Where do you stand? What is the place of spirituality in our human life? Because the human life is painful, there’s so much pain, no pleasure. And therefore, to tolerate this human body, we’re in search of so many material causes. Money is required, publicity is required, sex is required, desires are required. In spite of all these material causes, we’re not happy. There’s no happiness, there’s no peacefulness. Only temporary reliefs we’re getting. How to get permanent happiness? Is permanent peacefulness there or not? Yes? The moment you identify yourself in a real sense, happiness will be there. Happiness, unhappiness, pleasure, pain, came along with the body. And the body is not your identity, the body was not your identity, and the body is not going to remain your identity. This is a food-body, a human body.
I’m not discouraging you to do all these things. Spirituality is so many things: how to live happily, how to live peacefully. The moment we identify ourself, peace is there. As you know, the body is not your identity at all. Some or other day, willingly or unwillingly, you have to leave this body.
Maharaj: In the beginning it happens, in the beginning it happens. It’s a cleaning process. All concepts are eliminating. Your so-called mind, ego, intellect are pricking from the back side. That internal force is trying to distract you from the Reality, it happens in the beginning. Because we’re having, directly or indirectly, body-concepts. It will take some time.
But not to ignore your family responsibility. Because we’re human beings. Spirituality is not a restriction, bondage, blockage in your human duty. Do your duty. If you have responsibilities with your family members, take care of your family members. Not to say only ‘I am Brahman, I am Brahman, Brahman, Brahman’. If you say ‘Brahman’, who will give you food? You have to do your job, do your duties, you have responsibilities, but at the same time there should be Conviction.
Q: Thank you, Master. So you mentioned fire and ash, you used that analogy. So ash, for me, has been automatic. It’s like there’s a constant narration happening. I look at a pizza, “Oh, it’s a good pizza, it’s a bad pizza”, it seems to be so automatic. And it keeps going and perpetuating on its own. I’ve had a few moments here and there where I didn’t have any relationships, because the relationship with my wife and children is only activated the moment it comes into thought. If I’m here there’s…Nothing is there, no worries are there, it’s just here. But these moments are so far in between, and then when I have them there’s this desire to capture that, to keep it. And then I read books, and that turns into a new form of thought, it’s just changed how it sounds. But then I’m just reading about spirituality, philosophy, and then it takes the place of practical thoughts. But it’s the same perpetuating thought, it just keeps going.
But then I heard that you said you recommend meditation and the Naam Mantra, and that’s what brought me here today. I’ve gotten a taste of that and I want to hold onto it because its so much better than this constant narration of life, because there’s nothing else besides this narration.
Maharaj: See, one thing’s there, that the existence of Presence touched with the body, and you say ‘I’. Along with that ‘I’, along with the human body, all responsibilities are there. Pain is there, pleasure is there, relations are there, ‘my wife’, ‘my son’, ‘my father’, ‘my daughter’, ‘my Master’, and all relations appear. Give just due to all those relations, but at the same time, try to understand, ‘Where were all these relations prior to beingness?’ Not to neglect all these relations, give just due to all these relations, if you are a father, you’re a mother, or sister, or whatever position it may be. But, you have to know yourself. All these relations are body-based relations, but not to neglect all these responsibilities. There should not be so much attachment. I’m not asking you to neglect your family responsibilities. But all these relations are body-based relations. Prior to beingness, what relations were there? After leaving the body, what relations will remain?
So, while we’re holding this human body, whatever responsibilities we have with this human body, we have to observe them. We have to live like a human. But who is holding that human body? If there is no Presence for a moment, what relations are there? That Conviction is supposed to appear. I’m not asking you to neglect your family, neglect your body or neglect anything. Do you job, do your duties. Have practical spirituality, not theoretical spirituality.
Q: When I get to this place of feeling presence, the concepts drop and I just feel this pure experiencing, where there’s this confusion, and a lost feeling. And there’s some resistance that comes, and I can be like that for maybe five minutes, ten minutes, some length of time where I feel like I can’t function in the world. The mind’s not there, so that if someone even said, “Do you want a pizza?” I wouldn’t even know what a pizza was, I would be confused. And then there’s some part of me that is scared, that it doesn’t want to lose it’s individuality or identity of who I am, because it can’t even fathom that. Like it’s going into nothingness and being nothing, and then suddenly I go, “Woah”, and I come back to, ‘I’ve just got to be this person and do my thing’. And I’ve felt like I’ve gotten to that place so many times, and then there’s this resistance. It’s almost like there wants to be some bargaining, “Can I just hold onto a little piece?”
