08Dec14 – Rishikesh
The Self, surrounded by many, is One without a second.
The Self, although It has nothing second to It, It seems to abide in a forest of multiplicity.
It is surrounded by multiplicity, It is surrounded by many forms, many names, many many experiences, many thoughts, many emotions.
But That, which perceives all this, is one without a second.
The eye, even one eye, our right eye, can see infinite colors, can see infinite forms, can see infinite objects. But the eye itself is one.
The ear can listen to infinite kind of sounds, infinite varieties, infinite combinations of sounds and notes, chords and scales. But the ear itself is one.
The mind can create infinite worlds, infinite imaginations, dreams, stories, scenarios.
Infinite universes can be created by the one mind. Infinite dreams. But the mind itself is just one.
Every single one that we have mentioned, the eye, the ear, the mind, we have mentioned only three, and every single one of them can have infinite experiences, and infinite combinations, and, yet again, is only one.
And all of them, what the eye perceives, what the ear perceives, what the mind perceives, all of them, they are perceived by One Awareness that doesn’t have a second.
The body itself is constituted by many many organs, it has many limbs, it has hands, it has arms, legs, stomach, belly, heart, chest, head. Many things constitute the body.
The body seems to be made out of multiplicity itself. In fact, infinite multiplicity, out of infinite cells. Yet, all the functions of the body, all the sensations of the body, either outer sensations, or inner sensations, they are, somehow, watched by One Awareness. One steady Awareness.
If there is some pain on the knee, we are aware of that.
If there is no pain on the knee, again we are aware of that.
The Awareness is steady. And It is just One.
The Awareness is surrounded by multiplicity, by infinite multiplicity.
The Awareness Itself has no color, but It is surrounded by infinite colors.
The Awareness Itself has no sound, It is perfect stillness, but It is surrounded by infinite sounds.
The Awareness Itself has no dreams, no thoughts, no imagination, but It is surrounded by infinite dreams.
The Awareness Itself has no body, It has no organs, It has no stomach, It has no heart, It has no liver, It has no hands or arms, but It is surrounded by all of this.
The Awareness Itself is the Source of all of this.
It is the Maintainer of this. And the Destination of this.
And, although It is the Source, the Sustainer and the Destination of all this, in fact, It is not at all connected. It is free.
Something that has a color, let’s say a beautiful Rose, that has a beautiful red color, is always in danger of losing its color, is always in danger of changing its color.
It might think: “Oh, my color is not so nice, how will I make it better?”.
Or it might think: “The other people, the other Roses, can think my color today is not so nice, today I look kind of pale, I don’t look so red like yesterday”.
So, the Rose is not only in physical danger, it is also in psychological danger, because of its color.
There is something, that has no color and no form.
Something that is free from that (form) completely, and it is free from that danger as well.
If somebody has a form, and, somehow, he is identified with the form, he invites a million troubles – then one cannot be free from these troubles. No person who is identified with his form is free from these troubles.
Somehow he thinks: “Oh, this form of mine, today, I am losing my hair, what will I do?”: Or: “Oh, I have wrinkles in my face”. Or: “My nose is too big”. Or: “My ears are too prominent”. Or: “I am too thin, I need to take some kilos”. Or: “I am too fat, I need to lose some kilos”. “I am too short”. “I am too tall”.
No form is perfect, no form is free from faults. No form can be free from faults.
And that is ok. That is perfectly ok.
It is part of a beautiful game, as long as we are not identified with any of these forms. The moment we become identified, we share the lot of the form.
We shared the troubles of the form, or the very evanescent beauty of the form, so evanescent that stays and leaves in one moment.
So, form, either of our own, or of other people is perfect as it is. Perfect! It can not be more perfect than it is! As long as we are not identified with that. When we become identified with that, then problems begin.
When the Ego enters the game, then we are even in greater trouble. Because the Ego wants to have the most beautiful form, it wants to win the “Beauty Contest”. But if, somehow, we were formless, if we were something that can not be limited by form…that, by itself, it would be a very great expansion, it would be a very great freedom!
