Author Topic: Quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj  (Read 176081 times)

Subramanian.R

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Re: Quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
« Reply #210 on: December 23, 2012, 01:17:30 PM »

Q: I approve of austerity, but in practice I am all for luxury. The habit of chasing pleasure and shunning pain is so ingrained in me,
that all my good intentions, quite alive on the level of theory, find no roots in my day to day life. To tell me that I am not honest
does not help me, for I just do not know how to make myself  honest.

NM: You are neither honest nor dishonest -- giving names to mental states is good only for expressing  your approval or
disapproval. The problem is not yours - it is your mind's only. Begin by disassociating yourself from your mind. Resolutely remind
yourself that you are not the mind and that its problems are not yours.

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Arunachala Siva.     

Jewell

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Re: Quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
« Reply #211 on: December 24, 2012, 12:14:59 AM »
Questioner: I am full of desires and want them fulfilled. How am I to get what I want?

Maharaj: Do you deserve what you desire? In some way or other you have to work for the fulfilment of your desires. Put in energy and wait for the results.

Q:   Where am I to get the energy?

M:  Desire itself is energy.

Q:   Then why does not every desire get fulfilled?

M:  Maybe it was not strong enough and lasting.

Q:   Yes, that is my problem. I want things, but I am lazy when it comes to action.

M:  When your desire is not clear nor strong, it cannot take shape. Besides, if your desires are personal, for your own enjoyment, the energy you give them is necessarily limited; it can­not be more than what you have.

Q:   Yet, often ordinary persons do attain what they desire.

M:  After desiring it very much and for a long time. Even then, their achievements are limited.

Q:   And what about unselfish desires?

M:  When you desire the common good, the whole world de­sires with you. Make humanity's desire your own and work for it. There you cannot fail,

Q:   Humanity is God’s work, not mine. I am concerned with myself. Have I not the right to see my legitimate desires fulfilled? They will hurt no one. My desires are legitimate. They are right desires, why don’t they come true?

M:  Desires are right or wrong according to circumstances; it depends on how you look at them. It is only for the individual that a distinction between right and wrong is valid.

Q:   What are the guide-lines for such distinction? How am I to know which of my desires are right and which are wrong?

M:  In your case desires that lead to sorrow are wrong and those which lead to happiness are right. But you must not forget others. Their sorrow and happiness also count.

Q:   Results are in the future. How can I know what they will be?

M:  Use your mind. Remember. Observe. You are not different from others. Most of their experiences are valid for you too. Think clearly and deeply, go into the entire structure of your desires and their ramifications. They are a most important part of your mental and emotional make-up and powerfully affect your actions. Remember, you cannot abandon what you do not know. To go beyond yourself, you must know yourself.

Q:   What does it mean to know myself? By knowing myself what exactly do I come to know?

M:  All that you are not.

Q:   And not what I am?

M:  What you are, you already are. By knowing what you are not, you are free of it and remain in your own natural state. It all happens quite spontaneously and effortlessly.

Q:   And what do I discover?

M:  You discover that there is nothing to discover. You are what you are and that is all.

Q:   I do not understand!

M:  It is your fixed idea that you must be something or other, that blinds you.

Q:   How can I get rid of this idea?

M:  If you trust me, believe when I tell you that you are the pure awareness that illuminates consciousness and its infinite content. Realise this and live accordingly. If you do not believe me, then go within, enquiring ‘What an I’? or, focus your mind on ‘I am’, which is pure and simple being.

Jewell

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Re: Quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
« Reply #212 on: December 24, 2012, 12:16:51 AM »
Q:   You use the words 'aware' and 'conscious'. Are they not the same?

M:  Awareness is primordial; it is the original state, beginningless, endless, uncaused, unsupported, without parts, without change. Consciousness is on contact, a reflection against a surface, a state of duality. There can be no consciousness without awareness, but there can be awareness without consciousness, as in deep sleep. Awareness is absolute, consciousness is relative to its content; consciousness is always of something. Consciousness is partial and changeful, awareness is total, changeless, calm and silent. And it is the common matrix of every experience.

