Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj     699 posts


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I was taught to give attention to my sense of ‘I am’ and I found it supremely effective. Therefore, I can speak of it with full confidence.

But often people come with bodies, brains and minds so mishandled, perverted and weak that the state of formless attention is beyond them.
In such cases some simpler token of earnestness (like repeating a ‘mantra’) is appropriate.

After all it is the earnestness that is indispensable, the crucial factor.

‘Sadhana’ is only a vessel and it must be filled to be brim with earnestness, which is but love in action.

For nothing can be done without love.

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There are so many who take the dawn for the noon, a momentary experience for full realisation and destroy even the little they gain by excess of pride. Humility and silence are essential for a sadhaka, however advanced.

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‘I am this or that’

Now, you are trying to understand all this but you cannot, because you have on the swaddling clothes of 'I am this or that'. Remove them. The ultimate point of view is that there is nothing to understand. So, trying to understand is just indulging in mental acrobatics. Whatever you have understood you are not. Spit it all out. Whatever you understand is not the truth. Throw it overboard. Do not try to catch hold of any concepts and cling to them. Don't employ any words, but look at yourself as you are.

Throw away every thought, every experience, everything that happens after the consciousness, the beingness comes. Other than throwing it away as useless, there is nothing to be done beyond this firm understanding in which you become more and more absorbed. Before the beingness was there, look at that, be in that state.

Do not get lost in words and thoughts and ideas. Do not crave for mind knowledge and concepts in the name of spirituality. Anything that is seen and interpreted by the mind is only an appearance in consciousness, and, therefore, cannot be true. The knowledgeable one just witnesses whatever experiences are obtainable through the mind, viewing them as without substance. The mind may be sprouting, expressing itself with various concepts. But, don't identify with that, let it go. Don't be a customer to your mind concepts. The knower of the mind is just a witness. He does not interfere in anything.

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1) Once the conviction:

‘I am not the body’ becomes so well grounded that he can no longer feel, think and act for and on behalf of the body, he will easily discover that he is the universal being, knowing, acting,
that in him and through him the entire universe is real, conscious and active.

2) The totality of conscious experiences is nature.

As a conscious self you are a part of nature.
As awareness, you are beyond. Seeing nature as mere consciousness is awareness.[ but for awareness Maharaj says : There is a mysterious power that looks after them. That power is (awareness, Self, Life, God, whatever name you give it). It is the foundation, the ultimate support of all that is.]

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The memory of the past unfulfilled desires traps energy, which manifests itself as a person. When its charge gets exhausted, the person dies. Unfulfilled desires are carried over into the next birth. Self-identification with the body creates ever fresh desires and there is no end to them, unless this mechanism of bondage is clearly seen. It is clarity that is liberating, for you cannot abandon desire,unless its causes and effects are clearly seen. I do not say that the same person is reborn. It dies and dies for good. But its memories remain and their desires and fears. They supply the energy for a new person. The real takes no part in it, but makes it possible by giving it the light.

I Am That, Chapter 76

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The world in which you live is not projected onto you,
but by you. All comes from within.

I Am That, Chapter 63

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You are not a kindergarten student of spirituality, so you must cease to think and speak as if you are a phenomenal object. You are the animating consciousness that provides sentience to the sentient being. You are the pure Awareness. You do not need to be liberated.

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Silent Meditation

Meditation is a deliberate attempt to pierce into the higher states of consciousness and finally go beyond it. The art of meditation is the art of shifting the focus of attention to even subtler levels, without losing one's grip on the levels left behind.

The final stage of meditation is reached when the sense of identity goes beyond the 'I-am-so-and-so', beyond 'so-I-am', beyond 'I-am-the-witness-only', beyond 'there-is', beyond all ideas into the impersonally personal pure being. But you must be energetic when you take to meditation. It is definitely not a part-time occupation.

Limit your interests and activities to what is needed for you and your dependents' barest needs. Save all your energies and time for breaking the wall your mind had built around you. Believe me, you will not regret.

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There are no others to help. A rich man, when he hands over his entire fortune to his family, has not a coin left to give a beggar. So is the wise man (Jnani) stripped of all his powers and possessions? Nothing, literally nothing can be said about him. He cannot help anybody, for he is everybody. He is the poor and also his poverty, the thief and also his thievery. How can he be said to help when he is not apart? Who thinks of himself as separate from the world, let him help the world. The only thing that can help is to wake up from the dream.

