Some very significant and beautiful definitions about the ultimate experience....
The first thing to know about the ultimate experience is that it cannot be called an experience, because experience implies the experiencer and the experienced - the subject and the object.
But the ultimate experience is absolutely undifferentiated, undivided. The experiencer is the experienced, the observer is the observed, the knower is the known, the lover is the beloved - there are not two; only one remains.
About this one who remains, this sutra says that one is like space, like sky - vacant, empty, yet full, fulfilled; yet whole.
Look at the sky: Sky is just emptiness, but everything exists in the sky. It cannot exist; otherwise, because to exist you need space, emptiness. So emptiness surrounds the whole existence.
Existence comes out of this emptiness and again drops this emptiness - and this emptiness remains untouched, unaffected.
Observe the sky in the rainy days: Clouds come, the whole sky just disappears behind the clouds.
You cannot even imagine where the sky has gone. It has gone nowhere; the clouds will rain and disappear, and the same sky will be there. It was always there; even when there were clouds the sky was there in its total emptiness. Clouds cannot disturb it, and clouds cannot affect it - they come and go and the sky remains the same.
It remains in its suchness, in its TATHATA.
This word "suchness" is to be understood deeply. What do I mean when I say the sky remains in its suchness? It remains in its nature, unchanged by anything that happens in it. It is just like a mirror: The mirror remains untouched in its suchness, in its mirroring - fresh, young, never old.
Whatsoever happens before the mirror, whatsoever is reflected in the mirror, comes and goes; the mirror remains unscarred, the mirror remains eternally virgin. This is what is meant by sky. Sky is the eternal virgin. The virginity is never broken, the sky remains unmarried to anything, untouched.
Everything happens in it and yet nothing happens to it.
The same sky is within you also. Without, there is space; within also, there is space. Space is everywhere. The space within is known as you self, and the space without is known as the supreme self. The body is just a material barrier - and it is porous, so the outer sky goes on coming in and the inner sky goes on coming out. There is a constant meeting. Your body is just like an earthen pot, porous. You have an earthen pot of the body, it divides, but it cannot divide totally; the space is not broken by it.
To know this inner space is the ultimate experience, because once you know this inner space you have know all; the quality of the inner space is the quality of the outer space. Inner and outer are not really two things; inner and outer are just two terms - because of this earthen pot, this body, we call it the inner space and the outer space. When the body drops, the inner becomes the outer and the outer becomes the inner; they become one.
In and out are false terms. You can put an earthen pot in the ocean; then the ocean is divided by the earthen pot - the ocean without, and the ocean within. But the earthen pot is porous, and some drops will escape from the within to the without, and some drops will go on coming in, from the without to the within. But then the earthen pot melts, and drops, and in and out become one.
When one comes to know this inner space as just an extension of the outer space - or vice versa:
when one comes to know this outer space as just as an extension of the inner space, then inner and outer become meaningless. They are.
To know this while in the body is called the state of jivanmukta - while the body is there, the earthen pot is there, you have realized the inner space and the quality of space. Now there is no inner and outer. Of course the body is there, but now you know that the body never divides - the division is false. But the body will continue for a while.....
The UPANISHADS say that even when you become a knower of the inner, a knower of the space - and you have come to realize that nothing can disturb you, nothing can scar you, nothing can touch you, your virginity is absolute - even then your past karmas will continue to have their effects.
The body will continue; the body will continue to feel pleasure and pain, the body will become old, diseased, the body will die - this will continue.
Knowledge of the inner self is not the cessation of all karmas. The past karmas will drop only when they have reached their target. But now, no new karmas will be accumulated. When you attain to this knowing, past karmas will continue for a while, unless and until their momentum is finished - but new karmas will not be accumulated. And secondly, while these old karmas are going on in their continuity, you will know that they are not related to you. You will remain in your unrelatedness.
So a jivanmukta never says, "This is my body." He says, "This is my past karma's body." He never says, "I am ill and I am suffering." He only says, "This is a long procession of karmas and their effect; my past karmas reaching to their target - past reaching into the future. I am just a witness to it, unrelated." Because of this, because of this experience, observation, this realization that all the past karmas of all the past millions of lives have not affected my inner space - it has remained pure, crystal pure, innocent - this realization means cessation of the future.
