In this series on the Writings of the Western Mystics, Classic and Modern, I have mostly refrained from including those individuals who are merely Western versions of Eastern mystics and sages, essentially espousing the same doctrines, methods, and traditions found in the testimonies of Eastern esotericism. The exceptions, such as Jean Klein, Arnaud Desjardins, Toni Packer, Llewyllyn Vaughn-Lee, and a few others, started with an Eastern base, but have later gone on to express their own particular and unique vision, coincident with the Western culture and environment in which they find themselves. Just so, although closely associated with classical Advaita Vendanta and his teacher Ramana Maharshi, Robert Adams presents an interesting enough cross-over voice in the historic evolution of Western mysticism towards a unified Global mysticism as to warrant inclusion in this series.
Robert Adams (January 21, 1928 – March 2, 1997) was an American mystic and teacher of Silence and Self-Inquiry. In his late teens, he was a devotee of Sri Ramana Maharshi in Tiruvannamalai, India. In later life Robert Adams held satsang with a small group of devotees in California, US. He mainly advocated the path of jñāna yoga with an emphasis on the practice of self-enquiry.
Robert Adams’ teachings were not that well known in his lifetime, but have since been widely circulated amongst those investigating the philosophy of Advaita and the Western devotees of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi. A book of his teachings, Silence of the Heart: Dialogues with Robert Adams, was published in 1999.
Robert Adams was born on January 21, 1928 in Manhattan and grew up in New York City, USA. Robert claimed that from as far back as he could remember, he had had visions of a white haired, bearded man seated at the foot of his bed, who was about two feet tall, and who used to talk to him in a language which he did not understand. He told his parents but they thought he was playing games. Robert would later find out that this man was a vision of his future guru Sri Ramana Maharshi. At the age of seven, Robert’s father died and the visitations suddenly stopped.
Robert said that he then developed a siddhi whereby whenever he wanted something, from a candy bar to a violin, all he needed to do was say ‘God’ three times and the desired object would appear from somewhere, or be given to him by someone. If there was a test at school Robert would simply say ‘God, God, God,’ and the answers would immediately come to him; no prior study was necessary.
Robert Adams claimed that at fourteen years of age he had a profound spiritual awakening. It was the end of term finals maths test and Robert hadn’t studied for it at all. As was his custom he said ‘God’ three times, but with a phenomenal and unintended outcome:
“Instead of the answers coming, the room filled with light, a thousand times more brilliant than the sun. It was like an atomic bomb, but it was not a burning light. It was a beautiful, bright, shining, warm glow. Just thinking of it now makes me stop and wonder. The whole room, everybody, everything was immersed in light. All the children seemed to be myriads particles of light. I found myself melting into radiant being, into consciousness. I merged into consciousness. It was not an out of body experience. This was completely different. I realised that I was not my body. What appeared to be my body was not real. I went beyond the light into pure radiant consciousness. I became omnipresent. My individuality had merged into pure absolute bliss. I expanded. I became the universe. The feeling is indescribable. It was total bliss, total joy. The next thing I remembered was the teacher shaking me. All the students had gone. I was the only one left in the class. I returned to human consciousness. That feeling has never left me.”
Not long after this experience, Robert went to the school library to do a book report. While passing through the philosophy section he came across a book on yoga masters. Having no idea what yoga was, he opened the book and for the first time saw a photo of the man he had experienced visions of as a young child, Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi.
At the age of sixteen, Robert Adams’ first spiritual mentor was Joel S. Goldsmith, a Christian mystic from New York, who Robert used to visit in Manhattan, in order to listen to his sermons. Joel S. Goldsmith helped Robert Adams to better understand his enlightenment and advised him to go and see Paramahansa Yogananda. Robert did so and visited Yogananda at the Self-Realization Fellowship in Encinitas, California, where he intended to be initiated as a monk. However, after speaking to Robert, Yogananda felt that Robert had his own path and should go to India. He told him that his satguru was Sri Ramana Maharshi and that he should go to him as soon as possible because his body was old and in ill-health. Sri Ramana Maharshi lived at Sri Ramanasramam in Tamil Nadu, South India.
With $14,000 of inheritance money from a recently deceased aunt, Robert Adams set off for India and his guru Sri Ramana Maharshi in 1946:
“When I was eighteen years old, I arrived at Tiruvannamalai. In those days they didn’t have jet planes. It was a propeller plane. I purchased flowers and a bag of fruit to bring to Ramana. I took the rickshaw to the ashram. It was about 8:30 a.m. I entered the hall and there was Ramana on his couch reading his mail. It was after breakfast. I brought the fruit and the flowers over and laid them at his feet. There was a guardrail in front of him to prevent fanatics from attacking him with love. And then I sat down in front of him. He looked at me and smiled, and I smiled back. I have been to many teachers, many saints, many sages. I was with Nisargadatta, Anandamayi Ma, Papa Ramdas, Neem Karoli Baba and many others, but never did I meet anyone who exuded such compassion, such love, such bliss as Ramana Maharshi.”
