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ramana maharshi | who am I? | guru | self-enquiry | spiritual instruction | wisdom | words | silence | daily talks | reality | padam - formless self | arunachala
abide in the self | upadesa tiruvahaval | annamalai swami | self alone is real | swami rama tirtha | real self | i am that | practical freedom | sun of self
h.w.l. poonja | freedom now | remembering | meeting ramana | who is aware of consciousness? | who are you? | words | no practice | final abode | lion's roar
eternal rest | peace is always everywhere | plunge into eternity | i am eternal self | summa iru | wisdom | here and now in lucknow | reject everything
ma anandamayi | words | old tcheng | sayings | siddharameshwar maharaj | beyond nothing | perfection of material science | master key | non-action | self
nisargadatta maharaj | words | a great maharashtrian jnani | self-knowledge and self-realisation | meet the sage | detachment | awareness | who am I?
life | "i am" | all is a dream | guru and disciple | ranjit maharaj | meeting siddharameshwar | everything is nothing | forget everything | death is not true
real and unreal | u.g. krishnamurti | natural state | words | remembering | no separation | nothing to understand | chief joseph | way of the warrior
advaita | vedanta | devikalottara | supreme wisdom | atma sakshatkar | direct awareness of the self | vichara mani mala | jewel garland of enquiry
avadhuta gita | ever-free | ashtavakra gita | purest expression of truth | ribhu gita | heart | wisdom | bhagavad gita | essence | the song celestial
adi shankaracharya | atma bodha | aparokshanubhuti | dakshinamurti strotram | dasasloki | nirvana shatkam | drik drisya viveka | vivekachudamani
seng tsan | faith mind | gaudapada | mandukya karika | katha upanishad | death as teacher | yoga vasistha | dispassion | seeker's behaviour | essence
ramakant maharaj | reality has nothing to do with words | lama guendune rinpoché | free and easy | ellam ondre | all is one | william samuel | now



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

"Final Reality has no beginning and no end."

UESTION :  Would you say that Reality is silence reflecting itself?

Ranjit: You can see the space, you can observe the space, you can feel the space, but Reality is beyond space. Space is zero. No silence is there, no voice is there, no peace is there, no state is there. All these are conditional things. When you sleep, you feel happy, but Reality is beyond happiness, take it for granted. Reality is beyond silence, beyond peace, beyond happiness, beyond everything. Action and reaction are opposite and equal, it is like that. There is nothing in Reality. If anything would have been there, that would have been something other than Reality and not He. Nothing disturbs Him. And why doesn't He get disturbed? Because nothing exists. When you sleep, nothing exists. Then you feel peace there. Why? Because, for example, suppose a man is running in a race during the whole day. When he wins that race, he is sweating and breathing so much. But that is not the pleasure, winning is the pleasure. Nothing is required for Reality, otherwise that would have disturbed the Reality.

Question: So then, Reality is known by itself only?

Ranjit: That will do, at least. Otherwise, that is also not there. How can It see anything?

Question: It speaks for itself?

Ranjit: It doesn't speak either. Forget this point, it's easier. There's no experience in It. What experience have you got when you sleep? Is there something there, some knowledge? Are you even conscious of being asleep? Everything disappears. So, nothing is there, not even knowledge or consciousness. It's beyond knowledge and beyond zero. It's beyond ignorance and knowledge. Knowledge is a concept, nothing else. Just yesterday I said, "Darkness and light go together." When a light is turned off, then darkness appears. You have not to even call for it. And if again you turn on the light, darkness automatically disappears.

You have not to say, "Please guy, go out", because they are one. In the same way, knowledge and ignorance are both one. In my master's words, Siddharameshwar Maharaj, "Knowledge is the greatest ignorance." By knowledge, we know that which is nothing, and that is a trick, nothing else. One should know the trick. A magician does many quick movements, and everything disappears all of a sudden. Here, it is also the same. Master only teaches you this trick. There's no master and no aspirant in the Reality. Both are not there, they cannot remain. How can duality be there when there is completeness? When there is duality, there is incompleteness. Only oneness is complete. We have to use the word, "oneness". Why? Because you see so many things, so you have to use the word "oneness". But in Reality, there is neither peace, nor any state. "Peace", "state", "samadhi" are only methods. They are the real poison, because they take you away from It, and as a result your ego becomes stronger and stronger.

Then the question may arise from the aspirant, "What should I do?" Do nothing! Words only go up to the space. Lord Krishna says in the Bhagavad Gita, "There, from where the words come, that is my Self. That is my Self." The same thing was said by Christ in the Bible: "Know thyself and you know the world." Go up to that point where thinking ends, go up to That, and there is the Self. So, I always call it, "Self without self." So, Self realisation is Self without self. As long as realising remains, self remains. The eyes have got the habit to see that which is not. You say, "This is a chair", but it is not. The child will say, "This is water." His parents will say, "No, no, it's called an ocean." They pour more ignorance into him. On the contrary, he is right, it's nothing but water. He submits to their instructions. Ignorant people will always like ignorance and will not like knowledge. In the Hindi scripts it is written, "Mind has got the curse not to hear the master." Mind doesn't like it. All the people around you are just full of ignorance and they want to support their ignorance. They don't want to get rid of their ignorance. People don't like to go and see a saint and also don't like it when other people go because they're afraid to lose a person from their circle. The saint takes you up to That, up to the Reality and says, "Understand yourself." This is the position.

