The Point / The Ultimate Goal
Miguel Angel Carrasco
nisargadata at MX3.REDESTB.ES
Thu Oct 30 13:07:17 CST 1997
I^Ò d like to add a bit to the information supplied by Greg Goode (Wed, 29
Oct 1997) about Prashant Sharma^Òs question (10/29/97 ):
>Could you let me know a book where his [Nisargadatta^Òs] teachings are
Nisargadatta was born 100 years ago, in 1897 and died in 1981. He was
uneducated, and worked first in the fields and then as a petty shopkeeper
selling cigarettes. Around 1936 after three years of meditation on his
guru^Òs proposed subject: ^ÓYou alone are; deny existence to anything else^Ô,
he realized the truth of it, went on pilgrimage and soon returned home (he
was married with several children). There he used to spend 90 minutes in
the morning and 90 in the afternoon sitting in his loft receiving visitors
from near and far and answering their questions. He didn^Òt write anything.
He only spoke Marathi well so the talks had to be translated if foreigners
were present. Many of the dialogues were taped and later published.
The first and by far the best known collection of dialogues is I AM THAT
(1973, 534 pages, including 101 dialogues held from 7 May 1970 to 29 April
After his death, other collections of talks appeared : SEEDS OF
CONSCIOUSNESS (1982, 215 pages, contaning dialogues held from 1979 to
1980). PRIOR TO CONSCIOUSNESS (1990, 157 pages, with talks held 1980-81).
I^Òve also got one in French: SOIS! (1983, 281 pages, with talks from 25
January 1978 to 15 November 1980). I have seen other smaller collections.
With Nisargadatta, one book is more than enough. He repeats himself
constantly, and goes directly to the essential. He had little patience with
questions that didn^Òt deal with the only thing that mattered for him:
finding oneself, realizing one^Òs true being.
I would also strongly recommend a book witten by one of his closest
disciples, Ramesh S. Balksekar. The title is POINTERS FROM NISARGADATTA
MAHARAJ (1982, 222 pages, ISBN 0-89386-033-6 paparback). It not only
contains talks, but also summeries of the jnani^Òs teaching, and these are
really _very_ good.
I^Òve worked for a long time on Nisargadatta^Òs I AM THAT. I found that as it
is all in the form of dialogues, there is no systematic exposition. So I
set about doing that. I typed most of his answers, then divided them in
groups according to subjects, and finally organized the whole so as to have
some logical continuity. I^Òve called it ASMI. It occupies some 580 kb. If
anyone is interested, I^Òll try to send it to him (I don^Òt know very well
how, as I^Òm rather a rookie in Internet).
I think I^Òll enclose here the index-summary, which gives a good view of the
Sorry for the long mail. I had also thought of including some of
Nisargadatta^Òs ideas in relation to Re: The Point / The Ultimate Goal /
Jnanihood , but perhaps later on. Thanks for your patience.
Excerpts from Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj^Òs I AM THAT
1. I AM NOT THIS PERSON, THIS BODY-MIND, OR ANY THING.
As I can't be what I perceive, I am not this body-mind or any thing that I
am conscious of.
As there must be something unchanging to register discontinuity, I am not
this body-mind, which is neither continuous nor permanent.
As the person is a changing stream of mental objects that I as the subject
take to be my body-mind, I cannot be a person. I am, but I can't be this
As it is my presence, which is always here and now, that gives the quality
of actual to any event, I must be beyond time and space. I was never born,
nor will ever die.
2. I AM THE SELF, THE WITNESS OF CONSCIOUSNESS, PURE AWARENESS.
I am only the Self , which is universal and imagines itself to be the
outer self, a person.
I am not an object in Consciousness but its source, its Witness, pure
Only the feeling "I am", though in the World, is not of the World nor can
3. THE WORLD EXISTS ONLY AS A DREAN IN MY CONSCIOUSNESS.
As I only know the contents of my consciousness, and as an outside world
is unprovable, all perceivables are only in my mind.
Transient things only appear and have no substance.
What changes has no reality. Time and space are imagined, ways of
thinking, modes of perception. Only timeless reality is, and it is here and
Whatever has a form is only limitations imagined in my consciousness.
The World is but a show, a make-belief.
The World I perceive is entirely private, a dream.
Desire and fear come from seeing the World as separate from my-Self.
While I see the dream as real, I'll suffer being its slave.
Nothing in the dream is done by me.
4. THERE IS ONLY ONE DREAMER, THE ONE SELF, DREAMING MANY DREAMS.
In every body there is a dream, but the dreamer is the same, the one Self,
which reflects itself in each body as "I am".
All the dreams are of a common imaginary World and influence each other.
Love is seeing the unity under the imaginary diversity.
5. I ALONE AM, THE ONE, THE SUPREME.
Not only the multiplicity of selves is false: even the duality of I/World,
Subject/Object, is a transient appearance in my Consciousness.
There is only my-Self, Consciousness.
I am not even Consciousness, which is dual and perceivable: I am the
unknown Reality beyond.
Though unknown and unknowable, my real being is concrete and solid like a
I am the light that makes Consciousness possible, pure Awareness, the
non-dualSelf, the Supreme Reality, the Absolute, the Beingness of being,
the Awareness of consciousness.
6. THE BIG CYCLE
The alternation of manifested (existence, becoming) - unmanifested (pure
The manifestation of the Absolute.
The return to the Absolute.
There are no real differences. Only the One is.
7. THE GOAL : LIBERATION THROUGH SELF-REALIZATION
The gospel of self-realization
The enlightened one (gnani)
8. THE WAY TO SELF-REALIZATION
Not through activity. No effort is necessary, but there is a precondition:
Not through knowledge of things or experiences, but through
Not through the mind.
See everything as a dream, a show, a film.
See that happiness is not pleasure; see that desires and fears create
bondage; and be free and happy through detachment.
As self-identification with the body-mind is the poison that causes
bondage, seek liberation by seeing that oneself is not any thing personal
Meditation, Witness attitude, Awareness.
No thought but "I am".
Why the ignorance and the illusion? What is the purpose of it all?
Violence, Evil, Sin.
Death, Suicide, Reincarnation.
The real Guru.
P.S. This summary is only my modest attempt to organize Nisargadatta's
teaching. That involves a bit of interpretation from my part, which may be
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