Author Topic: With Nisarghadatta Maharaj - Authentic account from Neal Rosner in 1979  (Read 2333 times)


  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 965
    • View Profile
This is an especially good example of Maharaj's under-reported emphasis on love of Guru and God, and his critique of a merely intellectual approach to nondual Truth.

Note that Rosner, who was later ordained (in 1995) and renamed Swami Paramatmananda, the senior Western disciple of the awesome "Hugging Mother" Ammachi / Mata Amritanandamayi (whom Rosner met just a few months after seeing Maharaj), had already been living for 12 years at Ramanashramam in Tiruvannamalai with Ratnamji, a sagely disciple of Sri Ramana Maharshi. Rosner had read I Am That and wanted to meet Maharaj, but was having severe health problems with back pain and chronic fatigue. He wrote to Maharaj that he desired to meet the sage. The very next day Rosner met a new acquaintance, a Frenchwoman "pseudo-nondualist" by name of Ananda, who paid for the plane tickets and taxi to bring both herself and Neal to see Maharaj in Bombay. En route, Ananda harangued Neal with the neo-advaita view that there is no need for any disciplines or devotion. She declared:]

"All of these things are only for weak-minded people. You should just go on thinking ‘I am That,’ ‘I am That,’ and you will realize the Truth of it one day."

"I think that you have overlooked an important point in the philosophy of Vedanta," I objected. "All of the texts and teachers of that school thought insist that, before one even takes up the study of it, one must have certain qualifications. A child in kindergarten cannot possibly do justice to a college textbook. He may even pervert the meaning. In the same way, before one takes up the study of practice of Vedanta, the mind should be rendered unmoving [i.e., free of attachments and aversions] [...] There is not even a trace of bad in the Supreme Reality and one who had not given up such negative qualities as lust, anger and greed cannot be taken to be one who has realized the Truth. A safer course would be to consider oneself as a child of a Realized Soul or of God. To benefit from being the child of such a one, we must try to approximate his character. Only if we can do this, will our mind gradually become pure and unruffled by passions and the Truth will be seen, and not until then."

"You are still weak-minded. You will see when we get to Maharaj. He will tell you to throw all this mushy sentimentalism overboard," she retorted, somewhat irritated.

I had already met a number of people like her and knew there would be no value in arguing, so I kept quiet.

Reaching Bombay, a friend took us to Maharaj's apartment. [...] He was now in his 80's and lived with his son in a three-room flat. He had also created a small loft in the living room where he would spend most of his time. It was there that we met him.

"Come in, come in. You are coming from Arunachala, are you not? Your letter came yesterday. Are you enjoying peace near Ramana?" Maharaj jovially asked me, motioning for me to sit near him. Immediately I felt an intense peace near him, a sure sign that he was a great soul. "Do you know what I mean by peace? When you put a doughnut in boiling oil a lot of bubbles will come out until all of the moisture in the doughnut is gone. It makes a lot of noise also, doesn't it? Finally, all is silent and the doughnut is ready. That silent condition of mind which has come about through a life of meditation is called peace. Meditation is like the boiling oil. It will make everything which is in the mind come out. Then only peace will be achieved." A very vivid and precise explanation of spiritual life if I had ever heard one!

"Maharaj, I have written to you about the spiritual practices that I have done until now. Kindly tell me what more remains to be done," I requested him.

"Child, you have done more than enough. It would be quite sufficient if you just go on repeating the Divine Name until the end is reached. Devotion to your Guru is the path for you; it should become perfect and unbroken by thoughts. Whatever may come to you accept it as His gracious will for your good. You are hardly able to sit up, aren't you? [Neal had been long enduring intense pain in his back.] It does not matter. Some people's bodies become sick like this when they sincerely do meditation and other spiritual practices. It depends on the physical constitution of each. Even then, you should not give up your practices but persist until you reach the goal or until the body dies," he said.

Turning to Ananda, he asked, "What kind of spiritual practice are you doing?"

"I just go on thinking that I am the Supreme Being," she replied, in a somewhat proud tone.

