A narrative of the Self to Itself
In the nineties I had read a small book in Marathi titled ‘Atmaram’ by Samartha Swami Ramdas. ‘Atmaram’ may be loosely translated as ‘the God within’ or ‘the soul within self’. At that time many things were not quite clear to me and so the book was quite difficult to understand. It was only after I studied the teachings of my Guru Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj that everything became so clear. Over a decade later reading ‘Atmaram’ again was an astonishing experience. The words of Swami Ramdas and my Guru Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj hit me like thunderbolts and this work titled ‘The Self’ was created instantly. It was totally unplanned and the script flowed spontaneously, the only thing planned along the way was to keep the number of chapters and verses the same as in the original. This work is not a translation of ‘Atmaram’ but has been inspired by it. I thank my friend Michael Hansen for some corrections in the script.
Feb 9th 2011
Samartha Swami Ramdas
Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
The First Narrative
1. How to perceive and offer obeisance to the unborn Self?
2. How can the Self which has no name or form be praised?
3. All the Holy Scriptures have originated from the Self.
4. The Self is beyond knowing and not-knowing.
5. The Self can only be known by Itself.
6. The Self initiates words to know Itself.
7. Salutations to the Self which made It possible to know Itself.
8. The mind merges in the Self and disappears.
9. The Self has flooded Itself with Its grace and bliss.
10. The Self recites God’s name to know Itself.
11. Merging of the Self in Itself is the end of all experience.
12. Logic and discretion disappear in the Self.
13. Through arduous practices the Self struggles to find Itself.
14. The all pervading Self can be compared only to Itself.
15. The Self is the ultimate rest where even rest, rests.
16. Salutations to the Self listening to Itself.
17. The Self gets absorbed in an audience of Itself.
18. Let the Self be attentive to Itself.
19. The Self removes Its own misconceptions.
20. The Self preaches to uproot false coverings.
21. The Self meditates on Itself.
22. The Self quenches Its own thirst.
23. To know Itself the Self discards the non-Self.
24. The Self listens to the inexpressible words of Itself from beyond.
25. To know Itself the Self asks Itself ‘Who am I?’
26. The Self questions Itself about the so-called many births.
27. Where can the Self go or come? It always is.
28. Can the Self ever deceive Itself?
29. Can the Self ever be separated from Itself?
30. All the Self has to do is to believe Itself.
31. The Self knows no illusion apart from Itself.
32. The Self is always accompanying Itself, so what perishes?
33. What should the Self hold on to but Itself?
34. The highest bliss is the Self knowing Itself.
35. The Self Itself renounces all that is perishable.
36. The Self knows that It owns Itself.
37. The Self requests Itself to continue this narrative.
38. The inexpressible words of the Self satisfy Itself.
39. The Self listens attentively to the narrative of Itself.
The Second Narrative
1. In the Self-preaching narrative, victory is ordained.
2. The enormous universe merges in the joyous Self.
3. The Self surrenders to Itself.
4. The Self asks Itself about the perishable It has to give up.
5. The Self tells Itself to be alert and careful.
6. Abandoning the irrelevant external the Self turns towards Itself.
8. Again and again the Self turns towards Itself.
9. To be Itself the Self has to turn towards Itself.
10. Turning inwards, the impurities appearing on the Self disappear.
11. The perishable that appears on the Self is an illusion.
12. The feeling ‘I am’ that appears on the Self is the root illusion.
13. The ‘I am’ breeds the three qualities and five elements on the Self.
14. The Self is one but appears two.
15. The Self appears as the illusory trinity of knower-known-knowing.
16. The Self knows Itself, beyond words, as Existence-Consciousness-Bliss.
17. The Self is the ultimate formless form and nameless name.
18. To impart form and name to the Self is the illusion.
19. The root illusion ‘I am’ has created diversity on the Self.
20. The ‘I am’ in movement has created the world on the Self.
21. The ‘I am’ perpetuates the ‘I am’ on the Self.
22. Being is a power of the Self, when known as ‘I am’ It’s illusory.
23. The Self questions the independence of the ‘I am’.
24. The Self negates the ‘I am’ as It never came to be.
25. To realize the non-happening the Self turns towards Itself.
26. The Self tries to resolve the apparent ignorance.
27. The Self asks as to how anything can be and yet not be.
28. The Self discards the ‘I am’ and all that followed It as unreal.
29. On the disappearance of ‘I am’ the Self knows Itself.
30. The Self has to understand Its power that shrouds the truth.
31. The Self liberates Itself by understanding the nature of the illusion.
32. Using the illusory ‘I am’ as a tool the Self comes back to Itself.
33. The Self sees Its deceptive power ‘I am’ as the creator of duality.
34. The Self wrote all the Holy Scriptures to destroy the illusion.
35. A unique effect of Its illusory power turns the Self towards Itself.
36. The Self frees Itself using Its own power that appeared to trap It.
37. The ‘I am’ appearing on the Self is the root of all knowledge.
38. The Self perceives the truth of Itself due to the ‘I am’.
39. Helping the Self realize Itself the ‘I am’ quietly disappears.
40. The Self tells Itself to be alert and stay away from the illusion.
41. The Self sees the ‘I am’ and all that followed It as perishable.
42. The Self realizes the folly of attachment to the perishable.
43. Beyond association, is next in the narrative of the Self to Itself.
The Third Narrative
1. The Self asks Itself to give up all associations including the ‘I am’.
2. Constantly thinking of Itself, the Self gradually eliminates the trinity.
3. The Self is Itself when the ‘I am’ finally disappears.
4. The Self abiding beyond experience is the only true experience.
5. The Self sees the Holy Scriptures falling short of words.
