Nisargadatta had a shift in consciousness just before his death. He truly realized “Anatta” (no self) exactly as the Buddha taught.
“Whatever I had thought earlier has now changed. What is happening now is that even the slightest touch of individuality has completely disappeared and it is consciousness as such which is spontaneously experiencing. The result is total freedom. All the time there was complete conviction that it was consciousness which was experiencing; but that ‘I’ which the consciousness was experiencing was there. Now that has totally disappeared…”
Nisargadatta: “The ‘I am’ is a thought, while awareness is not a thought; there is no ‘I am aware’ in awareness.”
Nisargadatta says: “the personality gives way to to the witness, then the witness goes and pure awareness remains.”
Another from Nisargadatta:
“All hangs on the idea ‘I am’. Examine it very thoroughly. It lies at the root of every trouble. This ‘I am’ idea was not born with you. You could have lived very well without it. It came later due to your self-identification with the body. It created an illusion of separation where there was none. It made you a stranger in your own world alien and inimical. Without the sense of ‘I am’ life goes on. There are moments when we are without the sense of ‘I am’, at peace and happy. With the return of ‘I am’, trouble starts.”
“It is because the ‘I am’ is false that it wants to continue. Reality need not continue – knowing itself indestructible, it is indifferent to the destruction of forms and expressions. To strengthen and stabilize the ‘I am’ we do all sorts of things – all in vain for the ‘I am’ is being rebuilt from moment to moment. No ambition is spiritual. All ambitions are for the sake of ‘I am’. If you want to make real progress you must give up all ideas of “I am”.
“Immortality is freedom from the feeling: ‘I am’. Yet it is not extinction. On the contrary, it is a state infinitely more real, aware and happy than you can possibly think of. Only self-consciousness is no more. Who would remain even to say ‘I am the witness’? When there is no ‘I am’, where is the witness? In the timeless state there no self to take refuge in.”
Quotes of Nisargadatta Maharaj from “I am That”.
“There is nothing happening – nobody is bound – therefore, there is no question of liberation. It is only when one thinks of himself as an individual that he thinks of bondage and liberation.”
“The self-styled gurus talk of ripeness and effort, of merits and achievements, of destiny and grace; all these are mere mental formations, projections of an addicted mind. Instead of helping, they obstruct”.
Q: I am tired of all the ways and means and skills and tricks, of all these mental acrobatics. Is there a way to perceive reality directly and immediately?
M: Stop making use of your mind and see what happens. Do this one thing thoroughly. That is all.
(Nisargadatta, dialogue 43.)
“When you believe yourself to be a person, you see persons everywhere. In reality there are no persons, only threads of memories and habits. At the moment of realization the person ceases.”