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God is because you are, you are because God is. The two are one.

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I have no need of any experience, therefore I have no need to quarrel with anybody. The body and mind will go on doing whatever they like during their natural course of duration.

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You seem to want instant insight, forgetting that the instant is always preceded by a long preparation. The fruit falls suddenly, but the ripening takes time.

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THE POWER OF A JNANI

Q: Can you influence the world by your attitude? By separating yourself from the world you lose all hope of helping it.

M: How can it be? All is myself -- can't I help myself? I do not identify myself with anybody in particular, for I am all -- both the particular and the universal.

Q: Can you then help me, the particular person?

M: But I do help you always -- from within. My self and your self are one. I know it, but you don't.
That is all the difference -- and it cannot last.

Q: And how do you help the entire world?

M: Gandhi is dead, yet his mind pervades the earth. The thought of a jnani pervades humanity and works ceaselessly for good. Being anonymous, coming from within, it is the more powerful and compelling. That is how the world improves -- the inner aiding and blessing the outer.

When a jnani dies, he is no more, in the same sense in which a river is no more when it merges in the sea, the name, the shape, are no more, but the water remains and becomes one with the ocean. When a jnani joins the universal mind, all his goodness and wisdom become the heritage of humanity and uplift every human being.

- Nisargadatta Maharaj, I AM THAT ch 24

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The body and the mind, are only symptoms of ignorance - of misapprehension!

Behave as if you were Pure Awareness, Bodiless and Mindless, Spaceless and Timeless; Beyond 'where', and 'when', and 'how'.

Dwell on it - think of it, learn to accept its Reality. Don't oppose it, and deny it all the time!

Keep an open mind at least.

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Born of ignorance

To be aware is to be awake. Unaware means asleep. You are aware anyhow, you need not try to be. What you need is to be aware of being aware. Be aware deliberately and consciously, broaden and deepen the field of awareness. You are always conscious of the mind, but you are not aware of yourself as being conscious.

Having seen that you are a bundle of memories held together by attachment, step out and look from the outside. You may perceive for the first time something which is not memory. You cease to be a Mr-so-and-so, busy about his own affairs.

You are at last at peace. You realise that nothing was ever wrong with the world -- you alone were wrong and now it is all over. Never again will you be caught in the meshes of desire born of ignorance.

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NISARGADATTA’S VERSION OF RAMAYANA

There were many occasions when Maharaj demonstrated to me his unique, natural, inborn genius. I want to mention one of them. After an inspiring talk by Maharaj, a middle aged affluent looking American went up to Maharaj and offered $ 1000/- in cash as his offering. Maharaj smiled but politely refused to accept it. The American pleaded, “Maharaj! Please accept it! For the wisdom I received from you today I can’t but pay my homage. I am a wealthy man and to me these are but peanuts. Kindly do not decline.”

Maharaj answered, “I know, I know! You Americans are very rich and very prosperous. I will tell you an ancient story. It is from the epic, Ramayana.

Lord Rama’s wife Sita was abducted by the demon, Ravana. Rama sought the help of the monkey king, Sugriva. Their leader, Hanuman, guided the monkeys to recognize the greatness of Lord Rama. All of them pledged their support to Rama. In due course, Lord Rama vanquished Ravana and was triumphantly returning to his capital Ayodhya in India along with his rescued wife Sita. The monkeys also wanted to accompany them to Ayodhya as they were eager to witness the coronation ceremony of Lord Rama. When they reached Ayodhya, the monkeys as was their wont made an enormous commotion. The coronation was successfully conducted. The next day, early in the morning, Lord Rama asked Hanuman, “Why is there such silence and stillness? What happened to all your clan?”

Hanuman replied, “My Lord! When they pledged support to you, they also took a severe vow that they would not eat or sleep till you are crowned as King of Ayodhya. Yesterday, they witnessed the coronation. Their vow completed, they ate to their hearts’ content. They felt so exhausted from lack of sleep that they are now fast asleep.” Lord Rama was very moved by the sacrifice the monkeys had made of giving up their pleasures of food and sleep.

Maharaj suddenly stopped his narration and said, “Till now the original story. Now, I am going to add my own version.”

