I AM (CONSCIOUSNESS)

Insights of Sri Nisargadatta, the subject of the worldwide classic 'I AM THAT'

Your true nature (existence) is beyond description.

It (existence) cannot be known with the mind, yet it exists.

It is the source of everything.

You become what you believe.

How powerful are the effects of beliefs. Be aware of this truth. Know that you are (exist) before knowing anything else (concepts or experiences).

Have the firm conviction that you are pure consciousness (existence). This should be done spontaneously; it is the only way.

Catch hold of the knower of the mind. If you believe your thoughts, you will be disappointed.

Be the witness of thoughts. Remain as the seer (the subject).

The world is your mind (imagined within it).

The mind is a concept and this concept is the mind - it gives birth to whatever it likes. This is its nature.

When one realizes the true nature of concepts, one simultaneously realizes 'That' (consciousness) which is without concepts.

Only mind is born, not you (existence, consciousness).

When you become stabilized in your Self, the continuous commentary of the mind will stop.

Your true state (existence) is ever-existent (since existence always exists).

Only the religion of one's true nature (an awareness of one's inner awareness) will last to the end.

True religion is the religion of the Self (existence, consciousness). It lies in searching for one's true nature and stabilizing oneself there.

Religious traditions are based on concepts. There is silence (existence, consciousness) when these concepts are given up.

The ultimate religion is a state of Self-realization - it is an unbroken and fearless state of Being (existence, consciousness).

This means to live with the conviction that we are pure consciousness (existence).

The world's existence is like the dream world of a dreamer.

We sense the world to be real because we feel our body to be real, and vice versa (even though neither are real)

People think the world is ancient. Actually, it rises with your consciousness (in the same way a world arises in your dreams)

Just as the dream state is unreal, the waking state is also an appearance (unreal). Both arise spontaneously. Our talk is also taking place in a dream.

The individual, the world and the supreme Self are all concepts (imagined in existence, consciousness, bodiless awareness)

When you try to be one with consciousness, the mind stands in the way. Keep trying. Pay attention to the source from which the 'I am' feeling has appeared.

Non-dual devotion is the devotion to our own Self. Pay attention to 'That' (existence, consciousness) which is always with you. You must feel its necessity.

Leave greatness to others. Become so small that no one can see you.

This conviction results from growing devotion to the supreme reality (existence, consciousness, the feeling 'I am').

To remain without thought in the waking state is the greatest worship.

To hold on to the word of the guru is the greatest service. For this purpose you have to give your full attention to your true nature (existence, awareness) all the time.

The guru is your own Self (existence, the inner awareness)

What do you wish to gain by practising spirituality? Realize 'That' (existence, consciousness) which is the root of all that is true and everlasting.

The state prior to words (thoughts) is nameless (being existence).

When you become unattached, compassion will flow through you, and all undesirable qualities will vanish.

Be firm in the conviction that you are separate from the senses and that their experiences are not your experiences.

Pure consciousness has never had an experience (since it is devoid of space, material substances or any separation or division).

You will be free when you realize that the pure consciousness that is listening now is your true nature.

Remain as you are in the natural state of Being (existence, consciousness, awareness, the feeling 'I am').

If you live life without expectations, the feeling of 'mineness' will automatically fall off.

Forgetting our true nature (as existence), we act like a king who behaves as a beggar in a dream.

The illusion of shape and form has come over you because you have forgotten your true nature (as existence, consciousness, the feeling 'I am').

Your nature is already perfect (being the never-changing existence itself).

Realize now that duality never existed, it is illusory. All this was never created (out of any material or in any space), yet it (the scenery of the world appearance) is moving about. To the awakened sage, no one lives or dies.

Is there really any duality? Because you believe it, there is (although there can be no duality in indivisible consciousness which alone exists).

There is no creator of the world, no sustainer, and no destroyer. Everything happens spontaneously (since it is the nature of existence to imagine eternally).

The root cause of duality is that you sensed your own Beingness (existence). The very experience of your Beingness (existence) is unreal (because you cannot experience what you already are, you can only realize you exist).

The greatest miracle is your own Beingness (existence, consciousness) because of which this immense world is created in an instant. Go to the source (existence) from where it has arisen.

The world will never provide an answer to your questions. Find out for yourself what it is that is changeless.

The world exists (is imagined) within oneself (existence, consciousness). I am prior to everything (perceived through this body) and the knower of it.

This is the path of wisdom.

That which is seen (the world appearance) is the reflection of one's own consciousness.

