Author Topic: Quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj  (Read 598779 times)


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Re: Quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
« Reply #480 on: May 26, 2013, 08:59:34 PM »

Consciousness and life - both you may call God; but you are beyond both, beyond God, beyond being and not-being.

You cannot know the knower, for you are the knower. The fact of knowing proves the knower. You need no other proof. The knower of the 
known is not knowable. Just like the light is known in colours only, so is the knower known in knowledge.

Before you can say "I am", you must be there to say it. Being need not be self-conscious. You need not know to be, but you must be to know.

You need not know what you are. Enough to know what you are not. What you are you will never know, for every discovery reveals new 
dimensions to conquer. The unknown has no limits.

Do understand that you cannot ask a valid question about yourself, because you do not know whom you are asking about.

The known is accidental, the unknown is the home of the real. To live in the known is bondage, to live in the unknown is liberation.


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Re: Quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
« Reply #481 on: May 27, 2013, 07:43:59 PM »
*Questioner:* When an ordinary man dies, what happens to him?

*Maharaj:* According to his belief it happens, As life before death is but imagination, so is life after. The dream continues.

*Q:*   And what about the "jnani"?

*M:*  The "jnani" does not die because he was never born.

*Q:*   He appears so to others.

*M:*  But not to himself. In himself he is free of things -- physical and mental.

*Q:*   Still you must know the state of the man who died. At least from your own past lives.

*M:*  Until I met my Guru I knew so many things. Now I know nothing, for all knowledge is in dream only and not valid. I know myself and I find no life nor death in me, only pure being -- not being this or that, but just "being". But the moment the mind, drawing on its stock of memories, begins to imagine, it fills the space with objects and time with events. As I do not know even this birth, how can I know past births? It is the mind that, itself in movement, sees everything moving, and having created time, worries about the past and future. All the universe is cradled in consciousness ("maha tattva"), which arises where there is perfect order and harmony ("maha sattva"). As all waves are in the ocean, so are all things physical and mental in awareness. Hence awareness itself is all important, not the content of it. Deepen and broaden your awareness of yourself and all the blessings will flow. You need not seek anything, all will come to you most naturally and effortlessly. The five senses and the four functions of the mind -- memory, thought, understanding and selfhood; the five elements -- earth, water, fire, air and ether; the two aspects of creation -- matter and spirit, all are contained in awareness.

*Q:*   Yet, you must believe in having lived before.

*M:*  The scriptures say so, but I know nothing about it. I know myself as I am; as I appeared or will appear is not within my experience. It is not that I do not remember. In fact there is nothing to remember. Reincarnation implies a reincarnating self. There is no such thing. The bundle of memories and hopes, called the 'I', imagines itself existing everlastingly and creates time to accommodate its false eternity: To "be", I need no past or future. All experience is born of imagination; I do not imagine, so no birth or death happens to me. Only those who think themselves born can think themselves re-born. You are accusing me of having been born -- I plead not guilty!
All exists in awareness and awareness neither dies nor is re born. It is the changeless reality itself.
All the universe of experience is born with the body and dies with the body; it has its beginning and end in awareness, but awareness knows no beginning, nor end. If you think it out carefully and brood over it for a long time, you will come to see the light of awareness in all its clarity and the world will fade out of your vision. It is like looking at a burning incense stick, you see the stick and the smoke first; when you notice the fiery point, you realise that it has the power to consume mountains of sticks and fill the universe with smoke. Timelessly the self actualises itself, without exhausting its infinite possibilities. In the incense stick simile the stick is the body and the smoke is the mind. As long as the mind is busy with its contortions, it does not perceive its own source. The Guru comes and turns your attention to the spark within. By its very nature the mind is outward turned; it always tends to seek for the source of things among the things themselves; to be told to look for the source within, is, in a way, the beginning of a new life. Awareness takes the place of consciousness; in consciousness there is the 'I', who is conscious while awareness is undivided; awareness is aware of itself. The 'I am' is a thought, while awareness is not a thought, there is no 'I am aware' in awareness. Consciousness is an attribute while awareness is not; one can be aware of being conscious, but not conscious of awareness. God is the totality of consciousness, but awareness is beyond all -- being as well as not-being.


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Re: Quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
« Reply #482 on: May 28, 2013, 06:06:26 PM »
*Q:*   Is there no transition to awareness after death?

*M:*  There can be no transition from consciousness to awareness, for awareness is not a form of consciousness. Consciousness can only become more subtle and refined and that is what happens after death. As the various vehicles of man die off, the modes of consciousness induced by them also fade away.

*Q:*   Until only unconsciousness remains?

*M:*  Look at yourself talking of unconsciousness as something that comes and goes! Who is there to be conscious of unconsciousness? As long as the window is open, there is sunlight in the room. With the windows shut, the sun remains, but does it see the darkness in the room? Is there anything like darkness to the sun? There is no such thing as unconsciousness, for unconsciousness is not experienceable. We infer unconsciousness when there is a lapse in memory or communication. If I stop reacting, you will say that I am unconscious. In reality I may be most acutely conscious, only unable to communicate or remember.

