Friday, December 13, 2013

THE ULTIMATE LETTER

Changdev Pasashti or The Ultimate Letter
(The sixty-five verses of Dyanadev’s letter to Changdev)

Pradeep Apte

One of the best exposition of the Mahavakya ‘Tat Tvam Asi’ or ‘That Thou Art’. Verses 1-36 are about THAT and the rest about THOU ART.


1.
May the revered Self bless us.
The Self being hidden, the world appears.
On realizing the Self,
 it devours the world.

2.
When the Self appears, the world disappears.
When the Self disappears, the world appears.
Yet the Self never appears or disappears,
It is beyond all these attributes.

3.
The Self only appears to have
become so many diverse forms.
But the Self, an unbroken whole,
knows no becoming.

4.
Just as Gold remains Gold
even after becoming ornaments.
Similarly the Self remains the Self
although appearing to be diversified.

5.
Just as the waves are not
different from the ocean.
Similarly the essential Self and the
apparent existence are not two but one.

6.
Innumerable particles of dust
do not exists independent of the dust.
Similarly the innumerable forms of existence
do not exist independent of the essential Self

7.
The apparent phases of the Moon
do not alter the Moon.
Or as the flame and fire are one,
the apparent world and the Self are one.

8.
Ignorance creates the triad of the
knower, known and knowing in the Self.
Refusing this fragmentation, I look upon
the Self as an unbroken whole.

9.
We fragment through labeling.
Just as clothes are nothing but
cloth which is interwoven thread.
As earthenware pots are nothing but mud.

10.
Thus beyond the triad of knower, known
and knowing lies the Self on its own.
The Self only appears to have become
the triad, although it remains unmodified.

11.
Just as an ornament is a name given
to a particular form of Gold.
Or as apparently different organs
combine to form a single Body.

12.
Thus from the minutest to largest all forms
that appear on the earth owe their ‘Being’
to the Self or the essence,
without which nothing exists.

13.
Just as the apparent paintings on the wall
are actually nothing but the wall only.
Similarly this apparent world of diverse objects
is actually nothing but the Self only.

14.
The sweetness of a lump of sugar does not
depend on its size or number of particles.
Thus the Self gives existence its ‘Being’
regardless of the size or number of objects.

15.
A piece of cloth when folded
appears as a folded entity.
Similarly the Self vibrating in its inherent
inspiration appears as the manifold world.

16.
Free of dichotomy the Self appears as the triad
and stands before itself as the object and subject.
The play of complimentary aspects starts,
but the Self is free from all opposites.

17.
Just as the image in the mirror imparts
objectivity to an object placed in front.
Similarly the objects of the world impart
subjectivity to the Self as a witness.

18.
The Self itself appears as the triad of
interconnected seer, seen and seeing.
It is the holistic pulsation of the Self,
inherently non-dual but apparently dual.

19.
Just as a bundle of thread is thread everywhere,
inside, middle or outside it is thread only.
Similarly the phenomenal world appears to be
made of triads but is only Self everywhere.

20.
The reflected image in a mirror is not
your real face but only a reflection.
So in fact this seeing is meaningless
as you cannot see Reality which is holistic.

21.
Without disturbing its holistic nature the Self
appears as the triad of seer, seen and seeing
in its existential inspiration as the pulsatile ‘I am’.
Thus is the way to recognize the perceptible creation.

22.
It is only when the Self appears as the seen
that the seer and seeing come into being.
Limited vision of the physical eye is unable
to gauge the distance between the seer and seen.

23.
Thus from what has been said so far
in the absence of the seen what
what kind of seeing would be there?
And would a seer exist at all?

24.
Thus, as the seen appears,
seeing and the seer come into being.
And when the seen disappears,
seeing and the seer too disappear.

25.
The one Self itself has become the
triad of seer, seen and seeing.
When all three go the basic Self remains.
The triad is an appearance, the Self is the truth.

26.
Before and after seeing in the mirror
the original face remains the same.
Thus after seeing the image in the mirror
is there any change in the original face?

27.
On seeing the image in the mirror
there arises a feeling of seeing the seen.
But it is only a feeling and not a fact,
thus vision is deluded from the real.

28.
Thus when the world of names and forms
is perceived, let it be understood that
apart from the seen and seeing
it is the Self watching itself as all.

29.
Sound exists prior to creation by musical instruments.
Fire exists prior to creation by burning wood.
Similarly the Self exists on its own, prior to
appearance as the triad of phenomenal existence.

