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Sessions with Ashram Residents
by Swami Krishnananda

Session 34: Seeing Yourself as Parallel to the World

An ashramite: Whatever austerity we do and these rulesand regulations we follow and japa that we do, still there is no guarantee of Self-realisation because the Katha Upanishad says that the Self has to choose us.

Swamiji: You should not read any scripture, because they create troubles unnecessarily. Then the Bible says another thing. Now, you don't believe in the Bible. “Knock and it shall be opened” is what Christ said. Why does the Katha Upanishad contradict that?

Nobody can understand the meaning of these sentences. “He chooses me.” Who is that He? You are thinking He is sitting somewhere far off. You are again making the same mistake of considering God as an object. I mentioned the other day that you always have a thought of somebody other than you, and now you say you are being controlled by the other. Give up this idea of the other. Then nobody will choose you. You are choosing yourself only. Be careful.

Ashramite: Swamiji, if everything is Self, everything is Reality, then how this embodiment of beings…

Swamiji: You see, then it means that everything is not Reality because you have contradicted it by saying this. You have got two ideas in your mind, so naturally you are not believing that everything is Reality. Then even this body is a part of that, and even the embodiment. The foam, the wave, the ripple, the drop, everything is the ocean only.

Ashramite: Then what is the process of this embodiment? How does it take place?

Swamiji: In one second it can take place, in one second. The bubble should melt into the ocean. The body, mind, subtle body, sense organs—the eyes go to the sun, the ears go to the quarters, the hands go to Indra, the legs go to Vishnu, the body goes to the five elements. Then what remains in you? In one second the whole thing goes. Read the Mundaka Upanishad. Gatāḥ kalāḥ pañcadaśa pratiṣṭhā devāś ca sarve prati-devatāsu (M.U. 3.2.7): All the elements in you will go to the elements outside, and all the gods operating through your sense organs will go back to their original gods, so that you will not be there at all. It is like a person who lives on borrowed money. When you repay the debt, you have nothing with you. You cease to be existing. These are all elements borrowed from the world outside. The skin, the blood, the marrow, the heart, the lungs, everything is borrowed from outside. They will go back. They are dismantled. It is like dismantling a house. So much effort you have taken to build a house with steel, cement, and so on. When you dismantle it, the house goes.

Ashramite: How do they come, Swamiji?

Swamiji: They come by believing that they exist. The imagining is itself the bondage. Who imagines? Neither God imagines, nor you, because you are not existing; you are not created at all. So the imagining is imagining itself. [Laughter]

Ashramite: Very mysterious.

Swamiji: A Guru is necessary. Ananya-prokte gatir atra nāsty (K.U. 1.2.8): There is no way unless you are taught by another who is ananya, which means ‘non-different from that'. A person who is non-different from that should be your Guru. Now, have you found any person who is non-different from that, a brahmanishta and a brahman-shrotriya? Samit-pāṇiḥ śrotriyam brahmaniṣṭham (M.U. 1.2.12): You must go there and prostrate yourself. Great sages, Narada and others, were going and prostrating themselves. Narada's power and knowledge, nobody could calculate; he went and prostrated himself to Sanatkumara, who looked like a little boy. Tad viddhi praṇipātena paripraśnena sevayā (B.G. 4.34): Go and prostrate yourself, and question and serve. Three things are mentioned: pranipatena, pariprasnena and seva. Then they will teach you. But you don't want to serve anybody. You don't want to serve anybody?

Ashramite: No, Swamiji. Other things can be done, but service not. [Laughter]

Swamiji: The ancient disciples did nothing but service. They carried firewood, they carried water, and did everything. On the one hand, it effaces the ego; on the other hand, it brings the grace of the person who is served. If you serve a person, you mentally pray to that person. Suppose you want to serve God. You are not going and touching the feet of God. Your mind itself is serving Him. So even by thought you can draw the grace of God and, likewise, from the Guru also. Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj is not physically alive, but you can think him and you will contact him. Vasishtha is not visible, Shuka is not visible, Lord Krishna is not visible, Rama is not visible, but you can think them. They are still existing somewhere, and if you are en rapport with them, immediately they will come. Everything is existing. The Mahabharata and the Ramayana are taking place even now; Ravana, Kumbhakarna, everybody is there, only they are in different realms in a transformed form. Nothing is destroyed; everything is indestructible. The law of the conservation of energy, according to modern physics, says that nothing can be destroyed. There is only a transmutation of form. Non-existence is not possible. There is no such thing as non-existence. Thus, you can draw from the universe whatever you want just now, if your mind is united with it.

Generally, people say yoga means union. This is a very difficult thing to understand. You cannot unite yourself with anything. You cannot unite yourself with even a fountain pen. It is always outside you. So I have used another word for that. Instead of saying yoga is union, I thought it better to put it like this: yoga is parallelism with a thing. You become parallel with a thing, and do not look at the object.

