No Effort

H.W.L.Poonja, Popularly knows as Papaji

by Papaji

You have not seen this moment of quietness for the last millions of years - you have never been quiet. And we are going to speak of this quietness which is your nature and which is the substratum of everything that is seen. Without this we cannot have rest. And this is what is called Freedom, Enlightenment, Wisdom, Existence-Consciousness-Bliss, satyam-shivam-sundaram, whatsoever you call it - and yet it has no name.

You must have come here for freedom, to get rid of sorrow, to get rid of suffering. Life is a repeating cycle of death, disease, and old age; but you can abandon this by simply listening. Listen to me, listen to what I am saying and all is over.

I don't give you any task or any work to do. This is not the Olympics; you don't have to run. This is satsang. No exertion is needed here. Without even needing to think a single thought you can be liberated this moment. If you are not ready in this life you might as well wait a thousand lives. You simply need to listen very carefully. It is very easy for those who are serious, sincere, and devoted to themselves. People who come for tamashia will not get the point.

You have to simply become aware of the movement of the mind, which begins this endless trouble. That something is actually arising out of consciousness is only a concept, and it is this which gives rise to the myth of an individual identity. How much time does it take for the mind to arise or for it to be stopped? One movement of thought causes this endless creation to appear, complete with its creators, preservers, and destroyers. If the mind is checked it is all over. But it is not going to end on its own. If it were real it could end, but because it is only a notion it will end only if you see the source of the notion as it is arising. The idea that, "I am so-and-so" and "You are so-and-so" is the movement of the mind. "I am" is the first movement of the mind; and from here arises the trouble.

When you get up in the morning you feel rested and happy. There is a movement in consciousness and you call this the waking state. The world appears to you with its mountains, rivers, forests, people, birds and animals, and you call it waking up. The same thing happens at night in dreams. There are no objects to experience, but even in sleep the mind is not quiet; it creates another world. Who is responsible for that creation? Who? You cannot say God, or the Creator, or any other person. It is you who are sleeping comfortably, but you cannot rest even in sleep and so you create another world within yourself. You see mountains, rivers, elephants, tigers, although they are not there in your apartment - you are alone. Neither are there objects nor is there any subject. Only the ego is projecting its own world.

Just like the chicks return in the evening under the wings of the mother hen the ego says, “Keep quiet.” Because of ego, darkness, next morning they will jump out of the wings of again the same thing, you see. The mind is exhausted from the transactions of subject-object relationship. Give it a little rest.

Transcending these three states you will find another state where you have peace. Few people know this peaceful state of consciousness, of happiness, of bliss, of existence. Even beyond this turiya there is yet another state which a few rare ones reach and return to speak about it. In this discovery everything ends - from here all also starts. This is the substratum which has always been concealed by thoughts, from where they arise. This supreme state of consciousness is concealed by conceptual understanding itself.

If I show you a handkerchief you will see its form, its length, width, thickness, its uses, and its name – “handkerchief.” You will not see the cotton from which it is made; you will not call it "cotton." If I show you this kerchief even - this is a kerchief - length, width, height, its uses, name is “kerchief”. Form is this you see, but you know the cotton you can't see. Cotton is not seen. No one can say it's cotton… kerchief! If you remove the name and form you will see the cotton.

If you remove the name and form, all that you see here and now - whatever you see - remove the name and form. You are in that state beyond the fourth which I described, you see. It will appear itself. It is here. That's not to be gained, it is already there. Because you are already otherwise engaged in your fantasies you have no time to look. What is concealed? You only give importance to what is seen. Importance to form and your notions, you see.

So, if you check your notion - one word - if you check your notion and intention simply for that reason. Don't allow any notion to arise or any intention in the mind, you see, for just this instant of time. What's going to happen? So this is one word. How to do it? Not to give rise. You must ask me question, why? How to do it? How not to give rise to this movement at all, you see.

So this can be done when you make inquiry… when you make inquiry into this process of movement. What is the movement going on? That's all you have got to do it. And this inquiry is enough instruction from someone, and this is enough to listen from someone. That's all you have to do as a student, and this is enough for the teacher to speak, and there's nothing beyond this to speak, and nothing beyond this to listen either. What else can you read in any book if you don't listen to this? That, I have to inquire into the movement of the mind itself - strike at the root of the mind. If you see a mango tree in the seed you don't see leaves nor the fruits but in the seed, in the small seed of a tree there are leaves, there are branches, there are flowers, there are fruits that you can't see, you see. So to see this you have to inquire. This is the minutest of the minute; may it take a millionth part of the tip of your hair. That's what is said. The millionth part of the tip so minute, so subtle it is. And only how will you reach it? You can't see with your eyes, you can't touch with your hands. Only by inquiry you are going to reach the most subtle place and it is reaching you there. Inquire.

This inquiry is not going to end. This inquiry is not going to end unless this subject who is inquiring is itself consumed into the inquiry. First let the inquirer consume itself into the inquiry itself, and then the inquiry will be consumed into that which has not yet been described - and you are that. Not that you are going to become something else at some other time. No, you are already that. You're not going to gain anything. Not going to gain anything, not to achieve anything, not to learn anything. If you get rid of all that you have learned till now, heard till now, read till now, seen till now, what's left? All what you've acquired is only hearsay. You have borrowed… you have borrowed from someone else. It's not your nature; it's not your true Self. You will return to your own Self and nobody knows what the Self is. You attribute Self to some particular form or name that can be seen, smelt, touched or heard about which cannot be seen or touched, that I am going to refer. So, how to do it? Simply inquire into the nature of what is seen, what this universe is, and what its origin.

Its origin is not other than your own notion because you have become first, "I am so and so," and then there is the world. There are relations and this is the world, and it's your notion. Now if you find out the substratum of the notion, the source of the notion, and how to do it? By simply inquiring, "What is the source of the notion?" Simply look down - there's no other way. You don't need do anything. Simply keep quiet and don't think. That's all. You have not to do anything.

You have not seen this moment of quietness for the last millions of years - you have never been quiet. And we are going to speak of this quietness which is your nature and which is the substratum of everything that is seen. Without this we cannot have rest. And this is what is called Freedom, Enlightenment, Wisdom, Existence-Consciousness-Bliss, satyam-shivam-sundaram, whatsoever you call it - and yet it has no name. Yet it has no name - not even consciousness. It is so empty of even emptiness how can you describe it?

When you see a star, you can see a star because of the skies. You can't see a star without the background of sky. When you see the universe there must be something – consciousness - which compels you to see the universe. When you see your own body there must be consciousness through which you have experience of your body. What is this consciousness? You have never before thought of it. What is the basis that you see? Even to start with your body, how this body is seen? There must be some basis through which you are aware. There must be some substratum, some source through which you are experiencing the body itself. What is that?

If you keep quiet, then only you will know it; not with the moving of the mind. If you move the mind there is body, and if you move the mind to know the cause, the source of the body, you multiply it. So, how to do it? By not doing anything; not thinking anything. Just imagine if you do not think - just to see the source of the body you have not to think. What is the source now? You are multiplying only. So if you understand this thing, even if you understand you miss it. You have not to understand it. If you understand you are thinking, still you are thinking. So free. You have to be so free not even to put activity to even your understanding - so free. No one has seen this freedom before.

You will really enjoy whatever you do in the world. I don't advise you to run away from your activity. May you be active, whatever you are doing already 200% better than other people are doing. Other people will be suffering.

You can't pay attention if relaxed like this. You have to pay absolute attention. Some say, "I'll just find out what has been spoken. I'll just go back to the hotel and find out." That will not do, you see. What's the use of the rain when the crop is dried up. It's no use. This moment is very important. You can after all… you need only one, this instant is needed; and if this instant you can't be quiet what's the use of coming here? Some, if not now, after all you have to get only one word today, now, today, tomorrow, day after. Everyday, same thing I am saying because you have to get at it some word, someday - now. You have to get one word. It will ignite like explosive. It will ignite. Because you are not listening, not paying attention therefore it's not working. It has to work, it has to work. How much time does it take to burn? Instantly, instantly it has to burn. Like that you have to ready, when the satsang is there you must be very ready.

Come, come - be ignited like camphor! This word, this instruction is fire - let it ignite your heart like camphor and destroy your darkness! If a room has been shut up for twenty or thirty years and you switch on the light the darkness in the room will not say, "I will depart slowly. I have been here for thirty years." When you switch the light on there is light immediately; the darkness will not linger simply because she has been there for thirty years. You may have lived in darkness for thirty five million years, but one click of the switch can switch on the light and instantly destroy the whole forest of ignorance. This is the power of the teacher: to remove ignorance instantly. If the fire does not burn the camphor something is wrong somewhere. Either the fire is not fire or the camphor is a stone. If it does not react instantly something is wrong somewhere. You will feel the presence of a true teacher - he will ignite your heart.

24 August, 1992

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Source: Reprinted with the kind permission of the Avadhuta Foundation.  The Avadhuta Foundation was established in 1993 to further the teachings of Sri H.W.L. Poonja, affectionately referred to as Papaji, and to make available the archives of Papaji’s talks in India. You may visit their website from here.