Ni = Nis = Nir = without (beyond)
Sarga = things, phenomena
Nisarga = beyond phenomena, ‘without’ things. Also: ‘natural state’ or ‘innate disposition’.
Datta = sharing or giving
‘Nisargadatta’ means: sharer of that which is beyond phenomena
‘Nisarga Yoga’ means: union with that which is beyond impermanent phenomena, that in which all phenomena arises and dissolves.
“Truth is a state beyond concepts”.Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj (1897 – 1981), renowned spiritual teacher and the founder of Nisarga Yoga, did not ask anybody to follow any particular path. He just told those who came to listen to him to be what they were, in their natural, spontaneous state. He taught his disciples to stabilise in their beingness (also called ‘I am-ness’, consciousness) for beingness to reveal its Source (the Self), our ultimate origin. This is the practice and purpose of Nisarga Yoga. The word ‘Nisarga’ means ‘natural’ or ‘innate’. Nisargadatta used the word to signify our natural state prior to erroneously identifying as a finite body and mind with its many struggles and ills. We feel separate from our true Self, and we are trying to become reunited; that is Yoga. Yoga means ‘uniting’, it provides a bridge, a link, a fundamental means of connection. All of creation works naturally and spontaneously for protecting, perpetuating and expanding consciousness. This is life’s ultimate meaning and purpose and the very essence of Yoga. Living is itself, therefore, a natural Yoga. Nisargadatta emphasised Yoga was not required before the appearance of the ‘bridge’. Because the bridge (i.e. life) has appeared we feel separate and we are using the bridge to rediscover our wholeness. Therefore, living can either be seen as an absence of our natural state (wholeness) or a pathless path back to it. Either way, we must find out what our state was prior to the bridge. “Whatever the principle or the state was before this linking, before the existence of the bridge, was the perfect state” said Nisargadatta Maharaj. Yoga is the science and art of liberation through self-knowledge.
‘Focus your attention only on that consciousness “I am.” Don’t be led astray by all the so-called spiritual disciplines and rigmaroles.’Extraordinarily, Nisargadatta Maharaj didn’t base his teaching on any particular theology, cosmology or psychology, or philosophy (although it resonates strongly with Advaita Vedanta). Nisargadatta Maharaj even said himself that it might seem too simple, or even crude. 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 realisation, he affirmed, and there are no genuine ‘one-size-fits-all’ techniques for Self-realisation. Nisargadatta 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.” Nisargadatta aserted that his conversations (i.e. transcribed in the book “I Am That”) should not be taken for his last word on spirituality and his teaching was only meant for each specific questioner at that time.
“When consciousness recognises itself, it is called Self-realisation.”“Consciousness united with the Self is true yoga…” – Nisargadatta Maharaj
“…I trusted my Guru. What he told me to do, I did. He told me to concentrate on ‘I am’ — I did. He told me that I am beyond all perceivables and conceivables — I believed. I gave him my heart and soul, my entire attention and the whole of my spare time (I had to work to keep my family alive). As a result of faith and earnest application, I realised my self (swarupa) within three years.”– Nisargadatta Maharaj “The Nisarga Yoga, the ‘natural’ Yoga of Maharaj, is disconcertingly simple – the mind, which is all-becoming, must recognise and penetrate its own being, not as being this or that, here or there, then or now, but just as timeless being… To delve into the sense of ‘I’ – so real and vital – in order to reach its source is the core of Nisarga Yoga.” – Maurice Frydman, from the book ‘I Am That’
In your perfect state you do not know you are. If you are healthy in body, you are not aware of the body as such. When there is some ill health, or pain, you feel the pain. Then that pain says, “I am.” [Similarly,] In my perfect state I am perfect, total, complete. I don’t know I am. There is nobody else except myself. In that state, why should I know myself, because it is perfect, healthy, wholesome. In that wholesome state, this pimple or this sickness has come now, this boil has come up, “I AMNESS”. Therefore I AMNESS started knowing itself, like that pain. It just sprouted there, it didn’t come from anywhere. – Nisargadatta Maharaj
“Call it mindfulness, or witnessing, or just attention – it is for all. None is unripe for it and none can fail.” – Nisargadatta Maharaj
“…there can be no defeat in Yoga. This battle is always won, for it is a battle between the true and the false. The false has no chance.” – Nisargadatta Maharaj
“…for all the gateway to reality, by whatever road one arrives to it, is the sense of ‘I am’. It is through grasping the full import of the ‘I am’, and going beyond it to its source, that one can realise the supreme state, which is also the primordial and the ultimate.” – Maurice Frydman
