Nisargadatta on the Qualities of a Realised Person
Around 1990, Sai Baba recommended three books to various interview groups. The foremost of these was "I Am That" by Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj. This book is a verbatim record of questionings by truth seekers and answers given by the advaitist guru Nisargadatta, whose answers to questions were much more direct, precise and intelligent than the constantly repeated standard teachings of Sai Baba or the stock answers he delivered to questions put to him. It is of interest to note the following question and answer by Nisagardatta:
Questioner: What is realization? Who is a realised man? By what is gnani recognised?
Maharaj: There are no distinctive marks of gnana. Only ignorance can be recognised, not gnana. Nor does a gnani claim to be something special. All those who proclaim their own greatness and uniqueness are not gnanis. They are mistaking some unusual development for realisation. The gnani shows no tendency to proclaim himself to be a gnani. He considers himself to be perfectly normal, true to his real nature. Proclaiming oneself to be an omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent deity is a clear sign of ignorance." (`I Am That` Ch. 43, p. 193)
This book was recommended by one who claims just these things. One wonders, did he actually read the book. No… Sathya Sai Baba is SO exceptional that he doesn't need to learn anything! I don't think.