Amma Talks about the Purpose
of Our Human Existence

"You are not the mind. You are the Self (Atman). You are born within that consciousness. You grow within it. You live in it. And you die within that consciousness. But you are never conscious of this great truth. Why? Because of the mind and the world which is created by the mind. The mind makes it impossible to know the Self. The mind kills you; it dissipates all your energy and all your vitality. The mind is a thing of great weakness. Therefore, try to escape from that unreality. Get out of that great liar, the mind, the ego." Amma - Awaken Children, vol 7

“In the pursuit of knowledge, every day something is added.  In the practice of the Tao, every day something is dropped.” Tao TeChingReturn home button

"All actions are performed by the gunas (prinicpals) of prakriti (Nature).  Deluded by identification with the ego, a person thinks, 'I am the doer.'"  Bhagavad Gita

"At present you are moved by the pleasure-pain principle which is the ego. You are going along with the ego, you are not fighting it. You are not even aware how totally you are swayed by personal considerations. A man should always revolt against himself, for the ego, like a crooked mirror, narrows down and distorts. It is the worst of all the tyrants, it dominates you absolutely."   Nisargadatta Maharaj

" All bad qualities centre round the ego. When the ego is gone, Realisation results by itself." Ramana Maharshi

The following text is extracted from the book Awaken Children, volume 7, beginning at chapter two titled The Mind is Mad. In it, Amma talks about the purpose of having a human birth which is to merge in the Self or God. She gives an eloquent description of what it is like to be "awake" and also what prevents us from awakening. Amma has never written any books. However, others have recorded her conversations with devotees resulting in the Awaken Children series of books.

Questioner: "Amma, if we truly are the Atman (Self), why is it so difficult to experience the truth?"Amma hugging

            Mother replied, "Truth is always the most difficult thing, and at the same time, the easiest. For ignorant and egoistic people, it is the most difficult thing to know, and for those who are inquisitive and have a burning desire to know, it is the easiest.

            "People are intent on only feeding the ego. They never think of knowing the Self. To know the Self, one should starve the ego. But unfortunately, most people cannot starve the ego. Instead, they cling to it more and more. The predominant tendency in human beings is to attract as much attention as possible. They want to be praised and recognized, believing that it is their birth right. This is all food for the ego which thrives on attention. How are you going to know the Self if your ego is constantly craving attention?

            "In order to realize the Atman, the mind has to dissolve. As long as there is a mind, you will be dominated by the ego.

            "People point their finger at insane people and call them 'crazy.' But they don't know that they themselves are actually crazy, as well. Whoever has a mind is mad, because the mind is madness. In the case of a person who is insane, it is clearly manifested and therefore you can see it. Whereas, in your case, it is not so clearly manifested and therefore not as obvious. But the madness is there, because the mind is there.

            "The mind is the ego, which makes you very self-centered. But, instead of being self-centered, you should become centered in the Self (Atman), the real Center of your existence. For this to happen, the mind should be extinguished. The ego should die. Only then can you become established in the state of sakshi bhava (witness consciousness).

            "The ego is the greatest obstacle on your path towards the Truth. The ego has no real existence of its own, for the mind and the ego are false.  At present we are under the impression that the mind and ego are our friends, but they are only misleading us, taking us away from our true nature. The mind and the ego have no power of their own; the source of their power is derived from the Atman, our real existence. The Atman is our true Master. But we are presently being controlled and misguided by false masters, namely, the mind and the ego. Not only do they delude us, they also cover the face of our real nature. Know this and try to come out of the limited shell of your mind and ego. The seedling cannot emerge and grow into a large tree unless the outer shell breaks and dies. Likewise, the inner Truth cannot be realized, unless the ego dies."

Sakshi Bhava - the State of Witnessing

The brahmacharins and a few Western devotees were sitting around Mother, at the edge of the Ashram grounds. One of the Westerners put forth a question about sakshi bhava, the experience of being a witness to everything.

Question: "Amma, the other day You were mentioning the state of sakshi bhava, or witness consciousness. I wonder if witnessing is a function of the mind, or is it an experience beyond the mind?"

Mother: "No, it is not a function of the mind. Sakshi bhava is a state in which you remain constantly detached and untouched, simply watching everything that happens, without the interference of the mind and its thoughts. You cannot be a witness to everything if there is a constant interference of the mind. The mind consists of thoughts. It can only think and doubt. In that supreme state of witnessing you constantly abide in your true nature.

            "In sakshi bhava you become a witness to everything. You simply watch everything. There is no attachment or involvement. There is only watching. You will even witness your own thoughts. As you consciously observe your own thought process, you are not thinking - you are not doing anything. You are still. You are simply watching and enjoying, without being moved or affected by anything. How can the mind be in a state such as this? The mind can only think, doubt and cling. It cannot witness.