Now, by ‘parallel' I give an example. There are two rails on a railway track. One rail will not consider the other rail as an object. Even if you suppose that there is consciousness in the rail, it will not look at the other rail as an object. Two bulls pull a cart. One bull is not the object of the other bull; they are independently moving parallelly. So if a thing in the world is parallel to you…

Now I am looking at you. You look like an object in front of me. But if we sit in the same line, then we both see the same thing. I don't see you, and you don't see me. We both sit like this [beside each other and facing the same direction]. Then the object-subject relationship is immediately cancelled. You become parallel.

If you are parallel with everything in the world, that is the Viratsvarupa. There is no seen object there; it is seeing only, because when you are parallel with everybody, everybody is seeing, and there is no seen object. You should not bring somebody in front of you as an object. Even when you think of space, you think it is in front of you. You never believe that space is behind you. Have you ever thought that space is behind you? You look ahead of you. Whatever it is, it is in front. A thing may also be behind, but still you will say it is in front. It is a habit of the mind. So parallelism is a better method. There will be only the seer, and no seen object. Like that, you convert everything into your friend. It becomes your friend. Friends walk together side by side. They don't see each other directly when they walk. Likewise, unity will immediately take place.

The unity does not take place because you are looking at something as an object, as an opponent. Anything that you look at is an opponent to you, but you should make it a friend. Think: “Here it is.” [Swamiji lifts a pen.] I am seeing, and it also sees. And another is there; it sees, it sees, it sees. The walls also see, the trees are seeing, the mountain is seeing, the river is seeing, space is seeing, time is seeing, the sun, moon and stars are all seeing. There is only seeing. Only the seer is there, and the seen is not there. Then everything is seeing only. That all-pervading seeing is the Viratsvarupa. You have seen pictures of the Viratsvarupa. It sees, but it sees nothing. There is nothing in front of it for it to see. It doesn't see anything; it is seeing only, pure seeing. Adopt that method. How many minutes can you spare to think like this? There is only seeing. The whole universe is seeing. It doesn't see any object. How much time will you take to meditate like this?

Ashramite: Five, ten minutes.

Swamiji: You will get moksha in five minutes? You want to pay three paisa, and then you will get the whole universe?

Ashramite: Ten minutes in one sitting, Swamiji. Three, four sittings in a day.

Swamiji: You are right in one way. Even five minutes are sufficient, provided your heart has immediately melted down.

Another ashramite: It means there will be no person to get moksha, Swamiji.

Swamiji: It is sadyo mukti, immediate. God does not take time to come. He is timeless.

Ashramite: The very person himself has completely merged in that Universal Being.

Swamiji: You will be so happy. You should not think only for five or ten minutes here and there, and then do something else. So many times I have told you, you have no other duty but this. Not only will you be happy, you will see things as parallel to you. You will be happy with them, and they will be happy with you. Everything will change. Circumstances will change. Slowly everything becomes a seer only, cosmic seeing. The building is seeing, the roads are seeing, the sky is seeing, the trees are seeing, everything is seeing. Sahasrākśaḥ means millions of eyes are seeing. All these eyes are seeing. They are not seeing, they are being. This is yoga.

There are stages of the ascent to this kind of experience. It won't come suddenly because there are lesser degrees, higher degrees, and still higher degrees, higher degrees, higher degrees, until you reach the highest degree. In the beginning it is only a small area which you can convert into pure seeing. You may convert the whole of your room, for instance. You are seeing something in your room. All of them are seeing only. Then afterwards you expand, and the whole Muni-ki-reti is seeing like this. Afterwards you say the whole Uttar Pradesh is seeing, the whole country is seeing, the whole earth is seeing, all space is seeing, all time is seeing, the whole universe is seeing, Virat is seeing, Hiranyagarbha is seeing, Ishvara is seeing, Brahman is seeing—seeing, seeing, seeing.

You cannot immediately go to the higher state because the mind will revolt. It won't agree. It will say, “What about my desires? Give!” It will say that. What is desire? You are getting everything. Even that thing which you desire is seeing. It is a part of seeing, so you cannot ask for anything. Even the asking for something has no meaning, really speaking. You should never say you want something. That thing which you want is you only; it is parallel to you. It will get annoyed with you: “You are considering me as separate? You want to possess me like that?” Would anybody like to be possessed like that? He will say, “Look at this man. He wants to possess me.” But if he is parallel to you, he is a friend. The parallel person is a friend; the possessed person is an object. Who would like to be an object? You must be a friend only. A very important matter this is. You must go by degrees—slowly, slowly, slowly, slowly, slowly.

