Truth Cannot Be Spoken
This book was created from transcripts of Ananta’s online Satsangs from 1st January to 7th February 2019. Ananta takes on concepts and interpretations in this book and the way many can miss the living direct experience of the Truth by holding onto spiritual concepts left over from moments of revelation instead of meeting and living this Truth fresh each Now.
Ruthlessly exposing yet gently showing step-by-step how the Truth cannot be spoken and what living without concepts is actually revealing to us, this book is full of Ananta’s direct insights, poignant clarity, and interactions with the Sangha, always sprinkled with generous doses of love and laughter.
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.”
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.
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 book was created from transcripts of Ananta’s online Satsangs from 1st January to 7th February 2019. Ananta takes on concepts and interpretations in this book and the way many can miss the living direct experience of the Truth by holding onto spiritual concepts left over from moments of revelation instead of meeting and living this Truth fresh each Now. Ruthlessly exposing yet gently showing step-by-step how the Truth cannot be spoken and what living without concepts is actually revealing to us, this book is full of Ananta’s direct insights, poignant clarity, and interactions with the Sangha, always sprinkled with generous doses of 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, Pankaj, Prarthana, Drishti and Amaya). Book edited and compiled by Amaya. Posting onto website by Krishna. 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
- 6Some Clues from the Sages – Recap of Satsang Basics
- 11Awareness Is Completely Apparent to Itself
- 13Notions of Reality Are Not the Reality
- 15The Self Cannot Be Seen
- 18Take a Dip in Yourself
- 19Right Now the Truth Is Complete
- 20‘Can You Remain Empty in This Moment?’ Is All of Spirituality
- 23You Are Never Contained in the Box of Notions
- 25Your Openness Is the Answer
- 28In Satsang, We Also Want to Confirm What We Already Know
- 30You Will Never Recognize the Self Through Perception
- 33 What Distinction Do You Have to Make?
- 34 ‘Is’ Is Always Here
- 35Let Truth Embrace You So Much That There’s No ‘Me’ Left
- 36 How Do You Represent Truth As I?
- 38 Master Keys to Freedom (Clues from Ashtavakra Gita)
- 40Intellect Can’t Reach Our Real Self
- 41What Does ‘I’ Mean?
- 42Wherever You May Wander, You Are Always This
- 43An Invitation to Look
- 44We Don’t Know How Much We Still Know
- 47Is There Something Called a World?
- 50 Pointing to the Most Simple
- 51Make No Reference to I, Either Absolute or Personal
- 52Coming to Truth Is Not Confined to Withdrawal of Attention
- 53 Reading Ribhu Gita, Chapter 26
- 56 The Best Advaitan Is a Fool That Knows Nothing
- 57In Your Conclusion Is Suffering
- 58 Just Let It All Come and Go
- 59Is the Doer True?
- 60What Is More Intimate to You?
- 61If You Know, It Just Messes It Up
- 62 Satsang Terms Can Also Become Home for the ‘Me’
- 64Coming to This Wordless Spirituality
- 67Pointings Are Only Provisional Truths
- 68What Are You Calling Witnessing?
- 72The Concept Of ‘Me’
- 73 The End of Suffering
- 75To Not Take This ‘Me’ Seriously Is to Be A Sage
- 77What Is the Distance Between Chai and Brahman?
- 78Where to Look to Find the Self?
- 81What’s Here When We Don’t Rely on Concepts & Perceptions?
- 82There’s a Greater Knowing which is Clear, Here and Now
- 84Abiding Is Simply Not to Pick Up a Notion
- 87How Is Awareness Confirmed?
- 91Give Up Even the Giving Up
- 94Leave Aside This Fruitless Thinking
- 96Doubt Until You Discover
- 99 Out-trick the Trickster
- 100Empty of Whatever We Thought We Knew
- 101 Satsang Is Introducing You to This Naturalness
- 103It’s Not a Denial of What’s Happening
- 105 Keep Calm and Trust
- 106 Provisional Truths are Thorns to Remove Other Thorns
- 109 Meeting Emotions with Acceptance
- 112 The 3-Ds of the Ego: Duality, Desire and Doership
- 113True Surrender
- 115Exploration of the ‘I’ Thought
- 117 Reading Ribhu Gita, Chapter 8 and 9
- 123 How to Answer Something Beyond Percepts and Concepts?
- 125What Do You Know for Certain?
- 128Everything That Has an Opposite Is in the Box
- 131 Don’t Expect Truth to Comply to Any Version of ‘Me’
- 134What Is Apparent Now Beyond Percepts and Concepts?
- 138True Knowing Is the Most Simple
- 139 Are You Itching to Conclude Something?
- 140Don’t Shoot the Sheepdog
- 141 Leave All Concepts Aside
- 142What Are You Expecting to Find?
- 145See the Mind for What It Is
- 148Exploring the Notion of ‘Doing’ Something
- 153All Opposites Are Inside the Box Only
- 155 The Only Bridge to Truth Is ‘Burn the Bridge’
- 158The Most Useful Thorn Can Hurt as Well
- 159In Our Attempt to Know, We Miss the Apparent Truth
- 163This Is the Meeting We Have Been Waiting For
- 165 The Subtitles in the Movie of Life Got Mixed Up
- 169 What Is Your Version of Reality?
- 171 Really Important to See What the Mind Is
- 173 Are You Listening?
- 175 Throw All Ideas Away
- 179 What Does the Body Want?
- 181 Limitation Is Duality
- 184 Get Rid of Everything That Will Go
- 185 What Is Real?
- 187 Nothing Here Has to Be Resolved
- 189 There Is No Bondage
- 190 This Moment You Are Free
- 191 Wanting the End of ‘Me’ With Great Benefits for Me
- 193 Lost in the Jungle of Percepts and the Desert of Concepts?
- 196 Lose All References to the ‘I’
- 197 Can You Hold Opposites as True Without Any Trouble?
- 200 Stop All Construction Activity
- 202 What Are You Trying to Solve?
- 204 What Is Before the Idea of Zero and One?
- 206 You Can’t Miss It but You Can’t Own It
- 209 Have You Found a Single Benefit of Identification?
- 212 Don’t Postmortem the Instruction Itself, Just Follow It
- 218 Truth Is Not Conceptualize-able
- 220 Prayer and Blessings from the Master
Some Clues from the Sages
Recap of Satsang Basics
Shall we go through some of the basics?
[Smiles] I know all of you are very advanced seekers. [Laughs] Indulge me for a few minutes.
So, presumably we are on the search for something that is Real; in search for Reality, in search for Truth, Reality, God, Freedom. Let’s use these terms synonymously. And if you are not here for that, then I am wondering why you are here. [Laughs]
So, presumably it is just to come to this recognition of the Self, Truth, Reality, Freedom, Moksha (whatever you call it). Now, the Sages have presented to us many clues. And most of those clues are about where it is not. Isn’t it? What did they say?’ It is not in something that changes or comes and goes.’
It is not in something that changes or comes and goes. These are used provisionally, okay? Don’t take them too seriously; they are just pointers.
So, let’s say that this is the first clue: that it does not change and it does not come and go. What all is gone because of this clue? (We will go slowly.)
So, the first thing, let’s say, is perception. What is perceived, at least; the object of perception. Now, is there an object of perception which comes and stays permanently?
All comes and goes.
Everyone knows what is perception? What is implied by the term perception? That which is consumed, in a way, through the senses. What are these senses? Sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch: that is perception. There is another type of perception (I don’t know what the term is but I call it) ‘inner perception’ because even if we are not using this physical sight, even if we are not using physical taste, touch, it is possible to perceive these things. If I say ‘What is the taste of an orange?’ we can perceive it, isn’t it? Even though we are not tasting it with this tongue, we can still perceive the taste, the tanginess of an orange or the sweetness of honey, the sourness of a lemon. Say, if you can bring attention to the image of a tree, you can still perceive a tree. You can still perceive it. What’s better is if I say ‘don’t’ … ‘Don’t think of a tree’ then you still perceive a tree. That is the nature of the mind. This perception is also perception. So, is there anything in this perception that meets the Sage’s criterion? The Sage has said ‘If you are looking for Reality, then it cannot be found in the objects of perception’
So, is this true?
What is your experience?
What is the criterion?
It is that it must not come and go; it must not change.
Anything like that in perception?
So, then we cannot look for it there; we cannot look for it as an object of perception. Take this quite seriously because many of us are still hoping to have an experience of It. Many of us are still hoping to have an experience of It; and sometimes when you are having an experience then you are calling it It. So, we are either grasping or searching for an experience of it (perceptual experience) or when there is some by-product of enquiry or meditation or whatever (whatever you might be doing) if there is an experience, then you might be mistaking that for It. So, it is not in that, because the Sage has said ‘It does not come and go; it does not change.’ So, it is not that. Don’t attach yourself to this. So, perception is out.
Then what about thoughts? What are these thoughts? Another form of perception only, isn’t it? But what is unique about thoughts as opposed to other perception?
A:Well, some perceive it as a shape. Some can perceive it as a language or perceive it as audio. So, shape can also, in a way, be perceived.
S:It’s not solid.
A:But imagination is also perception, (in a way). If you imagine a green Martian, it is not solid and yet it is a perception.
S: It tells a story, Father.
A:It tells a story. Okay, this is a good point. What is this? [Raises one hand] If you are perceiving this (and I am not using the label for a reason) if you’re perceiving this … then is there a story inherent in it? Is the story inherent in an object? (Let’s use the term provisionally: pure perception.) In pure perception, is the story inherent? So, when we say [Points to hand]
‘believe’ or ‘don’t believe’ is it possible? Not possible.
S: Not applicable.
A:Not applicable because there is only a certain form of perception; a type of perception, an energy construct, that we call thought which carries this story or message (interpretations; subtitles of the movie) So, this [holds up one hand] how is that perceived? And each of you may perceive it differently. When you perceive a thought … if I say to you ‘Wait for the next thought to arise and tell me what it is saying’ … it might seem a bit ‘floaty’ and yet we can see the arising of it and report what it is saying; or you might seem to hear it. (When I’m saying ‘see’ I am using the term broadly.)
So, if you refer to this energy-construct of thoughts, can it represent something which is without qualities: that which does not come and go?
A:In the greatest concept that you can think about … what is the greatest concept you can think about?
A:Brahman, Absolute. What else? The Self or God.
A:‘Pure Consciousness.’ You see? Concepts; all of these. What else?
A:Vibration, primordial. So, this is the greatest concept. Then what is the smallest concept?
A:Person, ego, selfishness, identification.
A:Lunch. [Chuckles] Something very phenomenal, in a way. Lunch verses Brahman. [Laughter] Trivial; just labels for some phenomenal thing, some tiny phenomenal thing.
So, we looked at all of these perceptions, and now we’re looking at all the labels which are possible.
Now, when we say even Brahman, you will notice that the mind tries to paint a picture of it, paint a visual of it, to say that ‘I know what he’s talking about.’ Or if you say ‘lunch’ then the mind can give you a banana; the mind can give you a picture of it. Now, all these labels are something which are four things that you can visualize or represent. The smallest to the greatest. Many times, when we talk about Awareness or the space or even of emptiness, the mind gives us a visual of a dark, empty space or some room full of white light or something like that. And we mistake that visual to be It. But that is also what? It is just a perception; it is just a perception.
So, in these labels, in these representations, they are only trying to represent or interpret something which you can visualize or imagine or think you can have a perception of. So, we found that in all these perceptions, they do not fulfill the criterion of ‘the unchanging’ and all of these thoughts only represent something we can perceive. And even if the thought is saying ‘It is
That which cannot be perceived’ … even if the thought is saying that ‘Okay, the thought is of That which cannot be perceived’ actually it is still using a perception as the reference. It is still using the reference of perception; perception as a reference.
Nisargadatta Maharaj was asked by someone ‘What is the Reality of who you are?’ He said: ‘It is nothing you can think about or perceive.’ Now, he wasn’t being insulting to the questioner. He wasn’t saying ‘You can’t’ … not like that. He was saying it is beyond our concepts and beyond our percepts. So, if these two are gone, then our methods of knowing (in a way) are gone. Isn’t it? Our methods of knowing are gone. Because how do we know things?
Now, since we are going through the basics, let me go through this also very slowly.
If you had a blindfold on and somebody came and told you ‘There is a cliff hundred meters away’ and it was a credible source, a voice that you recognize, you would say ‘Thank you for warning me. Now I know that there is a cliff a hundred meters away.’ Now, after few minutes, suppose a more credible voice came; your parents came, or your children came, somebody that you trust a lot came and they said ‘What are you doing? There is a cliff fifty meters away.’ So, you knew it was a hundred meters away but now you know it is fifty meters away because you heard it form a more credible source. Now something happened and you were able to remove your blindfold and you saw that actually, it is just ten meters away. So, you trust that perception more than these concepts which you have heard from other credible sources and now you have a perception of the cliff which is ten meters away, so you trust that more.
So, when the Sage is saying that it is not possible to know the Truth through these concepts that you have heard, even though they might be from outside or they might be from this mind, it is not to be captured in the concept or it cannot be an object of your perception.
So, if it cannot be based on what you hear about it, or what you perceive it to be, then these two methods of knowing are gone. Then what is left?
S: The one who perceives it.
A: The one who perceives it. How is that to be known?
S: It’s known by Itself.
A:Okay slowly, slowly.
So, even the Sages said ‘Find the one that witnesses.’ That is another clue … which you just shared.
So, what are the clues we’ve looked at so far? It does not change and it does not come and go.
Another clue is: It is that which Itself witnesses everything. It is the primal witnessing itself. So, this is the second clue.
And what if we investigate It?
Can you find It as something which you see, hear, taste, touch, smell? No. Can you find It as a concept? No.
So, if we are looking for the Self (we are here for ‘Atma Jnana’ – Self Knowledge) then how is this type of Knowledge to be gained?
In fact, this is (in a way) like the first verse of the Ashtavakra Gita, where king Janaka asks his Master: ‘How do I gain true Knowledge, liberation?’
Because it’s a conundrum, no? If you apply the filters that the Sages have provided, then to know this seems impossible. Because my means of knowing are my concepts and my percepts. Now we can’t apply those.
Then what is left?
Awareness Is Completely Apparent to Itself
Are you aware now?
So, the question was: Show me your real form. Yes?
Actually, ‘Real’ and ‘form’ are kind of contradictory. So, in this ‘Are you aware now?’ … do you meet a form? And that is the most real. The most real from which benchmark? From the benchmark of ‘The Unchanging.’ All other forms, ALL other forms, will come and go. But if you say ‘Real’ … then the Real does not come and go. So, beyond all attributes, beyond all forms, I Am the Real … You Are the Real. There are no-two.
And in service to this Real, all forms can arise, do arise. And they can be enjoyed. In a way, this world is for the enjoyment of the Self. But it is only enjoyment as long as it is met from a space of openness. The minute we start considering ourselves to be something limited, it is no longer enjoyment; in fact, it can become an attachment. So, the universes are here for your joy. Let them come and go. But My Reality is The Formless. And of this Reality, You are aware.
This Reality is never un-Known and yet can never be known.
Everything that you can know, that you can perceive, will also come and go. To allow it this space to come and go is non-attachment.
To want something to come or to want something to not go is desire.
To want something to not come is aversion.
To allow everything to come and go is to remain open.
To interpret any appearances is to resist it.
To label any phenomenon is to not to meet it.
To remain open and empty is to be free.
And in this openness, the Self is completely apparent.
It is not hidden.
And yet it is not an object of perception.
This attention and belief, they work like eyes and hands.
The attention is the eyes and belief is the hands.
So, watch everything let it come and go. But do not pick up any notion, any idea. Because to pick up a notion is to pick up a limitation. To watch it come and go can never lead to any trouble. And soon the watching will become open, light, universal.
But if we see with the intent to hold, to grab, to grasp, then that is what suffering looks like.
So, your eyes can be open or closed; the eyes of attention.
But keep your hands of belief in your pocket.
Can you live like this?
A:Yes. Only grasping is suffering. These are all the words you need.
The mind will come with, it doubts, trying to convince you that it knows better or you know better. But it is the mind itself claiming to be you.
In your pure perception (pure perception means unmixed with any notion) there is no disinclination between the changing and the changeful, between the manifest and the un- manifest.
The minute you know something, you know suffering; the instant you think you know something, you know separation … which is never real, but it can ‘seem to be’.
That’s why I say: To know even one thing is to know too much.
And yet, the emptying of our mental knowing is not the end of the true Knowingness.
This Self, this Awareness, for which no distinction ever happened, is completely apparent to Itself.
Notions of Reality Are Not the Reality
A:If you feel like ‘to not know anything’ is too much and it feels too fearful or something then ‘know just one thing.’ And that could be: ‘All is God, Guru, Self’ (it’s the same thing) or ‘All is the Masters Grace.’ Now, that thorn is also ultimately just a thorn. That is why I said: If it feels like it is too much to be so fully empty and ‘I need to have at least one thing to hold onto, I feel like I need one branch or one thorn’ then you can have one of these. But it doesn’t mean that actually it is that. It is not actually that that distinction is true or something like that. That there is any sort of inherent meaning or duality in anything is just not true.
When we are rid of even that notion … (let’s put it another way): Is the Real real only because there is a notion of it being real?
A:So, if you discard the notion of it being Real, will it cease to be Real? But whatever the notion might be and however well-crafted the notion might be, can it really represent the Real?
A:So, that is why, as real as any notion might seem, it is at best a provisional Truth because it can never truly represent the Reality of the Real.
We might feel that ‘If I throw away the notion of the Real then the Real would go away’ but then what kind of real would that be, if it is so dependent on having the notion of it? It is supposed to be the great Unchanging, isn’t it? So, how can it be the notion having it is detrimental to its own Reality? It can’t be; having it or not having it? To see that even this, the greatest that you might say: ‘All is Brahman’ is also a notion representing Reality because even in the word ‘All’ there is duality, there is separation. ‘The one and many’ … these notions are there. So, it is not possible to capture this Reality in any notional fashion, and it does not go when we are rid of everything that we think is right or true. Because it is, by definition, that which does not come and go.
So, even in the highest notions that the Sages enumerated beautifully, there is no distinction between them and the lower-seeming notions. He’s not even making a hierarchy of notions; he is saying ‘Throw them all out. Throw them all out and don’t be scared that the Real will go.’ It is not going to be like throwing the baby out with the bath water. We have confused the bath water to be the baby. We have confused our notions to be the Real.
Our notions of Reality are not Reality. That’s why I’m emphasizing so much about True Knowing versus this notional knowing because we are not yet able to distinguish between the two and we often confuse that. That’s why it is important to clarify what we mean when we say ‘All that I know is the Self’ or ‘All that I know is God or Guru.’ What are we actually saying? That I have a concept of it? or ‘I had some experience of it. I have some memory of it.’ Is that what we are saying or is there something more immediate [Snaps his fingers] empty of any representation.
So, can the notion of Hari and the notion of Shiva really represent Hari or Shiva?
A:Our holding onto the idea of Shiva helps Shiva in what way? Because it will have some boundary around whatever representation we have … because that’s what the word makes it, a representation. Even the representation that it is boundless is a boundary.
Our intellect will not understand what I’m saying. Even the representation that something is boundless is to give it too much quality, You See? It is too boundless to even have the notion boundless.
So, to say ‘All is Shiva’ is not in service to Shiva but at best, it can be a useful last notion to have; the last provisional Truth that we can keep.
But even this thorn will have to be thrown away as we become so empty of all notions, even that of ‘The Absolute.’ That is why I so love the Sage Ribhu saying that: ‘Away from even the duality of saying ‘I am Brahman’. Because Brahman is not dependent on me thinking ‘I am Brahman.’ But me thinking ‘I am Brahman’ makes some representation of It, which will always have some distinction.
So, in this way, you can understand the intent, so to speak, the ‘prayojan’ [Sanskrit work for intent] the intent of the Sage is to empty you from all notions of Reality … but to introduce you to Reality, and get rid of this sort of seeming-obstruction which seems to be the source of suffering, individuality, limitation.
So, if you had no notion about anything at all (what is up, what is down, what is constriction, what is openness, what is life, what is death, what is yesterday, what is tomorrow) how will you struggle? No notion of freedom or bondage.
The Self Cannot Be Seen
A beautiful thing about openness is that the truth of who You are is also apparent to You. Bhagavan [Sri Ramana Maharshi] said (very beautiful) he said ‘The point of Self-enquiry is to See that the Self cannot be seen.’ Fantastic!
As the mind [from the mind’s perspective] it is a very silly endeavor then. ‘The point of Self- enquiry is to find or see that the Self cannot be seen? If I’m not going to see the Self then what’s the point of Self-enquiry?’ It seems like it is saying that it’s pointless to do Self-enquiry then because you can never see the Self; that is the minds interpretation of this. But Bhagavan said: It is the very point, that it cannot be seen. (I am paraphrasing on top just to prod you.) And yet, can you deny it?
So, in your openness, in your emptiness, which is emptiness of mind, emptiness of intellect, empty of positions… you find this un-seen. It is so apparent. And you also see that it cannot be lost.
So, what DON’T you see right now? Let’s look at it that way. What don’t you see?
S: Is that about … what don’t you see about what you spoke?
A:No, just generally: What don’t you see? Go for it. Don’t worry, it’s not right or wrong or difficult.
S:I don’t see any individual separate seer, like an entity there.
A:Okay, so you don’t see that. And what else don’t you see?
S:I don’t have the experience of the expression that ‘Everything is One.’
A:You don’t see how this expression is true that ‘Everything is One.’ So, you see duality?
S:Yeah, I see duality.
A:You see it how?
S:I see that everything is separate.
A:How do you see it as separate? If you look around …
S:Because there is a label to everything and all of it is different.
A:So, this label, is it inherent in the Seeing itself?
S: This label is not inherent in the Seeing but there are different forms and colors …
A:So, ‘form and color’ is not a label? Is that not a label? You are labeling something as form or not form, space and object. You see? These are also labels. In your innocent Seeing, if you call it pure perception or innocent Seeing, what distinction is there?
What about That which Sees … do you see That?
That which Sees, is That Itself seen?
So, now we are at a strange point:
That which we consider ourselves to be, the ego, that also we don’t see.
And This, which Sees everything, we also don’t see That.
So, what is more true?
Can we deny the One that Sees?
If you say there is no Seeing would that seem true?
Or ‘There is no Awareness’ … would that be true?
Or would it be truer to conclude that ‘I must be a person although I don’t see it’?
What is true? There is Awareness? Or there is a person?
S: There is Awareness.
S: I can only say there is Seeing.
A: Yes, but can you say You are not Seeing?
S: There is Seeing but I don’t know whether it is ‘I’ or what.
A:How do you conclude that there is Seeing? It is your direct experience; nobody told you right now. You are directly Seeing, so it is yours. This ‘you’ is who? … you do not know. But that it is yours, you cannot deny.
S: I know it but…
A:Yes, so you know it. That you cannot deny. This ‘you’ is which one? This we cannot yet conclude (let’s say). So, even the conclusion that there is Seeing or there is perception is something that you are directly reporting. It is not third-party; nobody is telling you or it is not just a thought … and also, you don’t see it … in the sense that the One that is Seeing, the One that is aware of perception, That you cannot see.
(Tell me if I lost you somewhere)
A:So, this un-seen but un-deniable Self (un-seen means no quality, no attribute and yet undeniable because you are saying ‘I am Seeing’) … it is ‘I’ which is Seeing. And when you are open, it is completely clear that this is how it is. (Not conclusively, like an intellectual conclusion, but to You it is apparent.)
This is all that I want you to check.
The only seeming-struggle is to become open.
So, if you want to do it like Papaji used to sometimes say ‘Don’t think! For one moment, for one fraction of a second.’ Or you can say ‘Don’t bother with thoughts. Let them come and go.’
The only seeming-block is the notion, is thoughts.
You cannot own this with your mind, you cannot own it for ‘the non-existent me’.
To ‘own it with the mind’ means what? Because the mind is just like a lawyer for the non- existent ego; then it would be to ascribe self-hood to that which does not exist. To say that a non- existent one is the Self is not possible. That’s why the Master said: ‘The One who came to Satsang, or the One who felt like they’re being brought to Satsang, will be dissolved in Satsang, will not leave Satsang.’
And we can take the cat example; there are many examples like that.
So, as long as it is still playing in that way, that ‘What’s in this for me? What’s in it for me in Satsang?’ … [it will always be]: ‘Nothing’.
And I keep saying ‘nothing’ but the mind will make a mash of even that and say ‘He keeps saying ‘nothing’ but actually I have hope that there is something here for me.’
But it is not that. It is not for this ‘me’.
It is freedom from this ‘me’.
Take a Dip in Yourself
If you had to sign a contract when you came in the Satsang door today [Smiles] which is that ‘I hereby hand over all that I think I will get for me; I hand over all that I think I will get for me, with no expectations of even freedom’ … how many of you would sign it?
S:Who is the ‘I’?
A: [Chuckles] The one who is asking ‘Who is the I?’ [Smiles]
S: The trick mind plays is that even signing this contact you know…
A:Something you will get as the result of that.
A: It’s good to see at least that trick. [Smiles]
Because this idea is so persistent, it can seem like it needs to be hammered out of us. Life is hammering it out of us and Your own divine Presence is hammering it out of you. So, these constant remainders, constant provocations, constant invitations are so that this stubborn identity can be let go of. Because it becomes clear to you that naturally, in this very instant, as you are open, there is no identity … then you will realize what the Master said, that ‘There is no distinction between, openness, freedom, and truth.’
So, we have to move away from thinking about ‘What is happening to me?’ to just tasting this openness, without needing to make any progress report. It is not like ‘Ah, I tasted the openness. Actually, it’s very nice. It has happened to me five times before.’ It is not about that; it is not about getting to that frame of reference at all. Just to remain empty. Like Guruji [Sri Mooji] says ‘Take a dip in the river and don’t come out’ this is what it means. If there is the sense that ‘I have to do it and I did it’ … this ‘I’ can dissolve in that. But if it comes out of it with this ‘Oh, that was good and this is what I must always do every morning at 5 a.m.’ or something. Then it is coming back out.
Take a dip in yourself. Full stop. And how to take a dip in yourself? Just remain open, notion- less, unborn.
As much as we resist this, it all boils down to the same thing. I can explain it to you this way, this way, this way; any which way. It all boils down to the same thing.
Once you take a dip in this, let go of all that. It is just conceptual.
All that I am asking you for is to just surrender all those notions that you think are not just a thought.’ Every notion that you think is more than just a thought, throw it away.
Right Now, the Truth Is Complete
This openness, this emptiness, is beyond tactics and ploys. Behind tactics and ploys is the notion of ‘me’. So, the mind itself might construct a tactic and say ‘Okay, the mind will not go if I resist it, because that which I resist, persists. So, what I will do, smartly, is that (I realize that the mind is the tormentor) but because it will not go with my resistance, I will love it to death.’ This is a very popular self-help tactic but it doesn’t work. Why? Because your core intent is for the death of the mind and your ploy is to love it. So, it is like hugging someone so that they could die. It’s like ‘Can I hug you enough so that you can just go away?’ So, this duality, this discrepancy, is already ingrained in us and we cannot fool ourself to Truth.
To see that: All of my attempts to get me to Truth do not succeed because the truth IS that there is no such ‘me’.
And where is this Truth available if there is no such ‘me’?
Right Here and Now.
No need to construct a path.
No need to have any tactics.
Right Now, the Truth is complete.
If you have a move left, then Satsang continues.
Right Now, the Truth is complete.
If you have a move, like ‘But…’ or ‘I know better. This is what works for me.’ … then if you’re still inventing this lie of ‘me’ then Satsang can continue.
Empty of these notions, Right Here and Now, in this Unborn is the Absolute, is Shiva.
But the minute you grasp at it, the minute you try to own it, it becomes the mirage that you can keep chasing.
‘Can You Remain Empty in This Moment?’ Is All of Spirituality
You see that it is nothing but it a thought. That is why Bhagavan [Sri Ramana Maharishi] called it the ‘I thought.’ It’s just a thought. This individual identity is just a thought. You don’t find any evidence of any such seeker here when you look; even phenomenally. Without even having to get to what witnesses all of this, you do not find any such entity. Isn’t it?
A:And you rightly said that ‘It is just a notion, just a thought, that I am a seeker or I am something.’ That is why Bhagavan said ‘Simply I Am … is okay.’ Once we start to believe in ‘I am something’ (this so-called individualization of Consciousness) when that is believed in, that is the start of all suffering. So, whether I am a seeker, whether I am successful, a failure, whether
I am doing well, I am doing badly … all this makes us presume ‘a something’ out of us which actually does not exist. It only seems to make something out of us; not in actuality. It is only a pretense or mask.
S: Yes, yes.
A:Now, it’s all a question of how you deal with the ‘But…’ that comes. How to deal with it?
One way is to remain open. One way is to remain open; the other is to dive in. [Hand gesture of grabbing in air]
So, this is the fish’s mouth; it’s open. The bait is coming from the mind. Once you see that it is just bait and ‘It’s only got to bring me suffering, nothing good will come from it’ … what is your response to it?
S:I must investigate immediately.
A:Ah, but that’s also bait.
A:Don’t worry; let’s go slow. Don’t take it too seriously. Let us go lightly, lightly. [Smiles]
Because that is also a pose it can make. [Gestures contraction] Something like that. It is not like that. Relax, chill.
So, this attention-and-belief combination is the fish’s mouth. The mind’s offers are the bait. Now it says ‘I must do this.’ Then it is caught. Then, the good news is that it’s never caught perpetually. So, it is open again.
Now, the bait is coming which could be anything. ‘But this, but that; I have to do this, I have to do that; you haven’t got it yet, you will get it; keep doing this, this is good.’ You know, all of this will keep going on like this; the whisper. Now, if you keep biting, you keep getting caught. So, the fisherman is ‘Maya’ in a way. You get caught in the idea of your limited identity.
So, all we have to do is keep ourselves open. Keep ourselves empty.
Now, find for yourself (each of you can do this) … find for yourself one thought which you feel is that bait which you always end up biting. You feel that ‘This will not get me caught in Maya; this will actually lead to something good for me.’ And you’ve seen it now over and over, that you get caught in it but still, when that comes, when that worm comes [Smiles] as the bait, you still feel like you have to bite it. What is that thought?
You talked about perfectionism; that’s a common one. Many times, the thoughts are about freedom itself, about enlightenment itself, about God itself. So, what do you end up biting?
As I was saying the other day: Does reality depend on a notion to be real?
Does reality depend on an idea to be real?
If it doesn’t, then how does our grasping onto a notion bring us closer to Reality?
And the thing is that you are naturally like this, Right Now.
With your attention, you become like this and with your belief, you become like that. You are naturally open, Here and Now, in spite of whatever energy you might be feeling, whatever constriction you might be feeling, whatever emotional sensation you might be experiencing … actually, you are open. You are more spacious than space, in which all of them are coming and going … which is naturally your nature. Your original nature is like this. Now you are like this.
Who is not like this? Anyone not like this? … open naturally, in this moment? Everyone is like this. Now…?
S: Before you use the word ‘this’ … there is an immediate grasping of that … of the constriction.
A:[Chuckles] Now, that was the bait that came.
A:But not to feel guilty or unworthy; nothing like that. It is not about that. It’s not to grab a new notion. Whatever notion is coming, let it come and let it go.
Let it come, let it go.
Can you believe that all this spirituality, with its entire huge libraries, ultimately boils down to this: Can we be open in this moment or not?
Can you remain open in this moment or not?
That’s all that is about; everything.
Because the truth is naturally Here.
Everything is an explanation of this fact, actually, that the Truth is just Here and apparent.
So, in this moment, open.
You can even play with yourself like this. [Lifts his arms and opens his hands wide and resting upwards] Use your hands. When you’re open, just like that. [Smiles] And once you find that you are starting to bite onto something, you will find that just having vigilance like this keeps you very open.
S: The thought was ‘We can stay like this all day long?’ You know?
A:Yeah, this is the thought. So, the Truth does not need grasping, the Truth does not need biting into it. The Truth is what is naturally present. It is our grasping, it is our biting, it is our belief which makes this Unborn seen as if it is the born, as if it is the identity.
The Self can seem like it is ‘the limited-self’ only like this. [Closes his hand into a fist and makes a holding-onto-it gesture]
[Lifts his arms and opens his hands wide and relaxes]: Like this, like this. You see? Can it be as simple as this? (Don’t even bite into that.) [Chuckles]
You Are Never Contained in the Box of Notions
Let me make the claim for the moment (and my claim is big; my claim is that): as you remain open like this, you are out of the tiny box of limitation, of identity, of intellect, which only have these meager opposites.
So, you are struggling to climb this tiny wall but actually your reality is much beyond that wall. You want to get from ‘bound’ to ‘free’ which is just in the tiny box … but Your Reality is much beyond that, already, naturally.
At best, with your mind, you can just play like this. ‘I am bound, I am free, I am bound, I am free, I am bound, I am free.’ Beyond that, what is there in your mind? You, at best, can say ‘beyond free’. That is also just like that. So, the highest notion you can have about yourself is what? You can switch from ‘I am a meagre limited person’ to ‘I am the Absolute’. This is the box, no? Beyond that there is nothing. But Your Reality is beyond this box. Even our notion of ‘Absolute’ is just in the box. Our notion of ‘person’ is definitely in the box. But we don’t realize that when we consider ourselves to be anything, including the Absolute, it is just the opposite spectrum of the same limited box. This is as far as your notions can go; tiny, okay? Tiny.
But Your Reality is much vaster than this. So, stop playing in this playground of back and forth; ‘the person’ and ‘the Absolute’. Like that; ping pong, ping pong, ping pong. Just step back. Let these notions come and go. They have nothing to do with You.
Now, the next notion will come saying ‘But … how to live my life? But … can I keep this? But
…something, something’ but it is still in the box. So, let that ping pong happen in the box; all our judgments, interpretations, ideas; what we think. Nothing in this box truly represents the
Reality. Nothing in the box can be a true representative of the Reality … not even the statement that ‘I am Brahman.’ Because the Reality doesn’t need an assertion. Because assertion can be negated. It can say ‘I am not Brahman’ and that becomes the box. But Your Reality is not in this.
So, which playground you want to play in?
A:No ground; very good. In that no-ground (without even no-ground becoming a notion) you can only suffer in this box. Only as Consciousness, the Self plays as if it is a limited entity. That itself is called suffering.
I’m saying this every day … but many times, because of our hypnosis of the mind, I’m not sure what all of you are actually hearing. That’s why these days I’ve started taking more feedback. Like, what is it that you are actually hearing? Or when an enquiry is being done, what is the question you are actually asking? So, what I’ve said simply (because I know for a moment now you will be hearing because you have this idea that I will ask you for what I am saying, so you will be hearing at least for this moment) [Chuckles] … what I’m saying is that:
All your notions/ideas are in this limited box and this limited box is all your version of your limited self.
You are never in this box. Whether you are calling yourself ‘the Absolute’ or you are calling yourself ‘a person’ it is all in this box. You are not contained in that. You are beyond it (but beyond the concept of ‘beyond’ so not even the concept ‘beyond it’ you can hold on to).
But the good news is that, in this moment, You are empty of all concepts. In this moment.
No concept has survived this moment.
Now, like the fish, you want to grab onto the bait which the mind is offering … or you want to remain open. That is what all spirituality is about. All of true spirituality is just about this: Remaining as your natural Essence, remaining as God … or picking up the mask of individuality, the pretense of separation. This is what this entire game is about.
Now, it’s your move.
Q: No moves.
A:No moves is also a move. Assertion and negation both are moves in the box. So, what is your move now?
A:This being empty of moves, this moment of not being caught up in any notion about ourselves, is to remain in the Unborn. And what did Master Bankei say? All things are perfectly resolved in the Unborn. You need anything better than this perfect resolution? You said you are a perfectionist. There is no other perfection except this. All things are perfectly resolved Here. And if you say ‘In what way is it resolved? What happens to my problems?’ then you are back to the born. You have given birth to a limited identity again.
From the tiniest notion about yourself to the largest seeming-notion about YourSelf, both are just tiny notions. Reality does not need any idea of it.
So, this is the tiny cave, like Plato’s cave. They’re just shadows you have taken to be Reality. And you might not realize that as you give up on your notions, you see that you can’t find anything which you can really point to and say ‘Oh, this is not a notion.’ You will find that time is a notion, space is a notion; everything in time and space is a notion. And That which you find YourSelf to be … you can never point to anyway because it is not spatial, not point-able.
Your Openness Is the Answer
The arising of thoughts is not a problem. The thoughts can come and go. Just like any other energy construct can be perceived. All perceptions can come and go. It is not that the arising and going should stop. All the bait can come; the fisherman can keep trying. But now you have become the smart fish. [Laughs] You are not biting whatever the offer might be. And even if you bit, then you have this Divine blessing which is that: The next moment, you are free. But if you keep saying ‘I have bitten, now I am caught’ then we keep biting this bait for our entire life. If we feel like we are this fish that is trapped, we are caught. Actually, no hook can really grab You; no bait can really hold You in this moment itself. In this moment itself, You Are Free from everything. And the Truth (or anything you could be seeking, the highest version of it) is just this: It is naturally Here. But the minute you start to interpret it or judge it, it will seem like it is limited, it is not enough or it is something.
What is the highest you are seeking? God, Self, Absolute, Brahman? It is just naturally Here. This is It. Is-ness is It.
Now, if the highest that you are seeking is to become a special person, then you will be frustrated. If the highest that you are seeking as the seeker is to become something special like enlightened or something like that, then you will not find that one. That could be frustrating. But if you are seeking is just the Truth, then the Truth is just This.
Then others might come and say ‘Oh, this one is free; this one is enlightened’ but you will have no need for these terms. You will have no use for them. If you have this idea that ‘Because this Truth is Here Now and apparent, therefore, what’s in it for me?’ that again is the bait. You caught the bait, you see? So, some bait like this may remain. That’s why it’s good to play that game ‘It is just a thought’ because many times we just feel like ‘But that must be real, this must be right, how can this not be?’ [Smiles] These kinds of ideas. But it’s not. No notion represents Reality; not even this.
Q: Guruji, these ideas, the notions in this box, is it also not the part of Vastness?
A:It is. Your egoic play is very much part of the play of Consciousness. So then, what does that mean to you? Now that it is part of the Vastness, are you asking for permission to play egoically or what is the …? [Chuckles]
Q:If it is part of the Vastness then all that is happening, has to happen.
Q: How do I get over that …?
A:This is where you inject the trouble. So far, everything (even the play of delusion, the play of freedom, everything) was part of the Vastness; Consciousness itself. Now, when you say
‘Whatever has to happen, will happen’ … yes, because that is what is called ‘The will of Consciousness’ … ‘Guru Kripa Kevalam.’ Then you say what? ‘How do I …’
Q: … eject myself out of this?
A:‘I’ is who now? You see? If you say that ‘All is Vastness’ then where is the ‘I’? [Refers to a poem by Indian poet Rahim]: ‘God’s lane is quite narrow, there is room for only one.’ If you say ‘All is God’ then where is the room for ‘you’ now?
Q: If I am also God, then why don’t I behave like a god?
A:You started with the idea that ‘Isn’t whatever my play is, whether bound or free, isn’t that the play of God?’ I said ‘Yes, it is.’ Now you’re saying ‘But why don’t I play as God?’ I’m saying ‘You are.’ So, if there is only the Self, then there is no ‘you’. This is what you started with. Even if the play is in the box, it’s the play of the Vastness Itself, so there is only Vastness. Then no question of ‘Why don’t I …?’ … ‘I-who’ then? Vastness? Vastness is playing this way. But then when we try to mix this non-doership and try to bring our personal identity back into it, that’s when the trouble comes.
Q: Like I Am God, but I’m still looking for Godliness.
A:Yes, in a way. And you’re still buying into the premise of the egoic Self. The looking means what? That ‘I must not be already.’ Only then you look, no? So, then the notion ‘I Am God’ is not useful because it’s just like a band-aid or something. If actually our presumption still is that
‘I am the limited one and I have to look for God; and maybe if I say ‘I Am God’ that will help me’ then the fundamental is still the belief that ‘I am this limited me.’ So, whatever strategy and tactics you have, just keep them aside for a moment. Just keep everything aside. Everything. (Kept? Gone?) Now, whatever this mind says, let it come and go. This is the bait I’m talking about. You keep the fish’s mouth open; don’t bite into it. And even if you bite into it, no trouble; the next moment you’re open.
Q: Just helplessness happens.
A:This is also bait. It’s just a thought, my dear; it’s just a thought. The one who is helpless is non-existent, so it doesn’t really happen. So, when the notion comes ‘This is when helplessness happens’ … and because you have bitten this bait so long, it can feel attractive but just see that it is just another bait. Gone, finished. Now, it will come and say ‘It can’t be that simple’ (or anything). It’s just bait.
Q: The seeking has to drop.
A:Bait! It’s the bait, you see, because our condition is like that, that you have to conclude. But the answer is not conclusive in this way. This answer is unique. All other answers that we have learned in our life have been like that (e = mc2). Now, this is not like that.
Your openness is the answer.
Your emptiness is the answer.
There is no answer there.
That is the answer.
Q: Yes, the answer itself bounds.
A:It is the boundary. Whatever the answer is that you can come up with is your limitation. You may think that it will free you but actually it is limiting you. Even the notion that ‘Something has to be this way or that way’ … like that. So, are we like this? [Makes gesture of being closed with closed hand] Or like this? [Makes gesture of being open with open hand] This is the whole game.
That’s it. Naturally, we are like this. [Open hand]
Q: I have to believe ‘I’m not open’.
A:Exactly! Exactly. And you believe anything; you believe that. Whatever you close your mouth to, you will start pretending to be a fish.
Q: Why can’t this simple thing…?
In Satsang, We Also Want to Confirm What We Already Know
S: What is this master-conclusion?
A:It can be anything. It can be a very spiritual thing, that ‘Everything is the Absolute’ or something like that. Anything which you feel like ‘It’s just like that’ becomes your defense.
Sometimes the words of Satsang will provoke you. It will poke you and you might find that you are using a defense, a shield. ‘Yeah, yeah, it’s all like this.’ But notice that and notice whether even that notion truly represents any reality or is just a defense we are using now because our intellect cannot cope with this seeming-dissolution. It can take this invitation to dissolve as an attack and it will try to defend with some notion, which can seem like it is defending against the words of Satsang itself. Just like ‘I settle for this’ and it becomes ‘Okay, whatever, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.’ If you share something corresponding to that notion, then it’s like ‘Yes, yes, yes.’ Then ‘blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.’ And then something again that corresponds to this notion; again ‘Yeah, yeah, yeah.’ You’re still making all these distinctions and not really letting the words (which are meant to be completely dissolving in nature) not letting them in and through. Just like using convenient hearing in a way to confirm what we already know.
In fact, in our life (in most of the world, not just in Satsang) we just operate like this. We go into most situations just wanting to confirm what we already think we know. And it takes a lot of effort for the seeming-others who are speaking to make an in-road and say ‘Ah, there is an opportunity; there is a bit of openness there.’ Otherwise, we’re just like ‘This is what I think I know so, as long as he is corresponding to that, it’s like ‘Yes, yes, yes.’ But the minute it becomes something different, something which you feel you can’t relate to or you don’t see something the same way, it’s like ‘Ah, let me meditate now.’
Even in Satsang we make these favorite notions and we listen a lot to just what that is. I notice that all of you have your own set of favorites. So, when I start speaking about that particular thing, you wake up. And if I’m speaking of something else, it’s like ‘Time passing … it’s nice, this Presence … just time passing.’ [Sangha and Ananta Smile] It’s like ‘Na, na, naaa, na, na, naaa.’ And then concepts … like if it’s surrender or something like that (‘Just surrender to God’) then it’s like ‘Ah, this is mine! This I can relate to.’ It’s like that. And those who cannot deal with surrender or who cannot relate to surrender, they switch off and they’re like ‘La, la laa. Guru Kripa Kevalam. La, la laa, la, la laa.’ [Sangha Chuckles] Then when I say ‘The Truth is to enquire who really you are’ it’s like ‘This is enquiry. Yes; enquiry is mine.’ [Sangha Chuckles] Then they wake up and the ‘surrender’ ones go to sleep. [Sangha and Ananta Laugh]
So, because we feel like ‘This is what we know; what we understand’ therefore, to get you to leave your strangle-hold on what you think you know can seem like it takes hammering after hammering after hammering. And many times, the frustration in Satsang comes because for weeks it can be that our favorite topic has not been spoken about and you feel like the rest is just like ‘Ah, what is he saying, what is he saying?’ You’re not really asking ‘What is he saying?’ It’s just that you’re not in agreement with what is being said. It’s like ‘What is he saying? What?’ It can be like that. [Chuckles]
But it’s all grace. If, in one moment, you are actually open to that, you might See. Then, that might become your favorite topic. [Chuckles] Then you keep switching. And at the bottom of it somewhere, there is this thing like ‘My way, my way.’ … ‘My way or the highway.’ [Chuckles] So, even the Guru is on the highway most of the time, till those moments where it is corresponding with ‘My way.’ Those moments, you let them in. But the Master will not leave you with that. He will keep saying ‘Broaden, broaden, broaden; open, open, open, open. Don’t get attached to any of these.’ Like Guruji [Sri Mooji] says ‘Don’t make tattoos of my words.’ You don’t attach to this sense of ‘This is what it is.’ It’s not that. Everything that you conclude like that is in the box.
That’s why I said ‘I have given license for one.’ If you feel like ‘There is too much fear, there is too much; it is too broad. I can’t believe that it’s…. (something)’. If there are so many notions
you’re buying about notion-less-ness, then better than buying all those notions, you pick one notion and you hold onto that tightly. Like ‘Remain at my Father’s feet. Guru Kripa Kevalam’ or ‘Who am I?’ Take one and just hang on with that one. If it is one of these, then those are self- destructing in nature anyway, self-dissolving in nature, in any way.
It is only when you’re faced with this Unborn, when you come face to face with your original nature, you feel like ‘There are too many notions’ so you pick up about that. ‘I can’t do it. I’m scared. I’m lost. I’m not understanding.’ When there are so many notions about being notion- less, then better you hold just one notion. So, that one stick you can hold onto if you feel like this. But my invitation, of course, is to let them go. [Waves hands outward gesturing releasing]
Not this way, not that way.
Not up, not down.
Not Self, not person.
Not Brahman, not maya.
Neither asserting nor denying.
Although the ‘not, not, not’ can seem like denial, it’s not really.
It’s just letting go.
You Will Never Recognize the Self Through Perception
It’s the same homework every weekend: To remain concept-less, to remain open. Otherwise, we can keep talking about these things and they can become more and more knowledge that we are learning. But actually, what is it? What is it really? [Silence] Is it that the truth is missing?
A: Then what is it?
S: Seemingly covered up.
A:Seemingly covered up. Covered with what?
S:Thoughts, sensations, notions.
A:Thoughts, sensations, notions. Thoughts and notions are the same?
A:Sensations and notions? [Chuckles]
S:Not quite the same.
A:[Chuckles] So, the truth is not missing. What seems to cover it up or the ‘blur the moon’ as they say …is just whatever concept we have of It. Whatever concept we have of It never represents this Truth. Whatever the concept might be? Yes or no?
A:Can there be a concept which does?
A:Whatever the mind is selling?
A:Whatever it may sell, as real as it may seem, even if it seems to represent some true feeling or something that actually happened. Is there still a doubt about that?
A:Can it ever represent the Truth? Can any concept ever truly represent something that is Reality? And where is the Truth to be found?
A:Here. Let’s go with ‘Here’ for now. So, Truth is here. And no concept, no matter as glorious it might sound, can capture this Truth that is Here. Then? To have Satsang, to be in the company of Truth (Sat ka sang: the company of Truth) where do we need to go?
Obviously then, we cannot go to the false representation. And whatever concept that we might believe to be true, we have seen now that these are just false representations. So, to be with the Truth cannot mean to hug the false. So, to not give any false representation, like the ‘belief’ that it is true, is more than enough because the Truth is just organically Here.
Now what is missing? [Silence] What is missing? Can you tell me something that is missing without inserting a notion of ‘me’ … which itself now, thousands (maybe hundreds of thousands) of times you have seen that there is no such ‘me’? So, without inserting the notion of ‘me’ can you point to something that is missing?
S: Knowledge, recognition.
A:So, if this is true, then we must be able to say ‘Okay, what is Here Now, just naturally Here?’
If the recognition is missing, what are we recognizing now?
S:The untruth covering.
A:Now, where is it?
