Surrender, and all will be well. Throw all the responsibility on God.
A Maharani Saheba spoke in a gentle and low voice, but quite audibly:
D.: “Maharajji, I have the good fortune to see you. My eyes have had the pleasure of seeing you, my ears the pleasure of hearing your voice.
“I am blessed with everything that a human being would like to have.” Her Highness’s voice choked. With great strength of mind she rallied and proceeded slowly, “I have all that I want, a human being would want …. But … But … I … I … do not have peace of mind … Something prevents it. Probably my destiny….”
There was silence for a few minutes. Then Maharshi in his usual sweet manner spoke:
M.: “All right. What need be said has been said. Well. What is destiny? There is no destiny. Surrender, and all will be well. Throw all the responsibility on God. Do not bear the burden yourself. What can destiny do to you then?”
D.: Surrender is impossible.
M.: Yes. Complete surrender is impossible in the beginning. Partial surrender is certainly possible for all. In course of time that will lead to complete surrender. Well, if surrender is impossible, what can be done? There is no peace of mind. You are helpless to bring it about. It can be done only by surrender.
D.: Partial surrender – well – can it undo destiny?
M.: Oh, yes! It can.
D.: Is not destiny due to past karma?
M.: If one is surrendered to God, God will look to it.
D.: This being God’s dispensation, how does God undo it?
M.: All are in Him only.
D.: How is God to be seen?
M.: Within. If the mind is turned inward God manifests as inner consciousness.
D.: God is in all – in all the objects we see around us. They say we should see God in all of them.
M.: God is in all and in the seer. Where else can God be seen? He cannot be found outside. He should be felt within. To see the objects, mind is necessary. To conceive God in them is a mental operation. But that is not real. The consciousness within, purged of the mind, is felt as God.
D.: There are, say, beautiful colours. It is a pleasure to watch them. We can see God in them.
M.: They are all mental conceptions.
D.: There are more than colours. I mentioned colours only as an example.
M.: They are also similarly mental.
D.: There is the body also – the senses and the mind. The soul makes use of all these for knowing things.
M.: The objects or feelings or thoughts are all mental conceptions. The mind rises after the rise of the I-thought or the ego. Wherefrom does the ego rise? From the abstract consciousness or Pure intelligence.
D.: Is it the soul?
M.: Soul, mind or ego are mere words. There are no entities of the kind. Consciousness is the only truth.
D.: Then that consciousness cannot give any pleasure.
M.: Its nature is Bliss. Bliss alone is. There is no enjoyer to enjoy pleasure. Enjoyer and joy – both merge in it
D.: There are pleasure and pain in ordinary life. Should we not remain with only pleasure?
M.: Pleasure consists in turning and keeping the mind within; pain in sending it outward. There is only pleasure. Absence of pleasure is called pain. One’s nature is pleasure – Bliss (Ananda)
D.: Is it the soul?
M.: Soul and God are only mental conceptions.
D.: Is God only a mental conception?
M.: Yes. Do you think of God in sleep?
D.: But sleep is a state of dullness.
M.: If God be real He must remain always. You remain in sleep and in wakefulness – just the same. If God be as true as your Self, God must be in sleep as well as the Self. This thought of God arises only in the wakeful state. Who thinks now?
D.: I think.
M.: Who is this ‘I’? Who says it? Is it the body?
D.: The body speaks.
M.: The body does not speak. If so, did it speak in sleep? Who is this I?
D.: I within the body.
M.: Are you within the body or without?
D.: I am certainly within the body.
M.: Do you know it to be so in your sleep?
D.: I remain in my body in sleep also.
M.: Are you aware of being within the body in sleep?
D.: Sleep is a state of dullness.
M.: The fact is, you are neither within nor without. Sleep is the natural state of being.
D.: Then sleep must be a better state than this.
M.: There is no superior or inferior state. In sleep, in dream and in the wakeful state you are just the same. Sleep is a state of happiness; there is no misery. The sense of want, of pain, etc., arises only in the wakeful state. What is the change that has taken place? You are the same in both, but there is difference in happiness. Why? Because the mind has risen now. This mind rises after the ‘I-thought’. The thought arises from consciousness. If one abides in it, one is always happy.
D.: The sleep state is the state when the mind is quiet. I consider it a worse state.
M.: If that were so, why do all desire sleep?
D.: It is the body when tired that goes to sleep.
M.: Does the body sleep?
D.: Yes. It is the condition in which the wear and tear of the body is repaired.
M.: Let it be so. But does the body itself sleep or wake up? You yourself said shortly before that the mind is quiet in sleep. The three states are of the mind.
D.: Are they not states of the soul functioning through the senses, etc.?
M.: They are not of the soul or of the body. The soul remains always uncontaminated. It is the substratum running through all these three states. Wakefulness passes off, I am; the dream state passes off, I am; the sleep state passes off, I am. They repeat themselves, and yet I am. They are like pictures moving on the screen in a cinema show. They do not affect the screen. Similarly also, I remain unaffected although these states pass off. If it is of the body, are you aware of the body in sleep?
M.: Without knowing the body to be there how can the body be said to be in sleep?
D.: Because it is still found after waking up.
M.: The sense of body is a thought; the thought is of the mind, the mind rises after the ‘I-thought’, the ‘I-thought’ is the root thought. If that is held, the other thoughts will disappear. There will then be no body, no mind, not even the ego.
D.: What will remain then?
M.: The Self in its purity.
D.: How can the mind be made to vanish?
M.: No attempt is made to destroy it. To think or wish it is itself a thought. If the thinker is sought, the thoughts will disappear.
D.: Will they disappear of themselves? It looks so difficult.
M.: They will disappear because they are unreal. The idea of difficulty is itself an obstacle to realisation. It must be overcome. To remain as the Self is not difficult.
D.: It looks easy to think of God in the external world, whereas it looks difficult to remain without thoughts.
M.: That is absurd; to look at other things is easy and to look within is difficult! It must be contrariwise.
D.: But I do not understand. It is difficult.
M.: This thought of difficulty is the chief obstacle. A little practice will make you think differently.
D.: What is the practice?
M.: To find out the source of ‘I’.
D.: That was the state before one’s birth.
M.: Why should one think of birth and death? Are you really born? The rising of the mind is called birth. After mind the body-thought arises and the body is seen; then the thought of birth, the state before birth, death, the state after death – all these are only of the mind. Whose is the birth?
D.: Am I not now born?
M.: So long as the body is considered, birth is real. But the body is not ‘I’. The Self is not born nor does it die. There is nothing new. The Sages see everything in and of the Self. There is no diversity in it. Therefore there is neither birth nor death.
D.: If sleep be such a good state, why does not one like to be always in it?
M.: One is always only in sleep. The present waking state is no more than a dream. Dream can take place only in sleep. Sleep is underlying these three states. Manifestation of these three states is again a dream, which is in its turn another sleep. In this way these states of dream and sleep are endless. Similar to these states, birth and death also are dreams in a sleep. Really speaking, there are no birth and death.
Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi