Beyond Freedom – Nisargadatta Maharaj
Chapter 6--Everything is Conceptual
V: what is the meaning of “I am,” the basic illusion?
M: it means pure, even though you have to provide food for it. A Yogi had been studying the art of reviving objects after death. One day he saw a bone in the forest and decided to practice his art to see how effective it was. He chanted the mantra and suddenly a lion appeared. He did not, however, create any food for the lion and so when the line was hungry he ate the Yogi. The moral of the story is that before you create anything, you have to first create food. The “I am” is sustained by the food body. That is our body, which is the food for the I am. Every creature depends upon its food and the “I am” depends on our body. Will you remember this?
When you recite the mantra relating to a particular God, that particular quality and Consciousness is created within you. Rama, Krishna, Rama, Shiva are only incarnations of your Consciousness. The same Consciousness that “you are” is also what these gods, which have been created with various names from your Consciousness, “are.”
V: there is a statue of Nityananda in his ashram. Muktananda says that it cannot is still alive and that he indicates with him. What you say about that?
M: I also have many photographs of my guru here. Because my guru “is” I know “I am.” You presume that your guru Nityananda is a body-mind and that is a mistake. I do not look upon my guru like that. He is merged into Consciousness and I see him as that. So long as the body is there, Consciousness and memory are there. Once the body is gone, the Consciousness is unaware of anything. When the oil is there, the flame keeps burning by using the oil, but no oil is used after the flame is gone. Whatever is burnt is burnt and whatever remains, remains. When the child is born, growth takes place. The “I am is there throughout his or her life even if a person lives for 100 years, but the “I am” disappears when the body is gone. This is called death.
I would like to know your opinion about what I have told you. Should I tell you all of this or should I keep quiet? Somebody came this morning who was always quoting his guru, so I sent him back to his guru. By listening to me seriously, people could lose all hope and ambition. Because they want to take action in the world, hope should be there for them. If they feel that they are not gaining anything here, they should go away. Why should I talk to these people who want to live and achieve something? Nityananda hardly ever talkED, but his disciple Muktananda goes on talking and he has created an empire. Chinmayananda has done the same thing although now he says he wants to stop talking and go away to the Himalayas. All my expounding will only lead people to a state of inaction, so why should I talk? Anyway, whatever you have heard here can never be erased and will have its effect.
V: I want to develop my determination to be in the “I am.”
M: did you have any Consciousness when you did not have your body? You may have as much faith as you want, but even that will be gone when the body is no more, as your Consciousness will not be there. Where are you without your Consciousness? There is nothing for you to do. Everything just comes into being and happens. Why are you concerned with what to do? You deal with the world only after having Consciousness, when the “I am” is there. Once it is gone, everything ends. It is all spontaneous.
Every nation has had different rulers ruling the country at different times, who are now dead and gone. Do they come back and ask how the country is being ruled now? Does Christ come back and ask why would you go to India to listen to all of this trash? Our Hindu deities are supposed to be very powerful, but did they do anything when Muslim and Christian invaders came to rule over India? We all had parents. Where are they once they have died? You just say they have gone home to God, but are they here now? Do they common interfere in our daily lives? We go on looking for a guru to guide us. What did Ramakrishna say to Viv Yogananda? He just said, “take the right mango and enjoy it. Do not keep questioning where the mango is come from, etc.”
The worry about death does not affect me at all. Why are you worried about reincarnation? Just experience whatever is happening to you now. I was asked why I previously told some people that many births are needed before realization can happen. I have to tell such stories the ignorant people. When a person describes a memory of his last birth, I asked him whether he remembers who his parents were, animals are human beings? You are only talking about your dream. At present you can say who your parents are, but do you know who they were during your last birth? If you cannot remember anything, just say it is all over and finished. It is just a dream; forget about it.
What others say about how rebirth is determined by the thoughts you have when you are dying is mere hearsay. What I am telling you about the merging of the “I am” with the source is the real thing. This world has existed for millions of years. Male and female, Purusha and Prakriti, have created so many dynasties. For which background have you come to this present form? Did you come from your father’s father or your mother’s father? From the time of the first couple ever created, which birth is this? Can you go back and find out? Why carry that tension around with you when you cannot know or remember any of it? Do not bother about it.
As you progress and get established in beingness, you will understand that you are above the dreaming and waking states, as those only pertain to your “I-Amness.” We are only able to observe because of this “I-Amness.” When the “I-Amness” is not there, the tool required to observe is also not there.
Once there is self-realization, the whole riddle is solved. What Krishna preaches in the Gita is correct. What I am saying is of no profit or loss. Even a blind person to describe a huge well? How does he know? It is just a way of expressing his thoughts.
As life flows, go on doing what has to be done. However much you run around, without God’s will there is nothing. Whether it is your dreams or your visions, whatever you see is nothing but God’s appearance. It is the source, or Consciousness, which is appearing in so many forms. Everything is conceptual.