nisargadatta siddharameshwar eckhart-tolle-78x111 ramana-maharshi-78x111 wei-wu-wei Anandamayi-Ma Neem-Karoli-Baba jkrishnamurti papaji-80x111 Leen osho


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A quiet mind is all you need. All else will happen rightly, once your mind is quiet. As the sun on rising makes the world active, so does self-awareness affect changes in the mind. In the light of calm and steady self-awareness, inner energies wake up and work miracles without any effort on your part.

Actions through the four elements (earth, water, fire, wind) do not affect the fifth, i.e. space. I am pure consciousness, pure life force. I’ve no shape, no form. Therefore, I have no birth, no death and no karma.

All consciousness is limited and therefore painful. At the root of consciousness lies desire, the urge to experience… Consciousness is a burden. Body means burden. Sensations, desires, thoughts — these are all burdens. All consciousness is of conflict.

All depends on you. It is by your consent that the world exists. Withdraw your belief in its reality and it will dissolve like a dream. Time can bring down mountains, much more you, who are the timeless source of time. For without memory and expectation there can be no time.

All this, one and all, in its totality is consciousness. That taste or knowledge of self-existence is Bhagvan. To understand this means to see God in every living being.

As a matter of fact, all realization is only sharing. You enter a wider consciousness and share in it. Unwillingness to enter and to share is the only hindrance. I never talk of differences, for to me there are none.

As you are Brahman itself, you do not need anyone’s blessings. But one must have the conviction of being Brahman.

Be careful. The moment you start talking you create a verbal universe, a universe of words, ideas, concepts and abstractions, interwoven and interdependent, most wonderfully generating, supporting and explaining each other and yet all without essence or substance, mere creations of the mind. Words create words, reality is silent.

Be conscious of yourself, watch your mind, give it your full attention. Don’t look for quick results; there may be none within your noticing. Unknown to you, your psyche will undergo a change; there will be more clarity in your thinking, charity in your feeling, purity in your behavior. You need not aim at these - you will witness the change all the same. For, what you are now is the result of inattention and what you become will be the fruit of attention.

Be nothing, know nothing, have nothing. This is the only life worth living, the only happiness worth having.

Concepts come into the sense of being ‘I am’ because of the vital breath that causes the mind flow. Mind means words, so thoughts are there – they are the concepts. Look at your root, the child consciousness, and finish it off.

Delve deeply into the sense ‘I am’ and you surely discover that the perceiving center is universal, as universal as the light that illumines the world. All that happens in the universe happens to you, the silent witness. On the other hand, whatever is done, is done by you, the universal and inexhaustible energy.

Do not try to know the truth, for knowledge by the mind is not true knowledge. But you can know what is not true - which is enough to liberate you from the false. The idea that you know what is true is dangerous, for it keeps you imprisoned in the mind. It is when you do not know, that you are free to investigate. And there can be no salvation, without investigation, because non-investigation is the main cause of bondage.

Don't ask the mind to confirm what is beyond the mind. Direct experience is the only valid confirmation.

Don’t pretend to be what you are not, don’t refuse to be what you are.

First find the immutable center where all movement takes birth. Just like a wheel turns round an axle, so must you be always at the axle in the center and not whirling at the periphery.

Forget all the nonsense you think is so real. Deal with it, have fun with it, but don’t continually immerse yourself in it! Remember you are the knower, ever unborn and deathless.

Forget your past experiences and achievements and stand naked, exposed to the winds and rains of life, and you will have a chance [at enlightenment].

From moment to moment you are renewing this dream. If you truly long to end this bondage, then examine your attachments and conditioning. See clearly that they have no inherent truth. Your clarity will release you.

Give up this habit of identifying with whatever you perceive. There is nothing in this world which you can call your own. Look at it as you would a play on the stage, or a picture on the screen, admiring and enjoying, but unmoved in your peace.

I do not believe in spiritual paths. The purpose of spiritual paths is to enmesh you in the world of knowledge, while Reality resides prior to it. All spiritual paths lead to unreality.

If you are angry or in pain, separate yourself from anger and pain and watch them. Externalization is the first step to liberation.

