A few Excerpts from
Consciousness and the Absolute

The Final Talks of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj 1994, The Acorn Press

May 14, 1980

Maharaj: Doctors have diagnosed that this body has cancer. Would anyone else be as joyful as I am, with such a serious diagnosis? The world is your direct experience, your own observation. All that is happening is happening at this level, but I am not at this level. I have dissociated myself from Sattva Guna, being ness.

The Ultimate state in spirituality is that state where no needs are felt at any time, where nothing is useful for anything. That state is called Nirvana, Nirguna, that which is the Eternal and Ultimate Truth. The essence and sum total of this whole talk is called Sat-guru Parabrahman, that state in which there are no requirements.

After the dissolution of the universe, when no further vestige of creation was apparent, what remained is my perfect state. All through the creation and dissolution of the universe, I remain ever untouched. I have not expounded this part: my state never felt the creation and dissolution of the universe. I am the principle which survives all the creations, all the dissolutions. This is my state, and yours, too, but you don't realize it because you are embracing your beingness. Realizing it is only possible when one get support from invincible faith, from that eternal Sat-guru Parabrahman. This state, this Parabrahman principle, is eternal and is also the Sat-guru. It is the eternal property of any devotee of a Guru.

July 29, 1980

Questioner: Why did this consciousness arise?

Maharaj: You are both the question and the answer. All your questions come from your identification with the body. How can any questions relating to that which was prior to the body and consciousness be answered? There are yogis who have sat in meditation for many, many years seeking answers to this question, but even they haven't understood it. And yet you are complaining.

Q: It is a great mystery.

M: It's a mystery only to the ignorant. To the one not identified with the body, it is no longer a mystery.

Q: Maharaj cannot convey it to us?

M: I keep telling you but you don't listen.

Q: Does Maharaj see us as individuals?

M: There are no individuals; there are only food bodies with the knowledge "I Am". There is no difference between an ant, a human being, and Isvara; they are of the same quality. The body of an ant is small, an elephant's is large. The strength is different, because of size, but the life-force is the same. For knowledge the body is necessary.

Q: How did Maharaj get the name Nisargadatta?

M: At one time  I was composing poems. Poems used to flow out of me and, in this flow, I just added Nisargadatta. I was reveling in composing poems until my Guru cautioned me, "You are enjoying composing these poems too much; give them up!"

What was he driving at? His objective was for my to merge in the Absolute state instead of reveling in my beingness.

This was the way I realized knowledge, not through mental manipulation. My Guru said, "This is so," and for me, it was finished! If you continue in the realm of intellect you will become entangled and lost in more and more concepts.

Consciousness is time flowing continuously. But I, the Absolute, will not have its company eternally because consciousness is time bound. When this beingness goes, the Absolute will not know "I Am". Appearance and disappearance, birth and death, these are the qualities of beingness; they are not you qualities. You have urinated and odor is coming from that -- are you that odor?

Q: No, I am not.

M: You require no more sadhana.. For you, the words of the Guru are final.

October 5, 1980

Maharaj: I have no individuality. I have assumed no pose as a person. Whatever happens in the manifest consciousness happens.

People identify me with their concepts and they do what their concepts tell them. It is consciousness which is manifest, nothing else. Who is talking, who is walking, who is sitting? These are the expressions of that chemical "I Am". Are you that chemical? You talk about heaven and hell, this Mahatma or that one, but how about you? Who are you?

In meditation, one sees a lot of visions. They are in the chemical, the realm of your consciousness, are they not? All these things are connected only to that birth-chemical. You are not this chemical "I Am"!

Spiritual knowledge should not be studied; it is knowledge derived from listening. When the listener hears it, and accepts it, something clicks in him.

This "I Amness" is otherness; it is an expression of duality.

November 8, 1980

Questioner: Why is it that we naturally seem to think of ourselves as separate individuals?

Maharaj: Your thoughts about individuality are really not you own thoughts; they are all collective thoughts; they are all collective thoughts. You think that you are the one who has the thoughts; in fact thoughts arise in consciousness.

As our spiritual knowledge grows, our identification with an individual body-mind diminishes, and our consciousness expands into universal consciousness. The life force continues to act, but its thought and actions are no longer limited to an individual. They become the total manifestation. It is like the action of the wind -- the wind doesn't blow for any particular individual, but for the total manifestation.