Robert stayed at Sri Ramanasramam for the final three years of Sri Ramana Maharshi’s life. Over the course of this time Robert had many conversations with Sri Ramana Maharshi, and through abiding in his presence was able to confirm and further understand his own experience of awakening to the non-dual Self. After Sri Ramana Maharshi left the body in 1950 Robert spent a further seventeen years travelling around India and stayed with well known gurus such as Nisargadatta Maharaj, Anandamayi Ma, Neem Karoli Baba and Swami Ramdas to name but a few. He also spent time with less well-known teachers such as Swami Brahmananda “the Staff of God” in the holy city of Varanasi.
In the 1960s Robert Adams returned to the United States and lived in Hawaii and Los Angeles before finally moving to Sedona, Arizona in the mid 1990s. He was married to Nicole Adams and fathered two daughters. In the 1980s Robert developed Parkinson’s Disease, which forced him to settle in one location and receive the appropriate care. A small group of devotees soon grew up around him and in the early 1990s he gave weekly satsangs in the San Fernando Valley, along with other surrounding areas of Los Angeles. These satsangs were both recorded and transcribed. After several years of deteriorating health, Robert Adams’ died at the age of sixty-nine from cancer of the liver on March 2, 1997 in Sedona, Arizona, where he was surrounded by family members and devotees.
For a more intimate appreciation of Robert Adams’ life by one of his better-known students, Edward Muzika, see:
Robert Adams did not consider himself to be a teacher, a philosopher or a preacher. What he imparted he said was simply the confession of a jnani (an awakened being). He said he confessed his and everyone else’s own reality, and encouraged students not to listen to him with their heads but with their hearts. Robert’s way of communicating to his devotees was often funny, and with interludes of silence or music between questions and answers. He stated that there was no such thing as a new teaching.
Adams did not write any books himself nor publish his teachings, as he did not wish to gain a large following, but instead preferred to teach a small number of dedicated seekers. However, in 1992, a book of his dialogues was transcribed, compiled and distributed by and for the sole use of his devotees.In 1999, a later edition of this book, Silence of the Heart: Dialogues with Robert Adams, was posthumously published by Acropolis Books Inc. As conveyed by the title of these dialogues, Robert Adams considered silence to be the highest of spiritual teachings:
“The highest teaching in the world is silence. There is nothing higher than this. A devotee who sits with a Sage purifies his mind just by being with the Sage. The mind automatically becomes purified. No words exchanged, no words said. Silence is the ultimate reality. Everything exists in this world through silence. True silence really means going deep within yourself to that place where nothing is happening, where you transcend time and space. You go into a brand new dimension of nothingness. That’s where all the power is. That’s your real home. That’s where you really belong, in deep Silence where there is no good and bad, no one trying to achieve anything. Just being, pure being.”
In his weekly satsangs Robert Adams would advocate the practice of self-enquiry as the principal means of transcending the ego and realising oneself as sat-chit-ananda (being-consciousness-bliss). Those in search of liberation from the manifest world will gain it only when the mind becomes quiescent. The world is in fact nothing other than the creation of the mind, and only by the removal of all thoughts, including the ‘I’ thought, will the true reality shine forth. Robert Adams taught self-enquiry in order to achieve this. After acknowledging to oneself that one exists, and that whether awake, dreaming or in deep sleep one always exists, one then responds to every thought that arises with the question “Who am I?”:
“What you are really doing is, you’re finding the source of the ‘I’. You’re looking for the source of ‘I’, the personal ‘I’. ‘Who am I?’ You’re always talking about the personal ‘I’. ‘Who is this I? Where did it come from? Who gave it birth?’ Never answer those questions. Pose those questions, but never answer them … do nothing, absolutely nothing. You’re watching the thoughts come. As soon as the thoughts come, in a gentle way you enquire, ‘To whom do these thoughts come? They come to me. I think them. Who is this I? Where did it come from? How did it arise? From where did it arise? Who is the I? Who am I?’ You remain still. The thoughts come again. You do the same thing again and again and again.”
Robert Adams did often have mystical visions, and in one such vision he gave a teaching as the Buddha. He visualised himself sitting under a tree in a beautiful open field with a lake and a forest nearby. He was wearing the orange garb of a Buddhist renunciate. All of a sudden hundreds of bodhisattvas and mahasattvas came out of the forest and sat down in a semi-circle around Robert as the Buddha. Together they proceeded to meditate for several hours. Afterwards, one of the bodhisattvas stood up and asked the Buddha what he taught. The Buddha answered, “I teach Self-realization of Noble Wisdom.” Again they sat in silence for three hours before another bodhisattva stood up and asked how one could tell whether they were close to self-realization. In reply, Robert as the Buddha, gave the bodhisattvas and mahasattvas four principles, which he named The Four Principles of Self-Realization of Noble Wisdom:
First Principle: You have a feeling, a complete understanding that everything you see, everything in the universe, in the world, emanates from your mind. In other words, you feel this. You do not have to think about it, or try to bring it on. It comes by itself. It becomes a part of you. The realization that everything you see, the universe, people, worms, insects, the mineral kingdom, the vegetable kingdom, your body, your mind, everything that appears, is a manifestation of your mind.
