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SIDDHARAMESHWAR  MAHARAJ

BEYOND  NOTHING



Let there be peace and love among all beings of the universe. OM Shanti, Shanti, Shanti.

objective knowledge | reality | supreme self | attainment | body | "you are that"


IDDHARAMESHWAR  Maharaj is one of the greatest unknown saints of the age who attained the highest abode of Eternal peace. He was born in August 1888 in the small village of Pathri, in the district Sholapur of India.


Since his childhood he was very intelligent and had very sharp imbibe abilities. He did not study much at school but was very intelligent, clever and smart in his behaviour. He was always very straight forward and spoke with a thoughtful idea. He retorted his answers to every question with full meaning. At the age of 16, even though he was premature to work, he took a job as an accountant in a Marwadi firm at Bijapur. He did his work with earnestness and settled down in Bijapur. Here he met his master, Bhausaheb Maharaj, who had built a monastery [Math] in 1885 in the small village of Inchgiri in Karnataka. Bhausaheb Maharaj, understanding the mental capacity and lifestyle of the people then, started teaching meditation to his disciples at his monastery. The main aim or goal of teaching meditation was to attain Final Reality, or Self-realisation. This method is known as Pipilika Marg, or the ant's way.

After the passing away of Bhausaheb Maharaj in 1914, Siddharameshwar Maharaj focused his attention on the teachings of his master. In 1918, he renounced the world and joined his four brother disciples to popularise his master's teachings. In 1920, when he was on the tour of popularising his master's teachings, he got the idea that one should go beyond meditation because meditation is only an initial stage to Self-realisation. His brother disciples disagreed with him, saying that Bhausaheb Maharaj had never taught this. He agreed with them, but reiterated, "Okay! Can one not go beyond that?" He decided to set on that arduous path on his own and left them to return home to Bijapur. He said, "I will attain the ultimate Reality even at the cost of my life", and began meditated on a hill in the village. He continued for nine months without any break, and his efforts were finally rewarded. He then explained that one can achieve Self-realisation via the Vihangam Marg, the bird's way. Ignorance has come by hearing and thinking, and so by contemplating and practising the teachings of the master one could attain the Truth. Ignorance is nothing but thoughts, and if all thoughts get absorbed in Reality, one can easily attain freedom.

In 1925, he began teaching the Vihangam Marg, step by step. First he taught his disciples the knowledge of Reality, and then asked them to renounce everything, even the act of renunciation. He taught them that single-pointed devotion by oneness and non-differentiation inevitably lead to Reality. He always used a very simple and lucid language, giving examples from daily life to make it easy for them to understand the absolute Reality. In September 1936 at the age of 48, his body contracted a deadly boil, and on November 9th he passed away in Bombay.

From 1925 until 1936, he taught many disciples and helped dozens attain Self-realisation. His teachings were further spread around the globe by his most revered disciples, such as Ranjit Maharaj, Nisargadatta Maharaj, Muppin Kaadsiddheshwar Maharaj and Ganapatrao Maharaj Kannur. His samadhi shrine today is located at Banganga, Walkeshwar in Bombay.


OBJECTIVE  KNOWLEDGE


Men certainly reach Reality [Brahman] through devotion to the Self. All doubts are dispelled and all problems related to worldly life are resolved through Self-knowledge. This is my experience. The answer to "Who am I?" will reveal one's true nature. One who has the desire for his well-being, to be liberated from mental bondage, acquires the knowledge of the Self, sooner or later, and avoids birth and death. Man alone has the ability to think and to understand his true nature. To attain Self-realisation is to fulfil one's duty, which is to live as Reality while in a human form. The One who resides in each heart is Reality and He alone is real. He who takes refuge in the seen perishes, and he who takes refuge in Reality attains Eternal peace.

All appearance is illusion and the witness is Reality. The seen is false because it is visible. The individual seer remains only as long as the objects are taken to truly exist. There is nothing apart from the seer and the seen in the world. Whatever is seen is an illusion created by the eyes. In a mirror a face is seen, but the fact is that there is only one "you". One who worships the Self will become the Self because you become whatever you worship. The mortal world is only dust, so why worship it?

When objective knowledge comes to an end, the individual seer does not survive as a seer. At that moment, the pride of "I" just melts away. As the individual being is conceptual, so also is the seer. If you call this city "Bombay", it appears as Bombay; if you call it earth, it will appear as earth. It all depends upon the seer's concept. If you call an object a chair, it is a chair; if you call it wood, it is wood. If you call the all as Reality, then the all is Reality. If you call it the world, it is the world. Perception of objects depends on the concept of the seer. But Reality is beyond concept and no concept can capture It.

There is a woman whom one man calls his "wife", another calls his "sister" and a third calls his "daughter". Actually she is nothing but a lump of flesh and bones. Whatever you give a name to comes to exist. All is conceptual and depends upon the concept of the seer. The world and the beings in it are conceptual. The "seer" who takes the world to be real is the ego, and that ego has to be eradicated. If the ego vanishes, then only Reality remains.

King Dhrutarashtra of the Mahabharata was blind. He gave birth to a hundred sons called Kauravas and had pride in them. The one who embraces the body as oneself is the blind Dhrutarashtra. He is also the one who is called Ravana, a demon in the mythological book Ramayana. One should have a feeling that all the objects are untrue and Reality alone exists. All objects are demons and because you give them the status of the demons, you are King Ravana. Ravana is not the rightful king. He is not the Lord. Because you consider the objects as being true, you become Ravana. You have to get rid of this Ravana "I". The "I" does not exist. Getting rid of the "I" can be called a wishful death.



