Friday, September 30, 2016

Holding on to the Self

By holding on tightly to the motionless Self, taking as one’s support, the mind will become free of agitation. 

- Bhagavan in Padamalai

The ego is the reflection of the Self in the water of the mind, which is constantly throwing out thought-waves. If one searches for a method to still its movement, the correct way is to cling to the Self, the true import of the ego, as the object, remaining determinedly still, paying no attention to that reflection which makes one slip away from one’s true state.
- Muruganar

Because we exist, the ego appears to exist too. If we look on the Self as the ego, then we are the ego, if as the mind, we are the mind, if as the body, we are the body. It is the thought that works up in many ways. 

Looking at the shadow on the water, it is found to be shaking. Can anyone stop the shaking of the shadow? If it should cease to shake, you should not look on the water. Look at your Self. Therefore, do not look to the ego. The ego is the ‘I’-thought. The true ‘I’ is the Self.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

If the mind is deeply engaged in meditation after doing whatever has to be done, it will return to meditation

Once an earnest seeker came, prostrated in all humility to Sri Bhagavan and asked Him:
"Bhagavan said that the real nature of the Self can be attained only by constant dhyana. But how is it possible for one like me saddled with official responsibilities and the management of household affairs? If a major part of one's life is spent managing these, where is the time for Atma Vichara, much less uninterrupted dhyana? What is the way out? I beseech Bhagavan to enlighten me on this."
Looking at him compassionately, Sri Bhagavan said:
"Suppose you leave your house with the intention of coming to the Asramam and on the way you meet a friend. You greet him, exchange pleasantries and then take leave of him, proceeding to the Asramam while your friend goes his way. Now you don't go away with your friend but rather continue toward the Asramam, do you not? The thought of coming to the Asramam is so fixed in your mind that whomsoever you happen to meet on the way, is spoken to in the proper way, and parted with in order that you may fulfill your original intention. Likewise if the mind is deeply engaged in meditation after doing whatever has to be done, the mind will return to to meditation. By engaging the mind before starting work and after finishing it, even while working, it will automatically acquire the ability to do the necessary while inhering in its natural state. In the course of time, this becomes in built, habitual and natural, and one no longer feels the lack of being engaged in constant meditation."
Another time, in the Jubilee Hall, a Telugu devotee came to Bhagavan and complained about the pallavi of Atma Vidya where there is mention of release being easy.
"O Bhagavan, how can someone such as I get release? Release may be easy for one like you but how is it possible for an ordinary person like me?"
Bhagavan said: "If it is easy for me how can it be difficult for you?"
Bhagavan said, "If you were to have to carry something too heavy for you to pick up, what would you do?"
"I would seek the help of others," the devotee responded.
"In the same way, seek the help of the Divine or simply surrender to Him," Bhagavan said.
"That is one thing that is just impossible for me. Today, I will say I have surrendered but the next day my ego will rise up and dance with abandon."
Bhagavan replied: "In that case, do one thing, pray to Him to help you surrender. If you cannot do even that, then simply suffer what comes your way!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Dreams - Delusions

“Swami, I was sleeping in the guest house yesterday. You were there speaking to me in my sleep. After some time I woke up and even after that, you were speaking to me. What is that?” 

Bhagavan said, “You were sleeping, weren’t you? Then with whom could you be speaking?” 

“Only with myself ” he said. Everyone laughed. 

“You say you were sleeping. How could there be any conversation with someone who is asleep? ‘No, I was conversing,’ you say. That meant that, even though the body was asleep, you were awake. Then find out who that ‘you’ is. After that we will consider the conversation during sleep,” said Bhagavan. 

There was no reply at all. Looking at all the people with a kind look, he said, “There are only two things: creation and sleep. There is nothing if you go to sleep. You wake up and there is everything. If you learn to sleep while awake, you can be just a witness. That is the real truth.” 

In the same manner, some time back Subbaramayya asked Bhagavan, “What is meant by asparsa rupam?” 

“It means that a  thing is visible but not tangible.” 

“What is meant by chhaya rupam?” he again asked. 

“That is the same thing. It appears as a shadow. If you examine it, you will find nothing. Call it God, devil, dream, vision, inspiration or whatever you like. All this is existent if there is someone to see it. If you find out who it is that sees, all these will not be there. That which is nothing, that which is the source of everything, is the Self. Without seeing his own self, what is the use of a man’s seeing other things?” said Bhagavan.

