Satsang with Master Nome, disciple of Sri Ramana Maharshi
[Here follows a selection from a Discourse in one of the countless incredible Master Nome Satsangs. Beginning at a high level, as usual, this Discourse takes on a remarkable “momentum” at a point noted below. Soon thereafter, the “momentum” up-ticks even higher.]
Difference, & change belong to the Senses & the Mind. The Self is undivided & without modifications.
Whatever is subject to change is limited. The Self is limitless. Knowledge through the Senses & the Mind changes & ceases. Real Knowledge of the Self is ceaseless & never other than Being itself. This Knowledge is as limitless & invariable as Being itself. Just as all other thoughts are merely objective Perceptions, so is the Ego, which is not the Self & not a possession or attribute of the Self. One should discriminate what is the Body, the Senses, the Mind, or “I” notion, or the aggregate of such, & inquire, “Who am I ?”.
One should give up the Identity that appears in the Waking State of Mind & also the belief of reality in the Waking State itself. Likewise, one should not identify with what is of the Dream State, in which the Mind functions in a similar objective fashion. One must know himself as beyond that which is of Deep Sleep, which is a state of Causal Merger. The Self is the Witness of all states, is pure Consciousness, & is not an object of knowledge. It is the unknown knower. Though Consciousness cannot be known as an object, it, being formless & without duality, Consciousness can never be made distant from oneself. Therefore, the Self, of the nature of Consciousness, is always known as one’s Own Nature. Consciousness is self-effulgent & does not require any other knowledge to know itself other than that which is its Own Nature, just as a light does not need another light in order to be seen, but is seen because of its own light.
The Self is the only Knower, & nothing else is so. It never comes into existence, for it eternally exists, & is without cause & effect. The Self & Self-Knowledge are not effects of anything. Just as the manifested & the un-manifested are 2 states superimposed upon the Self so, too, are Bondage & Liberation. As there is no day or night for the Sun itself so there is neither Knowledge nor Ignorance for the Self. Realizing the Self as having no connection with anything ever, one is himself the Truth of the Unborn, the Truth of No-creation, & is never born again & is never in Illusion again.
If one is immersed in Samsara, the repetitive cycle of Illusion, Births & Deaths, filled with Suffering, then the way to liberate himself is by Knowledge. Liberation, which is the goal of spiritual practice, is one’s own if, inquiring to know the Self, he discards all notions of “me” & “mine,” attains complete certitude in the Space-like nature of Reality, & abides devoid of physical & mental forms & the assumption of an Ego-entity.
If the Self would change states, such as states of Ignorance & Knowledge, of Bondage & Liberation, it would be destructible, & Liberation, itself, would be artificial or unreal. Liberation is not a change of state from one into another. It is not reasonable to imagine a separation & union in relation to the Self, for both would be transitory. The transient cannot be attributed to the Eternal, just as the unreal cannot be attributed to the Real, or the dual to the Non-Dual. As there truly can be neither union nor separation, Liberation cannot consist of the Individual entering into Brahman or Brahman coming to the Individual.
The true nature of the Self is never destroyed, is changeless, is uncaused, & cannot be obtained or lost. The new appearance or coming into being of any state would be the effect of a precedent cause &, thus, changeful, transitory, & not self-existent; such cannot be permanent Liberation. Self-Knowledge alone is Liberation. Knowing the Self to be oneself is the greatest attainment. To wrongly assume the non-Self to be the Self is ignorance. The removal of the superimposed mis-conceptions, of what the Self is alone, constitutes the path to Liberation. No other view is reasonable, as such always involves some dualism, some belief in an existent Individual experiencer & a self-existent objective thing, & the conception that the Reality becomes other than what it is & the unreal actually comes to be.
Liberation cannot be a change of condition, because such involves mutability & thus destructibility, parts or divisions, & a change in nature. Any belief that superimposition occurs on nonexistence, that Illusion can actually create itself or that there is no Absolute Self should be abandoned because the existence of Being, itself, is irrefutable, & it is not reasonable that something could come from nothing. Superimposition occurs on some real thing, & there is the one who knows this Ignorance. It is Ignorance of what, and for who is it ? If one so inquires, one finds that Being is, Consciousness is.
The supposedly knowing Mind & the Universe known are both imagined. Existence-Knowledge, which is Being-Consciousness, alone is Real. It exists without anything else. It alone is both the Knower & the known, but the forms of such are imagined. Difference, which manifests only in the Mind of the Waking & Dream States, is unreal. Non-Dual Consciousness alone exists.
The ancient Sages gave their spiritual instruction in Silence & with the Teachings revealing how “That you are (Tat tvam asi).” Inquiry into this instruction removes all the ideas of what is not the Self from the Self, like the proverbial negation of the Snake from the Rope. This negation is never of a Reality, but of false assumptions, or superimposition. lf real things were negated, Liberation would be transitory or not at all, for how would it be possible for something truly existent to go out of existence or for something to change its nature ? The inquiry & negation eliminate Ignorance, Illusion, only. All that is objective, as well as the Ego, are negated by the Inquiry summed up as “not this, not this” revealing Being, which is Consciousness, the one Self.
The Ego is ignorantly assumed to be the Self &, thus, the knower. The conceptions of the Mind determine if one is endowed with wrong knowledge, doubtful knowledge, or true Knowledge. With mis-identification, there is wrong knowledge. That is, what is regarded as Knowledge is actually Ignorance.
