No need to become a monk or sanyasi in order to acquire Self-knowledge or Brahma Gnana or Atma Gnana: ~
Sage Sri, Sankara says: ~ “Though I wear these robes of a Sanyasin, it is only for the sake of bread."
Thus, it proves that Sage Sri, Sankara meant, taking sanyasa and wearing the religious robes to earn bread. Sanyasa is not a qualification to acquire Self-knowledge or Brahma Gnana or Atma Gnana.
Thus, all those who wear the religious robes are not seeking truth. The Sanyasa is the religious fable. The Sanyasa is nothing to do with the ultimate truth or Brahman. Those who are seeking the truth should never search for the guru, because the guru belongs to the religious and the yogic path.
Sage Sri, Sankara clearly indicates:~ VC~ (2) that the Knower of the Atman (A Gnani) "bears no outward mark of a holy man" (Stanza 539).
A Gnani wears no signs it means he does not identify himself as Guru or teacher or swami.
Sage Sri, Sankara: ~ On Gnani: "The knower of Brahman wears no signs. Gives up the insignia of a monk's life…his signs are not manifest, nor his behavior." (page 482 )
When the knower of Brahman (Gnani) wears no signs, it means he does not identify himself as a Guru or a yogi or a teacher or a Swami.
Sage Sri, Sankara himself had often said that his philosophy was based on Sruti or revealed scripture. This may be because Sage Sri, Sankara addressed the ordinary man, who finds security in the idea of causality and thus with the idea of God~ and Revelation is indispensable to prove the latter. He believed that those of superior intelligence, have no need of this idea of divine causality, and can, therefore, dispense with Sruti and arrive at the truth of Non-Dualism by pure reason.
Sage Sri, Sankara gave out what was of most use to the greatest number of people. Therefore, in the commentaries on the Upanishads, such as the famous Manduka Upanishads, he gave the highest nondual message of the identity of Atman and Brahman, revitalizing the philosophy and the practise of Advaita, while in the commentaries on the Brahmasutra he gave a lesser teaching, posing both higher and lower Maya and higher and lower Brahman (Ishvara) to explain creation for those of lesser intellects until they were ready for the highest truth.
Sage Sri, Sankara:~ VC Let erudite scholars quote all the scripture, let gods be invoked through sacrifices, let elaborate rituals be performed, let personal gods be propitiated---yet, without the realization of one‘s identity With the Self, there shall be no liberation for the individual, not even in the lifetimes of a hundred Brahmas put together (verses-6)
It is clear that the liberation cannot be the result of good works, for Sruti itself declares that there is no hope for immortality by means of wealth. (Verses -7)
Actions help to purify the mind, but they do not, by themselves, contribute to the attainment of Reality. The attainment of the Reality brought about only by Self-Inquiry and not in the least by even ten million acts. (11)
The fear and sorrow created by the delusory serpent in the rope can be ended only after fully ascertaining the truth of the rope through steady and balanced thinking. (12)
Neither sacred baths nor any amount of charity nor even Hundreds of pranayamas* can give us the knowledge about our own Self. The firm experience of the nature of the Self is seen to proceed from inquiry along the lines of the salutary advice of the wise. (13)
Ultimate success in spiritual endeavors depends chiefly upon the qualifications of the seeker. Auxiliary conveniences such as time And place all have a place indeed, but they are essentially secondary. (14)
He alone is considered qualified to enquire after the supreme Reality, who has discrimination, detachment, qualities of Calmness etc., and a burning desire for liberation. The four-fold qualifications (verses 17)
Great sages have spoken of four qualifications for attainment which, when present, succeeds in the realization of Brahman and In the absence of which the goal is not attained. (18)
(While enumerating the qualifications), first we count the ability to discriminate between the Real and the unreal; next comes a spirit of detachment from the enjoyment of the fruits of actions here and hereafter; after that is the groups of six virtues beginning with Calmness; and the last is undoubtedly an intense desire for liberation.(19)
A firm conviction that Brahman alone is Real and the phenomenal World is unreal is known as discrimination between the Real and The unreal. (20)
They have crossed the dreadful ocean of (embodied) existence through their own efforts and without any (personal) motives; they help others to cross it. (37)
The rituals mentioned in the karmakanda of the Vedas are sought to be negated in the jnanakanda which is also part of the same scripture. While the karmakanda enjoins upon you the worship of various deities and lays down rules for the same, the jnanakanda constituted by the Upanishads ridicules the worshipper of deities as a dim-witted person no better than a beast.
This seems strange, the latter part of the Vedas contradicting the former part. The first part deals throughout with karma while the second or concluding part is all about Gnana. Owing to this difference, people have gone so far as to divide our scripture into two sections: the Vedas (that is the first part) to mean the karmakanda and the Upanishads (Vedanta) to mean the jnanakanda.