Dedicated to the Great Master Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
What I am trying to recapture took place fifty years back, many aspects are quite vague and hazy but some of them are very distinct and clear. The first thing that I can recollect is that a complete blank prevailed; I did not know anything at all. I cannot describe that state except for saying that it was total oblivion, no sound, no light, no colors, nothing!
From conception to that stage it was almost three years and till then everything went along on its own, there was no question of any volition on my part. I was told that during this period I had some illnesses, mishaps and injuries, they must have been troublesome and painful as they are now, but at that time, I did know at all.
Then quite suddenly, quite spontaneously, without any effort on my part, one day I instantaneously came to know 'I am', I had a sense of 'being', I felt that 'I am'. All that I knew that 'I am'. When? Where? How? All this I did not know. Quite simultaneously along with this feeling there was space as well, it was indoors, probably a room. There was a side platform, some sort of settee, above which was a large rectangular space, a window from which light was coming in. Probably the time was somewhere around eight or nine in the morning. All this I can describe now, at that moment I did not know anything apart from seeing only light, space and objects. That was my first 'knowing' and soon I was back into 'not-knowing'. These two states, that of knowing, or 'I am' and not-knowing or 'I am not' was all there was. There weren't the waking, deep sleep or dreaming states which I acquired much later.
The descriptions that follow are now of this state only, which is 'I am' and 'I am not' and I do not know exactly how long this period lasted, probably a year or so. Please remember, I can make these descriptions now with my sense of language well developed and of course, my memory which I feel is reasonably good.
To begin with I remember this girl and that small boy who was always dressed up like a girl. I played a lot with the girl, we ran and ran and laughed a lot. We were probably of the same age and we were living in a valley, there were lots of hills around. We ran along the streams and then there was this bridge over a stream, we used to go below the bridge and play. One day we were running around completely naked, splashing water in the stream which was rather shallow. All this never made any sense then but still it was a carefree life with great fun and there were no demands or desires whatsoever.
Once while running around the lanes on the small hillocks that were closer to us we encountered a not very old man strolling around in a pyjama-kurta and a jacket. He gazed at us intensely and then gave a broad smile, just patted our heads and went on.
Then there was this large banyan tree where lots and lots people used to come and make a lot of noise. When we went there these people would catch us, cuddle us, kiss us and there was a lot of laughter.
I used to go to a hall where other children came as well. A dark, bald man in a white lungi and shirt used to take us to the banks of small streams and tell us to gather pebbles of different shapes. A fat lady was in charge of serving food to us in a dining hall that was behind our house.
Large groups of us children we were taken to the top of a hill and made to watch the sunset in complete silence, here sometimes I again saw the same pleasant looking not so old man whom we had met on the hillocks, his silence appeared quite different and he was unusually calm. I remember once the girl and I managed to enter a big hall where a lot of people were listening to the same man who was talking softly on a platform. We were very restless; we began fidgeting, giggling and creating quite a commotion. I just ran towards the man on the platform and stood looking at him, the girl poking me from behind made me laugh. The audience was distracted, the talk disturbed and there was this Englishman in the front row who glared at us annoyedly. Just then quite suddenly the man caught hold of me and sat me up in his lap, I became absolutely still, calm and quiet, he then continued with his talk.
I very distinctly remember that python in the cage and the rabbits next door and how the python swallowed one of the rabbits by wriggling through a hole between the cages. I also remember how the villagers had brought the python tied to a large pole which was held by two of them at the two ends.
Now the random memories:
1. Moonlight dinners in large numbers
2. Travel by moon light in bullock carts
3. Village festivals and fairs with decorated cattle
4. Seeing jaggery being made
5. Peeping in the dancing huts
6. The injured boy being carried on Diwali day
I have two distinct memories of injuries; one was of my head hitting the tap below which I was bathing. The second injury I remember is of a metal cot falling on the tips of my fingers causing cuts over there. The scars of these injuries are still there on my body, the memory of the event is also there but there is no memory of the pain.
I can now add much more information about then from what my parents told me.The place was Rishi Valley School in Madanapally district, Andhra Pradesh in India, where my father was working as Music teacher. The girl friend was Rekha, the daughter of a lady next door who worked in the school. The calm, not so old man whom we encountered, was J.Krishnamurti, the banyan tree was in fact a famous theatre in the school. The bald man in lungi was one Mr,Raju, the fat lady who conducted food services was one Rama bai. The evening activity on the hillock was called 'Asthachal'; the Englishman who got annoyed was Gordon Pearce, the then principal of the school.
What were the most remarkable features about this period? First of all, I did not know at all who or where I was, nor who my parents were. I did not know that there was something called birth and death. I had no body awareness at all, because I did know what or when I ate, or that there was pain when I was injured. The only two things that I very clearly remember are that either 'I was' or 'I was not' a state of knowing ('I am') and not knowing ('I am not'). I had no sense of time at all nor did I know of the waking, deep sleep or dream states or that there was anything such as daily routine or the cycle of morning, afternoon, evening and night.
Above all, which is the most outstanding feature of this state was the total absence of any verbalization in the form of the spoken word or language. There may have been some stray words in Marathi, my mother tongue, English or Telugu, but I have no memory of them at all and it can hardly be called a genuine meaningful linguistic expression. The states of knowing ('I am') or not-knowing ('I am not') were completely non-verbal and they occurred quite spontaneously without my having any control over them, the question of volition did not occur at all. These two states may also be said to be those of ignorance (not-knowing) and knowledge (knowing).
From here onwards, i.e. approximately from the age of four till the age of forty, I led a life which completely submerged and almost obliterated the beginning. It was the life of a perfectly conditioned man and that is the way it is meant to be according to the traditions laid down in our society. During this period of thirty-six years and even to this day I have not met in person a single human being who could tell me directly that I have got it all wrong. Nobody told me that I am not what I believe myself to be, not a single person told me about my true identity or even give a hint about it. Rather, it was the other way around; I was very much led to believe that I am so and so having this particular position in society and this particular role to play. But I don't blame them or anybody, that's the way it is, all have been designed or conditioned to be customers for the external world. Very few are directed towards the interior life and it is only the rarest of the rare who would realize the interior principle. So you stand a very remote chance of coming across someone living one who has not only realized the interior principle but has himself become 'The Principle' itself!
In the present context, I led in this thirty-six year period is not of much relevance. It was just one of the run-of-the-mill stories that anybody who has been reasonably successful could have had. I did acquire a few useful things during this period that stood me in good stead later. Firstly, I developed an enormous interest in reading books; secondly, I also developed fairly good writing and editing skills. The third thing that I guess came quite naturally to me and grew over the years and that was a keen sense of observation.
I read, and read a lot, but it was around the age of forty that I came across a book called 'The Republic' by Plato, which was a turning point. The Socratic dialogues set the ball rolling and that was my first camp. Then I went on camping, like the climbers of Mount Everest do, and believe me when I camped, I camped firmly, leaving no stone unturned at that particular camp. I studied and read the works at all these camps in great detail; at times I prepared notes and even gave presentations for the sake of my own understanding. Sometimes procuring a particular book was quite difficult but still I usually managed to get it. The arrival of internet on the scene made things very easy and now an enormous amount of information can be procured within moments, something very difficult in my earlier camping days. A camp once left was not left forever, but traveling back forth always continued, links of similarity and harmony in different aspects was appreciated. Here is a list of the camps:
2. Swami Ramdas
3. Saint Jnaneshwara
4. Ramkrishna Paramhansa
5. Sri Aurobindo
9. Eckhart Tolle
10. Ramana Maharshi
11. Sri Ranjit Maharaj
12. Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
I have not mentioned the many, many sub-camps that occurred in between and were very helpful throughout my quest. Indeed, hats off to all these great masters from whom I imbibed a lot and will always cherish, I bow to all of them. As to how I arrived at each camp is a story in itself but I wish tell only one of them - the last one, that of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj.
It was in the first week of February 2004 that I visited the J.Krishnamurti study centre located at Sanyadhri, near Pune,India. While browsing through the library at the study centre I came across a book 'I Am That' based on the talks of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj.
As I began going through it, I just couldn't put it down, 'This is dynamite!' that's the immediate feeling I had. By the time I finished the book I knew that the summit was not far and in all probability this would be the last camp.
I found the talks with Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj to be highly penetrating and many things that were usually vague became quite clear. It was just like the clouds clearing away leaving a perfectly blue spotless sky. After 'I Am That' by Maurice Frydman nine more books followed that covered almost all the talks, these books were:
1. Edited by Jean Dunn: Seeds of Consciousness, Prior to Consciousness and Consciousness and the Absolute.
2. Edited by Robert Powell: The Experience of Nothingness, The Nectar of Immortality and The Ultimate Medicine.
3. Edited Maria Jory: Beyond Freedom
4. E-book,Created by Vijay Deshpande and edited by me: I am Unborn.
5. Mark West's: Gleanings from Nisargadatta.
Throughout all these books the 'I am' theme was highly pre-dominant, so in the first phase I began compiling all the 'I am' quotes and this took quite some time. In all, these quotes were 572 in number of which 521 are available as an e-book at:
http://www.scribd.com/doc/4906514/I-AM-The-complete-I-am-quotes-of-Sri-Nisargadatta-Maharaj, http://www.lulu.com/content/2469683 and http://www.nisargadatta.in/WebCMS/CMSPage.aspx?PageID=7
I only managed to procure much later on the last 51 from Mark West's book and they have been included when I began preparing the text of 'The Nisargadatta Gita'.
What actually served as a very strong trigger for preparing The Nisargadatta Gita was the clarification of a doubt that had always lingered at the back of my mind. In my life, so far, I had never met a living Guru, so as the convention goes, is my mere reading or studying of books of the teachings of all these great men of no avail? This last doubt was removed while I was editing the script of 'I am Unborn' where Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj answered this very question asked by one of the visitors, it goes like this:
V: Do books replace a Guru?
M: Yes, books can replace a Guru. At one stage you yourself become a Guru;
then you find out that books are of no use anymore. The Guru is one, who
knows the beginning, continuity and the end of his life and understands the
mind on which the environment has so much impact.( Page, 89, I am Unborn).
This answer came as a big relief and will also come to many like me who have never come across a living Guru in their life.
In the second phase I began a process of condensing the quotes, the idea was to increase the potency by reducing the words to a barest minimum, without distorting the meaning. This brought the number down to 231, approximately 1/3rd of the original 572. In the third and final phase, a short commentary was written on each quote and that is how The Nisargadatta Gita came to be. It has only one chapter: 'I AM' which is the first and the last chapter. The objective behind preparing The Nisargadatta Gita is, for it to be used as a meditative device to get focused on the 'I am', and if possible, transcend it.
So what had Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj done to me that made all the difference? Well life had undergone a full circle; 'the beginning' that I have described in the prelude was made all so important a fact to me. I had never given thought to it or felt that there lay the key to the redemption of all.
The Nisargadatta Gita
I AM : THE FIRST AND THE LAST CHAPTER
1. The 'I am' came first, it's ever present, ever available, refuse all thoughts except 'I am', stay there.
Understanding the 'I am', your sense of 'being' or just 'presence' is extremely important as on it rests the entire outcome of the teaching. Firstly, are you at all aware of your 'being' or of the fact that 'you are'? You have 'to be' before anything else can be, your sense of 'presence' or the feeling 'I am' is really fundamental to anything that has to follow. Secondly, this sense of 'being' or the feeling 'I am', was it not the very first event or happening before any of your living experiences could begin? Apply your mind go back in time to the moment when it dawned on you that 'you are' or 'I am'. This 'I am' is still there with you, ever present, ever available, it was and still is the first thought, refuse all other thoughts and come back there and stay there. So try to understand and grasp this 'beingness' or 'I amness' that is inherent in you. The more precisely and clearly you do it the more rapid will be your progress.
2. Just stay put firmly and establish yourself in the 'I am', reject all that does not go with 'I am'.
Having understood the 'I am' in every way, the next thing is to stay there, establish yourself in your sense of 'being' and not deviate from it at all. The very moment you start thinking about anything else you can rest assured that there have been 'add-ons' on the basic 'I am' and it has lost its purity. Reject anything that is 'I am plus' and so forth because all the rest are contaminants and do not go with it.
3. Consistently and with perseverance separate the 'I am' from 'this' or 'that', just keep in mind the feeling 'I am'.
All this is not as easy as it sounds, it is hard work, your consistency and perseverance are keys to your success. Separate the 'I am' from 'I am this' or' I am that' or 'I am so and so' all these are add-ons and have been loaded onto you by others and society. All these appendages on the 'I am' may be of some value in your day to day living but if your goal or quest is for eternity, then they are impediments. You will have to separate them from the 'I am' and just keep in mind your sense of 'presence' or the feeling 'I am'.
4. Only the 'I am' is certain, it's impersonal, all knowledge stems from it, it's the root, hold on to it and let all else go.
Right from the day you came know that 'you are' to this day you still know that 'you are'. All add-ons have come and gone. They are transient but the fundamental 'I am' has remained unchanged and is the only certainty. This 'I am' is impersonal, it's common to everybody and wordless, the moment you came know that 'you are' you did not know any words or language, which came later. Based on this non-verbal 'I am' you could later on say verbally 'I am' in whatever language you were taught. From this tiny, minuscule 'I am' further knowledge grew leaps and bounds to gigantic proportions. So all knowledge stems from the 'I am', it is absolutely fundamental, the base, the origin, the root of everything. You have to hold on to this 'I am' and let everything else go.
5. You are sure of the 'I am', it's the totality of being, remember 'I am' and it's enough to heal your mind and take you beyond.
You are definitely sure that 'you are', only then everything else is! Not before that. Since the 'I am' lies at the very base of everything and is common to all, does it not form the totality of being? Throwing aside everything, come back to this sense of 'presence' or 'being' in all its purity and it will heal your mind. The use of the word 'heal' is very important as it clearly suggests that the mind or whatever has been loaded on the 'I am' afterwards is a pain, an illness that needs to be cured. There is also here a hint towards something that is beyond the 'I am'.
6. The 'I am' is, it's ever fresh, all else is inference, when the 'I am' goes all that remains is the Absolute.
This sense of 'being' is always there, fresh as ever, it doesn't leave you, it's always available. At whatever stage you are in your life it has stuck to you unchanged. Circumstances, relationships, people, ideas and so forth, everything else has been changing and is inferential but the 'I am' has remained and has stood throughout this turbulence. And what will happen when this 'I am' goes? What will remain? The hint is now more emphatic on something beyond the 'I am', the Absolute.
7. Give all your attention to the 'I am', which is timeless presence, the 'I am' applies to all, come back to it repeatedly.
Use your memory to go back in time to the stage when you just came to know that 'you are' without words. Did you have a sense of time then? Did you know who you are or who your parents are? Did you know where you were geographically located?
You knew none of these, it was a timeless presence, you did of course know space which came with the 'I am', but not time, and this timeless presence applies to all. Come back to this timeless and wordless 'I am' again and again.
8. Hang on to the 'I am' and go beyond it, without the 'I am' you are at peace and happy.
Right now you have this 'I am', hang on to it, it is the only means you have to go beyond, and there is nothing else. And what has this 'I am' given you but conflict and misery? It came, it identified with the body and you became an individual, now go back, come to the 'I am', transcend it and be peaceful and happy.
9. Hold on to the 'I am' to the exclusion of everything else, the 'I am' in movement creates the world, the 'I am' at peace becomes the Absolute.
Leave everything aside and just grab hold of the 'I am'. Just observe its power, its stirrings, and its movements that created the world along with which came all this turmoil and misery. Come back to the 'I am' and let the 'I am' be in the 'I am'. Then it becomes still and disappears, and then there is peace, for there is only the Absolute now.
10. Immortality is freedom from the feeling 'I am', to have that freedom remain in the sense 'I am', it's simple, it's crude, yet it works!
The feeling 'I am' is dormant at birth, it appears spontaneously say around the age of three. It is the essence of the five elements that make up the body or the food body. The body is a limitation, and as long as the 'I am' identifies itself with the body there is no chance of freedom, and death is certain. Eternity or immortality is possible only when you are free from the 'I am'. For this freedom to accrue you have to be after the 'I am', understand it, abide in it and transcend it. Judging from the enormous amount of spiritual literature available, the understanding, abidance and transcendence of the 'I am' appears to be too simple and crude a 'Sadhana' or practice, yet it works!
11. The 'I am' appears spontaneously on your True state, it is wordless and can be used to go beyond.
This sense of being came onto you without your willing it; it came on its own and when it came there was no question of any words being there. Though wordless, yet if you keenly observe, this feeling 'I am' can be caught hold of and then it can serve as a means for going beyond towards your True state.
12. The 'I am' has brought you in, the 'I am' will take you out, the 'I am' is the door, stay at it! It's open!
The feeling 'I am' very clearly qualifies as the port of entry or doorway through which you came into this world and thus it also qualifies as the way out. And there is no other way out! Stay at it and you shall see that this door is always open, it was never closed. Unless you go back and stay in the 'I am' for a sufficiently long time you won't come to know this fact.
