Author Topic: Quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj  (Read 577924 times)


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Re: Quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
« Reply #705 on: January 26, 2015, 04:32:47 AM »
Questioner: I have been moving from place to place investigating the various Yogas available for
practice and I could not decide which will suit me best. I should be thankful for some competent
advice. At present, as a result of all this searching, I am just tired of the idea of finding truth. It
seems to me, both unnecessary and troublesome. Life is enjoyable as it is and I see no purpose in
improving on it.

Maharaj: You are welcome to stay in your contentment, but can you? Youth, vigour, money -- all
will pass away sooner than you expect. Sorrow, shunned so far, will pursue you. If you want to be
beyond suffering, you must meet it half way and embrace it. Relinquish your habits and addictions,
live a simple and sober life, don't hurt a living being; this is the foundation of Yoga. To find reality
you must be real in the smallest daily action; there can be no deceit in the search for truth. You say
you find your life enjoyable. Maybe it is -- at present. But who enjoys it?

Q: I confess I do not know the enjoyer nor the enjoyed. I only know the enjoyment.

M: Quite right. But enjoyment is a state of mind -- it comes and goes. Its very impermanence
makes it perceivable. You cannot be conscious of what does not change. All consciousness is
consciousness of change. But the very perception of change -- does it not necessitate a changeless

Q: Not at all. The memory of the last state -- compared to the actuality of the present state gives
the experience of change.

M: Between the remembered and the actual there is a basic difference which can be observed
from moment to moment. At no point of time is the actual the remembered. Between the two there
is a difference in kind, not merely in intensity. The actual is unmistakably so. By no effort of will or
imagination can you interchange the two. Now, what is it that gives this unique quality to the actual?

Q: The actual is real, while there is a good deal of uncertainty about the remembered.

M: Quite so, but why? A moment back the remembered was actual, in a moment the actual will be
the remembered. What makes the actual unique? Obviously, it is your sense of being present. In
memory and anticipation there is a clear feeling that it is a mental state under observation, while in
the actual the feeling is primarily of being present and aware.

Q: Yes I can see. It is awareness that makes the difference between the actual and the
remembered. One thinks of the past or the future, but one is present in the now.

M: Wherever you go, the sense of here and now you carry with you all the time. It means that you
are independent of space and time, that space and time are in you, not you in them. It is your selfidentification
with the body, which, of course, is limited in space and time, that gives you the feeling
of finiteness. In reality you are infinite and eternal.

Q: This infinite and eternal self of mine, how am I to know it?

M: The self you want to know, is it some second self? Are you made of several selves? Surely,
there is only one self and you are that self. The self you are is the only self there is. Remove and
abandon your wrong ideas about yourself and there it is, in all its glory. It is only your mind that
prevents self-knowledge.

Q: How am I to be rid of the mind? And is life without mind at all possible on the human level?

M: There is no such thing as mind. There are ideas and some of them are wrong. Abandon the
wrong ideas, for they are false and obstruct your vision of yourself.


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Re: Quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
« Reply #706 on: January 27, 2015, 02:52:22 AM »
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.

Q: If I am timelessly perfect, then why was I born at all? What is the purpose of this life?

M: It is like asking: what does it profit gold to be made into an ornament? The ornament gets the
colour and the beauty of gold; gold is not enriched. Similarly, reality expressed in action makes the
action meaningful and beautiful.

Q: What does the real gain through its expressions?

M: What can it gain? Nothing whatsoever. But it is in the nature of love to express itself, to affirm
itself, to overcome difficulties. Once you have understood that the world is love in action, you will
look at it quite differently. But first your attitude to suffering must change. Suffering is primarily a call
for attention, which itself is a movement of love. More than happiness, love wants growth, the
widening and deepening of consciousness and being. Whatever prevents becomes a cause of pain,
and love does not shirk from pain. Sattva, the energy that works for righteousness and orderly
development, must not be thwarted. When obstructed it turns against itself and becomes
destructive. Whenever love is withheld and suffering allowed to spread, war becomes inevitable.
Our indifference to our neighbour?s sorrow brings suffering to our door


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Re: Quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
« Reply #707 on: January 28, 2015, 02:32:45 AM »
Questioner: There are so many theories about the nature of man and universe. The creation
theory, the illusion theory, the dream theory -- any number of them. Which is true?

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

Q: You seem to favour the dream theory.

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

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

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

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

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

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

M: Whatever name you give it: will, or steady purpose, or one-pointedness of the mind, you come
back to earnestness, sincerity, honesty. When you are in dead earnest, you bend every incident,
every second of your life to your purpose. You do not waste time and energy on other things. You
are totally dedicated, call it will, or love, or plain honesty. We are complex beings, at war within and
without. We contradict ourselves all the time, undoing today the work of yesterday. No wonder we
are stuck. A little of integrity would make a lot of difference.


