BUDDHA SAID: - Believe nothing just because a so-called wise person said it. Believe nothing just because a belief is generally held. Believe nothing just because it is said in ancient books. Believe nothing just because it is said to be of divine origin. Believe nothing just because someone else believes it. Believe only what you yourself test and judge to be true.
Ish Upanishad declares: - Those people who have neglected the attainment of Self-knowledge and have thus committed suicide. [10/11/12]
The orthodox seekers are unfit self-realization because they have accepted false self as true self and practical world as reality. It is very difficult for them to overcome the inherited ignorance, because of their egoic and headstrong attitude; they will not accept anything other than their accepted truth. Thus they remain like stagnant water believing only what they have inherited from their ancestors and gurus. Thus this inherited orthodoxy becomes greatest hindrance in self-realization.
Orthodoxy is living strictly according to code of conduct prescribed by religion. Religion is based on the false self within the false experience. All the prescription by religious code of conduct makes one more and more egocentric because they are based on physicality. Therefore, they become obstacle in pursuit of truth. From the ultimate standpoint: whatever seen, known, believed, and experienced as person of the world is mere illusion. Therefore indulging in orthodoxy which is full of rituals and karmas yields same fruits, if the rituals and karma performed in the dream.
Individualized Gods, karma, heaven and hell are ideas created by religion, to help for those who are incapable of grasping. The concept of god and goddesses and karma are part of the ignorance. By worshiping god and goddesses one accepts the false self as true self, thus he is unfit for self-knowledge. Therefore concept of god is not the means to acquire the self-knowledge. That is why Buddha rejected concept of God.
Devotion is meant for those who are unable to think deeply and more interested in worldly life to manipulate the worldly life with the belief of individualized god. Thus the belief is part of the illusion. Therefore, the devotional path is limited to duality/mind.
If one is seeking non-dual truth than he has to drop all path of orthodoxy because orthodoxy is meant for those who are not seeking truth.
In Isa Upanishad says:-
Vidya and Avidya both are hindrances to Self-knowledge, but Vidya is even worse than Avidya. The word Vidya is used here in a special sense; here it means worshipping gods and goddesses. By worshipping gods and goddesses you will go after death to the world of gods and goddesses. But will that help you? The time you spend there is wasted, because if you were not there you could have spent that time moving forward towards Self-knowledge, which is your goal. In the world of gods and goddesses you cannot do that, and thus you go deeper and deeper into darkness.
They enter darkness, those who worship natural things (for example air, water, sun, moon, animals, fire, stone, etc).
They sink deeper in darkness those who worship sambhuti. (Sambhuti means created things, for example table, chair, idol etc.)
"Deep into shade of blinding gloom fall asambhuti's worshippers. They sink to darkness deeper yet who on sambhuti are intent."
[Yajurveda Samhita by Ralph T. H. Giffith pg 538]
"They are enveloped in darkness, in other words, are steeped in ignorance and sunk in the greatest depths of misery who worship the uncreated, eternal prakrti -- the material cause of the world -- in place of the All-pervading God, But those who worship visible things born of the prakrti, such as the earth, trees, bodies (human and the like) in place of God are enveloped in still greater darkness, in other words, they are extremely foolish, fall into an awful hell of pain and sorrow, and suffer terribly for a long time."
[Yajur Veda 40:9.]
So, Yajur Veda indicates that:-
They sink deeper in darkness those who worship sambhuti. (Sambhuti means created things, for example table, chair, idol etc [Yajurved 40:9]
Those who worship visible things born of the prakrti, such as the earth, trees, bodies (human and the like) in place of God are enveloped in still greater darkness, in other words, they are extremely foolish, fall into an awful hell of pain and sorrow, and suffer terribly for a long time." [Yajur Veda 40:9.]
When the religion of the Veda knows no idols then why so many gods and goddesses with different form and name are being propagated as Vedic gods. Why these conceptual gods are introduced when Vedic concept of god is free from form and attributes.
