Author Topic: Quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj  (Read 606897 times)


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Re: Quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
« Reply #675 on: October 18, 2014, 12:31:21 AM »
Q: What am I to learn?

M: To live without self-concern. For this you must know your own true being (swarupa) as
indomitable, fearless, ever victorious. Once you know with absolute certainty that nothing can
trouble you but your own imagination, you come to disregard your desires and fears, concepts and
ideas and live by truth alone.

Q: What may be the reason that some people succeed and others fail in Yoga? Is it destiny or
character, or just accident?

M: Nobody ever fails in Yoga. It is all a matter of the rate of progress. It is slow in the beginning and
rapid in the end. When one is fully matured, realisation is explosive. It takes place spontaneously, or
at the slightest hint. The quick is not better than the slow. Slow ripening and rapid flowering
alternate. Both are natural and right.
Yet, all this is so in the mind only. As I see it, there is really nothing of the kind. In the great mirror of
consciousness images arise and disappear and only memory gives them continuity. And memory is
material -- destructible, perishable, transient. On such flimsy foundations we build a sense of
personal existence -- vague, intermittent, dreamlike. This vague persuasion: 'I-am-so-and-so'
obscures the changeless state of pure awareness and makes us believe that we are born to suffer
and to die.

Q: Just as a child cannot help growing, so does a man, compelled by nature, make progress. Why
exert oneself? Where is the need of Yoga?

M: There is progress all the time. Everything contributes to progress. But this is the progress of
ignorance. The circles of ignorance may be ever widening, yet it remains a bondage all the same. In
due course a Guru appears to teach and inspire us to practise Yoga and a ripening takes place
as a result of which the immemorial night of ignorance dissolves before the rising sun of wisdom. But in
reality nothing happened. The sun is always there, there is no night to it; the mind blinded by the 'I
am the body' idea spins out endlessly its thread of illusion.

Q: If all is a part of a natural process, where is the need of effort?

M: Even effort is a part of it. When ignorance becomes obstinate and hard and the character gets
perverted, effort and the pain of it become inevitable. In complete obedience to nature there is no
effort. The seed of spiritual life grows in silence and in darkness until its appointed hour.


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Re: Quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
« Reply #676 on: October 19, 2014, 12:58:50 AM »
Q: You keep on saying that I am the creator, preserver and destroyer of this world, omnipresent,
omniscient, omnipotent. When I ponder over what you say, I ask myself: 'How is it that there is so
much evil in my world'.

M: There is no evil, there is no suffering; the joy of living is paramount. Look, how everything clings
to life, how dear the existence is.

Q: On the screen of my mind images follow each other in endless succession. There is nothing
permanent about me.

M: Have a better look at yourself. The screen is there -- it does not change. The light shines
steadily. Only the film in between keeps moving and causes pictures to appear. You may call the
film -- destiny (prarabdha).

Q: What creates destiny?

M: Ignorance is the cause of inevitability.

Q: Ignorance of what?

M: Ignorance of yourself primarily. Also, ignorance of the true nature of things, of their causes and
effects. You look round without understanding and take appearances for reality. You believe you
know the world and yourself -- but it is only your ignorance that makes you say: I know. Begin with
the admission that you do not know and start from there.
There is nothing that can help the world more than your putting an end to ignorance. Then, you
need not do anything in particular to help the world. Your very being is a help, action or no action.

Q: How can ignorance be known? To know ignorance presupposes knowledge.

M: Quite right. The very admission: 'I am ignorant' is the dawn of knowledge. An ignorant man is
ignorant of his ignorance. You can say that ignorance does not exist, for the moment it is seen it is
no more. Therefore, you may call it unconsciousness or blindness. All you see around and within
you is what you do not know and do not understand, without even knowing that you do not know
and do not understand. To know that you do not know and do not understand is true knowledge, the
knowledge of an humble heart.

Q: Yes, Christ said: Blessed are the poor in spirit...

M: Put it as you like; the fact is that knowledge is of ignorance only. You know that you do not know.

Q: Will ignorance ever end?

M: What is wrong with not knowing? You need not know all. Enough to know what you need to
know. The rest can look after itself, without your knowing how it does it. What is important is that
your unconscious does not work against the conscious, that there is integration on all levels. To
know is not so very important.

Q: What you say is correct psychologically. But when it comes to knowing others, knowing the
world, my knowing that I do not know does not help much.

M: Once you are inwardly integrated, outer knowledge comes to you spontaneously. At every
moment of your life you know what you need to know. In the ocean of the universal mind all
knowledge is contained; it is yours on demand. Most of it you may never need to know -- but it is
yours all the same.
As with knowledge, so it is with power.Whatever you feel needs be done happens unfailingly.
 No doubt, God attends to this business of
managing the universe; but He is glad to have some help. When the helper is selfless and
intelligent, all the powers of the universe are for him to command.

Q: Even the blind powers of nature?

M: There are no blind powers. Consciousness is power. Be aware of what needs be done and it
will be done. Only keep alert -- and quiet. Once you reach your destination and Know your real
nature, your existence becomes a blessing to all. You may not know, nor will the world know, yet
the help radiates. There are people in the world who do more good than all the statesmen and
philanthropists put together. They radiate light and peace with no intention or knowledge. When
others tell them about the miracles they worked, they also are wonder struck. Yet, taking nothing as
their own, they are neither proud, nor do they crave for reputation. They are just unable to desire
anything for themselves, not even the joy of helping others knowing that God is good they are at


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Re: Quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
« Reply #677 on: October 20, 2014, 01:45:30 AM »
Q: Are awareness and love one and the same?

