Satsang Discourse by Nome
September 30, 2007
Society of Abidance in Truth (SAT) www.satramana.org
Nirguna Brahman – qualityless, attributeless Brahman – is the solitary reality. That that Brahman alone exists is the meaning of nonduality. It is said that all of this, the entirely of ones experience, ranging from subtlest thought to the forms of objects of the world is Suguna Brahman, Brahman with attributes, Brahman with qualities. There are not two types of Brahman. The meaning is clear that all this is only Brahman, and Brahman alone exists.
The notion of differentiation of any kind arises entirely dependent upon the previous assumption, purely imagined, of an individual “I”. All the differences appear in the midst of that which is undifferentiated, starting with the notion of “I”. All disturbance appears in the midst of That which is all peace, only starting with the notion of “I”, the supposition that there is some existent individual. It is an assumed misidentification. Likewise, all suffering, worry, fear, etc. in the midst of great Bliss appear, starting with the notion of “I”. And all bondage has its start in the midst of immense Freedom, only with the notion of “I”.
How is this notion imagined? For whom is it imagined? The Maharshi has taught that we should inquire as to “Who am I?” in order to realize conclusively the Self as being the solitary Reality. Who am I? If only that inquiry is made, profoundly so, the very root, the very source, of all the illusions mentioned, of all the differentiation proves to be nonexistent.
With the root or cause absent, the effect is also absent. The individual and his life times long story both disappear – because they are unreal. Brahman remains, as Brahman alone has existed always.
What is it that is real? Only the indefinable Brahman. What was all that which disappeared? Nothing but Brahman – and Brahman is invariable in its nature.
Inquire. Know the true nature of your self, and thus abide in That, as That. This being realized, there is nothing further to be attained. In That all questions are answered, all doubts are gone, all illusions are gone. Abandon the misidentification of being with a differentiated body and mind and ego, and know the Self, the solitary existence, just as it is.
Nome is an American spiritual teacher of Advaita Vedanta, in the tradition of 20th Century Indian sage Ramana Maharshi.
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.
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