Delivered in Denver, Colo., January 13, 1904
What is the Real Self? The body is not the Real Self, nor is the mind the Real Self, nor is this life the Real Self. How do you know that the world is? Through your consciousness. Even your consciousness undergoes three kinds of changes or moods. There is the waking consciousness, there is the dreaming consciousness, and there is also the deep – sleep consciousness, your consciousness being like a thermometer or barometer, it gauges the temperature or the pressure of the world.
The consciousness in the wakeful state indicates that the world is solid, rigid, set in its laws and rules. The verdict of consciousness in the dreaming condition is quite different. But the dreaming and sleeping conditions are just as strong as the waking condition. Again we see that your sleeping experience takes just as much time as the waking experience. In your life you sleep just as much as you wake. A child is, so to say, all the time asleep. All the world undergoes that experience. The reading or verdict of our Consciousness in the wakeful condition is flatly contradicted by the verdict of consciousness in deep sleep or dreaming state.
Now that which is the same yesterday, today, and forever is real. This is the criterion of Truth accepted on all hands. That which persists is real. This consciousness takes three different forms from the subjective stand – point. In the wakeful state this consciousness identifies itself with the body, and when you use the word ‘I’, you understand by it this body, this consciousness. It assumes quite a different state in the dreaming condition. You become changed. The dreaming subject is not the same as the waking subject. You find in your dreams that you are poor, whereas you are rich. You find yourself surrounded by enemies, your house is destroyed by fire and you barely escape alive. In your dream you may have taken some water and when you awake, you find yourself thirsty. The dreaming subject is different from the waking subject. So the consciousness assumes one shape in the dreaming condition, and another in the waking condition, and it takes a third shape in the deep sleep condition. Your consciousness then identifies itself with nothingness. You say “I slept so sound, I dreamed nothing at all.” In the deep sleep condition there is something in you which keeps awake all the same, which does not sleep. That is your Real Self. That is distinct from the objective consciousness, that is pure consciousness. That is your Self.
A man comes up and says, “At 12 o’clock last night I was on Broadway St., and I saw nothing. There was not a single individual there at that time.” We ask him to put down in black and white the statement that there was not a single individual present on the said street at such a time. The man says it is a true statement, for he himself was an eye witness. Then the question is put, “Are you nobody or somebody? In order that we may accept this statement on your authority, it is self contradictory. You must be present there if it is true.”
When one is in the profoundest slumber, on waking up they say they dreamed nothing. We say, brother, you make this statement that there was nothing there, but in order that this statement may be correct, you should come forth as a witness. If you had been really absent, wherefore this evidence that you give? There is something in you which is awake even in that deep sleep. That is your Real Self, that is Absolute Will or Absolute Consciousness.
See how the whole world expands from it. Look at rivers. They have three states, one that of a glacier, the other that of small rivulets and brooks. The snow has thawed and the river is in a very soft, quiet, gentle condition. The third condition is when the river has left the mountains and gone into the plains and become very turbulent and filled with mud. These are the three conditions.
In the first condition in the mountains, the image of the Sun was not seen in the snow. In the second and third it is seen. In the second state the river was not navigable, it was not of any practical value, but still it was very beautiful. In the third condition it is navigable, and the fields and valleys are fertilized also. So we see there were two things present; one was the Sun and the other the river.
One is the Sun of suns in you, which is God in the deep sleep condition. That Sun of Suns shines upon the congealed snow; that Sun of Suns is the witness, the motionless, the unmanifest. When the Sun keeps shining on that nothingness in you for some time, say in the deep sleep state, the Sun of Suns in you keeps itself in a shining, heating condition, making the causal body in you melt, and from that nothingness flows out the dreaming condition. This is what the Bible says, “God created the world out of nothing.” There „was God, and that which is called nothing in the first place. Just as the Sun creates the rivers out of the snow, when the Sun of Suns, the God in you, shone upon the seeming nothing – which the Hindu calls Maya – out flew the subject and object. The subject means the perceiver and the object is that which is perceived.