“So, Lord Rama gave a boon to all the monkeys: “All the monkeys deserve great pleasure and prosperity. So, may they all be reborn as ‘humans’ in America, where they will enjoy all this in plenty!”

Maharaj turned to the American and the audience and added, “I know, you Americans revel in plenty and prosperity and are generous. You enjoy pleasures. Yet, I can’t accept your money. I am a grihastha [house-holder]. In our Hindu dharma, only brahmacharis [bachelors] and sannyasis [renunciates] are permitted to accept alms and donations. Grihasthas [active, house-holders] and vanaprasthas [retired, house-holders] are not permitted.”

Noticing the disappointment in the face of the American, Maharaj consolingly said, “You Americans will have material prosperity in great abundance in America, but if you want Lord Rama you will have to come to Bharat. You will have to come to India!”

- V. Ganesan, Meetings with Sages and Saints

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Q: IS SELF REALISATION IMPORTANT?

NM: Without it you will be consumed by desires and fears, repeating themselves meaninglessly in endless suffering. Most of the people do not know that there can be an end to pain. But once they have heard the good news, obviously going beyond all strife and struggle is the most urgent task that can be. You know that you can be free and now it is up to you. Either you remain forever hungry and thirsty, longing, searching, grabbing, holding, ever losing and sorrowing, or go out whole-heartedly in search of the state of timeless perfection to which nothing can be added, from which nothing -- taken away. In it all desires and fears are absent, not because they were given up, but because they have lost their meaning.

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Even the feeling of having understood is likely to lead one into a sense of illusion, because the individual thinks he has found something to impart to others, but there is no individual.

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Do not hear with your ear but let the consciousness listen; do not let the mind struggle with the words, let the consciousness absorb the true meaning behind the words that I want to convey.

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Only the people who have gone beyond the world can change the world.

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V: How to get rid of useless thoughts?
M: Like wrong telephonic calls, disconnect useless thoughts; don’t entertain them. Make use of useful ones and then be free of thoughts as far as possible. You get engrossed in memories, be attentive, say ‘go, I don’t want you’.
With practice it is possible to be free of thoughts; your own thoughts become an obstacle in your spiritual progress.

V: That is why we come here; it is easier to think of him then phones.
M: Whatever I say, I have practiced, I too used to get thoughts but I remembered what my Guru said, ‘you are, so Just be’. I am least worried about others, I am concerned with myself.
Treat thoughts like one would treat a person, ask them to go. When relaxed, the thoughts come and complain, who complains about others?
They are your own thoughts, just
kick them out!

~ I AM UNBORN

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Question: Is there no salvation for the world?

Maharaj: What business have you saving the world, when all the world needs is to be saved from you? Get out of the picture and see whether there is anything left to save.

~ I AM THAT, Sec. 2:116

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The final talks of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj - Talk on June 16, 1981:

MAHARAJ: Beyond the realm of consciousness arising from the body, there is no experience of consciousness. I want to talk about that state beyond the realm of consciousness. There are millions of names, but all these names relate to the objective world. Even the title of "parents" is also due to the bodies; as a result of the body this title of "parents" has arisen. I want you to understand clearly that without the bodily consciousness there is no 'Brahman'; the 'Brahman' is because the consciousness is and consciousness is because the body is. The body consciousness is the result of the five elements. Body consciousness and the world are not different; they are identical. Ponder over this in this fashion.

Whatever is grasped by the mind and intellect is this objective world. Although you have heard these talks, still you will be carried away by your conceptual experiences.

This body is made of food, but what is your true identity? It is something like the body having completely adjusted, like the grains which you have stored being completely adjusted. This is food only. This is the food body and the consciousness. The Absolute is your true identity. I have given you some indication of the Absolute. You have not surpassed the consciousness, and consciousness is the first step. Total consciousness is not the end.

- from 'Consciousness and the Absolute'

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What can you do on your own?

Can you sleep?
Can you wake up?
Can you excrete or urinate?

Then why is there pride of doership?

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Live your life without hurting anybody. Harmlessness is a most powerful form of Yoga and it will take you speedily to your goal. This is what I call nisarga yoga, the Natural yoga. It is the art of living in peace and harmony, in friendliness and love. The fruit of it is happiness, uncaused and endless.

~ I AM THAT

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