In the Ramayana it is stated that Ravana was a great devotee of Lord Shiva and on the request of Ravana, Shiva gave him a boon of wishful death. Ravana rules over fourteen regencies [i.e. the fourteen senses: five each of knowledge and action, mind, intellect, consciousness and the ego]. When God rules over the earth, the demons go to the lower regions, and when the demons rule over the earth, God goes away and performs penance. If the objects are taken to be true, it means that the demons are ruling and God is not there. There is no trace of Him. But when God becomes victorious [i.e. when the determination or the feeling comes that all these objects are untrue], then the demon "I" also disappears. When the ego is destroyed, then all is Reality. One has to practice that the "I" and all objects are untrue. A Self-realised being feels that all is Reality. The food, the wooden plank on which one sits while taking meals, for him or her the spouse and water are all expressions of Reality. All is Reality. Your should study and practice this. Then it will be God's rule.

Reality is without attributes: it is not colour, it is not music, it is not yellow or black, etc. The ghee [purified butter] which is liquid and the ghee which is solid are the same just as water and ice is the same. When a seed [form of earth] meets earth, there is a rise of consciousness. All that you see and perceive is nothing but the Reality. What you see is only the qualified consciousness just as you see that bangles or armlets are both made out of gold.

You must stop insisting that good alone should happen to this body. You have become the gross body because only one body is the object of your concept. Servants and the attendants should be considered as God. There is no other Reality with or without quality. All is Govinda [God]. Because we categorise all objects, there is the ego. You perceive the wife as wife, the daughter as daughter, the horse as horse and the dog as dog. They are all Reality only. There is no need to change the form of the objects. Only the attitude of the seer must change. Reality is the same even when it is in a state with attributes. You should see Reality in whatever state He exists. Even the atoms and molecules of a chair are all Lord Krishna [Reality]. Once this attitude is taken, then you yourself are Reality. Even though one sleeps, awakens, or goes about, one has not slept, awakened, gone about or taken a meal. When all is Reality who is eating and sleeping? The one who is without quality and the one with quality who is speaking are both God. Whether a king is sitting on the throne or hunting, he is always a king. The one who is walking and talking is the idol of consciousness. One is a devotee when one gives names to different objects as well as to himself or herself and is a saint, or the Supreme Self [Paramatman], when one looks upon the creation as Supreme Reality [Parabrahman]. To forget the Supreme Self while eating food is just turning the food into faeces. The silkworms are better, as the silk wear made from their cocoons are used by priests while worshipping God.

Those who desire hells can digest hell. Gods and demons are right here. Gods and the demons together churned the ocean of the world which produced nectar and wine. Lord Vishnu gave the nectar to the gods and the wine to the demons. To say "Vishnu did this" means the inner sense-consciousness did this. Both nectar and wine are right here. It is within our own hand to drink the nectar and to become Immortal. One who "awakes" will achieve Reality. All are God. May all be happy. If you practice this and take it to heart, then the realisation will be that "All is Reality." One has to water a plant until it grows roots, and then it will grow by itself. You should persist in your practice until you achieve Reality.


REALITY


Reality is One and only One, without any duality. Reality is only One, besides It, nothing else exists. Then why does It appear as a universe? There is only gold in various ornaments, nothing else. Later on, they are named as bracelets, bangles, necklaces, etc. They are all different but their base is just gold and nothing else. But then, what appears is untrue. Even if many shapes are given to gold by bending and twisting, it is nothing else but gold. The name and the form are nothing and are untrue. Why do we call someone Haralal [diamond]? Just to spot him out. He does not excrete diamonds. The world of name and form is untrue, but consciousness alone is true.

If it is gold, the colour and the appearance are the same. Even if a camel is made of gold, it is gold and even if Lord Vishnu is made out of it, it is still gold. In all that, only the gold exists. Existence is all-pervading, even in inanimate objects like chairs. In a chair, it is only the wood that exists. Similarly in this world everything else is conceptual. There is nothing else other than Reality. One should see without categorising, then the "seer" is no more. "I" must be uprooted. This is the purpose of the entire struggle in Vedanta. Because "I" is like Rahu and Kehi, the two demons who swallow the entire sun. [In India when a solar eclipse occurs people say that the sun is swallowed by these two demons.] Fire itself never says that it comes from the house of an "untouchable". Even when you are effulgent like the sun, "I", the Rahu, has come to obstruct you. The Self is forever shining but it is swallowed by the "I".

When the ego-self disappears, that is the sign of the ultimate experience. Ego is not Reality, but appears as such. Everything is consciousness. It is not necessary to say, "I am Reality." Birth and death belong to this "I". The five elements, as well as consciousness, are just as they are, but the subtle body which calls itself "I" and which is full of desire eventually succumbs to death. When someone tells us, "Wamanroa has expired", it means the name is dead. He came therefore he died. Eradicate from your mind that you are some particular "I". That is the sign of "knowledge". He who says, "I am the one who experiences" is swallowed by Rahu and still remains within the illusion.

It is the hand that lifts, but you say "I lift". The eyes see but you say, "I see". The nose smells, but you say, "I smell". All this is the power of the Self and yet you say, "I did it". That power belongs to God. Who is this ego arrogating "I"? He has no place in the palace, but once admitted inside, he overrules the king and affirms his own existence. But after some enquiry, this ego's existence is easily disproved. Then the king once again affirms, "I am Reality." There is one thing about this condition – there is bliss. If there are two, then there is pain. Where there is One, there is bliss.

