This sutra is concerned with a very basic, foundational attitude. Man as he is, is always identified with something or other. Identification is our habit. By identification is meant that whatsoever we see, we become one with it; whatsoever we feel, we become one with it; whatsoever we know, we become one with it. Whatsoever happens as an object becomes part of our subjectivity. There is no space between the two, no gap. This no-gapness, this no-spaceness between the object and the subject is our misery.
For example, I have pain in my leg. The pain is there in the leg; the consciousness is in the head.
The actual fact is that I become aware of the pain, I am a witness to it. But that happens rarely - what happens is quite different: I begin to feel pain not as a witness, but as an experiencer. I feel this pain happening to ME - pain HAPPENING TO me - not pain as WITNESSED BY me. If I am a witness to it, there is a gap - pain is somewhere, and I am somewhere else, and there is space. If I feel that the pain is happening to me, the space is lost, the gap is bridged. Now there is no space between me and the pain - I become pain.
This is a fiction of the mind, but we live in fictions. This is a fiction, absolutely a fiction, because pain is not happening to the consciousness; it is happening before it. It cannot happen to the consciousness itself, it always happens before it. The consciousness is just a mirror. It mirrors...
but when a mirror is mirroring something, that something goes deep into the mirror. It never really goes, it only reflects. But it appears that it has gone deep into the mirror. If the mirror could become conscious, then it would feel that "this thing has come into me, has become part of me. Now this thing is me." Because the mirror is not conscious, it never falls into this identification.
We are a conscious mirror, so whenever something is before us it goes deep down inside. And a conscious mirror catches it, identifies himself with it. Pain in the leg is something before the mirror of the consciousness. But then, reflected, the pain goes in. And then consciousness becomes identified and I begin to feel pain as happening to me - not happening BEFORE me.
This is the distinction between a non-witnessing consciousness, and a witnessing consciousness; between an identified consciousness, and a non-identified consciousness. And this is the distinction between the world and liberation, between the world and the divine. This distinction looks small, but it is not. This distinction is the greatest distinction possible, the greatest distance possible. When you are identified with any object, you are in the world. When you are not identified, you are beyond the world.
So how to achieve this witnessing consciousness?
Consciousness, we have - but identified. This is what bondage means: consciousness identified with things which are not part of it, and can NEVER be part of it.
Consciousness is intrinsically, inherently, an outsider; it remains always outside of whatsoever is reflected in it. It always transcends whatsoever is experienced, known, felt, looked at. It is a transcending mirror. But it becomes identified, it becomes one; whatsoever reflects in it becomes part of it. This is illusory - it cannot become part of it. But it appears to have become, and then we live as if it has become part of us. This living is bound to be just a dream, based on a very illusory thing, based on a very fallacious conception, based on an absolute error. The whole life becomes erroneous, illusory.
This sutra says that unless one becomes a witnessing consciousness, one is really not awake, one is just asleep - dead asleep. One is not really conscious unless one is witnessing.
How to create this witnessing? How to achieve it? What to do?
Always divide your experience, analyze it - analysis is the method. Analyze the experience into its constituents, and then look within to see whether there is something which is NOT analyzed, which is not in these analyzed parts. For example, I see a flower. There is the flower, the object; then in me there is the seer, who has seen. These are two things: the flower there, and the experiencer, the seer, is here. Here inside, something - the subject. There outside, something - the object. These two are related; that relationship is the third part. The known, the knower, and knowledge - the experiencing, the experiencer, and the experience.
So whatsoever you know, experience, feel, is divided into three parts. Is this all, or is there something more which is not in this this division? Is this all, or is there something more which is missing?
Ordinarily, it seems to be the whole thing: the known, the knower, and the knowledge. But this sutra says there is something more hidden behind: the witnesser, who witnesses all these three - you.
Who is analyzing? Who is trying to understand the whole phenomenon of experience? - the flower, the object; the knower, the subject; and knowledge. And who is this, who has become aware of this whole phenomenon?
This fourth is the witness.
This witness is never involved in any experience.
It is always outside.
The ego is involved, the ego becomes the knower. Or, you can call it mind - the mind is involved, the mind becomes the knower. Objects are involved - they become the known. And then there is a relationship of knowledge. But within you and beyond, is a consciousness which witnesses all these three. This process of knowing, and experiencing, and feeling is witnessed by someone. That someone, that "X," that unknown factor, is basic.
