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Sessions with Ashram Residents
by Swami Krishnananda

Session 11: Thinking as God Thinks

Aloneness in this world… Even the state of liberation is called aloneness. Because of that term, in Sanskrit it is called kaivalya moksha. To be alone is to be in a state of liberation. That is called moksha.

But what is the meaning of being alone? Suppose a person has no relations: no father and mother, no children. That person may feel that he or she is alone. They complain, “I have nobody. I am alone.” That is one kind of aloneness. There is another kind of aloneness. A person has lost all property; all his belongings have gone. He is stranded on the road. He cannot purchase even a ticket. All his money has gone, and he cannot even drink water. There is nothing. He feels alone. So these are two different kinds of aloneness.

When a person loses all things, all belongings, all property, all relations, he says, “Nobody is there. I am alone, I am alone.” When a person is dejected, grief-stricken, upset, he will not even eat food. He may be a very rich person, a millionaire, but something shocking has happened. In the stock market everything has gone. He lost everything. One person immediately died when the stock market failed. Everything went away. For people who fail in the stock market, their experience is terrible. They can have a heart attack and die. They feel alone.

Sannyasins who renounce everything go to a mountain top, sit there and calmly meditate. They feel alone. So how many varieties of aloneness are there? But there is a strange type of aloneness which is connected with our freedom. A limited aloneness and an unlimited aloneness are two kinds of aloneness. A perfectly free person has no limitations of any kind. He has wealth, he has family, he has authority. Nobody interferes with that person. He is enjoying life alone.

There are some people who lose their sense of individuality and want to commit suicide. At that time there is nobody around them. “I am alone. I have nothing here. I am going.” They go and drown themselves.

These are all tentative, empirical, pragmatic types of aloneness, through which practically everyone passes. If today it is one kind of aloneness, another day it is another kind of aloneness.

But why is moksha, liberation, called aloneness? It is something quite different from the other types of aloneness which I mentioned just now. Moksha means perfect freedom. Perfect freedom is not possible if there is another person sitting near you. An expectation for a hundred percent freedom is diminished by the freedom expected by another person sitting near you, so two persons cannot have one hundred percent freedom. We are a free society. We are democratic. Everybody is free. But your freedom is limited to the extent of the freedom that you would concede to other people also. You cannot say that all the freedom is only yours. That kind of thing is not democratic. Everybody is free to the extent that they give equal freedom to other people also. So this is not perfect freedom because it is limited by the freedom to be given to other people. But moksha is none of these things. It is the non-existence of another thing beside me. It is not that I am unaware of the existence of another thing beside me; another thing does not exist at all.

The Sankhya philosophy made a mistake in thinking that pure consciousness attains the liberation of its own existence if it is detached from the consciousness of another thing outside, which is called prakriti, or matter. But unconsciousness of the existence of something is not freedom. A snake is nearby, and you are unconscious of the existence of the snake. It is not a very happy thing. You must be conscious of the non-existence of the snake. They are two different things. People who are perpetually ill may not even be aware that they are ill. There is a continuous trouble in the whole system which persists for such a long time that they take it for granted as normal. So the idea of Sankhya is not correct. It imagines that when the detachment of consciousness from its awareness of another thing called matter, or prakriti, is achieved, it is free. It cannot be free, because there is another thing. Just because you are unaware of a trouble, it does not mean the trouble does not exist. This kind of aloneness propounded by Sankhya is also not correct. It should be absolute aloneness.

There is a difficulty in understanding this. We have never had any experience of this kind of aloneness. If you are spiritually inclined and are doing meditation in an isolated place with nobody around you for five hundred miles, you may say you are alone. But even the consciousness of space outside is a limitation to that aloneness. Our consciousness that we are existing is due to the limitation imposed upon us by space and time. They should also go.

Can anybody search one's consciousness in such a way that space and time are included in consciousness itself? “I am aware, not as one person among many other people, but as the only person.” You may say there is no such thing as ‘the only person'. This difficulty in knowing what being the only person can be arises on account of an eternal limitation imposed upon us by the extension of space outside. This space outside terrifies us. It divides everything. It creates distance. Even if no one is there around us, the stars are there. They also cause limitation. The sun and moon are there. The mountains and rivers are there. They should also not be there. There should not be even the utmost possibility of something being there outside us.