13. You have to be there before you can say 'I am', the 'I am' is the root of all appearance.
There definitely was a substratum on which this knowledge 'I am' arose, it was a wordless feeling. It was only when you learnt a language that you could say 'I am'. Along with the wordless 'I am' also came space and the world, so the 'I am' is at the root of whatever you perceive.
14. The 'I am' is the permanent link in the succession of events called life, be at the link 'I am' only and go beyond it.
Conception, birth and infancy, these are the beginnings of your being where the 'I am' lies dormant. Then there is the spontaneous appearance of the non-verbal feeling 'I am' around say three years of age. On this foundation of the knowledge 'I am' is built a large structure of words, ideas and concepts and very soon it is 'I am so and so' and so forth. The pure 'I am' is contaminated and it piles on right from childhood to old age, but in all the succession of events, the 'I am' lies at the base and has always been there. The 'I am' is an unbroken link throughout your life, so come back to it, abide there and try to transcend it, for there lies your True being.
15. The 'I am' is the sum total of all that you perceive, it's time-bound, the 'I am' itself is an illusion, you are not the 'I am' you are prior to it.
Since the 'I am' is the continuous link throughout all the events in your life it quite obviously forms the sum total of all your perception. It is the very basis of your perception, no 'I am' no perception. This 'I am' is an illusion, for like a dream it has spontaneously appeared on you and one day it will disappear. All that appears and disappears cannot be true and since you are a witness to it you stand apart. You are not the 'I am' but prior to it.
16. The 'I am' is your greatest foe and greatest friend, foe when binding to the illusion as body, friend when taking out of the illusion as body.
When the sense or feeling 'I am' appeared on you it duped you into believing that you are the body, and later on that you are so-and-so. It strengthened the illusion all the more as time went by and thus began all the turmoil and suffering, in this sense it is your foe. But now the Guru tells you to come back to the 'I am', understand it, stay there, make friends with it or rather make it your guide, God or Guru. Doing so the 'I am' shall help you break the illusion and it will itself lead you to the source.
17. The beginning and the end of knowledge is the 'I am', be attentive to the 'I am', once you understand it, you are apart from it.
Whatever the volume of knowledge maybe it has to begin with the primary knowledge or concept 'I am'. The 'I am' is the one, and then with two, three, four and so forth the structural labyrinth of knowledge builds. You have to go back, retrace the steps in the maze and when you do so correctly you will end up at the 'I am'. Give all your attention to this 'I am', by and by you shall come to understand it and all its implications as well. The clearer your understanding of the 'I am' is, the more distinctly apart from it you are.
18. You must meditate on the 'I am' without holding on to the body-mind, the 'I am' is the first ignorance, persist on it and you will go beyond it.
Bring all your attention to the 'I am', meditate on it; try to do it by keeping the body-mind totally aside. In the beginning the body-mind will resist this abidance in 'I am', but with practice they will automatically not interfere. Remember, this 'I am' has tricked you into believing the unreal so you may call it the first ignorance. You have to be after this 'I am' constantly only then can you go beyond it; otherwise it will continue playing games with you.
19. Your Guru, your God, is the 'I am', with its coming came duality and all activity, stay on the 'I am', you are before the 'I am' appeared.
The entire process of perception and all activity is based on duality: the subject and the object, the observer and the observed, the doer and the done. It is only after the appearance of 'I am' that all duality and activity began, not before that, so at the root lies the 'I am' that triggered everything. Track down the 'I am' and stay on it, only then will you realize that you are before the 'I am' appeared.
20. The 'I am' concept is the last outpost of the illusion, hold on to it, stabilize in the 'I am', then you are no more and individual.
Moving out of a country, at the border, there are checkpoints and then it is 'no-man's land' till another country begins its checkpoints. Similarly, to move out of this country or illusion the 'I am' is the last and only outpost, there is no other way out. Stay at this outpost, stabilize yourself over there in the 'I am', and when you do so you are no more an individual.
21. Without doing anything you have the knowledge 'I am', it has come spontaneously and unwillingly on you, stay there and put an ax to the 'I am'.
See the beauty of it, this knowledge 'I am' has dawned on you without any effort on your part; it has come on its own without you willing it to be so.
This 'I am' will also go on its own without asking or telling you, but before that happens, stabilize in the 'I am' and liquidate it, then there is no death for you.
22. Your only capital is the 'I am', it's the only tool you can use to solve the riddle of life, the 'I am' is in all and movement inherent in it.
You may have earned a lot of money, you may have established an empire but it's all worthless compared to the value of 'I am'. In fact the knowledge 'I am' is the only capital and the only tool you have to crack this puzzle that life presents, at times completely baffling you and making you miserable. The knowledge 'I am' is present in all and movement inherent in it; the type of activity or expression depends on the combination of the five elements and three qualities.
23. Only be the 'I am', just be, the 'I am' has appeared on your homogenous state, the one free of the 'I am' is liberated, you are prior to the 'I am'.
You are absolutely free, homogenous and formless, on this state has the 'I am' appeared and then it tricked you into believing that you are the body-mind. In order to go back to your True state you have to abide in the 'I am', just be, that's all; moreover the 'I am' is closest to your True state so just stay there. Abide in the 'I am' with the understanding that you are not the 'I am' but you are prior to it.
24. Worship the indwelling 'I am' in you, it is the 'I am' that is born, it is the 'I am' that will die, you are not that 'I am'.
This indwelling principle 'I am' that has appeared on your True being is the one that is born and it is the one that will die. You are not the 'I am', but in order to understand this and transcend the 'I am' you have to worship it, stay with it constantly, only then will it be pleased with you and release you from its clutches.
25. Remain focused on the 'I am' till it goes into oblivion, then the eternal is, the Absolute is, Parabrahman is.
Putting aside everything, not allowing anything else to enter your mind, in total earnestness remain with all the strength you have focused on the 'I am'. Persist on this focus or meditation on the 'I am' till you drive it away into oblivion. If your effort is sincere and earnest enough the 'I am' is bound to disappear, for that is its nemesis. Then whatever remains is your True being or Self, call it Eternity, the Absolute or 'Parabrahman'.
26. The knowledge 'I am' is the birth principle, investigate it and you'll finally stabilize in the Absolute Parabrahman.
The knowledge 'I am' is the creator of everything, it likes to assert itself again and again, it is the sheer love of its own existence. It was inherent in your parents and their parents and so on. It was the 'I am' in your parents that was attracted towards itself that led to your procreation and the 'I am' therein. The 'I am' is the birth principle abounding in nature and perpetuating itself all over. Investigate or try to find out how the 'I am' came about on you and it will not only lead you to, but also get you stabilized in the Absolute.
27. All knowledge including the 'I am' is formless, throw out the 'I am' and stay put in quietude.
The root of all knowledge is the 'I am', it's the starting point and it is formless, hence all knowledge is formless. By repeated efforts go back to this knowledge 'I am', catch hold of it and throw it out. The 'I am' is slippery and will evade your efforts, but persist and stabilize in the silence and stillness that prevails on its departure.
28. Prior to birth where was the 'I am'? Don't contaminate the 'I am' with the body idea, I as the Absolute am not the 'I am'.
What were you before you were born? Where was the 'I am'? You were 'Nothing' and there was no 'I am'. On this Nothingness of yours has the 'I am' appeared and it has got contaminated with the body idea. Now, through discrimination you need to undertake a decontamination procedure, free the 'I am' of the body idea, abide in it and transcend it, because you as the Absolute are not the 'I am'.
29. In the absence of 'I am' nothing is required, the 'I am' will go with the body, what remains is the Absolute.
Before the 'I am' appeared did you have any requirements or did you have any demands? None whatsoever, all demands began with the arrival of the 'I am'. What is this 'I am'? It is nothing but the essence of the five elements that make up the body. The 'I am' depends on the body, is as transient as it and will go together with it, so neither of them are true. What remains then? It is only the Absolute.
30. You must not only have the conviction that 'I am' but also that you are free from the 'I am'.
Clearly you can envisage two steps in the process of self-discovery, the first one being the understanding of the knowledge 'I am' and abiding in it. You must develop the strong conviction that 'you are' and stay there. What will happen then? By and by as you abide in the 'I am' the second step will be to realize that you stand apart from the 'I am', you are free from it! You are not the 'I am' but its witness. Thus abidance in the 'I am' and its transcendence is the key to the whole 'Sadhana' (practice).
31. Remember the knowledge 'I am' only and give up the rest, staying in the 'I am' you will realize that it is unreal.
Whatever has added-on to the basic and fundamental knowledge 'I am' has destroyed its purity. Drop aside everything added-on and only remember the 'I am' in all its purity. You have to really get after it and for that you have to reside in it, dwell on it at all times. In the process you will realize that the 'I am' is dependent and destructible and hence unreal, for the real is independent and indestructible.
32. Understand that the knowledge 'I am' has dawned on you and all are its manifestations, in this understanding you realize you are not the 'I am'.
Has this knowledge 'I am' come willingly to you? Was it volitional? In retrospect it doesn't appear to be so. There was that moment and you knew that 'you are' and thenceforth the feeling 'I am' went on getting strengthened. 'I am so and so' got embedded into you and the rest of the activities of your life followed. From this, is it not conclusive that the 'I am' has created your world and not the other way around? This 'I am' has dawned on you and you stand apart from it just as a witness with no participation in any of its activities whatsoever.
33. When this concept 'I am' departs there will be no memory left that 'I was' and 'I had' those experiences, the very memory will be erased.
The knowledge 'I am' is the very seed of memory and all information functions through it, it forms the basis of the mind. It is bound to tire out and hence there is sleep, otherwise you would die if you didn't sleep. But sleep is not the complete departure of the 'I am' it's only held in abeyance and after sleep it gets refreshed and starts its activity again maintaining the continuity. No wonder if your name is called aloud in sleep you wake up and respond saying 'that's me'! Physical death is the total departure of the 'I am' and nothing is retained. For the 'Realized One' who has transcended the 'I am', memory and the 'I am' are available to him, he may or may not use them, they are not 'lodged' in him anymore. Only the 'Realized One' can understand this state.
34. With the arrival of the primary concept 'I am', time began, with its departure time will end; you the Absolute are not the primary concept 'I am'.
The 'I am' is the starter, the initiator, the very beginning of everything including time. In fact all measurement begins with the 'I am' and all measurement including time ends with its departure. It is the primary concept on which is built the entire mansion of other concepts. The knowledge 'I am' and space have appeared simultaneously and spontaneously on you, the Absolute, who stands apart.
35. When you know both the 'I am' and the 'I am not' then you are the Absolute which transcends both knowingness and not-knowingness.
As you abide in the 'I am' for a longer time you shall also realize the state of 'I am not' or there will be a state of 'knowing' and 'not-knowing'. Both these states are states of consciousness in its purity; they are the very beginnings of duality. The very arrival of the concept 'I am' implies the 'I am not' hidden in it or 'knowing' has 'not-knowing' implied in it, they are opposites, they are pairs and always go together and are impossible to separate. But you are the Absolute which transcends both of them; you are a witness to both these states, they have only appeared on you, they never belonged to you and are illusory.
36. Appearance and disappearance, birth and death these are qualities of 'I am', they do not belong to you, the Absolute.
Coming, appearance or birth and going, disappearance or death are qualities of the 'I am', the consciousness or the beingness which only apparently seem to have arisen on your True nature. You are the Absolute and none of these qualities belong to you, in fact they have never actually occurred but only appear to be so.
37. Out of the nothingness, the 'I am' or beingness has come, there is no individual, the knowledge 'I am'- not the individual - has to go back to its source.
It's very difficult to formulate any descriptions or words for the state prior to the 'I am' or beingness. Some words that have been commonly used are: nothingness, emptiness, fullness, void, eternity, totality or even the Absolute or 'Parabrahman'.
Whatever the word, the 'I am' appears to have arisen on it and it is sometimes called its source. The individual comes much later in the picture and as you go back it is the pure 'I am' or beingness that remains, so it this knowledge 'I am' that has to go back to its source. There is no question of a non-existent individual anywhere.
38. By meditating on the knowledge 'I am' it gradually settles down at its source and disappears, then you are the Absolute.
Your entire focus should be on the knowledge 'I am'. Constantly, without break, keep meditating on it. When an object remains in focus for a prolonged period there is a good chance it will disappear, that is bound to happen as that is its opposite. From just 'being' to 'non-being' from 'I am' to 'I am not', when this happens nothing remains anymore, then you are the Absolute, silent , still, without any movement or experience.
39. Go on to know the 'I am' without words, you must be that and not deviate from it for even a moment, and then it will disappear.
The knowledge 'I am', to which you have to come back, is the very first one that appeared on you and you came to know that 'you are'. At that moment you knew nothing about words or language, that sense of being was non-verbal. You will have to apply yourself to grasp that state again, you have lived that state, it was the period from when the 'I am' arose till you were taught to communicate verbally using words. Come back to that state and do not deviate from there for even a moment, you have to relive that state, only then will you understand it and then it will disappear!
40. With the dropping off of the primary experience 'I am' all experiences will vanish and only the Absolute remains.
The arising of the sense of being or the non-verbal feeling 'I am' was your first or primary experience. Without this primary experience none of the other experiences would have followed, you had 'to be' before anything could be. But as your abidance in the 'I am' becomes firm by your 'Sadhana' (practice) a stage comes when the 'I am' drops off and with that all experiences or memory will vanish leaving you in your True Absolute state.
41. On your true state has arisen this subtle principle 'I am', which is the cause of all mischief. No 'I am', no question of mischief.
This subtle principle 'I am', which is subtler than the mind, has appeared on your True state. After it appeared it remained in a pure state for some time and then began the piling up of words, language and concepts. The 'I am' was now verbal and identified itself with body, you became 'so-and-so' living in this world as a person. Your mind developed and became a workshop of mischief, but the root cause was the 'I am'. Now you have come back to that 'I am', the primary mischief-monger, you meditate on it and realize its falseness and it disappears. You have now transcended the 'I am' so where is the question of any mischief?
42. Whatever you try to become that is not you, before even the words 'I am' were said, that is you.
Just look at this mad pursuit that you have been indulging in or have been conditioned to indulge in by society: 'I am so-and-so', 'I must become this' or 'I must become that'- ambition, status, name, fame and what not! It's quite unnatural; you are trying to become what you are not. Even before you could say or feel the 'I am', you are! This feeling 'I am' has appeared on your True state and is dependent, transient and false. The identification of the 'I am' with the body has completely tricked you and now you are trapped. Understand all this and get out of it.
43. The root habit is the 'I am' and it has arisen from the domain of the five elements and three qualities which are unreal.
The 'I am' is the essence of the five elements and three qualities that make up the body and mind and all these are unreal. Why are they unreal? Because they are interdependent, constantly changing and the real is not dependent and never changes. This essential knowledge 'I am' has become a root habit with you and misled you into believing that you are a person with a body born in this world who will die one day. This root habit has got so deeply ingrained into you that it is very difficult to disbelieve it.
44. Abide in the knowledge 'I am' without identifying with the body. How did you function before the arrival of the knowledge 'I am'?
In order to understand this you will have to go back again, apply your mind and just try to recollect that moment when you came to know that 'you are'. This occurred somewhere around the age of three, but before that you were still functioning without any problem from conception to the arrival of 'I am'. What about things prior to conception? Have you ever given any thought to that? You had no requirements whatsoever, even after the arrival of the 'I am' in its nascent non-verbal state there were no problems. During that period of the word-free 'I am' you were not aware of the body at all, that is where you have to come back to and reside.
45. The state of being, which is the message 'I am', without words, is common to all, change begins only with the mind-flow.
That stage when the message 'I am' had just arrived and was word-free is common to all. Everybody goes through this period, the non-verbal state, only knowing that 'you are' or 'I am'. In this stage there only exists the opposite 'you are not' or 'I am not'. Your movements from 'I am' to 'I am not' or vice-versa occur quite spontaneously with no volition at all. Changes begin as soon you are taught words or language and very soon the concepts take over, your verbal life or the mind-flow begins. Along with these come the three states of being awake, dreaming or deep sleep and you believe that you are an individual with a body and mind functioning in this world. Now, you meet the Guru and he tells you to rediscover this long lost wordless, nascent 'I am'. It is still there and you have to relive it - that is the 'Sadhana' (the Practice).
46. The belief in the 'I am' as a body, as an individual is the cause of all fear, in the absence of the 'I am', who is to fear what?
This belief that 'I am so-and-so' with a mind and body, an individual living in this world and society is the cause of all fear. Fears are many and diverse, there is fear of death, loss of wealth, loss of near and dear ones; then there is fear of ill-health, falling into disrepute and the many, many small ones that occur and change from moment to moment. But, for the one who has realized that the 'I am' itself is false - and since all fears are based on the 'I am'- there is no fear anymore. Quite obviously, if there is no individual, who is to fear what?
47. Try to stabilize in the primary concept 'I am' in order to lose that and be free from all other concepts, in understating the unreality of the 'I am' you are totally free.
