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



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

"The Truth is that I am no one and nothing exists!"

UESTION :  When I contemplate my real nature, the presence of "I am", a feeling of love without cause pervades me. Is this feeling correct or is it still an illusion?

Ranjit: It is the bliss of the Self. When you feel the presence of "I am", you forget all the concepts and all the objects within the illusion, and then this bliss appears. It is a unconditional state, but in the bliss there is still a little sense of an individual self. After all, everything you feel is still a concept. When you get tired of the external world and wish to be alone, you return to your own Self, but as long as there is an experiencer of a higher state, it is still only a projection of the mind.

The Self wants and needs nothing because the Self is empty. There is no pleasure nor displeasure in the Self because there is no sense of existence. When there is no experiencer, then why speak of experience or existence? There is nothing left to say or do because there are no longer any doubts or questions. The complete forgetfulness of the illusion means that nothing is, nothing exists. The illusion has no meaning for the Self. Self-realisation, or Self-knowledge, is the clear cut understanding that anything that comes and goes is unreal. How can anything be true if it goes away? Only That which is permanent and omnipresent can be real. And you are That! So now, what is there to say or do? You are the Eternal Self without any "I"-sense and there is no difference between the Self and Reality. If someone calls you, you reply "I am here", but before replying you know that you are always here.

There is nothing in the illusion which can improve Reality because He is the basis of everything. Reality is complete. Everything that appears, everything that you see, comes from the Reality. All the objects of perception come from Reality, and in the Reality there is no ignorance nor knowledge. What can you say about something that doesn't exist? What can you say about an unborn child? When you speak of anything it means that someone is experiencing something, but any sense of existence is still ignorance. When there is still a sense of existence, it means that you are away from your Self. Both knowledge and ignorance are like the two faces of a coin. After realisation both disappear, because you understand that without knowledge there could be no ignorance, no "I"-sense. Knowledge is never true because it comes from the past. The Truth is that I am no one and nothing exists!

When you love the illusion, it is only a state of your mind, and every state is conditioned. The unconditional is stateless and is the non-existence of the illusion. It is very subtle and can only be realised when you enquire into your own Self. Your own Self is always present, but when you love the illusion, you forget Him. What to do? For example, you need a mirror to see your face, but when you walk in the street do you need a mirror to remember what your face looks like? In the same way, Reality is always here, has always been here and will always be here, and apart from Him nothing else is. Every point in the universe is Him. The mind and senses cannot reach Him because He is omnipresent. You will understand that "I am Reality" when you forget about everything. The sun needs nothing, it just shines. Reality is the same.

Real happiness is within you and not outside. In deep sleep you are happy because you forget the world. Therefore, happiness lies in the forgetting of the world. Leave the world as it is, don't destroy it, but understand that it is not. Do everything you have to do yet remain detached, understanding that whatever you feel, perceive and achieve is an illusion. Your mind must accept that nothing exists.

The saints say, "Since everything is nothing, how can it affect you?" But what your mind says affects you, so what to do? The mind is nothing else but knowledge. People differentiate the mind from knowledge, but this is incorrect. There is nothing in the world. It is an illusion. Only Reality is, and when you understand that the illusion is really an illusion, then it will never affect you. After this understanding, nothing remains. A lotus leaf lives in water, drinks water, but is never touched by water. If you pour water on it, the water rolls off the leaf.

The bliss of the Self that you feel is still the pleasure of knowledge. First you must become aware, and then you become Reality itself because you are already Him. Therefore, there is no harm in living in the illusory world because it doesn't exist. The lotus remains in the water but doesn't care for it. In this way you must experience your true nature. I use the word "experience", but words cannot even penetrate Him. He is beyond space, beyond zero. In the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna says, "From where the words return is my state." He was a ruling king, but he still understood that everything is nothing. You don't understand that nothing can ever touch you. When you feel touched by something, it means you are still in the illusion. This must be understood. There is no master nor disciple in the Reality because everything is One. Duality doesn't exist. Apart from oneness, there is nothing. Therefore, remain in the illusion with this understanding.

