Chapter 10: A Zone of Silence
Through such aware living and behavior, meditation pervades each activity of one’s life. An inner stream of it accompanies us night and day. It calms us. It purifies our actions and makes them virtuous. Remember that a man who is awake and aware in his every action, physical or mental, cannot misbehave with others. Unconsciousness is a must for evil acts to follow. Hence, with consciousness they drop away spontaneously.
I call samadhi, enlightenment “the great death,” and in fact that is what it is. Through ordinary death you will die - but you will be reborn because with that death your “I” will not cease to be. That “I” will take a new birth and pass through yet another death. Ordinary death is not a real death because it is followed by rebirth and death again. And this circular movement continues on and on until samadhi, the great death comes, and frees us from the cycle of births and deaths.
Samadhi is the great death, for it is in samadhi that the “I” ceases to be, and along with it the cycle of births and deaths also ceases to be. What remains then is life. Through the great death of samadhi one attains life immortal, where there is neither birth nor death. Immortality has neither beginning nor end. It is this great death we call moksha, nirvana, brahman.
My suggestion is to take meditation as rest and not as work nor as an activity. “Non-action” means this very thing. It is complete rest, a total halt to all actions. And when all actions cease and all the pulsations of the mind have become still, then in that restful state something begins to emerge that cannot be taught by all the religions of the world put together. The doer, which is not an action but the center and life of all actions, is seen only when there are no actions.
Sarahapada has said, “O consciousness, go and rest in the mind where even the air has no access, where the sun and the moon do not reach.” Such a place is within you and nobody but you can enter. That is your atman, your soul. Your body exists up to the point where others have access. The boundary of where the world enters you is the boundary of your body. The world can enter it because your body is a part of the world; the senses are the doors through which the world enters. The mind is an accumulation of impressions, conditionings, that have entered you in this way.
That which is beyond the body, beyond the mind and the senses is the soul. Without attaining that soul life is useless, because without knowing it, without winning it, no win is a win and no attainment is an attainment.