Sunday, 11 August 2013

Not Who You Think You Are

Ican never forget the first time I read a short sentence, in a book of transcriptions, from talks of Nisargadatta Maharaj.

The sentence in question read;
"Undeceive yourself and be free. You are not a person."

At the time when I first stumbled across this, it just knocked all the wind out of my sails.

At one moment I had been riding the high seas, all sails aloft and bloated, full of the winds of living and full of 'myself,' doing the living. The next moment 'I' was a drift on a sea of glass, no wind, and no sails, no 'I'...

"Undeceive yourself and be free. You are not a person."

This is not a new idea by any means, I had already delved quite deeply, or so I thought, into the writings of Zen, Dzogchen and Advaita Masters and in such writings one often comes across this teaching. But for me, this was one of those; 'when the penny drops' moments.

When I read this passage I was in the loft of my little 'tin palace' which is situated in a patch of forest about an hour from the hill station of Darjeeling in the north-east of India.

I have no idea how long I sat gazing out into space. It was not that the words began a whole stream of thoughts that lead to a moment of 'reckoning.' It was rather that those few words cut the mind off completely at the root; at least for a while. They hold that kind of potential, they have that kind of power.

In truth these are words of power. They were uttered by a Master who had gone completely beyond the 'little self' and had been immersed in the 'absolute self,' despite his having lived in the midst of a huge city.

These kinds of utterances are in fact, windows into the 'self.' They are not intended for consideration so much as for freeing us from all our usual pre-occupations and distractions.

Volume Four in the Series; Shades of Awareness


  1. Yes...this from Nisargadatta has also taken off my head. Would you know by any chance exactly where this quote came from. I read I Am That in its entirety some years ago...but I have no clue where this particular quote came from. I actually would like to know exactly where in his original Marathi recordings/transcripts it came from, as I would love to hear him (or really any Marathi speaker) actually voice them. I want to use select phrases, including this one, in the original Marathi, for meditation purposes.

    1. Hi Eric, i should know this but i am not currently with my books around me as i am in the South of India just now. However if you can be patient i will try to find out. I know someone who was close to both Maharaj and Maurice Freydman who authored "I Am That" and he has a very good memory and will surely know. It may well have been in one of Jean Dunns transcriptions of Maharaj's talks. Will get back to you shortly.


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