I alone am, the One, the Eternal
Thus Spake Nisargadatta Maharaj, Quotes from 'I am That'

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  1. Look closely and you will see that the seer and the seen appear only when there is seeing. They are attributes of seeing. When you say "I am seeing this", "I am" and "this" come with the seeing, nor before. You cannot have an unseen "this" nor an unseeing "I am". Knowing is a reflection of your true nature along with being and loving. The knower and the known are added by the mind. It is in the nature of the mind to create a subject-object duality, where there is none. (404)

  2. All thinking is in duality. In identity, no thought survives. (335)

  3. The painter is in the picture. You separate the painter from the picture and look for him. Don't separate and don't put false questions. (416)

  4. In reality there is only perception. The perceiver and the perceived are conceptual, the fact of perceiving is actual. The Absolute is the birthplace of perceiving. It makes perception possible. (340)

  5. Even the experiencer is secondary. Primary is the infinite expanse of consciousness, the eternal possibility, the immeasurable potential of all that was, is and will be. (201)

  6. The moment you say "I am", the entire universe comes into being along with its creator. (362)

  7. There is no "I" apart from the body, nor the world. The three appear and disappear together. At the root is the sense "I am". Go beyond it. The idea "I am not the body" is merely an antidote to the idea "I am the body" which is false. What is that "I am"? Unless you know yourself, what else can you know? (295)

  8. What you see is nothing but your self. Call it what you like, it does not change the fact. Through the film of destiny, your own light depicts pictures on the screen. You are the viewer, the light, the picture and the screen. Even the film of destiny (prarabdha) is self-selected and self-imposed. (480)

  9. [Between vyakta and avyakta] there is no difference. It is like light and daylight. The universe is full of light which you do not see; but the same light you see as daylight. And what the daylight reveals is the vyakti. The person is always the object, the witness is the subject, and their relation of mutual dependence is the reflection of their absolute identity. You imagine that they are distinct and separate states. They are not. They are the same consciousness at rest and in movement, each state conscious of the other. In chit, man knows God and God knows man. In chit, the man shapes the world and the world shapes man. Chit is the link, the bridge between extremes, the balancing and uniting factor in every experience. The totality of the perceived is what you call matter. The totality of all perceivers
    is what you call the universal mind. The identity of the two, manifesting itself as perceptibility and perceiving, harmony and intelligence, loveliness and loving, reasserts itself eternally.

  10. You are [lonely] as a person. In your real being you are the whole. (533)

  11. I have realized once and for good that I am neither object nor subject. (268)

  12. There is only seeing; both the seer and the seen are contained in it. Don't create differences where there are none. (266)

  13. There is only my-Self, Consciousness.

  14. Who is there to be conscious of unconsciousness? As long as the window is open, there is sunlight in the room. With the windows shut, the sun remains, but does it see the darkness in the room? Is there anything like darkness to the sun? There is no such thing as unconsciousness, for unconsciousness is not experienceable. (263)

  15. In reality there is only consciousness. All life is conscious, all consciousness -alive. Even the stones are conscious and alive. (47)

  16. [My guru] told me: "You alone are, deny existence to everything except your self" and I did not doubt him. I was merely puzzling over it, until I realized that it is absolutely true. I found that I am conscious and happy absolutely, and only by mistake I thought I owed being-consciousness to the body and the world of bodies. (83-84)

  17. Nothing exists by itself. All is the Self, all is myself. (91)

  18. All is you and yours. There is nobody else. This is a fact. (161)

  19. You, the self, being the root of all being, consciousness and joy, impart your reality to whatever you perceive. This imparting of reality takes place invariably in the now, at no other time, because past and future are only in the mind. "Being" applies to the now only. (528)

  20. Outside the Self there is nothing. All is one and all is contained in "I am". In the waking and dream states it is the person. In deep sleep and turiya [samadhi] it is the Self. Beyond the alert intentness of turiya lies the great, silent peace of the Supreme. But in fact all is one in essence and related in appearance. In ignorance the seer becomes the seen, and in wisdom he is the seeing. (68)

  21. One and all are the same to me. The same consciousness (chit) appears as being (sat) and as bliss (ananda): Chit in movement is Ananda; Chit motionless is Being. (104)

