Why Are You Here for Satsang?

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

by Papaji

Light is the same. Like this, your atman is self effulgent, eternal, beauty, love, and consciousness, bliss, existence. You don't need to do anything about it. Only you get rid of your arrogance, your separation that you are not this, and it will reveal itself to the self.

We are here in satsang to save ourselves from the suffering of repeated rebirths. We are here… we are completed at least one round of thirty five million years. It happened to 8.4 million different kinds of species that we all know, and if we miss this chance again we have to go round. So let us make up some kalpa this time - no repeated birth - and pray the almighty divine comes from Mount Purity to lead us from ignorance to light - britumam amritam astumount satgarum. This should be the aim of our satsang and we are speaking here every day. And you are here from almost all countries of the world with desire to be free. And some of you have also been to several ashrams in our country and also in many centers in other countries too. Every country is now… is having yoga centers and different kind of therapies, and you have been traveling into those centers also and wherever you have gone you have been told, “Do this and do that.”

A one year old baby is provided with the baby walker by the parents. The child learns how to walk and throws away the baby walker and is very happy for the first time; and look at its majestic walk. But in those centers and those ashrams once this baby walker is given to you, you are so much attached with this you don't get rid of it, and you are not allowed to do it. You have to walk on the baby walker. This is the teaching in every ashram. And this is the discipline and this is the sadhana. And you are no more a baby, why get attached to the baby walker? And even if you can walk as a symbol you have to carry this on your shoulders. Because you often speak in such and such ashram, “We have been told to do this, we have been told to do that.”

There was one center in China. The teacher was preaching, “First of all you have to purify your mind like a mirror.” and he had a great following. “You have to clean, clean the mirror; wipe out the dust from the surface of the mirror so that you can see your face.” So this was the teaching of this teacher and he had following. There was another teacher about five hundred miles away on the other side of the mountains. The people used to visit both of these centers and speak about these teachers. So some teachers would come from this, this other center - go to this center holding mirrors in their hands and wiping out the dust. They speak, “That center, that teacher doesn't ask us to clean your mirror, to purify your minds. This teacher says “What kind of teaching could it be? If your mind is not pure how can you have reflection? It sounds quite reasonable.” So he sent one of his most trusted student. "Go visit, come back and tell me what is the teaching of this teacher."

"He doesn't teach anything; he sits quiet. And there are some students who sit too.” “You go and don't disclose that you are from such and such teacher.” And he's still sitting on the third day and this teacher asked, "You are… you belong to CIA not this teacher. You are intelligence reporter.” He said: "No sir. I came as the CIA of my teacher, no doubt. He told me to come here and see what's going on here. And I have come for that purpose to tell my teacher. But now I am no more a CIA agent. Now I am your disciple. I stayed with this teacher for forty two years cleaning the mirror, again dust will alight. Wherever there is mirror there dust has to arise, alight on it; but here when I find your teaching is, ‘There is no mirror at all; and where the dust is going to alight?’ That was all, my dear master. It opened up to me. I am free. No mirror do I need now to clean. There was no mirror at all. And now please allow me to see my teacher, let me go back. Because I promised to my teacher, and I will speak to him because, ‘This no teaching, no way, no sadhana is not known to him.’ So I will tell to my teacher and come back soon."

So he says, "Go, my son, go." He tells to the teacher, "This teacher was very good person. He also understood, he said. Because my teacher told him to go on wiping the mirror and my grand teacher also was doing the same thing, and we belong to that lineage of dust cleaners." So listening to this he also followed. And some of his students who are very arrogant - they didn't listen. The teacher followed the student and stayed here - welcomed.

So actually the Brahman, atman, is omnipotent, omniscient, self-effulgent. If there is a candle you don't need your torch in hand to find where the candle is in the room because it’s light itself. You don't need any… any extra light to see the light. Light is the same. Like this, your atman is self effulgent, eternal, beauty, love, and consciousness, bliss, existence. You don't need to do anything about it. Only you get rid of your arrogance, your separation that you are not this, and it will reveal itself to the self.