Q:   How does one go beyond consciousness into awareness?

M:  Since it is awareness that makes consciousness possible, there is awareness in every state of consciousness. Therefore the very consciousness of being conscious is already a movement in awareness. Interest in your stream of consciousness takes you to awareness. It is not a new state. It is at once recognised as the original, basic existence, which is life itself, and also love and joy.

Q:   Since reality is all the time with us, what does self-realisation consist of?

M:  Realisation is but the opposite of ignorance. To take the world as real and one’s self as unreal is ignorance. The cause of sorrow. To know the self as the only reality and all else as temporal and transient is freedom, peace and joy. It is all very simple. Instead of seeing things as imagined, learn to see them as they are. It is like cleansing a mirror. The same mirror that shows you the world as it is, will also show you your own face. The thought 'I am' is the polishing cloth. Use it.

Subramanian.R

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Re: Quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
« Reply #213 on: December 24, 2012, 10:09:58 AM »
Q: As I can make out, you give distinct meanings to the words - 'mind', 'consciousness' and 'awareness'.

NM: Look at it this way. The mind produces thoughts ceaselessly, even when you do not look at them. When you know
what is going on in your mind, you call it consciousness. This is your waking state -- your consciousness shifts from sensation
to sensation, from perception to perception, from idea to idea, in endless succession. Then comes awareness, the direct insight
into the whole consciousness, the totality of the mind. The mind is like a river, flowing ceaselessly in the bed of the body. You
identify yourself for a moment with some particular ripple and call it: 'my thought'. All you are conscious is your mind.. Awareness
is the cognizance of consciousness as a whole.

Arunachala Siva.     

Jewell

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Re: Quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
« Reply #214 on: December 25, 2012, 01:36:56 AM »

Q:   We are told that total surrender to the Guru is enough, that the Guru will do the rest.

M:  Of course, when there is total surrender, complete relinquishment of all concern with one's past, presents and future, with one's physical and spiritual security and standing, a new life dawns, full of love and beauty; then the Guru is not important, for the disciple has broken the shell of self-defence. Complete self-surrender by itself is liberation.

Q:   When both the disciple and his teacher are inadequate, what will happen?

M:  In the long run all will be well. After all, the real Self of both is not affected by the comedy they play for a time. They will sober up and ripen and shift to a higher level of relationship.

Q:   Or, they may separate.

M:  Yes, they may separate. After all, no relationship is forever. Duality is a temporary state.

Q:   Is it by accident that I met you and by another accident shall we separate never to meet again? Or is my meeting you a part of some cosmic pattern, a fragment in the great drama of our lives?

M:  The real is meaningful and the meaningful relates to reality. If our relationship is meaningful to you and me, it cannot be accidental. The future affects the present as much, as the past.

Q:   How can I make out who is a real saint and who is not?

M:  You cannot, unless you have a clear insight into the heart of man. Appearances are deceptive. To see clearly, your mind must be pure and unattached. Unless you know yourself well, how can you know another? And when you know yourself -- you are the other.

Leave others alone for some time and examine yourself. There are so many things you do not know about yourself -- what are you, who are you, how did you come to be born, what are you doing now and why, where are you going, what is the meaning and purpose of your life, your death, your future? Have you a past, have you a future? How did you come to live in turmoil and sorrow, while your entire being strives for happiness and peace? These are weighty matters and have to be attended to first. You have no need, nor time for finding who is a jnani and who is not?

Q:   I must select my guru rightly.

M:  Be the right man and the right Guru will surely find you.

Jewell

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Re: Quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
« Reply #215 on: December 25, 2012, 01:42:06 AM »

Just keep in mind the feeling 'I am', merge in it, till your mind and feeling become one. By repeated attempts you will stumble on the right balance of attention and affection and your mind will be firmly established in the thought-feeling 'I am'. Whatever you think, say, or do, this sense of immutable and affectionate being remains as the ever-present background of the mind.

