? Is one good and the other bad? Without our labels, what remains? Is something up and something down? Something manifest and something else unmanifest?

Is there Brahman and Ishwara? Is there Atma and Jeevatma? Is there absolute Awareness, Consciousness; body, mind, ego? All of this is the dance of notions, of concepts. But Isness (if you don’t make a concept out of it also) this Isness is independent of all labels, all time, all space. The idea of limitation is not natural to you. It is a learned knowledge and the unlearning is happening now. You will not be able to solve this puzzle, you cannot intellectualize your way out of it; you cannot compute your way to the Self. It is a much more primal discovery; a recognition which is not perceptual …, but completely apparent. [Silence]

We have tried and tried and tried for maybe thousands of lifetimes to know our way out of this maze, labyrinth, chakra-view, to know our way so that one day we will come to the ultimate knowledge of the Self. But the Sages have been reminding us that this Knowledge (capital ‘K’) cannot be attained with this instrument [Points to the head] which is very limited; the mind. That’s why Ashtavakra said: ‘The mind is complex. Let it go.’

What are the positions you can have? If I say something to you, you can only either agree or disagree. If you try to remain neutral about it, you will say ‘It was nothing, what he said.’ This is the thing. Just hear what I am saying. If I say something to you, you will put it in the box of your agreement or disagreement. And if you put it in the 3rd box, which is neutral, then you will say ‘Okay, what he said was nothing.’ Now, to this nothing, I am pointing. [Chuckles] Don’t ignore that. What is in between your agreement and disagreement? What are you Now? If I say to you ‘What I am saying is neither true nor false’ you have no mental compartment to put it in. But something comes to a standstill.

Q: We can say there is a ‘maybe’ between yes and no?

A:That’s like giving assent to it; it may be true or it may be false. So, these two main positions of true and false, around which it can seem like there is spectrum, but it’s just the duality of true and false. So, what to do with that which is neither true nor false? Beyond assent or decent, beyond agreement or disagreement, beyond these two poles, we are empty of concepts.

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What Survives This Moment?

Q: I feel this person is very stinky.

A: This person is very sticky? Stinky. Sticky and stinky.

Q:Yeah, maybe both and this is just getting unbearable. Like just not able to tolerate anything here as person.

A:As person, yeah. And, you know what I’m going to ask. [Chuckles] The one that is not able to tolerate the ego is which one? So, we can say that ‘I notice the ego playing out here, the individuality, the one who has all the grievances and the guilt and the pride and all of these things, and I don’t want it anymore. I don’t want it anymore.’ Now, this ‘I’ is which one?

Q: [Laughs] That one only…

A:That one only. So, the thief dressed as the cop wanting to be rid of the thief. What to do with that one?

Okay, so tell me what survived this moment? Did that one survive? The ego survived?

Q: No.

A:No. Then? I know the mind will come and say ‘But it can’t be that simple. I’ve been in Satsang for years.’ But suppose you let that also go?

The untruth can never survive this moment. It has to be built afresh. But just like the tree, you pull one leaf, one branch, and it seems like the entire tree of conditioning is back. So, Here, Now, is it ‘God Now’ or ‘me-ow’?

Q: It’s both.

A: Both? Show me. Show me the ‘me’?

Q:Me? ‘Me’ is really sticky. When I feel like me, it comes like a snake.

A:Where is it? Where? Where? Where? Where? [Laughs]

Q:The mind here … [Laughs] but it’s just …

A:But Now, Now, Now, Now, Now, Now? I know that because you buy into the idea it can feel like ‘I don’t want to leave it so easily. I’m here just for two days for Satsang so today I really have to resolve it with Father because I know Father is going to just say ‘Now, Now’ and I’ll be okay

Now; but when I go back? It will be back.’ Isn’t it? But is this true, in the sense that, is there an existent entity called the ego, which is Here Now, and you want it to go away?

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Q: No, it’s just that contracted feeling, I mean, which comes.

A:Okay, you say it’s a contracted feeling. Now, the contracted feeling is appearing in isolation? It’s by itself? Or is it within you?

Q: It’s within …

A: It’s within? It’s within what?

Q: It seems to be within … I mean inside …

A:If there’s a contracted feeling, there must be a space in which that is arising. Isn’t it?

Q:Yeah.

A:That feeling is contracted; leave it. Let it be contracted. It’s okay. Don’t trouble yourself with it. What is that space in which it is arising?

Q: It’s just a space. I don’t know even how to term it.

A:Okay. It is just space. And you are what? Are you just something stuck in the middle of them? There is one space over there, there is one contracted feeling over there and you, poor thing, have to deal with both of these guys. Is it like that?

Q: I feel myself also to be in the space; like appearing in the space.

A:Okay, so you see that you-yourself are also in the space as an appearance?

Q:Yeah.

A:And that which witnesses this? [Silence]

If you are an object in the space, who is witnessing all of this?

The contraction, you, space; what witnesses all of this?

What is the color of that one? The shape of that one?

Tell me one attribute of this one?

Q: Nothing. Nothing.

A:There is nothing. Then, how can it witness?

Q:I don’t know. It’s just seen that it is there.

A:It is there, but usually we say, okay ‘What is here? There is a mic on the sofa.’ Because you

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saw the attributes of it: silver color, round shape. Now, for this witness, you say it is there but can you see it? Is it perceptual in any way?

Q: That is also witnessed.

A: Is it witnessed? In what way?

Q: I can just see …, it is there.

A:Can you see it there? If you can see it there then you must be able to tell me something about it. Like you say ‘I see this there, I see that there; it is green in color, it is round in shape.’ But That which witnesses all of this, how do you see it?

Now, this discovery should astound you …, because you’re confirming the existence of something which you cannot perceive. And this is unique. There is nothing else like this.

You cannot tell me the color of it, the shapes of it, the size of it, how old it is, what its birthday is. And you say ‘Of course, I am aware’ or ‘Of course, there’s a witness.’

How do you know the existence of one you cannot see?

And what is its relationship to you?

Is it far from you? Or close to you?

Q: I don’t know. It seems to be everything is just appearing here. I don’t know if it’s another ‘I’….

A:Everything is just appearing here. Are you an appearance? Are you also an appearance? Because you said the ‘me’ is also appearing.

Q: Yeah …

A: You’re also an appearance? So, when this appearance disappears, what is left?

Q: Nothing. I don’t know. Nothing. It’s just coming ‘nothing.’

A: Nothing is left. So, this no-thing is You. [Laughs]

Q:I don’t know, Father. You have to tell me what is this …[Laughs]

A:You have to check. I’m just pointing. You say ‘I witness contraction, I witness the space, I witness an idea of ‘me’ or a sense of ‘me’ also. All of these things are witnessed.’ What witnesses them? Is it not you? Who is witnessing them? The one sitting next to you is witnessing them?

Q: I know it is not personal space.

A:It’s not personal. And where is the personal? I’m surprised that we are not every day shocked by this discovery. Because I say ‘Where is the person that we are constantly representing?’ And

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we don’t seem to find it, and we’re like ‘It’s just not there. It’s not there, but …. It’s not there but

…, but …, what about this, what about that?’

It should be so astounding to us that there is no individual entity here (at least that you can find). ‘I’ve been representing this one (seemingly) for so long. Yet when I truly inquire, I do not find this personal existence. I do not find the one who is this.’

Now, you might come and say ‘But I am this body. I’m clear, I’m this body. It is hundred percent clear to me, I am this body.’

Q: No, I don’t feel it.

A:No, suppose. Suppose you said that. Because at least then, for the body, you have some evidence; fingers, legs, arms, everything.

Q:But it’s not seen. Of late, it doesn’t feel …

A:It doesn’t feel like you’re the body. What I was going to say is that if you are completely convinced that you are the body you would never be in Satsang. If you were completely convinced that you are the body, why would you come here? No ice cream here for the body. Then? So, body, not. Then? Are you the one who has relationships? No? No relationships also. Money?

Q: No.

A:Freedom?

Q:No.

A:No? Finished! These are the four things. This is all you trouble yourself with: relationship, money, health of the body and freedom. What is the fifth? [Chuckles] I keep saying, we feel like we have such complicated lives. ‘My life is complicated.’ But what is it? Just these four things, no? If body does not trouble you, money does not trouble you, relationships don’t trouble you and freedom does not trouble you, how are you troubling yourself?

Q: Nothing is troubling.

A:Nothing is troubling you?

Q:No.

A:And yet you’re like ‘But, but I have to get some … ‘

Q:No, the ‘but’ is also vanishing.

A:‘But’ is vanishing.

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Q: It’s seen when the mind comes in and asks questions.

A:Okay, now, if you were to not self-diagnose, then? What is actually here?

Q:Oh, God! That’s so much more space. [Laughs]

A:See, what happens is that in spirituality we get stuck with this checker guy who is constantly giving us freedom marks: ‘Today I’m 70% free. Today I’m 75% free. Today I don’t feel so much.

Today this contraction is here, that’s why… ‘

Q:So, when it is happening, okay, it is happening …

A:Whatever is happening is happening.

Q:And you let it happen?

A:Yeah. Will you? [Laughs]

Q: Yeah …, but sometimes it itches a lot, so I mean … [Laughs]

A: What? These four things: relationship, money, body, search for meaning or freedom?

Now, at the center of all of this is just an idea we have about ourself. Who is the owner of that money in the bank account? Who is the owner? Like, if it goes down, a few lakhs here and there, then who is losing or gaining? Body? Body molecules, cells are affected by it?

Q: No.

A:No, then?

Q:Some idea.

A:Some idea of who we are. So, all our relationships, all the idea of doer-ship, of separation, of desire, who’s at the center of all of this? [Silence]

And are we happy to go on presuming the existence of this entity without investigating?

Are we just happy to run on this treadmill forever, just presuming that there is a destination to it?

Or, are we willing to at least take out a little bit of time and see whether it is a valid proposition at all? Are we willing to presume the existence of an ‘I’ and deny the existence of That which is so apparent when we are empty of concepts?

The problem is that there is nowhere you can put what I’m saying. There is no framework in which this will fit. It’s not a piece of knowledge for which you can say ‘Okay, this I have now understood and I can use it in this way.’

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Q: I mean everything, it seems to be so false …

A: Everything seems so false, yes.

Q: … and I feel that everything is such a big lie.

A: Everything is a lie. Actually, only our concept of it is a lie.

Q:Yeah, whatever; it has learned …

A:What Is … just Is.

Q:No, whatever it has learned …

A: Learned, yes.

Q:… the other conditioning feels it has put a big hindrance to this Being. So, I feel that I was not even living till now.

A:Okay, now you have discovered it’s a lie. All your conceptualization, mentalization, all is a lie because at the center of all of it is a non-existent entity.

Q:It’s just …, (sharing with you) it just seems like that. The feeling of it is coming.

A:Good. So, now that it feels that way, are we willing to let go of all of it?

Q:Yeah.

A:As I’ve been saying (to misquote John Lennon): Give nothingness a change. [Chuckles] Give your conceptual emptiness a chance and see what happens. I know it can feel a bit uncomfortable, it can seem a bit strange.

Q: Yeah, then the ‘but’ comes in; in that moment.

A:Yes, the ‘But, like this, like this…’ is the peddler of positions, is the peddler of stances, is the peddler of the notions it is offering to you.

What concept from the mind would be inviting to you, unless you considered yourself to be ‘something’?

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The Sense of Duality Itself Is Ego

A:What is in the space between your thoughts?

Q:Escape route.

A:Okay, without this thought, what is it? [Chuckles]

Q:Nothing.

A:Nothing like the nothing of the empty glass? ‘There is nothing.’ Is it like that nothing? Is it still in that way where the glass is either empty or full; that kind of empty or full? Is it like that?

Are you still around, in the space between your thoughts? Are you still around?

Q: No. For a few seconds, I was not there.

A:So, if you were not still around then who witnessed the space between two thoughts?

Q:Actually, it shouldn’t make any difference whether the glass is full or half.

A: These are also thoughts. Leave them. Who witnesses the space between two thoughts?

Q: That which doesn’t exist.

A:That can witness? Something that doesn’t exist can witness something?

Q:No.

A:Cannot witness. Then? Who is it?

Q: Me. It’s me.

A:If it is you, what is the shape of this you? … (to copy the lyrics of famous pop song. [Chuckles] ‘What is the shape of you?’ Am I the only one who makes these Advaita references when I come across pop culture? [Laughter] My son used to hear ‘Shape of You’ (my kids). In Satsang also I’m hearing this and I’m just like ‘That’s an Advaita reference.’) [Laughs]

What is that ‘you’?

Q:Then you get into the helplessness about it.

A:Who gets into the helplessness? [Laughs]

Q:This fellow that has been dancing all the time.

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A:This fellow. [Laughs] Who has been watching the dance?

Q:Me only again.

A:The one that watches, is that troubled by the dance?

Q:No.

A:Then who is troubled? Like she came today and said ‘I want to get rid of the me! I’m tired of it! I’m done!’ [Questioner Laughs] And they are actually holy-sounding words, in a way. [Chuckles] But somewhere we have to look at that spiritual seeker also and say ‘Hello. But who are you?’ [Chuckles]

This is the simple thing. The ego’s mask. Like I keep saying, if you go to people on road and say ‘Are you egoistic?’ They will say ‘Of course not. I’m not egoistic. My brother in law, he is very egoistic because he is very arrogant.’ And then if you say ‘Do you consider yourself to be a person?’ [Then they say]: ‘What are you saying? Of course, I am a person. Aren’t you?’[Chuckles] But this sense of personal identity, this sense of separateness, duality itself, is ego. And this rests only on the concepts that we consider to be true; the ideas which we feel are representative of Reality. But no idea is ever representative of Reality.

Then does this mean that this is all hopeless? [Smiles] We are not nihilistic. What I’m only saying is that:

Just because you can’t conceptualize it, doesn’t mean that you cannot recognize it.

But you are too busy trying to conceptualize it, to ‘get it’ as a learned thing, as a knowledge which is mental. That’s why I asked you:

What do you know when you know nothing?

If to know one thing is to know too much,

what is it that you know when you know nothing?

Q1: I mean, that’s how we use the language.

A:So, what’s the answer? What do you know when you nothing? Q1: Actually, there is no answer …

A: You know that? [Laughter]

Q1: Well, there is no answer but when you’re asking us to put it in language, it comes like that.

A: So, what do you know when you know nothing?

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Q1: Mind knows everything. [Laughs]

A: You know that? ‘Mind knows everything?’ Does it? Do you know that?

Q1: I can see that. I mean, it seems like that. [Laughs] It’s claiming.

A: But what do you really know when you know nothing?

I could even ask you actually ‘What do you really know?’ and you would come to the same answer. Because it just seems like we know so much.

Q1: Actually, we don’t know anything.

A:Actually, till last year even I felt like I knew what is up and what is down. Yeah. [Laughs] Even till last year. [Smiles]

Q1: Actually, I don’t know anything.

A:Now, what do you know? Q1: Nothing. [Laughs]

A:You know that you know nothing? Q1: Yeah.

A:See? Get rid of this knowing also. Q1: Get rid of this knowing also?

A:Empty of any conceptual position, what is left?

Q1: Why can’t it just go at once? Why does it keep on coming, something or the other?

A:You just said ‘You know nothing’ but you claim to know all this? Q1: Like it comes; it’s coming. [Laughter]

A:This is the thing. If we feel like we have to give in to whatever is coming from the mind, then we will keep playing with this. Now, let it come and let it go. Not possible?

Q1: Possible. Little, little possible. [Laughs]

A: Little, little possible. [Smiles]

Q2: How did you lose that up and down?

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A:Because even in that, I was making a reference about myself. I can’t find a single ‘me’ here. I remember there was a time where this mouth used to move and I used to feel that there is one somebody sitting here speaking. Now, it’s just heard. [Chuckles] It’s speaking. This hand is moving. [Makes a gesture of hand movement] I remember I used feel like ‘Oh, I’m moving my hand.’ I don’t find that one. [Smiles] So what shall I say is up and down?

It’s ‘crazy-business’ for the mind, okay? So, you have to be bit crazy if you’re here. [Chuckles]

Our only suffering is what we think we’re right about. We can call it knowledge, we can call it all kinds of fancy things, but actually, ultimately it comes to that:

What do we feel like we are right about?

That is the one that is going to cause grievances, resentment, pride, guilt, arrogance; all these various names for suffering. Sometimes we use the word suffering in spirituality like ‘Oh, it’s a human condition to suffer.’ But when you break it down, what is it? It’s all of these things. No? Pride, guilt, grievances, resentment, frustration, expectation (all these ‘…tions’ especially). [Chuckles]

Q1: Self-image.

A:It’s all about self-image. But if you were just open, all our barriers, all our defenses are only the things we think we are so right about. And it is completely true about this also because sometimes I get smart comments on Facebook like ‘Oh, but you are saying that, so you must be feeling right about this.’ [Chuckles] No, it’s all nonsense. Forget it. It’s all nonsense. It’s like saying ‘Everything is false.’ Now, is that itself true or false? [Chuckles] It cancels itself out at one level …, but if you want to just give it to the mind and say ‘Okay, but is that true or is that false?’ it becomes like that. So, if our mind is still playing smart, just don’t indulge so much in that smartness. All our suffering is the arrogance about being right about something. ‘Life should be this way, it should not be this way; he should be like this, he should not be like this.’

This is also very popular in spirituality these days where people are very quick to call you Master but they are equally quick to then tell you what you should be doing. It’s like ‘Ah, you are my Master.’ [Bows head] ‘But why you do it like that? Why you don’t do it like this?’ [Laughter] But if you already know, then who is the Master and who is the disciple in this relationship? [Laughter] It’s a very common thing which happens. Isn’t it? [Chuckles] Because actually we are still oppressed by this mental master, and while someone is dancing to the tunes of that one, we are very happy with it. The minute we start confronting beliefs, that is when the opposition comes. Nobody hangs on to beliefs considering it is false, isn’t it? If you already knew it was false, you would not have it. So, if the Master comes and he is trying to bring you to this conceptual emptiness, it’s bound to confront your belief systems and that doesn’t always seem like fun. [Smiles] That does not always seem like fun. Isn’t it? But as we are open (that’s why my favorite word in English is: open) then right, wrong, left, right, up, down [do not matter].

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Which Dust Will You Buy to Sprinkle in Your Eyes?

We start to recognize that even the idea of freedom that we have is just so mental. And everybody has a version of freedom. If you ask someone who is not in Satsang ‘What would freedom mean to you?’ they would say ‘I should just be free to do whatever I want’ or ‘Whatever comes to my mind, that I should be able to do. That would be my freedom.’ Now, in Satsang, we come to this point where we realize that although it seems like we came to Satsang for this sort of freedom, actually we don’t know what we’re actually even looking for.

I may ask you ‘So, why do you come to Satsang?’ Then you may say ‘Freedom’ or ‘To be in the Presence’ (something like this) but actually, you don’t know. And this not-knowing is very helpful because everything you do know about it will trouble you here. Everything you do know about freedom also will trouble you here because that will become part of your ‘report card.’ [which sangha gives themselves]

I’ve often said that my arch-nemesis is this checker guy. The checker guy who is constantly bench-marking and saying ‘You’re doing very well today’ or ‘You’re not doing so good’ or ‘You’re being free; you’re being open’ or ‘You’re being very caught up.’ And if you’re judging yourself in this way, then that is not the freedom that I’m pointing to. And on what basis do you judge yourself? Just some ideas that you have about what this should be. Isn’t it? Like ‘How much peace should be there; how much joy should come.’ Or some prior experience. ‘I had a certain set of experiences and that should be the constant.’ We don’t actually know any of this but we presume that this is how it should be. It’s all still part of the opposites of the mind.

But when I am speaking of the truest recognition which is available in your notion-less-ness, in your concept-less-ness, in the un-label-ed life, not only is your truest recognition available, it is completely apparent to you.

[Silence]

So, if the Truth is available in our openness, if the complete Truth is available in our openness …, so, you met God; suppose. (Let me use the term, you don’t bother with it.) Suppose you met God and you realized that God’s Presence is constant. It’s always just here and you are wondering to yourself ‘Wow! How was I ever confused? It is so apparent. It is so clear. I can’t believe I was lost. It is done. It is done!’ Then you come across this stall, a street seller. Now this street seller has various qualities of (let’s say) dust. There’s some low-quality dust which is about materialism, about things which will come and go; but the quality of dust keeps getting better and better. At the end you have, like, spiritual dust. He says ’If you put this in your eyes, then you’ll be just fine.’ So, which dust will you buy? The material dust, the relationship dust, the money dust, the body-identity dust or the freedom-seeker dust? What will you sprinkle your eyes with?

[Sangha]: Nothing.

Nothing, no? It will be very silly of us to come to this simplicity of just Being and then feel like

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something else needs to be added to our life. And whatever we feel should be added on top of this Being is just nothing but conceptual dust.

So, we realize that it’s very silly? Realize or no? Then don’t do it. Because that’s exactly what it is.

[Asking someone]: What happened? You look so lost. [Laughs]

Q:I don’t know what’s happening.

A:I’m saying that God is Here Now. It is undeniable. Listen. Whatever happened, happened. Now, I am saying something. God is Here Now. Now, if you add some story on top of that, whatever the story might be, it is just buying from that dust-seller and sprinkling it in your eyes. It’s just as simple as that.

[Whispers] ‘It’s very good quality dust. You’ll meet God in three life times if you put this one.’ Will you buy it?

And there’s also a variety of this dust which is ‘Don’t buy the dust.’ (I wonder if you can hear this.) There is also a variety of dust which is like ‘Don’t buy dust. God is already Here.’ So, will you pick that up and put it in your eyes?

Like I was saying the other day, all that the Master is telling you is to: Empty your cup. Empty your cup. Empty your cup. Let go. Let go. Let go.

But we’re filling our cup with ‘Empty your cup, empty your cup, empty your cup.’ We’re holding on to ‘Let go, let go, let go.’ And it’s fine; at a particular point where it seems like ‘Okay, these are the thorns we’re using to remove other thorns.’ But I can say for many, many, many of you, this is the only thorn which is left, the spiritual seeker one. The only potent mental concepts you have now are your spiritual concepts. Isn’t it? For many of you, we can say it’s like this.

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‘What Is’ Is Too Much for the Mind

Allow your mind to drop. Allow it to drop, it will.

As you drop your belief from it, its potency, its magnetism, its gravitation, will not seem strong. And then you will find that it is only the mind which has convinced you about things like time- space, cause, effect, past and future.

And none of this is truly the content of your experience.

That is the only way, using all these notions, that the mind can grasp it.

Because ‘What Is’ is too much for the mind.

The Truth is never really replicated by the mind. It is always just lost in translation.

Lose your reference point.

It is only an idea that some sensations are You; it is just an idea that some sensations are You.

One-way to say it in language is to say that: You are that infinite space in which all these sensations are coming and going.

And then to say that: Actually, You are aware even of this space. And in your openness, none of these actually has to even be said.

And the thing is that even the pointing of ‘the empty cup’ is not valid.

Because your cup Is empty Now.

But do not fill your cup with the idea that ‘My cup is empty now.’

Now when we make a claim ‘I got it’ what is that you actually could get? What could actually be gotten? If you had a spiritual experience; we all know what happens when you try to hold on to anything, including this spiritual experience. All experiences, they come and go. So, have you actually got anything?

All the other getting is just conceptual. Either conceptually or perceptually whatever we think we got or we can get, it is not about the Truth. Whatever you think you can get as an understanding or as a perception is not it.

Now, how will you struggle? [Smiles] If you cannot get it as perception and you cannot get it as a concept, how will you struggle? Because we can only struggle to get it either mentally or perceptually. Deeper than this, there is no struggle. That opposite of getting or not-getting is not present when go below these layers of conception and perception. [Silence]

[Smiles] I am saying ‘How will you struggle?’ Some of you look troubled. [Chuckles] It is just that the letting go of this habit can seem a bit difficult; it can seem a bit of a struggle. But is it at least clear to us that it cannot be found in this way? The unchanging Self cannot be found in the realm of the changing. And this realm is constantly changing and these thoughts are constantly changing. That much is clear? So, at least it is clear that it is not possible to find the Absolute, unchanging Reality, with these instruments of perception and conceptualizing. That part is clear.

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Let Go of All the Instruments You Have

Now, a worthy question you might want to contemplate is: What are the instruments we have? Instruments of perception, instruments of conceptualization and let’s say instruments of actions; all these. Those obviously we cannot use. We cannot get to God or the Self in an objective sort of way. So, action gone, perception gone, conceptualization gone. Anything else you have left?

Q: Just let go.

A: Of…? Just these instruments. What are we letting go of? Even these so-called tools.

Now I’m going to say something which might seem contrary to what a lot of spirituality is also teaching you. [It says] that you can get to the Truth using some sort of control over your attention. Well, I’m not completely debunking that idea but I’m proposing a simpler way, a Sahaja way, which is to let go of even this instrument called attention; even this tool.

Instruments of action: gone, conceptualization: gone. Perception and attention … (perception and attention are similar, but just to make a distinction between sensory instruments and that which drives them, in a sense, is this tool called attention) … let go of even that.

Let it go. Let go of all your notions, concepts, experiences, perceptions, attention. [Silence] And allow me to call that Freedom. You don’t bother with the term, but I have to use some language, at least for now.

Then you might say ‘I have another tool, which is my intellect, my reasoning. I can discriminate between true and false.’ All these plays of opposites can come with the play of this intellect. So, let this intellect also go. Leave everything completely open and free.

See if you can let go of any attempt to define yourself, to make a reference point to yourself, to make any sensation or any perception to divide into a ‘me’ and ‘you.’ Notice these attempts and let them go.

I’m pointing at you. [Points at Sangha] Notice that in this also there can be some self-definition saying that ‘He is pointing at me.’ Why don’t we say ‘Me is pointing at he or she?’ It is just that we use some visual perspectives and we use some sensations to define a ‘me’ and then, by definition, as soon as there is a ‘me’ there is a sense of ‘otherness.’ Then everything else becomes separate from this ‘me.’ So, although for now all this stuff might sound a bit strange to you (pointing at you; ‘I is pointing at I’ …, all this stuff can seem strange) you don’t even have to define it that way but at least it’s more accurate than saying ‘He is pointing at me.’ Although for a while it might seem a bit strange, it’s only because we got used to some unnatural way of existence. In your naturalness, these divisions are not there. We got used to defining ourself on the basis of some sensations that we call the body and therefore, defining another and others based on other visual sensations that we feel are bodies.

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Self Is Unchanging

Q:It’s not a question. It is just a feeling since the morning to come and just sit; to just sit here.

A:Yes.

Q:Ah, I do not even know, Father. But I have to just come up to you. [Chuckles]

A:[Smile] Shall we do one Papaji [Sri Poonjaji] on you?

Q:Yes, of course. [Smiles]

A:You want to sit; now you sat. [Smiles] Then what do you want? [Chuckles] (You remember this one? You remember this video? The same one, the four-minute one.)

Q: Oh, yeah.

A: This lady she comes and says ‘Can I come and sit there?’

And then he [Papaji] says ‘Okay, chalo aajaoo; come, sit. You wanted to sit, now you sat.’

She says ‘Can you show me the Self?’ (Or ‘me’ or something).

He says ‘What you want, what you want? Bliss?’

She says ‘Not Bliss; me, Self.’

A: (Me or Self; what did she say? I can’t remember.) [Smiles]

Sangha: ‘I want to meet my Self.’

A:He says ‘You want to meet yourself. Where is it? Where do you what to go? Will you take a train? Will you take a plane? Will you take a ship? Will you take a car? Will you walk?’

(I am adding on top of this, of course) [Smiles]

So, she says ‘Not possible that way.’

He says ‘Why? Why not possible?’ (It is a very beautiful Satsang.) ‘Why not possible?’

She says ‘Because it is inside.’

He says ‘Where inside?’

She says ‘Here, here, here.’ [Hands pointing towards body]

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He says ‘Okay, then stay there. Do not move. If it is inside, you stay there.’

And then what happens is what I call ‘the face palm moment.’ [Smiles] Face, palm. [Gesture of palm on the face] ‘It was so simple! It Is always just been this!’ [Smiles]

What makes a journey out of this search? Is it the idea that ‘I will get to it in some phenomenal, objective sort of way?’ But the Sages had made it clear that it is not possible like that because ‘Everything that is phenomenal is changing. But your Self is unchanging.’ That much is understood. If that much is understood, that every experience of everything phenomenal, that all states are coming and going, they are changing in quality and quantity, they are subject to time and space so I cannot find my Self in the realm of time and space … then you should ask this question: ‘But I cannot look for anything outside of time and space.’

[Smiles] This question should come more often maybe than it does. Because this part is obvious, even to the intellect, isn’t it, that if it is unchanging, I cannot find it as an object in time and space.

So, I feel like this intellect should ask this question more often maybe, which is to say ‘But I can only search in time and space, so what are you saying?’

Then the Sage says ‘Look inside.’ He is not saying ‘Look inside the body.’ No Sage has ever said ‘Look inside the body.’ [Smiles] Of course, the surgeons can look inside the body. What do they find? Just material objects again. Again, they are changing.

What is it? When you go inside, where do you go?

And because it is so natural for us in way, we have never questioned this. [Smiles] It is so natural, this so called ‘inside’ …, this inside to which even the play of memory, the play of imagination, the play of thoughts, the play of emotions, sensations, are also on the outside of this (or at best, we can say ‘appearing within this, which is inside’).

But what is this ‘inside’?

Does this inside truly have an outside?

Or just like (we will admit readily) the dream also happens within this inside …, could it also be that every phenomenal experience happens only inside This?

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Separation Is Just an Idea

Yesterday after Satsang again, I played for everyone this video about the McGurk affect. What happens in the McGurk affect is that all that the one is saying is ‘Bah, bah, bah…, Bah, bah, bah.’ But when the lips are moving ‘Fah, fah, fah’ and the sound continues to be ‘Bah, bah, bah’ we actually think we are hearing the sound ‘Fah, fah, fah’ when actually the sound is just ‘Bah, bah, bah’ (presumably). Now, the idea can be that we can have this idea that the sound ‘Fah, fah, fah’ is coming from the computer. But the one not looking at the video is hearing the sound ‘Bah, bah, bah’ coming from the computer.

So, we can never really confirm what is coming from the so-called ‘outside.’ We can only say that ‘This is what I’m perceiving, inside my Being, inside myself.’ This is all that we can confirm. We don’t know, in any phenomenal way, what is outside. We don’t know of the distinction between inside and outside. Yet, upon this seeming-separation, all our duality seems to be built, that there is a ‘me’ here and ‘other’ is outside, but we never truly know this separation. It is just an idea.

[Silence]

And as we look like this more and more and more and more, with integrity, with honesty and innocence, you will see that all your conclusions are made up; are ideas premised on other ideas. But at the bottom of these ideas there is no fundamental truth. It’s just a house of cards (as I call it) of ideas. Now, if you recognize this and you see that everything that you think you are right about is just an idea, it has no fundamental truth about it (there is no truth-i-ness in these ideas) then you will come to a very naked, very open space. It doesn’t have to be a spatial space, although sometimes it does feel like that also. But don’t worry about the spatial-ity (the sense of spaciousness) of the space. It is like a conceptual emptiness. Whether the experience of that is even spatial-ity spacious, that is not so important. What is important is that we recognize that nothing that we hold in our conceptual basket has a fundamental basis or some truth about it.

So, then this is very beautiful because all of us, at some level, might still believe that we are right about something. And this sense of being right about some concept can now also become about spiritual concepts. But what have the Masters constantly said? There is nothing truthful in even spiritual concepts. At best, they are pointers or they themselves are thorns used to remove the other thorns.

Now, you will find that there is no place for the separation to rest. It always rests on a conclusion. But if you remove all conclusions, it can seem a bit strange. But that strangeness is okay, that wobbliness is okay, because this is the openness that I am speaking of. This is the notionless Existence; the Unborn.

[Silence]

So, don’t take any concept; even now what you’re hearing in Satsang. Allow these words to demolish whatever conceptual righteousness you are holding onto and just let the mind float away. When you let the mind float away, you are coming naturally to the recognition of the

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unclouded Unborn. The unclouded Unborn. The Unborn is always there but it seems to get clouded by our ideas. So, as you allow the mind to float away, you will see … This.

Now, whether you call it ‘Isness’ whether you call it ‘the Absolute’ …, whatever term you use for It, it is fine. But don’t quickly expect your mind to confirm this. Because if you go to this mind and say ‘Okay, my friend, am I seeing the Unborn?’ what do you think it’s going to say? Mostly, it will try and distract you from something and mostly it will claim it. It will say ‘Yes, yes! This is it. This is the Unborn. You’re getting it.’ But even these are nothing but set-ups for failure.

Because if you buy the claim ‘You got it!’ then you will also later buy the claim that you can lose it.

Because this is putting it again in phenomenal terms. So, then allow this one to just come and go, with all its claims, doubts; whatever it has to say.

[Silence]

Now, it will come and say very holy things, very spiritual things. ‘You see now, this is the Awareness, okay? This is the Absolute Self! Come, come; stay here.’ Like that. Now, if you buy into these claims, you will have the urge to proclaim it. But a proclamation is just more dust; it’s more cloudiness. So, don’t hold onto any idea whatsoever, even if it is spiritual-sounding. Because it is on these spiritual-sounding ideas that your spiritual seeker identity will continue to fester.

[Silence]

That’s why I’ve been so relentless over the last few weeks in saying that: If you know even one thing, it is to know too much.

And it’s been a few weeks now, so it could be that for some of you now the mind is on guard about this now. When it is being said that ‘Knowing even one thing, it is to know too much’ it can be like ‘No, no, Ananta! Not that again! I’m doing so well with this now, but that is boring, it is …’ (whatever form of resistance it might be buying into). We can use this instrument to see that it is nothing. Allow it to come and go; whatever it is saying.

To know even one thing is to know too much.

And then it will say ‘So, does that mean that there is no Knowingness, there is no true Awareness?’ See, all your spiritual doubts will come. But there is a question:

What do you know when you know nothing?

And this inquiry gives you no escape route. So, either you will run [Chuckles] if Consciousness wants to play that way still with individuality, it will run; or that expression of Consciousness

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will seem to run. Or it will come to a dropping of this body/mind; dropping of the identity with the body/mind.

Because this kind of inquiry done with integrity and openness is bound to truly make the mind run out of moves …, except the moves of running away, which could be ‘Now this is getting too boring, I’ve got this now’ or any kinds of things which would say ‘No, no, no, enough!’ But you don’t decide ‘Enough.’ You let me decide that for you. You let me decide that for you.

[Silence]

It is said that the wise ones not only learn from their mistakes, they also learn from the mistakes of others…, which also means that the wise ones also learn from lessons that seeming-others are having. So, at least you can trust me this much to See that if I’m saying this that nothing which is fundamentally true you can know conceptually, then you know it must be after this inquiry has been taken to its fruition.

[Silence]

So, this inquiry is nothing but an open window to let all the garbage get thrown out.

Because to know even one thing is to know too much.

What is it that you know when you know nothing?

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Question About Self-Inquiry

[Reading from chat]: “Question about self-inquiry. I’m able to look if I am with another Being and talk it out. However, I have few Beings to talk with and should be able to hear myself and have a dialogue inside. Suggestions please and thank you with gratitude. An answer comes to me to write things down.”

It’s not a bad thing, if it allows us, in a way, to be more with the inquiry [Makes gesture of writing onto a notepad] sometimes it’s helpful. It brings a sort of attentive focus onto the inquiry if you write things down. It’s not a bad thing.

‘I am able to look if I’m with another Being…’ That’s actually why we have Satsang every day, Monday to Friday, because you’re guided every day into the inquiry. No matter what the expression might sound like, in every Satsang what is happening is that we are inquiring into the nature of Reality. And even after Satsang, if we don’t pick up the position quickly that Satsang is finished, you’ll find that Satsang doesn’t actually finish. If you don’t pick up the notion that ‘Satsang is over and now I’m back to the real world and I have to operate as an object within this world’ then Satsang is never ending. You’ll find the inquiry which was seeded within you in Satsang is very alive. So, whatever is the ‘dose’ of the ‘daily medication’ needed, it is provided every day. That’s why it’s so beneficial.

So, see if you can drop any conclusions, even about this; whether you need another to inquire with, whether alone is okay. Drop all these conclusions and just start empty. Start empty again. This is very good and I would suggest it to all of you, especially in the times where it feels like some conflict is starting to arise or some trouble is starting to come, just see that something has gotten built up, picked up.

Yesterday we were just having a bit of a sangha meeting about organizational things and after a while something happened and things get picked up. So, I was saying ‘Empty, empty. Let’s start again.’ [Sweeping his hands repeatedly in front of himself like wiping something away] ‘Empty, empty, empty, empty, empty.’ Like that.

You can see that. Just as you see some buttons are getting pushed, something is happening, know that you’ve picked up some notions, and just remind yourself with any of these beautiful words: ‘Empty, empty, empty; nothing, nothing, nothing; open, open, open.’ Just like that. And what are these? They are just reminders of what you are naturally experiencing anyway. Your emptiness is naturally Here. Your openness is naturally Here.

It’s like we jump off the treadmill (in a way). Like we’re running, running, running and we feel like ‘I have to run.’ I’m remembering this YouTube video. I wonder how many of you have seen it. This lady comes from a village and it’s probably the first time she’s coming to a city. The family must have taken her to a mall or something like that. Now, this lady (she’s an old-ish lady) she’s on the escalator. But the escalator is going up and she’s trying to come down on it. (Have you seen this one?) She’s trying to go down on an escalator that is going up. And she did a very good job actually because she came almost to the bottom. But now, she’s running out of energy. She’s [Makes gesture of sweating and panting] able to maintain her position but she’s

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not able to just come down. She’s just … [Makes gesture of jogging in place] … stuck. [Chuckles]

So, a lot of our spiritual journey is a bit like that. It can feel like ‘If I just do this a little bit more then I’m coming to my destination; just a little bit more.’ But somewhere, we feel like we come to a point where we just get stuck. Because actually we think that if we just know more and more, if we understand more and more, if we pick up better and better spiritual concepts, then it is the destination. But the thing is that you always seem to be stuck over there.

What should that lady do? [Silence] What should she do? It’s a simple answer. [Chuckles]

[Sangha all talking at once]

A: She can’t get off, because she’s in the middle.

Q: Go in the direction it is going and then get off.

A:Yeah. Just let go. Let go of the effort and you see that it’s fine. So, this is a lot like a spiritual seeker, in a way, because initially it can seem like you’re making some progress by knowing more and more, by doing more and more, by putting the effort in. How many come to Satsang and say ‘Father, all I need is that last push! Push me off that cliff!’ And I’m already saying ‘So, where are you standing?’ This is the thing. ‘But I NEED that final push!’ And I’m like ‘Oh. If you already know what you need, then you know too much.’ [Chuckles] Then you know too much. If you know where you are, what is happening to you, that is just ideas. But where are you actually?

If you have the idea that you are a seeker, that means you have the idea of a journey; of getting somewhere. And it’s all nonsense, actually. It’s all nonsense. There is nothing that you will get. ‘Get’ means something outside of you. Isn’t it? What can you get?

Nobody says ‘I will get a nose.’ Why can’t you get a nose? Because you already have it. No? [Chuckles] You see?

So, how will you get to the Self?

Q:I don’t think that it’s like we want to ‘get’ to the Self. It’s what we imagined …, what you thought that having the Self would mean. It would mean happiness, the end of suffering or the truth about who you are.

A: Yes.

Q: So, you begin by feeling that you’re not there. Right?

A:This is the fundamental mistake. The fundamental error is this, that the unchanging Self is not what you must be. Because if the Self is unchanging, it could never have gone anywhere. So, you must already be that.

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And what do we even call it? This is the mystery, you see? We even call it the Self. [Chuckles] ‘I am trying to get to MySelf.’

Self means what?

What I am.

What are you trying to get to?

What you are.

[Laughing] I don’t know whether you see the humor in this.

Who is the one trying to get to the Self?

I am.

And what does Self mean?

What I am.

I am trying to get to the Self.

The Self is what?

What I am.

It is more hilarious than saying ‘I’m trying to sit where I’m sitting right now.’

Are you trying to sit where you’re sitting right now?

[Pretending seriousness]: You have to try, okay? Nothing comes in life without effort. No pain, no gain. Try, try. [Chuckles] (This is my evil twin.) [Laughing]

What will you do to try and sit where you’re sitting? Come on, try. Don’t give up. Have you given up? You can do it! You’re almost there. You just need that final push to sit exactly where you’re sitting.

[Laughter in the room] Why is it funny? [Laughing] Because this is what we’re believing about getting to the Self. Because we have believed what? Like she’s saying, we have believed the ideas about what that should be. ‘It should be just Bliss! It should be just this or just that.’

Then, if it is just ‘something’ then how is it freedom? [Smiles] It’s all nonsense actually. Like if you feel like ‘Okay, freedom means it is just that’ …, then how is it free? To be just ‘something’ means it’s constrained; it’s limited. So, we’ve filled our heads up with all garbage. And we cannot really fill our head up with the Truth.

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What Is Your Position?

A:Sometimes we say ‘I’m here to chop off your head.’ What is Satsang? In a way, it is to chop off your head. What does your head say about this? [Laughs and laughter in the room]

Q: You have confused the head so much, it doesn’t know the meaning of freedom.

A:Good. Because it cannot know. It is not that it doesn’t know now, it is only that you are recognizing this.

So, this is the thing. You say ‘Chop off my head.’ Then the head says ‘Have you chopped it yet?’

I say it is chopped. Are you going to pick it up again?

Okay, for some of you, this example might sound very gruesome. Indians are a bit more easy with these kinds of examples because they’ve heard of Ravana’s head being chopped 10 times and this kind of thing. You pick your metaphor; whatever works for you.

So, your head is now chopped. But it is inviting you to pick it up again. What are you going to do? [Looks around] Stay chopped?

Q: It’s chopped?

A:It’s chopped and it’s lying there, saying ‘Pick me up again. This time I’ll give you heaven, really!’ Then?

Q: I don’t know how many times I don’t pick it up but I still remain ‘I’.

A:This is the head speaking?

Q:No! This is not, this is like …

A: Heart speaking?

Q: [Laughs in frustration]

A:Okay, let’s do one thing. For a minute, you presume that you are wearing the next guy’s head. And all the thoughts that are coming, they have nothing to do with you. This experiment happened in Satsang; you came to this strange Satsang where you seem to be wearing a head which doesn’t belong to you and all the thoughts over there, they are somebody else’s; they have nothing to do with you. It’s a short-term project (experiment) for one hour (okay, one minute). [Laughs] For one minute, just see that they are somebody else’s; you have nothing to do with it. Let it say whatever it is saying, it has nothing to do with you. There was a mistaken head transplant. Somebody else got your head and you got somebody else’s. Now? [Looks around]

Q: Its peace. [Laughs]

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A:‘It’s peace?’ Is that a claim from the head?

Q:No, it’s like …

A: A sense.

Q:You see the difference, in a sense. Like I don’t have to do anything [Laughs] whatever is going on.

A:‘I don’t have to do anything with that.’ Q1: It doesn’t make any sense, to the head.

A:To the head, it doesn’t make any sense. [Laughs] But it is more true than you can imagine.

Because whatever it is saying is not about you.

So, in spirituality the nicer way of saying this is to say ‘Coming from head to heart.’ And the stronger way of saying this is to say ‘Chop off your head.’ [Chuckles] Whatever it is saying is not about you. Now, what’s your position?

What’s you position? [Looks around]

Let’s up the stakes. [Chuckles] So, there is entry to Nirvana waiting and the only question that the doorman on the gate asking is ‘What’s your position?’ Doorman says ‘I am here.’ [Makes a gesture of showing the gate] You have seen three people going through the gate already. [Gesture of people passing through the gate three times ‘Tannn, Tannn, Tannn’] You have come to the front of the line. ‘What’s your position?’ the doorman is asking.

Q1: Nothing.

A:But ‘nothing’ is also a position. [Looks around] Q2: Neutral.

A:How are you neutral?

Q2: By not taking any positions.

A:‘Not taking any positions’ is also a position, by taking the position of not taking positions. Q2: Okay. [Laughs]

A:(Like what he was saying that day.) ‘Come on.’ The gate is closing. [Smiles. Looks around] Q3: So, the gate …, is asking what?

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A:‘What’s your position?’ You have lost your head and whatever this one is saying is not about you; you see that. So now, only Nirvana is left, but there is a doorman. He is saying ‘What’s your position?’ With the right answer, you can go through.

Q4: You are not talking to me because I have already lost my head.

A:Doorman, not your head. [Laughs] Q4: I feel stuck somewhere.

A:What’s your position? ‘Nothing’ is a wrong answer. ‘I don’t have a position’ is a wrong answer.

Q3: The doorman?

A:Door-man. (Sorry, my accent is like this.) [Chuckles]

Q:There is some sticky identity that shows …

A: That’s somebody else’s. It’s coming from the other head.

Q:The other head but I don’t know from the other head. Also, it’s popping up with ‘Okay, this is yours.’

A:Yeah, because it doesn’t know its head got replaced with somebody else’s.

Q:Yeah, but …

A:But you know because your Master has told you that it has nothing to do with you. Now, how it is sticky? The Master has told you that it has nothing to do with you. [Smiles] All conclusions are positions. [Smiles] Now, what’s your position? [Looks around]

Q3: There feels to be a freedom in seeing the inability to take a position.

A:‘There seems to be a freedom when we see this inability to take any position.’ That’s a position. [Laughs] Even freedom is a position.

Q3: Yeah, the feeling …

A:The feeling …, to know what the feeling is, is a position. Q3: To know, yes …

A:When we label it as freedom …, when we label it is to know it or to claim to know it. [Laughs]

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Q3: If you know that, then your head is gone.

A:Now, what’s left?

Q3: The inability to answer.

A: To know that is also a position. [Laughs]

Q3: But the doorman is asking you and without the words …, you can’t respond to the doorman.

A:[Laughs] But to know that also is a position that ‘You can’t respond.’

Q3: In the moment it is …?

A:In the moment, that response is not there that ‘I can’t respond.’ [Laughs]

Q3: But then …, there are no words coming.

A:To know that ‘There are no words coming’ is a position. To know what a word is, is a position. To know what no words are, is a position. To know what coming or going is, is a position.

So, in one short phrase there are ten lies. [Laughs] And ‘I will just be quiet’ is also a position. [Smiles]

Sorry. [Laughing] [Silence] Poor thing, I am holding his hand also. [Makes a gesture of questioner wanting to take his away hand] ‘Can I go please?’ [Laughter]

You’ll see what I am getting at in a bit. Because when I speak about notion-less-ness, even that becomes notional. You see? Even the idea of ‘remaining notion-less’ can be a notion of becoming notion-less. That is notional.

I am speaking about radical nakedness. I don’t know how to convey it to you. It’s like a radical Now-ness, a radical openness …, which is independent of any idea of Reality that your mind has.

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Be the Cow That Jumped Over the Moon

Q:The escalator; it came to me that there’s some belief there, some unseen belief, of not wanting to get off the escalator because that’s all that’s known. And to desire something that can’t be imagined is …

A:He’s very right in what he’s saying because what happens is that we got used to moving from place to place based on what was offered. So, it’s like ‘Okay, I’ll get off the escalator if you tell me what is going to happen. Am I going to get to a better place? Is it going to be like this or that?’ Till you show them what is not on offer …, it’s like ‘If I’m going to let go of this branch, are you promising me that I will be alright?’ But no reassurance is coming because that would also be a ‘knowing.’

Now, that is why, in a sense, this is radical. It is like a leap of faith where you’re just like … [makes a gesture of sweeping away everything with his hand] you don’t know. You don’t have any guarantee about what is going happen; what is going to remain of you. So, then we cling onto the escalator because we feel like ‘At least I know this.’ [Chuckles] The mind can create this image of this limbo space that you have to jump into or something like that. It can feel like a scary unknown. And somewhere it is deeply ingrained in our human nature.

Like I told you about this example I saw the other day about this man who has been invited into this experiment. So, he is closed in a room and there’s nothing entertaining it the room. It’s all white walls. Nothing to distract him, nothing to engage his mind with; nothing there. There’s a small bell. After a while, he’s looking around and then … [makes a gesture of pressing the bell] And the minute he does that, he gets a shock. And it’s painful. It’s not just a mild shock, it’s painful. He’s like ‘I’m not touching that again!’ He decides ‘I’m not touching that again.’ He’s sitting. After 15 minutes, there is nothing. There is just nothing! So, you know what he does? He rings the bell. Because he prefers the experience of pain over the mind’s idea of nothing. This is a well-known experiment (I don’t know the name but if you look for it, you will find it) that if he is left in the room for one hour, he is pressing the bell at least 4-5 times.

So, this is what it is. It’s like ‘At least with this, I know something; that there’s an experience of pain, there’s an experience.’ It brings us back into some groove. What is being asked of you in Satsang, in a way, is a very big ‘ask.’ It’s like ‘Come with me, but I’m not going to tell you where I’m taking you. Get off the escalator, but I’m not telling you where I’m going.’ You’re like ‘Ananta, at least this still I know. I’ve been on this for a long time. 20 years I’ve been a spiritual seeker. I’ve had my moments of peace, I’ve had the vision of Krishna, I’ve had the kundalini, some chakras getting activated. At least this I know. Now, where are you taking me? What is going to happen there?’ I’m saying ‘I can’t tell you because it cannot be known.’ [Looks around the room] I cannot tell you because it cannot be known.

That is what, in a way, Guruji [Sri Mooji] means when he says ‘Be the cow jumping over the moon.’ Because it is every concept …, it’s a leap over everything that you think is valid in your existence; past and future, time and space. All of this is nothing in Reality for You.

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But what seems familiar to you now is your limited-ness. What seems familiar to you now is also the seeker and you feel like ‘If I give this up, then what is left?’ and ‘What? I’ve spent so many years doing this. What has been the point? Where is my peace? I was promised peace. Are you at least promising me that?’

Not promising that.

Don’t know what peace is.

[Silence]

Sometimes I’m tempted to label even this kind of sharing and say ‘This is only for the very advanced’ but I don’t want to say that because then you have an idea of what advanced is. Then there is no poison for you to swallow. Because your ego will take hold of that and say ‘At least that will go down well because I’m very advanced.’ So, we don’t know ‘advanced’ and all this. Nobody knows anything.

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Who Are You That Can Be Defined?

[Reading from chat]: “Father, my whole life I have been battling with depression and in the past few years it has been more pronounced. I don’t find meaning to my life and don’t know why I am here. Since almost three years now, I have stopped working, let go of all my friends and immersing more and more on spirituality. The deeper I go, the more lost I feel. The longing to find Truth and peace in my heart is so strong but I still keep getting in vicious circle of old habits, patterns, conditioning. I feel so helpless. And deep down I know it is not real intellectually. But somehow, I am still involved personally in the mind dramas. I feel like freedom is for everybody except me. My mind keeps telling me that ‘You will not get it.’ How do I get out of this illusion? I beg you, Father, please help me. Please lift this veil and guide me to the Truth. Please help me see that it is not real experientially.”

A:What is Real must be Here Now. Because it is the Unchanging; it does not come and go. That is the very fundamental of Vedanta, isn’t it? If we say that we are sharing the essence of Advaita Vedanta, we are saying ‘This inquiry is about what is Real.’ And what is Real cannot be an appearance. An appearance is that which comes and goes. Therefore, the Real, it does not come and go. Therefore, if we are able to recognize ‘What Is’ then we are able to recognize and not infer, not conclude based on conceptions but to just have an inner, like an intuitive insight.

Now, in this very moment Right Now, what is Here? Is there something even like depression?

Are these sensations (whatever these sensations might be, that which we call the body, that which we call the world, that which we call the mind) do they define you? From your Seeing …, I am asking of your Seeing, not your inferring.

What do you give permission to, to define you?

Do you give permission to, to define you? This tiny energy-construct called the mind which is just like ‘blah, blah, blah and blah, blah, blah’ …, can this one define you?

Can some sense of contraction or expansion define you?

Can some visual that you might label ‘memory’ define you?

Where is all of this happening?

Can a state define you? This waking state is here in which all these activities happen; it seems like there is a character here who seems to be depressed …, but can a waking state define you?

Who are you that can be defined?

Who are you whose boundaries these are?

What do you truly, truly know; if anything at all?

[Reading from chat]: “I Know I Exist.”

Yes. One answer (you have heard this answer in Satsang) is ‘I Know I Exist.’

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So, this Knowing, the Knowing of Existence, what is it about?

Does it rely on any notion? Does it rely on any concept?

Like, does the Knowing of Existence rely on thought, the concept, that ‘I Exist’? Or it would be independent of whether the concept is there or not?

This is beautiful. ‘I Know I Exist.’ Are we now saying that ‘I have the concept I exist’? Or are we talking about a different Knowingness?

And besides Knowing that there is Existence, or I Exist, what else is Known in this way?

And even we can go as far as to ask: is that this translation also ‘I know I exist’ truly valid to what that Knowingness knows?

(I wonder if it makes sense what I am saying.) [Smiles] Because it is coming through the filter of language to say ‘I Know I Exist.’ Now, can you refer back to ‘What is it that is truly known?’ And when you compare it with just this statement that ‘I Know I Exist’ does it really encapsulate what you truly know?

[Reading from chat]: “The concept is only needed to communicate the Knowing that is before any concepts.”

Yes. So, as long as we don’t become attached to any concept, that keeps us open and fresh. Like when the question is asked ‘What do you really know?’ we’re not so quick to go with past conclusions. But it invokes a fresh looking ‘What do I really know?’ And the same answer might come or not. That is fine; the answer in itself is not that important. [Smiles] Because the answer is tame; compared to the Reality of it, it is tame, like:

What is ‘I Exist’?

Then we can use synonyms like ‘Being, Am’ …, all these synonyms. But these are all just labels. What is It? [Chuckles] What is It?

You can say ‘Is’. But is this ‘Is’ capture-able in the term ‘Is’? So, as long as it doesn’t become about the terms then, in a sense, we can call that true spirituality. The minute it starts becoming about the terms of spirituality, then it can become more like studying a certain philosophy or something.

Like, do we really know what ‘Exist’ is?

We will use another term; it’s like a dictionary. [Chuckles] Once we get caught up in this pool of concepts, then there is concept after concept; we can go from ‘Exist’ to ‘Am.’ What is ‘Am’? To ‘Being’. What is Being? To ‘Exist’. [Chuckles] You see? What do we really know in all of this? Four different terms. Does any of these terms truly encapsulate? No. That’s why he is absolutely right. These are just used for communication; just to point.

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All Reports from the Checker Are Futile

Q:So, actually, my question …, I think now my question is getting little clarified for me. It is that this which ‘Is’ is so simple. So, the mind says ‘Why is this so simple’? Or ‘Why is it so, like:

Now what?’ You know, actually I have been noticing in the last few weeks, few months; even through the tantrum I had few weeks ago, that actually, the suffering has really become less. It’s really like there is not so much suffering anymore. But I think just that little checking is happening; that okay, now it is like just this checking is happening. And also the …

A:Okay, so let’s see this checking part. Because this is where many of us seem to get stuck; this checking part. So, let’s unravel this a bit first before we go to the next part. So, this checking …, what are the possible conclusions of it? It is checking. What would be the result of this checking?

Q: No result. There is no result.

A:Let us walk through what that ‘no result’ is, in the sense that it could say ‘This is good’ … ‘I’m getting it’ … ‘I’m here’ … ‘I’m finding peace’ … ‘I’m suffering less.’ This kind of thing.

Or it could be checking and say ‘See, now you are really confused. I do not know whether you are getting it or not.’ … ‘What is really happening?’

On this spectrum from ‘getting ultimate Sage-hood’ to ‘completely useless’ …, on this spectrum of ‘supremely enlightened’ to ‘complete dunce’ … does the checking work? In this duality, it will give you a report. But what I want to tell you is that none of these reports are actually true because both ends of the spectrum imply that you are a limited object about whom the report is; and that one actually doesn’t exist. So, the checker guy is on the spectrum of opposites. Where is that which you spoke about? The ‘blemished one’ is not in that spectrum at all.

So, in that way, when we go with the checker, when we buy into the report card from the checker, then we are automatically presuming ourself to be something that we are not. In that way, all reports from the checker are either great or terrible or futile …, because they don’t apply to You in Reality.

So, if this ‘checker guy’ is gone or we see that this checking is futile, then what is left?

Q: Then just …, this is no ….

A:No, it is trick question over here. Because even that is like a checking.

Q:Right, right, right.

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Let’s Look at the One That Perceives

Q:For lack of a better way to explain it, the mind tries to create a separation with this also. I don’t know how to explain it. ‘Oh, you are perceiving it so it’s not You.’ Not even perceiving; it’s not like I’m perceiving it.

A:This is actually good, in a way. So, if you feel that you are aware of it or perceiving it (or whatever term) then let’s find who that one is? Leave even that alone; that which is perceived or witnessed in any way. Find that one that perceives that.

Q: Okay. I can’t find it in that sense, but perceiving is happening.

A:Yes. So, this unfound One which can be aware of that (that which we have been calling ‘that’) that which can be aware even of that …, is it somebody else?

Q: No.

A:It is You. And You are aware of that. And this You who is aware of that, you say ‘I can’t find it.’ Why? Because it has no quality you can find. So, it is this You that is ‘That.’ [Chuckles]

Q:There is a very solid feel to it, like it is more solid than my hands, in a sense.

A:What is aware of that? The solidity, what is aware of that?

Q:I am getting little confused. Sorry about that.

A:It’s okay. It’s okay to get completely confused because if the mind is participating as an ally, it will get confused on the way; which is fine. So, whatever quality that we might find, we may say ‘It is very joyous’ or ‘It’s very solid’ then the question comes back ‘So, that which is aware of this solidity or joy, how can that be measured?’

Now, here confusion will come, frustration will come, because we are coming to this point where the mind cannot help us; it cannot fathom anything here. So, let me guide you very slowly. It is undeniable that it is You because even solidity is not a second-hand report that you are making. You are saying that ‘I am aware of the solidity.’ So, it is clear that it is You. And yet this one, although you can say that ‘It is I’ you can never find it perceptually. You cannot find a quality about it, you can’t find its color, its size, where it is sitting. [Chuckles] You can’t find these things about it. And yet it is completely clear on the other hand that ‘It is I.’ Isn’t it?

Q: Yes.

A:It is You only.

Q:Yeah, yeah, yeah.

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A:It is not Soumya sitting next to you saying ‘It is solid’ or ‘It is liquid.’ She is not saying that. It’s You. And yet this You …, how much space it is taking up?

Q: I don’t know. I can’t say.

A:Can’t see it, can’t find it. So, this is a unique discovery which is amazing! But to mind, it’s irritating.

