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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.

"Whatever you do to be free from the "self"
is also a self-centred activity.

.G. :  You want comfort. You want affection from the person you are living with. You want this, that and the other. But what you want to get – the GET of all the "gets" – you are not going to. That what you want to get is in relationship with your enlightenment, your freedom, transformation and all that kind of thing.

There is nothing to get from me or from anybody. You want to be at peace with yourself. You will not get anything from anybody. All this is disturbing the peace that is already there. Your idea of peace is altogether different.

Question: Now, it looks like... if we had no idea of peace at all...

U.G.: You have to live with your ideas and suffer. There is no way out for you. If somebody says there is a way out, go there. Stand on your head; stand on your shoulders; hang from the tree; meditate – do what you like – misery continues. That is adding yet another misery. What are you? You are miserable. You are a sitting misery, walking misery, talking misery, living misery. You want to get out of that misery. You are choked. What is it that is choking you, destroying the very thing that you want? It is all those human values and all the good things. You want freedom, and that is killing you. To be free from the very demand to be free is all that you have to do. That is not easy.

Question: Because there is nothing left...

U.G.: How can you say that now? When you are there that question would not be there at all. That moment is a living moment. Life is not interested in any one of those things. If I put it that way, it becomes a carrot for you. If I talk of life – living moments – it becomes poetry. Romantic stuff. It is another carrot. Anything I say will be added to the stuff you already have. This will be another burden. It looks like another new thing, but it is the same thing. The newness of it is lost because you have captured it within your framework.

You have not moved away from your background. It doesn't matter where you go – J.K., U.G., Baba Free John – the basic situation remains unchanged. No matter where you go, you are looking for a new Bible, new church and a new priest. That is all you can do. You can't do anything else.

Whatever you need to know to function in this world intelligently and sanely is already there in you. You don't have to do a thing, to learn anything, to function in this world. Whatever you learn afterwards is of no use to you. Knowledge is widening. They say that the growth of intelligence stops by the time you are sixteen. Whatever you learn afterwards is only widening the horizon and not in anyway improving your understanding.

As far as the body is concerned, the growth of the body stops by the time you are twenty-two or twenty-three years. From then on it is slowly deteriorating. It is aging slowly. The interest of everybody is to stop the aging process. That is all the interest of people. In that sense I am not interested in expanding – having more and more people. One or two more – it doesn't interest me. Moreover, I feel uncomfortable. It is happening in India and it is happening in America. Because there is more and more publicity, more and more curiosity is created in people. I don't know if there is anything to astrology, but they say, "You will become the idol of the masses."

Assuming for a moment that there is an enlightened one, that man cannot die unless everybody in this world comes to know that there is such a man. They may not even know what he is saying. That is the great tradition. It is in that sense that this fellow has a message to give. Not like Rajneesh scandals and all that. The astrologer said, "Until that happens you are not going to die. Another twenty-one years you will constantly move, running away from the people in order to avoid them from following you." I don't know. The age is going to catch up. I don't care what the astrologers say. 

Question: Do you have volition, a wish that something should happen?

U.G.: You see, there is no gap between my needs and my goals. I have no goal independent of my needs. The needs are the physical needs of the body. There are no other needs.

Question: There is nothing connected with what you see?

U.G.: No. I don't know what I am looking at. I really don't know. What I know is in the background; and that is brought into operation in response to the demands of the situation. The background plays its part and then it is gone.

Question: So, there is no volition.

U.G.: I don't know. Thoughts are there. They are not your thoughts or my thoughts. They come and go. They are neither holy nor unholy. You have to use thoughts to achieve something, to accomplish something. In my case, I can't use thoughts. Wanting is thinking. They go together. My wants are limited to my physical needs. The moment a thought arises there, the action is complete. You may feel the time-lag between what I call an "action" here and the completion of that "action" out there. But, to me there is no time-lag. For example, there is thirst. You have to say to yourself that you are thirsty. Thought has got to come into operation and separate itself from that sensation of what you call "thirst". Then the action is complete. That is what I mean by "action".

Question: The action is not quenching of the thirst?

