Translated by John Henry Richards
The supreme self is the internal reality of Truth and Bliss, eternally indivisible and pure consciousness, the witness of the intellect and the other faculties, distinct from being or not-being, the reality implied by the word “I”.
Distinguishing the real from the unreal in this way by means of his inborn capacity of understanding, and liberated from these bonds, a wise man attains peace by recognising his own true nature as undifferentiated awareness.
The knot of ignorance in the heart is finally removed when one comes to see one’s own true non-dual nature by means of imageless samadhi.
Assumptions of “you”, “me”, “it” occur in the non-dual, undifferentiated supreme self because of a failure in the understanding, but all a man’s false assumptions disappear in samadhi and are completely destroyed by the realisation of the truth of the underlying reality.
An ascetic who is peaceful, disciplined, fully withdrawn, long-suffering and meditative always cultivates the presence of the self of everything in himself. Eradicating in this way the false assumptions created by the distorting vision of ignorance, he lives happily in God free from action and free from imaginations.
Only those who have achieved samadhi and who have withdrawn the external senses, the mind and their sense of doership into their true nature as consciousness are free from being trapped in the snare of samsara, not those who just repeat the statements of others.
Because of the diversity of the things he identifies himself with, a man tends to see himself as complex, but with the removal of the identification, he is himself again and perfect as he is. For this reason a wise man should get rid of self-identifications and always cultivate imageless samadhi.
Adhering to the Real a man comes to share in the nature of that Reality by his one-pointed concentration on it, in the same way that a grub is able to become a wasp by concentration on a wasp.
A grub achieves wasphood by abandoning attachment to other activities and concentrating on the nature of being a wasp. In the same way an ascetic meditates on the reality of the supreme self and achieves it through his one-pointed concentration on it.
The reality of the supreme self is extremely subtle and is not capable of being experienced by those of coarse vision, but it can be known by those worthy of it by reason of their very pure understanding by means of a mind made extremely subtle by meditation.
As gold purified in a furnace loses its impurities and achieves its own true nature, the mind gets rid of the impurities of the attributes of delusion, passion and purity through meditation and attains Reality.
When by the effect of constant meditation the purified mind becomes one with God, then samadhi, now freed from images, experiences in itself the state of non-dual bliss.
The destruction of the bonds of all desires through this samadhi is the destruction of all karma, and there follows the manifestation of one’s true nature without effort, inside, outside, everywhere and always.
Thought should be considered a hundred times better than hearing, and meditation is thousands of times better than thought, while imageless samadhi is infinite in its effect.
The experience of the reality of God becomes permanent though imageless samadhi, but not otherwise as it is mixed with other things by the restlessness of the mind.
So, established in meditation, with the senses controlled, the mind calmed and continually turned inwards, destroy the darkness of beginningless ignorance by recognising the oneness of Reality.
The primary door to union with God is cutting off talking, not accepting possessions, freedom from expectation, dispassion and a secluded manner of life.
Living in seclusion is the cause of control of the senses, restraint of the mind leads to inner stillness and tranquillity leads to mastery of self-centred desire. From that comes the ascetic’s continual experience of the unbroken bliss of God. So the wise man should always strive for the cessation of thought.
Restrain speech within. Restrain the mind in the understanding and restrain the understanding in the consciousness that observes the understanding. Restrain that in the perfect and imageless self, and enjoy supreme peace.
Body, functions, senses, mind, understanding and so on — whichever of these adjuncts the mind’s activity is connected with, that becomes the ascetic’s identity for the time.
When this process is stopped, the wise man knows the perfect joy of the letting go of everything, and experiences the attainment of the overwhelming bliss of Reality.
Internal renunciation and external renunciation — it is the dispassionate man who is capable of these. The dispassionate man abandons fetters internal and external because of his yearning for liberation.
The dispassionate man, established in God, is indeed capable of abandoning the external bond of the senses and the internal one of selfishness and so on.
As a discriminating person realise that dispassion and understanding are like a bird’s wings for a man. Without them both he cannot reach the nectar of liberation growing on top of a creeper.
The extremely dispassionate man achieves samadhi. A person in samadhi experiences steady enlightenment. He who is enlightened to the Truth achieves liberation from bondage, and he who is truly liberated experiences eternal joy.