Q: [Laughs]

A:It is amazing! Why? You will see that it is amazing if you stay with me because you are confirming that it is You and yet, this confirmation is not arising out of your perception.

Q: Yes.

A:There is nothing else in the world like that, which the confirmation not arising either from the concept of it or a perception of it. Either we have an idea like ‘Shiva is sitting on top of Kailash’

[Chuckles] (you have an idea; you have not perceived it but because of concept of it you might confirm it). Or you have perceived it that ‘There are fifteen people in the room.’ Like that. Now, you are confirming that it is You but you are not seeing it and it is not coming from a concept of

‘You.’

Q: Yes

A:If the thought was not there that ‘I am perceiving it’ you still can confirm that it is You that is perceiving. So, it’s independent of thought and independent of perception. So, if you don’t go with the mind-frustration for a bit more, then I say ‘How do you know that it is You that is aware of the solidity?’

Q: Because I Know.

A:You see? And yet, this Knowing is independent of concept. Is it dependent on a thought? On a belief?

Q: No.

A:Therefore, it is independent of concepts. And you are not seeing this You. Like you can’t tell me the shape, size, color or any attribute of it. And yet, there is a different type of Knowing, different type of Seeing. And for that Knowingness, it is absurd to say it is not You. It is so clear that it is I which is aware of all qualities; solidity, light, dark, big, small. Whatever quality you might give to It (to whatever is being perceived) it is I which is aware. Now, this ‘I’ cannot be seen and yet, you Know it is I. This Knowing is different. [Chuckles] This Knowing is different.

It’s like, many of you travel a lot, so sometimes you’re like ‘What city is this?’ You can forget. ‘Is this Bangalore? Is this Poona? Is it Chennai?’ [Chuckles] Like that. So, you can forget the city, you can forget which house you are in, you can even forget (if your eyes are closed) which

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body this is. You can even forget which body this is. But this, that you are aware of this quality, you need not be remembered. It is just so clear and apparent Right Now. And yet, this ‘I’ is not found sensorily, perceptually.

Now, if I propose to you that ‘Truly, truly, you cannot ever become any other ‘I’ but That’ …, and your job is to try: Try to become something which has a quality. Try to only be that. Something is appearing (like you say ‘solidity’) …, solidity is appearing. Now, try to jump out from this Knowingness of solidity and only into the solidity. Can you do it?

Q: No.

A:So, any quality, any sensation, anything…, jump out from this Knowingness and become only that sensation. Can you do it?

Q:No. But what can happen (this I want to clarify) …, what can happen is when I drop the label

(of whether it is solid or anything) …, there is nothing to say actually when you drop the label.

A:Not only there is nothing to say, [Chuckles] when we drop the label, nothing has ever happened; in the sense that we might still say later that ‘Of course, the appearance is appearing, the perception is being perceived’ (all of these things) but even these are notions. (We will explore that in a bit.) But That which is aware of whatever the appearance might be, That Itself we have said that we can say ‘It is I’ and ‘It would be absurd to say that it is somebody else.’ And yet it is not an ‘I’ which you can find in any tangible sort of way.

So, this is the source of all frustration in the spiritual journey because you cannot find it in a tangible sort of way; and yet it is undeniable that it is I. Now, when I asked you ‘How is this known?’ you said ‘I just know. I don’t know how but I just know.’ So, this is the Knowingness which is independent of concepts and independent of perception.

And this cannot be stopped. [Chuckles] The state might change, any of the appearances might come and go, but can you not be aware or not have this Knowingness in this way?

This is the Unchanging.

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‘I Am Aware’ Is All the Knowing That Is Needed

Q: So, you are saying, Father, that when the label is dropped there is nothing happening.

A:I am saying that happening is also a label. [Smiles]. In the sense that the appearance and its opposite (which is presumably reality) are also ultimately notional. The distinction is notional.

Q:Okay. So, when I drop the label (I will speak from Now) attention can still go to things. Attention goes to, lets’ say, some sensation, whatever. Is that also your experience?

A: Attention goes to things…

Q:So, let’s say I have dropped…, say my hand is touching this. [Touching the couch] I’m touching your hand and there is a sensation …, and I don’t know what it is.

A:Don’t label. You don’t know attention is attention, sensation is sensation; anything is anything.

Q: Okay. Right.

A:You are not taking the position either of the subject or the object. So, this subject-object thing dissolves.

Q:Yeah. So, then how am I not what I’m seeing?

A:Yes, you are what you are seeing. But the thing is that we live in a way that we are ONLY that which we are seeing. So, when the sages say ‘neti, neti’ (you are not that) they are showing you something which is the greater part of you, in a sense. Why greater? Because it remains untouched. It is unchanging. So, it is only through the process of the inquiry that we will say

‘Okay, not that.’

A few like months ago (may be couple of years ago) I have started changing the terminology saying ‘You are not that’ to ‘You are not just that.’ Otherwise, there can be sense of aversion or a distance being created from the object itself.

So, question really is: what is beyond that, that you are? You have always considered yourself to be only that. Now when they say ‘Not that, not that’ what they are really trying to say is ‘What is the greater part of you, the unchanging part of you, which is untouched by any state?’ So, when you don’t make distinctions …, you rightly said ‘I cannot find that this is me as just this’ or ‘How am I not this or not that?’ Yes.

Q: So, without thought labeling anything, I don’t know what is, in a sense.

A:You do know what is; but what you think should know this doesn’t know what is.

Q:Can you explain, Father?

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A:In the sense that, you in reality know what is. But you don’t know it …, like you’re not able to label it, you are not able to have a notion about it, you don’t have a concept of it.

We have been taught that unless you have a concept of it you don’t know it.

When we were checking, when we said ‘Look at solidity’ …, you are aware of it. But even if you didn’t have a term for it (‘solidity’ or whatever) you will still be aware of it.

So, this Knowingness doesn’t come and go. And yet, you know this Knowingness. It is so apparent. That’s why you say ‘I know’. ‘I know that it is solid’ …, but independent of concept or precept.

How are we able to say that it is I which knows?

Q: Because that’s my experience.

A:You Know it that way. (But that is with a capital ‘K’.) But for your mind, you don’t know it.

Q:So, guide me here now, Father. Some sensation or whatever, I am fully aware of it. Now, this

I is …, I can’t find it, so it gets a little frustrating.

A:And yet you say ‘I can’t find it.’

Q:That’s almost post facto. Like I am so aware of the sensations; that’s just natural. But when I think about it, I can’t find it.

A:It is very natural. Exactly right. It is clear that ‘I am aware.’ It is clear that ‘I am aware.’ So, you found it. Because you are not making it up.

Q: No.

A:You are not fantasizing, you are not making it up, you are not presuming, you are not inferring; none of these things are happening. You’re simply with innocence saying ‘I am aware.’

This is all the Knowing that is needed. Because you know ‘I’ in that, you know ‘aware’ in that. You see? And yet if somebody comes and says ‘What is this I?’ then when you try to put it in a mental box: ‘I don’t know. I haven’t found it yet.’ But you have never lost it. Because you can so naturally say ‘I am aware.’

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What’s Your Seeing Like, Father?

Q:You also experience (I am just assuming that you also see) sensations and stuff. And you also

…, maybe in your case it doesn’t happen where the mind says whatever. What’s your Seeing like? What I am trying to do is to See from your perspective.

A:Our Seeing is 100% the same. Our Seeing is 100% the same; it is only that the interpretations from the mind are not being believed.

Q: That’s it, huh?

A:That is it. Our Seeing is 100% the same; that is why we are One. Anyways, don’t worry about that inference. Nothing has to change in anything actually, except that this mind-interpretation is not bought.

So, when the Sages say that their perspective is more universal, it is more global, what they mean is that it is unfiltered by this maha-mantra of ‘What’s in it for me?’ (the ego’s maha-mantra is ‘What about me, what about me?’) When your attention is not so much interested in that…, there could be some broadening of phenomenal perception, more aliveness in phenomenal perception but fundamentally, just like the regulator knob gets turned up but nothing fundamental has changed.

What is Seen is exactly the same.

Okay, let me say what I am Seeing, then you say whether it is true for you or not. Now, we are going to use terms because we have to use language, but you can just discard them after this.

There is an Awareness of Existence, a sense of Presence. This Presence in itself (although it seems to be centered in a particular way) when it is explored, you find that it doesn’t have a beginning or an end.

So, you can either confirm it or say it is not your experience. All of us can check in this way.

There is an Awareness of this Beingness, of Presence, of Existence. And although it might seem to be limited, when truly checked, we find that it has no bounds.

If it feels to you that it has a boundary, then go to the boundary and see what is beyond that. And as soon as you go to see what is beyond that, You will find that You are there. You will find that You are there. And then you will see that it is …

Q: Can you explain this?

A:Yes, yes. So, suppose that a sensation that we call the body seems to be defining the boundary of the Presence. So, go there (to the sensation) and see that on every side of the sensation it is only the same Presence. It might seem like Your Presence ends on one side of it but you will find

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that the other side is also the same as that. So, the boundary was just an idea; that the sensation makes a boundary was just an idea because on either side of the sensation there is only You.

Q:Right. Can I share what I see?

A:Yes, yes, of course.

Q:That there are sensations I label ‘body’ inside (for a lack of a better word). Actually, there are just sensations. I don’t know if it is body or not. There are just sensations and don’t know where they exist.

A:Exactly. Because even those who are amputees can have sensations about their leg which doesn’t even exist in the phenomenal way anymore.

Q:So, now, the mind then tries to make an assumption that they exist in the space called ‘me’.

A:Let’s go really slowly. Mind is what now? Mind is a set of sensations like an energy construct which has a message. That is the only distinction, isn’t it? Like the sensation by itself doesn’t seem to be saying anything. But there is one particular type of sensation (a construct) which seems to be carrying a message which wants to explain some meaning; as a message. Like what is it saying? It is coming; even thoughts are coming, saying ‘This is the body, this is the boundary.’ These are nothing but sensations also. They are perceived.

Q:Right. But the sensation is not aware. I am aware of the sensation.

A:Yeah, we can say that.

Q:Or is the sensation self-aware? (Sorry, I am just talking to myself)

A:It’s okay, it’s fine because at one level we can say everything is Awareness so everything is aware. But as long as we make a distinction between constructs…, like if we say ‘thought’ then in simplicity we can say that ‘I am aware of it, it is not aware of I.’

Q: So, is this sensation aware of itself?

A:Not if it is given any sort of independence. As soon as the distinction is made, then it is not self-aware. I am aware of it; it is not aware of I.

Q: Right. So, you are right, I don’t know what my boundary is.

A: Yes, but as far as you can check, you can’t find one.

Let me say ‘I can’t find one.’ You have to check and confirm the same thing. Because we are saying: ‘How am I Seeing [Pointing to himself]) verses how you are Seeing.’ [Pointing to the Sangha] And I want to show you that it is the same. [Chuckles]

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So, there is an undefinable, un-quantifiable-ness of even my sense of Existence. Now, this sense of Existence, it seems to be limited, it seems to be personal for most of us but as we truly explore, we see that that which defines the boundary of this, itself is contained in the very same Existence. So, on the left of the sensation, on the right of the sensation, above it, below it, on every side is the same spacious Being.

Q: What the mind seems to do is that it ends the boundary at a sensation.

A:Exactly, it uses sensation as evidence to confirm to you that you have a boundary. That is why it is called this ‘body/mind instrument.’ The body sensations are used by this mental construct to convince the unlimited that it is limited. If it did not have that evidence of sensation (if the only sensation that you were aware of was of this mind and it was saying that ‘You are limited, you have a boundary’) you would find it very unbelievable. You see? So, it uses that evidence of some sensation. And we have been taught this as children that ‘This is your nose, this is your hand, it got hurt, your foot is here.’ That’s why I said that if we don’t make a reference about ourself using any sensation, It [the Truth] is apparent.

Okay, so let me walk a little more. [Closing eyes and referring to His own Seeing]

In this Existence, then all kinds of light and sound shows; they start appearing. All kind of forces, all kinds of light, sound, weight, all these sensational things, perceptual things, all my perceptions start to appear. They seem to be that which I call inner perception, which is like memories, imagination, this power to project light and sound. It seems to also divide itself in two ways, like outer objects and inner objects; all of these start to appear. But none of them contain my Being. At best, I can say it is within my Being that it is contained. And none of this is confusing as dual. There is no desire, there is no sense of separate doership …, unless I use this power which also comes as part of my Existence: this power to believe something that this one set of these sensations is saying; which then says that ‘I am only one part of this appearance, limited in this way’ and then it has sold these concepts of ‘mine and yours, me and you, me and my world.’

The basis of all of these concepts is the idea of ‘me.’ But it is not even experienced; it is only inferred.

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Unlimited Insights Are Present in This Contemplation

Q:So, this question ‘What do I know when I know nothing?’ …, then when I answer it, Father, it starts with I. And with I-Itself then I question ‘What is this?’

A: Good, good. Right. You can even say ‘Do I know this ‘I’?

Q:Yeah, yeah. And then, somehow it happens like this, that I don’t pin it down. Then I feel like then there is no difference between my sensation and…

A:Good, good. But even in this now, don’t make any conclusion about what happens. Because then that the ‘figure-r’ will hold onto it and then that will become a thing.

Q: Exactly. Right, Father.

A:The pointing itself is completely complete. So, we don’t have to deconstruct it or have any ‘thing’ about it or any even strategy about it. You see? Because then that will become an approach. So, this is what you must do: Let it be fresh whatever it does. Let it be fresh. Like I have said the supporting ground is in the first statement, which says: To know even one thing is to know too much.

That much is enough. It does that clean-up. And also, it is a reminder anytime we need to remind ourselves. And then there is a looking: What do I know when I know nothing?

So, you must not pick up things you know about how to do this or not do this or ‘What is the right way, what is the wrong way?’ Because even to know that one thing is to know too much. Because that can be like when you’re exploring a beautiful terrain, there can be a time where you came to a beautiful exploration and then you say ‘Ah, this is very beautiful. I’ve seen that this is how it is. Now, if I go left, what happens?’ You see, like that. And that is okay for a breather once in a while. If you need a break, it is okay like that. But if it becomes just about that, the desperation, in a way, starts.

So, unlimited, unlimited insights are there in this. [Smiles] Unlimited insights are there in this. It cannot be put in to any slot that ‘This is what it actually does.’ So, this is beautiful already so far. Just leave it fresh as possible. Just like: Fresh.

I am deeply appreciative of all of you. I’m deeply appreciative of all of you, because you allow me to question your ‘knowing.’ You allow me to poke it. [Smiles] It can be more fiery than anything else in the world. To question our belief system, to allow someone to come in and say ‘I am open. Take away everything that I feel I am right about. Take away everything that I think I know. Take away even my spiritual concepts and experiences. Take away my attachment to them.’ If you are meeting me open like this, I’m deeply, deeply appreciative of that…., because

this can be a great ‘fire ceremony.’ [Smiles] This can lead to a lot of burning and things like that.

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Can Questions Be Asked Without the Mind?

[Reading from the chat]: “Can questions be asked without the mind? Can a question be asked without going to the past or future? How does one ask the question, Father?”

Just like this. [Smiles] Like these three questions.

Let me try to make it clearer at a different level. So, what is the question fundamentally? The main reasoning, in a way, of this instrument of reasoning, like intellect, is to fill in what it feels like is a conceptual gap. Isn’t it? So, you are right in that way, that all questions are fundamentally conceptual; concepts requesting other concepts to lead to some sort of conceptual completion.

Now, that is why Satsang is a rare place, because you come here to get some sort of conceptual completion and instead, with every question, you’re invited to a conceptual emptiness. Usually when we ask a question, you think that you will be given that card which will complete the house of cards; just that missing piece of the jigsaw puzzle which will make it perfect. You see, it starts like that.

But then, what the Master wants to do is just shake it all up and throw it away. [Smiles] And for a while, we don’t like that because we feel like ‘I came with a question, I want him to answer.’ I feel like every one of you who has come here, at some point initially felt ‘Why does he never answer our question?’ [Smiles] Some of you even feel that later (like you feel very good when you are having the interaction but later) when you look at it, you are like ‘What did he answer? It has nothing to do with the question.’ [Smiles] In a way, it can seem like that. Because I do not want to give you any more pieces, any more cards, to keep building a conceptual house. So, I will use whatever opportunity I get to shake things up and throw them out. As much as you let me throw, I throw. [Chuckles] As much as you are open to letting me throw, I am happy to throw out …, sometimes to the point of even trying to snatch it from you. [Smiles]

So, although all our concepts are conceptual, our answers are conceptual and therefore, mental or intellectual (it is similar, in a way) the seeming purpose of the answers in Satsang is not for you to be able to add them to your conceptual basket.

It is just to show you that everything that you think you know, everything that you feel you are right about also, is only causing you a trouble, is only giving you a misery.’ So, hand that over if you can.

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What Can’t You Give Up Being Right About?

[Reading from the chat]: “Father, I do this for analyzing. Could it be that the thoughts must have like a photo album? Or are they just randomized in the mind? Does it necessarily mean that these experiences happen in Consciousness? What is Papaji [Sri Poonja] saying when he says: Nothing ever happened.”

That is exactly what I was saying, that we cannot rely on our memory. If you do a survey of all the people who are in Satsang today and you ask them ‘What happened?’ everyone will have a different testimony. Memory is as unreliable as everything else. So, we cannot really say ‘Something happened or didn’t happen.’ In fact, we cannot truly say that there is a past; or a future for that matter.’ What did Papaji mean when he says that ‘Nothing ever happened’? That you have to see for yourself. As you are coming to your notional emptiness as your notion-less Existence, as you start dropping every notion, every notion, every idea which you think represented the Truth, it will become so empty that the idea of… (let me not speak too much because this then becomes conceptual.) Fundamentally, it comes down to the same thing:

What can’t you give up being right about?

That is all that will cause you suffering.

What are you so certain that you know, that you are able to define?

Which concepts have now become too holy for you to give up? Throw them away. I know some fear will come. I know a fear will come because you feel like your life is driven by these concepts; it is run because you have these concepts. It is not true. Nothing of value will ever go away. What is the fear? I ask you to ‘You throw away even your holiest concept’ you feel like ‘Oh, then what if I stop coming to satsang? What if I lose my Master?’ You see, things like this. But I did not say anything about that. It is only because you feel that your life is driven because you hold to certain concepts; you feel like your ‘doership’ relies on these concepts; which is not true. Come to your emptiness; come to your notion-less Existence. And don’t be scared. Throw away even your brand-new crutches, your most spiritual crutches.

[Reading from the chat]: “Thank you, Father, Keep chopping.” Thank you for that invitation.

[Reading from the chat]: “Thank you, Anantaji. I seek your blessing that I be earnest.”

A simpler way is that: Forget about earnest. Just seek the Master’s blessings. Like don’t know what you want. Give this ‘not-knowing’ a chance. I know that this is dependent on this notion of ‘earnest.’ We spoke about it when you were here also and we deconstructed it in some way, but don’t make anything a ‘thing.’ Don’t make anything a ‘thing’ …, [Silence] Suppose I was going to give you the greatest, greatest, greatest gift ever! …, but you are only looking for earnestness. And you might even feel like ‘He is not answering my prayer.’

‘Don’t know’ what you want also and see what happens.

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Don’t Be Attached to Any Idea

Some of you know that I have been sharing this simple story about the elephant and six blind men. I just shared a link today which had a very beautiful poem about it. This is a poem called ‘The Blind Men and the Elephant’ by John Godfrey Saxe. It was written somewhere around the 1800’s.

It says:

It was six men of Indostan To learning much inclined, Who went to see the elephant Though all of them were blind, That each by observation Might satisfy his mind.

And so these men of Indostan Disputed loud and long, Each in his own opinion Exceeding stiff and strong, Though each was partly in the right, And all were in the wrong! [Chuckles]

(Then they have written in the end, like a moral): So, oft in theological wars

The disputants, I ween, Rail on in utter ignorance Of what each other mean And prate about an Elephant Not one of them has seen!

I have to say that I am very attracted to this parable, this story, because this is how worldly perspectives are. And all the disputes are about this, just differences in perspective. One line he says ‘All of them are little bit right but all of them are wrong’. [Chuckles]

So, just notice if we have any such things that we feel we are so right about, that things have to be this way or don’t have to be this way, or this is right and this is wrong. Really, truly in our heart; go in our heart and just check: What is it? Isn’t it just a belief? Isn’t it just an opinion, just an idea? And weren’t You before this idea?

Don’t be attached to any baggage that you hold. Don’t be attached to any idea. Because the Truth is not so flimsy. The Truth is not so flimsy that if an idea goes away, It will go away; if an idea comes, It will come. Then what would the difference be between Truth an opinion? Opinions are like that, beliefs are like that. They come, they go. Is that what all of this is about?

In a way, all this is about ridding ourselves of this; ridding ourselves of these opinions, beliefs, of our righteousness. And it is only these differences in perspective. And nobody has truly seen the elephant. In fact, the ‘elephant’ cannot be seen by these eyes. And yet we’re all fighting …, ‘No, it is a pillar, it is a fan, it is a pipe.’

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A Zen Koan

A:So, let’s go back to that Zen koan where there is a goose who is stuck in a vase. There is a goose who is stuck in the vase. Now because everyone cares for it, they feed it from the top. It is too big to come out. But the more it is being fed the bigger it is getting and if it gets any bigger it will die because it will be squeezed. If it is not fed it will die. And the vase is priceless, it cannot be broken. So, how would you bring the goose out? The top of the vase is too small, you can’t pull it out. Your job is to take this one out. How will you do it? First you can think about why it is not possible. What are those things which make it not possible?

Q: You can say ‘Take the goose out of the vase.’

A: Yes, I accept that answer.

Q: The impossibility is in the thought.

A:The impossibility is in the thought. Now, when you say ‘I take it out.’ That’s it? What happened to the impossibility?

Q: There is no impossibility. [Laughs]

A:There is no impossibility. So, is there now a possibility? Did the impossibility get replaced with possibility?

Q: There is no possibility, no impossibility. [Laughs and everyone laughs]

[Reading from chat]: “I just have to leave all the concepts aside.” Ah, you see? Not even that, because even that is a concept. It has to be more primal, just like ‘Ah!’ [Makes a quick hand movement] Something… Not like ‘Ah, now I see what I have to do, I have to leave something aside’ because then future, past, time can all come in. Just something more. [Snapping fingers] Not even this.

Q: Father, I just felt the contraction of the koan. I felt that everything was in that thought.

A:Yes, exactly. All that contracts was within that thought, within the limitation that the thought places on us.

Q: I was playing the role of the one who tried to resolve the problem.

A:Yes, so we give it to the intellect and say ‘Now, if I do this…’ and ‘How do I do that?’ You see? So, it cannot be solved. People have tried to solve it for thousands of years and not succeeded; with this same koan. Not in that way. [Points to his head meaning intellectually] The same koan.

Q:And it is very freeing because it leads to a place where I can hear myself saying ‘I (as the seeker) I don’t know.’

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What Is Beyond Duality and Non-Duality?

All our ideas of right and wrong, good and bad,

up and down, time and space, cause and effect,

do they apply to the Reality of You?

And if they do not apply to the Reality of You, for whom do they actually apply?

Who is in time?

Who is in space?

For whom is there is a past?

For whom will there be a future?

For whom is there even Being and not-Being?

For whom is there a Self?

Who is aware of Awareness?

And if all of these things do not mean anything to the Reality of You.

How is it that they seem to bind us?

Who is even bound or free?

Who is doing or not-doing?

What does any of these actually mean?

And what do you really know?

What is beyond the ideas of duality and non-duality?

What is beyond one or many, same or different,

true or false?

What makes Truth true?

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This Idea of ‘All the Way’ Is Still ‘My Way’

[Ananta had said: You have said you want to go ‘All the way’]

[Reading from chat]: She says: ‘Yes, all the way, but not this way.’ [Chuckles]

It is very good. Although it is very simple statement, it contains a lot; this idea of ‘It has to be my way’ or ‘I saw Ananta; we saw he sat in front of his Master’s chair [Guruji Mooji’s chair] and just something happened there on the hot seat. It should have been that way. What is all this business about oranges?’ [Chuckles] [Referring to an inquiry question Ananta had posed earlier involving oranges]

[Reading from chat]: “How to break this mental bond with the physical body as ‘I’?”

In you one moment of notion-less it is broken.

All that is false relies on a concept.

And this is why this sort of Satsang can be a struggle for many of us because there is nothing that you can actually grasp at. And we are used to learning by grasping in this way. Now you are getting used to something which is, in a way, the product of letting go and not grasping. All that you hold true, all that you think is valid, is being put into question. At all the various seeming layers of your existence (this apparent world, at level of your imagination, at your thoughts, at your emotions, at your intellect) in all of these layers, we have interpreted and made ourself believe that we are this entity called the ‘ego.’

So, as all of our beliefs, all our knowledge, seeming knowledge about each of these layers is being punctured, where will the ego stand?

And the good news is that even if it feels like you have not gone all the way or it is not clear (even these are just ideas, of course) at least there is very little room here to pick up any non- sense ideas.

It might be posing as if it is ‘All the way.’ We might have an idea of ‘All the way’ but that idea is never ‘All the way.’ It is still ‘my way.’

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Words Spoken in Satsang Are Just Pointers

A:If you were to ask me ‘Who are you worried about more, the ones who are frustrated or the ones who are not frustrated?’ …, I couldn’t give you an answer.

What is actually frustration? And I know when you’re frustrated, that’s the last thing you want to look at. It’s like ‘Can you leave me alone with my frustration and can we not look at what is frustration?’ [Chuckling] Isn’t it? And you don’t want to look. ‘Just let me be frustrated. At least leave my frustration alone. Why do I have to look at it?’ [Laughing]

But what is it actually? It is just that we thought we knew something and now that ‘knowing’ is meaningless. And we’ve gone through this many times in life without getting frustrated. Why? Because a greater seeming-knowing was offered to you. You were told ‘Hey, that is a lie, but here, this is the Truth.’ Now what is happening is that everything that you think you know, you are now being told ‘No, that is meaningless, pointless.’ Sometimes I even call it rubbish or garbage; something like that. So, what do I have in return? I can’t even tell you. That can be very frustrating. ‘Okay, now you’re telling me what I’m holding is garbage but you’re not even telling me that I’m going to get something good in return.’ Because although it might seem like I can present concepts to you which are greater concepts, ultimately even they are garbage.

Let’s take an example. If I say ‘The truth cannot be spoken about’ you say ‘Ah, that’s very good; the truth can’t be spoken about.’ So, what did I just do there then? In saying ‘The truth cannot be spoken about’ what did I speak about?

Q: The truth.

A:See? Isn’t it? It can be, at best, a pointer. That’s why in Satsang, all the Sages don’t tire of saying ‘These are pointers, don’t hang onto them for themselves.’ They are like provisional truths or temporary lies that you believe for a while to get to emptying your basket fully. So, whether you call it the thorn, whether you call it the stick, whether you call it the sheep dog, all of these are the provisional statements being spoken so that you can come to this complete dropping of this conceptual framework which you think is true.

So, everything spoken in satsang is just provisional. The Masters is not expecting that you become a master of these words. He’s expecting that somewhere these words work (what I was calling it the other day?) like a cleaning solution but not to build a temple to the cleaning solution. Like what happens is we then we start to idolize this Harpic? [A cleaning solution] That is not the idea.

That is what is frustrating many of you because you’re feeling like ‘But I know this. I’m sure I know this. This is definitely true’ while at the same time buying dualistic concepts about it, like, ‘I definitely know the Truth but the Truth cannot be known.’ We are filled with this stuff. And I’m just prodding for the dropping of all of this.

You may not be liking this examination. And what is the struggle? Many of you have said ‘How can I live like that? How can I live like that?’ In this statement itself is the biggest lie; the lie that

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you have been living in a certain way according to what you have decided …, as if you know how to live. This itself is a big lie. When you’re being asked to throw away everything you know, the struggle is ‘But it’s not possible to live like that.’ But we don’t know how to live; nobody knows. The philosophers haven’t been able to solve it for tens of thousands of years. How to live? Nobody knows.

Maybe it’s too soon for jokes but also sometimes I want to say ‘Oh, we’ve done such a fabulous job so far, have we?’ [Chuckles and pretends] ‘How am I going to live now?’ …, like so far, it’s been A1. [Chuckles] So, if our knowing how to live has not been that super-fantastic (let’s admit it) then why not give this a chance?

All of this is just resistance to not-knowing; just the mind’s fight back. Guruji [MoojiBaba] says ‘Don’t make tattoos out of my words.’ I’m saying the same thing, that everything that you hear, even in Satsang, the words in themselves are not the ultimate Truth. At best, they are these devices, provisional devices, that are being used to point you to something beyond them. But every concept is troublesome including ‘beyond.’ There is nothing which is ‘beyond’ which is not Here. This is the struggle with language. So, as we transcend that which is false, you will see that this Truth has been so naturally present. No tattoos, no monuments, no idolizing …, because no words are fundamentally true, inherently true.

Just like everything else in the world; like Guruji says ‘Nothing in the world has inherent meaning.’ Then (I don’t know how to say this) if nothing in the world has inherent meaning then the term ‘meaning’ itself doesn’t have meaning. We can forget about it. It’s not like you come from an idea of meaningful-ness to an idea of meaningless-ness, because that can seem like a sort of nihilism; but there is no such thing as ‘meaning.’ So, it’s not that there could have been meaning but it’s empty of that meaning. It is just that there is no such thing as ‘meaning’ …, so that doesn’t even allow you to get into any sort of meaningless-ness. Even this idea that ‘Life is meaningless’ is a fraud.

Just wobble and float, wobble and float, wobble and float, wobble and float; don’t settle for anything. See where that goes.

Q: Can you explain?

A:Yes, yes, in the sense that Guruji says ‘Nothing in the world has inherent meaning.’ If you take that ‘Nothing inherently has any meaning’ that doesn’t mean it is meaningless. It only means that the term ‘meaning’ actually itself is meaningless. Like ‘meaning’ doesn’t mean anything because nothing has meaning anyway. So, what does it apply to? You see, if nothing has the meaning then what does it apply to? Nothing. This is the thing, that without meaning, our ego cannot survive. Now, it also makes meaning out of it by saying [shaking his head] ‘Oh, it’s so meaningless, so pointless.’ But that is also meaning that you’re giving. If it’s meaningless, then it should be empty of that meaning.

So, these terms like ‘knowing, like ‘meaning’ they don’t actually mean anything. Like ‘knowing’ doesn’t know anything, ‘meaning’ doesn’t mean anything. Now, empty of this you feel like

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you’re going to collapse. ‘What is life? I lost all my meaning.’ Some people play like that. But you haven’t, because you still feel like you know that, that ‘I lost my meaning.’

Can we get emptier than that? And what to do to get emptier than that?

[Clicks his fingers]: It has happened Now.

[Clicks his fingers]: It has happened Now. It has happened, okay?

It has happened.

[Laughing and someone in the sangha starts laughing then many start laughing]

No matter what is was, it is not Here.

You see?

In the freshness of Now … [Makes a gesture of nothing].

Now, if I say ‘What is troubling you?’ don’t take a second and tell me; don’t take a second and tell me: what is naturally here which is troubling you? You couldn’t do it. [Points to a sangha member laughing] You’re still taking a minute.

You see, it is not possible. It is not possible otherwise, I would be a fraud and speaking nonsense. If this was not true then naturally what is originally your nature Itself is burdened, Itself has some natural conceptual meaning that still remains, then I don’t know anything, then I’m just talking rubbish and please stop coming to Satsang, all of you.

But I’m fully, fully Here in this emptiness to See that none of our conceptual garbage makes it through this moment. In this moment … [Snaps his fingers] … it doesn’t make it, so it is dead. But it gets a lease of life again. [Makes a gesture of something floating by which you give assent to] And this only pokes what you think is important to you.

There is a deck of suffering, it has four different types of cards. You know it, these four different types of cards you know: relationship, security, body, freedom. Now, the mind has only these four types of cards and it always plays the same cards. That’s it. That’s all. Everything that you think you know is actually a misery card. You might feel like it’s a ‘get out of jail free card.’ You might feel like it’s a ‘get out of jail free’ card but it’s actually a misery card. ‘I know I’m this’ … ‘I know this relationship is this’ … ‘I know this money should be like this’ … ‘I know this body should not be like this or like that’ … ‘I know I’m finding my freedom’ or ‘Why am I not finding my freedom?’ It’s all hell.

But the good news is that heaven is Here Now.

Heaven is nothing but being empty of all of this.

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Go Hunting for Duality, the Results Will Startle You

I read something beautiful yesterday (I will post it maybe today) which said ‘Anytime you go hunting for duality, anytime you truly go hunting for duality, the results are bound to startle you.’ [Smiles] The results are bound to startle you. Because first you start discovering ‘Oh, I have been so caught up in this stuff? I thought I’m so spiritual for so many years but this is still here and this is still here. What have I achieved?’ It can feel frustrating in that way, also. So, although that might come out as if you are angry with the Master or something, much of it is just this not being happy with yourself because you feel like ‘I have been in spirituality for so long but I am still so attached to relationship, to money, to body, to the concept of finding my freedom. All these attachments are still there.’

So, this happens. Then you see that as you start hunting down notions of duality (everything that has opposites, we start hunting them down) we feel like ‘Ah, maybe I’ll just have a beautiful life. Maybe I’ll just have a beautiful life; it will be so nice. I will wake up smiling. I will just spend time with my family and just go back to sleep.’

But when you start hunting down duality, you realize that:

Time is duality.

Space is duality.

Cause and effect is duality.

Everything is duality.

This world is duality.

Truth and un-truth is duality.

Self and no-self is duality.

Being and not-being is duality.

Awareness, Consciousness, person, Presence; all is duality.

Where will you stop?

Everything is gone.

We discover that the concept of freedom is false, because the concept of bondage is false. We discover that the concept of truth is false, because the concept of false is false. That is what Guruji [Sri Mooji] means when he says ‘Nothing, nothing, nothing.’

And what do we do? We make a shrine to the ‘nothing’. [Smiles] Guruji says ‘Nothing, nothing, nothing.’ [We feel]: ‘Ah, this is good. This is something now!’ … ‘Nothing, nothing, nothing’ is now something. This is the thing. How to express this? Because everything that can be expressed, you make a shrine to that. So, ‘nothing’ is literally nothing, even empty of even itself.

There’s nowhere to hang your ego on; nowhere to hang your ideas on. Because the substratum of time and space, cause and effect; all of this you have seen through. And you just started this as an innocent journey. ‘Oh, I’m just going to clean up all the notions; just going to clean up all the notions.’ [Then]: ‘Hey, what do you mean, there is no time?’ [Smiles] And the Master says ‘There is neither time or no-time.’ [We feel]: ‘What are you saying?!’ [Chuckles] Imagine you are a student sitting around Shankara and Shankara is saying ‘Maya; it neither exists nor does it not exist.’ At least there was no Facebook messenger in those days. [Laughter in the room]

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We Know the Truth, Still What Needs to Happen?

Q:My ‘brother’ just was talking and as he was talking, you were talking back to him. I’m like ‘Damn, Father says the same things to us every day every day. Every day!’ And I personally know …, I was riding my bike the other day and I know I had this moment. […] I was on my bike and I was having a really good day [Smiles] and I was just feeling alive. The sun was out and I was thinking about you guys and you, Father and I was just feeling good. And then I had this feeling that ‘I am the lights on. I’m the lights on’ like ‘I am life.’ I just had in my mind ‘I’m the lights on.’ So, regardless of everything that comes on, ‘I am the lights on’. Does that make sense? Like I’m that. Actually, I know that I am life. I know that I’m no thought, at all.

Somehow that is established in that. And I see all of us know that; I see all of us know that. I mean, I have beautiful moments. I even wrote a song. I write (I mentioned that last time) and the lyrics are: ‘It’s a celebration, no condemnation, no condemnation.’ So, I’ve been saying that I’m knowing that I am Grace. I have these times where I’m just totally free. I know we all do. But then we get caught up.

What needs to happen? What needs to happen? Because we know the Truth. Do we need to just stand firm, sit on your lap, keep quiet, read the bible, listen to the Astral? [Laughs] What? Something needs to happen; I don’t know. But right now, I feel good and I know feelings are just visitors. I know that. I know I’m ‘the lights on.’ So, why do these times come where it’s not so established? So, I don’t know. But then again, I just be like ‘Oh, throw it away! It’s just that simple. No stick; throw it away.’ [Laughs] And then sometimes it will just come up and it’ll be so strong and I start thinking about the past and beat myself up about something. ‘I passed the homeless guy. Maybe I should have gave him the quarters in my pocket.’ You know?’ [Laughs] Just so much. And I just be like ‘Throw it away.’ Is that too much of the past? That’s it. I want to be quiet now.

A:He is very good. I have always enjoyed hearing your report very much. It brings great joy; not just to me (the mic was off here) but everybody here is smiling and happy to hear you, my dear. This is very good [Chuckles] And we needed that today (maybe, in a way). [Laughs] So, the main thing I understood from this is that: What needs to happen? And I feel like you know the answer but it’s good to hear it fresh every time because (as you said) I’m just saying the same things every day. [Chuckles] So, what needs to happen is:

One moment of your Existence without any interpretation. And that is Now. And what needs to happen Now? … is one moment of your Existence without any interpretation. Which is Now.

And what needs to happen Now? … is one moment of your Existence without interpretation. Which is Now.

Now, what gets to us is that sometimes there are moments that interpretation is believed. Something happens, you believe in idea about yourself, you believe in your limitation, in your constriction. Now, what needs to happen then?

It is exactly the same. It is not the post-mortem, it is not the guilt, it is not the unworthiness. But what needs to happen then … is one moment of your Existence without your interpretation.

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Now, mind has many interpretations about this. Like it could say ‘This is too simple’ or ‘Is that it? … But what about something special? … But what about fireworks? …But why do I keep going back and forth?’ And in all of this, the only thing that ever needs to happen is … one moment of your Existence without interpretation. It is just that straightforward. It is just that straightforward. And that moment always can only be Now.

Now this answer many times is not satisfying to the mind. Like ‘Tell me what to do? Do I need to constantly be in self-inquiry? Do I need to be physically there in Satsang? What is it? What? What? What? … How is it?’ But with full integrity, I am telling you that this is the only answer: If something needs to happen it is only this: that you leave this moment completely unjudged.

Q:Your wisdom blows me. Because you start off by saying ‘You probably already know.’ And I do! [Laughs] That’s … Yeah… What… I don’t want to stretch this out. But why do I need to still get the confirmation? Why can’t it just be like: What is Now, Now, Now. And I tell myself that, but the establishment in that I need to hear it from Father. You know? That’s how I’m feeling, like I need to read it somewhere, I need to get it, I can’t …, I don’t feel like I’m my own Guru.

A:Yes. So, just like this (as it unfolded that the body became so intimate to you that you might call it you) some words are arising from that body which is saying ‘What needs to happen?’ and all of that. You have to also leave that moment unjudged, uninterrupted. Because otherwise, this duality gets a hold; like these kinds of questions. Every ‘why’ question is not actually a ‘why’ question. It is fundamentally only a confusion about who we are. When you say ‘Why do I still need confirmation from Father?’ you are still making a separation between you and me. But as you leave it unjudged, no matter what’s appearing in this movie, no matter how the waves are flowing, as we leave it unjudged, uninterrupted, not judging yourself like ‘Why am I still like this? When will this be over?’ you See you were still coming back to duality: ‘I am this object.’

So, it is like this. These are the trump cards that the mind will use, these judgments, its interpretations of what is happening. So, in this play, in this game, you are playing in this way that the Oneness is being recognized so naturally in that moment of un-interpretation, non- judgment. But the mind seems to bring up what it knows is the trump card. It will say ‘Why do you still need Father? Why can’t you be on your own?’ Now, what have you made yourself to be in that judgment? You have again made yourself to be the one with birth and death, one with limitations; just that body, isn’t it? But in the moment where you are empty of any interpretation, what are you? Are you just this body? (You don’t have to answer that because that would be a judgment.) But you will see that at least that limitation is not there. That limitation is not there and that is the important thing; that is the pristine Truth.

Q:I have nothing to say. I’m satisfied. I have nothing to say; don’t even want to say ‘I’m satisfied.’

A:Very good. All that I am actually saying is this: Just leave this alone. Just don’t interpret, don’t judge, don’t bring any knowing into this. Because it’s all false. It only inserts duality where there is none.

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The Master’s Tools

What is actually happening in Satsang when this messaging is coming and you feel like this is meaningful? Suppose the message was meaningful that ‘The mind has to go.’ This message; suppose it is meaningful. Okay, we talked about ‘What are the tools that ego has?’ So, what are the tools that the Master has? You know that by now. What are the tools? If this messaging is there, what are the tools that the Master will use?

He will say:

Who is it talking to?

Who are you in the first place?

Can you define for whom it has to go?

Or who is the perceiver of the mind?’

The ‘Who?’ questions.

Should I lay out all the tools or will you then just end up ‘knowing’ this? [Chuckles]

Okay, let’s say that is the tool. Because of what? Because of just this seeming-habit to give meaning to this. And if you were to deconstruct it (which is the second tool) it is to then look to see ‘Do we know any of this; what this is saying? ‘I wish the mind would just go.’ We don’t know that ‘I’ is, what a ‘wish’ would be, what the ‘mind’ actually is and what ‘coming and going’ is. We do not know any of this. So, that is what the not-knowing is about. It’s the same thing.

To let you remain without interpretation is the whole game, in a way.

So, what is the third? (Okay, fine I am sharing.) It’s that ‘Whatever it is saying, it is the Master’s problem.’ We do not have to worry about it. Surrender. Like that.

Without attaching anything, all these tools (just in the way the mind uses the tools of relationships, of security, of body of meaning of freedom) all of these things; the Master also uses these tools to deconstruct our interpretations, our knowing.

So, suppose that you say ‘I wish I would be empty of desire.’ That itself is so fake, isn’t it? Because that itself is a desire. So, start being empty of that.

Fundamentally what every Master is saying is that all our interpretations are invalid. And that is why they lose their meaning and you are able to let them go.

So, what am I saying? Fundamentally, it is all about giving yourself this gift of living in un- interpreted, un-labeled Existence; notion-less, concept-less (whatever you call it). We say: If this was clear, it’s finished. [Chuckles] Finished, just like that. Return to a child-like innocence. Just children …, ‘La, la, la.’ …, just playing; one second dancing, one second crying. It’s okay. Let it become like that.

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But what usually happens is that we have a ‘But.’ It’s like an interpretation. It’s like ‘When will this become permanent?’ Then the Master can say ‘Who wants it to be permanent?’ Or ‘What do you know about ‘permanent’ anyway? What is permanent? What is time? Do you know any of these?’

It will become permanent when ‘Guru’s Kripa.’

So, leave it.

Either way, leave it.

If you do not know, leave it. Who wants it this way? Leave it. It is the Masters problem, leave it. Any which-way, leave it. [Smiles]

And coming in to that un-interpreted state. (It’s not a state but let’s call it ‘state’ for a moment.)

What is an interpretation? Just a version of reality which doesn’t match up to the actuality at all …, in any moment of just looking. Can you have a version of what is going on, even right now phenomenally? …, (forget about the non-phenomenal aspect). Who can truly define what this is? Even phenomenally, we cannot. And the Reality is just apparent to us naturally. So, we do not need the photocopy, the facsimile version of it.

It is an invitation to Know. This version, which does not actually confirm to reality at all because it is inherently dual, is inherently full of separation; all our versions. So, in this moment of un- labeled existence, it is enlightenment, it is freedom, it is truth, it is the most scared practice.

This is what I was saying the other day, that there is actually no distinction between any of these. It is just This. [Smiles] Even to say ‘It is just This’ would not be valid because then the mind makes a version of this, which is the phenomenal ‘this.’ And at least that has something; that or something, this and that. So, it is just a stepping back from duality (although I realize that even that is a dualistic phase). So, if you have an interpretation of anything at all, the Master will have a ‘who?’ …, will have a ‘Nonsense’ …, will have a ‘Leave it to me.’ [Chuckles] These are the main tools.

Or he will have a paradox, which is available to you. You see, like a paradox. ‘If you think you know so much, okay, tell me more what this is, what this is’ …, just to help you return to your innocence. Because in your innocence, the truth is apparent …, it is enlightenment.

But the truly innocent is not even hanging on to the idea that ‘In my innocence, the truth is apparent.’ This is the thing. That is why I have said that most importantly what am I saying is that to know even one thing is to know too much. At best, at best, if you say ‘I just can’t do it’ or some idea like that …, rather than the idea that ‘I just can’t do it’ then hold at least one notion. You are given license of one notion:

Maybe it is ‘Guru Kripa Kevalam.’

Maybe it is ‘Who am I?’

Maybe it is ‘What do I know when I know nothing?’

But fundamentally, even this will have to be left behind.

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This Is All There Is

Q:I start the day trying to be there, so I seek the help of meditation with Mooji and it goes on. I’m quite content being there. And after I did a session with you, I looked at Instagram (I don’t do that every day) and there it was: Ramana saying ‘You need effort to be there. You need a conscious effort to be there.’ I don’t know, it seemed so, so strange, like He was taking to me, like he was telling me ‘No, the effort you’re doing to be there is necessary at this point’ because I’m not naturally there. But I’m just rambling now…

A:No, no, it’s good. It seems like a slight shift in perspective because the way you conveyed it to me the other day was that ‘I’m on this constant treadmill trying to get it.’ It was not like ‘I’m quite content.’ You see? It was more like ‘Oh, I feel like I’m on this constant treadmill to try and get it.’

What Bhagavan [Sri Ramana Maharshi] has said is not new to you. I’ve often said that because our habit is to try and pick it up, initially it can feel like an effort to leave it alone. So, that effort we must make. If you still buy into the idea that ‘I’m still not naturally there’ your perspective, in a way, defines this. Depending on what the nature of your doubt is, what you’re saying ‘But’ about, the Master will have one of these tools. If you say ‘But I’m not naturally there’ then obviously, the Master will say ‘Then inquire who you are.’

So, say something which is truthful about you, then the Master can give you a valid response.

Q:So, now the technique I use, I’m efforting. For that effortless place, I’m efforting. So, what do I say? These are things that help me, okay? I say ‘I’m not an object.’ I’m not an object, so straight away I go into that objectless place.

A:Okay, slowly, slowly. So, when you say ‘I’m not an object and I go into an objectless place’ …, now, is this ‘I’ which goes into an objectless place an object? Or what is it?

Q:No, it’s not an object.

A: What is it?

Q: It’s just plain Being; it’s just Being.

A: And what was its nature before you said ‘I’m not an object?’

Q: [Laughing]

A:So, it is not that something is actually changing, it is just that you’re recognizi ng in a more clear way the reality of what already Is. That is good. Because otherwise it can feel like ‘When I do this I become that or change into that.’ You recognize what already Is. Then that reduces the scale of the disease in a way, because you see that there’s no actual affliction; it’s just a ‘seeming’ that I had this affliction of objectivity, in the sense of the affliction of limitation.

Okay, so that is one. What is the second trick you use? ‘I’m not an object’ is a good one.

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Q:So, I say ‘I’m Being. Just Being. Just be.’ In that Being, I can just be. So, that much effort is required sometimes; most of the time.

A:Yes, and as long as this report sounds true, you must put in that effort; any inquiry (‘Who am I?’) You’re doing ‘the invitation’ which is good. As long as there’s a sense there is a ‘me’, whatever the affiliations of this ‘me’ might be, it is good to use one of these pointers. [Silence]

Q:The other day when I was sitting with you, the Isness was so …, it wasn’t a photocopy.

A:So, if you don’t worry about how it was that day, how is it Now?

Q:Even now, that object-less…, I don’t know. I’m looking for that which I experienced. This kind of stupid habit is coming.

A: To storify, in a way.

Q: Yeah, that’s like storifying, isn’t it?

A:Yeah, like ‘that day this happened….’

Q: Yeah.

A:That’s exactly what I was telling you even that day; the full Ganga is here. The full Ganga, the full river, is here. You don’t have to go to your cans of three days ago. Fresh water is completely available.

Q: [Laughter]

A:It’s all a habit to conclude a thing: ‘Okay, this is what I got that day, this is what I see today, this is what happened to me.’ You see? But suppose your son (when he was younger, suppose at five or six) he came to you; he was in a river of fresh water and was able to drink and he said

‘I’m running out of water in my can. What shall I do Pa?’ What would you tell him? You’ll say ‘Here drink this. It’s just here!’ It’s like I say sometimes: You have the best buffet in the world laid out for you but you’re worried about the morsels that you have in your pocket. This can happen. I’m not saying this in a bad way; it can happen. This is the habit, you see. All-There-Is is just Here naturally. All-There-Is is just Here naturally.

Q: The ocean there is …

A: You are there as the ocean …

Q: Drink the honey rather than be the honey …

A:What do you want with the honey? [Chuckles] Just don’t go back to your pouches of honey collected from previous dips. This boundless ocean is just naturally Here.

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Kabir said ‘The fish is thirsting in the water.’ What to tell it? The fish says ‘Do I need to make an effort to gulp? Or should I just gulp? Or is it just naturally happening?’ What do you tell the fish? If it feels like effort, just drink; either way, you drink!

[Laughter in the room]

You see, this is the thing; actually, just like that. What instruction would you want to give the fish? What instruction would you give the fish who’s complaining to you that it is thirsty? The fish is saying ‘But the greatest authority has told me to make the effort.’ I’m saying ‘Okay, drink. Whatever it takes, you drink!’ [Laughs]

Now, the thing is, the paradigm is even funnier that that because it is not the fish that is complaining, it is the water complaining. [Chuckling] Even that line of separation is not there. It’s like a droplet of water is complaining ‘What do I do? I’m thirsty?’ But you are water! You know? ‘But it takes effort to say I’m water.’ [Chuckling] Okay, make the effort. ‘But it should be natural.’ Okay, it’s natural. Whatever …

It’s like we have to find a way to insert duality where there is none; even this effort/non-effort paradigm. It’s like the droplet has to find a way to do it instead of just doing it; instead of just Being it, in a way.

The water droplet is saying that ‘The highest authority came to me on Instagram.’ [Laughter in the room] It’s quite excited now. ‘You have to drink. You have to drink, man. How can you say….’

Q: Total bobo.

A:It has to be pointed out. The thing is, effort/non-effort; what is it? What is it? What is it? That is important. What are You, Now? Either you make effort or you don’t make effort: what are

You Now?

The water droplet says ‘Shall I take a glass and drink? Should I fill it in my cup? Or should I just dip myself in it and drink?’ What answer will you give? Whatever you do, you drink. ‘No, tell me how. What is the best way?’

Fundamentally, it’s like saying ‘Should I make an effort to leave it, or should I just leave it?’

Either way, leave it.

Should I do ‘Om shanti, shanti, shanti, shanti … [makes a gesture of giving it up, then it’s been] left? Or is it just left?’ [Laughs]

Leave it.

Q: The total identity is not lost.

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A:As long as you still believe that that is true, some pointing will come, some instruction will come.

Now, if the fish came to you and said ‘But my identity is not lost, so how do I drink?’ or the water droplet said this to you, what would you say?

The only thing that keeps up your identity in that moment is the belief in the idea that ‘Identity is not lost.’

Can I promise you one thing? …, that in your one moment of notionless-ness, you’re as free as Bhagavan was.

[Silence]

If he picked up the idea that ‘Full identity is not lost’ then he would be as bound as you are. There is no other distinction. (And even this distinction is not fundamentally true.)

This is for all of you. Because we can then otherwise have this projected idea that the truth is far, that the finality is at a distance away; then we project time and space into all of this.

But it is only This.

This is All-There-Is.

Otherwise, there could be no truth if it also came and went.

So, give yourself the gift of freedom Right Now …, as free as the greatest Sage ever was.

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Empty of The Idea of Emptiness

So, what do we need to do to give ourselves this gift of one moment of un-interpreted Existence? If you call that effort, then that effort can be made. It is just that.

What do you need to do to give yourself this gift of not labeling ‘What Is’ … of letting go?

So, if it takes the question ‘Who am I?’ then of course, ask it. If it takes the reminder ‘Guru Kripa Kevalam’ of course, use it.

If you need to be reminded that ‘You do not know anything at all’ you might use it. Whatever the case.

But the point is not what it takes you get you there but what this is. What is here?

Give yourself this gift, this moment.

Empty of right and wrong.

Empty of got it, lost it.

Empty of truth and false.

Empty of effort and non-effort.

Empty of abiding and non-abiding.

Empty of recognition and non- recognition.

Empty of every idea and its opposite.

Empty of lower and higher.

Of truer and falser.

Of ultimate and practical.

Empty of time and timeless.

Empty of the idea of emptiness.

Neither this way nor that way.

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What Would You Say the Truth Is?

There is this example I came across the other day. (Every time I say ‘the other day’ these people laugh at me because it could be last week or it could be two years ago, I can’t really tell.) [Chuckles] The example was that two men are standing; two men were standing and a breeze blows. One man says, ‘Ah, the wind is so cold today’. The other man says, ‘The wind is quite warm.’ One says it’s cold and the other one says it’s quite warm. What is the truth?

Q:None and both.

A:None and both.

Q:One’s an Indian, one is Canadian. [Sangha laughs]

A:She says ‘One is Indian, one is Canadian.’ [Laughs] But if your life depended on it …, if you’ve been seeking this truth, if you’ve made yourself this seeker of this truth of the temperature of the wind, and your life depended on it, what would you say is the truth?

Q:Logically, it would be that my body is (what I am feeling inside) is determining what is hot or cold of that wind, to me.

A: What is the temperature of the wind?

Q:So, if I had a thermometer, where we had made a concept of that (zero is zero and above that it is warm and below it is cold) then if I would measure it in (let’s say) wind temperature, we get a number 25 degree Celsius or 5 degree Celsius or minus five degree Celsius …, but that would be because I had decided that zero was normal.

A:That’s cool. So, supposing we had two thermometers and they also give different reading.

Q:And my life depends on it?

A:Yes. [Laughs]

Q:So, I would just say ‘I surrender, I don’t know.’

A:If your life depended on speaking the truth, what would you say? [Sangha]: I don’t know.

A:Yes, I don’t know. Exactly. [Laughs] This is good, this is good.

So, now if I was to tell you that everything, everything, everything in life is like this? We have made our perspectives, we have made opinions, beliefs, out of just perspectives, out of just thoughts, but actually now, because there is so much investment into those opinions, beliefs, perspectives, we feel like ‘I don’t know’ is a waste.

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Q:So, Father what came to my mind was there was something here confirming that it’s true.

A:[Laughs] So, not even this. It’s good. Not even this.

Bhagavan [Sri Ramana Maharshi] says, for example, that ‘As long as ‘I Am’ is ‘I Am’, everything is fine. The minute you buy into the idea that ‘I am something’ that is the ego, jivatma, separation, individualization, ego; all of this. But this idea ‘I am something’ depends on what?

Q: I Am.

A:It depends on I Am, of course …, but what is the position that you have with regards to this something?

Q: Individual perspectives.

A:It’s a perspective, a notion, an idea that ‘I know what I am. I am this thing. I am man. I am woman. I am good. I am bad.’ And the minute we put these perspectives onto ourselves, we also put them onto the world. ‘I am like this but the world is like that’ … ‘I want to be free but the world wants me to be earning a lot of money’ … ‘I want to be free but the world wants me to look after my responsibilities.’ See? The minute we define ourself, we start defining everything.

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All Things Are Perfectly Resolved in the Unborn

Now, if what Bankei said was true that ‘All things are perfectly resolved in the Unborn’…, then what is all of this about?

I have also reminded you again and again that there is no such thing as a neutral thought. Even this thought is an assertion, it is not neutral. Even to say ‘There is no neutral thought’ is an assertion. It in itself is not neutral.

The Unborn is this neutrality, this notion-less-ness is this neutrality, this ‘I Am’ empty of notion of something is this neutrality.

It would be a struggle if you had to go looking for it ‘Now where do I go to find it?’ But I’m telling you that it is just Here Now, naturally present.

Now depending on what you say (which could be ‘But…’) then I can give you an answer which fundamentally will only say that ‘Whatever the but… is, it’s not true’ (in varying degrees). [Chuckles] And I have also been quite open and told you all the tools I have in my arsenal for this. Isn’t it?

I say ‘Do you really know this?’

You say ‘But, how can I stay in it?’ (for example) ‘Yes, it’s here now, I sense it when I come to Satsang, in your Presence.’ (all of these things) ‘But how can I stay in it?’ Then the Master will say something like:

Can you leave it actually and show me?

Do you really know that you have to stay in it …, if you can’t leave it?’

Or the Master will say:

Who is it the ‘I’ that wants to stay in it?

Or the Master will say:

What does it mean to stay? Or to go?

Or the Master will say:

Guru Kripa Kevalam: to stay or not stay is the Master’s problem.

That’s all that the Sage is doing. You might feel that he is very intelligent; he has got lot of tools. [Chuckles] All he is doing is questioning your doubt. He is not answering your question; he is just questioning your question. And mostly, it is very irritating when he is questioning your question because you came or answers presumably.

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Now, these children, they’re new [new ones in Satsang] so suppose she says ‘I came for this and I wanted to understand that’ and ‘I want freedom’ or something like that? If I say that ‘The question itself does not apply to the Reality of you’ [Makes a of her leaving and pretending that she is thinking]: ‘All of these people here come to listen to this every day?’ [Laughter]

The question itself is not applicable to the Reality of You … is all that I am pointing at, isn’t it? All the answers are not giving you (hopefully, not giving you) too much that you can put in your bag of beliefs and concepts further. You are not feeding more milk to the cat, to the non-existent cat ego. So, all that is really happening is that the Master is trying to find a way in which to deconstruct any notions that you have about yourself so that you can come to this notionless Existence, this Unborn, this I-Am-ness-without-something, prior to the birth of (the seeming- birth of) the individualized Consciousness. This is all there is.

Now, if in your naturalness it was needed that you knew something, then Bankei would have said ‘The Unborn plus this knowledge.’ [Smiles] If it was needed that you understand something, that you have figured something out, that you have calculated the equation to freedom, then Bankei would have said ‘Not just the child-like innocence of the Unborn but also you need to have solved this equation.’ But it is not that.

So, the premise itself, what we are trying to sort out or figure out …

And maybe ‘Jnana Yoga’ is a misleading term somewhere because it can feel like ‘I need to get more and more knowledge.’ So, ‘Jnana’ truly must mean the light of pure Seeing, not the light of some concepts or the shadow of some concepts. [Chuckles]

What is here in the light of your pure Seeing? …, independent of any notions that you have about yourself? Now, my proposal to all of you is that: The complete, compete, complete Truth is completely apparent Right Now to You in your Seeing …, but not in your saying or thinking, not in your intellectualizing.

