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From my note-book on

Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

Pradeep Apte ( aptep@yahoo.com)

About this work

Section One is a collection of some short quotes jotted down by
me while I was compiling the ‘I am quotes’ or preparing ‘The
Nisargadatta Gita’. Section Two has two short lectures prepared
from matter composed by Mr.Vijayendra Deshpande and sent to
me after the completion ‘I am Unborn’. These are not actual
lectures but have just been so arranged for my own understanding
of what Maharaj said to visitors on or around these dates. For the
matter in Section Two I shall forever remain indebted to Vijay.
Section One

Do you accept completely the knowledge that you do not exist?

The moment you know ‘you are’, you are individuality. When you
do not know ‘you are’, you are perfect in the Absolute.

I am the infinite, timeless Absolute, Awareness without being
aware of Awareness. As the infinite I express myself as finite, as
the timeless I express myself as time.

Your ‘being’ depends on the body-mind – how can this be true?
Can that which depends on anything be the truth?

If you are convinced that everything you see is unreal, then why
hang onto the unreal principle?

All the pride of being is based on the body-mind, the ‘beingness’,
it’s a temporary phase, hence unreal. The One who understands
this is the Eternal.

Whatever is supposedly happening is an illusion. Nothing is really
happening, because the basic concept ‘beingness’ is itself an
The individual as such has never come into being, thus there is no
need to identify with anything.

In the ultimate Awareness nothing has any consciousness of being
present. There is no ‘presence’ in the Absolute.

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

Hold on to the ‘being’ only, as it would one day take you to the
‘non-being’ or unborn.

The darkness you see on closing your eyes in the shade of the
Guru’s (Beingess) grace. Take rest there and you would merge in
the Satguru (Non-beingness or the Absolute).

Your ‘being’ is an illusion from the Absolute standpoint. Stay put
in your ‘being’ then that primary desire ‘to be’ would drop off.
You are then the Absolute.

Where is the person who should hold onto the worldly life or
should give it up? The question does not arise. Charged up with
this knowledge no difficulty can touch you.

Unless you negate individuality there will never be any
A simple remedy to enjoy eternal bliss is to know that you are not
the body.

‘Parabrahman’ (The Absolute) is your eternal state, you cannot
remember it because you have never forgotten it.

The very identity with which you try to understand everything is
unreal. There is only one truth in the world and that is that
everything is unreal.

When your individuality is dissolved you will not see any
individuality anywhere, it is just a functioning of consciousness. If
it clicks, it’s easy, if not, it’s difficult.

The Supreme state 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 silence and silence, whoever goes
there disappears.

Nothing is. Nothing appears to become something for sometime.
Something appears to become Nothing. Nothing was, Nothing
remains, Nothing is.
The question ‘Who am I?’ has no answer. No experience can
answer it as the Self is beyond experience, there it helps going
beyond experience.

When by the ‘law of being’ one finds the way to return (Nivritti),
he abandons all motives (Pravritti).

The ‘Jnani’ is not indifferent, he is impartial.

You do everything but miss the essential, which is the elimination
of the person.

When you understand that the ‘I am’ is itself an illusion, then you
will throw up your hands and give up everything.

To anyone who is interested in worldly activities and pleasures,
how can unworldly wisdom ever come near him?

The Absolute cannot be understood. Understanding goes only up to
the ‘I am’ sense. You are not whatever you understand, in non-
understanding you understand yourself.

If you have understood that there is no ‘knower’, everything is
In the absence of a body form the ‘beingness’ cannot know itself.
So you should hold on to the indwelling principle, the ‘beingness’

Go to the root of your ‘beingness’, in the process, the ‘beingness’
will be transcended and only the ultimate ‘You’ will remain,
without the knowledge ‘you are’.

There is permanent identity within you that never goes away. You
cannot objectify it, you cannot know it, for on doing so it becomes
impermanent or unreal.

If you do not identify with the body-mind sense, you will transcend
into the ‘beingness’ first and later you will even transcend

You as the Absolute are neither the ‘beingness’ nor the activities
that go on in it.

