Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj     721 posts


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Q: If you do not mind my asking a personal question...?
M: Yes, go ahead.

Q: I see you sitting on an antelope skin. How does it tally with non-violence?

M: All my working life I was a cigarette-maker, helping people to spoil their health. And in front of my door the municipality has put up a public lavatory, spoiling my health. In this violent world
how can one keep away from violence of some kind or other?

Q: Surely all avoidable violence should be avoided. And yet in India every holy man has his tiger, lion, leopard or antelope skin to sit on.

M: Maybes because no plastics were available in ancient times and a skin was best to keep the damp away. Rheumatism has no charm, even for a saint! Thus the tradition arose that for lengthy meditations a skin is needed. Just like the drum-hide in
a temple, so is the antelope skin of a Yogi. We hardly notice it.

Q: But the animal had to be killed.

M: I have never heard of a Yogi killing a tiger for his hide. The killers are not Yogis and the Yogis are not killers.

Q: Should you not express your disapproval by refusing to sit on a skin?

M: What an idea! I disapprove of the entire universe, why only a skin?

Q: What is wrong with the universe?

M: Forgetting your Self is the greatest injury; all the calamities flow from it.
Take care of the most important, the lesser will take care of itself. You do not tidy up a dark room. You open the windows first. Letting in the light makes everything easy. So, let us wait with improving others until we have seen ourselves as we are — and have changed. There is no need to turn round and round in endless questioning; find yourself and everything will fall into its proper place.

Q: The urge to return to the source is very rare. Is it at all natural?

M: Outgoing is natural in the beginning, ingoing — in the end.
But in reality the two are one, just like breathing in and out are one.

Q: In the same way are not the body and the dweller in the body one?

M: Events in time and space — birth and death, cause and effect — these may be taken as one; but the body and the embodied are not of the same order of reality. The body exists in time and space, transient and limited, while the dweller is timeless and spaceless, eternal and all-pervading. To identify the two is a grievous mistake and the cause of endless suffering.
You can speak of the mind and body as one, but the body-mind is not the underlying reality.

Q: Whoever he may be, the dweller is in control of the body and, therefore, responsible for it.

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 colour of the flower, but it neither controls, nor is responsible for it directly. It makes it possible, that is all.

- Excerpt from: I AM THAT.
Talks with Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj.
Chapter 35.

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By all means be selfish — the right way. Wish yourself well, labour at what is good for you. Destroy all that stands between you and happiness. Be all — love all — be happy — make happy. No happiness is greater.

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As long as you are a beginner certain formalised meditations, or prayers may be good for you.

But for a seeker for reality there is only one meditation - the rigorous refusal to harbour thoughts. To be free from thoughts is itself meditation.

You begin by letting thoughts flow and watching them. The very observation slows down the mind till it stops altogether.

Once the mind is quiet, keep it quiet. Don't get bored with peace, be in it, go deeper into it.

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NISARGADATTA MAHARAJ:
Visitor: In the process of meditation when one reaches the silence and asks ' Who am I?' there comes a profound silence where the notion ' I' does not arise. Is this the state, and if so, can one have flashes of it prior to Self-realisation?
Maharaj:" These experiences are in the realm of your birth-state."
V: The state that I am referring to is the state where birth is forgotten, as are the name and form.
M:" What you have described of samadhi, or meditation, is correct, but it is still the product of the body-mind imagination. Whatever experiences you have in meditation, of that silence also, is confined to the realm of Consciousness. Consciousness is born and it will go. You are prior to it."
V: It is also said that the Self is Self-effulgent, that it is light, and that the Consciousness appears by a reflection of that light. If one were to pursue the light, could one find the state to which Maharaj is referring?
M:" Whatever is manifest before you has come out of that Consciousness."
V: I was talking about a Self-indulgent light that equates itself with the Self. If one is a seeker of Truth, by finding that light would one find the Truth?
M:" There is the true Awareness, from which comes Consciousness, which is your feeling ' I Am'; be one with your Consciousness and that is all you can do, the Ultimate state must come to you. You can only watch whatever happens- there is nothing you can do to get it."
V: Many of the religious texts of Advaita Vedanta express the notion that as one becomes Self-aware there is a light that permeates, and that the light which the world, or Maya, has is a reflection of that primordial light. Is that not literal?
M:" Maya is the expression of that One which cannot be described. Consciousness is manifesting itself through all this, and you are before Consciousness. Consciousness is the soul of this manifest world, and you, the Absolute, are the soul of Consciousness.
Whatever you have read is only the concepts of the writers. Does it tally with your personal knowledge?"
V: No, these are the guidelines toward achieving the sense of ' I Am'. They also say that all Gurus are one.
M:" Guru is the same all-pervading Consciousness ' I Am'. The Sat-Guru has gone beyond all these concepts, including the primary concept ' I Am'."