"Is that so? Did you ever hear of Mira Bai? She was one of the greatest lady saints who was ever born in India [in Rajasthan, circa 16th century]. From her childhood itself she felt that Lord Sri Krishna was her all in all and would spend most of her days and nights in worshipping Him and singing songs about Him. Finally she had a mystic vision of Him and her mind merged into Him. She thenceforth sang songs about the glory and bliss of the God-realized state. At the end of her life she entered into a Krishna temple and disappeared in the sanctum sanctorum. You should walk in the same path as her if you want to achieve the goal," Maharaj said smilingly.

Ananda turned pale. Maharaj had pulverised her mountain of "Nonduality" in one stroke! She could not speak.

"I may talk Non-duality to some of the people who come here. That is not for you and you should not pay any attention to what I am telling others. The book of my conversations [I Am That] should not be taken as the last word on my teachings. I had given some answers to questions of certain individuals. Those answers were intended for those people and not for all. Instruction can be on an individual basis only. The same medicine cannot be prescribed for all.

"Nowadays people are full of intellectual conceit. They have no faith in the ancient traditional practices leading up to Self-Knowledge. They want everything served to them on a platter. The path of Knowledge makes sense to them and because of that they may want to practice it. They will then find that it requires more concentration than they can muster and, slowly becoming humble, they will finally take up easier practices like repetition of a mantra or worship of a form. Slowly the belief in a Power greater than themselves will dawn on them and a taste for devotion will sprout in their heart. Then only will it be possible for them to attain purity of mind and concentration. The conceited have to go a very round-about way. Therefore I say that devotion is good enough for you," Maharaj concluded.

It was time for lunch so we all left Maharaj to himself. While I was going, he asked me if I would be staying for some days in Bombay. "I don't know. I am having no plans," I replied.

"Very good. Then you come here this evening after 4," he said.

The evening saw me back in Maharaj 's room. He asked me to sit near him. Though I had known him only for a few hours, I felt as if I were his own child, that he was my mother or father. A European came and put a large currency note in front of Maharaj. "Please take it back. I am not interested in anyone's money. My son is over there and he is feeding me and looking after my needs. After you attain some peace of mind there will be enough time for these things. Take your money, take it!" he exclaimed.

With great difficulty I sat and watched what went on until 7 o'clock. I felt fully satisfied and peaceful and thought that I could not possibly get anything more than Maharaj had told me. I thought of going the next day back to Arunachala [the holy mountain behind Ramanashramam on the northwest side of Tiruvannamalai]. I mentioned it to him and asked him for his blessings.

"If you feel like that, then you may go. Do you know what my blessing is for you? Until you leave your body, may you have full devotion and surrender to your Guru." Maharaj looked at me compassionately. Moved at his kindness I started to cry but controlled myself. Even then a few tears trickled down my cheeks. He smiled and gave me a piece of fruit. He then got up and, taking a huge pair of cymbals, started to sing devotional songs in praise of his Guru.

I bowed down to him and went to take rest in my room. Ananda was not to be seen since the morning. I thought that the humiliation must have been too much for her and she did not want to show her face. I therefore struggled on my own and somehow reached Arunachala, minus a sadder but wiser Ananda.

[--from chapter 6 of the original manuscript by Earl Rosner, On the Road to Freedom, Vol. 1 (pp. 214-8 of the published 1987 edition by the Mata Amritanandamayi Center at San Ramon, CA. Note: this excerpt is also available at]

+ + + + + + + + +

[Maharaj, in conversations with Jean Marc and Mahindra Thakur, Marc's friend and translator, no date. The printed version of this dialogue was given to me in 1981 by Sunyata, a Danish-born advaita sage [1890-1984] who lived 45 years in India and then the U.S.; Sunyata has evidently slightly customized the piece, streamlining in a few places the imperative verb phrase "be aware of" to his own characteristic use of "aware" as a verb--e.g., "aware the One," "aware the Seer," "aware space."]

[Maharaj speaking to Mahindra:] I will explain to you a simple technique, which is called Dhyana Yoga [realization via meditation]: Sit in the open air every day in the morning­—at any convenient time, irrespective of any laws and regularities­—on a simple asana [seat or posture], for 30-60 minutes. Keep your eyes half open and [be aware of] your nose-tip. This is only to withdraw your mind from external sense-organs. Then try to be aware of the Seer. You have not to think about sense-organs. You have only to do nothing­­—no thoughts. Be only aware of the one who is sitting in Dhyana [meditation]. You have to focus on him only. Aware the One, who is beyond body, without body [videha]. Practise this slowly, slowly every day and all your problems will be solved. Have the feeling of Caitanya Brahman [Divine Reality as Pure Consciousness]. Be aware of Purnam [wholeness, fullness]. If your eyes close during this, let it be. You will aware space. All forms of which you are aware within are modifications or shapes of the One who is sitting. Call him Krishna, Shiva, or any other divine Name. It is all darsan [sight] of the one who is sitting. Continue sitting in this sadhana [spiritual practice]. From within, That [Absolute Awareness-Reality] will give its message, guidance, and spontaneous insight. Remember: “I am not the body.” Be aware of the Seer. “I am beyond the body.”

