Question: Due to my conditioning and fear, mind tries to perceive some ‘thing’ to surrender to. This stops me from actually surrendering. With this conflict, how to understand if there is any movement towards the centre, or is it all at the periphery?
Speaker: The inner and the outer are not separate. The inner doctor himself is the medicine. Inside, he sits as the doctor that knows everything, the doctor, that is fully conversant with all your illness, and outside he exists as medicines, pills that you can just take in. The external medicine could not have been there without the inner doctor.
I repeat, the medicine is not prescribed by the doctor, in some sense the medicine is the doctor himself. There is no other way the doctor can help you. You perceive yourself to be the body. Right? And that is why you have the illness. Otherwise, how can the illness be there?
Who are you? When you say, “I have illness,” who are you? The body. Right? The body. When you are the body that has illness, obviously you need a material medicine. The only way the doctor can help you is, by giving the material body, a material medicine.
The inner one, that you want to surrender to, is not known to you. The proof of that is that, you feel ill. When you have deep conditioning and fear, obviously you do not know the inner one. Or is the inner one saying that I am conditioned and afraid? Is the inner one talking? Who is talking? The body-mind complex is talking. The body-mind complex is talking that I am afraid, that I am conditioned. It requires medicine in the form of body-mind itself. That’s all that you get.
Even if you want to surrender to the inner, to whom would you surrender? Being the body, you can only see the bodies. Being the body, you recognize only bodies. Being the body, you hear only words. You can only talk of the inner, but you have no contact with the inner. May be you can pray, but even that prayer is a very distant prayer, a prayer in separation, like a cry from far away.
You can cry to the far away, but if help too is far away, you cannot be helped. The one that you are crying to, is very-very far away, out of your own doing. He takes no pleasure in being close or far. In fact, he is really neither close nor far. You have created a conceptual complex in which He is far away.
He might be far away, but you are praying. If He wants to send help, would He send far away help? He would send help, to the place, to the dimension, to the location, where you think yourself to be. It’s a matter of your own thinking.
Your house is on fire, and you call the fire brigade, the fire brigade does not start spraying water where they are. “There is a great fire, so open the taps. Where? Where they are Ten kilometres away.” You made a call, you made a call to the far away, but if the far away wants to help, He will send the vehicles, the water to the place where you are. Alright?
Obviously, what He has sent is just an expression of his prowess. It is not even a fraction of what He is. But then so is your petty sense of fear and limitation. In your little house if fire is there, the fire brigade won’t send an ocean to put out that fire. Or would it? You have a little fire, so what does the fellow send you? A little bit of water, one or two vehicles are sufficient. Are you getting it? The entire ocean need not be sent to you.
So you have a little bit problem, which is half-imaginary, half conceptual, and this and that, and it’s not a big problem. So some small tiny-winy solution is sent to you, and that is sufficient for you. More than that will be a dose that you cannot take, too much. Firstly, there was a problem of fire, now there is the problem of flood. Now you are calling national disaster cell. “My house has been carried away by the floods.”
So when you come across these little bits of solutions, just take them. The doctor gives you small pills, accept them humbly, that’s all that you need. You won’t be too pleased if you go to the doctor, saying that you have a little bit of itching in your little finger, and he opens up your head and says, “It must be treated at the roots.”
Do not seek the ultimate to surrender to. Being what you are, the ultimate means nothing to you. You have a little fire, surrender to little water. Oceans will become a bigger problem. To the limited mind, the unlimited ocean will be a huge problem. Just let it put off the fire. What does that mean? You asked in terms of ‘surrendering’. Reading a book, surrender to the book. Why look for the ultimate? Where else has the book come from? Or will you say that unless the ultimate himself comes, I am not going to surrender? And if he himself does come, where will you hide? He is limitless. He will leave no space for you.
It’s like saying that me and my lover will together go for a romantic date in a two-seater car. Now the lover is so unlimited, that he himself takes up all the space in the car. Where will you sit? Where will you accommodate? So don’t call for the ultimate. The ultimate sends you little things which are perfectly suited to your own little being. Take them humbly, and bow down to them. Whatever little you are doing, surrender to that. That is all that ‘surrender’ means in your context
If you will say that I will surrender only to the ineffable, to the unthinkable, then you will just keep thinking of the unthinkable. It’s such a nice thing. Right? Keep thinking about the unthinkable. Reading a book, surrender to it. Looking at a child, surrender to the looking. Eating, surrender to the moment. Listening, surrender to the listening. So simple.
