Showing posts with label nisargadatta. Show all posts
Showing posts with label nisargadatta. Show all posts

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Four Passages from 'Prior to Consciousness'

This consciousness is a tree, but there was a seed - go to the seed. The consciousness you have now is the same as the child consciousness; hold on to that, that is enough. So long as the consciousness is there everything is so important to you, but if that vanishes, then what is the worth of this whole world to you? Who is the knower of the seed? Give attention to how this "I Amness" has appeared - then you will know. Accept this identification only: that you are this manifest pure beingness, the very soul of the universe, of this life that you observe, and presently you are just wearing this bodily attire. Make a note of it; you have taken down so many things in life, just for fun, why don't you take this down also and see what happens? See what happens when you look at the moon and know that the moon is there provided you are there; because you are the moon is. This grand concept, this joy, you directly experience and enjoy. (5)


It is something like a deer taking rest in the shadow of a tree. The color of the shadow is neither light nor very dark, this is the borderland. Neither jet black nor very bright, halfway between them, that is that shadow. Deep blue, like clouds, that is that state. That is also the grace of the Sat-Guru. Everything is flowing out of that state, but this principle does not claim anything, is not involved in anything that is coming out of it, but this beingness is available. That deep, dark blue state, the grace of the Sat-Guru. This is the state of the jnani, this is a very, very, rare, natural samadhi state, the most natural state, the highest state.

You must have a firm conviction about this. Once the decision is taken, there is no moving away from it. The fruition of your spirituality is to fully understand your own true nature, to stabilize in your true identity. One must have patience, the capacity to wait and see. (8)


Leave it alone! There is no question of elevating to a higher level. Here it is only a question of understanding.

Iswara is the manifestation of the five elements and the universe, the "I Amness." To the Absolute, the witnessing of that "I Amness" occurs. This is the Absolute standpoint, siddha. This understanding should not be claimed by you, who are a sadhaka. Sadhaka means the process of getting established in the Iswara principle, the consciousness. (21)


There are twenty people in this room, all twenty people leave, then what remains is there, but someone who has left cannot understand what it is. So in that Parabrahman which is without attributes, without identity, unconditioned, who is there to ask?

This is to be understood, but not by someone: the experience and the experiencer must be one, you must become the experience. What is this Parabrahman like? The answer is, what is Bombay? Don't give me the geography or the atmosphere of Bombay, give me a handful of Bombay. What is Bombay? It is impossible to say, so also with Parabrahman. There is no giving or taking of Parabrahman, you can only be That. (25)

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Rhapsody in Who: Quoting Nisargadatta

I am beyond consciousness and, therefore, in consciousness I cannot say what I am. Yet, I am.

In whatever role I may appear and whatever function I may perform—I remain what I am: the 'I am' immovable, unshakable, independent.

All is done to please the one source and goal of every desire, whom we all know as the 'I am'.

I am what I am, neither with form nor formless, neither conscious nor unconscious. I am outside all these categories.

I do nothing, nor is anything done to me. I am what I am and nothing can affect me. I appear to depend on everything, but in fact all depends on me.

All you can tell about the person is not the self, and you can tell nothing about the self, which would not refer to the person.

I am entirely unimagined. I am what I am, not identifiable with any physical or mental state.

I know what I am, a center of wisdom and love, an atom of pure existence. All subsides and the mind merges into silence. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Meditations on a Paragraph in Nisargadatta 56:
The World in Myself, Not Myself In the World

Of course we live in one world. Only I see it as it is, while you don't. You see yourself in the world, while I see the world in myself. To you, you get born and die, while to me, the world appears and disappears. Our world is real, but your view of it is not. There is no wall between us, except the one built by you. There is nothing wrong with the senses, it is your imagination that misleads you. It covers up the world as it is, with what you imagine it to be—something existing independently of you and yet closely following your inherited, or acquired patterns. There is a deep contradiction in your attitude, which you do not see and which is the cause of sorrow. You cling to the idea that you were born into a world of pain and sorrow; I know that the world is a child of love, having its beginning, growth and fulfillment in love. But I am beyond love even.


1. A person looks at what appears to be and manipulates it as it thinks it should be, creating a belief for this in its blindness of what is.

2. One may look at what appears to be and sees what is, creating a mythology, a magical reality, for this appearance in that loving light.

3. The former is black magic utilizing the illusion of past and future. The latter is white magic in the manifesting transformation now.

4. All persons are black magicians—some better than others—like a game of playing cards—deuces aces jokers jacks and queens—then there are the ones who learn to be the trump card.

5. There is only awareness and self-awareness. Like the God of Gods knowing “it” is the God of Gods.

6. And this appears to the mind within and of the process to be an evolutionary universe of space-time, in which it is an object, a body of space and a mind of time, the body-mind.

7. But awareness being self-aware is spontaneous and integral as is.

8. So in this mythic seeing of a world within myself, my self-awareness appears to be a reflexive universe in which awareness is intent on this self-awareness, descending into, and then ascending from, the material.

9. The human being is the omega of this universal process, withdrawing from the wave of the material into the sea of being. Thus a person is the necessary confusion of this crashing wave, self-conscious yet not self-aware.

10. The spontaneous action of awareness being self-aware—when the person sees one is being and not the body—this is the end of the world as a person knows it, “dying” before “dying.”

11. Awareness being self-aware is not only spontaneous as in relation to the time of space-time, but integral as in relation to the space of space-time.

12. Such a magical reality balances conditioning and truth, person and being, alpha and omega, samsara and nirvana, appearance and reality, duality and unity. As nondual.

13. In bringing this magical reality into being, I redeem the world.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Meditations on the End of Nisargadatta 55:
On Helping the World

Q1. How can I find peace when the world suffers?

1. The world suffers for very valid reasons.
The suffering of the world is valid and not an issue of right and wrong. There is no political solution.
Politics are divisional and division is the cause of suffering.
In the spirit of the Reflexive Awareness Mythology, within the universal process of Absolute Self-Awareness,
consciousness appears to have descended into the material,
and the human being, the last procedure of this process, is consciousness fully ascending from the material.
Within the process, this appears as suffering.
In other words, suffering is a valid work instruction of the awakening process.
2. If you want to help the world, you must be beyond the need of help.
Helping the world is not of the world. The usual suspects of all the world’s attempts to help itself end in more suffering.

In every story in history, there are few exceptions to this rule. Even the great avatars
who have helped many discover their true nature: their teachings become beliefs, become sectarian, religions, war!
And science is not an exception to this rule. The scientific process is a valid deconstructive procedure,
but the blind belief in scientific theory is just another religion, world belief, war.

The only way to help the world is to be beyond the world. Being beyond the world begins
by asking what I truly am, not blindly accepting the social conditioning of the world.

In other words, who am I?
3. Then all your doing as well as not doing will help the world most effectively.
Knowing what I truly am, its non-doing as well as doing, helps the world most effectively.
For doing is no longer personal action of the world. And non-doing is no longer personal inaction or avoidance,
but absolute action in the world. Silent self-awareness, the pure potentiality of affectionate awareness, is
the wise dominion and the loving power and the real glory.

Q2. How can non-action be of use where action is needed?

1. Where action is needed, action happens. Man is not the actor. His is to be aware of what is going on. His very presence is action.
Action is universal. The butterfly effect is like a law of nature. Thought is only a tool of universal consciousness.
The person is a misconception, the material misuse of that tool. The human being is the evolutionary apex
of absolute self-awareness and looking at this science through the lens of that Reflexive Awareness Mythology,
being is the only action necessary for self-awareness. And self-awareness is the only reason for being.
2. The window is the absence of the wall and it gives air and light because it is empty. Be empty of all mental content, of all imagination and effort, and the very absence of obstacles will cause reality to rush in.
Thought in its guise of belief and doing is the origin of the personal dream. The personal dream is like a wall
in the sea of reality. And although the wall isn’t real, it’s thought to be so. But the wall becomes a window
when it’s seen through. Therefore, without the mental content of the wall, the sea of reality rushes in to where it always is.
3. If you really want to help a person, keep away. If you are emotionally committed to helping, you will fail to help.
A person wants to help, but it’s that personal desire which is the seed of failure.
Again, the world cannot help the world. The best thing a person can do to help is stay away.
One doesn’t bring a match into a burning building.
4. You may be very busy and be very pleased with your charitable nature, but not much will be done.
Personal acts of charity stroke the ego more than truly help another. The same can be said for environmental action.
Hybrids and paper bags are just status symbols in any earnest game of climate change.
Such busy-ness keeps one away from the real business at hand. As poetry is not about selling truth to others.
It’s the documentation of an inner dialogue. One was once a two-year-old asking others why and never got an answer.
There are no others. Ask your self.
5. A man is really helped when he is no longer in need of help. All else is just futility.
A person is only helped when the personal is seen through. Personal deconstruction is not the job of another person.
In fact, it is not personal at all. Deconstruction is actually the work of being—using the tool of thought upon belief.
All else is just mere vanity, absurdity, futility.

Q3. There is not enough time to sit and wait for help to happen. One must do something.

1. By all means—do. But what you can do is limited; the self alone is unlimited. Give limitlessly—of your self. All else you can give in small measures only. You alone are immeasurable.
The person is a limited concept and thus is limited in its doing. Its nature is division and division is its action.
Even the universality of love becomes limited and measurable to friends, lovers, and family,
or distorted in its allegiances to such beliefs as associations, nations, and religions.
But the absolute self is pure potentiality: undivided, universal, and real.
2. To help is your very nature. Even when you eat and drink you help your body. For yourself you need nothing. You are pure giving, beginningless, endless, inexhaustible.
Love is the nature of being. One takes care of the body. If injured, one attends to the injury.
A mother loves the child. The self is the source of all. Needing nothing and beyond all time,
I give water to the river of space and light to the earth of time.
3. When you see sorrow and suffering, be with it. Do not rush into activity. Neither learning nor action can really help.
Suffering and its sorrow requires nothing but being. Personal action arrives from the place of desire
and wants immediate action. Unconditional love is patient. Neither specialized knowledge nor targeted striving can help.
4. Be with sorrow and lay bare its roots—helping to understand is real help.
Only being silent with sorrow as compassionate love deconstructs the roots of an occluding belief
revealing an understanding light, true medicine of wisdom.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Nisargadatta's "very complicated riddle"

In this spiritual hierarchy, from the grossest to the, subtlest, you are the subtlest. How can this be realized? The very base is that you don't know you are, and suddenly the feeling of "I Amness" appears. The moment it appears you see space, mental space; that subtle, skylike space, stabilize you there. You are that. When you are able to stabilize in that state, you are the space only.

When this space-like identity "I Am" disappears, the space also will disappear, there is no space.

When that space-like "I Am" goes into oblivion, that is the eternal state, nirguna, no form, no beingness. Actually, what did happen there? This message "I Am" was no message. Dealing with this aspect, I cannot talk much because there is no scope to put it into words.


It is a very complicated riddle. You have to discard whatever you know, whatever you have read, and have a firm conviction about That about which nobody knows anything. You can't get any information about That, and about That you must have firm conviction. How difficult it is.

Most people reach that state which is, but nobody reaches that state which is not. It is very rarely that one can reach that state. It transcends all knowledge.

Most essential is that knowledge "I Am." Claim it, appropriate it as you own. If that is not there, nothing is. Knowledge of all the stages will be obtained only with the aid of this knowledge "I Am."

From the Absolute no-knowing state, spontaneously, this consciousness "I Am" has appeared -there is no reason, no cause. Spontaneously it has come, with the waking state, deep sleep, the five elemental play, three Gunas, and Prakriti and Purusha. Then it embraces the body as its self and therefore identifies as a male or a female. This "I Amness" has its own love to be: it wants to remain, to perpetuate itself, but it is not eternal.

This passing show may be likened to the following situation: suppose I was well all along, then suddenly I was sick and the doctor gave me medicine. After three days my fever was gone. So this stage of fever for three days is the "I Am" consciousness. Exactly like that -a passing show, a time-bound state. This principle loves to be, and one must not belittle it - it is a very Godly principle. This "I Amness" contains the entire cosmos.

It is said that all this is unreal. When is it certified as unreal? Only when one understands this temporary phase. And in the process of understanding one is in the Absolute and from there recognizes this as a temporary, unreal state.

~from Prior to Consciousness

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Found in Translation: Nisargadatta and Frydman (& Dunn)


M: The worrier is not you, it is the affair of the intelligence. [In English Maharaj said, "You ... No!"] Now I am talking in English.

Q: The English language is blessed.

M: My teaching is spread among all the foreigners through the English language. Very intelligent people, very advanced, thousands of them. The beauty lies in the fact that my knowledge will be in conflagration in foreign countries. It will be spread in America and from there it will be spread back to the Indians. When the Indians receive it they will say, "It has the approval of the foreigners, therefore we will accept it."; that is the nature of the Indians. Indians are like this. If somebody goes to America or England and works, even washing dishes, when he returns many people will go to see him and present garlands; that is our nature.

Q: Ramana Maharshi was a great sage, he was unknown in India. When Paul Brunton wrote the book in English about him, everybody went to see him and he became well known.

M: I agree with that. Ramana Maharshi was discovered by Paul Brunton and I was discovered by Maurice Frydman.

~Nisargadatta Maharaj (& questioner)
‘Prior to Consciousness’
translated by Jean Dunn


Interpreter: What has happened is this: as a jnani he would have remained unknown to the world. That is what his guru thought. So he told him, when Maharaj asked how he could repay this debt after he got realization, you cannot repay this anyway. But if at all you want to repay, you must do bhajans four times a day. Now the purpose of his guru's command was that when some bhajan goes on somewhere, people were alerted to the fact that this is a place where worship of God is taking place. So that is how people started coming here. Initially, they were mainly Indian people who were not primarily interested in knowing themselves, but who had faith in God. Those people came first, and subsequently others started flowing in, like Maurice Frydman. And thereafter that book [referring to I Am That] was published. Ultimately, you came to know of these teachings because of him. So the purpose of this bhajan was indirectly to let people know about him; otherwise, he would have remained absolutely unknown.

~The Ultimate Medicine
translated by Robert Powell


I met Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj some years back and was impressed with the spontaneous simplicity of his appearance and behaviour and his deep and genuine earnestness in expounding his experience.

However humble and difficult to discover his little tenement in the back lanes of Bombay, many have found their way there. Most of them are Indians, conversing freely in their native language, but there were also many foreigners who needed a translator. Whenever I was present the task would fall to me. Many of the questions put and answers given were so interesting and significant that a tape-recorder was brought in. While most of the tapes were of the regular Marathi-English variety, some were polyglot scrambles of several Indian and European languages. Later, each tape was deciphered and translated into English.

It was not easy to translate verbatim and at the same time avoid tedious repetitions and reiterations. It is hoped that the present translation of the tape recordings will not reduce the impact of this clear-minded, generous and in many ways an unusual human being.

 A Marathi version of these talks, verified by Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj himself, has been separately published.

from ‘I Am That’
Translators Note
-Maurice Frydman, (Translator)
Bombay, October 16, 1973

Good Fit

In 1976 or 1977 ( I believe) a book review of I Am That appeared in the Mountain Path Magazine. The Mountain Path is the in house magazine of Sri Ramanasramam in South India. It was a very positive and
because Maurice Frydman had been associated with Sri Ramana Maharshi, it carried some weight.

This was the first time I found out that there could be a living Jnani, a realized Sage of the caliber of Sri Ramana Maharshi. I sent for the book, read it and was blown away. I wrote to Maurice Frydman and he began to correspond with me. At some point he asked me to find a publisher for I Am That in the United States. So I began sharing I Am that with various spiritual publishing houses. I specifically sent it to Shambhala, Rainbow Bridge and Unity Press. They didn't feel it was a good fit for their publishing houses. Then I got a letter from Mr., Dikshit, publisher of Chetana Press (which is the publisher of I AM That) informing me that Maurice Frydman had died and my letter had been found on his desk. So I began to correspond with Mr. Dikshit. I decided that I really wanted to visit Nisargadatta and started a correspondence with Mr. Hate (who was Maharaj's son-in-law). Which brings me to January 1978 when I flew Air India to Bombay with the intention of meeting Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj.

‘Meeting Maharaj’
~Cathy Boucher

Railway Station Platform

Maurice Frydman became a disciple of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj in the early days of Maharaj's spiritual work in 1965. Maurice Frydman had the advantage that he could speak Marathi and so became a translator of Sri Maharaj's talk for Indians who did not understand Marathi and also for foreigners. Maurice Frydman compiled the talks in the form of Q&A sessions and recorded in tapes, leading to the publication of this great spiritual classic " I Am That".[5]

According to Maharaj: "Maurice (Frydman) told me "Everything that is said here is immediately lost, though it could be of a great benefit for those looking for truth. I wolud like to translate and publish your words so others might know them". And so, he wrote I Am That".[8]

With the publication of the book, Sri Maharaj became very popular and hundreds of foreigners started flock to the small tenement that Sri Maharaj lived in, and once Sri Maharaj remarked ″ I used to have a quiet life' but the book " I Am That" by Maurice has turned my house into a railway station platform.″

Maurice Frydman initially found publication of "I Am That" difficult as it was declined by the major publishers. So, Maurice worked with a then small publisher Chetana Publications to undertake the publishing. The book was first published in hard cover in two volumes in 1973 by Chetana Publication. The 2nd edition and revised and enlarged in one volume in 1976. The first paperback published in 1984. The book is published in USA and Canada by The Acorn Press.

5 Maurice Frydman-Jnani and a Karma Yogi - A Biography, Chapter 6
8 Yoga en Zaragoza, Estudios tradicionales (Spanish)

All the Gurus

I told him (Nisargadatta) that Maurice Frydman was the decisive reason for my coming. Frydman was a friend of Krishnamurti and Frydman was planning to publish all of the earlier work of Krishnamurti at Chetana Publishers in Bombay, And that he had heard from Mr. Dikshit, the publisher, that there was someone in Bombay who he had to meet. (I AM THAT was of course not yet published at that time because Frydman had yet to meet Nisargadatta). Frydman went there with his usual skeptical ideas. He came in there, and within two weeks things became clear to him that had never become clear with Krishnamurti. And I thought then: if it all became clear to Frydman within two weeks, how will it go with me?

