In memory of Rajesh Dalal who passed away on February 24, 2014
I heard about Rajesh Dalal from friends of mine in 2011. I watched a few videos with his lectures and decided that I should meet this man. I knew that Rajesh had spent a few years with Jiddu Krishnamurti, whose writings were the first portents of non-standard Indian spirituality that appeared in my life in the end of the Soviet yuga. His books and lectures were impressive and cheering, with a certain freshness of thought and direct addressing essential issues of existence. However, my interest in Rajesh Dalal didn’t arise from his connection with Krishnamurti, to speak more precisely, not only from that.
It wasn’t difficult to arrange our meeting. I was living in India and Rajesh lived in Pune, Maharashtra. In December 2012 I was in Pune with a couple of friends. We came to attend the famous Sawai Gandharva festival which summons the best performers of Indian classical music. I called Rajesh and the next day early morning we went to his apartment in Aundh. It turned out that Rajesh had to leave for Bombay urgently, so the time of our meeting suddenly shrank from indefinite to 2,5 hours. That was one of the most intensive, highly charged and meaningful conversations in my life. It started immediately, on the spot, explicitly, without standard (especially in India) boring and vain questions regarding family, country and job. It started with a jolt of electric current. There was a feeling that it was just continuing, as a matter of fact, having begun sometimes before, prior to our meeting in Pune, outside of the linear time flow. And there was a recognition. Recognition and appreciation of the person able to touch deeper layers of the psyche directly, clearly and at the same time, with a skilful delicacy, able to stir them, shaking its habitual rhythms off, the rhythms that don’t bring the answers and joy.
You have to find out! It was exactly these words that reverberated inside me long after our first meeting
The second time I met Rajesh in Lonavla, between Bombay and Pune in the oldest yoga school of India “Kaivalya Dham.” Rajesh was there with his friend, and, I’ve assumed, a disciple Brijesh Moorthy. Every evening we had a satsang. A couple of other people joined us. The subjects were various. I’ve recorded most of our discussions and it’s possible to convert them into text format. But that time discussions didn’t come out so electrical—perhaps, because of extremely hot weather—it was the middle of April—or it could be that it was due to satsang members.
Discussions with Rajesh have never taken the shape of a monologue – soliloquium of a guru, preceptor, teacher, who is trying to convey some irreversible truth. Discussions with him were always alive, spontaneous and free interaction with his conversation partners. They were a challenging self-research. He had a wonderful gift of listening. One could feel the effect of such talks for some time after, as an internal vibration of the quest—it happens when one gets in touch with the beauty—a book, music, a person.
You have to find out! It was exactly these words that reverberated inside me long after our first meeting. To find out! By myself. Without getting support from any authorities, quotations, teachings, no matter how sublime they could be and how seriously they could impress. Because deep inside each of us, with no exception, there is an innate capacity to find out. There was an incredible flying-like quality in Rajesh—he would help you to abandon common cliches, without giving you a chance to stagnate in the comfortable trap of a tricky mind. If one can compare a human being with the element of nature, Rajesh can be compared with wind—true wind of free non-attached thought. Let him have more and more new ascents and new heights!
A Conversation with Rajesh Dalal which Was Recorded in Pune on December 14, 2012
What can there be the advantage of any means of enlightenment with regard to the self which is the self-luminous God? It cannot be the attainment of one’s real form, since that is eternally existent [and, therefore, not to be attained again]. It cannot be the bringing to light, as it is always shining self-luminously. It cannot be any eradication of any coverings on accordance of the non-existence of any such coverings; nor can it be any entering into that, because of the impossibility of the existence of anything that could enter [into it]. What can serve here as a means [of yoga]? No such means, other that Him can exist justifiably.
— Abhinavagupta, Tantrasara, Ch.2, Sanskrit-English trans. by B. N. Pandit
Rajesh Dalal – R.D.
Victoria Dmitrieva – V.D.
Saraswati – S.
Nikita Kolomnin – N.
V.D. The greatest yogins did not even write the books, because they were completely absorbed in the absolute.
R.D. There are two views there. There is a view which says that the greatest can’t help propagating. Their propagation and them are not two separate things. Their words, their speech, their attempt to communicate are all like a flower giving its perfume. And for that they take enormous trouble, and that trouble is their life and their compassion. Because what they are attempting they know is not going to be received with that same feeling which they have. And yet they have to try and make people see that you have to change in order to listen to this.
V.D. Just by the very example of their lives and of their bhava (nature).
One of the questions we would like to ask you, is what is enlightenment. As a process, or as a moment – what is it, how would you describe it?
R.D. I would say, human beings have glimpses of enlightenment, which are the moments when suddenly there is no sense of division, no sense of time, no sense of duality, conflict, etc. So, that’s a glimpse of enlightenment. Then, based on that glimpse people are going to search for enlightenment and a lot of complications exist in that search. That glimpse can be covered like a drug and you want to have more and more glimpses. Only glimpses, because that’s the only thing you know. So you want more and more glimpses and the glimpses, and then you are all the time measuring everything by that glimpse. So, if somebody has what they think is enlightenment, they’ll bow at his feet, he becomes their guru. Then they become tied through that drug, to whoever who can sell that drug. That’s one of the dangers of this game of enlightenment. But the glimpse is actually an indicator that life can be lived in a fundamentally different way, that human beings don’t have to live in fear, hurt and jealousy, and conflict. So if you get interested in “why living in hurt, jealousy, etc.”, and whether that very matrix, the very root of that living can be brought to an end, then that is the search of a different kind. Now you’re living with a very important question. That question is showing you a mirror to observe what is actually going on. And it’s a tough mirror because it’ll show you your various subtle ways of cheating life.
V.D. Oh, yes. And they become subtler and subtler.
R.D. So, it’s very important to have that hard mirror which is saying “is there an actual end to fear, hurt, jealousy, or it’s only a momentary possibility as a glimpse, but this will again and again return”. And an idea that there is a permanent ending of all fear, hurt, jealousy, is just an idea, and is an illusion if you believe in it. Is it like that? I’m not just raising the questions. I’m giving you my own experience of the journey. But it’s very important to have this question: is there anything, a permanent ending which is what the sages are supposed to have gone into.