An aspirant invariably faces the question, "Shall we continue to run our household or shall we leave it altogether?" Whether one runs a household or leaves it, it accounts to nothing. There is no sense in wearing a Holi bail leaf garland around the neck and yet having a rush of anger in the heart. If one is not attentive to one's inner Self, what is the use of the saffron coloured robe? The trees, tigers, beasts and birds do not run a household, but does this means that they have become saints? What is the use if one is not attentive to one's inner Self? One should be alert. The objective knowledge should prove to be untrue. All the affairs we are conducting in the world should prove themselves to be untrue and that which has been taken as untrue should be experienced as Truth.

What is the use if one is not detached internally? The attitude must change. To know that all this [moving manifest mundane existence] is false is an act of great bravery. One should be detached within oneself. Once one learns how not to get involved or how to renounce, one then gets the experience. In whatever circumstances or state one is in, one should be detached. Live as you like but renounce internally.

Objects are untrue. One must turn the attitude of the mind away from them and cultivate the attitude that the Self is Reality. Even if we consider the existing body of five elements as benign, still we know that they are dangerous. Even when one thinks that it is only the Self that can bring happiness, the great illusion [maya] tempts one and brings him or her back to the former condition. It is only when one becomes steady in Self with body, speech and mind can one achieve this knowledge. One can do anything, adorn oneself with gold, wear expensive garments, but the Guru's Grace comes to him alone who considers all this as untrue. If one is not truly renounced, all the efforts become futile.

One may wear gold, silver, a wire of brass or very expensive garments, yet there is no hope of experiencing joy in this life. A human being can never get peace from any of these. The Self only talks of the Truth and behaves the same way with its body, speech and mind. If one thinks "I am the body", then he will talk of the body alone. As is the flower, so is it's fragrance. Even when you are in this world, you should be as if you are not there. For Reality all are equal, whether it is a mundane existence or a forest. When you are not, how can the mundane existence be there? Live as you please but change your attitude. Then all is over. A true devotee of Lord Krishna named Chokamela was a butcher and used to live with a bone in his hand. You may eat good purified food, but what are you going to do with your mental modifications? You must become Reality and feel that all objects are untrue; your ego should not be there. Then truly you have become Reality.

There is nothing else than Reality. Only one's attitude has to change. This is an indication of renunciation. In sleep when there is no world, a king and a pauper are equal. When you leave the world at night as in sleep, how much do you feel happy. On that side, you do not need a world, a house, a job or a wife. When alone, one is all bliss. When you think that you have a lot of thing to do, you become miserable. When we have nothing to do, what is there to worry about? So, be happy. One who has a duty to perform is a labourer. Even if he is a king or a God, he has to labour.

Saints must show compassion. One who is desireless is the God of all gods. Be desireless at least once. This can happen only when you ridicule this world and feel that it is untrue. Take your mind off this world and fix it on the Self. The objects are untrue and Reality is the Truth. When you make this attitude your own, you are through. Then you are at liberty to live as you will. One who cannot dance finds the ground uneven, but one who wants the knowledge of the Self will somehow get it.

Prahlada, a great devotee of Lord Narayana, was ordered not to take the name of God by his father. Prahlada told his father, "You may be the owner of my body, yet you have no control over my mind." If you are very busy, identify your mind with Reality and perform the duty. Then the duty also becomes Reality. The intellect has to metamorphose. Mentally say, "I am Ram [consciousness]." Then whatever you do becomes consciousness. Reject the idea "I am so and so" and become the pervader of the whole universe.


SUPREME  SELF


One who was without quality was recognised in His qualityless nature. One who was meaningful got His own meaning. After many days He met himself. He was the Supreme Self, without qualities. He was taking his body as himself and had become miserable. He was released from birth and death after reaching Him to His original place, state. He was identified as He was originally. All the forms in the world is in his own Self. He is imminent in all, so He does not have the idea of difference. The curtain of difference was pulled away. At once he became the servant at his master's feet. To honour that Supreme Self for whom all that effort, scriptures and purpose were practised, all those methods became full of meaning. By God's Grace a birth in human species was acquired. If a man acts he can become God.

That came to bear fruit today. One's own nature was attained. A golden day dawned. He was satiated with the drink of the nectar of Immortality. Today I reached my own Home. All that labour was successful. We met ourselves after many, many years. We had missed each other. I was serving someone else taking him to be Myself. For millions of births we had missed ourselves. We were deluded. That delusion has gone away and He became the Supreme Self.

He was giving service and behaving as a donkey in the form of a body. Taking the body for the Self he was nursing it. In this way he wasted his whole birth. This is night in the form of ignorance – which is to labour for the donkey in the form of a body for one's whole life and then get born in the other various species. This ignorance is responsible for not allowing us to be aware of our true nature. This human birth is here to dissolve such ignorance. Poor fellow, he does not get any time during the night. This is itself the forgetting of one's own nature. Call it night or ignorance, that is the source of our misery.

For example, some friends of a retarded man made him drink a lot of liquor, and seeing him completely intoxicated, the other friends, according to what they had decided before, started crying aloud and spoke to the intoxicated man thus:
"What can we do when we see your condition, we feel so sad. Just a few minutes ago we had gone to your house when we saw that your wife had become a widow." As soon as he heard this the drunken man started howling and crying, and when other people asked him why he was crying, he told them that his wife had become a widow. "A mountain of misery has come down and is crushing me." Then they explained to him, "How can your wife become a widow while you are still alive? You being alive and your wife becoming a widow, are these two not contradictory things?" The drunkard, however, said, "No, no, you people do not understand anything. My friends recently had gone to my house, and they saw with their own eyes that my wife has become a widow."

