This is a collection of some short quotes written down by me while I was compiling the ‘I am quotes’ or preparing ‘The Nisargadatta Gita’ :
1. Do you accept completely the knowledge that you do not exist?
2. The moment you know ‘you are’, you are individuality. When you do not know ‘you are’, you are perfect in the Absolute.
3. I am the infinite, timeless Absolute, Awareness without being aware of Awareness. As the infinite I express myself as finite, as the timeless I express myself as time.
4. Your ‘being’ depends on the body-mind – how can this be true? Can that which depends on anything be the truth?
5. If you are convinced that everything you see is unreal, then why hang onto the unreal principle?
6. All the pride of being is based on the body-mind, the ‘beingness’ is a temporary phase, hence unreal. The One who understands this is the Eternal.
7. Whatever is supposedly happening is an illusion. Nothing is really happening, because the basic concept ‘beingness’ is itself an illusion.
8. The individual as such has never come into being, thus there is no need to identify with anything.
9. In the ultimate Awareness nothing has any consciousness of being present. There is no ‘presence’ in the Absolute.
10. The feeling ‘I am’ or ‘being’ has occurred due to its association with the body-mind. In reality you are none of these. You are the unborn.
11. Hold on to the ‘being’ only, as it would one day take you to the ‘non-being’ or unborn.
12. The darkness you see on closing your eyes is the shade of the Guru’s (Beingess) grace. Take rest there and you would merge in the Satguru (Non-beingness or the Absolute).
13. Your ‘being’ is an illusion from the Absolute standpoint. Stay put in your ‘being’ then that primary desire ‘to be’ would drop off. You are then the Absolute.
14. Where is the person who should hold onto the worldly life or should give it up? The question does not arise. Charged up with this knowledge no difficulty can touch you.
15. Unless you negate individuality there will never be any understanding.
16. A simple remedy to enjoy eternal bliss is to know that you are not the body.
17. ‘Parabrahman’ (The Absolute) is your eternal state, you cannot remember it because you have never forgotten it.
18. The very identity with which you try to understand everything is unreal. There is only one truth in the world and that is that everything is unreal.
19. When your individuality is dissolved you will not see any individuality anywhere, it is just a functioning of consciousness. If it clicks, it’s easy, if not, it’s difficult.
20. The Supreme state is like a hole in the paper, in it yet not made up of it. In the very centre of consciousness, yet beyond it
21. The Supreme state is of utter stillness and silence, whoever goes there disappears.
22. Nothing is. Nothing appears to become something for sometime. Something appears to become Nothing. Nothing was, Nothing remains, Nothing is.
23. The question ‘Who am I?’ has no answer. No experience can answer it as the Self is beyond experience, there it helps in going beyond experience.
24. When by the ‘law of being’ one finds the way to return (Nivritti), he abandons all motives (Pravritti).
25. The ‘Jnani’ is not indifferent, he is impartial.
26. You do everything but miss the essential, which is the elimination of the person.
27. When you understand that the ‘I am’ is itself an illusion, then you will throw up your hands and give up everything.
28. To anyone who is interested in worldly activities and pleasures, how can unworldly wisdom ever come near him?
29. The Absolute cannot be understood. Understanding goes only up to the ‘I am’ sense. You are not whatever you understand, in non-understanding you understand yourself.
30. If you have understood that there is no ‘knower’, everything is over.
31. In the absence of a body form the ‘beingness’ cannot know itself. So you should hold on to the indwelling principle, the ‘beingness’ only.
32. Go to the root of your ‘beingness’, in the process, the ‘beingness’ will be transcended and only the ultimate ‘You’ will remain, without the knowledge ‘you are’.
33. There is permanent identity within you that never goes away. You cannot objectify it, you cannot know it, for on doing so it becomes impermanent or unreal.
34. If you do not identify with the body-mind sense, you will transcend into the ‘beingness’ first and later you will even transcend ‘beingness’.
35. You as the Absolute are neither the ‘beingness’ nor the activities that go on in it.
36. Whatever is seen or perceived is continuously in a state of creation and destruction, but you in your true nature are unborn and indestructible.
37. Your true state is always there, it has never gone anywhere; realize it, that’s all.
38. So long as you identify with the body you must follow the scriptures, when this identification is gone, you may do whatever you like.
