Legacy YM

Chapter 12 - The Self Stands Beyond Mind

20

Questioner: As a child fairly often I experienced states of complete happiness, verging on ecstasy: later, they ceased, but since I came to India they reappeared, particularly after I met you. Yet these states, however wonderful, are not lasting. They come and go and there is no knowing when they will come back.

Maharaj: How can anything be steady in a mind which itself is not steady?

Q: How can I make my mind steady?

M:How can an unsteady mind make itself steady? Of course it cannot. It is the nature of the mind to roam about. All you can do is to shift the focus of consciousness beyond the mind.

Q: How is it done?

M:Refuse all thoughts except one: the thought 'I am'. The mind will rebel in the beginning, but with patience and perseverance it will yield and keep quiet. Once you are quiet, things will begin to happen spontaneously and quite naturally without any interference on your part.

Q: Can I avoid this protracted battle with my mind?

M:Yes, you can. Just live your life as it comes, but alertly, watchfully, allowing everything to happen as it happens, doing the natural things the natural way, suffering, rejoicing -- as life brings. This also is a way.

Q: Well, then I can as well marry, have children, run a business be happy.

M:Sure. You may or may not be happy, take it in your stride.

Q: Yet I want happiness.

M:True happiness cannot be found in things that change and pass away. Pleasure and pain alternate inexorably. Happiness comes from the self and can be found in the self only. Find your real self (swarupa) and all else will come with it.

21

Q: If my real self is peace and love, why is it so restless?

M:It is not your real being that is restless, but its reflection in the mind appears restless because the mind is restless. It is just like the reflection of the moon in the water stirred by the wind. The wind of desire stirs the mind and the 'me', which is but a reflection of the Self in the mind, appears changeful. But these ideas of movement, of restlessness, of pleasure and pain are all in the mind. The Self stands beyond the mind, aware, but unconcerned.

Q: How to reach it?

M:You are the Self, here and now Leave the mind alone, stand aware and unconcerned and you will realise that to stand alert but detached, watching events come and go, is an aspect of your real nature.

Q: What are the other aspects?

M:The aspects are infinite in number. Realise one, and you will realise all.

Q: Tell me some thing that would help me.

M:You know best what you need!

Q: I am restless. How can I gain peace?

M:For what do you need peace?

Q: To be happy.

M:Are you not happy now?

Q: No, I am not.

M:What makes you unhappy?

Q: I have what I don’t want, and want what I don’t have.

M:Why don’t you invert it: want what you have and care not for what you don’t have?

Q: I want what is pleasant and don’t want what is painful.

M:How do you know what is pleasant and what is not?

Q: From past experience, of course.

M:Guided by memory you have been pursuing the pleasant and shunning the unpleasant. Have you succeeded?

22

Q: No, I have not. The pleasant does not last. Pain sets in again.

M:Which pain?

Q: The desire for pleasure, the fear of pain, both are states of distress. Is there a state of unalloyed pleasure?

M:Every pleasure, physical or mental, needs an instrument. Both the physical and mental instruments are material, they get tired and worn out. The pleasure they yield is necessarily limited in intensity and duration. Pain is the background of all your pleasures. You want them because you suffer. On the other hand, the very search for pleasure is the cause of pain. It is a vicious circle.

Q: I can see the mechanism of my confusion, but I do not see my way out of it.

M:The very examination of the mechanism shows the way. After all, your confusion is only in your mind, which never rebelled so far against confusion and never got to grips with it. It rebelled only against pain.

Q: So, all I can do is to stay confused?

M:Be alert. Question, observe, investigate, learn all you can about confusion, how it operates, what it does to you and others. By being clear about confusion you become clear of confusion.

Q: When I look into myself, I find my strongest desire is to create a monument, to build something which will outlast me. Even when I think of a home, wife and child, it is because it is a lasting, solid, testimony to myself.

M:Right, build yourself a monument. How do you propose to do it?

