(Spoken on November 11, 1987.)
The spiritual quest is basically a search for a kind of aloneness of being, inasmuch as it has to be accepted that the ultimately real is alone to itself. The aloneness of the Ultimate Reality is of primary importance as a matter of consideration in the adjustment of our mind along the path of yoga practice.
It is necessary for us to be aware at the outset as to where we are moving in order that we may know how to move in that given direction. It is a universally accepted feeling, doctrine and fact that the Ultimate Reality has to be alone, and there cannot be anything near it, outside it, second to it or equal to it. Here is a point which requires concentration of a specific type.
We have also heard philosophers and mystics saying that the path of the spirit is like the flight of the alone to the Alone. “Alone do we move to That which is alone” is a very significant dictum before us to follow with a proper comprehension of its connotation.
We have never seen anything in this world which is alone to itself. Not even a single atom can be said to be alone to itself. There is a concatenation of atomic particles in order that they may become molecules. Molecules arrange themselves in a chain, as it were, to become larger bodies, organisms, and objects of perception. The world seems to be made in such a way that nothing can be alone to itself, not even a human being of the highest stature. There is a necessity pressed upon every individual entity to hang on some other individual entity for its sustenance, and philosophers have even gone to the extent of coming to an astounding conclusion that the very existence of an individual entity is nothing but a description that is drawn around a particular point in space and time in light of the relationship that one point maintains to other points in the universe, all which amounts to saying that even the substantiality of our individuality does not seem to be an independent entity by itself. Perhaps Buddha was right when he proclaimed that there is no entity subsisting by itself, and there is no individual Atman independently surviving unconnected, unrelated to others.
This is a viewpoint which follows from the implications of the consideration that, for certain important reasons, independence in the world is not possible. We cry for independence, no doubt, but it is a make-believe finally because total unrelatedness is unthinkable in a related world. The world is relative in its nature. Nothing is absolutely, unconditionally existent in itself. If the world is relative, there cannot be total independence granted to anything that exists by itself, as it were.
Now, we live in a world where aloneness is an utter impossibility. There is a physical material relatedness even of our physical body with the material elements that constitute our physical body. This body in which we are encased is constituted of material components: earth, water, fire, air and ether, as we are usually told. Material stuff is the stuff of this body. Therefore, every body, every individual location is a peculiar pressure point, as it were, in space and time, exerted upon a material continuum which is this fivefold elemental constitution, an earth-water-fire-air-ether complex.
Who can be independent in this world? Not even this body. Even our thoughts do not seem to be independently motivated by themselves because a thought is also a kind of descriptive activity. A definition of a particular content of the mind takes place when the mind thinks of something. A mind is nothing but a thought operating in respect of something which is its content. Now, the content of a thought is what we call the object of thought. The thing which the mind contemplates is the content thereof. The object that the mind conceives or sensorily perceives cannot be made a part of its cognition or perception unless that particular content or object is described in a particular manner, or defined in a specific way.
To give an illustration, a tree is conceived in the mind or perceived by the sense organs. A tree cannot be cognised or perceived unless it is isolated by descriptive or definitive characteristics from other things which are not trees. There are non-trees in the world, and therefore, trees become perceptible. If the whole world is just a tree only, there cannot be a perception of a tree. So even mental cognitions are relatively construed in the sense that the description the mind prepares within itself in respect of its own object is also relatively connected to other objects. The character of a particular object is that particular feature which is abstracted from the total possibility of features and distinguishable from the features of other objects. Physically we are not independent, and mentally also it is not possible to entertain totally independent thoughts. There is relativity reigning supreme not only in the material world but also in the mental world. What other world is available to us if it is not psychophysical in the end?
