To know ‘what you are’, you must first investigate and know what you are not.
When I see I am nothing, that is wisdom. When I see I am everything, that is love. My life is a movement between these two.
You are not in the body, the body is in you! The mind is in you. They happen to you. They are there because you find them interesting.
Put your awareness to work, not your mind. The mind is not the right instrument for this task. The timeless can be reached only by the timeless. Your body and your mind are born subject to time; only awareness is timeless, even in the now.
There is nothing to practice. To know yourself, be yourself. To be yourself, stop imagining yourself to be this or that. Just be. Let your true nature emerge. Don’t disturb your mind with seeking.
Realization: In 1933 at the age of 34, a friend of his, Yashwantrao Baagkar, introduced him to his guru, Sri Siddharameshwar Maharaj, the head of the Inchegeri branch of the Navanath Sampradaya. The guru gave a mantra and some instructions to Maruti and died soon after. He (Maruti) followed that instructions verbatim.Within three years, Maruti realized himself and took the new name Nisargadatta. He later recalled: “My Guru, told me: You are not what you take yourself to be. Find out what you are.My Guru ordered me to attend to the sense ‘I am’ and to give attention to nothing else. I just obeyed. I did not follow any particular course of breathing, or meditation, or study of scriptures. Whatever happened, I would turn away my attention from it and remain with the sense ‘I am’. It may look too simple, even crude. My only reason for doing it was that my Guru told me so. Yet it worked!. ”
Death: Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj died on September 8, 1981, at the age of 84 in Bombay (Mumbai), Maharashtra, India.
Teaching Style: He talked about the ‘direct way’ of knowing the Final Reality ‘Who are you’, in which one becomes aware of one’s original nature through mental discrimination, a method also known as the Bird’s way (‘Vihangam Marg’) wherein Self-Knowledge is gained just as a bird flying in the sky, goes easily from branch to branch, instead of slowly crawling its way up the tree, like an ant, as in the ‘Pipilika Marg’. Here one reaches straight to truth, without wasting time in long drawn out practices.
Fame: Nisargadatta Maharaj was the most famous teacher of Advaita since Ramana Maharshi. His profound yet simple words brought many into awareness of their original nature. His terse but potent sayings are known for their ability to trigger shifts in consciousness, just by hearing, or even reading them. This self-realized master became famous for brilliant, aphoristic, extemporized talks in which he taught an austere, minimalist Jnana Yoga based on his own experience.His unique way of teaching ‘advaita’, or non-duality, earned him a place as one of the most profound spiritual teachers of our age.
Legacy: An Indian spiritual teacher and philosopher of Advaita, and a Guru, Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj got very little time to be with his Guru Sri Sidharameshwar Maharaj, the head of the Inchegeri branch of the Navnath Sampradaya. His Guru died Soon after giving some simple instruction to him. He followed those instructions. After a personal revelation from his Guru, he spent the rest of his life giving teachings to his visitors form throughout the world. He also served as the head of the Inchegeri branch of the Navnath Sampradaya .
He taught the ‘direct way’ of knowing the Final Reality ‘Who are you’.In this 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.
According to him, our true nature is perpetually free peaceful awareness, in Hinduism referred to as Brahman. Awareness is the source of, but different from, the personal, individual consciousness, which is related to the body. The mind and memory are responsible for association with a particular body; awareness exists prior to both mind and memory what he called it, our “original essence”, the True Self, in Hinduism referred to as Atman which is pure, free, and unaffected by anything that occurs. It is a silent witness that watches through the body’s senses, yet is not moved, either to happiness or sadness, based on what it sees
The Self is not one super-entity which knows independently, regardless of things; there is no such super-entity, no Creator with infinite intellect. God does not exist independently from creation. What does exist is the “total acting” (or functioning) of the Ultimate or Absolute Reality along the infinite varying forms in manifestation. This Absolute Reality is identical to The Self.
Since our true nature or identity is not the mind, is not the body, but the witness of the mind and body, we, as pure awareness, do nothing. The mind and body act of their own accord, and we are the witness of them, though the mind often thinks it acts. This false idea (that the mind is the self) is what keeps us from recognizing our Self.
Develop the witness attitude and you will find in your own experience that detachment brings control. The state of witnessing is full of power, there is nothing passive about it.
Use mental faculty to break from the unreal to the real, and the mind’s false identification with the ego, simply by listening and constantly thinking over what the master has said, and knowing that “You are already That” .
If the mind tells you that you are the one who is acting, don’t believe the mind. The apparatus [mind, body] which is functioning has come upon your original essence, but you are not that apparatus.