The Nisargadatta Sadhana
Pradeep Apte firstname.lastname@example.org
1. You have to understand your sense of ‘being’, ‘presence’ or the feeling ‘I am’ which you may also call consciousness or awareness in its absolute purity. The best way to do it is to go back in time and try to recollect when for the first time you came to know that ‘you are’ or ‘I am’, which is usually around the age of three or so.
2. Why try to recollect it? Because when the feeling ‘I am’ appeared for the first time it was in its absolute purity, it was devoid of words and had no adjuncts whatsoever.
3. This phase of living with the pure sense of ‘just being’ or the ‘I am’ without words continues for some time and then gradually the contamination begins. This sets in the process we call ‘conditioning’ which carves you out into an individual living in the world under a certain set of circumstances.
4. As you grow up into an adult the burden of all these post ‘I am’ add-ons or contaminants become so heavy that the original pure ‘I am’ is completely forgotten and lost under it. The ‘I am’ in its absolute purity is even there right now with you except that you are unable to notice it or catch it.
5. If you are unable to recollect the moment when for the first time you came to know that ‘you are’ or ‘I am’, then you can try to observe it when you just wake up. This will require some effort, because when you just wake up, the movement ‘I am this body called so-and-so in the world, I have to do this or that…’ is so fast that you fail to pay attention to the pure ‘I am’.
6. The first may be called the ‘childhood recollection’ approach while the second may be called the ‘waking up’ approach. You may use whichever suits you best or you may also use a combination of both, the idea is to approach the ‘I am’ in its absolute purity.
7. Every word of the Guru reflects his astonishing wisdom and the questions he asks the aspirant are highly profound in nature. Whatever he says or asks is loaded with instructions for us to follow.
8. The Guru's efforts are to make you understand and realize the absolute purity of the ‘I am’. In finding answers to questions like: When was it for the first time you came to know that ‘you are’? Or can there be the sense of ‘I am’ without being somebody or the other? Both lead you to the ‘I am’ in its absolute purity.
9. The Guru's statements that lead you to the pure ‘I am’ are like: the sense ‘I am’ is always with you, only you have attached all things (contaminants) to it – body, feelings, thoughts, ideas, possessions and so on. All these self-identifications are misleading. Because of them you take yourself to be what you are not.
10. The Guru repeatedly recommends us the Sadhana (Practice) of abiding in the ‘I am’: The sense of being, of ‘I am’, is the first to emerge. Ask yourself whence it comes, or just watch it quietly. When the mind stays in the ‘I am’, without moving, you enter a state which cannot be verbalized but which can be experienced. All you need to do is to try and try again.
11. Be convinced that all you can say truthfully about yourself is ‘I am’, have a good look at it because all definitions apply only to your body and its expressions. Through the conviction that only ‘I am’, your obsession with the body would go.
12. The conviction that the only truthful statement about me is ‘I am’ will come by being earnest, by searching, enquiring, questioning daily and hourly, by giving your lifetime to this discovery.
13. Refuse all thoughts except one: ‘I am’, the mind will rebel in the beginning but with practice, patience and perseverance it will yield and keep quiet. Once you are quiet, things will begin to happen spontaneously and quite naturally, without any interference on your part.
14. Why don’t you turn away from all your experiences to the experiencer? You must realize the full import of the only true statement you can make: ‘I am’. Only ‘I am’ that’s all (no add-ons, no adjuncts).
15. Just keep in mind the feeling ‘I am’, merge in it, till your mind and feeling become one. By repeated attempts you will stumble on the right balance of attention and affection and your mind will be firmly established in the thought-feeling ‘I am’.
16. Always remember that whatever you may think, say or do, this sense of immutable and affectionate being remains as the ever-present background of the mind as the thought-feeling ‘I am’.
17. Do not bother about anything you want, think or do, just stay put in the thought-feeling ‘I am’, focusing ‘I am’ firmly in the mind. The moment you deviate remember: all that is perceivable and conceivable is transient and only the ‘I am’ endures.
18. I trusted my Guru, he told me to concentrate on ‘I am’ – I did. He told me that I am beyond all that is perceivable and conceivable – I believed. Although I had to work to keep my family alive, I gave my heart and soul, my entire attention and whole of my spare time to the Sadhana (practice).
19. Establish yourself firmly in the awareness of ‘I am’. This is the beginning and also the end of all endeavors. You may choose any way that suits you but ultimately it is your earnestness that will determine the rate of progress. As a result of faith and earnestness I realized my Swarupa (self) within three years.
20. In order to know what you are, you must first find out what you are not and for that watch yourself carefully, rejecting all that does not necessarily go with the ‘I am’. The ideas: I am born at a given place and time, from my parents and now I am so-and-so, living at, married to, father of, employed by, and so on are not inherent in the sense ‘I am’. Our usual attitude is ‘I am this’ or ‘that’.
21. Separate consistently and perseveringly the ‘I am’ from ‘this’ or ‘that’ and try to feel what it means to be, just be, without being ‘this’ or ‘that’. The clearer you understand that on the level of the mind you can be described in negative terms only, the quicker you will come to the end of your search and realize your limitless being.
22. Understand well that without the ‘I am’ there is nothing. All knowledge is about the ‘I am’. False ideas about the ‘I am’ lead to bondage, right knowledge leads to freedom and happiness.