Listener 1: If we are fighting, shall we surrender to fighting?
Speaker: Could be. Worthy of seeing – surrender to the fighting. We usually fight the opponent, and also fight the fighting. Are you getting it? When you are fighting somebody, firstly, you are fighting the opponent. And secondly, out of a sense of guilt that- how can I fight? I am supposed to be a non-violent man, a gentle one – you are also fighting the fighting. Just fight the opponent and then there is no problem. If you can fight guiltlessly, without fighting the fighting, it’s wonderful.
Have you seen this how much we fight the happening itself? Because we have some great concept and ideal of the ‘happening’. So we resist that which is actually happening. When we are fighting, our concept, our ideal is that we should be non-violent. So what are we doing? Resisting the fighting. And we are full of guilt and complex and inner turmoil, this and that.
When you are absolutely sure about fighting, then fighting is divine. The problem is not the fighting, but the lack of sureness. There are so many people who have fought and that includes your Krishnas and Christs. And they have fought tremendously hard, and they have killed. So, fighting cannot be a problem, their fighting had a beauty to it, a sureness to it, a certainty to it.
With such authority and aplomb he declares, “Whenever there’s a problem with the world, I will come.” With such certainty he declares, “Arjun, I am the one. Forget everything else and surrender to me.” This sureness is important and special. If you want to kill, go ahead and kill. If you feel so sure about killing, then there’s no guilt, no remorse, and no suffering.
Our problem is that we kill out of our tendencies, ego, with the result that there is tension. The killer is tensed. On one hand is the pull of his tendencies and conditioning, on the other hand is the call of the source. And he is divided, stretched.
If the killing happens out of that One call, there is nothing opposing it, then there is no tension. If there is a loose rope lying here and you pull one of its ends, will there be any tension in the rope? The rope has totally surrendered, and it has only one master. And the master is calling the rope, and the rope is going towards it, there’s no tension. The tension is only when the rope is being pulled at two ends in different directions.
We are like that rope. One end is the end of the external influence, of the conditioning that pulls us. On the other end there is the continuous call of the ultimate, which won’t stop, which cannot stop. And in between these two we are torn, there’s a continuous tension.
Listener 2: Sir, if we do not know how deeply we are conditioned, then also there is no tension. Then how can we de-condition ourselves?
Speaker: Conditioning can be deep only on the basis of tension. After all, the basic assumption in conditioning is – life is a threat, life is a challenge, life is dangerous – so you must be prepared to face life. This preparation itself is called ‘conditioning’. So at the foundation of all conditioning, lies the assumption of tension. You cannot be conditioned without being tensed.
You are conditioned only because you are tensed. A relaxed man, in that sense is a very inert man. He cannot be conditioned. If your objective is to influence him, you will be defeated. If you go to a relaxed man, who is gently contended within himself, it will be very-very difficult for you to condition him, because he has no motivation, because nothing can arouse greed within him. How will you condition him? He is already alright.
Conditioning proceeds on the foundation that something is wrong. And he is saying that its all alright, how will you condition him? That is why nobody really likes people who are alright. (Laughter) They cannot be trapped. You can do nothing with them. They are like non-stick cookware. Whatever you put in them nothing sticks to them. Not only they are non-stick, they are non-stick cookware, inverted. So there is no possibility of any kind of clingingness, stickiness, or influence taking ground. Won’t it be wonderful if our mind is like that? Non-sticky, nothing touches it. Non-sticky and kept inverted.
Non-sticky pan, kept upside down. No possibility of anything touching it, yet very useful. Whatever you want to cook, you will be able to cook, and something is always cooking, so fine. You don’t even need to clean it. Remember: if something is perfectly non-sticky, it does not even require clarity sessions (laughter). Because no cleansing is required, nothing sticks to it. “Why do I require putting even a drop of water to clean it, nothing sticks to it.”
You don’t even have to make any silly excuses then. Just saying that – I am non-sticky – will be sufficient. You don’t need to come, that’s your password, it is a waiver. You don’t need to come up with all kinds of fabrications and excuses, that I could not come because of this reason. You don’t need to plot and plan in advance, that I am not going to come for the next one month, so let me lay this kind of a background.
