Satsang  –   Volume 8, Number 4: February 9, 2005
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The Knower Is Subtler than the Subtlest

Many times people have talked about their own questions, doubts, and problems. But you understand that all human beings are confronted with a question, which remains forever with them, and they feel that that question should be eliminated. And what is that question?

We are born as human beings, with a nervous system, and we are taught that we have life in us; praan we have, breath we have, eyes we have, ears we have, senses we have, and thinking we have. And with that nervous system, we feel that we can do so much. At the same time, we feel that we cannot do everything. Yet we feel that if we try, nothing is impossible; we can do it. So this is the state of existence and consciousness of a human being, to which Joya indicated, that sometimes it is a practical life, in which things are visible and practical. All that which is audible is practical. All that which one thinks is practical, and all that which is seen is practical. Practical means the sense that things and forms exist.

If we say that things and forms, or worldly objects or the world do not exist, this idea or statement conveys that which is impractical. Impractical is that which can never be practiced, which can never be used, never be eaten, drunk, or thought of. A human being is endowed with a capacity of understanding that this is a practical world of earth, under the heaven or sky, and I am a person who has to daily practice eating, because hunger comes. And hunger is such that if we are not practically involved in it, nobody is going to feed us, nobody is going to eat for us, so that is inevitable.

For a human being, everything is dependent on his thinking. In his thinking or knowledge is the idea that the life is inevitable. The world forms, food, and drink are inevitable. This means that I have to exist—exist as a body—and for keeping the body in existence it has to depend on things, which can be practiced and can be used. So the world appears to be practical. Therefore, the talk of the spirit, or of spirituality, is totally non-existent in the field, or in the view of the thinking of a person who is practicing practical life and living. So mostly people have left; this means they have left looking towards the direction of the spirit, which in their view is spiritual or non-existent or non-practical. Therefore, all human beings are involved in the practical life, or are living the practical life.

But what is that which is the question before a man? In the practical life, whether things are available or not, whether people around us are available or not, relations are available or not, a means of sustenance is available or not—but the question remains. Or, the world is and the world is not; body is and body is not, which means, it has got nothing to do with us. The main thing is, I am. So, we boil the question down to the fact that each person thinks, I am—and nobody denies it, nobody can deny it. Whatever subject you bring in—I am. If each person is I am, then there must be something to which it is connected. I am—but we do not say, "I am a house." We do not say, "I am a car." We do not say, "I am cloth, or I am a coat or I am a child, or I am a mother or father or brother in front of me, or a friend." So, a human being is capable of understanding this. That’s why Joya brought the point, and I continued with it, regarding what is it that each human being knows—I am—and to what is it connected? If it is not connected to anything, which I have described, then to what is it connected? I am not Abhaya, not Reta, not DikPal, not a carpet, not the mike, not the flowers, cap, chair, not this or that. I am connected only to my body. So, check now. All human beings, each one of them, says, "I am." But "I am" is not a thing. Very often I say, it is not gold, it is not silver, not copper, and it is not hair, wool, it is not cloth, cotton, a jug, not teeth, tongue or ears. Then what is that which I am? So "I am" is a question.

I am giving you an opportunity to just be together with whatever understanding you have. You are using your understanding and are knowing, "I am." And each one knows that I am. Is that correct? Yes. Then each one knows that I am that which is not connected to anything outside. You understand? But why is it connected to the skin or teeth or ears or hair of this body, when it is not connected to this and this and this. [Swamiji indicates other forms] No—nobody is saying this. I am not dust, so I am not connected to dust. I am not air, which takes the dust into the air—I am not connected. I am not sunlight—I am not connected. I am not sky—I’m not connected. I am not my relations—I am not connected. I am not the office, job, or any kind of paper, books, teacher, degrees, everything—I’m not connected with that. So then why is it, when I am not connected with anything, how am I connected to this? [My own body] And this you have never thought of—though you might be thinking—how is it that I am connected to this? Not only connected, if you have two things, two links, perhaps they are connected; but how is it that I am not connected anywhere to anything, but not only am I connected to my body—I am this. That is mind, that is intellect, that is senses, that is action, that is karm, and that is knowledge. That is consciousness, that is matter, and that is what the matter is, and we have to deal with that. [laughter].

If this is accepted, and you have never been care-ridden, never thought of it, and you have done everything up to this time, then how is that the question remains? Many people do not ask, thinking that if I ask the question, or speak about it or express, then it might look like I am not perfect. But what is that—you have to answer—I’ll be waiting and it doesn’t matter how many years you take—but how is it that I am this body? It has not only been connected, but I became this—or this became I. Whereas, for a small child—which we take as our example—the child does not say, "I am this." Neither does he know, "I am this," nor does he say, "this I am."

So this is to be answered, and then, as Rishi said, it will be complete—whatever I wanted to do, I did. Whatever I wanted to know, I have known, and whatever I wanted to achieve, I have achieved. It will only happen with this practice, which has been recommended; that you have to study, because man has the power of understanding. It doesn’t matter how much he has, but most brilliant people have the power that they can understand that I am, and I am this—and what is the kind of quality, characteristic and nature of these two things?

So let us begin with the person herself, you let me know—"I am," we say, and "I am this," we say. And also, we know—this much understanding we have—that I am not really connected or hooked in to anything, anywhere—that’s the kind of I that I am. Nobody’s I is connected to a flower or fruit or cloth—I may repeat the same thing, but the matter ends here—I am. What is it that man would like to answer? He feels that I am, but why, when it is not connected to anything, is it now connected to his body? When has it been connected, who did it; and why is it that I am connected, so much so—that now Ken has passed, [Shiv Nath’s brother] Joya’s mother also passed, but just the day before yesterday, Ken passed—now, where is Ken’s I? Can I know? That’s it. …A human being has not been able to know that a body is never I, yet everybody says, "I am this body." And then, mine, m-i-n-e; this is me, and this is mine. Me is this, and mine is this. So what is that? As long as it has not been solved, there is no emancipation in any way. Only to that extent, emancipation is felt, when you are sleeping or dead, or you are in satsang. Call it, in front of Guruji…I came here about a quarter to ten and since then we have been sitting. Where is your I at this time, during this period? Your body is there, but I is not there. And now, when each person opens his eyes, he observes that for a couple of seconds there is no I, but he exists. But his vaasana is there, his sense of duality is there, which means it will sprout in I. The seed is there, so it is the seed of existence, the seed of consciousness; and existence and consciousness are considered to be your I, in the morning. And now, this I was not there in the night, in deep sleep. So this I is now made; by whom it is made? Well, I keep giving answers and you say yes, yes, but I want you to share and participate.

Joya: Swamiji, when you say, by whom is it made, I’m very sure I’m not making it, and I just want to know, is it something that my awareness can dissolve, or is it part of the construct, that I have to accept? …My beginning question was: do I have a lack of acceptance, because my Knower awareness says, it doesn’t exist. …

Swamiji: You are not sure that on the canvas of an artist, the fire does not exist. You know it, and in this way, you say that it does not exist. But you do not accept the quality of the fire—that you cannot use it. So when you know that it does not exist, then why are you making it exist? It cannot be used.

Joya: …but in the waking state, I want to live it. I don’t just want to accept, oh, it’s a construct, it’s an illusion, but to live it.

Swamiji: That belongs to everybody, not just to a particular person, she or me. Everybody is living. You are living, but not knowing what you are living. All of you are living, but you know you are only the body living. And this is where we want to reach—that which is subtler than the subtlest. They say that Being, with which you are living, is like this: take your hair and cut just the top of it, just a little bit, and make a thousandth part of it. And the last thousandth, you make a further thousand of it. It is subtler than the subtlest. In that Knower, the whole sky lives, as the whole banyan tree lives in one seed. And that is where a human being is not living—but if you live with that, or anybody will know he is living with that, then he will not continue accepting that he is living with a truckload of cauliflower! … So that is where the question comes, of living with it. …

Your Knower is all that there is. Knower is your hair, your teeth, your eyes, your eyebrows, your eyeballs. Knower is your flower, your sap, your fruit, your tree, your sky, Knower is air, Knower is water and fire. And Knower is earth, and Knower is all of the friends, and Knower is this body. So why are you not living with that?