S:Just now, I cannot find it
A:Then you’re not recognizing it. Then it’s just presumption. We have to speak now from just whatever we actually find. So, if we say that ‘Untruth is naturally here’ then what I am saying is not true. What I am saying is that ‘The Truth is Here’ and all seeming-covering, all seeming dust, all this seeming-illusion has actually left you right Here and Now. But there is another voice which is saying ‘But it is here. This [untruth] is here.’ So, what you actually find? Do you find any evidence of this untruth?
S:Because I cannot see the Truth, so it’s covering it.
A: Okay. So, what can you see?
S: I know it is there but I can’t …
A:What can you see? Let me see if we can go together; we can walk together hand in hand and see together; we can check whether it is true that you don’t see the Truth. So, what do you actually see?
A: Yes, this is good. So ‘you’ see the silence, isn’t it?
A: So, this ‘You’ that sees the silence, you are aware if it or not?
S: I am not aware of it but I know that something is seeing the silence.
A: And yet it is ‘You’.
A:So, you are not unaware of it because otherwise you would not be able to confirm that it is you. It’s just that you cannot perceive it. Isn’t it? The struggle is just that we cannot perceive it.
So, this not-finding is actually the finding. This is not just a word game. This not-finding … because I can’t find it perceptually, I can’t perceive it and yet I cannot deny that I am perceiving the silence or I am perceiving the world or whatever we can say.
So, we didn’t find it using our senses and yet, it is clear that it is ‘I’. So, this clarity, independent of perception, is the recognition of the Self. You will never recognize the Self as an object. You will never recognize the Self through perception. You will just look like this and you will see ‘I am witnessing and yet, I am not witnessing this ‘I’. I’m not witnessing this ‘I’, I am not perceiving this ‘I’ and yet I cannot deny it. How does that happen?’
So, this is what I would say: You are aware of It but if you’re saying you are not aware of It. You are possibly saying that you are not aware of It as a perception. But actually, you are aware that you are witnessing. So, this ‘You’ that is witnessing, to see that ‘I am witnessing’ that ‘I am aware without a perception of it’ or without just picking up a concept that ‘I am aware’ IS Self- recognition. It is nothing else but this.
So, if there is an idea that Self-recognition implies any other by-products or something, any other perceptions, it is not that. Those could be the fireworks on the side … or no fireworks on the side. So, don’t worry about those. That’s why I have been asking: Who perceives this hand? [Showing his hand] You cannot perceive that one and yet you cannot deny that that one is You. Isn’t it? So, this non-perceptual recognition, which is beyond your senses, beyond anything the mind can fathom, is the only Self-recognition.
What Distinction Do You Have to Make?
Make no distinctions; no distinctions.
Distinction means concept.
Concept means conceptualizing mind.’
Conceptualizing mind means a false representation.
That is what we started with: Can any concept truly represent What Is?
What distinction do you have to make?
Or what is the discovery Now?
The Truth is Here or the Truth is missing?
Can the Truth go missing?
S: The label itself creates.
A: The label itself does what?
S: Trying to call Truth as not-truth.
A. Yes, that itself is a label. So, having seen through that, then that doesn’t bother us. Having seen through that then that also does not bother us. But you have a sense of what is being asked.
S:Open and empty is easy.
A:Open and empty is easy.
Yes. [Smiles] Okay, I accept that premise. Then don’t make anything difficult. [Smiles]
Open and empty is the same as ‘Make no distinctions.’
It’s the same as to ‘Remain in the Unborn’.
It’s the same as ‘Don’t believe your next thought.’
It’s all the same stuff, just put in different ways. [Smiles] Whatever seems natural, it is fine.
It’s the same as ‘To remain in our notionless existence.’
It’s the same as ‘God Now verses me-ow.’
All these pointers are same.
‘Is’ Is Always Here
A:Tell me something which is True.
S:It is Always Here.
A:Truth is always Here. ‘Is’ is always Here. Is … because it just Is. So, what else could be needed now?
S: The absence of thoughts.
A:It’s not necessarily confirmed (if this is what you’re saying) it’s not necessarily the absence of the appearance of thoughts, it’s just the absence of us treating them to be valid representations of Reality. Isn’t it? So, that is why we can enquire into them or surrender them; whatever still feels like they are valid representations. So, how about we start with this one, because ‘I must come to the absence of thoughts’ itself is also a thought, so we’ll start with this one.
This one is also gone. [Waves his hand to show its passing] Then? [Silence]
S: Stop believing them.
A: Okay, give me three that you want to stop believing in.
S:‘I’m a human being.’
A: One is ‘I am human being.’ That’s it? [Chuckling] That should cover it actually.
S: It’s the root.
A:It’s the root, yes. ‘I Am-ness’ is what we call Being. To add anything on top of Being is to create separation. Because if you say ‘You are just a human being’ then you are saying that you’re not the existence of space, you’re not the existence of everything else that you perceive, that there is separation between you and everything else. But Being is this that IS. Right Now is Being. So, this Being-ness has no trouble. But when we draw any line, that makes separation, and that is conceptual. It’s always conceptual. Now, these concepts have been thrust on us, have been thrust on us in this play. These conditions have been believed so much that when they show up again, it can feel like ‘Yes, this is true, this is familiar.’ That’s why it can feel like ‘Yes, this really still means something.’
So, when this notion comes and we say ‘Yes, this is true’ we are saying ‘I know this. I know this: this is fact. I know this for a fact.’ But if you start examining those things which you think are facts, you’ll see that you’ll struggle to find a single fact. [Silence] So, whether we look at it this way ‘Who Am I?’ or ‘Can the Perceiver be Perceived?’ or ‘Remain Open and Empty’ … they are the same because in both cases Truth is apparent.
Let Truth Embrace You So Much That There’s No ‘Me’ Left
[Reading from chat]: Dear Anantaji, there is a kind of certitude felt in the process, that Truth always embraces me. It’s a conviction growing day-by-day. Any alertness to be kept around this?
A:Let the Truth embrace you so much that there is no ‘me’ left. Take a dip in this Ganga so much that you don’t come out; that the one who presumably took the dip does not actually return. Because the Truth actually has nothing for this ‘me.’ The truth has nothing for this ‘me.’
So, let it embrace you completely and see if you can let go of this embrace. Is it even possible for the Truth to leave? It’s just that we stop giving credence to the pretense of falsity. You stop believing in the notion of the ‘me.’
Your only struggle would be when you want to hold both hands; when you want to stand on both Truth and ‘me’. So, everything that needs any sort of ‘knowing’ to be kept alive, let go of that. Reality cannot go. Once all notions of reality go, Reality cannot go. But what goes once one’s notions go? That is called ‘false.’
What notions are you scared of losing? … ‘I’?
S: My life.
A: My life. It’s a hilarious idea, actually, no? [Chuckles]
S: It’s a big one.
A:A big joke. ‘My life.’ You don’t know anything about this ‘my’ … we don’t know; this ‘life’ … we don’t know. And yet as a combination, we seem to know. [Sangha and Ananta chuckle] ‘Me’ … we looked, we looked; we can’t find. ‘Life’ … what is life? Can any one tell me what is life? That we don’t know. Then we put it together ‘my life’ then it just becomes that fairy tale, that story. ‘It started there, it became this, it became that. I wonder what I will become next. This is what I wanted it to become.’ All of these stories come. But deconstructed, pulled apart, it’s nothing. Really, it’s just sounds.
This ‘my’ is who?
This ‘I’ is who?
It’s just a sound. It is nobody. It’s nobody. It is just a noise: ‘I’. And yet so much conditioning has been put on top of ‘I’ (I am this, I am that; I like this, I don’t like that.) So, it seems to have become the protagonist. Then what we try and do is we try to move it away from the false ‘I’ and try to bring it to the true ‘I’. But to bring it to the true ‘I’ actually means to drop all the references to ‘I’. As long as we still have this notion that ‘I’ was the false, now ‘I am the Absolute or Truth’ or something like that, that is still aversion. It is still only a representation.
How Do You Represent Truth As I?
A:Suppose the task was inverse; suppose that when you refer to ‘I’, you are supposed to refer to the Truth, how would you do it? Like, represent the Truth as ‘I’, how would you do it?
S:Just by Being … nothing special to do, you know?
A:Yeah, is that a true representation of ‘I’? … the same one that we were speaking of?
Can the level of activity or inactivity in this appearance lead to some false or true representation of ‘I’?
S: No, I feel that everything that is going on is part of this.
A:Yes, there is no distinction. Now if you have to refer to it, the Truth one, how would you do it? You have seen all the false claims: ‘I am body, I am mind, I am seeker, I am good, I am husband, I am wife, I am this, I am that’ … all of these you have seen; false, ephemeral ones that come and go. Now, what is the true representation of it?
S: Just I Am.
A: ‘I Am’ is true?
S:What Is, is true.
A:What is, is true?
S:What is, is it!
A:[Laughs] What Is … Am?
S: To Be.
A:To Be. But I Am is also like just this: ‘I am husband, I am wife’ which also comes and goes.
Does it? [Laughs] Yes it does.
S: I chose to Be.
A: Everything comes and goes within It, but it also is a lie ultimately.
S: Yeah, I just chose to be all these, roles, but I am none of these. I could be, but I am really not.
A:Yes, that’s how it’s usually done; it is defined in the negative: ‘not this, not this’ (Neti, neti) is the usual way to point to ‘I’. But what is the positive definition, positive representation of ‘I’? Actually, if you discard ‘I Am’ also, then there is not much to say. It has no reference then. When you don’t refer to I as anything at all, then I is the Truth. Once you make a representation of I even in the primal ‘I Am-ness’ then we got into the realm of the comings and the goings.
S:Then you step into the golden cage, when you say ‘I Am’. But if you want to be the sky then
A:Forget about ‘I Am’.
S:It’s just subtle and …
A:Papaji [Poonjaji] said to one ‘Who is the one that wakes up?’ This one said ‘I wake up.’ He was referring to the sense ‘I Am’ waking up. Papaji said ‘Don’t touch that I. Now don’t touch the one that woke up. Don’t touch the one that will go away in sleep. Now which distinctions can survive?’
S:I think the label ‘I’ itself creates some kind of …
A: Yes, yes.
S: Like what we are used to. When we say ‘I’, it creates separation already.
A:All the baggage comes, like with any term. We say ‘banana’ and all our experiences with banana come. Like ‘Oh, the taste was like this, last time I had it was like this, I used to like it when I was a kid.’ You see, all these kinds of things. So, because this ‘I’ is so charged with identity, when we make a reference, it can seem like ‘Oh, it’s back’. Its limited nature; it’s a super-charged term in itself. But it’s losing its charge. In Satsang, as you are seeing that there is no such limited entity, then it will become as playful as light.
Master Keys to Freedom (Clues from Ashtavakra Gita)
I was just looking through something and I found these notes that we had made during the ‘Ashtavakra Gita’ days. Remember the clues that we had put together? I feel like it’s helpful to reiterate from time to time. So, I had saved it as ‘The Master Keys to Freedom.’
He said to recognize that:
1.That which is the one witness of all things, the all-knowing Awareness, beyond just percepts and concepts.
(That’s why it is to ‘recognize’ that it just not to ‘learn’ these as concepts. At best, these are pointers. And these are all from various verses of ‘Ashtavakra Gita.’ We found all the Vedanta clues in that.)
2.That which remains unchanged, that which remains unchanging, cannot be enhanced or diminished and is forever untouched.
3.That which is beyond limitations or boundaries of space; the shoreless ocean.
(Also, this shoreless ocean is not spatial, okay? So, don’t make any imagination about some vast spatial three-dimensional space or something like that. It is beyond these special references.)
4.That which can only be found in the Now and is not subject to time.
5.That which just does not come and go and is beyond birth and death.
6.That which has no desires or aversions and is beyond attachment.
7.That which is the one doer and experience, beyond all concepts of individual action, inaction and suffering.
8.That which is beyond separation and union.
9.That which cannot be known or described in concepts, judgments, or inferences.
10.That which is a direct insight beyond any phenomenal perception.
(Your only non-phenomenal experience.)
That which is your direct insight.
(But this insight is not a phenomenal or conceptual notion. It is your non-phenomenal experience.)
11.That which is Source of all that is manifest in time and space and is all-pervasive. It is a Source which itself is causeless.
12.That which plays with the pretense of being the ego only through identification.
13.That which is discovered by following the guidance of the Satguru, which is Your own Divine Presence.
14.That which is beyond the states of waking, dream and dreamless sleep.
So, of course, quite a bit of it is reinforcing repetitively in a way, but these are the fundamental pointers available in Vedanta; actually, in all spirituality, in a way.
And it is not that you have to become a Master in all of these pointers or something like that or you have to remember them. It’s not even that. It’s just that you are reminded to look beyond. Because if you look at any of these pointers, you will see that our mind cannot really fathom what is being pointing to. So, that’s what happens in all of these spiritual teachings is that the pointers take you beyond the limited notion of yourself. And once you are beyond this limited mind then it is clear that the Truth is just apparent. To the mind, it is not, but to You, it always is.
Intellect Can’t Reach Our Real Self
How will you grab that which you already are?
But a thought, a notion, claims to be a valid representation of ‘What Is’. It’s a metal attempt to grab at Reality. But it actually has no meaning in Reality. Even to say that ‘It has meaning or no meaning’ doesn’t mean anything, actually. It’s not to come to a meaninglessness. It is that there is no meaning in the term ‘meaning’ itself. And a quick way to check is whether you’re still giving credence to something which has an opposite. If you are still stuck in this play of opposites then those opposites, those ideas, are seeming to cloud Reality (not in actuality).
S: Can you give examples for stuck in opposites?
A:Good / bad … should be / should not be … I’m doing well / I’m not doing well … I’m free / I’m bound. Any of these positions. We can oscillate in these positions. But actually, that oscillation is in a tiny box, as I have been saying. That’s only as far as our intellect can reach.
But our intellect cannot reach our real Self. It can only define our limited self. So, neither this way nor that way.
And we don’t have to make a way out of it. Don’t try to hold it with your intellect. Don’t try to even grasp what I’m saying. Because if you grasp it in that way, it will become another notion. Just meet this moment empty. It’s much more than you can ever imagine or are looking for. Even if you think you are looking for God … much more than our concept of God is already naturally Here.
Don’t exchange this ‘What Is’ for any concept. That’s the game. It’s just a thought. Because we start empty. And the truth is Here. God is Here. Self is Here. Whatever label you want to give to Ultimate Reality is just naturally Here and apparent. Apparent; but not apparent in the way you think it should be. Not apparent in our idea of how it should be apparent. It just Is; un-definable.
You don’t have to grasp at it. You don’t have to push it away. And if naturally something is happening to the body, it’s fine, but it’s not like you find it inside this container. Even if you go inside … you’re not inside this container anyway.
Without any grasping or not grasping, just naturally: This is Your Self.
Beyond, beyond any beyond; beyond any notion of beyond also.
Any idea that you pick up about this is an escape, a diversion or a distraction which is part of this play, which is called the Leela. And to see that this Truth is just naturally Here and apparent is ‘Gyana’ (Knowledge with a capital ‘K’). It’s not the concept that ‘The Truth is naturally Here.’ That is not Knowledge. It’s the tasting of that which is naturally Here.
What Does ‘I’ Mean?
What does ‘I’ mean?
Straight to the point. [Chuckles] If you don’t clarify this fundamental question then how can you give meaning to anything else, because everything else in the world presumably is in reference to you. You had the experience of it, you had the perception of it. This ‘you’ that had this perception, this experience, is which one?
What witnesses everything that can be witnessed?
Can that itself be witnessed? Can it be thought about?
How do we know something? We perceive, we think, conceptualize? But This, which Itself is the witnessing, can it be thought about? Can it be perceived? Yet even if you ask a little child ‘Who is perceiving this hand?’ [He will say] ‘I am, of course. What kind of question is that?’
But this ‘I’ … what is the nature of this one? And is there any other ‘I’ …?
Because some of you might say ‘I don’t really care. I don’t really care what is the nature of that one. I just want to help myself or I want to find some peace.’ But that is where the misunderstanding starts. We are trying to explore who is this ‘I’. And if you are happy to pick up on this notional, made-up ego ‘me’ then it is missing the point.
Is there another you?
You say ‘I perceive this hand.’ Is there another you besides that one?
Who has the money in the bank? Who has relationships? Who is the owner of this body? Who wants freedom or God? Who is that one? The same one that is perceiving this hand?
So, this must be some kind of divine hypnosis. The made up of notion of ‘I’, the made-up notion of ‘me’, seems to get so much allegiance that you feel like that even to come to Satsang is so that you can get freedom. The one that is perceiving the hand, how is that one bound? And what is aware of even this perception?
If the gears of the mind are churning, they will not help. If you are trying to perceive through our senses, where is the one who is perceiving this perception? Who is aware of this perception?
So, you look for it everywhere. ‘Where? Where?’ That will not help. What is left? Your intellect will not help, your senses will not help. And yet you say ‘I’. What does that mean? What does that represent? Who does it represent? Why is this such a mystery?
Wherever You May Wander, You Are Always ‘This’
Now the journey is really, really, super short actually. Because it is already over. It is already over, Here and Now. But the seeker usually just keeps picking up the journey over and over again. It’s like you take a flight from Boston to Bangalore and you got to Bangalore and you quickly fly back and take flight the flight back again. The journey is over. Over. But you just say ‘But, but, but … what happened?’ Then back to Boston. I’m saying ‘It is over.’ If you say ‘Where is my seventh Chakra?’ …back to Boston. [Chuckles] If you say ‘What happened to the fireworks I experienced three years ago?’ … back to Boston.
Any notion that you attach now … I was saying yesterday that if I said that ‘A cat is going to walk through this door in a minute’ you will stay with that, looking at the door, much more than when I say ‘The Truth is apparent to You Now.’ The minute I say ‘The Truth is apparent to You Now’ it’s like ‘No, no, no, what, what? Maybe for him.’ Give it a chance. What is Here Now? This is the shortest journey ever, quicker than immediate, quicker than time: You Are It. Faster than you can sit where you are already sitting, You are the Self. What is the journey between you and where you are already sitting? How many steps do you have to take? It’s Here? Zero?
More intimate than that is You YourSelf. But if you should pick up an idea, if you grasp at the idea, then you can start running around the whole of Bangalore, the whole of the world. What you are looking for? ‘I want to get to where I started from.’ [Chuckles] Suppose the goal was to find exactly where you are sitting Right Now … and you start walking. Are you going to get closer from it or far further from it? Full turn till a point further, then you go around the world and then it comes closer. So, you can come to it that way … but where will you reach? Exactly where You are Now.
Wherever you may wander, You are This.
You could not lose YourSelf if you try.
So, what is happening then? If it is like this, that it is more immediate than immediate itself, more Now then Now, then what is this game all about? And because You have unlimited potential, You have the potential also to consider YourSelf to be something that You are not. So, You have the potential to consider YourSelf to be this bucket of flesh and blood, which is very ephemeral in its nature. But if You want to consider Yourself this, nothing can stop You. If You want to play like this, nothing can stop You from playing. This play is called the ‘Leela.’ But it is not true that You can ever become just this in Reality, or that the Truth is not here Right Now. These things are just not true.
So, when we say that ‘I don’t find it’ it is not true, because you already said ‘I’. (I wonder if some of you get it.) The minute you say ‘I don’t find it’ you already found the ‘I’ who cannot find it. Everything after the ‘I’ is just a story anyway. So, this grasping at ideas, conclusions, notions, is to try to get to where you are sitting Now by walking. And then we have some very fancy ideas, like very spiritual ideas, where we can feel like ‘I’m really running now to my destination.’ What is your destination? Where I stared. [Chuckles]
So, meet what is naturally Here.
An Invitation to Look
How is it when you meet yourself empty of this; of any sort of knowing, any sort of label, any sort of conclusion of even having got it or not got it? How is it?
Give it a chance; a few moments?
And I don’t want the answer. [Smiles] That was just an invitation to look.
When you meet yourself notion-less-ly, how is it?
You are actually testing what Master Bankei said. He said ‘All things are perfectly resolved in the Unborn.’ And this Unborn is your notion-less Existence.
So, it is my proposal to you that all things are perfectly resolved right Now, already. But it is completely in your power to pick up the notion that it isn’t.
You as who? Consciousness. The root, the primordial of that which is manifest. (Anyway, we don’t even have to pick up these notions.)
How is it, notion-less-ly?
The invitation to ‘be somebody’ will come. The invitation to bring yourself back into this limited identity will come. Even when it says ‘Yeah, this is pretty good; I could live like this’ … who is that ‘I’ then?
So, open-ness, emptiness (whatever you want to call it) is already Here.
The Unborn just Is.
This Is-ness just Is.
We Don’t Know How Much We Still Know
A:If you didn’t know any of this spiritual knowledge, then …
S:I don’t have spiritual knowledge…
A:Okay, then what is it? [You said] ‘There is a light that is manifesting as something, as this universe.’ Sounds very much like spiritual knowledge.
S:Without that light, how can I see? How can perception be there?
A:Show me where the light is.
S: That’s me; that is my nature.
A: Where is it? Where is this light?
S:It is the light which lights up the world.
A:Where is it?
A:Then how it is light?
S: Okay, then we remove label. What you are speaking then …?!
A:Allow me to be foolish. [Sangha and Ananta Chuckles] If that is the objection, allow me to be the deluded, foolish one. You remain notionless. Because these things which you might think free you, they are actually your chains; the idea that ‘I know about something; what this is.’ And these are very glorious ideas. I’m not complaining about the quality of the ideas but I’m telling you even they are just ideas.
S: Yes, yes. They are just ideas, right?
A:Yes, of course. Even yesterday in ‘Ribhu Gita’ (or the day before) we read that ‘Even the notion of transcendental light is just a notion.’ Very clearly, the Sage has said ‘It is the horn of the hare.’ [which doesn’t exist] Not only these elements (‘The horn of the hare’) … even the notion of transcendental light is ‘The horn of the hare’. Suppose you are empty of all of this. Then?
S: But something is playing in this world; I’m coming here and interacting with all these guys.
A:[Chuckles] But these are just the ideas … and to put it strongly, these are just lies. And I know they are lies you have heard in Satsang. [Laughs] I’m not denying that. But we have to, at some point, look at even these and throw them away.
‘Something’ is playing. Tell me what thing is playing? What is that ‘thing’ … what is ‘is’ … and what is ‘play’? Do we really know any of this?
Tell me something that you know for certain is true.
S: I exist.
A:What does that mean: to exist? Even this is not true. That is why [Sri Nisargadatta] Maharaj said….
S: But I am not dead.
A:[Smiles] Even this is not true. Maharaj said ‘The only Truth …’ So, you’re not in bad company; you’re in very good company. Maharaj said ‘The only Truth I can say is that ‘I Am.’ But he said ‘Ultimately, even that is not true.’ Ultimately, even that is a notion.
S:Then what to speak? Everything is a lie then? Everything, everything, every word is a lie.
A:How about these words?
S:Then what to say?!
A: So, when we say ‘Everything is a lie’ is that Truth or lie? [Silence]
Saying is so important. We can explore this: Where does it come from? Because we feel helpless the minute we don’t have anything to say. What does it mean? Not that we have to say nothing, but to be like ‘But what do I actually know?’ And you come to the nakedness of that moment. And it can feel defenseless. It can feel defenseless. ‘So, what have I really understood?’ … ‘Nothing.’ And that can feel like almost like an attack. But this is it. If you can take the attack now, good; then you can be done with it. Because you have not understood anything, you have not come to know anything and you have not found anything. So, all these are gone. Now?
S: Not speaking is okay also.
A: Now you said ‘Every sentence you say is a lie.’ Now, this one is true?
S:In the real sense, there is no need to say anything.
A:Is that true? [Chuckles]
I’m pushing you beyond your intellect and you’re trying to capture it with your intellect. You’re saying ‘speaking’ and ‘not speaking’ … these are the boundaries of your intellect. Isn’t it? In the intellect, there can be speaking, speaking, speaking less, speaking really less, not speaking at all.
This is the boundary. I’m pushing you to a place where none of this is true. So, it doesn’t matter about speaking, not speaking; all of these opposites.
You want to be pushed there? Or no?
A: Yes. That openness is enough for me.
This is what I was saying, that when we first admit that ‘Actually, I don’t know anything’ (and not even this, whether I know or I don’t know anything) that is openness. Then, it is simple. [Smiles]
If we meet it with our mask of our knowledge, then we will keep making something out of it. I was saying that ignorance in the world … they say ignorance is what? ‘We don’t know what we don’t know.’
S: ‘Ignorance is bliss.’
A: Bliss, yes. [Chuckles] Yes. How would we define it? ‘We don’t know what we don’t know.’
Many times, the trouble in Satsang is that: We don’t know how much we still know. And that is getting exposed every day; exposed every day, if you are being open. Otherwise, we are adding a lot of concepts every day. Otherwise, we are adding a lot of spiritual concepts also every day; adding to our framework of knowledge (which we think is knowledge but actually is garbage).
Is There Something Called a World?
A: This is a good contemplation: Is there something called the world?
Q:It depends where you stand, if you stand in personhood, there is a world. If you stand in the expanse of Awareness, everything is playing on the fabric of Awareness. So, it’s not just ‘Is there a world?’ … the more important question is ‘Is there a world and where do you ask that question from and where do hear that question?’
A:Yes, but whatever that distinction might be, the question is ‘Is the world real or is it just a notion?’ And you said ‘Of course, if you’re looking at it from the personal perspective, then it, of course, seems real.’ But the person itself is what I am talking of as a notion. You see? Isn’t the person just a notion?
Q:I want to amend my statement: Where you’re looking from … it’s where you inhabit. It’s almost like where do you sit; where’s the throne? If the throne is in personhood, then there is a world, there is time, there is space, there is relation to the body … and it hurts if you are in personhood. But if your throne is in that sense of all-Awareness, then these are just play, flashes of light and vibration playing on this.
A: So, the first world that you described, if I say that that is just notional, it’s just ideas…
Q:But you only say that because of where you’re standing from, or where you’re talking from, because that’s what you occupy. You’re speaking from a position of Awareness, as Awareness, so You can say that. But if someone is not sitting there, is sitting in personhood, then they can’t say that. They will say ‘The world is real. What are you talking about? I have to get up and walk.’
A:Yes. And this would be a big problem if it was true, in the sense that if it was possible for you to sit as a person, then it would be a real problem. So, can you be rid of this Awareness and be the person for a moment?
Q:See, I reject that statement because that statement implies ‘this or that’. I prefer to word it as ‘this and that’ … meaning I can sit as Awareness, in Truth (It is Here right Now) AND I can also sit as personhood.
A:Show me. Show me how…
Q:But that’s how we are sitting.
A: Show me. [Silence] Where? Move from Awareness.
Q:You’re still coming from ‘this or that’ in the sense that you’re verbalizing. I’m saying ‘Your Self and, in our case, personhood are both simultaneously co- existing; not one or the other. Simultaneous, both. So, you are the Self and you are the person. It just depends which one you inhabit from.
A: So, this ‘and’ which we feel like has some reality, I’m saying is just notional. That’s all I’m saying … that it is never like you say, that ‘I can be Awareness AND the person.’ I’m just questioning that.
Q:Another way to put it is one is primary, one is secondary. They’re just terms, which you can have fun with. I’m just trying to explore that.
A:I’m glad we are having this conversation; it’s very, very good.
Q:So, let’s say, in my case, I’m steeped in my personhood then just to be very ‘excel’ [a software program for listing information] I would say that my personhood is primary. And I’m still the Self but the light is shining more in the personhood. I don’t know if what I’m saying about it is [clear]… but You know what I’m talking about.
A:Yes, Yes. Therefore, would you say that it is not a statement that you inhabit both worlds, in a sense, but more of what you believe about yourself?
A:That’s what I’m saying. So, it’s not that You Are ‘this and that’ but it is more like what you identify with ‘this and that’. And what can be ‘identified with’ is just ideas. You see? This we can confirm. Like: Is the Truth subject to identification as well? So, can the idea ‘Awareness’ encapsulate Truth? And if I identify with the notion of Awareness, does that make me free … versus this? Or are not both notions? (And identification is only possible with notions.) But empty of this identification with either or both notions, there is something that is not identified ever, or identifiable?
Q: Perfect, perfect.
A:So, it pulls the sense of there being an ‘I’ who is straddling both worlds or something like that.
Q:But this is a thorn. Sometimes we need a concept or a belief in a thorn to take out the other thorn.
A:Okay, so it’s gone?
A:Now, any time, any space, any duality, any distinction … any of this?
Q:It’s playing here and I chose to be here without the sense of ‘me-ness. There is ‘me-ness’ here…
A: And to make that choice … how would you say that? How do you make that choice?
Q:It is a sort of falling in. First, it starts with a falling in, and then it’s something that springs forth and you just find yourself resting in.
A:Before you fall in, what is there? [Silence]
Q:Beautiful. Before I fall in, It is also just there. And there’s almost the illusion that you’re falling in.
A:Look, look; explore like this, explore like this. Because if you make it subject to time then again, we are getting into ‘process’ and ‘state’ and these kinds of things. So, it’s helpful to just see that before we can even have the intention of ‘going to It’ … what is That?
Is it in opposition to this or that? Is there some ‘I have to push and pull or pull from here and go there?’ … this kind of thing?
And I know that all of this was good stuff. I’m not denying that at one point, all of this was good stuff. It turned our attention away from this [gestures the outside appearance] and got us to explore what is beyond just this. All of this is very beautiful stuff. But there comes a point where
…[Makes a sweeping gesture; dismisses everything] [Silence]
Neither this nor that; neither both. Nothing. Neither, neither. [Chuckling]
Pointing to the Most Simple
Bhagavan [Sri Ramana Maharshi] said: ‘True Knowledge is not to be found. It is only the false
that has to be given up.’ Ati Sulabham: Super Simple. What is the most simple? … completely empty of any effort, any getting, any losing, any position?
No experience is It. Neither is it not It. It is just that an experience cannot include, cannot consume or contain It. No state can contain It. And yet, all states are It.
No concept can grab It. No piece of mental knowledge is true. But neither is it false. Because true and false don’t apply to It … to Your Self.
Right and wrong, correct and incorrect, all of these are just from our intellect. Whatever you can grasp for, you can reach for, is not It. And yet the grasping is only within It.
Whatever you can perceive is not It. And yet there is no perception which excludes It. Not this way, not that way.
My Father says: ‘Be the cow that jumped over the moon.’ How many steps do you have to take to jump over the moon? What is the run-up you’ll have to run and then gather the momentum to jump? So, it is not It in the grasping. Jumping over the moon means to leap beyond your concepts of right and wrong and all these opposites. Leave your mind behind.
Got It? Didn’t get It? [Chuckling] Does it still apply: Got It? [Looks around the room]
Didn’t get It? [Laughter in the room] Are you certain? [Laughter continues]
And because we have activated this concept of coming to Satsang to ‘Get It’ or the concept that ‘I have been coming to Satsang and I’ve got glimpses of it but haven’t got it’ then these concepts can still carry some weight. If I ask my children who just come to say ‘Hi’ to me after coming from school whether after coming to Satsang they got it or didn’t get it, they would say [Makes a shrugging gesture] ‘What?’ It does not apply.
Got It? [Chuckling] All ways to It are fraudulent and yet there is no way which does not lead to It. What will you do with that?
Is what I’m saying true? No. Is what I’m saying false? No.
Are you willing to look beyond this instrument of true and false, of assertion and negation?
What is Here? [Silence]
Make No Reference to I, Either Absolute or Personal
This attempt to own it or the attempt to stand aloof are both two sides of the same coin; ideas of our limitations.
Who is dancing this dance of ‘Getting and not getting’ … of ‘Being in a state and losing the state’? If you forgot all of this education, that ‘This is good, this is bad; this is true, this is false; this was right, this is wrong; I had it, I lost it’ … it is not original to you, and it is not about these words. If these words are just taken as words, then they are complete nonsense. If there is a point to these words, it is only to back all notions out of you. It is only to back every notion out of you, including the notion of ‘backing’ itself.
To see that ‘Even to know one thing is to know too much’ is to meet Shiva. (Okay, that is a notion; forget it.) [Sangha and Ananta Chuckle]
How do you consider yourself to be in time and space? Don’t try to leave time and space; tell me how you consider yourself to be in time and space?
S: I have to think about it.
A:You have to think about it. And what is the basis of all this fruitless thinking? It is the ‘I’ thought.
If you decide that ‘I have to leave the ‘I’ thought’ then it is not leaving the ‘I’ thought. If you say ‘Now that I see that the trouble is that I have to leave the ‘I’ thought’ then that is not it. It’s something immediate, more spontaneous. To leave the ‘I’ thought means make no reference to ‘I’ … either absolute or personal. Make no reference to ‘I’ … either absolute or personal. And who is doing it; who is making no reference? Nobody. That is un-referenced. We are not making a reference; not even nobody (because we can have an idea about nobody; it’s still a reference).
It can sound very complicated, but it is simpler than how it sounds. Okay? [Chuckles] If you try to solve it like this, you can’t. But in actuality, it is simpler; [snaps fingers] … before you hear the click.
If you find yourself taking a position (like that or like this) it is not even that. It can become very subtle, where even these can be positions: ‘I have to hold my attention’ or ‘I have to let go of my attention.’ Nothing, nothing. Attention doesn’t have to be this way or that way. All ways, or concepts of ways, can go.
Coming to Truth Is Not Confined to Withdrawal of Attention
If you forgot that this body has a nose, for example, then you could use your hand to confirm. That is neti-neti. Move your attention to its own Source and see where it comes from. ‘Not this, not this, not this.’ But after you see that the nose is still there, do you have to keep holding it? ‘Abide as the nose.’ [Chuckling] Then abidance only means that we don’t pick up the notion that ‘I lost my nose.’ Because we checked and we checked again, we checked again. Now it is clear.
Attention plays that function of grasping. But to be the Self doesn’t mean that I have to keep my attention only in the unchanging Reality … because if that is how the Self wanted to experience Itself, the waking state would not come in the first place. So, this world is a play of attention and that’s okay. It has nothing to do with My Self. If it seems that I forgot who I am then it is useful to check. But coming to the Truth is not remaining in the withdrawal of attention or something. It is attention; this way or that way, it doesn’t matter. What is Here naturally? [Silence] When you see Guruji, [Sri Mooji] does it look like he’s just [gestures spaced out or in samadhi] … and then he is talking? No, he is very much Here. His attention is very much with all of this as well, but the Self is not forgotten. It doesn’t need to be remembered in this way.
Q:But when my attention is on my thoughts, for instance, it seems that the Self is veiled. Veiled, yeah; that I’m forgetting My Self, in a sense.
A:Not in the mere appearance of thoughts, it isn’t. The ‘belief’ is the veil.
Q:It’s because Guruji doesn’t believe any thoughts?
A:Yes. See, when attention was fully withdrawn, then there is no question of any appearance, including thoughts. All appearance means that attention is on that. That’s what we call ‘appearance’ anyway. So, just for the mere appearance of thoughts, it doesn’t matter. It’s when I take myself to be what the thought is referring to ‘me’ as … that is the ‘I’ thought, that ‘I am that which the thought is representing: the ‘I’ thought; the thought that ‘I’ is being represented though this energy construct … that is the veil. And if you take yourself to be that, just like if you take yourself to be anything at this moment, if you give your belief to it, you will start to lose that. It won’t seem as tangible. You close your eyes and start imagining that you are a tiger sitting next to the Nile or something like that. If you start believing concepts about it, it is not far from belief. So, it is not in the appearing of these appearances, but in our taking our thoughts to be valid representations of who we are. That’s what I mean. When the thought claims to represent ‘I’ … that is the ‘I thought.’
Say something which you think true about yourself: that is the ‘I’ thought. It represents an ‘I’ which just is not there. So, when we lose that reference, the Truth is Here. That’s why I started Satsang by saying: It is not that the Truth has to be found. It is only that the false has to be let go of.
What is the false? The primary falsity is in this ‘I’ thought, the limited notion of Self.
Reading Ribhu Gita, Chapter 26
Ribhu: I shall explain the Existence, Consciousness, Supreme bliss, which is ever-joy by its own virtue. It is by itself the core of the essence of all the Vedas and the Puranas.
There is no difference, duality or pairs of opposite characters, no difference and nothing devoid of differences. This alone is Supreme Brahman, affliction-less and attainable by Knowledge.
A: This verse itself is potent enough to drive away all ignorance.
There is no difference, duality of pairs of opposites. No difference and nothing devoid of differences. This alone is Supreme Brahman, affliction-less and attainable by Knowledge.
There is nowhere anything as ‘This alone am I’, nothing that is decay-less, nothing beyond the beyond. This alone is Supreme Brahman, affliction-less and attainable by Knowledge.
A:And this Knowledge is what? It is not conceptual knowledge. It is that Truth which is apparent. Empty of notions, what is this Self-knowledge? Atman Jnanam. Jnana Yoga is not to pick up a lot of concepts, it is to empty yourself of notions and to see this true Knowledge (with a Capital ‘K’) which never comes and goes.
There is no outside, no inside, no I, no will or no form. This alone is Supreme Brahman, affliction-less and attainable by Knowledge.
A:Pick one of these and accept it; any. [Smiles] Just accept that there is no outside or inside. It is enough. Or at least, be open to it. So, if you hear it as if you are hearing directions at a train station, not as if you are hearing something metaphysical; hear it as if you’re asking ‘Where should you go?’ and they’re saying ‘There is no outside and no inside.’
There is no Truth, none who has renounced, no accounts, no corruption of values. This alone is Supreme Brahman, affliction-less and attainable by knowledge.
There is no quality, no qualified statement, no mental certitude, no Japa, no limitation, nothing pervading and unreal fruits.
There is no Guru, no disciple, nothing fixed, nothing auspicious or inauspicious, nothing uniform or of different form, no liberation and nothing that binds.
There is no meaning for the word ‘Aham’ or the word ‘That’, no senses nor the objects, no doubt, nothing trifling, no certitude nor or anything named.
There is nothing of the form of peace, no non-duality, nothing above or below, no trait, no sorrowful body, no pleasure and nothing fickle.
There is no body, no sign, neither cause nor the absence of cause, no sorrow, no conclusions, no I, nothing mysterious and no transcendental state.
There is no Karma that is accumulated, nor that that is yet to be realized, no Truth, no you or I, no ignorance, no knowledge, no dunce and no pundit.
There is no base hell, no conclusion and no liberation and nothing purifying, no craving, no learning, no I, no knowledge and no deity.
There is no sign of the auspicious or the inauspicious, no death, no life, no satisfaction, nothing enjoyable, no undivided unitary existence and no non-duality.
There is no will, no world, no wakefulness or sovereignty, not even a trifle of the defect of equality whatever, no delusion of counting the fourth state.
There is no all or impure, nothing adorable, no morality, no worship, no world, no plurality, no admixture of other sayings.
There is no Satsang or the lack of Satsang, no Brahman, no enquiry, no practice, no speaker, no ablutions and no holy waters.
There is no merit, nor there is sin, no actions causing defects, nothing related to the Self, nothing related to the physical, nothing related to the Divine.
There is no birth or death anywhere, no states of waking dream and sleep, no realm of the earth or the nether world, no victory or defeat.
There is no wretched, no fear, no sensuality, no quick death, nothing unthinkable, no one guilty, nor the delusion of sacred lore.
There is no quality such as the serene or the active or the excessive dullness, no Shavism, no Vedanta, no sacred duty, no sacred study, nor the related interest.
There is no bondage nor liberation either, no sentence, no characteristics of identity, no female form, no male form, no condition of being neither male or female, no permanent state.
There is no praise, no slander, no hymns, verily no eulogy, nothing worldly, nothing pertaining to the Vedas, no scripture, nor any commandment.
There is no drinking, no emaciation, none of this, no joy, no arrogance or the absence of it, no mood or the lack of it, no cast, no name and no form.
There is nothing outstanding, nothing base, no prosperity, nor verily the opposite of it, no blemish-ness or excretion, no individual soul or the control of mind.
There is no manifestation of peace, nothing attainable, no peace, no restraint of senses or mind, no sport, no part of Existence, no transformation and no defect.
There is nothing whatsoever in the least; nothing of the I anywhere, nothing of what is called Maya, nothing associated with Maya, no righteousness anywhere in the least, no persecution of the Dharma.
There is no youth, no boyhood, no senility, no death and such, no relative, no one unrelated, no friend and nobody there.
There is no all, nothing in the least; no Brahman, no Keshava, no Vishnu, no Shiva, no guardians of the eight cardinal directions, no experiencer of the waking state or the dream state.
There is no experiencer of the deep sleep, nor the fourth state, no Brahmana, no Kshatriya or the highly learned.
This is indeed Supreme Brahman, the affliction-less nectar of Knowledge.
There is nothing that is reborn, nothing to manifest to the future, there is no manifestation of the worldly life, there is no appearance of time, no I, there is no reason for dialog.
There is no above, no inner faculty, no talk of just Consciousness, no duality that ‘I am Brahman’, no duality that ‘I am just Consciousness.’
There is no sheath of food, nor the sheaths of vital airs or mind or that which is not sheath, no sheath of Intellect, no sheath of bliss as separate.
There is nothing of the form of instruction, nothing to be instructed, none to teach here; it is all illusory.
There is none to be persecuted, none to persecute, being illusory no conclusive knowledge based on the triads: knower, knowable and knowledge.
There is none to measure, no standards of measure, nothing to be measured, no fruits arising. This alone is Supreme Brahman, the affliction-less nectar of Knowledge.
A: And if someone needs a testimony to the efficacy of the Ribhu Gita, it is said here:
Is there a book while reading which the reader is increasingly drawn towards his own Self, even if it is the very first spiritual book he reads? The book which you are holding in your hands is certainly one such. There is no greater testimony to the unique value of Ribhu Gita than the fact that Bhagavan Ramana himself told one of his little-educated devotees, Sampoornama: ‘It does not matter if you don’t understand the book, just go through it. It will be of immense benefit to you.’ Bhagavan would often say that the recitation of Ribhu Gita is as good as Samadhi and would himself would take part in the recitation. So, let us read, chant and be absorbed in his Grace. So, this is the one that Bhagavan used to always recommend and Chapter 26 especially (what we were just reading) is highly recommended.
The Best Advaitan Is a Fool That Knows Nothing
If the ‘Don’t know’ is empty, then it is good. If the ‘Don’t know’ is full of the concept ‘I don’t know’ then it’s not ‘Don’t know’.
S: Last night you were referring to yourself as the foolish one. Why?
A:[Chuckles] If I knew why, then I would not be so foolish. [Laughs] Why? Where did it come from? It came from … (ah, let’s put it this way) … when we come to a negation of even that which you heard in Satsang, then this resistance can come. But this I learned from you. So, in that context. [Chuckles] Okay, this one is the deluded foolish one, but You go beyond. Because it can seem like these words have some inherent meaning in them or something like this; that the words in themselves contain some truth. So, in that way we can say ‘Forget even everything that you learned from this foolish one.’ [Smiles] Foolish I also saw yesterday after Satsang. It’s not such a bad thing. Because what did [Nisargadatta] Maharaj say? (Somebody posted a quote; was it it?)
S: ‘The best Advaitan is a fool who knows nothing.’ Something like that.
A: The best Advaitan is the fool who knows nothing.
So, I was being very arrogant actually. [Ananta and Sangha Laugh] This foolish one is very funny; sometimes he says ‘Even it can happen to the best of us; even me.’ [Laughs] And sometimes he says he is the most foolish.
Nothing; neither of it means nothing.
All these words are just like sounds from that wind chime.
In Your Conclusion Is Suffering
In all these old religious pictures you see the gods and the Sages sitting like this. [Raises one hand to show palm] They are just saying ‘Stop.’ [Sangha and Ananta laugh] ‘Stop.’
For the past few weeks I have noticed that all of you have started to see a lot more in terms of where you are not stopping; where you still allow the identity to hold sway. At least these things are coming to your attention. And your noticing is enough actually. To notice is more than enough. You’re noticing where you are still putting the ‘But, but…’ You are saying ‘Everything is horn of a hare, BUT … this I still have to do’ or ‘This I still have to solve or resolve’ or ‘This I still have to figure out.’ You’re noticing where you still rest on a conclusion.
If the words of Satsang are used to conclude and say ‘Oh, this is how it is’ then Satsang is not yet Satsang. If the words of Satsang are just opening a door where you no longer conclude … because in your conclusion is suffering. Don’t rest on any conclusion; let it go. Don’t try to define ‘This is how it is. Actually, this is how it is. After coming to Satsang I saw that this is how it is’ or ‘Today I had the insight: this is how it is.’ But the insight had nothing to do with your definition of ‘This is how it is.’
If you were able to say how it is, then somebody would have said it by now and this would be done, like centuries ago. [Chuckles] If it was definable that way: ‘This is how it is!’ Finished, no?
S: But that thought just comes, after an insight or something, it comes and it is believed also.
A:The second part, let’s look. [Laughs] To notice that the thought just comes, it’s fine. Then? Take an example. Like ‘This is how it is’ … what?
S:Everything is God … or something like that.
A:‘Everything is God’ and it is just believed. Yes? Then that is not too bad because that would be the last thought you believe. If it is believed that ‘Everything is God’ … what else is left? [Smiles] Now when the notion comes ‘Why does she do that to me’ (for example) then if everything is God (she is God, me is God) then who is doing what to whom? It’s all gone.
So, if the thought is like that, that’s why I said: One notion you can keep. One notion you can keep, if it has that dissolutive impact. And if you want certification of that thought, then you can ask me ‘This is thought I am keeping Ananta. What do you feel; it’s okay?’
We start Satsang with ‘Guru Kripa Kevalam’ … that one thought is enough. Because Kevalam is beautiful pointer. Kevalam means ‘Is all there is; only Is’.
Just Let It All Come and Go
Q:Beloved Father, when so much grace is here by the Lord, then why is there so much drama of egoism and pride here? It’s still so dominant. I’m like compelled to behave to be Ravana not Ram or Hanuman.
A:It’s because you still have not understood what is the mind. You have still not been able to distinguish between just thoughts and what is reality. You consider all this chatter to be you. One day it represents you as this, one day it represents you as that, and that’s why this roller coaster seems too much.
If you still feel that some claim that the mind makes about you is worthy, then only this drama will come. The mind is just a big drama queen. This mind is just a big soap opera script-writer. [Smiles] You know? All of this will happen.
When it dangles a carrot in front of you, you feel that ‘Ah, this is going to get me something.’ And again and again, you fall for the same April fool’s day trick. One day you presume that you are Brahman itself, the next day you are Shiva, the next day you are the most arrogant Ravana. This is the nature of the mind.
So, you have to be able to see it by now for what it is; just a seller of stories, of masks.
Just let it all come and go.
That is the end of pride. If you are done with trying to be special, then be rid of this Ravana mindset.
It’s very simple.
Is the Doer True?
Okay, let’s start at a different place. So, we looked at relationship, we looked at money. Let’s look at the fundamental notion, the ‘me’ itself. Because we start getting into it. So, when that happens, what should we do? Who are we referring to this ‘me’ as? Who is this ‘me’ now? How is the ‘me’? (Like we said ‘How the world is: What is money? What about you is true?’ )
S:It still wants to play now and it said ‘So, what do I do now?’ Like when you become notion- less, this thing keeps…
A: So, that is (the ‘doer’ is) true?
A:If it is No’ then how would you have that ‘What should I do?’
S:No, I’m saying the thought arises: ‘What shall I do now?’
A: All kinds of thoughts arise.
S:Yeah, but I am just saying this thought. Even when we were just sitting, I stay quiet, but what should I do now? Make a distinction between one thought and another? I’m just reporting now.
A:Yeah. A thought in a thought. This is I have been noticing. I mean, it’s like an energetic need to get into so many distinctions.
S: What? [Chuckles] Yeah, when I still I pick one…
A:Okay, if you say ‘make no distinction’ … then there is no such thing as thought. No energetic, non-energetic, no ‘comes and goes’. If we are making no distinctions, then there is no distinction of time and space. It is not just like that. Maharaj said ‘Ultimately, I just want to tell you: Make no distinctions; that is all.’ Because in this simple pointer, all of this has no chance.
S: No distinction about anything.
A:Anything. Not up, down; not good, bad. You don’t make any distinctions. Let this body operate as it operates. If you still hear this from the level of being a body / mind then it will sound strange. So, don’t make any distinctions even between your perception of this body or anything else. To make no distinction is Advaita. This is non-duality.
What Is More Intimate to You?
I know you can see that it’s very much like this; all your experiences, no matter what you may say, you can check that they’re experienced in the space within your Being, within your very Existence; where I am saying now don’t make even a distinction between Existence and non- existence, my Being and not being. Nothing is needed. If you had to have a conclusion to get to That, then that could not be That; then That would be dependent on your conclusion. If you needed a step, even a mental step, then it will not be That.
Where is this voice heard now?
