The realization of truth is always perfect and total. It is not a gradual attainment. It is not evolution, it is revolution. Does anyone awaken from a dream gradually? Either there is a dream or there is no dream. There is no middle stage.
Yes, spiritual discipline may take a long, long time but the realization of truth happens like a flash of lightning – in a split moment and in all its completeness. Realization does not involve any part of time as such, because whatever happens in time is always gradual. Spiritual discipline is in the realm of time, but realization is not. It is beyond time.
For the realization of truth, merely practicing goodness and non-attachment is not enough. That is a partial spiritual discipline. For the realization of truth, it is essential to rise above both good and evil, attachment and non-attachment, the world and nirvana. That state is called veetaragata, the state beyond both attachment and non-attachment. Veetaragata consciousness is the state where there is neither attachment nor non-attachment, neither good nor evil, but where there is only consciousness in its purity, in itself. It is in this space that realization of truth happens.
You have to cultivate a detached and wakeful mind. You have to instill this mental state in yourself in a way that it is there interwoven like your breath, night and day. You are to be wakeful and detached in every activity – this has been called no-action in action. It is just the way an actor in a play, who is alert about the acting, does not become identified with the character and lose his sense of reality. Although acting, he remains detached. This is how you have to become and be.
If a man is wakeful while engaged in activity it is not difficult for him to remain detached. It is the natural outcome of wakefulness. You are walking on a road. If you are fully wakeful to the act of walking, you will feel as if you are walking and yet not walking. The walking is happening only on the plane of the body, there is no walking on the plane of consciousness. You will feel the same while eating or while doing other things. A center within you will remain just a witness. It will neither be the doer nor the enjoyer. The deeper the intensity of this experience of witnessing becomes, the more the feelings of happiness and of sorrow will disappear – and you will realize the non-dual, pure consciousness that is your soul.
What is the mind? It is the collection and the collector of whatever is perceived by the senses. He who considers this mind as his self has mistaken the servant for the master. He who wants to realize his self will have to let go of all that he knows and follow the knower in him. All that one knows is one’s mind, and with what one knows is the self.