Everyone’s inner work leads towards new understanding and realization. When doubts crops up and when one does not get a reasonable reasoning for his doubts from the other source, then only he indulges in his own personal research, and try to investigate, and then only he becomes aware of the truth. As he goes deeper and deeper into the subject the truth will start reveal.
What was the religion our ancestors [Hindus] were following prior to the introduction of Advith by Sankara and Dwith by other sages? If Sri, Sankara is the founder of Advitha math in 8th century what was the religion of our ancestors prior Sri, Sankara. It has to be Santana Dharma/Vedic religion not Hindu religion.
The word Hindu has been coined by the ancient Persians in their desire to designate the people living in the land across the river Sindhu. Vivekananda says, ‘this name was murdered into Hindu by the ancient Persians who used to apply the name Hindu to the river Sindhu. Whenever in Sanskrit, there is an ‘S’; it changes in ancient Persian into the letter H. Thus the river Sindhu became Hindu. ‘The word Hindu itself is the corruption of the Persian word of Sindhu. It only refers to a river and nothing else. not the least any religion but only the boundary part of the land of people on the other shore of the river.
Hindu is a word of recent origin. It has not at all been mentioned in the Vedas or other authoritative scriptures. The word is not even Indian in origin.
However it becomes clear that the term Hindu is used for the people living beside Sindhu River. It came into being out of geographical and physical considerations. It is used for a territory named India. The ancient word for the land is Brahmavarta or Aryavarta. It was called BrahmaDesh. The Dharma Sutra says, the country of the Aryans lies to the east of the region where the river Saraswati disappears, to the west of the Black forest, to the north of Paripata Mountains, to the south of the Himalayas and also that some declare the country of Aryans to be situated between the rivers Ganga and Yamuna. Others declare that the spiritual eminence is found as far as black-antelope grazes.
The question is that how the people became bracketed as Hindu in relation to their age-old Aryan culture. How the word Hindu came to be used in terms of religion, culture, ceremonies and way of life of the land?
It seems it was about some hundred years ago when the Islam ruled over this territory and declared Persian as the official language of India and levied Jazia and made non-Muslims as Jimmies, they bracketed all non-Muslims as Hindus and thus gave them a religious and cultural denomination of Hindu. Earlier when the Greek came to India, they found it hard to pronounce the letter H and thus dropped it. Thus Hindu became Indu and later India and the people were called Indian. During British rule in the 19th century, the term Hindu religion began to envelop both people and Sanatana Dharma of the Aryans even though the ancient term was Dharma and not religion; both differ in attributes.
If one reads the Satyarth Prakash of Maharshi Dayanand Sarswati [1824-1883] a real authenticated authority on Vedas, then he will become aware of the fact Dwith and Advitha and Vishita Advitha were add-ons to the Sanatan Dharama/Vedic religion. And if he bifurcate all the add-ons from Sanatan Dharam and then he becomes aware of the fact Advitha was modified by Sri,Sankara on the base of Vedas to uplift the Vedic Dharma which was in the ruins in the clutches of Buddhism to suit the mind set of that time. By bifurcating the add-ons from the Sanatan Dharma/Vedic religion[present Hinduism], he will become aware of the fact that there was no trace of Advitha prior to 8th Century and Dwitha and Visita Advitha in later centurirs in Sanatana Dharma/ Vedic religion.
One will also find all the rituals, worship and customs followed by the present generation also not Vedic based, it is modified add-ons to suit the mind set of that time. When this truth was revealed by the Maharshi Dayananda he was poisoned and killed by the pundits.
I am not advocating Mahrshi Dayananda or the Santana Dharma, I just saying if one is seeking truth of his true existence, then he has to look beyond religion, concept of god and scriptures and yoga.
One will also trace the dates of oldest Upanishads and also some idea of Braminism and Buddhism and Hinduism as per the historian’s research essay on their origins and interaction –BRAMINISM AND BUDDHISM (by Lal Mani Joshi of dept of religious studies Punjab University Patiala). There are many books of the religious historians on this subject; if one is ready to go in deeper research without preconceived ideas then he will be able to know, what truth is, and what is untruth. And he will be able to accept the truth and drop all accumulated dross of untruth, which helps one to drop all priest crafted conditioning and to move forward in his pursuit of truth.
There is no scope for debate and argument in pursuit of truth. Seeker has to verify the facts of any claim, if find them to be true then only accept them. It is not correct to impose idea on others when they are not ready to accept anything other then their accepted truth. There is no need to prove whether Buddha is right or Sri, Sankara is wrong. But seekers only mission is to know, how to realize the nondual truth, which is propounded by the Buddha and Sri,Sankara and Sri, Goudpada? Since present practices are based on conduct and action, and they are based on the false physical self [ego]. What are the fatter and obstacle in realize the nondual truth? How to overcome the obstacle on the path of nondual truth?
The entire Hindu tradition, including of course Vedantic orthodoxy, rested on sexual, social, national, and religious discrimination—women, the sudra or lower caste, outcasts, and foreigners were excluded from Vedantic teaching. All the discriminations are obstacle in pursuit of truth.
In fact, Shankara himself had gone beyond the barriers and taboos of caste: in performing funeral rites for his mother, he broke the rules of the Brahmin caste.
