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About Nisargadatta Maharaj



From his living room in the slums of Bombay (Mumbai), this self-realized master (1897 – 1981) became famous for brilliant, aphoristic, extemporized talks in which he taught an austere, minimalist Jnana Yoga based on his own experience. Many of these talks have been published in books. The earliest volume, I Am That, is widely regarded as a modern classic.  Realisation.org

  

Nisargadatta Maharaj (quotes)

What you are not

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To know what you are, you must know what you are not

  • To know what you are, you must first investigate and know what you are not.
  • What you are, you already are. By knowing what you are not, you are free of it and remain in your own natural state. It all happens quite spontaneously and effortlessly.
  • Q: What are the uses of self-knowledge?  M: It helps you to understand what you are not and keeps you free from false ideas, desires and actions.
  • To know what you are, find what you are not.
  • To know what you are, you must first investigate and know what you are not.
  • Only self-knowledge can help you. By self-knowledge I mean full knowledge of what you are not. Such knowledge is attainable and final; but to the discovery of what you are there can be no end. The more you discover, the more there remains to discover.
  • Non-identification, when natural and spontaneous, is liberation. You need not know what you are.  Enough to know what you are not. What you are you will never know, for every discovery reveals new dimensions to conquer. The unknown has no limits.
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You are not of the world

  • What you are, you must find out. I can only tell you what you are not. You are not of the world, you are not even in the world. The world is not, you alone are. You create the world in your imagination like a dream. As you cannot separate the dream from yourself, so you cannot have an outer world independent of yourself. You are independent, not the world. Don’t be afraid of a world you yourself have created. Cease from looking for happiness and reality in a dream and you will wake up. You need not know ‘why’ and ‘how’, there is no end to questions. Abandon all desires, keep your mind silent and you shall discover.
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You are nothing describable except by negation

  • What you are cannot be described, except as total negation. All you can say is: ‘I am not this, I am not that’. You cannot meaningfully say ‘this is what I am’. It just makes no sense.
  • Once you are convinced that you cannot say truthfully about yourself anything except ‘I am’, and that nothing that can be pointed at, can be yourself, the need for the ‘I am’ is over — you are no longer intent on verbalising what you are. All you need is to get rid of the tendency to define yourself.
  • The clearer you understand that on the level of the mind you can be described in negative terms only, the quicker you will come to the end of your search and realise your limitless being.
  • To know itself the self must be faced with its opposite — the not-self.
  • There is no difference between us; nor can I say that I know myself, I know that I am not describable nor definable. There is a vastness beyond the farthest reaches of the mind. That vastness is my home; that vastness is myself. And that vastness is also love.
  • But whatever can be described cannot be yourself, and what you are cannot be described. You can only know your self by being yourself without any attempt at self-definition and self-description.
  • Q: Which ideas are wrong and which are true?  M: Assertions are usually wrong and denials — right.
  • Just as an unborn child cannot know life after birth, for it has nothing in its mind with which to form a valid picture, so is the mind unable to think of the real in terms of the unreal, except by negation: ‘Not this, not that’.
  • The real cannot be described, it must be experienced.
  • Fight with all the strength at your disposal against the idea that you are nameable and describable. You are not. Refuse to think of yourself in terms of this or that. There is no other way out of misery, which you have created for yourself through blind acceptance without investigation.
  • Q: What is real?  M:  Find out, by discerning and rejecting all that is unreal.
  • It is unreal when we say: ‘I am this, I am that’. It is real when we mean ‘I am not this, nor that’.
  • Definitions and descriptions have their place as useful incentives for further search, but you must go beyond them into what is undefinable and indescribable, except in negative terms.
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You are nothing perceivable …

  • You are nothing perceivable, or imaginable. Yet, without you there can be neither perception nor imagination.
  • Discover all that you are not — body, feelings thoughts, time, space, this or that — nothing, concrete or abstract, which you perceive can be you. The very act of perceiving shows that you are not what you perceive.
  • It is your fixed idea that you must be something or other, that blinds you.
  • It is not perceivable, because it is what makes perception possible.
  • He told me that I am beyond all perceivables and conceivables — I believed.
  • Remember, nothing you perceive is your own. Nothing of value can come to you from outside; it is only your own feeling and understanding that are relevant and revealing.
  • it is only the mind that moves or does not move. The real is beyond, you are beyond. Once you have understood that nothing perceivable, or conceivable can be yourself, you are free of your imaginations. To see everything as imagination, born of desire, is necessary for self-realisation. We miss the real by lack of attention and create the unreal by excess of imagination.
  • Just see the person you imagine yourself to be as a part of the world you perceive within your mind and look at the mind from the outside, for you are not the mind. After all, your only problem is the eager self-identification with whatever you perceive. Give up this habit, remember that you are not what you perceive, use your power of alert aloofness.  See yourself in all that lives and your behaviour will express your vision.
  • Just realise that nothing observable, or experienceable is you, or binds you. Take no notice of what is not yourself.
  • Nothing perceivable is real.
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… or conceivable

  • I am beyond all attributes. They appear and disappear in my light, but cannot describe me.
  • All attributes are personal. The real is beyond all attributes.
  • Once you have understood that you are nothing perceivable or conceivable, that whatever appears in the field of consciousness cannot be your self, you will apply yourself to the eradication of all self-identification, as the only way that can take you to a deeper realisation of your self. You literally progress by rejection — a veritable rocket. To know that you are neither in the body nor in the mind, though aware of both, is already self-knowledge.
  • The mind craves for formulations and definitions, always eager to squeeze reality into a verbal shape.
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You are not the mind or body

  • You are not in the body, the body is in you! The mind is in you. They happen to you.
  • Once you give up your identification with the body, then you are all the time the Self, or Atman, only. For this, no effort is required. You only have to realize that you are not the body.
  • To be, you must be nobody. To think yourself to be something, or somebody, is death and hell.
  • The idea ‘my body’, as different from other bodies, is not there. To me it is ‘a body’, not ‘my body’, ‘a mind’, not ‘my mind’. The mind looks after the body all right, I need not interfere. What needs be done is being done, in the normal and natural way.
  • Realise once for all that neither your body nor your mind, nor even your consciousness is yourself and stand alone in your true nature beyond consciousness and unconsciousness. No effort can take you there, only the clarity of understanding.
  • When you are bound by the illusion: ‘I am this body’, you are merely a point in space and a moment in time. When the self-identification with the body is no more, all space and time are in your mind, which is a mere ripple in consciousness, which is awareness reflected in nature. Awareness and matter are the active and the passive aspects of pure being, which is in both and beyond both.  Space and time are the body and the mind of the universal existence. My feeling is that all that happens in space and time happens to me, that every experience is my experience, every form is my form. What I take myself to be, becomes my body and all that happens to that body becomes my mind. But at the root of the universe there is pure awareness, beyond space and time, here and now. Know it to be your real being and act accordingly.
  • It is not so much a question of actual giving up the body and all that goes with it, as a clear understanding that you are not the body. A sense of aloofness, of emotional non-involvement.
  • Resolutely remind yourself that you are not the mind and that its problems are not yours.
  • Think of yourself by all means. Only don’t bring the idea of a body into the picture. There is only a stream of sensations, perceptions, memories and ideations. The body is an abstraction, created by our tendency to seek unity in diversity — which again is not wrong.  Limiting oneself to one body only is a mistake.
  • The body exists in time and space, transient and limited, while the dweller is timeless and spaceless, eternal and all-pervading.
  • There is nothing to do. Just be. Do nothing. Be. No climbing mountains and sitting in caves. I do not even say: ‘be yourself’, since you do not know yourself. Just be. Having seen that you are neither the ‘outer’ world of perceivables, nor the ‘inner’ world of thinkables, that you are neither body nor mind — just be.
  • The body appears in your mind, your mind is the content of your consciousness; you are the motionless witness of the river of consciousness which changes eternally without changing you in any way.
  • The world comes into being only when you are born in a body. No body — no world. First enquire whether you are the body. The understanding of the world will come later.
  • Q:  If the self is not the body nor the mind, can it exist without the body and the mind?  M: Yes, it can. It is a matter of actual experience that the self has being independent of mind and body. It is being — awareness — bliss.
  • You can only kill the body, you cannot stop the mental process, nor can you put an end to the person you think you are. Just remain unaffected. This complete aloofness, unconcern with mind and body is the best proof that at the core of your being you are neither mind nor body. What happens to the body and the mind may not be within your power to change, but you can always put an end to your imagining yourself to be body and mind. What-ever happens, remind yourself that only your body and mind are affected, not yourself.
  • You are neither the body nor in the body — there is no such thing as body. You have grievously misunderstood yourself; to understand rightly — investigate.
  • The entire universe contributes incessantly to your existence. Hence the entire universe is your body.
  • There is no such thing as body, it is but a state of mind.
  • I am not a thing, nor are you. We are neither matter nor energy, neither body nor mind. Once you have a glimpse of your own being, you will not find me difficult to understand.
  • I am not the mind, never was, nor shall be.
  • What benefit there is in knowing that I am not the body? M: Even to say that you are not the body is not quite true. In a way, you are all the bodies, hearts and minds and much more. Go deep into the sense of ‘I am’ and you will find.
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You are not your thoughts, mind states or mental patterns

  • Q: When I look at myself, I find I am several persons fighting among themselves for the use of the body.
    M: They correspond to the various tendencies (samskara) of the mind. Q: Can I make peace between them?
    M: How can you? They are so contradictory! See them as they are — mere habits of thoughts and feelings, bundles of memories and urges.
    Q: Yet they all say, ‘I am’.
    M: It is only because you identify yourself with them. Once you realise that whatever appears before you cannot be yourself, and cannot say ‘I am’, you are free of all your ‘persons’ and their demands. The sense ‘I am’ is your own.
  • I am what I am, not identifiable with any physical or mental state.
  • Q: Are you ever glad or sad? Do you know joy and sorrow?  Maharaj: Call them as you please. To me they are states of mind only, and I am not the mind.
  • Is the mind real? It is but a collection of states, each of them transitory. How can a succession of transitory states be considered real?
  • They are only states of mind, which again is but an appearance of movement in consciousness which is in its essence immutable.
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You are not a person …

  • The person is a mental construct, a collective noun for a set of memories and habits.
  • As long as you do not see that personality is mere habit, built on memory, prompted by desire, you will think yourself to be a person — living, feeling, thinking, active, passive, pleased or pained. Question yourself, ask yourself. ‘Is it so?’ ‘Who am l’? ‘What is behind and beyond all this?’ And soon you will see your mistake. And it is in the very nature of a mistake to cease to be, when seen.
  • There is no such thing as a person. There are only restrictions and limitations. The sum total of these defines the person. You think you know yourself when you know what you are. But you never know who you are. The person merely appears to be, like the space within the pot appears to have the shape and volume and smell of the pot. See that you are not what you believe yourself to be. Fight with all the strength at your disposal against the idea that you are nameable and describable. You are not. Refuse to think of yourself in terms of this or that.
  • There is no such thing as a person. There are only restrictions and limitations. The sum total of these defines the person.
  • There is nothing personal about me, though the language and the style may appear personal. A person is a set pattern of desires and thoughts and resulting actions; there is no such pattern in my case. There is nothing I desire or fear — how can there be a pattern?
  • Q: I am a person and therefore limited in space and time. I occupy little space and last but a few moments; I cannot even conceive myself to be eternal and all-pervading.  M: Nevertheless, you are. As you dive deep into yourself in search of your true nature, you will discover that only your body is small and only your memory is short; while the vast ocean of life is yours.
  • You have never been, nor shall ever be a person. Refuse to consider yourself as one. But as long as you do not even doubt yourself to be a Mr. S0-and-So, there is little hope.
  • The person is of little use. It is deeply involved in its own affairs and is completely ignorant of its true being. Unless the witnessing consciousness begins to play on the person and it becomes the object of observation rather than the subject, realisation is not feasible. It is the witness that makes realisation desirable and attainable.
  • Exactly as a shadow appears when light is intercepted by the body, so does the person arise when pure self-awareness is obstructed by the ‘I-am-the-body’ idea. And as the shadow changes shape and position according to the lay of the land, so does the person appear to rejoice and suffer, rest and toil, find and lose according to the pattern of destiny. When the body is no more, the person disappears completely without return, only the witness remains and the Great Unknown.
  • Understand first that you are not the person you believe yourself to be. What you think yourself fo be is mere suggestion or imagination. You have no parents, you were not born, nor will you die.
  • Nothing is wrong with you, but the ideas you have of yourself are altogether wrong. It is not you who desires, fears and suffers, it is the person built on the foundation of your body by circumstances and influences. You are not that person. This must be clearly established in your mind and never lost sight of.
  • Why not go beyond the waking state and leave the personal life altogether? It does not mean the extinction of the person; it means only seeing it in right perspective.
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… not even a human being

  • M:  Even the idea of being man or woman, or even human, should be discarded. The ocean of life contains all, not only humans.
    Q: What am I if not human?
    M: That which makes you think that you are a human is not human. It is but a dimensionless point of consciousness, a conscious nothing; all you can say about yourself is: ‘I am.’ You are pure being — awareness — bliss. To realise that is the end of all seeking. You come to it when you see all you think yourself to be as mere imagination and stand aloof in pure awareness of the transient as transient, imaginary as imaginary, unreal as unreal. It is not at all difficult, but detachment is needed.
  • You are not even a human being. You just are — a point of awareness, co-extensive with time and space and beyond both, the ultimate cause, itself uncaused. If you ask me: ‘Who are you?’ My answer would be: ‘Nothing in particular. Yet, I am.’
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You are nothing knowable or directly experienceable

  • You can know the false only. The true you must yourself be.
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What you are

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You are pure awareness beyond time and space

  • To be a living being is not the ultimate state; there is something beyond, much more wonderful, which is neither being nor non- being, neither living nor not-living. It is a state of pure awareness, beyond the limitations of space and time. Once the illusion that the body-mind is oneself is abandoned, death loses its terror, it becomes a part of living.
  • You are the all- pervading, eternal and infinitely creative awareness — consciousness. All else is local and temporary.
  • I am beyond the mind, whatever its state, pure or impure. Awareness is my nature.
  • The source of consciousness cannot be an object in consciousness. To know the source is to be the source. When you realise that you are not the person, but the pure and calm witness, and that fearless awareness is your very being, you are the being. It is the source, the Inexhaustible Possibility.
  • You are pure consciousness, free from all content.
  • At the root of the universe there is pure awareness, beyond space and time, here and now. Know it to be your real being and act accordingly.
  • Even the experiencer is secondary. Primary is the infinite expanse of consciousness, the eternal possibility, the immeasurable potential of all that was, is, and will be.
  • First, we must know ourselves as witnesses only, dimensionless and timeless centres of observation, and then realise that immense ocean of pure awareness, which is both mind and matter and beyond both.
  • I’m not a person in your sense of the word, though I may appear a person to you. I am that infinite ocean of consciousness in which all happens. I am also beyond all existence and cognition, pure bliss of being. There is nothing I feel separate from; hence I am all. No thing is me, so I am nothing.
  • Q:  Being a person, limited in space and time, how can I possibly realise myself as the opposite; a de-personalised, universalised awareness of nothing in particular?   M. Behave as if you were pure awareness, bodiless and mindless, spaceless and timeless, beyond ‘where’ and ‘when’ and ‘how’.  Dwell on it, think of it, learn to accept its reality.
  • As all waves are in the ocean, so are all things physical and mental in awareness. Hence awareness itself is all important, not the content of it. Deepen and broaden your awareness of yourself and all the blessings will flow.
  • All exists in awareness and awareness neither dies nor is re-born. It is the changeless reality itself.
  • All the universe of experience is born with the body and dies with the body; it has its beginning and end in awareness, but awareness knows no beginning, nor end.
  • Awareness contains every experience. But he who is aware is beyond every experience. He is beyond awareness itself.
  • Watch yourself closely and you will see that whatever be the content of consciousness, the witnessing of it does not depend on the content. Awareness is itself and does not change with the event. The event may be pleasant or unpleasant, minor or important, awareness is the same. Take note of the peculiar nature of pure awareness, its natural self-identity, without the least trace of self-consciousness, and go to the root of it and you will soon realise that awareness is your true nature and nothing you may be aware of, you can call your own.
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You are nothing and everything and beyond

  • ‘Nothing is me,’ is the first step. ‘Everything is me’ is the next. Both hang on the idea: ‘there is a world’. When this too is given up, you remain what you are — the non-dual Self. You are it here and now, but your vision is obstructed by your false ideas about your self.
  • Even to say that you are not the body is not quite true. In a way, you are all the bodies, hearts and minds and much more.
  • Q: Do you intend to convey that you are just nothing.   M: Oh, no! I am complete and perfect. I am the beingness of being, the knowingness of knowing,the fullness of happiness. You cannot reduce me to emptiness!
  • Use every incident of the day to remind you that without you as the witness there would be neither animal nor God. Understand that you are both, the essence and the substance of all there is. and remain firm in your understanding.
  • When I say: ‘I am’, I do not mean a separate entity with a body as its nucleus. I mean the totality of being, the ocean of consciousness, the entire universe of all that is and knows. I have nothing to desire for I am complete forever.
  • The entire creation is your universal body. You are so blinded by what is personal, that you do not see the universal.
  • Reality is neither subjective nor objective, neither mind nor matter, neither time nor space. These divisions need somebody to whom to happen, a conscious separate centre. But reality is all and nothing, the totality and the exclusion, the fullness and the emptiness, fully consistent, absolutely paradoxical. You cannot speak about it, you can only lose your self in it. When you deny reality to anything, you come to a residue which cannot be denied.
  • The only radical solution is to dissolve the separative sense of ‘I am such-and-such person’ once and for good. Being remains, but not self-being.
  • Nothing can be said about a jnani, for he is all and yet nothing in particular.
  • When you know yourself as a centre of consciousness, the world appears as the ocean of the mind. When you know yourself as you are in reality, you know the world as yourself.
  • Pure consciousness, the sense of being all there is, or could be.
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You are infinite and eternal

  • Wherever you go, the sense of here and now you carry with you all the time. It means that you are independent of space and time, that space and time are in you, not you in them. It is your self-identification with the body, which, of course, is limited in space and time, that gives you the feeling of finiteness. In reality, you are infinite and eternal.
  • Trace the world to its source and you will find that before the world was, you were and when the world is no longer, you remain. Find your timeless being and your action will bear it testimony.
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You and God are one

  • One has to understand that the search for reality, or God and the search for the self are the same; when one is found, all are found. When ‘I am’ and ‘God is’ become in your mind indistinguishable, then something will happen and you will know without a trace of doubt that God is because you are, you are because God is. The two are one.
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You are everyone

  • My world is an open world, common to all, accessible to all. In my world there is community, insight, love, real quality; the individual is the total, the totality — in the individual. All are one and the One is all.
  • Q: Is your world full of things and people as is mine?  M: No, it is full of myself.
  • I am the other person, the other person is myself; in name and shape we are different, but there is no separation. At the root of our being we are one.
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You are the supreme reality

  • That in whom reside all beings and who resides in all beings, who is the giver of grace to all, the Supreme Soul of the universe, the limitless being– I am that.  Amritbindu Upanishad
  • That which permeates all, which nothing transcends and which, like the universal space around us, fills everything completely from within and without, that Supreme non-dual Brahman — that thou art.  Sankaracharya
  • All there is is me, all there is is mine. Before all beginnings, after all endings — I am. All has its being in me, in the ‘I am’, that shines in every living being. Even not- being is unthinkable without me. Whatever happens, I must be there to witness it.
  • You yourself are God, the Supreme Reality.
  • The Supreme is the easiest to reach for it is your very being.
  • ‘I am’ itself is God.
  • M: You are God, but you do not know it.  Q: If I am God, then the world I create must be true.  M: It is true in essence, but not in appearance. Be free of desires and fears and at once your vision will clear and you shall see all things as they are.
  • You say you want to know your self. You are your self — you cannot be anything but what you are.
  • The universal witness, the Supreme Self never sleeps and never dies. Eternally the Great Heart beats and at each beat a new universe comes into being.
  • You are the infinite potentiality; the inexhaustible possibility. Because you are, all can be. The universe is but a partial manifestation of your limitless capacity to become.
  • You are the eternal, changeless, reality-consciousness-love, within and beyond all appearances
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You are the one Self and beyond

  • You imagine me as separate, hence your question. There is no ‘my self’ and ‘his self’. There is the Self, the only Self of all.
  • There is the body and there is the Self. Between them is the mind, in which the Self is reflected as ‘I am’. Because of the imperfections of the mind, its crudity and restlessness, lack of discernment and insight, it takes itself to be the body, not the Self. All that is needed is to purify the mind so that it can realise its identity with the Self. When the mind merges in the Self, the body presents no problems. It remains what it is, an instrument of cognition and action, the tool and the expression of the creative fire within: The ultimate value of the body is that it serves to discover the cosmic body, which is the universe in its entirety. As you realise yourself in manifestation, you keep on discovering that you are ever more than what you have imagined.
  • Why two selves?  Between the bound and the free there can be no relationship. The very fact of co-existence proves their basic unity. There is but one self — it is always now. What you call the other self — old or new — is but a modality, another aspect of the one self. The self is single. You are that self and you have ideas of what you have been or will be.
  • How can there be two selves in one body? The ‘I am’ is one. There is no ‘higher I-am’ and ‘lower I-am’. All kinds of states of mind are presented to awareness and there is self-identification with them.
  • There can be no experience of the Absolute as it is beyond all experience. On the other hand, the self is the experiencing factor in every experience and thus, in a way, validates the multiplicity of experiences. The world may be full of things of great value, but if there is nobody to buy them, they have no price. The Absolute contains everything experienceable, but without the experience they are as nothing. That which makes the experience possible is the Absolute. That which makes it actual is the Self.
  •  At the back of every experience is the Self and its interest in the experience. Call it desire, call it love — words do not matter.
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You are the watcher of the mind and its states

  • Q: When I look within, I find sensations and perceptions, thoughts and feelings, desires and fears, memories and expectations. I am immersed in this cloud and see nothing else.   M: That which sees all this, and the nothing too, is the inner teacher. He alone is, all else only appears to be. He is your own self, your hope and assurance of freedom; find him and cling to him and you will be saved and safe.
  • Moods are in the mind and do not matter. Go within, go beyond. Cease being fascinated by the content of your consciousness. When you reach the deep layers of your true being, you will find that the mind’s surface-play affects you very little.
  • Well, words do not matter, nor does it matter in what shape you are just now. Names and shapes change incessantly. Know yourself to be the changeless witness of the changeful mind. That is enough.
  • Q: What is the cause of self-forgetting?  M: There is no cause, because there is no forgetting. Mental states succeed one another, and each obliterates the previous one. Self-remembering is a mental state and self-forgetting is another. They alternate like day and night. Reality is beyond both.
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You are the heart

  • The cosmic heart beats ceaselessly. I am the witness and the heart too.
  • The mind creates the abyss, the heart crosses it.
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You are the knower that cannot be known

  • You know so many things about yourself, but the knower you do not know. Find out who you are, the knower of the known.
  • Before you can know anything directly, non-verbally, you must know the knower. So far, you took the mind for the knower, but it is just not so. The mind clogs you up with images and ideas, which leave scars in memory.  You take remembering to be knowledge. True knowledge is ever fresh, new, unexpected. It wells up from within. When you know what you are, you also are what you know. Between knowing and being there is no gap.
  • The knower comes and goes with the known, and is transient; but that which knows that it does not know, which is free of memory and anticipation, is timeless.
  • To know that the known cannot be me nor mine, is liberation enough.
  • In the triplicity: the known, knowing and the knower, only the knowing is a fact. The ‘I am’ and ‘this’ are doubtful. Who knows? What is known? There is no certainty, except that there is knowing.
  • Knowing is a reflection of your true nature along with being and loving. The knower and the known are added by the mind. It is in the nature of the mind to create a subject-object duality, where there is none.
  • Knower:   That which is conscious. That which perceives.  Ultimately unknowable.
  • The knower is but a state of mind. The real is beyond.
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You are the witness and beyond

  • One must know that the real exists and is of the nature of witness-consciousness. Of course, it is beyond the witness, but to enter it one must first realise the state of pure witnessing. The awareness of conditions brings one to the unconditioned.
  • Q: The seer and the seen: are they one or two?   M: There is only seeing; both the seer and the seen are contained in it. Don’t create differences where there are none.
  • If you stay with the idea that you are not the body nor the mind, not even their witness, but altogether beyond, your mind will grow in clarity, your desires — in purity, your actions — in charity and that inner distillation will take you to another world, a world of truth and fearless love.
  • To whom does the mind appear? Who is the perceiver of the thoughts and feelings which you call the mind?
  • The observer is beyond observation. What is observable is not the real self.
  • You can observe the observation, but not the observer.
  • Man becomes what he believes himself to be. Abandon all ideas about yourself and you will find yourself to be the pure witness, beyond all that can happen to the body or the mind.
  • Since at any point of time and space I can be both the subject and the object of experience, I express it by saying that I am both, and neither, and beyond both.
  • Q: If the shape of things is mere appearance, what are they in reality?  M: In reality, there is only perception. The perceiver and the perceived are conceptual, the fact of perceiving is actual.  Q: Where does the Absolute come in?  M: The Absolute is the birth place of Perceiving. It makes perception possible.
  • When I look through the mind, I see numberless people. When I look beyond the mind, I see the witness. Beyond the witness there is the infinite intensity of emptiness and silence.
  • To say: I am only the witness is both false and true: false because of the ‘I am’, true because of the witness. It is better to say: ‘there is witnessing’. The moment you say: ‘I am’, the entire universe comes into being along with its creator.
  • Nobody can say: ‘I am the witness’. The ‘I am’ is always witnessed. The state of detached awareness is the witness-consciousness, the ‘mirror-mind’. It rises and sets with its object and thus it is not quite the real. Whatever its object, it remains the same, hence it is also real. It partakes of both the real and the unreal and is therefore a bridge between the two.
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You are a centre (point) of perception and beyond

  • In reality, the disciple is not different from the Guru. He is the same dimensionless centre of perception and love in action. It is only his imagination and self-identification with the imagined, that encloses him and converts him into a person.
  • M: That which makes you think that you are a human is not human. It is but a dimensionless point of consciousness, a conscious nothing; all you can say about yourself is: ‘I am.’
  • First, we must know ourselves as witnesses only, dimensionless and timeless centres of observation, and then realise that immense ocean of pure awareness, which is both mind and matter and beyond both.
  • You are not even a human being. You just are — a point of awareness, co-extensive with time and space and beyond both.
  • M:  Without a centre of perception where would be the manifested? Unperceived, the manifested is as good as the unmanifested. And you are the perceiving point, the non-dimensional source of all dimensions.  Know yourself as the total.  Q: How can a point contain a universe?  M: There is enough space in a point for an infinity of universes. There is no lack of capacity. Self-limitation is the only problem.
  • You think yourself big enough to be affected by the world. It is not so. You are so small that nothing can pin you down. It is your mind that gets caught, not you. Know yourself as you are — a mere point in consciousness, dimensionless and timeless. You are like the point of the pencil — by mere contact with you the mind draws its picture of the world. You are single and simple– the picture is complex and extensive. Don’t be misled by the picture — remain aware of the tiny point — which is everywhere in the picture.
  • When you realise yourself as less than a point in space and time, something too small to be cut and too short-lived to be killed, then, and then only, all fear goes. When you are smaller than the point of a needle, then the needle cannot pierce you — you pierce the needle!
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You are that which makes perceiving and experiencing possible

