Until one has the conviction that, he is an individual separate from the world and world existed prior to him, and he is born in this world afterwards, he will not be able to cross the threshold of duality [illusion], which he experiences as reality.  If  one accepts the duality [illusion or mind or waking] as reality he will never be able to grasp the ultimate truth.

The duality is reality only on the standpoint of false self[ego].  There is a need to reduce mentally, the whole experience of diversity [man+ universe] into mind and mind into spirit [consciousness], in order to realize the nondual truth.  Consciousness itself is ultimate truth.    
Seeker must first know what is before him. If he cannot know that, what else can he know or understand? If he gives up the external world in his inquiry, he cannot get the whole truth.

One cannot know the truth until one knows the stuff from which the mind[universe] is created. The goal of pursuit of truth is to realize the fact that, the true self is not physical but it is the formless soul/ spirit/consciousness. 

Many people are struck with awe or reverence at the outer indications of renunciation, and thus blindly accept a man to be a Gnani. The two have no connection. Because he has no wife, no family, and no possessions" they think man who has merely repressed these desires as though these things had anything to do with wisdom he is mere religious man. People are quite incompetent to judge who is a Gnani between god men, intellectuals, and yogis. A Gnani is neither a god men, nor yogi, nor intellectual.

The man who speaks about god, scriptures and religion is not a Gnani. A yogi who speaks about yoga is not a Gnani. A God man who indulges in miracle is not a Gnani. An intellectual who argues on his own speculated theories is not a Gnani. A Gnani is the one who guides people towards the source of the mind [universe or physical existence] is real Gnani. A Gnani never claims himself a teacher nor does he accept any one as disciple. 
The first step is of knowing “Self" is not physical but it is formless spirit.  The second is to know the spirit is ultimate truth, the "whole." Then alone he knows truth and wisdom, i.e. the whole truth.

“Soul” [consciousness] as “Self “is the key that opens the door of ultimate truth. This understanding is certainly necessary at the first stage, when the mind is wandering. At the end the mind gets stilled and knows its formless essence and becomes one with it. Then there is no witness nor witnessed everything is one and the whole. 

The formula "What is ‘I’?" presupposes the existence of an ‘I’. But this is only an assumption. Before proceeding to act on such a formula one ought first to inquire whether there is such a thing as an ‘I’.

Those who have been baffled by unsuccessful enquiry, reading, intellection, have to find out what are the obstacles on the way, what is blocking them from grasping, understanding and assimilating the non-dual truth.

Yoga is intended to remove the hindrance in pursuit of truth such as sexual desire, worries, anxieties, desire for wealth etc. and also to enable one to keep out from irrelevant thoughts whilst making inquiry, analysis and reasoning.

 All this has to be done before indulging in pursuit of truth. Therefore yoga has only a negative value and is a preparatory stage. Pursuit of truth starts from what is seen, i.e. the three states.  Wisdom comes from both knowing the three states and the formless witness of the three states.

To leave out one of these parts is to prevent attainment of wisdom. "Who am I” is useful no doubt, it has certainly a value in its place, and gives some knowledge of self as, the Witness. But what about the witnessed? The three states are mere object to the witness. It must also be looked at. If the witnessed [three states] is ignored, then "Who am I” cannot give the full truth.
“Who am ‘I’” is   yogic enquiry; not the spiritualistic; the latter deals with the whole of life whereas the former deals with a part only.

"Who am I” inquiry limits only to the physical entity, because there, is no person in truth but only in the illusion of mystics.  ‘It should be "What is I?".

  The question "Who am I” is a religious, not a spiritualistic question. It is a most selfish one. It is on a par with "What shall I be after death?" and "What shall I get in return for my good karma in next life?" It is purely egocentric and it is based on the false self.

Only the people who are serious in knowing the truth can lift their thoughts above ego and ask "What is the mind?"  All  the three states  put together make the soul/self, not merely the ego questioning itself ''What is  I.”

People are most interested in themselves before they gets interested in the world therefore, the "Who am I?" inquiry leads only to reveal half-truth.    The “Who am I? – Inquiry is useful as a first stage to show the illusoriness of ego and thus help seeker to get rid of it. It helps the seeker to prepare him to consider the higher question: What is the world, what is mind, what is “Self” the truth about which cannot be learnt by those attached to their ego, with its prejudices against idealism, etc. 

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  • Dear Carlo,

    I respect your views.

    Thank you for sharing your wisdom.

