Questions & Answers

with Rajivji

“If you identify with only the background – the Self, or with only the foreground – the world, then you will miss the other — the Totality.

So, be attached with neither position, instead be in the middle.”

Rajiv Kapur

Explore and learn from important questions and answers between Rajivji and his students 

1. Does karma bind a jnani?

No karma binds the jnani. He only appears to be enjoying or suffering due to his prarabdh, but in reality he is untouched by any. Highest grades of Jnani aren’t even aware of what they are undergoing.

3. What is meant by 'Void' and 'Turiyatitta'?

Void is a state of nothingness, in which there is no ‘I’, no mind, no senses. It is empty of all content and yet, there is a certain knowingness that there is “nothingness”. The Void is still a form of knowledge, as there is a sense of existence that is known.

Often, when I talk about the Void, people start frantically searching for it by closing their eyes. They are anticipating the Void as something, as an experience or phenomenon. It’s like looking for darkness by putting the flashlights on. To become the Void, one has to turn the flashlights off (meaning the mind, observing or trying to be one with the Void, needs to be switched off).

Therefore one must not seek anything in their meditations but learn to enjoy being still.

Turiyatita on the other hand is not a state. It is impossible to describe it. It is like saying I exist, I don’t exist and I am beyond both all at the same time. It is verily the king of all paradoxes (laughs)!

5. What is the truth about 'free will' and 'destiny'?

It is important to understand that there is a relative truth about free will and destiny… and an absolute Truth.

To a certain extent you have free will and can shape your destiny in the waking-state dream.

But, in the absolute sense, once you have awakened in the waking-state dream, in that absolute way, you have no free will. You then have the full realization that your will is determined by Consciousness. There is no free will because you become an instrument and do what Consciousness wants you to do. There is also no desire to express any kind of free will.

So, as long as there exists any kind of desire, vasana, there is an element of free will. So that is why you must use your free will for the path of Dharma — your process of spirituality. But once you are awakened, there is no need for you to use free will… for there will not be anybody there to use free will. The Divine will work through you, the Divine will hear through you, the Divine will speak through you, and you will not find yourself separate from That. So then the question about free will and destiny will completely cease, because free will is concerned with ‘individuality’.

However, as long as there is an individual being, and as long as there exists individuality, free will is valid and you must use your free will for the process of spirituality, for your Dharma.

7. Should I reject my feelings?

NO… everything… literally everything… is ALL You!

Any anger, irritation, envy, fear, insecurity you experience is ALL YOU.

There is no point in rejecting these feelings, as by doing so you are rejecting your own SELF.

Just drop the labels and names you have given to your feelings and you will slip into your SELF through them.

These feelings are the window to your SELF, while the labels are the blinds that keep you away from what is clearly recognized as YOU.

9. What is meant by 'intuition'?

The voice (intuition) is very subtle and not easily identifiable.

The noise (mind) is very loud; it screams for recognition, for attention, for many things.

One distinction you can use is that if the intuition is for another, and not centred around yourself, where you are completely out of the story (at least for the most part), then you can say it is ‘intuitive perception’, it is intuition coming from Consciousness. BUT… you have to be able to recognize that. Initially it may seem difficult, but later on, as your meditations improve, you will understand the tricks the mind plays on you.

You have to distinguish between “voice” and “noise”.

11. What is meant by 'Affirm you are the SELF'?

‘Affirming’ means having a deeply held faith in the Truth that you are the SELF… irrespective of whatever perception or experience the mind gives you. It arises after a sincere practice of Churning, and Burning.

To have the inner certitude and trust, the deeply felt faith in your Heart that you are the SELF. 

To ‘Affirm’ means to say a big YES, irrespective of what the mind offers as evidence to the contrary. It means to surrender to the One Truth, that you are simply being what you are, and not thinking that you need to change yourself. And not desiring the experience of your SELF, for you are THAT at all times. You must reject the self-induced, false belief of the mind which tells you that you have been separated from your own Self.

13. Can the mind hold on to the Self?

The pattern of trying to hold on to the SELF is the reflexive, habitual pattern of the mind to find comfort and establish a false anchor to fix things. 

But the mind can never hold on to the SELF.

The Self is not an object you can hold on to. 

How can something intangible like a ‘mind’ possibly hold on to something which is, in fact, infinite and omnipresent?  

It is like trying to fit an enormous container into an infinitely smaller container, or a single wave trying to swallow the ocean. 

15. How do I 'empty' myself?

Through your effort (sadhana) you are purifying yourself. You are channeling your “I-ness” into working towards your Beingness. You are developing a relationship with your Beingness. So far you have only had your relationship with the world outside; now you are turning within. So what you are doing is turning your “I” from outside, to within. This is an important starting point of every sadhak. And you do this by paying attention. Whatever you pay attention to becomes your priority. 

