Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj     684 posts


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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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Reality is not the result of a process; it is an explosion. It is definitely beyond the mind, but all you can do is know your mind well. Not that the mind will help you, but by knowing your mind you may avoid your mind disabling you.

I AM THAT, Ch.42

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Whatever you do for the truth will take you to the truth.

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Question: Are austerities and penances of any use?

Maharaj: To meet all the vicissitudes of life is penance enough! You need not invent trouble. To meet cheerfully whatever life brings is all the austerity you need.

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Wisdom is knowing I am nothing,
Love is knowing I am everything,
and between the two my life moves.

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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... 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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There are good people among your friends-
you can learn much from them. Running
after saints is merely another game to play.
Remember yourself instead and watch your
daily life relentlessly. Be earnest, and you
shall not fail to break the bonds of inattention
and imagination.

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Keep quiet. Do your work in the world, but inwardly keep quiet.
Then all will come to you. Do not rely on your work for realization.
It may profit others, but not you. Your hope lies in keeping silent in your mind and quiet in your heart. Realized people are very quiet.

~ I AM THAT, Ch. 79

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Q: The fact is that here and now I am asking you: when did the feeling 'I am
the body' arise? At my birth? or this morning?
M: Now.
Q: But I remember having it yesterday too!
M: The memory of yesterday is now only.
Q: But surely I exist in time. I have a past and a future.
M: That is how you imagine -- now.
Q: There must have been a beginning.
M: Now.
Q: And what about ending?
M: What has no beginning cannot end.
Q: But I am conscious of my question.
M: A false question cannot be answered. It can only be seen as false.
Q: To me it is real.
M: When did it appear real to you? Now.
Q: Yes, it is quite real to me -- now.
M: What is real about your question? It is a state of mind. 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?

Source: I Am That, Ch. 33

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RESPONSIBILITY FOR NOTHING, OR FOR ALL

M: There is a universal power which is in control and is responsible.

Q: And so, I can do as I like and put the blame on some universal power? How easy!

M: Yes, very easy. Just realize the One Mover behind all that moves and leave all to Him. If you do not hesitate, or cheat, this is the shortest way to reality. Stand without desire and fear, relinquishing all control and all responsibility.

Q: What madness!

M: Yes, divine madness. What is wrong in letting go the illusion of personal control and personal responsibility? Both are in the mind only. Of course, as long as you imagine yourself to be in control, you should also imagine yourself to be responsible. One implies the other.

Q: How can the universal be responsible for the particular?

M: All life on earth depends on the sun. Yet you cannot blame the sun for all that happens, though it is the ultimate cause. Light causes the color of the flower, but it neither controls, nor is responsible for it directly. It makes it possible, that is all.

Q: What I do not like in all this is taking refuge in some universal power.

M: You cannot quarrel with facts.

Q: Whose facts? Yours or mine?

M: Yours. You cannot deny my facts, for you do not know them. Could you know them you would not deny them. Here lies the trouble. You take your imagining for facts and my facts for imagination.

I know for certain that all is one. Differences do not separate. Either you are responsible for nothing, or for everything. To imagine that you are in control and responsible for one body only is the aberration of the body-mind.

I AM THAT ch. 35

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Don't ask the mind to confirm what is beyond the mind.
Direct experience is the only valid confirmation.

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Q: God has created me, he will look after me.
M: There are innumerable gods, each in his own universe. They create and re-create eternally. Are
you going to wait for them to save you? What you need for salvation is already within your reach. Use it. Investigate what you know to its very end and you will reach the unknown layers of your being. Go further and the unexpected will explode in you and shatter all.

Q: Does it mean death?

M: It means life -- at last.

Source: I AM THAT

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Being and not-being alternate and their reality is momentary. The Immutable Reality lies beyond space and time. Realize the momentariness of being and non-being and be free from both.

Source: 'I AM THAT', Ch. 88

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Please remember, objects are really the perceiving of them. Conversely, therefore, the perceiving of them is what the objects are. Try to understand.

When an object is seen as an object, there would have to be a subject other than the object. As the Jnani perceives, there is neither the subject that sees nor the object that is seen; only the 'seeing'.
In other words, the Jnani's perception is prior to any interpretation by the sensory faculties. Even if the normal process of objectification has taken place, the Jnani, in his perspective, has taken note of
this fact and seen the false as false. The Jnani in his undivided vision, has perceived that physically both the seer and the seen are objects, and that the functioning of consciousness itself merely produces effects in consciousness. Both the producing and the perceiving are done by
consciousness, in consciousness. Try to understand this.

In short, the Jnani's seeing is the whole-seeing, or in-seeing, or intuitive seeing, seeing without any objective quality — and that is freedom from bondage. That is what I mean when I say: "I see,
but I do not see."

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The person is merely the result of misunderstanding.

In reality, there is no such thing.

Feelings, thoughts and actions race
before the watcher in endless succession,
leaving traces in the brain and
creating an illusion of continuity.

A reflection of the watcher in the mind
creates the sense of 'I am'
and the person acquires an apparently
independent existence.

In reality there is no person,
only the watcher identifying himself
with the 'I' and the 'mine'.

The teacher tells the watcher:
you are not this, there is nothing
of yours in this,
except the little point of 'I am',
which is the bridge between
the watcher and his dream.

I am this, I am that' is dream,
while pure 'I am' has the stamp
of reality on it.

You have tasted so many things
- all came to naught.

Only the sense 'I am' persisted - unchanged.

Stay with the changeless
among the changeful,
until you are able to go beyond.

Source: I AM THAT

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Sitting quietly,
being one with the knowledge ‘I am’,
you will lose all concern with the world,
then the ‘I am’ will also go,
leaving you as the Absolute.
The ‘I am’ is the awareness before thoughts,
it cannot be put into words;
you have to ‘just be’.

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