Question: But life springs out from Reality. Isn't life under the authority of Reality?

Ranjit: The whole dream is reflected from where? From zero, from consciousness. It is not reflected from Reality, it is reflected from zero. In ignorance you forget the Reality and then something appears. Whatever comes from zero must be unreal, a mere dream, and this dream is reflected from consiousness. In sleep we forget everything, but when we wake up, everything returns at once, in a fraction of a second. So, from where does everything come? Not from Him. If it came from Him, then it would be the Reality and if so, nothing would appear. When you understand that you are Reality, then how can ignorance appear?

Question: It could be a game for Reality to express itself in the manifestation.

Ranjit: It's a trick only. Here at zero, you can dream up whatever you wish, anything. You may never expect to get something, but still you may perhaps get it. It has not come from you – everything which is there has come out from this ignorance. Ignorance has come about by hearing. Now, you have to hear the master and follow what he says, and then all ignorance vanishes. Go to the master and tell him, "Put my name on your record." You go to school and put the name of the boy in the school, no? And then, he has to go to the school and learn. It's the same way here, also. One should go to the master and what he says, accept it. If you accept it, then you can achieve the goal very fast, within a fraction of a second. Why not?

Question: I would like to know about death. I am not afraid of death myself, but I have some relatives who are. So, how am I to relate to them?

Ranjit: Let them understand what they understand. You first understand yourself that death is nothing. If you teach them, they won't hear you. But still you know yourself that, "I am birthless, I am deathless. I have never taken a birth and I will never die." Keep that knowledge in your mind. If somebody you know is dying then tell them, "Don't fear. Don't fear. Die." [Laughs] You should say in your mind, "When you die, don't worry, because all fear disappears." For example, a serpent is there. Take his poisonous tooth out and play with him. Then he is not going to do anything with you, no? Let people say, "Oh, watch out, you are playing with a serpent!" You can say to them, "Okay, I'm playing. Do you want to play also?" They all won't do it, because they are in fear. You know that you have taken out the poisonous tooth of the serpent and so it's not going to do any harm to you. Death is nothing. Everyday, when you sleep it's like a small death, and you don't fear that death because you know that you will get up tomorrow. But suppose you die during sleep, then what to do? Why to fear? Nothing is there. Everything is an illusion. Keep your mind in that fearless state only. Let others have fear. Just as the poisonous tooth is taken out, in the same way, play with the world, there is no harm. It won't affect your mind. Live fearlessly – no death, no fear, knowing that, "I am that real power, I am Reality."

Question: Is it your role to remove the thorn of ego, and if so, can you help me to remove this thorn?

Ranjit: Take out the thorn. That is the help which I give. Otherwise, how can I help you? You have to take out your own things. I can tell you, but you have to take it out. It doesn't exist, take it for granted. It doesn't exist, but you feel its existence. You don't leave it, that's the difficulty. What to do? You have fear of what will happen. Nothing else is going to happen. Nothing has happened up to now, so what is going to happen now? So, to take out the ego, always say, "I know nothing. I don't see, I don't hear, I don't eat, I don't sleep, I don't walk. I do nothing." Ego must go. For example, the doctor gives you medicine. You cannot cure the disease unless you leave the disease. After some time, the doctor again comes to see if you are better and you say to him, "Oh, I'm still not well." What can he do if you don't take the medicine, tell me? So, to take out the ego say, "I do nothing. I don't sleep, I don't speak, I don't do anything. "I" is not there." That is a practice. You can do it.

Question: In your bhajans [devotional singing], what concept do you worship, Maharaj?

Ranjit: We worship That which is conceptless and thoughtless. The whole essence of worship is to make your mind stronger towards the side of Reality. My Guru, Siddharameshwar Maharaj, and his master, Bhausaheb Maharaj from Karnataka, were Gurus from Sholapur. Bhausaheb Maharaj started this lineage and has kept full wisdom in it, full understanding. There are many saints in India, and they've written so many things. So, he has gathered the highest thoughts about the Reality. You cannot understand it because it is in the Marathi language, so there is a difficulty. Otherwise, you would see that every word has got a very strong meaning of the Reality. When you see a movie, for example, and if you like a song in the movie, then after coming home you sing that song, over and over again. So, by singing the bhajans, you remain in that circle of Reality, nothing else. No concept. When a concept is known, how do you worship a concept? We keep Siddharameshwar Maharaj's photo only, but he is here [holding his chest] and not up there on the wall. People do things which they don't know. When you say, "Christ", people cross themselves. This means that Christ is here and not there. What to do? But most feel He is there. That is ignorance. Knowing that, "I am not there", is the practice. For example, if you leave the room, then you are out of the room, otherwise, you remain in the room. So, you should leave the room. That's the only thing you have to do. It depends upon you. The master is there to guide you, nothing else.

