Why Maharaj asked question to seekers ?
One day, he turned to me and said, “What a sadhaka (seeker) knows consciously about himself is only one-ninth of his being. The rest is buried as the ‘unconscious’, like an iceberg! He has no means to unknot this huge quota of his ‘unconscious’. With a single glance, a Saint can unravel a seeker’s entire ‘unconscious’, layer by layer. We want to work on it, tackle it and destroy it. To do that, we need the ‘password’ from the seeker, the approval of the seeker. Each Saint has a unique method of raising this hidden ‘unconscious’ of the seeker to the surface so that he can catch it and work on it. We are only interested in the hidden part of the seeker’s ‘unconscious’. As a matter of fact, we also deal with the one-ninth of his conscious level, as well. Ramana Maharshi used “Who am I?” Swami Ramdas used “Om Sri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram”. Shirdi Sai Baba used “Allah Malik”. I insist on the newcomer putting me a question. This is my method. I answer the question but it is only of secondary importance. When the seeker spells out his doubt, his ‘unconscious’ raises itself without his knowledge to the surface through his words. I catch it immediately and start working on it! This is a mystery which no ordinary mind can understand. What is great about dispelling the doubts coming from the one-ninth conscious level, the tip of the iceberg? There are plenty of books which can do that. But then, what about the hidden unconscious? “After all, a seeker goes to a Saint to be freed from his deeply hidden problems. He can do nothing about it by himself as he is totally unaware of its depth and magnitude. The Saint’s attention on the seeker is the operation of Grace! Saints are thus the most compassionate. Whether the seekers recognize it or not, we are not bothered. So, when I repeatedly insist that the newcomer put me a question, I do it out of tremendous compassion surging from within me towards the struggling seeker. I use the question as the key to unlock his ‘unconscious’ and clean it up.”