Monday, 24 November 2014

Life & Teachings of Bombay's Fiery Sage of Liberating Wisdom



Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj (Mahârâj, 1897-1981)—Life & Teachings of Bombay's Fiery Sage of Liberating Wisdom
© Copyright 1981/2007, by Timothy Conway, Ph.D. (last revision: Dec. 8, 2007)

Every great once in a while, Absolute Awareness manifests within Its fascinating dream-play a powerful dream-figure to talk about the nature of the dream and to indicate the transcendent Absolute. Such a figure was Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, a sage of the highest order, a tremendously gifted teacher who spoke directly from Absolute “pure Awareness, unborn Reality,” and thus from real spiritual authority.

The Maharaj was quite clear that all personalities, including his own, and all memories of personal history, are ultimately an illusion, devoid of any real, lasting substance, for there is only the one transpersonal Divine Self. When asked about his past, the Maharaj declared that there is no such thing as the past—nothing has ever really happened!

Bearing this in mind, we shall speak on the conventional level, the level of historical events within the dream of life, to note something of the sage Nisargadatta's earth-side history. His biography, which he himself once dismissed as a “dead matter,” is nevertheless useful in displaying or modeling for us the shining virtues of total dedication, one-pointedness, faith in and obedience to the Inner Guru and outer Guru, self-sacrifice, simplicity, loving-kindness, and all-embracing compassion.

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Also includes:
  • Excerpt from a birthday discourse given by Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj at Bombay's Laxmibaug Hall
  • Maharaj, in conversation with journalist Peter Brent, circa 1970
  • Maharaj, in conversation with longtime spiritual aspirant Neal Rosner in 1979
  • Maharaj, in conversations with Jean Marc and Mahindra Thakur, Marc's friend and translator

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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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