Interview with
Sri Nisargadatta

Questioner: Sir, have you any wants or wishes. Can I do anything for you?

Maharaj: What can you give me that I do not have? Material things are needed for contentment. But I am contented with myself. What else do I need?

Questioner: Surely, when you are hungry you need food and when sick you need medicine.

Maharaj: Hunger brings the food and illness brings the medicine. It is all nature's work.

Questioner: If I bring something I believe you need, will you accept it?

Maharaj: The love that made you offer will make me accept.

Questioner: If somebody offers to build you a beautiful Ashram?

Maharaj: Let him, by all means. Let him spend a fortune, employ hundreds, feed thousands.

Questioner: Is it not a desire?

Maharaj: Not at all. I am only asking him to do it properly, not stingily, halfheartedly. He is fulfilling his own desire, not mine. Let him do it well and be famous among men and gods.

Questioner: But do you want it?

Maharaj: I do not want it.

Questioner: Will you accept it?

Maharaj: I don't need it.

Questioner: Will you stay in it?

Maharaj: If I am compelled.

Questioner: What can compel you?

Maharaj: Love of those who are in search of light....

Questioner: Can you give us the taste of the experience of self-realization?

Maharaj: Take the whole of it! It is there for the asking. But you do not ask. Even when you ask, you do not take. Find out what prevents you from taking.

Questioner: I know what prevents --- my ego.

Maharaj: Then get busy with your ego --- leave me alone. As long as you are locked up within your mind, my state is beyond your grasp.

Questioner: I find I have no more questions to ask.

Maharaj: Were you really at war with your ego, you would had put many more questions. You are short of questions because you are not really interested. At present you are moved by the pleasure-pain principle which is the ego. You are going along with the ego, you are not fighting it. You are not even aware how totally you are swayed by personal considerations. A man should be always in revolt against himself, for the ego, like a crooked mirror, narrows down and distorts. It is the worst of all the tyrants, it dominates you absolutely.

Questioner: When there is no "I" who is free?

Maharaj: The world is free of a mighty nuisance. Good enough.

Questioner: Good for whom?

Maharaj: Good for everybody. It is like rope stretched across the street, it snarls up the traffic. Rolled up, it is there as mere identity, useful when needed. Freedom from the ego-self is the fruit of self-enquiry

Questioner: There was a time when I was most displeased with myself. Now I have met my Guru and I am at peace, after having surrendered myself to him completely.

Maharaj: If you watch your daily life you will see that you have surrendered nothing. You have merely added the word "surrender" to your vocabulary and made your Guru into a peg to hang your problems on.

--- ©1988 Acorn Press

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