Question: I live in fear and I do not dare to live my life. What should I do to overcome this fear?

Ranjit: Fear is in human nature, it is always there. Everybody has got fear, even the animals, because they understand that "I am the body." Body is always fearing and mind is the greatest factor in it. Mind is nothing but your own concept. A concept is knowledge also, so fear always comes into the mind due to the unsteadiness of the world. Every minute is changing. The mind always has fear for that which is not steady. Your own life is also nothing – it depends only on your own breathing. As long as you breathe, everything is there. Breathing is nothing but wind and wind is never steady. Wind has got both power and knowledge. And light is always in fear of darkness. Both light and darkness go together. Where there is light, there is darkness – if darkness is there, light is there , so they are not steady. Therefore, one always has fear, as you say. If you go beyond darkness or beyond knowledge, then there is no fear at all. For example, a cinema screen has no fear of any picture, because it is steady. So, that which is not steady, it always has fear. Your mind changes at every moment.

Human beings have got fear of even the smallest insects – insects, birds and germs. There are so many kinds of germs, bacteria. Also, all kinds of insects are there because power is life, nothing else. So, man always has got the fear of nothing but death. There are five elements in the world – sky, fire, water, earth, wind – all come from the sky. Still, all of them have got an exactly opposite entity – sky always traps the wind, wind always grabs fire, fire always grabs water, and water can dissolve earth at any moment. That which is transitory has always got the fear. Your thoughts and concepts are transitory, every moment you change your thoughts and concepts. So, one is always in fear. Body is made up of the five elements, nothing else, and there is one consciousness which is called chaitanya, which knows itself and knows others. So they all work together. Mind is nothing but that consciousness in a subtle form, and all knowledge rises from that consciousness. It is all automatic, so fear must be there. For example, there are so many insects, so many things in the world. You fear everything because you want your body to remain intact. Fear is always there, so to work on fear one should know his own Self. It is easy, and is called Self-realisation. So, one should not fear if he realises that, "I am beyond zero."

Krishna says to Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita, "Oh Arjuna, all your actions limit you and are useless unless you know your Self." So to get out of the fear, you go to the church, pray to God, and the Hindus go to the temples and pray. Fear itself is the mind. Worshipping, reading many, many philosophical books, all these things make your mind more complicated, and that complication always brings more fear. So the mind cannot remain steady. If your mind knows its own source or its own beginning, only then can it be happy. So one can overcome fear, why not? When there is nothing, your fear is always more. For example, if you are in a lonely place, then you have lots of fear. Loneliness is nothing but space. So go beyond space by the grace of the master. Only by the understanding given by the master you can penetrate the sky and go beyond the sky, beyond the space. As long as the body is there, fear has to be there, nothing else. If you want to be fearless, be what is fearless, because it has no end. Final Reality has no beginning and no end. That which has got a beginning or an end has some fear, but if It has no beginning, how can it have an end? It is limitless, nothing else. It is so subtle that all thoughts and concepts stop there. They cannot enter. So as I said before, the cinema screen has nothing to worry about. Let any picture come – he shows them, he does everything, yet he is fearless. The screen does not get touched, therefore it is fearless. If you get touched, then fear comes. Suppose you see a rope in the darkness, and you take it for a snake. Therefore, you are so afraid of it. If the light is turned on, then all the fear goes away when you see that it is only a rope. Understanding of the Self erases all fear, because all is One, so there is no duality in it. Duality brings fear, but in the One there is no fear.

Question: It is difficult for me to have an aim, and to go to the end of my being. I feel empty, I have no energy and have no fixed aim in life.

Ranjit: An aim is of the mind and you are not the mind. You are the Reality, so why can you not go up to the Reality? An aim and the Reality are totally different things. One should not feel like this. You think you are the mind and the body, so therefore you say, "I am not capable of reaching Reality." It is not the case, they are both different. Like light and electricity, they are quite different. Electricity has no light, but because of such contrivances it gives light. So, mind is not perfect, thought is not perfect, but your Self, the Reality which is in you is completely perfect. Wherever it is, it is perfect, so why would it not be perfect in you? It is perfect in every place. Due to identity of the body and mind, you say that you are not perfect. Everything disappears in deep sleep, so why can you not go to the end of your Self? From where does everything begin? Find the source, and that is your Self. There, there is no self. But if you say the "body", then you have to say the "self". There is no self in It, there is no individuality in It, there is also no duality in It.

So one can understand the Final Reality through the guidance of the master. It depends upon the master, whether he gives you the right direction to understand. If the address is wrong, then you cannot reach the destination. The master should be perfect, then only can he give the real thoughts or points of that Reality. It is easy for one to understand, but it is very difficult to make others understand. So, one should not think in that way. For example, you always go to the end of yourself if you do not know what to do. As in sleep, you go to the end of yourself. But you do not know, so you come back with ignorance. You then say, "I was in a void" or "I was in complete ignorance." Reality is already there but you do not know that due to the ignorance of the mind. It pervades everywhere and anywhere. Without Him nothing can be done. Everything is He. The starting point is the end, nothing else. From where you start, always go to that without any effort. For example, lava comes out from the centre of the Earth, it covers the surface and finally it returns back to the centre. So, Christ also said, "Thou art dust – you eat dust and you die in dust." Go beyond that. You are not an object, neither a body nor a mind, so go to the end of all these things, from where they arise and from where they end. Then one can understand, why not?