Anoraneeyam Mahatomaheeyam

After hearing all that they were saying about science, Bhagavan said at last, 

“Certainly. But not one of these things is divorced from one’s own self, is it? Everything comes after one’s self. No one says he is not existent. Even an atheist would admit that he himself exists. So whatever comes must come from out of one’s self and must resolve into it ultimately. There is nothing separate from one’s self, in accordance with the principle in the sruti, ‘Anoraneeyam Mahatomaheeyam’, the self is smaller than the smallest and bigger than the biggest.” 

Ramamurthi asked, “Where does the difference come between the atom and the infinite?” 

“It comes from the body itself,” said Bhagavan. 

Ramamurthi asked, “How is it that we see so many forces in the world?” 

Bhagavan said: “The mind alone is the cause. It is the mind that makes you see so many different forces. When that is born, all else is also born. The five elements, and the forces beyond the elements, whatever they are, and the forces beyond others also take shape, once the mind is born. If the mind is dissolved, all the others also get dissolved. The mind is the cause of everything.”

Japa, Tapa, and the like.

“Swami, can a continuous japa of Panchakshari or Tarakam absolve one from sin such as drinking alcoholic liquor and the like?” 

“What exactly is your idea?” asked Bhagavan. 

The brahmin again asked pointedly, “Even though people commit adultery and theft and take alcoholic drinks and so on, can their sins be wiped out by doing japam with the mantras mentioned above. Or will the sins stick to them?” 

“If the feeling ‘I am doing japa’ is not there, the sins committed by a man will not stick to him. If the feeling ‘I am doing the japa’ is there, why should not the sin arising from bad habits stick on?” said Bhagavan. 

“Will not this punya (result of virtuous acts) extinguish that papam (result of those sinful acts)?” asked the brahmin. 

“So long as the feeling, ‘I am doing’ is there, one must experience the result of one’s acts, whether they are good or bad. How is it possible to wipe out one act with another? When the feeling that ‘I am doing’ is lost, nothing affects a man. Unless one realises the Self, the feeling ‘I am doing’ will never vanish. For one who realises the Self where is the need for japam? Where is the need for tapas? Owing to the force of prarabdha life goes on, but he does not wish for anything. 

Prarabdha is of three categories, ichha, anichha, and parechha (personally desired, without desire and due to others’ desire). For him who has realised his Self, there is no ichha prarabdha. The two others, anichha and parechha remain. Whatever he does is for others only. If there are things to be done by him for others, he does them but the results do not affect him. Whatever be the actions that such people do, there is no punya and no papa attached to them. But they do only what is proper according to the accepted standard of the world — nothing else,” said Bhagavan. 

Though Bhagavan told the questioner that for him who realises his self there is no ichha prarabdha but only anichha and parechha-prarabdha, his usual views about the prarabdhas may be found in his work “Unnathi Nalupadhi”: 

The Jnani does not have present, future and prarabdha karma; to say that prarabdha remains, is only a reply to a question. Just as one of the wives cannot remain unwidowed when the husband dies, so also the three karmas cannot remain when the karta is gone. 

The Forty Verses,
Supplement, verse 33

Which is the vehicle?

Our brother’s children, Swarna and Vidya, wanted to see Adi Annamalai Temple, Durgamba Temple and others and so we set out yesterday morning after obtaining Bhagavan’s permission. As the summer had already set in, I was afraid these young children of ten and twelve years might not be able to walk in the hot sun and so engaged a bullock cart. the cart, other children of the same age and even younger ones, also started out with us. We went round the hill by way of pradakshina, saw all the places of interest and returned by about 11-30. As we came into the hall at 3 p.m., 

Bhagavan enquired of me, “At what time did you come back?”

When I said it was 11-30 a.m., 

Bhagavan asked, “Were these children able to walk the distance?” 

I told him we went round in a bullock cart. 

Bhagavan jocularly said, “Oh, I see. You went in a cart. Who gets the punya (religious merit), the cart or the bullock or these children?” I could not give a reply.

Bhagavan said: “This body itself is a cart. Another cart for this cart! A bullock to pull this cart! For a work done like this (going round the hill), people say, ‘We have done it.’ Everything is like that. People come by train from Madras and say, ‘We have come’. It is the same thing with the body. For the self, the body is a cart. The legs do the work of walking and people say, ‘I walked, I came.’ Where does the Self go? The Self does not do anything but appropriates to itself all these acts.” 

So saying, he enquired, “Did they walk at least some distance?” I said that they walked up to Gautama Ashram, doing bhajan, but could not walk further because of the hot sun. 

“That is something. They walked at least some distance,” said Bhagavan.

Paratpara rupam

This afternoon some Andhras came with their ladies, and went away after staying for some time in Bhagavan’s presence. One of them asked Bhagavan with folded hands, 

“Swami, we have come here after going on pilgrimage to Rameswaram and other places and worshipping the gods there. We want to know from you what paratpara rupa is like. Please let us know.”

