29 February 2012

 One of the best books on self-inquiry.

The book on the left is a must read for anyone interested in self-inquiry.

If you read Robert or my posts or books on self-inquiry, you notice we talk only about the method:  how to practice self-inquiry and how to abide in the I Am. Part of the reason is not to contaminate or influence what you will find or your experiences.

This book talks about the all-important ontology of self, which is the philosophical explanation of the nature of consciousness as well as of awareness, which is only one aspect of consciousness.  It discusses in great detail the various levels of "bodies" found in the manifest world, from the gross physical body, to the subtle body of mind and intellect, to the causal body of the Void in its various aspects of experience and unknowingness, to finally, the underlying "supracausal" body, or Turiya.

This book is helpful for those people who "need to know" where they are going.  It provides an intellectual and expeeriential perspective to make the exploration less scary in anticipation, but also it offers the potential of taking something from your own exploration and adding his. However, this indeed is the almost universal teaching style of both East and West.

The book has several parts including a transcription by Nisargadatta of his teacher's talks during the 1930s after he took notes during lectures.  Basically, the major part of the book is his telling what his teacher said.

You will find this information embedded in many of Nisragadatta's books, but you will enjoy this book as the source for all his teachings can be found here.

The book is available through Amazon at the following link for $22.50:


As an example, from page 31:

Suppose we lose the concept of possession or the gross body, as well as the subtle body, and admit to the fact that the [mind/body] bundle belongs to a stranger [the I] Still, we must find the answer to the question "Who am I?" 

Let us now go over the definition of causal body. What is the causal body? As soon as we step in here, there is pitch darkness everywhere. Is it possible that this dark ignorance (representing both the unconscious and unknowing states) is the place of residence for this "I"? It surely seems this is his main headquarters. Ignorance seems to be the main property or quality that belongs to him. There is certainly some hope of finding the elusive "I" here.

There seems nothing that can be called "mine" in this place. Everything seems to be absolutely quiet. That "I" who loudly proclaims "I, I" so arrogantly in the gross and subtle bodies, seems to be totally silent here. The "I" seems to be playing hide and seek so that he does not get caught by the one who searches for it. In the causal body the "I" seems to have dug itself into a trench of darkness so that the one making the search might fall in, being forced in his search.

After stabilizing in this darkness of a causal body, and firmly planting one's feet. For some period of time, a voice is softly heard that says, "I am the witness of this." With this, there arises some courage offering the hope of catching the thief called "I." With the recognition of this voice who says it is the witness of the ignorance, there also comes a thought, "This thief is here somewhere. It may be here, or little bit further ahead, but he is witnessing the ignorance from somewhere nearby." Here the searching takes the form of watching persistently. The witnessing that is going on is happening from beyond the emptiness of the causal body, from position of the great causal body, or Turya state. When this is understood, the "I" is quickly overjoyed in finding himself. Who can describe that joy?

The one who says "I" is really the all-witnessing Brahman. It is he, who is of the nature of knowledge, of the sense of "I am." When this certainty is established, there arises wave after wave of bliss. 

Afterwards with this list ebbs away, look at the miracle that happens. One arrives at the recognition that, "I am not even of the nature of knowledge, for just as I am covered with ignorance, in the same way, I am covered with knowledge. I was not originally having any ignorance or knowledge. Ignorance and knowledge were born out of me, and were mistakenly taken to be me. With the aid of such deep thought, it can be seen that the rising of both ignorance and knowledge within, points to me as their creator. Therefore knowledge is my child, and I am a father, and as his father, I am prior to and different from that knowledge."

With this sequence of deep discriminative thought, dawns within the sense that "I am Brahman," or the Turya state, also starts ebbing away, only to finally be fully eradicated.

Then, "I" am absolutely naked, without any coverage whatsoever. There is no knowledge and no ignorance. Arriving here in this nakedness, it cannot be described as to who or what this "I," is. If you want a description of the "I" found here, you may utter any work found in any dictionary, but that is not "I." You may utter words and sentences to try to describe it, but those are not it. If you do not understand what is being told now, you must leave off words and concepts, and merge in deep silence, and see who "I" am.
I will continue to post and comment on material from this book, but I urge all of those who have asked questions about self-inquiry and self-abiding to buy the book.  This puts you a little ahead of the game, even though it will also color your future experiences and understanding.

However, the ultimate understanding that you are That which the principle that stands behind knowledge and ignorace, which together are the ground of beingness, is the ultimately liberating understanding.  Then you can let go of all seeking and knowing, just resting in your own self-nature bereft of thought.



  1. siddharameshwar is amazing.
    i see lulu.com has the e-book for 10 bucks.

  2. Still having at least one foot in the 'need to know' camp, I appreciate the recommendation.


  3. funny that you post this...

    actually the last couple of days, I have been wondering about the causal state stuff as my sitting practice has been a lot of nothingness/causal state for quite some time now.

    although it is sort of blissful as there is freedom from world, body & thinking mind, doubts as to whether "dozing off" in meditation isn't just a waste of time arose frequently. especially on retreat, where this state happens a lot after intense sitting.

    seems I just need to let it happen as much as it wants and not worry about it, right?

    thank you so much for posting this.


  4. Great, your suggestion is a sincronicity! I was just wondering about this book and if it was worth getting it. BTW, I am also enjoying the other books you suggested, particularly the Jean Dunn ones.