This is why Rajiv will be a world teacher in the future. He breaks down my instructions into steps. I never would have taught this way. I say the same thing but in different sequences.
See, I get a lot of mails from many people. And they ask me about what exactly is
self-inquiry? What are the stages involved in that? What do I need to do to know
what the ‘I’ is? These are a few questions that arise in everybody’s mind. So
briefly I will just go through what exactly we have to do, as a sadhak, as a seeker.
There are basically four stages, or four steps, that any seeker or sadhak will
benefit by knowing about these stages.
The first is acceptance... Acceptance of your present state of beingness. Many
people have difficulty in that. Everybody is reading a lot of things, everybody is
reading about Edji’s shower experience, Autobiography of a Jnani, and many
other beautiful books, which are there. And they are not finding or coming to
terms with their own beingness. That is not a correct thing to do. I feel the first
step any beginner, or intermediate, or advanced disciple, whoever it is, must first
learn to accept his current state of beingness, whatsoever it may seem like.
So it could be the body awareness, it could be the I-ness, it could be an energy
movement within the body, it could be a feeling of emptiness — anything. There
should not be any shame in admitting what your present state of beingness is.
People want to reach to a state, and that is a difficult problem. The reaching is
nothing but by the mind. There is nowhere to reach anywhere. So first step is
acceptance. Only when you accept can you truly love. Can love be there without
acceptance? Can you truly love without acceptance?
Say you have a child. You love him, you accept him — howsoever it is, howsoever he seems, or he appears. So acceptance leads to love, and love is acceptance, that
is the number one. So you must treat your present state of beingness as if he was
your own child. And that is where you have to begin your relationship with your
beingness, by truly accepting unconditionally that this is my present state of
beingness, and I am going to sink inside of it. I am going to love it. That is
Number two: acceptance does not mean that we leave it unattended. Acceptance
means that we watch over it — continuously, be aware. Don’t we do the same
thing with our child? We love our child, so it does not mean we leave it,
howsoever he is. We keep a watch! Every movement is watched. And that is how
the relationship develops. That is how it develops — flowers. How has it gotten to
that state? It is by watching, observing, daily, deeply, seeing all its forms. So we
must continuously watch over our state of beingness. That is the second.
The third stage. What happens when we are continuously aware, or continuously
observing our state of beingness? We will know that awareness, that continuous
watching, that continuous observing, has resulted in our beingness changing
form. The beingness has changed its nature. That will happen automatically. We
are not changing anything here. We have simply observed. We have simply been
aware. We have kept a watch on it. And that watch itself is in us. That watching,
that loving, that acceptance, will lead us where we will see that, or observe, that
the beingness is actually changing form — it has become something else. And as
my beingness changes form, that ‘I’, the one entity, also changes form. The
observer becomes the observed because it is the nature of the observer to become
So what have we done in these three stages? We have changed nothing, we have
not even looked at that ‘I’. What we have done is, we have only been aware and
observed our state of beingness. And as that beingness changes form,
automatically the ‘I’ also follows it. It too changes form. That ‘I’ is completely
dependent on that beingness. Completely.
As your beingness is, so shall be your ‘I’. So one must not worry what that ‘I’ is.
One must completely attend to the state of beingness — lovingly, affectionately...
That is the third.
And the last stage. The last stage is as long as we are becoming something; as
2long as the observer is there, know that the 'I' still exists for you. That is a very
important point. Many people stop in between. They have some experience of
oneness, they have some experience of nothingness, emptiness, they observe
their nothingness, they even become nothingness! And then they stop. They feel
there's nothing more to do. They conclude I have become nothing, or I have
become joy, or I have become something — that is it. But the fact is, as long as
you are becoming, there is this ‘I’. Because, who tells me that I have become
something... unless and until there is an ‘I’, who has observed this? That ‘I’ is still
there. Isn’t it? Inquiry therefore has not come to an end.
Inquiry comes to an end when there is neither the observer, neither the observed,
and neither observation. No witnesser, no witnessing, no witnessed! Until that
time, self-inquiry is not complete. So we must not give up until the very end. All
becoming, everything that we become, is false. It is still an illusion. Today I am
Jo-Ann, or Dennis, or Janet; tomorrow I have become something else, then I
become something else. But who is telling you this? There is someone who’s
telling you this. So he remains. As long as I know that I have become something,
it is still not complete self-inquiry.
Self-inquiry completes when I become unknown. That is it.
These are the four steps. I have tried to explain, through my experience and
through what I learned from Guru Shri Edji, what he imparted to me, this
knowledge. And I have tried to put it as simple in words as possible.