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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.

"What appears and disappears and doesn't remain cannot be true."

UESTION :  My mind is constantly noisy. It worries about work and what I have to do. I seem to live in the future.

Ranjit : Everybody lives in the future. You must teach your mind to stop thinking. It is always noisy because it wants so many things. All these thoughts, all these desires keep the mind in constant activity. Water must flow, otherwise it is not water. In the same way, the mind is made up of so many thoughts which come and go. Just let the thoughts come and go. If the low tide or high tide comes, the ocean never worries about it. So whatever thoughts come and go, why should you worry? You are beyond thoughts.

Mind is only a thought. In sleep there are no thoughts and no mind. When the mind appears, there must be thoughts. Understand the functioning of the mind and then you can understand who you are.

One should know "Who am I?", which is knowledge of the Self. Just like when you wake up and say that your dream was not true, in the same way, when you know your Self you will know that the mind, the thoughts and the world are also not true.

When you see the world and experience everything, who is it that sees and experiences? The world is just a thought and it is the unreal ego who sees and experiences everything. This world is nothing but a long dream, take it for granted. Everybody says, "I am so-and-so". Is your name written anywhere on you? If it were, then there would be no need to ask for your name. Many thoughts trouble you. But all thoughts, whether good or bad, pleasant or unpleasant, come and go. What comes and goes, and what doesn't remain, how can it be true? It's all the mind's creation. Mind has the habit to see false things, things which don't exist, and then accept them as true. You say you exist. Prove it!

The five elements and consciousness have risen and united together, and your parents have given a name to this. Yet no object in the world ever says, "I am this or that." A table never says it is a table. So how can you be a name? It is only your thought.

There is some power, some Source within you which you first need to discover. Know yourself and the world to be That. "Good", "bad", "right" and "wrong" are only creations of the mind, so you need to examine your mind. Many people come and go, but you always remain. You are never lost, you always remain as you are. Why worry about all those thoughts which come and go?
What appears and disappears and doesn't remain cannot be true. Thoughts are the mind's creation and the mind has the habit of taking the unreal as real. This body you have is just playing a role. One body plays the role of a woman and another of a man, but the knowledge in both is the same. They both function with the same knowledge. Try to understand this.

In the beginning, the master teaches you, and then finally you understand that you are Him [the Reality], and everybody is That. There is absolutely nothing apart from thoughtless Reality, so why worry? Nobody is "good" and nobody is "bad". You have fingers and some are small and some are big. Which ones are "good" and which ones are "bad"? All are made of flesh and blood. You may have a 100 or 50-watt bulb, yet both work with electricity. Electricity is the common factor. You all breath air and eat with your mouths, so everything is common for all. The power that works through everybody is the same power, that's the main point.

Everything is a thought. Thought means knowledge and knowledge is mind. Thought, knowledge and mind all rise and function within the power of consciousness. But who are you? You are neither the mind nor the consciousness. You are Final Reality, the Source of consciousness.

Everyone chases after illusory things and is ruthless in the way they live. Everyone and everything is sustained by breathing, and when it stops, everything ends. So everyone is focused on maintaining the breathing, because they don't want to give up their illusions. If you are sick you call a doctor right away. You tell him, "Give me some medicine so that I can continue to breath more and more." As long as the life force continues, you are happy. But breathing takes place in a dream. Everyday you do the same things – you get up and brush your teeth, eat breakfast, drink tea, go to work, return home, eat your dinner and go to sleep. You repeat the same things over and over again, creating endless duties for yourself. You say, "I have to do this, I have to do that." But when you were born, you had no sense of duty. You didn't even know if you were a boy or a girl. All these actions and duties are just creations of the mind, dream creations. To discover who you are, you must first find out what you are not. You are not the mind and its thoughts. The mind and its thoughts are constantly changing, so how can you be these? You never change! The power in you as a baby is the same power in you as an adult. It is the very same power working through you now.

The problem is that you do so many things without knowing your true Self. So people go to the realised beings [jnanis] because they want to know who they really are. The realised being tells them, "Before you try to understand this world, you must first know your Self." When you travel around the world you need to carry a passport or identity card with you at all times. It's your validity card. But that validity card which is stamped each time you visit a new a country is not real. You don't need a passport to be the Reality. You are already That, so wherever you go, all is okay. But you say, "I'm so many years old and live in America." The fact is that you [as individual] don't exist and your identity card is a fraud. Only the master can say that you are an impostor. Everyone else is mad and foolish. You need to think about these things to be free from the illusions you are living in. You have the discriminative power [the intellect] to know what you are not.

The human being is always running after money. If you give money to a dog, will he care about it? It is only man who cares for pieces of paper. All the other creatures just want something to eat. Through ignorance you have become so small, even smaller than a dog. You run after money and hoard it even though you cannot eat it, and you never give it to others. You are just like a dog in a kennel. It doesn't eat and it won't allow the other dogs to eat. You'll never give a cent to anyone unless you want something from them. So you are just like a dog in a kennel, hoarding and barking at anyone who comes near. Reality never eats and never wants anything. It is knowledge that wants to eat more and more. Knowledge wants money and so many other things. When you sleep, you don't want anything for eight hours, but when you wake up you want so many things. What I want to say is that you don't need anything to be as you are, the Reality. It is the body that has so many needs, not you.

[At this point a man came into the room and began asking questions.]

Question : I have been living in Bombay for twenty years and have never heard about you. I think only the lucky ones know about you.

Ranjit : I don't advertise myself because I don't exist.

Question : You remind me of Krishnamurti and for a moment I was taken aback.

Ranjit : Yes, people say that we have a similar face, but I have never seen him.

Question : Maybe he has seen you?

Ranjit : Many people have come to see me, but I don't remember them all. Some people agree with you about the resemblance.

Question : Yes, yes, but the Atman [Soul] is still always the same.

Ranjit : The Atman is the same, but is also not true. Only Reality is true.

Question : But when one dies the Ruh [Atman] disappears.

Ranjit : Yes, Atman returns to the Source.

Question : What is the exact meaning of Atman?

Ranjit : Atman means "Soul", and Ruh is a wish or a thought.

Question : Doesn't Ruh mean "Soul power" or Ruhani Tagnat?

Ranjit : Ruh is not the Final Reality. Ruhani Tagnat is the power of knowledge, and knowledge itself is not true. The muslims says that you can never know Allah, but they don't really understand the true meaning in it. When you [as a separate individual] seem to exist, Allah cannot be. When you let the "I" disappear, Allah appears.

Question : Allah is the creator and we are his creatures.

Ranjit : No, we are not creatures. The power in you is the same power in the creator. You create many things, but you don't understand that it is your own creation. When you dream, who creates the dream? It is you. By thinking you create so many things. So he who created the false is also false. While you sleep, who creates the dream?

Question : The subconscious.

Ranjit : The subconscious is just a thought. So thought creates the dream and thought itself is false. Thought cannot be true and therefore the world itself is an illusion.

Question : When the ancient rishis [sages] said that "All is an illusion", the whole of India started going inwards. As a result, India is economically backward compared to the West, which has developed outwardly.

Ranjit : Because they [the West] are in the illusion [maya]. They are always in the illusion because they don't know that it is the power of the Soul in them who has created the world. Why is it called Atman? Because you think you are the body. When you leave the body, Atman becomes one with Reality [Brahman]. So in fact, you are the creator. You have created so many things. Who has created all these contrivances?

Nowadays, many foreigners come to India because they want to develop inwardly. They are tired of outer development. After the Second World War they realised that happiness lies in knowing your Self and not in the material world. In 1926, my master published a book called Golden Day, which is about the same subject that we are talking about now. At that time, nobody in the West wanted to read about inner development, but today many people come here to understand. The outside world appears to be true while you are living, but what happens to it when you leave your body? It has no existence at all. Saints say that the world is false and encourage people to move over to the side of Reality. When you know your Self, you will realise That which is unique and all-pervading. So, you must dive deep within your Self, otherwise you will remain a foreigner to your own Self, no matter which country you are from.

