Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj     764 posts


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Attachment destroys courage. The giver is always ready to give. The taker is absent. Freedom means letting go. People just do no care to let go of everything. They do not know that the finite is the price of the infinite, as death is the price of immortality. Spiritual maturity lies in the readiness to let go of everything. The giving up is the first step. But the real giving up is in realizing that there is nothing to give up, for nothing is your own. It is like deep sleep - you do not give up your bed when you fall asleep - you just forget it.

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Freedom from all desire is eternity. All attachment implies fear, for all things are transient. And fear makes one a slave. This freedom from attachment does not come with practice; it is natural, when one knows one’s true being. Self-knowledge is detachment. All craving is due to a sense of insufficiency. When you know that you lack nothing, that all there is, is you and yours, desire ceases.

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What prevents you from knowing yourself as all and beyond all, is the mind based on memory. It has power over you as long as you trust it. Don’t struggle with it; just disregard it. Deprived of attention, it will slow down and reveal the mechanism of its working. Once you know its nature and purpose, you will not allow it to create imaginary problems. What problems can there be which the mind did not create? Life and death do not create problems; pains and pleasures come and go, experienced and forgotten. It is memory and anticipation that create problems of attainment or avoidance, coloured by like and dislike.

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The one who gets liberated is the consciousness, there is no entity.

The ultimate understanding is that which enables the understanding to take place and itself becomes so subtle, so fine, that it disappears.

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King Janaka once dreamt that he was a beggar. On waking up he asked his guru, Vashishta: “Am I a king dreaming of being a beggar or a beggar dreaming of being a king?”

The guru answered, “You are neither, you are both. You are, and yet you are not what you think yourself to be. You are because you behave accordingly; you are not because it does not last. Can you be a king or a beggar forever? All must change. You are what does not change. What are you?”

Janaka said, “Yes, I am neither king nor beggar; I am the dispassionate witness.”

The guru said, “This is your last illusion: that you are a jnani—that you are different from, and superior to, the common man.”

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Your true home is in nothingness, in emptiness of all content. You face it most cheerfully when you go to sleep! Find out for yourself the state of wakeful sleep and you will find it quite in harmony with your real nature. Words can only give you the idea, and the idea is not the experience. All I can say is that true happiness has no cause, and what has no cause is immovable. Which does not mean it is perceivable, as pleasure. What is perceivable is pain and pleasure; the state of freedom from sorrow can be described only negatively.

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Learn to live without self concern. For this you must know your own true being as indomitable, fearless, ever victorious. Once you know with absolute certainty that nothing can trouble you but your own imagination, you come to disregard your desires and fears, concepts and ideas, and live by truth alone.

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The universe is full of action, but there is no actor. There are numberless persons small and big and very big, who, through identification, imagine themselves as acting, but it does not change the fact that the world of action (mahadakash) is one single whole in which all depends on, and affects all. The stars affect us deeply and we affect the stars. Step back from action to consciousness, leave action to the body and the mind; it is their domain. Remain as pure witness, till even witnessing dissolves in the Supreme.

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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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