28 October 2015

Beyond Freedom, Chapter 1, by Nisargadatta

The following is the first chapter of Nisargadatta’s latest published book Beyond Freedom which are previously unpublished transcripts from 1979 to 1981.

Read this several times.
What is he talking about?  Think carefully before you answer.  Then read it again.

There is nothing here that speaks to Prior to Consciousness.  What he speaks of is that Consciousness is everything, even the I Am, your body, all others, houses, objects, all disappear into Universal Consciousness, the totality of Consciousness without any identification or I, me, the personal, male or female.  All become submerged in the experience of the simultaneous totality of experience without a witness, because a witness requires a witnessed, and that is separation.

Only things, objects, within Consciousness, separated out by concepts and identification, have an “apparent” separate existence. Without thinking and without identification, the is just one, unmoving, unaging, not me, or not, not me, experience.

Beyond Freedom -- Nisargadatta
Chapter 1: What is that which you are searching for? 
Nisargadatta: there is no sense of personality at all when you become the Ishwara principal.  Have no concern about losing your personality by listening to this knowledge, as personality has always been illusory.  In order to even understand me the sense of personality must be absent.  You are the knowledge and you do not have any shape or form whatsoever.  You are impersonal.  You are comprehensive.  You are the Unmanifest, the universal Consciousness.  What would happen if you went in search of that Consciousness?  The seeker would disappear in the search, because the “I Amness” is all there is.
Visitor question: I have a question here.
Nisargadatta: Do not focus on your question.  Focus on what I am saying.  Do not say anything, just listen.
Visitor: You speak very harshly…  It hurts me.
N: Just leave that.  Do not even look in that direction, just focus on what I am telling you.
V: I do not know who I am, that is my reality.
M: As long as you are coming here, your search is not over.  You are here because your search has not ended.  Try to find out why.  What is it that you are searching for?  There is nothing there, only the process of seeking.
You might be anybody in this world, even Brahma or Vishnu, but you do not have the power to do anything.  Your life is your existence.  It is made up of the five elements and it is dependent only on these five elements.
Consciousness is an orphan without parents or source.  It has no need of anyone.  What you understand of the objective world is all duality.  Your objective world is composed of relationships.  You have to depend all the time of someone else, friend, husband, wife, etc.  In the objective world there is only dependence, where is in your true state there is always independence.  Existence without identity, which is your true nature, is independent.
The time is 11:30 at present, it cannot be 12 now.  It will be 12 half an hour later.  We do not have any control over it; the time has to pass.  That means you are always dependent on something.  You cannot live independently of time, space, or the elements.  Everyone is helpless.  Only Consciousness is independent.
The state of bliss or joy is Poornabrahman or Nirvana.  One who does not need anybody for entertainment is niranjan.  The ever-present is nitya.  That state never changes at all.  As long as you are conscious of your body and its needs, you cannot be totally independent.  Consciousness does not need light and it does not need darkness.  It does not need rest.  It is the Truth and there is no change in it.
When I was young, I had the power to squeeze a piece of metal and pull it back into shape.  Now I am old require help from somebody move around.  Where has the power gone?  It is not remain with me at all.
All of these things in the objective world are inseparable from their attributes.  An attribute by its very nature depends upon something.  That knowledge, “I am,” is also an attribute.  Therefore the “I-Amness,” one way or another, also has depend on something.
V: What is the concept of Maya (illusion)?
N: The concept of Maya comes from the “I-Amness.”  The existence of my and the world around you only arises when you are conscious of yourself.  This is a state of darkness and ignorance, which is far from that of knowledge.  Maya does not exist within the state of knowledge.
V: What is Atma?
M: Atma Prem is also due to the “I Amness.”  If you start with Atma Prem, it can distract you and all you will see is Maya, which is a state of ignorance.  If you reach a state of knowledge, then even this Atma Prem will be nonexistent.  The word my I has a different meaning here.  What you are calling love is itself Maya.  Love is playing many roles.  All these houses, etc. have been created out of Maya.  Love or Maya has set up the whole of Bombay.  Love is taking many shapes: mula-maya has created Vishnu and Shankara, but what was there before that?  My is the culprit.  Man has entangled himself in this concept and illusion of love, and because of it, gets trapped in the cycle of life and death.  The feeling of love is a great mistake if one gets entangled in it.  There is love for so many things.  The minute the illusion is created, the entanglement begins.  By imagining male and female, you get entangled in that illusion.
“You are Paramatman.”  This is what my guru told me he was going into Mahasamadhi.  His words had so much force that they were implanted and embedded in me, and I became that.  There was so much power and force behind his utterances that whatever he said came true.
V: Were you constantly doing the sacred mantra, which are guru had given you?
M: I was not doing it.  I was constantly listening to it.  The power of the mantra depends upon the intensity of the faith you have.
V: Is there any cause for this faith?
M: Yes, there is a primary cause, the big cause, which is the knowledge “I am.”  This is the cause behind the faith.  The “awareness of my being” happen automatically.  It just happens.  The sprouting of this knowledge “I am” is prior to the formation of the five elements.  The ultimate Consciousness, the Absolute, is not even aware of itself or of any happening.  Consciousness was one, but two people of different sexes were created in the love between them created this world.  This sound in this awareness are not one, but two.  Consciousness is just a speck, and dissolution has come out of it.
Love is divided into two sexes and the world has grown out of this, but as soon as realization happens the separation disappears.  When you have the realization that “you are, that all is the play of Shiva Shakti, then he will know that this is all an illusion, and you will be free of grief as well as joy.  Self-realization is Shivadatta.  The moment you reach that stage you will not have these feelings of happiness, sorrow and suffering.  When you reach the state of self-knowledge, there will be peace and quiet.  Such knowledge of the self is known as Shivadatta.  If you realize that this is all an illusion, then there is no need for self-realization.
V: Is there no love with self-realization?
M: It is beyond that.  Love is a worldly state.  The very feeling of self-realization will not arrive until you understand what you are.  If you understand the answer then this question about self-realization will not arise.  Ananda, the pleasure of bliss of Consciousness, will arise in you like an atomic explosion, and he will will see how the whole wide world is a manifestation of that.  Chinmayananda means “speck of bliss.”  Swami means the spontaneous awareness of my being.  Through the “I-Amness,” swami Chinmayananda has created a big ashram in as many people visit.  All the gods are coming and going in this Consciousness.  Merely the fact that “you are” is swami, which is pure honey, the proof of the Absolute.  It is always with you and is calm all by itself spontaneously, without asking.  That is swami.
V: And all the other things, what is that all about?