Then you cannot long for happiness, you cannot long for success, you cannot long for riches, this or that. You cannot be for and against - this should be and this should not be - because now you know that nothing has ever happened to you, and nothing can happen to you. This knowing that the past has been absolutely futile to you - you have been just space, just like sky - like space, you have remained pure, simple, innocent... the future drops.
The future is just the past reflected again and again. Desiring something which was pleasant in the past, not desiring something which was unpleasant in the past, is the projection of the future. The future is just the past reflected again and again - modified, a little bit of change here and there, rearranged, re-structured, but all the elements belong to the past.
When the past appears unrelated to you, and you appear just like empty space... clouds have come and gone, lives have come and gone; birth, death, you were this and that - a beggar in one life, an emperor in another, unsuccessful in one, successful in another, educated, uneducated, good and bad, sometimes a thief and sometimes a saint - everything has come and gone, and the inner point has remained untouched. Nothing has happened to it; everything happened around it, near it, in the vicinity, but nothing has happened to IT itself - knowing this, the whole future drops completely.
Now you cannot project the whole nonsense that you were projecting in the past. Future drops. With future, time drops. With time, cessation of time - you enter the eternal.
But the past will have its fulfillment. Now you can watch the past moving into the future WITHOUT you. You remain in the present; the past goes on moving into the future until the whole momentum gained in the past is finished.
A jivanmukta means one who has attained to the inner sky, inner space, but still he will have to live in the body. He will have to be a witness to all the past karmas and their consequences. When all the consequences are finished, and the past karmas have dropped, the body will drop. Then a jivanmukta becomes a mukta; then MOKSHA, total freedom is attained.
A jivanmukta attains freedom from the past, freedom from the future - but he cannot attain freedom from the consequences of the past. They will have to be fulfilled... but he remains a witness.
One who knows his self as ever-young and deathless also remains so.
How could he even have an imagination of the bondage due to past conditions? It means that there is no relationship between the sage and his past conditionings.
The conditionings go on flowing but there is no relationship; you remain a witness.
If you can become a witness this very moment, you are severed from you past and from your future.
Then the mechanism goes on moving, just like you are on a bicycle pedaling. You stop pedaling but the cycle will have some movement still, because of the movement of the past. You are not pedaling it, but it is not going to stop just now. It will move into the future without you pedaling it. It will go a little while and then it will drop.
The same happens with your body, your mind. It is just a cycle, just a mechanism. It will move, but without you it cannot move far. Unless it is fed continually, fueled continually, it cannot move very far; it will drop.
Buddha was dying. Ananda asked him, "Cannot you be with us a little more? Cannot we have you a little more? I have not yet attained and you are dying, and you are leaving us." Buddha had said that morning that he was going to die. "So if you have to ask anything," he had told his disciples, "you can ask. This is my last day. This evening will not come for me. This morning is the last; in the noontime I will drop. When the sun comes to its peak, I will drop."
So his disciples gathered and they began to weep and cry. And Ananda asked him, "Cannot you stay a little while more?" Buddha said, "That is impossible, because all the past karmas are finished.
This is the last day, the last momentum; I feel it can last up to noon. The energy is gone, everything has ceased, and now the mechanism is just going to stop. And nothing can be done, because as far as I am concerned, I stopped pedaling long before - forty years.
Really, I have been dead for forty years as far as I am concerned. I have not been in the body for these forty years; it was only for you that it has appeared I have been in this body. For me, I have been beyond; I have gone out of it long before. But the body had to continue, and now this is impossible. The momentum is just in its last flicker, the flame is just about to go, the oil is completely finished. And I cannot pour more oil into it because the man who could pour is dead for forty years - who could pour more oil into it? So ask, don't wait. The noon is coming soon - if you have anything to ask, you can ask. The noon is coming very soon."
This happens - Buddha was a jivanmukta for forty years. A jivanmukta means one who is already dead - of course, the body is alive, and then moksha is attained and body also falls.
Now get ready for the meditation.