There was this brand that used to make cookware. I don’t know if it’s still there today. It used to be called ‘Nirlayt’, a beautiful name for non stick. ‘Nirlayt‘ – nothing can touch it, nothing can cover it. Do you understand what is meant by ‘Nirlayt‘, it remains nirlipt, untouched. So let’s have a ‘nirlipt’ mind, which can pass through anything, which can take a lot of fire, which can take all kinds of spices, whatever you want to put in it, yet it remains untouched. And boldly it takes all the fire, it does not shy away. It does not say that no, fire is not good and fire is immoral. Now morality is not needed, is of no use. Who needs morality? Bring him more fire, bring it on. “What thoughts do you want to cook? I can cook all the thoughts and still remain untouched by the thoughts.” Something is always cooking in the mind, you can fantasize, imagine, do whatever you want to do, yet you are ‘nirlipt‘, yet you are untouched.
Listeners 3: It’s not the nature of the mind that things stick to it, still it happens. Why?
Speaker: The mind has no nature. ‘Nature of the mind’ itself is a rough usage. What is the mind? When you say ‘nature’, you mean something that is intrinsic to it. Correct? Something which is the truth of something. Something that cannot be taken away from something. That is what you mean by ‘nature’. The mind in itself, is just a phantom thing. How can it have a nature? How can it have truth? In fact, where there is truth, there is no mind. So what do you mean by ‘the truth of the mind’?
The mind is at best a collection of habits, a movement of patterns. And habits are not nature, patterns are not nature. If you want to really ask that what is the nature of mind, the nature of mind is: its disappearance. ‘No mind’, is the nature of mind. ‘To not to be’, is the nature of mind, that is its truth. So if you ask that what is the real mind, that which you have after the dissolution of mind. What is the real mind? No mind. That is the nature of mind. Otherwise the mind has no nature. It’s like asking the nature of dream. What is nature of dream? It has no nature.
Listener 2: But why does mind work on certain principles?
Speaker: Those principles are patterns. They are there, very much there.
Listener 2: But principles are intrinsic to mind.
Speaker: No, not at all.
The proof of that is, that whatever principle you are talking of, that can be wiped and washed away. The principle appears solid only till the time you are ‘principled’. Take ordinary everyday principles. You follow those principles in a very principled way, and the principle has some weightage. The day you are out of the principle, where is the principle? How can the principle be the ‘nature’ of mind?
Remember, nature is something that cannot be taken away. Whatever is subject to dissolution, to cleansing, cannot be nature. And even your deepest tendency, can be cleansed, washed, purified. It cannot be nature.
Listener 2 : Sir, latent tendencies were developed over the years. I did not cultivate them, I did not make them, they just came. Then, fighting against those tendencies, is that not just ego?
Speaker: See, you didn’t make them, but you are them.
Listener 2: Yes, Sir.
Speaker: You are them.
Listener 2: I am them. But then going against them, is that not just another kind of ego.
Speaker: You can never go against them, you are only supporting them all the time. Understand this very-very clearly. That within you which wants the dissolution of these tendencies, is not the tendency itself. Are you getting is? This is a very popular argument, “I was born like this, so now why I must try to change myself? Why must there be an urge to change myself? Even the urge is ego.” This is a stupid argument, it must be understood.
You are not one, you are two. On one hand, you are that accumulated set of tendencies. On the other hand, you are something beyond the tendency that is continuously dissolving the tendency. Had you been nothing but the tendency, you would have felt no suffering.
A machine, a fully-conditioned machine, feels no suffering. Had you just been an aggregate of conditioning, you would have not suffered at all like a machine. Have you ever seen a machine suffering? Have you ever heard the machine saying, “Oh! I am so deeply conditioned. I am only hardware and software. I have no intelligence. I am suffering.” The machine never suffers, the conditioning itself never suffers. There is something else there, which makes this aggregate of tendencies suffer. And that something else works for the dissolution of suffering.
Listener 2: Sir, the body doesn’t ask the question.
Speaker: Neither does the body ask the question, nor does the conditioned mind ask the question. And even if the question is coming from the conditioned mind, which it may come, yet the ability to understand the answer cannot come from conditioning. Nothing in your tendency, prepares you to comprehend what I’m saying.
Listener 2: Sir, if there are two things. One is the set of conditioning, and the other is intelligence. So you are saying that suffering happens because there is always some conflict between these two. So, there is a particular principle on which mind works. Whatever we give power becomes conditioning. Is it not a principle of the mind?
Speaker: It is a principle of conditioning itself. All conditioning is principles, there is no doubt about it. Patterns, just call them ‘patterns’. When you call it ‘principles’, it sounds very respectable. Just call them ‘patterns’.
