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Following are 200 quotes that explain what the aspirant should do, and the importance of practice and earnest application.

More quotes are being added each month.  The following are all quotes by Nisargadatta Maharaj
unless the word questioner appears before the quote.   All of the quotes come from the book "I AM THAT".

The quotes are presented in the order in which they appear in the book.

Nisargadatta said:

1. "Go deep into the sense of 'I am'

and you will find.

How do you find a thing you have mislaid or forgotton?

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 that cannot be verbalized

but can be experienced.

All you need to do is to try and try again."

2. "I see what you too could see, here and now,

but for the wrong focus of your attention.

You give no attention to your self.

Your mind is all with things, people and ideas,

never with your self.

Bring your self into focus,

become aware of your own existence.

See how you function,

watch the motives and results of your actions.

Study the prison you have built around yourself,

by inadvertence."

3. "We discover it by being earnest,

by searching, inquiring,

questioning daily and hourly,

by giving one's life to this discovery."

4. "Look at the net and its many contradictions.

You do and undo at every step.

You want peace, love, happiness

and work hard to create pain, hatred and war.

You want longevity and overeat,

you want friendship and exploit.

See your net as made of such contradictions

and remove them --

your very seeing will make them go."

5. "How do you go about finding anything?

By keeping your mind and heart on it.

Interest there must be and steady remembrance.

To remember what needs to be remembered

is the secret of success.

You come to it through earnestness"

6. "What is supremely important is to be free

from contradictions:

the goal and the way must not be on different levels;

life and light must not quarrel;

behaviour must not betray belief.

Call it honesty, integrity, wholeness;

you must not go back, undo, uproot,

abandon the conquered ground.

Tenacity of purpose and honesty in pursuit

will bring you to your goal."

7. "Take the first step first.

All blessings come from within. Turn within.

'I am' you know.

Be with it all the time you can spare,

until you revert to it spontaneously.

There is no simpler and easier way."

8. "We know the outer world of sensations and actions,

but of our inner world of thoughts and feelings

we know very little.

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.

Incidentally, practice of meditation affects

deeply our character.

We are slaves to what we do not know;

of what we know we are masters.

Whatever vice or weakness in ourselves

we discover and understand its causes

and its workings, we overcome it by the very knowing;

the unconscious dissolves when brought into

the conscious.

The dissolution of the unconscious releases energy;

the mind feels adequate and becomes quiet."

9. "It is not so much the matter of levels

as of gunas (qualities).

Meditation is a sattvic (pure, true) activity

and aims at complete elimination of

tamas (inertia) and rajas (motivity, activity).

Pure sattva (harmony) is perfect freedom

from sloth and restlessness."

10. Questioner: "Since I cannot improve sattva,

am I to deal with tamas and rajas only?

How do I deal with them?"

Nisargadatta: "By watching their influence in you

and on you.

Be aware of them in operation,

watch their expression in your thoughts,

words and deeds, and gradually their grip on you

will lessen and the clear light of sattva will emerge."

11. "Refuse all thoughts except one:

the thought 'I am'.

The mind will rebel in the beginning,

but with patience and perserverance

it will yield and keep quiet."

12. "True happiness cannot be found in things

that change and pass away.

Pleasure and pain alternate inexorably.

Happiness comes from the self

and can be found in the self only.

Find your real self (swarupa)

and all else will come with it."

13. "Every pleasure, physical or mental,

needs an instrument.

Both the physical and mental instruments are material,

they get tired and worn out.

The pleasure they yield is necessarily limited

in its intensity and duration.

Pain is the background of all your pleasures.

You want them because you suffer.

On the other hand, the very search for pleasure

is the cause of pain. It is a vicious circle."

14. Questioner: "I can see the mechanism of my

confusion, but I do not see my way out of it."

Nisargadatta: "The very examination of the mechanism

shows the way.

After all, your confusion is only in your mind,

which never rebelled so far against confusion

and never got to grips with it.

It rebelled only against pain."

15. "Be alert. Question, observe, investigate,

learn all you can about confusion,

how it operates, what it does to you and others.

By being clear about confusion you become clear

of confusion."

16. "By elminating the intervals of inadvertance

during the waking hours you will gradually eliminate

the long interval of absent-mindedness,

which you call sleep.

You will be aware that you are asleep."

17. "You can have for the asking

all the peace you want"

Questioner: "I am asking."

Nisargadatta: "You must ask with an undivided heart

and live an integrated life."

Questioner: "How?"

Nisargadatta: "Detach yourself from all that makes

your mind restless.

Renounce all that disturbs its peace.

If you want peace, deserve it."

Questioner: "Surely everybody deserves peace"

Nisargadatta: "Those only deserve it,

who don't disturb it."

Questioner: "In what way do I disturb peace?"

Nisargadatta: "By being a slave

to your desires and fears."

Questioner: "Even when they are justified?"

Nisargadatta: "Emotional reactions,

born of ignorance or inadvertance,

are never justified.

Seek a clear mind and a clean heart.

All you need is to keep quietly alert,

inquiring into the real nature of yourself.

This is the only way to peace."

18. "All these sufferings are man-made

and it is within man's power to put an end to them.

God helps by facing man with the results of his

actions and demanding that the balance

should be restored.

Karma is the law that works for righteousness;

it is the healing hand of God."

19. "Use your mind. Remember. Observe.

You are not different from others.