23. Just see that the sense of ‘I am’ is your very own. You cannot part with it, but you can impart it to anything, as in saying, I am young, I am rich and so on. But always remember, all such self-identifications are patently false and the cause of bondage.
24. Give up all questions except one: ‘Who am I?’ After all, the only fact you are sure of is that ‘you are’. The ‘I am’ is certain, the ‘I am this’ is not. Struggle to find out what you are in reality.
25. It is the ‘I am’ that you love right now and the most. Give your heart and mind to the ‘I am’, think of nothing else. This, when effortless and natural, is the highest state. In it, love itself is the lover and beloved.
26. Dive deeply within yourself and hold on to the ‘I am’. By focusing the mind on ‘I am’, the sense of being, ‘I am so-and-so’ dissolves. ‘I am a witness only’ remains and that too submerges in ‘I am all'. Then the all becomes ‘One’, the undivided, the eternal.
27. Cling to the one thing that matters, hold on to ‘I am’ and let go all else – this is Sadhana (Practice). The concentration on ‘I am’ is a form of attention. Give your undivided individual attention to the most important thing in your life – yourself.
28. My advice to you is very simple – just remember yourself, ‘I am’, it is enough to heal your mind and take you beyond, just have some trust.
29. Sadhana (Practice) consists of reminding oneself forcibly of one’s pure ‘beingness’, of not being anything in particular, not a sum of particulars, not even the totality of all particulars, which make up a universe. It is right to say ‘I am’ but to say ‘I am this’, ‘I am that’ is a sign of not enquiring, not examining, of mental weakness or lethargy.
30. Stay with the ‘I am’ and reject everything else. Be content with what you are sure of, and the only thing you can be sure of is ‘I am’. This is Yoga.
31. When I repeat – ‘I am’, ‘I am’, I merely assert and re-assert an ever present truth. You get tired of my words because you do not see the living truth behind them. Contact it and you will find the full meaning of words and of silence – both.
32. Give up all ideas about yourself and simply be. Stop making use of your mind and see what happens. Do this one thing thoroughly. That is all. Self-remembrance, awareness of ‘I am’ ripens man powerfully and speedily.
33. See clearly that your sense ‘I am’ which appears to be in the world, is not of the world. Once you realize that the world is your own projection, you are free of it. There is no need to free yourself of a world that does not exist, except in your imagination.
34. At present you have mixed your being or the ‘I am’ with experiencing, you have to separate it out from the tangle of experiences. Once you have known the pure ‘being’ or ‘I am’ without being ‘this’ or ‘that’ you will discern it among experiences and you will no longer be misled by names and forms.
35. My Guru told me to hold on to the sense ‘I am’ tenaciously and not to swerve from it for even a moment. I did my best to follow his advice and in a comparatively short time I realized the truth of his teaching. All I did was to remember his teaching, his face, and his words constantly. This brought an end to the mind, in the stillness of the mind I saw myself as I am – unbound.
36. You must understand that the search for reality, God, Guru and the search for the self are the same, when one is found all are found. When ‘I am’ and ‘God is’ become indistinguishable, you will know without doubt that ‘God is’ because ‘I am’ and ‘I am’ because ‘God is’. The two are one.
37. Go back to state of pure being, where the ‘I am’ is still in its purity before it gets contaminated with ‘I am this’ or ‘I am that’. Your burden is of false identification – abandon them all.
38. I simply followed the instruction of my Guru, which was to focus the mind on pure being, ‘I am’ and stay in it. I used to sit for hours together, with nothing but the ‘I am’ in my mind and soon peace and joy and a deep all-embracing love became my normal state. In it, all disappeared – myself, my Guru, the life I lived, the world around me. Only peace remained and unfathomable silence.
39. Give all your attention to the level on which ‘I am’ is timelessly present. Soon you will realize that peace and happiness are in your very nature and it is only seeking them through some particular channels that disturbs. Avoid the disturbance, that’s all.
40. To begin with, trust me, trust the Guru. It enables you to take the first step – and then your trust is justified by your own experience. When I say remember ‘I am’ all the time, I mean come back to it repeatedly. No particular thought can be mind’s natural state, only silence. Every experience happens against a background of silence.
41. My Guru told me: You are not what you take yourself to be. Find out what you are. Watch the sense ‘I am’, find your real self. I obeyed him because I trusted him, I did as he told me. All my spare time I would spend looking at myself in silence. And what a difference it made, and how soon. It took me only three years to realize my true nature.
42. Trust the Guru as I did. My Guru ordered me to attend to the sense ‘I am’ and give attention to nothing else. I just obeyed. I did not follow any particular course of breathing or meditation, or study of scriptures.
43. Whatever happens just turn your attention away from it and remain in the sense ‘I am’. It looks simple and even crude but it works! Obeying the Guru’s teaching is a powerful solvent of all desires and fears.
44. Give your heart and mind to brooding over ‘I am’, what is it, how is it, what is its source, its life, its meaning. It is very much like digging a well. You reject all that is not water, till you reach the life giving spring.
45. Look at yourself steadily – it is enough. The door that locks you in is also the door that lets you out. The ‘I am’ is the door, stay at it until it opens. As a matter of fact, it is open, only you are not at it.
46. I was taught to give attention to my sense of ‘I am’ and I found it supremely effective. Therefore I can speak of it with full confidence.
