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Your Questions Answered
by Swami Krishnananda

Chapter 39: After Self-Realisation

Amy: When desires arise, or anger arises in the mind, then what I am wondering about is since the Self is beyond the mind, and has no relationship to the mind...

Swamiji: It has a relationship. If It has no relationship, then how will you contact the Self through the mind? It has a connection, in the same way as the light of the sun has a connection with the light of the sun reflected on a mirror.

I will give you an example. You keep a mirror here, inside this room, and imagine that there is a ray of sun falling on the mirror. This mirror receives the light from the sun, and projects it on a wall. Now, that light on the wall cannot be regarded as actual sunlight, because actual sunlight, if it had been there, can be seen even if the mirror is withdrawn. You cannot see this unless the mirror is there; nevertheless, it is sunlight only. So, the mind is a reflected consciousness, though it is not the same as Self-consciousness.

In the same way as through the reflected light you can contact the original light, through the mind you can reach the Supreme Self. It is not that there is no connection, though they are not identical in the same sense as in the analogy mentioned. Now, what is your question, finally?

Amy: So, my question is that many thoughts will come and go in the mind, just by the nature of the mind itself. Rather than measuring or watching each object that arises and passes away in the mind, try to be rooted somewhere else, and to not act, or take too much importance. Say, if anger arises in the mind and passes away, there is no action taken on it...

Swamiji: Anger, etc., arise in the mind because your consciousness is not settled in itself. It is moving outside; otherwise, there is no occasion for anger. The mind and the Self are not two things. You cannot separate them. You are now talking to me through the mind only.

Amy: Yes.

Swamiji: If the mind were not there, you would not be talking; and yet, the consciousness that is behind your talking is coming from the Self. You are conscious that you are speaking to me, and here a double activity is taking place. The mind is operating, and the Self also is operating. Both are acting directly, spontaneously. That is why you are speaking, and also you are conscious that you are speaking. Speaking is the act of the mind; the consciousness of the act of speaking is of the Self. So, you are having a dual function just now taking place. And when the mind is thinking of anger, desire, etc., actually, it has diverted the consciousness elsewhere, instead of centreing it in the Self Itself.

The whole problem of spiritual life is that the consciousness should not divert itself outside the Self. Self should not become non-Self. You should not become another thing, or other than what you are. You have to be what you are. When the consciousness thinks of something other than itself, A has become B. You have become another. How can you become another? You are what you are. The thought that there is something outside you is actually the affirmation of consciousness wrongly that there is something outside itself. It is affirmation of particularity, rather than universality. I hope you catch my point. So, these are important things. It is a very subtle psychological point.

Amy: Yes.

Amir: I know the fact of the Absolute, and I know that I am not my mind, no matter how I feel, and what thoughts go through my mind. I know that always for a fact. And from that perspective, it does not make any difference if confusion or anger arise in the mind.

Swamiji: Why does it arise?

Amir: Because this is the mechanical action of the mind.

Swamiji: No, it is not mechanical. If it is mechanical, you will not be consciousness that you are angry. It would then be like a bulldozer moving on the road without knowing that it is moving. But you are not a bulldozer; you are conscious that you are angry. That shows that it is not a mechanical action: it is a deliberate action. That is the whole danger behind it. If it is mechanical, you would not be even aware that you are angry. It would be going on like a motor car without a driver, but this is a motor car with a driver. That is why there is a difference.

Amir: So, you mean that I am actually creating the anger?

Swamiji: You are creating the anger for a purpose. That is the whole point. Without any purpose, you will not get angry. Unnecessarily, who will get angry, unless one is crazy? There is a deliberate attempt behind it. You want to achieve something, purposefully; therefore, the anger arises. And, you are conscious of it, also. You are not unconscious. If you are unconscious, that is a different matter; you are pardoned. Unconscious actions do not produce results. It is a conscious action that produces a reaction. That is the whole point behind it, and so you must be cautious.

The entire life of a person is a drama played by consciousness, in many ways. And wherever consciousness is there, there you are, and you are involved in it. If consciousness is not there, you are not involved. If unconsciously something has happened, you are not responsible for it; but if you are conscious of it, you are responsible.