Most of their experiences are valid for you too.

Think clearly and deeply,

go into the structure of your desires

and their ramifications.

They are a most important part of your mental

and emotional make-up

and powerfully affect your actions.

Remember, you cannot abandon what you do not know.

To go beyond yourself, you must know yourself."

20. "Purify yourself by a well-ordered

and useful life.

Watch over your thoughts, feelings, words

and actions.

This will clear your vision."

21. Questioner: "Well, you told me that

I am the Supreme Reality. I believe you.

What next is there for me to do?"

Nisargadatta: "I told you already.

Discover all that you are not.

Body, feelings, thoughts, ideas, time, space,

being and not-being, this or that -- nothing

concrete or abstract you can point out to is you.

A mere verbal statement will not do --

you may repeat a formula endlessly

without any result whatsoever.

You must watch yourself continuously --

particularly your mind -- moment by moment,

missing nothing. This witnessing is essential

for the separation of the self from the not-self."

22. Questioner: "What about witnessing the witness"

Nisargadatta: "Putting words together will not

take you far. Go within and discover

what you are not. Nothing else matters."

23. "Since it is awareness that makes

consciousness possible, there is awareness in every

state of consciousness. Therefore, the very

consciousness of being conscious is already a

movement in awareness. Interest in your stream

of consciousness takes you to awareness.

It is not a new state. It is at once recognized

as the original, basic existence,

which is life itself, and also love and joy."

24. "Realization is but the opposite of ignorance.

To take the world as real

and one's self as unreal is ignorance,

the cause of sorrow. To know the self as the

only reality and all else as temporal and transient

is freedom, peace and joy. It is all very simple

instead of seeing things as imagined, learn to see

them as they are. When you can see everything

as it is, you will also see yourself as you are.

It is like cleansing a mirror.

The same mirror that shows you the world as it is,

will also show you your own face.

The thought 'I am' is the polishing cloth. Use it."

25. "Devotion to your goal makes you live a clean

and orderly life, given to the search for truth

and to helping people, and realization makes

noble virtue easy and spontaneous,

by removing for good the obstacles in the shape of

desires and fears and wrong ideas."

26. "The entire purpose of a clean

and well-ordered life is to liberate man

from the thaldrom of chaos and the burden of sorrow."

27. "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 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 formless,

pure energy of life and light of consciousness,

you will be at peace -- immersed in the deep

silence of reality."

28. "All will happen as you want it,

provided you really want it."

29. "Within the prison of your world appears a man

who tells you that the world of

painful contradictions, which you have created,

is neither continuous nor permanent

and is based on a misaprehension.

He pleads with you to get out of it,

by the same way by which you got into it.

You got into it by forgetting what you are

and you will get out of it

by knowing yourself as you are."

30. "Why not turn away from the experience

to the experiencer and realize the full import

of the only true statement you can make: 'I am'?"

31. "Just keep in mind the feeling 'I am',

merge in it, till your mind and feeling become one.

By repeated attempts you will stumble on the

right balance of attention and affection

and your mind will be firmly established

in the thought-feeling 'I am'. "

32. Questioner: "Then what is needed?"

Nisargadatta: "Distrust your mind, and go beyond."

Questioner: "What shall I find beyond the mind?"

Nisargadatta: "The direct experience of being,

knowing and loving."

Questioner: "How does one go beyond the mind?"

Nisargadatta: "There are many starting points -

they all lead to the same goal.

You may begin with selfless work,

abandoning the fruits of action;

you may then give up thinking

and in the end give up all desires.

Here, giving up (tyaga) is the operational factor.

Or you may not bother about anything you want,

or think, or do and just stay put in the

thought and feeling 'I am", focussing 'I am" firmly

in your mind. All kind of experience may come to

you -- remain unmoved in the knowledge that

all perceivable is transient,

and only the 'I am' endures."

33. Questioner: "The inner teacher is not

easily reached."

Nisargadatta: "Since he is in you and with you,

the difficulty cannot be serious.

Look within and you will find him."

Questioner: "When I look within, I find sensations

and perceptions, thoughts and feelings,

desires and fears, memories and expectations.

I am immersed in this cloud and see nothing else."

Nisargadatta: "That which sees all this,

and the nothing too, is the inner teacher.

He alone is, all else only 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."

34. "Seeing the false as false,

is meditation. This must go on all the time."

35. "Deliberate daily exercise in discrimination

between the true and the false

and renunciation of the false is meditation."

36. "I can tell you about myself.

I was a simple man, but I trusted my Guru.

What he told me to do, I did.

He told me to concentrate on 'I am' - I did.

He told me that I am beyond all perceivables

and conceivables -- I believed.

I gave him my heart and soul, my entire attention

and the whole of my spare time

(I had to work to keep my family alive).

As a result of faith and earnest application,

I realized my self (swarupa) within three years."

37. "Establish yourself in the awareness of 'I am'.

This is the beginning and also the end

of all endeavour."

38. "Meditation will help you to find your bonds,

loosen them, untie them and cast your moorings."

39. "To solve a problem you must trace it

to its source. Only in the dissolution of the

problem in the universal solvents of

inquiry and dispassion,

can its right solution be found."

40. "Why don't you inquire how real

are the world and the person?"

41. Nisargadatta: "Because of you, there is a world"

Questioner: "To me such statement

appears meaningless."

