Author Topic: Nisargadatta Maharaj says Beyond Mind there is no Suffering  (Read 929 times)

ramana_maharshi

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Questioner: I see you sitting in your son's house waiting for lunch to be served. And I wonder whether the content of your consciousness is similar to mine, or partly different, or totally different. Are you hungry and thirsty as I am, waiting rather impatiently for the meals to be served, or are you in an altogether different state of mind?

Maharaj: There is not much difference on the surface, but very much of it in depth. You know yourself only through the senses and the mind. You take yourself to be what they suggest; having no direct knowledge of yourself, you have mere ideas; all mediocre, second-hand, by hearsay. Whatever you think you are you take it to be true; the habit of imagining yourself perceivable and describable is very strong with you.

I see as you see, hear as you hear, taste as you taste, eat as you eat. I also feel thirst and hunger and expect my food to be served on time. When starved or sick, my body and mind go weak. All this I perceive quite clearly, but somehow I am not in it, I feel myself as if floating over it, aloof and detached. Even not aloof and detached. There is aloofness and detachment as there is thirst and hunger; there is also the awareness of it all and a sense of Immense distance, as if the body and the mind and all that happens to them were somewhere far out on the horizon. I am like a cinema screen -- clear and empty -- the pictures pass over it and disappear, leaving it as clear and empty as before. In no way is the screen affected by the pictures, nor are the pictures affected by the screen. The screen intercepts and reflects the pictures, it does not shape them. It has nothing to do with the rolls of films. These are as they are, lumps of destiny (prarabdha), but not my destiny; the destinies of the people on the screen.

Q: Yes, you are right. A life story unrolls itself of which I am one of the actors. I have no being outside it, as it has no being without me. I am merely a character, not a person.

M: The character will become a person, when he begins to shape his life instead of accepting it as it comes, and identifying himself with it.

Q: When I ask a question and you answer, what exactly happens?

M: The question and the answer -- both appear on the screen. The lips move, the body speaks -- and again the screen is clear and empty.

Q: When you say: clear and empty, what do you mean?

M: I mean free of all contents. To myself I am neither perceivable nor conceivable; there is nothing I can point out and say: 'this I am'. You identify yourself with everything so easily, I find it impossible. The feeling: 'I am not this or that, nor is anything mine' is so strong in me that as soon as a thing or a thought appears, there comes at once the sense 'this I am not'.

Q: Do you mean to say that you spend your time repeating 'this I am not, that I am not'?

M: Of course not. I am merely verbalizing for your sake. By the grace of my Guru I have realised once and for good that I am neither object nor subject and I do not need to remind myself all the time.

Source: I AM THAT Book By Nisargadatta Maharaj