W. L. POONJA
you cross the ocean you will see the emptiness of
UESTION : Papaji,
there has been a long-standing debate about the
value, if any, of a relative approach the
notion of practice, development, becoming, with a
view to a long-term end. There are other teachers
who regard this as a distraction and missing the
essence altogether. What are your comments on this
relative approach of practice?
I don't think that anyone can arrive at the essence
by any traditional way.
Question: OK. So this means that with the
traditional forms, they actually serve to obscure
or hide the essence.
Papaji: Yes. I don't think that anybody
moving in the traditional way has benefitted
himself by freeing himself from samsara, the
endless cycle of birth and death. Take the case of
the Buddha. He tried all traditions and he finally
rejected all of them. He stayed with all kinds of
people from different traditions and he found that
what they proposed was not what he wanted. He
understood that all traditions could not help to
attain the essence of enlightenment, the Self .So
he rejected everything because he wanted to know
his my own Self. This is not the traditional way.
He sat under a tree in Bodhgaya after rejecting all
tradition until he discovered his own Self by
himself, you see.
Question: So one important thing, then, that
needs to be understood is the abandonment of the
traditional way. Right?
Papaji: That is the dharma [true
way]. When you abandon the traditional ways,
you will arrive at the Truth.
Question: Insight meditation, in the
Vipassana tradition, is rather unconventional and
focuses all attention on the witness. You sit and
observe, walk and observe all that happens. What
would be your comment regarding this?
have heard of insight meditation. It is the
observation of objects, or just the breath. To fix
your attention on something there has to be an
observer. The observer is there to observe
something. And whatever is observered is observed
through the mind only. Whatever you gain by using
the mind can only be mental. Now, who is the
observer? This question has to be tackled. When you
observe, all attention is on the object of the
senses and none is on the observer.
Question: In insight meditation, there is
the observer of the observed, but one of its
features is to say that whatever is observed is
impermanent, coming and going, unsatisfactory and
is "not me" and "not mine". The result may only be
mental, but there is less attachment, less
possessiveness, less clinging and less desire.
There is a sense of freedom in knowing that nothing
is worth clinging to or holding onto. People who
practice insight meditation feel more contentment,
more peace and greater clarity.
Papaji: Insight means "not outside" and is
the sight which does not cling to any outside
object, but rather on emptiness within. But when
you reject this wall between inside and outside and
just look at emptiness, going from form to
formlessness, then you don't need any meditation.
This wall between you and something unknown is no
Question: Yes. In insight meditation there
are four objects of the mind: body, feelings,
thoughts and sense objects. You observe these
things, see them coming and going, and you don't
cling to any of them. But as you point out, often
there is not the enquiry into the observer, who
seems to stand outside of all of this.
Papaji: Yes, that's what I meant. To whom
does this body belong, to whom do feelings belong,
to whom do thoughts belong and to whom do the sense
objects belong? These must belong to somebody. Now,
let us reject what can be rejected. The body is
made of the elements and does not have the capacity
to realise the Self, so reject it. Same goes for
feelings, thoughts and sense objects. So reject all
of them. But what happens when you reject the act
of rejecting? You will arrive at some unknown
destination, which is beyond body, feelings,
thoughts and objects, and which can never be
rejected. This is Reality and everything belongs to
It and is due to It. When you reject everything you
discover freedom, and in freedom I am absolutely
Question: What do you mean by rejection? Is
it something that occurs spontaneously as a letting
go? Or is it the clear affirmation, "I do not want
to be identified with all of this."
Papaji: It means that you are only concerned
with That which is real. For example, when you go
to sleep, everything is rejected world,
body, wife, feelings, thoughts and objects. What
did you do to reject everything? To enter sleep,
everything has to be abandoned, otherwise you
cannot enter. And you are willing to reject
everything, even pleasurable things, so that you
can sleep. Why? Why do you reject all the beauties
Question: Out of necessity.
Papaji: Yes, because it is necessary. When
you sleep you are much happier than during your
waking life. If it was not so, you would never go
Question: So you are saying that entering
sleep is the simultaneous dropping off of the four
objects of the mind.
Papaji: Yes, we can agree on this point
a simultaneously dropping of everything.
Only when you awake in the morning, you can say
that you had slept. So, who is awake during sleep?
Do you see anything in deep sleep?
Question: No, nothing can been seen.
Papaji: And are you happy or unhappy while
Question: Personally, very
Yes. Suppose you are in a supermarket and have
already bought many things. Will you be happier
going to another marketplace to buy more things or
returning home directly?
Question: Returning home.
The marketplace represents the body senses and all
their transactions with objects. This is the
market. If all these transactions could bring
satisfaction, happiness, pleasure and beauty,
nobody would like to go to sleep or return home.