Q: As an individual can we go back to the source?

M: Not as an individual; the knowledge "I Am" must go back to its own source.

Now, consciousness has identified with a form. Later, it understands that it is not that form and goes further. In a few cases it may reach the space, and very often, there it stops. In a very few cases, it reaches its real source, beyond all conditioning.

It is difficult to give up that inclination of identifying the body as the self. I am not talking to an individual, I am talking to the consciousness. It is consciousness which must seek its source.

Out of that no-being state comes the beingness. It comes as quietly as twilight, with just a feel of "I Am" and then suddenly the space is there. In the space, movement starts with the air, the fire, the water, and the earth. All these five elements are you only. Out of your consciousness all this has happened. There is no individual. There is only you, the total functioning is you, the consciousness is you.

You are the consciousness, all the titles of the Gods are you names, but by clinging to the body you hand yourself over to time and death -- you are imposing it on yourself.

I am the total universe. When I am the total universe I am in need of nothing because I am everything. But I cramped myself into a small thing, a body; I made myself a fragment and became needful. I need so many things as a body.

In the absence of a body, do you, and did you, exist? Are you, and were you, there or not? Attain that state which is and was prior to the body. Your true nature is open and free, but you cover it up, you give it various designs.

November 9, 1980

Questioner: Should the type of dispassion which Maharaj is teaching us be taught to children?

Maharaj: No. It that's done, they'll have no ambition to grow further; they must have certain ambitions, certain desires, for their proper growth.

The one who has fully investigated himself, the one who has come to understand, will never try to interfere in the play of consciousness. There is no creator with a vast intellect as such; all this play is going on spontaneously. There's no intellect behind it, so don't try to impose yours to bring about any change; leave it alone. Your intellect is a subsequent product of this process, so how can your intellect take charge of or even evaluate, the whole creation? Investigate your self; this is the purpose of your being.

Spirituality is nothing more that understanding this play of consciousness -- try to find out what this fraud is by seeking its source.

November 12, 1980

Maharaj: The "I Amness", the manifest Brahman, and the Isvara are all only one; ponder over this and realize it. This is a rare opportunity, one where all has been explained in great detail, so take full advantage of it.

You are the manifest Brahman. I have told you many times what your true state is, but, through force of habit, you again descend into body identification. A stage has now arrived at which you must give up this bodily identification. The bodily activities will continue until the body drops off, but you should not identify with them.

Questioner: How are we to do this?

Maharaj: You can watch the body, so you are not the body. You can watch the breath, so you are not the vital breath. In the same way, you are not the consciousness; but you have to become one with the consciousness. As you stabilize in the consciousness, dispassion for the body and for the expressions through the body occurs spontaneously. It is a natural renunciation, not a deliberate one.

It does not mean that you should neglect your worldly duties; carry these out with full zest.

Q: Shouldn't we rediscover the freedom of the little baby from the body?

M: Understand the source of the child. The child is a product of the sperm of the father and the ovum of the mother. Consciousness is there in the child as it is in the parents; it is always the same consciousness whether in the child or the adult. There is only one consciousness. You must become one with and stabilize in that consciousness, then you transcend it. That consciousness is you only capital. Understand it.

To what extent do you know yourself?

Q: I have held the feet of Sat-guru, beyond that I don't know anything.

M: You must do that, but you should understand the meaning of "feet of Sat-guru." Understand that, as movement begins with the feet, so movement begins from no-knowingness to knowingness. When the knowingness occurs, that is Sat-guru movement. Go to the source for the movement where the "I Amness" begins. The effort of the one who has arrested that movement will not go to waste. Holding the fee of the Sat-guru is the borderline between knowingness and no-knowingness.

November 17, 1980

Questioner: Don't we have to discard all knowledge?

Maharaj: You must have a thorough knowledge of this consciousness, and having known everything about the consciousness you come to the conclusion that it is all unreal, and then it should drop off. Having listened to these talks, sit and meditate, "That which I have heard, is it true or not?" Then you will understand that this is also to be discarded.

The principle which can pass judgment on whether the world is or is not, that principle antedates the world. That by which everything is known, whether it is or not -- who knows this?

When I say Parabrahman, then you say that you understand. Names are merely an instrument for communicating. Do you understand what I am driving at?

