Author Topic: Quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj  (Read 176393 times)

Jewell

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Re: Quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
« Reply #540 on: August 20, 2013, 09:35:23 PM »

The witness cannot ‘be’ in the absence of the knowledge ‘I am’.
Who are you seeing if you are not aware of the ‘I am’? You have
covered everything with this ‘I am’ knowledge. The five elemental
world is only the creation of this ‘I amness’.

Be alert to the ‘I am’ and all other experiences will be transcended.
The next elevation will only come when you abide in the Self.
When you are convinced that ‘all of Consciousness is my Self’,
when the conviction is firmly embedded, then only will the
question of the next elevation arise.

Since everything is ‘You’, you can’t cut it away from you. This
knowledge of ‘I amness’ is part of you. How can you throw it
away? And where can you throw it? When you established in
Beingness (the ‘I am’), you realize everything is ‘You’, it is all
your creation.

That principle ‘I am’ is your illusion but the Oneness got rid of that
illusion. Then one is without body or mind. The principle of
Oneness has no shape, therefore male and female have no shape –
this is the wedding of the male and female. At that stage the barren
women conceived and progeny is delivered! That is the ‘I am’ state
and that is the universe. But this Oneness is not a state of illusion.

This body is only the food body for the consumption and the
sustenance of the ‘I amness’. You have to remain in that Beingness
or Consciousness with firm faith while having no identification
with the body or the personality, or with name and form. Always
identify yourself with Consciousness, it will take a while for this
conviction to root, but persist.

Jewell

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Re: Quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
« Reply #541 on: August 20, 2013, 09:41:33 PM »

The Absolute is watching this ‘I amness’ that is sustained by the
food body. Is it clear? After some time passes in the waking state,
rest is required, so the ‘I amness’ goes into oblivion. It goes to rest
and forgets itself. You may not comprehend exactly what it means
now, but as you get established in the Beingness you will
understand how.

‘You’ are above the waking and dreaming states, because those are
only expressions of your Beingness. The waking and dreaming
states pertain only to your ‘I amness’. We are only able to observe
because of the ‘I amness’. When the ‘I amness’ is not there the tool
to observe is also not there. If you are deep inside everything is
gone! And there is no ‘I am’. Then the ‘I am’ merges in the
Absolute.

You are ‘That’ only, prior to them (concepts and memory) is the ‘I
am’, further still when you recede, is the Absolute. But most
people die with memory and concepts. Who understands that
memory is not operating today? It’s the knowledge ‘I am’.
Surrender to the beingness, from it all movement happens; go to
the source of the movement which is the beingness. Hammer it into
yourself that your own beingness is the parent of the entire
manifestation. Beingness will help you in abiding in itself,
beingness is observed by the Ultimate (the Absolute) that has no
senses, no eyes, but witnessing just happens. I am introducing you
to your own beingness, the first stage is to meditate on the
beingness, abide in it.

Jewell

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Re: Quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
« Reply #542 on: August 21, 2013, 03:47:13 PM »

‘I amness’ is without ego. The subsequent products are the mind
and the ego. The quality of ‘I amness’ or Beingness is intuition and
inspiration. Just like when you have seed and plant it, it must
sprout. Similarly the quality of Beingness must sprout.

The active part is called Maya, and is due to the mind. The inactive
part is called ‘I amness’ or Purusha, which is just watching. Only
when you identify with that which is stationary, the Purusha, can
you become the watcher of the ‘I amness’ and all of its activities.

Without this ‘I amness’ the Absolute does not know that ‘It is’.
Watching is not deliberate. Watching happens to the Absolute only
with the appearance of ‘I amness’. The ‘I amness’, like binoculars,
must be there and available for watching to happen.

The witnessing of the ‘Ishwara’ state occurs to Me. ‘Ishwara’ is the
manifestation of the five elements and the universe. The witnessing
of the ‘I amness’ occurs to the Absolute. A disciple (Sadhaka) who
is getting established in the ‘Ishwara’ principle should not claim
this understanding (Siddha).

Jewell

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Re: Quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
« Reply #543 on: August 22, 2013, 04:36:08 PM »
Q:   If there is no advantage in gaining the Supreme, then why take the trouble?

M:  There is trouble only when you cling to something. When you hold on to nothing, no trouble arises. The relinquishing of the lesser is the gaining of the greater. Give up all and you gain all. Then life becomes what it was meant to be: pure radiation from an inexhaustible source. In that light the world appears dimly like a dream.

Q:   If my world is merely a dream and you are a part of it, what can you do for me? If the dream is not real, having no being, how can reality affect it?

M:  While it lasts, the dream has temporary being. It is your desire to hold on to it, that creates the problem. Let go. Stop imagining that the dream is yours.

Q:   You seem to take for granted that there can be a dream without a dreamer and that I identify myself with the dream of my own sweet will. But I am the dreamer and the dream too. Who is to stop dreaming?

M:  Let the dream unroll itself to its very end. You cannot help it. But you can look at the dream as a dream, refuse it the stamp of reality.

Q:   Here am I, sitting before you. I am dreaming and you are watching me talking in my dream. What is the link between us?

M:  My intention to wake you up is the link. My heart wants you awake. I see you suffer in your dream and I know that you must wake up to end your woes. When you see your dream as dream, you wake up. But in your dream itself I am not interested. Enough for me to know that you must wake up. You need not bring your dream to a definite conclusion, or make it noble, or happy, or beautiful; all you need is to realise that you are dreaming. Stop imagining, stop believing. See the contradictions, the incongruities, the falsehood and the sorrow of the human state, the need to go beyond. Within the immensity of space floats a tiny atom of consciousness and in it the entire universe is contained.

Q:   There are affections in the dream which seem real and everlasting. Do they disappear on waking up?

M:  In dream you love some and not others. On waking up you find you are love itself, embracing all. Personal love, however intense and genuine, invariably binds; love in freedom is love of all.

Q:   People come and go. One loves whom one meets, one cannot love all.

M:  When you are love itself, you are beyond time and numbers. In loving one you love all, in loving all, you love each. One and all are not exclusive.

