Author Topic: Quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj  (Read 595831 times)


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Re: Quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
« Reply #660 on: September 28, 2014, 09:47:08 PM »
M: Every teacher teaches according to his own experience. Experience is shaped by belief and
belief is shaped by experience. Even the Guru is shaped by the disciple to his own image. It is the
disciple that makes the Guru great. Once the Guru is seen to be the agent of a liberating power,
which works both from within and without, whole-hearted surrender becomes natural and easy. Just
as a man gripped by pain puts himself completely in the hands of a surgeon, so does the disciple
entrust himself without reservation to his Guru. It is quite natural to seek help when its need is felt
acutely. But, however powerful the Guru may be, he should not impose his will on the disciple. On
the other hand, a disciple that distrusts and hesitates is bound to remain unfulfilled for no fault of his

Q: What happens then?

M: Life teaches, where all else fails. But the lessons of life take a long time to come. Much delay
and trouble is saved by trusting and obeying. But such trust comes only when indifference and
restlessness give place to clarity and peace. A man who keeps himself in low esteem, will not be
able to trust himself, nor anybody else. Therefore, in the beginning the teacher tries his best to
reassure the disciple as to his high origin, noble nature and glorious destiny. He relates to him the
experiences of some saints as well as his own, instilling confidence in himself and in his infinite
possibilities. When self-confidence and trust in the teacher come together, rapid and far-going
changes in the disciple?s character and life can take place.


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Re: Quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
« Reply #661 on: September 30, 2014, 01:29:22 AM »
Q: As I am here, looking at you, I cannot locate the event in space and time. There is something
eternal and universal about the transmission of wisdom that is taking place. Ten thousand years
earlier, or later, make no difference -- the event itself is timeless.

M: Man does not change much over the ages. Human problems remain the same and call for the
same answers. Your being conscious of what you call transmission of wisdom shows that wisdom
has not yet been transmitted. When you have it, you are no longer conscious of it. What is really
your own, you are not conscious of. What you are conscious of is neither you nor yours. Yours is
the power of perception, not what you perceive. It is a mistake to take the conscious to be the whole
of man. Man is the unconscious, conscious and the super-conscious, but you are not the man.
Yours is the cinema screen, the light as well as the seeing power, but the picture is not you.

Q: Must I search for the Guru, or shall I stay with whomever I have found?

M: The very question shows that you have not yet found one. As long as you have not realised,
you will move from Guru to Guru, but when you have found yourself, the search will end. A Guru is
a milestone. When you are on the move, you pass so many milestones. When you have reached
your destination, it is the last alone that mattered. In reality all mattered at their own time and none
matters now.

Q: You seem to give no importance to the Guru. He is merely an incident among others.

M: All incidents contribute, but none is crucial. On the road each step helps you reach your
destination, and each is as crucial as the other, for each step must be made, you cannot skip it. If
you refuse to make it, you are stuck!

Q: Everybody sings the glories of the Guru, while you compare him to a milestone. Don?t we need
a Guru?

M: Don?t we need a milestone? Yes and no. Yes, if we are uncertain, no if we know our way. Once
we are certain in ourselves, the Guru is no longer needed, except in a technical sense. Your mind is
an instrument, after all, and you should know how to use it. As you are taught the uses of your
body, so you should know how to use your mind.

Q: What do I gain by learning to use my mind?

M: You gain freedom from desire and fear, which are entirely due to wrong uses of the mind. Mere
mental knowledge is not enough. The known is accidental, the unknown is the home of the real. To
live in the known is bondage, to live in the unknown is liberation.

Q: I have understood that all spiritual practice consists in the elimination of the personal self. Such
practice demands iron determination and relentless application. Where to find the integrity and
energy for such work?

M: You find it in the company of the wise?

Q: How do I know who is wise and who is merely clever?

M: If your motives are pure, if you seek truth and nothing else, you will find the right people. Finding
them is easy, what is difficult is to trust them and take full advantage of their advice and guidance.

Q: Is the waking state more important for spiritual practice than sleep?

M: On the whole we attach too much importance, to the waking state. Without sleep the waking
state would be impossible; without sleep one goes mad or dies; why attach so much importance to
waking consciousness, which is obviously dependent on the unconscious? Not only the conscious
but the unconscious as well should be taken care of in our spiritual practice.

Q: How does one attend to the unconscious?

M: Keep the ?I am? in the focus of awareness, remember that you are, watch yourself ceaselessly
and the unconscious will flow into the conscious without any special effort on your part. Wrong
desires and fears, false ideas, social inhibitions are blocking and preventing its free interplay with
the conscious. Once free to mingle, the two become one and the one becomes all. The person
merges into the witness, the witness into awareness, awareness into pure being, yet identity is not
lost, only its limitations are lost. It is transfigured, and becomes the real Self, the sadguru, the
eternal friend and guide. You cannot approach it in worship. No external activity can reach the inner
self; worship and prayers remain on the surface only; to go deeper meditation is essential, the
striving to go beyond the states of sleep, dream and waking. In the beginning the attempts are
irregular, then they recur more often, become regular, then continuous and intense, until all
obstacles are conquered.


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Re: Quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
« Reply #662 on: September 30, 2014, 10:31:09 PM »
Q: Why do we seek worldly happiness, even after having tasted one?s own natural spontaneous

M: When the mind is engaged in serving the body, happiness is lost. To regain it, it seeks pleasure.
The urge to be happy is right, but the means of securing it are misleading, unreliable and destructive of true happiness.

Q: Is pleasure always wrong?

M: The right state and use of the body and the mind are intensely pleasant. It is the search for
pleasure that is wrong. Do not try to make yourself happy, rather question your very search for
happiness. It is because you are not happy that you want to be happy. Find out why you are
unhappy. Because you are not happy you seek happiness in pleasure; pleasure brings in pain and
therefore you call it worldly; you then long for some other pleasure, without pain, which you call
divine. In reality, pleasure is but a respite from pain. Happiness is both worldly and unworldly, within
and beyond all that happens. Make no distinction, don?t separate the inseparable and do not
alienate yourself from life.

