On Nisargadatta's "Bhakti"

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Average: 5 (2 votes)

I do not want to take you by the traditional, conventional, tortuous ways. That is why my teachings are better liked by the foreigners, because none of this traditional, conventional thing is here.


Visitor: Why is there such a divergence between different gurus, rishis, and realized gurus? Perhaps they are not realized?

Maharaj: No, this is to be explained as follows. Although, consciousness is universal and the knowledge "you are", and whatever knowledge there is, is all common, its expression through the body and the mind is individualistic; there everything is different. Therefore, the path expounded by each sage will be different; it is bound to be so.

V: All those several paths lead to the...

M: They will lead to the same. Is it not that all paths lead to Delhi? The paths will be different, but the destination is the same. So you can't compare the path or what I am expounding with somebody else's.

V: In your method --may I call it a method?--have you noticed any siddhis...

M: No. But that is my own doing, because of the commands of my guru. My guru told me, although you are realized, you will have to expound knowledge only. No siddhi powers for you. I was very eager...I thought, "I'll get certain powers, do miracles, remove the sickness of people." At first,I was thinking along those lines, as an initiate. But my guru told me, "Nothing of the sort for you. You have to expound knowledge only." There were to be no powers for me. And then he also told me, "You must also repeat all these bhajans three or four times a day. You have to do it." He said for the sake of all the ignorant people we have to do this.

I do not want to take you by the traditional, conventional, tortuous ways. That is why my teachings are better liked by the foreigners, because none of this traditional, conventional thing is here.

V: The worshiping, the rituals, nothing is there.

M: That is the devotional path. But what I am giving you is atma-yoga. I am not "doing" bhakti yoga; that is, bhajans, etc.: It is happening, going on by itself! Bhakti-yoga means (a devotee) trying to link up with God. It is not only going on here; it is going on everywhere right from the ants. This means everybody has that bhakti, even an ant wants to live, which is the same as bhakti. But that ant does not know it. Only a human form...

V: My question is, even a jnani's bhajans are devoted to some God, say Krishna, which takes for granted saguna bhakti. [To the interpreter:] Are you convinced by the answer? Then in turn you can convince me.

Interpreter: What has happened is this: as a jnani, he would have remained unknown to the world. That is what his guru thought. So he told him, when Maharaj asked how he could repay this debt after he got realization, "you cannot repay this anyway, but if at all you want to repay, you must do bhajans four times a day." Now the purpose of his guru's command was that when some bhajan goes on somewhere, people were alerted to the fact that this is a place where worship of God is taking place. So that is how people started coming here. Initially, they were mainly Indian people who were not primarily interested in knowing themselves, but who had faith in God. Those people came first, and subsequently others started flowing in, like Maurice Frydman. And thereafter that book [referring to I am that] was published. Ultimately, you come to know of these teachings because of him. So the purpose of this bhajan was indirectly to let people know about him; otherwise, he would have remained absolutely unknown.

V: It may be correct, but there must be some more to it.

I: Because of this Bhajan, people get elevated don't they?
Normally, we practice whatever he tells you right at that moment. He wanted to elaborate a little on this point. Presently, when people are putting the same question again and again, he will not reply at all. He was trying to say, bhajan is going on right from the level of ants up to ours. Eventually, when you get true knowledge, ultimate knowledge, then only will you come to understand that bhakti and jnana yoga are one.

V: And one can get the ultimate knowledge either way?

I: Yes

From: "The Ultimate Medicine" p. 32-33

Ahimsananda's picture

Self Knowledge and Self Realization

"Self Knowledge and Self Realization" is a small work, written by Nisagadatta himself. It is a wonderful early work that demonstrates Nisargadatta's devotional aspects, and background of Bhakti, and practice.

This work is often a surprise to many, particularly westerner's who usually only see Nisargadatta's later dialogs.

It shows a steady growth and maturing of ideas and understanding. Clearly showing, not an instantaneous awareness, but a growing, through practice and devotion (earnestness), resulting in "instantaneous" awareness.

As you show, in later years, Nisargadatta was able to give to all levels of understanding; relative and absolute reality. Each "questioner" requires an answer delivered to his "individual" understanding. This is compassion. This understanding comes of standing in the light of both Truth and Love.


Ahimsananda | Thu, 07/08/2010 - 14:08
B-friend's picture

Beautiful Booklet

Very sweet and beautiful booklet along with being profound, as usual..Thanks for sharing. I'm glad I read some of the things in it. I'm sure I'll read it again. It can be found here for anyone else interested in Maharaj's works--


It does have a feel as though it was written to the bhakta doesn't it? It makes me wonder if it was written to encourage the devotional seeker or ensnare them..maybe both

And it does give some insights into Maharaj as the process of Realization unfolded. Love it....thanks again

B-friend | Fri, 07/09/2010 - 07:04