Saturday 6 December 2014

Mahasamadhi : The Last Moments

Tuesday, 8th September 1981 — Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj today attained Mahasamadhi at 7.32 p.m. at his residence Ashram.

When I arrived in the morning at his residence as usual, a little before 10 a.m. I thought Maharaj appeared considerably better than he was the previous day. His face had better colour and his eyes were more alert, but I gathered from his son that the doctor had observed that, as his chest was heavily congested and administration of oxygen was necessary. An oxygen cylinder had been arranged.

By the time I left at about 11 a.m. Maharaj had accepted first a cup of milk and a little later a cup of tea, and it appeared that he was feeling more comfortable. But when my friend Mullarpattan and I were leaving together, Mullarpattan told Maharaj that he would come again later in the afternoon as usual. Maharaj knew that generally I visited him only in the mornings, but today he specifically asked me when I would come again. I was a little startled at this question but, sensing his intent, I said I would drop in again in the evening and he seemed pleased. As we were leaving Maharaj said that he was feeling sleepy and would rest awhile.

I had a visitor in the afternoon. He stayed on a bit longer than I had expected. At about 6.30 p.m. as I was about to leave for Maharaj's residence, there was a telephone call from Mullarpattan to say that Maharaj's condition was causing serious anxiety. I rushed to Maharaj's residence and found oxygen being administered. His eyes were open, but with a blank expression which indicated that he was perhaps in the no-mind state.

His breathing was laboured and it seemed that the end could not be far away. His breathing, which was getting shallower and shallower, finally stopped altogether at 7.32 p.m. Maharaj had made the transition from the relative to the Absolute with the greatest ease and peace. Mullarpattan and I were there when the end came, along with the members of Maharaj's family and two of his personal attendants. It was decided that the funeral would take place the next day.

Wednesday, 9 September 1981 — Maharaj's body was placed in a reclining position in the special medical chair which a Belgian devotee, Josef Nauwelaerts, had personally brought over to Bombay only five weeks ago. Then we proceeded to the Banganga cremation ground in a procession which comprised several hundred devotees. The Samadhi of Maharaj's Guru, Sri Sidharamshwar Maharaj, is located on these grounds. The funeral procession started at about 12.15 p.m. Maharaj's body was carried in a truck profusely decorated with flowers and, apart from the hundreds who joined the procession on his last journey, many others paid their respects to him along the way. We reached the cremation ground at 2.45 p.m. The funeral pyre was lit by Maharaj's son at 3.40 p.m. at the end of a simple but moving ceremony, which started with the usual Arati before Maharaj's Guru's shrine, as this was his practice before starting on a journey.

The physical form of the Master got merged into the elements of which it was made. Saying anything further about the Master would be both superfluous and inadequate, and wholly against Maharaj's teaching. Truth must be apperceived; it becomes a concept when given expression to.

-- excerpts from the book : "Pointers from Nisargadatta Maharaj" by Ramesh S. Balsekar -- there may be missing portions -- to read full text, please refer to the book --



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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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