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Existence, Consciousness, Bliss
A talk given by Shri Parthasarathi Rajagopalachari
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I hope you have had a taste, during this sitting, of what is described in our ancient literature as Sat-Chit-Ananda [Existence, Consciousness, Bliss]-the Pure Being exists, is conscious, and is in eternal bliss. So we say, Sat-Chit-Anandam. But few people care to go deeper into it and find out what it means. If something is, it is eternal. We don't talk of life, we talk of existence. Life is existence trapped in the material world-and that is what we call a transitory phase. Like a thought-it is in my head now; it is in somebody else's head later. Looked at in that way, a thought is perhaps as eternal as the soul.
So when we are there, when Sat is there, should there be a desire for life, or death? So Babuji said, "There should neither be desire for life nor for death-that is the pure eternal state." It does not know what is life; it does not know what is death. It is. We struggle because of our body consciousness. Having become entrapped in matter, we think this is it, this is life. The consciousness comes into play. It seeks knowledge; it seeks excitement; it seeks pleasure.
Chit is eternal. In itself it is self-contained. It has everything-all. It does not mean it has all knowledge, all existence, all purpose. It is. It is all. So when we seek knowledge and pleasure and all these things, it is because life wants to live, consciousness wants to know. And the Anandam part, which is again self-contained-it is in itself everything-it wants experience.
So you see the problems of identification with the body? These are the problems: life wants expression; consciousness wants to be filled; bliss wants it in the shape of enjoyment-mistaking enjoyment for bliss, knowledge for consciousness, and life for existence. Therefore, in meditation, when Babuji says, "Look inwards," we are taught to see that I exist without being alive, that I am all without knowing anything, and I am in eternal bliss without having to have pleasure and experience. That is the purpose of meditation, and this we have to realise ourselves, so it is called self-realisation. And the Master who comes into our life, if he does, if you are fortunate enough, does so only to show us the way. So he is, what in Sanskrit we call, marga darshi-one who shows us the way-nothing more, nothing less.
Now, when we are here and now (as we are always fond of saying 'here and now'), we have sort of miniaturized our Sat-Chit-Ananda into the here and now, into a plane of existence where we are alive and therefore we can die; where we know, and therefore we can also be ignorant; where we enjoy, and there can be both pain and pleasure. To get out of this plane of existence into That is our purpose. In between, we have all these plays of consciousness, plays of knowledge and of ignorance, talking of worlds, talking of heaven, talking of hell, not understanding that the 'here and now' is where everything is. Whether it is heaven or hell, whether it is sorrow or happiness, whether it is health or sickness-everything is here.
When we are not here, as we manage to do when we go into deep meditation as happened just now, at least for me-where are we? Are we alive or are we dead? Are we conscious or not? Is there bliss or not? Knowledge is unnecessary because we have no answers to these questions. The questions don't exist, therefore there are no answers. Because Babuji Maharaj said, "If there is a question there must be an answer, and the answer is in the question itself." Therefore, when I am in the deepest state of internalized Self, I cannot say I know or I don't know. I cannot say I am alive or dead. All these are lies. I am-that is enough.
When I am in deep meditation, do I know you are here or not? I didn't know. I mean, that knowledge is unnecessary to me. Sufficient is the fact that I exist. I am Sat, I am Chit, I am Anandam, in myself. In that state I don't need anybody else; not God, not the devil, not you all.
So what is all this hankering for knowledge, for statistics, for administration? Do we really need them, or are we here to guide people into a state of existence where they don't need to know these things? When we all meditate and if perchance we are all able to slip into that deepest of depth that we call the Self, which is eternal, which is infinite-are we not together without knowing we are together? Are we not one, without consciousness of being many? Do we need statistical evidence that we are eight hundred and sixty people in this room but we were one? Would that oneness change if there were two thousand six hundred tomorrow and twenty-six thousand day after tomorrow?
So philosophically (or, as Babuji used to say, speaking in "the Real"), in spirituality, we don't need to know. In spirituality, we don't need to achieve. In spirituality, there is no growth. Even to say that I am growing spiritually is to 'physicalise' something that should not be 'physicalised', because only matter is physical. Matter doesn't grow, matter integrates or disintegrates-that is about it. That is science, too; that is what science says. Atoms and molecules come together in different combinations. You have copper, you have diamond, you have carbon, you have human beings, you have flesh, you have stars, you have galaxies-different combinations of the same basic stuff of matter. Spiritually, there is only one. It cannot be defined because where there are two, you can say, "Yes, there are two." As Babuji once asked me, "Suppose you were the only being in this universe, would you know you are falling or rising, or even physically moving?" Because, without reference to a second object, you would not know where you are, what you are, how you are, why you are, where you are. Einstein uses the same example for his exposition of relativity. If you are in an elevator and if it had an infinite scope of movement, would you know where you are going?
So we are all 'relativising' what should not be 'relativised'-which is Absolute. We are making the many out of what is essentially the One. And we are struggling to know where we don't need to know, because all knowledge is inside, all existence is in me, the bliss that I enjoy is beyond any enjoyment, pleasure or sensory things.