Two friends wanted to play a trick on another friend. One of them insulted the other, and the other just laughed. The third friend was troubled and said, "How can you laugh when he insults you?" He could laugh because he possessed the key to the game, but the third friend couldn't understand. In the same way, a realised being that lives in the world understands that nothing is happening. Therefore, he remains untroubled. People always fear what might happen or what others might say. They think, "What will I do if that happens?" This is all due to the bondage of the mind. The one who is out of this circle understands that it is all nothing. It is said that only the one who dives deep into the ocean can find the pearl. The one who remains on the surface is carried away by the stream of pleasure and suffering. You must dive deep into the depths of the unlimited Self because that is where you are. Don't stop at the limited mind, go deeper. The gold doesn't care for the shapes it takes in the ornaments. It may be in the shape of a dog or a God, but it remains unconcerned with all forms. In the same way, be indifferent to things because they do not exist.

Nothing can ever touch you. You are always unattached. The mind must come to the point of the complete understanding of the illusion. There lies your state. Nothing remains for he who understands. There is no more gain nor loss. Don't ask if you can achieve Reality because you are the Reality. Why ask, "Can I?" First of all get out of the circle of illusion. Leave everything, one after the other, and go deep within your Self. Then come back and be in All. What you describe is no doubt a good state, but go a little further. When the mind accepts that everything is an illusion, only illusion, then you are your Self. The body and the mind are only illusion. You should be happy to know this. Get rid of your identification. The only thing the master does is to reveal your real power which is already within you. Until now you have paid no attention to That. It was a ordinary stone and the master reveals its true nature, true value, which is a diamond. He makes you the most precious stone.

I am omnipresent and almighty. I am the creator of all which is. When you are at the base of all, you are in All. Therefore, even a murderer cannot be considered as bad. Whatever is happening is due to "my order, my will." Be the master, not the slave! You are the master.

Question: I would like to know why some realised persons reincarnate in order to help others to realise their Self?

Ranjit: Nobody comes, nobody goes. Who told you that? You have read books and you repeat, no? It is said that the greatest man is the one who dies unknown. Rama and Krishna were secondary heroes. The accomplished man lives in silence and dies in silence. Then, their thought works in someone else. But it is nonsense that they come back.

Nobody comes, nobody goes. All is a dream. In a dream you can become a great master, but when you wake up, you come back to your ordinary state. Who has gone there and who has come back? Nothing has happened. The concept of a "great master" has come upon you, and you have become the "great master", but when you wake up you feel, "All this is nonsense. How can I be a great master? I know nothing!" Still, in the dream, you were giving lectures and were talking easily about all these things, but when awakening comes, all this knowledge vanishes. It was only a dream. From where has it come and to where has it disappeared? When nothing is, all is only beliefs and concepts of the mind. The so-called sage who says, "I am the reincarnation of God", doesn't know Him, doesn't know Reality. On the contrary, he is the slave of his ego, of illusion. When knowledge itself has no entity, there is no question of all these things.

He who understands gets rid of everything. This person looks like an ordinary one, but his heart is quite different. If you stay outside, how can you understand? To become the owner of the house you must enter it. In the same way, you must penetrate your own Self to become the owner. But there, in the Self, the "I" doesn't remain as "I". There is no more question of master and disciple. The thought of a master can inspire whoever takes a body, because he and the one who is in silence are One. Penetrate the heart of the realised one, and you don't remain as "you", because only He is. So it is said that those who teach are incarnations of God. The master teaches knowledge to all, but doesn"t value it because He knows that knowledge is the greatest ignorance. Therefore, don't be touched by anything.

Question: If all is illusion, are you yourself an illusion?

Ranjit: Oh yes! I am the greatest illusion! All that I say with full heart and so frankly is all false! But the false words that the master tells you can make you reach that point. The address of the person is not real, only the person is real. When you reach the house thanks to the address you have been given, the address is true only until the moment you enter the house. As soon as you come in, the address vanishes. Words are nothing else but indicators and have no reality themselves. If "I" remains, I am also an illusion. Don't remain as "I". That is the highest understanding of philosophy. Saint Tukaram said, "I have seen my own death, and what I have seen there, the joy that was revealed, that I know." First of all, you must die. "You" means "illusion".

Therefore, the words I use are false, but they take you to your Self. I speak for That. The address is false, but when you reach the destination, it is Reality. In the same way, all the scriptures and mythological books are meant only to indicate that point, and when you reach it, they become non-existent, empty. Words are false. Only the meaning they convey is true. They are illusion, but they give a true meaning. Therefore, all is illusion, but to understand the illusion, the illusion is needed. For example, to remove a thorn from your finger you use another thorn. Then, once the thorn is removed, you throw both away. But if you keep the second thorn, you'll surely get pricked again. To remove ignorance, knowledge is necessary, but finally both must dissolve into Reality. There is no ignorance nor knowledge in the Self.

