Legacy YM

Chapter 20 - Desirelessness, the Highest Bliss

43

Questioner: I have met many realised people, but never a liberated man. Have you come across a liberated man, or does liberation mean, among other things, also abandoning the body?

Maharaj: What do you mean by realisation and liberation?

Q: By realisation I mean a wonderful experience of peace, goodness and beauty, when the world makes sense and there is an all-pervading unity of both substance and essence. While such experience does not last, it cannot be forgotten. It shines in the mind, both as memory and longing. I know what I am talking about, for I have had such experiences.

By liberation I mean to be permanently in that wonderful state. What I am asking is whether liberation is compatible with the survival of the body.

M:What is wrong with the body?

Q: The body is so weak and short-lived. It creates needs and cravings. It limits one grievously.

M:So what? Let the physical expressions be limited. But liberation is of the self from its false and self-imposed ideas; it is not contained in some particular experience, however glorious.

Q: Does it last for ever?

M:All experience is time bound. Whatever has a beginning must have an end.

Q: So liberation, in my sense of the word, does not exist?

M:On the contrary, one is always free. You are, both conscious and free to be conscious. Nobody can take this away from you. Do you ever know yourself non-existing, or unconscious?

Q: I may not remember, but that does not disprove my being occasionally unconscious.

M:Why not turn away from the experience to the experiencer and realise the full import of the only true statement you can make: 'I am'?

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Q: How is it done?

M:There is no 'how' here. Just keep in mind the feeling 'I am', merge in it, till your mind and feeling become one. By repeated attempts you will stumble on the right balance of attention and affection and your mind will be firmly established in the thought-feeling 'I am'. Whatever you think, say, or do, this sense of immutable and affectionate being remains as the ever-present background of the mind.

Q: And you call it liberation?

M:I call it normal. What is wrong with being, knowing and acting effortlessly and happily? Why consider it so unusual as to expect the immediate destruction of the body? What is wrong with the body that it should die? Correct your attitude to your body and leave it alone. Don't pamper, don't torture. Just keep it going, most of the time below the threshold of conscious attention.

Q: The memory of my wonderful experiences haunts me. I want them back.

M:Because you want them back, you cannot have them. 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 visualise and want is of much value.

Q: Then what is worth wanting?

M:Want the best. The highest happiness, the greatest freedom. Desirelessness is the highest bliss.

Q: Freedom from desire is not the freedom I want. I want the freedom to fulfil my longings.

M:You are free to fulfil your longings. As a matter of fact, you are doing nothing else.

Q: I try, but there are obstacles which leave me frustrated.

M:Overcome them.

Q: I cannot, I am too weak.

M:What makes you weak? What is weakness? Others fulfil their desires, why don't you?

Q: I must be lacking energy.

M:What happened to your energy? Where did it go? Did you not scatter it over so many contradictory desires and pursuits? You don't have an infinite supply of energy.

Q: Why not?

M:Your aims are small and low. They do not call for more. Only God's energy is infinite -- because He wants nothing for Himself. Be like Him and all your desires will be fulfilled. The higher your aims and vaster your desires, the more energy you will have for their fulfilment. Desire the good of all and the universe will work with you. But if you want your own pleasure, you must earn it the hard way. Before desiring, deserve.

45

Q: I am engaged in the study of philosophy, sociology and education. I think more mental development is needed before I can dream of self-realisation. Am I on the right track?

M:To earn a livelihood some specialised knowledge is needed. General knowledge develops the mind, no doubt. But if you are going to spend your life in amassing knowledge, you build a wall round yourself. To go beyond the mind, a well- furnished mind is not needed.

Q: Then what is needed?

M:Distrust your mind, and go beyond.

Q: What shall I find beyond the mind?

M:The direct experience of being, knowing and loving.

Q: How does one go beyond the mind?

