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H. W. L.  POONJA

LION'S  ROAR



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

INTERVIEW  BY  VARDA  DROR



ARDA :  Namaste. Papaji, what is the meaning of one of your book titles, Wake up and roar?


Papaji: It means everybody is sleeping. They are all awake to the senses. Awake to their senses and sleeping to their own Self.

Varda: What does "roar" mean?

Papaji: When the lion wakes up, he roars. When he roars, all the elephants, all the animals run away. The lion is now awake. After roaring, he will hunt. So, a man who is awake to the sense objects sleeps to the Self. What I ask is now, like a lion, wake up to the Self, and then roar. And all those objects which you were playing with previously, they will run away. You roar, "I am now awake! I am free!"

Varda: How do we do it? How can we wake up?

Papaji: Without any practice. May I do it to you now?

Varda: OK... Oh my God!

Papaji: First, I will tell you a little story. The story runs like this. Everyday, a local washerman goes down to a river to wash clothes. He loads the soiled clothes on the back of several donkeys, washes the clothes, waits for them to dry on the river bank, and then returns home at the end of the day.

One day, a lioness goes down to the river to drink some water. In those days, lions were hunted for their skin and their head. Nowadays, it is forbidden. While this lioness was drinking water, a hunter hiding behind a bush shoots and kills her. This lioness was pregnant, and while skinning the lioness, the hunter pulled out a lion cub and left it on the bank.

A little later, the washerman goes to the river and sees the dead lioness and the newly born lion cub. He decided to look after the cub instead of leaving it to die. He washed it before putting it in a basket and returned home with it. He fed it milk and slowly when the cub grew big enough, he took the lion cub with him each day down to the river, where he left it along with the donkeys to eat grass on the bank of the river. It got used to walking with the donkeys. After awhile, it got rather big, so the washerman decided to load the soiled clothes on the young lion's back as well, treating it like the other donkeys. This lion slowly became a "donkey", doing exactly what the other donkeys did. He lived with other donkeys – carried clothes on his back, drank milk and ate grass just like them. He had no idea what a lion was.



 

Several months later, another lion came to drink at the river and was amazed to see this lion cub eating grass near the river bank along with the donkeys. Lions usually eat donkeys and humans, not grass. It moved closer for a better look. He couldn't believe his eyes. Was he dreaming? How could this be? He got even closer, which caused all the donkeys to flee away and the washerman to climb a tree. The tame lion also tried to run away, because he was afraid just like the donkeys. The hunter lion chased and caught the tame lion. He jumped on him and knocked him to the grass.

The tame lion was very afraid. "Please, sir, please don't eat me", he said. "Let me go and join the others."

"But you are a lion", the one on top replied.

"No, sir, I am a donkey."

So the hunter lion took his charge down to the river.

"Look at your reflection", he said. "We are the same."

The tame lion looked into the water and saw two lions looking back.

"You are a lion and you have always been a lion."

"Then how is it that I felt I was a donkey?"

"By associating with donkeys you became a donkey."

"Then how can I now live like a lion since I have only lived as a donkey?"

"Listen, look, open your mouth and utter a roar, like I do." He roared and then the other lion roared!

"It is as simple as that. Don't practice being a lion. Roar! How long does it take to roar? No time! Open your mouth and it's finished."

"I am a lion!" He never returned back with the donkeys.

He needed a teacher to tell him, he needed someone similar, another lion to tell him,"Utter the roar." And what is that roar? "I am Reality. I am free! I am God itself!" This is the roar. Afterwards, you will not go and play with any donkeys. Playing with donkeys means listening to the senses, chasing after objects which constantly change. This is what I call "sleeping to the Self". So, for one instant of your life, turn your face towards the Self. Keep quiet and see who you are. Utter a roar.

Varda: I find keeping quiet very difficult to do. How do you keep the mind quiet?

Papaji: Those who cannot keep quiet, they are donkeys. Let them play all their life with other donkeys, getting loaded with soiled linen, under the command of the washerman.

Varda: In the West, we are so used to thinking all the time. Now we learn in the East to keep the mind quiet. How can we make this change?

