Kabir lived in Kashi, a place abounding in scholars. They believed it was enough to read, to accumulate knowledge from books. They were well versed in the Vedas, in the Upanishads and the other scriptures, and they looked upon Kabir as ignorant, as an illiterate man. In one sense, you can say Kabir was illiterate. If you consider a scholar as literate, as a well-educated man, then Kabir was definitely illiterate. But of what value is the scholar’s knowledge? A scholar will go on and on about the immortality of the soul, but when death approaches you will find him trembling and weeping and wailing. All this talk of immortality will crumble into nothingness because he has not known it.. ~ Osho ~The Great Secret, ch. 2
Religious People think that in the age of Kaliyuga, a person gets Moksha or salvation from bondage the cycle of rebirth by indulging in ritualistic path.
Ritualistic path is meant for those who were illiterate and most of the highly educated are the largely illiterate in the field of spiritualism today.
Mundaka Upanishad says:~ The rituals and the sacrifices described in the Vedas deal with lower knowledge. The sages ignored these rituals and went in search of higher knowledge. ... Such rituals are unsafe rafts for crossing The sea of samsara, of birth and death. Doomed to shipwreck are those who try to cross The sea of samsara on these poor rafts. Ignorant of their own ignorance, yet wise In their own esteem, these deluded men Proud of their vain learning go, round and round Like the blind led by the blind.
When sages themselves found rituals are unsafe rafts for crossing The sea of samsara, of birth and death and ignored them and they the Mundaka Upanishad further suggest that, such rituals are unsafe rafts for crossing the realm of duality those who try to cross The realm of duality on these poor rafts are Doomed to shipwreck are. Ignorant of their own ignorance, yet wise in their own esteem, these deluded people (pundits) proud of their vain learning go round and round like the blind led by the blind. Therefore, if one wants to acquire Atma Gnana or Brahma Gnana or Self- Knowledge or knowledge of consciousness one has to drop all ritualistic and orthodox baggage to move forward in their pursuit of truth.
Isa Upanishads indicates that: The time one spends in ritualistic practices is wasted; one can spend the same time moving forward towards Self-knowledge or Brahma Gnana or Atma Gnana, which is the main goal.
Vedas bars human worship:-
The orthodox seekers are
Sage Sankara says:- (1)VivekaChudamani v 56, pg 25 Neither by the practice of yoga nor philosophy, nor by good works nor by learning, does liberation come, but only through the realization that Atman and Brahman are one in no other way.
But how does one have that realization? That is where Advaita and Advaita Vedanta diverge.
Sage Sri, Sankara goes on to say:- A sickness of not cured by saying the word “medicine.” You must take the medicine. Liberation does not come by merely saying the word “Brahman.” Brahman must be experienced. Until you allow this apparent universe to dissolve from your consciousness, until you have experienced Brahman, how can you find liberation just by saying the word Brahman? The result is merely a noise. Until a man has destroyed his enemies and taken possession of the splendour and wealth of the kingdom, he cannot become a king by simply saying “I am a king.”
A buried treasure is not uncovered by merely uttering the words: “Come forth.” You must follow the right directions, dig, remove the stones and earth from above it, and then make it your own. In the same way, the pure truth of the Atman, which is buried under Maya and the effects of Maya, can be reached by meditation, contemplation, and other spiritual disciplines but never by subtle arguments. (2)
YOGA VASISTA:- The greatest Gnani: “His state is indescribable yet he will move in the world like anybody else," ..."Though acting after every feeling such as love, hate, fear and the like, he who stands unaffected within is said to be real jivanmukta." Sankara's commentary.
Yoga Vasista says of the Gnani: "He is a great worker." It also so says, that he keeps his body healthy, does not starve it.
