Advaita Non Dual Talking School and The teachings of Ramana Maharshi

Ramana Maharshi is a teacher to whom I frequently point as an example of the sixth to seventh stage Adept.”


This article if a compilation of three talks by Da Free John (Adi Da Samraj) in October, 1982 on the subject of ‘The Conscious Process’.


The Conscious Process
a Beezone compilation


MASTER: This is an essay for the Three Ways book, or the Dreaded Gom-boo book, and this new booklet. Also it seems to me this essay would be appropriate to read this weekend at these occasions. I don’t know how it could be done cause its quite long. But … there’s not only the Mainland, there’s all of these other Centers and so on. I don’t know how it would be communicated to them. But if it could be, that would be useful to read it before this sitting occasion on Saturday.

Also this booklet that we’re contemplating, you’ll all have to see how the Dreaded Gom-boo book works out. Whether all of these recent materials should be included in it, and then decide whether its useful to select out some of these things to make another booklet or not, I don’t know. So the new booklet is just an idea, I don’t know if its useful.

So this essay is called What Is the Conscious Process (The Master reads the essay).

after the reading of the essay the talk continues


RAMANA Maharshi

I mention him at the end of this essay, “The mere “I” though is not now an indicator of the Great One”. The “I” is Narcissus, more than a thought, but a profoundly complex pattern of destiny. Now perhaps this would remind you of the teaching of Ramana Maharshi, who recommended to people, simply to concentrate on the “I” thought and observe and intuit the consciousness, or the condition in which that is arising. Well, for him, this made complete sense. For him the whole force of egoity, the whole force of the “I” had been transcended. And from the Advaitic point of view, the “I” thought is a pointer to the Atman, which is ultimately identical to the Paramatman, or Brahman.

In the case of lesser teachers, the recommendation to concentrate upon the source of the “I” thought would be considered to be a perfectly and sufficient recommendation, sufficient for instant enlightenment, Maharshi was not a fool, you see. He knew full well that the ordinary individual, concentrating on the “I” thought, feeling into, or intuiting its source, was still ego bound. So therefore he presumed that this method was a sadhana, a lifetime practice, that would gradually dissolve the force of the ego. In other words he didn’t belong to the talking school. He didn’t mean to concentrate on the “I” thought, see that consciousness underneath that and realize that’s Atman, that’s Puja Brahman, that’s Brahman and now you’re enlightened, now go and be enlightened, you see. No. That wasn’t his sense of teaching. But rather he followed the traditional Advaitic approach in the general structuring of his philosophy. He knew full well that the ego is a great force, and that the “I” is the ego.

But from his Advaitic point of view, he thought a good technique for people, instead of fulfilling the motivations of the ego, the motivations of the “I”, to constantly fall back from the activity, and rest in the Atman. Doing this over time, would purify the “I”, undermine the ego, dissolve the ego. And eventually this meditation would become self-realization. So it is implicit in his teaching that the ego must be transcended. He’s not a representative of the talking school.

Also you should understand the Maharshi did not presume the role of a teacher. People asked him what he had realized, and what was it all about, and how could they realize it and so forth. And he spoke in the terms he did. He didn’t elaborate beyond that, all of the kinds of associated means and processes and so on, which would have to be communicated to people, if your going to presume the role of a Siddha in their company, or counteract a total teaching for their benefit.

Now I’m aware of the fundamental truth associated with Advaitism, and the teaching of Ramana Maharshi. I’m also aware of the implicit realities that are behind this Advaitic recommendation. Those implicit realities or realities of the ego, are there to be undone, there to be overcome. They can’t be overlooked. You cannot reduce the Advaitic recommendation to the academic or logical exercise of the talking school. And therefore I have elaborated a complete teaching, that involves all of the kinds of disciplines that must necessarily be associated with life and practice if the ego, the force of “I”, the force of Narcissus is to be transcended. And I have established this practice in my company, and have accepted the role of the Siddha in your company. So this produces a much more elaborate culture of practice that is suggested in Mararashi’s company, and is altogether outside the kind of mediocrity that belongs to the talking school.

But to consider further the implications of this notion that you can trace the “I” thought back to its source – in the case of the beginner, the ego-bound individual, as I’ve said here, the “I” thought is not merely a thought. It is the name for a whole complex of existence. The “I” thought exists only in the plane of waking consciousness. What about the rest of it? It exists subconscious, unconscious, walking, dreaming and sleeping, bodily, emotionally, and so on.

Merely to trace the “I” thought and feel the consciousness behind it, is not to be self-realized, transcendentally self-realized it is perhaps in Advaitic terms, to begin a kind of exercise that should be associated with a whole life of disciplines and profound practice, in which everything that is “I” would be transcended, and the Atman would cease to be merely this individuated consciousness.

