The Witness

This idea we have to understand:

‘How to know the knower?’

The knower cannot be known,

because if it were known,

it will not be the knower.

If you look at your eyes in a mirror,

the reflection is no more your eyes,

but something else,

only a reflection.

Then if this Soul, this universal, Infinite Being

which you are,

is only a witness,

what good is it?

It cannot live, and move about,

and enjoy the world, as we do.

People cannot understand how

the witness can enjoy. . . .

First of all, it is only the witness that can enjoy.

If there is a wrestling match, who enjoys it,

those who take part in it,

or those who are looking on—the outsiders?

The more and more you are the witness

of anything in life, the more you enjoy it.

And this is ananda [bliss];

therefore, infinite bliss can only be yours

when you have become the witness of this universe;

then alone are you a mukta purusha [liberated soul].

It is the witness alone that can work without any desire,

without any idea of going to heaven,

without any idea of blame, without any idea of praise.

The witness alone enjoys, and none else.

 – Swami Vivekananda, “The Vedanta” – November 12, 1897