To know what you are you must first investigate and know what you are not. And to know what you are not you must watch yourself carefully, rejecting all that does not necessarily go with the basic fact: 'I am'. ... Separate consistently and perseveringly the 'I am' from 'this' or 'that', and try to feel what it means to be, just to be, without being 'this' or 'that'.

Subramanian.R

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Re: Quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
« Reply #216 on: December 25, 2012, 12:41:53 PM »

Q: Everybody is conscious, but not everybody is aware.

NM: Don't say - 'everybody is conscious'. Say: 'there is Consciousness in which everything appears and disappears.
Our minds are just waves on the ocean of consciousness. As waves they come and go. As the ocean, they are infinite and
eternal. Know yourself as the ocean of Being. The womb of all existence. These are all metaphors of course. The Reality
is beyond description. You can know it only by being it.

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Arunachala Siva.     

Jewell

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Re: Quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
« Reply #217 on: December 26, 2012, 05:01:55 AM »

Question: All you say is clear to me. But when some physical or mental trouble comes, my mind goes dull and grey, or seeks frantically for relief.

Nisargadatta: What does it matter? It is the mind that is dull or restless, not you. Look, all kinds of things happen in this room. Do I cause them to happen? They just happen. So it is with you - the roll of destiny unfolds itself and actualises the inevitable. You cannot change the course of events, but you can change your attitude and what really matters is the attitude and not the bare event. The world is the abode of desires and fears. You cannot find peace in it. For peace you must go beyond the world. The rootcause of the world is self-love. Because of it we seek pleasure and avoid pain. Replace self-love by love of the Self and the picture changes. Brahma the Creator is the sum total of all desires. The world is the instrument for their fulfilment. Souls take whatever pleasure they desire and pay for them in tears. Time squares all accounts. The law of balance reigns supreme.

Question: To be a superman one must be a man first. Manhood is the fruit of innumerable experiences: Desire drives to experience. Hence at its own time and level desire is right.

Nisargadatta: All this is true in a way. But a day comes when you have amassed enough and must begin to build. Then sorting out and discarding are absolutely necessary. Everything must be scrutinised and the unnecessary ruthlessly destroyed. Believe me, there cannot be too much destruction. For in reality nothing is of value. Be passionately dispassionate - that is all.

Jewell

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Re: Quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
« Reply #218 on: December 26, 2012, 05:04:20 AM »
Awakening is nothing but a complete, thorough understanding. A clear cut understanding of a thing is awakening. Reality is not to be achieved, it is already here. After this thorough understanding, nothing is required.

In human nature, fear is always there. Everyone has fear, because, they believe "I am the body." Mind creates this fear and is nothing but your own concept. Fear arises in the mind due to the unsteadiness of the world. Every minute is changing. If you go beyond darkness and knowledge, then there is no fear at all. For example, a screen has no fear of any picture because it is steady. So, that which is not steady always has fear. Your mind changes every moment and cannot remain steady by itself. If your mind knows its own Source or its own beginning, then only can it be happy. As long as there is a body, there is fear. If you want to be fearless, be what is fearless, because That has no end. The final Reality has no end and no beginning, it is limitless. It is so subtle, that all thoughts and concepts stop. Duality contains fear, the one Reality has no fear.

Forget everything and immediately you are the Self, in this very moment. There is nothing to reject and nothing to gain because everything is nothing. You are Self without self.

RANJIT  MAHARAJ

Subramanian.R

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Re: Quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
« Reply #219 on: December 26, 2012, 10:51:51 AM »
Q: Yes, I was always attracted by the idea of ahimsa (non violence)

NM: Primarily ahimsa means what it says: 'Do not hurt'. It is not doing good that comes first, but ceasing to hurt, not adding
to suffering. Pleasing others is not ahimsa.

Q: I am not talking of pleasing, but I am all for helping others.

NM: The only help with giving is freeing from the need of further help. Repeated help is no help at all. Do not talk of helping
another, unless you can put him beyond all need for help.

Q: How does one go beyond the need of help? And can one help another to do so?