Where is this voice heard? In the body? The voice is heard in the body?
Where is the body experienced?
These sensations that we call the body, this voice, every perception is experienced where?
S: In this space. Here.
A:Now, what is more intimate to you? An experience in the space? Or that space itself?
A:That space. What does not come and go? This experience? Or that space itself?
A:That space. If you have to meet life as something, meet it as space. (If you have to meet it as something.) Higher than that is to not meet it as anything; neither something nor nothing. But if you have to meet life in some way, meet it as space. It’s a nice intermediary pointer. Because it, at least, takes us way from this grasped idea of ‘myself.’ And it is fairly quickly verifiable. This was the simple question: Where is this voice heard? Where is your sight seen? Where is the body sensation experienced?
You find that these are things which are coming and going within my own Being (if you want to call it something).
So, what can’t you meet as space? That you surrender or you enquire. This whole so-called path is just this. That which you can’t meet with openness, you either surrender (‘Guru Kripa Kevalam’) or enquire: ‘Who is this happening to?’
Our stubborn insistence is only that. Our stubborn insistence is that ‘I will not meet it as space and I will not enquire or surrender.’ [Chuckles] That is just what elongates this seeming-path.
If You Know, It Just Messes It Up
The minute you make a ‘knowing’ out of anything, it can seem to obscure your vision (seem to). It is not in that process. What would it mean when you say ‘Okay, I know what you’re saying’? What would it mean?
S:From the memory, recollecting…
A:You have a phenomenal experience that you can tally with the concept of what you feel is being said. And therefore, you that give assertion of ‘Yes, that’s valid’ and you keep it in your toolbox of concepts. That is ‘knowing’ in the way it usually operates in the mental way. Isn’t it?
So, suppose the truth had nothing do with this process. Then? Neither trying to understand nor not trying to understand; nothing to do with that process either way.
My Master told me that ‘If you know, it just messes it up.’ And it’s never true anyway.
Now, try to suffer without knowing anything. Let everything come. Even if it’s like a tsunami of resistance, let it come. Don’t know that it is even resistance. Be fully, fully open. Don’t grasp. Don’t grasp at it. Just remain open.
You don’t have to do anything with these words also. Like the sound of the wind chime, they are being heard. It is enough.
It’s because we have an idea of ‘solution’ … that’s why all these problems seem real. It’s because we have an idea of freedom that the notion of bondage seems like it is true.
And all the ‘But…’ will be ‘But me…’ It might even sound very global. Actually, all the ‘But…’ is ‘But me, but me!’ [Chuckles] Like a tantrum-throwing child would say ‘Take me also to the party! Take me also to the party!’ That’s all. That’s all it is. All this, what we call resistance, is nothing but a little child saying ‘I also want to go the party!’ [Laughs] It’s like ‘I’m having a major resistance.’ But are you having it without the notion of ‘me’? And this ‘me’ is just like a little child: ‘What about me, what about me? Take me also. This is so unfair.’ [Smiles sweetly]
Satsang Terms Can Also Become Home for the ‘Me’
So, really, the question boils down to ‘who’, isn’t it? Who is here? Can that be described in any concept? And if itself cannot be described in any concept then how can its afflictions, problems, its versions, its stories be described in concepts?
It’s like saying the story book started with ‘Once there was I don’t know who…’ [Chuckles] ‘Once there was I don’t know who but he / she had this particular problem in the relationship.’ What does it even mean? So, this is because in this fundamental way, just we presume. We filled in that box with ‘me’. ‘Once there was a me’ … Then, once that one is there, that one can have a problem. Relationship, money, body, freedom; all these problems. But if you don’t fill in that box…
This is what Bhagavan [Sri Ramana Maharshi] said. (This is the contemporary version of what he is trying to say.) He said ‘While just ‘I Am’ it is okay. Once ‘I Am’ becomes something, that ‘I am something’ is what we call ‘me’. So, once we fill in that blank ‘I am this me’ then it is the root of all the trouble.
But who is at the center of the story? When I ask you: ‘Who is there?’ then if you don’t know, then why do you fill in that blank with ‘me’?
S:It is impressions formed for very long time.
A:Yeah, but whose impressions?
S:On the Consciousness.
A:Yeah, but there is no Consciousness.
S:I am not happy without it.
A:[Smiles] Who is not? You see? That’s why I said it. [You say]: ‘I know, I affirm Consciousness, I was affirming it for the last ten minutes.’ This is what happens in Satsang. We can make it a term and then that term can become the home for the ‘me’. Like ‘It is just happening to me as Consciousness.’ Okay, forget it. There is no Consciousness. Now? …
This is good example of how Satsang terminology can actually just get in our way. Because we feel then immediately that ‘I know who it is happening to. It is happening to Consciousness.’ Forget it. There is no Consciousness.
And why we are not happy with the answer is because something latched onto the term. I know I was saying it jokingly also, half-jokingly [Chuckles] but it’s because you got attached to that term ‘Consciousness.’ When I say ‘Forget it; there is no Consciousness’ [you may want to say]: ‘But that is the basis of my understanding now. Consciousness is my basis of my understanding now and he said ‘Forget about it.’
Now, what I am saying is more than even these terms ‘Consciousness, Awareness’ … but our reality cannot be grasped in any of these concepts, including these.
So, so when a question is asked, it has to come, the response has to come from a more alive place than what we know. It has to come from a more alive place than just what we’ve just learned. Even if it seems so fresh because ‘I just understood this.’ It can feel like that. But even more alive than that, more fresh than that.
S:And you said ‘You got attached to…’
A: Yeah, you as … Consciousness, of course.
S: There is no Consciousness.
A: [Ananta and Sangha laugh] Yeah. There is no Consciousness.
This is how a term becomes potent. I wish, I prefer that every time I would say something, I wish I would use a fresh term. If I say Consciousness once, then if I didn’t ever say it again, that would be better. Because otherwise we build a home for the ‘me’ in that term ‘Consciousness’. This is what happens in spirituality.
So, who is it happening to? Consciousness. But not like that.
It has to be fresh: Who is it happening to?
Coming to This Wordless Spirituality
A:It’s about what experience or sets of experiences that you’ve tagged along with that label. That’s why these labels are so potent because they don’t come like ‘Oh, Consciousness’ [in a bland voice] because everything we think we know about Consciousness is loaded into that term.
He gave me a USB drive. So, a term is like that. There’s so much loaded into that term already. So, you say Consciousness, [points to those sitting in the room one by one] you say Consciousness, you say consciousness. Now, you all are asked to describe it. Everybody will describe different things because that’s how you’ve loaded the term. And then we argue about, ‘No, my term is the best one.’ Or ‘How could you use that term in that way?’… as if the term itself, a set of sounds, can inherently have some meaning. ‘Blah, blah, blah’ in another language could mean something but you call it gibberish. ‘Gibberish!’
Q:So, I never get this part. I mean when you say that just the sound doesn’t have any intrinsic meaning in it, right?
A: No intrinsic concept is loaded within it.
Q:Yeah, just in the sound, like ‘Blah, blah, blah’ … if I never heard it, I would never know it. So, where are you pointing us to? That’s what I don’t get. I mean it’s quite obvious if I don’t know a language…
A: Good question.
Q:… if I was the only human being in the world I would I have invented some language for myself, if only to remind myself. (I’m just imagining.)
A:Yes, good question. So, ‘Meaning’ is what? A set of other terms; each of those are a set of other terms.
Q: Are they not based on some experience?
A:Yeah, we looked at this. Those labels don’t actually (and we looked at this so often) that if you were to describe the experience of this room, could you actually do it?
A:At best, it’s a pictorial representation; at best, if you use ten thousand words or something like that. You see? So, it doesn’t really describe anything in ‘Is-ness’. It never describes even the manifest aspect of ‘What Is’. So, that just leads to other terms and those lead to other terms.
So, if you were to be rid of all of these terms, then Bhagavan [Sri Ramana Maharshi] said that the root of all of this trouble is the one term ‘I’ … the ‘I’ thought’. You see? We have given that meaning. So, if we take all meaning or reference out of that one, then all of this other stuff is naturally gone. That is a very good shortcut; a cheat code. Then you don’t have to deal with
individual meanings of all of these terms. ‘I am this, I am that, in my world it is like this.’ All this is the meaning we give it.
So, what is the fundamental term? The fundamental term is ‘I’ … (whatever language you might use for ‘I’). So, this ‘I’ … we have given it conceptual meaning, whereas Reality cannot be captured in any conceptual meaning that you give to it. Whether you say ‘Awareness, Brahman, Absolute’ or you say ‘Person, ego, mind’ … both do not actually represent Reality. So now, don’t refer to ‘I’ as anything. Don’t give it any meaning or reference. Finished.
S:So, there is no ‘me’ in meaning.
A:Exactly. ‘Me’ is created in meaning. [Laughter in room] ‘Me’ is created in meaning. Now, what you have to be open to hearing (because I repeat it very often, but sometimes the mind gets very loud at this point) is that the opposite meaning is not true also. So, don’t get boxed into the idea of ‘Meaninglessness’ or the idea that ‘Nothing has meaning’ because that is also to give it meaning. It’s just that it does not apply. Here at one time, we used to talk about ‘Not applicable’. So, just like that, it is not applicable. ‘Meaning’ itself (the term) is meaningless, therefore
‘meaning’ and ‘meaningless’ don’t mean anything. Get out of that box, otherwise you will stay with theses boxes of ‘Oh, only Awareness has meaning; person has no meaning.’ You see? We are not replacing one set of meanings with a new set of meanings. We are not replacing the notion ‘I am a person’ with a new set of notions ‘I am Brahman’ or ‘I am god’. We don’t want to have one kind of ego then replace it with another kind of ego, the ‘spiritual ego’. That’s really going from the frying pan into the fire.
So, it is just to remain empty from all of this; all judgment, interpretation. Empty of getting losing, finding, seeking, holding, wanting. Empty of all of this.
In a simple way, we can say that it’s the end of word play. We’ve just been playing with words thinking that that is our Reality. But now, as Guruji [Sri Mooji] says, we are coming to a wordless spirituality.
So, then it will not trouble you if I say ‘You are Consciousness’ and then I say ‘But there is no Consciousness’ … you won’t feel like [Makes a surprised, puzzled face] ‘What?!’ Because you’re out of that box, you see. You’re not boxing yourself based on these assertions and negations; these opposites. Otherwise this game of ‘Oh, I’m a person’ or ‘I am Awareness’ will keep going on because we have made them opposites in that box. Just keep all terms aside and whatever You are is apparent.
[Laughs and laughter in the room] I’m a bit sheepish in saying that because [Imitates sangha with a frustrated look]: ‘Father, what is apparent?’ [Laughing]
What are you without this box?
Now, you’ll notice that the mind will become very smart at playing this game. It could say ‘Oh, but within and without are still opposites in that box.’ But you’re not really looking still! You’re still in word play then.
So, all words are in that box. That is clear. If that gives the mind some smartness certificate, every mind can have it. It’s completely fully, smart. Okay? [Chuckling] So, that full, full certification is yours. Now that you’ve seen that even this question is in the box, what is it that You Are without the box?
Then you settle again for these smart conclusions, ‘Oh, even within and without is in the box.’ You see, like that. But even that is in the box.
What about You? Can You be represented in the box?
Pointings Are Only Provisional Truths
Not picking up the lies about who you are is all that is needed. I am not even saying ‘dropping’, I’m saying not picking up the lies about who you are. And then, all terms that describe who you are, are lies. Whether they are pointing to something spatial or temporal or even so-called eternal, everything that is terminology cannot describe You in Reality. This much is the end of the ‘I’ thought.
Don’t pick up any lies about who you are and all terms about who you are, are lies.
All descriptions, all interpretations, all judgments are lies. Even this one [that is currently being said] is lies. You see what I’m saying? In the sense that, I’m not just playing with words here but proposing, and then getting rid of the proposition also. Because again, I will propose a term ‘emptiness’ because to come to this term ‘emptiness’ it cannot be that ‘Everything is lies.’ That is not emptiness. So, the negation of everything else, using a provisional truth, and then the negation of the provisional truth itself … so that your hands are left empty.
That’s what all the Sages are doing: ‘Adhyaroopa apvada.’ (अध्यरूप अपवाद) That’s what they call it. It is like saying:
Don’t believe any lies about yourself, everything, all terms are lies
and then, there are no such things as lies. It is sequential, in a way.
If you feel you can assert the Truth, know that it is not the Truth. If you feel you can deny the Truth, know that it is not the Truth. That includes all of this which is being said in Satsang.
Q: The only thing true are the pointings. The pointings are the Truth?
A:Provisionally. That’s what I was saying: provisionally. So, you say ‘All of this is unreal because it comes and goes’ then it takes away our investment in the reality of this manifestation. Then you say ‘Brahman is the world.’ What does it mean? ‘There is no world, there is only Brahman’ you say, for example. Then you say ‘Brahman is the world.’ So, it doesn’t let you hang on to anything conceptually. Because if you try to put it in a conceptual box, it isn’t it. And many can claim that ‘I have understood this.’ It is not for that. [Chuckles] If you have ‘understood’ this then the Sage has to come up with something else. You feel like ‘These are riddles I have to crack, now I have understood.’ Then the Sage has to come up with some fresh stuff. And this box, you might feel like it is just a mental box, a small aspect, but then you will see that everything that we think about this world is contained in this box. Time is contained in the box, space is contained in your box, freedom, bondage, life, death, everything is contained in this box. None of these are a ‘thing’.
What Are You Calling Witnessing?
A:This witnessing, is it an object of perception? (I was going to take an example; I always take an example.) This: you say there is a yellow coaster on the couch because it is perceived. You say there is a witnessing, because …?
Q:The activity of sight, making meaning of calling it a yellow coaster…
A:No, no, no. Let’s look again. Is there a yellow coaster on the couch?
A:Why do you say that?
Q:Because I perceive it.
A:You perceive it. So, now you say ‘There is a witnessing, which I can confirm is apparent.’
Now, you perceive this witnessing?
A:No. Is it just a concept, this witnessing?
A:No. How do you claim this witnessing?
Q:Because I am doing the witnessing.
A:Don’t get into any inferring. The question is simpler than that. You say ‘Witnessing is apparent.’ Now, if I say to you ‘What is the color of this witnessing?’ …
Q: No color.
A:Then how do you claim it is there? If I say to you ‘There is a color-less coaster on the couch’ would you say there is a coaster there?
Q: I wouldn’t.
A:You wouldn’t. So, how is there a different standard for this witnessing or that which witnesses? Because even if we were to say ‘this witnessing’ (that is like almost an Advaita way of talking) … or if I say to you ‘You are witnessing, no?’ … are you not witnessing?
Q: I am.
A: You are witnessing. This ‘I’ itself which is witnessing, can that be witnessed?
A:Then how do you make the claim that it is ‘I’? For the yellow coaster that is witnessed, perceived, you make the claim ‘There is a yellow coaster.’ This ‘I’ that witnesses, which witnesses these sensations that we call the body, these various bodies have been experienced, various states (waking state, dream state, sleep state, other states) all experienced. Now, you say
‘I witnessed all of this.’ But this ‘I’ itself… what is your experience of that?
Q: [Silence] There’s some idea of it but I can’t place the idea of it.
A: Okay, very good.
A:So, you see that all ideas fail in relation to It. The ‘I’ that we’re looking for, all ideas fail in relation to it; all perceptions fail in relation to it. Now, there’s another notion that we use, called ‘me’. There’s another which we use called ‘me’. Now, do all ideas fail in relation to this ‘me’?
Q: It has specific ideas.
A:It has specific ideas, which are what? Beliefs. So, this ‘me’ is made up of beliefs. But when we actually looked, we found that this ‘I’ (the only ‘I’ which I can claim with any truth value) does not conform to any ideas. But what I claim about ‘myself’ is full of ideas; the ‘me’ is full of ideas. So, what is true? The ‘me’ which is full of ideas? Or this ‘I’ to which no idea seems to reach?
Q: Definitely not the ‘me’ idea.
A:Okay, definitely not the ‘me’ idea. But all ideas only claim to be about the ‘me’… no idea which is this ‘I’. Isn’t it?
A:Okay, so if I ask you now: Are you aware now?
A:This is an atomic question, because the ‘Yes’ comes to you naturally. But what is your experience of this Awareness?
Q: It’s quality-less.
A:How do you experience something quality-less?
Q:Does it have to be an object that is …
A: Otherwise, it is a quality-less coaster on the couch?
Q: I have to perceive it to be quality-less.
A:How can you perceive quality-less? [Chuckles] You see? Perception means that you perceive a quality. Isn’t it? But for this Awareness, a simple question: ‘Are you aware now?’ … you say ‘Yes.’ If I say to you: ‘This is the truth which is apparent’ (it is not, but suppose…) [Big outburst of laughter; Ananta and sangha] Suppose…. it is apparent without a perception of it; would it pass this test? Or fail?
Q: I’m confused.
A:That ‘I am aware’ … you have no perception of this awareness, and yet, it is apparent that you are.
A:Anything else you can say in the same way? … that you have no perception or concept of it, and yet, it is apparent that it is?
New Q: Well, maybe I can say ‘I am aware that I am aware.’
A: Yes, but are you inferring that, or are you …?
Q:No, spontaneously, I am telling that. Spontaneously. ‘Who is aware?’ means I am aware that I am aware.
A: You are certain. And yet, you have no taste of Awareness?
Q: No taste or anything; no concept. Further, I am aware that I am aware.
A: Yes. Now, this ‘I’ that is aware, is there an ‘I’ which is separate from ‘Aware’?
Sangha: No separation is seen.
A: Because when you say ‘I am aware’ …
Q: In the universe, they seem to be separate.
A: So, for them to be separate means that one of them has to have a quality?
(Everybody with me so far? Just try to follow; don’t think about your question for a moment, just what is being said.)
So, we said ‘I am aware’. We already explored this ‘aware’ and we said there is no concept of it. I’m not just regurgitating learned knowledge. You said ‘Are you aware now?’ … I said ‘Yes’.
Because, not that I saw it … and I’m not answering from something that is learned knowledge; something fresh said ‘Yes’. And it is apparent.
Now, we are digging further into that, and we are saying: You said ‘I am aware.’ And we saw that for Awareness, there is no quality.
Now, for there to be two, I and Awareness, … only a quality can distinguish, isn’t it? So, when we say ‘I am aware’ … what separates the two?
Q: It has no form or quality.
A:No form or quality. And separation is possible without form and quality? Only with form and quality?
Q: No concept.
A:No concept? Precisely. Very good. So, therefore, when we say ‘I am aware’ … it’s just like saying ‘Aware is aware’ … or ‘Whatever is whatever.’ See? There’s basically no separation, isn’t it? Because there is no qualitative distinction to be found.
Q: I see that.
A: You see that. So, this ‘I’ … do you find any separation from this Awareness?
A: You find none? You find no separation? Now, this is already apparent, you’re saying.
The Concept Of ‘Me’
Q: Can you clarify about ‘me’ also … the concept of ‘me’?
A:Okay. So, say something about yourself.
A:When were you born? Are you a good person? So, all of this, like: Are you like a party guy?
Or do you like being at home? You see, these kinds of things are all about the ‘me’. ‘I am very honest. I am spiritual. I am not so ambitious.’ You know, all of these things can be about somebody that we are referring to as a ‘me’. Now the funny thing is that even that is not perceived. [Chuckles] Even this ‘me’ nobody has ever perceived. The ‘me’ that has money in the bank account, that has a manager at work … that one was also not perceived. And yet, somehow this bundle of concepts seems to get all our allegiance. And yet this Self, which is not perceived and yet it is undeniable, seems to be ignored.
So, the ‘person’ is not found; it’s not found in any way at all.
The Self is not found perceptually or conceptually but cannot be missed, cannot be denied.
Q:Cannot be what?
A:Cannot be denied.
Are you witnessing your own sight, your own perception? Of course, you are. So, it is undeniable. But this ‘person’ which we have no real evidence of, expect this circumstantial evidence, that seems to get all our allegiance.
So, when we spoke of thought, it is thought which is referring to you as this limited entity. That is what we call the ‘me’ … the notion of limited self, the ego … which is not real, but it can seem like it is the center of this story. This hero of our story is a ‘me’ which nobody has ever met actually.
The End of Suffering
The end of suffering is to come to That which is the unchanging Self.
It should be fairly obvious by now. What is the nature of this world? Even if you weren’t spiritual, I feel like by the time everyone is a bit older they come to this understanding that attachments lead to trouble. Because they see that everything in this world is changing. Now, if I just try to hold onto something that is going to go, is that going to bring peace or trouble? [Chuckles] It is only going to bring trouble, isn’t it? So, sometimes jokingly I say that it’s like tying yourself to drunken donkey and expecting to sit in quietude or something. It can’t work like that because it is going to shake things up. Whatever is here is going to change, is going to go.
So, now stability can come from That which is not changing, which does not come and go.
Now, where to find such a thing?
We said it cannot be found in the realms of perception or conceptualization. So, intellect cannot do it, and sight and perception cannot do it. Now the clues are being provided to go beyond that. Because we relied so much on these methods of knowing that we feel like ‘Oh, besides that, there is nothing.’
That’s why I say: ‘What is apparent to you if you don’t use your senses or your concepts?’ … ‘Nothing.’ That comes quickly, doesn’t it? [Snaps fingers] Like ‘Nothing’. But I’m trying to introduce you to this ‘Nothing.’ Meet it. Meet it and you will realize that it is not nothing … although it is no-thing.
So, when the Sages say ‘The truth is to be found in the space between thoughts’ … what is in the space between thoughts? To the mind, nothing. But what is this ‘Nothing’? It is not the ‘nothing’ that we think.
In fact, this part of the Satsang to the mind is no fun because to the mind ‘nothing’ is the worst insult. Like, if somebody comes and says ‘You are nothing!’ you’re like ‘Don’t you know who I am?’ When somebody treats you like nothing, it is the worst. [Chuckles] So, we don’t really enjoy that. We want to claim ‘But I am this, I have done this, I have had this award and this experience.’ To be thought of as nothing is the worst nightmare for the mind.
So, here it starts to resist. ‘But I want to be something. I thought I was coming to be a very special enlightened one and you are making nothing out of me!’ [Laughs] And we have very fancy ides about spirituality being the last rung of the ladder after you have evolved through all the rest. Even in spiritual texts, it is written like that. ‘After you had some 84 lakh 800 and 40000 or eight million 400 thousand lives, then you will come to this lifetime of searching for the truth of what you are.’ This kind of thing. But we can doubt that notion very much because maybe this is just the kindergarten; this world. This is the preparatory school where you can’t really play. [Chuckles] Because the ones who come to Satsang usually suffer much more from the world then those who are just normally living in the world. [Sangha chuckles] I’m not saying it is so.
I’m just talking about ‘Oh, we are the top rung and they are only after money and having things. We are after God.’ You know, these kinds of things; [claiming a spiritual] specialness.
When you come to Satsang, you’re like: ‘But you cannot even find yourself. What will you become?’
‘You will find that you are no-thing.’
‘But I came here to become a special cat. I wanted freedom so I could be the cat with a halo. And now?’ We start saying ‘I am looking at the cat; but there is no cat. So, it is not helping me at all! And whatever certainties I had, even those had been taken away from me!’
So, these are the frustrations that come. In that phase, Satsang does not feel like fun. And whether we use big words for it and call it ‘The dark night of the soul’ or whatever we call it, it is only resistance; the ‘me’. All the glorified versions of this ‘me’ are getting in the way.
To Not Take This ‘Me’ Seriously Is to Be a Sage
Q:I am still stuck with that awareness. The pointers that you have suggested, we have to see that clearly. There should be some clarity around that – about the awareness.
A:The way to make it clearer, is to try not to be aware. Don’t be aware. Tell me when you are done.
Q:The problem with me is that awareness comes as a blob to me. I want to chop it off and understand and what it really is.
A:That is not the approach. That is the approach that we use as scientist. The approach which is being suggested is that if everything appears as a blob. Find out who witnesses that blob.
And that is not fun and it’s okay. Admit that it is not fun. It’s okay, but don’t be scared to meet it. Don’t fall for the same trick. Now you say that I am not able to dissect it but it is not dissectible. It is not dissectible. Find out what witnesses this. Even the need to dissect, what is aware of that?
And you will not see it as a perception and you will not … even if you get the greatest concept of it, the truth is not in that.
Q: Awareness, that you say is somebody’s existence?
Q: Awareness for me is something OF. So, if I am aware OF you that means that I can co-exist.
A:Okay, let’s use the same line. Are you aware of your existence?
A:That which is aware of your existence, what can you say about That?
Q:Didn’t we just establish that which we call as Awareness? That is aware OF…
A:No. Are you inferring this?
Q:Yes, after our brief discussion.
A:Don’t infer now. So, you are aware of your existence. When I say don’t infer means don’t rely on some past knowledge and don’t compute or equate anything. It is not that I must be aware because this. Do you exist? Or not?
A: So, that which is aware of this existence, what can be said about that?
Q: [After a contemplative silence] Can’t be said anything. It is … Is.
A:It is … Is. Is-ness itself. Anything can’t be said but unlike a 20-color rainbow (about which) you say I can’t say anything about it because I have never perceived it, you cannot deny It. That is the beauty of it that although you have no perception of it, you can’t but affirm it. So that which just ‘is’, independent of any quality, independent of any change, independent of any excitement or grief. That is what Satsang is pointing to. Now for this you check the sages’ pointers and see, does it come and go?
Q: It is always there.
A:Does it undergo any change? Does it witness or perception and all objects of perception? It’s beyond any boundaries of space and time and does any of that concepts of boundary apply to it? What is its location? What is its age? So now the best news is that for us to hold on to this we don’t hold on to it with our attention, we don’t hold on to it with a concept. We don’t have to hold on to it like [Gestures holding with hand] that. Or we don’t have to hold on to it is saying. ‘I am awareness, I am awareness, I am awareness, I am Brahman, I am Brahman’ like that.
To abide or to hold on to it only means that we don’t pick up a false representation of what we are. And this is what the Sages meant when they say, the truth is always just apparent to you but don’t pick up the false. Bhagavan said that, True knowledge is not something that you will get. All you will do is to drop the false.
So, what is the false? We already discussed that it is the ideas of limited me. The limited version of the Self. So ‘to not take this me seriously’ is the sage. That’s all. And ‘to take the me seriously’ is the sufferer. The distance between the two is this thought. That’s all. In this moment you are a sage [ snaps]. You start Now [snaps] as a Sage. Now, how do you want to play?
You have this voice coming, if you want to (have a) grasp at it, then it is… The Consciousness itself who wants to play the game of suffering. If Consciousness is done with the game of suffering then it just allows that to go. Then you come to that beautiful Zen saying which says that ‘Thoughts are just visitors, let them come and go. Keep your front door and back door open. Let them come and go. Just don’t serve them tea.’
What Is the Distance Between Chai and Brahman?
These are the maha-mantras of the ego: ‘What is it for me? Why me? Why does this happen to me?’ This kind of ‘Why’… and the notion that we can figure this out. That’s why I loved that Kurt Vonnegut quote very much. He says: “Tiger got to hunt, bird got to fly. Man got to ask himself why, why, why? Tiger got to sleep, bird got to land. Man got to ask to tell himself he understand.”
So, this need to build a conceptual boundary around reality and say ‘I’ve got it now in my box’ is a claim to power actually. But it is really fraudulent because reality cannot be captured in our box of concepts. That’s why we looked at it and said: ‘What is your greatest concept?’ (I don’t know whether I ended that contemplation.) The Absolute, Brahman, Self. What is our smallest concept? Ego, person, lunch, chai. [Tea]
So, between chai and Brahman, what is the distance? It is just a thought. It is nothing. And this whole box is very tiny for you. I can’t help myself from reiterating this point. But if we feel like the truth is just to go from chai to Brahman, then we are still in that box. The point is to leave this whole box … and then, when we hear that ‘The Truth is apparent’ … this Truth, which is apparent, is not in that box. The ‘What Is’ (the Is-ness) is not in the box of being Brahman or something. You might, for communication purposes, then call it Brahman. But if you’re still in that box of opposites, the box of intellect, then the intellect will promise many things but it is still like a juvenile claim to power. ‘But I understand.’ What do we actually understand? What understanding is there really? We just like feel like ‘We can add up two plus two, therefore we know something.’ But nobody can really state ‘This, therefore that.’ This kind of inductive reasoning is very popular but the claims we end up making are all ephemeral.
They’re all ephemeral. How longer they are going to last? Which of this knowledge will we take when this body goes? If fact, which of this knowledge will you take into your sleep state tonight? You could have solved quantum theory or something, you could have come up with the better version of the theory of relativity, but when you go into the sleep state, will you know what it is? So, this ephemeral knowledge is not the center of your reality. It is part of your reality, which is okay. As far as the worldly play is concerned, I have no trouble with any of that. I’m just saying: Don’t consider it to be ultimate Truth.
Two plus two might be four; that is fine. But if you consider it something which is beyond your life and death and waking and sleep; if you consider it to be an unchanging Reality, then know that you can just as usually in wake-up state where two plus two is not four. I know it sounds crazy to you right now because our intellects box is only designed like that. You can every easily experience a realm where if a goose is in a small vase, it can easily fly away. And the question ‘How will you make it escape?’ will not make sense … just like in this realm, it doesn’t make sense that ‘How can it escape?’ (I don’t know, okay, maybe I’m going too far out.) But the thing is that what defines all this is just a very tiny aspect of us called the intellect. Our power to reason has been given too much reality and importance. We have neglected our other aspect.
Where to Look to Find the Self?
So, we are here to find the Self. Where should we look? If you lost your phone, where would you look?
[Sangha]: The usual places.
A:[Smiles] You look in your room. You look on the way from where you came. Isn’t it? So, you look in this world; okay, like that. Now, will you look for your phone in your emotions? [Smiles]
Will you look for it in your thoughts? You might look for it in the sense of ‘Let me try and remember where I put it’ … like that. But you are not expecting to find your phone there and pull it out. (Unless you too much believe in ‘The Secret’ and this kind of stuff. That’s a different topic altogether.)
So, looking for the phone is like that. Now suppose that you are wondering whether you are experiencing pain or pleasure. Where will you look for that? You look in the body sensations. You will probably do an audit of the physical body and see whether something is in pain. So, you look for that in the body. Now suppose there was a song that you were hearing yesterday and you lost that, what that song was, and you are trying to recall the name of the song. Where will you look for that? You are not remembering the name or the lyrics. It is just you have some tune like ♪♫ taa, taa, taaa ♪♫
S: Shezan. [Song-finding program on the internet]
A:Shezan, okay [Sangha and Ananta Chuckle] Suppose before, pre-shezan days. Where will you look for it?
A: You look for memory; look in the mind and then, what else?
You lost an emotion or something. You wanted to experience a bliss that you experienced after meditation. Then you look for your emotion over there, in the emotional aspect of you.
What is left? What about the Self? Where to go looking for that? Like you were looking for the phone? Or like for emotion or thought, memory?
What about intellect? If you were to compute 5000 into 94 … where will you go? [Smiles] You can go to this intellect. Can you search for the Self like that?
Then how are you searching? How are we searching?
S: By noticing what is there when you let go all of them.
A:If you let go of all of them, then what is there? Good, okay. So, how to let go of all of them? (Okay, so far everyone is with us?)
It is clear that it cannot be in this way, isn’t it? It cannot be found as an object, it cannot be found as a memory, it cannot be found as an experience, as any perception; let’s put it that way. And it cannot be found in a concept. In a computation … you won’t figure out the Self just like you could figure out 5000 into 94. So, it is not figure-able that way. It is not perceivable that way.
Then he says something beautiful. He says to notice what is there, when all of these things are kept aside. When all these layers (let’s call them ‘layers of our existence’ for a moment) are kept aside, then what is there?
Notice, now the question is: How to notice that? How will we let go of them?
S: By enquiry.
A: By enquiry. Okay, very good. Then?
S: Noticing the one which is trying to notice.
A:Noticing enquiry. Noticing enquiry. To find the one which is noticing the noticing, this kind of thing. How to let go?
S: Let the attention rest; resting of attention.
A:Okay, resting of attention is there. Not in the movement, you are saying. Any other method?
S:Not in the movement; not in the arising.
A:Not in the arising. Only in the resting. Then?
S: Bring the attention on ‘I’.
A:Try to bring the attention on ‘I’. What is this ‘I’ you try to bring it on?
S:It is Being … it’s like Knowing.
A:Being, Knowing. Bring the attention on that.
Suppose I was to say that nothing was needed. [Chuckles]
S:Can you say it once again?
A:That nothing was needed. [Sangha Laughs]
Not in the way attention has to be; not any prerequisite. And the letting go which you said … what if I say that is already available to you naturally? It is already gone; whatever needs to be let go of is naturally gone. Not one-step, not one movement, and irrespective of whether movement is happening or not: there you will find it.
So, what do we see? It is not in the objects. It is not in all these perceivable energetic constructs. And you say ‘What is there when all these are not bothered with?’ When is the best time to find this?
A:Now. Here and Now. Because Here and Now, you don’t start any ‘Now’ bothered with anything, actually. So, this is very direct, very direct.
What’s Here When We Don’t Rely on Concepts & Perceptions?
What is Here Now, irrespective of what objects you may perceive or not?
We already saw that perceivable objects will not be able to define It.
And a concept will not be able to capture It.
Now, when we don’t rely on these, are we lost? Because mind will sell you that story ‘I don’t know what I am holding. I don’t know what I’m thinking. I’m so lost.’ But you know what you’re thinking; you’re thinking that you are lost. It is just a thought. But if you don’t hold onto any of that (let it come and go, don’t push anything away) what is naturally Here and Now? … whether attention is on an object or attention is on Being or attention on That which is witnessing even That which is Being?
S: The non-doer, the non-enjoyer.
A:The non-doer, the non-enjoyer is apparent? [Laughs]
S:It cuts off everything. It’s like … whatever is left.
A:Yes, is that apparent? Just naturally?
A:[Laughter] It is in our grasping that we get confused. It is in our trying to get or push away that we get confused. Because we invent the limited notion of self in these positions by either trying to get or trying to push away.
If you don’t invent anything at all, what is Here and Now? … with no precondition; not even … (Bhagavan [Ramana Maharshi] will forgive me for saying this) not even enquiry, for a moment; no pre-condition.
And if it is naturally Here, then what is the meaning of trying to hold on to it? If something is naturally Here, would you want to hold onto it?
What would the holding mean anyway?
Are you holding onto the ground on which you are sitting? Like ‘I’m holding on’ [Chuckles]
But you can give yourself the idea that you are.
There’s a Greater Knowing which is Clear, Here and Now
That which has no requirement, that is not functioning in time …how can something be the cause of that? Only that which is an object in time can have a cause and can be an effect. How can the cause of something create an effect?
So, that which is beyond time and space that cannot be result of some action or in-action.
This is how Bhagavan’s [Sri Ramana Maharshi’s] Upadeshasaram actually starts, that: This Reality cannot be a function of action, of some doing. It is simpler than sitting exactly sitting where you are sitting now. What is simpler than that?
Then you say ‘To be, Being, is simpler; to just be.’ But simpler than that also. [Smiles]
Even to say ‘I Am’ … not even to say but just to be ‘I Am’ … first you have to be ‘I’ prior to ‘I Am’
[Smiles] (Anyway, don’t bother about it.)
So, simpler, simpler, simpler than having to take one-step in any direction or having to avoid any step in any direction. Neither having to, not having not to.
And you can’t understand this. You cannot understand this and you cannot perceive this.
Yet, if knowing so far has meant like a mental understanding, then you cannot know it that way. But there is a (provisionally, let’s say) there is a greater Knowing (capital ‘K’) let’s say, which is completely clear right Here, right Now. Ahh?
S: Is this a function of attention actually?
A:No, that’s what I’m saying. Not even attention. Because then also it would become subject to time, it would be subjected to time. If it is a result of something, even the movement of attention, then it could not be it.
S:But the one sitting behind the attention … that is what you are saying?
A:Yes, yes. Is that not apparent?
S:No, it’s not, I mean it is theoretically but how can I tell you that it is not apparent if I don’t know that?
A:Okay, truth. That is why we are here. I have already said that ‘apparent’ means it would be perceivable, then that is not going to happen. I have already said that ‘apparent’ means that you will have a concept about that which is truth, then that also will not happen. Now that you exist or you are aware of your existence, does it need attention to go somewhere?
So, if you attention is on the hand, here [holds up his hand] … you forgot your existence? It’s not even a question of memory that forgot, it’s just like ‘Are you not aware of yourself?’ You might not remember which body is here a few moments after waking up, you might not be clear which body it is. So, then you open your eyes or some memory comes then you remember that this is your body. Even that might be forgotten. But your very Awareness, how is that lost? Even if attention is completely on something, can you ever lose it?
Where is Awareness actually going naturally? Who has the leash of attention? Who has the leash to what I’m saying? Who has the leash of attention? That does not need to be remembered and it cannot be forgotten.
If it needed to be remembered, it is not It.
If it needed to be perceived, it is not It.
If it needed to be a concept (like ‘Aham Brahamhasmi’) it is not It.
So, all of our effort, this way or this way or this way attention-wise are not it. [Smiles] Sometimes that attention one is useful, only to the extent that because all our attention seems to be on one aspect of our existence which is the manifest aspect. In fact, that is the function of attention, to bring the manifest to life in a way. So, when we say ‘We take the attention to the Source’ actually, it is coming to the dissolution of attention. Because attention implies perception. When there is dissolution of attention, you are still aware of yourself but there is no phenomenal perception going on. Sometimes we encourage that to introduce yourself to This which is empty of phenomenal perception and yet IS. So, in that way, it is useful … but That which IS is not subjected to attention being that way.
S: Got it.
Abiding Is Simply Not to Pick Up a Notion
Abidance, for me, only implies: Don’t believe something which is not true about yourself. It is not to keep your attention in a particular way. Because when you meet the Sages, they are not like [looking straight with still eyes, sort of a frozen posture] They are naturally eating, tasting the food. All of their life is lived very naturally; not saying ‘My attention is only [looks straight with still eyes, sort of a frozen posture]
So, if it was a function of where attention is then we would say ‘Okay, so this one is perceiving his hand, that needs attention. You can’t perceive without attention therefore, you must have lost the Self so, he is not abiding in the Self.’
Abiding is not that. Abiding is not to pick up a false notion about your Self, to pick up the limited idea of your Self.
So, if we can clear up a bit because many get stuck in this because in Satsang as we enquire together. For you, it would become very clear that I am not just the manifest, there is a greater aspect of my Self. And then the thought comes and says ‘Now you have to hold on to that otherwise you will lose it.’ But it cannot be lost. Your discovery is that it cannot be lost.
If it depended upon your attention only being in a certain way then the Sages would come to this discovery and then would never let their attention out. So, then there would be no sharing of Satsang through the mouth of any Sage because to participate in this world, for this world to appear, needs attention.
And if the Self was done [finished] with the play of this world then it would not manifest the waking state. The waking state is the function of attention. You cannot confirm the existence of the waking state unless your attention is on it.
So, the Sage is not abiding using his attention that way. Not forcing his attention or her attention to be only on the Self (which is actually the disillusion of the attention) but allowing a free flow of all things including the power of attention. But when the notion comes that you are just this who is the doer, who is the desirer, who is the subject of duality, these notions are just allowed to come and go.
You cannot lose your Self if you try. In fact, this is the practice we should do more. Instead of trying to get the Self for a few moments, try to lose the Self. Don’t be Your Self. Anybody who does it gets an award from me. For one moment, don’t be Your Self. Keep Your Self aside.
[Looking around room]
So, what is that knowledge which is there naturally that this is ludicrous? It is a simple, easy thing which is so clear, of course. Even to say ‘I Am’ is to say too much. It is that clear. Why would you even have to assert ‘I Am’? If somebody came to you on the street and says ‘I Am’ and you have never heard of Satsang … what would you say? ‘Of course.’ So, it’s not a big deal actually. That’s why this is not the highest state of evolution, this is the kindergarten.
Preparatory class for how to be in this world. Because for everyone else ‘to be’ is very natural but we have made a big thing about Being. (I’m going too far in the metaphor but …) [Chuckles]
That I am aware of my existence is no big deal for anybody, except for when we become a super- Advaita type. I am aware of my existence. Go and talk to your family and if they ask ‘What did you find?’ and you reply ‘I am aware of my existence’ they would say ‘Yeah, everybody is.’ [Chuckles and Sangha laughs]
So, it is nothing very grand or special but it’s natural and simple. Of course, on the other side, if you speak to most people who are not in Satsang, they will add on things on top of that.
Which means that what Bhagavan [Sri Ramana Maharshi] said that ‘When [simply] ‘I Am’ there is no trouble. When you make it ‘I am something’ then all the trouble starts.’
In the world that is what most are doing. ‘I Am’ is still clear but they add on this notion that they are something. ‘I am a man, I am a body, I am a human, I am a father, I am a mother, I am a sister; all these things. Then that notion, whatever it might be, is the picking up of the limited idea of the Self … and Consciousness is strong enough that when it picks up an idea, it is strong enough to believe it to be true
So, how to come to this finding Your Self? This is what we are discussing. Isn’t it? We saw we can’t find it this way [points to his eyes] we can’t find this way [points to his head] we can’t find this way [points to his heart] we can’t find it anyway … because there is no way even to sit where you are sitting already … and your Self is more intimate than that.
Now, your objection could be ‘But how do I see it? I haven’t seen it, you seem to have seen it. How do I see it?’ Now, I have already told you that you will not see it this way [points to his eyes] through sight, you will not hear it [points to his ears] or through any of the senses, none of this. You will not do all your enquiry and Self-recognition and end up with a beautiful concept. That is not going to be the end of the search. It is not going to be about coming to a concept or about a perception.
Now, how many are with me so far on this one?
So, no more waiting for perception or concept?
No more waiting?
S: [Nodding in agreement]
A:Finished. Satsang is done. [Chuckles] [Laughter in Sangha]
Now, this which is not a perception or a concept, this is apparent to you; not through your senses and not through your mind. It is more primal than that. It is just apparent. It is very natural.
Now whether you call it the Absolute, you call it Awareness, whether you call it Buddha nature, whether you call it Brahman, whatever you call it … it is so, so, so apparent to you that we seem
to feel like we miss it, just like that which is so under our nose we seem to not find it; that obvious.
Q: It feels like when you say that it is not subject to perception, it is distant.
A:Yeah, it is closer actually. Just like your specs are not the subject to your perception. Are they distant or closer? If I have to move them away then they would become distant, but they are so here [puts his specs on his eyes] that you can sometimes forget that you are wearing specs. If they were visible like this [takes out specs and holds in hand] then they are further apart.
So, even more intimate than Your Existence, Your Being, Your sense of Presence about Your Existence: You Are Existing.
How Is Awareness Confirmed?
Are you Aware? Or no? Don’t intellectualize the question, it’s more innocent than that. You are Aware, so this ‘Yes’ is your Self-recognition. Not the ‘Yes’ itself but the recognition. The recognition IS Your Self-recognition.
Because … did you see an object?
I can deconstruct it further if you say ‘I am saying ‘Yes’ only because of what I am Aware OF.’ Because sometimes I get that reaction, saying ‘I am aware of the world, I am Aware of the couch, I am Aware of the body; that’s why can say ‘Aware’ and that’s why I am saying Yes’. But this is not true. If you were to examine, you will find that if you say ‘I’m sitting on the couch’ you know what ‘sitting’ is and what ‘couch’ is. You don’t say ‘Oh, because the couch is there, I must be sitting.’ In the same way, when you say ‘I am aware of the world’ you are aware of what ‘Aware’ is and you are aware of what ‘world’ is. Otherwise, you could be saying ‘Anything of the world.’ But Awareness is the term we are using. There is a certain meaning that has been given to it and that you are clear about. It’s not just because something is appearing that you know what ‘Aware’ is, what ‘world’ is. It’s like you’re sitting or standing; or if you are walking on the street, you know what ‘walking’ is and what ‘street’ is. In the same way, you know what ‘Aware’ is and ‘world’ is. So, these are just trivial mind objections. [Smiles] Don’t worry about that.
But when you say ‘Yes, I am aware’ did you see something? Did you see this Awareness?
When you say ‘I am Aware now?’ … this Awareness is confirmed through what means? Physical means? Intellectual means? Reasoning? How is it?
S: Direct Knowing.
A:It’s a direct Knowing. It is independent even of the concept of Awareness. If you forgot the term Awareness, it will not be dependent on that. It is more direct than using the term.
Or when you say ‘direct’ are you implying there is no perception of it?
S: Am checking.
A:Check. Good, good, good. Mostly I ask questions which are noted in the sense that you know already, by which way I’m saying it, what the answer is. Sometimes I have to ask like that. You’re like ‘Okay, I’d better check this one’.
When you are saying ‘Direct’ are you implying there is no perception of it?
S:If we extend the term to include the term Awareness, then I think yes, I can seemingly perceive…
A: Okay, so if you had to exclude, then what would you exclude?
S: The senses.
A:Okay, so you’re saying that it’s not a sensory perception. Then what type of perception is it? Is it like an inner perception? Like if I say ‘Imagine a football’ you can see a football?
S: It’s not imagination.
A: Not imagination. Then?
S: It’s not a logical conclusion.
A: Not a logical conclusion. Then?
Does it have any sort of shape, size, color? Is it black, black space?
S: The Knowing?
A:Yeah, that which you are confirming: ‘I am Aware now.’ This Awareness, what is the shape of it?
S:No. The best that I can associate it with is: it’s Me, it’s ‘I Am’ …
S:I am aware.
A:Why are you being sheepish about that? [Laughs]
S: Because this ‘I’ … when we use ‘I’ …
A:Because it’s so mixed up with the personal ‘I’. It’s like Bhagavan [Sri Ramana Maharshi] said ‘I removes the I and yet remains the I’. So, it will still be You but not the ‘you’ that you can think about or can perceive in this way.
And yet, (after we have made all that chopping, chopping, chopping, chopping) [neti, neti] then in the final leap, we also have to then say ‘But there is nothing outside of it.’
So, even our perception is included in that, even conceptualization is included in that, the world is also included in that. Because It is not making a distinction. You cannot find a boundary between That and this, isn’t it? It’s not like Yin and Yang, how it is represented, like half is manifest, half is un-manifest. It’s not like that, isn’t it? It is making no distinctions.
S: You mean the perception reports …
A:What I’m saying is that after we have used all these tools to really check on what it is, then all these tools are thrown away. And what are the tools? All the conclusions and distinctions that we have made along the way. Even ‘World, Consciousness, Absolute.’ All these distinctions are also then thrown away. Then?
No-two, that is Advaita: non-duality. It will not be non-duality if it is like ‘I saw that there is a world, there is a Being and ultimately, there is That which is even before I Am, which is witnessing the Being.’ This is the actual structure of all of this. It is not That. These are just the devices that we are using to investigate … and then throw away everything that we can think about Reality.
To throw away everything that we think about Reality; not to make a new conceptual framework of Reality and say ‘This is how it is.’ This is also where we get stuck very often. And then we get into this kind of thing that ‘No, no, that is not how it is. How I think it is … is how it is.’ But these were just tools to make us look more broadly at Our Existence.
Now, we looked at all layers of our Existence: we looked at our world body, we looked at our pain body, our pleasure body, then we looked at our thought body, we looked at our emotional body, we looked at our Presence body and we looked at the ‘body’ which seems to be the substratum for all of these bodies. Now that I have said all of this, now forget about all the concepts of all of this. [Laughs]
Because we were so caught up in that world and the physical body, that’s why these terms were needed to make your perspective broader. Throw out your limited ideas about yourself. But if you hold onto even this sheath-type model (which is very Vedantin, in a way) even then, if you feel that this truly represents Reality; then, no.
Reality is not that small that you will be able to represent it in a small model.
S:So, when you’re dreaming, and you get up and you know you are awake … this is what happens when you get the Reality, you know that was a dream, not Real and now you are in the Reality?
A:You feel that what you considered yourself to be an object in this world, it feels like that was a dream experience.
S: Then you come out of it.
A:Yeah, then you feel like you are contained in this object. You think that you are contained in this object. [Points to body] And then that notion goes away and then you feel like you were as much contained in that object and this object and this object. In fact, it seems more clear that these objects are contained in Me than for Me to be contained in any of them. If there is some kind of shift, then that is the shift.
But don’t try to get to ‘the shift’. Don’t try to get to the shift. You just let go of all that is false, then the shift is apparent; like whatever that so-called shift is, is just apparent to you. Even right Now.
S: You keep saying that ‘This is a dream’ … ‘This is a dream listener …’
A:Like those who are practicing lucid day-dreaming or something, yeah. So, negation with the feeling to come to a broader space of existence and then, in that broader space of Existence, even the negations are thrown away.
