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#3614 - Tuesday, August 4, 2009 - Editor: Jerry Katz

The Nonduality Highlights -    

Nonobjective Self – Satsang discourse by Nome

By richardclarke

3 Votes

Discourse – April 26, 2009
Society of Abidance in Truth (SAT)

The Self is nonobjective. It is never a known object, and it is never an unknown object.

In Self-knowledge the knower, the knowing and the known are one and the same thing. For Self-knowledge, or Self-realization, as we call it, abandon the objective outlook, that is, relinquish the tendency to misidentify the Self with what is not the Self, that is, with anything objective whatsoever.

The Self is never an unknown object. It is never unknown for you exist and you know that you exist, and the knowledge of the existence is of the existence or by the existence itself. No second thing, person or instrument is involved. You are and you know that you are. It is not unknown. The existence, though, is not something perceivable or conceivable, and all that is perceived or conceived is not a definition for it. So it is never known, in that sense. There is a verse in an Upanishad that refers to the Self as, “the unseen seer of all the seen, the unknown knower of all that is known.”

To abandon the objective outlook, or the objectifying tendency, inquire within yourself, just as the Maharshi has directed, “Who am I?” and cease to misidentify with the body, or any attribute, quality or definition pertaining to the body – birth, death and everything in between. Cease to misidentify with the senses or what is a product of the senses. Similarly, cease to misidentify with thinking, for you cannot be a thought. The existence, which is consciousness that knows thought, cannot be a thought. And whatever you have thought about yourself at any time is simply not true. Who you are is not to be perceived and is inconceivable. But you are, and you know that you are, and that existence should know itself at that depth, free of any false definitions.

Of all misidentifications, or false definitions, the primary one is the notion “I,” the assumption of existing as some kind of individual, to which any amount of definition can be appended. To know yourself, cease to misidentify with that falsely assumed individuality. You can do so simply by inquiring as to the very nature of that “I.” As Sri Bhagavan has said, if one penetrates into the heart of the ego, only the Self is found, for existence is one without a second, and undifferentiated.

As it is with the Self, so it is with realization of it. In nondual truth the realization and the Self must be of an identical nature. Just as the Self is never a known or unknown object, likewise Self-realization is never an unattained or attained state. That is to say it is not an event that occurs to an individual. If you wish for Self-realization, and therefore liberation from all of the imagined bondage, seek to know yourself. In the course of spiritual practice it is natural, to a certain extent, to consider Self-realization as something that will happen, but when you find your own nature, by a profound inquiry to know yourself, you find that the Self alone exists and the Self itself constitutes the realization, the knower, knowing and the knowledge being identical, so that Being is itself the Knowledge, the realization. As there is no ego entity, no bound individual, so there is no unrealized one or unrealized state for that unrealized one. Of course, this must be actually experienced, realized first hand.

So, inquire – ceasing to misidentify with or being attached to the body, the mind, or an ego. Inquire. Who am I?


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.

More about SAT can be found at More about Nome is on Wikepedia, at,_Spiritual_Teacher.

A series of discourses from Nome’s book, Self Knowledge can be found at the site. They start with this url

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