So for the last two days, repeatedly I have been asked to give you some practice. Never did I speak about any kind of practice in my life. For the last fifty years I never speak about practice. People are here who have spent minutes, hours. And here also you have seen a man from Washington DC stay two hours - immediately woke up and the satsang is still going on. I thought, “Perhaps he has to catch his flight.” I said. I have never asked him a name also, and his bag was also alongside him. And then he just prostrates and he goes up. And someone asked him, "Why you are in a hurry to go? Since you have come you can stay for at least one satsang." "It's no use to stay here," he says. "It's no use. I'm coming from Thailand, and twenty six years I have spent from center to center, and this couple of hours is quite enough. What more could any teaching be? It's enough."

Another man - he was Doctor James. In 1953 he went to attend international Buddhist conference in Bangkok. From there he comes and I was working in Bangalore for a shipping corporation and this man straight away walks to my office and he came, he came by a taxi and he was very dusty, you see. I said, "You go and have a hot shower, have a cup of coffee, and we speak." "No, no, no, I have to ask. And if your friends who are seated here, they excuse me, I'll ask you a question." And then I said, "Carry on. Ask me." He asked one question and I replied and the taxi was in front of the door itself. He said, "I am going now." I thought, “He is not satisfied.” He said, "No, I don't want to waste your time. Just five minutes it took me, because I spent many years. I have seen many teachers in China, Japan, Thailand and the rest of the centers in India, Nepal, Bhutan, and other countries also. This straight-away - no teaching - there's no teacher at all. So I will write to you before I go, even in Delhi if I have time between my flights. I will go back to London and I will write." And he did write.

This experience he wrote to me. So here this depends upon how serious you are. The people who want to hang on postpone their desire for freedom. There are thousands ashrams here. They can go there if they don't understand these things. They can go if they want to follow any practice. They can go there. There are many people there you see.

Even Lord Buddha himself. He was a prince - married to the beauty of the land, blessed with a son; and this desire for freedom arises in the midnight - wakes up, rides on the horse. (Contic was its name.) Even that horse which rode him out of the palace is now immortal horse. He went from ashram to ashram, many different kind of tapas, sadhanas were being practiced and always he said, “Not it. It's not it. This should not be like this thing.” People were hanging head down feet tied to the branch of a tree and doing penance, tapas for freedom. What relation has this kind of tapas with the freedom? Hanging like a monkey from a tree… branch of a tree… and wanting to be free, has got no relation. Yet this is being practiced even now. So different kind of… he went round different places. He rejected all ashrams and then finally he goes to Bodhgaya; sat down by himself under the bodhi tree and found it, you see.

This is the desire who is your teacher itself - this desire is your teacher itself, your guide itself. And this will bring you to your own Self. And it will not fail you if you have decided very well, “I want to be free.” But if you are egoistic, arrogant, having desire for the things which are not eternal, happiness that fade away every moment. Your relationship with those whose legs are in the mouth of the crocodile of Lord Yama, isn't it. If you want to love, if you want to be related, why not relate yourself with your own Self? And this relationship is the only relationship which is going to help you. It's not going to deceive you at all and you will not appear again into this land of suffering. It can be had instantly you see, the people have done it and every day I tell you the stories how… how people have won this freedom instantly.

Once there was king, king of the Vedas - very noble king. Desire arises in his mind to be free. He needs a teacher now. So he sent word all over the country to hold a conference so then he invited the enlightened people of this country to lead him to freedom. But his condition was he wants to be free in an instant. And what was that? Condition: as quick as to embark on a horse. So many people from the country - say about five thousand saints, sages, yogis - assembled in this camp belonging to different views, different shades, different sects. And the king stood there also, and there was a horse, and he said, "As a token of my dedication - guru dakshina - I will give eleven hundred cows, gold plated horns, garland of gold coins around their neck and a land at the bank of river Ganga. And I will build an ashram who gives me gyanam as quick as I ride this horse which stood just… just next to him.

