This Self is dearer than a son, dearer than wealth, dearer than everything else, because It is innermost. If one holding the Self dear were to say to a person who speaks of anything other than the Self as dear, that he, the latter, will lose what he holds dear—and the former is certainly competent to do so—it will indeed come true. One should meditate upon the Self alone as dear. He who meditates upon the Self alone as dear—what he holds dear will not perish. [Bhad Upanishad -8-p- -211-]
Westerners come to India to learn Vedas and Upanishads from the pundits. They accept them as gurus and sentimentally get involved with them. By studying Vedas they will become only pundits but not be able to go deeper in their pursuit of truth and get non-dual wisdom.
The Advaitic truth is ultimate truth but it will not be unfolded with orthodox based Adavaita. In Brahma Sutras Sri,Sankara says: Brahman is the cause of the world, whereas in Mandukya he denies it.
This may be because 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. Whatever is based on Brahma Sutra is meant for the religionists who are stuck with their inherited belief system.
Sri, Sankara says: one 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.
When Upanishad declares:-
This Ataman cannot be attained by the study of the Vedas, or by intelligence, or by much hearing of sacred books. It is attained by him alone whom It chooses. To such a one Ataman reveals Its own form. [Katha Upanishad Ch-II -23-P-20]
Mundaka Upanishad :-
This Ataman cannot be attained through study of the Vedas, nor through intelligence, nor through much learning. He who chooses Ataman—by him alone is Ataman attained. It is Ataman that reveals to the seeker Its true nature. [ 3 –page-70
Mundaka Upanishad Upanishads by Nikilanada]
It is clearly directs that one has to seeker has to do his own home work without scripters using his own reason.
When Upanishads declare that: - It is attained by him alone whom It chooses. To such a one Ataman reveals its own form. Then what is the use of indulging through our intelligence or our accumulated knowledge, when one is not chosen by the self, which is the soul, which is in the form of consciousness.
There is no need for any philosophy in pursuit of truth because they take the seeker nearer to truth but they create more doubts and confusions.
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 ultimate truth is one without the second, the one is not in the sense half or two, but the one that remain forever One, without the second. The consciousness is all pervading. There is no place where consciousness is not because the whole diversity is created out of consciousness. Thus consciousness alone is real and all else is mere mirage created out of consciousness.
Consciousness is in everyone, consciousness is in everything, consciousness is one behind many. Consciousness alone is. It means the universe and its contents are the visible form of consciousness. And consciousness in turn is invisible form of the universe, which appears as mind.
Since people all are not aware of the fact that, they are an experience within another experience [waking/dream]. The mind is an experience, which contains everyone and everything and the universe. Since one limits the mind to the physical entity, he forgets the fact that, his body and the universe is an experience, within waking or dream experience. It is impossible to unfold the mystery of his true existence without realizing the fact that, the self is not physical but the self is consciousness. If the self is not physical then it is erroneous to judge and conclude the truth on the base of the physical self or ego. Thus the truth has to be judges on the base of the true self, which is consciousness which is not an individual but it pervades all the three states as their formless substance and witness.
Thus religious or yogic based moksha is not real freedom. The self-knowledge which is the sole source of eradicating the ignorance can be attained only by right thinking not merely by meditation or Samadhi. Some do mistake them for Gnana. They are under impression that practice of meditation is the be-all and –all of existence and one who practices meditation regularly few hours every day need not to do anything the realization will happen on its own. They are under labouring the mistake that, one who reaches the yogic Samadhi for few moments, has attained his goal and he has already reached salvation even while alive.
Meditation and Samadhi may be regarded as cooperative factors in preparatory stages in pursuit of truth but they are neither Gnana nor the cause of Gnana. The Gnana is attained where he is fully aware of the fact that, his body, ego and his experience of the universe as consciousness and consciousness as true self. Thus one has to cultivate viewing and judging the worldview on base of true self, by deeper thinking. Neither Hata Samadhi nor Jada Samadhi takes one to the nondual destination.
That is why Sri, Sankara says in VivekaChudamani :-
56. Neither by Yoga, nor by Sankhya, nor by work, nor by learning, but by the realisation 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 realisation 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.
The question arises as to what is Santana Dharma? It can safely be said that it is the Vedic religion based on Vedas alone. The Hinduism as we find today is not pure Vedic religion it mixer of different ideologies accepted by the people time to time. Thus the Hinduism is hotchpotch mixer of many ideologies.
Hinduism is not religion it is way of living of different caste and creeds following their own regional cultures and traditions in different parts of India. All the so called Hindus are divided by caste, sub-castes and creeds with in the Hinduism. Thus the pure Santana Dharma or Vedic religion is no longer in existence in its ancient grandeur as it was prior to the Buddhism and Jainism.
As one goes deeper in to the annals of the religion one becomes aware of the fact that, Santana Dharma has no beginning. Nobody can say when it started. It is without a beginning and so without an end. It is eternal and everlasting. That which has a beginning, has also an end, as all beginnings have an end also.
Santana Dharma or Vedic religion has no founder. All religions are known by their founders or prophets but this is not the case with Santana Dharma. It neither has any prophet to begin it nor any book or authorized scripture told by the prophet who got revelation.
If Santana Dharma has no founder but all so called Hindu religions are known by their founders or sages, therefore Hinduism cannot be the pure Vedic or Santana Dharma. Thus, it proves that, the religions founded by the Sages after 7th century onwards are not the pure Santana Dharma or Vedic religion.
