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“I is the root of all thoughts because in the end very thought occurs to the ‘I’.
So, first try to get hold of who this ‘I’ is, which will lead the enquirer dissolve and merge in the source.”
~ Sri Raman Maharishi
Question: Acharya Ji, Pranaam! I want to know the source of thought.
Whenever I enquire, I cannot dig deep. There is no intensity in the digging. How to get that intensity in the enquiry? Also, please explain these lines by Sri Raman Maharishi.
Acharya Prashant Ji: What enquiry do you want to do Ashish (the questioner)? Why do you want to know the source of thought?
Why is an enquiry needed at all?
Don’t you directly see where your thoughts are coming from? Don’t you know ‘desire’? Don’t you know ‘jealousy’? Don’t you know ‘competition’?
Where else are your thoughts coming from?
That which is directly available to be known, must not be unnecessarily made mysterious.
You are saying, “Whenever I enquire, I cannot dig deep. There is no intensity in the digging.” You cannot dig deep because there is nothing to dig at. Only the Truth is deep, and you cannot dig your way down to the Truth. When you will dig, you will come to your own personal center, and that’s all. And that center is shallow. So how deep can you dig?
Your digging cannot take you to Atman or Truth.
As long as the digger is there as someone separate from the Atman, as long as there is someone doing the digging, how are you going to reach the Atman?
The very act of digging, will keep the digger intact.
The very act of trying to know the source of thought, will keep the striving one, the effortful one intact.
You want to know where your thoughts are coming from?
Your thoughts are coming from the same point, from where the desire to know the source of thoughts is coming.
“From where are my thoughts coming?” Exactly from the same point from where this question is coming. Where is your question coming from, Ashish (the questioner).
Where is your question coming from?
It’s life that is giving rise to your question.
It is the sum total of all biological process, and the social influences, that is giving rise to this question.
It is the material present in your consciousness, it is the material absorbed by your consciousness that is giving rise to this question, this enquiry.
I am asking all enquirers: “What happens to your enquiry when you go asleep? What happens to your enquiry the moment you fall asleep? Don’t you see your enquiry is just a wave with a crest and trough – rising and falling?”
You want to know – ‘what is thought?’ I am asking you to find what is this ‘enquiry’. This enquiry is nothing but ‘thought’. So here we have thought trying to know the origin of ‘thought’ – a dog trying to catch it’s own tail.
How aesthetic or successful that can be – a dog trying to catch it’s own tail?
Are you always enquiring? Yes, enquiring can be successful if you are always enquiring. But look at your enquiry. You enquire for half an hour a day, two hours a day, when you find the moment opportune. And then? So your enquiry is nothing but a figment of your mood, your enquiry is subservient to something else.
The situations are good, you say, ” I want to enquire right now.” Would you enquire when there is a fire in the house? You don’t. And if you can understand what this thing called ‘enquiry’ is, you will also understand what all your thoughts are; and vice-versa.
“We identify ourselves with this body, the Guru appears in a physical form, but his work lies in spiritual realm.”
~ Sri Raman Maharishi
Question 2: As the disciple is not aware of this dimension, how to be aware about Guru’s Grace?
Acharya Prashant Ji: Why do you want to be aware about Guru’s Grace? What will you do with that? Why do want that knowledge? Remember that knowledge means power, and power means control.
You are not asking: “How to be recipient of Guru’s Grace?” You are asking: “If the work of the Guru lies in spiritual realm, how do I know that work? How do I know the dimension in which the Guru is operating?”
What will you do with that?
Go to your question itself, therein you will find the questioner. And that’s who you are. Rather, that’s what you take yourself to be.
It’s very important – what you take yourself to be. Because if you do not know what you are taking yourself to be, then you will never know the falseness of what you consider yourself.
Let the Guru do what he would.
There is no need for you to know.
Your ‘knowing’ would be an interference.
Watch the session video: Do you really need to know the source of thought? || Acharya Prashant, on Raman Maharishi (2018) The transcription has been edited for clarity.
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