NM: When you have understood that all existence, in separation and limitation, is painful, and when you are willing, and able
to live integrally, in oneness with all life, as pure Being,, you have gone beyond all need of help.

*****

Arunachala Siva,.         

Jewell

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Re: Quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
« Reply #220 on: December 26, 2012, 09:18:29 PM »

M:  Noble friendship (satsang) is the supreme remedy for all ills, physical and mental.

Q:   Generally one cannot find such friendship.

M:  Seek within. Your own self is your best friend.

Q:   Why is life so full of contradictions?

M:  It serves to break down mental pride. We must realise how poor and powerless we are. As long as we delude ourselves by what we imagine ourselves to be, to know, to have, to do, we are in a sad plight indeed. Only in complete self-negation there is a chance to discover our real being.

Q:   Why so much stress on self-negation?

M:  As much as on self-realisation. The false self must be abandoned before the real self can be found.

Q:   The self you choose to call false is to me most distressingly real. It is the only self I know. What you call the real self is a mere concept, a way of speaking, a creature of the mind, an attractive ghost. My daily self is not a beauty, I admit, but it is my own and only self. You say I am, or have, another self. Do you see it -- is it a reality to you, or do you want me to believe what you yourself don't see?

M:  Don't jump to conclusions rashly. The concrete need not be the real, the conceived need not be false. Perceptions based on sensations and shaped by memory imply a perceiver, whose nature you never cared to examine. Give it your full attention, examine it with loving care and you will discover heights and depths of being which you did not dream of, engrossed as you are in your puny image of yourself.

Q:   I must be in the right mood to examine myself fruitfully.

M:  You must be serious, intent, truly interested. You must be full of goodwill for yourself.

Q:   I am selfish all right.

M. You are not. You are all the time destroying yourself, and your own, by serving strange gods, inimical and false. By all means be selfish -- the right way. Wish yourself well, labour at what is good for you. Destroy all that stands between you and happiness. Be all -- love all -- be happy -- make happy. No happiness is greater.

Jewell

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Re: Quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
« Reply #221 on: December 26, 2012, 09:20:04 PM »
Questioner: There are so many theories about the nature of man and universe. The creation theory, the illusion theory, the dream theory -- any number of them. Which is true?

Maharaj: All are true, all are false. You can pick up whichever you like best.

Q:   You seem to favour the dream theory.

M:  These are all ways of putting words together. Some favour one way, some favour another. Theories are neither right nor wrong. They are attempts at explaining the inexplicable. It is not the theory that matters, but the way it is being tested. It is the testing of the theory that makes it fruitful. Experiment with any theory you like -- if you are truly earnest and honest, the attainment of reality will be yours. As a living being you are caught in an untenable and painful situation and you are seeking a way out. You are being offered several plans of your prison, none quite true. But they all are of some value, only if you are in dead earnest. It is the earnestness that liberates and not the theory.

Q:   Theory may be misleading and earnestness -- blind.

M:  Your sincerity will guide you. Devotion to the goal of freedom and perfection will make you abandon all theories and systems and live by wisdom, intelligence and active love. Theories may be good as starting points, but must be abandoned, the sooner -- the better.

Q:   There is a Yogi who says that for realisation the eightfold Yoga is not necessary; that will-power alone will do. It is enough to concentrate on the goal with full confidence in the power of pure will to obtain effortlessly and quickly what others take decades to achieve.

M:  Concentration, full confidence, pure will! With such assets no wonder one attains in no time. This Yoga of will is all right for the mature seeker, who has shed all desires but one. After all, what is will but steadiness of heart and mind. Given such steadfastness all can be achieved.

Q:   I feel the Yogi did not mean mere steadiness of purpose, resulting in ceaseless pursuit and application. He meant that with will fixed on the goal no pursuit or application are needed. The mere fact of willing attracts its object.

M:  Whatever name you give it: will, or steady purpose, or one­pointedness of the mind, you come back to earnestness, sincerity, honesty. When you are in dead earnest, you bend every incident, every second of your life to your purpose. You do not waste time and energy on other things. You are totally dedicated, call it will, or love, or plain honesty. 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.

