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ATMAN-ANATMAN ENQUIRY Amma: Because we are unable to understand what is so plain  they ask us to separate out the particular(visesha). The particular is what they call 'anatman'  (non-Self), While saying that there is nothing but Atman (True Self), they are telling us we  must separate anatman from Atman to find out what Atman is.In fact there are not two, but in order to become firmly convinced of this fact we star t by assuming that there are two. For a fact they are talking about anatman, but they are doing so ony to dispel the apparent difference. Where is anatman? In fact it doesn't exist. But to initiate the search it is said,  "This goes, this goes" (i.e. "This changes, therefore it is anatman, unreal") Where is it going? It isn't  going anywhere, it exists like that. Change too is real. There is change, but there is nothing  like anatman. If Atman is understood, you wont perceive any anatman.


Questioner:Amma makes only the one statement: "All that exists is THAT".


Amma: Whatever you are calling 'THAT', this Universe is itself that You say there is still  something more I say even that is THIS. There is nothing except THIS. all-pervading and  beyond the reach of experience. They tell us that in order to understand Atman we must  regard everything that goes, as anatman. Everything that exists changes. Thinking, “What  is Atman? Not this, not this" is Atman anatman enquiry ?(vicharana). Ultimately, they say we  will understand that there is no anatman at all, but until then we must go on thinking, "Not  this. Not this, They are saying on the one hand that we should begin our quest for Atman by  regarding all we cognize as anatman, they are saying on the other hand that there is not  even a needle point's space where Atman is not present They cannot say a thing about Atman unless they have experienced IT. They  have only verbally understood that there is no anatman! They are not firm in their understanding. They are speaking so even though they have neither understood nor experienced Atman. Their own words are an obstacle to  them, Their opinions and experiences has become hindrances, just as the clothes we wear hinder  our movements.Shouldn't they say what they mean by 'Atman-Sakshatkara' (Self-realization)? What is it like? What is it that they have experienced and called  'Atma-sakshatkara? I have never said that Atman does not exist. But we do not see Atman as a  separate entity. We say that Atman is formless so all pervading that we cannot put even a  needlepoint anywhere without touching IT. How then can we claim to have seen Atman in  a form?.


Questioner:You say that Atma-sakshatkara arises in one’s behave (mental attitude)..


Amma:'Sakshatkara’ means ‘appearing’, so how can they say that Atman is formless? Having  specified an individual form for Atman, when they perceive that form they  are saying they have had Atma-sakshatkara'. I say that they are perhaps considering Atman svarupa (the real  form of THAT) to be such-and-such, and then, considering THAT to be the form which they  perceive, they are applying that name.You think of Atman as within some light or idol:  I consider that whatever appears is Atma-sakshatkara. All Creation is Atman svarupa.From  this generality you select, some form, which you consider special (visesha) and you go on and  on worshipping it. In this way you experience the all pervasiveness that form appears  everywhere. So, having taken the special- from the general. You have again made it general.


Questioner: What it is they are calling Atman?.


Amma: They say that Atman is indestructible, neither growing nor decaying, invisible to  the eyes, eternal. Unattached They say Atman is THAT which is far and near, Incomprehensible,  beyond reach (hey say Atman is formless, Then in what way does Atman exist? means there  is nothing except Atman that is the only reason for that term. Atman is THAT than which  there is no other? That is why I say that they mean by Atman' that Sakti which has become  All, and which is as all form. THAT alone is as everything that happens, every action That is  why it is not possible to define IT as a particular that. Being unable to say. "THAT is such and  such." l am saying, 'All is THAT." Being unable to say' means that I never feel THAT to be  other. That mysterious ‘something’ which they take to be the source of all THIS, is all THIS,  THAT which pervades everywhere and to which they give the name 'Atman', I call ‘Sakti’ IT  is not sitting away off in some corner: IT has become everything. Even the expression, "IT is in  everything.' means that IT became everything. Not that IT is only inside forms; forms too  are THAT alone, that Shakti which pervades limitlessly everywhere, they call Atman', that sakti which exists within the confines of the body, they call ‘pratyagatman' (the individual) , I say  Atman is without upayi (individuality); l say Atman is All, including upayi There are not the two, Atman and anatman. The  feeling that All is Atman when that behave (attitude) becomes  firm it is Atma-sakshatkara in my view. Then all things are viewed equally. Whomsoever and whatever you see, hear or touch THAT  alone appears.There is nothing other than THAT. Whatever is formed from Atman? Sakti is Atman_Sakti itself. I think you are the svarupa (embodiment) of Atman. All that appears I, everything is lTs svarupa. There is nothing that  is not Atman. ‘THAT’ WHEN EXPERIENCED, IS 'THIS'.


Questioner: If this entire Creation(THIS) Is that Sakti (THAT), what need is there to mention THAT at all?


Amma: We name the place where we are 'this, When you are here, 'that' means 'what is there'. If you go there. ‘that’ becomes this, If the thought 'this' exists,  the thought 'that' exists, if there is no 'this', there is no 'that'. The only reason for their saying "THAT," is our saying  “THIS". Because (there is something we are naming 'THIS', the thought 'That' arises. If there is no 'THIS' there is no 'THAT, When you say 'THAT', you mean 'what is not THIS’. The word 'THAT' arises 'because we think that there is a state other than our existing state to be  attained. We think "Let's leave this preset' State and its experiences and go to some other state and experiences.' And when we believe such a state exists, we name it 'THAT'. Where do  we go, my; child? How far do we go? Do we board a plane or a boat? In which direction do we go? Suppose we go there and obtain that experience : when 'THAT'  is experienced. 'THAT, becomes 'THIS'. ‘THAT' is not what is experienced, but is imagined, ‘THIS’ is what is  experienced 'THAT' exists in thought, but never in experience. That is why they say, “Whatever is obtained is not THAT. Whatever is experienced is not THAT, Neti. Neti ! (Not this, not that " It THAT" is not anything, what is IT? Because IT is all, they say, IT is not any partitular things ITs not this alone that is why they keep repeating, Neti,Netil,”.


Questioner: What is the proper attitude for one who would feel that all THIS is THAT.


Amma: You feel that some thing is improper only when you think you should proceed in a certain way. Having decided that you should proceed in certain way, you feel 'that anything other than that is Improper 'Proper' is acting the way we decide. Consider crows for example: as they fly they excrete. You feel that it is improper, but it's quite natural. It is not improper, it is their nature, their way the way of creation. But to you it seems improper because you feel that they should not do it. Always, what is improper depends upon the way we view things.


Questioner: Amma, you say, ALL is THAT' What Exactly do you mean?


Amma: What you see as All, is nothing but THAT.


Questioner: I see the wall as white, but on analysis it is found to be composed of seven colours which in turn reduce to wavelengths, When you say. "THAT,' what exactly do you mean?


Amma:How do you cognize all these ?


Questioner:Through the senses and the mind.


Amma :All you cognize is THAT..

Rodney Alexander Arms
Matrusri Monthly Journal (English) | Vol.06 | December - 1987 | No.21