If you seek reality you must set yourself free of all backgrounds, of all cultures, of all patterns of thinking and feeling. Even the idea of being a man or woman, or even human, should be discarded. The ocean of life contains all, not only humans. So, first abandon all self-identification, stop thinking of yourself as such-and-such, so-and-so, this or that. Abandon all self-concern, worry not about your welfare, material or spiritual, abandon every desire, gross or subtle, stop thinking of achievement of any kind. You are complete here and now, you need absolutely nothing.

If you trust me, believe when I tell you that you are the pure awareness that illumines consciousness and its infinite content. Realize this and live accordingly. If you do not believe me, then go within, enquiring ‘What am I’? or, focus your mind on ‘I am’, which is pure and simple being.

In reality, time and space exist in you; you do not exist in them. They are modes of perception, but they are not the only ones. Time and space are like words written on paper; the paper is real, the words merely a convention. Discard all you are not and go ever deeper. Just as a man digging a well discards what is not water ... so must you discard what is not your own, till nothing is left which you can disown. You will find that what is left is nothing which the mind can hook on to. You are not even a human being. You just are - a point of awareness, co-extensive with time and space and beyond both, the ultimate cause, itself uncaused.

In the light of calm and steady self-awareness, inner energies wake up and work miracles without any effort on your part. Understand that you are destined for enlightenment. Co-operate with your destiny, don’t thwart it. All you have to do is to give attention to the obstacles created by the distorted mind.

In the mirror of your mind all kinds of pictures appear and disappear. Knowing that they are entirely your own creations, watch them silently come and go. Be alert, but not perturbed. This attitude of silent observation is the very foundation of yoga. You see the picture, but you are not the picture.

It has nothing to do with effort. Just turn away, look between the thoughts, rather than at the thoughts. When you happen to walk in a crowd, you do not fight every man you meet, you just find your way between. When you fight, you invite a fight. But when you do not resist, you meet no resistance. When you refuse to play the game, you are out of it.

It is just your imagination with its desires and fears that bind you. Know fully your true beingness is unconditioned, without fear. Live by this truth alone.

It is like washing printed cloth. First the design fades, then the background, and in the end the cloth is plain white. The personality gives place to the witness, then the witness goes and pure awareness remains. The cloth was white in the beginning and is white in the end; the patterns and colours just happened - for a time.

It is only the person that you imagine yourself to be that suffers, not you. Do not run from suffering, use it to guide you from the awareness of the unreal to the unconditioned awareness of the real.

Just keep in mind the feeling “I am”, merge in it, till your mind and feeling become one. By repeated attempts, you will stumble on the right balance of attention and affection, and your mind will be firmly established in the thought-feeling “I am”. Whatever you think, say or do, this sense of immutable and affectionate being remains as the ever-present background of the mind.

Just realize that you are dreaming a dream you call the world and stop looking for ways out. The dream is not your problem. Your problem is that you like one part of your dream and not another. Love all, or none of it, and stop complaining. When you have seen the dream as a dream, you have done all that needs be done.

Learn to distinguish the immovable in the movable, the unchanging in the changing, till you realize that all differences are in appearance only and oneness is a fact. This basic identity—you may call God, or Brahman, or the matrix (Prakriti), the words matter little—is only the realization that all is one. Once you can say with confidence born from direct experience: ‘I am the world, the world is myself’, you are free from desire and fear on one hand and become totally responsible for the world on the other.

Learn to live without self-concern. For this you must know your own true being as indomitable, fearless, ever victorious. Once you know with absolute certainty that nothing can trouble you, you come to disregard your desires and fears, concepts and ideas, and live by truth alone.

Meditation will help you to find your bonds, loosen them, untie them and cast your moorings. When you are no longer attached to anything, you have done your share. The rest will be done for you.

Meet your own self. Be with your own self, listen to it, obey it, cherish it, keep it in mind ceaselessly. You need no other guide. As long as your urge for truth affects your daily life, all is well with you. Live your …life without hurting anybody. Harmlessness is a most powerful form of Yoga and it will take you speedily to your goal. This is what I call nisarga yoga, the Natural yoga. It is the art of living in peace and harmony, in friendliness and love. The fruit of it is happiness, uncaused and endless.

My experience is that everything is bliss already. But when you don’t see this, you are driven by desire. The entire universe of pain is born out of desire. Let go of this urge to be something other than what you already are.