M: Of course. Awareness is dynamic, love is being. Awareness is love in action. By itself the mind
can actualise any number of possibilities, but unless they are prompted by love, they are valueless.
Love precedes creation. Without it there is only chaos.

Q: Where is the action in awareness?

M: You are so incurably operational! Unless there is movement, restlessness, turmoil, you do not
call it action. Chaos is movement for movement's sake. True action does not displace; it transforms.
A change of place is mere transportation; a change of heart is action. Just remember, nothing
perceivable is real. Activity is not action. Action is hidden, unknown, unknowable. You can only
know the fruit.

Q: Is not God the all-doer?

M: Why do you bring in an outer doer? The world recreates itself out of itself. It is an endless
process, the transitory begetting the transitory. It is your ego that makes you think that there must
be a doer. You create a God to your own Image, however dismal the image. Through the film of
your mind you project a world and also a God to give it cause and purpose. It is all imagination --
step out of it.

Q: How difficult it is to see the world as purely mental! The tangible reality of it seems so very

M: This is the mystery of imagination, that it seems to be so real. You may be celibate or married, a
monk or a family man; that is not the point. Are you a slave of your imagination, or are you not?
Whatever decision you take, whatever work you do, it will be invariably based on imagination, on
assumptions parading as facts.

Q: Here I am sitting in front of you. What part of it is imagination?

M: The whole of it. Even space and time are imagined.

Q: Does it mean that I don't exist?

M: I too do not exist. All existence is imaginary.

Q: Is being too imaginary?

M: Pure being, filling all and beyond all, is not existence which is limited. All limitation is imaginary,
only the unlimited is real.

Q: When you look at me, what do you see?

M: I see you imagining yourself to be.

Q: There are many like me. Yet each is different.

M: The totality of all projections is what is called maha-maya, the Great Illusion.

Q: But when you look at yourself, what do you see?

M: It depends how I look. When I look through the mind, I see numberless people. When I look
beyond the mind, I see the witness. Beyond the witness there is the infinite intensity of emptiness
and silence.

Q: How to deal with people?

M: Why make plans and what for? Such questions show anxiety. Relationship is a living thing. Be
at peace with your inner self and you will be at peace with everybody.
realise that you are not the master of what happens, you cannot control the future except in purely
technical matters. Human relationship cannot be planned, it is too rich and varied. Just be
understanding and compassionate, free of all self seeking.

Q: Surely, I am not the master of what happens. Its slave rather.

M: Be neither master, nor slave. Stand aloof.


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Re: Quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
« Reply #678 on: October 22, 2014, 01:03:59 AM »
Questioner: You were saying the other day that at the root of your realisation was the trust in your
Guru. He assured you that you were already the Absolute Reality and there was nothing more to be
done. You trusted him and left it at that, without straining, without striving. Now, my question is:
without trust in your Guru would you have realised? After all, what you are, You are, whether your
mind trusts or not; would doubt obstruct the action of the Guru's words and make them inoperative?

Maharaj: You have said it -- they would have been made inoperative -- for a time.

Q: And what would happen to the energy, or power in the Guru's words?

M: It would remain latent, unmanifested. But the entire question is based on a misunderstanding.
The master, the disciple, the love and trust between them, these are one fact, not so many
independent facts. Each is a part of the other. Without love and trust there would have been no
Guru nor disciple, and no relationship between them. It is like pressing a switch to light an electric
lamp. It is because the lamp, the wiring, the switch, the transformer, the transmission lines and the
power house form a single whole, that you get the light. Any one factor missing and there would be
no light. You must not separate the inseparable. Words do not create facts; they either describe
them or distort. The fact is always non-verbal.

Q: I still do not understand; can the Guru's word remain unfulfilled or will it invariably prove true?

M: Words of a realised man never miss their purpose. They wait for the right conditions to arise
which may take some time, and. this is natural, for there is a season for sowing and a season for
harvesting. But the word of a Guru is a seed that cannot perish. Of course, the Guru must be a real
one, who is beyond the body and the mind, beyond consciousness itself, beyond space and time,
beyond duality and unity, beyond understanding and description. The good people who have read a
lot and have a lot to say, may teach you many useful things, but they are not the real Gurus whose
words invariably come true. They also may tell you that you are the ultimate reality itself, but what of

Q: Nevertheless, if for some reason I happen to trust them and obey, shall I be the loser?

M: If you are able to trust and obey, you will soon find your real Guru, or rather, he will find you.

Q: Does every knower of the Self become a Guru, or can one be a knower of Reality without being
able to take others to it?

M: If you know what you teach, you can teach what you know, Here seership and teachership are
one. But the Absolute Reality is beyond both. The self-styled Gurus talk of ripeness and effort, of
merits and achievements, of destiny and grace; all these are mere mental formations, projections of
an addicted mind. Instead of helping, they obstruct.

Q: How can I make out whom to follow and whom to mistrust?

M: Mistrust all, until you are convinced. The true Guru will never humiliate you, nor will he estrange
you from yourself. He will constantly bring you back to the fact of your inherent perfection and
encourage you to seek within. He knows you need nothing, not even him, and is never tired of
reminding you. But the self appointed Guru is more concerned with himself than with his disciples.

Q: You said that reality is beyond the knowledge and the teaching of the real. Is not the knowledge
of reality the supreme itself and teaching the proof of its attainment?

M: The knowledge of the real, or the self, is a state of mind. Teaching another is a movement in
duality. They concern the mind only; sattva is a Guna all the same.

Q: What is real then?

