The Thing To Be Known


Sri Swami Chidananda

Early Morning Meditation Talk given in the sacred Samadhi Hall of Gurudev Sri Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj, Sivananda Ashram, Rishikesh.

May the divine grace of the Supreme Being and the loving and compassionate benedictions of the Holy Master grant that we many all live a life of simplicity and dignity, truthfulness and fearlessness, compassion and loving kindness–a life of ceaseless remembrance of God and continuous inner meditation in the midst of outer physical action and activity!

May God and Gurudev give us the gift of a synthesis of the inner and the outer. May they grant us their insight that there is neither the inner nor the outer, but there is only one single undivided God-principle to which everything is an inseparable part of Itself.

It is in dualities that we have inner and outer–action and inaction, remembrance and forgetfulness. In that state of absolute faith in the non-dual, all-pervading presence of the one Reality that is subtler than the subtlest, the self-created delusion of distinctions and the self-created delusion of the dual throng, the pairs of opposites, cease to exist, and God alone exists. So there is no possibility of there being such thoughts and such concepts as near and far, past and present, inner and outer, presence and absence, when whatever is is an eternal, all-pervading, non-dual IS of the Supreme Being.

Modern science prides itself in being impartial observers and relentless pursuers of truth. They want facts, facts that are verifiable, tangible, reproducible any number of times given the same circumstances. So they say, “We are the seekers of truth. We are in search of practical realities, of verifiable and provable facts, not in presumptions or assumptions.” They are seekers in pursuit of tangible facts, and they have marvellously succeeded in making themselves aware of ever so many facts in ever so many fields of human knowledge in this outer universe.

But our ancients experienced something without which no other experience is possible. They declared, “We have not bothered ourselves about searching, observing, experiencing and becoming aware of facts in this passing projection or manifestation. We have made our quest in another dimension of the human being, and we have discovered the fact of awareness.

“But for awareness, nothing can be cognised. But for awareness, no knowledge is possible. Knowledge itself has as its basis the knower. The knower can be the knower only if It is a centre of luminous awareness, knowing all things.

It shines everywhere as awareness–prajnanam brahma. That ultimate Reality is awareness, consciousness, which existing all things become known to exist. Without consciousness there would be nothing, no knowledge. Nothing is possible. Because the irreducible, axiomatic reality or the truth is that there is a great awareness–chaitanyam sashvatam santam vyomatitam niranjnanam (…who is pure Consciousness, eternal, peaceful, beyond ether, and untainted). Beyond all categories, beyond all phenomena there is pure consciousness, which alone knows everything and is able to proclaim anything and everything.

Our scientists of the inner realm of the Spirit loudly proclaimed: “We have come across the thing to be known, knowing which everything else becomes known. It is of the nature of consciousness, awareness.”

The greatest of all knowledge is that which makes all knowledge possible, that is the alpha, the source. May you become thus blessed with that supreme experience beyond all things perceived by the senses, thought of by the mind, inferred by the intellect, felt in the deepest depths of your feelingful heart. Beyond all this is something indescribable, imponderable, which makes all these things possible–the awareness and the consciousness which says that I am.

May divine grace and the benedictions of the Master grant us that experience of pure consciousness. That consciousness is your identity. That consciousness you are. For other than That you cannot be anything else. Because that consciousness is supreme and non-dual.

That experience is peace, that experience is unutterable bliss, that experience is silence–a depth of silence where no articulate words are possible. For that experience this rare gift of the human status has been given. That is what makes it the most supreme of all gifts in spite of all things that may seem to be the contrary of peace and bliss. It is what makes the supreme gift of our human status unparalleled in value.

Knowing this to be so, may we apply ourselves with all earnestness, with total sincerity, with humility and determination. May we apply ourselves to making the highest and best use of this status, and thus putting it to the highest use attain the highest joy.

May this be the quest, and may full success be granted. May the quest cease to be, and may the experience absolute prevail in all its fullness at all times. To be established ever in that great experience is the vision of the ancients of this country, where God-realisation was declared to be the highest of all goals of humanity.

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