What is this great search spiritual for that which is all-in-all, the be-all and end-all of all things? The Supreme Being glorying in itself, beholding itself through itself, the Almighty, as we call it, the endless infinite Existence, the timeless Eternity, the Bliss Supreme, knows only itself. It does not know anything other than itself because other than itself, nothing can be. Nothing other than itself can be because infinitude is the nature of the Ultimate Reality. That which has something second to it, external to it or equal to it is a finite being because the externality spoken about is nothing but the description of the finitude of that particular thing. God, the Supreme Being, the Almighty, the Ultimate Reality, cannot be finite. Hence, it cannot have that difficulty of relating itself to things outside it by cognition, perception, etc. There is no mentation in the Ultimate Reality. Therefore, there is also no physicality or materiality in the Ultimate Reality.
That which we call the Supreme Being is neither material nor psychical. It is not material because it is not a component of particles. It is a compound, not a complex. It is an indivisibility which is incapable of partition, because anything that is material is capable of division into minute particles called components, but that which is ultimately real cannot be so divided. Indivisibility is the nature of the Ultimate Reality. Hence, it cannot be a material something. It cannot also be a mental concept because the mind is an arrangement of different types of thoughts, and there cannot be any kind of arrangement in the Ultimate Reality because the arrangement spoken about is also a kind of relationship internally among parts constituting a whole, and the Ultimate Reality is not a whole which is constituted of parts. If it is made up of parts, if it is to be conceived in that manner, it would be perishable because anything that is compounded is to be decomposed one day or the other. It is capable of diminution and destruction finally.
In this light, we find ourselves to be in a state of utter contrast when we try to contemplate in our meditations on that which is alone and absolutely real in its own right. We are supposed to be attuning our consciousness in our practices of meditation to that condition of total being, indivisibility of existence, and all worthwhile meditation is nothing but this step taken by our consciousness in the direction of this kind of attunement to that total aloneness. How would that be possible? Aloneness is unthinkable. No one in the world has seen anything that is alone, and none of us also can live alone by ourselves. We always require something second to us, with us.
This predicament perhaps takes us to another conclusion, that the meditation which is spiritual is not a mere mental activity, and is far from being any work that we do with the physical body. In meditation, we do not merely think as we think an object. We think a mountain, we think a star, we think a person, we think this, that, and so on. Do we also do this same thing in meditation? If we are just thinking through the mind in our spiritual meditations, we would be holding relative concepts in meditation, and we would not be anywhere near that which is alone by itself. A kind of kinship has to be established between ourselves and that which is ultimately real in order that we may have the hope of attaining it, realising it, and experiencing it. What sort of kinship can we establish with it if nothing in us can be regarded as totally alone and independent by itself?
As has been pointed out, we are dependent socially, materially, and even psychologically. What other thing is there in us that can be called not dependent, and not relatively bound by the laws of cause and effect? There is something in us, the root of us, which cannot be so conditioned by social, material or psychic limitations. It is the real I, the real you, the real me, which always eludes the grasp of our own selves. This so-called ‘I’ in me eludes my grasp because I try to grasp it with my thought. The relative is trying to grasp the absolute, the perishable is trying to hold in its hand the eternal. The finite is trying to contemplate the infinite. All this is next to an impossibility.
Therefore, in our quest for the ultimately real in our spiritual meditations, it is necessary for us to bring to the surface of our experience, our consciousness, something which can be regarded as having a kinship with that which is totally independent by itself. Though we seem to be dependent in every way, yet there is some sort of a root, a seed, a nucleus inside us which cannot be called a relative entity connected with something else.
There is a resentment on the part of every person to be hanging on somebody else. Though we are relatively bound, utterly finite and will die one day or the other, yet we have a feeling that it is good to be independent. We would not like to be a slave of somebody else. The more we free ourselves from dependence on external factors, the happier do we feel. Don’t you feel that happiness? Don’t you feel miserable the more you are hanging on the mercy of somebody else? If the material world is to threaten you, and if the psychic world is also totally relatively bound, and if society is nothing but a harassment of pressures from outside, where is the utility of life? Where is the point of existence in this world?