Nisargadatta: "Its meaninglessness may disappear

on investigation."

42. "To know what you are, you must first

investigate and know what you are not.

And to know what you are not

you must watch yourself carefully,

rejecting all that does not necessarily go with

the basic fact: 'I am'.

The ideas: I am born at a given place,

at a given time, from my parents and now

I am so-and-so, living at, married to, father of,

employed by, and so on,

are not inherent in the sense 'I am'.

Our usual attitude is of 'I am this'.

Separate consistently and perserveringly

the 'I am' from 'this' or 'that',

and try to feel what it means to be, just to be,

without being 'this' or 'that'.

All our habits go against it and the task of

fighting them is long and hard sometimes,

but clear understanding helps a lot.

The clearer you understand that on the level

of the mind you can be described in negative

terms only, the quicker you will come to the end

of your search and realize your limitless being."

43. "When things repeatedly happen together,

we tend to see a causal link between them.

It creates a mental habit,

but a habit is not a necessity."

44. "False ideas about this 'I am' lead to bondage,

right knowledge leads to freedom and happiness."

45. "It is solid, steady, changless, beginingless

and endless, ever new, ever fresh."

Questioner: "How is it reached?"

Nisargadatta: "Desirelessness and fearlessness

will take you there."

46. "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."

47. "The Supreme is the easiest to reach

for it is your very being.

It is enough to stop thinking and desiring anything,

but the Supreme."

48. "By forgetting who you are and imagining

yourself a mortal creature, you created so much

trouble for yourself that you have to wake up,

like from a bad dream.

Inquiry also wakes you up."

49. "Truth is simple and open to all.

Why do you complicate?

Truth is loving and lovable.

It includes all, accepts all, purifies all.

It is untruth that is difficult

and a source of trouble.

It always wants, expects, demands.

Being false, it is empty, always in search of

confirmation and reassurance.

It is afraid of and avoids inquiry.

It identifies itself with any support,

however weak and momentary. Whatever it gets,

it loses and asks for more."

50. Questioner: "What is permanent?"

Nisargadatta: "Look to yourself for the permanent.

Dive deep within and find what is real in you."

Questioner: "How to look for myself?"

Nisargadatta: "Whatever happens it happens to you.

What you do, the doer is in you.

Find the subject of all that you are as a person."

Questioner: "What else can I be?"

Nisargadatta: "Find out. Even if I tell you that

you are the witness, the silent watcher,

it will mean nothing to you, unless you find the

way to your own being."

Questioner: "My question is: How to find the way

to one's own being?"

Nisargadatta: "Give up all questions except one:

'Who am I?' After all,

the only fact you are sure of is that you are.

The 'I am' is certain. The 'I am this' is not.

Struggle to find out what you are in reality."

51. "'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."

52. Questioner: "How am I to find that love?"

Nisargadatta: "What do you love now? The 'I am'.

Give your heart and mind to it,

think of nothing else."

53. "All desire has its source in the self.

It is all a matter of choosing the right desire."

54. Nisargadatta: "All these questions arise

from your believing yourself to be a person.

Go beyond the personal and see."

55. "I ask you only to stop imagining

that you were born, have parents, are a body,

will die and so on.

Just try, make a beginning --

it is not as hard as you think."

56. "Whatever you do against your better knowledge

is sin"

57. "Remembering yourself is virtue,

forgetting yourself is sin."

58. "When you shall begin to question your dream,

awakening will not be far away."

59. "Steady faith is stronger than destiny.

Destiny is the result of causes, mostly accidental,

and is therefore loosely woven.

Confidence and good hope will overcome it easily."

60. Questioner: "In Europe there is no tradition of

a mantra, except in some contemplative orders.

Of what use is it to a modern day young Westerner?"

Nisargadatta:"None, unless he is very much attracted.

For him the right procedure is to adhere to the

thought that he is the ground of all knowledge,

the immutable and perennial awareness of all

that happens to the senses and mind.

If he keeps it in mind all the time, aware and alert,

he is bound to break the bounds of non-awareness

and emerge into pure life, light and love.

The idea - 'I am the witness only'

will purify the body and the mind

and open the eye of wisdom.

Then man goes beyond illusion

and his heart is free of all desires.

Just like ice turns to water and water to vapour,

and vapour dissolves in air

and disappears into space,

so does the body dissolve into pure awareness

(chidakash), then into pure being (paramakash),

which is beyond all existence and non-existence."

61. "You should consider more closely

your own world, examine it critically and,

suddenly, one day you will find yourself in mine."

62. "See your world as it is,

not as you imagine it to be.

Discrimination will lead to detachment;

detachment will ensure right action,

right action will build the inner bridge

to your real being.

Action is proof of earnestness.

Do what you are told diligently and faithfully

and all obstacles will disolve."

63. "Investigate your world,

apply your mind to it, examine it critically,

scrutinize every idea about it; that will do."

64. "The entire universe of pain

is born of desire.

Give up the desire for pleasure

and you will not even know what is pain."

65. "By its very nature pleasure is limited

and transient. Out of pain desire is born,

in pain it seeks fulfilment, and it ends in

the pain of frustration and despair.

Pain is the background of pleasure,

all seeking of pleasure if born in pain

and ends in pain."

66. "sorting out and discarding (viveka-vairagya)

are absolutely necessary.

Everything must be scrutinized

and the unnecessary ruthlessly destroyed.

