Ramesh Balsekar is the most famous student of Nisargadatta Maharaj. In his first book, Pointers, Ramesh Balsekar explains the teachings of his guru.
Having never met the sage until that day, Ramesh thought Maharaj must be talking to someone else-but there was no one else there. Thus began the relationship that would lead to Ramesh's transformative awakening. Aged 60 and recently retired from his position as President of Bank of India, Ramesh began attending Maharaj's daily talks, eventually serving as a translator for the growing number of westerners drawn to Maharaj by publication of his book, I Am that. Within one year of meeting Maharaj, awakening happened.
"The core of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj's teaching is the knowledge of one's own identity. This knowledge is indeed the pivotal point around which moves everything. It is the crucial truth. And the apperception of this truth arisesonly from intense personal experience, not from a study of religious texts, which according to Maharaj, are nothing but 'hearsay.'
Taking his stand on the bedrock of incontrovertible facts and totally discarding all assumptions and speculations, he often address a new visitor in the following words: "You are sitting there, I am sitting here, and there is the world outside and, for the moment, we may assume that there must be a creator, let us say God. These three/four items are facts or experience, not 'hearsay.' Let us confine our conversation to these items only." This basis automatically excludes along with the 'hearsay' the traditional texts too, and therefore there is always an exhilarating sense of freshness and freedom to Maharaj's talks.
His words need no support from someone else's words or experiences which, after all, is all that the traditional texts can mean. This approach completely disarms those 'educated' people who come to impress the other visitors with their learning, and at the same time hope to get a certificate from Maharaj about their own highly evolved state. At the same time it greatly encourages the genuine seeker who would prefer to start from scratch. Maharaj tells the visitors that it is only about this consciousness or I-am-ness that he always talks."
"Pointers from Nisargadatta Maharaj"
By Ramesh Balsekar
Acorn Press, 1982