Maharaj: You’re experiencing all these things. This is the struggle of your thoughts, concepts. And you are knowing what struggles are going on inside. All these struggles appear upon your Presence. Prior to beingness, no struggle was there. The struggle appears upon your Presence. Because, some or other way, that concept ‘I am somebody else’ is there. That concept is supposed to be dissolved. So don’t fight with the concepts, don’t fight with the mind, don’t struggle with the mind. Thoughts are coming and going.
Therefore meditation is most important. Meditation plays a very good part. In the beginning you have to undergo the meditation, then all your concepts will be dissolved. You’ll remain unconcerned with all thoughts, untouched with the whole world.
Q: I just…
Maharaj: Because, except your Selfless Self, nothing is there. All these concepts, body-based concepts, appear upon your Presence. These are layers. You’re experiencing all these concepts. “Why am I experiencing so many things here?” These are layers upon your Presence, they’re supposed to be cleared. And meditation is giving you courage to control all these things. It will happen spontaneously, nothing is impossible for you. Don’t become a victim of your own concepts.
Q: Well I don’t specifically, but I kind of generally…
Maharaj: Out of that Mantra, that ‘I’ is supposed to be dissolved.
Q: I’m sorry?
Maharaj: Out of this Mantra, the words, that ‘I’, so called ‘I’, the egoistic ‘I’, is supposed to be dissolved, that’s the purpose behind the Mantra.
Q: Yeah, but right now the ‘I’ doesn’t like not sleeping.
Maharaj: Because you’re measuring yourself in body-form. There’s no awakening, there’s no sleeping. There’s no consciousness, there’s no unconsciousness. All concepts are related to the body only. Prior to beingness, any sleep was there? Any awakening was there? Any consciousness was there? No concept was there prior to beingness, and after leaving the body, where does that ‘I’ go?
So through the Mantra some vibrations are created inside. Through that vibration your body-based concepts dissolve. And therefore I said it is the anti-virus software. Since childhood till today, so many concepts are there. Because we’re a victim of our own concepts. So many concepts are there. What you have listened to, what you have read, you have to forget it. Try to find out where you stand.
Q: You talk about spiritual courage, and it seems like courage for me is putting up with a lack of sleep
Maharaj: Ah, you must have courage to accept the Reality. For which you must have strong faith within you, “Yes!”, and your Master also. Your Master says ‘You are Brahman’, you have to accept, ‘I am Brahman’. If somebody abuses you in bad language, you’re accepting immediately, you’re slapping him, correct? Because, you see, that bad word, meaning has been given to that word. Meaning is given to that bad word; you say this is ‘donkey’, “What are you calling me?” But if we say ‘You are Brahman’, you’re not accepting it.
Try to identify yourself, it’s not difficult at all. Not to define any word, not to criticise any word, not to analyze any word. So many words are there. Language is just for conversation, just for communication. Words are not Ultimate Truth. What they convey, that is most important. So be with you all the time.
So, all problems will be solved. And as I told you, tremendous power is within you. You can overcome all problems. There are so many examples, I’m not quoting the examples, but it’s Reality.
Q: When I take a break from the Mantra, I just kind of be with the ‘I am’…
Maharaj: Why to take a break from the Mantra, the Mantra is not giving any harm to you.
Q: It’s not giving any harm to me?
Maharaj: Yes. These are words, always alerting you from the illusory concepts. They’re reminding your Selfless Self.
Maharaj: It’s not necessary to meditate for one or two hours. One minute is sufficient for you.
Q: That’s the Spontaneous Conviction which is still missing..
Maharaj: Yes! Pleasure and pain are connected with the body. Because we’re measuring ourself in body form. Where was that pleasure and pain prior to beingness? After leaving the body, what pleasure and what pain? After leaving the body, who knows what is pleasure and what is pain? So far we’re holding this human body, we’re connected with the painfulness and pleasure. No pleasure is there, no painfulness.
Because body knowledge is not tolerable. Directly or indirectly we’re posing ourself in body-form. We’re having a lot of spiritual knowledge; we talk about ‘Atman’, ‘Paramatman’, ‘Brahman’, ‘God’, and everything. No sadhana is required. Why is sadhana required? Prior to beingness are you doing any sadhana? What do you mean by sadhana? I’m advising meditation. What is the purpose of meditation? You’re inviting the attention of the Invisible Meditator within you that you are Ultimate Truth. Except your Selfless Self, nothing is there. That Conviction is supposed to appear spontaneously. No special sadhana is required. Sitting one hour, two hours, ten hours, has no meaning. One moment is sufficient. That ‘I am’ is supposed to be dissolved! What you are doing, that deed, some base of ‘I am’ is there. ‘I am somebody else’, ‘I’m doing sadhaka’, ‘I’m a devotee’.
