How Dada Gavand Woke Up

By Dada Gavand

Page 5

Dada Gavand

From that aloneness came a surge of tenderness. This again would make me weep. My whole body and nervous system became very delicate and sensitive. Tears appeared, just rolling down my face, leaving me in wonderment as to their source. Something wept from deep within, but I could not put a name or cause on it. I saw how so much was locked up inside me. I had not been aware of these choked-up emotional pockets within myself. This whole experience helped me realize a highly sensitive inner state.

The realization of this sensitivity was subtle and total. Tremendous sorrow existed somewhere in me. But I saw no trace of the apparent cause, not like sadness about something in particular. I sat quietly and the tears would just flow. Although wide awake and watchful to see if mere sentimental ideas caused this, I had no trace of thought. Absolutely no thoughts came about anything, any situation, person or event from the past or in the present.

I could not understand why I would be weeping without any cause whatsoever. I felt as if the whole of myself became flooded with pure sensitivity and tenderness. My entire being wept, as though something was affecting me from hidden, unknown levels, from my very depths. As if a lid had been taken off a tight, very full container, something gushed out from the innermost part of my being.

This was a total experience of the sorrow of life. The personal or causal emotions of ‘my’ sadness no longer remained. I faced the totality of sorrow, deep and well-hidden within. I had not been aware of this huge accumulated reservoir. It was not the memory of a personal suffering which would have a specific cause, but rather the sorrow of being human, an unknown accumulation of pain, both my own and that of the whole of humanity. This had been kept hidden below around the root of my personality, in the depths of my individuality. Like fear, this pure, elemental sorrow had been suppressed and kept deep below the surface.

Such deep-rooted feelings can be triggered by a single thought. When one stays alert and watchful, what starts out as a thought loses its relevance, and one remains face to face with this internal reservoir of grief. The experience of profound sorrow is unrelated to any specific cause. Therefore one is totally consumed by the sorrow.

This is the causeless creation of Life. Which is totally beyond the comprehension of thought-mind. It was my first experience of a state which is free from idea, free from the memory-mind, and free from cause and effect.

I saw that we ordinarily play only on the surface of the mind, interacting on that level. The hidden cannot emerge when the mind is occupied in its superficial and external activity. However, I came to realise that once the submerged is allowed to come up freely, it can be looked at and understood objectively. It has to be seen aloofly, with no effort to act upon it or analyze the reasons for its appearing. To see without bringing in any thought: that is awareness. In this state, that which is hidden and suppressed will surface freely.

In the beginning, when I felt that incredible, deep sorrow, it intimidated me completely and made me fearful. But facing and sensing this fear fully, in its totality, without thoughts or escapes, gave a new magnitude of intensity to my awareness. Watchfulness — this all-around attention into myself of what was before me and within — brought about a state of totality of being, an attentiveness without attachment, plus freedom from all ideas, thoughts or dreams. Only complete perception, a polyangular intense watchfulness, can bring this about. This was a prelude to experiencing the wholeness of life.

Thus my weeping and sensing of sorrow helped me experience my deeper, hidden personality. Usually we weep over some particular idea. We feel a cause or disturbance that stimulates the emotional response. But that response is a fragment with a specific cause. Now, weeping did not occur in a fragmented way, not from feeling sad about some particular incident. Earlier there had been a time when an idea — a memory about my mother — made me cry. Only that fragment of my being which retained the thought of my mother wept then.

Generally when we shed tears, it is over a single cause. One part weeps, feels sorry, feels self-pity, etc., and this part is consciously unrelated to other parts. We have one cause, a reason, and we say that this one is making us unhappy. But the current cause is only the tip of the iceberg, a fragment. We have to transmute the fragment with intense, unattached inwardness, which will lead us to the totality.

Basically, we never face any issue in its totality. It is necessary to face ourselves openly, to see all the parts, to experience the problem in its entirety. To see all of it, inside and out at the same time, is to end it. This is the key.

Now I began to see the exclusionary role of thought/idea, which gets eliminated in the chasm of total awareness. Weeping became a total experience, an in-depth fact of life. It brought about an increased depth of awareness. That weeping and the resulting psychological tenderness free from thought brought about a sense of wholeness and integration. I saw that the whole of my self became tender and sensitive, acutely alert and attentive.

With awe and wonder I experienced this state of high-voltage sensitivity of the whole being, without the presence of any thought whatsoever. In this state there is no idea, no shadow of mind as thought, no cause. This is a causeless state, an impersonal experience of Life energy.

My crying over my mother was a solitary idea, a fragment, but that triggered the experience of total-ness of being. All the unknown sorrow within me poured forth, and this led me to experience pure, elemental sorrow. This in turn led me to experience the totality of myself, with no hidden pockets. It was a wonderful revelation to discover how the total experience of sorrow had the capacity to bring out the fragrance of wholeness of being.

I spent my days and nights in such intense self-observation with full, multiangular attention, and it developed into a kind of meditation. This was not prayer, not concentration of thought, nor a hopeful pursuit of any wishful idea. Rather, my meditation involved a constant vigilance into this whole movement of thought/emotional activity within and without.