  • You are nothing perceivable, or imaginable. Yet, without you there can be neither perception nor imagination. You observe the heart feeling, the mind thinking, the body acting; the very act of perceiving shows that you are not what you perceive.
  • Can there be perception, experience without you?   An experience must ‘belong’. Somebody must come and declare it as his own. Without an experiencer the experience is not real. It is the experiencer that imparts reality to experience. An experience which you cannot have, of what value is it to you?
  • Who exactly is the ultimate experiencer — the Self or the Unknown? The Self, of course.
  • Since at any point of time and space I can be both the subject and the object of experience, I express it by saying that I am  both, and neither, and beyond.
  • Awareness is is the common matrix of every experience.
  • Perceptions based on sensations and shaped by memory imply a perceiver, whose nature you never cared to examine. Give it your full attention, examine it with loving care and you will discover heights and depths of being which you did not dream of, engrossed as you are in your puny image of yourself.
  • It is not perceivable, because it is what makes perception possible.
  • The objects in the world are many, but the eye that sees them is one.
  • Ultimately all is experience. Whatever we think, feel, do is experience. Behind it is the experiencer. So all we know consists of these two, the experiencer and the experience. But the two are really one — the experiencer alone is the experience. Still, the experiencer takes the experience to be outside. In the same way the spirit and the body are one; they only appear as two.
  • All perceivables are transient and, therefore, unreal. Only that which makes perception possible, call it Life or Brahman, or what you like, is real.
  • I am neither the perceived nor the perceiver, but the simple and the universal factor that makes perceiving possible. Reality is within consciousness, but it is not consciousness nor any of its contents.
  • Look within diligently, remember to remember that the perceived cannot be the perceiver. Whatever you see, hear or think of, remember — you are not what happens, you are he to whom it happens. Delve deeply into the sense ‘I am’ and you will surely discover that the perceiving centre is universal, as universal as the light that illumines the world. All that happens in the universe happens to you, the silent witness. On the other hand, whatever is done, is done by you, the universal and inexhaustible energy.
  • Nothing exists to you without your being there to experience its existence.
  • Q: I’m neither the perceived nor the perceiver; I’m the perceiving only’.   M.  Not even the perceiving, but that which makes all this possible.
  • Why forget the self through excess of attachment? Wisdom lies in never forgetting the self as the ever-present source of both the experiencer and his experience.
  • As you watch your mind, you discover your self as the watcher. When you stand motionless, only watching, you discover your self as the light behind the watcher.  The source of light is dark, unknown is the source of knowledge. That source alone is. Go back to that source and abide there go.
  • Who are you? Don’t go by formulas. The answer is not in words. The nearest you can say in words is: I am what makes perception possible, the life beyond the experiencer and his experience.
  • The ‘I am’ is the foundation of all experience.
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You are life itself

  • You cannot be alive for you are life itself.
  • There is only life. There is nobody who lives a life.
  • Contemplate life as infinite, undivided, ever present, ever active, until you realise yourself as one with it. It is not even very difficult, for you will be returning only to your own natural condition.
  • When you know beyond all doubting that the same life flows through all that is and you are that life, you will love all naturally and spontaneously.  But when you look at anything as separate from you, you cannot love it for you are afraid of it.
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You are that which is unchanging and immovable …

  • The continuous cannot be experienced, for it has no borders. Consciousness implies alterations, change followings change, when one thing or state comes to an end and another begins; that which has no borderline cannot be experienced in the common meaning of the word. One can only be it, without knowing, but one can know what it is not. It is definitely not the entire content of consciousness which is always on the move.
  • Truth is permanent. The real is changeless. What changes is not real, what is real does not change. Now, what is it in you that does not change?
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… the unchanging background to every experience

  • Before anything can come into being there must be somebody to whom it comes. All appearance and disappearance presupposes a change against some changeless background.
  • When the mind is in its natural state, every experience happens against the background of silence.
  • You cannot be conscious of what does not change. All consciousness is consciousness of change. But the very perception of change — does it not necessitate a changeless background?
  • Just as the taste of salt pervades the great ocean and every single drop of sea-water carries the same flavour, so every experience gives me the touch of reality, the ever fresh realisation of my own being.
  • Both the subjective and the objective are changeful and transient. There is nothing real about them. Find the permanent in the fleeting, the one constant factor in every experience.
  • When the mind is in its natural state, every experience happens against the background of silence.
  • You must realise yourself as the immovable, behind and beyond the movable, the silent witness of all that happens.
  • All experience is necessarily transient. But the ground of all experience is immovable.
  • Changes are inevitable in the changeful, but you are not subject to them. You are the changeless background, against which changes are perceived.
  • All movement requires a motionless background.
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All experiences arise in the one indivisible awareness that you are

  • Just as each flower has its own colour, but all colours are caused by the same light, so do many experiences appear in the undivided and indivisible awareness, each separate in memory, identical in essence. This essence is the root, the foundation, the timeless and spaceless ‘possibility’ of all experience.
  • You speak of my experience as different from your experience, because you believe we are separate. But we are not. On a deeper level my experience is your experience. Dive deep within yourself and you will find it easily and simply. Go in the direction of ‘I am’.
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Self-Realisation

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Self-realisation is to know yourself as the source

  • To know the source as source and appearance as appearance, and oneself as the source only is self-realisation.
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Reality can only be experienced, not described

  • Q: How is the Absolute experienced?
    M: It is not an object to be recognised and stored up in memory. It is in the present and in feeling rather. It has more to do with the ‘how’ than with the ‘what’. It is in the quality, in the value; being the source of everything, it is in everything.
    Q: If it is the source, why and how does it manifest itself?
    M: It gives birth to consciousness. All else is in consciousness.
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Words can only point to it

  • Words do not matter, for they do not reach it. They turn back in utter negation.
  • On the verbal level, everything is relative. Absolutes should be experienced, not discussed.
  • The self is not known through words — only direct insight will reveal it. Look within, search within.
  • Words have their limited usefulness, but we put no limits to them and bring ourselves to the brink of disaster. Our noble ideas are finely balanced by ignoble actions. We talk of God, Truth and Love, but instead of direct experience we have definitions. Instead of enlarging and deepening action we chisel our definitions. And we imagine that we know what we can define!
  • The word ‘bread’: neither can you eat nor live by it; it merely conveys an idea. It acquires meaning only with the actual eating. In the same sense am I telling you that the normal state is not verbal.
  • Words, heard or read, will only create images in your mind, but you are not a mental image. You are the power of perception and action behind and beyond the image.
  • Learning words is not enough. You may know the theory, but without the actual experience of yourself as the impersonal and unqualified centre of being, love and bliss, mere verbal knowledge is sterile.
  • You have invented words like effort, inner, outer, self, etc. and seek to impose them on reality. Things just happen to be as they are, but we want to build them into a pattern, laid down by the structure of our language. So strong is this habit, that we tend to deny reality to what cannot be verbalised. We just refuse to see that words are mere symbols, related by convention and habit to repeated experiences.
  • All are mere words, of what use are they to you? You are entangled in the web of verbal definitions and formulations. Go beyond your concepts and ideas; in the silence of desire and thought the truth is found.
  • Disregard the pointers and be aware of what they are pointing to. It is quite simple, but it needs be done.
  • Words do not create facts; they either describe them or distort. The fact is always non-verbal.
  • All knowledge is a form of ignorance. The most accurate map is yet only paper.
  • The moment you start talking you create a verbal universe, a universe of words, ideas, concepts and abstractions, interwoven and inter-dependent, most wonderfully generating, supporting and explaining each other and yet all without essence or substance, mere creations of the mind. Words create words, reality is silent.
  • Words do not convey facts, they signal them. Once you are beyond the person, you need no words.
  • Words can bring you only unto their own limit; to go beyond, you must abandon them. Remain as the silent witness only.
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Know you are the Supreme Reality and act accordingly

  • Believe me, you are the Supreme Reality. Don’t doubt my words, don’t disbelieve me. I am telling you the truth — act on it.
  • I am telling you again: You are the all-pervading, all transcending reality. Behave accordingly: think, feel and act in harmony with the whole and the actual experience of what I say will dawn upon you in no time. No effort is needed. Have faith and act on it.
  • There is an alternative to sadhana, which is trust.  Just trust me and live by trusting me. I shall not mislead you. You are the Supreme Reality beyond the world and its creator, beyond consciousness and its witness, beyond all assertions and denials.  Remember it, think of it, act on it. Abandon all sense of separation, see yourself in all and act accordingly. With action bliss will come and, with bliss, conviction. After all, you doubt yourself because you are in sorrow. Happiness, natural, spontaneous and lasting cannot be imagined. Either it is there, or it is not. Once you begin to experience the peace, love and happiness which need no outer causes, all your doubts will dissolve. Just catch hold of what I told you and live by it.
  • If you trust me, believe when I tell you that you are the pure awareness that illuminates consciousness and its infinite content. Realise this and live accordingly. If you do not believe me, then go within, enquiring ‘What am I’? or, focus your mind on ‘I am’, which is pure and simple being.
  • For him the right procedure is to adhere to the thought that he is the ground of all knowledge, the immutable and perennial awareness of all that happens to the senses and the mind. If he keeps it in mind all the time, aware and alert, he is bound to break the bounds of non-awareness and emerge into pure life, light and love. The idea — ‘I am the witness only’ will purify the body and the mind and open the eye of wisdom. Then man goes beyond illusion and his heart is free of all desires. Just like ice turns to water and water to vapour, and vapour dissolves in air and disappears in space, so does the body dissolve into pure awareness, then into pure being, which is beyond all existence and non-existence.
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Stay with the “I am”, the one thing you can be sure of

  • Turn away from the experience to the experiencer and realise the full import of the only true statement you can make: ‘I am’?
  • Give up all questions except one, “Who am I?” After all the only fact you are sure of is that you “are”. The “I am” is certain, the “I am this” is not.  Struggle to find out what you are in reality.
  • Be content with what you are sure of. And the only thing you can be sure of is “I am”. Stay with it and reject everything else. This is Yoga.
  • Whatever happens happens because “I am”; even if you doubt that, you have to be there to doubt.
  • Refuse all thoughts except one: the thought ‘I am’. The mind will rebel in the beginning, but with patience and perseverance it will yield and keep quiet. Once you are quiet, things will begin to happen spontaneously and quite naturally without any interference on your part.
  • Give your undivided attention to the most important in your life — yourself. Of your personal universe you are the centre — without knowing the centre what else can you know?
  • Just keep in mind the feeling ‘I am’, merge in it, till your mind and feeling become one. By repeated attempts you will stumble on the right balance of attention and affection and your mind will be firmly established in the thought-feeling ‘I am’. Whatever you think, say, or do, this sense of immutable and affectionate being remains as the ever-present background of the mind.
  • Establish yourself firmly in the awareness of ‘I am’. This is the beginning and also the end of all endeavour.
  • Q: My question is: How to find the way to one’s own being?  M: Give up all questions except one: ‘Who am l’? After all, the only fact you are sure of is that you are. The ‘I am’ is certain. The ‘I am this’ is not.
  • Deny existence to everything except your self.
  • Before the mind — I am. ‘I am’ is not a thought in the mind; the mind happens to me, I do not happen to the mind. And since time and space are in the mind, I am beyond time and space, eternal and omnipresent.
  • All you need is to be aware of being, not as a verbal statement, but as an ever-present fact. The awareness that you are will open your eyes to what you are. It is all very simple. First of all, establish a constant contact with your self, be with yourself all the time. Into self-awareness all blessings flow. Begin as a centre of observation, deliberate cognisance, and grow into a centre of love in action. ‘I am’ is a tiny seed which will grow into a mighty tree — quite naturally, without a trace of effort.
  • In your present state only the sense ‘I am’ refers to reality; the ‘what’ and the ‘how I am’ are illusions imposed by destiny, or accident.
  • ‘I am’ is the ultimate fact; ‘Who am l?’ is the ultimate question to which everybody must find an answer.
  • What more tangible proof do you need than your own existence? Wherever you go you find yourself. However far you reach out in time, you are there.
  • Q: How does one bring to an end this sense of separateness?  M: By focussing the mind on ‘I am’, on the sense of being, ‘I am so-and-so’ dissolves; “I am a witness only” remains and that too submerges in ‘I am all’. Then the all becomes the One and the One — yourself, not to be separate from me. Abandon the idea of a separate ‘I’ and the question of ‘whose experience?’ will not arise.
  • What is world after all? A collection of memories. Cling to one thing, that matters, hold on to ‘I am’ and let go all else.
  • Cling to one thing, that matters, hold on to ‘I am’ and let go all else.
  • The self is neither, between nor beyond. To look for it on the mental level is futile. Stop searching, and see — it is here and now — it is that ‘I am’ you know so well. All you need to do is to cease taking yourself to be within the field of consciousness.
  • Be content with what you are sure of. And the only thing you can be sure of is ‘I am’. Stay with it, and reject everything else.
  • Whatever happened, I would turn away my attention from it and remain with the sense ‘I am.’  In the end, you reach a state of non-grasping, of joyful non-attachment, of inner ease and freedom indescribable, yet wonderfully real.
  • Remember that you are. This is your working capital. Rotate it and there will be much profit.
  • If you want to know your true nature, you must have yourself in mind all the time, until the secret of your being stands revealed.
  • The sense ‘I am’ is the manifestation of a deeper cause, which you may call self, God, reality or by any other name.  The ‘I am’ is in the world; but it is the key which can open the door out of the world. The moon dancing on the water is seen in the water, but it is caused by the moon in the sky and not by the water.
  • By no effort of logic or imagination can you change the ‘I am’ into ‘I am not’. In the very denial of your being you assert it.
  • What matters is the persistence with which you keep on returning to yourself.
  • Go back to that state of pure being, where the ‘I am’ is still in its purity before it got contaminated with ‘this I am’ or ‘that I am’.
  • Keep steadily in the focus of consciousness the only clue you have: your certainty of being. Be with it, play with it, ponder over it, delve deeply into it, till the shell of ignorance breaks open and you emerge into the realm of reality.
  • You are not what you take yourself to be. Find out what you are. Watch the sense ‘I am’, find your real self’
  • While looking with the mind, you cannot go beyond it. To go beyond, you must look away from the mind and its contents.  Just look away from all that happens in your mind and bring it to the feeling ‘I am’. The ‘I am’ is not a direction. It is the negation of all direction. Ultimately even the ‘I am’ will have to go, for you need not keep on asserting what is obvious. Bringing the mind to the feeling ‘I am’ merely helps in turning the mind away from everything else.
  • Q: So you say I should try to stop thinking and stay steady in the idea: ‘I am’. M: Yes, and whatever thoughts come to you in connection with the ‘I am’, empty them of all meaning, pay them no attention.
  • You know on contact that you exist — ‘I am’. The ‘I am this’, ‘I am that’ are imaginary.
  • Q: I must begin with some absolute truth. Is there any?  M: Yes, there is, the feeling: ‘I am’. Begin with that.
  • You have tasted so many things — all came to naught. Only the sense ‘I am’ persisted –unchanged. Stay with the changeless among the changeful, until you are able to go beyond.
  • The experiencer needs no proof. ‘I am, and I know I am’. You cannot ask for further proofs.
  • Give your heart and mind to brooding over the ‘I am’, what is it, how is it, what is its source, its life, its meaning. It is very much like digging a well. You reject all that is not water, till you reach the life-giving spring.
  • The door that locks you in, is also the door that lets you out. The ‘I am’ is the door. Stay at it until it opens.
  • Keep the ‘I am’ in the focus of awareness, remember that you are, watch yourself ceaselessly and the unconscious will flow into the conscious without any special effort on your part. Wrong desires and fears, false ideas, social inhibitions are blocking and preventing its free interplay with the conscious.
  • The ‘I am’ is common to us all; beyond the ‘I am’ there is the immensity of light and love. We do not see it because we look elsewhere; I can only point at the sky; seeing of the star is your own work.
  • How do you find a thing you have mislaid or forgotten? You keep it in your mind until you recall it. The sense of being, of ‘I am’ is the first to emerge. Ask yourself whence it comes, or just watch it quietly. When the mind stays in the ‘I am’, without moving, you enter a state which cannot be verbalized but can be experienced. All you need to do is to try and try again. After all the sense ‘I am’ is always with you, only you have attached all kinds of things to it — body, feelings, thoughts, ideas, possessions etc. All these self-identifications are misleading. Because of them you take yourself to be what you are not.
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Ask the question “Who am I?” and remain silent

  • If in the state of witnessing you ask yourself: ‘Who am I?’, the answer comes at once, though it is wordless and silent. Cease to be the object and become the subject of all that happens; once having turned within, you will find yourself beyond the subject. When you have found yourself, you will find that you are also beyond the object, that both the subject and the object exist in you, but you are neither.
  • Give up the idea of being the body and face the question: Who am l? At once a process will be set in motion which will bring back reality, or, rather, will take the mind to reality. Only, you must not be afraid.
  • Give all your attention to the question: ‘What is it that makes me conscious?’, until your mind becomes the question itself and cannot think of anything else.
  • Ask yourself: ‘To whom it all happens?’
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Be what you are – pure conscious being …

  • To deal with things, knowledge of things is needed. To deal with people, you need insight, sympathy. To deal with yourself, you need nothing. Be what you are — conscious being — and don’t stray away from yourself.
  • Go within, into a state which you may compare to a state of waking sleep, in which you are aware of yourself, but not of the world. In that state you will know, without the least trace of doubt, that at the root of your being you are free and happy.
  • Your true home is in nothingness, in emptiness of all content.
  • How can there be nothing without something? Nothing is only an idea, it depends on the memory of something. Pure being is quite independent of existence, which is definable and describable.
  • You need not worry about your worries. Just be. Do not try to be quiet; do not make ‘being quiet’ into a task to be performed. Don’t be restless about ‘being quiet’, miserable about ‘being happy’. Just be aware that you are and remain aware — don’t say: ‘yes, I am; what next?’ There is no ‘next’ in ‘I am’. It is a timeless state.
  • Our usual attitude is of ‘I am this’. Separate consistently and perseveringly the ‘I am’ from ‘this’ or ‘that’, and try to feel what it means to be, just to be, without being ‘this’ or ‘that’.
  • Come to a state in which there is no knowledge, only being, in which being itself is knowledge. To know by being is direct knowledge.
  • Q: Sometimes I feel myself to be a mere centre of awareness.  M: Or, an ocean of awareness.
  • You are always the Supreme. But your attention is fixed on things, physical or mental. When your attention is off a thing and not yet fixed on another, in the interval you are pure being. When through the practice of discrimination and detachment, you lose sight of sensory and mental states, pure being emerges as the natural state.
  • One thing is quite clear to me: all that is, lives and moves and has its being in consciousness and I am in and beyond that consciousness. I am in it as the witness. I am beyond it as Being.
  • Give up all ideas about yourself and simply be.
  • To deal with yourself, you need nothing. Be what you are–conscious being–and don’t stray away from yourself.
  • Be what you are: conscious being and don’t stray away from yourself.
  • You can know what you are not, but you cannot know your real being. You can be only be what you are.
  • You are what you think yourself to be, but you cannot think yourself to be what you have not experienced.
  • Self-remembrance, awareness of ‘I am’ ripens him powerfully and speedily. Give up all ideas about yourself and simply be.
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… by entering a state of pure awareness …

  • From the awareness of the unreal to the awareness of your real nature there is a chasm which you will easily cross, once you have mastered the art of pure awareness.
  • In memory and anticipation there is a clear feeling that it is a mental state under observation, while in the actual the feeling is primarily of being present and aware.
  • To be aware is to be awake. Unaware means asleep. You are aware anyhow, you need not try to be. What you need is to be aware of being aware. Be aware deliberately and consciously, broaden and deepen the field of awareness. You are always conscious of the mind, but you are not aware of yourself as being conscious.
  • By its very nature the mind is outward turned; it always tends to seek for the source of things among the things themselves; to be told to look for the source within, is, in a way, the beginning of a new life. Awareness takes the place of consciousness; in consciousness, there is the ‘I’, who is conscious while awareness is undivided; awareness is aware of itself.
  • I am in the state of detached but affectionate awareness. When this awareness turns upon itself, you may call it the Supreme State. But the fundamental reality is beyond awareness, beyond the three states of becoming, being and not-being.
  • You are right, there can be no experience beyond consciousness. Yet there is the experience of just being. There is a state beyond consciousness, which is not unconscious. Some call it super- consciousness, or pure consciousness, or supreme consciousness. It is pure awareness free from the subject object nexus.
  • Listen to what I keep on telling you and do not move away from it. Think of it all the time and of nothing else. Having reached that far, abandon all thoughts, not only of the world, but of yourself also. Stay beyond all thoughts, in silent being-awareness. It is not progress, for what you come to is already there in you, waiting for you.
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… empty of all content

  • Q: When you say: clear and empty, what do you mean?  M: I mean free of all contents. To myself I am neither perceivable nor conceivable; there is nothing I can point out and say: ‘this I am’. You identify yourself with everything so easily, I find it impossible. The feeling: ‘I am not this or that, nor is anything mine’ is so strong in me that as soon as a thing or a thought appears, there comes at once the sense ‘this I am not’.
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Question your belief you are the body

  • The way to truth lies through the destruction of the false. To destroy the false, you must question your most inveterate beliefs. Of these the idea that you are the body is the worst. With the body comes the world, with the world — God, who is supposed to have created the world and thus it starts — fears, religions, prayers, sacrifices, all sorts of systems — all to protect and support the child-man, frightened out of his wits by monsters of his own making. realise that what you are cannot be born nor die and with the fear gone all suffering ends.
  • You are so accustomed to think of yourselves as bodies having consciousness that you just cannot imagine consciousness as having bodies. Once you realise that bodily existence is but a state of mind, a movement in consciousness, that the ocean of consciousness is infinite and eternal, and that, when in touch with consciousness, you are the witness only, you will be able to withdraw beyond consciousness altogether.
  • The sun of truth remains hidden behind the cloud of self-identification with the body.
  • It is enough if you do not imagine yourself to be the body. It is the ‘I-am-the-body’ idea that is so calamitous. It blinds you completely to your real nature. Even for a moment do not think that you are the body. Give yourself no name, no shape. In the darkness and the silence reality is found.
  • Once the conviction: ‘I am not the body’ becomes so well grounded that he can no longer feel, think and act for and on behalf of the body, he will easily discover that he is the universal being, knowing, acting, that in him and through him the entire universe is real, conscious and active.
  • You take yourself to be a name and a body, so all you perceive are names and bodies.
  • All changes in consciousness are due to the ‘I-am-the-body’ idea. Divested of this idea the mind becomes steady. There is pure being, free of experiencing anything in particular.
  • Why not investigate the very idea of a body? Does the mind appear in the body or the body in the mind? Surely there must be a mind to conceive the ‘I-am-the-body’ idea. A body without a mind cannot be ‘my body’. ‘My body’ is invariably absent when the mind is in abeyance. It is also absent when the mind is deeply engaged in thoughts and feelings. Once you realise that the body depends on the mind, and the mind on consciousness, and consciousness on awareness and not the other way round, your question about waiting for self-realisation till you die is answered. It is not that you must be free from ‘I-am-the-body’ idea first, and then realise the self.
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Harness the power of earnestness

  • You may choose any way that suits you; your earnestness will determine the rate of progress.
  • Compassion is the foundation of earnestness. Compassion for yourself and others, born of suffering, your own and others.
  • Try to understand that you live in a world of illusions, examine them and uncover their roots. The very attempt to do so will make you earnest, for there is bliss in right endeavour.
  • Energy flows from earnestness.
  • Q: What arouses interest?  M: Earnestness, the sign of maturity.  Q: And how does maturity come about?  M: By keeping your mind clear and clean, by living your life in full awareness of every moment as it happens, by examining and dissolving one’s desires and fears as soon as they arise.
  • Try to be, only to be. The all-important word is ‘try’. Allot enough time daily for sitting quietly and trying, just trying, to go beyond the personality, with its addictions and obsessions. Don’t ask how, it cannot be explained. You just keep on trying until you succeed. If you persevere, there can be no failure. What matters supremely is sincerity, earnestness; you must really have had surfeit of being the person you are, now see the urgent need of being free of this unnecessary self-identification with a bundle of memories and habits. This steady resistance against the unnecessary is the secret of success.
  • It is earnestness that will take you through, not cleverness — your own or another’s.
  • Sadhana (spiritual practice) is only a vessel and it must be filled to the brim with earnestness, which is but love in action. For nothing can be done without love.
  • It is earnestness that is indispensable, the crucial factor.
  • Freedom cannot be gained nor kept without will-to-freedom. You must strive for liberation; the least you can do is uncover and remove the obstacles diligently.
  • Earnestness is both necessary and sufficient. Everything yields to earnestness.
  • M: How can an unsteady mind make itself steady? Of course, it cannot. It is the nature of the mind to roam about. All you can do is to shift the focus of consciousness beyond the mind.
  • l appear to hear and see and talk and act, but to me it just happens, as to you digestion or perspiration happens.
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Become the pure witness

  • When the mind is quiet, we come to know ourselves as the pure witness. We withdraw from the experience and its experiencer and stand apart in pure awareness, which is between and beyond the two.
  • You are the Self, here and now. Leave the mind alone, stand aware and unconcerned and you will realise that to stand alert but detached, watching events come and go, is an aspect of your real nature.
  • Be like that infant, instead of trying to be this or that, be happy to be. You will be a fully awakened witness of the field of consciousness. But there should be no feelings and ideas to stand between you and the field.
  • Do realise that it is not you who moves from dream to dream, but the dreams flow before you and you are the immutable witness. No happening affects your real being — this is the absolute truth.
  • The witness usually knows only consciousness.  Sadhana consists in the witness turning back first on his conscious, then upon himself in his own awareness.  Self-awareness is Yoga.
  • I remain as I am — pure awareness, alert to all that happens.
  • The fourth state Is a state of pure witnessing, detached awareness, passionless and wordless. It is like space, unaffected by whatever it contains. Bodily and mental troubles do not reach it — they are outside, ‘there’, while the witness is always ‘here’.
  • There is always something to witness. If not a thing, then its absence. Witnessing is natural and no problem. The problem is excessive interest, leading to self-identification. Whatever you are engrossed in you take to be real.
  • Shift attention to the Self and keep it there. All happens as if there is a mysterious power that creates and moves everything. realise that you are not the mover, only the observer, and you will be at peace.
  • You must begin by being the dispassionate observer. Then only will you realise your full being as the universal lover and actor.
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Abandon all self-identification and self-concern

  • If you seek reality you must set yourself free of all backgrounds, of all cultures, of all patterns of thinking and feeling. Even the idea of being man or woman, or even human, should be discarded. The ocean of life contains all, not only humans. So, first of all abandon all self-identification, stop thinking of yourself as such-and-such, so-and-so, this or that. Abandon all self-concern, worry not about your welfare, material or spiritual, abandon every desire, gross or subtle, stop thinking of achievement of any kind. You are complete here and now, you need absolutely nothing. It does not mean that you must be brainless and foolhardy, improvident or indifferent; only the basic anxiety for oneself must go.
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Watch your life with curious, compassionate alertness

  • Q: Can I avoid this protracted battle with my mind?  M: Yes, you can. Just live your life as it comes, but alertly, watchfully, allowing everything to happen as it happens, doing the natural things the natural way, suffering, rejoicing — as life brings. This also is a way.
  • Q: How can I set right a tangle which is entirely below the level of my consciousness?  M: By being with yourself, the ‘I am’; by watching yourself in your daily life with alert interest, with the intention to understand rather than to judge, in full acceptance of whatever may emerge, because it is there, you encourage the deep to come to the surface and enrich your life and consciousness with its captive energies. This is the great work of awareness; it removes obstacles and releases energies by understanding the nature of life and mind. Intelligence is the door to freedom and alert attention is the mother of intelligence.
  • Everybody is aware of himself. The deepening and broadening of self-awareness is the royal way. Call it mindfulness, or witnessing, or just attention — it is for all. None is unripe for it and none can fail.
  • Assiduously investigate everything that crosses your field of attention. With practice the field will broaden and investigation deepen, until they become spontaneous and limitless.
  • Be satisfied with watching the flow of your life; if your watchfulness is deep and steady, ever turned towards the source, it will gradually move upstream till suddenly it becomes the source. Put your awareness to work, not your mind. The mind is not the right instrument for this task. The timeless can be reached only by the timeless.
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Refuse attention to the mind, let things come and go

