Practice and Non-Practice

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

by Papaji

There is no need to seek, no need to hunt it down anywhere else. It is already here. You only have to abandon the notion that, "I am bound. I am suffering. I am born. I have to die." This is simply a notion that you have entertained somehow, due to your unmindfulness. This will disappear instantly when you want it to, when you need it to, when you desire it, instantly this is here.


Both practice and non-practice are false ideas. Abandon all discussions, discriminations, concepts from the mind and you will possess all the dharmas; and such-ness, thus-ness will possess you. Everything that you do thereafter will be in accordance to dharma and your karmas have ceased to function.

Like the Buddha, he may have practiced when he left his palace. He has gone to different centers, ashrams, teachers. He found that is not the way to be free. One after the other he went on rejecting, and the last one was: they were doing very severe penance, very severe penance they were doing, but even that he rejected - that was not the way to be free, he decides himself. So he went to Bodgaya. And I don't think the people attribute that he practiced meditation. I don't think it was a meditation. I think he was very free at that time. And he rose up. And it was Ananda who asked him, "Master, what's your experience?" He kept quiet. And this quietness is not yet understood. Why did not reply? He gets up and then he went round the bodhi tree and prostrating in ecstasy, you see, because he found freedom.

So likewise, if we practice we have already divided between us and reality. We have created a wall between truth and ourselves, and we have preconceived the result. When we sit for meditation already we have preconceived the result, the goal, the ideal which we are going to attain after sometime. So what we think has to happen, so that pre-concept is now postponement, and we are satisfied. Surely that's not going to be freedom, maybe a concept of freedom. Freedom is absolutely immaculate, free of any ideas, any notions. That's called Freedom, you see. Therefore by practice, if you practice and we win freedom, freedom is not the result of any practice, you see; because it is here and now. So whatever we attain after practice so it will be… it will be, you can say within… within the practice that we have attained freedom. So freedom cannot be held within any practice, you see. Because practice will lead you to something that can be attained which was not attained before. Can we achieve it? After practice.

But freedom is not a concept, not an idea. Is already there before even you think and start practice, freedom was already there. So you created division when you practiced, you see. So freedom cannot be practiced. So when we give up the concept of freedom - absolutely no idea, no concept of anything to attain or achieve - then we are empty-minded. Now in the emptiness - in this emptiness, within the emptiness – there’ll be wave which will rise from within the emptiness - it’s not from your side - that will be calling you. You can call it source… source. And if you direct your mind towards this within the emptiness that will pull you to freedom, you see. So it needs some absolute purity, absolute purity, absolute devotion, absolute surrender to source - to freedom itself, you see. Without it, it's not going to happen.

Everywhere people are practicing. Everywhere practice is going on, in India and abroad. So there was one man who practiced; for number of years he was practicing and in the end what happened? One thought comes in his mind and he rose up and returned back to his previous habits, you see. So, you can't suppress it also. When the mind is there, "I want to be free." and if you practice it will not work. You have to wait for millions of years to win freedom. You have to wait. Its better to wait and not impose on you, "I have to be free this time." I see many people, "I want to be free. In different centers we have been practicing freedom." I don't believe with this kind of behavior with this kind of character, with this kind of relationship, how dare they can say, "We have been practicing freedom and enlightenment."

It’s a very different story, you see - few here, there. How many buddhas we have produced? This universe… how many buddhas have been produced by this universe? At any center everybody says, “We went there.” Millions. One teacher has millions of followers, you see, and everybody says, "We went for freedom." And they have been coming here in large numbers and saying, "We came for freedom." Everybody said to us, "We come for freedom." And they came squeezed, absolutely squeezed of their bodies, squeezed of their minds, and squeezed of their intellects. You have to be very healthy in mind, very healthy in body also. Perhaps there will be very helpful for you to decide, "I want to be free." with the force of your previous karmas. And then you have to sit quiet. A monkey cannot sit quiet, surely not! His habits have to be abandoned. Mind is monkey, you see. How it can keep quiet, your see? So in satsang, this monkey can be trained - the monkeys can be trained. But it is the satsang, in the satsang, come to satsang and don't indulge for sometime. Keep quiet.

After all we are not doing any gymnastics here. And not therapies are working here, as most of you have been doing - coming for freedom, lost in the therapies. How you can claim that we are in this ashram to win freedom? Don't deceive your Self. You can deceive others, you can deceive yourself, but you cannot deceive you own Self within. So you have got to be honest. If there is time for you to be free, come to satsang. Otherwise enjoy the world, enjoy the garden. This world is enough for those who are thirsty of sensual pleasure. Enjoy as best as you can for millions of years, you see. So if you're fed up with this, come here - sit quiet - and it doesn't take time.

Freedom is already there, you see. You have only to know that you are free. You have never been bound. It was the desire, "I want this.” and “I want that." that you have to abandon. And see… after this see, if you abandon this desire and then if the result is not good return back to the world. It's always there. When you are not quiet there is world. When you are quiet, if you don't like return back - if you like, stay on.

If you stay on you will see and you will notice for the first time that it never existed - nothing ever existed - before, now and later. This is the ultimate truth that you have to be told. When you see any form there is falsehood. What you have to do? If you simply get rid of one thing - just form - for one instant of time you just abandon the concept of form from your mind - for one second - and see if you are not happy. And form is falsehood. Where there's a form there's falsehood, you see. And all forms are seen in ignorance; and in wisdom there's no form, in light there is no form. So there's no pressure on you. Do as you like.

Okay… Namaskar.

1 October, 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.