I Am That by Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj (Quotes and Excerpts)

Insightful quotes on the nature of consciousness, existence and spiritual enlightenment by the Indian non-dual master and guru Nisargadatta Maharaj, sampled from his highly influential book I Am That: Talks with Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

If you wish to read the book in its entirety, here is a link to amazon



Nisargadatta Maharaj Quote: Love says 'I am everything.' Wisdom says 'I am nothing.' Between the two, my life flows.
Love says 'I am everything.' Wisdom says 'I am nothing.' Between the two, my life flows.
Nisargadatta Maharaj
Be fully aware of your own being and you will be in bliss consciously. Because you take your mind off yourself and make it dwell on what you are not, you lose your sense of well-being. True happiness is spontaneous and effortless.
Nisargadatta Maharaj
Nisargadatta Maharaj Quote: Save all your energies and time for breaking the wall your mind has built around you.
Save all your energies and time for breaking the wall your mind has built around you.
Nisargadatta Maharaj
Watch your mind, how it comes into being, how it operates. As you watch your mind, you discover your self as the watcher. When you stand motionless, only watching, you discover your self as the light behind the watcher.
Nisargadatta Maharaj
Nisargadatta Maharaj Quote: Do not undervalue attention. It means interest and also love. To know, to do, to discover, or to create you must give your heart to it – which means attention. All the blessings flow from it.
Do not undervalue attention. It means interest and also love. To know, to do, to discover, or to create you must give your heart to it – which means attention. All the blessings flow from it.
Nisargadatta Maharaj
Love is not selective, desire is selective. In love there are no strangers. When the centre of selfishness is no longer, all desires for pleasure and fear of pain cease; one is no longer interested in being happy; beyond happiness there is pure intensity, inexhaustible energy, the ecstasy of giving from a perennial source.
Nisargadatta Maharaj
Nisargadatta Maharaj Quote: He who is beyond time – is the unnameable. A glowing ember moved round and round quickly enough appears as a glowing circle. When the movement ceases, the ember remains. Similarly, the ‘I am’ in movement creates the world. The ‘I am’ at peace becomes the Absolute.
He who is beyond time – is the un-nameable. A glowing ember moved round and round quickly enough appears as a glowing circle. When the movement ceases, the ember remains. Similarly, the ‘I am’ in movement creates the world. The ‘I am’ at peace becomes the Absolute.
Nisargadatta Maharaj
Do not bother about anything you want, or think, or do, just stay put in the thought and feeling, ‘I am’, focusing ‘I am’ firmly in your mind. All kinds of experience may come to you – remain unmoved in the knowledge that all perceivable is transient and only the ‘I am’ endures.
Nisargadatta Maharaj
Nisargadatta Maharaj Quote: ’I am' itself is God. The seeking itself is God. In seeking you discover that you are neither the body nor the mind, and the love of the self in you is for the self in all. The two are one. The consciousness in you and the consciousness in me, apparently two, really one, seek unity and that is love.
’I am' itself is God. The seeking itself is God. In seeking you discover that you are neither the body nor the mind, and the love of the self in you is for the self in all. The two are one. The consciousness in you and the consciousness in me, apparently two, really one, seek unity and that is love.
Nisargadatta Maharaj
This must be well grasped; the world hangs on the thread of consciousness, no consciousness, no world.
Nisargadatta Maharaj
I Am That Quote: In reality there is only consciousness. All life is conscious, all consciousness alive.
In reality there is only consciousness. All life is conscious, all consciousness alive.
Nisargadatta Maharaj
The primary purpose of meditation is to become conscious of, and familiar with, our inner life. The ultimate purpose is to reach the source of life and consciousness.
Nisargadatta Maharaj
Meditation will help you to find your bonds, loosen them, untie them, and cast your moorings. When you are no longer attached to anything, you have done your share. The rest will be done for you.
Nisargadatta Maharaj
Bodies are born and bodies die, but what is it to me? Bodies come and bodies go in consciousness and consciousness itself has its roots in me. I am life and mine are mind and body.
Nisargadatta Maharaj
That which sees all this, and the nothing too, is the inner teacher. He alone is, all else appears to be. He is your own self (swarupa), your hope and assurance of freedom, find him and cling to him and you will be saved and safe.
Nisargadatta Maharaj
You may die a hundred deaths without a break in the mental turmoil. Or, you may keep your body and die only in the mind. The death of the mind is the birth of wisdom.
Nisargadatta Maharaj
Have your being outside this body of birth and death and all your problems will be solved. They exist because you believe yourself born to die. Undeceive yourself and be free. You are not a person.
Nisargadatta Maharaj
What do you mean by study? That means you are only trying to remember the concepts. What I am saying is that you become concept-free. Put an ax to the concepts, including the concept ‘I am’.
Nisargadatta Maharaj
Truth is not a reward for good behaviour, nor a prize for passing some tests. It cannot be brought about. It is the primary, the unborn, the ancient source of all that is. You are eligible because you are. You need not merit truth. It is your own....Stand still, be quiet.
Nisargadatta Maharaj
