What is Cosmic Consciousness? by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

Maharishi explains: What is Cosmic Consciousness?
  “Integration” Blog     at Institute of Spiritual Sciences     “Regular Articles” Department  

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi speaking at Humboldt State University in Arcata, California,1970.

Editor's notes: This informative article has been transcribed from a recording of a lecture given by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in 1970. The lecture by Maharishi centers on Cosmic Consciousness and was forwarded to us by a friend of ISS who wishes to remain anonymous. This article has been formatted specifically for this site. -RJR

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi on Cosmic Consciousness
Humboldt State College, California

A student asks a question: Today, in our discussion group, we were discussing levels of consciousness and this rose [sic] a couple of questions. The first one is: at what level of consciousness it is unnecessary for an individual to incarnate again?

H.H. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (Maharishi) answers: At the level of consciousness where the development of the self is full. And that is...

Student: (interrupting) Is this Cosmic Consciousness then?

Maharishi: Right.

Student: I see. And at this point if the person leaves the body, or dies if you want to call it that, and goes on to wherever he goes, does he have his individuality? And if he does can he incarnate again?

Maharishi: He doesn't go.

Student: I don't understand.

Maharishi: Cosmic Consciousness (CC) is a state where the small 's' has become big 'S': Self. And Self, big 'S' Self, means unboundedness. Unboundedness. Eternity. When the status of the individual has expanded to unboundedness, that is his status and that is he. Hmm? When the status is unbounded, he is beyond time and space. He's all over. Once he is all over, where he can go, hmm?

Student: He's individual, but yet he's unbounded everywhere?

Maharishi: This is what the small self, becoming (the) big Self, means. In our meditation that unbounded awareness, that awareness, it has already expanded to eternity, to infinity. Infinite is the boundary of the individual consciousness, huh? On the level of consciousness. On the level of the body he is so many feet long and so many feet wide. Individual. But his awareness is so much unbounded. When the individual is so much unbounded, and the body ceases to function, then what will happen to that unbounded awareness? Nothing can happen to It. Hmm? That It is 'I' capital, It, Unboundedness. And therefore, it doesn't leave the body and doesn't go anywhere, because being everywhere it cannot leave a place and go to another place. It cannot leave one time, go to other time. So, the unboundedness is free from the boundaries of time and space. And that is why a man living Cosmic Consciousness does not go somewhere. His body goes from manifested state to un-manifested state. The body goes, he doesn't go.

Student: Thank you. Could you speak a little bit on Chakras and Kundalini?

Maharishi: Now, now, now, now, now. I'll speak more on this, hmmm? To make it little bit more clear...

Maharishi stops speaking; there is a small commotion at the back of the hall.

Maharishi: What is happening? (A group of people are heard entering the lecture hall.) Oh, come on. The poets enter the room now. Come on, come on. I am having a poetic flight. (Laughter).

Maharishi on Cosmic Consciousness

Maharishi continues:
Now, how does CC grow? How does one grow in CC? We have known it is the growth of the nervous system. Growth means transformation, purification of the nervous system, modification of the nervous system. Due to which that pure consciousness becomes permanent. One example will clarify this situation. Green water in a glass, green water in a glass. Now the sun is shining everywhere and the glass is in the sun. The reflection is green. This is like the small ‘s' self; when the nervous system is not purified, it is green. The water is green, it's not very clear. Nervous system is clouded with all kinds of impurities. Now that green water has green reflection. The sun, sun shining evenly everywhere is not green. It's neither green nor red or no color. It's colorless. If we modify water, green water being modified, green becoming less and less, hmm? That means the reflector of the sun is being modified, resulting in the modification of the reflection. The water becoming less and less green, the reflection is becoming less and less green. Less and less green means more and more towards the nature of the sun. Less and less green reflection means more and more becoming like the sun. At a point, at one particular moment, the water is no more green... completely pure.

Still, the water could continue to be modified. This modification could continue 'til the reflection has gained the quality of the sun around it. The reflection has become the omnipresent sun. It has gained the quality of the sun around it. This is like Cosmic Consciousnesses. The reflection then is a reflection. It has its structure according to the shape of the glass, but that the quality of the reflection is the quality of the sun. The reflection feels, 'I am the sun'. Hmm? This is realization. The reflection which had it's an identity different from the sun has now gained the quality of the sun. 'I am the sun.'