And five thousand people assembled there. They are looking to each other, speaking to each other, “This king is not reasonable. Look I have been doing meditations in the Himalayas sixty years. I have grown gray beard and yet I do not know what is freedom.” So they are discussing, "This king is not reasonable." speaking between themselves. There comes one very dirty looking young boy. Nude he was, also deformed - in physically deformed. He didn't know what's going on here in this congregation. He looked inside. Many people were there - he also entered. And where the king stood on one foot, the left foot in his stirrup and the right was to go on the saddle. "How much time is needed to just embark on the saddle?" That was the condition of the king.

This man stood up nude, deformed, dirty, and people were laughing at him: "He doesn't know, he's insane, he's mad boy." He addressed them… addressed them first of all: "Why do you laugh… why do you laugh at me. Seeing my body you laugh. Seeing my deformity - seeing this physical form which is skin or leather - you are leather merchants. You are leather merchants; you have no business to come here in satsang." he said. "You go and do your trade in the leather market." That's all he said. That is all he said to five thousand people. "You are looking at my physical form and you are laughing, you are joking. You look after your business. You know this is satsang," he said. "No other talk is allowed here - not looking at the form. In satsang if you look at the form you are in your usual profession."

Now he addresses to the king: "Yes sir, now you come along to me. Come, I will give you freedom. But now I am your teacher and you are my student. And you have according to Indian custom you have to give me guru dakshina in advance, because after, you are free – after, you are enlightened - then me and you are equal. I can't ask anything from you because you are equal to me and you will not give anything to me. We both are equal. Therefore now you want something from me, therefore I am your teacher and you are my student. Give me guru dakshina. He says: "Here are the cows. Here are the cows, here is the land I promised." "But that land doesn't belong to you. You want knowledge of your Self, and this land before it belonged to you to whom did it belong? And these cows, too. This is public property. This land, this kingdom, was ruled by your father, isn't it? And before your father, who was the king here?" He said: "My grandfather." "And after you?" "My sons," he said.

"So you are just a manager looking after a property. Give me something that belongs to you." He says, "If you give me knowledge I will serve you all my life. All my life I will serve." He said, "How? How you are going to serve me? If you want to serve me physically, you are already… this body you have already pledged to your wives isn't it? You had an oath in front of the fire at the time of marriage, isn't it? And… and they say… all your queens, they call you ‘my king, my husband' isn't it? So your body belongs to your queens; and also the public when they say you are their king. Your body belongs to the public. It doesn't belong to you. Give me something that belongs to you itself. Body belongs to public; body belongs to your queens; body belongs to your children. It’s not your own. How can you give me something which you have already sold to others? The king was very wise; very noble king was he, very intelligent. He's now thinking that he has only one thing on which nobody… nobody can claim. “It belongs to me. I may be belonging physically but inside me there is something which I know is only me.” And then he said, "I have one thing, sir, that I have for you and this is my mind. I surrender my mind unto you."

He said, “Then let us have this ceremony. Let you bring Ganga water and repeat thrice so that this agreement of disciple and student is to be completed, so that you don't withdraw from this, and make sankalpa. Here do I surrender to you, Master. I have given you this token of my present, my guru dakshina, and you impart me knowledge. And then after this ceremony is over now; and this boy walks out of the tent and goes away - disappeared. Everybody… this congregation of five thousand people looking… do not understand. This boy is very funny. After this ceremony is over he disappeared.

King is also thinking now; king is also thinking now. One foot, left foot in the stirrup - right is to embark on the saddle of the horse. Look at his longing and look at his dedication also. Discipleship has been accepted, ceremony is over, and this man disappeared. So he is astonished. He can't help. And he's looking through the hole of the tent. This king is thinking something. Now he is outside and now king thinks… king is now is thinking himself, within himself that, "I have surrendered the mind and I am feeling in this agreement." He was very wise man. So he instantly thinks, "I have no business to mentate. I have no business to mentate, even to start a single thought - why this man has gone out of the tent." There he stopped thinking. The king stopped thinking, you see. No thought is there in the mind of the King. Here is the point which we speak every day about. There he comes and from the face you can very well know when you think, when you start a thought in the mind. And what is this thought and where are you?