We would be free from all the limitations that form has…if we were That. That which knows of the form.
That which knows of all forms, and is Itself formless.
And It is so happy because of that. It is so happy to be formless!
It doesn’t need to go to the hairdresser, It doesn’t need to wash Its clothes, to iron them, or to do heavy diet, or to do some good gymnastics to have a nice shape, It is free from all of this.
It doesn’t need to worry: “Oh, what clothes will I wear today?”, “How will I enhance the beauty of my form”, or “How will I make my form more beautiful, so that the other forms, somehow, will accept me, will recognize me as having a beautiful form?”.
This is such a strange idea! It’s a crazy idea; “How will I make my form beautiful, according to the standards of the others, so that the others will recognize my beauty?”. What a trouble! What a headache!
So the Atman, the Self is so supremely happy that It has no form.
It is free from all these worries.
It is free from headache.
And although It has no form, It is the most beautiful of all.
There are no words to describe Its beauty, the beauty of the Self.
Its form is beyond comparison.
Its beauty is beyond comparison.
Its beauty is unfading.
It never loses Its beauty.
It never becomes less.
It never decays.
The question that arises is:
If there is such an Infinite Beauty, such an Infinite Beautiful Being, how can we somehow see It? How can we watch that Beauty? How can we come in contact with that Beauty?
Because what is the meaning, if there is such a Beauty, if we can not, somehow, see It?
That’s a good question.
How can we see That which sees? And what will it be that will see It?
It can not be seen directly.
It can not be seen with the eyes, or the mind, or the intellect, or by any organ, or by any scientific instrument, It can not be seen, not by these things. It can not be an object, something different from us. We can not see It in this way.
Yet again, the whole of the Universe is, somehow, Its reflection.
It is like watching in a mirror that is, somehow, shaped in curves and different shapes, and you see your reflection very strange, with big head or nose, for example… it is a bizarre reflection of the Atman.
The whole of the Universe is a bizarre reflection of the Atman.
When the mind becomes purified of desires, when it gradually becomes purified of Karma, that reflection becomes more clear. It is like looking on the water of a lake.
The Universe is like a lake, that is agitated by the winds of desire, and it has become muddy by the presence of Karma.
As desires grow less, the wind that blows, blows also less, the lake becomes more tranquil.
As the Karma becomes settled down, the mud that is, somehow, mixed together with the water, it also settles down. The water of the lake becomes more clear, we can see our face reflected more clear in it. The lake always reflects our face, our face is always reflected in that water – always. But, if it is too much agitated, we see a monster…maybe an “Orc”…
… we say: “Oh my God, is this me?!”
As the mud becomes settled down, slowly slowly, we see more clearly.
We can see our own beauty, reflected, somehow.
We can not see the beauty itself, but we can see the reflection.
We don’t expect to see some form, as the reflection.
We don’t expect to see some very beautiful form, like Tom Cruise, or something like that!
No, this is not what we mean…
Or to see an Angel with wings, long, blond hair, and trumpet…
No, this is not what we see. It has no form, what we see.
It is more like an Ocean of Bliss.
It is more like a Limitless Freedom.
It is more like an Opening.
Like the Blossoming of the Lotus.
We can say that this is kind of its form, if we can speak of a form. The form of Bliss, undiluted. Undiluted!
Now also we experience the very same Bliss, all of us, every single moment, but it is diluted.
We experience that Bliss, we can not stop experiencing it, it is our own Self, we experience that Bliss, but we experience it diluted with other things as well, that, somehow, attract us.
Somehow this Bliss is diluted by the sensations of the body, sometimes pleasant, sometimes unpleasant. Even the pleasant sensations of the body dilute that Bliss of the Being. Sometimes even very pleasant sensations of the body can be a pollution for the Bliss of the Being, because they distract our attention.
Sometimes our own thoughts dilute the Bliss of the Being.
The stronger the thoughts, the greater are the distractions. They distort the Bliss.
Sometimes our emotions, sometimes our ego itself.
Sometimes we feel great Bliss in our meditation, and immediately the ego pops up: “Oh, I feel so blissfull today!”.
