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Sri Bhagavan on the Illusion of Self


Question : If self is an illusion, who am I. What is my real existence?

Bhagavan: You do not exist. That is the truth. That sense of “I and you”, the sense of separateness, is an illusion. It does not really exist. For example, as you are listening to me, you are seeing me but you are not hearing me, and when you hear me, you are not seeing me. But that is happening so fast, that you have this illusion that you are seeing and hearing. The two senses have got coordinated, like in a movie, unless you have those 16 shots moving per second you will not see the hand movement, in the movie theatre. If the projector is slowed down it becomes only like a slide. Similarly, here the senses are coordinating at a particular speed whereby you are feeling that you are seeing, touching as though all these things are going on at the same time. It is this illusion that creates the sense of “Me” and “I”.  If this is slowed down, you all just vanish! So, now you are there. If I were to slow down your senses, if you would give me permission, you would just disappear. You will go back home minus yourself! But you will still be very functional, you will in fact be very efficient. The sense of separateness would completely be gone. What remains there is life or you may call it pure consciousness; the stuff from which this whole universe is made. What is there ultimately is consciousness and that has to only to be experienced. How can you see yourself? There is no way to see consciousness, because you are that. Its true nature is Ananda and Love. It is a causeless Love.

What you call love is not truly love. You either beg for love, asking somebody to give you love, or if you give love it is because somebody is big or famous or great or wealthy or you have something to gain from that. You love your wife or husband because he or she means something to you. You possess somebody, you are attached to somebody. That is not the love we are talking about. This love is a causeless love. It is just there. This can happen only if the “I” the “self” disappears. It’s a very simple thing - the senses have to be slowed down a little bit… and behold; You are not there! What is there is only life. You will feel you are one with the universe, completely one. It is not a mystical experience. A mystical experience comes when the kundalini rises to the chakras, but when it comes down… the experience is lost. We are not talking about that. We are talking of a very robust state of 24 hours irreversible consciousness. You are completely gone. To attain this state you must qualify. The qualification is, you must set right your relationship.

It takes only 7 minutes for me to give you that state you perceive everything without the “Me” or the “I” . For example: when I look at you people, I don’t feel you are outside of me. Its as though all of you are inside of my belly, I can never see anything as separate. It’s a fact and reality for me, and this is how all these 320 people who have got the state are experiencing. You can experience it. Somebody is not outside of you. Strangely the boundaries of the body cease. You no more can see it as your hand or your body, Its gone. The whole thing has become your body, it is a part of you. It is then that you have this true love, because it is a part of you. There is no cause, and there is no question of the mind slipping into the past or worrying about the past or projecting into the future or thinking about the future. It lives in the moment. Every moment it lives and you start really living. Right now, what is happening is, you are merely existing. You live because you are afraid of dying. Otherwise you see no reason, why you should continue with your mediocre life. You get up in the morning, go to the toilet, brush your teeth, have your breakfast, pack up your lunch, go to office or do some business, come back, have a quarrel with your wife, have a fight with your child… again comeback watch your TV… day in day out…this routine, mediocre, meaningless, purposeless.

You create of course some meaning. You say “I’m doing some social work…helping man….” and all kinds of things because you have to invent these things. There is no meaning, because deep inside, there is only sorrow inside you. You don’t know what to do with your lives. You’ve got into this mechanical trap created by self, by the “Me”. So, you have built up various escape systems, mechanisms and you continue with this kind of life and the only reason you are not sick is because, I can probably say, you are afraid of dying ….

You have had no moments of ecstasy or bliss or joy. It is what really life is all about. You’ve certainly missed out on all that. So, sometimes I marvel how people are able to live. It really baffles me. To me, giving enlightenment is not a big problem at all. To me the problem is, I wonder how people continue to live, how many escape systems can they build! They have TV systems, computers, sky diving… and what else….somehow you must manage your lives. You are managing your sorrow, you are escaping from your sorrow, doing all these things but fundamentally that pain is there inside; that ache, what’s all this ? What is the meaning of life? Where are we going? We are getting older, and seem to have achieved nothing and what is the purpose of all this….?

That is the meaning of the word ‘Dukha’. There is no translation for it in English. We use the work ‘suffering’, which is not the true meaning of the work ‘dukha’. It is a very abstract and not clearly definable ache you have, the ache which Buddha had. He had everything in life yet that pain was there, that sense of “what’s all this about”. That is what we mean by the work ‘dukha’. So, this has to go, That’s the reason for the Mukthi Yagna. But you must first feel that pain. That’s the 1st qualification. If you don’t feel the pain and say “OK! I’m managing my suffering and I’m happy with it” then I have no business with you.

I can help you only if it is going to really trouble you. The second thing is, your relationships. That’s very important. Then you are ready for receiving my grace of Mukthi. Only then you’ll know what true love is, what compassion is, what it is to share your life with others, what all this talk of oneness is. All the scriptures will start revealing themselves to you. Nobody needs to teach you. You are your own guru you can see it for yourself.

Liberation from Work
Liberation from Society
Liberation from Civilization
Liberation from Knowledge
Liberation of the Mind
Liberation from the Self
Liberation of the Senses
Liberation of Life