You are in turmoil, you are in despair, you are afraid, and you are troubled with all this mess that you see around yourself. You seek freedom from all this. You meet the Guru in some form, either human or his words recorded in books, and he explains to you all about the 'I am' and its implications. Once he has done that, it is now up to you to do as he says. Come down to the primary concept 'I am', abide in it and understand its unreality and be totally free. Always bear in mind that whatever the Guru says is from his own experience and not hearsay.
48. Sitting quietly, being one with the knowledge 'I am', you will lose all concern with the world, then the 'I am' will also go, leaving you as the Absolute.
You have gone so far away from the primary 'I am' that you find it almost impossible to disentangle yourself from the conceptual jungle that you are trapped in. Most of us are so deeply enmeshed in this world that there is no time to even think of all this. Only those who are sensitive and observant or have faced a crisis in life realize the futility of it all. Thus begins the quest of your true identity and the meaning of life. The Guru's advice is very simple: first, you have to understand the 'I am' as the primary concept and root of all the trouble. Then you have to sit quietly and become one with knowledge 'I am'. As you do so you will lose all concern with the world. Then, quite spontaneously, if you have been earnest in your abidance, the 'I am' would drop off leaving you free as the Absolute.
49. Putting aside everything, stabilize in the 'I am'. As you continue with this practice, in the process you will transcend the 'I am'.
Just throw aside everything that does not go with the 'I am', get your self firmly established there. Again and again, repeatedly and tirelessly you have to continue with the practice of getting stabilized in the 'I am'. Then, at some moment, when the God 'I am' is pleased with you, he will release his stranglehold and you will transcend it and become the Absolute.
50. The very core of this consciousness is the quality 'I am', there is no personality or individual there, reside there and transcend it.
The feeling that 'you are' or 'I am' is the very core of this consciousness and common to all. It is there at the core in its absolute purity with no appendages or add-ons, and in that state there is no question of any individuality or personality. All your efforts should be directed towards coming to that pure state of 'I am' and reside there only. If you do this with great sincerity and earnestness you are bound to transcend the 'I am' one day. So understand the importance of earnest 'being'.
51. Worship the knowledge 'I am' as God, as your Guru, the message 'I am' is there, the mind-flow is there, stay in the 'I am' and realize you are neither.
You must not only understand the 'I am', but also realize its extreme importance. Everything is created by the 'I am', worship it as God. It is the only means for your way out, so treat it like your guide or Guru. To begin with what do you have but the knowledge 'I am'- only without words? Later comes the verbal 'I am', your gathering of concepts and thus begins the mind-flow. Now reverse this mind-flow, come to the verbal 'I am' and go past it and stabilize in the non-verbal 'I am'. In this process you shall realize that you are none of these.
52. Presently you are sustaining the memory 'I am', you are not that 'I am', you are the Absolute prior to that 'I am'.
For the continuance of your entire life as an individual you have to sustain the memory 'I am' and that is exactly what you are doing, although you may not be aware of it. Now that it has been pointed out to you by the Guru, come to the 'I am' and see how it has duped you into believing something that you are not! You are not the 'I am' but much before it - the Absolute! Something that you have always been and will always be, it has just slipped your mind. Grasp this True Being and forget about everything else.
53. You feel the 'I am' due to the five elements and three qualities, when they are gone, the 'I am' goes, but you are still there.
This feeling that 'you are' or 'I am' is due to the body-mind, which is a composite of the five elements and the three qualities. The body, along with the elements and the qualities, is perishable, thus you can see that all these, the 'I am', the elements and the qualities are interdependent and destructible. Judging from this criteria how can all these be real? The Truth or the real is never dependent nor is it destructible and that is what you are. The body, the elements and the qualities may come and go but you are there forever because you are none of these.
54. Keep focused on the 'I am' till you become a witness to it, then you stand apart, you have reached the highest.
For the moment or for as long as you believe that you are the body-mind, you must continue with meditation. During meditation, just keep yourself focused on the 'I am' without words. As your 'Sadhana' (Practice) ripens you shall become a witness to the 'I am'. The moment this happens you stand apart from the 'I am' and this is the highest state you can reach.
55. This knowledge 'I am' has come out of the state prior to it and now is the cause of all suffering, before the 'I am' came you were happy, so go back.
If you are sensitive and observant enough you can very clearly discern that this knowledge 'I am' has arisen on the state prior to it. This sense of 'being', knowing that 'you are' or 'I am' has just spontaneously appeared and has become the cause of all suffering. You have experienced those states like the period from conception to the appearance of 'I am', or in deep sleep where the 'I am' lies dormant or is held in abeyance. During any of these states was there any suffering or worry? The Guru has made all this clear to you and now tells you to go back and abide in the 'I am' and transcend it forever and be happy.
56. When you remain in the 'I am' you will realize everything else is useless, and then you are Parabrahman, the Absolute.
Understanding the 'I am' and abidance in it is the only 'Sadhana' (Practice) that has to be done. As your 'Sadhana' matures, you become a witness to the 'I am' and can very clearly see that it is false. In the process you also see that everything has come out of the 'I am' and is thus based on falsehood, so it automatically becomes useless. You are, or all along always were, the Parabrahman or the Absolute. How can anything ever be useful to the formless being?
57. The One who abides in that principle by which he knows 'I am' knows all and does not require anything.
The One who has transcended the 'I am' is the Absolute, he knows the knowledge 'I am' has only spontaneously appeared on him, is utterly false and will spontaneously disappear. He knows the root or the seed very well, hence he knows all. The One abiding in his True Self does not require anything at all, he is above needs and requirements.
58. Just sit and know that 'you are' the 'I am' without words, nothing else has to be done; shortly you will arrive to your natural Absolute state.
There is no escape from the 'Sadhana' (Practice), you have to really go after this knowledge 'I am'. In a sense there is nothing physically to be done. Do you require effort to know 'you are'? It is self-evident. The question is only to sit quietly and go back to the 'I am' without words. If this is earnestly and correctly done - that is by fully understanding the 'I am' and all its implications - it wouldn't take you long to arrive to your natural Absolute state.
59. Erroneously you have handed over this knowledge 'I am' to the body and thereby reduced the limitless to the limited; hence you are afraid of dying.
Just try to recollect the moment when you came to know that 'you are' or the knowledge 'I am' appeared. Initially, in that nascent stage you only knew 'I am' and periodically you drifted into the state of 'I am not'. This lasted for some time and then parents, people and the environment around you began encroaching on the purity of your 'I am'. You were made to wear the uniform or garb of 'so-and-so' and here began the whole error. The limitless was reduced to the limited and you became an individual encased in a body. You were told that you had been born and you inferred you would die one day. You love this 'I am' this 'beingness', you do not want to lose it at any cost, and hence the fear of death prevails.
60. You have to realize that you are not the body or the knowledge 'I am'. You as the Absolute are neither, nor do you require them.
When the knowledge 'I am' arose, you did not know what it was, it was just a feeling 'you are'- absolutely non-verbal. You did not even know whether it was real or unreal, it was just there. When verbalization was thrust on you, you made the first mistake of believing the 'I am' to be real. The second mistake, which was hammered into you, was to believe that you are a person born with a body and living in this world. That you would die one day you inferred by seeing people around you die and these beliefs grew stronger on seeing births and deaths occurring around you almost everyday. What the Guru now tells you challenges all this, he tells you that you are neither the body nor the knowledge 'I am'. He tells you that you are the formless Absolute and you do not require either of them, rather you were never them. The Guru can say so as that is his realization and you have to have faith in his words.
61. Inquire into the validity of the fundamental concept of your individuality, the 'I am', and it will disappear, then you are Parabrahman, the Absolute.
If what you believe yourself to be at present is false, what is the means to be adopted in order to realize your true identity? Self-inquiry is the means that the Guru suggests; you have to inquire into the question: 'Who am I?' As you do so you come to the fundamental concept of 'beingness' or the 'I am' on which rests everything. You are now told to meditate on this 'I am', stay here, abide in it for a reasonable amount of time. As your 'Sadhana' (practice) matures, a day will come when the 'I am' will disappear and then you are Absolute. Through negation you assert your true being, try to perceive the affirmation hidden in the negation of 'I am'.
62. The essential thing to be convinced about is that the original concept 'I am' is false, only accept that which is conducive to this development.
The knowledge 'I am' came quite suddenly on to you, you had never asked for it and it has remained as such for some time. Gradual worldly conditioning has established it as a firm concept which you are now not ready to part with or disbelieve. But the whole key to your redemption lies in realizing that this original concept 'I am' is totally false and is the culprit that has deceived you. Do away with it and do not accept anything that does not go with your developing the conviction that the 'I am' is illusory.
63. Before you occurred to yourself as 'I am' you were the highest: Parabrahman. Now, until the impurity of 'I am the body' disappears stay put in the 'I am' quietude.
You will have to apply your mind and go back to the moment when you first came to know that 'you are' or the 'I am' appeared on you. Now just wait hereï¿½prior to this what were you? Go back furtherï¿½prior to conception what or where you were. Nothing! That's it! You were the highest, the Absolute or the Parabrahman. It's only this total absence that doesn't require anything, is formless, free and above all. On this stateless state appeared the 'I am' and it caught hold of the body and believed 'I am the body'. This very idea is an impurity, do away with it and abide in the stillness and silence of the pure 'I am' without words, only then do you stand a chance of reaching your true identity.
64. Your fall started with the appearance of 'I am', then you blundered by embracing the body as 'I am', all that gathered thereafter is unreal.
The very appearance of 'I am' was the first deception, more deception followed when the 'I am' embraced the body. This is the deceptive foundation which caused you to blunder and build upon it this mansion of your individuality. Your very base, the 'I am', is false or unreal, so how can anything that followed thereafter be real? Just see how you have been tricked into believing something that is totally unreal.
65. This is no joke, you can become Parabrahman right now! You are Parabrahman right now! Just focus your attention on the 'I am'.
The concept of being born as an individual with a body and mind has been so strongly hammered into you that you simply refuse to accept anything that challenges it. In such a state of being, the truth that you are the Absolute 'Parabrahman' in this very moment may sound too far-fetched, or like a joke. You can even become it right now by simply focusing your attention on the 'I am'. The moment you do so you stand apart from the 'I am' as a witness to it. Now, who is this witness?
66. Who has the knowledge 'I am'? Somebody in you knows the knowledge 'I am', 'you are'. Who is it?
As you stay focused on the 'I am,' the question "Who is watching the 'I am'?" will occur to you. There has to be something in you that knows the 'I am' or that 'you are'. How come 'you were not' and now 'you are'? This transition from 'I am not' to 'I am', how did it occur? Was there any volition in it or did it occur spontaneously? Who is it that knows this appearance and disappearance of 'I am'?
67. Who can know the illusory state 'I am'? Only a non-illusory state can do so, it's the Awareness, the Parabrahman, or the Absolute.
There has to be an unchangeable background that observes all the changes. 'Knowing' and 'not-knowing', 'being' and 'not-being', 'I am' and 'I am not', these are all states of consciousness that occur on an unchangeable substratum. Only a non-illusory state is capable of knowing the illusory state. This real or non-illusory state has been called Awareness, the Absolute or the Parabrahman. In its original state it is devoid of any content or experience, these occur only after the appearance of 'I am'.
68. The primary concept 'I am' is dishonest, a cheat. It has tricked you into believing what is not. Focus sharply on the 'I am' and it'll disappear.
The teaching says that first you must start an inquiry into the nature of this knowledge 'I am', how it appeared on you and what it lead to. In the process of this inquiry you land up with the conclusion that this 'I am' is false and has deceived you into believing something that's not true. You may theoretically agree with this conclusion but in order to actually understand it you have to keep a sharp focus for a prolonged period on the 'I am'. You have to do this repeatedly; in fact this is the 'Sadhana' (practice). What will be the outcome of all this? A moment will come when the 'I am' will disappear and you will end up in your true natural state.
69. Finally, you have to transcend the 'I am' to enter the concept-free Parabrahman state, where you do not even know you are!
Ultimately what is the whole objective of the 'Sadhana' or 'Practice', which cannot be avoided? After understanding the knowledge 'I am' completely, you will have to meditate on it. You just cannot by-pass this step. The whole idea is to transcend the primary concept 'I am', only then will you be free from all concepts and enter your true natural Parabrahman state. This state is ever prevailing, right now, at this very moment itself! In fact you were never out of it. In this state there are no concepts, hence it is devoid of content and there is no question of any experience, thus you won't even know that you are.
70. The Absolute or the Parabrahman is prior to the 'I am', it's the unborn state, so how can it have the knowledge 'I am'?
Your true, natural, Absolute or Parabrahman state is before the knowledge 'I am' appeared. It is the state that ever prevails and knows no birth or death. Whatever is known or seen only appears to have occurred on it using the knowledge 'I am' as a basis for propagation, which is all an illusion. But once the illusion is gone how can it have the knowledge 'I am'? It doesn't even need this knowledge as it is the unborn state. You must have a firm conviction and come to the conclusion that you are unborn.
71. At the moment all you know is the 'I am', which is a product of the five elements, three qualities or the food body, but you are none of these.
The 'I am' emanates from the five elements and three qualities that make up the body-mind which can also be called the food body. It is food that sustains the body using the vital breath. The 'I am' is the very essence of the food body, which is a composite of the elements and qualities. Since this is nothing but an assembly that will disintegrate one day, it is dependent and transient and hence does not qualify as the real or truth. But to understand the unreality of all this, especially the 'I am', you have to meditate on it, then you will know that you are none of these. In fact you were never any of these; it was the deceptive game of 'I am' that made you believe what you are not.
72. One who has realized the knowledge 'I am', which means transcending it as well, for him there is no birth or death nor any karma.
This is something very important to understand - that is, the verbal understanding of the knowledge 'I am' is altogether different from its actual realization. There are many who will verbally or theoretically understand the 'I am', yet the rarest of the rare will realize it. Why so? Because realizing it means transcending it as well, the 'realized one' is no longer an individual, that's why the Guru is not an individual. The 'realized one' knows that 'I am unborn', so there is no question of birth or death for him. How can any Karma, Karmic residue or transmigration, as understood in Hindu doctrine, be applicable to the unborn? It's the end of it all!
73. The primary illusion is only this knowingness 'I am'; it is liberation when the knowingness is transformed to non-knowingness.
The culprit-in-chief is this sense of 'being' or knowing 'I am'. Liberation means to do away with the 'I am', or its complete irreversible disappearance. What would that mean? A state completely devoid of any concepts or any illusion as the primary concept or illusion 'I am' has been transcended. It is a state of not-knowingness, with no content and no experience.
74. You are even before you could say the words 'I am'. Witnessing happens to the state prior to your saying the words 'I am'.
The source, substratum or background has to be there before anything can appear on it. You say 'I am', but 'you' are before that, only because of this can you say 'I am'. Witnessing happens to that formless state which is prior to your being through the 'I am' which has appeared on it. That unborn state is ever present, it is neither the 'I am' nor does it require the 'I am', it is beyond needs or any sort of dependence.
75. When the body dies the 'I am' goes into oblivion and only the Absolute remains. Stay put there, nothing happens to you the Absolute.
The 'I am' is the essence of the five elements and three qualities that form the body-mind. When the body falls off, the 'I am' disappears and only the Absolute remains. As you stay put in the 'I am', a time will come when the 'I am' will disappear and you remain as the Absolute. You are not the body-mind, so you know no death but only the disappearance of 'I am'. In any case the body will drop off and the 'I am' disappear without asking you, so realize 'your' relevance, before you irrelevantly depart.
76. From non-being to being, how is it known? By the knowledge 'I am'. Stay there in the 'I am', then you'll go back from being to non-being.
The way in is the way out, from the unmanifest to the manifest, from absence to presence, from non-being to being. How is this so? It is the knowledge 'I am', which, when it spontaneously appears, makes this possible. So the 'I am' is the connection or gateway in, thus it must also be the means on disconnection or the gateway out. But, for this reversal to occur you have to be in the 'I am', the feeling of the wordless 'I am' must completely engulf you, only then will you be free from its clutches and enter non-being.
77. Right now, right here, you are the Absolute, the Parabrahman. Hold on to the 'I am' very firmly, ever abide in it and it'll dissolve, then you are as you are.
This very moment you are the Absolute, or the Parabrahman, the only trouble being that you have wandered away far off from the 'I am' and are lost in the add-ons. Here lies the crux of the whole 'Sadhana' (practice) where you have to snip-off all the add-ons or appendages and come to the 'I am' in its total purity - that is, when it dawned on you without words. This done, you now have to hold on to the wordless 'I am' very firmly and always abide in it, then it will disappear and you will be in your true natural state.
78. On the state of non-beingness, beingness as the 'I am' has occurred, who that is, is not important, the 'I am' is important, stay there.
You were never born. This knowledge 'I am' has quite spontaneously occurred on your unborn state without any reason, just like a dream spontaneously occurring with no reason and volition at all. The so-called person or whoever has come to be is of no importance: it is the feeling 'I am', which in its wordless nascent state is important, you have to reside there.
