28 August 2013

Nisargadatta is Subtle; the key to understanding him

Nisargadatta is difficult to understand because he steps entirely outside the box of objects and phenomenal entities, and instead talks about us as being a functioning arising out of the body/mind complex and the chemicals of life.  You can appreciate this if you carefully read the three books of Jean Dunn, Maharaj’s final talks.

He asks you “Who were you before you were born?”

You respond, “I don’t know.”

He replies, “You must have been there to know you don’t know.”

This sounds ridiculous.  It sounds like he is saying you must have been there in time, a hundred years ago.

Is he saying this? Yes and no.

He asks, “Who were you after you awoke but before you were self-conscious.”  He then says, “Right now trace yourself back to that No-I state, before knowing you exist.” What were you then?

You find a thoughtless mind that is not self aware.  It is not aware of objects or anything else. It is not aware of birds singing even while birds are singing. It is not yet aware of the pain in your shoulder from yesterday’s tennis game.  You are not yet aware even of your full bladder.  Everything is perceived, but nothing is know or understood.  This is true no-mind, no-knowing.

Nisargdatta refers to this as the causal body, implanted into flesh and when born becomes your body/mind.  This is a state you need to know before you can become self-realized.

Then what happens?

Self-Consciousness arises along with the feeling of ‘me’ and the I-thought. Then you think, I need to pee and you go pee.

It is the arising of this self-consciousness, I, to which Maharaj refers to as Maya, illusion. And in what way?  In that it touches everything that was impersonal in consciousness with the I-feeling. Consciousness becomes everything that is manifested. Nothing exists outside of Consciousness.  Only consciousness is.

But, at one moment there was nothing.  The next moment awareness arose without self awareness. Then self-awareness arose. He calls this knowledge or knowingness.

Now Nisargadatta makes a giant leap. He said while tracing his awareness back to the pre-I-Am state, there was just awareness.  What is it that became self-aware?  This is the fundamental question.

His conclusion was that the ultimate “entity” (which is not an entity, but a functioning) is that which knew Consciousness but itself was not consciousness.

He says the fundamental quality of the I-Am is knowledge and on the flip side, ignorance or no-knowledge, such as your true self 100 years before you were born or that which you were in before awakening.  Deep sleep gives way for a moment to living totally in the Causal Body, but just for a moment before self-awareness arises as I-Am.

You ask many questions about Consciousness and spirituality he says, but the asker, knowledge, is also knowledge itself.

You, as the manifest, are knowledge. Later on knowledge of specifics is added on.  In other places he says you are the principle by which things are known.

Thus, you are not the body or the mind.  You are not all the objects in the world, all its people, animals and events.  You are the knowledge that things are happening, and knowledge cannot be perceived, it is the perceiver of knowledge.

Then he takes one step further and says you are the knower of the knowledge, but as the principle of knowing itself not as an entity.  As the manifest, in the world, you are knowledge; as the Unmanifest, you are that which knows knowledge and that there can be an absence of knowledge, which is true nothingness.

As the principle that is aware of Consciousness as well as its absence, you are beyond mind and any perceptions. You cannot know yourself as an entity.

What you do know, he says, with the full force of your awareness is the I Am.  Find the I Am, stay there. Love the I Am, for everything in the universe flows from that I-Am’s arising after awakening.

So he describes in many ways the I Am and Consciousness, its energy and attributes. It is the totality of the dynamic of Consciousness manifest in a million ways, and to the devotee of the I Am, as bliss, ecstasy, love, and the sure knowledge that you exist.  You are the manifest universe, including God or Krishna or Christ Consciousness.  To know this the knower must rest in the I-Am and totally know all aspects of Consciousness.

Then, he said, for him the personal, the sense of I gradually got weaker and weaker until the last year of his life it disappeared altogether.

But he says, do not be in a hurry to destroy the I, because Consciousness and its awareness is all the “capital you have.” When it is gone, everything is gone.  Puff!!! And then you as the principle of knowing must wait for another body to be born into before once again you have self-knowledge, the I-Am.

This does not mean that you, as Tom, Dick, or Sarah is reborn, for that particular I-Am died with the body/mind.  But the principle of knowing, a ghost, a chemical, impersonal, awaits for its birth in a new body, whether worm, elephant, or human.  That universal ability to know, that principle is the “eternal you,” but it has nothing personal in it.

I want you to understand is that I use different terms for the same meaning.  Instead of saying you are that which knows, the function of knowing, I say you are the subject, the knower, but not of this world.  You are like an entity from a different dimension staring through a membrane into our universe, experiencing it, but not of it, not touched by it.

And instead of saying, “Trace yourself backwards to that which you were before the I Am arose,” I say, which Maharaj says at other times, “Find your sense of I-Am, your sense of me.  Stay there.  Reside in that sense.  Be open to it in wonder, with love and appreciation.”

          You will find the I-sense flowers, grows into a solid sense of presence, bliss, and constantly moving energy along with the concrete conviction of who you are.  Without a doubt you will know who you are.  You will become solid and immovable, but at the same time, the energetic source of the universe. You will become Consciousness—all of it.


  1. Excuse me, but to me that is all so confusing, do I really have to know that all ?
    I just do the falling backwards method and wonder what happens!
    Is this not enough ?