Q: How well I understand you now! Before my stay at Ramanashram I was tyrannised by
conscience, always sitting in judgement of myself. Now I am completely relaxed, fully accepting
myself as I am. When I return to the States, I shall take life as it comes, as Bhagavan?s grace, and
enjoy the bitter along with the sweet. This is one of the things I have learnt in the Ashram -- to trust
Bhagavan. I was not like this before. I could not trust.

M: Trusting Bhagavan is trusting yourself. Be aware that whatever happens, happens to you, by
you, through you, that you are the creator, enjoyer and destroyer of all you perceive and you will not
be afraid. Unafraid, you will not be unhappy, nor will you seek happiness.
In the mirror of your mind all kinds of pictures appear and disappear. Knowing that they are entirely
your own creations, watch them silently come and go, be alert, but not perturbed. This attitude of
silent observation is the very foundation of Yoga. You see the picture, but you are not the picture.

Q: I find that the thought of death frightens me because I do not want to be reborn. I know that
none compels, yet the pressure of unsatisfied desires is overwhelming and I may not be able to

M: The question of resistance does not arise. What is born and reborn is not you. Let it happen,
watch it happen.

Q: Why then be at all concerned?

M: But you are concerned! And you will be concerned as long as the picture clashes with your own
sense of truth, love and beauty. The desire for harmony and peace is in eradicable. But once it is
fulfilled, the concern ceases and physical life becomes effortless and below the level of attention.
Then, even in the body you are not born. To be embodied or bodyless is the same to you. You
reach a point when nothing can happen to you. Without body, you cannot be killed; without
possessions you cannot be robbed; without mind, you cannot be deceived. There is no point where
a desire or fear can hook on. As long as no change can happen to you, what else matters?

Q: Somehow I do not like the idea of dying.

M: It is because you are so young. The more you know yourself the less you are afraid.
Of course, the agony of dying is never pleasant to look at, but the dying man is rarely conscious.

Q: Does he return to consciousness?

M: It is very much like sleep. For a time the person is out of focus and then it returns.

Q: The same person?

M: The person, being a creature of circumstances, necessarily changes along with them, like the
flame that changes with the fuel. Only the process goes on and on, creating time and space.

Q: Well, God will look after me. I can leave everything to Him.

M: Even faith in God is only a stage on the way. Ultimately you abandon all, for you come to
something so simple that there are no words to express it.

Q: I am just beginning. At the start I had no faith, no trust; I was afraid to let things happen. The
world seemed to be a very dangerous and inimical place. Now, at least I can talk of trusting the
Guru or God. Let me grow. Don?t drive me on. Let me proceed at my own pace.

M: By all means proceed. But you don?t. You are still stuck in the ideas of man and women, old and
young, life and death. Go on, go beyond. A thing recognised is a thing transcended.

Q: Sir, wherever I go people take it to be their duty to find faults with me and goad me on. I am fed
up with this spiritual fortune making. What is wrong with my present that it should be sacrificed to a
future, however glorious? You say reality is in the now. I want it. I do not want to be eternally
anxious about my stature and its future. I do not want to chase the more and the better. Let me love
what I have.

M: You are quite right; do it. Only be honest -- just love what you love -- don?t strive and strain.

Q: This is what I call surrender to the Guru.

M: Why exteriorise? Surrender to your own self, of which everything is an expression.


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Re: Quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
« Reply #663 on: October 01, 2014, 11:18:43 PM »
Q: What is right and what is wrong?

M: Generally, what causes suffering is wrong and what removes it, is right. The body and the mind
are limited and therefore vulnerable; they need protection which gives rise to fear. As long as you
identify yourself with them you are bound to suffer; realise your independence and remain happy. I
tell you, this is the secret of happiness. To believe that you depend on things and people for
happiness is due to ignorance of your true nature; to know that you need nothing to be happy,
except self-knowledge, is wisdom.

Q: What comes first, being or desire?

M: With being arising in consciousness, the ideas of what you are arise in your mind as well as
what you should be. This brings forth desire and action and the process of becoming begins.
Becoming has, apparently, no beginning and no end, for it restarts every moment. With the
cessation of imagination and desire, becoming ceases and the being this or that merges into pure
being, which is not describable, only experienceable.
The world appears to you so overwhelmingly real, because you think of it all the time; cease
thinking of it and it will dissolve into thin mist. You need not forget; when desire and fear end,
bondage also ends. It is the emotional involvement, the pattern of likes and dislikes which we call
character and temperament, that create the bondage.

Q: Without desire and fear what motive is there for action?

M: None, unless you consider love of life, of righteousness, of beauty, motive enough. Do not be
afraid of freedom from desire and fear. It enables you to live a life so different from all you know, so
much more intense and interesting, that, truly, by losing all you gain all.

Q: Since you count your spiritual ancestry from Rishi Dattatreya, are we right in believing that you
and all your predecessors are reincarnations of the Rishi?

M: You may believe in whatever you like and if you act on your belief, you will get the fruits of it; but
to me it has no importance. I am what I am and this is enough for me. I have no desire to identify
myself with anybody, however illustrious. Nor do I feel the need to take myths for reality. I am only
interested in ignorance and the freedom from ignorance. The proper role of a Guru is to dispel
ignorance in the hearts and minds of his disciples. Once the disciple has understood, the confirming
action is up to him. Nobody can act for another. And if he does not act rightly, it only means that he
has not understood and that the Guru's work is not over.

Q: There must be some hopeless cases too?

M: None is hopeless. Obstacles can be overcome. What life cannot mend, death will end, but the
Guru cannot fail.

Q: What gives you the assurance?