As one peeps in to the annals of the all history of all religions, one becomes aware of the fact that, the religions with scripters have got the largest number of followers and those without scriptures are rare and scarce. In both these class of religions, one finds that the truth is the result of experience of a particular person – Jesus, Prophet Mohammed or Buddha and Sri Sankara, Guru Nanak, Mahavira. All of them experienced truth and that they preached. All religions are built upon direct experience of this experience. But there is a difference.
Others have the founders of this experience known as the first founder of the religion and after their name the religion is known. The other difference is that they now claim that the experience, the prophets had, is now no longer possible. So, one has to rely on "Belief” and he has to realize the fact that, any belief is not truth.
The experience of the scientists says that if one experience is possible, it will be repeated eternally. This is the Law of Nature. What once takes place, takes place often and always.
As one goes deeper into the annals of religious history, he becomes aware of the fact that, Santana Dharma or Vedic religion differs with other religions on this point. Santana Dharma is not based on spiritual experience of any single individual or any such revelation. It is based on realization, on intuition, and experience of a number of seers, sages and mystics who realized the Infinite and were illuminated. It does not owe its origin to any one person or prophet nor does it adhere to any papal authority or dogma.
It does not built around one man as its center though it is not opposed to philosophies build around personalities and prophets. It believes in scientific precision and experiments to arrive at truth any time and many times, so it believes in free expression of thoughts and enquiry into the fundamentals even. It is therefore a tolerant religion, granting freedom of Enquiry and Expression, seeking evidence.
Looking in to these entire facts, one can conclude that the Santana Dharma is an eternal and everlasting humanitarian religion of all mankind. It is not limited to the teaching of any particular people or class of people or any form of worship. It is a comprehensive way, a law of being ever praying to be with the Absolute.
In this respect, the present Hinduism with its diverse caste and creed, dogmas, rituals, beliefs and worships are not purely Vedic Religion but it is hotchpotch of ideologies adopted from other ideologies and seers experiences.
As one goes in deeper in annals of religious history, one also finds the oldest spiritual writing known to mankind in the Vedas about 6000 BC, orally transmitted for most of history and written down in Sanskrit. It makes them the world’s longest and most ancient revealed scripture of Santana Dharma.
Vedas are concerned with wisdom; what is life about; what does death means, what the human being is, what is the nature of the Absolute that sustains us, and the cosmos etc…..
Sanatana Dharma believes that there is nothing that is not God. The Lord is enshrined in the hearts of all. God permeates everything and nothing permeates Him.
In dualistic philosophies the imaginary god is made as creator basing on cause and effect theory. Then the doubt natural arises, who is the cause of the creator. The creator is dependent on creation for his existence. Without the creation the creator ceases to exist. Thus the dualistic theory holds no water, because it is based on mere imagination and speculation, which they try to prove it on citing the mythological stories and doctrine of code of conducts. When the self is not the body then all these dualistic ideologies hold no water. Therefore the devotional paths, which are based on the human conducts, are not the means for TRUTH –REALIZATION.
Even the religious based non-dualism is not the means for truth realization, because their preaching is based on the nonduality but their practice is based on dualistic view point. Therefore, it is difficult to get TRUTH –REALIZATION from conduct based orthodox non-dualism. Thus it looks like the real essence of non-dualism is lost or destroyed in the past by the orthodox oriented priest craft and propagated and injected only priest-crafted non-dualism, to the mass, the reason best known to the masters of the past. Therefore, it is impossible to come out of all these priest crafted confusions in one life time. Through orthodox non-dualism it is impossible to get truth realization.
There is no need to collect all these baggage of confusions, if one is seeking truth, nothing but truth. The guru is necessary only in religious and yogic paths, but guru is not necessary in pursuit of truth. Path of truth is a personal path and it is the path of verification. But in religion and yoga the verification is not allowed. Blind faith is main ingredient in belief system and yoga. Gurudom is playing with words because maybe the meaning is floating somewhere in between the spaces of words...
People who think themselves to be in a position to air their knowledge forget one basic fact, namely that they go by mere appearances. Someone expounds knowledge and the one who receives it begins to ape the person from whom he has received the knowledge. They never question the validity of that knowledge.
Thus, whatever the guru wears, he will wear; whatever mannerisms the guru affects, he will imitate. Thus, they only learn to pretend. And all so-called accumulated knowledge" is mere speculation based on the physical self/ego. This is how tradition became established and traditional forms of worship came into being and passed it on the one generation to the next. All these have nothing to do with the Self- Knowledge.
Whatever One has heard, whatever he has been told, will have no value as far as the ultimate point of view. Whether one accepts the fact that, the only knowledge that he really has is the knowledge that he exists, that is consciousness. Other than that, whatever knowledge he thinks he has as a person, is part of the illusion, something acquired, based on the illusory consciousness.
The realization of truth is not intellectual understanding. Self- Realization is about realizing the fact that, the self is not physical, but it is the formless soul or consciousness. Intellectual, logical, analytical perspective is based on the false self, will not help the seeker to reach his non-dual destination. The truth is beyond intellectual understanding and only the serious seekers who are free from preconceived accumulated ideas can get there.
The seeker of truth moves ahead by verifying the facts and by removing all the obstacles and reaches his non-dual destination.