There is something else much more precious than
worldly transactions that makes us prefer to sleep.
It is more precious than everything else. Now, who
is awake during sleep?
Question: Nobody that I know.
Papaji: Something is awake during sleep.
When you wake up, you say, "I slept very well and
was very happy. I didn't think about anything." Who
experienced this happiness? Who was it?
Question: For that I have no answer.
Papaji: All this is samsara and you are in
the waking state. Now, you are about to dose off,
but sleep has not yet started.
Question: Exactly, this point we call the
satshi, which means pure awareness or
Papaji: You are at this point here and the
beyond, the unknown emptiness has not yet been
Question: That's it. That's what I'm trying
Papaji: Now let us see what happens here.
Everything that had to be rejected has been
rejected. The whole waking state has ended and the
beyond is not yet seen. At this moment, what do you
At this moment, there is some identification with
the known called 'I', which has this notion of
being solid and permanent.
Papaji: This 'I' is not the 'I' which I
speak about. This 'I' and everything else has been
absorbed by the unknown. There is no return to the
known. I'm speaking of that moment between the
known and the unknown. When this 'I', that has
known everything, stands before the unknown, it
becomes shy and dissolves. On facing the unknown an
immense happiness surges up. When this 'I' is face
to face with emptiness, it will simply
Question: So at that critical point, there
is a humility or a trust that its own dissolution
will take place in deep sleep.
Papaji: Its dissolution will take place in
happiness to leave everything and embrace
something else which has no name and no form. 'I'
will jump into nectar, beauty, love, where there is
nothing to cling to and no one who can cling.
Subject and object are not there, neither the
thought process. Even the mind is not there to
claim that experience. No one can speak of this
experience. Can you could give me some news about
it? I would be happy if you could.
Question: I have good news.
[laughter] So, all the methods, practices,
traditions and processes eventually take you to
this end, this edge.
Papaji: All sadhanas take you to the end and
advise you to reject 'me'. Sadhan means any kind of
practice, and sadhana means "Don't practice." Na
means 'don't'. So if you give up all practices,
those you have been doing so far, what will happen?
You come to the end. When you abandon everything,
you are absolutely naked. And when you are naked
you will jump into dissolution, never to return.
Even if you cannot decide whether to jump or not,
there is something behind pushing you.
Question: Are you the pusher?
The pusher is the same as the one that has to be
pushed. But truly speaking, no push is needed, nor
are you at any end, nor have you started from
somewhere else, nor have you to jump anywhere. You
are here and now.
Question: This is very significant. One
hasn't started anything, one hasn't arrived at any
critical point, and no push is required.
Papaji: No samsara and no nirvana.
Question: So, the whole construction of the
mind is a complete fiction, yet it appears very
Mind is very powerful. The mind suggests that you
are bound and you accept it. This is the creation
of samsara. Then the mind suggests to be free from
samsara, and then the practice starts. This is all
a concept! Nirvana is only a concept, a trap of the
mind. So how do you escape this trap? When you call
it a 'trap' you are out of it. You know by a
special spontaneous knowledge that all this is just
a trap of the mind. Then you understand that there
is nothing to do and nowhere to go. Just be. You
have come from nowhere and you will never go
Question: It takes my breath away
Papaji: Here everything can be accepted,
because there is nothing to be rejected and nothing
to be accepted. Therefore you are free to accept
Question: This gives me a great freedom at
the moment. What would you say to a person who
seems attracted to awakening but believes that it
is not possible because of too many demands and
duties in daily life?
Papaji: He should only be made to wake up
from this dream of duty and realise that he is
already and always free. Man is only dreaming. This
man is asleep who says, "I have family duties, job
duties and have no time to find my Self."This man
is asleep. But a man who wakes up from the dream,
he has no family, nor any job. He is always free.
Nothing has ever touched this man. He is so very
alone that even sleeping doesn't touch him. When
you see anything, any name or any form, it means
you are asleep. This whole samsara that has lasted
for millions of years is just a thought in this
instant of time. And this instant is empty. Just
surrender this 'I' which thinks it is bound. Remove
the doubt that you are not already free. Then fear
will leave you forever. All this is samsara and
doesn't exist and there is only one Reality.
Question: So what happens to one's karma
Papaji: According to Advaita, this body is
here because of previously accumulated karma.
That's how they explain it. It's like when you roll
a ball on the ground, the initial momentum will
determine the length of time that the ball will
roll. So when someone wakes up, all the stored
karma in the memory gets destroyed because there is
no longer a doer of selfish actions. And the
initial momentum, due to the residual effects of
the karma which gave us this body, will continue up
to the end of this life. This will have no affect
on the awakened one. He now acts according to the
circumstances that appear before him with total
indifference, knowing that it is unreal. There is
no future and no past for him, and he will not be
reborn because he is desireless.
