One should not expect spiritual path to be clear of obstacles, without hindrances. One who seeks truth realization may not be able to grasp the truth, because he has to know the hindrance which is blocking his realization and he has to get rid all of them. One has to attain the truth realization in the midst of illusion,which is in the form of waking experience.
One should not wish for easy way to search the truth. In easy way, there is ignorance. The ignorance has been nourished and passed on from one generation to the next. One has to try to get rid of the ignorance by discovering and realizing the ultimate truth." One should not hope for realization without obstacles. An easy way results in a judgmental and lazy. The truth is easy, but, because of the accumulated knowledge and conditioning it becomes difficult to grasp it. the accumulated knowledge and physical based conditioning are greatest hindrance in pursuit of truth.
When one is conditioned to accept something else as truth, it becomes difficult for him to accept anything other than his accepted truth. Since, he is been involved with his inherited conditioning sentimentally and emotionally for years together, he will not be receptive to Self-knowledge or Brahma Gnana or Atma Gnana.
Without getting rid of this inborn ignorance, it is impossible to realize the ultimate truth or Brahman. The man+world are a product of ignorance. The man+world cease to exist without the ignorance. In self-awareness, there is neither the man nor the world because man+world are a mere mirage created out the soul, which is present in the form of consciousness. The soul is the innermost self. On the standpoint of the soul, the innermost self the man+world are mere illusion.
Ignorance is in the form of 'T'. 'I' is in the form of mind. The Mind is in the form of the universe. The universe appears in the form of waking or dream (duality) and disappears as deep sleep (non-duality)
The ‘I’ is inborn samskara or conditioning, because of this inborn samskara or conditioning one has accepted the ‘I’ as ‘self, he is ignorant of the fact that, he has accepted illusion as reality. The ‘I’ itself is the illusion. And whatever is connected to the ‘I’ is bound to be the illusion.
The self is not an individual because it is birthless because it is formless. The self is not limited to waking experience alone because it pervades all the three states. Thus identifying the self without the form alone is erroneous. The self is without the form, without the time and without the space
Nisargadatta Maharaj :- If you seek reality you must set yourself free of all backgrounds, of all cultures, of all patterns of thinking and feeling. Even the idea of being man or woman, or even human should be discarded.
Sage Sri, Sankara :_VC- 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 realisation one cannot be liberated by the mere utterance of the word Brahman.
Only when one finds his accumulated knowledge is inadequate and useless, then only it is possible to drop the accumulated dross mentally. One has to accept the ups and downs of life; by understanding they are mere illusion on the ultimate standpoint.
Sage Sri, Sankara was criticized for his views on Maya (illusion) without understanding him. He said that (1) Brahman (soul, the innermost self) is real (2) the universe is unreal, and (3) Brahman is the universe. He did not stop at the second because the third explains the other two. It signifies that the universe is real if perceived as the ‘Self’ and unreal if perceived as apart from the Self. Hence Maya or illusion and reality are one and the same.
The realists criticize the concept of illusion without understanding it. Sage Sri, Sankara said that:-
(1) Consciousness (the soul, the innermost self) is real
One need not stop at the second because the third explains the other two. It signifies that the universe is real if perceived as the soul, the innermost self (consciousness) and unreal if perceived as apart from the soul, the innermost self (consciousness). Hence illusion and reality are one and the same because both are one in essence. Realizing the essence, which is consciousness as the innermost Self, is Self-Realization or Truth- Realization of GOD- Realization. Thus Sri, Sankara‘s declaration is rational truth, scientific truth and also ultimate truth. Thus the Advaitic or Non-dualistic truth is rational truth, scientific truth and also ultimate truth or Brahman.
(2) The universe or mind is unreal, and
(3) Consciousness is the mind or universe, because universe or mind is mere illusion created out of consciousness.
Sage Sri, Sankara :-VC-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.
The world is both real and unreal. It is real because it is a manifestation of consciousness, but is unreal, in the sense, that it is not absolute and eternal like consciousness itself.
Peoples approach is more practical, and they stuck with the reality of the world, they take it as real. That is why all the confusion.
In self-awareness-- the witness and witnessed are one in essence. That essence is consciousness. There is no second thing exists other than consciousness.
Thus whatever seen, known, believed and experienced as a person is reality within the waking experience but waking experience itself is mere illusion.
The illusion, which appears and disappears as three states, is impermanent and whatever is experienced as reality within the illusion is bound to be illusion. The truth has nothing to with the individual experiences with in the illusion. Because it is not an entity or identity within the illusion but it is the formless substance and witness of the illusion. The truth is hidden within the illusion and it is without the illusion.
The Gnani is one who has become aware of the formless witness, which is within the three states and it is without the three states. He is a man of perfection is one who has learnt to reason on the base of the formless witness. He has delved into and has become aware of the formless true self, the innermost self. A Gnani transcended consciously all his identification with the physical existence. He has realized his universal identity is without the physical existence (body +world = mind).
Such a perfect seer has, when once he has realized the self is not physical but it is formless soul,which is in the form of consciousness, is no longer is in bondage or burden of the physical existence. The physical existence is mere illusion on the standpoint of the soul/spirit, which is the true self.
The perfect seer sees, the consciousness in everything and everywhere in the physical existence. Hence, the physical existence is mere mirage. There is no second thing exists, other than the consciousness, which is the nature of the soul,which is present in the form of consciousness.
The seeker has to grow from the inside out. None can teach him, none can make him spiritual. There is no other guru but his own soul.”
Self-knowledge or Atma Gnana or Brahma Gnana cannot be attained by one who is without strength or earnestness or without the receptiveness and courage to accept the truth and reject the untruth. If a serious seeker strives sincerely by means of inquiry, analysis and soul-centric reasoning, he will be able to realize it.
It is only seekers sincerity and earnestness in his spiritual pursuit, the knowledge started revealing on its own. Anyone who has humility and patience and is sincere and ready to drop their accumulated dross and receptive to accept the truth will enter non-dual Self-Awareness when his conviction becomes firm.