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Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi

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Of all the aspects of Advaita philosophy that of Maya is the most difficult to understand, still more to explain. Some interpret it as ignorance, others as dream, others still as illusion, and nothing but experience can explain it satisfactorily. In the meantime considerable misunderstanding is created by explanations – the more it is explained, the more obscure it becomes.

In one of the Ashrams I visited in 1939 I met a Canadian lady. She had come to India “in search of Truth,” and had visited many yogis and Ashrams, the last of which was the Ramakrishna Mutt in Madras. We talked as usual on yoga, meditation, etc., but when I mentioned the word “maya”, she gasped, clutched her throat, and dropped her voice: “Don’t say it,” she whispered, “those people of Ramakrishna Mission were about to destroy me, but God came to my rescue and I escaped.”

I: How do you mean, did they want to kill you? They are sannyasis.

She: Not my body, but my soul. They told me that nothing exists: no world, no human beings, no trees, nothing, nothing – all is illusion, all my own imagination and that I cannot kill the illusion till I surrender myself. Where will I be without my soul and mind?

I had no alternative but to change the subject.

But Sri Bhagavan’s explanations are superb, as will be seen from the following dialogues.

15th April 1937
1. Mr. C. wanted to know the mystery of this gigantic world illusion.

C. We speak of the world as illusion, yet everything in it follows rigid laws, which proves it to be well-planned and well-regulated.

Bhagavan: Yes, he who projected the illusion gave it the appearance of order and sound planning.

C. All spiritual institutions except the Advaitic give prominence to the creative aspect of Reality, which they name God. They speak of prophets, saints, scriptures, etc. Are they all illusion?

Bhagavan: They all exist in the same way as you, the questioner, exist. You are in the relative world, so they are; or else you would not have known of them. In dreams, one also sees a well-regulated world with saints, scriptures, etc., but the moment one wakes up they all disappear. So also waking from this dream world into the Supreme Consciousness causes them all to disappear.

C: But how out of Truth does illusion, falsehood spring up?

Bhagavan: Maya is not falsehood, although it has the appearance of it, but the active side of Reality. It is the maker of forms in Consciousness and form means variety, which causes illusion – mind you, all this variety is in consciousness and nowhere else; it is only in the mind. One jiva, seeing another jiva, forgets its identity with it and thinks of it as separate from itself.

But the moment it turns its attention on its own nature as consciousness, and not as form, the illusion of diversity or separateness breaks as a dream breaks when waking takes place.

C. It is hard to conceive God, the formless, giving rise to forms.

Bhagavan: Why hard? Does not your mind remain formless when you do not perceive or think, say, in deep sleep, in samadhi, or in a swoon? And does it not create space and relationship when it thinks and impels your body to act?

Just as your mind devises and your body executes in one homogeneous, automatic act, so automatic, in fact, that most people are not aware of the process, so does the Divine Intelligence devise and plan and His Energy automatically and spontaneously acts – the thought and the act are one integral whole. This Creative Energy which is implicit in Pure Intelligence is called by various names, one of which is maya or shakti, the Creator of forms or images.

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Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

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You are so used to the support of concepts that when your concepts leave you, although it is your true state, you get frightened and try to cling to them again.

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Amma - Mata Amritanandamayi Devi

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The Master is a skillful sculptor. Sometimes he has to hit parts of the boulder very hard with a hammer and chisel. He gently taps on other areas of the boulder. Some parts need to be completely removed, while other areas just need polishing. Like this, the Sadguru is a divine sculptor who brings out the magnificent sculpture hidden within the boulder.

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If you make human company too important
you will not discover your true Self.
Relationships not based in Truth
are never entirely reliable
and are rarely enduring.
Taking time to discover yourself is the best use of time.
Prioritise this.
One should not excessively seek partners or friends,
one should seek to know and be oneself.
As you begin to awaken to the Truth,
you start noticing how well life flows by itself
and how well you are cared for.
Life supports the physical, emotional,
mental and spiritual needs of the one
who is open to self-discovery.
Trust opens your eyes to the recognition of this.
Surrender allows you to merge in your own eternal being.

