As long as a scholar makes a search or an investigation, so long that is indeed not met with, since it is not at all graspable.
~THE ESSENCE OF TRIPURA RAHASYA (verse 64)
Acharya Prashant: So, keep searching and you will not find it. Because that, which is to be found, is found only in stillness. The more you search, the more you ensure that you will not find it. Then does that mean that we should not search for it? No! You must search for it. Why?
Now, get this point very-very clearly! Why should you search for it?
Because searching is your habit!
You are anyway searching for a thousand things. Get this very clearly. Why must self-inquiry be done? Why must searching take place? Because you are curious about a thousand things. Had you not been curious at all, self-enquiry would not have been needed. But, you are curious. You want to know. Your senses are looking for knowledge all the time. Because you cannot do without knowledge, hence it is advised that why don’t you go to the root of knowledge and inquire into the absolute.
Alright, if that seems too much to you, why don’t you just enquire into the one who is gathering knowledge? Why don’t you know the ego? It is a habit with you to keep looking for things. Because it is a habit, hence, it is said that if you have to look, then look for the Truth! If you have to enquire, then enquire into the ego. That is the only utility of seeking. That is the only utility of enquiry. Do you get this very clearly?
To the one who is still, no sage is ever going to prescribe that go ahead and ask “Ko-aham”. He is already still, he doesn’t need to ask Ko-aham! But, the ones who keep on asking miscellaneous questions anyway, to them, it is prescribed that instead of asking all the trivia, and all the rubbish, why don’t you ask, ‘Who am I?’. Do you get this clearly?
It is not obtainable by going to a distance that is by reaching out through senses and the mind. It is indeed met with always standing still that is without the movement of the senses and the mind. It is not knowable by thinking on it through mental activity. It shines on account of the absence of such reflection through mental activity. It is not attainable by activity anywhere as the shadow of one’s own head by running.
~THE ESSENCE OF TRIPURA RAHASYA (verse 65)
Acharya Prashant: So, there is the shadow of your own head, and you are running after it. As stupid as that! Or, like in one of Chuang Tzu’s fables.
“There is a man who is running away from the sound of his own footsteps. He does not like the sound of his own foot step. He is running very fast. But, wherever he is going, that sound is following him. That sound is created by his own activity. The only way to actually get rid of that sound is standing still. Stand still!”
But you have been fond of wandering, away from home. You have wandered and you have come a great distance from home, you have come to a jungle. Had you been at home, it would have never been advised that you move more. But you are not home, you are in the jungle! The one who is at home is never advised any kind of movement. He is already there. You have become homeless. You are the ones who are lost. Now you have to return. And returning would require movement. You can either move in a way that will sink you deeper in the jungle, or you can move in a way that will bring you back. That is why, movement is recommended. That is why all the practices are recommended. That is why this and that is needed. That is why a teacher is needed.
But, the one who is going to home, if he says, “It is because of the movement that I attained home”, then he is talking rubbish. Movement only took you away from the home. Had you been able to be still, no movement would have been needed. And because you need to move even now, so, the teacher is just giving a direction to your movement. He is just channelizing your movement. Where is home? Wherever you can be still, home is there. Home is not a fixed locality, it is not a geographical location. Wherever you can come to stillness, that is home.
As even a boy seeing, for instance, a thousand reflections in a clear mirror, doesn’t see the mirror. So, a person indeed seeing the reflection in the form of the world in the great mirror of his own self, doesn’t know his own self on account of giving up its acquaintance.
~THE ESSENCE OF TRIPURA RAHASYA (verse 66,67)
Acharya Prashant: So, what you see is all this. What you do not see is what makes it possible. You see the day, you do not see where the day comes from. You see the light, you do not see ‘That’ within you, it enables you to see the light. You see, you do not see ‘That’ which enables you to call seeing as seen; Hemlekha says, “Such is our condition.”
She is saying, “Please understand, whatever is around you, is not really out there. It is not really out there.” She is giving the analogy of a mirror. It is all here, not out there. What is here is just getting mirrored back to you and this is called projection. What is here is getting mirrored back to you, it is not out there. Realize, that the entire thing is just like a mirror. Are you getting this?
It is not actually a mirror, it is just like a mirror! What Hemlekha is saying, is a technique to destroy the existing pattern of mind. The mind thinks it is out there. So, Hemlekha is asserting to her husband that it is in here(mind). It is just so that he can get rid of his habit of thinking that it is out there; that habit we all have. What is that habit? The trees out there, Kunal is out there, yes? She is saying, “Not really!” Look at it another way. This entire drama is being projected by you. There is only a reflecting mechanism. You projected and then you looked at it. There is nothing new that you can look at. You project everything and you look at it. Like a mirror!
You stand in front of the mirror, who looks at the image? You! And who is there in the image? You!