U.G.: No. That is of secondary importance. In that sense the action is complete. Every action is independent. Life is action. Life is acting all the time. There is not one moment where there is no sensation of some kind or the other. You are responding to the sensations all the time. But, of course, there are some moments the nature of which you will never know. I don't know what you call samadhi or nirvikalpa samadhi. The body has to go through the process of death every now and then to renew itself. It is a renewal process. All the sensory activity has to come to an end for a fraction of a second; and it is impossible for you to visualise and capture that. But if the body is in a state of repose, it takes a longer time. Sometimes for forty nine minutes the body goes through a very elaborate process of dying. Somehow it has to snap out of it, because there are constant demands on the body. This can hit you all of a sudden while you are walking in the street. But the demands of the body are so great that they cannot allow this for long.

Question: After that process of death is there anything like a "you"?

U.G.: You are talking of a "you" after death. Is there anything like what you call "you" now? Where is it now? Are you awake? Are you alive now?

Question: I feel I am awake. I have come here. I started from home and have come to see you.

U.G.: That is true. I also function as if the whole world is real. You have to accept the reality of the world up to a point. Otherwise, you can't function in this world. But I can't say that I am awake. I can't say that I am asleep either. I see and I don't know what I am looking at. My sensory perceptions are at their peak capacity; but there is nothing inside of me which says that is green, that is brown, and that you wear a white shirt, a dhoti and glasses etc. No anaesthesia has been administered on me, but still I really don't know what I am looking at. The knowledge I have about things is in the background, but it is not operating. So am I awake or asleep? I have no way of knowing it for myself. That is why I say that in this consciousness there is no such division as jagratta, swapna and sushupti – aren't those the words for wakeful, dream and deep sleep states? A total absence of this division in your consciousness into wakeful, dream and sleep states may be called "Turiya" – not transcending these things but a total absence of this division. So you are always – to use your Sanskrit phrase – in the turiya state.

Question: Because we are involved in every perception we are not in the state you are describing?

U.G.: Because there is a constant demand on your part to experience everything that you look at, everything that you are feeling inside. If you don't do that, "you" as you know yourself and as you experience yourself is coming to an end. That is a frightening thing. You don't want to come to an end; you want continuity. All the spiritual pursuits are in the direction of strengthening that continuity. So, all your experiences, all your meditations, all your sadhana - all that you do is strengthening the "self". They are self-centred activities. Whatever you do to be free from the "self" is also a self-centred activity. The process you adopt to attain what you call "being" is also a "becoming" process. So, there is no such thing as "being". Anything you do – any movement, in any direction, on any level – is a becoming process.

Question: You say that if the thought barrier, the protective mechanism, is removed, then the body responds to or resonates with anything that happens?

U.G.: Then there is no mirror which is reflecting. All your actions from then on are reflex actions. Many of these things are handled by the spinal column. That is why so much importance has been given to the spinal column. Then sensations don't reach the sensorium at all. They are handled and disposed off before that point. The moment they reach the sensorium, thought has got to come into operation. Then there is an action necessary, which is for the protection of the body. 

The comparative structure is absent here. When you ask some questions, naturally I use this comparative structure. I have to use adverbs and adjectives because they are part of the language, but really they don't mean anything to me. Not that I am a hypocrite or any such thing. I say, "It is a beautiful thing." Yes, it is a beautiful thing within that framework. I have to accept the reality of the world. Otherwise, I can't function in the world. But actually there is nothing beautiful. There, indeed, is beauty. That "beauty" is not an idea, not a concept. It is not a thought. It is a response to something there. Maybe that is why they used the phrase "satyam shivam sundaram" ["Truth is eternal and beautiful"]. They didn't mean this beauty. For example, there is a mountain or some extraordinary thing. Here is a response to that beauty and that response is a sudden change in your breathing. You take a deep breath and look at it. By the time you realise what is happening, you have moved on from there to something else. So, you don't sit there and watch the sunset for hours and hours and write poems. Nothing of that sort occurs, because you are moving with it.

Question: Isn't a response a reaction to something?

