Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Essential Teaching of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

The Essential teaching of
Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj


Pradeep Apte


On many occasions I have been asked to describe the teaching of my Guru
Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj in its most essential form, this book is an
outcome of that effort.


Dedicated to my Guru
Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
The Great Master



Understanding the ‘I am’, your sense of ‘being’ or just ‘presence’ is extremely important as on it rests the entire outcome of the teaching.
You have ‘to be’ before anything else can be, your sense of ‘presence’ or the feeling ‘I am’ is really fundamental to anything that has to follow.
This sense of ‘being’ or the feeling ‘I am’, was it not the very first event or happening before any of your living experiences could begin?
Apply your mind, go back in time and try to recollect the moment when for the first time it dawned on you that ‘you are’ or ‘I am’. This nascent ‘I am’
is without words or non-verbal.
This ‘I am’ is still there with you, ever present, ever available, it was and still is the first thought, refuse all other thoughts and come back there and stay there.
Establish yourself firmly in the ‘I am’ and reject all that does not go with it.
When the ‘I am’ goes all that remains is the Absolute, give all your attention to the ‘I am’.
Only the ‘I am’ is certain, it’s impersonal, all knowledge stems from it, it’s the root, hold on to it and let all else go.
The ‘I am’ is the sum total of all that you perceive, it’s time-bound, the
‘I am’ itself is an illusion, you are not the ‘I am’ you are prior to it.
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.
Hold on to the ‘I am’ or ‘being’ only, as it would one day take you to the ‘non-being’ or Unborn.
Immortality is freedom from the feeling ‘I am’, to have that freedom remain in the sense ‘I am’.
The beginning and the end of knowledge is the ‘I am’, be attentive to the ‘I am’, once you understand it, you are apart from it.
You must meditate on the ‘I am’ without holding on to the body-mind,
the ‘I am’ is the first ignorance, persist on it and you will go beyond it.
Your Guru, your God is the ‘I am’, with its coming came duality and all activity, stay on the ‘I am’, you are before the ‘I am’ appeared.
Remain focused on the ‘I am’ till it goes into oblivion, then the eternal is, the Absolute is, Parabrahman is.
‘Parabrahman’ (the Absolute) is your eternal state, you cannot remember it because you have never forgotten it.
Remember the knowledge ‘I am’ only and give up the rest, staying in the ‘I am’ you will realize that it is unreal.
Understand that the knowledge ‘I am’ has dawned on you and all are its manifestations, in this understanding you realize you are not the ‘I am’.
The Supreme is like a hole in the paper, in it yet not made up of it. In the very centre of consciousness, yet beyond it.
The Supreme state is of utter stillness and silence, whoever goes there disappears.
When this concept ‘I am’ departs there will be no memory left that ‘I was’ and ‘I had’ those experiences, the very memory will be erased.
With the arrival of the primary concept ‘I am’, time began, with its departure time will end; you the Absolute are not the primary concept
‘I am’.
Appearance and disappearance, birth and death these are qualities of ‘I am’, they do not belong to you, the Absolute.

Out of the nothingness, the ‘I am’ or beingness has come, there is no individual, the knowledge ‘I am’- not the individual - has to go back to its source.

By meditating on the knowledge ‘I am’ it gradually settles down at its source and disappears, then you are the Absolute.

Go on to know the ‘I am’ without words, you must be that and not deviate from it for even a moment, and then it will disappear.
Get stabilized in the primary concept ‘I am’ in order to lose it and be free from all concepts. In understanding the unreality of ‘I am’ you are totally free from it.

Sitting quietly, being one with the knowledge ‘I am’, you will lose all concern with the world, then the ‘I am’ will also go, leaving you as the Absolute.
Putting aside everything, stabilize in the ‘I am’. As you continue with this practice, in the process you will transcend the
‘I am’.
The very core of this consciousness is the quality ‘I am’, there is no personality or individual there, reside there and transcend it.

Keep focused on the ‘I am’ till you become a witness to it, then you stand apart, you have reached the highest.

When you remain in the ‘I am’ you will realize everything else is useless, and then you are Parabrahman, the Absolute.

The One who abides in that principle by which he knows ‘I am’ knows all and does not require anything.

