Listener 1: Sir I have read that a few teachers have spoken about the consciousness and life after death. So I am confused that how did they came to know about this. Are these just concepts or anything?
AP: It’s just a concept.
It’s just that there are some very destructive concepts. To get rid of these destructive concepts, sometimes, just as a tool, the Teacher uses a few more benign concepts but even the benign concepts turns malignant if it overstays its utility. It must come and dissolve the pre-existing set of concepts and then itself disappear.
L1: Sir, when I read something, either I will have trust in what I am reading, or I will negate. When I don’t trust or when I am negating, in both the cases, why at all is there a need to read?
AP: Just read, with no particular objective, without the need to believe or negate. There is no need to believe everything or anything that you read.
The scriptures, mind you, are not Truth. They are a tool.
If something is put in your eyes so that your eyes may start seeing, then the medicine is not the seeing, it’s just that which facilitates the seeing. One should never ever imagine that the scriptures are talking of Truth. No. The scriptures are rather talking of falseness. Their objective is to clear the falseness; and falseness cleared is Truth shining.
What happens is that often because the ego construes the Truth as some objective reality, it goes to the scriptures in search of truth. In fact it is a very popular saying now a days — ‘In Search of Truth’, as if there is something or somebody that can search for something or somebody called The Truth.
This is quite a meaningless thing to say, and quite the misleading one as well.
The scriptures are there so that all the nonsense that gets accumulated in the mind may be burned down. That is their purpose. They are like a match stick.
What does a match stick do?
Suppose there is a heap of rubbish accumulated somewhere, what does the match stick do? It burns the rubbish and having burned the rubbish, does it survive? It goes as well.
That’s how the scriptures are meant to function: destroy the rubbish and then disappear.
Not become a different kind of rubbish themselves.
L1: Is it not somehow better that if you keep observing your own nonsense?
AP: Of course, it is better.
See, if you can observe your life, then your life is the scripture. What are the scriptures anyway talking of? They are talking of your life, your patterns. So, you could either read all that in a book or better still observe them with your own eyes. The benefit in reading all that in a scripture is that you get the advantage of detachment, the advantage of distance.
You see, when you look at your life then you become an interested party. It becomes difficult to look really objectively towards your own life. Real objectivity is when the subject is not there. When the interested subject is not there then you can look really objectively. That doesn’t happen. So, observation often is prejudiced, biased and gives distorted conclusions. It only helps you conclude that which you already are. That’s what you observe.
As Jiddu Krishnamurti famously said: ‘The Observer is the observed’. That’s what happen in our normal observation. When you go to a scripture, there hopefully, in fact, verily, there is someone who could observe with detachment and has been able to put down what he observed, clearly for you, in his compassion. And since lives are one, because the mind of mankind is one, so whatever he has written about life is equally applicable to your life as well. That is what is an advantage with reading a scripture rather than observing one’s own life.
At the same time, observing directly, if it can happen with you, develops a kind of an inner muscle. It activates your own potential to see clearly. Because even if the Teacher and the scripture is well meaning, even if he meant to destroy all your dependencies, the fact is: you’ll start using the teacher or the scripture as the final dependency. But if you use your own eyes for direct observation, then you are totally free.
So these two, are often suggested, must go together: having faith in the words of the Teacher, Guru , preceptor, guide, whatever you want to call, having faith there and a parallel, simultaneous direct observation. Actually, both of these are just the same. Given that the Guru is fundamentally your own vision, your Self, the pure Self, hence, it the Guru who enables you to understand the scriptures and who also powers your eyes to look directly at your own life.
These are like two wings of a bird. Support of an external Guru or scripture and your own independent observation. When both are fully functional, then you really take off. One should not miss out on any of these.
While you must be fiercely independent and at the same time you must be in total surrender. And these two are not opposites, in fact, one cannot be without the other.
Unless you are totally surrendered to the Truth, you cannot be fiercely independent of the world.
So these two are very simultaneous, concurrent.
We talk of freedom as if freedom is an abnegation of surrender.
Only in freedom one surrenders fully.
Surrender is not subjugation; surrender is not force submissiveness.
Instead, surrender is your clearest expression of freewill.
Only in your absolutely free will can you really surrender, otherwise it is not surrender at all. Then it is some kind of a role-play, some kind of a programmed action. So be with both. That’s why I say read here as much as you can, discuss with me as much as you want to and then also go out and stand at the market — look at the shops, look at the people and then look at yourself looking at them. And that is the continuation of this session or if you please, this session is the continuation of that.
Both are one; don’t take them as divided, separated. Because we have had enough of this division — the so called spiritual man who won’t get out of this hall, who won’t get out of his self-created spiritual universe, and the worldly man who won’t get out of another similar hall which he calls as the worldly hall, this division is artificial and harmful.
Let these two be one for you.
When you visit the market, see the scriptures being played out there. Two people talking to each other — it is a scripture being enacted. And if you can’t see that, then you haven’t been with the scripture. And at the same time, in the session, when you see ego displaying itself, it is just the market playing out in the spiritual domain. It is now business entering the temple. And does that not happen?
Often, the student-teacher relationship is such a transactional relationship — I want something from you and you want something from me. How is that different from a shopkeeper dealing with a customer or another shopkeeper. So, see the market playing itself out here — how you negotiate, how you want to extract your count of flesh, and how the teacher wants a certain psychological domination over the students, because he too has his needs. Does that not happen? Then is it a temple anymore? No, it’s a boardroom, or if you don’t want to give it so much dignity then it is one man quarreling with a street hawker.
See this there and see that here.
See both as one.
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.
If you are someone who has read anything on self-help or on spirituality this book is a must for cleaning of spiritual information.