*Q:*   I am asking a simple question: there are about four billion people in the world and they are all bound to die. What will be their condition after death -- not physically, but psychologically? Will their consciousness continue? And if it does, in what form? Do not tell me that I am not asking the right question, or that you do not know the answer, or that in your world my question is meaningless; the moment you start talking about your world and my world as different and incompatible, you build a wall between us. Either we live in one world or your experience is of no use to us.

*M:*  Of course we live in one world. Only I see it as it is, while you don't. You see yourself in the world, while I see the world in myself. To you, you get born and die, while to me, the world appears and disappears. Our world is real, but your view of it is not. There is no wall between us, except the one built by you. There is nothing wrong with the senses, it is your imagination that misleads you. It covers up the world as it is, with what you imagine it to be -- something existing independently of you and yet closely following your inherited, or acquired patterns. There is a deep contradiction in your attitude, which you do not see and which is the cause of sorrow. You cling to the idea that you were born into a world of pain and sorrow; I know that the world is a child of love, having its beginning, growth and fulfilment in love. But I am beyond love even.

*Q:*   If you have created the world out of love, why is it so full of pain?

*M:*  You are right -- from the body's point of view. But you are not the body. You are the immensity and infinity of consciousness. Don't assume what is not true and you will see things as I see them. Pain and pleasure, good and bad, right and wrong: these are relative terms and must not be taken absolutely. They are limited and temporary.

*Q:*   In the Buddhist tradition it is stated that a"Nirvani", an enlightened Buddha, has the freedom of the universe. He can know and experience for himself all that exists. He can command, interfere with nature, with the chain of causation, change the sequence of events, even undo the past! The world is still with him but he is free in it.

*M:*  What you describe is God. Of course, where there is a universe, there will also be its counterpart, which is God. But I am beyond both. There was a kingdom in search of a king. They found the right man and made him king. In no way had he changed. He was merely given the title, the rights and the duties of a king. His nature was not affected, only his actions. Similarly, with the enlightened man; the content of his consciousness undergoes a radical transformation. But he is not misled. He knows the changeless.


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Re: Quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
« Reply #483 on: May 29, 2013, 09:15:08 PM »
*Questioner:* Kindly tell us how you realised.

*Maharaj:* I met my Guru when I was 34 and realised by 37.

*Q:*   What happened? What was the change?

*M:*  Pleasure and pain lost their sway over me. I was free from desire and fear. I found myself full, needing nothing. I saw that in the ocean of pure awareness, on the surface of the universal consciousness, the numberless waves of the phenomenal worlds arise and subside beginninglessly and endlessly. As consciousness, they are all me. As events they are all mine. There is a mysterious power that looks after them. That power is awareness, Self, Life, God, whatever name you give it. It is the foundation, the ultimate support of all that is, just like gold is the basis for all gold jewellery. And it is so intimately ours! Abstract the name and shape from the jewellery and the gold becomes obvious. Be free of name and form and of the desires and fears they create, then what remains?

*Q:*   Nothingness.

*M:*  Yes, the void remains. But the void is full to the brim. It is the eternal potential as consciousness is the eternal actual.

*Q:*   By potential you mean the future?

*M:*  Past, present and future -- they are all there. And infinitely more.

*Q:*   But since the void is void, it is of little use to us.

*M:*  How can you say so? Without breach in continuity how can there be rebirth? Can there be renewal without death? Even the darkness of sleep is refreshing and rejuvenating. Without death we would have been bogged up for ever in eternal senility.

*Q:*   Is there no such thing as immortality?

*M:*  When life and death are seen as essential to each other, as two aspects of one being, that is immortality. To see the end in the beginning and beginning in the end is the intimation of eternity. Definitely, immortality is not continuity. Only the process of change continues. Nothing lasts.

*Q:*   Awareness lasts?

*M:*  Awareness is not of time. Time exists in consciousness only. Beyond consciousness where are time and space?

*Q:*   Within the field of your consciousness there is your body also.

*M:*  Of course. But the idea 'my body', as different from other bodies, is not there. To me it is 'a body', not 'my body', 'a mind', not 'my mind'. The mind looks after the body all right, I need not interfere. What needs be done is being done, in the normal and natural way.
You may not be quite conscious of your physiological functions, but when it comes to thoughts and feelings, desires and fears you become acutely self-conscious. To me these too are largely unconscious. I find myself talking to people, or doing things quite correctly and appropriately, without being very much conscious of them. It looks as if I live my physical, waking life automatically, reacting spontaneously and accurately.

*Q:*   Does this spontaneous response come as a result of realisation, or by training?

