Thursday, 26 March 2015

Direct understanding beyond which there is nothing


Nisargadatta Maharaj always laid great emphasis on the fact that a man with a dull intellect would never be able to understand even vaguely what he was talking about, and that he would ask such a person to do japa or some other Sadhana so that his psyche could gradually become purer and enable him, perhaps in due course, to get the necessary intellectual capacity that could lead to that direct understanding beyond which there was nothing to aspire for or work for. He also made it absolutely clear that the intellect he was talking about was not the kind of intellect that enabled people to pass examinations and earn university degrees but the kind of intellect that has a large content of intuitive insight. What Maharaj had in mind regarding the type of intellect that was necessary to absorb what he was trying to convey is beautifully illustrated by the well-known story of the Chinese sage Hui-Neng, who is said to have had his first enlightenment when, even as a boy, he happened to hear someone reading the Vajrachhedika. He felt so overwhelmed that almost without any further thought he set out for Hung-Jan’s monastery for a formal initiation and spiritual training. It would, therefore, seem that he had the original satori without the benefit of any formal teaching from any master, and, what is more, he is known to have been at that time an illiterate peasant. It may be recalled that Ramana Maharshi too had his awakening without the guidance of any specific Guru when one day without any warning, he was overtaken by a sudden violent fear of death; he laid himself down and intensely considered the phenomenon of death; what does death mean? What is it that is dying? Out of that intensity of concentration came with the deepest possible conviction that it was the body that dies and that he was the spirit transcending the body. In his own words, “From that moment onwards the “I” or Self focused attention on itself… Absorption in the self continued unbroken from that time on.”

excerpts from Explorations into the Eternal - 
 

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About Nisargadatta Maharaj

Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj was an Indian spiritual teacher and philosopher of Advaita (Nondualism), and a Guru, belonging to the Navnath Sampradaya. Sri Nisargadatta, with his direct and minimalistic explanation of non-dualism, is considered the most famous teacher of Advaita since Ramana Maharshi. In 1973, the publication of his most famous and widely-translated book, "I AM THAT", an English translation of his talks in Marathi by Maurice Frydman, brought him worldwide recognition and followers.

According to Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, the purpose of spirituality is simply to know who you are. His discussions are not for academic scholars. He is a rebellious spirit, abrupt in his style of discussion, provocative, and immensely profound, cutting to the core and wasting little effort on inessentials. He talked about the 'direct way' of knowing the Final Reality, in which one becomes aware of one's original nature through mental discrimination, breaking the mind's false identification with the ego, knowing that "You are already That".
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