Papaji: Everybody has the same Self. We are the same Self. East and West are only concepts. Truth does not belong to the "East" nor the "West". The same Truth, the same Self is within everyone. You are the Self, I am the Self. What difference is there? Self is happiness, beauty and peace. During life everyone seeks peace. In peace, there is no difference between East and West. Quietness is your ultimate nature. Your fundamental nature is quietness, peace and love. Every word that you speak arises from peace and ends in peace. There was only peace in the beginning and there is only going to be peace in the end. It is only in between the beginning and end that we feel a disturbance. But even while you feel disturbed, peace is there. Nothing can disturb you if you know the trick.

Varda: What is the trick?

Papaji: First of all, we are disturbed by activity. We get involved in all kinds of activities that we don't like and as a result we feel tension, suffering and disturbance. Do you know from where all activities arise? That we do not know. We usually attribute activity to the senses. But where does activity spring from? Let us go there and see.

Varda: You are asking me?

Papaji: Yes.

Varda: From the mind.

Papaji: OK, from the mind. From the mind to the senses and from the senses to the objects. These objects are both good and bad, therefore they bring both happiness and unhappiness. Now, from where does the mind rise? The mind is just a thought, a bundle of thoughts. So take any thought for one instant, and I will tell you where it comes from. Take any thought. The primal thought is the "I"-thought, and with this thought, all other thoughts will follow. Even the thought "my mind" rises from the mind, as do all activities. So let us say that activity rises from thought.

Varda: Yes.

Papaji: Now try to find the Source of any thought. You have not yet tried this. I am taking you to peace. Like the lion who took the "donkey" down to the river, I am taking you to peace. Now for the first time, look at who you really are. Look at that Source and roar. We are travelling in the same direction. From where does this "I"-thought rise?

Varda: From the ego?

Papaji: Yes. "I" is ego, isn't it? "I" is ego itself. "I", ego and the senses are all the same. OK. Now from where does this ego rise? Whose ego is it? We say it is "my" ego. Again the "I"-thought appears. So from where does this "I" rise? If you run away like the other donkeys, then it will not work. Instead, go down to the river and take a look at who you are, like the lion cub. Right here, right now, find out where the "I" is rising from.

Varda: I don't know.

Papaji: Again, you mention this same "I". Look at where it rises from.

Varda: I really don't know.

Papaji: Again you say, ""I" don't know." You know, you have to know.

Varda: I have to know?

Papaji: You have to know. You have got to know. I will tell you how to know it. Turn your face towards this spring from where the "I" is rising. It doesn't matter what it is, you have not tried it before. And no one has told you also. Whatever you have been seeing so far – they are objects.

Varda: Yes.

Papaji: Objects are constantly changing. Relationships are always changing. They keep on changing. Now you are going to the Source that never changes. For one second, turn your back on everything that changes – the body, the mind, the ego and all the objects – and look at what remains. "I" remains. OK, now don't think. Turn your back on all the past thoughts. Here, you must not think. Don't stir a single thought and don't make any effort to understand what it is that I am doing. No effort and no thinking.

Varda: To be quiet?

Papaji: Just keep quiet and watch how it comes in front of you without any effort. Just keep quiet. Thinking means "past", so don't touch the past. Now tell me who you are at this moment.

Varda: A spark of light.

Papaji: What?

Varda: Consciousness.

Papaji: Excellent. This is what this lion cub did. He saw that he was really a lion. Now utter the roar, "I am consciousness!" Utter it now.

Varda: I am consciousness!

Papaji: Yes. Again utter it.

Varda: I am consciousness!

Papaji: So where are the donkeys now? Do you see any donkeys?

Varda: No.

Papaji: Who are you now? Who are you?

Varda: Consciousness.

Papaji: Yes, that's all. Take care now. In consciousness, there is the awareness of "I am" which is completely free from the feeling "I am this" or "I am that". There are no subjects or objects, there is only an awareness of being. Now, try to leave this consciousness and return to all that is changing. Turn your back on consciousness. OK?

Varda: OK.

Papaji: You turned your back on all that is changing – on all suffering, tension and death – and you found consciousness. Now turn your back on consciousness itself. Take a step out of consciousness. Walk out of it, step by step, and tell me who you are.

Varda: I am seeking now. I am back in seeking.

Papaji: Consciousness has no limitations and cannot be modified. There is no "East nor "West" within it. When there are no limitations, this is consciousness. Try to escape this from this limitlessness, this empty space, this circle. Are you still in the circle?

Varda: I am still in the circle, yes.