Then all his friends had a good laugh at his stupidity. This ridiculous scene is not presented only in the case of the drunkard but such a blatant mistake is made by every human being. Without making use of their brain they look through other people's eyes. Let others say anything. My Self is pure and changeless, It is the light of all lights. It is impossible that It perishes at any time. He is of the nature of existence-consciousness-bliss, and is the witness of all. Yet, even if this is so, we still ask in such a pitiable way, "How can we achieve happiness?" And we pray for God's mercy thinking that we are caught up in a big calamity. We rub our nose before God and slap our own face. We even blurt out the words: "We are mean insects."

Yet this sort of situation is not at all proper. Find out the goal of your life and try to experience your Self. Remove that wrong feeling that you are mortal. You have created this false concept for yourself because you are intoxicated due to the drink called "ignorance". Stand up with confidence in Self. Turn within. Do not entertain any fear for anything. Eradicate completely the mental modification which goes out. Actually, if you think of your true nature by asking yourself "Who am I?", or "What am I?", you will realise that there is no one as great as you are. Have self-confidence. Make the thought, "I am the Supreme Self", steady within yourself. You will surely never fail to cross the ocean of this mundane existence. See only through the sight of Self. Do not look through other people's eyes. All the relations are ready to fool you.

Never mind the body while practising this, even if it goes to the gallows. "I am a witness of this body. Let the body stay or go, but my heart is at the feet of Panduranga [master]." Go on contemplating this and intuitive perception is sure to come. When one is practising this there are many obstacles that appear on the way. For example, there are seventeen hundred difficulties for a girl with a flat nose who has to get married.

Ignorant corpses are only moving about in the whole world. Life in ignorance is like death. Who is eating? All this service is for whom? You do not know. He serves six ghosts [the five elements and the ego]. This body has to perform many kinds of service till its death and the whole life was wasted. After death, according to hindu customs, the body and bones burn as a collection of wood and the hair burns as a bundle of grass. Those who were looking started weeping. This dead man asks, "Are you free from this fate, because you behave exactly as I did?" Even if the toilet is cleaned thoroughly, it is still a toilet. World means "living corpses", where there is no idea of one's own true nature. They serve this body, and take along with them a bundle of sins and virtues. This is worldly existence of an ignorant person. But when he knows Himself, and rejects all the pride that he is the body, then, immediately he meets Himself. Then all his actions have borne fruit.

According to the hindus, the ancestors keep waiting. The last of the seventy two generations has achieved, so they are happy. These mean thirty six ancestral generations of mother and thirty six of the father. One who has redeemed them was born to be one who knew his Self. That is the reason why, when a son is born they distribute sweets. It is impossible to describe the glory of Self-knowledge. Human life is meaningful because it is given with a purpose to achieve Self-knowledge. When that has been achieved it has indeed become fully meaningful. Its purpose has been served. For example, there are nine hundred thousand stars but it is only the moon that shines brightly. The sun rises, the rain falls, because there is only one who knows Reality. It is for the sake of that knower – therefore, there is no limit to his merit. Along with the position of the Immortal One he also gets a throne of Almighty.

Now, let what happens just happen. Let whatever was going, go, the last doubt is eradicated. We have to live a few days. Let us pass the days playfully in joy, then let this body die on a bed or on the ground. Wherever the diamond is placed it is sure to shine. It may be in one's hand or on one's neck. This Supreme Self in the form of Reality will likewise remain happy whatever the situation. The conviction should not shake. If the conviction is steadfast on Truth, then even on the path of knowledge, strength can be gained.

That body, which has the knowledge of Self in it, will perforce emit light. But there should be that one strong conviction, "I am the Lord who exists, I am the Lord who pervades." All that ought to have been achieved, He has achieved.

The world is as one looks at it. One who identified himself with the divine Self found all as Reality. If one becomes an ego [gross body] he finds the world accordingly: "For one who is good, the world is also good." The ignorant one finds the world full of different entities. For the realised person, "It is all One and there is no duality."

The rise of the physical eyes happens due to two people. Therefore, duality is seen. Oneness appears to the master's sons because they are born from One. The master gives the third eye, The Eye of Knowledge. Duality moved away. The veil of the illusion was pulled away on one side. Nothing appears as anything but One. The vision could see no difference. The state of being became sans difference. All that entered inside from outside created difference. But whatever is Truth is without difference. The five ghosts [elements] ran away. The ghost was exorcised. The bad period of seven and a half years [due to the wrong positioning of saturn] has passed away. All the nine planets have also gone away. All ran away to their respective homes. The ego himself vanished. A veil of dirt had come over him due to delusion. "I am the body", "I am a brahmin" – these ideas deluded him. Then he realised himself as the Supreme Self.

This monkey who acts according to his mind was eating fruits and flowers in the jungle. But when he met his master, he became God. He got that which belonged to him due to his master's advice. All is divine Self. One who saw Himself, his birth and death vanished. To see God in all beings is the worship song for God. One who is in the heart of all is God. Otherwise, some people were caught up in customs of purity and impurity, or a rosary or repeating mantra. Thus Saint Kabir says, "Worship the ever existing God, then 8.4 million births are evaded."


ATTAINMENT


The worldly illusion [samsara] is a dream within a dream. Having understood this, indeed you have thought of what is the real Truth and what is not. The One who is never born went off to sleep. He has no old age. He is one who has no death. How is it that a dream was seen during a dream? That is, "he slept and dreamt" means He is deluded. "He slept" means he has become ignorant and thinks "I am the body, I am so and so."