*M:*  Both. Devotion to you goal makes you live a clean and orderly life, given to search for truth and to helping people, and realisation makes noble virtue easy and spontaneous, by removing for good the obstacles in the shape of desires and fears and wrong ideas.

*Q:*   Don’t you have desires and fears any more?

*M:*  My destiny was to be born a simple man, a commoner, a humble tradesman, with little of formal education. My life was the common kind, with common desires and fears. When, through my faith in my teacher and obedience to his words, I realised my true being, I left behind my human nature to look after itself, until its destiny is exhausted. Occasionally an old reaction, emotional or mental, happens in the mind, but it is at once noticed and discarded. After all, as long as one is bur dened with a person, one is exposed to its idiosyncrasies and habits.


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Re: Quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
« Reply #484 on: May 30, 2013, 07:48:25 PM »
*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.

*Q:*   On what my faith in you depends?

*M:*  On your insight into other people’s hearts. If you cannot look into my heart, look into your own.

*Q:*   I can do neither.

*M:*  Purify yourself by a well-ordered and useful life. Watch over your thoughts, feelings, words and actions. This will clear your vision.

*Q:*   Must I not renounce every thing first, and live a homeless life?

*M:*  You cannot renounce. You may leave your home and give trouble to your family, but attachments are in the mind and will not leave you until you know your mind in and out. First thing first -- know yourself, all else will come with it.

*Q:*   But you already told me that I am the Supreme Reality. Is it not self-knowledge?

*M:*  Of course you are the Supreme Reality! But what of it? Every grain of sand is God; to know it is important, but that is only the beginning.

*Q:*   Well, you told me that I am the Supreme Reality. I believe you. What next is there for me to do?

*M:*  I told you already. Discover all you are not. Body, feelings, thoughts, ideas, time, space, being and not-being, this or that -- nothing concrete or abstract you can point out to is you. A mere verbal statement will not do -- you may repeat a formula endlessly without any result whatsoever. You must watch your self continuously -- particularly your mind -- moment by moment, missing nothing. This witnessing is essential for the separation of the self from the not-self.

*Q:*   The witnessing -- is it not my real nature?

*M:*  For witnessing, there must be something else to witness. We are still in duality!

*Q:*   What about witnessing the witness? Awareness of awareness?

*M:*  Putting words together will not take you far. Go within and discover what you are not. Nothing else matters.


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Re: Quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
« Reply #485 on: May 31, 2013, 09:22:56 PM »
*Questioner:* There are very interesting books written by apparently very competent people, in which the illusoriness of the world is denied (though not its transitoriness). According to them, there exists a hierarchy of beings, from the lowest to the highest; on each level the complexity of the organism enables and reflects the depth, breadth and intensity of consciousness, without any visible or knowable culmination. One law supreme rules throughout: evolution of forms for the growth and enrichment of consciousness and manifestation of its infinite potentialities.

*Maharaj:* This may or may not be so. Even if it is, it is only so from the mind’s point of view, but In fact the entire universe ("mahadakash") exists only in consciousness ("chidakash"), while I have my stand in the Absolute ("paramakash"). In pure being consciousness arises; in consciousness the world appears and disappears. All there "is" is me, all there "is" is mine. Before all beginnings, after all endings -- I am. All has its being in me, in the ‘I am’, that shines in every living being. Even not-being is unthinkable without me. Whatever happens, I must be there to witness it.

*Q:*   Why do you deny being to the world?

*M:*  I do not negate the world. I see it as appearing in consciousness, which is the totality of the known in the immensity of the unknown.
What begins and ends is mere appearance. The world can be said to appear, but not to be. The appearance may last very long on some scale of time, and be very short on another, but ultimately it comes to the same. Whatever is time bound is momentary and has no reality.

*Q:*   Surely, you see the actual world as it surrounds you. You seem to behave quite normally!

*M:*  That is how it appears to you. What in your case occupies the entire field of consciousness, is a mere speck in mine. The world lasts, but for a moment. It is your memory that makes you think that the world continues. Myself, I don't live by memory. I see the world as it is, a momentary appearance in consciousness.

*Q:*   In "your" consciousness?

*M:*  All idea of ‘me’ and ‘mine’, even of ‘I am’ is in consciousness.

*Q:*   Is then your ‘absolute being’ ("paramakash") un-consciousness?

*M:*  The idea of un-consciousness exists in consciousness only.

*Q:*   Then, how do you know you are in the supreme state?

*M:*  Because I am in it. It is the only natural state.

*Q:*   Can you describe it?

*M:*  Only by negation, as uncaused, independent, unrelated, undivided, uncomposed, unshakable, unquestionable, unreachable by effort. Every positive definition is from memory and, therefore, inapplicable. And yet my state is supremely actual and, therefore, possible, realisable, attainable.

*Q:*   Are you not immersed timelessly in an abstraction?

