211. Why say that I do anything? Whatever is done is done by the 'I am' and you are beyond it.
Why at all say that 'I have done this' or 'I have done that'? As you abide in the 'I am' without words you will soon realize that it is the 'I am' that is the doer. Repeatedly not identifying as the 'doer' is another technique suggested for getting stabilized in the pure 'I am' and going beyond it. Actually that is the real state of affairs, but it is your conditioning that has made you believe that you are the doer.
212. Beware of the 'I am' growing over your true nature and giving you the false feeling of being the doer.
The path is indeed slippery, even for the most advanced seeker. After understanding and getting stabilized in the 'I am' without words, you may start getting glimpses of your true nature - here the Guru warns you to be very alert. Why so? Because the 'I am' is indeed difficult to do away with. Quite swiftly and quietly it may grow again over your true nature and trap you, and soon you will start believing that you are doer. This will bring you back to square one and undo all the progress that you had achieved.
213. When the 'I am' becomes pure - that is, without 'I am this' or 'I am that' - you become 'Ishwara' (God).
You have to come back to the 'I am' when it first appeared on you and the brief period that followed afterwards when the 'I am' was uncontaminated. During that period the 'I am' had no add-ons, like 'this' or 'that', it was a phase when it was pure. You have gone through that period in your life and there is no reason why you cannot relive it. It is all a question of understanding the 'I am', applying yourself and abiding in it. If you do so you become 'Ishwara' (God) and stand a chance of transcending it and becoming 'Parameshwar' (the ultimate God or the Absolute).
214. The feeling 'I am' comes to you only because there is something older or earlier in you to which this 'I am' appears.
Ponder over a question like: To whom does the feeling 'I am' come? Or, what was I prior to the arrival of the knowledge 'I am'? When you do so, you will realize that there has to be something older or something before on which this 'I am' appears. The more time you spend in the 'I am' without words, the stronger the conviction will grow about this 'something' that is prior to the 'I am'. Finally, that 'something' becomes your goal, something to and to focus on, for that is your true Absolute nature.
215. The interval between the beginning of 'I am' (birth or waking) and when you lose it again (death or deep sleep) is called 'time'.
This whole concept of time is based on the appearance and disappearance of the 'I am'. The arrival and departure of the 'I am' from birth to death is called a life, while that from waking up to falling asleep a day. Accordingly, you say 'his life has come to an end' or 'It is the end of the day'. The 'I am' linked up with memory maintains a continuity throughout your life.
216. The feeling 'I am' is itself an illusion, therefore whatever is seen through this illusion cannot be real.
The essence of the five elements and three qualities that make up the body-mind is the knowledge 'I am'. The body-mind, as we know, is impermanent and destructible; the 'I am' depends on it for expression. Thus the 'I am', since it is destructible and dependent cannot be the reality which is indestructible and independent. The feeling 'I am' is thus unreal and an illusion; whatever we see or know is through the 'I am', thus it's all an illusion and unreal.
217. When Krishna says 'I remember all my past births', he means the 'I am', the fundamental feeling behind all births. There is no 'I am such-and-such'.
Krishna is the Absolute or the 'Parabrahman', your true identity. In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna makes a statement where he says that he remembers all his past births. The implication is that he remembers the 'I am', the birth-principle, in every birth and not that he was 'so-and-so'. The 'I am' appeared and disappeared on him as the fundamental principle of all births. Although the personalities kept changing depending on the elements, qualities and the circumstances, the 'I am' remained the same.
218. You are not always in contact with the 'I am' or it is not permanent. When you are not aware of the 'I am', 'Who' is not aware?
As the Absolute or the 'Parabrahman' you are not always in contact with the 'I am': it appears and disappears on you during your life and is not permanent. The 'I am' is initially dormant from birth till its appearance, and during sleep is held in abeyance - but it is always there in the background. Also, you are not usually aware of the 'I am' simply because you are caught up or engrossed with the 'I am' plus 'this' and 'that'. The add-ons to the 'I am' make you totally oblivious of its purity, and in a dream-like manner you steer your life. Now you are being told to come down to the 'I am' in its nascent pure form without words and abide in it. In the process of this abidance, the 'I am' disappears or you are not aware of it. Then, who was not aware of it? There must be a permanent principle in the background that swallowed it.
