Acharya Prashant: Prasanna (a very young listener) is asking, who is the first-first God in this world? Why am I like this? Why did God make me?
Why did we start today’s session by talking of God? Why are we starting this session by talking of God? It could have been anything else, we could have talked of vegetables or stones or birds or buildings or machines or men. Why have we started this session with God?
We started this session with God because Prasanna asked a question about God. So, who brought God into this session? Prasanna brought God into this session. So who is the first-first God? The God who is even before all Gods because he is the one who is bringing in God.
There is no God except in the mind that thinks of it.
So, if Prasanna is thinking about God, then there is no God separate from Prasanna. That is about the God that Prasanna asked about. Then, there is the another one from which mind tense, which is the root of mind, there is anyway not much talking about that because that is not the God you have raised the question about.
When you say God, it is something in your mind that you are talking of. So who is the first-first God in the world? Prasanna, Prasanna’s mind, mind’s Prasanna. They are the first one; everything originates from them. If it is a thing it comes from them, whatever things there are, they come from Prasanna; there is nothing that does not come from the mind.
Whenever you come across a question like this — What is the origin of Truth? From where does God come from? The answer is simple — mind. That is one answer that cannot ever go wrong, it’s a full proof answer — mind. Now, you might think that the mind would feel happy when you credit it with being the origin of everything; that must be natural. Right? If you say, ‘Mind is a great one, that it is the origin of everything, that is the source from where everything comes’, then, mind, you would expect to feel happy, but that does not happen, the mind does not feel happy.
The mind is forever searching for something that does not come from it, rather, from which it comes. The mind’s problem is: That is not a thing, That is not an object of the search, That just cannot be held by the mind. It is not in the same dimension as the mind.
We make two kinds of mistakes, please note down very carefully:
One, we believe that there are certain things that do not come from the mind. Remember, whatever you can see, hear, touch or think of, is a thing. Whatever is perceptible through the senses is a thing but we comfort ourselves in thinking that there are certain things that do not come from the mind.
Various religions would claim that this book has not come from the mind. Hindus would say that the location of this temple did not come from the mind or that the Vedas did not come from the mind and there are thousand and ten things that we want to claim has been beyond mind. Whatever is perceptible through this senses, is mind. Never make that mistake; the mind is vast.
The second mistake that we make is that we think that That (The Ultimate) is perceptible through senses, that which is not in the same dimension as mind can also be contained in the mind. And both of these mistakes build upon each other get compounded when it comes to the question of God.
What is the first mistake?
Thinking that there are some objects that do not come from mind. So, we create a fiction called God which is very much something that you think, which is your own idea, something that you totally forget when you go to sleep and you believe that this is not a product of mind but something else — that is the first mistake. The second mistake is to think that what you are thinking while making the first mistake is alright. What is the first mistake? That this book is a word of God. What is the second mistake? That I can know God.
What you can see is surely not God; if you can perceive it through your body, through your mental apparatus, then it has come from you, it has not come from anybody else. Simply admit it. It is the product of mind, it is not arising from anywhere else. Please feel confident enough to say that.
The first mistake happens because we are not confident of ourselves, we do not feel assured enough to say that the scripture might be wonderful, it might be containing pearls of wisdom but it is arising from a human mind, it has not descended from anywhere, it is arising from a human mind. Simply accept it. And that requires a certain assuredness and we don’t have that. So, first mistake happens because we are not sure enough.
The second mistake happens because we are parallelly quite arrogant. So we say, ‘Whatever is the Truth, I can think of it, I will not submit to it, I will think of it. Hence, we coin these three letter word ‘G-o-d’. Why not just be silent? Why keep thinking? Because we are quite arrogant, because we say that ‘I will capture the ultimate reality in my mind’.
Now, this is paradoxical.
