Swami: Well! You look so full of joy today!
Bhaktha: You have yourself said that man is the embodiment of joy, isn't
Swami: Then you must always be in this mood; do you remain so?
Bhaktha: I am trying as far as possible.
Swami: Why do say 'trying'? Does not sorrow flee the instant reality is
Bhaktha: But what is the reality, Swami?
Swami: All that 'is' is unreal! The efforts you undertake, the words you
utter, are all unreal; when you know this, the reality will be evident.
Remove all the unreal ideas, opinions, acts and the truth that is hidden
can be seen. Piling up all this on top, if you ask, what is reality, how
can it be seen?
Bhaktha: How is it possible to take all that is done, spoken, seen, felt,
listened to, as unreal?
Swami: First, understand who is experiencing all these. You refer to the
body as 'I'. 'I', isn't it? That it unreal. When the experiencing 'I'
is itself unreal, how can the experiences be real? All have the same Atma.
The person who experienced is not 'you'; the person who listened is not
'you'. You only witnessed all this.
Bhaktha: You said, Swami, that in everything there is Atma; is there
Atma in a dead man?
Swami: Oh! a good question indeed! Is it more to solve your doubt or the
doubt of a dead person?
Swami: Well it is only when you have awakened from deep sleep or Sushupthi
that you are aware there is an 'I', isn't it? In the same manner, there
is the Atma in the corpse also.
Bhaktha: Then how can it be called dead, how can death happen, when there
Swami: If you discriminate properly, there is no dying and no living.
A moving body is called living and a still one dead. In dreams any number
of living bodies and corpses are seen. On waking they do not exist. Similarly,
this world, both moving and still, is nonexistent... Death means the fading
out of the 'I' consciousness. Rebirth happens when 'I' consciousness comes
again. This is what is called birth and death, my boy! Ahamkara is born,
Ahamkara dies, that is all.
Bhaktha: So, I exist always, is it?
Swami: Of course, you do! When the 'I' consciousness is there, you exist.
When it is not there also you exist. You are only the base for the awareness;
you are not the awareness.
Bhaktha: But they say, 'attained liberation', 'attained Mukthi', etc.
What is that?
Swami: Understanding the root of death and birth, one must destroy completely
the awareness of the separate 'I'; that condition is 'Mukthi".
Bhaktha: So, when I die, I and You are one, isn't it?
Swami: Who said 'No'? That feeling of one, when you are firmly established
in it, there is nothing separate at all.
Bhaktha: Until then, in order to identify the real 'I' in the unreal
'I', they say that the support of a Guru is wanted; how far is that true,
Swami: It is only when you have so many 'I's that you need some one's
support, is it not? When all is one, why seek another? Still, until that
Aham or that 'I' fades out, this speaking 'I' and this listening 'you'
have to be there. When that I is gone, whom to speak to? Who listens?
All are one. The reflection of Atma, conditioned by Chith is Easwara:
Easwara conditioned by the Anthahkarana is the Jiva, is it not?
Bhaktha: But what exactly is this Chidaabhaasa?
Swami: Chidaabhaasa means the 'I' awareness conditioned by the Chith;
that one became three, the three became five, the five became many. The
'I' awareness (Sathwa) became three on account of contact with Rajas and
Thamas; in those three the five Bhoothas or elements arose; and through
those five, the manifold happened. It is this that causes the illusion
that the 'I' is the body. Speaking in terms of Akasa, there are three:
Chidaakaasam, Chiththaakaasam and Bhoothaakaasam.
Bhaktha: What is Chidaakaasam?
Swami: That is the Atma.
Swami: Its deflection. That is to say, Chiththam. When that changes into
Manas, Buddhi and Ahamkaram, it is called Anthahkaranam, a word which
means the internal senses, the inner Indriyas. Chidaabhaasam having the
Anthahkaranam is the Jiva.
Bhaktha: And, Bhoothaakaasam?
Swami: Chidaakaasam conditioned by Chiththaakaasam. When it sees the elemental
Aakaasam, (the Bhoothaakaasam), it is Mano-aakaasam; when it sees the
object, the Vasthu, it is Chinmaya. That is why, my dear fellow, it is
said "The Manas alone is for man the cause for both bondage and liberation."
The mind manufactures any amount of delusion.
Bhaktha: How can the delusion disappear, Swami?
