SRI NISSARGADATTA MAHARAJ
Discover all that you are not body, feelings, thoughts, time, space, this or that— nothing, concrete or abstract, which you perceive can be you. The very act of perceiving shows that you are not what you perceive.
By flowing with life I mean acceptance —letting come what comes and go what goes.
You are not what happens, you are he to whom it happens.
One of the essential spiritual works, which importance and depth transcends cultural forms of East and West, is the guru’s Sri Nissargadatta Maharaj (1897-1981).
In his native Mumbai and during his childhood, he went along with his father, a servant and afterwards a small farmer to the rural village Majarastra, in India, to return to the big city when he was 18 years-old, and become a seller of cigarettes as his own business. Married and the father of three girls and a boy, Sri Nissargadatta led a simple but peaceful life when, at age 35, he became interested in issues of spiritual kind. The reason is in his visit, thanks to the influence of a friend, to the guru Siddha Rameshuar Maharaj, a man whose vision and essence impressed him deeply. Following the death of his guru, Sri Nissargadatta went to the Himalayas, and on his return he focused on imparting his teachings (through chanting, meditation and speeches), as a Master of the Advaita current.
The Advaita Philosophy presents self-knowledge as a direct path to know the Ultimate Reality: we become aware of our own nature, our essence, from mental discrimination, i.e. putting away what we are not. That is, to perceive that our thoughts are guided by our ego, not our Being. This method is also known as the Bird, as it is better to get to know ourselves by flying from branch to branch instead of slowly climbing the tree like an ant. Consciousness is before mind and body, both elements that often prevent us from being in connection with our “original essence”.
The works of Sri Nissargadatta collect these principles, especially in his sublime ‘I Am That’, ‘The Experience of Nothingness’, ‘Self Knowledge and Self Realization’ or ‘The Seeker Is the Sought’. In his books, we can find teachings that are worth considering in our lives:
Do you deserve what you desire? In some way or other you have to work for the fulfilment of your desires. When your desire is not clear nor strong, it cannot take shape. Besides, if your desires are personal, for your own enjoyment, the energy you give them is necessarily limited; it cannot be more than what you have. When you desire the common good, the whole world desires with you. Make humanity’s desire your own and work for it. There you cannot fail.
Be true to your own self, love yourself absolutely. Do not pretend that you love others as yourself. Unless you have realized them as one with yourself, you cannot love them. Don’t pretend to be what you are not, don’t refuse to be what you are. Your love of others is the result of self- knowledge, not its cause.
Let go your attachment to the unreal and the real will swiftly and smoothly
step into its own. Stop imagining yourself being or doing this or that and the realization that you are the source and heart of all will dawn upon you. With this will come great love which is not choice or predilection, nor attachment, but a power which makes all things love-worthy and lovable.
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.
You are already what you are. By knowing what you are not, you come to know your Self. As the body goes, you will revert to your natural state, spontaneously and effortlessly.
Putting words together will not take you far. Go within and discover what you are not. Nothing else matters.
I strongly recommend Sri Nissargadatta’s mystical work.
Let us be.
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