Second Principle: You have a strong feeling, a deep realization, that you are unborn. You are not born, you do not experience a life, and you do not disappear, you do not die … You exist as I Am. You have always existed and you will always exist. You exist as pure intelligence, as absolute reality. That is your true nature. You exist as sat-chit-ananda. You exist as bliss consciousness … But you do not exist as the body. You do not exist as person, place or thing.
Third Principle: You are aware and you have a deep understanding of the egolessness of all things; that everything has no ego. I’m not only speaking of sentient beings. I’m speaking of the mineral kingdom, the vegetable kingdom, the animal kingdom, the human kingdom. Nothing has an ego. There is no ego … It means that everything is sacred. Everything is God. Only when the ego comes, does God disappear … When there is no ego, you have reverence for everybody and everything … There is only divine consciousness, and everything becomes divine consciousness.
Fourth Principle: You have a deep understanding, a deep feeling, of what self-realization of noble wisdom really is … You can never know by trying to find out what it is, because it’s absolute reality. You can only know by finding out what it is not. So you say, it is not my body, it is not my mind, it is not my organs, it is not my thoughts, it is not my world, it is not my universe, it is not the animals, or the trees, or the moon, or the sun, or the stars, it is not any of those things. When you’ve gone through everything and there’s nothing left, that’s what it is. Nothing. Emptiness. Nirvana. Ultimate Oneness.
Some quotes from Robert Adams:
“When I say, “I am happy, I am sad, I am hungry, I am full.” Where does that I come from? Who gave it birth? What is its source? This procedure is called abiding in the I. You are tracing the I to its source by inquiring of yourself, “Where did it come from?” if you like, “Who am I?” This is abiding in the I.
You will soon discover that the I comes to life every morning as you awaken. The I comes to life and it becomes stronger as you go through the day. But if you abide in it, trace it and follow it you will realize that it really has no source. The I is like the water in a mirage. It appears to exist but it’s a non entity. You must discover this for yourself. It will be the greatest discovery you ever make. By discovering this you will have unbounded peace, unalloyed happiness, joy. Just by discovering the I has no source. It never existed. You were never born and you can never go any where when you die. For there is no where to go.
You are that which has always been and which will always be. Sat-chit-ananda. You are the ultimate Brahman, pure awareness. That is your true nature. That is you.”
“The planets spin in their orbits, the sun shines, the flowers grow. All these things happen without confusion, without chaos, everything is unfolding as it should but you come along and want to change things. You want to make this a better world in which to live…
Find yourself first then see if you want to change the world. Find yourself first then see if you want to change your life. Find yourself first then see if anything is missing from your life.
It all begins with you. It all begins with you. You are the one!”
“So take an honest look at yourself. Examine your thoughts. Realize that you’ve been thinking like this for years and years and years. It is your thoughts that bring you problems and troubles. You have believed all this time that thoughts are necessary, you have to have thoughts or you couldn’t exist, you couldn’t function.On the contrary, when your thoughts are transcended, transmuted the pure awareness takes over. The absolute reality and you will function much better than you did when you think. (Baby makes a noise.) As an example, that little baby does not have to think, it knows somebody takes care of it. Somebody will always take care of it it’s got nothing to think about. It has an inner faith that is unconscious that it will always be taken care of.
An apple tree cannot think, yet beautiful apples grow. Imagine for a moment if you will, an apple tree that can think and it’s like us. It’ll look around and it would say, “I don’t want to be near this tree it’s a different color than I am I don’t like it. I don’t like these flowers around me. I don’t like the color of my apples. I don’t like this and I don’t like that.” It would become fussy and irritable. And the tree would die by those very thoughts. But because the tree does not think the powers that be take care of it. And it grows into a beautiful apple tree with luscious apples. This is true of all of nature and babies.
It is only when we grow up and we become babbling idiots. And we start judging, choosing, coming to conclusions about good and bad, right or wrong, this or that. We start comparing and go through the whole nonsense. This is what keeps us back. This is what prevents us from waking up, our thoughts. If only we were like the tree, like a flower, it grows wherever you plant it, it doesn’t say to you, “I’d rather be planted across the street. Somebody else’s garden.” It accepts whatever is done to it and grows into a beautiful flower.
Take a look at yourself, all of your prejudices, all of your dislikes, all of the things you believe are wrong with the world. Who are you to believe anything is wrong with this world? Did you create this world? You had absolutely nothing to do with it. You find yourself as a guest. We have to co-habit with the trees, with the flowers, with the animals, with the minerals, with the people. We’re not here to change anything one iota. It is because of man changing things that he suffers. You have to learn to leave things alone, to leave ourselves alone. Do not be harsh with yourself. Start practicing this, being calm, peaceful, relaxed.”
“It is a rare privilege to be born as a human being, even though it is an illusory birth. But to be born as a human being is the only way you can find yourself. An animal, a tree, a mineral cannot do this. You have been given the rare opportunity of birth so that you may find self-realization, and unfold into your true nature. Do not use your time for anything else. This is the purpose of being in this birth, to become absolutely free and liberated. – Ponder this.