This is my proposal, that the Unborn is Here Now, your notionless Existence is naturally present. Therefore, the Truth cannot be distant, cannot be in the future.

Now who will you go to for confirmation? Who will you go to for confirmation? Will you go to the voice in your heads? ‘But…’ [Laughs] This is what the voice will say, no? ‘But … Ah, very good; today’s Satsang. But…’

This is the thing. When it knows it is outnumbered (in a sense) then it also tries to be your spiritual friend and say ‘This is very good, it’s all making sense, but…’

So, my proposal was what? Who remembers my proposal? [Laughs]

Q: Truth is absolutely apparent Right Now without any interpretation from the mind.

A:Good. Truth is absolutely apparent to you Right Now. Now, where will you go for confirmation?

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Q: Who is it that wants this confirmation?

A:‘Who is it that wants this confirmation’ is the same one that wants anything else, in the sense that: Who is it that wants freedom? Who is it that wants to come to Satsang? (That same one.) [Chuckles]

So, who is here? When someone asks me this question, I say ‘Okay, let’s make it simpler.’ (Like my son is studying for his SAT’s, okay? There they have these ‘multiple choice.’) So, can you give me the options? [Chuckles] What the various options for this: Who wants confirmation?

[First option] (A) is person, personal identity. Okay, what is the second option? [Smiles] You can make it simpler for me, no? [Laughs]

Q:Maybe the mind wanting something to…

A:‘The mind wanting something.’ Now, another proposal for you is that the mind, whatever it wanted, is already gone. Whatever the mind wanted is already gone. Now, what is left?

It can come back of course and say [gestures ‘whatever’] It’s like that tree which vanishes but if you pull one leaf, it seems to come back. [Laughs] It vanishes this moment; you cannot bring your mind back into this moment naturally. Whatever your conditions are, whatever your belief systems are, whatever you think is true, all is gone. The best cleaning lady in the world has done her job. All is cleaned up. Now, the mind will come again with ‘but., but…, what about…?’

Q: The fear of the unknown.

A:Fear of the unknown, she says. Yes. This fear of letting go is just this fear of the unknown, whether you call it ‘the unknown, the fear of losing identity, the fear of dying, the fear of not existing.’ It takes all of these various forms. It can even take a very worldly form like ‘How will

I live my life?’ It is the same fear of the unknown. And that is why the Master is here to tell you that ‘This fear, it comes very naturally, but I am here to hold your hand through this fear so that you can see that it can take nothing which is Real away from you.’ [Smiles] And this fear of the unknown is what many of you have been encountering because I have given you another proposal:

I have told you that ‘To know even one thing is to know too much.’

But I have asked you to look and tell me ‘What do you know when you know nothing?’

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‘I Do Not Know’ Is Good

Q: I’m done looking for this.

A: ‘I’m done looking for this.’ You have to elaborate a bit.

Q:I don’t even know what this is; there are so many ideologies behind. You get close and then something else comes puts you behind.

A: Take an example.

Q:Like you think you get a glimpse of it, and then it just doesn’t last for long and then you go back to your life. And then you hear and it resonates with you and you say ‘Oh my god, that’s what it is. And it goes back and then I can’t let go because you know it’s the Truth, but can’t seem to sustain it.

A:I’m a bit nuts in a way. Why? Because when you report to me that ‘I get a glimpse of it and then I lose it’ I want to invite you to actually Right Now lose it. Don’t have it, lose it. Is it lost?

Q: Not really.

A:If it can be gotten and it can be lost, it was never It anyway. So, the glimpse (as you call it) can be an insight, an experience of it, in a way, which can seem uninterrupted by the mind, or uninterrupted by something else; some clarity or something like that. But if it becomes about that, then it is not that. It is not that. You’re not trying to get to something. I’m inviting you to lose it. Like, instead of trying to find it, you lose it. Like you would say ‘I come here looking for myself.’ Now I ask you, can you stop Being?

Try to stop Being. Don’t be. [Silence]

Can’t.

[Chuckles]

So, that Being which everyone seems to be chasing, that Atma, that sense of Presence, that Consciousness, is just naturally Here. In fact, whatever you might do, you cannot lose it. Now, are you aware of this? Or not? You’re aware that you exist. (Before it sounds very fancy; I have to catch you quickly because otherwise it’ll become a thing.)

You’re aware that you’re Here. You’re just aware.

Now, this awareness, can you switch it off?

Q: No.

A: That’s It.

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Now, if you don’t go to the peddler of objections (it will come and say, ‘Objection, your honor’) [Chuckling] the Truth of this is completely apparent. And even if you do go to it, all it will sell you is a doubt. But the fact is, as you experiment with this, you will see that if it is real it can never be lost anyway. ‘I can’t stop being and so naturally I’m aware of my existence.’

So, if that story went away, the story of the spiritual seeker (‘Why do we struggle, she went here, she went there, she went to this teacher, she went to this satsang, this retreat, this practice, this book …, all this is gone) now, what is left?

Q: I don’t know what else is there.

A:And is this ‘I don’t know’ good news or bad?

Q: Is it good?

A:I would say it is good. [Chuckling] Actually, is it nothing like everything else but if we were to say good or bad, I would say it is good. Now how will you make yourself suffer? Which concept will you use? Because without concept, you know that you can’t suffer. Have you seen this?

Q: Yeah

A: So, now what will you use?

Q: Concept? … Right, right. [Laughing] Using that state …?

A:Even that state is not it.

Q:Even that state is not it.

A:Ah! [Surprised laughter] Don’t misunderstand what I’m saying. It is neither It nor not-It.

It is not applicable. The thing is that we’ve been using this instrument [the mind] to measure Reality in some way. And we’re waiting for a certificate from that one in some way to say ‘That is it’. It’s just like saying I use the weighing scale in the kitchen to measure the weight of the earth. It is too small; it cannot fathom this Reality. So, its objections and its certifications don’t mean anything to the Reality of You, which we just experimented and saw you cannot lose.

Q: Something is coming and its saying ‘It can’t be that.’

A:Yes, yes, I’m used to that one. [Laughter] That is why we have Satsang Monday to Friday. [Laughter in the room]

See, if wasn’t that one, then one Satsang would have been enough. I’ve shared thousands over the last five years. This doesn’t mean that any of what it is saying is true, it is just that you seem to be playing in that way that you buy into its story …, of either achieving or not achieving. So,

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if the weighing scale says infinity or zero or five, I’m telling you this weighing scale cannot measure it.

Q: Okay.

A:So, it just seems like there is a habit, there is a condition, where we seem to refer back to the mind over and over to give us confirmation or a certificate about something. Initially, it can seem like a bit of a three-way conversation; I’m speaking here, your listening here and mind is also speaking there. This seems to be a bit of a struggle. And that can feel a bit uncomfortable because it’s like trying to ride two horses at the same time or sit on two chairs at the same time. It’s not so comfortable. But you’ll get used to it as you come to Satsang, that you start listening to this voice, which is just representative of your own intuitive voice anyway.

(Okay, we won’t get into that, why it has to play like this.)

[Silence]

Q: Do I let life pass me like a dream?

A:All of these confusions are not about the content of life or any event or how we should live. It is about who You Are.

Are you speaking as this Being who you saw here so naturally?

Or are you speaking as That which is aware even of this Beingness?

Which one, which one is worried about life passing?

Q: [Laughing and crying]

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Nothing Is Defined

[Reading from chat]: “Namaste, Father. I had a question. Bhagavan [Sri Ramana Maharshi] always said ‘There’s nothing to practice.’ He pointed directly by the inquiry ‘Who am I?’ But then why did he still practice all those practices of rituals, like offerings to the fire before cooking food? How does that make sense? Why to fallow these rituals? At least for me, there is no meaning or they make no sense. But I was curious why Bhagavan followed these. Please explain. (We will watch the video later tomorrow.)”

There is a sweetness in these things. There is sweetness in these; even these rituals, if they are done playfully and lightly. Playfully, if you play this game of seeing that ‘God is there, God is here’ and you are bowing down to everything as God (or whatever that from of that playfulness might take) …, because the waking state is full of activity.

So, nothing is required. Bhagavan never said that we need to be this way or that way. It is something which naturally unfolds, something that seems light, playful, easy.

Like, in the Kendra [Satsang hall) here also we have all these photos on the walls. [Smiles]

Why do we have them actually? Why do we need them? It is just for sometimes when buying into some story from the mind and we look at that photo, Papaji [Sri Poonja] for example. It just drops. [Smiles] Or look at Guruji [Sri Mooji] Pass me that Guruji … [Holds up the photo] It is a good reminder. [Sangha Smiles] No matter how seriously you are taking yourselves, in that one moment, we see him and … [Chuckles sweetly]

So, these are beautiful reminders that we have everywhere and we pray to them, we give them thanks, we hold them in our hearts with gratitude.

So, nothing is required. There is no prerequisite prescribed or any daily schedule or anything like that. And yet, because the waking state is there, you will see that this realm full of activity. Even if the body is lying down or sitting down, it is also activity. So, in this realm of activity, something, something …, some sweetness is there normally.

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In Satsang, Give Up Everything You’re Right About

Suppose you didn’t have to be right. Right? [Laughter] It is this need to be right which seems to be our bondage. So, this knowing, this need to be right, we don’t even need to be right about this.

You might have an idea about why you come to Satsang but if I were to put it a certain way, I would say you come [to Satsang] to give up everything that you’re right about.

Now, what many of you would naturally do is say that ‘Oh, I’m so wrong about everything.’ But you are not right about that also. Because even to say that ‘I’m so wrong about everything’ is to imply that you know what is right. So, I’m trying to push you beyond this duality; right/wrong, true/false, yes/no, and ultimately up /down …, (ultimately and not ultimately also because these are also just notions).

Have you ever met a tree which is caught up in ideas of right and wrong? I like Guruji’s [Sri Mooji’s] example of the tree very much. [Silence] And so many things that you actually believe are wrong today, you actually thought were right at some point of time; and vice versa. So, inherently, did they mean something? Or did the meaning only come from our pretense about them? Our meaning always comes from our perception, our view, our perspective. (Our perception not in the sense of the pure perception but our perception mixed with our view about them.) Based on this perspective, we claim many things; we claim many things like what is the difference between inside or outside.

In Hindi or Sanskrit, it is said ‘antarmukhi sadasukhi’ which means ‘The one who is facing inwards is always at peace.’ Now this ‘inwards’ is what? For many of us it can seem like ‘What is he asking? It so obvious, I close my eyes, I let go of my senses and here I am, inside.’ But inside what? And that which we call ‘outside’ …, once the senses are open, where does that come? There only, whether we call it inside or outside. So, this idea of duality itself is completely mental. (We can say intellectual if that makes us feel better.)

In a way, we are caught up in our intellect. Even now there might be a judge sitting there saying ‘Yes, yes, no, yes’ to everything thing that is being heard. So, let me be open about what the attempt here is. It is to push you beyond this realm of opposites, the pretense of duality.

Now this is a strange attempt. It is a strange attempt because … (let’s call it a non-dual space for a minute; I don’t really like that term, but I have to say something) … something has to show up which makes you give up, at least for a moment, on your duality, on your opposites. But that something will not be itself captured in any statement. We have been looking at a few statements, like I said ‘No thought in itself is neutral.’ And you can see that even that thought is not neutral, it itself is an assertion, itself can be negated. And we have been looking at a statement like ‘the Truth cannot be spoken’ which is a very nice Advaita quote but itself is full of contradiction because to say that ‘Truth itself cannot be spoken’ is to speak about Truth.

Now, it can seem like a very tough job then. But I have a best friend. I have a best friend which is: This Moment. In this moment, duality is gone. Even before the statement ‘Duality has gone’ it

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has gone. If you make the statement ‘Duality has gone’ then the ‘gone/come, duality/non- duality’ (all this dual stuff) is back. With me? [Chuckles]

So, this ‘giving up on notions’ then, is all that is needed. Because the good news is that there is no inherent duality in anything at all. There is no separation. All separation, all duality, is notional. And in this moment, you are beyond all notions, just naturally.

This could be the end of the conversation. But usually it isn’t because: ‘But…’ The ‘but’ could be ‘Can I just stay like this? Is it possible to live like this? Can I do my job?’ All of these notions are there. So, your intuitive Presence then recognizes that there is still a condition, there is still a seeming-affliction, which seems like that is addicted to certain ideas about yourself. And then the Master questions your question.

Guruji said ‘Nothing in the world has inherent meaning.’ And we also looked and saw that no thought is neutral. So, if nothing in the world has inherent meaning but no thought is neutral, therefore, no thought can claim to be a valid thought. (If it is too complex, forget it.)

So, if nothing in the world has inherent meaning, but a notion is claiming to assert a meaning about it, the Master’s attempt is to bring it back to its meaning-less-ness. So, the Master will question whether we really know what we are talking about.

Do we really know what we are talking about? So, we say ‘I can’t live my life like this.’ And the Master will say ‘Okay, how have you been living your life so far? Do you know any of this? How to live life? Do you know how to move a finger?’ These kinds of things are for that. So, it shakes off this meaning you are giving to these things. Or the Master will say: ‘Who’ … can’t live their life like this? Or the Master will say: Leave it. It’s the Master’s problem to live your life. That is surrender. Or the Master will say: Come now, what is it? Now, Right Now, are you living? How are you living?’

So, all these tactics are what Masters use to show you that basically your thoughts are pointless. What you are convinced to be reality, attachment to this is reality; ‘This is my Truth, I have to live my truth’ and these kinds of things. What is it? If you investigate for one moment you will see it is nothing, it is garbage, it is just made up. So, then you find that the attraction to these notions, these ideas, is not so much. And when you find the attraction to notions is not so much, I can ask you strange sounding questions like: What is the difference between yesterday and tomorrow, up and down, left and right or coming and going? When our attraction to notions are not so much then I can ask you these strange questions and you will see that these were just ideas. All of these were just notions. And everything was referring to ‘me’ in a localized way, in a limited way. Even the notion of inside and outside means that there is a notion of boundary. But you investigated these things and see that: What boundary? I don’t find it.

No appearance defines You and no disappearance of appearance defines You. No experience defines You and no dissolution of appearances define You. So, when you interpret the world, you actually just interpret yourself; and when you interpret yourself you are making a judgement about the whole world.

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If there is a sense of what I am saying then it won’t sound so strange when I say ‘To know even one thing is to know too much.’ It won’t sound strange.

To know ‘too much’ in what way? It’s to burden yourself with limitation and identity. But it doesn’t end there. The inquiry is: ‘What do you know when you know nothing?’

I noticed that on the first day there were lots of answers coming. ‘I know nothing’ and I kept asking: Do you know that? Do you know that?’ (Then it is to know too much.) So, the first few days may be some pruning [of concepts].

But I feel like in this inquiry (in terms of its directness) it could be really the essence of what I am pointing to. And the first statement actually provides everything that you need to know about the inquiry itself and it is, in a way, self-inflaming, self-destructive.

To know even one thing is to know too much.

What do I know when I know nothing?

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Returning to Innocence

Once we start to admit, with integrity, that we don’t know what it means to even ‘know’ or we don’t ‘know’ what it means to Be; that we don’t have any valid conclusion about ‘What Is’ …, (the Is-ness itself) then it can seem like an easier ride, in a way.

While we are so attached to our past experiences that we think we figured out what something means, these things can play the game of seeming like impediments.

And this is what the Masters meant when they spoke about returning to an innocence. And what that fundamentally means is that we have never grown up actually, out of the innocence, but we all are just pretending to be grown-ups. [Chuckles] And that is very apparent to me these days also. I look at everyone just like I am looking at a five-year-old, just pretending to play ‘grown- up, grown-up.’ [Chuckles] Because all the rest after that is just our mental concepts, our knowledge, that we have picked up.

This duality is what seems to have been picked up. So, all that is needed, in a way, is to drop the pretense. We don’t have to be in a certain way. You can let go.

What is the doubt that comes? ‘How can I live like this?’ Because we have been taught that you must know these things to survive in this world, to live in this world. That’s why it comes as a primary doubt. ‘It seems fine right now, but how can I live like this?’

But Right Now is ‘living.’’ [Chuckles] This is the thing. We can live only Right Now or we are just naturally living Right Now. But we always have this fear because this is how conditioning was taught. We need to know what is a nose and what is an ear. Otherwise how will you live? You need to know what is head and what is toe. We were taught like that. We need to know what is up and what is down. We need to know what is right and what is wrong, what is true and what is false.

And yet what happened? Did we become more natural after knowing all this? [Chuckles] The child is a very good version of naturalness. After knowing all this, did we get more natural? (And by the way, I’m not suggesting anything about parenting. It’s not ‘Don’t teach your children what is this and that.’ I am not talking about that at all.)

I am just using that to show you how it unfolded. And it was not just parents but also this instrument, this device called the mind, primarily which then started to be the guide that ‘This is right, this is wrong; this you know, this you don’t know; this is how it should be, this is what my life should be; this is what I am here for…’

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The Term ‘Meaningless’ Is Itself Meaningless

We were taught that there has to be a point. It’s like this. It’s like ‘What’s the point? What’s the meaning in all of this?’ Because we were taught that there’s a point. We didn’t wake up out of our mother’s womb and start saying ‘What’s the point?’ In our natural existence, there was no ‘point’. A child didn’t wake up in the morning and say ‘Today, this is the point of my day. These are the five things I’m going to achieve and I’m going to get my freedom.’

But this sort of meaninglessness is misunderstood when I say this, because what you sometimes hear is that what I’m saying is that ‘The world is meaningless’. I’m not saying that actually. I’m saying that the term ‘meaningless’ is meaningless. Because if nothing has inherent meaning (Guruji [Sri Mooji] has said, okay? …, that nothing has inherent meaning) then what does the term ‘meaning’ mean? It, itself, doesn’t have meaning because nothing has it.

It’s like a pink rainbow. There is nothing like that so, it is meaningless. So, the term ‘meaning’ itself is meaningless because nothing has it. (What is a better metaphor than a pink rainbow?) [Laughs]

It’s just the idea that ‘Life should have meaning and now I’m seeing that it is empty of meaning’ …, this idea is false because the initial premise itself was false. That we can define life in any way, itself, is just an idea. That any idea can represent the reality of this life, is false. Or at least if not false, is just nothing, meaningless; because neither is it true nor is it false. It neither defines it nor leaves it undefined.

So, it’s not about that whole game of ‘Ah! I thought life will have meaning and my quest for freedom was finally to come to the meaning of life.’ It was not like that. ‘And then I saw, oh, because I came to Satsang with Father then he is saying: life is meaningless’. Nah! I’m not saying that. I’m saying that this quest itself was fraud. The quest itself is made up, that it must have a meaning in this way. Because it is too vast, in a way, to be constricted by any meaning that we can give to it. It is too much (for want of a better word) for us to be able to claim the meaning of life.

Like we were saying yesterday, just after Satsang got over, that very often, when we meet this moment naked of any notions, the notion that we pick up is ‘Is that it?’ or ‘Is this it?’ Like that. ‘Is

this

it?’

Q: This can’t be it.

A:‘This can’t be it.’ [Chuckles]. ‘This can’t be it.’ But can you manage even this? ‘This can’t be it’ …, in the sense that there should be more than that. But, okay, manage this. Like, taste just this and stay with that. Don’t avoid it.

Q: So scary.

A:See? That’s the thing. So, our fear of being as this (the mind’s fear of being as this) is now ‘representing’ [itself] as ‘Is this it?’ So, it’s another of avoiding this by saying ‘Is this it?’

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So, okay, I’ll say ‘Okay this is not it. I’ll give you more; but first you taste this. First you taste this. When you’re done tasting this, when this is done, I’ll give you more.’

So, taste this. Like, This, uninterpreted, and the pure perception of even this (even this phenomenally). Forget about that which I call the elephant in the room, which is that which is even beyond all phenomenon; don’t even worry about that. Just stay with This, uninterpreted phenomenon; pure perceiving of phenomenon itself. You will never ask for anything more. [Laughs]

Only the non-tasting of it, only in the not-tasting, in a way …, in the impure perception (perception mixed with notion) can we even have this idea of that ‘There should be more. I want it to be this way.’

After tasting yourself, tasting your Being, tasting This (even the appearance aspect of This) then ask me about meaning and meaninglessness. Ask me the point. [Chuckles] But to remain in denial of even the pure perception of This, and just dealing with the photocopy version from the mind, then it’s very easy to make claims and want more. Even to remain in the uninterpreted pure perception of phenomenon is more than enough.

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It’s Not Fun When Our Beliefs Are Questioned

Sometimes, to some of you, it will feel like your intellect is being strangled. So, in a moment of space, you will feel like it has left you; this constant judging, this constant tendency to be right, to come to a conclusion. Now, many of you are already predicting that ‘If I make this conclusion, then Father will say ‘Do you KNOW that?’ Then he will take every word of what I have said and he will say ‘What is that, what is that, what is that?’ [Smiles] Like ‘I think I am getting it.’ That’s just asking for trouble. [Chuckles] What is ‘I’, what is ‘think’, what is ‘getting’, what is ‘It’? You can just feel like there is no room; it can feel that. So, it can seem a bit frustrating.

Yesterday this one was saying ‘I am so frustrated, so frustrated!’ I was saying ‘Yeah, this is good.’ Because that is the attempt. If you keep relying on the intellect to tell us ‘It is like this, it is like that, it is this way’ then we will never give up on it, in a way. So, if I hold up the mirror and say ‘No, it is not whatever you are thinking about yourself, that you are claiming to be true. I see no basis for it. It is empty of any of that meaning that you are giving to it, any basis that you’re making about it’ …, it’s not fun, many times. It is not fun because nobody believes things thinking that they are false. We believe things only thinking that they are true.

What is a belief? A concept that we think is true. So, we are holding onto it as a truth, as a version of truth. And somebody says [something] then it will become a bit of a tug of war. That can be a bit frustrating because I am not replacing your candy with another better piece of candy. You say ‘I have this candy.’ And I’m saying: Come, give it to me, that is not really candy, it’s bad for your health. Then you say ‘What will you give me in return?’ Nothing. Truth for truth sake. [Chuckles] You know? Truth for truth sake. ‘And what will I get with that?’ Nothing. [Smiles] ‘Will I be at peace?’ I don’t know. [Chuckles] ‘Will I get joy, sat-chit-ananda? Ananda?’ [Smiles] I don’t know. No promises, no guarantees, nothing. You will feel like ‘No, I like this candy.’ [Chuckles] You’re stuck with this Father who’s not letting you keep your candy.

So, it is just like this. It’s no fun for the child, for a bit. So, that’s why the frustrations, tantrums and these things can come. Because fundamentally, you are saying ‘What is going on?!’ Like she said ‘What is going on?!’ That is the ultimate cry of the mind. ‘What is going on, what are you saying?!’ And I am not giving you a conclusive answer. Because one second, I may say this and the next second, I could say the opposite of that. I am not letting you rest on any conclusion about what is going on. And that can be annoying, unnerving; that can be shaky, wobbly. It can seem like that. It cannot be like that but it can seem like that.

So, that’s why I was saying the other day that I do not know which child to be concerned about. If one is saying ‘I’m really frustrated’ and one is saying ‘I’m not frustrated at all’ and if you were to say ‘You have to pick one child to be concerned about’ then I don’t know which one to pick. This frustration is not a bad thing. These tears are, many times, from when our concepts are melting here. Then the wax is coming out. [Smiles] Many times it can be like that. ‘Oh, what we thought was true is meting here.’ In the heat of Satsang, it is coming out.

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Don’t Create Duality Out of Effort and Non-Effort

Don’t make it a thing. What I am saying is, my advice would be don’t make it a thing between effort and non-effort. Just forget about that duality. Sometimes we are watching, we are listening to the beautiful invitation and it’s clear. Sometimes, just like that, it’s clear.

Because in a subtle way, even in that, a position can be taken. Like ‘I used to be so effortful, now I am effortless.’ Now, this position of this effortlessness itself can become an effortful position. So, like children, they are just effortless without being effortless. They are not trying to be effortless. Like Guruji [Sri Mooji] says ‘try’ to be natural. [Smiles] Then it can become like [trying]. And you can make your ‘effortless’ also in to ‘trying to be effortless.’ So, just forget about the term effort or non-effort. Because what you said is very beautiful ‘You are. You just are.’ That is not going anywhere. In all these ‘How to get to it or what is the best way?’ …, all of that is just made up. [Smiles]

And even in the term ‘effortless’ is implied the idea of ‘getting to it.’ I get to it effortlessly or I get to it with big effort. I know that this is not what you are implying but sometimes it can be held in that term itself. So, if it just Is . . . [Smiles] it’s like in a way saying ‘I was taking a lot of effort or making a lot of effort to sit exactly where I am sitting now. But now, I am sitting effortlessly where I am sitting now.’ But, both are not applicable. You are already sitting exactly where you are sitting.

So, to be the Self or to see the Self or to know the Self [Smiles] is just the most natural thing; more natural than sitting exactly where you are sitting now. So, on the seeming-path, whether it is effortless or effortful is not applicable. Because all these things even can lead to this checker guy later. Like ‘I used to be like that, now I am like this, then tomorrow I hope I am not like that.’ And tomorrow, if something feels a bit struck, it’s like ‘See, I lost that. It is so much effort.’ You know, it becomes like in our report card.

That report card; it’s thrown away. [Smiles]

This is how I do it. Throw it away. [Smiles]

This is how I get to the truth. Throw it away.

This is how I lose it when I get stuck. Throw it away.

Those stupid guys, they don’t know what they are doing; they are asking me to sign … [Smiles] Throw it away.

Nothing can take you out of this.

What should I do now? Throw it away.

And also throw away the ‘Throw it away.’ [Smiles]

Otherwise, you will become just a ‘throw away-er.’ [Chuckles]

What am I doing? I’m just throwing away.

[Chuckles]

One garbage man is already there, you know. We do not need one more garbage collector.

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I Am Already Here

[Reading from chat]: “Father, I am already here before any dream of spiritual evolution plays out.”

This itself, one line, is so good. You are Here. Before you can play this game of getting to enlightenment, can you identify your starting point? This is what I am constantly asking you. You say you want to get to point B, but what is your starting-point-A? Now this A, we don’t really taste, we are in avoidance of. And how are we in avoidance of it? We are in avoidance of it by conceptualizing.

We have been looking over this in the last few days. Even when we say ‘Is this it?’ or ‘This can’t be it’ we are actually in avoidance of this. Like, what is Here Now?

He says, very beautifully ‘I am already here before any dream of spiritual evolution plays out.’

[Continues reading from chat]: “I seem to get sucked in and then spat out of delusions and the spitting out feels shocking. But that’s when I remember I never move. I am always here; unchanged, formless. I am very grateful to see this.”

This is very good. Often, we say in Satsang that everything we say after ‘I Am’ is a story. Isn’t it? Because everything we put after ‘I Am’ is just made up (something from the past, some projection into the future) with no actual basis in reality.

Now the thing with this is that if everything after ‘I Am’ is a story, do you ever need to state ‘I Am’? You never need to state ‘I Am’ because when it is stated; even in stating ‘I Am,’ even in the statement ‘I Am,’ it doesn’t capture the reality of I-Am-ness.

Many times, even this can also become a concept for us like [for example] ‘I can truly only say I exist. I can really say this!’ But if you question even that and I say ‘Okay, ‘I’ …, what is this ‘I’ that exists?’ and then you use some other concepts, ‘I which is the unchanging Awareness; That has come into existence’ … but do we know any of this? ‘That’ came into existence? So, was it not existing before?

So, when really probed into, we realize that all these words fall flat. And then we pick up a new set of words. ‘All words fall flat therefore, I must be only silent.’ So, then there’s that new position that ‘I must be only silent’ but even that is not true. Even in this, you make yourself out to be just this body/mind instrument.

Who must be only silent? Awareness is silent, Being is silent, so when you are saying ‘I must be only silent’ we are again talking about this one. [body-mind] So, all these references come back to this body/mind instrument in one way or the other. And we have been looking at some of these things.

Like when I say ‘Don’t try to find a point’ then you’ve been hearing that ‘Ah, Father is saying everything is meaningless; everything is meaningless, what’s the point of existing?’ I didn’t say

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that. [Chuckles] Because to even say that ‘something is meaningless’ is to give it meaning. You’re giving it the meaning that it is meaningless …, because we feel so naked without a concept; we feel that either it has to be meaningful or meaningless. Now, what is between these two?

It is the same thing as asking ‘What is in the space between two thoughts?’ When you are out of this seeming-trap of duality (of this way or that way) then you meet Shiva. (I don’t know where that came out from.) [Chuckles] Because I am not trying to give you a goal, I am not trying make it sound glamorous, because then you can have this idea that ‘If I just step back from duality, I will get darshan of Shiva.’ Then that can become another set of concepts.

That is why, more and more these days, I am not promising you anything in return; I am not promising anything in return. I am just saying that apparently what you are believing about yourself seems to have no basis. What you seem to believe about yourself does not have a basis. And it’s obvious that you won’t like that, so I am just surprised that there are so many in the room. [Chuckles] Because nobody likes to come day after day to a place where you are just being reminded basically that you are full of nonsense. [Laughter]

So, somehow it plays out in this way, that somewhere we already start to get an inkling of this, that ‘All these concepts that I’ve held on to and their opposites that I’ve held onto do not have any substantial basis.’

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The Resisting of ‘What Is’ is Due to Our Concepts

Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi used the term at one point (which I have not often used in Satsang because then that becomes very glamorous) he used the term ‘Manonasa’ meaning ‘The destruction or the dissolution of the mind.’ So, this. When we are free from the duality of concepts, as they lose their meaning, then our interest, our attention and all of these things also don’t go to this one which is just selling us some story about ourselves. And you find this indescribable; you find yourself becoming very ineloquent.

So, initially when we start off in Satsang (and maybe because we have learned so much in spirituality) we start off very eloquent like ‘I know this, I know that, I have seen this, last year I had the experience of nirvikalpa Samadhi’ or something. You see? All this. We are carrying this baggage of past insights and past ideas and they have become your burden now; even spiritual experiences. Because we are carrying them in our individual story ‘This happened to me, that happened to me, this is where I am now. This is my truth.’ [Chuckles] We are very attached to the concept ‘my truth’ but ‘our truth’ is a lie. [Chuckles] What to say? I don’t go around saying that to people but only those who invite themselves to Satsang, then they get to hear these things. We get very attached to ‘my truth is this.’ But your truth was something else yesterday. And your truth would be something else the day after tomorrow. [Chuckles] So, don’t be so attached to this ‘my truth.’ The ‘me’ itself is a lie. So, how can ‘your truth’ be Truth?

These fancy concepts, especially the spiritual ones, we feel like we are getting some actualization through buying a higher set of concepts. And then we start quoting the Sages. ‘This one had said this, this one had said that, and this is my truth now.’ These kinds of things. So, we become very full of it, very full of it. But life is very beautiful, in a very beautiful way where this, whatever we are full of (you will see if you have been looking clearly) it just becomes the basis of our resistance.

This resisting of ‘What Is’ is through these concepts. Whether worldly concepts or spiritual concepts; concepts nevertheless. And God is not such a tiny thing that you can fit it in a concept. Fundamentally that’s what I am saying.

If you feel like that you can get the meaning of this Reality in a set of words, then what kind of Reality would that be? Nothing. And then that would imply that the opposite is ‘not Reality’. Now, All-There-Is cannot be a part of this; restricted to a certain duality. So, if we are able to say ‘Ah, this, this, this, this, this is it’ then what kind of tame Reality would that be, if it is so expressible?

Now, the thing is that, even with the statement that ‘the Truth cannot be expressed’ we are trying to do the same thing, [Chuckles] trying to express the Truth in a negative way. So, although it is a beautiful pointer (‘neti-neti’ meaning not that, not that; it is a beautiful pointer) but if we take that itself as a badge of honor or something ‘I just know now that the Truth cannot be expressed’ then again, we are building idols to concepts. I have been calling it ‘idols to Harpic.’ [Harpic is the name of a cleaning product in India] [Laughter] Because that which was meant to do the clean up job, we start to idolize that itself. And this can happen in various ways. We try to idolize

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it in various ways because we feel so helpless for a while there; we feel too open, too naked for a moment there that we feel like ‘I don’t have a branch to hang on to.’

Q: There is some resistance there.

A:Of course, there is resistance. [Chuckles] Of course, there will be resistance to these words because the peddler of positions will not like it. What is it resisting with? Like ‘What is this? Shut up. Shut up.’

I am used to this, okay? [Laughter] Because sometimes we are not doing that molly-coddling spirituality, like ‘Come, come, my child, I will take you to God. The Greater Reality is waiting for you.’ (We can do that sometimes, it’s okay.) [Chuckles] But the point is that we get so caught up in our spiritual ego also.

So, that’s why I have been saying ‘Truth for Truth’s sake’ which actually only means: drop the lies. We claim a lot of things that have no basis. In fact, all our claims are like that. [Chuckles] They have no basis in any sort of reality. So, that which seems to have a hold over us, this sense of individuality, the ego (if you must call it something) obviously is in opposition to this. It does not like your conceptual emptiness.

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‘My Truth’ is not ‘The Truth’

This word ‘open’ sounds like such a simple word. Open. ‘I’m very open. I’m so open.’ But everything, all our ideas about how things should be (‘This is good, this is bad; this is wrong, this is right; this is up, this is down; this is past, this is future; this is inside, this is outside’) all of that is notional.

So, if, as you claim, you have seen that you’re not this body, tell me what is left and what is right; what is up and what is down? In that claim, we don’t like ‘I’m the body’ because even that you cannot make. Because I will ask you ‘If you are convinced you are the body, what will you get in Satsang for the body?’ Nothing, no? Whatever you were told about coming to Satsang, it was definitely not that your biceps will improve, your teeth will be whiter. None of these guarantees would be there for the body. ‘Your bones will have more calcium.’ So, you’re definitely not here for that. So, you’re already not convinced that you are the body, that’s why you come.

Now, of course, because you sometimes feel out of moves so you feel like ‘No, no, Ananta. I am just the body.’ Then what you sitting here talking to me for? So, something already…, the inkling is there that I am not this body. That’s why you’re here. No ice cream was promised here. Nothing. [Chuckles] So, that is also not true.

But all our references about ourselves are from where? Body. Left/right. Up/down. Inside/ outside. And this is the crazy reference: inside/outside. Have we looked at it? Outside is what? Outside the body. Inside is what? Ah? But it isn’t, you see? It feels like ‘Oh, I go inside, I go inside the body’ but you don’t. If you went inside the body (like I was saying) you will find blood, flesh, bones, teeth; all these things. So, you don’t go inside the body.

Where do you go? This, we don’t explore. Now, it can feel like this space is ‘inside me’. But I can tell you that it’s more true … (if anything is more true and less true, it is more true to say): this that we call outside, is actually inside that inside.

Q: Why do we say ‘inside’? Why do the Sages say ‘inside’?

A:Yeah, this is what I’m questioning. Why are you calling it ‘inside’? Inside what?

Q:…and also some Sages say that.

A:Yeah! I know! We’ll ask them… [Laughs] (I’m just joking) … how they would refer to it.

(Because we have to be a little respectful to the Sages, so … [Laughs] … and I’m a little respectful to the previous expressions coming out of this mouth.) Because you would say, at least in that way, we are looking beyond just this outside (what we are ‘clear about the outside’) …, at least we start looking beyond that. But we don’t really know what this ‘inside’ is and that’s why we make many conclusions about it.

Even this inside, for some, they can say ‘Ah, there is so much joy, so much bliss when I go inside.’ Some will say ‘I get really scared when I go inside.’ All these kinds of ideas and conclusions we can make about it, because fundamentally we are not even clear about this.

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It’s not fun. I know. It’s just like ‘What is this?!’ It’s like parents, many times, they complain like:

‘We’re very irritated with our five-year-old.’ Why are you irritated with your five-year-old?

‘Because he is constantly asking: Why! Why is this like this? Why is this like this? Why? …’

So, what is the irritation? It is not that you don’t want to answer your kids. It is only because within two minutes you will start to feel like you’re the stupidest person in the entire universe! [Sangha laughs] The child will say ‘Why is the sky blue?’ [No answer] Some will say, of course, ‘The light reflects against these particles in the air’ or whatever…, but very few. But mostly when a child is asking questions you start to feel that ‘I’ve inhabited this Earth, seemingly, for so many years, and I don’t even know this very fundamental question of existence. It should be very obvious to me by now but I don’t know.’ So, then we resist that by saying ‘I’m paying very high school fees so that you can go to school and ask your teacher these kinds of questions instead of bothering me.’ [Chuckles] Because to come face to face with our lack of any sort of true knowing through this device [mind] can seem very tough for us, because we were told that if you have a lot of good stuff in here [Points to his head] you’ll lead a good life. You will know how to run your life properly, you will know what to do, you will know ‘how to’.

And that is why, when this mind is being deconstructed now, what is the biggest resistance? It is ‘How can I live my life? Am I really expected to live my life like this?’ Because we were taught that to live our life, we need to know what is good and what is bad, what is true and what is false, what is inside and what is outside. But we were fed words. We were fed words and we took those words to be the truth. So, then we were fed words in school, then we were fed words in relationships, then we were fed words in work environments.

Then you feel like you will come to Satsang. You feel like you will come to a point where you will be fed some final words: ‘Tatva Masi!’ And when you grab those words; you will have the ultimate words and ‘You are done!’

When I’m saying it like this, it sounds very silly, but actually this is what we’re doing. We come to Satsang also as a collector of concepts, that ‘I will learn something and that will be my truth.’ Now, this kind of Satsang is very strange, in a way. In a way, you might also find it very difficult. Some of you might find it very difficult. The mind must be resisting it with full fury for many of you anyway because your beliefs, your ideas, are being thrown away, are being poked out.

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Even One Concept is a Bundle of a Full Belief System

Bhagavan [Sri Ramana Maharshi] uses this very beautiful metaphor that you come to Satsang and the words of Satsang are just thorns that we use to remove other thorns. Now, we like that example. ‘This is very nice; thorns use to remove other thorns.’ But did he say it is going to be a painless process? What does it sound like? Thorns removing other thorns cannot be [painless]. A thorn goes in; it can feel like it is painful. Because as I have been saying we are not holding on to any belief thinking that it is wrong; we are holding on to a belief thinking that it’s right. And when that is being questioned, then you can have all kind of doubts about it. ‘Now Father has gone too far. It was okay to say ‘Ego is not true, person is not true.’ It was okay to say ‘I am the self; I am Awareness, the ultimate truth.’ But now he is going too far. Because now he is saying, ‘Up and down is also not there; these are also notional.’ So, this kind of thing is bound to come up. You say ‘Come, come, come on! Let me lead my life at least. What do you want from me?’[Smiles] These kinds of things. Those who have been in Satsang with me sometimes also write to me and say ‘But, but, what? Then what?’

Sometimes I am getting very beautiful reports also. Another one she has been with me for long time, she said ‘It just feels like I am waking up again.’ And some, of course, are writing me ‘!’ [Chuckles] So, if it comes to that, where it feels like it is too much to be fully empty, fully naked; it feels like it is too much, then hold on to one concept for dear life. I give you licence for one. [Smiles] You have one concept; hold on to dear life.

And that concept can be ‘Guru Kripa Kevalam.’

It can be ‘Who am I?’

It can be ‘What do I know when I know nothing?’

Once a very beautiful interaction happened like this. One very sweet girl, she was with me for some time in Bangalore, she was living here. (You probably know this story.)

She said, “I’m really, really bothered for the last few days.”

I said, ‘Why are you bothered?”

She said, “Because you say: Don’t believe your next thought.”

In those days, almost every day I would say ‘Don’t believe your next thought.’

So, she said, “But there is one thought I cannot NOT believe. I have to believe it.” So, I told her very naturally I just told her, “You can have one.”

For a second, she was shocked. Because every day I was saying this. [Chuckles]

I said, “You can have one.”

She is like, “What…?”

I could see that the mind ran out moves even out of that, because it was expecting a battle. That one thought, will be…?

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I said, “You have one.”

And then you know what the first thing was?

She says to me, “Ananta, can I have two more?”

[Laughter in the room]

So, this is how it plays. I take this example of the tree of conditioning actually vanishing, dissolving completely in this moment …, and yet, when the offers come to pull at it, to tug at one leaf, one branch and you tug at it, you feel like the entire tree of tendencies, conditioning, vasanas (whatever you may call it) seems to be back here again. That is how it plays out. Just one notion, the idea that you pick about yourself; the ‘me. The ‘me is not just one small concept. It is a bundle of your full belief system. It is your entire belief system.

And if you tug at this ‘me’ idea, in any way; even ‘I am so spiritual’ … ‘The ‘me’ is making progress’ … ‘The ‘me’ is really getting it today’ (anything) then it can feel like the past, the future, everything seems so true.

But in THIS moment, THIS moment, THIS, THIS, THIS, THIS moment, THIS moment: it is not there, it is gone; all this duality, dichotomy, is naturally gone.

Usually it will come and say (the offer is coming again for the duality; it will come and say) ‘But… (something)’. Now, the funny thing is, when ‘But…’ is coming from somebody else’s mouth, all of you can spot it. ‘See?’ [Chuckles] ‘Look at them. They are buying that garbage, look at them. For how long they have been in Satsang?’ [Laughs] But when it seems to come from here [pointing to head] ‘But… ta… ta… ta. This one [this notion] there could be something to it’. [Chuckles]

Why does it happen like this? In a way, there is no answer to why but if you have to say something you can say that these are these nourished notions that have derived meaning for us for so long that we get attached to them.

We have a scientist [here from the sangha today]. If a thought comes and says to him ‘But you are terrible at ice skating’ his response could be ‘whatever…’ But if the thought says ‘I will give you a scientific discovery which will blow Einstein out of the water!’ It will always say, ‘Kamal, Kamal, Einstein would be forgotten!’ [Laughter] [Makes gesture of giving consideration to the thought] ‘This could be worthwhile.’

Now, to say to an Olympic ice-skater, ‘You are a terrible ice-skater,’ this same thing will hurt. The construct is the same but where it pokes is where we have an identity around that. We have a notion about ourselves which is built on this identity. That’s why the same construct seems to impact here but not impact anywhere else. And we are able to spot it over there so easily. ‘See? Father is saying don’t buy any notion. Give yourself the gift of one moment of notionless existence. And this one, they are giving the gift of the notion again.’ [Chuckles] You can spot it

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there because we are not so identified with the idea, so it is so clear that it is just the mind. But it comes to us appealing, so tempting: ‘Come, come.’

The mind reminds me a lot of that (if some of you grew up watching it) this cartoon show: Tom and Jerry. Tom-cat would sometimes put this cheese to catch Jerry-mouse. And they would show this hand coming out from the cheese and Jerry mouse would come next to the cheese and the cheese would start floating in the air. You saw? That’s how the mind plays. It just knows what type of cheese to put. It would be like ‘Come, come. You think you are so free, so open? Come.’

The best part is, the cheese is just the starter. Because it has tempted you saying ‘Do this, do that; (something).’ But then (because you have been in Satsang) [and heard this] what is the dessert? ‘I’m so unworthy, I’m so bad. I have been listening to Satsang for so long and I get caught up in these ideas again.’

These are all just ideas. That cheese was just the starter and this heavy calorific dessert of ideas we pick up are spiritual unworthiness, our mistakes, our guilt, our not getting it. It’s like a multi- course meal; the starter is very tempting. [Mimics the tempting mind inviting: ‘Come, come’] But what do you end up with? Because you have been in Satsang and you have an identity around your spiritual ego, it will come and say ‘To the outside, you are showing all of this but actually you are still stuck. You are still stuck! 5 years in Satsang, you are still stuck.’ You buy these ideas and those are the real potent ones. They become really sticky.

So, because mind has these tricks up its sleeve, the Masters also have to have some tricks up their sleeves. One simple trick is that the Master says: ‘Now. Now. Now. Now. Now. Now.’ Because nothing which is false actually gets carried through to Now. It needs that process of temptation, attention, belief and all that to happen before you can actually consider yourself to be ‘something’.

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Spiritual Knowledge Only Yields a Tired Mind

[Reading from chat: “Spot on, Anantaji. I was always collecting spiritual words, spiritual concepts, while attending Shri Venkat Ramana pravachans. I was like a parrot repeating words, phrases, words of Bhagavan [Sri Ramana Maharshi] what this jnani [awakened one] said, what other jnanis said. I was a word and concept collector. Realized gradually, it at least helps one. It was good reiteration today. It led to a sense of high-headedness and spiritual superiority. I know this, I know that. On one level it was a deep frustration, nothing works no matter who or what I listened to, and at a diametrically opposite level, I’m a big concept bag.”

I hear what you’re saying completely. Because we had an idea that we will come to the Truth and everything will seem to work. It is like that, you see. It will just sort out my life. But the idea of ‘my life’ itself is fraud. So, when we realize that nothing works in that way, it can feel very frustrating. This frustration …, if not now replenished with fresh concepts, then this frustration is like a holy fire. And I’m also learning to not give you a conceptual balm when this fire is burning; to let it burn out; to let it burn out and not constantly reassure you. Because you will use those concepts again to build your house of cards.

So, I can say I understand your frustration and at some level it is a good fire to burn, this frustration; like ‘What is the point of this? What is the point of that? Everything is so pointless.’ Like this, you are getting frustrated (some of you) which is good, in a way, as long as you’re not replacing all of that with a new, fresh concept saying ‘Everything is meaningless.’ Then we’ll have to burn that also.

Just if you can leave with the giving up on being able to figure it out. That’s why I was saying that, one explanation for the term ‘openness’ is ‘those of you have a fully tired-out intellect.’ If you have a fully tired-out intellect, you can be quite open. If your intellect is still judging, it’s sitting there like a judge saying ‘Yes, yes, no, no, now, yes’ (this kind of thing) then coming to Satsang is a good remedy for that because every day you will hear contradictions upon contradictions upon contradictions. So, your framework, one day you will create it; the next day it’s like demolished; create, demolished. So, you get tired. Your intellect will get tired and it will feel like you are getting tired in Satsang, many times. Because this house of cards will not be allowed to fester for too long.

But once you’re are tired of conceptualizing, of intellectualizing, then this is that ‘mind by-pass’ that Guruji [Sri Mooji] is talking about. Then my words are reaching somewhere else. They are not reaching your basket of ‘Yes, no, yes, no, maybe’ (these kinds of things). They are just ‘something’.

So, till then, they are doing the mind by-pass, because they are tiring out. It seems like we’ve lived our life through this conceptualizing, intellectualizing, the yes/no, these opposites. Duality is held up by our intellect. Duality is held up by our intellect.

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All Our Notions Are Presuming That ‘I Am Something’

Q: This ‘up and down’ … are you saying that a starting point is a presumption?

A:Your starting point, in reality, is never a presumption. But the starting point, the moment you think about it, is always a presumption.

Q: You’re saying that all our notions are presumptions?

A:Exactly. All our notions are presumptions. And we’re basing all our presumptions on the basic notion that ‘I am something’.

Q: If you put a label on it…

A:Yes. If you have a label for it, you have notional-ized it. If you have a label for it, it means you have notional-ized it.

Like I was taking this example the other day. We have this label: ‘man’. What does ‘man’ mean? It’s a very, very broad generalization. There is actually no such thing as a ‘man’. Because then we want to separate, we want to divide, we want to put it in our mental compartment. ‘Who comes to Satsang with Ananta?’ … ‘Oh, there were 7 men and 7 women.’ You see? Like this; we have these kinds of ways to divide. We make these ‘photocopies’ based on notions. But is that a true representation? There is no such thing. Like, the other day I was saying ‘between human and animal…’ We can so easily use these notions to dehumanize things, in a way.

So, these notions are just dividing. Because every time we give our assent to the existence of ‘some-thing’ we are giving the idea that ‘I am something’ importance or credence. And what did Bhagavan [Sri Ramana Maharshi] say? That it is the idea that ‘I am something’ that is at the root of all suffering. ‘I Am’ itself just Is. But the idea that ‘I am something’ …

So, I could go so far as to say that even the idea that ‘something’ is ‘something’ …, that anything is ‘something’ is the same idea, that ‘I am something.’ Like, in your pure perception right now, is there any division? Naturally? In just your perception, is there any division? Is there a ‘me’ sitting there watching? No …, unless we think about it. ‘Is there a ‘me’?’ Then it’s like this side is ‘me’, that side is ‘not-me.’ But in just your pure perception, what is the duality? [Silence] Are colors, colors? It doesn’t mean that your perception will become color-less. But the meaning of the term ‘color’ is not needed. It is what we need to make our basket of belief; all these ideas.

So, that’s why the Sages have said ‘Remain in your pure perception. Don’t judge anything. Don’t interpret anything.’

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There Is Enough Joy in This Very Moment

Q:Everything is just as it is, but when I hear something like that example [Ananta gave] of Tom and Jerry [cartoon] then I want to…, I derive enjoyment from it.

A:You derive enjoyment from that. Okay, let me ask you a question. To taste the sweetness of a grape, what concept do you need?

Q: No concept.

A:In fact, when your attention is dispersed between conceptualizing and tasting the grape, you’re not tasting it fully because in this play it seems like we have a limited attention. That is why the Buddhists have given this kind of mindfulness: Just eat the grape fully.

I felt like this is weirdest thing when I was going though this process many years ago. And they were like ‘Look at the grape, then bring it close, smell it and take a bite, slowly, taste.’ And it was amazing. Because I felt like I have never tasted the grape before. [Smiles] But when you have this kind of thing like ‘Ah, enjoy the grape’ or you know usually how in our life; it is more like ‘email is being written, grape is being eaten.’ So, what is the email, what is the grape? Everything is all mixed up anyway.

So, there is nothing against deriving enjoyment from whatever is appearing. There is enough joy in this very moment that the idea of desire will start to seem alien to you. If you were to taste this moment for what it is fully, the idea that one put one morsel on top of that will sound funny.

That is why we go to a Sage. ‘What can I get from you to make my life better?’ It is like ‘Life better? Life already is amazing!’ So, what do you want? What do you mean ‘life better’?

Q:Because I do not want to go back home …, so then I have to plan it out. Otherwise, I can stay like this for a whole day.

A:See, both are just ideas. I know it’s not fun to hear this but I have to say it, in a way. Like, your idea is that “Unless I plan it out, I will not get back home.’

Q:Yes, sometimes I feel like lots of things are happening spontaneously.

A:Okay, how you are planning to move that hand?

Q:It is moving.

A:The hand is moving, no? So, if the hand is moving, the foot can also move. You will come back home.

Q: There is feeling that should I just drop it.

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A:Of course. But without even the idea that ‘I have dropped everything.’ Because what happened once; we did this experiment. One boy was coming to Satsang, probably your age. So, he said to me ‘Ananta, should I just then leave it.’ And then next day he came to me and complained because he said ‘I left it. I left it. Then I was standing at a signal for one hour.’ But he had not left it, because he was still hanging on to the idea that ‘I left it.’

Can you hear what I am saying? This is important. Because the mind knows only opposites. Either keep, keep or leave, leave. I am saying neither.

You know what happened with that boy? When he heard ‘leave it’ he hung on to the idea of ‘leaving it.’ So, he just got attached to that position of having left it. Now, what I am saying is you drop both opposites and see how it unfolds. Neither keep it nor leave it.

The mind cannot understand these things. The mind is saying ‘Give me binary; either zero or one, yes or no.’ But somewhere it may be getting through. Your life is not just struck in these opposites. It is not just about ‘keep’ and ‘leave.’ So, what are you beyond these ideas of ‘Should I keep or should I leave it’?

Q:…. just, if I leave it, I will become lazy.

A:But I never said ‘leave it.’ [Chuckles]

Q: But one more doubt is coming that then is this just an excuse for my laziness.

A:He was saying ‘leave it.’ But I didn’t say ‘leave it.’ Again, I will say, listen: I am not saying ‘keep it or leave it.’ If you get attached to either idea, it is still a limitation. Because

Consciousness is All-There-Is, so it cannot be like keeping or leaving. It cannot be stuck in these two opposites. Now, beyond keeping and leaving, what is there about you? Beyond these opposites?

Q: There is just peace…

A:[Smiles] There is just peace. What is so wrong with that? [Chuckles] There is a beautiful Satsang someone had with Guruji [Sri Mooji] many years ago. And the man said ‘You have given me everything. But I have no money.’ [Smiles] Guruji [Sri Mooji] Guru ji says ‘What is Here Now?’ [And the guy says]: ‘There is so much peace, there is love, joy. Just no money.’

[Laughter in the room]

So, what do you want which is beyond peace? Even what will money buy you? Peace only, no? …, at best. Usually, it does not, but at best. [Chuckles]

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To Label ‘What Is’ Is the Avoidance of It

This is an important topic because to make the claim that we know what something is, including to know it is a problem, then becomes like an avoidance of just ‘What Is’.

Now, it may sound like in Satsang that when I am asking you to drop the labels of it, it can feel like ‘Oh, it can’t be that easy. This is just some sort of avoidance or bypass.’ But it is the label or the idea that we know ‘what this is’ which is the actual avoidance. Because once we call something a problem, then what happens is we put in the box of all the previous problems, everything else we have define as problems, and how we’ve dealt with it and ‘This is what it is’ …, in the meeting of it from the reference with the past. But, without that label, it is meeting it for what it is.

Now the mind plays the trick and it tells you that ‘Ah, to not label it is an avoidance. You’re trying to avoid your problems.’ [Smiles] But it is not that. It is the labeling of something and presuming that it is something similar to what happened in the past (‘I know what it is, I can define it in this way’) that is the actual avoiding of meeting it naked, meeting it completely open.

And in our definition of it, not only do we end up not defining it but most problematically, we end of defining ourself.

[Smiles] Are you hearing what I am saying?

If you already have called something a ‘problem’ then we can’t meet it in a full way. Just like if you define somebody ‘This is a problem character’ you will never hug him whole-heartedly if you’ve defined them ‘A problem character’. This is the thing. So, any event, any situation, everything that we end up going to from our preconceived notion about it, then it becomes like this.

Now, the best part about life is that (in a way, to say something) is that it only has to be met in THIS moment. It is only has to be met in THIS moment. And there is actually never a problem in this moment. It can seem strange and you might say ‘Oh, that is because we are sitting in Satsang’ or you know ‘The Presence is Here’ or something. [Smiles] When we actually just look, there is never really problem in THIS moment. A problem relies on past and future. But life does not have to be met in that way, with projections of past and future.

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Ideas of Moving and Stillness Do Not Apply to the Reality

A:Where is the one that was here 5 minutes ago? Q 1: If it is fresh, it is here every moment.

A:If it is fresh. [Chuckles] This is a very good. This is what I have been looking at also.

So, suppose this is Ananta 1. [Holds up index finger] Now this one which has the 1 on the fingers is the Ananta 1. Okay? Now, [Holds up also middle finger] that has changed and this is Ananta 2. You know, actually, this body has changed, the cells have changed, many things have transformed in that much time. Now, this one is here. [Ananta 2] Where is Ananta 1?

Q 2: It is gone.

A: Gone? Then who came into the future?

Now, there is Ananta 3? [Holds up also ring finger] So, where is Ananta 2? It’s only in the idea of the past. Did that one come into the future? No. This one is completely fresh. Like you said it is completely fresh. So, this one [Ananta 3] has now gone to the death of the past or to the idea of the past.

So, are things coming to go into the future? Or are things coming so they can die in the past?

Like we can have this idea that ‘I’m coming and this one is moving into the future.’ But is this true? The this one will never see that which we call the future. It is just confined to the grave of the past. You see?

So, this idea of moving and stillness doesn’t really apply to Reality.

As long as we keep defining ourselves in these terms, as long as we keep separating and saying ‘Okay, that is the Absolute perspective. What about me?’ …, we can do that at times but the thing is that all of these are just made up ideas.

Now, where are Ananta 1, 2, 3 and 4? Something was different about all of them in terms of the manifest appearance and yet, in reality, nothing was different.

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Intellect Cannot Fathom the Truth of ‘What Is’

Q: Does that mean that memory has no role to play at all?

A: ‘Memory’ is what?

Q: I know you, say ‘It’s false, made up.’

A:No, no, no, right now I am not saying that; I am saying ‘it’s an image.’ Now, that image, is it past or future?

Q:It’s appearing in the present, of something happened in the past.

A:Now, right now there is no memory that appears. In the future, there might be an image which comes which seems to represent something from the past. But we have seen that, that claim is many times invalid.

Q:So, does it mean that if we had some experience with someone, and when they come we should totally forget that experience?

A: Could you?

Q: We can, if we try. But wouldn’t that also be a conditioning?

A:If you could meet every moment fresh without any condition, not even the condition that ‘Ah, he did this to me, so I better forget it’ or something like that.

Q: Yes, that’s what I was talking about.

A: Just naturally.

Q: So, it has a small role, memory has a small role, is it?

A:Everything has a small role, actually [Chuckles] in the sense that small or big actually doesn’t apply in this play of appearances.

Q:Because from what you described, here it was understood that no memory at all, no past at all.

Is that what you’re saying?

A:I am saying that ‘What is it except an idea, a notion?’ Like what is the difference between past and future?

Q: Yes, they are notions.

A:So, if they are just notions, then even these notions of whether they are meaningful or meaningless don’t apply, no?

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Q: That mind cannot understand.

A: What can it understand? [Laughs]

Q:It wants an answer whether it should forget, just totally forget or completely remember. I think that is the question.

A:Neither you can do actually.

Q:Yeah, but it wants to know.

A:The whole paradigm itself is flawed. Because ‘Should I do this?’ or ‘Should I do that?’ both are itself flawed in a way. Everything that the mind understands is only a version of the Truth; it’s never the Truth itself. And no version of the Truth is actually true.

Q:So, I remember Guruji [Sri Mooji] stating Ramakrishna Paramhansa’s one statement, he says that ‘The intellect is like a stream of water. If you dig your hand too deep you will only get mud, but if you just get little bit on the surface then you will be able to drink water.’

A:So, what’s on the surface is that you understand now that you can’t understand. [Chuckles] That is also intellect, no? You have the notion that ‘No notions are true’.

Q: Yes. Maybe.

A:So, all of this is also concept, all of this is also intellect. But they do not become conditions for you because they play the role of clean-up, in a sense. You are not digging into the mud of individuality with these. Now, after you have a few sips what should happen? If you dig in too much, then it’s muddy. You can have some shallow sips and when you’ve had the shallow sips, then what should happen?

Q: Then thirst is quenched.

A: Okay, is it quenched or not?

Q:Yeah. To this the mind says that you are relying on past or memory or whatever.

A:How do you know whether you had enough sips or not?

Q: I think that suffering is the biggest indicator. You know …

A: That you still need more? Or that you had enough? [Laughs]

Q:Had enough, of course. [Laughter] So, here it was taking up this idea ‘No use of intellect at all’…, the way your statement was understood.

