Nectar of Illumination

Teachings of

 

Shree Nimbargi Maharaj

 

 

Translation by –

                                                                Sucharita Bhagwat

                                                            Suresh Gajendragadkar

Contents

1.        Translator’s note

2.        Biographical sketch of Shree Nimbargi Maharaj

3.        Some prominent disciples of Shree Nimbargi Maharaj

4.        Arrangement and summary of the teachings of Shree Nimbargi Maharaj

5.        Fundamentals of conduct

Appendix – 1          Summary of the songs of Shree Nimbargi Maharaj

Appendix – 2          The story – ‘Tel Nahi Tup Nahi”

Translator’s Note

‘Mystical classics have neither birthday nor native land’

– William James

            This note is neither the introduction nor the critique or commentary on the sayings of Shree Nimbargi Maharaj. The only person who could have done it was Shree Gurudeo Ranade. We fully understand that such a great work will be spoilt and weakened by anything in the form of commentary or the like by any other person.

We would like to give part of the history of publication of the original Kannada book. In this book we have also included life history of this great saint and in appendix given a summary of important poems constructed by Shree Nimbargi Maharaj to give the readers a comprehensive idea of the life and works of Shree Nimbargi Maharaj.

These sayings of Shree Nimbargi Maharaj were neither written by him nor did he dictate them to anybody. These sayings were collected and written out by Shree Raghunathacharya Adya, one of the senior disciples of Shree Nimbargi Maharaj, from the discourses given by Shree Nimbargi Maharaj. Shree Babacharya Kavya, another disciple of Shree Nimbargi Maharaj added a few suitable passages in Hindi, Sanskrit and Kannada to explain the basic thoughts, and, wrote them out, and there were many manuscripts available.

The book  ‘Shree Maharajarawar Vachana‘ (Sayings of Shree Maharaj) was published in 1908.

Shree Gurudeo with the help of a few of his disciples did a thorough research of all the available manuscripts and arranged all the thoughts according to the principles of Ethics and Mysticism. And finalised the copy and printed it as ‘Bodha Sudhe’.

He once said, “I have spent more time and energy on this book than any other book”. Whatever Gurudeo wrote in his books, before and after, was the detailed exposition of what Shree Nimbargi Maharaj has said in small cryptic sentences loaded with deep meaning.

There is a special emphasis on morality and ethics in the teachings of Shree Nimbargi Maharaj. Shree Gurudeo emphasises that the moral preparation is a necessary condition for the attainment of spiritual ideal. He has said, “A mystic is necessarily a moral being, so much so that a ‘moral mystic’ is a tautology and ‘immoral mystic’ is a self-contradiction”. Shree Gurudeo while discussing the ethics and virtues to be imbibed, puts the same argument and proves how God-devotion is the highest virtue. Shree Nimbargi Maharaj has mentioned in a few pithy sentences the importance of sadguru. “Sadguru is one who has become one with the Unrevealed Reality. It is very difficult to come across such sadguru and receive initiation from him.” Shree Gurudeo has written chapters about the necessity of sadguru and the name he receives from him. In Jamkhandi, on his Amritmahotsava function he said, “Guru is the Unrevealed Reality”. (MÉÖ°ü ¨½þhÉVÉä MÉÖ{iÉ°ü{É)

Shree Gurudeo has written on methods of meditation, wherein he has mentioned different methods, only to prove that the mystical method is to be followed by the devotees.

‘Without Bhava or Bhakti no realisation is possible’ is his last word.

About Self-realisation Shree Nimbargi Maharaj says, “Thus, if you extract Self from the human body and see him in this birth only, you will not be born again on this earth. There is no doubt about that.” He promises confidently. Shree Gurudeo has written in every book about Self-realisation, about vision of God, as if in mirror etc. He mentions, “Self-realisation alone constitutes the Summum Bonum”, which is only a different way of saying what Shree Nimbargi Maharaj has said.

