5-1-46 Afternoon (Selection)
When I entered the hall Bhagavan was answering some question saying, ‘There is no difference between dream and the waking state except that the dream is short and the waking long. Both are the result of the mind. Because the waking state is long, we imagine that it is our real state. But, as a matter of fact, our real state is what is sometimes called turiya or the fourth state which is always as it is and knows nothing of the three avasthas, viz., waking, dream or sleep. Because we call these three avasthas we call the fourth state also turiya avastha. But it is not an avastha, but the real and natural state of the Self. When this is realised, we know it is not a turiya or fourth state, for a fourth state is only relative, but turiyatita, the transcendent state called the fourth state.
A visitor asked Bhagavan, “Priests prescribe various rituals and pujas and people are told that unless they properly observe these with fasts, feasts, etc., sin will accrue, and so on. Is there any necessity to observe such rituals and ceremonial worship?”
Bhagavan: “Yes. All such worship is also necessary. It may not be necessary for you. But that does not mean it is necessary for nobody and is no good at all. What is necessary for the infant class pupil is not necessary for the graduate. But even the graduate has to make use of the very alphabet he learnt in the infant class. He knows the full use and significance of the alphabet now.”
The same visitor asked, “I do Omkarapuja. I say ‘Om Ram’. Is that good?”
Bhagavan: Yes. Any puja is good. ‘Om Ram’ or any other name will do. The point is to keep away all other thoughts except the one thought of Om or Ram or God. All mantra or japa helps that. He who does the japa or Ram, e.g, becomes Rama-maya. The worshipper becomes in course of time the worshipped. It is only then that he will know the full meaning of the Omkar which he was repeating.
Our real nature is mukti. But we are imagining we are bound and are making various, strenuous attempts to become free, while we are all the while free. This will be understood only when we reach that stage. We will be surprised that we were frantically trying to attain something which we have always been and are. An illustration will make this clear. A man goes to sleep in this hall. He dreams he has gone on a world tour, is roaming over hill and dale, forest and country, desert and sea, across various continents and after many years of weary and strenuous travel, returns to this country, reaches Tiruvannamalai, enters the Asramam and walks into the hall. Just at that moment he wakes up and finds he has not moved an inch but was sleeping where he lay down. He has not returned after great effort to this hall, but is and always has been in the hall. It is exactly like that. If it is asked, why being free we imagine we are bound, I answer, “Why being in the hall did you imagine you were on a world adventure, crossing hill and dale, desert and sea? It is all mind or maya.”
Another visitor, who said that he was from Sri Aurobindo’s Ashram, asked Bhagavan: “But we see pain in the world. A man is hungry. It is a physical reality. It is very real to him. Are we to call it a dream and remain unmoved by his pain?”
Bhagavan: From the point of view of jnana or the reality, the pain you speak of is certainly a dream, as is the world of which the pain is an infinitesimal part. In the dream also you yourself feel hunger. You see others suffering hunger. You feed yourself and, moved by pity, feed the others that you find suffering from hunger. So long as the dream lasted, all those pains were quite as real as you now think the pain you see in the world to be. It was only when you woke up that you discovered that the pain in the dream was unreal. You might have eaten to the full and gone to sleep. You dream that you work hard and long in the hot sun all day, are tired and hungry and want to eat a lot. Then you get up and find your stomach is full and you have not stirred out of your bed. But all this is not to say that while you are in the dream you can act as if the pain you feel there is not real. The hunger in the dream has to be assuaged by the food in the dream. The fellow beings you found in the dream so hungry had to be provided with food in that dream. You can never mix up the two states, the dream and the waking state. Till you reach the state of jnana and thus wake out of this maya, you must do social service by relieving suffering whenever you see it. But even then you must do it, as we are told, without ahamkara, i.e., without the sense “I am the doer,” but feeling. “I am the Lord’s tool.” Similarly one must not be conceited, “I am helping a man below me. He needs help. I am in a position to help. I am superior and he inferior.” But you must help the man as a means of worshipping God in that man. All such service too is for the Self, not for anybody else. You are not helping anybody else, but only yourself.
Mr. T. P. Ramachandra Aiyar said in this connection “There is the classic example of Abraham Lincoln, who helped a pig to get out of a ditch and in the process had himself and his clothes dirtied. When questioned why he took so much trouble, he replied, ‘I did it to put an end not so much to the pig’s trouble, as to my own pain in seeing the poor thing struggle to get out of the ditch’.”
Mr. Joshi asked: I am a householder. I have dependants and obstacles in the way of my spiritual progress. What should I do?
Bhagavan: See whether those dependants and obstacles are outside you, whether they exist without you.
Joshi: I am a beginner. How should I start?
Bhagavan: Where are you now? Where is the goal? What is the distance to be covered? The Self is not somewhere far away to be reached. You are always that. You have only to give up your habit, a long-standing one, of identifying yourself with the non-self. All effort is only for that. By turning the mind outwards, you have been seeing the world, the non-Self. If you turn it inwards you will see the Self.