“Even to talk of re-uniting the person with the self is not right, because there is no person, only a mental picture given a false reality by conviction. Nothing was divided and there is nothing to unite… You can find what you have lost. But you cannot find what you have not lost.” – Nisargadatta MaharajIn the going beyond the limiting, dividing and opposing mind, in moving beyond mental process as we know it, that mind comes into fruition. Because it is suffering from severe misapprehension, the body-mind must set its vision right to operate correctly. We must clarify the mind, purify our heart, and sanctify your life. In Nisarga Yoga, we meet our very existence, be with our existence, listen to it, follow it, treasure it, and make it the main focus of our attention. Nisargadatta reassures us that we need no other guide. As long as our desire for truth affects our daily life, all is well. When we are led by desire and fear, and identify ourselves with our feelings, we manifest unhappiness and stuckness. When we manifest with love and wisdom, and stay detached from our manifestations, the effect is harmony and peace. This, Nisargadatta says, is the fastest way to change the world:
“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.” – Nisargadatta MaharajHow can we correct a tangle which is beneath the level of insight? Through Nisarga Yoga, by being with ourselves, the ‘I am’; by observing ourselves in our daily life with mindful interest. “Have a good look at yourself, and all these misapprehensions and misconceptions will dissolve,” said Nisargadatta. We can be interested in ourselves beyond all experience. We can be with ourselves, have compassion for ourselves. True refuge is found only in self-knowledge. The main thing is earnestness, said Nisargadatta. We must be honest with ourselves, and nothing will deceive us. We must see our world as it is, not as we imagine it to be. Discrimination leads to detachment; detachment ensures right action; right action creates the inner bridge to our true being. Nisarga Yoga is not at all difficult, but detachment is necessary. It is our attachment to the false that makes truth seem so unclear.
“To go beyond, you need alert immobility, quiet attention. If you want to live sanely, creatively and happily and have infinite riches to share, search for what you are.” – Nisargadatta Maharaj
“Go to the ‘I am’ state, remain there, merge, and go beyond.” – Nisargadatta Maharaj
“To reach this knowledge, there is no practice at all. No specific practice.” – Nisargadatta Maharaj quote
“Call it mindfulness, or witnessing, or just attention — it is for all. None is unripe for it and none can fail.” – Nisargadatta Maharaj quotes
“Your consciousness is the only instrument required for liberation. Befriend it and surrender it to Brahman… Your consciousness is the centre of all things in the world. It has millions and millions of names, but remains unstained by even a single name.” “Your most important asset is the knowledge that you are prior to emanation of mind. Hold on to this knowledge and meditate. Nothing is superior to this…” “Just be. Let your true nature emerge. Don’t disturb your mind with seeking.” “…the mind will get purified and consciousness will be free of the body-identity. Thereafter, you will know clearly what you are. Your spontaneous nature, which is free of all practices, becomes known to you… When you become most comfortable with your consciousness, without doing anything you are already the Eternal.” – Nisargadatta Maharaj quotes
“Forget all about physical disciplines in this connection. I am telling you that the indwelling principle I am, the knowledge that you are, you have to be that. Just be that. With that knowledge I am, hold on to the knowledge I am.” – Nisargadatta Maharaj
“Keep the ‘I am’ in the focus of awareness, remember that you are, watch yourself ceaselessly and the unconscious will flow into the conscious without any special effort on your part… The person merges into the witness, the witness into awareness, awareness into pure being, yet identity is not lost, only its limitations are lost. It is transfigured, and becomes the real Self, the sadguru, the eternal friend and guide.” – Nisargadatta Maharaj
“I have gone beyond Brahma or the yogi state (the state of union), for in my Natural [Nisarga] state there was never any separation so how can there be yoga (union) or reunion? I know that it is illusion and that I am beyond and apart from these things. Although you are still experiencing the world in duality, you and the experience are really one.” – Nisargadatta Maharaj
“In that [nisarga] state you will be beyond any needs and wants; you will have no use for anything. No desires will be left, because they are all fulfilled… – Nisargadatta Maharaj
“The Nisarga Yoga, when persevered in and brought to its fruition, results in one becoming conscious and active in what one always was unconsciously and passively. There is no difference in kind — only in manner — the difference between a lump of gold and a glorious ornament shaped out of it. Life goes on, but it is spontaneous and free, meaningful and happy.” – Maurice Frydman, from the book ‘I Am That’
“…doing Sadhana [spiritual practice] means assuming the existence of a phantom. Who is to do Sadhana and for what purpose? Is it not enough to see the false as false? The entity that you think you are is false. You are the reality. Once it is understood, or rather, apperceived intuitively, that an entity is purely a conceptual notion, what remains is merely a re-integration — Yoga — in universality… What remains is pure non-volitional ‘being lived’…“ – Nisargadatta Maharaj