6th January, 1935
Mrs. M. A. Piggot, an English lady, who had read "Search in Secret India", came to see the Maharshi. The services of a disciple as interpreter were provided. There were many visitors at the time in the hall, including some ladies with their infants. The place resounded with noise. At length silence prevailed. Suddenly Maharshi, who seemed to be looking at infinite space, was heard to say softly, "Monkey"! A little baby was then discovered in the doorway (unobserved by the mother who was seated on the other side of the door) with a large monkey standing on his hind legs, who with both hands was fondling the child not hurting it in the slightest, both being at peace with each other in Maharshi's presence. When Maharshi's voice was heard the monkey jumped away adroitly and disappeared. The incident greatly impressed the lady.
"Is a Master necessary for realisation?" Mrs. Piggot asked first.
Maharshi: The realisation is the result of the Master's grace more than teachings, lectures, meditation, etc. They are only secondary aids, whereas the former is the primary and the essential cause.
Devotee: What are the obstacles which hinder realisation of the Self?
Maharshi: They are habits of mind (vasanas).
D.: How to overcome the mental habits (vasanas)?
Maharshi: By realising the Self.
D.: That is a vicious circle.
Maharshi: It is the ego which raises such difficulties, creating obstacles and then suffers from the perplexity of apparent paradoxes. Find out who makes the enquiries and the Self will be found.
D.: What are the aids for realisation?
Maharshi: The teachings of the Scriptures and of realised souls
D.: Can such teachings be discussions, lectures and meditations?
Maharshi: Yes, all these are only secondary aids, whereas the essential is the Master's grace.
D.: How long will it take for one to get that?
Maharshi: Why do you desire to know?
D.: To give me hope.
Maharshi: Even such a desire is an obstacle. The Self is ever there, there is nothing without it. Be the Self and the desires and doubts will disappear. Such Self is the witness in sleep, dream and waking states of existence. These states belong to the ego. The Self transcends even the ego. Did you not exist in sleep? Did you know then that you were asleep or unaware of the world? It is only in the waking state that you describe the experience of sleep as being unawareness; therefore the consciousness when asleep is the same as that when awake. If you know what this waking consciousness is, you will know the consciousness which witnesses all the three states. Such consciousness could be found by seeking the consciousness as it was in sleep.
D.: In that case, I fall asleep.
Maharshi: No harm!
D.: It is a blank.
Maharshi: For whom is the blank? Find out. You cannot deny yourself at any time. The Self is ever there and continues in all states.
D.: Should I remain as if in sleep and be watchful at the same time?
Maharshi: Yes. Watchfulness is the waking state. Therefore the state will not be one of sleep, but sleepless sleep. If you go the way of your thoughts you will be carried away by them and you will find yourself in an endless maze.
D.: So, then, I must go back tracing the source of thoughts.
Maharshi: Quite so; in that way the thoughts will disappear and the Self alone will remain. In fact there is no inside or outside for the Self. They are also projections of the ego. The Self is pure and absolute.
D.: It is understood intellectually only. Is not intellect a help for realisation?
Maharshi: Yes, up to a certain stage. Even so, realise that the Self transcends the intellect the latter must itself vanish to reach the Self.
D.: Does my realisation help others?
Maharshi: Yes, certainly. It is the best help possible. But there are no others to be helped. For a realised being sees the Self, just like a goldsmith estimating the gold in various jewels. When you identify yourself with the body then only the forms and shapes are there. But when you transcend your body the others disappear along with your body-consciousness.
D.: Is it so with plants, trees, etc.?
Maharshi: Do they exist at all apart from the Self? Find it out. You think that you see them. The thought is projected out from your Self. Find out wherefrom it rises. Thoughts will cease to rise and the Self alone will remain.
D.: I understand theoretically. But they are still there.
Maharshi: Yes. It is like a cinema-show. There is the light on the screen and the shadows flitting across impress the audience as the enactment of some piece. Similarly also will it be, if in the same play an audience also is shown. The seer, the seen, will then only be the screen. Apply it to yourself. You are the screen, the Self has created the ego, the ego has its accretions of thoughts which are displayed as the world, the trees, plants, etc., of which you are asking. In reality, all these are nothing but the Self. If you see the Self, the same will be found to be all, everywhere and always. Nothing but the Self exists.
D.: Yes, I still understand only theoretically. Yet the answers are simple and beautiful and convincing.
Maharshi: Even the thought, "I do not realise" is a hindrance. In fact, the Self alone is.
Talk 12 Talk 14