219. The 'I am' has great potency: the entire manifestation has come from it. Go to the 'I am' state, remain there, merge, and go beyond.
Just observe the tremendous potential of the 'I am' it has kept the whole world running, the entire manifestation has come from it, its perpetual stubbornness is astonishing. To be free from it you have to understand it in its utmost purity and then meditate on it for a reasonable amount of time. The intensity of your meditation should be such that you become totally one with the 'I am'. Then a moment will come when it merges into itself and you go beyond to your true being, which is the Absolute or the 'Parabrahman'.
220. The 'I am' is the Guru in a body which is witnessed by the Self or 'Satguru' in you, which is unmanifested.
The 'I am' is there in everything, in every body. It is the very basis or fundamental principle of all that you perceive. You must consider it as the Guru, the God, the Guide which will lead you to the Self or the 'Satguru' (the great Guru). It is the 'Satguru' or the Self that witnesses the 'I am' or the Guru in the body. The 'Satguru' is the Absolute or the 'Parabrahman' which is ever there and never manifested.
221. The 'I am' in its purity is 'turiya' (the fourth state), but I am 'turiyatita' (beyond turiya) and living in (as) Reality.
In describing his own state or standpoint the Guru makes the whole teaching so simple and clear, it could not be put in a simpler way. The 'I am' has to be understood in its purity, just as it arises and is wordless. This can be done by either recollecting the moment it arose at around three years of age or by trying to catch it when you just wake up from deep sleep. In this pure state it is the 'Turiya' or the fourth state which is always there in the background and on which rest the other three: i.e. waking, dreaming and deep sleep. On entering and abiding in the 'Turiya' or fourth state you can go beyond it into the 'Turiyatita' or beyond the fourth and live as the Absolute or 'Parabrahman', which is reality.
222. Repetition of a 'mantra' takes one to the pure 'I am', where all knowledge is surrendered; you merge with the Absolute beyond all name and form.
'Japa' or the repetition of a mantra like 'So Hum' (I am That) or 'Aham Brahmasmi' (I am Brahman) for a long time takes you to the state of the pure 'I am'. On residing in the 'I am', a moment comes when this first and last piece of knowledge 'I am' is also surrendered. Once the 'I am' disappears, you merge into or enter your original natural state which is the Absolute, beyond all name and form.
223. If you were to dwell in the 'I am' and firmly abide in it, all external things will lose their grip on you.
All externality has a very strong hold over us, to the extent that there are very few to whom it would at all occur that it could all be false. It is only in those, in whom this nameless urge for the eternal and infinite awakens, that the quest and questioning begins. If such a seeker is fortunate enough, he will come across a genuine Guru who will put an end to his quest. To cut off all external things, the Guru makes him understand the importance of the knowledge 'I am' without words. Then he tells him to abide firmly in the 'I am', which is the 'Sadhana' (practice). If the seeker correctly understands the teaching and follows the advice of the Guru, he is bound to succeed.
224. There is nobody else but 'me' or 'I am', this non-dual devotion ('advaita-bhakti') is the highest; to vanish and be lost in the vast unknown.
You have to meditate on the knowledge 'I am' till you develop a strong conviction that there is nobody else but 'me' or 'I am' only and nothing else. To get completely infused with the knowledge 'I am' is to enter the 'Turiya' or the fourth state and this is non-dual devotion ('advaita-bhakti') at its peak or highest. You should be totally immersed in the worship of 'I am' to the extent that you become the 'I am'. And, what will happen when you practice this intense non-dual devotion? You will vanish and be lost in the vast unknown and become the Absolute.
225. Thoroughly investigate the appearance and disappearance of the 'I am' - did you desire it, or did it just happen?
After the Guru makes you understand the importance of the knowledge 'I am' without words, you have to investigate it thoroughly on your own.
For this you have to ponder over what he has said constantly. As understanding, meditation and conviction grow together, the important question about the appearance and disappearance of the 'I am' arises. The question is: Did it occur through your wanting or desiring? Was it a volitional process? If you have correctly understood the 'I am' your answer would be that it came and will go spontaneously, on its own. This will strike a blow at the belief you hold that you are 'doer'- and may even end it.