Q:   What is more powerful, desire or destiny?

M:  Desire shapes destiny.

Q:   And destiny shapes desire. My desires are conditioned by heredity and circumstances, by opportunities and accidents, by what we call destiny.

M:  Yes, you may say so.

Q:   At what point am I free to desire what I want to desire?

M:  You are free now. What is it that you want to desire? Desire it.

Q:   Of course I am free to desire, but I am not free to act on my desire. Other urges will lead me astray. My desire is not strong enough, even if it has my approval. Other desires, which I disapprove of are stronger.

M:  Maybe you are deceiving yourself. Maybe you are giving expression to your real desires and the ones you approve of are kept on the surface for the sake of respectability.

Q:   It may be as you say, but this is another theory. The fact is that I do not feel free to desire what I think I should, and when I seem to desire rightly, I do not act accordingly.

M:  It is all due to weakness of the mind and disintegration of the brain. Collect and strengthen your mind and you will find that your thoughts and feelings, words and actions will align themselves in the direction of your will.

Q:   Again a counsel of perfection! To integrate and strengthen the mind is not an easy task! How does one begin?

M:  You can start only from where you are. You are here and now, you cannot get out of here and now.

Q:   But what can I do here and now?

M:  You can be aware of your being -- here and now.

Q:   That is all?

M:  That is all. There is nothing more to it.

Q:   All my waking and dreaming I am conscious of myself. It does not help me much.

M:  You were aware of thinking, feeling, doing. You were not aware of your being.

Q:   What is the new factor you want me to bring in?

M:  The attitude of pure witnessing, of watching the events without taking part in them.

Jewell

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Re: Quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
« Reply #222 on: December 27, 2012, 06:17:59 AM »
Q:   A causeless world is entirely beyond my control.

M:  On the contrary, a world of which you are the only source and ground is fully within your power to change. What is created can be always dissolved and re-created. All will happen as you want it, provided you really want it.

Q:   All I want to know is how to deal with the world's sorrows.

M:  You have created them out of your own desires and fears, you deal with them. All is due to your having forgotten your own being. Having given reality to the picture on the screen, you love its people and suffer for them and seek to save them. It is just not so. You must begin with yourself. There is no other way. Work, of course. There is no harm in working.

Q:   Your universe seems to contain every possible experience. The individual traces a line through it and experiences pleasant and unpleasant states. This gives rise to questioning and seeking, which broaden the outlook and enable the individual to go beyond his narrow and self-created world limited and self-centred. This personal world can be changed -- in time. The universe is timeless and perfect.

M:  To take appearance for reality is a grievous sin and the cause of all calamities. You are the all-pervading, eternal and infinitely creative awareness -- consciousness. All else is local and temporary. Don't forget what you are. In the meantime work to your heart's content. Work and knowledge should go hand in hand.

Q:   My own feeling is that my spiritual development is not in my hands. Making one's own plans and carrying them out leads no where. I just run in circles round myself. When God considers the fruit to be ripe, He will pluck it and eat it. Whichever fruit seems green to Him will remain on the world's tree for another day.

M:  You think God knows you? Even the world He does not know.

Q:   Yours is a different God. Mine is different. Mine is merciful. He suffers along with us.

M:  You pray to save one, while thousands die. And if all stop dying, there will be no space on earth

Q:   I am not afraid of death. My concern is with sorrow and suffering. My God is a simple God and rather helpless. He has no power to compel us to be wise. He can only stand and wait.

M:  If you and your God are both helpless, does it not imply that the world is accidental? And if it is. the only thing you can do is to go beyond it.

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Re: Quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
« Reply #223 on: December 27, 2012, 06:22:15 AM »
Q:   So liberation, in my sense of the word, does not exist?

M:  On the contrary, one is always free. You are, both conscious and free to be conscious. Nobody can take this away from you. Do you ever know yourself non-existing, or unconscious?

