Nisargadatta Maharaj about Love

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Pure Love from the Advaita Vedanta PerspectivePure Love from the Advaita Vedanta Perspective

God and Love
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.

‘I am’ and Love
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.

Life is love and love is life
Does love act deliberately? Yes and no. Life is love and love is life. What keeps the body together but love? What is desire, but love of the self? What is fear but the urge to protect? And what is knowledge but the love of truth? The means and forms may be wrong, but the motive behind is always love — love of the me and the mine. The me and the mine may be small, or may explode and embrace the universe, but love remains.

Is love a state of mind?
Again, it depends what you mean by love. Desire is, of course, a state of mind. But the realization of unity is beyond mind. To me, nothing exists by itself. All is the Self, all is myself. To see myself in everybody and everybody in myself most certainly is love.

Above the unity of being is the union of love
Q: Can there be happiness in unity? Does not all happiness imply necessarily contact, hence duality?
M: There is nothing wrong with duality as long as it does not create conflict. Multiplicity and variety without strife is joy. In pure consciousness there is light. For warmth, contact is needed. Above the unity of being is the union of love. Love is the meaning and purpose of duality.

Compassion and love are my very core. Void of all predilections, I am free to love.

Knowledge and Love
To find water you do not dig small pits all over the place, but drill deep in one place only. Similarly, to find your self you have to explore yourself. When you realize that you are the light of the world, you will also realize that you are the love of it; that to know is to love and to love is to know.

Q: How can I become universal?
M: But you are universal. You need not and you cannot become what you are already. Only cease imagining yourself to be the particular. What comes and goes has no being. It owes its very appearance to reality. You know that there is a world, but does the world know you? All knowledge flows from you, as all being and all joy. Realize that you are the eternal source and accept all as your own. Such acceptance is true love.

Without self-realization, no virtue is genuine.
Do not pretend that you love others as yourself. Unless you have realized them as one with yourself, you cannot love them. Don’t pretend to be what you are not, don’t refuse to be what you are.
Your love of others is the result of self-knowledge, not its cause.
Without self-realization, no virtue is genuine. Where you know beyond all doubting that the same life flows through all that is and you are that life, you will love all naturally and spontaneously.
When you realize the depth and fullness of your love of yourself, you know that every living being and the entire universe are included in your affection.

But when you look at anything as separate from you, you cannot love it for you are afraid of it. Alienation causes fear and fear deepens alienation. It is a vicious circle. Only self-realization can break it. Go for it resolutely.

How to solve your problems
Love of one and love of all merge together in love, pure and simple, addressed to none, denied to none. Stay in that love, go deeper and deeper into it, investigate yourself and love the investigation and you will solve not only your own problems but also the problems of humanity.

Know what you Love
Please see that I want nothing from you. It is in your own interest that I speak, because above all you love yourself, you want yourself secure and happy. Don’t be ashamed of it, don’t deny it. It is natural and good to love oneself.
Only you should know what exactly do you love. It is not the body that you love, it is Life— perceiving, feeling, thinking, doing, loving, striving, creating. It is that Life you love, which is you, which is all. Realize it in its totality, beyond all divisions and limitations, and all your desires will merge in it, for the greater contains the smaller. Therefore find yourself, for in finding that you find all.
Everybody is glad to be. But few know the fullness of it. You come to know by dwelling in your mind on ‘I am’, ‘I know’, ‘I love’ — with the will of reaching the deepest meaning of these words.

Love is will, the will to share your happiness with all. Being happy — making happy — this is the rhythm of love.
I cannot but see you as my-self. It is in the very nature of love to see no difference.

Q: In all the universe is there one single thing of value?
M: Yes, the power of love.

Awareness is love in action
Awareness is dynamic, love is being. Awareness is love in action. By itself the mind can actualize any number of possibilities, but unless they are prompted by love, they are valueless. Love precedes creation. Without it there is only chaos.

Choiceless Love
True awareness (samvid) is a state of pure witnessing, without the least attempt to do anything about the event witnessed. Your thoughts and feelings, words and actions may also be a part of the event; you watch all unconcerned in the full light of clarity and understanding. You understand precisely what is going on, because it does not affect you. It may seem to be an attitude of cold aloofness, but it is not really so. Once you are in it, you will find that you love what you see, whatever may be its nature. This choiceless love is the touchstone of awareness. If it is not there, you are merely interested — for some personal reasons.

