This conversation is between a Questioner and a Maharaj, and it seems to be about the nature of self and consciousness. The Maharaj suggests that the Questioner’s idea of the difference between the two of them is just an illusion created by the Questioner’s focus on external things and people rather than their own self.
Maharaj also says that all definitions of self are limited to the body and its expressions and that the only way to know the real self is to look within and study one’s own existence. The Maharaj believes that all beings are one in their true nature and that the only difference is that the Maharaj is aware of this truth, while the Questioner is still searching for it.
The Maharaj suggests that the Questioner should focus on oneself and continuously inquire, question, and search for the truth within to discover their true nature.
Questioner: Maharaj, what sets us apart, as you are seated in front of me and I am at your feet?
Maharaj: There is no fundamental difference between us.
Q: But there must be some real difference, I come to you and you don’t come to me.
M: This is because you imagine differences and go searching for so-called “superior” individuals.
Q: You are also considered a superior person, as you claim to know the truth while I do not.
M: Did I ever tell you that you don’t know and therefore, you are inferior? Let those who created such distinctions prove it. I don’t claim to know anything that you don’t. In fact, I know much less than you do.
Q: Your words are wise, your behavior noble, and your grace all-powerful.
M: I am unaware of any of these things and see no difference between us. My life is just a series of events, much like yours. I just observe them detachedly, while you are attached to things and move along with them.
Q: What made you so detached?
M: Nothing in particular. I simply trusted my guru and believed him when he told me that I am nothing but myself. By trusting him, I acted accordingly and stopped caring for things that were neither mine nor mine.
Q: Why were you lucky enough to fully trust your teacher, while our trust is merely nominal and verbal?
M: Who can say? It just happened that way. Things happen without cause or reason and in the end, it doesn’t matter who is who. Your high opinion of me is just your opinion, and at any moment, it could change. Why attach importance to opinions, even your own?
Q: Still, you are different. Your mind always seems to be peaceful and happy, and miracles happen around you.
M: I know nothing about miracles and I wonder if nature makes exceptions to her laws unless we consider everything to be a miracle. As for my mind, there is no such thing. There is only consciousness, in which everything occurs. It’s quite evident and within everyone’s experience, but you just haven’t looked closely enough. Take a good look and see what I see.
Q: What do you see?
M: I see what you could see too if you weren’t focusing your attention in the wrong place. You don’t pay attention to yourself. Your mind is always with things, people, and ideas, but never with yourself. Bring yourself into focus, and become aware of your own existence. Observe how you function and the motives and results of your actions. Study the prison you have unconsciously built around yourself.
By understanding what you are not, you will come to know yourself. The path back to yourself is through rejection and refusal. One thing is certain, the real is not imaginary or a product of the mind. Even the thought “I am” is not constant, though it’s a useful indication; it shows where to look but not what to seek. Just take a good look at it.
Once you realize that you cannot truthfully say anything about yourself except “I am”, and that nothing that can be pointed at can be your self, the need for the “I am” will end. You will no longer feel the need to verbalize what you are. All you need to do is rid yourself of the urge to define yourself. All definitions apply to your body and its expressions only. Once you’re no longer fixated on your body, you will naturally return to your original state, effortlessly.
Meet Krishnaprasath Krishnamoorthy, a Yoga, Vedanta, and Hindu spiritual aspirant with a passion for sharing the ancient wisdom and practices of Sanatana Dharma. With 20 years of experience on the spiritual path, Krishnaprasath Krishnamoorthy has a deep understanding of the physical, mental, and spiritual benefits of Yoga, Astrology, Vedanta, and Astrology.