|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.
Who are you? Where do you come from? Many times you came and many times
you returned. You have never attempted to ask yourself who you are. If you had done so, you would never have returned to this miserable samsara. When you have known, this karma ceases to function, samsara ceases to exist. You return to your original fundamental nature - to Being, to Existence, to Bliss. That is what you are. That is what you have been. That is what you are going to be.
So here is how to do it - it is very easy. Let me introduce you to what is going on here. To begin with, find out who is the one who sees. Ask yourself the question: "Who is the seer?" Find out what is seen. That which is seen is the object and the seer is the subject. The seer - subject - must be separate from the object, different from the object. It is that which is seeing the object. The object is that which is seen. The seer is looking at the object - you are not the object. You may see anything: a horse, a cow, a car, a building, or anything. You are not that. You are the seer.
When you experience your own body you may think that you are the body, but you are not the body. You experience, "I see the body." so you are the seer of the body. It is here that you make the mistake: You become the body and you forget that you are the seer. You have become an object when you say, "I am doing. I am seeing. I am tasting. I am touching. I am smelling. I am hearing." You have lost your bearings and become the body - the seer is no longer separated from the body. Whatever is seen is an object, so when the body is objectified who is the seer? When you see the body it becomes an object. Whatever you see is an object. If you see your eyes they are objects; if you see your hands they are objects.
What about the mind? You know very well that if your mind is suffering it is not at peace. You know the activities of the mind also. You know, "Now my mind is thinking or not thinking." This means that you are also aware of the activities of the mind. You are something other than the mind. You are not the mind. You are neither the mind nor the body.
The same is true of the working of the senses. When you are working, walking, or talking, you know very well, "I am at work, my hands are working." You know very well that you are not the hand; something else is commanding the hands to work. You are something other than the movement of physical activities. You are not even that.
Now consider the intellect. You decide, "I have to do this. I have to go to Lucknow." You decided and you are here. You guided the intellect to make the decision, "Let's go to Lucknow." then you followed the intellect. So you are guiding even the intellect and you know very well that the intellect is something other than you.
Find out who you are - here and now. You are not the mind. You are not even the
prana - the breathing. You know very well that breathing is in and out, inhaling and exhaling. You can feel, "I am inhaling, I am exhaling." You know this activity also. Who is watching the inhaling and exhaling? This is all that the body is.
So who are you? You are not all these functions. You will have to ask the question, "Who am I?" This is what we have come here to understand, and we have not done this at any time before. This question must be solved but we have postponed it. Everyone has postponed it for millions of years. We will not postpone this here. There is no method to practice. Simply find out, "Who am I?" This is not a method or practice or sadhana.
This can be done here and now - in this instant - because the Self is here. Enlightenment means to know thy Self - to know, "Who am I." This is Enlightenment. This is Wisdom. This is Bliss. This is Existence. This is Being. This is Truth. This truth is not located at a distance - it is your own Self through which you are searching for truth and freedom. It is not any distance from here. It is within you, nearer than your own breath. It is behind the retina of your eyes, which you cannot see. You need not look outside. It is behind the retina; it is that through which the retina sees. You need no effort to see it.
When you still all activities, without doing anything, without thinking any thought - when you do not stir any thought from the mind ground, without moving, without moving the mind, without starting a single thought - in an instant of time you are free. When you give rise to any sadhana or practice, when you go to any center or ashram, when you go to any teacher or pilgrimage or church, when you make any prayer, you have postponed it. This you have done.
Be free of all these things right now. Because free you have been, free you are. You cannot achieve anything other than what you are. Anything gained afresh or achieved for the first time - anything which is new to you - you will certainly lose because it was not there at all. All that is natural to you is already there. Do not try to achieve anything or gain anything or attain anything which is not already there. This is not a fresh gain. People think, "At the end of this sadhana I am going to be free." But it is not like that. You have been looking for something else, not freedom. Freedom is already here.
When you exert effort or practice sadhana you will camouflage and cover the truth. You will have to remove this covering because it is you who put it there. This covering will be removed through your effort. And when all efforts are done away with - when all attempts, all intents and intentions, all ideas and notions are rejected - at that time ask yourself, "Who am I?" You will certainly find the answer.
This is how freedom is already attained: You are already free. If you can hear this once from a teacher you are free. If you cannot hear this, then practice. If you can listen to a teacher who is not a liar, who is speaking the truth, and if you are honestly longing for freedom then listen once and you are free.
If you are not honest and if the teacher is not authentic it will not work. You will have to take up a practice if something is false somewhere. What is that practice? At all times, walking, sleeping, dreaming, on waking, while standing, sitting, lying, go on chanting the mantra. I can recommend mantras also, as a second best. If you can repeat this mantra from now till your last breath I guarantee you will not appear again in a next birth; you will not fall into any womb. What is the mantra? "I AM FREE!" Take up this practice if you do not believe me.
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.
If you do not accept what I am saying then I will give you a practice as a second best. You will have to continue practicing on every breath - every breath of the waking state, of the dream state, of the sleeping state up to the last breath. Then I guarantee that you will not appear again in this miserable samsara.
To hear this once is enough. It is no problem to be free in this life. You have lived 8.4 million times as different kinds of species. This cycle has taken about 35 million years, and each of us has gone though many such cycles. So let us now decide not to return again.
Those who are here represent 6 billion people in the world today, without counting all the animals, birds, worms and germs. Out of 6 billion human beings there are very few of us here. Throughout the world they do not allow you to even utter the words, "I want to be free." If you say, "I am free." or "I am God." you are put on a cross or stoned to death. Those few who have said, "I am Free." have been stoned to death or crucified. I am happy that you have freedom of expression; you are lucky. You are born of a lucky family, of a lucky land that has allowed you to come to some other country and search for freedom. You are twice lucky. And I trust that all those who are here will not return home as they came. I am having good results. This is the first time in history. I see people every day come in front and say, "I am free. I am free." They come from every country and see me saying, "I am in peace. I have seen peace. I am very happy!" They express it in many ways.
This has never happened before. In distant centuries people were performing tapas continuously for thousands of years, but we have very few examples of enlightenment - only a finger count. We have to go back thousands of years to find some sage or saint we can quote about freedom, like Jagnavalka, Vaishista or Buddha. But here I am very happy to see many buddhas appearing. Without sitting under any bodhi tree they are becoming buddhas. This is happening in this century because now we have no time to go to the mountains. The mountains are all polluted now. In Kashmir at 22,000 feet, armies are standing abreast with their weapons with intention of killing each other. How can you meditate between two armies?
It is best that wherever you find time, even in your own apartment - close your eyes and meditate. Search within yourself. There is no need to go anywhere because there is no peace anywhere. Everything is polluted - we cannot even have fresh air. The ocean is polluted, the rivers are polluted, mountains are polluted, the land is polluted, food is polluted. What is there to do about it? You cannot even do yoga. For yoga you need very sattvic food, which is not available. The human lifespan is becoming shorter so it is better to hurry up! No one has seen tomorrow.
Today is the best day. You can win freedom right now. I do not advise any practice. I do not tell you to practice even for one minute. Just now, this instant, one second, half a second, half of half a second is enough. Anytime today, but today - but now - you are free.
Simply listen to me. Simply have trust in what I say when I tell you that you are free. Do not doubt. If you need to doubt then you will need practice. It is your choice.
6 November, 1991
Suggested Further Reading
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
Papajiís talks in India. You may visit
their website from here.