Just sit and know that you are the ‘I am’ without words, nothing else has to be done; shortly you will arrive to your natural Absolute state.
You have to realize that you are not the body or the knowledge ‘I am’. You as the Absolute are neither, nor do you require them.
The Absolute or the Parabrahman is prior to the ‘I am’, it’s the unborn state, so how can it have or even require the knowledge ‘I am’?
You have to transcend the ‘I am’ to enter the concept-free Parabrahman state, where you do not even know you are!
One who has realized the knowledge ‘I am’, which means transcending it as well, for him there is no birth or death nor any karma.
Witnessing happens to the state prior to your saying the words ‘I am’. Right now, right here, you are the Absolute, the Parabrahman. Hold on to the ‘I am’ very firmly, ever abide in it and it will dissolve, then you are as you are.
You are neither the ‘I am’ nor its activities, you as the Absolute are none of these. Be a true devotee by abiding in the knowledge ‘I am’, thereby transcending the experience of death to attain immortality.
What is it in you that understands this knowledge ‘I am’ without a name, title or word? Sink in that innermost center and witness the knowledge ‘I am’.
Totally accept the knowledge ‘I am’ as oneself, and with full conviction and faith firmly believe in the dictum ‘I am that by which I know
I am’.
Catch hold of the knowledge ‘I am’ in meditation and the realization will occur that ‘I’, the Absolute, am not the quality ‘I am’.
Do nothing but stay in the knowledge ‘I am’, the ‘moolmaya’ or primary illusion, and then it will release its stranglehold on you and get lost.
In deep meditation, infused only with the knowledge ‘I am’, it will be intuitively revealed to you as to how this
‘I amness’ came to be.
To do away with body-mind sense or identity, imbibe or dwell in the
‘I am’. Later the ‘I am’ will merge into the ultimate nature.
Having acquired and understood the knowledge ‘I am’ stay there in seclusion and don’t wander around here and there. Once you stabilize in the ‘I am’, you will realize that it is not the eternal state, but ‘you’ are eternal and ancient.
The teaching is simple, when the ‘I am’ arises, everything appears, when ‘I am’ subsides everything disappears. Onto your Absoluteness, which is without form or shape, came this knowledge ‘I am’, which is also without form or shape.
This knowledge ‘I am’ has spontaneously ‘appeared’ on your Absolute state, therefore it is an illusion. The feeling ‘I am’ is itself an illusion, therefore whatever is seen through this illusion cannot be real.
When you meditate on the knowledge ‘I am’, which is the beginning of knowledge, how can there be any questions? It is not with the body identification that you should sit for meditation. It is the knowledge ‘I am’ that is meditating on itself.
You should identify yourself only with this indwelling knowledge ‘I am’. That is all. Sit in meditation by identifying with the ‘I am’, dwell only on the ‘I am’- not merely the words ‘I am’.
Forget all about physical disciplines in this connection and just be with the knowledge ‘I am’. When you are established in the ‘I am’ there are no thoughts or words.
It is the ‘I am’ that investigates the ‘I am’ and on realizing its falsehood it disappears and merges into eternity.
Along with the knowledge ‘I am’ appears space and the world. When the knowledge ‘I am’ departs the world is liquidated.
My Guru taught me what ‘I am’, I pondered only on that. My original state is to be in that state where there is no ‘I am’.
Catch hold of the ‘I am’ and all obstacles will evaporate, you will be beyond the realm of body-mind.
The ‘I am’ in body form can reach the highest state only if you understand, accept it and dwell there. Then you escape birth and death.
The body identity cannot get this knowledge, the knowledge ‘I am’ must get this knowledge; when knowledge abides in knowledge there is transcendence of knowledge.

The ‘I am’ has great potency, the entire manifestation has come from it. When you dwell in the ‘I am’ as your destiny you realize that your destiny is not death but the disappearance of ‘I am’.
Go to the ‘I am’ state, remain there, merge and go beyond. If you were to dwell in the ‘I am’ and firmly abide in it, all external things will lose their grip on you.

You are the Reality beyond the ‘I am’,
YOU ARE PARABRAHMAN. Meditate on this and remember this, finally this idea too shall leave you. Understand the ‘I am’, transcend it and realize the Absolute.



  1. Thank you for this post. It has focussed my self investigation. There is also a video of you somewhere at a satsang/conference in the US. The message was crystal clear

    I don't know what I was before I had the realisation that I existed, "I am". But I feel the awe, peace and bliss of what was before me in the first seconds of the "I am" realization when I immerse myself in those first moments of "birth". It is the last time that I felt what was before the "I am". In a brief moment the first seed of "I am" coexisted with what was before and was the last time "I" experienced my true nature.

  2. More valuable than gemstones and gold.

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