Papaji: You cannot make the mind pure. Mind itself is dust. You cannot clean dust with dust. Imagine that you have a dusty mirror that you want to clean. You bring more dust and add it to the original layer. This is cleaning the mind – adding dust to the dust. All your attempts to clean the mind through meditation or yoga will fail because they will just add dust to the dust that is already there. So what I say is, ‘Keep quiet’. If you keep quiet you are removing the mirror itself so that no dust can alight anywhere. This is what I mean by holiness. Truth exalts holiness, and you become holy by removing the mirror of the mind.
If you have a mirror in front of you, your face will be reflected in it. This reflection is a spot, an impurity. While that spot is there you are not holy. How to remove the reflection? Simple. You throw away the mirror. What will then happen to the reflection? It will go back to your face. If you throw away the mind for one second, just one second, holiness will reveal itself and you will merge back into that holiness.
Therefore I say, ‘Truth exalts a holy person’. All the objects you see around you are reflections in the mirror of your mind. All objects are dust. Throw away the mirror and there will be no mind, no objects and no dust.
David: Most people, Papaji, think that enlightenment is something which can be achieved after a long period of arduous preparation. What is wrong with this belief?
Papaji: This is wrong from start to finish. Any belief is wrong. Why should you believe in anything? Do you need to believe that you are David Godman? You are very sure about it, no? Do you need to ask someone? Do you go to Madhukar and say, ‘Please tell me where David Godman is. He was living in this house.’
He will tell you, ‘You are David Godman, and this is your house’. How did you lose the certain knowledge and conviction of who you really are? You don’t embark on arduous preparations to find out who you are if you already know who you are. You get attached to wrong ideas. Because you believe them, you end up thinking that you have to do something to be what you already are. You get stuck with these things and forget where your real home is.
David: I think this is a major problem in the West, Papaji. People will not be convinced that they are ready for realisation right now. They all think they have to do something.
Papaji: Of course. That’s what I hear. That is why all the yoga teachers are very successful in the West. I have seen yoga centres even in small villages. There are about five thousand yoga teachers in Europe. I have talked to some of them and they’re all doing very well.
I asked one of them, ‘What you are teaching?’ And he answered, ‘How to keep young and fit up to ninety years of age’.
This is what most of them are aiming at, and if this is what you want from yoga, it can help you to achieve it. Many books on yoga are sold in the West – I have even seen them on stands by the side of the road. Yoga for Sex was one – you must have seen it.
So, the yoga that is taught in the West is to maintain the health and vitality of the body. I remember one girl in Dusseldorf. She was in her twenties and she looked very good and very happy. I saw her meditating so I asked her, ‘When you meditate, what do you meditate upon?’
She replied, ‘I want to keep young for a long time. I am twenty-seven now and I want to be healthy till I’m eighty five.’
I gave her the name Ratna, which means ‘diamond’. I met her boyfriend and called him Ratnasagar, which means ‘ocean of diamonds’. They were both very good people, but they were not getting any results from their meditation. No one gets real results from meditation.
David: I want to ask you some questions about happiness, Papaji. I have heard you say that nobody in the whole world is happy, they only think they are. How can you justify this?
Papaji: Because no one is happy in this world. This is a true statement. I have not seen any such person. I have travelled all over the world, and in each country I visited everyone I saw was suffering. Everyone is suffering, even the richest people.
I once met a very rich man in Switzerland. I went to see him because I had looked after his son in India. This boy had had some mental problems, so someone suggested to him, ‘Go to Poonjaji in Rishikesh. You will get better if you stay with him.’ This boy stayed with me for about a year. He was a little paranoid or schizophrenic, but he became well again after staying with me. He travelled all round India with me – Lucknow, Haridwar, Rishikesh, Delhi and Bombay – before going back to Switzerland.
On my next trip to Europe his father invited me to stay. He put me in a revolving flat on top of an apartment block. This man was clearly very rich, but he could not sleep at night. First he would have a few drinks and then three or four sleeping tablets. Even then he couldn’t sleep.
I asked him, ‘Why can’t you sleep? I’ll make you sleep. You decide when you want to sleep and I will see that you get some.’
His trouble was that he had a car factory – 5,000 assembly-line workers plus all the administrative staff. It was a very big complex. Throughout the night the telephones were ringing – dispatching, selling, booking. This was the way he was. He was so busy, he couldn’t sleep.
I told him, ‘Come with me tomorrow in your car and don’t ask me where we are going’.