What’s this? What is this voice? Where does it come from?
The Ego can not feel blissful.
It’s not its nature to feel blissfull.
The Bliss comes, somehow, in a moment of opening, in a moment of Grace.
And also, somehow, the thief, the bandit by the name of ego, it comes and says: “It’s mine! I felt very blissfull today”. And it takes it away, and we lose the Bliss.
Commenting on Vivekachudamani by Sri Shankaracharya
“The Truth of the Paramatman is extremely subtle, and can not be reached by the gross outgoing tendencies of the mind, It is only accessible to noble Souls, with perfectly pure minds, by means of Samadhi, brought on by an extraordinary finess of the mental state”.
When the mind has an outgoing tendency, you can not find It – there is no chance, because It is not outside. When the mind has a tendency towards the world, it is in the wrong direction, it goes in the opposite direction.
“As gold purified by thorough heating on the fire gives up its impurities and attains its own lustre, so the mind, through meditation, gives up its impurities of Sattva, Rajas and Tamas, and reaches the Reality of Brahman.”
Even Goodness dilutes the Knowledge of the Self.
Even that needs to go, in the end.
“When the mind, purified thus by constant practice, is merged in Brahman, then the Samadhi passes on from the Savikalpa to the Nirvikalpa stage, and leads directly to the realisation of the Bliss of Brahman, the One without a second.”
Savikalpa and Nirvikalpa stage, these are technical terms.
Savikalpa means the Samadhi that is brought on through a practice.
Nirvikalpa means a Samadhi that is just natural, there is no practice, nothing, it just happens by itself, there is no practice and no practitioner, it all disappears, only the Truth remains.
“By this Samadhi are destroyed all desires which are like knots, all (selfish) work is at an end, and inside and out there takes place everywhere and always, the spontaneous manifestations of one’s real nature.”
All desires are knots. Knots to what? They are knots to Life.
Life flows in a certain direction. Life goes by itself on a direction, but we say: “No, I don’t want Life to go this direction, I would like it to go that direction!”. So it blocks the flow of Life, it blocks the work of the Divine inside us. How can we open up the knots?
Through a feeling that, somehow, Life knows better.
Somehow, the Supreme, that takes care of me, knows better what I need now.
Why should I desire something else? Do I know better than the Supreme Self?
It is my ego that desires, that wants to know better than my Supreme Self.
No more ego! I will not sponsor you anymore. I will not contribute anymore to these knots!
That’s why desires are like knots.
When there are no desires, Life flows by itself.
It unfolds, naturally, by itself.
And we just see it happening.
And this is always the best!
It is the best possible unfolding!
If we take a Lotus flower, and we say: “Oh, it makes a long time to unfold, let us unfold it”…will we unfold it better? No, we will destroy it.
We just have to wait. Wait!
Wait and see it unfolding naturally, slowly, in its own time, in its own way. Not interfering. Just watch it happening by itself.
Then, that it’s truly beautiful!
If we try to interfere, to make it quicker, we will destroy it. We will cause pain to it and to ourselves. Just wait!
Sometimes when we read a book, when we read, let’s say, a detective book, or a story like this, or any intelligent book, and we are in the first chapters and we don’t understand anything, we don’t just close the book and say: “Oh, what a nonsense!”.
No…we wait. We read a little bit more…
“Let’s see what happens in the next chapter…ah…little less nonsense…let’s see what happens in next chapter”. And it is getting better.
We wait, and sometimes the whole book can be nonsense, and we read the final chapter and say: “Oh my God! That’s wonderful! Now it all makes sense! That is a masterpiece!”.
We read a book, sometimes, that is all nonsense, we can not understand anything, but we insist, we say: “Since I bought it, I will read it to the end”.
We insist, we go to the end of it, and when we read the final chapter… “Amazing!”.
Then, we understand everything. It explains everything, the whole story is explained perfectly.
And, maybe, we think: “This is the most beautiful book I have ever read”.
It does not exist any book more beautiful than the Book of Life,
written by the Supreme Self Himself.