Q:   You say you are in a timeless state. Does it mean that past and future are open to you? Did you meet Vashishta Muni, Rama's Guru?

M:  The question is in time and about time. Again you are asking me about the contents of a dream. Timelessness is beyond the illusion of time, it is not an extension in time. He who called himself Vashishta knew Vashishta. I am beyond all names and shapes. Vashishta is a dream in your dream. How can I know him? You are too much concerned with past and future. It is all due to your longing to continue, to protect yourself against extinction. And as you want to continue, you want others to keep you company, hence your concern with their survival. But what you call survival is but the survival of a dream. Death is preferable to it . There is a chance of waking up .

Q:   You are aware of eternity, therefore you are not concerned with survival.

M:  It is the other way round. Freedom from all desire is eternity. All attachment implies fear, for all things are transient. And fear makes one a slave. This freedom from attachment does not come with practice; it is natural, when one knows one's true being. Love does not cling; clinging is not love.

Q:   So there is no way to gain detachment?

M:  There is nothing to gain. Abandon all imaginings and know yourself as you are. Self-knowledge is detachment. All craving is due to a sense of insufficiency. When you know that you lack nothing, that all there is, is you and yours, desire ceases.

Q:   To know myself must I practise awareness?

M:  There is nothing to practise. To know yourself, be yourself. To be yourself, stop imagining yourself to be this or that. Just be. Let your true nature emerge. Don't disturb your mind with seeking.

Q:   It will take much time if I Just wait for self-realisation.

M:  What have you to wait for when it is already here and now? You have only to look and see. Look at your self, at your own being. You know that you are and you like it. Abandon all imagining, that is all. Do not rely on time. Time is death. Who waits -- dies. Life is now only. Do not talk to me about past and future -- they exist only in your mind.

Q:   You too will die.

M:  I am dead already. Physical death will make no difference in my case. I am timeless being. I am free of desire or fear, because I do not remember the past, or imagine the future. Where there are no names and shapes, how can there be desire and fear? With desirelessness comes timelessness. I am safe, because what is not, cannot touch what is. You feel unsafe, because you imagine danger. Of course, your body as such is complex and vulnerable and needs protection. But not you. Once you realise your own unassailable being, you will be at peace.

Q:   How can I find peace when the world suffers?

M:  The world suffers for very valid reasons. If you want to help the world, you must be beyond the need of help. Then all your doing as well as not doing will help the world most effectively.

Q:   How can non-action be of use where action is needed?

M:  Where action is needed, action happens. Man is not the actor. His is to be aware of what is going on. His very presence is action. The window is the absence of the wall and it gives air and light because it is empty. Be empty of all mental content, of all imagination and effort, and the very absence of obstacles will cause reality to rush in. If you really want to help a person, keep away. If you are emotionally committed to helping, you will fail to help. You may be very busy and be very pleased with your charitable nature, but not much will be done. A man is really helped when he is no longer in need of help. All else is just futility.

Q:   There is not enough time to sit and wait for help to happen. One must do something.

M:  By all means -- do. But what you can do is limited; the self alone is unlimited. Give limitlessly -- of yourself. All else you can give in small measures only. You alone are immeasurable. To help is your very nature. Even when you eat and drink you help your body. For yourself you need nothing. You are pure giving, beginning-less, endless, inexhaustible. When you see sorrow and suffering, be with it. Do not rush into activity. Neither learning nor action can really help. Be with sorrow and lay bare its roots -- helping to understand is real help.

Q:   My death is nearing.

M:  Your body is short of time, not you. Time and space are in the mind only. You are not bound. Just understand yourself -- that itself is eternity.

Jewell

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Re: Quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
« Reply #544 on: August 23, 2013, 06:45:10 PM »
Q:   Why do I imagine at all?

M:  The light of consciousness passes through the film of memory and throws pictures on your brain. Because of the deficient and disordered state of your brain, what you perceive is distorted and coloured by feelings of like and dislike. Make your thinking orderly and free from emotional overtones, and you will see people and things as they are, with clarity and charity.

The witness of birth, life and death is one and the same. It is the witness of pain and of love. For while the existence in limitation and separation is sorrowful, we love it. We love it and hate it at the same time. We fight, we kill, we destroy life and property and yet we are affectionate and self-sacrificing. We nurse the child tenderly and orphan it too. Our life is full of contradictions. Yet we cling to it. This clinging is at the root of everything. Still, it is entirely superficial. We hold on to something or somebody, with all our might and next moment we forget it; like a child that shapes its mud-pies and abandons them light-heartedly. Touch them -- it will scream with anger, divert the child and he forgets them. For our life is now, and the love of it is now. We love variety, the play of pain and pleasure, we are fascinated by contrasts. For this we need the opposites and their apparent separation. We enjoy them for a time and then get tired and crave for the peace and silence of pure being. The cosmic heart beats ceaselessly. I am the witness and the heart too.

Q:   I can see the picture, but who is the painter? Who is responsible for this terrible and yet adorable experience?

M:  The painter is in the picture. You separate the painter from the picture and look for him. Don't separate and don't put false questions. Things are as they are and nobody in particular is responsible. The idea of personal responsibility comes from the illusion of agency. 'Somebody must have done it, somebody is responsible'. Society as it is now, with its framework of laws and customs, is based on the idea of a separate and responsible personality, but this is not the only form a society can take. There may be other forms, where the sense of separation is weak and responsibility diffused.

Q:   An individual with a weak sense of personality -- is he nearer self-realisation?

M:  Take the case of a young child. The sense of 'I-am' is not yet formed, the personality is rudimentary. The obstacles to self knowledge are few, but the power and the clarity of awareness, its width and depth are lacking. In the course of years awareness will grow stronger, but also the latent personality will emerge and obscure and complicate. Just as the harder the wood, the hotter the flame, so the stronger the personality, brighter the light generated from its destruction.

Q:   Have you no problems?

M:  I do have problems. I told you already. To be, to exist with a name and form is painful, yet I love it.

Q:   But you love everything!