Papaji: OK. This circle has no limits because it has no centre. It has no circumference, no demarcations. All limits have been broken when you uttered, "I am consciousness." Try to leave consciousness and look back at who is following you.

Varda: Myself.

Papaji: Yes. And who is in front of you?

Varda: Also myself.

Papaji: And who is on the left and on the right?

Varda: Myself:

Papaji: And who is in the East and in the West?

Varda: Myself:

Papaji: Yes. You now see who you are. After you uttered, "I am consciousness", you are able to see. This is what I mean by "roar". Only lions can do it. And what do donkeys do? None of the other animals are afraid of donkeys, and neither is death. A donkey will invite its own death by just being a donkey. And when you say "I am a body", in the same way, you are just inviting your own death.

Varda: Why?

Papaji: Because the body is the food of death, as a donkey is the food of a lion. How long can you keep thinking that "I am a body"? A hundred years?

Varda: Maybe.

Papaji: Maximum a hundred years. Anybody who says "I am a body", the lion of death is waiting for him. Therefore if you say "I am consciousness", no death can come near you because you have become the Lord of death. Even death will be killed.

Varda: And this is true happiness?

Papaji: Yes, of course. That which does not change gives you true happiness and that which changes only gives you suffering. All relationships, no matter how wonderful they may be, will one day end. When you lose those who are dear to you, you will inevitably suffer. Wherever there are "two", it will end in suffering one day. I have never seen two together who have not suffered in the world so far. So where there are two, there is suffering.
Varda: Why?

Papaji: Why? Show me any two that are not suffering. Your parents, will they always be happy together? How long can they remain together?

Varda: So happiness comes from within myself?

Papaji: Happiness is the Eternal Oneness. It is only when you are dreaming that you see the "many". Therefore, wake up and roar. When you sleep you are all alone, and while you're asleep you dream of mountains, rivers, forests, friends, animals and a world full of people. But is the dream real?

Let me tell you another story. One night, a man goes to sleep and dreams that he gets married and has many children together with his wife. Then one day, a flood comes and all of his children are lost in the flood. His wife too, get washed away with the flood. The man is now suffering. He is crying, "Where is my wife? Where are my children?" Meanwhile, a tiger comes toward him, and he instantly wakes up. After waking, he fells so happy. Even though in his dream his wife and children have died, on waking he knows that it is all unreal. Even the suffering was unreal. So now let the tiger appear to tell you, "Wake up, this is a dream."

Varda: You mean to say that what we call "life" is actually a dream?

Papaji: The concept "I am a body" is a dream.

Varda: This is very difficult to understand.

Papaji: No, it is not difficult. Every day your experience this. Every night, when you go to sleep you experience this. You leave your body and friends behind and fall asleep. At that moment, are you happy or unhappy? To leave everything behind – apartment, car, money, friends – and say, "Good night, I am going to sleep." You leave the body, the mind and the ego all behind. And where are you wanting to go and disappear from all the pleasures of life? Why do you want to hide yourself and be alone? It must be a happier place than this world, that's why you want to run away. To enjoy your Self, alone. No one likes suffering. You must be very happy in sleep, therefore, you turn your back on everything and go to sleep alone, don't you?

Varda: Yes.

Papaji: Even when you are in the embrace of your beloved one, even then you say, "Let us sleep now. It is time, it is midnight, good night." Can you sleep even in the embrace of your beloved one; have you slept?

Varda: No. So only in sleep I am alone?

Papaji: Not only in sleep. Each second you enter into this aloneness, once every second, after each breath. If you didn't enter into this aloneness you would go crazy. You have a breath – during this breath, in this breath, you feel that you are a body and mind, you feel that you have friends, loved ones and are happy. Then after this breath, what happens? First of all, what is a breath? Inhaling and exhaling. In between the inhaling and exhaling there is peace. Now take a breath and don't retain it. Simply inhale. Inhale, and then exhale. Now, what have you done? Can you do it continuously, or do you have to stop and then exhale?

Varda: I have to stop.

Papaji: OK. You have to stop. Inhale now. So you have to stop when your lungs are filled with air, and then you exhale. So, what happens just after inhaling and right before exhaling? Can you tell me anything about it?

Varda: Something which I don't know how to explain.