The owner of a house knows every corner of his house, so he has nothing to worry about. He knows where everything is. In the same way, one should go to the end, from where everything starts. Everybody is He. Apart from That, there is nothing. So one can understand, one must understand. Remove the screen of ignorance which has come upon you. Take away the veil of ignorance. Take off the cloth from in front of the light, and instantly the light is there! One can go to the end. Everyday, when you sleep, you go to the end. There you have to find out your Self. "Finding out" means what? Forget your mind, forget your thoughts and forget yourself. He is there.

Question: Does admitting that one is powerless help?

Ranjit: Powerless? How can it be, because you are that real power? But ego is powerless, because it has no entity at all. If it has no entity, how can it have any power? What can you write to one who has not taken the birth? You can't! Ego, having no entity, has no reality. The moon doesn't produce light, but it gives light that comes from the sun. In the same way, ego also is just like the moon. The power which is inside the ego gives light to him and he [ego] says, "I am exits and the power does not exist." So why cannot one shade out, erase the ego which has no entity? You cannot take anything to someone who has not been born, no? In the same way, why worry about that which has no entity? Go to the end. One can. Only your ego does not allow you to go there. Ego knows that if you see your Self or the end of illusion, then it will never remain there and nobody will think of it. Don't think that you cannot go there! It's only the weakness of your mind that says, "I cannot understand Him." It's like a light bulb which shines light and says, "I produce the light." It cannot understand electricity. When you do not think that you are the light bulb, then the power of electricity is there. If one can go to the end, from where the light comes, his entity will be nowhere. All the pictures which you see on the cinema screen and the sounds that you hear – if you want to know from where they come, after, will the screen remain? So one can go, why not? Ignorance of mind says it cannot go. "Mind" means thinking, and thinking cannot approach the thoughtless Reality. So therefore the mind says that it is impossible, doesn't it? When thinking ceases only He remains.

Question: You say it is through discrimination that one can destroy the mind. But what about blocked emotions, fears or emotional blocks which go back to childhood and of which we are not always aware? What should one do to free oneself from them?

Ranjit: You have to keep going, hurdles must be there, but the hurdles should be overtaken. For example, a horse race is going on and there are many hurdles on the track. One should overcome the problems, why not? A problem is a thought. From your childhood, you must have had many thoughts, no? Who has given you those thoughts? Your father, your mother and then your circle of friends. All those thoughts have come upon you from ignorant people, so what can they give you? What can darkness give? Tell me. Nothing! What can you find out in darkness? Nothing! In the same way here, you have to discover that which is nothing. All your thoughts are an illusion, not at all true. All have come to you due to ignorance and now have become a habit. If you think about your thoughts, then the illusion remains. But if you go to the source from where the thoughts arise, the starting point, if you go up to that source then the thoughts dissolves! You never think of the Reality, the source, you always think of other things. You never think of your thoughts and from where do they come. All bondages are only mind bondages, and you have borrowed them. Money that is borrowed is not yours, isn't it? In the same way, you've borrowed the thoughts of others and taken them as your bondage, how can it be? Throw away that bondage, give the money back to the creditor, and then you are free of the debt. You have to be free of the debt, no? In the same way, you have taken the bondages of others on you. Throw that away! Who stops you? You do not want to throw them away, what to do?

Question: Because of fear.

Ranjit: Fear is ignorance, what to do? Fear is nothing! Why do you have fear, tell me? Is it due to the ego, tell me? Are you afraid of what people will say?

Question: Fear of conflict. I'm afraid of opposing others.

Ranjit: Then, you can't get the goal. Fear has no entity. If you take it for real, then how can you go to the thoughtless Reality? Everybody is naked under their clothes, everybody knows, no? Why to fear? I don't understand. If the master is real and what he says is true, then perhaps "fears can be liars, and hopes can be illusions." Fears can be liars, so how can they have any entity? Hopes also have no entity. What can harm you if you've got a strong master? And that master should be your mind! In India, we have a saying in Hindi, "One who is fearless, even the Gods fear him." Even the Gods fear you, so why should you fear anything? Be naked! Throw away everything and then nothing can touch you, nothing can stop you. When the fears come in your way, throw them away! You are He, take it for granted.

Climb the 44 steps, and you must get to the room, no? If there are 44 steps to go up to the second floor, and you climb them all, then you must get to the second floor, no? Or if you take the lift, you will also get there, who can stop you? So, which fears can stop you? Fears are nothing. When the ego does not want to see his own Self, then the fears arise. So, the ego does not allow you, that's all. What you know today and what you are going to know tomorrow is always the same. Knowledge never changes. Due to ignorance, the effects differ. Just as I said before: "Cover the light and there will be darkness. Take off the cover, and the light returns."