Reality was covered with ignorance and in that delusion there is again delusion, which is this mundane existence. It is a dream during a dream. The worldly illusion appears true. He was all pervading, He became small. Then he considered the worldly existence as true. In that very dream, he discriminated between Guru and disciple, merit and sin, and what is true and what is untrue. Other people pass away in this dream.
It is a piece of great fortune to think of what is true and what is untrue during this long dream.

"Even a dog does not eat a thing which belongs to a sinner." Renunciation of wealth, feeling of detachment and respect for a saint is the result of former merit and good fortune. He alone starts thinking of a sadhu. It is extraordinary to have such an intellect in the dream within a dream. To be conscious to be fully on senses, inspite of taking a doze of brandy shows that though money brings demonic pride, he still is on his senses. This is his good fortune. He is in a dream within a dream. But on account of his virtuous intellect he went to a Guru and discriminated between the True and untrue. He got the experience that everything else is false and "I am Reality". This means that he has woken up from one dream. When in this dream he deliberated again he came to the further conclusion that even saying "I am Reality" is false – the whole
world and words are illusion. As a result he became tranquil by staying in his own blissful state. Truth was revealed.

He fully realised "I am Reality." This condition means "I am fully awake." Not only the delusion but also "I have experienced" vanished. For if one says that he has experienced the Self, it means that he has taken himself to be different from the Self. The real test is when the self has no sense of "I". If the mango says, "I found myself sweet", then it is not a mango. If you say that "you had an experience", that means your "I", ego is still there. The idea that "I had an experience" is a delusion. The "I" in "I have become knowledgeable", or "I have become Reality" is ego. The former "I" should disappear. Whatever was before naturally is Reality. The thorn "I" has to be extracted, then you are through. When you become all-pervading, you become Reality. The sense of "I" disappears. It is One only and there is nothing else than That.
To go beyond nothing is to be in thoughtless Reality.


BODY


How is Reality? It has no quality nor shape. Reality is unattached and never changes. It has no limits, that is what the sages say. It is the natural state that remains when all the four bodies [the physical, the subtle, the causal, i.e., complete ignorance, and the supra causal, i.e., knowledge "I am"] are set aside. One who knows his beingness is called "God". Whatever remains prior to the "beingness", or knowledge, is Reality. After transgressing the four built in bodies, whatever remains is shapeless, detached, in Its own natural state and is steady. It never goes anywhere nor does It come from anywhere. That is Supreme Reality, the Innermost [Antahkarana].

The seer, the witness, the one who sees and the one who sleeps is God [Ishwara]. He is a concept conceived through intelligence. When He sleeps He is quiet. One who experiences the state of awakeness does not disappear when experiencing the state of unconsciousness or sleep. Why can't we express joy in sleep? Because the mind and the intellect are not at all there. Only when one awakes, can one express the experience.

A woman's nose-ring fell into the water. She told one man to find it and inform her as soon as it is found. The man found the ring deep inside the water, but obviously could not inform her instantly as he was completely under the water. As the water and fire are enemical to each other the power of the deity of fire was absent when he was immersed in the water. Thus he could inform the lady that the nose-ring is found only when he came out of the water. Just like this one can not express anything in sleep, for during sleep there are no instruments that are required for expression. The mind is not touched by anything and so cannot say anything. A man climbs up the stairs, but if his mind is not touched by the question of how many stairs he climbed, then he would not be able to tell the number. But the Self knows, on the whole, that he has climbed the stairs.

He [Self] was there during sleep, during awakeness and during samadhi. Who is experiencing sleep and samadhi? He alone! If he were not there, who could sleep? So Self is consciousness and of the nature of knowingness, and prior to that is Supreme Reality. The the innermost Self is the "I". He is God and His nature is always consciousness. They may be beasts, birds, deities, demons, Ram, Krishna, yet He resides in the heart of all. If He is not there, the objects become dead like logs of wood. When He disappears, the ears, eyes, nose, etc., are all useless. When He disappears all objects become immovable. Because of Him, is all the grandeur. If He goes then all is perishable. It is due to Him, that there is worldly activity, as well as spiritual understanding. All this is due to His existence.

Till such time that He is there, gods, demons, customs, etc., are there. But if He leaves, people do not touch the body. It is the inner Self that gives the status of God to the body. One who calls the body "God" is none else than this Self. The one who writes the Vedas is also the inner Self. So long as this inner Self keeps interests in the worldly ideas, till then He is the individual self, or gross body [jiva]. If He starts talking of knowledge He is Shiva. When jiva and Shiva both disappear, what remains is Supreme Reality.

If a man works as an officer, he is an officer; if he works as a judge, he is a judge; but when he retires from everything he is thoughtless Reality. There is nothing [i.e., emptiness or ignorance] and beyond that is the Fourth body which is of the nature of God. When a man worships a multitude of gods and goddesses, like Keshava [one name of Lord Vishnu], that worship goes straight to the inner Self. Keshava [ke means "knowledge" and shava means "corpse"] is in the form of knowledge in the body, and the body is a corpse without the knowledge. After worship, the offering of food is shown to that idol God and then consumed by the devotee. Each being, knowingly or unknowingly worships the inner Self alone, but does so without understanding. Therefore he is an ego-self, or ignorant being. If he worships with the full understanding that he is God, that he is Reality, then he becomes Shiva, one with true knowledge.

