Devotee In a book it is given, ‘Spiritual practice means being the Self.’
Swamiji You shouldn’t believe everything given in books. Being is the state of jnani - and is an effortless state. We are in an abnormal state and in the abnormal state you have to do sadhana. Siddha purushas don’t need to do sadhana as they are in an effortless state.
We aren’t one with the deathless (the eternal) instead we are identifying ourselves with the dying body. Japa, puja, dhyanam, tirtha yatra (pilgrimage), all these are a part of sadhana. Hearing discourses and recollecting them is also sadhana. A person suffering from fever will use one medicine or another to cure himself but when you remain as your Self, there is no need for sadhana.
There are many organs in the human body. If you wish it, the mouth will eat and the legs will walk. But the brain is lazy and if you tell it to think longer, it won’t. If asked you can physically work for four hours but if asked to think about a subject for an hour, you won’t, the brain is very lazy.
In deep sleep we are formless. Our true form doesn’t have a physical shape. We are happy in deep sleep but when we awake we identify ourselves with some form or other. Due to this family, friends, good deeds and bad deeds a whole forest of thoughts arise! Yogaha Karmasu Kausalam Perform your duty peacefully, without getting attached to the result. That is yoga. Maam Ekam Saranam Vraja - There is nothing else. Thinking that there is something else causes fear.
If a person is frightened that means that likes or dislikes are there. If a person we like is suffering from a disease we become afraid and if a person we dislike becomes a government minister we become afraid! A Swami became a government minister - although he renounced his clothes and became a sannyas he didn’t relinquish authority!
The company of mahatmas reduces the laziness of the brain and then a weak mind becomes strong. Sankaracharya gave much importance to understanding. There should be right speech and right understanding. You should first understand the question otherwise if asked about a coconut tree you will reply about a palm tree.
A person asked Bhagavan, ‘You are saying, "Who am I?", so who is to be known?’
‘You are the Self (Atman). To know, "Who am I?" means know the Self.’
You should have proper belief in the guru. For Muruganar (Bhagavan’s devotee) Bhagavan’s name, form and teachings were enough. He didn’t bother about anything else. If anyone asked him to come for a pilgrimage, he replied, ‘After seeing Bhagavan, I lost my eyesight. A blind man doesn’t need any pilgrimage.’ (Faith can move mountains).
Self doesn’t have form. We are That. We are attributing the formless to the body and from there starts misery. If asked about anything except consciousness, Bhagavan used to say, ‘Who asked you to think about these matters?’ Mind thinks and gets caught in other matters also.