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Nisargadatta on the Basics

“There are so many who take the dawn for the noon, a momentary experience for full realization and destroy even the little they gain by excess of pride. Humility and silence are essential for a sadhaka, however advanced. Only a fully ripened gnani can allow himself complete spontaneity."

"You seem to want instant insight, forgetting that the instant is always preceded by a long preparation. The fruit falls suddenly, but the ripening takes time...Whatever you do for the sake of truth, will take you to truth...Only be earnest and honest. The shape it takes hardly matters...The very facts of repetiton, of struggling on and on and of endurance and perseverance, in spite of boredom and despair and complete lack of conviction are really crucial."

"Devotion to your goal makes you live a clean and orderly life, given to the search for truth and to helping people, and realization makes noble virtue easy and spontaneous, by removing for good the obstacles in the shape of desires and fears and wrong ideas...The entire purpose of a clean and well-ordered life is to liberate man from the thraldom of chaos and the burden of sorrow."

"Just keep in mind the feeling 'I am', merge in it, till your mind and feeling become one. By repeated attempts you will stumble on the right balance of attention and affection and your mind will be firmly established in the thought-feeling 'I am'. "

Questioner: "Then what is needed?"
Nisargadatta: "Distrust your mind, and go beyond."
Questioner: "What shall I find beyond the mind?"
Nisargadatta: "The direct experience of being, knowing and loving."
Questioner: "How does one go beyond the mind?"
Nisargadatta: "There are many starting points - they all lead to the same goal. You may begin with selfless work, abandoning the fruits of action; you may then give up thinking and in the end give up all desires. Here, giving up (tyaga) is the operational factor. Or you may not bother about anything you want, or think, or do and just stay put in the thought and feeling 'I am", focussing 'I am" firmly in your mind. All kind of experience may come to you -- remain unmoved in the knowledge that all perceivable is transient, and only the 'I am' endures."

"Whatever name you give it: will, or steady purpose, or one pointedness of mind, you come back to earnestness, sincerity, honesty. When you are in dead earnest, you bend every incident, every second of your life to your purpose. You do not waste time and energy on other things. You are totally dedicated, call it will, or love, or plain honesty. We are complex beings, at war within and without. We contradict ourselves all the time, undoing today the work of yesterday. No wonder we are stuck. A little of integrity would make a lot of difference."

"Collect and strengthen your mind and you will find that your thoughts and feelings, words and actions will align themselves in the direction of your will."

[This is a long way from the approach that says just see you are awareness and that there is no one in control]

"You need purity of heart and mind, which comes through earnest application in daily life of whatever life you have understood. There is no such thing as compromise in Yoga...Nothing can block you so effectively as compromise, for it shows lack of earnestness, without which nothing can be done."

"Begin by disassociating yourself from your mind. Resolutely remind yourself that you are not the mind and that its problems are not yours...Go on pondering, wondering, being anxious to find a way. Be conscious of yourself, watch your mind, give it your full attention. Don't look for quick results; there may be none within your noticing. Unknown to you, your psyche will undergo a change, there will be more clarity in your thinking, charity in your feeling, purity in your behaviour. You need not aim at these - you will witness the change all the same. For, what you are now is the result of inattention and what you become will be the fruit of attention."

"Clarify your mind, purify your heart, sanctify your life - this is the quickest way to a change of your world...Problems created by desires and fears and wrong ideas can be solved only on the level of the mind. You must conquer your own mind and for this you must go beyond it...To go beyond the mind, you must have your mind in perfect order. You cannot leave a mess behind and go beyond. The mess will bog you up. 'Pick up your rubbish' seems to be the Universal law. And a just law too."

"just remember yourself. 'I am', is enough to heal your mind and take you beyond. Just have some trust. Commonsense too will tell you that to fulfill a desire you must keep your mind on it. If you want to know your true nature, you must have yourself in mind all the time, until the secret of your being stands revealed...To help others, one must be beyond the need of help."

"It is not the worship of the person that is crucial, but the steadiness and depth of your devotion to the task. Remember, wonder, ponder, live with it, love it, grow into it, grow with it, make it your own - the word of your Guru, outer or inner. Put in all and you will get all. I was doing it. All my time I was giving to my Guru and to what he told me...It is easy, if you are earnest...When you are concerned with truth, with reality, you must question every thing, your very life. By asserting the necessity of sensory and intellectual experience you narrow down your inquiry to search for comfort...Question every urge, hold no desire legitimate. Empty of possession, physical and mental, free of all self-concern, be open for discovery...Have your Guru always in your heart and remember his instructions - this is real abidance with the true."
[Very traditional]

Questioner: "How can the absolute be the result of a process?"
Nisargadatta: "You are right, the relative cannot result in the absolute. But the relative can block the absolute, just as the non-churning of the cream may prevent butter from separating. It is the real that creates the urge; the inner prompts the outer and the outer responds in interest and effort...Spiritual practice is will asserted and re-asserted."
[So apparently effort at times is required]

"Meet your own self. Be with your own self, listen to it, obey it, cherish it, keep it in mind endlessly. You need no other guide. As long as your urge for truth affects your daily life, all is well with you. Live your life without hurting anybody. Harmlessness is a most powerful form of Yoga and it will take you speedily to your goal. This is what I call Nisarga yoga, the natural yoga."

- from   I AM THAT