On one hand, when a sacred book comes in front of you, you don’t have the guts to admit that a man wrote this book; it did not descend from the heaven. You don’t have the guts to admit that. Look at the paradox — on one hand, you don’t have the guts to admit that this book is coming from human mind. On the other hand, we are so arrogant that we want to say that ‘We know what God is’. We may not say that in so many words but when we say that this is God’s will, God lives here, God does not like this, God has send us commandment, then surely that means that we know God. Right? Or at least we know this much about God that he is sending us commandment. This is very very arrogant.
Both these mistakes go together—our fearfulness and our haughtiness.
Our arrogance is in the same measure as our fear. Let us be direct, simple and humble. Let us just say, ‘Yes, there are these scriptures, we wrote them, the son of a man wrote them and these books are beautiful and they are sacred, that means that there is beauty and holiness within me. Otherwise, how could this book come? There is nothing repugnant in man’s mind. It is from man’s mind that the Upanishads and the Bible are arising’. So man’s mind is great. Let’s just accept it. And while accepting it, let us parallely bow to the fact that even though man’s mind has climbed these heights, yet, he is nowhere close to the Ultimate.
Do you understand this?
These two have to go together: One, you must admit that man’s mind is capable of observation, of self-enquiry and witnessing as well. You have to admit it. And it’s a beautiful thing that such powers vest in the mind. Let’s admit those power, let us just not say that ‘Whatever is lovely on the earth is not at all coming from that mind’. Let’s not quickly attribute it to some other unknown agency. Let’s just not say that, ‘The saint was sitting and a divine light descended in his head and from there he came; let’s not just say that the great messenger was not a son of man and his mother was still a virgin when he was born.’
Just simply admit that it is possible for the son of a man to be like Jesus. But we are so much in the grasp of an inferiority complex that when we come across somebody like Jesus we say, ‘No, no, he is not born out of a human mother.’ Because if somebody like Jesus is born out of a human mother then it’s a terrible insult to the rest of us; if one mother can give birth to Jesus then what are the rest of the mothers doing? Are you getting it?
So, no mother would want to admit that Mary was the corporal mother of Jesus because accepting this will be a great responsibility upon all mothers. If one Mary can give birth to Jesus, then what are all other mothers doing? And to accept that Jesus was just a normal human being like the rest of us is a great responsibility upon every living human being because if one man can live as Jesus did, then what are the rest of us doing?
So, we make the first mistake. And in that sense it is not really a mistake, it’s a conspiracy. Our own conspiracy against ourselves. We don’t want to accept that the bible comes singularly through a man or that the Vedas or the Quran too are the same. We don’t want to accept that. Parallelly, we are so arrogant that we claim that through the Bible or the Upanishad we have known what the God is. Now, this is the height of arrogance and stupidity. When you say that by reading a book you have reach the Ultimate. And you see, how the first and second are related: To claim that by reading the Bible, I reach the ultimate, you have to declare that the Bible is word of God. So, the mind weaves a conspiracy against itself.
No book comes from God, no temple contains the image of God, God has not left any signs upon earth, any particular signs. Either you say that the entire earth is a sign that is alright, God does not sit atop of a particular mountain, no particular cave contains the traces of God, no river is specially sacred. All these are our own dishonesties, so that we can keep ourselves occupied and away from surrender. That is only reason why the ego thinks so much, and plans so much, and knits so much, so that it doesn’t have to surrender.
In fact, man invented the concept of God only so that he can be away from God. Otherwise, there was no need by putting the Ultimate in these three letters G-O-D, what did you do? You gave yourself assurance that I know what the ultimate is, after all, I have been able to capture him in three letters G-O-D. Now, even if I say that God cannot spoken of, God cannot be thought of, whatever I say would be a statement saying something about God, thereby implying that I know at least this much. Even if you say that nothing can be known about God, you have known at least this much. Right? What? That nothing can be known about God.