39. As long as the ‘beingness’ is there you are the ‘beingness’. When the ‘beingness’ is not, you are the Absolute.
40. Please apprehend clearly that you are the Absolute bereft of any body identity. You are complete, perfect and the unborn.
41. All talking can be from the temporary ‘beingness’, from the eternal position there is nothing, you have no standpoint so what can be said?
42. Whatever spiritual or worldly activities that are happening through your ‘beingness’ are merely entertainment for passing time.
43. I am not this body, but I am the formless nameless knowledge indwelling in it – the ‘I am’.
44. The point is to be fully aware that neither you, nor the man in front of you, are mere bodies.
45. Finally you will understand that whatever you have understood is not the truth. At the highest level, in reality, nothing is. At the worldly level, everything is.
46. You are not whatever you observe, reject everything that you observe and finally settle down where there is no more observation.
47. At the highest level of ‘Parabrahman’ everything is useless, even ‘Brahman’ is reduced to an illusion.
48. There are two witnessing stages: ‘beingness’ witnesses all this manifestation, and witnessing of the ‘beingness’ happens to the Absolute.
49. The primary illusion ‘I am’ develops and moves through the four types of speech using the body and life force (‘prana’).
50. Discard whatever you know, whatever you have read and have a firm conviction about ‘That’, about which nobody knows anything.
51. Actually there is no ‘going beyond’, it is just an idea to remove all the ideas that you have accumulated due to your association with the body and mind.
52. Isn’t it amusing that the very teaching which destroys an individual is exactly what the individual wants?
53. The indication of your progress is your disinclination to associate with normal people and your desires and expectations get less and less.
54. The seeker disappears in the seeking, the unreality of the ‘beingness’ as ‘born’ is realized and it’s all over, there is nothing more to be done.
55. I am not the body; I am not the words, when knowledge recognizes this it’s called Self-realization.
56. To know that you are nothing is liberation. All your knowledge, including you yourself is liquidated – then you are liberated.
57. This sense of presence is as such, there is no individuality but applies to everything that is present.
58. Total negation or rejection of all that is perceivable and conceivable is needed – then and only then you can disappear.
59. All real progress is irreversible, if you are still going ups and downs in your moods, it shows that the teaching has not been taken to heart and translated into action in full.
60. All delay is a waste of time, what are you waiting for? Is it the fear of elimination as a person? It should be, for there can be no other reason.
61. Relatively there can be true knowledge of things but absolutely there are no things. To know that nothing is, is true knowledge.
62. The relative and the absolute are identical. When the words are spoken there is silence, when the relative is over the absolute remains. Shift your attention from words to silence and you will hear it.
63. There is no such thing as seeing the real. Who is to see what? You can only be the real – which you are anyhow.
64. You cannot know the knower for you are the knower. Whatever you are changelessly, that you are beyond doubt.
65. The primary desire is ‘to be’, when you stay put in your ‘beingness’ for some time, the desire ‘to be’ will droop off – then you are the Absolute.
66. Whatever you can forget is not the truth or eternal – always remember that. That’s why you cannot forget you true state and that’s why you cannot remember it (you can only remember what you forget.)
67. Understand the birth principle (‘Turiya’ or the ‘I am’ without words) and be free from it (‘Turiyatita’).
68. Your true nature is a fact, that’s all. You are already that, so how can you know something you already are? A subject-object relationship is impossible!
69. He who claims to have gained true knowledge and yet is still worried as to what will happen to him, cannot be considered a ‘Jnani’.
70. Stabilize yourself in the indwelling knowledge that ‘you are’ and then, that very knowledge will clear all your doubts and everything will be opened to you.
71. Effortlessly you are ‘That’, only you must stand for it by conviction.
72. Once you abide that you are the indwelling principle and not the body – that is enough.
73. It is the ‘Sadhana’ that matters and not the gathering of concepts.
74. I am perceptible from one point to another, beyond which the perceptible will become imperceptible. The imperceptible is my original state. It is only these two states that have to be understood, there is nothing else to be done.
75. The shackles are only of name and belief that you were born and are a person with a body and mind. This belief gone, what is left? Whose enlightenment and what enlightenment?
76. That the world never occurred or existed – if this is indeed your conviction, you are ‘Parabrahman’ or the Absolute.
77. The reason there is no realization in spite of all your trouble is that you are trying to identify with the body. You don’t give up that identification.