Question: Maharaj, is there a special technique to remove the veil? Or is it sufficient to have much courage and be brave in the face of these fears, so that they naturally disappear?

Ranjit: One should be brave to live. When you are brave, then fear does not remain. Be brave and have faith in the master. What he says, do it. You can get it, because you are He. To get your Self, how much time does it take? If someone calls your name, you immediately put your hand up. How much time does it takes for you to respond? Instantly you do it. So, what you are, what you say is the Final Reality, is you. How much time does it take? Throw away the apron [veil]. You do not want to throw away the apron, what to do? Anyway, Reality cannot be seen, what to do? It is very easy to leave that which is nothing and it is very difficult to see that which is there. That you have forgotten and therefore you get troubles. In the same way, it is very easy, don't worry. One should have full faith himself. Here, the mind always asks questions. For example, in the army they say, "You should not ask any questions, you should not make any reply, but you should only do your duty and die." These are the orders for the military, and it's the same here also. [laughs] Master says, "Die! Experience your own death!" Saint Tukaram said, "I saw my death and I was very, very happy. That happiness I could not describe." One should see the end of his self, which is mind. In India we have a custom – on the 13th day after someone dies, sweets are given to all the relatives. What is the meaning of it? There must be a meaning, no? It is – "He is not dead, he never dies." They do not understand this, but still the meaning is that, and they just follow the custom. So, why not give sweets to all? Because I am not dying, I am ever living, if you understand. When the body goes, only the body or ego has fear. So if it goes then give sweets to all!

A person in jail always counts how many days remain until he gets out. In the same way here also, people don't understand but when the first birthday comes, sweets are given. All birthdays are celebrated by giving sweets. They think that the time has come for the bondage to go away. Old age is sure to come and the bondage is going away, so one celebrates the birthdays. One year less to live from your life, but even so, you still celebrate because the bondage of the body is now ending. Some people enjoy birthdays. One year is short, but still it is one year less in the illusion. Suppose you are 25 years old and if your life is 100 years, then you only have 75 years remaining. When you see that you've lost 25 years, you should be happy and give sweets to all, because your bondage is going to end very soon! So, always live fearlessly and have your own pleasure.

Anything which you think of is always something which doesn't exist, because everything is He only. Except Him, there is nothing in the world. Whatever thought or concept you think of creates something other than what He is. When thinking ends, what happens? You go into zero. In the world, you spend your time only thinking of so many things, so many problems, whatever it may be. But still, when the minds sleeps, you forget everything. Thoughts continually come into the mind. For example, when "I" stops seeing, then the space appears. Otherwise, there is no colour at all, even no sky colour. Once the vision ends, then only is there colour. So, what you see and perceive is in you and not outside of you. You are not the body, take it for granted. When the mind takes up a thought and gets attached to it, then everything is seen.

Reality prevails everywhere and apart from Reality there is nothing. It is there, everywhere and anywhere. The greatest saint in the last thousand years, Shankaracharya, has said, "There is Oneness. There is no duality in the world." For example, if someone drinks some alcohol, the effects must come to him, no? He then says anything he likes. And when the kick goes out, he then becomes sober again. Afterwards, if you ask him, "Did you say this?", he'll say, "Oh, I don't know anything." The kick of ignorance makes everything, brings everything. Take the kick out, then ignorance can not remain, why to worry?

The great saint, Ramdas Maharaj said, "What you say is there, has gone. That which is not, is always not. What is there to say about it?" So, that which has been has gone, and that which has not been has also gone. For example, someone feels some steel against his face. It's there, he feels something for a short time and then it's not there. Both have gone. Again, this is just like knowledge and ignorance. They are both there, then their absence has come, and after their absence, does anything remain? Nothing is there, but still He is there. You have to use so many words to explain this. It is so subtle. Little touches make all of consciousness come. Finally, you are That. Experience It in this way. Be That and remain like That only.

In the same way, this world is not at all there. You feel that it exists, what to do? Is anything here true? Nothing is! If you realise this, then nothing remains for you. It's all a big zero! The world comes from zero and ends in zero! The whole is ending in zero. When you sleep, does the world disappear or not? Sleeping means that you can't see the world. You have to close your eyes to fall asleep and then you have dreams. That is also imagination. In a dream, a poor man becomes a rich person and a rich person becomes the poorest person. For example, there was a king who became a beggar in the dream. So he cursed God, "What is this? Nobody gives me alms. Everybody abuses me and says bad things to me. What wrong have I done, I don't know?" God replies to him, "You came into this dream, that is the wrong thing which you have done. Also, you are dreaming wrong things which you feel are true." But when a master comes and says, "Oh, the one who is sleeping is a king", then he will play his part very nicely or not? Very nicely he will play his part. He tells the king that it's only a dream so that the king knows, "In the dream I am a beggar and when I awake from this dream, I will be a king." In the same way here also, master tells you that, "You are He", but you cannot accept this. But suppose if you dare to understand the master thoroughly, then? Then the world becomes heaven. For the one who understands, the world is heaven.