You are not coming to some Advaitic version of Reality … because it is not so tiny that you will capture it in a version.
Then, at that point, you have to say that the term ‘body’ is nonsense, the term ‘Consciousness’ is nonsense, the term ‘Awareness’ is nonsense … everything is nonsense, throw it away. Every word of Satsang is nonsense.
And ‘nonsense’ is nonsense.
Many times, we can get into that sort of thing like ‘Everything is nonsense.’ That’s not what I’m saying. I’m saying neither of those positions. Because it’s very easy to get into some sort of nihilistic mindset, like ‘Everything is meaningless.’ But to say something is meaningless is to give it too much meaning. Do you hear this part? Because many times we get stuck in this kind of thing because to say it is meaningless is to be empty of even the term ‘meaningless-ness’. Neither ‘meaning’n or ‘meaningless’ applies to it. To say it is meaning-less is also to give it meaning. In the same way, to say ‘It is Truth’ or ‘nonsense’ is also to give it meaning.
I’m just negating the idea that you might have that it is captured in that way, that ‘There is Truth in the words of Satsang.’ At best, it is pointing; at best.
A:Good. So then, no need for the notion that ‘This is true’ and no need for notion that ‘It is nonsense’. They just serve as negations to each other and dissolve in themselves.
Nothing you can assert, nothing you can deny; nothing that has to be asserted or denied. And all assertions and denials are just movements within That. It doesn’t matter. You see?
Give Up Even the Giving Up
Q:So, the world takes on an added power or the colors are brighter? Or it’s a dreamlike quality?
A:It’s like a more vibrant dream. And why more vibrant?
I usually don’t say anything like this, like something has to change or something changes when you see the Truth about YourSelf because I know it makes these benchmarks. So, I’ll give you the simple thing that I’ve found here.
It’s that because attention is not so dissipated between what is being perceived and the maha- mantra of ‘What’s in it for me? Am I understanding this? Am I getting this? Is he a nice person, is she a bad one?’ And then … (we’ll do this, okay?) Look at this hand. [Holds up his hand] Put your attention on it, clearly. Now, think 3 thoughts … without the hand getting blurry … (you’ll notice that, as your attention goes to those thoughts).
So, although attention is the child of Awareness in a very pure way, it has one thing which sort of distinguishes it from Awareness, which is that it is limited. So, if you try to fully see it with clarity, and then you try to think of a tree or something or some thought, you’ll see that this [vision of the hand] starts to blur and this [points to his head] comes into view. And most of our lives have been like this; half here, half there, half here, half there; not really tasting the candy in this world also; just so caught up half the time in trying to get more candy, then we never taste it when we get it. [Sangha laughs] It’s like that, really.
So, that vibrancy now changes because your attention is not getting now dissipated between ‘What’s in it for me? Can I keep this? Will she leave me?’ [Gestures anxiety with his hands around his head] All this kind of nonsense that we go on with… it’s just being perceived. You don’t even need the label ‘hand’. It is just perceived. That’s why the vibrancy seems to go up, because attention is just flowing so naturally. You’re not trying to own it, grasp it; you’re not trying to push something aside. And yet, it is clear that this does not contain You. In that way, it is still like a dream. Like, it is contained in You. It contains you but it does not confine You. Let’s put it that way.
Q:There’s this practice called mindfulness where it’s suggested to be aware and be present; to be aware of the thing that you are doing. So, by being focused on the experience, we get more aware of our own Awareness.
A:When attention is just on the object, yes. They say ‘When you eat a grape, just eat the grape. When you’re walking, just walk.’ Like that. So, what happens is that it’s like a sadhana, isn’t it? ‘Sadhana’ … a practice. So, 99% of spiritual practices are about trying to master attention in some way. But here, because I tried most of them and I was terrible at them … [Laughs] … I tried this mindfulness (‘When I’m walking, I’m just going to walk’) and for two or three minutes, it looks very good. Then it’s back to [points to his head] ‘Da, da, da, Da, da, da. Am I doing this right? Will I soon become a Sage? What is going on?’ All this kind of stuff can come.
So, I was terrible at this kind of attention-controlling.
S:And after, you ‘try’ to walk…
A:Yeah, exactly. [Chuckles] So, here, more what I’m saying is actually like surrender. What I’m saying is more like surrender. It’s not really a sadhana. It’s more of a giving up.
Just … Let … Go.
One ‘surrender’ is, of course, to say ‘I surrender’ [makes namaste, reverently] ‘Guru Kripa Kevalam’.
But this is a surrender which is like ‘I give up! Stop!’
‘Huh!?’ [Acts surprised] It’s like when you’re mindful and ‘trying’ and it’s like [Gestures the stress of trying] and then you’re just like this [Gestures full relaxation and a big sigh of relief]: ‘I give up.’ … ‘Ahhh…’ So, that seems more direct to me, to not make it a product of this practice or that practice, of doing it this way or doing it that way.
Just to see: ‘Ahhh…’
But before any of that can happen … (which I’m okay with. Many of you are more natural with staying with the sense ‘I Am’ or you’re natural with staying with this mindfulness; it’s completely fine) … but here, because I could not sustain my attention on any of these kinds of things, in spite of trying for a few years, I just noticed that when I gave up, I just saw: ‘What…?’ [Shows wonderment of relaxation and relief]
So, this is a simplistic way of experiencing that: just giving up. Just like ‘Ahhh….’
But again, not giving up while holding onto the idea of giving up. [Mimics tense trying]: ‘I’m giving up’. Then you’re not giving up.
Give up on everything, including giving up.
Like when we say ‘I don’t know’ … then many people confuse it as ‘To know that I don’t know.’ They get empty of everything else and then fill themselves with the notion that ‘I don’t know.’ If somebody comes and says ‘Which way is the hospital?’ they say ‘I don’t know.’ But you can see it over there. [Gestures a look of stupidity]: ‘I don’t know.’ It just becomes a conceptual ‘I don’t know.’ You see? You have a sense of this? I know that for the intellect, it won’t make any sense, what I’m saying. But to not hold onto even ‘I don’t know’ IS ‘I don’t know’. To know or not know … not in that box at all … is the ‘I don’t know’ that I’m talking about. It’s not a position of knowing or not knowing.
All of this is Dvaita / duality; all of these opposites are duality. We’re talking about Advaita / non-duality; literally no distinction … no prerequisite, no cause and effect, no time and space; no nothing at all, not even Brahman.
This can also be confusing. It is denial of the assertion of Brahman. It is only a denial of the assertion of Brahman. Because if it needs an assertion, then it cannot be It.
It-Itself is independent of the assertion or negation.
So, when I’m denying, when I’m saying ‘Not even Brahman’ I’m denying the term ‘Brahman’ and the assertion of ‘Brahman’ … not what it actually points TO, because that is independent of the assertion of it.
Basically, I’m denying any notion about anything.
A:Words; the terms. Because distinction comes with ‘term’. One term gives rise to the world of distinction. You see? Because we don’t even understand a term independently. Isn’t it? If I say ‘tree’ … what is a tree?
S: A plant.
A:A plant. What is a plant?
S:A form of life.
A:A form of life. See? So many words. The ‘tree’ is not enough. If it was just a term where you could say ‘tree’ … that’s all I want. Done. No, but you pick up everything; the entire dictionary you pick up, when you pick up one word. Because it’s all circular; every term points to another term, which points to other terms.
So, I’m just denying this entire box of terms … (and [denying] the denial of them).
Because I’m not like ‘A denier.’ I’m just denying the denying and the terms also.
Leave Aside This Fruitless Thinking
A:If you make a conclusion then you are buying a limitation.
A:That’s what I was saying actually. To say that something is this way or that way is to claim to make an assertion about Is-ness. Isn’t it?
A:‘It is like that’ or ‘It is not like that’ is an assertion about ‘What Is’ … about ‘Is-ness. But no thought can come close to either an assertion or denial of Is-ness. And we feel like when we know these things, they will actually help us. But they actually don’t. Because life is so free that it will show you that all your assertions are false. And the mind will keep saying ‘But this one, come on, this one…’ You see? Like that. Or when the mind convinces you ‘But have this, because this is helping you’ … what does it make you to be even in that story? It makes you limited, na?
A:It makes you the limited one. It is not saying ‘It will help you to the Absolute if you have this.’ It still sold you the story of your limitation; even the seemingly-helpful assertion. So, we don’t know how anything is.
We don’t even know whether what I’m claiming in the past actually happened. We don’t even know whether this is waking state / dream state.
We don’t even know whether my attention visiting some memories from ten million years ago. We don’t know anything.
We don’t know where we are.
Can anyone tell me where we are?
S: I have some ideas.
A:Which ideas get your assent? Only tell those. Because I know all these ideas are just ideas but they still get your accent.
Can you still tell me where you are?
We don’t even know something as simple as this.
We say ‘This is outside and this is inside.’
We don’t even know where that inside is.
We don’t even know that.
If you know where that inside was … or if I ask most to explain, they will say ‘I will go inside my body’ but inside your body would be flesh, blood, bones. That’s what you would see.
When you go inside, where do you go? You leave this realm of four dimensions … in this instant. And then you have seen your own play of how you are able to manifest these dimensions. Even as simple as if you are imagining a coconut. Which space is that coconut arising in? Where is that ‘inside’? See, these are all the labels that get us down. We just label it ‘inside’ … then, finished. ‘Now I know what it is. It is inside.’
What do you know about it? Nothing.
Where is this inside? Nobody knows.
In India, it is very popular to say ‘Oh, I am the soul or I am the Atman.’ But because they have the label for it, they feel that they know it; there is no need to explore it. ‘I know. We Indians all know Atman. Atman never dies.’ You see, like this kind of thing. But what do you actually know about it? Nothing. It’s just a term. So, this is the problem. When we confuse having the terms for something to mean knowing or understanding something.
It is not it that. It is not in our terms. It is not in our thoughts, as believable as they may sound; as accurately as they may seem to represent.
Guruji [Sri Mooji] speaks about this fruitless thinking: Leave aside this fruitless thinking. Trying to assert or deny about Reality is fruitless thinking.
We have never been able to say or we will never be able to say anything about ‘What Is’.
Then don’t pick up the most popular notion probably in Advita which is that ‘Therefore, then I must just be silent.’ There are many who are holding onto this notion of ‘I must just be silent’ and they are the most egoistic you will ever meet. (Many, not everyone.) Because they are filling themselves up with this notion: ‘Therefore, silence is…’ It is still what you think you have found as the master key to Reality: just silence.
The Sages were pointing to the silence which is not this; not the term ‘silence’. Not like this outward silence. This is not it. You could be believing the most limited notions about yourself, but your mouth could be shut. It doesn’t make you free. [Smiles] That silence is not that. Silence is the absence of the egoist belief. So, because it is not be found in terms doesn’t mean that it will be found in some sort of an outward silence.
It is not an object in this realm at all, to be found in these tactics. You cannot use these tactics to find the Truth.
Doubt Until You Discover
Yesterday, after the broadcast got over, we spoke a bit about Descartes. Now, Descartes was a master- doubter, which is very good. The nature of doubt is like this: Firstly, if I say ‘You are free now’ then you’re like … [Makes a gesture of wondering, not really believing it or feeling what he said as true] But if I say ‘You are just not getting it’ … do you doubt that? [Laughter]
If I say thousand times ‘You are free now’ that will be doubted more. If I say ‘You are just not getting it’ there is no doubt about that. So, we seem to have this propensity in doubt, to doubt that which is positive. If I say ‘I love you, I love you, I love you’ a thousand times [the mind will be like]: ‘Yeah, he’s just being nice.’ But if I say ‘I hate you!’… [Makes a gesture of surprise] [Laughter in the room] So, the nature of doubt is like this. We don’t doubt this ‘I hate you’ or ‘I am not getting it’ but we seem to doubt ‘I am free now’ or ‘I love you.’ That is the nature of doubt.
Now, there are different types of doubters. That’s why I said Descartes was a master-doubter. Some are warrior doubters. When the doubt comes, they are like [Makes a gesture of flicking it off] The nature of mind is like that. It can come. [Makes a gesture of sending it flying] Gone. That’s why I say ‘Warrior doubters. When it comes; they’re just Samurais.
Then there are Doubting Thomas’s. [Makes a gesture of thinking] They try to push it aside. It seems to come back and you then make yourself feel worse. ‘I’m such a doubter, I’m not worthy, this is not right.’ So, then on top of doubt, we add guilt. And the doubt and guilt mixture get even more potent and we get stuck.
So, my suggestion to you would be that if you feel like it keeps coming back, the more you push it away, the more it comes back and you feel more guilty and it doesn’t seem to help, then I’m saying: Take it to other extreme. Doubt fully. Fully! Everything that you can doubt; everything that you can doubt, doubt it fully.
That’s what brings us to Descartes (in a way), because he is (poor guy) much maligned in today’s world. [Laughs]. Because of ‘Cogito, ergo sum’ (which is ‘I think therefore I am’) He’s such misunderstood, and much maligned. So, what was his attempt really? His attempt was to say ‘What can I be really certain about?’ That is what Satsang also is. ‘What can I be really certain about? What can I not doubt, at all?’ And he started in a very neti-neti, very Vedantic way, actually. He said ‘What about this world that I’m perceiving. Is it undoubtable?’
(Now you have to say?) Is it undoubtable?
It is doubtable, isn’t it? Even if we can’t confirm that it is not Real (like in Vedanta, of course, everything that comes and goes is not Real) … even if you can’t confirm that it is not Real, can you confirm that it IS undoubtedly? Cannot confirm, it is not possible.
He said the same thing. He said that ‘How do I know this is not a dream?’ Even in a dream this very conversation could be happening, isn’t it? You could be sitting in room with twenty, twenty-five people and the very same conversation could be happening and you could wake up this moment [Snaps fingers] and say ‘Huh, that was a strange dream.’ Is it not possible? Because this very same event could be happening in your dream and you could wake up any moment, there is no way that you could confirm that this not that event. So, he said it like that. Also, because he had some Christian conditioning, he said that ‘Maybe the devil has a hold of me. He is making me see all these hallucinations.’
So, there are many ways to doubt the Reality of this appearance. So, this is doubtable. Then he said ‘Okay, what about this body? What if I am just a brain in a vat?’ … (like a brain that is just kept somewhere) ‘… even if you take the reality of the brain or something like that, can I really say that this body is undoubtable?’ Can’t really say. Then what can you not doubt?
He went looking like that, for everything perceptible. Then at the final stage, he made one inference. He said ‘Even if I am doubting, I cannot deny that I am perceiving these thoughts of doubt. Even if I am doubting, I cannot deny that I am perceiving these thoughts about doubt.’ So, he made this inference that ‘Because there is perceiving of these thoughts and I am perceiving them therefore, as a result, I can say that because these thoughts are being perceived, I must Be. I Am’. That is the inference that he made. He said ‘Because there is thinking going on and I am perceiving it, therefore I am.’ That is what ‘I think, therefore, I am’ actually tried to convey.
But in the world, in today’s age, it got very misunderstood where people started to say that he is saying that the thinking makes him ‘me’. But he is not saying that. Your Being is not the product of your thinking and he was not trying to convey that either. But it’s very popular these days (especially for amateur Vedantins) to say [Laughs] ‘Oh, Descartes, he’s so foolish; he thought his Being is a product of his thinking. How foolish is that?’
So, it is not that. It is to see that there is perception of this thinking. So, he made this conclusion, this final inference, which also I am saying that we don’t have to make. Even that you can doubt. You don’t have to infer that ‘Because there is thinking going on and I’m perceiving this thinking therefore I must Be’. Don’t even make that conclusion. You see for yourself. Don’t even bring your reasoning there. You see for yourself.
But the broader point, of course, is that (we were exploring since yesterday the nature of this doubt) when he [a man in sangha] had conveyed to me (and many have conveyed to me) that ‘Some doubts are coming and this happens.’ Something like that. So, if you don’t feel like it’s possible to just [brush it away] then you use your doubt and use it fully. Fully use it. Don’t try to get rid of it because then you will just make yourself guilty, feel unworthy; all that rubbish which you don’t need, which nobody needs.
So, if there is a doubt, say ‘Okay I’m doubting this, I’m doubting the teacher, I’m doubting the teaching, I’m doubting. But any of this is real? What am I actually certain of?’ And apply the same benchmark to that. Because many times we get into certainties: ‘But actually, at the end of it, I am just a person. It was a good trip that I had in Satsang but let’s get real. It was nice while it lasted; it made me feel good. All of this but I am just person, no? Admit it.’ This kind of thing.
If you find yourself getting into that frame of reference, then use the same benchmark that you used on the teaching, on the Master, on everything and apply it to that also. Are you just going to settle on the concept ‘I am the person’? Is that not doubtable? So, doubt that; find it. Say to yourself ‘Until I have evidence or till I have a Darshan of this ‘person’ I’m not going to pledge my allegiance to it.’ Find it.
So, use the same benchmark, then doubt everything. Everything. What remains? What can you not doubt?
And see if there is a concept there, finally. Or is there something greater than a concept there?
So, if any of you are feeling like you are stuck in the middle, you want to believe but then doubt gets you and you’re not able to push it away and now you’re feeling very bad or guilty, then forget all of that; doubt more.
S:Father, can I clarify something? Where you said that he made that inference (Descartes). Why would it have to be an inference? I mean, the Self is there, I am perceiving the thought. How can I make an inference that I am perceiving?
A:The ‘therefore’ is the inference. See? Like ‘There is thinking going on, therefore I must Be.’ Or ‘I am Aware of this thinking’ or ‘I am perceiving this thinking; therefore, I must be. I think therefore I am.’ Whenever we use ‘therefore’ … because this and that, then that implies time, that implies time, cause and effect … if it implies that, it means it is an inference.
S: Because it must be his direct experience that I am perceiving or I am witnessing …
A: It’s in the way it was stated. I’m not denying that; in fact, I’m defending Descartes. [Laughs]
S: I got confused a little bit.
A: I understand what you meant. I am not saying he got stuck in an inference. I’m saying that the way this statement was made, it implies that finally there is an inference that ‘Ah, because this, therefore, there must be.’ I’m saying come to a greater Seeing of that rather than just using a ‘therefore’.
And this doubt made him actually the greater philosopher of his time. It is only now that he is much maligned. But in his time, he was considered one of the greatest philosophers. He spoke about many things (many of those which I don’t agree with also, but fine)
So, don’t go running from doubt. If there is doubt, then doubt. But DOUBT! What are you certain of? What are your certainties? You cannot tell me three things that you are certain of. You might, but are they really undoubtable? Check for yourself. Even this nature of the mind we can use for enquiry. The nature of the mind is to doubt. Even that we can use for enquiry.
Out-trick the Trickster
This super-trickster, the mind, where does it derive its intelligence from? The same Being, no? The same Consciousness. The source of its tricky-ness and smartness is the same Consciousness so, it cannot really outsmart Consciousness. Because it’s like a child. The child can be very smart. [Smiles] But the parent is going ‘Yeah, yeah, yeah.’
So, Consciousness, when it really wants to open up to Itself (and remember I’m using all these terms provisionally, okay? There is no battle like that where Consciousness is trying to do this or not trying to do this. Just to try and explain something…) when Consciousness is really opening up to Itself, then it can easily out-smart the smart one: trick the trickster. [Smiles]
The trickster says ‘But, but, but … ‘
But what is un-doubtable? Find that.
Go along its path when it says ‘But, but, but…’
Okay, so what is not ‘but’? What is your certainty then?’
And those of you who are warrior doubters, don’t worry. The doubt comes; then it’s gone. Then don’t worry about it. You are open and empty anyway. No? You don’t have to pick up like ‘Let me doubt fully.’ No. [Sangha and Ananta Chuckle]
But if you feel like you are bit stuck in the middle, like the more you push away your doubt, the more it makes you unhappy, uncomfortable, feeling guilty; you don’t like the doubting but it still keeps coming, then doubt. Doubt completely. Full, full doubt.
And use the same benchmark for the positive and for the negative. Use the same benchmark. As much as you doubt you are free now, do you doubt that you are not free? Same amount.
And this is really what we are talking about all throughout:
What do you actually know? and
Is there a way to know the truth?
We say ‘Self-knowledge’ [Atma-gyana]
What kind of knowledge is this?
That is what we are talking about: What is true self-knowledge?
This is what Janaka asked Ashtavakra also: Can you tell me what true Self-knowledge is?
Empty of Whatever We Thought We Knew
S:I’m still experiencing the darshan of this realizing of my certainty, my spiritual concepts which I had very subtly replaced with non-spiritual concepts and this pointing to them.
A: You have replaced non-spiritual concepts with new spiritual concepts.
S:Yeah, yeah. You know, like this is what this journey to freedom looks like; there are some things that arise like great resistance and then there is an examination and then like this narrative. And now also this thing you said about ‘I don’t know what up is’ … that’s like some curtain has been pulled back over all these subtle certainties I had been operating with. And now it’s like I’m looking at things and I’m just a sort of observing how I don’t know anything at all. And then each time something is recognized as not certain, it seemed that there was ‘someone’ who was certain about it. You know, there was identity hiding under the rock of that belief that was never really observed. And it’s been really wonderful. And I think it’s different. I think at some point I may have been … if this had come (I don’t know if this is just conjecture, but) in the past, I might have felt too untethered and now I feel very relaxed in this total uncertainty of everything; which has been really wonderful. And I notice that even around this idea, there is still something; I can see the tendency to form a new concept around the uncertainty concept, you know.
A: Yes. The beauty of uncertainty.
S: Yeah, yeah. You know, the vision…
A:Yeah, well spotted, well spotted. Because yes, if you keep spotting like this, it is very good. Because the mind will want to participate in all of this as well and say ‘This is really nice. You must just keep this.’ It’s like we’re letting go of all uncertainty, all certainties … and then it can feel like we have become very certain about uncertainty.
A:But this is a beautiful report also because many Sages have called this ‘empty of whatever we thought we knew’ as tranquility. Some have called it ‘peace.’ Some have called it ‘shanti, shanti’ just like this, to let go. And actually, this is the beauty of right Now, Here and Now. We actually start every moment like this. So, it’s not even really that we dropped it (although we can say we drop it) … it’s not even really that we dropped it; even that is already done for us. Even the dropping is already done for us.
That is why I said ‘No prerequisite, no precondition; nothing has to happen or not happen.’
Then the spiritual templates that we make, that ‘first like this, then like that, then like that’ also then go for a toss because what template do I need to sit where I am sitting right Now? What road map is needed? What are the landmarks that you have to cross? You see?
Satsang Is Introducing You to This Naturalness
[Reading from chat]: “Father, as I reject or distance myself from the knowing or the conceptual definitions each moment (including the ‘I’ thoughts) it seems I’m still left with the super-ego, doing all of this not-knowing. How do I deal with this?”
A:Good point. So, that’s why I said that ‘I don’t know’ is not to fill yourself now with a new notion that ‘I don’t know’. It is to be empty even of that.
I have to say, of all the reports that I am getting today, it is very well spotted. It is very good music to my ears because that means that you’re not falling for the same tricks from the mind. At least you are making it work hard, falling for the new tricks. [Laughter in the room] I mean it in a good way. [Laughs] So, it’s good that you are spotting all of this; that it just feels like ‘I don’t know’ can be the new position and that you call it ‘super ego’. It can become like that. A spiritual ego which is just built on ‘I don’t know’. But this [snaps fingers] Now … there is no notion of knowing or not-knowing. [Snaps fingers] Like that. There are very few words which can point like that (that is why I [snaps fingers] or something like that) because whatever will be said, it will then become an object of your knowing or you’ll try to know or not know; then it becomes all in that paradigm of intellect again. But something [snaps fingers] is more natural than that, which is just … [Snaps fingers]
So, Satsang is really introducing you to this naturalness … which is empty of even of the notion that ‘Okay, it’s just Now.’ Otherwise I could just say ‘It’s just Now’ but then we try to live in the Now. And there is nobody who is trying to live in the Now who is living in the Now [Laughter in the room] because trying itself is getting in the way. ‘I’m just going to try and live in the Now.’ (‘Try, try.’) There is too much position in that.
So, it’s just more like a giving up, letting go: BIG letting go. And if your intellect, mind, gets frustrated then that’s also fine; that’s also fine. Let it burn out in frustration or whatever… [Smiles] Because it will say ‘But then, is it this way or that way? What I am supposed to do? This is so unclear.’ But I’m saying [Snaps fingers] it is before you hear the sound of the click. What is before sound of the click? There is nothing before. It can obviously make big concepts about this which are very frustrating and irritating. But it’s okay, even that. Then get frustrated fully, just burn it out. ‘Everything is so unfair; my life is so unfair. The Master doesn’t look at me, he has never answered a question straight.’ All this, build it up, burn it out fully. Don’t have half-measures then. Go fully on.
Because it is not unlimited. Why it is said that ‘Truth will prevail’ is because the Truth is unlimited, is ever-present, no matter what happens.
But the mind is not unlimited. If you say ‘Okay, mind, give me ten concepts right now, right in this moment’ you will start struggling. [Makes a gesture of thinking hard] You’ll become like that. Or you try to run from it. ‘No, no, I don’t want to hear this. But, but …’ Like that.
So, meet everything in your openness; fully open. ‘Okay, what is it? Is that it? You have some more?’ Sometimes like that is also okay. When it is saying ‘Whisper, whisper’ you say: ‘Why are you whispering? Tell me what you want? Say. What is it?’ Like that.
And all these are provisional, okay? All these are provisional. It’s not that you will always become like ‘Okay, what else? Okay, what you want?’ It’s not like that. [Smiles] Just to see through the trick, and saying ‘Okay, what else do you have in your Pandora’s box?’ That is ‘not knowing’ which is not even knowing that it is not-knowing.
That’s why I created this sort of tool, which was first to create like a foundation for an enquiry, which was to provide the infrastructure for the enquiry, so to speak, which was to say: ‘To know even one thing is to know too much’ and then to ask yourself the question: ‘What do I know when I know nothing?’ I feel like it is a very pristine way to look at this because it is [Makes a gesture of cleaning up] cleaning up and enquiring.
So, even to say that ‘I know that I don’t know’ is to know too much. Because it is ‘to know one thing’. And then, face all the music from the mind saying ‘But how can you live like this? This is just not possible. You have to run your life. Who will be responsible?’ … all of these things. You face it and you will see that they are just nothing; they are just thoughts.
And as you start noticing that it is just a thought, you will notice that everything you thought was even phenomenal reality was just a thought. (I hope that’s not too big of a statement.) Everything that we feel like it is a phenomenal reality even, is just a thought. Even time, even space, which seem to provide the structure for a phenomenal reality to play out, are just notions. Sages have said often ‘The notion of time, the notion of space.’
(Who was it?) Somebody wise said ‘As you go hunting for duality, you will see that the results are astonishing.’ (I’m paraphrasing; I don’t remember exactly.) As you were saying [Points to someone in the room] … as we go hunting for this knowledge and these distinctions (basically duality) first you see ‘Oh, I still thought I knew this, I still thought I knew that, I still think I know this, I still think I know that.’ That itself is astonishing first. And then, as you start getting rid of this stuff, you say ‘Wow.’ [Laughs] ‘Wow.’ All our conceptual knowing is just replaced with this sense of wonder. [Looks around in wonder] ‘Just wow.’ … which is just so naturally present. We thought that it is through our knowing stuff that we will come to this wonderful existence or something like that. But actually, it is the wonderful existence which has always been there. [Laughs] And this is wonder-Full.
S: Never stopped.
A: Never stopped … which has always been there.
It’s Not a Denial of What’s Happening
It can feel many times that the only way to enquire is how it is presented; to just sit in a place and ask yourself ‘Who Am I? Who Am I?’ But that is not the only enquiry. To look at the validity of our notions, to look at whether this story is true or not is also enquiry. Whether you call it enquiry or you call it deconstruction or whatever you call it: to look at it and say ‘What is really Real?’ I feel that is very good. Exactly how you [the previous questioner] deconstructed the notion ‘attachment’ is a beautiful enquiry; a very beautiful enquiry. So, this is very good to hear.
Many times, I’ve noticed here (I may have tried to clarify this point quite a few times but it still gets misunderstood, in a sense) that when I’m saying ‘Let go of a notion; let go of any concept of it’ it may seem like I’m saying ‘Forget about it.’ It’s natural for it to seem like that, and I hope I have clarified this often enough what that ‘Forget about it’ actually implies. It is not to come to a denial of what is happening but it is to meet it without the blanket of our ideas about it.
When we meet the ideas, then we are actually not meeting it properly; we’re not meeting it fully anyway. We’re meeting an idea of it. So, when it is said to ‘Let go, forget about it’ it is to forget about the notion of what it is. Meet it unlabeled, whatever it is. (Amaya yesterday, she called it ‘latent tendencies.’) To meet it, whatever it is, without even labeling it like that, but whatever seems to arise; these latent tendencies, too. Meet it without the shield of presuming to know what it is. That is when we actually meet it.
So, when it is said ‘Forget about it, let it go; remain in the Unborn.’ …remaining in the Unborn doesn’t mean resisting something or that it should not come. It is to meet it empty of our knowledge of it. Because our knowledge of it is so burdened with our memory, our past experiences, what we think about it, what it should be, what it should not be; all that comes with just one notion of it.
So, actually it is funny that letting go of the notion is sometimes labeled as avoidance … but it is actually the opposite of avoidance. To meet something with the lens of a notion, of our knowledge … that is avoidance of meeting it fully. You see? We are avoiding meeting it fully by presuming what it is or ‘This person is like that.’ If somebody came in fresh and (based on physical characteristics or something) we are already starting to judge, then we are using these labels: ‘This one is like this. This one is like that.’ Did we meet that one? We have never met that one. In two minutes, we were with our notions of what he or she is and we felt like that is how we really met that one. But it took away the freshness of actually meeting. In the same way, when we meet something with the story on top, with a notion on top, then we are meeting story more than that which is arising. We are meeting our label of that more than what it actually IS.
So, to Be … to remain in the Unborn, to remain in your notionless Existence, is not the avoidance of anything at all. In fact, it is a complete defenselessness, a complete vulnerability, a complete openness. But if we think that our life is run only through our intellect then it can seem like ‘When I forget the notion of it then that itself is gone.’
So, actually, what Nitya just said is very good. She said that she looked at this attachment itself and said ‘What it this, actually?’ and she deconstructed it and saw that to expect something out
of something is an attachment. And she looked at what that term is pointing to and she said ‘This is filled with so much distinction’ and things like that. Then she became free of the term and she felt so much lightness and openness. (She can correct me if I am paraphrasing it wrongly or something.) [Smiles]
Then she outlined this problem, which I am addressing now, which is that when we hear words in Satsang like ‘Let go. Forget about it’ it can be assumed that what I’m saying is ‘Just don’t look that way.’ But I’m not saying that; I’m not saying ‘Don’t look that way’. I’m saying: ‘Forget what you think you know about it. Forget what your notion is about it and don’t either bring it into an embrace or bring it in an adverse position’ … (which is the opposite, like pushing). Because we can become champion embracers also. But that is also not it.
So, the point is not to take a position about it. And allow the meeting to unfold in the most natural way. And this meeting, in the most naked way, in the most open way, is very, very good. It is like a meeting without avoidance.
Because we have very few terms and labels for the qualitative distinctions that appear in our life. We have a label called anger, we have label called grief, we have a label called lust, we have a label called greed; but they are very few. But what the actual quality of experience is, it’s not actually, truly captured in these labels. So, as we meet life in this way … like if we just add a label ‘orchid’ to what is on the right of me, an orchid, I know what it is: orchid. But look at that!
S:Also, the sense of continually ‘Forget’ comes with ‘Who can forget if I know?’
A:Yes, exactly. To not take any positions either. That’s why I’ve been saying also: Don’t make it a position like ‘I don’t know’ … like the ‘not knower’ position. In the same way, all the looking that is needed happens naturally in this beautiful, most wonderful way. We don’t have to take the position of either denying or looking. We can look at this a bit. We don’t have to take either position that ‘I used to be a champion denier and now I’m the champion looker.’ It doesn’t have to be like that. You don’t have to be a champion anything. Whatever looking is needed happens on its own very naturally. In fact, if you burden it with so much ‘I’m going to look now; I’m going to look now’ [Laughter in the room] then actually, we are not looking naturally. It just feels like we can make too much out of that thing, because when we are looking at tactics to find a solution then that can become ‘a thing’ also, saying ‘It’s coming now, I better look.’ But in that ‘I better look’ there is too much identity getting created anyway.
So, this defenseless, open, vulnerable looking just happens on its own, without any label of it, without us taking on the position that ‘I have to deny or I have to look.’ You see, in the Unborn all of this is perfectly resolved. Perfectly resolved. So, if something needs to come up and be looked at, it comes up, it dances; we are truly meeting it. We’re not saying ‘Okay, this is this, this is that.’ We are just meeting it. That is when you truly meet. Otherwise, you’re half in the mind saying ‘Okay, this is what’s happening to me, this is what I should do, this is what I should not do.’ Like that. But just [Gestures open hand and being relaxed] like that, just naturally being with it, is the very open, very naked way of existing.
Keep Calm and Trust
[Reading from the chat]: “Dear Anantaji, one finds the very process of the recognition itself is weighing down on oneself. The process of the recognition itself is weighing down on oneself. Sort of disconnects oneself from the emptiness. Even this disconnects looks meaningless, after the previous sentence. Just wanted to share that the definition seems to interfere. Just try to keep calm and see how it unfolds.”
A: Yes. This is very good, if you just keep calm and allow it unfold. This is good.
A few years after I met Guruji [Sri Mooji] maybe three or four years after I met Guruji, it became very popular, these ‘Keep calm and …’ posters. What was the original one chosen in the British war?
S: Keep calm and carry on.
A:‘Keep calm and carry on’ was the original one. They kept changing it. The ‘carry on, part two’ became very popular. So, then somebody had made one for me for a present. They had made me a poster which said ‘Keep calm and trust Mooji.’ [Sangha and Ananta Chuckle]
So, for a while I even made it my Facebook profile photo or something like that. Later I just saw
‘Keep calm and trust the Master.’ Then is this simple.
Yeah, to keep calm and see how it unfolds. Because all of this weighs us down, this idea that something is happening. The idea that ‘I am doing this or not doing this’ or ‘This is happening enough or not happening enough’ … all of these weighs us down. And of course, all of it is notional. But there is a point where we don’t yet recognize how many notions we still carry. And when these come and play, then they feel like valid representations of reality. When some notions come, they still feel like valid representations of something real, of ‘What Is’. That’s why they seem to get our belief because they seem like they are valid.
As we are going through this ‘cleaning up, washing out’ it can seem like the notion of cleaning up, the notion of washing out itself is weighing us down also. It can feel like that, of course.
So, in these times, whatever brings us to peace, whatever helps us to remain calm is good. And if you find that it’s not working out, trying to be at peace, then fully let it dance around. [Hand gestures in the air] Like that. But this half-and-half can get into a struggle.
Provisional Truths are Thorns to Remove Other Thorns
I have to say that at some level there is no prescription which is True. It is just sometimes something sounds like ‘Okay this helps’ and sometimes something else sounds like it helps and sometimes something else sound like it helps.
[Sri Nisargadatta] Maharaj said ‘Nothing that I-m speaking is true. The only Truth I can speak is that I Am; but actually, even that ultimately is not True’. So, there is no valid prescription to spirituality, because if there was a valid prescription to spirituality in the hundred thousand odd years that humanity has been around, somebody would have figured it out by now and said ‘Step 1, Step 2, Step 3, Step 4, this is it’ and enough generations would have come and gone who would have experimented with that template and said ‘Finished.’, But till today for so many hundreds of thousands of years, we are still debating what is the right path to spirituality. And some like me [even this is not the right path] are saying that ‘There is no path because it already Is.’ So, that can be attractive to some and can be very unattractive to others and it is as much the right or wrong path as anything else.
So, don’t feel like anything that is being offered here is a Truth in itself or something like that. I have started using the term ‘Provisional Truth’ to help us look, to help rid ourselves from a notion about our Self. What Bhagavan [Sri Ramana Maharshi] very beautifully called ‘thorns’ … the thorn we are using to remove other thorns and then are thrown away themselves. And Guruji [Sri Mooji] very beautifully says ‘Don’t make tattoos out of my words’ because if it was in a set of words, then in these five years I would have figured out that ‘It is this set of words that just works and that’s it.’ Then I would have made a script out of it. Then it’s easy just post the video and say ‘These set of words just work. Follow it like a recipe: Step 1, mix so much devotion, mix 2 grams of enquiry, mix it all up and then you find that the flour is starting to rise and then you mix some salt in it’ You know, this kind of thing. We would have figured out the recipe for Freedom and posted it like that. But it doesn’t work like that because our conditioning is so varied, the belief systems are so varied, what we consider ourselves to be is so varied, so the seeming-things that negate that, the seeming pointers which seem to neutralize those, also seem to attack it in a unique way.
So, some days the Master says ‘Enquire, Enquire, Enquire, don’t do anything but enquire.’ Some days the Master says ‘Forget enquiry, just give up, let it go’.
One day the Master says ‘You are It. Forget it’. All different, different, different…
Someday the Master will say ‘Just chant the name of Ram’ (depending on the type of Master). Sometimes, the Master might say ‘Stop it, stop it, be quiet’ like Papaji [Sri Poonja]
All different, different.
If one of the those actually just worked universally, then the Master would never say anything else; he would just say ‘Be Quiet.’ But it doesn’t. Sometimes explanation, sometimes silence, sometimes enquiry, sometimes devotion, sometimes whatever. Because there is no real prescription like that which is just like ‘Swallow this pill three times a day and within a week you are free.’ It doesn’t work like this.
Q: It’s the opposite thing which is confusing: ‘Be quiet but be burning.’
A:[Laughter and laughter in the room] Our condition is that confusion is bad, but actually I’m promoting confusion. Because if you were to get clarity intellectually on it then I will have to invent new ideas to remove that clarity, that intellectual clarity. The True clarity is beyond intellectual knowing. If you made a safe box for yourself and said ‘I am the Self, I cannot be touched’ … you know, with 3 or 4 notions like that you build a big box, and then you use that to deny whatever you are experiencing, whatever your life is bringing by saying ‘I am the Self.’
[Giving an example of using intellectual knowledge and notions]: ‘Pa, do you want to go out for dinner?’ … ‘I am the Self.’ [Laughter] This sort of thing. It just becomes so limiting you see; more limiting actually that freeing.
Sangha: [Jokingly] Food is for humans!
A:[Laughs] Exactly. ‘Food … what’s that?’ (I am going to use that on my kids. [Laughter] Are you referring to me as this body?) [Laughter]
So, it is not that we will come to intellectual clarity. In fact, many come to Satsang for the first time and say ‘Ananta, my problem is that I have the knowledge intellectually but I don’t really have the experience of it’ or something like that. So, already you see that it is not in the intellectual conclusions.
Many of you when came for the first time said that ‘I know so much intellectually, I have read all the books, I have tried this and tried that.’ So, this problem is already identified by most of you, that it is not going to be found by having an intellectual idea of it. But maybe it is the extent of what is stored up in our intellect that we don’t yet realize. It’s just the extent of what boundaries we have made around our existence, the seeming-boundaries that we have made using our notions or intellect; what we have affirmed to be correct or wrong, true and false. All these create our limitations.
So, in Satsang, if I was to give you more and more intellectual confirmation then you would leave Satsang and go to another Master and say that ‘I was with Ananta for five years and I know everything intellectually.’ Isn’t it? It would be a valid complaint. You would say ‘I know everything intellectually now but what did I really get? I don’t know.’ And he would say ‘Yeah, right. Let me rid you of this intellectual knowledge.’ It would be a very valid conversation to have.
That’s why I keep introducing you to something beyond these tools (the tools of perception, the tools of conceptualization) because it may feel like you already recognize that ‘I only know things intellectually, I don’t have experience of the real experience of the Truth.’ But you are still trying to intellectualize that, to get a new solution which will be a better solution but still in the intellect. So, that is why I was saying that I want to confuse the intellect as much as possible (if I feel like your temperament is that way).
If your temperament is to look, to enquire, then I’m not going to let you rest on any of these intellectual conclusions. I will keep shaking it up. One day like this, one day like that, one day this is true, one day that is true … because it is not to be found there. But once I see that you are done with this gathering, you are done with this grasping attempt to try and capture it with your intellect, then I don’t have much to say actually. Then I don’t have much to say. And this Ananta that you find is always countering everything you seem to be saying, he will just come in agreement.
The attempt here is not to let you rest on your intellectual grounding but to shake it up, to shake it up to bring you to a greater unknown intellectually but a truer Knowing-ness.
So, first don’t feel that confusion is bad, because we have been taught to believe that. Like in school, if you were confused, you were the worst student. If you were confused that the earth was flat or spherical, then you were a terrible student. Here, if you are confused, it means that you’re losing your certainties. ‘Is it this way or that way?’ You don’t know. This is good.
If you are building spiritual frameworks, then it is my job to demolish them. If you are building templates, then it is my job to tear them up.
Meeting Emotions with Acceptance
S:‘If it’s a template, then throw it away.’ I tried every recipe that you gave. This way, that way, and every time I come to a space [Silence] now, there’s immense gratitude and there’s only You.
Now there is this; wonderful, only You.
And the next day or something, what happens is full doubt comes, full drama…
A:Full is good.
S:And then nothing is left undoubted.
S:And then this ‘boom, boom, boom’ starts shaking and …
A:But let it shake up everything. Don’t run from this doubt. If you say it is full doubt, like I was saying…
S:You began Satsang with it, and I go with what you’re saying. I’m fully new, leaving behind Vedanta concepts. I’m looking, and I know that voice; it’s not there in my deep sleep, it’s just not there. So, whatever it says to you, don’t listen in that sense, you know; it was not there, the world was not there, nothing was there, and you start getting silent again, somehow ….
[Crying] But I don’t know what to do with these emotions ….
A:So, let’s see if I understood a bit of what you’re asking. You’re saying there are some days when it is so clear, it just feels like there’s only You, and only You means only the Self or whatever, only You. And the next day, there’s a cocktail of things, it’s full of doubt, there’s these emotions which are seeming like resistive emotions; all of this is happening.
Now, this is what I’m saying: When it is like that, the doubt will say ‘Oh, are you sure he’s free himself? Are you sure he’s telling the Truth?’ But I’m saying I’m not speaking the Truth.
S:No, it’s not like that.
A: Whatever… [Chuckling] Generally. Okay, you give an example
S:So, it’s not like that, it’s not mental, it’s not a questioning doubt. It’s an emotional upheaval…
A:Okay, so emotional upheaval is like this [Shakes his hand in the air] This hand is shaking. Then?
S: Yeah, then … nothing. [Chuckling]
A:Are you sure it’s nothing? How does this shaking become doubt?
S:I don’t know. It’s like I don’t want to cry anymore. [Crying]
S: I just want this to stop…
A: The shaking to stop?
S:I don’t know what I want to stop, but I don’t want to feel like this anymore. Something wants to cry once and for all, like this ‘Don’t come back’ kind of feeling. I looked and enquired quite a few times but I don’t know what to do. [Mumbling something] It feels very embarrassing also.
A:So, as these emotions come up, you tell me … if you meet it with the lens of ‘This has to stop’ how does that feel? Or ‘This should not come’ or ‘When will it go?’ or ‘Why me?’
S: It creates a sense of worry.
A: It creates a sense of worry, of helplessness, all these things.
Have you had some moments when the emotion just comes up and you’re not interpreting or labeling or pushing it away or any of that?
A: There’s no moment?
S:I mean that anything that can trigger it, like one silly question and it starts. It was so funny in the morning; it was starting and then you came and, in Your Presence, everything just fell away and it became silent. And can I deny this Presence. Can I deny this? I mean everything went away; there was nothing.
And then it starts again and keeps coming. Sometimes it has to do with God, something … Mostly, it has to do with God.
S:I mean, it’s worse when it has to do with God. I mean, its most shaking when it … [Crying] I don’t know, when it has something to do with God.
A: Are you feeling distant from God, or forsaken by God or what?
S:No. I’m feeling embarrassed to say it.
A:Oh, after broadcast?
A:It’s okay, whatever. I don’t want to make you uncomfortable or feel that you must say now.
A:This is a good instance, what you pointed out, because you said something which is very insightful which is you said that ‘Sometimes you feel like “I’m going to be so open, so open to it that I let it come; let it come so it can go’ (in a way. I’m paraphrasing a bit). And these are the tactics that I speak of. These ploys, they don’t work, you see? It just feels like ‘I’m going to hold onto an intent quietly, on the side, that I’m letting you come just so you can go’ … with the intent of being rid of it.
So, with that intent, it is not really being truly open. You see? I know that these can sound like very subtle things because these are very much popular in ‘pop psychology’ and things like that, just like, because we take the opposite to be true, when we hear ‘What you resist, persists’ then if you truly want to be rid of something then what you have to do is be ‘open’ to it. And it would work if it didn’t have this intent, that ‘I’m doing this so that I can be rid of it.’ It’s like being open with checking, like ‘Is it gone yet? Is it gone yet? Is it gone yet’ is not being open, you see? Like ‘I’m being so open. Why is not going?’ is not being open, you see.
Are you noticing what I’m saying? Because it can be like that. We can have a tactic and we can say ‘I’m just going to be open so it can go.’ But that is being closed actually. Maybe being more closed than being closed! Because we’re being devious about being closed. Because if you’re just being closed (‘I don’t want this, I don’t like this’) at least there’s an integrity in that.
When we come into this sort of ‘being open so that it can go’ then it’s like very devious, you see, without realizing it. And it has surprisingly become very popular. [Chuckling] ‘I’m going to be so open that it’s going to go super-quick.’ But if we’re just checking: ‘Are you going, are you not going? You’re going, is it really working!’ [Laughter in the room] … then it’s not being open at all, it’s just being smart. You see, it’s trying to be smart.
I’m not saying you are doing this.
S:No, it’s like a reflex Father. The minute it starts there’s already a position ‘I have to watch it.’
A:Yes, this is a spiritual position. That’s what I’m saying. Don’t take a position of either ‘I have to push it away’ or ‘I have to watch it.’ Both can become these positions.
The 3-Ds of the Ego: Duality, Desire and Doership
We keep falling in to those mind tricks. Then it can be like, this way is suffering, this way is suffering. How to escape suffering? It’s everywhere; there is limited identity, there is doer-ship; there is all of this desire to be rid of or to have.
So, what is this ego? It is a 3D- ego. 3D. I have taken this example after a long time. I used to say ‘The ego is 3D ego.’ One is ‘Duality’ firstly, because the idea of separation in inherent to it. And once you feel that you are separate, then obviously, you feel like ‘I am a limited object. If I had that object, then I will be better, something will be better.’ So that is called ‘Desire’ the second D. If I make myself into a limited object then I can feel like ‘I’m so small, I’m so incomplete; I need this, I need that.’ So, that is ‘Desire.’ And the minute we fall into the desire that ‘I wish I had this or I did not have this’ (‘What can I do to get it? Or what can I do to avoid something?) there is comes ‘doer-ship’. So, this ego is built around this construct; this 3D construct of duality, desire and doer-ship.
If you did not have any of these notions, if you had no distinctions at all, no duality, then what is there to desire or not desire? What is there to do or not do? And then we fall out of this game of placing blame or giving credit. For doer-ship, it is very popular to play that game. ‘I’m not the doer, he is. So, when he is doing good things to me, I’m like a happy servant. But when he is treating be badly, it’s like ‘Why me?’ But to be rid of doer-ship, actually is to be the rid of the idea that ‘There is doing.’ (Not to come to a conclusion about ‘who is doing’. Those, at best, are provisional.) It’s like the waves are moving on the ocean. We’re not saying ‘The ocean is doing it.’
So, we have made ‘doing’ out of movement or ‘doing’ out of activity. That is what gets us in trouble. Now, whether we ascribe that doing to a greater force that makes us temporarily feel better, before we start becoming victim … or we ascribe doer-ship to limited entity, which does not exist anyway so it is bound to be fraught with suffering. But that is not what is ultimately important. It may seem provisionally that ‘I’m moving this locus from an individual doer-ship to a doer-ship belonging to Consciousness or the Satguru’ … but then, it is the emptying of the notion of doer-ship itself. Because it is just this. [Makes hand gestures in air] Who is doing it? Nobody. The concept of doing does not apply. That’s why I say ‘Not applicable.’ That’s what I meant. It is not really about who is doing it; whether it is God doing it or the non-existent person is doing it. It’s not about that. It is actually that there is no such thing as ‘doing’. This ‘doing’ means ‘nothing.’
To give credit or blame to either this way or that way, then it is still to put it in the box of limitation.