  • Refuse attention, let things come and go. Desires and thoughts are also things. Disregard them.  Since immemorial time the dust of events was covering the clear mirror of your mind, so that only memories you could see. Brush off the dust before it has time to settle; this will lay bare the old layers until the true nature of your mind is discovered. It is all very simple and comparatively easy; be earnest and patient, that is all. Dispassion, detachment, freedom from desire and fear, from all self-concern, mere awareness — free from memory and expectation — this is the state of mind to which discovery can happen. After all, liberation is but the freedom to discover.
  • What prevents you from knowing yourself as all and beyond all, is the mind based on memory. It has power over you as long as you trust it; don’t struggle with it; just disregard it. Deprived of attention, it will slow down and reveal the mechanism of its working. Once you know its nature and purpose, you will not allow it to create imaginary problems.
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Look at yourself in silence

  • The first steps in self-acceptance are not at all pleasant, for what one sees is not a happy sight. One needs all the courage to go further. What helps is silence. Look at yourself in total silence, do not describe yourself. Look at the being you believe you are and remember — you are not what you see. ‘This I am not — what am l?’ is the movement of self-enquiry. There are no other means to liberation, all means delay. Resolutely reject what you are not, till the real Self emerges in its glorious nothingness, its ‘not-a-thingness.’
  • Just look at yourself as you are, see yourself as you are, accept yourself as you are and go ever deeper into what you are.
  • To find water you do not dig small pits all over the place, but drill deep in one place only. Similarly, to find yourself you have to explore yourself.
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Probe into your motives

  • Assiduously watch your ever-changing life, probe deeply into the motives beyond your actions and you will soon prick the bubble in which you are enclosed.
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Shine the light of awareness on all

  • Discover all you are not. Body, feelings, thoughts, ideas, time, space, being and not-being, this or that — nothing concrete or abstract you can point out to is you.  You must watch your-self continuously — particularly your mind — moment by moment, missing nothing. This witnessing is essential for the separation of the self from the not-self.
  • Q: How can I deal with [my conditioning]?  M: By watching their influence in you and on you. Be aware of them in operation, watch their expressions in your thoughts, words and deeds, and gradually their grip on you will lessen and the clear light of sattva will emerge. It is neither difficult, nor a protracted process; earnestness is the only condition of success.
  • Occasionally an old reaction, emotional or mental, happens in the mind, but it is at once noticed and discarded.
  • Examine your thoughts and feelings as they occur, give them your full attention and you will find that there is nothing like ignorance, only inattention.
  • When you sit quiet and watch yourself, all kinds of things may come to the surface. Do nothing about them, don’t react to them; as they have come so will they go, by themselves. All that matters is mindfulness, total awareness of oneself or rather, of one’s mind.
  • By all means let your body and mind function, but do not let them limit you. If you notice imperfections, just keep on noticing: your very giving attention to them will set your heart and mind and body right.
  • Watch your thoughts as you watch the street traffic. People come and go; you register without response.
  • The very fact of observation alters the observer and the observed.
  • Light your way by burning up obstacles in the intensity of awareness.
  • [With self-awareness] you grow more intelligent. In awareness you learn, in self-awareness you learn about yourself. Of course, you can only learn what you are not. To know what you are, you must go beyond the mind. Awareness is the point at which the mind reaches out beyond itself into reality. In awareness, you seek not what pleases, but what is true.
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Watch your thoughts and feelings without fighting with them

  • Q: My thoughts will not let me.  M: Pay no attention. Don’t fight them. Just do nothing about them, let them be, whatever they are. Your very fighting them gives them life. Just disregard. Look through.
  • Do what you feel like doing. Don’t bully yourself. Violence will make you hard and rigid. Do not fight with what you take to be obstacles on your way. Just be interested in them, watch them, observe, enquire. Let anything happen — good or bad. But don’t let yourself be submerged by what happens.
  • Watch your thoughts and watch yourself watching the thoughts. The state of freedom from all thoughts will happen suddenly and by the bliss of it you shall recognise it.
  • You live, you feel, you think. By giving attention to your living, feeling and thinking, you free yourself from them and go beyond them. Your personality dissolves and only the witness remains. Then you go beyond the witness. Do not ask how it happens. Just search within yourself.
  • The mind goes astray, the mind returns home. Even the word ‘astray’ is not proper. The mind must know itself in every mood. Nothing is a mistake unless repeated.
  • Your mindfulness must include the mind also. Witnessing is primarily awareness of consciousness and its movements.
  •  How can I clear my mind?  M.  By watching it relentlessly. Inattention obscures, attention clarifies.
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Accept what comes and goes

  • What is wrong with its seeking the pleasant and shirking the unpleasant? Between the banks of pain and pleasure the river of life flows. It is only when the mind refuses to flow with life, and gets stuck at the banks, that it becomes a problem.
  • Q: Is destiny the same as grace?   M: Absolutely. Accept life as it comes and you will find it a blessing.
  • Whatever state I am in, I see it as a state of mind to be accepted as it is.
  • By flowing with life, I mean acceptance – letting come what comes and go what goes. Desire not, fear not, observe the actual, as and when it happens, you are to whom it happens
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Remain detached, seeing life as a passing show …

  • If you stand aloof as observer only, you will not suffer. You will see the world as a show. A most entertaining show indeed.
  • My life is a succession of events, just like yours. Only I am detached and see the passing show as a passing show, while you stick to things and move along with them.
  • Don’t be all the time immersed in your experiences. Remember that you are beyond the experience ever unborn and deathless. In remembering it, the quality of pure knowledge will emerge, the light of unconditional awareness.
  • To be quite detached, beyond the reach of all self-concern, all selfish consideration, is an inescapable condition of liberation. You may call it death; to me it is living at its most meaningful and intense, for I am one with life in its totality and fullness –intensity, meaningfulness, harmony; what more do you want?
  • Whatever is done, is done on the stage. Joy and sorrow life and death, they all are real to the man in bondage; to me they are all in the show, as unreal as the show itself.
  • There is trouble only when you cling to something. When you hold on to nothing, no trouble arises. The relinquishing of the lesser is the gaining of the greater. Give up all and you gain all. Then life becomes what it was meant to be: pure radiation from an inexhaustible source. In that light, the world appears dimly like a dream.
  • Let come what comes and let go what goes — why catch hold of things.
  • They may laugh and cry according to circumstances, but inwardly they are cool and clear, watching detachedly their own spontaneous reactions.
  • Once you realise that there is nothing in this world, which you can call your own, you look at it from the outside as you look at a play on the stage, or a picture on the screen, admiring and enjoying, but really unmoved. As long as you imagine yourself to be something tangible and solid, a thing among things, actually existing in time and space, short-lived and vulnerable, naturally you will be anxious to survive and increase. But when you know yourself as beyond space and time — in contact with them only at the point of here and now, otherwise all-pervading and all-containing, unapproachable, unassailable, invulnerable — you will be afraid no longer. Know yourself as you are — against fear there is no other remedy.
  • In the mirror of your mind all kinds of pictures appear and disappear. Knowing that they are entirely your own creations, watch them silently come and go, be alert, but not perturbed. This attitude of silent observation is the very foundation of Yoga. You see the picture, but you are not the picture.
  • To the Self the world is but a colourful show, which he enjoys as long as it lasts and forgets when it is over. Whatever happens on the stage makes him shudder in terror or roll with laughter, yet all the time he is aware that it is but a show. Without desire or fear he enjoys it, as it happens.
  • You think you are coming and going, passing through various states and moods. I see things as they are, momentary events, presenting themselves to me in rapid succession, deriving their being from me, yet definitely neither me nor mine. I am just beyond, in a different dimension altogether.  Now, what is your experience? Do you also feel that you stand totally aloof from all transient things?
  • You are like the man in the cinema house, laughing and crying with the picture, though knowing fully well that he is all the time in his seat and the picture is but the play of light. It is enough to shift attention from the screen to oneself to break the spell.
  • All is a momentary appearance in the field of the universal consciousness; continuity as name and form is a mental formation only, easy to dispel.
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… knowing that the witness is the bridge to the supreme state

  • The personality gives place to the witness, then the witness goes and pure awareness remains.
  • The person is never the subject. You can see a person, but you are not the person. You are always the Supreme which appears at a given point of time and space as the witness, a bridge between the pure awareness of the Supreme and the manifold consciousness of the person.
  • Q: Is the witness-consciousness the real Self.   M: It is the reflection of the real in the mind. The real is beyond. The witness is the door through which you pass beyond.
  • Q: What about the witness? Is it real or unreal?  M: It is both. The last remnant of illusion, the first touch of the real.
  • Awareness with an object we called witnessing. When there is also self-identification with the object, caused by desire or fear, such a state is called a person. In reality, there is only one state; when distorted by self-identification it is called a person, when coloured with the sense of being, it is the witness; when colourless and limitless, it is called the Supreme.
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Quieten the mind …

  • You cannot see the true unless you are at peace. A quiet mind is essential for right perception, which again is required for self-realisation.
  • A quiet mind is all you need. All else will happen rightly, once your mind is quiet. As the sun on rising makes the world active, so does self-awareness affect changes in the mind. In the light of calm and steady self-awareness inner energies wake up and work miracles without any effort on your part.
  • The window is the absence of the wall, and it gives air and light because it is empty. Be empty of al mental content, of all imagination and effort, and the very absence of obstacles will cause reality to rush in.
  • You begin by letting thoughts flow and watching them. The very observation slows down the mind till it stops altogether. Once the mind is quiet, keep it quiet. Don’t get bored with peace, be in it, go deeper into it.
  • When the mind is kept away from its preoccupations, it becomes quiet. If you do not disturb this quiet and stay in it, you find that it is permeated with a light and a love you have never known; and yet you recognise it at once as your own nature. Once you have passed through this experience, you will never be the same man again; the unruly mind may break its peace and obliterate its vision; but it is bound to return, provided the effort is sustained; until the day when all bonds are broken, delusions and attachments end and life becomes supremely concentrated in the present.
  • Do not keep the mind busy all the time. Stop it — and just be. If you give it rest, it will settle down and recover its purity and strength. Constant thinking makes it decay.
  • Q: If my true being is always with me, how is it that I am ignorant of it?   M: Because it is very subtle and your mind is gross, full of gross thoughts and feelings. Calm and clarify your mind and you will know yourself as you are.
  • It has nothing to do with effort. Just turn away, look between the thoughts, rather than at the thoughts. When you happen to walk in a crowd, you do not fight every man you meet — you just find your way between.
  • Leave your mind alone, that is all. Don’t go along with it. After all, there is no such thing as mind apart from thoughts which come and go obeying their own laws, not yours. They dominate you only because you are interested in them. It is exactly as Christ said, ‘Resist not evil’. By resisting evil, you merely strengthen it.
  • Do understand that the mind has its limits; to go beyond, you must consent to silence.
  •  What makes us progress?  M.  Silence is the main factor. In peace and silence, you grow.
  • To see reality is as simple as to see one’s face in a mirror. Only the mirror must be clear and true. A quiet mind, undistorted by desires and fears, free from ideas and opinions, clear on all the levels, is needed to reflect the reality. Be clear and quiet –alert and detached, all else will happen by itself.
  • Your hope lies in keeping silent in your mind and quiet in your heart. Realised people are very quiet.
  • As the mind is made of words and images, so is every reflection in the mind. It covers up reality with verbalisation and then complains.
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… and turn the attention within

  • A long as you are engrossed in the world, you are unable to know yourself: to know yourself, turn away your attention from the world and turn it within.
  • All you need is to stop searching outside what can be found only within.
  • You do not see it because you look too far away from yourself, outside your innermost being.
  • Awareness is always with you. The same attention that you give to the outer, you turn to the inner. No new, or special kind of awareness is needed.
  • Q: Is there any particular place you would advise me to go to for spiritual attainment?  M: The only proper place is within. The outer world neither can help nor hinder. No system, no pattern of action will take you to your goal. Give up all working for a future, concentrate totally on the now, be concerned only with your response to every movement of life as it happens.
  • As long as you are locked up within your mind, my state is beyond your grasp.
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Come to understand the mind …

  • Understand your own mind and its hold on you will snap. The mind misunderstands, misunderstanding is its very nature. Right understanding is the only remedy.
  • Reality is not the result of a process; it is an explosion. It is definitely beyond the mind, but all you can do is to know your mind well. Not that the mind will help you, but by knowing your mind you may avoid your mind disabling you. You have to be very alert, or else your mind will play false with you. It is like watching a thief — not that you expect anything from a thief, but you do not want to be robbed. In the same way, you give a lot of attention to the mind without expecting anything from it.
  • The mind is but a set of mental habits, of ways of thinking and feeling, and to change they must be brought to the surface and examined. This also takes time. Just resolve and persevere, the rest will take care of itself.
  • Break the mind from within by investigation and exposure of its contradictions and absurdities.
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… and go beyond it

  • Distrust your mind, and go beyond.
  • What shall I find beyond the mind?  The direct experience of being, knowing and loving.
  • Too much analysis leads you nowhere. There is in you the core of being which is beyond analysis, beyond the mind. You can know it in action only. The legitimate function of the mind is to tell you what is not. But if you want positive knowledge, you must go beyond the mind.
  • Remember the instruction: Whatever you come across — go beyond.
  • Go beyond, go back to the source, go to the self that is the same whatever happens.
  • Don’t try to understand! Enough if you do not misunderstand. Don’t rely on your mind for liberation. It is the mind that brought you into bondage. Go beyond it altogether.
  • Look at your mind dispassionately; this is enough to calm it. When it is quiet, you can go beyond it.
  • To know that you are is natural, to know what you are is the result of much investigation. You will have to explore the entire field of consciousness and go beyond it.
  • The legitimate function of the mind is to tell you what is not. But if you want positive knowledge, you must go beyond the mind.
  • The mind has its limits. It is enough to bring you to the very frontiers of knowledge and make you face the immensity of the unknown. To dive in it is up to you.
  • Words and questions come from the mind and hold you there. To go beyond the mind, you must be silent and quiet. Peace and silence, silence and peace — this is the way beyond. Stop asking questions.
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Purify the mind

  • Nothing that may be called an event will last. But some events purify the mind and some stain it. Moments of deep insight and all-embracing love purify the mind, while desires and fears, envies and anger, blind beliefs and intellectual arrogance pollute and dull the psyche.
  • The impure mind is opaque to truth; the pure mind is transparent.
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Discover and abandon the false

  • Q: What are the obstacles?  M: Wrong ideas and desires leading to wrong actions, causing dissipation and weakness of mind and body. The discovery and abandonment of the false removes what prevents the real entering the mind.
  • The way to truth lies through the destruction of the false. To destroy the false, you must question your most inveterate beliefs.
  • Liberation is of the self from its false and self-imposed ideas.
  • it is always the false that makes you suffer, the false desires and fears, the false values and ideas, the false relationships between people. Abandon the false and you are free of pain; truth makes happy, truth liberates.
  • The sentence: ‘I can see that I am false’ contains all you need for liberation. Ponder over it, go into it deeply, go to the root of it; it will operate.
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Untangle experiencing from being

  • Before you can experience anything, there must be the sense of being. At present your being is mixed up with experiencing. All you need is to unravel being from the tangle of experiences. Once you have known pure being, without being this or that, you will discern it among experiences and you will no longer be misled by names and forms.
  • You are asking because you are not sure of yourself. And you are not sure of yourself because you never paid attention to yourself, only to your experiences. Be interested in yourself beyond all experience, be with yourself, love yourself; the ultimate security is found only in self-knowledge.
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Transform desire into love and devotion

  • Increase and widen your desires till nothing but reality can fulfil them. It is not desire that is wrong, but its narrowness and smallness. Desire is devotion. By all means be devoted to the real, the infinite, the eternal heart of being. Transform desire into love. All you want is to be happy. All your desires, whatever they may be, are expressions of your longing for happiness. Basically, you wish yourself well.
  • When you desire the common good, the whole world de-sires with you. Make humanity’s desire your own and work for it. There you cannot fail.
  • Q: How does one reach the Supreme State?  M: By renouncing all lesser desires. As long as you are pleased with the lesser, you cannot have the highest. Whatever pleases you, keeps you back. Until you realise the unsatisfactoriness of everything, its transiency and limitation, and collect your energies in one great longing, even the first step is not made.
  • The integrity of the desire for the Supreme is by itself a call from the Supreme.
  • The Absolute can be reached by absolute devotion only. Don’t be half-hearted.
  • Long intensely for liberation. The very intensity of longing will guide you; you need no other guide.
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Self-realisation is an understanding, not an experience or insight to hold onto …

  • Experience, however sublime, is not the real thing. By its very nature it comes and goes. Self- realisation is not an acquisition. It is more of the nature of understanding. Once arrived at, it cannot be lost. On the other hand, consciousness is changeful, flowing, undergoing transformation from moment to moment. Do not hold on to consciousness and its contents. Consciousness held, ceases. To try to perpetuate a flash of insight, or a burst of happiness is destructive of what it wants to preserve. What comes must go. The permanent is beyond all comings and goings. Go to the root of all experience, to the sense of being. Beyond being and not-being lies the immensity of the real. Try and try again.
  • Liberation is of the self from its false and self-imposed ideas; it is not contained in some particular experience, however glorious.
  • You are dragging down reality to the level of experience. How can reality depend on experience, when it is the very ground of experience? Reality is in the very fact of experience, not in its nature. Experience is, after all, a state of mind, while being is definitely not a state of mind.
  • Q:  When they have some spiritual experience, another difficulty arises. They complain that the experience does not last, that it comes and goes in a haphazard way. Having got hold of the lollipop, they want to suck it all the time.
  • Your expectation of something unique and dramatic, of some wonderful explosion, is merely hindering and delaying your Self Realization.
  • All experience is illusory, limited and temporal. Expect nothing from experience. realisation by itself is not an experience, though it may lead to a new dimension of experiences. Yet the new experiences, however interesting, are not more real than the old. Definitely realisation is not a new experience. It is the discovery of the timeless factor in every experience. It is awareness, which makes experience possible. Just like in all the colours light is the colourless factor, so in every experience awareness is present, yet it is not an experience.
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… although awakening experiences are beautiful and inspiring

  • By realisation I mean a wonderful experience of peace, goodness and beauty, when the world makes sense and there is an all-pervading unity of both substance and essence. While such experience does not last, it cannot be forgotten. It shines in the mind, both as memory and longing.
  • Q: What proof will I have that I know myself correctly?  M: You need no proofs. The experience is unique and unmistakable. It will dawn on you suddenly, when the obstacles are removed to some extent. It is like a frayed rope snapping. Yours is to work at the strands. The break is bound to happen. It can be delayed, but not prevented.
  • When reality explodes in you, you may call it experience of God. Or, rather, it is God experiencing you. God knows you when you know yourself.
  • Q: What is the experience which comes nearest to the Supreme?  M: Immense peace and boundless love. realise that whatever there is true, noble and beautiful in the universe, it all comes from you, that you yourself are at the source of it. The gods and goddesses that supervise the world may be most wonderful and glorious beings; yet they are like the gorgeously dressed servants who proclaim the power and the riches of their master.
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Do not mistake a momentary experience for full realisation

  • There are so many who take the dawn for the noon, a momentary experience for full realisation and destroy even the little they gain by excess of pride. Humility and silence are essential for a sadhaka, however advanced. Only a fully ripened jnani can allow himself complete spontaneity.  The inner fruit must ripen. Until then the discipline, the living in awareness, must go on. Gradually the practice becomes more and more subtle, until it becomes altogether formless.
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Meditate

  • No external activity can reach the inner self; worship and prayers remain on the surface only; to go deeper meditation is essential, the striving to go beyond the states of sleep, dream and waking. In the beginning the attempts are irregular, then they recur more often, become regular, then continuous and intense, until all obstacles are conquered.
  • Q: All teachers advise to meditate. What is the purpose of meditation?   M: We know the outer world of sensations and actions, but of our inner world of thoughts and feelings we know very little. The primary purpose of meditation is to become conscious of, and familiar with, our inner life. The ultimate purpose is to reach the source of life and consciousness.
  • For a seeker for reality there is only one meditation — the rigorous refusal to harbour thoughts. To be free from thoughts is itself meditation.
  • Become yourself the object of your meditation.
  • Meditation is a deliberate attempt to pierce into the higher states of consciousness and finally go beyond it.
  • The final stage of meditation is reached when the sense of identity goes beyond the ‘I-am-so-and-so’, beyond’ so-l-am’, beyond ‘I-am-the-witness-only’, beyond ‘there-is’, beyond all ideas into the impersonally personal pure being.
  • You must be energetic when you take to meditation. It is definitely not apart-time occupation.
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Be empty of all content

  • The window is the absence of the wall and it gives air and light because it is empty. Be empty of all mental content, of all imagination and effort, and the very absence of obstacles will cause reality to rush in.
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Stay with the aliveness in the body

  • Through all your bodies and souls shines awareness, the pure light of chit. Hold on to it unswervingly. Without awareness, the body would not last a second. There is in the body a current of energy, affection and intelligence, which guides, maintains and energises the body. Discover that current and stay with it.
  • Find the spark of life that weaves the tissues of your body and be with it. It is the only reality the body has.
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Relinquish all that is external …

  • A level of mental maturity is reached when nothing external is of any value and the heart is ready to relinquish all. Then the real has a chance and it grasps it.
  • All you have to do is to abandon all memories and expectations. Just keep yourself ready in utter nakedness and nothingness.
  • Gradual change does not take you to a new level of conscious being. You need courage to let go.
  • Continuity, permanency, these are illusions created by memory, mere mental projections of a pattern where no pattern can be; Abandon all ideas of temporary or permanent, body or mind, man or women; what remains?  What is the state of your mind when all separation is given up?
  • The false self must be abandoned before the real self can be found.
  • Sadhana is a search for what to give up. Empty yourself completely.
  • Leave it all behind you. Forget it. Go forth, unburdened with ideas and beliefs. Abandon all verbal structures, all relative truth, all tangible objectives.
  • Spiritual maturity lies in the readiness to let go everything. The giving up is the first step. But the real giving up is in realising that there is nothing to give up, for nothing is your own.
  • You will receive everything you need when you stop asking for what you do not need.
  • When there is total surrender, complete relinquishment of all concern with one’s past, presents and future, with one’s physical and spiritual security and standing, a new life dawns, full of love and beauty
  • Q: Shall I be compelled to be reborn? How dreadful!  M: There is no compulsion. You get what you want. You make your own plans and you carry them out.
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… especially the sense of being a person

  • Q: If I am eliminated, what will remain?  M: Nothing will remain, all will remain. The sense of identity will remain, but no longer identification with a particular body. Being — awareness — love will shine in full splendour. Liberation is never of the person, it is always from the person.
  • The sense ‘I am a person in time and space’ is the poison.
  • The person may be conscious, but is not aware of being conscious. It is completely identified with what it thinks and feels and experiences.
  • Q: How is the person removed?   M: By determination. Understand that it must go and wish it to go — it shall go if you are earnest about it. Somebody, anybody, will tell you that you are pure consciousness, not a body-mind. Accept it as a possibility and investigate earnestly. You may discover that it is not so, that you are not a person bound in space and time. Think of the difference it would make!
  • Give up the idea of being a person, that is all. You need not become what you are anyhow. There is the identity of what you are and there is the person super imposed on it. All you know is the person, the identity — which is not a person — you do not know, for you never doubted, never asked yourself the crucial question — ‘Who am I’. The identity is the witness of the person and sadhana consists in shifting the emphasis from the superficial and changeful person to the immutable and ever-present witness.
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Enquire and investigate

  • There must be understanding which comes with alert perceptivity, eager enquiry and deep investigation.
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Live a well ordered useful life

  • Purify yourself by a well-ordered and useful life. Watch over your thoughts, feelings, words and actions. This will clear your vision.
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Surrender to life

  • M: The rest will be done for you.  Q: By whom?  M: By the same power that brought you so far, that prompted your heart to desire truth and your mind to seek it. It is the same power that keeps you alive. You may call it Life or the Supreme.
  • Q:  What is self-surrender?  M:  Accept what comes.
  • To insist on immediate freedom of choice and action will merely postpone recovery. Accept your destiny and fulfil it — this is the shortest way to freedom from destiny, though not from love and its compulsions. To act from desire and fear is bondage, to act from love is freedom.
  • Self-surrender is the surrender of all self-concern. It cannot be done, it happens when you realise your true nature.
  • I know that it is in the nature of awareness to set things right. Let consciousness look after its creations!
  • You need not push life about. Just flow with it and give yourself completely to the task of the present moment, which is the dying now to the now.
  • I offer no resistance to trouble — therefore it does not stay with me.
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To know yourself, be yourself

  • There is nothing to practise.  To know yourself, be yourself. To be yourself, stop imagining yourself to be this or that. Just be. Let your true nature emerge. Don’t disturb your mind with seeking.
  • There is no such state as seeing the real. Who is to see what? You can only be the real — which you are, anyhow. The problem is only mental. Abandon false ideas, that is all. There is no need of true ideas. There aren’t any.
  • There is no such thing as the experience of the real. The real is beyond experience. All experience is in the mind. You know the real by being real
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Seeing the reflection of the real in the quiet mind

  • Q: Is the witness-consciousness the real Self?  M: It is the reflection of the real in the mind. The real is beyond. The witness is the door through which you pass beyond.
  • What we call thoughts are just ripples in the mind. When the mind is quiet it reflects reality. When itis motionless through and through, it dissolves and only reality remains. This reality is so concrete, so actual, so much more tangible than mind and matter, that compared to it even diamond is soft like butter. This overwhelming actuality makes the world dreamlike, misty, irrelevant.
  • As you cannot see your face, but only its reflection in the mirror, so you can know only your image reflected in the stainless mirror of pure awareness.
  • Just like the one sun is reflected in a billion dew drops, so is the timeless endlessly repeated.
  • All these attributes; being, consciousness, love and beauty are reflections of the real in the world. No real — no reflection.
  • The real being is reflected in the mind undistorted.
  • The witness is merely a point in awareness. It has no name and form. It is like the reflection of the sun in a drop of dew. The drop of dew has name and form, but the little point of light is caused by the sun. The clearness and smoothness of the drop is a necessary condition but not sufficient by itself. Similarly, clarity and silence of the mind are necessary for the reflection of reality to appear in the mind
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More advice for realisation

  • Do not imagine that you can change through effort. Violence, even turned against yourself, as in austerities and penance, will remain fruitless.
  • Q: Who is to do the abandoning?  M: God will do it. Just see the need of being abandoned. Don’t resist, don’t hold on to the person you take yourself to be.
  • You must find your own way. Unless you find it yourself it will not be your own way and will take you nowhere.
  • Q: Are austerities and penances of any use?  M: To meet all the vicissitudes of life is penance enough! You need not invent trouble. To meet cheerfully whatever life brings is all the austerity you need.
  • It is very easy to be quiet, but willingness is rare. You people want to become supermen overnight. Stay without ambition, without the least desire, exposed, vulnerable, unprotected, uncertain and alone, completely open to and welcoming life as it happens, without the selfish conviction that all must yield you pleasure or profit, material or so-called spiritual.
  • Q: It is not glory that I seek. I seek Reality.  M: For this you need a well-ordered and quiet life, peace of mind and immense earnestness. At every moment, whatever comes to you unasked, comes from God and will surely help you, if you make the fullest use of it. It is only what you strive for, out of your own imagination and desire, that gives you trouble.
  • [The realised man] looks at himself without indulging in self-definitions and self-identifications. He does not know himself as anything apart from the world. He is the world. He is completely rid of himself, like a man who is very rich, but continually gives away his riches.
  • The realised man is egoless; he has lost the capacity of identifying himself with anything. He is without location, placeless, beyond space and time, beyond the world. Beyond words and thoughts is he.
  • Ask yourself such questions as: ‘Was I really born?’ ‘Am I really so-and-so?’ ‘How do I know that I exist? ‘Who are my parents?’ ‘Have they created me, or have I created them?’ ‘Must I believe all I am told about myself?’ ‘Who am I, anyhow?’. You have put so much energy into building a prison for yourself. Now spend as much on demolishing it. In fact, demolition is easy, for the false dissolves when it is discovered. All hangs on the idea ‘I am’. Examine it very thoroughly.
  • Q: If awareness is not an experience, how can it be realised?  M: Awareness is ever there. It need not be realised. Open the shutter of the mind, and it will be flooded with light.
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Obstacles to realisation