Attention also has the ability to empty anything. The moment you put your attention to anything, it begins to empty itself and reveal something deeper than itself.  Think of the mind as a container. By attending to it you empty it, and settle into the deeper existence of I AM-ness, the Watcher, which is another container. Now, in moving from the one container (mind) to the other (I AM-ness) they both become empty. But you should know that empty containers make more noise, much more noise. That “noise” is your sense of “doership”.

So while you start off with the noble cause of moving away from the objects and into your own SELF, you end up getting trapped in the “Watcher… I AM-ness… I” , in the background… the emptiness. You can get trapped there, in the ego, and stop your search because you cannot moveSo you need to not just be ‘empty’… you need to be FULL. You must therefore continue your sadhana humbly under the direction of your Guru, for the goal of Self-realization is not emptiness, but fullness — being full of Divine Love. And that fullness is completion… is AM-ness.

17. What is the ultimate 'pointer'?

Nothing really deep or meaningful happens in the “here and now”, or in the “present moment”, after a certain stage. What is often observed or experienced in the “present moment” is either a fight or flight response. 

The first is reacting to everything in a habitual manner and is typical of a worldly pattern, while the latter is escaping from everything in a habitual manner and is typical of a spiritual pattern. 

Real teachings are never ‘immediate’ as they allow for unfolding and a gradual transformation of consciousness.

Ultimately… there is only one pointer, 
abidance in I AM, abidance in the SELF.

19. What are the different kinds of Samadhi?

There are various kinds of samadhi for each of these levels, but the most spiritually progressive kinds are three. First is Savikalpa, second is Nirvikalpa, and finally there is the Sahaja samadhi. 

Savikapla is samadhi achieved through effort. 

Nirvikalpa is effortless but not continuous.
In Sahaja the samadhi is effortless, as well as continuous or uninterrupted. In Sahaja the seeds of vasanas are completely exhausted, while in the former two kinds of samadhi they are still present.

21. What is the difference between a jnani and a siddhi?

There is not much difference. Both are firmly established in their Jnana state. 

Siddha is a Jnani who happens to possess spiritual powers (siddhis) along with Jnana, even though he may not desire or use them. Nothing is impossible for a Siddha to achieve. The highest grade of Siddha is one who is not even aware that he possesses them. 

Jnani on the other hand may, or may not, have these siddhis or powers.

23. Are yogis Self-Realized?

Most Yogis experience Manolaya but not Manonasa, hence realization is still partial for many Yogis.

The life-force needs to be redirected from the Sahasrara to the Spiritual Heart for Self-Realization to be complete.

25. Is a jnani's realization different from a bhakta's?

No. bhakti meets jnana and jnana meets bhakti eventually, at the Spiritual Heart. 

You may start with either Wisdom or Devotion. However, with the right attitude of surrender and devotion, you will see all such dualities vanish, or rather, melt into non-duality.

27. Does Awakening differ from Self-Realization?

Yes. Awakening means the knowledge that I am not this, not that.

Say, you realize that you are not the thoughts, or emotions, or the body, or energies, etc., etc. You can say that you have suddenly awakened to this fact and feel free from an earlier identification. Yet, this is not Self-Realization. 

Self-Realization is actually “knowing” who you are. That’s the key difference. 

Awakening is knowing who you are not, while Realization is positively knowing who you are. 

It’s obvious such knowledge is not acquired through the mind, five (5) senses or the intellect. Reality is known through Prajnana (the highest wisdom). 

29. Does a Self-Realized soul have any 'choice'?

Whether you are realized, or not realized, everything is predestined. 

A non-realized soul is under the illusion that his freedom lies in the choices he makes, while the realized one knows that he is choiceless.

Say, you realize that you are not the thoughts, or emotions, or the body, or energies, etc., etc. You can say that you have suddenly awakened to this fact and feel free from an earlier identification. Yet, this is not Self-Realization. 

Self-Realization is actually “knowing” who you are. That’s the key difference. 

Awakening is knowing who you are not, while Realization is positively knowing who you are. 

It’s obvious such knowledge is not acquired through the mind, five (5) senses or the intellect. Reality is known through Prajnana (the highest wisdom). 

31. What can one do about 'suffering'?

What is wrong with suffering? Imagine a world without suffering. We would be so insensitive to everything around us. Would we really know what it means to love and to be compassionate?

Real freedom lies not in escaping suffering, but in embracing it. A Jnani is most happy when he suffers. Bliss can get boring sometimes (laughs)! 