30.
Such is the Ultimate Self which has no name,
nor are there any means to know it.
It’s only there as the undivided
and eternally existent Reality.

31.
The eye has the ability to see
yet it can never possibly see itself.
Similarly the knowledgeable Self cannot see itself.
The Self is eternal, all knowing and complete.

32.
There is no ignorance at all in the Self,
so how can there be any self-knowledge as well?
The Self being all knowing knowledge itself,
so how can it be an object to be known?

33.
Thus Oh Changdev! Silence is the only means
of knowing That which naturally is everything.
To ‘Be’ without becoming anything
is the only way to be possessed by the Self.

34.
Just as the multitude of waves are water only,
similarly the various branches of knowledge
or Holy scriptures all point towards the
one single eternal and  ever established Self.

35.
There is no duality in the Self or Ultimate principle.
The self-evident Self stands alone with no second.
The Self perceives itself only everywhere,
it’s like Divinity perceiving Divinity.

36.
The Self has no cause for its being.
The Self perceives itself devoid of triads.
The Self enjoys itself without any object.
The Self stands alone in its own glory.

37.
Listen Oh Changdev! You are the son the Self,
like a detached particle of camphor has all
the essentials of the original camphor piece.
Now listen how you and me are not two but one.

38.
Thus, Dyanadev says, our meeting
or talking to each other is like
the lower hand or palm embracing itself.
Such sort of embracing is meaningless.

39.
Like spoken words listening to themselves,
like taste  experiencing taste,
like light watching light,
thus is our interaction to be understood.

40.
Gold acting like a touchstone on gold,
or like the face becoming a mirror to see itself,
such is the dialogue between me and
you Changdev, both being verily the Self.

41.
Sweetness trying to taste sweetness is
meaningless and an exercise in futility.
Therefore our mutual affection too is meaningless.
It’s like loving myself and so for you as well.

42.
Oh friend Changdev! How much I long to meet you.
But if we meet physically our self-evident
internal unity  would get disturbed and
that’s why I fear meeting you in person.

43.
Oh Changdev! The moment I wish to meet you
my being dissolves in the Self and
it’s only the Self everywhere and nothing else.
Thus all overt meetings become meaningless.

44.
All the dichotomies like action-inaction,
talk or no talk, imagination or no imagination,
do not exist in your true being or Self
and hence they now cannot emerge.

45.
Oh Changdev! In your true being or Self
there is no doing or non-doing.
What more can I say? The moment I think of you
my I-ness completely dissolves.

46.
When salt tries to measure
the depth of the ocean,
the salt itself gets dissolved.
Then how can it measure the depth?

47.
In same way when I try to understand your
true being or Self, I start dissolving myself.
We become one with no differences at all,
so in what way can I imagine you to be?

48.
If an awakened one wishes to see himself asleep,
he cannot do it, so he misses seeing himself.
Similarly when I tried to see you Changdev
I myself disappeared and only the Self remained.

49.
Even if you are placed in total darkness
the feeling ‘I am’ is always there.
Similarly nothing can eliminate the Self,
it’s always there in its own right.

50.
In searching for you I derived the benefit
of the Self and in the process both
you and me disappeared and merged
as one in the naturally established state.

51.
The function of the eye is to
see a variety of objects it confronts.
Despite of seeing so many things,
the unity of the eye remains unaltered.

52.
In the same way, though we have
communicated with each other,
it has in no way disturbed
the unity of our Self.

53.
The apparent ‘you’ and ‘me’ now merged
in the Self  only awaits a token physical meeting.
Let us experience the joy of the Self
through this communication again and again.

54.
Just as the one relishing good food
likes to taste it again and again.
Or on the pretext of seeing the mirror
one likes to see his reflection again and again.

55.
Although words have served as evidence for the
self-evident Self, they are words of silence.
These words have composed the glory of
our meeting which was everlastingly always there.

56.
Just as the lamp sees its own being
with the help of its own light,
similarly recognize your true being or Self
with knowledge of the Self imparted to you.

57.
Please understand what I wish to convey
and recognize the nature of the undivided Self.
Then you shall realize our meeting is superfluous
as we already exist as an unity in the Self.

58.
At the time of floods it’s water everywhere,
all differences like river, tributaries, lake, just vanish.
Be like that, give up all differences
and abide as the Self everywhere.

59.
Dyanadev says, Oh Changdev! Drop all these
labels that you have attached to your ‘being’.
Stripped of all these labels what remains
is the ‘real you’, know this and be happy.

