Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj     929 posts


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YOU PEOPLE DON’T KNOW HOW MUCH YOU MISS BY NOT KNOWING YOU TRUE SELF

Q: While in theory I am ready to pay any price, in actual life again and again I am being prompted to behave in ways which come in between me and reality. Desire carries me away.

M: Increase and widen your desires till nothing but reality can fulfil them. It is not desire that is wrong, but its narrowness and smallness. Desire is devotion. By all means be devoted to the real, the infinite, the eternal heart of being. Transform desire into love. All you want is to be happy. All your desires, whatever they may be, are expressions of your longing for happiness. Basically, you wish yourself well.

Q: If I am free, why am I in a body?
M: you are not in the body, the body is in you! The mind is in you. They happen to you. They are there because you find them interesting. Your very nature has the infinite capacity to enjoy. It is full of zest and affection. It sheds its radiance on all that comes within its focus of awareness and nothing is excluded. It does not know evil nor ugliness, it hopes, it trusts, it loves. You people do not know how much you miss by not knowing your own true Self. You are neither the body nor the mind, neither the fuel nor the fire. They appear and disappear according to their own laws.

That which you are, your true Self, you love it, and whatever you do, you do for your own happiness. To find it, to know it, to cherish it is your basic urge.

Since time immemorial you loved yourself, but never wisely. Use your body and mind wisely in the service of the self, that is all. Be true to your own self, love your self absolutely. Do not pretend that you love others as yourself. Unless you have realised them as one with yourself, you cannot love them. Don't pretend to be what you are not, don't refuse to be what you are. Your love of others is the result of self-knowledge, not its cause.

Without self-realization, no virtue is genuine. When you know beyond all doubting that the same life flows through all that is and you are that life, you will love all naturally and spontaneously. When you realize the depth and fullness of your love of yourself, you know that every living being and the entire universe are included in your affection. But when you look at anything as separate from you, you cannot love it for you are afraid of it. Alienation causes fear and fear deepens alienation. It is a vicious circle. Only Self-realization can break it. Go for it resolutely.

- Nisargadatta Maharaj, I AM THAT ch 46

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Desiring a state of freedom from desire will not set you free.
Nothing can set you free, because you are free.
See yourself with desireless clarity, that is all.

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Do not try to know the truth, for knowledge by the mind is not true knowledge. But you can know what is not true, which is enough to liberate you from the false. The idea that you know what is true is dangerous, for it keeps you imprisoned in the mind. It is when you do not know that you are free to investigate. And there can be no salvation without investigation, because non-investigation is the main cause of bondage.

Keep very quiet and watch what comes to the surface of the mind. Reject the known, welcome the so far unknown and reject it in its turn. Thus you come to a state in which there is no knowledge, only being, in which being itself is knowledge.

Source: I AM THAT

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No particular thought can be mind's natural state, only silence. Not the idea of silence, but silence itself. When the mind is in its natural state, it reverts to silence spontaneously after every experience or, rather, every experience happens against the background of silence.

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Q: You use the words ‘aware’ and ‘conscious’. Are they not the same?

M: Awareness is primordial; it is the original state, beginningless, endless, uncaused, unsupported, without parts, without change. Consciousness is on contact, reflection against a surface, a state of duality. There can be no consciousness without awareness, but there can be awareness without consciousness, as in deep sleep. Awareness is absolute, consciousness is relative to its content; consciousness is always of something. Consciousness is partial and changeful, awareness is total, changeless, calm and silent. And it is the common matrix of every experience.

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Maharaj Instructing:

At the end of one of the visits Maharaj asked: “How many of you have understood what I have been saying?”
A few of us would raise our hands.
To those he would say: “Then you need not come back.”

Then he announced: “And those of you who have not understood, you also should not come back.”

Finally he asked the question: “and who will be here tomorrow?” Everyone raised their hands!

(Dr.Lakshyan Schanzer)

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I do not want meek and humble disciples;
I want them to be powerful, as I am.
I do not make disciples, I make Gurus.

