Discourse – December 7, 2008 – Nome, Society of Abidance in Truth (SAT) www.satramana.org
Self-knowledge is, after all, Self-knowledge. It is not an object to be known, or to be acquired as if it were elsewhere, and there is no second knower apart from it to be ignorant of it, or to think, “I know it.”
“Who am I?” The answer to this ought to be known – in the depth at which knowledge and being are identical. What are you lacking? The reality, and all that is necessary to realization is within you. What is the meaning of ‘within’? If this is known, all that is within is easily, so to speak, drawn upon for its own self-revelation. Within is not inside a body. It would be better to say the body is inside of that. Within is not inside a mind. It would be better to say the mind appears in that.
“Who am I?”
At the very center, or core, of the individual existence is something that is not individualized at all, not particularized, immeasurable, inconceivable. Non-ego is its very nature. In this sense we can say the Self is within you. But, “Who am I?” You are not the false assumption of individuality. The Self is not within that at all. The I and all the world, all the universe, appear within the Self. Yet the Self is homogeneous, undifferentiated Being-Consciousness. There is nothing else whatsoever within it. To dive within, therefore, is to know yourself.
There is nothing lacking. The Self is ever existent. The knowledge is freely available. Whatever you think you need, draw it from within. But, certainly, you must know the meaning of ‘within’.
“Who am I?”
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 about 20 manuscripts, and continued until the death of Dr. Ramamoorthy 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, Ramana Centre fo Learning in Bangalore, and SAT.
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