V.D. A point of no return.
R.D. A point of no return. A point of no return. Or it’s only a glimpse a human being is capable of having. And the desire to make that glimpse permanent is a complicating factor. But you can be interested in the glimpse and what this glimpse is about. And you can enter into the relationship when glimpses can happen to you more and more. But the happening of the glimpse is not a desire for you since you understood that desire for anything, including the glimpse is just a desire, and desire is a complicating factor. So you don’t turn the glimpse into a desire. You’re just interested in what is this glimpse, what is living, what is fear. So that is one whole approach.
V.D. And then the idea is to have such glimpses as many times as possible and slowly to make them continuous?
R.D. That’s one kind of a way.
V.D. Just to remain more and more in those glimpses, rather that in a usual state of human mind, like jealousy, greed, etc.?
R.D. But if you turn that into a desire, then you’ll complicate life. But you’re interested in what this glimpse is, why it goes away.
V.D. Yes, it is curious to know, because we don’t know how it is there. We already know very well how it is here in the human realm, we know very well all the stages of human life, all the sufferings, but we don’t know how it is out there. That’s why it is very curious. It is interesting. Kutuhalam asti. Mama kutuhalam asti (I’m curious).
R.D. Kutuhalam is very different from desire.
V.D. Kutuhalam is better than desire. It is not so attaching.
R.D. Yes. Yes. So, that is one approach. Then there is an approach which says: “I want to go to the root of this matter. I want to understand”. And “understand” does not mean an intellectual conception making. That’s another complication. So, if you’re clear from the very beginning, that understanding can’t be an intellectual thing, understanding is not a verbal construct of thought.
V.D. Rather experience.
R.D. Yes. It’s even more than experience, because experience implies an experiencer. Only in a glimpse there is no experiencer, there is no experience. A glimpse becomes an experience a second later. Do you understand? The moment of the glimpse is nothingness.
V.D. There is no perceiver, means of perception and object of perception. They’re all one.
R.D. Correct. They’re all one. Correct. And there is no observer, no observed, no observation. There is no thinker, no thought, no thinking.
V.D. But is it possible to remain in a human body, performing everyday human obligations and to stay in that state at the same time, continuously?
R.D. It is possible, but that is not “staying in the state”. It’s a totally different thing. “Staying in the state” is the question of somebody who has already been out of that state. Then he’s raising a question of “staying in the state”. So state is always of the nature of a glimpse. A state. But there is an inquiry and an explosion of inquiry which is irrevocable, from which there is no return. And that is one aspect of enlightenment. Receiving of a glimpse is a momentary enlightenment. Interest in a glimpse and in glimpse’s happening more and more and some kind of greater period of remaining in that state is a certain kind of a journey of enlightenment. But when you’re in a state, at that moment thought and thinking are not possible, whereas there is a transcendence when you’re never in conflict, in duality, and yet you’re totally capable of thinking.
V.D. Between two thoughts. You have to be between two thoughts.
R.D. No. No. Not that. Thought is not in opposition to no-thought. Thought is here. No-thought is the whole thing. So from no-thought a thought can be watched. Thought can come, thought can go, whatever has to happen, can happen, but this space is untouched by a thought. So, that has been conventionally called enlightenment. When you have entered this relationship, when thought and its troubles, disturbances – nothing touches your deep ground.
V.D. But in reality nothing touches my deep ground. In the very reality. It is only my thinking that thinks that it’s touching, but it’s not.
R.D. But this statement that you’re making is still a concept, based on your study of tradition. It is not a realisation.
V.D. Mmm, I would say, it’s coming from the experience.
R.D. No, even coming from the experience. All thoughts come from experience.
V.D. Or somebody’s experience. That’s true.
R.D. Yes, all thoughts come from your experience or somebody’s experience. When thought is spoken from the realisation, which is beyond experience, it’s a living thing. Experience is a past. The moment you experience has gone into the past. Realisation is life which cannot be experienced, it can never become the past. It’s always in the light.
V.D. Because it is ever presenting present. Eternal present.
R.D. Yes. It’s beyond the word “present”, “past” and “future”. It’s beyond time. Now, you hear this – either you just hear and there is no kutuhalam, whether such a thing can actually be, you just hear, then it passes away and you live your life, or you hear and there is kutuhalam, there is an interest, or you hear and you make it into an idea, and then make it into a desire and then you struggle to achieve that desire. You can do many things. You can become indifferent and go away, you can make it into an idea, into a desire and create impossible problems for you, you’re in an impossible situation, or you’re kutuhalam. And if your kutuhalam is very intense, this question “is there such a state”, not a “state”, it’s not a “state”…
V.D. It’s a problem of the language, especially the English language.
R.D. So, is there a realisation which is irrevocable and you want to actually find out for yourself, you will not accept anybody’s experience in this matter.
V.D. Yes. I want to know by myself.
R.D. That wanting to know by yourself is the journey which is not a desire, but you’re putting your whole being in “what does that whole thing mean?” and then you come upon it. It’s not that you come upon it but it comes and blasts you and your kutuhalam, because then there is no kutuhalam, it is there. And now there is a kutuhalam on what the hell is all this! You understand? There is further kutuhalam “is there such a thing?”.
V.D. I have no doubt in that.
R.D. And when you enter into that, there is a kutuhalam still, but this is a very different kind of kutuhalam.
V.D. It’s vismaya (wonder, astonishment). What is this? Who am I? Where were I? Why I was so stupid? My God! What was I involved in? Like that.
R.D. Right. Right. And then from there you see the whole world in all this whatever we described. So from that you see all this. Now I’m going to say something which may be new. In Indian tradition coming upon this realisation is seen as the ultimate. This irrevocable realisation is seen as the ultimate, because the ground of the illusion of separation led to clinging and that clinging created the identity in whatever name, and that identity through this realisation has ended irrevocably. So the ending of all illusions about the nature of the self and reality is seen as ultimate. What happens to a being, to a human being living in the world after that? In your understanding?