Papaji: Look towards it. In inhaling, turn your back on the concept, "I am a body in a world." Once the inhaling has finished, in the pause before exhaling has started, at that precise moment, can you tell me who you are and what you see?

Varda: I am consciousness.

Papaji: Yes, again consciousness. So many times you have had glimpses of consciousness and yet you have forgotten them. And yet, if you don't return to consciousness, you would go crazy. Consciousness is always present and you are always in it. Now again, try to leave this consciousness. Inhale and hold the breath as long as you can, and I will see what happens. Even in inhaling there is no thought in the mind. During inhaling, what are you thinking?

Varda: I am consciousness.

Papaji: Excellent. How simple. Now stop inhaling. In that instant, who is present in this Emptiness? Can that Emptiness ever be avoided? Now exhale, breathe out and at the same time try to leave the Emptiness. When you inhale again, you are in the same quietness which you felt inside, in the Emptiness. Now start again from here. Try to speak from this Emptiness. What do you see There? Wherever you go you will be in This, but you need to be aware of It, that's all. Just keep yourself constantly aware. You can still do whatever you want and yet remain aware of the Emptiness. Now you are not aware, therefore you are in trouble.

Varda: Yes. What about techniques of meditation? Do any of these help?

Papaji: First of all, I don't prescribe any meditation. I straight away tell a you, "You are free." And if you don't listen, then I explain as I have been explaining to you. If then, you are unable to understand, then I say, "Trust what I have told you. Concentrate on the "I am" awareness of being. You are free from the beginning. You are free, you have been a lion from the beginning." So if you don't still believe me, then I tell you, "Utter the roar, "I am consciousness." Every day on every breath do this. On inhaling, "I am consciousness", then on exhaling, "I am consciousness." " Everyone has to breath, but these breaths are going to waste unless you become aware of your true being while breathing.

So, meditation is not taught here because it is not necessary. So sit, stand, lie down, walk, talk or do whatever you like, and utter these three words, "I am consciousness." This is enough. For one minute, two minutes or five minutes each day. You are spending at the most a hundred years on this planet, in this life, so you can spend at least some time on your own Self. So far, you have not spent time on this.

Therefore, just take one second out from your hundred years of life, and in the end you will be happy. Any one second. Even while leaving, while departing from this earth, even then you look at this from here, while going. This life breath has to pass slowly, go with this thing, until the last breath.

According to some religions, they say that if you spread a cloth over a thorny bush and then remove it, this is how prana functions. It goes from the body, from each nerve it is cut, and a man is in great trouble. So says the religion of your neighbouring country. that you are not even born. So fearlessness is given.

Birth is a concept. Death is a concept. You have only heard it, as in a dream. You have only heard that the Self, the soul does not die and is not born. It is a concept and somehow it has risen in you. So don't try to investigate how it has appeared, but rather discard it.

For example, you are sitting under a tree and some snake falls onto your shoulder from the tree. You are about to eat something and all of a sudden a snake falls onto your shoulder, and you wonder, " From where has this snake come from?" You look up and understand that it fell from the tree. Then you continue to wonder, "How did it fall ? How could it slip?" All this investigation will take up much time. The best is to just stop the investigation.

Varda: Don't investigate?

Papaji: Straight away take the snake by its tail and throw it away.

Varda: I see.

Papaji: By thinking, you have chosen bad company. You have started thinking, "I am so and so, I am the body, I am suffering." You only suffer when you think that there is someone suffering. When you suffer, you must attribute that suffering to someone, to some "I". All suffering belongs to the past.

Varda: To the past?

Papaji: Yes, always to the past.

Varda: So, in this moment I cannot suffer?

Papaji: No, you cannot. Right now you cannot suffer. You suffer only because you take yourself to be a body, and the body also belongs to the past.

Varda: So when I don't go to the past there is only peace?

Papaji: It is peace.

Varda: Is peace?

Papaji: Yes. Can you prove the contrary?

Varda: No, because what I wanted to ask you is how can we contribute to the peace in the outside, in the world? So when I am in peace...

Papaji: When you are in peace, everything is in peace. Everything is in peace.

Varda: And is this what "happiness" is? Is this real happiness?

Papaji: You are in peace and so everything is in peace.

Varda: There are people from all over the world, from many different countries, who come here to Lucknow to be with you and learn. The meetings you have with them are called "satsangs". What is the meaning of satsang?