Janie: Swamiji, from my understanding, that awareness or consciousness of the anger in my mind does not come from my mind; it comes from my Self which is beyond the mind. And, it is from my Self that I can have the discrimination over those thoughts, and choose to see them for what they are, and not act out of them – not react to them.

Swamiji: Not react?

Janie: Yes.

Swamiji: Yes, yes. Certainly. You should not react.

Janie: But I am saying that is the freedom – that is where the freedom lies.

Swamiji: Freedom?

Janie: Freedom from the mind, in knowing that which is beyond the mind.

Swamiji: You see, I do not know exactly what you are speaking. If you are beyond the mind, you cannot get angry. It is the mind that gets angry. The Self cannot get angry. It is Universal Being. You are somehow not fixed in the Self. You have identified yourself with this medium, like a mirror, as I mentioned, which is the mind, and that agitates. When it agitates, you feel that you are doing something, thinking something, anger or otherwise. The consciousness does not agitate. It does not vibrate, act, or do anything, but the mind does all these things. When the sun is seen shaking on the water, the sun is not shaking, actually. It is the water that shakes, yet you may see it, and unintelligent perception may conclude that the sun is shaking. It looks as if the sun is moving.

So, likewise, you may feel that you are thinking something, while actually you are not doing that. It is a double action, as I mentioned already, of mind and consciousness. The awareness of it is from the Self; the activity is from the mind. They are blended together, and it looks as if you are doing it.

Amir: Swamiji, in your experience, is there a difference or change in the content of the mind?

Swamiji: Content?

Amir: Yes. What arises in the mind after realisation – is there a change in the content of the mind after Self-realisation?

Swamiji: You see, yesterday we had been discussing this matter. You have to, first of all, be sure as to what you mean by "Self-realisation." We have already threadbare discussed this yesterday. By "Self-realisation" you mean identity of yourself with the Universal Self?

Amir: Yes.

Swamiji: Then the question of "after" does not arise, because there is no time there. The word "after" you have used is a temporal expression. There is no "after" and "before," because there is no time. It is timeless eternity, so there is no question of "after." It is eternity, and eternity cannot be understood in terms of time. There is no "after" for God, or for a Self-realised person. There is no such thing as "after," because you are thereby bringing the time factor into it, which will not be there at that time.

Amir: But still, the event of Self-realisation does occur in time.

Swamiji: When the event of Self-realisation has taken place, the character of events ceases. It does not any more exist as an event then, because an event also is a temporal concept. Through time you move towards that which is not in time. But, once you enter that which is not in time, you cannot judge it any more in terms of time. The time factor has gone. It is like waking from dream. The laws of dream will not operate in the waking condition. So, there is no before and after. "After Self-realisation what happens?" Such questions should not arise, because there is no "after." Time itself has gone. You will be universal, all-pervading. The Self is prior to time.

Kelly: You said either somebody is awake, and they cannot go back to sleep, or they are not awake. Then you said, otherwise they are dozing. I wondered if you could say a little bit more about that.

Swamiji: What is the matter? You have already explained it correctly.

Kelly: I did not understand quite how you could either be awake or asleep or...

Swamiji: Just now you are awake, isn't it?

Kelly: Yes.

Swamiji: Now, are you asleep, also?

Kelly: No.

Swamiji: So, here is the whole point. You cannot be asleep and awake at the same time. If you are asleep, you are not awake; if you are awake, you are not asleep. Now, what is the question?

Kelly: But, you also said it is possible to be dozing.

Swamiji: If you are not fully awake, and if the impressions of sleep are still persisting, you may be dozing. But if you are fully awake, and the need for sleep has gone, you will not doze.

Kelly: Impressions of...

Swamiji: Impressions of sleep. Sometimes you have not slept well, and you get up and feel like sleeping once again. Though you are speaking and doing some work and having your breakfast, etc., you have not slept well, so you feel like this. But if your sleep is complete, and you have woken up thoroughly, you will not doze. So, the fully awake person will not fall asleep. Otherwise, the impression of the old sleep will continue, and you feel like dozing. But in Self-realisation, all is everywhere awake.

Amir: Is it not possible to have moments of complete awakening, and then times of dozing?

Swamiji: You cannot use the word "complete."

Amir: Being completely awake.

