You Are That!
Sri Swami Chidananda
This article is a chapter from the book Seek The Beyond.
Beloved spiritual aspirants! You are seeking something, you are devoted to something, you are practising something all with one single ultimate objective. The inner motivation is the same. It is the attainment of Divine-experience, God-experience, the realisation of the Absolute, the realisation of what you are.
Classical philosophy and all the great mandaleshwars say that this world is an obstacle to that achievement. Sense objects are tempting snares. The unwise jivatma is caught and enslaved by his own desires, and these temptations draw him out and catch him in their coils. The jivatma is helpless, caught by maya. All this they say. All this they say, and we swallow it, we take it for granted.
If the common man in the street hears such discourses and swallows it, saying, “We are helpless, maya is insurmountable, we can never go beyond it,” it is because they are gullible, they don’t know any better. But, do you know no better? Are you also similarly gullible? Do you also accept this view and theory? If you are also swallowing it, then what is the difference between you and the gullible masses? What have the years of renunciation and solitude on the banks of the Ganga done for you?
So we must show a difference. All this may be said in books and scriptures and by mandaleshwars giving discourses, but we must know better. And the better truth has been expounded to us, revealed to us. But you will know this only if you make right enquiry, vichara. Right enquiry will suddenly bring you light, reveal to you many things that you did not know. It will bring you so many truths.
And then suddenly you will develop a new skill, a new qualification, a new ability to know what it is that stands in your way and what it is that can be favourable to you in moving towards the supreme goal. You will know what you must gladly accept and make part of your life and what you must uproot and throw away, eradicate, even if it is part of your present life: “No, no, now I know better. I am not going to allow this to remain. It is an obstacle that is within myself. I will throw it out.”
So this skill of discrimination, viveka, and the ability to know what is helpful to your spiritual life and what is not helpful and constantly discriminating between these two, then at every step rejecting that which is not favourable to your spiritual life and cultivating and augmenting that which is helpful, becomes a constant exercise of a wise and awakened seeker. So right enquiry and discrimination help move you towards the truth that you are seeking.
And at one stroke, in one declaration–a grand declaration, a great declaration–the whole problem has been solved by a super being. He declared to us that all these things that we think constitute our great obstacle, our great problem, which we constantly have to battle with, are a mere non-existing myth, a nothing. We make it formidable by our lack of right enquiry and discrimination. We have given it importance by endowing it with a strength it does not have: “Do away with this foolishness. It is not formidable. You are always immune to it, above it, unaffected by it.”
The great teacher taught a super devise: “No barrier exists, nothing exists. You are already That which you are seeking to make yourself. Remove this delusion that you are not yet That. You are the divine perfection that you are seeking. The goal is right here–not to be reached, not to be attained, but to be known.”
And this great man put this into an amazingly brief, compact nutshell of a marvellous utterance. He said, “I don’t require many words to declare this. I can do it in just half a verse: ‘Brahma satyam jagan-mithya jivo-brahmaiva naparah.’ This so-called universe that you are endowing with a reality is a non-existent myth. One alone is real. One alone is the solid truth and fact, and that is satchidananda Brahman, the non-dual Reality, the ever-present, eternal, never-changing Reality. That alone is the Reality, and you are no other than that great Reality, only plus some imagined accretions that have been added on to your ever-present, all-perfect Divine Reality–something added on.
“Get rid of these accretions. The moment you get rid of these accretions, you are what you are. You don’t have to become something. You are already That.” And to emphasise it: “You are That and That alone, and you are no other!” What a great truth! What a liberating truth! What a wonderfully strengthening truth!
So this is something you have right in your hand. It is yours. Apply this formula and obstacles will be no obstacles, bondage will be no bondage. You will revel, you will rejoice in your eternally liberated, ever-free state. Brahma satyam jagan-mithya jivo-brahmaiva naparah. This is the truth, this is the fact. And this truth is an immediately liberating fact to which you have immediate access. Realise this and be free!