Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj     652 posts


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Karma is only a store of unspent energies, of unfulfilled desires, and fears not understood. The store is being constantly replenished by new desires and fears. It need not be so forever. Understand the root cause of your fears - estrangement from yourself; and of desires - the longing for the self, and your karma will dissolve like a dream.

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By its very nature, the mind is outward turned; it always tends to seek for the source of things among the things themselves; to be told to look for the source within, is, in a way, the beginning of a new life. Awareness takes the place of consciousness; in consciousness there is the 'I', who is conscious, while awareness is undivided; awareness is aware of itself. 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 not-being.

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Abiding in your own being is holy company. If you have no problem of suffering and release from suffering, you will not find the energy and persistence needed for self-enquiry. You cannot manufacture a crisis. It must be genuine.

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Awareness is primordial; it is the original state, beginningless, endless, uncaused, unsupported, without parts, without change. Consciousness is on contact, a 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. Since it is awareness that makes consciousness possible, there is awareness in every state of consciousness. Therefore, the very consciousness of being conscious is already a movement in awareness. Interest in your stream of consciousness takes you to awareness. It is not a new state. It is at once recognized as the original, basic experience, which is life itself, and also love and joy.

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The very fact of observation alters the observer and the observed. After all, what prevents the insight into one’s true nature is the weakness and obtuseness of the mind and its tendency to skip the subtle and focus on the gross only. When you follow my advice and try to keep your mind on the notion of ‘I am’ only, you become fully aware of your mind and its vagaries. Awareness, being lucid harmony (sattva) in action, dissolves dullness and quietens the restlessness of the mind and gently, but steadily changes its very substance. This change need not be spectacular; it may be hardly noticeable, yet it is a deep and fundamental shift from darkness to light, from inadvertence to awareness.

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Shift your attention from words to silence and you will hear.

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There is no effort in witnessing. You understand that you are the witness only, and the understanding acts. You need nothing more, just remember that you are the witness only.

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Stay in the consciousness as a portal to the Absolute, be the consciousness as a portal to the Absolute. The Absolute is prior to consciousness.

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In reality there is only the source, dark in itself, making everything shine. Unperceived, it causes perception. Unfelt, it causes feeling. Unthinkable, it causes thought. Non-being, it gives birth to being. It is the immovable background of motion. Once you are there you are at home everywhere.

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The pleasure to be is the simplest form of self-love, which later grows into love of the Self. Be like an infant with nothing standing between the body and the Self. The constant noise of the psychic life is absent. In deep silence, the Self contemplates the body. It is like the white paper on which nothing is written yet. Be like that infant, instead of trying to be this or that, be happy to be. You will be a fully awakened witness of the field of consciousness. But there should be no feelings and ideas to stand between you and the field.

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When all names and forms have been given up, the real is with you. You need not seek it. Plurality and diversity are the play of the mind only. Reality is one.

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Meet you own Self. Be with your own Self, listen to it, obey it, cherish it, keep it in mind ceaselessly. You need no other guide.

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Any thought that you have reached or are going to reach that state is false. Whatever happens in consciousness is purely imaginary, an hallucination.

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True awareness (samvid) is a state of pure witnessing, without the least attempt to do anything about the event witnessed. Your thoughts and feelings, words and actions may also be a part of the event, you watch all unconcerned, in the full light of clarity and understanding. You understand precisely what is going on, because it does not affect you. It may seem to be an attitude of cold aloofness, but it is not really so. Once you are in it, you will find that you love what you see, whatever may be its nature. This choiceless love is the touchstone of awareness. If it is not there, you are merely interested, for some personal reasons.

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Watch your thoughts as you watch the street traffic. People come and go; you register without response. It may not be easy in the beginning, but with some practice you will find that your mind can function on many levels at the same time and you can be aware of them all. It is only when you have a vested interest in any particular level that your attention gets caught in it and you black out on other levels.

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Your mind is steeped in the habits of evaluation and acquisition, and will not admit that the incomparable and unobtainable are waiting timelessly within your own heart for recognition. All you have to do is to abandon all memories and expectations. Just keep yourself ready in utter nakedness and nothingness.

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If one obtains and relishes the nectar of the Lord’s feet, the charan-amrita, the mind can be conquered. This means that the mind will no longer hold sway over us; its mastery imposed on us from childhood will no longer oppress us. But how can such a state be attained? Only if one totally accepts the knowledge ‘I am’ as oneself with full conviction and faith and firmly believes in the dictum I am that by I know ‘I am’. This knowledge ‘I am’ is the charan-amrita. Why is it called amrita - the nectar? Because by drinking nectar, one becomes immortal. Thus, a true devotee, by abiding in the knowledge ‘I am’ transcends the experience of death and attains immortality.

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Words can bring you only up to their own limit; to go beyond, you must abandon them. Remain as the silent witness only.

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Silence is the main factor. In peace and silence you grow.

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By looking tirelessly, I became quite empty and with that emptiness all came back to me except the mind. I find I have lost the mind irretrievably. I am neither conscious nor unconscious, I am beyond the mind and its various states and conditions. Distinctions are created by the mind and apply to the mind only. I am pure Consciousness itself, unbroken awareness of all that is. I am in a more real state than yours. I am undistracted by the distinctions and separations which constitute a person. As long as the body lasts, it has its needs like any other, but my mental process has come to an end. My thinking, like my digestion, is unconscious and purposeful. I am not a person in your sense of the word, though I may appear a person to you. I am that infinite ocean of consciousness in which all happens. I am also beyond all existence and cognition, pure bliss of being. There is nothing I feel separate from, hence I am all. No thing is me, so I am nothing. Life will escape, the body will die, but it will not affect me in the least. Beyond space and time I am, uncaused, uncausing, yet the very matrix of existence.

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Give up all and you gain all. Then life becomes what it was meant to be: pure radiation from an inexhaustible source. In that light the world appears dimly like a dream.

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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.

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Refuse attention to things, let things come and go. Desires and thoughts are also things. Disregard them. Since immemorial time, the dust of events was covering the clear mirror of your mind, so that only memories you could see. Brush off the dust before it has time to settle, this will lay bare the old layers until the true nature of your mind is discovered. It is all very simple and comparatively easy, be earnest and patient, that is all. Dispassion, detachment, freedom from desire and fear, from all self-concern, mere awareness, free from memory and expectation, this is the state of mind to which discovery can happen. After all, liberation is but the freedom to discover.

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The total is open and available, but you will not take it. You are attached to the little person you think yourself to be. Your desires are narrow, your ambitions petty. After all, without a center of perception, where would the manifested be? Unperceived, the manifested is as good as the unmanifested. And you are the perceiving point, the non-dimensional source of all dimensions. Know yourself as the total.

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The knower knows the known. Do you know the knower? Who is the knower of the knower?

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Q: How do I come to know that I have achieved perfection?
M: You cannot know perfection – you can know only imperfection. For knowledge to be, there must be separation and disharmony. You can know what you are not, but you cannot know your real being. You can only be what you are. The entire approach is through understanding, which is in the seeing of the false as false. But to understand, you must observe from outside.

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