Joya: So, this awareness is…

Swamiji: The word awareness is devised for the sake of the unfolding of that knowledge which I am talking about—the whole. Awareness is a construct, it is not there, though people have made it. …Are you not living with this awareness, that everything is known, and as long as you are knowing, you are living with this awareness. …you want to live with that which is the truth. …just close the eyes and you are there . …it doesn’t take too much time. Watch, in deep sleep, are you not living with it, which you say, "I want to live with it." But for seven or eight hours the deep-sleeper is living with that. So in deep sleep, why are you not living? In deep sleep you are living with it, and in the waking state, you are dead to it. …So awareness you are living. The one in deep sleep is living awareness, but many people have interpreted awareness as knowing a flower, then you are aware. To know that the fragrance is there is thought to be aware, to know that senses go for this or this or this, then they say, "I’m aware of this." People also say they are aware that the body will die; I’m aware that things will not remain forever, I’m aware that the body is already decaying—that’s what they call awareness. But that’s not what we are saying, or that’s not what you are asking for. Awareness is that which is in deep sleep, and it is not aware of any dead material, or that which is going to change. That is called the Knower, having awareness or Knowingness. And then Knower and Knowingness, and that aware Being and awareness, is one reality. And that awareness has not been given to a human being who has been born. That awareness has been snatched. And a fictitious awareness, an illusory awareness, a praakritic or natural awareness has been introduced in his head.

Joya: How can I snatch it back?

Swamiji: That is what everybody’s question is. It depends actually, on you. You can do it the way I did. What I did is: that it is not there. …You do not exist the way you think. So this thinking is ahankaar. And that belongs to everybody. I do not use the word ahankaar because it is very conventionally being used, that you drop your ego. And you are going to drop your ego with your ego! So you maintain your ego by dropping it, but that is not what I have said. …you want to maintain your existence, and you want realization at the same time. There is a way for that, but you have to understand it: that the whole world is nothing but I, the Knower. So why would you like to give the world up? The waking state has never come, you alone are. … That which is never there, why would you like to believe in that?

This is another point of view—that the world and your body do not exist in the dream; then why would you like to believe in anything that you have seen in the dream? But you say that is a dream and this is not. Here is the question, and here a person is not able to sort it out. That’s why you are studying. …so, I am saying, that when deep sleep takes place, does the waking state remain? No. Now in deep sleep, the waking state does not exist and the dream state also does not exist. Right. Now comes the question, that when the dream state takes place, the deep sleep also does not exist. Yes or no? Yes. And then, when the waking state exists, then the dream state also does not exist. Right? So now, when the dream state exists, then the waking state also does not exist. Right? So you have answered that all the three states do not exist. And you want to again say to me, "I want to live it, I want to live with it." They do not exist—then why would you like to believe in them and then live with it? They are not there. Now still—it’s not over—they are not there, but who answered this, that they do not exist? That is Knower, and that is to be known. As long as you do not know that, you have to work on it. …

I have proven to you that the Knower exists. …and the Knower is not the idea, of your own ignorance, that the Knower is the body. But the moment the ego sense arises, saying I am awake, not only one body, the whole world body appears. So this point you should understand, and understand means you should realize it. … the main thing for us is, that when we are meditating, then we come to know, or realize—at least I came to realize, somebody has to take the responsibility for that—that when meditation takes place, then the senses, body, intellect, mind, and ego; and the dream state and waking state and deep sleep state and imagination state—nothing remains. That which remains is the Knower. In front of me you realized it, but then you say that you would like to retain it. That is not realization. When realization is there, you will not say that I want to retain it. It’s there. …and you can live with it when your Knower alone is. There is a possibility for you to remain free under all circumstances, provided you know that the Knower is there.

… Existence, which is visible to the eyes—all the scenes— whether they are in the dream or in the waking state, do not exist as you see them. But as I see them, the Knower exists, therefore all the dreams are to be enjoyed. And in the same way, in the waking state the Knower alone is, therefore everybody exists and everybody is wonderful. … You can meditate, and in meditation you should remain you, which I said. I have been saying deliberately, You, Pure, Free, Forever—that is not compared with the dream state or the dreamer. That is not compared with the waking state or the wakeful person. It is not equated with the deep sleep. Pure, Free, Forever is You.

Amaram Hum Madhuram Hum

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