M:  In existence everything is contained. My very nature is to love; even the painful is lovable.

Q:   It does not make it less painful. Why not remain in the unlimited?

M:  It is the instinct of exploration, the love of the unknown, that brings me into existence. It is in the nature of being to see adventure in becoming, as it is in the very nature of becoming to seek peace in being. This alteration of being and becoming is inevitable; but my home is beyond.

Q:   Is your home in God?

M:  To love and worship a god is also ignorance. My home is beyond all notions, however sublime.

Q:   But God is not a notion! It is the reality beyond existence.

M:  You may use any word you like. Whatever you may think of am beyond it.

Q:   Once you know your home, why not stay in it? What takes you out of it?

M:  Out of love for corporate existence one is born and once born, one gets involved in destiny. Destiny is inseparable from becoming. The desire to be the particular makes you into a person with all its personal past and future. Look at some great man, what a wonderful man he was! And yet how troubled was his life and limited its fruits. How utterly dependent is the personality of man and how indifferent is its world. And yet we love it and protect it for its very insignificance.

Q:   The war is on and there is chaos and you are being asked to take charge of a feeding centre. You are given what is needed, it is only a question of getting through the job. Will you refuse it?

M:  To work, or not to work, is one and the same to me. I may take charge, or may not. There may be others, better endowed for such tasks, than I am -- professional caterers for instance. But my attitude is different. I do not look at death as a calamity as I do not rejoice at the birth of a child. The child is out for trouble while the dead is out of it. Attachment to life is attachment to sorrow. We love what gives us pain. Such is our nature.

For me the moment of death will be a moment of jubilation, not of fear. I cried when I was born and I shall die laughing.

Q:   What is the change in consciousness at the moment of death?

M:  What change do you expect? When the film projection ends all remains the same as when it started. The state before you were born was also the state after death, if you remember.

Q:   I remember nothing.

M:  Because you never tried. It is only a question of tuning in the mind. It requires training, of course.

Q:   Why don't you take part in social work?

M:  But I am doing nothing else all the time! And what is the social work you want me to do? Patchwork is not for me. My stand is clear: produce to distribute, feed before you eat, give before you take, think of others, before you think of yourself. Only a selfless society based on sharing can be stable and happy. This is the only practical solution. If you do not want it -- fight.

Q:   It is all a matter of gunas. Where tamas and rajas predominate, there must be war. Where sattva rules, there will be peace.

M:  Put it whichever way you like, it comes to the same. Society is built on motives. Put goodwill into the foundations and you will not need specialised social workers.

Q:   The world is getting better.

M:  The world had all the time to get better, yet it did not. What hope is there for the future? Of course, there have been and will be periods of harmony and peace, when sattva was in ascendance, but things get destroyed by their own perfection. A perfect society is necessarily static and, therefore, it stagnates and decays. From the summit all roads lead downwards. Societies are like people -- they are born, they grow to some point of relative perfection and then decay and die.

Q:   Is there not a state of absolute perfection which does not decay?

M:  Whatever has a beginning must have an end. In the timeless all is perfect, here and now.

Q:   But shall we reach the timeless in due course?

M:  In due course we shall come back to the starting point. Time cannot take us out of time, as space cannot take us out of space. All you get by waiting is more waiting. Absolute perfection is here and now, not in some future, near or far. The secret is in action -- here and now. It is your behaviour that blinds you to yourself. Disregard whatever you think yourself to be and act as if you were absolutely perfect -- whatever your idea of perfection may be. All you need is courage.

Q:   Where do I find such courage?

M:  In yourself, of course. Look within.

Q:   Your grace will help

M:  My grace is telling you now: look within. All you need you have. Use it. Behave as best you know, do what you think you should. Don't be afraid of mistakes; you can always correct them, only intentions matter. The shape things take is not within your power; the motives of your actions are.

Q:   How can action born from imperfection lead to perfection?

M:  Action does not lead to perfection; perfection is expressed in action. As long as you judge yourself by your expressions give them utmost attention; when you realise your own being your behaviour will be perfect -- spontaneously.

Jewell

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Re: Quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
« Reply #545 on: August 24, 2013, 07:54:59 PM »
Q:   As I watch the sadhakas and enquire into the theories by which they live, I find they have merely replaced material cravings by ‘spiritual’ ambitions. From what you tell us it looks as if the words: ‘spiritual’ and ‘ambition’ are incompatible. If ‘spirituality’ implies freedom from ambition, what will urge the seeker on? The Yogis speak of the desire for liberation as essential. Is it not the highest form of ambition?

M:  Ambition is personal, liberation is from the personal. In liberation both the subject and the object of ambition are no longer. Earnestness is not a yearning for the fruits of one’s endeavours. It is an expression of an inner shift of interest away from the false, unessential, the personal.

Q:   You told us the other day that we cannot even dream of perfection before realisation, for the Self is the source of all perfection and not the mind. If it is not excellence in virtue that is essential for liberation, then what is?

M:  Liberation is not the result of some means skilfully applied, nor of circumstances. It is beyond the causal process. Nothing can compel it, nothing can prevent it.

Q:   Then why are we not free here and now?

M:  But we are free ‘here and now’. It is only the mind that imagines bondage.

Q:   What will put an end to imagination?

M:  Why should you want to put an end to it? Once you know your mind and its miraculous powers, and remove what poisoned it -- the idea of a separate and isolated person -- you just leave it alone to do its work among things to which it is well suited. To keep the mind in its own place and on its own work is the liberation of the mind.

Q:   What is the work of the mind?

M:  The mind is the wife of the heart and the world their home -- to be kept bright and happy.

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.

Q:   You say that the illusion of the world begins with the sense ‘I am’, but when I ask about the origin of the sense ‘I am’, you answer that it has no origin, for on investigation it dissolves. What is solid enough to build the world on cannot be mere illusion. The ‘I am’ is the only changeless factor I am conscious of; how can it be false?