Who comes first? The world or the one who sees the world?

Just as what you dream is your own dream, and no one else can see it, so the world you see is your own.

The world is a fun game created (imagined) out of one's own existence.

No one can stop the process of creation, sustenance and dissolution of the world because there is no creator (as with dreams, which appear, exist and disappear spontaneously).

You have to become your own proof of the non-dual Absolute (existence, consciousness). There you will meet no other.

Do not become stuck in what you have learned. Eventually you will have to throw it all away.

One who is devoted to his own Self becomes the soul of all. Who then will have ill will, and for whom?

One becomes helpful naturally to others, knowing that one is not different from them.

Attention should be on oneself (existence, consciousness, feeling of 'I am') rather than on the affairs of others.

Do not be enamored with wealth, fame, loved ones, etc. Hold on to your own Self (existence, consciousness).

In this vast consciousness, there is no religion, no karma and no time. It exists prior to everything. Hold on to this understanding.

Ignorance is simply a failure to realize the Self (existence, consciousness).

Surrender without duality to consciousness (existence), then it will also surrender to you.

You will be like the river that becomes the sea when they merge.

This surging stream of the world is flowing out of the feeling 'I am' (I exist).

Anger, greed and attachment are just appearances. They are true only for that moment, like clouds hanging in the sky.

Charity and love are naturally present. They are the nature of consciousness (existence). It is not you who imparts them.

Do not take the trouble to acquire or renounce anything (to create any division).

Desires can only be pacified through the knowledge of the Self. If you leave all desires, passions, fears, you will clearly see yourself (as existence, consciousness, the feeling 'I am').

Hopes and desires are the oils that keep the lamp of life going. One whose hopes and desires are finished has died, but (being consciousness) is not dead.

Always remember this: Do not become confused by attachments. Never deviate from your own nature. Do not become a slave of your own thoughts.

One who reaches the thought free state will not have to do anything for food or shelter. Everything will happen spontaneously without a sense of doership.

Thinking creates destiny. Concepts of yourself create your circumstances accordingly.

Consciousness witnesses everything, but 'who' witnesses consciousness?

The feeling 'I am' (I exist) is called consciousness. Hold on to that.

Consciousness can only observe what undergoes change. 'That' which is eternal cannot be observed by consciousness or known by it. Unless you meditate on this point, the puzzle will not be solved.

Consciousness is hard to realize and abide within, which is why people become involved in worldly activities. Spiritual seekers wander the world with intellectual understanding, not recognizing that the waking state (of the world appearance) itself is false (unreal). This should be your conviction (truth).

As long as your are entangled in concepts, you cannot develop further. Continuously hold on to what you are (existence, consciousness) and not to what you know (concepts). God (existence, consciousness) exists wherever you are (exist). Remain in your own Self (existence) and do not become involved with others (imagined in existence). God(existence) is only experiencing itself.

Consciousness (existence) is the thief as well as the sage, the philanthropist as well as the beggar.

Only the Absolute (existence, consciousness) truly exists, nothing else. Everything just happens spontaneously (as in dreams).

One who has realized the truth is not required to do anything special for the benefit of the world.

Greater than the greatest good in life is to know who we are.

It is impossible to establish order in the world (since it is imagined for experiences which rely on contrasts).

Meditation should be on one's own nature. Slowly the mind will become pure, and the formless consciousness (existence) will be uncovered. In this way your true nature will be understood.

You will become convinced that whatever exists is not separate from your Self (existence).

Do not just meditate. Live in meditation. Realize that you are pure consciousness (existence), the Absolute.

If you want to go back to the source (existence), stop wandering (mentally) and go on meditating (being aware of your feeling of existence).

Nothing has to be given up. Just realize that whatever you 'know' (conceptually) is different from who you are (as pure existence, consciousness).

The purpose of spiritual activity is to know who you are. Wake up and be aware this very moment.

Spiritual effort is as easy as it is difficult. One who holds on to the Master's worlds I am the self-luminous reality (existence) will find it easy.

To reach the supreme state (realization of your Self as existence, consciousness), methods are of no use.

Such means are nothing but a multiplication of concepts. However, you will continue to revel in concepts until you understand your Self (as existence, consciousness, the feeling 'I am').

The sense of (individual) doership is false. You are a witness, so remain like that. This is the only practise you should perform.

You know that you exist. Meditate on this.

There is nothing more sacred than Self-realization. When you have this conviction, you will be truly able to live alone.