Now, ego finds great comfort here. Give him a name and then say, ‘Oh he cannot be known.’ And how did you even know this much? And if you can know this much, surely there is some hope that you can know more, just a little bit more, you are shy in admitting it but one corner of your mind is wishing, hoping and is certain that, ‘If I can say three letters about him, then I can also, probably, one day write three books about him and then one day will come, when I would have put him in my pocket and that is the day, when I will be bigger than God.
All of this, so that you don’t have to bow down; so our arrogance, so that our sense of knowing may continue unabated. You know surrender is so absolute so complete you do not surrender conditionally, you do not say that this, this and this aspect of God is alright. If you are the one who will decide, when to surrender, what to surrender and have a choice in the matter, then surely you are bigger than the surrender itself. Then, how have you surrendered? Where is surrender?
To say anything about God is to escape from surrender.
The Buddha, therefore, made it a rule that ‘I will not take any questions about God.’
But what to do? Prasanna is so eager and Prasanna is asking, ‘Who is the first first God in this world? Why am I like this? Why did God make me? The Buddha would just remain silent, the Buddha is still silent. The Buddha knows if he utters a word, it is heresy; the Buddha is very humble, he will not speak single word on this topic. It is blasphemy for me.
Look at man’s arrogance: he has written volumes and volumes praising God. Now, if you give yourself the right to praise God, then surely you have also given yourself the right to someday not to praise Him. There would be very few people who would say, ‘Who am I to praise you? Even to praise you, I must know you.’ But what do we do? We say, ‘Oh God you are the greatest because you made this world!’ So, now, I know that he made this world, I know this much that he made this world. Do you really know whether he made this world?Is the world like your tea cup? Something to be made? And then, you will dream of stories and stories and myths and myths about how the world was created and then this was said by God to that and then on third day God made this and sixth day he made this, seventh day he rested. Stories and stories, you will make. And each story is a story of your arrogance and your deprivation.
Our holy books are actually very very cavalier documents, in a sense, that they are talking about something that must not be talked about.
Then what must be talked about?
Firstly, let’s admit that every holy book comes from the mind and the mind is well within its right to talk about itself and that is the holiest book that talks about itself. Let the mind look at itself and that is the most sacred act. When the mind starts looking at God, then the mind is crossing its limits.
There is a reason why I repeatedly asked you to write your reflections. When I say write your reflections, I say, ‘look at yourself and write: how are you doing, what are you thinking, where is your mind going’ because that is the only right territory of mind — looking at the world, observing the world, this much is alright and only this much is alright. When the mind starts thinking about God, then this is not at alright. But you have been repeatedly told and its been done century after century – Take the name of God, take the name of God. Whose name are you taking? And don’t you see that by repeatedly taking the name of God you are reducing God to a name?
This is dishonesty.
You don’t need to take God’s name; just look at your mind and that is sufficient.
The more the mind will look at itself, the more it will surrender.
There is no need to ask this question.
And you will not ask this question if you are self-observant.
The question: ‘Surrender to whom?’ is a very unholy question. Only a very arrogant mind asks this question; only a very ignorant mind asks this question.
Just surrender. To whom? The question is invalid. If you come up with an answer that, ‘I surrender to God’, then there can be no surrender. I just surrender.
Silence. No answer. Silence.
Don’t ever claim that you are surrendering to any unit, to any name, to any entity. Neither to a book nor to a man and not even to God. Not surrendering to anybody, just surrender. We find it very very difficult. We want to be assured that the ego that we have surrendered is safe somewhere. “I surrendered my ego to my favorite deity; I am sure he will take care of my ego. He will not hurt it or destroy it.” So we like to feel good. “I surrendered to xyz God. Now, it is the responsibility of that God to take care of my ego.” Right?
Have you really surrendered then?
Have you really known the reality of ego?
Don’t you see how you find it easy to surrender after you have known a particular person and specially if you are on sweet terms with that person; because now, when you are surrendering you are sure that he will not hurt the thing that you have surrendered. What is the thing you surrendered? The ego; and if the person is friends with me and talks nicely to me and he is so sweet, then I find it easy to surrender. Now, I can give my precious thing to him. If the ego is still precious to you, what have you surrendered!