The dreaming experience is to the wakeful experience, as the tender, small rivulet is to the mighty river. They say that man is made in the image of God. In deep sleep you have no ego in you, while in the dreaming and wakeful conditions you have. In the dreaming and waking conditions you have the reflection of God. The Real self is God, the Sun, and not this reflected image. In dreams you see all sorts of things. In order to see anything, in what light have you to see it? Is it the light of the Moon, the light of the stars, or the Sun that enables us to see things? No. Now what light is it that enables you to see all sorts of things in dreams? It is the light within you. It is the same light which makes every object visible. This light which enables you to see all sorts of things in the dreams simply shone free in the deep sleep state. It makes the objects in the dreams visible, so that light remains constant in the deep sleep state as well as in the dreaming state. Just as in the dream if you see the moon, the moon as well as the light of the moon owes its existence to the light within.
Today it has been proved that you are all Light. You are the Light of lights. Just as in the stream, you know that the Sun which is at the source is the same as at the mouth, so the Real Self in you is the same in the deep sleep, the dreaming, and the wakeful states. That Thou Art. Identify yourself with that reality within, then you are strong and full of power. If you identify yourself with fickle, changeable things, it is like a rolling stone gathering no moss. The Sun is not the same at the source, the middle, and the mouth of just one river, but it is the same in all the rivers of the world.
That Light of lights in you is the Real Self of the deep sleep, the dreaming, and the wakeful states of all the people in the world. That Light is not different from the objects upon which it shines. You are that Light of lights. Dwell upon this idea that you are the Light of lights. That am I. I am the Light of lights. Identify yourself with the Light of lights. That is your real essence. No fears, no frowns, no sorrow, everywhere it is that. The Light of lights, the constant, the unchangeable, the same yesterday, today, and forever. I am the Light of lights; the whole world appears as mere eddies and waves, as mere ripples and rings.
The following method will be found extremely beneficial towards lifting the veil enveloping the ‘ little Self.’
People say ‘when you walk, have a friend to talk.’ This is fallacious for the following reasons: –
First. When we walk alone, our breath is natural, rhythmical and conducive to health. For this reason, Kant towards the close of his life always walked alone to keep up the harmony of breath, and he lived up to a good old age. When we walk alone, we can breathe through the nostrils, but when we are talking, we have to breathe through our mouths. Breathing through the nostrils is always invigorating and gives strength to the lungs. God breathed into the nostrils of man and not into the mouth. We may exhale through the mouth, but we should always inhale through the nostrils. The air that enters the lungs is sifted by the hair in the nostrils.
Second. When we are walking alone, we are in the best mood to think and sublime thoughts just seek us. Lord Clive somehow stumbled on this secret and used to walk up and down when he had to think upon a most intricate problem in Indian politics. Thus walking alone is extremely beneficial in intellectual culture.
When we are walking in company, or with people who are all the time forcing their ideas on us, we shut out upon ourselves the original and sublime thoughts which had to visit us otherwise.
Third. From the spiritual stand point. When walking alone the mind shakes off the dividing forces and discordant elements and gets its centre, and imagination, which is the relaxation of the soul, finds an opportunity to enjoy itself. The whole system is invigorated.
Make this autosuggestion to yourself that you are happiness incarnate. I am the Light of lights. That is the idea which is to be emphasised in cultivating our higher faculties. Walking in the moon – light or early in the morning has indescribable benefits connected with it. Walk towards the setting or rising Sun, walk on the banks of rivers, walk where the cool breeze is playing, and you will find yourself in tune with nature, in harmony with the universe.
OM! OM!! OM!!!
BE NOT CENTRE OUT
Delivered at Castle Springs, June 9, 1903
The way with the people here is to keep talking while they are eating, but in India it is different. There while you are eating, you have never to talk. You know while eating everybody has to do that process religiously as it were, has to make it sacred. With every morsel of food that goes into your mouth, you have to contemplate on the idea that this morsel is a representation of the outside earth and here am I incorporating into me the whole universe. And while they are eating, they constantly keep that thought in their mind and chant OM, mentally realizing and feeling that the whole world is incorporated in me. OM, OM, the universe is in me, the world is my body. Thus with every morsel they find themselves spiritually strengthened. Spiritual and physical must go together. The whole world is I, my own flesh and blood. The food is a representative of the whole world, my own flesh and blood. All is oneness. That being already familiar to the Hindu minds, all those ideas flock into their minds and the feelings, emotional nature and will power are strengthened to such a degree that realization comes immediately, and the very process of eating called animal process is a realizing process.
