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Nisargardatta Maharaj quotes

As you think yourself to be, so you think the world to be. If you imagine yourself as separate
from the world, the world will appear as separate from you and you will experience desire and
fear. I do not see the world as separate from me and so there is nothing for me to desire or fear.

There is the identity of what you are, and there is the person superimposed on it. All you know is
the person. The identity, which is not a person, you do not know, for you never doubted, never
asked yourself the crucial question: "Who am I". The identity is the witness of the person, and
sadhana consists in shifting the emphasis from the superficial and changeful person to the
immutable and ever-present witness.

At present your being is mixed up with experiencing. All you need is to unravel being from the
tangle of experiences. Once you have known pure being, without being this or that, you will
discern it among experiences and you will no longer be misled by names and forms. Self-
limitation is the very essence of personality.

To be a living being is not the ultimate state; there is something beyond, much more wonderful,
which is neither being nor non-being, neither living nor not-living. It is a state of pure awareness,
beyond the limitations of space and time. Once the illusion that the body-mind is oneself is
abandoned, death loses its terror, it becomes a part of living.

Time is endless, though limited, eternity is in the split moment of the now. We miss it because
the mind is ever shuttling between the past and the future. It will not stop to focus the now. It can
be done with comparative ease, if interest is aroused.

To become free, your attention must be drawn to the "I am", the witness. Of course, the knower
and the known are one, not two, but to break the spell of the known the knower must be brought
to the forefront. Neither is primary, both are reflections in memory of the ineffable experience,
ever new and ever now, untranslatable, quicker than the mind.

Both sleep and waking are misnomers. We are only dreaming. True waking and true sleeping
only the sage knows. We dream that we are awake, we dream that we are asleep. The three states
are only varieties of the dream state. Treating everything as a dream liberates. As long as you
give reality to dreams, you are their slave. By imagining that you are born as so-and-so, you
become a slave of the so-and-so. The essence of slavery is to imagine yourself to be a process, to
have past and future, to have history. In fact, we have no history, we are not a process, we do not
develop, nor decay; so see all as a dream and stay out of it.

The limited only is perfectible. The unlimited is already perfect. You are perfect, only you don't
know it. Learn to know yourself and you will discover wonders.
If you are still dreaming it is because you have not really understood that you are dreaming. This
is the essence of bondage - the mixing of the real with the unreal. In your present state, only the
sense "I am" refers to reality; the "what" and the "how I am" are illusions imposed by destiny, or
accident.

Having realized that I am with, and yet beyond the world, I became free from all desire and fear.
I did not reason out that I should be free, I found myself free, unexpectedly, without the least
effort.

Love is not selective, desire is selective. In love there are no strangers.

A quiet mind is all you need. All else will happen rightly, once your mind is quiet. As the sun on
rising makes the world active, so does self-awareness affect changes in the mind. In the light of
calm and steady self-awareness, inner energies wake up and work miracles without any effort on
your part. Do understand that you are destined for enlightenment. Co-operate with your destiny,
don't go against it, don't thwart it. Allow it to fulfill itself. All you have to do is to give attention
to the obstacles created by the foolish mind.

There are no steps to self-realization. There is nothing gradual about it. It happens suddenly and
is irrevocably. 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 illusion is left behind.

The body appears in your mind, your mind is the content of your consciousness; you are the
motionless witness of the river of consciousness which changes eternally without changing you
in any way. Your own changelessness is so obvious that you do not notice it. The universe is in
you and cannot be without you. The world exists in memory, memory comes into consciousness;
consciousness exists in awareness and awareness is the reflection of the light on the waters of
existence.

The witness attitude is also faith -- in oneself. You believe that you are not what you experience
and look at everything as from a distance. There is no effort in witnessing. You understand you
are the witness only and the understanding acts. If in the state of witnessing you ask yourself;
"who am I?" the answer comes at once, though it is wordless and silent. Cease to be the object
and become the subject of all that happens; once having turned within, you will find yourself --
beyond the subject. When you have found yourself, you will find that you are also beyond the
object, that both the subject and the object exist in you, but you are neither.

Whatever may be the experience, true or false, the fact of an experience taking place cannot be
denied. It is its own proof. Watch yourself closely and you will see that whatever be the content
of consciousness, the witnessing of it does not depend on the content. Awareness is itself and
does not depend on the content. Awareness is itself and does not change with the event. The
event may be pleasant or unpleasant, minor or important, awareness is the same. Take note of the
peculiar nature of pure awareness, its natural self-identity without the least trace of self-
consciousness and go to the root of it, and you will soon realize that awareness is your true
nature and nothing you may be aware of, you can call your own.