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A:Yeah, but thing is that, that is also intellect, no?

Q:Yeah.

A:[Smiles] You see? And I say this almost every day, that the mind only knows these opposites.

Q:Yeah.

A:It says ‘Intellect; yes, yes’ or ‘Intellect; no, no.’ Neither. Meaning or meaningless? Neither.

Doer or non-doer? Neither. Nothing is applicable.

Q: Yes, the one who is trying to understand cannot understand.

A: That’s why I am saying …

Q: This has to be …

A:Understood. [Laughs] This can be like the shallow sip, in a way.

Q:Yeah.

A:So, that’s why I am saying: just like you can’t measure the weight of the song you heard last evening, in the same way the mind cannot capture Your Reality, the intellect cannot fathom the Truth of this, the Truth ‘What Is’.

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You Rest Only When You Are Empty of Notions

You might feel that you’re resting on a notion, but actually it is not that. You rest when you’re empty of notions. Because we got so habituated into this kind of play that it felt like ‘I must know what this is, I must know what’s happening’ and this idea that ‘I will come to some truth notionally’ …, we keep struggling to find that. It is probably in this context that Papaji [Sri Poonjaji] was speaking when he said ‘End the search.’ Come to an end to this kind of trying to grasp like this.

Q:Right Now, I’m not seeking. I’m checking with you, is it true?

A:No. [Laughs]

Q:No?

A:Because you’re seeking an answer to that, no? All our seeking is like this. Our seeking is just like that. Like, we are seeking confirmation of something but our Being is more naturally present than that. So, when you say that ‘Can I check with you whether I am seeking now or not?’ in that need of an answer is the seeking.

Like I have been asking you: What does an answer give you? It can only have two purposes, in a way. The purpose with which it’s being spoken here is so that it can be used to throw everything else. But the purpose in which it can be used is to fill up a conceptual gap that you might think you have. Like you have this gap of ‘I don’t know.’ Now, if I give you an answer then it can seem to fill up that tension of not-knowing. But I want that tension to expand and to blow everything else which is there. (This is also explaining too much, actually.) [Chuckles] This tension of ‘I don’t know’ it can just expand and blow everything. As you come to the broadness of your not-knowing, it will blow everything that you think is true. But if I give you a conceptual balm for it then you will put it over there and say ‘I’m done, actually’ or something like this. But the ‘I don’t know’ is much more auspicious that way.

Like, if you don’t know any more whether you’re seeking or not, what’s wrong with that? That is better actually because otherwise you can make a claim; you can proclaim or you can doubt. This is the primal need that I am talking about. This is the primal need of individualizing; like to make a claim, to be able to substantially say ‘This is how it is.’

A fancy Satsang-way of saying it could be:

True meaning will only be discovered when everything you think is [discovered to be] meaningless.

(But even this we can put it in our conceptual box.)

You know why some of you are struggling? You are struggling because for so many years you felt that you’re being lead to an ultimate goal, although it was always said that ‘The ultimate is

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the starting point itself’ and yet the feeling becomes, more and more, that ‘I’m coming to the Absolute, I’m coming to Awareness’ whereas I kept saying:

You’ve never left the destination.

I realized that many of us had started using the concept of Satsang itself to make a journey out of this. That’s why maybe in the expression here something changed and became deconstructive about even the expression of Satsang. Because although the words were being said:

There is no journey. You are the Self.

these words themselves were being used to make a journey out of it.

Now, I am not giving you the scope for that. I’ll just push you out of this duality; even if it is wobbliness, even if it is confusion, anger, sometimes frustration. Why frustration? Frustration only means (can only come because) you’re feeling that the bag of concepts you collected is now worthless. It is not about Reality. Frustration is only because you feel like ‘Oh! You’ve struggled so much to this. You had such experiences, you found this, and you found that’ …, and I’m saying:

Everything in your story is just story.

The Truth is Here Now, naked.

Whether I say it in the form of ‘Now. Now. Now. Now. Now.’ or I say it in the form of ‘Forget it. You don’t know anything.’ …, it is the same thing.

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How Can We Capture Is-ness?

It’s like if you are a painter and you’ve spent ten years on one painting. What were you painting? You were painting the sun; you are coming out every day trying to capture it beautifully. [Makes a gesture of painting with hands] Then after ten years, you get so attached to that painting, and I am saying ‘Let’s go look at the sun. It’s right here.’ And our impulse can be ‘But I have it, I have it as my painting’ or ‘I have it as my essay’ or ‘I have it as some pictorial, some conceptual version of even the sun.’

So, if we can’t capture even a phenomenal appearance in our paintings, in our concepts, how can we capture the Is-ness, the Reality?

You are right that to understand that this is the wrong device, this is the wrong mechanism, is a beautiful recognition. And when we are empty of trying to grasp or cling to these devices, then That in which even the light of the sun shines …, That is apparent.

Yesterday we were having a discussion and we were saying that when we say ‘apparent’ I’m not saying that ‘That is an appearance.’ [Chuckles] Apparent means: it’s clear, it’s obvious, it’s natural. That is the way in which I’m using the term. Otherwise, what some of you are feeling is that what he is saying that ‘In your notion-less-ness, the Truth should come as if it’s an appearance to me. It should be objectively perceived, that this is it. I should be able to point to it and say: This is it.’ But it is not that. It’s before the notion ‘This is it’ or ‘not it.’

Now, because the habit is that (for ten years, suppose) then you will want to add to your painting based on even this. You can say ‘Ah, now I can make it better! Now I got it, now I got it. Now I can modify my painting.’ And half of it is like a void and the other half is like the blazing sun, or something like that. And we want to represent this again as if this is the Truth. But it isn’t.

So, whatever representation you might have, at best, can point to your experience of the Truth, but cannot in itself represent accurately the Truth.

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No ‘Me’ Is Ever Truly Born

[Reading from chat]: “Beloved Father, where are these emotions coming from? Also, who is having these, because inside there is no ‘me’? There is only a Presence not in time and space. But the arising of emotions pertaining to an individual are very fascinating to watch. It is like a magic show going on because I am nowhere to be found and yet all these appear.”

Now, even in the arising of what we call emotions there is not yet an individual. Even in the arising of emotions there is not yet an individual. So, a little child also experiences fear and they start crying and again they get entertained and forget about the fear; gone, they start laughing. So, these appearances of emotions are also not yet individualistic. It’s only when they get into the duality of ‘me’ and ‘mine’, only when we supply them with belief that ‘This means something, that this is what I am going through’ do these even emotional appearances seem to be used as evidence for a separation, evidence for an individuality.

So, let all things come and go. But the minute we start to put a ‘mine’ to it (‘this is mine’) it implies that there is a separate ‘me’.

So, ‘Because inside there is no me’ you say ‘there is only a Presence not in time and space. But the arising of emotions pertaining to an individual are very fascinating to watch. It is like a magic show going on because I am nowhere to be found and yet all these appear.’

Yes. All of these appearances are happening and the perceiving of them is happening and yet no ‘me’ has ever truly been born.

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It’s Both Empty and Full and It’s Neither Empty nor Full

[Reading from chat]: “Father, many times the notions and the belief in them are hiding in the feelings or emotions as subtle objects. What to do then?”

Forget this. Because this is an overuse of the intellect. You just have to deal with your next thought, that’s all. Even that you don’t have to really deal with but because our habit is to deal with them, to pick them up and to apply them as if they have meaning, as if they are true …, so, when I say you only have to deal with your next thought, it is that you only have to allow it to come and go. Then you don’t have to worry about the subtlety, you don’t have to pick up any special project. It is not complicated actually, what I’m saying. It is only mind which is complex. It will make projects for you where none exist. ‘How to deal with my subconscious?’… this kind of thing… ‘But I’m only conscious of this, what about that subconscious?’ and ‘Then will I get to the super-conscious?’ All these kinds of things; it is best to forget about them. Don’t make levels in your Consciousness. Just: You are the most natural, free Being at this very moment ….,

unless you pick up any notion, idea about yourself. Whatever needs to reveal itself, whatever becomes clearer and clearer, will unfold in its own way.

[Reading a new chat]: “You started Satsang today with ‘Are there any answers?’ I really woke up with an answer today, Father. [Chuckles] If one is really not here and doesn’t pick up any personal links, God can really have some fun. Peace, love, the natural state of What Is.”

Yes. [Silence] It happens in Satsang like this (in life like this actually) that there seem to be some themes, there seem to be some representations which are playing out in a consistent way. Like she said she woke up with an answer this morning. In Satsang I was joking ‘Do you have any answer?’ Now, it might seem to all of you that I am very opposed to words or something like that; but I’m not. Words are as neutral or meaningless as anything else. If, in a sense, I’m opposed to something in the play, it is opposed to your giving them more meaning or reality than they deserve. Like when you pick up an answer and say ‘This must be it’ then know that if it has an opposite (if what you feel is the Truth has an opposite) then that cannot be the Truth. Because the Truth is so all-pervasive, all encompassing. That’s why it cannot be represented in this way or that way.

That’s why the Sage said ‘It is both empty and full and it is neither empty nor full.’ Why are the Sages speaking like this? I think it was Sage Yajnavalkya who said ‘For those who are very attached to the changeful nature of the world, then those would be advised by the Sages to find that which is the unchanging. And for those who get stuck with this idea of the unchanging, they will be reminded that everything is constantly changing.’ Why is the Sage speaking like this? It is only so that (same thing) whatever representation, painting, you have, that can be dropped. Whatever version of Truth you believe is the ultimate (that ‘I have found it’) …, that can be kept aside. Because the Truth is actually way, way simpler than that and our mind cannot grasp it. Just as this hand cannot grasp the space. [Silence]

These negations cannot grasp it; yet, at some point, they are useful: ‘It is not this, it is not this, it is not this, it is not this.’ But we cannot make idols out of these negations also.

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Where Am I Not?

[Reading from chat]: “Father, also it’s really amazing me each and every moment that this body walks and talks and does everything but inside it, no one lives. Yet, nothing is living without it also. It is so very fascinating. It’s such a relief to not find myself in the old ways. Yet, it is so disorienting. It’s a funny feeling to walk and not find anyone walking.”

This is very good. Very good. Actually, we’re all starting to realize that it is such a ludicrous idea; such a ludicrous idea that some entity was living inside this body, only there …, that the ‘me’ as an entity or an objective creature was living inside this body. So, all these versions; living inside this body, it is this body itself …, you’re finding that the body boundary does not really contain You. But when you believe it, it does give you the idea that ‘I am spatially limited, constrained.’

All our notions of security, relationship, health of the body; all of these things come. When we start out, our idea of freedom is related to the body, that this body should get freedom. [Smiles] So, I want to tell you that the body of the Master, the body of the Sage, is just like any other body. At one level, it is just an appearance. If you want to give it more credence, then you can say ‘Atoms and molecules like everything else.’

So, don’t feel like when you get Self-recognition, it is about getting something for this body. It is not like best version of ice cream you’ll ever eat or something, which is like ‘Some experience should come. That will be the best taste that I’ve ever had and in a sensory way.’ [Chuckles] But it is a strange non-perceptual experience. (Well, forget that.) A simpler way to say it is: ‘It is the only non-phenomenal experience that you can say you had.’ But you can see that these words do not really capture what is being said. Whether you call it experience of Shiva, whether you call it experience of emptiness, whether you call it the experience of the Self, it’s a non-experience experience. You can’t say what you saw.

So now, we can say that ‘I can’t find a ‘me’ in this body.’ You can’t find a ‘me’ inside this body and you cannot find a ‘me’ outside this body. Then where must it be?

If not in the body and not outside the body, then where?

[Contemplative Silence]

Where are You?

Outside the body?

[Reading from chat]: “It is no place I can point to. It is just not point-able; it’s position-less.”

As what …, are you there?

So, if where You are is not a place… (for every ‘thing’ you need a place, no?) then, as what are you there?

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[Silence]

We can ask ‘Where are You’?

And in the same way, you can ask ‘Where am I not?’

Where are You not?

Now, let me give you some fuel for this inquiry. Anything that you perceive, it’s because your attention is on it. Now, how can your attention go somewhere where you are not? Actually, we can neither negate it nor say it positively. We can say ‘Where am I?’ and we can say ‘I am not in time and space, I am not an object here. This is clear.’

Then I ask you the question in a different way: ‘Where are you not?’ And you say ‘I am not in this.’ But then, how come your attention is here? How come your perception is here?

So, then, what does that make You?

Q:You are the substratum of everything. You are the substratum of everything. And perception.

A:Yes. So, in the perception, who is there?

Q:I am.

A:You are. I am the substratum, and then the of layer perception is there on top of that. Now, this perception is whose?

Q: Perception is also mine.

A:That which is perceived is who?

Q:That is also me.

A:That is also me. [Smiles] So, you are the … (in a way, they say) ‘You are the alpha and the omega.’ You are not just the substratum. [Smiles] But the substratum seems more substantive because it doesn’t come and go. In that way, we can say ‘That is my reality.’ But it is not to inject a duality in to this and say ‘Okay, I am just that and not that.’ (Not that it is not useful initially because we have been so attached just the idea of just being that.) So, when you see that

‘Okay, I am not that’ actually, what you are seeing is ‘I am not JUST that.’ Another way to say the ‘neti, neti’ [‘not that, not that’] would be that instead of saying ‘I am not that’ you could say ‘I am not JUST that.’ [Smiles]

Because clearly, there is no separation between the perception and its objects also. Like this camera is here. Is there any separation between you and it? At least, the minute you say ‘camera’ it denotes a kind of separation. But, you know what I mean, right? The room, the tree, the sounds …, nothing divides Me in Reality. Then we are not so easily able to say that ‘I am this or I am that.’ We are not able to say. Even the ‘I Am That’ seems to fall away.

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You see, this is beautiful, because when you say ‘It is both Me and not me’ therefore, the term ‘Me’ itself now means nothing. Like, if everything is and is not it, there is no meaning left in the term. This is ‘Advaita’ actually.

Then it is not ultimately that ‘I found this’ (finding me) but that ‘I saw that whatever I might define it ‘as’ does not convey truth of it.’ Therefore, there is no need or use of this term itself. And it is this label which has caused so much trouble. Whether you call it small ‘i,’ whether you call it ‘me,’ it is just a label.

From this place, if you say ‘I found myself now’ it is fine.

If you say ‘I lost myself now’ it is fine.

Many will say ‘Ah, I found the Truth about what I Am.’

Others will say ‘I lost the sense of ‘me’ which I always thought was here.’ And both are the same actually.

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Horn of a Hare

[Ananta reading the introduction to the Ribhu Gita*]

“The Ribhu Gita is one of the first books read by Sri Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi in Tiruvannamalai, after attaining self-realization at Madurai. Sri Bhagavan and the disciples would sit up especially after dinner reciting the Ribhu Gita, each reading a verse by turn. The reading continues for nearly two hours at a stretch. He would say ‘These readings from Ribhu Gita are as good as Samadhi. It does not matter if one understands the meaning or not, yet the result can be experienced.’ It appears from Sri Bhagavan’s words that if there is a book the reading of which can attune one’s mind to a transcendental state, that is the Ribhu Gita. What more is there to say?”

Ananta: We were just having some fun with this yesterday and we enjoyed this part very much.

This is Chapter 8, page 145:

Ribhu says: “I shall explain to you the hollowness of the world, which is akin to the horn of a hare.”

Ananta: So, that is ‘horn of’ not this hair but the rabbit: H-A-R-E.

Someone in Sangha says: No. Hare’s don’t have horns.

Ananta: That is the point; it does not have. That is the point (if there is a point).

Ribhu: “I shall explain to you the hollowness of the world, which is akin to the horn of a hare. This is hard to attain in all worlds. Listen with an alert mind.

Whatever trace of this world one hears or one sees of it, the from that is ‘seen’ and the form of the ‘seer’ are all like the horn of a hare.

Birds, water, fire, air, space, mind, intellect, ego, and the transcendental light are all like the horn of a hare.

Destruction, birth, truth, the world and heavenly systems, merit, sin, victory, and delusion are all like the horn of a hare.

Lust, anger, greed, discussion, pride, delirium, infatuation, steadfastness…”

Ananta: Now comes the fun part.

Ribhu: “Guru, disciple, teaching and such are all like the horn of a hare.”

Ananta: I like how we put it after lust, anger, greed, disillusion. [Chuckles]

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Ribhu: “I, you, the world etcetera. The beginning, the end, the middle, the past, the future and the present are all like the horn of a hare.

The gross body, the subtle body, the cause and the effect and what little of ‘seen’ and ‘seeing’ is there are all like the horn of a hare.”

Ananta: What little of ‘seen’ and ‘seeing’… [Chuckles] Whatever little we are seeing, all of these little, tiny things, we make such a big deal of it, na? … are all like the horn of a hare.

Ribhu: “The enjoyer, the objects and the enjoyment, ideal and non-dual characteristic, tranquility, inquiry, happiness are all like the horn of a hare.

Ethical regulation, physical restraints, breath control, and discourses on such things, movement, motion, thoughts are all like the horn of a hare.

Ears, eyes, body, lineage, secrecy, inertia, Hari, Shiva, beginning, end, longing for emancipation, all these are all like the horn of a hare.

The organs of knowledge, the five subtle senses, the group of organs of action, waking, dream, sleep and relevant states are all like the horn of a hare.

The twenty-four tatvas, the group of four spiritual practices, homologues, and heterologous groups are all like the horn of a hare.

All the world, all the Beings, all cultures, those with true significance, all kinds of ignorance and all types of learning are all like the horn of a hare.

All castes, all communities, all holy abodes, and holy water, all the Vedas, all the Shastras are all like the horn of a hare.

All types of bondage, all ways of liberation, all wisdom pertaining to the Lord, all periods of time, all instruction are all like the horn of a hare.

All existence, all actions, all types of association with the wise, all duality, all perception of non- existence are all like the horn of a hare.

All Vedanta, all theories, all conclusions on the significance of the Shastras, the nature of true existence of all Beings are all like the horn of a hare.

Whatever little is comprehended, whatever world appears, whatever is heard from the Guru are all like the horn of a hare.

Whatever is thought by the mind, whatever is willed anytime, whatever is decided by the intellect are all like the horn of a hare.

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Whatever is conveyed by speech, wherever meaningful talk is uttered, whatever is grasped by the sense organs are all like the horn of a hare.

Whatever object is renounced, whatever is heard or seen, ones own and others are all like the horn of a hare.

Whatever shines on account of reality, identity and essence and whatever is imagined by the mind are all like the horn of a hare.

Whatever is determined as the self, whatever is said to be eternal and whatever is investigated by the mind are all like the horn of a hare.”

Ananta: I will repeat again.

Ribhu: “Whatever is determined as the self, whatever is said to be eternal and whatever is investigated by the mind are all like the horn of a hare.

Shiva destroys ever, Vishnu protects the three worlds and verily, the creator Brahma builds the worlds, all these are all like the horn of a hare.

Whatever is said to be the soul, whatever speech uttered and statements like ‘this is life cycle’ all these are all like the horn of a hare.

Whatever is there in the Puranas, whatever established in the Vedas, the truth of the entire Upanishad, are all like the horn of a hare.”

Ananta: Now the best one.

Ribhu: “Whatever told to you in this chapter is all but a horn of a hare.”

Ananta: [Chuckles] ‘Whatever told to you in this chapter is all but a horn of a hare.’

Ribhu: “But he who hears this secret himself becomes Brahman.”

~ ~ ~

The Ribhu Gita, 2009

Sixth Asma of Sri Siva Rahasyam By Anil Sharma and Lingeswara Rao

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The Point and Pointlessness Are Both Meaningless

Q:It’s something I’ve wondered often: what is the ‘seeing’? Not the seeing that you are referring to, but the physical seeing is not happening. It’s just …, it’s something else and I’m not sure what that is.

A:This is good. So, just in the way that we see that if nothing has inherent meaning as Guruji

[Sri Mooji] says, then the term ‘meaning’ itself doesn’t have meaning. Either meaning or meaningless itself doesn’t have meaning. In the same way, if you see that ‘Actually, that which I have been calling my senses, there are no senses’ then the term ‘senses’ itself also loses its meaning. [Silence]

Q:Of course. So, without the concept of seeing, then there is no ‘here to there’, for sure. So, there are no eyes. Okay? [Chuckles] There are no eyes. If there are no eyes, then this is seeing itself. (I’m just contemplating.)

A:It is beautiful. That is why I say that you can’t infer your way to this. You can’t say ‘If this, therefore that’ because that will be another inference from the intellect. Now, empty of intellect or concepts, this is It. Even ‘This is It’ is just a pointing. If you have nothing to figure out…

Q: Then this is It.

A:Just to look at that a bit more. Now, we have looked through the concept of seeing itself. Then it doesn’t matter. If it itself is not meaningful; then whether couch is seeing or eyes are seeing, all that is irrelevant.

Q: So, what is happening or how it is happening is pointless, in a sense.

A:Yes. It’s not even pointless; because ‘pointless; can become like a nihilistic position. The meaninglessness or pointlessness can become a very strong position also. It is not even that. The point and pointlessness both are meaningless.

Q: Yes. Actually, what I meant was that to try and to figure out is pointless.

A:Exactly. But what I am saying again, to what you’re saying, is that to try and figure out is nothing. If you say that ‘It is pointless’ then it also becomes like ‘Don’t try to figure anything out, it is pointless.’ Or ‘It has a point.’ So, we go from ‘It does have a point, I can figure it out’ to ‘No, what is the point? I can’t.’ It’s out of that duality; because both of these can be branches you will hang on. ‘Yes, yes. I am figuring it out. Father has given me a very good contemplation.

I will figure it out.’ So, that can be. Or ‘I have figured out that nothing has a point. It is all pointless.’ So, then again, you can hang from there. But is neither of those.

Q:So, what I am is before saying both those things.

A:Now, are you figuring that out?

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Q:No, I am seeing that. I see that. I exist before the thought of point or pointlessness.

A:Yes. What trouble do you have there?

Q: There’s no trouble here.

A:Can you come out of there?

Q:No. I can’t come out of there.

A:So, when you are out of that duality of this and that, here and there, then …? [Chuckles]

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Why Would Truth Need a Defense?

The need to ascribe both: either meaning or meaninglessness, is very prevalent in a way to the human condition. We have to put everything in the box of either ‘It has this meaning’ or the box of ‘Oh, this is meaningless.’ It’s these boxes which we supposedly have used to answer the question ‘Why?’ which have built a box around us in a way. [Chuckles] And one of the most favorite ones, in fact behind all ‘Why?’ in some way is the ‘Why me?’ … ‘Why me?’ … Or ‘Why not me?’ also. [Laughter]

From our limited perspective, we cannot fathom the magnificence of this. We cannot even fathom what ‘to exist’ means. What does it mean to exist or not? But we want to fathom a lot after existence: ‘How do I do something? Why does this happen?’ All of that is after Existence.

So, we don’t know the basic foundation from our limited position as the mind, but we try to gather a lot of answers. And a collection of all of these answers is what we call ‘a person’. [Chuckles] What is a person? Just a collection of all these answers that we’ve use to define ourself in some way. That which we call a belief system, the conditioning, is what? Just what we think we know. Isn’t it?

Then we start to believe that it is our experience and that’s why we feel like that is valid. But if you really check on your experience, without trying to get to an answer, you will see that it’s not true.

Your experience is not that of separation.

It is not that of separation, it is not that of limitation, it is not that of individuality.

And what I say after this might sound very unpopular, might not be the best sounding words, but:

It is our attachment to our version of the Truth.

Then we buy these ideas of ‘It is my truth; it is my truth’ and that claim is just a defense of that which you are actually unsure about; that is why you have to keep claiming ‘It is my truth, it is my truth.’ This. Because the ‘me’ at the center of it is usually just a made-up thing, a made-up bundle of concepts. Like we were talking about all the answers, all the beliefs you have, all the things you think you know (‘my truth’). So, when the mind couches in these terms and says ‘But this is my truth and we are human after all.’ You see? These kinds of things. It’s all lies but they seem very attractive.

What is your actual experience or insight? You looked and looked. Did you find a human sitting there? And yet, these concepts are attractive; not just in spirituality but in all of humanity in a way.

And anything that seems to be then contrary to the notional ideas of separation and individuality then ‘That is just some sort of a bypass: avoidance. That is just some sort of avoidance’. But actually, that’s why I have been saying this over and over again that ‘The only way I can find of avoiding ‘What Is’ is to put my label, to put a claim of my knowing, on top of it’.

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So, how can it be then that to remain notionless is avoidance?

How can it that be to meet ‘What Is’ (in this moment naked) is avoidance?

To add a fig leaf of a notion would be avoidance. [Laughs] How can it be that we are meeting it completely open, without any defenses of any labels, and that is avoidance? That is basically just saying that ‘You have to believe some conclusion from the mind’ …, this idea that ‘Unless you buy some conclusion from the mind, you are in avoidance of something.’ This is just made-up by the mind itself.

Because I am saying: Meet even this mind completely, fully. But check on what it is saying; see if it actually is pointing to the Reality even of your phenomenal experience. See if it is actually pointing to something called a tree? See if there is something actually called a ‘tree’? It’s just a name, it’s just a word. Everything is so alive and unique that we cannot meet life in that way. When we have a label for it, then it’s put into a box of concepts that ‘I know what it is. This is ‘tree.’

So, we come to a point where we are tired even of the most fancy notions; the most fancy notions like ‘I am using them to live my life.’ There comes a point where you see that “I don´t want to use anything at all. If life wants to live, then life will live.”

Q: Father, can you say an example of a fancy notion?

A:Yeah, like this, that ‘I’m just living my truth because I’m human after all.’ Whatever you feel is still attractive and truthful to you. Whatever you are allowing without investigation. Whatever you’re just buying without investigation and especially that which, the minute you want to investigate into it, the mind really starts to … [Lifts his arms and makes strong gestures] Like that, you see?

And in these kinds of investigations, the mind will say ‘But that is going too far, that is going too far. After all, you came to Satsang to become an enlightened person. You wanted to be a Sage. Now look at what has happened to you.’ [Chuckles] These kinds of things. ‘You wanted just freedom; you wanted to have a happy life which is free.’ You see? Like that. And this one [the Sage] is saying [Referring to a reading from the Ribhu Gita]: ‘All of this is just the horn of a hare.’ [You’re like]: ‘What is going on?’ You see? Like ‘This is going too far. I think I need a break.’ These kinds of things.

If you are open enough to investigate:

What is it that we are defending?

And if it is the Truth, why does it need a defense?

If it is the truth why does it need to be defended?

Because the Truth will survive. If you need to put a wall around it, then what must there be? Something that in your heart of hearts you know is not true. That´s why you had better [Makes a gesture to keep distance] put up enough defense mechanisms.

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And sometimes very subtle things like this one had shared with me, that ‘This has stayed with me’ in a sense: ‘Okay, but really, let’s get real. Let’s get real.’ Okay, so what then? Are we just making things up in Satsang every day about non-separation, non-duality? All of this is just fancy talk? Because ‘Ultimately, when it comes down to it, let’s get real.’ What to say? [Chuckles]

Exactly the same thing but in different words is ‘Let’s be practical now. Let’s get practical.’ But actually, what we are saying is ‘Let’s get real.’ Because if you did not feel that that had a position in reality, you would not want to get practical. [Chuckles]

So, all of this is duality. We can get stuck in real, practical, yes, no, truth, false, up, down; all these kinds of things. But it is all in denial of your actual experience, which is so alive and empty of limitations right now. Right Now! It is only your trying to hold it, grasp it, cling at it, try to put it in a box then it seems illusive and then you get frustrated. You see? But you don´t need to hold it in a box. It is always Here for you. [Chuckles]

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The Cat Came for the Bowl of Milk Called Nirvana

Q:It’s like I experience something which I did not experience before. I could not even fathom that this is….

A:Okay, experience everything now and tell me if you can fathom it.

Q:That’s what I am saying, I can’t!

A:You can’t fathom it.

Q:I can’t even, I can’t even…

A:Nobody (this point is important, in a way) nobody can ever fathom even their phenomenal experience in this moment (or let’s say ‘no mind can ever fathom it’).

That is why another word for ego is arrogance. It’s just like the idea that ‘I have figured out what even this existence is!’ (that ‘this is this!’ or ‘that is that!’) is just a very silly belief. But as we hang on to it, then, because we are scared that in the losing of that we will lose our specialness or something. In a way it is also like ‘How will I live my life?’. It is the most arrogant thing: ‘How will I live my life?’ Then what is God’s role? The world is functioning, everything is happening. Like Guruji [Sri Mooji] says: Your heart is beating, your breath is happening, your lungs are functioning, everything around you is going on, millions and trillions of planets but ‘you’ have to live ‘your’ life.

Q: But where am I?

A: Yes. [Laughs] She is beyond….

Q:Okay, I can’t live it because I don’t find myself inside.

A:Outside?

Q:Outside also…

A:You were in Satsang yesterday?

Q:Yeah…

A:So, neither inside you find, nor outside; so then?

Q:Yeah. If I can’t find it inside then there is no outside really.

A:Yes, but the ‘I’ who can’t find, are you making up? …, the ‘I’ that can’t find either outside or inside?

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Q:No, I’m not making it up because it’s a sense of Being. It’s ‘I Am’. This sense of Being. So how can I make it up?

A:Okay. So, if You are That and you cannot find yourself inside or outside, then what must you be?

Q: That’s the thing.

A:It’s not a thing. That’s the thing. [Laughs and Sangha laughs]

Q:What is it? This is what I’m saying. What is going on?

A:Yes…

Q:Then, where? Father, then where? Where am I?

A:Where are all things which are not things?

Q:Father! … [Sangha laughs]

A:Only ‘things’ are here, no?

Q:Yeah, so…

A:Where are the non-things?

Q:Can’t be somewhere else because I experience it Here Now…

A:Where? Where?

Q:Not even here (inside), not even here (outside) but where? Like, where?

A:Where? Where?

So, where are the non-things? Because here, there are only things.

Q:Yeah.

A:Only things, outside the body. Things, inside the body also. Only things. So, where must the no-thing live?

Q: So, I can’t close my eyes and go inside and try to find out…

A:Like I say: Can you put no-thing in this glass? [Holds up a glass of water] This glass can have either ‘thing’ or ‘nothing’. But what about no-thing? The body is also like this glass only. How can the no-thing be there?

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Q: Yeah.

A:Yeah, not possible. So, you’re not inside the physical body.

Q:No.

A:Not outside in this physical realm.

Q:No.

A:Then, where?

Q:Not in attention also.

A:Not in attention also. Where does attention come from?

Q:Not without attention also. This is what I’m trying to say. It doesn’t feel without attention also.

A:Okay. So, on this side [points outside] of attention is objects. What is on the other side?

Q:How do I tell you that? It is there.

A:You don’t have to tell me.

Q:But what is it, Father? Because it’s so…

A:It’s beyond any ‘what’…

Q:Yeah… But where? You can’t find it…

A:Beyond all ‘W’s’: What, where, who, when; why, especially!

Q:It’s a very strange thing, whatever it is.

A:And yet, it’s the most natural. Anything that you say is to try to put meaning to that which is beyond it.

When Kabir said ‘Build your house where nothing can be seen and this house should have no pillars’ …, what was he saying?

Q: This.

A: Actually, this is, in a way, your eternal home. You don’t have to build it.

Q: Yes. Wow. [Pause] What is this power of belief? Because I see (like now this became very

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clear randomly in the last few days) that there is no one here. And every time I check, there is no

one here. Yet, I am here but I am not…

A: You were checking.

Q:Yes, I was checking and I’m not this body, I’m also not not this body.

A:Yes. Good.

Q:…then this thing; thoughts come, and a few thoughts I really believe in, and then I had all this confusion about emotion. Even that, you will say, it is so natural also; like moving the hand is like anger coming. But what is this power of belief then? Where, like I just want to know.

A: You want to believe something about the power of belief?

Q:No. I want I just want to know this from you because (don’t judge the ‘know’) [Sangha laughs) why? …, because when it happens, I should be able to see it.

A:So, your question is: What is this power of belief?

Q:Yeah.

A:So, you want a concept about it? Or you want to experiment with it?

Q:Experiment with it.

A:So, if I say ‘Suddenly your nose has turned green.’ Maybe because it’s coming from my mouth, it might seem like ‘Okay, I better start believing that’ or something. But if I say ‘You’re really getting this stuff!’ [Looks interested] So, what you did there, that is belief.

Q: [Laughs]

A:That’s why I said: Do you want a concept of it or do you want to experiment with it? When I said ‘Your nose is turning green’ you just went … [Looks disinterested] When I said ‘You might be getting this stuff’ … [Looks very interested] Like that.

Q:…and every time, just sweep it off?

A:Yes…

Q:It’s like a game, Father!

A:It is a game; a bit, yes.

Q:A bit, why?

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A:In the sense that it is a sub-game within this game of appearance anyway. It’s fundamentally irrelevant in any way, whether you spend ten-million lives fully identified with individuality and suffering or you experience one realm, one life, and you get your Buddhahood in that life. What does it matter to infinity?

Q: It’s objects, you say. It’s a game with the appearance of all these objects.

A:Like Ribhu says ‘In this tiny little thing called ‘seeing’ …, this game of delusion and freedom is being played.’

Q: What do you mean by seeing? What kind of seeing?

A: Yeah. Seeing all this. Seeing the seeing… [Smiles] [Silence]

‘What’s going on?’ is actually not a bad thing; like ‘I don’t know’. Unless you’re making a concept of ‘I don’t know’ like ‘Ah! I know now that ‘I don’t know’ is the best! I don’t know!’ …, like that. But just like the openness of the ‘I don’t know’ is very beautiful because it sets fire; it’s like a forest fire to all our concepts. And sometimes these opposites… like do you watch any sports ever?

Q: Yeah.

A:Like when you watch any sport, you notice the mind’s tendency to take a side. And you notice that you can just step back and just see, and that creates a sense of openness. But the natural affinity of the mind is to say ‘Ah! These ones are the ones I love. I love them!’ So, even if it’s Siberia playing against Austria or something …, you’re watching a match and suddenly you start noticing that you want to take sides. And this shows us something very clearly: that we got so used to positions, this way or that way, this way or that way. But when you step back from that and just allow the play to happen with no expectation of outcome, you’ve not taken a side so it doesn’t matter to you who wins or if it’s a draw or whatever.

Q: …but, Father like sometimes, like this side…

A:So, (I’ll finish this point) just in the same way, when you don’t take the side of even truth or untruth (like true and false, right or wrong) when you just step back and you see that there’s a certain sort of tension in this duality. This tension is very good because it cleans it up. It can feel uncomfortable. It can feel wobbly. ‘I want to know what it right! I want to know what is true or false.’ But if you just allow yourself to step back…

And sometimes, the wobbliness can happen but it’s fine because it’s doing a clean up job, shaking up everything that you have stored up. That’s why these days I am not rushing so much to give answers. Because sometimes that ‘What is it? What? This or this? This or this?’ …, now I don’t want to say because this shaking is very good. Its rattling out all your ideas. These whole five years (of Satsang) …, I can promise you, I can give you a definition for anything. But then you’ll make an idol out of that definition and then that will have to be demolished in some way.

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I like this phase, in a way, what you’re conveying to me: this phase of ‘I see and I don’t see’ like ‘I know but I don’t know ‘ like ‘It’s clear but I’m confused; it’s clear but what’s going on?’ This kind of thing can only bring good things.

Q: In a way…

A:In a way, because then that can become a ‘thing’ otherwise. It can become a part of your compartment of knowing

Q:Yeah. But it’s not possible to know.

A:You know that?

Q:No. But before, I felt all these words in a different way than now experientially.

A:Yes, exactly.

Q:I don’t know what’s going on. And I don’t know where I am. That’s the most weird thing, Father. I’m behind, front, here, there; where, where, where?

A:Nobody knows. Nobody knows where they are.

Q:Do you know?

A:Nobody knows. ‘Nobody’ doesn’t include me? [Laughs]

Where is a concept of ‘you’?

Q:Father…

A:Yes?

Q:You said yesterday ‘Where are you not?’

A:Yes. The same way you can say ‘Where are you?’ and you find ‘I can’t place it’ …, then: where are you not? Can you say ‘I’m not here’? Or ‘I’m not anywhere’?

It’s popular in Advaita to say ‘I’m not in this world’. ‘I’m not in this world’ but your attention is here. How did your attention get here without you? That’s why I’m saying that the point is not to define ‘I’m here phenomenally or I’m not here phenomenally.’ The point is to discard this whole concept of where-ness, the whole concept of space.

Q: Wow. [Laughs]

A:Because space implies here and there. That’s how the conversation today started. Space implies what? That there is a here and there is a there. There is distance. There is somewhere.

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Q: ‘Me’ and ‘that’.

A: Yeah, and very quickly ‘me’ and ‘that’. But if there is no such thing as here and there, then?

Like, this which we feel is there …, do we really know it’s there? Do we know anything about distance? Like you’re saying if we were just looking at moving energies and you put a device [points to his eyes] and it’s a lens where you’re seeing all these moving energies …, but actually it’s an empty room. Because that device is there, it can feel full …, but where are the actual moving images? On your eye. So, we can’t confirm any distance ever.

Like, what is the distance between two countries in a dream?

In a dream, what is the distance between two countries?

It’s only a seeming-distance. It’s not real.

Q: [Laughs]

A:Although it can seem like a very simple exercise to clean up the mind a bit, to not know (‘To know one thing is to know too much’, this kind of thing) then you see how much is notional. I have to say: time, space; all is notional ‘I’m sitting here, I’m going there, I’m being this way’ … all ideas. [Silence]

The thing is, the cat that came for a bowl of milk can struggle with this. Most of you know the cat story. The cat that came for a bowl of milk called Nirvana, Freedom, Liberation, says ‘Come on! I wanted to be the enlightened cat.’ Now we’re saying ‘No cat no bowl, no time, no space, no liberation, no bondage, nothing.’ All these tricks. Many of you will feel like you’re being brain- washed. In a way, that’s true. You’re being washed of all the garbage that you gave stored up in your mind. What if ‘mind-wash’ was a good word? See, this is what I am saying. ‘It’s only human.’ Like that. Suppose somebody asks you ‘What do you come to Satsang for?’ … ‘Oh, I come to get mind washed.’ [Pretends to be shocked] ‘What!?’ … ‘No, it’s a very good thing.’ … ‘’What?! Be careful.’ What assigns those meanings to those words? We all live by that, no? ‘But just make sure you’re not being brain-washed.’ This kind of thing. Because it has a certain meaning. What if all these things were just… [Waves his hand as in ‘nothing’]

Q: Just here.

A:Yeah. You know that, usually, when I start by saying ‘imagine’ it’s just so that you can start feeling a bit comfortable and you realize very quickly that ‘I don’t have to imagine this’.

Q: It’s very fascinating, Father; we make this ‘me’. How do we make it? And where is it?

A:How we make it? Not ‘why?’… ‘Why?’ is the most popular one. ‘Why this world has come?

Why did we come here?’

Q: As in, how have we made it? How we have made it is pretty crazy because it’s not there.

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A:Just like a dream. Imagine that this is a dream. [Chuckles] You’ll never imagine that. Nobody day-dreams this. Just a super-nerd boy sitting in front of you in spectacles telling you all this stuff. [Laughs] Some strange sci-fi spirituality, in a way.)

Q:It is like that. I fully feel like it’s a dream. You know, I fully feel like it’s a dream but I don’t know what’s going on.

A:See, nobody knows where they are. Nobody knows what’s going on. [Sangha laughs] Your main question is: ‘What’s going on?’ Nobody knows.

All answers are fraud about this. Even ‘Leela’ [the play, maya] is a fraud answer because (if you want a ‘because’) nothing is going on; nothing is happening.

What is going on when nothing has happened?

It’s like saying: Where are you if there nothing such as space?

Q:Wait. Wait. No. No. Wait.

A:Bas, bas! [Enough!]

Q:What is going on if nothing is happening? [Silence] You know, I’m surprised at how this sounds also true.

A: Papaji said ‘Nothing ever happened.’

Q:If there is no ‘where’ and ‘when’ and ‘who’ then how can anything happen?

A:But not even that inference is needed.

Q:No, but this is what I experience also.

A:In notionless existence, ‘happen’ doesn’t mean anything. Or ‘not happen’ also doesn’t mean anything. [Silence]

This mouth is not saying anything. [Indicates her speaking] What about that inside ‘mouth’? [i.e., thoughts] Is it saying something or not?

Q:It is trying to figure it out.

A:Figure it out. [Smiles]

Q:Why the thoughts?

A:Why thoughts?

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Q:The thoughts are coming; not coming in the body, they are appearing somewhere. It is sensed as if it is appearing in this space.

A: Why? [Smiles]

Q: It is really saying this. What do I do? It doesn’t stop. [Silence]

A:[Whispers]: “Man got to walk, man got to fly. Man got to ask himself ‘Why, why, why?’” [Chuckles]

The shorter version [of the answer] is: Consciousness [is why].

Q:I do not have any ‘why’s.’ It is you who ask me what it is saying.

A:Yeah, what is it saying. Yeah, tell me; that one.

Q:Yeah, I am just saying… [Smiles] Yeah. This figurer is so full-power ‘on’ …, it is amazing.

A:Somehow, it can also feel like ‘Ahh, I am figuring out that I can’t figure it out.’ The figurer also gets a bit excited about this. Like ‘In today’s Satsang, I’m really figuring this out…, but I can’t figure it out!’ [Smiles]

Q: Exactly like this. Exactly like this. Wow, Father.

A:Many times, when I was talking about this checker guy, it is like ‘Yeah, I really have such a strong checker guy!’ Yeah, yeah: That’s the one. [Chuckles] That’s the one. [Sangha Laughs]

Q:Full commentary, Father. The mind can’t give you answers.

A:Yeah, exactly. [Chuckles]

Q:But do not listen to your mind.

A:Listen to me, because mind cannot give answers. [Smiles]

Q:The mind would not be able to figure it out.

A:Correct.

Q:Why do you even try? Let go, let go. [Smiles]

A:‘Let go, let go.’ [Laughs] Actually, it’s like ‘Hold me, hold me!’ [Chuckles] But the words saying are ‘Let go, let go.’

Q: Yeah. [Smiles]

131

Openness Is Empty of Ideas of Allowing or Holding Back

I feel like for many of you, you have this mental constriction about ‘What is right, what is wrong, how should I project myself, will something seem too arrogant or will something seem too humble?’ Now openness or the allowing that we are speaking of is that which is empty of the holding back and allowing. Empty of the duality of this. It is not even to take the position; so I don’t want to say necessarily that ‘You must allow.’ I’m saying it’s neither of those. Like if we can make the term itself irrelevant in a way.

It is a great forgetfulness, in the sense of forgetting what these terms imply. Because using these terms, you seem to apply them to your experience and say ‘Okay, am I closed or am I allowing?’ And either is a position that way. So, that allowing, the greater allowing which we are speaking of, the greater openness, is nothing to do with whether I’m [gestures with arms ‘open’ or ‘closed.’] And yet, in this play, it seems as if once we take on these position then something seems to replicate that position in the outward expression as well.

But we don’t have to bother about it. You don’t have to bother about how that is expressing itself because that’s how we make a report about ourselves. ‘This is what is happening to me. I’m not allowing fully or I’m closing.’ But I’m saying: Leave the opposites. Make the term itself irrelevant. Like the idea that you could allow or you could be closed, if you were to forget about that …, is your notionless existence.

[Silence]

Let’s go deeper into this one actually. Many of you have this notion ‘I’m not fully open or I’m not allowing fully.’ We have this notion that ‘I should open up more; I should be more fully non- resistive, or allowing.’ But as long as there is that sense of ‘doing that’ then it can never be that fully. As long as there is a sense that there is a sense of doership about it, that ‘I can do it or not do it’ (like ‘I’m doing the closing or opening of it’) then the full opening that you are conceptualizing can never actually be your experience because you have the notion of this doership in some sense. But if you leave it, in the sense that you don’t become averse to it but just leave the concept of it, leave the effort, leave the effort and non-effort, leave the doership and non-doership about it. ‘Leave the opposites’ is what I’m trying to convey. And I know that language is not designed for what I’m trying to convey, so it seems like a bit of a struggle sometimes to use it.

But do you have a sense of what I’m saying? As long as you have the idea that ‘I must fully allow’ then that is not the full allowing anyway. You see? Because your doership is still involved in that. The idea that there is some separate entity who has the volition to be able to do that is still there, which is not the full allowing anyway. So, if you can forget the pair of opposites like ‘allow’ or’ close’ or ‘holdback.’…

132

There Is No Duality Even of ‘I Am Brahman’

Today I saw a very beautiful quote by Bhagavan [Sri Ramana Maharshi]. He said ‘There is no Advaita or Dvaita.’ (I am paraphrasing a bit.) ‘There is no Dvaita or Advaita, there is no duality or non-duality; there is only the Truth.’ I found that very, very beautiful. I like very much also in the Ribhu Gita (I noticed today): ‘No duality, even of ‘I am Brahman.’ Who can say these kinds of things? [Laughs] Because even in the statement ‘I am Brahman: Aham Braham Asmi’…, even in that statement there is a potential that ‘I could not be.’ If it is just naturally that, you don’t need to state anything at all. Even in the trying to state that, we are giving some credence to the possibility that an opposite could exist, so that’s why I’d have to affirm that ‘I am Brahman.’

Like we don’t go around asserting ‘I have a face; I have a nose.’ [Looks around] ‘I have a nose.’ [Laughter in the room] But if we did go around asserting that, it gives an openness to the possibility that ‘I could not have a nose.’ [Chuckles] You see? So, in the same way, if we keep asserting something, it is almost giving in to the play of duality again …, (not almost; it is actually giving in to the duality) that there is a possibility that I could not be that. ‘I have a mouth.’ I’m not saying that. Why? Because if you say that to anyone, what would they say? ‘Of course you do. Is there a possibility that you couldn’t?’

So, when you assert that ‘I am just Consciousness’ or ‘I am the Absolute; I am Brahman’ it is in that affirmation itself (which may be useful, of course, at some point, but the kind of Satsang we are having now) …, even that assertion, in-built into it is the possibility that ‘You could actually be a person’ or ‘You could actually be separate.’ So, true non-duality cannot be that which is the opposite of duality. It has to be outside the play of opposites. It is not opposed to anything at all. Your Self is not in opposition.

That is why I’ve been repeating these days that: What does it mean? Our Self is not in opposition to anything at all, therefore, in a sense, it is completely neutral. But no thought is ever neutral. The Self is neither asserting itself nor denying anything. But it is the mental version of ‘What Is,’ the mental version of ‘Is-ness,’ which seems to be either this way or that way.

Actually, each of these verses [of Ribhu Gita] are very, very beautiful because it’s constructed in a very beautiful, divine way. He could be talking about ‘There is no lust, there is no anger’ and suddenly ‘There is no Guru, no disciple.’ And it shows us that we have made this staircase of meaning; that some are of lower meaning, some concepts are of higher meaning. But to mix it all up; like he could be talking about the most mundane things, like ‘There is no bath.’ Of course, in those days, the holy bath could be a sacred bath; that concept. But saying ‘No bath, no Brahman’ …, I like that very much. Because all these terms are as meaningless as any other terms, but we have made a gradation out of that; the best of us have made (I’ve made) over the years also. (Not that I am the best. That is the quote for tomorrow.) [Laughter] We end up picking up this terminology. So, it’s very much possible to get caught up in this hierarchy of meaning, in a way, and presume that different terms have different levels of Reality or unreality.

133

Get Rid of the Oppression of ‘Trying to Be Right’

I feel it is bit relevant to speak about why these kinds of scriptures are kept in secret. Like this is part of the ‘Shiva Rahasyam’ which means ‘The Secret of Shiva.’ (The secrets.) Now, this is just one tiny aspect (it doesn’t look tiny but) this entire book, this entire scripture ‘Ribhu Gita’ has a tiny aspect of the Shiva sutras: ‘The Shiva Rahaysyam’ And even in the ashram, they were kept in secret caves. [Smiles] Why? Because, if you make concepts about these things…, like ‘There is no Brahman’ …, if you make that in to a concept itself (‘There is no ‘Brahman’ or ‘There is no ‘Guru’ or ‘There is no ‘disciple’) if you create a conceptual framework out of this, then (because these are very, very, beautiful pointers to that wordless reality) it will take some special kind of words to shake you out of these concepts. Because you can take these positions; you can use these words also to make positions, which are then so strong that life has to bring some special events, in a way, to shake these out.

In our Indian history (or stories, whatever you like to call it) there are many representations of these. Very learned, scripturally-learned ones, who then became so egoistic because they were holding onto these concepts which were meant to do the clean-up job (that itself they were intended for) then that spiritual ego had to be shaken up. In one story, the Lord had to come down as an Avatar to shake up this super-spiritual ego. They were saying all the right things, in a way; saying everything scriptural, but it was taken individualistically. So, I do have a sense, in a way, of why this kind of knowledge is not for public consumption. But in Satsang, I am more and more feeling that there is a certain readiness, there is a certain openness for these kinds of words to be shared now.

One thing that will help you, one tip that will help you is: anytime you find yourself becoming

heavy about something, you find yourself becoming stiff or heavy about anything: Know that it is not true; that you’re holding on to some concept. Like, with most of you, I can see it in your eyes; something becomes lighter, a certain lightness of what you taste. You can find it very strange that all our concepts are being chopped. You are being left with (like Guruji [Sri Mooji] calls it) an inner bath. It feels so fresh inside. Sometimes, while the bath is going on and where the concepts are being shaken out of you, it might not always feel like a bath. It might feel like there is frustration, anger; all these might come. But as it leaves you, this tyranny of mind is seen to be this oppression of language, the oppression of actually trying to be right. You’re oppressing yourself by trying to be right. As it leaves you, you will find a lot of spaciousness; Your very Existence.

So, isn’t it strange that the only way we can really make ourself suffer is in trying to be right? It is strange. The only way we make ourself suffer is when trying to be right. That is why they have this old saying (which seems so tame): ‘Do you want to be happy or do you want to be right?’ It is a very, very strong pointer actually.

All of our baggage is a mental attempt, our metal version, of trying to be right.

134

Trying to Be Natural Is Already Unnatural

Even the idea of ‘Why struggle with all of this when I can just be?’ …, how many of us have tried to ‘just be’? Has it happened? You’ve heard this for how many years? Till this clean up job happens of even this position of trying to ‘just be’ …, we’ll be like what Guruji [Sri Mooji] says: the minute you ‘try’ to be natural, the natural-ness is gone.

Try to just be. ‘I keep my attention on my sense of being.’ That doesn’t seem like just being; it seems like work. [Silence] That position of ‘I’m just being’…, something relaxes out of that [naturalness].

This is an important point to make because sometimes the words of Satsang, the words of the scriptures like Ribhu Gita, can be very frustrating and then we can take on this position that ‘I don’t need any of this! I’m just going to BE.’ You see? ‘I don’t need this stuff, I know the Truth, I just have to BE.’ But in that position itself, your bondage is already guaranteed, in a way. Almost like the way that we started the conversation: ‘I have to open fully.’ In the ‘have to’ itself, your fullness is gone.

Q: Then what to do? [Laughter in the room]

A:The nice way of saying it is: If you feel you have to do something, give yourself this one moment of notionless existence; [Silence] one moment of not defining YourSelf based on anything you know. Leave YourSelf undefined. Because sometimes when I point like that, you can have the taste of ‘just this’ …, but if you judge that, even that, and then you have the taste of something else (if you’re speaking to someone, if something’s happening) then it can be like ‘See, I left that.’ It’s not true. It’s not about this outer expression.

Q2: If there one moment of notionless existence, that is ‘just to be’?

A:[Chuckles] In a way, yes, but empty of the notion of trying to ‘just be’ (if you’re empty of the desire, empty of the intent). But you’re right.

Q2: Empty of the thought ‘Am I notionless or not?’

A:Exactly. [Chuckling] Then the other part of it is ‘just doing nothing.’ Can you do nothing? It is just that the concept of doership does not apply to You, actually. As long as you have the idea of ‘I-doer’ or ‘I-not-doer’ then were getting into the trap of a limited concept about ourself. So, if I say ‘Do nothing’ …, can you do nothing and show me? You can’t blink, you can’t breathe, you see?

This realm is the realm of activity. It has just taken some part of this realm and made a report about yourself based on the activity in that aspect of that realm. And then we get into that thing of ‘Okay, so that aspect of that realm, how should that exhibit itself? Should we take five deep breaths?’ (Anything.) ‘Or should you just leave it?’ Like that, you know? This kind of thing. But in that also is inherent the untruth about what You Are.

135

Now What is There?

What is the biggest thought you can have? [Laughter in the room] Seriously, what is the biggest thought you can have? What is the biggest representation you can have through a thought? Universe? God? Absolute? I’m only giving the answers. You say…

Sangha: Infinity. Love. Now. Deathless. Anantaji.

A:Ah, so sweet. Whatever you said, or whatever you like the most, what is bigger than that? Sangha: Perceiver.

A:Perceiver. What is bigger than that? Sangha: The one who knows the perceiver.

A:The one who knows the perceiver. What is bigger than that?

Sangha: ‘Higher …’ [Chuckles]

A: ‘Higher…’ Like that Sufi example, yes. What is higher or bigger than that?

Sangha: Awareness.

A:Awareness. What is bigger than that? Sangha: Awareness of Awareness.

A:What is bigger than that?

Sangha: That where there is no dimension.

A:That where there is no dimension. What is bigger than that? Sangha: Beyond three-dimensional or four-dimensional.

A:Okay, this idea that you have of something beyond three-dimensional or four-dimensional, beyond this understanding…

Sangha: Anything you say is after that.

A:Yes, but this understanding you have that everything you say is after that, what is higher than that, bigger than that?

Sangha: That Is … Itself.

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A: ‘That is Itself’ means?

Sangha: [Laughter] The truth itself.

A: The truth. Whatever we know about truth, what is higher than that?

Sangha: You don’t ‘know’ the truth but stand as that Awareness; one who’s, like, the Satguru.

A:Bigger than that? Sangha: It’s just a title.

A:Yes, it’s bigger than any representation of whatever you’re representing through the label (or ‘title’ as you call it) …, what is that?

Sangha: It cannot be higher or bigger than that which cannot be measured.

A: It cannot be bigger than that which cannot be measured; why?

Sangha: Father, you are talking as…?

A: ‘As…’ [Chuckles] Bigger than that. Nice try. [Laughter]

Sangha: Father, if I have to think of it, I can’t conceive from something which is limited to something which is immeasurable. I can’t use a thought to know that ‘unlimited’ because a thought is just coming and going.

A:Why? Because it is unlimited. Sangha: The thought is not unlimited.

A:Yeah, but thought cannot be used because ‘That’ is unlimited? What is bigger than unlimited?

Sangha: I know the right answer, but…

A: [Chuckles] Whatever you think you know, bigger than that.

Sangha: [Laughter] ‘I’.

A: Bigger than ‘I’.

Sangha: ‘If you know one thing, you know too much.’

A:You can do the exact same thing with: Smaller than that. What is the smallest thing you can think of?

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Sangha: A quark.

A:So, smaller than that? Sangha: Silence.

A: Smaller than that …, or subtler than that, whatever you prefer.

Sangha: Nothing.

A:Nothing! Smaller than nothing. Sangha: Neither nothing nor no-thing.

A:Not even that; smaller than that. Stay there.

Now, in between this ‘very small’ and ‘very big’ … what is there?

Sangha: Everything.

A:Everything perceivable, everything perceptual-ize-able. Sangha: Everything changeful.

A:Changeful. Everything that your mind and intellect can work on. And Satsang is where you come to be, in a way, pushed beyond that. So, in a simple way, we can say that all our personal considerations are between this ‘very small’ and ‘very big’. But that spectrum of ‘very small’ to the ‘very big’ is nothing really to the Reality of You. What concerns you that is beyond the very small and the very big; right from the spectrum of ‘nothing’ to ‘the Absolute’? Everything that concerns you is between ‘nothing’ and ‘the Absolute’. So, beyond these two conceptual boundaries…, what are you concerned about?

Sangha: What I am.

A:But still in this: [Hold hands wide apart to show spectrum] Still in this; we are either between this one or this one. Tell me something that you are concerned about beyond these?

Sangha: Beyond the opposites?

A: Beyond the opposites and beyond the extremes; beyond the duality.

Now, … in the space between two thoughts, … what is there?

138

A Special Brand of Nonsense

So, today I am speaking a very special brand of nonsense. [Laughter] I am speaking a very special brand of nonsense. [Laughs] You need to hear with a different set of ears, in a way So, what we looked at so far (I don’t know how many online were following but what we looked at so far) is: ‘What is the smallest representation we can have in thought?’ which is, we can say ‘nothing’ or ‘the thought’ or ‘something really measly’ to ‘What is the greatest representation we can have in a thought? which is: ‘That which is the absolute’ or ‘Awareness: That which is aware of Itself’ …, all these very fancy things. Everything that you are concerned about is between these two.

But what is beyond that?

I was giving you an example that in the space between two thoughts, before you have the notion ‘I Am’ or any way to represent ‘This: That Which Is’ … is it nothing? … or everything? … or Absolute? Can any representation truly represent it? Can this entire spectrum come close to what really is being pointed at, in a way?

[Silence]

And whether you are representing yourself in this spectrum or whether you are representing God in this spectrum or the Self in this spectrum or the no-Self in this spectrum, it doesn’t matter. Because none of these representations truly define that which we call Reality.

And some of you are new here; don’t mind what I am saying. But you say ‘Consciousness, Awareness is bigger than that.’ Bigger than that; bigger than that which is aware. ‘It is the Self alone that shines. Nothing is higher than Self.’ Higher than that of which nothing is higher.

Your only concerns are within this spectrum of ‘tiny, tiny, tiny, subtle subtle, subtle’ to ‘big, big, big, big, biggest.’ But are You in this? That’s why I was saying that all that we call personal is embedded only in these.

To the mind, what I’m saying is strange or weird or crazy because it cannot fathom this. Because whatever it is saying, I am saying ‘bigger’. And it’s very much like that story of the Sufi Master. All of you know the story? Ultimately, it is: The emperor asks ‘Are you God?’ And this one says ‘No, higher than that.’ And the guard says ‘There is nothing higher than God.’ In this story, the Sufi Master says ‘That Nothing, I Am.’ But what if we didn’t even say this? Maybe we said ‘Even higher than that Nothing.’ [Smiles] You see? Because even ‘Nothing’ is a representation. And it’s very much possible for us to get stuck in our spiritual representation; even of the Absolute.

In this way, nothing happened. [Laughs]

139

Who Am I?