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If you stay with the idea that you are not the body nor the mind, not even their witness, but altogether beyond, your mind will grow in clarity, your desires in purity, your actions in charity, and that inner distillation will take you to another world, a world of truth and fearless love. Resist your old habits of feeling and thinking; keep on telling yourself: "No, not so, it cannot be so; I am not like this, I do not need it, I do not want it", and a day will surely come when the entire structure of error and despair will collapse and the ground will be free for a new life.

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There is a difference between awareness as reflected in consciousness and pure awareness beyond consciousness.

Reflected awareness, the sense ‘I am aware’ is the witness, while pure awareness is the essence of reality.

Reflection of the sun in a drop of water is the reflection of the sun, no doubt, but not the sun itself.

Between awareness reflected in consciousness as the witness and pure awareness there is a gap, which the mind cannot cross.

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The essence of saintliness is total acceptance of the present moment, harmony with things as they happen. A saint does not want things to be different from what they are; he knows that, considering all factors, they are unavoidable. He is friendly with the inevitable and, therefore, does not suffer. Pain he may know, but it does not shatter him. If he can, he does the needful to restore the lost balance — or he lets things take their course.

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What the mind invents, the mind destroys. But the real is not invented and cannot be destroyed. Hold on to that over which the mind has no power. What I am telling you about is neither in the past nor in the future. Nor is it in the daily life as it flows in the now. It is timeless and the total timelessness of it is beyond the mind. My Guru and his words: 'You are myself' are timelessly with me. In the beginning I had to fix my mind on them, but now it has become natural and easy. The point when the mind accepts the words of the Guru as true and lives by them spontaneously and in every detail of daily life is the threshold of realisation. In a way it is salvation by faith, but the faith must be intense and lasting.

However, you must not think that faith itself is enough. Faith expressed in action is a sure means to realisation. Of all the means it is the most effective. There are teachers who deny faith and trust reason only. Actually it is not faith they deny, but blind beliefs. Faith is not blind. It is the willingness to try.

I Am That
64. Whatever pleases you, Keeps you Back

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The Guru demands one thing only; clarity and intensity of purpose, a sense of responsibility for oneself. The very reality of the world must be questioned. Who is the Guru, after all? He who knows the state in which there is neither the world nor the thought of it, he is the Supreme Teacher. To find him means to reach the state in which imagination is no longer taken for reality. Please, understand that the Guru stands for reality, for truth, for what is. He is a realist in the highest sense of the term. He cannot and shall not come to terms with the mind and its delusions. He comes to take you to the real; don't expect him to do anything else.

The Guru you have in mind, one who gives you information and instructions, is not the real Guru. The real Guru is he who knows the real, beyond the glamour of appearances. To him your questions about obedience and discipline do not make sense, for in his eyes the person you take yourself to be does not exist, your questions are about a non-existing person. What exists for you does not exist for him. What you take for granted, he denies absolutely. He wants you to see yourself as he sees you. Then you will not need a Guru to obey and follow, for you will obey and follow your own reality. realise that whatever you think yourself to be is just a stream of events; that while all happens, comes and goes, you alone are, the changeless among the changeful, the self-evident among the inferred. Separate the observed from the observer and abandon false identifications.

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Q: Buddha said that the idea of enlightenment is extremely important. Most people go through their lives not even knowing that there is such a thing as enlightenment, leave alone the striving for it. Once they have heard of it, a seed was sown which cannot die. Therefore, he would send his bhikhus to preach ceaselessly for eight months every year.

M: 'One can give food, clothes, shelter, knowledge, affection, but the highest gift is the gospel of enlightenment', my Guru used to say. You are right, enlightenment is the highest good. Once you have it, nobody can take it away from you.

Q: If you would talk like this in the West, people would take you for mad.

M: Of course, they would! To the ignorant all that they can not understand is madness. What of it? Let them be as they are. I am as I am, for no merit of mine and they are as they are, for no fault of theirs. The Supreme Reality manifests itself in innumerable ways. Infinite in number are its names and shapes. All arise, all merge in the same ocean, the source of all is one. Looking for causes and results is but the pastime of the mind. What is, is lovable. Love is not a result, it is the very ground of being. Wherever you go, you will find being, consciousness and love.

