It is always refreshing for me to listen to Nisargadatta’s views. Here a short excerpt from one of his talks in October of 1980 in Bombay (now Mumbai) where he lived until September of 1981:
Nisargadatta Maharaj: I have told you that presently you are like that warmth in the body.
What is the Parabrahman like? The Parabrahman does not experience this warmth of “I Amness” at all. If you understand, this puzzle will be solved for you.
After understanding this, if one becomes a jnani, that consciousness principle and body is available, and they will be involved in the emotional field also. It will give full vent to crying and it will also enjoy whatever situation is there. Such a jnani (an awakened one) is not going to suppress any expressions of emotions which spontaneously come out of this
consciousness and body apparatus.
Normally people suppose that a jnani should suppress all the emotional outbursts. That is not correct. With your standpoint in the Absolute, you are not concerned with the feelings and instinctive outbursts of the apparatus.
A jnani does not volitionally participate, it is spontaneously happening; while an ignorant person is deeply involved in that, he assumes everything is real. For the jnani, the warmth is also unreal, so whatever happens in the realm of warmth is unreal. All devotion, liking, and love, is dissolved for a jnani, but whatever he does is for others.
Questioner: ‘What is the difference between my state and Maharaj’s state?
Nisargadatta Maharaj: For the jnani there is no difference. The difference arises in the case of the ignorant because he is still identifying with the body. Give up the identification with the body and see what happens.
M: I can only tell you, “this is it” – how to accept it is beyond me and I have no remedy for that. I tell you but you must understand it.
Q: Once and for all: if we take his words literally is this all that is necessary?
M: Yes. That is the one to be caught hold of, but what is the instrument with which you will catch hold of it? It is not the body, mind, and intelligence.
Q: The will?
M: Any effort you make will land you in further trouble. Therefore it is for this knowledge that you exist -to accept this knowledge, not the pseudo-identity. Just keep what you have heard from me in mind as true, and then act in whatever way arises spontaneously.
My Guru told me that I am timeless, spaceless, without attributes. Then I decided that if that is the case why should I have any more fear? Who is to have fear? Suppose you meet a tiger: the tiger is going to eat you in any case, therefore there is some chance that if you attack the tiger it may run away, so why not take that chance? Why not try and dis-identify yourself from the body? Whatever unhappiness you have, whatever fear you have, is based entirely on identification with the body. Make an effort gradually to dis-identify yourself from the body.
It is a simple thing. Death is inevitable, so why don’t you accept what the Guru has told you, that death is something which cannot affect That which you are. This identification with the body is time-bound; why not disassociate yourself now?
How many of you will remember and understand what I tell you? Whatever fear you have is based only on memory, concepts, and hearsay. So long as you cling to any concept or memory this fear will not leave you. Don’t protect this fear-give it up, let it go. Can you do it?
You have been accumulating what you have heard from me, but ultimately, whatever is accumulated has to be given up. It is to be understood, used, and then given up.
Q: Maharaj says that everything has happened spontaneously but we are accustomed to thinking that everything must have someone to start something, someone to control. Without this controlling authority it is difficult to imagine anything functioning.
M: In the state of duality this idea has to be there, otherwise there can’t be any concept or any functioning, this is the basis of manifestation. When ultimately the knowledge merges in knowledge, the seeker disappears and there is no one to ask questions.
What is being said and what is being heard is time-bound – from a particular time until today – but That which we are is totally separate from that which is time-bound.
(Nisargadatta, Prior to Consciousness, October 2 and 4, 1980)