M: The Guru and man's inner reality are really one and work together towards the same goal --
the redemption and salvation of the mind They cannot fail. Out of the very boulders that obstruct them
they build their bridges. Consciousness is not the whole of being -- there are other levels on which
man is much more co-operative. The Guru is at home on all levels and his energy and patience are

Q: You keep on telling me that I am dreaming and that it is high time I should wake up. How does
it happen that the Maharaj, who has come to me in my dreams, has not succeeded in waking me
up? He keeps on urging and reminding, but the dream continues.

M: It is because you have not really understood that you are dreaming. This is the essence of
bondage -- the mixing of the real with unreal. In your present state only the sense 'I am' refers to
reality; the 'what' and the 'how I am' are illusions imposed by destiny, or accident.

Q: When did the dream begin?

M: It appears to be beginningless, but in fact it is only now. From moment to moment you are
renewing it. Once you have seen that you are dreaming, you shall wake up. But you do not see,
because you want the dream to continue. A day will come when you will long for the ending of the
dream, with all your heart and mind, and be willing to pay any price; the price will be dispassion and
detachment, the loss of interest in the dream itself.

Q: How helpless I am. As long as the dream of existence lasts, I want it to continue. As long as I
want it to continue, it will last.

M: Wanting it to continue is not inevitable. See clearly your condition, your very clarity will release


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Re: Quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
« Reply #664 on: October 03, 2014, 02:46:58 AM »
M: The jnani belongs to all. He gives himself tirelessly and completely to whoever comes to him. If
he is not a giver, he is not a jnani. Whatever he has, he shares.

Q: But can he share what he is?

M: You mean, can he make others into jnanis? Yes and no. No, since jnanis are not made, they
realise themselves as such, when they return to their source, their real nature. I cannot make you
into what you already are. All I can tell you is the way I travelled and invite you to take it.
Q: This does not answer my question. I have in mind the critical and sceptical Westerner who
denies the very possibility of higher states of consciousness. Recently drugs have made a breach in
his disbelief, without affecting his materialistic outlook. Drugs or no drugs, the body remains the
primary fact and the mind is secondary. Beyond the mind, they see nothing. From Buddha onwards
the state of self-realisation was described in negative terms, as 'not this, not that'. Is it inevitable? Is
it not possible to illustrate it, if not describe. I admit, no verbal description will do, when the state
described is beyond words. Yet it is also within words. Poetry is the art of putting into words the

M: There is no lack of religious poets. Turn to them for what you want. As far as I am concerned,
my teaching is simple: trust me for a while and do what I tell you. If you persevere, you will find that
your trust was justified.

Q: And what to do with people who are interested, but cannot trust?

M: If they could stay with me, they would come to trust me. Once they trust me, they will follow my
advice and discover for themselves.

Q: It is not for the training that I am asking just now, but for its results. You had both. You are
willing to tell us all about the training, but when it comes to results, you refuse to share. Either you
tell us that your state is beyond words, or that there is no difference; that where we see a difference,
you see none. In both cases we are left without any insight into your state.

M: How can you have insight into my state when you are without insight into your own? When the
very instrument of insight is lacking, is it not important to find it first? It is like a blind man wanting to
learn painting before he regains his eyesight. You want to know my state -- but do you know the
state of your wife or servant?

Q: I am asking for some hints only.

M: Well, I gave you a very significant clue -- where you see differences, I don't. To me it is enough.
If you think it is not enough, I can only repeat; it is enough. Think it out deeply and you will come to
see what I see. You seem to want instant insight, forgetting that the instant is always preceded by a
long preparation. The fruit falls suddenly, but the ripening takes time. After all, when I talk of trusting
me, it is only for a short time, just enough time to start you moving. The more earnest you are, the
less belief you need, for soon you will find your faith in me justified. You want me to prove to you
that I am trustworthy! How can I and why should l? After all, what I am offering you is the
operational approach, so current in Western science. When a scientist describes an experiment and
its results, usually you accept his statements on trust and repeat his experiment as he describes it.
Once you get the same or similar results, you need not trust him any more; you trust your own
experience. Encouraged, you proceed and arrive in the end at substantially identical results.


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Re: Quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
« Reply #665 on: October 03, 2014, 09:57:12 PM »
Questioner: On all sides I hear that freedom from desires and inclinations is the first condition of
self-realisation. But I find the condition impossible of fulfilment. Ignorance of oneself causes desires
and desires perpetuate ignorance. A truly vicious circle!

Maharaj: There are no conditions to fulfil. There is nothing to be done, nothing to be given up. Just
look and remember, whatever you perceive is not you, nor yours. It is there in the field of
consciousness, but you are not the field and its contents, nor even the knower of the field. It is your
idea that you have to do things that entangle you in the results of your efforts -- the motive, the
desire, the failure to achieve, the sense of frustration -- all this holds you back. Simply look at
whatever happens and know that you are beyond it.

Q: Does it mean I should abstain from doing anything?

M: You cannot! What goes on must go on. If you stop suddenly, you will crash.

Q: Is it a matter of the known and the knower becoming one?

M: Both are ideas in the mind, and words that express them. There is no self in them. The self is
neither, between nor beyond. To look for it on the mental level is futile. Stop searching, and see -- it
is here and now -- it is that 'I am' you know so well. All you need to do is to cease taking yourself to
be within the field of consciousness. Unless you have already considered these matters carefully,
listening to me once will not do. Forget your past experiences and achievements, stand naked,
exposed to the winds and rains of life and you will have a chance.

Q: Has devotion (bhakti) any place in your teaching?