Swamiji: You are not completely awake – rather semi-awake. The word "complete" dissociates itself from every other factor. You cannot bring another factor, and then call it "complete." If you are a complete person, you will desire nothing; because your personality is complete in every way, you have no desires. Complete awakening is totally different from having any other factor getting introduced into it.

Amir: I understand.

Michael: Swamiji, I would be very interested to hear your story of what happened to you, and what you went through.

Swamiji: Nothing has happened to me. I have gone through nothing. I am very fine and happy. What can I tell you?

Michael: I mean, how you discovered That.

Swamiji: I have not discovered anything. It has come to me somehow – God only knows. Maybe in the previous birth I must have done some good deed, and the impressions of it have blossomed forth in an aspiration which has spontaneously acted in this birth. In my case, I was religious right from my age of six. Even at that age, I wanted God, and that cannot be attributed to any personal effort. What effort can be there? I have a memory even now of what I thought at six. That makes me feel, with a sense of wonderment, how things work.

I was born in a highly religious family. My father and grandfather were saintly persons, masters of the Vedas, and religious experts. Their blessing also must have been there. If you believe in the transmission of genes, their genes must be in me, also. Real sages they were – my father and grandfather. That also may be one factor. And also, it might have been some good deed that I did in the previous birth, all have acted together and made me what I am. This is my short autobiography.

Janie: ...main thing is being guided by one's intention to be free. Think about one's intention to be free.

Swamiji: One goes on thinking one's intention to be free. This is what you mean?

Janie: And every other thought, you know, I think...

Swamiji: Every other thought is different. I'm talking especially of thoughts that are connected with your final freedom.

Janie: Yes. Right.

Swamiji: How do you generate that thought?

Janie: Really, just by staying with the intention to be free, that's all.

Swamiji: The intention is something that you maintain in yourself as an awareness. You are constantly aware that you have an intention to be free.

Janie: Yes.

Swamiji: It is very important that you must maintain the awareness always, and you should not miss it. But it is possible sometimes that the mind can get diverted into another thought. Sometimes it is unavoidable. When you are traveling, when you are purchasing a ticket, when you walk in the market, you will have the necessity to think in a manner that is not exactly as you are describing. What do you say?

Janie: Yes, it happens, but home is always the intention to be free.

Swamiji: Though the other thoughts are not in any way inconsistent with this main thought, they may look like distractions, when you are not able to discover the harmony between the secular existence and your life of aspiration. Most people, the majority, ninety- nine percent, do not see the vital connection between the humdrum life of the world and the life of spiritual aspiration. They think they are two different things. Actually, they are not two things. They are two aspects of the working of the human circumstance. And if you always feel that they are two different things, you get disgusted with the ordinary life of the world. You get fed up with it. You want to renounce, as people generally say. That is because you want to give up something which you do not consider as in any way relevant to your spiritual aspiration. This is the psychological impasse through which people have to pass. And, everyone has to pass, big or small, whoever he is.

You can never be able to reconcile, usually, the two things that are before you, this world of activity and conflict and war and what not, and God Almighty. We do not know how to bring them together, in spite of the fact that we may accept that God has created this world. What kind of world has God created? You will feel that everything in this world is not fine and peaceful. You would have liked the world to be better. That would be a complaint against God, to some extent: He has not created a proper world. When you expect the world to be a little better than what you see with your eyes, you are intending thereby that God has not thought well before creating this world. This is not a proper attitude on our part. God has thought well. He has not created unseemly, unaesthetic things in the world; yet, they seem to be there before our eyes.

The problem before a spiritual seeker is a reconciliation of these two things, the integration of the visible and the invisible, the outer and the inner, the empirical and the transcendental, the secular and the spiritual, the world and God. If you can blend them together, harmoniously, as you are able to blend your soul with your body, you can be said to be living an integrated life. This is the problem before spiritual seekers, and this rift that one perceives in consciousness is due to the impulsion of the sense organs which work in one way, and the consciousness which moves in another way. They have to be brought together. Here is a great task before spiritual seekers.

Janie: Before I met my master, I always felt that I could only be in touch with God if I was away in a quiet place, meditating. And after I met my master, I knew that that was not true, that, as you know, God was everywhere.

Swamiji: Yes, you are not making those complaints which you made earlier. That is good. In your satsanga, the Master gives discourses, is it?

Janie: Yes.