1st January, 1936
A crowd had gathered here during Christmas.
D.: How to attain Unity Consciousness?
Maharshi: Being Unity Consciousness how to attain it? Your question is its own answer.
D.: What is Atman (Self), anatman (non-self) and paramatman
Maharshi: Atman is jivatman (the individual Self) and the rest are plain. The Self is ever-present (nityasiddha). Each one wants to know the Self. What kind of help does one require to know oneself? People want to see the Self as something new. But it is eternal and remains the same all along. They desire to see it as a blazing light, etc. How can it be so? It is not light, not darkness (na tejo, na tamah). It is only as it is. It cannot be defined. The best definition is `I am that I AM.'
The Srutis speak of the Self as being the size of one's thumb, the tip of the hair, an electric spark, vast, subtler than the subtlest, etc. They have no foundation in fact. It is only Being, but different from the real and the unreal; it is Knowledge, but different from knowledge and ignorance. How can it be defined at all? It is simply Being. Again Sri Bhagavan said that in the whole Thayumanavar literature, he preferred one stanza which says: "Ego disappearing another `I-I' spontaneously manifests in full glory," etc. Again he cites Skandar Anubhuti: "Not real, nor unreal; not darkness nor light, it is." One man said, that a siddha of Kumbakonam claimed to overcome the defects in Sri Sankara's system which deals only with transcendentalism and not the work-a-day life. One must be able to exercise super-human powers in ordinary life, that is to say, one must be a siddha in order to be perfect. Sri Bhagavan pointed out a stanza in Thayumanavar which condemns all siddhis. Further he said that Thayumanavar mentions mouna (silence) in numerous places but defines it in only one verse.
Mouna is said to be that state which spontaneously manifests after the annihilation of the ego. That state is beyond light and darkness, but still it is called light since no other proper word could be found for it.
Talk 121 Talk 123