Chapter 3: The Witness and the Illusion
Knowing oneself as sakshi pratyagatma, the inner witnessing soul of one’s intellect and all its dispositions, and acquiring the disposition that “That am I,” giving up the claim of “mine” over all things.
Giving up following lok, the society, he gives up following the body also.
Giving up following the scriptures, he gives up the illusion of the soul also.
Being rooted in his own soul, and through techniques, through listening and through self-experiencing, the yogin comes to know himself as the soul of all and his mind is annihilated.
Without giving opportunity to sleep, to society’s talks, to sound, touch, form, taste, and smell - the objects of the senses - and to forgetfulness of the soul, contemplate the soul within you.
How may one enter into that supreme truth, how may one know that supreme mystery which is so near and yet remains unknown? - which is forever with us and yet is lost? How may we reach it? How has anyone ever reached it? In these sutras is the explanation of that science, the process of that path.
Let us first understand a few things about illusion. Illusion means to see as it is not. Truth means to see as it is. Whatsoever we see is illusion, because we involve ourselves in our seeing; our experience does not remain objective, it becomes subjective. Whatsoever is out there, it does not reach us as it is. Our mind distorts it, embellishes it, ornaments it, prunes it, making it bigger or smaller and changing it into many, many forms.
The biggest change, the deepest delusion, is that we associate ourselves with everything, which in fact we are not associated with at all. As soon as we are associated the reality is lost and the dream projection starts appearing true. For example, we call a thing “mine” - my house.the house which was there when we were not and which will still be there when we will no longer be. Something that can be before I am, and will continue after I am not, which does not disappear with my disappearance - how can it be “mine”? If I die this moment my house does not collapse or disappear; in fact it will not even know that I have died. Then what kind of association can there be between myself and that house? What is the relationship? Tomorrow someone else will live in that same house and call it “mine.” Yesterday somebody else was living in it and he was calling it “mine.” Who knows how many people have stuck their “I” on that house, and have passed away? But that “I” never sticks onto the house, and that house does not belong to anybody; the house belongs to itself.
In this world everything belongs to its own self. If we can understand this properly, we shall be able to shatter the illusions easily.
There is a piece of land. You call it my field, or my garden. If not today, tomorrow there will be claims advanced about the moon - America will say it is “ours,” Russia will say it is “ours.” Until yesterday the moon did not belong to anybody; it simply was, it simply belonged to itself. But now someone or other will claim the moon and sooner or later there will be struggles and confrontations. Up to now the sun belonged to itself, but tomorrow the sun may also be claimed.