Papaji: "Sat" means Truth in Sanskrit. "Sanga" means "to associate with". So the best association is to associate with the Truth. Association with the Truth is what satsang is. So you may be anywhere in the world and you may be alone, or with other people. Unfortunately, the word "satsang" has been misinterpreted and misunderstood. People think that it implies some form of gathering with many people, but I don't believe in this.

I am sometimes surprised to see so many people coming here, because generally when there is a crowd, there is some falsehood being practised. I never wanted to remain in one place. If this hall had not been built, I would have not stayed here. At the moment I live in my son's house. Three or four years ago, I travelled to the West, going from door to door, and had small meetings with people. Even before that I was staying in the Himalaya. I would only come to Lucknow several times a year to visit my wife and children. I had no intention to stay on in Lucknow, but due to heath problems and bad legs I have been here for continuously for the last two years. So these meetings developed slowly.

Actually, when there is a gathering of many people it means that some falsehood is being practised. How could there be so many people who all want to be free? It's rare that people seek freedom. Several times I have attempted to go away, but again I am here. So this is my karma now. I can't leave them.

Satsang is staying with the Truth, or staying with a being who has seen and experienced the Truth for himself. Stay with that person, because otherwise how would know what the Truth is? Truth is within you, and staying with the Truth within you is called "satsang". Within the Heart cavity there is an Emptiness and within It there is a flame which will show you the way of Truth.

Varda: What happens in satsang? What really happens to people when they come to satsang?

Papaji: In satsang I see that something is happening to them. I respect them all. They have come from far away countries. From past lives they have gained merits and have accumulated desires and longings. Therefore, to fulfil those desires, they have been born in a place where they can fulfil those desires in whichever country it may be. The same Truth which was previously hidden within is now compelling them to go and seek out that Truth. So, they have come here and I respect them. I cannot run away from them. They are here and I am finding that quite a few of them are being benefited.

Perhaps now, another era is coming so that the message of peace can easily be spread. Over the last twenty years, there seems to be more peace in the world. Until now, all the world powers and politicians have been engaged in destroying the world. You can see how much damage mankind has done to this planet. Perhaps, in spreading this message of peace, that "We are all One", we could eventually remove all the barriers preventing peace on this planet. Let us live as friends, as brothers and sisters, as we used to live several thousand years ago. Let us live in peace with each other, as holy people do. So, this is going to be a good era, I believe.

Coming back to your question: satsang is not only the "association with the Truth", but is "being the Truth". "I am Truth"; this is satsang. The Truth is constantly calling you toward It, but you are unable to hear the call. It calls out, "Come, come, I will give you peace, I will give you love and I will give you the only thing that I have. Come to me and I will give you the kingdom." So, until now, you have not been able to listen to this inner calling. The Self within, consciousness within, is now helping you to meet someone who will teach you how to listen and be the Truth. That is why all these people have come here. And I am very happy with them and give them as much time as I can.

Varda: What does it mean to be enlightened?

Papaji: Enlightenment is to stay as you are. Stay as you are without such labels as "I am enlightened", "I am a free man", "I am a sage", "I am a monk", or "I am a saint". Simply, don't give yourself any label. When you get rid of all labels, that which remains is called "freedom" or "enlightenment". When you give yourself a label you become "someone". When you have removed all "becomings" and return to conscious being, this is enlightenment. But the word "enlightenment" is also just a concept. In being there is no darkness at all. Only when there is darkness do you need a candle. But here, in being, there is no darkness, so there is no need for any candle to bring forth any light. Only when you become "someone" do you need a light.

Until now, you have concealed yourself by wanted so many things. When you label yourself by saying, "I am so and so", you conceal this beauty, love and peace. So, remove this "I am so and so", reject the concept that "I am a donkey." You are a lion and have always been a lion.

Varda: Do you remember the moment when you felt that you were really free? Did you experienced such a moment?

Papaji: I remember it happened at the age of eight, without doing any practice nor applying a method. I followed no path nor had I met any teacher to help me. It just came by itself without any effort and it was a very happy moment for me, full of beauty and peace. It was in 1919, and from that time onward it has remained with me.

Varda: So you felt...