Q: The jnani knows that this is all an illusion, that there is no  path; but if, from within the illusion, one is convinced that there is a path, and there's somewhere to go, does it make sense to use techniques to get to that further illusion?

M: Illusion - is it a word or not?

Q: It's a word that relates to a concept.

M: That is also a name only, is it not?

Q: Yes.

M: So what illusory word do you want that will satisfy you?

November 18, 1980

Maharaj: My present outlook is without limitation, total freedom.

Ultimately one must go beyond knowledge, but the knowledge must come, and knowledge can come by constant meditation. By meditating, the knowledge "I Am" gradually settles down and merges with universal knowledge, and thereby becomes totally free, like the sky, or space.

Those who come here with the idea of getting knowledge, even spiritual knowledge,  come here as individuals aspiring to get something: that is the real difficulty. The seeker must disappear.

When you know your real nature the knowledge "I Am" remains, but that knowledge is unlimited. It is not possible for you to acquire knowledge, you are knowledge. You are what you are seeking. 

Your true being exists prior to the arising of any concept. Can you, as an object, understand something that existed prior to the arising of a concept? In the absence of consciousness is there any proof of the existence of the existence of anything? Consciousness itself is mind, is thought, is all phenomena, all manifestation. Apprehending this is being dead to "A am the body" while alive. This kind of knowledge comes only in a rare case, and is a very elusive kind of knowledge where no effort is necessary; in fact, effort itself is a hindrance. It is intuitive understanding.

Questioner: Then should all spiritual disciplines be dropped?

M: At the highest level this is so; at the earlier levels you have to do your homework.

Those who are able intuitively to grasp this lose their interest in worldly affairs. Having lost it, what will they get? Whatever they have lost, they will have lost as an ordinary person, but what they get in return will  be fit for a King. hose who have comprehended and who have reached a certain stage will not ask for anything, but everything will come to them spontaneously. There will be no wish for it; nevertheless, it will be there. This does not happen for an individual -- it happens for the universal manifestation, of for the one who has become one with his true nature. For the jani, only witnessing is taking place.

November 20, 1980

Maharaj: The principle which can know itself is in the organism. In a worm crawling, it is there, because the worm knows itself instinctively.

By listening to my talks you will be transformed back to your original state, prior to you birth. Right now, in spite of you present life, it will happen. My present talk is quite different now, at a higher level; therefore I do not invite anybody to listen to my present talks. I recommend that nobody should come and listen because they will develop a dispassion for their family or daily life.

Language energy and vital breath energy should merge and stabilize. Otherwise, if you allow them to go outward, they will be dissipated.

If you want peace, stabilize at that point where you started to be, stay put there. Om is the unstruck sound, the unpronounced word.

You don't respond to my talks, you have not been able to perceive the nature of you consciousness. Consciousness is something like the drama of a play, play-acting. You are unsupported, you have no support at all. The birth, the parents, all this is illusion. Taking the body as oneself is the accident. If you don't cling to the body as your identity, everything will be all right.

When beingness forgets itself, that state is Parabrahman. This knowingness is not your true state, it is the outcome of the food essence body, and you, the Absolute, are not that.

November 21, 1980

Maharaj: Whatever I had thought earlier has now changed. What is happening now is that even the slightest touch of individuality has completely disappeared, and it is consciousness as such which is spontaneously experiencing. The result is total freedom. All the time there was complete conviction that it was consciousness which was experiencing; but that "I" which the consciousness was there. Now that has totally disappeared; therefore, whatever happens in the field of consciousness, I, who am there before consciousness, am not concerned in any way. The experience is of consciousness experiencing itself.

Nevertheless, understand what consciousness is, even if consciousness is not an individual. The basis and source of consciousness is in the material. What I say is still in the conceptual world, and you need not accept it as truth. Nothing in the conceptual world is true.

Once the disease was diagnosed, the very name of the disease started various thoughts and concepts. Watching those thoughts and concepts I came to the conclusion that whatever is happening is in the consciousness. I told the consciousness, "It is you who is suffering, not I." If consciousness wants to continue to suffer, let it remain in the body. If it wants to leave the body, let it. Either way, I am not concerned. 

All kinds of things were happening, thoughts and experiences, and they were credited to my account, but once I have seen what it is, all those account books have been burned and I no longer have any account.

