Excerpts from Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj's I AM THAT
compiled and edited by Miguel-Angel Carrasco
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 or that.
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 shapeless Awareness.
Only the feeling "I am", though in the World, is not of the World nor can be denied.
3. The World exists only as a dream in my Consciousness: Part One
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 now.
The World exists only as a dream in my Consciousness: Part Two
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
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 rock.
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: part one
The alternation of manifested (existence, becoming) - unmanifested
The manifestation of the Absolute.
The big cycle: part two
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: Part One
Not through activity. No effort is necessary, but there is a precondition: earnestness now
The way to Self-Realization: Part Two
Not through knowledge of things or experiences, but through self-knowledge.
The way to Self-Realization: Part Three
Not through the mind.
See everything as a dream, a show, a film.
The way to Self-Realization: Part Four
See that happiness is not pleasure; see that desires and fears create bondage; and be free and happy through detachment.
The way to Self-Realization: Part Five
As self-identification with the body-mind is the poison that causes bondage, seek liberation by seeing that oneself is not any thing personal or perceivable.
The way to Self-Realization: Part Six
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.
Numbers after quotations refer to pages of the edition by Chetana (P) Ltd, Bombay, 1992.