Papaji: I was sitting together with my relations and neighbours, and it happened while I was drinking something. And then simply, I was caught by a extreme happiness that I had never known. My relations thought I was being haunted by a ghost or something and tried to remove the ghost with charms. My mother asked me what was happening, and I replied, "It is very beautiful." From that time onward, I only wanted to sit quietly and hide from everyone. Even during the night. During the day, I used to skip school just to sit quietly and meditate. I didn't know why I was meditating or what I was meditating on. I was simply keeping quiet. That is why I say to everyone, "Keep quiet and it will happen without any effort".

Varda: When did you start to teach others?

Papaji: Although I would not call it a teaching, right from the age of thirteen or fourteen, the neighbours used to come to me. And then, after the partition, quite some time after meeting my master, Ramana Maharshi in 1943, I was working in the south of India and several westerners started coming to me. As far back as 1947, people started coming. There was one Belgium lady with me at that time, and through her enquiry, she later became a saint.

Varda: What does it mean to become a saint?

Papaji: It means rejecting life. She was married to one very rich Indian man who was studying law in Berlin. And later on, the both of them rejected everything and created an ashram in Haridwar. Many people came to meet with me after being in contact with their ashram. Also, some missionaries came to see me. There was one Father Le Saux who wrote about me in one of his books. Through him, many Christian monks came to me.

Varda: A few days ago, you were talking about worship. In the West, I feel we do not know much about worship? What is the meaning of worship?

Papaji: Worship has to be performed, but unfortunately it has been given little importance. In truth, everybody is worshipping the Supreme through It's different forms. In whatever relationship you have, it is really the Supreme that is being worshipped. But everybody only sees the bodies and forms and do not see or know the Self. All worship is for the sake of the Self and after enlightenment, the Self has to be worshipped and adored.

And what is this worship? Worship or adoration is not separate from the Self. You always like to be with that one whom you love, don't you? It is the conscious awareness with whom you always like to be. This has to be adored, and this adoration is what is meant by "worship". In every being or non-being, you have to worship the Supreme because the Supreme is everywhere. It is in all rocks, trees, animals, birds, gods, suns, stars, skies and humans. It has to be worshipped and respected. Then you will be loved; It will love you and everybody will love you. And if you don't worship It, nobody will love you and the world will appear chaotic in your eyes. You will have no peace. It all depends on you. What do you lose in worshipping the Supreme, being devoted to the Supreme? It is peace, love and beauty itself.

Whatever you are doing now, even while you are eating, you are in fact worshipping the Self. While eating, be watchful, and see who is eating? In the process of eating,your hands are putting food into your mouth. Now who is the eater? You say, "I am eating." Again, you return to consciousness, you see.

Varda: Yes.

Papaji: "I am eating." The eater has risen from consciousness. Consciousness has become the "I". So, who is eating, who has become the munching of the teeth and who has become the hands which put the food into the mouth? Who has become the eyes which see the food, and who has become the food? And the food becomes the body itself. So, during this whole process, we are permanently in worship. Eating is worshipping, seeing is worshipping and even thinking is worshipping. How does thinking come about and who is thinking? If you say that "I am the thinker", then who is giving you the light to think? Where does this light come from? If you say that "I am not a thinker", then who is giving you light to even be a non-thinker? Who gives you light to be a devotee so that you can worship? And who is the Supreme? We must start from the beginning and then this awareness will become a very beautiful place to stay. You will always like this place while living with people, speaking to animals and even while speaking to trees.

There is no difficulty in seeing your own Self. There is nothing easier. It does not take any time nor any effort. Self is here, now. You do not need to travel any distance. The Self is at no distance from you, not even one centimetre from you. It is within the breath, behind the retina, through which the retina sees, through which the eyes see, through which the breath becomes a breath. Behind that. So how easy it is to only be here and now. You are not to do anything nor think anything. Then you will become that Supreme Power, that is everything and loves everything.

Varda: What is God? What is the definition of God?

Papaji: God? God with a capital G or smaller g?

Varda: Both.

Papaji: No difference. You are God, I say. I am God. Everything is God. God cannot be limited. All is God.

Varda: Why did you choose to be in Lucknow? Is there is any special reason?

Papaji: Because I can no longer walk very much.

Varda: What is the connection between physical pains and being free, being enlightened?

Papaji: Physical pain is in the mind.

Varda: In the mind? But it hurts, it is painful.