M: He who knows the mind as non-realised and realised, who knows ignorance and knowledge as
states of mind, he is the real. When you are given diamonds mixed with gravel, you may either miss
the diamonds or find them. It is the seeing that matters. Where is the greyness of the gravel and the
beauty of the diamond, without the power to see? The known is but a shape and knowledge is but a
name. The knower is but a state of mind. The real is beyond.

Q: Surely, objective knowledge and ideas of things and self knowledge are not one and the same
thing. One needs a brain, the other does not.

M: For the purpose of discussion you can arrange words and give them meaning, but the fact
remains that all knowledge is a form of ignorance. The most accurate map is yet only paper.
All knowledge is in memory; it is only recognition, while reality is beyond the duality of the knower and
the known.

Q: Then by what is reality known?

M: How misleading is your language! You assume, unconsciously, that reality also is approachable
through knowledge. And then you will bring in a knower of reality beyond reality! Do understand that
to be, reality need not be known. Ignorance and knowledge are in the mind, not in the real.

Q: If there is no such thing as the knowledge of the real, then how do I reach it?

M: You need not reach out for what is already with you. Your very reaching out makes you miss it.
Give up the idea that you have not found it and just let it come into the focus of direct perception,
here and now, by removing all that is of the mind.

Q: When all that can go, goes, what remains?

M: Emptiness remains, awareness remains, pure light of the conscious being remains. It is like
asking what remains of a room when all the furniture is removed? A most serviceable room
remains. And when even the walls are pulled down, space remains. Beyond space and time is the
here and the now of reality.


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Re: Quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
« Reply #679 on: October 22, 2014, 11:39:21 PM »
Questioner: I am very much attached to my family and possessions. How can I conquer this

Maharaj: This attachment is born along with the sense of 'me' and 'mine'. Find the true meaning of
these words and you will be free of all bondage. You have a mind which is spread in time. One after
another all things happen to you and the memory remains. There is nothing wrong in it. The
problem arises only when the memory of past pains and pleasures -- which are essential to all
organic life -- remains as a reflex, dominating behaviour. This reflex takes the shape of 'I' and uses
the body and the mind for its purposes, which are invariably in search for pleasure or flight from
pain. When you recognise the 'I' as it is, a bundle of desires and fears, and the sense of 'mine', as
embracing all things and people needed for the purpose of avoiding pain and securing pleasure,
you will see that the 'I' and the 'mine' are false ideas, having no foundation in reality. Created by the
mind, they rule their creator as long as it takes them to be true; when questioned, they dissolve.
The 'I' and 'mine', having no existence in themselves, need a support which they find in the body.
The body becomes their point of reference. When you talk of 'my' husband and 'my' children, you
mean the body's husband and the body's children. Give up the idea of being the body and face the
question: Who am l? At once a process will be set in motion which will bring back reality, or, rather,
will take the mind to reality. Only, you must not be afraid.

Q: What am I to be afraid of?

M: For reality to be, the ideas of 'me' and 'mine' must go. They will go if you let them. Then your
normal natural state reappears, in which you are neither the body nor the mind, neither the 'me? nor
the 'mine', but in a different state of being altogether. It is pure awareness of being, without being
this or that, without any self-identification with anything in particular, or in general. In that pure light
of consciousness there is nothing, not even the idea of nothing. There is only light.

Q: There are people whom I love. Must I give them up?

M: You only let go your hold on them. The rest is up to them. They may lose interest in you, or may

Q: How could they? Are they not my own?

M: They are your body's, not your own. Or, better, there is none who is not your own.

Q: And what about my possessions?

M: When the 'mine' is no more, where are your possessions?

Q: Please tell me, must I lose all by losing the 'I'?

M: You may or you may not. It will be all the same to you. Your loss will be somebody's gain. You
will not mind.

Q: If I do not mind, I shall lose all!

M: Once you have nothing you have no problems.

Q: I am left with the problem of survival.

M: It is the body's problem and it will solve it by eating, drinking and sleeping. There is enough for
all, provided all share.

Q: Our society is based on grabbing, not on sharing.

M: By sharing you will change it.

Q: I do not feel like sharing. Anyhow, I am being taxed out of my possessions.

M: This is not the same as voluntary sharing. Society will not change by compulsion. It requires a
change of heart. Understand that nothing is your own, that all belongs to all. Then only society will

Q: One man's understanding will not take the world far.

M: The world in which you live will be affected deeply. it will be a healthy and happy world, which
will radiate and communicate, increase and spread. The power of a true heart is immense.

Q: Please tell us more.

M: Talking is not my hobby. Sometimes I talk, sometimes I do not.
My talking, or not talking, is a part of a given situation and does not depend on me. When there is a situation in which I have to
talk, I hear myself talking. In some other situation I may not hear myself talking. It is all the same to
me. Whether I talk or not, the light and love of being what I am are not affected, nor are they under
my control. They are, and I know they are. There is a glad awareness, but nobody who is glad. Of
course, there is a sense of identity, but it is the identity of a memory track, like the identity of a
sequence of pictures on the ever-present screen. Without the light and the screen there can be no
picture. To know the picture as the play of light on the screen, gives freedom from the idea that the
picture is real. All you have to do is to understand that you love the self and the self loves you and
that the sense 'I am' is the link between you both, a token of identity in spite of apparent diversity.
Look at the 'I am' as a sign of love between the inner and the outer, the real and the appearance.
Just like in a dream all is different, except the sense of 'I', which enables you to say 'I dreamt', so
does the sense of 'I am' enable you to say 'I am my real Self again?. I do nothing, nor is anything
done to me. I am what I am and nothing can affect me. I appear to depend on everything, but in fact
all depends on me.