[Reading from chat]: “When we ask ‘Who am I?’ I’m actually trying to silence myself and searching inside the location of ‘I’. But the search is also perceivable. Then you ask ‘Who is looking?’ but then you go recursive and infinite. Should we get lost in looking for ‘I’ when I ask ‘Who am I? ‘or should I perceive the search? But there is no end to that. Am I complicating it?”

In a way. In a way, we are complicating it. Because the question is: ‘So, who am I?’ A thought might come in response and you say ‘Who witnesses this thought?’ Then you say that the seeking itself is perceivable. So, now, who is it perceivable to? Whatever sensations and perceptions are there, who perceives that? You might say ‘I do.’ Then ‘Who is this I?’

As you get to the point where you find that all the perceptions are perceivable, then you are trying to find out ‘Who perceives these perceptions?’ As you do that, these perceptions will change again. ‘Who is perceiving? … but…’ You see? As you do that. these perceptions will change again/ ‘Now who is perceiving? … but…’ All that can change in the level of perception but what perceives them? If you stay with what the mind is saying then of course it can seem infinite, it can seem like a loop, it can seem recursive, but actually you take a step back.

You saw that all these sensations, perceptions, even that which seemed like the asking of the question ‘Who am I?’ is perceivable. Now you take a step back and say ‘What perceives that?’ And don’t bother at all with whatever is happening at that layer now.

Here is where you come to the end of the mind, the end of the intellect. So, whether you ask the inquiry ‘Who Am I?’ or whether you ask yourself ‘What do I know when I know nothing?’ or when I ask you ‘What is bigger than the biggest that you can imagine?’ … all of these bring your mind and intellect to a strange position because they don’t have answers for this and in this, this is the trick in a way. As soon as this mentating stops, this conceptualizing stops: in that moment all that needs to be apparent to you is apparent.

That’s why I posted that transcript from Bhagavan [Sri Ramana Maharishi] yesterday which is saying exactly the same thing: ‘It is very easy for You but it is completely impossible for the mind.’

Now, what you might think is that ‘apparent’ means that it should appear, like the Self should appear. No. That ‘apparent’ that I’m talking of (‘The Truth is apparent’) is beyond appearances. ‘Apparent’ means it is clear or obvious, not that you will see a luminous Self or something like that. That can happen but You are beyond that. In that instant, where you are not relying on what your mind is saying, Your Reality is completely clear to You. And if we are forced to use words then we can say: this is the Silence. This is the Silence beyond silence or this is the Absolute.

140

What Is Most Natural to You Right Now?

Okay, what is most natural to you right now? [Smiles] You are like scared of answering. ‘No, no!’ [Chuckles] Because you know what’s coming. [Chuckles]

[Sangha]: My self is most natural.

A:Your self is most natural. What does it mean: ‘yourself’? [Sangha]: When you’re not associated with anything.

A:When you’re un-associated. Yes, yes. So, if that is most natural, what are we searching for? [Contemplative Silence]

Now, let’s see if you can hear what I’m saying. I’m just saying that in your most, most naturalness, you don’t need even the concept that ‘In my most natural, I am the Self.’ Isn’t it’? So, empty even of that idea.

The next answer you have to give, you cannot use any Satsang language …, when the question comes up. Because I’m getting a lot of answers, even on the chat. But a lot of it is what we have heard, you know; it is learned language.

[Sangha]: It seems also very natural to have thoughts. It doesn’t seem like an effort.

A:Yes. Of course. Nothing has to stop, nothing has to change. Thoughts can arise, thoughts can go. Everything can come and go. Everything that comes, goes anyway.

[Sangha]: Have you asked another question?

A: No, not yet. [Chuckles] It will come.

[Sangha]: In this most natural, there is no search. Which is a relief.

A:No search. Because there is no search and also there is no ‘no-search.’ In the sense that the concept of search itself is not there. Otherwise, that can become the opposite of natural; even the idea that ‘Oh, I’m not seeking anymore.’ Neither this nor that. [Smiles]

[Sangha]: It’s actually very oblivious; like it’s not…

A:It is very obvious. But to the mind it is very oblivious. Yes. [Smiles] You cannot grasp it, in a way.

That which is higher than highest.

Smaller than smallest.

More natural than even Being.

141

No Concept of Zero, One or Two

[Reading from chat]: “The feeling of oneness and not the feeling of separation.”

Now, there is only way to insert the sense of separation where there is none and that is using labels. Now, I have to say that even ‘oneness’ is also ultimately a label. Because one (to label something as one) gives the potential for zero or two. [Smiles]

That’s why I enjoy very much in the Ribhu Gita when the Sage says ‘Even in the concept ‘I am Brahman’ there is duality.’ Now some of you said ‘What do you mean?’ because we’ve latched on to these concepts. I say ‘Why do we need to affirm ‘I am Brahman’ if it is, clear?’ If it is just so apparent, as I am saying, then we don’t need that affirmation. Isn’t it? Because, nobody goes on affirming ‘I have a mouth. I have a face.’ [Chuckles] It is just apparent. So, why do we need the affirmation?

At best, it’s only to negate the concept that we might have about ourself that ‘I am a limited object.’ So, another concept can come which can take away this concept of your limitation. But then both have to be thrown away.

Every day when I share Satsang, I realize the beauty of Bhagavan’s [Sri Ramana Maharshi’s] metaphor when he said ‘Thorns are used to remove other thorns and then thrown away.’

So, no concept of zero, one, or two.

142

Nobody Has Experienced A Brain

[Reading from chat]: “Can we not say that Consciousness is just a by-product of the brain? That is what the science says, I believe. If my brain is dead, I can’t perceive anything; not even silence. What if I am just a limited organism with a brain inside my head which produces Consciousness and allows me to perceive and sense? What evidence and experience is there to prove that this is not the case? You can please rid me of this question like you have done before?”

A:Yeah, this is a very clever one. I have met this one quite a few times before. This idea that ‘I am just a brain in a vat.’ This is a very famous example by many philosophers, that we can’t really confirm that we are not just a brain in the vat. Now, the thing about Satsang is that whatever you might consider yourself to be, when you are empty of notions about yourself then all of our existential dilemmas, all of our seeming-suffering, all of our sense of grievances, regrets, pride, arrogance, all of that goes away. It is so beautiful that in this experience, even when this phenomenal experience is here, you find that YourSelf is unburdened, untethered, unanchored to any of this. Now, even if you are a brain in the vat, it will help you. [Chuckles]

Now, there are many interesting ideas related to this; like another friend and I were having a discussion the other day and they were saying ‘First the brain comes and then the rest of the world comes.’ To this, I said: Okay, from where does the brain come then? Is it just like the brain in limbo arises? Instead of Being: I Am, there comes this brain: I am. [Chuckles] And then, around this brain, comes the body. Because the body is also apparently part of the world, isn’t it? He said ‘First the brain comes and that is the source of the Consciousness.’ So, the brain comes, then ‘I am’ and then there is the world. But the body is also part of the world. Or is it that the brain and body come first? We don’t know these things. These are just theories but they don’t stand up to any investigation.

Now, when we go with our direct experience, nobody has experienced a brain. Nobody has an experience of it. You cut another body and apparently there seems to this organ inside that. But the same thing could happen in a dream also. So, when you’re having a dream tonight, then is the brain that is there in that body, is that your brain? Or this brain which presumably is inside this body, is this your brain? Is this state like King Janaka said? You might say that there is only one brain and all waking and dreaming happens inside that. Then, whose brain is that? Like King Janaka said ‘Am I the king who had a dream that I am a butterfly? Or am I the butterfly now having a dream that I am the king?’ So, even in this brain theory, the question about who you are, and why you identify just as this, doesn’t get resolved.

[Reading from chat]: “Where does the brain comes from? It is perceived in the Consciousness only. How can it be?”

A:The answer is that it is just perceived in the Consciousness that It Itself produces. That would be recursive. Isn’t it?

Q: Unclear.

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A: Ultimately, whatever answer helps you to come to peace is fine.

Now, the thing is that those who come to Satsang, they don’t actually believe that they are the body, I will say. If you actually believe that you are the body, what motivation, what reason do you have to come to Satsang? It is an uncomfortable seating arrangement, my mumbling is not so easy to hear, the video and audio are not the best always. It is not attractive to the body in any way. So, something already must be beyond this body identity. But I understand that there can be a fear that ‘What if it is true? What if it is true that I am just the body, actually?’ Okay, what if it is true that you are just the body? It’s no big deal. [Chuckles]

Q: Can we have a feeling that we are just the mind, not just the body?

A:Anything. ‘I’m just the mind, I’m just the brain, I’m just … (whatever you like).’ [Chuckles]

But will that give you the peace? That is what I am asking. The benchmark should be peace. Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti.

The thing is that: In this peace, the truth is apparent.

That’s what Bhagavan [Sri Ramana Maharshi] also says that: In your peace, truth is apparent.

So, whatever gives you peace. Either it is this coming to a crazy Satsang like this, which is trying to jolt you out of your mental conceptualization, jolt you out of your limitations …, or you drown in some devotion and the mind seems irrelevant. Whatever the method is, if it brings us to peace, that is fine.

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What Is It That You Can’t Think About?

If feel like once you get to the first part of this: Aham Sphurna …, but it’s in the Aham itself. And Bhagavan [Sri Ramana Maharshi] has made it clear over and over that all confusion actually arises about who you are, so even the need for any interpretation is only needed when there is confusion about who you are.

So, this ‘I’ …, how do we go chasing it?

How do we go looking for it?

If I was to say that everything that you can think about it is not the fundamental Truth about it, that it is just a thought about it; then I was to say:

What is it that you cannot think about?

What is it that you can’t think about?

So, to attach any concept to Your Reality, even if you feel like it is the greatest pointer ever, is only, at best, a provisional truth. Why do I say it’s a provisional truth? Because, at best, it can point you in a direction of where to look. So, if I say ‘I’ or ‘I-I’ or ‘I am’ or ‘I am That’ or ‘I am Brahman’ at best even these concepts are provisional truths. Now, the thing is that when we hear something like that, we feel we can solve it like a math equation or something. ‘I will come to the ‘I-I’ by figuring out that one ‘I’ is here, the other ‘I’ is here; and we can look at this and then we can say Yes! This is it. This is the ‘I-I’ that Bhagavan was speaking of, the ultimate ‘I’.’ But it is not that way. At best, the pointers in Satsang can bring your mind to a place where it becomes quiet, it becomes still, it runs out of moves. And this is very auspicious.

So, when I ask you ‘What is it that you cannot think about?’ at least for some time today, you might not have the best move in response to this. But that’s where you are. So, this Self which is beyond all concepts, beyond all intellect, this Truth is just completely apparent in THIS very moment. As I have been saying: ‘If you give yourself this gift of one uninterrupted moment, then you will find That (That to which Bhagavan was pointing) is completely apparent to You.’ Not as an objective experience but not excluding any experience.

But there comes a point where the mind can use even the greatest pointers as an avoidance to this unlabeled Existence. Even the pointers that you hear in Satsang, the mind will use that and say ‘Once you resolve this, then you will find the Truth. Once you get that, once you really know this, then you will get to the Truth.’ What did Bhagavan say? He said that ‘True Knowledge, Self Knowledge, is only dropping of that which is false.’

And as we saw yesterday, there is no representation you can have in your mind which is an accurate representation of the Truth. No thought can represent ‘Is-ness’. So, it will make these side projects for you. It will create side projects for you and say ‘Okay, resolve this or deal with this. This is what you have to do now.’ But the Truth is more available. [Smiles] It is more open, it is more naked than that. Empty of your interpretation, what do you find?

Q: ‘This,’ Father.

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A:This. (I know you are using this because I asked you to use the term) but This, without this- ness or that-ness. So, you don’t have to pick up any project. You don’t have to say that ‘This is what I have to conclude or figure out or discover or realize’ because That which is Here is beyond anything you can conceive anyway.

Now, the thing is that what gets in your way, in a sense, is that you think you know where you are or you think you know what’s happening to you. Only then, when we are able to make a claim about our starting point, do we feel like that ‘Okay, the destination is over there.’ That’s why I keep saying: If you feel like you have to get to freedom which is point B, can you define accurately what your starting point is? And if you really investigate openly, you will see that it’s all made up. It is just a bundle of concept; at best mixed with another set of energy constructs called emotions. How does that define your location or your state? [Silence] What do you actually find when you leave life as it is, with no interpretations, no conclusions?

What gets in the way of this gift that you can give yourself? It is only your knowing; whatever you think you are right about. So, in this way then [Chuckles] (it sounds a bit strange) even your most humble thought about yourself is just a resistance to the Truth. And, in a way, it can be said that it’s a sign of arrogance. A belief in separation is nothing but arrogance.

So, in a way, we have to figure out only one thing (and I’m saying this half-jokingly) [Chuckles] which is: How to get out of this groove that we find ourselves stuck in, without getting into any new groove?

We were speaking after Satsang got over yesterday; we were talking about these things and we were saying that ‘How easy it is to leave the Satsang hall and then get back into a mindset about ourself?’ The seeker mindset or the relationship mindset; any of these mindsets. And these grooves, in a way, have become deeply embedded conditions. This is the way we get used to thinking about ourselves. If we didn’t have to be any way, then the fear will come. ‘But how will I live?’ this ‘How will I live? How will I be productive, effective?’ …, all of these things.

It is only these times that you think of yourselves as productive or effective. [Chuckles] Only in these times. Usually, otherwise the story is ‘Why Am I so useless?’ [Laughter in the room] It’s only when I say ‘Live without the groove’ that you come with ‘But how will I be effective? How will I live my life?’ [Laughter] So, it’s like if I say ‘Don’t get into any mindset, including the seeker mindset’ you will say ‘But then, how will I find God?’ But you’ve been seeking for twenty years. [Chuckles. Laughter in the room] It must be apparent by now that with that mindset, the Truth cannot be found.

It is only in the dropping of it that, that it becomes apparent.

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What Do You Think Can Improve ‘This’?

Remember that I’m just speaking about your inner attitude, your mind set. How this body expresses itself in this apparent realm, it can unfold; it can unfold in any which-way. But I’m pointing you all to a conceptual emptiness. And as you’re being pointed to this conceptual emptiness then all the things, all the concepts that you hold dear, are bound to put up a fight in a way. They are bound to put up a fight because we’ve nurtured them in that way. ‘This is what I am, this is what I do, I’m like this or I’m not like this.’

But I’m not suggesting any position. Because All-There-Is does not have a position.

And yet, when All-There-Is Itself takes a position, then it can seem to play life in a limited way. It can seem to play life in a limited way, that which we call the life of a person or an individual life.

But Satsang is the dropping of these concepts of limitations and coming to that open, empty Truth which is apparent.

The cake is perfectly decorated already. You don’t need to put a cherry on top. (I’m trying to come up with an elegant example.) [Laughs]

[Laughter in room]

This, as it is, is perfect as it is; beyond perfection. Now, whatever you think you can do to add on to this, whether it is to figure something out, whether it is to come to some experience, whether it is to have some emotion or to have the most brilliant thought, all these ideas are the ideas you have of trying to ‘put a cherry on top.’

Can you leave it?

Just leave it as it is.

Not physically as an action or inaction, but leave it aside.

Leave the concept of it; all concepts about it.

So, what I’m asking all of you is:

What do you think can improve This?

What do you think can improve This?

This.

This. Now.

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Give Yourself This Gift of Not-Knowing

You don’t need to know anything. You don’t need to know anything. You don’t even need to know what will happen as the result of not knowing anything.

Anyway, all that you think you know is just made up. Like Guruji [Sri Mooji] told me ‘It is better not to know. Because if you start to know, then it messes it up and it is never true anyway.’ [Smiles] These simple words he told me.

[Meditative Silence]

[Reading from chat]: “When you close your eyes, is your experience of nothingness the same as mine?”

Now, let’s presume lot of things, that all of this is true: that there is a ‘you’ … there is a ‘me’… there is experience there … there is experience here …this is not a dream. Let us presume a lot of things. [Chuckles] Just as a reassurance for now, I can say ‘Yes.’ I can say ‘Yes’ but even this question, at the root of it, at the root of even this question, at the root of even this confusion, is confusion about ‘Who I am’ …, who you are.

But if you were to presume for a moment that there are two sets of experiences; there is a ‘your’ experience, there is an ‘Ananta’ experience … and both of them have eyes … and when the eyes are closed, then t same thing happens, let’s say ‘Yes.’ Because that is the pretense under which Satsang is shared anyway. [Chuckles] That is the over-all pretense of this posing of sharing and listening anyway. You know? Do you see what I’m saying? [Smiles]

But more important than any of this is what I’ve been saying that:

To know even one thing is to know too much.

Give yourself this gift.

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Every Definition Asserts as Well Denies Something

Q:Anantaji, I would like to know about love. Like a lot of times, when I see you in zoom also, online Satsang, I think something is flowing from here towards you. I wanted to know about that.

A:Now, whether you know or not, it is flowing. [Chuckling] To ‘know’ it usually then creates one layer of mental concepts on top of it. And it will be fine, but it seems like when we have a mental layer of concepts on top of anything in this world, it seems to become a little stale, it seems to become a little lifeless. So, this love, if it is naturally present, the more you know about it the more it will become just a concept. So, better not to know.

Q: I wanted to know more about love maybe which is already present.

A:Towards what end? In the sense that, once you know about it, what will happen? What should happen? What is the purpose?

Q: I think maybe it will increase.

A:[Chuckling] So, what happens is that we feel that in our certitude, when we are certain about something, it increases. But actually, it is in our openness, in our not-knowingness, that it is tasted fully.

Like I often take this example that if you’re looking at a perception, like an object, like a flower, once you label it ‘rose’ then the pure perceiving actually diminishes and we go more with our labeling of it. We put it in our box of past. ‘Oh, that rose was pink, this one is red.’ It becomes more like that.

So, the simplicity of this open tasting of ‘What Is’ for ‘just what it is’ seems to get diminished the more concepts we have, the more we seem to be mentally certain about something because soon we apply our certitude to ‘how things should be’ instead of ‘just what is’. You see?

So, it is not that if you had the perfect definition of love …, which there isn’t; there is no such thing, but even if you felt like that there was one and once you had that it would increase, it doesn’t happen that way. Because it just becomes a set of labels …, because every definition asserts something but actually denies something else also.

Now, if there was a definition of love then it would also be in denial of something else. But with something which is SO open …, we don’t even need the label ‘love’.

Actually, nowhere in Vedanta is love mentioned. Isn’t it strange? [Chuckling] We read the Ashtavakra Gita, I didn’t find any mention of love. In Bhagavad Gita, I didn’t find any mention of love. In the Upanishads, we find no mention of love. In the Zen pointings, you hardly (at least I’ve not) come across any mention of love. Why? Because if you make a concept out of it …, it is not that they were not loving, it is not that the natural presence of love which is experienced with

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the Sages was not there. It is just that once you have made too many ideas about it, then it seems to become constricted.

And many times, in our definition, our ego comes. Like you’ll find many who are writing poetry about love, then the ‘me’ can be very strong in that. It’s not a bad thing, whatever poetry you like, but many times it smells like a personal ‘me-ness’. If there is the separation of ‘me’ and ‘other’ can we really call it love? Like ‘I wrote a poem for my beloved’ that means that ‘I’ and ‘beloved’ are still two.

[Silence]

And the fact also is that nobody has ever been able to explain love. For example, you met someone who had never experienced it, like an alien came and they don’t know and they see so much literature, poetry, about love and they say ‘Please tell me about this.’ You can try and try and try but try as you might, you can never really, truly explain what love is to anyone.

So, what is naturally present in Your openness, what is naturally present in the unborn, in Your notionless Existence, it is best left unlabeled.

Because otherwise what happens is that when we bring it into language, then opposites naturally come. If you say ‘love’ then you’ll have to have something called ‘hate’ also. If you don’t define it then you’re not so much playing with the duality of opposites.

So, what is Advaita actually? It is to go beyond these opposites. Dvaita is two and two is opposition, separation. ‘Not-two’ means no distinction.

So, is there something which is beyond ‘thing’ and ‘no-thing’? …, beyond all these opposites?

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Some Answers Cannot Be Heard in the Mind

There is a beautiful story in the ‘Brihadharyanka Upanishad’ where this very, very bright student, very bright student, was sent by his Master. His Master said ‘You have learned everything you could learn from me. But now you have to go to Yagnavalkay, I feel. You have to go to Sage Yagnavalkya. He will tell you the final truth.’ So, this student feels very happy, very proud, and he goes to Sage Yagnavalkya. He says to the Sage ‘Oh, great Sage, my Master (this and this) has told me that you have to give me the ultimate truth.’ So, the Sage just sits there. He’s just sitting there quietly. The student says ‘Okay, the Master must have become old. His hearing must be a bit weak.’ He says even louder [Smiles] ‘Oh, great Sage Yagnavalkya, my Master said to get the ultimate truth from you. So, I am here.’ The Sage is just sitting quietly.

So, this seeker kept asking. Then he got very upset by the end. He is like ‘I thought you will be able to help me but you are very arrogant. You do not want to give this one an answer because you think I am not worthy.’ This kind of tantrum, a Satsang tantrum, was thrown. [Chuckles] So, then the Sage spoke. He said that ‘You asked and I answered. But can you hear the answer?’ Some answers cannot be heard in the mind.

[Silence]

I don’t know when you’ve heard Satsang last but I have been saying ‘It is just like the mind is like Alexa or Siri.’ We feel like it knows a lot. But it has just been fed in with a lot of concepts. ‘What is the capital of Karnataka?’ [State in India] ‘Oh, Bangalore’ it will say because it is fed in that concept. So, the mind is just like that. There is no actual knowing there. You see? There is no actual knowing there. So, just by feeding some more concepts in to its database, we might get a sense that ‘I know something now.’ But, actually it is not.

Like, what is keeping you on the floor right now? You have this concept: gravity. ‘Gravity attracts me, pulls me downwards towards the earth, so it is keeping me on the floor.’ But do we really know it, just by having the label?

[Sangha]: No.

A:We do not know. And then you might know some more, saying that ‘There is mass one, there is mass two; both apply a certain force to each other. That is gravity.’ We still do not know it. We just have some concepts about how it seems to operate. So, this mental Alexa or Siri does not have any true knowledge, any true knowingness. It only tries to replicate. It just has photocopies; just concepts.

Now, I will tell you something even more important: When you are empty of this, in this moment Right Now, all that needs to be known is completely apparent to you.

This device does not have it. But when you are not relying on this device for the answer: Right Now, in this moment, it is apparent to you.

Q: What knows everything?

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A:This is apparent to you. [Smiles] Just leave yourself unbothered for a moment without any concept, any question, any label, any doubt, any seeking. Don’t search for a mental conclusion.

Is there any confusion about what knows everything?

Q: No.

A:It is clear, actually. But if we say ‘The Absolute or Awareness, that unchanging Witnessing’

(and we can use these terms) ultimately, we have to empty out the basket of terms. And in this nakedness, in this openness, it is completely clear actually. It is only the mind which is muddled or confused.

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Leave Everything Unlabeled

Now, I was saying the other day that if you were to say there are some layers to our existence …, we could say ‘There is the layer of my existence which is the apparent world; there is a layer of my existence which is the body, the sensations of the body; there is a layer of my existence which is this mind, the intellect; there is a layer of my existence which is emotions; there is a layer of my existence which is Being; there is a layer of my existence which is unmanifest, it is the Absolute unchanging.’ (You can’t really include it as a layer, but just for this example.)

So, the thing is that we don’t need any layer alone. There’s a layer of existence called the world; we want things to change there. There’s a layer of existence called the body; we want it to be this way or that way. There’s a layer of existence called the mind; we want it to be ‘this one, think this thought, think pure thoughts, don’t think this, think that, come to the best conclusion’ … all of this. We want to have our emotions to be only a certain way: ‘Only good stuff should come, only love should be experienced, fear should not be there’ … this one.

And this ‘I Am-ness’, this Beingness, which is just ‘I Am’, we don’t leave that alone; most importantly. We have to put something: ‘I am … this. I am man, I am woman, I am good, I am bad.’ You see? We don’t leave this Being alone.

So, Satsang is just coming to this place where, when you leave this ‘I Am’ alone, then you can’t really meddle with anything else. Don’t attach any label to yourself. Don’t make any distinction about anything at all.

And in this, like Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi said, the true knowledge is only the dropping of that which is false. It is not the learning of something new.

So, as you drop all of this, as I am saying to you: It is apparent to You. It is not clear to the mind [Chuckles] but it is apparent to you. The mind will only say ‘What was that? What is apparent? I don’t see anything. What’s going on?’ Like that, see? Because that device is not good enough; it is not subtle enough; it is not big enough or small enough to have a view of Your Reality. Just like you can’t fill the ocean in a glass. Don’t try to get it with your mind.

Q: Now, the mind is trying to find how to drop it.

A: Exactly. It can’t do that also.

The moment drops it for you.

If you try drop it, then actually, that is picking it up.

Like NOW [Snaps fingers] it is gone.

[Snap, snap, snap, snap] You see? You don’t have to drop anything. Even to tell me what you have to drop, you have to think about it, so it is not naturally present.

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Q: Right.

A:What if there was no struggle? [Silence]

Sometimes, it can happen that our ‘seeker’ has been around for so long, we feel like ‘If this seeker becomes jobless, what is to become of us?’ [They laugh] He is [Ananta is] saying that it is just apparent to you and it is completely clear now. Now, what do I do with that seeker guy who has been looking for something for 20 years? Where is the final certificate I can give to him? Where is the experience?’ Isn’t it? It wants some finality in the experience. ‘Where is the laughing Buddha? Where is that laughter? Where are the shining chakras? Where is all of that stuff? Something should happen!’ You see?

But this is just made up,

because if … the Truth is Unchanging …

then it cannot be an object of getting or not-getting.

Q:Right.

[Silence]

A:It can feel for a while like the mind runs out of moves. It can feel like the mind runs out of moves …, but it’s quite persistent, so it will have some moves. [Chuckles]

Q: Still searching for something…

A:Still. I can see the scanning going on. [They laugh]

That is happening a bit. But that is just habit. That is just habit. As you see that you don’t have to refer to it to exist …,

You see, we’ve made it so essential to our existence that it can feel like ‘I have to go to that [points to his head] and make some conclusion.’ Even a conclusion like ‘I’m getting it! I don’t have to go to the mind.’ At least you can rest on that. But if it is empty of even that…

But because we are so not used to that, it can feel a bit strange for a bit.

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Where Are You Now?

What is That for which there is no past or future? … that does not have an age, does not have a size, does not have any dimensions?

Let’s start with a simpler question: Where are you now?

Where are you?

[Silence]

Where are You? or Who are You? or What are You? or Why are You?

Any of these ‘W’ questions … (even ‘why’ we don’t know).

Anything after ‘You Are’, after ‘I Am’, we want to resolve. ‘Why is the world such a bad place? Why do these things happen? Why does the apple fall downwards from the tree?’ All this we want to resolve but the basic foundation: Why are You?

We can’t even say where we are, because if you say ‘I am just in my body ‘ but the body is an object and an object can only contain other objects, can an object contain a non-object?

The body is an object. How can it contain a Being? Can you put a Being in a glass; like the body is like glass? ‘My Atma is in my body.’ You see? How? [Chuckling]

These are just concepts. We don’t know where we are. We don’t even know what is inside. We say ‘I go inside. I see this; I go outside I see this.’ What is this ‘inside’? We don’t know. Where is it? Is it the back of this bone, this forehead? Is ‘inside’ like a blank screen where I can project things like imagination and memory? What is it?

Sangha: Exactly the same. This blank screen seems so real.

A:Where is that, where is that? Where is the One who is witnessing that, who is perceiving that? Inside? … who perceives the outside?

We don’t even know these basic things; what to say of our other claims that we seem to know so much? We don’t know who we are, where we are, what we are, why we are, but everything else we feel we know very well.

And we know about others as well! ‘I might not know who I am but this one, I definitely know!’ [Laughing] You see, this is the thing. It’s insanity in a way; it’s insanity. Like that lady who came to Guruji and said ‘Yes, yes, I’m happy to admit that I’m not real but I can never admit that my husband is not real.’ [Chuckling]

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Without Certitude You Will Struggle to Struggle

As we let go of our certitude, as we become more and more open, you will see that you will struggle to struggle. [Chuckles] You will struggle to struggle. It’s only once you are certain about something that you can struggle. If you are certain about being uncertain, you can struggle with that also, like ‘Why am I uncertain? I just don’t get this.’ Like that. But that’s also a statement of certainty. Just be uncertain and struggle. Okay, pose as if you are struggling but don’t have any certainty about anything. [Chuckles] Let’s see; can we do it? [Laughs]

Why this is important is because (I don’t know whether I should say this; just hear it and then forget about it) [Laughter] our happiness needs no certainty, it is just naturally here. But to struggle, to suffer, we need to be uncertain. The Sage is not happy because he is saying ‘I’m so certain I am free.’ [Chuckles] Just naturally, happiness is there. [Laughs] Even in grim expressions (like Nisargadatta Maharaj). [Smiles]

So, that’s why we say: What is the mind? Unsolicited advice on how to suffer. [Laughs] And it

has deals all the time: ‘Get two; double for the price of one! One concept and double the suffering, today only!’ [Laughter]

Q: Discounted.

A: Discounted. We can suffer:

‘My relationships are a mess.’ [Makes a gesture of suffering] ‘I’m not becoming free.’ [Makes a gesture of suffering]

‘My health is going down the drain.’ [Makes a gesture of suffering] ‘I have no money left.’ [Makes a gesture of suffering]

These are the four main topics.

But we can also have the master concepts: ‘I am just a worthless human being.’ [Laughter] That’s like four for the price of one.

Q: Combo pack.

A:Combo pack. It’s like ‘I am just so, so useless.’ And without any of this? …

So, the mind has taught us to value the wrong thing. It has taught us to value certainty over openness. Because the openness is so broad that you can’t even be certain about openness. Like you can say ‘I have discovered the master technique to be free. I am just going to be completely open.’ Even that concept will lead to attachment, certitude.

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What Do You HAVE TO Be Right About?

What is the conclusion that you can’t do without?

What is the judgment that you can’t do without?

What do you HAVE to be right about?

Just do this internal audit. [Smiles]

What do you HAVE to be right about?

And the sooner you can give that up, the better it is; just with openness, with integrity.

The mind in this moment becomes very smart. It will come with some very smart-aleck answers and things like this. But you know in your heart what is being asked for.

You know in your heart:

What is that you are so committed to be right about? Is it your journey?

Is it your path?

Is it your outcome? Is it what you want?

Is it ideas about how life should be; what death should be? (Some of us have good ideas about what death should be, or is.)

Forget it. Your concepts are at best a reflection, a tiny reflection. Just like you cannot dig inside a mirror to find yourself. You know? Like, where do I go looking? Dig in the mirror, find it: there it is. Dig. [Smiles] You cannot do that. In the same way, you cannot keep digging into mind. You will not get Your Reality there.

But it’s okay, if you want to. It’s good for me, in a way, if you tire yourself in that way. If you come with the tired intellect, then I’m happy because you won’t resist Satsang that much. If you know too much, if you’re filled to the brim with spiritual knowledge, if you had lots of spiritual experiences, then there is more for me to do [Chopping hand gestures] [Chuckles] If you have so many badges of spiritual progress, it’s more tiring in a way. [Smiles] It’s like … [gestures: let it go] When you say ‘I’m really tired; I don’t know anything’ …, you could be crying, but I’m laughing, I’m just so happy. [Chuckles] It’s like music to my ears. ‘I’m really tired, I don’t know anything.’ It sounds like bad news to you but it is perfect, perfect news. [Smiles] Welcome to Satsang. [Chuckles] ‘I’m tired of trying to get it!’ Very good. [Smiles] ‘But I’m failing!’ Yes, completely! [Chuckles] ‘I don’t know what anything is.’ Very, very excellent. [Chuckles]

If you say ‘I know what this is, I know what Consciousness is, I know what this one is, I know the Absolute’ then I’m like ‘Oh, boy…, okay…’ [Puts his hand on his chest]

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We Never Know What Anything Is About

[Responding to someone in the Sangha who had just shared something]

A:It is very good that you expose it. It is very good to bring it out. Sometimes it can just feel like a lot when it is left un-exposed; it can seem to keep festering. And many times, it happens that as all of you share your reports, you can hear yourself; like you said that ‘I hear the words that come out and I don’t find the real substance about them; I don’t find the real basis about them.’

And this is very good to see as well. Because when things are brought out then you can see that all of this has a reference to some sort of a ‘me’. But this ‘me’ actually, I find no substance for it.

And that’s why, even as I’m sharing, I’m hearing these words come out but I can’t find the reference to which they are actually being spoken.

Now, I don’t know what is the best way to say this but I want to tell you that: We never know what anything is about. We never know what anything is about. So, it’s only when we make correlations that we can struggle. Like when something is appearing, when we make it about something, then it seems to bring the whole history, past, story, everything back into it. But if you just leave it for ‘What Is’ …, if we leave whatever is appearing in ‘What Is’ to resolve itself then it doesn’t seem like so much of struggle.

At any layer of our existence, whether it is out in the world (and ‘out in the world’ includes the movement of this body) then whether it is sensations that we experience as the body, or it is thoughts that we experience that we call the mind, or it is emotions that we are experiencing, any sensations, even energies that we might be experiencing …, and most importantly, our very existence, our Being …, it must be left without any conditions. It is only when we attach a conclusion to it that we seem to be able to struggle. That is why the great Master Bankei said that ‘All things are perfectly resolved in the unborn.’

Now, what is this un-born? This un-born is just … this; this ‘Is-ness’.

If you try to manipulate this ‘Is-ness’ with any concept, that is suffering. If you try to maneuver (‘maneuver’ may be a better word) this ‘Is-ness’ with any concept, you start to suffer.

I get a feel also for what you’re saying. But I’m advising to not even make a correlation between what you were saying; ‘outside’ and ‘inside’. We actually don’t know what this ‘outside’ and ‘inside’ is. Why I’m advising you not to make any correlations like that is because in that correlation, you are also making dividing line about you. You are saying that ‘This is inside me and that is outside me.’ So, either treat everything as inside or nothing as inside, but don’t make a line that divides ‘you’ and the ‘other’ or ‘you’ and the ‘world’ …, you which is inside, and the you which is outside. Because it is this division which can lead to a lot of confusion as well. Like the body boundary, what does it actually divide? Who is there inside the body that is not there outside the body?

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There Is No Suffering Without Duality

I was asking: What is it that is inside the body, but it is not outside the body? Who is that one?

I’m questioning the very basis on which we make this divide of ‘me and the world’ and ‘me and other’ and ‘me and mine’.

What is in your hand which is not in the space outside your hand? [Smiles] Who is that one sitting there?

Is there someone sitting there?

So, as long as we use any event or any thought or any emotion or any sensation or any perception of any sort to make a division, then we fall prey to this sort of duality. We fall prey to duality and duality equals suffering. There is no suffering without duality.

Behind all confusion is only the confusion about who we are.

There is actually no other confusion in the world.

And this confusion is made up.

But behind all seeming-confusion is confusion about who we are. And the mind has some usual trump cards. It only has some regular things. It will say ‘Okay, I see that there is nobody or I am everything. But then, how am I supposed to deal with this situation?’ … ‘How am I supposed to deal with this situation?’ Even in that question, we make a presumption about who we are, like an individual entity having to deal with an individual situation. The one that is running this universe obviously cannot deal with the individual life. [Smiles] This is the presumption we make. It can do all of this; trillions of stars, all this functioning of bodies, so many different creatures, so much happening in every single moment of appearance, but one life, it cannot lead. That needs a ‘me’. ‘That’s okay. I can’t find this ‘me’ but it needs a ‘me’. At least, it gives me some sense of control over something.’ This false sense of control is really what the ego is all about.

So, as we let go of this idea, what stops? I can see here that this idea was let go of, but these words continue. These hands move, these feet move, they carry me wherever. So, nothing stopped. We have as much control over this body as we have over every body. [Chuckles] All of it is just appearing in the light of My Consciousness. I am speaking as You, on Your behalf.

All of this is nothing but movements of light in Your own pristine light. It is that light in which even the sun is seen.

But we have confused ourselves to be something limited, something small, something with the duration between birth and death. Isn’t it? And we have been taught this. It is not natural to us. And because we have been taught this by the seeming-world and this mind for a long time then it can seem like we go through a long time of really looking. Looking: “Is there such an entity called me?’ till we become ready to drop this belief.

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If something does not have a tangible existence, if something does not exist, can’t you still believe that it does? Do you not have this power? You do. In the same way, this individual identity does not actually exist; it is just a belief that you have.

So, in this way, as you let go of this limited notion, limited identity, you will find that your life has lot more space. Everything is allowed without trying to control it, without trying to maneuver it. And by the way, I’m not speaking about the actions of the body, I’m speaking about our inner attitude. The body will still seem to be taking a stance this way or that way. Like even speaking about neutrality, we are making an assertion. [Smiles] Even in Satsang, we are saying ‘Bring yourself back to neutrality’ but even that is not a neutral statement. So, any activity will appear to have a stance in the spectrum of activity. But what I’m referring to is our inner openness …, to become so, so open that even this concept of inner and outer dissolves.

The one that is moving every body is moving your body.

You never have to figure out what you have to do. [Smiles] You never have to figure out what you have to do.

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I Am All There Is

Often, I say that ego is a 3-D ego, and the three-dimensions of this ego are duality, doer-ship and desire.

So, as you see more and more that everything that appears, appears in your light (and actually, in reality, if something can be said or we can come close to saying something) we can say ‘I Am All-There-Is.’ And if I Am All-There-Is, what is there to desire? If there is nothing to separate me, what is outside of me, that I must desire it?

So, in seeing that there is no separation, we become empty of duality and desire.

Then, when you are empty of desire and duality, what is there left to do? Our doer-ship is very much linked to what we desire. Our false sense of doer-ship is very much linked with our false sense of desiring something. If there was nothing to get or not-get, if I had no desire or aversion to anything, would I need to make these seeming-decisions about what to do, what not to do?

All our doer-ship is about some goal. Isn’t it? ‘What should I do so that I can get some peace?’ Like that. You make a mythical creature called ‘freedom’ and then we go searching for that also. The desire is for this concept called ‘freedom’ and then we say ‘Which Satsang to go to? Should I do this; should I do that?’ All these ideas of doer-ship come.

Once you see without labels, once you see without notions, then there is such a beautiful spaciousness of allowing everything to unfold. And if you want to hold on to one concept (because it can seem too empty, initially, without that one concept) there are a few which are auspicious enough for you to hold:

‘Guru Kripa Kevalam: The Master’s grace is all there is’ is a nice one. ‘Who am I?’ is a good concept. It does a nice clean-up job.

Then, as we said earlier:

‘All things are perfectly resolved in the Unborn’ is a beautiful one.

So, like that proverbial elephant walking around in the market, if its trunk messes up every stall in the marketplace, then you can give it a stick to hold. Any of these concepts, whichever appeals most to your heart, you can keep that. Any of these atomic concepts which do the clean-up job (and they clean themselves up also) any one of these we can hold on to.

In one way, we can say that:

The source of all suffering is the notion of ‘me’.

And if you have to go even deeper than that, you can say that:

The source of all the trouble is the waking state.

Then you might say ‘I have trouble even in dreams.’ Then you can say:

The source of all trouble is when ‘I am’.

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So, if you have to forget about your existence (which means what? Hold no concept about you; hold no concepts about your existence) then what is left?

The One that You Are is the same in the sleep state. With the coming and going of the waking state, it remains untouched. So, what are you concerned about? In fact, the coming and going of any state doesn’t affect You actually in the least.

Can anything come out of this manifest creation and make a dent on that primal witnessing?

What can happen here [Waves hand across empty space] that can scratch my Awareness?

That is why it is called ‘The Untouched Awareness’ …, which is the Unborn.

How can the Unborn be hurt in this world?

What is here is in this world? That which is born and will die. So, we can leave that alone. It was born and it will die.

There is no other outcome for that one.

I feel all of us can be clear about that one, at least: that which was born is going to die.

What about the unborn?

So, our concern so far has been with that one that was born. How about if we move it out from that …, to that which is Unborn? Be concerned about the Unborn. What troubles will you bring?

You know, the mind will create something. ‘It is too boring. Nothing happens there.’ But even this trouble belongs to which one? The one that was born.

How is your Awareness troubled by anything?

Only the posing; the posing as the limited one, then the limited one itself seems to struggle. It is all part of the pose, the pretense, the facade of individuality. In ‘The Course in Miracles’ it says that ‘It is a tiny, mad idea. It is tiny and mad, actually, because All-There-Is pretends as if it is this tiny object. And it’s completely mad because every notion that the mind has is insane. Isn’t it? Even yesterday we were looking at these things and we said ‘It’s all so insane, all that notions from the mind.’ And yet we have trained ourselves (as in Consciousness, has trained Itself) to play masterfully in this game. But You are beyond even Your very existence. The ‘I’ that is playing as ‘I Am’ remains untouched by even existence, by even Being and not-Being. That Being which is beyond Being and not-Being remains untouched by Being in this play.

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Just What Is, Is Already Perfect

Is it possible to drop the pretense of taking care of something in the waking state? The pretender doesn’t know how to move a finger. If you go to your mind for the answer and say ‘How do you move your finger?’ It will say ‘Because in my brain there are some neurons which activate and then the nerves get activated in my body.’ Then I say ‘Do you know how to move a neuron?’

[Silence] Nobody does. [Laughs]

So, all our minds explanations, for even something as simple as moving a finger, is not true. It is just not true. The one we are posing as does not know even how to move a finger …, and in the light of your very Existence, this entire universe is being moved. Let this Existence take care of itself. It doesn’t need support from a made-up imaginary friend.

And we stop looking for benchmarks. Because many times as I say things like this, it may feel like ‘Ah, if I just let go, my life will become perfect!’ [Laughs] But that ‘perfect’ is also just a benchmark coming form the mind which can say ‘I must have this much money, I must have this kind of relationship, the health of the body and of course, I must be super-enlightened, then life is perfect.’ But just ‘What Is’ is already perfect. Just like it doesn’t the need input from this imaginary friend, it doesn’t need the benchmarks of this made-up one also. For Consciousness to run this life perfectly, it doesn’t need the standards from the mind. It is only these standards which get us in trouble, like ‘My life should be like this, my something should be like that.’

And all that I am saying to all of you is completely, completely, completely clear to You: Right Now! It is completely clear to you. And it is completely confusing to the mind. [Chuckles] It will never be clear to the mind and it is completely clear to You. So, as long as you keep picking up the pose that you are the mind, it will seem confusing. When it is dropped, it is clear. [Silence]

You want the mind to become clear? [Laughs] Forget about it. That is a big setup for failure. Because what happens is: you pick up that idea and then the mind can play so easily because it will just give you one random, silly thought and say ‘See, I lost it! I had an impure thought.’ If you pick up the idea, for example, that ‘You must only have pure thoughts’ then you are just caught; the mind has caught you. Just one [finger snap] and gone! You’ll believe so much guilt and unworthiness. ‘You lost your freedom, you lost everything’ …, these kinds of things. So, forget about this mind, forget about this world, forget about everything in your Existence; and forget about ‘forget about’ …, don’t make that a thing. Just empty yourself with all this.

To know one thing is to know too much.

What do you know when you know nothing?

If this contemplation one day starts appealing to you, then all this conceptual knowledge cannot really survive; your suffering cannot survive.

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Resolved in The Unborn

Sometimes what happens is that after hearing all this in Satsang, the one doubt that can get to you is ‘But that’s a bit too much, it’s a bit too much. Let’s get real! How am I supposed to go to work like that? Or run my family like that?’ These kinds of doubts can still get to us. And you know, they are familiar ones so they feel a bit comfortable. They’re not posing as if they will give you some frustration or they’re not posing as if they are guilt or something. They’re just like these mellow sort of doubts; like subtle, very friendly doubts. [Laughs] They just pose as if they are friendly. ‘Yes, yes, this is all okay but now, come on, I have to go to work, so let’s [get real].’ [Laughs] And again, I’m not speaking about the actions of the body. In the actions, you can completely be the boss at work; whatever needs to unfold can unfold naturally. All of that can still unfold from your inner emptiness, from your conceptual emptiness, inner spaciousness, inner openness.

So, there is no reason ever to believe in your heart that you are the limited one. Whether it comes to work, family; anything. All of that can unfold naturally from openness, from your ‘Unborn’. That’s such a beautiful reassuring line from the Master:

‘All things are perfectly resolved in the Unborn.’

What other guarantee do you want? [Laughs] He said ‘All things!’ But if you have an idea, (just to give you a tip: [Chuckles] If you still have an idea of what ‘perfectly resolved’ means then that will cause you some trouble. Because that is not the Unborn. All things are perfectly resolved in the Unborn, without you having the notion of what is perfectly resolved. If you are thinking perfectly resolved means: that body which you think you now inhabit will have a halo now [Chuckles] it will have some special qualities or something like this, then it doesn’t have to turn out like that. So, ‘the Unborn’ means that we leave all notions about everything …, without even the notion of dropping it. Just … [Makes gesture of nothing]

It’s nothing, it’s just nothing! It’s just like concepts. All of you are starting to recognize now that what is beating you up, when you seem to have this beaten-up look [Chuckles] is just a concept. Just like that hundred-handed or thousand-handed creature in the Yoga Vashista who was suffering so much, because in every hand seemed to have a weapon, and what is he doing? He is hitting himself.

‘Why are you suffering?’

‘Because these hands are hitting me’. Then what happens?

The sage comes, the Sage comes and then says: ‘Ask yourself, who Am I?’

So, one of these creatures, it takes this question to heart, and the hands start falling off. What are these hands? Just notions, beliefs that you have about yourself, they are beating you up. When you ask yourself ‘Who am I?’ then these hands start falling off.

Then another one, the same, a thousand-handed creature; the Master says ‘Ask yourself, who am I?’ The creature reacts ‘Why are you attacking me? If you can’t help, leave me alone!’

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Another one just runs away. [Makes gesture of running away]

Because all these thousand notions are about one that doesn’t exist. And when the question is asked ‘Who am I?’ it knows that all these notions can have no power left now. All our doubts, everything that is after the ‘But, but … something, something, something; what about this? What about that?’ … is about who?

The Unborn? Or the born? [Smiles]

Do we have a problem about our Unborn? [Smiles]

Give your mind enough time, it will make one. [Chuckles]

What is the struggle then? The struggle is that: to this inner teacher, the mental teacher that we are used to referring to, it has no idea about the Unborn. Even when it picks up ideas about it, it really has no idea. That’s why it struggles, that is why it’s not giving you the certification. It is saying ‘But, what is this? How to live my life?’ … all this same old stuff.

Imagine that you bought a device which was messed up in its programming. [Chuckles] You bought Alexa’s evil twin. [Laughs] And now the company is calling you.

Amazon is calling you saying:

‘Sorry, we shipped you the wrong product, it is not telling you the Truth about yourself.’ You’re like: ‘No, but it’s been my friend for so long.’ [Laughs]

‘But, Madam! It is not telling you the Truth.’

‘Come on, I have relied on it for so long. Maybe you are mistaken.’ ‘No! We are not mistaken! We know it is not…’

[Laughter]

But the bigger thing is: The company calls you and says:

‘We shipped you the fake product or a false batch. One of our programmers was just messing around and made this thing.’

You get this call saying that ‘The Alexa that you have is fake.’ Then what you do?

You say: ‘Alexa, I got a call saying that Alexa is fake. What do you feel?’

[Laughter] You will all laugh at this but this is what you are doing. You are going back to the same mind saying ‘What do you think about this? This one is sitting there and saying that what you are saying is not true about you. What do you think?’ [Laughter] And then it seems like this strange conversation.

So, your own intuitive Presence is reminding you that: ‘This is just not true!’ But if you’re going to the voice of the untruth and saying ‘What do you think about this concept that what you are saying is not true?’ … what do you feel it will say?

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Q: It will say ‘It is true’.

A:‘Yeah, I know but you are still so caught up in this.’ See? Something. [Chuckles] And you will buy something that it is saying. ‘Yeah, of course, it is true. I know it is not speaking the truth, but when will I be rid of this?’ You see? Like it will attach some ‘something’ there which keeps you caught in the limited identity again. So you just have to throw it whole hog. Just … [Makes the sound of throwing] And you don’t even have to throw it; it is gone. Nobody can tell me that it is not gone Now. Now! Now! If I give you a moment, you will … [Chuckles]

So, if the problem is gone, then…? It’s just our habit. Sometimes what happens is that if you have been in prison for thirty years and you are let out, then you start to find it very strange. You miss the prison routine; you want to hold the bars [Makes gesture of holding the bars] and feel sorry for yourself. [Laughter] ‘Now that it is not there, what am I supposed to do? I have been seeker for so long’. [Laughter]

Then if someone comes and says ‘But you are free!’ [Makes gesture of being unconvinced]: ‘I don’t like this. I was comfortable in that zone of seeker. I just had that little bit to go.’ We’ve all had that ‘little bit to go’ for many years. [Laughs] Like ‘Somebody has to push me off the cliff!’ [Laughs] We have been waiting for that final push for twenty years (some of us). [Chuckles] It’s just like ‘Finally somebody will just push us off the cliff’.

Hasn’t it been many years you felt like you were almost there? [Chuckles] We have been in this ‘almost there’ for a long, long time. It is the ‘almost there’ itself which (when it has belief) then you are fully caught up.

So, you are free Now. Show me how you are bound?

Don’t tell me what you think about it, because then it’s the same conversation (phone conversation). Show me how you are bound. [Looks at the questioner] Show me your chains.

Wasn’t it the French (Voltaire or something?) who said something like this: ‘Man is born free and yet he is everywhere in chains.’

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It’s About That ‘No-thing’ That the Mind Can’t Understand

Sometimes it is just this ‘prisoner syndrome’. Just like that.

What would you do with yourself if you no longer had to seek something? If you are no longer waiting for that final push?

If you are no longer feeling that you are almost there?

And it is false to say that ‘If I had some experience, then I’d be fine. If I had some awakening experience…’ So many get caught up even in that and keep referring to themselves only in the past then. Because you have one awakening experience and then for your rest of your life you are just referring to yourself in that way. ‘In that moment (five years ago, ten years ago, twenty years ago) I saw that we are One.’ So what? For twenty years after that, you got stuck in the past. How does it help? [Smiles] It is not freedom at all.

So, it is not about having an experience or not. It is not about having some sort of phenomenal awakening or something like this. It is not about an event. It is not about a state. It is about that ‘nothing’ that the mind can’t understand. It is about that No-thing that the mind can’t understand.

[Silence]

It is not about ‘I think I understand now that I cannot understand it.’ You see? It’s not that. It is not just word-play like that. It is just a letting go.

As long as you make a reference about yourself using a limited concept, using any concept (because all concepts are limiting) you are still caught up in the idea of ‘the one that was born’ …, not in the un-born.

[Silence]

Some hand gestures in the air are happening. [Referring to someone in sangha] You can’t shake it off like that. [Using his hand to mimic shaking out the head] ‘My head is too much full of thoughts. So, let me [shake it out of there]. Go!’ [Laughter in the room]

Even the thought that ‘My thoughts are such a problem’ … is just a thought.

Like ‘I am so full of thoughts; when will these thoughts stop?’ … that itself is a thought.

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Where Is It That Your Mind Cannot Go?

A: Where is it that your mind cannot go?

Q: From where it sprouts, from where it comes.

A:Ah. So, it can only go in the seeming-space between these opposites, from the subtle to the big. So, if you say ‘Okay, what is the subtlest notion you can have?’

Q:I am Awareness.

A:I am Awareness.

Q:I am the Absolute.

A:I am the Absolute. Now what is subtler than that?

Q:The absolute without notion.

A:What is subtler than that? Subtler than that? [Silence] That also. [Laughter] So many concepts got exposed, no? Like ‘I am, I am Awareness, the Absolute’ then just silence. Then subtler than that; just…. subtler than that…

Q: Disappear.

A. Subtler than that. You see? This is a very useful pointer; that which goes even beyond Satsang concepts, or that goes beyond our prior experiences, that goes beyond our past notions, beyond anything that we have learned, or seen or perceived. Some could say ‘The smallest is the tiniest, atom, the string.’ Then ‘The largest, the biggest, BIGGEST…’ What is the biggest? [Chuckles]

Q: Galaxy.

A:Galaxy, universe, multiverse, whatever you call it; but bigger than that. So then, actually what

I’m doing is I’m showing you the range of the mind. It will take this starting point and that ending point; but that entire range is nothing for You. You are not continued in that range. But the mind can only operate there. In the same way, you say ‘What is the lowest, what is the highest?’ …, all the opposites you look at, you will see how you have created this box of limitations to that which is the Unlimited One. You take any of the opposites. What is beyond up, UP, the most up? …, and down, DOWN, beyond the most down? If you just sincerely try to answer these questions, you will see that in all these concepts you have made this box; it seems to define you or your life. But You are not in that.

Q:Is it like the story of Arunachala? You are aware of that.

A:Say.

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Q:Vishnu and Brahma were one day having a fight, that who is more power full, who is the supreme out of both.

So, the fight got very intense, very heated. Suddenly, Shiva appeared in the form of a Lingam, a column of light. And it was very fascinating and astonishing for both of them. [Vishnu and Brahma] They have never seen anything like this. And they looked up and looked down and they couldn’t find the top and the bottom of the Lingam.

So, Brahma became a swan. He said ‘Let me go and check out how high it is.’ And Vishnu became a bore. And he said ‘Let me dig in the earth and see how deep it is so we can figure out what this thing is.’ Much time passed … then they returned. Brahma returned defeated saying ‘Hey, I could not find the top. As high as I went, it continued proceeding.’ Similarly, Vishnu said that ‘I couldn’t find.’ Then Shiva appeared and said ‘I am the boss.’ [Chuckles]

A:It is a very beautiful story. Because this…

Q: And that place is where Arunachala has manifested; the physical form of Arunachala.

A:So, this Shiva …, this is what I am saying; This un-born, This which is not limited by these concepts of up and down, true and false, left and right, good and bad; empty of these distinctions.

And it is not difficult. It can feel like ‘But that is so difficult.’ It is not difficult. Actually, it’s just a simple return to innocence, to our child-like nature. And how to return? It just IS. Here Now.

And what is it to lose that innocence? To pretend to know something. [Smiles] To pretend to know.

So, ‘to know one thing’ is the seeming-loss of this innocence. That’s why I’ve been saying ‘To know one thing is to know too much.’

Don’t even know that ‘I know nothing.’ Make no conclusion about yourself in the realm of opposites. And then you will find that if you go searching in the mind for something which is beyond opposites, you will find that there are no neutral thoughts.

Now some of you will say ‘But that is too open. It is too much. Too much. I need one concept at least; something to hold onto.’ The Sages have provided this. They have provided ‘Who am I?’ That’s enough; one concept. ‘Who am I?’ is enough. Or ‘Guru Kripa Kevalam, All is the will of Consciousness, Let Thy will be done.’ All these. [‘Stay as the Is-ness’ sangha says] Yes, ‘Stay as the Isness.’ Anything that appeals to you in your heart, you can use that one concept because it is self-dissolving.

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Your Reality Is Never Concealed

You get a call from Amazon. It is saying ‘The Alexa that you got, your Amazon device; there is something wrong with its programming. It is giving you all lies.’ And what do we do? We got so used to referring to Alexa that we’re saying ‘Alexa, this call came from Amazon. It is saying you are full of lies and nonsense. What do you think about that?’ [Chuckles]

You just keep referring back to this ‘device’ [mental thinking process] because that is the habit.

The Sages are saying that ‘The truth is apparent to You.’ The Sages said ‘Brahman does not come and go; Your ultimate Reality.’ The Buddha said ‘Buddha nature is ever-present and it is never hidden, never concealed.’ All, everything is pointing to This which is naturally just apparent. It is never concealed. They are saying ‘Buddha nature is never concealed. Brahman is always here. The Unborn does not come and go.’ Every Sage is pointing to the same thing.

But we try to contain it on our box, because we think our box is big enough. Even now, the mind might be calling you, saying ‘Be careful, okay? He is a bit strange.’ [Chuckles] Or like ‘Yeah, yeah, this is good but I’m just asking: How am I supposed to live like this?’ [Chuckles] Actually, a popular one which we never ask so much is ‘Just ask him whether you got it or not.’ [Chuckles] You see, these kinds of things will keep selling you these offers to make you buy into that paradigm of limitation again.

Sanga: Some sensation is happening, so that is gone; something like that.

A:Yeah, it will say ‘Because some sensation is coming’ (it could be some anger, it could be some hunger, it could be any sensation) the mind is saying ‘Ah, you can’t be free. If you were free then anger could not come.’

Firstly, we never experience same the thing twice. So, this notion of anger is made up. It is all made up! Do I need to explain it over and over? [Chuckles] It is just made-up.

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It’s Important to Throw Away What We Consider to Be Truth

Just as it is very important to throw away that which we consider are lies, it is also important to throw away that which we consider truth. From your biggest lie to your biggest truth, all the concepts that you have, just let them go. Then you see clearly. The Truth’s Truth, which is beyond the verbal or conceptual truth, is not dependent on any idea you have about it.

Just like you don’t need any concept to sit exactly where you’re sitting right now. Is there some concept keeping you sitting? Are you chanting ‘Sitting, sitting, sitting’? [Chuckling] In the same way, you don’t have to say ‘Self, Self, Self’. Like I said, one concept you can keep as a reminder but know that this also destructs itself or dissolves in its own light.

One simple tip is that if something has an opposite, then forget about it. It is not true. If something has an opposite forget about it and there is no neutral thought. [Looks around the room] What do you think about that? [Laughter] Don’t go there … [Chuckles]

Q: Do you want to know?

A:No, I’m just pointing out the tendency that even the instruction to ‘Let it go’ is then met with this need to draw a conclusion about it and how it can feel a bit lost initially to be without a conclusion. Say we hear “No thought is neutral’ or ‘Forget about everything that’s here’ we still wait for that inner guide, who’s not the true guide, this mind, to come and tell us ‘Yeah, that seems like a good idea, we should try this.’ And then once you have that conclusion …

In your lack of this mental certitude, if you can get used to that, you will discover true open-ness. (But don’t make a conclusion of that!) How lost do you feel if you’re not relying on a concept in this moment? How lost are you without a concept in this moment? [Silence] How about if you left everything mentally unresolved? Because these thoughts are offering some resolution, you see. It says you have to deal with this thing, this problem, whatever it might be, your situation, your event, anything, any perception, you have to deal with it in ‘this way’ and in that there is resolution. But what do the Masters say? Master Bankei says what? ‘All things are perfectly resolved in the Unborn.’ So, either the Master didn’t know what he was talking about and it is the mind that knows, or….

