You Are Not the Guilty Party
A CONVERSATION WITH SRI DA AVABHASA
SRI DA AVABHASA: [to a devotee who is about to leave
Sri Love-Anandashram in Fiji to return to his service in the
United States] You had better lay it down before you
leave, Brian. When you work for the Free Daist Communion,
you must do all beings some good-this is no time to be
trying to relieve yourself of your karmas. You cannot get
rid of those karmas unless you surrender them to Me. So do
you have anything at all to tell Me?
DEVOTEE: Sri Gurudev, underneath my efforts to serve You
I am fundamentally a destructive, angry person.
SRI DA AVABHASA: Mmmm. The same old stuff.
[Laughter.] A fundamentally angry and destructive
person. You presume that you should feel guilty about being
the asshole that you are.
“Consider” this, Brian, “consider” this: No matter what
arises, in body or mind, you are always observing it. These
faults, these sins, these impediments, these inadequacies,
these obsessions, these darknesses-you simply Watch all of
these things. You simply observe them, do you not? You
observe them. You are not the guilty party. From the “Point
of View” of Consciousness Itself, you are the “Watcher”, the
Witness of these things.
Even in this moment, do you have a thought? Ah, you see?
You are watching it, are you not? Are you aware of this
body? Are you aware of all these beings here?
You have only observed everything that has ever occurred,
is it not true? Therefore, you are not guilty of these
limitations-you are merely observing them. Even this guilt,
even this sense that you are angry, disturbed, not adequate,
not perfect, even that mood is something you merely observe,
ultimately. Is this true or not?
DEVOTEE: It is true.
SRI DA AVABHASA: Thus if, by real practice in My Company,
you will Realize Identification with Consciousness Itself,
with the Witness-Position of Consciousness Itself, you will
know that you are not in the position of being guilty. If
there is any guilt, ultimately you are only observing it. Am
I right or wrong? Even now, you are always in the Position
of observing what arises. If you will grow beyond the
beginning and the advanced stages of life in the Way of the
Heart in My Company, ultimately you Realize that you are not
other than That Which merely Witnesses what arises.
Everything that arises is a relation of yours, then, is it
SRI DA AVABHASA: Therefore, the practice in the ultimate
stages of life in the Way of the Heart is to take up that
Position in which you merely Witness what arises. It is to
be Identified with Consciousness Itself.
All these impressions you receive at the level of mind
from popular communication, popular society, popular
religion, popular psychology, all of this guilt and sense of
being “me” that you inherit socially, is part of the effort
people make to somehow keep from murdering one another. It
has absolutely nothing to do with the Truth. There is no
reason whatsoever that you should be possessed by an image
of your own existence that is somehow guilty, inadequate,
limited, unimportant, angry, or however else you might
characterize your sense of yourself.
If you simply inspect your experience in My Company, you
will ultimately discover that you are always That Which
Witnesses this arising. In fact, it is only when you
identify with what is arising that you identify with the
persona that feels guilty or not guilty or adequate or
inadequate. Through this identification with the born
personality, That Which Witnesses all of this feels Itself
to be the mind, feels itself to be the body. But you are
never actually in that born position. You are always in the
Position that is aware of these conditions. Thus, practice
in the ultimate stages of life in the Way of the Heart is
first of all to be able to acknowledge that this
WitnessPosition is your Position.
You are the one who is observing the process of arising
conditions. You have not created a fraction of it. You have
not made a hair on your head. You have not made a hair in
your armpit. There is not a piece of your body that you have
made. Am I right? Not a piece of it! There is not one piece
of your mind, therefore, that you have made. You have made
none of it. You are observing it.
Your tendency to identify with parts of the process of
arising conditions and to differentiate yourself from other
parts is the very process by which you get into trouble. It
is by that process that you develop a negative self-image,
feel a problem, feel that there is something to work out,
something to release, that there is some goal, some search,
that is appropriate for you. This occurs only after you
relinquish your presumption of your Real Position and begin
to believe that you are in a position in which, in fact, you
have never been and in which you do not exist in this
moment. You have never been in any position other than the
one that is simply observing what is arising.
