See here for the full quote: Remove Nama-Rupa (Name & Form) to reveal Sat-Chit-Ananda (the Self)
Seeing multiplicity/plurality and seeing the underlying oneness within the plurality or multiplicity is not the real non-duality at all.
This false notion of non-duality, which is very commonplace, is actually an ego-preservation strategy where the notion of the ‘false-I’ is subtly continued, and suffering still continues in this state – seeking still continues too, as does a subtle sense of individuality.
Non-duality is that in which there is no duality/multiplicity/plurality/individuality whatsoever. Only then will seeking end. Only then will suffering end. Until this is discovered, seeking will continue, and with it the suffering and sense of individuality (ie. duality) will too. To discover the true non-duality one must turn within and discover the Self for oneself, which is indivisible Oneness-Love-Being-Bliss.
At least this is my experience.
This is why Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi states in Guru Vachaka Kovai verse 931:
- “The mukta [liberated sage] like the rest of us perceives
The world in all its vast variety
And yet he sees non-difference in it”,
So people say. This is not true.
Sri Sadhu Om comments upon the above verse as follows:
‘People have many wrong conceptions about the state of a Jnani or Jivanmukta, and one such misconception is refuted here. “What people see as water, the Jivanmukta also sees as water, and what they see as food, He also sees as food. Therefore, in His experience of sense-objects, the Jivanmukta is the same as other people. But even while the Jivanmukta thus sees these differences, He sees the non-difference in them” – are there not many pandits and lecturers who talk and write thus, even though they themselves have no experience of Advaita but have only read about it in books? But who is the proper authority to say what is the actual experience of a Jivanmukta? Only a real Jivanmukta! Thus Bhagavan Sri Ramana, who has actually experienced the reality and who is the true Loka Maha Guru, declares in this verse that such statements are wrong, and in the next verse He explains how and why they are wrong.’
In his commentary to the next verse Sri Sadhu Om continues, relating to us his own direct hearing of Sri Ramana’s teaching:
‘…Regarding this erroneous theory of bheda-abheda or unity in diversity, Sri Bhagavan used to say that if the least difference or diversity is perceived, it means that the ego or individuality is there, so if difference is experienced, non-difference or unity would merely be a theoretical proposition and not an actual experience.’
Is everything I see ego? Do thoughts create the world? What is ego? What is duality?
This video was recorded live during a Satsang meeting with Tom Das and put together by volunteers.
To attend satsang, see here: https://tomdas.com/events
For guided meditations see the ‘guided meditation’ playlist here: https://www.youtube.com/c/TomDasNonduality/playlists
For recommended reading for liberation see here: https://tomdas.com/2020/10/19/recommended-reading-books-for-enlightenment-liberation-and-self-realisation/
To book a 1 to 1 session with Tom see here: https://tomdas.com/nondual-spiritual-counsellor
Q. What is ego?
Tom: if there is any sense of individuality whatsoever, then that is ego; if there is any sense or something apart or outside of you, then that is ego; if there is any sense of multiplicity, that is ego; if there is any notion ‘I am the body-mind’, then that is ego. The ego, no matter how refined, is suffering. The ego is the body-mind-world appearance.
In Reality, there has never been any ego, there has never been any duality or multiplicity, there has never been any suffering whatsoever. Reality is only Infinite Love & Bliss, Infinite Being-Consciousness, Formless-Spirit-Bliss.
To realise this one must turn within.
To say ‘there is no ego’ without turning within and dissolving into Reality – that is merely the ego-mind saying ‘there is no ego’.
To say ‘all is One’ without venturing inwards and discovering the Self (by Being That) – that is merely the ego-mind saying ‘all is One’.
In this way (through not turning within, through not inquiring into the Subject-Self) ego-mind-suffering-duality continue.
Hence the instruction to turn within.
The true teachings always emphasise the Subject (Reality or Self) and to turn towards and discover That, whereas false teachings emphasise objects, stating things like ‘all these objects are already That so no need to turn within’ and ‘there already is no ego so no need to turn within for what entity could even turn within?’. So egotism, duality and suffering are perpetuated.
Therefore turn within and discover what you truly are
Qestioner: Why do you say that non-duality means ‘there is only you’? For me it makes more sense to say ‘there is no you’?
Tom: Yes, many people say it the way you do, but there is a specific reason why it is said in the traditional scriptures that ‘only I exist ‘ or ‘only you exist’ as opposed to ‘there is no I’ or ‘there is no you’.
The ‘I’ or ‘I AM’ is being pointed out as indicating the reality.
Why is this?
It is because only when we turn towards the ‘I Am’ or the Subject can the non-dual reality be intuited. Otherwise, as you say, the knowledge remains only on the conceptual level for the ego-mind. This is more fully explained in Chapter 8 of The Path of Sri Ramana.
I also explain this more here.