Nisargadatta Maharaj (March 1897 – September 8, 1981) was a spiritual teacher of nonduality, who lived and taught in Bombay, India. He was very much admired for his direct and informal teaching. He is best known for the work "I Am That" that has been translated into many languages.
- 1 Quotes
- 2 Specific works
- 3 Notes
- 4 External links
Awareness and consciousness
- Awareness is primordial; it is the original state, beginning-less, endless, uncaused, unsupported, without parts, without change. Consciousness is on contact, a reflection against a surface, a state of duality. There can be no consciousness without awareness, but there can be awareness without consciousness, as in deep sleep. Awareness is absolute, consciousness is elative to its content; consciousness is always of something. (…).
- "(…) In reality there is only consciousness. All life is conscious, all consciousness alive."
- (…) All you need is to get rid of the tendency to define yourself. All definitions apply to your body only and its expressions. Once this obsession with the body goes, you will revert to your natural state, spontaneously and effortlessly. (…)
- "Surely you can change your world if you work at it. (…) a world of which you are the only source and ground is fully within your power to change. What is created can always be dissolved and re-created. All will happen as you want it, provided you really want it. (…)"
- "When you are free of the world, you can do something about it. As long as you are a prisoner of it, you are helpless to change it. On the contrary, whatever you do will aggravate the situation."
Clean, well-ordered life
- "(…) Devotion to your goal makes you live a clean and orderly life, given to search for truth and to helping people, and realization makes noble virtue easy and spontaneous, by removing for good the obstacles in the shape of desires and fears and wrong ideas."
- "The entire purpose of a clean and well-ordered life is to liberate man from the thralldom of chaos and the burden of sorrow. (…) What is wrong with a life which is free from problems? Personality is merely a reflection of the real. (…) Once you realize that the person is merely a shadow of the reality, but not reality itself, you cease to fret and worry. You agree to be guided from within and life becomes a journey into the unknown."
- "And what is death? It is the change in the living process of a particular body. Integration ends and disintegration sets in. (…) In death only the body dies. Life does not, consciousness does not, reality does not. And the life is never so alive as after death."
- "(…) Can there be renewal without death? Even the darkness of sleep is refreshing and rejuvenating. Without death we would have been bogged for ever in eternal senility. (…) When life and death are seen as essential to each other, as two aspects of one being, that is immortality. (...).
Desire and fear
- "Desire is the memory of pleasure and fear is the memory of pain. Both make the mind restless. (...)"
- "The state of craving for anything blocks all deeper experience. Nothing of value can happen to a mind which knows exactly what it wants. For nothing the mind can visualize and want is of much value."
- "(...) one is always free. You are both conscious and free to be conscious. Nobody can take this away from you. (…)"
- "God is not running the world. (…) All happens by itself. You are asking the question and you are supplying the answer. And you know the answer when you ask the question. All is play in consciousness. All divisions are illusory. (...)"
- "'I am' itself is God. The seeking itself is God. In seeking you discover that you are neither the body nor the mind, and the love of the self in you is for the self in all. The two are one. The consciousness in you and the consciousness in me, apparently two, really one, seek unity and that is love."
- "I find that somehow, by shifting the focus of attention, I become the very thing I look at, and experience the kind of consciousness it has; I become the inner witness of the thing. I call this capacity of entering other focal points of consciousness, love; you may give it any name you like. Love says 'I am everything'. Wisdom says "I am nothing'. Between the two, my life flows. Since at any point of time and space I can be both the subject and the object of experience, I express it by saying that I am both, and neither, and beyond both."
- (...) In pure being consciousness arises; in consciousness the world appears and disappears. All there is is me, all there is is mine. Before all beginnings, after all endings – I am. All has its being in me, in the “I am,” which shines in every living being. (...).
- "To remember what needs to be remembered is the secret of success. (…) What is supremely important is to be free from contradictions: the goal and the way must not be on different levels, life and light must not quarrel; behavior must not betray belief. Call it honesty, integrity, wholeness; you must not go back, undo, uproot, abandon the conquered ground. (…)"
- "(…) everything is inter-linked. And therefore everything has numberless causes. The entire universe contributes to the least thing. A thing is as it is because the world is as it is. (…)"
- "The primary purpose of meditation is to become conscious of, and familiar with, our inner life. The ultimate purpose is to reach the source of life and consciousness."
- (…) There is something exceptional, unique, about the present event, which the previous, or the coming do not have. (…) What makes the present so different? Obviously, my presence. I am real for I am always now, in the present, and what is with me now shares in my reality.
- "Purify yourself by a well-ordered and useful life. Watch over your thoughts, feelings, words and actions. This will clear your vision."
- "(...) To take the world as real and one’s self as unreal is ignorance, the cause of sorrow. To know the self as the only reality and all else as temporal and transient is freedom, peace and joy. It is all very simple. Instead of seeing things as imagined, learn to see them as they are. When you can see everything as it is, you will also see yourself as you are. It is like cleansing a mirror. The same mirror that shows you the world as it is, will also show you your own face. The thought ‘I am’ is the polishing cloth. Use it."
- "That in which consciousness happens, the universal consciousness or mind, we call the ether of consciousness. All the objects of consciousness form the universe. What is beyond both, supporting both, is the supreme state, a state of utter stillness and silence. Whoever goes there, disappears. It is unreachable by words, or mind. You may call it God, or Parabrahman, or Supreme Reality, but these are names given by the mind. It is the nameless, contentless, effortless and spontaneous state, beyond being and not being."
- "(…) the supreme state (…) is entirely one and indivisible, a single solid block of reality. The only way of knowing it is to be it. The mind cannot reach it. To perceive it does not need the senses; to know it, does not need the mind."
- "There are the two – the person and the witness, the observer. When you see them as one, and go beyond, you are in the supreme state. It is not perceivable, because it is what makes perception possible. It is beyond being and not being. It is neither the mirror nor the image in the mirror. It is what is – the timeless reality, unbelievably hard and solid."
- "(…) as long as you cling to the idea that only what has name and shape exists, the Supreme will appear to you non-existing. When you understand that names and shapes are hollow shells without any content whatsoever, and what is real is nameless and formless, pure energy of life and light of consciousness, you will be at peace – immersed in the deep silence of reality."
- "The world and the mind are states of being. The supreme is not a state. It pervades all states, but it is not a state of something else. It is entirely uncaused, independent, complete in itself, beyond time and space, mind and matter. (…) it leaves no traces. There is nothing to recognize it by. It must be seen directly, by giving up all search for signs and approaches. When all names and forms have been given up, the real is with you. You need not seek it. Plurality and diversity are the play of the mind only. Reality is one."
- "If you seek reality you must set yourself free of all backgrounds, of all cultures, of all patterns of thinking and feeling. Even the idea of being man or woman, or even human should be discarded. The ocean of life contains all, not only humans. So, first of all abandon all self-identification, stop thinking of yourself as such-and-such or so-and-so, this or that. Abandon all self-concern, worry not about your welfare, material or spiritual, abandon every desire, gross or subtle, stop thinking of achievement of any kind. You are complete here and now, you need absolutely nothing."
- "You are confused, because you believe that you are in the world, not the world in you. Who came first – you or your parents? You imagine that you were born at a certain time and place, that you have a father and a mother, a body and a name. This is your sin and your calamity! (...)"
- Sri Maharaj Nisargadatta. (2005). I am That. Durham, NC: The Acorn Press. ISBN 0-89386-022-0.
- "I am That." P.29.
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- "I am That." P.42