Search & Read
Where Is the World?
Becky: Dear radiant Guruji, well, I am very surprised that you have time to be looking at YouTube… I thought you were too busy enlightening poor lost souls like me and studying sacred texts all the time. Anyhow, on a more serious note I would like to thank you – again – for your amazing teaching.
I had a few friends around for the weekend who were interested in what happened to me in India when I came in contact with Vedanta. Extraordinary things happened. I know very well it wasn’t me, but it was the Vedanta coming through. At the end of a discussion of karma yoga, one of my friends burst into tears. She said she now realised why she was so ill. It was because of the degree of control and stress she had maintained in her life. She now understands that she has the key to let go and will get better. Another acquaintance who is working on an advanced degree in social science said that as a result of what she heard she has decided to give up the course. She also wants to come and study sometime with you. I suggested that giving up the research might be slightly too drastic and that she should think about it, but she says she now has a much clearer idea of what she wants in life, which is to spend more time on spiritual enquiry. Unbelievable!
They also loved learning about the three energies. That brought about some deep shifts in them. Or maybe in me, since they are me, obviously. So it was a very gratifying time for me and I felt privileged to be able to bring them just a fraction of these teachings. Don’t worry, I will try not to get too gratified, as I know I am just the instrument of the self which is me, etc., etc.
They did go on at boring length about sex, however. I told them that they were being predictable and shallow and that sattva relates to pure love whereas rajas is about sex and desire. But they argued that sex could also be sattvic. I said, yes, if it is combined with love, but that I would check this out with my living guru. So sorry to ask, but they are now writing messages about this on my Facebook wall (yawn, yawn), so I would just like confirmation that there is no desire in sattva?
Ramji: There is desire in sattva. It is not burning, like rajas. It is more refined. Sattva is desire for knowledge and pleasure, not sexual pleasure but more refined pleasures like art, poetry, music, spirituality, etc. Sex is rajasic, but you can do it in a tamasic, rajasic or sattvic way. I’ll let you work out the details.
Becky: There is something I have been puzzling a lot about. If the world is in me – and I realise this now – can it therefore not exist independently of me?
Ram: Yes, indeed. It is made out of you, i.e. consciousness, but it is insentient. To say it is consciousness means that the “world” thought appears in your awareness and is constructed out of awareness. You are sentient. It is an object appearing in you. It is not independent of you, but you are independent of it.
Becky: I guess many students of Vedanta ask this question. But when Becky dies, since the self continues, does the material world carry on? I suppose it does, since it is in the self… and it is the subtle/gross body that dies.
Ram: Carry on for whom? It does not carry on for Becky, because she is no more. The material world is God’s creation and it definitely carries on until the dissolution of the universe, which is so far off that we say that it is “relatively” eternal.
Becky: At the moment I seem to be experiencing the world in my mind or intellect… and am not sure when this is the self (although I understand intellectually I am the self and it is all the same) other than when I forget the small, Becky-self such as when I am going about my business or meditating… so am not sure about this. This gets so confusing sometimes that I have to do something mundane and grounding instead. Shifting here – self there – I mean, what is a spiritual seeker to make of it all?
Ram: Yes, you are confused. I’ll take this question as far as I can and let you think about it more until your doubt is clear. The mind and intellect, the subtle body, is the self. It is awareness, albeit insentient awareness. The world is a thought in your subtle body. So the world is always the self. It has nothing to do with whether or not Becky is forgetting or not.
You are caught up in experiential language. Forget the forgetting bit, the shifting bit, the experiential bit. This is just something to understand. There is no “at the moment” either. You are always experiencing the world in your mind. That is where it is. The world is just the idea of the world. If the world was something objective, then everyone would see it the same way. But everyone thinks the world is what they think it is. So it is just your thoughts.
Becky: It is still piping hot here even though you are in winter. We have not had a summer like this in years. Lucky that I am blissfully happy whatever is happening… I was going to put “around me”… but of course, to be precise, it is “in” me. So the blasted Australian summer is in me! (Or even worse, it is me!) Oh no! Life was so much more simple when I was locked in duality!
Ram: You can sign up for my endarkenment seminar and I will put you back in duality, okay? It’s spendy, but it is worth it. I take Visa and MasterCard.
Becky: I hope all is good in America – you are in California, I think? (Or it is in you?) Okay, enough of these language semantics – I am just trying to write an enquiring but respectfully polite email… how exhausting! I miss you and your brain, particularly the brain. My companion here is not the sharpest knife in the spiritual drawer and seems hell bent on psychoanalysing me. It is such a bore.
~ Much love, Rebecca