Investigate “I Am” – Nisargadatta Maharaj

Maharaj: Rajneesh [Osho] is not a small personality or small principal. He is tremendous ‒ he is very big. He is a great sage.

When you already have a guru [Rajneesh], why do you visit other sages? Since you already have a great sage as your guru, you should not sit here or come here. I do not like those shiftings from gurus to gurus. I do not like wanderers. What is the difference between Maharaj and Rajneesh [Osho]? Once you remove the letters (that is, the names) what is the difference? You investigate that wanderer’s “I”, before you investigate others. What is the product after you remove its name? What are you without the name or the label?

You investigate the investigator—investigate “I Am”.

Before you take up the assignment of inquiring about others, inquire about yourself first and see if you are real or unreal. The letters “I Am” are written spontaneously with a certain ink. What is that ink which was used to write that which you are? In that ink with which the letters “I Am” were written, in that ink the title of Tej Sesh Bhagavan is confirmed by the Vedas. Sesh means the leftover, the remains. What is the leftover that means what you are? [Maharaj then asked someone to leave and not to listen to these talks.] One who has understood one’s mystery as to what is, that one will not discuss or argue the largeness or smallness of anybody.

You have become a slave to a concept, and having become a slave to one concept you are fully involved and are immersed in more concepts. You are drowning in concepts. Having got caught up with the concept that you are, the first concept, you started giving names and titles and ideas to others and you became enmeshed therein. Although one may call oneself a jnani, one enjoys entertaining himself with a number of concepts. That Taj Sesh Bhagavan has spontaneously come and will spontaneously go. What are you going to get for yourself as “I Am”? In what position or concept did you stabilize yourself as “I Am”? The firm conviction that I am this, the three states—waking state, deep sleep and the knowledge “I Am”—are the aspects of that Tej Sesh Bhagavan. You are not that.

Question: Then who am I?

Maharaj: The prominent and firm reply is only you are. You throw the hooks with bait into the water to catch fish. In that way you, with the concept that you are, throw in the bait and haul in lots of concepts for yourself. So when the question followed by the answer is there, then anything which is refused (what remains) is that rejection.

Prior to any other recognition, you already are. If you are not, other people are not. You are supporting yourself on the intellect of the body and having stabilized in the body or the intellect, you are creating or inviting a lot of concepts, and in the concepts you are bogged down. You are talking about others, let me know what you are. I am asking about you. What are you? You are the observer.

-Nisargadatta Maharaj

From Consciousness and the Absolute, June 9, 1981.

You can read more from Nisargadatta Maharaj here.

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