Nisargadatta Maharaj is the author of the incredible book, I Am That. This book that has the power to liberate its readers from all that is false and erroneous in them. So they can awaken to their Truth and reclaim their Light, Love, and Freedom.
What I will share with you today are some of my favorite Nisargadatta Maharaj quotes and life changing lessons that I highlighted and saved from his book, I Am That.
44 Life Changing Lessons to Learn from Nisargadatta Maharaj
1. Absolute perfection is here and now, not in some future, near or far.
“Absolute perfection is here and now, not in some future, near or far. The secret is in action – here and now. It is your behavior that blinds you to yourself. Disregard whatever you think yourself to be and act as if you were absolutely perfect – whatever your idea of perfection may be. All you need is courage.” ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj
2. Pleasure puts you to sleep and pain wakes you up. ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj
“Pleasure puts you to sleep and pain wakes you up. If you don’t want to suffer, don’t go to sleep.”
3. You are complete here and now, you need absolutely nothing.
“If you seek reality you must set yourself free of all backgrounds, of all cultures, of all patterns of thinking and feeling. Even the idea of being man or woman, or even human should be discarded. The ocean of life contains all, not only humans.
So, first of all abandon all self-identification, stop thinking of yourself as such-and-such or so-and-so, this or that. Abandon all self-concern, worry not about your welfare, material or spiritual, abandon every desire, gross or subtle, stop thinking of achievement of any kind. You are complete here and now, you need absolutely nothing.” ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj
Freedom to do what one likes is really bondage, while being free to do what one must, what is right, is real freedom.
“It is always the false that makes you suffer, the false desires and fears, the false values and ideas, the false relationships between people. Abandon the false and you are free of pain; truth makes happy, truth liberates.” Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
6. Whatever you come across – go beyond.
“There are always moments when one feels empty and estranged. Such moments are most desirable, for it means the soul has cast its moorings and is sailing for distant places.
This is detachment — when the old is over and the new has not yet come. If you are afraid, the state may be distressing, but there is really nothing to be afraid of. Remember the instruction: Whatever you come across – go beyond.” ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj
“Your High opinion of me is your opinion only. Any moment you may change it. Why attach importance to opinions, even your own ?” ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj
8. See the imaginary as imaginary and be free of fear.
“Once you realize that the world is your own projection, you are free of it. You need not free yourself of a world that does not exist, except in your own imagination! However is the picture, beautiful or ugly, you are painting it and you are not bound by it. Realize that there is nobody to force it on you, that it is due to the habit of taking the imaginary to be real. See the imaginary as imaginary and be free of fear.” ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj
9. Do not neglect this body. This is the house of God
“Do not neglect this body. This is the house of God; take care of it, only in this body can God be realised” ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj
10. You will receive everything you need when you stop asking for what you do not need. ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj
Realize that your world is only a reflection of yourself and stop finding fault with the reflection. Attend to yourself, set yourself right; mentally and emotionally. The physical self will follow automatically. Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
12. You are the creator, enjoyer and destroyer of all you perceive.
“Whatever happens, happens to you by you, through you; you are the creator, enjoyer and destroyer of all you perceive.” ~ Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
13. Once you realize the road is the goal and life becomes natural and simple.
“Once you realize that the road is the goal and that you are always on the road, not to reach a goal, but to enjoy its beauty and its wisdom, life ceases to be a task and becomes natural and simple, in itself an ecstasy.” ― Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
14. A quiet mind is all you need.
“A quiet mind is all you need. All else will happen rightly, once your mind is quiet. As the sun on rising makes the world active, so does self-awareness affect changes in the mind. In the light of calm and steady self-awareness, inner energies wake up and work miracles without any effort on your part.” ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj
15. The primary purpose of meditation is to become conscious of, and familiar with, our inner life.
“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 over-come 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 become quiet.” ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj
16. Don’t try to understand! It’s enough if you do not misunderstand. ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj
“The consciousness in you and the consciousness in me, apparently two, really one, seek unity and that is love.” ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj
17. All you need is already within you.
“All you need is already within you, only you must approach yourself with reverence and love. Self-condemnation and self-distrust are grievous errors…” ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj
“What has been attained may again be lost. Only when you realize the true peace, the peace you have never lost, that peace will remain with you for it was never away. Instead of searching for what you do not have, find out what is it that you have never lost.