V.D. I think, externally he might look absolutely the same, to the people who surround this person. For example, what is the difference between an enlightened and non-enlightened person? An enlightened person is always calm, tranquil and happy, no matter what happens to him or around him. It doesn’t matter what is going on — he is always in the same, very tranquil, very peaceful position.
R.D. But then why does he appear the same?
V.D. Same as before, you mean?
R.D. Same as before and same as the others.
N. I think, an enlightened person doesn’t give any characteristics to the surroundings, he’s taking and accepting everything as pure, no matter what, with the same equal attitude, without giving any names “this is good, bad, wrong, profitable”, etc. Absolute equality.
V.D. But one thing is talking about this, another thing is understanding this. We know all this theory already. The main question is how theory becomes a real bhava, a real experience, your real nature? How do you discover this Shiva nature inside yourself? Which is there. I have no doubt in that. I have already a huge theory. It’s not enough.
R.D. You have no doubt about the theory.
V.D. About the fact that every human being has the eternal atman inside.
R.D. If you have no doubt, you’re already there.
V.D. I have no doubt.
R.D. By then you’re already there.
V.D. But then why do I experience all these emotions of different kinds?
R.D. Therefore till then you can’t say you have no doubt.
V.D. Aaa, Ok. Ok. I got your point.
R.D. When there is no doubt then there is no mind. So, you have very little doubt.
R.D. So look at that doubt itself.
V.D. At that very little doubt which is left.
R.D. Which is left. And can that doubt be shattered?
V.D. They say it can only be shattered by shaktipata, which comes absolutely free. There is no reason, and nothing that I can do to attract it. It just happens like rain, like the sun. I can’t do anything to attract it.
R.D. Correct. But you want to find the truth of shaktipata, not the theory of shaktipata.
V.D. No, of course not.
R.D. So, what will you do?
V.D. What can I do?
R.D. Wait a minute. Find out! May be, you can do nothing. May be you can do nothing. But if you say “I can do nothing”, then you’re waiting for some grace?
V.D. “Waiting” is not the correct word. It is not like you wait and you don’t do anything, lying on the sofa watching TV. It is not like this. You do whatever you can do in your position. I don’t know how to explain that.
R.D. I understand what you’re saying.
N. It is like a present fom the atman. When you’re a sadhaka, you do pure practice, someone from above sees that and gives you shaktipata, when you’re ready.
V.D. But you can’t expect that.
R.D. It may not be so. This all may be a construct of thought.
V.D. It’s like an exchange. I do this and that and God gives me this. It is not like this, not like an agreement.
R.D. It is not the result of your actions. If it is a result of a particular work, then it is a reward, and then you’re wanting that reward.
V.D. Then how do you see that?
R.D. You have to do it. It’s not the matter of speaking.
V.D. No, how do you see the process? You said that this is not the matter of doing something and getting reward. I totally agree with that. Then how do you see this?
R.D. I’ll speak, but is that what you want? Because whatever I speak will be another view for you.
V.D. That’s ok, because sometimes, you know, different viewpoints shift, it helps sometimes. Sometimes.
R.D. Is that what you want? A little shift?
V.D. It could be inspiring. You never know. Sometimes you read something in a Sanskrit book, or English, or Russian book — some words, two, three words and suddenly they switch some very hidden, very secret gear inside you and then you see everything from a different perspective. It helps.
R.D. Yes. But if you’re still looking for help, you’re not asking for total, going beyond all help.
V.D. I think, it is a process. Kramena (gradually, step by step).
R.D. Aaa, that’s it. It is not. It can’t be.
V.D. You think, it is not a process? You think, it is only instanteneous?
R.D. It can only happen now.
V.D. Only? There is no such a thing as moving slowly slowly?
R.D. There is a moving slowly slowly. That moving slowly slowly has to come to a total end. As long as you depend on moving slowly slowly, you will only move slowly slowly, you’re not bringing it to an end. But if you’re demanding an end to all movement, to all understanding, that’s real seriousness.
V.D. But that all depends on the intensity of shaktipata, because it could be so intense, that it can be videha mukti (liberation after leaving the body) which I’m not interested in.
V.D. Because I need my body as long as possible, because it helps me to realise such things, to have a conversation with you, for example. Thank you very much, my body.
R.D. Yes, but videha mukti may not mean deha mukti. (leaving the body)
S. What is videha-mukti?
V.D. Videha-mukti means such an intensity of shaktipata, God’s grace, that is coming on you, that you practically leave your body immediately. You stop living in this body. It’s too much.
R.D. It cannot be that. It’s the coming of that energy with such a force that this sense of “I’m living”, comes to end. The body is very much there, the body doesn’t come to an end. The sense that “I’m living”, the sense that “I want to live”, the sense that “I want to find something”, whatever that can be, comes to an end. There is nothing to find.
V.D. May I ask you, if you had this experience?
R.D. Yes. Yes.
V.D. With Krishnamurti Ji?
R.D. Not when he was alive.
V.D. But he was…did he play any role?
R.D. Extraordinary role. Because I had that kutuhalam. Not just kutuhalam. I was demanding that that realisation must happen. And all these kind of dialogues of why it’s not happening, what I must do, what I’m doing that I must not do – they are all very much part of that. I had never had any urge in my life to do any practice. Not just because of Krishnamurti. In fact, I came to Krishnamurti because I saw that he’s not talking about practice. To me, practice would time it out into doing something.
V.D. So what is it then? If it’s not practice, is it some kind of direct realistion?
R.D. Yes. Yes. It’s putting all your energy directly to watch what is the nature of the self and what is the nature of freedom. To put your total attention, and this putting is not something you can decide to put and do. It comes from that very interest. Either the interest is there or it’s not there. But that interest can happen any moment. So everything is in the moment. Now as we’re talking…if you, as you’re listening, because I could see that you were bringing that krama (step, stage) thing. If you see that this can’t be krama, it has to be the ending of time, krama means time. The moment you listen to that, you’re in a crisis, cause you then don’t know anything. Everything that you know is time. Everything that you have achieved, you have discovered, you have understood are all the results of the process of doing something.