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Questioner: Is self-realisation so important?

Nisargadatta Maharaj: 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.

'I Am That', Chapter 69

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A true disciple doesn’t have any existence separate from the Guru. To achieve the ultimate by devotion is to know the glory of one’s being. One who stabilizes in pure consciousness in total silence knows his or her non-dual nature. That, which is prior to any words, is neither this nor that, neither anything nor anyone. It has neither being nor non-being. Your consciousness is the light of the Guru, as also the holy spotless feet of the Guru. That is the importance of our pure consciousness. Even if you have to beg at any time, never forget your oneness with the Sadguru’s words. The One who sees is my Sadguru. How am I related to the act of seeing? It is Self-knowledge – my true and complete Self.

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Carry the conviction in yourself that the knowledge 'I am' within you is God.

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Q: The inner teacher is not easily reached.
M: Since he is in you and with you, the difficulty cannot be serious. Look within and you will find him.
Q: When I look within, I find sensations and perceptions, thoughts and feelings, desires and fears, memories and expectations. I am immersed in this cloud and see nothing else.
M: That which sees all this, and the nothing too, is the inner teacher. He alone is, all else only appears to be. He is your own self (swarupa), your hope and assurance of freedom; find him and cling to him and you will be saved and safe.

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The name (mantra) given by the Guru is proof in itself of the Guru’s word. The name given by parents is a proof of death.
The more we seek Self-knowledge, the purer the mind will be. One should forget body-consciousness and keep the mind busy with the mantra. Focus attention on your true nature.
Remembering the mantra is necessary to destroy wrong thinking in the mind. After impurity drops off, consciousness will be clear like a jewel in the palm. After dismissing all words, the true nature, which is formless and nameless will become silent. When the mind is purified, consciousness is seen clearly. Consciousness means Sattva guna, which is self-sensing.
By virtue of meditation, the feeling ‘I am so-and-so' is lost. To make meditation successful, be faithful to it. Concentrate on the Self with the energy of prana. When the energy is arrested, the consciousness becomes one with it and samadhi ensues. The knowledge received from the books has to be tested with one’s own experience.
To meditate on the Self is possible only with the grace of the Guru. Such meditation is unique, not commonly found in the world. The guru liberates you. He initiates you by saying: “Your true nature is like my own”. He gives you the mantra, not taking you as male or female, but as the consciousness that listens.
As it is difficult to meditate on your own consciousness, worship it as the Guru. You can think of the Guru as standing on your back, with light spreading all over. But you cannot imagine that you, yourself are standing behind you. The early stages of mediation require support of dualism. Your identity has no body-form. Everything will become clear when you realize that there exists nothing other than you.
Chanting the mantra, meditation and bhajans (singing devotional songs) bring worthiness beyond the imagination.
REMEMBERING THE MANTRA CONSTANTLY IS MEDITATION.