79. First came the 'aham' as 'I am', then 'aham-akar' (identification with body, ego), now go back to 'aham', dwelling there realize 'aham-brahmasmi'
The feeling 'I am' or 'Aham' was the first to appear and then it identified with the body and became 'I am so-and-so' or 'Ahamkar' (Aham= I am+Akar=this shape or form or body=Ahamkar meaning the Ego). Now leave aside the shape or body or 'Akar', revert to and stabilize in the 'Aham' or 'I am'. Dwelling there realize that 'I am Brahman' or 'Ahambrahmasmi'.
80. You are neither the 'I am' nor the activities carried out by the beingness - you as the Absolute are none of these.
This mirage 'I am' has to be understood along with all the tangle of activities that it gets itself caught up in. This illusory 'I am' or 'beingness' is the very root of everything, every activity you engage in, every action that you perform has the 'I am' as its basis. Can you recollect any activity prior to the appearance of 'I am'? No. So what does this suggest? It clearly shows that you stand apart from the 'I am' as the Absolute. The 'I am' has only appeared on you and you have nothing to do with it or its activities.
81. With the transcendence of the knowledge 'I am', the Absolute prevails. The state is called Parabrahman, while the knowledge 'I am' is Brahman.
It is very important to understand that the knowledge 'I am' is Brahman. When you transcend the 'I am' you transcend the Brahma state and prevail as the Parabrahman or Absolute. The Brahman is both with qualities ('Saguna' Brahman) and without qualities ('Nirguna' Brahman). With qualities it is the manifest world and without qualities it is the unmanifest world. The 'I am' and 'I am not', the 'knowing' and 'not-knowing', the 'being' and 'non-being' are all the same. They have simply been designated using opposite terms. The Absolute or Parabrahman state transcends both as there is no duality or opposite there.
82. How were you prior to the message 'I am'? In the absence of the message 'I am' only my eternal Absolute state prevails.
The inquiry has to begin with the question as to what you were before you were born. Or how and what you were prior to the coming of the message 'I am. In the absence of the message 'I am' or in the absence of the feeling that 'you are' do you know anything? You cannot, as on the disappearance of the last concept 'I am' you are totally devoid of content. There is no experience anymore, you are empty! This is your true eternal Absolute state that ever prevails.
83. Who would have witnessed the message 'I am', if your prior state of non-beingness had not been there?
The very answer to such a question, if asked with a deep intensity, can land you into the Absolute state instantly. Prolonged, earnest meditation on the 'I am' holds the potential for such an occurrence. Even if you cannot actually experience this, through pure verbal understanding you can see that there has to be 'someone' that witnesses or knows the 'I am'- otherwise the 'I am' would never have come to be. Meditation on the 'I am', which is the 'Sadhana' (practice), holds the key to knowing and becoming that 'someone'.
84. A true devotee, by abiding in the knowledge 'I am', transcends the experience of death and attains immortality.
Who is a true devotee? The one who not only understands the 'I am', but also abides in it without swerving from it for even a moment over a prolonged period of time. He and only he who has done this 'Sadhana' (practice) with complete devotion is a true devotee. A moment of ripening is bound to come and he will transcend the 'I am', then he will know no death and will attain immortality. It must be understood that it is the 'I am' that is born and dies. You are the Absolute, apart from the 'I am', and know neither of these.
85. Hold on to this knowingness 'I am' without words and every secret of your existence will be revealed to you.
This sense of 'being', or 'knowingness', which has dawned on you, is the best news possible. In order to grasp its true import you have to arrive to its purest nascent state when it was there without words. Once the wordless 'I am' has been grasped do not let it go but hold onto it. That is all you are required to do, nothing else. By and by, as your abidance strengthens the whole secret of your existence will unfold.
86. What is it in you that understands this knowledge 'I am' without a name, title or word? Sink in that innermost center and witness the knowledge 'I am'.
This knowledge 'I am' that has appeared on you has no name, no words, no size or shape. Nobody owns it, and it cannot be handed over to anybody.
It is there on its own without any adjuncts; delve deep into your being and just cut away all the add-ons to the 'I am'. If done deftly you will perceive the 'I am' in its glorious purity. Now stay here and become one with it. The 'I am' should completely engulf you at all times. Then you will know that there is someone in you that understands this knowledge 'I am', is a witness to it and never had anything to with it either.
87. Totally accept the knowledge 'I am' as oneself, and with full conviction and faith firmly believe in the dictum 'I am that by which I know I am'.
After fully understanding the 'I am', firstly, you have to accept that you are the knowledge 'I am' in its totality. When this acceptance comes through your practice, what will happen? You will no longer be an individual, the personality will be gone. Now you will have reached the highest you possibly can. Secondly, remaining in this highest possible state of knowing that 'I am', you will realize that there is someone who knows the 'I am'. Till this realization comes you should at least firmly believe in the dictum 'I am that by which I know I am'.
88. Reality prevails prior to the knowledge 'I am'; you must stay put at the source of your creation, at the beginning of the knowledge 'I am'.
Reality ever prevails; it knows no coming and going, birth and death, creation and destruction - these are attributes of the 'I am'. On the attributeless Reality or the Absolute the 'I am' has appeared and one day will disappear. At present you have wandered away from the 'I am', come back to it again and again and try to abide there for some time. The 'I am' is the very beginning, the source of everything, and in its wordless state is in the closest proximity to the Reality. By residing in the 'I am' you stand a better chance of arriving at your natural state than from anywhere else.
89. When one is established in the final, free Absolute state, the knowledge 'I am' becomes 'non-knowledge'.
The Absolute state is the ultimate state, or you can say that it is the stateless state. After the disappearance of the 'I am', which was the primary and root concept, there is no content anymore. The 'I am' having departed, there is no duality anymore, the knowledge 'I am' becomes 'non-knowledge' as it is not required anymore. The dissolution of the 'I am' is the end of all experience as well, as who is to experience what? The knowledge 'I am' is the initiator of everything, in its absence nothing is left.
90. The first witnessing is that of 'I am', the primary prerequisite for all further witnessing, but to whom is the first witnessing of 'I am' occurring?
The first thing that you came to know was that 'you are' or 'I am'. It is the first thing that you are a witness to, the primary and mandatory prerequisite for all further witnessing to occur. Once this 'I am' takes hold of you it grows to gigantic proportions, this expansion is so enormous that you lose awareness of the 'I am' itself in the process and go about your various activities. It is the 'I am' that is witnessing the world, but who is witnessing the 'I am'? That's the question to which you have to find an answer and that is what all the 'Sadhana' (practice) is for.
91. The borderline between 'I am' (beingness) and 'I am not' (non-beingness) is the precise location where the intellect subsides. It's the 'Maha-yoga' state. Be there!
Your arrival at the 'I am' in its wordless and pure state is the first thing to achieve. Now, after you have arrived here you have to dwell or stay here, this will be possible only after repeated attempts. Beware! This is a very slippery place! The pull of the mind or intellect is very strong, it cannot bear the 'I am' very long. But once you stabilize there, the intellect, without disappearing, does so, too. It is only after stabilizing in the 'I am' for a prolonged period that a moment will come when, quite spontaneously, you will also know 'I am not'. This is the border zone and the precise location where the intellect subsides and you are in a state of 'not-knowing'. This is called the 'Maha-yoga' or the 'Great-yoga', the union of 'being' and 'non-being' that is difficult to come by, hence 'Great'.
92. Recognize the Atman by understanding the knowledge 'I am', the Atma-jnana, which is all pervading, limitless and infinite.
A very important statement was made earlier where the knowledge 'I am' was said to be 'Brahman' with the 'Parabrahman' lying beyond it. Another important statement is made here where the 'Atman' or the Self is to be understood by understanding the 'I am'. The 'I am' is the 'Atman'. The 'Atman' with qualities or identifying itself with the body is the 'Jivatman' (Jiva=living being). The 'Atman' without qualities is the 'Nirmalatman' (Nirmal=pure). The 'Atman' which transcends both is the 'Paramatman' (The ultimate transcendent Self). As you abide in the 'I am' you will know the 'Atman' or Self in all its aspects, and this is Atma-jnana or Self-knowledge. It is the knowledge of your True being as the Absolute which is all pervading, limitless and infinite.
93. To abide in the knowledge 'I am' is one's true religion. Give the highest honor due to it. Doing so you will not undergo suffering or death.
Conventional religion comes after the 'I am' before belonging to any religion you have 'to be' and it is only after 'you are' that you are anything else. So, the true religion that you are endowed with is the knowledge 'I am' and this is common to all. So to abide in the 'I am' is your true religion and by doing so you are giving it the highest honor due to it. The benefits that you will get by this abidance in the 'I am' are tremendous - you will not undergo suffering or death. What more do you want?
94. Who says 'I was not' and 'I will not be' like the present 'I am'? It is the one who was, is, and will be forever.
When you ponder on the question 'What was I before I was born?', you realize that 'I was not', or that 'I was not as I am at present'. Then, as you believe 'you are' at present, you also realize, seeing people dying everyday that 'I would not be as I am at present'. So there are three things: 'I was not', 'I am', and 'I will not be'. Who knows this? It is the unchangeable Absolute, the Parabrahman, or the true Self who was, is, and will be forever.
95. When you say 'I was not prior to conception' you actually mean not like the present 'I am', but the one that discerns the absence of the present 'I am' was there.
Again, when you ponder on the question 'What was I prior to conception?', you at once realize that 'you were not there'. What you mean is you were not there as you presently are - that is you had no shape or form or name. There is 'someone' who sees the absence of the present 'I am' and that 'someone' has always been there and will continue to be there, as that 'someone' is indestructible: it is the Absolute.
96. Catch hold of the knowledge 'I am' in meditation and the realization will occur that 'I', the Absolute, am not the 'guna' (quality) 'I am'.
Throwing aside everything that does not go with 'I am' bring down your focus to the wordless 'I am'. For this you would have to apply your mind, go back and try to recollect the very first moment when you came to know that 'you are'. That first, nascent, word-free 'I am' is what you have to catch hold of during meditation. Dwell there and do not let it slip out of your hands. In the process you will realize that you as the Absolute are not the quality 'I am', which in fact belongs to the body with its five elements along with the three qualities. The three qualities being 'Sattva' (knowledge),' Rajas' (activity) and 'Tamas' (inertia), of which the 'I am' is 'Sattva'.
97. Do nothing but stay in the knowledge 'I am', the 'moolmaya' -, or primary illusion, and then it will release its stranglehold on you and get lost.
Once you have understood the knowledge 'I am' you have to do nothing but just abide in it. The 'I am' is the primary illusion or concept and is also known as the 'moolmaya' (rootMaya). At present you are in the firm grip of Maya (illusion), come to the root of this Maya, which is the 'I am'. On abiding in the 'I am' in fact you are now holding Maya by the root or its neck! And what will happen now? Maya realizes its own existence is in danger and thus releases its stranglehold on you, runs away and vanishes.
98. In deep meditation, infused only with the knowledge 'I am', it will be intuitively revealed to you as to how this 'I amness' came to be.
The Guru once again highlights the importance of meditation for the 'Sadhak' (aspirant); and this, too, is not something to be done casually but in a very deep way. What is meant by deep? Deep means that you know nothing but the sense 'I am' for a prolonged, uninterrupted period of time. Success may or may not come early, but come it will if you are completely infused with the knowledge 'I am' with enormous sincerity and earnestness. And what will be revealed to you? The 'I amness' itself will tell its story and you will come to know how it came to be. Or, paradoxically speaking, how the 'I am' never came to be or never was in the first place! It is always the Absolute that was, is, and will be for ever; the 'I am' was only an illusion that appeared on it.
99. The knowledge 'I am' means consciousness, God, Guru, Ishwara, but you the Absolute are none of these.
The knowledge 'I am' is but one of many names that have been attributed to it, like consciousness, God or Ishwara and Guru. Why so many names? Because the 'I am' is nameless and all these names have come by as it (the knowledge 'I am') intuitively revealed itself to different seekers who had deeply meditated on the 'I am'. Some saw it as God, some saw it as Brahman, some saw it as Guru and so forth. The ultimate revelation is, of course, that you stand apart from all these and are the Absolute, the formless, the eternal and totally free of all attributes.
100. You have to understand that the 'I am' is even before the arising of any words, thoughts or feelings.
The importance of the knowledge 'I am' as the first or primordial principle should never be forgotten. For this conviction to grow stronger, reversion to that moment when you first came to know that 'you are' or 'I am' is essential. When you do so, the purity of the 'I am' becomes very clear to you. You can also very clearly see that whichever way it happened the 'I am' is the first and the last thing that brought you into this world and now can take you out of it. Before anything else - words, thoughts or feelings - could be, the 'I am' had to be there.
101. The indwelling principle 'I am' is common to all and has no attributes; it is the principle of the whole functioning.
The knowledge 'I am' that has dawned on you is indeed the indwelling principle through which you function. Just ponder: can anything be if 'you' are not there? Your 'being' is of great importance for everything else to be. Prior to the arrival of this knowledge 'I am' did you know anything? Or during deep sleep, when the 'I am' is held in abeyance, do you know anything? This indwelling principle 'I am' does not belong to any particular individual but is common to all and has no attributes at all.
102. Identify yourself with the highest principle in you which is the knowledge 'I am'. This will elevate you to the status of 'Brihaspati' - the guru of gods.
Become completely one with the indwelling knowledge 'I am', it is the highest possible principle in you. First you must be able to see very clearly that there something called the knowledge 'I am' in you - that is, you have not only to spot it, but understand it in its totality. Then comes 'Sadhana' (practice), where you begin abiding in the 'I am', and this, in its acute phase, results in your becoming one with the 'I am', then only the 'I am' remains and nothing else. The Guru says that this will elevate you to the highest possible status, which he calls 'Brihaspati', meaning the greatest Guru, the Guru of Gods.
103. This knowingness 'I am' which came spontaneously and you felt gradually, is the ignorant-child-principle, the 'Balkrishna' state.
The Guru now calls the 'I am', which spontaneously appeared on you, the ignorant-child principle or 'Balkrishna' state. This adds more to your understanding of the 'I am'. Indeed, when the knowledge 'I am' dawned on you it was a state complete ignorance. You did not know what this sense of 'being' was and what to make of it. You knew only two states, those of 'I am' and 'I am not', which alternated on their own.
104. This 'I am' or Balkrishna state has great potential. Here 'Bal' means the child food body and 'Krishna' means 'non-knowing'.
The Guru further goes on to explain this ignorant-child principle or the Balkrishna state, which is nothing else but the 'I am', as having great potential. Why so? Because it is the primary concept or illusion on which is constructed everything else about you and your life. And, not only you, but this 'I am' has created the entire universe or cosmos. In its absence none of these exist. 'Bal' means the child food body, which also implies strength or power and 'Krishna' means 'non-knowing', which implies not knowing its own strength. This Balkrishna is very powerful and its potential for creation is enormous, just like the small seed that is quite unaware of its potential for creating a large banyan tree.
105. To do away with body-mind sense or identity, imbibe or dwell in the 'I am'. Later the 'I am' will merge into the ultimate nature.
When the 'I am' dawned on you, in its very early stages it did not identify with the body. You will have to apply your mind, go back, and try to recollect that phase when only the pure 'I am' existed with no adjuncts. It is much later and very gradually that the 'I am' starts identifying with the body initially, and mind also, together with time. All this occurs with you yourself being quite unaware of it; parents, teachers, friends, relatives and surroundings contribute to the process and strengthen the verbal 'I am'- resulting in a well developed, so-called 'personality'. If you are lucky enough, at some stage of your life, you will come across the right Guru who will point out the fallacy of this mistaken identity. He now explains this knowledge 'I am' to you and asks you to abide in it, to do away with the body-mind sense or your present identity. By and by a moment will come when the 'I am' will merge into your true ultimate nature.
106. The highest type of rest is when 'I am' and 'I am not' are both forgotten. It is called 'Param Vishranti', which also means total rest, complete relaxation or utter quietude in the highest state.
The word 'rest' has to be understood in its highest sense where you don't have rest for a certain period of time, but are eternally at rest. This state has been called as 'Param Vishranti', or the highest and final rest. In this state both the 'I am' and 'I am not' are forgotten. They are, in fact, aspects of the consciousness and you are neither of them. The meaning of the expression 'Param Vishranti' has been given as the highest type of rest. (In Marathi, 'param'=highest, 'vishranti'= rest. To clarify even further, the word 'vishranti' maybe split into 'visra'=forget, 'anti'=in the end).
107. Having acquired and understood the knowledge 'I am', stay there in seclusion and don't wander around here and there.
Getting stabilized in the knowledge 'I am', even after having understood it, is extremely difficult. Your identification with the body is one thing that gets in the way and the other is the mind, which, although it has understood the teaching, is sub-consciously not prepared to accept it. The mind keeps prompting you 'This can't be it, it's too simple', 'Try this', 'Try that', 'It must be very complex, search more' and so on. Thus the wandering continues endlessly and you remain where you are. The Guru perceives this difficulty and hence advises you to stay in seclusion - not from society - but from thoughts, just in the sense of 'being' or 'I am' and never wandering away from it. Remember that not wandering through physical seclusion maybe helpful but is quite secondary to the not wandering of thoughts when you seclude the 'I am' from the rest.
