Legacy YM

Chapter 26 - Life is Love and Love is Life

65

Questioner: Is the practice of Yoga always conscious? Or, can it be quite unconscious, below the threshold of awareness?

Maharaj: In the case of a beginner the practice of Yoga is often deliberate and requires great determination. But those who are practising sincerely for many years, are intent on self-realisation all the time, whether conscious of it or not. Unconscious sadhana is most effective, because it is spontaneous and steady.

Q: What is the position of the man who was a sincere student of Yoga for some time and then got discouraged and abandoned all efforts?

M:What a man appears to do, or not to do, is often deceptive. His apparent lethargy may be just a gathering of strength. The causes of our behaviour are very subtle. One must not be quick to condemn, not even to praise. Remember that Yoga is the work of the inner self (vyakta) on the outer self (vyakti). All that the outer does is merely in response to the inner.

Q: Still the outer helps.

M:How much can it help and in what way? It has some control over the body and can improve its posture and breathing. Over the mind's thoughts and feelings it has little mastery, for it is itself the mind. It is the inner that can control the outer. The outer will be wise to obey.

Q: If it is the inner that is ultimately responsible for man's spiritual development, why is the outer so much exhorted and encouraged?

M:The outer can help by keeping quiet and free from desire and fear. You would have noticed that all advice to the outer is in the form of negations: don't, stop, refrain, forego, give up, sacrifice, surrender, see the false as false. Even the little description of reality that is given is through denials -- 'not this, not this', (neti, neti). All positives belong to the inner self, as all absolutes -- to Reality.

Q: How are we to distinguish the inner from the outer in actual experience?

M:The inner is the source of inspiration, the outer is moved by memory. The source is untraceable, while all memory begins somewhere. Thus the outer is always determined, while the inner cannot be held in words. The mistake of students consists in their imagining the inner to be something to get hold of, and forgetting that all perceivables are transient and, therefore, unreal. Only that which makes perception possible, call it Life or Brahman, or what you like, is real.

Q: Must Life have a body for its self-expression?

M:The body seeks to live. It is not life that needs the body; it is the body that needs life.

Q: Does life do it deliberately?

M:Does love act deliberately? Yes and no. Life is love and love is life. What keeps the body together but love? What is desire, but love of the self? What is fear but the urge to protect? And what is knowledge but the love of truth? The means and forms may be wrong, but the motive behind is always love -- love of the me and the mine. The me and the mine may be small, or may explode and embrace the universe, but love remains.

Q: The repetition of the name of God is very common in India. Is there any virtue in it?

M:When you know the name of a thing, or a person, you can find it easily. By calling God by His name you make Him come to you.

Q: In what shape does He come?

M:According to your expectations. If you happen to be unlucky and some saintly soul gives you a mantra for good luck and you repeat it with faith and devotion, your bad luck is bound to turn. Steady faith is stronger than destiny. Destiny is the result of causes, mostly accidental, and is therefore loosely woven. Confidence and good hope will overcome it easily.

66

Q: When a mantra is chanted, what exactly happens?

M:The sound of mantra creates the shape which will embody the Self. The Self can embody any shape -- and operate through it. After all, the Self is expressing itself in action -- and a mantra is primarily energy in action. It acts on you, it acts on your surroundings.

Q: The mantra is traditional. Must it be so?

M:Since time immemorial a link was created between certain words and corresponding energies and reinforced by numberless repetitions. It is just like a road to walk on. It is an easy way -- only faith is needed. You trust the road to take you to your destination.

Q: In Europe there is no tradition of a mantra, except in some contemplative orders. Of what use is it to a modern young Westerner?

M:None, unless he is very much attracted. For him the right procedure is to adhere to the thought that he is the ground of all knowledge, the immutable and perennial awareness of all that happens to the senses and the mind. If he keeps it in mind all the time, aware and alert, he is bound to break the bounds of non-awareness and emerge into pure life, light and love. The idea -- 'I am the witness only' will purify the body and the mind and open the eye of wisdom. Then man goes beyond illusion and his heart is free of all desires. Just like ice turns to water and water to vapour, and vapour dissolves in air and disappears in space, so does the body dissolve into pure awareness (chidakash), then into pure being (paramakash), which is beyond all existence and non-existence.

Q: The realised man eats, drinks and sleeps. What makes him do so?

M:The same power that moves the universe, moves him too.

Q: All are moved by the same power: what is the difference?

M:This only: The realised man knows what others merely hear; but don't experience. Intellectually they may seem convinced, but in action they betray their bondage, while the realised man is always right.

Q: Everybody says 'I am'. The realised man too says 'I am'. Where is the difference?

M:The difference is in the meaning attached to the words 'I am'. With the realised man the experience: 'I am the world, the world is mine' is supremely valid -- he thinks, feels and acts integrally and in unity with all that lives. He may not even know the theory and practice of self- realisation, and be born and bred free of religious and metaphysical notions. But there will not be the least flaw in his understanding and compassion.

Q: I may come across a beggar, naked and hungry and ask him 'Who are you?' He may answer: 'I am the Supreme Self'. 'Well', I say, 'suffice you are the Supreme, change your present state'. What will he do?

M:He will ask you: 'Which state? What is there that needs changing? What is wrong with me?

67

Q: Why should he answer so?

M:Because he is no longer bound by appearances, he does not identify himself with the name and shape. He uses memory, but memory cannot use him.

Q: Is not all knowledge based on memory?

M:Lower knowledge -- yes. Higher knowledge, knowledge of Reality, is inherent in man's true nature.

Q: Can I say that I am not what I am conscious of, nor am I consciousness itself?

M:As long as you are a seeker, better cling to the idea that you are pure consciousness, free from all content. To go beyond consciousness is the supreme state.

Q: The desire for realisation, does it originate in consciousness or beyond?

M:In consciousness, of course. All desire is born from memory and is within the realm of consciousness. What is beyond is clear of all striving. The very desire to go beyond consciousness is still in consciousness.

Q: Is there any trace, or imprint, of the beyond on consciousness?

M:No, there cannot be.

Q: Then, what is the link between the two? How can a passage be found between two states which have nothing in common? Is not pure awareness the link between the two?

M:Even pure awareness is a form of consciousness.

Q: Then what is beyond? Emptiness?

M:Emptiness again refers only to consciousness. Fullness and emptiness are relative terms. The Real is really beyond -- beyond not in relation to consciousness, but beyond all relations of whatever kind. The difficulty comes with the word 'state'. The Real is not a state of something else -- it is not a state of mind or consciousness or psyche -- nor is it something that has a beginning and an end, being and not being. All opposites are contained in it -- but it is not in the play of opposites. You must not take it to be the end of a transition. It is itself, after the consciousness as such is no more. Then words 'I am man', or 'I am God' have no meaning. Only in silence and in darkness can it be heard and seen.



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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