My guru told me, Trust me, I tell you: you are Divine. Take it as the absolute truth. Your joy is divine, your suffering is divine too. All comes from God. Remember it always. You are God, your will alone is done.” If you have regard for me, remember my words. The knowledge “I Am” is the greatest God, the Guru; be one with that, be intimate with it. That itself will bless you with all the knowledge relevant for you and in the proliferation of that knowledge it will lead you to the state which is eternal.

My guru told me: “You alone are, deny existence to everything except your self” and I did not doubt him. I was merely puzzling over it, until I realized that it is absolutely true. I found that I am conscious and happy absolutely, and only by mistake I thought I owed being-consciousness to the body and the world of bodies.

Non-dual devotion is devotion to our own Self. Pay attention to That which is continuously with you. Feel its necessity .. Your consciousness has gone through millions of incarnations. It knows its greatness. It is the knower of time. It is your true nature.

Nothing is done by me, everything just happens. I do not expect, I do not plan, I just watch events happening, knowing them to be unreal.

Nothing is wrong with you, but the ideas you have of yourself are altogether wrong. It is not you who desires, fears and suffers, it is the person built on the foundation of your body by circumstances and influences. You are not that person. This must be clearly established in your mind and never lost sight of.

Once you realize that the road is the goal and that you are always on the road, not to reach a goal, but to enjoy its beauty and its wisdom, life ceases to be a task and becomes natural and simple, in itself an ecstasy.

Once you realize that the world is your own projection, you are free of it. You need not free yourself of a world that does not exist, except in your own imagination! However is the picture, beautiful or ugly, you are painting it and you are not bound by it. Realize that there is nobody to force it on you, that it is due to the habit of taking the imaginary to be real. See the imaginary as imaginary and be free of fear.

Quietly watch yourself, all kinds of mind games come into play. Do nothing about them, don’t react to them; they come and go by themselves. All that matters is that you rest as the master; mindful of your awareness, rather than your mind.

Reality is not an event; it cannot be experienced. It is not perceivable in the same way as an event is perceivable. If you wait for an event to take place, for the coming of reality, you will wait forever, for reality neither comes nor goes.

Realize that your world is only a reflection of yourself and stop finding fault with the reflection. Attend to yourself, set yourself right; mentally and emotionally. The physical self will follow automatically.

Remember, you are entirely on your own. You must realize first of all that you are the proof of everything, including yourself. None can prove your existence, because this existence must be confirmed by you first. Your being and knowing you owe nobody. You are entirely on your own. You do not come from somewhere, you do not go anywhere. You are timeless being and awareness.

Running after saints is merely another game to play. Remember yourself instead and watch your daily life relentlessly. Be earnest, and you shall not fail to break the bonds of inattention and imagination.

Shift your attention from words to silence and you will hear.

Stay without ambition, without the least desire, exposed, vulnerable, unprotected, uncertain and alone, completely open to and welcoming life as it happens, without the selfish conviction that all must yield you pleasure or profit, material or so-called spiritual.

Stop imagining yourself to be this or that. Just be. Let your true nature emerge. Don’t disturb your mind with seeking.

Surrender to your own self, of which everything is an expression.

That in which consciousness happens, the universal consciousness or mind, we call the ether of consciousness. All the objects of consciousness form the universe. What is beyond both, supporting both is the Supreme State, a state of utter stillness and silence. Whoever goes there disappears. It is unreachable by words or mind. You may call it God, or Parabrahman, or Supreme Reality; but these are names given by the mind. It is the nameless, contentless, effortless and spontaneous state beyond being and not being.


The experience [of self-realization] is unique and unmistakable. It will dawn on you suddenly, when the obstacles are removed to some extent. It is like a frayed rope snapping. Yours is the work at the strands. The break is bound to happen. It can be delayed, but not prevented.

The idea of responsibility is in your mind. You think there must be something or somebody solely responsible for all that happens… There is a contradiction between a multiple universe and a single cause. Either one or the other must be false. Or both. As I see it, it is all day-dreaming. There is no reality in ideas. The fact is that without you, neither the universe nor its cause could have come into being.

