A correspondent, a devotee of Ranjit Maharaj, has kindly supplied
further information on the guru of these two well-known and
influential masters. He is somewhat unknown outside India but that is
Among Shri Ranjit Maharaj's and Shri Nisargadatta's disciples in India,
Shri Siddharameshwar Maharaj is considered somewhat of a "Spiritual
Superhero". He is portrayed as such by both of these two great
Masters, and His teaching stands testimony to this fact. He is known for
making His Master's Realization accessible to modern man by providing a
path called the "Birds Way". This path allows one to progress
very rapidly by utilizing the teachings of a True Master to unravel the
Illusion and arrive at "Realization" with the use of one's own
thinking instead of the long tedious path of His own Master, which was
through long arduous meditation.
There are three books that are now being published in India in English,
containing the teachings of Shri Siddharameshwar Maharaj. One is called
"Amrut Laya" the second is called "Amrut
Laya 2" and the third is called "Golden Day".
Amrut Laya is actually two books in one cover. The first book contained
in this cover is called "Master Key to Self Realization",
which is a methodical explanation of Siddharameshwar's teaching, and the
second book is called "Amrut Laya", which is
a series of His lectures on a classic spiritual text called DasBodh
written by the great 17th century Saint named Samartha RamDas. These
books are available on the website of a disciple of Ranjit Maharaj,
Andrew Vernon, at www.wayofthebird.com
The latest of these is the new book which has just been published in
August of 2005 which is a series of talks by Him on various themes,
called "Amrut Laya 2." This new book is a
companion text to "Amrut Laya" and contains
88 talks on topics presented in spiritual classic texts such as "Dasbodh"
"Yogavashistha" and "Eknathi
The newest book coming out in 2006 containing the teachings of Shri
Siddharameshwar Maharaj is a book that was written by Shri Nisargadatta
Maharaj and contains a compilation of the English translation of
Nisargadattas handwritten notes on Shri Siddharameshwar Maharaj's talks.
This book consists of two volumes in one cover and contains 130 talks.
This book has been available in Marathi since 1961 for Volume 1, and
1962 for Volume 2.
It was reprinted with both volumes contained in one cover at the
insistence of Shri Ranjit Maharaj in 2001 in Marathi Language. This is
how Ranjit Maharaj's disciples have come to know of it, and subsequently
had it translated into English for the benefit of all who are interested
in the teachings that led to the Self-Realization of Nisargadatta
Maharaj and Ranjit Maharaj. Both of these Masters have said that through
the indepth study of this book, a sincere aspirant can surely also
achieve the same Realization.
This new book will also contain an updated edition of the text
"Master Key to Self Realization" that was written by Shri
Siddharameshwar Maharaj himself. Many western readers have commented
that the "Indian style grammar" of that text as it is printed
in "Amrut Laya" was difficult to comprehend, so this new
edition is an attempt to make this book easier to read and understand.
This was felt necessary as this book presents the foundation all of the
talks and teachings of Nisargadatta Maharaj and Ranjit Maharaj, as well
as all of the rest of the many Realized Masters that have come from this
This book has taken 5 years to translate and edit. The final edits and
first proofing have been completed as of the end of March 2006. The book
is now at the printer for final formatting and proofing and should be
published sometime in September or October of 2006. It should be
available for purchase on the website mentioned above.
There is also a new English translation of Dasbodh that has been
completed and is undergoing final edits this year (2006). As this is
quite a large text, the book will probably not be printed until sometime
Below are two selections from the recently published book "Amrut
Laya Volume 2". This particular selection is very profound as it
summarizes many key points of the teaching of this lineage.
Pranams to Shri Siddharameshwar, as He is the wellspring for the
teachings of Shri Ranjit Maharaj, and Shri Nisargadatta Maharaj.