[To Jean Marc:] You can also continue the same sadhana [practice] given to Mahindra, if you like. Feel that you are Caitanya Brahman [Pure Consciousness-Reality], that is the only one study you have to do. [Jean Marc: “Is kapalbhat (a yogic breathing exercise) a good practice?”] [Maharaj:] Do not play with breathing without a real Master. It is very dangerous.... Try to aware the Seer. Feel mentally that you are beyond the body. You will get much peace in this. Increase this practice every day by one minute. As a tree grows and gives fruits, wisdom and insight will dawn and flourish and fragrance will spread more and more.... You can do your duties as they are called for and as it is necessary. “All experiences come and go. I alone neither come nor go.” If this condition is realised it is the true wisdom, all else is ignorance. As an aspirant, do always all your worldly duties as you feel right and leave the bad. Use always common sense or sense of intuitive discrimination. Then you will realise, above conditions and experience, ultimately, that you are beyond both ignorance and knowledge. Take this in your hand [i.e., to heart], what you are searching for all this time. Take this! Take this! Stop searching anywhere and be quiet. Be still. You have listened to this, now sit down [outwardly and inwardly]. Do not think and do not worry, but Be­—awarely. Awarely Be what you are. And Be that completely.

[Jean Marc: “Maharaj, I am very interested in mantras, because sound and vibrations seem to be very important for my way of feeling, but my mind cannot accept what seems to be (the) conditioning and superstition (around the practice of mantra-recitation).”]

[Maharaj:] It depends on your own choice. Mantra is necessary if you can feel it, and if you can’t, it is not. Do you want me to give you one mantra? [Jean Marc: “No don’t, if it is not necessary. Is it necessary?”] Yes, it is good for Jean Marc and I will give you one also, Mahindra. I am very happy that J.M. came here. Tell him that I will tell mantra three times and he has nothing to do but listen and feel [it] mentally only. You have not to employ lips, tongue or throat and you must not tell it to anybody.... Mantra should not be revealed to anyone. You can repeat it loudly [in public] if necessary, ... like “Hari Om” or any other mantra, but do not say that it is your mantra and this will help you and give you Grace. Mantra is divine elixir or divine wine. Its intoxication is all-pervading. It is Atma [Divine Self] intoxication. You will get samadhi [absorption in Atma] ultimately, and even initially you will get divine bliss.

The above extract is taken from


  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 965
    • View Profile
 :)  I did not tell anything.

Just I pasted the moments of this devotee.

I really enjoy this beauty in the jnanis --  they dont repeat same advice to everybody like a parrot.

Spontaneously,  the answer just sprouts out as happened in this case.

That is the beauty which I enjoyed.


  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 965
    • View Profile

:) I know you did not say anything ... but you chose that article :D to be something worth posting here :)

I am posting this very lightly and humorously.  I enjoy your spirit of humour so thought of giving it a fine tune.

 :) :)Come on Tushnim, finish your sentence ??  I will help you to finish: :)

but you chose that article :D to be something worth posting here :) with a naughty intent and message hiding yourself under the blanket of Maharaj. After all,  when Krishna (ksksat) says something who is going to listen?  So keep looking for such dialogues amidst Maharishee or Maharaj ,  snatch it and waste no time to shoot over here.   Big applause on one side with some people joining me : 'yes come-on that is how,  what do you guies say for this'.  So the other side can now re-boost to quote something else.  Wonderful entertainment.  In music concerts,  they will play mrudangam for some time in laya-vigyaasam and then ghattam will be played .  It will be like a stiff competition with mrdudangam and ghattam fans on both sides encouraging.  :) :)

« Last Edit: March 28, 2013, 02:27:25 PM by ksksat27 »