*M:*  Abstraction is mental and verbal and disappears in sleep, or swoon; it reappears in time; I am in my own state ("swarupa") timelessly in the "now". Past and future are in mind only -- I am "now".

*Q:*   The world too is "now".

*M:*  Which world?

*Q:*   The world around us.

*M:*  It is your world you have in mind, not mine. What do you know of me, when even my talk with you is in your world only? You have no reason to believe that my world is identical with yours. My world is real, true, as it is perceived, while yours appears and disappears, according to the state of your mind. Your world is something alien, and you are afraid of it. My world is myself. I am at home.


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Re: Quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
« Reply #486 on: June 02, 2013, 09:29:22 PM »

The Absolute doesn’t know that ‘It is’. Only when the knowledge ‘I am’ spontaneously appeared did it know ‘It is’. There is no question of there being any experience in the Absolute or the ‘Parabrahman’. All experiences demand the necessity of duality in the form of the experiencer (subject) and the experienced (object). The Absolute is a non-dual state, so who is to experience what? Moreover, the Absolute, does not require any experience or the need to know that ‘it is’. By the spontaneous appearance of the knowledge ‘I am’ it came to know that ‘it is’, yet it doesn’t require the ‘I am’ at
all, for it is complete in itself, devoid of any wants.

When the Guru is faced by a sincere seeker he is very keen on imparting his knowledge to him, and this itself is the initiation. His teaching is very simple.
He awakens you to the long lost ‘I am’ or the ‘Brahman’, he calls it the planting of the ‘Brahma seed’ in you. It is just like on seeing or coming across something desirable - you want it desperately, the seeds of its acquisition are sown. Because once the ‘Brahma seed’ is sown in you, appropriate conditions prevailing, you will go to any lengths to bring it to fruition.

That ‘Brahman’ or ‘I am’ state alone embraces everything and is all the manifestation. You have to forget everything and merge with ‘Brahman’.
Whatever you see or feel has the ‘I am’ as its basis, the ‘I am’ and ‘Brahman’ are the same. All is the creation of the ‘I am’ or ‘Brahman’ state, this you
can also say from your own experience. Prior to the arrival of the ‘I am’, or in the deep sleep state, did you know of your existence or the world and the rest? It was only with the rising of the ‘I am’ that space, which engulfs everything, came. As a part of the ‘Sadhana’ (practice) you have to forget everything - that is, all externalities and become one with the ‘Brahman’


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Re: Quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
« Reply #487 on: June 03, 2013, 09:02:00 PM »

*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.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2013, 12:29:18 AM by Jewell »


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Re: Quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
« Reply #488 on: June 04, 2013, 08:12:50 PM »
*Q:*   When I look within, I find sensations and perceptions, thoughts and feelings, desires and fears, memories and expectations. I am immersed in this cloud and see nothing else.

*M:*  That which sees all this, and the nothing too, is the inner teacher. He alone is, all else only appears to be. He is your own self ("swarupa"), your hope and assurance of freedom; find him and cling to him and you will be saved and safe.

*Q:*   I do believe you, but when it comes to the actual finding of this inner self, I find it escapes me.

*M:*  The idea 'it escapes me', where does it arise?

*Q:*   In the mind.

*M:*  And who knows the mind.

*Q:*   The witness of the mind knows the mind.

*M:*  Did anybody come to you and say: 'I am the witness of your mind'?

*Q:*   Of course not. He would have been just another idea in the mind.

*M:*  Then who is the witness?

*Q:*   I am.

*M:*  So, you know the witness because you are the witness. You need not see the witness in front of you. Here again, to "be" is to know.

*Q:*   Yes, I see that I am the witness, the awareness itself. But in which way does it profit me?

*M:*  What a question! What kind of profit do you expect? To know what you are, is it not good enough?

*Q:*   What are the uses of self-knowledge?

*M:*  It helps you to understand what you are not and keeps you free from false ideas, desires and actions.

*Q:*   If I am the witness only, what do right and wrong matter?

*M:*  What helps you to know yourself is right. What prevents, is wrong. To know one's real self is bliss, to forget -- is sorrow.

*Q:*   Is the witness-consciousness the real Self?

*M:*  It is the reflection of the real in the mind ("buddhi"). The real is beyond. The witness is the door through which you pass beyond.

*Q:*   What is the purpose of meditation?

*M:*  Seeing the false as the false, is meditation. This must go on all the time.

*Q:*   We are told to meditate regularly.

*M:*  Deliberate daily exercise in discrimination between the true and the false and renunciation of the false is meditation. There are many kinds of meditation to begin with, but they all merge finally into one.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2013, 12:08:09 AM by Jewell »


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Re: Quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
« Reply #489 on: June 05, 2013, 05:04:31 PM »
*Questioner:* I am a painter and I earn by painting pictures. Has it any value from the spiritual point of view?

*Maharaj:* When you paint what do you think about?

