What is Self-Enquiry? How to do it? (4)
A cultured lady, daughter of a well-known solicitor of Madras asked: What should one do in order to remain free from thoughts as advised by you? Is it only the enquiry “Who am I?”
M.: Only to remain still. Do it and see.
D.: It is impossible.
M.: Exactly. For the same reason the enquiry “Who am I?” is advised.
D.: Raising the question, no response comes from within.
M.: What kind of response do you expect? Are you not there? What more?
D.: Thoughts rise up more and more.
M.: Then and there raise the same question, “Who am I?”
M.: The intricate maze of philosophy of different schools is said to clarify matters and reveal the Truth. But in fact they create confusion where no confusion need exist. To understand anything there must be the Self. The Self is obvious. Why not remain as the Self? What need to explain the non-self?
Why should confusion be created and then explained away? Ah! Fortunate is the man who does not involve himself in this maze!
I was indeed fortunate that I never took to it. Had I taken to it, I would probably be nowhere – always in confusion. My purva vasanas (former tendencies) directly took me to the enquiry “Who am I?” It was indeed fortunate!
A few ladies had come from Bangalore. One among them asked: The world is composed of differences, from our point of view. How shall we be able to get over these differences and comprehend the One Essence of all things?
M.: The differences are the result of the sense of doership (kartritva). The fruits will be destroyed if the root is destroyed. So relinquish the sense of doership; the differences will vanish and the essential reality will reveal itself.
In order to give up the sense of doership one must seek to find out who the doer is. Enquire within; the sense of doership will vanish. Vichara (enquiry) is the method.
A Polish devotee wanted her vision, pratyaksha, of Shiva to be repeated.
There is no moment when the Self as Consciousness does not exist; nor can the seer remain apart from Consciousness. This Consciousness is the eternal Being and the only Being. The seer cannot see himself. Does he deny his existence because he cannot see himself with the eyes as pratyaksha (in vision)? No! So, pratyaksha does not mean seeing, but BE-ing.
“To BE” is to realise – Hence I AM THAT I AM. I AM is Siva. Nothing else can be without Him. Everything has its being in Siva and because of Siva.
Therefore enquire “Who am I?” Sink deep within and abide as the Self. That is Siva as BE-ing.
Surrender to Him and abide by His will. If you ask Him to do as you please, it is not surrender but command to Him. You cannot have Him obey you and yet think that you have surrendered. He knows what is best and when and how to do it. Leave everything entirely to Him. His is the burden: you have no longer any cares. All your cares are His. Such is surrender. This is bhakti.
Or, enquire to whom these questions arise. Dive deep in the Heart and remain as the Self. One of these two ways is open to the aspirant.
M.: The mind is only a bundle of thoughts. The thoughts have their root in the ‘I-thought’. “Whoever investigates the origin of the ‘I-thought’, for him the ego perishes. This is the true investigation.” The true “I” is then found shining by itself.
D.: This ‘I-thought’ rises from me. But I do not know the Self.
M.: All these are only mental concepts. You are now identifying yourself with a wrong ‘I’, which is the ‘I-thought’. This ‘I-thought’ rises and sinks, whereas the true significance of ‘I’ is beyond both. There cannot be a break in your being. You, who slept, are also now awake. There was not unhappiness in your deep sleep. Whereas it exists now. What is it that has happened now so that this difference is experienced? There was no ‘I-thought’ in your sleep, whereas it is present now. The true ‘I’ is not apparent and the false ‘I’ is parading itself. This false ‘I’ is the obstacle to your right knowledge. Find out wherefrom this false ‘I’ arises. Then it will disappear. You will be only what you are – i.e., absolute Being.
D.: How to do it? I have not succeeded so far.
M.: Search for the source of the ‘I-thought’. That is all that one has to do. The universe exists on account of the ‘I-thought’. If that ends there is an end of misery also. The false ‘I’ will end only when its source is sought.