Satsang, April 6, 2008
Om, Om, Om (Silence)
Undifferentiated and, thus, doubtless is Being, which is the real Self. Every doubt, every notion of illusion, is based upon some false supposition of differentiation, as if that which alone is could become two or other than what it is. A doubt is always of differentiation, and the resolution of the doubt is always the relinquishment of the supposed differentiation.
Thus it is with questions and answers. The explanations in the teaching are, in one sense, based on the differentiation, yet the purpose of them is the dissolution of that very differentiation. The primary differentiation is the assumed identity as an individual, “I.” This assumed differentiation is integral to every other differentiation, such as a conception of a mind, a conception of a world, or the conception of anything else. The dissolution of the world and the subsidence of the mind are the abandonment
of this false differentiation. It cannot be negated in an objective fashion because such presupposes the differentiation as existent, and that is the very thing that one wishes to abandon.
Abandonment of differentiation is the Realization of the Truth. The direct approach is the inquiry into your own nature: Who am I? This inquiry does not presuppose differentiation and then attempt to explain or transform such. The inquiry asks if there is any such differentiation, and, since the way is subjective and not objective, the inquiry is, “Who am I to perceive some difference? Who is it that perceives a mind, and who is it that supposedly perceives a world?”
The undifferentiated state is the state of Reality. It is innate.
The natural, or innate, Self does not transform itself into anything else. There is nothing else to act upon it to transform it into something that it is not.
If your desire is to realize the Supreme Truth, to know Reality as it is, find within that which has no birth, no death, no change at any time, which does not undergo any kind of modification or transformation, and which does not enter or exit anywhere. The one who finds that is himself that. It is not that you become Brahman, but, rather, Brahman is what you are. Such is the immutable Self.
If differentiation appears to persist for you, inquire for whom it is. Who am I? Upon inquiry, there is Self-Knowledge. In Self-Knowledge, you realize that, not only does differentiation not persist, but it did not start. That which truly is always is 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