"The very first step in understanding what this is all about is giving up the concept of an active, volitional 'I' as a separate entity and accepting the passive role of perceiving and functioning as a process." - Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

Thursday, June 22, 2017

In Awareness, You Grow

Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

Q: Do you mean to say you are quite unconscious of having a body?

M: On the contrary, I am conscious of not having a body.

Q: I see you smoking.

M: Exactly so. You see me smoking. Find out for yourself how did you come to see me smoking and you will easily realize that it is your I-am-the-body state of mind that is responsible for this I-see-you-smoking idea.

Q: There is the body and there is myself. I know the body. Apart from it, what am I?

M: There is no 'I' apart from the body, nor the world. The three appear and disappear together. At the root is the sense I AM. Go beyond it. The idea I-am-not-the-body is merely an antidote to the idea 'I-am-the-body which is false. What is that I AM? Unless you know yourself, what else can you know?

Q: From what you say I conclude that without the body there can be no liberation. If the idea I-am-not-the-body leads to liberation, the presence of the body is essential.

M: Quite right. Without the body, how can the idea I-am-not-the-body come into being? The idea I-am-free is as false as the idea I-am-in-bondage. Find you the I AM common to both and go beyond.

Q: All is a dream only.

M: All are mere words, of what use are they to you? You are entangled in the web of verbal definitions and formulations. Go beyond your concepts and ideas; in the silence of desire and thought the truth is found.

Q:  One has to remember not to remember. What a task!

M: It cannot be done, of course. It must happen. But it does happen when you truly see the need of it. Again, earnestness is the golden key.

Q: At the back of my mind there is a hum going on all the time. Numerous weak thoughts swarm and buzz and this shapeless cloud is always with me. Is it the same with you? What is at the back of your mind?

M: When there is no mind, there is no back to it. I am all front, no back! The void backs, the void remains.

Q: Is there no memory left?

M: No memory of past pleasure or pain is left. Each moment is newly born.

Q: Without memory you cannot be conscious.

M: Of course I am conscious, and fully aware of it. I am not a block of wood! Compare consciousness and its content to a cloud. You are inside the cloud, while I look at it. You are lost in it, hardly able to see the tips of your fingers, while I see the cloud and many other clouds and the blue sky too and the sun, the moon, the stars. Reality is one for both of us, but for you it is a prison and for me it is a home.

Q: You spoke of the person (vyakti), the witness (vyakta) and the Supreme (Avyakta). Which comes first?

M: In the Supreme the witness appears. The witness creates the person and thinks itself as separate from it. The witness sees that the person appears in consciousness which again appears in the witness. This realization of the basic unity in the working of the Supreme. It is the power behind the witness, the source from which all flows. It cannot be contacted, unless there is unity and love and mutual help between the person and the witness, unless the doing is in harmony with the being and the knowing. The Supreme is both the source and the fruit of such harmony. As I talk to you, I am in the state of detached but affectionate awareness (turiya). When this awareness turns upon itself, you may call it the Supreme State (turiyatita). But the fundamental reality is beyond awareness, beyond the three states of becoming, being and not-being.

Q: How is it that here my mind is engaged in high topics and finds dwelling on them easy and pleasant. When I return home I find myself forgetting all l have learnt here, worrying and fretting, unable to remember my real nature even for a moment. What may be the cause?

M: It is your childishness you are returning to. You are not fully grown up; there are levels left undeveloped because unattended. Just give full attention to what in you is crude and primitive, unreasonable and unkind, altogether childish and you will ripen. It is the maturity of heart and mind that is essential. It comes effortlessly when the main obstacle is removed - inattention, unawareness. In awareness you grow.

सर्वभूताधिवासं यद्भूतेषु च वसत्यपि।
सर्वानुग्राहकत्वेन तद्स्म्यहं वासुदेवः॥

That in whom reside all beings and who resides in all beings,
who is the giver of grace to all, the Supreme Soul of the universe, the limitless being:
I AM THAT. -- Amritabindu Upanishad