Question: Do you agree with this?
Papaji: I don't believe in karma. There is
no such thing as past karma, present karma, nor
future karma. For example, a man who has already
been married twice is planning to get married in
the near future. He married his first wife ten
years, his second wife one year ago and his third
marriage is just about to take place. But, in
between this function of the up-coming marriage, he
dies. With his death, all three wives are widowed
his past wife, recent wife and wife-to-be.
Like this, when a man dies to his ego and no longer
has the feeling of doership, all his karma is
widowed. Karma no longer has anyone to cling to, no
place to abide. A liberated man only reacts to the
present circumstances and has no concept of being a
doer. His ego is dead and he is absolutely free. I
believe that a man who has no doubts cannot have
Papaji: A free man who is not bound never
feels that he has acted. For him, nothing ever
happens. He knows that he has always been free and
nothing has ever changed. How can he have any karma
now, and how can he take another birth? Everything
is finished for him.
Question: So in a way you're saying that
when the husband dies, his wives die too.
Papaji: They are widowed. The husband dies,
but the wives continue to live. In the case of the
liberated man who has no ego, he never says "this
is mine" or "this belongs to me". All doership and
all sense of possession have vanished, so he is
dead while alive. He can do whatever he likes
because no impressions can disturb his mind. He is
dead to his ego and his actions are free from any
reactions, from any karma and from any
self-interest. Whereas someone who thinks that he
is the doer will reap the consequences of his
actions. You become what you think, you see. The
free man will reap the consequences of his freedom
and the other man will be punished by his own
thought process. But in the ultimate Truth, nothing
In a dream somebody becomes a king and someone else
becomes a beggar, but both belong to the dream. The
samsara is exactly like this. Ultimately, there
have never been kings and beggars at all.
Everything appears from one Source and only That is
true. Once you recognise that you are that Source,
then you will realise that you have always been
free and never been bound. Here in satsang, some
people understand this instantly, in this moment.
Freedom is here and now, so why postpone it by
practicing something? Freedom can only be realised
in this instant and all practices demand time and
effort. That which is available now will be
available in 30 years, so why not do it now? It is
unchanging and always available here in this
All my life, even as a little boy, the desire for
freedom has been stronger than all other desires.
It doesn't really seem to be a desire; it's more
like a longing. This desire seems to pull me back,
while the other desires seem to pull me out. This
desire for freedom mysteriously seems to stay,
where the other desires come and go and change with
my thoughts. The desire for freedom is always
there, burning. It seems to be deeper than the
mind. Is this true?
Papaji: This is the most intense desire. All
other desires are on the surface. They rise and
fall, you see. The desire for freedom is intense
and you must respond to it. When you respond, this
desire will bring you back home. It will continue
to trouble you if it is not fulfilled in this life
This desire must be fulfilled, whether you like it
or not. That is why you come here. What a farce!
This desire follows you wherever you go, in
whatever incarnation you take. It will not leave
you. How did it push you here? You left your job
and your business; why did you have to come here?
Just consider it. You must return home! How long
can you stay at the market?
Question: It seems the only response to the
desire is to look within to where the mind
originates. To go to the place where thoughts arise
and stay with it. That is the response, isn't
Papaji: Yes. You will unceasingly scan the
mind. Unceasingly. And you will know who you are.
For example, how far is it from Kanpur, where you
come from, to here?
Question: About 90 kilometres, about three
Papaji: Three hours. Now why does it take
Question: Because of the distance.
Papaji: Very good, very good. So where is
the 'I' that is asking the question? And where is
the I' in "Who am I?" If there is no space and no
distance, then your answer should take no time!
Question: This desire for freedom and the
thought "Who am I?", are they the same?
Papaji: Same. Same. "Who am I?" brings you
back if you have the desire for freedom. To whom
did this desire arise? "To me" you say. Then find
out who you are.
Question: Freedom is faith in the present
Papaji: Why faith in present? In present
moment, who is there to have faith in whom? In the
present, to have faith is always something of the
past. How can you have faith in the present moment?
When the word 'faith' comes, it takes you to the
Question: I wanted to say that faith means
to see that there is nothing else but the present
Papaji: Yes. That's right. The present
moment is freedom. Look into the present moment,
into freedom itself. You are always looking into
the past moments. When did you give an occasion for
the present moment to manifest? You have never
given a chance to this present moment. You are
always relating yourself to the past only. You are
ignoring this instant and are not giving yourself
to it. This instant is the present moment. Look
into it. Then you will see your face.