Thus, there is self-caused delusion about Happiness, Identity, & Reality. With spiritual practice, there is doubtful knowledge. That is, there is actual knowledge of Happiness, Identity, & Reality, but such is not steady. It is either a conviction, but without direct experience, or it is a conviction fused with experience, but not steady because of the need to destroy the remaining tendency to misidentify. True Knowledge is that state in which Knowledge is invariable & in which knowing & Being are one & the same. At all times, the same Consciousness is the only Knower, but it appears as an Ego, a dissolving Ego, or as purely Ego–less, just as a clear crystal appears as if endowed with different colors or as transparent according to the proximity of different colored things or the absence of them. In Truth, all such states & their content are known by the Self, have their apparent existence by the Self, which is free from them & depends on no thought whatsoever to know itself, & “all such states” do not exist apart from the Self, though the Self itself can never be other than the Knowledge, Being, itself.
MOMENTUM further uptick
Regarding the great aphorism, “Thou art That (Tatvamasi)” wise Sages declare that the primary meaning of That is the Absolute, Brahman, & the primary meaning of Thou is the Knower, or “I”. The essential meaning of That is the true Self. The essential meaning of Thou is only pure Being, pure Consciousness. The meaning of both is thus the same, & this is what “Art” expresses. “Art” is an expression of complete Identity. “Art” is realized by the relinquishment of other ideas regarding That &, most importantly, by Self-Inquiry into Thou. The deeper the inquiry into Thou, the more That is known as it is, for Thou Art That. No repetition of the idea, “I am That” “l am the Self,” or “I am Brahman” is intended, for such implies difference between the instructed & the instruction, between the meditator, the meditation, & the meditated upon, between the one desiring Liberation & the Liberation itself, between the self who would know & that Self to be known, & between the realizer & the realized. The Non-Dual Teaching of Identity with the Absolute Self, Brahman, is to be practiced by Self-Inquiry, full of clear Discrimination, that frees one of the false notion of Doer–ship, of being a sensing entity, of being an experiencer, of being a thinker, & such, & that Self-Inquiry discerns fully that the one Self is not the Body, Mind, or Ego, or anything connected with these. Then, one knows one’s own true Self to truly be Brahman.
The Knowledge of the Self becomes possible only when the Ego vanishes. What remains is the Self-evident, the Self-Knowable, the eternally existing, the forever liberated that has never been bound. The Freedom & Happiness of this Realization have no cause or reason. They are self-existing, as Being itself is. Only unhappiness & Bondage seem to have reasons, which, with Self-Inquiry, are found to be merely Ignorance.
When the Knowledge that one is the Self, Brahman, is not veiled by the false notions that Reality is something other than the Non-Dual Self, that oneself is other than the Formless, motionless,
immutable Self, that Happiness is other than the blissful Self, when not so veiled, the Knowledge is firm. Then, the mis-identification of the Self with the Body or any other form becomes impossible.
The direct path of Knowledge is that in which one discriminates as described here, renounces the actions of the Body & Mind, frees himself from the ideas of being a Performer, experiencer, thinker, ete., abides free of outer sensing & inner conceiving activities, & thus knows the Self to be That. The practice of the Teaching of “Thou art That” is the Self-Inquiry: “Who am I ?” When the Knowledge of the Self which is the Absolute, is not contradicted by the false notions that one lacks Bliss & has desires, that one is not Consciousness & does [is the Performer of Action], & that one is not Being but is a bound entity, without such contradictions, the Knowledge is firm.
Though the Body is not the Self, the Self is not the Performer of Action, & Action is unrelated to Self-Knowledge & can in no way bring about the Liberation that this Knowledge alone yields, the holy sage who thus knows will always be manifesting what is True, Good, & Beautiful [“acting” as if in contradiction, but always rightly, if the real of appearance]. With Love for all beings, knowing all to be himself, endowed with equanimity & imperturbable peace, with no self-interest, he is ever engaged in the highest good, whether he appears active or still. His honesty derives from Truth itself, his Love from the indivisible Nature of Being, his Peace from the immovable Absolute, & his kindness & care from the perfect Fullness. How would it be possible for one who knows about Liberation & the Non-Dual Teaching of Identity with the divine Absolute Self to engage in conduct that would be otherwise ?
Nonetheless, it is never possible to determine the state of a realized Sage from the outer appearances of the body with which he has no identity whatsoever. The Sage has gone beyond the Illusions of Life & death, never to return to that which never really was. He [or she] is serene in & as the Absolute, & abides as the Eternal. Whatever is done, he does nothing. Whatever is said, he remains Silent. Whatever is thought, he remains unmodified. For he has known himself, & he himself is what he knows. You Are That. Realize the Truth of this by Self-Inquiry.
[continuing to echo the Mahavakyas]
Supreme Knowledge, Consciousness, is Brahman [prajnanam brahma]. Attain Liberation by Knowledge & realize that true Knowledge is the Eternal, Supreme Consciousness itself. This Self is Brahman [ayam atma brahma]. Inquire “Who am I ?” & realize pure Being as the One–without–a–2nd [advaita]. I am Brahman. Abide in the natural state of the real Self, in the state of Identity with no other “I”.
[echoing Sri Shankara]
Abide as That, which, when known, leaves no other thing to be known. Abide as That, the Happiness of which leaves nothing else to be desired. Abide as That, which, when realized, leaves no other Reality but itself. Abide as that which is the Self which alone exists Eternally, for it is That which alone is.
[The above themes & 1600 pages more are freely available as perused or downloaded PDF’s, the sole occupants of a Public Microsoft Skydrive “Public Folder” accessible through www.jpstiga.com ]