Believe me, there cannot be too much destruction.

For in reality nothing is of value.

Be passionately dispassionate - that is all."

67. "When trough the practice of discrimination

and detachment (viveka-vairagya),

you lose sight of sensory and mental states,

pure being emerges as the natural state."

68. Questioner: "How does one bring to an end

this sense of separateness?"

Nisargadatta: "By focusssing the mind on 'I am',

on the sense of being. 'I am so-and-so' dissolves,

'am a witness only' remains and that too

submerges in 'I am all'. Then the all becomes

the One and the One - yourself,

not separate from me.

Abandon the idea of a separate 'I'

and the question of 'whose experience?'

will not arise."

69. "Dive deep within yourself

and you will find it easily and simply.

Go in the direction of 'I am'."

70. "To know the world you forget the self -

to know the self you forget the world.

What is the world after all?

A collection of memories.

Cling to one thing, that matters,

hold on to 'I am' and let go all else.

This is sadhana."

71. Questioner: "I do not feel the world

is the result of a mistake."

Nisargadatta: "You may say so only after a full

investigation, not before. Of course, when you

discern and let go all that is unreal,

what remains is real."

72. "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, of being well."

73. Questioner: "There are two paths before us

the path of effort (yoga marga),

and the path of ease (bhoga marga).

Both lead to the same goal - liberation."

Nisargadatta: "Why do you call bhoga a path?"

How can ease bring you perfection?"

Questioner: "The perfect renouncer (yogi)

will find reality. The perfect enjoyer (bhogi)

also will come to it."

Nisargadatta: "How can it be?

Aren't they contradictory?"

74. Questioner: "Similarly the good news

of enlightenment will, sooner or later,

bring about a transformation."

Nisargadatta: "Yes, first hearing (shravana),

then remembering (smarana), pondering (manana)

and so on. We are on familiar ground.

The man who heard the news becomes a Yogi;

while the rest continue in their Bhoga."

75. "As you are now, the personality is only

an obstacle. Self-identification with the body

may be good for an infant, but true growing up

depends on getting the body out of the way.

Normally, one should outgrow body-based desires

early in life. Even the Bhogi, who does not

refuse enjoyments, need not hanker after

the ones he has tasted. Habit, desire for

repetition, frustrates both the Yogi

and the Bhogi."

76. Questioner: "Why do you keep on

dismissing the person (vyakti)

as of no importance? Personality is the

primary fact of our existence. It occupies

the entire stage."

Nisargadatta: "As long as you do not see

that it is a mere habit, built on memory,

prompted by desire, you will think yourself

to be a person - living, feeling, thinking,

active, passive, pleased or pained.

Question yourself, ask yourself:

'Is it so?', 'Who am I?',

'What is behind and beyond all this?'

And soon you will see your mistake.

And it is in the very nature of a mistake

to cease to be, when seen."

77. "There are so many who take the dawn

for the noon, a momentary experience for

full realization and destroy even the little

they gain by excess of pride.

Humility and silence are essential for a

sadhaka, however advanced.

Only a fully ripened gnani can allow himself

complete spontaneity."

78. "Pure experience does not bind;

experience caught between desire and fear

is impure and creates karma."

79. "Be attentive, enquire ceaselessly.

That is all."

80. "A spark of truth can burn up

a mountain of lies. The opposite is also true.

The sun of truth remains hidden behind

the cloud of self-identification

with the body."

81. Questioner: "What is a fact?"

Nisargadatta: "What is perceived in pure

awareness, unaffected by desire and fear

is fact."

82. "The Yogi is narrow as the sharp edge

of the knife. He has to be - to cut deep

and smoothly, to penetrate unerringly

the many layers of the false.

The Bhogi worships at many altars;

the Yogi serves none but his own true Self."

84. "There are no others to help"

85. "The only thing that can help

is to wake up from the dream."

86. "The self by its nature knows itself only.

For lack of experience whatever it perceives

it takes to be itself. Battered, it learns

to look out (viveka) and to live alone

(vairagya). When right behaviour (uparati),

becomes normal, a powerful inner urge

(mukmukshutva) makes it seek its source.

The candle of the body is lighted and all

becomes clear and bright (atmaprakash)."

85. Questioner: "What is the real cause

of suffering?"

Nisargadatta: "Self-identification with the

limited. Sensations as such, do not cause

suffering. It is the mind, bewildered by

wrong ideas, addicted to thinking:

'I am this', 'I am that', that fears loss

and craves gain and suffers when frustrated."

86. Questioner: "A friend of mine used to

have horrible dreams night after night.

Going to sleep would terrorise him.

Nothing could help him."

Nisargadatta: "Company of the truly good

(satsang) would help him."

87. "Seek within. Your own self

is your best friend."

88. "As long as we delude ourselves by what

we imagine ourselves to be, to know, to have,

to do, we are in a sad plight indeed.

Only in complete self-negation there is a

chance to discover our real being."

89. "The false self must be abandoned

before the real self can be found."

90. "Perceptions based on sensations and

shaped by memory imply a perceiver,

whose nature you never cared to examine.

Give it your full attention, examine it with

loving care and you will discover heights and

depths of being which you did not dream of,

engrossed as you are in your puny image

of yourself."

91. "You must be serious, intent,

truly interested. You must be full of

goodwill for yourself."

92. "By all means be selfish - the right way.

