Of the four major pathways to self-realization, jnana yoga, from the point of view of the beginner, is the most difficult.
To practice jnana yoga, the yoga of knowledge and discrimination, it's necessary to have a highly developed mind.
One who practices jnana yoga has practiced the other yogas for many, many lifetimes.
The yoga of knowledge is the yoga of perfection. It is the end and the beginning of all things.
There is nothing but God.
When we talk about self-realization, we're talking from the point of view of limitation of the mind. Real knowledge is to see that you are that -- you are eternity.
To talk about realizing the Self is discontinuous because there is nothing to realize but the Self. There is nothing but realization.
There is no one to realize the Self.
To realize the Self involves an action, it implies that there is something to realize, that there is time, a temporal world, and that Self is not yet realized, but will be realized by the actor through action.
This is not the case. There is nothing that is not the Self. The Self does not have to be realized.
There has never been anything but the Self. There is no world, there is no time, there is no place, there is no condition. There is nothing and there can be nothing else.
The illusion of selfhood, ego, a separate identity is false.
There is nothing but eternity. Eternity has always been and will always be.
There is no place to go and no one to be.
What is there? No one can say --because there is no one there to say.
If we really reflect and discriminate, we'll find that all things are created by our perception, that all states exist within the mind.
The whole objective universe is created, ordered, by our perception and by our sense of self.
The ego holds us to this world. The ego is the feeling that you are. But you are not, nor have you ever been, nor will you ever be.
What is self? Self is the mind viewing itself. That's all. The mind stops viewing itself and turns towards infinity. There is no self, there's only infinity.
When we erase perception, then we erase that which perceives perception. The universe dissolves and we see that it was never real to begin with.
On the pathway of knowledge we view life as in a dream. We feel that all of this world is a dream.
We go to the cinema we see images projected on the screen -- but they're not real, they're only images.
Consciousness is the screen. The images on the screen are your perceptions, the illusion that life is solid, that there is a material universe.
There is no material universe. There is no reality. All that exists are images.
Where do these images comes from and where do they return? What is it that projects these images? How is it that we are the screen? How is it that we have forgotten that we are the Self and that nothing but the Self exists?
These questions can only be answered in absorption, because there are no answers.
Answers can suit the relative mind. In the dream we can be thirsty. But upon awaking from the dream, there's no thirst.
All questions about the Self, fall away in the white light of eternity, in nirvana, because then we have awakened from the dream.
The finite forms have fallen away and we have become God.
So when we wake from the ignorance of this world, the dream of existence, all of the experiences that we have ever had fall away. The ideas of life and death, of rebirth, of reincarnation, karma, God, truth, knowledge -- all these things fall away.
While we're in the dream, these are useful notions.
While all the things you believe and know exist in their own right, they're ways of looking at existence, but existence is infinite -- it's beyond all ways of looking.
All the concepts, all knowings, all truths, all religous systems, all beliefs, fall away in the white light of eternity.
The dream appears to be real. It does really seem we are here in this world; but this is not so.
At the end of the dream, on the other side of the rainbow, there's only light.
In that undifferentiated reality of the Self there is eternal bliss. All the phantoms of existence fade away.
In deep meditation, all of the things that we call life, all of the combinations of experiences, fall away.
Once we erase ourselves, then there's no eraser. There never was anyone to erase. We've awakened from the dream and the dream has faded.
Sometimes, as we practice jnana yoga, we feel that life has no meaning, no purpose. We feel that there is no reason to try, that life is empty. This is another illusion.
It might seem that this knowledge is cold, devoid of emotion, empty. This is another illusion.
It might seem that this knowledge is useful. This is another illuison.
It is neither favorable nor unfavorable, because no one is there to favor it.
Anything you can say, think, feel, trust or feel is untrue -- is an illusion. The fact that there are these things is an illusion.
Illusion doesn't mean that something is not real. Illusion simply means that something is less real than something else. This life and this world certainly exist -- who is to say the reality of the dream is not real?
"The dream is real but it does not last" -- This is an illusion.
"The reality is real and it does last" -- This is an illusion.
"Nothing is as it seems" -- This is an illusion.
"There are no illusions" -- This is a gross illusion.
No matter which way you turn ... there's nothing but illuison.
How do we find a way out? By realizing that there's no place to go, that there's no way out, that there's no way in. All that exists is the Self.
The Self is infinite. The Self is eternal. You are that Self. Beyond words, thoughts, ideas, forms and belief systems. There is nothing but the Self.
It is only when you have become that true Self consciously, when all these illusions have fallen away, that you will be perfectly free and perfectly happy.
If silence only conveys the Self, if all words and thoughts are illusions, why do we discuss it?
It is because people exist in varyinig degrees of the dream.
If I enter into your dream and say,"wake up!" If you awaken, then the dream will vanish. We'll be right where we always were and always will be, everywhere and nowhere -- eternally perfect, infinite awareness.
Jnana yoga is a very demanding practice. It's necessary for you to become conscious of the fact that you're not human.
We have to constantly ask ourselves: "Who am I?"
We have to remind ourselves that we are not the transitory body, we are not the person who is having experiences, we are not affected by action or inaction.
A perfect life is to observe -- to realize that you have no control over the events in your life, that there are no events in your life, that there is no life.
You can enjoy the beauties of this world, as long as you remember this world doesn't exist.
You can enjoy the ideas of salvation, as long as you realize that there's no one to be saved.
Discrimination, viveka, means you know the difference between the transient and the eternal. That's what discrimination means in Shankara's yoga.
We must constantly remind ourselves that we are eternity, infinite, beyond birth and death.
Birth and death are illusions, they are part of the dream.
On waking from the dream, we see that birth and death, the sense of self, other -- all of these things fade away.
In the white light of eternity, there is only eternity.
Discrimination involves reflection and absorption.
The path of knowledge is said to be difficult in that it is the path of Samadhi.
The yoga of discrimination is only practiced once you have started to go into Samadhi.
In India and other places, there are people who fool themsleves. They walk around all day saying, "Who am I? Who am I?"
It is impossible to know who you are until you enter into Samadhi.
Samadhi is the absorption of God. There's no sense of time, place or condition.
Samadhi is the actual awareness of what you really are.
It is only in Samadhi that you'll begin to get an inkling of who you are; and finally, it is only in nirvana that this perfect truth will become clear.
There won't be emptiness. Emptiness is just another idea, another illusion.
You find yourself in this world, you find yourself out of this world and there's no one to find the Self. There's no Self to find.
I wouldn't really worry to much about practicing the yoga of discrimination at this point in your evolution.
Until you've reached that point where you've perfected your lower nature and cleansed your emotional being, jnana yoga will have to wait.
To strengthen yourself for the knowledge of discrimination, it's necessary to learn to concentrate.
Each day when you meditate, you should devote the first few minutes of your meditation to concentration. This will develop the power of the intellect.
All those moments spent in concetration will give you a terrific strength and with that strength you will cut aside all illusions.
Jnana yoga is practical.
If you practice a little jnana yoga in your daily life, it will help you tremendously.
All you have to do is ask yourself one question whenever you are trying to decide what to do:
"Where is truth? Is there truth in what I am doing now?"
Don't try and understand this with your mind. There will be no absolute knowing, no certainty in these thoughts and philosophies and ideas.
The yoga of discrimination can never be put into words, since the entire yoga exists beyond words.