Thursday, 8 January 2015

Two Talks By Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj - prepared by Pradeep Apte

Talk 1

Feb 4, 1981

What image of yourself are you going to collect from here and go? You had come to the market to sell your wares (yourself) and return with money (your true Self). So you have come here and collected what? Are you returning and yet carrying yourself? You should be word-free, no emanations, no sound or reply. Let us presume we have carried out all out duties towards the world. In what state are you going to be at the time of death? In your life-span you have acquired many skills. At the so-called time of death with what language are you going to die? Which is your most appropriate place of abidance? Which is the state that is truthful and eternal? Understand this - prior to birth or the emanation of knowledge ‘I am’, did you exist or not? Did you understand the actual state of affairs? You have come here to recognize yourself, so talk with reference to that only.

What is the principle common to all? You know all things because of what? It is really simple, but instead of intimately understanding it, without any label, by itself, we pollute it with the mind and label it. If understood directly, there are no doubts. What is doubt? It is that when you have not directly understood, it is a mental interpretation. When we wake up in the morning, the sense of being is immediate. Doubt is when something is not intuitively understood. Cognizance is knowledge, ‘I have understood’ (individually) is wrong, cognizance as a whole, by itself, is knowledge.

What is the need to speak irreverently? When this understanding has taken place, then what is the value of manifestation? Whatever is perceived is as good as toilet paper or toilet water. Pure understanding has no duality. What one understands as knowledge of any kind it is only due to the arising of consciousness which itself is an illusion. The real truth has been there before the arising of consciousness. The sense of being is always there and it is in it that all knowledge is achieved, so knowledge is ignorance. What is ignorance? Whatever perceived, is changeable and our experience. What is born is the consciousness or knowledge, prior to its birth is our true state.

My attention is not drawn to incidents because my attention is not drawn to myself – the consciousness, the ‘I am’. I studied the five jeweled ornament, I have understood the precious jewels – their outcome was a diadem. I have understood its value (Consciousness’); it is very precious, it is the cosmos. I recognize it, but in the process of recognition, I am not that. Consciousness is no-thing. ‘Happy, and ‘unhappy’ are saddled on it by the ‘I’ or the mind which is the root of all misery. Total Consciousness is unsaddled, not attached, never with the feeling ‘I’ which is spurious; it is the result of the food-body, that moves about as the ‘I’.

What is the meaning of ‘shuddha’(pure)? You collect words, do they remain with you? What is ‘YOU’? You are bereft of words and their meaning, You are not a personality, but manifestation is there. The Brahman (cosmic creative principle) which gives rise to consciousness has spontaneously come. That consciousness is the manifest experience. Until yesterday you did not have the ‘you are’ knowledge, come birth and now you are loquacious and say ‘I am Brahman”. All the world-play is that ‘Chaitanya’ (Consciousness), is that ‘Chaitanya’ (Consciousness) experienced by you or whatever you have heard? Have you heard stories about it or had an experience of it?

The Absolute is beyond all attributes, being, and illusion. But you think of the ‘Parabrahman’ as something, as a third party. But prior to birth, ‘Parabrahman’ is, so the attributeless state is not a third party, it is my own state. ‘Parabrahman’ is beyond time, is it not your own experience prior to birth? You seem to be talking of someone’s state; it is your very own. Prior to Consciousness did you have day and night? You were in a timeless state. That’s why concepts are dangerous, without knowing you are That. When you receive (knowledge) from a proper source, then you realize. My knowledge is beyond knowledge, who will understand this? Will any one say God – ‘Parabramhan’ – has no knowledge of day and night. I talk from my day and night experience – all the time. After Krishna, I have not come across any book where the author talks with such an emphasis.

This knowledge will grow only in those who totally accept whatever is given. Whatever knowledge I give, you do not let it reach your heart. You return it back with concepts. You do whatever you are doing, don’t come back here. Whatever experiences I am getting are experiences of the three states: waking, knowing and sleep and I have nothing to do with them. Whatever happens, these experiences are not mine. I take no delivery of them (in the sense of receiving and making a memory of them). They are only in the field of consciousness, many know the Brahman, very few know themselves, as ‘Atma-Jnana’ (Knowledge of the Self). The knowledge of Brahman has association with many types of knowledge, but the knowledge of Self – ‘Atma-Jnana’ – has no association with any other knowledge. Listen to it, but you have no time to ponder over it, so look at it as it is.

Talk 2

19 June 1981

All events happen in bodily-consciousness only. The ordinary knowledge pertains to the bodily image and what I am expounding does not pertain to that. As one looks at the body, one thinks he or she is the body. But one is not the body; he or she is consciousness, in that consciousness there is no imprint of the body. It is the manifest consciousness that is functioning and it is always in a fluid stage. Whatever changes are to occur they will, no one can say anything about them. That dynamic manifest consciousness entertains no concept that something good or bad is going to happen to it.