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Fixation on verbal knowledge

  • If you are going to spend your life in amassing knowledge, you build a wall round yourself. To go beyond the mind, a well- furnished mind is not needed.
  • Those who know only scriptures know nothing. To know is to be.
  • You may know all the right words, quote the scriptures, be brilliant in your discussions and yet remain a bag of bones. Or you may be inconspicuous and humble, an insignificant person altogether, yet glowing with loving kindness and deep wisdom.
  • Mere verbal knowledge is sterile.
  • General knowledge develops the mind, no doubt. But if you are going to spend your life in amassing knowledge, you build a wall round yourself. To go beyond the mind, a well-furnished mind is not needed.
  • Q: What is the value of spiritual books?  M: They help in dispelling ignorance. They are useful in the beginning, but become a hindrance in the end. One must know when to discard them.
  • What is wrong with not knowing? You need not know all. Enough to know what you need toknow. The rest can look after itself, without your knowing how it does it. What is important is that your unconscious does not work against the conscious, that there is integration on all levels. To know is not so very important.
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Craving

  • The state of craving for anything blocks all deeper experience. Nothing of value can happen to a mind which knows exactly what it wants. For nothing the mind can visualise and want is of much value.
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Illusion

  • The acceptance of the unreal as real is the obstacle; to see the false as false and abandon the false brings reality into being.
  • Having never left the house you are asking for the way home. Get rid of wrong ideas, that is all.  Collecting right ideas also will take you nowhere. Just cease imagining.
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Striving and effort

  • If you know how to do it, you will not do it. Abandon every attempt, just be; don’t strive, don’t struggle, let go every support, hold on to the blind sense of being, brushing off all else. This is enough.
  • It is not what you do, but what you stop doing that matters. The people who begin their sadhanaare so feverish and restless, that they have to be very busy to keep themselves on the track. An absorbing routine is good for them. After some time, they quieten down and turn away from effort. In peace and silence the skin of the ‘I’ dissolves and the inner and the outer become one. The real sadhana is effortless.
  • Just love what you love — don’t strive and strain.
  • You need not strain towards the future — the future will come to you on its own.
  • All effort leads to more effort; whatever was built up must be maintained, whatever was acquired must be protected against decay or loss.
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Selfishness, resulting from the belief in being a separate self

  • Naturally, selfishness is always destructive. Desire and fear, both are self-centred states. Between desire and fear anger arises, with anger hatred, with hatred passion for destruction. War is hatred in action, organised and equipped with all the instruments of death.
  • You are not interested in others as persons, but only as far as they enrich, or ennoble your own image of yourself. And the ultimate in selfishness is to care only for the protection, preservation and multiplication of one’s own body.  By body I mean all that is related to your name and shape — your family, tribe, country, race, etc.
  • It is selfishness, due to a self-identification with the body, that is the main problem and the cause of all other problems. And selfishness cannot be removed by effort, only by clear insight into its causes and effects. Effort is a sign of conflict between incompatible desires.
  • It is your thinking yourself to be separate from it that creates disorder. Selfishness is the source of all evil.
  • To be selfish means to covet, to acquire, accumulate on behalf of the part against the whole.
  • Your interest in others is egoistic, self-concerned, self-oriented. You are not interested in others as persons, but only as far as they enrich, or enoble your own image of yourself.
  • To be attached to one’s name and shape is selfishness. A man who knows that he is neither body nor mind cannot be selfish, for he has nothing to be selfish for. Or, you may say, he is equally ‘selfish’ on behalf of everybody he meets; everybody’s welfare is his own. The feeling ‘I am the world, the world is myself’ becomes quite natural; once it is established, there is just no way of being selfish. To be selfish means to covet, acquire, accumulate on behalf of the part against the whole.
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Preoccupation with the person

  • Look at the content of your mind. You are what you think about. Are you not most of the time busy with your own little person and its daily needs?
  • As long as you take yourself to be a person, a body and a mind, separate from the stream of life, having a will of its own, pursuing its own aims, you are living merely on the surface and whatever you do will be short-lived and of little value, mere straw to feed the flames of vanity. You must put in true worth before you can expect something real. What is your worth?
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The nature of the realised state

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There is no doer; all just happens …

  • l appear to hear and see and talk and act, but to me it just happens, as to you digestion or perspiration happens. The body-mind machine looks after it, but leaves me out of it. Just as you do not need to worry about growing hair, so I need not worry about words and actions. They just happen and leave me unconcerned, for in my world nothing ever goes wrong.
  • God is the All-doer, the Jnani (self-realised) a Non-doer
  • Life is unafraid and free. As long as you have the idea of influencing events, liberation is not for you: The very notion of doership, of being a cause, is bondage.
  • Doership is a myth born from the illusion of ‘me’ and ‘the mine’.
  • The deed is a fact, the doer a mere concept.
  • To say, ‘I do’ is altogether false, because there is nobody who does; all happens by itself, including the idea of being a doer.
  • It is because of your illusion that you are the doer. In reality things are done to you, not by you.
  • M: God is not running the world.  Q: Then who is doing it?  M: Nobody. All happens by itself.
  • Q: When I paint, there is only the painting and myself.   M: What are you doing there?  Q: I paint.  M: No, you don’t. You see the painting going on. You are watching only, all else happens.
  • With me everything happens as it must. I do not interfere with creation.
  • Being nothing, I am all. Everything is me, everything is mine. Just as my body moves by my mere thinking of the movement, so do things happen as I think of them. Mind you, I do nothing. I just see them happen.
  • There is no sense of purpose in my doing anything. Things happens as they happen — not because I make them happen, but it is because I am that they happen. In reality, nothing ever happens.
  • The same power that makes the fire burn and the water flow, the seeds sprout and the trees grow, makes me answer your questions.
  • I have no work to do, no duties to perform. That part of me which you may call God will look after the world. This world of yours, that so much needs looking after, lives and moves in your mind. Delve into it, you will find your answers there and there only.
  • Things happen as they happen — who can tell why and how?
  • I neither act nor cause others to act; I am timelessly aware of what is going on.
  • The universe is full of action, but there is no actor. There are numberless persons small and big and very big, who, through identification, imagine themselves as acting, but it does not change the fact that the world of action is one single whole in which all depends on, and affects all.
  • In reality nothing happens, there is no past nor future; all appears and nothing is.
  • M:  There is nothing in my mind. As you hear the words, so do I hear them. The power that makes everything happen makes them also happen.  Q: But you are speaking, not me.  M: That is how it appears to you. As I see it, two body-minds exchange symbolic noises. In reality, nothing happens.
  • This is the end of Yoga — to realise independence. All that happens, happens in and to the mind, not to the source of the ‘I am’. Once you realise that all happens by itself, (call it destiny, or the will of God or mere accident), you remain as witness only, understanding and enjoying, but not perturbed.
  • The mind should normally be in abeyance – incessant activity is a morbid state. The universe works by itself – that I know. What else do I need to know?
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… including doing, thinking, choosing and speaking without needing to be concerned with it

  • A tremendously complex work is going on all the time in your brain and body, are you conscious of it? Not at all. Yet for an outsider all seems to be going on intelligently and purposefully. Why not admit that one’s entire personal life may sink largely below the threshold of consciousness and yet proceed sanely and smoothly.
  • There are so many things you are doing without knowing how to do it. You digest, you circulate your blood and lymph, you move your muscles — all without knowing how. In the same way, you perceive, you feel, you think without knowing the why and how of it.
  • You may not be quite conscious of your physiological functions, but when it comes to thoughts and feelings, desires and fears you become acutely self-conscious. To me these too are largely unconscious. I find myself talking to people, or doing things quite correctly and appropriately, without being very much conscious of them. It looks as if I live my physical, waking life automatically, reacting spontaneously and accurately.
  • M: I don’t get flustered. I just do the needful. I do not worry about the future. A right response to every situation is in my nature. I do not stop to think what to do. I act and move on. Results do not affect me. I do not even care, whether they are good or bad. Whatever they are, they are — if they come back to me, I deal with them afresh. Or, rather, I happen to deal with them afresh. There is no sense of purpose in my doing anything. Things happens as they happen — not because I make them happen, but it is because I am that they happen.
  • Freedom to do what one likes is really bondage, while being free to do what one must, what is right, is real freedom.
  • M:  It is by the will of God that everything happens.  Q: Why not by my will?  M: Again, you have split yourself — into God and witness. Both are one.
  • Q: When I ask a question and you answer, what exactly happens?  M: The question and the answer — both appear on the screen. The lips move, the body speaks – and again the screen is clear and empty.
  • Another thing I noticed was that I do not need to make an effort; the deed follows the thought, without delay and friction. I have also found that thoughts become self-fulfilling; things would fall in place smoothly and rightly. The main change was in the mind; it became motionless and silent, responding quickly, but not perpetuating the response. Spontaneity became a way of life, the real became natural and the natural became real. And above all, infinite affection, love, dark and quiet, radiating in all directions, embracing all, making all interesting and beautiful, significant and auspicious.
  • My talking, or not talking, is a part of a given situation and does not depend on me. When there is a situation in which I have to talk, I hear myself talking. In some other situation, I may not hear myself talking. It is all the same to me. Whether I talk or not, the light and love of being what I am are not affected, nor are they under my control.  They are, and I know they are. There is a glad awareness, but nobody who is glad.
  • Q:  I talk.  M:  Do you? You hear yourself talking and you say: I talk.  Q:  Everybody says: ‘I work, I come, I go’.  M: I have no objection to the conventions of your language, but they distort and destroy reality. A more accurate way of saying would have been: ‘There is talking, working, coming, going’. For anything to happen, the entire universe must coincide. It is wrong to believe that anything in particular can cause an event. Every cause is universal. Your very body would not exist without the entire universe contributing to its creation and survival. I am fully aware that things happen as they happen because the world is as it is. To affect the course of events I must bring a new factor into the world and such factor can only be myself, the power of love and understanding focussed in me.
  • Step back from action to consciousness, leave action to the body and the mind; it is their domain. Remain as pure witness, till even witnessing dissolves in the Supreme.
  • I watch all that happens, including my talking to you. It is not me who talks, the words appear in my mind and then I hear them said.  You insist that you think, you speak, while to me there is thinking, there is speaking.
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There is no illusion of agency and control

  • Look, all kinds of things happen in this room. Do I cause them to happen? They just happen. So it is with you — the roll of destiny unfolds itself and actualises the inevitable. You cannot change the course of events, but you can change your attitude and what really matters is the attitude and not the bare event.
  • Nothing is done by me, everything just happens. I do not expect, I do not plan, I just watch events happening, knowing them to be unreal.
  • Why do you talk of action? Are you acting ever? Some unknown power acts and you imagine that you are acting. You are merely watching what happens, without being able to influence it in any way.
  • I know the source of all experience. But the innumerable particular forms experience can take I do not know. Nor do I need to know. From moment to moment, the little I need to know to live my life, I somehow happen to know.
  • Where action is needed, action happens. Man is not the actor. His is to be aware of what is going on. His very presence is action.
  • All happened as it happened because it had to happen; everything happens as it does, because the universe is as it is.
  • The objective universe has structure, is orderly and beautiful. Nobody can deny it. But structure and pattern, imply constraint and compulsion. My world is absolutely free; everything in it is self-determined. Therefore, I keep on saying that all happens by itself. There is order in my world too, but it is not Imposed from outside. It comes spontaneously and immediately, because of its timelessness. Perfection is not in the future. It is now.
  • Q:  My actions, surely, I can control.  M: Try. You will soon see that you do what you must.  Q:  I can act according to my will.  M:  You know your will only after you have acted.   Q: I remember my desires, the choices made, the decisions taken and act accordingly.  M:  Then your memory decides, not you.  Q: Where do I come in?  M: You make it possible by giving it attention.
  • Q:  Is there no such thing as free will? Am I not free to desire?  M: Oh no, you are compelled to desire. In Hinduism, the very idea of free will is non-existent, so there is no word for it.   Will is commitment, fixation, bondage.
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… or responsibility

  • The idea of personal responsibility comes from the illusion of agency. ‘Somebody must have done it, somebody is responsible’. Society as it is now, with its framework of laws and customs, is based on the idea of a separate and responsible personality, but this is not the only form a society can take.
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There is no concern for the future …

  • It is one of the peculiarities of a jnani that he is not concerned with the future. Your concern with future is due to fear of pain and desire for pleasure, to the jnani all is bliss: he is happy with whatever comes.
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… and no real preference for what happens and doesn’t happen

  • Be free from predilections and preferences and the mind with its burden of sorrow will be no more.
  • [The self] knows no suffering, for it neither likes nor dislikes; neither accepts nor rejects.
  • Q: To be free from like and dislike is a state of indifference.  M: It may look and feel so in the beginning. Persevere in such indifference and it will blossom into an all-pervading and all-embracing love.
  • The jnani remains aloof, sure that all will happen as it must; and it does not matter much what happens, for ultimately the return to balance and harmony is inevitable.
  • Whatever happens, does not affect me — things act on things, that is all.
  • Q: Let us say, the jnani is ill. He has caught some flu and every joint aches and burns. What is his state of mind?  M: Every sensation is contemplated in perfect equanimity. There is no desire for it, nor refusal. It is as it is and then he looks at it with a smile of affectionate detachment.
  • Nothing ever goes wrong.
  • To me it all happens; I am aware, yet unaffected.
  • Watch yourself closely and you will see that whatever be the content of consciousness, the witnessing of it does not depend on the content. Awareness is itself and does not change with the event. The event may be pleasant or unpleasant, minor or important, awareness is the same.
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There is no illusion of control and thus no worry

  • Freedom is freedom from worry. Having realised that you cannot influence the results, pay no attention to your desires and fears. Let them come and go. Don’t give them the nourishment of interest and attention.
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There is no sense of “I” or “mine”

  • Q: When you say: clear and empty, what do you mean?  M: I mean free of all contents. To myself I am neither perceivable nor conceivable; there is nothing I can point out and say: ‘this I am’. You identify yourself with everything so easily, I find it impossible. The feeling: ‘I am not this or that, nor is anything mine’ is so strong in me that as soon as a thing or a thought appears, there comes at once the sense ‘this I am not’.
  • When you recognise the ‘I’ as it is, a bundle of desires and fears, and the sense of ‘mine’, as embracing all things and people needed for the purpose of avoiding pain and securing pleasure, you will see that the ‘I’ and the ‘mine’ are false ideas, having no foundation in reality. Created by the mind, they rule their creator as long as it takes them to be true; when questioned, they dissolve.
  • For reality to be, the ideas of ‘me’ and ‘mine’ must go. They will go if you let them. Then your normal natural state reappears, in which you are neither the body nor the mind, neither the ‘me’ nor the ‘mine’, but in a different state of being altogether. It is pure awareness of being, without being this or that, without any self-identification with anything in particular, or in general. In that pure light of consciousness there is nothing, not even the idea of nothing. There is only light.
  • The mind ceased producing events. The ancient and ceaseless search stopped — l wanted nothing, expected nothing — accepted nothing as my own. There was no ‘me’ left to strive for. Even the bare ‘I am’ faded away. The other thing that I noticed was that I lost all my habitual certainties.
  • To say, ‘not me, not mine’ is the task of the witness.
  • Realise that no ideas are your own, they all come to you from outside.
  • The ideas of ‘me’ and ‘mine’ are at the root of all conflict. Be free of them and you will be out of conflict.
  • What is really your own, you are not conscious of. What you are conscious of is neither you nor yours.  Yours is the power of perception, not what you perceive.
  • Unity — liberates. Freedom — unites. Ultimately nothing is mine or yours — everything is ours. Just be one with yourself and you will be one with all, at home in the entire universe.
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There is only the Now

  • The past is in memory, the future — in imagination.
  • I am real for I am always now, in the present, and what is with me now shares in my reality.  It is my own reality that I impart to the present event.
  • I am in my own state timelessly in the now. Past and future are in mind only — I am now.
  • Once you are well-established in the now, you have nowhere else to go.  What you are timelessly, you express eternally.
  • You, the self, being the root of all being, consciousness and joy, impart your reality to whatever you perceive. This imparting of reality takes place invariably in the now, at no other time, because past and future are only in the mind. ‘Being’ applies to the now only.
  • Attention brings you back to the present, the now, and the presence in the now is a state ever at hand, but rarely noticed.
  • Each moment contains the whole of the past and creates the whole of the future.
  • In reality, all is here and now and all is one. Multiplicity and diversity are in the mind only.
  • M:  You can start only from where you are. You are here and now, you cannot get out of here and now.  Q:  But what can I do here and now?  M:  You can be aware of your being — here and now.
  • Life is now only. Do not talk to me about past and future — they exist only in your mind.
  • What I am telling you about is neither in the past nor in the future. Nor is it in the daily life as it flows in the now. It is timeless and the total timelessness of it is beyond the mind.
  • Reality is what makes the present so vital, so different from the past and future, which are merely mental.
  • Whatever has a beginning must have an end. In the timeless all is perfect, here and now.
  • What is remembered is never real; the real is now.
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There is pure experience, beyond names and forms related to fears and desires

  • The world of mind and matter, of names and shapes, continues, but it does not matter to me at all. It is like having a shadow. It is there — following me wherever I go, but not hindering me in any way. It remains a world of experiences, but not of names and forms related to me by desires and fears. The experiences are qualityless, pure experiences, if I may say so. I call them experiences for the lack of a better word. They are like the waves on the surface of the ocean, the ever-present, but not affecting its peaceful power.
  • The world of mind and matter, of names and shapes, continues, but it does not matter to me at all. It is like having a shadow. It is there — following me wherever I go, but not hindering me in any way. It remains a world of experiences, but not of names and forms related to me by desires and fears. The experiences are qualityless, pure experiences, if I may say so. I call them experiences for the lack of a better word. They are like the waves on the surface of the ocean, the ever-present, but not affecting its peaceful power.
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The world is recognised as a temporary appearance in consciousness …

  • I do not negate the world. I see it as appearing in consciousness, which is the totality of the
  • known in the immensity of the unknown.
  • What in your case occupies the entire field of consciousness, is a mere speck in mine. The world lasts, but for a moment. It is your memory that makes you think that the world continues. Myself, I don’t live by memory. I see the world as it is, a momentary appearance in consciousness.
  • What is birth and death but the beginning and the ending of a stream of events in consciousness?
  • Consciousness and the world appear and disappear together, hence they are two aspects of the same state.
  • Q: If I am God, then the world I create must be true.  M: It is true in essence, but not in appearance.
  • However great and complete is your world it is self-contradictory and transitory and altogether illusory.
  • You may postulate a world beyond the mind, but it will remain a concept, unproved and unprovable.
  • To myself I am the infinite expanse of consciousness in which innumerable persons emerge and disappear in endless succession.
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… with no real substance

  • When you understand that names and shapes are hollow shells without any content whatsoever, and what is real is nameless and formless, pure energy of life and light of consciousness, you will be at peace — immersed in the deep silence of reality.
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Even the sense “I am” is recognised as an appearance in awareness

  • Q: Is the ‘I am’ the Ultimate?  M: Before you can say: ‘I am’, you must be there to say it.
  • Of course, you are and I am. But only as points in consciousness; we are nothing apart from consciousness. This must be well grasped: the world hangs on the thread of consciousness; no consciousness, no world.
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There is stillness even in the midst of flurry and restlessness

  • You may be engaged in several directions and work with enormous zest, yet remain inwardly free and quiet, with a mirror-like mind, which reflects all, without being affected.
  • What does it matter? It is the mind that is dull or restless, not you.
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There is deep compassion for all who suffer

  • Once you can say with confidence born from direct experience: ‘I am the world, the world is myself’, you are free from desire and fear on one hand and become totally responsible for the world on the other. The senseless sorrow of mankind becomes your sole concern.  Q: So even a jnani has his problems!  M: Yes, but they are no longer of his own creation. His suffering is not poisoned by a sense of guilt.  There is nothing wrong with suffering for the sins of others. Your Christianity is based on this.
  • One suffers along with what one thinks oneself to be. If you feel one with humanity, you suffer with humanity.
  • He has no sense of being a separate person. The entire universe is his own, including his disciples with their petty plans. Nothing in particular affects him, or, which comes to the same, the entire universe affects him in equal measure.
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All is known to be well

  • At every moment, whatever happens now, is for the best.
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All is recognised as one

  • Plurality and diversity are the play of the mind only. Reality is one
  • I am one, but appear as many.
  • I am the other person, the other person is myself; in name and shape we are different, but there is no separation. At the root of our being we are one.
  • In the mirror of your mind images appear and disappear. The mirror remains. Learn to distinguish the immovable in the movable, the unchanging in the changing, till you realise that all differences are in appearance only and oneness is a fact. This basic identity — you may call God, or Brahman, the words matters little — is only the realisation that all is one.
  • Do not consider yourself as separate from me and we shall at once share in the common state.
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There is a complete acceptance of what is

  • The essence of saintliness is total acceptance of the present moment, harmony with things as they happen. A saint does not want things to be different from what they are; he knows that, considering all factors, they are unavoidable. He is friendly with the inevitable and therefore, does not suffer. Pain he may know, but it does not shatter him. If he can, he does the needful to restore the lost balance — or he lets things take their course.
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There is no judgement and no memory lingers

  • I look, but I do not see in the sense of creating images clothed with judgements. I do not describe nor evaluate. I look, I see you, but neither attitude nor opinion cloud my vision. And when I turn my eyes away, my mind does not allow memory to linger; it is at once free and fresh for the next impression.
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There is lack of fear and a sense of ease

  • Q: What are the signs of progress in spiritual life?  M: Freedom from anxiety; a sense of ease and joy; deep peace within and abundant energy without.
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There is a state of freedom

  • Keep in mind your goal of freedom, until it dawns on you that you are already free, that freedom is not something in the distant future to be earned with painful efforts, but perennially one’s own, to be used! Liberation is not an acquisition but a matter of courage, the courage to believe that you are free already and to act on it.
  • To be free in the world you must be free of the world.
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Nothing is seen as me or mine

  • I claim nothing as my own. When the ‘I’ is not, where is the ‘mine’?
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All merges and becomes one

  • Once free to mingle, the conscious and the unconscious become one and the one becomes all. The person merges into the witness, the witness into awareness, awareness into pure being, yet identity is not lost, only its limitations are lost. It is transfigured, and becomes the real Self, the sadguru, the eternal friend and guide.
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The nature of the real and its rewards

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The real is the source of all

  • In reality, there is only the source, dark in itself, making everything shine. Unperceived, it causes perception. Unfelt, it causes feeling. Unthinkable, it causes thought. Non-being, it gives birth to being. It is the immovable background of motion. Once you are there you are at home everywhere.
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The real is not a concept

  • Even universality and eternity are mere concepts, the opposites of being place and time-bound. Reality is not a concept, nor the manifestation of a concept. It has nothing to do with concepts.
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The real is endlessly creative and ever fresh

  • The real is simple, open, clear and kind, beautiful and joyous. It is completely free of contradictions. It is ever new, ever fresh, endlessly creative. Being and non-being, life and death, all distinctions merge in it.
  • If you want to live sanely, creatively and happily and have infinite riches to share, search for what you are.
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There real is infinite potentiality

  • Paramakash is the timeless and spaceless reality, mindless, undifferentiated, the infinite potentiality, the source and origin, the substance and the essence, both matter and consciousness — yet beyond both. It cannot be perceived, but can be experienced as ever witnessing the witness, perceiving the perceiver, the origin and the end of all manifestation, the root of time and space, the prime cause in every chain of causation.
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The real is bliss and radiance

  • Q: If the real is beyond words and mind, why do we talk so much about it?  M: For the joy of it, of course. The real is bliss supreme. Even to talk of it is happiness.
  • Your very nature has the infinite capacity to enjoy. It is full of zest and affection. It sheds its radiance on all that comes within its focus of awareness and nothing is excluded. It does not know evil nor ugliness, it hopes, it trusts, it loves. You people do not know how much you miss by not knowing your own true self.
  • What is independent, uncreated, timeless and changeless, and yet ever new and fresh, is beyond the mind. When the mind thinks of it, the mind dissolves and only happiness remains.
  • Be fully aware of your own being and you will be in bliss consciously. Because you take your mind off yourself and make it dwell on what you are not, you lose your sense of well-being of being well.
  • Immortality is freedom from the feeling: ‘I am’. Yet it is not extinction. On the contrary, it is a state infinitely more real, aware and happy than you can possibly think of. Only self-consciousness is no more.
  • There is peace — deep, immense, unshakeable. Events are registered in memory, but are of no importance. I am hardly aware of them.
  • Reality being timeless, changeless, bodyless, mindless awareness is bliss.
  • Sattva is the radiance of your real nature.
  • At all times consciousness remains the same. To know it as it is, is realisation and timeless peace.
  • Freedom from self-identification with a set of memories and habits, the state of wonder at the infinite reaches of the being, its inexhaustible creativity and total transcendence, the absolute fearlessness born from the realisation of the illusoriness and transiency of every mode of consciousness — flow from a deep and inexhaustible source. To know the source as source and appearance as appearance, and oneself as the source only is self-realisation.
  • Once you had the taste of your own self, you will find it everywhere and at all times. Therefore, it is so important that you should come to it. Once you know it, you will never lose it.
  • Reality is not shapeless mass, a wordless chaos. It is powerful, aware, blissful; compared to it your life is like a candle to the sun.
  • The self by its very nature delights in everything and its energies flow outwards.
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The real is changeless and permanent

  • Transiency is the best proof of unreality. What is limited in time and space, and applicable to one person only, is not real. The real is for all and forever.
  • What is pure, unalloyed, unattached, is real. What is tainted, mixed up, dependent and transient is unreal.
  • I can easily drive you into an admission that you know only that you exist — that you are the only proof you can have of anything. But I do not identify mere existence with reality. Existence is momentary, always in time and space, while reality is changeless and all-pervading.
  • M: Everything is subjective, but the real is objective.  Q: In what sense?  M: It does not depend on memories and expectations, desires and fears, likes and dislikes. All is seen as it is.  Q: Is it what you call the fourth state (turiya)?  M: Call it as you like. It is solid, steady, changeless, beginningless and endless, ever new, ever fresh.  Q: How is it reached?  M: Desirelessness and fearlessness will take you there.
  • That which cannot change, remains. The great peace, the deep silence, the hidden beauty of reality remain. While it cannot be conveyed through words, it is waiting for you to experience for yourself.
  • To me nothing ever happens. There is something changeless, motionless, immovable, rocklike, unassailable; a solid mass of pure being-consciousness-bliss. I am never out of it. Nothing can take me out of it, no torture, no calamity.
  • Only the changeable can be thought of and talked about. The unchangeable can only be realised in silence. Once realised, it will deeply affect the changeable, itself remaining unaffected.
  • It is only whenyou are satiated with the changeable and long for the unchangeable, that you are ready for the turning round and stepping into what can be described, when seen from the level of the mind, as emptiness and darkness.  The mind craves for content and variety, while reality is, to the mind, contentless and invariable.
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The real is causeless, timeless, spaceless

  • I know myself as I am — timeless, spaceless, causeless.
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The real pervades all mind states but is not a state

  • The world and the mind are states of being. The supreme is not a state. It pervades, all states, but it is not a state of something else. It is entirely uncaused, independent, complete in itself, beyond time and space, mind and matter.
  • Q: Is silence an attribute of the real?   M: This too is of the mind. All states and conditions are of the mind.
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The Supreme is the source of reality

