You are the Conscious Presence

by Jean Dunn

Nisargadatta MaharajMaharaj: Just as a person continues going to work every day because he wants to receive his wages, so you keep coming here because you want to gain knowledge. Once you have this knowledge, there is no need for you to stay any longer.

Until you get the knowledge, you don’t want to leave; nevertheless, the only ones who should stay are those who feel a great urgency to know. (Maharaj sends some more people away.)

I do not want casual seekers to stay here anymore. The only ones who should stay now are those who have a real anxiety about progressing spiritually, those who are earnest seekers.

If you are an earnest seeker, you should accept my words as the truth or you should leave, as I do not want merely to entertain you. And what am I telling you? You are not the body. You are the conscious presence. Accept it and you can forget it.

In future, I will not be able to go into the problems of each one of you. I will simply tell you,

“This is false,” or, “This is the truth.” You can accept what I say, or you can leave.

Questioner: I don’t have the capacity to accept what Maharaj has given me.
Maharaj: If you don’t think you have the capacity, then you can go elsewhere. I am not concerned with any state which is temporary. This consciousness state is not of my choosing­. The sooner it goes, the better. Once it is known what is temporary and what one’s original state is, no further knowledge is needed.

As soon as consciousness stirred, space and time came. It has a time limit. In this space?time everyone suffers, so why should I accept this suffering as something unique? I was always in that blissful, complete, total state; suddenly, I am in this imperfect state. Those who have apperceived my knowledge will not fall a prey to the logic or spirituality expounded by others. I dare to say to any scholar who considers himself full of wisdom that when he was being born, I was watching his birth from a corner. Would you accept this?

Questioner: Yes. Why did consciousness arise at all?
Maharaj: Hang on to this consciousness which has come and it will explain why it arose without cause. No one else can explain to you why and how it arose. It is the manifest consciousness which is continuously talking, I am not talking. How does the language emerge?

Is it because of your efforts?

If you grasp the essence of the talks which I am giving, you will illuminate the world. Those people who run about from place to place aimlessly will gather nothing. What is that you are after? Eknath, a country sage who has written wonderful poems, said, “I am stung by a scorpion!” What is that sting? It is the consciousness. This knowingness is the scorpion which is giving me all the pain in the form of various experiences and concepts. I am telling you with the authority of a jnani, everything is unreal. This is all the play due to your consciousness and your consciousness is due to the food essence body.

Questioner: I am grateful to my body, which has brought me here.
Maharaj: You have come here just to commit suicide.

From Consciousness and the Absolute: The Final Talks of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, edited by Jean Dunn. ©1991 by Jean Dunn. Reprinted by arrangement with The Acorn Press, Durham, NC.

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