On Vigilance and Being Present

In the video below Gautam Sachdeva ends with some excellent advice originally stated by Nisargadatta Maharaj. He says to read the Bhagavad Gita from the point of Krishna.

After hearing that I thought, perhaps I could read “I Am That” from the perspective of Nisargadatta himself. So I picked up the book, turned to a random chapter and started reading.

Whenever Nisargadatta would be responding to a questioner I would read as if his wisdom were coming from me. I didn’t have to think about the words, or totally understand them, I just had to act as if they were spontaneously arising in me. Actually, that’s probably how they came to him anyways.

To my amazement it had a profound impact. The words he spoke came from such depth that by simply saying them, without polluting them with my thoughts or analysis, I was taken on a wonderful ride. It was as if new levels of consciousness were revealed to me.

Please watch the video below and heed his advice!

5 thoughts on “On Vigilance and Being Present”

  1. An excellent piece (and video) Graham, for which many thanks. This reminds me of some of the great Thai Forest Monks (e.g. Achaan Mun, Achaan Chah) who occasionally would admonish other monks not to try and (consciously) understand their words, but simply to allow them to be absorbed. In other words, whilst the wisdom operates at the level of the of the intellect, it also operates at a deeper level of knowing which passes into us without interpretative thought.


    1. Thanks for your kind words once again Hariod. I believe A Course in Miracles also states something similar indicating that your understanding is not a powerful contribution to the truth.
      It must be the ego that thinks a mere individual could possibly understand the whole.


      1. The mind still hears without active (attentive) listening? e.g. we don’t wait attentively for the alarm clock to ring, yet still it interrupts our sleep and serves its purpose. Awareness remains beyond verbal thought, within and without sleep, and with it, an intelligence too, one that does not require interpretative analysis? It seems so.


  2. That’s a beautiful sharing, Graham and Hariod. That’s ‘apperception’ – a word I never understood until Ramesh explained it to me. It is that in which the intellectual understanding of words is wholly transcended. It felt the same for me with Maharaj’s teaching as well.

    I remember Mullarpattan, Maharaj’s translator, asking me years ago to recite one sentence of Maharaj’s that impacted me deeply. Without hesitation, out came the words, “Only the dead can die.” When he asked me what it meant, I replied, “I have no idea, but I love it.” He smiled, and handed me ten unpublished tapes of Maharaj’s talks that later became the book ‘Beyond Freedom’.

    God bless and take care.


    1. Many thanks for the video, your comment and your supportive words Gautam. I have viewed several of your videos as a result of my subscription here at Graham’s blog, and I particularly loved the one filmed in Glastonbury as I live there myself, and can see the Tor where you walked from my house.

      Yes, what we’re talking about is some kind of metacognition, some absorption or integration of information that remains dependent upon (could we say?) that which is already known. If so, this explains why dhamma and the like can have efficacy without the cumbersome reinterpretation of our own internal verbal discourse. There is part of us, so to speak, that recognises truth as truth (for want of a better word).

      Along the lines of your own anecdote, I was once many years ago asked by an Abbot of a Buddhist Monastery “What is the highest?”. Without thinking, I immediately replied “harmlessness”. He nodded slowly but remained silent. About 20 years later I came to see that my answer was a good one, though I had no real idea at the earlier time as to why it was, or where it came from.


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