This great technique of meditation is the ultimate solution for our misery in this world. Our misery is not due to poverty of money, land, and so on. Our misery is due to the terrible, inextricable bondage of limitation created by space and time; that is all. Can you include space in your consciousness so that you will never feel that there is space outside you? Here, you have to exercise your will very powerfully. Nobody can think that he is space itself. Can anybody think “I am space itself ”? There is no limitation there. How long, how wide is space? What is the extent of the dimension of space? Can you imagine how wide space is? Space is endless. Space does not end anywhere.

Now, that unending space is yourself only. If you can imagine that space has a consciousness of its own, just imagine space knows that it is there. You should not think that space is a dead thing. Space is conscious of its being: “I am space.” But what is the meaning of space being conscious that it is an unlimited expanse of being? If that unlimited expanse of being becomes conscious of itself, what will be the experience at that time? Meditate like this: “I am not conscious of space; I am myself space. And who is this ‘I'? It is space itself. Where is space? Unendingly, expanded everywhere. So on what am I meditating?”A shocking answer will come.

It is said that moksha is a shocking experience. It abolishes every kind of convention, every kind of logic. Any kind of calculation will not work there. Nothing that has any sense in this world has sense there. All the values of life are abolished at once. You say “This is nice”, “That is not nice”, “This is good”, “That is bad”. Nothing of the kind will be there. Everything that you consider as meaningful in this world ceases to exist there. Then you say, “Oh, I will lose everything.” The mind is such a trickster. Whatever you do, it will put an obstacle. It is very difficult to think like this.

This kind of thinking is actually God thinking. If you want to reach God, you have to think like God. You cannot go on thinking like a foolish person and then attain God. Only equals meet each other; unequals cannot meet each other. If you are equal to God, you will meet God. You will be terrified and think, “How I will be equal to God?” This is because you forget that you are included in God. If God is everywhere, you are also inside Him.

Can anybody think like this? You will simply shudder. Your whole body will tremble. You will have a jerking feeling if you try to think like this. No virtue, no good work, no charitable deed, no philanthropy can equal this thought. This one thought is equal to all charity. All goodness and any service that you do will pale into insignificance before this tremendous earth-shaking thought. It will shake up all your karmas, all the sins that you committed in all the world, and the whole thing will be wiped out like a debt that you incur in the dream state is wiped out in the waking condition. When you wake up, you need not pay the debt that you incurred in the dream state. You may say, “I borrowed so much. I have to pay.” But by the very fact of waking, you have paid the debt.

Unimaginable is this. No human being will be able to think like that. You cease to be a human being. Otherwise, this thought cannot arise. A human being's thought cannot contact God-thought. It is only God-thought that can contact God-thought. All this is shocking. The whole body will tremble, as I told you. Nobody has heard such things. Nobody has seen such things. Nobody can imagine such things. If this can continue, if you do not forget this idea and are drowned in this thought, in this birth itself you will get liberation. There is no need of going on doing japa and running about on yatras, pilgrimages. The whole world will melt into you and the doors of heaven will be opened then, instantaneously.

The body may continue due to the persisting old prarabdha, which has given birth to this body. Even a liberated soul cannot shed the body because liberation is a conscious condition and the body is the result of the karmas that you performed in the previous birth, and that has to continue until the time when the effect of those actions which have given birth to this body cease and the body is thrown off. You need not throw off the body. It sheds automatically. But you are liberated.

You will be overjoyed. You will sing and dance. You will exclaim, “Oh, wonderful!” The Upanishadic seers used to say, “Oh, wonderful! Oh, wonderful!” They had no words. They could not say anything except “Oh, wonderful! Oh, wonderful! Oh, wonderful!”

So here is the glory before us. We are not meaningless persons. There is a great heritage hidden inside us. God is calling us, and everything will be well. So be happy.