47. Your dwelling on the fact of ‘I am’ will soon create another chance, for attitude attracts opportunity. All you know is second-hand, only ‘I am’ is first-hand and needs no proofs, stay with it.
48. The attention of ‘I amness’ is always there in the waking state, but we are not alert to watch it. There is no other attention to be followed. Be attentive to that attention ‘I am’.
49. Focus all your attention on the ‘I am’ without giving any of it to the body. Don’t let your attention stray away from the knowledge of beingness, ‘I am’. Keep on knowing that ‘I am’ and through this insistence you will know the state you want to reach.
50. Embrace all the atoms of the universe with the feeling that all of them have come inside me in the form of the knowledge ‘I am’. The very core of all atoms is permeated by that knowledge ‘I am’.
51. You must meditate on the ‘I am’ without holding on to the body and mind and while dong so also remember ‘I have no fear, I am beyond fear’. I am telling you that fear will gradually lessen and will go completely, because I say so. The medicine for fear is my word.
52. You know that you are sitting here. Be attentive to that knowledge only. Just be in your beingness. That knowing ‘I am’ has created the entire universe, hold on to that, nothing else has to be done.
53. Don’t get involved in anything, stay in the consciousness ‘I am’ and don’t go on an intellectual binge again. The knowledge ‘I am’ tells the knowledge about itself to the ‘I am’ only.
54. Hold on to the feeling ‘I am’, don’t pollute that state by holding on to the body sense. You are worrying because of the intellect, but you have only to continue in that ‘I am’ with faith, you have nothing else to do. You are likely to miss that incident if you try to use the intellect. Just let it happen.
55. Stabilize unconditionally in the knowledge ‘I am’, and then you are the manifest ‘I amness’ – no more an individual. In the manifested state of ‘I amness’ there is no question of your doing anything because you are no more an individual.
56. Your first step is beingness, embrace the knowledge ‘I am’, be that. Spontaneously, unknowingly, your beingness has appeared. Knowingly you don’t know ‘Now I am going to be’, only after the formation of ‘I amness’ do you know ‘I am’.
57. Without doing anything you have the knowledge ‘I am’. Immense courage, heroism and conviction that ‘you are’ that is ‘Ishwara’ (God), you are that. I am giving you instructions regarding your ‘beginningless being’ but you prefer to be that monkey form. You are not prepared to leave that form.
58. If you want to remember me and if you have love for me, remember this ‘I am’ principle and without the command or direction of this principle, do nothing.
59. Once you understand that you are that ‘I am’ only and not this shackled form, then no liberation is called for, that itself is liberation.
60. You must maintain this knowledge ‘I am’ in proper order. The ‘I am’ is the tool through which you get all knowledge. You worship that ‘I am’, remove all the adulteration, the dirt. That knowingness itself points out all the dirt imposed on it. Even the space is not as pure as the knowledge ‘I am’.
61. Surrender to the ‘I am’, stabilize in it, if you don’t do that, your very concepts will be very dangerous to you – they will throttle you to death.
62. Abide in the ‘I am’, it is the simplest method, you know you are, just be there. The knowledge ‘I am’ is the very source of all energy, the source of all Gods, of all types of knowledge.
63. Be one with knowledge ‘I am’, the source of sentience, the beingness itself. If you are seeking that peace which is priceless, it can be only by establishing yourself in the consciousness with steadfast conviction. By conviction I mean never doubted, firm, unshakable, never wavering - have that kind of conviction in your beingness.
64. Remember the knowledge ‘I am’ – that alone pervades everything – be only that and give up the rest. If you do not have the knowledge, who is going to seek? You must be, only then the search can begin.
65. Get to know the knowledge ‘I am’ without words when you wake up. Knowing the self, abiding in the self-knowledge is not a mere intellectual knowing. You must be that, and you should not move away from it. Remain firm.
66. Sit quietly being one with the knowledge ‘I am’, then you are not concerned with the world or what goes on in the world. When you are not conscious of the existence of the body, experiences are not registered.
67. Worship the knowledge ‘I am’ as God, as your Guru. The knowledge ‘I am’ is your Guru, be in it. This habit of considering the self as body has influenced everybody too much.
68. Each of you must say ‘I am’ and realize it. Don’t say ‘I am this’ or ‘I am that’, just hold on to yourself, ‘you are’ so ‘just be’. Spontaneously you know that ‘you are', stay put there.
69. You must continuously remember that the knowledge ‘I am’ signifies knowing all the Gods, all the ‘Vedas’, it is the ‘Brahman’. In this process of reminiscing should the body drop off, then, that consciousness will definitely be the highest.
70. It was the knowing ‘I am’ that appeared first, later on you embraced the body. Hold on to the ‘I am’ only and don’t ask any questions. You came to know yourself – ‘I am’, to abide in that is itself Bhakti (Devotion).
71. By holding on to the knowingness ‘I am’, the fount of knowledge will well up within you revealing the mystery of the universe. Consciousness is the sense of knowingness ‘I am’ without words, it has appeared unknowingly and unsolicited. Only in the realm of knowingness ‘I am’ can an experience and world be.
72. You must stay put at the source of your creation, at the beginning of the knowledge ‘I am’. If you do not achieve this you will be entangled in the chains forged by your mind and get enmeshed in those of others.
73. To abide in the knowledge ‘I am’ is your true religion and it is by understanding the knowledge ‘I am’ – the ‘atma-jnana’ (self-knowledge) that you shall recognize the atman (self).