When you use the word 'I', then stop and look where
this 'I' arises from. This is the present moment.
Look at this 'I' and you will know this present
moment, and then what is your faith? Where does it
arise? If you go forward, you will go to the past.
Return back to this, to where the thought 'I'
arose. Return back from whatever place you are to
here and now. Here you are always free! You don't
have to run anywhere to be free. You have to run
for something else. Where is freedom,
enlightenment, peace, bliss? It is here. Now, to be
here, what effort is needed? You do not have to do
anything to stay as you are.
Where can you turn? You only have to turn when you
are somewhere else. To turn from where? When you
are at home, no flight is needed. Just remove these
wrong ideas that you have borrowed from someone
else, from society, your parents, your religion. It
is not your nature to be unhappy or to suffer.
Question: Does it go quickly or slowly?
Papaji: Slowly is only the mind that fools
you. To be right now, what understanding is needed?
To be right now, what you already are, you don't
need any understanding or misunderstanding.
Question: Why did I come here then?
Papaji: You came here because you thought
you were 'there'!
of the page
When I look in your eyes I see just Self. And I
realise that when I honour you, I am honouring my
Self. But I still haven't learned to honour the
Self in everyone. I can honour it in you but I
still make comparisons and judgements of others. I
dont see the Self in everyone.
Papaji: First you have to see the Self
within you! Then within me, and then everywhere
Question: But when I look in other people's
eyes I can't see it so clearly.
Papaji: First see the Self within you. Then
you will se that the Self in you is not other than
the Self in me; it is the same Self. Then you
perceive that the same Self in you, in me, is
everywhere else. And Self alone is that Self. There
is nothing apart from the Self. This experience you
will surely get if you stick to Self alone. Nothing
else ever existed at all!
Question: But I
Papaji: Okay, lets tackle it another way.
When you see the Self, don't see the 'not-Self'
also at the same time. If you do not see the
'not-Self' here and there and everywhere, what will
Question: Only the Self.
Papaji: Only the Self everywhere! The
'not-Self' doesn't exist. And the Self is not
absent at all! So you will se Self everywhere. When
I say everywhere, it is nowhere. Nowhere itself.
Because no distance is involved. No here and
somewhere. Self alone is total awareness of
All the wave, eddies, drops and bubbles in the
ocean are the ocean. So, according to your question
, "I see the ocean", is saying, "I see the ocean
within myself but not in the waves or other eddies,
tides, bubbles. There I do not see." So you have to
first see the ocean within the ocean, Self within
the Self. And this will include everything else.
The Self contains everything. There is nothing
apart from It. This is why you can call it
emptiness. There is nothing beyond emptiness. All
is empty. Nothing ever exists.
When you see something existing, it is not other
than you. So, wherever there is an idea or concept
of duality, then there is confusion. In Truth there
is no duality at all. Oneness and wholeness is all.
If we accept duality, then there must be frontiers
between the two, and therefore it cannot be
limitless. There will be a division between duality
and union. So, there cannot be any divisions or
frontiers in limitless Reality, in total emptiness.
There are no frontiers. This is seeing Self
Question: I have just come from a very busy
culture and very busy life in San Francisco
a life and culture filled with stress, noise,
choices, confusion, and so much doing and activity.
Suddenly, I come here and there is just Self.
Everything turns back to the Self. It is so simple.
I am struck by the simplicity of your guidance.
Just immediately! So simple. Just paying attention
to the Self. How will it be when I go back to San
Papaji: Simplicity will not be lost. You
cannot lose simplicity. Simplicity is nature.
Question: We forget that.
Papaji: It will not forget you. You may
forget your Self, but She will not forget you. She
is very chaste.
Question: I will try to remember that.
Papaji: It is the easiest and simplest of
everything that you do, even easier than breathing.
Easier than the breath that you inhale or exhale.
For here you are neither to inhale nor exhale.
Where does the inhalation and exhalation take
place? You inhale, and it stops. You exhale, and it
stops. And here, this is what you are, in between
the inhaling and exhaling. Not even the effort to
inhale or exhale is needed.
From where does thought arise? There must be some
activity for the thought to arise and go somewhere.
But the Source doesn't go and doesn't come
It is as It is. How simple it is. [much
laughter] I have to laugh sometimes because I
see fish in the river who say, "I am thirsty".
Saying "I want enlightenment" is the same thing.
That which is near and easy, you don't pay any
attention to It. But that which is difficult and
far the moon, Mt. Everest you are
attentive to. No one has ever arrived at the Self
"Who am I?" Investigate it. Start with the question
itself. First investigate 'who'. Next, investigate
'am'. Next, investigate 'I'. When you return to the
'I', the question will disappear and there will be
no need to have an answer. No question, no answer.
