Nisargadatta Maharaj (March 1897 – September 8, 1981) was a spiritual teacher of nonduality, who lived and taught in Bombay, India. He was very much admired for his direct and informal teaching. He is best known for the work "I Am That" that has been translated into many languages.
- "'I am' itself is God. The seeking itself is God. In seeking you discover that you are neither the body nor the mind, and the love of the self in you is for the self in all. The two are one. The consciousness in you and the consciousness in me, apparently two, really one, seek unity and that is love."
- "I find that somehow, by shifting the focus of attention, I become the very thing I look at, and experience the kind of consciousness it has; I become the inner witness of the thing. I call this capacity of entering other focal points of consciousness, love; you may give it any name you like. Love says 'I am everything'. Wisdom says "I am nothing'. Between the two, my life flows. Since at any point of time and space I can be both the subject and the object of experience, I express it by saying that I am both, and neither, and beyond both."
- (...) In pure being consciousness arises; in consciousness the world appears and disappears. All there is is me, all there is is mine. Before all beginnings, after all endings – I am. All has its being in me, in the “I am,” which shines in every living being. (...).
- (…) All you need is to get rid of the tendency to define yourself. All definitions apply to your body only and its expressions. Once this obsession with the body goes, you will revert to your natural state, spontaneously and effortlessly. (…)
- (…) There is something exceptional, unique, about the present event, which the previous, or the coming do not have. (…) What makes the present so different? Obviously, my presence. I am real for I am always now, in the present, and what is with me now shares in my reality.
- "If you seek reality you must set yourself free of all backgrounds, of all cultures, of all patterns of thinking and feeling. Even the idea of being man or woman, or even human should be discarded. The ocean of life contains all, not only humans. So, first of all abandon all self-identification, stop thinking of yourself as such-and-such or so-and-so, this or that. Abandon all self-concern, worry not about your welfare, material or spiritual, abandon every desire, gross or subtle, stop thinking of achievement of any kind. You are complete here and now, you need absolutely nothing."
Desire and fear
- "Desire is the memory of pleasure and fear is the memory of pain. Both make the mind restless. (...)"
- "And what is death? It is the change in the living process of a particular body. Integration ends and disintegration sets in. (…) In death only the body dies. Life does not, consciousness does not, reality does not. And the life is never so alive as after death."
- "(…) Can there be renewal without death? Even the darkness of sleep is refreshing and rejuvenating. Without death we would have been bogged for ever in eternal senility. (…) When life and death are seen as essential to each other, as two aspects of one being, that is immortality. (...).
- "The primary purpose of meditation is to become conscious of, and familiar with, our inner life. The ultimate purpose is to reach the source of life and consciousness."
Awareness and consciousness
- Awareness is primordial; it is the original state, beginning-less, endless, uncaused, unsupported, without parts, without change. Consciousness is on contact, a reflection against a surface, a state of duality. There can be no consciousness without awareness, but there can be awareness without consciousness, as in deep sleep. Awareness is absolute, consciousness is elative to its content; consciousness is always of something. (…).
- "(...) To take the world as real and one’s self as unreal is ignorance, the cause of sorrow. To know the self as the only reality and all else as temporal and transient is freedom, peace and joy. It is all very simple. Instead of seeing things as imagined, learn to see them as they are. When you can see everything as it is, you will also see yourself as you are. It is like cleansing a mirror. The same mirror that shows you the world as it is, will also show you your own face. The thought ‘I am’ is the polishing cloth. Use it."
- "That in which consciousness happens, the universal consciousness or mind, we call the ether of consciousness. All the objects of consciousness form the universe. What is beyond both, supporting both, is the supreme state, a state of utter stillness and silence. Whoever goes there, disappears. It is unreachable by words, or mind. You may call it God, or Parabrahman, or Supreme Reality, but these are names given by the mind. It is the nameless, contentless, effortless and spontaneous state, beyond being and not being."
- Sri Maharaj Nisargadatta. (2005). I am That. Durham, NC: The Acorn Press. ISBN 0-89386-022-0.
- "I Am That." P.70
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- "I am That." P.35-6.