The next day he said, ‘I cannot go with you because some people here have come with some orders’.
When you always have some business in your mind – something to be done today, tomorrow or the next day – these thoughts will be continuously revolving in your mind. If you don’t reject them, how can you sleep? People in the West are always working. They don’t have time to sleep. Have you been born only to work, or are you born to be peaceful? What is happening in the West? Work, work and more work. It costs people their health, but still they will not rest. That is why they are not happy; that is why they are in trouble.
They think, ‘We have got a fat balance in the bank, a good apartment and the latest model car’. But this doesn’t help a man to be happy. To be happy the best prescription is contentment. Whatever you have, be contented with it. If you want to compare your wealth with other people’s, look at the people who have less than you and be happy. Don’t look at some billionaire sheikh and feel jealous that he has more than you. Look at people who are worse off than you. ‘Look at that man. He is begging. Thank God I am better off than him. I have food and I don’t need to have a begging bowl in my hand.’ If you have this attitude, you will sleep very well.
Henry Ford, the man who started and owned Ford Motors, was once the richest man in the world. But he couldn’t eat properly. He once said, ‘I look at my workers when they are eating lunch. I see how much they’re eating. I feel that I could never eat that amount of food because my doctors have advised me to eat very little. I am only allowed to eat two ounces of food at each meal.’
Have you come here not to eat, not to sleep? Are you here only to earn money, money that you will leave behind you when you die? I am not saying, ‘Don’t earn money at all’. I am simply saying, ‘Earn, work and live well, but don’t get lost with these things’. Don’t forget that you have come here to have peace, not to earn money.
David: Many people experience happiness as a result of indulging in physical pleasures. Is that happiness which they experience the same happiness which you know to be your own Self, or is it a different kind of happiness?
Papaji: No, no. To be your own Self is the only real happiness. If you pursue happiness anywhere else, you just fatigue yourself, only to find out that the happiness you are striving for is not the real happiness. If you need to repeat the process again and again to get happiness, then what you get is not true happiness. You want to repeat the process again and again because the experience of happiness you got each time did not fully satisfy you. That is why you repeat it.
David: I am not talking about processes, Papaji, I’m talking about the result. If I am suddenly very, very happy as the result of doing something, is my happiness the same as your happiness, or is it different?
Papaji: Happiness is one. Happiness is one. But when you attribute it to something which is not abiding, then it is different. You say ‘your happiness’. When you say ‘my’ happiness or ‘your’ happiness, then it is not that happiness which I point at. I point to unattributed and unearned happiness, not ‘my’ happiness or ‘your’ happiness. This is the only difference. You are using ‘my’ and ‘you’. If you remove ‘you’ and ‘me’, there is no difference.
David: What about states such as ecstasy and bliss? Are they mind experiences or are they from the Self?
Papaji: Ecstasy is a state of mind. For some time it will stay and then it will again dwindle and disappear. Many people get into ecstatic states just by listening to a poem or by singing a song, or by some other means. One can get into ecstatic states, but they go away because they are dependent on transient circumstances. Bliss is different. It can be compared to the dawn before sunrise. When dawn comes, you know that the sun will soon follow. The sun is not there, but some sign of it is showing above the horizon. So, when you feel some bliss, and you are not attributing it to some external object, you are focusing on the dawn of the Self. To see the sun rise, you must look to the east, not to the west, to the point where the rays of the sun are coming from. When the bliss comes, focus on the bliss. Become one with the bliss. When you experience That from which the bliss is emanating, the bliss will be rejected. Bliss is also a mental state. In the end it will be rejected.
David: Do we have to reject it consciously or will it happen automatically?
Papaji: It will happen automatically.
David: Some people say that bliss is an obstacle to realisation and that the final experience is peace and stillness.
Papaji: This is an idea that comes from yoga. The anandamaya kosha, the sheath of bliss, is one of the five sheaths that limit the ‘I’. First there is the annamaya kosha, the physical sheath, then the pranamaya kosha, the sensory or ‘vital’ sheath, then the manomaya kosha, the mental sheath, then vijnanamaya kosha, the intellectual sheath, and finally the anandamaya kosha, the sheath of bliss. In the yoga system, you have to reject all these five sheaths one by one, including the bliss. You have to remove your attachment to these things one by one. When you have removed your attachment to the physical body, the senses, the mind and the intellect, bliss will come. Bliss will be there when the intellect goes. But one should not get attached to it. Most yogis get attached to blissful states and don’t go beyond them. This is a consequence of the yogic system which aims at getting blissful states.