That "no answer" is the answer. The river returns
to the source, the ocean, from where it began, and
disappears within the ocean. There are no rivers
flowing in the ocean. So, no further enquiry to
search for the river is needed. The river merges
into the ocean and becomes the ocean.
We are all returning to the Source. Every sentence
that we speak returns. Every activity is moving
towards itself. You only have to be aware and your
journey will end. We are in the Source itself. Even
if you don't try, you are already That. Make this
choice: choose "I am free" and you are instantly
free. But if you prefer to choose "I am bound",
then you are bound. The choice is yours. If you
choose to be bound; then you choose to suffer. So
if you have the choice, choose happiness and
freedom. Let it be a good choice of love.
When all other choices have failed miserably and
the result is suffering, we have been cheated. So
let us go the other way. Nothing known has ever
given us lasting happiness so far. Anything that
has a name and form is impermanent. Let us choose
nameless and formless emptiness this time, in this
blessed span of life.
Question: I make it so complicated when I
think "What is the Self? You make it sound so
simple. You say, "I am the Self."
Papaji: Yes. This simplicity is too
difficult for you to digest.
Question: I am looking for a concept of Self
instead of "I am the Self."
Papaji: You need not make any speculation
nor try to capture the Self as a concept. The Self
is, and you are that Self. You cannot disagree. Can
you speak to anyone else and say, "I am not my
Self"? And if you do, what will he think of you?
Any concept is incomplete, but Self is complete.
Everything is contained within you. You are
Eternity. No death can touch you. Just remain as
Self, as you are. That's all you have to do. How
difficult is it? What is the difficulty in
baptising yourself "I am I"? That's all.
I was very touched yesterday when you spoke of
obedience. Living obedience every second, obedience
to That every second.
Question: Obedience implies a duality,
Papaji: It is your own Self, so where is the
Question: Only Self?
Papaji: Yes. When you love your Self, is it
not obedience? The river merging, the river
discharging into the ocean is it not
obedience? It returns to its source and the ocean
is happy to receive it. When you return to the
Source, It is happy to receive you.
If you are obedient to something else or someone
else, then you can call it 'duality'. But where is
duality? You have two hands, two feet, ten fingers,
a nose... how many parts to this body, but when you
say 'I', is it duality? When you see your face in
the mirror, are there two people? When you see the
Truth, you know there has never been duality, from
the beginning until the end of the universe.
Question: I was thinking of the Self
creating multiplicity for its own enjoyment.
Papaji: When you cross the ocean you will
see the emptiness of unity. In a dream you see many
different people, of many different ages, and you
see mountains that are millions of years old, and
different stars. And when you are awake, was what
you saw in the dream unity or multiplicity?
Question: A dream within the unity.
Papaji: When you wake up, all duality and
unity experienced in the dream vanishes. In the
same way, when you wake up from this waking sleep
you return to emptiness. Whenever we see objects we
are dreaming. And when we are dreaming, this means
we are also sleeping. So you have to wake up with a
shout, "I want to be free!" With this shout you
will wake up and everything vanishes. Otherwise,
you will be reborn again and again in endless
cycles of aeons.
Question: Is enlightenment, or
Self-realisation, just an awareness, a self-evident
awareness of being?
Papaji: Yes, it is awareness. Total
awareness of being, same thing. No difference.
Total awareness. Everything is there and you are
Question: I have this awareness. Yet, as
everybody knows, your realisation is much deeper
than mine. What is the difference?
Papaji: You make a difference. Otherwise,
there is no difference.
Question: If I were to sit there, where you
are, after one week nobody would come here
Papaji: You can try. Come here.
[everyone laughs] When I asked my Master
about difference, he removed my difference and I
accepted it. I immediately realised that I was not
separate from him.
Question: Maybe this is the point. I do not
Papaji: Do not accept enough?
[laughs] I accepted it and then there was
no problem. There is nothing apart from That. If
you accept it, there will be no problem. If you
accept "I am free", then you are free. If you
accept "I am not free", you are not free.
Question: Yesterday, you said everyone must
one day face the Truth. If I freely believe, then I
Papaji: No! "I am" does not need your belief
or disbelief! From the "I am" there is no
difference. Fully accept "I am", that's all. If you
have some grades of acceptance, that is, "Slowly I
will try to accept, I will practise to accept",
then you will slowly accept. It depends on you. It
will not change. Enlightenment will not change
today, tomorrow, the next day. It is the same. Get
it now, or after one year, or in this life span. It
will not change.