74. Understand that just as space is all-pervading, so the knowledge ‘I am’, is all-pervading, limitless and infinite. How strange, such a supreme principle is treated as though it is a body! All suffering is due to this mistaken identity, if you give it the highest honor due to it, you will not undergo either suffering or death.
75. Sit in deep meditation with your sense of being totally infused with the knowledge ‘I am’ only. Then it will be revealed to you intuitively as to how and why your sense of ‘I amness’ emerged. Consciousness, beingness, ‘I amness’ all are the same, prior to emanation of any words.
76. What is meditation? Meditation is not this body-mind meditating as an individual, but it is this knowledge ‘I am’, this consciousness, meditating on itself. Then the consciousness will unfold its own meaning.
77. Don’t concentrate on the body, because of a body you call yourself male or female. Just hold on to the knowledge ‘I am’, without body-sense, beyond name, form or design.
78. You must have a firm conviction that ‘I am’ is only that ‘I am’ without body-mind form – the knowledge ‘I am’ in its’ absolute purity. There are no techniques, except the firm conviction that ‘I am’ means ‘I am’ only.
79. The conviction that only ‘I am’ can be strengthened by meditation. Meditation means the knowledge ‘I am’ remaining in the knowledge ‘I am’, which is the knowledge ‘I am’ meditating on itself and not something other than itself.
80. When you sit for meditation, the first thing to be done is to understand that it is not this body identification that is sitting for meditation, but this knowledge ‘I am’, this consciousness, which is sitting for meditation and is meditating on itself.
81. Meditation with the understanding that the knowledge ‘I am’ is meditating on itself makes things easy. When the knowledge ‘I am’ or the conscious presence merges in itself the state of ‘Samadhi’ ensues. It is the conceptual feeling that ‘I am’ or ‘I exist’ that disappears and merges into the beingness itself.
82. In this body, consciousness is present or the knowledge ‘I am’ as I call it. You should identify yourself as this knowledge ‘I am’, it is the only capital you have so hold on to it and meditate and let that unfold whatever knowledge has to unfold.
83. After having confirmed that you are not the body you must meditate by identifying yourself with the knowledge ‘I am’. You must dwell only in that knowledge ‘I am’ without words, stabilize yourself there. Whatever doubts you have would be cleared by that very knowledge itself.
84. Forget all about physical disciplines in this connection. I am telling you that the indwelling principle ‘I am’, the knowledge that ‘you are’, you have to ‘be’ that. Just be that, with that knowledge ‘I am’ hold on to the knowledge ‘I am’.
85. You know you are sitting here, you know ‘you are’, do you require any special effort to hold on to that ‘you are’? You know ‘you are’, abide only in that. The ‘I am’ principle without words, that itself is the God of all.
86. You must fulfill the vow that you are not the body but solely the indwelling principle ‘I am’. If you identify yourself with the body, such an identity must be let go off, sacrificed. Your real identity has no body and no thought. And that self, the spontaneous knowledge ‘I am’ is what you are. Since the self is not the body, the self is neither male nor female.
87. With firm conviction you must abide in this knowledge ‘I am’ only, bereft of the body-mind sense, only ‘I am’. If you dwell there, in due course it will mature and reveal to you all the knowledge and you need not go to anybody else.
88. For eternal peace you must dwell in yourself, know how this touch of ‘I am’ appeared. All other knowledge is of no use in this connection.
89. Once you understand that ‘I am’ is purely ‘I am’, formless and not that shackled body form – then no liberation is called for. To be stabilized in that beingness, which has no name and form, that itself is liberation.
90. You have to remain in that beingness or the ‘I am’ with firm faith without having any identification with the body, personality, name and form. It will take a while for this conviction to root, but persist.
91. Dwell on the principle ‘I am’ for a sufficiently long time. Take it that you are ‘That’. ‘That’ means no shape, no design. Whatever you see pertains only to ‘That’, to your ‘I amness’. Spontaneously ‘It is’! You are ‘That’ principle. Don’t try to unravel it with your intellect. Just observe and accept it as it is.
92. Just try to be ‘I am’ without effort or concentration, when ‘you are’ the ‘I amness’, the beingness is automatically there. Whatever ‘you are’ without doing any effort, be there. Don’t try to interpret the ‘I amness’.
93. Just be in that principle ‘I am’, there are no disciplines for this. The ‘I am’ in body form can reach the highest state, if you accept it and dwell there you escape birth and death.
94. Go to the ‘I am’ level and dwell there. Because you are at the body level you revel in all these objective things. If you go to the ‘I am’ level and firmly abide there, then all these external things will lose grip on you.
95. Simply understand that the ‘I am’ consciousness in you in its pristine purity is itself God, the creator of the universe. So if you want anything pray to this ‘I am’ consciousness in yourself.
96. Day by day your conviction that the knowledge ‘I am’ is God must grow. Don’t care about the body, by constant meditation, when God is pleased, you will have the complete knowledge in the realm of consciousness. You may go anywhere but don’t forget that the knowledge ‘I am’ itself is God.
97. You must find the source of the primary concept ‘I am’. Give all your attention to the knowledge ‘I am’ and meditate on that only. The knowledge ‘I am’ has to be got hold of by the knowledge ‘I am’.