You do not know how much time you have left in this body. You may be called home tomorrow. You may leave your body tonight, this very hour. What have you been doing with your life? For it is this which determines where you go from here. This life is a continuum. It doesn’t end. It merely continues from where you left off. This is why people who commit suicide make a grave mistake, for they think they are going to become totally free and liberated. On the contrary, you will take a short rest, on one of the astral planes, and then you will continue where you left off. Your job is to find total realization, to become absolutely free, and not come around the circle again and again. Rebirth, problems, trying to get off the wheel, this is for children. Become free by inquiring, “Who is it that’s bound?” – Ponder this.
Do not believe that anything that has happened to you, to your body, to your affairs, has been erroneous. Everything that’s happened to you has been necessary. You are in your right place, going through the right conditions. You are with the right people. You are where you’re supposed to be. The wise person does not complain about their lot. They rise higher by self-inquiry, by explaining to themselves, inquiring within themselves, “How did I come here? What is my source? Who am I?” and becoming totally free and liberated. – Ponder this.”
“The universe is a university to educate the soul. Before we can go any higher and awaken, we have to have these little realizations where we begin to feel that there is nothing wrong. There is absolutely no thing wrong. All the good of the universe is yours. There is absolutely nothing wrong, nothing. If you can only live in the moment and feel what I’m saying, everything in this world, in this universe will become you. That’s why people like Jesus and others have been able to say, “All that I have is yours,” meaning that consciousness is bliss, and bliss is expressing itself as the world, as the universe, as yourself. Live in that bliss. Refuse to acknowledge anything else.
It appears that if you do not acknowledge something, something will go wrong in your life. But you are not made for something to go wrong in your life. There is absolutely nothing wrong anywhere, so how can anything go wrong in your life. Even those of you who believe God is running the show, God couldn’t be good and bad, or there would be a capricious universe in which we live. The moon would crash into the sun, wheat would grow one time and roses would grow another time from the same seed, when we live in a capricious universe.
There are not two powers here. There is one power and you can call that God. It is all-pervading. If it is all-pervading, and there is no place where it is not, how can there be a problem? For in order to be a problem there has to be God and something else. But all you’ve got to do is a little meditation, and you will see that there is only God as everything and there is no room for God and anything else.
So you say, “Where does sickness come from? Where does lack and limitation come from? Where does man’s inhumanity to man come from?” I have to ask you, who sees it? Who sees this? Most of the world’s populace. Most of the world sees lack, limitation, disease, man’s inhumanity to man, and this is why these things perpetuate themselves, and appear to be collectively everywhere in the universe.
But then there are the few of us who step out of the parade. And they hear the beat of a different drummer. That’s how it begins. They no longer acknowledge evil as a reality. It may be a fact, but whose fact? Those who are living in the dream world. And again all facts are subject to change. Therefore anything that’s a fact can never be reality. Reality presumes that it is the same for ever and ever without change. Harmony is reality. Love is reality. Joy is reality. Bliss is reality. You are reality, just the way you are, not when you think.
When you begin to think, you can argue with me and say, “How can I be reality when I’m experiencing this and experiencing that?” You’re thinking, that’s why you say this. But if you stay just as you are, in the moment, then you’re reality. As you begin to think about these things, you raise yourself higher and higher, and again, because you’re cleansing your personal consciousness from all past karma and samskaras, the inner Self, the guru within will lead you to the guru without, and when you sit in satsang you will hear all these truths which are spoken in the silence, and something will happen. You will begin to feel that there is no birth, there is no cause for this universe. It will just come to you. Situations are not what they appear to be. The universe is but a dream. It will come to you all by itself.”
“You have to reconcile yourself with the whole universe, the mineral kingdom, the vegetable kingdom, the animal kingdom, the human kingdom. When you have become friends with the entire universe, you will not have to do atma-vichara. You will not have to trace the I, or worry about the I. Just the reconciliation with the universe will free you. After all, when you love everything, unqualified, what else can you do? There’s nothing else. The total love of the whole universe kills the ego. For it is the ego that plays the other games with you, that makes you love someone special or hate someone special, that makes you despise certain animals and eat them, that makes you think poison ivy is worse than a rose, that causes you to qualify life. A Sage sees everything as equal. No thing is worse or better than any other thing. And just by hearing this, allowing it to go into your heart, feeling it, will lead you to an awakening.”
“Everyone has gone through many experiences in their lives. These experiences are good no matter how they may appear to you. I don’t care if it’s the most horrendous, horrible experience on earth. There is nothing wrong in the universe. Whatever you’re going through is necessary for your next step of unfoldment. If you believe it’s bad, or there’s something wrong, then you continue in that state, and you never grow out of it.
Then it appears as if you leave your body, when it’s time to leave your body, and you go through it again somewhere else. You go through the experience again and again until you give up your attachment to it. It makes no difference what the experience is. The only thing that matters is how you react to the experience. The experience is very necessary or you would not be going through it. When you understand this, you can only be happy.
Do not compare yourself with anyone. Do not believe that fate has dealt you a bad card and that you’re suffering mentally, or physically, or financially, or otherwise, and saying “Why did this happen to me?” You are not to blame. You’re identifying with the world, with the body, with the mind. This is the only reason you believe you’re suffering. No one really suffers.
