When asked about his biographical details, Sri
Nisargadatta Maharaj used to say "I was never born",
for he does not identify himself with his body. He identified himself
only with the eternal and pure beingness.
Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj was born in March 1897,
on the day the birthday of Lord Hanuman. In honor of Lord Hanuman,
he was given the name 'Maruti'. At the tender age
of 18, Maruti's father passed away and Maruti followed his oldest
brother to Bombay. There he worked as a bidi merchant. In 1924 he
married Sumatibai. They had three daughters and a son.
Through a friend named Yashwantrao Bagkar, Maruti met his guru
Sri Shri Siddharameshwar Maharaj. Sri Siddharameshwar told Maruti
to concentrate on the feeling "I Am" and to remain in
that state. Maruti followed his gurus instruction of concentrating
on the feeling "I am", and within three years, the realization
dawned on him and he got Self-awareness.
Sri Nisargadatta continued to live the life of an ordinary Indian
working-man but his teaching, which he set out in his master-work
"I Am That" and which are rooted in the ancient Upanishadic
tradition, made a significant philosophical break from contemporary
thought. Devotees traveled from all over the world to hear Nisargadatta's
unique message until his death. Maharaj left his mortal frame in
1981, suffering with throat cancer.