"The very first step in understanding what this is all about is giving up the concept of an active, volitional 'I' as a separate entity and accepting the passive role of perceiving and functioning as a process." - Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

Friday, May 11, 2018

I am the Self; all is the Self

Sri Annamalai Swami

When I was serving Bhagavan in the 1930s and 1940s, I obeyed only him. For me, he was the light, and everything else was the chattering mind trying to lead me astray. I ignored the words and advice of everyone else in the ashram and kept all my attention on Bhagavan and his instructions to me. Even chinnaswami had to concede, finally, that I was following the correct course.

One day he came up to me and said, 'You are not listening to my words or carrying out my instructions. You are only paying attention to Bhagavan's orders. This determination could only be a result of all the punyas you have accumulated in many previous lives.'

If there is no external light such as Bhagavan to guide you, you have to look within to find the Self. You will not benefit from looking anywhere else, from doing anything else, or from listening to any other voice. Walking round and round the temple, doing rituals of deity - activities like these will not bring you any nearer to the Self. The pujas, the japas, the rituals - these are just for beginners. Meditation is the syllabus in a higher class. We need not waste our time indulging in the activities of the infant class again and again. Here, in this class, I ask you to put all your attention, all your interest on realizing the final teaching: 'I am not the body or the mind. I am the Self. All is the Self.' This is Bhagavan's final teaching. Nothing more needs to be added to it. Keep good company while you pursue this knowledge and all will be well.

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सर्वभूताधिवासं यद्भूतेषु च वसत्यपि।
सर्वानुग्राहकत्वेन तद्स्म्यहं वासुदेवः॥

That in whom reside all beings and who resides in all beings,
who is the giver of grace to all, the Supreme Soul of the universe, the limitless being:
I AM THAT. -- Amritabindu Upanishad