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Nirupana 47
Sunday, July 30, 1978

From birth to death, all actions are performed in order to pass the time. The greatest good in life is to know who we are. It is impossible to establish order in the world. Meanwhile, those who teach and those who learn, all pass away. Religion is formed by the concepts of its followers, nothing else.

Our consciousness is the base for all worldly dealings. However, there is no base for consciousness. It has come uninvited. It rises and then passes away. There was no memory of ‘I am’ before, and now it is there.
Except for this, what do you possess as your own? One who has realized himself has no concern about his well-being.

Wakefulness, sleep and hunger have no substitute. No law applies to them. Without these, nobody would do anything. Realized men are silent in spite of the knowledge they have. They know the secret of birth and why it has arrived.
How was this consciousness imposed on you and since when?
This must be understood.
To get into samadhi means to let go of the mind with its memory.

Your breathing is proof of the existence of the breathless One. The word comes upon waking up, therefore you are prior to the word. The wordless meaning of our consciousness is the sense ‘I am’. If you remain completely silent, you experience the Self. There is only one Self for all. Prana works also in sleep. It has no meaning then, as it has no knowledge of its vibration. Waking up is to feel ‘I am’ without pronouncing the words.

The three gunas are the names given to three types of behavior. They function in all living beings. We should not judge anyone’s behavior. One who understands gunas will understand this. People with Rajo guna and Tamo guna will meddle with others’ affairs instead of working on themselves. The bodies may be different, but consciousness is the same in all. It is formless. You might say that it has a flavor, a quality, which is love. The knowledge ‘I am’ loves itself and, hence, we can distinguish between good and bad. One who understands its greatness finds it all-pervading. Such a person does not criticize others. All things are being done for the sake of the love of Self. One who has devotion to all beings, as if they are God, cannot hate anyone. He sees clearly that he is not the doer.

Hold onto the fact that you are Brahman. First you know that ‘you are’ and then the words follow.
Whose information is it?
It is the information of the one who feels ‘he is’. Consciousness is knowingness; a sense of being. All the activity of Purusha (supreme Self) and prakriti (creation) is based upon this. One who reaches this stage keeps quiet. He knows that in its absence there is no happiness or sorrow. Can you recede back to this stage?

So as to know who you are, understand consciousness with determination. What is more important than consciousness in the whole world? When you reach that point, you will not utter a single word about others.
Without consciousness, there is no word. Pay attention to consciousness and nothing else. The one who does not recognize this has to suffer many miseries.

The world is a fun-game created out of one’s own existence. No one can stop the process of creation, maintenance and dissolution of the world. This is because there is no creator. With a slight illumination of consciousness, the universe with its infinite space is created. It is the wonder of the subtle consciousness.

What came first, the body of the world or our body? Your true nature is formless, yet it identifies with the body. In the same way, the world looks real through the senses! Who is prior: the world or the one who sees
the world? Your wakefulness is the same as the world.

First comes consciousness, and then the world is seen in it. Consciousness is unstable. It likes to be.
However, when ‘I am-ness’ goes so does the world. You have to see this with a very subtle inner discrimination. This vast panoramic world is the reflection of your consciousness. As such it is nameless; yet
name gives it support and transactions are made possible. All names are concepts. When Parabrahman remains in the unmanifest state, can He have a name?

Krishna says He is all-pervading. Because of the sense of duality people differentiate. They either praise or censure. The concept ‘I am like this’ is the basic reason of misery or happiness. If you stay with the feeling
‘I am’, the basic vibration of ‘I am’, you will digest miseries as easily as happiness. Whatever is visible, whatever appears, has not happened at all!

Do not indulge in flattery or censure, even if it costs you your life, as there is no other. Unless the sense ‘I am like this’ goes, the duality will not go. You must understand the ultimate meaning of your Self, by yourself. Then nothing can harm you. One in a million tries to know it. One who realizes it, his
consciousness merges peacefully within his own Self. Consciousness disappears into the knower. That is called Parabrahman.

You know what you are before you know anything else. Convince yourself that you are pure consciousness.
All worldly dealings will be carried out spontaneously. It is the only way. The notion that you do something is utterly false.


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Yagyavalkya was a great maharshi who has had God-realisation (called Jeevan muktas). He was livingat the outskirts of Mithila whose king was Janaka –highly spiritually oriented ruler.