78. The ‘beingness’ is something like a telescope, a medium for observation. But the observer is neither the medium nor the field of observation.
79. The primary cause for the rising of the relative out of the absolute is beyond explanation, like two intimate friends, in perfect harmony, suddenly start to quarrel.
80. Remove the conjunction ‘and’ between ‘you and I’ and no duality exists, similarly ‘beingness’ is a conjunction, when it is removed no duality remains.
81. ‘Jnana yoga’ means to inquire how the ‘I-am-ness’ and the world came about, to understand that they are one and realize finally that you are neither but beyond them.
82. Yours is the power of perception, not what you perceive.
83. ‘Being’ doesn’t require knowing, but knowing requires ‘being’.
84. You are that dimensionless point of awareness which when moves creates the illusion of the world and which when stops is the Absolute reality.
85. To know that that you are neither in the body nor in the mind, though aware of both, is already Self-realization.
86. No problem is solved completely but you can withdraw from it to a level on which it does not operate.
87. You have to stay with the fact that you are neither this body nor this mind, only then you will grow and go altogether beyond into a different world of truth and fearless love.
88. Resist you old ways by telling yourself: ‘No, not so, it cannot be so, I am not like this, I do not need it, I do not want it.’ Surely a day would come when the entire structure of error and despair would collapse and the ground will be free for a new life.
89. There is a season for trusting and distrusting words. The utility and futility of words must be understood. Words serve a limited purpose of inter-personal communication and technical know-how.
90. Don’t try to know the truth, you can know only what is not true – which is enough to liberate you from the false.
91. There is no need to destroy or put an end to the mind. It has only to be put at its proper place and work which is the liberation of the mind.
92. Only see that there is no happiness in what you desire. There maybe pleasure which is always wrapped up with pain.
93. Only the changeable can be thought and talked about. The unchangeable can only be realized in silence. Once realized, it will deeply affect the changeable, itself remaining unaffected.
94. You do not know your timeless, spaceless, causeless being because you are so engrossed in the world.
95. The Source is dark itself yet makes everything shine, unperceived it causes perception, unfelt it causes feeling, unthinkable it causes thought, non-being it gives birth to being. It is the immovable background of motion, once you are there you are home everywhere.
96. All this is not very difficult to understand and practice, but you must be interested, without interest nothing can be done.
97. Keep quiet. Do your work in the world but inwardly keep quiet, then all will come to you. Do not rely on your work for realization, it may profit others but not you. Your hope lies in keeping silent in the mind and quiet in your heart.
98. If you have really understood the core of the matter no questions can arise, questions arise only to an entity.
99. Allot some daily for sitting quietly and trying to go beyond the personality with all its addictions and obsessions.
100. Keep trying until you succeed. If you persevere and try earnestly, there can be no failure.
had two short unpublished talks prepared from the matter sent to me
after the completion of the book ‘I am Unborn’. These are not actual
lectures but have just been so arranged for my own understanding of what
Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj said to visitors on or around these dates: Talk 1
Feb 4, 1981
What image of yourself are you going to collect from here and go? You
had come to the market to sell your wares (yourself) and return with
money (your true Self). So you have come here and collected what? Are
you returning and yet carrying yourself? You should be word-free, no
emanations, no sound or reply. Let us presume we have carried out all
out duties towards the world. In what state are you going to be at the
time of death? In your life-span you have acquired many skills. At the
so-called time of death with what language are you going to die? Which
is your most appropriate place of abidance? Which is the state that is
truthful and eternal? Understand this - prior to birth or the emanation
of knowledge ‘I am’, did you exist or not? Did you understand the actual
state of affairs? You have come here to recognize yourself, so talk
with reference to that only. What is the principle common to all?
You know all things because of what? It is really simple, but instead of
intimately understanding it, without any label, by itself, we pollute
it with the mind and label it. If understood directly, there are no
doubts. What is doubt? It is that when you have not directly understood,
it is a mental interpretation. When we wake up in the morning, the
sense of being is immediate. Doubt is when something is not intuitively
understood. Cognizance is knowledge, ‘I have understood’ (individually)
is wrong, cognizance as a whole, by itself, is knowledge. What is
the need to speak irreverently? When this understanding has taken place,
then what is the value of manifestation? Whatever is perceived is as
good as toilet paper or toilet water. Pure understanding has no duality.
