This part is taken from “Conversations With Bhagavan” by Swami Madhava Thirtha
Swami Madhava Thirtha: In the Vedanta of Sri Sankaracharya, the principle of the creation of the world has been accepted for the sake of beginners, but for the advanced, the principle of non-creation is put forward. What is your view in this matter?
Maharshi: “There is no dissolution or creation, no one in bondage, nor anyone pursuing spiritual practices. There is no one desiring liberation nor anyone liberated. This is the Absolute Truth.”
This sloka appears in the second chapter (the chapter on falsity) of Gaudapada’s Karika (a commentary on the Mandukya Upanishad). It means that really there is no dissolution and no creation. There is no bondage, no one doing spiritual practices, no one seeking spiritual liberation and no one who is liberated. One who is established in the Self, sees this by his knowledge of Reality.
S.M: Is not surrender the chief sadhana?
M: The sadhana of surrender is accepted, no doubt. But when surrender is complete, there will be no distinction. Often, when a disciple gets initiation into a mantra from a Guru and believes that he has surrendered, his surrender is not real. In surrender, one has to give up one’s mind, and after the mind is given away, there will be no duality of any kind. He who remains separate from God has not surrendered.
S.M: If all actions and their results are surrendered to God, will the mind be controlled or not?
M: By doing so, the heart will be purified but the mind will not die. Suppose a drunkard thinks that he has surrendered his karma and its fruits to God, and in his drunken state, if he commits a mistake and someone beats him with a stick for that mistake, he must surrender this beating also to God. But no one acts like that. His state changes at the time he gets the beating. Thus by surrender, the mind is not completely destroyed.
S.M: It is believed that if we surrender to Guru or God, then the reality of the individual goes away, and in exchange we get the support of a bigger Reality and Divine power shines in us.
M: To expect to receive a bigger Divine power after surrendering is not the true attitude of surrender.
S.M: It is believed by some that the human body is not the last on this earth. Establishment in the Self is not perfectly attained, and Self Knowledge is not imbibed naturally in a human body; therefore vijnanamaya sarira (literally the body made of pure knowledge) in which Self-Knowledge can work naturally must be brought down on this earth.(Usually in Vedanta, the body of pure knowledge refers to the intellect, but in this case, the questioner is probably referring to the ideas of Sri Aurobindo, who was known to hold similar views to those of the questioner.)
M: Self-Knowledge can shine very well in the human body, and so there is no need of any other body.
S.M: It is believed that the vijnanamaya sarira will not be attacked by disease, will not grow old, and will not die without one’s desire.
M: The body itself is a disease. To wish for a long stay of that disease is not the aim of a jnani. Anyhow, one has to give up identification with the body. Just as “I-am-the-body consciousness” prevents one from attaining Self-Knowledge, in the same way, one who has got the conviction that he is not the body will become liberated even without his desire.
S.M: What about bringing down God’s power in the human body?
M: If after surrendering, one still has a desire, then surrender has not been successful. If one has the attitude, “If the higher power is to come down, it must come in my body.”
This will only increase identification with the body. Truly speaking, there is no need of any such descent. After the destruction of the “I-am-the-body ” idea, the individual becomes the form of the Absolute. In that state, there is no above or below, front or back.
S.M: If the individual becomes the form of the Absolute, then who will enjoy the bliss of the Absolute? To enjoy the bliss of the Absolute, we must be slightly separate from it, like the bee which tastes honey from a little distance.
M: The bliss of the Absolute is the bliss of one’s own nature. It is not born or created from anything else. Pleasure which is created is sure to be destroyed. Sugar being insentient cannot give it’s own taste; the bee has to keep a little distance to taste it. But the Absolute is Awareness and Consciousness. It can give it’s own bliss, but it’s nature cannot be understood without attaining that state.
S.M: What about bringing a new Divine race on this earth? M: Whatever is to be in the future is to be understood as impermanent. Learn to understand properly what you have now so that there will be no need of thinking about the future.