You are not accepting it. Accept it fully and then,
where is the problem? You are already free. Who
tells you that you are not free? You are not
opening to it. You are afraid to even utter "I am
free". I do not know what that fear is. When people
say, "I am bound, I am suffering, I am miserable",
then they feel free to speak. "I am free! I am
deathless" nobody speaks. Whose fault is this?
Whatever you say, whatever you think, is going to
happen. It will be fulfilled, now or tomorrow. If
you think "I am free", then you are free.
People don't fully desire freedom. How many people
desire freedom? I tell you that you are already
free and you don't accept it. You want to do
something. Freedom doesn't need any effort. Other
things may need effort. Freedom is free, free of
Question: So no more struggle, just accept
Papaji: Then It will be here. When you don't
make any effort It is here. When you try to catch
It, It goes further away, because you are making an
effort for That which is already here.
Question: That is what I have learned from
you. I am so thankful.
Papaji: [laughs] Very nice. You
learned it here, then your work is finished. If you
don't make any effort, whatsoever, you are That
This morning I was lying on my bed and I had many
doubts about what I am doing here and many, many
thoughts. And suddenly I felt, "But what is this? I
am lying on my bed and that is it." All the doubts
suddenly went away and I felt very calm inside.
Papaji: That is the present moment. How long
did you stay in the present moment and what did you
do to lose it?
Question: I tried to analyse what had
Papaji: Whatever is too near is difficult to
attend to. The eyes see everything. But the eyes do
not see themselves. Like this, the Self through the
mind sees all the world, but the mind doesn't
return back home to be the Self.
Question: How do we overcome fear?
Papaji: By giving up all practices.
Question: At that moment when the fear is
thick [snaps fingers] what do you do?
Papaji: At that moment between the placing
of your fingers together and the snap, what did you
do? Where did the sound of the snap come from? This
sound came from undoing it. Do it [places
fingers in position for snap], then undo. All
that you have done, heard, seen and read for
a moment, forget about this and tell me what is
your face? What do you see? By simply undoing, what
do you arrive at?
Papaji: Ah. That is the return to your
question: how to do? Undo everything and where do
you arrive? A distance between thought and thought.
This dive is the same as nothingness. When you are
absolutely happy, this is the same as nothingness.
When you are absolutely happy to meet your beloved
after twenty years, what thought is in your mind?
Surrounded by nothingness you have to do nothing.
You have to do nothing to be who you are. Nothing
at all. To become something, of course, to become a
doctor is different. This is not a return to your
true nature. You are always here. You deny it. You
don't accept your greatness. Being Eternity itself,
Reality itself, how can you say, "I am afraid and
I just came from seeing the Dalai Lama. He spoke of
the problems of the world and the need for everyone
to do right action. What is right action?
Papaji: For an enlightened being, there is
no consideration of past or future. No
consideration is given to the fruits of action.
Rather, action is taken in each moment from
emptiness. The fruits will take care of
The Dalai Lama was speaking to the common man who
needs morality to guide his actions. Enlightened
beings recognise that morality itself is empty, as
is everything else. Therefore, right action, right
speech, and the Buddha's eightfold path may come as
a consequence of emptiness, but they will never
lead to emptiness. Therefore, a seeker of Truth
looks for emptiness only, and everything else
Question: Then what practice do you
Papaji: No practice. There is a river of
thought-waves and everyone is being washed
downstream. Everyone is clinging to these thoughts
and being washed away. Just give rise to the single
thought "I want to be free." This thought will
rarely come out of the entire population. The
entire population of the planet is moving
downstream. They are not destined to give rise to
the thought "I want to be enlightened in this very
span of time."
So I call this thought of freedom going against the
stream and toward the Source. It does not require
any effort to give rise to this thought. The
thought "I want to be free" is itself free. This
thought will take you to freedom. It is the most
rare thought. Out of the entire population of six
billion, only a handful give rise to this
Question: Master, I have been with you for
four days now, and I am still not enlightened.
Papaji: [laughing] Yes, I am
surprised, a smart boy like you.
Question: What should I do?
Papaji: Let me tell you what my Master told
me. Just be quiet. This quiet does not involve
talking or not talking. It does not involve any
doing whatsoever. Just let the mind fall into
silence. This is enough.
Question: Now wait. I can't believe what you
just said to him. I've been trained to think that
it takes years and years of practise and lifetimes
of training and hard work to reach liberation. Now
you say it's simply a switch on the wall, a change
of perception. Is that correct?
Papaji: You need not switch on or off. For
the sun to shine do you switch it on?
Papaji: Just like this. This light is always
there. No switches at all. The sun has no switches.
