Friday, January 15, 2010

More Nisargadatta

Here are some more powerful, challenging words of wisdom from Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, who had a way of expressing the ultimate truth so succinctly and uncompromisingly that it's like a slap across the face. Sometimes we need that slap in order to wake up!

“All that lives, works for protecting, perpetuating and expanding consciousness. This is the world’s sole meaning and purpose.”

“The personal self by its very nature is constantly pursuing pleasure and avoiding pain. The ending of this pattern is the ending of the self. The ending of the self with its desires and fears enables you to return to your real nature, the source of all happiness and peace.”

“The very fact of observation alters the observer and the observed. After all, what prevents the insight into one’s true nature is the weakness and obtuseness of the mind and its tendency to skip the subtle and focus on the gross only. When you follow my advice and try to keep your mind on the notion of “I am” only, you become fully aware of your mind and its vagaries. Awareness, being lucid harmony (sattva) in action, dissolves the dullness and quietens the restlessness of the mind and gently but steadily changes its very substance. This change need not be spectacular; it may be hardly noticeable, yet it is a deep and fundamental shift from darkness to light, from inadvertence to awareness.”

“Keep steadily in the focus of consciousness the only clue you have: your certainty of being. Be with it, play with it, ponder it, delve deeply into it, till the shell of ignorance breaks open and you emerge into the realm of reality.”

“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.”

“When the mind takes over, remembers and anticipates, it exaggerates, it distorts, it overlooks. The past is projected into the future and the future betrays the expectations.”

“There is no good and evil. In every concrete situation, there is only the necessary and the unnecessary. The needful is right, the needless is wrong.”

“Every situation is a challenge which demands the right response. When the response is right, the challenge is met and the problem ceases.”

“In my world even what you call evil is the servant of the good. It is like boils and fevers that clear the body of impurities. Disease is painful, even dangerous, but if dealt with rightly, it heals.”

“In some cases death is the best cure. A life may be worse than death, which is but rarely an unpleasant experience, whatever the appearances. Therefore, pity the living, never the dead.”

“It is one of the peculiarities of a gnani (awakened one) that he is not concerned with the future. 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 happens.”

“There is nothing wrong with the world. What is wrong is in the way you look at it. It is your own imagination that misleads you. Without imagination there is no world. Your conviction that you are conscious of a world is the world. What you perceive is made of consciousness; what you call matter is consciousness itself. You are the space in which it moves, the time in which it lasts, the love that gives it life. Cut the imagination and attachment, and what remains?”

“When the mind is intensely interested, it becomes one with the object of interest - the seer and the seen become one in seeing, the hearer and the heard become one in hearing, the lover and the loved become one in loving. Every experience can be the ground for samadhi.”

“The main hindrance lies in our idea of, and addiction to, time, in our habit of anticipating a future in the light of the past. The sum total of the past becomes “I was”, the hoped for future becomes “I shall be” and life is a constant effort of crossing over from what “I was” to what “I shall be”. The present moment, the ‘now’, is lost sight of.”

“The present “I am” is as false as the “I was” and “I shall be”. It is merely an idea in the mind, an impression left by memory, and the separate identity it creates is false. This habit of referring to a false centre must be done away with; the notion “I see”, “I feel”, “I think”, “I do”, must disappear from the field of consciousness; what remains when the false is no more, is real.”

“The union of the seer with the seen happens when the seer becomes conscious of himself as the seer.”

“There is only life. There is nobody who lives a life.”

“Life is desireless. But the false self wants to continue - pleasantly. Therefore, it is always engaged in ensuring one’s continuity. Life is unafraid and free. As long as you have the idea of influencing events, liberation is not for you; the very notion of doership, of being a cause, is bondage.”

“Contemplate life as infinite, undivided, ever present, ever active, until, you realise yourself as one with it. It is not even very difficult, for you will be returning to your own natural condition. Once you realise that all comes from within, that the world in which you live has not been projected onto you but by you, your fear comes to an end.”

“Ask yourself such questions as: “Was I really born?” “Am I really so-and-so?” “How do I know that I exist?” “Who are my parents?” “Have they created me, or have I created them?” “Must I believe all I am told about myself?” “Who am I, anyhow?””

“You have put so much energy into building a prison for yourself. Now spend as much on demolishing it. In fact, demolition is easy, for the false dissolves when it is discovered. All hangs on the idea “I am” (ego). Examine it very thoroughly. It lies at the root of every trouble. It is a sort of skin that separates you from the reality.”

“It is because “I am” is false that it wants to continue. Reality need not continue - knowing itself indestructible, it is indifferent to the destruction of forms and expressions. To strengthen, and stabilise the “I am” we do all sorts of things - all in vain, for the “I am” is being rebuilt from moment to moment. It is unceasing work and the only radical solution is to dissolve the separative sense of “I-am-such-and-such” once and for good. Being remains, but not self-being.”

“No ambition is spiritual. All ambitions are for the sake of the “I am”. If you want to make real progress, you must give up all idea of personal attainment.”

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