THE WITNESS – THE OBSERVER – SAKSHI

THE WITNESS – THE OBSERVER – SAKSHI

 

Stone: Diamond

The Mantra: Om Saaksin Aham

 

The Key:

 

To become free from the prison of our mind we must realize that all the identifications with it and with our self-image, even when it is a positive one, are false.

 

Only without any identifications at all it becomes possible to reach

the Witness state which is without judgments, preferences

or repulsions whatsoever.

 

a) The Upanishad introduces the issue powerfully:

 

A Witness is the Atman, pure perception alone;

the body of the Atman is

all of the visible.

 

By the way, that means YOU, too.

You also are the Witness.

At least on some levels of your being.

 

What does it imply that the body of the Atman

is all of the visible?

 

This sentence holds the key to understand the Manifestation.

Jack O’Keeffe asks:

 

If you can recognize that you are thinking,
and observe that you are having a thought,

then who is it that is observing?

Who is observing your mind?

Who is observing your mind?Sri Aurobindo answers that:

This Witness Spirit, this immobile Self in things, seems to will nothing and determine nothing; yet we become aware that

 

his very passivity, his silent presence compels all things to travel

even in their ignorance towards a divine goal and attracts

through vision towards a yet unrealized oneness.

 

How would you define it?

According to Nisargadatta Maharaj,

 

Witnessing is natural and no problem.

 

The problem is excessive interest, leading to self-identification.

Whatever you are engrossed in,

you take to be real.

Like in a movie it is the light which both projects and makes visible the images that we see seen on the screen,

 

so our reality abides in our capacity to perceive

the Witness in us.

 

The Yoga Vashista adds that::

 

There is another one in me whichbeholds the actions

of the other as a theatric act.

 

There is in every one of us.

Including you.

Even in the case of those who are not yet aware of it.

 

b) The Witness state consists of:

 

– The object or event being observed,

 

– The action itself of conscious perception.

 

– The specific circumstances

and the rapport of the forces in which it occurs,

 

– The subject itself, the Witness or Observer.

 

But WHO is really this Witness in us?

Ultimately,

 

In true observation there is only observation. There is no more

an observer. There is no more a witness.

 

What is left then?

The Divine.

How so?

As the Qur’an affirms,

 

He is the Witness of all things.

Well, “of all things” means YOU, too!

Note how the Hindu Nisargadatta Maharaj says the very same thing:

 

The Witness of all can only

be the Eternal.

 

The Kaivalya Upanishad also agrees:

 

In all the three states of experience, the Witness, who is different from the triad

of the experiencer, the experienced object and the experience,

is Me, the ever-auspicious Supreme Consciousness.

Wu Hsin pointed out that:

 

Manifestation is named forms
floating in empty space,

observed through time.

Yet, the observer,
residing on the outside,

remains wrapped in mystery.

 

One is carried on a raft

within a floating stream.

 

One is neither the raft

nor the stream yet

the perceiver of both.

 

Which raft is carrying you?

In which floating stream?

Why?

 

c) Recent brain research determined that in the meditative Witness state

brain activity functions much better than in the ordinary state.

 

At first the Witness is often sinking under the flood of our habitual thoughts and concerns, falling back into our old unexamined moods and reactions, but gradually you will become more and more established in this deep state.

 

In the Witness state our brain activity is much more peaceful

and has a regenerating effect on our whole organism.

 

On YOUR whole organism.

In a certain sense,

 

The Witness is like a scout sent out by our psychic being,

exploring the world to see how the Divine’s seed

can blossom there.

 

Mooji points out that:

 

You cannot be what you perceive, for that is changing right now as we speak …in front of your eyes…

 

You are not changing… You are the One who sees everything

and is unchanging…rest as That.

 

How will you rest in That?

 

d) As Wu Hsin noted,

 

What is born, in the strictest sense

is witnessing via a body

 

The so called witness that is enmeshed in what he perceives is merely the ego in disguise.

 

The witness who is unmoved and untouched, is the guardian of the real,

the contact point between the unmanifest

and the manifested.

 

Witnessing is not an experience. Witnessing is the registration of the presence or the absence of experience.

 

In it , everything that happens is registered, including

the happening referred to as “me”.

 

Mère sums it all up thus:

 

The witness being, calm, indifferent, smiling, looks upon the play,

the comedy which is unfolding itself,

 

and awaits circumstances with serenity, knowing that they are nothing

but a very imperfect translation of what should be.

 

Translation…and deformation.

 

The Kabuli:

In the Kabuli’s biography is mentioned that as a small child He was already under the wings of the Khdir, and when asked by a drunk far from Allah why he kept staring at him the Kabuli replied:

 

Don’t worry, my friend, for I never judge anyone and am only one

of the countless eyes of Allah, the Compassionate with which

He witnesses through us the world He has created.

 

It is recorded that since then that man never drank alcohol ever again and frequented the mosque regularly.

 

The Veil:

 

By remaining always in the Witness state, the Veil

begins to lose its power over us.

 

The Dreamgame:

In the Dreamgame the Witness is one of our best ALLIES.

The Divine sees all the whole time,

 

and in the witness state we join with the ray oh Him looking out through us.

It is an infinitely greater wonder than you can imagine

 

Quantum physics has proved that the observer influences whatever experiment he is doing.

 

Similarly the Witness without doing anything at all

changes what we experience.

 

Nisargadatta Maharaj’s advice is:

 

What you must witness is not your thoughts

but the consciousness ‘I am’.

