A young man from Colombo asked Bhagavan, “J. Krishnamurti teaches the method of effortless and choiceless awareness as distinct from that of deliberate concentration. Would Sri Bhagavan be pleased to explain how best to practise meditation and what form the object of meditation should take?
Bhagavan: Effortless and choiceless awareness is our real nature. If we can attain it or be in that state, it is all right. But one cannot reach it without effort, the effort of deliberate meditation. All the age-long vasanas carry the mind outward and turn it to external objects. All such thoughts have to be given up and the mind turned inward. For that, effort is necessary for most people. Of course everybody, every book says, i.e., “Be quiet or still”. But it is not easy. That is why all this effort is necessary. Even if we find one who has at once achieved the mauna or Supreme state indicated by you
may take it that the effort necessary has already been finished in a previous life. So that, effortless and choiceless awareness is reached only after deliberate meditation. That meditation can take any form which appeals to you best. See what helps you to keep away all other thoughts and adopt that method for your meditation”.
In this connection Bhagavan quoted verses 5 and 52 from and 36 from of saint Thayumanavar. Their gist is as follows. “Bliss will follow if you are still. But however much you may tell your mind about this truth, the mind will not keep quiet. It is the mind that won’t keep quiet. It is the mind which tells the mind ‘Be quiet and you will attain bliss’. Though all the scriptures have said it, though we hear about it every day from the great ones, and though even our Guru says it, we never are quiet, but stray into the world of maya and sense objects. That is why conscious, deliberate effort or meditation is required to attain that mauna state or the state of being quiet.
Another young man from Colombo asked Bhagavan, “How are the three states of consciousness inferior in degree of reality to the fourth? What is the actual relation between these three states and the fourth?”
Bhagavan: There is only one state, that of consciousness or awareness or existence. The three states of waking, dream and sleep cannot be real. They simply come and go. The real will always exist. The ‘I’ or existence that alone persists in all the three states is real. The other three are not real and so it is not possible to say they have such and such a degree of reality. We may roughly put it like this. Existence or consciousness is the only reality. Consciousness plus waking, we call waking. Consciousness plus sleep, we call sleep. Consciousness plus dream, we call dream. Consciousness is the screen on which all the pictures come and go. The screen is real, the pictures are mere shadows on it. Because by long habit we have been regarding these three states as real, we call the state of mere awareness or consciousness as the fourth. There is however no fourth state, but only one state. In this connection Bhagavan quoted verse 386 from of Thayumanavar and said this so-called fourth state is described as waking sleep or sleep in waking – meaning asleep to the world and awake in the Self.
Mr. O. P. Ramaswami Reddiar (the Congress leader) asked Bhagavan, “But why should these three states come and go on the real state or the screen of the Self?”
Bhagavan: Who puts this question? Does the Self say these states come and go? It is the seer who says these states come and go. The seer and the seen together constitute the mind. See if there is such a thing as the mind. Then, the mind merges in the Self, and there is neither the seer nor the seen. So the real answer to your question is, “Do they come and go? They neither come nor go.” The Self alone remains as it ever is. The three states owe their existence to (non-enquiry) and enquiry puts an end to them. However much one may
explain, the fact will not become clear till oneself attains Self-realisation and wonders how he was blind to the self-evident and only existence so long.
Another visitor asked Bhagavan, “What is the difference between the mind and the Self?”
Bhagavan: There is no difference. The mind turned inwards is the Self; turned outwards, it becomes the ego and all the world. The cotton made into various clothes, we call by various names. The gold made into various ornaments, we call by various names. But all the clothes are cotton and all the ornaments gold. The one is real, the many are mere names and forms.
But the mind does not exist apart from the Self, i.e., it has no independent existence. The Self exists without the mind, never the mind without the Self.