What you must enter into through this conscious process, is not merely the consciousness behind thought. That is simply attention. And attention is the fundamental, or ground mechanism of Narcissus or the ego, as it says at the beginning of this essay, quoting from The Liberator: “Be Consciousness as the feeling of Being, and Realize that it is Radiant Happiness.” This ultimate intuition breaks beyond the framework of manifest consciousness. It breaks beyond the framework of attention, mere attention. It is associated with the most profound intuition. It is not like a thought in any sense then. And it is not like attention standing off here, next to objects, viewing whatever may seem to be arising, witnessing whatever may seem to be arising. It is more to be likened to feeling. It is formless, centerless. It is not something separate, or separable from objects. It is not interior. It is not self-conscious in the conventional sense. What’s behind the “I” thought is merely attention. What must be realized that is far beyond the “I”, is the feeling or Condition of Being.

Transcendental Consciousness is the consciousness of this feeling of Being, mere Being, Being without qualification. The Being that is the Condition, not only of the conscious self, but of all of its objects, all of nature. When we’ve entered into that condition of Being, when our consciousness is that fullness of being, then we realize that it is Happiness, Self-Radiant Love-Bliss. It is the Substance of the universe. It is That to which Maharshi points in his considerations. It is That to which the Advaitic tradition ultimately points. It is That to which the Buddhist tradition points. In fact, it is That toward which all traditions are pointing. But apart from the Realization of it, all kinds of lesser conceptions and perceptions and senses of it may substitute for enlightenment.

And so you cannot take heaven by storm. There is no method of immediate self-analysis that is equivalent to Enlightenment. Self-observation, self-knowing, self-transcendence is a lifelong exercise. It never comes to an end. It is always going on, always developing, there’s nothing instant about it.

The ego that is behind the “I” thought. Its not the Transcendental Self. The Self is Realized.

Maharshi really enquired of everyone, “Who, who, who, who?” Well, he said yes, “concentrate on the ‘I’ thought. Well, who is aware of the ‘I’ thought?” Well, its the ego that’s aware of the “I” thought. Its the individual consciousness. That’s not the end of it. He would again say: “Who? Find out who.” Well; if you persist in that, that becomes a whole life of discipline. It even becomes the life of submission to the influence of the Adept, quite naturally, quite spontaneously.

And that in fact is what occurred in the case of his true devotees. And that is a form of the ultimate question. Who is it ultimately that you are? Who are you arising within? In whom is all of this arising, you see. But its not a question with an immediate answer. Its not really a problem to find this out. It is a process. It is found out through a process of self-transcendence. His questions are indicators of it. They are queries to help people become oriented toward the profundity of self-transcendence. And he had his peculiar way of doing these things. And as I said, did not presume the role of the teacher in the fullest sense, did not feel obliged to communicate a total teaching.

He appeared within the context of traditional Indian society. For those who weren’t ready to be awakened very directly in his company, he presumed they would just go elsewhere, they’d find countless numbers of teachings, and teachers and means and so forth. He was simply certain that ultimately, all these ways would fulfill themselves in Transcendental Self-Realization. So his considerations are limited to this fundamental query, this fundamental suggestion that what you must discover is the Condition in which the self is arising. But to discover that condition, you must transcend the self, not merely ask yourself a question, not merely invert upon attention itself, because attention is the ego. The “I” thought like any other thought arises to the ego. The ego is what must be transcended. Merely to put attention on the consciousness in which the “I” thought is arising, is not to realize the Transcendental Being. It is to make a gesture toward realization. If you made that gesture those means, ultimately you would break through the egoic limit, the illusion that’s associated with attention. That is a profound complete, if if occupied the whole of your life, then by all of process. Now we do not … we consider the same truth, this Realization, we do not consider it in the context of a traditional society, with a long history of involvement with the quest for Transcendental Realization.

And I have accepted the role of Teacher, the role of the Siddha in the company of devotees. So I have assumed the obligation to communicate the Way fully, and to communicate its in the company of those who will practice it, you see. So there is a difference between my historical role and the historical role of Maharshi and many others, as there was a difference between Maharshi and his historical role and all kinds of other teachers.

The same ultimate truth is realized by all free Adepts, and they communicate it in a particular fashion in their time and place. Some aren’t very communicative, some communicate in part only, some assume the role of the Adept or Siddha in relation to devotees, and some do not. Some function as the Siddha without accepting the role of the Siddha. They are the Siddha by virtue of Realization, and for those who somehow or other develop a real practice, they make use of that though the Adept assumes no personal responsibility. In your case there’s no ambiguity about it however. I make this Teaching plain, I’ve communicated all the details of its practice, I accept this role in relationship to you, I’ve explained to you all of the aspects of the process that takes place in my company, and therefore its up to you, without any ambiguity, to practice it as you will. If you will, then the kind of process that I’ve just described in this essay, will develop in your case, and you will see all the signs of it. If you will not take it on, in the forms indicated in this essay and elsewhere, then you may in some fashion be attached to this Institution and this community, even have some familiarity with me, but this does not necessarily mean that the process described here will take place. The process required your responsibility, for hearing and developing the means of practice, which constantly, moment to moment bring you into the sphere of my Influence. And you must maintain that responsibility always, not merely occasionally when I happen to be sitting with you, or when you happen to be in my company, or when your in meditation or when you feel good, or when you feel bad, but always you must develop the full force of this profound practice.


