|Posted by Zannie Rose on May 6, 2015 at 1:10 PM|
Questioner: A thousand years ago a man lived and died.
His identity (antahkarana) re-appeared in a new body.
Why does he not remember his previous life?
And if he does, can the memory be brought into the conscious?
Maharaj: How do you know that the same person re-appeared in the new body?
A new body may mean a new person altogether.
Q: Imagine a pot of ghee (Indian clarified butter).
When the pot breaks, the Ghee remains and can be transferred to another pot.
The old pot had its own scent, the new - its own.
The Ghee will carry the scents from pot to pot.
In the same way the personal identity is transferred from body to body.
M: It is all right.
When there is the body, its peculiarities affect the person.
Without the body we have the pure identity in the sense of 'I am'.
But when you are reborn in a new body, where is the world formerly experienced?
Q: Every body experiences its own world.
M: In the present body the old body - is it merely an idea, or is it a memory?
Q: An idea, of course.
How can a brain remember what it has not experienced?
M: You have answered your own question.
Why play with ideas?
Be content with what you are sure of.
And the only thing you can be sure of is 'I am'.
Stay with it, and reject everything else.
This is Yoga.
Q: I can reject only verbally.
At best I remember to repeat the formula: 'This is not me, this is not mine.
I am beyond all this'.
M: Good enough.
First verbally, then mentally and emotionally, then in action.
Give attention to the reality within you and it will come to light.
It is like churning the cream for butter.
Do it correctly and assiduously and the result is sure to come.
Q: How can the absolute be the result of a process?
M: You are right, the relative cannot result in the absolute.
But the relative can block the absolute, just as the non-churning of the cream may prevent the butter from separating.
It is the real that creates the urge; the inner prompts the outer and the outer responds in interest and effort.
But ultimately there is no inner, nor outer; the light of consciousness is both the creator and the creature, the experiencer and the experience, the body and the embodied.
Take care of the power that projects all this and your problems will come to an end.
Q: Which is the projecting power?
M: It is imagination prompted by desire.
Q: I know all this, but have no power over it.
M: This is another illusion of yours, born from craving for results.
Q: What is wrong with purposeful action?
M: It does not apply.
In these matters there is no question of purpose, nor of action.
All you need is to listen, remember, ponder.
It is like taking food.
All you can do is to bite off, chew and swallow.
All else is unconscious and automatic.
Listen, remember and understand - the mind is both the actor and the stage.
All is of the mind and you are not the mind.
The mind is born and reborn, not you.
The mind creates the world and all the wonderful variety of it.
Just like in a good play you have all sorts of characters and situations, so you need a little of everything to make a world.
Q: Nobody suffers in a play.
M: Unless one identifies himself with it.
Don't identify yourself with the world and you will not suffer.
Q: Others will.
M: Then make your world perfect, by all means.
If you believe in God, work with Him.
It you do not, become one.
Either see the world as a play or work at it with all your might.
~ From Shri Nisargadatta Maharaj's 'I AM THAT', (ch.36)