M:  It is not the ‘I am’ that is false, but what you take yourself to be. I can see, beyond the least shadow of doubt, that you are not what you believe yourself to be. Logic or no logic, you cannot deny the obvious. You are nothing that you are conscious of. Apply yourself diligently to pulling apart the structure you have built in your mind. What the mind has done the mind must undo.

Q:   You cannot deny the present moment, mind or no mind. What is now, is. You may question the appearance, but not the fact. What is at the root of the fact?

M:  The ‘I am’ is at the root of all appearance and the permanent link in the succession of events that we call life; but I am beyond the ‘I am’.

Q:   I have found that the realised people usually describe their state in terms borrowed from their religion. You happen to be a Hindu, so you talk of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva and use Hindu approaches and imagery. Kindly tell us, what is the experience behind your words? What reality do they refer to?

M:  It is my way of talking, a language I was taught to use.

Q:   But what is behind the language?

M:  How can I put it into words, except in negating them? Therefore, I use words like timeless, spaceless, causeless. These too are words, but as they are empty of meaning, they suit my purpose.

Q:   If they are meaningless, why use them?

M:  Because you want words where no words apply.



Jewell

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Re: Quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
« Reply #546 on: August 25, 2013, 07:54:39 PM »
Q:   If life is so wonderful, how could ignorance happen?

M:  You want to treat the disease without having seen the patient! Before you ask about ignorance, why don't you enquire first, who is the ignorant? When you say you are ignorant, you do not know that you have imposed the concept of ignorance over the actual state of your thoughts and feelings. Examine them as they occur, give them your full attention and you will find that there is nothing like ignorance, only inattention. Give attention to what worries you, that is all. After all, worry is mental pain and pain is invariably a call for attention. The moment you give attention, the call for it ceases and the question of ignorance dissolves. Instead of waiting for an answer to your question, find out who is asking the question and what makes him ask it. You will soon find that it is the mind, goaded by fear of pain, that asks the question. And in fear there is memory and anticipation, past and future. Attention brings you back to the present, the now, and the presence in the now is a state ever at hand, but rarely noticed.

Q:   You are reducing sadhana to simple attention. How is it that other teachers teach complete, difficult and time-consuming courses?

M:  The Gurus usually teach the sadhanas by which they themselves have reached their goal, whatever their goal may be. This is but natural, for their own sadhana they know intimately. I was taught to give attention to my sense of 'I am’ and I found it supremely effective. Therefore, I can speak of it with full confidence. But often people come with their bodies, brain and minds so mishandled, perverted and weak, that the state of formless attention is beyond them. In such cases, some simpler token of earnestness is appropriate. The repetition of a mantra, or gazing at a picture will prepare their body and mind for a deeper and more direct search. After all, it is earnestness that is indispensable, the crucial factor. Sadhana is only a vessel and it must be filled to the brim with earnestness, which is but love in action. For nothing can be done without love.

Q:   We love only ourselves.

M:  Were it so, it would be splendid! Love your self wisely and you will reach the summit of perfection. Everybody loves his body, but few love their real being.

Q:   Does my real being need my love?

M:  Your real being is love itself and your many loves are its reflections according to the situation at the moment.

Q:   We are selfish, we know only self-love.

M:  Good enough for a start. By all means wish yourself well. Think over, feel out deeply what is really good for you and strive for it earnestly. Very soon you will find that the real is your only good.

Q:   Yet I do not understand why the various Gurus insist on prescribing complicated and difficult sadhanas. Don't they know better?

M:  It is not what you do, but what you stop doing that matters. The people who begin their sadhana are so feverish and restless, that they have to be very busy to keep themselves on the track. An absorbing routine is good for them. After some time they quieten down and turn away from effort. In peace and silence the skin of the 'I' dissolves and the inner and the outer become one. The real sadhana is effortless.

Q:   I have sometimes the feeling that space itself is my body.

M:  When you are bound by the illusion: 'I am this body', you are merely a point in space and a moment in time. When the self-identification with the body is no more, all space and time are in your mind, which is a mere ripple in consciousness, which is awareness reflected in nature. Awareness and matter are the active and the passive aspects of pure being, which is in both and beyond both. Space and time are the body and the mind of the universal existence. My feeling is that all that happens in space and time happens to me, that every experience is my experience every form is my form. What I take myself to be, becomes my body and all that happens to that body becomes my mind. But at the root of the universe there is pure awareness, beyond space and time, here and now. Know it to be your real being and act accordingly.

Q:   What difference will it make in action what I take myself to be. Actions just happen according to circumstances.

M:  Circumstances and conditions rule the ignorant. The knower of reality is not compelled. The only law he obeys is that of love.

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Re: Quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
« Reply #547 on: August 27, 2013, 12:08:12 AM »

Questioner: A thousand years ago a man lived and died. His identity (antahkarana) re-appeared in a new body. Why does he not remember his previous life? And if he does, can the memory be brought into the conscious?

Maharaj: How do you know that the same person re-appeared in the new body? A new body may mean a new person altogether.

Q:   Imagine a pot of ghee. (Indian clarified butter). When the pot breaks, the Ghee remains and can be transferred to another pot. The old pot had its own scent, the new -- its own. The Ghee will carry the scents from pot to pot. In the same way the personal identity is transferred from body to body.

M:  It is all right. When there is the body, its peculiarities affect the person. Without the body we have the pure identity in the sense of 'I am'. But when you are reborn in a new body, where is the world formerly experienced?

Q:   Every body experiences its own world.

M:  In the present body the old body -- is it merely an idea, or is it a memory?

Q:   An idea, of course. How can a brain remember what it has not experienced?

M:  You have answered your own question. Why play with ideas? Be content with what you are sure of. And the only thing you can be sure of is 'I am'. Stay with it, and reject everything else. This is Yoga.

Q:   I can reject only verbally. At best I remember to repeat the formula: 'This is not me, this is not mine. I am beyond all this'.

M:  Good enough. First verbally, then mentally and emotionally, then in action. Give attention to the reality within you and it will come to light. It is like churning the cream for butter. Do it correctly and assiduously and the result is sure to come.

Q:   How can the absolute be the result of a process?

