"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

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The Flame, I AM

Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
May 10, 1981

That which you like most - that itself is I AM, the conscious presence - but that is not going to last forever. When this flame is extinguished, what is the profit ir loss to the flame? What does the flame represent?

Q: The knowledge, the consciousness.

M: What is going to happen to that consciousness? Only in order to realize it, to understand it, do we have all this spirituality. When the flame is extinguished it needs do nothing about itself. Similarly, understand, when the body drops off and the consciousness is extinguished you need do nothing. With this understanding, do what you like in the world.

Presently you are tied down to the bondage of the body, and that is conceptual. The very thought of any advantage or disadvantage is dissolved when one realizes this knowledge. 

For the sake of that principle you are involving yourself in many activities. When that very principle is dissolved into nothingness, what are you going to do?

Don't try to pick and choose and say, "this I must do and that I must not do." Don't impose such conditions on yourself.

An ant crawls on your body and stings you; by that bite or sting you know the ant is there. Just so, the feeling of this conscious presence I AM is due to the material body.

Having understood this, where is the person who should hold onto the worldly life or should give it up? The question does not arise.

If you are fully charged with this knowledge, in spite of the worldly difficulties no difficulties will touch you.

This cryptic blunt talk will not be available elsewhere. At other places you will be given certain concepts arising out of consciousness and out of those concepts more concepts are developed, and you are misled. Any type of concept in the realm of consciousness is unreal. Will the world listen to such talks?

What are you? Are you that birth principle, that body, which is born of the secretion of the parents? 

The one who gets this knowledge is free from worldly or family problems.

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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