If you really understood who you were, you would never believe that anything was wrong with your life. To believe something is wrong with your life is blasphemy.That is the only blasphemy that exists. When you believe you’re not in your right place. When you want to change. When you think somebody is doing something to you. When you have fears, that’s blasphemy. For what you are saying is this thing called God does not exist.
I use God synonymously with consciousness. You think God, consciousness, does not exist and that you have to struggle for yourself. You have to overcome burdens and you have to pay the price. Even the belief that it’s karmic is wrong. The best thing you can do is not react to anything, but to act from your heart with love, compassion, peace, and let the chips fall where they may.”
“We give everything a name, that’s the problem. We say this is cancer, this is poverty, this is an earthquake, this is a million dollars, this is a new home, this is a new car, this is a war, this is a dog, this is a cat. We have names for everything. What if we forgot about those names, and we stopped seeing things as something? What if we just observed things, watched things without giving them a name, without coming to a conclusion? What do you think would happen? You would transcend everything. Whatever you’re no longer attached to, gives way. Whatever you’re no longer holding on to, no longer holds on to you. And as you let go of your opinions toward person, place and things, you find that you’re growing, you’re evolving. You’re beginning to become something that is ineffable, something that cannot be explained, something that’s so wonderful, you never dreamed that something like this existed. Yet it does.”
“Never begin with the fact that you are a human being, having experiences, trying to become self-realized, but rather feel in your heart that you’re already self-realized trying to awaken to that fact.”
“We want to unlearn just about everything we’ve learnt since we were children. We want to become empty not so we can acquire new knowledge. Emptiness is the knowledge. Emptiness is another name for wisdom, for Jnana. Try to remember the more you remove the burden from yourself the greater will be the harmony and peace and happiness in your life. Due to the fact that this harmony and peace and happiness are your very nature. It is not something you have to find somewhere, try to remember this. You do not have to search or look or find any body to give you these things. You are that!”
“Do not debate, discuss, interpret nor pronounce your spiritual Path; simply devote yourself heart and soul to it, day and night, with humility. One who is progressing has no desire to pronounce it. Choose one Path and take it all the way. The point is to have a Direct Experience of God. Of the Unimaginable Beauty Within. The West thinks that spirituality is becoming ‘big’ and famous. That is the joke of the ego. In Reality, this is the opposite of spiritual Unfoldment. The saints and sages of all true religions have no interest in this. Utilize this time to transcend identification with your human-hood of personal suffering completely, and the Bliss, the love of True Reality, will come shining forth. There is a world of beauty, Supernal love, compassion, bliss indescribable. With which do you identify?”
“The most important thing: Love, Compassion and Humility. For what do you think your True Nature is?”
“Do not look for results. Because it’s your true nature, sooner or later the results must present themselves. But it comes without your help. You cannot help God. God does not need your help. Just be yourself. It’s difficult to be totally honest with yourself, yet this is exactly what you have to do. Forget about being a Jnani or enlightened, or having Self-realization.”
“There are many people who are going around claiming they’re enlightened, more than ever. It really makes no difference to me, but it’s amusing. It’s interesting. First of all, what does the word enlightenment mean? I’m not talking about a dictionary definition. To the path of Jnana, what does enlightenment mean? The answer is, there is no such word. No one becomes enlightened. There is no body, no I, no me, there is no thing that can ever become enlightened. The word enlightenment is used by the ajnani, by students.
Absolute Reality, Choiceless Awareness, Sat-Chit-Ananda, Parabrahman —those are all words that do not exist except to the student in order to explain that there is a state beyond the so-called norm. A state of total transcendence, and we give a name to this, enlightenment. When this actually happens or transpires in a person, the I has been totally destroyed, totally annihilated. The me no longer exists, and to that being, there is absolutely no one who became enlightened. That being is resting in his true nature, in nothingness, absolute nothingness.”
“No one can become enlightened. No one can be liberated, for the you that thinks it can be liberated doesn’t even exist. There is no you. There is no person. There is no human being who is a human being one day and the next day becomes liberated. There is only the liberated Self, and you are That.”
“There is not you as you appear. The appearance of you which you think you are is false. This is why I say all of your problems, all of your nonsense that you go on with, all your worries, all your cares, all your emotions, they do not exist. They never have existed and they will never exist. It is all the game of maya, the leela. It doesn’t exist. No one in this room exists. There is no you and there is no me. There is only the Self. And when the self becomes the Self, it is no longer the self. For there never was a real self to begin with. This is the reason why I emphasize, stop thinking. Your thoughts pull you deeper into maya, into illusion. Do not think of enlightenment or awakening, or being liberated, or finding a teacher who can help you. You are beyond help. No one can do anything for you.”
“Actually what happens is this. You begin to realize you are not your thoughts, you are not your body, you are not your mind, you are not the world, you’re not even liberated. You are nothing. As you begin to think this way, whatever has to happen in your evolution will transpire without your doing anything. If you are meant to be with a teacher, you will be with a teacher. If you are meant to be by yourself, you will be by yourself. Yet, you have absolutely nothing to do with these things. Remain in the no thought state. Leave the world alone. Leave people alone. Do not come to any conclusion. Do not judge anyone. Everything will take care of itself.”