The fact that we seek independence, that we like to be alone and feel happy when we are by our own selves, is an indication that there is certainly something akin to that ultimately real in our own selves. The search for God would be impossible if we were totally incapable of that search. The idea of a spiritual quest cannot arise in our minds if that is a total impossibility, a futility. The idea of the infinite, which hovers around our minds day in and day out, the desire to be free, the asking for unlimited freedom, and even the asking for deathlessness ultimately, points to the fact that we are perhaps heirs apparent to deathlessness, timelessness and utter independence. Yogins call it kaivalya.
In our meditations, it is up to us, therefore, to create in our own selves an atmosphere of aloneness in order that we may be en rapport with that ultimate Aloneness, with a capital A. “How do we achieve this?” is a question before every spiritual seeker. Infinite particular that I am, how would I be in a position to relate myself to the universality that is my quest? Though I am a particular individual and not a universal inclusiveness, and my search is for that which is non-particular, it is possible for me to contemplate the universal in my own self, in this so-called limited particularity of myself, by invoking that universal in this particular finitude of our personality. Meditation is an invocation of the universal in our own selves.
There is a seed of universality in ourselves. There is a tremendous potentiality of power even in a little nucleus of an atom. In a similar manner, we may say by a kind of analogy that a universal element is operating in the totally finite existence of ours in this body. But for that, we would ask for nothing. We would be locked up within the prison-house of this body and there would be no thought of anything outside the body if we were totally inside the body and there was nothing in us external to the body, or extra-material. If we are totally material and psychic, and nothing extra-material or extra-psychic – or, to coin a word, extra-particular or extra-individual – such an idea could not arise in our minds, much less would there be a possibility of reaching it and attaining it. There would be no such thing as God-realisation.
But our hearts, the deepest recesses of our being, tell us that it is necessary for us to have contact with that imperishable reality. The eternal is speaking through this dying individual, ringing this bell of the possibility of directly contacting timelessness in time and infinitude in this finite body. Meditation is this kind of adjustment, an adaptation to the conditions prevailing in universal beings. That is meditation. An adaptation to the circumstances that are likely to prevail in the state of universality is meditation. If this cannot be done, meditation would not be a success because we are actually ascending from the lower to the higher in a state of meditation, and not horizontally walking from subjective consciousness to the object of thought.
Generally when we think an object, the mind is in one place and the object or thought is in another place. There is a horizontal relationship between the mind and its object. We move in this linear fashion on the surface of the earth, as it were, from the location of the thought that thinks to the object that the mind thinks. Not so is the activity called meditation, if it all we can call it an activity.
Generally, we define activity as a kind of operation of the limbs of the body, or at least the components of the mind, the action of the thought. As I mentioned, far from meditation being an action of the body, it is not even actually an activity of the thought if we identify thought with arrangements of various ideational or conceptual picturisations. If that is the case, that which is indivisible and that which is beyond the finite cannot be accommodated within the framework of the human consciousness.
Here we have to draw a distinction between consciousness and mind. We have been using the words ‘mind’ and ‘consciousness’ without making a proper distinction between the two. The mind is a relative operation; consciousness is an absolute entity. The mind is not indivisible; it is divisible, partitioned, capable of bits. It has little bits of internal components, all which are brought together in a logical fashion for what we call sane thinking. Insane thinking is also possible, which is a chaotic form of thoughts arising without inner logicality among them. When there is a logical system and the components of thought are placed in their proper context, there is sane thinking. So the idea is that the mind is not an indivisible entity. It is divisible because it is made up of ideas, aspirations, frustrations, feelings, emotions, volitions, and so on. It is like a fabric, a kind of cloth made up of many threads, and as there is no cloth minus threads, there is no mind without thoughts.
So this kind of divisible psychic operation is not actually what is brought to the surface of our operation when we are directly encountering the Absolute. Meditation is a face-to-face encounter with that which is ultimately real. We are hell bound, as it were, to bring the depths of our personality to the uppermost level of our consciousness. In the beginning this effort involves a little bit of psychoanalysis – in a spiritual sense, of course. That means to say that when, in the process of meditation, we bring our inner potentialities to the surface of our awareness, much of the psychic contents that are buried inside also are brought to the surface.