And that is the cure, you see. To notice this fact via
feelingContemplation of Me and to accept it, to presume that
Observing Position, to be established in Me as Consciousness
Itself, rather than in the position of the mind, the body,
and all the complications of the relations of these, is the
To understand your True Position washes you. This
understanding is forgiveness, penance. To understand your
Real Condition most profoundly is to be forgiven. It is to
bypass the whole affair of guilt and all the other results
of identifying with the body-mind.
Why should this fact be so difficult to accept? You are
in that position at this very moment. Ultimately, it is
completely obvious to you that no matter what arises, you
are simply observing it, watching it. Am I right or wrong?
Right now, as you are listening to My voice, in your
intuition of the ultimate stages of practice in the Way of
the Heart, you can appreciate that you are observing this
event, can you not? You can appreciate My Argument that,
ultimately, you are observing this body, these sensations,
these thoughts that are arising.
Therefore, what you refer to as your “self’ is ultimately
just that which is observing this, is it not? Has it ever
been any different? Throughout your life you have been
indulging in beliefs that you are the body, that you are the
mind, that you are this limit, that you are that limit, that
you are in this circumstance, that you are in that
circumstance. But look at the power of that which is
observed and see if it can determine the attitude, the mood,
the presumption of that which observes it.
There is a great Liberation in simply and directly
noticing your actual Condition. There is more to Most
Perfect God-Realization than that noticing, but that
noticing is the beginning of practice in the ultimate stages
of life in the Way of the Heart. When you mature to that
degree in My Company, you begin to really accept your actual
Condition, Which is That of the Observer of all of this
arising. But, in order to truly Stand in that Position, you
must go through a profound ordeal of preparation and
purification. You must observe your tendencies, understand
all of your complications, and relieve yourself of the
motions of attention, relieve yourself of the various forms
of identification with the process of arising conditions,
relieve yourself of all the efforts of conditional energy
through your feeling-Contemplation of My bodily (human) Form
and, in due course, My Spiritual (and Always Blessing)
To participate in that process via feeling-Contemplation
of My bodily (human) Form is the beginner’s practice. As you
mature into the more advanced stages of life in My Company,
you participate in that process through
feeling-Contemplation of My bodily (human) Form and My
Spiritual (and Always Blessing) Presence. From the initial
moment of listening to Me, through the first stage of the
“Perfect Practice”, which is the stage at which
feelingContemplation of My Very (and Inherently Perfect)
State becomes your capability and your responsibility, your
practice is simply a matter of relieving this Witness of the
motions of attention.
The forms of identification, differentiation, and desire,
the things that one does in reaction to what is Witnessed,
are all motions of attention. The beginning of Wisdom, then,
is to observe yourself as you are. Forget philosophy,
religion, and all the garbage of life. What precisely is
your situation in this moment? Even now, you are That Which
is Witnessing these arising conditions, whatever That Which
is Witnessing this is altogether. Ultimately, you Realize
that you are just That, and there is no doubt about it.
There is no way to deny this Truth, is there? It cannot
be denied, except by the ego. Only the ego denies That Which
is totally, absolutely obvious. Practice in the ultimate
stages of life in the Way of the Heart is the practice of
immersing yourself in That Which is the Witness and then
discovering Its Status, Its Condition.
