In this article I would like to share some of the quotes I copied from the book “I Am That” by Nisargadatta Maharaj together with my commentary. I read this book a few times. Maharaj’s words always get me into the meditative state.
The book is large. Here are a few quotes that resonated with me and my thoughts on them:
Just realize the One Mover behind all that moves and leave all to Him. If you do not hesitate, or cheat, this is the shortest way to reality. Stand without desire or fear, relinquishing all control and all responsibility.
This is such an empowering quote. I can attest to this – if you live trusting your Higher Self, all will go well. It will protect you and provide for you. But your fear makes it difficult for It to help you.
Q: What is the projecting power?
A: It’s imagination prompted by desire.
That’s how the whole Universe came into manifestation.
Listen, remember and understand – the mind is both the actor and the stage.
It looks like we are born into this world but actually this world cannot exist without us. At the Source we are all one, but we differentiate into the points of consciousness to experience this world that we ourselves created.
So far you took yourself to be the movable and overlooked the immovable. Turn your mind inside out. Overlook the movable and you will find yourself to be the ever-present, changeless reality, inexpressible, but solid like a rock.
Indian and Buddhist scriptures often tell that what we can see cannot be true because it always changes. What is born dies, things wear out, seasons change. But the observer always remains the same.
Welcome all that comes with a glad and thankful heart. And love all creatures. This too will take you to your Self.
If we don’t resist any experience we don’t provide any barriers for the True Self to eventually show Itself.
Desire nothing, for you lack nothing. The very seeking prevents you from finding.
Seeking shows that we lack, but we already are everything. We only need to pay attention to our Inner Self to understand the fullness that we are.
Develop the witness attitude and you will find in your own experience that detachment brings control. The state of witnessing is full of power, there is nothing passive about it.
It looks like without doing we are not powerful but actually the opposite is the case. When we aren’t actively involved with the world and see it as our own creation, our mere intention can bring great changes.
(…) all you can do is to know your mind well. Not that the mind will help you, but by knowing your mind you may avoid your mind disabling you. You have to be very alert, or else your mind will play false with you. It’s like watching a thief – not that you expect anything from a thief, but you do not want to be robbed. In the same way you give a lot of attention to the mind without expecting anything from it.
It’s because of the mind that we cannot access our power. If we watch it we prevent it from creating veils around our nature through fears and thoughts.
When you demand nothing of the world, nor of God, when you want nothing, seek nothing, expect nothing, then the Supreme State will come to you uninvited and unexpected.
There’s a stage that truth seekers reach where they stop acquiring information and no longer even feel willingness to know the truth. This is a high stage of ripening and not passivity. Soon these people will get liberated.
Q: Why should seeking end before one can realize?
A: The desire for truth is the highest of all desires, yet it is still a desire. All desires must be given up for the real to be. Remember that you are. This is your working capital. Rotate it and there will be much profit.
You already have in your possession that which you want. You only need to look to see it. Thus, the importance to always pay attention to the Self.
Maharaj: Listening and reading became a habit with you.
Questioner: I gave it up too. I do not read nowadays.
M: What you gave up is of no importance. Now what you have not given up? Find out and give up that. Sadhana [spiritual practice] is a search for what to give up. Empty yourself completely.
When we eliminate that which we are not, it becomes easier to understand who we really are.
Give up all ideas about yourself and simply be.
This is so liberating – to simply see yourself as you are without any reference to your place of living, personality, occupation and other limitations. These are all the details of the movie called life, projected by the Source that we are at our very root.
Q: (…) Is there a way to perceive reality directly and immediately?
A: Stop making use of your mind and see what happens. Do this one thing thoroughly. That is all.
Sitting in silence helps to do this. Watching thoughts when they come without identification with them helps us to get detached from our mental processes.
Your weakness is due to your conviction that you were born into the world. In reality the world is ever recreated in you and by you. See everything as emanating from the light which is the source of your own being. You will find that in that light there is love and infinite energy.
We are the Source that projects this world into being, with all its complexities. The reason it’s hard to believe in this is because of the failure to investigate the Self. When one investigates the Self, one gets to know its unlimited power and intelligence.
The main point to grasp is that you have projected onto yourself a world of your own imagination, based on memories, on desires and fears, and that you have imprisoned yourself in it. Break the spell and be free.
Q: How does one break the spell?
A: Assert your independence in thought and action.
If you take action independent of what you think yourself to be, you can understand that this world is your own projection; the world is your creation and when you don’t imprison yourself with mental concepts and negative emotions, it moves with your intention.
Your love of the world is the reflection of your love of yourself, for your world is of your own creation.
The love of the body, seeking for love, what you like in this world are all projections of self-love. Sometimes love gets really distorted, like we see in the cases of lust and rape. When you get in touch with your Self and stay in quiet with it, the Self purifies your being and your expressions of love become pure.
The main thing is to be free of negative emotions – desire, fear and so on, the “six enemies” of the mind. Once the mind is free of them, the rest will come easily. Just as cloth kept in soapy water will become clean, so will the mind get purified in the stream of pure being [feeling?] .
The six enemies of the mind are called “arishadvargas” and they are: desire, anger, greed, attachment, pride and jealousy. They soil the mind whilst being free of them it gets purified by itself.
When you sit quiet and watch yourself, all kinds of things may come into the surface. Do nothing about them, don’t react to them; as they have come so will they go, by themselves. All that matters is mindfulness, total awareness of oneself; or rather, of one’s mind.
In some meditative traditions meditators are advised to stop thoughts from forming, like it is advised in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. I understand why this is advised, as thoughts have the power to draw us in to the extent that we get totally identified with them. Yet other traditions advise us not to do anything about them, just observe.
But for a seeker of reality there is only one meditation – the rigorous refusal to harbour thoughts. To be free from thoughts is itself meditation. (…) You begin by letting thoughts flow and watching them. The very observation slows down the mind till it stops altogether. Once the mind is quiet, keep it quiet. Don’t get bored with peace, be in it, go deeper into it.
Maharaj says that formal meditation is good at the beginning but later the person can simply watch the mind when doing anything, so that he or she keeps a check on it. If you don’t watch the mind, you will easily get identified with mental contents and lose yourself in them.
All illness begins in the mind. Take care of the mind first, by tracing and eliminating all wrong ideas and emotions. Then live and work disregarding illness and think no more of it. With the removal of causes the effect is bound to depart.
You will find that people with chronic health conditions have chronic mental conditions, such as daily anger, greed, hate, jealousy, negative thoughts and fear. These habitual negative mental or emotional patterns create bodily disease. Eliminate them and disease cannot stay.
It is your mind only that makes you insecure and unhappy.
Meditators know that unhappiness and insecurity don’t come by themselves but start in the mind. If you are mindful, you will not allow fearful and negative thoughts to sprout in your mind and you will avoid the source of human woes.
You need not set it [the mind] right – it will set itself right, as soon as you give up all the concern with the past and the future and live entirely in the now.
Most people live in their own limited worlds, taking action because of false mental contents such as fearful and negative thoughts and emotions. But if you simply have reality as your basis and live in the now, the mind will not create problems.