*Q:*   When I paint, there is only the painting and myself.

*M:*  What are you doing there?

*Q:*   I paint.

*M:*  No, you don't. You see the painting going on. You are watching only, all else happens.

*Q:*   The picture is painting itself? Or, is there some deeper 'me', or some god who is painting?

*M:*  Consciousness itself is the greatest painter. The entire world is a Picture.

*Q:*   Who painted the picture of the world?

*M:*  The painter is in the Picture.

*Q:*   The picture is in the mind of the painter and the painter is in the picture, which is in the mind of the painter who is in the picture! Is not this infinity of states and dimensions absurd? The moment we talk of picture in the mind, which itself is in the picture, we come to an endless succession of witnesses, the higher witness witnessing the lower. It is like standing between two mirrors and wondering at the crowd!

*M:*  Quite right, you alone and the double mirror are there. Between the two, your forms and names are numberless.

*Q:*   How do you look at the world?

*M:*  I see a painter painting a picture. The picture I call the world, the painter I call God. I am neither. I do not create, nor am I created. I contain all, nothing contains me.

*Q:*   When I see a tree, a face, a sunset, the picture is perfect. When I close my eyes, the image in my mind is faint and hazy. If it is my mind that projects the picture, why need I open my eyes to see a lovely flower and with eyes closed I see it vaguely?

*M:*  It is because your outer eyes are better than your inner eyes. Your mind is all turned outward. As you learn to watch your mental world, you will find it even more colourful and perfect than what the body can provide. Of course, you will need some training. But why argue? You imagine that the picture must come from the painter who actually painted it. All the time you look for origins and causes. Causality is in the mind, only; memory gives the illusion of continuity and repetitiveness creates the idea of causality. When things repeatedly happen together, we tend to see a causal link between them. It creates a mental habit, but a habit is not a necessity.

*Q:*   You have just said that the world is made by God.

*M:*  Remember that language is an instrument of the mind; It is made by the mind, for the mind. Once you admit a cause, then God is the ultimate cause and the world the effect. They are different, but not separate.

*Q:*   People talk of seeing God.

*M:*  When you see the world you see God. There is no seeing God, apart from the world. Beyond the world to see God is to be God. The light by which you see the world, which is God is the tiny little spark: 'I am', apparently so small, yet the first and the last in every act of knowing and loving.

*Q:*   Must I see the world to see God?

*M:*  How else? No world, no God.

*Q:*   What remains?

*M:*  You remain as pure being.

*Q:*   And what becomes of the world and of God?

*M:*  Pure being ("avyakta").

*Q:*   Is it the same as the Great Expanse ("paramakash")?

*M:*  You may call it so. Words do not matter, for they do not reach it. They turn back in utter negation.

*Q:*   How can I see the world as God? What does it mean to see the world as God?

*M:*  It is like entering a dark room. You see nothing  -- you may touch, but you do not see -- no colours, no outlines. The window opens and the room is flooded with light. Colours and shapes come into being. The window is the giver of light, but not the source of it. The sun is the source. Similarly, matter is like the dark room; consciousness -- the window -- flooding matter with sensations and perceptions, and the Supreme is the sun the source both of matter and of light. The window may be closed, or open, the sun shines all the time. It makes all the difference to the room, but none to the sun. Yet all this is secondary to the tiny little thing which is the 'I am'. Without the 'I am' there is nothing. All knowledge is about the 'I am'. False ideas about this 'I am' lead to bondage, right knowledge leads to freedom and happiness.


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Re: Quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
« Reply #490 on: June 06, 2013, 06:53:56 PM »
Q:   I am the mirror and the world is the image?

M:  You can see both the image and the mirror. You are neither. Who are you? Don't go by formulas. The answer is not in words. The nearest you can say in words is: I am what makes perception possible, the life beyond the experiencer and his experience.

Now, Can you separate yourself both from the mirror and the image in the mirror and stand completely alone, all by yourself?

Q:   No, I cannot.

M:  How do you know that you cannot? There are so many things you are doing without knowing how to do it. You digest, you circulate your blood and lymph, you move your muscles -- all without knowing how. In the same way, you perceive, you feel, you think without knowing the why and how of it. Similarly you are yourself without knowing it. There is nothing wrong with you as the Self. It is what it is to perfection. It is the mirror that is not clear and true and, therefore, gives you false images. You need not correct yourself -- only set right your idea of yourself. Learn to separate yourself from the image and the mirror, keep on remembering: I am neither the mind nor its ideas: do it patiently and with convictions and you will surely come to the direct vision of yourself as the source of being -- knowing -- loving, eternal, all-embracing all-pervading. You are the infinite focussed in a body. Now you see the body only. Try earnestly and you will come to see the infinite only.

Q:   The experience of reality, when it Comes, does it last?