60.
Thus Oh Changdev! I tell you again and again,
when the grandeur of Self-knowledge comes home
you transcend the triad of knower-known-knowing
and get established on the throne of perfection.

61.
Oh Changdev! My Guru Sri Nivirittinath
has been very kind and blessed you
with this delicious sweet of Self-knowledge.
It has been bestowed with great love and affection.

62.
Now, both Dyanadev and Changdev loaded with
Self-knowledge are like mirrors facing each other.
They are watching each other and in the process,
completely losing all separation and merging into one.

63.
The one who looks upon these verses
as a mirror onto his Self would certainly
benefit from the Self-knowledge therein
and enjoy the bliss being Parabrahman.

64.
The Self being free from all attributes
is very difficult to comprehend.
It cannot be seen or known in anyway.
The Self can only be known by being the Self.

65.
The Self is beyond waking, dreaming and deep sleep.
Live by devouring your present waking state.
Dyanadev says, such is the garland of these
Sixty-five verses with the fragrance Self-knowledge.


Sunday, June 30, 2013

I AM NISARGADATTA



I
Am
Nisargadatta



Pradeep Apte



Preface

One can be Nisargadatta by just pondering over these words of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj. Nisargadatta means “actually nothing”. Just pondering over the words of the Sadguru is a powerful meditation.











“What I do not know I speak, what I know I cannot speak.”

Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj





1.
Nisargadatta means ‘actually nothing’ and that’s exactly what I am. By ‘not being’ I have become ‘nothing’.




2.
Due to the Maya I came to know that
‘I am’, till then it wasn’t so. Once I recognized this mistake of mine, I realized that I was always so – without knowing.

3.
What knowledge could have occurred to me? Whatever knowledge that has occurred and I am experiencing is an illusion measured in the form of time.


4.
The knowledge that I have while not experiencing this body is my joy. I am not the body but beyond it, devoid of any illusions.



5.
Nothing is useful to me; others may find me useful, depending on how much they trust me.





6.
I am prior to everything, whatever it may be. If I am behind everything that happens then of what use is it?




7.
Now I do not meditate at all because I am unable to forget what I am. I always abide as the eternally true, unblemished Parabrahman.


8.
I am not aware of any dissolutions of the universe. All these years of the ‘living’ experience is the only disturbance I have had or known.


9.
What I do not know I speak,
what I know
I cannot speak.






10.
I am before all beginnings, after all endings, beyond being and non-being.






11.
Whatever happens
I remain,
I am unborn.







12.
I am neither born nor can I die. I have nothing to remember or to forget.





13.
For me there was no coming. It was so – always. I know for myself, I was never born.





14.
What I don’t know is prior-most,
I am in the state before the knowledge ‘I am’ appeared on me.




15.
I prevail prior to anything, I ever exist. Prior to the appearance of childhood, that is my eternal state.




16.
I am to-day like the experience I had prior to being born.







17.
To me birth only means whatever already was, came to know that it is. My birth isn’t true; it has been unknowingly thrust on me.


18.
The world and the mind – everything – are unreal, but I am not those.






19.
I, the Absolute never had any experience that I was alive.
I, the Absolute have no needs, I ever prevail.




20.
I, the Absolute am not this ‘I am’. There is no question of going into that state; I am in the Supreme state.




21.
Who will recognize me? My recognition will only come when the recognizer disappears.





22.
Why I took up this form I do not know, I even do not know that I am. All this is due to the grace of the Guru.




23.
I do not know myself so what knowledge can I have? Actually what I say is not worth telling to people.




24.
My true nature is that which was before the consciousness and body came into being.




25.
I was, I am and I shall be in that original state before the ‘I am’ came, fully established in that unborn state.




26.
As the Absolute I have no experience of myself and I do not need this consciousness.





27.
I have never seen Maya and Maya has never seen me, such is my principle.






28.
I do not hold on to this worldly body and the knowledge coming out of it.






29.
I do not give any teaching but only state what is and how it is.






30.
I am before anything can happen, having no need of any experience.






31.
Even when the consciousness goes,
I prevail
– I always am –
as the
Parabrahman.




32.
I bragged about my knowledge in ignorance, but with ignorance gone now whom to argue with?




33.
My siddhi:
I know that I don’t know anything and similarly the one sitting in front of me also doesn’t know anything.