98. The process of the knowledge ‘I am’ meditating on the knowledge ‘I am’ will produce the seed which will slowly grow into a big tree and that itself will give you all the knowledge.
99. The Sadhana, the discipline, is only this: The knowledge which is dwelling in this body, the quintessence of the three ‘gunas’ (qualities) – the knowledge ‘I am’, ‘I am that’ – this is the initial step. You must be one with it, you abide in that only. You have to think ‘I am not the body but I am the formless, nameless knowledge indwelling in this body’, that is ‘I am’.
100. You must abide for a sufficiently long time in the knowledge ‘I am’, then whatever doubts you have would be cleared by that knowledge ‘I am’ itself. It will sprout out with life and meaning for you, intended for you only, and everything will become clear. No external knowledge will be necessary.
101. Conviction! That is the only technique for the Sadhana (practice) and if you are thinking of any initiation, only the words of the Guru that you are not the body! That is the initiation. Stay put there, in that state (in the knowledge ‘I am’).
102. The Guru, in every possible way, made us understand our sense of ‘being’, ‘presence’ or the feeling ‘I am’ which you may also call consciousness or awareness in its absolute purity. With this understanding the Guru advises us to do the Sadhana (Practice) of abiding in the ‘I am’.
103. By abiding in the ‘I am’ in its absolute purity for a sufficiently long time he assures us through his own experience that we would realize our true limitless being - the undivided, the eternal, the ‘Parabrahman’ (Absolute).
104. While telling us about the ‘I am’ and the Sadhana (practice) of abiding in the ‘I am’ the Guru has already given us some indications about our true being by using words like ‘go beyond’, ‘the limitless’, ‘the eternal’, ‘the effortless, natural and highest state’. Let now us see what he says more definitively about transcending the ‘I am’ and being the ‘Parabrahman’ (Absolute).
105. (i) My Guru pointed out to me that originally I had nothing to do with all this and all I have with which to solve this mystery of life is the knowledge ‘I am’, without that there is nothing.
(ii) So I got hold of it (‘I am’) as my Guru told me, and then I wanted to find out how this body aspect came about without my knowledge and how alone on that any other knowledge come about, and that again is a result of five elements. Therefore, whatever anybody thinks he has, is sheer ignorance, and I know it from my own experience.
(iii) If this is ignorance, then where is my beingness? My beingness is in a town which is no-town, in a place which is no-place. How did this come about? Because of the knowledge ‘I am’, which is ignorance, Maya, which comes about suddenly, without my asking.
(iv) Once having come about, this Maya (the knowledge ‘I am’) liked what it had created and it wanted that beingness to last for all time. Maya embraced it with such fierceness, that, at any cost, it wants to prolong the existence of that beingness as long as it can.
106. (i) My Guru pointed out to me the fact that the only thing you have and which you can utilize to unravel the mystery of life, is this knowledge ‘I am’. Without that there is absolutely nothing.
(ii) So I got hold of it (the knowledge ‘I am), as my Guru had advised me, and then I wanted to find out how the spiritual aspect of ‘me’ came about without any of my knowledge.
(iii) On my pure Absoluteness, which has no place, and no shape or form, this knowledge ‘I am’ came, which also has no shape or form. Therefore it appears, and it is only an illusion.
107. (i) The Guru tells you ‘Get rid of concepts, just be yourself’. The seeker having understood what the Guru said gets rid of the concepts, and now, as the first step, the seeker dwells in the state ‘I am’, just being.
(ii) First of all there is the knowingness ‘I am’, without words, with that knowingness the world is. Now, when the seeker goes in to meditation, that knowingness goes into no-knowingness.
(iii) This is the highest state in the hierarchy when the body aspect is there because this knowing and no-knowing are aspects of the body, and body means consciousness, and in the realm of consciousness, knowingness and no-knowingness exist.
(iv) The Absolute transcends knowingness and no-knowingness. So, no-knowingness is the highest in the hierarchy of spirituality, and the destination is the transcendence of knowingness and no-knowingness.
108. (i) In this spiritual hierarchy, from the grossest to the subtlest, you are the subtlest. How can this be realized? The very base is that you don’t know you are, and suddenly the feeling ‘I am’ appears. The moment it appears you see space, mental space, that subtle sky-like space, stabilize there. You are that.
(ii) When you are able to stabilize in that space, you are space only. When this space-like identity ‘I am’ disappears, the space will also disappear, there is no space.
(iii) When that space-like ‘I am’ goes into oblivion, that is the eternal state, ‘nirguna’ (without qualities), no form, no beingness. Actually what did happen there? This message ‘I am’ was no message.
109. (i) I have experienced all four kinds of speech and transcended them. Rarely will anybody follow this hierarchy to stabilize in the consciousness and transcend consciousness.
(ii) Starting from ‘Vaikhari’(spoken word), normally we listen to words (uttered or spoken), from ‘Vaikhari we go to ‘Madhyama’ (mind-thought word or tangible word). In watching the mind we are in ‘Pashayanti’ (formative or intangible word) where the concept formation takes place.
(iii) From there (‘Pashayanti’) to ‘Para’ (‘I am’ without words) and from ‘Para’ to prior to consciousness. This is the line to follow, but only a rare one follows it – receding, reversing.
110. (i) Do nothing, absolutely nothing! Just be, be the knowledge ‘I am’ only and abide there. To imbibe this, meditate on beingness only. Catch hold of the knowledge ‘I am’ in meditation. In this process the realization occurs that ‘I’ the Absolute am not the ‘guna’ (quality) ‘I am’.
