Selected quotes on what we call as the person

For the last 3 weeks I have been on inner retreat and daily Satsangs with my Teacher. Today I choose to share quotes from Nisargadatta Maharaj on what we call as the person.

These are for deep contemplation, stillness within. Much love from my heart to Yours~ Swami Tavishiananda

“Awareness with an object we called witnessing. When there is also self-identification with the object, caused by desire or fear, such a state is called a person. In reality there is only one state; when distorted by self-identification it is called a person, when colored with the sense of being, it is the witness; when colorless and limitless, it is called the Supreme.”

“Exactly as a shadow appears when light is intercepted by the body, so does the person arise when pure self-awareness is obstructed by the ‘I-am-the-body’ idea. And as the shadow changes shape and position according to the lay of the land, so does the person appear to rejoice and suffer, rest and toil, find and lose according to the pattern of destiny. When the body is no more, the person disappears completely without return, only the witness remains and the Great Unknown. ”

“The person is of little use. It is deeply involved in its own affairs and is completely ignorant of its true being. Unless the witnessing consciousness begins to play on the person and it becomes the object of observation rather than the subject, realization is not feasible. It is the witness that makes realization desirable and attainable.”

“Try to be, only to be. The all-important word is ‘try’. Allot enough time daily for sitting quietly and trying, just trying, to go beyond the personality, with its addictions and obsessions. Don’t ask how, it cannot be explained. You just keep on trying until you succeed. If you persevere, there can be no failure. What matters supremely is sincerity, earnestness; you must really have had surfeit of being the person you are, now see the urgent need of being free of this unnecessary self-identification with a bundle of memories and habits. This steady resistance against the unnecessary is the secret of success.”

“Words do not convey facts, they signal them. Once you are beyond the person, you need no words.”

“But if you stay with the idea that you are not the body nor the mind, not even their witness, but altogether beyond, your mind will grow in clarity, your desires—in purity, your actions—in charity and that inner distillation will take you to another world, a world of truth and fearless love.”

“Realization is of the fact that you are not a person. Therefore, it cannot be the duty of the person whose destiny is to disappear. Its destiny is the duty of him who imagines himself to be the person. Find out who he is and the imagined person will dissolve.”

“Give up the idea of being a person, that is all. You need not become what you are anyhow. There is the identity of what you are and there is the person superimposed on it. All you know is the person, the identity—which is not a person—you do not know, for you never doubted, never asked yourself the crucial question—‘Who am I’.”

“Take the case of a young child. The sense of ‘I-am’ is not yet formed, the personality is rudimentary. The obstacles to self knowledge are few, but the power and the clarity of awareness, its width and depth are lacking. In the course of years awareness will grow stronger, but also the latent personality will emerge and obscure and complicate. Just as the harder the wood, the hotter the flame, so the stronger the personality, brighter the light generated from its destruction.”

“You must begin by being the dispassionate observer. Then only will you realize your full being as the universal lover and actor. As long as you are enmeshed in the tribulations of a particular personality, you can see nothing beyond it. But ultimately you will come to see that you are neither the particular nor the universal, you are beyond both. As the tiny point of a pencil can draw innumerable pictures, so does the dimensionless point of awareness draw the contents of the vast universe. Find that point and be free.”

“There is no such thing as a person. There are only restrictions and limitations. The sum total of these defines the person. You think you know yourself when you know what you are. But you never know who you are. The person merely appears to be, like the space within the pot appears to have the shape and volume and smell of the pot. See that you are not what you believe yourself to be. ”

“In other words, the difference between the person and the witness is as between not knowing and knowing oneself. ”

From the words of Nisargadatta Maharaj


Swami Tavishiananda

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