“Notes on Spiritual Discourses of Shri Atmananda”

“Notes on Spiritual Discourses of Shri Atmananda”

Notes on Spiritual Discourses of Shri Atmananda, taken by NITYA TRIPTA

Shri Atmananda (Krishna Menon, 1883-1959) stands with Ramana Maharshi and Nisargadatta Maharaj as one of the most influential sages of the twentieth century.  And like Talks with Ramana Maharshi and I AM THAT, this is one of the century’s greatest books of spiritual dialogues.

There are over 1,400 dialogues, readily available in two formats:

  1. Free searchable PDF file, 2014 edition.  This format is especially helpful if you wish to use Adobe Acrobat or another PDF reader to search for keywords, such as “witness” or “liberation.” To save space, the file is in .ZIP format. After downloading, double-click the file to unzip it.
  2. Trade paperback edition in three volumes, 2009 edition. Published by Non-Duality Press & Stillness Speaks.

Besides the many dialogues, NOTES contains the following sections, written or edited by Nitya Tripta:

  • Transliteration scheme
  • Preface
  • Foreword
  • My indebtedness
  • Introduction
  • Why such open talk?
  • On the life sketch of the Sage, Shri Atmananda
  • On devotion to a living Guru
  • Excerpted spiritual statements (quotable quotes)
  • Life Sketch
  • Glossary
  • Index

The paperback edition contains a write-up on the back cover:

This is a collection of spiritual discourses by Shri Atmananda (Krishna Menon, 1883-1959), a representative of the larger tradition of Advaita Vedanta and one of the great sages of the modern world.  The discourses herein were recorded during the period 1950 to 1959 by Nitya Tripta, a trusted disciple.  They are short and masterful talks on realizing the Truth through a recognition that our nature is always pure consciousness.

Shri Atmananda taught what he called the “vicarga marga” or ‘direct method.”  This method questions the world, the body, and the seeking mind; it reveals that they are nothing other than the Truth of the of the knowing Self.  His teaching has become well known for being direct, intuitive, and logically connected.  He leads the questioner unassailably back through the question to the Truth, to the light of ultimate Reality – the Self.

Notes on Spiritual Discourses explains in detail many now-familiar tools of self-inquiry, such as the witness, standing as awareness, the use of higher reason, the truth about deep sleep, why happiness is actually the real I, the way memory functinos, and more.  These tools help to show how the basic error in man is his wrong identification with body, senses and mind.  When this identification is replaced by the right identification with Consciousness, the resulting realization is the “harmonious blending of the head and the heart, in Peace.”

Shri Atmananda was in many ways a bridge between the old and the new.  Although trained in some of the traditional ways of devotion and meditation, he recommended the direct method of reflective questioning as particularly suited to the modern world.  At the same time, his professional career was devoted to law enforcement in Kerala, South India.  He retired from law enforcement in 1939, and continued to teach spiritual disciples for another twenty years.

This is a wonderful resource to assist in nondual inquiry.