Question : Is there such a place as hell?

Ranjit : Hell is here. When you say "I am the body" you are in hell. When you understand you are not the body, then you are in heaven. Heaven is not in the sky. Heaven is within you. Heaven rises from you. If you don't take birth, then where is the world? You may have a large sum of money in the bank, but what is the use of it after you leave your body?

Question : In the Bible it says that it is more difficult for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven than it is for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle.

Ranjit : Rich people cannot accept this because they don't know that the world is unreal. If you understand that the world is an illusion then you can understand who God is. You are Him, but you don't understand this, so you say that "He is in heaven and I am in hell."

Question : Which part of Islam do you not agree with?

Ranjit : I agree with them when they say, "God is only One." Kabir says,"You are Allah and only Allah." So one should know Oneness, the Reality. It is said, "United we stand, divided we fall." You are the Reality, so you never fall and never die. Who dies? Birth and death are both an illusion.

Question : I lost both my mother and father. How can I regard them as an illusion?

Ranjit : They have gone because they never existed. Where have they gone? Tell me. You have put their bodies in the earth.

Question : So they merged with the five elements?

Ranjit : Even the five elements don't exist. In a dream you see many things, but do they exist? In the same manner, this world doesn't exist. Where are your mother and father? They have no entity now. They came, took birth and a name was given to them. So you became their son and they became your parents. But in fact, nothing is there and no connection exists. Nobody can go with anybody. Everybody wants to live and nobody wants to die.

Question : The life in this world is a sport and pastime and real life is yet to come.

Ranjit : Yes, yes. "Real life is yet to come" means you should understand what Reality is. So I say the world is fun and fair, nothing else.

Question : So you shouldn't take it seriously?

Ranjit : No, since it doesn't exist. When it is not, then what is there to take seriously or not to take seriously? True is the Reality and That is your Self.

Question : But it takes time to come to that understanding. How can you look at the cricket bat and say that it's not true? You may take the bat and hit my head with it. It's very real!

Ranjit : No, it's not real.

Question : But I can't say that it's an illusion. They give the example of the master who said the same thing and finally the disciple beat him. He then ask the master, "Do you still believe that the world is an illusion?" Still the master replied, "Yes".

Ranjit : This beating is also an illusion, so why should you worry? Master doesn't worry. If someone calls you a fool, say "I am a double fool." When I was in America they asked me if I too was an illusion. I told them that I was a first class illusion. First class means "grand illusion". What I say is all wrong, but for whom I speak is the Truth.

Question : But you are speaking to our Atman [Self]? To whom are you speaking?

Ranjit : To nobody, because nothing is there. All is an illusion, so what is there to do? The speaker and the listener are both false. If you arrive at this understanding, then you become realised.

Question : Then what is the opposite of illusion?

Ranjit : That is your Self without any "self", without any "you".

Question : But when the self is also an illusion...

Ranjit : Reality has nothing to do with all these questions. It's just like a screen on which pictures appear. Reality is not touched by any of these pictures. That's why we say that whatever comes and goes is a dream. Nobody can take the world with them when they die. At the time of death, the dream ends. Suppose you dream that you are a saint, but when you wake up, where has the dream gone? Try to understand. If the illusion is unreal, then the one who understands this is Reality Himself. You become Him, without the sense of being an entity. So, only Final Reality remains without anything else.

Question : When we study all this and think this way, the result is that it has put India fifty years behind the West.

Ranjit : Let it be. When you know that it is only a dream, then what is the meaning of "fifty years"? Time is an illusion, so "fifty years" is meaningless. The concepts of "behind" and "forward" are also only unreal concepts of your mind.

Question : In the Olympics, India has won nothing. We don't receive any recognition

Ranjit : Nehru wanted to put India in the best place and he tried everything to succeed. But today he no longer exists, so what remains of his efforts?

Question : His statue is there.

Ranjit : What is the meaning of a statue? A statue can't do anything.

Question: Every year we celebrate his birthday.