Wish yourself well, labour at what is good

for you. Destroy all that stands betweeen you

and happiness. Be all - love all - be happy -

make happy."

93. Questioner: "What is the place of sex

in love?"

Nisargadatta: "Love is a state of being.

Sex is energy. Love is wise, sex is blind."

94. "Without love all is evil.

Life itself without love is evil."

95. "You are love itself -

when you are not afraid."

96. "memory is material - destructible,

perishable, transient. On such flimsy

foundations we build a sense of personal

existence - vague, intermittent, dreamlike.

This vague persuasion: 'I am so-and-so'

obscures the changless state of pure awareness

and makes us believe that we are born

to suffer and to die."

97. "There is progress all the time.

Everything contributes to progress.

But this is the progress of ignorance.

The circles of ignorance may be ever widening,

yet it remains a bondage all the same.

In due course a Guru appears to teach and

inspire us to practise Yoga and a ripening

takes place as a result of which the

immemorial night of ignorance dissolves

before the rising sun of wisdom."

98. "When ignorance becomes obstinate and

hard and the character gets perverted,

effort and the pain of it become inevitable."

99. "Freedom to do what one likes

is really bondage, while being free to do

what one must, what is right,is real freedom."

100. "You mean to say everybody's life is

totally determined at his birth?

What a strange idea! Were it so, the power

that determines would see to it that

nobody should suffer."

101. "Man alone can destroy in himself

the roots of pain"

102. "Not to know,

and not to know that one does not know,

is the cause of endless suffering"

103. "What business have you with saving

the world, when all the world needs is to be

saved from you? Get out of the picture and

see whether there is anything left to save."

104. "Just like a deficiency disease is cured

through the supply of the missing factor,

so are the diseases of living cured by a good

dose of intelligent detachment.


105. "Remove the sense of separateness

and there will be no conflict."

106. "All you have to do is to see

the dream as dream."

107. "Whatever name you give it: will,

or steady purpose, or one pointedness

of mind, you come back to earnestness,

sincerity, honesty. When you are in dead

earnest, you bend every incident,

every second of your life to your purpose.

You do not waste time and energy on other

things. You are totally dedicated,

call it will, or love, or plain honesty.

We are complex beings, at war within

and without. We contradict ourselves

all the time, undoing today the work of

yesterday. No wonder we are stuck.

A little of integrity

would make a lot of difference."

108. "Collect and strengthen your mind

and you will find that your

thoughts and feelings, words and actions

will align themselves in the direction

of your will."

109. "Weak-mindedness is due to lack of

intelligence, of understanding, which again

is the result of non-awareness.

By striving for awareness you bring your

mind together and strengthen it."

110. "Questioner: I may be fully aware of

what is going on, and yet quite unable to

influence it in any way."

Nisargadatta: "You are mistaken.

What is going on is a projection of your

mind. A weak mind cannot control its own

projections. Be aware, therefore,

of your mind and its projections.

You cannot control what you do not know.

On the other hand, knowledge gives power.

In practice it is very simple.

To control yourself - know yourself."

111. "Go to the source of both pain and

pleasure, of desire and fear.

Observe, investigate, try to understand."

112. "Once the illusion that the

body-mind is oneself is abandoned,

death loses its terror,

it becomes a part of living."

113. "Find the permanent in the fleeting,

the one constant factor in every


114. "First purify your vision.

Learn to see instead of staring.

Also you must be eager to see.

You need to both clarity and earnestness

for self-knowledge. You need purity of

heart and mind, which comes through

earnest application in daily life

of whatever life you have understood.

There is no such thing as compromise

in Yoga."

115. "Nothing can block you so

effectively as compromise,

for it shows lack of earnestness,

without which nothing can be done."

116. "Begin by disassociating yourself

from your mind. Resolutely remind

yourself that you are not the mind

and that its problems are not yours."

117. "Go on pondering, wondering,

being anxious to find a way.

Be conscious of yourself, watch your mind,

give it your full attention. Don't look

for quick results; there may be none

within your noticing. Unkown to you,

your psyche will undergo a change,

there will be more clarity in your

thinking, charity in your feeling,

purity in your behaviour.

You need not aim at these -

you will witness the change all the same.

For, what you are now is the result

of inattention and what you become

will be the fruit of attention."

118. "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 blessings

flow from it."

119. Questioner: "You advise us to

concentrate on 'I am'. Is this too a form

of attention?"

Nisargadatta: "What else? Give your

undivided attention to the most important

in your life - yourself.

Of your personal universe you are the

center - without knowing the center

what else can you know?"

120. Questioner: "How am I to get such

stainless mirror?"

Nisargadatta: "Obviously, by removing

stains. See the stains and remove them.

The ancient teaching is fully valid."

121. "The nature of the perfect mirror is

such that you cannot see it.

Whatever you can see is bound to be a

stain. Turn away from it, give it up,

know it as unwanted."

Questioner: "All perceivables, are they stains?"

Nisargadatta: "All are stains"

Questioner: "The entire world is a stain."

Nisargadatta: "Yes, it is."

Questioner: "How awful! So, the universe

is of no value?"

Nisargadatta: "It is of tremendous value.

By going beyond it you realize yourself."

Questioner: "But why did it come into being

in the first instance?"

Nisargadatta: "You will know when it ends."

Questioner: "Will it ever end?"

Nisargadatta: "Yes, for you."