  • The Supreme is beyond all distinctions and to it the term ‘real’ does not apply, for in it all is real and, therefore, need not be labelled as such. It is the very source of reality, it imparts reality to whatever it touches. It just cannot be understood through words. Even a direct experience, however sublime, merely bears testimony, nothing more.
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More about the real

  • As between the sun and its rays, harmony and beauty, understanding and affection are all expressions of reality. It is reality in action, the impact of the spirit on matter.
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Happiness and unhappiness

 

The nature of true happiness

  • The inner happiness is overwhelmingly real. Like the sun in the sky, its expressions may be clouded, but it is never absent.
  • This happiness is mere excitement caused by relief from pain. Real happiness is utterly unselfconscious. It is best expressed negatively as: ‘there is nothing wrong with me. I have nothing to worry about’.
  • M:  The experience of being empty, uncluttered by memories and expectations; it is like the happiness of open spaces, of being young, of having all the time and energy for doing things, for discovery, for adventure.
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True happiness is spontaneous and effortless

  • What is your happiness worth when you have to strive and labour for it? True happiness is spontaneous and effortless.
  • Harmony between the inner and the outer is happiness. On the other hand, self-identification with the outer causes is suffering.
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True happiness has no cause

  • True happiness has no cause and what has no cause is immovable. Which does not mean it is perceivable, as pleasure. What is perceivable is pain and pleasure; the state of freedom from sorrow can be described only negatively. To know it directly you must go beyond the mind addicted to causality and the tyranny of time.
  • Usually you have to be sad to know gladness and glad to know sadness. True happiness is uncaused and this cannot disappear for lack of stimulation. It is not the opposite of sorrow, it includes all sorrow and suffering.
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True happiness does not depend on outside things and conditions

  • Q: What is the difference between happiness and pleasure?  M: Pleasure depends on things, happiness does not.
  • As long as we believe that we need things to make us happy, we shall also believe that in their absence we must be miserable. Mind always shapes itself according to its beliefs. Hence the importance of convincing oneself that one need not be prodded into happiness; that, on the contrary, pleasure is a distraction and a nuisance, for it merely increases the false conviction that one needs to have and do things to be happy when in reality it is just the opposite.
  • To believe that you depend on things and people for happiness is due to ignorance of your true nature; to know that you need nothing to be happy, except self-knowledge, is wisdom.
  • Real happiness is not vulnerable, because it does not depend on circumstances.
  • Your happiness depends on conditions and circumstances; hence it is momentary, not real. Real happiness flows from within.
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Happiness can only be found in the self; in what is real

  • True happiness cannot be found in things that change and pass away. Pleasure and pain alternate inexorably. Happiness comes from the self and can be found in the self only.  Find your real self and all else will come with it.
  • To imagine that some little thing — food. sex, power, fame — will make you happy is to deceive yourself. Only something as vast and deep as your real self can make you truly and lastingly happy.
  • You are concerned with your own happiness and I am telling you that there is no such thing. Happiness is never your own, it is where the ‘I’ is not. I do not say it is beyond your reach; you have only to reach out beyond yourself, and you will find it.
  • What is independent, uncreated, timeless and changeless, and yet ever new and fresh, is beyond the mind. When the mind thinks of it, the mind dissolves and only happiness remains.
  • Be nothing, know nothing, have nothing. This is the only life worth living, the only happiness worth having.
  • It is only your self-identification with your mind that makes you happy or unhappy. Rebel against your slavery to your mind, see your bonds as self-created and break the chains of attachment and revulsion.
  • To know one’s real self is bliss, to forget — is sorrow.
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Happiness is letting go of identification with the person

  • How can a person limited in time and space, a mere body-mind, a gasp of pain between birth and death, be happy? The very conditions of its arising make happiness impossible.   Peace, power, happiness, these are never personal states, nobody can say ‘my peace’, ‘my power’– because ‘mine’ implies exclusivity, which is fragile and insecure.
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Happiness comes from awareness and acceptance

  • Q: How can I possibly enjoy pain? Physical pain calls for action. .M: Of course.  The bliss is in the awareness of it, in not shrinking, or in any way turning away from it.  All happiness comes from awareness. The more we are conscious, the deeper the joy.  Acceptance of pain, non-resistance, courage and endurance — these open deep and perennial sources of real happiness, true bliss.
  • Pain is the denial of the self, and the self stands in the way of true happiness, the wholehearted acceptance of pain releases the springs of happiness.
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Happiness is beyond the cycle of pain and pleasure

  • Pleasure and pain alternate. Happiness is unshakable.
  • Don’t you see that it is your very search for happiness that makes you feel miserable? Try the other way: indifferent to pain and pleasure, neither asking, nor refusing, give all your attention to the level on which ‘I am’ is timelessly present.  Soon you will realise that peace and happiness are in your very nature and it is only seeking them through some particular channels, that disturbs.
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Unhappiness is born of desire

  • What makes you unhappy?  I have what I don’t want, and want what I don’t have. M. Why don’t you invert it: want what you have and care not for what you don’t have?
  • Only contentment can make you happy — desires fulfilled breed more desires.
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Unhappiness is born of fear and desire

  • The desire for pleasure, the fear of pain, both are states of distress.
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Unhappiness is born of attachment

  • Dependence on anything for happiness is utter misery.
  • Attachment to life is attachment to sorrow. We love what gives us pain. Such is our nature.
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Unhappiness is born of memory and anticipation

  • What problems can there be which the mind did not create? Life and death do not create problems; pains and pleasures come and go, experienced and forgotten. It is memory and anticipation that create problems of attainment or avoidance, coloured by like and dislike.
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Unhappiness is born of the desire to be happy

  • The very desire to live is the messenger of death, as the longing to be happy is the outline of sorrow.
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Pain and pleasure

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Pain and pleasure is a vicious cycle

  • M: Every pleasure, physical or mental, needs an instrument. Both the physical and mental instruments are material, they get tired and worn out. The pleasure they yield is necessarily limited in intensity and duration. Pain is the background of all your pleasures. You want them because you suffer. On the other hand, the very search for pleasure is the cause of pain. It is a vicious circle.
  • Moments of pleasure are merely gaps in the stream of pain.
  • In reality, pleasure is but a respite from pain.
  • The relief experienced when a need is met, or an anxiety allayed is entirely due to the ending of pain. We may give it positive names like pleasure, or joy, or happiness, but essentially it is relief from pain.
  • My experience is that everything is bliss. But the desire for bliss creates pain. Thus, bliss becomes the seed of pain. The entire universe of pain is born of desire. Give up the desire for pleasure and you will not even know what is pain.
  • Pain is the price of pleasure, pleasure is the reward of pain.
  • Watch your mind with great diligence, for there lies your bondage and also the key to freedom. The objects of pleasure cannot yield what is expected of them and get worn out, or destroyed, by misuse. It results in excess of pain where pleasure was looked for.
  • Pleasant is the ending of pain and painful the end of pleasure. They just rotate in endless succession. Investigate the vicious circle till you find yourself beyond it.
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Accept pain for what it is

  • Q: Pain is not acceptable.  M: Why not? Did you ever try? Do try and you will find in pain a joy which pleasure cannot yield, for the simple reason that acceptance of pain takes you much deeper than pleasure does.
  • The personal self by its very nature is constantly pursuing pleasure and avoiding pain. The ending of this pattern is the ending of the self. The ending of the self with its desires and fears enables you to return to your real nature, the source of all happiness and peace.
  • When pain is accepted for what it is, a lesson and a warning, and deeply looked into and heeded, the separation between pain and pleasure breaks down, both become experience — painful when resisted, joyful when accepted.
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Pleasure is acceptance and pain is non-acceptance

  • Pleasure lies in the relationship between the enjoyer and the enjoyed. And the essence of it is acceptance. Whatever may be the situation, if it is acceptable, it is pleasant. If it is not acceptable, it is painful. What makes it acceptable is not important; the cause may be physical, or psychological, or untraceable; acceptance is the decisive factor. Obversely, suffering is due to non-acceptance.
  • Pleasure is readily accepted, while all the powers of the self reject pain.
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Separate yourself from pain and watch it

  • If you are angry or in pain, separate yourself from anger and pain and watch them. Externalisation is the first step to liberation. Step away and look. The physical events will go on happening, but by themselves they have no importance.
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More thoughts on pain and pleasure

  • How restless people are, how constantly on the move! It is because they are in pain that they seek relief in pleasure.
  • Before pain was, you were. After pain had gone, you remained. Pain is transient, you are not.
  • By themselves neither pleasure nor pain enlighten. Only understanding does.
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Suffering

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Suffering is caused by belief in being a separate person and the selfishness that results

  • All suffering is caused by selfish isolation, by insularity and greed. When the cause of suffering is seen and removed, suffering ceases.
  • Q: Why is there so much suffering in the world?  M: Selfishness is the cause of suffering. There is no other cause.
  • The cause of suffering is in the identification of the perceiver with the perceived. Out of it desire is born and with desire blind action, unmindful of results. Look round and you will see — suffering is a man-made thing.
  • Suffering is the identification of the experiencer with the experience.
  • All suffering is born of desire.
  • You are in no way different from me, only you do not know it. You do not know what you are and therefore you imagine your self to be what you are not. Hence desires and fear and overwhelming despair.
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Suffering is a call for attention

  • Suffering is primarily a call for attention, which itself is a movement of love.
  • Suffering is a call for enquiry, all pain needs investigation. Don’t be too lazy to think.
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Personal suffering ceases when the sense of being separate falls away

  • Q: Is not all suffering self-created?  M: Yes, as long as there is a separate self to create it. In the end, you know that there is no sin, no guilt, no retribution, only life in its endless transformations. With the dissolution of the personal ‘I’ personal suffering disappears. What remains is the great sadness of compassion, the horror of the unnecessary pain.
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Suffering is mental resistance to pain

  • Pain is physical; suffering is mental. Beyond the mind there is no suffering. Pain is merely a signal that the body is in danger and requires attention. Similarly, suffering warns us that the structure of memories and habits, which we call the person, is threatened by loss or change. Pain is essential for the survival of the body, but none compels you to suffer. Suffering is due entirely to clinging or resisting; it is a sign of our unwillingness to move on, to flow with life.
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It is the false that makes you suffer

  • It is always the false that makes you suffer, the false desires and fears, the false values and ideas, the false relationships between people. Abandon the false and you are free of pain; truth makes happy — truth liberates.
  • Q: What is the real cause of suffering?  M: Self-identification with the limited. Sensations as such, however strong, do not cause suffering. It is the mind bewildered by wrong ideas, addicted to thinking: ‘I am this’ ‘I am that’, that fears loss and craves gain and suffers when frustrated.
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Suffering dictates what is right and wrong

  • What causes suffering is wrong, what alleviates it is right.
  • Generally, what causes suffering is wrong and what removes it, is right.
  • What increases suffering is bad and what removes it is good.
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Suffering is lifted through remaining non-attached and non-identified

  • If you stand aloof as observer only, you will not suffer. You will see the world as a show. a most entertaining show indeed.
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More thoughts on suffering

  • Take it as the absolute truth. Your joy is divine, your suffering is divine too. All comes from God. Remember it always. You are God, your will alone is done’.
  • When you see sorrow and suffering, be with it. Do not rush into activity.
  • It is the person you imagine yourself to be that suffers, not you. Dissolve it in awareness. It is merely a bundle of memories and habits.
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Karma

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  • The Hindu tradition says that suffering is brought by destiny and destiny is merited. Look at the immense calamities, natural or man-made, floods and earthquakes, wars and revolutions. Can we dare to think that each suffers for his own sins, of which he can have no idea? The billions who suffer, are they all criminals justly punished?
    M: Must one suffer only for one’s own sins? Are we really separate? In this vast ocean of life, we suffer for the sins of others, and make others suffer for our sins. Of course, the law of balance rules Supreme and accounts are squared in the end. But while life lasts, we affect each other deeply.
  • Karma is only a store of unspent energies, of unfulfilled desires and fears not understood. The store is being constantly replenished by new desires and fears. It need not be so for ever.  Understand the root cause of your fears — estrangement from yourself: and of desires — the longing for the self, and your karma will dissolve like a dream.
  • Pure experience does not bind; experience caught between desire and fear is impure and creates karma.
  • Most of our karma is collective. We suffer for the sins of others, as others suffer for ours.
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Desire and fear

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Realisation is reached through desirelessness and fearlessness

  • I am fully conscious, but since no desire or fear enters my mind, there is perfect silence.
  • Q: How is it reached   M: Desirelessness and fearlessness will take you there.
  • [Realisation comes from] being free from all desire and fear, from the very idea of being a person.
  • Be free of desires and fears and at once your vision will clear and you shall see all things as they are.
  • A life of constraint and suppression is not Yoga. Mind must be free of desires and relaxed. It comes with understanding, not with determination, which is but another form of memory. An understanding mind is free of desires and fears.
  •  To become God, what must I learn?   M: You must unlearn everything. God is the end of all desire and knowledge.
  • All desires must be given up, because by desiring you take the shape of your desires. When no desires remain, you revert to your natural state.
  • The light of consciousness passes through the film of memory and throws pictures on your brain.
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Desire blocks understanding and realisation

  • The state of craving for anything blocks all deeper experience. Nothing of value can happen to a mind which knows exactly what it wants. For nothing the mind can visualise and want is of much value.
  • Desirelessness is the highest bliss.
  • M: All desires are bad, but some are worse than others. Pursue any desire, it will always give you trouble.  Q: Even the desire to be free of desire?  M: Why desire at all? Desiring a state of freedom from desire will not set you free. Nothing can set you free, because you are free. See yourself with desireless clarity, that is all.
  • But how different is the world when you can see it as it is, not through the screen of desire and fear.
  • The Guru is basically without desire. He sees what happens, but feels no urge to interfere. He makes no choices, takes no decisions. As pure witness, he watches what is going on and remains unaffected.
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Desire and fear cause suffering

  • We shall suffer as long as our thoughts and actions are prompted by desires and fears.  See their futility and the danger and chaos they create will subside. Don’t try to reform yourself, just see the futility of all change. The changeful keeps on changing while the changeless is waiting.
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Desire is a striving to find happiness where it cannot be found

  • The source is neither right nor wrong. Nor is desire by itself right or wrong. It is nothing but striving for happiness. Having identified yourself with a speck of a body you feel lost and search desperately for the sense of fullness and completeness you call happiness.
  • A man of low intelligence believes, against all evidence, that he is an exception and that the world owes him happiness. But the world cannot give what it does not have; unreal to the core, it is of no use for real happiness. It cannot be otherwise. We seek the real because we are unhappy with the unreal. Happiness is our real nature and we shall never rest until we find it.
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To abandon desire is to cease looking for happiness in the world, knowing it cannot provide it

  • Cease from looking for happiness and reality in a dream and you will wake up. You need not know ‘why’ and ‘how’, there is no end to questions. Abandon all desires, keep your mind silent and you shall discover.
  • The right state and use of the body and the mind are intensely pleasant. It is the search for pleasure that is wrong. Do not try to make yourself happy, rather question your very search for happiness. It is because you are not happy that you want to be happy. Find out why you are unhappy. Because you are not happy you seek happiness in pleasure; pleasure brings in pain and therefore you call it worldly; you then long for some other pleasure, without pain, which you call divine. In reality, pleasure is but a respite from pain.  Happiness is both worldly and unworldly, within and beyond all that happens. Make no distinction, don’t separate the inseparable and do not alienate yourself from life.
  • The world does not yield to changing. By its very nature it is painful and transient. See it as it is and divest yourself of all desire and fear. When the world does not hold and bind you, it becomes an abode of joy and beauty. You can be happy in the world only when you are free of it.
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Happiness can only be found in the real

  • Once you have understood that the world is but a mistaken view of reality, and is not what it appears to be, you are free of its obsessions. Only what is compatible with your real being can make you happy and the world, as you perceive it, is its outright denial.
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To abandon desire and fear is to drop the illusion of being a separate person

  • When the centre of selfishness is no longer, all desires for pleasure and fear of pain cease; one is no longer interested in being happy; beyond happiness there is pure intensity, inexhaustible energy, the ecstasy of giving from a perennial source.
  • Q:  Why should ignorance be painful?  M:  It is at the root of all desire and fear, which are painful states and the source of endless errors.
  • You have separated yourself from the world, therefore it pains and frightens you. Discover you mistake and be free of fear.
  • Fear is the only trouble. Know yourself as independent and you will be free from fear and its shadows.
  • As long as there is the body and the sense of identity with the body, frustration is inevitable. Only when you know yourself as entirely alien to and different from the body, will you find respite from the mixture of fear and craving inseparable from the ‘I-am-the-body’ idea. Merely assuaging fears and satisfying desires will not remove this sense of emptiness you are trying to escape from.
  • Q: When I see something pleasant, I want it. Who exactly wants it? The self or the mind?  M: The question is wrongly put. There is no ‘who’. There is desire, fear, anger, and the mind says — this is me, this is mine. There is no thing which could be called ‘me’ or ‘mine’. Desire is a state of the mind, perceived and named by the mind. Without the mind perceiving and naming, where is desire?
  • You will recognise that you have returned to your natural state by a complete absence of all desire and fear. After all, at the root of all desire and fear is the feeling of not being what you are.
  • Understand the root cause of your fears — estrangement from yourself: and of desires — the longing for the self.
  • When you happen to desire or fear, it is not the desire or fear that are wrong and must go, but the person who desires and fears.  There is no point in fighting desires and fears which may be perfectly natural and justified; It is the person who is swayed by them, that is the cause of mistakes, past and future. The person should be carefully examined and its falseness seen; then its power over you will end.
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… to realise that you, in essence, cannot be harmed or threatened …

  • You reach a point when nothing can happen to you. Without body, you cannot be killed; without possessions, you cannot be robbed; without mind, you cannot be deceived. There is no point where a desire or fear can hook on.
  • I am nothing that can experience fear, or can be in danger. I have no shape, nor name. It is attachment to a name and shape that breeds fear. I am not attached. I am nothing, and nothing is afraid of no thing.
  • Once you know with absolute certainty that nothing can trouble you but your own imagination, you come to disregard your desires and fears, concepts and ideas and live by truth alone.
  • Nothing can trouble you but your own imagination.
  • You feel unsafe, because you imagine danger. Of course, your body as such is complex and vulnerable and needs protection. But not you. Once you realise your own unassailable being, you will be at peace.
  • The entire universe is your body and you need not be afraid of it.
  • Once you know that the body alone dies and not the continuity of memory and the sense of ‘I am’ reflected in it, you are afraid no longer.
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… to realise that the world is your projection

  • Once you realise that all comes from within, that the world in which you live has not been projected onto you but by you, your fear comes to an end. Without this realisation, you identify yourself with the externals, like the body, mind, society, nation, humanity, even God or the Absolute. But these are all escapes from fear. It is only when you fully accept your responsibility for the little world in which you live and watch the process of its creation, preservation and destruction, that you may be free from your imaginary bondage.
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To abandon desire is to watch it come and go without the compulsion to satisfy

  • Desires are just waves in the mind. You know a wave when you see one. A desire is just a thing among many. I feel no urge to satisfy it, no action needs be taken on it. Freedom from desire means this: the compulsion to satisfy is absent.
  • You identify yourself with your desires and become their slave. To me desires are things among other things, mere clouds in the mental sky, and I do not feel compelled to act on them.
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To abandon desire and fear is to recognise them simply as states of mind and go beyond

  • Q: If I know myself, shall I not desire and fear?  M: For some time, the mental habits may linger in spite of the new vision, the habit of longing for the known past and fearing the unknown future. When you know these are of the mind only, you can go beyond them. As long as you have all sorts of ideas about yourself, you know yourself through the mist of these ideas; to know yourself as you are, give up all ideas. You cannot imagine the taste of pure water, you can only discover it by abandoning all flavourings.
  • Desire, fear, trouble, joy, they cannot appear unless you are there to appear to.
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To abandon desire and fear is to relinquish attachment …

  • All attachment implies fear, for all things are transient. And fear makes one a slave. This freedom from attachment does not come with practice; it is natural, when one knows one’s true being.
  • Abandon all imaginings and know yourself as you are. Self-knowledge is detachment. All craving is due to a sense of insufficiency. When you know that you lack nothing, that all there is, is you and yours, desire ceases.
  • Whatever can be lost is not really one’s own; and what is not your own of what use can it be to you?
  • When you want something, ask yourself: do I really need it? and if the answer is no, then just drop it.
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… and deny attention to it

  • Desire is merely the fixation of the mind on an idea. Get it out of its groove by denying it attention.  Q: That is all?  M.  Whatever may be the desire or fear, don’t dwell upon it. Try and see for yourself. Here and there you may forget, it does not matter. Go back to your attempts till the brushing away of every desire and fear, of every reaction becomes automatic.
  • Q: How am I to practice desirelessness?  M: No need of practice. No need of any acts of renunciation. Just turn your mind away, that is all.
  • M:  Whenever a thought or emotion of desire or fear comes to your mind, just turn away from it.  Q:  By suppressing my thoughts and feelings I shall provoke a reaction.  M:  I am not talking of suppression. Just refuse attention.
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To abandon desire is to abandon ambition

  • No ambition is spiritual. All ambitions are for the sake of the ‘I am’. If you want to make real progress you must give up all idea of personal attainment. The ambitions of the so-called Yogis are preposterous. A man’s desire for a woman is innocence itself compared to the lusting for an everlasting personal bliss. The mind is a cheat. The more pious it seems, the worse the betrayal.
  • You imagine you will increase your value by acquisition. It is like gold imagining that an addition of copper will improve it. Elimination and purification, renunciation of all that is foreign to your nature is enough. All else is vanity.
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More on desire and fear

  • The world is full of living beings whose lives are squeezed between fear and craving.
  • Q: Without desire and fear what motive is there for action?  M: None, unless you consider love of life, of righteousness, of beauty, motive enough. Do not be afraid of freedom from desire and fear. It enables you to live a life so different from all you know, so much more intense and interesting, that, truly, by losing all you gain all.
  • You cannot live without action, and behind each action there is some fear or desire. Ultimately, all you do is based on your conviction that the world is real and independent of yourself.
  • In fear, there is memory and anticipation, past and future.
  • Weak desires can be removed by introspection and meditation, but strong, deep-rooted ones must be fulfilled and their fruits, sweet or bitter, tasted.
  • Go to the source of both pain and pleasure, of desire and fear. Observe, investigate, try to understand.
  • Leave alone your desires and fears, give your entire attention to the subject, to him who is behind the experience of desire and fear. Ask: ‘who desires?’ Let each desire bring you back to yourself.
  • At the root of consciousness lies desire, the urge to experience.
  • Desire by itself is not wrong. It is life itself, the urge to grow in knowledge and experience.
  • The desire to put an end to all desires is a most peculiar desire, just like the fear of being afraid is a most peculiar fear. One stops you from grabbing and the other from running.  You may use the same words, but the states are not the same.
  • M:  The mind is no more. There is only love in action.  Q:  How shall I recognise this state when I reach it?   M: There will be no fear.
  • I know the door is open but it is guarded by the dogs of desire and fear. What am I to do?  M: Obey the teacher and brave the dogs.  Behave as if they were not there.
  • I found myself desiring and knowing less and less, until I could say in utter astonishment: “I know nothing, I want nothing.”
  • Q: What is the cause of desire and fear?  M: Obviously, the memory of past pains and pleasures. There is no great mystery about it. Conflict arises only when desire and fear refer to the same object.
  • What is, can cease to be; what is not, can come to be; but what neither is nor is not, but on which being and non-being depend, is unassailable; know yourself to be the cause of desire and fear, itself free from both.
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Memory and time

 

We project our memories onto the world and falsely think we see reality

  • Q: Surely, perception is not imagination!  M: What else? Perception is recognition, is it not? Something entirely unfamiliar can be sensed, but cannot be perceived. Perception involves memory.
  • When you believe yourself to be a person, you see persons everywhere. In reality there are no persons, only threads of memories and habits. At the moment of realisation, the person ceases.
  • Deny the existence of what you imagine. It is the imagined that is unreal.
  • I do not need the world. Nor am I in one. The world you think of is in your own mind. I can see it through your eyes and mind, but I am fully aware that it is a projection of memories; it is touched by the real only at the point of awareness, which can be only now.
  • What is world after all? A collection of memories. Cling to one thing, that matters, hold on to ‘I am’ and let go all else.
  • You have projected onto yourself a world of your own imagination, based on memories, on desires and fears, and that you have imprisoned yourself in it. Break the spell and be free.
  • When you look at anything, it is the ultimate you see, but you imagine that you see a cloud or a tree.
  • The sight of a flower is as marvellous as the vision of God.
  • Stop attributing names and shapes to the essentially nameless and formless, realise that every mode of perception is subjective, that what is seen or heard, touched or smelt, felt or thought, expected or imagined, is in the mind and not in reality, and you will experience peace and freedom from fear.
  • I see no difference between us, except that you are imagining things, while I do not.
  • Q: Out of what do I create this world?  M: Out of your own memories. As long as you are ignorant of yourself as the creator, your world is limited and repetitive. Once you go beyond your self-identification with your past, you are free to create a new world of harmony and beauty. Or you just remain — beyond being and non-being.
  • You have your own private mind, woven with memories, held together by desires and fears.
  • The foundation of things is in memory — without memory there would be no recognition.
  • Consciousness is pure in the beginning and pure in the end; in between it gets contaminated by imagination which is at the root of creation.
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Our very sense of being a person is nothing but a bundle of memories

  • The person is a very small thing. Actually, it is a composite, it cannot be said to exist by itself. Unperceived, it is just not there. It is but the shadow of the mind, the sum total of memories.
  • What is identity, after all? Continuity in memory? Can you talk of identity without memory?
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Step out of memory

  • Having seen that you are a bundle of memories held together by attachment, step out and look from the outside. You may perceive for the first time something which is not memory. You cease to be a Mr-so-and-so, busy about his own affairs. You are at last at peace. You realise that nothing was ever wrong with the world — you alone were wrong and now it is all over. Never again will you be caught in the meshes of desire born of ignorance.
  • I used to create a world and populate it — now I don’t do it anymore.
  • Our only hope: to stop, to look, to understand and to get out of the traps of memory. For memory feeds imagination and imagination generates desire and fear.
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Use memory but don’t let it use you

  • Because he is no longer bound by appearances, he does not identify himself with the name and shape. He uses memory, but memory cannot use him.
  • Some memories are needed to identify and guide the body and such memories do remain, but there is no attachment left to the body as such; it is no longer the ground for desire or fear.
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The sense of time depends on memory …

  • It is by your consent that the world exists. Withdraw your belief in its reality and it will dissolve like a dream. Time can bring down mountains; much more you, who are the timeless source of time. For without memory and expectation there can be no time.
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… and exists in consciousness only

  • Q: Awareness lasts?  M: Awareness is not of time. Time exists in consciousness only.
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Time is not needed to be yourself

  • If you need time to achieve something, it must be false. The real is always with you; you need not wait to be what you are.
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Step out of time

  • Do not identify yourself with time, do not ask anxiously: ‘what next, what next?’ Step out of time and see it devour the world.
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More on memory

  • M:  There is nothing wrong with memory as such. What is false is its content.  Remember facts, forget opinions.  Q: What is a fact?  M: What is perceived in pure awareness, unaffected by desire.
  • How does personality, come into being? By memory. By identifying the present with the past and projecting it into the future. Think of yourself as momentary, without past and future and your personality dissolves.
  • Memory is always partial, unreliable and evanescent. It does not explain the strong sense of identity pervading consciousness, the sense ‘I am’. Find out what is at the root of it.
  • You are not what you think yourself to be, I assure you. The image you have of yourself is made up from memories and is purely accidental.
  • The jnani is beyond all experience and his memory is empty of the past. He is entirely unrelated to anything in particular.
  • We consider memories, only when they come into the present.  The forgotten is not counted until one is reminded — which implies, bringing into the now.
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More on time

  • Time is a succession of moments; each moment appears out of nothing and disappears into nothing, never to reappear.
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Love