Ranjit: There is no harm in honouring him, but it is of no use whatsoever. What does he get by honouring him? Where is he now?

Question : Okay, but the memory that I have of him is not an illusion.

Ranjit : A memory has to be an illusion. A memory is only knowledge.

Question : If I pinch myself I feel pain and this pain is real to me.

Ranjit : Pain is not real.

Question : It is true that I can't show you the pain, but I can feel it.

Ranjit : Pain happens to the body, not to you. Suppose you are operated on and you are in pain. You ask for medication to sleep. In sleep, everything goes away, and when you awake again you say, "Aww!" So the pain is nothing but the mind being touched by the body.

Question : But it's real to the person who feels it.

Ranjit : You don't follow what I am saying. In a dream somebody slaps you on the face. You feel the pain of the slap in the dream. You wake up and there is only a pillow next to your face. So how did you get slapped and who felt it? Do you follow? The pain that you felt in the dream is not real. It is the same for the world. The world does not exist, because it is nothing but a long dream. When you wake up the picture continues, just like an image on a TV screen. When you turn it off, the picture vanishes. In the same manner, when you die all the pictures disappear, and when you take another birth they reappear. That is all that happens.

All that you need to understand is this. It is not a simple thing, but if you listen and accept what the master says, it can happen in a second. On the other hand, people seek Reality but they lack the ability to grasp what the master says. The master says, "You are Him and there is absolutely nothing else to gain or understand. Come with Me, nothing else is required. No matter where you are, you are always Reality. You are everywhere. There is nothing that exists apart from you. Your Self is everywhere and anywhere."

Question : Everybody wants a short cut to Reality. Is the idea of shaktipat [transmission of spiritual energy] possible? It is said that Swami Vivekananda became great overnight through the shaktipat of Swami Ramakrishna.

Ranjit : I don't believe in shaktipat. You must listen to the master. Ignorance has come by hearing, therefore you must listen to a realised being and then it is possible. By hearing ignorance has come up, and by hearing it vanishes. How can shaktipat help? If I put my hand on someone's head, can he know anything? For example, suppose a boy is running and another boy doesn't want to run. Will putting your hand on his head make him run? How can this give his mind and body energy to make him run?

Question : What I mean is the transfer of spiritual energy from the chakras [energy centres] to another person.

Ranjit : No, that cannot be done. When the master guides you, and if you grasp what He says and put it into practice, then yes you can get the understanding.

Question : Then what do you make of what these swamis said?

Ranjit : I am not saying that they are not great. What they say is their business. I just don't agree with this concept.

Question : I agree that by hearing one can see the Light. But do we have enough time? In this rat race of a world, do we have the time to become enlightened? There is only twenty four hours in a day. I believe that Swami Vivekananda wouldn't lie.

Ranjit : I don't say anybody lied. I already told you that what I say is false and doesn't exist, but for whom I speak, He is true. That's the meaning in it. Right or wrong I don't criticise anyone. I don't care what others say. I know what my master has told me and I have experienced That. A young boy doesn't have to learn his mother tongue, because he hears it from his parents. It happens automatically. Other languages he must learn. When you were born you didn't know anything about ignorance or knowledge. The child gets impressions on his mind from what he hears and then he understands. So impressions are received and the mind replies. Then he speaks. Follow me? Same way here also. Ignorance has risen from hearing and it can only go by hearing. The true meaning of shaktipat is when the master speaks and the disciple listens and takes it to heart. Then the disciple becomes a master himself. If he is attentive and has a clear-cut understanding, then why not? You are He.

Question : I am That!

Ranjit : Yes. When the ego doesn't remain, the only Reality is there. But "I" and "That" are both wrong. They are only words and you have to go beyond words. Words arise from That, from their Source. Reality is beyond words.

Question : People always speaks of Reality, but nobody explains what It is.

Ranjit : Reality is Reality. How can you say what It is? When you say something about Reality you are in a dream. How can a person who is sleeping know who he is? This world is the creator's dream. The creator's creation is also a dream. The creator himself is also unreal.

Question : Dreams do have significance.

Ranjit : A dream is always a dream no matter who dreams it. The realised being understands that it is all a dream and not real. That is the difference.

[The phone rings and Maharaj answers it.]

Question : You just talked to someone on the phone. Is that real or an illusion?

Ranjit : It's an illusion.

Question : But you talked on the phone!

Ranjit : While I am living I have to talk. A dead man cannot talk. As long as the body is living, he lives in knowledge [jnana] and Final Reality [Vijnana]. But in fact, the realised being doesn't do anything. He understands that when he talks, he doesn't talk. He sleeps but he doesn't sleep. He has this understanding. Nothing exists, but you say something is there. What you think exists is only knowledge.

Question : In darkness we see a rope and say it is a snake.

Ranjit : Yes, that is ignorance. Even at the moment you say it's snake, it is still a rope. Due to ignorance or darkness, you say what is not true. You say that the world is real and not an illusion. By the Grace of the master you come to the understanding that nothing is real, and if you accept what the master says, then the world becomes nothing.

Question : But is thought material or immaterial?

Ranjit : It doesn't exist! It has no real existence of it's own. Many thoughts have come, but where are they now? Do you follow? They come and they go. Guests come and go, but the host always remains.

Question : People emphasise the higher Reality or Truth...

Ranjit : Reality is Truth. Truth is not something that the mind can perceive. In a dream you do many things, but can you say that it is true or the Truth? Suppose you kill someone in a dream, and on waking up you go to the police station and say, "I have killed someone." They put handcuffs on you, but when you tell them it happened in a dream, they immediately let you go.

Question : But why does one dream of violence?

Ranjit : There is no question of why for that which never existed. This question doesn't arise. First try to understand the point that I am trying to make. But if you would rather argue, we can argue, I don't mind.

Question : I am no arguing with you, I am just trying to clear my doubts.

Ranjit : Yes, yes I understand. I am trying to make things clear. So, when you have doubts it means the ego is there. The one who has doubts is not Reality, it is the ego. Reality never doubts and is never concerned. It is the ego which is concerned with everything. You are always Reality, whether you doubt It or not. So as you don't know this, you have to ask questions. But try to understand the true meaning. I always say that I talk like a loud speaker: if you listen or don't listen, it's your choice.

Question : That is why there are many westerners here, they have a strong thirst for spiritual knowledge.

Ranjit : Why is that?

Question : Because in their previous births they might have been in India.

Ranjit : No, no, forget about previous lives! How can it be? This life is unreal, so how can any other life be real? When you take birth you become the smallest creature. It is ego which takes birth. Your body does not return after death. What good have you done with this body anyway? You all tell lies, saying "I am so-and-so", and your signature is a forgery. Because of all this you have been put in prison for many years. Only in this human form can you contemplate the Real. But once you forget your real Self, the world appears real to you. Heaven is lost and you live in hell! "Hell" means that you live in fear by becoming the smallest creature. Always say, "I am Reality and not this person." You may be a bad or pious person, yet you are eternally Him. Your fear is only for that which is not. That is ignorance. How can nothing touch nothing? Yet you feel that nothing is touching you, and that is due to ignorance. In truth, nothing can ever touch or affect you. If you understand this, then you are a realised being.

Question : Can you tell me about sthitaprajna [one who firmly abides in the state of Self-knowledge] which is mentioned in the Bhagavad Gîta?

Ranjit : Sthitaprajna is when one understands that everybody is my Self. It is when you live in That and remain silent, knowing that "All is my Self."

Question : So if one is fearless, one can reach that state?

Ranjit : Yes, when you are fearless you are firmly established in That.

Question : Like Bhagat Singh [historical patriot] who was sentenced to death. He accepted his death as a sacrifice to his nation.

Ranjit : He didn't know anything apart from his nation. All that he did was fight and die for his country. You can't do it, so you praise him. Do you follow? A realised being doesn't praise him. What is there to fight for? What dies? It is only the body which fights and dies. Reality never dies and is always free.

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