Translated by John Henry Richards
Imagined attributes added to one’s true nature come and go. They create karma and experience its effects. They grow old and die, but I always remain immovable like mount Kudrali.
There is no outward turning nor turning back for me, who am always the same and indivisible. How can that perform actions which is single, of one nature, without parts and complete, like space?
How can there be good and bad deeds for me who am organless, mindless, changeless and formless, and experience only indivisible joy? The scriptures themselves declare “he is not affected” (Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 4.3.22).
Heat or cold, the pleasant or the unpleasant coming into contact with a man’s shadow in no way affect the man himself who is quite distinct from his shadow.
The qualities of things seen do not touch the seer, who is quite distinct from them, changeless and unaffected, just as household objects do not touch the lamp there.
Like the sun’s mere witnessing of actions, like fire’s non-involvement with the things it is burning, and like the relationship of a rope to the idea superimposed on it, so is the unchanging consciousness within me.
I neither do nor make things happen. I neither experience nor cause to experience. I neither see nor make others see. I am that supreme light without attributes.
When intervening factors (the water) move, the ignorant ascribe the movement of the reflection to the object itself, like the sun which is actually immovable. They think “I am the doer”, “I am the reaper of the consequences”, and “Alas, I am being killed.”
Whether my physical body falls into water or onto dry land, I am not dirtied by their qualities, just as space is not affected by the qualities of a jar it is in.
Such states as thinking oneself the doer or the reaper of the consequences, being wicked, drunk, stupid, bound or free are false assumptions of the understanding, and do not apply in reality to one’s true self, the supreme, perfect and non-dual God.
Let there be tens of changes on the natural level, hundreds of changes, thousands of changes. What is that to me, who am unattached consciousness? The clouds never touch the sky.
I am that non-dual God, who like space is subtle and without beginning or end, and in whom all this from the unmanifest down to the material is displayed as no more than an appearance.
I am that non-dual God who is eternal, pure, unmoving and imageless, the support of everything, the illuminator of all objects, manifest in all forms and all-pervading, and yet empty of everything.
I am that non-dual God who is infinite Truth, Knowledge and Bliss, who transcends the endless modifications of Maya, who is one’s own reality and to be experienced within.
I am actionless, changeless, partless, formless, imageless, endless and supportless — one without a second.
I am the reality in everything. I am everything and I am the non-dual beyond everything. I am perfect indivisible awareness and I am infinite bliss.
I have received this glory of the sovereignty over myself and over the world by the compassion of your grace, noble and great-souled guru. Salutation upon salutation to you, and again salutation.
You, my teacher, have my supreme saviour, waking me up from sleep through your infinite compassion, lost in a vast dream as I was and afflicted every day by countless troubles in the Maya-created forest of birth, old age and death, and tormented by the tiger of this feeling myself the doer.
Salutation to you, King of gurus, who remain always the same in your greatness. Salutation to you who are manifest as all this that we see.
Seeing his noble disciple, who had achieved the joy of his true nature in samadhi, who had awaken to the Truth, and experienced deep inner contentment, kneeling thus before him, the best of teachers and supreme great soul spoke again and said these words.
The world is a sequence of experiences of God, so it is God that is everything, and one should see this in all circumstances with inner insight and a peaceful mind. What has ever been seen by sighted people but forms, and in the same way what other resort is there for a man of understanding but to know God?
What man of wisdom would abandon the experience of supreme bliss to take pleasure in things with no substance? When the beautiful moon iself is shining, who would want to look at just a painted moon?
There is no satisfaction or elimination of suffering through the experience of unreal things, so experience that non-dual bliss and remain happily content established in to your own true nature.
Pass your time, noble one, in being aware of your true nature everywhere, thinking of yourself as non-dual, and enjoying the bliss inherent in yourself.
Imagining things about the unimaginable and indivisible nature of awareness is building castles in the sky, so transcending this, experience the surpreme peace of silence through your true nature composed of that non-dual bliss.