How amusing it is to see someone who thinks of himself as an individual, who thinks of himself as a doer or achiever. Whatever is happening, and the experiencing of the happening, takes place in this consciousness when the "I Am" arises.

November 24, 1980

Questioner: If there is no difference between what is prior to birth and what is after death there is no difference, is there any reason for attempting to learn who we are now? Isn't it all the same?

Maharaj: The light coming from the sun and the sun itself - is there any difference?

Q: The only difference is what happens in the middle?

M: Whatever happens between birth and death is also an expression of the consciousness only. Even in the realm of consciousness you pass the time entertaining various concepts; what else are you doing?

Q: Is Maharaj playing with various concepts?

M: No. It is the consciousness, it plays by itself.

Q: Does Maharaj's consciousness play, even though he is detached from it?

M: Consciousness is not private property, it is universal.

Q: Though we understand this, sometimes it seems confined to a body.

M: You are trying to understand with the intellect; just be. When I tell you that you are that dynamic, manifest knowledge, you are everything. What else do you want?

Q: I am aware that I came here because Maharaj gives me the mirror, but this time he is showing me that I am my own mirror.

M: That is why you should not stay for long.

Q: After we leave here, what are we to do?

M: It is up to you. If you abide in consciousness everything will be happening spontaneously. If you are still at body-mind level, you will think that you are doing something. If you really abide in what I say, you become one with your Self. Then people will be serving you, they will fall at your feet. Whatever is necessary for you will happen. Activities are bound to happen. Consciousness can never remain inactive, it will always be busy - that is its nature. When you come here, you have certain expectations, certain aspirations, but after listening to my talks you lose all that. 

Q: Even when I have an intuitive understanding of this, what is this reluctance to give up all that I am not?

M: You have not stabilized firmly in that understanding. Your conviction should be such that no question at all should arise in future about that. For example, a person is dead and has been cremated, it is all over, is there any question about that? Like that, it will be all over.

Q: What effort do I need to make toward that?

M: Effortlessly, just be.

When the consciousness fully understands the consciousness, will it embrace the body as itself? It is in totality; it is not going to pick our a fragment of the manifestation and say, "I am this."

The consciousness expresses itself as does a light. This five elemental play is the manifestation of the consciousness, the effulgence of consciousness only. The play of the five elements will finally merge into the consciousness, because it is  an outcome of the consciousness.

November 25, 1980

Maharaj: People come here and stay for days, weeks, even months. The first few days what they have heard takes root, and that is when they should leave, so that what has taken root will have time to grow and blossom. As soon as the seed takes root, they must go. What has taken root must bloom, must express itself within each heart.

Questioner: Maharaj has said, in this respect, that the teachings were his Gurus, but the understanding was his.

M: My Guru told me that consciousness alone is the Guru, all other developments sprouted within me. The fruit should grow on your own plant. I should not sow my understandings in you.

I have no use for traditions or traditional knowledge. If you do the slightest research on tradition you will see that it is all a concept. I am concerned with only one fact. Here I was in my wholeness, not even aware of my awareness, then suddenly this consciousness sprang up. How did it come about? That is the question which needs investigating.

One must understand how clever this fraud of Maya is; first it shows us our body and makes us believe that we are the body, but the body is nothing but a speck of fertilized sperm, and in that sperm the consciousness is latent. You see what a fraud it is?

The essence of the body is the essence of the foodstuff, and this consciousness lies dormant in it from the very beginning. In that state of consciousness is the entire universe. Having seen this, whoever has understood is bound to be quiet, knowing that this is only a transient happening. An enormous structure of concepts being taught to us as knowledge is based on the simple appearance of consciousness.


December 5, 1980

Maharaj: This sickness gave the confirmation that there is no personality, no individual. Sickness to whom? Sickness is part of the functioning of the entire manifest, dynamic Chaitanya; it is the play of consciousness. My true state is prior to this consciousness. That state does not depend on the consciousness.

There is a couplet we sing at Bhajans, to Chakrapani. Chakrapani means that "I Amness", the life principle, the manifest principle. It is like this cigarette lighter. The gas as such has no light, but its manifestation is the flame; it is full of light, life, energy. Even in the atom and sub-atom, that energy is there.

