Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj     791 posts


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The self is universal and its aims are universal. There is nothing personal about the self. Live an orderly life, but don’t make it a goal by itself. It should be the starting point for high adventure.

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Don't be all the time immersed in your experiences. Remember that you are beyond the experiencer, ever unborn and deathless.

In remembering it, the quality of pure knowledge will emerge, the light of unconditional awareness.

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CONFIDENCE WILL COME WITH EXPERIENCE

Question: When I meet a European with some education and talk to him about a guru and his teachings, his reaction is: 'the man must be mad to teach such nonsense'. What am I to tell him?

Maharaj: Take him to himself. Show him, how little he knows himself, how he takes the most absurd statements about himself for holy truth.

He is told that he is the body, was born, will die, has parents, duties; learns to like what others like and fear what others fear. Totally a creature of heredity and society, he lives by memory and acts by habits. Ignorant of himself and his true interests, he pursues false aims and is always frustrated. His life and death are meaningless and painful, and there seems to be no way.

Then tell him, there is a way out within his easy reach, not a conversion to another set of ideas, but a liberation from all ideas and patterns of living. Don't tell him about gurus and disciples—this way of thinking is not for him.

His is an inner path, he is moved by an inner urge and guided by an inner light. Invite him to rebel and he will respond. Do not try to impress on him that so-and-so is a realized man and can be accepted as a guru. As long as he does not trust himself, he cannot trust another. And confidence will come with experience.

- I AM THAT, ch. 84

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TOTALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR ONESELF
29th December 1971

Q: You were telling us that there are many self-styled gurus, but a real guru is very rare. There are many jnanis who imagine themselves realized, but all they have is book knowledge and a high opinion of themselves. Sometimes they impress, even fascinate, attract disciples and make them waste their time in useless practices. After some years, when the disciple takes stock of himself, he finds no change. When he complains to his teacher, he gets the usual rebuke that he did not try hard enough. The blame is on the lack of faith and love in the heart of the disciple, while in reality, the blame is on the guru, who had no business in accepting disciples and raising hopes. How to protect oneself against such 'gurus'?

Maharaj: Why be so concerned with others? Whoever may be the guru, if he is pure of heart and acts in good faith, he will do his disciples no harm. If there is no progress, the fault lies with the disciples, their laziness, and lack of self-control. On the other hand, if the disciple is earnest and applies himself intelligently and with zest to his sadhana, he is bound to meet a more qualified teacher, who will take him further.

Your question flows from three false assumptions: that one needs to concern oneself with others; that one can evaluate another and that the progress of the disciple is the task and responsibility of his guru. In reality, the guru's role is only to instruct and encourage; the disciple is totally responsible for himself.

— I AM THAT ch. 84

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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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UNDER THE RIGHT TEACHER THE DISCIPLE LEARNS TO LEARN, NOT TO REMEMBER AND OBEY

Each seeker accepts, or invents, a method which suits him, applies it to himself with some earnestness and effort, obtains results according to his temperament and expectations, casts them into the mound of words, builds them into a system, establishes a tradition and begins to admit others into his 'school of Yoga'. It is all built on memory and imagination. No such school is valueless, nor indispensable; in each one can progress up to the point, when all desire for progress must be abandoned to make further progress possible. Then all schools are given up, all effort ceases; in solitude and darkness the last step is made which ends ignorance and fear forever.

The true teacher, however, will not imprison his disciple in a prescribed set of ideas, feelings and actions; on the contrary, he will show him patiently the need to be free from all ideas and set patterns of behavior, to be vigilant and earnest and go with life wherever it takes him, not to enjoy or suffer, but to understand and learn.

Under the right teacher, the disciple learns to learn, not to remember and obey. Satsang, the company of the noble, does not mold, it liberates. Beware of all that makes you dependent. Most of the so-called 'surrenders to the Guru' end in disappointment, if not in tragedy. Fortunately, an earnest seeker will disentangle himself in time, the wiser for the experience.

Q: Surely, self-surrender has its value.

M: Self-surrender is the surrender of all self-concern. It cannot be done, it happens when you realize your true nature. Verbal self-surrender, even when accompanied by feeling, is of little value and breaks down under stress. At best it shows an aspiration, not an actual fact.

- I AM THAT ch 92

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You must have a strong conviction; that conviction means practicing. That conviction means not only “I Am,” but it means I am free from “I Am” also. You know you are, without words. Just be that. You are not to think or imagine anything.

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In space there is darkness and light, the space is there whether darkness or light is there; in the same way the state prior to consciousness is always there. Right now it is there. It is the substratum of everything.

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The words of a gnani have the power of dispelling ignorance and darkness in the mind. It is not the words that matter, but the power behind them.

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There are no distinctive marks of gnana. Only ignorance can be recognized, not gnana. Nor does a gnani claim to be something special. All those who proclaim their own greatness and uniqueness are not gnanis. They are mistaking some unusual development for realization.

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Go to the source without which neither light or darkness could be cognized. What is the use of talking about what is objective when I have told you to go to the subject?

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The Absolute truth

The body appears in your mind, your mind is the content of your consciousness, you are the motionless witness of the river of consciousness which changes eternally without changing you in any way. Your own changelessness is so obvious that you do not notice it. Have a good look at yourself and all these misapprehensions and misconceptions will dissolve. Just as all the little watery lives are in water and cannot be without water, so all the universe is in you and cannot be without you.

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But the very longing and search for reality is the movement, operation, action of reality. All you can do is to grasp the central point, that reality is not an event and does not happen and whatever happens, whatever comes and goes, is not reality.

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Once you understand that the false needs time and what needs time is false, you are nearer to the Reality, which is timeless, ever in the now.

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The essence of slavery is to imagine yourself to be a process, to have past and future, to have history. In fact, we have no history, we are not a process, we do not develop, nor decay; also see all as a dream and stay out of it.

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The knowledge that I am expounding will dissolve your identity as a personality and will transform you into manifest knowledge.

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By all means pray for the dead. It pleases them very much. They are flattered. The gnani does not need your prayers. He is himself the answer to your prayers.

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You imagine that without cause there can be no happiness. To me dependence on anything for happiness is utter misery. Pleasure and pain have causes, while my state is my own, totally uncaused, independent, unassailable.

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There can be progress in the preparation (sadhana).

Realization is sudden.

The fruit ripens slowly,
but falls suddenly and without return.

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The world is but a show, glittering and empty. It is, and yet is not. It is there as long as I want to see it and take part in it. When I cease caring, it dissolves. It has no cause and serves no purpose. It just happens when we are absent-minded.

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I have come to the conclusion that consciousness and whatever appears in consciousness is nothing but a gigantic fraud. There is no one who has committed this fraud - it is a spontaneous happening. There is no perpetrator of this fraud.

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Hear this: God can only exist in the heart of man, not elsewhere. You identify with the body and limit yourself, and yet, remember, do not neglect this body, this is the house of God, take care of it. Only in this body can God be realized.

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Spiritual practice is will asserted and re-asserted. Who has not the daring will not accept the real even when offered. Unwillingness born out of fear is the only obstacle.

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It is the urge, the hidden motive that matters, not the shape it takes. Whatever he does, if he does it for the sake of finding his own real self, will surely bring him to himself.

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If you want words, I shall give you some of the ancient words of power. Repeat any of them ceaselessly; they can work wonders.

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You want me to prove to you that I am trustworthy! How can I and why should I? After all, what I am offering you is the operational approach, so current in Western science.

When a scientist describes an experiment and its results, usually you accept his statements on trust and repeat his experiment as he describes it. Once you get the same or similar results, you need not trust him any more; you trust your own experience.

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