“The worst thing you can ever do is to search for enlightenment, for liberation. This keeps you back. It keeps you back because there is a self that is searching. There is an I that is searching. There is a me that is trying to become something, and the whole idea is to remove something from your consciousness. Therefore, the process of realization is removal, not adding. Removing this and removing that. Removing all concepts and all preconceived ideas. Removing all of your thoughts, no matter what kind of thoughts they are. Good thoughts, bad thoughts, they all must go. And what is left will be nothing, no-thing. You are that. You are that no-thing.”
“There are many spiritual people you know who think they have a mission. They have come to save the world. They can’t even save themselves, and they’re looking to save the world. The world will go on the way it’s going on without your help, for or against. Leave the world alone.”
“There is a power and there is a presence which I like to call THE CURRENT THAT KNOWS THE WAY, that takes care of everything. It is all part of the grand illusion. And even in this illusion which appears in front of your eyes, there is a presence and a power that lifts you up. It will lift you up as high as you can allow it to. Until it lifts you up completely out of your body, out of your thoughts, out of the universe, to a completely new dimension.”
“You must always have gratitude for the way you are. Do not feel sorry for yourself. Love yourself just the way you are. By loving yourself just the way you are, you will transcend those things that have appeared to annoy you, to bother you, to cause you pain. They will all go. You’ll no longer be aware of them. Let go of everything. Have no desires whatsoever. Dive deep within the Self. Do not react to the outside world or to your body. ALL IS WELL.”
“When you are without thoughts, without needs, without wants, without desires, then you are God. You are the Universe. You are Divine Love. You are beautiful.”
“Consciousness, you may say, is the screen of reality and all of the images of the whole universe are superimpositions on the screen of reality.”
“The only freedom we’ve got is not to react to anything, but to turn within and know the truth.”
“Consciousness is self-contained, Absolute Reality. It is yourself, when you do not identify with the world. And that only happens to the average person just as they are falling asleep and just as they wake up.”
“There is only one I actually. That I is Consciousness. When you follow the personal I to the source, it turns into the universal I, which is Consciousness. Begin to catch yourself. begin to realize your divine nature. You do this by keeping quiet. The fastest way to realization is to keep quiet.”
“When you catch on to your awakening, the world does not change. You just see it differently, that’s all. You acquire a feeling of immortality. A feeling of divine bliss, so to speak, when things no longer have the power to affect you.”
“When you surrender you’re surrendering the ego. The way this is done, is by looking at the world with humility. Looking at the world with love and peace. Saying to yourself, “Not my will but thine”. Feeling that you have no will of your own any longer. You have no questions, you have no wants, you have no desires, you let them all melt in your heart. You leave it alone. You stop worrying, you stop fretting. You stop trying to accomplish things or to change things. By realizing there is a power greater than you. It’s available to you right now. As you do this you’re surrendering all of your wants, all of your needs, all of your fears, all of your stuff that you’ve been carrying on with all these years. You’re surrendering it all. Everything must go, everything.”
“There is a power that knows how to take care of everything, and will also take care of your body, so-called, if you stop thinking. But as long as you think I am the body, then you have to take care of your body, and watch it, and feed it aspirin and cold remedy and proper foods and do all kinds of strange things with your body.”
“As long as you are born of the flesh you have to suffer. This is the way of the flesh. Do not try to improve your life. You’re making a big mistake. For there is no question about it, if you use positive thinking and use your mind, you may appear to improve your life. But remember, this world in which you live is a world of duality. For every up there is a down. For every forward there is a backward. For every good there is a bad. Therefore, whatever improvement comes in your life, it will last for a while, then will subside, then you become miserable again. You’ll start sticking up for your rights and fighting for your survival. Then as you get what you want, you’ll be happy again. You’re like a yo-yo. You go up and down, up and down. And no matter how much I talk to you about this, you’re going to keep on doing this.”
“There is no thing in this world that is that important. As long as you believe it is important, you will never awaken. You can’t. For you are caught up in illusion. You are playing the game. You are still involved in the play. You’re feeling things. You’re reacting to things. You’re arguing about things. You’re debating things. You’re still not sure.”
“When something takes place in your mind or in your world, you become the observer. You become the witness. You do not react. You try to keep your mind centered in the now, in the moment.”
“Grass grows spontaneously, but we can imagine we are making it grow with our willpower. The same with the activities of our bodies.”
“Again the important point to remember is that you should keep asking yourself questions. Do not make statements. Ask questions to yourself. The mind hates that.”
“The no-mind state is where you come from practicing to the place in Silence where there are no thoughts to bother you any longer. You get there through Self-inquiry. That’s the fastest way. But that’s not Self-realization. Self-realization is when the mind is pulled completely into the spiritual heart. Liberation, moksha, Self-realization, is when the mind that’s left over in the Silence is pulled completely into the spiritual Heart. At that time the whole mind, the I, dissolves completely, and you are free.”
