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The Ultimate Medicine (As Prescribed by Shri Nisargadata Maharaj)

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Foreword   It was a great privilege to visit Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj a little more than a year before his death in September 1981. My journey had not been made on a whim, as prior to that I had been studying his teachings for several years. And, as also had happened to many others, I found myself with an irresistible urge to spend time in his physical presence.   The Maharaj I met was clearly a very old man, in his early eigh...

Foreword

 

It was a great privilege to visit Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj a little more than a year before his death in September 1981. My journey had not been made on a whim, as prior to that I had been studying his teachings for several years. And, as also had happened to many others, I found myself with an irresistible urge to spend time in his physical presence.

 

The Maharaj I met was clearly a very old man, in his early eighties. Despite that, he struck me by his energy and vigor, and above all by his relentless passion for sharing his understanding. I also noticed the warm welcome he extended to those with a genuine desire to learn from him, although this did not preclude sharp words or pointed criticisms directed at those who only wanted to show off their book learning or self-assumed importance.

 

My memories of the events are today as vivid as if they had happened yesterday, and the precept of a truly human yet utterly liberating spirituality remains the guiding beacon in my life. I will forever remain indebted to this remarkable, unpretentious, but clearly fully realized soul for all that he gave and continues to give me.

 

The talks found in this volume are carefully edited transcripts of the tapes made of conversations I and others had with Maharaj. Lately, there has been some argument as to which of his published works best represents the essence of the teachings, since it had become apparent that in the works following I Am That Maharaj, given his age and medical condition, was addressing his visitors much more tersely and with less patience-a teaching style from which some of his followers appear to be drawing erroneous conclusions. To mix metaphors for a moment, I would therefore advise any intending student of Maharaj's teachings to make as his main course a profound study of I Am That and enhance this meal with the fine wines of Robert Powell's thoughtfully and devotedly edited later volumes. It has been my experience that many who study this kind of teaching seem to be under the impression that merely listening to an intellectual com- mentary and a little subsequent reflection on them, to the point of acceptance, automatically grants them realization. Nothing could be further from the truth. Rather I believe that a clear and detailed intellectual grasp of the teaching is essential but still only a first step. Next, students must reflect on the meaning of these teachings, to see how they contradict and undermine the assumptions made about themselves that are acted out in their everyday lives in a search for happiness and fulfilment.

 

The final and most significant step is the single-minded application and translation of this initial intellectual under- standing into the "inner work" and a profound behavioural and attitudinal change; that is, the transformation of our limited, self-defining consciousness into the unbounded and unfettered awareness that is the Self of all. This, I believe, is the essence of spiritual emancipation.

 

My strong feeling is that Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj will be increasingly recognized as a wholly admirable star in the spiritual firmament of our age. I pray that Robert Powell will see his considerable efforts result in a still wider appreciation of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj's wisdom, and I add my vote of thanks to him for all his fine work in this area.

 

Preface

 

Most of the discourses presented in these pages were given within the last year before Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj's death and can therefore be considered, like those published in The Nectar of Immortality, as the final teachings in more than one sense of the word. They are characterized by Maharaj's desire, in the waning days of his life, to address only the key issues involved and to do so on the deepest level possible. One cannot help but detect a great sense of urgency and a desire to economize on his dwindling physical energy. This did not allow him to give much time to beginners in dealing with repetitive questions and elementary principles-what Maharaj used to call "kindergarten spirituality.

 

Some readers of the earlier Nisargadatta books have told me they have noticed several inconsistencies in the material. They must bear in mind, however, that it does not concern a textbook of spirituality; these writings present a record of private conversations with a wide variety of inquirers with greatly different backgrounds, levels of spiritual development and capacities for understanding. Maharaj addressed each of his visitors according to his particular needs and circumstances. Thus, one person might be told to do a lot of meditation, and another, more advanced student, that there is no need for this at all and, in fact, it would/be quite useless. He also used words in a very flexible way to suit the occasion. Whereas in the field of science and philosophy, absolute consistency may be regarded as a desirable goal, in the area of spirituality such a requirement would indicate an inappropriate approach to a far deeper and subtler subject, and a sign of remaining ignorance. My advice to readers, therefore, is to accept the material in a holistic manner rather than attempting a microscopic, comparative, and analytical evaluation of textual components. One's openness or receptivity may well hold the key to any spiritual progress.

 

 

Contents

 

 

FOREWORD

XI

 

PREFACE

XIII

 

PUBLISHER'S FOREWORD

XV

1.

STAY PUT IN BEINGNESS AND ALL DESIRE TO BE WILL MELT AWAY

1

2.

WHATEVER HAS SPRUNG FROM THE FIVE ELEMENTS IS PURE IGNORANCE

13

3.

THE ULTIMATE MEDICINE

19

4.

ONCE YOU KNOW YOU EXIST YOU WANT TO REMAIN ETERNALLY

39

5.

THE GREATEST MIRACLE IS THE NEWS "I AM"

63

6.

WHATEVER You CAN FORGET CANNOT BE THE ETERNAL

83

7.

You ARE THAT WHICH OBSERVES THE COMING AND GOING OF THE CONSCIOUSNESS

105

8.

To AJNANI, ALL IS ENTERTAINMENT

127

9.

EVENTUALLY, You HAVE TO GIVE UP THIS ASSOCIATION WITH THE CONSCIOUSNESS

149

10.

THE ABSOLUTE CANNOT BE REMEMBERED BECAUSE IT CANNOT BE FORGOTTEN

173

11.

UNDERSTAND YOUR OWN INCARNATION

191

 

EPILOGUE

207

 

GLOSSARY

209

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY

215

 

Sample Pages



Item Code: NAK534 Author: Robert Powell Cover: Paperback Edition: 2008 Publisher: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Pvt. Ltd. ISBN: 9788120814189 Language: English Size: 8.5 inch x 5.5 inch Pages: 216 Other Details: Weight of the Book: 290 gms
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