Look at the ‘I am’ as a sign of love between the inner and the outer, the real and the appearance. Just like in a dream all is different, except the sense of ‘I’, which enables you to say ‘I dreamt’, so does the sense of ‘I am’ enable you to say ‘I am my real Self again.

Q: Are there levels of awareness?
M: There are levels in consciousness, but not in awareness. It is of one block, homogeneous. Its reflection in the mind is love and understanding. There are levels of clarity in understanding and intensity in love, but not in their source. The source is simple and single, but its gifts are infinite. Only do not take the gifts for the source. Realize yourself as the source and not as the river; that is all.

The mind is the wife of the heart and the world their home —to be kept bright and happy.

Truth and love are man’s real nature and mind and heart are the means of its expression.

The tiny seed of ‘I am’
After all, you are what you are every moment of your life, but you are never conscious of it, except, maybe, at the point at awakening from sleep. All you need is to be aware of being, not as a verbal statement, but as an ever-present fact.
The awareness that you are will open your eyes to what you are. It is all very simple. First of all, establish a constant contact with your self, be with yourself all the time. Into self-awareness all blessings flow. Begin as a centre of observation, deliberate cognizance, and grow into a centre of love in action. ‘I am’ is a tiny seed which will grow into a mighty tree — quite naturally, with-out a trace of effort.

From Nisargadatta Maharaj’s I Am That

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Howard Nelson

    Thank you.

  2. Dave

    Where is this excerpt from, or did you make this up, or copy from random quotes?

    How do we know Maharaj even said any or all of this?

    What are your sources?

    1. Hridaya Yoga

      Hey Dave, Thanks for asking. All of the quotes above come from I Am That, a book originally published in 1973 that is a compilation of various talks on non-duality given by Nisargadatta. We highly recommend it!

    2. NE

      I know they’re all real because I can feel their deep impact. Each of these quotes is pure gold. No one could make these up.

      That being said, the book “I am that” produced so many awakenings in me, it was unbelievable.

      I highly recommend this book

      It’s best to read the book the same way that Nisargadatta himself followed his guru – absolutely. Read and take every word as the absolute truth. Even if you don’t understand – and you won’t understand half of it or more, these words come from source itself, and they plant seeds.

      Some of his quotes I understood years later. And all of it can only be understood by someone who has reached the goal Nisargadatta is talking about. This book is a great help to get there. Take every word literally. It is the very literal truth.

      I used to think Nisargadatta was a great sage. I read his book, I loved every single word he said, I believed every single word he said, and I understood maybe 20-30% of what I was reading. Even though I agreed and believed, I knew full well that I didn’t deeply understand; only much later, many years on, when a 180 degree shift in my awareness occurred, did I understand what he was talking about. Then, I realized that Nisargadatta is not a great sage, rather he was a great poet – because he put in words things that are impossible to put in words. When the Tao says what can be named is not the Tao – Nisargadatta is as close as anyone got to naming the Tao. Doing the impossible. Naming the un-nameable. Describing to the mind, what is outside the mind.

    3. Bob Bobbings

      Important point Dave!

      Every quote, always, should include a reference to the source. And if you don’t know the source, don’t quote. The internet is now so polluted with unreferenced quotes, each site borrowing from another un-referenced site, that often it’s literally impossible to trace the original source of alleged quotes. Even most sites dedicated to collecting quotes (often with idiotic names like ‘brainyquotes’) don’t usually reference sources, when it’s literally their one job.

      Oral cultures understood well the importance of maintaining source integrity – that’s Indigenous Australians (for example) had elders and secrecy and rites to keep their oral texts consistent over thousands of years. Western intellectual/academic developed a culture of rigorous citation.

      The internet has nearly undone in just a couple of decades what human culture had taken tens of thousands of years to maintain. It’s unutterably foolish.

  3. Bob Bobbings

    PS. The above quotes are entirely legit (“I Am That is more or less my guru, so I know it well), and well worth quoting. The article would have been improved, and the internet enhanced, by a citation.

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