You turn your face away and you call it night. Sun
has no night and no day. You are that sun. This is
your own light and you are That. You don't need any
switches. The switches are limitations. You have
fixed these limitations yourself. Nature has not
fixed any switches. There are no walls for the
switches either. Walls are imaginary only, like
walls between countries. You have constructed this
wall between you and something else. You have to
break this which does not exist.
"I want this, I want that. I dislike this, I like
that." If you remove this switch of like and
dislike, how will you feel? Instantly, you will be
free. Likes and dislikes keep you in bondage and
suffering. The frontier you have created is the
suffering. You have to demolish it by yourself.
Nobody will help you.
Question: What do you mean, "Nobody will
Papaji: The Self has to help the Self;
nobody else can help. Who else will demolish this
wall? You have to help yourself. Find out, is it
possible to be out of the Self, ever? First say, "I
want help." Then discover who needs help. Self is
not suffering. Self is not in bondage. Self is ever
Question: So you are saying it is the mind
clinging to the wall which is suffering?
Papaji: Yes. Who has created separation?
Mind has created separation, and no mind will
remove this separation. The separation doesn't
exist. Even to say "I am separate" is a joke.
It is only when there is a need for understanding
that there is something to be understood. Once some
of Krishnamurti's students came here to see me.
They said there is only one difference between our
teachings. They said, "Krishnamurti removes
concepts from the vessel and Poonjaji breaks the
vessel altogether." [laughs]
So allow yourself some time, a couple of moments.
And in those moments there should be no
trespassing. Make available a few seconds, and
during this span nobody should trespass. I think
you could well afford to be available for a few
moments. You have spent all your life for others,
and not even a minute for your Self.
Everyone possesses you. When you are born, your
parents say you are "my son". Go to school next and
you're "my student." Then marry and you're "my
husband". Have children and you're "my father".
Remove these possessions. Let no one possess you.
Reject everything and see what happens.
You have to devote some time to your Self, either
now or in some other lifetime. You have to reach
your home. There is no escape. You have to return
home, either now or tomorrow. You must decide if
you still want to play some more. It doesn't
matter. In the end, it doesn't matter.
You think it is taking time. It is "no time" that
you are spending because you are already free; it
is only your illusion that you think you are not
free. You have to allow time, once and for all, if
you want to be happy. The moment you declare "I am
free!" standing on the mountain top on your
toes, with you arms up in air Eureka! This
is a happy moment a very happy moment. So, what
prevents you from being free? What is the
Question: That I often have lots of thoughts
and it is very difficult to get rid of them.
Papaji: What kind of thoughts do you have?
Do you give rise to the thought of freedom?
Papaji: Hold on to this thought of freedom.
Do you see any other thoughts simultaneously rising
Papaji: Mind can hold on to only one thought
at a time.
Question: I understand.
Papaji: Tell me which other thoughts replace
this thought of freedom. Voluntarily bring another
thought to replace this. Another thought that you
like best. Do it, do it!
Question: I don't want to reject this
Papaji: Very good. Very nice. When you like
this thought, where will this thought take you?
Where will other thoughts be? Where is freedom? How
many kilometres away from you?
Question: I don't think it is far away from
Papaji: If it is not far from you, then how
much time is needed for you to arrive here? How
much time does is take to be as you are? It is here
and now. How much time to be here and now?
Question: As little as possible.
Papaji: Let us agree, as little as possible.
Should we call it this moment? This instant? The
least possible time. This instant is the time. Now
look at this moment, the least time. Look into this
instant, if it is not far away. Jump into it right
Papaji: Now! [much laughter] Now,
what is the thought now?
Question: None. Only this now.
Papaji: No thoughts troubling you now?
Question: Only that I am looking for
Papaji: Yes, yes. Keep on looking for
thoughts. Do you understand what you are
Papaji: If you don't look for a thought, the
thoughts will look for you. If you don't look, all
the thoughts will attack you. Try. If you look for
a thought, can you catch it?
Question: They have disappeared.
Papaji: Then when the thoughts have
disappeared, who are you?
This is the best answer you can give me. Stay as
such. If you step out of this silence, there is
trouble. You don't need anything. Eternity is here.
Happiness is here. No death can enter this silence.
No trouble can enter here. Step out and there is
samsara. No thought, no concept, can enter here.
All desires are met here in emptiness.
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Different practices have been described which are
being followed in the world. One is jnana marg
the path of knowledge; one is bhakti marg
the path of devotion; and one is karma marg
the path of action. Rituals, Yoga, Raja Yoga,
Kundalini Yoga, pilgrimages to shrines, worship of
the personal deities, recitation of the holy books,
repetition of the sacred formulas, and many other
types of exercises, or sadhanas are being
practiced. But what and where is the goal which you
have chosen to attain? What do you want and where
is it? What is your aim? For different aims there
are different roads, different practices.