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True love is a realisation of oneness

  • The love of the self in you is for the self in all. The two are one. The consciousness in you and the consciousness in me, apparently two, really one, seek unity and that is love.
  • To me, nothing exists by itself. All is the Self, all is myself. To see myself in everybody and everybody in myself most certainly is love.
  • Do not pretend that you love others as yourself. Unless you have realised them as one with yourself, you cannot love them.
  • Love says: ‘I am everything’. Wisdom says: ‘I am nothing’ Between the two my life flows.
  • To me all are equal. Differences in appearance and expression are there, but they do not matter.  Just as the shape of a gold ornament does not affect the gold, so does man’s essence remain unaffected.
  • I cannot but see you as myself. It is in the very nature of love to see no difference.
  • Knowing yourself as the dweller in both the personal body and the universal body [the world], you will disown nothing. All the universe will be your concern; every living thing you will love and help most tenderly and wisely. There will be no clash of interests between you and others. All exploitation will cease absolutely. Your every action will be beneficial, every movement will be a blessing.
  • What is to be universal — not as a concept, but as a way of life?   Every existence is my existence, every consciousness
  • Q:  What is to be universal — not as a concept, but as a way of life?   M:  Not to separate, not to oppose, but to understand and love whatever contacts you, is living universally. To be able to say truly: I am the world., the world is me, I am at home in the world, the world is my own. Every existence is my existence, every consciousness is my consciousness, every sorrow is my sorrow and every joy is my joy — this is universal life. Yet, my real being, and yours too, is beyond the universe and, therefore, beyond the categories of the particular and the universal. It is what it is, totally self- contained and independent.
  • Love is the refusal to separate, to make distinctions.
  • Unless you know yourself well, how can you know another? And when you know yourself — you are the other.
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True love is letting go of all self-identification

  • When all the false self- identifications are thrown away, what remains is all-embracing love. Get rid of all ideas about yourself, even of the idea that you are God. No self-definition is valid.
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True love is not selective

  • Love is not selective, desire is selective. In love, there are no strangers.
  • M:  All is loved and lovable. Nothing is excluded.  Q:  Not even the ugly and the criminal?  M: All is within my consciousness; all is my own. It is madness to split oneself through likes and dislikes. I am beyond both. I am not alienated.
  • In dream, you love some and not others. On waking up you find you are love itself, embracing all. Personal love, however intense and genuine, invariably binds; love in freedom is love of all.
  • Love is not selective, desire is selective. In love, there are no strangers. When the centre of selfishness is no longer, all desires for pleasure and fear of pain cease; one is no longer interested in being happy; beyond happiness there is pure intensity, inexhaustible energy, the ecstasy of giving from a perennial source.
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The real self is love

  • Q: Does my real being need my love?  M: Your real being is love itself and your many loves are its reflections according to the situation at the moment.
  • The Universal Mind makes and unmakes everything. The Supreme imparts reality to whatever comes into being. To say that it is the universal love may be the nearest we can come to it in words. Just like love it makes everything real, beautiful, desirable.
  • Q: What is the experience which comes nearest to the Supreme?  M: Immense peace and boundless love.
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True love does not cling

  • Love does not cling; clinging is not love.
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Love of the true self

  • Q: We love only ourselves.  M: Were it so, it would be splendid! Love your self wisely and you will reach the summit of perfection. Everybody loves his body, but few love their real being.
  • Replace self-love by love of the Self.
  • Of all the affections, the love of oneself comes first. Your love of the world is the reflection of your love of yourself, for your world is of your own creation. Light and love are impersonal, but they are reflected in your mind as knowing and wishing oneself well.
  • It is natural and good to love oneself. Only you should know what exactly do you love. It is not the body that you love, it is Life –perceiving, feeling, thinking, doing, loving, striving, creating. It is that Life you love, which is you, which is all. realise it in its totality, beyond all divisions and limitations, and all your desires will merge in it, for the greater contains the smaller. Therefore, find yourself, for in finding that you find all.
  • All you have to do is to understand that you love the self and the self loves you and that the sense ‘I am’ is the link between you both, a token of identity in spite of apparent diversity. Look at the ‘I am’ as a sign of love between the inner and the outer, the real and the appearance.
  • All you need is already within you, only you must approach yourself with reverence and love. Self-condemnation and self-distrust are grievous errors.
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Love and growth

  • More than happiness, love wants growth, the widening and deepening of consciousness and being. Whatever prevents becomes a cause of pain, and love does not shirk from pain. Sattva, the energy that works for righteousness and orderly development, must not be thwarted.
  • What is necessary?  M: To grow is necessary. To outgrow is necessary. To leave behind the good for the sake of the better is necessary.
  • Q: To what end?  M: The end is in the beginning. You end where you start — in the Absolute. Q: Why all this trouble then? To come back to where I started?  M: Whose trouble? Which trouble? Do you pity the seed that is to grow and multiply till it becomes a mighty forest? Do you kill an infant to save him from the bother of living? What is wrong with life, ever more life? Remove the obstacles to growing and all your personal, social, economic and political problems will just dissolve. The universe is perfect as a whole and the part’s striving for perfection is a way of joy. Willingly sacrifice the imperfect to the perfect and there will be no more talk about good and evil.
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Love is awareness in action

  • True awareness is a state of pure witnessing, without the least attempt to do anything about the event witnessed. Your thoughts and feelings, words and actions may also be a part of the event; you watch all unconcerned in the full light of clarity and understanding. You understand precisely what is going on, because it does not affect you. It may seem to be an attitude of cold aloofness, but it is not really so. Once you are in it, you will find that you love what you see, whatever may beits nature. This choiceless love is the touchstone of awareness. If it is not there, you are merely interested — for some personal reasons.
  • Awareness is dynamic, love is being. Awareness is love in action.
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More on love

  • Above the unity of being is the union of love. Love is the meaning and purpose of duality.
  • Q: Between the spirit and the body, is it love that provides the bridge? M: What else? Mind creates the abyss, the heart crosses it.
  • You are love itself — when you are not afraid.
  • When all the false self- identifications are thrown away, what remains is all-embracing love. Get rid of all ideas about yourself, even of the idea that you are God. No self-definition is valid.
  • All you need is already within you, only you must approach yourself with reverence and love. Self-condemnation and self-distrust are grievous errors.
  • All I plead with you is this: make love of your self perfect.
  • When you realise that you are the light of the world, you will also realise that you are the love of it; that to know is to love and to love is to know.
  • You cling to the idea that you were born into a world of pain and sorrow; I know that the world is a child of love, having its beginning, growth and fulfilment in love. But I am beyond love even.
  • In my world love is the only law. I do not ask for love, I give it. Such is my nature.
  • Q: In all the universe is there one single thing of value?   M: Yes, the power of love.
  • By itself the mind can actualise any number of possibilities, but unless they are prompted by love, they are valueless.  Love precedes creation. Without it there is only chaos.
  • First return to your true being and then act from the heart of love.
  • In existence, everything is contained. My very nature is to love; even the painful is lovable.
  • Q: What does the real gain through its expressions?  M: What can it gain? Nothing whatsoever. But it is in the nature of love to express itself, to affirm itself, to overcome difficulties. Once you have understood that the world is love in action, you will look at it quite differently.
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The nature of life and experience in the world of form

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Life is change; an ebb and flow

  • In nature, nothing is at stand-still, everything pulsates, appears and disappears. Heart, breath, digestion, sleep and waking — birth and death everything comes and goes in waves. Rhythm, periodicity, harmonious alternation of extremes is the rule. No use rebelling against the very pattern of life.
  • Consciousness is always of movement, of change. There can be no such thing as changeless consciousness. Changelessness wipes out consciousness immediately. A man deprived of outer or inner sensations blanks out, or goes beyond consciousness and unconsciousness into the birthless and deathless state. Only when spirit and matter come together consciousness is born.
  • The world is full of contradictions, hence your search for harmony and peace. These you cannot find in the world, for the world is the child of chaos.
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All in the world is transient

  • Q: When I look into myself, I find my strongest desire is to create a monument, to build something which will outlast me. Even when I think of a home, wife and child, it is because it is a lasting, solid, testimony to myself.
  • M: Surely, you can see for yourself that nothing is permanent. All wears out, breaks down, dissolves. The very ground on which you build gives way. What can you build that will outlast all?
  • Q: Why do you insist on awareness as the only real? Is not the object of awareness as real, while it lasts?  M: But it does not last!  Momentary reality is secondary; it depends on the timeless.
  • Whatever is time bound is momentary and has no reality.
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All experience is passing

  • All experience is time bound. Whatever has a beginning must have an end.
  • All kinds of experience may come to you — remain unmoved in the knowledge that all perceivable is transient, and only the ‘I am’ endures.
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All experience implies duality, a world of opposites

  • The very fact of your experiencing your own world implies duality inherent in all experience.
  • To realise the supreme, we need the experience of the opposites.
  • There is nothing wrong with duality as long as it does not create conflict. Multiplicity and variety without strife is joy.
  • In non- duality, there is bliss; in duality — experience. What comes and goes is experience with its duality of pain and pleasure.
  • You cannot know yourself through bliss alone, for bliss is your very nature. You must face the opposite, what you are not, to find enlightenment.
  • It is true that all manifestation is in the opposites. Pleasure and pain, good and bad, high and low, progress and regress, rest and strife they all come and go together — and as long as there is a world, its contradictions will be there. There may also be periods of perfect harmony, of bliss and beauty, but only for a time. What is perfect, returns to the source of all perfection and the opposites play on.
  • Joy is joy only against a background of pain.
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No form is perfect or unlimited

  • Do not expect perfection. There is no perfection in manifestation. Details must clash. No problem is solved completely, but you can withdraw from it to a level on which it does not operate.
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The nature of the mind

  • The mind, by its very nature, divides and opposes. Can there be some other mind, which unites and harmonises, which sees the whole in the part and the part as totally related to the whole?
  • To divide and particularise is in the mind’s very nature. There is no harm in dividing. But separation goes against fact. Things and people are different, but they are not separate. Nature is one, reality is one. There are opposites, but no opposition.
  • There is only one mind, which swarms with ideas; ‘I am this, I am that, this is mine, that is mine’.
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We all live in different worlds

  • You have no evidence of my world. You are completely wrapped up in the world of your own.
  • Myself and everybody else appear and disappear in your world. We are all at your mercy.
  • What you see is yours and what I see is mine. The two have little in common.
  • Who else can have your experience, when the other person is only as real as he appears in your experience?
  • Experience is subjective. No two persons can have the same experience, though they may express it in the same words.
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The nature of Consciousness

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All arises in consciousness, including space and time

  • Q: Is there a world beyond, or outside the mind?  M: All space and time are in the mind. Where will you locate a supramental world? There are many levels of the mind and each projects its own version, yet all are in the mind and created by the mind.
  • It means that you are independent of space and time, that space and time are in you, not you in them.
  • Go beyond the ‘I-am-the-body’ idea and you will find that space and time are in you and not you in space and time.
  • Your being a person is due to the illusion of space and time; you imagine yourself to be at a certain point occupying a certain volume; your personality is due to your self-identification with the body. Your thoughts and feelings exist in succession, they have their span in time and make you imagine yourself, because of memory, as having duration.   In reality time and space exist in you; you do not exist in them. They are modes of perception, but they are not the only ones. Time and space are like words written on paper; the paper is real, the words merely a convention.
  • Once you realise, beyond all trace of doubt that the world is in you and not you in the world, you are out of it. Of course, your body remains in the world and of the world, but you are not deluded by it.
  • Don’t say: ‘everybody is conscious’. Say: ‘there is consciousness’, in which everything appears and disappears.
  • The person flickers, awareness contains all space and time, the absolute is.
  • Within the immensity of space floats a tiny atom of consciousness and in it the entire universe is contained.
  • You see yourself in the world, while I see the world in myself. To you, you get born and die, while to me, the world appears and disappears.
  • Begin by realising that the world is in you, not you in the world.
  • I am not a thing to be given a place among other things. All things are in me, but I am not among things.
  • Realise yourself as the ocean of consciousness in which all happens. This is not difficult. A little of attentiveness, of close observation of oneself, and you will see that no event is outside your consciousness.
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Consciousness creates the world

  • The mind itself is the creator. Even this is not quite true, for the created and its creator are one. The mind and the world are not separate. Do understand that what you think to be the world is your own mind.
  • At the root of my being is pure awareness, a speck of intense light. This speck, by its very nature, radiates and creates pictures in space and events in time — effortlessly and spontaneously. As long as it is merely aware there are no problems. But when the discriminative mind comes into being and creates distinctions, pleasure and pain arise.
  • Why not work on the theory that you are your own creation and creator. At least there will be no external God to battle with.
  • But ultimately there is no inner, nor outer; the light of consciousness is both the creator and the creature, the experiencer and the experience, the body and the embodied.
  • All exists in the mind, even the body is an integration in the mind of a vast number of sensory perceptions, each perception also a mental state.
  • Your weakness is due to your conviction that you were born into the world. In reality, the world is ever recreated in you and by you. See everything as emanating from the light which is the source of your own being. You will find that in that light there is love and infinite energy.
  • The mind creates time and space and takes its own creations for reality. All is here.
  • Q: If all things come to an end, why did they appear at all?  M: Creation is in the very nature of consciousness. Consciousness causes appearances. Reality is beyond consciousness.
  • Yours is the desire that creates the universe. Know the world as your own creation and be free.
  • Just like in a cinema all is light, so does consciousness become the vast world.  Look closely, and you will see that all names and forms are but transitory waves on the ocean ofc onsciousness, that only consciousness can be said to be, not its transformations.
  • In the immensity of consciousness, a light appears, a tiny point that moves rapidly and traces shapes, thoughts and feelings, concepts and ideas, like the pen writing on paper. And the ink that leaves a trace is memory. You are that tiny point and by your movement the world is ever re-created. Stop moving, and there will be no world. Look within and you will find that the point of light is the reflection of the immensity of light in the body, as the sense ‘I am’. There is only light, all else appears.  Q: Do you know that light? Have you seen it?  M: To the mind it appears as darkness. It can be known only through its reflections. All is seen in daylight — except daylight.
  • Whatever happens, happens to you by you, through you; you are the creator, enjoyer and destroyer of all you perceive.
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The world cannot exist independently of consciousness – and vice versa

  • Can there be life without consciousness?   M: No, nor consciousness without life. They are both one.
  • The fact is that without you, neither the universe nor its cause could have come into being.
  • The world has no existence apart from you. At every moment, it is but a reflection of yourself.
  • You create the world in your imagination like a dream. As you cannot separate the dream from yourself, so you cannot have an outer world independent of yourself. You are independent, not the world.
  • The universe is in you and cannot be without you.
  • Outside your consciousness does anything exist?
  • Remember to remember:  ‘whatever happens — happens because I am’. All reminds you that you are.
  • Of the entire universe, you are the subtle cause. All is because you are. Grasp this point firmly and deeply and dwell on it repeatedly. To realise this as absolutely true, is liberation.
  • There can be no universe without the witness, there can be no witness without the universe.
  • The ‘I am’ is there because the world is there and the world is there because the ‘I am’ is there.
  • Q: I can distinguish two states of mind: ‘I am’ and ‘the world is’; they arise and subside together. People say: ‘I am, because the world is’. You seem to say: ‘The world is, because I am’. Which is true?   M: Neither. The two are one and the same state, in space and time. Beyond, there is the timeless.
  • Consciousness needs a vehicle and an instrument for its manifestation.
  • Q: But what is true? What comes first, mind or matter?  M: Neither comes first. for neither appears alone. Matter is the shape, mind is the name. Together they make the world. Pervading and transcending is Reality, pure being — awareness — bliss, your very essence.
  • To be everything must be witnessed.
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The mind creates its sense of reality through its projections of memory and belief

  • l can admit that the world in which I live and move and have my being is of my own creation, a projection of myself, of my imagination, on the unknown world, the world as it is, the world of ‘absolute matter’, whatever this matter may be. The world of my own creation may be quite unlike the ultimate, the real world, just like the cinema screen is quite unlike the pictures projected onto it.
  • Everyone creates a world for himself and lives in it, imprisoned by one’s ignorance. All we have to do is to deny reality to our prison.
  • You believe the world to be objective, while it is entirely a projection of your psyche.
  • This world is painted by you on the screen of consciousness and is entirely your own private world. Only your sense ‘I am’, though in the world, is not of the world.
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There is no separation between inner and outer

  • It is your mind that has separated the world outside your skin from the world inside and put them in opposition. This created fear and hatred and all the miseries of living.
  • There is only one mistake you are making: you take the inner for the outer and the outer for the inner. What is in you, you take to be outside you and what is outside, you take to be in you. The mind and feelings are external, but you take them to be intimate. You believe the world to be objective, while it is entirely a projection of your psyche.
  • The outer self and the inner both are imagined. The obsession of being an ‘I’ needs another obsession with a ‘super-l’ to get cured, as one needs another thorn to remove a thorn, or another poison to neutralise a poison. All assertion calls for a denial, but this is the first step only. The next is to go beyond both.
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The world is nought but an appearance in consciousness

  • I may perceive the world just like you, but you believe to be in it, while I see it as an iridescent drop in the vast expanse of consciousness.
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More on the nature of consciousness

  • Consciousness as such is the subtle counterpart of matter. Just as inertia and energy are attributes of matter, so does harmony manifest itself as consciousness. You may consider it in a way as a form of very subtle energy. Wherever matter organises itself into a stable organism, consciousness appears spontaneously. With the destruction of the organism consciousness disappears.
  • Awareness becomes consciousness when it has an object. The object changes all the time. In consciousness, there is movement; awareness by itself is motionless and timeless, here and now.
  • The world you perceive is made of consciousness; what you call matter is consciousness Itself. You are the space in which it moves, the time in which it lasts, the love that gives it life. Cut off imagination and attachment and what remains?
  • Consciousness is intermittent, full of gaps. Yet there is the continuity of identity. What is this sense of identity due to, if not to something beyond consciousness?
  • As long as there is consciousness, its witness is also there. The two appear and disappear together.
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The nature of Awareness

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Awareness is beyond consciousness but contains it and is the source of it)

  • While the mind is centred in the body and consciousness is centred in the mind, awareness is free. The body has its urges and mind its pains and pleasures. Awareness is unattached and unshaken. It is lucid, silent, peaceful, alert and unafraid, without desire and fear. Meditate on it as your true being and try to be it in your daily life, and you shall realise it in its fullness.
  • Mind is interested in what happens, while awareness is interested in the mind itself. The child is after the toy, but the mother watches the child, not the toy.
  • M:  With the destruction of the organism consciousness disappears.  Q: Then what survives?  M: That, of which matter and consciousness are but aspects, which is neither born nor dies. Q: If it is beyond matter and consciousness, how can it be experienced?  M: It can be known by its effects on both; look for it in beauty and in bliss. But you will understand neither body nor consciousness, unless you go beyond both.
  • The ‘I am’ is a thought, while awareness is not a thought, there is no ‘I am aware’ in awareness. Consciousness is an attribute while awareness is not; one can be aware of being conscious, but not conscious of awareness. God is the totality of consciousness, but awareness is beyond all — being as well as not-being.
  • Q:  The changeless cannot be conscious. Consciousness is always of change. The changeless leaves no trace in consciousness.   M: Yes and no. The paper is not the writing, yet it carries the writing. The ink is not the message, nor is the reader’s mind the message — but they all make the message possible.
  • Yet consciousness, individual or universal, is not my true abode; I am not in it, it is not mine, there is no ‘me’ in it. I am beyond, though it is not easy to explain how one can be neither conscious, nor unconscious, but just beyond. I cannot say that I am in God or I am God; God is the universal light and love, the universal witness: I am beyond the universal even.
  • Q: How can I reach you then?  M: Be aware of being conscious and seek the source of consciousness. That is all. Very little can be conveyed in words.
  • Neither consciousness, nor the ‘Iam’ at the centre of it are you. Your true being is entirely un-self-conscious, completely free from all self-identification with whatever it may be, gross, subtle or transcendental.
  • All consciousness is in time and to it the timeless appears unconscious. Yet, it is what makes consciousness possible. Light shines in darkness. In light darkness is not visible. Or, you can put it the other way — in the endless ocean of light, clouds of consciousness appear — dark and limited, perceivable by contrast.
  • As long as you are enmeshed in the tribulations of a particular personality, you can see nothing beyond it. But ultimately you will come to see that you are neither the particular nor the universal, you are beyond both.
  • The absolute is awareness unaware of itself.
  • The totality of conscious experiences is nature. As a conscious self you are a part of nature. As awareness, you are beyond. Seeing nature as mere consciousness is awareness.
  • Q: Are there levels of awareness?  M:  There are levels in consciousness, but not in awareness. It is of one block, homogeneous. Its reflection in the mind is love and understanding. There are levels of clarity in understanding and intensity in love, but not in their source. The source is simple and single, but its gifts are infinite.  Only do not take the gifts for the source. realise yourself as the source and not as the river; that is all.
  • As an ‘I am’ you are the river, flowing between the banks of the body. But you are also the source and the ocean and the clouds in the sky. Wherever there is life and consciousness, you are. Smaller than the smallest, bigger than the biggest, you are, while all else appears.
  • Realise that all happens in consciousness and you are the root, the source, the foundation of consciousness. The world is but a succession of experiences and you are what makes them conscious, and yet remain beyond all experience. It is like the heat, the flame and the burning wood. The heat maintains the flame, the flame consumes the wood. Without heat, there would be neither flame nor fuel. Similarly, without awareness there would be no consciousness, nor life, which transforms matter into a vehicle of consciousness.
  • Don’t look for awareness in consciousness, you will not find it there. Don’t look for it anywhere, for nothing contains it. On the contrary, it contains everything and manifests everything. It is like the daylight that makes everything visible while itself remaining invisible.
  • Q:  Does awareness evolve?  M: What is seen may undergo many changes when the light of awareness is focussed on it, but itis the object that changes, not the light. Plants grow in sunlight, but the sun does not grow.
  • When the content is viewed without likes and dislikes, the consciousness of it is awareness.  But still there is a difference between awareness as reflected in consciousness and pure awareness beyond consciousness. Reflected awareness, the sense ‘I am aware’ is the witness, while pure awareness is the essence of reality. Reflection of the sun in a drop of water is the reflection of the sun, no doubt, but not the sun itself. Between awareness reflected in consciousness as the witness and pure awareness there is a gap, which the mind cannot cross.
  • The pure I am, the pure sense of being (consciousness free of attachment, identity, desire, free, preference) is awareness reflected in the mind.  Awareness itself cannot be perceived directly, only through reflection.
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Awareness exists in a state of indivisibility and non-duality

  • When you go beyond awareness, there is a state of non-duality, in which there is no cognition, only pure being, which may be as well called non-being.
  • Awareness is not limited to consciousness. It is of all that is. Consciousness is of duality. There is no duality in awareness.
  • Q: What you call pure being is it universal being, being everything?  M: Everything implies a collection of particulars. In pure being the very idea of the particular is absent.
  • Reality is beyond the duality of the knower and the known.
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Awareness is independent of the world and does not need it

  • Before the world was, consciousness was. In consciousness it comes into being, in consciousness it lasts and into pure consciousness it dissolves. At the root of everything, is the feeling ‘I am’. The state of mind: ‘there is a world’ is secondary, for to be, I do not need the world, the world needs me.
  • Consciousness and unconsciousness, while in the body depend on the condition of the brain. But the self is beyond both, beyond the brain, beyond the mind. The fault of the instrument is no reflection on its user.
  • My real being, and yours too, is beyond the universe and, therefore, beyond the categories of the particular and the universal. It is what it is, totally self- contained and independent.
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Cause and effect

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The entire universe contributes to the existence of even the smallest thing

  • No thing in existence has a particular cause; The entire universe contributes to the existence of even the smallest thing; nothing could be as it is without the universe being what it is.
  • Would people know that nothing can happen unless the entire universe makes it happen, they would achieve much more with less expenditure of energy.
  • If everything is an expression of the totality of causes, how can we talk of a purposeful action towards an achievement?
  • Everything is inter-linked. And therefore, everything has numberless causes. The entire universe contributes to the least thing. A thing is as it is, because the world is as it is.
  • Every event is the effect and the expression of the whole and is in fundamental harmony with the whole. All response from the whole must be right, effortless and instantaneous.
  • Causes and results are infinite in number and variety. Everything affects everything. In this universe, when one thing changes, everything changes. Hence the great power of man in changing the world by changing himself.
  • Even taking the empirical point of view, it is obvious that everything is the cause of everything, that everything is as it is, because the entire universe is as it is.
  • All happened as it happened because it had to happen; everything happens as it does, because the universe is as it is.
  • Q: The other day you told us that there is no such thing as karma. Yet we see that everything has a cause and the sum total of all the causes may be called karma.  M: As long as you believe yourself to be a body, you will ascribe causes to everything. I do not say things have no causes. Each thing has innumerable causes. It is as it is, because the world is as it is. Every cause in its ramifications covers the universe.
  • Q: Things do not just happen. There must be a cause for everything.  M: All that happens is the cause of all that happens. Causes are numberless; the idea of a sole cause is an illusion.
  • Every event has innumerable causes and produces numberless effects. It is useless to keep accounts, nothing is traceable.
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Death and the eternal

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After death, Life remains

  • Q: Is the witness-consciousness permanent or not?  M: The knower rises and sets with the known. That in which both the knower and the known arise and set, is beyond time. The words permanent or eternal do not apply.
    Q: With the disappearance of the body, does the knower disappear?
    M: Just as the knower of the body appears at birth, so he disappears at death.
    Q: And nothing remains?
    M: Life remains. Consciousness needs a vehicle and an instrument for its manifestation. When life produces another body, another knower comes into being,
    Q: Is there a causal link between the successive body-knowers, or body-minds?
    M: Yes, there is something that may be called the memory body, or causal body, a record of all that was thought, wanted and done. It is like a cloud of images held together.
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Only the body dies

  • In death only the body dies. Life does not, consciousness does not, reality does not. And the life is never so alive as after death.
  • Once the illusion that the body-mind is oneself is abandoned, death loses its terror, it becomes a part of living.
  • Awareness is not a form of consciousness. Consciousness can only become more subtle and refined and that is what happens after death.
  • Bodies are born and bodies die, but what is it to me? Bodies come and go in consciousness and consciousness itself has its roots in me. I am life and mine are mind and body.
  • Life will escape, the body will die, but it will not affect me in the least. Beyond space and time I am, uncaused, uncausing, yet the very matrix of existence.
  • It is in the nature of consciousness to survive its vehicles.
  • Q: When your body dies, you remain.  M: Nothing dies. The body is just imagined. There is no such thing.
  • Your body is short of time, not you. Time and space are in the mind only. You are not bound.  Just understand yourself — that itself is eternity.
  • Everybody desires to be, to survive, to continue, for no one is sureof himself. But everybody is immortal. You make yourself mortal by taking yourself to be the body.
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What was not born cannot die

  • What was born, must die; what was never born cannot die.
  • Take the idea ‘I was born’. You may take it to be true. It is not. You were never born, nor will you ever die. It is the idea that was born and shall die, not you. By identifying yourself with it you became mortal.
  • Q: But does one get reborn? M: What was born must die. Only the unborn is deathless. Find what is it that never sleeps and never wakes, and whose pale reflection is our sense of ‘I’.
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You are beyond life and death

  • Desire leads to experience. Experience leads to discrimination, detachment, self-knowledge — liberation. And what is liberation after all? To know that you are beyond birth and death. By forgetting who you are and imagining yourself a mortal creature, you created so much trouble for yourself that you have to wake up, like from a bad dream.
  • Only the dead can die, not the living. That which is alive in you, is immortal.
  • The immutable neither lives nor dies; it is the timeless witness of life and death. You cannot call it dead, for it is aware. Nor can you call it alive, for it does not change.
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Death is not to be feared

