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Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru.
R and S., an elderly couple from Ernakulam are here. They came here yesterday. I spent some time with them last night after dinner. Rajan was wanting to know whether it is necessary for a seeker of truth to get into a close association with a Sadguru, a knower of truth, in the matter of pursuing his seeking and leading it to fulfilment.
He was wondering whether a normal exposure to satsang on the one hand and reading and understanding scriptures and allied texts, would not be sufficient. Ultimately, it is the seeker of truth who is going to be illumined and particularly, his intelligence is going to have the enlightenment or illumination. And the mind is going to have resultant benefits. What are these benefits? Full clarity and doubtless stability. The mind will be very peaceful and deeply so. There will be a feeling of unshakability in the inner personality. No development, incident or impact from the world of interactions will be able to dislodge the mind of a knower from where it is. At the same time, his efficiency in conducting his interactions with the world will only stand to benefit and increase manifold.
These are the benefits, and these benefits can be had by anyone who seeks the truth and who is properly guided in the path. Whatever the scriptures say, they are actually the experiential records of expert knowers of truth. It is not just an opinion or a pronouncement or a declaration by anyone in particular. Our scriptures are considered to be beginning-less, they are prehistoric. So we cannot set a time limit for our scriptures. This particular time they were evolved or they were composed, you cannot say that.
Since then, countless generations and countless millennia have passed. Generation after generation, the scriptural exhortations were absorbed. First of all they were listened to, heard, then thought over, assimilated and absorbed, and people started spending a lot of time in actualizing them in the form of a personal commitment and wholesome dedicated sadhana. When they found they had enough of experiential enlightenment and maturity, some of the people started disseminating them. Unless the scriptural message was disseminated from generation after generation, we would not have had them before us as we have now.
So, the scriptures only say what the knowers of truth would say. Does it mean that we can read the scriptures and understand everything ourselves? Therein a problem is there. What is that problem? Ever since we are born, we are interacting with the world of objects…objects! And the objects are equally visible or perceptible to all the people who have the senses. So we can say what is an elephant, what is a tree, what is an ocean, what is meant by space, what is the earth, how many different types of vegetation are there, how many different types of beings are there, all these are visible and perceptible!
So the entire experience as well as knowledge we have, after having our embodiment – we were born with a body, all that relates only to the external objects. But the seeker is wanting to know not the objects but the one subject. What is that subject within our body? Is it not already present? Yes! How is it? Absolutely blissful and uncontaminated!
Such a subject being there and that subject is the fundamental source for all our interactions…all our interactions. When I see, my eyes are employed for seeing and I am the seer. ‘I’ am the subject. The visible is the object. Seeing is a process that connects me with the objects. So I am the subject of sight, subject of hearing, subject of touch, smell and taste. Similarly I am the subject in the matter of thinking, I am the subject in the matter of understanding. So there is one subject who wakes up, who sleeps, who dreams, and the word ‘I’ that you use is referring to that subject.
In spite of the fact that you are using the word ‘I’ ever since childhood, up to now you have not been able to understand or go into what it represents, denotes. So, there is an elusiveness in the whole process. We are not able to understand! When thoughts are going on, you are the thinker. When you are grieving, you are the griever - the subject of everything. Even grief becomes an object. Any experience is connecting, so to say, the subject and the object.
You sleep. It is an intransitive verb, sleep, and there is no object involved there. So everyone sleeps. When you sleep you have no body, you have no mind; you have no intelligence, no ego, not to speak of the world. In spite of the fact that I slept, we slept, and we are sleeping every day for seven to eight hours, less or more, why is it that the sleeping ‘I’ you are not able to understand - Because it is the subject and not the object. Because it is the understanding of the subject, it is almost impossible for anyone to penetrate into the area with the object knowledge that he has and then make full sense. So it becomes an enigma! A paradox! That is why, in the Kathopanishad, Yama clearly tells Nachiketas,
There is hardly one to expose this subject truth properly, to the interest and appreciation of the listeners. There are not many. Very few are inspired to search and seek the subject, the self. Of all such seekers, not many understand it in full. So very few are there, who have the strength of experience and yet the ability and the willingness to speak about it and expose it to the others.
śṛṇvanto'pi bahavo yaṁ na vidyuḥ - of the many who come and listen to such expositions, most of the people do not realise it though they hear it. Realisation means turning the focus to your own inside and go beyond the mind, beyond the intelligence, beyond the ego. Can there be such a state? Ever since we are born, we are out-going, out-going, out-going. We are never in-going. The first effort in going inside is meditation. How many people do it?
āścaryo jñātā kuśalānuśiṣṭaḥ - even rarer is the one who is able to realise the truth, properly instructed by a teacher or a knower. You may try, there is no harm. Knowledge is after all a prerogative of the intelligence. Peace is a prerogative of your mind. Suppose you make an effort, what will happen? It is like a blind man wanting to reach a destination through a winding path. Suppose you are helped and guided by a teacher, what happens? Ten years of independent effort will be reduced to ten months or ten weeks! So much is the difference! After all we are attempting a knowledge Knower has it already. So without reading, or in place of reading and trying to deliberate over it yourself, you hear it very confidently and lucidly from a knower of truth. So there is no doubt that a close association with a knower is far, far, far more helpful than anything else!
Shankara would put it this way
A sadguru is actually transfusing himself into the disciple. So much so, the disciple becomes like him, an equal knower, an equal conduit for the other seekers.
Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru.
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