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Re: Quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
« Reply #680 on: October 24, 2014, 12:48:42 AM »

As the great saint Tukarama said, the aspirant must put in ceaseless efforts in the pursuit of spiritual life.
Thoughts must be utilised for Self-knowledge.
He must be alert and watchful in ascertaining the nature of this 'I' that is involved in the affairs of pleasure and pain arising out of sense experience.

We must know the nature of the active principle lest its activities be led astray.
We should not waste our energies in useless pursuits, but should use those energies in the pursuit of the Self and achieve identity with God.
Spiritual life is so great, so deep, so immense, that energy pales into insignificance before it, yet this energy tries to understand it again and again.
Those who try to understand it with the help of the intellect are lost to it. Rare is the one who, having concentrated on the source atom of the cosmic energy,
 enjoys the bliss of spiritual contemplation. But there are scores of those who take themselves to be spiritually inspired and perfect beings.
 They expect the common herd to honour and respect their every word. The ignorant people rush towards them for spiritual succour and do their bidding.
In fact, the pseudo-saints are caught in a snare of greed, hence what the people get in return is not the blessings of satisfaction, but ashes.

The self-styled man of God, speaking ad nauseum about spiritual matters, thinks himself to be perfect, but others are not so sure.
As regards a saint, on the other hand, men are on the lookout for ways to serve him more and more, but as the ever contented soul,
 steeped in beatitude, desires nothing, they are left to serve in their own way, which they do with enthusiasm, and they never feel the pressure.

Greatness is always humble, loving, silent and satisfied. Happiness, tolerance, forbearance, composure and other allied qualities must be known by everyone;
just as one experiences bodily states such as hunger, thirst, etc., one. must, with equal ease, experience in oneself the characteristics connoted by the word 'saint'.
 As we know for certain that we need no more sleep, no more food, at a given moment, so too we can be sure of the above characteristics from direct experience.
One can then recognise their presence in others with the same ease.

Self Knowledge and Self Realisation


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Re: Quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
« Reply #681 on: October 29, 2014, 12:29:54 AM »
Q: All I know is the stream of consciousness, an endless succession of events. The river of time
flows, bringing and carrying away relentlessly. Transformation of the future into past is going on all
the time.

M: Are you not the victim of your language? You speak about the flow of time, as if you were
stationary. But the events you have witnessed yesterday somebody else may see tomorrow. It is
you who are in movement and not time. Stop moving and time will cease.

Q: What does it mean -- time will cease?

M: Past and future will merge in the eternal now.

Q: But what does it mean in actual experience? How do you know that for you time has ceased?

M: It may mean that past and future do not matter any more. It may also mean that all that
happened and will happen becomes an open book to be read at will.

Q: I can imagine a sort of cosmic memory, accessible with some training. But how can the future
be known? The unexpected is inevitable.

M: What is unexpected on one level may be certain to happen, when seen from a higher level After
all, we are within the limits of the mind. In reality nothing happens, there is no past nor future; all
appears and nothing is.

Q: What does it mean, nothing is? Do you turn blank, or go to sleep? Or do you dissolve the world
and keep us all in abeyance, until we are brought back to life at the next flicker of your thought?

M: Oh, no, it is not that bad. The world of mind and matter, of names and shapes, continues, but it
does not matter to me at all. It is like having a shadow. It is there -- following me wherever I go, but
not hindering me in any way. It remains a world of experiences, but not of names and forms related
to me by desires and fears. The experiences are qualityless, pure experiences, if I may say so.
 I call them experiences for the lack of a better word. They are like the waves on the surface of the ocean,
the ever-present, but not affecting its peaceful power.

Q: You mean to say an experience can be nameless, formless, undefined?

M: In the beginning all experience is such. It is only desire and fear, born of memory, that give it
name and form and separate it from other experiences. It is not a conscious experience, for it is not
in opposition to other experiences, yet it is an experience all the same.

Q: If it is not conscious, why talk about it?

M: Most of your experiences are unconscious. The conscious ones are very few. You are unaware
of the fact because to you only the conscious ones count. Become aware of the unconscious .
Q: Can one be aware of the unconscious? How is it done?

M: Desire and fear are the obscuring and distorting factors. When mind is free of them the
unconscious becomes accessible.

Q: Does it mean that the unconscious becomes conscious?

M: It is rather the other way round. The conscious becomes one with the unconscious. The
distinction ceases, whichever way you look at it.

Q: I am puzzled. How can one be aware and yet unconscious?

M: Awareness is not limited to consciousness. It is of all that is. Consciousness is of duality. There
is no duality in awareness. It is one single block of pure cognition. In the same way one can talk of
the pure being and pure creation -- nameless, formless, silent and yet absolutely real, powerful,
effective. Their being indescribable does not affect them in the least. While they are unconscious,
they are essential. The conscious cannot change fundamentally, it can only modify. Any thing, to
change, must pass through death, through obscuration and dissolution. Gold jewellery must be
melted down before it is cast into another shape. What refuses to die cannot be reborn.

Q: Barring the death of the body, how does one die?

M: Withdrawal, aloofness, letting go is death. To live fully, death is essential; every ending makes a
new beginning. On the other hand, do understand, that only the dead can die, not the living. That
which is alive in you, is immortal.

Q: From where does desire draw its energy?

M: Its name and shape it draws from memory. The energy flows from the source.

Q: Some desires are altogether wrong. How can wrong desires flow from a sublime source?

M: The source is neither right nor wrong. Nor is desire by itself right or wrong. It is nothing but
striving for happiness. Having identified yourself with a speck of a body you feel lost and search
desperately for the sense of fullness and completeness you call happiness.

Q: When did I lose it? I never had it.

M: You had it before you woke up this morning. Go beyond your consciousness and you will find it.

Q: How am I to go beyond?