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Re: Quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
« Reply #708 on: January 29, 2015, 11:58:01 PM »
Q: How do I come to know that my experience is universal?

M: At the end of your meditation all is known directly, no proofs whatsoever are required. Just as
every drop of the ocean carries the taste of the ocean, so does every moment carry the taste of
eternity. Definitions and descriptions have their place as useful incentives for further search, but you
must go beyond them into what is undefinable and indescribable, except in negative terms.
After all, even universality and eternity are mere concepts, the opposites of being place and timebound.
Reality is not a concept, nor the manifestation of a concept. It has nothing to do with
concepts. Concern yourself with your mind, remove its distortions and impurities. Once you had the
taste of your own self, you will find it everywhere and at all times. Therefore, it is so important that
you should come to it. Once you know it, you will never lose it.
But you must give yourself the opportunity through intensive, even arduous meditation.

Q: What exactly do you want me to do?

M: Give your heart and mind to brooding over the 'I am', what is it, how is it, what is its source, its
life, its meaning. It is very much like digging a well. You reject all that is not water, till you reach the
life-giving spring.

Q: How shall I know that I am moving in the right direction?

M: By your progress in intentness, in clarity and devotion to the task.

Q: We, Europeans, find it very difficult to keep quiet. The world is too much with us.

M: Oh, no, you are dreamers too. We differ only in the contents of our dreams. You are after
perfection -- in the future. We are intent on finding it -- in the now. The limited only is perfectible.
The unlimited is already perfect. You are perfect, only you don't know it. Learn to know yourself and
you will discover wonders.
All you need is already within you, only you must approach your self with reverence and love. Selfcondemnation
and self-distrust are grievous errors. Your constant flight from pain and search for
pleasure is a sign of love you bear for your self, all I plead with you is this: make love of your self
perfect. Deny yourself nothing -- glue your self infinity and eternity and discover that you do not
need them; you are beyond.


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Re: Quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
« Reply #709 on: January 30, 2015, 10:01:34 PM »

Abandon false ideas, that is all.
There is no need of true ideas.
There aren't any.


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Re: Quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
« Reply #710 on: February 02, 2015, 12:35:36 AM »
Q: Who are the people in this room? Are they your disciples?

M: Ask them. It is not on the verbal level that one becomes a disciple, but in the silent depths of
one?s being. You do not become a disciple by choice; it is more a matter of destiny than self-will. It
does not matter much who is the teacher -- they all wish you well. It is the disciple that matters -- his
honesty and earnestness. The right disciple will always find the right teacher.

Q: I can see the beauty and feel the blessedness of a life devoted to search for truth under a
competent and loving teacher. Unfortunately, we have to return to England.

M: Distance does not matter. If your desires are strong and true, they will mould your life for their
fulfilment. Sow you seed and leave it to the seasons.

Q: What are the signs of progress in spiritual life?

M: Freedom from anxiety; a sense of ease and joy; deep peace within and abundant energy

Q: How did you get it?

M: I found it all in the holy presence of my Guru -- I did nothing on my own. He told me to be quiet
-- and I did it -- as much as I could.

Q: Is your presence as powerful as his?

M: How am I to know? For me -- his is the only presence. If you are with me, you are with him.

Q: Each Guru will refer me to his own Guru. Where is the starting point?

M: There is a power in the universe working for enlightenment -- and liberation. We call it
Sadashiva, who is ever present in the hearts of men. It is the unifying factor. Unity -- liberates.
Freedom -- unites. Ultimately nothing is mine or yours -- everything is ours. Just be one with
yourself and you will be one with all, at home in the entire universe.

Q: You mean to say that all these glories will come with the mere dwelling on the feeling 'I am'?

M: It is the simple that is certain, not the complicated. Somehow, people do not trust the simple, the
easy, the always available. Why not give an honest trial to what I say? It may look very small and
insignificant, but it is like a seed that grows into a mighty tree. Give yourself a chance!

Q: I see so many people sitting here -- quietly. What for have they come?

M: To meet themselves. At home the world is too much with them. Here nothing disturbs them;
they have a chance to take leave of their daily worries and contact the essential in themselves.

Q: What is the course of training in self-awareness?

M: There is no need of training. Awareness is always with you. The same attention that you give to
the outer, you turn to the inner. No new, or special kind of awareness is needed.


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Re: Quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
« Reply #711 on: February 04, 2015, 03:40:39 AM »

There is a way out within easy reach, not a conversion to another set of ideas,
 but a liberation from all ideas and patterns of living.