This thought takes you straight away to the graveyard, mind you. This thought - any thought that rises in your mind - is it… isn't it a past; isn't it a past? Mind itself is past. Thought itself is past. Whatever you think is past. And what is past is graveyard. Therefore you are in the graveyard. You are not living being, you are speaking to the dead. What is dead? Memory. Memory is graveyard. It's not satsang. Here now satsang is going to take place; give me your attention. So that face is very different when you have no thought - that face you have been seeing. Yesterday also people were here. Instantly this same question was there about enlightenment. I do not know that man. Perhaps if this young man from Germany and the other one from Sweden, I will call them and see what's happening with them today.

And now this… this young person, he arrives in front of him - one foot in the stirrup, other was to go on the other side on the stirrup to embark on the saddle. That was the promise and this is the time. No thought in the mind of this king. When there's no thought and this previous thought, “I want freedom, first of all.” Everyone is bound because we separate ourselves from… from our own existence, consciousness and bliss - bliss. Somehow, we think and we call: “Now we are bound.” The wave rises from the ocean and separates and searches, “Where is the ocean?” Searches day and night - the wave is searching, “Where is the ocean?”

Like this all this manifestation we are all searching, “Where is… where is consciousness and where is existence and where is bliss?” This is what's going on here, so when I am bound? It’s very few people who have this concept who have superimposed bondage on them - superimposition that also - and then they will give rise to another superimposition of freedom. He who's bound, very few will aspire for light, wisdom.

So when your thought stops, mind stopped, bondage vanish, also the freedom vanished, isn't it? There is no mind. It was the mind that troubled you – “I am bound.” Can you sleep? Neither you are bound nor you are free because mind is not there. So when this king stood up thoughtless, his urge for freedom also disappeared, bondage disappeared, also the freedom disappeared. Now at that time, what else could be That is beyond description. He who has this experience will know how to describe it and this King has described very well, you see. He brought the other foot which was planted into this stirrup back on the deck itself, prostrated in front of him three times, went round three times, and he blessed him and he went away. He disappeared, you see. This is over.

So I started this, this morning satsang, this practice, because many people want. So I… so I have to agree to them because they want some direct practice. So have I told them yesterday, day before yesterday, till… till you can't walk on your own legs you can practice on existence - on Existence. “I am existence. I am consciousness. I am bliss.” To have your relation with what really you are. This also is creating knower, knowing and known. So finally they have to merge into that where there is no duality at all. How long you can live in dualities - knower, knowing, known. If you want some support there's no problem, you see. You can have instead of doing any other exercise. This is acceptable in the shutees, and the sages allow it - to do it, therefore I can agree. “I am existence.” Who can deny, “I don't exist.” first of all? Do you ever go and ask someone, "Do I exist or not?" Do you… do you ask, "Am I conscious or not?" You don't ask this question. If you ask you'll be sent to Nuermunser here. You do not know what's Nuermunser. Someone who belongs to this talk, they will know it.

First of all, those people who are there who can't deny, “I am that.”? In the ancient times also, the student who has a burning longing for freedom; he goes to the teacher in the forest and just asks this question. "Ho ham?" This question he doesn't know, "Master, save me! I am afflicted with this serpent of samsara. Now I am fed up again, again, and again appearing, disappearing. In society I have been troubled. Oh masters, save me. Ho ham. Who am I?" "My dear son, why not?" He gives indication, "Thou art That, that's all. Thou art That." He follows That. Instantly he says… instantly he finds it is That - finger pointing to the moon. He will see the moon that takes you to your own Self, and he agrees. Then he says: "I am, I am, I am, I am."

This moment will never come again, mind you. This moment which is passing in front of you is gone, as father who is dead will never come back again. This moment just in front… just in front… in front of you is possible, is not going to make the best of it. And best of it, best use of it is only… only to get into it. Get drowned into this moment… This Moment - not the previous, not the next.