I know of no higher source of happiness for a self-controlled man than dispassion, and when allied to thoroughly pure self-knowledge it leads to the sovereign state of self-mastery. Since this is the gate to the unfading maiden of liberation, always and with all eagerness develop this supreme wisdom within yourself in happiness.
Cut off desire for the poison-like senses, for these are death-dealing. Get rid of pride in birth, family and state of life, and throw achievements far away. Drop such unreal things as the body into the sacrificial bowl of your true self, and develop wisdom within. You are the Witness. You are beyond the thinking mind. You are truly God, non-dual and supreme.
Direct the mind resolutely towards God, restraining the senses in their various seats, and looking on the state of the body as a matter of indifference. Realise your oneness with God, remaining continually intent on identifying with its nature, and joyfully drink the bliss of God within, for what use is there in other, empty things?
Stop thinking about anything which is not your true self, for that is degrading and productive of pain, and instead think about your true nature, which is bliss itself and productive of liberation.
This treasure of consciousness shines unfading with its own light as the witness of everything. Meditate continually on it, making this your aim, distinct as it is from the unreal.
This one should be aware of with unbroken application, continually turning to it with a mind empty of everything else, knowing it to be one’s own true nature.
This one should identify with firmly, abandoning the sense of doership and so on, remaining indifferent to them, as one is to things like a cracked jar.
Turning one’s purified awareness within on the witness as pure consciousness, one should gradually bring it to stillness and then become aware of the perfection of one’s true nature.
One should become aware of oneself, indivisible and perfect like Space itself, when free from identification with such things as one’s body, senses, functions, mind and sense of doership, which are all the products of one’s own ignorance.
Space when freed from the hundreds of additional objects like pots and pans, receptacles and needles is one, and in the same way the supreme Reality becomes no longer multiple but one and pure when freed from the sense of doership and so on.
All additional objects from Brahma to the last clump of grass are simply unreal, so one should be aware of one’s own perfect true nature abiding alone and by itself.
When rightly seen, what had been mistaken in error for something else is only what it always was and not something different. When the mistaken perception is removed the reality of the rope is seen for what it is, and the same is true for the way everything is really oneself.
One is oneself Brahma, one is Vishnu, one is Indra, one is Shiva, and one is oneself all this. Nothing else exists except oneself.
Oneself is what is within, oneself is without, oneself is in front and oneself is behind. Oneself is to the south, oneself is to the north, and oneself is also above and below.
Just as waves, foam, whirlpool and bubbles are all in reality just water, so consciousness is all this from the body to the sense of doership. Everything is just the one pure consciousness.
This whole world known to speech and mind is really the supreme Reality. Nothing else exists but the Reality situated beyond the limits of the natural world. Are pots, jars, tubs and so on different from clay? It is the man confused by the wine of Maya that talks of “you” and “me”.
The scripture talks of the absence of duality in the expression “where there is nothing else” (Chandogya Upanishad 7.24.1) with several verbs to remove any idea of false attribution.
What else is there to know but one’s true supreme nature, God himself, like space pure, imageless, unmoving, unchanging, free of within or without, without a second and non-dual.
What more is to be said here? The individual is himself God. Scripture declares that this whole extended world is the indivisible God. Those who have been illuminated by the thought “I am God”, themselves live steadfastly as God, abandoning external objects, as the eternal consciousness and bliss.
Destroy the desires arising from opinions about yourself in this impure body, and even more so those of the subtle mental level, and remain as yourself, the God within, the eternal body of bliss, celebrated by the scriptures.
So long as a man is concerned about the corpse-like body, he is impure and suffers from his enemies in the shape of birth, death and sickness. When however he thinks of himself as pure godlike and immovable, then he is freed from those enemies, as the scriptures proclaim.
Getting rid of all apparent realities within oneself, one is oneself the supreme God, perfect, non-dual and actionless.
When the mind waves are put to rest in one’s true nature, the imageless God, then this false assumption exists no longer, but is recognised as just empty talk.
What we call “All this” is a false idea and mistaken assumption of in the one Reality. How can there be distinctions in something which is changeless, formless and without characteristics?
Seer, seeing and seen and so on have no existence in the one Reality. How can there be distinctions in something which is changeless, formless and without characteristics?
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.