R.D. So through time you have come to wherever you are. You can go on in different directions, find different teachers, find different practices, create subtle shifts, which is fine, which is there – time exists. And the movement of time and evolution is a fact, but that fact has nothing to do with total transformation. It is the ending of that evolution, ending of time which is total transformation. So, first you have to develop the viveka (discrimination) to see that this is so. Now your faith in time, as a factor, or as a means to coming upon that is being shaken. And this will reveal the samshaya (doubt), cause now your real issue is going to be tested.
V.D. I see what you mean. Very well.
R.D. At this moment, if you’re kutuhalin (somebody in the state of curiousity), your highest perception of all the things which you have done till now, is saying: “I want to find that”. You’re now asked to take a plunge, a leap.
V.D. Oh, ye. I know.
R.D. So, what we’re doing is bringing you to that leap point, which is now. And if you’re not able to take that leap for whatever reason, just be aware of that fact now. That is the fear, doubt…
V.D. Yes, yes, all the set.
R.D. And why is that leap not happening? What would you say?
V.D. Because of the residues of what you just mentioned. Fear, doubt…
R.D. But why is our interest not so strong to end the residues now?
V.D. Because of the lack of faith.
V.D. Lack of faith, because we don’t remember how it is there, we forgot how it is there, and we’re so much entangled in this kind of life, that we’re living life after life, that it is accumulated and then we start believing only in that.
For example, if I went to San Francisco, I know exactly how it is there, how it looks like, I know how to move there, but if I’ve never been there, I would feel a little bit awkward. Something like this.
R.D. Yes, yes. This is unknown. This is known.
V.D. Totally unknown. That’s why fear, that’s why doubt.
R.D. If you understand the nature of fear… fear is because you have experienced pain and damage. Fear has to do with experience of the negative. You’ve been hurt, you’ve been damaged. That hurt and damage are stored in the brain. From that storage and that memory fear arises.
V.D. Exactly, it’s protecting itself. It’s a kind of protection of the brain.
R.D. It’s self-protection, Correct. But this you have never experienced.
V.D. So, how can I be afraid of what I have never experienced…
R.D. So don’t use the word “fear”.
V.D. Ok. I’m just trying to analyse what is it that prevents from the leap.
R.D. You don’t know.
V.D. Exactly. I don’t know. I don’t know. And I’m in India for a long time enough and I don’t want anymore listening to these traditional explanations of the karma and lack of guru’s grace and lack of sadhana. I know there is some other way which is direct and which is dear to my heart and which is my way. I absolutely know that. Why I became so much interested in Kashmir Shaiva darshana, because this school was this kind of direct realisation.
R.D. Direct perception.
V.D. These people, these yogins — they saw it directly and they experienced it and they lived like this. And they remained householders, without becoming monks, they didn’t escape from the world, because they saw no difference between the world and Shiva.
S. What is this?
V.D. This is Kashmir Shaiva darshana. It is a separate school, known as Trika (Triadic school), or Paradvaita (Supreme non-duality), or Pratyakshadvaita (Direct non-duality). It was only known to the valley of Kashmir for some time, but recently it has become more famous. But still not too many people know about it. It is an absolutely sublime way of seeing the world, absolutely beautiful.
R.D. But I think, we’re now coming to the point, where you must be prepared to let go all that too.
V.D. I understand. I know.
R.D. You must be prepared to let go all knowledge, even sublime knowledge, because that sublime knowledge is asking this. So, if you really have faith in what is being spoken, it is saying “Leap!” So, what is important is not any tradition. What is important is not Vedanta, not Buddha, not Krishnamurti…
V.D. Is You.
R.D. What is important is you.
V.D. Totally agree.
R.D. And what is important is this issue of limitation and freedom. This issue is important.
V.D. But this limitation comes from nowhere, except yourself. You put this limitation on yourself. Not anybody else.
R.D. Your very survival and your fear of dying are the limitations.
V.D. I know there is no dying.
R.D. Wait. Wait. Though you say “I know”, you can’t say “I know”, untill you have died.
V.D. Ye. But, of course, fear is there. Fear of the unknown which is waiting out there. That kind of fear.
R.D. I know, but that means you still think, there is death waiting out there.
V.D. Not death, rather different kind of reality, which I have no idea how it is, I don’t remember how it is.
R.D. But the different kind of reality is the death of the known.
V.D. Yes. Yes.
R.D. So, the real challenge is to die to the known. If you’re saying somewhere “how can I die to the known, because I don’t know the other?”. This I know, you can never know the other. You can know the other, only when you die to this.
V.D. Ok. Then the question comes “How?”. How do you let go? How to let go?
R.D. Who is asking this question?
V.D. Somebody who is experiencing these attachments, this clinging, these “my, me”. Like the “Beatles” sing, you know, “Oh, I, me, my”. This thing is asking “How do I let go?”
R.D. Do I want to let go?
V.D. Yes. I want, because mama kutuhalam asti (I’m curious).
R.D. Is the kutuhalam more important than your existence?
V.D. I think, now it is like this…Like weigh-scales. Balanced.
V.D. Exactly I feel it this way.
R.D. Till the kutuhalam is more important than this existence…
V.D. Till the kutuhalam becomes guru, meaning “heavy”.
R.D. Yes. Yes. Guru. Guru meaning “heavy”. Correct.
V.D. Hmm, I got it.
R.D. And the kuthalam becomes heavy as it works. As you put your whole spirit in the kutuhalam…
V.D. Rather than in I, me, my
R.D. Yes. As you put your spirit into the kutuhalam, it works.
V.D. It will work by itself.
R.D. It will work by itself.
V.D. Then just let it do its work.
V.D. I see it the same way. I feel it is true.
R.D. But you have to push it. Why are you still…
V.D. Enjoying doubting?
V.D. Like, you know this kind of feeling that may be something good can be here too…?