I did not try to find out or analyze the cause of any of these emotions, fears, or urges of the mind’s wanderings. Instead I allowed this ego-mind to come out in its full flood, in its naked passion and expression, so that its whole picture could be seen, the entire content observed. In this dispassionate observation, the momentum of the thought process slowed down. Its intensity just diminished. Then, the next minute, some other stray thought would show up, but not with its usual strength to capture the Life energy for its own play.

Watchful alert observation in every moment became my way of living in the hut. I saw that the intensity and depth of watchful attention were increasing, and I felt a kind of objectivity within. As the depth of perception and aloofness of observation expanded, the thought process slowed down, and I experienced serenity and tranquility. I threw up undigested thoughts as it were, and experienced a great sense of relief and freshness as a result. I was cleansed of all the stored up psychological toxins of the past.

During this time I did not indulge in any intellectual, analytical or logical thought/mind activity or react in any way. I did not label the thoughts good or bad, or feel either sorry or happy. I did not look for explanations, nor did I judge or cling to any particular memories. Hence, alert and aloof observation occurred unhindered. I no longer cared to indulge in any psychological games of analysis and positive or negative reaction.

With this dynamic and intense watchfulness within and without came some moments of quietude, followed by a sense of deep relaxation. But soon another set of thoughts or totally unexpected ideas would emerge out of nowhere on the horizon of mind and take me completely unawares. I observed everything as it came along.

During this period I slept very little. Sleep became a state of very subtle and sensitive wakefulness. When I watched intensely in this way, no state of forgetting or falling into semi-consciousness was possible. In sleep we usually lose ourselves and forget everything for a while. But for me there could be no escape even during sleep. Although I slept, rested or lay down, there was no forgetfulness, but a state of wakefulness and attentiveness all the time. I would lie down yet stay awake all night, and in the morning I would realize that I had not slept at all! But I often did not feel tired from this sleeplessness.

Actually, I had two responses to this experience: sometimes the feeling of not having slept and of being exhausted, yet at other times I felt fully rested. However, the whole experience of basically staying awake continuously day and night was extremely strenuous. My body, brain and eyes got very tired. At such times I would just let go of everything and relax, go out for a walk on the edge of the mountain and observe the vast panorama before me. Looking at the deep green valleys below and the blue expanse of sky above filled my being to the brim. This touch of fullness rejuvenated me and charged me again with renewed sensitivity, creating a feeling of incredible enormity.

A few days passed like this, and I began to realize that the mind, the thought process, had lost its capacity to escape into any of its safe pockets such as outward activity, or even sleep. I watched everything internal at every moment. All the thought/idea activities came up to the surface of the mind and into the field of awareness. I saw sleep as nothing but going into the hidden pockets of the mind and playing there while the conscious mind lies at rest. All these subtle layers gradually became exposed, were observed, understood fully and thus eliminated. The whole structure of mind and its every movement were under constant observation. No hiding places remained for the thought/emotion activity.

As I faced each aspect of myself, the watching became deeper and more intense. I saw the mechanism of my mind again and again in relation to each fear, each thought of sex, each memory, each emotion. I saw that the mind flows like a fountain, gushing with the water of thoughts/emotions/desires, all rushing to go out somewhere for their fulfillment in action.

With this intense watchfulness, the fountain of thoughts slowed down, with fewer and fewer desires, less gushing of the waters. I began to experience moments when no desires and no thoughts at all came into the mind. creating a kind of interval or space within. That interval was very powerful, vibrant and yet comforting. I was curious to find out if one could stay in that thoughtless, desireless state for more and more time. But then this subtle desire, the very thought of wanting that state, would itself make the thoughtless interval disappear.

I totally accepted whatever went on in my mind, without a desire to change anything. This internal watching and accepting became my way of living. My entire world was what was happening in this little hut, and I was in touch with that world with the whole of my being.

I began to remain fully in my own energy field without any interference by my own mind. Thought activity started dissipating and losing its grip. Endurance and tolerance became my way of life. I saw that the intensity of this highly charged sensitivity — the energy free from thought — was becoming very obvious and strong within me. I watched, felt and objectively observed everything happening inside.

What a wonderful experience to be in this state, to see how the mind as an entity slowly lost its capacity to assert itself over the energy! Surprisingly I was witnessing a new momentum of pure tranquil energy quietly and mysteriously flowing within.

Then this energy field itself took charge of my life.

In alert and attentive perception

Energy dissipation is arrested

And is gathered within

To stay at home,

Tranquil and serene.

From Intelligence Beyond Thought. Copyright 2006 Dada Gavand. Used by permission.

Related reading on this site

Intelligence Beyond Thought: Exploding the Mechanism of the Mind

In our view, this autobiography is one of the most important books ever written about enlightenment because it contains an extraordinarily precise description of what the author did that led to his waking up. This portion of the book may be the clearest and most informative depiction of sadhana, of spiritual practice, that has ever been written. The author shares with us the whole concrete experience so we are able to see not only what he did but also how it felt. We also see the ferocious intensity and motivation that were required to make the practice work. He put his whole life aside to focus on this one thing, his sadhana.

It's a big book, written in an engaging, candid style, with many other interesting sections. We recommend it highly.

Where to Buy



Intelligence Beyond Thought: Exploding the Mechanism of the Mind

Lotus Press (2006)

399 pages

ISBN: 81-8382-063-8

This page was published on June 16, 2014 and last revised on May 16, 2017.


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