M:  You are right, the relative cannot result in the absolute. But the relative can block the absolute, just as the non-churning of the cream may prevent the butter from separating. It is the real that creates the urge; the inner prompts the outer and the outer responds in interest and effort. But ultimately there is no inner, nor outer; the light of consciousness is both the creator and the creature, the experiencer and the experience, the body and the embodied. Take care of the power that projects all this and your problems will come to an end.

Q:   Which is the projecting power?

M:  It is imagination prompted by desire.

Q:   I know all this, but have no power over it.

M:  This is another illusion of yours, born from craving for results.

Q:   What is wrong with purposeful action?

M:  It does not apply. In these matters there is no question of purpose, nor of action. All you need is to listen, remember, ponder. It is like taking food. All you can do is to bite off, chew and swallow. All else is unconscious and automatic. Listen, remember and understand -- the mind is both the actor and the stage. All is of the mind and you are not the mind. The mind is born and reborn, not you. The mind creates the world and all the wonderful variety of it. Just like in a good play you have all sorts of characters and situations, so you need a little of everything to make a world.

Q:   Nobody suffers in a play.

M:  Unless one identifies himself with it. Don't identify yourself with the world and you will not suffer.

Q:   Others will.

M:  Then make your world perfect, by all means. If you believe in God, work with Him. It you do not, become one. Either see the world as a play or work at it with all your might. Or both.

Q:   What about the identify of the dying man? What happens to it when he is dead? Do you agree that it continues in another body.

M:  It continues and yet it does not. All depends how you look at it. What is identity, after all? Continuity in memory? Can you talk of identity without memory?

Q:   Yes, I can. The child may not know its parents, yet the hereditary characteristics will be there.

M:  Who identifies them? Somebody with a memory to register and compare. Don't you see that memory is the warp of your mental life. And identity is merely a pattern of events in time and space. Change the pattern and you have changed the man.

Q:   The pattern is significant and important. It has its own value. By saying that a woven design is merely coloured threads you miss the most important -- the beauty of it. Or by describing a book as paper with ink stains on it, you miss the meaning. Identity is valuable because it is the basis of individuality; that which makes us unique and irreplaceable. 'I am', is the intuition of uniqueness.

M:  Yes and no. Identity, individuality, uniqueness -- they are the most valuable aspects of the mind, yet of the mind only. 'I am all there is' too is an experience equally valid. The particular and the universal are inseparable. They are the two aspects of the nameless, as seen from without and from within. Unfortunately, words only mention, but don't convey. Try to go beyond the words.

Q:   What dies with death?

M:  The idea 'I am this body' dies; the witness does not.

Q:   The Jains believe in a multiplicity of witnesses, forever separate.

M:  That is their tradition based on the experience of some great people. The one witness reflects itself in the countless bodies as 'I am'. As long as the bodies, however subtle, last, the 'I am' appears as many. Beyond the body there is only the One.

Q:   God?

M:  The Creator is a person whose body is the world. The Nameless one is beyond all gods.

Q:   Sri Ramana Maharshi died. What difference did it make to him?

M:  None. What he was, he is -- the Absolute Reality.

Q:   But to the common man death makes a difference.

M:  What he thinks himself to be before death he continues to be after death. His self-image survives.

Q:   The other day there was a talk about the use by the jnani of animal skins for meditation etc. I was not convinced. It is easy to justify everything by referring to custom and tradition. Customs may be cruel and tradition corrupt. They explain, but do not justify.

M:  I never meant to say that lawlessness follows self-realisation. A liberated man is extremely law-abiding. But his laws are the laws of his real self, not of his society. These he observes, or breaks according to circumstances and necessity. But he will never be fanciful and disorderly.

Q:   What I cannot accept is justification by custom and habit.

M:  The difficulty lies in our differing points of view. You speak from the body-mind's. Mine is of the witness. The difference is basic.

Q:   Still, cruelty is cruelty

M:  None compels you to be cruel.

Q:   Taking advantage of other people's cruelty is cruelty by proxy.

M:  If you look into living process closely, you will find cruelty everywhere, for life feeds on life. This is a fact, but it does not make you feel guilty of being alive. You began a life of cruelty by giving your mother endless trouble. To the last day of your life you will compete for food, clothing, shelter, holding on to your body, fighting for its needs, wanting it to be secure, in a world of insecurity and death. From the animal's point of view being killed is not the worst form of dying; surely preferable to sickness and senile decay. The cruelty lies in the motive, not in the fact. Killing hurts the killer, not the killed.

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Re: Quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
« Reply #548 on: August 28, 2013, 08:54:44 PM »

Maharaj:

You have met many anchorites and ascetics, but a fully realised man conscious of his divinity (swarupa) is hard to find. The saints and Yogis, by immense efforts and sacrifices, acquire many miraculous powers and can do much good in the way of helping people and inspiring faith, yet it does not make them perfect. It is not a way to reality, but merely an enrichment of the false. All effort leads to more effort; whatever was built up must be maintained, whatever was acquired must be protected against decay or loss. Whatever can be lost is not really one's own; and what is not your own of what use can it be to you? In my world nothing is pushed about, all happens by itself. All existence is in space and time, limited and temporary. He who experiences existence is also limited and temporary. I am not concerned either with 'what exists' or with 'who exists'. I take my stand beyond, where I am both and neither.

The persons who, after much effort and penance, have fulfilled their ambitions and secured higher levels of experience and action, are usually acutely conscious of their standing; they grade people into hierarchies, ranging from the lowest non-achiever to the highest achiever. To me all are equal. Differences in appearance and expression are there, but they do not matter. Just as the shape of a gold ornament does not affect the gold, so does man's essence remain unaffected. Where this sense of equality is lacking it means that reality had not been touched.

Mere knowledge is not enough; the knower must be known. The Pandits and the Yogis may know many things, but of what use is mere knowledge when the self is not known? It will be certainly misused. Without the knowledge of the knower there can be no peace.

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Re: Quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
« Reply #549 on: August 29, 2013, 03:45:30 PM »

I am that by which I know 'I am.

