June 17

The Simplest Teaching

Being a good disciple or a spiritual person, or experiencing the Truth, doesn’t depend on your learning or your capability of performing asanas or your skill in chanting. Those things are all good no doubt, but they are not the end-all. If you have it, fine. But the real mark of spiritual life is the thirst for knowledge. You cry for God.

The Upanishads say, “Not by doing a lot of things, not by acquiring book knowledge, not even by charity, not by progeny, not by any of these things can we experience that great Truth, the immortal principle, but by total, total renunciation, total dedication.” A mind completely free from any sort of “I, me, mine,” is the one and only qualification. “Tyagat shanthir anantaram.” That means that God in the form of shanti, peace, will reside in you always. And you will be able to experience that only when you have tyaga, dedication, in your life. Renounce the selfishness. This is the teaching. All the other things are there just to keep the student busy.

If you come one day and I say, “This is all: Renounce your selfishness and you will realize the Self,” then you will say, “What is this? I went there and I wanted to learn something. He simply told me this and sent me out. He didn’t teach me scriptures, Hatha Yoga. I never learned to stand on my head.” All these things are simply to keep you engaged in something so that you don’t get into trouble. But none of these things will help you in experiencing the highest truth if there is no renunciation of selfishness

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