  • A life may be worse than death, which is but rarely an unpleasant experience, whatever the appearances. Therefore, pity the living, never the dead.
  • One who believes himself as having been born is very much afraid of death. On the other hand, to him who knows himself truly, death is a happy event.
  • For me the moment of death will be a moment of jubilation, not of fear. I cried when I was born and I shall die laughing.
  • As he gets older he grows more and more happy and peaceful. After all, he is going home. Like a traveller nearing his destination and collecting his luggage, he leaves the train without regret.
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More thoughts on life and death

  • Can there be renewal without death? Even the darkness of sleep is refreshing and rejuvenating. Without death, we would have been bogged up for ever in eternal senility.
  • When life and death are seen as essential to each other, as two aspects of one being, that is immortality. To see the end in the beginning and beginning in the end is the intimation of eternity. Definitely, immortality is not continuity. Only the process of change continues. Nothing lasts.
  • Birth and death are but points in time. Life weaves eternally its many webs. The weaving is in time, but life itself is timeless. Whatever name and shape you give to its expressions, it is like the ocean — never changing, ever changing.
  • M: Time will come to an end. This is called the Great Death, the death of time. Q: Does it mean that the universe and its contents will come to an end?  M: The universe is your personal experience. How can it be affected?
  • To live fully, death is essential; every ending makes a new beginning.
  • The very desire to live is the. messenger of death, as the longing to be happy is the outline of sorrow.
  • Q: When somebody dies what exactly happens?  M: Nothing happens. Something becomes nothing. Nothing was, nothing remains.
  • Why do you fret at one man dying and care little for the millions dying every day? Entire universes are imploding and exploding every moment — am I to cry over them?
  • On reality there is no killing and no dying. The real does not die, the unreal never lived.
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Reincarnation

  • Reincarnation implies a reincarnating self. There is no such thing. The bundle of memories and hopes, called the ‘I’, imagines itself existing everlastingly and creates time to accommodate its false eternity: To be, I need no past or future. All experience is born of imagination; I do not imagine, so no birth or death happens to me.
  • The memory of the past unfulfilled desires traps energy, which manifests itself as a person.  When its charge gets exhausted, the person dies. Unfulfilled desires are carried over into the next birth. Self-identification with the body creates ever fresh desires and there is no end to them, unless this mechanism of bondage is clearly seen. It is clarity that is liberating, for you cannot abandon desire, unless its causes and effects are clearly seen. I do not say that the same person is reborn. It dies and dies for good. But its memories remain and their desires and fears. They supply the nergy for a new person. The real takes no part in it, but makes it possible by giving it, the light.
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Helping and changing the world

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The world we see is the result of the way we look at it, a projection of our state of consciousness

  • It is not the universe that needs improving, but your way of looking.
  • But is there such a thing as perceiving without naming?  M.  Of course. Naming cannot go beyond the mind, while perceiving is consciousness itself.
  • What is beautiful? Whatever is perceived blissfully is beautiful. Bliss is the essence of beauty.
  • There is nothing wrong with the world. What is wrong is in the way you look at it. It is your own imagination that misleads you.
  • Find to whom this cruel world appears and you will know why it appears so cruel.
  • You are the maker of the world in which you live — you alone can change it, or unmake it.
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Change the world by changing yourself

  • First realise that your world is only a reflection of yourself and stop finding fault with the reflection. Attend to yourself, set yourself right — mentally and emotionally. The physical will follow automatically. You talk so much of reforms: economic, social, political. Leave alone the reforms and mind the reformer. What kind of world can a man create who is stupid, greedy, heartless?
  • You cannot change the world before changing yourself.
  • Clarify your mind, purify your heart, sanctify your life — this is the quickest way to a change of your world.
  • Which world do you want to save? The world of your own projection? Save it yourself.
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The world does not need saving

  • What business have you with saving the world, when all the world needs is to be saved from you? Get out of the picture and see whether there is anything left to save.
  • As a whole, the world does not need saving.
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Help the world through being and through example

  • You can help another by precept and example and, above all, by your being.
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Help the world by being free of it

  • When you are free of the world, you can do something about it. As long as you are a prisoner of it, you are helpless to change it. On the contrary, whatever you do will aggravate the situation.
  • The world suffers for very valid reasons. If you want to help the world, you must be beyond the need of help. Then all your doing as well as not doing will help the world most effectively.
  • If you really want to help a person, keep away. If you are emotionally committed to helping, you will fail to help. You may be very busy and be very pleased with your charitable nature, but not much will be done.
  • The witness is not indifferent. He is the fullness of understanding and compassion.  Only as the witness you can help another.
  • In reality there are no others, and by helping yourself you help everybody else. If you are serious about the sufferings of mankind, you must perfect the only means of help you have — Yourself.
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Help the world by being selfless

  • As with knowledge, so it is with power.  Whatever you feel needs be done happens unfailingly. No doubt, God attends to this business of managing the universe; but He is glad to have some help. When the helper is selfless and intelligent, all the powers of the universe are for him to command.
  • Desire the good of all and the universe will work with you. But if you want your own pleasure, you must earn it the hard way.
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Knowing your true self is a blessing to the world

  • To realise the immovable means to become immovable. And the purpose is the good of all that lives.
  • Abandon every personal desire and use the power thus saved for changing the world!
  • Once you reach your destination and know your real nature, your existence becomes a blessing to all. You may not know, nor will the world know, yet the help radiates. There are people in the world who do more good than all the statesmen and philanthropists put together. They radiate light and peace with no intention or knowledge. When others tell them about the miracles they worked, they also are wonder struck. Yet, taking nothing as their own, they are neither proud, nor do they crave for reputation. They are just unable to desire anything for themselves, not even the joy of helping others knowing that God is good they are at peace.
  • Only those who know the self, who have seen beyond the world, can improve the world. Their value to private persons is immense, for they are their only hope of salvation. What is in the world cannot save the world; if you really care to help the world you must step out of it.
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More advice for living

 

Experiment

  • You accept something, or somebody, unknown as true. Now, if you act on the truth you have accepted, even for a moment, very soon you will be brought to the next step. It is like climbing a tree in the dark — you can get hold of the next branch only when you are perched on the previous one. In science, it is called the experimental approach.
  • Words based on truth, if fully tested, have their own power.
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Give and share

  • Change the current of your desire from taking to giving. The passion for giving, for sharing, will naturally wash the idea of an external world out ofyour mind, and of giving as well. Only the pure radiance of love will remain, beyond giving and receiving.
  • Understand that nothing is your own, that all belongs to all. Then only society will change.
  • Q: And what about my possessions?
    M: When the ‘mine’ is no more, where are your possessions?
  • Q: Please tell me, must I lose all by losing the ‘I’?
    M: You may or you may not. It will be all the same to you. Your loss will be somebody’s gain. You will not mind.
    Q: If I do not mind, I shall lose all!
    M: Once you have nothing you have no problems.
    Q: I am left with the problem of survival.
    M: It is the body’s problem and it will solve it by eating, drinking and sleeping. There is enough for all, provided all share.
    Q: Our society is based on grabbing, not on sharing.
    M: By sharing you will change it.
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Make it for its own sake

  • A thing worth doing is its own purpose and meaning, Make nothing a means to something else. Bind not. God does not create one thing to serve another. Each is made for its own sake.
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Pay attention

  • Do not undervalue attention. It means interest and also love. To know, to do, to discover, or to create you must give your heart to it — which means attention.  All the blessings flow from it.
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Listen to your inner guru

  • The greatest Guru is your inner self. Truly, he is the supreme teacher. He alone can take you to your goal and he alone meets you at the end of the road. Confide in him and you need no outer Guru.
  • The innermost light, shining peacefully and timelessly in the heart, is the real Guru.
  • The entire universe is your Guru. You learn from everything, if you are alert and intelligent. Were your mind clear and your heart clean, you would learn from every passer-by.
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Learn through awareness

  • Look into the hearts of people around you. You will find a variety of experiences which you would not be able to go through in a thousand years. Learn from the sorrows of others and save yourself your own.
  • Q: What are the fruits of self-awareness?  M: You grow more intelligent. In awareness, you learn. In self-awareness, you learn about yourself.  Of course, you can only learn what you are not. To know what you are, you must go beyond the mind.
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Daily sweeping

  • Q: So, there is no need to worship, to pray, to practice Yoga?  M: A little of daily sweeping, washing and bathing can do no harm. Self-awareness tells you at every step what needs be done. When all is done, the mind remains quiet.
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Rise your level of consciousness …

  • It is in the very structure of the universe, that the higher can be had only through the freedom from the lower.
  • To rise in consciousness from one dimension to another, you need help. The help may not always be in the shape of a human person, it may be a subtle presence, or a spark of intuition, but help must come.
  • Your consciousness is raised to a higher dimension, from which you see everything much clearer and with greater intensity.
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… for this is the very purpose of the world

  • Q: What is lower and what is higher?  M: Look at it in terms of awareness. Wider and deeper consciousness is higher. All that lives, works for protecting, perpetuating and expanding consciousness. This is the world’s sole meaning and purpose. It is the very essence of Yoga — ever raising the level of consciousness, discovery of new dimensions, with their properties, qualities and powers. In that sense, the entire universe becomes a school of Yoga.
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Work selflessly, indifferent to results

  • Unselfish work leads to silence, for when you work selflessly, you don’t need to ask for help. Indifferent to results, you are willing to work with the most inadequate means. You do not care to be much gifted and well equipped. Nor do you ask for recognition and assistance. You just do what needs be done, leaving success and failure to the unknown. For everything is caused by innumerable factors, of which your personal endeavour is but one. Yet such is the magic of man’s mind and heart that the most improbable happens when human will and love pull together.
  • To work in the world is hard, to refrain from all unnecessary work is even harder.
  • If you just try to keep quiet, all will come — the work, the strength for work, the right motive. Must you know everything beforehand? Don’t be anxious about your future — be quiet now and all will fall in place. The unexpected is bound to happen, while the anticipated may never come.
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Relinquish belief

  • You are as you believe yourself to be. Stop believing.
  •  We were told about karma and reincarnation, evolution and Yoga, masters and disciples. What are we to do with all this knowledge?  M: Leave it all behind you. Forget it. Go forth, unburdened with ideas and beliefs. Abandon all verbal structures, all relative truth, all tangible objectives. The Absolute can be reached by absolute devotion only. Don’t be half-hearted.
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Solving problems

  • All your problems arise because you have defined and therefore limited yourself. When you do not think yourself to be this or that, all conflict ceases.
  • Any attempt to do something about your problems is bound to fail, for what is caused by desire can be undone only in freedom from desire.
  • If you disregard all teachings, all books, anything out into words and dive deeply within yourself and find yourself, this alone will solve all your problems and leave you in full mastery of every situation, because you will not be dominated by your ideas about the situation.
  • All waiting is futile. To depend on time to solve our problems is self-delusion. The future left to itself merely repeats the past. Change can only happen now, never in the future.
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Express in action what you are

  • Live your life intelligently, with the interests of your deepest self always in mind. After all, what do you really want? Not perfection; you are already perfect. What you seek is to express in action what you are. For this you have a body and a mind. Take them in hand and make them serve you.
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Religion and God

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Religion

  • Recorded religions are mere heaps of verbiage. Religions show their true face in action, in silent action. To know what man believes, watch how he acts. For most of the people service of their bodies and their minds is their religion. They may have religious ideas, but they do not act on them. They play with them, they are often very fond of them, but they will not act on them.
  • What is religion? A cloud in the sky. I live in the sky, not in the clouds, which are so many words held together. Remove the verbiage and what remains? Truth remains. My home is in the unchangeable, which appears to be a state of constant reconciliation and integration of opposites.
  • Christianity is one way of putting words together and Hinduism is another. The real is, behind and beyond words, incommunicable, directly experienced, explosive in its effect on the mind. It is easily had when nothing else is wanted. The innards created by imagination and perpetuated by desire.
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God

  • I am’ is the root, God is the tree. Whom am I to worship, and what for?
  • Consciousness and life — both you may call God; but you are beyond both, beyond God, beyond being and not-being.
  • Even faith in God is only a stage on the way. Ultimately you abandon all, for you come to something so simple that there are no words to express it.
  • To me you are your own God. But if you think otherwise, think to the end. If there be God, then all is God’s and all is for the best. Welcome all that comes with a glad and thankful heart. And love all creatures. This too will take you to your Self.
  • God is all that is great and wonderful; I am nothing, have nothing, can do nothing. Yet all comes out of me — the source is me; the root, the origin is me.
  • Even the idea of God as the Creator is false. Do I owe my being to any other being? Because I am, all is.
  • When all the false self- identifications are thrown away, what remains is all-embracing love. Get rid of all ideas about yourself, even of the idea that you are God. No self-definition is valid.
  • God is only an idea in your mind. The fact is you. The only thing you know for sure is: ‘here and now I am’. Remove, the ‘here and now’ the ‘I am’ remains, unassailable.
  • God is the totality of consciousness, but awareness is beyond all — being as well as not-being.
  • Consciousness arising, the world arises. When you consider the wisdom and the beauty of the world, you call it God. Know the source of it all, which is in yourself, and you will find all your questions answered.
  • You create a God to your own Image, however dismal the image. Through the film of your mind you project a world and also a God to give it cause and purpose. It is all imagination –step out of it.
  • To love and worship a god is also ignorance. My home is beyond all notions, however sublime.
  • For you, singing the praises of God is enough. You need not desire realisation or take up a sadhana. God’s name is all the food you need. Live on it.
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Sin and virtue

  • Q:  Is there such a thing as absolute sin or absolute virtue?   M: Sin and virtue refer to a person only. Without a sinful or virtuous person what is sin or virtue? At the level of the absolute there are no persons; the ocean of pure awareness is neither virtuous nor sinful. Sin and virtue are invariably relative.
  • Q: What is right and what is wrong varies with habit and custom. Standards vary with societies.  M: Discard all traditional standards. Leave them to the hypocrites. Only what liberates you from desire and fear and wrong ideas is good. As long as you worry about sin and virtue you will have no peace.
  • The impersonal cannot be described in terms of good and bad. It is Being — Wisdom — Love — all absolute. Where is the scope for sin there? And virtue is only the opposite of sin.
  • Remembering your self is virtue, forgetting your self is sin.
  • Q: What is sin?  M: All that binds you.
  • Q: I see so much evil in myself. Must I not change it?  M: Evil is the shadow of inattention. In the light of self-awareness, it will wither and fall off.
  • I know no bad people, I only know myself. I see no saints nor sinners, only living beings.
  • When ignorance, the mother of sin, dissolves, destiny, the compulsion to sin again, ceases.
  • Q: Surely you feel at least compassion when you see a man steeped in sin.  M: Yes, I feel I am that man and his sins are my sins.
  • Q: What is your attitude to sin?  M:  I know no sin, nor sinner. Your distinction and valuation do not bind me. Everybody behaves according to his nature. It cannot be helped, nor need it be regretted.
  • If you want to sin, sin wholeheartedly and openly. Sins too have their lessons to teach the earnest sinner, as virtues — the earnest saint. It is the mixing up the two that is so disastrous. Nothing can block you so effectively as compromise, for it shows lack of earnestness, without which nothing can be done.
  • The cruelty lies in the motive, not in the fact. Killing hurts the killer, not the killed.
  • Virtues and powers are mere tokens for children to play with. They are useful in the world, but do not take you out of it. To go beyond, you need alert immobility, quiet attention.
  • Whatever vice or weakness in ourselves we discover and understand its causes and its workings, we over-come it by the very knowing
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Goodness and evil

  • Why does not goodness prevail?  M: It does — in my real world.  In my world, even what you call evil is the servant of the good and therefore necessary. It is like boils and fevers that clear the body of impurities. Disease is painful, even dangerous, but if dealt with rightly, it heals.
  • The needful is good and the needless is evil. In your world, the pleasant is good and the painful is evil.
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Punishment

  • Punishment is but legalised crime. In a society built on prevention, rather than retaliation, there would be very little crime.   The few exceptions will be treated medically, as of unsound mind and body.
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Metaphors

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The picture, light and movie screen

  • Yours is the cinema screen, the light as well as the seeing power, but the picture is not you.
  • There is only light and the light is all. Everything else is but a picture made of light. The picture is in the light and the light is in the picture. Life and death, self and not-self — abandon all these ideas. They are of no use to you.
  • Your desire just happens to you along with its fulfilment, or non-fulfilment. You can change neither. You may believe that you exert yourself, strive and struggle. Again, it all merely happens, including the fruits of the work. Nothing is by you and for you. All is in the picture exposed on the cinema screen, nothing in the light, including what you take yourself to be, the person. You are the light only.
  • Consciousness does not shine by itself. It shines by a light beyond it. Having seen the dreamlike quality of consciousness, look for the light in which it appears, which gives it being. There is the content of consciousness as well as the awareness of it.
  • Q: If I am light only, how did I come to forget it?  M: You have not forgotten. It is in the picture on the screen that you forget and then remember. You never cease to be a man because you dream to be a tiger. Similarly, you are pure light appearing as a picture on the screen and also becoming one with it.
  • Having given reality to the picture on the screen, you love its people and suffer for them and seek to save them. It is just not so. You must begin with yourself. There is no other way.
  • How is the Supreme affected?  M: What can affect it and how?  Is the light affected by the picture on the screen?
  • Q: But ultimately is there a world, or is there none?  M: What you see is nothing but your self. Call it what you like, it does not change the fact. Through the film of destiny your own light depicts pictures on the screen. You are the viewer, the light, the picture and the screen. Even the film of destiny is self-selected and self-imposed. The spirit is a sport and enjoys to overcome obstacles. The harder the task the deeper and wider his self-realisation.
  • It is neither necessary, nor possible to change others. But if you can change yourself you will find that no other change is needed. To change the picture you merely change the film, you do not attack the cinema screen!
  • This world is painted by you on the screen of consciousness and is entirely your own private world. Only your sense ‘I am’, though in the world, is not of the world.
  • Q: On the screen of my mind images follow each other in endless succession. There is nothing permanent about me.
  • M: Have a better look at yourself. The screen is there — it does not change. The light shines steadily. Only the film in between keeps moving and causes pictures to appear. You may call the film — destiny.
  • Of course, there is a sense of identity, but it is the identity of a memory track, like the identity of a sequence of pictures on the ever-present screen. Without the light and the screen there can be no picture. To know the picture as the play of light on the screen, gives freedom from the idea that the picture is real.
  • You are like the man in the cinema house, laughing and crying with the picture, though knowing fully well that he is all the time in his seat and the picture is but the play of light. It is enough to shift attention from the screen to oneself to break the spell.
  • Just like in a cinema all is light, so does consciousness become the vast world.  Look closely, and you will see that all names and forms are but transitory waves on the ocean of one sciousness, that only consciousness can be said to be, not its transformations.
  • The light of consciousness passes through the film of memory and throws pictures on your brain. Because of the deficient and disordered state of your brain, what you perceive is distorted and coloured by feelings of like and dislike. Make your thinking orderly and free from emotional overtones, and you will see people and things as they are, with clarity and charity.
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Life is a play

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  • Listen, remember and understand — the mind is both the actor and the stage. All is of the mind and you are not the mind. The mind is born and reborn, not you. The mind creates the world and all the wonderful variety of it. Just like in a good play you have all sorts of characters and situations, so you need a little of everything to make a world.
  • My world is not yours. As I see it, you all are on a stage performing. There is no reality about your comings and goings. And your problems are so unreal!
  • Once you realise that there is nothing in this world, which you can call your own, you look at it from the outside as you look at a play on the stage, or a picture on the screen, admiring and enjoying, but really unmoved.
  • During the waking hours you are, as if, on the stage, playing a role, but what are you when the play is over? You are what you are; what you were before the play began you remain when it is over. Look at yourself as performing on the stage of life. The performance may be splendid or clumsy, but you are not in it, you merely watch it; with interest and sympathy, of course, but keeping in mind all the time that you are only watching while the play — life — is going on.
  • The play was written, planned and rehearsed. The world just spouts into being out of nothing.  Once with me you will know the Self only and see yourself in all.
  • You must begin by being the dispassionate observer. Then only will you realise your full being as the universal lover and actor.
  • Q: How do you view the universe?
    M: It is a stage on which a world drama is being played. The quality of the performance is all that matters; not what the actors say and do, but how they say and do it.
    Q: I do not like this lila (play) idea I would rather compare the world to a work-yard in which we are the builders.
    M: You take it too seriously. What is wrong with play?  Whatever is done, is done on the stage. Joy and sorrow life and death, they all are real to the man in bondage; to me they are all in the show, as unreal as the show itself.
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Consciousness as light

  • The window opens and the room is flooded with light. Colours and shapes come into being. The window is the giver of light, but not the source of it. The sun is the source. Similarly, matter is like the dark room; consciousness — the window — flooding matter with sensations and perceptions, and the Supreme is the sun the source both of matter and of light. The window may be closed, or open, the sun shines all the time. It makes all the difference to the room, but none to the sun.
  • Just like a ray of light is never seen unless intercepted by the specs of dust, so does the Supreme make everything known, itself remaining unknown.
  • Even the sense of ‘I am’ is composed of the pure light and the sense of being. The ‘I’ is there even without the ‘am’. So is the pure light there whether you say ‘I’ or not. Become aware of that pure light and you will never lose it. The beingness in being, the awareness in consciousness, the interest in every experience — that is not describable, yet perfectly accessible, for there is nothing else.
  • It is like the flower and its colour. Without flower — no colours; without colour — the flower remains unseen. Beyond is the light which on contact with the flower creates the colour. realise that your true nature is that of pure light only, and both the perceived and the perceiver come and go together. That which makes both possible, and yet is neither, is your real being, which means not being a ‘this’ or ‘that’, but pure awareness of being and not-being.
  • As you watch your mind, you discover your self as the watcher. When you stand motionless, only watching, you discover your self as the light behind the watcher. The source of light is dark, unknown is the source of knowledge. That source alone is. Go back to that source and abide there.
  • Consciousness is like a cloud in the sky and the water drops are the content. The cloud needs the sun to become visible, and consciousness needs being focussed in awareness.
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Life is a dream

  • The world you can perceive is a very small world indeed. And it is entirely private. Take it to be a dream and be done with it.
  • However long a life may be, it is but a moment and a dream.
  • When you shall begin to question your dream, awakening will be not far away.
  • The very idea of going beyond the dream is illusory. Why go anywhere? Just realise that you are dreaming a dream you call the world, and stop looking for ways out. The dream is not your problem. Your problem is that you like one part of your dream and not another. Love all, or none of it, and stop complaining. When you have seen the dream as a dream, you have done all that needs be done.
  • In my world, nobody is born and nobody dies. Some people go on a journey and come back, some never leave. What difference does it make since they travel in dream lands, each wrapped up in his own dream? Only the waking up is important. It is enough to know the ‘I am’ as reality and also love.
  • King Janaka once dreamt that he was a beggar. On waking up he asked his Guru — Vasishta: Am I a king dreaming of being a beggar, or a beggar dreaming of being a king? The Guru answered: You are neither, you are both.
  • While it lasts, the dream has temporary being. It is your desire to hold on to it, that creates the problem. Let go. Stop imagining that the dream is yours.
  • Let the dream unroll itself to its very end. You cannot help it. But you can look at the dream as a dream, refuse it the stamp of reality.
  • When you see your dream as dream, you wake up.
  • In dream, you love some and not others. On waking up you find you are love itself, embracing all. Personal love, however intense and genuine, invariably binds; love in freedom is love of all.
  • Do realise that it is not you who moves from dream to dream, but the dreams flow before you and you are the immutable witness. No happening affects your real being — this is the absolute truth.
  • In reality there is no person, only the watcher identifying himself with the ‘I’ and the ‘mine’. The teacher tells the watcher: you are not this, there is nothing of yours in this, except the little point of ‘I am’, which is the bridge between the watcher and his dream. ‘I am this, I am that’ is dream, while pure ‘I am’ has the stamp of reality on it.
  • We differ only in the contents of our dreams. You are after perfection — in the future. We are intent on finding it — in the now.
  • There is no body, nor a world to contain it; there is only a mental condition, a dream-like state, easy to dispel by questioning its reality.
  • In your present state, it is of no use to you. Just like the glass of water near your bed if of no use to you, when you dream that you are dying of thirst in a desert. I am trying to wake you up, whatever your dream.
  • A day will come when you will long for the ending of the dream, with all your heart and mind, and be willing to pay any price; the price will be dispassion and detachment, the loss of interest in the dream itself.
  • Treating everything as a dream liberates. As long as you give reality to dreams, you are their slave. By imagining that you are born as so-and-so, you become a slave to the so-and-so. The essence of slavery is to imagine yourself to be a process, to have past and future, to have history. In fact, we have no history, we are not a process, we do not develop, nor decay; also see all as a dream and stay out of it.
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Awareness is the ocean

  • What relationship can there be between what is and what merely appears to be? Is there any relationship between the ocean and its waves? The real enables the unreal to appear and causes it to disappear. the succession of transient moments creates the illusion of time, but the timeless reality of pure being is not in movement, for all movement requires a motionless background.  It is itself the background.
  • Just as every wave subsides into the ocean, so does every moment return to its source.  Realisation consists in discovering the source and abiding there.
  • Just as every drop of the ocean carries the taste of the ocean, so does every moment carry the taste of eternity.
  • As all waves are in the ocean, so are all things physical and mental in awareness. Hence awareness itself is all important, not the content of it. Deepen and broaden your awareness of yourself and all the blessings will flow.
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Knowledge and ignorance

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The freedom of not knowing

  • Earlier I was sure of so many things, now I am sure of nothing. But I feel that I have lost nothing by not knowing, because all my knowledge was false. My not knowing was in itself knowledge of the fact that all knowledge is ignorance, that ‘I do not know’ is the only true statement the mind can make.
  • I have no mind of my own; what I need to know the universe brings before me, as it supplies the food I eat.
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True knowledge

  • To know that you do not know, is true knowledge.
  • The very admission: ‘I am ignorant’ is the dawn of knowledge. An ignorant man is ignorant of his ignorance.
  • To know that you do not know and do not understand is true knowledge, the knowledge of a humble heart.
  • Once you are inwardly integrated, outer knowledge comes to you spontaneously. At every moment of your life you know what you need to know.
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You cannot know what you are, only be it

  • You can know what you are not, but you cannot know your real being. You can be only be what you are.
  • There can be no knowledge of the unmanifested. The potential is unknowable. Only the actual can be known.
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Ignorance causes inevitability

  • Q: What creates destiny?  M: Ignorance is the cause of inevitability.  Q: Ignorance of what?  M: Ignorance of yourself primarily. Also, ignorance of the true nature of things, of their causes and effects. You look round without understanding and take appearances for reality. You believe you know the world and yourself — but it is only your ignorance that makes you say: I know. Begin with the admission that you do not know and start from there.
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The knower and the known

  • The knower is the unmanifested, the known is the manifested.
  • You cannot know the knower, for you are the knower. The fact of knowing proves the knower. You need no other proof. The knower of the known is not knowable. Just like the light is known in colours only, so is the knower known in knowledge.
  • The known is always on the move, it changes, it has no shape of its own, no dwelling place. The knower is the immutable support of all knowledge; Each needs the other, but reality lies beyond.
  • When awareness is turned on itself, the feeling is of not knowing. When it is turned outward, the knowables come into being. To say: ‘I know myself’ is a contradiction in terms for what is ‘known’ cannot be ‘myself’.
  • To know that the known cannot be me nor mine, is liberation enough.
  • As long as you believe that only the outer world is real, you remain its slave. To become free, your attention must be drawn to the ‘I am’, the witness. Of course, the knower and the known are one not two, but to break the spell of the known the knower must be brought to the forefront. Neither is primary, both are reflections in memory of the ineffable experience, ever new and ever now, untranslatable, quicker than the mind.
  • If you diligently investigate the knowable, it dissolves and only the unknowable remains. But with the first flicker of imagination and interest the unknowable is obscured and the known comes to the fore-front.
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More on knowledge

  • We are slaves to what we do not know; of what we know we are masters.
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More thoughts

 

The nature of the mind

  • The mind, by its very nature, divides and opposes. Can there be some other mind, which unites and harmonises, which sees the whole in the part and the part as totally related to the whole?
  • To divide and particularise is in the mind’s very nature. There is no harm in dividing. But separation goes against fact. Things and people are different, but they are not separate. Nature is one, reality is one. There are opposites, but no opposition.
  • There is only one mind, which swarms with ideas; ‘I am this, I am that, this is mine, that is mine’.
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The mind as an instrument

  • The purified mind is the faithful servant of the self. It takes charge of the instruments, inner and outer, and makes them serve their purpose.
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The nature of truth

  • Truth is loving and lovable. It includes all, accepts all, purifies all. It is untruth that is difficult and a source of trouble. It always wants, expects, demands.
  • The proof of the truth lies in its effect on the listener, in the deep and permanent changes in his entire being.
  • You are truth itself. Only you mistake the false for the true.
  • The discovery of truth is in the discernment of the false. You can know what is not. What is –you can only be.
  • Q: Is truth within the realm of the mind or beyond?  M: It is neither, it is both. It cannot be put into words.
  • Truth cannot be described, but it can be experienced.
  • Truth can be experienced, but it is not mere experience.
  • Truth is not a reward for good behaviour, nor a prize for passing some tests. It cannot be brought about.
  • Truth is the primary, the unborn, the ancient source of all that is.
  • Truth is in the discovery not in the discovered. And to discovery there is no beginning and no end.