Whatever is seen or perceived is continuously in a state of creation
and destruction, but you in your true nature are unborn and

Your true state is always there, it has never gone anywhere; realize
it, that’s all.
So long as you identify with the body you must follow the
scriptures, when this identification is gone, you may do whatever
you like.

As long as the ‘beingness’ is there you are the ‘beingness’. When
the ‘beingness’ is not, you are the Absolute.

Please apprehend clearly that you are the Absolute bereft of any
body identity. You are complete, perfect and the unborn.

All talking can be from the temporary ‘beingness’, from the eternal
position there is nothing, you have no standpoint so what can be

Whatever spiritual or worldly activities that are happening through
your ‘beingness’ are merely entertainment for passing time.

I am not this body, but I am the formless nameless knowledge
indwelling in it – the ‘I am’.

The point is to be fully aware that neither you, nor the man in front
of you, are mere bodies.

Finally you will understand that whatever you have understood is
not the truth. At the highest level, in reality, nothing is. At the
worldly level, everything is.
You are not whatever you observe, reject everything that you
observe and finally settle down where there is no more

At the highest level of ‘Parabrahman’ everything is useless, even
‘Brahman’ is reduced to an illusion.

There are two witnessing stages: ‘beingness’ witnesses all this
manifestation, and witnessing of the ‘beingness’ happens to the

The primary illusion ‘I am’ develops and moves through the four
types of speech using the body and life force (‘prana’).

Discard whatever you know, whatever you have read and have a
firm conviction about ‘That’, about which nobody knows anything.

Actually there is no ‘going beyond’, it is just an idea to remove all
the ideas that you have accumulated due to your association with
the body and mind.

Isn’t it amusing that the very teaching which destroys an individual
is exactly what the individual wants?

The indication of your progress is your disinclination to associate
with normal people and your desires and expectations get less and
The seeker disappears in the seeking, the unreality of the
‘beingness’ as ‘born’ is realized and it’s all over, there is nothing
more to be done.

I am not the body; I am not the words, when knowledge recognizes
this it’s called Self-realization.

To know that you are nothing is liberation. All your knowledge,
including you yourself is liquidated – then you are liberated.

This sense of presence is as such, there is no individuality but
applies to everything that is present.

Total negation or rejection of all that is perceivable and
conceivable is needed – then and only then you can disappear.

All real progress is irreversible, if you are still going ups and
downs in your moods, it shows that the teaching has not been taken
to heart and translated into action in full.

All delay is a waste of time, what are you waiting for? Is it the fear
of elimination as a person? It should be, for there can be no other

Relatively there can be true knowledge of things but absolutely
there are no things. To know that nothing is, is true knowledge.
The relative and the absolute are identical. When the words are
spoken there is silence, when the relative is over the absolute
remains. Shift your attention from words to silence and you will
hear it.

There is no such thing as seeing the real. Who is to see what? You
can only be the real – which you are anyhow.

You cannot know the knower for you are the knower. Whatever
you are changelessly, that you are beyond doubt.

The primary desire is ‘to be’, when you stay put in your
‘beingness’ for some time, the desire ‘to be’ will droop off – then
you are the Absolute.

Whatever you can forget is not the truth or eternal – always
remember that. That’s why you cannot forget you true state and
that’s why you cannot remember it (you can only remember what
you forget.)

Understand the birth principle (‘Turiya’ or the ‘I am’ without
words) and be free from it (‘Turiyatita’).

Your true nature is a fact, that’s all. You are already that, so how
can you know something you already are? A subject-object
relationship is impossible!
He who claims to have gained true knowledge and yet is still
worried as to what will happen to him, cannot be considered a

Stabilize yourself in the indwelling knowledge that ‘you are’ and
then, that very knowledge will clear all your doubts and everything
will be opened to you.

Effortlessly you are ‘That’, only you must stand for it by

Once you abide that you are the indwelling principle and not the
body – that is enough.

It is the ‘Sadhana’ that matters and not the gathering of concepts.

