I AM THAT
On Saints and suffering...
Talks with Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
Q The Universe does not seem a happy
place to live in. Why is there so much suffering?
Master: Pain is physical; suffering is
mental. Beyond the mind there is no suffering. Pain is merely a signal that the
body is in danger and requires attention. Similarly suffering warns us that the
structure of memories and habits, which we call the person is threatened by loss
or change. Pain is essential for the survival of the body, but none compels you
to suffer. Suffering is due entirely to clinging and resisting; it is a sign of
our unwillingness to move on, to flow with life.
Q Nobody has suffered more than
Master: Did they tell you, or do you
say so on your own? The essence of saintliness is total acceptance of the
present moment, harmony of things as they happen. A saint does not want things
to be different from what they are; he knows that, considering all factors, they
are unavoidable. He is friendly with the inevitable and therefore, does not
suffer. Pain he may know, but it does not shatter him. If he can, he does the
needful to restore the lost balance-or he lets things take their course.
Q: He may die.
Master: So what? What does he gain by
living on and what does he lose by dying? What was born must die; what was never
born cannot die. It all depends on what he takes himself to be.
Q: Imagine you fall mortally ill.
Would you not regret and resent?
Master: But I am dead already, or,
rather, neither alive or dead. You see my body behaving the habitual way and
draw your own conclusions. You will not admit that your own conclusions bind
nobody but you. Do see that the image you have of me may be altogether wrong.
Your image of yourself is wrong too, but that is your problem. But you need not
create problems for me and then ask me to solve them. I am neither creating
problems nor solving them.
Discovering Nisargadatta Maharaj
The Magnetic Third Eye That Attracts Attention
philosopher Pythagoras reached Egypt to enter a school a secret esoteric
school of mysticism he was refused entry. And Pythagoras was one of the best
minds ever produced. He could not understand it. He applied again and again,
but was told that unless he goes through a particular training of fasting and
breathing he cannot be allowed entry.
reported to have said: I have come for knowledge, not for any sort of discipline.
But the school authorities said: We cannot give you knowledge unless you are
different. And really, we are not interested in knowledge at all; we are
interested in actual experience. No knowledge is knowledge unless it is lived
and experienced. So you will
to go on a 40-day fast, continuously breathing in a certain manner, with a
certain awareness on certain points.
There was no other
way, so Pythagoras had to pass through this training. After 40 days of fasting
and breathing, aware and attentive, he was allowed to enter the school.
Pythagoras reportedly said: You are not allowing Pythagoras in. I am a
different man; I am reborn. You were right and I was wrong, because then, my
whole standpoint was intellectual. Through this purification, my centre of
being has changed. From the intellect it has come down to the heart. Now I can
feel things. Before this training I could only understand through the
intellect, through the head. Now I can feel. Now truth is not a concept to me,
but life. It is not going to be a philosophy, but rather, an experience
What was that
through? The technique was as follows: Attention between eyebrows, let mind be
before thought. Let form fill with breath essence to the top of the head and
there, shower as light.
with this technique to Greece, and really, he became the fountainhead, the
source of all mysticism in the West.
This technique is
among the deep methods. Try to understand it. Modern physiology says that
between the two eyebrows is the gland that is the most mysterious part of the
body. This gland, called the pineal gland, is
third eye to Tibetans. It is the Shivnetra, the eye of the Shiva, of tantra.
Between the two eyes there exists a third eye, but it is nonfunctioning. You
have to do something to open it. Otherwise, it remains closed.
Close your eyes and
focus both eyes on space in the middle
of your eyebrows. Give total attention to it. This is one of the simplest
methods of being attentive. You cannot be attentive to any other part of the
body so easily. This gland absorbs attention like anything. If you give
attention to it, both your eyes become hypnotised with the third eye. They
become fixed; they cannot move. The third eye forces attention. It is
magnetic. Your attention is brought to it forcibly. It is absorbed.
It is said in
ancient tantra scriptures that for the third eye, attention is food. And once
you feel that the gland itself is magnetically pulling your attention, it is
not so difficult. For the first time you will see thoughts running before you.
You will become the witness. It is just like a film screen: thoughts are
running and you are a witness.
The Book of Secrets. Courtesy: Osho International Foundation.