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Teachings of Shri Mahayogi Paramahansa

Shri Mahayogi's
Responses to Seekers

“Who am I?” and The Practice of Discrimination
and Renunciation

Translation of Shri Mahayogi’s words during a satsangha in New York
July 24, 2010

G: I have reached a point where I cannot meditate any more. When I sit to meditate and question “Who am I?” there is no answer, there is no perception. The answer to that question is nothing. And all that I see everywhere is nonexistence, everywhere—even my sense of my own body is that it does not exist and the things I think I realize are just thoughts. Where do I go from there? 

Master:  Who knows that? 

G: There is no “who” in it. 

Master: Without subjectivity, it is impossible to say what you said. 

G: Why? 

Master: What you just described is a condition within the mind. And someone knows that. It is not “Ms. A” who is sitting next to you (smiling) but it is you, isn’t it? If the entire world or physical body, or even the ego-consciousness disappears, there must be a consciousness who knows that. At that point, the first person “I” may have disappeared. But then, there is the Pure Consciousness itself! Enter further a little more! You can do it!! True Self is the Absolute Existence and the Pure Consciousness. 

J: Does Mahayogi recommend this meditation “Who am I,” all day, all the time? 

Master:  It is not done mechanically. It is about seriously embarking on a journey to seek out the True Self. As you pursue the examination of your Self by inquiring, “who am I”, then you will come to the denial of everything within the mind as “not this,” “not this.” That is because we normally identify ourselves with various conditions or situations such as being male or female. Simply stated, “I” is the first person. But even in that “I” itself there is egotistical dependency. This is the self-identification that the mind seeks to retain; it is the consciousness that distinguishes itself from all else. That consciousness will also come to be denied. As you go further, the True Existence—that is, Pure Consciousness—will awaken. Actually, that Pure Consciousness is awake right now! But if this Consciousness is likened to the light and there is a filter called the mind in front of it (gesturing), you will perceive the world through this filter. When this happens the mind identifies itself as “I”.

J: How do we go deeper or further? 

Master: Well, as I just said in the metaphor of light, if the mind that is the filter disappears, the light, which is there already, appears. You need to create the condition in which the filter is eliminated. But then you must be cautious that the mind always tries to cover the light (smiling). That is why real actions of discrimination and renunciation are necessary. Through renunciation, the mind, knowing it is unnecessary, supposedly gives itself up to its own destruction. 

J: What do you renounce then? 

Master: The mind attachments. 

J: Is it true then that that light is you, that light is God? 

Master: It is. (Smiling fully) And you are That also. You, everyone is That. The same. It is not two.