Yagyavalkya was daily conducting satsang classes on Vedanta philosophy in the evening which was attended by a number of monks as also king Janaka. If Janaka were to be delayed due to urgent matters of State, the Satsang would not begin till Janaka came.

Other monks used to pass derogatory remarks – ‘‘Look at Yagyavalkya the great knower of Brahman. Even he wants to please the king as he provides him with all provisions and bears all the expenditure in connection with the maintenance of the Ashram.’’

Yagyavalkya, who came to know of their sentiments wanted to prove to them as to what a high level of fitness or eligibility the king had for leading aspiritual life, which none of the monks can equal.

One day when the Satsang meeting was in progress, a villager came running and shouted to the monks that their colony was on fire.

Immediately on hearing it, without even taking permission of the lecturer all the monks rushed to their colony only to find that it was a false alarm and all their possessions which mainly consisted of loin cloths and some rags were all safe.

A few days later when the Satsang was in session,
some palace guards came in with a highly agitated demeanour, went quietly to King Janaka without disturbing the discourse and whispered something in his ears. Janaka instructed them something crisply and they left. It took another one hour for Satsang to end.

Then Yagyavalkya casually asked Janaka as to whether anything was serious as he had found the Palace guards who came to the king in a highly disturbed state.

When Janaka replied that the, guards came to inform him that there was a big conflagration of fire in the palace, which had extended to the harem (living apartments of Janaka’s wives and children) and showed no signs of abating in spite of their best efforts to extinguish it.

The Maharshi was astounded at this cool reply and exclaimed – ‘‘Janaka, how strange that you have continued to sit in the satsang for an hour
knowing full well that all your kith and kin and the
palace were in danger of being consumed fire !
How was it possible?’’

Janaka’s famous reply was:

‘‘I possess nothing and nothing is mine. But I may
say that the INFINITE is my wealth. So even if the
entire Mithila city is to be burnt to ashes nothing of mine will be destroyed.’’

The other monks hung their head in shame.

अनन्तं बत मे वित्तं यस्य मे नास्ति किंचन
मिथिलायां परदीप्तायां न मे दह्यति किंचन
anantaṃ bata me vittaṃ yasya me nāsti kiṃcana mithilāyāṃ pradīptāyāṃ na me dahyati kiṃcana

(Mahabharata 12.171.56)

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It's very important to not mistake teaching or spiritual practice strategies for the ultimate truth. The ultimate truth has to be experienced.

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Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

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Nirupana 46
Sunday, July 23, 1978

As long as prana and the body are together, there is consciousness. When prana leaves the body, consciousness disappears.
What does one have to lose (by dying)?
First there is consciousness, and then the
body is sensed. One who knows consciousness is called a jnani. Your consciousness is the seed of the universe.

To be without words is to be in samadhi. You will not meet Parabrahman through intellect. What did you have before you were taught anything? Only wakefulness and sleep. The rest (all concepts) is based upon
what you have heard. Even the pride, ‘I am the seeker of Truth, I shall renounce’, etc., has to go. One who manages worldly activities is of universal nature.

The only purpose of the human body is to realize Brahman. That is the reason why all the idols we worship have a human form. The word and the existence of the word can be sensed only through the human body.
Word means Brahman (the manifest principle), existence means consciousness and, therefore, Brahman is sensed through the human body. But due to body-consciousness a man remains a man. If ‘I’ is taken aside from the body, it contains pure Brahman only. Brahman is consciousness and vice versa. The irony is that the ego that takes the body as itself is trying to know IT. Body-consciousness has to be dismissed. Nothing else has to be done.

Does your body know your consciousness? The body is a material object. Without prana, it is a corpse.
Consciousness in the Brahma-randhra knows pleasure and pain. Who is aware of consciousness? When this is clearly understood, the pleasure and the pain will go and there will be peace. In the body there is nothing else but pure Brahman. The one who knows consciousness, the feeling ‘I am’, is the knower. The knower cannot be described. Consciousness in the body is itself God. It naturally knows Brahman. It has the form of space, water, fire-luster, air, and earth; yet it is consciousness only. It is our consciousness that is acting through the five elements. It has no identification as a man or a woman.