What one understands as knowledge of any kind it is only due to the
arising of consciousness which itself is an illusion. The real truth has
been there before the arising of consciousness. The sense of being is
always there and it is in it that all knowledge is achieved, so
knowledge is ignorance. What is ignorance? Whatever perceived, is
changeable and our experience. What is born is the consciousness or
knowledge, prior to its birth is our true state. My attention is not
drawn to incidents because my attention is not drawn to myself – the
consciousness, the ‘I am’. I studied the five jeweled ornament, I have
understood the precious jewels – their outcome was a diadem. I have
understood its value (Consciousness’); it is very precious, it is the
cosmos. I recognize it, but in the process of recognition, I am not
that. Consciousness is no-thing. ‘Happy, and ‘unhappy’ are saddled on it
by the ‘I’ or the mind which is the root of all misery. Total
Consciousness is unsaddled, not attached, never with the feeling ‘I’
which is spurious; it is the result of the food-body, that moves about
as the ‘I’. What is the meaning of ‘shuddha’(pure)? You collect
words, do they remain with you? What is ‘YOU’? You are bereft of words
and their meaning, You are not a personality, but manifestation is
there. The Brahman (cosmic creative principle) which gives rise to
consciousness has spontaneously come. That consciousness is the manifest
experience. Until yesterday you did not have the ‘you are’ knowledge,
come birth and now you are loquacious and say ‘I am Brahman”. All the
world-play is that ‘Chaitanya’ (Consciousness), is that ‘Chaitanya’
(Consciousness) experienced by you or whatever you have heard? Have you
heard stories about it or had an experience of it? The Absolute is
beyond all attributes, being, and illusion. But you think of the
‘Parabrahman’ as something, as a third party. But prior to birth,
‘Parabrahman’ is, so the attributeless state is not a third party, it is
my own state. ‘Parabrahman’ is beyond time, is it not your own
experience prior to birth? You seem to be talking of someone’s state; it
is your very own. Prior to Consciousness did you have day and night?
You were in a timeless state. That’s why concepts are dangerous, without
knowing you are That. When you receive (knowledge) from a proper
source, then you realize. My knowledge is beyond knowledge, who will
understand this? Will any one say God – ‘Parabramhan’ – has no knowledge
of day and night. I talk from my day and night experience – all the
time. After Krishna, I have not come across any book where the author
talks with such an emphasis. This knowledge will grow only in those
who totally accept whatever is given. Whatever knowledge I give, you do
not let it reach your heart. You return it back with concepts. You do
whatever you are doing, don’t come back here. Whatever experiences I am
getting are experiences of the three states: waking, knowing and sleep
and I have nothing to do with them. Whatever happens, these experiences
are not mine. I take no delivery of them (in the sense of receiving and
making a memory of them). They are only in the field of consciousness,
many know the Brahman, very few know themselves, as ‘Atma-Jnana’
(Knowledge of the Self). The knowledge of Brahman has association with
many types of knowledge, but the knowledge of Self – ‘Atma-Jnana’ – has
no association with any other knowledge. Listen to it, but you have no
time to ponder over it, so look at it as it is. Talk 2
19 June 1981
All events happen in bodily-consciousness only. The ordinary knowledge
pertains to the bodily image and what I am expounding does not pertain
to that. As one looks at the body, one thinks he or she is the body. But
one is not the body; he or she is consciousness, in that consciousness
there is no imprint of the body. It is the manifest consciousness that
is functioning and it is always in a fluid stage. Whatever changes are
to occur they will, no one can say anything about them. That dynamic
manifest consciousness entertains no concept that something good or bad
is going to happen to it. All that happens is in consciousness, it
is just happening, there is nobody doing it. This consciousness has no
idea of good and bad. All functioning of activity will be there as long
as the message ‘I am’ is there; but it is not a personality. The mind
flow is also there, but one should not attribute a personality to it.
From my standpoint the very idea ‘I am the body’ is ridiculous.
Consciousness is experiencing its manifestations; it is not experiencing
a personality, only a rare one will realize this. Many a so called
‘Jnanis’ are caught up with the relations of the body. The worldly life
of a true ‘Jnani’ means the total functioning of Consciousness. There is
no involvement as an individual. Most people think of others as persons
and do not think of them as the functioning of Consciousness. The
fastidious nature of Consciousness will not come down to an individual
level, it is manifestation only. The reply to the question ‘Who am
I?’ cannot be obtained if you identify yourself with your personality.