M:There are many starting points -- they all lead to the same goal. You may begin with selfless work, abandoning the fruits of action; you may then give up thinking and end in giving up all desires. Here, giving up (tyaga) is the operational factor. Or, you may not bother about any thing you want, or think, or do and just stay put in the thought and feeling 'I am', focussing 'I am' firmly in your mind. All kinds of experience may come to you -- remain unmoved in the knowledge that all perceivable is transient, and only the 'I am' endures.

Q: I cannot give all my life to such practices. I have my duties to attend to.

M:By all means attend to your duties. Action, in which you are not emotionally involved and which is beneficial and does not cause suffering will not bind you. You may be engaged in several directions and work with enormous zest, yet remain inwardly free and quiet, with a mirror-like mind, which reflects all, without being affected.

Q: Is such a state realisable?

M:I would not talk about it, if it were not. Why should I engage in fancies?

Q: Everybody quotes scriptures.

M:Those who know only scriptures know nothing. To know is to be. I know what I am talking about; it is not from reading, or hearsay.

Q: I am studying Sanskrit under a professor, but really I am only reading scriptures. I am in search of self-realisation and I came to get the needed guidance. Kindly tell me what am I to do?

M:Since you have read the scriptures, why do you ask me?

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Q: The scriptures show the general directions but the individual needs personal instructions.

M:Your own self is your ultimate teacher (sadguru). The outer teacher (Guru) is merely a milestone. It is only your inner teacher, that will walk with you to the goal, for he is the goal.

Q: The inner teacher is not easily reached.

M:Since he is in you and with you, the difficulty cannot be serious. Look within, and you will find him.

Q: When I look within, I find sensations and perceptions, thoughts and feelings, desires and fears, memories and expectations. I am immersed in this cloud and see nothing else.

M:That which sees all this, and the nothing too, is the inner teacher. He alone is, all else only appears to be. He is your own self (swarupa), your hope and assurance of freedom; find him and cling to him and you will be saved and safe.

Q: I do believe you, but when it comes to the actual finding of this inner self, I find it escapes me.

M:The idea 'it escapes me', where does it arise?

Q: In the mind.

M:And who knows the mind.

Q: The witness of the mind knows the mind.

M:Did anybody come to you and say: 'I am the witness of your mind'?

Q: Of course not. He would have been just another idea in the mind.

M:Then who is the witness?

Q: I am.

M:So, you know the witness because you are the witness. You need not see the witness in front of you. Here again, to be is to know.

Q: Yes, I see that I am the witness, the awareness itself. But in which way does it profit me?

M:What a question! What kind of profit do you expect? To know what you are, is it not good enough?

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Q: What are the uses of self-knowledge?

M:It helps you to understand what you are not and keeps you free from false ideas, desires and actions.

Q: If I am the witness only, what do right and wrong matter?

M:What helps you to know yourself is right. What prevents, is wrong. To know one's real self is bliss, to forget -- is sorrow.

Q: Is the witness-consciousness the real Self?

M:It is the reflection of the real in the mind (buddhi). The real is beyond. The witness is the door through which you pass beyond.

Q: What is the purpose of meditation?

M:Seeing the false as the false, is meditation. This must go on all the time.

Q: We are told to meditate regularly.

M:Deliberate daily exercise in discrimination between the true and the false and renunciation of the false is meditation. There are many kinds of meditation to begin with, but they all merge finally into one.

Q: Please tell me which road to self-realisation is the shortest.

M:No way is short or long, but some people are more in earnest and some are less. I can tell you about myself. I was a simple man, but I trusted my Guru. What he told me to do, I did. He told me to concentrate on 'I am' -- I did. He told me that I am beyond all perceivables and conceivables -- I believed. I gave him my heart and soul, my entire attention and the whole of my spare time (I had to work to keep my family alive). As a result of faith and earnest application, I realised my self (swarupa) within three years.

You may choose any way that suits you; your earnestness will determine the rate of progress.

Q: No hint for me?

M:Establish yourself firmly in the awareness of 'I am'. This is the beginning and also the end of all endeavour.


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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