  22. I am not even Consciousness, which is dual and perceivable:
    I am the unkown Reality beyond.

  23. Neither your body nor you mind, nor even your consciousness is yourself. (520)

  24. The "I am" is at the root of all appearance and the permanent link in the succession of events that we call life; but I am beyond the "I am". (458)

  25. Before the mind, I am. "I am" is not a thought in the mind; the mind happens to me, I do not happen to the mind. And since time and space are in the mind, I am beyond time and space, eternal and omnipresent. (525)

  26. The outer self and the inner both are imagined. The obsession of being an "I" needs another obsession with a "super-I" to get cured, as one needs another thorn to remove a thorn, or another poison to neutralize a poison. All assertion calls for a denial, but this is the first step only. The next is to go beyond both. (374)

  27. Go beyond. Neither consciousness nor the "I am" at the centre of it are you. Your true being is entirely unselfconscious, completely free from all self-identification with whatever it may be - gross, subtle or transcendental. (371)

  28. Only reality is, there is nothing else. The three states of waking, dreaming and sleeping are not me, and I am not in them. (191)

  29. As long as one is conscious, there will be pain and pleasure. You cannot fight pain and pleasure on the level of consciousness. To go beyond them, you must go beyond consciousness, which is possible only when you look at consciousness as something that happens to you, and not in you, as something external, alien, superimposed. Then, suddenly you are free of consciousness, really alone, with nothing to intrude. And that is your true state. Consciousness is an itching rash that makes you scratch. Of course, you cannot step out of consciousness, for the very stepping out is in consciousness. But if you learn to look at your consciousness as a sort of fever, personal and private, in which you are enclosed like a chick in its shell, out of this very attitude will come the crisis which will break the
    shell. (382)

  30. He [Buddha] must have meant that all consciousness is painful, which is obvious. (382)

  31. I am conscious and unconscious, both conscious and unconscious, neither conscious nor unconscious - to all this I am witness, but really there is no witness, because there is nothing to be a witness to. I am perfectly empty of all mental formations, void of mind, yet fully aware. This I try to express by saying that I am beyond the mind. (328)

  32. When you realize that all is in your mind and that you are beyond the mind, that you are truly alone, then all is you. (457)

  33. Where there is a universe, there will also be its counterpart, which is God. But I am beyond both. (264)

  34. Even faith in God is only a stage on the way. Ultimately, you abandon all, for you come to something so simple that there are no words to express it. (469-70)

  35. Consciousness and life - both you may call God; but you are beyond both, beyond God, beyond being and not-being. (475)

  36. You cannot know the knower, for you are the knower. The fact of knowing proves the knower. You need no other proof. The knower of the
    known is not knowable. Just like the light is known in colours only, so is the knower known in knowledge. (360)

  37. Before you can say "I am", you must be there to say it. Being need not be self-conscious. You need not know to be, but you must be to know. (452)

  38. You need not know what you are. Enough to know what you are not. What you are you will never know, for every discovery reveals new
    dimensions to conquer. The unknown has no limits. (372)

  39. Do understand that you cannot ask a valid question about yourself, because you do not know whom you are asking about. (452)

  40. The known is accidental, the unknown is the home of the real. To live in the known is bondage, to live in the unknown is liberation. (446)

  41. Discontinuity is the law when you deal with the concrete. The continuous cannot be experienced, for it has no borders. Consciousness implies alterations, change following change, when one thing or state comes to an end and another begins; that which has no borderline cannot be experienced in the common meaning of the word. One can only be it, without knowing, but one can know what it is not. It is definitely not the entire content of consciousness which is always on the move. To realize the immovable means to become immovable. I am talking of immovability, not of immobility. You become immovable in righteousness. You become a power which gets all things right. It may or may not imply intense outward activity, but the mind remains deep and quiet. (531)

  42. When you go beyond awareness, there is a state of non-duality, in which there is no cognition, only pure being, which may be as well called non-being, if by being you mean being something in particular.