When something pleasant happens to someone who understands, he says, "Oh, very good." And when somebody dies, he says, "Oh, he's gone." He doesn't laugh. Why not? Because other people would be troubled by his laughter. But still, he knows that nothing has happened. The five elements return to the five elements, and Reality remains always as Reality! What is there? Who has gone? The one who came and who went away, his name is written on the tombstone. They write, "so-and-so died." He may have been 50 years old, or 80 years old or a 100 years old. If he was a 100 years old, you say, "Oh, it was his time to go." If he was only 30 years old then you too feel death, because you feel that death can come at any time. What to do? So dying can happen so easily, but one should not feel that they will die. When the body dies you don't die yourself. You feel that "I will die," and then all those troubles come to you. But in fact, when one dies, all those troubles are going to end, no? No troubles remain for Him, He's out of all troubles.

Question: So Maharaj, if you say it is not true, that means that you, in the body and the mind, are not true also.

Ranjit: Oh yes! It is not true! What I think is also not true. "I don't think", is the main point in it. Why think about wrong things? Why think about things which don't even exist? People think because they are in ignorance. They think, "Oh, the world is going on now, what will happen to me?" A man is having his 70th birthday and he feels that if he dies tomorrow, what will happen? He dies and others continue to enjoy! All that depends upon your mind.

Question: So if it is not true, why think about it?

Ranjit: If you think like that it's very good. Then you're out of the world. You are in the world but out of the world. That is the beauty of it. If you say this is not my house, then you have no troubles. You can put nails anywhere you like. But if you say,"It's my house", then you say "Oh, this wall has become bad. I should not put nails in it." You restrict yourself. Though it is wrong, still you restrict yourself. "Oh, how can I do it? It's my house." If you have no house then you can do anything here, because you know that nothing is going to happen. At the most, the walls might fall down. In this way understand. When you say it is mine then it troubles you. "Me" and "mine" is the trouble. M.I.N.E. – That's called "aham" and "mamata". So Kabir simply says, "Everything dies."

Question: Well, if I am not true, then death can't be true.

Ranjit: Death is not true. Yes, yes.

Question: So, okay, that takes care of it all.

Ranjit: Kabir says, "First the mind dissolves. Then, the love for somebody ends. And finally, all bodies disappear."

Question: So that's freedom?

Ranjit: Freedom. Exactly! The wish for a body, the strong desire for a body doesn't allow you to die. You then take another body. This body is going now, so what to do? So, you try to get another body. With that wish, you will die, and then you must get another body. Whatever body you get, it will get sick. Perhaps you may even become a mosquito or a bug. But he wants something, anyway. So, one should understand the beauty of the thoughts. The mind is a wonderful thing I tell you. It's so strong! It wants so many things. So you ask your mind, I always say, ask your mind, "What don't you want?" He says, "I want everything. I don't know what I don't want?" But the realised persons say, "I don't want anything because it's not true." When it is not true, why want it? People are always running after things. For example, a deer runs after a mirage thinking it's water, no? If you say, "Oh, there is no water", the deer will think that you are a foolish person. "I can see the water, so what do you mean by that?", he says. He sees by his eyes that it's water, but it's a mirage. In the same way, people are running after their wish only. It's a desire, a strong desire of the mind. When you take birth, it's because you want to. So many births you have taken, gone there and come back again. That's called desire, a strong desire, or in our language it is called vasana. But if you understand that this world is not true, then every choice comes to you. Say it is not true. This is very difficult to say.

Question: It's easy to say, Maharaj, but it's difficult to practise.

Ranjit: No, no! If you no longer want anything, then what is there to practise, tell me? You want something, so you run after it. When one doesn't want anything, then what remains for him, tell me? If you have child, a wife and everything, then some trouble comes to you. For me, for example, there's no trouble. I never ask anything from anybody. Why ask? Why beg? Let this body go to hell, I don't care! Every moment, you care for the body, what to do? Everybody cares for their body. If you don't care for the body, then the body becomes your slave. Then, whatever you want, the body will do it. "Come on!" It's really a very good thing if you understand this. Then, you are out of the clutches of the thoughts. When you're out of the clutches of the thoughts, then your understanding becomes so strong and you no longer worry for anything. In Marathi there is a saying, "If I sleep on this cot, my God is there." It is He who gives me everything to eat and a place to sleep. You become Him. Everywhere and everything is He. When you understand that everything is the Reality, then you no longer want anything. Why should you want?

Eyes want to see good things. Nose wants to smell very good things. "Oh, these are very fragrant flowers!" You want to eat many things, as well. "Oh, it's very tasty! One must eat." And all that makes more trouble for you. So, eat if you want. Eat! Otherwise say, "I don't want anything." Don't be a slave. You become the slave of the thoughts, and the mind works and rules upon you. The mind is ruling you, always. So the best thing is to understand that one should practice against the mind. For example, the mind wants to drink something, brandy or whisky. Say, "No! I'm not going to drink." If the mind doesn't want to do anything, then say, "Come on, we're going to a party, or going walking." That is the practice you have to do. Then the mind becomes your slave in anything. Mind then says, "What I say you won't do it, so what is the use of it?" He agrees with you everywhere. And that is happiness or not? When the mind agrees, huh? The mind should agree, but he never wants to agree with anybody. So you have to think in this way and make your mind a slave. When it becomes a slave, then no thoughts come to you. What is the meaning of the thoughts? Due to the mind, thoughts come. It's better to say, "I don't want anything." If you don't want anything, then everybody forces you to have.