All these gross bodies are actually walking and talking temples. Due to ignorance the children enjoy themselves by building a make-belief house out of stones. Like this, they use a small rock to serve as a utensil for drinking water, another stone to serve as a bowl and another to serve as God. In the same way, ignorant people worship by creating idols. God has consciousness and knowingness [the power to know], yet an idol does not. The fool, the ignorant person, worships an idol. Those who have yet no knowledge of Self have to worship an idol. But if they recognise whose idols they are, how wonderful it would be! The one who recognises this is the man of knowledge [jnani]. The ignorant man makes a make-belief God and worships him – the "knower" recognises the God of gods as his own Self and then offers his worship. Shankaracharya
called the inner Self "the original illusion". God may have an infinite number of names yet the Truth is only One. For example, if a child calls his own father "uncle", does it mean that the man loses his fatherhood?




Through the medium of this God one will understand the natural state of the Absolute [Parameshwar]. If this God becomes steady, one will understand Supreme Reality. This God-consciousness is in the form of the power of knowing, the will power and the power of matter. Hence, it is constantly moving. If this mundane existence is ignored and the God-consciousness becomes still, then only He will remain. When he becomes God he realises his ignorance, that to do something means to take an incarnation. God is unsteady while Supreme Reality is steady. To know the nature of both the steady and the unsteady is true knowledge. The intellect of the students of the Vedas gets puzzled while thinking of this subject.

The source of all this universe is this individual self, yet the true source of this world is this phase of "sprouting knowingness", which has no head or tail. On one side the world is created and the other side everything vanishes. If one's nature is known, the self disappears. The steady nature is always there and the unsteady one perishes. The steady admits of no change but the unsteady, or the self, admits change. The unsteady self has passion, desire, anger, greed, pride, etc. If someone calls him "good", he swells with pride and if another calls him "bad", he becomes sad. The self is subject to change. One who calls the changeless and the changing as the same is a beggar. It means that he is caught in the realm of the five elements, the illusory appearance of maya.

The essence of the Vedas is that "You are that Principle, the Self." The Self is beyond the four bodies and is encased in the five sheaths [koshas]:

1. The cover of food – the outside body consisting of blood, flesh, bones, hair, etc., produced from food.

2. The cover of vital airs – the five vital airs [pranas].

3. The cover of the mind – along with concepts.

4. The cover of the intellect – along with concepts such as "sin" or "virtue", "I am so and so", etc.

5. The cover of happiness – rest, sleep, etc., where one is happy having forgotten everything that produces unhappiness.

If one forgets everything, then all is bliss. One is happy because one has forgotten all sorrows. Where does the ego-self find happiness? The answer is "in forgetfulness". Unknowingly one enjoys happiness during sleep. Narada [name of a saint in Indian mythology] is our mind. He goes round all the three worlds, namely the gross, the subtle and the causal worlds. This mind sings praise to the Lord and also enters into arguments and quarrels. He always has a begging bowl under his arm. The begging bowl is his stomach. When one goes to the office or to a place where devotional songs are sung, it is sure that the mind will take the begging bowl along with him.

Self is beyond all the states. Recognise the five sheaths explained above. Three hundred and thirty million deities are on the summit. All are for the sake of the body. Twenty five principles, five sheaths of the ego-self and the three qualities [sattva, rajas and tama] make up these three hundred and thirty million deities who live in the city of Kashi [the body]. After transgressing the five sheaths, Vishwanath, the ruling deity of this city can be contacted. Then, here itself, it is Kashi [a holy place] for you. Whatever is in the microcosm is also in the macrocosm. Thus, then we have to put forward infinite number of arguments as Supreme Reality has to be proved. The individual being is one who can be talked about, or indicated, and whatever is expressed through the individual's speech is in words only.

What is the real nature of God? The answer is Virat [the all-pervading Spirit in the form of the universe], made up of the five elements. The subtle form of Virat is the three hundred and thirty million gods, which is called hiranya garbha. His causal body is the Unmanifest [Avyakta], which is the state of the primordial Unmanifest essence [Prakriti], before any change occurred. This is existence-consciousness-bliss. This is the indication of the status of God.

The ego-self has four bodies, namely the gross, the subtle, the causal and the supra causal body. The first three can be described. The supra causal body is the goal to be achieved. From the earth comes the body. You may say that the body is a part of Him. The air outside and in the body are one and the same. Then how can one say that this air belongs to you or me? Air is only one.

Desire and senses make up the mind. The deity of the mind is the moon. Mind [moon] is treacherous to the Guru [Sun]. It does not go to Him. The mind is accused of treachery to the Guru because it does not want to get Self-knowledge from Him. It knows it will die in the process.

Both the senses and the body have the same expression and the same goal. Therefore, jiva and Shiva are One – the individual self is none other than Reality. Jiva has four bodies, Shiva has four bodies. The eighth body, or primordial maya, is steady.
That is His primordial nature. Whatever is Supreme Reality is what cannot be expressed in words. The God of the transitory is called "Ishwara", and that God's devotee is also transitory. Both of them are false, perishable, therefore jiva and Shiva are ignorance. Do not get tempted by these. All these are perishable and false. One who knows or recognises this Truth leaves them alone. He is a jnani – the knower.


" YOU  ARE  THAT "


Thought of liberation and bondage are present only during the state of ignorance. The Original nature is self-evident. It is neither bound nor liberated. The problem of bondage and liberation rises only because man, enveloped in ignorance, takes himself to be the body and the doer of all the bodies actions.