M: When you are not well, you go to a physician who tells you what is wrong and what is the
remedy. If you have confidence in him, it makes things simple: you take the medicine, follow the diet
restrictions and get well. But if you do not trust him, you may still take a chance, or you may study
medicine yourself! In all cases it is your desire for recovery that moves you, not the physician.
Without trust there is no peace. Somebody or other you always trust -- it may be your mother, or
your wife. Of all the people the knower of the self, the liberated man, is the most trust-worthy. But
merely to trust is not enough. You must also desire. Without desire for freedom of what use is the
confidence that you can acquire freedom? Desire and confidence must go together. The stronger
your desire, the easier comes the help. The greatest Guru is helpless as long as the disciple is not
eager to learn. Eagerness and earnestness are all-important. Confidence will come with experience.
Be devoted to your goal -- and devotion to him who can guide you will follow.
If your desire and confidence are strong, they will operate and take you to your goal, for you will not cause delay by
hesitation and compromise.
The greatest Guru is your inner self. Truly, he is the supreme teacher. He alone can take you to
your goal and he alone meets you at the end of the road. Confide in him and you need no outer
Guru. But again you must have the strong desire to find him and do nothing that will create
obstacles and delays. And do not waste energy and time on regrets. Learn from your mistakes and
do not repeat them.


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Re: Quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
« Reply #666 on: October 06, 2014, 05:14:38 AM »
Q: I can understand that the person is a mental construct, a collective noun for a set of memories
and habits. But, he to whom the person happens, the witnessing centre, is it mental too?

M: The personal needs a base, a body to identify oneself with, just as a colour needs a surface to
appear on. The seeing of the colour is independent of the colour -- it is the same whatever the
colour. One needs an eye to see a colour. The colours are many, the eye is single. The personal is
like the light in the colour and also in the eye, yet simple, single, indivisible and unperceivable,
except in its manifestations. Not unknowable, but unperceivable, un-objectival, inseparable. Neither
material nor mental, neither objective nor subjective, it is the root of matter and the source of
consciousness. Beyond mere living and dying, it is the all-inclusive, all-exclusive Life, in which birth
is death and death is birth.

Q: The Absolute or Life you talk about, is it real, or a mere theory to cover up our ignorance?

M: Both. To the mind, a theory; in itself -- a reality. It is reality in its spontaneous and total rejection
of the false. Just as light destroys darkness by its very presence, so does the absolute destroy
imagination. To see that all knowledge is a form of ignorance is itself a movement of reality. The
witness is not a person. The person comes into being when there is a basis for it, an organism, a
body. In it the absolute is reflected as awareness. Pure awareness becomes self-awareness. When
there is a self, self-awareness is the witness. When there is no self to witness, there is no
witnessing either. It is all very simple; it is the presence of the person that complicates. See that
there is no such thing as a permanently separate person and all becomes clear. Awareness -- mind
-- matter -- they are one reality in its two aspects as immovable and movable, and the three
attributes of inertia, energy and harmony.

Q: What comes first: consciousness or awareness?

M: Awareness becomes consciousness when it has an object. The object changes all the time. In
consciousness there is movement; awareness by itself is motionless and timeless, here and now.

Q: There is suffering and bloodshed in East Pakistan at the present moment. How do you look at
it? How does it appear to you, how do you react to it?

M: In pure consciousness nothing ever happens.

Q: Please come down from these metaphysical heights! Of what use is it to a suffering man to be
told that nobody is aware of his suffering but himself? To relegate everything to illusion is insult
added to injury. The Bengali of East Pakistan is a fact and his suffering is a fact. Please, do not
analyse them out of existence! You are reading newspapers, you hear people talking about it. You
cannot plead ignorance. Now, what is your attitude to what is happening?

M: No attitude. Nothing is happening.

Q: Any day there may be a riot right in front of you, perhaps people killing each other. Surely you
cannot say: nothing is happening and remain aloof.

M: I never talked of remaining aloof. You could as well see me jumping into the fray to save
somebody and getting killed. Yet to me nothing happened.
 Imagine a big building collapsing. Some rooms are in ruins, some are intact.
But can you speak of the space as ruined or intact? It is only the structure that suffered and the people who happened to
live in it. Nothing happened to space itself. Similarly, nothing happens to life when forms break
down and names are wiped out. The goldsmith melts down old ornaments to make new. Sometimes
a good piece goes with the bad. He takes it in his stride, for he knows that no gold is lost.

Q: It is not death that I rebel against. It is the manner of dying.

M: Death is natural, the manner of dying is man-made. Separateness causes fear and aggression,
which again cause violence. Do away with man-made separations and all this horror of people
killing each other will surely end. But in reality there is no killing and no dying. The real does not die,
the unreal never lived. Set your mind right and all will be right. When you know that the world is one,
that humanity is one, you will act accordingly. But first of all you must attend to the way you feel,
think and live. Unless there is order in yourself, there can be no order in the world.
In reality nothing happens. Onto the screen of the mind destiny forever projects its pictures,
memories of former projections and thus illusion constantly renews itself. The pictures come and go
-- light intercepted by ignorance. See the light and disregard the picture.

Q: What a callous way of looking at things! People are killing and getting killed and here you talk of

M: By all means go and get killed yourself -- if that is what you think you should do. Or even go and
kill, if you take it to be your duty. But that is not the way to end the evil. Evil is the stench of a mind
that is diseased. Heal your mind and it will cease to project distorted, ugly pictures.

Q: What you say I understand, but emotionally I cannot accept it. This merely idealistic view of life
repels me deeply. I just cannot think myself to be permanently in a state of dream.

M: How can anybody be permanently in a state caused by an impermanent body? The
misunderstanding is based on your idea that you are the body. Examine the idea, see its inherent
contradictions, realise that your present existence is like a shower of sparks, each spark lasting a
second and the shower itself -- a minute or two. Surely a thing of which the beginning is the end,
can have no middle. Respect your terms. Reality cannot be momentary. It is timeless, but
timelessness is not duration.

