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The Fire of Freedom



This is the first section from The Fire of Freedom, entitled 'Who is thinking?'



Question: I’m not clear how to make the best use of you as my teacher. I want to make the best use of my time here, but I’m not clear how I should use my time. What should I be doing that I am not doing at home?


Papaji: Take care of the purpose for which you have come. First, clarify your purpose. A relationship is not really necessary. That we can look after later. Purpose is the foremost, the most important thing.


















When you are thirsty, you go to the river. Your purpose is to quench your thirst. It is not to ask the river what kind of relationship you have with it. You don’t need a relationship; you only need a purpose.


You came here the day before yesterday and your purpose is to find out who you are. Find this out. Know who you are. If you first know who you are, then you will automatically know who I am. So, your first priority is the question ‘Who am I?’ Once you have discovered that, you will know the real nature of all the other things and people that you see. First start with this question ‘Who am I?’ We started on this question the day before yesterday. You need to recognise yourself. Now, what was that question I asked you to ask?


Question: Who?


Papaji: Yes, what was the full question?


Question: Who is thinking?


Papaji: Yes, this was the question I gave you. I told you to find the answer to this question. I asked you to return home to the Self through asking this question, and then to come back and tell me what you saw there.


Question: What do I see there?


Papaji: Yes, what do you see there? [There was a pause while Papaji wrote ‘who’ on a piece of paper and showed it to the questioner.] What do you see here?


Question: I see a word on a piece of paper.


Papaji: This simple word is your question.


Question: What do I see in here?


Papaji: Anywhere. Wherever the ‘who’ is. Your question is, ‘Who is thinking?’


Question: I can see the question.


Papaji: Can you see where the question comes from? Focus on this question and look to see where it arises from. Return back to the ‘who’. What do you see there?


Question: I see arising. I see things arising, one from another.




The slide show comprises photos of Papaji teaching in his front room in Lucknow. All the photos are from the period when these dialogues took place.

In the early 90s, when these dialogues took place, Papaji would sit on this raised wooden platform in his living room and answer questions. Usually, there would be ten to twenty people in the room.

David Godman Books


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

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