Does Self-realisation mean remaining actionless, remaining motionless? In that case, when King Janaka ruled a kingdom even after Self-realisation, was everything lost? [
read story below] Shuka Deva, a great sage, had also realised the Self. How did he and other sages write mythological books? If remaining motionless like a log of wood means being Reality, then Shuka Deva and Vamadeva would be like dead bodies. And how then could Shuka Deva recite the Bhagavad Gita to the dying King Parikshita? It is necessary to put forward various versions and say things clearly when the master gives sermons. If that is so, then how can this work be done if one is motionless? Does it mean that the one who gives sermons is not realised? How can you say he has not not reached Final Reality? To be motionless does not mean becoming a realised person. Knowledge of Reality is obtained through the teaching of the master. If a realised person becomes motionless then who will teach this knowledge? To be motionless or to be unconscious is to do with the body and has nothing to do with Reality.

Everything is the Self. If someone has the experience of Self all of a sudden, he becomes quiet. After this experience, consciousness stirs back, and again he becomes conscious of the body. "He is free for a moment and gets bound the next moment", means he has not understood at all what is Reality. If one continues to remain in body-consciousness, one will never be liberated. Even the gods will never become liberated if they remain in body consciousness.

Self is beyond bondage or liberation. Those who talk about bondage and liberation are only talking about the nature of illusion. The Truth, or the nature of Self, is self-evident. Bondage and liberation have no meaning in Truth. One who says he is bound is a fish in the ocean of this mundane existence, and one who says he is liberated is a crocodile. One who has bound himself with the stone in the form of an idea that he is liberated will go to hell [patal], the lowest region. One who says, "Till now I have committed a number of sins and actions, and therefore I was bound, but now I am free", goes to the very base of the ocean of worldly transmigration. He is in great danger.
The jnanis have considered them as fools. Even at the time of committing a sin he was the Self, but he did not know that. So what great thing has happened if he says he now knows Him. He is still searching as he always was, as the duality is still present. A jnani has no concept of "I" or "you". If "I" or "you" remains intact, one is still eclipsed. Those who know their own nature are the ones who know they are beyond the body. Those who are ignorant continue to maintain contact with the body. That which gets into bondage is the body. Where is the bondage if one knows that he is not the body?

One who has the purest knowledge of the Truth thinks that being "bound" and "free" is all a joke. When the illusion vanishes for him, with all names and forms, then all words become silent. Then, how can anything like "liberation" still remain? What is the meaning of "liberation"? That is only a way in which people talk. All the bondage is for him who says he is the body. A jnani is free from the sense of "I". For him "bound" and "liberated" is only a delusion. "Bound" and "liberated" are only expressed concepts, which are never true. One who has understood the illusion is free from all fear. The one who says, " I will practise Yoga after I become Reality" is like the one going in search of water in a mirage. It means that such people are simply going backwards and forwards within a mirage. One who considers a mirage as true gets bound by it. For the man who is awake, the dream disappears. In the same way, this mirage which is in the form of illusion disappears for the jnani.

So far as one's own nature is concerned, the relationship to the body itself is untrue. Trying to contemplate on one who admits of no contemplation is not possible. As far as Reality is concerned, no contemplation is possible. But man has a habit of seeing and contemplating something which is not true. If one cannot see or think about the Self, then what can one do? If one contemplates on a thing then that thing can be known, but the nature of Self can never be known by the mind. Yet, the nature of "knowingness" is very strong and cannot be discarded, so what can one do?

The Truth [Reality] is beyond concept. When one starts meditating, the trinity of the seer, seen and process of seeing is produced. All other objects and senses are alien to us, but because we ourselves are the Truth, contemplation on our Self is not possible. If contemplation is given up, great doubts overpower us. But if one thinks and deliberates upon what is everlasting and what is transient, that is, what is Self and what is not-Self, then the Truth is revealed. We are not any of the things that exist in this world, including the body. The Vedas, the scriptures, the moon, the sun – we are none of these. We must sincerely find out who we are.

"I am Reality". So, you must first understand who this "I" is. The word "I" comes from within, so you must be somewhere within. Where there is nothing, that is called the "causal body". It is also called ignorance. There is more happiness in the subtle body than in the gross body. There is, of course, happiness in the causal body. If everything is rejected, then only the one who rejects everything remains. That is the Eternal witness, existence-knowledge-bliss [sat-chit-ananda]. He is the one that perceived the "nothingness" during sleep. Existence-knowledge-bliss is the Fourth body. He is God. That "there is nothing" is known without the help of the mind. When you don't even feel that "I am", then the modification of the mind which says "I am" remains motionless in peace. It is not even necessary to see how that modification is. If one forgets the causal body, only then one has to remember it. It is not possible to forget it, so no contemplation is to be practised. One should meditate as advised without any concept. Nothing is to be brought to the mind and nothing is to be known, otherwise duality will rise – the mind and the "other" which is brought to the mind. Knowing the conceptless Reality, there is no necessity of applying any instrument, any "I", to improve knowledge. If one tries to understand without discriminating, then duality ensues. The sense of "beingness" means "I am the one remaining"; this also has to be left alone. Unless the "I" dies, heaven can never be seen.

Supreme Reality is non-dualistic, One. Everything that appears within It is That. To know That you must be That. This does not require any other means or an instrument. If we want to experience some other object, we first have to see it. But because we are That already, we are by nature That alone. When we give up the consciousness of all the rest, then we remain as we are. We have never forgotten our true nature, so it is unnecessary to try and remember it. It has to be remembered only when we forget it. Therefore, our nature is beyond remembering and forgetting. That which can be remembered and forgotten is prone to death, but there is no death for That.

Supreme Reality is the natural state and exists right from the beginning without doing or thinking anything. It is self-evident. In that natural state, there
is neither happiness nor misery. Happiness is pervaded by misery. They exist together. First comes misery, and in that misery there is a little happiness.

