Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj     715 posts


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Once you subside into the consciousness, the factual state of Reality shall be revealed to you with the knowledge that will emanate out of you intuitively, like spring water. This will enable you to discern not what is real and unreal, but, most importantly, to realize what ‘I am’. And who could be that one? Surely not an individual who is trapped in the mind-shell, but that one is the knowledge ‘I am’ – the consciousness.

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At present you wrongly identify yourself as the body. Body is given a certain name; that is ‘you’; you consider it to be like that. But I say that in this body, consciousness is present, or the knowledge ‘I am’ as I call it, is there. You should identify yourself as this knowledge. That is all.

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To abide in the knowledge ‘I am’ is one’s true religion – the ‘svadharma’. But instead of following it, you opted to be irreligious by submitting to the dictates of your concepts, which led you to believe that you are a body. This misconception ensured only the fear of death.

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You must come to a firm decision. You must forget the thought that you are the body and be only the knowledge ‘I am’, which has no form, no name. Just be. When you stabilize in that beingness it will give all the knowledge and all the secrets to you, and when the secrets are given to you, you transcend the beingness, and you, the Absolute will know that you are also not the consciousness. Having gained all this knowledge, having understood what is what, a kind of quietude prevails, a tranquility. Beingness is transcended, but beingness is available.

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Nisargadatta Maharaj on Sadhana, and Trust in the Master

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Questioner: Sir, I am a humble seeker wandering from Guru to Guru in search of release. My mind is sick, burning with desire... my days flit by... my health is decaying... At this rate, I shall live in sorrow and die in despair. Is there any hope for me?

Maharaj: Nothing is wrong with you, but the ideas that you have of yourself, are altogether wrong. It is not you who desires, fears and suffers, it is the personality built on the foundation of your body by circumstances and influences. You are not that person. This must be clearly established in your mind and never lost sight of. Normally, it needs a prolonged sadhana (spiritual practice) with years of austerities and meditation.

Q: My mind is weak and vacillating. I have neither strength nor the tenacity for sadhana. My case is hopeless.

M: In a way, yours is a most hopeful case. There is an alternative to long sadhana, which is trust. If you cannot have the conviction born from fruitful search, then take advantage of my discovery, which I am so eager to share with you.

I can see with the utmost clarity that you have never been, nor are, nor will be estranged from Reality You are the fullness of perfection here and now and nothing can deprive you of your heritage, of what you are. You are in no way different from me, only you do not know it. You do not know what you are and therefore you imagine yourself to be what you are not (the personality). Hence, desires and fear, overwhelming despair, and meaningless activity in order to escape.

Just trust me and live by trusting me. I shall not mislead you. You are the Supreme Reality (Parabrahman) beyond the world and its creator, beyond Consciousness and its "Witness" beyond all assertions and denials. Remember it, think of it, act on it. Abandon all sense of separation. See yourself in all, and act accordingly.

With action (trust), bliss will come, and with bliss, conviction. After all, you doubt yourself only because you are in sorrow. Happiness, natural, spontaneous, and lasting, cannot be imagined. Either it is there, or it is not. Once you begin to experience the peace, love and happiness, which need no outer causes, all of your doubts will dissolve. Just catch hold of what I have told you and live by it.

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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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The world appears to you so overwhelmingly real, because you think of it all the time.

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The personality, based on self-identification, on imagining oneself to be something: 'I am this, I am that'. Self-identification with the body may be good for an infant, but true growing up depends on getting the body out of the way. Normally, one should outgrow body-based desires early in life. Even the Bhogi, who does not refuse enjoyments, need not hanker after the ones he has tasted. Habit, desire for repetition frustrates both the Yogi and the Bhogi.

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The personality (vyakti) is but a product of imagination. The self (vyakta) is the victim of this imagination. It is the taking yourself to be what you are not that binds you. The person cannot be said to exist on its own rights; it is th...e self that believes there is a person and is conscious of being it. Beyond the self (vyakta) lies the unmanifested (avyakta), the causeless cause of everything.

When your personality dissolves only the witness remains. Then you go beyond the witness. Do not ask how it happens. Just search within yourself

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You give reality to concepts, while concepts are distortions of reality. Abandon all conceptualisation and stay silent and attentive. Be earnest about it and all will be well with you.

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The Master does not propound any intellectual concept or doctrine. He does not... put forward any pre-conditions before the seekers. The realized man knows what others merely hear; but don't experience. Intellectually they may seem convinced, but in action they betray their bondage, while the realized man is always right

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Intelligence is the door to freedom and alert attention is the mother of intelligence. The mind covers up reality, without knowing it. To know the nature of the mind, you need intelligence, the capaci...ty to look at the mind in silent and dispassionate awareness.