Q: Maharaj, I call it sadhana, but it’s really…
Maharaj: Okay, I can understand. I’m not blaming you, it happens in every case, in our case also. But I say sadhana is not necessary. What you have learned, what you have listened to through various sources, try to absorb it totally. It’s open fact that except your Selfless Self there is no God. Why to find the Gods and Goddesses? What is the purpose of Sadhana? What is the purpose of devotion? What is the purpose of meditation? What do you want to achieve? What is the goal? What is Ultimate Truth, what is Final Truth? You are Final Truth, you are Ultimate Truth.
You have to please yourself. The Saint is not separate from you. The Master is not separate from you, this is not Master (Maharaj indicates his body). The bodies are different. The Invisible Listener within you is the Master, formless, shapeless. That sadhana is required: “Yes, so That I, I am That!” without any ego. How are you prior to beingness? You say, “I don’t know”. After leaving the body? “I don’t know”. In the negative answer, a positive meaning is there. ‘I don’t know’ means you’re not in any shape, you’re not in any form. There’s no experience, no experiencer! There’s no witness, there’s no witnesser! There’s no ‘I’, there’s no ‘you’, no language is there! No knowledge is there! It’s open fact.
You must have courage to accept the Reality, that is most important. Because a lack of courage is there, a lack of confidence is there, we’re under the influence of so many concepts. Fear is there, tension is there, no peace, no happiness. Why? Because we’re measuring ourself in body form. Literally we’re knowing ‘I am somebody’, ‘I am Atman, Paramatman, God, Master’, like that. But practically, the mind, ego, and intellect are pricking from the backside, rebelling against you.
So in the beginning you have to concentrate on the meditation, that is the basic thing. When you’re learning some language, we’re learning some alphabets, you know? A-b-c-d and all this. Now you’re not learning alphabets, you’re a master of that language. Similarly meditation is the basic foundation. Meditation is the base, meditation is the anti-virus software. So you have to absorb that in the beginning. Beyond that, nothing is there. The same thing I’m repeating again and again.
So after having this Conviction, you’ll be totally fearless. Problems will be there, but problems will be reduced, dissolved, taken lightly. You’ve got tremendous power, but you’re not aware of that. In-built tremendous power. You can overcome all difficulties. But all the time we’re ignoring ourself, we’re expecting some miracles to happen.
This is a miraculous box (Maharaj indicates his body). The human body is a miraculous box. This is not your identity at all.
The Invisible Speaker and the Invisible Listener is your identity.
So basically, you are unborn. There’s no death and no birth to you.
We’re using so many words, just for communication. Language is created by us. So instead of defining the spiritual words, analyzing spiritual words, try to identify yourself in a real sense. When trying to identify yourself in a real sense, the identifier will disappear, nothing will remain. There’s no ‘I’, there’s no ‘he’, ‘she’, ‘it’, nothing is there. Complete silence. There’s no experience, no experiencer. There’s no witness, no witnesser.
Your Presence is there prior to beingness, and that Presence will remain, just like space or sky. But not to measure yourself in body-form, that’s the first thing. And how does it happen? The only source, I told you: meditation is the only source.
Through meditation you’re inviting the attention of the Invisible Meditator within you that you are Ultimate Truth, you’re hammering all the time. Some words are given: ‘I am Brahman’, ‘Soham’, so many words are there. Through these words you’re hammering yourself. You’re inviting the attention of the Meditator: you are Ultimate Truth, you are Final Truth. After Spontaneous Conviction, you’re not required to recite the Mantra, it will be spontaneous, it will be automatic. (So recite the Mantra) until you’ve got Spontaneous Conviction: I was not the body, I am not the body, I am not going to remain the body. So, no concept will impress you or depress you.
Thousands of concepts are there. We’re a victim of our own concepts: ‘I’m somebody else’, ‘I’m a man or woman’, ‘I’ve got some knowledge’. Even ‘I am Brahman’ is also a concept.
Prior to beingness there’s no concept at all. After leaving the body, what remains? So for which, you must have Spontaneous Conviction. Then pain will turn into pleasure. Everybody is having problems, the human body is full of problems. Everybody says, “My problem is a major problem”. So come out from all these problems, come out from all the tension. You have to go through the meditation only.
The Invisible Speaker and the Invisible Listener is your identity.
So be strong, have some courage to accept the Reality. Only Satsang is not sufficient. If you listen to so many Masters, Satsangs, (Maharaj shakes his head). Have Satsang with yourself! The great Saint is within you. There is no Saint except your Selfless Self. There is no Master except your Selfless Self. So stop measuring yourself in body-form. Beyond that, nothing is there. It’s the Reality. It’s Ultimate Truth, Final Truth. Try to absorb what you’ve listened to so far.
