Essential Nisargadatta II

Visitor: “Is there a desire not to die and lose your body? Is there a desire of the body, not of the Self?”

Nisargadatta: “You may say something like that; this is the administrative action of that beingness.

It is a very complicated riddle.

You have to discard whatever you have known, whatever you have read, and have a firm conviction about That about which nobody knows anything.

You can’t get any information about That, and about That you must have a firm conviction. How difficult it is.

Most people reach that state which is, but nobody reaches that state which is not. It is very rarely that one can reach that state. It transcends all knowledge.

Most essential is that knowledge “I Am.” Claim it, appropriate it as your own. If that is not there, nothing is. Knowledge of all the stages will be obtained only with the aid of this knowledge “I Am.”

From the Absolute no-knowing state, spontaneously, this consciousness “I Am” has appeared – there is no reason, no cause. Spontaneously it has come, with the waking state, deep sleep, the five elemental play, three Gunas*, and Prakriti and Purusha.

(Terms are in footnotes. Link to Sanskrit terms: http://www.sanskrit.org/www/Sanskrit/sanskritterms.htm)

Then it embraces the body as self and therefore identifies as a make or a female.

This “I Amness” has its own love to be: it wants to remain, to perpetuate itself, but it is not eternal.

This passing show may be likened to the following situation: suppose I was well all along, then suddenly I was sick and the doctor gave me medicine. After three days my fever was gone. So this stage of fever for three days is the “I Am” consciousness. Exactly like that – a passing show, a time-bound state.

This principle loves to be, and one must not belittle it – it is a very Godly principle. This I Amness” contains the entire cosmos.

It is said that all this is unreal. When was it certified as unreal? Only when one understands this temporary phase.

And in the process of understanding, one is in the Absolute and from there recognizes this as a temporary, unreal state.

The difficulty is that you have been accepting this as real and I have to disprove this and a lot of talking is to be done by me, which I am not in a position to do now. (These talks were recorded shortly before his death.)

(Nisargadatta, Prior to Consciousness, p. 32, July 19, 1980)

My comment:

I find this talk of Nisargadatta helpful, especially contemplating the following passages:

“This principle loves to be, and one must not belittle it – it is a very Godly principle. This I Amness” contains the entire cosmos.

It is said that all this is unreal. When was it certified as unreal? Only when one understands this temporary phase.

And in the process of understanding, one is in the Absolute and from there recognizes this as a temporary, unreal state.”

I get that he is pointing me to a particular stance, that I must take a stance with inner distance to all of beingness, or the “I Amness” that contains the entire cosmos, as he calls it here. For the mental mind it looks like he is calling for rejection of the world, but that is not so. In order to gain the correct perspective I need to be outside of the beingness – as paradoxical as that may sound – but I know by now that Reality is fraught with paradoxes.

Only when this process of understanding brings me into the Absolute, can I really fathom the meaning of temporary, and bring everything in my world into correct focus.

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*guna–quality, positive attributes or virtues. In the context of Bhagavadgita and Sankhya philosophy there are three gunas of matter. Sometimes guna is translated as phase or mode. Therefore the three gunas or phases of matter are:sattvagunarajo-guna and tamoguna.

sattva–the first of the three gunas of matter. Sometimes translated as goodness, the phase of sattva is characterized by harmony, lightness, peace, cleanliness, knowledge, etc.

rajas–the second of the three gunas of matter. Sometimes translated as passion, the phase of rajas is characterized by action, passion, the desire to do something, creation, etc.

tamas–the third of the three gunas of matter. Sometimes translated as darkness, the phase of tamas is characterized by darkness, ignorance, slowness, destruction, heaviness, disease, possessiveness, sense of being the ‘doer’ etc.

*prakrti–material nature. In sankhya philosophy prakrti is comprised of eight elements: earth, water, fire, air, space, mind, intellect and ego. It is characterized by the three gunas:sattvarajas and tamas. Prakrti is female. Purusa is male.

*purusa–man, male. In sankhya philosophy purusa denotes the Supreme Male Principle in the universe. Its counterpart is prakrti.

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