#3167 - Thursday, May 15, 2008 - Editor: Jerry Katz
#3167 - Thursday, May 15, 2008 - Editor: Jerry Katz
Nonduality Highlights - http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NDhighlights
About ten years ago I collected the sayings of Nisargadatta Maharaj from his book "I Am That" in which he referred to "I Am." It is located at http://nonduality.com/iam.htm. I also edited sayings that I said were "beyond I am": http://nonduality.com/beyond.htm
Now friend Andy tells me about the remarkable document featured today. It is entitled I AM: The Complete I Am quotes of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, edited by Pradeep Apte. The collection consists of 572 "I Am" quotations. You may read it at http://www.scribd.com/doc/961481/I-AM-The-complete-I-AM-quotes-of-Sri-Nisargadatta-Maharaj
The complete ‘I am’ quotes of
Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
Dedicated to my Guru Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
These quotes have been compiled from ten books that cover almost
all the dialogues of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj:
1.I Am That edited by Maurice Frydman
2. Seeds of Consciousnessedited by Jean Dunn
3. Prior to Consciousnessedited by Jean Dunn
4. Consciousness and the Absoluteedited by Jean Dunn
5.The Experience of Nothingness edited by Robert Powell
6.The Nectar of Immortality edited by Robert Powell
7.The Ultimate Medicine edited by Robert Powell
8.Beyond Freedom edited by Maria Jory
9.I am Unborn edited by Pradeep Apte
10.Gleanings from Nisargadatta edited by Mark West
Other works that are mostly expositions of his teachings like: The
Blissful life by Robert Powell, Pointers from Nisargadatta
Maharaj by Ramesh Balsekar, I Am That I Am by Stephen
Wolinsky, Song of I Am edited by Jerry Katz and the ASMI – I Am
That excerpts compiled and edited by Miguel-Angel Carrasco have
not been referred to.
Apart from his teachings, all these texts give a lot of information
on Shri Nisragadatta Maharaj. Some other books that may also be
of interest are: The Wisdom teachings of Nisargatta Maharaj: A
visual journey published by Innerdirections, The Last days of Sri
Nisargadatta Maharaj published by Yogi impressions and Self
Knowledge and Self Realization by Nisargadatta Maharaj, edited
by Jean Dunn.
This collection of all the ‘I am’ quotes of Shri Nisargadatta
Maharaj have been prepared to be used as a device to get focused
on the ‘I am’. Most of these quotes are as such, while some have
been prepared by resorting to concatenations for maintaining the ‘I
am’ theme during a dialogue session.
Was it not the sense of ‘I am’ that came first? Some seed
consciousness must be existing even during sleep, or swoon. On
waking up the experience runs: ‘I am-the body- in the world’. It
may appear to arise in succession but in fact it is all simultaneous,
a single idea of having a body in a world. Can there be the sense of
‘I am’ without being somebody or other?
Go deep into the sense of ‘I am’ and you will find. How do you
find a thing you have mislaid or forgotten? You keep it in your
mind until you recall it. 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. After all the sense of ‘I
am’ is always with you, only you have attached all kinds of things
to it- body, feelings, thoughts, ideas, possessions and so on. All
these self-identifications are misleading, because of these you take
yourself to be what you are not.
The ‘I am’ is a useful pointer; it shows where to seek, but not what
to seek. Just have a good look at it. Once you are convinced that
you cannot say truthfully about yourself anything except ‘I am’,
and that nothing can be pointed at, can be your self, the need for
the ‘I am’ is over- you are no longer intent on verbalizing what you
are. All definitions apply to your body only and to its expressions.
Once this obsession with the body goes, you will revert to your
natural state. We discover the natural state by being earnest, by
searching, enquiring, questioning daily and hourly, by giving one’s
life to this discovery.
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. The past is in memory, the future – in
imagination. There is nothing in the present event itself that makes
it stand out as real. A thing focused in the now is with me, for I am
ever present, it is my own reality that I impart to the present event.
Refuse all thoughts except one: the thought ‘I am’. The mind will
rebel in the beginning, but with 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.
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.
Why not turn away from the experience to the experiencer and
realize the full import of the only true statement you can make: ‘I
am’. 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’.
Whatever you think, say or do, this sense of immutable and
affectionate being remains as the ever-present background of the
Do not bother about anything you want, or think, or do, just stay
put in the thought and feeling, ‘I am’, focusing ‘I am’ firmly in
your mind. All kinds of experience may come to you – remain
unmoved in the knowledge that all perceivable is transient and
only the ‘I am’ endures.
No way to self-realization is short or long, but some people are
more in earnest and some are less. I can tell you about myself. I
was a simple man, but I trusted my Guru. What he told me to do, I
did. He told me to concentrate on ‘I am’ – I did. He told me that I
am beyond all perceivables and conceivables – I believed. I gave
my heart and soul, my entire attention and the whole of my spare
time (I had to work to keep my family alive). As a result of faith
and earnest application, I realized my self (‘swarupa’) within three
years. You may choose any way that suits you; your earnestness
will determine the rate of progress. Establish yourself firmly in the
awareness of ‘I am’. This is the beginning and also the end of all
To know what you are you must first investigate and know what
you are not. And to know what you are not, you must watch
yourself carefully, rejecting all that does not necessarily go with
basic fact ‘I am’. The ideas: I am born at a given place, at a given
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’. Separate
consistently and perseveringly the ‘I am’ from ‘this’ or ‘that’ and
try to feel what it means to be, just to ‘be’, without being ‘this’ or
‘that’. All our habits go against it and the task of fighting them is
long and hard sometimes, but clear understanding helps a lot. 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.
When you see the world you see God. There is no seeing God apart
from the world. Beyond the world to see God is to be God. The
light by which you see the world, which is God is the tiny little
spark: ‘I am’, apparently so small and yet the first and the last in
every act of knowing and loving.
All is secondary to the tiny little thing which is the ‘I am’. Without
the ‘I am’ there is nothing. All knowledge is about the ‘I am’.
False ideas about this ‘I am’ lead to bondage, right knowledge
leads to freedom and happiness. The ‘I am’ denotes the inner while
‘there is’ denotes the outer; both are based on the sense of being.
The sense of ‘I am’ is your 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 such self-identifications are patently false and the cause
Read the full manuscript at http://www.scribd.com/doc/961481/I-AM-The-complete-I-AM-quotes-of-Sri-Nisargadatta-Maharaj