That which is there before the beginning and after the ending of everything, to That there is no birth nor death. That Immovable state, which is not affected by the birth and death of a body or a mind, that state you must perceive.” ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj
“In the mirror of your mind all kinds of pictures appear and disappear. Knowing that they are entirely your own creations, watch them silently come and go. Be alert, but not perturbed. This attitude of silent observation is the very foundation of yoga. You see the picture, but you are not the picture.” ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj
20. The way back to yourself is through refusal and rejection. ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj
21. The death of the mind is the birth of wisdom.
“You may die a hundred deaths without a break in the mental turmoil. Or, you may keep your body and die only in the mind. The death of the mind is the birth of wisdom.” ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj
22. To imagine that some little thing-food, sex, power, fame-will make you happy is to deceive oneself.
“All you want is to be happy. All your desires, whatever they may be, are longing for happiness. Basically, you wish yourself well…desire by itself is not wrong. It is life itself, the urge to grow in knowledge and experience. It is choices you make that are wrong. To imagine that some little thing-food, sex, power, fame-will make you happy is to deceive oneself. Only something as vast and deep as your real self can make you truly and lastingly happy.”
~ Nisargadatta Maharaj
23. The world is but a show, glittering and empty.
“The world is but a show, glittering and empty. It is, and yet it is not. It is there as long as I want to see it and take part in it. When I cease caring, it dissolves. It has no cause and serves no purpose. It just happens when we are absent-minded. It appears exactly as it looks, but there is no depth in it, nor meaning.
Only the onlooker is real, call him Self or Atma. To the Self, the world is but a colorful show, which he enjoys as long as it lasts and forgets when it is over. Whatever happens on the stage makes him shudder in terror or roll with laughter, yet all the time he is aware that it is but a show. Without desire or fear, he enjoys it, as it happens.” ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj
“Wisdom is knowing I am nothing, Love is knowing I am everything, and between the two my life moves.” ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj
“When I look inside and see that I’m nothing, that’s wisdom. When I look outside and see that I’m everything, that’s love. And between these two, my life turns.” ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj
“Self-condemnation and self-distrust are grievous errors. Your constant flight from pain and search for pleasure is a sign of love you bear for your self, all I plead with you is this: make love of your self perfect. Deny yourself nothing — glue your self infinity and eternity and discover that you do not need them; you are beyond.” ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj
26. When you fight, you invite a fight. But when you do not resist, you meet no resistance.
“It has nothing to do with effort. Just turn away, look between the thoughts, rather than at the thoughts. When you happen to walk in a crowd, you do not fight every man you meet, you just find your way between. When you fight, you invite a fight. But when you do not resist, you meet no resistance. When you refuse to play the game, you are out of it.” ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj
“Truth is not a reward for good behaviour, nor a prize for passing some tests. It cannot be brought about. It is the primary, the unborn, the ancient source of all that is. You are eligible because you are. You need not merit truth. It is your own…. Stand still, be quiet.” ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj
“Refuse to think of yourself in terms of this or that. There is no other way out of misery, which you have created for yourself through blind acceptance without investigation. Suffering is a call for enquiry, all pain needs investigation. Don’t be too lazy to think.” ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj
29. Give up all questions except one: ‘Who am l’?
“Give up all questions except one: ‘Who am l’? 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.” ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj
30. Remembering your self is virtue, forgetting your self is sin. ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj
31. Don’t rely on your mind for liberation.
Don’t rely on your mind for liberation. It is the mind that brought you into bondage. Go beyond it altogether. ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj
32. If you want to know your true nature, you must have yourself in mind all the time.
“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.” ― Nisargadatta Maharaj
33. There is no need of a way out!
There is no need of a way out! Don’t you see that a way out is also part of the dream All you have to do is see the dream as dream. …Wherever it leads you, it will be a dream. The very idea of going beyond the dream is illusory.
Why go anywhere? Just realize that you are dreaming a dream you call the world and stop looking for ways out. The dream is not your problem. Your problem is that you like one part of your dream and not another. Love all, or none of it, and stop complaining. When you have seen the dream as a dream, you have done all that needs be done. Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
34. All that matters is mindfulness.
“When you sit quiet and watch yourself, many things may come to the surface. Do nothing about them, don’t react to them. As they have come, so will they go, by themselves. All that matters is mindfulness, total awareness of oneself, or rather, of one’s mind.” ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj
35. We miss the real by lack of attention, and create the unreal by excess of imagination. ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj
“To deal with things knowledge of things is needed. To deal with people, you need insight, sympathy. To deal with yourself, you need nothing. Be what you are–conscious being–and don’t stray away from yourself.” ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj
“Truth is simple and available 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.” ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj
37. The ultimate point of view is that there is nothing to understand.
“The ultimate point of view is that there is nothing to understand, so when we try to understand, we are only indulging in acrobatics of the mind. Whatever you have understood, you are not. Why are you getting lost in concepts? You are not what you know, you are the knower.” ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj
38. In dream you love some and not others. On waking up you find you are love itself.
“In dream you love some and not others. On waking up you find you are love itself, embracing all. Personal love, however intense and genuine, invariably binds; love in freedom is love of all.” ― Nisargadatta Maharaj
39. Love is not selective, desire is selective.
“Love is not selective, desire is selective. In love there are no strangers. When the centre of selfishness is no longer, all desires for pleasure and fear of pain cease; one is no longer interested in being happy; beyond happiness there is pure intensity, inexhaustible energy, the ecstasy of giving from a perennial source.” ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj
40. To know that you are a prisoner of your mind is the dawn of wisdom. ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj
“You have put so much energy into building a prison for yourself. Now spend as much on demolishing it. In fact, demolition is easy, for the false dissolves when it is discovered.” ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj
41. Rare is the realised man who discloses his realisation.
“He who knows himself has no doubts about it. Nor does he care whether others recognise his state or not. Rare is the realised man who discloses his realisation and fortunate are those who have met him, for he does it for their abiding welfare.” ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj
42. By calling God by His name you make Him come to you.
“When you know the name of a thing, or a person, you can find it easily. By calling God by His name you make Him come to you… According to your expectations. If you happen to be unlucky and some saintly soul gives you a mantra for good luck and you repeat it with faith and devotion, your bad luck is bound to turn. 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.” ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj
43. The sound of mantra creates the shape which will embody the Self.
“The sound of mantra creates the shape which will embody the Self. The Self can embody any shape — and operate through it. After all, the Self is expressing itself in action — and a mantra is primarily energy in action. It acts on you, it acts on your surroundings.” ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj
44. The realized man knows what others merely hear but don’t experience.
“The realized man knows what others merely hear but don’t experience. Intellectually they may seem convinced, but in action they betray their bondage, while the realized man is always right.” ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj
BONUS: Nisargadatta Maharaj Quotes
“The self does not identify itself with success or failure — the very idea of becoming this or that is unthinkable. The self understands that success and failure are relative and related, that they are the very warp and weft of life. Learn from both and go beyond. If you have not learnt, repeat.” ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj
“Once you know with absolute certainty that nothing can trouble you but your own imagination, you come to disregard your desires and fears, concepts and ideas and live by truth alone.” ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj
“A man who moves with the earth will necessarily experience days and nights. He who stays with the sun will know no darkness. ”
“Stop hurting yourself and others, stop suffering, wake up”.
“Once you are convinced that you cannot say truthfully about your self anything except ‘I am’, and that nothing that can be pointed at, can be your self, the need for the ‘I am’ is over — you are no longer intent on verbalising what you are. All you need is to get rid of the tendency to define your self.”
“Desire is the memory of pleasure and fear is the memory of pain. Both make the mind restless. Moments of pleasure are merely gaps in the stream of pain. How can the mind be happy?”
“The universe is complete and where there is completeness, where nothing lacks, what can give pain?”
“Would people know that nothing can happen unless the entire universe makes it happen, they would achieve much more with less expenditure of energy.”
“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 them will make them go.”
“Your expectation of something unique and dramatic, of some wonderful explosion, is merely hindering and delaying your Self Realization. You are not to expect an explosion, for the explosion has already happened – at the moment when you were born, when you realized yourself as Being-Knowing-Feeling.
“Desiring a state of freedom from desire will not set you free. Nothing can set you free, because you are free. See yourself with desireless clarity, that is all.” ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj
There is only one mistake you are making: you take the inner for the outer and the outer for the inner. What is in you, you take to be outside you and what is outside, you take to be in you. The mind and feelings are external, but you take them to be intimate. You believe the world to be objective, while it is entirely a projection of your psyche. That is the basic confusion and no new explosion will set it right! You have to think yourself out of it. There is no other way.” ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj