Chanting, Meditation etc. of any use ? – Nisargadatta

Q: What is better — repetition of God’s name, or meditation?
M: Repetition will stabilize your breath. With deep and quiet breathing vitality will improve, which will influence the brain and help the mind to grow pure and stable and fit for meditation. Without vitality little can be done, hence the importance of its protection and increase. Posture and breathing are a part of Yoga, for the body must be healthy and well under control, but too much concentration on the body defeats its own purpose, for it is the mind that is primary in the beginning. When the mind has been put to rest and disturbs no longer the inner space (chidakash), the body acquires a new meaning and its transformation becomes both necessary and possible.

Q: Do you advocate complete passivity?
M: Clarity and charity is action. Love is not lazy and clarity directs. You need not worry about action, look after your mind and heart. Stupidity and selfishness are the only evil.

Q: Are austerities and penances of any use?
M: To meet all the vicissitudes of life is penance enough! You need not invent trouble. To meet cheerfully whatever life brings is all the austerity you need.

Q: What about sacrifice?
M: Share willingly and gladly all you have with whoever needs — don’t invent self-inflicted cruelties.

Q: What is self-surrender?
M: Accept what comes.

Q: Will complete solitude be of any benefit?
M: It depends on your temperament. You may work with others and for others, alert and friendly, and grow more fully than in solitude, which may make you dull or leave you at the mercy of your mind’s endless chatter. Do not imagine that you can change through effort. Violence, even turned against yourself, as in austerities and penance, will remain fruitless.

Q: I cannot make out a gnani, nor can gnana be conquered by appropriate means. It is all so confusing!
Q: It is all due to your complete misunderstanding of reality. Your mind is steeped in the habits of evaluation and acquisition and will not admit that the incomparable and unobtainable are waiting timelessly within your own heart for recognition. All you have to do is to abandon all memories and expectations.

Q: I am afraid of mistakes. So many things I tried — nothing came out of them.
M: You gave too little of yourself, you were merely curious, not earnest.

Q: I don’t know any better.
M: At least that much you know. Knowing them to be superficial gives no value to your experiences, forget them as soon as they are over. Live a clean, selfless life, that is all.

Q: Is morality so important?
M: Don’t cheat, don’t hurt — is it not important? Above all you need inner peace — which demands harmony between the inner and the outer. Do what you believe in and believe in what you do. All else is waste of energy and time.

I Am That – Talks with Sri Nisargatta Maharaj
Abandon Memories and Expectations – Item 96