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Then at some point, an intense desire for freedom will arise. This desire will arise from consciousness itself. Originally there was a descent from consciousness – from the ‘I’ to space to time to samsara. Now there will be an ascent. As you ascend, attachment to physical objects will go, then vital, then mental, then intellectual. Finally, you return to ‘I’ alone. This ‘I’ is still mind.


This ‘I’ has rejected everything. It exists alone with no attachments. It cannot go back to the world of attachments, to samsara. It has a desire for freedom; it wants to return to its original place. This ‘I’ which rose from consciousness is now returning to consciousness. It takes the decision, ‘Become no-mind now,’ and with that decision the ‘I’ is gone, mind is gone. The ‘I’, which is the mind, has been rejected, but there is still something there which is between the ‘I’ and consciousness. This in-between thing is called no-mind. This in-between entity will merge into consciousness, and then it will become consciousness itself.


Look at this cup [pointing at a tumbler on the table]. There is space, emptiness, both inside and outside the cup. The space inside we call ‘inside space’ and the space outside is called ‘outside space’. Why? Because the name and form of the cup divides the inside from the outside. When the name and form are removed, the space inside and the mahat, the greater space, become one. In fact they were always one. From the point of view of the space itself, there never was an inside or an outside. Name and form made it appear that there was an inside and an outside, but the space was never affected by these artificial divisions. Likewise, freedom is always there, always unaffected by names and forms. Name-and-form is ‘I’. When the ‘I’ goes, the walls which appear to divide consciousness are removed. This becomes This.


When you go from mind back to consciousness, you go through this stage of no-mind. In that state there will be the feeling, the recollection, ‘Now I have no-mind’. Gradually, slowly, this no-mind will merge back into the beyond. But how it happens, I do not know.


David: Can no-mind become mind again? Can it come out? Can it become manifest?


Papaji: A process has taken place. Now there is consciousness itself. Why to speak of mind and no-mind?


In ancient times, when a king died without leaving an heir, a royal elephant was sent out to select the new king. There was a tradition that whoever the elephant picked up and put on his back became the new king. One time when this happened, the elephant picked up a beggar, and this beggar became king. Everyone was happy. The ministers saluted him, gave him golden robes, and put him on the throne. This man who used to be a beggar didn’t have to do anything any more. Everything was done for him. Everything came to him without his asking. All the courtiers and ministers knew how to attend on him. He didn’t need to beg anymore. At the appropriate time during the day, food would be brought to him, and during the night all the queens took care of him. Once a beggar has had a taste of being the king, will he want to go back to his village and be a beggar again?


This is what happens when you become aware that you are consciousness. The person is still there, the body is still there, but there is no one who thinks, ‘I have to do this or that’. There is instead a knowledge that consciousness takes care of everything. If you are consciousness, the king, the five senses become the ministers who serve you. The sense activities will go on automatically, you will not have to think about them. If it is time for the king to have a pan [laughter], pan will come. If it is time for coffee, coffee will come.


When you are consciousness, the brain will become the prime minister, the sense organs will become ministers, and they will all serve you. You will not have to think at all.


If you want this to work, you must have the authority and power of a real king. If you behave like a king, without having the authority, no one will listen to you. Authority must be there, and this authority can only come by being consciousness itself.


I will tell you a good story about another king. This king wanted to see his prime minister urgently. Since the prime minister was not in the palace at the time, the king went to see him in his home.


On his arrival the king was told by the prime minister’s wife, ‘He is in the puja room’.


‘Then call him,’ said the king.


‘I can’t call him,’ replied the wife. ‘I am not allowed to disturb him while he is in his puja room.’


The prime minister, though, had heard the king arrive.


He came out of his puja room in his puja dress, so the king asked him, ‘What are you doing?’ The prime minister didn’t give any reply.


This made the king very angry because he saw it as a gross act of insubordination. The king called one of his police officers and ordered him to arrest the prime minister. The police officer stepped forward, but before he could make the arrest, the prime minister said, ‘Wait, wait’. The king signalled the policeman to stop and then waited for the prime minister to give an explanation. Instead, much to everyone’s surprise, the prime minister pointed at the king and ordered the policeman to arrest him. The policeman, of course, didn’t move, because he had no authority to arrest the king. Then the prime minister explained his actions to the king.


‘When you said "Arrest him," the policeman carried out your order because you have the authority to give such an order. But when I said, "Arrest him," the policeman didn’t obey because I have no authority over you. The order was the same in each case, but the authority was different. You had the authority. I did not.


‘I didn’t reply to you when you came in because I was doing the gayatri mantra. I could not tell you about this mantra because you have not been initiated into it. I myself do not have the authority to tell you about this mantra, so I kept quiet.’





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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