So you always like to have somebody to whom you can surrender and that somebody must be acceptable to whom? To the ego. Now, what is being surrendered? The ego; and who is deciding to whom to surrender? The ego. Can there be anything more stupid than this?
Just surrender; don’t decide to whom to surrender. This befuddles the mind; it starts feeling choked, it says, ‘But surrender means that I am giving it to somebody. Right?’
No, you are not giving it to anybody; you are just giving it up!
Do you realize the difference?
Giving it to somebody would mean that when the time comes, I can take it back. And giving it up means it’s gone I do not know where it’s gone; just gone, disappeared, finished, no trace left. Just surrendered. Have you see how bad you feel when somebody to whom you have ostensibly surrendered hurts you? You say, ‘I surrendered to him and he is hurting me!’ In fact, you feel deeply hurt, more hurt, especially hurt when the so called man to whom you have surrendered says a thing or two that is hurtful; that pinches.
Recently, we had one very surrendered student. Just two or three days back and there was a gathering here. They said a few things to him and I too said and he was very very surrendered. The next morning he ran away. ‘I could have taken it from anybody, I couldn’t take it from you, it feels so bad, I surrendered to you, and you said these bitter words to me feels.’
What had you surrendered? Had you really surrendered?
You just parked you ego. Using the Teacher like an ego parking area? So, ‘I am parking my ego with you, don’t even scratch it. When I come back to take it, it should be intact, if possible, polish it, wash it, grease it.’
You have such car parkings where you park the car and you go away and when you come back they will keep the car washed for you.
That’s how you want to use the Teacher.
There is another variety: “You come and confess something and share a few things with the Teacher,” and when the Teacher wants to use those same facts to remind you that you are again erring, then you say, “See, I told you my secrets and now you are using all those secrets against me.”
Did you really give up those secrets? Had you really given them up, you would have said, ‘I am disowning the thing; I am giving up the story, the story is now yours, whatever you want to do with it, do.’ But you are still clinging to it and so you feel so bad that the Teacher is using my secrets. And, you don’t see the stupidity of these actions.
Surrender means this is what I had and I can see that it stunk and I couldn’t tolerate the stink, I just couldn’t tolerate the stink, so I gave it up. Now, do whatever you want to do with it; I don’t even know to whom it has gone or whether it has gone to somebody. Whatever you want to do with it, go ahead. You want to use it, use it. You want to forget it, forget it. It’s not mine anymore; just gone, I am free.
But, you still own it, you still possess it and that is why you are still identified with it, and that’s why you need God and that’s why you need a personal God all the more. A God whom you can keep nicely decorated in your small temple, in one corner of your house ‘my personal God!’ And God is always personal, like any other word, God too, has a personal meaning a, different meaning for each of us.
When you say, ‘A wall’, you do not mean the same thing. Right? If hundred people say, ‘Wall’, they do not mean the same thing. Similarly, when hundred people say, ‘God’, they do not mean the same thing. It’s always a personal meaning; that’s what we want — a personal God, that’s why we must always keep weaving more and more myths about God, to assure ourselves that we know something about God; that we are not so ignorant.
In matters of mind, think, speak, analyze, observe, witness, utilize all the power of the mind and that’s all.
When it comes to the Truth, just bow down and be silent;
there is no need to act arrogant.
Excerpts from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. Edited for clarity.
Book of Myths
Statutory Warning: This book is not for the weak hearted
This is the most challenging book one can ever come across. It will questions all the popular beliefs one harbours.
Never imposing itself on the reader. At the same time the book facilities a thorough enquiry of popular knowledge which is blindly accepted as an obvious fact. It demolishes our so-called holy concepts.If you are someone who has read anything on self help or on spirituality this book is a must for cleaning of spiritual information.