I Am That

by Jivamukti Editorial Team |
July, 2001
I am That
The real does not die, the unreal never lived.
Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

This collection of the timeless teachings of one of the greatest sages of India is a testament to the uniqueness of the seer’s life and work, and it is regarded by many as a “modern spiritual classic.”

I Am That (now in its 11th printing) continues to draw new audiences, and to enlighten anxious seekers after self-realization. Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj was a teacher who did not propound any ideology or religion, but gently unwrapped the mystery of the self. His message is simple, direct, and yet sublime.

Here is an excerpt from the book, taken from the cover notes.:

The real does not die, the unreal never lived.

Imagine a big building collapsing; some rooms are in ruins and some intact. But can you speak of the space as ruined, or intact? It is only the structure that suffered and the people who happened to live in it. Nothing happened to space itself. Similarly, nothing happens to life when forms break down and names are wiped out. The goldsmith melts down old jewelry to make new. Once you know that death happens to the body and not to you, you just watch your body falling off, like a discarded garment. The real you is timeless and beyond birth and death. The body will survive as long as it is needed. It is not important that it should live long.

A simple man, Maharaj was a householder and petty storekeeper in Bombay where he lived, and died in 1981 at the age of 84. He had not been educated formally but came to be respected and loved for his insights into the crux of human pain and the extraordinary lucidity of his direct discourses. People came daily to his humble abode with their questions. I Am That is a book compiled from transcripts of those questions and Maharaj’s enlightened answers.

Talks with Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
Edited by Sudhakar S. Dikshit
published by The Acorn Press