Questioner: "When did it begin?"

Nisargadatta: "Now."

Questioner: "When will it end?"

Nisargadatta: "Now."

Questioner: "It does not end now?"

Nisargadatta: "You don't let it."

Questioner: "I want to let it."

Nisargadatta: "You don't. All your life

is connected with it. Your past and future,

your desires and fears, all have their roots

in the world. Without the world where are you.

who are you?"

Questioner: "But that is exactly what I came

to find out."

Nisargadatta: "And I am telling you exactly

this: find a foothold in the beyond

and all will be clear and easy."

122. "Is not meaness also a form of madness?

And is not madness the misuse of the mind?

Humanity's problem lies in this misuse of

the mind only. All treasures of nature and

spirit are open to man who will

use his mind rightly."

123. "Fear and greed cause the misuse of

the mind. The right use of mind is the service

of love, life, of truth, of beauty."

124. "Attend to yourself, set yourself right-

mentally and emotionally. Leave alone the reforms

and mind the reformer."

125. "All you need is to stop searching outside

what can be found only within. Set your vision

right before you operate. You are suffering from

acute misapprehension. Clarify your mind,

purify your heart, sanctify your life -

this is the quickest way to a change of

your world."

126. "Problems created by desires and fears

and wrong ideas can be solved only on the level

of the mind. You must conquer your own mind and

for this you must go beyond it."

127. "To go beyond the mind,

you must have your mind in perfect order.

You cannot leave a mess behind and go beyond.

The mess will bog you up. 'Pick up your rubbish'

seems to be the Universal law. And a just law too."

128. "just remember yourself. 'I am', is enough

to heal your mind and take you beyond.

Just have some trust. Commonsense too will tell

you that to fulfill a desire you must keep your

mind on it. If you want to know your true nature,

you must have yourself in mind all the time,

until the secret of your being stands revealed."

129. "To help others, one must be beyond

the need of help."

130. "It is not the worship of the person that

is crucial, but the steadiness and depth of

your devotion to the task. Remember, wonder,

ponder, live with it, love it, grow into it,

grow with it, make it your own -

the word of your Guru, outer or inner.

Put in all and you will get all. I was doing it.

All my time I was giving to my Guru

and to what he told me."

131. "It is easy, if you are earnest."

132. "When you are concerned with truth,

with reality, you must question every thing,

your very life. By asserting the necessity

of sensory and intellectual experience you narrow

down your inquiry to search for comfort."

133. "Question every urge, hold no desire

legitimate. Empty of possession, physical and

mental, free of all self-concern,

be open for discovery."

134. "Have your Guru always in your heart

and remember his instructions - this is

real abidance with the true."

135. "You can not speak of a beginning of

consciousness. The very ideas of beginning and time

are within consciousness. To talk meaningfully

of the beginning of anything, you must step out of it.

And the moment you step out, you realize that there

is no such thing and never was."

136. "The illusion of being the body-mind is there,

only because it is not investigated.

Non-investigation is the thread on which all the

states of mind are strung.

All states of mind, all names and forms of

existence are rooted in non-inquiry,

non-investigation, in imagination and credulity.

It is right to say 'I am', but to say 'I am this',

'I am that' is a sign of not inquiring,

not examining, of mental weakness or lethargy."

137. "When we are absorbed in other things,

in the not-self, we forget the self."

138. "Sadhana (practice) consists in reminding

oneself forcibly of one's pure 'being-ness',

of not being anything in particular, nor a sum of

particulars, not even the totality of particulars,

which make up a universe."

139. "Inquire what is permanent in the transient,

real in the unreal. This is sadhana."

140. "Think of yourself by all means.

Only don't bring the idea of a body into the picture."

141. "attachment is bondage, detachment is freedom.

To crave is to slave."

142. "Inertia and restlessness (tamas and rajas)

work together and keep clarity and harmony (sattva)

down. Tamas and Rajas must be conquered before

Sattva can appear."

143. "You come to it by putting an end to indolence

and using all your energy to clear the way for

clarity and charity. Don't be afraid, don't resist,

don't delay. There is nothing to be afraid of.

Trust and try. Experiment honestly."

144. "That immovable state, which is not affected by

the birth and death of a body or a mind,

that state you must perceive."

145. "In life nothing can be had without overcoming

obstacles. The obstacles to the clear perception

of one's true being are desire for pleasure

and the fear of pain. It is the pleasure-pain

motivation that stands in the way."

146. "Leave alone your desires and fears,

give your entire attention to the subject,

to him who is behind the experience of desire and fear.

Ask: who desires? Let each desire bring you back

to yourself."

147. "It would be a grievous mistake to identify

yourself with something external."

148. "The desire to find the self will surely be

fulfilled, provided you want nothing else.

But you must be honest with yourself

and really want nothing else.

If in the meantime you want many other things

and are engaged in their pursuit,

your main purpose may be delayed until you grow

wiser and cease being torn between contradictory urges.

Go within, without swerving,

without ever looking outward."

149. Questioner: "But my desires and fears

are still there."

Nisargadatta: "Where are they but in your memory?

Realize that their root is in expectation

born of memory - and they will cease to obsess you."

150. "Whatever work you have undertaken - complete it.

