In the morning, usually your mind is like a blank paper. Deep sleep has stilled it, and rajas and tamas have fallen out of it. The morning verily is the best time for remembrance of the Lord, for meditation, for study, and for spiritual reflection.
In the morning, write on the mind. “I am Brahman. I am not a performer in the relative existence called sansara. I am not the food of sorrow.”
This is a text from Shri Shankara. By repeating it slowly a few times and then by feeling it. Not “I will be Brahman”. “I am Brahman”. How can I be Brahman when I told lies only two days ago? No! In spite of that, because Shruti (“Chandogya Upanishad” 6.8.7.) says “That Thou Art” , not “That thou shalt be after such and such conditions”. No! “That Thou Art“.
“I am free, I am liberated“. From what? From all the darkness of ignorance. The assumption of bondage was due to an illusion; there is no bondage in consciousness. “I am not the food of suffering“. Let sorrow and grief exist in the world, it is not for me, because my relationship to my mind is the relationship between the moon and the waves in which the moon is reflected. The moon is stationary; in the waves it appears to be restless.
Such is the relationship between me and the objects of the world. “But I do feel sorrow, I do grieve, I do repent. How can I say it?” These are the functions of the mind, not of the consciousness. The waves come and go. The waves make the reflections of the moon restless, sometimes make it small and sometimes large. But the moon is not affected.
It is the mind which is tainted, it is the mind which is purified. As long as the jiva is attached to the mind, the tainted condition of the mind presses upon the jiva and wants will not be satisfied. It demands purification. But the mind is made up of the three gunas. If it is absolutely purified, it cannot exist. It must have rajas and tamas in it. Therefore, for the initiated the teaching is “Shivoham, Shivoham, Shivoham.” In spite of the thousand taints of the mind, think “Shivoham, Shivoham, Shivoham.” What is wanted is disindetification with the mind and not attachment to the mind and its conditions. Mind is made up of ajnana, nescience, and it will never become jnana, or consciousness.
Therefore the Yogis detach their mind by reading “Vira Vijaya”, the “Gita”, “Ashtavakra Gita” , the “Avadhut Gita”. These classics have to be read and to be meditated upon. But in the beginning you must have a suitable place and suitable atmosphere. Otherwise it will take a very, very long time for the detachment to be matured. But all the time the meditation has to be “Brahmaivaham na sansari, Muktoham, naiva shoka bhak“.
Man cannot live without faith. “I am”: no logic is needed to prove it. It is “I am” which proves logic, not that logic proves “I am”. But “I am” is not enough; we must know the meaning of it. That statement “I am” is taken on faith; by no arguments is it established.
In order to remove the dehadhyasa and svarupadhyasa, the illusion of identification with the body and the illusion of identification with the wrong nature which is superimposed on consciousness, dehadhyasa and svarupadhyasa, in order to do away with them – “I am”. Nobody can deny that. What then? “Shivoham. I am absolute good, I am absolute good, I am absolute good”. Constant manana, constant affirmation of this, helps the breaking up of the svarupadhyasa and dehadhyasa, identification with the body and identification with the wrong nature of consciousness. And therefore the wise always affirm “I am Brahman”. However busy your mind may be, find time after some time to be yourself. Withdraw your mind from the objects and affirm “I am Brahman, Shivoham, Shivoham, Shivoham”. Affirm again and again and go on affirming, even if your experience contradicts it; go on affirming it.
The Roman Emperor Jovinian forgot that he was an Emperor. He was found begging. His Ministers and others went to him and he acknowledged them, and they said: “Say again and again ‘I am a Roman Emperor, I am a Roman Emperor'”. In the same way, do not go into the problems “why has Brahman forgotten its nature?” because they are problems which cannot be solved as long as the mind is attached to the dehadhyasa and svarupadhyasa. When the detachment has taken place, the mind will solve the problem and laugh: “I used to call myself a Brahmin or an Englishman, what a fool! But I have always been Shiva”. In this way, as Swami Rama has said, without the least doubt affirm, in spite of the appearance to the contrary: “Shivoham, Shivoham, Shivoham”.