All that happens is in consciousness, it is just happening, there is nobody doing it. This consciousness has no idea of good and bad. All functioning of activity will be there as long as the message ‘I am’ is there; but it is not a personality. The mind flow is also there, but one should not attribute a personality to it. From my standpoint the very idea ‘I am the body’ is ridiculous. Consciousness is experiencing its manifestations; it is not experiencing a personality, only a rare one will realize this.

Many a so called ‘Jnanis’ are caught up with the relations of the body. The worldly life of a true ‘Jnani’ means the total functioning of Consciousness. There is no involvement as an individual. Most people think of others as persons and do not think of them as the functioning of Consciousness. The fastidious nature of Consciousness will not come down to an individual level, it is manifestation only.

The reply to the question ‘Who am I?’ cannot be obtained if you identify yourself with your personality. If you are stabilized in ‘yourself’ there is no ‘otherness’, where is the question of meeting someone else? If you abide in yourself, you are like space, you are everything, and there is no duality.
Right now you are as expansive as space, which is liberation. It means you are not conditioned by name or form. If you are like space, what is the point of going elsewhere? You may build huts or palaces the space is ever-free, not conditioned. Anyone listening to these talks would be torn to pieces by my sentences. Thereafter if one still thinks that something good or bad is going to happen to him or her, it would mean that he is still identifying with the individuality as a person.

First abide in ‘yourself’ and transcend it, and in that transcendence you will realize the ultimate and you will understand the meaning of it. First realize Consciousness, be there! When you know it, you transcend it, and finally abide in the Absolute. With abidance in the Absolute, witnessing the Consciousness will take place. You must thoroughly understand what ‘you are’, what ‘you are’ when nothing is and when nothing is, you still ‘are’, so what is it?

For those who are stabilized in their bodily consciousness, this knowledge will make no impact on them. They have ‘Dhushta Buddhi’ (Ruinous Intellect). Only those who identify with Consciousness will understand. This moment only ‘I amness’ is there, prior to this I had no quality of beingness. If it ever prevailed, I would have felt all changes like pricking of skin etc., presently, I am in the state that and if anybody has a good look at me, that would be enough for him.

The knowledge, ‘I am’ is equivalent to the existence of the whole world. Those are the luckiest who see me in this state and having seen me in this state, they will be bereft of miseries in future.
The knowledge, ‘I am’ means the world is, if the‘I amness’ is not, then the world is not (does not exist). In that ‘non-I amness’ I ever prevail, I talk in detail yet you stick to your body as your image.

Whenever you ponder, you think of only something good or bad happening to you. Do you ponder on ‘yourself’? Think only on ‘yourself’, If ‘you are’, the external world is, If ‘you are not’ then the world too is not.

Presently, I am in that profound state, only lucky ones will reach (here). When I am in this state, the world has no life or soul; you are the soul of it. You are listening carefully here, but you go home and start cleaning your utensils and the rest, who will be busy with such chores? The ‘Moolmaya’ (‘I am’).

Are you the owners of the words? Presently, I am too weak to sit and talk, all my senses are out of commission. The words are just flowing out, neither yours nor mine they only ‘are’. What type of spirituality you do? It consists in just communicating cock and bull stories with each other. In spirituality’s name you talk of sickle and spanner, you never tell your own stories of Self-knowledge. We go and do this and that, if we don’t do so, what would be the net result? Talk about ‘yourself’, not about worldly activities. You’ll never come to the end of objective knowledge inspite of any number of births. Bother about ‘yourself’ only and not the activities.

For you to get to listen to this knowledge or for this knowledge to sprout in you, you must have blessings of a Sadguru. Otherwise, many so called ‘Godmen’ will ask you to do so many spiritual activities, but they will not expound this type of knowledge. Finally, you have to investigate and find out ‘what you are’, for yourself for all time to come.

"I had two short unpublished talks prepared from the matter sent to me after the completion of the book ‘I am Unborn’. These are not actual lectures but have just been so arranged for my own understanding of what Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj said to visitors on or around these dates."

Pradeep Apte



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About Nisargadatta Maharaj

Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj was an Indian spiritual teacher and philosopher of Advaita (Nondualism), and a Guru, belonging to the Navnath Sampradaya. Sri Nisargadatta, with his direct and minimalistic explanation of non-dualism, is considered the most famous teacher of Advaita since Ramana Maharshi. In 1973, the publication of his most famous and widely-translated book, "I AM THAT", an English translation of his talks in Marathi by Maurice Frydman, brought him worldwide recognition and followers.

According to Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, the purpose of spirituality is simply to know who you are. His discussions are not for academic scholars. He is a rebellious spirit, abrupt in his style of discussion, provocative, and immensely profound, cutting to the core and wasting little effort on inessentials. He talked about the 'direct way' of knowing the Final Reality, in which one becomes aware of one's original nature through mental discrimination, breaking the mind's false identification with the ego, knowing that "You are already That".

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