Tuesday, May 19, 2020

I Am That - Nisargadatta Maharaj

Satish gifted this book to me a few years ago. It is a series of conversations between Maharaj and his followers. I picked a few that resonated with me.

Some excerpts
Love all, or none of it, and stop complaining.

The root idea is I am. The "I am" remains as the witness, but it is by the will of God that everything happens.

Experiment with any theory you like - if you are truly earnest and honest, the attainment of reality will be yours. It is the earnestness that liberates and not the theory. When you are in dead earnest, you been every incident, every second of your life to your purpose. You do not waste time and energy on other things.

Bring in the attitude of pure witnessing, of watching the events without taking part in them.

There is no chaos in the world, except the chaos which your mind creates.

In reality you are not a thing, nor separate. You are the infinite potentiality, the inexhaustible possibility.

I am neither rich nor poor. I am myself. I do not see the world as separate from me and so there is nothing for me to desire, or fear.

At the root of creation lies desire. Desire and imagination foster and reinforce each other. The fourth state of turiya is one of pure witnessing, detached awareness, passionless and wordless.

If you want to sin, sin wholeheartedly and openly.

Give your undivided attention to the most important in your life - yourself.

The right use of the mind is in the service of love, of life, of truth, of beauty.

You must begin in yourself - with yourself. You cannot change the world before changing yourself.

Put in all and get all.

All things contain their future.

Death gives freedom and power. To be free in the world, you must die to the world. Then the universe is your own, it becomes your body, an extension and a tool. The happiness of being free is beyond description.

You need not push life about. Just flow with it and give yourself completely to the task of the present moment which is the dying now to the now. For living is dying. Without death life cannot be.

Only your attitude is faulty and needs readjustment.

The self does not need to be put to rest. It is peace itself. Only the mind is restless.

You can find what you have lost. But you cannot find what you have not lost.

Knowledge is but a memory, a pattern of thought, a mental habit.

Pain and pleasure go together. Freedom from one means freedom from the other. To know that pain and pleasure are one is peace.

Whatever task you have undertaken - complete it. Do not take up new tasks, unless it is called for by a concrete situation of suffering, and relief from suffering.

A man who no longer thinks in terms of loss and gain is the truly non-violent man, for he is beyond all conflict.

The stronger you desire, the easier comes the help.

Learn from your mistakes and do not repeat them.

Stand without desire and fear relinquishing all control and responsibility.

Words are of the mind and the mind obscures and distorts.

The real cannot be described. It must be experienced.

Give up the idea of what you think yourself to be and there will be no gap. By imagining yourself as separate you have created the gap.

The witness only registers events.

All consciousness is limited and therefore painful. At the root of consciousness lies desire, the urge to experience.

Welcome all that comes with a glad and thankful  heart. And love all creatures.

To the ignorant, all that they cannot understand is madness.

Develop the witness attitude and you will find in your own experience that detachment beings control. The state of witnessing is full of power, there is nothing passive about it.

You live, you feel, you think. By giving attention to your living, feeling and thinking, you free yourself from them and go beyond them. Your personality dissolves and only the witness remains.

Stop making use of your mind and see what happens. Do this one thing thoroughly.

The only thing you know for sure is 'here and now I am'. Remover the 'here and now' and the 'I am' remains unassailable.

Unselfish work leads o silence, for when you work selflessly, you don't need to ask for help. Indifferent to results, you are willing to work with the most inadequate means. you do not care to be gifted and well equipped. Noor do you ask for recognition and assistance.

Fight with all the strength at your disposal against the idea that you are nameable and describable.

In reality, time and space exist in you; you do not exist in them.

Don't ask the mind to conform what is beyond the mind. Direct experience is the only valid confirmation.

Transform desire into love.

What you seek is to express in action what you are. (p 203)

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 yourself absolutely.

Be like that infant, instead of trying to be this or that, be happy to be. Be like that infant with nothing standing between the body and the self.

There is a difference between work and mere activity. Work is nature, nature is work. On the other hand activity is based on desire and fear, on longing to possess and enjoy, on fear of pain and annihilation. Work is by the whole for the whole, activity is by oneself for oneself.