This is what happened to the King of the Dehas, this what is happened. He didn't sit… he didn't sit for meditation. Neither has the teacher told him to meditate now. The real teacher has no teaching. There may be preachers who tell you do this and do that. Perhaps in my own words I call them murderers, butchers. They butcher you, they murder you who tell you do this and do that, you see. Teacher has no teaching. He doesn't give you teaching because you are that already. What the teacher is going to tell you, “You are already that.” What can she tell you distracts you and every exercise, every sadhana, every practice is distraction from your own Self, because you get otherwise engaged and you are already afflicted by thirty five million years.

Are you not afflicted like to add something more on it? Why not to throw away this burden once for all; and here goes. A very sharp one has to have this knowledge now itself - in this moment - and you have been seeing the result. The dull ones have no place in this satsang. First of all the dull ones have no place in this satsang. The sharp witted person, intelligent person like Ashoka, [chuckle] yeah, Shankara, one word, even Vivekenanda recently, Ram Tirtha recently, you see. So this satsang I don't think is for the dull people. I tell every day and so many people are here there must be something wrong going on here under this roof. Never it has happened in the past, so many people coming for satsang. Only one teacher, one student. Even Shankara had only four students, you see. So sometimes I think, “Why these people are here? Sometimes five hundred, four hundred people here. Some falsehood is being practiced here. I should take care of it.” Wherever there is someone dancing there will be crowd of it. Where truth is being spoken who could be there, you see. Now it's some dance is there on the road, you can see everyone will disappear. Who will be with me, you see? Some dancing you see on the road, you will just give a test yourself. It’s not satsang, you see.

So those few people, I don't some get into trouble and then they… they need this because this is a fire. This is a fire which will burn everything. They can't stay in satsang, therefore you see some people… some get up and during the satsang disappear. The next day they don't come. You are seeing every day; you are seeing every day. Some are here since a year, two years. Some read the papers, some magazines, and come from far off countries you see. Some come here, and you will see new faces who are to come for the first day and I guarantee tomorrow they are not coming here. You have been telling every day, isn't it? Because this is a jump into their arrogance. Because their arrogance is… is struck at the root. Who wants to separate from his arrogance, “I am so and so. I am this much, I am that much from the bank. This my land, this is my apartment, this is my ninety-three model Benz.” That's all what everybody wants.'

I think one satsang is quite enough. If you decide on going for satsang don't tie your rope. Some have tied even today. They have fixed up their appointment with their wives, with their offices, “I'll be back at eleven thirty.” isn't it? Tied a rope as… as you slide a bucket into the water and the bucket things are very happy in this shower-bath; the bucket is very happy into the wells of the water. Outside is 44 degrees (celcius) and this bucket is very hot. And this kind man has put me down to well. Now I am very happy but she doesn't know. She is tying me with the rope. She is just taken in. Like this everybody is sitting for that bucket. They tie the rope around their waist with something or the other… appointment. “After this satsang I will meet you,” isn't it? If you cut your rope once only – once - that is quite enough.

You need not come again and again - only one time. Once just for five minutes because your atman is not away from you, only you are driven by the rope. Everybody is thinking… everybody is thinking, “It’s getting late. Papaji is getting too much time. Isn't it? Tying a rope and coming to satsang, many people say. One man came who is here who lives in Indira Nagar, in this 'A' Block itself. He just came and he requested that, "I want to see Papaji before satsang." I said, “He may have a question.” When he came in I asked, “Let him come before satsang and I want to know if he has a special… he wants special time. I will give him.” He asked me, he will get summer vacation in October. Will I be here in October? "Where do you live?" He said, "I live here itself. I live here, I live here." I said, “Attend this satsang. You come here.” "No, no, no, no. I've not come for satsang, I just came to make inquiry." I said, "Are you? Have you a guarantee that you will live in October, or will I have a guarantee will I live in October?" You see, I cannot know what's going to happen next moment, you see.

5 June, 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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