To deal with things knowledge of things is needed. To deal with people, you need insight, sympathy. To deal with yourself, you need nothing. Be what you are--conscious being--and don't stray away from yourself.
Nisargadatta Maharaj
If you have regard for me remember my words. The knowledge ‘I am’ is the greatest God, the Guru, be one with that, be intimate with it. That itself will bless you with all the knowledge relevant for you in the proliferation of that knowledge, it will lead you to the state which is eternal.
Nisargadatta Maharaj
There is no separate God to propitiate and get things done according to our will. Without doing anything you have the knowledge ‘I am’. Immense courage, heroism and conviction that ‘you are’ – that is ‘Ishwara, that is you. I am giving you instructions regarding your ‘beginningless being’ but you prefer to be that monkey form. You are not prepared to leave that form.
Nisargadatta Maharaj
God is only an idea in your mind. The fact is you. The only thing you know for sure is: ‘here and now I am.’ Remove the ’here and now’ the ‘I am’ remains, unassailable... All I can say truly is: ‘I am,’ all else is inference… The sense ‘I am’ is the manifestation of a deeper cause, which you may call self, God, Reality or by any other name.
Nisargadatta Maharaj
God is not only true and good, he is also beautiful. He creates beauty – for the joy of it. God does not aim at beauty – whatever he does is beautiful. Would you say that a flower is trying to be beautiful? It is beautiful by its very nature. Similarly God is perfection itself, not an effort at perfection. Whatever is perceived blissfully is beautiful. Bliss is the essence of beauty.
Nisargadatta Maharaj
Increase the conviction that you are the formless consciousness. You develop your firm conviction that you are the total manifesting universal consciousness. There is nobody who can have the knowledge of the Truth, the Eternal. It is one’s eternal true state, but is not a knowledgeable state – you cannot know It. So-called knowledge is boundless and plenty in the state of attributes, ‘I am’. In this body is the knowledge ‘I am’. When the body drops down, the knowledge ‘I am’ will subside there only – what remains is the Absolute.
Nisargadatta Maharaj
As he (the gnani) gets older he grows more and more happy and peaceful. After all, he is going home. Like a traveller nearing his destination and collecting his luggage, he leaves the train without regret… The mist of bodily existence is lifting – the burden of the body is growing less from day to day… Every sensation is contemplated in perfect equanimity. There is no desire for it, nor refusal. It is as it is and he looks at it with a smile of affectionate detachment… He is alone, but he is all. He is not even a being. He is the beingness of all beings.
Nisargadatta Maharaj
Awareness is primordial; it is the original state, beginning-less, endless, uncaused, unsupported, without parts, without change. Consciousness is on contact, a reflection against a surface, a state of duality. There can be no consciousness without awareness, but there can be awareness without consciousness, as in deep sleep. Awareness is absolute, consciousness is relative to its content; consciousness is always of something.
Nisargadatta Maharaj
All you need is already within you, only you must approach your self with reverence and love. Self-condemnation and self-disgust are grievous errors. Your constant flight from pain and search for pleasure is a sign of love you bear for your self, all I plead with you is this: make love of your self perfect. Deny your self nothing--give yourself infinity and eternity and discover that you do not need them; you are beyond.
Nisargadatta Maharaj
Was it not the sense of ‘I am’ that came first? Some seed consciousness must be existing even during sleep, or swoon. On waking up the experience runs: ‘I am-the body- in the world’. It may appear to arise in succession but in fact it is all simultaneous, a single idea of having a body in a world. Can there be the sense of ‘I am’ without being somebody or other?
Nisargadatta Maharaj
Go deep into the sense of ‘I am’ and you will find. How do you find a thing you have mislaid or forgotten? You keep it in your mind until you recall it. The sense of being, of ‘I am’ is the first to emerge. Ask yourself whence it comes or just watch it quietly. When the mind stays in the ‘I am’, without moving, you enter a state, which cannot be verbalized, but which can be experienced. All you need to do is to try and try again. After all the sense of ‘I am’ is always with you, only you have attached all kinds of things to it- body, feelings, thoughts, ideas, possessions and so on. All these self-identifications are misleading, because of these you take yourself to be what you are not.
Nisargadatta Maharaj
Your expectation of something unique and dramatic, of some wonderful explosion, is merely hindering and delaying your Self Realization. You are not to expect an explosion, for the explosion has already happened - at the moment when you were born, when you realized yourself as Being-Knowing-Feeling. There is only one mistake you are making: you take the inner for the outer and the outer for the inner. What is in you, you take to be outside you and what is outside, you take to be in you. The mind and feelings are external, but you take them to be intimate. You believe the world to be objective, while it is entirely a projection of your psyche. That is the basic confusion and no new explosion will set it right! You have to think yourself out of it. There is no other way.
Nisargadatta Maharaj



I Am That Info

Published: 1973

I Am That is a book written by the Indian guru and non-dual master Nisargadatta Maharaj.

The book explores spiritual topics such as the nature of consciousness, existence, God and self-realization.

Read the whole book