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

by Papaji

And this presence, this present instant is called freedom, enlightenment, wisdom, bliss. And you can do it without any effort, here and now. Without any effort and without starting any thought either. No thinking. So simple it is. And this simplicity has not been recognized therefore we have to suffer endlessly.

We are going to speak: What is death? Fear of death? There are beings, bodies everywhere - under the water, under the ground, over the earth, in the air. They cannot be counted - billions, trillions of bodies. All have to die. And this death is after each body. Even after death and this death is following this body; even after, death will bring another body and then again death. That's repeated for millions and millions of years unless you remove this fear of death.

Because what is body? Earth, water, fire, air - that's all. This is the body and these are the elements outside also. Somehow integration has taken place of earth, water, fire, air; and then you have to disintegrate at the time of death. So if we realize it, always understand it – “These are the elements, but I am not the elements. I am not this body. I am not perishable. I am imperishable – Brahman”. Then perhaps you have solved this problem once and for all and you will not wear this body once again.

And how to do it? First of all, when you have found conviction of ‘I’ don't talk of reality. When you speak: “I am this ‘I’.” When you use, “I am this ‘I’." and you have firm conviction of ‘I’ - and this ‘I’ is identified with the body - don't talk of enlightenment, freedom or reality or truth or bliss or ananda whatsoever. It's not possible. And this ‘I’ is universe, bondage. When ‘I’ arises the universe arises, the bondage arises. And when there is no ‘I’ - no concept of ‘I’ - that's called freedom.

So how to get rid of this concept of ‘I’? There are various ways described in the book of knowledge, Upanishads, sutras also. So everybody says, “I am ...” everybody says, “I am so and so, you are so and so, he is so and so, and this is the world.” No one ever questions, "What am I? Where do I come from? Where do I return to? What is the purpose of my coming here? What have I done?" So this question is never asked. "Who am I?" is never asked. So you have to question, "Who am I?" And then you have to search for its answer by yourself here and now. And this is going to free you.

And through yoga also you can do it. Just with the count of eight breaths - inhaling, exhaling - just for 8 times. How much time it takes? One minute you have 16 breaths, one minute - just half a minute and you are free. How? During these 8 inhalings or exhalings do not associate with any object and you are free. You can do it here and now. Just for 8 counts of your inhalings, no association with any object and you are free. Freedom is here and now, always, everywhere. You have been postponing for millions of years because of vasanas - "I want this, I want that. I am attached to this person, and that person is very much attached to me." This is all and this is called the cycle of birth and death, and this is universe, and this is bondage, suffering. And actually it doesn't exist - only vasana.

There is no difference between vasana and samsara. Vasana is, "I want this." That's all. When you don't give rise to simply, "I want this or that." Where is samsara; where has it gone to? So this vasana is samsara, and this vasana is time, this vasana is mind - which is past. Samsara is past. Mind is past. Vasana is past.

So we have never looked into this present moment, not ever. We have never tried it. We have never been told, no one ever taught us, what is Presence.

We speak always of past and future. Everywhere there is a talk of past and future. Who could speak of this presence? And this presence, this present instant is called freedom, enlightenment, wisdom, bliss. And you can do it without any effort, here and now. Without any effort and without starting any thought either. No thinking. So simple it is. And this simplicity has not been recognized therefore we have to suffer endlessly.

Even this suffering does not exist. As in the dream where we are attacked by robbers… attacked by robbers, and we are suffering. They are threatening us with revolvers in hand so we want some help… nobody helps. What can anybody do? So there comes a tiger - a roar of the tiger! The robbers run away, fearing their own death. And with the roar of the tiger this man who was attacked by the robbers wakes up… wakes up, you see. Now where are the robbers? Where is the fear? Where is the tiger? Where is the suffering? In the dream everything was there. There were robbers, fear, tiger. Everything was dream visions, illusions, hallucinations. But on waking up, nothing existed.

Likewise, the same is the case here. There is no difference at all. So you are all sleeping, and when we dream we must have previously slept. Before we must have been sleeping, then in the sleep we dream. In the dream we see objects - sleep, dream, objects, you see. So when we see objects we are dreaming. When we are dreaming we are sleeping. So here also, when we see objects we are dreaming and we are sleeping. Wake up! What is this wake-up now? Is the roar of the tiger that made you wake up from the dream, from the sleep, like this thing? When you want to be free, "I want to be free!" is the roar of the tiger.