Swami: When you grasp its secret through inquiry, the many merge in five,
the three in one, and the I exists as I. When you get headache, you apply
ointment; when it disappears you are as you were. The delusion that 'I
am the body' is similar to this. It will disappear, if you apply the ointment
of Vichara or inquiry.
Bhaktha: Can everyone adopt this path of inquiry?
Swami: No, my boy. It is only for those whose Chitha has become ripe.
Bhaktha: Then what should we do to reach that ripe stage?
Swami: Now we have come to the place from which we started! Have you not
got things like Japam, Dhyanam, Puja and Pranayama for this? Steadily,
through these, you become ripe and become capable of understanding the
'I' by inquiry into reality. For such men, the Atma is not something different
from themselves or your self. All is Atman!
Bhaktha: But, Swami, You mentioned only Japam, Dhyanam, Bhajana etc.
Some advanced persons adopt Mounam, the vow of silence. Of what use is
it? What exactly is Mounam?
Swami: The illumination of the soul is Mounam! How can there be Mounam
without the Atma being illuminated? Without that, merely keeping the mouth
shut is not silence. Some adopt the vow of silence, but communicate, writing
on paper or slate; or the eye points successively to the letters of the
alphabet on a chart! All this is pseudo-Mounam! It is only another way
of talking without interruption! There is no need to attain silence. Silence
is ever with you. What you have to do is only to remove all things that
Bhaktha: But many persons do not open their mouth to speak. You mean
that this is useless?
Swami: Who said so? If you do not use the tongue, if you are silent in
order to keep out the external obstacles to Sadhana, you certainly can
develop your thoughts, you can desist from disturbing others, you can
escape criticism and worry from others, you will get concentration, your
brain will be saved from unnecessary burden and it can improve much. With
such a brain, you carry on Smarana of the Lord's name better. All these
advantages you will realise when you do Sadhana.
Bhaktha: Then, for the full Jnani all this is unnecessary?
Swami: There is no full Jnani in the world! He is in no need of the world
itself; they, why does he need all this?
Bhaktha: If that is so, who are those people called Jnanis?
Swami: The silent men I spoke about just now. Jnani is a term applied
by courtesy; a full Jnani is nonexistent in the world. The Jnani must
know 'All as one'! Your Jnanis are all either experts in logic, or experts
in the knowledge of the world; they have not known the reality.
Bhaktha: Who are the real Jnanis?
Swami: He who knows the Atma as Atma will know himself, as milk added
to milk, oil to oil, or water to water. When the physical body dies, they
likewise mere in the Atma. But some may have some traits still persisting.
They continue to have some resolutions and desires. Until these are exhausted,
they will wander in the world, with body. Such men are called also 'Bits
of divinity born as men, Daivaamsasambhuthas'. This is also as per the
Bhaktha: Why should this difference arise, Swami?
Swami: It arises out of each one's Sadhana and Sankalpa. Eat a mango and
you belch its smell. How can you prevent it? The belch brings the perfume
of the thing eaten.
Bhaktha: Will such men too have limitations? Upadhis?
Swami: Without Upadhis, how can work get on? They too have it. But only
in a subtle form, until they attain transcorporeal Mukthi, Videha Mukthi.
Bhaktha: What is that, Swami?
Swami: Their acts are like the line drawn on water, seen while the line
is being drawn; absent as soon as it is finished. While being done, you
notice it, in an instant, it is not noticeable any more.
Bhaktha: Swami, you said that a Jnani has renunciation as his hallmark.
How does 'this' agree with 'that'?
Swami: That is true! Renunciation is his hallmark. If out of the traits
of previous birth he gets attached, he must know that it is only for the
body and not for him. This attachment damages the bliss of Jivanmukthi;
Jnana is most important for Videhamukthi.
Bhaktha: Even if one has no Jnana, can one attain Mukthi by mere Vairagyam.
Swami: What a foolish question! How can the fruit be sweet without ripening?
Vairagyam cannot arise except from Jnana. There is no Moksha without Vairagyam.
Be sure of that!
Bhaktha: Then where does Bhakthi come in?
Swami: We have come to the very beginning again! Earlier than Jnana it
is the form of Bhakthi. Earlier than Bhakthi it is the form of Anurakthi,
affection. All these are one. Anurakthi is the flower, Bhakthi is the
fruit; it is ripe as Jnanam; Vairagyam is the sweet juicy final stage.
Without one, you cannot have the next. In order to tend the fruit until
the juice and taste are developed, you must practise daily prayer etc.,
mentioned above. But, from the first, have in view the oneness of all.
Understand that there is no 'other'.
Bhaktha: At least, to keep up appearances in the world one has sometime
to say 'this is mine'. What is one to do then?
Swami: Of course, you may have to say so. But simply because you say so,
what need is there for you to feel separateness between I and you? When
you travel in a carriage, do you take the carriage as 'I'? Look at the
sun. It gets reflected in a small pot filled with water, in a broad river,
in a mirror, or a polished pot. For this reason does the sun feel that
all these things are 'He'? Does it get sad when the pot breaks, or the
river gets dry? This is exactly like that. If you take 'I' to be the body,
then it is all bother! If you don't take it so, you will shine like the
sun, independent of anything else. Besides, you will be immanent everywhere.
Bhaktha: That is as much as to say each must first discover for himself
who he is.
Swami: Exactly. Inquire into that first. Of course, for those who are
not competent, this will be too hard. So, those experienced in this line
say that such men should not be told these things. If you tell 'You are
Yourself Brahmam,' 'You have attained Moksha, You are in that stage',
to those not competent, they will do no Sadhana, they will act without
any rule or order, and they will pay no regard to right and wrong. This
must be revealed only by a Guru or by the command of the Lord! Those who
have the thirst and the determination to undergo the discipline, of course,
can ask about it! But it must be practised; there is no use simply hearing
it and repeating, 'All is one'. That is meaningless.
Bhaktha: Swami, Sankara has already said, "Viswamdarpana drsyamaananagaree
thulyam hianthargathamy etc. (the world, if you really penetrate into
its inner meaning, is like a city seen through a mirror). This vision
that the Jagath is unreal; that it is all Maya... is this for common people
or for Jnanis also?
Swami: The Jnani's eye sees all things as Brahmam! The Ajnani or the person
without Jnana cannot understand whatever is said! So, all Sastras are
intended to benefit the middlings.
Bhaktha: This means that all Sadhanas are included in the Vicharana Marga,
the path of inquiry?
Swami: Yes. The teaching of the Vedhantha is about 'Who am I'? And to
make this inquiry, only those equipped with the four instruments are competent.
The purpose of the four is to realise that the Atma is real and that all
else is unreal; also, to discriminate between Atma and all else.
Bhaktha: How is that to be realised, Swami?
Swami: By inquiring into the nature of the Atma! First they do all varieties
of Sadhana and finally enter upon this. While a child, they teach you
A B C D, isn't it? Even M.A., and B.A. curricula consist of this A B C
D and their permutations and combinations! But, to realise this fact one
has to complete one's studies! The Sastras are based on Akshara; meaning
both letter and the imperishable. All Margas are based on the Vichara
Bhaktha: But there are some who attain Samadhi. Will they have all this
enquiry etc. in Samadhi?
Swami: Wonderful fellow! How can there be enquiry in Samadhi? When you
sleep soundly, do you have any thoughts about the world around you? This
is also like that.
Bhaktha: There will be no Manas in Samadhi, isn't it?
Swami: The Manas that persists in sleep will be there also.
Bhaktha: They talk of a Thuriya stage, (a beyond stage) in Samadhi. What
is that, Swami?
Swami: Beyond the waking, the dreaming and the deep sleep stages.
Bhaktha: Why is it that those stages are absent there? What are the characteristics
of that stage?
Swami: Those three are the characteristics of I-ness, Ahamkara, the person
with Manas, who does all acts. That will not be present in the Thuriya
stage. It would have disappeared long ago. For them, it is all the same,
with eyes open or with eyes closed. It is all one.
Bhaktha: Swami, without that Aham, how can they talk?
Swami: What was Aham in the beginning, when the reality is grasped, is
transformed as Swarupa, the true entity; this is referred to as the destruction
of the Mind, Mano-naasanam.
Bhaktha: So, this Nirvikalpa Samadhi is all Naasanam?
Swami: Well, my boy, Samadhis are all merging, Laya, not destruction.
The Sadhaka stage is when you have both construction and destruction.
Bhaktha: This subject is very interesting, Swami.
Swami: Don't sit quiet, merely appreciating it. Practise it in daily life.
All right, you can take leave.
Bhaktha: Very good Swami. Please bless me in that practise. I shall be