The still mind and the One
दहनपवनहीनं विद्धि विज्ञानमेक
मवनिजलविहीनं विद्धि विज्ञानरूपम्।
समगमनविहीनं विद्धि विज्ञानमेकं
गगनमिव विशालं विद्धि विज्ञानमेकम्।।
Understand that it is neither fire nor air. Realise the One.
Understand that it is neither Earth nor water. Realise the One.
Understand that it neither comes nor goes. Realise the One.
Understand that it is like space pervading everywhere. Realise the One.
Avadhuta Gita, Chapter 3, Verse 44
So what is being said? You tell me.
Listener 1: It is said that in all differences in all forms in everything realise the one. They may appear very different but that is there whether you are seeing or not seeing.
Listener 2: The One refers to Self.
Acharya Prashant: It means that whether you are seeing this or that, you continue to firstly see the essence of this and that, fire and water, earth and sky, black and white, hot and cold, pleasure and pain, coming and going. These are pairs of dualistic opposites. Whenever we look at a thing, we look only at the surface of the thing, we look only at the form of the experience.
So, if one looks at a tree, or a pillar, one looks only at that. One says this is a tree or a pillar, higher than just-looking at the object of consciousness is to look and remember the two ends of consciousness parallely.
There is one mind that looks only at the tree, there is another mind that looks parallely at the tree which is the object and subject, the viewer, the mind, the person. So one mind that only looks at the material, another mind which looks at the consciousness which is the basis of the material and then another mind which looks at the source of consciousness itself.
How does it look at that?
By being there, by being calmly there. So even as it looks at various things, it is still very calm.
The nature of consciousness is movement not stillness. Consciousness moves along with the object it looks at. Awareness is stillness. In awareness even if one is looking at the various objects around yet he is still. This is what is meant by looking at a thing as well as the essence of the thing. The essence of everything is a still mind.
So even as there is an object in consciousness, even as there is subject and object in consciousness, even as there is the passage of time in consciousness, one is not passing away along with all this, one is not coming and going away along with all this, one is essentially still .That is what is meant by remaining sky-like even when there are clouds, stars, suns, moons and all the objects of the world in the sky.
The Sky has all of them, but one is not attached to or identified with, enamoured with any of those objects. One is rather one with Sky. The Sky is the essence of all objects.
The spiritual mind sees in two dimensions parallely. In one dimension it looks at the gross, form, name and such things, just like everybody else; so it will say it has this colour this size this shape it is moving, it will perceive all those things. In another dimension, the spiritual mind is a non-perceiver; it is not perceiving anything, it is kind of asleep, or you could say that this sleep is the highest wakefulness. It is simply at rest, it is simply at rest even if it is observing tremendous change outside.
So a lot is changing outside yet this mind is not changing with the changing objects. It is still. That is what is meant by realising the One or remembering the One.
Realising the One, remembering the One simply means that you remain the One.
You do not realise the One by having a separation with the One. You do not remember the One as a memory. All those are dualistic processes. In deep non-duality, in the deepest oneness, you realise by being one with the realised. You remember by being one with the remembered; so, if you are remembering peace, you are remembering peace by being peaceful. If you are remembering emptiness you are remembering emptiness by being empty and clear. That is what Dattatreya is saying. Look at this, look at that but remain free of this and that. So now you are doing two things parallely; while you are with this and that, that is one thing; you are still free of this and that, that is second thing.
There are these eyes that will look at this and that and there is another eye which will look only at freedom; the Truth. Parallel vision. Are you getting it?
This is a beautiful way of living: to look at the form and the formless together, to look at the manifestation and the core together, to look at the limited and the unlimited together.
What does that mean?
That means one looks at the limited as the Unlimited. You see, we said there is only one way to look at the Unlimited which is to be the Unlimited. That is the only non-dual way otherwise we are again talking of the same dualistic way of looking at objects; that is anyway going on in one dimension. In the other dimension the looking is non dualistic. So here you have to be one with what you are looking at. You are looking at unlimited, you are unlimited. Be unlimited now you are free to look at what all is limited.
Thus all of this mean that you seige to look at limitations. No, you look at limitations you perceive them. When you look at limitations you look at limitations as the limited one in the dualistic way of looking.
The limited eye looks at the limited tree. But even as the limited eye looks at the limited tree, the Unlimited in you remains with the Unlimited. Deep in the heart there is a sense of fulfilment, contentment. The heart is not saying that I am looking out so that I can get something from somewhere.
It is already alright!
~ Excerpts from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. Edited for clarity.
Watch the session: Acharya Prashant on Avadhuta Gita: The still mind and the One
Read more articles on this topic:
Article 1: Non-duality and duality are One
Article 2: Existence as Duality
Books by the speaker: