Portraits In Faith: Ramesh Balsekar

Yes sir, you are Daniel? – I’m Daniel
– Nice – I’ve been working on a
project called “Portraits In Faith” – And I’ve been interviewing
people around the world about — – And what is the title? – “Portraits In Faith” – Importance of faith?
– Yes — And so far I’ve interviewed and
made portraits of about 300 people. – Oh yeah
– …from 17 countries From 1,700 to 300? – 17 countries – Ah…I see 300 people from 17 countries. – Yes
– I see So this week I am in India
for the first time. I see, I see. So… importance of faith?
Is that right? – Portraits – Portraits…
– Portraits, portraits Portraits of faith, I see Very, very good title. Portraits of faith. I see…go ahead. So I’d love to ask you, what is faith for you? What does it mean to have faith for you? Faith for me means total acceptance, based on my reasons. That’s the point. For me, faith is total acceptance. And I think that is precisely what
the Buddha meant. Don’t accept what I say, it’s a concept. Don’t accept anything anybody says. Test it out. And then if you’re convinced accept that thing. For me that is faith. – What was the first
time in your life you felt this — that you felt faith? Frankly I’ve got it all the time. But it was for me to
realize that it’s there. For instance, I’ve always and without the slightest doubt, I knew that everything in the world
is already predetermined. Even there. And therefore, truly there is no
one to do anything except doing whatever
I was meant to do. So in a way, I’ve always had that conviction. But it was an intellectual conviction. So that intellectual conviction had to go deeper into my heart, where there is no doubt. In other words,
if you gave me a lie detector test I will come out: “Do you believe in this
stupid concept?” And I’d say,
“Oh yes totally!” The events in my life was the experience that I was not doing the talking. I used to do translation
for Nisargadatta. For quite some time. In fact 6 months after I saw him. But a year after that, a year after I started almost exactly a year it turned out that on a particular occasion I was translating. And my experience was that I could hardly wait
for him to finish before I started the translation. In other words, the normal
translation up to then used to have a process. Process means time. Whether it is half a second,
second, two seconds. Or 30 seconds or 60 seconds. Because the process means time. And the process meant I have to listen carefully to what Maharaj said. Then I have to understand it. Understand the significance of it. Then, translate it into English. Foreign language for me. And then vocalize it. So that took certain
amount of time. However short it is. But that particular morning, there simply wasn’t any process. I knew exactly what
Maharaj wanted to say. And the translation
was just coming out. I had the experience that I was not doing the translating. The translation was happening. That is the experience. And yet, the total acceptance was always there for a long time. – Was there a second time? If the second time is needed the first time has not happened!
– That’s right! See? How simple it is? Good question. What do you think
is the concept of God? When an atheist comes
here to me and he says, “Ramesh I’ve gone into
it very thoroughly, make no mistake. I’m not making an all time statement. But I honestly do
not believe in God. What do you think
will be my response? My response will be,
“I entirely agree with you!” That God as a concept, as an individual entity. Cannot exist. An individual entity means he has to have the other. Me and the other. Whereas the Bible said, “I am in God.” So without the other. So what is “I am”? “I am that I am.” See? So in “I am” the unmanifest unicity does not need to know that it is. So when the “I am” – or
the unmanifest unicity, unmanifest onenness became the manifest duality of every conceivable kind, beginning with male and female, then the “I am” happened. “I am” the total manifestation. Unmanifest there is no need. The moment there is manifestation, “I am” this manifestation. But for the functioning
of that manifestation that we call daily living, the basis has to be duality. Beginning with male and female and duality of every conceivable kind. Good and evil, health and disease, wealth and poverty. Faith and sacrifice. Therefore my firm
conviction has always been, the sage did not chose to be a sage. The psychopath and the murderer did not choose to be what they are. So why did they have to have? Because the basis of the manifestation functioning in equal duality as functioning called life is duality. Therefore beginning with male and female. Everything in the universe has an interconnected opposite. Therefore, my earliest conviction I believe: there cannot be anything that we call truth or love. Love – hatred,
truth – falsehood Therefore truth or love can only be the one reality. And that as God is what I firmly believe in. In other words, I believe that the manifest could not have just happened like that as an accident. The unmanifest unicity has become that manifest duality. For 35-40 years I pursued enlightenment. At the end I’m not an active person but sort of a deep almost unconscious seeking of enlightenment. Ended in frustration because not even my guru nor anybody could give me answers to 2 basic questions. What am I serving? What am I looking for? Enlightenment. What is enlightenment? Too, more important: what will enlightenment do for me if and when I get it? Yes right? But when I once asked my guru he got angry. Because he thought I was questioning his enlightenment. Then he saw that many up there
that were waiting for his answer. What is enlightenment and what will it do for me? So he calmed down. And he gave me an answer which I knew would come
because I had come earlier. You will know what enlightenment is and what it does for you only when you are enlightened. To know the sweetness in
the mango we have to eat it. That is like classical escape road. So, everything in the manifestation and is functioning in what we call life is duality. And since I have accepted that many questions don’t arise and bother me. Why did God have to create Adolf Hitler? Because God created Jesus Christ. Why does God create handicap children? What have the poor things done? Answer is God is supposed to create handicap children because he creates healthy children. So such questions I don’t even ask. And so these are the questions which truly making human beings unhappy. I want to know. What is the answer? So from that question my counter-question: who wants to know? Daniel, Ramesh, Gabriel? All of these are names given to a 3-dimensional object. Everything in the manifestation is a 3 dimensional object of various kinds. In stone there is no apparent life. A growing plant which grows into a tree or dies down. Is again a 3-dimensional object. The animal is a 3-dimensional
object in this very life and a sense of personal identification. Which is: the unidentified self has attached itself, identified itself with a particular body-mind object, and considers itself a separate entity. Therefore your pet dog does not like it if you – pet another dog. “Daniel is mine, is mine!” Not the other way around
where the dog is concerned. “Daniel is mine” And then there is a human being who is an animal life and the ego. But in the human ego as different from the animal ego, the human ego has an additional factor which is the crux of the matter. The sense of personal doer-ship. And intelligence, intellect. Which makes him ask questions and become unhappy
with its mere answers. But all born are individual body-mind organisms which is a 3 dimensional object. In which have been imbued, by the soul, life, five – five senses, intelligence, and most important, the sense of personal doership. I do whatever I do. I am responsible for my actions. You the other, are responsible for your actions. And each of us will be punished by God if we don’t do what God
has ordered us to do. Isn’t that the the usual idea of God? Out there sitting with a huge computer jotting down every thing
that we have committed. And that I totally reject. And this is what the atheist does. For me, God means impersonal consciousness, unicity, or impersonal energy. Unicity which is functioning through 6 billion human objects. And bringing about whatever is supposed to happen according to “Thy will”. “Thy will be done” I said, according to God’s will or a universal law, a cosmic law. That satisfied the atheists. Impersonal source. But the impersonal source. Then the next question I ask myself. Why did the impersonal source have to create a manifestation? Why did the unmanifest source have to create a manifestation? And the only answer I could get was: The un-manifest unicity was forced to create the manifestation. Why? Because the unmanifest source cannot be dead matter. Therefore the unmanifest source I envisage, in my concept mind as potential vibrant energy. Otherwise it would be dead matter. So I conceive of the source as potential probing energy. And the only way that potential probing energy can know that it is potential energy… will never know. And therefore, dead matter unless it activizes itself sometime.. Therefore God the potent– the impersonal source the potential energy, is more than nature of that potential to activate itself some time. Therefore the Big Bang and the manifestation. And when the manifestation happened there was this sentence: “I am I am this manifestation.” And that “I am” for the functioning of manifestation that we call daily living to happen, was forced to create a duality. Beginning with male and female. Call it Adam and Eve or the Hindu Gods Shiva Shakti. In other words Shiva, as the unmanifest singularity could not become manifest as Shiva the manifest, in the manifestation Shiva had to be Shiva Shakti, Shiva Parvati. The female had to come in as energy. – I have one last question – Please please – What is– – Let us see if it is going to be the last one or not. – Yeah that’s right… It’s true. Life is a series of last questions. – Go ahead – What is your greatest wish? – You really want to know? – It’s a bit of a setup. – None! Honestly, none. If I drop dead the next minute I welcome it. It’s an answer for you ins’t it? But…but There’s be no questioning in this mind-body organism. It’s happening. Not my achieving – this is the real point. The basic question is: what do I want in this life? What do I, Ramesh, want in this life? In the circumstances in
which I was raised, or what would have never
had anything to hope. And honestly I can – the answer that is enlightenment. Which I came to know when I retired at 60. And said “no more enlightenment”. Stupid. All I want for the rest of my life however short or long it is, is happiness. Happiness for Ramesh. The ego, selfish yes. Therefore, I should pursue happiness. And I got it. Or rather, it was my destiny to get it. So what I’m going to do is try to tell you the process in which this happened. First, I decided: what is it that I want? From the beginning? Happiness. But surely, I know what enjoyment is. I may not have enjoyed all the enjoyments in life, but I still know what is enjoyment! That it’s the opposite of pain. So I know what enjoyment is. And yet, I’m seeking happiness. Therefore the most important
question to start with: what is this happiness I’m seeking? Which has to be totally different from the enjoyment I’ve had, as I explained all my life. See what I mean? And that was the most important question. What is the happiness? Is this spiritual seeker, is supposed to seek and pursue. See what I mean? Then, the answer meant answer came: the happiness I’m seeking has nothing to do with the pleasure in life. Pleasure in life is