We have heard that there are several koshas: annamaya, pranamaya, manomaya, vijnanamaya, anandamaya koshas – the physical, the vital, the mental, the intellectual, the causal. These are the sheaths, the encasements, the covers, the shirts or the coats that inner consciousness puts on, as it were; but consciousness is independent of these coats. As the Bhagavadgita tells us, the coats can be thrown away, but that which puts on the coats is imperishable.
When we bring consciousness to the surface of direct action in relation to the Absolute which is to be contemplated, we have to pass through these layers. Here is the difficulty which meditation brings before us. It is a glorious attainment, a glorious adventure, but also a very, very risky adventure. It is glorious like the glory of Hercules who tried to bring the golden apple from the garden of Hesperides. We know what risk he had. He had to fight the dragons, but somehow or other he brought the golden apples. There is also the story of Jason of Greek mythology fighting with the brazen bulls, and many other interesting stories. These stories are actually stories of the adventure of the spirit, the struggle of the human soul in its attempt to contact that which is eternal and absolute.
It is not possible to achieve immediate success in meditation. Though we are well intentioned and really honest in our pursuit, honesty alone is not enough. There is also a necessity to have some strength of will to face all the difficulties that we may have to face on the surface. That is to say, when the consciousness that is deeply hidden within the Atman within us is brought up to the surface of active consciousness for the purpose of meditation, we have to pass through the layers of these difficult involvements. Annamaya is first, and then we have got the pranamaya, the manomaya, the vijnanamaya, and the anandamaya.
Sudden jerks are felt in meditation due to a stroke that is dealt upon consciousness by the power of the will which is bent upon achieving its ideal. The sudden jerks and perspiration in the body which people complain of are immediate consequences of a hammering that we do, as it were, upon consciousness for coming to the surface. We are really the Atman, even now. It is not that we are going to be the Atman afterwards – tomorrow, or the day after. As the sun can be said to be buried within clouds, layers of thick darkness, we, the real we, perhaps in a metaphorical way, are shrouded within this thick layer of varieties of imaginative faculty, frustrations, unfulfilled ambitions, angers, prejudices, and even karma potentials which we have brought with us from previous lives. The karmas of the past which have not been worked out and have not actually been made part of conscious activity through prarabdha karma remain as potencies, known as sanchita karmas. The so-called anandamaya kosha, the causal body, is nothing but the ungerminated seed potentials of past karmas, known as sanchita karmas. They are a thick layer of debris and unknown potentialities. ‘Unknown’ is the word to be underlined because we do not know what will actually come out when this Pandora’s box is opened. Suddenly we get shocks of different types, and we face encounters which are most unexpected, internally as well as externally. Fear grips us, and even a nervous breakdown may be possible because the meditating consciousness has not properly prepared to sit for this onslaught.
It is not for nothing we are told that the sadhana chatushtaya is a prerequisite for Vedantic or yogic meditations. The yamas and niyamas which Patanjali speaks of, and the sadhana chatushtaya which philosophers mention, are not just ethical prescriptions given by Gurus or teachers for students to follow, but are necessary internal disciplines by which we prepare a kind of toughness of the spirit within us and are made aware of what we are going to expect in the process of our meditations.
Everything that we considered in ordinary life as a reality but which was not a reality will come up to the surface and attack us in our meditations. It is our own mind that attacks us in meditation, not somebody else. No Mara, no Maya, no Indra comes there. These things that we speak of in epic language – obstacles coming as maya – are the tax that we have not actually paid. The potentials of longing in us – desires which have not yet been given an opportunity to manifest themselves outside in action, in fulfilment or in sublimation – take up their cudgels, and these are the demons that the Puranas speak of as obstacles coming and attacking sincere spiritual seekers.