The purpose of the body is to know Brahman. The mistake is that the same Brahman identifies itself with the body. It cannot know itself without the human body. However, it has accepted itself as body-consciousness.
The five characteristics of the body are based upon word (hearing), form (seeing), touch, taste and smell.
The vibration of Brahman in your body senses them. Therefore the human body has great importance. Do not waste a single moment without paying attention to your true nature.

The awakened consciousness is the image of Param-atman. It is easy for the one who recognizes it as God and becomes one with it. Catch hold of that Truth. Continuously remember that consciousness is your true
nature (the manifest Brahman). It has been praised with a million names.

When consciousness sprouted, it took the form of a child. What do you possess except for consciousness? It is the light. Always remember that this is your true nature. One who has this knowledge is Paramatman. It is the evidence that He is. If you understand this there is no need for austerities.

Identification with the body is the cause of turmoil. When there is no experience of a single word, while awake, it is your true nature. Your consciousness is the golden womb through which the world has been
created. Through conception the unmanifest becomes manifest. Your everyday life, wife, children are nothing but entertainment. The various spiritual methods are also entertainment.

Can anyone feel that his body is sacred?
If you do not feel sacred about yourself, then how can others feel it?
When you are convinced that you are pure ‘I am-ness’, people will come to have your holy sight. When you become convinced by the Guru-word that you are pure Brahman, pure consciousness, you will feel that your
body has become sacred. When you get realization, people will naturally want to have your darshan. One who is the ‘soul of death’ itself, how can he die?

The greatest negation of religion, the greatest sin, is to believe that the body is your true nature. Your religion is to remain as the Self. You must have the conviction of your true identity. You must recognize your relationship with your own Self. The mind gets modified and behavior changes with repetition of the mantra. The body serves as the food for this consciousness. The mind flows from prana, the vital force.
When you realize all this, at the last moment you will clearly witness that you do not die but prana leaves the body. The enlightened person has no hopes, no desires and no passions. Therefore he has no death. It is the most indescribable event when the manifest becomes unmanifest (at the time of so-called death). But the ignorant one says, ‘I am dying’, even before prana leaves the body. This is because he has not known his true nature.

The time of death of a sage is very sacred. It is more sacred than sunrise. This is the reason why their death anniversary is celebrated. Decide now who you are going to die as. The thought at the time of dying will decide the future. There should be no other thought except ‘I am perfect bliss’. Your state will be in accordance with what you take yourself to be. This is true now and it will be true then.


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Rumi, 13th century Sufi poet and Mystic

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The inspiration you seek is already within you. Be silent and listen.

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Viktor E. Frankl

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When a person can't find a deep sense of meaning, they distract themselves with pleasure.

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Amma - Mata Amritanandamayi Devi

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You are here [on earth] for a short period, as a visitor.
So is there any meaning in claiming ownership?

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Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

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It is not the universe that needs improving, but your way of looking.

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Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

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Some people are in search of knowledge which is acceptable to their mind and intellect, but the sphere of the mind and intellect is of no use to receive this knowledge. All your experiences and visions depend on your knowledge “I Am” and this itself is going to dissolve.

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Amma - Mata Amritanandamayi Devi

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In the olden days, people taught their children the truth of what is permanent and what is fleeting. They taught them that the aim of life is God realization. The children were given an education that enabled them to understand who they were. Nowadays parents encourage their children only to earn money. What is the result? The child doesn't know the parent and the parent doesn't know the child. There is enmity and fighting between them. They may even kill each other for selfish reasons.

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Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

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We are complex beings, at war within and without. We contradict ourselves all the time, undoing today the work of yesterday. No wonder we are stuck. A little of integrity would make a lot of difference.

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Sri Anandamayi Ma

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It may be asked, why there cannot be one and the same path for all?

Because He reveals Himself in infinite ways and forms — verily,
The One is all of them.

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I want to see that people reach deep into themselves, behind the façade of the person, and find the presence of God within. I want to see that people blow away these miserable states and live this life as the living Truth Itself. You may think we are suffering from conflicts, wars, famines and droughts. But no, we are suffering from ego!The ego is the atomic bomb that we drop on ourselves, in a way. Why do I say that? Because we are not helpless. As a person, you are pretty much helpless, but you are powerful as Being. The change that really has to happen in the human kingdom is not a more advanced technological change, advancing in the outer things. We must be advanced in the inner world, and rise above shallow, fleshly ambitions, to find again our original nature.

