Day By Day With Bhagavan 24-11-46

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Day By Day With Bhagavan 24-11-46Back


Mrs. Chenoy (from Bombay) asked Bhagavan this evening (after reading Who am I?) whether it was the proper thing to do if she asked herself “Who am I?” and told herself she was not this body but a spirit, a spark from the divine flame. Bhagavan first said, “Yes, you might do that or whatever appeals to you. It will come right in the end.” But, after a little while, he told her : “There is a stage in the beginning, when you identify yourself with the body, when you are still having the body-consciousness. At that stage, you have the feeling you are different from the reality or God, and then it is, you think of yourself as a devotee of God or as a servant or lover of God. This is the first stage. The second stage is when you think of yourself as a spark of the divine fire or a ray from the divine Sun. Even then there is still that sense of difference and the body-consciousness. The third stage will come when all such difference ceases to exist, and you realise that the Self alone exists. There is an ‘I’ which comes and goes, and another ‘I’ which always exists and abides. So long as the first ‘I’ exists, the body-consciousness and the sense of diversity or bheda buddhi will persist. Only when that ‘I’ dies, the reality will reveal itself. For instance, in sleep, the first ‘I’ does not exist. You are not then conscious of a body or the world. Only when that ‘I’ again comes up, as soon as you get out of sleep, do you become conscious of the body and this world. But in sleep you alone existed. For, when you wake up, you are able to say ‘I slept soundly.’ You, that wake up and say so, are the same that existed during sleep. You don’t say that the ‘I’ which persisted during sleep was a different ‘I’ from the ‘I’ present in the waking state. That ‘I’ which persists always and does not come and go is the reality. The other ‘I’ which disappears in sleep is not real. One should try and realise in the waking state that state which unconsciously everyone attains in sleep, the state where the small ‘I’ disappears and the real ‘I’ alone is.” At this stage, Mrs. C. Asked, “But how is it to be done?” Bhagavan replied, “By enquiring from whence and how does this small ‘I’ arise. The root of all bheda buddhi is this ‘I’. It is at the root of all thoughts. If you enquire wherefrom it arises, it disappears.”

Mrs. C. then asked, “Am I not then to say (in answer to my own question ‘Who am I?’) ‘I am not this body but a spirit etc.’?” Bhagavan then said, “No. The enquiry ‘Who am I?’ means really the enquiry within oneself as to wherefrom within the body the ‘I’-thought arises. If you concentrate your attention on such an enquiry, the ‘I’-thought being the root of all other thoughts, all thoughts will be destroyed and then the Self or the Big ‘I’ alone will remain as ever. You do not get anything new, or reach somewhere where you were not before. When all other thoughts which were hiding the Self are removed, the Self shines by itself.”

Mrs. C. then referred to the portion in the book (Who am I?) where it is said, “Even if you keep on saying ‘I’, ‘I’, it will take you to the Self or reality” and asked whether that was not the proper thing to be done. I explained, “The book says one must try and follow the enquiry method which consists in turning one’s thoughts inwards and trying to find out wherefrom the ‘I’, which is the root of all thoughts, arises. If one finds one is not able to do it, one may simply go on repeating ‘I’, ‘I’, as if it were a mantram like ‘Krishna’ or ‘Rama’ which people use in their japa. The idea is to concentrate on one thought to exclude all other thoughts and then eventually even the one thought will die.” On this, Mrs. C. asked me, “Will it be of any use if one simply repeats ‘I’, ‘I’ mechanically?” I replied, “When one uses ‘I’ or other words like ‘Krishna’, one surely has in one’s own mind some idea of the God one calls by the name ‘I’ or anything else. When a man goes on repeating ‘Rama’ or ‘Krishna’, he can’t be thinking of a tree as the meaning behind it.” After all this, Bhagavan said, “Now you consider you are making an effort and uttering ‘I’, ‘I’ or other mantrams and making meditation. But when you reach the final stage, meditation will go on without any effort on your part. You can’t get away from it or stop it, for meditation, japa, or whatever else you call it, is your real nature.”

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