It is, therefore, necessary for every one of us to have a check-up of our own personality every day very, very sincerely before we honestly take to this intense type of meditation. Sometimes, in a juvenile enthusiasm of spirit, we rouse in ourselves a kind of emotion which tells us, “In this birth itself I must realise God. I do not want to take another birth.” It is a worthwhile ambition indeed, very praiseworthy. We must actually encourage that person, whoever he or she is, who wants to realise the Absolute in this birth, but mere emotion is not enough. It is not just enthusiasm that is required. There is an ardour of the spirit – tīvra saṁvegānām, as Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras put it, which does not mean emotional preparation, but an intense power and ardour of longing which has completely overwhelmed us; we are inundated with this longing for God, and we want nothing else.
But wanting this only and wanting nothing else is, in most cases, likely to be an action of the mind in the conscious level. The subconscious and unconscious levels may not be actually permitting this kind of asking. It is the conscious mind that says we shall devote ourselves entirely to the pursuit of God. But what about the subconscious memories which are not allowed to act in the daylight of intellectual activity when there is social pressure and many other limitations imposed upon the person, due to which, memories cannot come to the surface of active operation? And much less, the deepest layers of the anandamaya kosha potentialities will not come.
Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj, as a great expert in yoga, very wisely instructed every spiritual seeker to keep a spiritual diary, apart from a personal check-up, a questioning of oneself. In spiritual practice, every person has to be 100% honest. We are not spiritual for the sake of other people in the world. It is not a demonstration that we do. We are not yogis because others will follow us yogis. Here is a very difficult situation for the psyche to accommodate itself to, to totally dedicate itself to that which is entirely super-social. We are social beings. Everyone knows that we are social entities. The social impact has told upon us to such an extent that most of us cannot even think ultimately valuable things except in terms of social evaluations. What will it do for the society? What will be the reaction of my friends to my meditations? And what will happen finally? Even such gross thoughts as the fear of losing properties, bank balances, friends, husbands and wives, which look so puerile now in the conscious preparatory stage, may become very strong impulses. Even Buddha saw his wife in his meditation. She was sitting in front of him. Can you imagine? Yashodhara with their little child Rahula was sitting in front of the meditating Buddha. “My dear Lord, how have you deserted me and come here?” she asked. It was not a hallucination. It was not a meditational concept that he was envisaging; physically he saw it, though she was not there. It was his mind operating, but it operated in such a substantially concrete manner and projected itself externally as something that nobody could ever believe was not actually there.
So the potencies of our mind, which are subconscious and unconscious, may take direct action when we have not handled them properly. If we owe some debt to somebody, we have to handle that debt in a very intelligent manner. We can pay the debt, and not think of it again. But there are some debts which we cannot easily pay under the prevailing circumstances. They have to be totally sublimated by analysis, philosophical circumspection and an inward conviction generated within our own selves that all these dear things and wonderful things that we are asking for in this world, which the emotions cling to and the longings desire, are all going to be attained one day or the other in a magnified form in their true reality. This is a very palatable way of instructing the mind. It will listen to us when we tell it that. “My dear little child, my mind, you are not going to lose anything in your abstraction of yourself from relations to other people and other things in the world. The shadows, which are the objects to which you are clinging in this world, are going to be seen in their real archetypal form.”
We ourselves are shadows moving in this world. I am a shadow of my own self. The real me is in a heavenly world. Every one of you is a shadow of your own self. The real you is not here. There are fourteen realms or lokas, as the Puranas tell us: Bhuloka, Bhuvarloka, Swargloka, Maharloka, Jnanaloka, Tapoloka, Satyaloka. You will be surprised to hear that every one of us is ranging through all these fourteen worlds at the same time. These fourteen worlds are the cosmic counterparts of the inner layers which I mentioned: annamaya, pranamaya, manomaya, vijnanamaya, and anandamaya koshas. The cosmic counterpart to the physical body is the physical universe. And similarly we have got cosmic counterparts corresponding to every individual level so that in every level we are related to and in contact with one particular state of cosmic level or reality. Hence, we are potentially cosmic, and therefore, we are told that the whole of the macrocosm can be seen in a seed form in the microcosm, as a banyan tree can be seen in a very finite and minute state, in a microscopic form, in a seed of the banyan tree. All the layers of consciousness, all the levels of being or the lokas mentioned, are embedded in our own selves, right from the hip up to the head. The chakras that hatha yogins speak of are only the microcosmic representations of the macrocosmic levels: Bhuloka, Bhuvarloka, Swargloka, Maharloka, Jnanaloka, Tapoloka, Satyaloka.