And speaking of whom, the latest addition to the
Shri Siddharameshwar Maharaj body of works:
A new Nisargadatta Maharaj book is now
available. The new book which was originally published by Shri
Nisargadatta Maharaj in 1960-61 in the Marathi language, has been
translated into English and is now available at: www.wayofthebird.com/Books.htm
This new book has been given the English title "Master
This new book is comprised of 130 talks that were given by
Shri Siddharameshwar Maharaj, who was Nisargadatta's guru. The
contents of this book are from the hand-written notes that were
recorded and edited by Nisargadatta's own hand. This book is of
particular significance in that it is the actual spiritual
instruction that was given to Nisargadatta and his co-disciples by
his Guru, that led to his realization, as well as the realization of
his guru-brother, Shri Ranjit Maharaj.
This book is highly recommended to any serious aspirants who wish to
gain a clear understanding of the teachings of Advaita Vedanta, and the
lineage of these great Sadgurus.
LECTURE - 60
Dasbodh: Chapter 11 Subchapter 4 Verse 1
Brahman is formless, its nature, similar to that of space
But the Brahman is flawless, whereas there are flaws in space.
What is Brahman? Brahman is the spontaneous and natural
state, which remains when the four bodies come to an end. The third body, or
causal body is ignorance. After giving up ignorance, the one who gives it up
remains and he is in the form of knowledge. The fourth body, the
Supra-causal body, is the Turya state. Even that knowledge should be given up.
That knowledge is called AUM, which means Aham or ‘I’ (Atman). A person who
realizes up to this point is termed as Self-Realized
(Atmadnyani), or God. Beyond this lies the shapeless, quality-less and
unchangeable Brahman. There is no activity, no movement, no entry and no exit in Brahman.
The Inner-Self is ever-changing and unsteady. It is conscious of the mind, the
concept, and the object. He, the seer, the Self (Atman) is conscious of all,
even while the body may sit quietly or is even unconscious. The mind, the
intellect, speech, etc. do not exist in Brahman.
LECTURE - 61
Dasbodh: Chapter 11, Subchapter 7, Verse 1
The secret ever-flowing Ganga,
Purifies the world when we think of her,
Verify and actually experience, O Listener,
Or else it will not be clear.
Why was Dasbodh
composed in the first instance? Many people mistake the Self (Atman) for
Parabrahman (also Paramatman - para means 'beyond' or 'prior to'). This is where
the holy text Dasbodh comes in handy. It clearly defines not only Parabrahman,
which is beyond name and form, but also the Self, and draws a distinction
between the two.
The Self, which is the seer, the witness, and the doer, and Paramatman, which is
known by many different names, and is yet beyond all names and forms have been
clearly explained here. This is what sets Dasbodh apart from all other religious
texts. Dasbodh says that Paramatman can neither be defined by any of the several
thousand names assigned to Him, nor can He be described by any of the signs
attributed to Him.
The Shruti (the Vedas) says that Paramatman is neither knowledge nor
ignorance. The difference between Paramatman, who as per the Shruti is
described by denial (not this, not this), and the Self (Atman), which is
described by many different names, has been explained in the first ten Chapters
Paramatman is your spontaneous and natural Self, devoid of all concepts of
knowledge, as well as ignorance.
Beyond the 1st body, the physical, gross body lies the 2nd body, the subtle body
(comprising the pranas, the mind, the intellect, inner-consciousness and the
ego) which possesses objective (false) knowledge. Paramatman resides beyond
the realm of the bodily senses, the Prana, the mind and the intellect, where
speech or imagination cannot reach.
Lord Shri Krishna says in the Bhagvat Gita:
Where speech cannot reach
That is my eternal abode.
Mind is a collection of
determinations and doubts, as to whether a particular thing ‘is’ or ‘is
not’. "The mind" means "to say something". The
"Inner-consciousness" (Antahkarana) is to see or become aware of
objective things as they arise. To put an end to the mind means to keep quiet.