The functioning of consciousness takes place spontaneously, and one doesn't know what will happen. For instance, I say something and M. will translate it one way, B. will translate it another, in whichever way they have understood it. This is the way the process will go on. This Chakrapani is "like a flywheel," Lord Krishna said, "rotating allbeings." That energy which moves all things in the waking state is latent in deep sleep. How long is one unaware of awareness? One doesn't know, but suddenly consciousness arises. Does anyone think along these lines? Is it not amazing that consciousness, which might remain latent for any length of time, suddenly arises spontaneously?

Questioner: Is universal cansciousness ever uware of itself as universal consciousness, or does it become aware only when there is aform.'

M: Awareness is not aware of its awareness. If you get too much involved in what I am saying you will throw away the books you are writing, everything.

Q: I will finish the books, then I amfinished.

M: [To Jean Dunn] You have promised me that you will complete the books. Universal consciousness will not write the books. How will you write the books?

Q: It will happen spontaneously.

December 8, 1980

Maharaj: I am talking about the consciousness which works through this body at the moment, but which is not visible. This consciousness is not limited to the body but is universal consciousness; I can't speak of anything else now. A person who is already dead is not worried about anything. Whether the people like it or not doesn't matter. Perhaps you may be getting some blessings, some benefits, from listening to my talks, I don't know.

All my actions are the actions of universal consciousness appearing to work through this body. I do not remember something from the past and then act; it is all action in the now.

Questioner: Where does consciousness comefrom?

M: It never comes or goes, it just appears to have come.

Q: Why does Maharaj know this and we do not?

M: It is not difficult for you to know also, but with what identity are you asking?

Q: Is it karmic, can karma be changed?

M: It is all consciousness working, not this one or that one working; it is all consciousness.

Q: Can Maharaj, out of compassion, give me a push into that state of universal consciousness ?

M: Yes, of course, I can do that, but you must listen to me, you must have complete faith in whatever I tell you about yourself, and you must behave accordingly.

By nature I am non-manifest, yet I am manifested, but I am really not manifested. Can you live like that, as the non-manifest?

As long as the attribute is there, the quality of the attribute, the "I Am", is there; therefore, I can speak like this. If it goes away, what happens? The sense of "I" has come and has gone, that is all, I am not going to die. One who has rejected this identity will understand.

Q: Maharaj said that he is not going to die ?

M: How can one who is not born, die?

When people first learned about this illness, those who have affection for me came to talk to me, or wrote to me, giving advice and medicine. Whatever is to happen will happen, I have no interest. I don't have fear so I don't have to do anything. It is quite in order that those who have affection for me write and come to discuss things with me; I don't listen to them, and that is also quite in order, because I am not afraid of anything.

You are asking, "Who am I?" and you are not going to get an answer, because the one who will get the answer is false. You may have an idea, a concept, and you will think you have found yourself, but it is only a concept; you can never see your Self.

Q: What is sat-chit-ananda?

M: It is words. You can take it that sat-chit-ananda is the limit which your mind can describe of that state which cannot be described. Your true state is non-manifest; the manifestation comes and the words come. The one who experiences sat-chit-ananda is there before the experience.

December 15, 1980

Maharaj: Consider the status you have reached if you are able to understand what I say, and if you have understood, there will be no status at all. Your worth cannot be measured. You have done all your homework and now your sadhana or spiritual practice is bearing fruit; now you are here. Let it grow in you. You don't have to go to anybody else after you leave this place; that part of the work has already been done by you. Because you are worthy of that state of realization, you are here today.

Get to know that "I Am" without words which arises in the morning. Knowing the Self, abiding in the Self- knowledge, is not a mere intellectual knowing. You must be that, and you should not move away from it. Remain firm. Do not consult others about the advice I have given to them. Abide in what I have told only you. Kill that curiosity to know what others are told; to each seeker the appropriate advice is given. Unless you abide in your own true nature you will not be able to gauge the depth of another's nature. When you try to understand others, the Self-effulgent nature of one's Self should open up completely. You will know yourself in the process. The knowledge being expounded here you will not find in any books. Now, having given you so much, you may see me tomorrow or you may not, that is immaterial, but don't forget what I have told you about your Self.

December 18, 1980

Questioner: This consciousness is like a screen, and I am the screen.