R.D. Now let’s be very clear, let’s be very clear.
V.D. And the more I live the more I see that No! No!
V.D. Even the good things that are coming here, they are passing away very fast, nothing permanent…
R.D. Wait, wait, wait.. This is where the error is.
V.D. The trap?
R.D. The trap. It is not because this is passing that it is not good. Generally there is this idea: I’m suffering – I’m in pain, in conflict, I go through hurt, loneliness, jealosy. From that suffering I want to be free and the whole idea of spirituality is the doing of whatever is required, or not doing, so that ultimately I attain kaivalyam (state of oneness), or moksha (liberation). That is the purpose of human existence: I’m born, I want to be free of suffering, I tried all the sansaric ways of trying to be free of suffering and they don’t work. And I’m told that there is a way, there is a path and if only I can follow that path to its very end, the day will come when I’ll be free and then I’ll achieve the purpose of my life. I think, this whole view is rather limited. Then what is the purpose of finding freedom? Does that freedom have a purpose? If it has a purpose then it will get tied up to the chain of causation. That’s why the idea is that freedom has no purpose, freedom is beyond purpose, beyond usefulness and uselessness. But here there is a view which says that you work to find freedom because you are concerned with human suffering, not just your suffering, and in order to bring about that wisdom which can affect humanity. So to find the remedy not for yourself, but for humanity and humanity suffering you approach the whole question.
V.D. But you can’t use this remedy unless you’re yourself already there.
R.D. Yes. Correct. Unless you discover freedom you can’t do anything to another in that domain of freedom.
V.D. Exactly. That’s what we have now with so many false gurus.
R.D. Yes. Freedom is very important, but it is important not because it will free you from suffering, it is important because it will give you an extraordinary energy with which you can be the instrument bringing about freedom to humanity. This is one aspect. I think, there is something even more to it, which is that the freedom from suffering is the beginning of the true journey of what it means to be human. Until now you were not fully human, you were going round and round divided in your own being. Now that you’re no longer divided, you can begin to discover what human existence is really about. From this point onwards you begin to discover what is beauty, what is love. It is not just the ending of suffering.
V.D. To Buddha it was anitya (impermanence) that especially inspired him to look for the wau out.
R.D. But that is what the tradition tells us. You must be always sceptical of all traditions.
V.D. That’s true.
R.D. Always sceptical. Traditions can cheat very fast. I can see it right now in front of me of how Krishnamurti is being slowly turned…
R.D. Yes. Slowly, slowly. To suit the limitations of peoples’ minds.
V.D. Different from what he was originally saying.
R.D. Absolutely. The mind is saying “oh, he is like this, like this”. You don’t know! Whatever you know is not him, it’s yours! And it is because you don’t have the courage and the strength to let go of all that you have and take the leap and find out!
V.D. Exactly. It takes a lot of courage. It is courage. That’s why it is vira-marga (hero path). You have to be a real vira (hero). But sometimes you start feeling pity for yourself. Cause I’m a lady, I want a normal, happy, peaceful life, why do you have to be a vira? It’s hard to be vira.
R.D. One minute. It becomes hard to be vira if you conceptualise vira. If you make a concept of the vira, then it becomes very hard.
V.D. I see. I see. So, it is the balance between vikalpa and direct.
R.D. Correct. You are a woman, you’re living life. In that living of life let the kutuhalam see that vikalpa (conceptual thinking, conceptualistion) is harmful, vikalpa is limiting what you deeply want. As you see, the vikalpa will loose the energy.
V.D. Yes. As you see how it ruins your being.
R.D. Yes. Don’t try to become something. Just be what you are.
V.D. So, just watch it? Just watch the work of vikalpas? Nothing else?
R.D. Correct. With the kutuhalam energy and see why kutuhalam energy is not total. You’ll actually see how vikalpa energy is reducing the kutuhalam energy.
V.D. Absolutely. It is like this!
R.D. As you keep seeing that without making kutuhalam energy into a vikalpa, because then there will be a fight. Between an old vikalpa and a new vikalpa there will be a fight.
V.D. This is a very subtle thing how not to make that new vikalpa.
R.D. Watch that! Watch how that becomes vikalpa. You’re then burning with the question: “Why does everything become a vikalpa?”. “Why does everything become a vikalpa?” is itself kutuhalam, because you don’t know that. You’re living with the energy of the fact without creating a vikalpa. That is real interest.
V.D. And it is always fresh.
R.D. It is always fresh, because it is not based on anything.
V.D. There is a feeling of freshness in that. That is one of the signs that it is true.
R.D. Don’t even measure it by any of the signs, cause that’ll also take you back into a subtle form of tradition. Watch it directly. Or, rather, don’t watch it, allow it to operate. Don’t create a watcher.
V.D. Ok. Just let it work.
R.D. Let it work.
V.D. Then, you see, you have to be very careful again to distinguish between its work and mine.
R.D. Yes, but this watchfulness is that.
V.D. By itself?
R.D. It is. What we are talking is the watching of the creator of vikalpas, the watching of the creator of tradition, clinging to tradition.
V.D. But aren’t all these vikalpas and all these traditions, as well as the enlightened state of mind – aren’t they coming from the same source?
V.D. Then where is advaita?
R.D. They are coming from non-contact with the source.
V.D. Correct. Absolutely correct.
R.D. Because when the source is contacted, not even contacted, when there is only the source and there is no entity contacting the source, when the source has detroyed the entity, there is no possibility of vikalpa in that domain. It doesn’t mean that thoughts can’t come, it doesn’t mean that knowledge and memory have been wiped out. Knowledge and memory, and vikalpas with regard to the source have been wiped out, but in all other spheres of life knowledge, vikalpa, theories have a place. So, there is no need for fear. In fact, now, that fear, and desire, and conflict, and wasting of energy with regard to the source is finished, now knowledge and all that can operate very free, therefore there can be a grihastha (householder’s life) – they just do what has to be done. And because there is clarity, there is no condemnation of whatever is, including vikalpa, including vikalpa of a normal kind and vikalpa, which is an impossible vikalpa, there is no condemnation, there is only looking at the whole movement as it is.
