Author Topic: Awareness and Consciousness By Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj  (Read 5165 times)


  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3557
    • View Profile
Source: I AM THAT Book By Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

Chapter 11: Awareness and Consciousness

Q: Questioner
M: Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

Q: Do you see in the world a direction and a purpose?

M: The world is but a reflection of my imagination. Whatever I want to see, I can see. But why should I invent patterns of creation, evolution and destruction? I do not need them and have no desire to lock up the world in a mental picture.

Q: Coming back to sleep. Do you dream?

M: Of course.

Q: What are your dreams?

M: Echoes of the waking state.

Q: And your deep sleep?

M: The brain consciousness is suspended.

Q: Are you then unconscious?

M: Unconscious of my surroundings -- yes.

Q: Not quite unconscious?

M: I remain aware that I am unconscious.

Q: You use the words 'aware' and 'conscious'. Are they not the same?

M: Awareness is primordial; it is the original state, beginningless, endless, uncaused, unsupported, without parts, without change. Consciousness is on contact, a reflection against a surface, a state of duality. There can be no consciousness without awareness, but there can be awareness without consciousness, as in deep sleep. Awareness is absolute, consciousness is relative to its content; consciousness is always of something. Consciousness is partial and changeful, awareness is total, changeless, calm and silent. And it is the common matrix of every experience.

Q: How does one go beyond consciousness into awareness?

M: Since it is awareness that makes consciousness possible, there is awareness in every state of consciousness. Therefore the very consciousness of being conscious is already a movement in awareness. Interest in your stream of consciousness takes you to awareness. It is not a new state. It is at once recognised as the original, basic existence, which is life itself, and also love and joy.

Q: Since reality is all the time with us, what does self-realisation consist of?

M: Realisation is but the opposite of ignorance. To take the world as real and one’s self as unreal is ignorance. The cause of sorrow. To know the self as the only reality and all else as temporal and transient is freedom, peace and joy. It is all very simple. Instead of seeing things as imagined, learn to see them as they are. It is like cleansing a mirror. The same mirror that shows you the world as it is, will also show you your own face. The thought 'I am' is the polishing cloth. Use it.


  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 47994
    • View Profile
Re: Awareness and Consciousness By Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2010, 02:52:06 PM »

Dear prasanth,

Awareness is the state of abiding in the Self permanently.
What Nisargadatta Maharaj says is correct.  The consciousness
can be of different degrees.  We use this word for very many
things in the ordinary world.  Some one is unconscious.  Some
is conscious. etc., etc., So consciousness is relative.  Awareness
is absolute.  It is the abidance in the Self, permanently.

Arunachala Siva.


  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 75
    • View Profile
Re: Awareness and Consciousness By Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2010, 03:27:50 PM »
 Existence is  Awareness. Another synonym for Awareness is also  Pure Consciousness. "Iam" is Pure Consciousnes and I is consciousness. Pure Consciousness is subjective and consciousness is objective..After surgery, you get off the effect of anasethesia and become conscious of persons/things. here it is connected with
mind. Awareness signifies Self.-life force which exist before,during, after surgery-always


  • Guest
Re: Awareness and Consciousness By Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2010, 04:32:59 PM »
I agree with Nisargadattas view more than anyone else regarding consciousness. Consciousness is content of awareness, one can even experience that consciousness is depended on content. no content - no consciousness.
anyway, a play of words...