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I AM THAT: Dialogues of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

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    发表于 2019-3-14 19:58:58 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
    I AM THAT: Dialogues of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
    内容为求道者与Nisargadatta Maharaj的对话

    The seeker is he who is in search of himself.
    Give up all questions except one: ‘Who am I?’ After all, the only fact you are sure of is that you are. The ‘I am’ is certain. The ‘I am this’ is not. Struggle to find out what you are in reality.
    To know what you are, you must first investigate and know what you are not.
    Discover all that you are not -- body, feelings thoughts, time, space, this or that -- nothing, concrete or abstract, which you perceive can be you. The very act of perceiving shows that you are not what you perceive.
    The clearer you understand on the level of mind you can be described in negative terms only, the quicker will you come to the end of your search and realise that you are the limitless being.

    - Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

    节选

    1. The Sense of ‘I am’
    Questioner: It is a matter of daily experience that on waking up the world suddenly appears. Where does it come from?
    Maharaj: Before anything can come into being there must be somebody to whom it comes. All appearance and disappearance presupposes a change against some changeless background.
    Q: Before waking up I was unconscious.
    M: In what sense? Having forgotten, or not having experienced? Don’t you experience even when unconscious? Can you exist without knowing? A lapse in memory: is it a proof of non-existence?
    And can you validly talk about your own non-existence as an actual experience? You cannot even say that your mind did not exist. Did you not wake up on being called? And on waking up, was it not the sense ‘I am’ that came first? Some seed consciousness must be existing even during sleep, or swoon. On waking up the experience runs: ‘I am -- the body -- in the world.’ It may appear to arise in succession but in fact it is all simultaneous, a single idea of having a body in a world. Can there be the sense of ‘I am’ without being somebody or other?
    Q: I am always somebody with its memories and habits. I know no other ‘I am’.
    M: Maybe something prevents you from knowing? When you do not know something which others know, what do you do?
    Q: I seek the source of their knowledge under their instruction.
    M: Is it not important to you to know whether you are a mere body, or something else? Or, maybe nothing at all? Don’t you see that all your problems are your body’s problems -- food, clothing, shelter, family, friends, name, fame, security, survival -- all these lose their meaning the moment you realise that you may not be a mere body.
    Q: What benefit is there in knowing that I am not the body?
    M: Even to say that you are not the body is not quite true. In a way you are all the bodies, hearts and minds and much more. Go deep into the sense of ‘I am’ and you will find. How do you find a thing you have mislaid or forgotten? You keep it in your mind until you recall it. The sense of being, of 'I am' is the first to emerge. Ask yourself whence it comes, or just watch it quietly. When the mind stays in the 'I am' without moving, you enter a state which cannot be verbalised but can be experienced. All you need to do is try and try again. After all the sense ‘I am’ is always with you, only you have attached all kinds of things to it -- body, feelings, thoughts, ideas, possessions etc. All these self-identifications are misleading. Because of them you take yourself to be what you are not.
    Q: Then what am I?
    M: It is enough to know what you are not. You need not know what you are. For as long as knowledge means description in terms of what is already known, perceptual, or conceptual, there can be no such thing as self-knowledge, for what you are cannot be described, except as except as total negation. All you can say is: ‘I am not this, I am not that’. You cannot meaningfully say ‘this is what I am’. It just makes no sense. What you can point out as 'this' or 'that' cannot be yourself. Surely, you can not be 'something' else. You are nothing perceivable, or imaginable. Yet, without you there can be neither perception nor imagination. You observe the heart feeling, the mind thinking, the body acting; the very act of perceiving shows that you are not what you perceive. Can there be perception, experience without you? An experience must ‘belong'. Somebody must come and declare it as his own. Without an experiencer the experience is not real. It is the experiencer that imparts reality to experience. An experience which you cannot have, of what value is it to you?
    Q: The sense of being an experiencer, the sense of ‘I am’, is it not also an experience?
    M: Obviously, every thing experienced is an experience. And in every experience there arises the