(ii) Therefore in meditation nothing is to be retained in memory. Nevertheless something will appear on the memory screen, but be unconcerned, just be, do nothing. Refrain from grasping anything in meditation, the moment you do, otherness begins and so does duality.
(iii) Nothing is to be done. Then all your riddles will be solved and dissolved. ‘Moolmaya’ – that is the primary illusion – will release her stranglehold on you and get lost.
111. (i) You must come to a firm decision. You must forget the thought that you are the body and be only the knowledge ‘I am’, which has no form, no name. Just be.
(ii) When you stabilize in that beingness (‘I am’), it will give all the knowledge and all the secrets to you, and when the secrets are given to you, you transcend the beingness (‘I am’). Then you, the Absolute, will know that you are also not the consciousness.
(iii) Having gained all this knowledge, having understood what is what, a kind of quietude prevails, a tranquility, Beingness (‘I am’) is transcended but beingness (‘I am’) is available.
112. (i) Suppose a question is asked of you, what were you a hundred years back? You would reply ‘I was not’. That means I was not like ‘this’, that is like the present ‘I am’.
(ii) Who (and how) could (he) say ‘I was not like this’? The one who says this, was he not there? The one who was prior to a hundred years was not like this present ‘I am’, but he was and is now.
(iii) This is a subtle point, so try to understand it clearly. When I say ‘I was not’ prior to conception, then what I actually mean is that I was not like the present ‘I am’. But that ‘I’ which could discern this must be there to judge the absence of the present ‘I am’.
113. The first step is to go to this ‘I am’ state, remain there and then merge and go beyond. Try to sustain this ‘I am’, stay unconcerned by thoughts of both good and bad. After the ‘I am’ merges in the pure awareness, the entire universe vanishes as though it had never existed.
114. The first step is to go to the ‘I am’ and dwell there and from there you go beyond consciousness and no-consciousness to infinite consciousness. In that permanent ‘Parabrahman’ (Absolute) state you become completely desireless and silent and even the thought ‘I am’ doesn’t arise.
115. This principle ‘I am’ I am telling you about again and again. All questions will be over once you solve the riddle of ‘I am’. The knowledge ‘I am’ is the soul of the entire world. The witness of the knowledge ‘I am’ is prior to the knowledge ‘I am’.
116. The ‘I am’ is the sum total of everything you perceive. It appears spontaneously and disappears, it has no dwelling place. It is like a dream world. You are separate from ‘I am’. ‘I am’ is itself an illusion. The knowledge ‘I am’ and the world are tricks of Maya.
117. The state in which you were before you acquired this knowledge ‘I am’ is the real state. Only after you got this knowledge you identified with the body-mind. Whatever you have acquired, including the body-mind, that will go and it is useless. But your original state before you acquired the body, the truth, is the real state, and it will remain.
118. To start with you have to be in that beingness or ‘I am’ without the body sense. You feel that you are the body now but when you abide in beingness you will know how you are without body sense, then you are apart.
119. Don’t make use of anything except the knowledge ‘I am’, forget everything else. The ‘I am’ connotes the three states, waking, dream and deep sleep, ‘I am’ means you are these three states, when these are gone, memory is also gone.
120. What you must witness is not thoughts but the consciousness ‘I am’. Everything is an expression of ‘I am’, but you are not that, you are prior to the ‘I am’.
121. Nobody becomes a ‘Parabrahman’ (Absolute), nobody ‘can’ become a ‘Parabrahman’, It is. Before the knowledge ‘I am’ appeared on you, that is ‘Parabrahman’. If you revert properly, the consciousness ‘I am’ will disappear, then there is no movement.
122. When you feel that you are separate from the feeling ‘I am’ isn’t there something or someone who knows that there is a difference? Find out, are you separate unknowingly?
123. Understand what this principle ‘I am’ is and you are finished. That ‘I am’ is in bondage because of concepts. Understand the quality of these concepts. I want to take you to that ‘I am’ concept which is the last outpost of illusion and get rid of it.
124. The beingness ‘I am’ is merely an instrument, it is not you. One who is completely free of coming and going, and finally, one who is completely rid of one’s very own concept that ‘I am’, is completely liberated.
125. The knowledge ‘I am’ which is indwelling in you, worship that only. When you got yourself separated from the Absolute with this identity ‘I am’, you felt fragmented, isolated, and that is why your demands started. In the Absolute there are no needs, only the Absolute prevails.
126. The truth is total Brahman (Poornabrahman or Parabrahman) only, nothing else but total Brahman. In a total Brahman state arose the touch of beingness, ‘I am’, and with that separation started, otherness has come. But this ‘I amness’ is not just a small principle, that itself is the ‘Moolmaya’, the primary illusion.
127. I am taking you again and again to the source of the spring. Once you go to the source, you will come to know that there is no water, water is the news ‘I am’.
128. Most essential is that knowledge ‘I am’. Claim it, appropriate it as your own. If that is not there, nothing is. Knowledge of all stages will be obtained only with the aid of this knowledge ‘I am’. From the Absolute no-knowing, spontaneously this consciousness ‘I am’ has appeared – no reason, no cause.