M: You know it already; do it.


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Re: Quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
« Reply #682 on: October 30, 2014, 01:10:07 AM »
Q: Do you advise shunning pleasure and pursuing pain?

M: No, nor pursuing pleasure and shunning pain. Accept both as they come, enjoy both while they
last, let them go, as they must.

Q: How can I possibly enjoy pain? Physical pain calls for action.

M: Of course. And so does Mental. The bliss is in the awareness of it, in not shrinking, or in any
way turning away from it. All happiness comes from awareness. The more we are conscious, the
deeper the joy. Acceptance of pain, non-resistance, courage and endurance -- these open deep
and perennial sources of real happiness, true bliss.

Q: Why should pain be more effective than pleasure?

M: Pleasure is readily accepted, while all the powers of the self reject pain.
 As the acceptance of pain is the denial of the self, and the self stands in the way of true happiness, the wholehearted
acceptance of pain releases the springs of happiness.

Q: Does the acceptance of suffering act the same way?

M: The fact of pain is easily brought within the focus of awareness. With suffering it is not that
simple. To focus suffering is not enough, for mental life, as we know it, is one continuous stream of
suffering. To reach the deeper layers of suffering you must go to its roots and uncover their vast
underground network, where fear and desire are closely interwoven and the currents of life's energy
oppose, obstruct and destroy each other.

Q: How can I set right a tangle which is entirely below the level of my consciousness?

M: By being with yourself, the 'I am'; by watching yourself in your daily life with alert interest, with
the intention to understand rather than to judge, in full acceptance of whatever may emerge,
because it is there, you encourage the deep to come to the surface and enrich your life and
consciousness with its captive energies. This is the great work of awareness; it removes obstacles
and releases energies by understanding the nature of life and mind. Intelligence is the door to
freedom and alert attention is the mother of intelligence.

Q: One more question. Why does pleasure end in pain?

M: Everything has a beginning and an end and so does pleasure. Don't anticipate and don't regret,
and there will be no pain. it is memory and imagination that cause suffering.
Of course pain after pleasure may be due to the misuse of the body or the mind. The body knows
its measure, but the mind does not. Its appetites are numberless and limitless. Watch your mind
with great diligence, for there lies your bondage and also the key to freedom.

Q: My question is not yet fully answered: Why are man's pleasures destructive? Why does he find
so much pleasure in destruction? Life's concern lies in protection, perpetuation and expansion of
itself. In this it is guided by pain and pleasure. At what point do they become destructive?

M: When the mind takes over, remembers and anticipates, it exaggerates, it distorts, it overlooks.
The past is projected into future and the future betrays the expectations. The organs of sensation
and action are stimulated beyond capacity and they inevitably break down. The objects of pleasure
cannot yield what is expected of them and get worn out, or destroyed, by misuse. It results in
excess of pain where pleasure was looked for.

Q: We destroy not only ourselves, but others too!

M: Naturally, selfishness is always destructive. Desire and fear, both are self-centred states.
Between desire and fear anger arises, with anger hatred, with hatred passion for destruction. War is
hatred in action, organised and equipped with all the instruments of death.

Q: Is there a way to end these horrors?

M: When more people come to know their real nature, their influence, however subtle, will prevail
and the world's emotional atmosphere will sweeten up. People follow their leaders and when among
the leaders appear some, great in heart and mind, and absolutely free from self-seeking, their
impact will be enough to make the crudities and crimes of the present age impossible. A new
golden age may come and last for a time and succumb to its own perfection. For, ebb begins when
the tide is at its highest.

Q: Is there no such thing as permanent perfection?

M: Yes, there is, but it includes all imperfection. It is the perfection of our self-nature which makes
everything possible, perceivable, interesting. It knows no suffering, for it neither likes nor dislikes;
neither accepts nor rejects. Creation and destruction are the two poles between which it weaves its
ever-changing pattern. Be free from predilections and preferences and the mind with its burden of
sorrow will be no more.


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Re: Quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
« Reply #683 on: October 30, 2014, 11:55:45 PM »
Q: At what point does one experience reality?

M: Experience is of change, it comes and goes. Reality is not an event, it cannot be experienced. It
is not perceivable in the same way as an event is perceivable. If you wait for an event to take place,
for the coming of reality, you will wait for ever, for reality neither comes nor goes. It is to be
perceived, not expected. It is not to be prepared for and anticipated. But the very longing and
search for reality is the movement, operation, action of reality. All you can do is to grasp the central
point, that reality is not an event and does not happen and whatever happens, whatever comes and
goes, is not reality. See the event as event only, the transient as transient, experience as mere
experience and you have done all you can. Then you are vulnerable to reality, no longer armoured
against it, as you were when you gave reality to events and experiences. But as soon as there is
some like or dislike, you have drawn a screen.

Q: Would you say that reality expresses itself in action rather than in knowledge? Or, is it a feeling
of sorts?

M: Neither action, nor feeling, nor thought express reality. There is no such thing as an expression
of reality. You are introducing a duality where there is none. Only reality is, there is nothing else.
The three states of waking, dreaming and sleeping are not me and I am not in them. When I die, the
world will say -- 'Oh, Maharaj is dead!' But to me these are words without content; they have no
meaning. When the worship is done before the image of the Guru, all takes place as if he wakes
and bathes and eats and rests, and goes for a stroll and returns, blesses all and goes to sleep. All is
attended to in minutest details and yet there is a sense of unreality about it all. So is the case with
me. All happens as it needs, yet nothing happens. I do what seems to be necessary, but at the
same time I know that nothing is necessary, that life itself is only a make-belief.