So, be patient.
Read the final chapter, and then you can say: “This book is nice or not”.
Wait! Wait a little bit.
Some of us are still in the beginning, some are in the middle, some are in the final chapters…
It doesn’t exist and it will never exist a book more beautiful than the Book of Life.
All poets are only a tiny ray of the Supreme Poet that has written the Book of Life.
All great poets, like Valmiki, like Tulsidas, like Vedavyāsa, they bow at the feet of that Supreme Poet, again and again.
And by His Grace alone, they have composed what they have composed.
They have composed masterpieces, but none of these masterpieces is comparable with the Masterpiece of Life.
And my suggestion is: don’t become identified with any character of the Book.
Stay as the reader. Don’t enter into the story as a character. Stay a little bit outside.
Or, at least, occasionally, step out of the story, if you can not be out of the story all of the time, step out of the story, and just watch it, just observe it, just marvel at it, because it is marvellous.
That is the Art of Enjoying the Story.
How to purify the Karma?
The Universe is like a lake.
And the winds are our desires, that trouble the water of the lake, that move the water of the lake. So we can not see it clearly. And the mud in the bottom of the lake is like the Karma, and it is agitated. And so the water is not clear, it is brown.
So, what we do for this Karma?
We do not do anything. We do not interfere, it will settle by itself.
Karma has a power to unfold by itself, we do not need to do something. The quickest way for it to be unfolded is if we do not interfere. If we go to the lake and try to put down the mud, more mud will come. If we do not interfere at all, Life itself will settle it down.
The Karma will be settled down by itself.
This is the quickest way: not to interfere.
Sometimes we want to do some great deeds, some great actions, and maybe these actions can bring happiness either to us or to some other beings, maybe…
Maybe these actions can bring happiness to some beings, and unhappiness to other beings.
But what is certain is that these actions that we do they will agitate the waters, if we feel that: “We are doing them”. If we have the feeling: “I will do some great deeds today!”. Or if we have the feeling: “Yes, I did something great for the world! I did it!”. Then, we have lost it.
That means the ego has come, and has taken away our good deeds.
Some actions happen by themselves. That’s beautiful! That is Karma unfolding.
In fact, all actions happen by themselves. Good actions, bad actions, medium actions, they happen by themselves, somehow.
Let them happen. That is the quickest way.
That is the quickest way for Realization.
So, how can we be free of the Karma?
There are two ways.
One way is:
just let things happen, this is the “material” way, the “material” approach.
The second way is:
Realize That, which has no Karma. Realize that Self, that has no Karma, and be free from Karma.
The body has a Karma because it does actions, sometimes good, sometimes, bad, sometimes medium. The mind has a Karma because it does thoughts, sometimes good, sometimes bad, sometimes medium.
But That, that watches all actions of the body and the mind, It makes no actions, so It has no Karma. That which watches the Karma unfolding, Itself It has no Karma.
That is the best way to be free from the Karma.
To recognize That.
That observer, does he see the world as it is, or does He see it as a projection of himself?
It is always a projection.
It can be a clear projection or an unclear projection. Since there is nothing second to It, It can not be something different from It. It has to be, somehow, the projection of Itself.
And it is a projection that we enjoy very much, so, somehow, we sponsor it, we nourish it, we like the projection of ourselves. That is ok, at one moment we get tired and we stop sponsoring it and the projection collapses.
When the projection collapses, what is there?
Is there something? Who can say?
If there is no projection, there is nothing.
Or, we can say, there is something, which is nothing.
When the Universe finishes, what remains? Let us see…
This is the final chapter, I do not want to tell you…
if you realize the Self and you see everything as a projection, can there be a moment when you slide back and see as “you” for a moment again?
Yes, of course.
The Illusion is very powerful and very beautiful.
The greatest sages got deluded, somehow, by Maya sometimes.
There is one story about the very great Rishi called Markandeya.They say he has lived for unlimited time, he saw many dissolutions of the Universe, and he was alive, in one form, he had this special power, a sort of immortality.