Either way, don’t trust the mind’s resolution. So, the born is what? If the Unborn is this notionless Existence, the born is what? When we pick up the notion of a limited ‘I’, when we pick up the idea of a separate ‘me’, of a separate self, what does your experience tell you? Have you been able to resolve your life through your mind’s tactics? Now get the experience of leaving it Unborn. Taste this Unborn moment, see if anything has to be done, if something is missing? [Silence]

In this Unborn, are you lost or are you found? Is it good or bad? Is there any opposite at play, any duality? Even born and Unborn mean nothing. In the Unborn, even born and unborn mean nothing. Meaning and meaningless both mean nothing.

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Can You Get Hurt Without Knowing Anything?

Q:This feeling of getting hurt; someone in the play is being (or perceived as being) disrespectful

…, this also comes from identification?

A:We can break it down a bit more. In the sense that the feeling is a feeling but the ‘getting hurt’ is the idea that the mind attaches to the appearance of that sensation.

Q: Yeah, pain; like sensation, uncomfortable.

A:Some discomfort or some contraction, all these are the labels that the mind uses. And then it says like ‘Ah, this one is hurting you’ or ‘How could he treat me like this?’ Whatever the justification for allowing yourself to get identified with that limited sensation is, all that justification comes form the mind. So, it is not that the feeling should not arise (just like that mouth was speaking and some noise came from there, just like some other noise can come from here) some sensational (we don’t even have to say) response, just appearances of various things.

But when we allow the mind to convince us, or when Consciousness buys into the story of the mind and starts to pretend, to take itself to be the limited entity, that is called identification or ego.

And ego (as I have been saying) is just the resistance. It is the opposite of openness. Openness means that all sensations can come and go, without even a judgment about them saying ‘This is this, this is that, I know what this is.’ That is usually what gets us in trouble already. To make a conclusion about what something is, is never what it is. So, already when we buy into that, the fishing rod is out and the bait is in the water. [Chuckles] Then the mind just needs to come and say ‘See, this one makes you feel hurt!’ Because you already defined hurt, you already defined unfairness or you already defined what you were right about. [Chuckles]

Now, if you couldn’t say what you are right about at all, what can hurt you?

If someone says ‘The right way to do this is ABC’ or ‘The right way to do it is XYZ’ …, does it matter? Because you’re not attached to either. What will happen is that there will be a protest ‘But, this is right! Come on! Let’s get real!’ [Chuckles] Not necessarily; I am saying generally the mind’s protest is like that. When you’re being asked to look and we say ‘Take neither position’ you are like ‘But this does seem like it is more right.’ That’s why I said ‘If it has an opposite, it has no substantial Truth in it; it is only at best a provisional truth, a temporary sort of position which can seem important or relevant for that period of time. Just like the words of Satsang; in the words of Satsang also there is no Truth but, in a way, they are spoken because they are provisional truths at the moment, so that they can do the job of cleaning up, and then they are discarded as well.

Q: Can you elaborate a little more?

A: So, how to get hurt without knowing anything?

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Like if you were an infant, if you are seven-months old and someone comes and says ‘You should not be like this, you should be this way!’ will that hurt you? [Laughs] You wouldn’t understand. It’s just some words ‘Tana, na, na, na, na, na.’ So, it’s only our conceptual house of cards which gets shaken up when these concepts seem to appear from the outside or seem to appear from this mind. And this emptiness is available every moment.

So, now it’s only if you have a concept of something which you feel is right, then that can come and get poked. The same words, if you were carrying the same concept, then they would serve as an affirmation, an approval. But you are carrying the opposite concept so it can seem like an attack, an ability to cause hurt.

Guruji [Sri Mooji] has this example, but let me have a variation to that example. Suppose the feeling that was arising, same as excitement. ‘Oh, my boss is agreeing with me.’ Like that. When the words were in resonance with the concepts that you have, then you say ‘This is really motivating, inspiring.’ Like that. [Chuckles] But if the words are opposite …, suppose the feeling is just the same but we label it differently and say ‘This is feeling hurt.’ We don’t even know that for sure. It’s just like Guruji says, no? …, that if you have the fear of speaking on stage and somebody says ‘No, you have to speak!’ then ‘Ah, this is stage-fright, I’m so nervous.’ But if you are excited about going on a holiday and the same sort of feeling is there, you say ‘I’m so excited, I’m so happy!’ So, it is this language, these interpretations, which cause a lot of this. We’re not so clear about our emotional spectrum as we think we are. In fact, I have often said that we don’t ever experience the same emotion twice. And I heard that in Germany they have many more terms to describe emotions. Like in English, we have a few: anger, fear, joy, bliss, a few more. But in Germany they have some even subtler sounding emotions ‘Oh, this is what I’m feeling.’ [Chuckles] [Points to someone from Germany in the Sangha] You know this? You can look at this; it’s something I read a few years ago.

So, what makes hurt ‘hurt’?

Q:Labeling it as hurt.

A:See, if you can see it, then it is game over. [Chuckles] If you can see that, that the label itself is…

Incidentally, I’m not discounting the experience of a sensation; it can be [Makes a gesture of a sad emotion] or it can be [Makes gesture of a happy emotion] naturally. But just like children; they go through that, but a child is not reporting, saying ‘Pa, ten minutes ago, I was feeling a lot of joy, now that has been replaced by grief because you didn’t give me candy.’ [Chuckles] That story is not there. Just a normal movement is allowed to unfold.

But when we label it and say ‘I’m related to that sensation in some way’ we make a reference point again about an ‘I’ and a ‘me’. Then that can become a grievance, a resentment, a sense of having to retaliate. All of these like second level emotions, they are not independent of thought activity. Like you can feel a contraction, but you can’t make a resentment out of it unless you mix it with a concept. You can experience something but you can’t make guilt out of it unless you mix it with ‘I should not have done that.’ Doer-ship = ‘me’ identity. These things children

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are not good at; all of us as parents know. When they were six, seven-months old, they were crying, crying, crying, if you take the bottle away from them or something; then laughing, laughing, laughing naturally the next moment. But you would not say that a child is feeling guilty about what they did or that the child is resenting you. [Chuckles]

So, these are learned, conditioned things. We need to practice with intellect to make these into conclusions; the ability to give a ‘yes’ and ‘no’ to concepts; this reasoning ability, intellect, to be able to make these conclusions.

That’s why I was saying that the easiest Satsang for me is when you come to me with a completely tired with intellect; you can’t differentiate between this and that. [Chuckles] You’re just like ‘I can’t tell you anymore what has happened to me in the last year. I can’t tell you what I want also.’ [Laughs] It’s just like we have played all these games and we are tired of them; the ability to conclude anything about ourself and say ‘This is what is true about me.’ Because it doesn’t pass the smell test. [Chuckles]

Like if you say ‘This is what is true about me.’

I say ‘Show me’.

What will you show? [Chuckles]

What will you show about yourself Right Now?

That’s why when we look and say: There are a certain set of sensations being experienced but do we really know what they are? …, what they are, before you had a term for them?

Your openness is way beyond the limits that the mind draws for you. Your sensational openness, your perceptual openness, all of this pure phenomenal perceiving can perceive a lot more, without any trouble, than the mind defines for you.

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Don’t Take That New Position

Q:One thing, Father, I have been observing in the play that relationships, in general, like within the Sangha, with the Guru, with a few people, with family whom you connect as harmonious, especially in the business circle, work circle, even something in relationships, there’s always this assertiveness: that one appearance tries to make it over the other that ‘I am right’. Even in negotiations, you know? Politicians do that all the time. ‘My position is stronger, you better listen to me.’ So, after some time, after coming to Satsang, earlier I was too much like that, you know? I was on top of everything, I never used to tolerate if someone used to …

A: One up-man-ship.

Q:Yes, one up-man-ship. After Satsang I became …, for a while there was a time like ‘I just don’t care about anything.’ But slowly, when I got pulled into work, there was lot more complacency or tolerant of these things. So, what I observed is that, after some time, so-called other appearances started taking me for granted and kept on stepping more and more and more and more and more and because I didn’t react, there came a point where I was like ‘Enough!’

A: Yeah, being treated like a doormat.

Q:Yeah. This happened not only at work but even at home (not with my wife, but my brother’s wife). She was very disrespectful. I never used to say anything in her presence … You know? So, I don’t know… [Laughs]

A:The thing is that either position that we take, if we make a reference point back to the limited body and say ‘I’m now going to be open. Therefore, just one aspect of my expression within this

Consciousness (which is this body) should then become open.’ Then we take the opposite position that ‘This one now should become assertive.’ So, our reference point again keeps getting drawn back to this body identification. So, if you let this one be as free as you let every expression of Consciousness be, then…?

So, one day assertive, one day open, one day … (seemingly, from the outside, it can seem like this particular expression). That’s why the Masters are very difficult to put a finger on. Like, say, for Guruji [Sri Mooji] ‘How is he?’ Sometimes you will say ‘He is so open, like a child, just completely open’ and one day you will say ‘He is very clear about his assertiveness’ or something like that. So, you can’t place it because they are not putting themselves in any box [Chuckles] and they are allowing all things to unfold in that same way.

So, leave this one. Don’t predict what it’s going to be like in the next moment. Don’t make a new position. Like you can have a position of passivity and then you can have a position of aggressiveness or assertivity. But don’t take that new position. If you are holding onto a position of passivity, leave that. Leave that, but leave it empty of a new position. Then see how it unfolds. Then sister-in law wouldn’t know how to behave. [Laughter]

Q:That’s why I ‘gave it’ one day; like that burst happened ‘You better be…!’ Like that. And she was like ‘What happened?’ And the same thing in the office; it happened ‘To hell with you!’

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A:So, don’t make a judgment about yourself based on that. Neither guilt nor pride, neither of them. Nor say ‘Okay, this is working better.’ Because it doesn’t work like that; life doesn’t work like. If there was a clear position that you can take and say ‘This is how life works! I will just be assertive.’ It doesn’t work like that. Many try that and they come back to their openness; many try passivity and they come back to the openness. So, don’t try to take a stance and say ‘Okay, now it’s like this, like that’. Moment to moment stances, positions …, because this is a realm of activity after all. So, from the outer seeming-perspective it might seem like you’re this stance, that stance, or something might continue for some time; but inwardly, you’re open.

Now, it’s very good that you spot this also because many times in spirituality we do end up taking this position of sheepishness. We do end up taking this position of passivity. But even that gets dissolved. So, neither side of the spectrum; that’s why I am saying: No opposites, no opposites. [Smiles] Nothing is right or wrong, nothing is true or false. And don’t make that reference point back to the ‘me’ which will use this appearance of this particular body to convince you of its tangibility or something like that.

Q:Somewhere I had made reference to behavior, saying that ‘It’s okay, we should be more tolerant, we should be …’

A:This is it. So, these don’t work. [Laughter] Like when you take a position and say ‘Oh, I’ll just be very tolerant’ then these kinds of experiences can happen. And if you take the opposite position ‘I’m just going to take no nonsense from anyone now!’ even that gets squeezed out. It does feel like (for a while, it can feel like) ‘Wow, this is some power!’ You feel like some power is coming back but it’s still the wrong engine; it’s still powering the wrong engine [Chuckles] Temporarily it might feel like a ‘feel good’ is there but it’s not advised that you take up this kind of thing.

Just empty of all stances, there is an openness for the body to exhibit naturally whatever stance has to come up in that moment. And then, for a while, you will feel like a sense of wonder is there. ‘Oh, how did this happen? How did this one say this?’ Like that. And sometimes, in the most difficult-seeming circumstances (as you say) there can be complete tolerance. And sometimes with a slightest [disturbance] ‘What’s going on here!’ Nobody should be able to draw a picture of Shiva. ‘This is how this one is going to be.’ Because you are not able to draw a picture YourSelf.

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Get Out of Game of Opposites

No seeker position; no finder position. No passive, tolerant; no assertive, aggressive. All of these are just the ides that we have. All things are perfectly resolved in the Unborn. So, we don’t need to take any sort of stance. You don’t need to give birth to a position.

Q: No strategy about anything.

A:No strategy, no tactics; nothing. [Smiles] That is why I was saying the other day about tactics, na? Sometimes the mind can feel like it is so smart; it will out-smart the ego. We were talking about it the other day. We were saying that ‘Oh, we have discovered that the ego is my tormentor and we’ve also found that it is seems to work like this, that if you resist it more and more, the stronger it seems to become.’ Then we a find a novel way to get rid of it, which is to say that ‘Okay, if I resist it more and more, then it will become stronger. I can’t get rid of it. So, what is my approach to get rid of it? I will love it to death.’ Such a smart tactic we can come up with because it sounds completely reasonable. Because, in the world, if ‘x’ is true then the opposite is false. So, we easily buy in to that idea, that notion, that ‘Actually, I can have a hidden intent which is to get rid of it, but outwardly, I will say I love you. Like, I will hug it outwardly but I’m only hugging it because ultimately I want it to go.’ So, this sort of deviousness. We feel like it will lead to a very quick dissolution of the ego or something like that. But it is not like that. Nothing is hidden. You see? Our deepest intentions cannot be hidden from the mind. [Chuckles]

It’s like ‘I know how to play now. Okay, okay.’ [Laughter in the room] Yeah; you know? ‘I feel so angry with this one. This is the most terrible person! Yes, yes, my mind, I love you. You’re good. You’re completely right. Yeah, you must…’ You see? Like that. It tries to use that as a strategy. And the mind will also play along and say ‘Yeah, you know this. Give more and more [love], yeah.’ You know? And you keep waiting … ‘When is it going to go?’ [Chuckles] ‘I’m loving it so it can go.’ [Chuckles] These are ‘pristine ploys’ I call that. [Smiles]

It is not like that. You have to get out of this game of the opposites. If you resist it with the intent of it going, it does seem to grow; it does seem to get more and more of your attention. But if you resist it with the devious plan of loving it to death, then also it does not dissolve. It’s very much part of the play; not hidden, your motives, from your mind. If you feel like you can keep your motive secret that ‘Actually, I’m only loving you so that you can go away’ it does not work like that. If you want to love, then love; with no expectation of outcome. Love everything. Be open, love everything.

But if you carry these sort of tactics …, where we have some super-strategy that ‘I will just be rid of it’ …, because at the root of it is that feeling of being tormented. We have recognized that the tormentor is this mind and then we’re are trying to create a war strategy as to how to approach it. Now, better than strategy and tactics, is just to see: What is being tormented? Who am I?

So, then you see that ‘The tormentor is just an idea that I have because I’m attached to some other concepts from the mind itself, then the mind comes in opposition to them, then I feel like there is suffering’ (the mind through this way of appearance [hand pointing to his head] or the mind through another mouth, it makes no difference).

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So, when we drop all our tactics and our ploys and leave the Unborn as Unborn, then no struggle.

Although outwardly in your life-events or something like that, it might seem like there is a struggle. So, I am not talking about ‘the coconut’ [body/mind identity]. I am talking about your inward openness. (And ‘inward’ is also a provisional truth I am using. There is no ‘inward’ or ‘outward.’)

So, neither this nor that.

Q: Free to be natural.

A:Free. Freedom itself conveys a great pointer, you see. Could freedom mean that ‘I have to take a particular position’? [Smiles] Then it can’t be freedom.

So, freedom is not having the body appearance be this way or that way. And that’s why the Sages are very good: if you take photos of ten Sages, you will see that all of them seem to have a very different expression. [Smiles] Even [the photos] in this room. Although Maharaj [Sri Nisargadatta] is smiling in this room. [Sangha laughs] If you can call that a smile. [Chuckles] Papaji [Sri Poonja] has a big grin. Papaji has this big grin and Maharaj [Sri Nisargadatta] has, at best, what you can call his biggest smile that I have ever seen. [Sangha laughs] And Bhagavan [Sri Ramana Maharshi] has a very neutral face, just full of grace. You know, you cannot say whether he is…., it’s like a Mona Lisa smile. [Sweet laughter] And Guruji [Sri Mooji] has a very

benevolent expression in this photo right now. So, it’s just like this.

So, if freedom meant that it has to become like ‘What should the expression become? Should it become like assertive or it should it become like very smiley, smiley all the time?’ …, it’s nothing like that.

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How Can I See No Distinction between Me and Others?

[Reading from chat]: “How can I see no distinction between ‘me’ and others’? When I stub my toe, pain is experienced but when someone else stubs their toe, there is no experience.”

A:So, what we have to see is…, have you heard of this rubber glove experiment? You can see that. So, what happens in this experiment is that your hand is there but you have put little further off, and there is a screen. Okay, then a plastic hand is there and that has a like a rubber glove on it. So, for a while, what is done is that someone will put a pen or something and make you experience some sensation on your hand but at the same time visually it is done on that rubber glove also. So, within a minute, you start to take ownership of this as your hand and that one is forgotten, the rubber glove one. And when it is brushed and that one is not being touched at all, you are still experiencing the sensations. You are still experiencing the sensations. Then somebody comes with a pin. And then ‘I’m try to move that hand, but it is not moving!’ Because you don’t want that experience of that pin. And they go [makes the sound of the pin hitting something] like that… then you will experience ‘Oh, oh, ho, what are you doing?’ Just like this.

So, within a minute, we can just get identified with this. Just like the dream body. [Smiles] The dream body is there; pain and pleasure is experienced. Also, the more popular one (you don’t even need to see this experiment) … all of us we know about this phantom limb, no? So, if the limb had to be amputated for whatever reason, many times, they can still experience the pain in that or they can still experience an itching. [Smiles] They can experience it. So, just because the design of a dream is such that one body sensation seems more intimate than another body sensation doesn’t prove that you are only that in your dream. In the dream also, there is a body which experiences pain and pleasure and there is are seemingly-other bodies whose sensations you don’t seem to experience. Where is that happening?

So, we can’t conclude this based on some sensation thing. In fact, we were looking at it that day and we were saying that ‘How can you really say that this is a sensation that you are experiencing?’ Like this: [Holds one finger with the other hand] How do you know that the sensation that you are experiencing is actually this, like a material sensation? It could just be in the design of programming. Just like in a 3-D movie, the airplane is crashing; dusushh, dusushh. You see it start shaking and you feel like ‘I am experiencing the shaky-ness of the airplane.’ It’s just the design of this program. At least, if nothing else, you cannot conclude that it is so, that I am experiencing the sensation of my hand. You might not be able to conclude that ‘Okay, it is not my hand or it’s illusion or a dream’ …, you might not even need to make these conclusions but at least you cannot assertively say that ‘I know that this is definitely my hand.’

And the other thing you can watch is (look up on YouTube) ‘The McGurk Effect.’ Now, if there is sound coming from the computer, it is only ’baa, baa, baa, baa’ but because the lips of the character are moving in a different way, as ‘faa, faa, faa’ then you are actually going hear ‘faa, faa, faa.’ And by knowing this also, that this is how it works, it doesn’t help. You will still only hear ‘faa, faa, faa.’ So, what is the actual sound coming from the computer? You are hearing ‘faa’. There is no ‘faa’. So, where is that perception coming from, that sensation coming from: ‘faa’? … ‘faa’ sensation? You know, all of you should watch this video: ‘The McGurk Effect’.

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So, where is that? Like we could so tangibly say ‘From the computer speaker, the sound ‘faa’ must be coming; that is why I am hearing ‘faa’.’ But if you are not looking at the screen, if your eyes are closed, you are hearing only ‘baa, baa, baa’. So, what can we truly say about these perceptions, these sensations? Can we make any authoritative, conclusive statement? You cannot. You cannot make a conclusive statement. And for me, this lack of conclusion-ability is better than even the conclusion that it is a dream or illusion. So, I’m happy to leave it at that. [Smiles] You cannot say what is. It’s fine by me.

When you start to explore like this, you will see that this mind claims so many things. It claims so many things but it has no basis for any of them. Any of them! You might start a little and say ‘Achha, [Yes] there is no basis for this. No basis for visual conclusion. No basis for audio conclusion, sensational conclusion.’ Already we have looked at these things. Visual, of course; all of us have seen these mirages and things that we can be sure to say ‘Yes, of course, there is that.’ Like Shankara has spoken about visual conclusions much more than any another: the rope and the snake. Or [believing it’s a] piece of silver just because the light of the Moon is reflecting on the mother of pearl. And where a post is being confused to be a man. Usually you can be sure; you can conclude many things. But we cannot really be sure.

Now we talked about this audio conclusions of ‘baa, baa’ verses ‘faa, faa’, phantom limb, rubber glove experiment, in terms of body sensations. So, a lot of this the mind has is claimed to know what it is and where it is from. But it doesn’t know. And as you look more and more and more at all your mind’s claims, you will see that we come to a very beautiful openness, a beautiful innocence of a child who is not relaying on any mental conclusions.

Like I say: A baby is born. Does it have a conclusion that ‘I have to drink milk from my mother’s breast?’ No. And yet it can do it. Just like these waves are flowing; just like these clouds are moving in the sky. Now, suppose the cloud in the play was given this power to identify Consciousness in its aspect as the cloud; suppose it give itself the ability to identify as a cloud. [Smiles] Imagine a cloud saying ‘Shall I go left from here, or right? I’m a bit confused. Should I rain today? Should I hold it until tomorrow?’[Chuckles]

Our life is like that. The cloud is saying ‘But how come I don’t experience the water in the other clouds?’ [Chuckles] There’s the one that one says ‘You are the sky. Check the boundary between the sensations of this body and the space outside this body. There isn’t any.’ And then it says ‘Ah, I am the sky.’ And someone says ‘No, but you’re beyond the sky also. What is aware of this sky-ness? Is that in the sky?’ No, it’s not in the sky but I can’t tell you anything about it. But it is ‘I’ which is aware.’ Then someone says ‘Now, drop all distinctions between the sky and that which witness even sky. Can you really point to yourself in anyway? [Smiles]

So, you went from the cloud identifying as just another appearance…, to coming into this conceptual emptiness, where the ‘I’ actually loses its point-ability, its pointing; its meaning in a sense. So, this ‘me’ loses meaning.

And what can happen many times is that we still have a lot of meaning attached to ‘me.’ But hearing the words of Satsang, they are mis-heard in the sense that we start divesting meaning from everything else in the appearance, but the ‘me’ still has a lot of meaning. And then it can

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feel like ‘Oh, my life is so meaningless. This has no meaning. My Master is meaningless.’ You see? Everything else; but the ‘me’ is still there; the ‘me’ has a lot of meaning. So, this is like a mental trap that we can fall into.

So, get empty of these even this notion of ‘meaning’ and ‘meaningless-ness’. Get empty of all that has opposites.

And that is same as saying: Remain in the Unborn.

Or in Your notionless Existence.

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The Truth Is Not in Any Concepts

You know, I feel that the lies are easy for you now, in the sense that to drop the lies is easy for you now. It is to drop the truth that you’re struggling with.

The entire seeker identity is built on the notion of trying to get to some ultimate truth. But as I’ve been showing all of you, within this conceptual boundary of biggest lie and biggest truth is all your concepts, including the boundary itself.

This defines your mental constructs or the boundaries of your limitations that you put onto yourself. And the basis for this boundary is the centrality of this idea of ‘me’. Because everything is relative to this ‘me. You will not hold onto it even as the truth unless it has something to do with you. So that locus, that relationship, is dependent on this lie called ‘me’. And it is our ideas of truth also that are feeding into this lie of ‘me’. The Truth is not in any concept but this conceptual ‘me’ feeds on just any concepts that we have.

So, what is it that we are unwilling to let go of? I’ve been saying that if this ‘me’ is no longer pointed to anything at all, then that sounds very easy and straightforward. But you have to tell me: Does it have to point to you, to something which you define as ‘me’? Do you need it to be to mean something, this ‘me’? The one that seemingly is stuck in this delusion of relationships, freedom, security, body …, does that have any real tangible existence; this ‘me’?

Satsang is a strange place where you come to, to feel that ‘Here I can come so I can then be rid of the ‘me’ or where the ‘me’ can now be rid of the ‘me’.’ In a way, it is like that. So, now be rid of it. You came … (unless you wanted something else from Satsang, which is clearly not available here). If you came to be rid of the ‘me’, then be free from it. Let it not refer to anything at all. Especially anything starting with ‘but…’ [Chuckling] Let it not be limited by anything at all especially that which starts with ‘but…’ We play this game ever day, and for many years we’ve been playing this game. [Chuckling]

So, this, when we are empty of this doubt. But ‘Something should happen’ or ‘What about that experience in the past that happened?’ You see, any limiting notion, any boundary. All notions are limiting which you attach to yourself then gives rise to, or gives credence to, this belief system called ego.

Okay, so let’s go slowly since I’m losing some of you. One: Is it clear that you’re not going to get anything here; that is clear? It is not going to be an additive process that you will add something to yourself here; that much is clear? If that is not clear, be clear about that. This process of spirituality is not about adding something to the idea you have about yourself and therefore you will become Spirit. Spirituality does not mean adding Spirit to person. You see? It is only negating the person; it is only negating any idea of separation that you have. So, that much is clear; we’re not going to really add something to ourself, we’re only going to remove. That is important to see first. It is a process of cleaning up, it is a process of removal. You can call it dust, you can call it thorns; whatever the Sages have called it, ‘delusion’.

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Now what is being asked of you? What is being asked of you to be rid of? It’s clear that nothing new will be given to you. What is being asked of you to be rid of? This ‘me’, this notion of ‘me’, this belief system called ‘me’. So, now there’s a trick. The trick is that you are rid of it Now. This is not some a magic trick; it is just naturally gifted to us. You are rid of the ‘me’.

Nobody can tell me that they carried the ‘me’ into this freshness Now. Then why does it seem like sometimes we do? Only after what happens? [Silence] Come on children… [Laughter in the room] Okay, I’ll go slowly. Nothing new will be given to you, yes? So, what has to be gotten rid of is thus false sense of separation, separate self, ‘me’. This you’re already rid of, only sometimes it feels like you are not. When does it seem you are not?

Q: When you believe a concept

A:When you believe a concept, a thought, a notion. When you come into a notional existence then you leave behind your notionless existence. So, that’s all that this is about.

Anybody wants anything more than this, it is not here. [Chuckling] This is all there is here. If somebody wants experience, no guarantee. If somebody wants some label or certificate, no guarantee.

That’s all this is. To remove this false ‘me’ all that is needed is to not pick up a notion about yourself. That’s all I’ve said since the beginning of my Satsang career. In millions of different ways, that’s all I’ve actually said. Because if we convey it to be some sort of additive process that you will get something, then would be a big lie in itself. That means that what the Sages have said that ‘The Truth does not come and go, the Self is always here, It is Unchanging’ … then all this would not be true because you would need to add something to yourself to become the Self. So, this we cannot say.

So, what does it take for us to drop the next notion that comes from the seller of notions called the mind? That would also be a notion; any condition would also be an idea.

Now it’s your move.

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Can You Struggle with No Mind?

Q:‘Me’ is a super-persistent idea in my head. It is hard-wired, it seems, Father.

A:Actually, it is gone. Gone, GONE. [Snaps fingers] It is gone.

That it is hard-wired is also just an idea. That it is super-persistent is also an idea. If it was so persistent, it will survive this Now, Now. [Snaps fingers] All your references about you are gone Now …, unless you think about it. So, that thinking is needed before you make a reference. All your references about you are gone Now; unless you think about it. Before that, thinking is needed before you can make a reference about yourself. (When I am saying ‘thinking’ I’m not talking about the process of appearance of thoughts but I am talking about giving our assent to it, giving our belief to it; saying that ‘Yes, this is truth.’)

Q: If the ‘me’ idea is at the root, I would love to be free of it.

A:Free of it, You are. [Smiles] You Are. You are free from it; of it. It cannot hold You actually. It is struggling to catch up with You. Every moment, it is the poor guy chasing You down. You have already become fresh and new; an infant. Then, the mind is trying to catch up: ‘This, this, this, but, but, but, this, this…’

Q: Wait, wait…

A:Yeah exactly; wait, wait. So, when you identify with that then you feel like you are the struggler because this poor mind is trying to catch up with Being. [Smiles] You are free from it. You are fresh and new: Right Now, in this moment.

Who is the one that is struggling? This one trying to catch up with it. ‘But, but, give me a moment and I will tell you why you are not free.’ [says the thought] It needs time, You don’t. It needs an explanation, You don’t. It needs the references; the mind, not You. And when you as Consciousness identify as if you are the mind then it can seem like you are struggling.

Can you struggle with no-mind?

Q: You are not struggling when you are sleeping.

A:Exactly, you are not struggling Now. Now. Struggle with no-mind. Right Now, there is no mind. Right Now, you are not an object in time. The mind is just an appearance within time.

‘Me’ is a super-persistent idea in my head. It is hardwired it seems.’ These are just thoughts.

Q: What do you mean from ‘I am free of it Now?

A:Literally. There is nothing to explain. You are free of it Now …, unless you think about it. ‘If the ‘me’ idea is the root, I would love to be free of it.’ … You Are.

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All Conclusions Are Just Notions

What is that Zen Master’s thing I posted on Facebook the other day? ‘Many of us go out looking for the donkey, riding the donkey. [Chuckles] Once we see that we are mounting this donkey, then we refuse to get off it’ [Chuckles] in a way. The Master said ‘These are the only two sicknesses he encounters.’

‘Looking for the donkey’ …, where is the mind’ (What is it?) ‘My mind is saying that the mind is causing all this trouble.’ (It’s a nice one.) [Laughs] He says ‘There are two sicknesses in the school: First is to go looking for the donkey while riding the donkey.’ [Chuckles] Like Bhagavan [Ramana Maharshi] said ‘The thief posing as the policeman trying to catch the thief.’ And the second sickness is the refusal to get off it once you’ve mounted it. And this refusal to get off the donkey once we’ve mounted it is our need to be right. ‘I have invested in this concept so maybe it will work out. I really want it to work out.’ [Laughs] In a way, the story of the prodigal son. The father is waiting for him to come back home. All the riches, everything is available but ‘Because I have taken the step, my ego could not let me bow down and come back. Just not admit that I was wrong, that my true place is in my father’s house.’ It says ‘I will make it and show you! I will make it and show you! I will make it and show you!’ So, we mounted the donkey and we’re like ‘I am going to make this donkey to walk me to heaven.’ [Laughs] ‘I’ll find a way.’ So, trying to find happiness while continuing to ride our ego is like that. Because we have invested in these ideas about ourselves, we feel like ‘At least something should come out of it.’ [Chuckles]

All of us can see by now that the ego is a lost cause? Or no? [Chuckles] Then write it off. [Laughter] And see that it’s a lost cause. Don’t try to get some scraps from it, some investment, at least something. Like ‘It could still work if I become enlightened. It could still work; all of this struggle could be worthwhile if I become enlightened.’ That itself becomes the donkey. Let go of all expectations, all references to this one, to this ‘me’.

What did the Sage say after that? He said ‘How to be free of the donkey? See that you are the donkey.’ [Laughs] This ‘me’. I would have said ‘This ‘me’ is the donkey.’ And then he went further and said ‘This world is the donkey.’ But as you let go of this ‘me’ donkey then it is easily seen that the world is also just another appearance. You don’t have to ‘let go’ of the world, you just have to let go of the ‘me’ in a sense. And then you see, already you have let go of the world.

Like Now! in your notion-less Existence, can you say ‘world, not world’? Are these distinctions still there? Like the mind will still sell you a story ‘But these appearances are still there, they come and they go.’ But these are also notions; conclusions. All conclusions are just notions. Like it says ‘But I am, I still am.’ But the ‘I Am’ is not dependent on ‘But I still am.’ That is still a notion. Like I was saying on the other day ‘To sit, you don’t have to say ‘I am sitting, I am sitting, I am sitting.’ We just feel like ‘At least this concept, I need to exist.’ But you don’t need any concept to Exist. All of this just makes you boxed into your limited, egoic idea of yourself.

Should we make a ‘master list’ of our limited notions? [Laughs] A master list of all of these things that are all just made up like our projections into the future, that ‘This is what my future should be like.’ Can we throw it? Or not? ‘This is what my future should be like’ …, gone?

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Anybody who wants, can call out now, otherwise … [Makes gesture of gone. Laughter]

No good can come out of it, agreed? No idea about the future. And all regrets from the past? All regrets from the past’ …, any good can come out of those? [Laughs] No.

Looks like we need some time to … [Laughter] Do I feel like my Sangha has gotten emptier than they actually are? [Laughter] I was expecting that there is just going to be like full on ‘Yes! Yes! Yes!’ But like ‘Regrets from the past…’ [Makes a gesture of thinking] ‘…give us a moment.’ [Laughter] I was going to get to the sticky ones, which is pride from the past, but regret also we are not so sure of. [Laughs]

All our notions are about these things; all our notions are about time. Making a delusion about an independent existence, a separate self, and trying to define ourselves in various terms. And they can safely be thrown away, all of these. I feel like we are willing to throw out the bigger boxes, just like straight away.

What about the notion of the time itself? [Chuckles] What about space? Have you ever experienced time? Then why have the idea of it?

Q: Mind. Mind projects time.

A:Yes, yes, yes, mind … well, projects notions about time. [Chuckles]

Q:Time itself is a notion.

A:Time itself is a notion. Exactly. So, what about space? Experienced it? [Chuckles] Never experienced space. We cannot truly say where ‘What Is’ is; if there is anything called distance in Reality. Like I was joking saying (half-jokingly) ‘All of this could just be just projected on the eye’ [Chuckles] We feel like ‘Oh, that is there’ but what if it was actually just light here. That is also giving too much credence to this body identity. [Chuckles] So, we have no way of confirming neither time, nor space. And all our ideas about life are in time and space.

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Drop All of These Opposites

Q:I felt like I’m basically faking it to make it; this kind of thing. Because I know what you’re saying is true. I know it. So, what more can be said, right? I try to be happy and express love.

That may not be the best thing, but at the moment, it feels like that. [I say to myself]: ‘This is what you have.’ Right? But there’s a feeling like I’m faking it because I’m trying to make it. I’m trying to make this happiness happen. I am trying to make this peace happen; this peace that I already know is here. That’s how I feel. Sometimes I feel like this can be discouraging, very discouraging. But then I try not to touch it, the scene, the discouraging scene. [I say to myself]:

‘What Father says is true. All you have to do is to trust Guru’s words.’ I know that. But then these establishment things that we talked about before and I didn’t accept myself. [I say to myself]: ‘Don’t interpret it, don’t interpret it.’ I’m like ‘Why is this narrative still going on?’ Then I feel like ‘Just be quiet, just be quiet.’ I’m still waiting for the outcome of just what I think needs to happen. And I just feel like I will fake it till I make it. And I know I am the Self, I know

I am peace. [I say to myself]: ‘Whatever Father is, I know I am that myself. I am Ramana, I am Mooji, I am all that.’ But something is not there. And I don’t want to be a fraud. I just want whatever needs to be. And then I get discouraged like ‘Okay, I don’t want to be a fraud. I just want to have a clean heart, clear mind. I just want how things supposed to be.’

A:This is a good report again, my dear. It is a beautiful report. What can happen is that this mind makes these two separate opposites like ‘They are all the Masters, and I am like them. There is no difference. Father says that we are one; we are the same.’ And then the opposite of that is ‘I am such a fraud, I am faking it. It is not true because I still have this, and I get angry, and sometimes this happens, so I am just a fraud and this is not being full of integrity.’

So, what I want to say (to all of you actually) is: Drop both the opposites. Even if it is a bit uncomfortable, to drop the opposites and to not know where you are standing.

You are neither like this nor like that, neither full of integrity nor a fraud, neither like a Sage nor like a seeker, not completely truthful, not completely lying; neither of these. Just drop all of these opposites because all of them are just ideas.

And it’s okay to be a bit wobbly, not knowing where you stand. It can feel a bit wobbly, not knowing where you stand. ‘Am I this way or that way?’ But then this not-knowing, it feels like stress, it feels like the tension of not-knowing. Actually, this tension of not-knowing, in a way, does a good clean up job. And then it starts to feel more and more natural.

Then if I tell you ‘Now you must now make a conclusion about yourself’ you will say ‘No, Father, I’m so happy not knowing whether I am a Sage or I’m a liar. I’m just so happy not knowing.’ Although initially, it might feel like ‘Without these conclusions, I’m lost. This is limbo. I don’t know whether this is left or right. What is Father saying? I’m confused.’ It will feel a bit strange and wobbly. But as you come to that, and start getting used to this spaciousness in a way, then you will find it very difficult to make a conclusion about yourself; whether you are a fraud or you are no different from a Sage. You will not find it easy to make these conclusions. In fact, you will find that your mouth will speak lots of things, but you find that inwardly you are not attached to any of those things. You’ll feel ‘Just like other mouths speak,

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this mouth will also speak.’ Right now, I know it may look like I’m speaking these words, I’m making these conclusions; it can feel like that. But if you allow yourself to remain without making a conclusion about yourself …, like I’ve said to many of you now: I am neither speaking the truth nor am I lying. This is where your mind cannot go.

Now, what can happen is that it can seem too strange, it can seem too weird. ‘Father, what am I supposed to do? Is it fine?’ What I’m saying is throw out these opposites. ‘What am I supposed to do, not-do; is it fine, not fine; am I living with integrity or am I lying?’ You can just throw them out. In fact, they are thrown out already, naturally. Naturally; all gone! So, don’t pick them up.

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Drop All Knowing and Not-Knowing

Q:So, Father, you know I know this. This is the very discouraging part about everything. You know? Because I know this. I even have told about my experiences of where everything was gone; I was light.

A:You have to wait for a moment; maybe I will stop you there for a moment. Now, don’t know this. Because that is also a conclusion. Like, drop all knowing and not-knowing. Because anything that you know will be suffering. It is just the past. It is just a corpse. What you are saying is ‘I know this because I’ve had some experiences of this.’ You have been in Satsang before, you heard me say this and you can feel like you can make a conclusion about the same: I know this. So, don’t know this. Just leave that. Leave ‘knowing’ and ‘not-knowing’ then you can’t be either encouraged or discouraged. It is empty of these opposites.

Q:Father, I want very much to be obedient to what you are instructing me to do. When I was first folding towels (when I was at work a few years ago) I noticed the past. And I used Mooji’s guidance to what I believe was … actually, I found myself. Then that felt like I had a notion there; there was experience, there was a notionless existence. Right? There was just space and all that. And I know these are just some experiences. But that experience I would like to recognize as what I am. There…, no God, no nothing. Right? In the fact that happened, I believe that’s how it should be. If that makes sense. Like the fact that he pointed to was there once before and then it just kind of faded. Like, I guess, that is like the point I’m trying to be established in. Is that making any sense? So, the fact that anything else the mind will offer is a different kind of stuff, so it came up. Why it is still coming up? I just don’t know. I just feel very, very confused and very discouraged, honestly. And I promise I want to listen to what you say and for everything else to not stick. I don’t know what more I can do. And I actually try even not to do anything. But I’m not satisfied with it and I feel like I’m even wasting your time. I don’t want to come before you with more of this.

A:Good, good, good, good. So, this is very good that you point this out. Because just like this, it can happen for many of us is that we can have a spiritual experience where it can feel like ‘Ah, that is it! It’s so clear. There is no me.’ And then everything in our life becomes a reference point to that so-called experience. We might even call it an awakening excrescence. But that is not freedom.

Freedom means not to have a constant reference point about something in the past. Because we can’t truly say anything about the past which we can truly say is true. So, if something needs a reference point of coming from the past, then it is better that we let go of it, even if it seems like the best experience we ever had. Because our truth, the truth which is pointed to in Satsang, is not an experience. An experience can be a by-product of That but It, in Itself, is not an experience.

It is our spiritual experience, many times, which can become like chains around us. Because our conclusions rely on those experiences.

So, everything is naturally thrown out.

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You don’t have to do anything at all now.

It is gone Now.

What I want to say is that all that I’ve said, all that I’ve pointed to is:

Forget about the opposites, and ‘That’ is naturally just Here Now.

Now, the mind will come and offer some conclusions. It will say ‘You are like this, you have been like that.’ Just let them come and go. And don’t believe the mind when it is says ‘It’s like that. This is effort. Am I the doer?’ All these smart things will also come from the mind. Just watch all these like the traffic comes and goes. You don’t have to cross the road.

You don’t have to transcend anything; nothing at all.

It’s not complex. The mind will make it complex. Just know, as it all starts to seem a bit difficult and complex …, know that this is the mind. Just step back; let the traffic come and go. Let all the opposites will come and go. You do not have to bother with them at all.

You can come up [on camera to talk or ask questions in online satsang] as many times as you want. You don’t have to make conclusions that ‘I don’t want to come. I want it to be Now.’ All of these can just come and go. And life can unfold in its own natural way.

Don’t be hard on yourself.

Don’t be soft on yourself.

Just don’t have any position about yourself.

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You’re Not Holding Up Existence with an Idea

I say to you that when you are empty of notions, the complete truth of what You are is apparent to You.

Q: The complete truth about you.

A. The complete truth. (I can hold that notion. [Chuckles] You be empty of notions.) What is it like when you are empty of ideas?

Q: Simply there; I mean simply existing, nothing…

A. Even that is the pointer, no? When you say ‘I simply exist when I’m empty of notions’ even that is just a word you have to use because I’m asking you the question and you’re trying to explain it to me. There is no intent of simply existing is what I mean. When you’re empty of notions, you’re not carrying the idea ‘I have to exist’. You’re not holding up existence with an idea.

Q: It is natural.

A. Just natural. So, this is what I call ‘What now?’ Okay, once you start holding up anything at all then you move to ‘me-ow.’ [Smiles] Who moves? God, in this Lela [play of Consciousness] even in all Its pretense, It can never actually become limited. You see? You can never become ‘personal’. All-There-Is can never become an object, just a body.

Q: Yes, the more you stay out of notions, more things will dissolve on its own.

A:Yes. That’s why [Zen Master] Bankei said ‘All things are perfectly resolved in the unborn.’ It is not small statement. It means ALL THINGS are perfectly resolved in the unborn. And what is this ‘born’ he is talking about? When we give birth to this limited identity, when we give birth to this limited notion about ourselves.

Q: And the forces which we keep going like a rubber band keep going back to the same ….

A:That is the force of habit, in a way.

Q:Just force of habit?

A:Yes, because you are pulled into this over and over again, even in this lifetime. You can see, even in this lifetime, our parents would have taught us that ‘This is hand and this is head.’ If it were true knowledge, you would just be born knowing that ‘This is our hand, this is our head and this is our nose; this is what you have to do, these are the things you want.’ But, all of these things were taught to us. What you should want was taught to us from the world …, or at least this aspect of the world that we call the mind. If it comes from parents or so-called society then it came from this inner mind.

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The ‘Person’ Is the Most Unstable Idea

That old example, no? … that somebody had a role in a play and started taking it so seriously that even when they were not acting in the play or when the performance was not on, they were still identified with that character. [Smiles]

As much as the mind wants it …, as much belief as Consciousness wants to give to it, do not fully, fully, fully get identified. Because in every moment of your existence you are experiencing your un-limitedness actually. So, your true insight, your true seeing about yourself is always contrary to what the message is that the mind is trying to sell to you. That is why it is so unsteady.

The ‘person’ is the most unsteady thing. How we are changing, how we are having different ideas…, what it believes right now it takes it as ‘This is definitely true’. Tomorrow it has another idea that becomes true. One day attached to this one, one day attached to that one; one day wanting this, next day wanting something else. So many ideas of self-image are constantly changing. ‘I should be like this; I should be like that. I should live life like this. My house should be like this.’ It’s constantly changing. It’s the most unstable thing because there is no solidity in that. It is just a bundle of ideas.

And it is such a crazy thing. [Smiles] Like as our ideas change then we want everyone else’s ideas around us also to change. When we’re not spiritual, we wanted everyone else to be not spiritual. I hated my parent’s spirituality. I was like ‘Why do you waste your time every Sunday going for your sad song?’ Like that, I used to say. [Chuckles] When I became this brand of spirituality, I wanted them to have this brand of spirituality. It’s the most fickle thing. Like ‘My opinions are the best, they are the right-est. They must be true.’ And yet, they’re constantly changing.

Look at our relationships. You know, when they start it’s ‘Oh, I love you so much because we are so different. You know opposites always attract? I love the fact that you are so different.’ Just spend enough time with them, and they’re like ‘Why can’t you be little more like me? Then we could have happy life.’ Then somebody changes and become exactly likes you. And you say ‘You are so boring. There is no excitement left in our life.’ You see? [Smiles]

There is no peace to be found in that. It is constantly changing.

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Be Free of the Discriminating Intellect

I was looking for this one and I found this beautiful book. Maybe I can read a little bit from this one and then we can go to Bankei; or we’ll see how it goes. So, this book is called ‘Swampland Flowers: The letters and lectures of Zen master, Ta Hui. The first letter is called ‘Clear the Mind.’

“Buddha said, if you want to know the realm of Buddhahood, you must make your mind as clear as empty space and leave false thinking and all grasping far behind, causing your mind to be unobstructed wherever it may turn. The realm of Buddhahood is not some external world where there is a formal Buddha. It is the realm of the wisdom of an awakened Sage.”

“Once you are determined that you want to know this realm, you do not need adornment, cultivation, or realization to attain it. You must clear away the stains of afflictions from alien sensations that have been on your mind since beginning-less time, so that your mind is as broad and open as empty space.”

“Detached from all the clinging of the discriminating intellect and your false, unreal, vain thoughts, too, are like empty space. Then this wondrous effortless mind will be unimpeded wherever it goes.”

It’s very much like what we’re sharing in Satsang. I can read it again slowly.

“Buddha said, if you want to know the realm of Buddhahood, you must make your mind as clear as empty space and leave false thinking and all grasping far behind, causing your mind to be unobstructed wherever it may turn.”

Like also in the beginning of the Ashtavakra Gita, the King Janaka asked ‘What is true knowledge?’ So, this also starts in a similar way where Buddha is saying:

“If you want to know the realm of Buddhahood …” (presumably to know the Truth) “… you must make your mind as clear as empty space and leave false thinking and all grasping far behind.”

So, now we’ve been seeing this every day that when it says ‘Leave it far behind’ … it already IS That. That seemingly-difficult part is already done. You’ve left it behind now, causing your mind to be unobstructed wherever it may turn. So, there’s this big openness. Everything is allowed to come and go.

Now, many times when the Buddhists use the term ‘mind’ they are speaking of Being. They are speaking of just Being-ness. What we would call Being-ness, they would call the pure mind; and then, they would call the false mind is what we call the egoic mind or the limited mind.

“The realm of Buddhahood is not some external world where there is a formal Buddha. It is the realm of the wisdom of a self-awakened Sage.”

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So, don’t try to get it outside. Don’t try to get it as an experience. Don’t try to find this Truth or this Buddha like you will experience one object. Don’t try to find it as an objective experience; not some external world. This is what I mean by don’t try to find it by some objective experience of Truth or Buddha.

“It is the realm of the wisdom…” (or I would call it ‘the simple recognition’) “… of the Self awakened Sage. Once you are determined that you want to know this realm…”

What does it actually mean ‘determined that you want to know this realm’? It is to come to this place where you just want Truth for Truth’s sake. You don’t want a by-product, you don’t want some experience because of it, you don’t want your life to change; you just want to know This.

“…you do not need adornment, cultivation or realization to attain it.”

Once you want Truth for Truth’s sake, then no other prerequisites are there, not even realization.

“You must clear away the stains of afflictions from alien sensations that have been on your mind since beginning-less time so that your mind is as broad and empty as empty space … detached from all the clinging.”

And what is the clinging to? Clinging of the discriminating intellect. I like this verse very much because ‘the discriminating intellect and your false, unreal, vain thoughts too, are like empty space.’ So, what is the sentence?

“All you have to do is clear away these stains.”

Which are the stains? The clinging of the discriminating intellect. What is this discriminating intellect? It makes the interpretation, the judgment ‘Yes, no. Good, bad.’ We make these distinctions, these discriminations. That’s what we’ve been speaking about and that’s why I’ve been saying that those who are truly open are those who are completely with a tired intellect; who try using the intellect to get to this Truth and come to various conclusions based on their reasoning, judgment, intellect and say ‘This is it. This is not it. This is it. This is not it.’ They have tried all these tactics, all these conclusions, and they come to a place where their intellect is tired. They are seeing that ‘All these conclusions I made but I can’t rest on them.’

So, you are away from ‘the clinging of the discriminating intellect and your false, unreal, vain thoughts too are like empty space.’ They can all come and go in this empty space of You.

“Then this wondrous, effortless mind will be unimpeded wherever it goes.”

Then Your Being is just being. [Silence]

Now, this discriminating intellect is very sneaky because even upon hearing these words, it will make a judgment about them and say ‘Yes, this is what I have to do now.’ But even that conclusion is from the intellect, so let go of that also.

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Q: Father, can you make that clearer?

A:Yes, in the sense that intellect uses concepts for its conclusions. So, intellect is that which is using these concepts as evidence for its conclusions. So, then it says ‘The world is like this.’

Now, it will say ‘This is true. This, therefore, this. Yesterday, he did something which was bad so he must be a bad person.’ You see? All the inferences, all this inferring capability is intellect; it’s all mind. But if you were to make these segregations, you would say ‘reasoning, judgment’ as intellect, and you would call the appearance of just these concepts as just ‘mind’. So, it’s an aspect of the mind, in a way. It’s like our ability to reason, to discriminate between even true and false concepts. Concept is concept. And when we say ‘Yes, yes’ when we give belief, we use our intellect to discriminate between true and false. That is the intellect. So, in a way, it is to exercise the power of belief; to use our intellect. It’s using that power to give something truth value. ‘Yes, yes. No, no.’ So, these discriminations even of true and false, right and wrong, yes and no, is the intellectual capacity of the mind, in a way; of the Being, in a way.

So, if clinging to the discriminating intellect, all you have to do, according to the Sage (if there is a ‘doing’) it is to not cling to this discriminating intellect.

Q:Not to make any conclusions.

A:Yes, even of this.

Q:How does ‘doing’ and brain’s thinking use this?

A:Yes, it’s coming after this.

“The discriminating intellect and your false, unreal, vain thoughts, too, are like empty space.”

So, in the space of Your Being, the arising of these thoughts (which are all false, unreal, vain) does not affect the space so they also remain like space. When you’re not discriminating that ‘This is a thought; this is not’ then all is empty space.

It’s very nice. “Detached from all the clinging of the discriminating intellect and your false, unreal, vain thoughts, too, are like empty space.” You’re not even discriminating between thought and not-thought, like mind and no-mind. We don’t even make that distinction.

Q: What about discernment?

A:Ultimately, even discernment has to dissolve. Like, you can use discernment in the sense of

‘This is changing, therefore, it cannot be the Reality of Me.’ So, you can use this power to discern that which is the changing vs. the Unchanging, the Real vs. the unreal.

But as you come to that recognition, then even this duality of false and true, real and unreal, changing and unchanging, start to dissolve. So, discernment is a useful provisional step, wherein you would say ‘Okay, I’m really clinging onto something which is just changing. This is not going to bring any permanent joy into my life.’ You see? That can be discernment. But after a

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point, you come to this where you’re not taking the position of even making a distinction between real and unreal.

You can also forget about ‘after a point’ because we’re talking about a typical journey. But we can forget about all those notions also. Like, if you forgot about this discriminating intellect, and allowed everything to come and go, and you’re not discriminating between even space and not- space, Being and not-Being; none of these apply anymore, then …?

What does he say?

“Then this wondrous, effortless mind will be unimpeded wherever it goes.”

This is just some reassurance, some carrot; something. ‘You’ll be fine, you’ll be fine.’ But actually, then, if you let go of the discriminating intellect, then impeded, unimpeded; coming, going; all of that is just notional. This is just an answer to the mind, like ‘If I do this, then what will happen?’ which is still coming from the intellect, you see? It’s still adding inferences.

So, the Sage is reassuring you, saying, “Then this wondrous, effortless mind will be unimpeded wherever it goes.”

~ ~ ~

Swampland Flowers: The Letters and Lectures of Zen Master Ta Hui, © 1977 by J.C. Cleary, translator. Shambhala Publications, Inc., Horticultural Hall, 300 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, MA 02115 www.shambhala.com

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Without Being Stained, Yet Not Dwelling in Stainlessness

[Reading from ‘Swampland flowers’ by Zen Master Ta Hui. Second Letter: Mindlessness]

“An ancient worthy (ancient worthy: an ancient Sage) had a saying: to look for the ox one must seek out its tracks; to study the path, seek out mindlessness. Where the tracks are, so must the ox be. The path of mindlessness is easy to seek out. So-called ‘mindlessness’ is not being inert, unknowing like earth, wood, tile or stone. It means that the mind is settled and imperturbable when in contact with situations and meeting circumstances, that it does not cling to anything, but is clear in all places without hindrance or obstruction. Without being stained, yet without dwelling in the stainlessness.”

This is very nice part; I will just pause here for a moment. Many times, we get caught up in the idea. So, the Sage says, “Without hindrance or obstruction, without being stained yet without dwelling in the stainlessness.” Otherwise we can pick up the idea that ‘I must just hold onto this emptiness’ [Makes a gesture of holding on with a fist] or something like that. But it is not either; it is just completely open, completely open. Even attention goes wherever it wants.

Q:But without clinging.

A:Without the clinging.

Q:Completely open but without clinging.

A:‘Completely open’ means without clinging. Cling means to close. To close means only to cling, to attach is to be closed. Open means no clinging.

Q: That would mean effortless, also.

A:Effortless, like space. So, the Sage is using various terms to say the same thing. [Chuckles] Open, like space, unimpeded, unobstructed. All means the same thing. And not even hanging on to the idea of ‘stainlessness’.

Q:There is actually big wonder. We actually hide various things from ourselves. This stainlessness is what you’re saying; certain aspects when we feel let down by our own selves, like ‘Oh, wow this is not my basic nature’. When we’re making that conclusion like ‘It should not feel like this, it should feel so free, it should feel so happy’. And suddenly we walk out of the path, we feel like some dispassion, something. [Laughter] ‘I am not supposed to be…’ Even that ‘stainlessness’ that clarifies that.

A:I have been saying usually these days that ‘Be free from all opposites. Everything that has an opposite we can safely forget about it, even forgetting about remembering.’ See, we have to use a provisional statement and then wipe them off also. [Chuckles] Otherwise we can get stuck on the provisional statement and then take that to be the ultimate Truth or something like that. But that also has to be wiped away.

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Q:Like something has to be constantly remembered. That is really, very unstable actually.

A:Yeah, like you are caught, the mind has caught you, in that way then.

How is it just to be open?

Can we wait for a few moments and then say something?

I have often also said that ‘open’ is my favorite word. Just one word ‘open’.

Q: Effortless is what comes to me.

A:This ‘open’ is not which is open or closed, effortless or effort. It’s out of those, but just points to that, jumping out of this duality.

Q: Simple Being, no resistance.

A:Okay, now don’t report for a few minutes because we also jump to spiritual conclusions that we got from so-called prior experience.

Just remain fully open.

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Tend the Ox

[Reading from ‘Swampland Flowers’ by Zen Master Ta Hui. Letter: Tend the Ox.]

“Since you are studying this path then, at all times, in your encounters with people and responses to circumstances, you must not let wrong thoughts continue. If you cannot see through them, then the moment the wrong thought comes up…” (Okay, we will see. We might have to review this one a bit.) “If you cannot see thought them, then the moment the wrong thought comes up, you should quickly concentrate your mental energy to pull yourself away. If you always follow these thoughts and let them continue without a break then not only does this obstruct the path but it makes you out to be a man without wisdom.” [Smiles]

“In the old days Queue Shaun asks Lazy Ann…” [Laughter in the room]

“… Queue Shaun asks Lazy Ann, ‘What work do you do during twenty-four hours of the day?” Ann said ‘I tend an Ox.’

Queue Shaun said ‘How do you tend it?’

Ann said ‘Whenever it gets into the grass, I pull it back by the nose.’ [Smiles] Queue Shaun said ‘You are really tending the ox.’”

“People who study the path in controlling wrong thoughts should like lazy Ann tending his Ox. Then gradually, a wholesome ripening will take place of itself.”

‘Then gradually, a wholesome ripening will take place of itself.’ This passage is similar to what Bhagavan [Sri Raman Maharshi] said in terms of ‘As long as it feels like effort, make the effort then one day you will see that this is also grace.’ Because many times, we can get into this sort of mental ‘non-doership.’ Like ‘Who am I to not believe my thoughts?’ [Chuckles] ‘I am not the doer.’ This kind of ‘too much’ conceptual Advaita.

Sangha: Position.

A:That’s like you make a position, you see. So just, if it feels like a bit of an effort to step back from these positions or when you at least caught that ‘Ah, this was a position’ just notice that without applying a position on top of it. ‘Oh, that just happened, and it’s fine’ or something like that. It is neither fine nor not fine. Just noticing it is enough. But not to make a conclusion about yourself based on that; even the conclusion that ‘Either I am the doer or not-doer.’ Because this use of Advaita knowledge to make positions then becomes very sticky. [Smiles] So, even now some of you might be holding this ‘But, but, but …, but this what I was going to say.’ [Chuckles] Like that. You can see that it’s just the mind. Just your noticing is enough. You don’t have to take a shovel to dig it out. You don’t have to do anything. There is no such shovel anyway. [Smiles] But don’t add onto more concepts about yourself based on what you have learned spiritually.

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‘Intelligent People’ Make Conceptual Knowledge Their Home

[Reading from ‘Swampland Flowers’ by Zen Master Ta Hui. Letter: The Mind’s Conceptual Discrimination]

“The obstruction of the path by the mind and its conceptual discrimination is worse than poisonous snakes or fierce tigers. Why? Because poisonous snakes and fierce tigers can still be avoided whereas intelligent people make the mind’s conceptual discrimination their home, so there’s never a single instant, whether they are walking, sitting, standing or lying down, that they are not having dealings with it. As time goes on, unknowing and unaware, they become one piece with it. And not because they want to either, but because since beginning-less time they have followed this one little road until it becomes set and familiar. Though they see through it for a moment and wish to detach from it, they still can’t. Thus, it is said that poisonous snakes or fierce tigers can still be avoided but the mind’s conceptual discrimination truly has no place for you to escape.”

I very much like this one, it’s a bit strong but sometimes it’s good to shake things up a bit.

He says, “The obstruction of the path by the mind and its conceptual discrimination is worse than poisonous snakes or fierce tigers.” You know what this is? We talked about this conceptual discrimination, this intellectual distinction; making distinctions between [things], making our judgments, giving truth or value or not to things. Why?

“As intelligent people make the mind’s conceptual discrimination their home. So, there’s never a single instant, whether they are walking, standing, sitting or lying down, that they are not having dealings with it. As time goes on, unknowing and unaware they become one piece with it. And not because they want to either but because since beginning-less time they have followed this one little road until it becomes set and familiar. Though they see through it for a moment and wish to detach from it, they still can’t. Thus, it is said that poisonous snakes or fierce tigers can still be avoided but the minds conceptual discrimination truly has no place for you to escape.”