For example, you have gone to a film, or to a drama, or to a theater. You have seen something, your were there. But have you ever tried it - to be a witness of the whole phenomenon? Try it here. I am speaking, so I am the object for you. Can you transcend both? Can you look at the whole thing?
Look at me - be aware of the speaker, be aware of the listener; be aware of both the speaker and the listener. Don't think about it. Just here and now, this very moment, be aware of the speaker, be aware of the listener, make these two... just put them before your witnessing.
Then who are you? Who is aware of the speaker? And who is also aware of the listener? Who is he? He transcends both - he is neither the speaker nor the listener, he transcends both. And that witnesser, if rightly understood, doesn't belong to the speaker, and doesn't belong to the listener.
Then to whom does it belong? It cannot belong to you; you are the listener. It cannot belong to me; I am the speaker. Then to whom does it belong?
It belongs to no one, but everything belongs to it.
It transcends all, but everything is bases on it.
It is the hidden source of all life.
It is the hidden source of all existence. To reach this witnessing is to reach the divine, is to reach existence, the being - or the ground of being, whatever one like to call it.
One thing more: this witness is not yours; this witness is not mine. This witness is the source of all, the base of all. So the moment you are a witness, you are not an ego. You can remain an ego only if you are identified; then you are an ego. If you are not identified with your experiences, then you are not an ego. The witness has no "I" as a center; it is center-less. So we can say that witnessing has no center, or it has its center everywhere. This witnessing is just an unknown cloud. We are surrounded by it, or we exist in it.
This witnessing is the unknown sky which surrounds us all.
This witness is a space, inner space, in which we exist, in which we are born and in which we dissolve.
Find this witness; try to find this witness in everything you are doing, knowing, feeling. You are walking on the street; be a witness to it . See it, feel it, that the body is walking and the mind knows that the body is walking. Then be a witness of both; then be a witness that the mind knows that the body is walking, and the body is walking. The mind is the subject; the walking the object. Who are you? You can witness both body and mind - WITNESS.
Then suddenly you become aware that "the body is walking in me, the mind is knowing in me." And this me is not an "I" - this is just a pure consciousness, a mirror in which everything is mirrored: the walking, the body, the knowing mind, the flower on the tree, the moon in the sky, people all around, the speaker, the listener, everything is in it. Just like there is space outside, there is space inside - that space is the witnessing consciousness.
So this sutra says:
DIFFERENT FROM ALL THAT CONSTITUTES THE EXPERIENCER, THE EXPERIENCED AND THE EXPERIENCING, IN THE THREE REALMS OF WAKING, DREAM AND SLEEP, I AM THE WITNESS, THE EVERY-AUSPICIOUS, THE PURE CONSCIOUSNESS.
Why is this witnessing consciousness EVER-AUSPICIOUS? - because it is always innocent, pure, virgin. You cannot make it impure; a mirror is always virgin. Whatsoever is reflected is only reflected; it never gets in it, it never becomes a part of it. So a mirror remains always fresh, new, because there is no memory of the past, nothing remains of the past. The moment the object is not there, the mirror is again the same. Really, it HAS been the same; it has only reflected, and reflection cannot make anything impure. Impurity means something has gone deep, it has become part of you; then you become impure.
This sutra says that the ever-auspicious, the ever pure, the ever holy, the pure consciousness... this witnessing will lead you to the land of virginity, will lead you to the land of ever-freshness, will lead you to the land of ever-purity. Impurity is impossible.
But we all have become impure, so how does this happen? Deep down, the consciousness is always pure. Then why have we become impure? We become impure only through identification, and that impurity is also just a fiction, not a reality. You cannot become impure, you can only think that you have become. You can only believe that you have become, you can only deceive yourself that you have become.
For example, there is something in front of the mirror - something impure, dirty, ugly - an ugly thing before a mirror. If the mirror could become conscious, then it might think, "I have become ugly," because ugliness is reflected in it. The same happens to us. Ugliness is reflected, impurity is reflected, sin is reflected, and we become sinners; we begin to feel like sinners, impure, ugly - but this is only a reflection. But unless you know that this is only a reflection, how can you believe it?
One has to KNOW it, that this is only a reflection.