With a smile Bhagavan said, “Is that so? It is the same. You yourself are saying that you have come after worshipping all the gods. Though He is one in all, that which is above all is paratpara rupam. It means ‘The form of the Supreme Being’. As you have seen all those temples, it has occurred to you to wonder what that Supreme Being is which is the source of all these gods. Would this question arise if you had not seen them all?”

Saturday, September 24, 2016

That which is, is only one

Yesterday a Hindu asked Bhagavan, “Is Omkara a name of Ishwara?” 

Bhagavan said, “Omkara is Ishwara, Ishwara is Omkara. That means Omkara itself is the swarupam (the real Self). Some say that the swarupam itself is Omkara. Some say that it is Sakti, some say it is Ishwara, some say it is Jesus, some say it is Allah. Whatever name is given, the thing that is there, is only one.”

Four or five days back, recalling a reply given to somebody’s question, a devotee, residing in the Ashram, asked Bhagavan thus: “You said that ananda also gets dissolved; if so, what is the meaning of dhyanam, samadhi and samadhanam?”

Bhagavan said, “What is meant by laya? It should not stop with ananda. There must be someone to experience that. Should you not know that someone? If you do not know that someone, how could it be dhyanam? If the one that experiences is known, that one is the Self. When one becomes oneself that becomes dhyanam. Dhyanam means one’s own Self. That is samadhi. That is also samadhanam (perfect absorption of thought into the one object of meditation, i.e., the Supreme Spirit).”


Bhagavan then told us all:

“What is meant by pradakshina? 

Sankara has written:
Real pradakshina is the meditation that thousands of universes are revolving around the Great Lord, the unmoving centre of all forms.

“The same bhava (idea), was expressed in Tamil by the author of Ribhu Gita in greater detail.” So saying Bhagavan got that book, read it and told us the following:

“‘Oh Lord! I went all round the world to do pradakshina to you but you are in fullness everywhere. How then could I complete a round? I shall worship you as ‘kutastha akhila rupa’ (immovable entire form of the world). That is the only pradakshina to you’. Namaskar also means the same thing. The merging of the mind in the Self is namaskar and not the mere act of prostrating whenever you get up or sit down or whenever you go that side or come this side.”

Asthi, Bathi, Priyam

The devotee who read it looked at Bhagavan and asked, “Asthi, bhathi, and priyam, are written there. What do they mean?” 

“Asthi means Truth, that which IS. Bhathi means lustre and priyam means anandam. That is sat-chit-ananda swarupa. Sat-chit-ananda is spoken of as asthi, bhathi and priyam. Both sets of expression mean the same,” said Bhagavan. 

The same devotee asked, “As Atma is devoid of name or form, should it be meditated upon with ‘jnana atheetha bhakti’, bhakti, which is superior to and above jnana?” 

Bhagavan replied, “If you say that you should meditate, doesn’t that imply dwaita (dualism)? It implies one who meditates, and that on which he meditates; Atma however is nameless and formless. How is it possible to meditate upon the nameless and formless? ‘Jnana atheetha bhakti’ means one’s own Self, nameless and formless, just a Witness. The ‘I’ is one’s own self. That ‘I’ is everywhere, Only one ‘I’. Then what is there to meditate upon? Who is it that meditates? It is the ‘I’ that is everywhere which is called asthi, bhathi and priyam, or satchit- anandam. The names are many, but the thing is only one”

Moksha with the body

About a week back, a newcomer to the Ashram asked Bhagavan, “Is it possible to attain moksha (deliverance) while still in this body?”

“Many people ask the same question. They want to attain moksha in this body. There is a sangham (society). Not only now, but even in olden days many people not only taught their disciples but also wrote books to the effect that there were kaya kalpa vratas (rejuvenation), and such things, and that this body could be made as strong as an adamant, so as to become imperishable. After saying all that, doing ever so many things and writing about them at length, they died in course of time. When the Guru himself who talked and preached of rejuvenation passed away, what about his disciples? We do not know what will happen the next moment to a thing that we see now. Peace cannot be attained unless through Self-enquiry one realises that one is not the body and, with vairagya (absence of worldly desires and passions), one ceases to care about it. Moksha is after all the attainment of shanti (perfect peace). If therefore peace cannot be attained so long as the body is identified with the Self, any attempt to keep the body for ever as it is, increases the bondage instead of decreasing it. It is all an illusion,” said Bhagavan.