The Guru tells you ‘Get rid of concepts, just be yourself’. The seeker having understood what the Guru said gets rid of the concepts, and now, as the first step, the seeker dwells in the state ‘I am’, just being. First of all there is the knowingness ‘I am’, without words, with that knowingness the world is. Now when the seeker goes into meditation, that knowingness goes into no- knowingness. This is the highest state in the hierarchy when the body aspect is there because this knowing and no-knowing are aspects of the body, and body means consciousness, and in the realm of consciousness, knowingness and no-knowingness exist. The Absolute transcends knowingness and no-knowingness. So, no-knowingness is the highest in the hierarchy of spirituality, and the destination is the transcendence of knowingness and no- knowingness.

The knowledge you are is God. You worship that and one day you will realize that you are not an individual. You will realize that you are the universal consciousness which cannot suffer; there is no pain or pleasure for that consciousness. Not through intellect, but through intense meditation you will know it.

The mind creates the abyss, the heart crosses it.

The moment you start talking you create a verbal universe, a universe of words, ideas, concepts and abstractions, interwoven and inter-dependent, most wonderfully generating, supporting and explaining each other and yet all without essence or substance, mere creations of the mind. Words create words, reality is silent.

The only way of knowing reality is to be it. The mind cannot reach it. To perceive it does not need the senses; to know it, does not need the mind.

The past is dead memory, and the future is nonexistent. The present moment is not between the future and the past, but the constant dimension outside of time.

The ultimate point of view is that there is nothing to understand, so when we try to understand, we are only indulging in acrobatics of the mind. Whatever you have understood, you are not. Why are you getting lost in concepts? You are not what you know, you are the knower.

The very idea of going beyond the dream is illusory. Why go anywhere? Just realize that you are dreaming a dream you call the world, and stop looking for ways out. The dream is not your problem. Your problem is that you like one part of your dream and not another. Love all, or none of it, and stop complaining. When you have seen the dream as a dream, you have done all that need be done.

The way to truth lies through the destruction of the false. To destroy the false, you must question your most inveterate beliefs. Of these the idea that you are the body is the worst. With the body comes the world, with the world - God, who is supposed to have created the world and thus it starts - fears, religions, prayers, sacrifices, all sorts of systems - all to protect and support the child-man, frightened out of his wits by monsters of his own making. Realize that what you are cannot be born nor die and with the fear gone, all suffering ends.

The world you can perceive is a very small world indeed. And it is entirely private. Take it to be a dream and be done with it.

There are many who have had a momentary experience and are fooled into thinking they ‘know’. They destroy the little they gained by pride. Humility and silence are essential throughout.

There are no steps to self-realisation. There is nothing gradual about it. It happens suddenly and is irrevocably. You rotate into a new dimension, seen from which the previous ones are mere abstractions. Just like on sunrise you see things as they are, so on self-realization you see everything as it is. The world of illusion is left behind.

There is in the body a current of energy, affection and intelligence, which guides, maintains and energizes the body. Discover that current and stay with it.

There is nothing to know, nothing to practice. Just stop imagining yourself to be someone that needs to needs to know, someone that needs to find a ‘higher self’. Just be, without the story of self, and let your unborn nature emerge. You know that you are and that alone is everything.

There is nothing to practice. To know yourself, be yourself. To be yourself, stop imagining yourself to be this or that. Just be. Let your true nature emerge. Don’t disturb your mind with seeking.

There is only one mistake you are making: you take the inner for the outer and the outer for the inner. What is in you, you take to be outside you and what is outside, you take to be in you. The mind and feelings are external, but you take them to be intimate. You believe the world to be objective, while it is entirely a projection of your psyche.

There is no such state as seeing the real. Who is to see what? You can only be the real, which you are, anyhow.

There is trouble only when you cling to something. When you hold on to nothing, no trouble arises. The relinquishing of the lesser is the gaining of the greater. Give up all and you gain all. Then life becomes what it was meant to be: pure radiation from an inexhaustible source. In that light the world appears dimly like a dream.

To exist means to be something, a thing, a feeling, a thought, an idea. All existence is particular. Only being is universal, in the sense that every being is compatible with every other being. Existences clash, being - never. Existence means becoming, change, birth and death and birth again, while in being there is silent peace.

To know the self as the only reality and all else as temporal and transient is freedom, peace and joy. It is all very simple. Instead of seeing things as imagined, learn to see them as they are. When you can see everything as it is, you will also see yourself as you are. It is like cleansing a mirror. The same mirror that shows you the world as it is, will also show you your own face. The thought ‘I am’ is the polishing cloth. Use it.