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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 of 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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Originally, I am untainted—uncovered by anything, without stigma, since nobody existed prior to me. Nor do I entertain any concepts about somebody existing before me. Everything is in the form of the manifest world, after the appearance of the knowledge “I am” with the body. Together with the body and the indwelling “I-am-Ness,” everything is. Prior to the appearance of this body and the knowledge “I am,” what was there?
The Paramatman was there, the highest self, the core of the self. This identity is without any stigma. Even the sky cannot touch it. The space cannot touch it. It is subtler than space. It is just like sunrays or moonbeams: they do not get dirty and dirty waters. If such as their purity, what would be the purity of the self, consciousness?
Understand this first moment, when we understood “we are”—the first moment of the body, when it understood “it is.” Recognize that very first moment. Once you grasp this, then you are the highest of the gods, the point at which everything arises. At that very point, everything also sets: the source in the end are the same point. Nobody tries to understand this happening of the self, the happening of this “I-Am-ness.” Once It Is Understood, I, the Absolute, am not this “I-am-ness.”
Every creature in the universe pray so that principle which he considers his God or whatever, but this can only happen from the time the Life force has awakened until the time the Life force is no longer working.
In the practice of meditation, this life force gets purified and then the light of the Atman shines forth. However, the working principle is still the Life force. When this purified life force and the light of self merge into each other, then the concept, imagination, or mind, everything, is held in abeyance.
When anyone tells you to do some sadhana, with what can you do sadhana of any kind? It can only be this life force. The only instrument one has to do sodden with is the life force. This life force, instead of viewing it merely as an instrument, has to be treated—mentally accepted as the highest principal in the world: that is, God, Paramateman, Ishwara, or whatever you want to call it. So that when this life force is pleased, it is gets purified and merges with the light of the Atman.
What is creation? What are has been created, is it the creation of God, or is it the creation of this life force? By practicing meditation, diligently and continuously, this life force gets purified to such an extent that it obtains divinity. Do understand that this life force is God, and God is the life force, and be one with it.
Now when this life force in the highest principal become one in your meditation, then whatever is reached by this merger, signifies the awakening, liberation, call it whatever you like. So, what is liberation? Subjection to the conditioning and obstructions connected with the individual, all that disappears. That is liberation. This life force is the acting principal; and that which gives sentience to the person is the consciousness. The principle is that within the body, consciousness and the prana or life force together are Atman.
It is said that somebody is dead. So what has happened? The life force has gone in the principle behind the life force—that is, this consciousness has also disappeared. That is all that has happened.
I have been explaining this principle, analyzing it, for all these years. But from now on, I have not the energy or inclination to explain all of this again, so I can only say what is to be done, if anything. And the only thing is that nothing is to be done as is generally understood by the word “do,” but merely to sit in contemplation and let the consciousness unfold itself, unfolded knowledge about itself.
You are to do meditation, and in that meditation, itself the consciousness will unfold whatever knowledge is to be revealed. But people generally do not go to the root of the matter and explain the principal, which is I have been doing all these years.
This consciousness in the life force, when they merge they tend to become steady in the Brahmananda. And then all thoughts cease, even a thought that you are sitting in meditation. And that is the start of samadhi. That state will remain for a while and will discontinue again, whatever the reason. And then normal behavior in the world will start again. That is, the life force will start its normal work or activities.
Now I am asking: this disease (throat cancer) that I am said to suffer from, to what has this illness come? It has come to this consciousness and the working principle—that is, the life force. These two are concerned with that illness. And I, being apart from it, I am not concerned with the illness. But it is one’s duty to keep that life force in reasonably good working order. That is why the medicine was taken in the same way that food is normally taken, so as to keep this consciousness in the Life force in proper working condition.
So, medicine is much like food. But as far as I am concerned, I do not really care whether this life principle in the consciousness works or not, because I am totally apart from it, beyond it and tired of it. The Life force and the consciousness are not really two; as a concept they are treated as such, but they really are one. As soon as a life form is created, the life force is infused in that form, and sentience is automatically present. There is a physical form and the life force, and in the absence of the consciousness that would only be a technically alive body. But merely that life force within the body—what is the use of it?
It has no meaning, no function unless consciousness is also present. So, it is this consciousness which gives life force, which otherwise would be merely air, the potency to create a sentient being.
People write to me, thanking me for my guidance and they say they now understand that although physically they and me are separate, we are actually one. All that, however, is still superficial knowledge which has been obtained by the consciousness upon its realization that is not the body. But it is only at that stage that the knowledge has remained—on the level of words. They have not really gone beyond.

From the Book 'Ultimate Medicine' Chapter 7

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All depends on you. It is by your consent that the world exists. Withdraw your belief in its reality and it will dissolve like a dream. Time can bring down mountains, much more you, who are the timeless source of time. For without memory and expectation there can be no time.

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Live your life as it comes, but alertly, watchfully, allowing everything to happen as it happens, doing the natural things the natural way, suffering, rejoicing - as life brings. This is a way.