So as you ascend higher and higher, you become more and more real in your own self. As you wake up from sleep into dream and from dream into waking and see realities as they are, you will see your own self in a more and more real form as you ascend higher and higher, and your expectations will be really fulfilled rather than being fulfilled in a shadowy manner. Why should you be presented with tinsels and reflections of objects, as if they are what you want? You will be given the real things. The originals of all things will be found in that ultimately expected being. Tell the mind, “You will get everything that you want.” Go on doing japa like this: “A great day is ahead of me. I am better today than I was yesterday. I am certain I am on the right path. I have conducted my meditation honestly, sincerely, systematically, scientifically, to the best of my knowledge and capacity. Tomorrow I shall wake up as a better person.” Every day make a resolution like this. You will find that because the whole potentiality of realisation is within you, every affirmation has to get concretised one day or other.
This gradual revelation unfolding of the potentials of each level in our being is actually the path of Self-realisation. It is called Self-realisation because it is I myself or you yourself, and my own or your own ascending degrees of inclusiveness that is going to experience a larger dimension, a larger inclusiveness, transcending space and time. That thing is in a seed form in our own selves. Realisation is a graduated ascent of the spirit. It is in me and it is in you, and you are capable of achieving it.
The aloneness of the Supreme Being, with which I began, is a point to consider once again. Inasmuch as it is the totally alone Supreme Being, outside which nothing can be, you are not going to contemplate some outside object in your meditation. Now, you may ask me: “What about meditation on my Ishta-devata, which is my God, my Krishna, my Rama, my Devi, my Guru? Am I not contemplating these Ishta-devatas as some personalities, as some gods or goddesses in front of me? Are they not external to me? How do I contemplate my Ishta-devata as above me, included in me, within me?”
The answer to this question is that the god, the Ishta-devata, is above the meditator, and not outside the meditator. It is necessary to adjust your mind to this concept of the aboveness of the object of meditation, and not merely the externality of it. The Guru is not outside the disciple, but above the disciple. The teacher is not outside the student, but above the student. The boss in an office is not outside the subordinate, but above the subordinate. The aboveness is not to be considered in a spatial sense but in a logical sense. A superior is above the one who is working under the superior. The aboveness of the superior is not a geometrical aboveness as if somebody is physically sitting on the head of another person. It is a logical acceptance of the superiority and the larger inclusiveness of dimension of that which is superior. This is how we have to contemplate the Ishta-devata. So a god on whom you meditate, an Ishta-devata, is not outside you. Even though it is a bhakti yoga concept that you are following, it is a largeness that is above you. God is above you in this sense. God is above not in a spatial, geometrical sense, but in a logical, inclusive sense. God is above, and yet you need not think of God as some disconnected, extraneous object outside.
It is in this sense that we can say that God-realisation is the same as Self-realisation. God-realisation is the same as Self-realisation because it is the macrocosm that is being realised by the microcosm. It is the expansion of the microcosmic reality into the macrocosmic reality that is called spiritual realisation. Inasmuch as it is an efflorescence of the little tot, which is the microcosmic individual, into that all-encompassing macrocosm called Self-realisation. It is Self-realisation because it is the realisation of the inner potentiality of the microcosm itself. The Atman realises its own largest dimension which is Brahman, so it is God-realisation. It is the same as God-realisation because God is universality. The counterpart of God in our own selves in the individual is the potentiality of God.
For the purpose of illustration, we may say the Atman is the microcosmic Brahman, and Brahman is the macrocosmic Atman. When we say Atman is Brahman, it is not that we are identifying A with B, or this person with that person, this thing with that person. It is not two different things that are identified as the tat tvam asi mahavakya that we hear of, aham atma, ayam atma brahma, tat tvam asi, and so on. It is not an identification of one thing with another thing. It is a rising of one level into another level, like the waking of a person from dream to actual awareness of the reality of the world.