Who introduced concept of god with attributes and attributeless gods, when Yajur Veda says: - those who worship visible things, born of the prakrti, such as the earth, trees, bodies (human and the like), in place of God are enveloped in still greater darkness. Therefore, all these add-ons proves that the form and attribute based concepts are introduced by some sages of the past with new belief system and code of conducts in the name of Vedas.
Gaudapada says that: - The merciful Veda teaches karma and Upaasana to people of lower and middling intellect, while Jnana is taught to those of higher intellect.
Mundaka Upanishad says: - The rituals and the sacrifices described in the Vedas deal with lower knowledge. The sages ignored these rituals and went in search of higher knowledge. ... Such rituals are unsafe rafts for crossing The sea of samsara, of birth and death. Doomed to shipwreck are those who try to cross The sea of samsara on these poor rafts. Ignorant of their own ignorance, yet wise In their own esteem, these deluded men Proud of their vain learning go round and round Like the blind led by the blind.
When sages themselves found rituals are unsafe rafts for crossing The sea of samsara, of birth and death and ignored them. Mundaka Upanishad further suggest that, such rituals are unsafe rafts for crossing the realm of duality those who try to cross the realm of duality on these poor and unsafe rafts . Then why to use these unsafe rafts in pursuit of truth. Ignorant of their own ignorance, yet wise in their own esteem, these deluded people [punndiths] proud of their vain learning go round and round like the blind led by the blind.
Therefore, if one wants to acquire Atma Jnana or Bramha Jnana or Self- Knowledge or knowledge of consciousness one has to drop all ritualistic and orthodox baggage to move forward in their pursuit of truth.
Ashtavakra says: "For the wise man there is nothing to be renounced." He knows that everything is unreal, hence cannot be given up.
When Sri, Sankara says clearly, the universe is not real. He says that Brahman and Atman are one. The ultimate and the Absolute Truth is the Self, which is one though appearing as many in different individuals. The individual has no reality. Only the Self is Real; the rest, mental and physical are but passing appearances, then it indicates the form [waking/duality/mind] is unreal the formless is real [soul/spirit/self/FW]. Therefore, only Ataman is real because there is no second thing other than Atman.
He also clearly mentions that:-
The path of religion, path of yoga and the path of wisdom were intended for different classes of people. The wisdom is for the advanced seekers of truth. It deals with the nature of the ultimate Truth and Reality. It is meant for superior aspirants who have inner urge to know the truth and it is not for those who are immersed in earthly desires.
Yoga and meditation recommended as a temporary discipline to those who lack self-control. It will act as an antidote, counteract their inherent tendency, but the man who is already sufficiently level-headed and calm needs no such external discipline. In any case yoga/meditation is to be recommended only until the practitioner achieves some degree of self-control after which he may relinquish his old habits.
Yoga and meditation are a temporary discipline and for the training of the mind, for the mind to become achieve external peace, remaining unaffected amid troubles. It has no other purpose.
The Mundaka Upanishad tells that:-
Ksheeyanthethasyakarmanithasmindrushte cha paravare,Bahuthwam than nishedarthasruthyageetham cha yathsphutam. 98
The body being in this world does not also exist and due to this, Prarabdha also does not exist, though the Vedas speak of Prarabdha, for the understanding of the ignorant.
All actions of man including Prarabdha, perishes when one is able to see, Brahman which is in the higher and also lower, Thus tell the Vedas with clarity,*Cause and effect If fate does not get destroyed, ignorance gets never destroyed and spiritual realization never comes.
Until and unless one overcomes physical shackle it is impossible to understand and assimilate the nondual truth, which is beyond the physical existence or the universe. Consciousness itself is lord of itself though not of the universe. And having nothing it has all.
That is why Sankara: - Talk as much philosophy as you like, worship as many gods as you please, observe ceremonies and sing devotional hymns, but liberation will never come, even after a hundred aeons, without realizing the Oneness.
Thus when we identity with our inherited belief system it with diverse belief it becomes difficult to know the whole humanity is created out of single stuff, which is consciousness. The consciousness is identified by different belief system with different names and forms. Until one goes deeper in search it becomes difficult for anyone to accept anything other than his inherited belief.