To be free from thoughts is itself meditation. Begin by letting thoughts flow and watch them. The very observation slows down the mind till it stops altogether. Once the mind is quiet, keep it quiet. Don't get bored with peace, be in it, go deeper into it.

Man becomes what he believes himself to be. Abandon all ideas about yourself and you will find yourself to be the pure witness.

What was never lost can never be found. Your very search for safety and joy keeps you away from them. Stop searching, cease losing. It is your mind only that makes you insecure and unhappy.

What is in you, you take to be outside you and what is outside, you take to be in you. The mind and feelings are external, but you take to be in you. You believe the world to be objective, while it is entirely a projection of your psyche.

Pay no attention to your thoughts. Don'tfight them. Just do nothing about them, let them be, whatever they are. Your very fighting gives them life. It is disinterestedness that liberates.

Love is will, the will to share your happiness with all. Being happy - making happy - this is the rhythm of love.

If you are angry or in pain, separate yourself from anger and pain and watch them. externalisation is the first step to liberation.

You want peace and harmony in the world but refuse to have them in yourself.

If you just try to keep quiet, all will come - the work, the strength for work, the right motive. Must you know everything beforehand? 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.

You need not strain towards the future, the future will come to you on its own.

It is always the false that makes you suffer, the false desires and fears, the false values and ideas, the false relationships between people. abandon the false and you are free of pain; truth makes happy - truth liberates.

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.

Clinging is not love.

Give limitlesly of yourself.

It is your imagination that misleads you.

Not only is the entire universe reflected in man, but also the power to control the universe is waiting to be used by him.

Pain is physical; suffering is mental. Suffering is due entirely to clinging or resisting; it is a sign of our unwillingness to move on, to flow with life.

The essence of saintliness is total acceptance of the present moment, harmony with things as they happen.

Permanentperfection includes all imperfection.

There is no wall between the good and evil because there is no good and evil. In every concrete situation there is only the necessary and the unnecessary.

Your concern with the future is due to fear of pain and desire for pleasure, to the gnani all is bliss; he is happy with whatever comes.

Without love, and will inspired by love, nothing can be done.

Understand that you are destined for enlightenment. cooperate with your destiny; don't go against it, don't thwart it. all it to fulfil itself. all you have to do is to give attention to the obstacles created by the foolish mind.

Live in tune with things as they are and not as they are imagined.

Reality is what makes the present so vital, so different from the past and the future, which are merely mental. If you need time to achieve something, it must be false. The real is always with you, you need not wait to be what you are. Only you must not allow your mind to go out of yourself in search. when you want something, ask yourself; do I really need it? (P 303)

There are no steps to self-realisation. There is nothing gradual about it. It happens suddenly and is irreversible.

How can anyone tell you what you shall become when there is no becoming? You merely discover what you are.

There can be gradation between desires but between the most sublime of desires and the freedom from all desire there is an abyss which must be crossed.

You imagine that your possessions protect you. In reality, they make you vulnerable.

As you keep on giving up you will find that you how spontaneously in intelligence and power and inexhaustible love and joy.

You concentrate, you meditate, you torture your mind and body, you do all sorts of unnecessary things but you miss the essential which is the elimination of the person.

You can skip all the preparation and go directly for the ultimate search within. Of all the Yogas it is the simplest and the shortest.

Lok between the thoughts, rather than at the thoughts. When you happen to walk in a crowd, you do not fight every man you meet - you just find your way between.

When you fight, you invite a fight. But when you do not resist, you meet with no resistance. When you refuse to play the game you are out of it.

All you need is to be in dead earnest. Here the will is the deed.

Only the pure radiance of love will remain, beyond giving and receiving.

In love there is not even the one how can there be two? Love is the refusal to separate, to make distinctions.

The death of the mind is the birth of wisdom.

Attachment destroys courage. Freedom means letting go. But real giving up is in realising that there is nothing to give up, for nothing is your own.

Truth is the not result of an effort, the end of the road. It is here and now.

The body is made of food and the mind is made of thoughts. See them as they are.