Two years back, when our elder brother came to the Ashram, Mr. Manne Venkataramayya, retired Judge, was here. It seems he was sick some time back and got cured, but not completely. After listening to the details of the sickness from early morning till 8-30 p.m., Bhagavan said, “Yes, indeed! The body itself is a disease. If the body gets a disease, it means that the original disease has got another disease. If you really want this new disease not to trouble you, you must first take the required medicine for the original disease so that the later disease — that is, the disease of the disease — does not affect you. What is the use of worrying about the secondary disease instead of trying to find out a method of getting rid of the primary disease? Therefore allow this new disease to go its own way, and think of a medicine for the original disease.”


One morning in 1944, a disciple approached Bhagavan with an air of supplication and said, “Bhagavan, I would like to read books and find out a path whereby I can attain mukti, but I do not know how to read. What shall I do? How can I realise mukti?” Bhagavan said, “What does it matter if you are illiterate? It is enough if you know your own Self.” “All people here are reading books, but I am not able to do that. What shall I do?” he said.

Stretching out his hand towards the disciple, Bhagavan said, “What do you think the book is teaching? You see yourself and then see me. It is like asking you to see yourself in a mirror. The mirror shows only what is on the face. If you see the mirror after washing your face, the face will appear to be clean. Otherwise the mirror will say there is dirt here, come back after washing. A book does the same thing. If you read the book after realising the Self, everything will be easily understood. If you read it before realising the Self, you will see ever so many defects. It will say, ‘First set yourself right and then see me.’ That is all. First see your Self. Why do you worry yourself about all that book learning?”

Astral paths - Higher worlds

This morning after reading an article in the newspaper about paths beyond the sun and the higher worlds, Bhagavan said, “They write a lot about the paths beyond the sun and other planets, and the blissful worlds above them. All those worlds also are like this world. There is nothing specially great about them. Here, a song is being transmitted over the radio. Last time, it was from Madras. Now it is from Tiruchirapalli. If you tune again it will be from Mysore. All these places are in Tiruvannamalai, within this short time. It is the same way with the other worlds. You have only to turn your minds to them. You can see them all in one moment. But what is the use? You merely go about from place to place get tired and disgusted. Where is shanti (peace)?

Similarly someone enquired of Bhagavan some time back, “People talk of Vaikunta, Kailasa, Indraloka, Chandraloka, etc. Do they really exist?” Bhagavan replied, “Certainly. You can rest assured that they all exist. There also a Swami like me will be found seated on a couch and disciples will also be seated around him. They will ask something and he will say something in reply. Everything will be more or less like this. What of that? If one sees Chandraloka, he will ask for Indraloka, and after Indraloka, Vaikunta and after Vaikunta, Kailasa, and so on, and the mind goes on wandering. Where is shanti? If shanti is required, the only correct method of securing it is by Self-enquiry. Through Self-enquiry Self-realisation is possible. If one realises the Self, one can see all these worlds within one’s self. The source of everything is one’s own Self, and if one realises the Self, one will not find anything different from the Self. Then these questions will not arise. There may or may not be a Vaikunta or a Kailasa but it is a fact that you are here, isn’t it? How are you here?Where are you? After you know about these things, you can think of all those worlds.”

Friday, September 23, 2016


Yesterday a newly arrived Andhra youth told Bhagavan about the vagaries of his senses to which Bhagavan said, “All that is due to the mind. Set it right.” “That is all right, Swami, but however much I try to reduce this anger, it comes on again and again. What shall I do?” said the poor boy. “Oh! Is that so, then get angry with that anger; it will be all right” said Bhagavan. All people in the hall burst out laughing. A person who gets angry with everything in the world, if only he introspects, and enquires why he does not get angry with his anger itself, will he not really overcome all anger?

Two or three years back a devotee who could freely approach Bhagavan came and told him five or six times that somebody had been abusing him. Bhagavan listened but said nothing. As there was no response from Bhagavan in spite of repeated and varied complaints and in a number of ways, this devotee could not contain himself any longer and so said, “When I am abused so much unnecessarily, I also get angry. However much I try to restrain my anger I am not able to do so. What shall I do?” Bhagavan laughingly said, “What should you do? You too join him and abuse yourself; then it will be all right.” All laughed.

That devotee, unable to understand anything, said “That is very good! Should I abuse myself?”

“Yes indeed! What they are abusing is your body, isn’t it? What greater enemy is there than this body which is the abode of anger and similar feelings? It is necessary that we ourselves should hate it. Instead of that, when we are unguarded, if anybody abuses us, we should know that they are waking us up. We should realise at least then, and join them in abusing the body, and crying it down. What is the use of counter-abuse? Those who abuse us that way should be looked upon as our friends. It is good for us to be among such people. If you are among people who praise you, you get deceived,” said Bhagavan


“If you renounce, and give up everything, what remains is only moksha. What is there for others to give you? It is there always. That is,” said Bhagavan.