These degrees of parallelism of perception are called the samadhis. The savitarka, nirvitarka, savichara, nirvichara, etc., that Patanjali mentions are the same thing. You cannot go there at once. You can go at once if your mind is strong enough, but if it is troubled…

The whole problem is some lurking desires inside. It is very difficult to handle them because there is still something that is the object. You have got something and think that it is yours. You don't say, “It is me.” You say, “It is mine.” There is a difference between something being me and something being mine. This ‘mine' must go away. It is me only. You cannot possess me, but you possess mine, though the mine does not really exist. That thing which you call ‘mine' is a ‘me' for itself, so there is only me. That's why it is said the whole universe is the Self. It will completely change you.

Ashramite: Whatever Swamiji spoke, we can understand it theoretically. But how to practice it, Swamiji?

Swamiji: Your mind has not fully accepted it. That is the whole thing. Your mind is saying, “Yet, I have something to tell.” But—always there is a ‘but' behind everything. If you have really understood what I said, you will absorb it into your mind. Understanding means appreciating. Appreciating means making it one's own and not keeping it somewhere outside, because then you are not appreciating it. If you don't appreciate a person, you keep that person outside somewhere. If you appreciate the person, you make that person yourself.

You have to feel what you have understood. Close your eyes and think: “This is like this, this is like this, this is like this. Oh, wonderful!” Touch your heart. “I am happy, I am happy. It is like this, it is like this. I wrongly thought something. I was thinking wrongly up to this time. Now it is like this. Nothing is mine, it is me only. Nothing is mine, it is me. Nothing is mine, it is me.” Go on saying this. It is also a mantra. A mantra does not have to be only in Sanskrit; it can be in any language. In any language you can say: “It is me, it is me.” Go on telling it to yourself again and again: “Nobody is an object outside. It is a seer only.” The whole universe is seeing like this, but it is like the Vishvarupa. Keep a picture of the Vishvarupa in front of you. So many eyes are seeing, but they are seeing nothing in front. It is seeing itself only. Go on saying this every day. Then what you have asked will come to you.

I have mentioned the method of practice to you. Go on dinning it into your mind again and again, again and again, again and again. Even a naughty child will stop crying if you gently pat it and use the same technique every day with the child. But if you take it lightly, you will be the loser. You are not doing this for somebody else's benefit. You are not merely making a gesture of meditating. This will not benefit you. You must feel in your heart: “It isfor me.”

You are a totally independent person; you must remember that. You have no friend in this world. You do not belong to anybody. You do not belong to even your father and mother. It is a kind of mistaken notion that you possess your child, and so on. The child does not belong to its father. This child was somebody in the previous birth. Due to some karma it was thrust into the womb of this mother and this father. So is the case with one's parents; they were also thrust into somebody's womb by their karma. Thus, interrelationship is impossible. Each one is totally independent, but the biological instincts are so strong they compel you to feel: “This is mine, and this is not mine.”

Just imagine a situation when nobody wants you. A time may come when nobody will want you. What will you feel at that time? I am now giving you a technique of developing inner strength. Do you become very happy and strong because others call you important? Are you borrowing your importance from other people's words, or do you have a real importance? Are you a really important person, or have you borrowed importance because others are saying that? Borrowed money cannot sustain you, borrowed knowledge cannot be called your knowledge, and borrowed recognition is not recognition. What do you say, my dear boy? Remember, really nobody likes you. You are adjusting yourself in society in such a way that it looks as if people are liking you. If your adjustment is not there, they will throw you out. Even your parents will throw you out if you are not in harmony with their whims and fancies. So who is your friend? Be careful. It is no good fooling oneself.

But there is somebody who will be always with you—That which sees everywhere, That which sees everything, and That which alone sees: suhṛdaṁ sarvabhūtānāṁ jñātvā māṁ śāntim ṛcchati (B.G. 5.29). He whom you have completely ignored will come to you as your friend when nobody wants you. What do you say? It is not necessary to wait for the day when the world does not want you. Psychologically you may even now imagine that nobody wants you, and then you will have no suffering when it actually takes place because already you have accepted it: “Nobody wants me, really speaking. I am only making some adjustment; therefore, everybody looks friendly.” The adjustment goes, and nobody wants you. They will throw you out. Nobody wants you, really speaking, nor do you want anybody. That is also a misnomer. It is a social adjustment and some kind of cooperation and manoeuvring. So many things are done to make society look like a complete whole, but actually there is no such thing as society. Each one is independent. If society is a whole, everybody would be born at the same moment. The entire nation will be born today itself. It cannot take place. So this is also a makeshift. Each individual is totally different; their karma is different from yours, and your prarabdha is different from theirs.

But there is One Person who is behind you always. You cannot forget that. He is the person with all eyes, and your eyes belong to Him only. You are not seeing; He is seeing through your eyes. This is yoga, my dear boy. Listen to me.