    As per my conviction derived from deeper self-search:-

    First thing spiritual pursuit is a very personal journey, thus it is not story or biography. It is mental [inner] journey of verification. Nothing has to be accepted as truth without verification. Only un-contradictable truth has to be accepted as truth. This is possible only through inquiry, which makes one realize the self is not form but self is formless [consciousness]. Once one becomes aware of the fact that the self is not form but self is formless then the reasoning based has to rectify from form [ego] to formless [soul]. Without rectifying the reasoning base from form to formless, it is impossible to understand and assimilate and realize the non dual truth.

    The inquiry revel the fact that, neither the body nor the ego is self. Therefore, what is the use of seeking truth on the base of false self? Therefore, it is necessary to make sure of the fact that neither the waking entity nor the dream entity is the self.

    All the doubts and confusion prevail because of the egocentricity outlook. Seeker has to be soul centric to realize the non-dual truth.

    Only serious seeker will think deeply because he is not at sure that his physical existence [body +universe] is illusion. Only when he inquires and becomes aware of the fact that the “I” [mind] is not self but the “I-LESS” [soul]. Thus his understanding has to be based on the “I-LESS” not on the “I” [mind] ,which is false self within the false experience. When “I” is not self, but “I-LESS” than whatever seen, known , believed and experienced on the base of ‘I’ as self is bound to be falsehood on the standpoint of “I-LESS” as self. Thus it is necessary to realize the fact that, the self is not physical but self is formless to realize the mind, which is in the form of universe is myth.

    Until the duality prevails as reality there is destination, because the duality is bound by form, time and space. The duality ceases to be real when one realizes the fact that neither the body nor the ego is self.

    Until one thinks the mind is within the body he will not be able to cross the threshold of duality. Therefore, it is necessary to know “what is mind” and “what is the substance of the mind” and “what is the source of the mind” in order to assimilate non-dual truth.

    Without knowing what truth is, how can one know what is untruth? Mere bookish knowledge or knowledge based on speculation and assumption is mere playing with the words not non-dual wisdom. Intellectuality is based on the false self thus it will not yield any fruits.

    How can one look on the conscious level when his body, ego and universe are an object to the true self, which is in the form of consciousness. Until one traces the formless substance and witness of the mind, which is in the form of universe, the non-dual wisdom will not dawn.

    Sorry for the lengthy explanation. It is very much needed in pursuit of truth, which helps the seeker think and helps the seeker to divert his attention from form to formless.

    This is from my blog:-

    The scriptures and theories and teaching based on the ego are not the yardstick. Using them as yardstick to understand and assimilate the truth will lead one towards pursuit of arguments. Seeker of truth has to discover on his own, the truth of his true existence by inquiring “what is mind?” and “what is substance of the mind?” and move forward.

    The wisdom consists in knowing the truth, that everything [mind or physical existence] is consciousness. Freedom [truth] is always there yet one does not know it. But to those whose reason is turned away from physicality and who have attained the serenity of the soul/self [consciousness] are quite near to the ultimate truth.

    To think once own body and his experience of the world is an illusion is difficult matter, unless one realizes the self is not physical but it is formless soul it is difficult to have glimpse of truth.

    When one realizes the fact that, the self is not physical but the formless soul, naturally the body and universe becomes illusion.

    The mind [universe] is emanating from soul [consciousness] means the mind is being effect from consciousness is not different from it. Deeper analysis shows it. Analysis needs deeper thinking and reasoning. Mind is whole universe thus it has a form. But where is the form in consciousness [soul] because consciousness is like an ocean and mind is like wave. The universe is same consciousness, as the ocean produces the wave, so the consciousness produces the mind [universe].

    The moment one knows the mind [universe] is consciousness, and then there is no ignorance. If one knows consciousness as self then everything is consciousness, the consciousness is second to none. The mind is consciousness but due to ignorance one mistakes it for something else. One thinks the self is within the body; but the self is without the body and the world.

    Mind ceases to exist without the matter. Without the matter mind ceases to exist as mind but it exists as matter- less awareness or consciousness. Without the mind neither the world nor its perceiver can exist.

    Without the matter there is no duality. Without duality there is no experience. Without experience it is non-dual reality. Therefore, whatever prevails without the mind is ultimate reality.

    The true nature of the soul [consciousness] is camouflaged by the illusion/duality. To know the truth one has to discover and realize the formless substance of the mind or illusion. One has to learn to view and judge the worldview on the standpoint the formless soul as self. Self-Knowledge is the prime goal of the truth seeker. This goal is hidden within the mind as its invisible substance and witness. Therefore, it is necessary inquiry, analyse and reason in to the nature of mind/ duality/illusion in order to unfold the mystery of mind or duality or illusion.
    • Dear Carlo

      Thank you.