 

Attitude

  • You cannot change your circumstances, but your attitudes you can change.
  • You are responsible only for what you can change. All you can change is only your attitude. There lies your responsibility.
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Action

  • Action delayed is action abandoned. There may be other chances for other actions, but the present moment is lost — irretrievably lost. All preparation is for the future — you cannot prepare for the present.
  • Acting in the now is not much helped by your preparations. Clarity is now, action is now.
  • Thinking of being ready impedes action. And action is the touchstone of reality.
  • Conviction and action are inseparable. If action does not follow conviction, examine your convictions, don’t accuse yourself of lack of courage.
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Being verse becoming

  • With being arising in consciousness, the ideas of what you are arise in your mind as well as what you should be. This brings forth desire and action and the process of becoming begins. Becoming has, apparently, no beginning and no end, for it restarts every moment. With the cessation of imagination and desire, becoming ceases and the being this or that merges into pure being, which is not describable, only experienceable.
  • It is the instinct of exploration, the love of the unknown, that brings me into existence. It is in the nature of being to see adventure in becoming, as it is in the very nature of becoming to seek peace in being. This alteration of being and becoming is inevitable; but my home is beyond.
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Relationships

  • Relationship is a living thing. Be at peace with your inner self and you will be at peace with everybody.
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Action

  • Personally motivated action, based on some scale of values, aiming at some result is worse than inaction, for its fruits are always bitter.
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Character

  • M:  Ultimately your character shapes your life and you alone can shape your character.  Q: How does one shape one’s character?  M: By seeing it as it is, and being sincerely sorry. This integral seeing-feeling can work miracles.
  • Your outer life is unimportant. It is what you are inwardly that matters.
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Non-resistance

  • Q: If I use my will to control the mind, it only strengthens the ego.  M: Of course. When you fight, you invite a fight. But when you do not resist, you meet with no resistance. When you refuse to play the game, you are out of it.
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Healing

  • Q: Can I cure myself of a serious illness by merely taking cognisance of it?   M: Take cognisance of the whole of it, not only of the outer symptoms. All illness begins in the mind. Take care of the mind first, by tracing and eliminating all wrong ideas and emotions. Then live and work disregarding illness and think no more of it. With the removal of causes the effect is bound to depart.
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Peace

  • If you want peace and harmony in the world, you must have peace and harmony in your hearts and minds. Such change cannot be imposed; it must come from within. Those who abhor war must get war out of their system.  Without peaceful people how can you have peace in the world?
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Oneness

  • Duality lasts only as long as it is not questioned. The trinity: mind, self and spirit, when looked into, becomes unity. These are only modes of experiencing: of attachment, of detachment, of transcendence.
  • You imagine reality to stand apart from names and forms, while to me names and forms are the ever-changing expressions of reality and not apart from it.
  • You separate existence from being and being from reality, while to me it is all one.
  • Matter is redeemed, spirit — revealed. The two are seen as one. They were always one, but the imperfect mind saw them as two. Perfection of the mind is the human task, for matter and spirit meet in the mind.
  • Q: You said once that the seer, seeing and the seen are one single thing, not three. To me the three are separate. I do not doubt your words, only I do not understand.  M: Look closely and you will see that the seer and the seen appear only when there is seeing. They are attributes of seeing. When you say, ‘I am seeing this’. ‘I am’ and ‘this’ come with seeing, not before. You cannot have an unseen ‘this’ nor an unseeing ‘I am’.
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Faith

  • There are teachers who deny faith and trust reason only. Actually, it is not faith they deny, but blind beliefs. Faith is not blind. It is the willingness to try.
  • The witness attitude is also faith; it is faith in oneself. You believe that you are not what you experience and you look at everything as from a distance. There is no effort in witnessing. You understand that you are the witness only and the understanding acts.
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Trust verse enquiry

  • You have two ways: you can give your heart and mind to self-discovery, or you accept my words on trust and act accordingly. In other words, either you become totally self-concerned, or totally un-self-concerned. It is the word ‘totally’ that is important. You must be extreme to reach the Supreme.
  • Either trust me when I tell you so, or arrive to it by study and investigation. The way of total faith is quick, the other is slow but steady. Both must be tested in action. Act on what you think is true –this is the way to truth.
  • If you trust my words and put them to test, you will for yourself discover how absolutely true they are.
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Ego

  • A man should always revolt against himself, for the ego, like a crooked mirror, narrows down and distorts. It is the worst of all the tyrants, it dominates you absolutely.
  • Q: When there is no ‘I’ who is free?  M: The world is free of a mighty nuisance. Good enough.  Q: Good for whom?  M: Good for everybody.
  • Freedom from the ego-self is the fruit of self-enquiry.
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Seeking

  • Life is seeking, one cannot help seeking. When all search ceases, it is the Supreme State.
  • The seeker has only one goal in view: to find his own true being. Of all desires, it is the most ambitious, for nothing and nobody can satisfy it; the seeker and the sought are one and the search alone matters.
  • Here we mean by search the search for oneself as the root of being conscious, as the light beyond the mind.
  • What was never lost can never be found. Your very search for safety and joy keeps you away from them.
  • There is no remedy — except one — the search for remedies must cease.
  • You need not seek anything, all will come to you most naturally and effortlessly.
  • Discard every self-seeking motive as soon as it is seen and you need not search for truth; truth will find you.
  • What you seek is already in you.
  • There was never any journey. I am, as I always was.
  • Q: I find that I am always restless, longing, hoping, seeking, finding, enjoying, abandoning, searching again. What is it that keeps me on the boil?  M: You are really in search of yourself, without knowing it. You are love-longing for the love-worthy, the perfectly lovable. Due to ignorance, you are looking for it in the world of opposites and contradictions. When you find it within, your search will be over.
  • You need not reach out for what is already with you. Your very reaching out makes you miss it. Give up the idea that you have not found it and just let it come into the focus of direct perception, here and now, by removing all that is of the mind.
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Shadow

  • When the shadow is seen to be a shadow only, you stop following it. You turn round and discover the sun which was there all the time — behind your back!
  • Even a shadow is related to reality, but by itself it is not real.
  • Exactly as a shadow appears when light is intercepted by the body, so does the person arise when pure self-awareness is obstructed by the ‘I-am-the-body’ idea. And as the shadow changes shape and position according to the lay of the land, so does the person appear to rejoice and suffer, rest and toil, find and lose according to the pattern of destiny. When the body is no more, the person disappears completely without return, only the witness remains and the Great Unknown.
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Intention and motive

  • Don’t be afraid of mistakes; you can always correct them, only intentions matter. The shape things take is not within your power; the motives of your actions are.
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Perfection

  • Absolute perfection is here and now, not in some future, near or far.
  • Disregard whatever you think yourself to be and act as if you were absolutely perfect – whatever your idea of perfection may be.
  • What does not come and go — remains. It is the ever greedy mind that creates ideas of progress and evolution towards perfection. It disturbs and talks of order, destroys and seeks security.
  • The limited only is perfectible. The unlimited is already perfect. You are perfect, only you don’t know it. Learn to know yourself and you will discover wonders.
  • Things get destroyed by their own perfection. A perfect society is necessarily static and, therefore, it stagnates and decays.
  • When you realise your own being your behaviour will be perfect — spontaneously.
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Matter

  • The world consists of matter, energy and intelligence.
  • Q:  What is matter?  M:  What you do not understand is matter.  Q:  Science understands matter.  M:  Science merely pushes back the frontiers of our ignorance.
  • Look at the mind as a function of matter and you have science; look at matter as the product of the mind and you have religion.
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Interim period

  • For some time, there is bound to be a conflict between the old and the new, but if you put yourself resolutely on the side of the new, the strife will soon come to an end and you will realise the effortless state of being oneself, of not being deceived by desires and fears born of illusion.
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Gurus

  • Mistrust all, until you are convinced. The true Guru will never humiliate you, nor will he estrange you from yourself. He will constantly bring you back to the fact of your inherent perfection and encourage you to seek within. He knows you need nothing, not even him, and is never tired of reminding you.
  • Distrust those who put a distance between you and your true being and offer themselves as ago-between.
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More thoughts

  • Your high opinion of me is your opinion only.   Any moment you may change it. Why attach importance to opinions, even your own?
  • It is this clash between desire and fear that causes anger, which is the great destroyer of sanity in life.
  • You will find that the mystical is most practical, for it makes your life creatively happy.
  • The entire purpose of a clean and well-ordered life is to liberate man from the thraldom of chaos and the burden of sorrow.
  • How to attain peace?  Detach yourself from all that makes your mind restless. Renounce all that disturbs its peace. If you want peace, deserve it.
  • The idea of responsibility is in your mind. You think there must be something or somebody solely responsible for all that happens. There is a contradiction between a multiple universe and a single cause. Either one or the other must be false. Or both. As I see it, it is all day-dreaming.   There is no reality in ideas. The fact is that without you, neither the universe nor its cause could have come into being.
  • Be free of name and form and of the desires and fears they create, then what remains?  Q: Nothingness.  M: Yes, the void remains. But the void is full to the brim. It is the eternal potential as consciousness is the eternal actual.
  • Every atom may be a universe, as complex as ours.
  • Which part of the future is real and which is not? The unexpected and unpredictable is real.
  • That which sees all this, and the nothing too, is the inner teacher. He alone is, all else only appears to be. He is your own self (swarupa), your hope and assurance of freedom; find him and cling to him and you will be saved and safe.
  • After all, as long as one is burdened with a person, one is exposed to its idiosyncrasies and habits.
  • What is the link between the Self and the Supreme?  M: From the self’s point of view the world is the known, the Supreme — the Unknown. The Unknown gives birth to the known, yet remains Unknown. The known is infinite, but the Unknown is an infinitude of infinities. Just like a ray of light is never seen unless intercepted by the specs of dust, so does the Supreme make everything known, itself remaining unknown.
  • Before desiring, deserve.
  • All life is conscious, all consciousness — alive.  Even stones are conscious and alive.
  • When you think of yourself as a women, do you mean that you are a women, or that your body is described as female?
  • When you do not take yourself to be the body, then the family life of the body, however intense and interesting, is seen only as a play on the screen of the mind, with the light of awareness as the only reality.
  • All talk about silence is mere noise.
  • Experience is shaped by belief and belief is shaped by experience.
  • Life teaches, where all else fails. But the lessons of life take a long time to come. Much delay and trouble is saved by trusting and obeying.
  • Liberation is a natural process and in the long run, inevitable.
  • Differences and distinctions are not the causes of sorrow. Unity in diversity is natural and good.
  • By itself life is immensely creative. A seed, in course of time, becomes a forest.
  • Yoga is a movement in consciousness, awareness in action.
  • Q: I cannot destroy the world.  M: There is no need. Just understand that what you see is not what is. Appearances will dissolve on investigation and the underlying reality will come to the surface. You need not burn the house to get out of it. You just walk out. It is only when you cannot come and go freely that the house becomes a jail. I move in and out of consciousness easily and naturally and therefore to me the world is a home, not a prison.
  • You need not be attached to the non-essentials. Only the necessary is good. There is peace only in the essential.
  • Come to a state in which there is no knowledge, only being, in which being itself is knowledge. To know by being is direct knowledge. It is based on the identity of the seer and the seen. Indirect knowledge is based on sensation and memory, on proximity of the perceiver and his percept, confined with the contrast between the two.
  • Q: What remains to discover?  M: The universe without and the immensity within as they are in reality, in the great mind and heart of God. The meaning and purpose of existence, the secret of suffering, life’s redemption from ignorance.
  • Consciousness comes and goes, awareness shines immutably.
  • Witnessing is of the mind. The witness goes with the witnessed. In the state of non-duality all separation ceases.
  • The person, the ‘I am this body, this mind, this chain of memories, this bundle of desires and fears’ disappears, but something you may call identity, remains. It enables me to become a person when required. Love creates its own necessities, even of becoming a person.
  • Reality is independent of its expressions.
  • You cannot see yourself as independent of everything unless you drop everything and remain unsupported and undefined. Once you know yourself, it is immaterial what you do, but to realise your independence, you must test it by letting go all you were dependent on.  The realised man lives on the level of the absolutes; his wisdom, love and courage are complete, there is nothing relative about him. Therefore, he must prove himself by tests more stringent, undergo trials more demanding. The tester, the tested and the set up for testing are all within; it is an inner drama to which none can be a party.
  • The search for reality is the most dangerous of all undertakings for it will destroy the world in which you live. But if your motive is love of truth and life, you need not be afraid.
  • Compassionate awareness heals and redeems. There is nothing we can do, we can only let things happen according to their nature.
  • Clarity and charity is action. Love is not lazy and clarity directs. You need not worry about action, look after your mind and heart. Stupidity and selfishness are the only evil.
  • Without vitality little can be done, hence the importance of its protection and increase.
  • Q:  What about sacrifice? M: Share willingly and gladly all you have with whoever needs — don’t invent self-inflicted cruelties.
  • You have always the company of your own self — you need not feel alone.
  • By all means do feel lost! As long as you feel competent and confident, reality is beyond your reach. Unless you accept inner adventure as a way of life, discovery will not come to you.
  • Knowing them to be superficial, give no value to your experiences, forget them as soon as they are over.
  • The world appears to you so overwhelmingly real, because you think of it all the time; cease thinking of it and it will dissolve into thin mist. You need not forget; when desire and fear end, bondage also ends. It is the emotional involvement, the pattern of likes and dislikes which we call character and temperament, that create the bondage.
  • I have no desire to identify myself with anybody, however illustrious. Nor do I feel the need to take myths for reality.
  • Was there ever a world without troubles? Your being as a person depends on violence to others. Your very body is a battlefield, full of the dead and dying. Existence implies violence.  There is little of non-violence in nature.
  • The Guru is there forgiving you courage because of his experience and success. But only what you discover through your own awareness, your own effort, will be of permanent use to you.
  • Accidental or incidental pain is inevitable and transitory; deliberate pain, inflicted with even the best of intentions, is meaningless and cruel.
  • The states of utter clarity, immense love, utter fearlessness; these are mere words at the present, outlines without colour, hints at what can be.
  • Real communication between people is not verbal. For establishing and maintaining relationship affectionate awareness expressed in direct action is required. Not what you say, but what you do is that matters.
  • When you create, with love and wisdom, and remain unattached to your creations, the result is harmony and peace.
  • You may change your mind or your body, but it is always something external to you that has changed, not yourself. Why bother at all to change?
  • There is nothing to seek and find, for there is nothing lost.
  • The idea of un-consciousness exists in consciousness only.
  • There is no such thing as not-knowing. There is only forgetting. What is wrong with forgetting? It is as simple to forget as to remember.
  • When you discern and let go all that is unreal, what remains is real.
  • There are two paths before us — the path of effort and the path of ease. Both lead to the same goal — liberation.
  • Living in spontaneous awareness, consciousness of effortless living, being fully interested in one’s life — all this is implied.
  • Be loyal, be simple, be humble. Hide your virtue, live silently.
  • A spark of truth can burn up a mountain of lies.
  • It is not what you live, but how you live that matters.
  • I am free of memories and anticipations, unconcerned with what I am and what I am not. I am not addicted to self-descriptions, soham and brahmasmi (‘I am He’, ‘I am the Supreme’) are of no use to me, I have the courage to be as nothing and to see the world as it is: nothing. It sounds simple, just try it!
  • Theories are neither right nor wrong. They are attempts at explaining the inexplicable. It is not the theory that matters, but the way it is being tested. It is the testing of the theory that makes it fruitful. Experiment with any theory you like — if you are truly earnest and honest, the attainment of reality will be yours. As a living being you are caught in an untenable and painful situation and you are seeking a way out. You are being offered several plans of your prison, none quite true. But they all are of some value, only if you are in dead earnest. It is the earnestness that liberates and not the theory.
  • M: Your sincerity will guide you. Devotion to the goal of freedom and perfection will make you abandon all theories and systems and live by wisdom, intelligence and active love. Theories may be good as starting points, but must be abandoned, the sooner — the better.
  • The attitude of pure witnessing, of watching the events without taking part in them.
  • Everybody sees the world through the idea he has of himself.  As you think yourself to be, so you think the world to be.
  • To go beyond the body, you must be healthy: To go beyond the mind, you must have your mind in perfect order.
  • In reality all existence, every form, is my own, within my consciousness. I cannot tell what I am because words can describe only what I am not. I am, and because I am, all is. But I am beyond consciousness and, therefore, in consciousness I cannot say what I am. Yet, I am. The question ‘Who am I’ has no answer. No experience can answer it, for the self is beyond experience.
  • To be free in the world, you must die to the world. Then the universe is your own, it becomes your body, an expression and a tool.
  • To want nothing and do nothing — that is true creation!
  • Get hold of the main thing that the world and the self are one and perfect.
  • And do not waste energy and time on regrets. Learn from your mistakes and do not repeat them.
  • By saying that a woven design is merely coloured threads you miss the most important — the beauty of it. Or by describing a book as paper with ink stains on it, you miss the meaning. Identity is valuable because it is the basis of individuality; that which makes us unique and irreplaceable. ‘I am’, is the intuition of uniqueness.
  • The one witness reflects itself in the countless bodies as ‘I am’. As long as the bodies, however subtle, last, the ‘I am’ appears as many. Beyond the body there is only the One.
  • The witness only registers events. In the abeyance of the mind even the sense ‘I am’ dissolves. There is no ‘I am’ without the mind.  All experience subsides with the mind. Without the mind, there can be no experiencer nor experience.
  • The witness merely registers the presence or absence of experience. It is not an experience by itself, but it becomes an experience when the thought: ‘I am the witness’ arises.
  • Poetry is the art of putting into words the inexpressible.
  • The five senses and the four functions of the mind — memory, thought, understanding and selfhood; the five elements — earth, water, fire, air and ether; the two aspects of creation — matter and spirit, all are contained in awareness.
  • Q: If you have created the world out of love, why is it so full of pain?  M: You are right — from the body’s point of view. But you are not the body. You are the immensity and infinity of consciousness. Don’t assume what is not true and you will see things as I see them. Pain and pleasure, good and bad, right and wrong: these are relative terms and must not be taken absolutely. They are limited and temporary.
  • Q: I find that awareness brings about a state of inner silence, a state of psychic void.  M: It is all right as it goes, but it is not enough. Have you felt the all-embracing emptiness in which the universe swims like a cloud in the blue sky?  Q: Sir, let me first come to know well my own inner space.  M: Destroy the wall that separates, the ‘I-am-the-body’ idea and the inner and the outer will become one.
  • The inner beginningless, changeless, the root of being, the standing promise, is the only reality. All else is shadow, cast by the body mind on the face of time. Of course, even a shadow is related to reality, but by itself it is not real.
  • The grace of your Inner Reality is timelessly with you. Your very asking for grace is a sign of it.
  • Total detachment, aloofness, standing apart.
  • Learn to look without imagination, to listen without distortion: that is all.
  • You think you know yourself when you know what you are. But you never know who you are.
  • All is one — this is the ultimate solution of every conflict.
  • As long as we imagine ourselves to be separate personalities, one quite apart from another, we cannot grasp reality which is essentially impersonal.
  • Separate the observed from the observer and abandon false identifications.
  • The mind must learn that beyond the moving mind there is the background of awareness, which does not change. The mind must come to know the true self and respect it and cease covering it up, like the moon which obscures the sun during solar eclipse. Just realise that nothing observable, or experienceable is you, or binds you. Take no notice of what is not yourself.
  • The Self is near and the way to it is easy. All you need doing is doing nothing.
  • The totality of the perceived is what you call matter. The totality of all perceivers is what you call the universal mind. The identity of the two, manifesting itself as perceptibility and perceiving, harmony and intelligence, loveliness and loving, reasserts itself eternally.
  • Questioner: What is your state at the present moment?  Maharaj: A state of non-experiencing. In it all experience is included.
  • Q:  Surely there must be something in common between the many points of consciousness we are.   M:  First know your own mind and you will find that the question of other minds does not arise at all, for there are no other people. You are the common factor, the only link between the minds. Being is consciousness; ‘I am’ applies to all.
  • There is no such thing as unconsciousness, for unconsciousness is not experienceable.
  • If you try to understand the unmanifested with the mind, you at once go beyond the mind, like when you stir the fire with a wooden stick, you burn the stick.
  • You need a hook to hang your picture on; when there is no hook, on what will the picture hang? To locate a thing you need space, to place an event you need time; but the timeless and spaceless defies all handling.
  • The man who cherishes the feeling ‘I am’ is self-conscious. The jnani holds on to nothing and cannot be said to be conscious. And yet he is not unconscious. He is the very heart of awareness. We call him digambara, clothed in space, the Naked One, beyond all appearance. There is no name and shape under which he may be said to exist, yet he is the only one that truly is.
  • If you are in the right state, whatever you see will put you into samadhi. After all, samadhi is nothing unusual. When the mind is intensely interested, it becomes one with the object of interest — the seer and the seen become one in seeing, the hearer and the heard become one in hearing, the lover and the loved become one in loving. Every experience can be the ground for samadhi.
  • Q: If I am beyond the mind, how can I change myself?  M: Where is the need of changing anything?
  • The old grooves must be erased in your brain, without forming new ones.
  • Q:  Another difficulty one comes across quite often in talking with the Westerners is that to them everything is experience — as they want to experience food, drink and women, art and travels, so do they want to experience Yoga, realisation and liberation. To them it is just another experience, to be had for a price. They imagine such experience can be purchased and they bargain about the cost.
  • M: If the manifested is the sum total of all actual experiences, including their experiencers, how much of the total do you know? A very small part indeed.
  • Q:  Here I am sitting in front of you. What part of it is imagination?  M:  The whole of it. Even space and time are imagined.  Q:  Does it mean that I don’t exist?  M:  I too do not exist. All existence is imaginary.
  • Q: When you look at me, what do you see?  M: I see you imagining yourself to be.
  • Steady faith is stronger than destiny. Destiny is the result of causes, mostly accidental, and is therefore loosely woven. Confidence and good hope will overcome it easily.
  • There are always moments when one feels empty and estranged.  Such moments are most desirable, for it means the soul has cast its moorings and is sailing for distant places.
  • Q: I can see the picture, but who is the painter? Who is responsible for this terrible and yet a dorable experience?  M: The painter is in the picture. You separate the painter from the picture and look for him. Don’t separate and don’t put false questions.
  • I am curious, like a child is curious. But there is no anxiety to make me seek refuge in knowledge. Therefore, I am not concerned whether I shall be reborn, or how long will the world last.  These are questions born of fear.
  • Q: When all that can go, goes, what remains?  M: Emptiness remains, awareness remains, pure light of the conscious being remains. It is like asking what remains of a room when all the furniture is removed? A most serviceable room remains. And when even the walls are pulled down, space remains. Beyond space and time is the here and the now of reality.
  • No relationship is forever. Duality is a temporary state.
  • Q: When both the disciple and his teacher are inadequate, what will happen?  M: In the long run all will be well. After all, the real Self of both is not affected by the comedy they play for a time.
  • The space in Bombay is asked what is its opinion of the space in Poona. The names differ, but not the space. The word ‘Babaji’ is merely as address.
  • That you hear is a fact. What you hear — is not.
  • Q: What am I to wait for?  M: For the centre of your being to emerge into consciousness. The three states — sleeping, dreaming and waking are all in consciousness, the manifested; what you call unconsciousness will also be manifested — in time; beyond consciousness altogether lies the unmanifested.  And beyond all, and pervading all, is the heart of being which beats steadily — manifested-unmanifested; manifested-unmanifested.
  • The mind exists in two states: as water and as honey. The water vibrates at the least disturbance, while the honey, however disturbed, returns quickly to immobility.
  • The personal needs a base, a body to identify oneself with, just as a colour needs a surface to appear on.
  • To know that you are neither the body nor mind, watch yourself steadily and live unaffected by your body and mind, completely aloof, as if you were dead. It means you have no vested interests, either in the body or in the mind.
  • The dissolution of personality is followed always by a sense of great relief, as if a heavy burden has fallen off.
  • As long as he does not trust himself, he cannot trust another.
  • We grow through investigation, and to investigate we need experience. We tend to repeat what we have not understood.
  • The dissolution of personality is followed always by a sense of great relief, as if a heavy burden has fallen off.
  • As long as he does not trust himself, he cannot trust another.
  • Knowing the world to be a part of myself, I pay it no more attention than you pay to the food you have eaten. I have eaten up the world and I need not think of it anymore.
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Curators pick of the best quotes

  • I am the world, the world is myself.
  • Let come what comes and go what goes.
  • Be what you are–conscious being.
  • As you watch your mind, you discover your self as the watcher. When you stand motionless, only watching, you discover your self as the light behind the watcher.
  • To know what you are, it is enough to know what you are not.
  • The entire universe contributes to the existence of even the smallest thing; nothing could be as it is without the universe being what it is.
  • Desire is the memory of pleasure and fear is the memory of pain.
  • I am real for I am always now, in the present, and what is with me now shares in my reality. The past is in memory, the future — in imagination.
  • Many experiences appear in the undivided and indivisible awareness, each separate in memory, identical in essence.
  • I do not negate the world. I see it as appearing in consciousness.
  • I see the world as it is, a momentary appearance in consciousness.
  • The desire for pleasure, the fear of pain, both are states of distress.
  • Pain is the background of all your pleasures. You want them because you suffer. On the other hand, the very search for pleasure is the cause of pain. It is a vicious circle.
  • Q:  Is your world full of things and people as is mine?  M: No, it is full of myself.
  • The Self stands beyond the mind, aware, but unconcerned.
  • The world can be said to appear, but not to be.   Whatever is time bound is momentary and has no reality.
  • All ideas of ‘me’ and ‘mine’, even of ‘I am’ is in consciousness.
  • In pure being consciousness arises; in consciousness, the world appears and disappears. All there is is me, all there is is mine. Before all beginnings, after all endings — I am.
  • All has its being in me, in the ‘I am’, that shines in every living being. Even not- being is unthinkable without me. Whatever happens, I must be there to witness it.
  • I am detached and see the passing show as a passing show, while you stick to things and move along with them.
  • A high opinion of someone can be changed at any moment. Why attach importance to it, even your own?
  • Get rid of the tendency to define yourself. What you are cannot be verbalised.
  • Stop making use of your mind and see what happens. Do this one thing thoroughly. That is all.
  • Would people know that nothing can happen unless the entire universe makes it happen, they would achieve much more with less expenditure of energy.
  • You believe the world to be objective, while it is entirely a projection of your psyche.
  • The mind and feelings are external, but you take them to be intimate.
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