The self-search reveals that:-
The religion is based on the false self. Therefore there is need to understand realize the true self is not physical bit the true self is consciousness [soul]. The ritual worship of individualized gods and goddesses are only for mental children not for the seekers of truth. Religion renders ethical services to mankind.
There is no need to criticize religion, yoga etc. They are helpful in some way for those who are not on the pursuit of truth, but one has to understand the fact that they are no the means to self-realization. "Know the Truth through deeper inquiry, analysis and reasoning, is the only means to acquire non dual wisdom.”
The very fact that religions differ proves that each religion is a man made. Many in the West are giving up religion. That is inevitable owing to the decay of religious organizations. But their mistake is to rest satisfied with such negative inner life and not to aspire to something higher than religion after giving it up because their lean towards materialistic life.
Religion is a matter which must be left to individual feelings, not to intelligence. Religions keep mass mind set within moral bounds; without their help there would have been no hope for mankind. That is, religions prevent the masses from becoming even more beastly than they already are. The people cannot give up religious ideas in one day. It will have to be a gradual process by making them aware of the universal truth.
The credulous and unintelligent masses must have a religion but those who bestow serious seekers of truth need none.
As per the religion of Hindus the three "Ashrams" or stages in life were originally intended for three grades of intelligence thus:-
Religion: low intellects had to do 'karmas' works, ritual actions, chanting of mantras and indulging in bajans and prayers etc.
Middle intellects: Yoga: taking yellow robes, going to caves, ashrams etc.
High intellects: Philosophy: who wanted truth are concerned with no external rites or sanyas but depend solely on intelligent inquiry for their path.
In India, in the past the male birth is regarded as superior because a father of the male child can more easily renounce home and become a Sanyasin than a woman who is tied down by the care of her children.
Non dual wisdom can be attained by any house holder without disturbing his family life and that this path is easier; there is no need to renounce and take Sanyasa, which however is harder. Only it needs no distractions and more concentration. it is better to have been married status and lead the normal pleasures of life, and thus to have learn to evaluate sex at its proper worth instead of hankering always after sex so that the mind may pass on undisturbed and become more receptive to grasp and realize the non-dual truth.
Ashtavakra Gita which says: "For the wise man there is nothing to be renounced." He knows that everything is unreal, hence cannot be given up.
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 and 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 physical mind or ego, for the physical mind or ego to become achieve external peace, remaining unaffected amid troubles. It has no other purpose.
The mystics and yogis have an attitude of not allowing anything other than his accepted truth, therefore it become difficult for them to acquire Self-Knowledge or Brahma Gnana or Atma Gnana.
The consciousness[soul] is the formless substance witness or knower of the three states, in which the Waking experience and dream experience rises and subsides as a whole. The soul is as an ocean and Waking experience and dream are like Waves. When the wave is ignorant, of the ocean, it limits itself to the wave, but when it becomes aware of the ocean, it identifies itself as ocean not as the waves.
The yogi and religionists do not attain wisdom with their physical based repeated practices, because they base themselves on the physical self, and they do not inquire, analyze and reason. The non-dual wisdom can be attained only when one inquires, analysis and reasons on the true base. The reasoning base has to be rectified from form base to formless base, in order to assimilate the knowledge of the true self.
By constant reflecting on formless substance and witness of the three states through inquiry, analysis and reasoning one will be able to grasp the non-dual truth. Abiding in non-dual truth is realization or freedom. Freedom means freedom from the experiencing the illusion as reality.
One gets non-dual tranquility when he realizes the fact that, the self is not physical but it is the formless soul or conciousness.