  43. Your true home is in nothingness, in emptiness of all content. (487)

  44. [I can describe your supreme, natural state] only by negation, as uncaused, independent, unrelated, undivided, uncomposed, unshakable, unquestionable, unreachable by effort. Every positive definition is from memory and, therefore, inapplicable. And yet my state is supremely actual and, therefore, possible, realizable, attainable. (16)

  45. How can I put it into words, except in negating them? Therefore, I use words like timeless, spaceless, causeless. These are words too, but as they are empty of meaning, they suit my purpose. Because you want words where no words apply. (458)

  46. Though unknown and unkowable, my real being is concrete and solid like a rock.

  47. [The supreme state] is not perceivable, because it is what makes perception possible. It is beyond being and not being. It is neither the mirror nor the image in the mirror. It is what is - the timeless reality, unbelievably hard and solid. (36)

  48. The timeless knows the time, the time does not know the timeless. All consciousness is in time and to it the timeless appears as unconscious. Yet, it is what makes consciousness possible. Light shines in darkness. In light darkness is not visible. Or you can put it the other way: in the endless ocean of light, clouds of consciousness appear, dark and limited, perceivable by contrast. There are mere attempts to express in words something very simple, yet altogether inexpressible. (379-89)

  49. Turn your mind inside out. Overlook the movable and you will find yourself to be the ever-present, changeless reality, inexpressible, but solid like a rock. (162)

  50. When all distinctions and reactions are no more, what remains is reality, simple and solid. (410)

  51. It is solid, steady, changeless, beginningless and endless, ever new, ever fresh. (63)

  52. This reality is so concrete, so actual, so much more tangible than mind and matter, that compared to it even diamond is soft like butter. This overwhelming actuality makes the world dreamlike, misty, irrelevant. (484)

  53. To me nothing ever happens. There is something changeless, motionless, immovable, rock-like, unassailable; a solid mass of pure being-consciousness-bliss. I am never our of it. Nothing can take me out of it, no torture, no calamity. (191)

  54. My world is free from opposites, of mutually destructive discrepancies; harmony pervades; its peace is rocklike; this peace and silence are my body. (485)

  55. [My condition is] absolutely steady. Whatever I may do, it stays like a rock - motionless. Once you have awakened into reality, you stay in it. It is self-evident and yet beyond description. (192)

  56. I am the light that makes Consciousness possible, pure Awareness, the non-dual Self, the Supreme Reality, the Absolute, the Beingness of being, the Awareness of consciousness.

  57. Who are you? Don't go by formulas. The answer is not in words. The nearest you can say in words is: I am what makes perception possible, the life beyond the experiencer and his experience. (330)

  58. My feeling is that all that happens in space and time happens to me, that every experience is my experience, every form is my form. What I take myself to be becomes my body, and all that happens to that body becomes my mind. But at the root of the universe there is pure awareness, beyond space and time, here and now. Know it to be your real being and act accordingly. (484)

  59. At the root of my being is pure awareness, a speck of intense light. This speck, by its very nature, radiates and creates pictures in space and events in time - effortlessly and spontaneously. As long as it is merely aware, there are no problems. But when the discriminative mind comes into being and creates distinctions, pleasure and pain arise. During sleep the mind is in abeyance and so are pain and pleasure. The process of creation continues, but no notice is taken. The mind is a form of consciousness, and
    consciousness is an aspect of life. Life creates everything, but the Supreme is beyond all. (180-1)

  60. "Nothing is me" is the first step. "Everything is me" is the next. Both hang on the idea "There is a world". When this too is given up, you remain what you are - the non-dual Self. You are it here and now, but your vision is obstructed by your false ideas about your self. (518)

  61. [The Absolute] gives birth to consciousness. All else is in consciousness. (65)

  62. The entire universe exists only in consciousness, while I have my stand in the Absolute. In pure being consciousness arises; in consciousness the world appears and disappears. All there is is me, all there is is mine. Before all beginnings, after all endings -I am. All has its being in me, in the "I am", that shines in every living being. Even not-being is unthinkable without me. Whatever happens, I must be there to witness it. (15)