Papaji: There may be pain, but it makes a lot of difference to one who knows that "this is just a pain". Who has the pain and who is dying? It makes a lot of difference when you know that it is only the body that feels the pain. Many people have severe bodily pains and they are confined to bed. During their lives they may have pain, arthritis and it troubles them. They remain at home in bed and don't even wish to walk. Due to all this trouble their bones become old. They become like an old person. This body is like a machine, like a car. Even if the car is old, the driver is still healthy and young. Same goes for this body.

Varda: Many people who are seeking freedom feel that their health gradually becomes better. They feel more alive and have less tension. Does being free improve the body's well-being?

Papaji: First of all, it is good to accept the reality that your body is in pain, but it is much better to finish with all karma. These pains are due to karma. We are wearing this body because of our previous momentum, of our longing to fulfil all our previous desires. So in freedom, all the past karmas are finished. You are free from karma and desire. The knowledge, "I am free, I am a lion" burns the karma and burns any previous notion of being a donkey. This means that all the old samsaras and old karmas vanish instantly with this light of true knowledge. When you see this light, immediately the old karmas vanish. Just like when you turn on the light, immediately all darkness vanishes. Now, when the past has gone, the future must vanish as well. The future needs some foundation to remain and that foundation is the past. So when the past has vanished, the future must vanish with it. Past and future are the same. There is no difference. You can only speak about "tomorrow" and "yesterday" in this moment, today. Anything that you can speak of must come from the past.

This body is the previous karma which is now in momentum. Momentum means that the fruit has already been born. The tree is planted and now it produces fruit. Once the tree has been planted you cannot stop it from bearing fruit. So even after attaining freedom, this body still has to run it's course. For example, say you are hunting and see an animal in the distance. You think it is a tiger so you shoot a bullet from your rifle. But after firing you realise that you were mistaken and that in fact it is only a cow. Once the shot has been fired, you cannot call it back. It has to finish it's course. So all the previous karma that is stored up is now manifesting as this body and these bodily pains. The karma has to take revenge on this body in this manner.

After enlightenment, it is written in the Scriptures that the body must die after twenty-one days. After twenty-one days, this body cannot stand the shock of this beauty. This beauty is so tremendous. The body, the mind and the nervous system cannot bear the light, the peace. It is a tremendous shock. It has to die instantly with this shock of wonder, amazement. Instantly it dies. There have been many. Therefore, we have no recollection of what this Reality is. Instant death.

But in some cases, due to previous karma, some bodies continue to live even after enlightenment. This may be due to one or two purposes. One is to help those people who are here for the same reason, and this Supreme Power is keeping this body alive and working through it in order to help others to awaken. So this body is maintained under the commands of the Supreme Power to help others and to also bear the old karmas in the way of troubles and diseases. Troubles and diseases pounce on this body and take their revenge, once and for all, until it is finished. So this man, of course, is in trouble, like the others. He has a power to use, but does not, because he knows himself to be the Source of everything. Even though pains are there, he remains silently as the Self.

Suppose that a man dreams that a tiger pounces on him. Meanwhile, somebody has fired a shot at this tiger and it dies. But the man has been injured severely. This is all happening within a dream, mind you. So when he wakes up he remembers that the injury inflicted by the tiger was very painful, yet he knows that this injury was only a dream-injury. But still he remembers that he was attacked by a tiger. Like this, he remembers the old connection of this pain, this injury, but knows it to be only a dream.

As the Buddha was once having a very severe headache, he said, "I want to sit. I cannot walk." His close disciple, Ananda, replied,"Sir, the village is very near. I will run and bring you some medicine." The Buddha responded, "No Ananda, please sit down. This pain is not from this current life. This severe pain is due to my previous births. I was living in a village where there had been no rain for three consecutive seasons and the ponds of the village were all dried up. The fish were dying in the mud and the villagers were throwing stones at them to kill them so that they could eat them. I also did so. I also threw stones at the fish and I remember that they were injured and crying. I also killed some fish. So, this headache is due to this and it will eventually go away. I just have to bear it."

So, we know the cause of this, and we have to bear it. I have to bear it. But at the same time, there is also a deep happiness due to enlightenment.

Varda: OK. Thank you very much.

Papaji: I am very happy with this interview and with you because you can now see happiness. I am sure that when you return home you will share this message of happiness with those around you. Thank you very much.

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