34.
I came before memory so how can memory see me? I did not forget, but it was the memory that forgot itself.




35.
I have seen a lot of this story that has never taken place.







36.
I am not related to whatever I am saying right now.







37.
Before the ‘I am’ arrived I knew no time; birth, living and death constitute nothing but time, duration.




38.
I am the principle which survives all the creations, all the dissolutions.






39.
I, who am
there before consciousness, am not concerned in any way to all that happens in consciousness.



40.
I am not the seed,
I am not the phenomena, nor am I the consciousness which is time bound.





41.
Devoid of experience I am the great experiencer, yet this experience has no effect on me.





42.
Nothing in the world is fit for me and I am not fit for anything in the world.






43.
It is not possible to have any proof of what I say and thus it’s not needed.






44.
What I say can be useful only to the one devoid of the body.






45.
I do not belong to any creed or cult; rather they have been created out of me.





46.
Whatever has happened, I am not that. What is and has not happened
I am that.





47.
By whatever I believe myself to be alive is all false, I am not what I see or perceive. All happenings and activities are false.



48.
That ‘I am born and going to die’ is all imagination, there is no such thing as birth and death it’s all deception.




49.
I am free as I am not afraid of the mind, intellect and imagination.






50.
The body may remain or go I am as I am, living with the identity ‘I am Parabrahman’.





51.
I was possessed by the five-elemental ghost, but having stabilized in the Parabrahman, I know what it is and I am out of it.



52.
Waking, sleeping and the sense of presence are all temporary states that have come upon me, I am not these states.



53.
My true identity is a state of not-knowing, total, complete and perfect.






54.
I was there before the consciousness and body arose, I am there now and will be after the consciousness and body go.



55.
I have come to the firm conclusion that I am nothing.







56.
When nothing worked I at least accepted ‘I am not the body’ and kept saying ‘nahamdeho’ (I am not the body).




57.
I may love it, I may take care of it but I am not the body.







58.
Everything happens automatically, I just dropped the idea
‘I did it’ and there
I was – the Parabrahman!




59.
I am before all my so-called ancestors, the one prior to all who has never touched or seen the world.




60.
Through regression I progressed to find the Parabrahman available free of cost handed on an invisible platter!




61.
I am totally free because I have understood the unreality of the
‘I am’.





62.
The consciousness full of concepts is dead to me; it is gone, I have transcended it.





63.
I abide in the
no-knowing state. All my knowledge has gone into liquidation, I am unconcerned.




65.
I have no relationship at all with the activities happening through the body.





66.
How can I, the one without a body die? If there is no body what is there to destroy?





67.
My dictum:
‘Be the Parabrahman
rather than trying
to be it’.





68.
Once the unreality of the world stood exposed it didn’t matter whether it was good or bad.





69.
Dropping all the externality I found that I was waiting for myself.






70.
I avoided being tricked by whatever I understood myself to be through my understanding.





71.
I escaped the noose that imagination puts around you and hangs you.






72.
Since the world does not exist for me this life-span is useless.







73.
My state is: I am, without parents, I am the unborn. I am and I am not, and I am neither.





74.
I am certainly not presence and not even the presence of absence.






75.
Who pulled me into the womb and in what form? That was possible only if I had a form prior to conception.




76.
I am interested only in the state prior to conception, the Parabrahman.






77.
I recognized the Maya by observing that whatever done for convenience is bound to end up in inconvenience.




78.
I can clearly see that in the world of experiences derived through the senses every solution is likely to create a problem.



79.
I have no birth, what else is there to be done for when birth itself is untrue? In fact not a single experience is true.




80.
I have never entered the world so where is the question of getting out of it?






81.
Every signature I sign is false, you spend a life-time telling lies!






82.
My detachment:
I am fed up of the non-eternal.







83.
‘I’, the Absolute, am not the personal ‘I’. The personal ‘I’ cannot tolerate impersonal beingness and hence fears death.



84.
Prior to, during and after the dissolution, I, the Absolute ever prevail, untouched, untainted and unchanged.




85.
Prior to experiencing the
‘I am’ and the world I abide in myself, in my eternal Absolute state.




86.
The quality ‘I am’ has recognized its falsehood and now it is qualityless and formless and thus I have no words for it.




87.
I have always been without the body and thus the imaginations of birth and death have been destroyed.




88.
As I have appeared so will I disappear, there is no question of coming and going.






89.
I can clearly see that everything is in knowingness which has no name or form nor is it aware of happiness and grief, once it goes the world goes.


90.
Whatever I knew was false, nothing is, nobody is, all is false.






91.
I don’t tell you knowledge but just exclaim sentences like ‘The ‘I am’ itself is suffering so why complain?’ The suffering ‘I am’ has no body form.


