20th July, 1936
The Caucasian gentleman returned early in the morning to again quiz Bhagavan.
Q : Does the Jnani have no sensory perceptions? For instance, if Bhagavan inadvertantly stubs his toe against a brick, is there no sensation?
B : The sensation is there, but not the idea, “I am feeling this sensation.” The Jnani’s state can be correctly comprehended only by the Jnani; others merely wonder about with complicated sounding words without actually Knowing. The Jnani or Jivanmuktha is said to be like a person fast asleep inside a house whose doors and windows are wide open.
Q.: I fail to comprehend the example.
B.: His senses are fully awake and alert, but yet fully inactive.
Q.: It seems paradoxical.
B.: His sensory organs perceive; yet, there is nothing for them to perceive because mind is dead. A new-born infant sees and hears quite well, but it never really understands anything. It knows only Joy, although people may even treat it cruelly. Likewise with the Jnani. He does not know anything apart from Parabrahman [ Self ].
Q.: Bhagavan explains to us the intricacies of various philosophical texts in expert fashion. How is it possible without the intellect? If mind is no more, how can the intellect, which is a component thereof, survive in isolation from it?
B.: It is like shadow puppetry. Someone else is moving the strings. There is no such thing called “I” which has any role to play anywhere with reference to the Jnani’s actions.
Q.: Who is this mysterious “someone else”?
B.: Some call him God, some call him Randomness, some call him Fate, and some call him Causality. One who sees events, actions, and circumstances inquires the reason therefor. The seer does not see himself, thus his own apparent seperate existence is an inexplicable mystery. Yet, ignoring this primary question of what his Self is, he goes around questioning everything else.
So, in order to satisfy his curiosity all sorts of ridiculous theories are spun by philosophers and Vedantic pandits. The truth is that there is no-thing to see, because there is no-one to see anything. The explanation of God, Providence, etc. being in control of the world’s events is kindergarten level spiritual advice. The Jnani who does not see anything has no questions; he knows the truth; that nothing was ever created.
Q.: But I see a solid world around me! What does Bhagavan. mean in saying that it is not there? For instance, Bhagavan is sitting on the Sofa. Is the Sofa invisible to his eyes? What is he sitting upon, then?! Is he floating in the air?!
B.: Is there any seeing to be done in sleep?
Q.: First let us finish discussing the jagrat [awake] state.
B.: This body is sitting upon the Sofa, you say. But the Sofa, this body, this hall, the Hill yonder, and everything else is inferred existence. Thus it is not existence at all, but fiction, like asking the question, ‘Santa Claus [the mythicised caricature of St. Nicholas popular in the collective imagination of the Western public] wears a golden pince-nez.
‘I wonder if I may know how many diopters the strength of the corrective lenses amounts to?’ Can there be an answer to the question? At best, you can say, ‘Since there is really no Santa Claus at all, the question never arises.’ Actual existence is not to be seen. It is Being, which you always are. Do not think about it, but BE it: this is the way for attainment of Realisation.
Q.: How to be the Self? That is the question. The Self seems to be like the carrot dangled in front of the foolish mule–very close yet altogether unattainable.
B.: You [as the personal self] are sitting on top of the [Real] Self. Get up and clear off. That will do.
Q.: How is that to be done?
B.: Permanently cease to believe in the existence of the personal self. Then the magic will unwind of its own accord.
Q.: Am I to understand that my personal self is unreal and non-existent? This is the self I have always known. Now I am being told it is non-existent. I have never known or even seen the Impersonal Absolute, the Brahman. Yet I am expected to believe that I am it and that it alone exists in truth.
B.: You are not asked to believe in anything. When asked to abandon all belief, you ask which belief you should take up instead. I said, “cease to believe in the existence of the personal self”. You have interpreted it incorrectly to mean, “Believe in the non-existence of the personal self.”
Edited by John David Oct 2021