So there is only a difference in nomenclature between Self-realisation and God-realisation. It is an ascent, and at the same time it is an expansion. There is a vertical ascent involved in light of the fact that it is a graduated rise to Self-realisation of the highest kind, but it is also a dimensional expanding. For our own pictorial concept we may say it is a horizontal expansion – that is to say, reaching to the very limits of space.
For purpose of image, though not in fact, we may say we expand in the dimension of spatiality until we reach the very boundary of it. That means to say, we break the very boundary of space. Simultaneously, we rise through the time process. Vertically we rise to eternity, and horizontally we rise to infinity. But the two extremities meet in one point. The Ultimate Reality is eternal as well as infinite at the same time. The infinite and the eternal are not two different things. Space and time are not two entities. Even today we hear that there are no such things as space and time. It is a space-time continuum complex, one four-dimensional existence. It is nothing but an adumbration in modern language of that ancient discovery that Atman is Brahman, that space and time blend together in a fraternal embrace of communion that reveals from within itself the immortal Atman, which is the immortal Brahman.
In our meditations, therefore, we have to carefully prepare ourselves by seeing that any element which will prevent our asserting an aloneness spiritually does not enter into our consciousness. Spiritual aloneness is to be distinguished from social aloneness. If nobody sees us and we are somewhere far off in a distant forest, we are socially alone. But even in a forest we may not be alone spiritually. We may be psychologically in a dense, thickly populated city, even if we are in a forest. And the other way, even in a city we can be alone to ourselves in an internal spiritual adjustment. Actually, the spiritual aloneness that we speak of is not social, it is not material, and it is not even psychological. It is a peculiar kind of affirmation in our consciousness that it is present in all things, and because of this affirmation, the sense organs subside automatically. The vehemence of the sense organs to move outwardly through the apertures of the organs for the purpose of coming in contact with the objects of sense ceases gradually by the affirmation of the consciousness that it is present even in the object of contemplation. Then we will find that we are alone in a wider sense even if we are in the midst of all people.
There are many people seated here, and yet each one can be totally alone to oneself in spite of being in the midst of many because this ‘many’ is a material, social, physical, individualised many. Spiritually it is one. This affirmation consciously attempted, that is to say, the strong affirmation of consciousness that outside it nothing can be, is a preparation for the realisation of that ultimate consciousness, which is sat-chit-ananda, the Supreme Aloneness.
Inasmuch as I am basically the Atman and not the five koshas, and because of the fact that the Atman is consciousness and consciousness cannot be divided into parts, therefore, the Atman cannot have anything outside it. Outside me nothing can be. If I am not the body, if I am not the mind, if I am not the intellect and the causal body, if I am the Atman, if the Atman is consciousness, if the consciousness is indivisible, then it cannot have anything external to it. So the real me cannot have anything outside. I want nothing. The real me needs nothing in this world because it is the body that needs,; it is the psychological operations that seem to be wanting this and that. It is the emotion that needs; it is the social sense that needs. The real me needs nothing. This affirmation may be said to be a very strong foundation for spiritual meditation: “The real me is pure, indivisible consciousness. External to it nothing is. Therefore, I have no desires. As God has no desire, the God in me also cannot have any desire.”
Thus, the deepest potentiality in us, which is the Atman, rises like a rocket to that great destination which is its be-all and end-all, which is the aim of the very evolution of the universe, and the stillness. In Buddhist psychological language this stillness is enigmatically called bhutatathata, the suchness or the whichness or the thatness which is just what it is, a calm ocean of being. Ᾱpūryamāṇam acalapratiṣṭhaṁ samudram āpaḥ praviśanti yadvat, tadvat kāmā yaṁ praviśanti sarve sa śāntim āpnoti na kāmakāmī (Gita 2.70). All this that I have told you just now is nothing but a long commentary of this one verse in the Bhagavadgita.