I am perceptible from one point to another, beyond which the
perceptible will become imperceptible. The imperceptible is my
original state. It is only these two states that have to be understood,
there is nothing else to be done.

The shackles are only of name and belief that you were born and
are a person with a body and mind. This belief gone, what is left?
Whose enlightenment and what enlightenment?

That the world never occurred or existed – if this is indeed your
conviction, you are ‘Parabrahman’ or the Absolute.
The reason there is no realization in spite of all your trouble is that
you are trying to identify with the body. You don’t give up that

The ‘beingness’ is something like a telescope, a medium for
observation. But the observer is neither the medium nor the field of

The primary cause for the rising of the relative out of the absolute
is beyond explanation, like two intimate friends, in perfect
harmony, suddenly start to quarrel.

Remove the conjunction ‘and’ between ‘you and I’ and no duality
exists, similarly ‘beingness’ is a conjunction, when it is removed
no duality remains.

‘Jnana yoga’ means to inquire how the ‘I-am-ness’ and the world
came about, to understand that they are one and realize finally that
you are neither but beyond them.

Yours is the power of perception, not what you perceive.

‘Being’ doesn’t require knowing, but knowing requires ‘being’.
You are that dimensionless point of awareness which when moves
creates the illusion of the world and which when stops is the
Absolute reality.

To know that that you are neither in the body nor in the mind,
though aware of both, is already Self-realization.

No problem is solved completely but you can withdraw from it to a
level on which it does not operate.

You have to stay with the fact that you are neither this body nor
this mind, only then you will grow and go altogether beyond into a
different world of truth and fearless love.

Resist you old ways by telling yourself: ‘No, not so, it cannot be
so, I am not like this, I do not need it, I do not want it.’ Surely a
day would come when the entire structure of error and despair
would collapse and the ground will be free for a new life.

There is a season for trusting and distrusting words. The utility and
futility of words must be understood. Words serve a limited
purpose of inter-personal communication and technical know-how.

Don’t try to know the truth, you can know only what is not true –
which is enough to liberate you from the false.
There is no need to destroy or put an end to the mind. It has only to
be put at its proper place and work which is the liberation of the

Only see that there is no happiness in what you desire. There
maybe pleasure which is always wrapped up with pain.

Only the changeable can be thought and talked about. The
unchangeable can only be realized in silence. Once realized, it will
deeply affect the changeable, itself remaining un affected.

You do not know your timeless, spaceless, causeless being because
you are so engrossed in the world.

The Source is dark itself yet makes everything shine, unperceived
it causes perception, unfelt it causes feeling, unthinkable it causes
thought, non-being it gives birth to being. It is the immovable
background of motion, once you are there you are home

All this is not very difficult to understand and practice, but you
must be interested, without interest nothing can be done.

Keep quiet. Do your work in the world but inwardly keep quiet,
then all will come to you. Do not rely on your work for realization,
it may profit others but not you. Your hope lies in keeping silent in
the mind and quiet in your heart.
If you have really understood the core of the matter no questions
can arise, questions arise only to an entity.

Allot some daily for sitting quietly and trying to go beyond the
personality with all its addictions and obsessions.

Keep trying until you succeed. If you persevere and try earnestly,
there can be no failure.

