Some teachers who attended the Teachers’ Guild meeting in the town came on a visit to the hall. One of them asked Sri Bhagavan: “I seem to be wandering in a forest because I do not find the way.”
M.: This idea of being in a forest must go. It is such ideas which are at the root of the trouble.
D.: But I do not find the way.
M.: Where is the forest and where is the way unless they are in you? You are as you are and yet you speak of a forest and ways.
D.: But I am obliged to move in society.
M.: Society is also an idea similar to that of the forest.
D.: I leave my home and go and mix in society.
M.: Who does it?
D.: The body moves and does all.
M.: Quite so. Now that you identify yourself with the body you feel the trouble. The trouble is in your mind. You think that you are the body or that you are the mind. But there are occasions when you are free from both. For example in deep slumber, you create a body and a world in your dream. That represents your mental activities. In your waking state you think that you are the body and then the idea of forest and the rest arise. Now, consider the situation. You are an unchanging and continuous being who remains in all these states which are constantly changing and therefore transient. But you are always there. It follows that these fleeting objects are mere phenomena which appear on your being like pictures which move across a screen. The screen does not move when the picture moves. Similarly, you do not move from where you are even when the body leaves the home and mixes in society. Your body, the society, the forest and the ways are all in you; you are not in them. You are the body also but not this body only. If you remain as your pure Self, the body and its movements need not affect you.
D.: This can be realised only by the Grace of the master. I was reading Sri Bhagavata; it says that Bliss can be had only by the dust of the Master’s feet. I pray for Grace.
M.: What is Bliss but your own being? You are not apart from Being which is the same as Bliss. You are now thinking that you are the mind or the body which are both changing and transient. But you are unchanging and eternal. That is what you should know.
D.: It is darkness and I am ignorant.
M.: This ignorance must go. Again, who says `I am ignorant’? He must be the witness of ignorance. That is what you are. Socrates said, “I know that I do not know.” Can it be ignorance? It is wisdom.