Just like that, the nervous system, reflecting the omnipresent being and the reflection is of a particular quality. Hmm? But with transcendental meditation the modification of the nervous system keeps on improving the quality of the reflection. Quality of reflection keeps on becoming purer and purer. A time comes when the individual reflection, the Self, has gained the quality of omnipresent being. Hundred percent. The Self is Being. The small self has gained the status of big Self, big 'S'. In this state, the nervous system, due to the nervous system, the big Self can be located and yet it is unbounded. When the reflection has become like the sun, and the reflection has gained the quality of the sun around it, then it is omnipresent sun. It is the same sun that shining everywhere. Yet, because of the glass it has its individuality. So, it is an individual entity and it is omnipresent sun both at the same time.

Now, the glass breaks; water spreads. What has happened to the reflection? Nothing has happened to the reflection except that is ceases to be located. The reflection that was here when the glass was intact was the same sun as everywhere, it has the same quality. Now the glass is not there, it's broken. Where has gone the reflection? It has gone nowhere. It's just there, because it has already gained the status of the sun. It's there, but only it ceases to be located. The individuality drops off with the body ceasing to function and the cosmic status of the self remains undisturbed. Nothing can happen to the unboundedness. Nothing can happen to Absolute Being because it is already non-relative. Absolute is non- relative; nothing can happen to it. When the body drops, nothing happens to it. It doesn't go. It doesn't come out from the body and doesn't go anywhere because anywhere it can go, it already is there. And therefore, we don't talk in terms of death. Hmm?

A man who has risen to Cosmic Consciousness, we just don't talk about him in terms of death. We talk about his body ceasing to function. He doesn't depart from the body. He doesn't go anywhere. Only for other people he ceases to be located. And this was the thing, even during, when the body was functioning. During when he was living. He was, he was there. He could be located and even when he was being located as an individual in time and place; even then he was beyond the time and everywhere in space on the level of his consciousness. Hmm?

What happens when the body ceases to function? What happens? The ego, individual ego had already gained the status of cosmic ego. And cosmic ego is there on the cosmic level. So, nothing happens to the individual ego. Nothing new happens to the individual ego. Only that the individual ego is not able to associate itself with the mind and senses and project itself to the field of action and in the environment. Only it's because there is no means available for the projection of the ego through the action into the environment, this phenomenon ceases to happen. The ego ceases to function because the means of action, the nervous system and the senses, they are not available. So, what happens to the ego? It only ceases to function through the senses because there is no senses. It ceases to experience because the means of experience are no more available.

What happens to the intellect, hmm? That intellect of the individual even during lifetime was one with cosmic intelligence but because the nervous system was there, the senses were there, the mechanism of thinking was there, it was able to think and decide. This deciding, the phenomenon of taking decisions has ceased to function. Hmm? Has ceased to be; only this phenomenon of taking decisions. So, the intellect is not able to function. Same is the mind. Mind functions through the brain and when the brain is no more available, mind ceases to function. But its status as Cosmic Intelligence can never be shadowed, can never be over-shadowed. Senses, they already had been fully developed, even when they were functioning on the isolated boundaries of time and place. Hmm? When the man was living Cosmic Consciousness, that time the senses were functioning. Now the machinery is no more available. They do not, the senses are not able to function. That is all. So only the functioning stops. Nothing happens to these individual subjective aspects of life. Ego, even during lifetime had already been cosmic ego. Intellect had already been cosmic intelligence. Mind was already cosmic mind. Senses had been fully developed. Hmm? And so the isolation aspect of the senses only drops off. The cosmic aspect continues. So, it's only the individuality drops off with the body ceasing to function. The cosmic aspect, hmm, remains.