So, one time, he was living in his cave, in the Himalayas, all by himself, and he was in perfect Bliss. He was taking no food, or taking something little, he was drinking a little bit of water.
He was living in Oneness with the Nature. He was not lacking anything, he was all alone, but he was in perfect Bliss.
So, they say, one time, the Supreme Lord took a double form, the form of Nara and Narayana.
He took the form of these two rishis, and came to visit him.
When Markandeya saw Him, he recognized Him immediately, and fell at the feet of the Lord, and said: “Jai Ho! Jai Ho! Bhagavan!” and started dancing in Joy and Ecstasy.
He brought Them flowers and water to drink. He gave Them a beautiful seat to sit, and all the time he was singing Their bhajans, in Ecstasy.
So, the Supreme Lord, in the form of Nara and Narayana, was very pleased with him and said: “O sage, you have pleased me very much, I feel very gratified with you, ask me for a boon! Ask me for a special blessing, for a wish, anything, and I will give to you!”
The sage said: “O Lord, only that I saw You today, all my wishes have been fulfilled, what more can I ask from You?”.
The Lord insisted: “Come on, ask for something (so we can make a story), ask for anything!”.
The sage Marcandeya said: “Ok, I would like to see the power of Maha Maya, to see how powerful Maha Maya is”.
Nara and Narayana laughed and said: “Ok!”, and they left.
So, the sage Markandeya was by himself in his cave, and it was peaceful, it was sunset, and everything was so beautiful, and suddenly a wind started coming.
The wind grew stronger, the waters of the river started being very agitated and then rain came, a very powerful rain, a very powerful thunderstorm. Trees were blown away and crushed. The waters of the river overflowed and started covering everything around.
Slowly slowly, so powerful was the storm, that the waters covered everything, they went inside the cave of the sage, they covered the mountain completely.
And the sage found himself floating, and very much agitated, thinking: “What’s happening here? Where am I?”, and he was feeling very cold.
He was seeing the whole World being destroyed, and feeling inside him the pain of the World.
Enormous creatures of the waters, there, were attacking him, sometimes biting him, sometimes carrying him away.
And there, in the waters of the ocean, he got lost… he forgot completely everything.
He was struggling for survival. He was struggling to survive, every single moment.
Sometimes something was biting his feet, sometimes he was finding some log, he was catching it and, for a moment, exhausted, was breathing a little bit.
He was looking for a land somewhere, he was feeling great pain, for hundreds of years.
Hundreds of years passed by like this, and he was struggling to survive.
Sometimes he was getting caught by a whirlpool, and he was trying to go outside. Sometimes thunders were falling close to him. Hundreds of years passed by like that.
Then, one day, in the distance, he saw a small island, and, exhausted, he struggled to go there.
As he came nearby, there was a big banyan tree, in the centre of the island, a very big, beautiful banyan tree. And in one leaf of the banyan tree, there was a little baby.
He saw him, and he was so beautiful, he was shining with a pure radiance, he felt so much attracted to that baby. So he swam up to there, he went to the island, and he was paralyzed by the beauty of the baby. And the baby had a golden silken cloth, he had a beautiful garland of jasmine flowers, and beautiful curly hair, and a soul-mesmerizing smile, and he was sucking the toe of his foot, like this.
He felt so much Love for this baby, he went close to him, and as the baby breathed in, the sage entered into the nose of the baby, and he saw, inside the baby, the Sun, and the Moon, and all the stars, and all the galaxies, and all the planets.
And he saw Time, he saw Karma, he saw the Devas and the Devils, he saw all powers of Good and Evil, he saw everything that exists, and he was marveling in great awe.
As the baby breathed out, again he came out of the nostril of the baby. He felt so great Love for that, and he came to hug it.
In that moment, when he went close by, the baby disappeared, the banyan tree disappeared, the island disappeared, and the ocean disappeared, and everything disappeared.
He opened his eyes, and he was back in his cave, and all was peaceful and silent.
And he bowed down to the great Maha Maya, to the great power of illusion, that deludes even the greatest sages.
– Om Shanti Shanti Shanti –