Don’t get attached to this final kosha [sheath]. Don’t be satisfied with bliss. Stay quiet and let the bliss become That. As the mind absorbs the bliss more and more, it becomes the bliss. After some time there will be no question of rejecting the bliss, because, from the other side, from beyond the mind, from no-mind, freedom itself will come to receive you and embrace you. At that stage no one can reject the bliss.
If you can feel the bliss, you have done very well. The bliss of the Self, the Atman, is called Atmananda. It will take the form of Atman itself. Though everything has gone when you reach this state, it is still not the final state. ‘No-mind’, which is related to mind, is still alive. If you can reach this state of no-mind, you have done very well. When you reach this stage your work is over, because from then on, it is the task of the beyond. This beyond is fathomless. It will take hold of you and work on you in a very beautiful way. It will reveal itself more and more with each passing moment. It will show you a different beauty, a different love and a different form that are so entrancing, you will always be engaged with it. It will be engaged with it. Even if the body leaves, you cannot get rid of it. This can be described as the Ultimate, as ‘Ultimateness’.
David: Papaji, no-mind, dead mind and silent mind, what are the differences?
Papaji: Silent mind means to keep quiet temporarily. It is simply a suppression of the objects in the mind. It can happen many times, but it will not last. Still mind is also temporary. Meditation or concentration can result in still mind. It is like the flame of a candle. When there is no breeze, the flame will be still. When a wind comes, the candle will flicker and go out. Still mind will be blown away as soon as it encounters the wind of a new thought.
As for no-mind, I am hearing this question for the first time. No person from India or the West has ever asked me about this before. I am very happy to deal with this question for the first time.
Before we speak about no-mind, we have to see what mind is. Let us start from consciousness. Sometimes you want to look in a mirror to see what you look like. In the same way, consciousness sometimes wants to look at itself to see what it is. A wave will arise in consciousness. It will ask itself, ‘Who am I?’ This wave that arises in consciousness imagines itself to be separate from the ocean. This wave becomes ‘I’, the individual self. Once it has become separate, this ‘I’ degenerates further and starts to create. First there will be space, the vast, frontierless emptiness of infinite space. And along with space, time will be created, because wherever there is space, there must be time. This time becomes past, present and future, and from these three, attachments arise. All creation rises within the past, the present and the future. This is called samsara. Samsara means time. Samsara is endless past, present and future. Anything which is born in time, which stays in time, will be finished in time. And all this is mind. The ‘I’ arose and created space, then time, then samsara. This ‘I’ has now become mind, and this mind is ‘I’.
Then at some point, an intense desire for freedom will arise. This desire will arise from consciousness itself. Originally there was a descent from consciousness – from the ‘I’ to space to time to samsara. Now there will be an ascent. As you ascend, attachment to physical objects will go, then vital, then mental, then intellectual. Finally, you return to ‘I’ alone. This ‘I’ is still mind.
This ‘I’ has rejected everything. It exists alone with no attachments. It cannot go back to the world of attachments, to samsara. It has a desire for freedom; it wants to return to its original place. This ‘I’ which rose from consciousness is now returning to consciousness. It takes the decision, ‘Become no-mind now,’ and with that decision the ‘I’ is gone, mind is gone. The ‘I’, which is the mind, has been rejected, but there is still something there which is between the ‘I’ and consciousness. This in-between thing is called no-mind. This in-between entity will merge into consciousness, and then it will become consciousness itself.
Look at this cup [pointing at a tumbler on the table]. There is space, emptiness, both inside and outside the cup. The space inside we call ‘inside space’ and the space outside is called ‘outside space’. Why? Because the name and form of the cup divides the inside from the outside. When the name and form are removed, the space inside and the mahat, the greater space, become one. In fact they were always one. From the point of view of the space itself, there never was an inside or an outside. Name and form made it appear that there was an inside and an outside, but the space was never affected by these artificial divisions. Likewise, freedom is always there, always unaffected by names and forms. Name-and-form is ‘I’. When the ‘I’ goes, the walls which appear to divide consciousness are removed. This becomes This.
When you go from mind back to consciousness, you go through this stage of no-mind. In that state there will be the feeling, the recollection, ‘Now I have no-mind’. Gradually, slowly, this no-mind will merge back into the beyond. But how it happens, I do not know.