All your going and coming, seeking pleasure, loving and hating – all this shows that you struggle against limitations, self-imposed or accepted. In your ignorance, you make mistakes and cause pain to yourself and others, but the urge is there and shall not be denied. The same urge that seeks birth, happiness and death, shall seek understanding and liberation. It is like a spark of fire in a cargo of cotton. You may no know about it, but sooner or later the ship will burst in flames. Liberation is a natural process and, in the long run, inevitable. But it is within your power to bring it into the now.
— Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj – I Am That – Chapter 91
(Photo by Jozef Nauwelaerts)
Q: Is self-realization so important?
M: Without it, you will be consumed by desires and fears, repeating themselves meaninglessly in endless suffering. Most of the people do not know that there can be an end to pain. But once they have heard the good news, obviously going beyond all strife and struggle is the most urgent task that can be. You know that you can be free and now it is up to you. Either you remain forever hungry and thirsty, longing, searching, grabbing, holding, ever losing and and sorrowing, or go out wholeheartedly in search of the state of timeless perfection to which nothing can be added, from which nothing taken away. In it all desires and fears are absent, not because they were given up, but because they have lost their meaning.
— Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj – I Am That – Chapter 69 – p. 315-316
You are in a play, playing a role, and believing that the role and the play are both real. Why would you believe such nonsense? Because “your mind” is the playwright, the author of every scene.
When Maharaj said, “You are not in the world…the world is in you,” what did he mean? He meant, “You are not in the world,” that is, there is no “you” that is real or in any world. “The world is in you” means that the world is in your “mind” and is nothing more than a figment of your programming-and-conditioning-induced imaginings.
— Floyd Henderson
The world does not yield to changing. By its very nature it is painful and transient. See it as it is and divest yourself of all desire and fear. When the world does not hold and bind you, it becomes an abode of joy and beauty. You can be happy in the world only when you are free of it.
— Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj – I am That – p. 504
Once you realize that the world is your own projection, you are free of it. You need not free yourself of a world that does not exist, except in your own imagination! However is the picture, beautiful or ugly, you are painting it and you are not bound by it. Realize that there is nobody to force it on you, that it is due to the habit of taking the imaginary to be real. See the imaginary as imaginary and be free of fear.
— Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj – I Am That
There are no steps to self-realization. There is nothing gradual about it. It happens suddenly and is irreversible. You rotate into a new dimension, seen from which the previous ones are mere abstractions. Just like on sunrise you see things as they are, so on self-realization you see everything as it is. The world of illusions is left behind.
— Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj – I am That
That which you are, your true self, you love it, and whatever you do, you do for your own happiness. To find it, to know it, to cherish it is you basic urge. Be true to your own self, love your self absolutely. Do not pretend that you love others as yourself. Unless you have realized them as one with yourself, you cannot love them. Don’t pretend to be what you are not, don’t refuse to be what you are. Your love of others is the result of self-knowledge, not its cause. Without self-realization, no virtue is genuine. When you know beyond all doubting that the same life flows through all that is and you are that life, you will love all naturally and spontaneously.
When you realize the depth and fullness of your love of yourself, you know that every living being and the entire universe are included in your affection. But when you look at anything as separate from you, you cannot love it for you are afraid of it. Alienation causes fear, and fear deepens alienation. It is a vicious circle. Only self-realization can break it.
— Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj – I am That
The silence before the words were spoken,
is it different from the silence
that came after?
— Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj – I Am That – p. 359
The mind that projects the world, colours it its own way. When you meet a man, he is a stranger. When you marry him, he becomes your own self. When you quarrel, he becomes your enemy. It is your mind’s attitude that determines what he is to you.
— Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj – I Am That – p. 59