Conversations

Sri Amma-Bhagavan

Here are a series of Spiritual questions that are answered below by Sri Amma-Bhagavan, co-founders of the Oneness University in Golden City, India.

Seeker: Is nothing perfect in the universe?

Bhagavan: It depends on how you view things. You could either say nothing is perfect or everything is perfect. Perfection or imperfection is only in your thought. As long as thought is controlling your life there will be opposites; perfect and imperfect, good and bad, right and wrong because thought is divisive in nature. It postulates the opposites and compares. Without comparison there can be no thought at all, hence the problem of the perfect and the imperfect. Where thought is not involved, there is no division, no measurement and no conflict. It is direct perception. Everything is. The universe is.

Seeker: I have been on the spiritual path for five years now. Sometimes I feel I haven't changed because I continue to be angry, jealous, discontented, my mind moves to-and-fro into the past and the future. May be if I have a clear cut goal as to where I want to be, in a few years time I would change. Tell me what should be my goal, Bhagavan?

Bhagavan: It is five years since you began your seeking. Still you haven't moved a millionth of an inch. You have got nowhere because there is nowhere to go. Nothing exists. Then what are you craving for? How can you go somewhere when there is nowhere to go and nobody to go? You can only be yourself. This craving to be something else is an illusion. Be yourself and live your life.

Q: Bhagavan, is it possible for the entire humanity to become free of karma?

Bhagavan: If you know and understand the nature of karma and its origins, that very knowledge liberates you. So if all mankind gets into different states of consciousness, its understanding of karma would also change. And because of this there would be liberation. We could collectively declutch ourselves from karma. For that we must be collectively awakened.

Q: What should we do to attain peace in our lives?

Bhagavan: If you want peace you should not search for it. You must realize when you put in effort to get peace, that very effort destroys peace. Effort in any form in the inner world is conflict. You are here; you want to go elsewhere. So, you put in effort. That effort is the conflict. But if you would realize that effort is destructive and that effort does not take you anywhere, it would automatically drop. Absence of effort is peace.

Q: Bhagavan, kindly tell me how to experience the suffering of the other as vividly as I do my own?

Bhagavan: Very often you try to explain away your suffering. You try to understand. If on the other hand, you stop doing these things, experiencing automatically happens. Let us say, you are married and your wife is shouting at you, and if you have read a lot of books on psychology you would try to explain her behaviour, or would be busy trying to understand her. If you do neither of these, then you actually begin to experience her nagging. That is when something very strange and beautiful happens. It is only in the absence of explanations, judgements that we could experience another. That's why in the Oneness Movement many have learned to experience each other. Hitherto they complained about the nagging of the husband or the wife, today they are in ecstasy the moment the nagging begins. Hitherto they would run away from their homes, but now they don't. You could very well start with your intimate relationships.

Q: Bhagavan, where does self-doubt come from? How can I come out of this self-doubt?

Bhagavan: For this, you must understand the nature of the mind. When we say the nature of the mind, we are referring to the ancient human mind, not the individual mind. Since the mind is an illusion and has no real existence, one of its qualities is self-doubt. Remember, it is not the quality of ‘your' mind but ‘the' mind. Hence, any attempts to change the mind would be futile. Once you discover this, there is no more trouble at all. Self-doubt could go on within the mind and you can watch it. There is nothing you could do about it because that is its nature.

Q: Bhagavan, I have searched all my life for God. I have attended many spiritual discourse, seminars, visited all holy places of worship but I have not had an experience of Him.

Bhagavan: You need not search elsewhere for God. All you need to do is to look at your own life and you would see Him. Throughout your life the hand of the Divine has been continuously helping and guiding you. You are just not aware of it. When you reminisce your life, you would discover there is a higher intelligence, a higher energy, which has been there with you all the time. When you awaken to this truth, you discover the presence of God in your life.

Q: Bhagavan, should we do away with the mind completely?

Bhagavan: No, you would not be able to survive without the mind because the mind is necessary. But instead of being functional only when necessary it seems to be operational all the time. Suppose you are going out in the snow, you might have to wear some shoes. But if you are going to wear them in the bedroom, in the dining hall, they certainly would be a matter of great discomfort. The mind does have its place. However, it seems to be all over, all the time and hence a nuisance.

Q: Bhagavan, I am plagued by jealous thoughts constantly. Though I try to be non-jealous, I am not able to be. How can I become free from jealousy?

Bhagavan: Suppose there is a dog and, let us call that dog – jealousy. You want to change the dog jealousy to non-jealousy. You behind and the dog in front, you keep chasing the dog trying to catch hold of it and transform it. Then all of a sudden something strange happens. You disappear and the dog alone remains. The chase comes to an end. There is no ‘you' to become free from jealousy. What exists is jealousy. That is freedom. Here we do not speak about freedom from this, or freedom from that. We only speak of freedom.

Q: Bhagavan, would practicing contentment or being satisfied with what we have reduce one's efficiency in the world? Is motivation to become popular or famous in the external world wrong?

Bhagavan: To me, nothing is wrong as long as it comes naturally to you. I believe in two kinds of dharma. One is the dharma of the mind and the other, the dharma of the heart. If your heart has not flowered, it means you are functioning within the framework of the mind. When you are leading a life within the framework of the mind, you must be true to it. The mind revolves around the self and the self needs expression. The self would love to have money, name and fame. These come very naturally to the self. The self might even make sacrifices – I don't want money, I don't want name, I don't want fame. That also is only self-expression because you want people to love you and to recognize your greatness. You gave up everything and you feel very nice about it. Whether you feel nice about giving up money or by having money or whether you feel nice by giving up name and fame or by having them, it is up to you, but it is the same thing. Whether you give up or go after it, it is the expression of the self. So, as long as you are functioning within the mind, seeking for name, fame is very natural. Be true to that. Then there are those in-whom the heart has flowered. These people naturally have no attachments to things. Not that they practise it. It is natural to them because their heart has flowered. Contentment and satisfaction is their true state. Not that they are less efficient or less motivated. Only that they do it for a greater cause and not for fulfilling their self.

An elderly person: Of late I have been very insecure about my future. I am worried what would happen if my health failed me.

Amma: Was there a time in your life when you had no fear? Ever since you became conscious of the world around you as a child, there has been some kind of fear. Once you were insecure with regard to your children's future, some other time it was fear of higher authorities or fear of disrepute. All the time there has been some reason or the other to be scared. You have assumed that your fear is because of your life situations. The truth remains that fear does not lie in any situation. There is fear within, which keeps surfacing in various guises. To see this is wisdom.

Seeker: I am hounded by too many negative thoughts. I am not able to stop them through the best of efforts. What should I do to stay clear? Will these thoughts block my awakening?

Amma: Is it possible to classify any thought as being particularly negative? What exists is fear. Lust, jealousy and hatred are all interconnected and have their roots in fear. Humanity is ridden with fear, which is flowing through you. What could you do about it? Is there a door to shut out these thoughts? They come and go. Fighting these thoughts and digging into them would land you in depression. Get going with your work and help your fellow humans. All things will fall in place. No matter what your thoughts are, when the time comes, you will be liberated.

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