M:  All experience is necessarily transient. But the ground of all experience is immovable. Nothing that may be called an event will last. But some events purify the mind and some stain it. Moments of deep insight and all-embracing love purify the mind, while desires and fears, envies and anger, blind beliefs and intellectual arrogance pollute and dull the psyche.

Q:   Is self-realisation so important?

M:  Without it you will be consumed by desires and fears, repeating themselves meaninglessly in endless suffering. Most of the people do not know that there can be an end to pain. But once they have heard the good news, obviously going beyond all strife and struggle is the most urgent task that can be. You know that you can be free and now it is up to you. Either you remain forever hungry and thirsty, longing, searching, grabbing, holding, ever losing and sorrowing, or go out whole-heartedly in search of the state of timeless perfection to which nothing can be added, from which nothing -- taken away. In it all desires and fears are absent, not because they were given up, but because they have lost their meaning.

Q:   So far I have been following you. Now, what am I expected to do?

M:  There is nothing to do. Just be. Do nothing. Be. No climbing mountains and sitting in caves. I do not even say: 'be yourself', since you do not know yourself. Just be. Having seen that you are neither the 'outer' world of perceivables, nor the 'inner' world of thinkables, that you are neither body nor mind -- just be.

Q:   Surely, there are degrees of realisation.

M:  There are no steps to self-realisation. There is nothing gradual about it. It happens suddenly and is irreversible. You rotate into a new dimension, seen from which the previous ones are mere abstractions. Just like on sunrise you see things as they are, so on self-realisation you see everything as it is. The world of illusions is left behind.

Q:   In the state of realisation do things change? They become colourful and full of meaning?

M:  The experience is quite right, but it is not the experience of reality (sadanubhav), but of harmony (satvanubhav) of the universe.

Q:   Nevertheless, there is progress.

M:  There can be progress only in the preparation (sadhana). realisation is sudden. The fruit ripens slowly, but falls suddenly and without return.

Q:   I am physically and mentally at peace. What more do I need?

M:  Yours may not be the ultimate state. You will recognise that you have returned to your natural state by a complete absence of all desire and fear. After all, at the root of all desire and fear is the feeling of not being what you are. Just as a dislocated joint pains only as long as it is out of shape, and is forgotten as soon as it is set right, so is all self-concern a symptom of mental distortion which disappears as soon as one is in the normal state.

Q:   Yes, but what is the sadhana for achieving the natural state?

M:  Hold on to the sense 'I am' to the exclusion of everything else. When thus the mind becomes completely silent, it shines with a new light and vibrates with new knowledge. It all comes spontaneously, you need only hold on to the 'I am'. Just like emerging from sleep or a state of rapture you feel rested and yet you cannot explain why and how you come to feel so well, in the same way on realisation you feel complete, fulfilled, free from the pleasure-pain complex, and yet not always able to explain what happened, why and how. You can put it only in negative terms: 'Nothing is wrong with me any longer.' It is only by comparison with the past that you know that you are out of it. Otherwise -- you are just yourself. Don't try to convey it to others. If you can, it is not the real thing. Be silent and watch it expressing itself in action.

Q:   If you could tell me what I shall become, it may help me to watch over my development.

M:  How can anybody tell you what you shall become when there is no becoming? You merely discover what you are. All moulding oneself to a pattern is a grievous waste of time. Think neither of the past nor of the future, just be.


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Re: Quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
« Reply #491 on: June 07, 2013, 09:41:36 PM »
*Q:*   How to strengthen and purify the "sattva"?
*M:*  The "sattva" is pure and strong always. It is like the sun. It may seem obscured by clouds and dust, but only from the point of view of the perceiver. Deal with the causes of obscuration, not with the sun.

*Q:*   What is the use of "sattva"?

*M:*  What is the use of truth, goodness, harmony, beauty? They are their own goal. They manifest spontaneously and effortlessly, when things are left to themselves, are not interfered with, not shunned, or wanted, or conceptualised, but just experienced in full awareness, such awareness itself is "sattva". It does not make use of things and people -- it fulfils them.

*Q:*   Since I cannot improve "sattva", am I to deal with "tamas" and "rajas" only? How can I deal with them?

*M:*  By watching their influence in you and on you. Be aware of them in operation, watch their expressions in your thoughts, words and deeds, and gradually their grip on you will lessen and the clear light of "sattva" will emerge. It is neither difficult, nor a protracted process; earnestness is the only condition of success.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2013, 03:13:44 AM by Jewell »


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Re: Quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
« Reply #492 on: June 08, 2013, 02:14:44 PM »
Q:   Your words are wise, your behaviour noble, your grace all-powerful.

M:  I know nothing about it all and see no difference between you and me. My life is a succession of events, just like yours. Only I am detached and see the passing show as a passing show, while you stick to things and move along with them.

Q:   What made you so dispassionate?

M:  Nothing in particular. It so happened that I trusted my Guru. He told me I am nothing but my self and I believed him. Trusting him, I behaved accordingly and ceased caring for what was not me, nor mine.