Do not take up new tasks, unless it is called for

by a concrete situation of suffering and relief from

suffering. Find yourself first, and endless blessings

will follow. Nothing profits the world as much as

the abandoning of profits. A man who no longer thinks

in terms of loss and gain is truly the non-violent man,

for he is beyond all conflict."

151. "Primarily, ahimsa means what is says:

'don't hurt'. It is not doing good that comes first,

but ceasing to hurt, not adding to suffering.

Pleasing others is not ahimsa."

152. "The only help worth giving is freeing from the

need of further help. Repeated help is no help at all.

Do not talk of helping another, unless you can put him

beyond all need of help."

153. "When you have understood that all existence,

in separation and limitation, is painful,

and when you are willing and able to live integrally,

in oneness with all life, as pure being,

you have gone beyond the need of help.

You can help another by precept and example and,

above all, by your being. You cannot give what you

do not have and you don't have what you are not."

154. "You can only cease to be - as you seem to be now.

There is nothing cruel in what I say.

To wake up a man from a nightmare is compassion.

You came here because you are in pain, and all I say

is: wake up, know yourself, be yourself.

The end of pain lies not in pleasure.

When you realize that you are beyond both pain and

pleasure, aloof and unassailable, the the pursuit of

happiness ceases and the resultant sorrow too.

For pain aims at pleasure and pleasure ends in pain,


155. Questioner: "In the ultimate state there can

be no happiness?"

Nisargadatta: "Nor sorrow. Only freedom.

Happiness depends on something or other

and can be lost; freedom from everything depends on

nothing and cannot be lost. Freedom from sorrow has no

cause and therefore, cannot be destroyed.

Realize that freedom."

156. "What is birth and death but the beginning and

the ending of a stream of events in consciousness?

Because of the idea of separation and limitation

they are painful. Momentary relief from pain we call

pleasure - and we build castles in the air hoping for

endless pleasure which we call happiness.

It is all misunderstanding and misuse.

Wake up, go beyond, live really."

157. "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. "

158. "Just look and remember, whatever you perceive

is not you, nor yours. It is there in the field of

consciousness, but you are not the field

and its contents, nor even the knower of the field.

Simply look at whatever happens

and know you are beyond it."

159. "All you need to do is to cease taking

yourself to be within the field of consciousness.

Unless you have already considered these matters

carefully, listening to me once will not do."

160. "Of all the people the knower of the self,

the liberated man, is the most trustworthy.

But merely to trust is not enough.

You must also desire. Without desire for freedom

of what use is the confidence that you can acquire

freedom? Desire and confidence must go together.

The stronger your desire,

the easier comes the help.

The greatest Guru is helpless as long as the

disciple is not eager to learn.

Eagerness and earnestness are all-important.

Confidence will come with experience.

Be devoted to your goal and devotion to him

who can guide you will follow.

If your desire and confidence are strong,

they will operate and take you to your goal,

for you will not cause delay by hesitation

and compromise.

The greates Guru is your inner self.

Truly, he is the supreme teacher.

He alone can take you to your goal and he alone

meets you at the end of the road.

Confide in him and you need no outer Guru.

But again you must have the strong desire to find

him and do nothing that will create obstacles

and delays. And do not waste energy and time

on regrets. Learn from your mistakes

and do not repeat them."

161. "Let us wait with improving others until we

have seen ourselves as we are -- and have changed.

There is no need to turn round and round in

endless questioning; find yourself and everything

will fall into its proper place."

162. "The body exists in time and space,

transient and limited,

while the dweller is timeless and spaceless,

eternal and all-pervading.

To identify the two is a grievous mistake

and the cause of endless suffering."

163. "You are the god of your world and you are

both stupid and cruel. Let God be a concept -

your own creation. Find out who you are,

how did you come to live, longing for truth,

goodness and beauty in a world full of evil.

Of what use is your arguing for or against God,

when you just do not know who is God

and what you are talking about.

The God born of fear and hope,

shaped by desire and imagination,

cannot be the Power That is,

the Mind and Heart of the universe."

164. "There are two levels to consider -

the physical - of facts, and mental of ideas.

I am beyond both. Neither your facts,

nor ideas are mine. What I see is beyond.

Cross-over to my side and see with me."

165. "You are not here. I am here. Come in!

But you don't. You want me to live your life,

feel your way, use your language.

I cannot, and it will not help you.

You must come to me. Words are of the mind

and the mind obscures and distorts.

Hence the absolute need to go beyond words and

move over to my side."

Questioner: "Take me over."

Nisargadatta: "I am doing it, but you resist.

You give reality to concepts,

while concepts are distortions of reality.

Abandon all conceptualization

and stay silent and attentive.

Be earnest about it

and all will be well with you."

166. "Why play with ideas?

Be content with what you are sure of.

And the only thing you can be sure of is 'I am'.

Stay with it, and reject everything else.

This is Yoga."

167. Questioner: "I can reject only verbally.

At best remember to repeat the formula:

'This is not me, this is not mine.

I am beyond all this.'"

Nisargadatta: "Good enough. First Verbally,

then mentally and emotionally, then in action.

Give attention to the reality within you

and it will come to light.

It is like churning butter.

Do it correctly and assidiously and the result

is sure to come."

168. Questioner: "How can the absolute be

the result of a process?"

Nisargadatta: "You are right, the relative

cannot result in the absolute.

But the relative can block the absolute,

just as the non-churning of the cream

may prevent butter from separating.

It is the real that creates the urge;

the inner prompts the outer

and the outer responds in interest and effort."