V.D. Then what do you think about the power of mantras in that process?
R.D. This is a direct business. This is not looking for power of anything to take you anywhere. And there is no business of going somewhere in this. Whatever you are just become conscious of that. Whatever is.
V.D. But this is not suitable for everybody. Do you agree?
R.D. No, I will not put it like this. The question of suitability or non-suitability is bringing in the personality. The personality, if it listens to this, from whatever be its part, if it is ready to listen, and that readiness usually is not there, you are right. And because readiness is not there, it says “it is not suitable for me”.
V.D. That’s what I mean.
R.D. But one minute. You should say “I’m blocking this”, but it doesn’t say that. It says “this is not right for me”.
V.D. I’m not saying that. May be, I’m suitable for this, I don’t know. It’s not me…there are different levels of perception, different levels of development of mind.
R.D. No, you’re not saying that, you’re asking a general question, I could see that. I’m saying, just to be aware of whatever you’re doing, is very simple. If I’m driving a car, I must be aware of the road. Let’s say I’m going on a certain road, I must be aware of the road and the driver and the relationship between the road and the driver and I must be aware of what I mean by destination. If I’m not aware of all this, then I’m just blind, and that’s what a certain kind of belief in the past does – it makes you blind. And that’s why you can see, that people who are wedded to paths, don’t listen to one another! Everything is insular, though each one is talking of the whole. So, from the very beginning to be aware that I have the tendency of insularity, which is the vikalpa. And as I see this whole tendency in operation, I’m able to see that the other person is like me. I have a tendency to create vikalpa, he or she has the tendency to create vikalpa, I get caught in my vikalpa and she gets caught in her vikalpa. But what is important is beyond all vikalpas. It’s not like I pursue my favourite vikalpa and she pursues her favourite vikalpa. Cause that divides. If I see this, if you see that, we have a real problem. To stay with that real problem – it is real, it is not something that you have to imagine. Between a husband a wife…are you married?
V.D. Not now.
R.D. Not now. But you will see, because you were married. Between the husband and the wife – the husband is pursuing his direction, the wife is pursuing her direction, where is relationship?
R.D. As long as we’re pursuing vikalpas, different vikalpas, relationship does not exist as a fact.
V.D. That’s why there are so many divorces.
R.D. That’s why divorces, that’s why conflicts. Yes. To face that difficult fact and to see that there is some tendency which is creating this divide. Then life is the teacher, the fact is the teacher, and the fact is the teacher who has always existed, the difficulty is that the student is not coming, student is blinding himself. He says “I like this teacher”, “this teacher is not suitable for me”. Life-the teacher is going to present a very hard mirror, so I say “it’s not suitable for me.” But you can go and find any teacher you want to find, life-the teacher is the teacher of that teacher also.
V.D. Yes. Paramaguru Life.
R.D. And the teacher of the teachers is going to shake that teacher’s belief also, because that teacher is basing his belief on his teacher, his books. Ultimately everybody has to come to the paramaguru, who is now, here, infront of us, which is what is happening. Which is what is happening. And if I can be humble and say “I don’t know how to listen to what is happening, because I get caught in my vikalpas. If I’m humble and if I say to the teacher “teacher, teach me, how to listen to you, I’m not able to listen to you”. And the more I’m in touch with this fact, that I’m not able to listen, which is a kind of listening, it’s a special listening, it’s a special honesty, that I tend to become dishonest, I tend to pursue some desire, some vikalpa.
V.D. That’s true. We’re cheating ourselves all the time. We accuse people of lying, but we’re lying to ourselves constantly, aren’t we?
R.D. Right. So, this realising that I’m lying to myself is the beginning of truth. You’re truthful, when you’re saying “I’m lying to myself”. And I’m lying to myself because I don’t fully trust life. If I trust the core of life in my being, I wouldn’t lie. If a child trusts his mother completely, a child won’t lie to the mother. Even when the mother is hard, the child knows that when the mother is hard she is hard for your good, because the mother doesn’t want any barrier between you and her. Now we’re talking not of the ordinary mother, we’re talking about the Mother. The Universal Mother.
V.D. The Mother. Coming back to the traditional ways of sadhana, traditional paramparas, many different schools of Indian yoga and philosophy have produced brilliant enlightened masters. If it happened like this, it means that these traditional schools worked and their methods might be useful, or they’re no longer useful for the modern people…?
R.D. My question to you right now: what is prompting to use that question?
V.D. I think, past sanskaras (mental impressions). I think. I feel so.
R.D. Sanskaras are one part of it. But more than even sanskaras. You’re looking for the method in order to go somewhere, right? The state which is looking is that more important or the object of its looking is more imporatant?
V.D. The state, of course,
R.D. I’m saying, look at that which is looking, because if that is false, then whatever it will do, will be false, will be limited. Feeling limited, we project something, which is God, which is unlimited, and then we look for the paths, and teachers, and practices which will take us to the unlimited and then we devote our heart, our time, our thought…
V.D. But you also had a teacher, right?
R.D. Wait a minute. I was not defending whatever I was doing and my teacher was not giving me anything. In fact, he said: “I have nothing to give you”.
V.D. He said so?
R.D. Yes. “I have nothing to give you. Whatever you’re seeking is already there in you right now”!
S. But your teacher, Rajesh, took away whatever you had.
R.D. Which is what we’re doing right now.
S. No… but he did something.
V.D. He did something! Some kriya (action) was there. It was not nothing.
R.D. One second, Victoria, he didn’t give me a thing, thing…
V.D. He took away the thing.
R.D. He didn’t give me a thing, he didn’t give me anything to hold to. He didn’t give me anything to do, he didn’t give me anything to occupy my mind with.
V.D. Rather clear your mind.
R.D. Right. All the occupations of the mind are preventing the mind from discovering its own deeper clarity. And we are doing it now.
V.D. I understand.