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Re: Quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
« Reply #712 on: February 05, 2015, 02:58:10 AM »
Maharaj: The seeker is he who is in search of himself. Soon he discovers that his own body he
cannot be. Once the conviction: 'I am not the body' becomes so well grounded that he can no
longer feel, think and act for and on behalf of the body, he will easily discover that he is the
universal being, knowing, acting, that in him and through him the entire universe is real, conscious
and active. This is the heart of the problem. Either you are body-conscious and a slave of
circumstances, or you are the universal consciousness itself -- and in full control of every event.
Yet consciousness, individual or universal, is not my true abode; I am not in it, it is not mine, there is
no 'me' in it. I am beyond, though it is not easy to explain how one can be neither conscious, nor
unconscious, but just beyond. I cannot say that I am in God or I am God; God is the universal light
and love, the universal witness: I am beyond the universal even.

Questioner: In that case you are without name and shape. What kind of being have you?

M: I am what I am, neither with form nor formless, neither conscious nor unconscious. I am outside
all these categories.

Q: You are taking the neti-neti (not this, not this) approach.

M: You cannot find me by mere denial. I am as well everything, as nothing. Nor both, nor either.
These definitions apply to the Lord of the Universe, not to me.

Q: Do you intend to convey that you are just nothing.

M: Oh, no! I am complete and perfect. I am the beingness of being, the knowingness of knowing,
the fullness of happiness. You cannot reduce me to emptiness!

Q: If you are beyond words, what shall we talk about? Metaphysically speaking, what you say
holds together; there is no inner contradiction. But there is no food for me in what you say. It is so
completely beyond my urgent needs. When I ask for bread, you are giving jewels. They are
beautiful, no doubt, but I am hungry.

M: It is not so. I am offering you exactly what you need -- awakening. You are not hungry and you need no bread.
You need cessation, relinquishing, disentanglement. What you believe you need is
not what you need. Your real need I know, not you. You need to return to the state in which I am --
your natural state. Anything else you may think of is an illusion and an obstacle. Believe me, you
need nothing except to be what you are. You imagine you will increase your value by acquisition. It
is like gold imagining that an addition of copper will improve it. Elimination and purification,
renunciation of all that is foreign to your nature is enough. All else is vanity.

Q: It is easier said than done. A man comes to you with stomach-ache and you advise him to
disgorge his stomach. Of course, without the mind there will be no problems. But the mind is there
-- most tangibly.

M: It is the mind that tells you that the mind is there. Don't be deceived. All the endless arguments
about the mind are produced by the mind itself, for its own protection, continuation and expansion. It
is the blank refusal to consider the convolutions and convulsions of the mind that can take you
beyond it.

Q: Sir, I am an humble seeker, while you are the Supreme Reality itself. Now the seeker
approaches the Supreme in order to be enlightened. What does the Supreme do?

M: Listen to what I keep on telling you and do not move away from it. Think of it all the time and of
nothing else. Having reached that far, abandon all thoughts, not only of the world, but of yourself
also. Stay beyond all thoughts, in silent being-awareness. It is not progress, for what you come to is
already there in you, waiting for you.

Q: So you say I should try to stop thinking and stay steady in the idea: 'I am'.

M: Yes, and whatever thoughts come to you in connection with the 'I am', empty them of all
meaning, pay them no attention.


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Re: Quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
« Reply #713 on: February 07, 2015, 08:13:47 PM »

The meaning of the centrally important part of the Upanishads is:
'Have no expectation.'
That is the greatest mystery.

Sri Siddharameshwar Maharaj


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Re: Quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
« Reply #714 on: February 08, 2015, 11:10:21 PM »
Maharaj: If you sit here quietly, being one with the knowledge "I Am", then you are not concerned
with the world or what goes on in the world. It is only when the consciousness starts operating and
there are various movements in the consciousness that the behavior in the world takes place. When I
am not conscious of the existence of the body, experiences are not registered.
Just as the universe is contained in consciousness, so too this physical body is merely an
appearance in consciousness, perceived and cognized by consciousness. No amount of effort can
make you understand this; only the deepest apperception of this in consciousness will make that
experience happen by itself.
Anyone in that condition, where the consciousness is present but the registration of the
existence of the body is not, even in that state the conditions in the body change constantly. All of
this is an appearance in consciousness; therefore, consciousness has to suffer all of the changing
In that state any number of events happen, but all that is really happening is a total functioning
against the background of this void which, in reality, is really consciousness. There is no separate
identity; what IS is this consciousness, apart from that no one can exist.
When you are very quiet, you have arrived at the basis of everything. That is the deep, dark
blue state in which there are millions of stars and planets. When you are in that state, you have no
awareness of your existence.