Section Two

Talk 1
Feb 4, 1981

What image of yourself are you going to collect from here and go?
You had come to the market to sell your wares (yourself) and
return with money (your true Self). So you have come here and
collected what? Are you returning and yet carrying yourself? You
should be word-free, no emanations, no sound or reply. Let us
presume we have carried out all out duties towards the world. In
what state are you going to be at the time of death? In your life-
span you have acquired many skills. At the so-called time of death
with what language are you going to die? Which is your most
appropriate place of abidance? Which is the state that is truthful
and eternal? Understand this - prior to birth or the emanation of
knowledge ‘I am’, did you exist or not? Did you understand the
actual state of affairs? You have come here to recognize yourself,
so talk with reference to that only.
What is the principle common to all? You know all things because
of what? It is really simple, but instead of intimately understanding
it, without any label, by itself, we pollute it with the mind and label
it. If understood directly, there are no doubts. What is doubt? It is
that when you have not directly understood, it is a mental
interpretation. When we wake up in the morning, the sense of
being is immediate. Doubt is when something is not intuitively
understood. Cognizance is knowledge, ‘I have understood’
(individually) is wrong, cognizance as a whole, by itself, is
What is the need to speak irreverently? When this understanding
has taken place, then what is the value of manifestation? Whatever
is perceived is as good as toilet paper or toilet water. Pure
understanding has no duality. What one understands as knowledge
of any kind it is only due to the arising of consciousness which
itself is an illusion. The real truth has been there before the arising
of consciousness. The sense of being is always
there and it is in it that all knowledge is achieved, so knowledge is
ignorance. What is ignorance? Whatever perceived, is changeable
and our experience. What is born is the consciousness or
knowledge, prior to its birth is our true state.
My attention is not drawn to incidents because my attention is not
drawn to myself – the consciousness, the ‘I am’. I studied the five
jeweled ornament, I have understood the precious jewels – their
outcome was a diadem. I have understood its value
(Consciousness’); it is very precious, it is the cosmos. I recognize
it, but in the process of recognition, I am not that. Consciousness is
no-thing. ‘Happy, and ‘unhappy’ are saddled on it by the ‘I’ or the
mind which is the root of all misery. Total Consciousness is
unsaddled, not attached, never with the feeling ‘I’ which is
spurious; it is the result of the food-body, that moves about as the
What is the meaning of ‘shuddha’(pure)? You collect words, do
they remain with you? What is ‘YOU’? You are bereft of words
and their meaning, You are not a personality, but manifestation is
there. The Brahman (cosmic creative principle) which gives rise to
consciousness has spontaneously come. That consciousness is the
manifest experience. Until yesterday you did not have the ‘you are’
knowledge, come birth and now you are loquacious and say ‘I am
Brahman”. All the world-play is that ‘Chaitanya’ (Consciousness),
is that ‘Chaitanya’ (Consciousness) experienced by you or
whatever you have heard? Have you heard stories about it or had
an experience of it?
The Absolute is beyond all attributes, being, and illusion. But you
think of the ‘Parabrahman’ as something, as a third party. But prior
to birth, ‘Parabrahman’ is, so the attributeless state is not a third
party, it is my own state. ‘Parabrahman’ is beyond time, is it not
your own experience prior to birth? You seem to be talking of
someone’s state; it is your very own. Prior to Consciousness did
you have day and night? You were in a timeless state. That’s why
concepts are dangerous, without knowing you are That. When you
receive (knowledge) from a proper source, then you realize. My
knowledge is beyond knowledge, who will understand this? Will
any one say God – ‘Parabramhan’ – has no knowledge of day and
night. I talk from my day and night experience – all the time. After
Krishna, I have not come across any book where the author talks
with such an emphasis.
This knowledge will grow only in those who totally accept
whatever is given. Whatever knowledge I give, you do not let it
reach your heart. You return it back with concepts. You do
whatever you are doing, don’t come back here. Whatever
experiences I am getting are experiences of the three states:
waking, knowing and sleep and I have nothing to do with them.
Whatever happens, these experiences are not mine. I take no
delivery of them (in the sense of receiving and making a memory
of them). They are only in the field of consciousness, many know
the Brahman, very few know themselves, as ‘Atma-Jnana’
(Knowledge of the Self). The knowledge of Brahman has
association with many types of knowledge, but the knowledge of
Self – ‘Atma-Jnana’ – has no association with any other
knowledge. Listen to it, but you have no time to ponder over it, so
look at it as it is.