R.D. You asked the question “all the various enlightened masters gave methods and they worked…”
V.D. Yes. Different kinds of methods to different kinds of chelas (disciples) with different capabilities to understand.
R.D. What we’re talking about is the apex of this whole thing. This apex is not against your doing anything.
V.D. I know.
R.D. If doing yogasanas everyday helps you, do yogasanas!
V.D. Very much. It helps very much.
R.D. Do! Do! But in the fundamental thing, the moment you seek help from anything, you’re moving away from the very source which does not need help.
V.D. I understand you very well.
R.D. And whatever will give you help, the paramaguru will hit that thing and bring you back into no-help.
V.D. If he is a real guru.
R.D. No, I’m not talking of the person as a guru. Person as a guru is ok. I’m talking about the paramaguru which is life, which is beyond any guru. Because life wants you to be one with it. Life needs nobody’s help. You don’t need anybody’s help. It’s your fear, it’s your fear of dying and merging with that life which is making you to ask all these questions of help.
V.D. From where does this fear come?
R.D. Right! That’s the right question! You asked this question “From where does this fear come”? You’re waiting for somebody to answer you? Why? Stay with your question.
V.D. And this life? What is the origin of it?
R.D. You want a Google answer?
V.D. Again the same? I know Buddha kept quiet when he was asked this kind of questions.
V.D. Because it has no relevance in a true sense.
R.D. No, it has relevance, this question has immense relevance, but it has no relevance in thought. This question has immense relevance, and this question can not be answered for you by another. The moment somebody else answers this question for you and you’re stupid enough to accept that answer, you’re become borrowed, second hand.
V.D. That’s what most of the religious followers are, it is all borrowed?
R.D. So, you have to, in fact, throw it out of your system, but fear is preventing that throwing out. So, staying with fear and what is the root of fear is more important, at this juncture, than what is the origin of life.
V.D. It is more important. I agree.
R.D. But if the question of origin of life has touched you, that very question demands that you discover the origin of fear, and end it, so that you can then really go into this question — what is the origin of life.
R.D. So, it has immense significance that question “what is the origin of life”. But not any answer to that question by somebody.
N. Only inside.
R.D. Yes. But you may listen to an answer, but you can only listen to an answer when you are not wanting an answer. In order to listen you must be free of motive. Otherwise you will turn the answer into your convenience.
V.D. You know, when too many things appear, when I should not, or I should, then I become very nervous, like what I should do, what I shouldn’t do — all these must(s), do(s) and don’t(s) become too much.
R.D. But when you do any practice, it is full of do(s) and don’t(s). Just now, what I spoke is not a “do” or “don’t”. Do you see that? Are you able to feel that? Though in my words I said…what did I say?
V.D. You said that I must not expect an answer.
R.D. Cut off my words “must not”. I’ll put it in a form of a question. If you get an answer from outside, will that answer be true for you? You already have so many answers with you, you’ll only add one more answer.
N. But what if you ask this or that question regarding the origin of fear, or any other, but the answer doesn’t come?
R.D. It is the listening that matters. If, as we were speaking, you actually listened, and this question came to you like “what is the source of this fear”.
V.D. It came.
R.D. Yes, that question which has come, will operate. But if you turn it into an idea and say what is the source of this fear you’ll only reduce the intensity of the question. Do you understand what I’m saying?
V.D. Yes. Yes.
R.D. That question, which has entered is the kutuhulam.
V.D. Is the glimpse.
R.D. Is the glimpse…no, glimpse is different. Glimpse was the glimpse of a non-dual state. Now we’re not talking of non-duality at all. We’re talking of that which is preventing the non-dual realistion.
V.D. To concentrate on that in the first place?
R.D. In the first place. Correct. In the first place. So, the very interest in finding out what is fear, will end the fear of fear. You’re already touching the root of fear and you’re also touching the root of vikalpa. All vikalpas are the movement away from fear, whereas the facing of fear is the beginning of the ending of vikalpas.
V.D. So, vikalpas distract you from the concentartion on what is the root of fear.
V.D. They create the atmosphere, that everything is fine, you just stay in that, it’s fine, this dream kind of state, unconscious, like jada. (insentient, dull, stupid, inanimate). Sanskrit words help sometimes to grasp the meaning more precisely…that’s why I’m using them.
R.D. Even if the practices and paths help your mind to become less jada, more fluidic, the purpose of this fluidity is ultimately to see what we’re talking about. If that fluidity becomes an attachment to the path, which brought that fluidity, then that very fluidity is harmful still.
R.D. Do you understand?
V.D. I understand.
R.D. Since you already understand, you don’t need those paths.
V.D. Then the question is what is my problem then?
R.D. Wait. When you say why I’m not in that, if you ask me, you have the subtlety of mind to see something directly. When you say “I’m not seeing directly”, that is the beginning of seeing directly. You’re seeing the truth, that you still have vikalpas.
V.D. There is a very subtle kind of effort in that. Is there any effort? “Effort” again is a wrong word…rather udyama (zeal, undertaking, exertion, determination, continued effort)…
R.D. There is udyama. What is wrong with udyama?
V.D. What is wrong? Nothing.
R.D. When udyama has an object…
V.D. To make this kutuhalam heavier, for example. But again, it doesn’t have to become a concept.
R.D. Yes, and it’s very subtle, so it’s a very subtle udyama. It’s a hard work, but…
V.D. But what else to do?! I don’t see anything else worth doing.
R.D. Yes! Exactly! Right! Right! This is what I mean. What else to do? You’re already in a choiceless situation. You don’t have to seek a choiceless awareness state, because the idea of choiceless awareness is a new choice, whereas you’re already in a choiceless state. But right now your choiceless state is still having pain in it.
V.D. It is. I feel that. A little bit. It’s coloured by little pain.
R.D. Be attentive to that and when you discover the source of that pain
V.D. Smile at it!