    experiencer of it. Memory creates the illusion of continuity. In reality each experience has its own experiencer and the sense of identity is due to the common factor at the root of all experiencer-experience relations. Identity and continuity are not the same. Just as each flower has its own colour, but all colours are caused by the same light, so do many experiences appear in the undivided and indivisible awareness, each separate in memory, identical in essence. This essence is the root, the foundation, the timeless and spaceless 'possibility' of all experience.
    Q: How do I get at it?
    M: You need not get at it, for you are it. It will get at you, if you give it a chance. Let go your attachment to the unreal and the real will swiftly and smoothly step into its own. Stop imagining yourself being or doing this or that and the realisation that you are the source and heart of all will dawn upon you. With this will come great love which is not choice or predilection, nor attachment, but a power which makes all things love-worthy and lovable.
    2. Obsession with the body
    Questioner: Maharaj, you are sitting in front of me and I am here at your feet. What is the basic difference between us?
    Maharaj: There is no basic difference.
    Q: Still there must be some real difference, I come to you, you do not come to me.
    M: Because you imagine differences, you go here and there in search of ‘superior’ people.
    Q: You too are a superior person. You claim to know the real, while I do not.
    M: Did I ever tell you that you do not know and, therefore, you are inferior? Let those who invented such distinctions prove them. I do not claim to know what you do not. In fact, I know much less than you do.
    Q: Your words are wise, your behaviour noble, your grace all-powerful.
    M: I know nothing about it all and see no difference between you and me. My life is a succession of events, just like yours. Only I am detached and see the passing show as a passing show, while you stick to things and move along with them.
    Q: What made you so dispassionate?
    M: Nothing in particular. It so happened that I trusted my Guru. He told me I am nothing but my self and I believed him. Trusting him, I behaved accordingly and ceased caring for what was not me, nor mine.
    Q: Why were you lucky to trust your teacher fully, while our trust is nominal and verbal?
    M: Who can say? It happened so. Things happen without cause and reason and, after all, what does it matter, who is who? Your high opinion of me is your opinion only. Any moment you may change it. Why attach importance to opinions, even your own?
    Q: Still, you are different. Your mind seems to be always quiet and happy. And miracles happen round you.
    M: I know nothing about miracles, and I wonder whether nature admits exceptions to her laws, unless we agree that everything is a miracle. As to my mind, there is no such thing. There is consciousness in which everything happens. It is quite obvious and within the experience of everybody. You just do not look carefully enough. Look well, and see what I see.
    Q: What do you see?
    M: I see what you too could see, here and now, but for the wrong focus of your attention. You give no attention to your self. Your mind is all with things, people and ideas, never with your self. Bring your self into focus, become aware of your own existence. See how you function, watch the motives and the results of your actions. Study the prison you have built around yourself by inadvertence. By knowing what you are not, you come to know your self. The way back to your self is through refusal and rejection. One thing is certain: the real is not imaginary, it is not a product of the mind. Even the sense ‘I am’ is not continuous, though it is a useful pointer; it shows where to seek, but not what to seek. Just have a good look at it. Once you are convinced that you cannot say truthfully about your self anything except ‘I am’, and that nothing that can be pointed at, can be your self, the need for the ‘I am’ is over -- you are no longer intent on verbalising what you are. All you need is to get rid of the tendency to define your self. All definitions apply to your body only and to its expressions. Once this obsession with the body goes, you will revert to your natural state, spontaneously and effortlessly. The only difference between us is that I am aware of my natural state, while you are bemused. Just like gold made into ornaments has no advantage over gold dust, except when the mind makes it so, so are we one in being -- we differ only in appearance. We discover it by being earnest, by searching, enquiring, questioning daily and hourly, by giving one's life to this discovery.
    3. The Living Present
    Questioner: As I can see, there is nothing wrong with my body nor with my real being. Both are not of my making and need not be improved upon. What has gone wrong is the ‘inner body’, call it mind, consciousness, antahkarana, whatever the name.
    Maharaj: What do you consider to be wrong with your mind?
    Q: It is restless, greedy of the pleasant and afraid of the unpleasant.