While bathing, you are to chant, which means water; water is the ocean of solid earth. Stripped of the clothes the body is united with the water, the body is receiving that water into every pore and we are one with nature, one with the fish, regaining our brotherhood with the water of the universe. Just as the water is taking off the soil and dirt from the body, so is the soil taken off the soul. The whole universe is my food, I am eating air. Similarly every process and every act of life, according to the Vedanta, may be turned into a religious act. Even diseases are deified.
When smallpox visits a house in India, they never worry, never do anything, they rejoice. Is it not wonderful? They have all sorts of music, it is a most religious occasion. Divinity is worshipped by each and all in the house. They have no grief or anxious desires. When the child is cured, they celebrate the worship of the divinity by giving away money, and beating drums and making great show of joy and happiness, expressing their gratitude and love to the divine universe. Nowadays these ceremonies have lost their significance to the masses. Whether the people understand that or not, Rama knows the meaning and puts all that to the best use.
Rama recommends one thing to every one of you. Early in the morning when you get up or are walking or doing anything else, keep your thoughts always at home. Keep yourself always in centre. Be not centre out. Just as the fish live in the ocean of water, just as the birds live in the ocean of air, just so you live in the ocean of light. In light you live, move, and have your being. Even when it is dark, it is light then according to Science. The inner light is always present. In the deep sleep state, light is present. In order to aid concentration, in order to rise to the highest summit of realization for beginners, it is found absolutely necessary to associate their being with light.
We do not worship Light as a material thing, as the Roman Catholics do with their idols. As a most decided step which is calculated to bring you realization of Self, it is preached over and over again in the Hindu Scriptures that you must begin by continually contemplating the light of the world as yourself. When you are chanting OM, feel that you are Light, Glory. Light you are. This idea, which is so scientifically brought about in the Hindu Scriptures was stumbled upon by all the prophets. Christ said, “I am the light of the world.” Mahomet and all the great saints spoke in the same way. As fight you permeate all things. These ideas are to be constantly kept before one and in that way you are always in touch with divinity. Thus with the Hindu, everything is done from a religious stand – point, in harmony with the Spirit.
Willing or unwilling, all the forces of nature are bound to bring man to the Realization of Self. Favourable as well as unfavourable circumstances make no difference whatever. Just as in walking we raise one foot and then the other is brought down, pleasure and pain continually following each other, this process is working throughout the whole universe. Those people are really happy who keep themselves above worldly pleasures and pains. Both of them are to be avoided and therein lies true happiness. One is as welcome as the other. Worldly pleasures and pains do not appear to him as being different, one is as acceptable as the other to the man who rises above them. In the womb of every pleasure is pain present, and in the womb of every pain is pleasure present. He who takes up the pleasures must take up the pains also. They are inseparable. The way to True Happiness is to rise above them. Enjoy the Self all the time. That man is free who can enjoy the pleasures as well as the pains. Live in the Real Self always, and nothing can mar your happiness. All nature pays homage to the man who is free, the whole universe bows down before him. I am that, you are free. Whether this is appreciable today or not, it remains a stern reality, and it must be realized sooner or later by all. The chanting of SOHAM and OM is simply to keep you in the truth. The greatest fall is being brought down to the plane of causality. The very moment one begins to reflect upon the causes of the phenomena in the world, from that very moment one falls. A child is above causation, he enjoys everything and cares not for the reason. So he is cheerful and happy. He is above the plane of causation, causality. Instead of falling into the plane of causation, you must rise into Divinity. I am simply the witness of the phenomena, never entangled in them, always above them. All these phenomena are simply harmonic vibrations, the upward and downward motion of the wheel, the raising and bringing down of the step. The object is to make you rise above causation and not to bring you down. Continuous struggles and efforts have to be made to rise above the plane of causation. Live in your Godhead and you are free, your own master, Ruler of the Universe.
OM! OM! OM!