To see the universe as it is, you must step beyond the net. It is not hard to do so, for the net is full of holes. Look at the net and its many contradictions. You do and undo at every step. You want peace, love and happiness, and work hard to create pain, hatred and war. You want longevity and you overeat. You want friendship and you exploit. See your net as made of such contradictions and remove them – your very seeing will make them go away.

Try to be, only to be. The all-important word is ‘try’. Allot enough time daily for sitting quietly and trying, just trying, to go beyond the personality, with its addictions and obsessions. Don’t ask how, it cannot be explained. You just keep on trying until you succeed. If you persevere, there can be no failure.

Ultimately you will come to see that you are neither the particular nor the universal, you are beyond both. As the tiny point of a pencil can draw innumerable pictures, so does the dimensionless point of awareness draw the contents of the vast universe. Find that point and be free.

We spend a lot of time looking for happiness when the world right around us is full of wonder. To be alive and walk on the Earth is a miracle, and yet most of us are running as if there were some better place to get to. There is in the body a current of energy, affection and intelligence, which guides, maintains and energizes the body. Discover that current and stay with it.

What has been attained may again be lost. Only when you realize the true peace, the peace you have never lost, that peace will remain with you for it was never away. Instead of searching for what you do not have, find out what is it that you have never lost. That which is there before the beginning and after the ending of everything, to That there is no birth nor death. That Immovable state, which is not affected by the birth and death of a body or a mind, that state you must perceive.

What you need will come to you, if you do not ask for what you do not need. Yet only a few people reach this state of complete dispassion and detachment. It is a very high state, the very threshold of liberation.

What you seek is so near you that there is no place for “a way”.

When one talks of consciousness, one is likely to think in terms of an individual. But understand that it is not really the individual that has consciousness, but it is the consciousness that assumes innumerable forms.

When the body is born, all kinds of things happen to it and you take part in them because you take yourself to be the body. You are like the man in the cinema house, laughing and crying with the picture, though knowing fully well that he is all the time in his seat and the picture is but the play of light. It is enough to shift attention from the screen to oneself to break the spell.

When there is complete relinquishment of all concern with one’s phantom identity a new life dawns.

When thought has no customers, thought vanishes.

Without imagination there is no world. Your conviction that you are conscious of a world is the world. The world you perceive is made of consciousness; what you call matter is consciousness itself.

You are the space in which it moves, the time in which it lasts, the love that gives it life. Cut off imagination and attachment and what remains?

You are not the mind, if you know you are not the mind then what difference does it make if it’s busy or quiet.? You are not the mind.

YOU ARE THE TIMELESS REALITY… Why not investigate what is now, instead of questioning the imaginary past and future? Your present state is neither beginningless nor endless. It is over a flash. Watch carefully from where it comes and where it goes. You will soon discover the timeless reality behind it.

You can do nothing. What time has brought about, time will take away. This is the end of yoga, to realize independence. All that happens, happens in and to the mind, not to the source of the “I am”. Once you realize that all happens by itself (call it destiny, or the will of God, or mere accident), you remain as witness only, understanding and enjoying, but not perturbed. You are responsible only for what you can change. All you can change is only your attitude. There lies your responsibility.

You create the world in your imagination like a dream. Cease looking for reality in a dream and you will wake up. You need not know all ‘What’ 'Why’ and 'How’ there is no end to questions. Abandon all desires, keep your mind silent and you shall discover.

You have projected onto yourself a world of your own imagination, based on memories, on desires and fears, and you have imprisoned yourself in it. Break the spell and be free.

You have tasted so many things - all came to naught. Only the sense “I am” persisted, unchanged. Stay with the changeless among the changeful, until you are able to go beyond.

You imagine that without cause there can be no happiness. To me dependence on anything for happiness is utter misery.

You must come to a firm decision. You must forget the thought that you are the body and be only the knowledge ‘I am’, which has no form, no name. Just be. When you stabilize in that beingness, it will give all the knowledge and all the secrets to you, and when the secrets are given to you, you transcend the beingness, and you, the Absolute will know that you are also not the consciousness. Having gained all this knowledge, having understood what is what, a kind of quietude prevails, a tranquility. Beingness is transcended, but beingness is available.

