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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’.

 

 

Papaji
Papaji

Papaji, taken on the day of the interview in the Botanic Garden, Lucknow

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Papaj
Papaj

Papaji, taken on the day of the interview in the Botanic Garden, Lucknow

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Papaji Interview 5.jpg
Papaji Interview 5.jpg

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Papaji
Papaji

Papaji, taken on the day of the interview in the Botanic Garden, Lucknow

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The photos in the slide show were all taken during this interview in the Botanic Garden, Lucknow. The cover photo of the book was also taken that day.

David Godman Books

 

Books by David Godman on Ramana Maharshi, his devotees and his teachings

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