Conscious without thinking
Mr. Ramamurthi: Swamiji, I have read Brunton’s book A Search in Secret India, and was much impressed by the last chapter, where he says that it is possible to be conscious without thinking. I know that one can think, remaining forgetful of the physical body. Can one think without the mind? Is it possible to gain that consciousness which is beyond thoughts?
M.: Yes. There is only one consciousness, which subsists in the waking, dream and sleep states. In sleep there is no ‘I’. The ‘I-thought’ arises on waking and then the world appears. Where was this ‘I’ in sleep? Was it there or was it not? It must have been there also, but not in the way that you feel now. The present is only the ‘I-thought’, whereas the sleeping ‘I’ is the real ‘I’. It subsists all through. It is consciousness. If it is known you will see that it is beyond thoughts.
D.: Can we think without the mind?
M.: Thoughts may be like any other activities, not disturbing to the Supreme consciousness.
D.: Can one read others’ minds?
The Master as usual told him to find his Self before worrying about others.
“Where are others apart from one’s own Self?” asked the Master.
Talks With Ramana Maharshi
28th March, 1935 – Talk 43.