Adi Da Samraj talks about the difference between traditional non-dual teachings and his revelatory Seventh Stage teaching.
Adi Da 2006


A fundamental aspect of the Way is the progressive recognition of the Spiritual Master. In other words entering into that Company, the sphere of the Spiritual Master’s Influence more and more profoundly. By entering into more and more profound levels of recognition of the Spiritual Master, beginning with obvious acknowledgment of the Spiritual Master, as a Living Master, but then going on to recognize and locate the Spiritual Master as Siddha, as Siddhi, as that Influence, which is directly present to every practicing devotee, in every moment, not merely in occasions of being in the Spiritual master’s human company, or being in meditation, of being in an empowered place, or being in the community and so on, but always. Those who truly practice begin to locate and recognize and acknowledge this Influence in every moment of life and meditation. it is always available. It is a matter of turning to it, of acknowledging it, recognizing it, locating it, making your practice into communion with that Influence. Therefore allowing that Influence to transform the conditions of existence that are arising from hour to hour, moment to moment, not only in meditation, but in daily life. In daily life all kinds of changes occur, all kinds of moods, all kinds of circumstances, physical, emotional and mental states, relations, changes in relations and so forth. Those are just as much within the sphere of Transcendental Influence, as any of the activities that occur in the subjective realm of meditation. Therefore these also, you will discover, remarkably, are constantly being changed, in various ways by this influence.

The Influence, or Siddhi that you have entered into is the Power and Being in which all of nature is arising. And therefore it has its effect on all of the apparently objective conditions of your existence, just as it has an effect upon the subjective conditions. So in daily life, you notice this influence making changes, if your sensitive and really practicing in this company, in both the subjective and objective levels of your existence. In meditation, you notice this influence more in terms of the subjective changes and the effects this Influence has on you immediate personal experience, you physical, emotional, mental states, and those kinds of states that may arise in meditation.

You should also begin to notice how this Influence is operative beyond the waking state, in dreams, in sleeping, in every moment of existence. There is a tradition in which Adepts have asked devotees, usually advanced devotees, to to to sleep at night, with the intention of entering into the Spiritual Master’s company. Sometimes this instruction is given in very specific detail, to go to sleep with the intention in the astral or dream form, to go to a specific location, usually the Communion Hall, or the place of residence of the Spiritual Master, with full visual expression and so on, during the dreaming time. Also with the intention in the sleep state, to be entered into communion with the Transcendental Condition and presence of the Spiritual Master, or the Consciousness, or Being that is the Adept and the Divine.

Well, devotees over the years, frequently report random, unintentional experiences of this kind. Similar experiences in fact occur even during waking hours, various kinds of visionary experiences, of seeing me in the meditation hall, or having some vision of me and so forth, in a moment of activity. These are reported by people. they also report all kinds of extraordinary dreams. Now these dreams in general do not have anything to do with me in the sense that I am personally, at the level of my human mind and so on, aware that you are having these dreams, although I very often am aware of them. But the fact that somebody has a dream in which I appear to them, does not necessarily mean that I would be able to tell them the next day that I was aware of it. I may or may not be aware of it. Or I may be aware of it in a difference form. Or I may be aware of it in the same form. But most of the time I wouldn’t be aware of it, there would be no reflection in my waking mind of it. But this does not mean that the experience if false. It can be falsified by the individual who just uses it for his own self-glamouriation, to console him or herself so they can feel they’re had some profound experience. But generally the essential content of such dreams is a feeling of entering into this communion, and something about the meaning of the dream, will generally have some pertinence, some significance that is real and appropriate enough, worth remembering, worth allowing to have some effect on you whenever it will.

Therefore since this possibility exists, some people might try this. You should feel free to try this. These gatherings we have on celebration occasions are something like this. People gather in Centers and various parts of the world, at the same time I’m sitting here with you all. And they prepare themselves through the devotional occasion, and use my photograph as a way of associating with me. They are literally tuning into me, allowing themselves to enter into the sphere of my Influence, personally. During meditation, or perhaps in dreams, or some other visions afterwards, they may have some sense of coming to some place where I’m sitting with them and so forth. During that time of meditation, they may have visions of it, of my being in the room with them, or them being in a room some place or other with me.

In other words the psyche may function automatically to create some sort of association with me that’s tangible. Whether or not that tangible association has anything directly to do with my actual physical location or not. It is simply a, it is simply something that adds a dimension to the whole force of their alignment to me.


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