Friday, July 20, 2007

Why cannot the Self be perceived directly?

Q: Why cannot the Self be perceived directly?

Bhagavan: Only the Self is said to be directly perceived [pratyaksha]. Nothing else is said to be pratyaksha. Although we are having this pratyaksha, the thought 'I am the body' is veiling it. If we give up this thought, the Atman, which is always within the direct experience of everyone, will shine forth.

Q: Sri Bhagavan has stated this so simply. But the thought 'I am the body' does not leave us.

Bhagavan: It is not leaving you because it is very strong.

Q: Why and how did the thought come into being?

Bhagavan: It came into being only through a lack of enquiry on your part. A verse in Kaivalya Navanitam [2.95] gives the same explanation:

Because its nature is not determinable, maya is said to be inexpressible. They are in its grip who think: 'This is mine -- I am the body -- the world is real.' O son, no one can ascertain how this mysterious illusion came into being. As to why it arose it is because of the person's lack of discerning enquiry.

If we see the Self the objects which are seen will not appear as separate from us. Having seen all the letters on a paper, we fail to see that paper which is the base. Likewise, suffering only arises because we see what is superimposed on the base without seeing the base itself. What is superimposed should not be seen without also seeing the substratum.

~ from Living by the Words of Bhagavan by David Godman

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