You see, within itself, there is no escape. You cannot escape this conceptualizing mind using the conceptualizing mind itself or using another conclusion. At best, at best they are (the term I’ve been using often today is) ‘provisional truth’ …, like the thorn, as Bhagavan [Sri Ramana Maharshi] would say; a self-destructive thorn.

But mostly what happens, the ‘intelligent people’ as he calls them, feel that the freedom from this trap will also be in a concept. Like I’ve been saying, if you were sleeping and your father had to wake you up, then the words that he’s using to wake you up are just words that’s he’s using to wake you up. They are by themselves not some truth. They are not themselves to be held onto. It is your waking up which is important. That’s exactly what Guruji [Sri Mooji] means ‘Don’t make tattoos out of my words’ because all Masters are using them provisionally. Because it is not in the words; the Truth is not in the words. It can point to them. At their best, they can point to that; at their worst, they are just traps, in a way; they are just limited boundaries. Like the Sage said, “…they follow this one little road until it becomes set and familiar.” We just feel that our

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approach to life is to try and resolve it mentally. Even our spiritual quest, we feel we have to resolve it mentally; that until we come to a mental resolution, it won’t be resolved.

Q: It can start mentally.

A:Yes, like all quests, in a way, it started with an idea of what should happen. You are in class three then you have to go to class four; you see, it’s an old familiar road. You go into class, you learn certain things, you learn them well enough that you are able to reproduce them, then you move onto the next class. Like that. So, this freedom thing…, we get into it thinking it will be like that. ‘Once I know enough about the Truth then I can clear the enlightenment certification. Done!’ You see, like that.

This is a strange type of class [Satsang] where it’s ‘You learnt that? Okay, you leave that also behind.’ … ‘You learnt that from this class? Then you leave that also behind.’ Many times, initially, the protest can be ‘But you told me!’ [The Master says]: ‘Yeah, I know, but leave it.’ Or you’ll bring out the big guns and say ‘Bhagavan said, Maharajah said…! [Chuckling]

Yeah, but still (a little meekly) I have to say ‘Leave it behind.’ Because all that we remember. But Bhagavan said: ‘All these are also just thorns, ultimately meant to be thrown away.’

[Sangha member quotes]: ‘When you see Buddha on the way, kill him.’

A:But my way is a bit different: Let him come and go. [Laughter in the room] Because to kill him also becomes a very strong position. Then you’re waiting for the Buddha to come, and … [makes an action of catching the Buddha]

Some who are attracted to a more sort of rebellious kind of spirituality can also make that into a position. ‘Look at this one trying to make a holy place for himself, I’m just going to kill him! I’ll prove to him!’ You know, this kind of thing. Then that can also become very personal. What was meant originally was: Let go of your objective version of the Truth or freedom. If you feel like you will find the Buddha externally, forget about it, that’s not what the Buddha is. It is your natural, unobstructed Being. That’s what ‘kill him’ meant. But we take it very literally, like we apply it to this phenomenal world.

So, those who have traversed the path of their intellect very diligently in their lives, sometimes it can feel to them like they rely on it a bit longer, because they feel like this is what has helped them in the past. ‘It got me through this problem and this problem so now I’ll leave this problem of my spirituality also with the intellect and one day it will say: I am Brahman itself.’ You see, something… ‘And that will be it. With that knowledge I will be free.’

But what can the intellect do with non-conceptual knowing? At best, it can make some fancy statements about it in the negative, like ‘It cannot be this way, it cannot be that way’.

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There Is Nothing to Attain

We are reading from this book called ‘Swampland Flowers: The Letters and Lectures of Zen Master Ta Hui.’ We are starting with this letter which is called ‘There Is Nothing to Attain.’

“Gentlemen of affairs often take the mind, which assumes there is something to attain, to seek the Dharma, wherein there is nothing to attain. What do I mean by ‘the mind which assumes there is something to attain’? It is the intellectually clever one, the one that ponders and judges.

What do I mean by ‘the Dharma, wherein there is nothing to attain’? It is the imponderable, incalculable, where there is no way to apply intelligence or cleverness.”

“Haven’t you read of old Sakyamuni at the assembly of The Lotus of the True Dharma? Three times Shariputra earnestly entreated him to preach, but there was simply no way for him to begin. Afterwards, using all his power, he managed to say that ‘This Dharma is not something that can be understood by thought or discrimination.’ This was old Shakyamuni taking this matter to its ultimate conclusion, opening the gateway of expedient means as the starting point for the teaching of the true nature of Reality.”

“In the old day days Hsueh Feng, the truly awakened Ch’an master, was so earnest about this matter that he went to Mt. T’ou Tzu three times and climbed Mt. Tung Shan nine times. Circumstances were not met for him in those places however. So, later when he heard the teachings of Chou, Master of Adamantine Wisdom Scripture on Te Shan, he went to his abode. One day he asked Te Shan, ‘In the custom of the school that has come down from high antiquity, what doctrine is used to instruct people?’ Te Shan said, ‘Our school has no verbal expression, nor does it have any doctrine to teach people.’ Later Hsueh Feng also asked, ‘Do I have any share in the business of vehicle of this ancient school?’ Te Shan picked up his staff and immediately hit him, saying, ‘What are you saying?’ Under this blow, Hsueh Feng finally smashed. the lacquer bucket of his ignorance. From this, we observer that in this sect, intelligence and cleverness, thought and judgement, are of no use at all.”

“An ‘Ancient worthy’ had a saying: ‘Transcendent wisdom is like a great mass of fire. Approach it and it burns off your face.’ If you hesitate in thought and speculations, you immediately fall into the conceptual discrimination. Yung Chia said, ‘Loss of the wealth of the Dharma and destruction of virtue, all stems from the mind’s conceptual discrimination.’ Hence, we know that the mind’s conceptual discrimination not only obstructs the Path but also can make people mistaken and confused, so they do all kind of things that are no good.”

“Once you have intent to investigate this Path to the end, you must settle your resolve and vow to the end your days not to retreat or fall back so long as you have yet not reached the Great Rest, the Great Liberation. There is not much to the Buddha Dharma, but it is always hard to find capable people. The concerns of worldly passions are the like the links of a chain, joining together without a break. Those whose resolve is weak and inferior, time and again, willingly become involved in them: unknowing, unaware, they are dragged along with them. Only if the person truly possesses the faculty of wisdom and will-power will he consent to step back and reflect.”

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“Yung Chia also said, ‘The real nature of ignorance is identical to the nature of enlightenment; the empty body of illusory transformations is identical to the body of Reality. Once you have awakened, there is not a single thing in the body of Reality. Original inherent nature is the natural, real enlightened one”.

“If you think like this, suddenly in the place where thought cannot reach, you will see the body of Reality in which there is not a single thing. This is the place for you to get out of birth and death. What I said before, that one cannot seek the Dharma, which has nothing to attain, with the attitude that there is something to attain, is just this principle.”

“Gentlemen of affairs make their living within the confines of thoughts and judgments their whole lives. As soon as they hear the man of knowledge speak of the Dharma in which there is nothing to attain, in their hearts, there is doubt and confusion and they fear falling into emptiness. Whenever I see someone talking like this, I immediately ask him, ‘Is this one who fears falling into emptiness, himself empty or not?’ Ten out of ten cannot explain. Since you have always taken thought and judgement as your nesting place, as soon as you hear it said that you shouldn’t think, immediately you are at a loss and can’t find your grip. You are far from realizing that this very ‘lack of anywhere to get a grip’ is the time for you to let go of your body and your life.”

Ananta: I repeat this part.

“Since you have always taken thoughts and judgment as your nesting place, as soon as you hear it said that you shouldn’t think, immediately you are at a loss and can’t find your grip. You are far from realizing that this very ‘lack of anywhere to get a grip’ is the time for you to let go of your body and your life.”

“Tun-li my friend in the Path, when we met in the Pien in 1126, you were of mature age and already knew of the existence of the Great Matter. But with your vast erudition, you have entered too deeply into the Nine [Confucian] classics and the Seventeen Histories. You are too brilliant and your lines of reasoning are too many whereas your powers of stable concentration are too few. You are being dragged along by your daily activities as you respond to the circumstances; thus, you are unable to make a clean break right where you stand.”

“If correct mindfulness is present, at all times and the attitude of fear for birth and death doesn’t waver, then over the long days and months, what is unfamiliar will naturally become familiar. And what was stale will naturally become fresh. But what is the stale? It is the brilliance and cleverness; that which thinks and judges. What is the unfamiliar? It is enlightenment, the Nirvana, true Thus-ness, the true Buddha nature, where there is no thought or discrimination, where figuring and calculating cannot reach, where there is no way for you to use your mental arrangements.”

“Suddenly the time arrives. You may be on a story of an Ancient’s entry into the Path or it may be, as you are reading the scriptures or perhaps during your daily activities as you respond to circumstances, whether your condition is good or not good or your body and mind are scattered and confused, whether favorable or adverse conditions are present or whether you have

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temporarily quieted the mind’s conceptual discrimination, when you suddenly topple the key link, there will be no mistake about it.”

Ananta: Very beautiful letter, I felt. Of course, the ways the Masters speak will always have different expressions and things, but as the Sage is saying don’t judge that too much; don’t worry. What happens when you try to build a very solid conceptual framework, if anything sounds a bit contrary to what our idea of the truth is, we feel like ‘This is not good.’

This is very beautiful. This passage is really very nice:

“The real nature of ignorance is identical to the nature of enlightenment.

The empty body of illusory transformation is identical of the body of Reality.”

What is he pointing to? Even this distinction, these discriminations, these differences are the functioning of our discriminating intellect.

So, once we leave this one behind, then what distinction can we make?

As I keep saying: In the Right Now, the Absolute Truth is apparent to You … (but not to your mind).

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Right Now, The Absolute Truth Is Apparent to You

In the Right Now, the Absolute Truth is apparent to You. But not to your mind.

So, who can speak of what they find, without their mind, without this discriminating intellect? What is Here Now? I say it is the Absolute Truth. What is your discovery?

If this key unlocks you, then it’s a very, very good short cut.

If the Truth was just apparent to You Now, then what is needed from the future? Then, do we need a plan or a strategy?

It’s worthy to investigate this.

Why does this one keep saying: The Truth is apparent to You Now?

You mind will come up with all sort of silliness. It will say ‘He must be talking about his state or he must be speaking from the ultimate position. He must be this, he must be that.’ [Smiles] None of that.

The Truth is just very simply apparent to You Now.

Whether you call it the Self, the Absolute, God, Buddha nature, it doesn’t matter.

So, what is apparent to You Now?

The only word of advice is: Don’t use your intellect. Without that…?

Q: Existing.

A:But does this existing have an opposite, like not existing?

Q:No.

A:If you have think about it, it doesn’t. [Chuckles] It’s just like saying ‘I Am, I just Am, I Am what, I can’t say.’… ‘Or ‘What this is, I cannot say. Why this is? I can definitely not say.’

So, because the Sage said ‘We have made a nesting place in our intellect in our mind’ it can seem like a strange place to come to. He has a very beautiful pointer, where he said [Reading from text] “Since you have always taken thought and judgment as your nesting place, as soon as you hear it said that you shouldn’t think, immediately you are at a loss and can’t find your grip. You’re far from realising that this very lack of anywhere to get a grip is the time for you to let go of your body and your life.”

So, this ‘lack of getting anywhere to get a grip’ is the perfect time for you. It’s only because our resting place or nesting place is been this mind and intellect that you feel like it’s wobbly and you let go of it. But this is the perfect opportunity.

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So, what is apparent to You Now … without making any distinction? Without using any terminology, not even (especially not) Satsang terminology. You see, that becomes like a resting place. We have made a nice nest with all the concepts about ‘Consciousness, Awareness and what I have to do to stay there.’ So, don’t rest even in that. Don’t make any conclusion, any judgment.

What is Your in sight about this Now …, not your inference?

Who are You without your mind?

Do you have to go to the mind for the answer?

Who are you without your thoughts?

(For a few moments, don’t worry about ‘What do I do with my thoughts?’ Just like this and then we will decide later. I promise we’ll figure it out. I’ll tell you what you can do with them.)

Have no position about anything at all.

You don’t have to go into any special states.

You don’t take on any position, including the meditator, for now.

Just a simple openness.

Just Your beautiful spaciousness.

You don’t have to hold on to anything or let go of anything.

Your attention can go wherever it wants.

You’re not trying to control anything at all.

Fully open.

You’re not trying to remain inside.

You’re not trying to go outside.

All your senses can function as they are functioning.

Not trying to focus or de-focus.

No grasping at anything at all.

And no holding back.

Nothing to be added or removed.

No concept of staying or leaving.

Nothing is happening or not happening.

If it feels wobbly, let it wobble.

If it feels still, let it be still.

Make no distinction between them.

Not trying to get to something.

Not pushing anything away.

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If you are resting for a moment on a conclusion, just notice it.

Don’t push anything away. Simply notice.

Allow it to simply loosen its grip on its own.

You’re not figuring out anything at all.

You’re not having any insight or no insight.

You’re not concerned about all that comes and goes.

No desire, no aversion.

All comes and goes.

All circumstances are the same.

No distinction, good or bad.

This is Your Notionless Existence,

where the even the concepts ‘I have to remain’ (or not) don’t apply.

No strategy.

No tactics.

No cleverness of any sort is needed.

Let it all go.

Just remain open to whatever comes and goes.

What is apparent to You Now?

Without your mind, without judgment.

Without anything happening or not happening.

Have you gotten something that you can keep?

Are you getting something that you can keep?

Can you lose this in any way?

Just open.

Conclusion-less, label-less, notion-less.

If your mind is struggling, it’s okay.

If it’s quiet, it’s okay.

Everything is just okay.

Open at all levels.

If the world is poking, it’s okay.

If it’s pleasant, it’s okay.

Same for the body; it’s also part of the appearance of the world.

Same for the mind, emotions.

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Don’t worry about what they are or what they are not.

Don’t label them.

Don’t shy away from them

No grasping or looking away.

Everything is just what it’s.

All perceptions, all sensations can come and go in Your vastness as You are open.

‘What is next?’ doesn’t mean anything. ‘What is now?’ also doesn’t mean anything. Neither is it meaningless.

The term does not apply.

What might seem like it’s the most relevant question or doubt now, just let it come and go.

If truly inquired into, you will see that it’s empty of any substance. It’s only full of contradictions.

If you feel that you are caught up again, don’t worry about it.

If you have left everything, don’t worry about it.

Make no conclusions about your state.

Nothing to feel guilty or proud about.

There is no success or failure.

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Is the One Fearing Emptiness Is Itself Empty or Not?

We read earlier [From ‘Swampland Flowers: The Letters and Lectures of Zen Master Ta Hui]:

“Those who make their living within the confines of thought and judgment their whole lives, as soon as they hear a man of knowledge speak of the Dharma, in which there is nothing to attain, in their hearts there is doubt and confusion and they fear falling into emptiness. Whenever I see someone like this I immediately ask: Is this one who fears falling into emptiness, themselves empty or not?”

‘Is this one, who fears falling into emptiness, themselves empty or not?’ …, this is a common doubt, isn’t it? It’s a common report that ‘I fear my dissolution’ or ‘I fear falling into this unknown.’ That one that has this fear, what is the substance of that one?

“… is the one who fears falling into emptiness, himself empty or not? Ten out of ten cannot explain. Since you’ve always taken thought and judgment as your nesting place, as soon as you hear it said that you shouldn’t think, immediately you’re at a loss and can’t find your grip. You’re far from realizing the very ‘lack of anywhere to get a grip’ is the time for you to let go of your body and your life.”

Beautiful; very, very beautiful. Because as you let go of this mind, you might quickly pick up the mind again and say ‘But I’m finding nothing’ or there can be some fear about dissolution. ‘You’re far from realizing this very lack of anywhere to get a grip’ …, not finding a grip, you see? What to hold into? ‘Is this Brahman?’ The Master says no. ‘Is this Awareness that we speak of?’ Forget about it. No grip; nothing to hold on to.

A:Then the mind will throw all its doubts. ‘But, but, but…’ When I say to you that the Truth is apparent to You Now, the Complete Truth, the Highest that any Sage has ever found is apparent to You, Right Now, fully! …, but apparent [only] when it is uninterpreted, unjudged. [Silence] And this ‘Now’ is not like the ‘Now I’m in Satsang’. It is apparent to You at all times. There is no time in which this is not true. Only our intellect clouds it, our judgments, our interpretations, our labels …, they seem to cloud it; but not really. The Sage says ‘When you’re told to not think…’ These days we don’t say ‘Don’t think’ because you will think so much about that. ‘What do you think about not thinking?’ [Chuckles] We simply say: Let it come and go.

The only struggle is that you’ve made a nesting place out of your mind. And to live without conclusions seems alien right now. To let go of your body and your life doesn’t mean that you have to let go of everything physically. You don’t have to renounce anything. Let go of your concepts about it; the idea of control over life, the idea of identification as a body, the idea even to attain freedom for the body.

If I was handing out freedom today, who would be there to receive it? Can I give it to the body? You might raise your hand and say ‘I would like some if you don’t mind’ [Chuckles] but can I give it to that body? Show me the one that can get this freedom.

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The Real Nature of Ignorance

[Reading from ‘Swampland Flowers: The Letters and Lectures of Zen Master Ta Hui]:

“When we cease to make distinctions, what happens?” (He is mentioning that the Sage, the Master Yung Chi, also said): ‘The real nature of ignorance is identical to the nature of enlightenment.”

This is explosive, you see? Because for the seeker, this discrimination is held onto very tightly.

“The empty body of illusory transformations is identical to the body of Reality.”

What a thing to say. As you are beyond your conceptual discrimination, then we are not distinguishing between the world and Self … [Looks around the room in silence] … we’re not distinguishing between even illusion and Reality. We cannot understand this. We can try and tire ourselves out, which is also fine. But the distinctions between Being and not-Being, appearance and Reality, Self and Maya, all of these have also been made with the intellect.

“If you think like this, suddenly in the place where thought cannot reach, you will see the body of Reality, in which there is not a single thing. That is the place for you to get out of birth and death. What I said before; that one cannot seek the Dharma, which has nothing to attain, with an attitude that there is something to attain.”

If you keep chasing, if you keep taking the position of trying to attain something, how do you find ‘That’ in which there is no attainment? And you cannot be clever be about these things. If you become clever about it and say ‘Okay, I’m just going to stop searching now and that way I will get it’ that is also a form of searching then. A very tired sort of searching. [Chuckles] So, you cannot keep these ploys, these tactics. That is what the Sage was talking about; about cleverness.

If you are trying to clean up the garbage in the room, if you keep adding garbage to it, when will it get clean? It might seem like it is a better sort of garbage. Like it might seem like spiritual garbage, but it’s still a concept; still garbage, nonetheless. So, at best, what the Master brings to your room is that which can clean this up. But if you make a storehouse of what the Master brings to your room, then it will also add to the clutter in the room already. The Master is bringing a new vacuum cleaner every day, and we make a store of vacuum cleaners. [Chuckles]

Let it all go. Or keep one vacuum cleaner. [Laughter] If you feel like letting it all go is too much, then, at best, keep one vacuum cleaner. ‘Who Am I?’ is good vacuum cleaner. ‘Guru Kripa Kevalam’ is a good vacuum cleaner. Don’t make a vacuum cleaner museum. ‘I have my special display case: ‘I am the Absolute.’ [Laughs] All this doesn’t help.

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Just Notice the Coming and Going of the Mind

[Reading from ‘Swampland Flowers: The Letters and Lectures of Zen Master Ta Hui]:

“An ancient worthy had a saying ‘Transcendent wisdom is like a great mass of fire. Approach it and it burns off your face. If you hesitate in your thought…” (that means using thought and speculation) “… you will immediately fall into conceptual discrimination.”

Like Guruji [Sri Mooji] sometimes say ‘Just jump in. Just jump in.’ Just with the innocence of the child, if you were to say ‘You come and suck my finger. You come suck my finger, you are free.’ But, if you start to think about it ‘Hey, what is this? Did you wash your hand?’ this kind of stuff, then … It is a nice simple example. The Master is saying ’Let go. Do not worry about anything. Just let go.’ … ‘What will happen if I let go? Am I really letting go properly or not?’ We fall in to that sort of thing where we start thinking about it. Just let go.

Then we have thoughts about thoughts; meta-thoughts. ‘Oh, look at these thoughts that keep coming. Oh, but my mind is like this. But belief just happens on its own.’ All of these.

Just let it go.

Let it come and let it go.

Don’t even distinguish between ‘come’ and ‘go’.

Q: When you say ‘let it go’ actually the mind wants to do something to let it go.

A:This is the thing. [Smiles] This is exactly we are speaking of. ‘How do I let it go?’ This meta- mind about the mind itself?

Let that also come and go. All its judgments, all its strategies, all its tactics, its techniques about even how to let go: Let it come and go.

If you are not identified with, what the mind is trying to do, then there is no struggle with that. Now of course the mind will also say ‘Okay, how do I stop identifying?’ You see, like this. [Smiles] It’s just a thought. It comes, it goes. Or maybe I can make it simple:

Just simply notice the coming and going of the mind.

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There Are No Two [Advaita]

A: So, ‘Advaita’ means what?

Sangha: Literally, not two.

A:Not two. And if this ‘not two’ is a pointer, then do we need any other pointer? [Smiles] Not two means there are no two. So, all our divisions, distinctions, must be all imaginary, made up. Because there are no two. [Smiles] And beyond even not two, it means actually that there are no distinctions at all.

What is our life without distinctions? [Silence] What are our stories? They are just stories of division, separation, distinction. You make no distinction between past, presents, and future, between something that has already happened or is going to happen.

I saw a beautiful quote from Maharaj [Sri Nisargadatta] the other day. It said that ‘I realized that I had let go of my certainties.’ Now, the things that we are so certain about (in a way; I speak like this) …, all our knowing is all the things that we think we are right about.

And in every one of these certainties, you make a certain reference to a ‘me’, a certain reference to an individual entity. And if there is an individual entity then that cannot be ‘Advaita; not two.’ So, there is space only for (if you want to give it a term, you can say) God or the Self. But there is no space for ‘me’ then.

As great Indian Sage Raheem had said ‘This lane is very narrow; the lane of love is very narrow. If there is a ‘me’ then God cannot be. If there is God then there can be no ‘me.’ Both cannot pass though.’

As I sometimes simply say: Consciousness exists in this realm in only one of two modes. [Chuckles] One is ‘God now’ and the other is ‘mee-oww.’ This ‘me’ is the realm of distinction, division, separation. ‘Me’ implies ‘other’ also automatically.

And it is not that we have to get to ‘God now.’ Actually, we are trying to get to the ‘me’ over and over again, and failing. Trying to get to the ‘me’ over and over again.

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The Self Needs Nothing

The Self needs nothing. But for Self to play as if it is a limited entity, It has to give assent to this idea; it has to agree to play in this field.

And in your notionlessness, Right Now, in that moment of notionlessness, You are free …, as free as any Sage is.

The Sage is not saying that ‘You have to work hard to become like I am or to find what I have discovered.’ The Sage is only saying ‘Stop working so hard to become something that You can never be’ … which is this limited idea about yourself. Your Self is never hidden, never concealed. It is ever-present, ever-available, ever-apparent. It may only seem difficult if you try to catch it this way: [touching his nose with his hand around his head] If this is the Self [touches his nose] and your try to catch this way [wraps his hand around his head to touch his nose] … where you first pick up the individual identity and then try to become the Self; first posing as a limited one and then wanting to have God, it is like this idea that ‘I have to hold up my nose and that too like this: [wraps his hand around his head to touch his nose] That just means it is held up.

God is just Here.

More natural than keeping up that nose on your face is your Truth.

Now, first you want to be a seeker and then get to Truth? Or can we drop this in our innocence, all these ideas? You are not going to get a new nose. You are not going to get anything new. At best, it is a recognition of what already IS.

So, ‘What Is’ … without a notion?

Can there be distinction without a notion?

If Advaita is not two (which means no distinction) it is naturally This.

It is only that this idea of getting, getting, getting, seems to be so deeply ingrained in us that if I say ‘The Truth is ever-present: You are It Right Now, and it is apparent to You’ … mostly the notion that still ends up getting belief is ‘Am I getting this? I hope I’ve got it now.’ But it’s not about that at all. The concept of getting or not getting does not apply. But because we have been taught that ‘If you do steps 1-2-3-4-5 (and then these are the fireworks that happen along with those steps) then you will be able to hold up your nose one day. Now, we have this idea.

So, the Master is basically showing you a mirror, saying ‘See, it’s already all fine. Your nose is right where it supposed to be.’ [Chuckles]

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What Is the Ultimate Truth?

[Reading from chat]: “What is the Ultimate Truth, of That who never gives Satsang, beloved Father? Last question from the Self before it dissolves itself.”

A:The ultimate Truth is that: There is no difference between the Ultimate Truth and the Ultimate falsehood. Whatever Truth that our intellect can fathom is no different from any falsehood that the intellect can fathom.

Beyond right and wrong, beyond bondage and freedom, beyond Being and not-Being, Self and not-Self:

What can you gather there?

What will you understand Here Now that will survive your death?

Will you take concepts with you?

What is going to happen to your basket of truths?

What happens to them in the night when you sleep?

I feel to say to all of you: Stop seeking. And I also feel to say to all of you: Don’t give up the search. What are you going to do now?

What I am saying? I’m saying that the notion does not apply to You. So, the opposites are as true or as false. I have been saying this a few times but I wonder whether really it is getting through. It is just that when we are just caught up in duality, if something is asserted to be false then the opposite of that seems automatically seen to be true. So, if it is not this way, then we make the inference ‘Therefore, it’s that way’.

So, let’s take an example. If I say that ‘You can never be bound’ will you leave it as that? Or will you then claim that ‘I must be ever-free; this, therefore that’? But what I am actually saying then gets missed because what I’m saying is: Bondage and freedom actually does not apply to You. Beyond the notions of, the possibility of, being bound or free. All of these are still individual references.

Who are we talking about then?

If You are free, who could you be talking about?

So my invitation for to you is to then step back from this duality. Allow all opposites to fight among themselves if they want. You remain uninvolved. Because nothing that can be this or that actually applies to You … (unless you first pick up an idea that ‘I am just this’). And your mind will object; it will say ‘This is not fair. I came to Satsang for Truth.’ You see? ‘I came to Satsang for Truth.’ But this is the Truth. There is no difference between Your notion-less-ness, Your freedom, Your Truth and the Self. They are all the same.

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Test This: The Truth Is Apparent to You Now

A:How many are testing my… (my what?) [Chuckling] … my thesis? How many are testing my thesis that: The Truth that everyone is presumably looking for is not just Here … (which should be obvious by now that it is) … but it is also apparent?

How will you test whether it is apparent or not? This is an important question. I say that the Truth is apparent to you Now, especially when you’re empty of any notion about yourself. How will you test this then?

Sangha: You have to see if you have to do anything to recognize it.

A:Yes, good. So, do you? He says that you don’t have to do anything to recognize it. It’s apparent then.

Sangha: It’s just Here.

A:It’s just Here. It’s just Here, without even the claim that it is the Truth or something. Very obvious and apparent but not sitting here like ‘Oh I’m the Truth sitting here’ or something. Then even the label ‘Truth’ falls away.

The Truth is not sitting here being ‘truthy’ or something, or waiting to be recognized.

Now ‘That Which Is’ …, which words can capture it or which idea can encapsulate it? Like for phenomenal things, we can look at this mic and I can say that it is silver in color, it is round in shape, it has a base upon which it rests; this camera is like this, it is standing on a tripod. You can say various things about it, which seem phenomenally accurate. Now for This (we’ll use the word provisionally) Truth, which is apparent, what can we use to describe it? Which quality can we say it has?

Sangha: Presence.

A:Presence. And? Sangha: It’s Self-aware

A:It’s Self-aware, okay. Sangha: Isness.

A:Isness. [Silence] But you notice that when we say ‘Presence’ or we say ‘It is Self-aware’ or we say ‘It is the Isness Itself’ qualitatively these are different from ‘It is silver in color, round in shape, black, white’ all of these things. What is that difference?

Sangha: It doesn’t have a form or shape.

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A:It doesn’t have a form or shape, therefore it is not perceived in that way, like phenomenal objects. And if it is not perceived in this way (phenomenally) then how is it known? (Again, I’m using the term ‘known’ in a provisional way.)

Possibly my favorite question of all time, which is: Are you aware now? And your assertion ‘Yes’ …, where does that come from? What is the basis of that?

Sangha: The moment you try to answer, the words themselves seem to corrupt it.

A:Yeah. Like, what could an answer be? What is a corrupting answer? Sangha: Words confuse it.

A:Yeah. They don’t seem to actually describe it. Sangha: It’s essential.

A:Essential as in ‘must be’? Or essential as in ‘full of essence’? Sangha: Both.

[Silence]

A:Now whatever we might say, Presence, Isness, Awareness … (all of these terms also have qualitative differences actually) but really, if you were to keep even these distinctions aside, what could we say that we need to get? … or find? …or become?

And if there’s nothing that we need to get or find or become, then you’ll notice that all the offers from the mind are only about getting, finding or becoming; either in the positive or in the negative.

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There’s No Identification Unless Notions Are Believed

Okay, let’s make it easier. So, there is body/mind and … what else is there?

S: Perceptions of body/mind.

A:There is a perception of it. And who is the perceiver?

S:Consciousness.

A:Consciousness. What is this Consciousness? To be, to exist, Being, I Am-ness, Consciousness.

But even the term ‘Being’ has an opposite, which is ‘Being and not-Being’. So, these are states for whom? Like ‘I Am’ and just ‘I’ without ‘Am’ …, even ‘to be or not to be’ is for whom?

My Master [Sri Mooji] says ‘Before I Am’ …, or the Sages have even said ‘Forget about Consciousness.’ Of course, it depends on how we use the term. If we use the term in this way, that Consciousness implies Being, I Am-ness, then it is definitely up for exploration as to who is this ‘I’ that is Being? And can this ‘I’ also NOT be?

Now, already we have said that the body/mind instrument cannot help with this. So, the mind’s concepts, the sensory perceptions, they cannot help with this recognition. What other way can you recognize? The senses can’t help. Then, what can? What is left?

S:It’s not like an inference process but then finally you see that the inference itself is happening.

A:He says it’s an inference process and then you see the inference process. So, what is this ‘Seeing’? That is the question.

S: It is not normal seeing.

A:Yeah, so he says it’s not normal seeing, which means it is not sensory perception. Then what kind of seeing is it?

S:It’s just how we are aware of all these things. There has to be something that sees. Mentally it takes you to a point where you see that everything is being perceived, so there has to be somebody seeing it and it’s not the body or the mind. And then sometimes you visualize yourself being a point; everything is around you. You’re a point and you disappear into nothingness. Or the other extreme is that you are everywhere.

A:So, either of these is seen by whom? Like either you disappear into nothingness or you just see that you are everywhere; both of these are seen by which one?

S: The One that is Here Now. Cannot describe that.

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A:It is the in-describable One. What is Its relationship with you?

S:I Am That.

A:You Are That. So, now, is there any way in which you can NOT be That?

Also, then, is there any distinction between the seer and the seen?

And if there is, then what is needed for that distinction to seem like it is valid?

Let’s experiment with this now. So, there is a Seeing which is untouched. Let us call that ‘Seer’ for the moment. And there is all this that is seen; the manifest. So, is there naturally a division or distinction?

S:There is no natural distinction; except later when you contemplate it, you realize that in the waking state, it’s one. Then in the other states, whatever it is, it’s still there.

A:Let’s see about this part. In the waking state, it’s one, so there is no distinction. Or there is a distinction (you were saying)?

S:It seems to be that. Because whatever you perceive, you Know that You Are, because you perceive things. It’s … I don’t know, I can’t explain.

A:This is valid [to look into]. You Know that You Are because you perceive things. If one by one, all your senses started going away (sight went away, hearing went away, smell went away, touch went away, and taste went away) then by which sense would you know that you do not exist? Like, by which sense going away … would you now NOT know … that you existed?

S:Re-phrase. It’s more of seeing the phenomenal things; and they cannot be seen without That.

A:Yes, yes. What I’m saying is that nothing is seen. Suppose this room became completely dark now and all the sounds vanished and no taste was there, no touch was there; you were in this special chamber. Would you not know that you exist?

You would still know. This Knowing is separate from conceptual knowing and perceptual knowing; is independent of our sensory perceptions or even of this seeming-inner perception of memory, imagination, all of these. We don’t actually need objects to confirm our existence. In fact, in the other way, it is more naturally said that: We never perceive an object unless we Are.

Now, we’re exploring this Knowingness, which is independent of any concept or any perception; that means independent of any inferences and what is visibly seen. And (let’s use this term for now) … this Knowingness, what does it mean for this idea of me?

S:It’s just an appearance.

A:The ‘me’ is? Is it even an appearance?

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S: The body is.

A:Yeah, sensations, perceptions are appearing. But even in the appearance of these sensations and perceptions, is there a ‘me’ found there?

S: It keeps coming.

A:[Smiles] Yes, it keeps coming. In what way? So, if it is not found perceptually …, like can you find the one who wants freedom, for example? Perceptually, as an object, find the one that wants freedom. You can say ‘It is the body, obviously; the body wants freedom.’ But the body is free. Nothing is binding the body at the moment. The sensations are free; they come and they go freely. So, even perceptually, like visibly, can we say ‘I am this me’? We can’t find it.

So, this is very strange, isn’t it? … that the one that seems to get so much allegiance in life and we seem to be catering to all the needs of ‘me’ for so long (seemingly) yet we cannot even find it this way. And the One that is being pointed to be in Satsang: that One you cannot miss. Isn’t that astounding that the person that we seem to want to be rid of so much, in a way, which is also personal, that one we cannot even locate. And the Self we seem to searching for, the Self- realization, we cannot miss. Then, why does it seem like a struggle? What is the seeker of them? If we cannot miss this, then what is that we are seeking?

S: We are having fun.

A:We are having fun. [Chuckles] I’ll be very happy if that was true …, if you mean

Consciousness is having fun playing this Leela.

That is why the Sages found that there is one very direct route, if a route is needed, which is to see that this play of ‘me’ depends more than anything else (more than appearances, more than emotions, more than any sensation) it depends on these thoughts, these notions. And it is not the appearance of the notions in themselves which seem to cause identification with this ‘me’… (although many have prescribed many things so as to not perceive these notions, like trying to control your attention) although many have prescribed various ways in which you can try and get some mastery over your attention, be it mindful breathing or chanting or such methods in which you would not even pay any attention to what the mind is saying, here it feels more natural to express it in this way, that: Even if these notions appear and disappear, unless you give your assent to them, unless you believe them, they do not cause any identification.

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In One Concept All Concepts Are Contained

It is this identification, which is a grasping of the clinging onto the notions; and this clinging which is suffering. Clinging equals suffering. So, then all we have to check is ‘Can I remain without this clinging?’ If clinging equals suffering and there is no other way to suffer except this clinging, then all we need to then check is whether it is possible to remain without clinging.

My proposition to you is that: It is. Because I see that even to say ‘Oh, clinging seems like it just happens automatically’ is also clinging on to some notion of it. But we’re most times really independent of that notion. We’re not clinging onto anything at all. This we can experiment with and see.

So, what happens when we identify that which is so apparent? You all said ‘It is just Here. It is clear. It is just Being. It is prior to this Being.’ All of these good things were said. And it is just apparent Here and Now.

Then what happens when we identify? Why is clinging equal to suffering? What is it that we identify as?

Sangha: It could be some factor as ‘person’ then you’re sort of meddling.

A:Yeah, but what is this person? Sangha: It is, again, just an appearance.

A. That’s what I’m saying. It’s like an imaginary mythical entity, I would say. Like a mythical entity, as mythical as the Lockness monster or something like that, which seems to get a lot of ownership over these four categories of things, which we often talk about, which is relationships, health of the body, security and the search for meaning or freedom. It seems to operate in these. It seems to be the owner, for example, of the money that we have, the relationships that we have; it seems to own this body also. ‘My body isn’t feeling so well today. I feel I must rest my body. My body is a bit tired.’ It seems to be the owner of all of this and also wants an end to this suffering. It claims to want the end to the suffering through freedom or some ultimate meaning. Now, this one is the one that we identify with. But it is impossible to identify as that one unless we are using some concept, at least one concept. And in one concept, all concepts are contained. But this prerequisite is there.

Sangha: It is the worst.

A:Ah, yes. As [Zen Master] Bankei said ‘All things are completely resolved in the unborn.’

Then the birth (which is then implying the birth of this notional ‘me’) is of this identification as this mythical creature ‘me’. So, wouldn’t it be really cool if we could just not identify?

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Who Makes the Decision of Identifying or Not?

Q: Who makes the decision to identify or not identify?

A:Yes. So, if it is like this, that there are two modes of Existence, which is empty of this identification or full of this identification, it could not be that at the root of It Itself there is an identified one. Because identification itself needs to happen, isn’t it? The Primary cannot be a pre-identified one. That is why I call it the play of Consciousness itself; the Leela that

Consciousness is choosing to play as this deluded one … and then choosing to step out of this delusion. So, the choice, the will of Consciousness, somehow feels different from when we feel like something happening through personal will. But actually, there is no such thing as personal will, because we looked, even just now, and we can’t find (even objectively) this person.

So, when we say that ‘All things happen through the will of Consciousness’ or we say ‘Guru Kripa Kevalam’ we say that there is an underlying Intelligence to the movement of things. What is that? Like even, how do plants grow or how do flowers flower? Or who is making the heart beat or the breath function? What is that underlying Intelligence?

So, another term to use for that underlying Intelligence is ‘The will of Consciousness’. There is no distinction between that primal Intelligence and that which we call God’s will. This One is playing that game of (in a way, these are just terms) playing that game of identifying as something limited … and playing the game of stepping back from something limited.

Q: You said ‘Don’t identify.’

A:This is just Consciousness speaking with Consciousness. [Chuckles] Why does it have to be done? No reason. It is all part of the design of this play. Like in this play, there are millions of shops which are selling you the story of identification; there are few shops which are selling you the story of dis-identification. Now, who is to do that? That is the only One that is Here. Does it need to be reminded? Absolutely not. [Chuckles] Does it need an objective reminder to come in the form of (the outer form of) a Guru and say ‘Stop identifying’? Absolutely not. Yet, in the play, it seems to be that way. Just like there are so many who are saying ‘Okay, this will be good for you; if you do this, you will become a better person, if you do that….’ there are some reminders available in this appearance which seem to be saying ‘But are you a person? Are you a person?’

Just like to wake up from the dream, what appearance has to come within the dream? Nothing. No appearance has to come within the dream. And yet, many times it can feel like, in the dream itself, you might have an experience of jumping off something or some strong experience where you can say ‘Oh, that woke me.’ Is it possible that an object within the dream can wake you out of the dream? Actually, it doesn’t seem like it is logical and yet, in the play, it seems to play that way.

That is why a good way to describe Satsang is ‘Consciousness speaking with Consciousness.’ But, actually, even that you cannot say is hundred percent true because everything is Consciousness speaking with Consciousness. [Chuckles] But most conversations of

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Consciousness speaking with Consciousness are seemingly for the betterment of the identified one. And there are some conversations which have nothing to do with the identified one, the personal identity.

That is why there is no such thing as a perfect Satsang or the best path because what wakes us out of the dream, what has to appear within the dream to wake us out of the dream, or even if it seems like a sound from outside wakes us up …, what needs to be said to wake you from the outside, these things we cannot say.

That is why Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi said that ‘As long as it feels like that we have a choice…’ Because many times it can happen that we are feeling like we have many choices but only when it comes to this choice, like ‘Don’t go with your thoughts’ you can feel like ‘Do I even have a choice?’ We make the choice of believing this question about the choice …, only in Satsang. [Chuckles] In life it seems like we have to make a lot of choices and we still believe the choice-maker identity.

So, he said that ‘As long as it feels like there is some choice, make the choice not to go with your stream of thoughts and then you will see that even this so-called choice was actually just Grace.’

It seems to play this way. We cannot really, actually define it but it seems to play in this way that Consciousness makes that choice of identifying … and then gives up on making that choice.

Then there comes a point where even choice or no-choice is meaningless; it doesn’t mean anything.

And that point can be Right Now.

When I say ‘Then there comes a point’ it doesn’t necessarily mean sequentially. Like Bhagavan said ‘Then you will see, actually, that even this choice or no-choice was actually Grace.’ That is available Here and Now.

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This Tension of Not Knowing

It can seem very frustrating because Satsang is taking away all that we can stand on, all the concepts that we can hold on to, getting rid of all distinctions. So, when the mind asks this question ‘So, what is it? What are you learning? What are you getting?’ you will find that there is no answer to this and that can seem very frustrating.

But this which the mind labels as frustration (just as I was reading from the book the other day) this openness, this not able to rest on a concept, this letting go, even this tension of not knowing (it can feel like the stress of not knowing) actually, it is doing a clean up job. It is a great, great opportunity to see things as they are, instead of for what you think they are.

So, that which the mind will label frustration or just like stress (because it can feel like ‘But what is this? What am I getting? What do I know now?’) these are the messages from the mind.

If you let them come and go and remain in your openness, not landing on any concept, it can feel like you are floating in a limbo for a while.

So, let this mind get frustrated.

You allow it to come and go.

And you will get more and more used to this, not needing to rest on a concept (as the Sage said, not having to come back to the nest of our ideas and our intellect). Then you are just natural anywhere, whatever might be coming and going. You are just natural because you’re not a slave to your interpretation of ‘What Is’.

So, this so-called conflict in the intellect is good because you leave it behind.

Then you will find that your intellect has never actually solved anything. It has just given you conclusions and reasoning for things which actually you cannot conclude or reason about. And it is these conclusions which have led to suffering, which have taken away our sense of spaciousness or openness.

So, let the intellect be contradicted and collide with its own concepts.

You rest in Your neutrality.

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Concepts Are Made to Get Rid of Concepts

Q:Sometimes, if there are things that are troubling one (you know, when things are getting poked) then it’s really an unpleasant feeling and there is reaction here like ‘Something is not feeling right, I want to get away from it.’ So, it’s like an initial reaction and then I’m like ‘Okay, how to get away from it? Let’s see what I have learned in Satsang. [Laughs] I am not that.’ Then I’m just playing with concepts and also, I want to get away from it. And still I have the ‘Just letting it all be and just observe.’ And also, the wanting to get away is also allowed to be there, allowed to be observed. But then, I feel like sometimes concepts get in the way, like Advaita concepts sometimes; like ‘What should I do then?’ There’s list of ‘Should I not do anything? Should I allow everything?’ or ‘Should I not allow everything?’ So, actually I find that it’s adding to the confusion a little bit. And if I use it to aid my pain, it’s kind of mis-using it. [Laughter] It’s like, not using the concepts for what they are made for (let’s say it like that).

A: What are they made for?

Q: Well, to get rid of all concepts, right? [Laughter] And to make you feel good.

A:‘Concepts are made to get rid of all concepts.’ So, only one or two are enough, no?

Q:What do you mean?

A:In the sense, like if you need something to do the clean up job (like I have been saying) like we could just have one. Like that day you took permission for one. Then…?

Q: Yeah. [Laughter]

A:But you didn’t take permission for others. You know what I mean. [Chuckles]

Let me explain so that it doesn’t sound crazy. She said to me (we had a conversation a few months ago and she said to me): ‘Can I keep this idea of ‘Drop it? Because this ‘Drop it’ really helps. It really helps me when I use this concept ‘Drop it’ then I use that and it cleans up everything else.’ Then I said ‘No. Just drop this ‘dropping’ also because it’s also a concept, so even this you can’t keep.’ Then the other day then she spoke to me and said ‘Ananta (or Father), can I have that one? Because the last time when we spoke you said no you can’t keep it. Can I have that one?’ So, then I said ‘Okay, so you have permission to use one, which is: Drop it.’ [Chuckles]

But the thing is that, like she rightly said, ‘A lot of the things we learned even in Satsang then come; and they [the thoughts] say ‘Okay, if you just did that, then you will be free of that; if you do this, then you can be free, or if you step back and just observe’ or something which seems like it will aid our current predicament, in a way. But already, when we start to define things, like when we say that we know what something is, then we are already caught up in that. So, because we get caught up in that definition, then we can use one concept and say ‘Okay, drop it’ or ‘Guru Kripa Kevalam’ or ‘Who Am I?’ to help us step back from this kind of false knowing which seems to get us. Actually, we cling onto it but it seems like it is actually causing bondage to us.

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Q: What do you mean by false knowing?

A:Like whatever we define; in the sense that ‘I know what this is.’ So, if you were to report again, then I can point out…

Q:Well, there was something causing a not very unpleasant feeling today.

A:Yeah. So, a not very pleasant feeling.

Q:No. [Laughter]

A:We’ve talked about this multiple times actually. I know that it can feel like: ‘At least this,

Ananta. Come on! You know an unpleasant feeling is an unpleasant feeling. What do you mean?

At least this you have to let me keep.’ And it can be very troublesome, in a way, when we hear it like that. But we have spoken about it so much, where we said that: Are we truly able to define the energetic construct of this feeling and say ‘This is pain’ and ‘This is pleasure’ and ‘This is good’ and ‘This is bad’? Are we truly able to define it?

We looked at Guruji’s [Sri Mooji’s] example, which is beautiful, about stage freight verses excitement for travel; how it’s a similar sort of feeling. Even pain; you can look at that experience in the body. You look at it and you will find that it is not purely what we consider to be pain-pain. We look at it and say ‘Yeah, it has elements which could be defined as not-pain.’ And sometimes we might even go as far as to say ‘This aspect of this experience is actually pleasurable somewhere.’ (I wonder if you’ve had some experience like that.) When we look at it what we usually call raw pain or something like that, if we look at it for just what it is, are you able to find that is completely uni-dimensional?

Q: I think I can recall; not an example but how it’s not always just one thing.

A:In fact, my proposition to all of you is that you never experience anything twice. It might seem like it is the same thing but actually, energetically, we have all unique experiences. Just like in this so-called outer world, we never have the same experience twice; in the so-called inner world also, we never actually have the same experience twice. The construct of these things that we call sensations or emotions or feelings is quite unique. When we start just looking at them without labeling quickly, we can’t say ‘Oh, but this is pain’ or ‘This is pleasure’. So, right in the beginning when we label something as ‘not good’ or even like ‘uncomfortable’ then we get caught up in that, in a way.

Okay, then go on with that. Suppose we bought the presumption that ‘It is an uncomfortable feeling’?

Q:What you are suggesting, as I understand through you …, because it automatically gets bought.

A: This is the thing. [Laughs]

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Q:I feel like what you’re doing is saying that when you buy it, ‘Okay look again.’ Look. And maybe it’s more like a scientist examining it. ‘Okay, what is that?’ More with an open mind also. So, the judgment is also there, that’s what we have learned in a way, but I feel like you’re bringing us back again, to kind of just ease the judgment a bit.

A:Yes, not a bit. [Laughter] Quite radically. Quite radically to ease it. And resting on what

Maharaj [Nisargadatta Maharaj] said, in a way, where he said ‘I just found myself more and more without conclusions.’ And actually, once we look at that statement, it feels very [Makes a gesture of ordinary] like, ‘Yeah, see without conclusions.’ But we see that all has been a conclusion actually, when we start looking.

In a way, you’re right, that I’m actually inviting a re-looking at all of this, to see: Do we really know good, bad; this way, that way?’ Because once we take a position about what something is then already there is an impulse to pick up a position with regards to that. If we say ‘This is this’ …, then ‘What should my posture be in regards to that?’ And in that posture, we limit ourselves from ‘All-There-Is’ to just [Makes a small little space between his two hands to signify a tiny object] that.

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This ‘Me’ Nobody Has Ever Seen

So, one experiment also could be then, other than saying even ‘God’ because there can be a sense of identity even around the term ‘God’, you can say ‘space’. It is not accurate because even space You are not. But it is more spacious than presuming YourSelf to be a limited, tangible object. So, what is happening to space?

Your experience is full of spaciousness actually. Like whatever the sensation might be, you cannot deny that it occurs in the space of Your Existence. That is just natural to most of us now who have been in Satsang. Isn’t it? So, whose space is that space in which all this is happening?

Then what is your report? [Long silence]

Let your mouth represent that space in which all of these appearances are coming and going (which is actually better than representing that unethical entity).

Sangha: It’s very strange, like it is kind of a blank, you know. There is no way mind can make a concept of how this space is. I mean, I couldn’t give an answer. I don’t know. [Laughs]

A:Yeah, give it some time; it’s very smart. [Chuckles] Once the mind runs of its moves, then it’s confronted with a new sort of sharing. You have Satsang. That’s why we have to keep it fresh.

Because otherwise the mind makes position about everything that it shares, even in Satsang. Within a day or two, it will have some smart repartee to this, which is fresh Now, so it’s just like ‘Okay, by tomorrow, yeah, this space is … yeah.’ You know?

So, it’s good for it to be out of moves. I’m saying that if you were to represent yourself as this space of outer and inner perceptions, that would be a more accurate representation than the ‘me’.

The ‘me’ is more unbelievable, actually, more ludicrous, than even these so-called mystical creatures. Like I was saying, even the Lockness monster; at least this Lockness monster, some have seen it. [Chuckles] There have been some sightings. What is the other one? What is that snowman?

Sangha: Bigfoot.

A:Bigfoot. Bigfoot is also one. At least it sounds like some people who seem credible have said

‘I’ve seen that.’ But this ‘me’ nobody has ever seen.

No? Yes? [Smiles] You have seen? [Chuckles]

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Allow Yourself to Remain Uncertain for a While

Q:Father, is it feasible to contemplate or inquire when absorbed in activity? Not believing your next thought seems fine when I’m idle, but 90% of the time, I have something to do.

A:When you’re actually absorbed in activity, there’s no trouble. When you’re absorbed in activity, you might feel like you’re constantly thinking, but it’s not like that. It’s just that things are so flowing. That is what the term ‘absorption’ is. At least, when I hear the term ‘absorbed in activity’ it’s just like work could be happening, things are being written, stocks are being bought and sold; [Chuckles] all these things can also happen. Just like, the breath is functioning, your heart is beating, hearing is happening, digesting food is going on; all these complex activities are going on. But we feel like ‘Okay, but my email God cannot send. The bills God cannot pay.’

So, to be absorbed in activity, which is to ‘just be’ in that moment whatever is appearing, even if it is just to be with the content of what is appearing in that moment, needs no further practice; nothing.

That’s why the Zen Master said very famously ‘Before enlightenment, chopping wood, fetching water. After enlightenment, chopping wood, fetching water.’ In fact, a beautiful story in the life of [Zen Master] Dogen, when he was just starting out in the true recognition, he met this kitchen Monk who was in charge of kitchen in the Monastery. And this one was a very senior Monk so he asked him ‘How is it that you have been a Monk for so long and yet you spend your time on these kinds of activities like cooking? Shouldn’t you be meditating or something like that?’ He said ‘Shouldn’t you be practicing Zen?’

And this old Monk said ‘You know nothing about what you are speaking. It is just things that you have learned.’ So, in fact, it was the very, very accomplished Monks in most of these Monasteries who were given charge of activity. [Smiles] They could be absorbed in activity, but not absorbed in the mind.

This is the fallacy. The fallacy is that ‘If I am absorbed in activity, I must be using my mind constantly; this limited mind, you know, this limited identification. But all of this activity is happening within You. All of these activities. The breeze is flowing within You. [Smiles] The trees are fluttering within You. You’ve taken a part of this broad appearance and made that ‘your’ activity. We’ve done that; which is this boundary, the body boundary. And I keep asking this question: What is it that you are inside this hand … that you are not in this space around it? What is the ‘you’ which is inside this hand … which is not in the space around it?

And it’s a very ‘primal belief’ sort of thing. ‘Of course, I must be in this hand or this hand must be in me.’ But actually, the space is as much in You as the hand is. And You are as much in the hand as you are in the space. It is just this learned condition that ‘I am the body.’

Therefore, that when we say ‘I am absorbed in an activity’ we are talking about just the activity of this body. Actually, the entire state is Your activity. All appearances are Your activity. You are the light of this appearance. All of these sensations are Your sensations, just like the sensational aspect of touch and anger. Like we explored just the other day; what we say are ‘my

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sensations and other sensations’ is also a fallacy. We looked at that rubber glove-hand experiment. And the amputee, the phantom limb syndrome. We also looked at the audio thing, where we’re hearing so clear that ‘Yes, this is the sound coming from the computer’ but actually, (like what we were seeing) a different sound is coming from the computer. So, we do not really know. All we can say is that ‘All the content of my experience is experienced within the space of my experiencing.’ What truly IS (if you don’t want to say ‘It is just all this’) at least we can say that ‘I admit, I do not know what truly is.’

When we become conclusion-less about it, that is enough. The coming to these so-called ‘true conclusions’ is not a requirement. Like you cannot really say that ‘That body is sitting in front of you; that one has a mouth and these sounds are coming from there.’ A simple thing is that this could be your imagination, your dream. You don’t even have to say ‘This is a dream, or it’s maya, or an illusion.’ You don’t have to say even these things. At least admit that we can’t be certain about what this is.

We’re scared of losing that certainty because we feel like ‘It is based on at least these certainties of time and space that I am able to live my life.’ This is a great fear of death, in a way.

What I’m suggesting is very simple actually. I’m saying:

For such a long time, we have lived on the basis of these certainties.

Can we play for a bit, as an experiment, like this?

Allow all uncertainties for a while.

I’m holding your hand while the fear comes, while you feel wobbly.

But it is an invitation that not everyone takes …, the invitation to allow yourself to be wobbly, to allow yourself to just play, for a bit. I said the other day: It’s what? One percent of your life so far? You’ve spent one hundred percent of your life so far in these certainties, learning more and more. Give me one percent. One percent of the time you spent in certainties, we’ll spend on not being certain about anything. What is the worst that could happen? [Smiles]

But what happens for most of us is that we’re looking for more and more certainties in Satsang. ‘At least now, I’m certain that I am the Self. I have this unshakeable Truth.’ [Chuckles] But that ‘Self’ which can be captured in any term, including ‘Self’ or any idea that you might have about yourself is not the Self.

Allow yourself to remain uncertain for a while.

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Advaita Is Your Natural Position

It is not impossible to ‘mostly’ live an unlabeled life. (I am saying ‘mostly’ because I don’t want you to start judging yourself as to how much percent.) It is possible even with these sensations, emotions, feelings, these seemingly-outer events, the expressions appearing out of even this very body, to leave all of this unjudged. It is a possibility which I’m inviting all of you to discover.

Because the minute we define something and say ‘This is what this is’ (even the truth) then the truth is not the Truth anymore. Because the truth then is not all-inclusive. If it can be defined in opposition to something which is false, then how can it be All-There-Is?

So, the thing is that the minute we define something, we inadvertently define ourselves. Because when we say something is not nice then who is this not nice for? We couldn’t be then talking about God or All-There-Is or Self.

[Looks at questioner] Could it be? [Laughs]

Q: Maybe it could. [Laughter]

A:It’s like this game that we play sometimes. Instead of saying ‘I’ we say ‘God’ everywhere, like ‘God had this unpleasant feeling, God had this …’ [Chuckles]

Q: I could buy that.

A: Say ‘God’ instead of ‘I.’ [Chuckles] ‘God could buy that.’

Q: Yeah. [Laughter]

A: In a way, It is buying that. All this is the play of that One Consciousness, One Being.

Any of these games or experiments which I suggest can sound very ‘childish’ almost but if you try them, if you try playing with them for a bit, you will see that ‘Ah, this identity is here.’ When you change the labels of this identity, change the usual labels, you will find (we have been experimenting with this) like, instead of ‘anger’ we say ‘potato.’ [Chuckles] And then when that becomes too jaded, that label, we can change it to something else. It can sound like ‘What is this? [Laughs] What is he saying!?’ But you see that (not ‘a lot of’ but) ALL of our conditions are based on the terms we use. ‘But this is like this. I know it to be this way.’

And it completely applies to everything coming out of this mouth also about it; in the sense that this is not the gospel Truth being spoken because it completely applies to even this. Even this exploration doesn’t hold up to any true standard of Truth. That is why there is no fear here of contradiction. [Chuckles] ‘ABC, XYZ, left, right, left, right’ [Points to questioner] ‘Go left and right.’ [Laughs]

Q: Straight. [Laughter]

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A:But this is good example. When I say ‘go left and right’ mind says ‘I know what that is, it’s straight.’ [Laughter] You see? So, in a way, when we come to this not-knowing, a lot of it is a house of cards. The minute we start saying ‘We know what is happening to us’ …, if anybody actually knew what is happening to them, they would have figured it out by now what is the best response to that. [Chuckles] It’s just that we don’t know. We have this imagery that keeps coming up, this so-called memory which says ‘This is what it was’ … all of this play of sensations, perceptions. And for the mind, it’s all a bit too much. Even your current sensational view, whatever you are perceiving, sensually, perceptually, is too much for the mind to fathom.

So, what does it say about this, in your present experience? Say something that the mind can say about the present experience.

Q: Pain in my belly.

A: ‘Pain in my belly.’ Is that all there is in your present experience?

Q: Anantaji is in present experience.

A:‘Anantaji sitting in the present.’ Is that all?

So, there is a pain in the belly and there is Anantaji; both are kind of correlated. [Laughter]

Q: Maybe, yeah.

A: Even in the neck; therefore ‘a pain in the neck.’ [Laughter]

Q: [Laughter]

A:Then what else?

Q:Feel the wind.

A:Is there anything you can say which can accurately describe all of this?

Q:All of this? This is His job to sum it all up.

A:Exactly, that’s what I’m saying. Because you cannot capture it; you cannot capture it in a conceptual way, even our present experience, in a way. So, imagine how we try to capture ‘What happened in the past? Or what should happen in the future?’ It’s a very tiny device. Just like we cannot capture even the present phenomenal aspect of this experience. Now imagine if I said to describe both the phenomenal and the non-phenomenal present experience now.

Q: Non-phenomenal is easy, no?

A: Say. What did you say about it? [Smiles]

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Q: There is nothing to say about it.

A:But you are saying that about it, that ‘there is nothing to say’. That is about what? It?

Q:Nothing. [Laughs]

A:So, what does that tell you to say? That there is ‘nothing’ about it?

Q: Nothing. [Laughs]

A:Exactly. [Laughter] It cannot be encapsulated, in a way. So, at best, the mind makes a tame attempt to capture a phenomenal aspect of our present experience. But the minute we say it, then:

‘Okay, but include everything; include everything. Don’t even exclude the space; don’t even exclude the space in which all this appearance is happening.’