By all means, do something to relieve suffering if you feel driven to do so. However, the important thing is to keep your focus forever within. Let that never waver, or else you may get distracted and dragged into the ways of the world again. 

2. Does a jnani still have desires and karmas?

A jnani is free from desires and from the bondages of karma. He only appears to be indulging in actions or desires due to his prarabdh, but they can’t bind him, just as a burnt rope appears to be a rope but isn’t strong enough to tie somebody.

4. What do you mean by 'looking'?

The simple act of ‘looking’ is a most effective tool for Self-realization. Self-realization is not a question of faith or belief, or even of will. It is an understanding through direct knowing.

And how better can we truly know anything unless we experience it or see it for ourselves?

The key aspect of looking is attentiveness – NOT focused attention on a single object, but a broader, all-encompassing view of what is available to us, here and now.

It does not require focus; it is NOT looking ‘at’ or looking ‘for’ something, but an expansive view — a zoom-out view which is similar to the long shot of a camera. It implies being aware of many things at the same time, or of seeing the whole picture as a single perception at a given point of time. It requires alert eyes and ears to know the real practice of looking.

Through the practice of ‘direct looking’, what will eventually gain prominence is a still, silent awareness.

6. Why should we 'be quiet'?

It is human nature that even when we are not asked, we have a habit of giving our opinion. We have such a habit of talking, expressing ourselves all the time. We always have something to say.

How many times have you expressed your opinion about something? Even when not asked? For example, in the morning, you may be reading a particular story in the newspaper, perhaps something political that stirs you up so you call your wife, or husband, or someone else to discuss it with them… why is this happening?… why is that happening?… what should be done about it?… and so on.

Our existence is so deeply connected to our actions and our speech that there is a strong outward thrust and immediately we feel compelled to say something.

So you must acquire the habit of stopping… BEFORE you say something… whenever you catch yourself giving opinions or talking needlessly.

8. Why do you say to 'stay in the middle'?

If you identify with only the background (the SELF)… or with only the foreground (the world)… you will miss the other — the Totality.

So be attached with neither position, instead be in the middle. 

Otherwise you will be identified with only one polarity, and become stuck there.

If you stay only with the waves, you will miss the depths of the ocean, and if you stay in the depths of the ocean, you will miss the waves.

10. What is the correct 'attitude' to have?

None of us are separate from each other. 
The one universal Consciousness, breathing in different bodies, 
appearing in different bodies, but all are ONE. 



Be accepting of every being and situation. 
Be tolerant towards all.
Be in gratitude towards all.

If you have this inner attitude, you will progress rapidly, not just in your waking state meditation, but through all levels of your practice. 

12. Why do we believe our thoughts and feelings?

Why do we believe our thoughts, emotions, feelings, which we later come to recognize and understand were exaggerated or magnified?

“Why do we believe them in the first place?”

Simply stated, it is because of our projections — our self-imposed projections — which are nothing more than a false belief in our thoughts, feelings and emotions directed towards others, or onto ourselves, which are then supported by various kinds of mental images to validate them.

“Why should I stop believing my thoughts and feelings?”

The reason is simple, they are mixed with, and corrupted by, the bad/negative ‘memory files’ and are not reliable enough to be trusted or depended upon. 

14. Can you explain 'inquiry'?

‘Inquiry’ means we need to look at what is arising and falling and trace it to its very point of origin.

If we don’t accept the ‘waves’, we will be busy fighting against them and they are likely to overwhelm us; so it is better to simply watch them arise and fall on the surface of the ocean. The waves always point towards the ocean as they settle down, and we will completely miss this truth if we are busy fighting against them. We will be too exhausted to even notice this.

Acceptance means… drop the fight… drop the resistance… and simply float in the ocean for some time to allow a meaningful insight to appear. 

As you ask the question “to whom?  in the gap between two thoughts — one thought rising, falling, and giving rise to another thought, falling, giving rise to another thought — the habitual pattern of thoughts, being one continuous stream, breaks. That is where you recognize the gap between thoughts, which ultimately is recognized as infinite space on which little thoughts keep popping up and down, dancing up and down.

And there you find — as you feel yourself as a Witnesser, as an emptiness, as zero-ness, as void — that it is a great way to bring yourself again and again to your SELF, to the background Witnesser state of emptiness. 

The inquiry… “to whom?”  is one of the most basic, and the most profound questions that has been posed, that has been put to us by the great saint Sri Ramana Maharshi. We need not answer this question mentally, but rather just FEEL it. For every thought that disturbs you, if you feel the question deeply in your Heart, what is the answer that you get as a feeling? 

Ask: “To whom is this happening?”  That’s it!  Just this simple pointer.