Cosmic Consciousness has two aspects to it: one cosmic aspect, the other individual aspect. The glory of the individual aspect is that by virtue of this individual aspect, cosmic aspect can be lived. Hmm? This is the glory of the individual aspect of Cosmic Consciousness by virtue of the nervous system functioning normally, that the cosmic aspect of life is possible to live on the individual level. And this is the glory of the fully developed nervous system. That cosmic unbounded aspect of life is capable of being lived on the individual level. Hmm? It's a very great, it's a very great blessing that the individuality can live cosmic existence; cosmic intelligence. This is the glory of Cosmic Consciousness, and when the body ceases, individuality drops off, cosmic status remains. So, one doesn't leave the body.

It is said that the ego and the mind, they are already cosmic in structure, even when the body is functioning. And nothing can happen to the cosmic structure when something happens to the individual level of the cosmic structure. What does it matter, hmm? Cosmic structure remains undisturbed when the individuality drops. What can happen to the ocean if a drop drops off? Nothing. So, when the body drops off in the cosmic, cosmic value of life only ceases to be located, that's all. We don't talk in terms of death of Cosmic Consciousness, he doesn't die. Because normally dying is associated with leaving this body and going somewhere. Like that. So, when he doesn't go, hmm, his mind is already cosmic. His prana, the breath, already cosmic.

Already it is cosmic. Not that it merges into the cosmic, no. Not that the individual prana merges into the cosmic prana. Not that the individual mind merges into the cosmic mind. Because already during lifetime, the individual mind was one with cosmic mind. The individual prana was one with cosmic prana. Therefore, no new merger takes place at the time of death. No new phenomenon of merger of the individual mind or individual prana into the cosmic mind or cosmic prana takes place at the time of death. Nothing new happens at the time of death, only the old body drops off.

Nothing new happens because already all that was to happen to the individual consciousness had already happened, even during lifetime. The individual mind is already one with the cosmic mind. The individual prana is already one with the cosmic prana. So, the individual mind is cosmic mind. Individual prana is cosmic prana. Only the individuality of cosmic prana which was due to the body ceases to be. The individuality of the mind, which was due to the body, ceases to be with this ceasing of the body. Hmm? Nothing happens new at the time of death, only that the individual ceases to be located by others.

Maharishi: Is that clear?

Student: Could a man in CC choose to reincarnate to help raise the level of man? Raise the level of consciousness of man? Once he's reached this CC, can he incarnate again to help further the evolution of man?

Maharishi: Incarnate means come back.

Student: Yes, I know.

Maharishi: Now we have seen he doesn't go. (Laughter)

Student: Take up another body?

Maharishi: So, when he doesn't go, there is no question of coming back...

Student: Yes, but I'm speaking in...

Maharishi ...anyone who will go, will come back. Go has to be back. One doesn't go, doesn't. There's no question of coming back when he doesn't go. There is no question of coming back. When his going is arrested, he doesn't get a passport to come back. His going is arrested, it doesn't go.

Student: Thank you.

Maharishi: Is that point clear?

Student: Uh, yeah, kinda. I don't see if a man reaches Cosmic Consciousness and he leaves the body and, like you say, he's unbounded, then can he choose to come back to earth in a body to help?

Maharishi: The desire is out of hand. He can't make a choice. Because, hmm? A seed which has been roasted, a roasted seed, firstly it cannot desire to germinate and in case it desires to germinate it has no more potentiality left to germinate. Even if a roasted seed desires, firstly, he cannot, it cannot desire to germinate, because there is no possibility left for desiring. In case, by some chance maybe, it desires to germinate, it can't. It cannot germinate because that possibility has been roasted. (Laughter) In the fire of knowledge, that possibility to germinate has been roasted. Now a man in enlightenment cannot, firstly he cannot desire to, come back; secondly, if, by any cosmic mistake he desires, the coming back is out of hand. That possibility is out of hand, it just cannot, cannot, cannot come back.

Student: Can he influence the relative world?

Maharishi: While alive he does in every way. As long as he is individual, he is living that cosmic life and therefore is a means. His individuality is a means to set in motion, to set in vibration that cosmic life. Cosmic life breathes through him, pulsates in his, in his pulsations. And this is a very great thing. If one could set the cosmic existence to pulsate, it's a very great thing. And this cosmically conscious man does automatically.

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

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