Thus following any belief system will not lead one to the inner reality. Thus it is necessary to know the ultimate truth, and the truth will set one free from experiencing the duality as reality."
Sri, Sankara: - “Illness is not cured by saying the word 'medicine,' but by taking medicine. Enlightenment is not achieved by repeating the word 'God' but by directly experiencing God. Talk as much philosophy as you like, worship as many gods as you please, observe as many ceremonies and sing devotional hymns, but liberation will never come, even after a hundred eons, without realizing Oneness, Wholeness."
Yoga Vasishtha :- "Teachers, interpretations of sacred texts, the force of religious merit--none of these lead to the realization of that Ultimate Truth which is revealed in the clear reflection of the heart, engendered from contact with the good."
Sri, Sankara says in VivekaChudamani
56 . Neither by Yoga, nor by Sankhya, nor by work, nor by learning, but by the realization of one's identity with Brahman is Liberation possible, and by no other means.
58. Loud speech consisting of a shower of words, the skill in expounding the Scriptures, and likewise erudition - these merely bring on a little personal enjoyment to the scholar, but are no good for Liberation.
59. The study of the Scriptures is useless so long as the highest Truth is unknown, and it is equally useless when the highest Truth has already been known.
60. The Scriptures consisting of many words are a dense forest which merely causes the mind to ramble. Hence men of wisdom should earnestly set about knowing the true nature of the Self.
61. For one who has been bitten by the serpent of Ignorance, the only remedy is the knowledge of Brahman. Of what avail are the Vedas and (other) Scriptures, Mantras (sacred formulae) and medicines to such a one?
62. A disease does not leave off if one simply utter the name of the medicine, without taking it; (similarly) without direct realization one cannot be liberated by the mere utterance of the word Brahman.
63. Without causing the objective universe to vanish and without knowing the truth of the Self, how is one to achieve Liberation by the mere utterance of the word Brahman ? — It would result merely in an effort of speech.
64. Without killing one’s enemies, and possessing oneself of the splendour of the entire surrounding region, one cannot claim to be an emperor by merely saying, ‘I am an emperor’.
65. As a treasure hidden underground requires (for its extraction) competent instruction, excavation, the removal of stones and other such things lying above it and (finally) grasping, but never comes out by being (merely) called out by name, so the transparent Truth of the self, which is hidden by Maya and its effects, is to be attained through the instructions of a knower of Brahman, followed by reflection, meditation and so forth, but not through perverted arguments.
66. Therefore the wise should, as in the case of disease and the like, personally strive by all the means in their power to be free from the bondage of repeated births and deaths.
67. The question that thou hast asked today is excellent, approved by those versed in the Scriptures, aphoristic, pregnant with meaning and fit to be known by the seekers after Liberation.
Seeker of truth has to take the direct path and avoid losing precious time and effort loosing himself in philosophical studies.
Fools dwelling in darkness, but thinking themselves wise and erudite, go round and round, by various tortuous paths, like the blind led by the blind. [Ch II-5 P-14]
Seeker of truth has to avoid getting involved with the guru or teaching if wants acquire Self-Knowledge because emotionally getting involved with guru or teaching becomes great hindrance and one will permanently remain in the prison of physicality or duality.
One finds lots of differences between traditional Adavitic preaching and practice. There is need to bifurcate religion, concept of god and scriptures from Adavitic philosophy to assimilate the essence of Adavita.
Sri, Sankara says in Brahma Sutras: that Brahman is the cause of the world, whereas in Mandukya he denies it. This is because he says that at the lower stage of understanding, the former teaching must be given, for people will get frightened as they cannot understand how the world can be without a cause, but to those in a higher stage, the truth of non-causality can be revealed.
Sri, Sankara himself has warned us not to use ambiguous words, and to practice semantic analysis in his book "Definition of one's own Self. [" Page 199, v.24 of "Sankara's Selected Works]
Sri, Sankara himself had often said that his philosophy was based on Sruti, or revealed scripture. This may be because Sri, Sankara addressed the ordinary man, who finds security in the idea of causality and thus in the idea of God—and Revelation is indispensable to prove the latter. He believed that those of superior intelligence, have no need of this idea of divine causality, and can therefore dispense with Sruti and arrive at the truth of Non-Dualism by pure reason.