Maharaj: Understand what I say without concepts; you are adding new concepts. Now go to zero concepts.There are many spiritual seekers whose aim is to acquire sufficient merit to reach a certain place, such as Heaven or Vaikuntha. I have had no aims except to find out. I was not aware of my awareness, and suddenly I became conscious that. I am. Where and how did this consciousness arise on me? That was my enquiry, going back to that state when the presence of phenomena was not there. That is, original knowledge of the original Self. So, I went back, tracing this original Self, and I reached a stage where I wanted to know what my state was before this consciousness arose. That is the destination which I have reached. Brahman, Isvara, God, all these are names given to the consciousness when it is conscious of itself. If you have properly understood this knowledge, what will be your position at the moment of so-called death? It will be watching what is happening. This consciousness gradually loses everything, and ultimately consciousness is no longer conscious of itself. That state cannot be described. It is called Parabrahman, the Supreme Absolute, but that is only a name for communication purposes.

This line of enquiry started when I noticed that from the moment one wakes up until one falls asleep, one is very busy doing something or other. What is it that compels us to do these things? Because of what does this go on? Then I came to the conclusion that it is my beingness, the fact that I am conscious of existing, which is working throughout the day. That was how my enquiry started.

In the body the indwelling principle is the consciousness. Abiding in the consciousness, it became all manifestation. Now transcendence of the consciousness has also occurred. With the appearance of consciousness, the Absolute knows it is, "I Am". This is the experience. There are other experiences now, in this time factor, but experiences are gradually dropping off, including this primary experience "I Am". It is only the consciousness that is going to disappear, the Absolute is always there. What a fall! The perfect state, caught up in these experiences, and trying to derive certain benefits out of the experiences.

Q: Is it spontaneous?

M: Yes. Whatever experiences were happening in this field of knowingness, the Ultimate principle got caught up in that. It accepted some experience as itself. Accepting experiences as the truth, it gets more and more involved.


December 22, 1980

Maharaj: Just now I was lying down in the waking state, but with no perceiving or receiving of any words, something like a prior-to-words state.

Now the last traces of personality or individuality have left me. Last year I used to talk to people with a certain affection, but that is not available now. My dwelling place in the grosser world is gone now; presently it is in the subtler sphere, as in space.

The effect of these talks is that you will stabilize in the very source from which the words sprout. Abiding in the dynamic, manifest consciousness is abiding in the words of the Guru. The meaning of the mantra I have given you is that you are the manifest, dynamic principle, not the body. When you abide in that, you become that.

People think that they are coming here of their own volition, but it is the consciousness which is bringing them here, because the consciousness wants this knowledge.

My talks are addressed to the consciousness, "You have identified with the body, but you are not the body." It is knowledge which must understand its own nature, and merge with the knowledge which is its source.

People come here and ask for blessings; they don't understand that the knowledge that one is not the body, but the consciousness within, is the blessing.


Decem ber 25, 1980


Questioner: When we are busy with our worldly jobs, what should we keep in mind?

Maharaj: Because the "I Am" principle is there, it is moving all over. To recognize it, you put on various uniforms in order to give it an identity, but that principle is already there, and because of that principle you are engaging in various activities. Unless you wear the uniform (the body) you will not be able to conduct any activities.

This knowledge is meant for the Isvara principle, which is presently caught up in the illusion that it is the body-mind. You have accepted the identity of the uniform and that identity becomes your ego.

Isvara is the manifest principle by which all activities are carried on. It has no form - the forms are given because of the five elemental play. Now, that principle gets completely lost in the uniform and is recognized by the uniform only. You have the fear of death because you fear losing your identity, the body.

Since the uniform is available to you, by all means use it, but understand that you are not the uniform.

Q: What does one do when the uniform gets troublesome?

M: Recede into your own Self, be one with your true Self.

This "I Amness" enjoys various experiences. It becomes a beggar or a King.

Is this body eternal? The body has been changing all during your life, which identity is you?

Q: I identify myself with my body, I know that.

M: Who?

Q: I do.

M: Give me a photograph of the meaning of that word "I" You can't. That principle has no name or form or shape. My firm conclusion is that whatever is done through the uniform is perishable, it is not going to remain. Which uniform has any permanency? Once you know that you are not the form or the name of that uniform, it is all over. Suppose you have hoarded some thousand-rupee notes and suddenly the government order comes that they are all invalidated.

Once you discard this "I Amness" uniform, what remains is the Parabrahman. That which is eternally current is the Parabrahman.