I told all this to Nisargadatta and he said: 'That says nothing about me, but everything about Frydman.' And he also said: 'People who don't understand Krishnamurti don't understand themselves.' I thought that was beautiful, because all the gurus I knew always ran everyone down."

~Alexander Smith

What did you see?

I heard a story that he also encountered U. G. Krishnamurti in Bombay. I will tell you the version I heard and you can make up your own mind about it. It was told to me by someone who spent a lot of time with U. G. in the 1970s.

It seems that Maurice Frydman knew U. G. and also knew that he and Maharaj had never met, and probably didn’t know about each other. He wanted to test the theory that one jnani can spot another jnani by putting them both in the same room, with a few other people around as camouflage. He organised a function and invited both of them to attend. U. G. spent quite some time there, but Maharaj only came for a few minutes and then left.

After Maharaj had left Maurice went up to U. G. and said, ‘Did you see that old man who came in for a few minutes. Did you notice anything special? What did you see?’

U. G. replied, ‘I saw a man, Maurice, but the important thing is, what did you see?’

The next day Maurice went to see Maharaj and asked, ‘Did you see that man I invited yesterday?’

A brief description of what he looked like and where he was standing followed. Then Maurice asked, ‘What did you see?’

Maharaj replied, ‘I saw a man Maurice, but the important thing is, what did you see?’

It’s an amusing story and I pass it on as I heard it, but I should say that U. G.’s accounts of his meetings with famous teachers sometimes don’t ring true to me. I have heard and read his accounts of his meetings with both Ramana Maharshi and Papaji, and in both accounts Bhagavan and Papaji are made to do and say things that to me are completely out of character.

~David Godman
‘Remembering Nisargadatta Maharaj’


One morning Maharaj seemed to be more-than-usually frustrated about our collective inability to grasp what he was talking about.

'Why do I waste my time with you people?' he exclaimed. 'Why does no one ever understand what I am saying?'

I took my chance: 'In all the years that you have been teaching how many people have truly understood and experienced your teachings?'

He was quiet for a moment, and then he said, 'One. Maurice Frydman.' He didn't elaborate and I didn't follow it up.

I mentioned earlier that at the conclusion of his morning puja he put kum kum on the forehead of all the pictures in his room of the people he knew were enlightened. There were two big pictures of Maurice there, and both of them were daily given the kum kum treatment. Maharaj clearly had a great respect for Maurice. I remember on one of my early visits querying Maharaj about some statement of his that had been recorded in I am That. I think it was about fulfilling desires.

Maharaj initially didn't seem to agree with the remarks that had been attributed to him in the book, but then he added, 'The words must be true because Maurice wrote them. Maurice was a jnani, and the jnani's words are always the words of truth.'

~David Godman


The present crop of Indians are following the Westerners who have developed so much on the material side. They are not after spirituality -they would like to follow Western scientific development, to imitate you. Because "I Am That" is certified by Maurice Frydman they will read it;the books by Jean Dunn will have more significance also. I am not short of any knowledge relating to God or spirituality because I have fully known what this child-principle is. When you get to know that ignorant child-principle, beingness, you will not fall short of anything in your spiritual or worldly pursuits.

~Nisargadatta Maharaj
‘Prior to Consciousness’
translated by Jean Dunn

The Ultimate Meaning

V: A person translated the book I Am That into a foreign language, and he wants to give it the title of Tat-Tvam-Asi.

M: I do not like that. Either keep the title I Am That or none at all.

V: But Mr. Maurice Frydman had agreed.

M: I do not agree. And also do not dilute the contents of the book with your understanding, even though you may consider yourself a jnani. Do it the same way Frydman did; the exact and original text should be translated, with no modifications.

V: I now realize after meditation that the essence of your teachings is contained in I Am That.

M: If you want to realize the meaning of "I Am That," go into deep meditation, but "you," the manifest, should merge in "You," the Unmanifest. That is the ultimate meaning.

~Nisargadatta (& visitor)
‘The Nectar of Immortality
translated by Robert Powell

Addendum: On Jean Dunn translator of 'Prior to Consciousness' etc.

"Jean Dunn speaks about life with Nisargadatta Maharaj. This interview was recorded by Malcolm Tillis in 1981, while Jean was living in Bombay, India."

"An Interview with Jean Dunn first posted on September 13, 2010 on the Inner Directions Journal website."