169. "Don't identify yourself with the world

and you will not suffer."

170. "What is the root of pain?

Ignorance of yourself.

What is the root of desire?

The urge to find yourself.

All creation toils for its self

and will not rest until it returns to it."

Questioner: "When will it return?"

Nisargadatta: "It can return

whenever you want it."

171. "Give up the idea of being

what you think yourself to be"

172. "What matters is the idea you have

of yourself, for it blocks you. Give it up."

173. "Easier to change, than to suffer.

Grow out of your childishness, that is all."

174. "This is childishness,

clinging to the toys, to your desires

and fears, opinions and ideas.

Give it all up and be ready for the real to

assert itself. This self-assertion is best

expressed in the words: 'I am'."

175. "So far you took yourself to be

the movable and overlooked the immovable.

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."

176. "You are conscious. Hold on to it."

177. "In witnessing, in awareness,


the sense of being this or that, is not.

Unidentified being remains."

178. "Who are you, who is unsatisfied?"

179. Questioner: "All I know is desire for

pleasure and fear of pain."

Nisargadatta: "That is what you think

about yourself. Stop it.

If you cannot break a habit all at once,

consider the familiar way of thinking

and see its falseness.

Questioning the habitual

is the duty of the mind.

What the mind created,

the mind must destroy.

Or realize that there is no desire

outside the mind and stay out."

180. "What I say is true, but to you

it is only a theory. How will you come to

know that it is true?

Listen, remember, ponder, visualize,

experience. Also apply it in your daily life.

Have patience with me and above all

have patience with yourself,

for you are your only obstacle."

181. "To recieve communication,

you must be receptive."

182. "All I can tell you

is the way I traveled

and invite you to take it."

183. "As far as I am concerned,

my teaching is simple: trust me for a while

and do what I tell you.

If you persevere,

you will find that your trust was justified."

184. Questioner: "And what to do with people

who are interested, but cannot trust?"

Nisargadatta: "If they could stay with me,

they would come to trust me.

Once they trust me,

they will follow my advice

and discover for themselves."

185. "You seem to want instant insight,

forgetting that the instant is always preceded

by a long preparation.

The fruit falls suddenly,

but the ripening takes time."

186. "After all, what I am offering you

is the operational approach,

so current in Western science.

When a scientist describes an experiment

and its results,

usally you accept his statements on trust

and repeat his experiment as he describes it."

187. "To have the direct experience

of a country one must go and live there"

188. "the scientific approach is for all.


189. "Givers there are many;

where are the takers?"

190. "Who is willing to take

what I am willing to give?"

191. "what can I do beyond showing you

the way to improve your vision?"

192. "But while you repeat verbally:

'give, give', you do nothing to take what is

offered. I am showing you a short and easy

way to being able to see what I see,

but you cling to your old habits of thought,

feeling and action

and put all the blame on me."

193. "Whatever he does,

if he does it for the sake of finding

his own real self,

will surely bring him to himself."

194. "No need of faith

which is but expectation of results.

Here the action only counts.

Whatever you do for the sake of truth,

will take you to truth.

Only be earnest and honest.

The shape it takes hardly matters."

195. "The very facts of repetiton,

of struggling on and on

and of endurance and perseverance,

in spite of boredom and despair

and complete lack of conviction

are really crucial."

196. "there is a connection between the word

and its meaning,

between action and its motive.

Spiritual practice is will asserted

and re-asserted."

197. "Meet your own self.

Be with your own self, listen to it, obey it,

cherish it, keep it in mind endlessly.

You need no other guide.

As long as your urge for truth

affects your daily life, all is well with you.

Live your life without hurting anybody.

Harmlessness is a most powerful form of Yoga

and it will take you speedily to your goal.

This is what I call nisarga yoga,

the Natural yoga.

It is the art of living in peace and harmony,

in friendliness and love.

The fruit of it is happiness,

uncaused and endless."

198. "Turn within

and you will come to trust yourself."

199. "What prevents you from knowing is not

the lack of opportunity,

but the lack of ability to focus in your mind

what you want to understand.

If you could but keep in mind

what you do not know,

it would reveal to you its secrets.

But if you are shallow and impatient,

not earnest enough to look and wait,

you are like a child crying for the moon."

200. "There is nothing wrong in repeating

the same truth again and again

until it becomes reality.

People need hearing words,

until facts speak to them louder than words"

The focus of this selection of quotes has been to report essential teachings of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj that people often tend to overlook. The quotes emphasize practice and in all of the quotes Nisargadatta gives the aspirant something to do, something to practice.  There are many modern teachers such as Ramesh, Wayne and Powell who have extracted quotes by Nisargadatta Maharaj to make it appear as though  Sri Nisargadatta taught no practice, and nothing to do. This is an error and a distortion.
This new large collection of quotes by Nisargadatta should help to correct this error and distortion.
In all 101 dialogues in the book I Am That Nisargadatta gives the aspirant instructions in what the asipirant should do.

Nisargadatta Teaching is that of practice, just as Sri Siddharameshwar Maharaj (Nisargadatta's Guru), Sri Ramana Maharashi and Acharya Sankara's Teaching are of practice. For every one quote that might indicate no practice in the book I am That, you can easily find ten that explain the importance of practice, and how to practice.  The efforts by the ego to end itself are absolutely esential according to Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj.