Siddharameshwar, Nisargadatta’s teacher had a somewhat different ontology and a somewhat different method.
He said essentially there were two Is: the I of the mind and identification, and which was resident in the subtle body as a concept, and the much deeper feeling of “I Amness,” which was the Fourth Body, or Turiya. This is exactly the same view as had Ramana Maharshi.
Nisargadatta, at the end of his life, had the opinion you only had to listen to his words, ponder their meaning, and abide in the I Am, in order to become liberated. Siddharameshwar said the path was all about meditative introspection, hunting through the layers of consciousness to find the I Am.
For Siddharameshwar there were four bodies to be conceived of and found through progressive, guided meditation with the teacher, always hunting for the I. There was the physical body and the world, the world of the mind (Subtle Body) with its thinking, feeling, discrimination, concepts, and the inner experience of space or the Void. Then there was the body of forgetfulness (Causal Body), which takes away the knowledge of the body and the mind, leaving one empty and sensitive to more subtle layers.
Next is what he called the Supracausal body, which Ramana and he both also called Turiya, or the fourth state. This is the I Am, the deepest level of embodied consciousness.
All three, Ramana, Siddharameshwar, and Nisargadatta said this part of one’s self is found in meditative introspection on the sense of I, or I Amness, or of just Amness. Through meditation the successive bodies or layers are revealed as one get progressively more discriminatively subtle. Ramana and Siddharameshwar placed far more emphasis on introspection and abiding in the I, or the I Am sensation, while Maharaj placed more emphasis later in his life on the presence of the guru, and listening to his words. Earlier, he was far more devotional.
Now, Siddharameshwar said that with the guidance of the guru, the student finally penetrates through to the I Am level and needs to abide there. The I Am level is all about love. The I Am level, Turiya, in a sense is love itself.
This too is my discovery. You can best find the I Am level inside yourself through love, first by loving that sense of I Am you find through introspection, and then also by borrowing the love you feel for another within oneself, and realizing you are love itself, for the Self, which is Turiya, is perfect love and devotion, and surrender. Way before Self-realization, you will increasingly have experiences of bliss, awe, love, energies and ecstasies that both race through your sense of presence, and also fill it with ecstatic states. Your body will seem torn asunder by unimaginable love flowing, bliss and even more. It really cannot be described very well.
Then one day, after you have loved long enough and hard enough, the Self rises from within and exposes itself to you, and you, the small self, will fall to your knees in absolute awe and devotion. You will feel the grace of God even if you do not believe in God. You will feel the divine rising within you, just as Krishna revealed himself to Arjuna and you will fall to your knees in complete love, surrender and devotion.
All three agree on the next step. At some point during your devotion to the Self, to the I Am, while abiding in Turiya, Samadhi, the I Am, that sense of blissful, ecstatic presence, will abruptly leave and you will recognize yourself as that which has supported all, the principle that knows and supports the universe, and also supports the I Am. The amazing thing you will also learn, is this feels like you are returning to be an ordinary you, Ed Muzika, Waldo, Victoria, Lila, Janet, except for the realization that all this too is you. Everything is you and not you at the same time. You become ordinary, watching or participating in life; it becomes your “choice.”
Siddharameshwar here is both Jnani and Bhakti as is Ramana. Nisargdatta is no longer a Bhakta at the end of his life. He says that even after the I Am falls away, even after you have penetrated through Turiya and have rested in what you are, you must continue to find and worship the I Am, the Self within, the Self of All. This continued worship is what adds sweetness and wetness to non-phenomenal existence, because otherwise, so many Jnanis burn out and dry up, as happened to me, until someone blew life into me again.