R.D. No, No! Enter into it! Go into it! What is it? Why is it there? It may become even more intense, it doesn’t matter, it may become a very strong disturbance, but stay with that, what is the source of that pain, and in that very act you may discover that you were doing something which was not right. But that discovery will be your discovery, not somebody having told you and you believing in it and practicing it. When you discover that, your discovery will act, and the action of that discovery is freedom, is enlightenment. And this is not the end of the matter. This is, in fact, the beginning, this is the beginning of an extraordinary journey with the teacher which is Life. That teacher has infinite wisdom, infinite potential possibilities!
V.D. Infinite. Yes.
R.D. And it’s inviting you to shed your different kinds of unintelligence. So the same negation is still in operation. Earlier it was negation of illusion. Irrevocably you can negate all illusions is what I’m saying.
V.D. Is it ok, that the point is negation, that we start with negation, is it ok? That it’s not something positive, but negative.
R.D. Negation is the most positive thing in the world. But if you make a positive and try to use negation as a way to reach the positive, then that negation is a method. That negation will become a method. Whereas the negation which we’re speaking about right now, is not a method, there is no choice there. It is realising, on a more ordinary level, it is the realising that if I’m pinching my cheek, I have to get the pain. If I don’t want the pain, I should stop pinching. That realising is not a method. It is like that. If I’m doing something which is the cause of a problem, my seeing that thing and my ending that is the answer. I don’t have to seek an answer, I have to look at the problem. And my relationship with the problem.
V.D. To look at it directly.
R.D. To look at it directly. This very journey of negation – negating illusion and negating sanskaras. Negating sanskaras, negating habits of the past is quite a demanding work. Negating illusion – if you have tremendous concern for truth, negating illusion is, in one sense, very easy, because illusion is not existing, it’s been created, whereas sanskaras exist. If you see an illusion with total honesty, it evaporates, but to see the source of all illusions is very demanding. But each illusion that you see, the process of seeing is the same – it’s direct perception with honesty. When an illusion blasts, the energy that is trapped in that illusion is released for seeing deeper. Seeing illusion – 1,2,3,5, — is krama. But it is not krama in the sense of there is no continuity or achievement there. Krama is not a very good word here, cause that krama has hope in it, step by step, by step you’re walking on a known path, that path has been given to you, and you’re walking on something known, there are milestones, whereas this is very different. The ending of illusion, you may take physically time by the watch, but that actual ending is only in that moment when you have given your total energy and there is an insight into that particular illusion or confusion and that insight dissolves the illusion.
V.D. Immediately this doubt arises: am I able to do that? Am I strong enough, determined enough to do that? This kind of shaking inside.
R.D. I know, but this is not a matter of determination to do that. Just be attentive and let things happen.
V.D. That’s is.
R.D. You can’t make it into a desire. When you make it into a desire, then all these issues arise. But if as you’re listening, if you find the whole thing so interesting, so going in, then in that listening there is no “I” wanting to attain, anything, the very listening is the moment.
V.D. Yes. There is vibration of life in that.
R.D. Just keep it at that. And don’t bring those old-fashioned ways of functioning.
Rajesh graduated from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur as a Chemical Engineer in 1975. However, it was clear to him by then that his primary concern was “human transformation”. He had studied at depth, thoughts of leading psychologists, philosophers and educators from the West. His thirst for fundamental enquiry led him to Eastern religion, Yoga and the teachings of spiritual traditions like Vedanta, Zen and Sufism. At the time, he continued to seek for answers to the countless questions that plagued his mind. Encounter with J.Krishnamurti’s writings in 1971 and later with the man himself, altered his whole inner direction. An emptying process had spontaneously begun and with that a dying to the known and an entry into an unknown dimension of living. Immediately after graduation, instead of seeking security and success in the engineering profession, Rajesh plunged headlong into the work of inner enquiry and creating a different kind of education and life.
Moved by his commitment and passion, Krishnamurti made him a trustee of his Foundation and invited Rajesh to travel with him in India. During ten years of these travels, they had intimate and challenging conversations and countless dialogues on “What is the human potential and what is limiting Man?” Countless spiritual experiences and insights were generated through these encounters; and Rajesh attempted to share this process with people as a co-traveler and a friend, not as a teacher. Confronting difficult human issues and unpleasant truths, looking at them deeply without condemnation or justification, many have experienced the healing insights and release of creative energies generated thereby.
Rajesh held important executive and educational responsibilities for the Foundation and its centres in the past and has initiated a number of innovative educational forums and projects. He traveled widely, all over Asia, Europe and Northern America giving talks, holding dialogues and retreats. In 2010, he was invited as a keynote speaker at the International Conference of Transpersonal Consciousness in Moscow. More recently, he held a retreat in Dharmsala, India jointly with Samdhong Rinpoche, Prime Minister of the Tibetan Government in Exile. In early 2011, he held several retreats in California and one in Oklahoma.
By the time of his untimely death on February 24, 2014, Rajesh retired from all executive roles in the Krishnamurti Foundation, totally committing himself to one challenge—transformation of consciousness through inviting, asking, nurturing and deepening fundamental questions of human existence.
Victoria Dmitrieva is an indologist, translator. Victoria was born in St. Petersburg, Russia, but since childhood, it was India that became a major attraction to her. Having graduated from the English Philology Department of St. Petersburg University (Russia), she has later received an M.A. degree in Religious Studies from McGill University (Montreal, Canada), where she studied Sanskrit, Indian Philosophy and World Religions. After the first trip to India in 1996, she started coming there frequently and staying longer.
During the last six years Victoria spends most of the time in India, where she continues to study Sanskrit, philosophy and yoga. She travels extensively all over the country introducing it to sincerely interested people—choosing for the purpose non-tourist unusual routes, revealing and conveying efficiently the country’s Spirit—and organizes meetings with Its authentic bearers.
Victoria is an author of articles on India and indology, she translates books on yoga and philosophy, participates in scientific projects and seminars, and organizes overseas seminars of remarkable people from India, including yoga teachers and ayurveda doctors.
Thus, academic background on the one hand, and direct acquaintance with India, its everyday life and its living spiritual traditions on the other hand, gives Victoria a unique opportunity to penetrate beyond the common ideas about the wonder that IS India.