Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj     674 posts


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Give up all
questions except one ‘who am I?’ After all the only fact you are sure of
is that you ‘are’. The ‘I am’ is certain, the ‘I am this’ is not.
Struggle to find out what you are in reality.

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Do not bother
about anything you want, or think, or do, just stay put in the thought
and feeling, ‘I am’, focusing ‘I am’ firmly in your mind. All kinds of
experience may come to you – remain unmoved in the knowledge that all
perceivable is transient and only the ‘I am’ endures.

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Doer is of the mind; to use mind for any purpose,( even though for self realisation is to abuse it! Because "to do" presupposes a self identification with "doer". When we leave the mind to run by itself like a stomach, doer appears by itself when it is needed.

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Earnestness is not a yearning for the fruits of one's endeavors. It is an expression of an inner shift of interest away from the false, the unessential, the personal.

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Self-realization cannot be foretold. Some get it spontaneously; others do not get it even with much effort. When a particular stage is reached, there comes about an appropriate change, and the ground is suitably prepared. Then the mind, which wants to either acquire or get rid of something, will disappear.

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Delayed response is wrong response. Thought, feeling and action must be one and simultaneous with the situation that calls for them.

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Invariably the object of desire destroys the means of acquiring it and then itself withers away

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The idea of enlightenment is of utmost importance. Just to know that there is such possibility changes one'sentire outlook. It acts like a burning match in a heap of saw dust. A spark of truth can burn up a mountain of lies.

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By all means attend to your duties. Action, in which you are not
emotionally involved and which is beneficial and does not cause
suffering will not bind you. You may be engaged in several directions and work with enormous zest, yet remain inwardly free and quiet, with a mirror like mind, which reflects all, without being affected.

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When you demand nothing of the world, nor of God, when you want nothing,
seek nothing, expect nothing, then the Supreme State will come to you
uninvited and unexpected.

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To expound and propogate concepts is simple,
to drop all concepts is difficult and rare

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When you know once with absolute certainty
that nothing can bring you in trouble
except your own imagination, desires, fears,
concepts and ideas are no longer binding
and you will only live with the truth.

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After blowing his nose, the Maharaj said that, when blowing your nose, if a little bit of the mucus gets on your hand, you don't look at it and cling to it or take pride in it as

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What-ever happens, remind yourself that only your body and mind are affected, not yourself. The more earnest you are at remembering what needs to be remembered, the sooner will you be aware of yourself as you are, for memory will become experience. Earnestness reveals being. What is imagined and willed becomes actuality -- here lies the danger as well as the way out. Tell me, what steps have you taken to separate your real self, that in you which is changeless, from your body and mind? Q: I am a medical man, I have studied a lot, I imposed on myself a strict discipline in the way of exercises and periodical fasts and I am a vegetarian. M: But in the depth of your heart what is it that you want? Q: I want to find reality. M: What price are you willing to pay for reality? Any price? Q: While in theory I am ready to pay any price, in actual life again and again I am being prompted to behave in ways which come in between me and reality. Desire carries me away.
M: Increase and widen your desires till nothing but reality can fulfil them. It is not desire that is wrong, but its narrowness and smallness. Desire is devotion. By all means be devoted to the real, the infinite, the eternal heart of being. Transform desire into love. All you want is to be happy. All your desires, whatever they may be, are expressions of your longing for happiness. Basically, you wish yourself well.

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M: Just like the wood produces fire which is not wood, so does the body produce the mind which is not the body. But to whom does the mind appear? Who is the perceiver of the thoughts and feelings which you call the mind? There is wood, there is fire and there is the enjoyer of the fire. Who enjoys the mind? Is the enjoyer also a result of food, or is it independent? Q: The perceiver is independent. M: How do you know? Speak from your own experience. You are not the body nor the mind. You say so. How do you know? Q: I really do not know. I guess so. M: Truth is permanent. The real is changeless. What changes is not real, what is real does not change. Now, what is it in you that does not change? As long as there is food, there is body and mind. When the food is stopped, the body dies and the mind dissolves. But does the observer perish?
Q: I guess it does not. But I have no proof. M: You yourself are the proof. You have not, nor can you have any other proof. You are yourself, you know yourself, you love yourself. Whatever the mind does, it does for the love of its own self. The very nature of the self is love. It is loved, loving and lovable. It is the self that makes the body and the mind so interest-ing, so very dear. The very attention given to them comes from the self. Q: If the self is not the body nor the mind, can it exist without the body and the mind? M: Yes, it can. It is a matter of actual experience that the self has being independent of mind and body. It is being -- awareness -- bliss. Awareness of being is bliss. Q: It may be a matter of actual experience to you, but it is not my case. How can I come to the same experience? What practices to follow, what exercises to take up? M: To know that you are neither body nor mind, watch yourself steadily and live unaffected by your body and mind, completely aloof, as if you were dead. It means you have no vested interests, either in the body or in the mind.