92.
What I say is not to block or obstruct humanity but to reveal that you are not human.





93.
Whatever I say are my memories after the erasure of humanness.






94.
There are no experiences in my eternal state; ‘I’ alone prevail even without the message ‘I am’.




95.
When I do not have the knowingness of the ‘I am’ illusion, the Parabrahman state prevails.





96.
It was only when the understanding ‘I am the body’ dropped that I came to know who I am.





97.
All the words of this world are false, but I am not of this world.







98.
On realizing what I truly am all questions came to an end or disappeared.






99.
I am free because I have realized the fundamental mistake of believing the ‘I am’ to be true.





100.
Nothing has happened, nothing is gone, I have not seen anybody, and nobody has seen me.





101.
I pleased my
‘I amness’ by understanding it and in the process also discovered that I, the Absolute, am not that ‘I am’.



102.
Before the appearance
of beingness or knowingness,
I, the Absolute am eternally there.




103.
The voice that you appear to hear is the ‘paravani’, I have no voice.






104.
I have banished the body and remained where I always am.







105.
I see neither ‘actuality’ nor witness any
‘eternal truth’, my knowledge is outside the realm of imagination.



106.
I came to know myself when I came to know that I don’t know anything.






107.
Let the one who has to die, die, I cannot die.







108.
It is by the grace of the Guru that the illusion ‘I am born’ has disappeared.






109.
I am unborn,
I was unborn and
I shall remain unborn.






110.
I am Parabrahman, which means
only myself, nobody’s Guru, nobody’s disciple, nobody’s God.




111.
According to my experience all is unborn, all this that appears as the multiplicity never happened.




112.
I am myself the proof that I was never born.







113.
I know that I am not what I appear to be, I won’t die but what appears will disappear.





114.
I am before the one saying ‘I am’ and whatever meaning that flows out of this feeling ‘I am’ is false.




115.
I am formless, nameless and indestructible,
I appear to be in the helm of activity but
I am not attached
to it.



116.
Whatever I know in consciousness is an illusion, so it’s all useless.






117.
There is no need for me to say ‘I am or
I should be’.







118.
I wouldn’t be doesn’t mean that I would die.







119.
According to my experience the idea ‘I am the body’ has proved false.






120.
My beingness has dissolved into
non-beingness, a state prior to
the sphere of
subject-object.




121.
Life will escape, the body will die, but it will not affect me in the least as the real does not die and the unreal never lived.




122.
To-day I may know that ‘I am’, prior to that I didn’t, for some days and up to some day I may know it.




123.
That I came to know ‘I am’ is like an accident that occurs unexpectedly.






124.
It is due to grand deception ‘I am’ that I recognized myself as a male or female.






125.
According to the orders of my Guru my species is the formless unborn.






126.
Earlier also I was but didn’t know it, to day I know it and later I wouldn’t.






127.
I have the memory but am I the memory?







128.
I do not depend on the body and its knowledge, I am unborn so what destiny can I have?





129.
For me the duality never was so all its expressions are naught.






130.
I know I am unborn because I know that I am not as described by the mind.





131.
To me the fear of death and the idea that I am born are both imaginary.






132.
I became free the very moment the imagination ‘I am the body’ dropped.






133.
All these states that appear on me are transient including the ‘I am’ which is the main culprit.





134.
The whole riddle was solved when I met myself, the one who completely knew how he was when there was no experience of time.



135.
I cannot give any information about myself as all information is
post- ‘I am’ which is false.




136.
My real identity has no body,
no thought.







137.
I didn’t know, now I know, without this is there any knowing?







138.
Whatever I see and feel has never occurred, I am awake and I sit without words.





139.
Various imaginations do not arise as I have the conviction ‘birth is false’.





140.
I am not visible and I am indestructible as I see the destructible.






141.
I am not the body, I am without any shape or deeds, and I am without birth or death.





142.
I tried to see what I was before I came to know that ‘I am’, that’s where the
‘I am’ ends and disappears, it is called Parabrahman.



143.
Despite of ‘not being’ I had to bear this allegation called ‘birth’.






144.
Due to the words of the Guru I died while living.







145.
I am Parabrahman, I have never had the experience of any body, neither now nor later.





146.
My abode is prior to the ‘I am’ and that is where I actually reside.






147.
The body has never touched me so can I have any needs?







148.
I very clearly see that which has been born and I also know that I am not that which is born. And that is why I am totally fearless.



149.
I am nothing,
I know nothing,
I have nothing.







150.
There is no birth or world, nor did it ever come to be,
I am Parabrahman.