You began as a child and you will end as a child. Whatever you have acquired in the meantime you must lose and start at the beginning.
Q: But the child kicks. When it is unhappy or denied anything it kicks.
Maharaj: Let it kick. Just look at the kicking. And if you are too afraid of the society to kick convincingly look at that too. I know it is a painful business. But there is no remedy – except one – the search for remedies must cease. If you are angry or in pain, separate yourself from anger and pain and watch them. Externalization is the first step to liberation. Step away and look.
The physical events will go on happening, but by themselves they have no importance. It is the mind alone that matters. Whatever happens, you cannot kick and scream in an airline office or in a Bank. Society does not allow it. If you do not like their ways, or are not prepared to endure them, don’t fly or carry money. Walk, and if you cannot walk, don’t travel. If you deal with society you must accept its ways, for its ways are your ways. Your needs and demands have created them. Your desires are so complex and contradictory – no wonder the society you create is also complex and contradictory.
Q: I do see and admit that the outer chaos is merely a reflection of my own inner disharmony. But what is the remedy?
M: Don’t seek remedies.
Q: Sometimes one is in a ‘state of grace’ and life is happy and harmonious. But such a state does not last! The mood changes and all goes wrong.
M: If you could only keep quiet, clear of memories and expectations, you would be able to discern the beautiful pattern of events. It is your restlessness that causes chaos.
You want immediate results! We do not dispense magic here. Everybody does the same mistake: refusing the means, but wanting the ends. You want peace and harmony in the world, but refuse to have them in yourself. Follow my advice implicitly and you will not be disappointed. I cannot solve your problem by mere words. You have to act on what I told you and persevere. It is not the right advice that liberates, but the action based on it.
Just like a doctor, after giving the patient an injection, tells him: ‘Now, keep quiet. Do nothing more, just keep quiet,’ I am telling you: you have got your ‘injection’, now keep quiet. You have nothing else to do. My Guru did the same. He would tell me something and then said: ‘Now keep quiet. Don’t go on ruminating all the time. Stop. Be silent’.
All that needs doing can be done in peace and silence. There is no need to get upset. If you just try to keep quiet, all will come – the work, the strength for work, the right motive. Must you know everything beforehand? Don’t be anxious about your future – be quiet now and all will fall in place. The unexpected is bound to happen, while the anticipated may never come. Don’t tell me you cannot control your nature. You need not control it. Throw it overboard. Have no nature to fight, or to submit to. No experience will hurt you, provided you don’t make it into a habit.
Of the entire universe you are the subtle cause. All is because you are.
Excerpted from ‘I Am That’. The 122nd birth anniversary of Nisargadatta Maharaj is being celebrated on April 17.