The Mind – Satsang discourse by Nome

by

Discourse – April 13, 2008 –

Nome

Society of Abidance in Truth (SAT) www.satramana.org

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Nome, with Arunachala as background

The mind resolves itself in the Self. The mind is dissolved. The mind is destroyed. These statements and ones similar to them you find in instructions given by the Maharshi, as well as strewn throughout the Upanisads and other scriptures.

What is the mind? On the one hand the Maharshi has said that the mind is only a bundle of thoughts, and on the other hand the Maharshi has said the mind simply does not exist. Regarding the latter instruction, he has said, “Realizing the mind’s nonexistence is the direct path for all.”

What is the mind? When he said it is only a bundle of thoughts, it is to remove the false notion that there is a second knowing entity other than the infinite Consciousness, the infinite Consciousness in which there is no knower and known, no subject and object, which are illusions that appear only in the waking state of mind and the dreaming state of mind. When he said, :”This is the direct path for all, to realize the mind’s nonexistence,” what else is this but the profound realization that there is no second identity, no second entity, and therefore no duality. That is, there is no one to say, “I know the Self,” or, “I do not know the Self.”

Regarded as a bundle of thoughts, the first thought, integrally connected to all the other thoughts, is the notion, “I”. It is merely the barest assumption, hardly a thought. All the other ideas are based upon it, or, from another perspective, all the other ideas are just the idea of “I” in various guises. Therefore the inquiry, ‘Who am I?’ puts an end to the mind by showing that it never actually exists. This which was never created is said to ‘perish’ or ‘dissolve’. What else is that resolution, dissolution or destruction but the knowledge of what is real, in which the unreal has never come to be? What else is loss of the ego but the realization that the Self alone exists, eternally, and there is nothing and no one else ever.

The Reality that alone is, for which there is no alternative, for which there is no other, in which there is no differentiation, which is beginningless and endless, is truly called nonduality.

Whether you comprehend what is being indicated or not, even now, what is it that so knows? “I understand, I do not understand,” what is it that knows this? To fathom the depths of your own identity, your own existence, you must inquire more deeply than the perceiving or conceiving, the perceived and conceived. For what you are in truth, certainly cannot be a body, or the senses. And it cannot be the mind, or its thought forms. What is it that you call, ‘I’? What is it that appears as ‘a mind’? Existence, which is invariably singular, which alone deserves that name, “I,” what is its nature? The consciousness that is ever shining, synonymous with that existence, which always knows, but is never divided into triads such as knower, knowing and known, what is it? Can there be a mind in That? If all of illusion and its consequent bondage and suffering, is just the delusion of the mind, if the mind itself is found not to exist, what remains?

(Long pause for reflection and meditation.)

Inquire within yourself to know the knower, without superimposing any of the attributes of the known upon the knower. Self-luminous consciousness, Self-known as Self-knowledge, remains.

You, who are, whoever you imagine yourself to be, inquire as to who you are.

(Long pause.)

Being, which is unborn and indestructible, utterly formless, and undifferentiated, which always is, only as it is, remains, as it always is. This may be loosely referred to as ‘Self-realization’, yet, who realizes what?

(Long pause.)

Nevertheless, the falsely assumed ego, or mind, is no where to be found. Bondage is impossible, and immortal bliss is realized as the natural state.

———————————————–

About Nome

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 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 bookstore, Ramana Centre for 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.

New books continue to be published each year, including original material, and collections and translations of important work of Advaita Vedanta.

Recent Health Issues

In recent years the body of Nome has been affected by Parkinson’s disease. At satsang you may notice a trembling of his right hand. I have discussed this with Nome. He said that there are standard treatments, which are really only short term and with side effects. He said that the best treatment is Ramana’s self inquiry, which does has a side effect also, that of bliss.

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.

A series of discourses from Nome’s book, Self Knowledge can be found at the advaita.org.uk site. They start with this url http://www.advaita.org.uk/discourses/teachers/self1_nome.htm.

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2 Responses to “The Mind – Satsang discourse by Nome”

  1. pumdv Says:

    Human mind whn tracked it leads to the outer world and this is graphically represented by the Pasa thread held by the goddess parvathi and Ganesha. When you go to temple please observe the hand postures and the objects in the gods hand. When the connection between th ewoven thread is cut it is the end of me or I so there is no me or no I, mind is connected to each other by the pasa kiuru ( thread held in the hand of the Ganesha and goddess parvathi

  2. lakkki Says:

    Really this is nothing but grace of sri ramana bhagawan.

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