People think it is very difficult to acquire Self-Knowledge or Brahma Gnana or Atma Gnana. It is very difficult to acquire Self-knowledge or Brahma Gnana because it has been adulterated in the past with religion, yoga and theoretical philosophies. Self-knowledge or Brahma Gnana has to be acquired carefully and gradually, through deeper self-search.
In the past, spirituality was treated not as a separate subject but as a part of religion, but it is not so. Religion is based on the form (egocentric) and spirituality is based on formless (soulcentric). Therefore, spirituality is nothing to do with religion and yoga. Thus the path of wisdom has to be bifurcated from the path of religion and yoga and all egocentric paths and practices, in order to remove all the obstructions which blocking the realization of ultimate truth. Spirituality is a rational inquiry regarding all that is known to exist.
Whatever stage one may be is he is receptive and able to devote himself exclusively to a pursuit of the ultimate truth or Brahman, by means of soulcentric reason leads him to non-dualistic or Advaitic Self-Awareness
The seeker should pursue this quest until all his questions will be answered, until his doubts and confusions will disappear and solved.
If God is to be Almighty he must be free to change his mind. If he is changeable, He cannot be Truth, as per my definition.
v How does one know that he is related to God?
v Has he seen God?
That He created the world, that he has manifested himself is merely supposed. It may be, but how does he know?
v How does he know that the scriptures are true?
The sages, seer or prophets might have been mistaken. To accept these scriptures without reasoning is to possess the slave mentality.
One should not start his pursuit of truth with the idea of God , because he does not know whether there is a God or not. There is no proof. If anyone mentions about God then he must prove his existence because mere belief cannot be accepted as proof.
One need not doubt that mystics saw God. That they saw visions may he an undeniable fact. However, the question is “Was what they saw the Truth?" They no doubt had such vision but they never stopped to inquire if their visions be true.
Swami Vivekananda :-
THE MASSES IN INDIA CRY TO SIXTY MILLION GODS, AND STILL DIE LIKE DOGS. WHERE ARE THESE GODS?
Knowing this, stand up and fight! Not one step back that is the idea. ... Fight it out, whatever comes. Let the stars move from the sphere! Let the whole world stand against us! Death means only a change of garment. What of it? Thus fight! You gain nothing by becoming cowards. ... Taking a step backward, you do not avoid any misfortune. You have cried to all the gods in the world. Has misery ceased? The masses in India cry to sixty million gods, and still die like dogs. Where are these gods? ... The gods come to help you when you have succeeded. So what is the use? Die game. ... This bending the knee to superstitions, this selling yourself to your own mind does not befit you, my soul. You are infinite, deathless, birthless. Because you are infinite spirit, it does not befit you to be a slave. ... Arise! Awake! Stand up and fight! Die if you must. There is none to help you. You are the entire world. Who can help you? - Swami Vivekananda
(Delivered In San Francisco, on May 28, 1900) -The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda/Volume 1/Lectures And Discourses/The Gita II
Spiritualists take all the facts, science, religion, art etc. and then ask of them, which is the truth? One collects as much evidence as possible, even contradictory, and then proceeds to examine all of it. One is not opposed to anything, but says, "inquire, analyze and reason on the true base, how far is it true?”
Belief in tradition and scriptures as true leads to a path of fanaticism. Belief, believer and belief system are part of the duality. The duality is a mere mirage from ultimate standpoint. Due to fear injected by belief system to the avoidance of the "wrath of God," the hope of heaven or salvation, or the imagined "end of suffering people are stuck to their inherited beliefs.
"God" exists because "you" exist, not vice versa. When awake to true nature this is known immediately.
Sri, Sankara says Atman is Brahman and everything is Brahman is scientific declaration not religious or yogic. Sri, Sankara and Goudpada are more scientific than anyone else in the world. Since, the real Advaitic essence is hidden it cannot be got without the inner (mental) journey.
Goudpada says that:- The merciful Veda teaches karma and Upasana to people of lower and middling intellect, while Jnana is taught to those of higher intellect.
Gnana here is knowledge un-contradictable truth or scientific truth. Thus their scientific truth of the whole not part is declared by Sri,Sankara 1400 years back and thought only to those of higher intellect. Thus karma and upasana, yoga and orthodoxy have to be bifurcated in order to realize the ultimate truth or Brahman
Wisdom is for those are capable of inquiring into their own existence to know and realize the ultimate truth or Brahman