Q: Will Maharaj help me discard my uniform?

M: What is the need? It is not eternal, it never was.

Q: We have not discarded ours, that is the problem.

M: Now, tell me, when the knowingness was not there, what experiences did you have? That little touch of "I Amness" and you felt the existence of yourself and the world.

Q: How to give up this knowingness?

M: Where is the need? If you accept that uniform as yourself, then the question of giving it up will be there. Give up your identity with the body, try to know yourself. It is merely knowingness, you cannot perceive that state. You come here because you are ignorant, not because you are knowledgeable. This knowledge I give is only to remove ignorance.

December 26, 1980

Maharaj: Out of what is the body created?

Questioner: It is an expression ofconsciousness.

M: Is this body not composed of the five elements? You know that you exist; does not this knowledge depend on the five elements? The consciousness cannot be known without the body. It depends on the form.

Q: Do you mean that without the body I do not know that I am?

M: That is correct. From your own experience, not what you have heard or read, can you know that you exist without the body?

Q: I exist without this body.

M: Forget about what you have read. When you did not have the experience of this body, did you have the experience of being?

Q: My English is not very good, I cannot express it, but I know "I Am. "

M: Before you were born, could you have felt or sensed or known that you exist? A jnani is free because he sees that the body is made up of the five elements and it works according to the nature of these elements. I see that body, but I am not concerned with whatever that body does. There is nothing in it with which I can identify. The essence of the combination of the five elements is the sense of being, of existing. It has all come simultaneously, I have no part in it. Feeling that I am present depends on having a body; I am neither the body nor the conscious presence.

In this body is the subtle principle "I Am"; that principle witnesses all this. You are not the words. Words are the expression of space, they are not yours. Still further, you are not that "I Am"

Q: What am "I" then?

M: Who is asking?

Q: There is nothing here, no "I"?

M: Who is asking this?

Q: There is a sense of something, I don 't know what it is.

M: If you feel that sense of something, can it be the truth? When this consciousness goes into oblivion, who is to say what that state is?

Q: I don't know.

M: Because your "I Amness" is not there, you do not know yourself. When you began knowing that you are, you did a lot of mischief, but when the "I Am" is not there, there is no question of mischief.

Q: Is the "I Am" there all the time, as long as my body is there?

M: The "I Am" is absent only in the state of samadhi, when the self merges into the Self. Otherwise, it will be there. In the state of a realized person the "I Am" is there; he just doesn't give much importance to it. A jnani is not guided by a concept.

Q: Do we have a relationship, Maharaj, when I think I should be here with you'

M: The very thought is the relationship.

Q: The intensity of my longing to be here made me wonder if Maharaj thinks of his disciples?

M: I think of them more than you know.

December 30, 1980

Questioner: I think there should be beauty in the whole manifestation.

Maharaj: You should not get involved in what has appeared. Take a tree - the bark, the leaves, the blossoms, the fruit, all have a different nature. If you get involved in the appearance of these, you will lose sight of the source, the tree.

Intellectually, you have understood, but you have to be one with it, you have to identify with what you have understood. Understand that the seed of this body is the sperm of the father mixed with the ovum of the mother. That is the seed for the manifestation of the phenomen, but I am not the seed, I am not the phenomena, nor am I the consciousness which is time-bound.

The names and forms which you see are consciousness only. Your consciousness is very pure and that's why you are able to judge. The Atman is colorless, but it is able to judge colors, etc.

Your sadhana is over; you have reached this place.

This knowledge is for those who have no desires. The Self-knowledge is the most precious knowledge.

To you who search for the Self I explain this type of knowledge. I lead you to a state where there is no hunger, no desire, therefore I am not inclined to invite those who are worried about their possessions and their relations to listen to my talks.

When you have knowledge you see that the consciousness "I" is all-pervasive, as long as the consciousness is there; but the witness of the consciousness has no "I Am" and that is your true, eternal nature.

"I love" gives rise to great joy, and at the same time there is nothing so miserable as "I love"

Giving up the body is a great festival for me.

What is the worth of all the activities of human beings? It is all entertainment, just to pass time. You get pleasure only when you forget yourself; in deep sleep you have forgotten yourself, that itself is joy.

It is the Atman, not the personality, that is drawn to spirituality.

I will not expound knowledge in the future; a few words here and there will be all.

January 3, 1981

Maharaj: Beingness has the quality to become whatever you think of. Whatever concept you feed to the consciousness, the consciousness will provide you with that. Whatever you hold on to intensely, you are bound to be that, that is the quality of your consciousness. You should never think that you are the body.

Consciousness is not the body. As a result of the body the beingness is felt, but beingness is all-pervasive.

Consciousness alone feels the expanse of consciousness, but I, the Absolute, am not that.

Whatever is known is known by consciousness, is in the field of consciousness. The consciousness and the knowledge will subside when the food body dies. The Absolute always remains. The seed of knowledge is planted in you by these talks; now you have to follow it up. You must nurse it, ruminate over it, so that the tree of knowledge will grow.

January 4, 1981


Questioner: I was pondering what Maharaj said about all consciousness being the same this morning, andforjust a few seconds, it was as if everything was one and I was behind it. Is this the aim?

Maharaj: That is not the aim, IT IS SO. It is there and it is only because of identity with the body that what is, doesn't seem as if it is.

Please understand that there is only one thing to be understood, and that is that you are the formless, timeless unborn. It is because of your identification with the body as an entity that your consciousness, which is universal consciousness, thinks that it is dying. Nobody is dying, because nobody was born.

The millions of forms are the manifestation of consciousness. It is the millions of forms which get created and destroyed, but universal consciousness itself is unborn and undying. Just imagine if all the millions of forms which have been created were still here - how could other forms be created? It is because consciousness is unborn and undying that the millions of forms get created and destroyed; it is a continuous process. Understand that what you are is this unlimited universal consciousness. Only that in which consciousness manifests itself is limited and is created and destroyed. The total potential of consciousness remains. It is unlimited.

You are seeking knowledge from the standpoint of identification with the body and whatever can be grasped by the mind. When this body machine is there, the technique of using it is there, and that is what you are identifying with now, but it is not your true identity. You have no control over it, it has appeared and it will disappear.

I talk to you from the perspective of the universal consciousness and I know that all bodies are the essence of food and that they will vanish.


January 7, 1981


Questioner: Every time something happens now, instead of getting involved in it, I am seeing that everything is that "I Amness". I am experiencing that.

Maharaj: Witnessing takes place, there is nothing to be done. It is total freedom for one who does not identify with the body.

Q: Everything is happening on its own and I have no concern with it.

M: If that is so, it means that you have understood everything and there is no need for you to linger here any longer.

Questioner [Another person]: It is diferent for me. I have to make an effort not to get involved in thoughts when I meditate.

M: It is the nature of the life force to express itself through thoughts and words, so they will keep on coming. If you have to make an effort in the beginning not to get involved, make that effort until it becomes effortless.

Q: Does the jnani have a mind and thoughts also ?

M: Although thoughts come and go, the jnani is not concerned. Thoughts will come in consciousness; witnessing also takes place in consciousness. You must have the conviction that you are consciousness Thereafter there is nothing for you to do; leave it to the consciousness to do what is to be done. Whatever happens, happens spontaneously.

Q: Where is the seat ofconsciousness?

M: In every particle of the juice of the body. In the scriptural books it is normally given that there are various chakras. Those are available if you want to locate them like that, but according to me, it is throughout the body.

Q: What is the difference between the body and consciousness?

M: What is the difference between sugar and sweetness? The sweetness is there in the sugar cane juice. In the body. the sweetness is the knowledge you are, the consciousness. This knowingness is due to what? What is the prerequisite for consciousness?

Q: Is it the body?

M: The body is necessary to sustain consciousness; for the body to be, food is necessary, is it not?

Q: Yes.

M: If the body does not remain, consciousness will not remain. In the absence of body and consciousness, what are you?

Q: I don 't know.

M: Now you want to get some benefit, some advantage, for yourself. To whom is the benefit?

Q: Consciousness.

M: If you are not the body or the consciousness, then what are you? When you realize the Self-knowledge, then the self is released, liberated.

Q: Then what?

M: Then you know, definitely, who you are. That by which you know, you know that, also.

Q: Is that liberation ?

M: Liberation means what? It is no more there. [Flicking his cigarette lighter on and off] This cigarette lighter is the body; the consciousness is the flame. Now it isn't there anymore; it is liberated. Where is the need to label it in the absence of consciousness?