            "The thinking process belongs to the mind; whereas, witnessing belongs to the higher Self. Witnessing is a state of abiding in Pure Consciousness. The mind and its thoughts are not real. They are the fiction of our own creation. Consciousness alone is real. Thinking may seem natural to you, but it is not natural. It is not part of your real existence. Your thoughts and your ego create nothing but restlessness and agitation. They don't belong to you, and you will continue to be restless until they are eliminated.

            "Witnessing is the state of simply watching with perfect awareness. In the state of sakshi bhava, you are absolutely conscious. On the other hand, when you are identified with your mind and your thoughts, you are not conscious - you are far away from Pure Consciousness. You are in darkness and you cannot really see. The mind sees only the external world, the outer shape of things. It can never see something as it is, because you never see, you only think. And when you think, you miss the thing as it is.

            "More and more accumulation and indulgence will only create more thoughts, and more thoughts will drive you away from your real center. In order to witness, one needs to be established in a supreme state of detachment. A clinging mind cannot witness; it can only be attached to thoughts and objects. It cares only about 'I' and 'mine.' In witnessing, there is no experience of 'I' or 'mine.' You go beyond all such limited, narrow thoughts.

The Real Center is Within

            "When you become the witness of everything, you no longer have any claims. Everything, whether it be 'you' or 'I,' is the Supreme Lord, or Supreme Consciousness. Once you are established in that state, nothing can hurt or affect you. You move away from the mind and you are no longer identified with the body. The body is there, but it is as if it were dead. You don't give any importance to the outer world or to what people say. You know that you, in truth, cannot please or displease anyone. Sometimes you act as if you are crazy, at other times you appear to be an ordinary person. At one moment you may seem attached, and the next you are beyond all sense of attachment - completely carefree and detached. You may be extremely loving and compassionate, and then all of a sudden, you seem to lack any trace of love. Altogether there is something very unpredictable about you.

            "Once you have attained the state of sakshi bhava, you can be in any mood you like, go to any level of consciousness - from the highest to the lowest and vice versa. But at the same time you are just a witness. Everything becomes a beautiful, delightful game - a wonderful play. Externally, people will still see you moving from one mood to another, from one place to another, and from one emotion to another; but internally you are motionless. You never move from that one center of Reality. The real center is within. It is not to be found in the external world.

            "When you are established in that real center, you do not move. You are established there forever. And at the same time you can move without limit, in infinite ways, without ever leaving the center. You become God and God can move infinitely. There are no limits.Amma meditating

            "Once you are established in the center of existence, you can ignore everything if you wish; or, if you want to smile at everything you are free to do so. If you don't want to sleep or eat at all, there is no need for it. On the other hand, you can eat what you like, and if you prefer to sleep for a whole year, that is also possible. But you will be awake within - wide awake. Though you may appear to be sleeping, you are not sleeping at all, and though you may appear to be eating, you are not eating anything. If you want to remain in your body, that is possible. Or, if you wish to leave your body, that, too, can be done. And, having left your body, whenever you wish to reenter the body, you can do so. Or, if you do not want to return to the body, you can remain where you are. You can choose the womb that you will enter and what type of body you will have. Anything is possible.

            "People may say that you are doing something, but you know that you are not doing anything. You are just watching, just witnessing.

            "So, witnessing happens only when you become totally detached from the mind and the thought process. You then become fully conscious of everything, even your own thought process. For the aspirant on the spiritual path this can also be practiced as an attitude towards everything."

            "The mind consists of negative energy. Your thoughts are negative energy and your past is negative energy. To become a witness is to really wake up and become conscious of everything that happens, both within and without. But in reality, there is no within or without. In that state of supreme witnessing, you become the center of everything, just watching all the changes that occur. The changes never affect you because now you have become the center, the very life force of everything. In the state of witnessing you become one with the supreme, cosmic Energy."

Question: "Amma, You said that when we become the witness, nothing will affect us. But, contrary to this statement, it is reported that even Mahatmas seem to suffer from physical ailments."

Mother: "Son, you are right. It is true that they seem to suffer, that is perfectly correct. They never suffer but they seem to suffer. Once you become the witness, you will witness even the death of your body, you will simply watch the suffering of your body.

"The mind is your past. Die to your past and you will suddenly become fully conscious. The past is nothing but dead debris. Get rid of it and you will learn how to witness. When you die to your past, to your thoughts and your memories, then you will be fully in the present. When you truly exist in the present, you are simply witnessing. The past can only exist as long as there are thoughts. When the thoughts are eliminated, the past disappears and you abide in your own Self. The Self does nothing but witness. The Self is not a person - it is Pure Awareness. It is completely detached from all phenomena. It is the state of being the one subject, the core of your existence.

