Nisarga Yoga of the great Advaita (nonduality) master Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj (1897 – 1981), is a natural and simple way of approaching life. Our body-mind recognises and connects with its own ‘I am-ness’, not as an ‘I am someone’ or ‘I am something’ but simply as pure timeless being. Nisarga Yoga is not a physical yoga practice but a blend of self-inquiry and meditation as taught by Nisargadatta Maharaj.
In his book I Am That, Nisargadatta Maharaj describes Nisarga Yoga as living life with “harmlessness,” “friendliness,” and “interest,” abiding in “spontaneous awareness” while being “consciousness of effortless living.” “Nisarga” means natural, innate, inborn, and spontaneous. The vital apparatus for this simple yet powerful “art of living” is to delve into the knowledge of “I” to reach its Source. The core of Nisarga Yoga is to meditate on the ‘I am’ and inquire into its source. For this beingness must have an ultimate origin from which it flows and to which it eventually returns – our true Self, the Absolute.
To correct the misconception of who or what think we are, we must fully understand the patterns of the mind and turn it into a tool of Self-remembrance. Living life mindfully and effortlessly in full awareness and spontaneity, being deeply interested in life cultivate the heart of Nisarga Yoga. No longer unconscious or passive, we become conscious and engaged in consciousness itself.
In this dwelling on consciousness or the sense of ‘I am’, dependence, preparation or initiation are unnecessary. But refraining from hurting others – what Nisargadatta Maharaj calls ‘harmlessness’ – is the most powerful and fruitful practice. Rather than a mere spiritual practice, Nisarga Yoga is the art of living in peace, harmony, friendliness and love, all of which are the qualities of the sattva guna.
In this nonduality course, you will meet your own inner life, learn from it, follow it, embrace it, and give it our earnest focus. Nisargadatta Maharaj reassures us we need no other guide. Our steadfast desire for Truth beyond worldly knowledge influences our daily life and a quiet equanimity becomes apparent. The fruit of Nisarga Yoga is unconditional happiness. “Normal” life continues, but is seen to be spontaneous and unbound, meaningful and contented.
You will be guided experientially through the Seven Principles of Nisarga Yoga:
– Non-identification and right understanding
– Interest and earnestness
– Spontaneity and effortlessness
– Attentiveness to being
– Right action
– Going within to go beyond
– Awareness of Self
A natural yoga implies that we are already connected with our Self because it is the Source, and that clarity, reality, and freedom are at hand. To put it into action, we try to see clearly, from wholeness, and seek to relate with authenticity and harmlessness. Nisarga Yoga, which we could call “natural unity,” is about being awake to the effortlessness of Aliveness, living in spontaneous Awareness, discerning with focus—being radically mindful of what is so. Because we inherently are, our Beingness is our freely-given unity with life. The only practice is to Be and to affectionately bring Awareness to that Aliveness to let it reveal its truthful Source. The dream was that you were astray from the universe; the reality is that you are the universe and there is nowhere that your Aliveness isn’t. All is you, therefore all is well.
Nisargadatta didn’t base his teaching on any particular theology, cosmology, psychology, or even philosophy (although it has much in common with Advaita Vedanta or nonduality). Having not practiced any specific forms of meditation or spiritual practice himself, Maharaj didn’t prescribe a formal spiritual method or belief system. Everyone has their own means to truth and realization, he affirmed, and there are no genuine “one-size-fits-all” techniques for Self-realization. Maharaj just lived his life and told others to do the same: “Your sadhana”—meaning practice—“is to be. The doing happens. Just be watchful. Where is the difficulty in remembering that you are? You are all the time”.
Following in the footsteps of his beloved Guru, Sri Samartha Siddharameshwar Maharaj, Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj urged his disciples to delve into the ever-present sense of “I” to reach its source and once and for all find lasting happiness within. Echoing the powerful instruction given to him by his teacher, he never grew tired of telling those who came to listen to him that they were not what they took themselves to be. They simply needed to find out what they were by focusing their minds on pure Being, and staying in it. “Watch the sense ‘I am’,” he said over and over. “Find your real self”; “You cannot part with it, but you can impart it to anything”; “Give your heart and mind to it, think of nothing else”.
As his affectionate yet direct guidance suggests, Nisargadatta’s Yoga means to stay attentive to one’s Beingness. This is most effective and transformative when we’re attentive to Being without effort or pretense, when we naturally live meditatively and inquiringly and are familiar with shifting the focus of Consciousness. This is the continual encounter of Self-intimacy, to surrender our “small” lives to our vast lives and to let them be our teacher, to wonder earnestly, to investigate, till we arrive at the crux of the mind’s misunderstanding and thus to the clarity of non-dual Knowing beyond the illusory.