The master and the disciple are illusions, because in fact they are One. The false can be removed only by the false. If you keep the second thorn, which means knowledge, even if it is a golden thorn you will still get pricked. The ego is the only illusion. It is knowledge. It is said that to catch a thief you must become a thief. Then you can tell him, "Beware, I am here and know that you are a thief, so don't try to rob me." But you cannot catch the thief because he has four eyes and you have only two. At a glance the thief notices the valuables, and if you are not aware he robs you. The illusion is like the thief, so you must be stronger than him. Your mind must accept that all is illusion, only illusion. Then, you'll be the "greatest of the greatest".

Knowledge is a great thing when it is used as a remedy. When the fever goes away thanks to medicine you took, you no longer need to keep taking it. Don't prolong the treatment or you will create more problems. Knowledge is only necessary to remove the disease of ignorance. The doctor will always prescribe a limited dosage. First of all, understand that the "I" is an illusion and what "I" says is also illusion. The master is an illusion, as well as what He says, because in the Reality there is only Oneness and no duality. "I" and "He" do not exist anymore. Go deep within your Self, so deep that you disappear. For example, a goat enters your house and you open all the doors to make it go out, and then a camel comes in. The camel is just like knowledge. So, to get rid of the camel you must break down the walls of the house. Then you are out of the illusion.

Whatever happens in the illusion is only illusion. In fact, nothing ever happens. So many things appear in the world. So many beings are born and die, but it is all a dream. You must accept this. Your mind should not be touched by the illusion. When someone dies, other people cry. The realised being remains quiet, knowing that nothing has happened and nothing is lost. Matter is never lost. When a body dies, the five elements that the body is composed of return to the five elements. And the life-force, the power, returns to itself. Only the illusion, the name and form, disappears. Be formless and nameless. If someone asks you your name, tell him, but be conscious that you are not that name. You must go beyond illusion for it to disappear. When you don't touch it, it doesn't touch. Understand that it is just like fire. If you try to extinguish it, you will get be burnt. Leave it alone. Understand that nothing can touch me, nothing can limit me, nothing can fathom me, and nothing can evaluate me. Everything is an illusion. Due to the "I"-thought, you feel a sense of importance for the world. You say, "This is my house, this is my chair, and all these things are mind." Things never say that they belong to you. They are mute and inanimate. Be mute and stay in your Self.

Once you accept what the master says as true, you are close to your goal. The key is the master's instructions, and when you take what he says to heart, you will be the happiest of all beings. Everything depends on your capacity to accept. You must always go straight to the essence of things. The essence of what He says has true meaning. Take the essence of the flower and be happy, but know that even the essence is not true.

Question: If a beggar asks for money from a realised being, what will he do?

Ranjit: It is his choice whether to give or not. Because after all everything is an illusion. He can seem merciless to the point of not giving water to a dying man. If a dying man is crying for water, he won't give any because he knows that the man is about to die, and giving water will only prolong his suffering. You think you are doing some good by giving him water, but you are only adding to his suffering. Due to ignorance, he wants to live longer. But hat can you get by breathing a little more? I don't advise you to be merciless, but understand that by giving in to his wish, you are only handing him more suffering. The one who thinks he has done a great deed is misled.

If you give a hundred rupees to a beggar, he won't be a rich man the next day. He will continue to beg because this habit of begging has become so deeply ingrained in him that it has become second nature. From birth, all beings beg hoping to attain happiness. Finally they die without attaining it. Even when you go to church to pray, you become a beggar in front of God. First you beg for yourself, then for your wife, and finally for your children. First for you and then for the others. Everyone is primarily concerned with his or her own happiness. But it can never be attained because the methods you use to obtain it are wrong. Always follow what your master has told you. If you do, you will be one with Him. All habits are nothing but the results of a narrow mind. Mind is knowledge, and when knowledge comes into contact with matter [the body], it takes the form of passions and habits. These habits and passions make you miserable. So have the understanding that when you enter the prison [illusory world], you are not the culprit. Stay in the world but say, "Nothing is true!" Don't cater to your passions. Understand what they are and then you will be free in life as long as the body is there. One day this body will disappear, but you will never die because you were never born. Blessed is the one who realises the Self. Realising means understanding, and if you understand that it is all illusion, you will always be happy.

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