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Q: What does it mean to go beyond the mind?

M: You have gone beyond the body, haven’t you?
You do not closely follow your digestion, circulation or elimination. These
have become automatic.
In the same way the mind should work
automatically, without calling for attention.

This will not happen unless the mind works faultlessly. We are, most of our time, mind and body-conscious, because they constantly call for help. Pain and suffering are only the body and the mind screaming for attention. To go beyond the body you must be healthy: to go beyond the mind, you must have your mind in perfect order.
You cannot leave a mess behind and go beyond. — the mess will bog you up.
‘Pick up your rubbish’ seems to be the universal law. And a just law too.

Q: Am I permitted to ask you how did you go beyond the mind?
M: By the grace of my Guru.

Q: What shape his grace took?
M: He told me what is true.

Q: What did he tell you?
M: He told me I am the Supreme Reality.

Q: What did you do about it?
M: I trusted him and remembered it.

Q: Is that all?
M: Yes, I remembered him; I remembered what he said.

Q: You mean to say that this was enough?

M: What more needs be done?
It was quite a lot to remember the Guru and his words. My advice to you is even less difficult than this — just remember yourself. ‘I am’, is enough to heal your mind and take you beyond. Just have some trust.
I don’t mislead you. Why should I? Do I want anything from you? I wish you well — such is my nature. Why should I mislead you?
Commonsense too will tell you that to fulfil a desire you must keep your mind on it. If you want to know your true nature, you must have yourself in mind all the time, until the secret of your being stands revealed.

Q: Why should self-remembrance bring one to self-realization?

M: Because they are but two aspects of the same state. Self-remembrance is in the mind, self-realization is beyond the mind.
The image in the mirror is of the face beyond the mirror.

Q: Right. But do I need a Guru? What you tell me is simple and convincing. I shill remember it. This does not make you my

M: It is not the worship of a person that is crucial, but the steadiness and depth of your devotion to the task.

Life itself is the Supreme Guru; be attentive to its lessons and obedient to its commands. Whey you personalize their source, you have an outer Guru; when you take them from life directly, the Guru is

Remember, wonder, ponder, live with it, love it, grow into it, grow with it, make it your own — the word of your Guru, outer of inner.
Put in all and you will get all. I was doing it. All my time I was giving to my Guru and to what he told me.

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

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Wherever you concentrate and on whatever centre there must be a you to concentrate, and that is what you must concentrate on.

~ Day by day 18-7-46

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Ф. И. Тютчев

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Молчи, скрывайся и таи
И чувства и мечты свои –
Пускай в душевной глубине
Встают и заходят оне
Безмолвно, как звезды в ночи, –
Любуйся ими – и молчи.
Как сердцу высказать себя?
Другому как понять тебя?
Поймет ли он, чем ты живешь?
Мысль изреченная есть ложь.
Взрывая, возмутишь ключи, –
Питайся ими – и молчи.
Лишь жить в себе самом умей –
Есть целый мир в душе твоей
Таинственно-волшебных дум;
Их оглушит наружный шум,
Дневные разгонят лучи, –
Внимай их пенью – и молчи!..

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Bhagavan talks about Suicide

Killing the innocent body is certainly wrong. Suicide must be committed on the mind, where the suffering is deposited, and not on the body, which is insentient and feels nothing. The mind is the real culprit, being the creator of the anguish which tempts to suicide, but by an error of judgement, the innocent, insentient body is punished for it.

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Shhh... Do not talk so much about yourself, it does not even exist.

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Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi

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Nothing happens by accident in the divine scheme of things.

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Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

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What is imagined and willed becomes actuality - here lies the danger as well as the way out.

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We are 100 percent pure,
painted with ego.
It’s always been there but not seen.
To sit and bring the focus
to rest on your own Being is the highest bliss.

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Лао Цзы

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Довольствуйтесь тем, что имеете, радуйтесь тому, что происходит с вами. Когда вы поймете, что не испытываете ни в чем недостатка, вся вселенная будет принадлежать вам.

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