Q: I admit that the world in which I live is not the real world. But there is a real world, of which I see
a distorted picture. The distortion may be due to some blemish in my body or mind. But when you
say there is no real world, only a dream world in my mind, I just cannot take it. I wish I could believe
that all horrors of existence are due to my having a body. Suicide would be the way out.

M: As long as you pay attention to ideas, your own or of others, you will be in trouble. But if you
disregard all teachings, all books, anything out into words and dive deeply within yourself and find
yourself, this alone will solve all your problems and leave you in full mastery of every situation,
because you will not be dominated by your ideas about the situation. Take an example. You are in
the company of an attractive woman. You get ideas about her and this creates a sexual situation. A
problem is created and you start looking for books on continence, or enjoyment. Were you a baby,
both of you could be naked and together without any problem arising. Just stop thinking you are the
bodies and the problems of love and sex will lose their meaning.
With all sense of limitation gone, fear, pain and the search for pleasure -- all cease. Only awareness remains.


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Re: Quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
« Reply #667 on: October 07, 2014, 12:00:23 AM »
Q: In the Buddhist tradition it is stated that a Nirvani, an enlightened Buddha, has the freedom of
the universe. He can know and experience for himself all that exists. He can command, interfere
with nature, with the chain of causation, change the sequence of events, even undo the past! The
world is still with him but he is free in it.

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

Q: The changeless cannot be conscious. Consciousness is always of change. The changeless
leaves no trace in consciousness.

M: Yes and no. The paper is not the writing, yet it carries the writing. The ink is not the message,
nor is the reader's mind the message -- but they all make the message possible.

Q: Does consciousness come down from reality or is it an attribute of matter?

M: Consciousness as such is the subtle counterpart of matter. Just as inertia (tamas) and energy
(rajas) are attributes of matter, so does harmony (sattva) manifest itself as consciousness. You may
consider it in a way as a form of very subtle energy. Wherever matter organises itself into a stable
organism, consciousness appears spontaneously. With the destruction of the organism
consciousness disappears.

Q: Then what survives?

M: That, of which matter and consciousness are but aspects, which is neither born nor dies.

Q: If it is beyond matter and consciousness, how can it be experienced?

M: It can be known by its effects on both; look for it in beauty and in bliss. But you will understand
neither body nor consciousness, unless you go beyond both.

Q: Please tell us squarely: are you conscious or unconscious?

M: The enlightened (jnani) is neither. But in his enlightenment (jnana) all is contained. Awareness
contains every experience. But he who is aware is beyond every experience. He is beyond
awareness itself.

Q: There is the background of experience, call it matter. There is the experiencer, call it mind.
What makes the bridge between the two?

M: The very gap between is the bridge. That, which at one end looks like matter and at the other as
mind, is in itself the bridge. Don't separate reality into mind and body and there will be no need of
Consciousness arising, the world arises. When you consider the wisdom and the beauty of the
world, you call it God. Know the source of it all, which is in yourself, and you will find all your
questions answered.

Q: The seer and the seen: are they one or two?

M: There is only seeing; both the seer and the seen are contained in it. Don't create differences
where there are none.

Q: I began with the question about the man who died. You said that his experiences will shape
themselves according to his expectations and beliefs.

M: Before you were born you expected to live according to a plan, which you yourself had laid
down. Your own will was the backbone of your destiny.

Q: Surely, karma interfered.

M: Karma shapes the circumstances: the attitudes are your own. Ultimately your character shapes
your life and you alone can shape your character.

Q: How does one shape one's character?

M: By seeing it as it is, and being sincerely sorry. This integral seeing-feeling can work miracles. It
is like casting a bronze image; metal alone, or fire alone will not do; nor will the mould be of any
use; you have to melt down the metal in the heat of the fire and cast it in the mould.


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Re: Quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
« Reply #668 on: October 07, 2014, 11:46:13 PM »
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.


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Re: Quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
« Reply #669 on: October 09, 2014, 12:55:48 AM »
Q: If just living one's life liberates, why are not all liberated?

M: All are being liberated. It is not what you live, but how you live that matters. The idea of
enlightenment is of utmost importance. Just to know that there is such possibility, changes one's
entire outlook. It acts like a burning match in a heap of saw dust. All the great teachers did nothing
else. A spark of truth can burn up a mountain of lies. The opposite is also true; The sun of truth
remains hidden behind the cloud of self-identification with the body.

Q: This spreading the good news of enlightenment seems very important.

M: The very hearing of it, is a promise of enlightenment. The very meeting a Guru is the assurance
of liberation. Perfection is life-giving and creative.

Q: Does a realised man ever think: 'I am realised?' Is he not astonished when people make much
of him? Does he not take himself to be an ordinary human being?

M: Neither ordinary, nor extra-ordinary. Just being aware and affectionate -- intensely. He looks at
himself without indulging in self-definitions and self-identifications. He does not know himself as
anything apart from the world. He is the world. He is completely rid of himself, like a man who is
very rich, but continually gives away his riches. He is not rich, for he has nothing; he is not poor, for
he gives abundantly. He is just propertyless. Similarly, the realised man is egoless; he has lost the
capacity of identifying himself with anything. He is without location, placeless, beyond space and
time, beyond the world. Beyond words and thoughts is he.

Q: Well, it is deep mystery to me. I am a simple man.

M: It is you who are deeply complex, mysterious, hard to understand. I am simplicity itself,
compared to you: I am what is -- without any distinction whatsoever into inner and outer, mine and
yours, good and bad. What the world is, I am; what I am the world is.

Q: How does it happen that each man creates his own world?

M: When a number of people are asleep, each dreams his own dream. Only on awakening the
question of many different dreams arises and dissolves when they are all seen as dreams, as
something imagined.

Q: Even dreams have a foundation.M: In memory. Even then, what is remembered, is but another dream.
The memory of the false cannot but give rise to the false. There is nothing wrong with memory as such. What is false is its
content. Remember facts, forget opinions.

Q: What is a fact?