            "Children, at this time you are leading an unconscious life. You may wonder, 'How can I possibly be unconscious? I am walking, eating, and breathing, and yet Mother says that I am leading an unconscious life. Of course I am conscious! How else could all these things be happening within and around me?' You may have a hundred arguments to prove that you are conscious, but the truth remains that you are not.

"Children, getting established in sakshi bhava is the real purpose of life. That supreme state of witnessing is the pivot around which all of life and the whole universe revolves. You may work, use your mind and your intellect; you may live in a house and have a family; you may have a lot of family responsibilities and you may have a lot of official duties to perform, but once you are established in sakshi bhava, in the real Center, you can do anything without moving even an inch out of that center.

            "Being in the state of sakshi bhava does not mean that you will remain idle without taking care of your duties. You may be concerned about your children's studies, the health of your parents and your wife and so on, yet in the midst of all these external problems you remain a sakshi, a witness, to all that happens and to all that you do. Within, you are perfectly still and unperturbed.

            "While enacting the role of a villain in a movie, the actor may be seen to be shooting his enemy, getting angry, being cruel and treacherous. But within himself, does the actor really become angry or cruel? Is he really committing those acts? No, he is not. He is just a witness to all that he does. He stands aside and watches without becoming involved or touched by it. He is not identified with the external expressions of his body. Likewise, one who is established in sakshi bhava remains untouched and unperturbed within, under all circumstances."

            "Our problem is that we identify with all the moods of the mind. When we are angry we become anger. It is the same with fear, excitement, anxiety, sorrow and happiness. We become one with that emotion, whether it is positive or negative. We identify with the mask.

            "When you are in a negative mood you may feel angry, and when you are in a relaxed mood you may feel peaceful and loving towards others. In reality, none of these moods are really you. For example: you have a house and a family, and a beautiful dog and cat. Suppose somebody asks you, 'Whose house is this?' What will you answer? You will say, 'It is my house.' And you will say the same about your car, family, cat and dog. They are all yours. But, whatever is yours is not really you. It is different from you. The house is yours but it's not you. Your body is yours but it's not you. It is the same with your mind, thoughts, feelings and intellect. They are yours but they are not you. You are the seer who sees through the eyes, you are the perceiver who feels the emotions, you are the thinker behind the thoughts; you are the one who feels, thinks, sees, hears and tastes. You are the experiencer, the subject. Once you become the very subject behind everything, all differences drop away and you go beyond.Cosmos

            "Not knowing that you are the power behind the entire universe, not realizing that you are its very life force, the totality of all existing energy, you identify with your mind, with its different thoughts and feelings, and you say, 'I am so and so - I am angry, thirsty, hungry, etc.' You identify with the outside, not with the inside. Once you are identified with the inside, then there is no longer any inside or outside, because you have transcended both.

While everybody was enjoying Mother's prasad, one of the brahmacharins asked, "Amma, yesterday when You were explaining about sakshi bhava, You said that the mind is unreal. I have also read that the world is unreal. Which statement is correct?"

Mother: "Son, both statements are correct. The mind is a big lie, and the world is a projection of that lie. Both are unreal. The world exists only because the mind exists. The mind is responsible for all your problems. It creates doubts and makes you suffer; it causes all your anger, hatred and jealousy; it prompts you to act indiscriminately and even to commit evil. It inevitably pushes you into a state of misery. The mind is hell. It is maya (illusion) and untruth. As long as you have a mind, your existence is unreal. Elimination of the mind alone can bring you back to the truth and to reality.

            "The ego is a product of the mind. Therefore the ego is also a lie. It is unreal. Your existence will become full and perfect, only when you get rid of the mind and the ego."

Question: "Amma, You say that the mind and the ego are unreal, that the world of phenomena is only a projection of the mind, that our real nature is the Supreme Atman, or the Self. This is very difficult to understand, unless you can explain it in a much clearer way."

Mother: "Son, first of all, you must know that this cannot be explained in words. No matter how much proof and how many examples Mother may give, you will continue to have the same questions until you, yourself, experience the truth. The fact that the mind and the world are unreal is something which you, yourself, have to realize. Perform tapas (austerities) and you will come to know this.

            "Children, know that the mind is the greatest mystery there is. But Pure Consciousness, or the Self, is not a mystery. Once you know the Self, you will realize that it is not a mystery at all - it is you - your own real nature. It is closer than the closest. The mind makes it a mystery. The mind is a complication which makes everything very complicated.

            "You are not the mind. You are the Self (Atman). You are born within that consciousness. You grow within it. You live in it. And you die within that consciousness. But you are never conscious of this great truth. Why? Because of the mind and the world which is created by the mind. The mind makes it impossible to know the Self. The mind kills you; it dissipates all your energy and all your vitality. The mind is a thing of great weakness. Therefore, try to escape from that unreality. Get out of that great liar, the mind, the ego." Awaken Children, vol 7

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