“If you understand this, and you practice this, you will become the happiest person in the world. For on the way to finding the I-Source you begin to feel happier and happier every day. The old thoughts melt away. The old you dissolves. You become free.”
“When you get up in the morning, immediately before the thoughts come, identify with the Self. Now how do you do this? Simply say to yourself, “I…I.” That’s all you have to do. “I…I.” You’re doing this before your thoughts come.”
“What was the first thing you did when you opened your eyes? You should have been aware that the I-thought has traveled from the Heart center to the brain. And now you are awake and you feel your body and you feel the world. You should not go any further. You should now attempt to work on yourself, where you send the I-thought back from the brain, back to the spiritual center, the spiritual Heart. You should immediately attempt to do this.”
“I keep calling it the I-thought. It’s a thought. There is no I. This gives you a clue.”
“When you abide in the I you’re abiding in the ego. The I is really the ego, the small I. It turns into the Self eventually.”
“All this begins by quieting the mind. By not allowing the mind to react to conditions and situations. I’m not only speaking of negative conditions and situations, I’m speaking of everything that arises in the mind.”
“What I’m trying to show you is, you cannot depend on anything in the world for your happiness or your peace. It’s a false premise.”
“Yet the better way is to still inquire, “Who Am I?” You never answer that question. You just ask the question and keep still. When you keep still, thoughts will come into your mind. Simply inquire, “To whom do these thoughts come? The come to me. I think these thoughts. Then who am I?” Who am I simply means, what is the Source of the I? From whence does the I arise? You follow the I back to the Source, which is the Heart center. And one day, the I will disappear, and you will be totally liberated.”
“When you stop searching and you calm down and you put your books away, and you confront yourself and see what you are all about, that will bring about bliss faster than anything you can ever imagine or ever do.”
“It’s only what you experience that matters to you. It’s not what you read. So what if you learn a truth that you haven’t learned before. So what if you say this teacher expresses it this way, and now I know it from this angle and that angle. I must remind you again. Knowing truth intellectually does absolutely nothing for you. You might as well take LSD. Because you only get psyched up.”
“How do you make progress? By using books for reference only. By practicing the methods I share with you. By practicing Self-Inquiry. By watching as you go through life’s experiences and not reacting. Watching yourself become depressed. Watching yourself become angry. Do not deny it, but observe it. And if you observe yourself correctly in that calm way, you can ask yourself, “Who becomes angry? Who is feeling depressed?” And follow it through. Do this over and over and over again, as many times as you have to. One day, the anger will leave you, the depressions will leave you, your thoughts will leave you. And you’ll just be.”
“I remind you again, the only difference between the sage and yourself is you see the world and you identify with it. You think it’s real. A sage sees the world and he knows it’s a superimposition upon Consciousness. So he identifies with Consciousness.”
“For you’re saying, “Aren’t we supposed to help the world?” You’re supposed to find out who you are. Your first and main job is to awaken. And then you will see if you want to help the world. What world?”
“Find out who this God is, from where this God came, and you will soon realize that you have created God in your image. There is no such God, but it’s better than nothing. It’s good to know you have a big daddy somewhere, who you can cry to, who you can scream at, and blame for all your problems. Yet, as we grow, as we unfold, as we let go of all this stuff we’ve been holding on to, something happens; we become lighter. The burden seems to disappear by itself. The only burden you’ve ever had is your mind.”
“Self-Inquiry is only to keep your mind from thinking. That’s all it is.”
“Whatever you’re no longer attached to gives way. Whatever you’re no longer holding to, no longer holds on to you.”
“The power that takes care of that knows how to take care of you. Don’t you see, there isn’t anything you have to do to help. In other words, God doesn’t need your help. All you have to so is to take a deep breath and say, “Take it God. I’m all finished with it. I will never worry again. I will never be upset over anything again.””
“But I mean when you are really in deep sleep and you wake up, if you catch yourself, you’ll see you feel good. You feel great. You feel wonderful. It’s only when you start to think, that the feeling changes. Check it out for yourself. Why? because deep sleep is really bliss.”
“Whenever you use the word “I” you want to catch yourself and say, “I is not me. Me is, Who am I?” Me is the question, “From what source does the I come?””
“When your thoughts take on a feeling nature you give them power. But when you refuse to take on that feeling nature, the thoughts disappear.”
“No matter how many times I tell you this, you’re still thinking, thinking, judging, judging, coming to conclusions, trying to work out your life. You have to let go. Totally, absolutely, completely. You have to let go so completely that you will feel no body, no mind, no pain, nothing.”
“As you look at the world without interpretation, as you look at the world without attachment, what the world is will be revealed to you.”
“Once you know there is no mind, there is no longer the experience you’ve got to go through. All experiences cease. But be aware that all experiences have come from the mind. In reality there are no experiences. The life you’re living now is an experience.”
“Never pray to God for release of your problems. Never pray to God to change your life, and to give you something better. This is wrong prayer. If you have to pray to God, pray to God to give you the strength and the wisdom and the courage that you need to be able to handle the situation that you’re in. This is correct prayer.”
