Thanks, DoB, particularly for the quote from Siddharameshwar re
Devotion and Knowledge.

After reading I Am That the other translations edited by Jean Dunn and
Robert Powell are/were at first kind of jarring, since the English
isn't as polished.  However, they are all great reads and the other
translations have more of a sense of being in the satsang.   

Nisargadatta did refer to Maurice as a gyani and I remember reading
somewhere a story that Nisargadatta was read some passage from I Am
That and said that he never said that but if Maurice wrote it, it must
be true because what a gyani says can't be untrue.

Thanks, again.

--- In, defenders_of_bhakti
> --- In, "Marek Reavis" <reavismarek@>
> wrote:
> >
> > Thank you very much for the suggestion. 
> Here are some quotations by Siddharameshwar, some stories about Ban
> Ganga, some reflections on Ramesh.
> First about Bhakti and Knowledge by Siddharameshwar Maharaj Guru of
> Nisargadatta Maharaj, Guru of Ramesh Balsekar from 'Amrut Laya'
> obtainable by Chetana Publishers in Bombay:
> Parabrahman
> If one separates Brahman from Parabrahman, then the former is called
> Primordial Illusion (Mula Maya).Power and knowledge (Prakriti and
> Purusha, as also Shakti and Shiva) are one and the same. Knowledge ia
> a very subtle concept or thought. It is true that the God has created
> this world, but the world exists only as long as the perishable body
> exists. God exists only till the devotee exists and vice versa. So
> long as the dream lasts the dreamer is present. However the basis of
> all these is Parabrahman, where there is nothing. God has intense fear
> of getting destroyed. Whatever is without fear is Parabrahman. In this
> 'stateless state' there is no God, no man or woman and no ignorance or
> knowledge.If Brahma (God) or Parabrahman were the same, there would
> have been no need at all for the prefix 'Para' (beyond).
> Devotion and Knowledge
> One should first attain and then speak. Body is bound by its own karma
> (action), devotion is like a farm and knowledge is like a fruit.
> At the beginning of this exposition reverential adoration has to be
> offered to Sri Ganesh first, then to Sri Saraswati and finally to Sri
> Satguru. What is the reason for this? If somebody asks "If the
> sequence of this adoration is changed, will there be confusion?" The
> answer has to be "yes, there will be confusion," because Sri Ganesh is
> the deity for meditation and contemplation, Sri Saraswati is the deity
> who denotes the exposition, (through words). With the help of these
> two deities, the deity in the form of light of the Self, which rises
> in the heart of the aspirant is none other than the Satguru. Hence the
> Satguru has to be adored necessarily after Sri Ganesha and Sri
> Only when the understanding of the subject becomes firm, does the
> grace of the Satguru of Self descend. Textual contemplation and
> exposition of this subject alone will not lead the aspirant to his
> goal.Hence, he should reverentially adore Sri Ganesh and Sri Saraswati.
> Realizing the secret of the principle: first let the manifest form be
> seen by the eyes and then Vedanta be extolled, the mouth should chant
> the mantra (subtle name) and imprint its significance within.
> All quotations from 'Amrut Laya' by Siddharameshwar Maharaj, Guru of
> Nisargadatta Maharaj, Guru of Ramesh Balsekar.
> Book can be obtained by Chetana Publications in Mumbai
> Other books of interest by Nisargadatta, otainable by Chetana
> Seeds of Consciousness
> Prior to Consciousness
> Consciousness and the Absolute (Final Talks)
> Pointers from Nisargadatta Maharaj by Ramesh Balsekar 
> ===============================
> I went to the Samadhi of Siddharameshwar three times during my stay,
> just to hang out and meditate, usually after the morning talks of
> Ramesh. There is a young Indian, a filmmaker, named Vikram who lives
> nearby and gave us a ride. As he just moved there, he one night
> checked out the restaurants at Ban Ganga, and went to a very nice A/C
> place. After dinner he had the rest of the food backed and wanted to
> leave. There, outside at the dood was an Aghori Baba, who was
> obviously refused entrance to the costly A/C place. V. gave hom the
> packed food, and in addition a 500 rupie note, a lot for an indian,
> but just about 10 $ for us. He had it rolled inside a paper. The sadhu
> then ask V to donate him a blanket, as he wanted to go to Tirupati
> (pilgrimage place in the south). V told the Sadhu to look what he gave
> him, whereupon he just roled the paper with the note to produce some
> fire or just ashes, I don't remember completely. Then he went. No idea
> if this was just a trick or a siddhi. V obviously believed it to be
> true. Aghoris usuall stay at Cremation grounds (Smashans), and this is
> the place wer Siddharameshs samadhi is.
> ==========================
> I usualy met an old man there who had somewhat the resemblence of
> Nisargadatta. He was a disciple of his, and also still met
> Siddharamesh, when he was a child.As there was some discussion among
> us as about the actual tradition of Nisargadatta, it is mentioned in
> 'I am That' that he belonged to the Navnath Samradaya, which is a
> subbranch as I knew of the Naths, Sadhus who have a rather mystic
> approach, and usually carry a whistle around their neck, as a symbol
> of sound being the basis of creation. As a matter of fact, Aghoris are
> also a kind of nath subbranch. When mentioning the Navanath to the old
> man at the Samadhi, he contradicted and said that Siddharamesh
> belonged to the Kadasiddheswar Sampradaya (obviously a subsect of
> Navnath). He said that Siddharameshwar was the last Guru in this line,
> and that the whole exposition of teaching, which is purely adhi-atmic
> was in the same way, with the same words with the first Guru of this
> line.(That is concentrating purely on an advaitic kind of teaching)
> ===============================
> Another intereseting note is that Ramesh thought the translation of
> the dialogues in 'I am That' by Maurice Friedman to be very inaccurate
> and misleading. He would give as an example the use of 'awareness' and
> 'consciousness'. which were used for 'Avykta' and 'Vyakta'. Literally
> Avyakta means unmanifest while Vykata means manifest. To translate
> these as Awareness and Conscousness respectively, appealing to modern
> Zen lingo, is indeed somewhat misleading.(Nevertheless 'I am That' is
> a beautiful book!) If you are interested in a more authentic
> translation, you may refer to one of his later books, like 'Seeds of
> Consciousness' translated by Ramesh directly from Marathi. Maurice
> Friedman was a dutch guy, a foreigner, who could understand Marathi a
> bit, but also English wasn't his native tongue. These just as a few
> side notes.
> =========================
>  Incidently, if you are interested in Ramesh his teaching approach
> also deviates of that of his master, whose exclusive translater he was
> in his final year. This quote maybe sums up the difference in the
> approach best: 
> According to me,"I am That" is the positive way. The meaning is of
> course, quite clear, but the positive way is a long path for thze
> pilgrim and certainly can cause some confusion: I am That, therefore,
> I can do whatever I like!
> On the other hand, the negative way would be: I am only a
> three-dimensional object and, that too, the appearance of a
> three-dimensional object - therefore, nothing. I am neither this nor
> That. I can only be a shadow, without substance, of That which is all
> there is. This is the direct path.
> The direct path is the negative way, along which no me-concept can
> travel - how can a shadow travel by itself? How can a shadow attain
> anything? This is sudden awakening.

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