129. Investigate the concept ‘I am’. In the process of trying to find out your identity, or this spiritual search, all will happen in the realm of consciousness. You finally stumble on, or culminate into the Absolute ‘Parabrahman’ state, which is desireless.
130. Before the idea ‘I am’ sprouted, you are, but you don’t know you are. You are prior to the idea ‘I am’. Camp yourself there, prior to the words ‘I am’.
131. If you have regard for me remember my words. The knowledge ‘I am’ is the greatest God, the Guru, be one with that, be intimate with it. That itself will bless you with all the knowledge relevant for you in the proliferation of that knowledge and it will lead you to the state which is eternal.
132. The arrival of the knowledge ‘I am’, the waking state and the deep sleep state, all rolled into one ‘I am’, is known as birth. With this so-called birth all the observation started, prior to this where was the ‘I amness’? It was not there.
133. This ‘I am’ principle is there provided the waking state and deep sleep are there. I am not the waking state, I am not the deep sleep – therefore I, the Absolute, am not that ‘I am’.
134. Have you understood that knowledge itself is ignorance? If it were real it would have been there eternally – it would not have a beginning and an end. Now the experience ‘I am’ is felt, earlier it was not. When it was not, no proof was called for, but once it is, lots of proof is required.
135. One is the Absolute, two is consciousness, and three is space. When there was no knowledge ‘I am’ that is number one, later on there is the sense ‘I am’ that is number two, and then there is space – number three.
136. What you call ‘I am’ and birth, you are not that, it is material. The ultimate knowledge does not have any knowledge. This knowledge ‘I am’ has appeared spontaneously, as a result of the body. See it as it is, understand it as it is.
137. You must have a strong conviction - that means practicing. That conviction means not only ‘I am’, but it means I am free from the ‘I am’ also. Always insist on that you are formless, free and not conditioned. You must hammer on this constantly, that is the practice.
138. You are unreal – you know that ‘you are’ (‘I am’) – that is also unreal. This sense of presence is an untruth, it is like a dream.
139. All this knowledge has dawned on me, I am not the knowledge. The knowledge ‘I am’ and all its manifestations are understood in the understanding that I am not that.
140. The only spiritual way to understand your true nature is to find out the source of this concept ‘I am’. Before the sense of presence arrived I was in that state in which the concept of time was never there. So what is born? It is the concept of time, and that event which is birth, living and death together constitutes nothing but time, duration.
141. Everything is beingness, but I the Absolute, am not that. When this beingness goes, the Absolute will not know ‘I am’. Appearance and disappearance, birth and death, these are qualities of beingness, they are not your qualities.
142. Who is talking? Who is walking? Who is sitting? These are expressions of the chemical ‘I am’. Are you that chemical? You talk about heaven and hell, this Mahatma or that one, but how about you? Who are you? You are not this chemical ‘I am’.
143. Ultimately you have to go beyond knowledge, but the knowledge must come, and knowledge can come by constant meditation. By meditating, the knowledge ‘I am’ gradually settles down and merges with the universal knowledge, and thereby becomes totally free, like the sky or space.
144. In this body is the subtle principle ‘I am’, that principle witnesses all this. Still further you are not that ‘I am’. When you transcend the ‘I am’ you are that which is eternally current, the ‘Parabrahman’ (Absolute).
145. When you begin spirituality you reject the body-mind with ‘I am not that’. Then you come to the ‘I am’ only without words. Then you are everything, you are not confined to the body.
146. Before the words come out, before you say ‘I am’, that is you. The most ingrained habit you have is to say ‘I am’. This is the root habit, but this ‘I amness’ is unreal.
147. Until you recognize and completely identify yourself with the knowledge ‘I am’, you will identify with the body. When one disidentifies with the body, one transcends not only the body but the consciousness as well, since consciousness is a product of the body.
148. Presently you are this ‘I am’, but this ‘I am’ is not the truth. Whatever you are prior to the appearance of the ‘I am’, that is your real nature.
149. Try to stabilize in the primary concept ‘I am’ in order to lose that and with that all other concepts. Why am I totally free? Because I have understood the unreality of that ‘I am’.
150. Sit quietly being one with the knowledge ‘I am’, then you are not concerned with the world or what goes on in the world. A ‘Jnani’ (realized one) is not obsessed by any calamities or any problems, because he has transcended the ‘I am’ principle.
151. Start with the body. From the body you get the knowledge ‘I am’. In this process you become more and more subtle. When you are in a position to witness the knowledge ‘I am’, you have reached the highest.
152. Your individuality must go. The entire world moves on the basis of one concept, and that is ‘I am’ – the fundamental concept of one’s individuality. Only that individual who has lost his individuality has merged with the ‘Parabrahman’ (Absolute).
153. Focus your attention only on the consciousness ‘I am’. Who has the knowledge ‘I am’? It is the awareness that knows ‘I am’ hence it is other, it is more than ‘I am’, the highest. Only a non-illusory state can know the illusory state.
154. Are you not even before you have spoken the words ‘I am’? Stay put there only. There begins your spirituality, the foremost ‘you’, ‘I am’ without words. Witnessing happens to that principle which is prior to your saying the words ‘I am’.
155. Analyze death and you will find that it is this quality ‘I am’, the quality of beingness that goes into oblivion. Only I, the Absolute remain. Stay put there only, nothing ever happens to I, the Absolute.