Talk 2

19 June 1981

All events happen in bodily-consciousness only. The ordinary

knowledge pertains to the bodily image and what I am expounding
does not pertain to that. As one looks at the body, one thinks he or
she is the body. But one is not the body; he or she is consciousness,
in that consciousness there is no imprint of the body. It is the
manifest consciousness that is functioning and it is always in a
fluid stage. Whatever changes are to occur they will, no one can
say anything about them. That dynamic manifest consciousness
entertains no concept that something good or bad is going to
happen to it.
All that happens is in consciousness, it is just happening, there is
nobody doing it. This consciousness has no idea of good and bad.
All functioning of activity will be there as long as the message ‘I
am’ is there; but it is not a personality. The mind flow is also there,
but one should not attribute a personality to it. From my standpoint
the very idea ‘I am the body’ is ridiculous. Consciousness is
experiencing its manifestations; it is not experiencing a
personality, only a rare one will realize this.
Many a so called ‘Jnanis’ are caught up with the relations of the
body. The worldly life of a true ‘Jnani’ means the total functioning
of Consciousness. There is no involvement as an individual. Most
people think of others as persons and do not think of them as the
functioning of Consciousness. The fastidious nature of
Consciousness will not come down to an individual level, it is
manifestation only.
The reply to the question ‘Who am I?’ cannot be obtained if you
identify yourself with your personality. If you are stabilized in
‘yourself’ there is no ‘otherness’, where is the question of meeting
someone else? If you abide in yourself, you are like space, you are
everything, and there is no duality.
Right now you are as expansive as space, which is liberation. It
means you are not conditioned by name or form. If you are like
space, what is the point of going elsewhere? You may build huts or
palaces the space is ever-free, not conditioned. Anyone listening to
these talks would be torn to pieces by my sentences. Thereafter if
one still thinks that something good or bad is going to happen to
him or her, it would mean that he is still identifying with the
individuality as a person.
First abide in ‘yourself’ and transcend it, and in that transcendence
you will realize the ultimate and you will understand the meaning
of it. First realize Consciousness, be there! When you know it, you
transcend it, and finally abide in the Absolute. With abidance in
the Absolute, witnessing the Consciousness will take place. You
must thoroughly understand what ‘you are’, what ‘you are’ when
nothing is and when nothing is, you still ‘are’, so what is it?
For those who are stabilized in their bodily consciousness, this
knowledge will make no impact on them. They have ‘Dhushta
Buddhi’ (Ruinous Intellect). Only those who identify with
Consciousness will understand.
This moment only ‘I amness’ is there, prior to this I had no quality
of beingness. If it ever prevailed, I would have felt all changes like
pricking of skin etc., presently, I am in the state that and if
anybody has a good look at me, that would be enough for him.
The knowledge, ‘I am’ is equivalent to the existence of the whole
world. Those are the luckiest who see me in this state and having
seen me in this state, they will be bereft of miseries in future.
The knowledge, ‘I am’ means the world is, if the‘I amness’ is not,
then the world is not (does not exist). In that ‘non-I amness’ I ever
prevail, I talk in detail yet you stick to your body as your image.
Whenever you ponder, you think of only something good or bad
happening to you. Do you ponder on ‘yourself’? Think only on
‘yourself’, If ‘you are’, the external world is, If ‘you are not’ then
the world too is not.
Presently, I am in that profound state, only lucky ones will reach
(here). When I am in this state, the world has no life or soul; you
are the soul of it. You are listening carefully here, but you go home
and start cleaning your utensils and the rest, who will be busy with
such chores? The ‘Moolmaya’ (‘I am’).
Are you the owners of the words? Presently, I am too weak to sit
and talk, all my senses are out of commission. The words are just
flowing out, neither yours nor mine they only ‘are’. What type of
spirituality you do? It consists in just communicating cock and bull
stories with each other. In spirituality’s name you talk of sickle and
spanner, you never tell your own stories of Self-knowledge. We go
and do this and that, if we don’t do so, what would be the net
result? Talk about ‘yourself’, not about worldly activities. You’ll
never come to the end of objective knowledge inspite of any
number of births. Bother about ‘yourself’ only and not the
For you to get to listen to this knowledge or for this knowledge to
sprout in you, you must have blessings of a Sadguru. Otherwise,
many so called ‘Godmen’ will ask you to do so many spiritual
activities, but they will not expound this type of knowledge.
Finally, you have to investigate and find out ‘what you are’, for
yourself for all time to come.