You need not push life about. Just flow with it and give yourself completely to the task of the present moment, which is the dying now to the now. For living is dying, without death life cannot be.

Your world is true in essence but not in appearance. Be free of desires and fears and at once your vision will clear and you shall see all things as they are.

The Whole Truth

nis-1-111x164 In its state of perfection of total Awareness, IT is unaware of its awareness. Then, consciousness stirs into a moan of Aum and the dream creation begins. IT is conscious of being. IT exults in this beingness. Immersed in the love of I-am-ness, IT expresses itself in duality.

Through union of twin aspects male-female; through the five elements – space, air, fire, water & earth; through the three gunas – sattva, rajas & tamas [cardinal, fixed, mutable]; IT manifests itself in duration.

In dreamed space-time, IT manifests as phenomena, creating millions of forms, breathing into them the life-force and the all-pervading immanent consciousness. Through these forms, in joyous self-love, functions consciousness as Prajnā, unselfconscious, higher consciousness, pure awareness.

The sentient beings, mere images thus conceived – wonder of wonders! – perceive one another as objects, assuming subjectivity for oneself. Each, in magnificent illusion, sees oneself as an entity separate, with judgment and volition independent. Each forgets his/ her unlimited potential as noumenal Absolute, accepts his/ her limited identity as an appearance - a mere phenomenon – and takes deliver of the functioning of Prajnā as his/ her own personal actions, binding his or her self in illusory bondage, suffering pain & pleasure!

Comes then, the merciful Gurū, full of Grace & Light Divine and shows him or her what it really is, that which he/ she thinks he/ she is, nothing more than the speck of sperm in which is latent the light of sentience, I-am-ness, the consciousness that he/ she is, given names in thousands – Rama, Krishna, Ishwara, Brahman, Buddha, Christ – the same I-am-ness it is, the Light of consciousness.

Mahāmāyā, in magnificent illusion illudes its own nature and leads itself astray until the Gurū says: Halt. See yourself as you are, in your true glory. On your original state of timeless, Absolute noumenality has appeared like a temporary illness, the body-cum-consciousness, Spontaneously, sans cause or reason, as part of Prajnā-ic functioning. It works out its allotted duration until, just as spontaneously it disappears; and, consciousness, no longer conscious of itself, merges in Awareness. No one is born, no one dead.

Says Nisargadatta Maharaj, in terms simple and direct: What were you before you acquired the body? Go back to the source. Be still. Then, will the seeker disappear and into the seeking merge. No longer aware of awareness, in Wholeness, in unicity, without duality, I am. With insight and intuition, with deep conviction, simple to apprehend, This-That-Is is beyond the bounds of intellect.

Only the objective and the phenomenal – presence or absence – can the intellect grasp. But, what-I-Am is neither presence nor absence. Absence of the presence of presence, absence of the presence of absence is what-I-Am.


iamthat_cover I Am That: I Am That; scribd^; again; Indian cover; Message, Quotes & I am That; I alone am, the One, the Supreme; On Meditation (excerpt from I Am That); On Teaching (excerpt from I Am That); Song of I Am (selections from I Am That); Song of Beyond I Am (selections from I Am That)
audio chapters: 001, 002, 003, 004, 005, 006, 007, 008, 009, 010, 011, 012, 013, 014, 015, 016, 017, 018, 019, 020, 021, 022, 023, 024, 025, 026, 027, 028, 029, 030, 031, 032, 033, 034, 035, 036, 037, 038, 039, 040, 041, 042, 043, 044, 045, 046, 047, 048, 049, 050, 051, 052, 053, 054, 055, 056, 057, 058, 059, 060, 061, 062, 063, 064, 065, 066, 067, 068, 069, 070, 071, 072, 073, 074, 075, 076, 077, 078, 079, 080, 081, 082, 083, 084, 085, 086, 087, 088, 089, 090, 091, 092, 093, 094, 095, 096, 097, 098, 099, 100, 101

A Personal Report

Submitted from Mumbai, February 22, 2012

So far, for me, 2012 is all about going through the heartbreak of my wife and step-daughter and cat leaving me and me coming to India on a three month ticket, almost without rationale other than that I needed a paradigm shift. My agenda started forming only after I'd paid for my ticket and ordered my visa.