156. What is it in you that understands this knowledge ‘you are’? – or from your standpoint ‘I am’ without name, title or word? Subside in that innermost centre and witness the knowledge ‘I am’ and ‘just be’.
157. At present your ‘I am’ is in the beingness state. But when you do not have the knowingness of ‘I am’ illusion, the ‘Poornabhrahman’ or ‘Parabrahman’ (Absolute) state prevails. In the absence of the touch of ‘I amness’ you are the total complete, ‘Poornambrahman’ state, the permanent state.
158. When you meditate on the highest principle in you, which is the knowledge ‘I am’, a stage will come when you shall totally forget yourself. This is a blissful state where there is no need for words, concepts or even the sense ‘I am’. The state does not know ‘it is’ and is beyond happiness and suffering and altogether beyond words, It is called ‘Parabrahman’ – a non-experiential state.
159. Before you say ‘I am’, you already are. ‘I am’, the word or the ‘I am’ feeling that you get inside you is not the eternal state. But you are eternal and ancient.
160. The experience that you exist itself is ‘turiya’ (the fourth). ‘Turiya’ means where the consciousness is, it is called the birth principle. One who knows ‘turiya’ is ‘turiyatita’ (beyond the fourth).
161. In order to stabilize in the ‘turiya’ (the fourth) you must know it as the birth principle (the knowledge ‘I am’ in its absolute purity). ‘Turiya’ is always described as the witness state that sees through waking, dreaming and deep sleep. And ‘turiyatita’ is even beyond that.
162. The conviction that this world never existed can happen only to ‘Parabrahman’ (the Absolute). If this is indeed your conviction then you are the ‘Parabrahman’.
163. Focus on your beingness (the knowledge ‘I am’) until you become established in it, only then will you be able to transcend it. Once you do that you will be not be affected by your desires, you will have transcended them.
164. The ‘I am’ in its absolute purity is something that cannot be put into words, it is the knowledge, the awareness before thought. You have to just ‘be’. Becoming established in the awareness ‘I am’ is all that is important. Later on you also transcend the ‘I amness’.
165. I know ‘I’ never was, that ‘I amness’ was never there for me. I am the unborn state.
166. If you like it you may take the ‘I am’ as your destiny. When you dwell in the destiny as ‘I am’, you realize it is not your death, but the disappearance of ‘I am’. You just dwell in it, and itself it will tell you its own story.
167. The body identity cannot get this knowledge, the knowledge ‘I am’ must get this knowledge ‘I am’, when knowledge abides in knowledge there is transcendence of knowledge.
168. The ‘I am’ is the purest form of attribute (it can be even said to have no attribute). When even this pure attribute goes, it is ‘Parabrahman’. ‘Brahman’ (God or ‘I am’) means that ‘the news’ has arrived. When this ‘news’ has gone, it is ‘Parabrahman’. That you exist is the primary knowledge.
169. This ‘I am’ consciousness is great for it creates the vast world, but you are greater, for you are the reality behind and beyond this ‘I am’ consciousness.
170. You are the reality, you are the ‘Parabrahman’ (Absolute), so meditate on this and remember this, and finally the idea ‘I am Parabrahman’ will also leave you.
171. The ‘I am’ is objective, it is the ‘I am’ that investigates and it is the ‘I am’ that disposes itself off and stabilizes in eternity. Become one with ‘I am’, then you will transcend it, then ‘I’ the Absolute am not the ‘I am’.
172. Before you occurred to yourself as ‘I am’ you were in the highest state – the ‘Parabrahman’. Your fall started with the appearance of that beingness, ‘I am’. With the appearance of this knowingness ‘I am’, the next fall was embracing the body as ‘I am’. And then you gathered so many things onto yourself. Hold on to the state of knowing yourself as ‘I am’ as the truth. All other things you have gathered to yourself are unreal.
173. When you transcend the knowledge ‘I am’, the Absolute prevails. The state is called ‘Parabrahman’, while the knowledge ‘I am’ is termed Brahman. This knowledge ‘I am’ or the beingness is an illusion. Therefore when Brahman is transcended, only the ‘Parabrahman’ is, in which there is not even a trace of the knowledge ‘I am’.
174. Your eternal Absolute state prior to beingness, when the message ‘I am’ is not, is supremely significant. Who would have witnessed the message ‘I am’, if your primordial state of the non-beingness was not?
175. (i) You are the knowledge ‘I am’. So if you want to worship, worship that knowledge ‘I am’. Be devoted to that ‘I amness’ only. When you do that other rituals become redundant and useless.
(ii) Then when you get stabilized in the ‘I am’ you realize everything is useless, everything is ‘Brahman’, it means you are at the ‘Parabrahman’ (Absolute) level.
(iii) At that level you will envision even ‘Brahman’ as useless, the ‘Brahman’ is also reduced to illusion. Therefore all these talks, including my own will be reduced to illusion when you reach the highest.
1. I Am That by Maurice Frydman.
2. Seeds of Consciousness edited by Jean Dunn.
3. Prior to Consciousness edited by Jean Dunn.
4. Consciousness and the Absolute edited by Jean Dunn.
5. The Experience of Nothingness edited by Robert Powell.
6. The Nectar of Immortality by edited Robert Powell.
7. The Ultimate Medicine by edited Robert Powell.
8. Beyond Freedom edited by Maria Jory.
9. Gleanings from Nisargadatta edited by Mark West.
10. I am Unborn edited by Pradeep Apte.