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Jerry Katz
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Nondual Highlights Issue #2165 Sunday, June 5, 2005

Pundit and Peasant

Once during a visit to the Ashram in the 1940s I was sitting outside the Old Hall with many devotees, facing Sri Bhagavan who was reclining on a couch. A group of learned pundits were discussing certain passages from the Upanishads with great enthusiasm and profundity.

All, including Bhagavan, appeared to be attentively listening to this interesting discussion when, all of a sudden, Bhagavan rose from his couch, walked thirty meters to the north, and stood before a villager who was standing there looking lowly with palms joined.

Immediately the discussion stopped and all eyes were turned to Bhagavan and the villager standing at a distance.

They appeared to be conversing, but at such a distance no one could tell about what. Soon Bhagavan returned to his couch and the discussion resumed.

I was curious about this villager and why Bhagavan had gone out of his way to meet him.

So, while the discussion continued I slipped away and caught up with him before he left the Ashram. I asked the villager what he and Bhagavan had talked about. He said that Bhagavan had asked him why he was standing there so far away. "I told Bhagavan, 'I am only an ignorant, poor villager. How am I to approach you who are God incarnate?'"

"What did the Maharshi say then?" I asked.

"He asked me my name, what village I was from, what work I did and how many children I had, etc."

"Did you ask Him anything?"

"I asked Him how I could be saved and how I could earn His blessings."

"What did He tell you?"

"He asked me if there was a temple in my village. I told him there was. He wanted to know the name of the deity of that temple. I told Him the name. He then said that I should go on repeating the name of that deity and I would receive all the blessings needed."

I came back to Bhagavan's presence and sat among the devotees listening to the learned discussion, in which I had now lost all interest, realizing that the simple humility and devotion of this peasant had evoked a far greater response from our Master than any amount of learning. I then decided that, though a scholar by profession, I should always remain a humble, ignorant peasant at heart, and pray, like that villager, for Bhagavan's grace and blessings.

- Professor K. Swaminathan from "The Maharshi", posted to MillionPaths


The fish trap exists because of the fish. Once you've gotten the fish you can forget the trap. The rabbit snare exists because of the rabbit. Once you've gotten the rabbit, you can forget the snare. Words exist because of meaning. Once you've gotten the meaning, you can forget the words. Where can I find a man who has forgotten words so I can talk with him?

- Chuang Tzu

What you are describing is not awareness at all, but only thinking about the experience. True awareness is a state of pure witnessing, without the least attempt to do anything about the event witnessed. Your thoughts and feelings, words and actions may also be a part of the event; you watch all unconcerned in the full light of clarity and understanding. You understand precisely what is going on, because it does not affect you. It may seem to be an attitude of cold aloofness, but it is not really so. Once you are in it, you will find that you love what you see, whatever may be its nature. This choiceless love is the touchstone of awareness. If it is not there, you are merely interested -- for some personal reasons.

- Nisargadatta Maharaj, from I Am That, posted to JustThis


What is my essential teaching? How to become easeful, peaceful and useful. Make your life easeful. Whenever you disturb your ease you say that you are dis-eased. You had ease before, you disturbed it, you are dis-eased. Remove the disturbance and get back to ease. So physically, become easeful. Mentally become peaceful. You make yourself easeful and peaceful. Only then can you be useful. Your goal should be, `I make myself easeful and peaceful so that I can be useful to others.' Remember these three words: easeful, peaceful and useful. That's the goal of all religions. Even the fellow that doesn't have any religion wants to be easeful, peaceful and useful.

God bless you. Om Shanthi, Shanthi, Shanthi.

- Swami Satchidananda, posted to meditationsocietyofamerica


Buddhism is transmitted from warm hand to warm hand.

- Shunryu Suzuki


The perspective of Love doesn't leave anybody out. Until your vision and compassion is big enough to include those who oppose you, you are simply contributing to the continuation of destructiveness. The end of separation is the salvation for all.

- Adyashanti

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