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9 themes from Nisargadatta Maharaj  I Am That 

1.      On meditation: Make yourself vulnerable

2.      Just Be; I Am

3.      Allow Everything To Be;

4.      Awareness and consciousness:  Be aware of Awareness,

5.      Everything Points

6.      Effort and no effort:   Earnestness Freedom courage


7.      Shift Identity // As-If Surrender;  


8.      Inside out;  Mentalism View: body and universal body

9.       Reality and ultimate reality; Love and Wisdom


On meditation: Make yourself vulnerable

Q: Will meditation help me to reach your state?
M: Meditation will help you to find your bonds, loosen them, untie them and cast your moorings. When you are no longer attached to anything, you have done your share. The rest will be done for you.
Q: By whom?
M: By the same power that brought you so far, that prompted your heart to desire truth and your mind to seek it. It is the same power that keeps you alive. You may call it Life or the Supreme. 16


Just be

Q:  So far I have been following you.  Now what am I expected to do?

M:  There is nothing to do.  Just BE.  No climbing mountains and sitting in caves.  I do not even say: “be yourself,” since you do not know yourself.  Just be. Ch. 69


There is nothing to practice.  To know yourself, be yourself.  To be yourself, stop imagining yourself to be this or that.  Just be.  Let your true nature emerge.  Don’t disturb your mind with seeking. ch55


M: Your Sadhana is to be.  The doing happens.  Just be watchful.  Where is the difficulty in remembering that you are?  You are all the time. ch51


There is nothing to seek and find, for there is nothing lost. Relax and watch the 'I am'. Reality is just behind it. Keep quiet, keep silent; it will emerge, or, rather, it will take you in.


Allow Everything To Be

Q: How is it done?
M: You begin by letting thoughts flow and watching them. The very observation slows down the mind till it stops altogether. Once the mind is quiet, keep it quiet. Don't get bored with peace, be in it, go deeper into it. Ch 48


M: Watch your thoughts as you watch the street traffic. People come and go; you register without response.      Do not struggle with your memories and thoughts; try only to include in your field of attention the other, more important questions, like 'Who am I?' 'How did I happen to be born?' 'Whence this universe around me?'. 'What is real and what is momentary?' …

You know from experience that there are gaps when your self is forgotten.  What brings it back to life? What wakes you up in the morning?  There must be some constant factor bridging the gaps in consciousness.  If you watch carefully you will find that even your daily consciousness is in flashes, with gaps intervening all the time.  What is in the gaps?  What can there be but your real being that is timeless: mind and mindlessness are one to it. ch69


Whatever you may have to do, watch your mind. Also you must have moments of complete inner peace and quiet, when your mind is absolutely still. If you miss it, you miss the entire thing. If you do not, the silence of the mind will dissolve and absorb all else.


be aware of your being -- here and now.    there is nothing more to it.   30

All you need is to be aware of being, not as a verbal statement, but as an ever present fact.  98

Awareness of being is bliss.   46



Awareness is unattached and unshaken. It is lucid, silent, peaceful, alert and unafraid, without desire and fear. Meditate on it as your true being and try to be it in your daily life, and you shall realise it in its fullness.
Mind is interested in what happens, while awareness is interested in the mind itself. Ch 48


Q: How does one go beyond consciousness into awareness?
M: Since it is awareness that makes consciousness possible, there is awareness in every state of consciousness. Therefore the very consciousness of being conscious is already a movement in awareness. Interest in your stream of consciousness takes you to awareness. It is not a new state. It is at once recognised as the original, basic existence, which is life itself, and also love and joy.  Ch 11

Q: What is the relation between awareness and consciousness?

M:  Awareness is primordial; it is the original state, beginningless, endless, uncaused, unsupported, without parts, without change.  Consciousness is on contact, a reflection against a surface, a state of duality.    Awareness is absolute, consciousness is relative to its content; consciousness is always of something.  Consciousness is partial and changeful, awareness is total, changeless, calm and silent.  And it is the common matrix of every experience.  Ch. 11


Q: As I can make out, you give distinct meanings to the words 'mind', 'consciousness', and 'awareness'.
M: Look at it this way. The mind produces thoughts ceaselessly, even when you do not look at them. When you know what is going on in your mind, you call it consciousness. This is your waking state -- your consciousness shifts from sensation to sensation, from perception to perception, from idea to idea, in endless succession. Then comes awareness, the direct insight into the whole of consciousness, the totality of the mind. The mind is like a river, flowing ceaselessly in the bed of the body; you identify yourself for a moment with some particular ripple and call it: 'my thought'. All you are conscious of is your mind; awareness is the cognisance of consciousness as a whole. Ch 48


Q: Are there levels of awareness?
M: There are levels in consciousness, but not in awareness. Awareness’ reflection in the mind is love and understanding. There are levels of clarity in understanding and intensity in love, but not in Awareness. The source is simple and single, but its gifts are infinite. Only do not take the gifts for the source. 80


Q: Can there be awareness without an object of awareness?