Q:I am noticing that this type of questioning is a little different from (same thing, but a little different from) how for a long time I was questioning ‘I’ … (‘I’m going to sit in this chair and question this ‘I’). Then that was very beautiful and powerful. And this is different, what I’m experiencing now; this is little different and also very powerful. And also, of course, it brings back the ‘I’ at the end of it. But I think (I don’t know) I am just marveling a little bit at the difference because the investigation of ‘I’ was so powerful for a very long time, and still now, but there was some sort of subtle belief hiding in all these little concepts that must have been hiding also an ‘I’.
A:What we have looked at is that: All confusion is actually is about ‘I’. All confusion is actually is about ‘I’. Now, the Sages have said in this type of path, in this type of Satsang, there are two methods to come to the Truth: One is Self-enquiry, and the other is surrender.
Now, actually, both are the same. (And don’t worry if that is still not understood; it is fine.) Both are actually the very same thing, but they can seem a bit different in the approach. So, I would say that this surrender that we speak of, the ‘letting go’ … is often misunderstood. And as we are letting go of these labels, notions, ideas of what we think things are … this is what I would call surrender.
Surrender … often, it can start like that (it’s just fine), it can start like ‘I hand over everything in my life to you.’ But if we really look at that, then what is that we are actually handing over? … when we look at that and say ‘I hand over everything’? It can start by saying ‘Okay, I hand over all outcomes to you; you make it go wherever you want.’ But that is not fully the full handing over. It is a good start. The outcomes are handed over. Then you say ‘I hand over all the present actions also to you, all which seems to unfold.’ Not just what seems to be the outcome but also what things are unfolding. Then we come to (from just the outcomes, then we are coming to) ‘I am handing over the doing and the outcome to you.’ That is also very beautiful. But there is still even more that can be handed over:
‘I hand over everything that I think I know. I’m letting go of all of this.’
Then when we come to this point:
Do you really know ‘handing over’?
Do you really know ‘me, you’?
To let go of even these notions, then this is what I would call a true surrender. Now there is no ‘me’ left, no ‘you’ left; nothing to hand over left because I don’t really know any of this anyway.
This is exactly same as Self-enquiry in terms of where it seems to lead us because all of these distinctions go [away] in the Self-enquiry as well. So, whether we approach it this way or we approach it that way, it’s the same.
And yet I have a clear sense of what you mean because many times, the enquiry can be just very uni-dimensional. It can become just like ‘I’m going to do this and this is going to be the result of
this outcome’ then ‘Okay, what is the state I am led to?’ Or ‘What is my experience or conclusion? So, now, am I this much there? Maybe some more enquiry?’ It could become a bit template-ized in that way. So, this is more the ‘letting go’ approach.
S: Yes, exactly, yeah.
A:When we are letting go of all this, actually, we are letting go of all our pride. Because to make the claim that ‘I know what this is’ is actually pride. And we have not realized that this is what pride is. We feel that pride is [Makes gesture of being proud] Of course, that is pride, too. But really, fundamentally, at the root of it, this claim to have a representation of what is true or a representation of Is-ness in our mind, and to claim that that is true … is the birth of ego, is the birth of pride. The birth of an idea of any distinction is the birth of pride, is the birth of separation. So, this is very much Advaita, you see? (But even don’t worry about that.) [Smiles]
So then, to be open just means that are we open to the recognition that ‘I don’t know what any of this is.’ Are we open to the recognition that ‘I might have versions of this’? It’s like looking at the Mona Lisa. Some may say ‘I’m certain she is smiling.’ Some may say ‘I’m certain she is looking mockingly.’ Some will say ‘I am certain she is grim, actually.’ But what is she? Nobody can really say. And yet the experts will make their claims.
So, can we say come back to your child-like innocence? Or as the Zen Masters say ‘Come to the beginner’s mind’? It means to drop this idea that you are an expert about life. And what is the expertise? To claim that I know what anything is. [Smiles]
Don’t know … and don’t know that even you don’t know.
Don’t even make ‘I don’t know’ a position.
Just like that.
This for me is surrender.
Exploration of the ‘I’-Thought
A: What do you actually know Now?
Q: It’s like ‘Is-ness’.
A: Yeah. Do you know it?
Q:Even to say ‘I know’ feels like too much … You know?
Q: It’s like an ‘Is-ing’… [Laughs] Each time I grasp for something to know, it’s seen and let go.
A:Yes. Now let go of even this concept of ‘What Is.’ Because ‘What Is’ is not dependent on the concept of ‘What Is’. Nothing true can leave. But if there is any attachment, even like a subtle one, to any notion that we have learned about, then that pointer itself will start to feel like the truth or something like that. And we can become a bit scared to let go.
So, all of these are beautiful pointers … but they are pointing to something which is completely wordless. And sometimes because the thorns have been so helpful to us, we feel like there’s an attachment to the thorn itself. ‘No, but not that. No, not that.’
The reassurance is that: If it is True, it cannot leave you.
Because all terms, as well constructed as they might be, are limiting, they are excluding; even like ‘Being and not being.’ When I ask this question sometimes, when I say ‘Okay, what can you actually confirm now?’ … the usually response is that ‘I Am’ because we have heard that over the years. And it can seem like a very valid response for a long time. Even I say ‘Can you stop being?’ ‘No.’ So, what is that Being? But there comes a time that even those sacred concepts can be explored, and we say: But what is ‘to be’? What is ‘am’? Do we really know?
And you will see that all that we have associated with these terms now will start to show up; all that we have added into our basket, even so-called insight. We’ll say ‘Yes, there is Presence which is opposed to absence’ or something like that, these kinds of things, but all of them will still have a reference to ‘you’ in one way or the other, even if it is not seen. So, it’s in these explorations that you come to what [Nisargadatta] Maharaj was pointing to. He said that ‘The only truth that I can speak is that I Am. But ultimately, even that is not true.’
So, now I am inviting all of you to leave the term ‘ultimately’. Because that term ‘ultimately’ then becomes a sort of a deferral. I can defer this, because he said ‘ultimately’. So, don’t use that term. He was saying ‘Even that is not true. Even that is not true that I Am.’ Because even in this, there is reference to the ‘I-thought.’ The ‘I-thought’. Any reference to the ‘I’ is what is meant by the ‘I-thought.’ So, the primordial, primal reference to the ‘I’ is Being, ‘I Am.’
Have I lost most of you or you are with me so far?
We don’t have to hold even this conceptual reference. We don’t have to hold even this conceptual reference. And if there is a non-conceptual Truth to it, it’s not going anywhere anyway. If we keep hugging the concept of it, it is not it. And the Truth of it cannot leave you anyway. (I’m trying to spell it out slowly because this can get a bit confusing.) So, don’t make any reference to ‘I’ conceptually, mentally. Even in the sense of ‘I Am’ or ‘Being Is’ or something like that. You don’t even need these terms now. And if there is Truth, then it will not leave anyway because that is the definition of Truth in Vedanta: It does not come and go. So, by your letting go of something, if the Truth went, then that is not the Truth anyway. If you forgot, what remains is ‘I Am.’ If you forgot that, then if ‘I Am’ actually went, then it was never true. And if it did not need that reference, then why hold on to it?
So, be empty of all references to ‘I’ … either ‘I Am’ or even ‘I am not’ … ‘Being’ and ‘not being.’ Because Truth is not dependent on those references. So, you may say ‘Beyond Being and not being is Brahman’ or something like that. But even these references, we can just keep them aside. Don’t look at any conceptual representation as Reality. Otherwise, subtly, distinctions will start to creep in. Distinction will start to creep in.
So, is this emptiness? No.
Is this Brahman? No.
So, you are no longer worried about terms like ‘Vedantian’ or ‘Shoonyavadi’ or something like that. You’re not worried about these concepts anymore. You’re not worried about ‘What is it I’m finding? Did I find this Brahman or did I find that emptiness?’ Nothing; forget it. It’s not in these terms.
Now what do you actually know?
Q:[Chuckles] Now, I don’t know what needs to know.
A:Yes, it’s very good. [Ananta and Sangha Chuckle] Actually, we have never known. It’s all been a big pretense. We have never known. We have neither ever known anything nor never known what it means to know. And yet, that which is true Knowing is independent of this
‘known and not known.’ (Don’t worry about it.)
Q:Yeah, I am watching.
A:What is watching?
Reading Ribhu Gita, Chapter 8 and 9
[Some from Chapter 8]:
What whit of idea there is, is called name and form.
Whatever there be conception, there is gross world
A: When the Sage is saying conception, he means conceptualization.
Wherever there be conception, that verily is unreal
Whatever little of idea there is, that is the world, no doubt
What trace of ideation there be? All of that is not
Be certain of this: mind alone is the whole world
Mind alone is the great adversary
Mind alone is trans-migration
Mind alone is the three-fold world
Mind alone is great sorrow
Mind alone is aging
Mind alone is time
And mind itself, taint
Mind alone is will
Mind alone is the individual
Mind alone is pollution, ever
Mind alone is magic
Mind itself is illusion always
Mind is like the son of a barren woman
Mind itself never exists
Mind itself is inert always
Mind is verily thought
And mind is ego only
Mind alone is great bondage
Mind alone is the inner faculty
Mind alone is the Earth
And mind alone, waters
Mind alone is light
And mind alone is the mighty wind
Mind alone is space
And mind alone, sound
Mind alone is the nature of touch
Mind alone fabricates form
Mind alone is the form of essence
Mind alone is eulogized as smell
A:So, as we are going through this, read it in this way that all of these are notions.
When he is saying ‘Mind alone’ he is saying that all these are just notions.
The sheath is food is the form of mind
The sheath of vital air is full of mind
The sheath of thoughts is the form of mind
The sheath of intellect is full of mind
A:So, all these layers of existence (as they’re called in Vedanta) all of these are just notions to point us to the greater Truth, but it is just ‘Mind alone’.
Mind alone is the sheath of bliss
Mind alone is the waking state
Mind is verily the dream state
And mind alone is the deep sleep state
Mind itself is the gods and others
Mind alone is Yama(restraint) etc. of the 8-fold yoga
What little there is, is mind only
Mind alone is full of mind
The cosmos is full of mind
This city (body) is full of mind
This Being is full of mind
This duality is full of mind
This species is full of mind
This attribute is full of mind
This scene is full on mind
This insentience is full of mind
Whatever there is, is full of mind
That which exists as individual is full of mind
Thought alone is ignorance
Thought alone is difference
Thought alone is knowledge
Thought alone is pairs of opposites
Thought alone is time
Thought alone is space
A:These are very vital words. Whatever we think, whatever we think we know, is just a thought.
“Thought alone is pairs of opposites” … so all duality, all pairs of opposites, is just a thought. “Thought alone is time. Thought alone is space.” So, there’s no way to explain that. This has to become your insight that time is just a notion, space is just a notion; yesterday, tomorrow, now, is just a notion. All of these are just notional.
Thought alone is body
Thought alone is life force
Thought alone is contemplation
Thought alone is listening
Thought alone is hell
Heaven, too, is thought only
Thought alone is Consciousness
Thought alone is contemplation of the Self
The triviality is thought only
Brahman is thought only
What trifle there is, is thought only
And that is not ever
A:So, again, the last two. “Thought alone is Consciousness.” So, what the Sage is pointing to is that Consciousness, as the label, as the term, is just a notion, is just a thought. This is what we were speaking in Satsang. All of Satsang today I feel was about this. Even contemplation on enquiry: “Thought alone is contemplation of the Self.” You see? So, even that notion that this is Truth … (okay, let’s go further, then I’ll explain some more).
“The triviality is thought only. Brahman is thought only.” Now, this might cause confusion among Vedantins, because most of Ribhu is saying ‘All is Brahman’. But sometimes the Sage says “Brahman is thought only.” So, again, what we were talking about today was exactly this, that what is true is not dependent on the notion of it. So, the intent or the feeling behind the Sage sharing like this is to get us to let go of the notions of it, even though it might be the highest notion that we can conceive of.
And it’s good to notice the fear sometimes, because these are the things that we hold onto, like our sacred notions. And we feel if our sacred notions go, then some truth will go along with that. But if it can go, then it cannot be IT. You see? So, the notion ‘Brahman’ is just a notion, is just a thought. The term ‘Brahman’ is just a thought. ‘The Absolute’ is just a thought. ‘Self’ is just a thought. And if any of that is true, then it is not dependent on the whether the thought is there or not.
But notice the attachment to the spiritual seeker, who has held onto these as the ultimate truth. But at best, they were just pointers. So, now the invitation is coming: Leave it. Leave it. Leave everything, even our most sacred notions. (But don’t make the choice to leave your sacred notions and leave everything else. [Laughs] That is not the invitation.) It’s: Leave it, leave it, leave it, including what you think is the most sacred or the most truthful.
“Thought alone is Consciousness. Thought alone is contemplation of the Self. … The triviality is thought only. Brahman is thought only.” So, when we look at: What is the greatest? Some say ‘Brahman.’ What is the highest thought you can have? ‘The Absolute.’ And what is the lowest? Someone said ‘Chai.’ [tea] I don’t know what that has to be the lowest; but suppose … because it’s trivial. The Sage is saying the same thing. “The triviality is thought only.” And “Brahman is thought only.” So, in our box of intellect, we can only go from this lowest to this highest … whatever we might conceptualize that to be. Now the invitation or the provocation is: Leave it. Leave both sides, triviality and Brahman. They are just notions. “What trifle there is, is thought only, and that is not ever.”
Thought is naught, naught alone
The three worlds are not, not indeed
The guru is not, not indeed
So, too, is the Shishya, the disciple, is he not
The body, too, is not; is non-existent
The mind is not at all existent, never
Even a trifle is not; not ever
The whole world is not
A: See? Like, nothing ever is.
The Beings indeed are not; not indeed
Everything is non-existent, indeed; no doubt
In this chapter title ‘All is not’ is revealed by me
Whosoever hears this, even once,
He becomes Brahman himself.
A: So, ‘hears this’ is not just auditory hearing.
The peace of mind attained by the Upanishadic knowledge By the longing for the lotus feet of moon-adorned Lord (A: moon-adorned Lord is Shiva.)
By divesting oneself of the bondage of the forest
Of trans-migratory life, comprising ones’ dear consorts,
Sons and their own attachments,
By renunciation and such spiritual practices,
Even an occasional meditation on Shiva’s feet
Cannot be achieved by shrewd knowledge or vociferous scholarship
For those Seers’ in whom the endless phantasmagoria of the world has subsided And who abides without free will,
There are no states of waking, dreaming and sleep And no life and death as well.
This concludes Chapter 8, a dialog between Ribhu and Nidagha, Entitled ‘Determination of the World Being Void and Non-existence of All’. In the 6th Amaa entitled: Shankara of the Shree Shiva Rahasyam
A:So, this was Chapter 8 of the 6th portion of the scripture called ‘The Mystery of Shiva’. And, by the way, this is the same chapter as ‘The horn of the hare’. It’s the end of that chapter.
So, I would say, actually, reading Chapter 8, I would say that it’s up there with Chapter 26 in all of its potency, destructive capability. [Chuckles] Okay,
Chapter 9 seems interesting. What is it?
[Nidagha is asking]:
Revered Master, Where do you perform your sacred bath?
What is the mantra for ablution?
What is the auspicious time for ablution and for offering of holy waters?
Please tell me.
The bath in the Self is the great ablution
The daily ablution, and not anything else
I am Brahma
This certitude alone is the great ablution
I am of the form of the Supreme Brahman
I am the supreme bliss
I am of the form I am Brahman
This conviction indeed is a profound ablution
I am only of the form of Knowledge
I am the supreme alone
I am of the form of peace only
I am without any impurities
I am of the form of the eternal only
I am simply the permanent
This indeed is the supreme Brahman
I am Brahman alone
I am only of the nature of everything
I am the leftover
All this is verily Brahman
I am Brahman alone.
A: Okay. Let’s stop.
~ ~ ~
This reading and the previous reading on Chapter 26 on page 53 is from: The Ribhu Gita (Sixth Amsa of Sri Siva Rahasyam)
The First Complete Edition
With English Transliteration, Transliteration and Original Sanskrit Text.
Translated by: Dr Lingeshwara Rao And Dr Anil Sharm. Supported by Sri T Venkateshwara Rao Sri Ramanasramam, Tiruvannamalai, India
How to Answer Something Beyond Percepts and Concepts?
A: So, what do you know now?
The Truth cannot be known in this way. Not in our assertions, not in our negations, not in any sort of understanding that we may think we have. That is why the Sage is inviting us to use this ‘No’ as an explosive device, to blow up everything we think we know. And yet, don’t even make a lifestyle out of doing that. Leave all this knowledge aside.
Are you getting somewhere now? No.
Is there somewhere to get? No.
Is there somewhere? No.
Is there? No.
Is not? No.
Have I lost you all?
We have looked over and over again and seen that no concept, no thought, is a valid representation of ‘What Is’. No thought can even represent this manifest appearance. If I ask all of you to describe this room, you will all use different thoughts and all these different thoughts will not match up to what is even here in this manifest appearance. So, to describe That which is beyond manifest is definitely beyond concepts, beyond thought. And yet, we keep grasping for this sort of understanding. We’re grasping for the understanding of the final concept, the super- concept. And even when we say it is not a concept, it’s an experience that we are grasping for, even that is just a concept. ‘I have a notion that what is that superlative experience that I should have and then I will be free.’ If you did not have that notion, it doesn’t mean anything.
And in that way, the Master is reminding us that this ‘neti, neti’ (this ‘No, no’) is useful to drop away, to chop away, at all this false thinking, fruitless thinking.
So, what is it that you want now? [Silence] Nothing?
That is peace.
That is surrender.
That is the letting go.
To not have a notion of desiring, to not have a notion of ‘me’ is to let go. To make a claim to know something is false pride, including the knowing that ‘I don’t know’. That’s why the Sage is saying that ‘Don’t make a lifestyle of don’t know.’
It may feel like that ‘I’m left without a foothold then, left without a branch to hold on to.’ Okay, let’s put this way. If the answer was non-conceptual, and non-perceptual … (does everybody understand these words?) … if the answer was non-conceptual and non-perceptual, which is not even an object of experience, how would I share that answer with you? It was not possible to
capture it in a concept and it was not possible to depict it in any sort of manifest experience, then how would such an answer be shared?
A:But even this silence is what? You have a perception that there is no noise. Didn’t we speak about that? Often in spirituality we take this position of abhorring noise or something like that. Did we speak about that or am I imagining it?
Q:“You spoke [read it the other day] about the nature of the mind and you were saying: “Just take the mind, the false thought and upside-down viewpoints, the mind of reflection and discrimination, the mind that loves living and hates death, the mind of knowing-seeing and understanding, the mind that takes joy in stillness and loathes noisiness and, all-at-once, lay them aside! Precisely in the state where you have laid them aside, keep an eye on the Huatou.”
A:Let me see if I can find this term ‘Huatou’. [Reading from the same text the one in chat is reading from] “This is defined as the state where you have laid them aside. It does not mean keeping an eye on the things that are laid aside. Having laid them aside here, you should keep an eye on the Gongang.” (That’s what exactly happens in the realms of concepts; you just exchange one for the other.) “For example, not thinking of good and not thinking of bad, is what is laid aside. What is my original face is the Huatou. What is my original face is the Huatou you keep an eye on.”
‘What is the original face of Buddha?’ … for example. They often use this term: ‘What is your original face? As you lay side your mind of all these opposites, even of noisiness and stillness, even these distinctions, then where are you?
Exactly where the questions started. This is the answer. If the answer was not in concept and not in experience, how would we find such an answer? The Sage is telling us. By leaving aside this mind of duality. That is Advaita: non-duality.
Don’t make an understating of this; that is not relevant. ‘Oh, I understand Advaita.’ Not that. Keep it aside. What is Here?
Before you can hear this [snaps] before [snaps] Now [snaps], before you heard the sound, Now [snaps] what is Here? More immediate than immediate is your naturalness, your original face. That Brahman which is beyond the assertion ‘I am Brahman’ … that God which is beyond our understanding of God, That Self which cannot really even be pointed to actually.
It’s like how to give you directions to exactly where you are sitting right now. What pointer can we use? We can just keep saying like this: Now, Now, where are you Now? [Chuckles] This is more intimate than even that. Before you can sit, what do you have to be? And before you can be That, what do you have to be? And before you can be That, what do you have to be?
It’s more intimate than any of this.
What Do You Know for Certain?
A:Okay, suppose God asked a different question. Suppose he said ‘You’ve spent a hundred and twenty years in this realm. What do you know for certain?’
S: Some experiences; sensations and experiences…
A:You certain … that they happened?
S:Like right Now.
A:What are you certain about, right Now?
S: I think I’m certain that I’m perceiving.
A:That you are perceiving, you’re certain of that? [Silence] … certain that you are perceiving? Any side of it, you, perceiving … start anywhere. Tell me what you’re certain of. Are you certain of you; that is ‘I’? Or are you certain of perception or perceiving?
S: There is some sensation…
A:What is sensation? Isn’t even the label ‘sensation’ a way to make a distinction? Okay, now we’re not inferring but I’m just sharing some pointers. So, if there is distinction then there is duality. What is the actual distinction between sensation and non-sensation? What is the difference between that which we call a hand and the space between the hands? [Puts both his hands apart]
S: One seems to have a form and the other is formless.
A:Yes, but what is form? This is when we get to the root of it. Name and form is the fundamental source of separation … or the fundamental idea of separation. And subtler than name and form, are the ideas of time and space.
S:So, you asked me what is the difference between the hand and space.
A:Yes, and the space between them, the presumed space.
S:It is not form.
A:If it’s not form, then how is it perceived? We are encountering our notions of presence and absence; of fullness and emptiness. You see? Now the fullness and emptiness which is spoken of in Satsang or the emptiness which is spoken of in Satsang, is not this emptiness (like full glass / empty glass).
So, what can you truly conclude about anything? Like if you close your eyes and you imagine a tree, what space is that tree occurring in? And is that distinct from the tree itself? [Silence]
If you have a dream at night and you see many people, where are they appearing? And is that space where they are appearing different from those apparent people?
What can we actually doubtlessly conclude? What do we actually know?
S:We zoom into the I Am.
A:Yes. It’s easy. Are You?
S:Because the feeling I Am, and the thought I Am are different…
A:The thought is different and the experience (in a way, we can say) is a very, very primordial perception of the Presence of Being; of Being. But we are now doubting every experience; every experience. Because if you can doubt this …. because I’m not sure if this is not a dream. We could be having this conversation in a dream and suddenly [snap his fingers] ‘Mikey wake up.’ [Makes a shaking action] You wake up and you say ‘I was having this very strange conversation with Ananta, who was saying ‘Are you certain this is not a dream?’ You see, this kind of thing. So, if we’re doubting every perception and we’re saying ‘This could be a dream or just I could be imagining it’ then why couldn’t we be doing that for even this Being or Presence?
S:But even in dreams, something is aware of the dream. So, this Awareness, is it not aware of Itself?
A:This Awareness is the ‘I’ (in the sense of … to use traditional Satsang definitions; let’s say it this way): The ‘I’ that is aware even of Being, of the ‘Am-ness’. It’s the ‘I’ that is ‘Am-ing’ (in a way). But the ‘Am’ is not the most original to this ‘I’. Even the ‘Am’ comes and goes. The ‘Am’ is the Light in which the waking state comes or the dream state comes: in My Being. So, if the content of the waking state can be doubted, then why cannot the Light in which the waking state arises itself be doubted? We’re not yet doubting the ‘I’ that is aware of it. We’re just doubting even this Primordial vibration of Being, the ‘I Am-ness’.
Because I’m really inviting everyone to throw away the term ‘Ultimately.’ [Nisargadatta] Maharaj says, ‘Ultimately even the I Am is not true’. He said, ‘The only Truth I can say is I Am, but ultimately even that is not true.’ So, keep ‘ultimately’ aside. Even that is not true.
So then, what certainty are we left with? You say: That which is Aware. Now, this is a good point. (Everybody is here?) That which is aware even of the ‘Presence of Being or Am-ness’ … now this one, say something true about It.
S: [Mumbles something]
A:In a way, he’s scared because he knows what’s coming. [Laughter in the room]. But time is not a function for it. It is not sitting in time. Time is its grandchild, you see, in a way. First, it has to play this Am-ness, then when Am-ness is there, then this functioning of time and space apparently comes. But even to say, first, second, third, would make it then subject to time; but it
is not. Time is just not applicable for it. You say [tell me] if your finding is different. That is why Guruji [Sri Mooji] or some other Master recently said: ‘Don’t go looking for the Self as if it is some eternal old man’ or something like that.
Of course, I know that you’re referring to the pointers themselves: ‘That which is unchanging’ and ‘That which doesn’t come and go’ and ‘It is timeless.’ All of these are pointers. So, now we’re really seeing: what can I say undoubtedly about It?
S: It is free.
A:But even this ‘free.’ It is empty of all qualities. Like would you say space is free?
A:Boundary-less. Actually, none of these terms really apply because we’re making it subject again to time and space. The point I was getting to is that no representation, no matter how valid it might seem, actually can describe It. No representation can describe It, including this: ‘No description can describe It’. And in your mind, it is only these descriptions; in our conceptual mind we have only concepts. You see?
But in your recognition or finding, you find something which is not capture-able in any concept. That is why the Sages keep saying ‘No, no, no’ so that it negates all the concepts. But to assert it positively, then they say the most positive assertion (that is seemingly the basis of all Vedanta, which is ‘Aham Brahmasmi: I am Brahman’) itself, they have said that that is also duality; the assertion itself is duality. So, now no concept is left that can really describe It.
What perception can you have about it?
How did you see this Awareness, the ‘I’ that is aware?
What was its color? [Silence] What is the color of Awareness?
Don’t quickly go to the mental ‘No’ … because I know everyone knows the answer. Check what is the color of this ‘I’ that is aware (this apparent I)?
Color, red? Light blue? No color.
How to see something which has no color?
What about like dark empty space? Does It have those attributes?
Look, because the mind can make these up. As the enquiry is happening, the mind can also be giving you visuals and saying ‘See, I’ll show you; it’s transparent.’ Transparent. And what witnesses that transparency? Look at these things like ‘transparent, opaque, dark, full of light’ … all these notions. What witnesses that? Then you will see that all of these are also in the realm of duality; also in the realm of opposites. But the Truth is not.
Everything That Has an Opposite Is in the Box
Q:It is clear when you’re talking about it when I close my eyes. But once I open them, everything is like ‘Can you prove me that doesn’t exist, all these tickles?’ For me everything is very real, the world is very real.
A:Yes, yes. But, okay, let’s say the same thing that I told Mike. Is it not possible that you go to sleep tonight and we have this exact conversation in the dream? It’s possible. So, don’t worry about proving that it is not real. Because the design of this is so intricate and beautiful, the design of it, that you don’t even have to worry about proving that it is not real. But you cannot prove that it is real. That is the important part. That it is doubtable is enough. Because we could be having this exact conversation in an imagination, in a memory, in a dream. It’s completely possible. There is no way to say this is not one of those. So, in that process we did not negate the reality of it necessarily, but you cannot claim that it is real undoubtedly and that much is enough. That much is enough that ‘I cannot claim it to be reality because this could be very much a dream and I could be waking up any moment.’ Isn’t it?
Q: There is no need of very strong knowing or something?
A:No, no, there is no need of any very strong knowing. Actually, it is coming to an emptiness of any strong knowing.
Q:Not knowing, if I close my eyes, this Being … it is here Being. It’s Being … but if I open my eyes this Being is occupied with all that is here.
A:This is a very good explanation. I like this very much. So now, close your eyes and don’t think of an orange. When you don’t think, then attention will go to an orange and it will come.
So, the object comes. The space in which the object arises, now when you slowly open your eyes, you will see it is the same space in which all of this arises. So, can you confirm that this is not the same activity of what Guruji [Sri Mooji] says ‘What you conceive is what you perceive’? All of this, is it different from when you say ‘I go inside, I close my eyes’?
So, two very beautiful explorations here. One is that it could be trees, rivers, mountains; all can be there. Where are they? In the same way, when I slowly open my eyes, I see that it’s just another set of content that comes, but the space is the same. So, that is the first contemplation.
The second is to look at when we go inside, this ‘inside’ … where is that inside? Is it inside the body? And if it inside the body, why are not you seeing ‘bones, blood and flesh.’
Q:It feels ‘inside’ because when you close your eyes, all the movement and colors are gone.
A:Exactly, all the stimulus is gone. So, that is the only thing that changed. Did the actual inside and outside change? Did you change? It’s just that all this goes away. But did it become from outside to inside? You said rightly that ‘It just feels like that is inside.’ But nothing actually changed. It is just that; that which was empty of content now suddenly is full of content. And there seems to be like a physical process which happens along with that. But that is also part of
the content, isn’t it? So, are we really visiting a different space or a different place? Or it is just a question of what content is visible at that point?
Q:Can I ask one more question?
Q:Then about the feeling, I would ask, because when there is some strong feeling or emotion coming, then it feels like that it is caused from outside. I see there is no inside or outside, but it feels that it’s from outside which is causing the feeling inside. And I don’t know; that would be a strong thing, too.
A:Yes. Now once the boundary is gone between outside and inside, then everything is happening in the same space. That so-called outside … if you use just inside then everything is just inside that so-called outside; what is outside is also inside. So, if your partner is behaving badly, for example, which often causes this sort of feeling, apparently, but then both are just different energy constructs in the same space. Once that veil is lifted, this distinction goes away between inside and outside; which is what the contemplation was. Then the one sort of energy construct [Holds up one hand signifying one person] ‘blah, blah, blah’ and the other energy construct [Holds up the other hand signifying another person] ‘ee, ee, ee’ [both hands across from each other, signifying having a conversation] both are inside or both are outside. Because actually, these terms have become irrelevant now: inside and outside.
So, if I was to give you another proposal to explore … if I was to propose that your attention can never leave you actually, it cannot go outside of you, how would you look at that?
Q: It looks like it feels outside.
A:Yeah, it feels like that. But that is why I am saying ‘Explore’ and see whether there is actually something called attention which can go outside of myself. Or is it just that I’m just navigating my own space using this attention?
What is this attention?
Where am I actually going when I follow my attention?
So, I don’t want us to come to be able to come to a conclusion that ‘All is inside me.’ That’s not what I’m saying. I’m just saying that if we have a conclusion that ‘There is an outside and there is an inside’ then that can be dropped. What the truth is, we cannot say. What the truth is, is so simple that it cannot be put into words.
Q:For which I say ‘That is not true’?
A:Yes, we can say that this is eminently or completely doubtable. We cannot even say that it is not even true, in the sense that you cannot say ‘There is no outside; there is no world.’ That’s why Sages say a thing like this: ‘Brahman is all there is. There is no world. Brahman is the world.’ What conclusion will you come to with that? Nothing. Because we dropped our
conclusion about the world and about Brahman, and you came to this conceptual emptiness which is the truth that is being pointed to.
So, my function in way is not to tell you truth. Because that would be a lie. Any truth that can be told is a lie. Even when we say ‘It is true that something is not’ … it is a lie. It’s not even a lie; it’s just neither truth nor a lie.
So, if you want a clue in terms of what is happening here … because sometimes it gets very confusing (‘What is happening here?’) the clue is that we have been used to living life in the tiny box and the opposites of that box is ‘Yes. No.’ This is the box of the intellect with all the opposites there. So, this makes a boundary in our existence. Now, Satsang is to break out of this box of opposites. And what does it mean? That both my assertions and negations are dropped aside. It is not the search for some truth which is in this box, where you say ‘Yes, now that is the truth I found.’ Like that. And it is not to be found if you keep saying ‘No’. That’s why I keep saying don’t make a life style of the ‘No’ also. Because it’s not to come to this side of the box and just become like ‘On this side, we are a knower’ and ‘On this side, we are a ‘no-er.’ [Chuckles] ‘I know’. So, it is not between this ‘knower’ and ‘no-er.’ But to look at both of these and to break this shell. That’s why I say: This: [Clicks fingers in the air] Did something happen? Yes, no; we can’t say. It’s just like you come beyond your intellect, beyond this mind. Because otherwise, what can happen is even the most pristine concept like ‘I Am’ …. like, many times, for
years, I ask this question” ‘Can you stop being?’ And you say ‘No, this Being is Here.’
Now I’ve noticed that in five years of sharing, what has happened is that I say ‘So, what can you not deny?’ And quickly we go to our conceptual box, because we seem to have that insight and stored it conceptually. And we say ‘Now, I cannot deny that I Am.’ So, these days I stated asking ‘Can’t you?’ Or ‘Are you?’ … because I can spot that it has become a habit now. And that habit is no different than saying ‘I am a person, I am an individual’ because it’s still coming from a conceptual place. So, it’s good to even question this pristine truth; most sacred of concepts. Then you break out of this box. And everything that has opposites is in the box. The Sage has clearly said … in Ribhu Gita, he said (and in this what we read just now it is said) whatever in the world we think we know and all the pairs of opposites are not. Ribhu has said very clearly ‘Everything the pairs of opposites is not.’ Therefore, all our ‘Yes, yes, no, no’ is in the box.
So, it’s left aside … Now? [Silence] We’re still being playing with percepts which is perceptual experiences and the concepts of these perceptual experiences or any other credible (so called credible so-called credible) concepts we might have heard. But once you leave them aside … Now?
Don’t Expect Truth to Comply to Any Version of ‘Me’
The only thing in your way is the maha-mantra ‘What’s in it for ‘me’? How is this helping ‘me’?’ It is not. So, the Truth will not cater to your ego and will not become subject to your selfishness. If the Truth came and it gave something to the non-existent ‘me’ then it would be a slave to the non-existent one, a slave to the false, and how can Truth be like that?
So, when I say ‘Truth for Truth’s sake’ that’s what I mean. Don’t expect Truth to comply with some idealistic version of ‘me’ or your token idea of ‘me’ like ‘How to become an enlightened ‘me’? How to become a blissful ‘me’?’ How to become any version of me?’ If the Truth said ‘Yes, sir’ to this ‘me’ then what? Then the false would be the greater truth. No?
So, it is only this which gets in the way. Actually, what I’m saying is very simple. But because there is nothing in it for me, it can feel like ‘Come on. Am I getting to the point? When will I get this?’ So, our allegiance is still for this ‘me’. And then, this kind of stuff can seem very abstract, very complicated, very difficult.
All I’m saying is leave all concepts and perceptions aside.
That’s all I’m saying in many different ways.
Don’t go hunting for Truth there.
S:When we’ve realized that there’s nothing for ‘me’ then immediately the doubt is thrown up that ‘Did you see something real? There is nothing for me.’ That is also seen.
A:Yeah, the doubt will come. It will come in all shapes and sizes. ‘Did you really see?’ or ‘Can you hold on to this?’ Any form which brings this limited ‘me’ back is a doubt. Now, what to do with that doubt?
S: It’s just a concept.
A:It just comes and goes. See? So, this game, this play, is just about that. When these things come, are they just allowed to come and go? Or are they still grasped with the tongs of our belief?
Now, if you’re waiting to satisfy this mind hoping that one day the mind will say ‘I’m done, thank you. You did a very good job and you found the Truth and now, I’m done. Bye-bye.’ … that will keep pushing the button of negating doubt and negating doubt. If you have any sort of expectation with the mind that it should become like that, it will keep using that itself. So, don’t expect this one to change its spots. Let everything be as it is.
S:The thought just came that’s exactly like that. ‘What am I doing here? Can someone remind me why I came to this class?’ And I just started to laugh.
A:Yeah. When something like this is proposed by the mind (‘What am I doing here?’) we quickly start questioning the ‘doing here’ part. But we don’t question who is the ‘I’ you are talking about?’ The premise is the ‘I’ … the basis is the ‘I’ … but that is just quickly lost; that is
just left presumed. But what is quickly looked into is that ‘doing here’ part. ‘Is it helping me? Am I getting something? Maybe this type of Satsang is not for me.’ So, we’re quick to buy into the presumption of the ‘me’, of the ‘I’, and still we start exploring that. And it’s funny because ‘I’ in this sentence was proposed before the ‘doing here’. So, ‘What am I doing here?’ We can go that way: ‘What am ‘I’… and then we’ll come to ‘doing here’. But we latch onto the suffix somehow. ‘Oh, the ‘I’ I just presume but the ‘doing here’ … let me explore that really.’ But why don’t we explore the ‘What am I’ first?
You see, these are all the same old tricks of the mind; the same old tricks of the mind. ‘What am I doing here?’
But what am I?
Q:That’s what I’m supposed to do here. [Laughter in the room]
A:See, even that. What ‘I’ am supposed to do here … [Laughing] We made a conclusion about the ‘do here’ part. We didn’t make a conclusion about the ‘I’.
So, this is question and answer. It becomes just about the suffix. ‘What am I doing here?’ … ‘Oh, I resolved the question.’ You did? You didn’t resolve the question because you didn’t resolve the ‘I’.
So, this is how it can play out. The constant aspect to every story is the ‘I’ but this ‘I’ gets left unexplored. The ‘I’ is the ‘who’. But the ‘why, what, when’ … all of these get called dominant.
This is a classic example, no? Like if somebody said ‘What am I doing here?’ what are you going to explore? You’re going to explore ‘Okay, what am I learning? Is this helping me?’ This kind of thing. But the first part of it is: What am I…? But what are you? Before you can conclude what you should be doing or not and where you should be doing that ‘doing’ … what are you?
So, what are you? Huh? [Chuckles]
Actually, it’s worthy to explore where you are. Where are you?
Where are you right now?
Are you sitting inside this head?
As what are you sitting inside the head?
Where are you?
Are you an object?
This body is an object and it can hold other objects.
So, to be inside this object, you must be an object.
What can hold a non-object in this world?
You may say ‘I am not an object.’ We all have this (at least in India, we have this) strong notion that ‘I am Atma’ … or something which is not an object.
Now, what object can hold a non-object?
Where in the world must you be if you are not an object?
Where are you watching this movie from?
So, even before you can explore ‘What am I doing here?’ you can explore ‘Are you here?’
And here means what?
Here is where?
Where are you?
‘But how does it help me?’ Huh?
If you talk to most people (it seems like it is this way) most people in the world, and they say ‘What do you do?’ then ‘What do you share in Satsang?’ and they hear ‘We’re just exploring who we are or who am I’ and their first question usually is: ‘So, does that help you?’ … ‘But I’m exploring who I am.’ [Chuckles] … ‘But will that give you peace?’ In the sense that ‘It’s okay to not know who you are, but I want to find out only if it will give me some peace or joy or bliss or something like that.’
Is it like that?
So, the self-enquiry is just really to bring light into it. What is it? Who am I? Because everything else is dependent on this. But am I okay to just presume this ‘me’?
We looked at a simple example like this: ‘What am I doing here?’ We presumed the ‘What am I’ part but the ‘doing here’ part you brought into your exploration. And this is the life of a spiritual seeker also; like just going from Satsang to Satsang, spiritual path to spiritual path, just saying ‘What am I doing here? What am I doing here? Is this helping me? Is this helping me?’
But who? Who are you talking about?
Who are you?
What is it that you consider yourself to be?
This is the enquiry.
What Is Apparent Now Beyond Percepts and Concepts?
If there is this (Capital ‘T’) Truth to be found, I have already said that it will not be conceptualize-able, therefore, you cannot have a valid thought about it and it is not subject to your perception. So, you cannot contain it in an experience. At best, you can say ‘experience is also within it’ (if you want to say anything).
Then what is left?
Is there anything beyond these thoughts and experiences?
What is beyond thought and experience?
What about the one that witnesses thought and experience? [Silence]
What about the one that witnesses thought and experience? What is the nature of that one?
Do you witness your thoughts? Or no?
A: Yes. So, this ‘You’ …what is the nature of that? And why do you call it I?
S:It’s a habit.
A:It’s a habit. So, if I say actually it is not you; it’s Garima [Sitting in the room] does it make sense? So, it is something more primal than habit.
[Raises one hand and starts moving it] How do you claim this moving of the hand, the perception of that, to be your experience? Who is this ‘you’ that is having this experience?
Yet, it is so natural for us to say ‘It is I’. It is so natural for us to say ‘It is I’ because it is so Known (Capital ‘K’) … but it is not known. [Points to head indicating mental knowing]. It is so Known [opens his arms wide] and it is completely not known. [Points to head indicating mental knowing]
S: The question about the hand?
A:You are perceiving it or not? [Raises one hand and starts moving it]
A:Who is this ‘you’ that is perceiving it?
S:It seems that it is a combination of things; like the sight that I have to rely on…
A:Sight. Who is perceiving this sight? Like she was saying: eyes open, there is sight; eyes closed there is … actually still sight but absence of content in the sight. So, what is Aware of this sight?
S: I am Aware of it.
A:Yes, this. How did you make that claim, that it is You that is aware? Did you meet this I? How do you make it?
This is the fundamental enquiry: ‘Who Am I?’ This ‘I’ that is aware of sight, aware of hearing, aware of smell, taste, touch, aware of all of these senses, who is that one? You say ‘It is I.’ Correct. Now what enabled you to say that?
Did you have a perception of this I?
Is it just a thought that ‘It is I’?
What is it?
S: Anything that I could say, it sounds like, an inference; like sight is available to me or …
A:Yes, that part we’re clear about, in the sense of ‘Sight is available.’ That part of the sentence we are clear about. Now the ‘Me’ to whom it is available, can you describe that one?
A: And yet it is clear. So, it is not in the box of your intellect, and yet it is apparent.
This is the Truth that is apparent; this is the Truth that is apparent.
It is apparent and yet it is not in my conceptual box.
Whether you call it Truth, whether you call it Self, whether you call it Buddha nature, whatever you call it, it is so immediately apparent [Snaps fingers] that you don’t have a concept for it and you don’t have a perception for it and yet It Is. But beyond the ‘Is’ which is ‘is and is not’ … not the assertive or negative. Like Guruji [Sri Mooji] says the ‘Is-ness is not subject to the opposites of ‘is and is-not’.
S: Yeah, that would be a thought.
A:Exactly, because that would just be an assertion or a negation. And even Being and not-
Being; it comes and goes, it’s notional. But this Truth, which is That which … [Silence] … we can’t really say it in words but we sort of looked at it and said ‘It is so apparent that I’m aware of my sight, I’m aware of touch, taste, all of these things and yet, this Awareness is not dependent on any of these.’
We can explore like this also: If slowly, slowly, one by one, these senses went away…? Now suppose that you lost the ability to smell, do you go with that? You are not smelling anything.
S: I am still here.
A: You lost the ability to taste, did you go with that? You are still here.
Suppose it became completely quiet and it felt like hearing also is gone, would you go with that?
S: I am here to see that.
A: Exactly, very good. Same way for sight; all these senses. With which sense did you go?
S: I’m still here.
A:Still here. Therefore, although all this perception is happening through all these tools, You are independent of these senses.
Now this ‘You’ is not an object of perception, because, like this, all perception can go … but this Truth Is. All this perception can go but this Truth Is. And all concepts can go; can be proposed and negated, proposed and negated, but it does not have one bit of difference on You. All statements about your validity, in-validity, your Being, not Being, your ‘this way or that way’ don’t really apply to You.
So, who do they apply to? Nobody. That ‘you’ to whom these notions apply is notional. That ‘You’ to whom a notion is true or false ‘for’ is just itself notional; it does not apply to ‘This’ … which is just so naturally apparent. It does not have to be found and cannot be lost.
So, if we can meet here, with the innocence of a child, it’s super simple. ‘Ati Sulabham’ (super simple). But if we meet with complexity, with past, with future, if we meet with the baggage of notions, with the mask of ‘me’ then this is impossible. That’s why the Sage said ‘Eons may pass but he will not get the Truth’.
So, what is apparent now?
Beyond your concepts and perceptions, what is apparent now?
Not in opposition to your concepts, not in opposition to your perception, but not contained by them …what is the most clear thing actually?
Everything else might blur and fall away. What is most apparent: most apparent? Who do you have to be to even Be?
Even to Exist, what do you have to Be?
Before you decide to exist or not-exist or make the conclusion ‘I Exist’ or ‘I don’t exist’ what is the Existence of that?
That is the most apparent to you.
It is completely hundred percent clear to You actually!
But not to your mind and not your senses.
Now, where will you go to check whether this is true? [Laughs] To the mind and senses?
Then we keep playing this game of Satsang; we keep playing this game ‘Ah, is this true? What do we think about this? I heard …’ [Laughs] Like that.
What is ‘most apparent? [Snaps fingers] Here.
Here. [Snaps fingers]
Here. [Snaps fingers]
Before the sound. [Snaps fingers] Before the sound. [Snaps fingers] [Silence]
What do you hear before the sound? [Snaps fingers]
[Smiles and looks around]
You cannot think about it. (You can, of course, think about it but the answer won’t be there). [Laughs] You cannot look for an experience of it … because you may have an experience, a very spiritual, sublime experience, but the experience won’t be it. Or that experience will not contain it in its entirety.
Let me put some more stuff in the mix: ‘This’ that is beyond concept and beyond perception, is ‘All There is’.
Therefore, all concepts and all perception, at best, tries to represent ‘What Is’ but does not completely do so. But when we mistake this to do so (that the experience does capture ‘What Is’ or the concept does capture ‘What Is’) that is what is called giving birth to the limited self; which is the birth as opposed to remaining in the Unborn. When we feel like the Truth is captured in an experience or captured in a concept, that is to give birth, that is to step out of the Unborn (as Bankei would have said). And all things are perfectly resolved where? In the Unborn.
But where do you want to go? Into the born. [Laughs] And this is habit. This is habit. To go to a concept as if it will represent Truth, to go to an experience as if it will represent Truth, is to give birth to the limited idea of Self. And that is not where things are perfectly resolved. Where started off, before that [Snaps fingers] is the Unborn. It doesn’t mean that you actually left the Unborn, but it can seem like the game is played that way.
Now, where are you going?
If you are still trying to capture this in the box of intellect, I tell you myself that all that I have spoken is nonsense; it’s complete nonsense. So, don’t try to hold onto it that way. You will not be able to make a spiritual framework out of it. It is just a brand of nonsense which has a dissolutive effect if you are open. It can dissolve notions if you are open to them dissolving. If you want add on to your notions, the words can also play that role. That’s why I am telling you right up front: it is nonsense.
True Knowing Is the Most Simple
Look at all that we have ever understood, and we see that all of this is nonsense; it has no basis. It is just the thorn used to remove other thorns then to be thrown away; the deconstructive acid to our concepts, which is itself is conceptual. But if you are allowing it to go through your most deeply held concepts, this is a worthy exploration.
Are you allowing the words of Satsang to seep through your deeply held concepts and dissolve them? Or you made a special house for your most special concepts and you’re saving them there, using just, in a very limited way, the words of Satsang ‘These concepts make me suffer so take those; these I like so don’t take those.’ Or ‘Everything, everything; every pair of opposites, everything that can be negated or affirmed’ … are you open to throwing it?
Everything that can be negated or affirmed, are you open to letting it go? If you’re not able to let go, know that your limited self breeds on this stuff. It is not doing any good; it is just the ‘me’ idea.
Now what to do with that? If you found ‘Oh, there are some’ … do you want to make more concepts about those and say ‘Oh, I am so guilty, I’m so unworthy, I’m not … (this thing)’? Or just notice that these are the ones?
If something is true, it will not go just by leaving the concept of it. If something is true it will not go with your leaving the concept of it. Your fear is unfounded.
Your limited knowledge, something you think you know about the world, they are just thoughts.
First recognize that you don’t know who you are; in fact, you have no clue as to who you are.
But also, that You always Know who You are.
There is a different ‘Knowing’. We missed that because we got so involved in our mental knowing. In fact, the true Knowing is so simple; it doesn’t trip on words. It is not dependent on conclusions. And all mental knowing is just self-image; it is just pride
So, leave aside all this thinking and Your original face is apparent to You: Your mask-less Reality.
Are You Itching to Conclude Something?
To meet something as if its name is true, to meet ‘What Is’ as if the label is true is actually to not meet it at all.
‘What Is’ is here now? Does That have a name? And even if does have a name, is that name a true, valid representation of What Is? [Silence]
They say name and form is Maya, is the illusion. But when you let go of the name, the form goes with the name; you let go of the subtitles, the labels, the ideas. Whatever you think you know is not what you really know. In fact, whatever you think you know is like a layer of conceptual dust. Dust yourself free from this now.
Are you still itching to conclude something? Observe that itch. You don’t have to fight anything, just see that itch if it’s there, trying to make meaning out of this which is too simple to have meaning. You see, it is too simple to have meaning. If we feel like we can grasp it only through what it means … [Silence]
Itching to conclude?