108. Once you stabilize in the 'I am', you will realize that it is not the eternal state, but 'you' are eternal and ancient.
You must have observed that although everyday you see people around you die, you yourself feel that you are going to continue as you are. Deep down, sub-consciously, you believe that things will remain as they are, nothing will change. Strangely though, in retrospect, you find that things have changed quite dramatically from what they were several years back, especially your notions, ideas and most of all priorities. It is this sub-conscious urge for eternity or immortality that has dragged you into spirituality. In a way you were not wrong, except that you mistakenly believed that you as a body, a person or as the 'I am so-and-so' are going to continue. Following the teaching of the Guru, when you stabilize in the wordless 'I am', you will realize that it is not eternal. You stand apart from the 'I am' as the true formless Absolute which is a witness to the 'I am' which has appeared on it. This true being of yours is eternal and ancient.
109. The sequence is 'I am' the witness to the whole manifestation, it occurs simultaneously. The 'I am' subsiding, what remains? You are 'That'.
The moment you wake up you have the feeling 'I am a witness to the world', it occurs so swiftly that you never give any thought to the question 'to whom did the witnessing occur?' Was it not to something prior to the 'I am'? Actually, the 'I am' and space go together and you instantly see the world or this manifestation. After this, your personality linked to your day to day life takes over and equally instantly the 'I am' is also lost and forgotten. As you come back to the wordless 'I am' and abide in it for a reasonable amount of time, one day it subsides, then whatever remains, you are 'That'.
110. What I say is simple, when the 'I am' arises, everything appears, when 'I am' subsides everything disappears.
The real Guru's words are always simple, for he is no longer an individual. He expects nothing from you except the development of a firm conviction in the simple teaching that he imparts. It is indeed through his grace that he has handed over something so profound to you in such a simple manner. Everything has been centered around the 'I am': the 'I am' arising, everything appears, the 'I am' subsiding, everything disappears. Just understand the 'I am', abide in it and be free from it and your job is done.
111. You want me to say something about the post-'I am' manifestation, while I am driving you to the pre-'I am' Absolute.
Just see how clear the Guru's intentions are, his sole concern is to drive you towards the Absolute, which he says is prior to the 'I am'. What can he say about the post-'I am' manifestation? Since you don't understand the state prior to your 'being', or rather you have never known it or given thought to it, you urge him to say something that you know. You know a lot about the post-'I am' manifestation, you are comfortable with it, hence you would like to hear something in that domain only and not outside it. Now put aside all that is post-'I am' manifestation and try to focus on what the Guru is saying, which is about the pre-'I am' or the Absolute.
112. I am not telling you what the real is, because words negate that. Whatever I am telling you is not the truth, because it has come from the 'I am'.
The utmost honesty of the Guru must be appreciated when he says that whatever he is telling you is not the truth. In fact it makes your understanding more clear, and emphasizes the total unreliability of words to realize the truth.
But since we have no other means of receiving instruction from the Guru he uses words and he makes it clear that the real is beyond words. The moment you utter a word it must come from the 'I am' and the 'I am' is false.
113. I take you to the source 'I am' again and again, on reaching and stabilizing there you realize there is no 'I am'!
The Guru is tireless in his efforts and very generous indeed. All those who come to his door receive the same treatment - that is, they are taken to the source 'I am' again and again. He does not talk about anything else, he wants to make the most of whatever time he has left in this physical body and impart his teaching to all those who come. He is hopeful that of the many that come at least a few, or maybe only one, may understand what he is saying, get stabilized in the 'I am', realize its unreality and be free from it.
114. There is no explanation how this seed, this consciousness or the knowledge 'I am' has arisen. But once it has come it keeps humming through the 'gunas'.
The arising of the knowledge 'I am' occurs quite spontaneously and there is no explanation as to how this seed consciousness came to be. Just as there is no explanation why a child likes to play. But once the knowledge 'I am' arises it likes to keep humming through the 'gunas', the three qualities that, along with the five elements, make up the body. The word 'humming' has been used because in Marathi 'gun-gun' means humming.
115. You must know how this 'I am' came about, as it is the only thing by which you can unravel the whole mystery.
The key to this whole mystery of life lies in one and only one thing and that is the knowledge 'I am'. The 'I am' has to be understood very clearly with no doubts whatsoever in your mind. If necessary, go through the words of the Guru again and again. Once having understood it you will have to dwell or reside in the 'I am' in its utmost purity and then its relevance will stand exposed and you will know about its arrival and departure.
116. Onto your Absoluteness, which is without form or shape, came this knowledge 'I am', which is also without shape and form.
Just think about what you were prior to conception. You were simply not there! Nothing! So where is the question of form or shape in just infinite space? You were happily placed, there was no worry at all, and then this knowledge 'I am' arrived. This knowledge 'I am' inherits the properties of your Absoluteness in having no form and shape. Thus all knowledge is formless because at its origin lies the 'I am'.
117. This knowledge 'I am' has spontaneously 'appeared' on your Absolute state, therefore it is an illusion.
You were 'not there' and spontaneously 'you are', the 'I am' has 'appeared' on your Absolute state. Was there any volition on your part in it? Not at all, it's like the dream which only 'appears' non-volitionally when you fall asleep. The dream 'appears' to be true as long it lasts and, like the dream, the 'I am', too, is an illusion only true as long it lasts. With the disappearance of 'I am' you are in your Absolute state.
118. This knowledge 'I am', the 'sattva', cannot tolerate itself, so it needs the 'rajas' (doing) and 'tamas' (claiming doership) for support.
Understanding the 'I am' is one thing and abiding in the 'I am' is quite a challenging task. It sounds simple but the 'Sadhana' (practice) requires considerable determination and earnestness on the part of the seeker. It is made clear here that the 'I am' in its purity is the 'sattva' quality, which cannot tolerate itself (no wonder you slip!). The 'sattva' constantly demands the companionship of the qualities 'rajas' (doing) and 'tamas' (claiming doership). But this is a battle against the current, remember you are going back, so hold on to the 'I am' and persist.
119. The only 'Sadhana' (practice) is to think: I am not the body, I am the formless, nameless knowledge 'I am' indwelling in this body.
It is stated very clearly that there is only one 'Sadhana' (practice) to undertake and that is to abide in the knowledge 'I am' indwelling in this body. This has to be done by bearing in mind three things: firstly that I am not the body, secondly that this knowledge is formless and thirdly that it is nameless or wordless. This can be done if you go back to the moment when this feeling 'I am' first appeared on you. During the initial period that followed after its appearance the 'I am' was in its purest state and these three criteria applied to it.
This done, you will not need to do anything else.
120. When you abide for a sufficiently long time in the 'I am', the knowledge 'I am' itself will make everything clear to you. No external knowledge will be necessary.
To begin with, the 'I am' has to be completely understood and retraced back to its pure state when you were not aware of the body. At that time the 'I am' was wordless, formless and purely a feeling that 'you are'. Having caught the 'I am' you have now to abide in it for a sufficiently long time, this reversion and abidance will have to be done repeatedly. In the process the knowledge 'I am' will befriend you and reveal its secret, and then no external knowledge will be required.
121. Conviction is the only technique and the Guru's only initiation is: "you are not the body but only the 'I am' without words".
The many people who have read a lot and moved from Guru to Guru have found that 'initiation' and 'technique' are commonly transmitted from Guru to their disciples. Expecting something quite similar, they are taken aback when they come upon a true Guru who says that conviction is the only technique. And what is that conviction about? It is that I am not the body, but only the knowledge 'I am' without words, which he says is the only initiation. This is something very basic, simple and straightforward and the beauty of it is that it does not conform to any conventional religion.
122. When you clearly see that it is the 'I am' that is born, you stand apart from it as the unborn.
The belief that you are born and will die one day is embedded very strongly in you at present and hence fear ever prevails. Following the Guru's teaching you go back and come to the knowledge 'I am' and dwell there for a sufficient amount of time. It is during this period of abidance in the 'I am' that a moment comes when you see very clearly that it is the 'I am' that is born. When you see this, you stand apart from it as the unborn, something which occurs almost immediately.
123. Once the 'I am' goes, what remains is the Original which is unconditioned, without attributes or identity. This is called 'Parabrahma', or the Absolute.
The departure of the 'I am', marks the end of all concepts, or 'the illusion'. You are no longer a conditioned individual but stand as the Original - and the Original has no attributes or identity. How could the formless, nameless infinite have any attributes or identity? It is the very basis. All that we see with attributes or identity have only appeared on it, which again are based on the fundamental primordial concept or illusion 'I am'. Since the only means of communication we have is words or language, this infinite has been called the 'Parabrahman' or the Absolute.
124. The absence of 'I am' is not experienced by 'someone'; it has to be understood in such a manner that the experiencer and the experience are one.
You are so deeply rooted in duality that you always feel that there must be 'someone' who will experience nothingness, the void, space or the absence of 'I am'. It is impossible for the mind to conceive of a state of non-duality because it can function only in a dual or subject-object mode. Thus, obviously, the mind has to stop or you have to transcend the mind, and for that to happen you have to come to the 'I am', which is the point from where the mind begins. When you abide in the 'I am', a moment comes when it disappears and then the experiencer and the experience merge and what remains is your true natural state, beyond words or description.
125. The knowledge 'I am', which appeared in childhood, is a cheat as it has made you believe the illusion is true.
See how this knowledge 'I am' is a friend and foe as well. As a friend it can show you the way out, but, as a foe, it has tricked you into believing you are a body. It has conned you into imagining you are a person born in this world, and that one day you will die. This Janus-like nature of the 'I am' has to be understood, it is the lord of the gates with two opposing faces.
126. This knowledge 'I am' has dawned on you, thereafter witnessing began. That 'One' who witnesses is separate from what is witnessed.
This knowledge 'I am' has come uncalled, it has appeared or dawned on you without your asking for it. It came very spontaneously and swiftly, and before even you could do anything the witnessing of space began. The 'I am' and space came together, you 'saw' and felt the body and started identifying the 'I am' with it. In the process of going back you ponder on the question 'who is witnessing?' or 'On whom did this 'I am' appear?' Then you realize that the 'One' who witnesses has to stand apart from what is witnessed, and that this 'One' has been forever there.
127. Meditation is this knowledge 'I am', this consciousness meditating on itself and unfolding its own meaning.
When we talk of meditating on the knowledge 'I am', what is being done? It is the knowledge 'I am' that is meditating on itself. You mustn't meditate on the 'I am' as 'I am so-and-so', or such-and-such person. Dissociate the 'I am' from everything else, come down to its purest level and then let the wordless 'I am' meditate on itself. When this is done for a sufficiently long time, it will unfold its own meaning.
128. When you meditate on the knowledge 'I am', which is the beginning of knowledge, how can there be any questions?
Do you or do you not always have some question or the other, or some doubt at the back of your mind when you indulge in any activity? Exactly the same happens when you enter the field of spirituality and begin meditation. The biggest question which usually lingers in the background is 'Is this all going to work or am I wasting time? But what happens when you meditate on the knowledge 'I am' as prescribed? How can there be any question now? If you have correctly understood the 'I am', you will see that it is the very beginning of knowledge, the 'I am' in its utmost purity. As a part of the practice you have to abide in the 'I am' and not move from it. If a question arises you can rest assured that you have wavered, or are no longer abiding in the 'I am'. In fact, this is a very useful means of assessing your progress in the 'Sadhana' (practice): the objective is to arrive at a stage when there are no questions arising anymore.
129. Use name, form and design only for worldly activities, otherwise just hold on to the knowledge 'I am' without body awareness - beyond name, form or design.
Although you maybe abiding in the 'I am', physically you are still lodged in the body, something you cannot do away with. You have a name, form and design assigned to you by the world. Well, since the world itself has given you all these, you may as well use these for all the worldly activities. Bear in mind always, at all times and unwaveringly that you are none of these; they are only available to you. Activities may go on, but you must keep holding on to the knowledge 'I am' without the body awareness.
130. There are no techniques except the technique that 'I am' - that is, the firm conviction that 'I am' means only 'I am'.
Again, the Guru places emphasis on his technique and teaching, or initiation, as mentioned earlier. The only technique prescribed is abidance in 'I am' and developing the firm conviction that 'I am'. What does this conviction mean? It means that when you abide in the 'I am', It is ONLY the 'I am' and nothing else - the 'I am' in its purity. You should be completely infused with the knowledge 'I am', everywhere and at all times. Then and only then you stand a chance of transcending it.
131. This conviction can be strengthened by meditation and meditation means when the knowledge 'I am' remains in that knowledge.
How did the conviction that 'I am the body' or 'I am so-and-so' come? It was because you were reminded of these again and again by the people around you. This is the convention, the tradition, part of the conditioning, and you believe 'I am born as a body in this world'. What the Guru is saying is quite contradictory to the conviction you have developed through your conditioning. When the conditioning started you were raw and these beliefs have sunk deep into you, so in order to shake them off meditation is required. And what is this meditation? It is that once the knowledge 'I am' has been understood, it remains in itself and does not budge from there.
132. The greatest miracle is that you got the news 'I am'. It's self-evident. Prior to knowing that 'you are' what knowledge did you have?
Remember that moment when you first came to know that 'you are' or 'I am'. Almost instantly space also came along with it and soon you had the feeling 'I am in this world'. Just observe the power of this news 'I am' that you got, is it not a miracle that it created the world, which you believe you are living in? Before the arrival of the 'I am' did you know anything? Or rather, before the news 'I am' came did you need to know anything? Knowledge was not required because you were, and even now, you are knowledge itself!
133. Meditation means to have an objective or hold onto something. You are that something. Just being the being 'I am'.
Meditation means to ponder or have your attention focused on some object, image or 'mantra'. You do so till what you have held in meditation disappears, or you can say you the 'subject' and the 'object' merge into a unity. When you 'just be' or are in the knowledge 'I am' only, you are both the subject and the object of meditation. It is the 'being meditating on "being"' and as a result both cancel out each other and what remains ultimately is the Absolute.
134. It is not with the body identification that you should sit for meditation. It is the knowledge 'I am' that is meditating on itself.
True meditation only begins when initially, using your discrimination, you cut off everything that does not go with the 'I am'- which includes the body-mind identification, which is the major obstacle. You should not have the feeling 'I am so-and-so meditating' or 'I am sitting at this particular place, in this posture, meditating onï¿½' all these externalities must go. It should be only the knowledge 'I am' that should be meditating on itself. It is only when the purity of 'I am' is maintained in meditation that there is a chance that it will disappear.
135. When this 'I am' or conscious presence merges in itself and disappears the state of 'Samadhi' ensues.
You should be completely engulfed by the 'I am' or your conscious presence. In every way, in all directions, at all times the knowledge 'I am' must be infused into you. When you do this with earnestness and a tremendous intensity, the 'I am' merges into itself and disappears, When this happens it said that the state of 'Samadhi' ensues.
136. In the womb the knowledge 'I am' is dormant. It is the birth principle which contains everything.
The knowledge 'I am' is an assertive phenomenon which is very strong and prevalent throughout nature. The 'I am' is there in the egg released from the ovum in the female and also in every sperm of the male rapidly running towards the egg in the womb. When the sperms hover around the egg they are desperate to penetrate it and complete the process of the conception of another 'I am'. Finally one of them manages to enter, fertilization occurs and a new 'I am' is conceived. Thereafter it is a multiplication and differentiation process forming the embryo followed by the fetus in the womb. Each cell of the fetus carries the 'I am' which lies dormant in the womb - and it is the 'I am' that is born. The 'I am' contains everything and asserts itself strongly throughout the life of the body that is born, of course mistakenly believing itself to be the body!
137. The birth principle is 'Turiya' (the fourth state) which means 'where consciousness is'.
Careful observation of the whole process of reproduction, either sexual or other types prevalent in nature, has shown that it is a strongly self assertive phenomenon. Every living species wants to propagate and perpetuate and the self assertive 'I am' is the birth principle that is integral to the whole process. Since the birth principle was difficult to define or classify, it was simply called 'Turiya' by the ancient thinkers. The word 'Turiya' means 'the fourth', i.e. the fourth state of consciousness that lies at the very base of the other three, which are: waking, dream and deep sleep. It also means 'where the consciousness is'.
138. The experience that 'I am' or you exist is 'Turiya'. One who knows 'Turiya' is 'Turiyatita' (beyond the fourth state), which is my state.
The 'Turiya' is absolutely fundamental to your being and usually you are not aware of that state due to your cycling through the other three states which you are well aware of. The 'Turiya' is the 'I am' in its pure wordless form and the one who understands and transcends it is called 'Turiyatita' (the one beyond the fourth state), which is the state of the Guru.
139. 'Turiya' or 'I am' is within consciousness, which is the product of five elements.
Being beyond the 'Turiya', the Guru knows it very well and says that the 'Turiya' or the 'I am' is the birth principle and is within the consciousness. And, what is this consciousness or the 'I am'? It is a product of the five elements that make up the body. It is the very essence of the five elements and the three qualities and keeps on 'humming' throughout your life.