Q:   Why were you lucky to trust your teacher fully, while our trust is nominal and verbal?

M:  Who can say? It happened so. Things happen without cause and reason and, after all, what does it matter, who is who? Your high opinion of me is your opinion only. Any moment you may change it. Why attach importance to opinions, even your own?

Q:   Still, you are different. Your mind seems to be always quiet and happy. And miracles happen round you.

M:  I know nothing about miracles, and I wonder whether nature admits exceptions to her laws, unless we agree that everything is a miracle. As to my mind, there is no such thing. There is consciousness in which everything happens. It is quite obvious and within the experience of everybody. You just do not look carefully enough. Look well, and see what I see.

Q:   What do you see?

M:  I see what you too could see, here and now, but for the wrong focus of your attention. You give no attention to your self. Your mind is all with things, people and ideas, never with your self. Bring your self into focus, become aware of your own existence. See how you function, watch the motives and the results of your actions. Study the prison you have built around yourself by inadvertence. By knowing what you are not, you come to know your self. The way back to your self is through refusal and rejection. One thing is certain: the real is not imaginary, it is not a product of the mind. Even the sense ‘I am’ is not continuous, though it is a useful pointer; it shows where to seek, but not what to seek. Just have a good look at it. Once you are convinced that you cannot say truthfully about your self anything except ‘I am’, and that nothing that can be pointed at, can be your self, the need for the ‘I am’ is over -- you are no longer intent on verbalising what you are. All you need is to get rid of the tendency to define your self. All definitions apply to your body only and to its expressions. Once this obsession with the body goes, you will revert to your natural state, spontaneously and effortlessly. The only difference between us is that I am aware of my natural state, while you are bemused. Just like gold made into ornaments has no advantage over gold dust, except when the mind makes it so, so are we one in being -- we differ only in appearance. We discover it by being earnest, by searching, enquiring, questioning daily and hourly, by giving one's life to this discovery.


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Re: Quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
« Reply #493 on: June 09, 2013, 07:56:26 PM »
*Q:*   I have not yet understood why, if nothing stands in the way of liberation, it does not happen here and now.

*M:*  Nothing stands in the way of your liberation and it can happen here and now, but for your being more interested in other things. And you cannot fight with your interests. You must go with them, see through them and watch them reveal themselves as mere errors of judgement and appreciation.

*Q:*   Will it not help me if I go and stay with some great and holy man?

*M:*  Great and holy people are always within your reach, but you do not recognise them. How will you know who is great and holy? By hearsay? Can you trust others in these matters, or even yourself? To convince you beyond the shadow of doubt you need more than a commendation, more even than a momentary rapture. You may come across a great and holy man or women and not even know for a long time your good fortune. The infant son of a great man for many years will not know the greatness of his father. You must mature to recognise greatness and purify your heart for holiness. Or you will spend your time and money in vain and also miss what life offers you. There are good people among your friends -- you can learn much from them. Running after saints is merely another game to play. Remember yourself instead and watch your daily life relentlessly. Be earnest, and you shall not fail to break the bonds of inattention and imagination.

*Q:*   Do you want me to struggle all alone?

*M:*  You are never alone. There are powers and presences who serve you all the time most faithfully. You may or may not perceive them, nevertheless they are real and active. When you realise that all is in your mind and that you are beyond the mind, that you are truly alone; then all is you.

*Q:*   What is omniscience? Is God omniscient? Are you omniscient? We hear the expression -- universal witness. What does it mean? Does self-realisation imply omniscience? Or is it a matter of specialised training?

*M:*  To lose entirely all interest in knowledge results in omniscience. It is but the gift of knowing what needs to be known, at the right moment, for error-free action. After all, knowledge is needed for action and if you act rightly, spontaneously, without bringing in the conscious, so much the better.

*Q:*   Can one know the mind of another person?

*M:*  Know you own mind first. It contains the entire universe and with space to spare!

*Q:*   Your working theory seems to be that the waking state is not basically different from dream and the dreamless sleep. The three states are essentially a case of mistaken self-identification with the body. Maybe it is true, but, I feel, it is not the whole truth.

*M:*  Do not try to know the truth, for knowledge by the mind is not true knowledge. But you can know what is not true -- which is enough to liberate you from the false. The idea that you know what is true is dangerous, for it keeps you imprisoned in the mind. It is when you do not know, that you are free to investigate. And there can be no salvation, without investigation, because non-investigation is the main cause of bondage.


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Re: Quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
« Reply #494 on: June 10, 2013, 08:16:25 PM »
Q:   Why are there so many centres of consciousness?

M:  The objective universe (mahadakash) is in constant movement, projecting and dissolving innumerable forms. Whenever a form is infused with life (prana), consciousness (chetana) appears by reflection of awareness in matter.

Q:   How is the Supreme affected?

