|Writings - Introducing Swami Shyam's Vision - You Are the Knower|
You Are the Knower
(In answer to a questioner who asks, "What is the Knower?) Many people are unable to describe the Knower clearly. A teacher should be able to explain theKnower in such a way that you know, "This is the Knower." Now according to this rule or frame of reference, if I take the chance to describe the Knower to you at this time and you still don't understand it, I will also fall into the same category - the category of people who cannot describe the Knower clearly. Therefore, I won't tell you! (Both the questioner and Swami-ji begin to laugh.) But since you are in the mood to listen to me, I'll continue speaking.
Knowledge of the Knower makes you great and wonderful and gives you a sense of great dignity, because then you know that you exist. Whenever you become forgetful of the fact that you exist, either unconsciously or unconsciously, you feel uncomfortable. That is why knowledge of the Knower is essential.
Now, before I describe who the Knower is, let us get into the process of experiencing and knowing things directly. I am taking the chance to describe the Knower to you, but I'm not sure that you will understand my explanation. Still, you are luck and brilliant enough to raise the point and try to understand, feel and express it, and whenever you understand or have faith in your understanding, say, "Yes,I am grasping the Knower, although not fully."
We have never paid attention to the simple truth that we all have the Knower. If this Knower were destroyed, we would become dead material. Therefore, we are only instruments: the body,mind, intellect and ego, taken together, are simply a mechanism or instrument.
This mechanism has developed an I-consciousness that doesn't want the Knower to be destroyed because if the Knower is gone, there will be no experience. Thus, no sense wants to die. For example, the eyes don't want to be damaged. If an arrow comes towards your eyes, much before it reaches them, the Knower will know it and protect your eyes. This is the Knower. Now you have been able to grasp it.
To me (pointing to objects nearby), it is very clear that the microphone and the flower are unconscious material, whereas you and I are not. But my bones, nails, teeth and hair are the same as the microphone and the flower. Therefore, the body is unconscious material, which is alive and functioning because of a kind of consciousness - the conscious power or electricity which you call energy. This energy allows us to see and know the flower and to retain this knowledge. Now, I will never forget that I have seen the flower. I have always seen this flower and will always remember it. In the same way, I remember where I was as a child, I remember where I was in past incarnations, I remember where all of you are, I remember where I was in the beginning, I remembe rwhere I will be at any time. I remember because I alone am everywhere.So what is there to remember about it? Why exert yourself unnecessarily (laughter) ?
Someone asked, "I saw my previous incarnations, but were they genuine or just my fantasy and imagination? I said, "They were all genuine, including your imagination!" Why? Imagination,or any experience, cannot arise if the Knower is not there. The Knower alone is the reality. This is what we have come to know. But this Knower doesn't have any shape or form. We can see the form of unconscious material,such as the petals and stem of a flower, but we cannot see the Knower.The real Knower is here, in the human nervous system, yet we don't call it real. Rather, we look at a photograph and say this is a real person.When our understanding becomes reversed, only then will we know the Knower.