M: Awareness with an object we call witnessing.  When there is also self-identification with the object, caused by desire or fear, such a state is called a person.  In reality there is only one state; when distorted by self-identification it is called a person, when colored with the sense of being it is the witness; when colorless and limitless, it is called the Supreme. ch 79


Q: What I do not follow is what you say about going beyond consciousness. I understand the words, but I cannot visualise the experience. After all, you yourself have said that all experience is in consciousness.
M: You are right, there can be no experience beyond consciousness. Yet there is the experience of just being. There is a state beyond consciousness, which is not unconscious. Some call it super-consciousness, or pure consciousness, or supreme consciousness. It is pure awareness free from the subject object nexus.  ch 65


The body appears in your mind, your mind is the content of your consciousness; you are the motionless witness of the river of consciousness which changes eternally without changing you in any way.  Your own changelessness is so obvious that you do not notice it.  Have a good look at yourself and all these misconceptions will dissolve.  ch44


The deepening and broadening of self-awareness is the royal way.  Call it mindfulness, or witnessing, or just attention—it is for all.  None is unripe for it and none can fail. ch67


Q:  Who is the conscious living being?

M: Your questions contains its answer: a conscious living being is a conscious living being.  The words are most appropriate, but you do not grasp their full import.  Go deep into the meaning of the words: being, living, conscious.   Ch 87


Everything Points

Whatever happens points to your existence as a perceiving center.   Disregard the pointers and be aware of what they are pointing to.   It is quite simple, but it needs to be done.  What matters is the persistence with which you keep on returning to yourself.   Ch 48


At present your being is mixed up with experiencing.  All you need is to unravel being from the tangle of experiences.  Once you have known pure being, without being this or that, you will discern it among experiences and you will no longer be misled by names and forms. Ch 46


Even the sense of “I am” is composed of the pure light and the sense of being.  The”I” is there even without the “am”. So is the pure light there whether you say “I” or not.  Become aware of that pure light and you will never lose it.  The being-ness in being, the awareness in consciousness, the interest in every experience—that is not describable, yet perfectly accessible, for there is nothing else.  Ch 45


Effort and no effort:   Earnestness Freedom courage

Q: Is there no need of effort then?

M:  When effort is needed, effort will appear.  When effortlessness becomes essential, it will assert itself.  You need not push life.  Just flow with it and give yourself completely to the task of the present moment, which is dying now to the now.  For living is dying.  Without death life cannot be. ch33

Save all your energies and time for breaking the wall your mind has built around you.  Believe me, you will not regret it. ch81


Unless you make tremendous efforts, you will not be convinced that effort will take you nowhere. The self is so self confident, that unless it is totally discouraged, it will not give up. Mere verbal conviction is not enough. Hard facts alone can show the absolute nothingness of the self-image. ch.100


Rebel against your slavery to your mind, see you bonds as self-created and break the chains of attachment and revulsion.  Keep in mind your goal of freedom, until it dawns on you that you are already free, that freedom is not something in the distant future to be earned with painful efforts, but perennially one’s own, to be used!  Liberation is not an acquisition but a matter of courage, the courage to believe that you are free already and to act on it. ch99


Nothing can block you so effectively as compromise, for it shows lack of earnestness, without which nothing can be done. Ch31


Spiritual practice is will asserted and re-asserted.  Who has not the daring will not accept the real even when offered.  Unwillingness born out of fear is the only obstacle. ch38


M: Desiring a state of freedom from desire will not set you free.  Nothing can set you free, because you are free.  See yourself with desireless clarity, that is all. ch21


Freedom means letting go.  People just do not care to let go everything.  They do not know that the finite is the price of the infinite, as death is the price of immortality.  Spiritual maturity lies in the readiness to let go everything.  The giving up is the first step.  But the real giving up is in the realizing that there is nothing to give up, for nothing is your own. ch73


Complete self-surrender by itself is liberation. ch84


Q: Please tell me which road to self-realisation is the shortest.
M: No way is short or long, but some people are more in earnest and some are less. Ch 5


above all have patience with yourself, for you are your only obstacle. Ch 37


To act from desire and fear is bondage, to act from love is freedom. Ch.94


Don’t be afraid, don’t resist, don’t delay.  Be what you are.  There is nothing to be afraid of.  Try and try.  Experiment honestly. Give your real being a chance to shape your life.  You will not regret it. 33


Keep in mind your goal of freedom, until it dawns on you that you are already free, that freedom is not something in the distant future to be earned with painful efforts, but perennially one's own, to be used! Liberation is not an acquisition but a matter of courage, the courage to believe that you are free already and to act on it.  Ch 99


Shift Identity // As-If Surrender;  

Give up the idea of being a person, that is all.  You need not become what you are anyhow.  There is the identity of what you are and there is the person superimposed on it.  All you know is the person, the identity—which is not a person—you do not know, for you never doubted, never asked yourself the crucial question—“Who am I?”  The identity is the witness of the person and Sadhana consists in shifting the emphasis from the superficial and changeful person to the immutable and ever-present witness. Ch 86