As soon as a concept rises, dualism rises. Truth is One, but when we imagine something other, we become two. When you played marbles in childhood, whatever knowingness power you had then is the same as you have now. You do not have to remember how it was. To forget everything is to remember Self. It is well done if you even forget that "I am Self". Experience without experiencing. During sleep you experience your true Self without making any effort. There is not even a sense of "experiencing". Self can never leave. Who will leave whom? If one tries to see It, or hold It, Self recedes far back in the distance. We have got to sleep to know sleep. When you stop making effort, then you will know Him. Making effort is an obstruction in the way of knowing Him. You must reject the "I" after knowing "I am". Till now you were told that the impulse of knowledge is "I". But now you should reject it. One who uses this method of "I am not, you are not, there is nothing" is indeed fortunate. Nothing is to be done. You are not the one which imagines or conceives; you are not even that which is conceived. The knower gets absorbed in thoughtless Reality. This is the basis of the knowledge of Reality. When you go beyond knowledge and ignorance, you will find that nothing exists. Beyond nothing is Supreme Reality. You are That.


KING  JANAKA  AND  SHUKA  DEVA
A saint who chose a king as his spiritual guide

This is the story of King Janaka and Shuka Deva, a wonderful tale that exemplifies non-attachment [aparigraha] or the art of living in the world, but not being of the world.

Long ago there lived a great sage named Byasa. He was the writer of the greatest hindu scripture, the Bhagavad Gita. By his great spiritual power he invoked a saintly soul to enter the womb of his wife. As the baby grew within the womb, he taught the unborn child the secrets of the scriptures through the subconscious mind of the mother. This baby, when born, was named Shuka Deva. Because of his prenatal training, he proved to be a most unusual child. At the age of seven he was already versed in the difficult hindu scriptures and was ready to renounce the world and seek a true master.

In India it is customary for a devotee to seek out spiritual teachers until he finds the one whom he recognises as his own God-chosen master or Guru. The novice, through inner fitful urgings, receives lessons from various sources, but when his spiritual ardor becomes very great, God sends him a Guru. God uses the divine soul-vehicle of the Guru as His messenger or instrument to bring the novice back to his spiritual home in Omnipresence.

When Shuka Deva decided to go in search of his Guru, his father advised him to go to King Janaka, the ruler of the province. As Shuka Deva entered the royal palace he saw the king sitting on an emerald and diamond-studded golden throne surrounded by courtiers and by scantily clad women who were fanning him with big palm leaves [as is the custom in India during the hot season]. King Janaka was smoking a big oriental pipe. This sight shocked Shuka Deva; he turned back and started walking briskly out of the palace. He muttered, "Shame on my father for sending me to that matter-soaked king! How could such a worldly man be my teacher?"

But King Janaka was both a king and a saint. He was in the world, but not of the world. Highly advanced spiritually, he could telepathically sense the thoughts of the fleeing Shuka Deva. The saint-king sent a messenger after the boy, commanding him to come back. Thus the master and the devotee met.

King Janaka put Shuka Deva through a process of discipline to teach him the art of living in the world without acquiring misery-making attachment to it. One day the king gave his new disciple two cup-shaped lamps, filled to the brim with oil. Janaka said, "Hold a lamp on the palm of each hand, and enter all the gorgeously furnished rooms of the palace. Come back to me after you have seen everything, but remember, I will refuse to train you further if you spill a single drop of oil on the carpets."

King Janaka instructed two messengers to accompany Shuka Deva and to refill the two lamps with oil as quickly as they burned down. It was a hard test, but after two hours, Shuka Deva returned triumphantly without having dropped any oil from the lamps in his hands.

The king said, "Young Shuka Deva, tell me in detail what you saw in chamber of my palace." To this Shuka Deva replied, "Royal Preceptor, my only accomplishment was that I did not spill any oil on your carpets. My mind was so concentrated on the thought of not dripping oil that I did not notice anything in the rooms."

King Janaka then declared, "I am disappointed! You have not completely passed my test. My injunctions were that you should see everything in all the chambers of my palace and that you should not drip any oil from the lamps. Go back with the lamps, and remember, no spilling of the oil while you are looking carefully at everything about the palace."

After ten hours, Shuka Deva calmly returned. He had not allowed any oil to drip, nor was he sweating with excitement as before. He could answer all the king’s questions about the contents, however minute, of all the palace chambers.

King Janaka was pleased. "My son", he said gently, "attachment to possessions is the source of misery. In this world we do not own anything – we are only given the use of things. Some have more to use than others, but remember, the millionaire and the poor man alike have to leave everything, all possessions, when death comes. One should not live a one-sided life thinking only of God and neglecting one’s duties in the world – like your concentrating on the oil lamps and not seeing my palace. But on the second trip you kept your attention principally on the lamps without spilling oil, and at the same time thoroughly and minutely saw everything in the palace. So should you keep your attention on God, not letting a drop of your desire slip away from the lamp of God-revealing wisdom, and yet devote part of your attention to thoroughly performing the God-given duties of maintaining yourself and others given into your charge."

This instructive story shows the basis of the world's troubles. Indifference to spiritual matters leads to selfishness and unequal prosperity amidst plenty, and finally to widespread economic depression. Hence those who want the unlimited divine Power to work for them in business and family affairs ought to be as earnest about meditation as they are about earning money. He who makes it his business to have communion with God first, will find imperishable inner happiness as well as outer material comforts. We must not be too busy to try to realise the presence of God. lf God stops our hearts from beating, we will not have any chance for business success. Since all our success depends upon powers borrowed from God, we should give enough time to God-communion.

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