No More Postponement

The abode of Peace, Consciousness, and Bliss is here. You are only required to have a firm conviction. Just as you have a firm conviction that “I am the body and this is mine,” so half of that conviction given to knowing, “I am consciousness, I am peace,” will do.

There are six ways, I think, through which you can attain freedom. What we speak of here is a very direct way: It is called Brahma vidya — direct awakening. There are also other ways, like pranayama, there is yoga; there is kundalini; and there is also bhakti yoga. All these methods are useful. Whatever is suitable to you — whatever you like — you can succeed with. What we mostly speak here is Brahma vidya, direct awakening through vichar — reason. We look objectively at how to arrive at purusha, the absolute truth which is one without a second, unchanging.

Whatever changes is not real. Starting with the body that changes from childhood to youth to old age to death. Even the whole world changes with earthquakes, with cyclones. The world which was here a hundred years ago or a thousand years ago is not the same now. Even money changes —and whatever changes is not the truth. The mind is also changing. Sometimes it is peaceful, sometimes it is restless. The states that you pass through every day also change. We have a firm belief that what we see in the waking state is real. This reality disappears in the dream state. Both waking and dreaming disappear in the sleep state, and sleep also disappears in the next waking state. What is alternating is not real. This is a fact.

Whenever there is a change there must be an underlying substratum which does not change, on which these changes are taking place. When you see a clay jar, instantly you have a consciousness of earth. When you see a ring, instantly you are conscious of gold. When you see a table, instantly you are aware that it is a wood. Like this there must be some substratum which has taken a different shape and a different name. Whatever changes has a substratum.

Whatever you can objectify and externalize, do it. Finally, you will reach the body itself. Whatever you see must be external to you. If you see the body it is external, and something must be internal — something must be inner. That is why you can see things — because whatever you see must be external, must be an object. Even in a dream everything is external to you. There are mountains, there are rivers, men, trees; all are external to you. The sleeping man is not affected by the dream, he is only seeing.

So now we are advised to discover the changeless on which these changes are taking place. How is this to be done? By rejecting. Whatever changes, reject it. Sit down coolly for some time and see. Whatever you see, whatever you perceive or conceive or feel can be rejected. Something will be left which you cannot reject. That is the permanent abode of existence, consciousness, bliss and freedom. This can be done instantly or this may take ages.

Centuries ago people used to go and leave their homes. Kings would renounce their kingdoms and go to the forest for freedom, for penance. Many people left. Whenever the question of freedom arose, instantly the thought came, “Let me go to forest, let me go to the mountains.” That has nothing to do with it. That is only running away from your own Self. The things that trouble you will go along with you. Whatever is troublesome here will also trouble you in the mountains. How is that to be renounced? You will have to decide now to sit quiet, coolly, wherever you are — in the thick of a crowd, at work, at home — it doesn’t matter.

You want to postpone this and you have done it before. We have become experts at postponement, which is why we are here after 35 million years once again. We have traveled already for 35 million years, and now we have enough experience. How are we going to put an end to this? Stay a while. Keep quiet and see what is rising within yourself. What is rising in your mind, and who is perceiving this rise? Find out what is arising and go to the source from where it is arising. That is all you have to do. Those who can understand this have done it very well. Every day you see it here. The old days are over where you were advised to go to the forest. And teachers were very hard; they would not tell you anything unless they tested you. Teachers were very hard then. They would not show you the diamond so easily.

Just a hundred years ago there was a king who heard of a saint living in his own kingdom. The king was very restless inside and wanted peace of mind, so he decided to go and see this saint. Because he was a king he had to go with lots of presents loaded on elephants. His queens also accompanied him, also his ministers and security forces. The King was going to see a saint. The saint was living in a very poor hermitage with thatched huts and a few disciples were living with him. The king arrived and asked one of the disciples of the saint to pass on a message: “Inform him that the king of this country has come to pay his respects. Can he come out of his hut?” The disciple went inside to ask. “The king is here and he is standing outside with his queens and ministers and presents.”

The saint replied, “Tell the king to unload everything under the tree and wait. I will tell him when I am free and I will see him.” So everything was kept under the tree, and the saint told his disciples, “Give him two meals a day, just as they are cooked in this ashram. Give him lunch and dinner, that’s all.”

So the king and the queens and the minister waited till night. Still there was no order. So the king said, “We have to run the government.” He sent the ministers and queens back. He said, “I will stay alone. I will have the darshan of the saint and only then will I return.”

That night passed. Days passed. He stayed for fifteen days with only his food under the tree. Again he asked, “I’ve waited here for fifteen days. Go and ask the saint if I may see him now.” The reply came, “You will have to wait for another three days.” He waited for another three days. “Now again three days have passed,” he said. “Now wait for another day,” he was told. Another day passed. After that day he sent a man telling him, “Go and find out, when can I see him.”

“Just one hour,” came the reply. One hour passed. Then he said, “When should I see him?” “After five minutes,” he was told. “After five minutes,” cried the king. “After five minutes! Five minutes is too much to wait! I cannot wait! I cannot wait!” And he rushed in immediately without asking anyone’s permission and he prostrated.

It was his arrogance; it was his ego that took time. The saint was sitting in a thatched hut with no door; he could go in at any time. Who stopped him? His arrogance saying, “I am a king,” was all that was in the way. What stops you from returning to your consciousness? It is only your arrogance, your ego, the idea that, “I am the body.” This is your kingdom. You are enthroned in this kingdom and all your vasanas are your queens, and “this” and “that” are your ministers.

So when you are ready, wherever you are, without asking anyone’s permission; find out where this purusha is, where this abode is, where your own abode of rest is. Whenever you conceive of the body there must be some concealing substratum underneath, through which you are able to imagine that there is a body. Before the concept of the body there must be something changeless concealed underneath from where this wave is arising that “I am the body.” How do you miss it? Like the king you are spending millions of years and no one stops you. Just now — rush in.

In previous times you had to go to the Himalayas for forty, fifty or sixty years in your old age, and even then you might not find truth. After leaving the palace the Buddha also went to many places. He saw many very hard and difficult penances. In some ashrams he saw people tying their feet to the trees and hanging head down, performing penance. Buddha asked what was going on and they told him, “We want freedom!” They were hanging like monkeys! This kind of practice is being practiced even now wherever you go. In any ashram you go to the teacher will prescribe you to sit down in this particular posture with the spine in a straight line, and to think of this. If you are really serious about this you do not have to wait. Your abode is within you — nearer than your own breath, nearer even than where the breath rises from, it is behind the retina. So very near, and still we have been postponing this for millions of years. Whose fault is this?

We are playing like children on the beach making sand houses, forgetting to return home. The high tide comes and sweeps everything away while you are sleeping. The high tide has to come. Before this high tide comes return home. Your mother is waiting for you, and you are busy with your sand houses.

18 August, 1992