Mind is a wonderful factor. Try to understand your mind. When you understand it, it becomes a friend and finally dies itself giving you the Reality. Mind is the only factor that creates your bondage. I only want to say that if you understand that, "I don't exist," then everything is happiness. If you exist, then so many troubles come. What to do? Be out of it. Do everything! I don't say no. Do everything, but understand it's not true! Have that much courage. The mind has no value because it is not true. So why to worry? Say, it's not true. When the state of your mind changes, then trouble comes. Try to understand. Don't worry for anything. If the mind accepts this, then what remains? Nothing remains. People are unnecessarily worrying for the mind, but the mind doesn't care for you. If you understand in this way, then all questions are solved. You feel at ease. For example, if you have got a disease and you don't take your medicine, then are your troubles solved or not? Body will die. Let it die. Why care for it? All questions are solved then. The mind is a wonderful thing. Liberation and bondage are the mind's work. You are ever liberated and never in bondage.

Question: What happens, Maharaj, is that when it becomes clear to me that I don't exist, I instantly lose interest in everything. To me nothing seems important.

Ranjit: And as long as you exist?

Question: Everything is important.

Ranjit: Yes, yes, you feel interest in it. Say that "I don't exist." Then all thoughts go away, they don't remain for a man with such a strong will. It takes a strong will, no? The main point in it is that everybody fears death. And when you fear death you want to do everything for your body. But one who doesn't fear death, then?

Question: Then the doing and not doing doesn't remain important to him, Maharaj.

Ranjit: For him, it doesn't remain. It's okay! He doesn't go against the death thought. He doesn't care. He never cares for anybody. Why? Why care for anybody? People want to exist, no? What good is their existence, your existence?

Question: Maharaj, since the mind appears to be the cause of the world, one does not really have to marry and have children to have troubles. One can be without them and still have enough troubles.

Ranjit: So there is the story where golden, wooden ladoos [sweets] are made and they have a very nice colour. Someone says, "Oh, if you eat them you will lose all your teeth." But still he says, "They're very attractive! I want to eat them." He knows they are made from wood and that he might lose his teeth, but he can't help it. What to do? So one should understand. World is not true! One who understands, then it's okay. If you half understand, then you are lost in heaven. The mind is of a very different type. Try to understand. Understanding brings everything. If you understand, then nothing is true and nothing is false. So, someone who says that the world is true and someone who says that it's not true, in fact, both are wrong.

Question: This is interesting, Maharaj. Why are both wrong?

Ranjit: Both are wrong. Why say anything about something that doesn't exist? Nothing is always nothing. Why even take any pride and say, "I've renounced the world, and I've done this and I've done that"? World itself is zero. Why should you say anything about zero? But still ego makes you say, "Oh, I know! World is not true, why should I worry?" Ego brings all this. Ego is a very wretched chap. It gets in the way. So many "saints" are cheating themselves. What to do? They find nothing There. They come back and they teach wrong things to others. They say, "Do this and you'll get it." So people do this and do that. Their is a saying, "The saw of Kashi [Benares] cuts both ways." Worldly things are of the same way as the saw – if you don't want the world, it troubles you, and if you want the world, it also troubles you. What to do? Be neutral and say, "I don't want anything."

Question: Or be in it and be troubled, Maharaj.

Ranjit: Yes. If there is a house, then the earthquake comes and it falls, and you have troubles. But if there is no house, then? Life is like gambling. What to do? One doesn't know anything. He's going to die tomorrow, or going to live for 100 years, nobody knows. So life is like gambling, no? He plays with his life. Play in such a way so that the dice don't remain. No dice, then no player.

Understanding should come. That's the main point. If you don't understand, then? So one who says that, "The world is not true", he's also false. And one who says that, "The world is true", he's also false. Both are wrong. Which is not, why to talk about it? Why to say anything about that? When you say, "Oh I know, the world is zero. I've renounced the world." What have you actually done? Nothing! So Siddharameshwar Maharaj told us, "Renounce the renouncing. Forget the renouncing. Renouncing is ego." Try to understand the master! Unless you understand the master, it's very difficult to go with Him. If the understanding comes, then everything is okay Without understanding, it's very difficult. Don't do anything.

Question: So Maharaj, you're saying that it doesn't exist, so therefore it can be neither true nor false. So be in it, and yet believe that it's neither true nor false. So eat, but understand you are not the eater.

Ranjit: Yes. That's the main point. If you are not the eater, then who will be troubled? Body may get the trouble, what to do? Doing is worst. Know that, "I don't do anything." If you understand this, then you are free and by doing also you are free.

Question: Then all actions are equal?

Ranjit: Equal. Nothing else. Doing and not doing, both are equal for Him.