In other words, the formation of objective concepts is stopped. When you say
that a particular thing exists, the mind comes into play. This acknowledgement
of such objective existence is the mind. The one who says so, is not the mind.
Beyond the Inner-consciousness lies the 3rd, or causal body. This is
ignorance, meaning zero or nothingness. It is a state of "blissful
forgetfulness" (deep dreamless sleep) where you are neither aware of this
worldly objective knowledge, nor of the Reality.
It all depends on where you apply your attention. Your attention turned one
way sees the world, and when turned the opposite way, goes towards Reality (Parabrahman).
Our 4th body, or Satchidananda form, knows everyone and witnesses
everything. It is the Knowledge belonging to what is called the Supra-causal
body, or Turya state. But this Knowledge too, is an illusion. It is the
"primal illusion" in the form of Life-energy (Chaitanya). To be
conscious of the Self (Atman) is the Turya state.
There are three types of objects, the steady, the ever-changing, and the gross. That
which is steady or changeless is the Parabrahman (objectless object) and that
which is ever-changing is Consciousness. There are very few who advance from
the ever-changing Self (Atman) to the steady (Paramatman). The doer necessarily,
has to be animate. As soon as the deed of knowing "Who am I" is
accomplished, the work, as well as the the animate ability of the doer comes to
Knowledge, or Consciousness devoid of desires is the primal illusion (Moolamaya).
Satchidananda is the ever-changing subtle illusion (Vidyamaya), and the
manifestation is gross illusion (Avidyamaya).
The ever-flowing river is hidden and hence is referred to as the secret Ganga.
This secret Ganga is nothing but ever-changing knowledge in the form of
Consciousness (Chit). It secretly exists within you, and is you, alone. You are
purified, and cleansed merely on thinking of her.
She originates in that which is purely steady (Parabrahman) and from then on she
proceeds at a brisk pace. She takes a plunge in the downward direction.
Consciousness never flows towards the Reality (Parabrahman). This river is
everflowing. It flows through all the four states (the waking, sleeping,
dreaming and Turya). She traces a winding course.
She has a continuous supply of water but this water is not wet, it is dry, as
this is the river of Knowledge (Consciousness). So swift and nimble are its
waters that this river reaches the Sun within a fraction of a second. All the
soft tender earth melts in it, yet the seemingly solid ego remains unaffected.
However, a few have proven to be powerful enough to reach the source of this
river and have been purified. One who sees this secret river, which is the
originator of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, becomes instantly purified.
This river is called Aapo-Narayana (Aap-water, Narayana-the Lord who dwells
in the hearts of all). This means water of this river is called God (Narayana).
This river flows within every heart. It has occupied the Heavens, the Objective
world, and the Nether world. This river itself is the Lord of this universe (Jagadisha).
We are all filled with the contents of this river. Some have exhausted
themselves and have eventually just passed away while merely fulfilling their
worldly duties. We cannot estimate the value of water until we are confronted
with a water shortage. We will never understand the importance of this Ganga
unless we recognize our oneness with it.
If you go beyond, to its source, you will find that there exists nothing. Hence,
this world is unreal. It is but the byproduct of doubts and determinations. The
causal body is in the form of nothingness, or ignorance, and that of the
supra-causal body is in the form of knowledge. He in whom both the concepts of
ignorance, and knowledge, are eliminated, is called a true Yogi.
The Universal Consciousness (Chit), is itself a subtle concept. Concepts,
whether in the shape of knowledge, or in that of ignorance are both only
concepts. The vanishing of these concepts is what is called the elimination
of the concepts of the thinking (chitta), and this is precisely what Yoga is all
about. Such a Lord of the Yogis who is devoid of concepts is the true
devotee of the Master.
Elimination of concepts is not to be confused with suppression, or reigning in
of concepts. It only means that the concepts should be wiped off. Think
deeply and you will find out how the devotees of the True Master (Sadguru) are
the true Yogis.