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In my world love is the law.
I do not ask for love, I give it.

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Some say there are three aspects of reality — Truth-Wisdom-Bliss. He who seeks Truth becomes a Yogi, he who seeks wisdom becomes a gnani; he who seeks happiness becomes the man of action.

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The idea of enlightenment is of utmost importance. Just to know that there is such possibility, changes one’s entire outlook. It acts like a burning match in a heap of saw dust. All the great teachers did nothing else. A spark of truth can burn up a mountain of lies.

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The 'I am' is a thought, while awareness is not a thought;
there is no 'I am aware' in awareness.

Consciousness is an attribute while awareness is not, one can be aware of being conscious, but not conscious of awareness.

God is the totality of consciousness, but awareness is beyond all - being as well as non-being.

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Q. Do we come from the Parabrahman state and go back after beingness goes?

M: Coming down into this world from the Absolute is something like the appearance of a dream. In a dream are you going somewhere?

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I have stabilized prior to this beingness and the world. Whatever happens to the world, nothing happens to me. The mind which was accepting that I was born is dead now. I cannot be measured by birth or mind.

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Can you control the consciousness? Can you keep it with you always? No, it can go at any time, and you have no authority that you can say this is my consciousness and I will hold on to it for such and such a time.

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The source of consciousness cannot be an object in consciousness. To know the source is to be the source.

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When you realize that you are not the person, but the pure and calm witness, and that fearless awareness is your very being, you are the being. It is the source, the Inexhaustible Possibility.

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All experiences will be a means of suffering if one hasn't realized what they are. All experiences are due to memories and are merely movements in consciousness and therefore they cannot last. Happiness and unhappiness come and go.

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The Unknown gives birth to the known, yet remains Unknown. The known is infinite, but the Unknown is an infinitude of infinities. Just like a ray of light is never seen un- less intercepted by the specs of dust, so does the Supreme make everything known, itself remaining unknown.

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All desires aim at happiness. Their shape and quality depend on the psyche. Where inertia predominates, we find perversions. With energy, passions arise. With lucidity the motive behind the desire is goodwill, compassion, the urge to make happy rather than be happy.

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Nature will take its course. It is only to be understood, nothing is to be done. Remember only one thing: that it is this "I Amness" which has remained unchanged at all times, and which pervades the entire universe. It is the highest God as far as this manifestation is concerned.

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Desires that destroy their subjects, or objects, or do not subside on satisfaction are self-contradictory and cannot be fulfilled. Only desires motivated by love, goodwill and compassion are beneficial to both the subject and object and can be fully satisfied.

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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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In this spiritual hierarchy, from the grossest to the, subtlest, you are the subtlest. How can this be realized? The very base is that you don't know you are, and suddenly the feeling of "I Amness" appears.

The moment it appears you see space, mental space; that subtle, skylike space, stabilize you there. You are that. When you are able to stabilize in that state, you are the space only.

When this space-like identity "I Am" disappears, the space also will disappear, there is no space. When that space-like "I Am" goes into oblivion, that is the eternal state, nirguna, no form, no beingness. Actually, what did happen there? This message "I Am" was no message.

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It is a very complicated riddle. You have to discard whatever you know, whatever you have read, and have a firm conviction about That about which nobody knows anything. You can't get any information about That, and about That you must have firm conviction. How difficult it is.

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You must be very careful as to what you desire. And as to the people you want to help, they are in their respective worlds for the sake of their desires; there is no way of helping them except through their desires.

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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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