Be a witness to your experiences and you will know that the whole world is just a reflection of you; it has not penetrated you. It CANNOT; it is impossible. It can only be reflected; a consciousness reflects. Once you become aware that you are only reflecting, all the impurities dissolve. It is not good to say "dissolve" because they were never there; they DISAPPEAR. Even to say "disappear" is not good, because they were never there.
When Buddha attained this mirror-consciousness, when he became a buddha, an enlightened one, someone asked him, "What have you gained?" Buddha said, "I have gained nothing, because whatsoever I have gained has been always with me. So how can I say that I have gained it?"
Then the man asked, enquired, "Then have you lost anything?"
Buddha said, "How can I say? It is difficult, because whatsoever I have lost was never with me. So how can I say I have lost it? I have not gained anything, because whatsoever I have come to know has been always with me. I have not lost anything, because whatsoever I have lost, was never with me. I have lost ignorance which was not with me, and I have gained knowledge which is a part of me - my nature, my very being."
I AM THE NON-DUAL BRAHMAN.
In this witnessing, in this awareness, one becomes aware; one becomes suddenly aware that "I am the non-dual brahman." Why? - because this witnessing consciousness has no "I," no center, no ego. It is just an infinite space with no boundaries - unbounded, with no limitations - infinite space within. Once you become aware of it, you know this is the non-dual brahman. This is the base, the source, the ground.
IN ME ALONE IS EVERYTHING BORN, IN ME ALONE DOES EVERYTHING EXIST, AND IN ME ALONE DOES EVERYTHING DISSOLVE.
But this must be experienced; otherwise, it becomes just a theory, a hypothesis. Then it is a philosophy and not religion - and I am not concerned with philosophy at all. I am absolutely non- philosophical; philosophizing is just stupid. It leads you nowhere, it never transforms you; on the contrary, the more you are involved in thinking about things unthinkable, the more and more, you are far from the center where, if ever something is known, IT knows. The more a mind is philosophical, the more it goes away from existential experiencing.
I am concerned, and this UPANISHAD is also concerned, with religion not with philosophy. And this is the difference: philosophy is thinking about the unknown - which is impossible - you cannot think about the unknown; you can either know it or not know it. Religion is concerned not with thinking, but with realizing, with transforming, reaching, dissolving, entering, encountering.
Religion is an experiment in one's own depth.
It is not thinking, is is not speculation.
So this "I am the non-dual brahman" is not a theory. This "In me alone is everything born, in me alone does everything exist, and in me alone does everything dissolve," is not a theory. It is an experience, it is a realization.
Don't believe it unless you know it.
Don't make it a dogma unless you reach it.
We are so cunning with ourselves, and so deceptive - self-deceptive - that we can begin to think "I am the non-dual brahman." We can go on repeating this; we can make our minds up: "I am the nondual brahman," and then we can create the illusion that "I am the non-dual brahman" without reaching anywhere.
This is a statement, not a theory. So try for that state of mind where you also can make this statement. Never before utter these words, because words are dangerous. You can autohypnotize yourself with words, and you can begin to believe them if you go on repeating them. By constant repetition you begin to feel that you know. But that is not knowledge, and that is even more dangerous than simple ignorance. From ignorance there is a path, but from so-called, false knowledge there is no path. False knowledge is a closed prison. Ignorance is an open sky, you can move from it. You cannot move from false knowledge.
So whatsoever is being said here is not to make you more knowledgeable. I am not giving you principles; I am only hinting at some truths.
But they are not truths unless they are you own truths. One's own truth is the only truth. All else which is borrowed is even dangerous - more dangerous than simple lies. Borrowed truth is more dangerous than any untruth, because you can begin to feel that this is your own, and it is not.
So remember this. All these statements are made from a state of mind, from a realization. That's why this UPANISHAD never argues about it, because how can we argue about a statement? The UPANISHAD goes on just stating - there is not argument, there is no effort to prove anything. There is no rationalization, there is no argumentation, nothing - a simple naked statement that if you do this, this will happen; if you go through this, this will come to be encountered; if you pass through this state, this will be the realization.
These are simple statements, not theories. Don't make any theories out of them; rather, make some experiments so that one day you can be a witness, and then you also can state:
I am the non-dual brahman.
I am the pure consciousness.
I am that which never dies.
I am the deathless: I am existence.
I am being.
Now get ready for the night meditation.