My question is: How to find the way to one's
Nisargadatta: Give up all questions except
one: "Who am l?" After all, the only fact you are
sure of is that you are. The "I am" is certain. The
"I am this" is not. Struggle to find out what you
are in reality.
Question: I am doing nothing else for the
last 60 years.
Nisargadatta: What is wrong with striving?
Why look for results? Striving itself is your real
Question: Striving is painful.
Nisargadatta: You make it so by seeking
results. Strive without seeking, struggle without
Question: Why has God made me as I am?
Nisargadatta: Which God are you talking
about? What is God? Is he not the very light by
which you ask the question? "I am" itself is God.
The seeking itself is God. In seeking you discover
that you are neither the body nor mind, and the
love of the Self in you is for the Self in all. The
two are one. The consciousness in you and the
consciousness in me, apparently two, really one,
seek unity and that is love.
Question: How am I to find that love?
Nisargadatta: What do you love now? The "I
am". Give your heart and mind to it, think of
nothing else. This, when effortless and natural, is
the highest state. In it love itself is the lover
and the beloved.
Question: Everybody wants to live, to exist.
Is it not self-love?
Nisargadatta: All desire has its source in
the self [jiva]. It is all a matter of
choosing the right desire.
Question: What is right and what is wrong
varies with habit and custom. Standards vary with
Nisargadatta: Discard all traditional
standards. Leave them to the hypocrites. Only what
liberates you from desire and fear and wrong ideas
is good. As long as you worry about sin and virtue
you will have no peace.
Question: I grant that sin and virtue are
social norms. But there may be also spiritual sins
and virtues. I mean by spiritual the Absolute. Is
there such a thing as absolute sin or absolute
Nisargadatta: Sin and virtue refer to a
person only. Without a sinful or virtuous person
what is sin or virtue? At the level of the Absolute
there are no persons; the ocean of pure Awareness
is neither virtuous nor sinful. Sin and virtue are
Question: Can I do away with such
Nisargadatta: Not as long as you think
yourself to be a person.
Question: By what sign shall l know that I
am beyond sin and virtue?
Nisargadatta: By being free from all desire
and fear, from the very idea of being a person. To
nourish the ideas "I am a sinner" or "I am not a
sinner" is sin. To identify oneself with the
particular is all the sin there is. The impersonal
is real, the personal appears and disappears. "I
am" is the impersonal Being. "I am this" is the
person. The person is relative and the pure Being
Question: Surely pure Being is not
unconscious, nor is it devoid of discrimination.
How can it be beyond sin and virtue? Just tell us,
please, has it intelligence or not?
Nisargadatta: All these questions arise from
your believing yourself to be a person. Go beyond
the personal and see.
Question: What exactly do you mean when you
ask me to stop being a person?
Nisargadatta: I do not ask you to stop being
that you cannot. I ask you only to stop
imagining that you were born, have parents, are a
body, will die and so on. Just try, make a
beginning it is not as hard as you
Question: To think oneself as the personal
is the sin of the impersonal.
Nisargadatta: Again the personal point of
view! Why do you insist on polluting the impersonal
with your ideas of sin and virtue? It just does not
apply. The impersonal cannot be described in terms
of good and bad. It is Being Wisdom
Love all absolute. Where is the scope for
sin there? And virtue is only the opposite of
Question: We talk of divine virtue.
Nisargadatta: True virtue is divine nature
[swarupa]. What you are really is your
virtue. But the opposite of sin which you call
virtue is only obedience born out of fear.
Question: Then why all effort at being
Nisargadatta: It keeps you on the move. You
go on and on till you find God. Then God takes you
into Himself and makes you as He is.
Question: The same action is considered
natural at one point and a sin at another. What
makes it sinful?
Nisargadatta: Whatever you do against your
better knowledge is sin.
Question: Knowledge depends on memory.
Nisargadatta: Remembering your Self is
virtue, forgetting your Self is sin. It all boils
down to the mental or psychological link between
the Spirit and matter. We may call the link psyche
[antahkarana]. When the psyche is raw,
undeveloped, quite primitive, it is subject to
gross illusions. As it grows in breadth and
sensitivity, it becomes a perfect link between pure
matter and pure Spirit and gives meaning to matter
and expression to Spirit.
There is the material world [mahadakash]
and the spiritual [paramakash]. Between
lies the universal mind [chidakash] which
is also the universal heart [premakash]. It
is wise love that makes the two one.
Question: Some people are stupid, some are
intelligent. The difference is in their psyche. The
ripe ones had more experience behind them. Just
like a child grows by eating and drinking, sleeping
and playing, so is man's psyche shaped by all he
thinks and feels and does, until it is perfect
enough to serve as a bridge between the Spirit and
the body. As a bridge permits the traffic between
the banks, so does the psyche bring together the
Source and its expression.
Nisargadatta: Call it love. The bridge is
Question: Ultimately all is experience.
Whatever we think, feel, do is experience. Behind
it is the experiencer. So all we know consists of
these two, the experiencer and the experience. But
the two are really one the experiencer alone
is the experience. Still, the experiencer takes the
experience to be outside. In the same way the
Spirit and the body are one; they only appear as
Nisargadatta: To the Spirit there is no
Question: To whom then does the second
appear? It seems to me that duality is an illusion
induced by the imperfection of the psyche. When the
psyche is perfect, duality is no longer seen.
Nisargadatta: You have said it.
Question: Still I have to repeat my very
simple question: Who makes the distinction between
sin and virtue?
Nisargadatta: He who has a body, sins with
the body, he who has a mind, sins with the
Question: Surely, the mere possession of
mind and body does not compel to sin. There must be
a third factor at the root of it. I come back again
and again to this question of sin and virtue,
because now-a-days young people keep on saying that
there is no such thing as sin, that one need not be
squermish and should follow the moment's desire
readily. They will accept neither tradition nor
authority and can be influenced only by solid and
honest thought. If they refrain from certain
actions, it is through fear of police rather than
by conviction. Undoubtedly there is something in
what they say, for we can see how our values change
from place to place and time to time. For instance,
killing in war is great virtue today and may be
considered a horrible crime next century.
Nisargadatta: A man who moves with the earth
will necessarily experience days and nights. He who
stays with the sun will know no darkness. My world
is not yours. As I see it, you all are on a stage
performing. There is no reality about your comings
and goings. And your problems are so unreal!
Question: We may be sleep-walkers, or
subject to nightmares. Is there nothing you can
Nisargadatta: I am doing: I did enter your
dreamlike state to tell you, "Stop hurting yourself
and others, stop suffering, wake up."
Question: Why then don't we wake up?
Nisargadatta: You will. I shall not be
thwarted. It may take some time. When you shall
begin to question your dream, awakening will be not