Letter 68

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23rd August, 1946
The day before yesterday a learned man who came from Madras, began at 3 p.m. to question Bhagavan thus: “Was there a period at any time when Bhagavan did sadhana?”

Bhagavan said, “Sadhana? Sadhana for what? What is there to do sadhana for? Sitting like this is itself sadhana. I used to sit like this always. I used to close my eyes then; now I keep them open. That is the only difference. What is now, was then also. What was there then, is also here now. Sadhana is necessary only if there is a thing other than ‘I’, Self. Sadhana is required only for one who does not look towards the Self which is permanent, but is deluded by looking at the body, etc., which are transitory and delusive; but not for one who sees the Self and so does not see anything else different. And what else is sadhana for?”

Someone asked, “Then why is it that many books say that no one can attain jnana without a Guru?”

Bhagavan said, “Yes. For those who, because of the action of their minds, are deluded into believing that they are the bodies, a Guru and sadhana are necessary to get rid of that delusion.”

Another person asked, “People say that those who have received upasana can attain the physical manifestation of their favourite God and other blessings by sadhana. What is the meaning?”

Bhagavan said, “That which is present at all times is sakshath (manifest). The person ‘I’ is always present (sakshath). Then what is karam? That which is the cause is karam, so sakshatkaram (manifestation) means the knowledge of that which is true, that which is permanent and that which is the cause of everything is one’s own Self. And they say that God will descend from somewhere and manifest Himself if the Self which is ever existing, creates a shape according to its own desires, and meditates on it. You give up the Self which is existing at all times and at all places, and do sadhana with the hope that some God from somewhere will manifest Himself. They say that God just descends and again just disappears. You give up the Self which is always existent and strive for this transient vision, obtain boons and thus multiply the mental struggles and strivings. There will be no trouble at all if one simply remains as one is,” said Bhagavan.

Though Bhagavan was teaching us so clearly that sakshatkaram means only the good state and the good ideas beyond the owner’s thoughts, I felt it a great pity that we were not able to understand it. While I was thus thinking, someone asked, “That state of exalted thought and existence which is above the owner’s mental plane is natural and possible only for people like Bhagavan, but is it possible for ordinary people like us without sadhana?” Bhagavan said, “Certainly it is! Sadhana is necessary but for what purpose? His Self is there at all times and at all places. So there is no need to try and get it from somewhere else. Sadhana is only to get rid of the bodily and other illusions which are in the way of the self standing up as Self. This delusion arises only by thinking that this bodily world is real, instead of looking at the Self, which is real. Sadhana is only to get rid of this illusion. Otherwise, why should there be sadhana for the Self to attain its own Self? He who has realised his own Self does not recognize anything else.”