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Re: Quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
« Reply #550 on: August 29, 2013, 03:51:14 PM »
M:  You must unlearn everything. God is the end of all desire and knowledge.

Q:   You mean to say that I become God merely by giving up the desire to become God?

M:  All desires must be given up, because by desiring you take the shape of your desires. When no desires remain, you revert to your natural state.

Q:   How do I come to know that I have achieved perfection?

M:  You can not know perfection, you can know only imperfection. For knowledge to be, there must be separation and disharmony. You can know what you are not, but you can not know your real being. You can be only what you are. The entire approach is through understanding, which is in the seeing of the false as false. But to understand, you must observe from outside.

Q:   The Vedantic concept of Maya, illusion, applies to the manifested. Therefore our knowledge of the manifested is unreliable. But we should be able to trust our knowledge of the unmanifested.

M:  There can be no knowledge of the unmanifested. The potential is unknowable. Only the actual can be known.

Q:   Why should the knower remain unknown?

M:  The knower knows the known. Do you know the knower? Who is the knower of the knower? You want to know the unmanifested. Can you say you know the manifested?

Q:   I know things and ideas and their relations. It is the sum total of all my experiences.

M:  All?

Q:   Well, all actual experiences. I admit I cannot know what did not happen.

M:  If the manifested is the sum total of all actual experiences, including their experiencers, how much of the total do you know? A very small part indeed. And what is the little you know?

Q:   Some sensory experiences as related to myself.

M:  Not even that. You only know that you react. Who reacts and to what, you do not know. You know on contact that you exist -- 'I am'. The 'I am this', 'I am that' are imaginary.

Q:   I know the manifested because I participate in it. I admit, my part in it is very small, yet it is as real as the totality of it. And what is more important, I give it meaning. Without me the world is dark and silent.

M:  A firefly illumining the world! You don't give meaning to the world, you find it. Dive deep into yourself and find the source from where all meaning flows. Surely it is not the superficial mind that can give meaning.

Q:   What makes me limited and superficial?

M:  The total is open and available, but you will not take it. You are attached to the little person you think yourself to be. Your desires are narrow, your ambitions -- petty. After all, without a centre of perception where would be the manifested? Unperceived, the manifested is as good as the unmanifested. And you are the perceiving point, the non-dimensional source of all dimensions. Know yourself as the total.

Q:   How can a point contain a universe?

M:  There is enough space in a point for an infinity of universes. There is no lack of capacity. Self-limitation is the only problem. But you cannot run away from yourself. However far you go, you come back to yourself and to the need of understanding this point, which is as nothing and yet the source of everything.

Q:   I came to India in search of a Yoga teacher. I am still in search.

M:  What kind of Yoga do you want to practice, the Yoga of getting, or the Yoga of giving up?

Q:   Don't they come to the same in the end?

M:  How can they? One enslaves, the other liberates. The motive matters supremely. Freedom comes through renunciation. All possession is bondage.

Q:   What I have the strength and the courage to hold on to, why should I give up? And if I have not the strength, how can I give up? I do not understand this need of giving up. When I want something, why should I not pursue it? Renunciation is for the weak.

M:  If you do not have the wisdom and the strength to give up, just look at your possessions. Your mere looking will burn them up. If you can stand outside your mind, you will soon find that total renunciation of possessions and desires is the most obviously reasonable thing to do. You create the world and then worry about it. Becoming selfish makes you weak. If you think you have the strength and courage to desire, it is because you are young and inexperienced. Invariably the object of desire destroys the means of acquiring it and then itself withers away. It is all for the best, because it teaches you to shun desire like poison.

Q:   How am I to practice desirelessness?

M:  No need of practice. No need of any acts of renunciation. Just turn your mind away, that is all. Desire is merely the fixation of the mind on an idea. Get it out of its groove by denying it attention.

Q:   That is all?

M:  Yes, that is all. Whatever may be the desire or fear, don't dwell upon it. Try and see for yourself. Here and there you may forget, it does not matter. Go back to your attempts till the brushing away of every desire and fear, of every reaction becomes automatic.

Q:   How can one live without emotions?

M:  You can have all the emotions you want, but beware of reactions, of induced emotions. Be entirely self-determined and ruled from within, not from without. Merely giving up a thing to secure a better one is not true relinquishment. Give it up because you see its valuelessness. As you keep on giving up, you will find that you grow spontaneously in intelligence and power and inexhaustible love and joy.

Q:   Why so much insistence on relinquishing all desires and fears? Are they not natural?

M:  They are not. They are entirely mind-made. You have to give up everything to know that you need nothing, not even your body. Your needs are unreal and your efforts are meaningless. You imagine that your possessions protect you. In reality they make you vulnerable. realise yourself as away from all that can be pointed at as 'this' or 'that'. You are unreachable by any sensory experience or verbal construction. Turn away from them. Refuse to impersonate.

Q:   After I have heard you, what am I to do?

M:  Only hearing will not help you much. You must keep it in mind and ponder over it and try to understand the state of mind which makes me say what I say. I speak from truth; stretch your hand and take it. You are not what you think yourself to be, I assure you. The image you have of yourself is made up from memories and is purely accidental.

Q:   What I am is the result of my karma.

M:  What you appear to be, you are not. Karma is only a word you have learnt to repeat. You have never been, nor shall ever be a person. Refuse to consider yourself as one. But as long as you do not even doubt yourself to be a Mr. S0-and-so, there is little hope. When you refuse to open your eyes, what can you be shown?

Q:   I imagine karma to be a mysterious power that urges me towards perfection.

M:  That's what people told you. You are already perfect, here and now. The perfectible is not you. You imagine yourself to be what you are not -- stop it. It is the cessation that is important, not what you are going to stop.

Q:   Did not karma compel me to become what I am?

M:  Nothing compels. You are as you believe yourself to be. Stop believing.

Q:   Here you are sitting on your seat and talking to me. What compels you is your karma.

M:  Nothing compels me. I do what needs doing. But you do so many unnecessary things. It is your refusal to examine that creates karma. It is the indifference to your own suffering that perpetuates it.