Before you can submit yourself to that Witness Perfectly,
you must relieve yourself of all of the habits that you have
developed in relation to what you observe all your
tendencies to identify with the body, with the mind, with
reactive emotions, with a history, with a past, with a
present, with relations. The beginner’s practice that I have
Given to you in the Way of the Heart is a way of relieving
you of this burden, of releasing energy and attention from
the habit of identifying with certain aspects of what arises
and differentiating yourself from other aspects of what
arises. You want to be, or think you are, some things, you
desire some other things, and you absolutely do not want to
be or to associate with some other things. That complex of
identification, differentiation, and desire creates the
complicated existence of egoity that I call karma. Such
karma is simply what results when this Witness becomes
implicated in what It observes and thus forgets Its own
Great Wisdom in the ultimate stages of life in the Way of
the Heart begins when you simply and very directly notice
and Realize that you are always in this Position of simply
Witnessing what arises. On that basis you take up the
profound discipline of the first stage of the “Perfect
Practice”. What you call “I” is just the bodymind. “I is not
the Witness. “I” is not even independent. “I” should be
submitted to the Divine, to the Condition of
non-separateness, and stop differentiating itself, sizing
itself up, being just “this” and not “that” and playing off
all its objects and relations.
The first task of practice of the Way of the Heart in My
Company is to uncomplicate the “I”, to understand the “I”,
to release the “I”, to submit the “I” to Me, the Very Divine
Being in which it arises. But this is just the beginning of
your practice of the Way of the Heart. It only prepares you
to receive My Spirit-Baptism and to practice in the
Spiritually activated stages of life in the Way of the
Heart. And that reception of My Spiritual Heart-Transmission
purifies you further, so that energy and attention are freed
and you can begin to practice in the ultimate stages of life
in the Way of the Heart.
When you are thus prepared, you take up the “Perfect
Practice” wherein you immerse yourself in Me and submit
yourself to the Condition in Which you always Stand, Which
is the Condition of simply Witnessing what arises.
Thus, you say, for example, that underneath your interest
in service there is this angry character. But that angry
character is just something that is observed. It is not even
unique. There is no reason to feel guilty about it. It is
simply something to understand and, ultimately, to merely
Witness. Why should you identify with it? All it is, is a
system of tendencies. You did not make it to begin with
anyway, so why should you feel guilty about it? You did not
make the universe, you did not make your body, you did not
make your intimate partner, you did not make anybody, you
did not make anything whatsoever.
What business do you have being guilty? All that you are,
or all with which you seem to identify, is just a pattern in
conditional Nature. It is My business. Let it be My
business. Resort to Me and, by that devotional resort,
ultimately your responsibility becomes a matter of Being As
you Are, As you always have Been, As you Are from the
beginning, As you Are in Truth.
Ultimately, you are just That Which Witnesses this
arising. Even now, you do not have to be concerned about the
existence of it, the fact of its arising. Your
responsibility is simply to understand yourself and submit
to the discipline of being My devotee. I Am the Inherent
Being in Whom these complications are released. To live that
discipline of devotion to Me is your business, not to be
guilty about what arises, not to be self-conscious about it,
not to say, “I am this terrible person, look at poor me,
forgive me, change me,” and so forth. You do not have to do
anything of the kind.
Your position is like that of a snail at the bottom of
the ocean, which sticks its slimy body out onto the sandy
bottom and looks back and sees this fantastic, spotted cowry
shape. That shape is the body-mind, the egoic personality.
It is angry, it is sexy, it is fat, it is skinny, it has
innumerable qualities. You are only looking at and
describing what you see. You do not have to identify with
it. Just like the snail, you never made that body-mind to
begin with. It happened spontaneously, innocently, by virtue
of laws that appear in cosmic Nature. There is no reason to
feel guilty about it whatsoever, and, therefore, there is no
need for a savior to relieve you of this guilt.
You have never been in a position that requires a savior,
a God who will relieve you of guilt. You already Stand in
the Transcendental Place, the Free Place, the Divine Place.
What you need to do is be submitted to Me.
The first stage of that submission is to understand this
bodymind most fundamentally, submit it to a real discipline
in My Company. That most fundamental self _understanding
allows you, to a much greater degree than you now enjoy, to
be free in relationship to experience, to realize that you
are already Happy, to accept My Grace, to feel My Spiritual
Heart-Transmission and be Happy in Me, not striving to
become Happy. Give up your need for forgiveness. Give up
your guilt. Give up your self-identity, your ideas of
yourself acquired from your past, your experience. Give it
all up. Bring it to Me in one flower, one leaf, one cup of
water. Do it in one act and give it up to Me completely, and
be most fundamentally free of it, forever. That is what it
means to hear My Argument.
Such hearing, or most fundamental self-understanding, is
forgiveness, because it totally relieves you of your need
for forgiveness. Understanding does not smack you on the
head as if you were a poor, independent being and say, “You
are forgiven.” Understanding undercuts the whole affair of
guilt, that search. Ultimately, you are Awakened to the
Realization that you have never been in a position in which
you needed to be forgiven.
Now, occasionally you do need to be forgiven in some
ordinary, conventional social sense. If you do some rotten
thing to somebody, then you must set things right with them
and say, “I am sorry I did that.” And they say, “Okay,
good.” That is ordinary, human forgiveness. But you do not
need Ultimate forgiveness. What you need from the Ultimate
Being is that understanding that relieves you of this
obnoxious burden of identification with cosmic limitation.
What you need is My Divinely Enlightened Argument, which
draws you into the “consideration” wherein you ultimately
Realize that you are already Free and that everything with
which you have ever been associated is a pattern with which
you have been involved naively, a pattern that you have not
even created and that is not a real burden. It is just
stuff. All you need to do is submit yourself to Me and this
whole matter of your situation will begin to clarity
The first thing you must do is not to find forgiveness,
but to understand yourself most fundamentally and stand free
of the selfcontraction to that degree. In order to continue
to grow beyond that stage of your practice, you must, based
on most fundamental selfunderstanding, see Me and live in
continuous Communion with Me, with That Which is inherently
Perfect, with That Which is Absolute, with That Which is
That Inherently Perfect State, that Absolute Grace, is
the Force that I bring to you. I do not bring conventional
forgiveness, because I do not regard you as a being who
needs to be forgiven in any ultimate sense. What you imagine
you need to be forgiven for has no ultimate significance.
What you need to become involved with is not petty fear and
wondering and un-Happiness relative to your apparent
patterns. What you need to become involved with is My Very
(and Inherently Perfect) State. That is what I bring to you.
That is the significance of your relationship to Me, and it
comes to you gratis, directly. You do not have to be
forgiven to live in My Divine Company, to Commune with
I do not put any obstacles between us, I do not make you
be a lesser being, a karmic personality, or a demonic,
sinful character who must be forgiven in order to enjoy
Communion with Me. I call you to understand yourself and, on
the basis of that understanding, to live in your natural
Continuousness with Me. Do you understand what I am talking
Submit yourself to Communion with Me and give up all this
petty nonsense of your inner character and your hidden
faults. Everybody in conditional Nature is full of faults.
What is perfect, anyway? Have you seen something perfect in
conditional Nature today? Where does it sit, where it is
floating, where is it swimming? There is nothing perfect in
conditional Nature. When some being, some appearance in
conditional Nature, achieves Identification with the
Inherently Spiritual and Transcendental Divine Being, then a
kind of Perfection is displayed, but it is the Inherent
Perfection of That Which Transcends Nature. You find that
Inherent Perfection in My Company. That is good. That is why
I am here.
I am not fooling you. My Inherent Perfection is a unique
and monumental occasion, and It relieves you of your sorrow,
your foolishness, your un-Happiness-relieves you of it
instantly, generates an understanding in you that relieves
you entirely of your life of seeking and ultimately installs
you in the Position of the Witness of all that arises.
All the disciplines of the Way of the Heart, which are
part of your daily practice, are simply part of this whole
affair of releasing energy and attention from what you are
ultimately only observing and restoring you to balance, to
equanimity, releasing self-imagery and inner life, so that
you may mature to the point of Realizing That Which you
already Are. Then the ultimate discipline to which I Call
you can be fruitful.