The ordinary people, who finds security in the idea of causality and thus in the idea of God—and Revelation is indispensable to prove the latter. Those of superior intelligence, have no need of this idea of divine causality, and can therefore dispense with scriptures and arrive at the truth of Non-Dualism by pure reason.
Shankara, in debates with Buddhists and others who did not recognize the authority of the Vedas, had been obliged to prove the truth of Advaita by means of reason alone.
Self-knowledge or nondual wisdom does not need the support of any Scripture or Revelation like the Veda. Ultimate truth is based, not upon the varying theological fancies, which are as numerous as the sands of the sea, but upon reason, the common heritage of all mankind, irrespective of colour or creed or clime.
Religious code of conduct are fine to train the mind to be, to behave, to believe and to live in the society in peace and harmony , and religious restriction is for those not yet capable of independent judgment of judging what is right and what is wrong; but they are useless in pursuit of truth.
In Astavakara [commentaries on Astavakara Gita by Osho] it clearly mentioned that Vedas are not the means to acquire the self-knowledge. Thus it indicates that Advith is nothing to do with the Vedas.
Dual and nondual are not religious theories, but the state of the true self. When the self is in illusion then it is called duality/mind. When the self is in its formless nondual true nature then it is consciousness. Since man[physical body/’I’] is false entity within the false experience [waking] he views and judges the worldview on the base of false self, and created all this theories on the base of false self. Therefore, whatever is seen, known, experienced and believed on the false base [form base], has to be false hood, on the base of the true self [formless base].
People limit the mind to limit the physical entity, and thinks the mind is within the physical body. Whereas the physical body, ego, the universe altogether is mind. Mind is an experience, it is not an experiencer. Same way as the dream is the mere experience; the waking also is an experience. The whole experience [waking/dream] is an object to the formless subject [witness]. One has to realize the object and subject are one is essence. And that essence is consciousness.
Therefore, one has to bifurcate the physicalized Advitha [religious add-ons] which is meant for the mass mind set, who are incapable inquire to verifying their inherited beliefs. But for the seekers truth, to get the pure essence of nonduality which is based on the formless soul. The path of inquiry, analysis and reasoning on the true base, leads one towards the nondual destination. Therefore, there is need to rectify the seeking base from ego base to soul base to understand, assimilate and realize the nondual truth.
Ramana Maharshi says: this self –inquiry is not the critical study of the scriptures. When the source is reached the ego gets merged into it. The result of self-inquiry is the cure for all the sorrows. It is the highest of all the results. There is nothing greater then it. It only indicates there is no necessity to study the scriptures to acquire self-knowledge. [Page-66-practicle guide to know yourself c/e by A.R.N].
Ramana Maharshi says:
Q by D:- Is not necessary to study the Vedas or at least the Prasthanatraya [the Bhagavad Gita,Dasopanishad and Brahma Sutras, all with commentaries]to ensure firm realization?
Ramana Maharshi:-No. Do you need all that to see yourself? All that is intellectual wealth, useful in explain doubts and difficulties if others rise them or if you yourself encounter them in the course of thinking. But to attain realization, all that is not necessary. You want fresh water to drink, but you do not require all the water of the river Ganges to quench your thirst. [Page 111/112 of Practical guide to know yourself c/e by A.R.N].
Krishna is teaching no particular religion, but Religion in general. The Gita nowhere refers to Hindu, Vaishnava or Saiva Matam or Dharma. The entire civilized world's need is now, to lift its viewpoint from particular religions to universal truth.
Essence of scriptures:-DEHUM-NAHUM- KOHUM – SOHUM— which indicates the body is not the self, the self is that which is without the body. Thus one can conclude, if the body is not the self then the body based religion and theories, beliefs, practices rituals and yoga are of no use in pursuit of truth.
Therefore, all the personal research is for making sure, which is the surest and easiest path to acquire self-knowledge, when we are confused with uncertainty which path easier for to acquire nondual truth or self-knowledge. Seekers thought have to be rational and scientific, opposed to blind faith in God and tradition. One has to have a clear distinction between religions, which is in the realm of opinion. And pursuit of truth aims at knowing Reality or ultimate Truth.
The religious and philosophical teachings are like oil and water. They cannot be mixed together and in future one will have to make his choice between them, if he wishes to progress and not to remain stagnating.
One has to define Truth, which his prime goal in two phases:
v It is that which is beyond all contradictions
v It is universal
Ultimate truth must be based on reason, not on revelation. People from all over the world have studied and carried yoga and Vedanta to their people; now it is time to do research by bifurcating all the add-ons, which are main obstacles in realizing the universal truth.
The religion and its code of conduct are for those who are incapable of inquiring the validity their belief system. Self-knowledge is not a philosophical dish cooked to suit exclusively the palate of the particular religion. It is like the air and the water; the common food of all seekers in all over the globe to realize the fact that, the experience of diversity [mind] is mere mirage unity [consciousness] alone is real and eternal. When one realizes the unity in diversity then there is no conflict whatsoever.
Consciousness, the Supreme Reality, is the undifferentiated One. Everything, in the final analysis, is reducible to the ultimate essence, Consciousness.