Q:   Yes, it is true. What can put an end to this indifference?

M:  The urge must come from within as a wave of detachment, or compassion.

Q:   Could I meet this urge half way?

M:  Of course. See your own condition, see the condition of the world.

Q:   We were told about karma and reincarnation, evolution and Yoga, masters and disciples. What are we to do with all this knowledge?

M:  Leave it all behind you. Forget it. Go forth, unburdened with ideas and beliefs. Abandon all verbal structures, all relative truth, all tangible objectives. The Absolute can be reached by absolute devotion only. Don't be half-hearted.

Q:   I must begin with some absolute truth. Is there any?

M:  Yes, there is, the feeling: 'I am'. Begin with that.

Q:   Nothing else is true?

M:  All else is neither true nor false. It seems real when it appears, it disappears when it is denied. A transient thing is a mystery.

Q:   I thought the real is the mystery.

M:  How can it be? The real is simple, open, clear and kind, beautiful and joyous. It is completely free of contradictions. It is ever new, ever fresh, endlessly creative. Being and non-being, life and death, all distinctions merge in it.

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Re: Quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
« Reply #551 on: August 30, 2013, 04:16:54 PM »

The original consciousness sees nothing except itself. It has no organs, yet it is in action with innumerable spiritual knowledge and the pacification of the desire to know 131 organs. It is never polluted. The various conscious centers hedged by the limiting adjuncts only think they are different from the original source, but there is only one being, one spirit, one quality; formless, timeless, non-spatial, the one, pure consciousness. There is no scope for difference or distinction. The creature, deluded by the narrow interests of 'I' and 'mine', suffers pain for nothing, it is limited only to itself. Everything takes place at the proper moment, in accordance with the law that binds all, and everything materialises at the proper moment. When Ravana becomes unbearable Rama is there to give relief. When Kamsa rules supreme, Krishna is there as an antidote. This is how the rhythm of ups and downs is maintained.

The controlling force of all these events is the same, it never changes. It cannot be that there is one God in one age and another in another age.

Just a single quality gives birth to the glow of the expanded universe; in the absence of that one quality, all is pure silence. When this one single quality is known and befriended, the heart mingles with the Heart; there is that supreme sense of inalienable mutuality of oneness of quality in all, and all as belonging to the One. The supreme unity is realised; hence it is called the supreme Self.

All time, all space and all cause have become one for eternity, the One alone is all-active. It has no gain nor loss nor death. It is unborn, eternal, and yet is born every moment and manifests itself in every epoch. All spiritual and intellectual knowledge comes to rest here.

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Re: Quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
« Reply #552 on: August 31, 2013, 09:12:48 PM »

The knowledge ‘I am’, without memories and concepts, is
everything. The idea ‘I am the body and mind’ is not that
knowledge. No effort is required, the main thing is that ‘you are’
(or ‘I am’) when you listen to me and stay there, you’ll understand
that the knowledge ‘I am’ is independent of body-mind.

Go to the source and be established there, then, there is no change.
You might have read the Gita, who is there to judge its soundness?
The knowledge ‘I am’ has to approve whatever is said there.
Establish yourself in the Self, whatever you are prior to the ‘I am’,
get established there. When this abidance in the Self is achieved,
all talks with sound gibberish.

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Re: Quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
« Reply #553 on: August 31, 2013, 09:22:53 PM »
Questioner: In one's search for the essential, one soon realises one's inadequacy and the need for a guide or a teacher. This implies a certain discipline for you are expected to trust your guide and follow implicitly his advice and instruction. Yet the social urgencies and pressures are so great, personal desires and fears so powerful, that the simplicity of mind and will, essential in obedience, are not forthcoming. How to strike a balance between the need for a Guru and the difficulty in obeying him implicitly?

Maharaj: What is done under pressure of society and circumstances does not matter much, for it is mostly mechanical, mere reacting to impacts. It is enough to watch oneself dispassionately to isolate oneself completely from what is going on. What has been done without minding, blindly, may add to one's karma (destiny), otherwise it hardly matters. The Guru demands one thing only; clarity and intensity of purpose, a sense of responsibility for oneself. The very reality of the world must be questioned. Who is the Guru, after all? He who knows the state in which there is neither the world nor the thought of it, he is the Supreme Teacher. To find him means to reach the state in which imagination is no longer taken for reality. Please, understand that the Guru stands for reality, for truth, for what is. He is a realist in the highest sense of the term. He cannot and shall not come to terms with the mind and its delusions. He comes to take you to the real; don't expect him to do anything else.

The Guru you have in mind, one who gives you information and instructions, is not the real Guru. The real Guru is he who knows the real, beyond the glamour of appearances. To him your questions about obedience and discipline do not make sense, for in his eyes the person you take yourself to be does not exist, your questions are about a non-existing person. What exists for you does not exist for him. What you take for granted, he denies absolutely. He wants you to see yourself as he sees you. Then you will not need a Guru to obey and follow, for you will obey and follow your own reality. realise that whatever you think yourself to be is just a stream of events; that while all happens, comes and goes, you alone are, the changeless among the changeful, the self-evident among the inferred. Separate the observed from the observer and abandon false identifications.

Q:   In order to find the reality, one should discard all that stands in the way. On the other hand, the need to survive within a given society compels one to do and endure many things. Does one need to abandon one's profession and one's social standing in order to find reality?

M:  Do your work. When you have a moment free, look within. What is important is not to miss the opportunity when it presents itself. If you are earnest you will use your leisure fully. That is enough.

Q:   In my search for the essential and discarding the unessential, is there any scope for creative living? For instance, I love painting. Will it help me if I give my leisure hours to painting?

M:  Whatever you may have to do, watch your mind. Also you must have moments of complete inner peace and quiet, when your mind is absolutely still. If you miss it, you miss the entire thing. If you do not, the silence of the mind will dissolve and absorb all else.

Your difficulty lies in your wanting reality and being afraid of it at the same time. You are afraid of it because you do not know it. The familiar things are known, you feel secure with them. The unknown is uncertain and therefore dangerous. But to know reality is to be in harmony with it. And in harmony there is no place for fear.