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The child is born into your world. Now, were you born into your world, or did your world appear to you? To be born means to create a world round yourself as the centre. But do you ever create yourself? Or did anyone create you? Everyone creates a world for himself and lives in it, imprisoned by one's ignorance. All we have to do is to deny reality to our prison.

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Reality is neither subjective nor objective, neither mind nor matter, neither time nor space. These divisions need somebody to whom to happen, a conscious separate centre. But reality is all and nothing, the totality and the exclusion, the fullness and the emptiness, fully consistent, absolutely paradoxical. You cannot speak about it, you can only lose your self in it. When you deny reality to anything, you come to a residue which cannot be denied . All talk of jnana is a sign of ignorance. It is the mind that imagines that it does not know and then comes to know. Reality knows nothing of these contortions. Even the idea of God as the Creator is false. Do I owe my being to any other being? Because I am, all is.

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Who was born first, you or the world? As long as you give first place to the world, you are bound by it; once you realise, beyond all trace of doubt that the world is in you and not you in the world, you are out of it. Of course your body remains in the world and of the world, but you are not deluded by it. All scriptures say that before the world was, the Creator was. Who knows the Creator? He alone who was before the Creator, your own real being, the source of all the worlds with their creators.

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Millions eat bread, but few know all about wheat. And only those who know can improve the bread. Similarly, only those who know the self, who have seen beyond the world, can improve the world. Their value to private persons is immense, for they are their only hope of salvation. What is in the world cannot save the world; if you really care to help the world you must step out of it.

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Q: All you say sounds very beautiful. But how has one to make it into a way of living?
M: Having never left the house you are asking for the way home. Get rid of wrong ideas, that is all. Collecting right ideas also will take you nowhere. Just cease imagining.
Q: It is not a matter of achievement, but of understanding.

M: Don't try to understand! Enough if you do not misunderstand. Don't rely on your mind for liberation. It is the mind that brought you into bondage. Go beyond it altogether. What is beginningless cannot have a cause. It is not that you knew what you are and then you have forgotten. Once you know, you cannot forget. Ignorance has no beginning, but can have an end. Enquire: who is ignorant and ignorance will dissolve like a dream. The world is full of contradictions, hence your search for harmony and peace. These you cannot find in the world, for the world is the child of chaos. To find order you must search within. The world comes into being only when you are born in a body. No body -- no world. First enquire whether you are the body. The understanding of the world will come later.

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You need not and you cannot become what you are already. Only cease imagining yourself to be the particular. What comes and goes has no being. It owes its very appearance to reality. You know that there is a world, but does the world know you? All knowledge flows from you, as all being and all joy. realise that you are the eternal source and accept all as your own. Such acceptance is true love.

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'I am' is ever afresh. You do not need to remember in order to be. As a matter of fact, before you can experience anything, there must be the sense of being. At present your being is mixed up with experiencing. All you need is to unravel being from the tangle of experiences. Once you have known pure being, without being this or that, you will discern it among experiences and you will no longer be misled by names and forms. Self-limitation is the very essence of personality.

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That which does not exist cannot have a cause. There is no such thing as a separate person. Even taking the empirical point of view, it is obvious that everything is the cause of everything, that everything is as it is, because the entire universe is as it is.

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Your being a person is due to the illusion of space and time; you imagine yourself to be at a certain point occupying a certain volume; your personality is due to your self-identification with the body. Your thoughts and feelings exist in succession, they have their span in time and make you imagine yourself, because of memory, as having duration. In reality time and space exist in you; you do not exist in them. They are modes of perception, but they are not the only ones. Time and space are like words written on paper; the paper is real, the words merely a convention. How old are you? Q: Forty-eight! M: What makes you say forty-eight? What makes you say: I am here? Verbal habits born from assumptions. The mind creates time and space and takes its own creations for reality. All is here and now, but we do not see it. Truly, all is in me and by me. There is nothing else. The very idea of 'else' is a disaster and a calamity.

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As long as we imagine ourselves to be separate personalities, one quite apart from another, we cannot grasp reality which is essentially impersonal. First we must know ourselves as witnesses only, dimensionless and timeless centres of observation, and then realise that immense ocean of pure awareness, which is both mind and matter and beyond both.

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What do you know about yourself? You can only be what you are in reality; you can only appear what you are not. You have never moved away from perfection. All idea of self-improvement is conventional and verbal. As the sun knows not darkness, so does the self know not the non-self. It is the mind, which by knowing the other, becomes the other. Yet the mind is nothing else but the self. It is the self that becomes the other, the not-self, and yet remains the self. All else is an assumption. Just as a cloud obscures the sun without in any way affecting it, so does assumption obscure reality without destroying it. The very idea of destruction of reality is ridiculous; the destroyer is always more real than the destroyed. Reality is the ultimate destroyer. All separation, every kind of estrangement and alienation is false. All is one -- this is the ultimate solution of every conflict.

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