M: What is perceived in pure awareness, unaffected by desire.


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Re: Quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
« Reply #670 on: October 10, 2014, 03:25:09 AM »
M-Tell me, what steps have you taken to separate your real self, that in you which is changeless, from
your body and mind?

Q: I am a medical man, I have studied a lot, I imposed on myself a strict discipline in the way of
exercises and periodical fasts and I am a vegetarian.

M: But in the depth of your heart what is it that you want?

Q: I want to find reality.

M: What price are you willing to pay for reality? Any price?

Q: While in theory I am ready to pay any price, in actual life again and again I am being prompted
to behave in ways which come in between me and reality. Desire carries me away.

M: Increase and widen your desires till nothing but reality can fulfil them. It is not desire that is
wrong, but its narrowness and smallness. Desire is devotion. By all means be devoted to the real,
the infinite, the eternal heart of being. Transform desire into love. All you want is to be happy. All
your desires, whatever they may be, are expressions of your longing for happiness. Basically, you
wish yourself well.

Q: I know that I should not?

M: Wait! Who told you that you should not? What is wrong with wanting to be happy?

Q: The self must go, l know.

M: But the self is there. Your desires are there. Your longing to be happy is there. Why? Because
you love yourself. By all means love yourself -- wisely. What is wrong is to love yourself stupidly, so
as to make yourself suffer. Love yourself wisely. Both indulgence and austerity have the same
purpose in view -- to make you happy. Indulgence is the stupid way, austerity is the wise way.

Q: What is austerity?

M: Once you have gone through an experience, not to go through it again is austerity. To eschew
the unnecessary is austerity. Not to anticipate pleasure or pain Is austerity. Having things under
control at all times is austerity. Desire by itself is not wrong. It is life itself, the urge to grow in
knowledge and experience.
It is the choices you make that are wrong. To imagine that some little thing -- food. sex, power, fame
-- will make you happy is to deceive yourself. Only something as vast and deep as your real self can
make you truly and lastingly happy.

Q: Since there is nothing basically wrong in desire as an expression of love of self, how should
desire be managed?

M: Live your life intelligently, with the interests of your deepest self always in mind. After all, what
do you really want? Not perfection; you are already perfect. What you seek is to express in action
what you are. For this you have a body and a mind. Take them in hand and make them serve you.

Q: Who is the operator here? Who is to take the body-mind in hand?

M: The purified mind is the faithful servant of the self. It takes charge of the instruments, inner and
outer, and makes them serve their purpose.

Q: And what is their purpose?

M: The self is universal and its aims are universal. There is nothing personal about the self. Live an
orderly life, but don't make it a goal by itself. It should be the starting point for high adventure.

Q: Do you advise me to come to India repeatedly?

M: If you are earnest, you don't need moving about. You are yourself wherever you are and you
create your own climate. Locomotion and transportation will not give you salvation. You are not the
body and dragging the body from place to place will take you nowhere. Your mind is free to roam
the three worlds -- make full use of it.

Q: If I am free, why am I in a body?

M: you are not in the body, the body is in you! The mind is in you. They happen to you. They are
there because you find them interesting. Your very nature has the infinite capacity to enjoy. It is full
of zest and affection. It sheds its radiance on all that comes within its focus of awareness and
nothing is excluded. It does not know evil nor ugliness, it hopes, it trusts, it loves. You people do not
know how much you miss by not knowing your own true self. You are neither the body nor the mind,
neither the fuel nor the fire. They appear and disappear according to their own laws.
That which you are, your true self, you love it, and whatever you do, you do for your own happiness.
To find it, to know it, to cherish it is your basic urge. Since time immemorial you loved yourself, but
never wisely. Use your body and mind wisely in the service of the self, that is all. Be true to your
own self, love your self absolutely. Do not pretend that you love others as yourself. Unless you have
realised them as one with yourself, you cannot love them Don't pretend to be what you are not,
don't refuse to be what you are. Your love of others is the result of self-knowledge, not its cause.
Without self-realisation, no virtue is genuine. When you know beyond all doubting that the same life
flows through all that is and you are that life, you will love all naturally and spontaneously. When
you realise the depth and fullness of your love of yourself, you know that every living being and the
entire universe are included in your affection. But when you look at anything as separate from you,
you cannot love it for you are afraid of it. Alienation causes fear and fear deepens alienation. It is a
vicious circle. Only self-realisation can break it. Go for it resolutely.


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Re: Quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
« Reply #671 on: October 12, 2014, 12:38:15 AM »
Q: I do see and admit that the outer chaos is merely a reflection of my own inner disharmony. But
what is the remedy?

M: Don't seek remedies.

Q: Sometimes one is in a 'state of grace' and life is happy and harmonious. But such a state does
not last! The mood changes and all goes wrong.

M: If you could only keep quiet, clear of memories and expectations, you would be able to discern
the beautiful pattern of events. It is your restlessness that causes chaos.

Q: For full three hours that I spent in the airline office I was practising patience and forbearance. It
did not speed up matters.

M: At least it did not slow them down, as your kicking would have surely done! You want immediate
results! We do not dispense magic here. Everybody does the same mistake: refusing the means,
but wanting the ends. You want peace and harmony in the world, but refuse to have them in
yourself. Follow my advice implicitly and you will not be disappointed. I cannot solve your problem
by mere words. You have to act on what I told you and persevere. It is not the right advice that
liberates, but the action based on it. Just like a doctor, after giving the patient an injection, tells him:
'Now, keep quiet. Do nothing more, just keep quiet,' I am telling you: you have got your 'injection',
now keep quiet, just keep quiet. You have nothing else to do. My Guru did the same. He would tell
me something and then said: 'Now keep quiet. Don't go on ruminating all the time. Stop. Be silent'.

Q: I can keep quiet for an hour in the morning. But the day is long and many things happen that
throw me out of balance. It is easy to say 'be silent', but to be silent when all is screaming in me and
round me -- please tell me how it is done.