    M: What is wrong with its seeking the pleasant and shirking the unpleasant? Between the banks of pain and pleasure the river of life flows. It is only when the mind refuses to flow with life, and gets stuck at the banks, that it becomes a problem. By flowing with life I mean acceptance -- letting come what comes and go what goes. Desire not, fear not, observe the actual, as and when it happens, for you are not what happens, you are to whom it happens. Ultimately even the observer you are not. You are the ultimate potentiality of which the all-embracing consciousness is the manifestation and
    expression.
    Q: Yet, between the body and the self there lies a cloud of thoughts and feelings, which neither server the body nor the self. These thoughts and feelings are flimsy, transient and meaningless, mere mental dust that blinds and chokes, yet they are there, obscuring and destroying.
    M: Surely, the memory of an event cannot pass for the event itself. Nor can the anticipation. There is something exceptional, unique, about the present event, which the previous, or the coming do not have. There is a livingness about it, an actuality; it stands out as if illuminated. There is the ‘stamp of reality’ on the actual, which the past and the future do not have.
    Q: What gives the present that 'stamp of reality’?
    M: There is nothing peculiar in the present event to make it different from the past and future. For a moment the past was actual and the future will become so. What makes the present so different? Obviously, my presence. I am real for I am always now, in the present, and what is with me now shares in my reality. The past is in memory, the future -- in imagination. There is nothing in the present event itself that makes it stand out as real. It may be some simple, periodical occurrence, like the striking of the clock. In spite of our knowing that the successive strokes are identical, the present stroke is quite different from the previous one and the next -- as remembered, or expected. A thing focussed in the now is with me, for I am ever present; it is my own reality that I impart to the present event.
    Q: But we deal with things remembered as if they were real.
    M: We consider memories, only when they come into the present The forgotten is not counted until one is reminded -- which implies, bringing into the now.
    Q: Yes, I can see there is in the now some unknown factor that gives momentary reality to the transient actuality.
    M: You need not say it is unknown, for you see it in constant operation. Since you were born, has it ever changed? Things and thoughts have been changing all the time. But the feeling that what is now is real has never changed, even in dream.
    Q: In deep sleep there is no experience of the present reality.
    M: The blankness of deep sleep is due entirely to the lack of specific memories. But a general memory of well-being is there. There is a difference in feeling when we say ‘I was deeply asleep’ from ‘I was absent’.
    Q: We shall repeat the question we began with: between life’s source and life’s expression (which is the body), there is the mind and its ever-changeful states. The stream of mental states is endless, meaningless and painful. Pain is the constant factor. What we call pleasure is but a gap, an interval between two painful states. Desire and fear are the weft and warp of living, and both are made of pain. Our question is: can there be a happy mind?
    M: Desire is the memory of pleasure and fear is the memory of pain. Both make the mind restless. Moments of pleasure are merely gaps in the stream of pain. How can the mind be happy?
    Q: That is true when we desire pleasure or expect pain. But there are moments of unexpected, unanticipated joy. Pure joy, uncontaminated by desire -- unsought, undeserved, God-given.
    M: Still, joy is joy only against a background of pain.
    Q: Is pain a cosmic fact, or purely mental?
    M: The universe is complete and where there is completeness, where nothing lacks, what can give pain?
    Q: The Universe may be complete as a whole, but incomplete in details.
    M: A part of the whole seen in relation to the whole is also complete. Only when seen in isolation it becomes deficient and thus a seat of pain. What makes for isolation?
    Q: Limitations of the mind, of course. The mind cannot see the whole for the part.
    M: Good enough. The mind, by its very nature, divides and opposes. Can there be some other mind, which unites and harmonises, which sees the whole in the part and the part as totally related to the whole?
    Q: The other mind -- where to look for it?
    M: In the going beyond the limiting, dividing and opposing mind. In ending the mental process as we know it. When this comes to an end, that mind is born.
    Q: In that mind, the problem of joy and sorrow exist no longer?
    M: Not as we know them, as desirable or repugnant. It becomes rather a question of love seeking expression and meeting with obstacles. The inclusive mind is love in action, battling against circumstances, initially frustrated, ultimately victorious.
    Q: Between the spirit and the body, is it love that provides the bridge?
    M: What else? Mind creates the abyss, the heart crosses it.


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