Q: Why then live at all? Why all this unnecessary coming and going, waking and sleeping, eating
and digesting?

M: Nothing is done by me, everything just happens I do not expect, I do not plan, I just watch
events happening, knowing them to be unreal.

Q: Were you always like this from the first moment of enlightenment?

M: The three states rotate as usual -- there is waking and sleeping and waking again, but they do
not happen to me. They just happen. To me nothing ever happens. There is something changeless,
motionless, immovable, rocklike, unassailable; a solid mass of pure being-consciousness-bliss. I am
never out of it. Nothing can take me out of it, no torture, no calamity.

Q: Yet, you are conscious!

M: Yes and no. There is peace -- deep, immense, unshakeable. Events are registered in memory,
but are of no importance. I am hardly aware of them.

Q: If I understand you rightly, this state did not come by cultivation.

M: There was no coming. It was so -- always. There was discovery and it was sudden. Just as at
birth you discover the world suddenly, as suddenly I discovered my real being.

Q: Was it clouded over and your sadhana dissolved the mist? When your true state became clear
to you, did it remain clear, or did it get obscured again? Is your condition permanent or intermittent?

M: Absolutely steady. Whatever I may do, it stays like a rock -- motionless. Once you have
awakened into reality, you stay in it. A child does not return to the womb! It is a simple state, smaller
than the smallest, bigger than the biggest. It is self-evident and yet beyond description.

Q: Is there a way to it?

M: Everything can become a way, provided you are interested. Just puzzling over my words and
trying to grasp their full meaning is a sadhana quite sufficient for breaking down the wall.
Nothing troubles me. I offer no resistance to trouble -- therefore it does not stay with me. On your side there
is so much trouble. On mine there is no trouble at all. Come to my side. You are trouble-prone. I am
immune. Anything may happen -- what is needed is sincere interest. Earnestness does it.

Q: Can I do it?

M: Of course. You are quite capable of crossing over. Only be sincere.


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Re: Quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
« Reply #684 on: November 02, 2014, 12:59:21 AM »
Q: Give us at least some insight into the content of your mind while you live your daily life. To eat,
to drink, to talk, to sleep -- how does it feel at your end?

M: The common things of life: I experience them just as you do. The difference lies in what I do not
experience. I do not experience fear or greed, hate or anger. I ask nothing, refuse nothing, keep
nothing. In these matters I do not compromise. Maybe this is the outstanding difference between us.
I will not compromise, I am true to myself, while you are afraid of reality.

Q: From the Westerner's point of view there is something disturbing in your ways. To sit in a
corner all by oneself and keep on repeating: 'I am God, God I am', appears to be plain madness.
How to convince a Westerner that such practices lead to supreme sanity?

M: The man who claims to be God and the man who doubts it -- both are deluded. They talk in their

Q: If all is dreaming, what is waking?

M: How to describe the waking state in dreamland language? Words do not describe, they are only

Q: Again the same excuse that words cannot convey reality.

M: If you want words, I shall give you some of the ancient words of power. Repeat any of them
ceaselessly; they can work wonders.

Q: Are you serious? Would you tell a Westerner to repeat 'Om' or 'Ram' or 'Hare Krishna'
ceaselessly, though he lacks completely the faith and conviction born of the right cultural and
religious background. Without confidence and fervour, repeating mechanically the same sounds, will he ever achieve anything?

M: Why not? It is the urge, the hidden motive that matters, not the shape it takes. Whatever he
does, if he does it for the sake of finding his own real self, will surely bring him to himself.

Q: No need of faith in the efficacy of the means?

M: No need of faith which is but expectation of results. Here the action only counts. Whatever you
do for the sake of truth, will take you to truth. Only be earnest and honest. The shape it takes hardly

Q: Then where is the need of giving expression to one's longing?

M: No need. Doing nothing is as good. Mere longing, undiluted by thought and action, pure,
concentrated longing, will take you speedily to your goal. It is the true motive that matters, not the

Q: Unbelievable! How can dull repetition in boredom verging on despair, be effective?

M: The very facts of repetition, of struggling on and on and of endurance and perseverance, in
spite of boredom and despair and complete lack of conviction are really crucial. They are not
important by themselves, but the sincerity behind them is all-important. There must be a push from
within and pull from without.

Q: My questions are typical of the West. There people think in terms of cause and effect, means
and goals. They do not see what causal connection can there be between a particular word and the
Absolute Reality.

M: None whatsoever. But there is a connection between the word and its meaning, between the
action and its motive. Spiritual practice is will asserted and re-asserted. Who has not the daring will
not accept the real even when offered. Unwillingness born out of fear is the only obstacle.

Q: What is there to be afraid of?

M: The unknown. The not-being, not-knowing, not-doing. The beyond.

Q: You mean to say that while you can share the manner of your achievement, you cannot share
the fruits?

M: Of course I can share the fruits and I am doing so all the time. But mine is a silent language.
Learn to listen and understand.


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Re: Quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
« Reply #685 on: November 03, 2014, 12:00:18 AM »
Questioner: What is your state at the present moment?

Maharaj: A state of non-experiencing. In it all experience is included.

Q: Can you enter into the mind and heart of another man and share his experience?

M: No. Such things require special training. I am like a dealer In wheat. I know little about breads
and cakes. Even the taste of a wheat-gruel I may not know. But about the wheat grain I know all
and well. I know the source of all experience. But the innumerable particular forms experience can
take I do not know. Nor do I need to know. From moment to moment, the little I need to know to live
my life, I somehow happen to know.

Q: Your particular existence and my particular existence, do they both exist in the mind of Brahma?