Questioner: If the consciousness in all the different forms is identical, then why do thoughts and
actions differ from one human being to another?

Maharaj: The thoughts and actions belong to the body-mind and the body-mind is the essence of
the five elements. The nature of the form depends on the various degrees of the five elements and
the three gunas. The thoughts and deeds depend on the conditioning received right from the time
the consciousness is there. Without the consciousness, there would be only dead forms.
Consciousness and the body are kept in working condition by the food and medicine that we
imbibe. In each form the thoughts, words, and deeds depend not only on the conditioning the form
has received after it has been created; but they depend on even earlier conditioning at the time of
conception. The consciousness was latent in that birth chemical.
How amusing it is that one identifies with the body. How long have you been following

Q: For forty years. I was following the 'Who am I' of Ramana Maharshi, and 1 have read the book
of Maharaj's teachings.

M: So far, so good. What do you understand about your own Self? What are you?

Q: Consciousness.

M: The Ultimate is prior to any experience. 'I Amness' is the beginning of experience. On the
Ultimate there appeared this knowingness, and the question arose, 'Who or what am I?' That
feeling of being is not colored by form. It is just a feeling of being, of 'I Amness'. That was the first

Q: This is Maya.

M: Because you don't get the answer to 'Who am I,' you give the reply that this is Maya. You
cannot catch it by a reply. With what do you identify?

Q: I am the Brahman.

M: This is not your direct experience. You are just repeating what you have read or heard. What do
you think you are?

Q: I have experienced....

M: The experience can be there when the 'I Amness' is there, but prior to this experience 'I Am',
what was the state?

Q: I do not know.

M: I am talking to you because you have the wisdom to understand.

Q: Can I stop this 'I Amness' and be before the 'I Amness'?

M: What natural processes can you stop? Everything is spontaneous. Presently you are in the
consciousness, which is stirring, vibrant. Don't think you are something separate from this stirring,
vibrant consciousness. You are part of the play of this consciousness. You, the consciousness, are
the product of the food consumed.
At the level of active consciousness, which is Self, and which is in activity, there cannot be
identity of a body.

Q: How can I be convinced of this?

M: When you remain still in your Self, then you receive the conviction. You stay in quietude.

From Consciousness and Absolute
Edited by Jean Dunn


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Re: Quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
« Reply #715 on: February 10, 2015, 10:24:45 PM »
Q: What is death?

M: Death is also a hearsay. Have you experienced death? Having followed the course of
spirituality, you have come to the end of personality and there is no more human being. There is
only impersonal consciousness. In this realm of consciousness all that is going on is dynamic
playfulness, a process of functioning. There is no differentiation in this process as to a person, an
entity, a community, a creed, a religion.

In the flash of your consciousness, all this play is going on. The play will come to an end.

Questioner: In pursuing what Maharaj says, the result may be a type of behavior which will be
considered peculiar in the world.

Maharaj: Whose behavior? And considered peculiar by whom? All that IS is the essence of the
five elements. By this aperception, the nature of the five elements is not going to change. The
essence of the five elements is this momentary sense of presence, as compared to eternity.
You come here with a sense of love and regard for me, and you will benefit to the extent of
how you perceive me. If you continue to see me as an individual, that will be the extent of your
benefits; if you see me as I see myself, and as I see you, that will be the further measure of your
benefits. The real state is that state which was prior to the arrival of consciousness. Very few will
have reached that state. Most of you will not want to go beyond identification with an entity or a
This identification, which has been changing from infancy to your present state, and which will
continue to change in the course of time, is purely seasonal.
You identify with the body on the strength of hearsay. Your parents told you that you were
born on a certain date, and that this body is what you are. So, based on hearsay, you formed your
identity with a certain image. You may think that now you have become jnanis and that you know
your identity very well, but most often this is a case of sensory deception. Whatever your image of
yourself, it is nothing but a concept.
Just understand what you are, and carry on your daily life to the best of your ability.

Q: Is daily puja (worship) being observed here?

M: Yes. Here the worshipper is the consciousness, and the object of worship is also the


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Re: Quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
« Reply #716 on: February 12, 2015, 11:48:06 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 #717 on: February 21, 2015, 11:17:54 PM »

Yes, you, the Absolute are neither one nor two.
But you are prior to both.


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Re: Quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
« Reply #718 on: February 22, 2015, 11:43:29 PM »

To refer to the sense of being as 'one' is not quite correct.
Since in this state only the sense of being prevails,
where is the need to say even 'one'?
When one looks into one's self,
that is when one abides in the self,
then there is 'none'.


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Re: Quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
« Reply #719 on: March 01, 2015, 05:33:18 PM »
That which is not percieved is Reality.

Sri Siddharameshwar Maharaj