Bhagavan remarked, “I should give them moksha, they say. It is enough if moksha alone is given to them. Is not that itself a desire? If you give up all the desires that you have, what remains is only moksha. And you require sadhana to get rid of all those desires.”

The same bhava (idea) is found in Maharatnamala:
It is said that the complete destruction of vasanas is Brahmam and moksha.

How do you know that you do not know anything?

“After I came here and heard the questions asked by all these people and the replies Bhagavan is pleased to give them, the feeling that I do not know anything has come upon me.” 

“Then it is all right. You have found out that you do not know anything; that itself is enough. What more is required?” said Bhagavan. 

“How to attain mukti by that much alone, Swami?” said the questioner. 

“Why not? There is some one to know that he does not know anything. It is sufficient if you could enquire and find out who that someone is. Ego will develop if one thinks that one knows everything. Instead of that, isn’t it much better to be conscious of the fact that you do not know

Ahetuka Bhakti

“Swami, can sadhakas attain this goal in life if they go about the world absorbed in singing songs in praise of God? Or should they stay at one place only for the purpose?” 

“It is good to keep the mind concentrated on one thing only wherever the person wanders. What is the use of keeping the body at one place only if the mind is allowed to wander?”
said Bhagavan. 

“Is ahetuka bhakti (devotion without a motive) possible?” asked that young man. 
“Yes, it is possible,” said Bhagavan. 

Some time back, when some others also asked the same question during conversation, Bhagavan had replied saying, 

“Why is it not possible?” The bhakti (devotion) of Prahlada and Narada was only ahetuka bhakti.

Let what comes come, let what goes go

Bhagavan usually gives us his teachings either in a humorous or a casual way or by way of consolation. During my early days at the Ashram, whenever I felt like going home, I would approach Bhagavan at some time when there were hardly any people present and say, “I want to go home, Bhagavan, but I am afraid of falling back into family muddles.” He would reply, “Where is the question of our falling into anything when all comes and falls into us?” On another occasion, I said, “Swami, I am not yet freed from these bonds.” Bhagavan replied, “Let what comes come, let what goes go. Why do you worry?” Yes, if only we could realise what that ‘I’ is, we should not have all these worries

Thursday, September 22, 2016


Bhagavan: “Supposing you leave your wife and children. If you are here this will become another kind of samsara. Supposing you take to sannyasa. Another kind of samsara comes into existence in the shape of a karra (walking stick), kamandalu (water bowl) and the like. Why all that? Samsara means samsara of the mind. If you leave that samsara, it will be the same thing wherever you are. Nothing troubles you.”

Devotee: “Yes, that is it, Swami. How to give up that samsara of the mind?”

Bhagavan said, “That is just it; you said you were doing the japam of Rama Namam. During the train of thoughts, you said you were sometimes reminded of the fact that you had forgotten the japam of Rama Namam. Try to remind yourself of that fact as often as possible and catch hold of the name of Rama frequently. Other thoughts will then slowly decrease. For the japam of nam (repeating the name of the Lord) several stages have been prescribed.

It is better to repeat the name by the mere motion of the
lips than by repeating it aloud; better than that is to repeat
it in the mind, and the best is dhyanam.

Upadesa Saram, verse 6

Atma-vai guruhu!

A retired judge of ripe old age said, “Swamiji, I should also be given my share of service to the feet of the Guru.” To this Bhagavan replied. “Oh, really? Atma-vai guruhu! (Service to Self is service to Guru.) You are now 70 years of age. You to do service to me? Enough of that! At least from now onwards, serve yourself. It is more than enough if you remain quiet.”

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Aham Sphurana

Bhagavan said, “In the vision of death, though all the senses were benumbed, the aham sphurana (Self-awareness) was clearly evident, and so I realised that it was that awareness that we call ‘I’, and not the body. This Self-awareness never decays. It is unrelated to anything. It is Self-luminous. Even if this body is burnt, it will not be affected. Hence, I realised on that very day so clearly that that was ‘I’.”

Detach from the mind.

Whenever we are in a meditative state, all is clear. Then vāsanās which have previously been hidden within the mind arise and cover this clarity. There is no easy solution to this problem. You have to keep up the enquiry, 'To whom is this happening?' all the time. If you are having trouble, remind yourself, 'This is just happening on the surface of my mind. I am not this mind or the wandering thoughts.' Then go back to the enquiry 'Who am I?' By doing this you penetrate deeper and deeper and become detached from the mind. This will only come about after you have made an intense effort. 

