Chapter 6: identify with the body, suffer with the body.
Maharaj: While the knowledge is getting established, you will be in a sleep-like state—even witnessing will not be there. You will feel as if you are asleep, but it is not sleep. It is called Udmani, which means “above the level of mind.” The yogis and sages are in that state above the mind. It is a state that transcends the mind. When I talk, I am talking from the Udmani state—from nothingness. It is a restful and relaxed state.
(Comment: he is probably talking about what Siddharameshwar called the causal body. Above, Nisargadatta states that in this sleep-like state, even witnessing is not there. So where is the Witness? According to Siddharameshwar, we have to pause through this sleep like causal state before we realized Turiya, a deeper level of self, and in fact the origin of the I-Amness according to Siddharameshwar.)
Visitor: is it a state of deep sleep?
Maharaj: Although it feels similar to sleep, it is not sleep, because there is awareness or consciousness deep inside. You will not have this experience unless you are stabilized in peace and stillness.
Visitor: when I am reading, sometimes there is an identity, and I see myself reading. Is that differ from the state you compared it with?
Maharaj: while dreaming, you observe the dream do not you? At that time, the whole dream world is in front of you. You simultaneously watch what is happening while also taking part in the dream world as one of the characters, one of the actors. But here, you are purely a Witness. You are not acting but are merely a Witness, whereas there you are also a participant in the dream.
(Comment: Very strangely he contradicts above, where he says you are in a sleep-like state were even witnessing is not there.)
Some gurus give disciplines which only engage the mental aspect that activity. They get their disciples involved in the play of the mind by referring to the concepts that appeal to them. They concretize their preferred concepts in the form of activities for their disciples. Leave all of that alone—there is no question of effort and no question of elevating yourself to a higher level. Where will this spark or flame go? Where will my vital breath or prana go? There is no question of it going anywhere. You only have to be aware as the Witness and you will merge with the five elements.
(Comment: What does the “you” in the above paragraph refer to? What does it mean that “you” merge with the five elements? What I believe he could mean, is that you as witness merge into, or disappear into the external world experience.)
If you identify with the body-mind, you will have to undergo all of it suffering and misery, while facing its effects. If you identify with the body, you will suffer with the body. A swimmer, when caught in a whirlpool, has to go down deep beneath the whirlpool, then swim beyond its diameter before coming up to the surface. If the swimmer struggles, he will become exhausted will be finished. Similarly, with this whirlpool of the body-mind, before you become panicky dive deep down underneath—do not get entangled with the body mind. Go deep beyond the thoughts and come into the thoughtless state. I tell you to ask me questions because I want to find out the depth of your understanding. The questions are of the mind, but you are not the mind.
First there is the desire to “Be.” From this “I am,” the air came first and the earth last. Then from the earth came the vegetation and the many forms of life, each having this “I-Amness.” Because of the five elements you have the body, and in that body is the “I-Amness.” What you call death is when the vital breath goes back into the air and the body merges into the five elements. When the vital breath separates from the body, the “I-Amness disappears.
(Comment: again a bit of confusing discourse. When the body dies, it merges into the five elements. Later he states that if you just dwell in the I-Amness, the I am sensation, you will merge into the five elements. In one case he seems to be talking about the five elements as objects: fire, water, earth, air, sky. However elsewhere, he appears to be talking about the five elements as what we observe as the entirety of objective world.)
If you come to me as a man you may get something for your livelihood, but that will be your only gift. However, if you come to me understanding that you are God, that knowledge will manifest. For example, if there is a vacancy in an office offering a salary of 10,000 Rupees a month, only a suitable man will get the job as an unqualified man would not be able to last. Similarly, only people who consider themselves as Brahman can get that knowledge. Other people, who identify with the body-consciousness, are not fit for it.
You must have maturity and you must be worthy of the knowledge that you want to gain. By chanting “I am Brahman” you become subtle and escape the sense of body-mind. If you go to others so-called gurus, they will tell you something relating to your body-minD sense, and tell you that if you follow certain disciplines they might grant you something. But you will not be able to attain Brahma-hood. You must first accept that you are without a body-mind and that you are subtle. That sence must be instilled in you.
I look to this Brahma state, my beingness (I-Amness), and observe my body—like an incense stick with a spark on it. That chemical, or seer, is here in this instance stick and is being burnt by that spark. You must become initiated into the understanding of what I am expounding to you. I am telling you about the seed of Brahman. You have to understand that I am planting the Brahma seed in you. That Brahma seed is your beingness (I-Amness), which sprouts into manifestation. That Brahma state does not require anything to eat. It has no hunger, because Brahma alone embraces everything it all manifestation is Brahma. I am trying to raise you to that state. Do not think you can become a realized-soul only by listening to a few lectures here. You have to forget everything and merge with Brahman.
(Comment: again the apparent contradiction. Nisargadatta states he is talking about the seed of Brahman. He states my beingness, my I-Amness, is your Brahma seed. He says that Brahma state does not require anything to eat. It has no hunger, because Brahma alone embraces everything; all manifestation is Brahma. Yet several places earlier in this book, he states that I-Amness, beingness is dependent upon the body and is a manifestation from the food that the body consumes. Yet he goes on to state that everything is Brahman, everything is you.)
Visitor: what is the difference between worldly knowledge and knowledge about Brahman?
Maharaj: You will not realize it less the difference within you goes. If you think you are the body you cannot gain this knowledge. Who wants to know about Brahman? Find that out first, then change the identity of that I from the body consciousness to “I am one with Brahman.” Focus on that Brahman instead of on the body-mind. You must understand yourself correctly. You think I am a man, and being a man means being conditioned by body and mind. How can you understand the Brahma state from this standpoint?
Visitor: does that mean that Brahma knowledge merely comes from the fact that “I am?”
Maharaj: Who is it that needs to understand this the most, the knowledge that “I am?” If you listen carefully and imbibe the principles, you will get rid of this body-minD sense and dwell only in the “I Amness” (beingness). I am the love of beingness, and beingness is itself love.
Visitor: the “I-Amness” precludes the aspect of “I am not,” does not it?
Maharaj: you want to know the link, the bridge between “I am” and “I am not,” is that it? First of all only hold onto the “I-Amness,” without any words and just Be. When somebody hails you, you respond, but before you do there is somebody within you who becomes aware of the call and will need to answer. That being is the “I am,” and has been there even before that awareness appeared.
(Comment: here Maharaj appears to be identifying the “I-Amness” with the ultimate witness, does he not? He states that the “I am” has been there even before awareness appeared.)
Visitor: Does the flash of light come from beingness— “I am?”
Maharaj: the moment the “I-Amness” explodes or appears, all of space is lit up. The entire sky is the expression of your beingness. Even though this whole world is an expression of your beingness, you believe that you are only the body. Your love for the body limit your horizons. But the moment those walls come down, you are one with Brahman as the whole universe.
(Comment: once again, Nisargadatta appears to be saying that everything is consciousness and you are that. There is no way here he is talking about anything prior to consciousness. I-Amness is synonymous with the entire sky, and the whole world is an expression of your beingness, but you identify only with the body. This love for the body or identification with the body limit your horizons. In actuality you are Brahman, or the totality of consciousness manifest as the whole universe. Everything is consciousness.)