That discipline is so direct, so simple, that it could be
Realized in this very moment, if your energy and attention
were free. In fact, you already Stand There. You are already
simply observing what is arising. It is already true that
that which observes what is arising now is not identical to
what is arising. It is just observing what arises. It is
just Consciousness Itself, Being Itself, Eternally Full.
Through hearing My Argument and receiving My Spiritual
Baptism, you can Realize that you are in that Position.
Accept the reasonable discipline that will release your
energy and attention from the complications of all that is
arising. That practice includes everything that prepares you
to practice the “Perfect Practice”.
You must embrace the discipline of your current stage of
practice in the Way of the Heart and have it fulfill its
purpose in a finite period of time. When you have fulfilled
this preparatory course of practice, when you have heard Me
and seen Me, you will, by Grace, Stand as the Witness of all
that arises, in the first stage of the “Perfect Practice”.
Then, by your continued real and right resort to Me, you
will be immersed in That Which is the Source of the Witness,
in Consciousness Itself, or the Feeling of Being, in the
second stage of the “Perfect Practice”.
Therefore, you must allow your practice to be fruitful,
real, and direct.
Do you have the slightest idea of what I am talking
SRI DA AVABHASA: When you take up the “Perfect Practice”
in My Company, you begin to acknowledge Me as That Which Is,
Where you Stand, That Which is in the Existence Place, That
Which is the Force, the Power, the Depth, of the Position in
Which you Witness everything. You begin to acknowledge My
Grace in a totally different sense, no longer as something
outside you. My Grace is not you in this independent sense,
but It is you as this Witness, as Consciousness Itself. When
and if, by Grace and in due course, you take up the “Perfect
Practice” in My Company, you will submit to Me in the Place
Where you Stand. I Am That Well, the Depth of It, the
Fullness of It, the Absoluteness of It. Thus, you Find Me as
the Divine Self and you begin to practice entering into the
Feeling of Being in the second stage of the “Perfect
In the second stage of the “Perfect Practice”, when you
can enter Perfectly into the Feeling of Being, there is
Great Wisdom, Absolute Sublimity-and My Absolute Gift is
Given. When conditions reappear to that Sublimity, this is
the State that I call “Open Eyes”. Conditions reappear, but
they have no power to qualify that Happiness, that Divine
Sublimity. All conditions are utterly and instantly,
tacitly, Divinely Recognizable as just a play upon That.
This is the “Natural” State of Divine Self-Realization,
seventh stage Sahaj Samadhi. It is the Realization that one
is that Divine SelfCondition, Being Itself, without
qualification, Consciousness without limit, Love-Bliss,
Original, Uncaused, Simple Being Itself. All of this arising
is obviously That and has no power over It.
It is to this Realization of the by Me Revealed and Given
seventh stage of life in the Way of the Heart that I Call
you, not to the life of sinners, forgiven or unforgiven. All
of this complex, psychiatric garbage that you have inside
and outside yourself, all of your seeking, all of your
failure to understand, all of your complicated thinking have
nothing to do with the Way of the Heart. I Call you
presently, always, to receive My Gift of this Freedom.
Accept My Revelation through understanding, through
Communion with Me. Accept the discipline that I Offer to
you. Simply do that discipline until you are prepared. Go
through this process of learning, of self-observation. Be
submitted to Me. Do not be a fool. Do not be a worldly
person. Be a renunciate. Hear Me and see Me. Be completely
submitted to Me. Free energy and attention to fulfill My
Admonition to enter into the Feeling of Being, to be
submitted to Me as the Condition in Which you Stand. You
will submit to Me more and more fully, more and more
Perfectly, without agitation, without distraction, and then
My Great Mystery will suddenly be Obvious, by Grace.
DEVOTEES: We are so grateful for this Truth. We are so
grateful for the Way of the Heart in Your Company. We are so
grateful to You, Lord.