Showing posts with label spn. Show all posts
Showing posts with label spn. Show all posts

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Nisargadatta on Words

Questioner: As I listen to you I find that it is useless to ask you questions. Whatever the question, you invariably turn it upon itself and bring me to the basic fact that I am living in an illusion of my own making and that reality is inexpressible in words. Words merely add to the confusion and the only wise course is the silent search within.

Maharaj: After all, it is the mind that creates illusion and it is the mind that gets free of it. Words may aggravate illusion, words may also help dispel it. There is nothing wrong in repeating the same truth again and again until it becomes reality. Mother's work is not over with the birth of the child. She feeds it day after day, year after year until it needs her no longer. People need hearing words, until facts speak to them louder than words.

Q: So we are children to be fed on words?

M: As long as you give importance to words, you are children.

Q: All right, then be our mother.

M: Where was the child before it was born? Was it not with the mother? Because it was already with the mother it could be born.

Q: Surely, the mother did not carry the child when she was a child herself.

M: Potentially, she was the mother. Go beyond the illusion of time.

Q: Your answer is always the same. A kind of clockwork which strikes the same hours again and again.

M: It can not be helped. Just like the one sun is reflected in a billion dew drops, so is the timeless endlessly repeated. When l repeat: 'I am, I am', I merely assert and reassert an ever-present fact. You get tired of my words because you do not see the living truth behind them. Contact it and you will find the full meaning of words and of silence—both.

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

Saturday, March 29, 2014

B2 - Nisargadatta Maharaj is my guru

Nisargadatta Maharaj is my guru. I never met the man.

Some will think that’s absurd. They may be correct—I’m not speaking for them or others.

Thirty years ago, a psychological therapist summed up my personal conditioning this way: your mother taught you to be absolutely afraid of the world and your father completely failed to introduce you to the world.

I was obsessed in knowing the world. I didn’t trust the world to teach me about itself.

So I read books. I became obsessed with certain viewpoints until ultimately I discovered their weakness. I moved on to another book. Another viewpoint.

The first time I read Nisargadatta’s I Am That, I was enthralled, but I stopped midway at some point—I was appalled at something I had read. But his words kept haunting me. Six months later, I had forgotten why I had been horrified, reread the chapter in question, and couldn’t find anything repulsive—only wisdom. So, in my second attempt, I finished reading the book.

For a third act, I read Ramesh Balsekar’s Pointers from Nisargadatta, the Jean Dunn translations, and the Robert Powell translations. Meanwhile I was rereading I Am That and tweeting phrases under my @Nisargadatta_M avatar—which continues to this day. To paraphrase one of my earlier teachers: something is happening but I don’t know what it is. Exactly! There is no viewpoint.

I still read books for recreation as well. It was in such a manner I began reading Gurdjieff’s Beelzebub’s Tales to His Grandson. It wasn’t pleasurable, so I stopped. Of course, that’s Gurdjieff’s point. So I’m not speaking for him or others.

One thing I did appreciate from the first page of Gurdjieff’s three-volume Coyote tale is the first page, Friendly Advice, in which he advises one should read his “written expositions thrice.” The first is in a mechanized way. The second is as one person to another. And the third is to “fathom the gist.” I did read his Friendly Advice three times.

Nisargadatta says to his listeners, and therefore to the reader, that he, Nisargadatta Maharaj, is Consciousness speaking 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."