140. In order to stabilize in the 'I am' or 'Turiya' you must understand this birth-principle.
The Guru once again stresses the importance of understanding the 'Turiya', or the 'I am', in order to get stabilized in it. For this you will have to repeatedly go back to that moment when the 'I am' first appeared on you. The 'Turiya', which lay dormant from the day of your conception, suddenly or spontaneously popped up and you came to know that 'you are'. This wordless state of 'Turiya' prevailed for some time wherein you only knew that 'I am' and 'I am not'. Gradually, as a process of your conditioning, the 'I am' soon identified itself with the body and you became an individual (Mr. or Ms. 'so-and-so') living in the world. The three states of waking, dreaming and deep sleep took over and you forgot the background 'Turiya'.
141. 'Turiya' or 'I am' is always described as the witness state that sees through the waking, dreaming and sleeping. And 'Turiyatita' is even beyond that.
Further commenting on the 'Turiya' the Guru describes it as the 'witness' or the witnessing state that lies behind the waking, dreaming and deep sleep states; it does all the witnessing through these three states. Deep earnest meditation as prescribed by the Guru is required in order to get stabilized in the 'Turiya' or the 'I am', and only then you stand a chance of transcending the 'I am' and becoming a 'Turiyatita', the one beyond the 'Turiya' or the 'I am'.
142. In the absence of the basic concept 'I am', there is no thought, no awareness, and no consciousness of one's existence.
Understanding the importance of the basic concept 'I am' comes by constantly pondering on it. The more you dwell on it, the more you realize that 'yes, this is it'. On this 'I am' rests everything: all the thoughts that prevail, all the actions that you perform, the very awareness of your being, your existence; the 'I am'having gone all these go, like in the state of deep sleep or that period before the 'I am' arose.
143. Together with the body and the indwelling principle 'I am' everything is. Prior to that what was there?
The indwelling principle 'I am' is absolutely essential for everything to surface. The body may be there, but unless the 'I am' principle arises nothing can be known. Once you have understood the importance of the knowledge 'I am', all your efforts should be directed towards investigating it. The very first question that you must ask is: how did this 'I am' come to be? Prior to that what was there?
144. Hang on to the 'I am', which is your only capital, meditate on it, and let that unfold all the knowledge that has to come.
You have wandered a lot and here for the first time something so simple has been stated. The Guru has gone on trying to make you understand the 'I am' in every way he can. He calls this knowledge 'I am' the only capital you have and remember, when he says so he is right, you really do not have anything else after all the wandering you have done. Do what he says and now meditate on this knowledge 'I am'; the Guru says from his own experience that this knowledge itself will unfold whatever you want to know.
145. You should identify yourself only with this indwelling knowledge 'I am'. That is all.
Sever your links with everything that has just added onto the 'I am' and destroyed its purity. After doing this with surgical precision, just stay there and identify yourself with this pure indwelling knowledge 'I am'. This knowledge is the only legacy you have, understanding and abiding in it is all that you have to do. If you do this earnestly, a moment will come when you go beyond the 'I am' into your natural state.
146. Sit in meditation by identifying with the 'I am', dwell only on the 'I am'- not merely the words 'I am'.
Having understood the knowledge 'I am', dwell or abide in the 'I am' only, without words. In order to do this you will have to go back to that period that followed after the arising of 'I am', or when you just came to know that 'you are'. At that time you had no knowledge of words or language and lived in a non-verbal state; that state has to be caught and abided in. That period was devoid of any concepts, which came later as a part of your conditioning.
147. Forget all about physical disciplines in this connection and just be with that knowledge 'I am'.
A large number of physical disciplines have been prescribed by many and in the end you have to select the one which you find suitable. But here the Guru tells us to forget all physical disciplines; he is saying something that is altogether different. The Guru wants us to understand our sense of 'being' in its utmost purity and then just be with it. Understanding the knowledge 'I am' is important and so is abidance in it, together they form the 'Sadhana' (practice).
148. Do you require any special effort to know that 'you are'? The 'I am' without words itself is God.
If you have understood the knowledge 'I am', where is the question doing anything? No wonder the Guru rules out all physical disciplines. See the beauty of it, to know that 'you are' or 'I am' do you need a special effort? It is something so well ingrained in you that you don't even notice it. The Guru now tells you to draw your attention towards or focus on this sense or feeling of 'being' or 'I am' and then see what happens. This indwelling knowledge 'I am', without words, is the God in you.
149. You must fulfill the vow that I am not the body but the indwelling principle 'I am' only.
In order to understand the true import of whatever has been said so far you must have the certitude that I am not the body but the knowledge 'I am' only. In order to have this certitude, you have to meditate on the knowledge 'I am' for a reasonable amount of time. Doing away with the awareness of the body and getting completely engulfed by the knowledge 'I am' is the first and the last thing to be done, the only vow to be fulfilled. You can say it is the practice of being in the 'Turiya' or the fourth state at all times.
150. Once you become the 'I am' it will reveal all the knowledge and you need not go to anybody for guidance.
The whole approach of the Guru towards anybody who comes to him is: firstly, to make him understand what the 'I am' is and secondly, to tell him to abide in the 'I am' till he becomes the 'I am'. That is all that he does. The Guru's job is done, the rest is up to the seeker, his success totally depending on how correctly he has understood the 'I am' and whether he is doing any 'Sadhana' (practice) or not. The Guru will, of course, leave no stone unturned in imparting the teaching, provided he finds an honest and sincere seeker before him.
151. The primary concept 'I am' appears spontaneously and is the source of all concepts, so everything is mental entertainment.
The first time when you came to know that 'you are' or 'I am', how did it happen? Did you play any part in bringing about this feeling? No, it came quite spontaneously, on its own. In its nascent phase the 'I am' was pure with nothing attached to it, it was non-verbal. Gradually, as you grew up, the pure non-verbal 'I am' donned the guise of a verbal 'I am' with the 'so-and-so' attached to it and many, many more attachments followed. So you can see that the primary concept was the 'I am', all other concepts followed this primary one. Now, after understanding and following the teachings of the Guru you have realized that the 'I am' is false! The root is cut! Thenceforth, whatever follows, can it be anything else but mental entertainment?
152. This memory 'I am' is neither true nor false, it is without these two attributes. That memory of 'beingness' only appears to exist.
What is it by which continuity is maintained in your life? By the memory 'I am' or 'beingness', together with 'I am so-and-so living in this world' and 'being so-and-so I have these duties to perform'. Just see the trick that has been played by the 'I am' and it is neither true nor false but without these attributes. This can be said about the 'I am' just as it be said about a dream: the fact of its occurrence cannot be denied but its contents are false! The 'I am' is an appearance on your true being and will always only appear to exist, it can never enter the realm of reality.
153. The 'I am' itself is the world, go to the source and find out how it appeared and when.
As your understanding of the knowledge 'I am' becomes clear you realize that everything rests on the 'I am'. It is the very basis of the world that you see around you. Prior to the arrival of the knowledge 'I am' or during deep sleep you never knew or know about the existence of any world at all. The 'I am' is at the very beginning, so you have to go back to it and not only go back but spend a considerable amount of time there, only then will you come to know how it came to be.
154. The conviction that the 'I am' and the world never existed can happen only to 'Parabrahman' (The Absolute).
As you abide in the 'I am' after fully understanding it or earnestly doing the 'Sadhana' (practice) as prescribed by the Guru, a moment comes when you transcend the 'I am'. On this happening both the 'I am' and the world disappear and you enter the Absolute or 'Parabrahman' state. Only in this state will you have the conviction that the 'I am' and the world never existed. The Guru is in that state, he has gone beyond the 'I am' and this world, he is only using the 'I am' or his 'being' to communicate with anybody who comes to him.
155. To stabilize in the 'I am', which has no name and form, is itself liberation.
As you come back to the 'I am' in its purest form, i.e. as it was in its nascent state, and get stabilized there you become devoid of name and form. The nascent 'I am' is common to all, does not belong to anybody and has no name or form. You have been in this state in the very early stages of your life when you prevailed in the 'I am' only and knew nothing else. Apply your mind and try to recollect it and then try to live it.
156. The knowledge that is prior to thought - 'I am' - is covered by a human body which is a food-body with the vital breath and knowledge of the Self (Prana and Jnana).
The very earliest 'I am' was devoid of name and form, free from words, non-verbal. Gradually, as the processes of conditioning begin, the non-verbal 'I am' becomes the verbal 'I am'. You learn words and language which accumulate on the pure non-verbal 'I am'. Through your senses you perceive the body which requires food and vital breath for sustenance. The 'I am' identifies with the body and you say 'I am so-and-so'. Despite all these coverings, the indwelling knowledge of the Self or the pure 'I am' is always there. It is only a question of putting aside everything, uncovering it and getting stabilized in it - which is the 'Sadhana' (practice) that is being prescribed.
157. Once you reach the state of 'I am' and are aware of that only, you will have transcended all the tendencies ('Vasanas').
'Vasanas', tendencies or desires have a very strong pull and act as very potent hindrances in the 'Sadhana' (practice). The obvious desires are easy to identify but the subtle ones enter through the back door or are always stubbornly there in the background. The desire 'to be' is at the very root and often missed, it has developed gradually over the years as the verbal 'I am' with the 'I am so-and-so'. But, if you recollect and are observant enough, it will be clear that when the pure non-verbal 'I am', or sense of 'presence', arrived it had no traces of desire in it, although it was dormant. This pure 'I am' when desire was unexpressed is presently your goal. As you abide in it with full understanding a stage will come when you are aware of the 'I am' only. It is only on reaching this stage you will have transcended all desires and they won't trouble you anymore.
158. Be one with the Self, the 'I am'. If necessary discard the words 'I am', even without them you know 'you are'.
You have to totally identify yourself with the indwelling knowledge 'I am' in you. This knowledge 'I am', or sense of 'presence' has spontaneously dawned on you; it came without your asking or willing it to be so. When it came it was wordless, just a feeling of 'being', and as long as it prevailed words were not required and life went on. It was only when your conditioning began that words and language intruded and soon took over. This takeover has been so complete that you cannot conceive of a life without words, which now exist as concepts. So, in order to make your meditation effective, you are asked to discard the words 'I am', because even without them 'you are'.
159. The 'I am' is the awareness before thoughts, it cannot be put into words; you have to 'just be'.
When the knowledge 'I am' dawned on you, you knew no words or language. It was an awareness without or before thoughts. When we are using words for communication, it should be quite obvious that they cannot be used to describe the wordless state! It can be hinted at, or can be pointed out, but its real understanding will only come by being it, so do away with words and 'just be', then see what happens.
160. The 'I am' in you came from the 'I am' in your parents, but only then could they be called parents!
The fact that the 'I am' came from the 'I am' in your parents, or that your parents created you is the usual, conventional understanding. But just think of it the other way around, your parents could be called 'parents' only after your arrival, not before that! Before that they were just a couple, prospective parents, but not parents yet, until your arrival. Looking at it in this manner, in a way, you have created the 'parents'. So who created whom? Yet we talk of all this being the reality! Is it?
161. The 'I am' is the divinity in you and cause of the sacred repetition ('Japa') in you breath of 'So Hum' (I am 'That').
The 'I am' is the divinity or God in you and makes its presence felt through the sacred repetition or 'Japa' continuously going on in you in the form of breath. The ancient ones carefully observed the breath and found two subtle sounds in it at every inhalation and exhalation. When you inhale deeply and slowly you can hear 'Soooo' and when you exhale, again slowly you can hear 'Huuum'. These sounds are called 'So Hum', which in Sanskrit means 'I am That'. Many practitioners do this meditation of focusing their attention on the breath and observing the sound 'So Hum', which is regarded as a 'mantra' (condensed sacred words with a deep meaning).
162. The Absolute doesn't know that 'It is'. Only when the knowledge 'I am' spontaneously appeared did it know 'It is'.
There is no question of there being any experience in the Absolute or the 'Parabrahman'. All experiences demand the necessity of duality in the form of the experiencer (subject) and the experienced (object). The Absolute is a non-dual state, so who is to experience what? Moreover, the Absolute, does not require any experience or the need to know that 'it is'. By the spontaneous appearance of the knowledge 'I am' it came to know that 'it is', yet it doesn't require the 'I am' at all, for it is complete in itself, devoid of any wants.
163. Become initiated into the understanding of what I am expounding to you; I am talking about the seed of 'Brahman' or 'I am' that I am planting in you.
When the Guru is faced by a sincere seeker he is very keen on imparting his knowledge to him, and this itself is the initiation. His teaching is very simple. He awakens you to the long lost 'I am' or the 'Brahman', he calls it the planting of the 'Brahma seed' in you. It is just like on seeing or coming across something desirable - you want it desperately, the seeds of its acquisition are sown. Because once the 'Brahma seed' is sown in you, appropriate conditions prevailing, you will go to any lengths to bring it to fruition.
164. That 'Brahman' or 'I am' state alone embraces everything and is all the manifestation. You have to forget everything and merge with 'Brahman'.
Whatever you see or feel has the 'I am' as its basis, the 'I am' and 'Brahman' are the same. All is the creation of the 'I am' or 'Brahman' state, this you can also say from your own experience. Prior to the arrival of the 'I am', or in the deep sleep state, did you know of your existence or the world and the rest? It was only with the rising of the 'I am' that space, which engulfs everything, came. As a part of the 'Sadhana' (practice) you have to forget everything - that is, all externalities and become one with the 'Brahman'.
165. Whatever is created is created by the knowledge 'I am', there is no other path, only this conviction. This is it! The name and body arise from the 'I am'.
First you have to develop the understanding that the knowledge 'I am' is the creator of everything. This includes your name and form, both are products of the 'I am'. You must develop the thorough understanding that, yes, this is it - the 'I am' is the beginning and the end of everything. Then, once you have the understanding, you have to abide in the 'I am' or constantly meditate on it. This abidance is done to make your understanding a certitude or conviction that is unassailable. This is the only way out; there is no other path.
166. Abiding in the 'I am' (which is God) you won't want to leave it, and then it won't leave you!
The indwelling knowledge 'I am' is the God, or divinity in you. First you must try to understand it very clearly without any doubts whatsoever. And if you have understood it correctly, you will not want to leave for even a moment. If you feel a sense of reverence and love for this 'I am' it a sure sign that you have understood it. Then this divinity, or God will hold on to you and not let you go!
167. The 'I am' is there even without your saying so. Once you understand the 'I am', there is nothing further to understand.
The knowledge 'I am' is ever there, residing in all at all times. Not a single thing exists which is devoid of the 'I am'. It expresses itself through the five elements and three qualities. As the combination of the elements and qualities is, so the expression of 'I am'. This expression could be good or bad depending on the combination, but the 'I am' itself stands in its purity. Understanding the 'I am' is the very basis of the teaching, that done, there remains nothing further to be understood. What follows hereafter is the 'Sadhana' (practice), which is the meditation on the 'I am'. Your earnestness, sincerity and intensity of the practice will determine further progress.
168. When you are established in the 'I am' there are no thoughts or words, you are everything and everything is you; later even that goes.
As your 'Sadhana' (practice) matures, your conviction grows stronger and you get firmly established in the 'I am'. That is to say, you are permanently established in the 'Turiya' or the fourth state. In this state there are no thoughts or words, everywhere there is only the 'I am', you are everything and everything is you. When you abide thus, the stage is set for your transcending the 'I am'. Ultimately that too goes, leaving you as the Absolute or 'Parabrahman'.
169. The 'I am' is without ego, you can become its watcher only by getting established in it.
When you are established in the 'Turiya' or the fourth state, there is nothing else except the 'I am'. It is the 'I am' in its utmost purity with no add-ons at all, as a result there is no ego either. Ego comes with the verbal 'I am', when you say 'I am so-and-so living in this world'. With all this gone there is nothing but the 'I am' only; without words, the ego disappears. By getting established in the 'Turiya' or the fourth state you become its watcher and stand apart from it.
170. Watching happens to the Absolute with the appearance of 'I am', then does it knows that 'it is'.
The Absolute or 'Parabrahman' is as it is, formless and eternal. It does not require anything and is not dependent on anything. Watching just happens to the Absolute with the spontaneous appearance of 'I am'. Just as you begin watching a dream as it spontaneously appears, you are not actually involved in any of the events that are dreamt. With the appearance of the 'I am' the Absolute knows that 'it is', although this knowing is of no use to the Absolute nor does it depend on it.
171. Waking, dreaming and deep sleep states pertain only to the 'I am', you are above these.
The three states of waking, dreaming and deep sleep that all of us commonly experience are in fact based on the 'I am' or the 'Turiya', the fourth state. Different ways of similar fourfold classification are found abundantly in ancient literature, these are: the four bodies (gross, subtle, causal and supra-causal) or the four forms of 'Vani' or Speech ('Vaikhari'=spoken word, 'Madhyama'=tangible word in thought, 'Pashyanti'= intangible word in formation and 'Para'=source word). Whichever way we may describe these states, your true natural Absolute or 'Parabrahman' state is above all these. The 'I am' or 'Turiya' only appears on the Absolute and leads to the other three states and experience of the world.