Q: It matters little what I build, as long as it is permanent.

M:Surely, you can see for yourself that nothing is permanent. All wears out, breaks down, dissolves. The very ground on which you build gives way. What can you build that will outlast all?

Q: Intellectually, verbally, I am aware that all is transient. Yet, somehow my heart wants permanency. I want to create something that lasts.

M:Then you must build it of something lasting. What have you that is lasting? Neither your body nor mind will last. You must look elsewhere.

Q: I long for permanency, but I find it nowhere.

M:Are you, yourself, not permanent?

23

Q: I was born, I shall die.

M:Can you truly say you were not before you were born and can you possibly say when dead: ‘Now I am no more’? You cannot say from your own experience that you are not. You can only say ‘I am’. Others too cannot tell you ‘you are not’.

Q: There is no ‘I am’ in sleep.

M:Before you make such sweeping statements, examine carefully your waking state. You will soon discover that it is full of gaps, when the min blanks out. Notice how little you remember even when fully awake. You just don’t remember. A gap in memory is not necessarily a gap in consciousness.

Q: Can I make myself remember my state of deep sleep?

M:Of course! By eliminating the intervals of inadvertence during your waking hours you will gradually eliminate the long interval of absent-mindedness, which you call sleep. You will be aware that you are asleep.

Q: Yet, the problem of permanency, of continuity of being, is not solved.

M:Permanency is a mere idea, born of the action of time. Time again depends of memory. By permanency you mean unfailing memory through endless time. You want to eternalise the mind, which is not possible.

Q: Then what is eternal?

M:That which does not change with time. You cannot eternalise a transient thing -- only the changeless is eternal.

Q: I am familiar with the general sense of what you say. I do not crave for more knowledge. All I want is peace.

M:You can have for the asking all the peace you want.

Q: I am asking.

M:You must ask with an undivided heart and live an integrated life.

Q: How?

M:Detach yourself from all that makes your mind restless. Renounce all that disturbs its peace. If you want peace, deserve it.

Q: Surely everybody deserves peace.

M:Those only deserve it, who don't disturb it.

Q: In what way do I disturb peace?

M:By being a slave to your desires and fears.

Q: Even when they are justified?

M:Emotional reactions, born of ignorance or inadvertence, are never justified. Seek a clear mind and a clean heart. All you need is to keep quietly alert, enquiring into the real nature of yourself. This is the only way to peace.