the opposite of pain. And both pain and pleasure is a result of the happening in life. A happening happens. It means another is required as a duality. And that will bring me happiness pleasure or pain. Everything, in other words, the pleasure I’m seeking is something which happens in life. And if I begin myself for happiness I have to accept… that the happiness I am seeking has nothing to do with the pleasure in life. That the happiness I am seeking has nothing to do with what happens in life. Honestly the most important thing. And then I felt my process blocked. So what is the happiness I am seeking? This is not to be found
in what happens in life. What happens in life, I have no control. But as Ramesh, a separate entity, there is my attitude to life. The most important question and answer was: the happiness I’m seeking has nothing to do with what happens in life but in my subjective attitude to that. And then, very difficult question: what do I mean by my
attitude to life? Where is – where do I look
for my attitude to life? And the answer I came to was: my attitude to life, a very philosophical subject. In active practice means my relationship with the other. Whoever they are. My closest relatives or the total stranger. So what is my attitude
towards the stranger? Suspicion. Fear. Is he going to be a friend or a foe? And how many times have
we not come across reports in daily newspapers of a father having killed a son, a son having killed a father, a brother has killed a brother, a friend has killed a friend. So why does that happen? Because the father and son, certain circumstances made them not father and son. A father versus the son. Or one son, one entity, one ego, against the other. However close the relationship or however distant. So I came to the conclusion, Daniel honestly, I came to the conclusion that it is stupid to seek happiness which depends on a totally harmonious
relationship with the other. And almost the natural relationship between me and the other has got to be fear and suspicion and rivalry. So again, without any without any personal objection to God as the entity. Without any prior of having come to this conclusion I said “that is the fact of the matter”! So I decided, foolish to see if happens I have to – be satisfied. with accepting the pleasure when it happens and joy, suffer the pain when it happens. Then an important question arose which I learned later. When at that point I had a – something from outside. From outside that only means God. And something coming
from that has to be conceptually on the personal scale. So what came to me from outside is: “you’re wrong”. “It has never been my intention for the human being to suffer. It has always been that the human being, the birthright of the human
being is the happiness which he is seeking.” Only thing is, that happiness is based on one factor which the human being has not accepted. That’s why he’s not happy. That’s very dangerous. And suddenly they all suffer. And that factor is the
basis of every religion. Earlier I had considered this question
and come to the conclusion: there cannot be a single
basis for any religion. Otherwise we wouldn’t have
had religious wars for hundreds of years. But now the answer
from the source is: There is a common basis for all religion and that is the one factor on which my happiness is based. And then I came across, I happened to come across four beautiful words from the Bible. Which I had come across hundreds of times before. But they had made no real impression on my heart. In fact the heart said “stupid”. And that is, “Thy will be done”. Now, it went straight to my heart. I said, how fantastic! That is true. I may want something, you may want something. But who will get it does not depend on his effort. Ultimately it is God’s will. Or the will of the source. And then I remembered the words in the Bhagavad Gita. You don’t have to worry about
killing your preceptors. As time I’ve already killed them. Therefore “Thy will be done” is not strictly correct. Thy will has been done. Thy will has been done. Therefore the movie is already in the can. And what we are still viewing is the same movie but frame by frame by frame. Day by day, hour by hour,
second by second. But, even the physicist has accepted. That with the Big Bang the entire manifestation was created as a block. Physicists say as a block. The fan when it’s working
at the highest speed in a field of air but
you can’t really see it. And the slower the fan the more clearly you see the blade. So that was the end of my search.


  1. If everything is predetermined, we don t have the tiniest chance of choice in what we call "life". Not even the things we think to have chosen or "materialized" by our fulfilled wishes and visions for the bettering of this world, which came true.

    We would be poorer than we think that we are: Becoming a millionair or staying financially poor etc. would be all predetermined like the birth in a lovingly or cruel and envious family.

  2. What a man to just trust people and allow them into his home and speak to them lovingly, directly and compassionately. You see his faith in his actions.

  3. Some one said faith is the suicide of intelligence. How can anyone know all is predetermined; as he says. He does not know that. That's hus faith. Not knowing what he does not know. He knows that

  4. So it is predetermined that I was inspired and practicing yoga and meditation and now I am too neurotic and am constantly seeking escape from myself? I have no choice in the matter? The story of this projected person has already been written and I just need to awaken out of it?

  5. I get one point from reading and also experiencing some things, that LOVE is.. So that love dont have polarity. Hatred means lack of love, or no love… And also i get to second point that love is god.. So how it is in this case?

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