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You are Pure Consciousness
Your true nature (existence) is beyond description.
It (existence) cannot be known with the mind, yet it exists. It is the source of everything.
You become what you believe. How powerful are the effects of beliefs. Be aware of this truth.
Know that you are (exist) before knowing anything else (concepts or experiences). Have the firm conviction that you are pure consciousness (existence). This should be done spontaneously; it is the only way.
Catch hold of the knower of the mind. If you believe your thoughts, you will be disappointed.
Be the witness of thoughts. Remain as the seer (the subject).
The world is your mind (imagined within it).
The mind is a concept and this concept is the mind - it gives birth to whatever it likes. This is its nature.
When one realizes the true nature of concepts, one simultaneously realizes 'That' (consciousness) which is without concepts.
Only mind is born, not you (existence, consciousness).
When you become stabilized in your Self, the continuous commentary of the mind will stop.
Your true state (existence) is ever-existent (since existence always exists).
Only the religion of one's true nature (an awareness of one's inner awareness) will last to the end.
True religion is the religion of the Self (existence, consciousness). It lies in searching for one's true nature and stabilizing oneself there.
Religious traditions are based on concepts. There is silence (existence, consciousness) when these concepts are given up.
The ultimate religion is a state of Self-realization - it is an unbroken and fearless state of Being (existence, consciousness).
This means to live with the conviction that we are pure consciousness (existence).

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Nisargadatta about Osho:

Rajneesh is not a small personality or small principal.

He is tremendous.
He is very big.
He is a great sage.

When you already have a guru, why do you visit other sages?

Since you already have a great sage as your guru, you should not sit here or come here.

I do not like those shiftings from gurus to gurus.

I do not like wanderers.

What is the difference between Maharaj and Rajneesh?

Once you remove the letters, the names, what is the difference?

You investigate that wanderer's, I, before you investigate others.

What is the product, after you remove its name?

What are you, without the name or the label?

Before you take up the assignment of inquiring about others, inquire about yourself first and see if you are real or unreal.

The letters "I Am" are written spontaneously with a certain ink.

What is that ink which was used to write that which you are?

In that ink with which the letters "I Am" were written, in that ink the title of Tej Sesh Bhagavan is confirmed by the Vedas.

Sesh means the leftover, the remains.

What is the leftover that means what you are?


~ From "Consciousness and the Absolute"
Chapter Sixty One. June Nine, 1981.

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Question: At what point does one experience reality?
Nisargdatta Maharaj : Experience is of change, it comes and goes. Reality is not an event, it cannot be experienced. It is not perceivable in the same way as an event is perceivable. If you wait for an event to take place, for the coming of reality, you will wait for ever, for reality neither comes nor goes. It is to be perceived, not expected. It is not to be prepared for and anticipated. But the very longing and search for reality is the movement, operation, action of reality. All you can do is to grasp the central point, that reality is not an event and does not happen and whatever happens, whatever comes and goes, is not reality. See the event as event only, the transient as transient, experience as mere experience and you have done all you can. Then you are vulnerable to reality, no longer armoured against it, as you were when you gave reality to events and experiences. But as soon as there is some like or dislike, you have drawn a screen.

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No state of mind can be more real than the mind itself. Is the mind real? It is but a collection of states, each of them transitory. How can a succession of transitory states be considered real? The illusion of being the body-mind is there only because it is not investigated. Non-investigation is the thread on which all the states of mind are strung. It is like darkness in a closed room. It is there - apparently. But when the room is opened, where does it go? It goes nowhere, because it was not there. All states of mind, all names and forms of existence are rooted in non-enquiry, non-investigation, in imagining and credulity. It is right to say "I am", but to say "I am this", "I am that" is a sign of not enquiring, not examining, of mental weakness or lethargy. Sadhana (practice) consists in reminding oneself forcibly of one's pure being-ness, of not being anything in particular, nor a sum of particulars, not even the totality of all particulars, which make up a universe. All exists in the mind, even the body is an integration in the mind of a vast number of sensory perceptions, each perception also a mental state. Think of yourself. Only don't bring the idea of a body into the picture. There is only a stream of sensations, perceptions, memories and ideations. The body is an abstraction, created by our tendency to seek unity in diversity.

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