04 February 2014

To understand Nisargadatta, you need to understand his teacher, Siddharameshwar such as found in Nisargadatta's book about his teachings called Master of Self-Realization.
Seeing the 'I' is just a concept is a Kintergarden awa
kening and not self-realization at all. Siddharameshwar and Nisargadatta (Consciousness and the Absolute) both put Self-Realization as the attaining and immersion in Turiya, also called by some the Love/bliss Body, or Krishna Consciousness (Nisargadatta Self-Knowledge and Self-Realization).

One gets there by following the sensation of "I Am," the "feeling" I Am down through the Subtle Body, the Causal Body of forgetfulness, down into the subtle essence of Consciousness itself in Turiya.

The is the dwelling place of Shakti and the manifest Self of bliss, knowledge and existence that Ramana talks about. This is where Ramana dwelled as did Nisargadatta most of his life.

But Siddharameshwar posited one further step: the Witness; the Absolute; the Unmanifest who was apart from Consciousness and which could never be known because it was beyond Consciousness. You could only be It, the Witness. During the last two years of his life Nisargadatta dwelt here. He was in pain, he was dying, and he identified more with the Witness, ParaBrahman.

Ramana did not posit a witness beyond Consciousness. If one were not aware of something, it did not exist. Consciousness was everything.

One can look at it this way: There are two Selves which are really one. The one Self of the Manifest universe was immersion in Turiya; on the other hand, there was the final Self of Nisargadatta and Siddharameshwar, identification with the Witness, being a witness. But you can say they are two sides of the same thing: the Self as Manifest and the Self as the Unmanifest.

But in neither case is Self the same as the conceptual self, the mind, the ego. That is left far behind during the first stages of either's path.

However, in a practical sense, they both shared the same Consciousness which is a primary identification with Turiya, but which also allowed them to identify with their bodies, emotions, pain, etc., as real life situations demanded.

My own teacher, Robert Adams, was ALWAYS in Turiya, and like Ramana, denied the need to create a Witness beyond Turiya. For him, Consciousness was self-contained, complete.


  1. This then was the basis for Nisargadatta's statement when questioned who he was, replied, "Nothing conceivable nor perceivable."


  2. I had not captured this difference between the two sages but I was beginning to suspect it.

    What a pleasure to read an explanation that brings greater understanding.

    "The need to create a witness beyond Turiya"

    Ed, that witness is not created.

    Upon reaching the required level of understanding, does the subject choose to dwell in one or the other of those states, or is it a case of 'alea jacta est'?

  3. Robert suggested that it was an unnecessary assumption, that the witness was really part of Consciousness, Turiyatta; but Ramana held tightly that there was nothing beyond what is presently in Consciousness.

    Privately Robert acknowledged even Consciousness was an illusion, but chose to keep his message consistent with Ramana.

    I could go either way, but in the end, even though I feel the witness because I can be it entirely, it is not necessary as an assumption for Self-Realization, which is of the manifest Self.

    1. I wonder how many living people there are who have realized both the Absolute and the Self. You are clearly one, but are there others?


  4. Witness is changesless while Consciousness is full of change. Witness is source while Consciousness is action of the source. Witness accounts for the attributes of 'Existence' and 'Bliss' while Consciousness on its own cannot be source of bliss.

    Who while marrying 16,000 wives remain eternal Yogi is the Witness, his marriages are but contents of Consciousness or action of Consciousness. Only Witness can remain aloof from the contents of Consciousness.

    Since Witness without witnessing (pure Consciousness) cannot be tenable, Witness comes into existence only through witnessing and goes away with it also.

    Only Witness is, Consciousness comes and go in eternity. When the Consciousness cannot find its source or its form, then only the ultimate Witness is reached and found. All else is Maya, the projecting power of Aadi Shakti.

    Please pardon me for taking your valuable time and poor English.