172. When you go deep inside, nothing is all there is. There is no 'I am'. The 'I am' merges in the Absolute.
After understanding the 'I am', deep, intense, continuous meditation is required on it. It should be in such way that the knowledge 'I am' meditates on itself devoid of all bodily identification. When this is done, a moment comes when the 'I am' disappears or there is no 'I am' anymore. At this moment the 'I am' merges in the Absolute, quite similar to the ending or disappearance of the dream and you being as you are in the waking state.
173. Understand this 'I am' business and stand apart from it, transcend it. Just be.
The Guru is indeed very generous: see how stubbornly he persists with you. He knows your potential and also knows that at least theoretically you understand his teaching. By repeatedly hammering away at the teaching he wants you to get stabilized in the 'I am', for only then do you stand a chance to transcend it. He is constantly urging you or trying to push you into the 'Turiya' or fourth state. This he does tirelessly and relentlessly with anyone who comes to him and in whom he senses a genuine seeker. So, after expounding everything, he says 'now that you have understood everything, just be'.
174. The story of all of us begins with the 'I am', it is the starting point of both misery and happiness.
No being exists that is devoid of the 'I am'. However it may happen the story of all begins with the arrival of the knowledge 'I am'. Circumstantially you maybe conditioned in different ways, which, along with the combination of elements and qualities, is expressed accordingly. This expression could be good or bad, it could lead to happiness or misery, either way or whatever be the outcome, the starting point is always the 'I am'.
175. Prior to the appearance of form in the womb, the food stuffs take the form 'I am' and that appears in nine months.
As said earlier, the 'I am' is distributed everywhere in nature. The food stuffs that the food-body consumes also contain the 'I am' which moves on to the male or female gametes. The process of conception is the perpetuation of the 'I am' in the fetus. From birth till the age of three or so the 'I am' remains dormant and then spontaneously surfaces. So it is the 'I am' that appears and disappears, which we take as birth and death.
176. Stabilize in the 'Bindu' (Point) 'I am' and transcend it. 'Bindu' means without duality (Bin=without, Du=two).
It is the 'I am' again and it has been given a new name for a better understanding: the 'Bindu' (point), which when split into two words 'Bin' and 'Du' means without duality. How is this so? As the focus of your meditation on the 'I am' (or when the knowledge 'I am') meditates on itself for a prolonged period, a stage comes when it is only the 'I am' everywhere. When this happens, there is nothing else but the 'I am', it is a non-dual state. This 'Bindu' (point) is located nowhere yet is everywhere, it is there indwelling in you, find it and get stabilized in it.
177. It is the 'I am' that investigates the 'I am'. Realizing its falsehood it disappears and merges into Eternity.
In this very moment as you are reading through these lines, or as you ponder over them, who is it that is doing so? It is the knowledge 'I am' investigating the 'I am'. All this that you are doing has the 'I am' in the background. The 'I am' is the driving force behind this entire undertaking; it desperately wants to know what it is. As the understanding grows and it realizes its falsehood, it disappears. This done, there is nothing more left to do, you are then in Eternity.
178. The knowledge 'I am' is God, if presently you are unable to understand it then just worship it.
Despite all efforts, even after an enormous amount of study you are still unable to understand the 'I am'. What to do? Don't get disheartened, the Guru says there is a way out; to begin with realize that the 'Jnana Marga' (path of knowledge) is not for you. This realized, you must now resort to the 'Bhakti Marga' (the path of worship). And, what is to be worshipped? It is the knowledge 'I am', which is the God in you. Remember, both paths are complementary, knowledge leads to worship and worship leads to knowledge. It is only a question of individual disposition as to what suits you, but either way you will make it.
179. If you like, take the 'I am' as your 'prarabdha' (destiny), become one with it, then you can transcend it.
Your destiny worries you; will I be successful in life? Will I become this or that? Will I have a serious illness? And the fear of death, and how it will come, is always lurking there in the background. But look what the Guru says! It is something not only astonishing but rewarding as well, it extricates you from all this bundle of worries and apprehension. Why not take knowledge 'I am' to be your destiny?
I will become the 'I am' only and nothing else - that is my destiny. Abide in the 'I am' only, meditate on the 'I am' only, day in and day out it is the 'I am' only, everywhere and at all times. What will happen on the acceptance of the 'I am' as your destiny? You will transcend it and be free from the clutches of birth and death, which is the greatest reward you can ever imagine.
180. Along with the knowledge 'I am' appears space and the world. When the knowledge 'I am' departs the world is liquidated.
Think hard, apply your mind and try to recollect the moment when the knowledge 'I am' first appeared spontaneously and you came know that 'you are'. If this is hard, then try to observe what happens the next time you wake up from deep sleep. The 'I am', space and the world appear almost simultaneously, in one stroke, and then everything else takes over and the fact that those three have 'appeared' on you is obliterated. What is it that is holding this perception of yours? Is it not the 'I am'? As long as the 'I am' is there you will perceive the space and world. If the 'I am' departs both will disappear.
181. Hammer it into yourself that the 'I am' or 'beingness' is the parent of the entire manifestation, then the 'I am' itself will help you stabilize in the 'I am'.
A process of reversion has to be undertaken in order to understand and believe that the 'I am' or 'beingness' is the root of the entire manifestation.
Reversion means to go back to that moment when you first came to know that 'you are'; before this did you know anything about the manifested world that you see? It was non-existent for you. Quite similarly, in deep sleep when the 'I am' is held in abeyance the world is non-existent for you. As the 'I am' comes, so does this entire manifestation; as the 'I am' goes, it's all gone! As you understand and become familiar with all this, the 'I am' befriends you and then it helps you get stabilized in itself.
182. The 'I am' is observed by the Absolute, it has no senses or eyes, witnessing just happens.
When you get stabilized in the 'I am' a moment comes when you stand apart from it. The 'I am' is observed or witnessed by the Absolute and this occurs without the senses or the eyes. This witnessing just happens, the 'I am' quite spontaneously appears on the Absolute. As the 'I am' departs, the Absolute remains.
183. I am introducing you to your 'I am'. The first stage is to meditate on the 'I am' and stabilize in it.
This is what the Guru has been doing all the while: he has tried to make you understand the knowledge 'I am' in every possible manner. He has even gone to the extent of saying that if you don't understand then just worship it as the God in you. After the Guru introduces you to your 'I am', he asks you to meditate on it, which helps you get stabilized in the 'I am'. Then the stage is set for your transcending it.
184. Carry the conviction in yourself that the knowledge 'I am' within you is God.
Many, many seekers come to the Guru's doorstep. He gives one look and knows who is what, so depending on the capabilities of the seeker, he expounds the teaching to him accordingly. There are those who have been around for some while and have understood a bit. Now, as they depart, they ask for some last parting words that may stand them in good stead when they go. He tells them to carry the conviction that the knowledge 'I am' within is God and live by it, that's all.
185. To the One who meditates on the knowledge 'I am', everything in the realm of Consciousness becomes clear.
After understanding the knowledge 'I am' without words, meditation on it, or the 'Sadhana' (practice), is a must, there is no escape from it. To the one who follows the teaching of his Guru and earnestly meditates on the wordless 'I am', all in the realm of Consciousness will be revealed. He will know how this Consciousness came to be and how it is the Consciousness that is the creator of everything. The ultimate revelation is that he is not the Consciousness at all, but stands apart from it as the Absolute, or 'Parabrahman'.
186. Go anywhere, but never forget that the knowledge 'I am' is God. Day by day through constant meditation this conviction will grow.
You have spent some with the Guru, you have tried to imbibe the teaching but you cannot stay with him indefinitely. As you depart, you ask for something to live by and he tells you, wherever you may go, never to forget that the indwelling knowledge 'I am' in you is God. Practice is essential, gradually as your practice grows in intensity and duration a day will come when you have the firm conviction that the knowledge 'I am' is God indeed. Being steeped in the 'I am' you stand a good chance of transcending it.
187. Don't bother about anything, just continue abiding in the 'I am', a moment will come when it will be pleased and reveal all the secrets.
There will be periods of frustration; there will be periods of doubt. Your worldly involvements would hamper your 'Sadhana' (practice) and an atmosphere of defeat would prevail. But, come what may, just throw everything aside, don't bother about anything and continue your abidance in the 'I am' with all earnestness. The 'I am' would test your endurance, but a moment would come when it will be pleased with you, become your friend and release its stranglehold on you.
188. The trap of birth and death is because of the 'I am', dwell on it, realize it and transcend it.
Just observe the Janus-like nature of the 'I am'. It acts like a foe when it has laid this trap of birth and death into which you fall. Once you are trapped, it requires an extraordinary effort to get free. If you are fortunate enough to come across the right Guru, or his teachings, only then do you stand a chance of getting out of this trap. The Guru's words are very simple and straightforward: understand the 'I am', abide in it, realize it and transcend it. When you abide in the 'I am' it becomes your friend and helps you out.
189. Get established in the 'I am' without words, the 'Paravani', but you the Absolute are not that.
The ancient ones have classified 'Vani', or speech into four categories: 'Vaikhari', which is the spoken word; 'Madhyama' is of the mind or unspoken tangible word - it is thought or thinking; then comes the 'Pashyanti', which is the formative stage when the word is still intangible; finally, the 'Para', or the wordless source of all speech. When we speak it involves all these in a brisk or swift sequential movement. 'Vani' (speech) is but one, it is only for our understanding that it has been classified, and it flows out in the order: Para, Pashyanti, Madhyama and Vaikahri. These four in that order are said to correspond to the 'Turiya' (the fourth), deep sleep, dreaming and waking states of consciousness. As you go back you return from the spoken word to the wordless 'I am', which is the 'Turiya' or 'Paravani' state. But you, the Absolute, you are none of these.
190. Your true identity - The Absolute - is prior to the 'I am'. How can you provide a uniform for it?
The uniform or garb that we have provided for our true identity is that of the body with all its senses, and of the mind in the form of concepts. The primary concept is the 'I am' which has no name or form and has just spontaneously appeared on your true being. You true identity, the Absolute or 'Parabrahman' is prior to the 'I am', so how can any uniform or garb be provided for it.
191. My Guru taught me what 'I am', I pondered only on that. My original state is to be in that state where there is no 'I am'.
The Guru tells us how he realized his true nature and from his own experience he imparts the same teaching to us. We can see from this how important the understanding of the 'I am' is, pondering over it and then getting stabilized in it. This is the first step towards realizing your original state, which is prior to the 'I am'. Only on getting firmly stabilized in the 'I am' will you be able to transcend it. Then you will be in the original Absolute state which is devoid of the 'I am'.
192. The 'I am' happened and the world was cooked up. Prior to that you did not have the message 'I am', you existed, but you did not know.
The 'I am' is the beginning and the end of everything, it was with the appearance of the 'I am' that this whole manifestation came into being. They are just two small words but see what havoc they have cooked up in the form of this world. And the way the 'I am' has done all this is indeed astonishing: never for a moment do you believe that it is all false and actually never came into being! You, the Absolute are always there, 'I am' or no 'I am', by the appearance of the 'I am' you only know that 'you are'.
193. In the infinite state, the 'I am' state is temporary; don't give up your true standpoint, otherwise you will be fooled.
The Absolute, infinite state ever prevails. The appearance on it of the 'I am' state is temporary and will vanish one day, but the infinite is always there as it has been. On the appearance of the 'I am' in its nascent state, it is quite free, without name or form. Soon the process of conditioning takes over and you get fooled into believing the 'I am' to be the body-mind, and lose your standpoint. You have to go back and come to that wordless state of the 'I am' and abide in it in order to realize its temporary and false nature. Then you have regained your standpoint as the Absolute infinite which is as it is and will be forever.
194. Catch hold of the 'I am' and all obstacles will evaporate, you will be beyond the realm of body-mind.
The Guru speaks from his own experience, he has gone to great lengths to make you understand the 'I am'. The first thing that the Guru does to every seeker that comes to him, is to make him understand the 'I am'. On the clarity of this understanding is based the entire foundation of the practice and progress. Unless you understand the true importance of the 'I am' you will not pay heed to it or make attempts to catch hold of it. The 'I am' is impersonal and without name and form, the moment you catch hold of it and become one with it, you too achieve the same status. On becoming one with the 'I am' you go beyond the realm of body-mind.
195. All questions exist because the 'I am' is there. After the 'I am' has disappeared, no questions arise.
The 'I am' is the primary concept, the root, the very beginning from where all questions begin. When you dwell in the 'I am' you are at the very beginning, so where is the question of any questions existing here. If it should happen that while you are abiding in the 'I am' you diverge from it, questions may arise, but not till then. Once you are firmly established in the 'I am' a time will come when it disappears, then there is no chance of any question arising - the root has been cut!
196. Understand the 'I am', transcend it and conclude that 'beingness', the world and Brahman are unreal.
The Guru again urges the seeker to understand the 'I am' first, for without understanding they are merely two words. When you consider them as merely two words, you are still at the verbal level and you may even misunderstand and believe that the Guru is asking you to reaffirm your ego. The 'I am' that the Guru is talking of is the wordless one, the very primordial one that arose when you just came to know that 'you are'. This 'I am' is impersonal and without any attributes, that is where you have to go back to and reside. Only on transcending the 'I am' will you realize that this 'beingness', the world and Brahman are unreal.
197. The 'So Hum' japa (recitation) is incessantly going on in your pulse indicating 'I am'; get in tune with it by recitation.
The breath, which as a result of the pulse, is observable as two subtle sounds during inhalation and exhalation, which we hear as 'So Hum'. This 'So Hum' sound is regarded as a 'Mantra' for 'Japa' (recitation) and means 'I am That'. The 'So Hum' sound that is naturally available to you is actually wordless and indicates the primordial 'I am'. Some seekers may find this method conducive for their practice, so the Guru recommends recitation of the 'So Hum' and getting in tune with it.
198. The recitation of 'So Hum', indicating 'I am', must be for a very long time, it is prior to words.
Any 'Sadhana' (practice) has to be undertaken for a very long time, a lot depends on your earnestness and intensity. Rarely have there been seekers who have realized their true identity after a short period. The 'So Hum' is prior to words and naturally available to you, its evolution has occurred in the process of self-inquiry as: 'Deham Naham' (I am not the body), 'Ko Hum?'(Then, Who am I?), the wordless answer that came was 'So Hum' (I am That).
199. The 'I am' is the only God to please and if pleased, it will lead you to the source.
Conventionally and externally there are many Gods available, you may go from God to God and get lost and confused. But the 'I am' is internal and universally present in all; moreover it is devoid of any name or form. If you have to worship at all costs, worship the 'I am', it is the only God to please. If you befriend the 'I am' and it becomes pleased, it will lead you to the source by releasing you from its ('I am') clutches.
200. A 'Jnani' is one who has come to a conclusion about the raw material 'I am' and stands apart from it.
Who is a 'Jnani' (a man of wisdom)? A 'Jnani' is he who has not only understood and developed a firm conviction about the knowledge 'I am', but has also transcended it. He (the 'Jnani') managed to achieve this through the 'Sadhana' (practice) of meditating on the 'I am' for a reasonable amount of time and in the process went beyond and stood apart from it. Having done so, he is out of the cycles of birth and death.
201. That soundless sound, the humming 'I am' is a reminder that you are God. To understand and realize it, meditate on it.
The sound 'So Hum', observed while inhaling and exhaling during the breathing process is extremely subtle. The humming of the 'I am' is even subtler than this and has been called the 'soundless sound'. It is a constant reminder that you are God. Meditation on that soundless or wordless 'I am' is recommended as a means to understand and realize it. Theoretical or verbal understanding of the 'I am' is not enough, you have to actually realize it and become one with it, and for that meditation is essential.
202. You are in the 'I am' without any effort, so be there. Don't try to interpret the 'I am'.
Meditation, understanding and realization are all complementary processes and work in an overall way. You are always in the 'I am', do you require any effort to know that 'you are'? So just be in it.
Words cannot be used to describe the wordless; they can at the most be pointers. Any attempts on your part to interpret the 'I am' is beating the very purpose of understanding and realizing it. In fact, it is the other way around, when all interpretations come to an end, only then are you in the 'I am' without words. Ultimately, even this 'Nisargadatta Gita' will have to be kept aside and forgotten, it is only then that your 'Sadhana' (practice) will begin.
203. The 'I am' in body form can reach the highest state only if you understand, accept it and dwell there. Then you escape birth and death.
At present you are in this body endowed with the indwelling knowledge 'I am'. Understand the knowledge 'I am' and use it to meditate on itself. When the knowledge 'I am' meditates on itself for a reasonable amount of time, finally only the 'I am' remains and nothing else. This is the highest state of the knowledge 'I am' in body form (also called the 'Turiya' or the fourth). On understanding, accepting and abiding in the 'I am' there is no question of rebirth.
204. The 'I am' is an advertisement of the Absolute, an illusion, temporary. The one who knows this knows the eternal principle.