An infant knows its body, but not the body-based distinctions. It is just conscious and happy. After all, that was the purpose for which it was born. The pleasure to be is the simplest form of self-love, which later grows into love of the self. Be like an infant with nothing standing between the body and the self. The constant noise of the psychic life is absent. In deep silence the self contemplates the body. It is like the white paper on which nothing is written yet. Be like that infant, instead of trying to be this or that, be happy to be. You will be a fully awakened witness of the field of consciousness. But there should be no feelings and ideas to stand between you and the field.

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Re: Quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
« Reply #554 on: September 01, 2013, 05:46:13 PM »
Questioner: As I listen to you I find that it is useless to ask you questions. Whatever the question, you invariably turn it upon itself and bring me to the basic fact that I am living in an illusion of my own making and that reality is inexpressible in words. Words merely add to the confusion and the only wise course is the silent search within.

Maharaj: After all, it is the mind that creates illusion and it is the mind that gets free of it. Words may aggravate illusion, words may also help dispel it. There is nothing wrong in repeating the same truth again and again until it becomes reality. Mother's work is not over with the birth of the child. She feeds it day after day, year after year until it needs her no longer. People need hearing words, until facts speak to them louder than words.

Q:   So we are children to be fed on words?

M:  As long as you give importance to words, you are children.

Q:   All right, then be our mother.

M:  Where was the child before it was born? Was it not with the mother? Because it was already with the mother it could be born.

Q:   Surely, the mother did not carry the child when she was a child herself.

M:  Potentially, she was the mother. Go beyond the illusion of time.

Q:   Your answer is always the same. A kind of clockwork which strikes the same hours again and again.

M:  It can not be helped. Just like the one sun is reflected in a billion dew drops, so is the timeless endlessly repeated. When l repeat: 'I am, I am', I merely assert and re-assert an ever-present fact. You get tired of my words because you do not see the living truth behind them. Contact it and you will find the full meaning of words and of silence -- both.

Q:   You say that the little girl is already the mother of her future child. Potentially -- yes. Actually -- no.

M:  The potential becomes actual by thinking. The body and its affairs exist in the mind.

Q:   And the mind is consciousness in motion and consciousness is the conditioned (saguna) aspect of the Self. The unconditioned (nirguna) is another aspect and beyond lies the abyss of the absolute (paramartha).

M:  Quite right -- you have put it beautifully.

Q:   But these are mere words to me. Hearing and repeating them is not enough, they must be experienced.

M:  Nothing stops you but preoccupation with the outer which prevents you from focussing the inner. It cannot be helped, you cannot skip your sadhana. You have to turn away from the world and go within, until the inner and the outer merge and you can go beyond the conditioned, whether inner or outer.

Q:   Surely, the unconditioned is merely an idea in the conditioned mind. By itself it has no existence.

M:  By itself nothing has existence. Everything needs its own absence. To be, is to be distinguishable, to be here and not there, to be now and not then, to be thus and not otherwise. Like water is shaped by the container, so is everything determined by conditions (gunas). As water remains water regardless of the vessels, as light remains itself regardless of the colours it brings out, so does the real remain real, regardless of conditions in which it is reflected. Why keep the reflection only in the focus of consciousness? Why not the real itself?

Q:   Consciousness itself is a reflection. How can it hold the real?

M:  To know that consciousness and its content are but reflections, changeful and transient, is the focussing of the real. The refusal to see the snake in the rope is the necessary condition for seeing the rope.

Q:   Only necessary, or also sufficient?

M:  One must also know that a rope exists and looks like a snake. Similarly, one must know that the real exists and is of the nature of witness-consciousness. Of course it is beyond the witness, but to enter it one must first realise the state of pure witnessing. The awareness of conditions brings one to the unconditioned.

Q:   Can the unconditioned be experienced?

M:  To know the conditioned as conditioned is all that can be said about the unconditioned. Positive terms are mere hints and misleading.

Q:   Can we talk of witnessing the real?

M:  How can we? We can talk only of the unreal, the illusory, the transient, the conditioned. To go beyond, we must pass through total negation of everything as having independent existence. All things depend.

Q:   On what do they depend?

M:  On consciousness. And consciousness depends on the witness.

Q:   And the witness depends on the real?

M:  The witness is the reflection of the real in all its purity. It depends on the condition of the mind. Where clarity and detachment predominate, the witness-consciousness comes into being. It is just like saying that where the water is clear and quiet, the image of the moon appears. Or like daylight that appears as sparkle in the diamond.

Q:   Can there be consciousness without the witness?

M:  Without the witness it becomes unconsciousness, just living. The witness is latent in every state of consciousness, just like light in every colour. There can be no knowledge without the knower and no knower without his witness. Not only you know, but you know that you know.

Q:   If the unconditioned cannot be experienced, for all experience is conditioned, then why talk of it at all?

M:  How can there be knowledge of the conditioned without the unconditioned? There must be a source from which all this flows, a foundation on which all stands. Self-realisation is primarily the knowledge of one's conditioning and the awareness that the infinite variety of conditions depends on our infinite ability to be conditioned and to give rise to variety. To the conditioned mind the unconditioned appears as the totality as well as the absence of everything. Neither can be directly experienced, but this does not make it not-existent.

Q:   Is it not a feeling?

M:  A feeling too is a state of mind. Just like a healthy body does not call for attention, so is the unconditioned free from experience. Take the experience of death. The ordinary man is afraid to die, because he is afraid of change. The jnani is not afraid because his mind is dead already. He does not think: 'I live'. He knows: 'There is life'. There is no change in it and no death. Death appears to be a change in time and space. Where there is neither time nor space, how can there be death? The jnani is already dead to name and shape. How can their loss affect him? The man in the train travels from place to place, but the man off the train goes nowhere, for he is not bound for a destination. He has nowhere to go, nothing to do, nothing to become. Those who make plans will be born to carry them out. Those who make no plans need not be born.

Q:   What is the purpose of pain and pleasure?

M:  Do they exist by themselves, or only in the mind?