      As per my conviction derived from deeper self-search:-

      There is no need to name and create division and try to understand and assimilate the ultimate truth. On the ultimate standpoint everything is one. All divisions, which are named, are also consciousness [purusha or Ataman]. So, there is no second thing exists other than consciousness [purusha or Ataman]. Consciousness is ultimate truth or Brahman.

      Many believe spirituality and religion are considered inter connected but it is not so. Religion is based on the false self-[ego or body] and it is limited to the false experience [universe], while spirituality transcends race, religion, gender, language and nationality and universe. Spirituality is pursuit of truth.

      There are many paths have come into existence in the name of Self-Realization. Every belief system believes that each human being embodies a spark of the divine, and that fanning into the shining fire spiritual realization is the meaning and purpose of human life. But spirituality is not based on the belief but discovering the truth of the whole universe and man’s existence. Religious and Yogic truth and scientific truth are individual truth based on the false self-[ego] within the false experience. Individuality has no value in the realm of ultimate point of view. Therefore, realization of true self is necessary in order to realize the ultimate truth, which is free from all the diversity, which is present in the form of universe or mind. The universe ceases to be real from the ultimate point of view. The ignorance is the cause of experiencing the unreality as reality. Therefore truth realization is necessary to unfold the mystery of the universe, which appears to be real from the physical point of view.

      Universe is reality on the base of ego, which is the false self. It is unreal on the stand point of the consciousness, which is the true self. Universe is mere mirage from the ultimate point of view. Man perceives the world within the universe; therefore his existence is limited to the universe, which is in the form of mind. Consciousness is real because it is permanent, but universe, which is in the form of mind, appears as waking or dream [duality] and disappears as deep sleep is impermanent [nonduality]. Thus mind is not absolute and eternal like consciousness itself. People stuck with the reality of the world, so they take it as real. Once they take their physical existence to be real then they have accepted the false self as real self and false universe as reality. Thus their judgement is based in the false self, will keep them within the threshold of duality. Thus the ultimate truth lies beyond duality.

      People take the universe confronting them as real, the experience of birth, life and death, which happens within the universe, which they experienced as reality. When the self is not physical but self is formless, then whatever seen, known, believed, experienced as person within the universe is falsehood, on the base of the formless self [witness].

      The gross universe is merged into the mental universe in the sense that when it is analysed, it is found to exist inseparably in and as the mind alone. All "spiritual" planes are really mental: those who regard them as different or higher will remain ignorant.

      A Gnani is free from experiencing the illusion [body + universe] as reality, he is fully aware of the fact that, his body and his experience of the world as consciousness, which is ultimate truth.

      People who are incapable to inquire and reason are tending to follow some philosophy without verification. Therefore the more ignorant they are the easier to get them into a religious fold. Religion is so strong and popular because it makes no demand on the intelligent, It simply requires belief in guru and his teachings.
      It never strikes believer to doubt whether his inherited belief system is true. They never use their reason because they start and conclude that their belief system alone is true, because they never question the validity of their inherited belief.

      For religion one can interpret texts as he likes, in whatever way that pleases him, he simply imagine away. The idea of god injected in the past and inherited by people and they refuse to verify the facts, because they think it blasphemy even to question their inherited belief system.

      In pursuit of truth the ultimate truth has to be proved, not assumed. Pundits who take scriptures for granted are not Gnanis.

      Pundits teach that all is your-self, but none of them can show that this is so, none has analysed it scientifically, and none can prove it. Rational proof is needed, so that one arrive at knowing truth i.e. wisdom; punditry is mere dogma, parrotism, repetition of what they read in scripture. Scripters are not yardstick and scriptural truth is not proof. Pundits take scripters as authority. Authoritarianism merely assumes as true what another says, but what has yet to be proved.

      Pundits have to test truth in this world not in the next world. There is no proof other than blind belief based on the scriptures, belief is not truth. So, doctrines are not the means to realize the ultimate truth. There is no need to follow them.

      Doubts and Confusions arise when seeker finds the scripters and yoga are inadequate or useless to quench his spiritual thirst. Disappointments in religion or yoga or even science imply error or ignorance.

      When serious seeker reaches a stage with all his baggage of accumulate knowledge, then uncertainty haunts him. Whether he is right?" Where is the certainty that he is proceeding on right lines?" Thus doubts arise and the inquiring spirit comes and impels to search elsewhere for truth where it will not be possible even to have doubt. The test is therefore in experience. And only in non-duality, where there are no two to argue about views or to have difference of opinion can such doubtlessness be possible. Belief depends upon unstable bases whereas certainty depends on proof.

