Nisargadatta Maharaj

Nisargadatta Maharaj

Nisargadatta Maharaj : For meditation you should sit with identification with the knowledge “I am” only and have confirmed to yourself that you are not the body. You must dwell only in that knowledge “I am”–not merely the words “I am.” The design of your body does not signify your identification. And also, the name which is given to you or to the body is not your correct identity. The name which is imposed on you, or the name which you have heard about you-you have accepted that name as yourself. Similarly, since you have seen your body, you think you are the body. So you have to give up both these identities. And the indwelling knowledge that you are, without words, that itself you are. In that identity, you must stabilize yourself. And then, whatever doubts you have, will be cleared by that very knowledge, and everything will be opened up in you.

Question: All teachers advise to meditate. What is the purpose of meditation?

Maharaj: We know the outer world of sensations and actions. But of our inner world of thoughts and feelings we know very little. The primary purpose of meditation is to become conscious of, and familiar with, our inner life. The ultimate purpose is to reach the source of life and consciousness. Incidentally, practice of meditation affects deeply our character. We are slaves to what we do not know. Whatever vice or weakness in ourselves we discover and understand its causes and its workings, we overcome it by the very knowing; the unconscious dissolves when brought into the conscious. The dissolution of the unconscious release energy; the mind feels adequate and become quiet.

My teacher told me to hold on to the sense ‘I am’ tenaciously and not to swerve from it even for a moment. I did my best to follow his advice and in a comparatively short time I realized within myself the truth of his teaching. All I did was to remember his teaching, his face, his words constantly. This brought an end to the mind; in the stillness of the mind I saw myself as I am — unbound.

I simply followed (my teacher’s) instruction which was to focus the mind on pure being ‘I am’, and stay in it. I used to sit for hours together, with nothing but the ‘I am’ in my mind and soon peace and joy and a deep all-embracing love became my normal state. In it all disappeared — myself, my Guru, the life I lived, the world around me. Only peace remained and unfathomable silence.

My Guru ordered me to attend to the sense ‘I am’ and to give attention to nothing else. I just obeyed. I did not follow any particular course of breathing, or meditation, or study of scriptures. Whatever happened, I would turn away my attention from it and remain with the sense ‘I am’, it may look too simple, even crude. My only reason for doing it was that my Guru told me so. Yet it worked! Obedience is a powerful solvent of all desires and fears.

Nisargadatta Maharaj

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