There is no greater fortune than Self-realization. If it is not realized, there is no greater misfortune.

Compared to Self-realization, all else is meaningless. Without faith in this truth, you will wander about going to various teachers and holy places.

When consciousness (existence) recognizes itself, it is called Self-realization.

All needs come to an end with Self-realization. Otherwise, they will be unsatisfied even if you are the emperor of the whole universe.

Self-realization cannot be foretold. Some get it spontaneously, others do not get it even with much effort. When a particular stage is reached, there comes about an appropriate change, and the ground is suitably prepared. Then the mind which wants to acquire or get rid of something disappears.

This knowledge is actually easy and open; therefore, there are not many takers for it. People are attracted to what is difficult and complicated.

When the truth is realized, the false drops off. No special effort is required to let it go.

The person of detachment sees that all this (creation) is an appearance (imagined within consciousness)

With realization of the Self, it is not necessary to act in a particular manner, that would be an indication of ignorance. To try to look impressive is a fantasy related to the body, not a characteristic of the Self.

The Self-realized person is unconcerned with how the body behaves; his conduct is not governed by any rule of law. Self-knowledge is beyond all words and concepts.

The experience of realization can be described many ways, the experiencer (subject) cannot be described.

What you have heard from other people becomes the source of fear, bondage and liberation.

Pure knowledge is not imparted by another; it comes unasked. It is the one that is listening; it is your own nature.

Love of the Self eliminates concern with anything else; it is without attachment. You are that love that is formless, nameless and indestructible.

The source of all love is the Self. Your relations and posessions will ultimately disperse. Awaken to the Self before this happens.

If you try to reach the Self, you remain separate from it. You are the Self; so there is no question of attaining it.

Neither mind, intellect, nor consciousness can comprehend the Absolute The Self is always the silent non-doer

When enlightenment dawns, you will realize you were never born, nor have you carried out any worldly actions

Neither rememberance nor forgetfulness actually exists

There is no awakened one; there is only Self-realization (consciousness, existence, awareness of 'I am').

The enlightened person has no hopes, no desires and no passions. Therefore he has no death The sage represents our own spotless, ever-present true nature

It is rare to find one who really knows; yet does not claim ownership of this knowledge. Who is the knower

The realized one knows that all this is the play of ignorance (forgetfulness of one's true nature as bodiless consciousness)

I am not talking to a person as a 'person' - but to pure consciousness

I speak to you in a language that was yours before words were first introduced to you

However, you have to understand the meaning in the language that you have learned.

Since space and I are not different, wherever I go, that will be the place where I (consciousness) am already present (as consciousness since that alone exists)

I give you the knowledge of my true nature (as consciousness); listen to it as if it is your own (for you are in truth consciousness alone)



ABOUT SRI NISARGADATTA
Sri Nisargadatta (the subject of the worldwide spiritual classic 'I AM THAT') was a sage of great simplicity, deep humility and uncompromising principles. He did not teach a specific system or philosophy; but rather directed people back to the truth of who and what they really are (consciousness, existence, the awareness 'I AM').

For a realized sage such as Nisargadatta there are no individuals - only the Self or God exists as all manifestations. Sri Nisargadatta had no need to reach any goal, acheive any purpose or possess anything at all. Yet his passion for truth and his compassion for spiritual seekers led him to skillfully free people from the beliefs that give life to the perception of an individual separate self (the ego personality).

Sri Nisargadatta was born in 1897 in the coast city of Bombay. In 1932 at age 35, one of his friends who had been visiting a saint in Bombay persuaded him to join him on one of these visits. This proved to be a turning point in his life and led him to his guru, the respected saint Sri Siddharameshwar. His guru told him simply 'You are not what you take yourself to be. Find out what you are.

Watch that within which makes you aware 'I am', find your real Self.'
He did as he was told and spent all his spare time looking at himself (the inner awareness 'I am' - I exist) in silence - and what a difference it made. He later stated it took him 3 years to realize his true nature.

After wandering the country for some months, he returned home to operate a small store in Bombay to meet his family's needs and in the evenings would see visitors with questions about Self-realization. After some time, when the light of his realization could no longer be hidden, visitors arrived from all parts of the world to have their spiritual doubts removed.

Over the years more and more people visited Sri Nisargadatta in the small loft he had construced in his modest Bombay residence. Sri Nisargadatta saw into the deepest regions of their being. With a fiery intensity coupled with compassion, he skillfully guided them to the truth of their own identity (as existence, consciousness, the bodiless awareness 'I am').