Discourse – March 8, 2009 – Nome,
Society of Abidance in Truth (SAT) www.satramana.org
In the realization that the Self is Absolute Being, free utterly from the notions of individuality and embodiment, is found perfect contentment. It is the peace of the immutable, the infinite, the eternal. No mode of mind, no condition of the body, no object – gross or subtle, and nothing attained in this world can compare with it. All these other things are minuscule, transitory, illusory, utterly nonexistent. The Self, which is real Being, exists, and That alone exists. There must be the realization that consists of identity with that Self. It implies the abandonment of the assumption of being otherwise. Therefore, as Sri Bhagavan has often pointed out, peace is not to be gained anew, the Self is not to be gained anew. It is already existent. It is the ever existent. It is the sole existent reality, pure Being-Consciousness-Bliss.
If there appears to be something else, if it seems to you that you are something else, inquire. Inquire into the very nature of the one to whom such appears, to whom such seems to be. Who am I? Can the real nature of the “I” be the body? If the Self’s real nature transcends the body what possibly then could be the significance of birth and death to that which is beginningless and endless? What is thereby indicated is that every quality, every attribute, every activity that pertains to the body and its senses, and the objects of those senses, does not stand as definition for your being.
If you are bodiless, sense transcendent, unworldly, what is your nature? If you realize even this much by inquiring, your peace won’t be disturbed by anything – ever. If you go further, deeper, in the inquiry to know your self and examine your own mind, you will find that not a single thought pertains to you, that you, true Being, are of the nature of consciousness, and can never be a thought, no matter what shape or form the idea takes. Nor can you be a collection of thought. Indeed thought has nothing to do with you. If you realize this much you will cease to disturb your own innate peace.
If you deeply inquire, ‘Who am I?’, inquiring, ‘For whom is the body?’, ‘For whom is the mind?’, ‘For whom is all this?’ – whatever ‘this; may be, ‘Who am I?’, so that the objective outlook is abandoned completely, so that duality and differentiation are relinquished entirely, delusion is no longer imagined, and what is meant by saying ‘The Self alone exists eternally’ becomes magnificently clear.
The Veda-s declare that Brahman is one, without a second, so how is it that anyone can imagine that someone else has gotten into the picture? If Brahman is one without a second, who is it that could possibly be ignorant of Brahman? For whom could illusion be? When could ignorance rise, if Brahman is one without a second? Without a second signifies without a trace of duality, even so much as the notion of “I”.
If you deeply inquire into what really is the nature of “I” within you, you will find that only Brahman is, the One Self, and in that you are content, a peace that is of the nature of purnam, the perfect fullness. Since one cannot truly rest content with anything less, strive, with all effort, diving inward, to know yourself.
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