If you already have a little clarity and peace, when you make the enquire 'Who am I?' the mind sinks into the Self and dissolves, leaving only the subjective awareness 'I-I'. Bhagavan explained all this to me in great detail when I was going for his darshan between 1938 - 1942. 

Reality of mind, ego.

Q: It is fairly easy to stop a thief from breaking into a house. You just lock the door. But in this particular case the thief is already inside. First we have to catch him and throw him out. Only then can we safely close the door.

To believe that that this thief is something real, something that has to be fought and caught, is just like believing that your shadow is some kind of alien intruder who needs to be fought and expelled. If you try to raise your hand to hit your shadow, your shadow will also raise its hand to hit you. You cannot win a fight with your mind because all your fights will be like shadow-boxing. You cannot knock out your shadow by hitting it because there is nothing there to receive the blow. The shadow will keep dancing around for as long as you keep dancing around trying to hit it. There are no winners in a fight like this, only a lot of frustrated losers. If you start from the assumption that the mind is real and that you have to fight it and control it by manipulating your thoughts in some way, the mind will get stronger, not weaker. If a particular sādhanā assumes that the mind is real, the practising of that sādhanā  perpetuate the mind rather than eliminate it.

The ego is just like a ghost. It has no real form of its own. If you see what the ego really is by enquiring 'Who am I?' it will simply run away. The mind has no substance and no form. It exists only in the imagination. If you want to get rid of something that is imaginary, all you have to do is cease to imagine it. Alternatively if you can be continuously aware that the mind and all its creations only exist in your imagination, they will cease to delude you and you will cease to be troubled by them. For example, if a magician creates a tiger, you need not be afraid of it because you know that he is only trying to trick you into believing that it is a real and dangerous tiger. If you don't believe that the tiger is real or dangerous, you don't get afraid.

When the cinema was first introduced here some village people became afraid when they saw things like fire on the screen. They ran way because they believed that the fire would spread and burn the theatre down. When you know that everything that is happening is only appearing on the screen of consciousness and that you yourself are the screen on which it all appears, nothing can touch you, harm or make you afraid. 

People who believe in the reality of the world are really no better than people who build dams to catch the water that they see in a mirage.

Continuous attentiveness

Continous attentiveness will only come with long practice. If you are truly watchful, each thought will dissolve at the moment that it appears. But to reach this level of disassociation you must have no attachments at all. If you have the slightest interest in any particular thought, it will evade you attentiveness, connect with other thoughts, and take over your mind for a few seconds. This will happen more easily if you are accustomed to reacting emotionally to a particular thought. If a particular thought causes emotions like worry, anger, love, hate or jealousy to appear in you, these reactions will attach themselves to the rising thoughts and make them stronger. These reactions often cause you to lose your attention for a second or two. That kind of lapse gives the thought more than enough time to grow and flourish.

You must be completely impassive and detached when thoughts of this kind appear. Your desires and your attachments are simply reactions to thoughts that appear in consciousness. You can conquer them both by not reacting to new thoughts that arise. 

You can transcend the mind completely by not paying any attention to its contents. And once you have gone beyond the mind you never need be troubled by it again.

After his realisation King Janaka said, 'Now I have found the thief who has been stealing my happiness. I will not allow him to do this any more.' The thief who had been stealing his happiness was his mind. 

If you are always watching with open eyes, thieves cannot enter. They can only break in while you are asleep and snoring. Similarly, if you are continuously alert, the mind cannot delude you. It will only take over if you fail to keep your attention on rising thoughts.

How to disentangle from mind.

Let the mind go wherever it wants to go. You don't have to pay any attention to all its wanderings. Just be the Self and don't concern yourself with the activities of the mind. If you take this attitude, the activities and wanderings of the mind will become less and less.

The mind only wanders around all day because you identify with it and pay attention to all its activities. If you could establish yourself as consciousness alone, thoughts would no longer have any power to distract you. When you have no interest in thoughts they fade away as soon as they appear. Instead of attaching themselves to other thoughts, which then spin off countless other thoughts and ideas, they just appear for a second or two and then vanish. One's vāsānas make thoughts arise. Once they have arisen, they will repeat themselves in regular chains and patterns again and again. If you have any desires or attachments, thoughts about them will be constantly appearing in the mind. You cannot fight them because they thrive on the attention you give them. If you try to repress them, you can only do it by giving them attention. And that means identifying with the mind. This method never works. You can only stop the flow of thoughts by refusing to have any interest in it.