6. The Self is beyond description and touch of the ‘I am’.
7. The Self is at the end of the end, pure and final.
8. The Self is not within or without, far or near, less or more.
9. The Self abiding in Itself uproots the illusion instantly.
10. The fully detached Self appears attached and diverse.
11. Devoid of movement the Self appears to walk and talk.
12. Like the sky the Self is the integral one.
13. Though unaffected, The Self appears as the fire, as the water.
14. The Self can never take Itself away from Itself.
15. The Self eliminates forms to see Its unseen Self.
16. The Self has to tell Itself about Itself.
17. To know Itself the Self loses all identity and experiences.
18. The Self sees the illusion ‘I am’ as the root of all agony.
19. Cherishing the body and saying ‘I am Brahman’ embarrasses the Self.
20. Why should the Self accept the illusory ‘I am the body’ idea?
21. The Self sees that It is the illusion that binds, educates and liberates.
22. All sufferings of the Self are due to Its attachment to form and name.
23. The Self plays all games with Itself.
24. The Self claims victory over Itself in all games.
25. On defeat, the Self quarrels with Itself in all games.
26. Life is a game where all the players are the Self.
27. All conflicts end with the Self realizing Itself.
28. The Self sees Itself as Itself to break through the spell of untruth.
29. The Self cuts off the illusion quietly and swiftly.
30. The Self faces Its illusory power, understands It and destroys It.
31. The Self sees all thought and images as Itself.
32. The Self sees this multifaceted drama as Itself.
33. To perceive truth, as a balancing act, the Self meditates on Itself.
34. Beyond associations, absorbing the many, the Self remains.
35. The Self next narrates the gist of practices to end the illusory duality.
36. Listen to the means by which the unperceived Self knows Itself.
The Fourth Narrative
1. The Self explains to Itself the means to be Itself.
2. The Self listens, reflects and directly experiences the truth of Itself.
3. Abandoning scholastic pride the Self preaches Itself.
4. By daily practice, the Self convinces Itself: ‘I am not the body’.
5. The Self realizes the importance of daily listening, reflection and meditation.
6. The Self helps Itself by following scriptural injunctions.
7. Through devotion, knowledge and renunciation the Self sees Itself.
8. The Self questions Itself about the necessity of practice.
9. No practice is required if the Self realizes Itself instantly forever.
10. The Self reminds Itself of giving up the perishable.
11. The Self wonders at Its hesitation to give up the ‘I am’.
12. Nothing remains after the Self surrenders to Itself.
13. The Self realizes that saying ‘nothing remains’ again affirms the perishable.
14. The Self merges in Itself with nothing more to say.
15. The Self remains when the practitioner, practiced and practice merge and disappear.
16. Blessed is the Self that is one with Itself.
17. The Self can never know Itself seeing Itself separately.
18. The Self deceives Itself seeing everything separate from Itself.
19. The Self thus believes It is born again and again.
20. The Self wonders why It worships the elemental forms.
21. Why does the Self worship idols even after knowing Itself?
22. The Self worships the idol to maintain Itself beyond the idol.
23. The Self loves the intrigue It develops in Itself.
24. The Self loving Itself is mother and child in one.
25. Beyond the gross, the Self sensed a subtle body of unfulfilled desires.
26. Beyond the subtle, the Self sensed a causal body storing these desires.
27. The Self sensed the subtle stored in the causal as the cause of rebirth.
28. The Self in Itself sensed the supra causal fourth which transcends all the three.
29. Forever remaining in Itself the Self destroys all these illusory distinctions.
30. Beyond all associations the Self only sees Itself.
31. As long as the Self knows ‘I am’, the illusion persists.
32. On realizing ‘I am That’ the distinction of ‘I’ and ‘That’ disappear in the Self.
33. There is no birth and death for the Self abiding in Itself.
34. The Self liberates Itself by seeing everything as Itself.
35. The Self requests Itself to narrate Its own experience.
36. The Self tells Itself how to stabilize in Itself.
37. The Self tells Itself to be attentive to the next and last narrative of Its own knowledge.
The Fifth Narrative
1. The Self bows in gratitude to Itself for the knowledge of Itself.
2. Not knowing Itself, The Self was trapped in the illusion initiated by the ‘I am’.
3. Attending to Itself, dispelling differences, the Self stalls birth and death.
4. Devoid of duality, the Self is beyond time and space.
5. Devoid of the ‘I am’, the Self is beyond the fourth.
6. Absorbed in silence, the Self is beyond speech.
7. Absorbed in stillness, the Self is beyond movement.
8. The Self acts as a touchstone to Itself.
9. Unity of the Self with Itself crystallizes the Self experience.
10. Being Itself the Self is pure as ever.
11. Why It took the Self so many, so called births to realize Its purity?
12. The Self seeing Itself knows that It is self-evident.
13. Abiding in Itself, the Self knows no conflict.
14. Abiding in Itself, the Self knows no bondage.
15. All doubts disappeared on the Self being Itself.
16. The Self sees all externality as an obstacle to know Itself.
17. The Self sees all externality as the cause of desire.
18. The Self resolves this conflict by seeing all externality as Itself.
19. Sans-company is the natural state of the Self.
20. Only saying ‘I am the Self’ is not the Self knowing Itself.
21. ‘Knower’ and ‘known’ merge in the Self ‘knowing’ Itself.
22. Surrendering the perishable to Itself the Self burns down the birth root.
23. In Its eternal state the Self surrenders the idea ‘I have surrendered’.
24. Abiding in Itself the Self merges in Itself.
25. Such is the benevolent Self that bestowed Its state to Itself.
26. Only the Self can become the Self, nothing else.
27. The Self tells Itself to do away with words and grasp the meaning.
28. Thus ends the narrative of the Self to Itself.