M: The universal is not aware of the particular. The existence as a person is a personal matter. A
person exists in time and space, has name and shape, beginning and end; the universal includes all
persons and the absolute is at the root of and beyond all.

Q: I am not concerned with the totality. My personal consciousness and your personal
consciousness -- what is the link between the two?

M: Between two dreamers what can be the link?

Q: They may dream of each other.

M: That is what people are doing. Everyone imagines 'others' and seeks a link with them. The
seeker is the link, there is none other.

Q: Surely there must be something in common between the many points of consciousness we are.

M: Where are the many points? In your mind. You insist that your world is independent of your
mind. How can it be? Your desire to know other people's minds is due to your not knowing your own
mind. First know your own mind and you will find that the question of other minds does not arise at
all, for there are no other people. You are the common factor, the only link between the minds.
Being is consciousness; 'I am' applies to all

Q: The Supreme Reality (Parabrahman) may be present in all of us. But of what use is it to us?

M: You are like a man who says: 'I need a place where to keep my things, but of what use is space
to me?' or 'I need milk, tea, coffee or soda, but for water I have no use'. Don't you see that the
Supreme Reality is what makes everything possible? But if you ask of what use is it to you, I must
answer: 'None'. In matters of daily life the knower of the real has no advantage: he may be at a
disadvantage rather: being free from greed and fear, he does not protect himself. The very idea of
profit is foreign to him; he abhors accretions; his life is constant divesting oneself, sharing, giving.

Q: If there is no advantage in gaining the Supreme, then why take the trouble?

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

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

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

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

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


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Re: Quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
« Reply #686 on: November 05, 2014, 01:21:35 AM »
Visitor: Is it possible to know how we are with and without body?

Maharaj: For a Jnani, yes, the reality is known to him and he dwells in non-duality. But all that is, is his
form only. Even Lord Rama had to take help of the five elements, but he was not an individual. Now in
this (Maharaj), you see form because of the limits of the five elemental forms, if you come here (where
Maharaj is) you will be finished! You will see the universe as a whole. So long as your beingness is,
there is form; there is no individual, only the elements. Whatever originates from earth is itself
ignorance, so everything is ignorance.

V: This earth is knowledge or ignorance? Whatever emanates is ignorance?

M: The Jnani transcends knowledge; all forms are from the earth and back to the earth. As to how they
(the Jnanis) are without form, only they know.

V: What is Aum? Is Aum Maya?

M: The Aum and beingness are same, whatever occurs, you just give it a name. My inner reality is
quiet, fire is flame but quiet. So long as individual personality is there, you have pain and pleasure, no
individual and it's all over. Fire in this napkin is unseen; there is a flame in it but quiet. From your
consciousness come space, air and fire, once you know the truth, then it doesn't matter whether Maya
exists or not. The intellectual people will not know me a hundred percent whereas a simple,
uncomplicated person will. Even with the slightest intellectuality, it is difficult; however simple,
uncomplicated people will easily meditate.

V: Is there knowledge in any word?

M: The One, who is Eternal, is making use of words to talk. Once I know what I am and what I am not,
I need not worry about other things. I am the Eternal with no end, no beginning.

V: The simple one has the knowledge to know what he is not, thereafter nothing else is needed.

M: One has to look at oneself as to what one is, it's not necessary to worry about others. If somebody
says, for instance, you are this or that, you investigate, and you find out that you are greater, you are the
Eternal principle. All words are just rice and curry! Ultimately, it's the Sattva that is born, the same
entity, rest are all just names, father, mother and so on, extended existence through beingness. Animals,
plants and the rest, all Sattva, consciousness is born. Womb means hidden, 'Hiranya garbha' (the
golden womb) means hidden like fire in the womb of the towel. The towel is earth, the food sheath is
vital and so is the breath. Where are all of you heading for? Nowhere, this is a ditch of concepts. The 'I
am' is objective, it is the 'I am' that investigates and it is the 'I am' that disposes itself off and
stabilizes in Eternity. The test tube baby has been created out of the juices of human beings, can they
create one out of vegetation? Hold a torch and there is a beam of light, how can you run beyond the
beam of light ? 'Near' and 'far' are qualities of what?
« Last Edit: November 06, 2014, 12:49:16 AM by Jewell »


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Re: Quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
« Reply #687 on: November 06, 2014, 12:57:48 AM »
M: Realization has no color, no shape; your true identity has no shape, no needs. That principle is not
understood by the mind. Because of five elements all the creation suffers. Without the intake of food,
there is no opportunity to say 'I am', out of the essence of the earth sprouts vegetation and out of that
sprouts the 'I am', realize this without eyesight or intellect. That principle likes to cry, enjoy, and
laugh, but you are not that, realize this only. Become one with the 'I am', then you can transcend it,
then 'I the Absolute? am not the 'I am'.

Maharaj: The 'I am' makes you step away from the reality. To realize, don't take the body as yourself,
no body, no name. Try to just be; that is your true self. At this moment without taking yourself as body
and name, can you describe yourself? This body is because of the five elements, the words flow and
you say, 'my mind', this body and mind are not you, it is because of the five elements and three gunas
and Purusha and Prakriti. In all they are ten and with the advent of these ten comes about your
beingness, the knowledge that 'you are', but you are not these ten. The five elements make up the body
while the three gunas make activity possible. When you know that they exist and you are separate from
them, then you lose body and mind.

Visitor: When there is no body and mind, is one everything?

M: Taking yourself to be the I amness (as an individual entity) is misery, this gone, you are all
pervasive and not confined to the body.

V: No effort needed to understand?