If you remain in the source, the Self, you can easily catch each thought as it rises. If you don't catch the thoughts as they rise, they sprout, become plants and, if you still neglect them, they grow into great trees. Usually, the inattentive sādhaka only catches his thoughts at the tree stage. 

If you can be continuously aware of each thought as it rises, and if you can be so indifferent to it that it doesn't sprout or flourish, you are well on the way to escaping from the entanglements of the mind.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Journey inwards towards the Self

Q: I know that peace will eventually come but at the moment I need to make a great effort to get even a little taste of it.

When we desire to get away from all the troubles that identifying with the body causes us, we can go inwards, towards the Self. Instead of toiling and suffering in the mind, which is the outer edge of consciousness, we should move towards the Self, the centre of our being. 

As we start to move inwards we experience the peace and bliss of the Self in a very diluted form. The deeper we go, the stronger the experience becomes. Eventually a time will come when we don't want leave this experience at all. Instead, there is a continuous urge to go deeper and deeper into the Self. When you lose all desires and attachments, the pure gold of the Self will reveal itself to you. In that final state you don't experience peace and bliss. You are that peace and bliss. In that state you are the equal of Siva.

You are saying that you have to make a great effort to experience even a little peace. Don't worry about this. Your effort will pay off sooner or later. If you persevere the peace and bliss will come unasked. If you give up your attachment to all thoughts except for the thought of the Self, you will find yourself being pulled automatically into the peace of the Self. If you practise intensively and correctly you will find that the experience of this peace is addictive. When this happens you will lose interest in everything except the Self.

Focus your mind on 'I am'

Q: I am trying with my mind to feel some love and devotion towards this 'I am' which I feel is the real form of Bhagavan. But this is a very difficult thing to do. There is no pleasure in it. It is a perpetual struggle. Am I doing something wrong?

If you focus your mind on this 'I am' you need not do anything else. You do not have to cultivate a particular attitude towards it. If you keep your attention on it, it will eventually reveal all its secrets to you.

If you focus your mind on this 'I am', this immanent consciousness, and if you can establish yourself there for some time, you will begin to experience some peace. When the thought processes are not present, even for a moment, one gets a lot of spiritual energy. When that energy and that feeling of peace come, one gets more encouragement, more enthusiasm. When you have had a little experience of the peace and bliss of the Self you always feel a determination to go back for more. Once you get this enthusiasm and this determination, the feeling of struggling unsuccessfully gradually diminishes.


Q: Surrender is a mental attitude. When we are sitting in front of the Guru it is relatively easy because there is constant awareness of his form. But how can one surrender if one is a long way away from him?

Bhagavan himself taught that if we practise his teachings and remember his form we can be in touch with him wherever we are. If one has received the opportunity to surrender to the Guru, physical distance does not matter. In fact, if your faith is strong and if your practice is continuous, it is sometimes easier to have better contact at a distance. 

The son is beholden to the Father.

Bhagavan took a little Vibhuti (holy ashes) and applied it to his forehead, saying in an undertone “Appakku Pillai Adakkam” (The son is beholden to the father). His voice seemed choked with emotion as he spoke. The expression on his face proved the ancient saying “bhakti poornathaya Jnanam” (the culmination of devotion is knowledge). Sri Bhagavan is Lord Siva’s son. Sri Ganapati Muni’s saying that he is Skanda incarnate, was confirmed. It struck us that Bhagavan was teaching us that since all creatures are the children of Ishwara, even a Jnani should be beholden to Ishwara.
Q: Can't some use be made of this energy (of the Self)? What can one do with it?

Sakti is the Self and the Self is sakti. When you know that you are not the body or the mind, how can you do anything? In that state there will be no 'I' to instigate any activity. In that state everything will happen automatically.

Sakti is the santi of the Self. If you do tapas and if you don't dissipate your energy through sensory indulgence you will feel the power of the Self accumulating inside you. You can also feel it radiating outwards to the people around you. You don't lose your power when you radiate it naturally like this because the power of the Self is infinite. You only lose it if you move your attention away from the Self and get involved in pointless mental and sensory excesses. 

Energy of the Self.

Q: Is the energy one receives from the Self constant or does it fluctuate? Does the body or the mind store it any way?

In deep sleep the mind and the body are renewed. On awakening there is a feeling of energy and bliss, but almost immediately the sense organs become active and desires arise. When this happens, the energy you have stored up during sleep gets dissipated. If you can control the mind and the senses so that neither of them succumbs to external stimuli, you can build up energy and power in the body.

Energy is increased in solitude. When you are alone it is less likely to go out through the indriyas [the five senses] and the mind. 

