I have been following Nisargadatta Maharaj. I have read all his dialogues, books, and watched most of his videos. But I feel I have been just sticking his words as knowledge in my mind. What you bring to me is something alive, I ‘see’ and I ‘feel’ whatever you speak, you speak from your inner being, or whatever you call it. And I am very grateful for that. A bow to you. Or in Indian tradition – Pranaam.
I have one question which you will maybe not answer, or just answer in the typical Advaita way. Yet I will ask: are you living in the ‘not one, not two’ state as it is said in the Zen tradition? Are you living not only as a person but as pure Self? Are you beyond body and mind?
Nisargadatta was a very rare teacher. His answer to this question was very clear, honest and direct – he answered: “Yes, I am not of this world. A Gnani is not of this body-mind-world.”
Absolutely speaking, nobody is of this world. Neither you, nor me, nor Nisargadatta Maharaj. So, Nisargadatta just stated the obvious when he said “I do not belong to this world”. It is a simple statement, not a declaration of his uniqueness. The question is: how useful is this statement to a seeker?
You have asked me: “Are you living not only as a person but as a pure Self? Are you beyond body and mind?”
To whom are you asking this question? If you are looking at me the body, then you will get an answer from me as a body. If you are addressing me the bundle of ideas and words, then you will get an answer from there. And do you have any way of verifying my answer? I can so easily say – “Yes, I am the Self”. But how will you know what I mean by this statement? And how will my statement help you?
Now consider: When you say “Prashant”, surely you mean something. What comes to your mind when you think of me? An image? A face? A voice? Some form does appear, does it not? All forms belong to this world. So, when you are already addressing me as a part of the world, it is of very little use if I say that I am not a part of this world.
As long as you- the fragment – is asking this question to Prashant – another fragment, surely pure Self is revealing itself to the fragments only as fragments.
Let the fragments first deeply and clearly know what it means to be a fragment. Pure Self can wait a little.
If you will come to India, and we will sit in front of each other, surely, firstly and foremostly, it will be two bodies sitting in front of each other. We will have to first acknowledge the fact of this world. The fact that you and I are bodies. That these are minds communicating to each other. That these are two fragments.
I am full of respect for the efforts you have made over the last several decades in search of the Self. But with me, our first task will be to see that our minds are full of notions and concepts, and one of those concepts is “Pure Self”. When we can see that the mind wants to have an image of everything, including the Self, then it becomes possible to get rid of images about the Self.