The last and the most important aspect is the effect of Self-realisation. Shree Nimbargi Maharaj has categorically said, “Swa-rajya or real freedom consists in the enjoyment of the unending Bliss of Atman. In this kingdom, there is ever increasing joy without slightest tinge of sorrow”. Shree Gurudeo has written on this Bliss, the beatific experience in every one of his books.

Shree Gurudeo was our Guru, spiritual master, whose grace has been the very life sap for us. Shree Gurudeo was a disciple of Shree Bhausaheb Maharaj, who was the disciple of Shree Nimbargi Maharaj. Shree Gurudeo had tremendous regard for the originator of this school of mystics – Shree Nimbargi Maharaj. To him, who himself was a great mystic and saint, every word of Shree Nimbargi Maharaj was God’s word. He used to read ‘Bodhsudhe’ daily and till the last day he followed this routine. Not only this, but in his last few days he used to write, in blue or red pencil, some part of the vachanas, or sayings.

We, who are his humble disciples, has an experienced faith that Shree Gurudeo like Shree Nimbargi Maharaj was another great mystic who came from God and become one with God by realising the Atman. Hence, we thought that one of the ways to express our gratitude to our great Guru is to make his teachings and life thoughts available to people at large.

The Marathi and Hindi translations are already available. This English translation is attempted especially for the people who do not know any of these three languages.

In this second edition, we have tried to translate the original thoughts keeping the nearest words even keeping the same syntax in many places. We have tried to let the flavour of the original language be seen. So the original similes’, proverbs or sayings that indicate stories have been kept as they are.

Gurudeo used to say that one can learn kannada from using the translation of Bodhsudhe. In this edition we have tried to achieve this goal.

The book is to be read, pondered over and followed. We trust the reader will understand that mysticism proper is a practical thing – something more than a doctrine – a way of life !  We sincerely feel that this book should give an ethico- mystical foundation to the life of every reader, especially when everywhere the walls are being broken down, chaos is ruling and mis and mal-interpretation of Indian mysticism is becoming popular. This book could be a strong foothold of real mysticism giving a life of hope. To the occidentals who try to think that the real mysticism is no more seen or experienced in India, this could mean an eye-opener.  Even in the corner of Indian villages, great mystics savants are born and they silently pass away leaving a definite divine trail.

Fundamentals of conduct

(1) Human Life – The best of lives

To be born as a human being is a rare blessing. One has to pass through countless cycles of births and deaths before this birth. Every living being has to pass through four categories of life, viz., life from egg, from womb, from perspiration, and, from germination. Thus it has to be born in eighty-four lakhs of species revolving in each for crores of times. It suffers each time the pangs of birth, committing all sorts of evil deeds as it pleases, muttering all the time, ‘what next’, to itself in an agitated state, and, ends every life in painful death. Some small act of benevolence towards others in these lives begets this human birth due to unpremeditated good conduct. But this human life will never be regained, if again some evil deeds are committed, the three possessions (woman, wealth and land) of others are hankered after, and, the six passions are let loose, and, this life is futilely wasted in restlessness without realising ‘Atman’ (Self). Hence, the purpose of this excellent human body should be fulfilled as long as it exists.

Spirituals aspirant should not worry about their worldly possessions, but be only concerned about how they would get the vision of Atman in a great measure, when they would get the ambrosia of God’s name, that is, be anxious about the absolute. If they feel anxious about Atman, Atman also feels concerned about them. He takes care that they do not lack in anything, and, looks after their material well being.

God’s name received by the grace of Sadguru is the only means of uprooting the sprouts of anxiety from the mind. Meditation on the name of God removes all anxiety from the mind automatically, and, God showers His grace.

Acquiring Virtues

(24) Discretion

To fight with all vices, discretion is the only great powerful weapon. Nothing should be done without discretion. When the person ahead stumbles on the road, those all following him should grow wiser, and, act carefully. Everything should be done with due foresight. All enemies should be killed with the help of contentment and meditation on Atman.

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