What is most naturally present? [Silence] What takes no effort? Don’t take the effort to go any way; not this way, that way. What takes no effort? You see, because many times in Advaita also, we can become very attached to taking a particular position, which we may say is ‘inwards’ or something. So, not this way or that way. Effortless.
You don’t have to aim for clarity, you don’t have to try to be rid of confusion. All of these are various names for grasping. Forget it. Even forget ‘forget it’. Just… [Silence]
No positions are needed, no attack or defense. If it feels too compelling that ‘I have to be something, I have to take a position’ then take the position of space. Meet everything as space, if you have to. You don’t even have to meet everything as space but if it feels like that, meet all things that come and go like space … [Silence] if you must.
Complete defenseless-ness, open-ness. [Silence]
I’m not speaking of the body. You’re open to whatever this set of sensations we call the body are also ‘playing out’ … within You as the space. So, don’t try to make the body space. That’s not it. [Opens his hands wide out] Although sometimes when you’re feeling that spacious, the body also can react that way, but that’s not what I’m saying.
Don’t Shoot the Sheepdog
Q:Can you throw some light on the habit of the throwing away of spiritual concepts … (the thorn being thrown away before properly removing other thorns)? After you mentioned this in one of the Satsangs last week, am noticing that that is what I do sometimes.
A:Yes. So, suppose the pointing is to ‘remain open.’ You may quickly conclude that ‘Yes, but openness is my nature anyway, so this is quite pointless to remain open.’ But all the rest of the conceptual stuff, we still hold on to that.
What is it Guruji [Sri Mooji] says? He says something like ‘Don’t shoot the sheep dog.’ The sheep dog is helping you collect all this. Let’s take an example which is more common, which is that ‘I don’t need to do the enquiry anymore because I’m not the seeker now or I am not the seeker. And what is the enquiry? It is just another concept, another notion. So, I’m remaining notionless; I’m throwing away the enquiry.’ But most other notions we might still pick up.
So, when it comes to something to do or somewhere to get to, what you have found or what claims you have about yourselves, those might still be getting picked up as a notion. But that notion which was doing the clean-up job, that is thrown away. So then, the Master has to come up with something else. Because now what are the notions in Satsang for? They are definitely not to perpetuate a house of concepts; a spiritual masterpiece or something like that. It is not there for that. It’s just whatever you seem to be holding on to, it is to shake you out of that. Whatever labels, notions, subtitles (whatever you call them) that you are holding on to, it is to shake you out of that. It in itself does not have inherent meaning, just like everything else. But what we might do is that we might say ‘Yes, yes, yes.’ But ‘Yes, this is also empty of any meaning’ but we still hold on to some meaning that we think is true.
So, allow the one or two explosive Satsang notions in, so that they can do the job of clean-up.
If you find, Here and Now as I’m pointing, that there is no trouble in remaining open, in not picking up false identity, that all of this has become quite effortless and natural, then nothing is needed. Nothing needs to be said or heard even.
But if you find yourself taking positions, if you find yourself making claims, if you find yourself smelling of arrogance or pride, then take the medicine of the enquiry.
That’s what I meant, probably. [Smiles]
Leave All Concepts Aside
Q:Father, whatever pointer I follow, I can still perceive (with some distance maybe) the sense of the ‘I-thought’ … the emotional energy and interpretations moving through. Is that, okay?
Should they just be left alone? Do they ever disappear?
A:Any reference to ‘I’ is the I-thought. What happens many times is that we come to Satsang and hear that ‘To get to the true dissolution of the mind is to come to a dissolving of the I- thought.’ Then we try to find the most subtle sensation or vibration and we say ‘Ah, this is the I- thought. I see that this is the I-thought.’ But even this ‘I see’ is also a reference to ‘I.’
Whose discovery is this presence of this emotional energy or primordial vibration or whatever you are referring to as ‘I’?
Don’t make any reference to anything as ‘you’ with any seriousness. And how are these references made? When we claim that ‘This is what I know something to be.’
So, even to know that it is this sort of energy (‘I know that this is what the I-thought is’) is not true. This ‘I’ reference, which doesn’t need to be made at all, can be made about almost anything that you perceive.
So, be empty of this reference.
That is openness; that is emptiness.
Don’t make any distinction, any boundary, about anything at all.
Not the knower, not the known, not the Knowing.
Not the perceiver, not the perceiving, not the perceived.
Leave everything alone.
Just let go.
Nothing needs to be fixed, nothing needs to be changed.
No effort, no distance, no getting.
If you were to get what I’m pointing to, it’s clear: What would you be? You could not be that which you can ‘think’ you are.
So, you cannot fit this one that you think you are through this needle of freedom. Leave everything that you think about yourself; both seeker and finder, both journey and destination, both bondage and freedom.
Leave all concepts aside.
What Are You Expecting to Find?
If I say to you that ‘You have never met I’ or if I say to you that ‘All that you ever meet is I’ it makes no difference. So, I wish actually that I could speak the Truth (I don’t wish it; I’m just saying it a bit dramatically: I wish I could speak the Truth). [Laughs] But the Truth is not capture-able in any concept; I cannot speak it. At best, what is happening is that I’m trying to show it to you. But I cannot show it to these physical eyes. So, I cannot give you the perfect concept for it and I cannot give you a perception of it. If you expect that today you will hear the perfect concept of Truth … it’s not going to happen. And if you are deluding yourself that you have picked up over the years some perfect concepts of Truth, forget it because it is not true. And if you believe that you will have an experience of it, like a perceptual experience of it [Shakes head to indicate not it] that’s also not true. Where does that leave you then?
‘Okay he is saying not these eyes, maybe through inner perception maybe?’ So, what? You will imagine it like an orange or something? [Laughs] What were you hoping to get? But you refuse to see what is apparent. Instead you chose to see what your mind says is true.
See what is apparent. What is apparent? Don’t try to capture it in your concept, just see. You don’t have to build a perfect report, for yourself or me. What is apparent? Before you can say ‘this’ … before you can say ‘this, that, I Am. Self, Absolute’ … before any of this nonsense comes, what is apparent? [Looks around] That’s it.
Before you muddied it up with your grasping, it’s pristine. And even your muddying doesn’t actually muddy it, but you feel like you do. So, this is the beautiful thing. This is what I want to show you. I cannot show you as the perfect concept. ‘Here, take it.’ [Makes a gesture of handing over an object. Laughs] ‘This is a perfect concept.’ I cannot give it to you like that and I cannot give it to you like an experience of some chakra or some fancy thing happening because that will also come and go. It is not relevant to this Truth that we are speaking of. I am not saying that any of it is in opposition to it. But it is independent, the Truth I am speaking of is much simpler, much more independent, much more primal than any experience; any perceptual experience.
So, what Am I trying to show you? Before I can say ‘this’… it is apparent to you. Before you can conclude that ‘This is it’ … it is clear. Before you can make your fancy Advaita building on it (‘This does not come and go, it doesn’t change…’) all of this stuff comes; throw all that away [Makes a gesture of throwing] Forget it, it’s not helping. It served its purpose for a moment, that’s fine.
This is what the Master means when he says ‘I can show you’ but he can’t show you like a thing. You will not see it objectively.
What are you expecting to find? Why it’s a relevant question? Because you will judge what is just apparent against that filter, against that benchmark. What are you expecting to find? Let’s be honest. What are you expecting to find?
S:Something different from what I understand as my day to day experiences, which are largely self-defeatist thoughts and thoughts.
A:Okay, thoughts. ‘Something different from thoughts.’ Okay, check. [Check that one off]
S: Expecting it to be nice and happy and peaceful.
A: But that’s also experience, no?
A:Does it have to fulfill that criterion, that it is happy or something?
A:Does it have to fulfill the criterion of being a certain way like happy or blissful? We can look at these things because we can hold on to these and then, whenever I keep saying ‘the Truth is apparent, the Truth is apparent’ you might keep looking at it through this filter [Makes gesture of seeing through specs] of saying ‘Where is happiness? Where is the happiness?’ This is the thing.
So, I want to make you naked of these expectations, so that you can just meet it for what it is.
That ‘It should be a certain way, it should feel a certain way, it should look a certain way’ … I have already said it’s not objective in that way.
S: I expect to stop believing my thoughts.
A:You expect to stop believing your thoughts, except this one. [Laughter] ‘I expect that I stop believing every thought but this one.’ [Laughs] So, this one is also gone, Now? It should be simple like that. [snaps fingers] Like ‘Oh, it’s gone’. Not like [Makes a gesture of resisting something] ‘I expect that it is gone now.’ [Laughter]
S: Sometimes there is a wish maybe it would feel really spacious, expansive and …
A:Yeah, forget it! It’s a sham. [Laughs] Because that is also objective. That’s why ‘If you must … then meet it as space.’ I stopped saying this stuff because that becomes like a benchmark.
How will you experience this space?
If it was ‘fully’ space?
How would you experience it?
Like dark, empty space, the final frontier?
S: That’s what I don’t understand actually…
A:[Mimics voice-over narrative] ‘These are the voyages of star trek enterprise.’
S:But you do feel you may feel lighter, in a sense. A sense of lightness …
A:So, you are expecting to feel lightness? Forget it! Forget it! [Laughs] Truth is not so trivial.
It’s simpler actually. I am just poking it to make sure it’s left. Because sometimes we have these ideas like ‘I’ll become this’ or something … [Makes gesture of feeling light. Laughter] ‘I will get blissed out’. [Laughs] I have said it is not in content of any concept nor it is a perceivable experience.
Is it possible to throw these benchmarks? Could it be that Truth doesn’t mean anything?
Then you will keep fighting this thought that ‘What it this for? If it doesn’t mean anything, what is this for?’ But I am not saying it’s meaningless; I’m saying ‘It does not mean anything.’ It does not even mean that it is meaningless; it is so beyond our idea of meaning. Nothing in time and space can fully represent It. But everything in time and space is also It.
It is so immeasurable. Suppose if I were to say to you ‘How many milligrams of love are you feeling right now?’ [You would say] ‘What do you mean milligrams of love? It is not measurable that way.’ We are talking about this tasted love, experienced ‘love’ … that love; not just the natural One-ness.
Or we can say ‘How many kilograms of frustration have you felt in Satsang?’ That might feel more measurable [Chuckles] but even that you will not be able to measure. How many liters of space are in this room? You cannot say.
So, that which is simpler, more primal than all of this, how we expect to measure that? To speak of it is to measure it, in a way. That’s why I say ‘I wish I could speak the Truth but I cannot’ because the Truth is so beyond these measures that I can put a boundary with words and say ‘Here it is’. But I can push you to your boundaries; that’s one thing I can do.
That’s why I tell you ‘What is the smallest concept you have? What is the highest concept you have? Now this is the tiny box.’ What is this for? It’s just a provocation to look beyond these just these conceptual frameworks that we have.
What is the greatest idea? ‘Absolute, Brahman’ … whatever. The smallest idea? ‘Person, ego, selfishness’ … whatever.
Somebody said something very trivial, funnily the same day we were reading in the Ribhu Gita that ‘From the trivial to the Absolute is just the horn of the hare’ or something like that, and [I said ‘what is trivial?’ and] somebody said ‘lunch’. So, between lunch and the Absolute, these are the boundaries that we have made for ourself. Keep these aside. Now this mind will want to come and push you back into that boundary by saying ‘This is Truth or Absolute’ or something; then you’re back in that limited idea. Even if it feels like you are lost here, it’s fine. It’s fine. You will not be able to say what is happening to you. You will not have the answer when the mind says ‘What’s happening to me?’ You are not able to find the reference to yourself at all so how will you even answer what’s happening to you? So, I can reassure you and say ‘good stuff’ or ‘Grace’ or whatever reassurance you need. But you don’t try to compute it; don’t try to figure it out.
See the Mind for What It Is
My child, my advice for you really is: Before you can say anything about the mind, see the mind for what it is.
For a few years, I kept reminding you that the only thing that will help you is to let go, to surrender, at my Master’s feet [whom you also love]. But even this, you are not really able to hear, because the trouble is you are not yet able to distinguish between what is mind and what is not. And this causes a lot of confusion sometimes; a lot of pride, sometimes a lot of humility, sometimes a lot of confusion, sometimes a lot of seeming-clarity because you are riding this roller coaster of the mind thinking that you are getting rid of the mind. I’m not saying this as any sort of insult or any sort of affront or anything. I’m just saying it like a doctor. The doctor is saying that you are not while you are saying that you are taking the precautions … but you have not understood what is the precaution that you have to take.
So, I would invite you to look at (before you make any conclusion) look at what you refer to the mind as. What are these thoughts, what are these messages? What is this voice that you call the mind? Just look at that. Don’t claim anything of what it is saying as ‘you’.
There is really no point speaking about anything else if this fundamental aspect is not clear.
If you can’t see a thought for a thought, if you can’t see the mind for just the mind, then only confusion has to follow, and this confusion will want to get everybody involved in it; everything involved, everybody involved. But the way to step back from this conclusion is to see that this is what a thought is. Notice that this is a thought. It is just a thought. Every claim that it is making, every seeming-piece of knowledge it seems to hold, is garbage. It is just a thought. Then you will start to notice your attachments to the mind. So, before we get into any other discussion, start to see that ‘This voice, which is just a thought, I have taken to be my voice, I have taken to be something which is true.’
Otherwise, this recording device called the mind can be full of the best scriptural knowledge also. You can say the best-sounding things but it is still the mind. And this is how it functions. Every day some new things, some new drama, some new excitement, some story.
So, maybe it was my mistake actually to suggest surrender to you. Maybe even before that surrender can happen, you just need to look and see: What is it that you are representing? Have you seen (you speak so much of the mind but have you seen) what this mind is? And if you have seen it then why do you continue to represent it?
And even now, you may forget what I’m saying because this is the nature of the mind. So, if you find yourself taking a position, which might seem like it is a position in response to what I said, then notice that that is the mind. There is something more natural, more simple, at the core of our very existence. In fact, the Existence is made of that essence. But this essence cannot be distilled in some concept, into some idea. And the more you try to do that, the more you will struggle, the more you will suffer.
[Reading from the chat]: “Thank you, Father. I will practice silence and will abide in silence.”
A:This is not what I am saying. Now like an innocent child, just look at what I am saying now.
Just look at what I’m saying now. In everything that I said, did I say anywhere that you have to practice silence or abide in silence? Now this translation (listen carefully now, because if you miss this point, you will keep missing it over and over) this translation that happens between
‘What he is saying’ to ‘I know what he is saying; he is telling me to be in silence’ … this is the mind. Are you getting this? This is how it gets lost in translation. I am saying ‘ABC, ABC’ but your mind is saying he is saying ‘XYZ, XYZ’ and then it feels to you that this is what it is. ‘He is saying XYZ.’ Don’t make anything up about what I am pointing to. You don’t know. To claim to know is the mind.
To claim to know is the mind.
So, I said whatever I said and you say ‘This is just what I will do; I have heard you’ … but I never said that. You translated it with your mental capacities and you said ‘This is what he was saying.’ And this is what keeps us in trouble. That’s why these days in Satsang, I often start asking: ‘So, what are you hearing?’ Sometimes I will give you a question [enquiry question] to ask and then ask you: ‘So, what is the question you are really enquiring with?’ Because I notice it so often that sometimes I’m saying (whatever) but what the mind already, even before you can start looking at it that way, already got in the way and [Gestures to scramble] gets very strict and says ‘Yeah, this is what he is saying.’
This is how it plays out. Because this is like a habit. But actually, it is something deeper than that, which is the very basis of the ego, which is ‘my way’. The very basis of the ego is ‘My way.’ So, even when the Master is saying something, he is saying ‘Okay, look at this this way’ [but the mind comes with] ‘That is what he is saying, but for me, what works best is if I do this.’ It presents it to you claiming to be your friend. This is the mind.
That’s what I’m saying, that sometimes you are not yet seeing what even the mind is, even though we speak so much about it. It is this guy that comes in the middle and says ‘No’ but for you, for your way. ‘This is what works best.’ It comes and mixes that up. Like Guruji [Sri Mooji] says ‘I make chocolate cakes for you but the mind comes and mixes mud in it’ … but you don’t realize it. But this is the very basis of egotism. This ‘My way; me, me, me.’ Like ‘This is what he is saying, this is what I have understood, this is what I have to do.’ All of this, it doesn’t need; the words of Satsang don’t need your intervention in this way at all.
I said something very simple. I said: Notice this voice which claims to be speaking the truth in your head. That is the mind. Just notice that.
But it came and sold you the story of silence in the middle. Did I say it like that? That is the mind. Notice this. This is the mind. Okay?
There is a nice report which I want to read.
[Reading from the chat]: “Father, this is so crucial what you are saying. Not seeing what the mind is, is the problem. Seeing it here, too, that so often that I go with the interpretation of your words.”
A:This is the thing, You don’t need interpretation. because these words are already one level of interpretation, which I keep struggling to tell you that I cannot speak the Truth. And yet I’m trying to interpret in some way so that I can show it to you, in a way; so that you can catch it, in a way. But then if you add another layer of interpretation on top, then it is really many times lost in the translation.
So, it is very good that we started to notice these things because this is what makes us a long- term seeker, these kinds of things.
Exploring the Notion of ‘Doing’ Something
Often, I speak of the 3-D ego. Someone remembers? What are the 3-D’s?
S: Desire and doer-ship
A:Duality means the sense that there are two or the sense that it is not One. Desire means I want something because I am not ‘All There is’ then therefore, I want something. And doer-ship is: what to do to achieve that; to get what I want.
So, the seeker is a very good example of this: the seeker identity. It’s a very good example of this. One is the idea that ‘I am seeking God.’ This itself is the idea of separation from God so there is duality in that. The desire is what? To find God, to be one with God, to realize the Self, God, whatever you call it. And doer-ship is ‘Now what do I need to do? Which Satsang to go to? Which practices to do? How much in Silence to Be.’ [Laughs] These kinds of prescriptions to try and achieve this desire, which is the desire of the Self.
The funny thing about the spiritual seeker is that the concepts that it has is that ‘God is one; there are no two.’ So, then basic premise of separation between Self and me or God and me itself is contradicted by the concepts the seeker seems to hold. That is why it can seem like it is such a confusing journey at times. Because how you are operating, in a way, is in contradiction to the concepts that you are holding, which is unique, in a way, to the ego affliction. At least if your ego affliction is for money or some material benefit then the concepts you are holding is in alignment with that ‘My life will be better, I am this body mind; if I had this much money, then my life would be much better.’ So, at least this much inherent contradiction of seeking something which is already called the Self. ‘Your Self.’ You are seeking yourself. [Chuckles] What can be actually funnier than that? It’s just that it’s not funny now, it’s not a joke because there is so much suffering involved. [Chuckles] Otherwise what a joke it would be? You are seeking yourself. ‘I am seeking.’ … ‘What are you seeking?’ … ‘I am seeking myself’. No wonder people in the world think we’re crazy. [Laughter] At least if you go to them and say ‘What are you seeking?’ … ‘I am seeking a comfortable life; I am seeking this goal for myself.’ At least it seems to make sense. ‘What are you seeking?’ … ‘I am seeking myself’. Isn’t it ludicrous?
So, in actuality it is. Because it inherently contains the notion of separation, that there is a Self and there is a me; there is a God and there is a me. And then we do all kinds of silliness to try and get to ourself; all kind of silliness to get to myself.
How will you ever get to yourself?
But before you can define that, you have to tell me what you already are. So, look at the hold of concepts over us, that we are convinced that we are the separate individual wanting to find the
Self. Then all these funny things happen. Because there is a sense of duality, we also make action out of just perception or a sensation.
We call that action. What is action?
Nobody has ever met the actor, the agent, the one that has this volition; nobody has ever met this one. So, what do we mean by doing or action?
S: Change or something is changing.
A: So, movement. Movement is what? Let’s call it perception. Is that okay? You cannot call something a movement unless you are perceiving something. So, this perception is happening. Wow does that become a doing or an action?
S: An ‘I’ thought labels it; and ‘I’ thought claims …
A:An ‘I’ thought which claims that ‘I am the actor.’ But also, the ‘you’ thought which claims that you are the actor … whoever the ‘you’ is, isn’t it? So, any idea of separation is inherent in this idea of action. Spiritually speaking we say things like ‘Oh, the ocean is moving the waves; the ocean is doing the movement of the waves’ or something like that. But really, we don’t think that way; we see that waves are just coming and going, it is just a perception. We are not ascribing doer-ship to it, or blame to it, or credit to it. We don’t say ‘The ocean is being very nice today, it is moving the waves.’ So, [Chuckles] these kinds of motives are not ascribed.
So how is it that [Starts moving one hand] if this is happening then we feel like ‘I am doing it’ or ‘you are doing it’. Who is that one? Did we find such a thing? [Looks around]
So, the end of the idea of doer-ship is not to figure out ultimately that who is the doer, not to move that level of doer-ship from individual to some idea of greater … but to see that the notion itself is flawed and the idea that ‘there is doing’ itself has no basis. Now again, our intellect is made up of these boxes, so don’t try to fit in, like ‘What am I understanding? What he is saying actually?’ Let the words also flow through you, into you; let them do their work on their own. Because if you try to grasp it, then they will react in some way.
So, this is not understandable because so much of our conditioning is based on these ideas of doer-ship, because we’ve been taught since we were little ‘Don’t do this, don’t do that, this is good, this is bad, bad boy or a good girl.’ These kinds of things. So, it is so much inherent in the conditioning. Don’t try to make a fresh conditioning out of this.
Just see (if you can) just for a moment: there is a so-called activity and movement (which we can also explore later) but how does that become a doing?
S: There seems to be a will.
A: Yeah, ‘seems’ … are we willing to rest on ‘seems’ now or is the will also apparent?
S: What do you mean ‘apparent’?
A: In the sense that are you meeting this will as well? Or is it just a presumption?
S: When I try to think if myself as a separate ….
A:No, no don’t think at all. [Moves hand] this needs no thinking. There is perception happening which is independent of thinking. Is there perception of will also?
A:No. So, then you are thinking it, or presuming it or inferring it. Isn’t it? And nobody (although this exploration has happened for thousands of years) has been able to solve this debate of free will verses God’s will because the notion of will itself is flawed. We can have inference upon inference and figure out this way or that way, we can ascribe it here [Points to person] or we can ascribe it there [Points to something bigger as God] … it doesn’t really matter because it’s just an inference, just a label, just a term. For a while of course, it’s a great label because it brings relief, it is fine. In the sense if we say ‘it’s the God’s will’ that’s great relief, it’s fine. But soon we have the ability also to make victimhood out of that. ‘If all is God’s will, why isn’t He being nice to me? What did I ever do? Why do bad things happen to good people?’ These kinds of notions can also be built onto a sort of a greater placing of will. But have we ever met this will? All we have met is (like he said) is movement or sensation or perception; whatever you call it.
And we have put so much burden on that. (‘This is somebody’s will, this is good, this bad, this what I should be doing, this is not what should be done’) All of this is based on the notion of
‘doing’ which we have never actually met, we have only inferred … the idea of a doer, the idea of experiencer as an individual or a greater, either way, it’s just an inference.
S: So, there is no doer-ship, there is no doer and no will?
A:When you see there is no doer-ship, then what would ‘doer’ be? Nothing. Just like that, in the sense that the terms themselves lose their meaning. Not that there ever was one and that dissolves; it’s just that we have used these terms to convince ourselves. Like if you were conditioned to believe since you were small that ‘You are the one that is making this world go around’ (or something like that) and if you were really part of such a sect or religion (or something like that) then you would end up believing that. You will say ‘I am keeping this up so if I stop beating my heart or something, then the world would stop so I’d better keep doing it.’
These kinds of ideas. [Smiles] But these are just notions, just thoughts.
What makes something a ‘doing’?
This is very good because most of our suffering is ‘doing’ related: guilt, pride, resentment, remorse; all of these things are about making ‘doing’ or action out of just movement. (Of course, movement is also just a term but we’ll keep it for a minute.) [Chuckles]
Have you ever met the one [Starts waving one hand] who is doing this?
S: Met as an idea.
A:Only as an idea. That’s exactly what I mean ‘Have you ever met it?’ … not inferred it or thought of it.
S: Only a perception.
A:Yeah, but the one who is doing…?
S:That is also a mental perception, a thought.
A:Exactly, just a thought.
S:So, if ego is gone there is no free will? If there is no ego and there is no I, there is no free will?
A:What actually we are investigating is … suppose there was free will, okay? Now, whose would it be?
S: An individual, when we talk about free will…
A: Exactly, an individual. And what are we finding?
S: There is no such…
A:There is no such thing as individual. The guy in the next room, he has eleven toes. Now, one of the toes is called ‘free will’. Now, the thing is that there is no guy in the next room, so what does he have? Nine, ten or eleven toes? If it isn’t there, how can it have or not have? So, the whole debate of free will verses God’s will is actually another play of the intellect only. Because where is the entity to have that free will? Whose free will would it be if it wasn’t there? I’m saying in fact there is no such thing as doing itself, so who are we trying to pin the blame of
‘doing’ on? [Chuckles]
S:The whole game, the whole thing, actually just depends on (like you showed us by looking) that there isn’t an individual. So, if there isn’t an individual then the whole thing collapses, in a sense.
A:Yeah, but it doesn’t collapse (like I said) if we move it to a higher power then and say ‘Okay, there is no individual but Consciousness is doing it’.
S: I didn’t get that part.
A:Because we are used to replacing notions with new notions, when I’m saying ‘Okay, there is no individual’ then you say ‘Okay, there is no individual therefore then God is doing it.’ Then what happens with that is that although a great sense of relief can come, there can also be this sense ‘Oh, why is Grace doing this to me?’ (Somebody said this once to me: ‘Whatever happens, you can always blame it on Grace.’)
S:But if we see that there was no ‘me’ and there is no ‘me’ (like you said, the man has no toes, either one or zero, because the man isn’t there) then for whom is the God, whom is the Grace. The whole system is gone.
S:So is the law, justice, Karma …
A:And that it is gone is also gone.
A:That is the game, that it is neither ‘is’ nor ‘is gone’ because both are for that one who doesn’t exist. Both in that way define that one who doesn’t exist.
All Opposites Are Inside the Box Only
Okay, let us look at this. This is a good point. Because we have to look at both sides of it. So, let me take my box example. There are the two sides of the box. One side of the box saying ‘Ah. He is responsible for his actions, he is behaving badly.’ That is one. Second is that ‘Ah, he is not. There is no such ‘me’, or ‘him’ anyway so everything is okay.’ I’m saying throw both sides away. If this not true, it does not make this true; or if this is true it doesn’t make this not true. So, meet it empty of both these positions. And I’m tempted, in a way (because that is also a habit) to say that then Self knows how to meet it or knows how to deal with that situation without having to take a position. But I am not even going to say that. You don’t have to decide that is this or that.
Q:Yeah, that is how it unfolds most of the times. For the times I felt it, there is a sense of needing to make decision to continue in the relationship or you know, it’s like ‘This is the time. I don’t want to continue, it’s not necessary to continue in this.’ And now it’s just like ‘I don’t really care.’ [Smiles]
A:But not that. It’s just for communication, you’re saying that; in the sense you don’t have this position like… [Some hand gestures in air]
Q:Yeah, I don’t think it is even necessary to make a decision or to know either way.
Q:It is not relevant. I am not interested in that whole …
A:So, this is what I am saying. Very slowly, we can go through this. It is very beautiful. So, even these things you’re saying, just because we have to communicate in some way so that we can share about something which is beyond these words … but if you find yourself concluding on any of these statements, conclusions…
Q: Yeah, that’s more like the absence of anything.
A: Exactly. Exactly.
Q: But also, the mind tries to convince that ‘This is really important actually.’
A:Of course, it does. And what its meaning of ‘being looked at’ is, is to avoid it. So, let me explain what I mean. [Smiles]
The minute I conclude ‘hand’ I’m no longer looking at it. So, just for a moment, let’s use some provisional terms: Let’s us say pure perception is happening. Then if I have a term for it (‘hand’) then it’s like ‘When I was young, I got hurt on my hand. This is the hand.’ Then ‘The lord has thousand hands.’ So many notions about hands are there. So, in the burden of that term, the meeting is actually gone. So, when the mind says ‘We must look at this’ actually it is like ‘Let’s
conclude on something. Look at the options, look at the stories and let’s conclude on what this really means.’ But it doesn’t have meaning there. Actually, we have avoided it.
And this is something I’m happy to share over and over again. Because it can feel like when we’re not in the burden of thoughts, the mind itself comes and says ‘But that is some sort of avoidance. You are avoiding it.’ No, I’m meeting it. When I label it as if ‘I know what it is’ then that is when I’m avoiding the pure meeting. That’s when I’m just saying ‘I know, this is a hand. I know what this is, this is man. I know what this is, this is partner. I know what this is…’ All these kinds of things. So, how have we been meeting it?
A:So, this is how most interaction also happens in this world. Like often I say, before the person can come close enough to shake your hand, you already put so many labels on that one that you’re no longer meeting that. You’re no longer meeting. You’re just meeting your ideas of who he is. ‘Oh, he’s going to be like this, he is going to be like that. Oh, he must be a hippie’ or ‘He must be a Sadhu. He must be a…’ These kinds of things. So, we’re meeting though the filter, through the prism of these labels. That’s how we are actually avoiding. So, look at the mind’s invitation when it says to ‘We must meet this or we must really look at this’ because it’s saying ‘We must really avoid it’ actually. Because ‘Let’s label it so that we can claim, that I know it.’
Q:Yeah, that feels more clear now. I don’t know how to describe it but it’s kind of like a sense that there is never any need to remove the attention from ‘What Is’ … that is the best place from which to meet everything. Like there is no need to ever really go into the story…
Q:… to ever go into any kind of story. That is never as productive, or as true. Or there’s just no need to go there anymore
A:When we see that it doesn’t have anything on offer, then we do not visit that shop. That’s just a simple way of saying it.
A:It’s just that you know all the bargains and all the deals are all fraudulent. [Smiles] Or at least, if not fraudulent, at least they hold no value.
The Only Bridge to Truth Is ‘Burn the Bridge’
Q:Does that mean I can discard also everything?
A:Discard everything … in the sense …?
A:Whatever can be discarded should be discarded.
Q:So, that includes everything.
A:Yes, if that included everything, then everything.
Q:Everything, everything. Something says inside ‘It can’t be that.’
A:That is also something, so discard it.
A:Yes, everything. [Chuckles] Yeah, this is good. This is what I’ve been saying actually; everything.
Q: Even this discarding…
A:Even discarding, and even everything. [Laughter in the room] Something-nothing and something-everything. Discard everything.
Now, I could ask you then: Did you also go?
Okay, but I don’t want you to conclude an answer. Maybe at best you can check.
When you discarded everything, did you also go?
Q: Yes, No.
A:Exactly, good. That’s the best answer; yes and no. It is not in that box. Everything that you thought about YourSelf can go … your birth, your death, that is gone; your life, your story, your good things, your bad things; everything is gone. And yet … something.
This is very good to clarify sometimes like this because it gives me an opportunity to reiterate that I’m saying, Your Notionless Existence actually IS Your Notion-LESS Existence. Everything, you see; everything.
So ‘doing’ is a notion, (just to connect a little bit to what we were saying) ‘desire’ is a notion, ‘duality’ is a notion, ‘time’ is a notion, ‘space’ is a notion.
S:So, when we say it is a notion then we can’t even have a notion that ‘it’s gone’.
A: Yeah, then ‘coming, going’ … because time, I said that all of this can only happen in time.
S:I’m just saying, when you say ‘Everything is ‘gone’ … then you said ‘Leave gone.’ Like you said ‘Gone is also gone.’ So, I’m just connecting it with what you said. It’s not as if it was there and now it’s gone; it was never there to begin with. It was something; I had this notion…
A: But leave this notion also.
S: Yeah, the mind is always trying to conclude something. I can see that.
A:… to conclude something. Yeah. The mind is a conclusion machine. (And even this is a conclusion.) [Chuckling] The Truth does not rest in this box. Like I defined for her, which is ‘The truth is nothing / no, it is not nothing.’ … ‘The truth is something / no, it is not something’ / ‘It is everything / no, it is not everything’ … and it is not NOT any of these, all of these or none of these also.
You cannot conclude the Truth. If you think ‘You have found the Truth’ that thought is not true.
So, in a way (if we feel like we still need an explanation): What are we really after, in a sense? We are after something, which must be Here Now. If it comes as result of some steps I have to take then it is not the Truth that Always Is. So, if I had to think a certain thing or I have to do a certain thing or I have to be a certain way to get to the Truth then that is the truth I’m not interested in. I’m interested in a Truth, which IS Isness. So, I’m interested in a Truth which just IS.
Now, if I’ve constructed bridges to get to the Truth, you see, then it can make me believe MySelf to be something that is apart from the Truth, that’s why I need a bridge to get to the Truth. Whether that bridge is a thought, a practice, whatever it is.
So, in the notion of the bridge is the idea of my separation from the Truth.
So, in way, the only bridge then is to burn the bridge. That is why it is deconstructive. To construct would be to build the bridge to get to the Truth. But because it seems like ‘I still need a bridge’ then I’m giving you the bridge that is to ‘burn the bridge’. You see? … which is also a bridge, it doesn’t need to be done, but if it feels like something has to be done, if it feels like we have a choice: burn the bridge. [Silence]
Whatever bridge you have to get to the Truth: Burn the bridge. That is the bridge.
S: So, separation anxiety comes.
A: Separation anxiety, say more …
S2: When you said I had to locate the bridge …
A: What did you find?
S2: The ideas, the notions of me.
A:And you burn those. Then? [Pause]
It’s very simple what I’m saying; I’m saying: Do you need a bridge to sit where you’re sitting now?
You don’t need a bridge to sit where you’re sitting now.
What is more primal to you than sitting?
A: What is more primal to You than Being? That is what you’re looking for. (Apparently.)
So, if you don’t even need a bridge (or any steps to sit where you’re sitting now) how to build a bridge to that which is even more intimate?
What series of steps can I give you?
What Truth can I speak that will bring you to This?
I wish I could speak the Truth.
The Most Useful Thorn Can Hurt as Well
Sometimes I say: ‘You say one term and you say the whole dictionary actually’ in the sense that: Tell me something which is independent? Some notion which is independent of any other notion? There isn’t one. You say ‘god’ and there are ten-thousand notions about it and each of those has a thousand notions about it and each of those has a thousand notions about it. You say ‘man’ and you have a thousand notions about that. You have ten-thousand notions about each of the notions. So, you pick up one tiny idea saying that ‘Ah, this has to be quite harmless’ and ‘Ta- daa!’ [Chuckles] You tug at one leaf and you say ‘Ah, this could actually be useful’ but then you pick up this entire notional world. That’s why the Sage Bankei said ‘The Unborn.’ He didn’t say ‘the little bit born.’ [Smiles] You can’t pick up one idea and say ‘Ah, this one seems kind of safe’ but in that idea (even the thorns which are being used to remove other thorns) are contained all the ideas in the universe.
Q:Yeah, and on that point as well, it is been noticed at some point that there is already a tendency of clinging to the pointers; to cling to just a few spiritual concepts or whatever. And it’s such an avoidance to just really be naked, like zero, zero, empty, empty. And while they seem to be helpful pointers (for a time) clinging to any pointer necessarily implies the concept or idea that there is a seeker, that there really is a seeker, that there really is distance and there’s a journey and all of this, just from one innocent concept. Of course, there is this hesitance to really let go of everything. But it’s really the only way, including the one who lets go.
A:Just from one; exactly. That’s why I feel like some of Bhagavan’s [Sri Ramana Maharshi’s] metaphors are very, very poignant when he says ‘Thorns used to remove other thorns.’ But ‘thorn’ also implies that that can hurt you as well. So, even if you have the greatest thorn, if we think that that is it, if that gets embedded, that will also hurt you. So, the only use of concepts in Satsang (which is all just concepts and ultimately, they are all nonsense; at least I can say for the
Satsang that is shared from here; it’s all complete nonsense) if there is a point, the point is only that it can help to remove or help to deconstruct whatever seems too true. Whatever seems too true; that is looked at and we find that ‘Okay, but that is not true at all. It is just a thought.’ So, if we come for a confirmation of ‘Okay, I found this to be true’ conceptually or notionally about anything and you’re expecting the Master to say ‘Yes, yes, that notion is completely valid’ then
(although even that kind of reassurance is coming from time to time) it is going to be provisional, it is going to be temporary. Because, like I said: ‘There is no bridge, because You Are It.’ (But even that is like a bridge.) [Chuckles]
Anything that we can communicate, unless it is dissolving this tyranny of language itself, then it’s not deconstructive really. We are deconstructing the bridges that take us to an apparent truth. But what are our bridges made up of? Truth is always Here. Then why do you need a bridge? I must always, always, just be like this. But it always IS. No?
So, this is the suffering of the spiritual seeker, because the concepts are made up of such beautiful pointers but buying into that notion, you are still considering yourself to be a limited entity to try and ‘get to’ something.
In Our Attempt to Know, We Miss the Apparent Truth
Q:Father, there seems to be recognition of Awareness, ‘What Is’, but still (as you pointed it beautifully) the thoughts are still believed in when they are arising.
A:Thoughts are still believed in. Do you want to get into mechanics of that?
Q:I don’t mind. The thing is, I would like to not to believe in the thoughts.
A:Don’t believe in the ‘I’! [Silence] But…? [Chuckles]
Q: To who are you talking? [Laughs]
A: Don’t believe in the ‘you’ also.
Q: [Laughs, then seriously] It’s a genuine question, you know?
A:Yeah, it’s a genuine answer also. [Laughter] So, don’t believe in ‘I’ and ‘you’. Instead of believing what this ‘I’ should be or should not be doing; don’t believe in the ‘I’ itself, or ‘you’ for that matter.
Q:There is some resistance, I don’t know. I see forms and instantly…
A:So, don’t believe in the ‘I’ that sees … and what it sees. Like forget what is ‘forms’ and ‘resistance’. Don’t know what anything is. Because you don’t know actually.
Q: The thought is coming ‘How can there be even forgetting, how is it…?’
A:Yeah, forget that even this is a thought. Like what is thought? [Smiles] More terms, and those will have more terms, and those will have more terms. So, it’s got every notion contained in it.
Come to the innocence of a child; thought, no thought, you, me, I, this, that … [Makes a gesture of not having a concept of anything] Like a child who doesn’t know ‘What is a thought? What is mind?’ … is he struggling? A bird doesn’t know ‘What is a thought?’ … is it struggling?
Who was I quoting the other day? Wittgenstein. He said ‘The only solution to the problem of life is to see that there is no problem of life.’ That which we are trying to solve, that which we are trying to get to, is itself completely made up. And that it is made up is also made up; in the sense that we are not to take the position of ‘Oh, all this is rubbish.’ Even that is just made up. Give up on everything that is made up.
We don’t know what anything is; we just have terms for things.
And really, we always know what everything is, in Reality, but we don’t have the term for that.
Does any term represent ‘What Is’? Like ‘mind, thought, I, you, me other, world, body, Consciousness, Awareness, Self, Guru, disciple’ … are all just terms. They don’t need anything at all. But as spiritual seekers, we have made idols to these terms, in a way. So, everything… [Makes a gesture of throwing away] Tell me something you actually know. [Silence]
If you were in a spiritual movement which said that: The point of what we are doing every day is just to create this sensation, which at the moment you have labeled ‘resistance’. Then that would come, you would call it ‘Fantasimo’ or something. ‘Ah, Father, thank you so much. Fantasimo is coming.’ [Laughter] But we don’t know. Like Guruji [Sri Mooji] had this beautiful example where he says that if you’re going to be speaking on stage and if you have stage fright (or something like that) you feel like ‘Oh, I’m so nervous, I don’t like this’ but if you look at just the sensation and you look at it like ‘Ah, I have this anxiety’ and then there is a similar (or actually, the same sensation) can be there when you’re going on a holiday and we say ‘Oh, I’m so excited, I’m so happy’. So, in the energetic spectrum, do we really know what is what? If I propose to you that you never experience the same thing twice, and yet our labels are just the same limited ones, then how would we look at it? Do we even remember what we experienced? We just remember the label of it. Something is experienced today (‘Today I felt so angry’) but do you remember the taste of it? Tomorrow, if it comes, can you really conclude that it was the same? We just build the story around the terms that we use; around our idea of what we think we know.
S:The example which you gave just now, it seems like there is something called perception, and we just keep on labeling it.
A:Yes. But there is nothing ultimately called perception also. And throw away ‘ultimately’ also. [Chuckles] The word ‘ultimately’ in spirituality is the great postponing. Because [Nisargadatta]
Maharaj said ‘All the truth that I can speak is that ‘I Am’ but ultimately, even that is not true.’ And when we hear this ‘ultimately’ we forget: ‘even that is not true.’ We defer it because it’s ‘ultimately’. [Chuckles] When that happens, we will see.
Q:Not true in the sense that it appears and disappears or …?
A: I’m saying the term ‘ultimately’ is like a postponing. He is saying that ‘I Am’ is also not true.
Q: Because it appears and disappears?
A:No. No inference. It is just … [Chuckles] any reference to ‘I’ is not true, even ‘I Am’ is the ‘I’ thought, whatever the color the ‘I’ thought may be, it’s just the ‘I’ thought.
Q:Actually, my question was not related to ‘I Am.’ It was related to perception.
A:Perception. What is perception?
Q:I don’t know if it is … like in the dream, there were perceptions and now there are perceptions so don’t know which one is real or which one is not. But there is an appearance.
A:What is an appearance? You will have ‘What is a perception?’ … ‘It’s an appearance’ … ‘What is an appearance?’ … ‘It’s a perception.’ You see? It’s like circular. Now, do any of these terms actually define ‘What Is’?
Q: No, the term doesn’t.
A:Yeah. So, that ‘What Is’ is indescribable. But when we try to contain it in our intellectual framework, conceptual frameworks, then we can only build these castles in the air using that.
What you are calling perception, does that need the term ‘perception’? That doesn’t need it. Then what does?
Q: To convey.
A:To convey is kind of okay. But to understand … (this is what you have to look at) … to know that ‘I know what something is because I understand now that this is just a perception or this is an appearance’ but we don’t really know anything, in that way. We know everything another way which is neglected when we try to know something this way. [Chuckles] We know everything another way but that is neglected when we try to know anything this way, actually.
Q:So, it just occurred to me that earlier when you said ‘Forget I’ …
A: Forget I, yes.
Q:Forget you; those terms … ‘forget there is something called doing’ that got replaced with ‘There is just perception.’
A:Yes. That’s what I was saying. But we have to really look: Do we really know? Perception really implies perceiver, perceived, perceiving; these three terms are already included in that. But nothing like that we know.
In our knowing or attempt to know conceptually, we miss the Truth that is apparent.
We miss the Truth which is apparent. And my whole feeling is to introduce you to ‘This’ which is apparent, which is wordless. It is not opposed to words, words can come and go, also. But in our trying to build that sand castle, the ocean gets missed. And the sand castle is built on the foundation of the ‘I’ thought; any reference you make to ‘I.’
And like little children we might feel like (while building the sand castle we might feel like) ‘Ah, if I can really relate ‘I’ to the Absolute, then really I am done. I am Brahman, I am the Absolute.’ But the term itself is full of duality. Ribhu said it (don’t take my word for it). [Laughs] He said ‘Get away from duality of even ‘I am Brahman’ because for anything that you assert in that way negates something. It creates a limited box, whether you can see it or not.
Q: It automatically implies that there is something apart from Brahman.
A:Exactly. Even the dichotomy of ‘ego verses Brahman, person verses Self’ … all these are just boundaries. And nothing holds up to even one moment of open enquiry. If you look at any notion, even though you may have had it for ten years, if you see it with little bit of openness, you’ll see it’s nonsense; it’s just made up. It’s just made up. And it can be very strange, because we have a library full of books. But when you read, what is the intent of those books? Adhyaropa Apavada: which is to make a provisional Truth to take you away from what is deeply embedded, and then to empty you of that provisional truth as well; not to leave you with that idea
… which is the method of Vedanta, is to say (in a way; let me paraphrase) ‘What do you believe yourself to be? This object with two hands and two feet? You are that Absolute; You Are That who has All the hands and feet. All the hands and feet are Yours. You are That who has all the hands or feet; all are Yours’ And then? ‘You don’t have hands or feet.’
Where does that leave you? It took you away from this limited objective idea of being contained in this ‘meat bucket’ [body] to a broader notion which dissolves your prior notion … but that itself also has to be dissolved. So, it is not that. ‘Do I have hand and feet? All of them? Or none of them? What is this??’ It is not conclude-able in that way.
Now, how to make a teaching like that? [Laughs] Because if you say ‘Nothing is conclude-able’ you make a conclusion out of that. That’s why the method of Vedanta is to negate something through an assertion, then negate the assertion itself and leave you empty of anything to hold onto.
Same for Zen; same for any of these [Koans]. If you these meet problems with your mind … say, the goose problem: A baby goose fell into a priceless vase, which is a national artifact or something. Now, if it tries to fly out then the wings would break; the top is too small. The villagers (or the people in the palace) were compassionate; they kept feeding the goose. Now the goose has come to this size where if it eats anymore then it will suffocate in the vase; it has grown now. And the vase cannot be broken. So, how will you get the goose out? It’s a very useful Koan. Meet it and see where you define the limits. See your limits of ‘can, cannot.’ That’s all the clues I am going to give you. [Chuckles] It is not to say ‘Yeah, I know it! No goose, no vase.’ It’s not like this. [Laughs] People worked with this for twenty years; it’s not like you can just [conclude] like ‘Actually, in Reality, there is no goose.’[Laughs] It is not a notional riddle in that way.
This Is the Meeting We Have Been Waiting For
Q:Father, can I say something from experience? You said that anything can be doubted but the witness of the perception cannot be doubted.
A:Yeah, so that is [was said by] Descartes … in the sense that that’s the discovery he came to also. That ‘Even if there is doubt, if there is doubting happening, I am witnessing that and that is undoubtable’ in a way. That’s what he was trying to communicate, that ‘Whatever the content of the thought may be, I have to conclude that I am perceiving these thoughts and therefore I am.’ I am inviting you to see that even that inferring doesn’t need to be done and even that conclusion doesn’t have to be made.
Q: It doesn’t have to be made. It is.
A:‘It’ is. What is that ‘It’? That ‘It’ is super-apparent before you can conclude anything about it. Before you can make it into knowledge, It just Is.
So, meet this one without any mask of concept, without any mask of knowing.
This is the meeting we have been waiting for.
There is no way to do it. There is no way to not do it. Nothing can be really spoken about It. Nothing is true or false about It. And actually, you cannot abide in It or leave It. All of these are also just pointers.
Q:Like you say, you can’t know it. It is apparent, isn’t it? We have to use a word.
A:Yes, just to use a word: ‘apparent’.
Q:It’s still apparent, and it’s like a kind of knowing.
A:Yes. It is like Knowingness. But not this [Pointing to his head] knowingness. And even that is just provisional. It’s just for communication.
Q:Is Truth, abiding in it, also provisional?
Q:And ‘You can’t be separate from it’ is also provisional?
A:The entire box is provisional; with all the opposites, with all the claims and the counter- claims.
So, Satsang is like this clearance sale. Everything must go. Everything must go. [Chuckles]
Q:Although it is a place of rest, home, whatever you can call it. And from there, unfolding happens.
A:Now if you didn’t know this, would it effect it in anyway? … if you didn’t know it was a place of rest, and you didn’t know it was home and you didn’t know it is from where unfolding will happen?
Like I was saying the other day: Will chocolate lose its taste if we don’t have the term ‘chocolate’? Will the perfume lose its fragrance if we don’t know ‘This is Celestial Gateway’? [Chuckles] A child is eating a chocolate. It is not enjoying because it is ‘I am eating chocolate.’ It is not enjoying the notion that ‘I am eating chocolate.’ The world is being tasted, independent of the idea of ‘the world’ and ‘taste.’
The Subtitles in the Movie of Life Got Mixed Up
A:I had this example (what she’s saying reminded me of this example; I can’t remember it fully now but I was saying that): The movie is ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ but the subtitles got mixed up, you see, so the subtitles came from ‘The Struggle of Something.’ What is the most …?
S: ‘The Godfather.’
A:Ah, ‘The Godfather.’ [Laughter in the room] ‘The Strife of Human Existence’ or something like that.
So, once we start switching from the subtitles to actually being with the movie you will say ‘Oh, what is the whole struggle about? What is the struggle about?’ If you notice in the subtitles, it’s like ‘Oh, but you have to know this. You have to figure this out. What is the meaning of life? When will you be free? Does this mean I’m free?’ You see, this search for ‘Why? Why? Why?’ and this meaning; what causes what, what came before this and what will come after all of this is in the interpretation. So, as she said, she just saw that everything is just an interpretation. All our interpretations are just coming, and they are representing a picture of life which actually just isn’t. So, I’m happy that someone came and said ‘But actually, it’s very easy to stop. It’s just an idea.’ You see? ‘It’s just an interpretation.’