You project and you look. The world is like this. Getting it? That is why, the ones who realize, I have repeatedly said that knowledge is always stale. There can be no real newness in knowledge. You can never really have knowledge of that, which is outside your most fundamental conditioning. You can never read a CD that you have not been programmed to read. Now the contents of the CD might vary. Understand this.
But your hardware is programmed to read only particular type of CDs. That CD can have any kind of content. Now, the real new is not the knowledge. The real new is something else. The real new is a sense of freshness within, not dependent on any kind of mental activity. The ones who depend on knowledge end up getting bored. So, they keep giving themselves more and more knowledge based inputs. And when I am saying ‘knowledge’, I mean the aggregate of all sensory inputs. So, to get rid of the boredom, they keep feeding themselves more and more sensory inputs and yet the boredom never goes away. The reason is simple. Whatever you are feeding to yourself, you have fed it a thousand times earlier. So, it cannot remove your boredom.
You have seen the movie a thousand times earlier. the name of the movie might have changed. Apparently, the story line has also changed. But, it’s the same thing -same attraction, same violence, same suspense, same murder, same killing. Alright! Different names of the characters. Alright! Different faces of the characters. But the fundamentals are the same, the hard-wiring is the same. So, even if you watch a fresh movie, a so called fresh movie, you still emerge from the theater, long faced and bored. There is no freshness in it. The same old drama, attraction, repulsion, coming close, going away, anxiety, happiness, sadness, relief, responsibilities, obligations, pressure, revolt; Same things!
Because my system is the same!
You see, if you paint your face in a thousand ways, and go and look at yourself in the mirror. But will you ever be able to deceive yourself that the man you are looking at, is you? After all, you are projecting it, so, how can it be new? Getting it?
That is our entire effort at getting something. When we say, “Getting something”, we obviously mean getting something new. Right? Or, do you want to do the same old things again and again? Do you want to buy a car of same model gain and again? Usually you don’t! You want something new. Right? A fresh model, a new success, advancement, movement to greater goal. Whatever you get is always that same stinking thing which is you. Getting it?
The names change, the tags change, the labels change, the story just keeps getting repeated. Don’t you have remakes of movies? Just like that. So, thirty years back, when that movie came, the hero was probably riding an ambassador car and singing a song which was being sung by Md Rafi. Now the hero is riding a helicopter and singing a song which is probably being sung by somebody.
The helicopter is sophisticated, the woman has new face, the lyrics are different. But what has changed? This movie will fail to rejuvenate you. You will pretend that you are being entertained, you will pretend that something new is happening, but you will come out feeling cheated. And you will not know whom to blame because the producer of the movie had put in all effort to make it look different. Is not it the USP of movies? It is a love story with a difference. Now the only difference is that the dresses have changed, have become shorter and more skimpy. There is a love story with a change. But fundamentally the same ignorance, the same fear, same greed, same attachment, same repugnancy.
Lord! See the world which is of the nature of knowledge and the known by your subtle vision. There, knowledge (or experience) is proved by itself. In its absence, nothing whatever exists.
~THE ESSENCE OF TRIPURA RAHASYA (verse 68)
Acharya Prashant: Look! at the world sharply. See the relation between world and knowledge.
That (knowledge) is the proof of all proofs, but should itself be proof less. Since it does not depend upon proof, therefore, it is admitted to be true from the beginning. Its attainment does not happen at any time by the existence of the accomplisher of the attainment.
~THE ESSENCE OF TRIPURA RAHASYA (verse 69)
For one, who is confused in that matter, neither questioning nor answering (is possible). That knowledge is undeniable. It would be the surface of great mirror.
~THE ESSENCE OF TRIPURA RAHASYA (verse70)
In that, (knowledge) everything indeed appears like reflections in the mirror. There is no division due to space or time.
~THE ESSENCE OF TRIPURA RAHASYA (verse71)
On account of appearing within that, how can there be division by them? The appearance of division is like the one in sky (or space) due to objects.
~THE ESSENCE OF TRIPURA RAHASYA (verse 72)
Acharya Prashant: She is elaborating on the sky like nature of the self. Divisions that we see are the divisions that are superimposed by us. Fundamentally there are no divisions. It is just like the boundaries that we create in the oceans. We say, “this is the Indian ocean and here is the Atlantic Ocean, here is the Pacific Ocean; Oceans really have no boundaries or the boundaries that we draw upon land. We say, “A particular country starts from there and another one from there.”
Similarly, when you put objects in space, you divide space. The space remains the same. But you have created division. Very famous Vedantic method of elaborating it is that ‘the space inside the vessel is the same as the space outside the vessel.’ It is the boundary that creates the illusion of separation.
-Excerpts from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. Edited for clarity
Watch the session: Acharya Prashant: How do I ensure that my life is not going waste?
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