Keep quiet!

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

by Papaji

If you can listen, if you long for freedom, and you feel that I am honest when I tell you that you are free, then accept it! Hear this only once and you are free.


When I speak about quietness - when I tell you to keep quiet - it is not easy for everyone to follow. Most people here are from different backgrounds, practices, sadhanas; and therefore feel they need to do something, to put something into practice. When I say, "Keep quiet." it is not a practice. There is nothing to be done and nothing to be undone. This cannot be followed. There is nothing to think about, no need to make any kind of effort. This is an indication of the quietness I am speaking about. Truth always exists. Existence alone is. It is called satyam.

We speak about enlightenment, but first we have created bondage. Bondage does not exist. How can you remove that which does not exist? First, teachers impose a concept of bondage and then various practices are prescribed. There may be millions of books in the world, thousands more are published every day. Nowhere does it say, "Be quiet". When you simply say "Keep quiet," what is the rest of the book to be about?

There is no ignorance at all; there is only existence - there is only satyam. If you simply keep quiet you will know that only this exists. Before the sun rises early in the morning it does not first try to remove the darkness of the night. The sun does not say, "Let me brush away the darkness and only then, in the daytime, I will rise." For the sun there is no light, there is no darkness to be removed. The sun does not even know that such a thing as night exists. What practice is needed to remove darkness, where is this darkness? All practices imply the reality of darkness, of ignorance, when in fact they do not exist. The river in the sand is a mirage; it does not exist, it never existed. If you go closer and closer the sand not even is wet; it is only a belief that makes us run after a mirage, nothing else. There is only satyam; there is only Truth. What need is there of practice? It is only practice which is concealing the truth.

You have been given a concept by most of the teachers that there is darkness, and that you have to spend your whole life clearing this darkness. No one speaks about light; everyone is trying to remove darkness and ignorance when it does not really exist.

First of all, look for yourself! Has anyone seen any ignorance? Sometimes when people who come to see me come closer to keeping quiet they say, "I do not understand." What is there to understand? Simply keep quiet - this is what you really are. How can there be any doubt? In keeping quiet you discover what you really are.

Through spiritual practices you overlook the one who is causing this to happen. Who is involving your limbs in the practice, your intellect in the practice? Who is causing your mind to be involved in trying to get understanding? If the one causing activity is not there you cannot conduct any practice. This is why I tell you to simply keep quiet. Then you will know what you truly are and what you have always been, and this is indestructible. All else will be destroyed, only Existence itself remains. The Truth will always remain - it Is - it is eternal. That which is not this truth does not exist at all.

You have two choices: Either you follow most teachers and spend your life trying to remove or clean out the mind. First you will have to find out if the mind exists. No one has seen the mind. Even if you found it, how do you propose to clean it? Everyone is practicing cleaning the mind but there is no one so far who has cleaned it. Where is this mind to be cleaned?

The second choice is to keep quiet and you will know who really you are. This is very simple. It is not going to take you time; in fact time does not appear. There is nothing outside that can help you, you have just to keep quiet - that's all - and you will know then you are eternal. You are Eternal Existence itself.

5 May, 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.