Katha Upanishad 1:2:23:- The Soul cannot be realized through hearing scholarly explanation of the discourses, not even by the intellect.
99% people will not show interest in the path of wisdom. The path of wisdom is for those who found the path of religion, the path of yoga and all theoretical philosophy and scriptural studies inadequate and useless in quenching their inner thirst.
People are searching for remedies for their problems of practical life within the practical world. The path of love is very valuable in practical world. A Gnani follows the path of love in practical world and he loves the whole humanity but he inwardly he is fully aware of the fact that, the practical life within the practical world are part mere mirage.
They alone in this world are endowed with the highest wisdom who are firm in their conviction of the sameness and birthlessness of Ataman. The ordinary man does not understand their way. [Chapter IV — Alatasanti Prakarana 95-P-188 in Upanishads by Nikilanada]
Thus, Self-knowledge or Brahma Gnana or Atma Gnana is meant only for those who have intense urge, and courage to accept the truth with humility and reject the untruth. Since people start comparing with their scriptural knowledge, it becomes impossible to assimilate and realize the non-dual truth. Therefore, there is no need to convince anyone other than our own-selves to get the firm conviction.
There is need to study the scriptures. One has to self-search the truth and realize it without the scriptures. And then when he reads the scriptures he becomes aware the scriptures are also saying the same thing but everything is misinterpreted.
Holding the ‘I’ or ‘I AM’ as self and trying to assimilate the Self-knowledge or Brahma Gnana or Atma Gnana will not yield any fruit. Thus deeper verification is very much necessary to drop the ‘I’ or ‘I AM THAT – declared by the sages in the past which are useful only in lower stages.
That is why BUDDHA SAID: - Believe nothing just because a so-called wise person said it. Believe nothing just because a belief is generally held. Believe nothing just because it is said in ancient books. Believe nothing just because it is said to be of divine origin. Believe nothing just because someone else believes it. Believe only what you yourself test and judge to be true.
The ignorance is the cause of experiencing the duality [universe or waking] as reality. Thus eradicating the ignorance completely is necessary. And this is possible only through self-knowledge. Thus, there is no other road to freedom other than Gnana. There is no other entrance other than except Gnana. The ignorance will vanish only when the nondual wisdom dawns. Detachment to attachment is impossible without wisdom. Only when one realizes the fact that, the self is not form but self is formless, then only it is possible to detach the ‘self’ from the false attachment.
That is Sage Sri Sankara, in Bhaja Govindam says: - [Jnana Viheena Sarva Mathena Bajathi na Muktim janma Shatena] - One without knowledge does not obtain liberation even in a hundred births, no matter which religious faith he follows.
Thus it proves that wisdom is universal irrespective of any religion of faith one belongs. Thus religion is not the means to self-knowledge. Thus Sri, Sankara’s Advaita minus orthodoxy is true Advaita.
Sage Sri Sankara himself says: - VC-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 utters the name of the medicine, without taking it; (similarly) without direct realization 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.
So long as one is in the realm of duality, one has to explain how or why one thing came from another; and contradictory views are expressed. But when a Gnani shows there is no second, there is no production, and the contradictions do not arise at all, when the ultimate thing is consciousness alone. Thus consciousness is ultimate truth or Brahman.
The dualists’ arguments are based on false self [ego or waking entity] and false experience [waking or dream or universe] to show the weakness of the position of dualistic view point. They at their wits end to explain.
Existence cannot be a cause and effect at the same time, from the point of view of the dualists, but deeper self-search shows the Existent is no-two and causality can’t rise at all. Dualistic theory says that whatever was in the cause was also in the effect. They say that the gold brick, the gold medal, the gold ornaments --are in the seed--the gold. Deeper self-search reveals the fact that, if cause and effect are one what is the difference between the two?
Sage Sri, Sankara and sage Sri Goudpada are the only Sage Scientists expounded the non-dualistc or Advaitic truth 1400 years ago but it is buried under labyrinths of philosophy.
So much of conceptual divisions invented by pundits, thinkers and philosophers by their excessive analysis and these concepts are never ending. So much of confusion created by mixing orthodoxy and then trying to explain the hotchpotch wisdom by egocentric pundits and scholars the real essence of the great sage Sri, Sankara is lost.