21st July, 1935
Dr. Radhakamal Mukerjee, a well-known Professor, fair man of middle age, with a peaceful look, practising yoga or meditation, has had some occult experiences and desires the mystery to be unravelled by the Master. He has written a book and had it published by Messrs. Longmans Green & Co., London. He finds Self-Realisation hard to attain and requires the Master's help. His question: "The upanishadic method of meditation has now disappeared. There was a great sage in Bengal who instructed me in it. After long years of discipline and practice I am having some mystic experiences. I feel sometimes that Bhuma (Supreme Consciousness) is infinitude and that I am finite consciousness. Is that correct?"
Maharshi: Bhuma (Perfection) alone is. It is Infinite. There arises from it this finite consciousness taking on an upadhi (limiting adjunct). This is abhasa or reflection. Merge this individual consciousness into the Supreme One. That is what should be done.
D.: Bhuma is an attribute of Supreme Consciousness.
Maharshi: Bhuma is the Supreme - yatra naanyat pasyati yatra naanyat
srunoti sa bhuma (where one does not see any other, hears nothing, it is Perfection). It is indefinable and indescribable. It is as it is.
D.: There is a vastness experienced. Probably it is just below Bhuma
but close to it. Am I right?
Maharshi: Bhuma alone is. Nothing else. It is the mind, which says all this.
D.: Transcending the mind I feel the vastness.
Maharshi: Yes, Yes…. The professor turned to the lady seated just a little further away from him and interpreted in Hindi to her.
She: What is the difference between meditation and distraction?
Maharshi: No difference. When there are thoughts, it is distraction: when there are no thoughts, it is meditation. However, meditation is only practice (as distinguished from the real state of Peace.)
She: How to practice meditation?
Maharshi: Keep off thoughts. She: How to reconcile work with meditation?
Maharshi: Who is the worker? Let him who works ask the question. You are always the Self. You are not the mind. It is the mind which raises these questions. Work proceeds, always in the presence of the Self only. Work is no hindrance to realisation. It is the mistaken identity of the worker that troubles one. Get rid of the false identity.
The Professor: Is not the state of non-consciousness close to Infinite Consciousness?
Maharshi: Consciousness alone remains and nothing more.
D.: Sri Bhagavan's silence is itself a powerful force. It brings about a certain peace of mind in us.
Maharshi: Silence is never-ending speech. Vocal speech obstructs the other speech of silence. In silence one is in intimate contact with the surroundings. The silence of Dakshinamurti removed the doubts of the four sages. Mouna vyakhya prakatita tatvam (Truth expounded by silence.) Silence is said to be exposition. Silence is so potent. For vocal speech, organs of speech are necessary and they precede speech. But the other speech lies even beyond thought. It is in short transcendent speech or unspoken words, para vak.
D.: Is there knowledge in Realisation?
Maharshi: Absence of knowledge is sleep. There is knowledge in Realisation.
But this knowledge differs from the ordinary one of the relation of subject and object. It is absolute knowledge. Knowledge has two meanings: (1) vachyartha = vritti = Literal meaning. (2) lakshyartha = Jnana = Self = Swarupa = Secondary significance.
D.: With vritti one sees knowledge.
Maharshi: Quite so, he also confounds vritti with knowledge. Vritti is a mode of mind. You are not the mind. You are beyond it.
The Lady: There is sometimes an irresistible desire to remain in Brahma-akara-vritti.
Maharshi: It is good. It must be cultivated until it becomes sahaja (natural).
Then it culminates as swarupa, one's own self. Later Sri Bhagavan explained: Vritti is often mistaken for consciousness. It is only a phenomenon and operates in the region of abhasa (reflected consciousness). The knowledge lies beyond relative knowledge and ignorance. It is not in the shape of vritti. There are no subject and object in it. Vritti belongs to the rajasic (active) mind. The satvic mind (mind is repose) is free from it. The satvic is the witness of the rajasic. It is no doubt true consciousness. Still it is called satvic mind because the knowledge of being witness is the function of abhasa (reflected consciousness) only. Mind is the abhasa. Such knowledge implies mind. But the mind is by itself inoperative. Therefore it is called satvic mind. Such is the jivanmukta's state. It is also said that his mind is dead. Is it not a paradox that a jivanmukta has a mind and that it is dead? This has to be conceded in argument with ignorant folk. It is also said that Brahman is only the jivanmukta's mind. How can one speak of him as Brahmavid (knower of Brahman). Brahman can never be an object to be known. This is, however, in accordance with common parlance. Satvic mind is surmised of the jivanmukta and of Iswara. "Otherwise," they argue, "how does the jivanmukta live and act?" The satvic mind has to be admitted as a concession to argument. The satvic mind is in fact the Absolute consciousness. The object to be witnessed and the witness finally merge together and Absolute consciousness alone reigns supreme. It is not a state of sunya (blank) or ignorance. It is the swarupa (Real Self). Some say that mind arises from consciousness followed by reflection (abhasa); others say that the abhasa (reflection) arises first followed by the mind. In fact both are simultaneous. The Professor asked Sri Bhagavan to extend His Grace to him although he would soon be a thousand miles off. Sri Bhagavan said that time and space are only concepts of mind. But swarupa (the Real Self) lies beyond mind, time and space. Distance does not count in the Self. The lady with him was most reluctant to leave the Master and return home.
The Master said, "Think that you are always in my presence. That will make you feel right." They left after dusk.
(Photo of entrance of Virupaksha Cave is self-taken, free to copy/use)
Talk 67 Talk 69