Ramakant Maharaj USA Talk of Oct 26 PartII
October 26, 2016
Maharaj: Because of long association with the body, you’ve got so many impressions, so many concepts are wrapped upon us. We’ve got to break that circle. What does it mean, ‘Realization’? Realization means Conviction, Spontaneous Conviction: I’m not the body at all. It’s a fact. Even if you think intellectually, forget about spirituality, is the body your identity? Prior to beingness was any body there? After leaving the body, what remains? No guessing. Your Presence is there, just like space or sky.
No special efforts are required, no deliberate efforts are required. See, this body is called ‘man’, this body is called ‘woman’, do we say ‘I am man, I am man, I am man’? Your parents told you ‘this body is called man’, and you accepted it. You’re not making any sadhana to say ‘I am man, I am man’. Like that, the Master says ‘you are Brahman’, why don’t you accept that Brahman? Brahman means Ultimate Truth, Final Truth. Do your sadhana, no problem. Out of sadhana, what do we want to achieve? Why am I doing sadhana?
So all your actions are supposed to be spontaneous. And therefore I’m advising, meditation is most important. In the beginning you’ll find it difficult. Mind, ego, intellect are functioning elements. The moment Spirit clicked with the body, you say ‘I’. Along with ‘I’, the mind, ego, intellect, these functioning elements, appear. So many concepts appear upon your Presence. These are layers, various layers are there. Unless that body-based layer dissolves, you’re not able to identify yourself. Fire is there, but it is covered with ash. You have to remove the ash.
So like that, you have to convince yourself. See what is there. Just glimpses of ‘I’ is there. Who is watching the dream? Who is witnessing the thoughts? Now I am talking something, who is listening inside? Who is analyzing my words? It happens spontaneously within you. The body can’t do anything, this is a dead body. If there is no Presence, who will talk about this?
So unless body-based knowledge dissolves, you’re not able to identify yourself in a real sense. And therefore meditation is required. Through meditation, slowly, silently, and permanently, all concepts will be dissolved. Though you’re acting as a man or woman, male or female, you remain untouched with all this world. Do your job, do your duties, take care of your responsibilities. But while doing all these things, you remain unconcerned with all deeds, because you’re not the doer at all.
You’re talking ‘past karma’, ‘future karma’. What is ‘past karma’, ‘future karma’? Come out from all these illusory concepts. You can do it, it’s not impossible.
Yes? Anybody can ask questions.
Q: Maharaj, for me I find the Mantra itself is very easy, it’s something I can slip into and stay focussed with. I mean, I could do it all day, but what I’ve discovered is that very quickly the body becomes energetically unsettled and I don’t sleep well. How I sleep gets very restless, and eventually I just get too tired to function so I have to stop, take a break for a few days and let everything equalize. So what I’m trying to find – you call the Mantra the prescription – and what I’m trying to find is the right dosage for me. So, is it a half hour a day, and then I take a break, or is it an hour and then I find myself getting sucked in and find myself doing three hours and then I’m not sleeping well? So it’s…
Maharaj: Don’t count hours!
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.
Q2: I’m just thinking out loud, I guess, just to elaborate a little more on what this gentleman here was talking about. When I sit for meditation, I sit deliberately to concentrate and to focus. And the rest of the day, with all the chaos and everything that’s going on, I try to just repeat the Naam in the background. And I feel like I’m making some progress with that, but like (Q) said, I want that courage to…You tell me I am Brahman, I believe you. What does my body need to do to convince itself to get the Conviction? Because I’m there, I’m ready, but letting go…It just seems like when I’m about ready to, somebody else comes at me with another problem, and I bounce back into the dream instead of focussing on…
Maharaj: Be normal. There are so many things around you. Whether to take the touch or not to take the touch is up to you. You are Master of your own. There are a lot of thoughts flowing inside, you’re watching all these thoughts. Thoughts which are useful, you can take, if they’re not useful, throw it out, neglect it. Not to respond to each and every thought. It’s the nature of the mind, the nature of the body, flowing thoughts. It’s the thoughtless stage. Where all thoughts end, there you are. Where everything ends, there you are. Where were all these thoughts prior to beingness? After leaving the body, will any thoughts be there? Any fighting is there? Any struggle is there? No struggle. Because directly or indirectly we’ve accepted ‘I am the body, somebody else’, ‘I’m doing this thing, I’m doing this’, ‘I’m a devotee’, ‘I’m a disciple’, ‘I’m a Master’, ‘I am Brahman’, and all these things. That ‘I am’ is supposed to be dissolved. That concept ‘I am’ appeared upon your Spontaneous, Invisible Presence. And Presence does not know ‘I am Presence’. It’s just space or sky, everywhere. The five elements are there, it does not know ‘I am the five elements’. Water does not know ‘I am water’, earth does not know ‘I am earth’, sky does not know ‘I am sky’. You are the Projector of the five elements. The moment the Spirit clicked with the body, the five elements are projected, the entire world is projected. You are the father of this world, or mother of this world. If there’s no Presence, who will talk about the world, who will talk about the concepts, who will talk about all this Gods and Goddesses? Even ‘Brahman’ is also a concept. Even meditation is also illusion. But to remove one illusion, you have to take the help of another illusion. Because you forgot your identity, therefore meditation is required. You’re reminding through meditation, ‘you are Brahman, you are Brahman’.
Basically you are formless, there’s no shape. There’s no experience, no experiencer, no witness, no witnesser. All these concepts appear upon your Invisible Presence, where there is no pain and no pleasure. Because body-knowledge is not tolerable, therefore pain is there. This is a food-body. Prior to beingness and after leaving the body, there’s no pain and no pleasure. Is a dead body having any pleasure or pain? No. That means, you were not the body, you’re not the body, you’re not going to remain the body. Then who am I? It is called ‘Brahman’, ‘Atman’, ‘Paramatman’, ‘God’, ‘Master’, that you are, the Supernatural Power. These are the words.
Q2: Master, so I can do my duties, my family duties, and be the mom, the wife, and the glue, actually, that holds the family together and makes them all stand upright, and at the same time simultaneously, I can detach and watch this as a dream. In other words, do my duty, but pull-back and watch it more as a dream. And I guess it’s giving myself acceptance not to be the pillar for everyone around me, and I guess that’s where the lack of courage is. Letting go of that, I’m sure it will function by itself, but just convincing myself that I don’t have to be so active in participating and holding everyone up so they don’t fall down, because I need to go where I’m going. And it’s just difficult to get pulled back into that dream when you really don’t want to be there. And just when you think…’Oh!’ somebody’s got another problem and something else for you to solve. And that’s where I find the difficulty for me comes. And with (Q), when you talked about the not sleeping, I went through that too, and I didn’t sleep and was exhausted. I just went through it, and now I go to sleep reciting the Naam, and I don’t have any more problems.
Q: So you eventually you just kind of work through it…
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.
Q3: 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.
Q3: 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.
So meditation is the base, I’ll tell you.
Q4: 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.
Q4: 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.
Q4: Yeah, like even right now…
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.
Q4: 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.
Q5: I’m not sure if I understood (another devotee’s) terrible story about the mother monkey climbing the tree, with the water rising and the babies, and she held the babies up and finally she stood on top of the babies.
Maharaj: See, this is artificial love and real love. See, when the time comes, you forget your children, you forget all loved people. You become selfish. That is the principle behind that. That monkey is trying to protect the child until the water is here (Maharaj gestures up to his neck). Then it sees, ‘I’m going to die’, so she’s standing on the child and trying to save her body.
So everybody loves oneself. “This is my father, my mother, my sister”, love is there.