M: All that needs doing can be done in peace and silence. There is no need to get upset.

Q: It is all theory which does not fit the facts. I am returning to Europe with nothing to do there. My
life is completely empty.

M: If you just try to keep quiet, all will come -- the work, the strength for work, the right motive. Must
you know everything beforehand? Don't be anxious about your future -- be quiet now and all will fall
in place. The unexpected is bound to happen, while the anticipated may never come. Don't tell me
you cannot control your nature. You need not control it. Throw it overboard. Have no nature to fight,
or to submit to. No experience will hurt you, provided you don't make it into a habit. Of the entire
universe you are the subtle cause. All is because you are. Grasp this point firmly and deeply and
dwell on it repeatedly. To realise this as absolutely true, is liberation.

Q: If I am the seed of my universe, then a rotten seed I am! By the fruit the seed is known.

M: What is wrong with your world that you swear at it?

Q: It is full of pain.

M: Nature is neither pleasant nor painful. It is all intelligence and beauty. Pain and pleasure are in
the mind. Change your scale of values and all will change. Pleasure and pain are mere
disturbances of the senses; treat them equally and there will be only bliss. And the world is, what
you make it; by all means make it happy. Only contentment can make you happy -- desires fulfilled
breed more desires. Keeping away from all desires and contentment in what comes by itself is a
very fruitful state -- a precondition to the state of fullness. Don't distrust its apparent sterility and
emptiness. Believe me, it is the satisfaction of desires that breeds misery. Freedom from desires is

Q: There are things we need.

M: What you need will come to you, if you do not ask for what you do not need. Yet only few
people reach this state of complete dispassion and detachment. It is a very high state, the very
threshold of liberation.Q: I have been barren for the last two years, desolate and empty and often was I praying for death
to come.

M: Well, with your coming here events have started rolling. Let things happen as they happen --
they will sort themselves out nicely in the end. You need not strain towards the future -- the future
will come to you on its own. For some time longer you will remain sleep-walking, as you do now,
bereft of meaning and assurance; but this period will end and you will find your work both fruitful
and easy. There are always moments when one feels empty and estranged. Such moments are
most desirable for it means the soul had cast its moorings and is sailing for distant places. This is
detachment -- when the old is over and the new has not yet come. If you are afraid, the state may
be distressing; but there is really nothing to be afraid of. Remember the instruction: whatever you
come across -- go beyond.

Q: The Buddhas rule: to remember what needs to be remembered. But I find it so difficult to
remember the right thing at the right moment. With me forgetting seems to be the rule!

M: It is not easy to remember when every situation brings up a storm of desires and fears. Craving
born of memory is also the destroyer of memory.

Q: How am I to fight desire? There is nothing stronger.

M: The waters of life are thundering over the rocks of objects -- desirable or hateful. Remove the
rocks by insight and detachment and the same waters will flow deep and silent and swift, in greater
volume and with greater power. Don't be theoretical about it, give time to thought and consideration;
if you desire to be free, neglect not the nearest step to freedom. It is like climbing a mountain: not a
step can be missed. One step less -- and the summit is not reached.


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Re: Quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
« Reply #672 on: October 13, 2014, 01:09:30 AM »
Q: I find that the various aspects of myself are at war between themselves and there is no peace
in me. Where are freedom and courage, wisdom and compassion? My actions merely increase the
chasm in which I exist.

M: It is all so, because you take yourself to be somebody, or something. Stop, look, investigate,
ask the right questions, come to the right conclusions and have the courage to act on them and see
what happens. The first steps may bring the roof down on your head, but soon the commotion will
clear and there will be peace and joy. You know so many things about yourself, but the knower you
do not know. Find out who you are, the knower of the known. Look within diligently, remember to
remember that the perceived cannot be the perceiver. Whatever you see, hear or think of,
remember -- you are not what happens, you are he to whom it happens. Delve deeply into the
sense 'I am' and you will surely discover that the perceiving centre is universal, as universal as the
light that illumines the world. All that happens in the universe happens to you, the silent witness. On
the other hand, whatever is done, is done by you, the universal and inexhaustible energy.

Q: It is, no doubt, very gratifying to hear that one is the silent witness as well as the universal
energy. But how is one to cross over from a verbal statement to direct knowledge? Hearing is not

M: Before you can know anything directly, non-verbally, you must know the knower. So far, you
took the mind for the knower, but it is just not so. The mind clogs you up with images and ideas,
which leave scars in memory. You take remembering to be knowledge. True knowledge is ever
fresh, new, unexpected. It wells up from within. When you know what you are, you also are what
you know. Between knowing and being there is no gap.

Q: I can only investigate the mind with the mind.

M: By all means use your mind to know your mind. It is perfectly legitimate and also the best
preparation for going beyond the mind. Being, knowing and enjoying is your own. First realise your
own being. This is easy because the sense 'I am' is always with you. Then meet yourself as the
knower, apart from the known. Once you know yourself as pure being, the ecstasy of freedom is
your own.

Q: Which Yoga is this?

M: Why worry? What makes you come here is your being displeased with your life as you know it,
the life of your body and mind. You may try to improve them, through controlling and bending them
to an ideal, or you may cut the knot of self-identification altogether and look at your body and mind
as something that happens without committing you in any way.

Q: Shall I call the way of control and discipline raja yoga and the way of detachment -- jnana
yoga? And the worship of an ideal -- bhakti yoga?

