Q : Were you a student of Nisargadatta Maharaj?
Robert Adams : I wasn't a student of his but I was with him for a while.
Q : Are you also familiar with Jean Kline?
Robert Adams: No, I don't know her.
Q : You knew Nisargadatta frankly?
Robert Adams : I knew Nisargadatta, yes.
Q : Did you spend much time with him?
Robert Adams : Six months.
Q : Six months?
Robert Adams : Um-hm.
Q : Continuously?
Robert Adams : Yes.
Q : Was that before you went to Ramana Maharshi?
Robert Adams : No, that was after.
Q : After? What kept you there for six months?
Robert Adams : I was interested.
Q : In what?
Robert Adams : In watching his actions. I was there when Balsekar was his interpreter.
Q : Moira Patan wasn't his interpreter then? What was your conclusion after watching him in action?
Robert Adams : My conclusion is “All is well, and everything is unfolding as it should.”
* * * * * * * * * * * *
Q : Could you say something about the difference between understanding something and being that understanding? Nisargadatta would keep saying if you say you've understood,
you haven't understood.
Robert Adams: True.
Understanding something is when I am talking or you read a book and intellectually it makes a lot of sense to you.
But even if it makes sense intellectually to you,
you have not experienced that.
If you have not experienced that,
it makes no difference how long you've been reading books or
how long you've been discussing truth, or
how many classes you've gone to or
how many teachers you've had.
You have to be able to do something yourself to
have an experience of the reality.
Therefore there comes a time in our lives
when we stop reading books.
We stop running around to teacher to teacher to teacher.
We stop going and identifying with certain places in the world and running all over the world.
We become still, we go within ourselves a lot.
We have a lot of time to ourselves.
We question ourselves, we observe ourselves,
we look at ourselves and
then the Guru within you will tell you what to do,
how to do it and where to go and everything will go well with you.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Think of some of the teachers that you know or heard about.
Nisargadatta, he always prayed.
He realized that he was consciousness.
He was self-realized, but at the same time he chanted, he prayed, he had devotion.
It sounds like a contradiction.
For you may say,
"If someone is self-realized and knows himself or herself to be all there is, to whom do they pray?"
Try to remember that all spiritual life is a contradiction.
It's a contradiction because words cannot explain it.
Even when you are the Self,
you can pray to the Self, which is you.
Ramana Maharshi always had chanting at the ashram,
prayers, devotional hymns.
These things are very important.
Many westerners, who profess to be atheists, come to listen to lectures on Advaita Vedanta,
and yet nothing ever happens in their lives.
As long as you do not have devotion, faith, love, discrimination, dispassion, it will be very difficult to awaken.
Therefore those of you who become bored with practicing self-inquiry may become very devotional.
Give up your body, your thoughts, all the things that bind you,
whatever problems you may believe you have.
Surrender them to your favorite deity.
You are emptying yourself out as you do this.
Do a lot of it.
Have a tremendous humility.
If you can just do that you will become a favorite of God
and you'll not have to search any longer.
But of course the choice is always yours.
What are you chasing in life?
What are you going after?
What are the things that interest you?
Whatever you put first in your life, that's where your heart is.
All of the things that have transpired in your life up to now,
Be aware all of the time that there are no mistakes.
There is nothing from the past that can interfere with your life if
you become devotional and have faith in God.
You'll be automatically protected from anything.
And if you have enough faith, you can totally remove all karmic aspects of your life.
You can transcend all of karma.
You can make life easier for yourself, if you have faith.
There are many people who practice Advaita Vedanta,
and some people are here tonight
who really do not like to hear these things.
They just want to hear me say that you are consciousness.
All is well.
You are absolute reality.
You are really not your body or your mind-phenomena.
Yet once they leave this room they turn back into their rotten selves, with all the negatives and all the anger, and all the hurts, and all the suspicions,
and all the things that they've had inside of them for years.