The 'I am', in its purest and wordless form, is a hoarding or advertisement of the Absolute or the 'Parabrahman'. It has a moment of appearance and a moment of disappearance, it is always temporary, and like a dream, it's an illusion. In order to understand this nature of the 'I am' one has to go back to the moment when it first appeared spontaneously. If this is hard, try to observe the 'I am' as it appears the moment you wake up after deep sleep.
205. In the womb the 'I am' is dormant: When we are three years old it arises spontaneously. It climaxes at middle age, diminishes in old age and finally disappears.
Between the appearance and disappearance of the 'I am' an entire life time is covered. Both the arrival and departure are not in your hands and occur quite spontaneously. The changes that take place in your signature as life progresses are a fairly good indicator of this rise and fall of the 'I am'. In the later stages of your life you are quite unable to sign the way you did in your middle age or youth. Even if you manage to do it, it requires a great effort and a little unsteadiness is discernible in the background.
206. Remember this, if you want to remember me or this visit here, remember the knowledge 'I am'.
During every moment that you have been with the Guru he has had only one objective, which is to make every possible attempt to push you into the 'I am' or the 'Turiya'. As you are getting ready to leave or even as you are actually leaving he says that if at all you wish to remember him or this visit, remember the knowledge 'I am'. When he senses a genuine seeker, he plants the 'Brahma' seed in him with the hope that some day it will sprout, prosper and liberate him. If that were to happen, that seeker would in his turn sow the 'Brahma' seed into others.
207. The body identity cannot get this knowledge, the knowledge 'I am' must get this knowledge; when knowledge abides in knowledge there is transcendence of knowledge.
If you sit in meditation thinking 'I am so-and-so meditating', there is no chance that you can become one with the 'I am'. All external links have to be totally severed and only the 'I am' should remain, devoid of the body idea. It should be the 'I am' in its utmost purity, it was in its utmost purity when it arose, that is the reason for the necessity to go back and recapture that nascent 'I am'. Do this repeatedly till you stabilize in that 'I am' that is without words, you have been through that phase, so it is only a question of application and endurance. When the knowledge 'I am' without words abides in itself there is a chance of transcending it.
208. This 'I am' enjoyed beyond the body is your destiny. Dwell in it and it itself will tell you its own story.
When you dwell in the 'I am' without words and if you recollect it correctly, you will feel the freedom and joy that you felt during that nascent phase of the 'I am'. At that time you did not know anything at all but the 'I am' and you danced around in joy with it, completely carefree and oblivious of everything. Then came the conditioning and the development of the verbal 'I am' and your calamities had begun. Your actual destiny is the 'I am' beyond the body, when you dwell in it, it itself will reveal its story.
209. When you dwell in destiny as 'I am', you realize that it is not your death, but the disappearance of 'I amness'.
The Guru is revealing a secret that is of such tremendous importance that only an advanced seeker, who has spent a considerable amount of time pondering over his teachings, can grasp its true value. He is saying: your destiny is not death but the disappearance of 'I am'! This realization can only come to someone who has transcended the 'I am' and realized his true identity as the Absolute or the 'Parabrahman'. The 'I am' that had appeared on him (which we mistakenly believe as birth) has now disappeared (which we mistakenly believe as death), that's all. He has nothing to do with it as he never was the 'I am'. He comes to the conclusion that he is unborn, he was unborn and shall remain unborn!
210. You are beyond desire, which itself depends on the 'I am'. Do not suppress desires, just don't identify with them and they will disappear.
Nearly one in every three seekers asks what can be done about desire. It is a hurdle that everyone has to overcome, and it is so big that it seems almost impossible to overcome. To them, the Guru says that you are beyond desire; the desire is of the 'I am' and dependent on it. So, rather than suppressing a desire it would be more useful not to identify with it, then it will disappear. Understanding and meditating on the 'I am' without words is all the more conducive to the process.
211. Why say that I do anything? Whatever is done is done by the 'I am' and you are beyond it.
Why at all say that 'I have done this' or 'I have done that'? As you abide in the 'I am' without words you will soon realize that it is the 'I am' that is the doer. Repeatedly not identifying as the 'doer' is another technique suggested for getting stabilized in the pure 'I am' and going beyond it. Actually that is the real state of affairs, but it is your conditioning that has made you believe that you are the doer.
212. Beware of the 'I am' growing over your true nature and giving you the false feeling of being the doer.
The path is indeed slippery, even for the most advanced seeker. After understanding and getting stabilized in the 'I am' without words, you may start getting glimpses of your true nature - here the Guru warns you to be very alert. Why so? Because the 'I am' is indeed difficult to do away with. Quite swiftly and quietly it may grow again over your true nature and trap you, and soon you will start believing that you are doer. This will bring you back to square one and undo all the progress that you had achieved.
213. When the 'I am' becomes pure - that is, without 'I am this' or 'I am that' - you become 'Ishwara' (God).
You have to come back to the 'I am' when it first appeared on you and the brief period that followed afterwards when the 'I am' was uncontaminated. During that period the 'I am' had no add-ons, like 'this' or 'that', it was a phase when it was pure. You have gone through that period in your life and there is no reason why you cannot relive it. It is all a question of understanding the 'I am', applying yourself and abiding in it. If you do so you become 'Ishwara' (God) and stand a chance of transcending it and becoming 'Parameshwar' (the ultimate God or the Absolute).
214. The feeling 'I am' comes to you only because there is something older or earlier in you to which this 'I am' appears.
Ponder over a question like: To whom does the feeling 'I am' come? Or, what was I prior to the arrival of the knowledge 'I am'? When you do so, you will realize that there has to be something older or something before on which this 'I am' appears. The more time you spend in the 'I am' without words, the stronger the conviction will grow about this 'something' that is prior to the 'I am'. Finally, that 'something' becomes your goal, something to and to focus on, for that is your true Absolute nature.
215. The interval between the beginning of 'I am' (birth or waking) and when you lose it again (death or deep sleep) is called 'time'.
This whole concept of time is based on the appearance and disappearance of the 'I am'. The arrival and departure of the 'I am' from birth to death is called a life, while that from waking up to falling asleep a day. Accordingly, you say 'his life has come to an end' or 'It is the end of the day'. The 'I am' linked up with memory maintains a continuity throughout your life.
216. The feeling 'I am' is itself an illusion, therefore whatever is seen through this illusion cannot be real.
The essence of the five elements and three qualities that make up the body-mind is the knowledge 'I am'. The body-mind, as we know, is impermanent and destructible; the 'I am' depends on it for expression. Thus the 'I am', since it is destructible and dependent cannot be the reality which is indestructible and independent. The feeling 'I am' is thus unreal and an illusion; whatever we see or know is through the 'I am', thus it's all an illusion and unreal.
217. When Krishna says 'I remember all my past births', he means the 'I am', the fundamental feeling behind all births. There is no 'I am such-and-such'.
Krishna is the Absolute or the 'Parabrahman', your true identity. In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna makes a statement where he says that he remembers all his past births. The implication is that he remembers the 'I am', the birth-principle, in every birth and not that he was 'so-and-so'. The 'I am' appeared and disappeared on him as the fundamental principle of all births. Although the personalities kept changing depending on the elements, qualities and the circumstances, the 'I am' remained the same.
218. You are not always in contact with the 'I am' or it is not permanent. When you are not aware of the 'I am', 'Who' is not aware?
As the Absolute or the 'Parabrahman' you are not always in contact with the 'I am': it appears and disappears on you during your life and is not permanent. The 'I am' is initially dormant from birth till its appearance, and during sleep is held in abeyance - but it is always there in the background. Also, you are not usually aware of the 'I am' simply because you are caught up or engrossed with the 'I am' plus 'this' and 'that'. The add-ons to the 'I am' make you totally oblivious of its purity, and in a dream-like manner you steer your life. Now you are being told to come down to the 'I am' in its nascent pure form without words and abide in it. In the process of this abidance, the 'I am' disappears or you are not aware of it. Then, who was not aware of it? There must be a permanent principle in the background that swallowed it.
219. The 'I am' has great potency: the entire manifestation has come from it. Go to the 'I am' state, remain there, merge, and go beyond.
Just observe the tremendous potential of the 'I am' it has kept the whole world running, the entire manifestation has come from it, its perpetual stubbornness is astonishing. To be free from it you have to understand it in its utmost purity and then meditate on it for a reasonable amount of time. The intensity of your meditation should be such that you become totally one with the 'I am'. Then a moment will come when it merges into itself and you go beyond to your true being, which is the Absolute or the 'Parabrahman'.
220. The 'I am' is the Guru in a body which is witnessed by the Self or 'Satguru' in you, which is unmanifested.
The 'I am' is there in everything, in every body. It is the very basis or fundamental principle of all that you perceive. You must consider it as the Guru, the God, the Guide which will lead you to the Self or the 'Satguru' (the great Guru). It is the 'Satguru' or the Self that witnesses the 'I am' or the Guru in the body. The 'Satguru' is the Absolute or the 'Parabrahman' which is ever there and never manifested.
221. The 'I am' in its purity is 'turiya' (the fourth state), but I am 'turiyatita' (beyond turiya) and living in (as) Reality.
In describing his own state or standpoint the Guru makes the whole teaching so simple and clear, it could not be put in a simpler way. The 'I am' has to be understood in its purity, just as it arises and is wordless. This can be done by either recollecting the moment it arose at around three years of age or by trying to catch it when you just wake up from deep sleep. In this pure state it is the 'Turiya' or the fourth state which is always there in the background and on which rest the other three: i.e. waking, dreaming and deep sleep. On entering and abiding in the 'Turiya' or fourth state you can go beyond it into the 'Turiyatita' or beyond the fourth and live as the Absolute or 'Parabrahman', which is reality.
222. Repetition of a 'mantra' takes one to the pure 'I am', where all knowledge is surrendered; you merge with the Absolute beyond all name and form.
'Japa' or the repetition of a mantra like 'So Hum' (I am That) or 'Aham Brahmasmi' (I am Brahman) for a long time takes you to the state of the pure 'I am'. On residing in the 'I am', a moment comes when this first and last piece of knowledge 'I am' is also surrendered. Once the 'I am' disappears, you merge into or enter your original natural state which is the Absolute, beyond all name and form.
223. If you were to dwell in the 'I am' and firmly abide in it, all external things will lose their grip on you.
All externality has a very strong hold over us, to the extent that there are very few to whom it would at all occur that it could all be false. It is only in those, in whom this nameless urge for the eternal and infinite awakens, that the quest and questioning begins. If such a seeker is fortunate enough, he will come across a genuine Guru who will put an end to his quest. To cut off all external things, the Guru makes him understand the importance of the knowledge 'I am' without words. Then he tells him to abide firmly in the 'I am', which is the 'Sadhana' (practice). If the seeker correctly understands the teaching and follows the advice of the Guru, he is bound to succeed.
224. There is nobody else but 'me' or 'I am', this non-dual devotion ('advaita-bhakti') is the highest; to vanish and be lost in the vast unknown.
You have to meditate on the knowledge 'I am' till you develop a strong conviction that there is nobody else but 'me' or 'I am' only and nothing else. To get completely infused with the knowledge 'I am' is to enter the 'Turiya' or the fourth state and this is non-dual devotion ('advaita-bhakti') at its peak or highest. You should be totally immersed in the worship of 'I am' to the extent that you become the 'I am'. And, what will happen when you practice this intense non-dual devotion? You will vanish and be lost in the vast unknown and become the Absolute.
225. Thoroughly investigate the appearance and disappearance of the 'I am' - did you desire it, or did it just happen?
After the Guru makes you understand the importance of the knowledge 'I am' without words, you have to investigate it thoroughly on your own.
For this you have to ponder over what he has said constantly. As understanding, meditation and conviction grow together, the important question about the appearance and disappearance of the 'I am' arises. The question is: Did it occur through your wanting or desiring? Was it a volitional process? If you have correctly understood the 'I am' your answer would be that it came and will go spontaneously, on its own. This will strike a blow at the belief you hold that you are 'doer'- and may even end it.
226. The 'I am' is the sole capital that you have. Dwell on this, nothing else is necessary.
The hallmark of the Guru's teaching is its simplicity. He states very clearly that the knowledge 'I am' is all that you have to bank on, it's the only capital you have. This legacy of the 'I am' has come spontaneously, on its own, without any effort on your part. Try to understand its importance and use it the best you can. Just dwell in the 'I am', nothing else is required. Why so? It is because the rest will follow on its own. On firmly dwelling in the 'I am', a time comes when it gets pleased with you and releases its stranglehold.
227. The 'I am' is only a little distance away from the True state, hence it is unreal, for whatever is away from the True state or Reality is unreal.
The 'I am' can be seen as the last camp as you scale the height of Reality. Once you are stabilized in the 'I am' or the 'Turiya' state, your job is done. This state, though very close to Reality or the Absolute, still has to be classified as unreal. The 'I am' cannot remain as it is, it has to disappear or dissolve and merge into the Absolute or the 'Parabrahman', only then will it qualify as the Reality.
228. All yoga and practices come through the consciousness of 'I am', which is itself an illusion. All happenings in this illusion are relative and time-bound.
Understanding the knowledge 'I am' as the source of everything is of primary importance. Whatever activity you may do, whether it is day-to-day work or yoga or any other practice, all come through the 'I am'. This 'I am' that has appeared on you is an illusion, is the beginning of time and will end one day. All activities are based on duality and duration, hence they are relative and time-bound and never ever come close to Reality. The knowledge 'I am' is the closest to Reality, so understand and abide in it.
229. The first step is to go and dwell in the 'I am'. From there you go beyond consciousness and no-consciousness to the infinite Absolute, which is the permanent state.
After understanding the 'I am', the first step is to dwell in it. You have to dwell in the 'I am' by putting the body idea completely away. See the 'I am' in its wordless purity and abide there for a sufficiently long time. When you do so, a moment will come when you go beyond consciousness or 'I am' and no-consciousness or 'I am not'. When this happens you will merge in your true nature, the Absolute, which is a permanent state.
230. You are the Reality beyond the 'I am', you are the 'Parabrahma'. Meditate on this and remember this, finally this idea, too, shall leave you.
The Guru has tried every way to make you understand the knowledge 'I am'. Then, after you understood it he advised you to abide in it and transcend it, to go beyond the 'I am' to the Reality which you are. The Guru now pointing directly towards you, saying: "Hey! Look here! 'You' are the 'Parabrahman'." This is like a final wake up call. He shaking you, beckoning you: "Come on man! I cannot say it more bluntly than this. Listen to what I am saying! Meditate on it till even this idea dissolves and you become what you are and what I want you to be".
231. Understand the 'I am', transcend it
and realize the Absolute. In such a simplified way nobody has expounded this profound teaching.
You see the sunrise and sunset everyday on the horizon, but does it really occur? Is there ever any horizon? You may try to approach the horizon but you will never reach it. The appearance and disappearance of the 'I am' is like the sunrise and sunset, it only appears to have occurred on the horizon, but actually there is no such thing. From the point of view of the Sun, which stands apart, it never knows the sunrise or the sunset at all; it is always there, shining away in its magnanimous glory. This was just an analogy to enable us understand the 'I am', the comprehension of which has been time and again stressed by the Guru. The understanding is then used as a basis for the 'Sadhana' (practice) that has to follow, which is abidance in the 'I am' or the knowledge 'I am' meditating on itself. That is all that has to be done; if done correctly and earnestly, it will lead you to your ultimate destination, the Absolute or 'Parabrahman'. Quite certainly, this profound teaching could not have been expounded in a simpler way than this.
Some comments on 'The Nisargadatta Gita':
"My understanding and practice is much deeper since discovering The Nisargadatta Gita"
"Your Nisargadatta Gita IS THE BEST exposition of Maharaj I have ever seen. I bow in gratitide.I am in awe of your accomplishment in expressing."
- Ed Muzika
"I get centered reading The Nisargadatta Gita."
"The Nisargadatta Gita is evidently the fully ripened fruit of much intense inquiry and reflection."
- John Wheeler
"I wish to thank you, on the way you have describe the I AM. Your description is like a painting or a piece of music, that touches the core of ones being."
- Ramonde Bissett
"WONDERFUL - SOUL STIRRING !!!!! I have been reading your Nisargadatta Gita. The lucid commentary you gave to the message of Maharaj is really wonderful."
"Thank you for your extraordinary contributions to the teachings of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj. Since my native language is Spanish, I have translated a couple sections of your book, The Nisargadatta Gita, and posted them to my little blog."
"This valuable book will be of immense use to all readers."
"Thank you so much for compiling The Nisargadatta Gita. He(Maharaj) has had a great impact on 'me'."
- Tim Rowe
"This is an excellent insight into the teachings of Nisargadatta Maharaj and helps one get focused on the 'I AM'. This work would go a long way to help seekers understand his teaching. Pradeep's effort is indeed commendable."
- Hemant K
"Thank you so much for your wonderful offering!"
I express my deep sense of gratitude towards Mr. Gerry Blaylock from Italy for the several corrections that he suggested in this second edition of 'The Nisargadatta Gita'. The meticulous care with which he undertook this task made the expression very clear and eliminated errors of grammar.
26th September 2008
Publisher: Pradeep Apte
Copyright C 2008 Pradeep Apte
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