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22. Remember Who You Are


You are not the personal 'I'; You are the impersonal, the absolute. The personal 'I' cannot tolerate the impersonal because it means its end, its death, and so it is afraid. But the eternal 'I', the absolute, knows no fear. As the personal 'I' you are certain to die. With what identity will you die? Will you suffer a lowly death? Why meekly allow yourself to be gobbled up by death? Die nobly and honorably. Now, even before death, be the infinite, be the absolute. Be the highest.

When you meet a lion you can either run away or allow yourself to be eaten by it. But even if you run away he is very likely to catch you and kill you. So, ei­ther way you die. Then why die like a coward out of fear? Stand your ground and when he comes at you attack the lion bravely and knock out some of its teeth. Now, for so long you have been watching, nourishing, protecting and guarding this personal 'I'. It is very dear to you. But, in truth, you are not this personal 'I'. It has nothing at all to do with you, and you know that in the end it will be gobbled up by time. The lion which will devour this pet 'I' of yours is time and you are very much afraid of it. When you are afraid of time you become its prey. But, if you are unafraid of time, then time becomes your prey. A jnani consumes time while others are consumed by it. Be a jnani. Transcend time, transcend this beingness and all its attributes. Completely give up this pet of yours even before the lion strikes for the kill. Abide in the absolute, return to your true nature, and this lion called 'time' will slink away and have nothing more to do with you.

In my original non-knowing state I had no sense of being. But, all of a sudden, the beingness was felt spontaneously. Then in a flash I observed this enormous manifest world and also my body. Later, I conceived that the entire universe has manifested in the speck. First, there was no message 'I am' and there was no world. Instantly the message 'I am' and this magnificent world materialized out of nothingness! How amazing. This message 'I am' is nothing other than the advertisement of the eternal truth. To stabilize me in this eternal principle my guru initiated me by pronouncing the sacred words tat-tvam-asi, which means 'I am That'. From that moment onwards I lost all interest in worldly affairs.

The mistake of perception arises because the seeing is partial, because the seeing is only with the outer senses and a divided mind; it is not whole seeing from the source of seeing. That sense of existence, that sense of presence, that 'I amness', the unchanging subjective experience of self, cannot be seen by the senses, and, therefore, does not enter into the conceptions projected by the mind, which unceasingly carries on its objectification of everything. But, when the subjective is apprehended intuitively, then the concept of separate objects becomes untenable. Can the consciousness in you and the consciousness in me be different? Are they not separate only as concepts projected by the mind, and are they not in perfect unity when unconceived, when free of mind? And is not that knowing of the underlying unity, the very basis of love? And if all is subjective, if there is only unity, can there be any room for the objective? So-called objects are just illusory appearances in consciousness, appearances in the universal 'I amness', which by its name and its very nature is wholly subjective and permits no room for another, other than Self.

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