M: No effort, but because of your tendencies, you cannot remain without making efforts, where is the
effort required? You know that 'you are'. You take food to sustain the body and its activities, that you
came to know that 'you are' is the misery, but the food cycle goes on, so unknowingly the effort goes
on, although you may not want it to. This beingness is because of the five elements, you have no
control although you take food 'to be'. Beingness comes spontaneously and will go spontaneously, yet
you protect it and so it continues. How did this beingness appear? This has appeared unknowingly, did
you make effort? What are you then? Because of the five elements, you know 'you are', without them
you are not, so what are you? At the moment, take yourself to be the beingness, don't separate it from
the world. You, beingness and the world are one, but you are not the body, you are because of your
beingness (Sattva) if it goes, the world goes.

V: I have created the world?

M: Yes, unknowingly you have created it, unknowingly and effortlessly will it go, both are
simultaneous ? with beingness the world is. This beingness itself is the 'Bhagvan', the God. Why do
you want to make effort? Why? It is because of Maya, the primary Illusion. Your love for yourself is
Maya, hence all the activities. All activities take place because you know 'you are'; that itself in Maya,

V: What is the difference between an ignorant man's activities and the activities of the sage?

M: Self-love is the motivating factor in case of the ignorant while in the case of a Jnani, in the absence
of self love, Maya or the knowledge 'I am', there is no world. The Jnani, who knows this reality, sees
the world as a useless illusion, that's all. For a Jnani knowledge has no form, no name while the
ignorant one considers himself as real. Because of your knowledge, all activities and all suffering will
happen. All suffering is out of self-love, you love yourself so you do hatha yoga.

V: Does a Jnani suffer?

M: A Jnani has no name or form, so who is there to suffer? Self-love is spontaneous; you cannot have
control over it, yet you do everything for it. How have you come in this world?


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Re: Quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
« Reply #688 on: November 07, 2014, 02:39:04 AM »
Q: What are you doing, sir?

M: Sitting.

Q: And what else?

M: Talking.

Q: What are you talking about?

M: Do you want a lecture? Better ask something that really touches you, so that you feel strongly
about it. Unless you are emotionally involved, you may argue with me, but there will be no real
understanding between us. If you say: 'nothing worries me, I have no problems', it is all right with
me, we can keep quiet. But if something really touches you, then there is purpose in talking.
Shall I ask you? What is the purpose of your moving from place to place?

Q: To meet people, to try to understand them.

M: What people are you trying to understand? What exactly are you after?

Q: Integration.

M: If you want integration, you must know whom you want to integrate.

Q: By meeting people and watching them, one comes to know oneself also. It goes together.

M: It does not necessarily go together.

Q: One improves the other.

M: It does not work that way. The mirror reflects the image, but the image does not improve the
mirror. You are neither the mirror nor the image in the mirror. Having perfected the mirror so that it
reflects correctly, truly, you can turn the mirror round and see in it a true reflection of yourself -- true
as far as the mirror can reflect. But the reflection is not yourself -- you are the seer of the reflection.
Do understand it clearly -- whatever you may perceive you are not what you perceive.

Q: I am the mirror and the world is the image?

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

Q: No, I cannot.

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

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

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

Q: Is self-realisation so important?

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


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Re: Quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
« Reply #689 on: November 11, 2014, 02:14:04 AM »
Q: Have I to understand that our minds are similar?

M: How can it be? You have your own private mind, woven with memories, held together by
desires and fears. I have no mind of my own; what I need to know the universe brings before me, as
it supplies the food I eat.

Q: Do you know all you want to know?

M: There is nothing I want to know. But what I need to know, I come to know.

Q: Does this knowledge come to you from within or from outside?

M: It does not apply. My inner is outside and my outer is inside. I may get from you the knowledge
needed at the moment, but you are not apart from me.

Q: What is turiya, the fourth state we hear about?

M: To be the point of light tracing the world is turiya. To be the light itself is turiyatita. But of what
use are names when reality is so near?

Q: Is there any progress in your condition? When you compare yourself yesterday with yourself
today, do you find yourself changing, making progress? Does your vision of reality grow in width
and depth?

M: Reality is immovable and yet in constant movement. It is like a mighty river -- it flows and yet it
is there -- eternally. What flows is not the river with its bed and banks, but its water, so does the
sattva guna, the universal harmony, play its games against tamas and rajas, the forces of darkness
and despair. In sattva there is always change and progress, in rajas there is change and regress,
while tamas stands for chaos. The three Gunas play eternally against each other -- it is a fact and
there can be no quarrel with a fact.

Q: Must I always go dull with tamas and desperate with rajas? What about sattva?

M: Sattva is the radiance of your real nature. You can always find it beyond the mind and its many
worlds. But if you want a world, you must accept the three gunas as inseparable -- matter -- energy
-- life -- one in essence, distinct in appearance. They mix and flow -- in consciousness. In time and
space there is eternal flow, birth and death again, advance, retreat, another advance, again retreat
-- apparently without a beginning and without end; reality being timeless, changeless, bodyless,
mindless awareness is bliss.

Q: I understand that, according to you, everything is a state of consciousness. The world is full of
things -- a grain of sand is a thing, a planet is a thing. How are they related to consciousness?

M: Where consciousness does not reach, matter begins. A thing is a form of being which we have
not understood. It does not change -- it is always the same -- it appears to be there on its own --
something strange and alien. Of course it is in the chit, consciousness, but appears to be outside
because of its apparent changelessness. The foundation of things is in memory -- without memory
there would be no recognition. Creation -- reflection -- rejection: Brahma -- Vishnu -- Shiva: this is
the eternal process. All things are governed by it.

Q: Is there no escape?

M: I am doing nothing else, but showing the escape. Understand that the One includes the Three
and that you are the One, and you shall be free of the world process.