  63. I am beyond time. However long a life may be, it is but a moment and a dream. In the same way, I am beyond all attributes. They appear and disappear in my light, but cannot describe me. The universe is all names and forms, based on qualities and their differences, while I am beyond. The world is there because I am, but I am not the world. I know there is a world, which includes this body and this mind, but I do not consider them to be more "mine" than other minds and bodies. They are there, in time and space, but I am timeless and spaceless. (35)

  64. You are the Supreme Reality beyond the world and its creator, beyond consciousness and its witness, beyond all assertions and denials. (425)

  65. You yourself are God, the Supreme Reality. (240)

  66. You are God, but you do not know it. (533)

  67. You are always the Supreme, which appears at a given point of time and space as the witness, a bridge between the pure awareness of the Supreme and the manifold consciousness of the person. Once you realize that whatever appears before you cannot be yourself, and cannot say "I am", you are free of all your "persons" and their demands. The sense "I am" is your own. You cannot part with it, but you can impart it to anything, as in saying: I am young. I am rich, etc. But such self-identifications are patently false and the cause of bondage. (64-5)

  68. The Supreme is the universal dissolvent, it corrodes every container, it burns through every obstacle. Without the absolute denial of everything, the tyranny of things would be absolute. The Supreme is the great harmonizer, the guarantee of the ultimate and perfect balance -of life in freedom. It dissolves you and thus re-asserts your true being. (89)

  69. As long as you deal in terms: real - unreal, awareness is the only reality that can be. But the Supreme is beyond all distinctions, and to it the tern "real" does not apply, for in it all is real and, therefore, need not be labelled as such. It is the very source of reality, it imparts reality to whatever it touches. It just cannot be understood through words. Even a direct experience, however sublime, merely bears testimony, nothing more. The Universal Mind (chidakash) makes and unmakes everything. The Supreme (paramakash) imparts reality to whatever comes into being. To say that it is the universal love may be the nearest we can come to it in words. Just like love, it makes everything real, beautiful, desirable. (303)

  70. In reality only the Ultimate is. The rest is a matter of name and form. And as long as you cling to the idea that only what has a name and shape exists, the Supreme will appear to you non-existing. When you understand that names and shapes are hollow shells without any content whatsoever, and what is real is nameless and shapeless, pure energy of life and light of consciousness, you will be at peace -immersed in the deep silence of reality. (37)

  71. The Supreme State is universal, here and now; everybody already shares in it. It is the state of being, knowing and liking. Who does not like to be, or does not know his own existence? But we take no advantage of this joy of being conscious, we do not go into it and purify it of all that is foreign to it. (231)

  72. The real is simple, open, clear and kind, beautiful and joyous. It is completely free of contradictions. It is ever new, ever fresh, endlessly creative. Being and non-being, life and death, all distinctions merge in it. (340)

  73. [It is] single, simple, indivisible and unperceivable, except in its manifestations. Not unkowable, but unperceivable, un-objectival, inseparable. Neither material nor mental, neither objective nor subjective, it is the root of matter and the source of consciousness. Beyond mere living and dying, it is the all-inclusive, all-exclusive Life, in which birh is death and death is birth. (232)

  74. One thing is quite clear to me: all that is lives and moves and has its being in consciousness, and I am in and beyond that consciousness. I am in it as the witness. I am beyond it as Being. (92)

  75. [You are] the impersonal and unqualified centre of being, love and bliss. (509)

  76. Just like ice turns to water, and water to vapour, and vapour dissolves in air and disappears, so does the body dissolve into pure awareness (chidakash), then into pure being (paramakash), which is beyond all existence and non-existence. (76-77)

  77. Even the sense of "I am" is composed of the pure light and the sense of being. The "I" is there even without the "am". So is the pure light there, whether you say "I" or not. Become aware of the pure light and you will never lose it. The beingness in being, the awareness in consciousness, the interest in every experience - that is not describable, yet perfectly accessible, for there is nothing else. (201)

  78. I am what I am, neither with form nor formless, neither conscious nor unconscious. I am outside all these categories. You cannot find me by mere denial. I am as well everything as nothing. Nor both nor either. These distinctions apply to the Lord of the universe, not to me. I am complete and perfect. I am the beingness of being, the knowingness of knowing, the fulness of happiness. (321)