M: Why worry about that?  Let it be there.  Read about the “I-Amness” and forget about the rest.  What the swami’s are doing or what they say is immaterial.  If you have come to the source, why do you want to go back again to the banks of the river?


  1. You can´t go handpicking fragments of Nisargadatta´s vast literature where he does not specifically talk about the Witness prior to Consciousness, and pretend to make those very rare fragments the reality of his speech.

    If you open the recollections of his talks that he recommends the most, you could open ANY page of them blindly and you will find references to Parabrahman, which is prior to Consciousness, and references to the Witness of Consciousness. He regards his teachings about Consciousness as "kindergarten", and he refused to talk much about It when he matured.

    And again, Ed, no, I strongly disagree here with you: The hearing sound is NECESSARY CONDITION for you to hear a sound. There is no "sound" by itself without a prior "hearing sense". And the fact that there is a previous hearing sense does not create a duality "sound-hearing sense". So, to say that Consciousness and the Awareness of that Consciousness create a duality is groundless.

    Consciousness is an appearence. No one can´t deny that Consciousness APPEARS. And if it is an appearence, the witnessing of the appearence MUST necessarily happen from BEYOND Consciousness, not from WITHIN. That would be like saying that the "sound" hears itself, or that the "tree" watches itself.

    Sorry for being so insistent, but you asked for opinions, and here is mine. And Nisargadatta´s, BTW, as he showed in like a zillion pages of his books.

  2. Dear Anonymous, relax. Enjoy this journey with me.

    This is not an isolated fragment. It is the entire first chapter of his latest book by an entirely new editor/translator, who was the usual translator Nisargadatta used for years.

    I am going to go through the entire book.

    Be not so selfassured. Be willing to find a new understanding. Be prepared to learn.

    Prior to Consciousness as I have used it is basically a Kantian concept that I borrowed from Western philosophy, and it appears the way Jean Dunn interpreted what he meant.

    But what if he meant something else, an entirely different experience and understanding of the phrase "Prior to Consciousness." Be willing to learn, not just to dominate an exploration of someone else's understanding.

    Your insistence that he be interpreted one way and not another shows a real sticking point in you. My God, in my experience, it is a wonderful to be able to move on from a possible misunderstanding.

    In any event, look how few people are following us here. We are rare ones, instead of arguing, we should be holding hands.

  3. Ed, please, by no means you should consider that I want to argue, since I consider you one of the most influent teachers in my path and I have a lot to thank you for. My english is far from perfect, and when you don´t dominate a language it´s easy to sound vanidous, or too harsh, or pompous.

    Anyway, yes, I´ve been insistent, maybe too much, (this is a part of my experience of which I am certain, but I have so much to learn from other aspects of the path) but I´ll keep following your comments and posts, about Nisargadatta or about any other teacher or new experience, as I always did, and I´ll keep writing comments too, trying to be as open-minded as I can.

    BTW, I didn´t say my name. It is Rogelio.