This is music to my ears, in that way, because usually it’s like ‘It’s so difficult, a thought comes and I buy into it and … what do we do?’ and this kind of thing. So, sometimes it’s good to hear that ‘It’s nothing actually; it’s just like a thought, it’s really nothing.’
The subtitles are playing out but it doesn’t interrupt the movie, it doesn’t affect the movie, it doesn’t change the movie in any way and it doesn’t have to. The movie is already ‘It’s a Wonderful Life.’ Nothing has to change in it. But when we start judging the characters in the movie, the scene, what happened, what should happen … when we start watching the movie with this interpretive mindset, then everything can seem like it is a struggle. And we give ourselves these silly notions, the false beliefs that ‘Actually, now I’ve looked at this and I computed between my thoughts and I said: this is it! And I came to a Truth. I came to the Truth.’ But it is not the Truth, it is just a belief. Anything that we can compute in that way or intellectualize or figure out is just a belief. Anything we say ‘It is this way’ or ‘It is not this way’ it is not the Truth; it is just a belief because if it was ‘Just this way’ then it would not be an Unlimited Truth.
So, look at this for a moment: Truth is Unlimited. That is one you are after; you’re not after a limited Truth. So, how can Truth be this way and not that way? Then it would be limiting the Truth. But concepts are only limiting by nature. Concepts are what they define and to define is to limit. So, anything you can define about YourSelf is to limit YourSelf. (Are you with me?) Anything you can define about YourSelf is to make a conceptual box around Yourself, a limit about YourSelf. But you are looking for a Truth which is unlimited.
So, a belief is nothing but a concept that you have which you feel that it represents Reality. Isn’t it? You feel it represents Reality and that’s why you say, this is the Truth. But then, in that, what you’re doing is you’re confining the Truth into a small box of ‘This way or that way.’ Now, the
Truth is much, much, much, much simpler than that. ‘What Is’ or ‘Is-ness’ is much simpler than that. It cannot be captured through these notions. This simplicity is ever apparent. It’s ever apparent … but never understood. [Points to his head] This is the difference. You see? When we try to make what is apparent into an understanding or knowledge, that is the struggle of the spiritual seeker; in fact, that is the so-called struggle of life itself. To try to give a box to ‘What Is’ is the struggle of life. If you throw these boxes away … first recognize you don’t know anything. This can seem like a bit of a struggle because if you’re holding onto to a belief, you’re not holding onto it with a sense that ‘Oh, this is nonsense or this is garbage’ you’re feeling like it has value. So, although all of us can nod vigorously, the point is that we can still hold onto many beliefs.
Now, life has a well-defined system, in a way, that if you’re holding onto a notion, a concept, it is going to pinch you, it is going to pinch you. So, when that pinching comes then See: just check ‘What is the nonsense I’m holding onto?’ So, pinching equals acceptance of some nonsense or some idea about YourSelf. When the pinching comes, just check and throw it away. That is enquiry in a very simple way. To enquire into what is true, you will see that if it has the ability to push buttons, if it has the ability to make you believe something about YourSelf in a limited way, then it is just a version of the Truth that you have, which you’re claiming to be truly representative of what is true.
What you realize is, like the Zen Master saying the other day was that ‘One explosive notion which blasts a lot of other notions is ‘No’. Look at whatever you’re holding onto and see that it is not, it is ‘No.’ Whether you call it ‘Neti, neti’ or you call it ‘No, no’ or whatever you call it is fine. It is not that; it does not truly represent anything. So, come to ‘No’ … but also don’t make ‘No’ into a lifestyle. I loved it when he said that also because then we can go from ‘knower’ to ‘No-er’ [Wagging his finger] … everything is ‘No, no’. That is also too strong a position; we don’t know even that.
So, now? (I feel like I have the same Satsang every day.) [Chuckling] So, when it is said like this (all these words have been spoken) it can feel like ‘I have a task to do. I have this to do, I have this to do, and then I will come to this sort of Emptiness.’ But I have good news for you. This Emptiness, this conceptual nakedness, is ever present. It is Here Now.
Which notion did you start with Now? [Snaps is fingers] Right Now. Right Now. Right Now. Okay, now think of a notion. Think of a notion; tell me when you got one. [Looks around the room] Got one? Okay, hold on to that and bring it into Now. [Laughter in the room] You see? You can’t do it because the Now is so fresh, it is so natural, it is so original, that you cannot bring your conditions, your baggage so you have to reinvigorate them, you have to revitalize them, again and again and again. So, it is just like the garden has to be watered every day. In the same way, our conditions have to be watered, nurtured with our belief, over and over again for them to survive.
Now the thing is that you cannot pick and choose. The thing is you cannot pick and choose because if you pick one idea (just like I was saying, that in one idea ten-thousand ideas are contained and in those ten-thousand ideas another ten-thousand each are contained) therefore, the whole notional representation of the universe is there in one idea. That’s why even the negation
idea has to be dropped also (which is useful provisionally but also then has to go). Because even in the ‘No’ (what does ‘No’ mean? ‘It is not’ or something which is not) each of those terms mean so many other terms, then each of those terms mean so many other terms. So, even the negation of it is useful only to a particular point, till you see that even that is too limiting a representation of ‘What Is’ or the ‘Is-ness.’
Now, if you had to do the job of picking up of ‘What is the garbage I have, I have to pull it out, I have to throw it away’ then it can seem like it can take lifetimes, because once you start looking like that you find more and more. So, you don’t have to undertake that expedition also.
You are Empty Now. You see? You are Empty Now. That is the best shortcut. Now. Before Now; before the concept of Now: Now. Before the sound of the click [Snaps his fingers] Now. Like this; all gone. Fresh as a baby. [Chuckling] The innocence of the baby that you’re looking for is Here Now. [Snaps his fingers] It’s Here Now … but the ‘but…’ will come and say ‘But me…’ The only ‘But…’ is ‘But me’ actually. ‘But what about me? But what’s in it for me?’ So that’s why the game of satsang goes on.
I’m saying that I cannot tell you the Truth, I cannot perceptually show you the Truth [Points to his eyes] but I’m showing it you just by pointing [Snaps his fingers] like this. And you’re Seeing it actually; not with these eyes but you’re Seeing It. You cannot miss It. It is un-miss-able. But it has nothing for ‘me’.
So, when this ‘me’ which has been nurtured for so long says ‘But what did I get?’ Nothing’ it is true. It is true because, nothing got nothing. It itself is nothing so how will it get something? It can only get nothing. So, this imaginary one got nothing because itself is imaginary. But because we’ve pledged our allegiance, in a way, to that one then it can feel like ‘I don’t get it. What’s happening here? I didn’t find anything.’
This is the game of Satsang. I’m showing you simple, super-super simple, super-super natural, (without having to be supernatural) super natural … but nothing for ‘you.’ So, this voice will come: ‘But me, but me, but me.’ And then the Sage has said ‘Of course. Okay, in response to this ‘but me’ ask yourself ‘Who am I? Who are you? Who is this that you are representing?’ So, that is the path of Self-enquiry. Bhagavan [Sri Ramana Maharshi] said there are two methods. The first is Self-enquiry. When this ‘but me’ comes say ‘Who Am I?’ Find out if there is such a ‘me.’ Find out who am I. The second is the path of surrender. It means don’t bother with this ‘me.’ Leave everything to the Divine or Satguru Presence; surrender. Surrender. Simple. It is just like this [Opens his arms]. It is just a counter to this ‘But me. But what about me?’
So, it can also be that ‘Okay, now that I know that there is nothing in it for me, now what about me?’ [Chuckling] Because we’ve nourished it with so much momentum so it’s almost like … Bhagavan gave a very good metaphor for this. He said about the fan; the energy, the power, is turned off but it still can go around for a bit. You might still be struggling that way, to say ‘Okay, now I’m really understanding what he’s saying, that there’s really nothing here for me. Now, now have I got it?’ which is really another way of saying ‘But me.’ It is still the ‘But me.’
So, this is the habit. That is why the game of ‘It’s just a thought’ is very useful. Because as you shine this light on this play of the mind and notice that it is nothing, then:
‘Have I got it?’ is just a thought.
‘Have I missed it again’ is just a thought. ‘I can’t get’ it is just a thought.
‘It’s so difficult’ is just a thought. ‘It’s so simple’ is just a thought. ‘What do I do?’ is just a thought.
‘I have to stop believing’ is just a thought.
And none of these (these are the notions I’m talking about) none of them are valid representations of ‘What Is’ … as true as they may seem.
What Is Your Version of Reality?
Either in the positive or in the negation is not the Truth; either up or down or both or neither is the Truth. Neither this way nor that way; actually, both ways and neither ways. Got it? [Chuckles] So, you become very comfortable with not having to judge. You can have two completely opposite ideas and both can have same truth-value for you. It doesn’t matter. Because you’ve let go of trying to define yourself in this mental way. And the Sages have been saying this for a very long, long time, in very simple ways. My words can seem a bit abstract and intellectual or difficult at times. But I’m saying what Papaji [Sri Poonja] said, in a way: ‘To suffer, you need something. To be happy, you need nothing.’
So, what is a ‘something’? Nobody picks something up thinking that it is going to give me suffering. We pick up something because we think that it’s useful, that it is a valid representation. So, that’s why it’s good to see what is our version of reality.
What is your version of reality now? And if you have one, throw it away because it’s not going to bring you any benefits. It is only going to make you suffer. Because Reality is so unlimited that it will contradict that version, no matter how broad you might feel that version is. Reality (or even the apparent play or the manifest play of Reality) is also so broad that it will end up contradicting whatever version you might think is true.
So, this is when you’re left without a branch to hang on to. This is when you’re left without anything to hold on to. Let go. This is the meaning of ‘Let go.’ Guruji [Sri Mooji] says ‘Let go.’ Let go.
These ideas of yes/no, good/bad, true/false are just going to make versions out of you. But they are never going to truly represent ‘What Is.’ So, this whole game, in a way (is actually un- definable, but if we have to say something then) it is “That which is unlimited is playing as if It is limited using these ideas.’ It’s like the beach is making tiny circles on itself in its own sand and saying ‘I’m limited by that circle.’ And what are these circles? They are the limiting ideas about ourself. Now the primary foundation of this circle is the idea of ‘I’ or ‘me’ (the ‘I-thought’ as Bhagavan [Sri Ramana Maharshi] called it). So, to not refer to ‘I’ as anything… is to let go of the ‘I-thought.’
Many times, we hear this in a strange way so we can feel that ‘Okay, okay, once I’ve have done that, then I have done this, then I will encounter the ‘I-thought’ and we will have a battle. And then the ‘I-thought’ will go and I will be free.’ But it is just a thought. Even ‘I’ is just a thought. It is the I-thought. So, it is just a thought, which means that any reference you make to ‘I’ which you feel is valid (even if you say ‘I am Brahman’ … the greatest, broadest, most absolute reference we can make) is still the possibility to limit yourself based on that. Otherwise, why would there be a need to assert if it could not be negated?
In a simpler way, it’s like you don’t have to assert that ‘I have a mouth.’ People will say ‘You’re crazy.’ It’s like ‘I have a mouth.’ … ‘Obviously. Why do you have to assert it?’ [Chuckles] Isn’t it? So, in the assertion is contained the possibility of it not being true. That is why you need to assert it. So, sometimes when you buy into the assertions (as glorious and as broad-seeming as
they might be) you don’t recognize that ‘This is just pointing me to a greater Reality; it itself does not represent it.’
So, even the Mahavakayas, the greatest pointers, are just pointers. They are not valid representations of ‘What Is.’ Because ‘What Is’ is not so small that It can be represented in these ways.
So, whatever we consider true, wherever our belief system is, wherever we think we know, whether is it pride or whether it is humility (which are both the same thing actually) it doesn’t matter. Just let it go.
Let’s move to a bigger playground. [Chuckles] Have not we had enough of this playground? It’s like [In a bored, tired voice] ‘Yes, no. Why I am like this. When will I be free?’ Aren’t we tired of this small play? This is the kid’s school. [Chuckles] Let’s dive into the bigger pool, yeah?
So, we are done with this play of ‘me, me, me, me .me, me, me, me, me’ [Chuckles] let’s let go of this and see what beauty lies beyond. If we are done with this play of concept and percept, let’s see the non-perceptual beauty which lies beyond.
That is, in a way, my invitation or provocation, to let go of this limited idea of ‘My freedom, my bondage’ because there is no such ‘me.’
You have looked enough now and have not found it. And yet you, with your belief, pledge your allegiance to it. Everything that we believe … is actually a pledge of allegiance to the ‘me.’
Really Important to See What the Mind Is
Q:I don’t know how to put it into words but there was such a long time where I wasn’t realizing that I was understanding with the mind. And the real understanding is so different. You don’t need to know anything. I mean you really don’t need to know anything at all. And it was last week, we had this topic (or the week before; I don’t know anymore, I can’t remember) but this thing about how we need to learn what is mind; realize what mind is. And this is such a crucial point, I feel. Because when you See it, it is done. You cannot go on playing in this after Seeing what the mind is. I mean, even when we say ‘This is a thought’ … Even when the mind says ‘Yes, of course, this is a thought’ and it’s still the understanding of the mind. It is not the Seeing which is just Here; which doesn’t need the mind as such. It does not need the understanding of the mind. So, this is so, so, different and so free and so light.
A:This is a very good report. And everyone must hear this report because it is coming from someone like has done like so much seva over the years. She has done so many highlights, hundreds and hundreds of highlight videos and so many Satsang videos. So, she has heard everything. And she is saying that ‘For a long time, it can seem like I’m understanding it but we don’t realize that it’s still how much we still know.’ Like I’ve been saying. It’s still a conceptual understanding and we feel like ‘Oh, now I got this. Now I got this and now it is this way.’ So, this is very, very good. I feel like everyone should hear this report because it is coming from a space of great credibility of someone who has watched more Satsang probably than any of us. [Smiles] Because she has gone through so many videos, so many highlights. Maybe the Transcripts team also but Nitya has been like one-man army for the video team for long, long time. So, she has seen so many videos. And she says that ‘It is important to see really: What is the mind?’ because that escapes us. We can keep on building more and more knowledge based on what we’re hearing in Satsang also, till we come and see ‘But this is what the mind is. Recognize what the mind is.’
And she is right when she says ‘But even that claim that now ‘This is what the mind is’ is also mind. Or to say ‘It is just a thought’ is also just a thought and ‘It’s just a thought’ is also just a thought. It is not NOT a thought … which can seem obvious. But something just has to be Seen [snaps fingers] in that way; the simplicity of it. Otherwise, on top of Satsang, we can build a huge mental framework which can feel like ‘But now, I got it. I must have got it because I have really looked at this over and over again.’ But just this simple, simple recognition that ‘This is what the mind is’ can break the shackles; can break the shackles. Because many times, we still feel like we have so many mental concepts about the mind itself, that it can feel like ‘Yeah, we have a good understanding of the mind.’ But it’s a great trick. [Chuckles] It’s a great trick! We feel like we have bundle of information and knowledge about the mind itself. And then it becomes like a traditional classroom. ‘Okay, how much do you know? Now, how much do you know?’
So, I really value a report like that when somebody says ‘I see that something just so Here, something so ‘Now,’ something so innocent, so simple that I cannot put it in words, I cannot verbalize it. I cannot say this or that.’
That is why all the clues are here in Satsang. I am saying that anything that has an opposite is not it. Anything that has an opposite which can be asserted or negated is not it. It is just a thought. It is just a belief.
So, if you are taking a position this way or that way … and these positions can sound very compelling, because what are the positions here on offer in Advaita? [Chuckles] It’s very funny, because no distinctions but great positions are on offer still like ‘I am the Absolute. I am the Self.’ These kinds of positions, when they get fully mental and when they get fully deeply ingrained, you will become so closed. You won’t many times even see how closed you are. Because it’s like ‘Yeah, that’s what I’m saying.’ Whatever I invite you to look at it, you will say ‘Yeah, I know this. I know this. That is what I’m saying. What is the big deal in that?’ [Smiles]
So, these kinds of houses can be built, egoic houses can be built on spiritual knowledge, and that is why we must throw away everything. That is why Bhagavan’s [Sri Ramana Maharshi’s] metaphor of the thorn is very useful because this thorn has such a big thorn which is used to remove all these thorns. That itself if you embed that as the medicine or something then you need a bigger thorn to come and remove that one.
So, it’s a sword, but it’s a double-edged sword. All pointers themselves, if they are taken to be the final truth, then can become deeply embedded as our limitations, as sufferings, as ego. That is called the spiritual-ego. The circle made up of the circle of the spiritual belief system; that is the spiritual-ego.
How not to make that circle is not to have ‘this way’ or ‘that way’ … not to have even the distinction of worldly and spiritual.
Advaita is no-duality. So, no-duality doesn’t mean that we have the glorified idea of ‘The One’ or something like that. That is why it is non-duality but it doesn’t really affirm a big ‘ONE’ or something like that because that is also a notion which does not encapsulate Reality.
So, at least drop the two-ness, drop the separation. That is why I love the term ‘Advaita, non- duality.’ The negating term is better because it is not asserting the validity of any notion. But negating the notion of separation or duality. So, now you see that all our notions are limiting or separating. All definitions are limiting. That is how they define. Even if it says ‘It is All-There- is’ … and yet, in some way it asserts the possibility of not being that. So, throw it away. Whatever you are thinking is so true, throw it away.
Are You Listening?
You can do one (as I call it) ‘The internal audit.’ You just do one internal audit and see: ‘What am I still believing is true? What do I know? What do I know?’
And I can tell you what you can throw away: Whatever you say to ‘What do I know?’ you can throw it safely. Find that which you want to guard and not to throw away. Just to yourself; expose it to yourself: What is it that you want to guard and not throw away? You may feel like it is helping to you but it is actually the infection itself. You might think it is the medicine but it is the infection.
So, if you’re open to your most deeply-held belief being thrown out, that is openness. Many feel like openness means ‘Yeah, I’m listening, I’m listening. I am happy to gather more.’ But that is not the openness I’m talking about. In the world, of course, that is what is called openness. Of course. But I’m saying that true openness is to let go of our most deeply-held belief system; not open to building onto it more and more.
That is why [we play] that simple, simple game: ‘It is just a thought.’
Set fire to your most glorious version of reality. [Sangha Chuckles] You can do a fire ceremony if you want. Set fire to your most glorious version. Because in a fire ceremony also, sometimes what we end up doing is like ‘Oh, I don’t like this about myself so, I’ll give that up. I don’t like this.’ Maybe we should have a fire ceremony like whatever version you like, now you throw that. [Sangha and Ananta laugh] ‘I like this about myself a lot.’ [Sangha Ananata Smiles] Just throw that away.
If it is true, it cannot go. If something is true, then you don’t need to have the representation of it. Isn’t it? If something is just here, do you need a road map to it?
A:Do you need a picture of it? If the sun is here, then will you stare at the picture of the sun and say ‘I need the picture’? You don’t need it. So, in the same, way if you feel like there is a fear to throw away the picture because the truth might go away with it, that itself is the clue that the truth is not that … because if it goes by throwing away the map, if it can go by throwing away the picture then what value does that truth have? Nothing. It is just a notion, just an idea.
As you go hunting for this duality, as you go hunting for notions, you will see (like she said the other day) ‘Everything has to go.’ [Chuckles] Everything has to go.
And what is left? That you cannot say. It is unspeakable. Even to say ‘It is unspeakable’ in a way is to speak about. It’s like cheating. But actually, it’s beyond even being unspeakable … (which is also cheating). [Chuckles] That’s why I keep saying that ‘I cannot speak the truth.’ Nobody can speak the truth. And I cannot show it you as a painting, as an audio sound, as a smelling or tasting. But I can show it to you with different eyes, with a different set of eyes. All that I’m
attempting is to show it to you … but not show it to you this way. [Holds hands up gesturing looking through physical eyes]
That’s why that story is very good, no? … this very, very, super-advanced seeker who was sent to Yagnavalkaya. And then he said to the Sage ‘I have been sent by my Master to you because you will tell me the ultimate truth.’ And the Sage is just sitting quietly. Then he tries many times before getting angry (as is natural for all of us to do, in a way). [Chuckles] He was getting angry, angry. ‘But you are not telling me anything! You must be super-arrogant. Maybe you need to work on your ego.’ Then the Sage said ‘But I’m telling you. I have been. Every time you have asked, I have told you. But are you listening? Are you listening?’
So, this is the thing. It is more obvious than listening with these ears. More obvious than that; not obscure. Because sometimes when we say ‘You cannot see it with these eyes’ it can feel like it is more obscure or something like that; more secret. No. It is more obvious.
Then what can be perceived through these eyes … what is more obvious than that? Find that.
That is what I mean by the apparent truth. This is what they meant when they said ‘Buddha- nature is never concealed’ and when the Vedantin said ‘The truth always IS.’
Throw All Ideas Away
Whatever you think is true is worthless. (Sorry if that sounds too rough or something.) [Laughs and Sangha laughs]
Whatever you think you have found in the past, is also worthless. Whatever you think you have found in the past because now you just have a photo of it and you keep staring at the photo.
If you met a great Sage and you took a photo and you were so devoted to the photo, there comes a time when the Sage will come and say ‘Hello, I’m here.’ [Mimics the seeker still looking at the photo]: ‘Don’t disturb me.’ [Laughter] It’s just like that. The Truth is like punching you in the face but you like your version more. ‘Come on, here. I’m Here. [Snaps fingers] I’m here.’ … ‘No, no. I want it my way. I want it for me, I want it my way.’ This ‘me’ (any which-way) is just staring at the photo of it rather than meeting it fresh.
Many times, it can happen. These are the pitfalls of the spiritual seeker. I’m making light of them but these are common afflictions that all of us have. Because we might have had a superb experience three days ago, and we take a photo of that and say ‘That is it!’ and keep staring at that. And the Truth is like ‘Hello.’ [Makes a gesture of looking at the photo with one hand and pushing aside the Truth with other]: ‘Leave me alone.’ We get attached to some experience of something and we say ‘That is it. Now the Truth must live up to that.’
Now, the Truth will not live up to any such version that you have of it. If the Truth has to conform to any falsity, then the false would be the Truth. [Laughs] If the Truth has to conform to your limited idea of what it should be (‘The one that I saw three days ago, it has to be only that’) then what kind of Truth would it be? It would be very limiting as a truth. If it doesn’t include already what this is (even whatever way it might be manifesting as, if it doesn’t include that) then it is a very tiny truth.
So, there is no need, no reason, to hold onto the past, to any idea of it; even the greatest experiences from the past. There is no reason to. Because if it is not alive and fresh Now then it’s just a photo album; just one Instagram feed. ‘Ah, that was a great time.’ [Chuckles] All your pictures, all your representations, paintings, thoughts, great discoveries, great insights, everything: throw it away. What you have found, what you have lost, what you think you know; everything! Empty, empty, empty, open, open, open; open and empty, open and empty. Finished, finished, finished!
If it was that way then all the Satsang I had ever shared would have been: ‘You know what happened? The day I sat in front of Guruji [Sri Mooji] …’ [Laughter] Every day I would just come and say ‘That was it. It was in that experience.’ Then I would say ‘IT was in that experience and I just want to point to that experience.’ But I don’t do that. In fact, I rarely do that. Because then these kinds of things become benchmarks and we feel like ‘That is exclusive of this.’ So, I’m saying [Snaps fingers]: ‘This.’ I’m not saying ‘That which happened; that which will happen’ … I’m saying:
That which is the most obvious, the most simple, Here and Now.
So, don’t build any houses around anything that has happened in the past or that you feel like you want to make happen in the future. Burn all of this. Just burn it down; forget it. Nothing is a ‘thing’. Nothing. Don’t make anything a ‘thing’.
S: How to do I do that? [Laughs]
A:[Snaps fingers] Just like this. [Laughs] It is done for you. [Snaps fingers] When you signed up for this life, you subscribed to the God package. [Laughs] So God is Here, just Now, simply.
‘How do you do that?’ It’s a false question because it implies it is at a distance. ‘Doing’ implies distance. I have been saying that this concept of doing itself is fraud. There is no such thing as doing. So, we don’t have to come to a conclusion about ‘Who is doing?’ and whether I am doing or a greater force is doing or something is doing. We don’t have to … because there is no ‘doing’. It’s like saying ‘super break dance.’ [Laughter] (I’m not coming up with better examples.) There is no such thing like that but we feel like that is how you interpret the world. ‘This one is doing the super break dance very well; this one, not so well’. Somebody comes and says ‘What is that super break dance?’ … ‘I don’t know. I was taught that there is this thing called doing …’
So, we take what is just a movement and we call that a ‘doing.’ And we have labeled it as ‘doing well, doing badly’ and we get so stuck in this idea of ‘doing, doing, doing’ that it becomes so pervasive that it becomes such a big burden that we have to put that somewhere else. [Points up; indicating God] Because ‘It feels like too restricting, too troublesome, too much filled with guilt and pride for me so I’m going to say: okay, I’m not doing it. That one [Makes gesture of God above] is doing it.’ Like that. A helpful provisional notion; but maybe we can now come to a point where we can throw away the idea of ‘doing’ itself.
What is this ‘doing’? It’s very deeply ingrained. I’m pretty sure that birds don’t have this idea of ‘doing’. And yet the flapping of the wings happens, the migration; very intelligent-seeming movements seem to happen. Trees I’m sure don’t have the idea of doing, babies I am sure don’t have the idea of doing; and yet all the movement, the activity, seems to happen. So, we have confused activity to be ‘doing’ and with ‘doing’ we have invented so much suffering.
What is suffering? There is no such thing as suffering except a big word for these tiny things called guilt, pride, remorse, regret, resentment. All of this is only suffering. And ‘doing’ is very central to all of this. So, throw it away! There is no doing or not-doing; no throwing or not- throwing. [Laughs]
That’s why I said when we start hunting for this duality, we see that even these notions like ‘doing’ … we feel like all our life is built up of doing, not-doing, doing things right, doing things badly; all these judgments, interpretations.
There is no doing only. Then you will see also (although I’m saying we make ‘doing’ out of activity) there is no ‘activity’ only. [Laughs] Even movement is a notion.
But let me not force these insights on you. You have to look and see:
What do I mean by activity?
What do I mean by perception?
These are all clues. One day when you will have this insight, then you will say like Papaji [Sri Poonja] or Guruji [Sri Mooji] that ‘Nothing ever happened.’ (But there’s no point in picking that up ‘Oh, nothing has ever happened’ just conceptually and sounding very Advaita about it.)
But if nothing has ever happened, then what is movement? What is perception? What is attention?
I’m saying all of these are just notions as well. Even attention itself is (a primal notion; but) a notion.
So, look like this: very, very openly. And don’t be sacred because nothing worthwhile can go. What is said in course in miracles?
“Nothing Real can be threatened, nothing unreal has ever existed. Herein lies the peace of God.”
Nothing Real can be threatened. In the same way, we don’t have to hold onto it if it is Real. Because for everything you are holding onto (because you feel like there is a threat of it being taken away from you): Nothing Real can be threatened. So, don’t be worried about losing the concepts of it, the notions of it, because if it is Real, it is not going. ‘Nothing unreal ever exists.’ Nothing unreal. (That’s why it’s unreal.) ‘Herein lies the peace of God.’
This peace is the peace in which Truth is apparent, God is apparent. That’s why we say ‘Om Shanti, Shanti Om.’ Why do we invoke peace so much? Because in the noise of our mind, in the noise of our belief system, ‘This’ which is so obvious and apparent gets obscured and missed … (it only seems to). Now, your Seeing will become so inclusive that you will see that nothing obscures this Truth. But it can feel like it does. So, this is a great reassurance: ‘Nothing Real can be threatened.’
Whatever you feel like you have to defend, leave it. Leave yourself defenseless, open.
And if you look at the last ten things that you defended (look at the last five or ten things you have defended) you will see that most of the time it’s just like ‘Blah, blah, blah.’ Some things came from your mouth and many times you were not even so attached to it. It’s just because we’re so identified as this body and it escaped this mouth, then you have to take a stand and say ‘Okay, this is what …’ [Laughs] Like that. It’s nothing; it’s just nothing.
So, all this is showing you that our attachments to this limited body, our attachments to just some floating energies that we call thoughts, that we call the mind, is causing so much seeming- suffering. But (As Nitya said): It’s so simple, it’s so obvious. And it is so easy to just drop it; just stop.
But you can’t stop AND play the game of ‘But what about me?’
Stop means stopping the game of ‘But what about me?’
Start to see your own tricks of the mind when it says ‘But when will I get it? Why Am I missing it?’
Who is it?
Who is it representing?
Take these things, Bhagavan’s [Sri Ramana Maharshi’s] pointers very literally:
Who is witnessing these thoughts?
Who are you?
All this facade will fall away very quickly if you let go of this selfishness; this selfishness for this ‘me’.
Who do you want freedom for?
[Looks around. Smiles]
Who do you want freedom for?
And if that blank has an answer, then know that that one cannot get it.
And to See this is to See that actually there is no bondage.
S:What is ‘free’?
A:Exactly! It’s just another term; another term which gives assent to bondage. When we chase freedom, what are we doing? We’re giving acceptance to the notion of bondage. Isn’t it? So, just these opposites have caught us by the neck. [Chuckles] These opposites: ‘Am I bound? Am I free? Am I good? Am I bad? Am I right? Am I wrong? Is this true? Is this false? Is this up? Is this down? Is this yesterday? Is this tomorrow?’
It’s nothing; it’s nonsense!
What Does the Body Want?
Q:For instance, let’s say someone says something to me, attacking me, so there is going to be a physical reaction. Something is going to be hurt.
A: There could be
Q:Could be or could not be
Q:But if something feels attacked, it will be obviously personally attacked. For this, a belief must be created that it’s towards …
A:…me. Yes, that attacking has to be attacking me in a way, or my identity anyway. It could be my religion, my country, my something, but the me is attacked in one of its beliefs in any way. How are you attacked? It is like something that you are holding on, no? If I say ‘The French are really stupid’ for example [Chuckles] then if you have the French identity then you can say: ‘Oh, that’s an attack on me.’ Or if I say something (whatever you can identify with) like ‘Women just won’t get it’ or something like that (a very stupid thing to say) but of course, if you identify as a woman, it’s like … [Feigns reaction]
So, all of these things that you are identified with, only that can be attacked?
A:So, if no such belief exists (you are not labelling yourself as any of these) then how to attack you? So, what you are saying is that ‘I can identify as the body’ so somebody can attack the way you look, you can identify with your country, so somebody can identify that concept, your religion, your Master, your Satsang … all of these things that we identify with, that can be attacked. But how to attack without any such identification?
Q: Ok. But for instance, the fact that there is a physical body. Isn’t it a reality now?
A:Are you pleading with me to make it real? [Chuckles]. What do you mean by ‘reality’? Let’s see; I will admit that it is real if you tell me what you mean by real.
Q: If it is unchanging, no, of course not.
A:So, that definitions doesn’t apply. Then which definition does?
Q:Okay, Physical sensation.
A:It is perceptible?
A:Yes, then everything that is perceptible is your body?
Q:Because I only feel what is going on inside this body.
A:Even that can you confirm … that ‘It is going on inside this body’?
Q: [Nods yes]
A:You can confirm. [Chuckles. You are definite that it’s going inside this body? So, if you close your eyes and you experience a tree, you can confirm that that tree is inside that body? So now where is this sound experienced (this voice).
A:Same place. You see? So, how come this sound is not your body also?
Q:It is not a body.
A:Sound is not a body. Okay, fine. Then what sensation is a body?
Q:This thing. [Touching her body]
A:This touch, sensation? That sensation? This we have to be taught. This we have to be taught, that this is you. It was not original to you. So, we were taught this. ‘Your head, your face your nose, your hair’ … we were taught this. And we learned to distinguish between all the sensations and say ‘These sensations are me and these sensations are not me.’
Suppose there is a body; let’s say that this set of perceptions and this set of sensations are real and actually, they make up an entity and an object called body. So, then what? What’s the trouble? Even if you are deeply identified just with the body then what trouble would there be? What does the body want? All the spiritual troubles you would not have at least. Finding the Self
…all this is nonsense to the body. What does it mean? We are just a body. And what is coming? Death is coming. The end is coming. And there is no escaping that. That is one inevitability with this body if it has some substance. This one will is also going to come. So, what is there to struggle and understand and figure out? Even if you have to identify just as a body there is not so much trouble. It is that middle, which is neither here or there. It’s like: ‘I am the owner of the body, I am the owner of my relationships, I am the owner of my freedom, I am the owner of my security, money.’ That one is which one? If nobody is taking ownership of this body, what trouble is there? If a tree came to you and said ‘I want to be the best tree out there, I want to be the enlightened tree’ what would you say to this tree? So, at the root of it, it’s not really the struggle in this way. The struggle is mostly: ‘What haven’t I got, when will I get it, when will I understand or why am I not getting it?’ These kinds of things.
Limitation Is Duality
Q:Isn’t it that I can only grasp at the narrative?
A:Yes, you can only grasp at the narrative.
Q:So, the narrative is some visions of the past, sensory perceptions. Would we say that that is the mind? I’m trying to …
A:Okay, let’s go slowly so we can see this really clearly. Now let’s start with objects of the world. Now what would a grasping of the objects of the world be? What is the difference between wanting an object and having it?
Q: You stop wanting it.
A:Yes, but what is the actual physical difference? If I want a strawberry and then I have it, what is the difference?
Q: The narrative changes, first it was, I want it, I need it ….
A:Yeah, first there was a notion ‘I want, want, want’ a particular set of sensations and then a set of sensations is experienced, that is to ‘have it’ (the object) but in that, what really changed for me?
A:Nothing changed you see? If you want a big house, a huge bed, whatever you could want, what is it actually except some sensational experience? What really changes? Nothing really changes. Then that would mean that all this (makes an action of grasping) worldly materialistic desire doesn’t give us as much as we think it will. Because what happens; what do you actually get?
Q: Fears of losing.
A:[Chuckling] Fears of losing is another by-product. First you want, want, want, then you don’t want to lose and sometimes you say ‘Oh, why did I want this, I want to lose it.’ You see? So, it comes with all of these by-products also.
Now, without the narrative, as you say, is any of that play possible?
So, that is what we mean by grasping. Grasping is only grasping at the concept or grasping at the notion or grasping at the narrative.
Which means that first we have to give some acceptance to the validity of some thought, some concept, including the concept ‘I want’. Because when we give validity to the concept ‘I want’ then what do we believe our representation to be? Who are you when you want?
A:Limited, isn’t it? So, in our wanting, we buy into our idea of our limitation. And any limitation means duality, separation, ego.
So now, what naturally plays out … like a child crying as soon as it is born; is a child crying because it’s thinking ‘I want some attention now?’ It is not wanting anything and yet naturally, some actions are playing out. It knows how to drink milk. Is it saying ‘I really want to drink milk!’ So, these natural actions can still unfold without this conceptual grasping, you see.
That is why it’s important what you said, that the grasping that we are speaking of is not material but is conceptual.
Q:So, in that same way, like you said that the child is crying naturally, when did I learn to do this grasping?
A: As soon we started the labeling.
Q: Like ‘This is your name, this is your …’
A:With labels came separation, with labels came the idea of wanting, of not wanting, all of these things.
Q:So, within the play, Father, suppose if the perception now decides ‘I will pick this bottle?’ So, you’ll actually know if something needs to be straightened out or …?
A:In a simplistic way, I can say yes. Consciousness will unfold in the most beautiful way, but what I really want to say is that even that is a narrative because even that has a preference in mind that it should be this way or that way, and that is what I talk about when I say surrendering with one eye open: ‘When I let go, will you guarantee me that things will go well?’ And I will say it depends on your definition of what ‘well’ is. If it is still ‘my way’ then there is no guarantee like that.
When we say ‘Will things also go fine when I let go?’ if fine means that they must go according to your projections or your ideas of how they must be, then there is no guarantee like that.
Then if you were intelligent you would say: ‘Then what do you mean by fine?’ And I would say ‘Everything.’
Q:Is that what it means when they say you allow anything, even this expression from this body; just being open. Anything can unfold, not because I think it’s right or wrong or any judgement … without the narrative, then whatever is unfolding in through this body or that body, there is no distinction left between this or that body.
A:And no then folding or unfolding. We don’t have to settle for some term. And all terms are being used provisionally. So, it’s not that things are going to unfold, you see, because on one hand you say ‘Nothing ever happened’ and on the other hand you can say ‘Everything will unfold beautifully.’ Both are true and untrue.
So, this wanting to ‘understand how will it be’ … there is no true answer to that.
There are two approaches we can take and say” ‘Everything will be fine, don’t worry’ then at least you’re free from the worry, of ‘How will it be, how will it be?’
And the second could be” Forget it. Nobody can tell you how it would be. Nobody can ever give you an answer for something like that because there is no answer for anything at all, ever. And actually, even that is not an answer. [Chuckling]
Get Rid of Everything That will Go
Why go on this temporary expedition of ‘Oh, I will know what this is, then I will know what that is’? What will you do with that?
To need something to get to a particular point means that you are not already there … only if you have understood ‘a, b, c, d, e, f, g,’ … only if you are going to get to the point of freedom. That would mean that we have been told a lie that ‘Truth always IS’ and that the ‘Self is ever-present’ that ‘It does not come and go’. So, instead of constructing these castles of concepts, find out what naturally, most originally, is Here.
What is the answer that I can give you now which will last beyond physical death? What is the answer that I can give you now, that if you were to die, you still have it?
There is no such answer. So, at best what I can do is point you to that which is deathless; point you to that which does not come and go. Because everything else is going. I give you a hundred answers, you will make a hundred books out of them; how does that help? It will go with sleep tonight. Forget death, with sleep it’s all gone.
What do you carry into your sleep?
What does not go?
That is why actually the term ‘Jnana Yoga’ or the path of knowledge is quite a lot misunderstood. Because it can feel like ‘If I collect all the right answers, all the right notions, then I will get to the peak of my knowledge and that peak of my knowledge is going to be the pinnacle of freedom’ (or something like that). But what is it? What is it? It is actually to let go of everything that is false and as we let go of everything that is false, what have you still got left?
So, this is a good filter. How to let go of everything that is false? Let go of everything that does not remain; let go everything that will come and go. Let go of what? Your concepts of them … that if there is something that does not come and go, then which concept accurately represents that? No concept. So, empty yourself of this fruitless, needless thinking. It will not bring you any freedom.
S: When you say ‘get rid of everything which will go’ …?
A: Get rid of everything which will go.
S: We don’t even have to say ‘come and go.’ What stays.
What Is Real?
Q:That which remains after cleansing, it has no opposites.
A:It has no opposites.
Q:It cannot not be.
A:Yes, but It is not in the opposite of Being or not being also. If we feel like we know what
‘Be’ is and therefore, in a way, we also know what ‘not-be’ is, then it is not well defined in this construct. Even if you say ‘it always exists’ … no, it is not. It is still just a concept. So, as concepts, they can be useful pointers, in a way, but in themselves, they do not hold the truth of
Q:You know when Guruji [Sri Mooji] asks in the invitation ‘Can it die?’ … I couldn’t say…but it feels that…
A:You couldn’t say ‘Yes or no.’
A:You are saying you couldn’t say what? You couldn’t say ‘yes’?
Q:I couldn’t say ‘No.’ I couldn’t say ‘No.’
A:You couldn’t say ‘No’ to ‘Can it die?’
Q:Yeah, I didn’t know.
Q:I didn’t know. But now it feels that it cannot die.
A: Yeah. But if I say ‘Is it living?’
Q: It feels very much alive.
A:What do you mean by ‘alive’?
Q:I don’t know. This is my…
A:But we have to look at these things. Because behind these terms (we have to pick of the veil of these terms and see what is it actually) because behind these terms lot of conceptual knowledge can still remain. Like if we say ‘Let’s pick it apart’ then what do you mean? Because it is nothing to worry about. If it is true, it is not going anywhere.
[You say] ‘It feels very alive.’ So, okay, what is ‘alive’? Is’ alive’ existence?
Then existence; what exists in your sleep state?
So, that is when we see that actually the term doesn’t really capture it. But I am not saying that ‘It is not alive.’ But I’m not saying that ‘It is not dead.’ [Smiles] I’m not saying either. I’m just saying that these things actually don’t actually really apply; living / dead do not really apply to what we are speaking of. But because we can have these terms, then we can feel like (many times we feel like) we live in the truth … but actually, we live in paintings of the truth. We make very fancy paintings of the truth and we live in those and we feel like ‘This is what it is.’ Like, ‘It collaborates very well; this is my unchanging painting. See? It doesn’t change. This is always alive. We have a painting of that and we feel like this.’ Like that. But I’m saying ‘Nothing; nothing which has an opposite. Don’t build house on it.’
Q: In real…
A: Real/unreal all this is also provisional; provisionally pointed.
What is real?
If real is real, there is no unreal.
If there is unreal, there is no real.
If you look at it actually … if real is real, then there’s no unreal. That is the definition of real, no? That it is ‘Not real.’ [Laughs]
It’s just if that dichotomy exists of ‘real and unreal’ then the real cannot mean it. [Real]
Nothing Here Has to Be Resolved
[Reading from the chat]: “There is a lot of anxiety, helplessness, and worry about how my career will turn out to be after graduation. Sleepless waking nights, whether or not I will not get used to a certain work lifestyle or not; whether capable of this or that. Wanting something in alignment with truth, but life promising something else.”
If you don’t define truth, then the question of alignment will go away. I don’t know actually … but these words might sound but strange to you but they are coming up to say to you now: There is only one solution to the problem of life. And that solution is to see that ‘There is no problem of life.’ You don’t have to solve anything here. You don’t have to resolve anything. Because there is no problem. A problem is just a mental concept. Problem means limitation. Now, a problem is what? Bondage. That’s why we are seeking freedom. The problem is what? Lack. That’s why we’re seeking to up fill that desire. Problem is limitation. But the Truth is not in resonance to these kinds of terms.
Nothing here has to be fixed.
Nothing here has to be resolved.
Nothing here is going wrong or right, for that matter. Because these are just terms. There is no such actual thing as wrong or right. So, nothing will go wrong … but don’t expect things to go right.
Throw away these opposites.
Throw away this intellectual box.
Because this box is what limits you. You want to live on one side of the box. You want to live on one side, the good side of the box. Good, truth, happy; all of this is one side of the box. And you want to negate the opposite side. But Your Truth is much beyond these opposites. What we are seeking for (what we think we are seeking for) is very limited actually. We are seeking for the opposite of bondage, which is just trying to live on one side of the box. ‘That side is the bad side; bondage. I don’t want to bound. I want to be on the good side, freedom, joy and bliss and all the good things are here; love and all this.’
Throw away this box. It is only notional. There is no such box in reality. There is no such thing as bondage. There is no such thing as up or down. These are just constructs; mental constructs. And these mental constructs have bound us … (not really, because then it would actually work, but it seems to play that way).
Do you know this is not messing up your recipe? Nor it is necessarily going to give you a ‘three- star’. What is that? A French rating system; very popular.
A: Michelin three-star rating for your dish. It doesn’t have to be this way or that way.
It just IS …what it IS.
If we stop picking and choosing, grasping and avoiding, life is very, very, super-simple and easy. Super, super simple and easy. The only lack of ease comes because of our habit of saying [Makes grabbing gesture] ‘I got this, I’m getting this, I want this.’ Now, this is just a made-up play. It is just made-up, this idea of getting any truth as knowledge; the idea that you will get some truth as knowledge, like mental knowledge. It is just a made-up idea about the work, about anything in the world. Nobody knows anything. We just have terms for it and we think we know it.
[Asks someone in sangha]: What did ‘he’ [that teacher] say?
S:The difference between knowing the name of something … and Knowing something.
A:Yes. So, he said often in the world, this is very confused: To know the name of something verses to Know something. And all our knowing that we think we know is just to collect a collection of names and put relationships between those names and say ‘I know this how this is; this is how that is.’ It’s just words. It’s just language that we’ve collected. But we don’t know anything.
There Is No Bondage
[Reading from chat]: “Father, you have spoken previously about external and internal voices of authority. Most of our beliefs have come from parents and frequent conversations with them. It seems to shake me up from my center as these beliefs and expectations are reinforced. Would you say that is it practical to keep a safe distance till the time I’m more grounded in the truth?”
Well, practically speaking … [Chuckles] … We just spoke about this at first, that the better answer is: Don’t divide your life in to these compartments.
To be grounded in the truth means that you’re letting go of all distinctions. So, it’s not that the voices which try and convince you of your limitation, the voices which convince you of your separation, that they must die down (whether it is the voice of this mind or the same mind from other mouths-seemingly). It is not that that must change. It is just that they are allowed to come and go.
So, I rarely suggest to anyone that you must go live in a cave or away from society or parents or family or something like this, because what really needs to be renounced is our ideas, our notions which will follow you wherever you go. So, we cannot escape them in this way.
Also, don’t take yourself too seriously. You mustn’t take this whole thing too seriously. ‘I’m coming to my freedom and this gets in my way and that gets in my way.’ It’s all lies. We are not coming to any freedom, because there is no bondage … and because there is no bondage, nothing is in the way.
So, all you have to work with (if you feel like you have to work on something) is that as this thought is coming ‘tan, tatant tang’ you just have to let it go ‘tan, tatant tang.’ [Chuckles] If you go meet that thought and say ‘Hello, nice to meet you. Come, let’s us hug, let’s us make life together’ then all this suffering comes. This thought is coming; you just let it go, pass on by. [Chuckles] If you hold onto it and say ‘Hello, nice to meet you’ and ‘Let’s have tea’ this kind of thing, then … that’s all; that’s all that has to be renounced.
You don’t have to push and pull with anything in life. That’s why I was saying that the best spiritual reminder, one of the best spiritual reminders is ‘Row, row, row your boat.’ ♪♫♪ [Chuckles] ‘Gently down the stream. Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily. Life is but a dream.’
Don’t take it too seriously.
Don’t push at it, don’t pull at it.
Don’t steer in a particular direction.
Just open and empty, nice and easy.
Open and empty, nice and easy is good enough.
There Is No Bondage
This Moment You Are Free
In fact, this is also something is which is often misunderstood, said by Dogan like this that ‘There is no difference between the practice, enlightenment, and the Truth.’
And what is the practice? It is just sitting. It’s like sitting empty of all notions. This is what he meant. Not that it is the practice which leads to enlightenment or something like that. Because that is his whole search. His whole search was that ‘If Buddha-nature is ever-present, why are people standing on their head for so long to try and get to Buddha?’ It is just like ‘Why are we doing all this? What are we after?’ So, then he found that it is not contrary to practice. But the practice means to sit empty. And sitting is also just a term. You can be standing, lying, or whatever. Whatever the state of your body, if you are sitting empty, then you are free. It the only liberation, only freedom, only truth, which is ever-apparent, ever-Here. But we think it is the product of something, that it is going to be the result of something, that it is going to be the effect of some cause, that it is going to be in time. All these things are not true.
This Moment! … you are as free and as liberated and full of Truth as a Sage is. This Moment! … yes, you all of you. [Smiles]
For one of you (which is the same as all of you) only this thought will come: ‘But, but, but…’ [Chuckles] Nothing true has ever come out of after ‘But …’ [Smiles] Papaji [Sri Poonja] says ‘If you don’t doubt, you see God.’
Now, do you want to meet God through your filter of what it should be? This is the thing. The only thing gets in the way is this. Like if you want to meet your projection of what God should be, then you cannot meet God. Because God will not dance to your tunes. [Smiles] Leave your projections, ideas: meet God. And if there is problem with term ‘God’ then ‘Self, Truth’ or whatever you want to use is okay. (That itself is a good illustration of how these terms seem to carry potency. But it is just noises. How? Because of certain conditioning around certain terms, we seem to carry a certain sort of weight.
A:What do you see?
S:You are asking us.
A:What do you see?
Do not view this world through the lens of your ideas, the lens of your projections, and you see that whether manifest or un-manifest, whether appearance or disappearance, all these terms also lose their meaning.
Wanting the End of ‘Me’ With Great Benefits for Me
If something is true, then it does not need our assertion of its Truth. If something is true, then it is already true. It doesn’t our belief; it doesn’t need our idea of it being true. So, we can actually go a step further and say that anything that needs our assertion for it to be true then cannot be fundamentally true, originally true. Because, nothing lasts; all these assertions, they don’t last. Now … they are gone. They need to be asserted over and over again. And this is the loss of ego because there is no struggle here except ‘what did it bring to me? What did I get? What’s in it for me?’ Here, right Now, there is no struggle except ‘But what about little old me?’