Question: And doing this or that?

Ranjit: It's not true! Both are wrong! So, Tukaram was asked, "Why do you do bad things to this woman?" He replied,"Oh, it's Brahman [God]." He used the word, "Vitthal" [God]. But they asked, "But wasn't it you who has done this?" He again replied, "Vitthal". Then they said that this man is not liable for the prosecution. He says everything is Vitthal. But he [Tukaram] knew that the one who did wrong things to the woman is He himself, and the one who gives the evidence is also He himself. So both are wrong. So there's nothing else to say. Both don't exist. "I have not done and I have done also." Both are out of the question and when you are out of the question, then there is no examination and no result.

Question: Maharaj, can reflection replace meditation?

Ranjit: It's better to go by the easiest way. Why go by the thorny way? You can meditate, even for twelve hours. You must get it, no harm. And then finally, you have to become your own master. Then meditation will submerge into Reality. So, why to go by the hard way? [Maharaj makes a gesture to touch his left ear by making his right hand wind around the back of his head, and then he brings his left hand to touch his left ear to show a more direct way]. Meditation is just the beginning, in order to make the mind more subtle. When it becomes subtle, then nothing is required. Only thinking comes. If a man is lame, with one stick he can walk, but by using two sticks, he can walk even faster. So keep both and go ahead very fast!

Question: I want to ask if Maharaj has practised the mantra since he gives us one?

Ranjit: [Laughs]. Siddharameshwar Maharaj gave the mantra and I practised it, because it was his order. If master says 1 plus 2 is 3, I have to believe it. In that way I was doing it and practice it still now. Before and now, but in different ways. Before understanding, you have to act according to the master's choice, and after understanding you have to act according to your choice. If one wants to become a doctor, he first studies and then he practices. After sometime, he becomes a master at it. So his practice is quite different then. Unless he kills a lot of patients he cannot be a good doctor. In the same way, experience brings many, many things. His grace is with you, He is with you. Master is with you, don't worry. One should have that much faith. So all this honour goes to him and not to me, take it for granted! What is there? What is practising? Understanding is practising, nothing else. Doctor says, "Take this dose of medicine", and if you practice, you will be okay the next day. If you don't take it, then what will happen? You put full faith in the doctor, no? Here also, full faith is required, nothing else.

Question: Instead of practising the mantra, can one contemplate the teachings? Is the benefit the same?

Ranjit: You must meditate in the beginning. Then your calibre becomes very subtle, your calibre of understanding becomes very subtle. So, then you can practise nicely what the master says. He teaches you and you have to practise that. I agree. Having faith and practising meditation helps you very fast. Master says 12 plus 3 is 15. The boy has got a high calibre of understanding and shows different ways of arriving at 15. "19 minus 4 also can also equal 15", he says. In that way, you can think it over more and more. So, the mind should be subtle, therefore you have to meditate and keep your mind a little steady at that time, avoiding all these outside circumstances. Be in it only. And then your mind becomes automatically subtle. Before when one first said that 1 plus 2 is 3, one had to cram up. No need for you to cram up, now. Your calibre of intelligence becomes subtle through understanding, 1 plus 2 is 3, what is there? In the same way, when meditating you can understand what the master says in a very, very different way. There are many ways you can understand – there is 4 plus 5 is 9, and 8 plus 1 is also 9. In that way you can understand. What he says, and if you've got full faith in him, what wrong is there,? You can go very fast in it and you can meditate nicely also. Meditation is a step only, the first step, then you have to go ahead. You have not to only meditate your whole life. You can go ahead by thinking also, why not? So your mind should be sharpened, by meditation and you can understand by carrying on with the teachings. Thinking over it more and more, you will get more involved, you will penetrate into it, and that will be yours. In the beginning, both cramming and meditation is required, take it for granted.

Question: So, meditation is the repeating of the mantra?

Ranjit: Exactly, 1 plus 2 is 3, no? You have to cram up again and again. By chanting that in your mind, you can overcome the illusion, why not? By meditation also, one can achieve the Reality. Don't say that it's a very lengthy process. My master's master, Bhausaheb Maharaj, he was for meditation. Then Siddharameshwar Maharaj found out from his teaching that by thinking, one can also go. Life is very short, so at least find out the easiest way to go to It. By your own thinking you have become a "man" or "woman" or a "human being" through ignorance. By understanding, by thinking you can correct that, why not? So in the scriptures, it is written that there are two ways – one is called the "ant's way" and other is called "bird's way". An ant will take a very long time to go up a tree, perhaps even several births. Whereas a bird can fly from one tree to another very easily, in a fraction of a second. So by thinking one can go, it is very easy. But that which is very easy is also very hard. Here, a change of mind is required, nothing else. The mind should be changed, mind means thinking. Your father and mother have taught you to think through ignorance only. It is not your fault, you have just been given lessons like that. So the master says, "All this is wrong and what I say is correct." By thinking you have become a slave, and by thinking you can become the master. So my master was giving mantra and asking us to do meditation also and then he gave us lectures and sermons. So it was very easy for us. Don't try to escape the meditation! [laughs].

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