7th November, 1935
A visitor said: Some say that one should practise meditation on gross objects only: it may be disastrous if one constantly seeks to kill the mind.
Maharshi: For whom is it disastrous? Can there be disaster apart from the Self?
Unbroken `I-I' is the ocean infinite, the ego, `I' thought, remains only a bubble on it and is called jiva , i.e., individual soul. The bubble too is water; when it bursts it only mixes in the ocean. When it remains a bubble it is still a part of the ocean. Ignorant of this simple truth, innumerable methods under different denominations, such as yoga, bhakti , karma . each again with many modifications, are being taught with great skill and in intricate detail only to entice the seekers and confuse their minds. So also are the religions and sects and dogmas. What are they all for? Only for knowing the Self. They are aids and practices required for knowing the Self.
Objects perceived by the senses are spoken of as immediate knowledge (pratyaksha ). Can anything be as direct as the Self - always experienced without the aid of the senses? Sense-perceptions can only be indirect knowledge, and not direct knowledge. Only one's own awareness is direct knowledge, as is the common experience of one and all. No aids are needed to know one's own Self, i.e., to be aware. The one Infinite Unbroken Whole (plenum) becomes aware of itself as `I'. This is its original name. All other names, e.g., OM, are later growths. Liberation is only to remain aware of the Self. The mahavakya "I am Brahman " is its authority. Though the `I' is always experienced, yet one's attention has to be drawn to it. Only then does knowledge dawn. Thus the need for the instruction of the Upanishads and of wise sages.
Talk 91 Talk 93