M:  What can affect it and how? The source is not affected by the vagaries of the river nor is the metal -- by the shape of the jewellery. Is the light affected by the picture on the screen? The Supreme makes everything possible, that is all.

Q:   How is it that some things do happen and some don't?

M:  Seeking out causes is a pastime of the mind. There is no duality of cause and effect. Everything is its own cause.

Q:   No purposeful action is then possible?

M:  All I say is that consciousness contains all. In consciousness all is possible. You can have causes if you want them, in your world. Another may be content with a single cause -- God's will. The root cause is one: the sense 'I am'.

Q:   What is the link between the Self (Vyakta) and the Supreme (Avyakta)?

M:  From the self's point of view the world is the known, the Supreme -- the Unknown. The Unknown gives birth to the known, yet remains Unknown. The known is infinite, but the Unknown is an infinitude of infinities. Just like a ray of light is never seen unless intercepted by the specs of dust, so does the Supreme make everything known, itself remaining unknown.

Q:   Does it mean that the Unknown is inaccessible?

M:  Oh, no. The Supreme is the easiest to reach for it is your very being. It is enough to stop thinking and desiring anything, but the Supreme.

Q:   And if I desire nothing, not even the Supreme?

M:  Then you are as good as dead, or you are the Supreme.

Q:   The world is full of desires: Everybody wants something or other. Who is the desirer? The person or the self?

M:  The self. All desires, holy and unholy, come from the self; they all hang on the sense 'I am'.

Q:   I can understand holy desires (satyakama) emanating from the self. It may be the expression of the bliss aspect of the Sadchitananda (Beingness -- Awareness --Happiness) of the Self. But why unholy desires?

M:  All desires aim at happiness. Their shape and quality depend on the psyche (antahkarana). Where inertia (tamas) predominates, we find perversions. With energy (rajas), passions arise. With lucidity (sattva) the motive behind the desire is goodwill, compassion, the urge to make happy rather than be happy. But the Supreme is beyond all, yet because of its infinite permeability all cogent desires can be fulfilled.

Q:   Which desires are cogent?

M:  Desires that destroy their subjects, or objects, or do not subside on satisfaction are self-contradictory and cannot be fulfilled. Only desires motivated by love, goodwill and compassion are beneficial to both the subject and object and can be fully satisfied.

Q:   All desires are painful, the holy as well as the unholy.

M:  They are not the same and pain is not the same. Passion is painful, compassion -- never. The entire universe strives to fulfil a desire born of compassion.

Q:   Does the Supreme know itself? Is the Impersonal conscious?

M:  The source of all has all. Whatever flows from it must be there already in seed form. And as a seed is the last of innumerable seeds, and contains the experience and the promise of numberless forests, so does the Unknown contain all that was, or could have been and all that shall or would be. The entire field of becoming is open and accessible; past and future co­exist in the eternal now.

Q:   Are you living in the Supreme Unknown?

M:  Where else?

Q:   What makes you say so?

M:  No desire ever arises in my mind.

Q:   Are you then unconscious?

M:  Of course not! I am fully conscious, but since no desire or fear enters my mind, there is perfect silence.

Q:   Who knows the silence?

M:  Silence knows itself. It is the silence of the silent mind, when passions and desires are silenced.

Q:   Do you experience desires occasionally?

M:  Desires are just waves in the mind. You know a wave when you see one. A desire is just a thing among many. I feel no urge to satisfy it, no action needs be taken on it. Freedom from desire means this: the compulsion to satisfy is absent.

Q:   Why do desires arise at all?

M:  Because you imagine that you were born, and that you will die if you do not take care of your body. Desire for embodied existence is the root-cause of trouble.

Q:   Yet, so many jivas get into bodies. Surely it cannot be some error of judgement. There must be a purpose. What could it be?

M:  To know itself the self must be faced with its opposite -- the not-self. Desire leads to experience. Experience leads to discrimination, detachment, self-knowledge -- liberation. And what is liberation after all? To know that you are beyond birth and death. By forgetting who you are and imagining yourself a mortal creature, you created so much trouble for yourself that you have to wake up, like from a bad dream.

Enquiry also wakes you up. You need not wait for suffering; enquiry into happiness is better, for the mind is in harmony and peace.

Q:   Who exactly is the ultimate experiencer -- the Self or the Unknown?

M:  The Self, of course.

Q:   Then why introduce the notion of the Supreme Unknown?

M:  To explain the Self.

Q:   But is there anything beyond the Self?

M:  Outside the Self there is nothing. All is one and all is contained in 'I am'. In the waking and dream states it is the person. In deep sleep and turiya it is the Self. Beyond the alert intentness of turiya lies the great, silent peace of the Supreme. But in fact all is one in essence and related in appearance. In ignorance the seer becomes the seen and in wisdom he is the seeing.

But why be concerned with the Supreme? Know the knowers and all will be known.