WITNESSING IS NOT VICHARA - VICHARA IS THE FINAL DOOR
Q.: So, as respects Bhagavan's method of remaining as Subjective Consciousness, I am supposed to witness without entertaining the notion that I am witnessing - is that right?
B.: Who is that one who remains as Subjective Consciousness? Is Subjective Consciousness proclaiming that he is going to remain as Subjective Consciousness? You see the absurdity of it.
So, your task is not to remain as Subjective Consciousness; your task is to keep yourself out of the way so that Subjective Consciousness remains merely as Itself without getting impeded by you.
As for witnessing, there is nothing to witness. IT IS. Simple Being.
When ideas create modifications in consciousness, which is the essence or substance of the mind, another idea made of the same substance is used as a tool with which to crush (annihilate) all other ideas; finally, this tool is also destroyed. That is why the example of the stick used to stir the burning funeral pyre is furnished.
Q.: So merely watching (observing) consciousness with a placid, thought-free mind is not a sadhana that suffices to destroy the mind and bestow Realization?
B.: If the aspirant is unremittingly sincere in its pursuit, the practice that you mention will in due course by itself cause sufficient introversion of mind to empower (facilitate) the mind to become ready for successfully investigating 'Who am I?'. However, it is erroneous to imagine that the two practices are one and the same, or even similar.
Q.: But they both aim at ensuring that the sadhaka remains attending to mere consciousness; how can they be distinct from each other?
B.: The act of attending to pure Subjective Consciousness alone still involves that one who undertakes such Sadhana. WHO IS HE?
Q.: But there is also that one who investigates 'Who am I?'.
B.: He is both the subject and object of his investigation.
That is why in the end, everybody must come only through this gate before reaching the citadel of the Heart. Who am I? is the only Sadhana which is such that the one making it is the same as the one in relation to whom it is made.
The snake must bite its own tail. Otherwise, he will not die. Neophytes who complain that 'Who am I?' is not working are given the suggestion that they should watch the thought 'I', or that they should remain attending to Subjective Consciousness alone. Still less mature souls are told to repeat 'I', 'I' mentally, together with simultaneously concentrating on the sense of personality associated with 'I', that is to say with the mental concept of 'myself'. Those who are not able to do even this should do pranayama, japa, moorthy-dhyana, or hatha-yoga. None of these practices, however, could possibly serve as a substitute for vichara, nor is it meaningful to confuse any of them with vichara or to imagine any of them to be the same as vichara.
Vichara is the final door. The 'I' attends to himself, not to his Self. The ego attends to the ego and to nothing else; that is vichara. Attending to Subjective Consciousness, while it is a method having its beneficial use, is certainly NOT the same as vichara.
- Aham Sphurana