      Seeker of truth has to get rid of his doubts through deeper inquiry, analysis and reasoning on his own, to realize the fact that, the self is not the form but self is formless. Thus his analysis and reasoning has to be based on the formless not on the form. By simply go on believing and accepting whatever said by the punditry will not lead one towards path of wisdom. All the doubt has to be got rid of "by the sword of Self - Knowledge." The scriptures, yoga are not necessary if one follows the inner [formless] path. Religion and yoga are not the means to path of wisdom.

      They alone in this world are endowed with the highest wisdom who are firm in their conviction of the sameness and birthlessness of Ataman. The ordinary man does not understand their way. [Chapter IV — Alatasanti Prakarana 95-P-188 in Upanishads by Nikilanada]

      This passage indicates the fact that everything is Ataman/spirit. The one who views and judges the worldview on the base of his birth /body will not realize the fact that, the man including the world is created sustained and finally dissolves as Ataman. Thus Ataman alone is, and all else is mirage.

      Thus self-knowledge is the aim of every human being. Since everyone thinks the physical body is the self, their aim is misdirected and they focus their attention on materiality which makes one feel the duality [waking] as reality.

      Nisagadutta said: Millions are in search of the ultimate truth, and only one in million will be able to grasp and realize it. By focusing more attention on Ataman by talking, writing, discussing only of Ataman, the conviction grows and becomes firmer and the duality will fade away as reality. Ataman/consciousness, which is one’s true identity will prevail as birth-less and deathless, eternal substance and witness of the mirage called duality.
      Therefore there is no need to study scriptures, or indulge in god and guru glorification or performing religious rituals. Since, they are not the means to acquire non-dual wisdom. It is only waste of time and effort to indulge in those things.

      The individual self is not real, is not accepted by many. The nondual wisdom is based not on the individual self [ego]. Until people hold the ‘I’ [ego] as witness, they will not reach the ultimate understanding.

      When Upanishad itself declares:- sarvam khalvidam brahma - all this (universe) is verily Brahman. By following back all of the relative appearances in the world, we eventually return to that from which it is all manifest – the non-dual reality [ Chandogya Upanishad].

      Then it is no use going roundabout way, trace the Brahman which is the formless substance and witness of the universe, which is in the form of mind. By tracing the source of the mind or universe one will be able to realize the Brahman.

      The ultimate truth has nothing to do with Scriptures and it is independent of scriptures. The point is: though it is taught by the Vedas, it does not require any belief in the infallibility of Vedas; in other words even if an individual or some other religion were to propose the same thing, a person with an open mind would come to the same conclusion that there is a formless witness [Ataman or purusha], that it is Brahman - and that it is the same as the self ,which is not an individual but it pervades in everything and everywhere in three states as their formless substance and witness.

      When Sri,Sankara says: world is unreal . He never said body is unreal. He would have said only birth and death is unreal but he did not say that, he said the world is unreal. He meant the world including the body, because the body and world appear together and disappear together [waking/dream]. Then we have to think, what remain without the body and the world as reality. How can the birth, life, death, rebirth, and reincarnation, which take place in unreal world [waking/dream], can be true. The one, which is aware of the birth, life death, rebirth and reincarnation [illusion/unreal], is formless reality, which is the true self/true identity. The formless self is your true identity, which is birthless and deathless but it is the witness of the birth, life and death and rebirth [illusion/unreal].

      On the standpoint of identity the birth, life, death, rebirth and reincarnation theory is part of the illusion/unreal. The body cannot reincarnate, the body and the world are created out of the same formless stuff. Until one views and judges on the base of flesh, bone and blood [five elements], he will not be able to grasp the nondual truth. Thus, one must know on what standpoint we are not born and we do not die thoroughly, just by hearsay views, it will not lead anyone to the nondual destination.

      Seeker has to learn to view and judge on the standpoint of FW/soul/self. Then he will be never having any confusion. When one thinks deeply then only the inner revelation starts and start burning the dross [confusion/doubts]. A well-directed inquiry and sound reasoning will lead one towards nondual destination and it will start yielding fruits and start revealing, when he starts thinking very deeply. This is the inner process every serious seeker experiences. The inner dialogue will start and one will start getting answers from inner core of his existence, and he becomes aware of the fact of what is real and what is unreal and he will be able to mentally reject the unreal nature of the self in the midst of duality.
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