Question: Everything comes from God, and thus everything is God. Therefore, how can it be said that there is a true Self and not true Self; or that, “I am not the body, not the mind.” It’s like saying, “God is everything except the body, mind, etc.”
Sri Gurudev: Very true. When you know that everything is God and when you are experiencing everything as God, then you don’t even say, “I am not the body, I am not the mind.” The person who says, “I am not the body, I am not the mind,” is not experiencing everything as God. So, there are different levels. When you are at the lower level you say, “This is Self and this is non-Self.” The duality comes. That’s how you begin. But as you go further and further, everything becomes the Self including body and mind, right and wrong. There is no wrong then. Even the so-called “wrong” is also right.
In one of his prayers the great sage Acharya Shankara praises God in this way: There is a Hindu form of worship called archana in which you offer flowers and repeat the name of God and God’s attributes. At one point he says, “O God, in the form of anger, my salutations to You. O God, in the form of lust, I am saluting You.” How could that be? One should not have lust. At the same time he is saying, “God, in the form of lust, my salutations to You.” It looks like a contradiction, does it not? It is not a contradiction if you put them all on the same level. On one level even lust becomes God. But at another level, when you don’t know how to use it, it becomes a terrible thing. When you don’t understand it, when you are looking at it in the wrong way it becomes something undesirable. After all, there is only God. At a certain level you are able to see it from both sides. Then you see that they are one and the same. There’s no difference at all. At that point you say “O lust, my salutations. O jealousy, my salutations, because you’re a quality of God. There’s nothing other than God. Without God, nothing is possible.” So it depends upon your level of growth. Both are correct at their levels. We should not condemn any philosophy; people look at things from various sides. To them, it’s right. If you put yourself in their position, you will know they are right. Allow them to continue that way.