Listener 3 : It just the duality of the mind.
Speaker: Yes. There is no truth in dvait, in duality. Is there? What is dvait? Just appearance, not the truth.
Listener 4: Sir, if conditioning is there, will the suffering increase and decrease as per the amount of conditioning in the mind. Is it that the more conditioned we are, the more there is suffering?
Speaker: See, it depends. You are talking about the intensity of suffering. What is more important than the intensity is, the quality of suffering. The quality of suffering. There is suffering of a man who is taken to a mosquito-infested prison. It is a damp cell, and ten criminals are confined inside one cell, damp and dark cell. And he is being fed, he is secure also, no physical harm can come his way. And from morning to evening, if one looks at him, there is not much that really bothers him. It’s a set routine. Get up, take bath, eat, sleep, work, parade, work, sleep, eat, this kind of routine. Even if his body is pierced, it is pierced only by mosquito-bites.
And then there is the suffering of a man who dares to break away. He digs a tunnel, he brings down the wall, or he blasts the prison itself. He does something. And his body is pierced by the bullets of the guards. Now, I do not know, which of these suffering is greater? I do not know what we should measure and quantify? The size of the hole drilled in the body, or the emptiness in the heart, the hole in the heart.
Most of us live like in a prison, in our damp cells with lots of mosquito bites, and we are satisfied that only mosquitos are there, no bigger harm is being done. The walls are keeping us safe and secure. And if we fall ill, the authority is merciful enough to take us to the hospital also. And these prisoners, they even have opportunities for recreation. Sometimes they are shown movies. They have a pretty well adjusted-life, just like the middle-class common man, a set routine, a well-set pattern.
Responding to the call of the heart, obviously you pay a price. Obviously there might be bullets to be faced. But what is the quality of that suffering? A Kabir, or Meera, or a Nanak, or a Bulle Shah, sings of intense suffering, virah, viyog, but what is the quality of that suffering? And look at your common man in the morning traffic, inhaling all the poison, cursing the traffic policeman and vehicles in the front. What is the quality of that suffering?
If your body will be attacked, then let it be attacked by the bullets. Why let the mosquitoes feed on you? We are too content with the mosquitos, there are these little things that keep sucking our life-blood, that our lives are devoid of any immensity, any bigness, that not even big catastrophes take place in our life. Are you getting it? Nothing immense happens, not even an immense disaster. You would be lucky if an immense disaster hits you, but it doesn’t happen. Small disasters keep hitting you like small mosquitos, and you are alright with that. And you call that ‘suffering’.
You say, “This is a part and parcel of life. You know this is life and one must compromise and adjust. These are very little things you know.” You don’t get time to eat, it is fine. The husband stings, it is alright. Adjust, one mosquito, another mosquito. The wife snags you, she too is a mosquito. You have to adjust. Would it not be better to just dynamite the prison and take the bullet upon your chest. Mosquito verses mosquitos. Why live a life like that? Why die a thousand times everyday.
It depends on you that which kind of suffering you want to take. Obviously the bullet will hurt, but there are few, who would prefer that suffering. There is something divine in that suffering. In fact, the ones who get that bullet say, ” This suffering is so divine, that it is not suffering at all. Yes, it hurts very badly. Yes the wound is bleeding. Yet I am alright. I couldn’t have done anything else. No guilt, no remorse, no thoughts.”
And when there is no guilt, no remorse, not even willingness to get well soon, then you can hardly call it suffering. The wound is there, the bleeding is there, the pain is there, yet the suffering is so divine that it can’t even be called ‘suffering’. You can call it ‘suffering-less pain’. Why not go for that?
Choose and choose wisely. These are the only two options. You can either have pain-less suffering, as is the desire of the common man. Very little pain, but deep inner suffering. Your hearts are wounded, here is bleeding, though there is no pain at all.
If somebody asks you that where is it paining, you won’t able to pinpoint. No specific point, because it is paining at probably all points. So many mosquitoes, so painless suffering. Or you can have suffering-less. Choose wisely.
Many who do not show any symptoms of pain, might be suffering very-very deeply. They are showing no symptoms of pain, apparently they are healthy, but within they might be suffering very greatly. And there may be many who are wounded, and pierced and bleeding, but they might not really be in suffering. So choose wisely, suffering-less pain, or painless suffering.
– Excerpts from a Clarity session held at Advait Sthal. Edited for clarity.
Watch the session at :How to surrender?
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