U.G.: No. I make a distinction between reaction and response. Reaction is the interference of thought and the translation of thought in terms of the experiencing structure. But the response to the stimulus, or sensation, is one movement. You cannot separate the response from the stimulus. For example, you have moved your hand from there. I don't move my hands in response to that movement, but all that movement is felt here. This is the feeling – not an emotion, not a thought, not any of those things. If you hit something there, here you automatically say "Ouch!" – the expression of pain, you see. There is nothing here independent of what is happening there. That is why I call this a "movement." This body is totally attentive. Not that there is somebody who is attentive. Everything that is happening there is registered here as a movement. Where is the movement taking place? Is it there? Is it here? Or where? I can't say. I really don't know. 

There are no images for me. Impressions are made through words like the rods and cones. They come out of me in exactly the same way. So, there is nobody who is remembering anything. Memory, in my case,  is extraordinarily sharp. Supposing, however, I want to memorise a poem or something – it is very difficult for me to do that. It's very strange. So, if I look at anything, it is automatically registered. There is no effort. Any effort means that there is a distortion of the whole thing. If there is a demand for that, the information about it automatically comes out without any effort. Sometimes I can't recall names. At the same time, I don't bother even if I don't happen to remember.

What I am saying can't be experienced by you except through the help of thought. In other words, as long as the movement of thought is there, it is not possible for you to understand what I am talking about. When it is not there, then there is no need for you to understand anything. In that sense, there is nothing to understand. 

You are all occupied. You are interested in listening to what I am saying. I am not interested in telling you anything at all. Do you hear the barking of the dog out there? You translate it and say that is the barking of a dog. But if you are just aware of that, it echoes here inside of you. There is no separation from you. There is no translation. You are barking, and not the dog out there.

But one thing I must say. What I am saying is not born out of thinking. This is not a logically ascertained premise that I am putting forth. These are just words springing forth from their natural source without any thought, without any thought structure. So, take it or leave it. You will be better off if you leave it. 

Many people come here and tell me about their spiritual experiences. What do they expect? They want me to pat them on their back and tell them, "You are doing alright. Do more and more of the same and you will reach your destination." I can't do that. I emphasise that the experience which you are considering as something extraordinary is totally unrelated to the final thing you are after. I always give the example of these tremors. Tremors do not mean that one day there will be an earthquake. These tremors have nothing to do with the earth quake. This earthquake hits somewhere else; not at the place you think it would occur. When this thunderbolt hits you, you will find out that all those tremors you have been experiencing during what you call "sadhana" are in no way connected to that. That is why all those doing sadhana ask me that question: "How do you know that what you did – all the sadhana - is not responsible for where you are today.?" I can say that now: this is not in any way related to what I did or did not do. Not a whiff of it. Then you see, the whole business of "sadhana" collapses. Because the sadhana is always related to the goal you have fixed to yourself. As I was telling yesterday, as a matter of fact, what is going on here in this dialogue is sadhana – because I am blocking every escape door. Somebody said, "Why don't you leave at least one ventilator open?" Even that has to be blocked. You must be choked to death as it were. Only a real teacher can tell and point out that. Nobody else. Nobody else should talk about that. Not that I claim that I am the real teacher or any such thing. Don't get me wrong. They [the real teachers] are not those who interpret the texts. Only such a man can talk and such a man will never encourage any kind of sadhana, because he knows that sadhana is not going to help.

Life is energy. It is all the time trying to convert itself into energy. In the final analysis there is neither matter nor energy. Matter and energy are interchangeable. But when thought takes its birth, then it is matter. In its very nature thought splits itself into two. If through some luck or strange chance it remains without splitting itself into two, something has got to happen to that. And there it explodes. It is an atomic explosion. The human organism has trillions of atoms. It's an electromagnetic field. When one atom explodes, it blasts everything that is there. It triggers a chain reaction. You can't make this kind of a thing happen at all. Yet the possibility of its happening in everybody is 100%. Not that I am placing a carrot before you. That is its nature. That is why it happens in one in a billion. "Why does it happen to one individual? Why not me?" If you question in that fashion, you haven't got a chance. 

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