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All Suffering is Born of Desire Excerpts from: I AM THAT: Dialogues of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

Harmony between the inner and the outer is happiness.

On the other hand, self-identification with the outer causes is suffering

  • It is the mind bewildered by wrong ideas, addicted to thinking: ‘I am this’ ‘I am that’, that fears loss and craves gain and suffers when frustrated.


All suffering is born of desire.


 True love is never frustrated. How can the sense of unity be frustrated?

What can be frustrated is the desire for expression.

Such desire is of the mind.

As with all things mental, frustration is inevitable


Pain and suffering are only the body and the mind screaming for attention.

To go beyond the body you must be healthy:

To go beyond the mind, you must have your mind in perfect order. You cannot leave a mess behind and go beyond.

The mess will bog you up. ‘Pick up your rubbish’ seems to be the universal law: And a just law too!


There is no other way out of misery, which you have created for yourself through blind acceptance without investigation.

Suffering is a call for inquiry, all suffering needs investigation.

Don’t be too lazy to think.


Understand suffering rightly:

Dispassionate inquiry into suffering lays bare the roots of suffering – right understanding is only real help.

It is the only way out of the mess you have created for yourself!


Pain is physical; suffering is mental.

Beyond the mind there is no suffering.

Pain is merely a signal that the body is in danger and requires attention.

Similarly, suffering warns us that the structure of memories and habits, which we call the person (vyakti), is threatened by loss or change.

Pain is essential for the survival of the body,

but none compels you to suffer.

Suffering is due entirely to clinging or resisting; it is a sign of our unwillingness to move on, to flow with life.


Q: Why does the Guru take so much trouble?

Sorrow and the ending of sorrow. He sees people suffering in their dreams and he wants them to wake up.

Love is intolerant of pain and suffering.

The patience of a Guru has no limits and, therefore, it cannot be defeated. The Guru never fails.


Pleasure lies in the relationship between the enjoyer and the enjoyed

And the essence of it is acceptance.

Whatever may be the situation, if it is acceptable, it is pleasant.

If it is not acceptable, it is painful.

What makes it acceptable is not important; the cause may be physical, or psychological, or untraceable;

Acceptance is the decisive factor. Obversely, suffering is due to non-acceptance.


The fact of pain is easily brought within the focus of awareness, With suffering it is not that simple:

To focus suffering is not enough, for mental life, as we know it, is one continuous stream of suffering (conflicting energies, thoughts and emotions).

To reach the deeper layers of suffering you must go to its roots and uncover their vast underground network, where fear and desire are closely interwoven and the currents of life’s energy oppose, obstruct and destroy each other.


Don’t anticipate and don’t regret, and there will be no pain. it is memory and imagination that cause suffering.

But you do so many unnecessary things. It is your refusal to examine that creates your suffering. It is the indifference to your own suffering that perpetuates it.


Something prevents you from seeing that there is nothing you need.

Find it out and see its falseness.

It is like having swallowed some poison and suffering from unquenchable craving for water.

Instead of drinking beyond all measure, why not eliminate the poison and be free of this burning thirst?


The cause of suffering is in the identification of the perceiver with the perceived.

Out of it desire is born and with desire blind action, unmindful of results.

Look round and you will see — suffering is a man-made thing.


All suffering is caused by selfish isolation, by insularity and greed.

When the cause of suffering is seen and removed, suffering ceases.


Suffering is primarily a call for attention, which itself is a movement of love.

More than happiness, love wants growth, the widening and deepening of consciousness and being.


Sattva, the energy that works for righteousness and orderly development, must not be thwarted.

When obstructed it turns against itself and becomes destructive.

Whenever love is withheld and suffering allowed to spread, war becomes inevitable.

Our indifference to our neighbor’s sorrow brings suffering to our door.


Suffering has made you dull, unable to see its enormity.

Your first task is to see the sorrow in you and around you;

Your next to long intensely for liberation.

The very intensity of longing will guide you; you need no other guide.


Assiduously watch your ever-changing life, probe deeply into the motives beyond your actions and you will soon prick the bubble in which you are enclosed.

A chic needs the shell to grow, but a day comes when the shell must be broken.

If it is not, there will be suffering and death


Desire is of the past, fear is of the future.

The memory of past suffering and the fear of its recurrence make one anxious about the future.


There is no East and West in sorrow and fear.

The problem is universal — suffering and the ending of suffering.

The cause of suffering is dependence

and independence is the remedy.

Yoga is the science and the art of self-liberation through self-understanding.

Selfishness is the cause of suffering. There is no other cause.


Unity in diversity is natural and good.

It is only with separateness and self-seeking that real suffering appears in the world.


Generally, what causes suffering is wrong and what removes it, is right.

The body and the mind are limited and therefore vulnerable; they need protection which gives rise to fear.

As long as you identify yourself with them you are bound to suffer;

realize your independence and remain happy.

I tell you, this is the secret of happiness.


What increases suffering is bad and what removes it is good.


Karma, or destiny, is an expression of a beneficial law:

the universal trend towards balance, harmony and unity.

At every moment, whatever happens now is for the best.

It may appear painful and ugly, a suffering bitter and meaningless,

Yet considering the past and the future it is for the best, as the only way out of a disastrous situation.


Youth, vigor, money — all will pass away sooner than you expect.

Sorrow, shunned so far, will pursue you.

If you want to be beyond suffering, you must meet it half way and embrace it.

Relinquish your habits and addictions, live a simple and sober life, don’t hurt a living being; this is the foundation of Yoga.

To find reality you must be real in the smallest daily action; there can be no deceit in the search for truth.

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