Tomorrow will be two weeks since I left Oregon, after putting most of my stuff in storage and arranging whatever I could think of to be arranged.

Three times, for a total of about a year, I had been in India before, but it's been 27 years since the last time. In 1980 and '81, I was in Pune at the Rajneesh (now Osho) ashram. In 1985, I traveled to Bangkok, then Delhi and Khajuraho and Agra and Kathmundu for a couple of months.

This time, inspired by rereading most of Gregory David Roberts' Shantaram in January, the most concrete item on my still very much forming itinerary, is to hang out in and get to know Mumbai a little bit.

Later, I definitely plan to do a clean out panchakarma retreat at one of the famous ayurvedic resorts in Kerala. At some point, I will go to Tiruvannamalai and visit the Sri Ramana Maharishi Ashram; also, the intention is strong to be in Jabalpur on March 21st, at the tree under which Osho got enlightened on March 21, 1953.
[Coincidentally, I was born on Osho's 22nd birthday; in December of '53 and the arithmetic indicates that I must have been conceived back in that March.]
Osho has been my main life teacher and, after all these years, I will still say I am an Osho sannyasin, if asked.

There are looser ideas to visit Ammachi and her Amritapuri Ashram in Kerala, before she leaves there in Mid-March; may see Nithyananda in Bangalore; Dolano in Pune; Asaram Bapu, at his Sant Shri Asaramji Ashram in Ahmedabad; Shree SurajBani in Jamshedpur; Anandmurti Gurumaa, and Rishi Chaitanya Ashram in Rishikesh; a friend emailed me of an "India Holy Retreat" with Babaji Baldev Singh, which I haven't yet checked out much; also, perhaps, Goa, Chennai, Auroville, Varanasi and whatever else presents itself along the way.

My dilemma with Ammachi is I would have to there earlier than I want to be in Kerala. My Vimshottari entered Mercury-Ketu-Jupiter on the day before my trip; it goes into Mercury-Ketu-Saturn on March 27th; then it enters Mercury-Ketu-Mercury a week and a half after I'm scheduled to be back home (wherever that is). Though not an expert in vedic astrology, I have been amazed for decades how life shifts coincide with the dasas & bhuktis; this trip neatly divided between a Jupiter emphasized first half and a Saturnian second. Just seems that my retreat time should be after March 27th.

Also, I'm not a Bhakti type and Ammachi seems too caught up in being the Divine Mother for all her many children for my tastes. Nithyananda is cute, but he brags about himself all the time, and, though he talks a lot, the pearls of wisdom are few.

Dolano, at the Osho ashram in Pune, actually seems like she may be enlightened. In the lines of Bhagwan and Papaji, an intelligent German woman, I think, and from the youtube videos, she seems to have a no bullshit approach, speaking lucidly from her own experience.

Of course, I have been thinking of going to Pune; curious what it has become; also, it would obviously be a good place to connect with people. My dilemma there is, after checking out the ashram website, it all seems so expensive and regimented and high security, which turns me off.

The other gurus, above, are still virtually unknown to me.

It's not that I feel a need to find someone who is enlightened, but it would seem surely to be a plus.

Meantime, I pay homage to my dead spiritual heroes...

The two places I for sure wanted to visit here in Mumbai are the Woodlands apartments where Osho lived between 1970 and 1974, before he went to Pune; and the flat where Nisargadatta lived the final years of his life, in Khetwadi. A week ago, I got to the Woodlands and made my first try at finding Nisargadatta's house.

o-Peddar_Road On Peddar Road, the Woodlands are three modern, sterile high rises in a very wealthy locality which reminded me of downtown Beverly Hills. Prior to his stay at the Woodlands, Osho had been mostly referred to as Acharya Rajneesh for many years. It is at the Woodlands where he first started being called Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and it's also when and where he began initiating people into Sannyas.

I just stared at the apartments and the surrounding shops and imagined Bhagwan living there; walking around there. It is not how I had ever visualized it; but almost nothing ever is. There did not seem much else to do, so after a few minutes my driver and I were off to Khetwadi.