‘Then don’t even exclude the witnessing of this.’ When we start to include everything, then we see that this ‘including everything’ is actually naturally present Here Now. This ‘including everything’ is just …

I say ‘Okay, include everything that you see. Don’t label them as Govind, Gopala, Prakash, Chaitanya; don’t make those labels. Include everyone …, and don’t separate yourself also, like no Olga, no Govind, no Gopala; none of this.’

Then you say ‘Okay, why do you leave the objects outside? The supposed non-living things, the rugs, the seating, the couch, the mic, the computer; include everything.’ You say ‘What about all of this?’

Then you say ‘Okay, include all the sensations, perceptions, that you are feeling so-called inwardly, include that also.’

‘Then include this space in which they seem to happen, and the space in which this space seems to appear. Because this space [Points to physical space] is also an object of perception which appears within your inner space (to use the term ‘inner’.) Like this: [Points to space around] … space; [closes eyes] gone, [opens eyes] it appears; [closes eyes] gone. That space in which even this appears, it’s always there, so include that also.’

‘Okay, now I have included everything, everything!’

Then you say ‘Okay, but what about the fourth dimension of time? Include everything that happened previously, whatever memory has in storage and whatever ideas of future you might have, include that also.’

Then you say ‘But you left out something very important. You left out that which witnesses all of this.’ So, include that also.

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Now after all of these steps, you come to this sort of ‘place’ where you see: ‘But all of this is just naturally there. I didn’t have to go step one, step two, step three, step four.’

Although it is a useful exercise, especially that last one which is what I call ‘Inviting the elephant in the room’ where we include the non-phenomenal aspect of yourself. But we don’t really finally have to go that way. It is naturally just like that. All is naturally included in this moment.

There is no separation, no division: no Dvaita, no duality, actually is here. Can I go as far as to say that ‘No duality can actually ever be experienced?’ At best, it is a seeming-experience which You-as-Consciousness want to play with. You-as-Consciousness want to play with that experience and, without this ‘wanting to play’ it is completely apparent to You that there is no duality.

Advaita [non-duality] is your natural position

Dvaita [duality] is your play time.

[Smiles]

This is actually, in a way, very radical and very simple at the same time. Very radical because it goes contrary to many things that we’ve heard in spirituality. Like many times in spirituality it’s ‘Yes, yes, the Truth is unchanging but you have to do this, this and this to get to That.’ But what you’re being introduced to in Satsang now is:

Okay, what is apparent to you Now?

Is this a dual experience that you are having?

Is there duality naturally here?

Or is what we call Advaita (non-duality) actually your natural resting place?

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Is the Seeker Left?

It is very funny that presumably we come for an Advaita Vedanta Satsang; Advaita. But in the term itself, all that has been pointed to is already contained. If there is a truth that is pointed to, it’s contained as a beautiful pointer in the term ‘non-duality, not two’. Now, if this is the truth that there are no two…, for a while let’s imagine or presume that there are no two; Advaita is true, that there are actually no two. No distinction ever happened between maya and Brahman, between the world and the Absolute; no distinction ever came between anything. Then what is left … if no distinction ever happened between anything at all?

Is the seeker left? The one who wants to seek the truth, is that one left?

Because the seeker is also dependent on this duality of separation and therefore, the idea of finding the ultimate reality. But this is the contradiction, isn’t it? What do we hear about the ultimate Reality? It does not come and go. If it does not come and go, then what is there to find? Then where must it be? What needs to be done?

And if the unreal never existed, and the Reality is All-There-Is, then what is all this seeking, all this search about?

Now the danger with this kind of statement is that we can quickly draw the opposite conclusion, which is that ‘Therefore, I do not need to seek anymore.’ But that statement is also full of duality. Because ‘I’ presumably again is a limited object who is presumably saying that ‘Oh, there is no distinction between me and the absolute. So, I do not need to seek anymore.’ It is not a statement about the Brahman, it is not a statement about the Absolute, it is a still a statement about our limitation. So, neither seeking nor giving up the seeking; where does that leave us?

Neither somewhere nor nowhere. Because we said ‘No, we are getting rid of duality.’

But for a while, you’ll struggle with this because it will feel very strange. ‘He is neither saying this nor is he saying that.’ And once we cannot put finger on what he is saying, it can sound like ‘What is going on?’ Because this instrument called the mind works with these opposites, then when it is pushed beyond these opposites, then starts to give way, it starts to protest, it starts to throw a tantrum, it starts to feel bored. It starts to have all of these tricks and tactics, which are also part of the design of this play. That’s why the Sage said that ‘When you are pushed beyond your intellect, you might feel like complaining or having grievances about this. But actually, it is the most auspicious time’ If you cannot put our finger on this or that, if you cannot tell whether something is true or false; beyond this duality, beyond the duality of me and other, even beyond the duality of form and formless…

Many in Advaita are actually stuck on the concept of formless-ness. And when they give it to their imagination, then they’re creating a version of the formless like a dark, empty space or something like that; or a space full of light, which is ‘My formless truth’. But you are neither. Form does not apply to You, in the same way formless does not apply to You.

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Now you cannot get this though the device called the mind. But somewhere in You, you can hear that You are beyond form and formless-ness. Your mind and intellect cannot grapple with this because all the visualization, all the tactics, all the scriptural verses that you might have learned can’t help you with this. This has to be something else. I don’t even want to say ‘deeper.’ It has to be something else. So, this which we usually call ‘the recognition’ is not perception, it is not conceptual; it is something else.

But with the shovel of the mind, if we keep digging, we will not get to the water. [Smiles] In a way, it is good. Because we get tired, and once we get tired, we give up on this shovel. In the same way, wearing the cloak of a judge (‘Yes, yes, no, no, right, right, wrong, wrong’) we cannot come to this. All our reasoning, all out computation, all our great memory, all our past learning, all our meditative experiences, and all our kundalini; all of this is absolutely fine … but This, what is being pointed to, is something else. It is beyond something and nothing.

The ‘me’ that you think you are, has no way to get this; and it has nothing to gain out of this also. Truth for truth’s sake has nothing on offer for the ego, for this idea of ‘me’. So, as long as we are caught up in selfishness, even spiritual selfishness, that is a very different game from what Satsang is pointing to.

If duality does not apply to You, then no distinctions are valid; even the distinction of reality and appearance, even the distinction of samsara and nirvana, even the world, the illusion or freedom, liberation; maya and the Self. If all these distinctions were not valid, if you had nothing to do with time (past and future), with space, (here and there), if you let go of all your perception and imagination…

[Silence]

Many times, in spirituality, we also feel that this particular inward-facing position is the true position. But as long as we’re still making a distinction between inward and outward, it is still a fallacy, it is still a duality.

All positions are just stories of your limitation.

And actually, even to stay as the Self or even to try and leave the false … all these are also just made up. [Smiles] Then what is there?

You have looked and looked for many years. You have not found yourself in form and you have not found yourself as formless. That you cannot deny yourself.

So, what to do now?

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There’s Never Ever Any Trouble in the Present Moment

Something very beautiful is that there is never ever any trouble in the present moment. We carry the baggage of past and we take the projections of the future and we invent this idea of suffering; and therefore, the idea of freedom is also super-imposed on this idea suffering.

You know this very well actually. But it is just a trump card from the mind which says ‘But what happens when this…? Or but what happens in the future? Oh, what happen when you are not there?’ You know, some idea like this. [Smiles] That’s just like saying ‘Oh, tomorrow is going to be terrible anyway so why be happy now?’ Isn’t it? If all of us knew that tomorrow was going to be terrible, one option (suppose we had these options?) one option is to mope about it and say ‘Okay, tomorrow is going to be terrible’ and the other option is to say ‘Okay, at least let us taste today completely. Let us be with what is Here Now.’

So, if you remove that project that ‘I must be come to a place where I am empty of all beliefs’ … because that is also just a belief.

We were talking about the Yoga the other day. Suppose what happened is that you said (like we said) ‘Yoga is the sensations of metal fluctuations.’ [chitta vritti niroda] Suppose all the vrittis, all the fluctuations, were talking about what will happen if the future fluctuations come? We are like ‘But we are empty of those fluctuations now. What will come, will come.’

So, enjoy your empty Sage-like nature now. Tomorrow, if the person is back, person is back.

This is what I mean when I say ‘God now’ or ‘Me-ow’.

God is here Now.

There is no obstacle.

There is no duality, no separation.

Then God himself or herself plays with this idea of limitation. And can feel like a limited condition, a limited state … the fear of what the future holds or this need for reassurance that ‘Okay, I’m getting it now so that then I will be peaceful in the future or this state will remain’ or something like that in the future. That keeps us bound in a very strong way.

Leave the future to the future.

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Nobody Has Ever Existed Anyway

Q:Say if I were eating something, you can have the thought ‘I am eating something’ but that experience of eating something doesn’t rely on the thoughts of it. But if you, for example, imagine eating something tomorrow or remembering, because there is no experience outside the concept of it, then it’s the other way around.

A:Are you talking about like an image coming in, like the image of lunch tomorrow? Or are you talking about the concept of lunch tomorrow?

Q:Well, no actually. What I started with was the question ‘Is it possible to have a thought about myself in the present moment?’ Because it seems like that’s one of the ways that the mind justifies thoughts is by saying ‘Okay, well, forget about the past, forget about the future’. But you can still have valid thoughts in the present moment. Then I realize ‘Well, not really …’

A:Because by the time it comes out and is translated or assimilated, that moment is gone. Like suppose the thought starts now: ‘I am sitting down, trying to understand this.’ [Chuckles] And now you understood this thought but by then, the time that the thought started is already gone.

It’s like what I say sometimes, that a thought can sometimes be seem very harmless; like [Pretends to hold something] ‘This is a green apple’ which is just a very, very seemingly- accurate representation of what is appearing. If were to stop at that, it would be fine. It’s not true that it’s a green apple, but even if it is believed, it’s okay. But very quickly it comes with preferences. ‘I prefer red ones, or green are not as sweet, or I really like green.’ This position- taking starts very quickly, even after just phenomenally-interpretive thoughts. The second thing is that do we need that thought ‘This is a green apple’ to get the experience of the green apple?

Q: No.

A:What do we need it for? Exactly. So, like I was saying, we don’t need to have the concept ‘glass’ to drink from it. Like I’ve been talking about this infant child not having the concept of milk or breast or drink or any of that, but still the functioning happens very naturally.

So, the idea that ‘I need to have it in my conceptual box and then only this body/mind will function’ is a fallacy. And mostly, as I was saying, looking at plants: plants are not deciding where to grow their next branch and they’re not thinking ‘My next flower should be like this’. You see? Still it unfolds. Then one of you said ‘But I’m not a tree, Father.’ [Chuckles] Then I started taking the infant example, the child example, that functioning happens very naturally but without this layer of mentation [thinking] on top of it.

What has it actually brought to our lives? If we were to be honest with ourselves and say ‘What do I actually know?’ This ‘What do I actually know?’ only feels like the mildest inquiry. We do not even know who we are, where we are, what we are. [Chuckles] All these ‘W’ questions. Why we are, we don’t even know. We want to know a lot of ‘why’s’ about everything else but why are we? Actually, fundamentally, we don’t even know whether we are. This is the thing. Are we?

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Q:Maybe not in the sense of knowing as we know other things but, in some sense, we are always aware.

A:Yeah, this ‘aware’ is neither a perceptual knowing nor conceptual knowing nor a sensational knowing. This Awareness, this Knowingness (this capital ‘K’ Knowingness) is what Bhagavan [Sri Ramana Maharshi] was talking about when he said ‘This True Knowledge, the recognition of This, is just the dropping of that which is false. It is just ever-present.’ That’s why Jnana is not talking about what all can we do; which scripture we should learn. That is not Jnana Yoga. It is to come to this Knowing of This, which is independent of what we know conceptually, of what we see perceptually.

But the struggle with language is like that. Since we use the word ‘know’ for both things, then it becomes difficult to really fathom this. Now this Knowingness does not have the claim that ‘I am the Knowingness’ or ‘I am the Self’. This is the thing. [Smiles]

Q:I always got confused when you said ‘Knowingness’ because ‘ness’ is a quality of something; it just cannot be somebody. You always said ‘Knowingness, Awareness’ as if it is like what we are. But this is only a quality (it’s not even a quality) but whatever…

A:In the same way, we got used to saying ‘Awareness’ so we add the ‘ness’ there. So, it’s okay. Why to say it? Maybe we say Knowingness to make some distinction between this Knowing and that usual knowing of perceptual knowing or conceptual knowing.

Q:But there is nobody to know.

A:Nobody being; yeah. [Smiles]

Q:That’s the difference. Nobody knows this capital ‘K’ Knowingness; there is nobody to know

A:That ‘nobody’ has ever existed anyway, so that one has never known anything. I was going to say that (In the Ribhu Gita, it is said that) ‘The Truth is empty of the duality in the statement: I am Brahman.’ It’s a very beautiful line. And for many Vedantans actually, it might sound like sacrilege but that was not the intent. The intent is to say ‘Even in that claim, there is duality; in that claim that ‘I am Brahman.’ It’s like what I was saying the other day that the mouth is not saying ‘I am mouth’. You’re not going around saying ‘I have a face’. To make that assertion implies the possibility of its negation. So, if we say ‘I am Brahman’ as an assertion, then it could be negated also because it’s just a concept. But empty of all these assertions and negations … just ‘This’. [Silence] Now, whether we call it ‘Is-ness’ or whether we call it ‘Such-ness’ or whether we call it ‘Awareness’ or ‘Knowingness’ it doesn’t really matter.

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‘I Am’ Is No Trouble

[Reading from chat]: “Father, as I wait for the next thought to come, nothing happens. All the thoughts I can perceive are in the past already. Waiting for the next thought seems to lead to neutrality.”

Yes, in a way, when anyone comes and says ‘I am just so caught up in my thoughts. There is so many, I am just so confused all the time’ then we say ‘Okay, wait, wait; you welcome them, let them all come’ then you see that their quantity seems to reduce and their quality is not so oppressive. In the same way, like you were saying ‘I wait for the next thought to come’ … when you’re not taking a resistive posture even towards your thoughts, you are just open. I would say not ‘waiting, waiting’ so much because even that seems like ‘I am just waiting.’ I would say more like ‘open’. You remain open to everything. Whether it is perception, whether it is thought, whether it is emotion, whether it is any sensation, in your openness you will see that all things come and go naturally. Because waiting then can become another oppressive position.

And if just this radical openness, in a way, without anything to hold onto, is too much, then you can pick one concept, which is… (you have the list). [Smiles] Whatever works for you the best.

What is happening is that you are remaining empty of the notion of ‘something’. Like Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi said ‘I Am’ is no trouble. The idea ‘I am something’ is the birth of jeev- atma’ of the so-called ‘individualized Consciousness.

Now, what to do with this ‘something’ as it arises? It only arises from the mind. It is not inherent in any experience. It is inherent only in its narration, its translation.

So, the question is ‘What do I need this one thing for?’ We need it so that this can be swept away, this ‘I am something’ notion.

Some like to use the inquiry. The mind says ‘I am not really understanding what he is saying.’ So, we are attaching that ‘I am not really understanding’ (this kind of thing) to ‘I Am’ which is beyond all these. Then we say ‘Okay, but who am I? Who is the one that is not understanding?’ And you see that there is nobody like that here.

In the same way, for those who are devotional in their temperament, when the notion comes ‘I am really not understanding’ they will really take this to heart and say ‘This understanding or not-understanding is the Master’s problem. Guru Kripa Kevalam. I am surrendered at the Lord’s feet.’

So, depending on your temperament, depending on what you feel gives you the most openness, the most spaciousness, you can use that one concept. And then that one concept is self-emulative, in a way; self-destructive.

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Forget About Past and Future or Inside and Outside

A:Okay, I’ll give you multiple-choice option today. You have to forget about two things. I’ll give you four options, out of which you have to forget about two things, okay? So, there are these two sets. So, the first set is, we forget about past and future. [Chuckling] Everything that concerns you about past and future: Forget about it. That’s the first set.

If you say ‘No, no, I can’t do that; that is too much’ then forget about it. The other set is inside and outside. Everything that is inside and everything that is outside. What will you forget about it? You can’t say, future and inside. [Laughter in the room]

You can forget about all four also. Actually, if you forget about any of the two then you’ve forgotten all four. No deal? [Chuckles] One of the four? Let’s start with that. Everything that happens outside or everything that happens inside; at least let’s start with that. The so-called inside and outside. Let’s forget about the barrier.

Q:You said ‘Forget about it’. I feel it’s more in the sense like be unconcerned about them?

A:Yes, unconcerned about them. Time or space?

[Reading from chat]: “It’s difficult to drop strong emotions.”

Okay, don’t drop that. Forget everything that appears on the outside; don’t be concerned about that. This emotion that seems to happen inside, okay, it’s fine. Deal? [Chuckles] If there are four legs to this table, you have to let go of one of them so I can pull you in.

We have never met any of these. We have never met the past, we’ve never met the future, we’ve never met inside and we’ve never met outside. So, why so much concern about it? [Silence] What will you attach to now?

[Reading from chat]: “The truth is that there is no Truth.”

He says there is no Truth. And what is that then? Is that the Truth? [Chuckling] Even that is not the Truth because It Itself is saying it is not the Truth. The truth that we can fathom through our mind, the truth that we can conceptualize, is not the Truth. And then what remains is That which is beyond these boundaries of true and false, beyond these boundaries of Being and not-Being, of perceiving and not-perceiving. It is naturally Here and apparent, clear.

But where do we go looking for the Truth? Where do you go looking for the Truth? What is the source of our Truth? Even when we say ‘This is my truth’ what is the source of this? Where did it come up?

Q: It’s already Here.

A:It’s already Here. Usually we find that we do not refer to This which is naturally Here as ‘Our Truth’. We refer to some interpretation or judgment or idea and say ‘This is what it is’. When you

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come to Satsang, then you’re able to make that shift away from the narrator voice, the narrative …, to just ‘What Is’.

So, where do we go when referring to ‘Our truth’? The wanting to find Truth in that source; that is what shifts, in a way. The content doesn’t have to change really. As long as we feel that we will find this Truth in the mind, and keep referring to those conclusions of the mind as the Truth, then it can still seem to be changing, suffering, limitation, separation.

For a while, it can feel a bit strange that this voice that I’ve replied on for a fair bit of time actually is not truly representing ‘What Is’…, in fact, has no way to represent anything at all.

How many of you feel fairly clear about this, that our mind cannot represent anything truly? Fairly certain? [Looks around the room] So, at least that certainty is there. Then the rest is easy.

It’s just like an allegiance to an old friend who is a teller of stories. And yet, because we’ve heard the stories for so long, it can feel like it takes some time to get over those stories. If you feel in your heart that you’ve seen through these stories and seen that they are not true representations of Reality, then the dropping away of these stories is not difficult.

But if you still feel that ‘Okay, okay, for Satsang stuff, it cannot really represent [truth] but for this or that, this is true.’ You see, then we insert duality into it. Because the fear is what? ‘If I don’t refer to it as the truth for running my life, then my life won’t run, my work won’t happen.’ You see? But experiment with this. And you’ll see that just as these movements happen energetically, the mind unfolds in the same way the movements of the body also happen. Whatever needs to unfold for the running of this life is unfolding naturally anyway. So, this so- called dependency of thought and action itself is a fallacy. The source of thought is the same; Consciousness. The source of action is the same; Consciousness. So, why would Consciousness have to rely on something which It Itself creates to do the other aspect of Its Existence? So, it’s not like this.

I’m not saying that the mind should come to a standstill or stop. If it happens fine; but even if it is there, it doesn’t matter. Just like whether the body is sitting in complete yogic posture, completely still, or it is moving about, really doesn’t matter to your Reality. Whether appearances are moving or they are still doesn’t matter to That which is the Unmoving, the Unchanging.

A subtler pair I can give you also. We talked about past and future, we talked about inside and outside. I can also give you another pair, which is: Forget about cause and effect: ‘This, therefore, that’.

Don’t be concerned with any cause and effect. Because if it’s about a ‘leading to’ (even these things we hear in Satsang, if they sound as if they are about ‘leading to’) they are very provisional. If you have the idea that ‘If I just do this, then that will happen’ … forget about it. As long as you continue to feel that ‘Your Truth’ is about a ‘happening’ you’ll be stuck in time, you’ll be stuck in causation.

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The Whole Dictionary Is Nothing but a Circular Loop

Language is fundamental to our idea of separation, our idea of false representation. The idea that the mind has some true meaning about ‘What Is’ is impossible without language. And the thing about language is that it is completely inter-linked; like every concept within it contains the seed of every other concept. So, when we want to play around and say ‘Okay, I want this one, and this one but then I will give up everything else; these are keepers, these are convenient’ …, then what happens is that it contains everything else.

Is there a concept which is completely independent of every other concept? It all depends on each other. All this language is dependent on other language. So, the whole dictionary is nothing but a circular loop. You never learn anything new. We just learn other words. Then those words mean some other words, and those words means some other words, and ultimately, we refer back to the original word itself.

So, there is nothing new to be found there, it’s just circular. But we feel like to collect these words, to collect these notions, these interpretations, we’re actually learning something or understanding something about ‘What Is’ …, about the Is-ness. But this Is-ness is independent of any interpretation.

Even if it’s primal toys, like love, peace, joy, time, space, attention (I’m using some terminology but it’s okay) … these seemingly-primal toys of ‘What Is’ … light, sound, any of these are not capture-able in any concept. That famous example of the one who has never experienced love and you try to explain it. What words can satisfy that? You cannot.

So, if these by-products of ‘Is-ness’ (just to use some term) itself are not definable in concept, then how can That which is beyond these be definable? And in fact, can we go so far as to say that nothing that appears even phenomenally can we conclude anything which we think is true about?

Like you might say, as I was saying yesterday, you might say ‘This apple is green’. Do we really know this? Or ‘The sound is this.’ Do we really know that? We do not know. Then we have looked at these illusions and fallacies. We cannot conclude even anything in the phenomenal appearance using concepts.

Then how can we conclude that which is beyond coming and going, beyond appearances? And all our concepts are about something that we have never met.

We have never met past.

We have never met future.

We have never met inside or outside.

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What Perceives All Perception?

As she was saying, we have never actually met the boundary. What is that separating line between past and future? We have a concept of it and we might say ‘Now’. [Chuckles]

Have you met this Now?

Has anyone seen this Now? [Smiles]

Same way for inside and outside. You might say ‘body’ but is that inside of the body that you are referring to? Inside of the body is what? Any surgeon will tell you but we are not talking about that.

So, we have never met even this seeming-separating line. They are just ideas, they are just notions. And you as an entity or the ‘me’ is like the super-notion which relies on all of these notions. [Smiles]

So, this ‘me’ …, if it did not rely on the notion of time, it had no birth, it has no death, then what would this ‘me’ be? If it did not rely on the notion of space, what could you say about yourself? You wouldn’t even be able to say where you are. Actually you can’t. [Chuckles]

Where are you looking at this world from?

Where are you looking at appearances from?

Where are you hearing the sound of the traffic from?

The sound of these words, what is that space?

And don’t use that tame label ‘inside’. [Chuckles] It doesn’t do it justice, to just say ‘inside’ and it’s over. It’s just like ‘Inside, finished!’ [Chuckles] Explore this. What is this? The body is sitting here, presumably. Where are you sitting? Are you sitting or standing? [Chuckles]

Again, don’t settle for a label like ‘Oh, I am formless!’ [Chuckles]

Don’t settle for any answers. Just look.

Have you ever met something which is formless?

How did you meet it?

And don’t even settle for even any ultimate sounding labels like ‘I am the Self’ or ‘I am Awareness’ or ‘I am the Absolute, I am Brahman’. Just look.

Who is hearing the hearing?

Who is seeing the seeing?

What perceives all perception?

[Meditative Silence]

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Are You Satisfied Having No Conclusions from the Mind?

A:But the thing is that this mind is like the way some Indians give you directions. Nobody will tell you that they don’t know. [Chuckles] They will always presume to have an answer. Only rarely one says ‘I don’t know’. … ‘Just a little more.’ [Points his hand in a direction] ‘You will get there. What you do is just ask somebody on the road: where is this place?’ Does anyone say ‘I don’t know’? They will only say ‘Just ask a little ahead, 100 meters ahead.’ … ‘Are you saying it is that way?’ … ‘No, no, just ask them.’ [Chuckles] They can’t get themselves to say ‘I don’t know’. It’s like it hurts them deeply to not know where everything is, for some reason.

Q:If you ask some shopkeeper in Thippasandra [a local market in Bengaluru] ‘Can I buy this?’ they say ‘I don’t know.’ [Laughter]

A:‘But it is right there.’ … ‘Oh, thank you for telling me.’ [Chuckles] There are shopkeepers also who are not interested in selling anything at all. Or they are just sitting there for a friend. ‘Can you look after my shop while I’m going for a smoke?’ or something. [You come and say]:

‘Can I get a toothbrush?’ … ‘I don’t know.’ … ‘But it’s right there.’ Because he doesn’t know how much it costs, so, he’s like ‘But I can’t sell it to you.’ He hardly ever says ‘This is not my shop’. He likes the respect that is coming his way. [Chuckles]

The answers of the mind are as reliable as these people are.

Are you satisfied having no answer, no conclusion, from the mind?

Q: It says ‘Not applicable.’

A:‘Not applicable’ means satisfaction is not applicable? What is not applicable; satisfaction?

Q:Whatever the mind says. It may give an answer or not give an answer.

A:Yeah. So, not having any validity or validation, certificate, freedom, no freedom or any of this from the mind is okay with you?

Q:What is the other option? [Laughter in the room]

A:You’re reconciled to that or …?

Q:It seems like either the mind will force you to reconcile or you ….

A:Or you … suffer. [Laughter] It’s like Kabir said ‘O my beloved, either understand what I am telling you or go fall in the ditch.’ [Laughter]

Is there a sense of regret about it? ‘Unfortunately, I have to reconcile that this mind I cannot rely on for any valid representation of reality.’

Q: No. That would be for the mind.

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A:It can be either. Sometimes it can feel like regret, but many times it can feel like relief that ‘I don’t have to be concerned with this voice which is trying to tell me that I am this or that any more.’ It is a huge relief mostly. It’s like if you had a strict teacher throughout your schooling days, and now you have just finished your convocation and you’re done. You got your certificate and there is nothing he has or she has on you anymore. Isn’t that a big relief? The certificate no longer matters. What it is saying about you or the world or your relationships, or anything really, does not have anything to do with having meaning or meaninglessness.

The mind will now say ‘But the point is to become like that.’ But you are over these ideas of what the mind is saying the point is. You are over this idea that something has to happen for this kind of reasoning; that there is a reason behind something, that there is a cause and effect. And you’re getting over the doubts of ‘But, but, but, but, but…’

‘I know that no ‘buts’ are true, but…’ How many times we have heard this in Satsang? [Chuckles] ‘I know, Ananta, that everything that comes after ‘but’ is just a story, and yet….’

[Laughs] ‘…simultaneously, at the same time, what about this?’ … ‘I know everything that comes after ‘I am’ is a story, but I am just stuck.’ Did you hear the first part of what you said? [Chuckles]

So, these are just withdrawal symptoms, in a way. You’re getting over most of this ‘But, but but…’ of making conclusions about ‘I am….’ After a while, you can feel like ‘I’m so frustrated,

I cannot really say anything about myself anymore!’ But you just did. [Chuckles] So, it’s getting over these kinds of things.

And then there will be a phase when you want to proclaim big, big things. You want to proclaim that ‘I am the Sun, I am the moon.’ Then you get over that also. ‘I am everything. I am all there is.’ Not really. It’s not true nor untrue. ‘But that sounds so boring.’ You will get over that also. All these are various phases of the seeming-unburdening.

‘But now that I have seen this, here is what I must do.’ What did you see exactly? That you are not an object in time and space. So, the one that ‘must do’ is what? [Chuckles] All these are withdrawal symptoms.

And I’m not saying that the mouth will not say these kinds of things. It’s okay. I’m just saying that inwardly you will remain completely non-resisting and open as these things are happening. Like, whatever way this life has to unfold and has been unfolding, it will continue to unfold, in the light of the same One.

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We Take a Position About What Spills Out of the Mouth

Many times, I feel like asking all of you: Are you just saying? Or you really believe it to be true? [Smiles] Are you saying ‘But this, this, this…’ Like just saying. You have seen this mouth moving [indicates his mouth] and these words just spilling out. Or are there some actual ties you have to these words, attachments you have to these words? And a few times, I have asked this question. Many times, the answer has been ‘I’m just looking at this stuff. [Smiles] And as it is coming out, I was starting to get attached to it.’ You ask this question. We are very quick to take a position about of what is being spilled out of this mouth. [Smiles] It is just like ‘Oh, this came out from here and now this is the stand I have taken; now I have to live up to it.’ So, this is like fear of contradicting yourself because you’ll seem insane or something. [Smiles] It might have never have occurred to you but it came out of your mouth. How many times does it happen in so- called personal arguments? [Smiles] It never occurs to us, then it just spills out, and then it’s just like ‘No, I mean it! This is my stand.’ I didn’t know it until it spilled out: this is what it is. [Laughs and Laughter in the room] Many times, it even happens it spills out of the mouth and your initial reaction is ‘Where did that come from?’ But very quickly, you have to own it. [Chuckles]

Sangha: Even if thinking, it can be the same.

A:Yeah, exactly. Words showed up. It shows up. ‘This is what I believe.’ But it wasn’t there until a moment ago. ‘No, but this is now.’ [Smiles] Most arguments, most debates, most differences, most of it is like this in the world. ‘I really, really believe that the left is right!’ (I’m taking politically.) [Chuckles] But did you always have this? ‘No, actually this last year I started and it just came up, but it never came up before, that thought.’ [Smiles] I mean nothing.

Sangha: Father, very funny on this side, (now I see more clearly) that I kind of remember that I read it and sometimes in fact, lot of strong belief is there, then still it comes back. I was not even so convinced, but still I had a feeling ‘I actually believe that’.

A:Yeah, exactly. As soon as you asked a question or you made a report, then you it takes something. As it comes out, then you feel like ‘But now I have to stand up for this.’ Because maybe it looks too strange when we say ‘I want to go there’ and the next moment to say ‘No, I don’t want to go there’ or ‘what is left or right; what is straight?’ You know, these kind tricks. It’s like the world will think you’re mad or losing your mind or something so you feel that you have to hold on, just in case. It’s not just words which fall out of the mouth; it’s like this with our thoughts. It can come and say ‘I feel…’ But a moment ago, it was not like that. Or ‘I strongly feel that this is wrong.’ How strong is it? It just started one minute, one second ago. [Smiles] That’s why (as many of you know) sometimes I get report which is like ‘Ananta, I got in to an argument yesterday, but within a minute, I was laughing at what I was saying.’

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The Only Way to Truth Is to Get the Blindfold Off

All of you know the story of the elephant and the six blindfolded men? [Refers to the poem by American poet John Godfrey Saxe] So, each from their perspective is right. They have the blindfold on and they have a perception of something using their hands. And they can say ‘This is a rope, this is a pillar, this is a water hose’ and no amount of further inferences or deductions can get them to the truth. The only way for them to recognize what it actually is, is to get the blindfold off.

So, in Satsang, fundamentally this is the main thing that is happening, that all of us can have a certain perspective. Some can have a devotional perspective, some can have an Advaita perspective, all these various perspectives and in each of these there are hundreds of thousands of variations. But really, to go beyond our deductions and our inferences and our judgments is what Satsang is introducing you to.

So, to speak to one who is completely convinced that there is a rope in their hands and to tell them that ‘No, it is actually a pillar’ can be quite a futile task. [Chuckles] Isn’t it? Trying to convince others that our individual perspectives add to most of the (much, if not most) struggles in our human existence. Especially this relationship struggle is because of that, because we are looking at it from a different perspective and another is looking at it from a different perspective and trying to convince each other that this is true and this is not true leads to all this strange conflict. And actually, no two expressions in this realm seem to have the exact same perspective on anything. [Smiles] So, then what is the way out?

When we were empty of all perspectives, would we stop existing? Or life would stop functioning? [Smiles] If there was no other knowing, empty of concepts, notions, perspectives, then there would be no escape from this. [Smiles] But actually, what is your experience? When you are empty of all perspectives, all positions, all shapes [Chuckles] (these perspectives are the shape that you give yourself, the form that you give yourself) but empty of these, without a boundary to yourself, without a shape, what has changed? What did you lose? When you lose your favorite idea, when you lose that which you are completely right about (you think) what do you actually lose?

We were speaking to a Yoga teacher that day and the Yoga teacher said ‘They say Yoga is the cessation of mental fluctuations: chitta vritti nirodha’ and we were saying ‘What is this vritti?’ and he said a very interesting answer. He said ‘It’s all this knowledge.’ [Smiles] I was not expecting that. He said ‘All this knowledge, all these things that we think we know.’ And we were not naturally like this; we were taught like this. And when we protested and said ‘Why do I have to learn this stuff?’ you were told that ‘You will need this to live your life. Without this how can you live your life?’ Isn’t it? So, now the protest that comes is the reverse, isn’t it? In Satsang when you hear ‘Let go of everything that you think you are right about, let go of your perspective’ the protest is ‘But how will I live my life?’ because that has been the condition on which we agreed to learn all this stuff anyway; that ‘I am learning all this; I’m coming into this limited, unnatural sort of state of Being because Being can live this life only on the basis of this knowledge.’ So, when the Master is saying that ‘As a Gurudakshina, I want you to hand over everything that you think you know’ you have this fear that ‘How can I live my life?’

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But the thing is that the life has never been lived the way we think it has been. We think that it has been because of our ideas and our decisions, our will, but this is made up because the one that could exert that will, the one that could have such a thing as free well, that itself does not exist. So, it’s not a volitional play. It’s not a play full of choice. It’s just like a movie unfolding. Then at best we can say that it unfolds as is the will of the projective light (whether you call it Consciousness, whether you call it the Supreme Intelligence, whatever we call it). So, it has not been led in the way we think it has been led … because the one that could lead it has no substance, has no Reality, individually.

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There Is Actually No Distinction Between Inside and Outside

As these notions of ‘me’ and ‘other’ start to dissolve, we find that all of this has been notional.

The other day in Satsang and Govind gave a very nice report which I enjoyed, he said, ‘Father when you stated saying about ‘inside/outside’ being notions I felt it was like a bit philosophical, a bit too much (something like that) conceptual’. He said ‘When I actually looked, I saw that this is really strong, really powerful. That there is no distinction actually between inside and outside.’

And as you really start to explore these things you will see that you have no idea what it means when you say ‘outside’. Outside of what? Outside of ‘me’. But then you make a boundary about you to be your body. And really, this is irking you somewhere because, like was saying to someone the other day, if you truly believed you are the body, truly, truly believed, why would you be here in Satsang? There is nothing here for the body. So, already there’s a sense that you’re not this.

Now, you also found that when you explore things like your attention, you will see that it cannot leave you. So, when you say ‘I’m bringing my attention to the street and the sounds there’ where is all that happening? It never leaves you.

So, we’re very convinced about the outside and many of us feel very sure about what is inside, but we don’t know this. Because this ‘inside’ is very different from inside the body. As I’ve been saying very often, if you went inside and you were going inside the body then you’d find different things there; bones and ribs, kidneys and flesh and blood and all these things.

So, it’s not really that important to make a conclusion that there is no distinction between outside and inside. But what is important is to admit to yourself that you really don’t know. And the same for every notion; every notion. The same for everything.

As ‘Father’ and teacher, the feeling here is to say: As you lose these notions, you come to the end of your suffering or you come to a true recognition of what you are. Now the thing is that even these are notions, conclusions.

I was having a nice chat with someone the other day, probably Shivani, and we were just looking at this ‘notion/conclusion machine’. Even as we are seeing that all our notions are made up we still have to make a conclusion about that including ‘Oh, all my notions are made up!’ We cannot rest without it, in a way, because the habit is that way. That is like the loss of innocence.

It’s always ‘Okay, now I know that I cannot know’ … this type of thing. Because to return this innocence, to return to the point before the bite into the apple was taken can seem a bit strange because we’ve gotten used to living in a way that now we’ve got some conclusion that we can rest on.

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Taking a Stand Is the End of Exploration

This is the seeming-dilemma of the Satsang teacher, that seemingly-so many conclusions are being made. But if there is like a test of that, the test is ‘How attached are you to that which is being spoken?’

The other day, we are about that and we were saying that ‘Have you noticed how sometimes these words just come out of your mouth and you had no feeling to say them or no intention about them; they just come out … but something naturally then must take a stand about that. They just came; and then we have to then live up to them and say ‘Okay, it has come; now have to own it.’ And someone was also saying that it’s same thing with thoughts. ‘Once it has crossed my mind, oh, this is mine.’

This is what we were taking about: perspectives. What are perspectives but just a collection of thoughts? So, once it is crossed your mind-space then you feel like ‘Okay, I will live up to this, own up to this.’

Sangha: So nice that you say ‘How attached…?’ because normally when you converse, it just comes and it’s not like it has to, but words are spoken. It is almost like this there is some kind of knowledge (not the ‘Self-knowledge’ but some knowledge). But it is seen that it is also a conclusion which really does not have anything in it. It’s just because conversations have to be made; things are spoken.

A:Exactly. So, it’s all a question of openness. In a way, to say ‘attached’ and in another way to say that ‘attached or not attached’ is to see how open … how open we are to being contradicted? [Smiles] It’s about how open we are. Does that start to seem like an attack immediately? Like we said something; it came from nowhere. [Smiles] But somebody said ‘No, it is not like that.’ Is it like ‘No, it came from this mouth, so it must be valid!’ … like this kind of thing?

It is in these sticky things that we no longer then are open, that we are no longer then even exploring. Once we take a stand then that is the end of exploration … because you become so closed. And it’s very funny that in this entire play, it could be exactly the opposite also. If those words that we are attached to could have come from another mouth and the response could have come from our mouth, then conversation could have just been the opposite. But it just seems like ‘Okay, now, but this is [right].’ [Smiles] It’s a strange thing.

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‘Keep Quiet’ Can Also Be a Concept

Q:As I’m just looking, I feel that you’re pointing us to something without concepts. And of course, sometimes we hang onto concepts right away, I mean, to go away from concept ‘A’. And then, like this inside/outside, it can be labeled ‘This is inside, inside the body, and the rest is outside, outside the body, outside of me’ or I can then, in a way, replace it with a label ‘No, it’s all inside.’

A: That’s also a label.

Q:That’s also a label, and we all see that. But that’s how the mind is functioning.

A:And that’s very ‘Advaita’.

Q:Very much. And what I find is that actually, to see it in the moment, there’s investment in that. There is some belief because the labels come and then there is a little bit of belief in it; because now you’ve found something that is more true, right? But I find that, in a way, it’s strange because it seems to get more belief if you speak about that, if you share; if I share with a sangha sister and I say ‘Yeah, of course, it’s all in me’ then it takes some shape. So, I think that’s why Guruji [Sri Mooji] says ‘Just be quiet.’ You know? I feel like even if I talk to myself, that my mind is saying ‘Look! It’s all inside of me’ and also give it belief, in a way. It’s not exploring, as you say.

A:It’s good. I’ve noticed that. Who was saying the other day? … that ‘My thoughts are okay because nobody can hear them, but when I say these words, then I have to live up to that or own them.’ It is like that. Once we take a stand, in relationships, in the sangha, and say ‘This is how it is; it is all inside me’ then somebody comes and says ‘There is no inside’ then it’s like ‘No, it’s all inside me. Come to see it.’ We have to, in a sense, then own that. It can feel like that.

But I would recommend that we don’t even take a stand like ‘Therefore, then the best thing to do is to keep quiet’ or something. Because in the end, that is a conclusion. Like the best thing for what? ‘Best thing’ also implies that there is somewhere to get to, something to do.

Q:The best thing is to have less concepts. That’s kind of a more sattvic concept; throwing out the tamasic ones.

A:Just one [concept] is okay for everyone. One sattvic thought is enough. I feel happy with what you’re saying, that if there was really a choice between ‘Keep quiet, be quiet’ and just shouting every insight, maybe for a while, I’d say, better to just be quiet.

Q:I didn’t just mean an exchange. I see that it’s also manifesting when you speak; but also, when you speak it or when you actually speak it inside the mind.

A:Okay, let’s do one thing. I’ll take your postion, you take mine.

Q:It’s a bit difficult. [Laughter in the room]

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A:I say ‘Now, the best thing for anyone to do then is just keep quiet.’ Now you say…?

Q:Yeah, but isn’t that also a position. [Everyone laughs]

A:And the more you say about it, the more you start to own it.

Q:What would you say then if you were me?

A:I would say ‘Keep quiet.’

Q:You’re telling me to be quiet. That’s my choice. [Laughter]

A:What was that role-play you were doing the other day?

Q:The pizza guy.

A:The pizza guy; the mind.

As the Zen Master would say ‘You have spoken enough. Now bow and withdraw.’ [Laughs]

But this is exactly what we were saying … (I’ve already moved onto the next thing) … is that, if we were to argue about something now, we would suddenly be much more attached to that thing that wasn’t there 5 minutes ago. It’s just like that. This is exactly what I’m saying about perspective and positions, is just this sort of ‘conclusion-making system’ that we get used to; then we feel like ‘On this, then, now I can rest. On this, now I can rest.’

252

The Difference Between Conclusion and Insight

Q:It’s a little bit difficult in a way, because when we listen to you, we at the same time contemplate, then we might also see the mind is there to comment, to say ‘Yeah. I understand that. It’s good to see that.’ So, I see it also happening and there is a feeling like ‘Yeah.’ And I see, too, that it’s happening. And one thought is like ‘Okay, what should I do now? Should I go into that?’ It seems to be the lower choice so it might be part of the path. So, what to do and all this, to drop it? I don’t know. It’s like a very tiny path. Is it like where you drop everything so you just stay empty … in which case, you might also drop the insights you have? Or you actually appreciate the insights and stay with them, even though confusion may come?

A: How do you differentiate between insight and conclusion?

Q:It’s like you’re pointing to something. I might see that actually, inside/outside (for example, the definition of water example) … it’s just a label. That’s it.

A:So, that wordless seeing (let’s use the word ‘seeing’ for now) in which there was no defining of inside and outside; that wordless seeing is what we would call insight. But when we say ‘Ah, now I know there is no inside or outside’ that is the conclusion.

Q: Yeah. It comes in a split-second after…

A:It can come soon after. And the thing is that, especially with these Advaita concepts, people have been arguing about them for centuries. Like one Sage will say ‘All of this appearance is within Consciousness. This is the way of Consciousness; the will also.’ Another Sage will say ‘There is no such thing as maya; it both exists and doesn’t exist.’ Like Shankara would say ‘None of this ever happened.’ But we can’t even say that. We cannot say anything about the existence or non-existence of This. So, it is not about which side we pick, because that naturally will unfold. Like this mouth is generally talking about the play of Consciousness. But it’s that deeper Seeing, in a way. And there’s a resting in this conclusion-less-ness which seems to be a bit healing to us, in the moment. It can seem like it’s a bit healing. So, that’s why there’s all these methods; the method of inquiring into our conclusion and saying ‘This is not valid, this is not valid, this is not valid, it is not valid, its opposite is not valid’ then you start letting go of these. Or to just hand them over to God, to the Master (whatever you feel); this feeling that ‘It’s all Yours anyway, so I surrender it back to you.’

These things I’ve been saying, I’m not fanatical about it. The thing is, we very quickly start making a museum for these pointers. We start (like Guruji would say) making tattoos out of these things. We’re just looking at: What does the cleanup job? This is enough. Because it can feel like ‘I’m getting to true spirituality by making the best museum to the spiritual concepts that I think are true.’ Like ‘This is how this should be, this is how the Master should be.’ These kinds of things can then also happen.

253

Openness Is Important, Not the Right Question or Answer

[Reading from the chat]: “How to know the right questions from the wrong ones?”

In the Satsang context (if we are speaking about it from the Satsang context) actually, I will not say ‘the right question and the wrong question.’ No question in itself inherently would be wrong or right … but [is about] whether what is heard in response to that question becomes part of our concept basket or whether the answer does a clean-up, sweep-up job.

If our ‘inner attitude’ is that of letting go then even the simplest words that we hear from anyone actually can be beautiful pointers to help you let go. But if our inner attitude is to build more and more ideas into a new belief system, then that can lead to more identification, more confusion and more duality.

There is a beautiful story about Dogen. (And there are many versions of this story so I don’t know which one you would have heard but this is the one that is coming up now.)

Dogen met this old kitchen Monk. He was a monk who was taking care of the kitchen. So, Dogen tells him ‘What are you doing? You’re cooking all this and you should be doing meditation and come to some recognition of your truth.’ So, the old monk said ‘You don’t know what you are talking about! You have no idea about what the teachings are.’ Then Dogen got a bit shaken up and he says ‘What are the teachings? What is the teaching? What is the true pointing?’ And the old monk starts laughing and says ‘One, two, three, four, five.’

[Chuckles] So, was it the right question and the right answer?

I have been saying that the words a mother uses to wake up her child from sleep are really not of that much importance as we think they are.

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Truth is Wordless and Beyond Distinctions

Q:There is a lot being contemplated about this. It’s about Consciousness being Intelligence, using the mind for intelligent functioning. The egoic positions, anything not open is accepted (as that) but to deny that we are one with Intelligence, available in life is true here. So, sharing this.

A:Yes, but as we are really looking at everything that we conclude to be true (and I’m very happy to hear that this contemplation is on; this contemplation is very good) then we see that we don’t know what ‘expression’ is, what ‘functioning’ is, what ‘through’ is, even what ‘Consciousness’ is. Actually, we don’t. As a pointer, as a provisional truth, of course, it’s quite beautiful, what you say; that it is just One Consciousness which is functioning through all expression. But as we are pushing through the boundaries of all concepts, looking at them in the light of true Seeing, we see that all these statements ultimately are just provisional distinctions.

Like the Sage said (I’m not sure if it was Nisargadatta Maharaj): ‘The ultimate Truth is very simple. Just make no distinctions.’ Now, the thing is that even in a statement like that, there are so many distinctions like ‘ultimate, truth’ but as a pointer, it is potent. So, what I’m saying is that the ultimate truth is not contained in that statement, and yet, it seems like it is a useful pointer for the time being. In the same way, all expression, including what is being shared in Satsang is, at best, a provisional truth, a provisional pointer, to bring us to that which is beyond even the statement ‘I am Brahman’ or ‘I am the Self’. Like [Nisargadatta] Maharaj said ‘In the end, even ‘I Am’ is not true. Although it is the only truth that I can speak of, I have to say that even that is ultimately untrue.’ So, if this ‘I Am’, Consciousness Itself, is ultimately untrue (which means actually it is untrue right now) … then we come to this wordless spirituality, wordless (if you can call it) space where the distinction of true and untrue is not there anymore. So, it’s a beautiful contemplation.

Q:The little trick here has been that ‘The mind thoughts are never true, but Consciousness Itself is Intelligence and can be relied upon’ (using that as an idea) to cover up a fear that ‘I’ll become stupid by believing that I know nothing.’ So, am exposing/surrendering that.

A:Yes. It is a trick, like you say. The mind will say ‘But what if I just sound stupid, to not know anything?’ because we feel that our conceptual knowing has made us intelligent. And then we see that ‘Okay, I’m seeing that the mind doesn’t know anything but the true Source of Intelligence is Consciousness Itself’ … and you see that this trick is played by the mind itself. [The thought says that] ‘To know that I know nothing makes us silly or stupid’ but actually, I’m not even saying that. We come to a point where we don’t even know that we know nothing. Like, no conclusion is valid anymore, including the conclusion that ‘I know nothing’. So, ‘I know something’ and ‘I know nothing’ both are divested of their meaning.

And as reassurance, of course, we can say that ‘Don’t worry. Your life continues to run in this Supreme Intelligence of Consciousness.’ But that soon will start seeming insipid. I know that for a while it can feel like we need to reassure ourselves in this way, but when I say ‘insipid’ it’s more like the claim that ‘I have a mouth speaking that I have a mouth.’ [Chuckles] It doesn’t really have to be claimed. This is all very good to look at, to expose, to inquire into.

255

Can the Perceiver Be Perceived?

[Reading from chat]: “Can it be said that the belief that ‘I am the body’ is a learned belief?”

Yes, all beliefs are learned beliefs. All beliefs are learned beliefs. If you want to become technical about it then you can say… (okay, better not to become technical and to get into the karma thing). They are all learned beliefs. Forget about it. [Chuckles]

That is why Satsang, at times, can seem like a struggle because nobody believes anything thinking that it is false. All our beliefs are picked up as our notions of what is true, as true representations of ‘What Is’. Now, as we hear every day in Satsang: ‘You cannot represent ‘What Is’. That cannot be captured in any notion. Whatever you’re thinking about yourself to be true, is not true. You cannot even find that ‘me’ that you think of as ‘you’. You don’t even know where you are.’ It is bound to lead to some churning; sometimes frustration, sometimes bliss. Sometimes it can be any way. Of course, I have to say that we encounter frustration a lot more. [Chuckles] Why? Because all of these are ideas that we have held strongly thinking that ‘These are helpful to us, they are the truth and they will help me become a better person, lead a better life.’ All of these things are there.

So, that’s why it can seem a bit oppressive almost. But it is very feigned, because it would seem oppressive only if you continue to carry the idea that you are a limited object. Then it can seem oppressive for that; that ‘Oh, I am a limited object and I even don’t have doer-ship; then I’m just like a chair, just getting pushed around.’ But I’m not saying that. I’m saying: most important is to see that you are not this object; to find that all these objects are nothing but perceptions.

But that which perceives them, is that a perception?

As Guruji [Sri Mooji] would say ‘Can the perceiver be perceived?’

So, whether the cleanup job happens through this inquiry process (which sometimes is called Jnana Yoga) or whether it happens through a surrender (which is called Bhakti Yoga) or whether you just take on something where you realize that your intellect cannot get you there (whether you call that Zen or something else; it doesn’t matter) ultimately you come to this conceptual emptiness. It doesn’t mean that concepts cannot arise and go. It only means that they are not taken to be valid representations of reality. They are not taken to really decipher. Like the other day, we were saying that even your phenomenal aspect, it cannot really represent.

Say what is happening in this room; in concept. You cannot do it. Even phenomenally, what is happening in this room, you cannot decipher truly, conceptually. At best, it would be a very timid version, like ‘There are 10 people talking about some strange truth.’ [Chuckles] But is that truly representative? Then you can say ‘Okay, some are sitting that way, some are sitting this way.’ How many sentences will it take to define even this? And this is just the content of our perception in one moment. It will take millions of sentences to truly decipher even the phenomenal appearance; sounds, tastes, sensations, appearances, colors, shapes and sizes. All of this. But we live by these; these photocopy versions of life. ‘This one is like this, this one is like that.’ These kinds of things; we live by these. But we don’t really know any of that.

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These photocopy versions are oppressive, in a way, because it is not just that we are making a judgment about what is appearing; more importantly, we are making a judgment about what we are, which is also a limited object.

So, if even your phenomenal existence cannot be deciphered in concepts, then how will you represent your wholeness …, which is the un-manifest and the manifest? … (if you can say something like that).

Neither this nor that can we really encapsulate it in any conceptual framework. That which is aware of all of this, what concepts can contain IT actually?

~ ~ ~

Mooji Baba ki Jai !

Ananta ji ki Jai !

books by ananta

ARE YOU AWARE NOW

March 19, 2016

Based on a series of talks given by Ananta between April to August 2014. “You are always the Awareness itself, and as Awareness you know that all that is appearing in front of you is just an appearance. There is no one here besides You. All appearances are a play of Consciousness. You stay as the Awareness itself. Once the one that wants to help vanishes, then pure grace and help will flow from You, from your Being itself. Do not get confused, my beloveds. This is all for your own good, for your own freedom. There is only You. You are all there is. All emerges from your own Being. And the way to bless the entire Being is to find your complete freedom.”

CAN YOU STOP BEING

March 19, 2016

Can You Stop Being consists of excerpts taken from some of Ananta's earliest Satsang's between August to October, 2014. “Ask yourself right now: Can I stop being now? In this question you will see that there is a Being here; your own Presence, which cannot be stopped. This Being is not a man or a woman, it is just Being. Irrespective of what happens in the story of this life, this Being is unaffected, unchanged, untouched Consciousness. Prior to I am a person, I am a man, I am a partner, I am a parent, I am a child, prior to all of this: ‘I Am’.

DONT BELIEVE YOUR NEXT THOUGHT

March 19, 2016

This book is a selection of Satsang dialogues that took place between Novemmeber 2014 to October 2015. “Although it can sound simple, almost trivial, but to not believe our next thought is to experience the freedom, the non-resistive, non-suffering state, right now. You cannot suffer without buying your next thought. Even if you believed all your previous thoughts, this fresh moment is so beautiful and powerful that all prior conditioning has dissolved already unless we pick up the tree of conditioning again by pulling at the branch of the next thought.”

AWARENESS ITSELF IS AWARE OF AWARENESS

April 1, 2016

This book is a selection of satang dialogues that took place between January and February, 2016. “You see, the Knowing is always Knowing. Awareness is always Aware, and This is always 'I'. So although Being is coming to a realization of its Source, The 'I' has always been 'I' . Even in the playing of ‘I’ as ‘I Am’, ‘I’ has remained as ‘I’.”

BEYOND ALL CONCEPTS

May 24, 2016

This book is a selection of satang dialogues that took place between March and May, 2016. “That’s why I say that ‘You are free now’. What does that mean? As Awareness you are free. But the advice is ‘Keep coming to satsang’. For who? For the Beingness. There is nothing here for the person. You see? So Consciousness in this monologue is saying to Itself: ‘Hey, buddy, you know, it’s good, what we’ve walked together so far, but let’s just keep at it’. You know? That’s the real monologue that God is having with Itself. It’s all part of the game.”

FREEDOM IS NOW

July 13, 2016

This book is a compilation of short, poignant talks taken from online Satsangs with Ananta between 19th May to 11th July 2016. It is not the recognition which is difficult. More difficult is to give up our stories. But That which You Are, (and you’re recognizing it now), cannot have a story. That which is not phenomenal cannot have a story. That within which all phenomenon is born and dissolves cannot have a story. You Are This.

WHO IS AWARE OF AWARENESS

August 26, 2016

Based on a series of talks given by Ananta in July and August 2016. “Can it be that all the wise ones were fooling us with their imploration ‘Know Thyself’ just so that one day we would come to this conclusion that ‘The Truth about the Self is unknowable’? The Realization of the Self is completely possible! The Self is completely Knowable! But not in the way we think. Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi's repeated advice to inquire ‘Who Am I?’ and Nisargadatta Maharaj's guidance to stay with the sense ‘I Am’ was not so that one day they could say ‘Fooled you!’ There is a big clue in the phrase ‘Know Thyself’. The clue is to look at this Knowing itself.”

MEET ME HERE WHERE WE ARE ONE

November 16, 2016

This is the 8th book of Ananta Satsang talks, taken from online satsangs from 5th September to 19th October 2016. Meet me here where we are One. Meet me here where the universe is just a tiny firefly. Meet me here before time and space. Meet me where meeting Me is to meet Yourself.

THE GREATEST GIFT

December 28, 2016

This book contains simple pointings, contemplations, guided inquiry and powerful discussions from online satsangs between 26th Oct. to 15th Dec. 2016. “I feel [this] is the gist of what has been shared from here over the years; the gist of what Advaita Vedanta really is trying to convey. It has been a great gift in this life here. Meeting all of you also has been the greatest gift that my Master has given. I have so much gratitude in my Heart for all of you. Thank you for being this beautiful Sangha, my beautiful friends and family. May we all never forget the beautiful grace we have all had in our lives to have the opportunity to be at the feet of Satguru Sri Moojiji.”

THIS SIMPLE SEEING

October 24, 2017

Based on a series of talks from Satsang with Ananta, April through September 2017." What witnesses everything and Itself remains unchanging? This one sentence is more than enough, actually." "Satsang is nothing but these two aspects, which are completely inter-linked: What is it that I truly Am? and the dissolution of the belief in this idea of limitation."

TRUTH BEYOND CONCEPTS

January 8, 2018

Based on a series of talks from Satsang with Ananta, from first of October through end of December 2017. “If it is picked up, it is picked up. Now it's gone. No concept has ever survived this moment. Isn’t this good news? No concept has ever, ever survived this moment. You are empty of it Now.”

YOUR NOTIONLESS EXISTENCE

February 27, 2018

This book is a compilation of a series of Satsang talks from 1st January through 23rd February, 2018. “Look at truly what your starting point already is. Once you See that in the beginning itself You are All-There-Is, then what to do with this idea of getting something? These are the gifts of our notionless Existence. As we don’t create a notional, conceptual boundary about ourselves, as we include all sensations and perceptions in our own Being, we See that ‘I witness all of this. There is only One without another and This is MySelf.’ This is Your starting point already. This is the best news.”

EVERYTHING IS THE GURUS GRACE

June 19, 2018

This book has been compiled from online Satsangs, 1st March to 14th June 2018. “The bigger meaning of Grace is that it is the will of Consciousness Itself which is all-inclusive. Everything is included in that. This is Grace. When we say ‘Guru Kripa Kevalam’ it means ‘Only the Master’s Grace Is.’ We start to see then that it is one unfolding; it is one movement of Consciousness. The physical form of the Master is the embodiment of this Satguru, the Divine Presence in Your Heart. Everything is unfolding in Its light. This Guru is the light of our Existence. We will See ultimately that everything is the Grace of this Divine Presence; everything is this Satguru’s Grace, is God’s Grace.”

WHAT DO YOU KNOW WHEN YOU KNOW NOTHING

August 29, 2018

Taken from online Satsangs 25th June to 21st August 2018, these simple pointings, contemplations, guided inquiries and interactions with sangha are full of Ananta’s direct insights, love and laughter. “It is not possible to find the Absolute through conceptual or perceptual understanding. I’m pointing you to emptiness. To put one drop is to fill my cup. What does the empty cup look like? To know one thing is to know too much. What do I know when I know nothing?”

THE TRUTH IS ALWAYS APPARENT

November 13, 2018

Compiled from transcripts from Ananta Satsangs (27th August to 1st November 2018) these simple pointings, contemplations, and interactions with sangha are full of Ananta’s direct insights, love and laughter. “What is apparent to You Now, without making any distinction, without using any terminology, not even Satsang terminology? We have made a nice nest with all the concepts about Consciousness, Awareness and ‘What I have to do to stay there’. Don’t rest even in that. Don’t make any conclusion, any judgment. I say to you that the Truth is apparent to You Now, the Complete Truth is apparent to You Right Now, fully. There is no time in which this is not true. Only our intellect seems to cloud it, our judgments, our interpretations, our labels. They seem to cloud it, but not really. In the Right Now, the Absolute Truth is apparent to You. But not to your mind.”

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