27 May 2010


There is a deep misconception spread by many neo Advaita teachers that not only are meditation, self-inquiry, or any spiritual practice not necessary, but any effort made at all will strengthen the non-existent ego, and prevent awakening. They state we are already awake and merely need to get rid of the idea we are not awake. That not-awake misconception is to be dissipated merely by hearing the words over and over, that you are already complete, perfect, and the absolute. Just stop and realize that.

One of the main goals of this book is to point out that persistent effort at self-exploration and self-abidance is necessary for a true awakening experience as opposed to a conceptual understanding that the self is never not awake and you are that.

So far, Chapter One explored Ramana Maharshi’s charge that self-inquiry and self-abidance are necessary for awakening. Chapter Two focused on the need to go beyond the oneness state that comes when you realize there is no objective entity or ego associated with the I-thought, and the I-thought itself is like a ghost with no real existence. In this oneness state, nothing separate exists but the totality of consciousness.  

Robert Adams was also quoted as saying that the deepest level of existence in all of us, lies deeper than consciousness, or the oneness mind of the totality of consciousness, achieved at the first awakening. What you are lies beyond the manifest. Once the distinction of manifest, or totality consciousness, is made, the dual concept of the unmanifest, or noumenal state without any consciousness or quality whatsoever becomes a primary concept.

However, later it will be learned that both concepts of the manifest oneness and the unborn unmanifest are only ideas, neither exist in reality, and what you are is beyond both.

In this chapter we will explore what Nisargadatta Maharaj said about the need for effort and practice, as well as his statement that he practiced, dong little else, for three years, meditating on his sense of I Am. Then he attained awakening.

The neo Advaitins and many who have been mislead by READING (as opposed to practicing)  some of the Rinzai teachers, such as Huang Po, Bankei, and many others, ignore the fact that they struggled for many years to understand the truth that Buddha mind was always there and plainly functioning, and jump to the conclusion they are the effortless Buddha Mind, which becomes just another concept because the conceptual mind has not been destroyed.

Below are many quotes of Nisargadatta and their sources as arranged by Rajiv Kapur. The neo Advaitins are always quoting Nisargadatta but strangely leave out quotes that long and patient practice is necessary. At this point Rajiv and I are trying to locate Maharaj’s original audio Satsang recordings to get better translations. You see, correct translations are totally in the mind of the translator. The more subtle teachings require translation by someone who understand deeply the originating language, and who has meditated long enough to have attained a mind subtle enough to thoroughly understand Maharaj’s deeper teachings.

Nisargadatta Maharaj Quotes

I simply followed his (Maharaj’s Guru) instruction which was to sit for hours together with nothing but the “I am” in my mind and soon peace and joy and a deep embracing love became my normal state. 
(I AM THAT PG 239)

Follow my advice implicitly and you will not be disappointed. I cannot solve your problem by mere words. You have to act on what I told you and persevere. It is not the right advice that liberates, but the ACTION based on it.
(I AM THAT PG 248)

Discover all you are not. Body, feelings, thoughts, ideas, time, space, being and not being, this or that. A mere verbal statement will not do. You may repeat a formula endlessly without any result whatsoever. You must watch yourself continuously-–particularly your mind moment by moment, missing nothing. This witnessing is essential for the separation of the Self from the not Self.

I was a simple man, but I trusted my Guru. What he told me what to do, I did. He told me to concentrate on “I am”- I did. I gave him my heart and soul, my entire attention and the whole of my spare time. As a result of faith and earnest application, I realized my Self within three years.

(Comment: Notice that Maharaj states he became self-realized after three years of practice. He did not state like many neo-Advaitins, that there is no self-realization because there is no self to be realized. He also states he practiced for three years with all his heart and soul  to realize who he is. This is completely contrary to the advice of many neo-advaitin gurus and teachers.

Effort is very much needed. When ignorance becomes obstinate and hard and the character gets perverted, effort and the pain of it become inevitable.
(I AM THAT PG 114)

Go on pondering, wondering, being anxious to find a way. Be conscious of yourself, watch your mind, and give it your full attention. Don’t look for quick results; there may be none within your noticing.
(I AM THAT PG 125)

When you listen to this you feel satisfaction and with that matter ends for most people, they don’t meditate on this again and again and try to find out that principle behind everything.

(Comment: Is this not the state of most neo-Advaitins? Most people do not meditate on this again and again.)

Sitting in meditation helps the consciousness to blossom. It causes deeper understanding and spontaneous change in behavior. These changes take place naturally, automatically, by themselves, due to Meditation.

This knowledge that you are the manifest must be opened through meditation, you do not get it by listening to words.

In practicing meditation the life force gets purified, and when it is purified, the light of the Self shines forth, but the working principle is the life force. When this purified life force and the light of the Atman merge, then the concept, the mind, the imagination, everything is taken away.

You must have a thorough knowledge of this consciousness, and having known everything about the consciousness you come to the conclusion that it is all unreal, and then it should drop off. Having listened to these talks, sit and meditate, "That which I have heard, is it true or not?" Then you will understand that this is also to be discarded.

Ultimately one must go beyond knowledge, but the knowledge must come, and knowledge can come by constant meditation. By meditating, the knowledge "I Am" gradually settles down and merges with universal knowledge, and thereby becomes totally free, like the sky, or space.

At the highest level all spiritual disciplines are to be dropped but at the earlier levels you have to do your homework.

If you have to make an effort in the beginning not to get involved, make that effort until it becomes effortless.

You should meditate; you should not lose what you have learned. When one disidentifies with the body, one transcends not only the body but consciousness as well since consciousness is a product of the body. The consciousness no longer says, " I Am", " I Am".

(Comment: As explained more thoroughly in the next chapter, Maharaj is very explicit: You must go beyond consciousness, for is not manifest consciousness totally associated with the body? If there were not a body with eyes, would there be any vision of the world? If there were not a body with ears, would there be any sound? The same holds true for other sensations. Without a body, the world would not exist as an object of consciousness. There would be no world.)

You must have a strong conviction; that conviction means not only “I Am” but it means I am free from “I Am” also. And that conviction means practicing.

For this keep steadily in the focus of Consciousness the only clue you have: your certainty of being. Be with it, play with it, ponder over it, delve deeply into it, till the shell of ignorance breaks open and you emerge into the realm of reality.
(I AM THAT PG 272)

When I say; remember ‘I am’ all the time, I mean : come back to it repeatedly’.
(I AM THAT PG 242)

The word ‘I am’ itself is the bridge. Remember it, think of it, explore it, go around it, look at it from all the directions, dive into it with earnest perseverance; endure all delays and disappointments till suddenly the mind turns around.
(I AM THAT PG 435)

Ask yourself; ‘To whom it all happen?’ Use everything as an opportunity to go within.
(I AM THAT PG 448)

Experience cannot be conveyed through words. It comes with action. A man who is intense in his experience will radiate confidence and courage. Others too will act and gain experience born out of action.
(I AM THAT PG 514)

Know the inside-out of consciousness and recognize it as useless; it is a fraud. When you transcend it, you will say, "I can manage without this. This is imperfect! Therefore, meditate in order to know the consciousness.

If you have the urge to go to the toilet, you will run. Similarly, the need of the ignorant is the urge to have knowledge, he will rush towards it. In the ignorant state, if you keep quiet, then the principle will keep quiet. Until there is a firm conviction about oneself, something or other has to be done.

Chapter Four on Nisargadatta on the structure of the I Am, will post in a day or two.

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