So I am a bit, as you all know, not in favour of too much organisation, except insofar as it helps us to serve people who come to us. I don't want too much emphasis on statistics. How many abhyasis are there? It doesn't matter to me. If there is one, I speak to that one. If there are many, what I speak to that one reaches the many. I remember way back in 1972, we were, I think, in some university town in the U.S. The local abhyasis, few in those days, hardly twenty, had put up a lot of notices of the meeting and whatnot. And Babuji and I went there with our two local people. They said thousand people were expected. I think four turned up.
So I asked Babuji Maharaj, "What to do? Do you want me to speak?"
He said, "Why do you ask this funny question?"
I said, "There are only four."
He said, "What does it matter to you? You have the same thing to say whether there are four or four thousand. Say it."
So our business in Sahaj Marg is to say it, do it, and be done with it. I don't care whether there are eight hundred and sixty here or just one-because I would say the same thing to that one. As Babuji used to say, the crow does not know who is listening to it when it says caw-caw. Does it look for other crows? When God gives His benediction, assuming He does, does He look for how many people there are to be blessed, and how many there are to be cursed, how many to send to heaven or to hell? He blesses, therefore it is for all. When? At all times, because He is everywhere at all times. And when we seek blessings we are denying the Divinity of what we think is God.
So a search is, by its very nature, casting aspersions on the eternality, on the originality, on the oneness of what we are trying to become. So Babuji said, "We only look for lost things, we search for lost things." God is not lost. I am lost. Therefore, when I look, I am looking for my Self. Therefore, I am seeking my Self when I am meditating. When I find it, I find my Self. That is Self-realisation-the self, the ordinary mundane self, realising the higher Self which is its true Self-Self-realisation.
So I don't think I have much more to say than this. Create organisation by all means, but keep it to a minimum. Remember that if I am (and I am consciousness-I am not conscious), I am, I am consciousness, I am bliss. I don't have bliss. Because anything I have, I can lose. Anything I am can be 'I am not-ised'. I am. I am consciousness. I am bliss.
In this state of existence, which is the eternal state, how to help others to achieve it? The best, foremost and perhaps the only way is to be that always, so that when somebody comes and sits in front of you, you are able to make it resonate with yourself, like tuning the strings of an instrument. That is what we do when we give a sitting. Unless the guide is able to put himself into a state of being, he cannot make you vibrate to his state of being. If that guy who is sitting here is going to think of mundane things-how many abhyasis are there; should I transmit from here or there; what should be the effect-he is lost, in a better or worse degree than the abhyasis in front of him. Because, he knows not what he is, where he is, why he is. It is like a tuning fork which is examining its own pitch: "Am I C-sharp or am I G?" You are. And when I 'ting' you, you must resonate. That is the purpose of a tuning fork. I don't set a tuning fork. It is. So this guy who sits here must be it, himself, not having to tune himself first before he tunes his instruments. That is a lie-that fellow doesn't deserve to sit there. And if you follow such a person, well, it is like the bell-wether of a flock of sheep not knowing where it goes, and plunging over the cliff into the abyss.
So please remember this (most of you are prefects): just sit and do it. Don't imagine that you are going to put him in this condition or that condition, because you don't know conditions. If you know conditions, you are still in the world of relativity: you are in pain or in pleasure, you are spiritual or not spiritual, you are eating good food or bad, you are living or dead. When we sit here doing our work bestowed upon us by the Great Master-I am, I am consciousness, I am bliss. Such a prefect is a good prefect. He will make good results because when he puts himself into that condition, it is like the sun when it shines-we are all warm. It does nothing except it is there.
In nature, nothing does anything. The rain does not wet you. The rain confers upon you its own condition. The wind gives you its own condition. The sun bestows upon you its warmth, its energy, its light. To say that the sun warms me is wrong. The sun is, therefore I am warm. When the Master is, He is, therefore I am what He is now. What is he doing? He is going to help me to become what He is all the time, and that is the culmination of spirituality, you see. Then the guru and the disciple can tell each other, pat each other on the back-like Lalaji and Babuji said, "There is no difference between you and me."
So, dear brothers and sisters, let us have administration-minimum. Discipline must come from within me because I am, therefore I am disciplined. I am consciousness, therefore what I have is mine-nothing more, nothing less. It can be all. All bliss is inside me. I am bliss. Like honey doesn't go looking for sweet things. Does it? It doesn't look for sweet things. Should it? Should one who is bliss look for happiness and pleasure outside? Should one who is, worry about life and death?
So this is all that I have to say today. Statistics-no. Accounts-yes. I don't care how many abhyasis there are in this world. If I am what I should be, there will be abhyasis, because it is like the sun which makes people go out into the sunshine in winter-it doesn't call, you know. The sun shines and we say, "Oh, let us go and sit outside. Lovely and warm, isn't it?" Babuji said, "When the flame is lit, the moths will come by themselves." Are you flames which are alight or burnt out? Are you worth the salt that you eat or not? Should you be here at all? These are the questions you should ask yourself, and align your lives accordingly, at least from now [on].
Thank you very much.