Arunagirinathar, the famous saint of Thiruvannamalai, once sang a song which says, 'The senses are thieves who steal the energy of the Self'

Vasanas and Nirvikalpa samadhi

Q: It is clear that vasanas are not destroyed during sleep. Are they destroyed by nirvikalpa samadhi, or does this state have no effect on them?

Bhagavan taught that we should aim for sahaja samadhi, not nirvikalpa samadhi. He said that it was not necessary to experience nirvikalpa samadhi prior to enjoying sahaja samadhi.

One form of nirvikalpa samadhi is like laya, like deep sleep. There is peace while the samadhi persists, but when the experience is over the mind rises and the vasanas become just as active as before.

Laya [temporary suspension of all mental faculties in a trance like state] is virtually the same as sleep. Experiencing this state is not helpful to your sadhana. Laya is not meditation, it is un consciousness; it is tamoguna in a very strong form. Meditation needs an awake mind, not an unconscious one. Sleep and laya increase the identification with the mind. You may feel a little peace during laya, but when you wake up from this state the  mind becomes very active again and the peace is all lost.

In the peace of the Self there are no vasanas. If you can establish yourself in the Self, all vasanas will be destroyed. Witness the vasanas as they arise but don't identify with them or act on them. If you want to get rid of your vasanas you must learn to practise non-involvement.

If you feel yourself identifying with a vasana when it starts to rise, remind yourself, 'This vasana is not me' and withdraw into the Self. If you learn to ignore your vasanas in this way they will eventually stop rising. 
Q: When I first started meditating I had an intense desire for liberation. This period lasted for 3 - 4 years. In the last twelve months my enthusiasm has been slipping. I now seem to be more and more content with my worldly life.

The satisfaction which comes from the outside world is transient. At death it will all be lost. Human life is given to you for the sole purpose of realising the Self. If you die without realising the Self your life has been wasted. Death can come at any time. I am telling you this so that you will become aware of your own death. If you are constantly aware of the possibility that you may die at any moment, your enthusiasm will increase. Try to cultivate this awareness and see if it makes any difference to your sadhana.
Q: I meditate a lot but most of the time I don't seem to get any results. When I cannot quieten my mind, is all my effort wasted, or will it bear fruit at some future time?

Most minds are like wet wood: they need a long period of drying out before they catch fire. While you mind is on the Self it is drying out. When it is on the world it is getting wet again. The effort you expend in keeping the mind turned towards the Self is never wasted. It is only wasted when you lose interest and never to your old mental habits. 

Don't worry if your efforts do not produce immediate results. Sooner or later you will get your reward. 

Suffering and helping the world.

There is no society, there is no suffering and there is no world. The world, the society and the suffering that you perceive are all part of your dream. They have no reality except in your own mind. 

If you see a hungry man in your dream you can cook him a dream meal and give him some dream food. That will give him some temporary relief. If instead, you wake up, you solve the problem permanently because you discover that the hungry man only existed in your imaginary dream world. 

The world is like a reflection in a mirror. The world which we see is merely a reflection of our guns, our own state of mind. We see the reflection, forget the mirror, and imagine that we are looking at a real world which is separate from us.

You are continuously radiating a mental energy which affects everything and everyone around you. If you are in a rajas or a tamasic state you are automatically infecting the world with your unwholesome state of mind. The jnani, who is established in the reality beyond the guns, experiences only continuous peace and bliss. He alone can help other people by radiating this peace and bliss to them. If you try to help this world with some physical activity, the good that you do may be more than wiped out by the negative mental vibrations which you inflict on the world. If you make your mind pure, you automatically help everyone in the world because each person will receive a cleansing and healing measure of your own purity.

An ant is walking on the floor with a grain of sugar on its back. Suddenly a man steps on it and kills it. Finish: instant death. We are in the same situation as the ant, for death may come at any moment. You can take nothing with you when you die, not even your mind. So why not die to the world now?

The world that you are attached to is nothing more than a long dream. You may feel hungry in our dream and then wake up to find that you are suffering from indigestion pains because you ate too much the night before. How much reality do you then give to the hunger pains that you felt in  your dream?

If you see suffering all around you it is just a reflection of your own inner suffering. If you want to alleviate suffering go to the root cause which is the suffering inside yourself. Immerse yourself in the Self. End the maya dream and wake up to the real world of jnana. Your ideas about the world are all wrong because you are misperceiving it. Your mind is processing what you see in such a way that it makes you think that there is a suffering world outside and apart from you. If you want to get rid of that suffering world you must eliminate the mental processes that make you misperceive it. When you reach the state of jnana there will be no misperceptions. Your vision will be completely clear. You will be aware that there is no suffering and now told. You will be aware that the Self alone exists.