“All you’ve got to do is let go of the personal I by not reacting to the condition, and automatically the real I comes along, for you are really the real I. This is your real nature. . . Can you imagine what would happen if you thought about this all day long, without forgetting? Why, you’d be enlightened in no time.”
“This is a first step. To have total faith and total trust in the Infinite, the One.”
“The realization [is] that everything you see, the universe, people, worms, insects, the mineral kingdom, the vegetable kingdom, your body, your mind, everything that appears, is a manifestation of your mind. Everything that your senses show you is an emanation of the mind. Think about that! Everything in this universe, person, place or thing, everything, your body, your thoughts, creation, God, everything you can think about, everything, and I mean everything, is a projection of your mind.”
“When you close your eyes, it goes away. When you sleep you transcend it. But when you are awake, the world exists. The world only exists because your mind exists, and your mind exists because your ego exists.”
“Then who am I? Keep silent for a while. You know it’s working when you start to feel a quiet, loving feeling. You start to feel a peace you have not felt before. You start to feel that all is well.”
“You don’t have to set aside a time for meditation. You can do it while you’re driving your car, while you’re at work, while you’re playing music. Just be aware of yourself, of who you really are, and realize the rest is a projection of your mind.”
“In the beginning, when you’re finding yourself, you realize that I exist. “I Am That, I Am” means I exist. Same thing. But then you find out who is the I that exists, and you follow it through.”
“How do you create a dream? Does it start with a beginning? As soon as you start dreaming, there’s no creation. The dream just starts. Everything is already there. The trees, the sky, the earth, the flowers, the grass, people, insects, birds, flowers, everything just appears. Does it die in the end? You just wake up, and it’s all gone.”
“And thinking every day that you are unborn, you have no personal life, and you do not exist, and you will not disappear, just thinking about these things does something to you.”
“And we cannot empty the mind by thinking. Only by observation.”
“See, all these years we’ve been dealing with a finite mind, with our own intellectual processes, with our own preconceived ideas, with our concepts. But I’m saying we have to transcend those, and use a new part of us that we’ve never used before. And that’s the self.”
“But if you put your energy into it, and you practice it every chance you get, and you put this first in your life, you will see amazing results. Amazing results. But you have to put it first in your life. Think right now. What is first in your life? Don’t tell me but just think. What comes first in your life? Can you take it with you when you die?”
“You may learn about the astral planes, the causal planes, reincarnation. You may learn about how to become positive in your life, how to attract the right mate, how to attract money, health, and all kinds of stuff. How to channel, how to do this, and it’s very exciting to the ego.”
“Whatever you think about, that you become ultimately. So you have to be very careful what you think about. Whatever you think about, you become. Think of the sage, you become the sage.”
“Even though I appear to be the body, and I am wondering what is going to happen to my body as I practice “Who am I?” somewhere deep inside the recesses of my heart, I know that I will come to the conclusion one day that there is no body.
In the meanwhile, what appears to be your body will be under the guidance of the universe. That’s the phenomena. The same power, which is called Ishvara, who looks after the universe, and causes the grass to grow, the flowers to blossom, the sun to shine, the fruit to grow on fruit trees, the wheat and barley that grows in the ground, and you are supplied and maintained and sustained by these things, the same power that does all this will take care of you as you appear, as an illusion.
I know it’s paradoxical again, for you’re saying to yourself, “How can an illusion take care of me?” The illusion takes care of the illusion, so it appears. But I say to you, persist in inquiring, “To whom does this come?” Who believes the world is real, and who believes the world is an illusion? They’re both concepts. They’re both wrong. Reality has no belief system. Reality is not maintained and sustained by anything. Reality is I-am. It is beingness. Not being this or being that, but pure beingness. And as long as I don’t understand what that is, because I’ve not experienced it, I will continue to ask, “To whom has this come? To me? Then who am I? Where did the I come from?”
One of these days you will fall into the Self, and you will disappear. There will be no body, no image, no concept, no I, no mind, no universe, no God, yet you will appear to be all of those things. That’s the paradox. You will appear to people as an ordinary human being, but you will know that you are the screen upon which images are super-imposed. You are not the images which keep changing. You are forever, eternal, unborn. You are the one. You are total freedom. Your real image will shine forth, and the whole universe will emanate out of you. You will not have normal feelings, but for want of a better word, you will become bliss. You have always been bliss. You have simply awakened to reality.
Again, what are you doing with your life now? What do you believe? What do you do every day? Do you allow the pressures of the world to cave in on you? Leave the world alone. Do not attempt to figure it out. Do not attempt to argue about it, whether it’s real or not. You must find it out for yourself. In the process all will go well for you, no matter how it appears. Your job is to find out your true reality, to surrender to yourself, to surrender your ego, your mind, your body, the world, the universe, God. Surrender all of that to your Self. Let it all go into your spiritual heart, on the right side of your chest.
Above all do not worry about anything. You are well taken care of. The Self which you are, knows when the time is right for you to discover your reality. Have faith in yourself. Know it’s there inside of you, awaiting your surrender. No longer will you fight this world. No longer will you react or respond to this world. No longer will you be frightened by this world. Your wants will become simple.”
“You realize that the [other] person does not belong to you. Belongs to God.”