Here we are mainly dealing with Brahman
[Reality]. I will use the word 'Brahman',
rather than 'Self', because in all other languages
'self' can also be used for the individual soul,
for the individuality. Brahman is that which is
without any attributes knowledge itself
which has no association whatsoever with duality.
Brahman is the word that has been used in the book
of Knowledge. We are working here on how to arrive
at that attributeless Brahman which is beyond the
reach of the mind and the intellect. It is said by
those who have gone beyond and realised this goal,
that this is where the intellect and its associates
like mind, senses, and so on beat a retreat. They
cannot go there because it reveals itself by
itself. You need no agent, no one to take you
there, neither the intellect, nor the mind, nor the
senses, nor any kind of practice, because it is
You need a candle to find something in a dark room.
You need the light of the sun in the day or of the
moon in the night, and if they are not there you
need a candle or a lamp in the house. But you don't
need a candle to see a lamp it is light
itself. It is self-revealing and self-luminous. No
association is possible; it is attributeless. It is
often advised that to realise the attributeless
Brahman, immaculate Brahman, eternal Brahman, one
should adopt a practice which is very near to your
goal. Going on pilgrimages, purification, visiting
churches may have some benefit. Worship of
the deities may also give you some temporary
relief. The chanting of holy books may help to
focus your mind on one object. But with all these
practices the mind is not yet obliterated.
The practice nearest to Truth for those few who
want to realise absolute Brahman is meditating only
on attributeless Brahman itself, without any object
of concentration. When people start to meditate,
they hold some image in the mind or some word. That
may be useful, but it is even better to think of
attributeless Brahman, to always keep aware of the
attributeless Brahman during meditation, knowing
that "I am Brahman", without focusing on any object
of the past, present or future.
This is the nearest practice. If you want to do any
practice, then meditate on attributeless Brahman,
immaculate Brahman, which is none other than your
own Self, your own fundamental nature. If you are
not able to realise the Truth instantly, you can
continue this practice for a while. Slowly, you
will see that the meditator and the meditated upon
vanish. Neither attributeless Brahman nor
meditation upon attributeless Brahman has anything
to do with a meditator or something meditated
If you want to think about something, why think, "I
am the body?" The body does not last. Why think, "I
am this" or "I am that"? If you want to have a
thought at all and you cannot live without
thinking, then have the supreme thought, "I am
Brahman." This is the exercise which is nearest to
your goal of Brahman itself. The meditator and the
meditated upon will vanish. This is the goal of all
meditation. No other sadhana or exercise is as near
as this for one who wants to be free from this
samsara, from this going again and again from death
to birth and birth to death. This is how to break
the cycle. There is only one way and this is the
way. This can continue always wherever you are.
You do not need to go to any ashram, because nobody
there knows how to sit quiet. In most ashrams and
centres, many different therapies have been
introduced. There should be at least one person who
could teach you about silence, peace, and
tranquility, and direct you to that attributeless
Brahman. But no one teaches you to sit quiet and do
nothing. If a centre were to do that then what
would be the use of that centre? A centre is there
for some commercial reason, for some material
What better teaching could there be than "Keep
quiet!"? This is the only teaching that is not
practiced anywhere in the world! This is the
teaching of my Master. Nobody else has taught this
in this century. There were a few teachers in the
past, but not in this century. In the twentieth
century he alone was the teacher who could say,
To keep quiet is the only goal that you have to
practice in order to do away with this samsara. If
you can't keep quiet, then the practice closest to
this quietness is to repeat, "I am Brahman." There
is no harm in this, because when you utter the word
'Brahman', it has neither name nor form. This
'Brahman' word is not a name, because name and form
immediately go together. When you utter a name,
there is a form. There is no form to accompany this
name, so the mind is again formless and nameless.
Brahman does not depict any object nor subject.
This practice is not even a practice. It can be
continued at home with whatever you are doing in
your routine of life. Just keep this thought here
and then, do whatever you want. This is the way
which is nearest to your own Self. In this life, a
human body is very rare so we have to make the best
of it. Once lost it cannot be regained. We would
have to go around again.
You are here from many countries, so let us find
some way to be happy and peaceful in ourselves. Now
is the time. We know what is happening in the world
of men nothing but nonsense. We can only
keep quiet and wish that sanity descends on human
beings. We send good vibrations of peace and love
every morning. Let us behave at least as human
beings, working for our own good and for that of
Buddha has done it.
Janaka has done it.
Yagnavalka has done it.
Vasishtha has done it.
Shikaraj has done it.
Vishvamitra and many others have done it.
So why can't you do it? If you are bent upon doing
it, it is here and now.
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