Don’t ignore any responsibilities. “Oh, I’m a spiritual man, how can I do this thing?” no. Because this is a human body, you have to live just like a human, not inhuman. Have love and affection for your family members, take care of your family members, take care of all responsibilities.
The moment the Spirit clicked with the body, we say ‘I’. Along with ‘I’, so many concepts appear. To have a peaceful ‘I’, you have to identify yourself. ‘I’ appeared upon your Spontaneous Presence. If Presence is not there, who will talk about the ‘I’? ‘I’, ‘you’, ‘she’, ‘it’, ‘he’….Prior to beingness who is there? There’s no ‘I’, nothing is there. And therefore I’m repeating that except your Selfless Self, there is no God, no Brahman, no Atman, no Paramatman, no Master. It is fact.
You may be having any position. Do your job, do your duties, no harm. This is a long dream. Everybody is seeing various dreams everyday. What happened to those people? What happened to that dream world? What happened to that peacefulness? Painfulness? Nothing is there.
Through the body we know ourself, ‘I’m somebody else’. The body is the media, not Ultimate Truth. It’s a food-body; so far as you’re supplying food and water, it is growing. So be loyal with you, be faithful with you and your Master. But the Master is not in any form, He’s a formless Master.
Strong involvement is necessary. It is usually said that when we come into this world, we don’t bring anything, and that when leaving this world, we’re not taking anything. It’s a general statement. Why to become a victim of so many concepts? ‘Mind’, ‘ego’, ‘intellect’, so many ‘chakras are there, ‘kundalini’ is there, so many, so many words are there. What ‘chakra’, what ‘kundalini’, what ‘deed’, what ‘karma’ or ‘destiny’? We’re under the pressure of so many concepts. Where are those concepts prior to beingness? Who knows what is ‘karma’, who knows what is ‘religion’? Prior to beingness any religion is there? Prior to beingness, what religion did you belong to? Did you know about any God, any Goddesses? We’re unknown to ourself. After leaving the body what will happen? All the same questions get asked. “What is the birth after death?” What birth is there? Who knows? So not to become a slave of your own concepts.
Maharaj: Be strong! Have some courage, “I can do it!” Don’t underestimate you! When Master says you are Brahman, you are Brahman, so live like Brahman, not like a man or woman. It’s open fact, it’s Reality. Forget everything and be with you. Master is not separate from you. God is not separate from you.
Q: Almost right now, I can feel the resistance. I mean, I feel Presence and I feel resistance, and I just have this little awareness that this resistance is a game, just like it’s a game…
Maharaj: Stop all this thinking. Be totally blank.
Q: Yes, that’s the part that scares me.
Maharaj: How you are prior to beingness, are any thoughts there? Are you a woman or man? After leaving the body, do all these thoughts remain? Nothing. Why to struggle with the thoughts? Why to struggle with the concepts?
So try to absorb this Reality already within you. Be bold, have some courage. I’m placing before you your fact, your Reality, listener’s Reality, not the Reality of Brahman, Atman, Paramatman, God, or Master. Live like a Master, live like a God. It’s your identity. You’ve got supernatural power, tremendous power, miraculous power, but you’re not using it. With courage you can overcome all the problems. Even physical, mental problems, spiritual problems, all problems.
Q: And that’s the struggle when I meditate, I have so many distractions. I sit there and I don’t want to meditate…
Maharaj: Concentrate on meditation. Meditation is the only source through which all concepts will be dissolved. In the beginning there’s bound to be a struggle. As I’ve told you, mind, ego, intellect, so many concepts rebel against you.
There’s a nice example given by Nisargadatta Maharaj. Suppose you’re having your own building, and so many tenants are there, and you want to regain possession of the rooms and flats. While leaving the premises the tenants will abuse you, because so many years they’re staying there. If suddenly you say, ‘I want all possession of the premises’, they will abuse you.
Same thing. So many concepts are there from childhood. After having meditation, the bad elements or bad concepts, while leaving the body, rebel against you. This story is just for understanding.
So some things may happen, but it is a cleaning process. It doesn’t have any spiritual importance, but it happens in the beginning. When the devotee takes the Nama Mantra for meditation, some forces are there trying to distract you from the Reality. It may be your mind, it may be ego, it may be the intellect. They appear upon your Presence, they’re layers upon your Presence. The ego, mind, intellect are layers upon your Presence. They’re using your energy, they’ve made us slaves. “Don’t go against my mind”, you’re giving so much importance to the mind. Subtle ego is there, subtle intellect is there. Be the Master of ego, intellect, mind.
So whatever knowledge, spiritual knowledge you’re having, try to implement, try to absorb it. Not theoretically, be practical. So carry out your responsibilities, don’t struggle with your thoughts, don’t struggle with your mind. Mind means the flow of thoughts.