Friday, March 15, 2024

Nisargadatta Gita

 1. 1. The ‘I am’ came first; it is ever present, ever available. Refuse all thoughts except ‘I am’. Stay there.

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’.

3. Consistently and with perseverance separate the ‘I am’ from ‘this’ or ‘that’; just keep in mind the feeling ‘I am’.

4. Only the ‘I am’ is certain. It is impersonal, all knowledge stems from it. It is the root. Hold on to it and let all else go.

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 is the totality of being. Remember ‘I am’ and it is enough to heal your mind and take you beyond.

Throwing aside everything, come back to this sense of ‘presence’ or ‘being’ in all its purity and it will heal your mind.

6. The ‘I am’ is; it is ever fresh, all else is inference. When the ‘I am’ goes all that remains is 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.

8. Hang on to the ‘I am’ and go beyond it. Without the ‘I am’ you are at peace 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.

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 is simple! It is crude! Yet it works!

11. The ‘I am’ appears spontaneously on your True state. It is wordless and can be used to go beyond.

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 is 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 learned 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.

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 is time-bound. The ‘I am’ itself is an illusion. You are not the ‘I am’. You are prior to it.

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.

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.

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 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’.

22. Your only capital is the ‘I am’. It is the only tool you can use to solve the riddle of life. The ‘I am’ is in all and movement inherent in it.

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’.

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 will finally stabilize in the Absolute Parabrahman.

27. All knowledge including the ‘I am’ is formless. Throw out the ‘I am’ and stay put in quietude.

28. Prior to birth where was the ‘I am’? Do not contaminate the ‘I am’ with the body idea. I as the Absolute am 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.

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 realise 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 realise that it is unreal.

Whatever has been 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 realise you are not the ‘I am’.

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.

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.

36. Appearance and disappearance, birth and death; these are qualities of ‘I am’. They do not belong to you, the Absolute.

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.

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 the body and 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 realise 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.

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.

44. Abide in the knowledge ‘I am’ without identifying with the body. How did you function before the arrival of the knowledge ‘I am’?

45. The state of being, which is the message ‘I am’, without words, is common to all; change begins only with the mind-flow.

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?

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.

Come down to the primary concept ‘I am’, abide in it and understand its unreality and be totally free.

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.

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 the 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 here; 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.

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.

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

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 and now tells you to go back and abide in the 'I am' and transcend it and 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

57. The One who abides in that principle by which he knows ‘I am’ knows all and does not require anything 

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 would not 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

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.

The Guru 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 the 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.

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 here…prior to this what were you? 

Go back further…prior to conception what or where were you? Nothing! That’s it! You were the highest, the Absolute or the Parabrahman. 

It is only this total absence that does not require anything. It 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.

65. This is no joke! You can become Parabrahman right now! You are Parabrahman right now! Just focus your attention on the ‘I am’.

66. Who has the knowledge `I am'? Somebody in you knows the knowledge `I am', `you are'. Who is it?

67. Who can know the illusory state ‘I am’? Only a non-illusory state can do so. It is 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 will 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 leads 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 is 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 will not even know that you are.

70. The Absolute or the Parabrahman is prior to the 'I am'. It is 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 does not 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.

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, death nor any karma.

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