31 August 2016

Robert Adams and Nisargadatta--A Perspective

I knew Robert very well.  I loved him and was in awe of his silence and ability to talk about nothingess endlessly, mixing that talk with the elements of everyday life.  And, under Robert, I attained first the oneness state of becoming the totality of my manifest consciousness, and then experiencing myself as just awareness, watching the various states of consciousness come to me, cover me, creating in alteration the sleep, dream and waking worlds.  He was a complete manifestation of a Jnani, a sage.

On the other hand, Nisargadatta is an enigma.  He appeared agitated, uncomfortable, was brusk, irritable, and rude.  Yet his words seemed more true than Robert’s because he was so brilliantly clear in his exposition of Advaita in everyday terms, describing the spontaneous arising of consciousness, and our truest identity as the nothingness to which we will return.
Robert spun out a beautiful tale about Brahman, transcendence, and nothingness, but Nisargadatta broke the whole of the manifest and unmanifest into baby steps that led to a progressive realization in baby steps that are very compelling to the mind that he teaches us to go beyond.
If I had to say it, I’d judge Robert as being deeper than Nisargadatta, more thoroughly embedded in emptiness, more at rest.  But Maharaj was more engaging, more forceful in his exposition of the ways of consciousness and its relation to the absolute, the noumenal, nothingness.

That is why I refer to Nisargadatta so often, because his teachings were so clear and methodology also so clearly laid out. Robert on the other hand, taught dozens of meditation methods, mantras, and used many superlatives about consciousness that did not seem to convey anything useful.
But it was not until I had a personal awakening to myself as Atman, as the incarnated God-principle, that the brilliance of Nisargadatta’s teaching became fully realized by me.
Unlike Robert, Nisargadatta spoke of realizing oneself as the totality of manifest consciousness first, staying there for a bit, then going into Nirvana.  Robert said nothing of this step, which was my experience.  He did not distinguish between satchitananda and nothingness. Nisargadatta did.


  1. Ed.......

    So your post shower experience from twenty years ago you've cited a number of times.....was that a result more of the effects of Robert or Nisargadatta?


  2. Replies
    1. That's interesting and I'm rather certain the same kind of thing happened with me at a 10 day meditation retreat with one of the Tibetan Dzogchen spokesmen, Sogyal Rinpoche, who'd just written "The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying." I had seemingly bonded with him so closely while attending his Satsang sessions that in a matter of a couple days, I completely lost my sense of self which lasted until about the end of the retreat. But I never experienced that get just through meditation alone, even since that time some twenty three years later and even with a change to self inquiry about eight years back.


  3. Because it does not depend on you. It is pure Grace. Absolutely has nothing to do with your practice or how long you practice, even if it is 1000 years it does not matter. Some people get it even if they didn't practice at all or know anything about spiritual concepts, others get it after years of practice and attribute it to practice,yet it has nothing to do with practice itself as your dream world had nothing to do for you to wake up into this state. You may have had a dream where you practiced a lot, but did it touch this waking state? No. All this play is purely for the mind. It is not for you or me to decide when you wake up or get enlightened and using this mind won't help it in any way, only ease suffering which arises out of wanting to have.... Everything is written, once you realize that you just relax, and only then something really starts happening because you are no longer busy... it unfolds freely and naturally. Is it because of your practice? Or is it because you let go at the right time? It may be both, it may be neither, who knows and who cares?...