Chapter 3: Cutting off the Root
All the beliefs mislead you because all the beliefs are based on the false idea that truth is an object. People come to me and they ask, “Where is truth?” and they think that they are asking a very relevant question - as if truth can be somewhere. They have not looked into the problem deeply. First they have to search into this questioning itself: who is the one asking for truth? Who is this one searching for truth? One should start from the very start. “Who am I?” is the only significant question one can ask. And once this question is solved, all other questions are solved because truth is found.
Raman Maharshi used to give only one meditation to everyone, whosoever would come to him: Just to go on and on pondering, observing, watching, witnessing one thing - to let this question become so utterly your existence that it persists even when you are asleep - “Who am I?” And it has not to be repeated like a mantra. If you repeat it like a mantra you will have missed the point; it is not a mantra, it is an inquiry, and the greatest inquiry there is. It has not to be used as a meditation technique, it has to become your very life. Walking, let the inquiry be there - “Who is walking?” Listening right now, let the inquiry be there - “Who is listening?” And finally the inquiry has to penetrate to such profound depths that when you ask, “Who am I?” the inquiry is there - “Who is asking this question?”
Move to the innermost center of your being. This inquiry is a movement withinwards. And this single question can solve all the problems. It is a master key, it unlocks all the locks.
Truth is within ourselves; it takes no rise
From outward things, whate’er you may believe.
Your belief is not going to change the nature of things. You can believe that a roseflower is a lotus - and you can believe stubbornly, you can believe blindly and madly - but the rose remains a rose; just by your belief it is not transformed into a lotus. Yes, you can remain in a kind of illusion, you can remain hallucinating, you can even start seeing it as a lotus. Belief creates dreams, but it cannot create reality. Belief cannot deliver reality to you because all belief is a hindrance. Belief basically means that you have believed before knowing; you are deceiving yourself. All believers are deceivers, they have lied to themselves. They have not known God, and they have started believing in a Christian God or a Jewish God or a Hindu God. They know nothing; they have not experienced anything.
Once a man came to me. He had listened for ten days, and then he came to me. He was crying, and he was an old man. And he said, “You have destroyed all that I have believed, and now I am at a loss. For almost thirty-five years I have practiced a certain kind of life. I have done all that possibly can be done. I was living in a beautiful dream and you have shattered it all. I was thinking that I had started seeing God. I had great visions of God, and now they all have disappeared.” And he was crying like a small child whose toys have been taken away, he said, “Now help me to start again!”