The ultimate tranquillity is the return to silence of the intellect, since the intellect is the cause of false assumptions, and in this peace the great souled man who knows God and who has become God experiences the infinite joy of non-dual bliss.
For the man who has recognised his own nature and who is enjoying the experience of inner bliss, there is nothing that gives him greater satisfaction than the peace that comes from having no desires.
A wise and silent ascetic lives as he pleases finding his joy in himself at all times whether walking, standing, sitting, lying down or whatever.
The great soul who has come to know the Truth and whose mental functions are not constrained has no concerns about such things as his aims in matters of locality, time, posture, direction and discipline etc. There can be no dependence on things like discipline when one knows oneself.
What discipline is required to recognise that “This is a jar”? All that is necessary is for the means of perception to be in good condition, and if they are, one recognises the object.
In the same way this true nature of ours is obvious if the means of perception are present. It does not require a special place or time or purification.
There are no qualifications necessary to know one’s own name, and the same is true for the knower of God’s knowledge that “I am God.
How can something else, without substance, unreal and trivial, illuminate that by whose great radiance the whole world is illuminated?
What can illuminate that Knower by whom the Vedas, and other scriptures as well as all creatures themselves are given meaning?
This light is within us, infinite in power, our true nature, immeasurable and the comon experience of all. When a man free from bonds comes to know it, this knower of God stands out supreme among the supreme.
He is neither upset nor pleased by the senses, nor is he attached to or averse to them, but his sport is always within and his enjoyment is in himself, satisfied with the enjoyment of infinite bliss.
A child plays with a toy ignoring hunger and physical discomfort, and in the same way a man of realisation is happy and contented free from “me” and “mine”.
Men of realisation live free from preoccupation, eating food begged without humiliation, drinking the water of streams, living freely and without constraint, sleeping in cemetery or forest, their clothing space itself, which needs no care such as washing and drying, the earth as their bed, following the paths of the scriptures, and their sport in the supreme nature of God.
He who knows himself, wears no distinguishing mark and is unattached to the senses, and treats his body as a vehicle, experiencing the various objects as they present themselves like a child dependent on the wishes of others.
He who is clothed in knowledge roams the earth freely, whether dressed in space itself, properly dressed, or perhaps dressed in skins, and whether in appearance a madman, a child or a ghost.
The wise man lives as the embodiment of dispassion even amid passions, he travels alone even in company, he is always satisfied with his own true nature and established in himself as the self of all.
The wise man who is always enjoying supreme bliss lives like this — sometimes appearing a fool, sometimes a clever man, sometimes regal, sometimes mad, sometimes gentle, sometimes venomous, sometimes respected, sometimes despised, and sometimes simply unnoticed.
Even when poor always contented, even without assistance always strong, always satisfied even without eating, without equal, but looking on everything with an equal eye.
This man is not acting even when acting, experiences the fruits of past actions but is not the reaper of the consequences, with a body and yet without a body, prescribed and yet present everywhere.
Thoughts of pleasant and unpleasant as well as thoughts of good and bad do not touch this knower of God who has no body and who is always at peace.
Pleasure and pain and good and bad exist for him who identifies himself with ideas of a physical body and so on. How can there be good or bad consequences for the wise man who has brokened his bonds and is one with Reality?
The sun appears to be swallowed up by the darkness in an eclipse and is mistakenly called swallowed up by people through misunderstanding of the nature of things.
In the same way the ignorant, see even the greatest knower of God, though free from the bonds of the body and so on, as having a body since they can see what is obviously still a body.
Such a man remains free of the body, and moves here and there as impelled by the winds of energy, like a snake that has cast its skin.
Just as a piece of wood is carried high and low by a stream, so the body is carried along by causality as the appropriate fruits of past actions present themselves.
John Henry Richards was an Anglican clergyman who worked at several churches on the Castlemartin Peninsula in Wales. He died in 2017. For more information, see our main page about him.
This page was published on May 16, 2000 and last revised on May 27, 2017.