In its own place and time nothing is wrong. But when you are concerned with truth, with reality, you must question every thing, your very life. By asserting the necessity of sensory and intellectual experience you narrow down your enquiry to search for comfort.

Weak-mindedness is due to lack of intelligence, of understanding, which again is the result of non-awareness. By striving for awareness you bring your mind together and strengthen it.

Moments of deep insight and all-embracing love purify the mind, while desires and fears, envies and anger, blind beliefs and INTELLECTUAL ARROGANCE pollute and dull the psyche.

You can spend an eternity looking elsewhere for truth and love, intelligence and goodwill, imploring God and man -- all in vain. You must begin in yourself, with yourself -- this is the inexorable law. You cannot change the image without changing the face. First realize that your world is only a reflection of yourself and stop finding fault with the reflection. Attend to yourself, set yourself right -- mentally and emotionally. The physical will follow automatically.

However you learn from everything, if you are alert and intelligent. Were your mind clear and your heart clean, you would learn from every passer-by;. It is because you are indolent or restless, that your inner Self manifests as the outer Guru

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You talk about helping others. Have you ever helped, really helped, a single man? Have you ever put one soul beyond the need of further help? Can you give a man character, based on full realization of his duties and opportunities at least, if not on the insight into his true being? When you do not know what is good for yourself, how can you know what is good for others? To help others, one must be beyond the need of help.

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Begin from the beginning: give attention to the fact that you are. At no time can you say " I was not". All you can say is "I don't remember". You know how unreliable is memory. Accept that, engrossed in petty personal affairs, you have forgotten what you are; try to bring back the lost memory through the elimination of the known. You cannot be told what will happen, nor is it desirable; anticipation will create illusions. In the inner search, the unexpected is inevitable; the discovery is invariably beyond all imagination. Just as an unborn child cannot know life after birth, for it has nothing in its mind with which to form a valid picture, so is the mind unable
to think of the real in terms of the unreal, except by negation: "Not this, not that". The acceptance of the unreal as real is the obstacle; to see the false as false and abandon the false brings reality into being.

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The reward of self-knowledge is freedom from the personal self. You cannot know the knower, for you are the knower. The fact of knowing proves the knower. You need no other proof. The knower of the known is not knowable. Just like the light is known in colours only, so is the knower known in knowledge.

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Merely assuaging fears and satisfying desires will not remove this sense of emptiness you are trying to escape from; only self-knowledge can help you. By self-knowledge I mean full knowledge of what you are not. Such knowledge is attainable and final; but to the discovery of what you are there can be no end. The more you discover, the more there remains to discover.

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There is nothing in the world that you cannot know, when you know yourself. Thinking yourself to be the body, you know the world as a collection of material things. When you know yourself as a centre of consciousness, the world appears as the ocean of the mind. When you know yourself as you are in reality, you know the world as yourself.

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Believe me, there is no goal, nor a way to reach it. You are the way and the goal, there is nothing else to reach except yourself. All you need is to understand, and understanding is the flowering of the mind. The tree is perennial, but the flowering and the fruit-bearing come in season. The seasons change, but not the tree. You are the tree. You have grown numberless branches and leaves in the past, and you may grow them also in the future - yet you remain. Not what was, or shall be, must you know, but what is. Yours is the desire that creates the universe. Know the world as your own creation and be free.

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You are what you are, timelessly, but of what use is it to you unless you know it and act on it? Your begging bowl may be of pure gold, but as long as you do not know it you are a pauper. You must know your inner worth and trust it and express it in the daily sacrifice of desire and fear.

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The limited only is perfectible. The unlimited is already perfect. You are perfect, only you don't know it. Learn to know yourself and you will discover wonders.

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Unless you know yourself well, how can you know another? And when you know yourself, you are the other.

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Deepen and broaden your awareness of yourself and all the blessings will flow. You need not seek anything, all will come to you most naturally and effortlessly.

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If you want to live sanely, creatively and happily, and have infinite riches to share, search for what you are.

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You do not know what you are and therefore you imagine yourself to be what you are not. Hence desires and fear and overwhelming activity in order to escape.

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Be interested in yourself beyond all experience, be with yourself, love yourself; the ultimate security is found only in self-knowledge. The main thing is eartnestness. Be honest with yourself and nothing will betray you.

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Experience, however sublime, is not the real thing. By its very nature it comes and goes. Self-realization is not an acquisition. It is more of the nature of understanding. Once arrived at, it cannot be lost. On the other hand, consciousness is changeful, flowing, undergoing transformation from moment to moment. Do not hold on to consciousness and its contents. Consciousness held, ceases. To try to perpetuate a flash of insight, or a burst of happiness is destructive of what it wants to preserve. What comes must go. The permanent is beyond all comings and goings. Go to the root of all experience, to the sense of being. Beyond being and not-being lies the immensity of the real. Try and try again.

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