Disregard whatever you think yourself to be and act as if you were absolutely perfect—whatever your idea of perfection may be.  All you need is courage. ch82


Being the source of both, the self is beyond both knowledge and power.  The nature of the self is pure awareness, pure witnessing, unaffected by the presence or absence of knowledge or liking.   Undeceive yourself and be free.  You are not a person.  Ch34


Reality and Ultimate reality

Q: Why do you deny being to the world?
M: I do not negate the world. I see it as appearing in consciousness, which is the totality of the known in the immensity of the unknown. What begins and ends is mere appearance. The world can be said to appear, but not to be…  ch7


Q: If the real is beyond words and mind, why do we talk so much about it?
M: For the joy of it, of course. The real is bliss supreme. Even to talk of it is happiness.  85


Love says, Wisdom Says      ch. 57

M: Look, my thumb touches my forefinger. Both touch and are touched. When my attention; is on the thumb, the thumb is the feeler and the forefinger -- the self. Shift the focus of attention and the relationship is reversed. 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. 



Inside out;  Mentalism View: Reality; Body and Universal body

When you look at anything, it is the ultimate you see, but you imagine that you see a cloud or a tree.
Learn to look without imagination, to listen without distortion: that is all. Stop attributing names and shapes to the essentially nameless and formless, realise that every mode of perception is subjective, that what is seen or heard, touched or smelt, felt or thought, expected or imagined, is in the mind and not in reality, and you will experience peace and freedom from fear. Ch 44


Q: How can I aspire to such heights, small and limited as I am?
M: realise yourself as the ocean of consciousness in which all happens. This is not difficult. A little of attentiveness, of close observation of oneself, and you will see that no event is outside your consciousness.  Q: The world is full of events which do not appear in my consciousness.
M: Even your body is full of events which do not appear in your consciousness. This does not prevent you from claiming your body to be your own. You know the world exactly as you know your body -- through your senses. It is your mind that has separated the world outside your skin from the world inside and put them in opposition. This created fear and hatred and all the miseries of living. ch 65


Change the current of your desire from taking to giving.  The passion for giving, for sharing, will naturally wash the idea of an external world out of your mind, and of giving as well.  Only the pure radiance of love will remain, beyond giving and receiving. ch72


M: The real world is beyond the mind's ken; we see it through the net of our desires, divided into pleasure and pain, right and wrong, inner and outer. To see the universe as it is, you must step beyond the net. It is not hard to do so, for the net is full of holes. Ch 4


Inside/Out …  ch 51

Q: Maybe some unique experience is needed to fix me for good in the new state and until the crucial experience comes, this game of hide and seek must continue.
M: Your expectation of something unique and dramatic, of some wonderful explosion, is merely hindering and delaying your self-realisation. You are not to expect an explosion, for the explosion has already happened -- at the moment when you were born, when you realised yourself as being-knowing­feeling. There is only one mistake you are making: you take the inner for the outer and the outer for the inner. What is in you, you take to be outside you and what is outside, you take to be in you. The mind and feelings are external, but you take them to be intimate. You believe the world to be objective, while it is entirely a projection of your psyche. That is the basic confusion and no new explosion will set it right. You have to think yourself out of it. There is no other way.
Q: How am I to think myself out when my thoughts come and go as they like. Their endless chatter distracts and exhausts me.
M: Watch your thoughts as you watch the street traffic. People come and go; you register without response. It may not be easy in the beginning, but with some practice you will find that your mind can function on many levels at the same time and you can be aware of them all. It is only when you have a vested interest in any particular level, that your attention gets caught in it and you black out on other levels. Even then the work on the blacked out levels goes on, outside the field of consciousness. Do not struggle with your memories and thoughts; try only to include in your field of attention the other, more important questions, like 'Who am l?' 'How did I happen to be born?' 'Whence this universe around me?'. 'What is real and what is momentary?' No memory will persist, if you lose interest in it, it is the emotional link that perpetuates the bondage. You are always seeking pleasure, avoiding pain, always after happiness and peace. Don't you see that it is your very search for happiness that makes you feel miserable? Try the other way: indifferent to pain and pleasure, neither asking, nor refusing, give all your attention to the level on which 'I am' is timelessly present. Soon you will realise 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 is all. To seek there is no need; you would not seek what you already have. You yourself are God, the Supreme Reality. To begin with, trust me, trust the Teacher. It enables you to make the first step -- and then your trust is justified by your own experience. In every walk of life initial trust is essential; without it little can be done. Every undertaking is an act of faith. Even your daily bread you eat on trust! By remembering what I told you you will achieve everything. I am telling you again: You are the all-pervading, all transcending reality. Behave accordingly: think, feel and act in harmony with the whole and the actual experience of what I say will dawn upon you in no time. No effort is needed. Have faith and act on it.