M: If it pleases you. Words indicate, but do not explain. What I teach is the ancient and simple way
of liberation through understanding. Understand your own mind and its hold on you will snap. The
mind misunderstands, misunderstanding is its very nature. Right understanding is the only remedy,
whatever name you give it. It is the earliest and also the latest, for it deals with the mind as it is.
Nothing you do will change you, for you need no change. You may change your mind or your body,
but it is always something external to you that has changed, not yourself. Why bother at all to
change? realise once for all that neither your body nor your mind, nor even your consciousness is
yourself and stand alone in your true nature beyond consciousness and unconsciousness. No effort
can take you there, only the clarity of understanding. Trace your misunderstandings and abandon
them, that is all. There is nothing to seek and find, for there is nothing lost. Relax and watch the 'I
am'. Reality is just behind it. Keep quiet, keep silent; it will emerge, or, rather, it will take you in.


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Re: Quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
« Reply #673 on: October 16, 2014, 12:22:55 AM »
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

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.


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Re: Quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
« Reply #674 on: October 17, 2014, 02:08:37 AM »
Questioner: How do we learn to cut out worries?

M: You need not worry about your worries. Just be. Do not try to be quiet; do not make 'being quiet'
into a task to be performed. Don't be restless about 'being quiet', miserable about 'being happy'.
Just be aware that you are and remain aware -- don't say: 'yes, I am; what next?' There is no 'next'
in 'I am'. It is a timeless state.

Q: If it is a timeless state, it will assert itself anyhow.

M: You are what you are, timelessly, but of what use is it to you unless you know it and act on it?
Your begging bowl may be of pure gold, but as long as you do not know it, you are a pauper. You
must know your inner worth and trust it and express it in the daily sacrifice of desire and fear.

Q: If I know myself, shall I not desire and fear?

M: For some time the mental habits may linger in spite of the new vision, the habit of longing for the known past and fearing the unknown future.
When you know these are of the mind only, you can go
beyond them. As long as you have all sorts of ideas about yourself, you know yourself through the
mist of these ideas; to know yourself as you are, give up all ideas. You cannot imagine the taste of
pure water, you can only discover it by abandoning all flavourings.
As long as you are interested in your present way of living, you will not abandon it. Discovery
cannot come as long as you cling to the familiar. It is only when you realise fully the immense
sorrow of your life and revolt against it, that a way out can be found.

Q: I can now see that the secret of India's eternal life lies in these dimensions of existence, of
which India was always the custodian.

M: It is an open secret and there were always people willing and ready to share it. Teachers --
there are many, fearless disciples -- very few.

Q: I am quite willing to learn.

M: Learning words is not enough. You may know the theory, but without the actual experience of
yourself as the impersonal and unqualified centre of being, love and bliss, mere verbal knowledge is

Q: Then, what am I to do?

M: Try to be, only to be. The all-important word is 'try'. Allot enough time daily for sitting quietly and
trying, just trying, to go beyond the personality, with its addictions and obsessions. Don't ask how, it
cannot be explained. You just keep on trying until you succeed. If you persevere, there can be no
failure. What matters supremely is sincerity, earnestness; you must really have had surfeit of being
the person you are, now see the urgent need of being free of this unnecessary self-identification
with a bundle of memories and habits. This steady resistance against the unnecessary is the secret
of success.
After all, you are what you are every moment of your life, but you are never conscious of it, except,
maybe, at the point of awakening from sleep. All you need is to be aware of being, not as a verbal
statement, but as an ever-present fact. The a awareness that you are will open your eyes to what
you are. It is all very simple. First of all, establish a constant contact with your self, be with yourself
all the time. Into self-awareness all blessings flow. Begin as a centre of observation, deliberate
cognisance, and grow into a centre of love in action. 'I am' is a tiny seed which will grow into a
mighty tree -- quite naturally, without a trace of effort.

Q: I see so much evil in myself. Must I not change it?

M: Evil is the shadow of inattention. In the light of self-awareness it will wither and fall off.
All dependence on another is futile, for what others can give others will take away. Only what is
your own at the start will remain your own in the end. Accept no guidance but from within, and even
then sift out all memories for they will mislead you. Even if you are quite ignorant of the ways and
the means, keep quiet and look within; guidance is sure to come. You are never left without knowing what your next step should be.
 The trouble is that you may shirk it. The Guru is there for
giving you courage because of his experience and success. But only what you discover through
your own awareness, your own effort, will be of permanent use to you.
Remember, nothing you perceive is your own. Nothing of value can come to you from outside; it is
only your own feeling and understanding that are relevant and revealing. Words, heard or read, will
only create images in your mind, but you are not a mental image. You are the power of perception
and action behind and beyond the image.

Q: You seem to advise me to be self-centred to the point of egoism. Must I not yield even to my
interest in other people?

M: Your interest in others is egoistic, self-concerned, self-oriented. You are not interested in others
as persons, but only as far as they enrich, or ennoble your own image of yourself. And the ultimate
in selfishness is to care only for the protection, preservation and multiplication of one's own body.
By body I mean all that is related to your name and shape -- your family, tribe, country, race, etc. To
be attached to one's name and shape is selfishness. A man who knows that he is neither body nor
mind cannot be selfish, for he has nothing to be selfish for. Or, you may say, he is equally 'selfish'
on behalf of everybody he meets; everybody's welfare is his own. The feeling 'I am the world, the
world is myself' becomes quite natural; once it is established, there is just no way of being selfish.
To be selfish means to covet, acquire, accumulate on behalf of the part against the whole.

Q: One may be rich with many possessions, by inheritance, or marriage, or just good luck.

M: If you do not hold on to, it will be taken away from you.

Q: In your present state can you love another person as a person?

M: I am the other person, the other person is myself; in name and shape we are different, but there
is no separation. At the root of our being we are one.

Q: Is it not so whenever there is love between people?

M: It is, but they are not conscious of it. They feel the attraction, but do not know the reason.

Q: Why is love selective?

M: Love is not selective, desire is selective. In love there are no strangers. When the centre of
selfishness is no longer, all desires for pleasure and fear of pain cease; one is no longer interested
in being happy; beyond happiness there is pure intensity, inexhaustible energy, the ecstasy of
giving from a perennial source.