Q:   I may not remember, but that does not disprove my being occasionally unconscious.

M:  Why not turn away from the experience to the experiencer and realise the full import of the only true statement you can make: 'I am'?

Q:   How is it done?

M:  There is no 'how' here. Just keep in mind the feeling 'I am', merge in it, till your mind and feeling become one. By repeated attempts you will stumble on the right balance of attention and affection and your mind will be firmly established in the thought-feeling 'I am'. Whatever you think, say, or do, this sense of immutable and affectionate being remains as the ever-present background of the mind.

Q:   And you call it liberation?

M:  I call it normal. What is wrong with being, knowing and acting effortlessly and happily? Why consider it so unusual as to expect the immediate destruction of the body? What is wrong with the body that it should die? Correct your attitude to your body and leave it alone. Don't pamper, don't torture. Just keep it going, most of the time below the threshold of conscious attention.

Q:   The memory of my wonderful experiences haunts me. I want them back.

M:  Because you want them back, you cannot have them. The state of craving for anything blocks all deeper experience. Nothing of value can happen to a mind which knows exactly what it wants. For nothing the mind can visualise and want is of much value.

Q:   Then what is worth wanting?

M:  Want the best. The highest happiness, the greatest freedom. Desirelessness is the highest bliss.

Q:   Freedom from desire is not the freedom I want. I want the freedom to fulfil my longings.

M:  You are free to fulfil your longings. As a matter of fact, you are doing nothing else.

Q:   I try, but there are obstacles which leave me frustrated.

M:  Overcome them.

Q:   I cannot, I am too weak.

M:  What makes you weak? What is weakness? Others fulfil their desires, why don't you?

Q:   I must be lacking energy.

M:  What happened to your energy? Where did it go? Did you not scatter it over so many contradictory desires and pursuits? You don't have an infinite supply of energy.

Q:   Why not?

M:  Your aims are small and low. They do not call for more. Only God's energy is infinite -- because He wants nothing for Himself. Be like Him and all your desires will be fulfilled. The higher your aims and vaster your desires, the more energy you will have for their fulfilment. Desire the good of all and the universe will work with you. But if you want your own pleasure, you must earn it the hard way. Before desiring, deserve.

Q:   I am engaged in the study of philosophy, sociology and education. I think more mental development is needed before I can dream of self-realisation. Am I on the right track?

M:  To earn a livelihood some specialised knowledge is needed. General knowledge develops the mind, no doubt. But if you are going to spend your life in amassing knowledge, you build a wall round yourself. To go beyond the mind, a well­ furnished mind is not needed.

Q:   Then what is needed?

M:  Distrust your mind, and go beyond.

Q:   What shall I find beyond the mind?

M:  The direct experience of being, knowing and loving.

Q:   How does one go beyond the mind?

M:  There are many starting points -- they all lead to the same goal. You may begin with selfless work, abandoning the fruits of action; you may then give up thinking and end in giving up all desires. Here, giving up (tyaga) is the operational factor. Or, you may not bother about any thing you want, or think, or do and just stay put in the thought and feeling 'I am', focussing '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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Re: Quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
« Reply #224 on: December 27, 2012, 03:16:16 PM »
Q: Everybody wants to live, to exist. Is it not self-love?

NM: All desires has its source in the Self. It is all a matter of choosing the right desire.

Q: What is right and what is wrong varies with habits and custom. Standards vary with societies.

NBM: Discard all traditional standards. Leave them  to the hypocrites. Only what liberates you from desire and fear and
wrong idea is good. As long as you worry about sin and virtue you will have no peace.

Q: I grant that sin and virtue are social norms. But there are may be also spiritual sins and virtues. I mean by spiritual the
absolute. Is there such a thing as absolute sine or absolute virtue.

NM: Sin and virtue refer to a person only. Without a sinful or virtuous person what is sin or virtue? At the level of the absolute
there are no persons. The ocean of pure awareness is neither virtuous nor sinful. Sin and virtue are invariably relative.

*****

Arunachala Siva.