The innermost light shining peacefully and timelessly in the heart, is the real guru.

The cause of suffering is in the identification of the perceiver with the perceived. If you stand aloof as observer only, you will not suffer. 

'I am ignorant' is the dawn of knowledge. The mind stopped producing events. My not knowing was in itself knowledge of the fact that all knowledge is ignorance.

The foundation os things is in memory -w without memory there would be no recognition. That which knows that it does not know, which is free of memory and anticipation, is timeless.

To see reality is as simple as seeing one's face in the mirror. Only the mirror must be clear and untainted. A quiet mind, undistorted by fears and desires, free from ideas and opinions, clear on all levels, is needed to reflect the reality. Be clear and quiet, alert and detached, all else will happen by itself.

The world consists of mater, energy and intelligence. They manifest themselves in many ways. 

However heavy maybe the hand of destiny, it can be lifted by patience and self-control. Integrity and purity removes the obstacles and the vision of reality appears on the mind.

In reality, there is only one state; when distorted by self-identification it is called a person, when coloured with a sense of being, it is the witness, when colourless and limitless, it is the Supreme.

All waiting is futile. To depend on time to solve our problems is self-delusion. The future, left to itself merely repeats the past. Change can only happen now, never in the future.

The source is simple and single, but its gifts are infinite. only do not take the gifts as the source. realise yourself as the source and not as the river.

It is you who are in movement and not time. Stop moving and time will cease.

Awareness is not limited to consciousness. It is of all that is. Consciousness is of duality. There is no duality in awareness.

Why not investigate what is now, instead of questioning the imaginary past and future? Your present state is neither beginningless nor endless. It is over in a flash. Watch carefully from where it comes and where it goes. You will soon discover the timeless reality behind it.

What does not come and go remains. It is the ever greedy mind that creates ideas o progress and evolution towards perfection.

Karma is only a store of unspent energies, of unfulfilled desires and fears not understood. Understand the root cause of your fears - estrangement from yourself, and of desires - the longing for the self, and your karma will dissolve like a dream.

Your anxiety is a mental state caused by the 'I am the body' idea. It can be removed by the contrary idea; 'I am not the body'.

Meditation is a deliberate attempt to pierce the higher states of consciousness and finally go beyond it. Brood over the 'I am'. Like digging a well. Reject all that is not water, till you find the life-giving spring.

You are perfect, only you don't know it. Learn to know yourself and you will discover wonders. All you need is already within you, only you must approach your self with reverence and love. Self-condemnation and self-distrust are grievous errors. Make the love of your self perfect. Deny yourself nothing - give yourself infinity and eternity and discover that you do not need them; you are beyond.

The ideas of 'me' and 'mine' are at the root of all conflict. Be free of them and you will be free of conflict.

You fight others all the time for your survival as a separate body-mind, a particular name and form. To live, you must destroy. From the moment you were conceived you started a war with your environment - a merciless war of mutual extermination until death sets you free.

In our ignorance we are innocent; in our actions we are guilty. We sin without knowing and suffer without understanding.

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

The painter is the picture.

We are fascinated by contrasts. For this, we need opposites and their apparent separation.

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

When the film projection ends, all remains the same as when it started.

Only a selfless society based on sharing can be stable and happy. This is the only practical solution. If you do not want it - fight.

The secret is in action - here and now. It is your behaviour that blinds you to yourself. Disregard whatever you think yourself to be and act as if you were absolutely perfect - whatever your idea of perfection may be.  All you need is courage.

Behave as best you know, do what you think you should. Don't be afraid of mistakes, you can always correct them. Only intentions matter. The shape things take is not within your power, the motives of your actions are.

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

Whenever love is withheld and suffering allowed to spread, war becomes inevitable. our indifference to our neighbour's sorrow brings suffering to our door.  (p 403)

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.

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.

As long as you believe that only the outer world is real, you remain its slave. To become free, your attention must be drawn to the 'I am', the witness.

There is an alternative to Sadhana, which is trust.

Once you realise that the road is the goal and that you are always on the road, not to reach a goal, but to enjoy its beauty and its wisdom, life ceases to be a task and becomes natural and simple, in itself an ecstasy.