 

Everything is an expression of the ‘I am,’ but you are not

that; you are prior to the ‘I am’.

 

Where had you been you prior to the “I am”?

Or rather, WHO?

Find it out.

 

The Devil’s Advocate:

You are made of a confused amalgam of so many parts: which one is supposed to be

the “Witness’ in you?

How can you ever be sure that it really exists and you aren’t just imagining it?

You CANNOT!

And this is all that there is to it!

 

The Khdir:

 

In true observation there is only

observation.

 

Then neither an observer nor a witness is left, only the Divine

looking at everything though us.

 

In your deep slumber for so many lives I was the Witness in you.

Now that you have begun to Awaken, beloved,

let us contemplate His Kingdom together!

 

Words of Power:

 

Now that I am no longer deceived by my old illusions

the Witness in me emerged at last.

 

“Witnessing and the Heart are one

and the same thing.” Osho

 

How so?

 

“As the eye cannot see itself, one cannot witness

what one is. One can only be a witness

to what one isn’t.” Wu Hsin

 

What is that you aren’t?

 

“The witness is the door through which you pass beyond.”
Nisargadatta Maharaj

 

Living it:

When Vijay reached the Witness state he realized at last that until then he had lived in Maya, the Illusion.

What helped him most to realize it was this passage from the Ashtavarka Ghita:

 

“The cause of your bondage is that you see the Witness

as something other than yourself.

 

Since you were bitten by the black snake, the belief “I am the doer,”

drink the antidote “I am not the doer,”

and be happy.”

 

To which extent are you aware that you are not the “doer”?

That’s all?

 

From the Poems:

 

A fresh breeze comes from the sea.

The wind chime on the terrace is happily singing too.

The frogs all together celebrate the monsoon.

And what am I doing?

 

The witness I am, the instrument thorough which

You hear the prayer of the wind, of the wind chime,

of the frogs and my own silent one.

 

Question /ko’han 1 to 4:

Ultimately,

 

it is THE DIVINE who is the Witness

of all things.

 

Are you aware that the Divine is witnessing everything also through you?

How does this make you feel?

Does it prevent you from doing anything inappropriate?

If not, why not?

It should.

Question/ko’han 5:

 

The Witness is always not only beyond all actions.

but also beyond all attributes.

 

What does it imply?

 

Nisargadatta Maharaj has the last word by affirming that

 

Essentially you are not even the observer.

 

Who are you then?

According to Him:

 

You are the total potentiality of the consciousness embracing

everything, its manifestation and expression.

 

To which extent are you using your potentiality?

If not so much yet, why not?

How is this “total potentiality” related to the Witness state?

 

Practice:

 

1) Meditate on these verses from Amritanubhav

(The Nectar of Mystical Experience)

In unity there is little to behold;
So She, the mother of abundance,

Brought forth the world as play.

He takes the role of Witness
Out of love of watching Her.

But when Her appearance is withdrawn,

The role of Witness is abandoned as well.

Through Her,
He assumes the form of the universe;

Without Her,

He is left naked.

2) Meditate also on this passage of Mère:

 

It is a capacity of the being to detach itself, to stand back

and look at what is happening,

 

as when one looks at something happening in the street or when one looks at others playing and does not himself play, one re- mains seated, looking at the others moving but does not move. That’s how it is.

 

In all the parts of the being there is one side which can do this: put itself

at the back, remain quiet and look, without participating.

This is what is called the witness.

 

One has many witnesses inside oneself, and often one is a witness without even being aware of it. And if you develop this, it always gives you the possibility of being quiet and not being affected by things.

 

One detaches oneself from them, looks at them as at a dramatic scene,

without participating in it.

 

Contemplate:

 

1) This passage of Nisargadatta Maharaj

 

In the Supreme the witness appears. The witness creates the person

and believes himself separated from it.

 

The witness sees the person appear in his consciousness that again appears in the witness. The realization of such basic unity is the operation of the Supreme. It is the power beyond the witness, the source from which everything flows.

 

It cannot be accessed unless there is unity, love and mutual support

between the person and the witness.

 

2) These words of the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad:

 

He is never seen, but is the Witness;
He is never heard, but is the Hearer;

He is never thought, but is the Thinker;

He is never known, but is the Knower;

There is no other Witness but Him,
No other hearer but Him.

He is the one Internal Ruler,

Your own immortal Self.

 

3) These verses from Sri Aurobindo’s epic Savitri:

 

A burning Witness in the sanctuary

 

Regards through Time and the blind walls of Form;

A timeless Light is in his hidden eyes;

He sees the secret things no words can speak

 

And knows the goal of the unconscious world

and the heart of the mystery of the journeying years.

 

All-causing, all-sustaining and aloof,

The Witness looks from his unshaken poise,

An Eye immense regarding all things done.

Apart, at peace above creation’s stir,

Immersed in the eternal altitudes,

He abode defended in his shoreless self,

Companioned only by the all-seeing One.

 

The Witness looks from his unshaken poise,

An Eye immense regarding all things done.

 

Apart, at peace above creation’s stir,

Immersed in the eternal altitudes,

His abode defended in his shoreless self,

Companioned only by the all-seeing One.

 

Haikus:

 

Reaching the Witness state not so hard is:

whatever is right now in front of you

just erase the persistent illusion that it is

“you” looking at it – OoooooooooooM!

 

Pure awareness the Witness is, that out of nothing

into our mind appears, like all else a mystery:

all the countless things of the world contemplating

as fleeting images in a dream, theater props all.

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