Traveling the few miles from Peddar Rd. to Khetwadi, (for not at all the first time) I was struck by how many completely different worlds (100s) exist in this huge city and how quickly they change from one to another.

nis-public-toilet-10th-lane-khetwadi 10th is a short side lane in the Grant Road area of Khetwadi. It is like one of the many non-tourist, non-slum, variations of a 'typical', Indian village. It, and the two bigger lanes at 90 degrees to it on either side, look the same as the do in the youtube videos taken there near the end of Nisargadatta's life in the late '70s. The best hints I had as to which actual flat he lived in were phrases from two different websites about him that said "On the loft's south end was a fairly large window overlooking 10th Lane" and " The landmark for the building is a public toilet opposite to it.". Couldn't find the public toilet, so, I couldn't be certain which of the few flats, mostly above shops, was his, but I got a good idea as there were few to choose from. For a while, I walked around; tried asking several people about him and which flat was his, but:
  1. He died in 1981, which is a long time ago;
  2. Not one Indian I could find there spoke a word of English, as helpful as all of them would like to have been; and
  3. Even repeating 'Nisargadatta Maharaj' over and over produced not a glimmer of recognition in anyone.

Had a nice meal just as the Sun was setting on the day; then returned to my hotel in the P.D. Mello Road section of Mumbai, north of Colaba.

Over the last week, with my dissatisfaction at not definitively locating Nisargadatta's flat nagging at me more and more, I did a few creative, further internet searches and acquired a few additional hints to work with, including a photo of the front of the "Vanamali Bhavan" building as it apparently was named; also, a photo of the public restroom, the most mentioned landmark across the street.

Yesterday, I had success! Sometime before 11am, I went to Khetwadi again, this time with the intention of combing the area until I for sure found Nisargadatta's residence.

As I said, 10th Lane is very short. So, I found myself walking up and down it several times once again; asking questions of more people who could respond to my English only with apologetic blank stares. Still no public toilet and no single flat that exactly matched the photo I had seen.

Finally, a man who spoke a smidgeon of my language, who had been informed by someone else I had inquired of that I was looking for something on 10th Lane, came up to me and indicated that there was another small section of the lane, after a slight hitch, on the other side of what I thought was the defining cross street.

nis-door-satsang-room-top-r Seconds later, I found myself in front of Nisargadatta's flat, it looking just like the photo; and yes, just across the narrow dirt lane, there was the public toilet facility, with no stripes, but otherwise exactly like its photo.

The downstairs entry door was wide open, appearing dark inside in contrast with the bright sun of the day, and I walked in. After hesitating a moment, in front of the stairs - entry to what looked like a small dark room on the right - I started to ascend and almost immediately, an older woman appeared ahead of me. She didn't appear too alarmed that a gora was walking up her stairs. She kindly listened to me repeating Nisargadatta Maharaj with a question mark, motioned for me to wait here and went back up the stairs. A moment later, a younger woman came down who spoke enough English for us to communicate.

She led me up the stairs, into the small kitchen, 8 feet (?) square with a ceiling barely a foot above my head with an unprotected ceiling fan hanging down that I had to make sure that I didn't walk into, where a small Indian man sat. He was introduced to me as the father-in-law of the charming younger woman; the nephew of Nisargadatta. They indicated that I could go into the adjoining main room; again, smaller appearing than in the interior videos and photos I'd seen, but here it was - the actual room where Nisargadatta used to receive and address people who came to him. There's a small photo of him on the wall above where he used to sit.

Such a treasured moment for me. I surveyed the dingy, nearly bare room; walked over and looked out the window on to 10th Lane; came back and looked at the picture of Nisargadatta on the wall to the right of the entry back into the kitchen, again, for a moment, and then thanked them and excused myself and left.

To me, the greatest book of wisdom ever written in the history of mankind is Nisargadatta's I Am That. It is beyond my imagination to conceive of anything more succinct and profound.

nis-around-the-corner-closer-yet How is it that this author's final residence for many years has not turned into a celebrated, well known, holy shrine?; instead, revealing no memory, not even in the form of a single, simple sign?

How is it that two of the very few enlightened people I know about lived here in southern Bombay, just a few miles from one another, while now, in the age of the internet, I have yet to discover for sure, an alive one in all of India; and maybe, other than possibly Eckhart Tolle, Gilbert Schultz, Master Ni, Mooji and a small handful of others, in the entire world?

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