226. The 'I am' is the sole capital that you have. Dwell on this, nothing else is necessary.
The hallmark of the Guru's teaching is its simplicity. He states very clearly that the knowledge 'I am' is all that you have to bank on, it's the only capital you have. This legacy of the 'I am' has come spontaneously, on its own, without any effort on your part. Try to understand its importance and use it the best you can. Just dwell in the 'I am', nothing else is required. Why so? It is because the rest will follow on its own. On firmly dwelling in the 'I am', a time comes when it gets pleased with you and releases its stranglehold.
227. The 'I am' is only a little distance away from the True state, hence it is unreal, for whatever is away from the True state or Reality is unreal.
The 'I am' can be seen as the last camp as you scale the height of Reality. Once you are stabilized in the 'I am' or the 'Turiya' state, your job is done. This state, though very close to Reality or the Absolute, still has to be classified as unreal. The 'I am' cannot remain as it is, it has to disappear or dissolve and merge into the Absolute or the 'Parabrahman', only then will it qualify as the Reality.
228. All yoga and practices come through the consciousness of 'I am', which is itself an illusion. All happenings in this illusion are relative and time-bound.
Understanding the knowledge 'I am' as the source of everything is of primary importance. Whatever activity you may do, whether it is day-to-day work or yoga or any other practice, all come through the 'I am'. This 'I am' that has appeared on you is an illusion, is the beginning of time and will end one day. All activities are based on duality and duration, hence they are relative and time-bound and never ever come close to Reality. The knowledge 'I am' is the closest to Reality, so understand and abide in it.
229. The first step is to go and dwell in the 'I am'. From there you go beyond consciousness and no-consciousness to the infinite Absolute, which is the permanent state.
After understanding the 'I am', the first step is to dwell in it. You have to dwell in the 'I am' by putting the body idea completely away. See the 'I am' in its wordless purity and abide there for a sufficiently long time. When you do so, a moment will come when you go beyond consciousness or 'I am' and no-consciousness or 'I am not'. When this happens you will merge in your true nature, the Absolute, which is a permanent state.
230. You are the Reality beyond the 'I am', you are the 'Parabrahma'. Meditate on this and remember this, finally this idea, too, shall leave you.
The Guru has tried every way to make you understand the knowledge 'I am'. Then, after you understood it he advised you to abide in it and transcend it, to go beyond the 'I am' to the Reality which you are. The Guru now pointing directly towards you, saying: "Hey! Look here! 'You' are the 'Parabrahman'." This is like a final wake up call. He shaking you, beckoning you: "Come on man! I cannot say it more bluntly than this. Listen to what I am saying! Meditate on it till even this idea dissolves and you become what you are and what I want you to be".
231. Understand the 'I am', transcend it
and realize the Absolute. In such a simplified way nobody has expounded this profound teaching.
You see the sunrise and sunset everyday on the horizon, but does it really occur? Is there ever any horizon? You may try to approach the horizon but you will never reach it. The appearance and disappearance of the 'I am' is like the sunrise and sunset, it only appears to have occurred on the horizon, but actually there is no such thing. From the point of view of the Sun, which stands apart, it never knows the sunrise or the sunset at all; it is always there, shining away in its magnanimous glory. This was just an analogy to enable us understand the 'I am', the comprehension of which has been time and again stressed by the Guru. The understanding is then used as a basis for the 'Sadhana' (practice) that has to follow, which is abidance in the 'I am' or the knowledge 'I am' meditating on itself. That is all that has to be done; if done correctly and earnestly, it will lead you to your ultimate destination, the Absolute or 'Parabrahman'. Quite certainly, this profound teaching could not have been expounded in a simpler way than this.
Some comments on 'The Nisargadatta Gita':
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I express my deep sense of gratitude towards Mr. Gerry Blaylock from Italy for the several corrections that he suggested in this second edition of 'The Nisargadatta Gita'. The meticulous care with which he undertook this task made the expression very clear and eliminated errors of grammar.
26th September 2008
Publisher: Pradeep Apte
Copyright C 2008 Pradeep Apte
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