From the intro:
I came across a book ‘I Am That’ based on the talks of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj. As I began going through it, I just couldn’t put it down, ‘This is dynamite!’ that’s the immediate feeling I had. I Then began preparing the text of ‘The Nisargadatta Gita’. In my life, so far, I had never met a living Guru, is my mere reading or studying of books of the teachings of all these great men of no avail? This last doubt was removed while I was editing the script of ‘I am Unborn’ where Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj answered this very question:
V: Do books replace a Guru?
M: Yes, books can replace a Guru. At one stage you yourself become a Guru;then you find out that books are of no use anymore. The Guru is one, who knows the beginning, continuity and the end of his life and understands the mind on which the environment has so much impact.
( Page, 89, I am Unborn).
This answer came as a big relief and will also come to many like me who have never come across a living Guru in their life.
1. The ‘I am’ came first, it’s ever present,ever available, refuse all thoughts except‘I am’, stay there.Understanding the ‘I am’, your sense of ‘being’ orjust ‘presence’ is extremely important as on it reststhe entire outcome of the teaching. Firstly, are youat all aware of your ‘being’ or of the fact that ‘youare’? You have ‘to be’ before anything else can be,your sense of ‘presence’ or the feeling ‘I am’ isreally fundamental to anything that has to follow.Secondly, this sense of ‘being’ or the feeling ‘I am’,was it not the very first event or happening beforeany of your living experiences could begin? Applyyour mind go back in time to the moment when itdawned on you that ‘you are’ or ‘I am’. This ‘I am’is still there with you, ever present, ever available,it was and still is the first thought, refuse all otherthoughts and come back there and stay there.So try to understand and grasp this ‘beingness’ or‘I amness’ that is inherent in you. The more preciselyand clearly you do it the more rapid will be your progress.