Sunday, March 18, 2007
Find out who this 'I' is
Two Parsi ladies arrived from Ahmedabad and spoke with Bhagavan.
L.: Bhagavan, we have been spiritually inclined from childhood. We have read several books on philosophy and are attracted by Vedanta. So we read the Upanishads, Yoga Vasishta, Bhagavad Gita, etc. We try to meditate, but there is no progress in our meditation. We do not understand how to realise. Can you kindly help us towards realisation?
B.: How do you meditate?
L.: I begin by asking myself `Who am I?' and eliminate the body as not `I', the breath as not `I', the mind as not `I', but then I am unable to proceed further.
B.: Well, that is all right so far as the mind goes. Your process is only mental. Actually all the scriptures mention this process only in order to guide the seeker to the Truth. The Truth cannot be directly indicated; that is why this mental process is used. You see, he who eliminates all the `not-I' cannot eliminate the `I'. In order to be able to say `I am not this' or `I am That', there must be the `I' to say it. This `I' is only the ego, or the `I'-thought. After the rising up of this `I'-thought, all other thoughts arise. The `I'-thought is therefore the root thought. If the root is pulled out, all the rest is uprooted at the same time. Therefore seek the root `I'; question yourself: `Who am I?'; find out the source of the `I'. Then all these problems will vanish and the pure Self alone will remain.
L.: But how am I to do it?
B.: The `I' is always there, whether in deep sleep, in dream or in the waking state. The one who sleeps is the same as the one who is now speaking. There is always the feeling of `I'. If it were not so you would have to deny your existence. But you do not. You say: `I am'. Find out who is.
L.: I still do not understand. You say the `I' is now the false `I'. How am I to eliminate this wrong `I'?
B.: You need not eliminate any false `I'. How can `I' eliminate itself? All that you need do is to find out its origin and stay there. Your effort can extend only so far. Then the Beyond will take care of itself. You are helpless there. No effort can reach It.
L.: If `I' am always -- here and now -- why do I not feel so?
B.: Who says that you do not? Does the real `I' or the false `I'? Ask yourself and you will find that it is the false `I'. The false `I' is the obstruction which has to be removed in order that the true `I' may cease to be hidden. The feeling `I have not realised' is the obstruction to realisation. In fact, it is already realised. There is nothing more to be realised. If there were, realisation would be something new which did not yet exist, but was to come about in the future; but whatever is born will also die. If realisation is not eternal, it is not worth having. Therefore, what we seek is not something that must begin to exist but only that which is eternal but is veiled from us by obstructions. All that we need do is to remove the obstruction. What is eternal is not recognised as such, owing to ignorance. Ignorance is the obstruction. Get rid of it and all will be well. This ignorance is identical with the `I'-thought. Find its source and it will vanish.
The `I'-thought is like a spirit which, although not palpable, rises up simultaneously with the body, flourishes with it and disappears with it. The body-consciousness is the wrong `I'. Give it up. You can do so by seeking the source of `I'. The body does not say: `I am'. It is you who say `I am the body.' Find out who this `I' is. Seek its source and it will vanish.
~from The Teachings of Bhagavan in His Own Words