With the rise of “I” – Satsang Discourse by Nome


March 4, 2007
Society of Abidance in Truth (SAT)

The Maharshi has said that with the rise of “I” or the ego-notion, all else rises. And with its subsidence all else subsides.

The ‘all else’ that rises is the nonself, the nonexistent, the unreal. Since it is unreal it does not actually rise, for the unreal does not come to be, and the Reality, or Being, alone ever is. But for those who assume the existence of an “I”, all else seems to rise, and there is division onto dualism. It is the veiling of the undivided nature of ones own self, the homogeneous Being-Consciousness-Bliss, that gives rise to the projection of multiplicity. In truth, the singular undivided existence alone is, and always is.

Because the rising of I, or the assumption of existence as an ego-entity is the cause of all else, that id duality and its consequence bondage and suffering, abandonment of that ego is said to be the means to liberation. How can you abandon something that is not real? It is in the discerning knowledge of its unreality that it is abandoned. All bondage and suffering has its root in this ego-“I”. With the dissolution of that false assumption, the potential for suffering is dissolved. With the dissolution of the ego notion, your own Self shines, in Itself, in Self-knowledge.

Therefore all spiritual practice aims at the dissolution of the ego, and therefore the most direct of all practices is to see just what the nature of the “I” is. There is Existence and there is the sense of “I”, and in delusion the two are confused. So then you start with just that apparently individualized existence and determine what its nature is. Its “I”-ness, being unreal, will vanish. What remains is the Existence that has actually always been there, the real Self.

The entire inquiry is completely nonobjective. It deals with your immediate sense of identity, your ever-present sense of existence. Discern clearly what you regard as “I”, your self. Every idea about anything else is based on this idea of “I”.

The definition of the self with determine the experience of everything else. If the definition of the self be the body, the world is experienced. If it is not, then not. If the definition of the self is a thinking entity, a ‘thinker’, or one defined by some kind of thought, then the mind will seem to be an existent entity, and ideas will be regarded as real. If that is not the definition, then that is not the case.

What is the true definition of you own self? The Vedas declare ‘Tat tvam asi” – That you are, “Ayam Atma Brahman” – This Self is Brahman, but you must find this out for yourself. And when I say, “Find it our for yourself,” it seems that this is an instruction posed to an individual, but if this very ‘individual’ dives within, inquiring “Who am I?”, the individuality is not at all, and only the real Self, Brahman, is existent, and That alone knows itself.

So understand Self-realization to be free of the states or conditions of the body, of the mind, of the individual entirely. There is no one existing outside of the Self since there is no one else other than the Self. It is ridiculous to speak of ones Self as being realized or being unrealized. There is only That which constitutes the realization, which is not an object, not an event, not a transitory experience, but just Being, Existence.

Inquire within yourself and come to a conclusive knowledge of this Existence.


Nome is an American spiritual teacher of Advaita Vedanta, in the tradition of 20th Century Indian sage Ramana Maharshi.


Biographical Info

Nome was born on January 23, 1955 in Long Island, New York, and spent most of his childhood in New Jersey. His family was opposed to all religions.

Early Spiritual Experiences and Practice

Despite having no training in any religious tradition, Nome’s first spiritual experience, of nirvikalpa samadhi, occurred at age 15 spontaneously in a park in New jersey. At age 16, without graduating from high school, he left his home and family in New Jersey and traveled to California in search of enlightenment.

In San Francisco Nome met Swami Swanandashram, who introduced him to the traditional scriptures of Hinduism such as the Upanisads, the Avadhuta Gita, and the Astavakra Gita, and to the teachings of Adi Sankara and Sri Ramana Maharshi.

After three years of intense spiritual practice (Ramana’s Self-inquiry), on May 14, 1974, at 19 years of age, Nome gained Self-Realization.

Early Teaching

For several years Nome was mainly silent, and sometimes answered questions from spiritual seekers.

In 1978, a group of spiritual seekers, first called “The Avadhut Ashram,” formed around Nome. He held satsang in Boulder Creek, Santa Cruz and San Francisco. Later, the Society of Abidance in Truth was created from this group, and a temple, dedicated to Sri Ramana Maharshi, was built in Santa Cruz, CA, USA, and opened in 1989. Satsang and retreats have been offered in this temple since that time.

Books – Translations, commentaries and original works

Although he had no formal education in Hinduism, Nome dedicated himself to reading and studying the classical scriptures and the Sanskrit language. From 1988 to 2001, Nome worked with Dr. H. Ramamoorthy, a scholar of Hinduism and the Sanskrit and Tamil languages, to translate classic Advaita Vedanta works into English (many for the first time). This work encompassed xx manuscripts, and continued until the death of Dr. Ramamoorthy at age xx in 2001.

Many works have been published, including classics of Hindu thought such as both the Sanskrit and the Tamil versions of the Ribhu Gita, and Sankara’s Svatmanirupanam. There are more manuscripts still to be published. This collaboration produced the only complete English translation of the Tamil-language Ribhu Gita, titled Song of Ribhu. This work has been reprinted in India by Ramanasramam, and has been translated into Hindi and Italian.

Original written works by Nome include Timeless Presence and Self-Knowledge. A commentary on Sri Ramana’s “Self-Inquiry,” Essence of Inquiry has also been published and is available  from the Ramanasramam book store.

Since the founding of SAT

Nome was invited by Sri Ramanasramam to participate at the 1996 centenary celebration of Sri Ramana Maharshi’s arrival at Arunachala. He has also spoken at The Ramana Centre for Learning in Bangalore, by request of A.R. Natarajan. Both Ramanasramam and The Ramana Centre for Learning have published books written or translated by Nome.

More about SAT can be found at www.satramana.org. More about Nome is on Wikepedia, at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nome,_Spiritual_Teacher

Related Posts:

Nome, an American teacher  of Sri Ramana’s Self-inquiry
The Ribhu Gita
Undifferentiated – Satsang by Nome

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