First of all, no one wants to be free and this is a fact. No one wants to be free. Some fear is there. They need some help. Go and join meditation retreats. Go to some teachers for some help. Help to solve their problems, not for freedom. Who? Who comes for freedom, first of all?

We are 6 billion people tonight. How many are there? How many buddhas? How many enlightened people have we produced for quite billions of years now? Because we don't want freedom we want to enjoy, and this enjoyment, and this enjoyment. Each time is taking away from us; then again we make up our mind. The desires unfulfilled are waiting will give us next birth to enjoy the same; again not fulfilled. Whose desires are fulfilled? Not even the emperors have fulfilled their desires, not even the kings. Nobody has fulfilled their desires. So each man thinks, "I will fulfill my desires." and later on no one speaks of freedom at all. Some fear there, perhaps no one wants freedom.

And this is a fact, because he who wants freedom has to be free in the same moment when he wants to be free. Because the wave rises from the ocean, is the ocean, within the ocean - not separate. So when the desire for freedom arises it arises from Freedom itself, from Self itself, and is the Self itself, you see. If it is an ocean there has to be a wave not separate from the ocean itself. And in the desert if it arises it's a mirage. In the desert also there are waves. People run after it to have a soothing bath, swim in that. So that also is a river with waves but it is not real. It was not there in the morning neither in the evening, only for some time it is there. So this pleasure is for sometime. Just in the waking state or in the dream state that you can enjoy is not abiding, is not permanent, is not eternal peace. And after having enjoyed and found peace, you want to run for something else. So it's not peace at all.

Peace - once attained - you are peace itself. So when you run here, there, it is something else; it is sensual pleasure, not peace, not bliss - sensual pleasure because it is the nature of the mind. Having enjoyed one thing it wants something else and then something else, and this is called samsara.

So if you desire freedom make up your mind, if not today maybe at the end of this life if not next life. Don't postpone it. This postponement is called samsara. Samsara means postponement. And if you stand on your toes and decide, "I want to be free." who can stop it, first of all? Decide once and for all: “I have to be free.” Because freedom is within and when you say, "I want to be free." who speaks? Who is it that wants to be free? From where does it rise? Even this desire - I want to be free - where does it rise from? Where does it stand? Where does it subside to?

Just you have to understand this thing: You have not to go anywhere. Even you have not to desire anything. Only just understand that you are not bound. “I am suffering, I am bound,” you have heard from someone else. It's not real experience. You find out yourself. This suffering, this death, these tensions, you have heard from someone else; it's not your experience. Because when you sleep all what you have heard, of what you have read, is not there; and you are happy even in sleep, though this is ignorant state. You are happy because all that you have read or heard, experienced, and tasted and smelled and seen is no more there, and you are happy. So if you free yourself of what you have seen, smelled, heard, tasted or touched, just for one second - maybe half of the second, maybe half of the half will do. That's how, you see.

What is… I remember just now in this context, Ekentari. I will translate Hadigari:

Adi se puni aab. Sungabetide sadu ki, botukatain abrad.

So he says,
One instant or one second, half of the second, half of the half of the second.
If you associate with a saint, a perfect teacher; perhaps you are all the kalpas,
but all the bondages are completed, severed away and you are free.
That's what Goswamitutishida says. And Kabir also says the same thing, you see. He also says,

Chetiter, manter, boditer.

He was an illiterate man. Kabir was illiterate. He says that, I have never touched ink on the paper, nor have I held pen in my hand.” That's what he says - that was his education.

Chetiter, manter, buditer, isfalavsherid.

Batche, batche halfkerain, kahat Kabir Kabir.

So he says - I will translate:

Do not start a thought in your mind. Keep your intellect quiet.

Chetiter - mind - also quiet. Senses also quiet. And then enlightenment itself will be calling you from behind. Enlightenment itself will be inviting you from, “Dain ohkabir - Wait, I am following you.” That is how it happened.

So don't start a thought, one single thought. Don't discriminate between this and that, and no mentation, and one second, half second, half of the half. How could it be difficult now? It is difficult for those who are yet attached to something more precious than their own Self - more precious, more beautiful, more worth acquiring than your own wisdom, than Self, than eternity, than bliss. Therefore how can they ask for freedom? So he who wants - whatever he wants - he is drawn by that particular object, you see. So wherever your attachment is, wherever the object of your attachment is, there you are. Doesn't matter where you are; you may be in satsang.

29 September, 1992

Suggestions for Further Reading

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.

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