If you are stabilized in ‘yourself’ there is no ‘otherness’, where is
the question of meeting someone else? If you abide in yourself, you are
like space, you are everything, and there is no duality. Right now
you are as expansive as space, which is liberation. It means you are not
conditioned by name or form. If you are like space, what is the point
of going elsewhere? You may build huts or palaces the space is
ever-free, not conditioned. Anyone listening to these talks would be
torn to pieces by my sentences. Thereafter if one still thinks that
something good or bad is going to happen to him or her, it would mean
that he is still identifying with the individuality as a person.
First abide in ‘yourself’ and transcend it, and in that transcendence
you will realize the ultimate and you will understand the meaning of it.
First realize Consciousness, be there! When you know it, you transcend
it, and finally abide in the Absolute. With abidance in the Absolute,
witnessing the Consciousness will take place. You must thoroughly
understand what ‘you are’, what ‘you are’ when nothing is and when
nothing is, you still ‘are’, so what is it? For those who are
stabilized in their bodily consciousness, this knowledge will make no
impact on them. They have ‘Dhushta Buddhi’ (Ruinous Intellect). Only
those who identify with Consciousness will understand. This moment
only ‘I amness’ is there, prior to this I had no quality of beingness.
If it ever prevailed, I would have felt all changes like pricking of
skin etc., presently, I am in the state that and if anybody has a good
look at me, that would be enough for him. The knowledge, ‘I am’ is
equivalent to the existence of the whole world. Those are the luckiest
who see me in this state and having seen me in this state, they will be
bereft of miseries in future. The knowledge, ‘I am’ means the world
is, if the‘I amness’ is not, then the world is not (does not exist). In
that ‘non-I amness’ I ever prevail, I talk in detail yet you stick to
your body as your image. Whenever you ponder, you think of only
something good or bad happening to you. Do you ponder on ‘yourself’?
Think only on ‘yourself’, If ‘you are’, the external world is, If ‘you
are not’ then the world too is not. Presently, I am in that profound
state, only lucky ones will reach (here). When I am in this state, the
world has no life or soul; you are the soul of it. You are listening
carefully here, but you go home and start cleaning your utensils and the
rest, who will be busy with such chores? The ‘Moolmaya’ (‘I am’).
Are you the owners of the words? Presently, I am too weak to sit and
talk, all my senses are out of commission. The words are just flowing
out, neither yours nor mine they only ‘are’. What type of spirituality
you do? It consists in just communicating cock and bull stories with
each other. In spirituality’s name you talk of sickle and spanner, you
never tell your own stories of Self-knowledge. We go and do this and
that, if we don’t do so, what would be the net result? Talk about
‘yourself’, not about worldly activities. You’ll never come to the end
of objective knowledge inspite of any number of births. Bother about
‘yourself’ only and not the activities. For you to get to listen to
this knowledge or for this knowledge to sprout in you, you must have
blessings of a Sadguru. Otherwise, many so called ‘Godmen’ will ask you
to do so many spiritual activities, but they will not expound this type
of knowledge. Finally, you have to investigate and find out ‘what you
are’, for yourself for all time to come.
I came across a new beautifully packed hardbound book titled "Freedom from Imagination" ( A rendering by Prasanna) published by neti neti media at the recent 2014 SAND meeting in San Jose. It is a book of quotes with some powerful quotes by Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj:
1. Here, one human being is not giving knowledge to another human being.
Here, Parabrahman is talking to the "confused" Brahman.
Identity limited to the body is the confusion.
2. When you can really say:"I don't know", then you will be the supreme - Parabrahman.
3. That which can say "I am" is prior to saying "I am".
4. You don't know this because you have become a disciple of your mind. ( I burst into laughter when I read this one!).
5. Transcend the body even while it is experienced.
6. If you really are, keep looking at yourself only.
7. Go back to the point where you never had any experience of any kind.
8. Truly speaking there is no birth, no death. Only what is known ceases to be known. That is it.
9. What is the real essence of the search for the ultimate?
To find out the Truth and the Untruth about oneself.
Whatever can be found is the untruth.
10. When the "knowledge I am" tries to see itself, its knowingness disappears.