Do not let it be just a shallow answer that you get. Just be very deeply interested in the answer. Be very deeply interested in the answer. This does not mean that you answer the question; the answer has to come as a feeling.

Feel it!… FEEL it! ..“To whom is this happening?”

Asked with feeling, you will be directly pointed towards something at the background. A sense of emptiness. A sense of void. A sense of zero-ness, blankness, stillness, silence — whatever you can name. Maybe no names. Maybe nothing — no description, just is! That is it. That is how beautiful this question is. 

16. How will I know if I am 'enlightened'?

When ALL seekings end, including that of enlightenment, it is enlightenment. 

A drunkard who falls into a huge barrel of wine won’t be searching for a bottle of wine… will he? 

Similar it is with an Enlightened Being.

18. What are the five levels of Consciousness?

Well, there are just four levels of Consciousness, not five.

They are gross body, subtle body (astral), causal body and supra causal (Turiya). 

The fifth level is beyond Consciousness itself and is referred to as Turiyatita or the Absolute.

20. What are the different kinds of Karma?

Karma are of three types. Prarabdh, Sanchit and Kriyamaan.

But why be bothered with any of them? Just remember that as long as one is practicing self-inquiry, one is performing the highest Karma.

22. What is the biggest inner conflict for a seeker?

One of the biggest inner conflicts that most seekers have, consciously or unconsciously, is that we think we need wisdom to experience the SELF but in reality what we actually need is LOVE. And we cannot receive LOVE unless we begin to give it openly, fully and unconditionally.

24. What is meditation?

First let’s look at what Meditation is not:

  • Meditation is not concentration.
  • Meditation is not about stopping your thoughts.
  • It is not about escaping your problems.
  • Meditation is not about attainment of any state – peace or joy.
  • Meditation is also not about witnessing, for in real meditation the witnesser himself is absent.
  • It is not about the hours that are spent in it. If you are looking at the time you have spent in meditation, you are actually looking at the time when you were not in meditation. You can practice various techniques of meditation yet you can never know what true meditation is.

When techniques drop, chanting drops, time drops, only then meditation appears.

Meditation is about embracing; it is about celebrating; it is about welcoming; it is about surrender; it is about making love. Notice, I have not mentioned anything about any object. I have not talked about embracing anything in particular, about celebrating anything in particular, about loving anything in particular, because, to have an object means to miss meditation. If there is an object there cannot be meditation. If there is an objective, even then there cannot be meditation.

The end of object and objective is the beginning of meditation. 

Meditation is about smiling; meditation is about laughing – smiling and laughing not for any reason, smiling and laughing because there is no reason. Meditation is not when you have lost your mind. Meditation is – when you can never find the mind again, once you have lost it.

If you think you are in meditation, know that you certainly are not in it.

No Master can teach you meditation; all that you are learning from him is your own mind.

Meditation starts with acceptance and it flowers with transcendence even of itself. 

26. What are the different grades of jnanis?

The ancient Indian scriptures have laid down four grades of jnanis. They are Brahmavids, Brahmavaras, Brahmaveeryas and Brahmavarishtas.

Brahmavid is the knower of Brahma (Self-Realization). No vasanas (latent tendencies and subtle impressions) affect his state, just as water drops don’t affect the state of the lotus leaf. The inward Divine nectar of bliss flows continuously in a Brahmavid and doesn’t allow trivial desires or passions to take control of him. If at all any passions arise, they move and dissolve instantly, leaving no room to create a deep impression on the mind of a Brahmavid to seek them again. Brahmavids continue to work in the world and are involved in bestowing knowledge on to others as per the Divine will.

Brahmavaras are hidden jnanis and remain in seclusion. They prefer to remain away from the world and seldom have students. They are only concerned with remaining immersed within, looking after family and maintaining their body.
Brahmaveeryas are so deeply immersed within that they are reminded by others to maintain their body. They are often told to eat food. 

Brahmavarishtas are not bothered or aware even of their body. They are forcibly fed so that they could survive the day. 

All four grades of jnanis are liberated. All enjoy a natural, uninterrupted flow of bliss, but with varying intensity.

As you can see from above, while the progress of an ordinary seeker is determined by how aware he is in daily activities, for a jnani it is the reverse. A jnani is moving from awareness to non-awareness of objects remaining completely submerged in deep samadhi even though he appears to be in contact with objects. Words will completely fail to describe what it is like.

28. Are Neo-Advaita Teachings useful?

I feel they have their place — that is why they are so popular. They do serve some purpose.

30. What is Satchitananda?

Turiya is Satchitananda. It is the purest reflection of YOU — the I AM. 

YOU are Truth, Consciousness and Bliss. It is the fourth state of Consciousness. 

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