The guru's role is only to instruct and encourage, the disciple is totally responsible for himself.

Do not look for a gut. Do not even think of one. Make your goal, your guru.

Unless the disciple is earnest,  he cannot be called a disciple. Unless a guru is all love and self-giving, he cannot be called a guru. Only reality begets reality, not the false.

The sentence 'I can see that I am false' contains all you need for liberation.

Learn self-awareness, self-control and self-surrender.

Realise that your body depends on the mind, and the mind on consciousness and consciousness on awareness and your question of self-realisation is answered.

Sadhana is a persistent attempt to cross over from the verbal to the non-verbal. 

Happiness is never your own, it is where the 'I' is not.

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.

Look at yourself as performing on the stage of life. The performance may be splendid or clumsy, but you are not it.

The moment you start talking you create a verbal universe of words, ideas, concepts and abstractions, inter-woven and inter-dependent, most wonderfully generating, supporting and explaining each other and yet all without essence or substance, mere creations of the mind. Words create words, reality is silent.

Once you are beyond the person, you need no words.

To go beyond the mind, you must be silent and quiet.

It is by your consent that the world exists. Withdraw your belief in its reality and it will dissolve like a dream. Without memory and expectation, there can be no time.

Desire is the past, fear is the future.

Abandon all personal equations and yu shall be free from fear.

To lose entirely all interest in knowledge results in omniscience. It is but the gift of knowing what needs to be known, at the right moment, for error-free action.

Ultimately nothing is mine or yours - everything is ours.

It is the simple that is certain, not the complicated. Somehow people do not trust the simple, the easy, the always available.

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.

Experience is shaped by belief and belief is shaped by experience.

Much delay and trouble is saved by trusting and obeying.

Empty your cup and clean it. It cannot be filled otherwise. Others can give you pleasure, but never happiness.

Memory is a good servant but a bad meter. It effectively prevents discovery. There is no place for effort in reality. Effort is a sign of conflict between incompatible desires.

Go beyond 'I am the body' idea and you will find that space and time are in you and not you in space and time. Once you have understood this, the main obstacle to realisation is removed.

What you see is nothing but yourself.

In reality, things are done to you, not by you.

Freedom is freedom from worry. Having realised that you cannot influence the results, pay no attention to your desires and fears. Let them come and go. Don't give them the nourishment of interest and attention.

There is nothing like ignorance, only intention. give attention to what worried you, that is all. In fear there is memory and anticipation, past and future. Attention brings you back to the present, the now.

It is not what you do but what you stop doing that matters.

The experience of being empty, uncluttered by memories and expectations; it is like the happiness of open spaces, of being young, of having all the time and energy for doing things, for discovery, for adventure.

Action delayed is action abandoned. There may be other chances for other actions, but the present moment is lost - irretrievably lost. All preparation is for the future - you cannot prepare for the present.

Acting in the now is not much helped by your preparations. Clarity is now, action is now. Thinking of being ready impedes action. And action is the touchstone of reality. 

Keep quiet, undisturbed, and the wisdom and the power will come on their own. Stay without ambition, without the least desire, exposed, vulnerable, unprotected, uncertain and alone, completely open to and welcoming life as it happens, without the selfish conviction that all must yield you pleasure or profit, material or so-called spiritual.

In the end, there is no sin, no guilt, no retribution, only life in its endless transformations.

Compassionate awareness heals and redeems.

Generally what causes suffering is wrong and what removes is right.

The steady resistance against the unnecessary is the secret of success.

Evil is te shadow of inattention. In the light of self-awareness, it will wither and fall off.

Accept no guidance but from within, and even then sift out all memories because they will mislead you.

Real communication between people is not verbal. For establishing and maintaining a relationship, affectionate awareness expressed in direct action is required. Not what you say but what you do matters.

Liberation is not an acquisition but a matter f courage, the courage to believe that you are free already and to act on it. Along with courage will emerge wisdom and compassion and skill in action.

Between knowing and being, there is no gap.

It is a 500-page book. But it is the kind of a book that you keep referring to every now and then to dip into the wisdom.

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