Chapter1 - Foreword
Chapter2 - Who is Nisargadatta Maharaj?
Chapter3 - Translators Note
Chapter4 - Editors Note
Chapter5 - The Sense of ‘I am’
Chapter6 - Obsession with the body
Chapter7 - The Living Present
Chapter8 - Real World is Beyond the Mind
Chapter9 - What is Born must Die
Chapter10 - Meditation
Chapter11 - The Mind
Chapter12 - The Self Stands Beyond Mind
Chapter13 - Responses of Memory
Chapter14 - Witnessing
Chapter15 - Awareness and Consciousness
Chapter16 - The Person is not Reality
Chapter17 - The Supreme, the Mind and the Body
Chapter18 - Appearances and the Reality
Chapter19 - The Jnani
Chapter20 - Desirelessness, the Highest Bliss
Chapter21 - The Ever-Present
Chapter22 - To Know What you Are, Find What you Are Not
Chapter23 - Reality lies in Objectivity
Chapter24 - The Supreme is Beyond All
Chapter25 - Who am I?
Chapter26 - Life is Love and Love is Life
Chapter27 - Discrimination leads to Detachment
Chapter28 - God is the All-doer, the Jnani a Non-doer
Chapter29 - Hold on to ‘I am’
Chapter30 - Personality, an Obstacle
Chapter31 - The Beginningless Begins Forever
Chapter32 - All Suffering is Born of Desire
Chapter33 - Living is Life’s only Purpose
Chapter34 - You are Free NOW
Chapter35 - Do not Undervalue Attention
Chapter36 - Life is the Supreme Guru
Chapter37 - Everything Happens by Itself
Chapter38 - Mind is restlessness Itself
Chapter39 - Greatest Guru is Your Inner Self
Chapter40 - Killing Hurts the Killer, not the Killed
Chapter41 - Beyond Pain and Pleasure there is Bliss
Chapter42 - Spiritual Practice is Will Asserted and Re-asserted
Chapter43 - By Itself Nothing has Existence
Chapter44 - Only the Self is Real
Chapter45 - Develop the Witness Attitude
Chapter46 - Reality can not be Expressed
Chapter47 - Ignorance can be Recognised, not Jnana
Chapter48 - &39;I am&39; is True, all else is Inference
Chapter49 - What Comes and Goes has no Being
Chapter50 - Awareness of Being is Bliss
Chapter51 - Watch Your Mind
Chapter52 - Awareness is Free
Chapter53 - Mind Causes Insecurity
Chapter54 - Self-awareness is the Witness
Chapter55 - Be Indifferent to Pain and Pleasure
Chapter56 - Being Happy, Making Happy is the Rhythm of Life
Chapter57 - Desires Fulfilled, Breed More Desires
Chapter58 - Body and Mind are Symptoms of Ignorance
Chapter59 - Give up All and You Gain All
Chapter60 - Consciousness Arising, World Arises
Chapter61 - Beyond Mind there is no Suffering
Chapter62 - Perfection, Destiny of All
Chapter63 - Desire and Fear: Self-centred States
Chapter64 - Live Facts, not Fancies
Chapter65 - Matter is Consciousness Itself
Chapter66 - In the Supreme the Witness Appears
Chapter67 - Notion of Doership is Bondage
Chapter68 - Whatever pleases you, Keeps you Back
Chapter69 - A Quiet Mind is All You Need
Chapter70 - All Search for Happiness is Misery
Chapter71 - Experience is not the Real Thing
Chapter72 - Seek the Source of Consciousness
Chapter73 - Transiency is Proof of Unreality
Chapter74 - God is the End of All Desire and Knowledge
Chapter75 - In Self-awareness you Learn about Yourself
Chapter76 - What is Pure, Unalloyed, Unattached is Real
Chapter77 - Death of the Mind is Birth of Wisdom
Chapter78 - Truth is Here and Now
Chapter79 - In Peace and Silence you Grow
Chapter80 - To Know that You do not Know, is True Knowledge
Chapter81 - &39;I&39; and &39;Mine&39; are False Ideas
Chapter82 - All Knowledge is Ignorance
Chapter83 - Person, Witness and the Supreme
Chapter84 - Awareness
Chapter85 - Root Cause of Fear
Chapter86 - Absolute Perfection is Here and Now
Chapter87 - The True Guru
Chapter88 - Your Goal is Your Guru
Chapter89 - ‘I am’: The Foundation of all Experience
Chapter90 - The Unknown is the Home of the Real
Chapter91 - Keep the Mind Silent and You shall Discover
Chapter92 - Knowledge by the Mind, is not True Knowledge
Chapter93 - Progress in Spiritual Life
Chapter94 - Surrender to Your Own Self
Chapter95 - Pleasure and Happiness
Chapter96 - Go Beyond the l-am-the-body Idea
Chapter97 - Man is not the Doer
Chapter98 - You are Beyond Space and Time
Chapter99 - Accept Life as it Comes
Chapter100 - Abandon Memories and Expectations
Chapter101 - Mind and the World are not Separate
Chapter102 - Freedom from Self-identification
Chapter103 - The Perceived can not be the Perceiver
Chapter104 - Understanding leads to Freedom
Chapter105 - Jnani does not Grasp, nor Hold
Chapter106 - Appendix-1: Nisarga Yoga
Chapter107 - Appendix-2: Navnath Sampradaya

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