It is very difficult to talk to people about ultimate truth/Brahman/Christ because everyone thinks he knows the ultimate truth/Brahman/Christ. This- I know business is dangerous. And whatever his reached conclusion is second hand stuff. Therefore, accepting accumulated knowledge without verification will lead the seekers to hallucinated realization based on the ego.
Second-hand knowledge of the self-gathered from books or gurus can never emancipate a man until its truth is rightly investigated and applied; only direct realisation will do that. Realise yourself, turning the mind inward. – Tripura Rahasya, 18: 89
The pursuit of truth is a mental journey. Deeper inquiry, analysis and reasoning makes one aware of what truth is and what is untruth and the subconscious will be able to reject the untruth after knowing, what is Truth. Whatever prevails after rejecting the untruth is the ultimate truth.
The language of the duality, invented by the within the duality, for use in the dualistic world, when used to describe non-duality, produces these apparent contradictions, because there no apparatus in non-duality, because noting exist other than the soul, which is in the form of consciousness.
Non duality is the state of oneness of existence and there is no scope in its philosophy for anything like non-existence.
Gaudapada’s rational exposition of Advaita: - that whatever is seen, whether external or internal, whether by the ordinary persons or yogis, is unreal.
The essence of Mandukya's is: Do not be satisfied with rituals, yoga etc. which are good in their own way, but inquire. Inquire in to the nature of the mind. ? Brahman and Atman are things one can never see. So seeker should not inquire into them. He has to inquire into the world around him, which he can see. Analysis tells him it is passing away every second. Everything is dying repeatedly. Where is it going? Thus he follows up his investigation into what he can lay hands on. How can he inquire into Atman which he cannot see? So first he must deal with the known and seen, this inquiry leads up to the unknown in the end.
Mediocre minds waste their time on arguing about unimportant matters. Accumulation of scriptural knowledge is dangerous in pursuit of truth. Seeker has to establish in the truth of Non-duality by sheer reasoning alone. Seeker has to begin by defining "What is real?" "What is unreal?" etc, because that is the right way to discuss, understand and assimilate self-knowledge.
Thus seeker has to remove all the hindrance in order to acquire Self-knowledge.
Sri, Sankara says in VivekaChudamani :-
54. The true nature of things is to be known personally, through the eye of clear illumination, and not through a sage: what the moon exactly is is to be known with one's own eyes; can others make him know it?
55. Who but one's own self can get rid of the bondage caused by the fetters of Ignorance, desire, action and the like, aye even in a hundred crore of cycles ?
405. The Shrutis themselves declare that this dualistic universe is but a delusion from the standpoint of Absolute Truth. This is also experienced in the state of dreamless sleep.
407. This apparent universe has its root in the mind, and never persists after the mind is annihilated. Therefore dissolve the mind by concentrating it on the Supreme Self, which is thy inmost Essence.
First the seeker has to realize his inherited religious conditioning [samskaras] is greatest obstacle in self-realization.
Even in the Buddhism: - Buddhist teaching has itself become a kind of interactive and self-evolving process, much like its idea of pratityasamutpada. However, the end goal is still Nirvana, which is an experience ultimately beyond all concepts and language, even beyond the Buddhist teachings. In the end even the attachment to the Dharma, the Buddhist teaching, must be dropped like all other attachments. The tradition compares the teaching to a raft upon which one crosses a swift river to get to the other side; once one is on the far shore; there is no longer any need to carry the raft. The far shore is Nirvana, and it is also said that when one arrives, one can see quite clearly that there was never any river at all.
The traditional Advaitin will not accept anything else as proof other then what scriptures says. It is waste of time to convince the people who cannot be convinced, because they have built egoic wall around them. One has to go beyond traditional Advith to understand, assimilate and realize the non-dual truth.
Seeker has to drop all accumulated dross in order to understand , assimilate and realize the non-dual truth.