Open Your Own Book
All you have to do is to still the mind. There are two ways to quiet the mind: One is through inquiry, which is suitable to a very few qualified people, and the other is through yoga, which includes concentration, meditation and other practices.
First, you need the capacity to discern the real from the unreal, to embrace what is real and to adhere to it. Reject what is unreal and false. Fascination with study, karma , pilgrimages, or dips in the holy waters will not help you. Learning all the Vedas, all the sutras, like a parrot, is not going to help you. No gift, austerity, or charity is going to help you.
More important than anything is the burning desire for freedom. This alone is enough. If you have this burning desire you will be led to satsang. Satsang means to stay quiet, to still the mind, to bring it back to the center wherever it goes. If you can’t do it by yourself then search for a perfected teacher, but do not make any mistake, you see.
When you go shopping you have free choice about what to buy and you have this same freedom in selecting a teacher. In the supermarket you choose, “I don’t want this, I don’t want that, this is not good, that is not good.” You have freedom of choice, no bargain can be struck. Your human life and enlightenment is on one hand, and wasting your life with someone incompetent to liberate you, is on the other.
Someone came to see me saying, “I have gone to many teachers without finding enlightenment, and finally I found that my current master himself is not enlightened. He has initiated me and now he is filling me with all kinds of fear. He says that if you leave the teacher you will have to go to hell. I met someone who told me to come here. I am here to be enlightened. My guru is very loving, he is not withholding anything from me; he teaches me with great love. He has taught me all the scriptures so that I know them by heart, but I am missing freedom. I have found that my mind is not free; it is not quiet. But now I know that I am on the right track and in some way I am here to help my teacher. After enlightenment I will go and enlighten my teacher.” I have never heard a student resolving to enlighten his teacher before!
If you are bent upon freedom — determined to win freedom in this span of life, this year, this month, today, now — you will have to make a choice. Anything will surface from the mind to sabotage you. Find the best ways to quiet the mind. The instant that the mind is stilled there is meditation. Meditation has to be perennial, permanent, not just sitting for an hour a day. It does not mean chanting the thought, “I have to be free.” It means being centered in the Self, which is alone true; all else is false. There must be a very strong understanding in your mind. It is not difficult once you discover the ability to discern what is real from what is unreal. Pleasures of the senses may try to distract you; religions may promise you pleasures in heaven after life, but you will have to abandon all these things. Abandon studying any book; it does not help you. Now you open your own book for the first time. Open your own book and keep quiet.
22 February, 1992