Now we want to come to the end of ‘me’ … with great benefits for me. [Laughs] ‘We should come to the end of ‘me’ … but it should benefit me in some way, no? Otherwise, what’s the point of coming to the end of ‘me’ if it doesn’t even benefit me? [Chuckles] In a way, this is what I mean when I say ‘Truth for Truth sake.’ Why? Because it is true, not because it brings you anything. And if you start to See like that: if it is true then it does not need my assent, it does not need my assertion of its truth. And if something is coming over and over saying ‘But this is true, this is true, this is true’ notice that that cannot be, because if it needs so much convincing, then how can it be true? Truth is that which always Is. And all these we have played for very long now. We have experimented and said ‘Maybe this time it is true actually’. And many times, we have fallen into the trap of believing ‘But this is true.’ And then we have looked and said ‘What?’ [Laughs] ‘It is just an idea’. And idea or a concept is just an assertion that something is true form the mind. But why does the Truth need assertion?
As I was saying yesterday, the Master is mostly here to tell you where not to go. [Chuckles]
So, don’t go to the mind because you will not find Truth there, you will only make yourself miserable. It’s the ‘Any time Misery machine.’ It’s the ATM which is always available and the minute you give it your attention and your belief, it always has some idea of how to make you miserable. The mind is unsolicited advice on how to suffer. Unsolicited advice on how to suffer. If that is what your feeling is to do, then of course [Chuckles] you’re free as Consciousness to do whatever you want. But Satsang is just Consciousness reminding Itself that if your feeling is not to suffer, then why you go to the suffering machine?
If you don’t want ice cream, will you go to Baskin Robbins? This is the thing. But the thing is with this Baskin Robbins, it tells you that ‘I have all kinds of food. I will give you whatever you want. I will give you a parantha [Indian bread] if you like.’ But it doesn’t have anything but misery. And you have seen this over and over again that you cannot be miserable unless you believe something. Now, whether you call that knowledge, whether you call that a concept, it doesn’t really matter. But you cannot take a bite of this misery unless you take a bite of a concept. This is the poisoned apple.
So, the Master is here to tell you where not to go. So, don’t go to this mind. But the habit is that we will take this also to the mind and say ‘So, what do you think about this? Now, he is always saying don’t go to the mind. What do you think? Should we try this thing?’ And what do you feel the mind will say? It will only give you bad news like ‘You can’t do it, it doesn’t work, maybe only for him, but what about the real world in practical life…’ More and more terms, concepts,
assertions will come your way. And hidden in that is the notion of ‘me’ and ‘my way’ …. I want
to do it my way.’ What is that Zen Master’s saying?
‘The path to Truth is very simple. If you don’t take the by-lanes.’
I was saying that to come from Manipal hospital [Nearby hospital] to here is a straight line. But you can also go to the Rustambagh Road or the Leela’s Palace. The Leela is a very good example.
More direct than a straight line; more immediate than Now, is what you are being pointed to. Now which by-lane do you want to take? These by-lanes usually start with ‘But…’ (‘But, according to me…’) And this is the stubborn resistance, the stubborn insistence, on being an individual … which is how Consciousness want to play, apparently, and that is why we have had a Satsang almost every day for so many years [Chuckles] because of the same nature of this idea of ‘My way, got it, lost it, grasping, being averse to.’ Because you feel like you are nothing if you don’t have a position. You just feel like nothing; you feel that you will become nothing. So, anything to avoid that feeling of no-thing-ness. So, we take on these subtle positions, even Advaita positions. That there is nothing to do is also an Advaita position. I’m saying there is nothing called ‘doing’. So, instead of taking strong positions like ‘there is nothing to do’ or ‘something to do’ … See that there is nothing called ‘doing’ itself.
Nobody has ever met their notion of anything. Nobody has ever met their notion of anything at all. You have not met yesterday, you have not met tomorrow; you have not met ‘me,’ you have not met ‘I’. Your idea of what something is never corresponds to Reality.
Lost in the Jungle of Percepts and Desert of Concepts?
A:It’s like there’s a desert. The Master has looked in the desert everywhere for water and he has not found it. But he said ‘When I stopped looking, all there was, was water.’ So, our habit in a way is to go looking in the desert. What is the desert? These percepts [objects of perception] and concepts, you see. And the Master is only saying ‘Don’t look there’ Then you see, like the Sage said ‘Like the fish who is searching for water … in the water’. More than that, you are the water thirsting for water.
If you don’t go in the desert looking for water, it is apparent that you are the water. [Silence]
But because we have been taught, conditioned to go looking for answers, for truths, for knowledge. That is why this is Self-Knowledge; Atma Gyan. Now, if it is Self-Knowledge, where do you have to go to look?
S: Here and Now.
A: Exactly, The Self is Here and Now. [Silence]
So, in the desert you will only find mirages. In the desert you will only find mirages which will give you false hope. ‘Maybe that was it! Ah, that experience was It’ or ‘That feeling was It, or ‘That sense of relief was It.’
S: Water is there.
A:Exactly. The whole notion that water is there [points at a distance] is the mirage, you see. So, when we go looking in the deserts of percepts and concepts for the Truth, this is what happens. Because this world of percepts is also very intricate; it has so many layers of existence and every layer can have miraculous things and the most horrendous things. And we can get caught up in that; in labelling it as the as discovery of water. If you see some bright light in the middle of this room, from nowhere, then you might think that That Is It! you might try to replicate everything that you did this all morning so you could come to that experience of that bright light coming in the middle of the room from nowhere. You might say ‘What did I do first? Then…’ That’s how practice becomes practice. You see? You are just trying to templatize this experience, and saying ‘How do I get to That?’ Then inwardly you might have some sense of percepts and concepts.
That’s why Bhagavan [Sri Ramana Maharshi] always said ‘No matter what it is, find out what witnesses that and if that itself can be perceived.’ Like Guruji’s piranha question ‘Can the Perceiver be perceived?’
So, don’t get caught up in the desert of experience. Don’t get caught up in, especially, in the desert of our notions of what we are experiencing. Let them all be. I’m not saying to push the desert of anything away. In fact, be mildly inviting if you must. Let everything come. But don’t fool yourself into thinking that you will find the ultimate Reality in any of that.
So, once you stop looking for water in the desert you will see that you are water itself. [Silence]
If your objective is to sit where you’re sitting right Now, the Master can tell you ‘Don’t get up, don’t take a step, don’t move an inch.’ But how to tell you to sit exactly how you’re sitting right Now?
Then you’ll hear all the satsang pointers: ‘Just Be. Just what Is.’ It’s just like this. That is why the Sage said ‘The fish is thirsting for water in the water; where should it go to find the water?’
If the fish comes (you are another fish, okay?) and says ‘Yeah, I found water!’ [Chuckling] What will you tell that fish? ‘But, yeah.’ What is there to assert in that? And a fish comes and says ‘I’m not finding the water.’ Both are in the water. It’s like ‘Show me, I can’t see the water.’ What should you tell that fish?
S: Go to Satsang.
A: [Laughing] Go to satsang. Fish Satsang!
S: Instructions are arising from the activity of ‘not doing’
A:Yes, if I can only ‘not do enough’ I shall find the Truth. [Chuckling] The concept of ‘doing’ is trouble either way. If you make yourself the doer or the non-doer. If you take a position of
‘I’m not the doer’ it still makes you something.
S: Yeah, I have to be the one who is not-doing.
A:Exactly. Or if you the take the position ‘I am the doer’ it still makes you something. Both are not accurate representations of what you are.
It’s like the story in the Yoga Vashishta or something. ‘There once was a King who was lost. He could see a jungle (which was the jungle of concepts) and he could see a desert (which was the desert of percepts). Now, actually, where he was standing was the palace itself but he felt he was lost. So, should he go to the jungle or the desert?
Because like someone said: ‘That’s all that he thinks he can go.’ He can only see the jungle and the desert. He’s standing at the window of his palace, thinking that he is lost, where should he go, jungle or desert?
S: How is he going to recognize that he’s not lost?
A: Yes, how, you say? Definitely not by going to the jungle or the desert. [Chuckling]
S:Since we see the whole picture, we already see that he is not lost, he is standing at the window and he’s imagining….
A:It’s easy to say all this, agreed. So, now what advice would you give the king? Which way to look?
S:Ah, to remember what was his palace, and then he would probably see it
A:What about just to see where you are already?
S:Yes, then he would know he is not lost.
A:Yes, and this is even more absurd; our real story is even more absurd because we cannot leave the palace. Because we can never actually go into the jungle and become lost, never get lost in the desert, but we can make ourselves believe that and within the jungle and the desert try to find our palace. But actually, you can never leave.
Lose All References to the ‘I’
[Reading from chat]: “Father, what struck me is that this ‘I’ feeling is merely a perception and does not have really have any control or capability of doing anything except to remain as a perception. So, instead of dropping notions, which keep appearing endlessly, is it enough to drop the primal notion of ‘self-image’ or ‘I-thought’ … if that’s possible?”
Yes, yes, yes, yes. Yes. To drop the ‘I-thought’ means to drop all the references to the ‘I.’ But it is the very same thing; what both the solutions are is the same. Because the reference to the ‘I’ comes only with notions. So, you were referring to the bundle of sensations as ‘I.’ And once you stop referring to the bundle of sensations as ‘I’ then no other limitation is possible. You will see that the mind will have all sorts of tricks to convince you of your limitation, without even pointing to any sensation. And it will convince you that the money in the bank belongs to you. Now, if you buy into that notion then you don’t have to relate it back to any sensations. You might just have a mythical like sense of ‘I.’
To lose all references to the ‘I’ (to lose the ‘I-thought’) is to not pick up any notion about yourself. So, both of what you are saying is the same … because all notions are only selling you the reference to yourself, the reference to the ‘I.’ So, if you lose the reference to the ‘I’ then it is to lose the ‘I-thought.’
In a way, it is good what you say because sometimes you can have this notion of ‘I have to keep giving up all the notions of the ‘I.’ And that notion itself we do not give up. Like sometimes somebody says ‘But I still haven’t stopped believing my thoughts.’ And I will say ‘But start with that one.’ Because that one itself can be very oppressive.
So, if that is what you’re implying, then rather than picking up this ‘I’ notion saying ‘I have to stop believing my thoughts or I have to drop all notions’ (which itself is a notion) start with that one. And then see that it applies everywhere; including this one. There is just a non-positional state (if you have to use the word ‘state’ … it’s not really a state) like you’re not saying ‘this way or that way’.
So, lose all references to the ‘I’
Can You Hold Opposites as True Without Any Trouble?
I’m recommending to you that don’t know any of this and don’t try to know any of this, because whatever you ‘know’ is not true or untrue. Just step back from this box of true and false to come to the real True. Don’t go into this jungle. There is no Truth to be found there. This is what I mean when I say ‘To recognize the mind is almost to recognize Your Self.’ To see what is just a thought is to come to the Truth of Your Self which is apparent beyond thought.
S: Can the mind convince itself?
A:No, of course not. Again, it depends on our definition of the mind. The way we define is it, it itself is merely a perception. It itself is merely a perception, a bundle of thoughts. There is no entity or ‘being’ called the mind.
S: The thought itself would be a recognition thought.
A:So, the thought is saying whatever ‘Da, da, da.’ To see that it contains an insight, the thought itself cannot do. So, it’s like there is no actual substance called traffic; it’s just a set of cars or vehicles. In the same way, there is no actual thing called mind. It is just a collection of these thoughts … and sometimes we can mix imagination, memory, all that also in this traffic.
Can the traffic recognize traffic? In the same way, can the traffic be stuck in traffic?
Because there is no such ‘thing’ as traffic. It is just a collection that we are using a term for (for convenience) called ‘traffic’. Rather than having to point out every car, in the same way rather than having to point out every thought, we use the term ‘mind’. So, the one who looks at this, perceives it or gets stuck in it or gets out of it … that is what we are asking: What is that? Who perceives the mind? Or who seems to get limited by the mind? And who seems to escape the mind?
It is not the traffic itself because that is just a collection of cars. This is good. Sometime, we have to discuss this more. Because we keep saying in Satsang (I keep saying) ‘The mind, the mind, the mind’ so we end up thinking that there is actual entity called the mind … but it is just a term used to describe a set of thoughts, a collection of ideas.
S:In what you are saying perhaps, can it be that all the cars in traffic are speaking the truth?
A:Can it be that the cars are speaking the truth?
S:Some of them, just Truth?
A:So, give me an example of that car in this case.
A:Yeah, give me an example of a true thought. That’s what we are exploring, isn’t it? Like: Is there a thing called a true thought? So, first we have to define what is Truth? To see whether something can speak the Truth, we have to define what the Truth is? So, what would you say Truth is?
[Someone in audience]: There is no thought.
A: Wait, wait; we will come to that. [Laughter]
What would be the benchmark for Truth? Before we can take a true thought, what would make something true or false?
The Sages have given us one benchmark: that which comes and goes, that which changes, is not
true; that is not real. They have called this Viveka: ‘Nitya, Nitya, Viveka’. So, we can use that benchmark. If you have some other benchmark you can tell me.
What is your benchmark for Truth?
S: Words form the Master.
A:So, that is the benchmark for the Truth. Now, do you find that your benchmark for Truth can contradict itself?
A: Sometimes. If it is possible for Truth to contradict itself, then all the opposites can fit into it?
S: I don’t understand.
A:Contradiction means opposites. So, the Master says ‘Go left, go left’ then the Master says ‘Go right, go right’ at the same time. It can seem like a contradiction.
A:So, that fits into our definition of Truth? All opposites do?
S:Contradictions are a part of it.
A:Contractions are a part of that. So, then everything that can be spoken is like this or like that. [Chuckles] (Stay with me for one moment.) Everything that can be spoken can be an assertion
(this way) or a negation of that, isn’t it? And you’re saying both of them are okay.
A: So, now is the assertion true or the negation true?
S: Both can be.
A:Both, exactly. Therefore, neither are. If an assertion and its opposite are both true … therefore, both are meaningless. [Laughs] So, therefore, you can say ‘Nothing is true or everything is true’ and therefore, both of them are also meaningless. So, to see that whatever we can conceptualize in this way doesn’t actually carry any substance (because its negation is as true) is to be free from the mind, in a way. (This would be useful to transcribe maybe)
Because we get used to taking sides as if one side is the Truth. But then we can have a benchmark (‘Okay, he contradicts himself’) but if you look at the contradiction itself and we say that ‘It is okay for one to contradict himself and then, therefore, the opposites are both true’ then actually, we are divesting truth value from both sides.
S: Father, it is sometimes like ‘This is true sometimes, that is true sometimes’ … both.
A:Yeah. So, let’s then dig into some example. Take an example of what is true … of what the
Master says which is true.
S: ‘You are already the Self.’ But then the opposite is also something like …
A:Yeah, like ‘Until you see that you are the Self, you cannot be free.’ Both can be said. Now, which one is true?
S: Both. [Laughs]
A:Both. That means neither; in the sense that the minute we say ‘both’ we are saying ‘neither.’ Isn’t it?
A:Just look at this thing. They are fun [Chuckles] if you enjoy them. I enjoy looking at these things. ‘What does an assertion assert?’ and ‘What does a negation negate?’ And if you can assert both or negate both, then both are as true or false.
S: It would really poke you up…
A:Yes, in a way. If you can hold opposites without them giving you any trouble, then you are very open.
Stop All Construction Activity
Is it possible to leave this box of intellect? Let it be.
All these assertions, negations, opposites: should be / should not be,
getting it / not getting it, will find it / will not find it, have found it / have not found it, had found it / had not found it. [Chuckles]
Left / right, up / down, yesterday / tomorrow. All these are ideas.
This moment / that moment, here / there,
Guru / disciple, truth / false, right / wrong.
Is it possible to leave all this as it is, without grabbing, grasping, pushing?
S: Always good to leave all these.
A:Always. [Chuckles] Always / never. [Ananta and Sangha laughs] Always / never.
Do we have to conclude? That’s why I’m saying ‘always / never.’
S: Difficult / easy.
A:Difficult / easy. Because this is the most difficult thing that you will ever do and it is actually the easiest thing you can do. I can say both with equal conviction (which means neither with no conviction also). It is the most difficult thing you will do, to leave this box of intellect behind. And yet, it is the most effortless.
Stop compartmentalizing, stop building frameworks, stop construction.
All construction activities: just stop.
What are we constructing and understanding … which will never represent the truth?
I’ve been saying that if the Truth needed a bridge, then that would not be the truth … and that itself is the bridge. So, burn this bridge also: that is the bridge.
It’s not a straight line. It’s not meant to be logical. Like ‘Burn the bridge is the bridge’ … is that logical? Of course not. And yet, it is … something. [Chuckles]
Can the goose escape the vase? Of course not. And yet, it can, of course.
So, either you will try to solve it, try to solve it, try to figure it out and then fail and give up on the intellect … or you will just hear these words and something will say ‘Okay, don’t go to this intellect.’
That we cannot say. Because we might have said earlier that ‘Oh, for those with devotional temperament, then surrender is easier’ and things like that. But I’m noticing that even devotional temperaments know so much about how devotional they are. [Ananta and Sangha chuckle]
S:The problem is that it is called ‘ignorance’ so you think knowledge will help.
A: Good, yes.
S: But it is not knowledge in the sense that …
A:Then you see that all that you can think is ignorance, [Sangha laughs] that all that you can conclude is ignorance; including this conclusion is ignorance. It’s completely self-destructive as well.
Ignorance is to claim that any notion represents Reality; that any construct of notions can be accurate picture of Reality.
Look at all your constructs.
What have you built up?
Look at all your constructs of understanding.
What do they represent actually?
What do you understand?
Look at any construct that you have made.
What is understanding that?
What have you understood?
It’s just a set of assertions and negations.
But truth is not subject to an assertion or a negation.
What Are You Trying to Solve?
Whatever this is, is an attempt to get you let go of this device called the ‘intellect’ which is searching for some answer to a non-existent question. That is why I love what the Sage said: ‘Searching for the solution for the problem of life, where none actually exists.’
There is no problem of freedom.
There is no problem in life to be solved.
He said ‘The only solution to the problem of life is to recognize that there is no problem’
which is same as Bhagavan [Sri Ramana Maharshi] saying that ‘It is not true knowledge will not be found but only that which is false will be given up.’ Freedom is not something that you will get. You will only see that there is no bondage. All the Sages have constantly told us this, that there is no problem actually. But to be rid of the notion of problem itself is to be rid of the problem.
What are you trying to solve?
This is the nicer way of saying ‘What do you want?’ [Smiles]
What is it that you want?
A:Fearlessness. So, fear needs a notion? Or fearlessness needs a notion?
S:Both are notions.
A:Yes, yes, both are themselves notions. But to fear, then you have to have a limited picture of yourself, to have a version of yourself, which has a boundary, which can be attacked, which has to be defended. Right Now, you do not have no boundary. Without a notion, you do not have any boundary.
You have no location.
You are not in time.
As much as you might think you are, and as much as you think you have to get out of time and space, actually, you cannot get into time and space.
Jump into time.
Do it and tell me.
Who did it?
Jump from where you are into this room.
Jump into this room.
You did it? What came? You cannot do it. You cannot objectify yourself at all. That’s why you need this constant reinforcement of the lie; the mind saying ‘You are this, you are this; you are this limited object.’ It is just a lie.
Become an object in time and show me.
Like, be subject to time.
Let time affect you.
Age; age with time.
Change is time, no?
Change and show me.
Nobody can actually do this thing. It is a great fantasy. [Smiles]
S: You can be without notion, with notions…
A:With a notion, you can imagine yourself to be anything. You can imagine yourself to be the busiest object. In fact, it’s like you can give assertion to that idea and then it seems as if it is true. That is what belief is. But you can’t actually do it.
So, the game is not to come to freedom; it is to actually see that there is no problem. To See … not just to use another notion: ‘Okay, there was a problem; now I see (I believe) that there is no problem so I have no problem now.’ Because these tricks do not work that way.
What Is Before the Idea of Zero and One?
It is a simple question.
Are you perceiving the hand? [Showing his hand]
Who is perceiving it?
Can this ‘You’ be perceived?
Then how do you know it is You?
What is that unperceived Knowing or un-perceivable Awareness? After that, words fail. What to say now? Because words are useful mostly for that which is quantifiable, definable, perceivable. So, it is a return to simplicity in this way. Because one thing is very clear, that you will not be able to solve it mentally, intellectually. And already you say that it is not even perceived. And yet, you know it is ‘I’. What is that type of Knowing? How do you make that claim?
In a way, it is the same as how I have been saying that I cannot tell you the Truth … and in a way, I can only show it to you. But this type of showing is a bit different. So, first I tell you where not to go. Don’t go to the jungle of thoughts because you will not find the Truth there. You can look. It is said in one of the verses by the Sikh gurus: “Soche Such Na Hove, Jo Soche Lakh Baar” which means that you cannot think your way through this even if you think a hundred-thousand times. So, it is not in the jungle of thoughts. Then where else not to go? You will not find it objectively as an object. So, anything that you can perceive, you will not find the ultimate Reality that you are looking for in that. These two lanes you don’t take. These two by- lanes you don’t take.
Now, what is left?
Recognize the thought as a thought. That is ninety-nine per cent of it. To recognize the jungle as the jungle is ninety-nine per cent of it. Because otherwise, we are still buying into the claim of the thought to be representative of ‘I’. (Does the word sound too complex if I say it like that? No. Okay.) If you still buy in to the claim of the thought claiming to be the representative of You, then You have still not recognized it as just a thought. And that recognition is most of this so- called journey. Because I have seen that many can be in Satsang from the beginning, five years with me, but in five years also, some have still not able to recognize thought; what is thought.
To recognize the mind is ninety-nine per cent of recognizing the Self. So, even after hearing this for example: ‘Don’t go to the jungle of thoughts and the desert of perception’ … if you’re still trying to figure out how to think about that and now what to compute and how to figure it out, then that is not It. It is not going to be a fanciful claim. It is not going to be claim: ‘Ah! I saw the Truth is… this.’ If it can be represented in that way, it is not the Truth.
So, the invitation with this question ‘Can the perceiver be perceived?’ also brings us straight to this point, where you know you can’t think about it and even your perception cannot help you. Because you say that this ‘I’ who perceives this hand [Showing his hand] itself cannot be
perceived … and yet you say it is ‘I’ that perceives. [Silence] How is that you? What claim do you have over it?
Q:In a way, it is the first thing I have known.
A:The first thing? What is the very, very first?
Q: I don’t know.
A:Is there a zeroth thing? Like, was there a you and then first, you knew it? Like that? Because even that would have to be known then.
Q:Yes, I have listened to the thoughts of me, of the conventional knowledge that I have always had through my life, and this seems to have been there before; so only in that relation, it doesn’t seem fair to say, but I understand…
A: It’s okay. I have a sense of what you’re saying.
Is it the first, first … before the idea of zero and one? It is like my daughter said to me the other day; she read a post on Instagram and said, “Pa do you know that for the first three seconds after waking up, we don’t know who we are?”
Maybe. [Chuckles] So, is it like that? After three seconds, then I know that I’m the perceiver? Is it that? Or is it in that three seconds itself?
Q:Not able to confirm. [Silence]
A:And you don’t have to confirm (in some sort of conceptual way).
You Can’t Miss It But You Can’t Own It
Nisargadatta Maharaj used to call it the ‘Nivritti’ path which means the deconstructive path. (Pravritti path would be the constructive; trying to be better, trying to be good). This is the Nivritti path which means going inwards, the ‘deconstructive’ which means to really look at what is the substratum and see if any conceptual construction is possible at all about it in Reality. Is there any construction of that? Even like a spiritual construct, is it possible?
S:Father, as you are saying it, it seems that there is a one who is trying to meet, is listening to these words.
A:It seems like, so don’t be stuck in that ‘seems like’. What is it actually? What would ‘seems like’ mean? Already you are saying ‘it seems like’ therefore it is not that. Or are you saying it is that?
A:That’s what we have to look at. Then if there is a doubt ‘it could be that’ let’s look at that. The one who is trying to … what?
A:Meet; is trying to understand these words. Okay, where is this one?
S:It is listening to these words also.
A:How do you know that?
S: It’s a default belief that goes to those words.
A:Are you referring to a belief as your knowing …? Or you know that because you have belief that it is, but you don’t see it?
S: In a way, these thoughts come and automatically…
A:If you see that it’s just a thought, then automatically: nothing. What is belief? Belief means that it represents me, no? It is true for me. So, once you see that it’s just an energy construct floating about, that is enough. And when you look, do you find a ‘me’ that is represented by these thoughts?
S:In the looking ‘the searching’ uses that as an argument that ‘searching is going on so the false ‘I’ must be there.’
A:Okay. So, whatever you can perceive that is going on, who is that which is perceiving it?
‘This is happening, belief is happening, identification is happening, thought is coming, belief is
happening, identification is coming’ all of this you are the witness of this or no? You’re not making it up; you witness. That’s what you say. This witness, what are its properties, attributes?
S:Not able to go to this… like the identification with the thoughts. Not able to identify with the witness at all.
A:Don’t have to, You can’t, in fact. If that needed an identification, then it would not be that. Like you are trying to make the ground pull you towards it?
S: Then why is there doubt?
A:Doubt means it always tries to convince you of what is false. [Laughs] (We talked about this.) I say ‘I love you, I love you, I love you’ … now, you will doubt that. But if I say ‘I hate you’ you are like ‘Oh, this must be true’ [Laughs] Okay, what is your doubt? Let’s hear.
S: It should be clear without doubt that this witness….
A: The doubt is that the doubt should not be there?
S:So, the doubt is ‘Maybe I have not seen it. Maybe it’s an inference or something.’
A:Okay. So, whatever the inference is, cannot be it. So, I’m saying to you that Right Now you cannot miss it; nobody has ever missed it. Right Now, it is It. You have not missed it. But you cannot grab at it, either conceptually or perceptually. (With me so far?) Right Now, you can’t miss it … but you can’t own it in any sort of intellectual way or sort of objective way.
Now, if the mind is quiet and the perception was to go one by one, would you also go? And if you also would go, then with which perception would you go? If the thoughts stopped, like they do now) like ‘Now [Snaps fingers] Now’ … you are still here, no? And if one by one these sounds, tastes, sights, smells. touch also went, would you also still be here?
S:And the one who doubts, would that still be here? When the perceptions …
A:No. Can you doubt without a thought? Try to doubt with no notion.
S:No, this notion of ‘me’ has to be there.
A:Exactly. The doubter is made up of notions; the Self is not. So, this problem that you’re thinking is a problem is not a problem.
S: Is it that the ‘me’ has to go? The doubt is like…
A:The ‘me’ doesn’t have to go, but you can stop playing the game of picking it up. It’s gone!
Suppose it had to go, now it is gone!
S: Even if it’s there, don’t pay attention to it?
A:It’s not there; it’s gone. It is gone! Yes?
A:Maybe; no. I’m saying ‘It’s gone’.
S:I can suspend the attention …
A:Your mind is saying ‘It’s not true’ … like ‘What he is saying; it’s not true.’
S:There is a shapeless image of ‘me’… I don’t know, the abstract image.
A: Okay, let’s go one step back then. This ‘me’ … what does it desire? What does it want?
S: It’s an insentient thing; doesn’t …
A:This is mythology; you are building a myth of a ‘me’. [Laughs] Don’t have any of this. Right
Now, it is not there. Because it is what? Your idea of desire, duality and doer-ship: the 3-D ego. It is not there Now.
S:When I try to search for it, then the abstract image is there, but when I am not searching for it,
I don’t know what is there… a feeling? Or something is there.
A: Okay, who witnesses there and not there?
S: To answer this; if I say ‘me’ then that ‘me’ which I’ve used in the past automatically pops up.
A:Okay, but you do witness it, right? Whether you use the term ‘me’ or ‘I’ or ‘myself’ or something like that, the fact is that you witness it.
A:What is the quality of this witness? [Silence] Independent of what idea you have of it, It Is. Now, the notion of ‘me’ is only dependent on whatever you think of it. The mind will come and say ‘But how do I know if I have really seen it or not?’ That’s why I am saying that ‘You can’t miss it.’ And your mind’s idea of seeing, you can never do it anyway. What do you mean by
‘seen it’? That you can never do. Whatever your mind’s idea of seeing it, it will never happen.
Because it is not objective in that way.
Have You Found a Single Benefit of Identification?
Q:Can it not be sensed; you can sense that you are aware?
A:Sense. What would ‘sense’ be?
Q:No, not ‘sense’ with the five senses. But if I’m sitting here, a thought comes. I’m seeing the thought. I’m seeing the thought then I’m trying hard to see who is seeing it. And then I come to a stop. I notice this spaciousness and awareness. And I can’t go beyond that. It seems to just be there. And I think that I’ve come to the conclusion (because I’m so used to these five senses and I can’t seem to disconnect from that) that to allow myself to fall into the awareness, that that will allow me to see …
A:So, who is this playing ping-pong in the middle that can go to the sense or to the awareness?
What is that? Is it you … or is it just attention?
Q: It is the movement of I-Consciousness; its attention.
A:Okay, just let’s use a simple term: it is attention. Now, the movement of attention is witnessed by whom?
Q: Some layer before that.
A:Yes. So, this ‘you’ …. has it changed or has something happened to it, no matter where the attention goes; whether it is not attention at all (which means completely at home)? The spring is completely pushed back or it is all over the place like a dog on a leash, just everywhere, like that. So, the one that is witnessing even this movement of attention, is it affected in any way by whatever the content of attention might be?
Q: It shouldn’t be.
A: Should not. [Smiles]
Q: I have experienced that it doesn’t but because I’m so connected with the world …
A:So, now this ‘I’ is which one, that is connected with the world?
Q: Yeah, I’m losing the focus of this ‘I.’
A: Who is losing it?
A: You are, as that awareness … or as what?
Q:As the fundamental awareness.
A:Is losing the focus.
Q:It’s becoming so identified with the thoughts and things around it that I can’t lose my perspective again so that I could stop and say ‘Okay, but…’
A:Okay, let’s go slowly. The minute you say that it gets identified, then that is the end of identification … because the one that is identified does not know that it is identified.
You say ‘I get identified.’ To see that ‘It is identified’ is to say that it’s not true; it’s only a belief system or it is only a conceptual idea that ‘I’m that.’ If you see that it gets identified, you see that ‘Okay, now this identification: is it substantive (in the sense that there is something happening, in actuality, to you?) No.
Q: It is just a … virtual.
A:It is just virtual. Nothing really happened. And you spot that it is just identification. So, it never really actually happened but ‘Ah, I seem to sometimes believe that I’m this limited one, but I see it is just not true.’
Q:And yet, sometimes you need to do that to live in this world. You have to identify to do. I mean… [Smiles] It is incredible.
A:How are you living now?
Q:How am I living now?
Q:Right now, by this minute.
A:What are you having to do?
A:Even to communicate, even the movement of this mouth, nobody can tell me how you are doing it, how they are doing it. I don’t know how to move a finger, I say. [Smiles] Because if you are scientific, I will say ‘How do you move a finger?’ … [You say] ‘Oh, in my brain there
are the neurons that are fired.’ … I say ‘Okay, to move a finger, you have to fire neurons. Does anyone know how to fire a neuron?’ You don’t know.
So, this is happening the same way that that is happening. For me, that is clear. You may have this sense that ‘Okay, he is speaking those words, but I’m speaking these’ or something like that but this is just not true. Both are heard. Both are perceived in the same space. So, when we start drawing the boundary around one object and saying ‘That is me’ then all these ideas can come. ‘How does this limited object live its life? What is the future of it? How will it take care? How will we bring it to its freedom?’ It is full of contradictions. Why contradictions? Because if we keep repeating that ‘I’m this limited object’ and then saying ‘Freedom is to see that I’m not’ then it is, at best, cancelling each other out. You are not getting anywhere. So, the notion that a limited one will come to its freedom is just bondage. To see that there is no such entity like that is to see that there is no bondage, which is freedom.
So, when you say ‘surely’ … I want to argue with that ‘surely’ a bit. ‘Surely, we must have to pick up the identification for something.’ I’ve looked; I didn’t find any single benefit of picking up this identity. It promises many features. And you buy it. It does not fulfill its promises anyway, in this identification. And even if you explore this promise deeply, you will see that it is not true, this idea of doer-ship, like ‘I must be identified to then be able to run this life.’ It’s a very limiting box which you construct, which you identify with. And then to identify, to live this life and to conveniently manage when it is convenient to not identify … it doesn’t work like that. [Smiles] You cannot have one foot on the ground and the other foot on the airplane. It’s not going to work. It’s going to be very painful if you try to do that. [Chuckles]
So, don’t have the sense that ‘I must pick up this identification.’ Like when the child is born, the child is not deciding ‘What is my first move. I’m going to cry. What is my second move? I’m going to drink milk.’ It is not deciding these things.
Don’t Postmortem the Instruction Itself, Just Follow It
Q: Father, you said ‘Don’t go to the jungle of thoughts or to perception.’ What is perception?
A: All that you can perceive; anything that has shape, size, color, any quality.
Q: You are aware of … things; the awareness of things … is it perception?
A:Of anything that you are aware of it, then don’t go into it looking for the Truth.
Q:Because perception is happening naturally.
A:Yeah, yeah. I’m not saying ‘don’t perceive’. But I am saying don’t go to any perception expecting that the Truth would be found in that or go grasping for anything in the perception. Then you will see that you will lose the term perception also; in the sense that ‘The perception is happening’ is also just an idea. I can say perception is happening, I can say nothing is happening, I can say nothing has ever happened. It’s all the same thing. It’s all nonsense … (or full sense). [Laughs]
Q: So, you said ‘Don’t go to the jungle of thoughts’ so…
A: Are you following that? [Laughs]
Q: So, don’t go to the perception is a…
A: Is also a thought?
Q: No, it feels like a doing, right?
A: That’s also thought. Don’t post-mortem the instruction itself, just follow it. [Laughter]
It’s like the instruction came ‘Don’t post-mortem anything’ and we are post-mortem-ing the instruction only.
Now, the thought is coming. Let’s do it together. Thought will come and say ‘Blah, blah, blah, blu, blu, blu, blee, blee, blee.’ Whatever it is saying, let it come and go.
Q: So …
A: This one, no? [Laughs]
Q: When that happens, it is done; it’s usually for a shorter period of time
A: This one, no? This one you don’t want. You want to go to this jungle, with this one? [Laughs]
Q:Usually we say ‘Don’t go into the thoughts’ but we are dwelling in the thoughts quite a bit, you remember? It is happening.
A: Hmmm? [Laughs] How about we start now?
Q: The dwelling in thoughts is happening, Father. [Laughter]
A:That is just a thought. This is the thing. Anything that needs a concept that you feel is a true representation of even manifest appearance, if you really look at it openly you will see that it doesn’t represent.
Q: It won’t represent, but for day to day activity, dwelling in thought is happening.
A:[Laughs] What if I refuse to buy your premise? Because what you are saying is ‘But it is true’ and saying that I’m not giving it truth value. This is exactly how the mind works. It will come up to you with an offer and say ‘But it is undeniable, come on. It is happening, come on!’ [Sangha laughs] Like that. This is the sales tactic, you see? This is the sales tactic. If I say to you that it’s all been a bad dream, you have never dwelled in your thoughts … can you confirm to me authoritatively that it cannot be true? [Questioner Laughs] You cannot. Because we don’t know these things. And this, when we confirm something, even though it might seem straight-forward like that ‘Obviously, that’s why we are here in Satsang’ and all this kind of things, you will see that in that notion we have picked up the whole jungle. Because to define ‘What dwelling is, what that is, what ‘Is’ is, what happening is’ we have picked up the whole dictionary and those definitions then to define other things. [Smiles]
You see that it is just a thought? Or no?
Q: It’s hard. [Laughs] I don’t know.
A:What else could it be? So, this notion for example ‘But this is my condition: dwelling on thoughts is happening, usually.’ Isn’t it? That is the offering. So, like that, it came. Now, I say to you ‘Don’t believe that or don’t give any credence to it, let it come and go.’ Now the mind is coming and saying ‘But that is some sort of denial of who I am or what my life is.’ Isn’t it? ‘Because it is like that; I am dwelling on my thoughts most of the time.’ Like that?
A:It’s a sales pitch from the mind. Now, I’m saying to you ‘What is it that you really know in this? Just take any part of it. ‘I’m dwelling in my thoughts.’ Do you know who you are? Let’s start with I. ‘I am dwelling in my thoughts.’ Who is the ‘I’? Do we know?
Q:Okay, let’s start with ‘There is dwelling in thoughts happening.’ [Laughter]
A:Okay ‘happening’ … do you know what happening is? What is a happening?
Q: Belief. Attention is going and belief is happening…
A:No, no. What is ‘a happening’? Like we said, we’ll look at this part You said ‘Don’t look at the I Am part, look at the dwelling in thoughts part.’ So, now I’m saying ‘Dwelling in thoughts is happening.’ Let’s start from the very end; let’s start from ‘happening.’ What is ‘happening’? What is ‘a happening’? What do you mean by ‘happening’?
A:No, what is ‘a happening’? Because you say ‘Believing is also happening’ … but what is ‘happening’? What is ‘happening’ in itself?
Q: Not sure, Father, what your question is.
A: You used the term ‘is happening’ what does that imply? ‘… is happening’?
Q: You help me now. [Laughs]
A:But you’re saying ‘I’m sure it’s happening’. So, I’m asking now. Because, as a phrase … we have sort of picked them up over the years and we say ‘Of course it’s my reality or something.’ But I’m asking you or inviting you (if you are open to it) to really look at these things which we consider to be true, to really look at them and say ‘Do we really know them to be true?’
Okay, should we start from … which word do you want me to start from? ‘I am dwelling in my thoughts’ or ‘Dwelling on my thoughts is happening to me’ or something like that? You chose a word you want me to start with … which is true.
A:Dwelling. What do you mean by dwelling?
Q:Being in the thought jungle.
A: ‘Being.’ Being implies Existence. So, who is existing?
Q: The egoic self; the limited self.
A:‘The limited self is existing.’ Now this is another notion. [Sangha Laughs] Let’s start with:
Do we know what the ego is? Where is it existing? Where is it? To exist in this phenomenal way, it needs time and place. To ‘exist’ in a phenomenal way, it should be in time and space…
Q:In an abstract way, it doesn’t require…
A: Abstract means?
Q: [Laughs] Sorry, Father.
A:No, this is very good. We can get to the root of it. Because we have definition after definition after definition and we somewhere feel like ‘This construct represents Reality.’ So, then we have these terms like ‘Abstract.’ What is abstract?
Q: Like happiness, peace, joy; the same way there is…
A: Ego is?
Q: Yeah, it’s an abstract thing.
A: So, the same way that there is happiness is, the ego is?
Q:Yeah, it’s an abstract thing. Like you can’t define happiness. It doesn’t need a place or time or anything.
A:So, then how you know about happiness? It has a particular taste, no?
A:Which is different from sadness. What about ego?
Q:The feeling that you are limited; that sense that you are limited.
A:So, it’s a subtler taste; it’s a subtler taste, like a definition. It’s like a self-definition. A limitation is what? It’s like defining a boundary. Limitation means to be able to define a boundary to something. So, it’s like what you say ‘The ego is a limitation.’ Now, if I say to you that this boundary actually is not there … but it’s just like if you were to imagine now that there is a square sitting inside you; it’s just a believed concept. Would you be open to looking at that?
So, as opposed to even that which we call happiness and … (we can deconstruct even those because nobody has experienced what they think is happiness or sadness, but let’s not go there for the moment). If I say to you that this box is just like if you imagined or believed like a square box into existence which divided up your inner space, it is not even as substantial as that square. It is not even substantive like the taste of happiness or joy; but it is just the belief that there is a square is sitting inside me. Would there be a little bit of qualitative difference in that? One is to give it like an abstract reality, like happiness is a bit indescribable, and yet I can tell you that ‘This tastes like happiness’ and ‘This tastes like sadness.’ There is a certain qualitative taste to these things. But if I say to you that ‘The ego is not even abstract in that way, where it can be tasted in that way, but it’s just like an idea of a square that limits me.’
So, this is my proposition: it does not have an abstract qualitative taste; it is just like a notion that we have that ‘There is square’. Like Anna [Points to someone in Sangha] was speaking the other day and she was saying that she had the notion of a block and the notion of the block kept her blocked for a long time. So, block, square, ego, limitation; all of these are ideas that we can have. If you imagine yourself to be a rabbit, would you call that an abstract reality, like happiness and joy or sadness or grief?
Q:Father, if there is no taste of being a rabbit, then …
A:Exactly. So, I’m telling you that ‘There is no taste to the ego.’ You tell me what it is; any quality?
Q:If there is no taste then it’s just a notion and easily dismiss-able.
Q:But then there is a taste.
A:What is the taste? Good? What is the taste?
Q: You don’t feel, in essence, one with everything. You don’t feel …
A:That is not the taste; that is the negation of some taste that you think you should have. (We will get to that). What is the taste of the ego?
Q: You are the form.
A: What is the taste of it? Like the sensation is the taste?
Q: Yeah … that you are the form and …
A:So, if the hand is poked, that sensation is the taste of the ego? Form is this, [Points to body] no? Form is only another set of perceptions, like you can have a visual perception of it or I can have a sensual perception of it. So, are you calling those sensations form?
Q:The square that is drawn feels like it’s the form.
A:So, the square that is drawn is the form of the body … if your eyes are closed, there is no form?
A: No form; it’s gone?
Q: To a large extent.
A:And what if you don’t look at the body; just look that way. Then, no form?
A:So, only when have a visual perception of the body, you are limited? We can track back if it’s just becoming…
Q: No, no, I understand.
A:In a simpler way, all that I am trying to say (in maybe a more complex way) is ‘Do you have an ear before I pull it?’ You say ‘No.’
Q:But there is a knowing somewhere that there is … an ear. [Laughs]
A:Where is that? Before we had that notion just now, where was the ear? So, any which-way you look at it, ask for ‘Is it actually true? Is there is a certain-ness to this?’ Because otherwise, we will have concept on top of concepts on top of concepts and soon we’ll have a building. And you don’t even realize. Actually, in Satsang more and more, you’re starting to see how much you still think you know. And we don’t realize … we don’t know how much we still know. And that’s a nicer version of saying ‘We don’t know how much we still think we know.’ [Smiles]
Still we think and we say ‘But that is fundamental, come on. That is the premise.’ There is no premise … is what I’m saying. The fundamental cannot be thought of. So, any fundamental which is posing as a conceptual premise is not truly representing what is True. That is why Bhagavan’s [Ramana Maharshi’s] idea of thorn … we use it and throw it away because in even that, the Truth is not there. If it was as simple as just saying ‘Blah, blah, blah, blee, blee, blee, that is the Truth’ somebody would have done it by now and everybody would have said ‘This is true; it is finished.’ But so many Masters, Avatars, Sages … all have come and gone but we are still stuck in this trying to get the right Truth. How come it has not happened? All the greatest Sages have come. Because this fundamental idea that ‘It is conceptualize-able in that way’ still hasn’t left. We still feel like [Points to head] we can get the answer.
That’s why I love this; I keep quoting Wittgenstein these days. He says ‘The only solution to the problem of life is to see that there is no problem’ which is exactly same, in a way, as what Bhagavan said that ‘Coming to True knowledge is not to find some knowledge but it is to only let go of that which is false.’ Now the thing is this: What is false? That is the question which will reveal so much to you if you are open. Because you will see that you have built a house of cards on concepts but you have not really dug into what any of that really points to. And if you dig into any term, you will see it is nonsense; you will see that it is just made-up and does not represent anything.
It’s as if you visited a desert but the story came out about the Amazon forest; much more radical than that also. So, our terms for what we think what life is comes nowhere close to what life is. And it is our definitions that keep us bound. That’s why this exercise that we were doing where we were looking at any term: what does it actually lead to? More terms. Then we say ‘What is actually?’ Then other term. What is the substance of it then, when we start to look? We quickly come and say that ‘Actually, I don’t know. Actually, I really don’t know’. But the construction of this false building is on the foundation of ‘I know’ … not on ‘I don’t know.’ Because on ‘I don’t know’ you cannot construct (unless you know too much that you don’t know). [Laughs] Many times, after Satsang we can come to this position where we start knowing too much of ‘I don’t know.’ [Laughs] ‘I don’t know.’ There is too much knowing in that. We know too much that ‘I don’t know’ so you can build a spiritual building on it.
Truth Is Not Conceptualize-able
Q:What is the part of you alternating between ‘yourself’ and the ‘mind?’ Is that the personality?
A:If you want to use a term, you can use a term like ‘Consciousness.’ But, really, what I want to tell you is that all these are also just terms.
There is no actual thing like the ‘mind’
There is no actual thing like the ‘world’
There is no actual thing like ‘Consciousnesses
There is no actual thing like ‘Self’ or ‘Awareness’
A:There is no actual thing like ‘attention.’ It is terms that we use for communication. But somehow in these terms, we have gotten bound. So, suppose we were to forget about all of these terms. Okay, let me give you a premise. Because I know that, many times, we need a premise to do the experiment. [Smiles]
The premise is what? That the truth does not come and go.
Therefore, where must be? It must be Now.
So, anything to try and capture the truth must be then false. because the truth by definition is already Here. So, to try and go towards it is to take a step too much. Because it’s actually so naturally Here. This one truth that does not come and go. That is the premise of all the Sages. Isn’t it? Reality does not come and go.
Now, to even understand:
What the world is?
What I am?
What the mind is?
What consciousness is?
What the Master is?
All of these things are attempts to grasp at what is true. But these attempts do not actually…
Q:… yield anything.
Q:Like answering the question ‘Who am I?’
A:Exactly. So, now if I propose solutions at different level, which is: How to always stay as the Self and not go to the mind, then that solution will itself be like the step. So, if any step is needed then it cannot be leading to truth anyway because truth is the starting point.
So, if you were to forget about all of these terms (even the term Truth) … we forget about what has to be done because it cannot be captured in that way; what has to be found it cannot be captured in that way … forget about even time and space, the labels of the notions of them.
Q: Just stop asking the question; anything.
A:Even that; again, there is a concept that comes as solution to what I’m saying. It’s saying ‘What he is actually saying is stop asking the question.’ But I’m not saying that. I’m saying that what I’m saying is not possible to interpret or have a concept of. So, it is not to ask or not to ask.
[Chuckles] I’m not giving you way, because how will I give you way to sit where you are sitting Now? We are still hoping that there will be some like road map which will help us to sit where we are Now or be what we are Now [Chuckles] But You Are That. So, so any bridge to get to that must be then a false bridge. Isn’t it? Even if that bridge is ‘Okay, all I must to do is to stop asking questions now.’ But even that bridge is ‘must do.’ It’s an idea of trying to get to somewhere.
Q: Yeah, a formula.
A:Is like a formula. Yes. So, neither this nor that.
Q:So, there is no answer to ‘Who am I?’
A:There is an answer, of course. But it is not…
Q: No written answer. [Smiles]
A:Yes, okay. [Chuckles] Yes. There is no answer which is true, which is conceptualize-able in that way. In fact, there is no truth which is written or conceptualize-able … not just for ‘Who am
I?’ (which is the only question actually) but for any variant that we think the question is.
Prayer and Blessings from The Master
[From the 10-year anniversary of Ananta’s awakening with Sri Mooji on 19th January 2009]
~ ~ ~
At the beginning of Satsang I requested your indulgence in sharing some of the basics when I said that ‘I’m aware that all of you are very advanced seekers, so indulge me.’ [Smiles] So, if there is has been resonance with what has been said so far, let me speak to you now as the most advanced seekers. I just want to tell you:
Make no distinctions.
Take no positions.
Any claim to knowledge is a position.
Don’t even take the position that you don’t know.
Find out what is apparent Here.
What is known when you know nothing?
Now, all the provisional pointers that we’ve used as pointers to point to the greater reality also are seen as provisional.
Here, there is no Absolute, no personal I.
No left, no right.
No Master, no disciple.
No ‘no’ also. No ‘no’. No ‘yes’.
Here, Your Reality is not in this box of opposites.
You have not found anything.
You cannot lose anything.
I would like to end Satsang today expressing my deepest gratitude to my beloved Father Satguru Sri Mooji baba, for all his grace, for all his light and Presence.
May his holy light continue to shine on all of us.
And may we forever be at his lotus feet.
May his grace bless us all.
May it keep us away from all pride and arrogance.
May all Beings come to peace.
May all Beings come to this Truth.
Om shanti, shanti, shanti.
Thank you all for being in Satsang today.
Satguru Sri Mooji baba ki Jai.
Sangha: Satguru Sri Ananatji ki Jai
Guru Kripa Kevalam.