The essence of Mandukya is: Do not be satisfied with rituals, yoga etc. which are good in their own way, but inquire. Into what? Brahman and Atman are things you can never see. So do not inquire into them. Inquire into the world around you, which you can see. Science tells you it is passing away every second. Everything is dying repeatedly. Where is it going? Thus, you follow up your inquiry into what you can lay hands on. How can you inquire into Atma which you cannot see? So first we deal with the known and seen, this inquiry leads up to the unknown in the end.
According to Sage Sri, Sankara, it is the ignorance of our real nature that causes suffering and pain. The desire for happiness is essentially a longing to awaken to who and what we truly are.
When Sage Sri, Sankara says the world is an illusion, it includes birth, life and death, which happens within the world. Thus, the seekers main aim is to mentally trace the formless substance of the illusion, which is also the witness of the illusion. The formless substance and witness of the illusion (world) is the Atman, and this Atman itself is Brahman.
This Brahman cannot be attained by indulging in egocentric religious orthodoxy. The knower of Brahman is Brahmin not the Brahmin who indulges in priestcraft, which leads one to utter darkness as per Yajur Veda.
Brahmin is the one who has realized the Brahman (ultimate truth) and helps fellow seekers towards inner path. The one who knows Brahman knows his body and his experience of the world are mere illusion and also he knows his body and his experience of the world are also as Atman (consciousness), which is Brahman. Thus, the priestcraft which is crafted on the body based theories will lead one to hallucinated Moksha. But real Moksha or freedom is possible only through non-dual wisdom.
Thus, it is necessary to follow the path of Brahman not the path of the orthodox priest- craft. Only by dropping all the accumulated priest crafted baggage, one has to move forward to reach the nondual destination in lesser time and effort.
Sage Sri Sankara –VC
Sage Sri Sankara –VC--"All this universe which through ignorance appears as of diverse forms, is nothing else but, Brahman which is absolutely free from all the limitations of human thoughtSage Sri, Sankara said: - Talk as much philosophy as you like, worship as many gods as you please, observe ceremonies and sing devotional hymns, but liberation will never come, even after a hundred aeons, without realizing the Oneness.
Sage Sri, Sankara's commentary to Brahma Sutras (Chap.3.4.50) shows that the Gnani "should pass through life", not run away from life and should take a middle course between seeking worldly honour and worldly abasement.
The snake is only an idea: it disappears on inquiry, but deeper self-search reveals the fact that, the rope is also an idea and its reality will be exposed when wisdom dawns. There is neither snake nor the rope in reality, because from the ultimate standpoint the duality is a mere mirage created out of the consciousness.
"Select Works of Sage Sri, Sankara" also his commentary on Brihad: "Though I wear these robes of a Sanyasin, it is only for the sake of bread."
The nature of the formless soul, the innermost self is non-dualistic silence. Nondualistc silence is like deep sleep state. The silence indicates that the nature of the formless soul, the innermost self is in inexplicable, indescribable and unimaginable. The formless soul, the innermost self is the one without a second. There is not the least shadow of multiplicity in the formless soul, which is present in the form of the consciousness."
A person, seeing a rope in dim light, mistakes it for a snake. He is as much frightened as he would have been if there had been a real snake there. The snake is said to have ‘illusory reality’. The illusory snake is described as a superimposition on the rope. The snake is not real, because, it is found on examination with a light that it never existed there. At the same time, it was experienced as reality till ignorance prevailed. Similarly, this waking experience experienced as reality due to ignorance. When wisdom dawns then the unreal nature of the waking experienced is exposed.
At the dawn of Self-knowledge or Brahma Gnana or Atma Gnana the waking experience has no existence apart from consciousness. The Consciousness is ultimate truth or Brahman. The waking experience is therefore said to be superimposed on consciousness same way as the dream is superimposed on the consciousness. The waking experience is the practical reality, because it is real until the attainment of Self-realization. the soul or the consciousness alone has absolute reality; because it is absolutely changeless because it is formless.
Maya and Brahman, Jagat (world) and lshvara (creator), Guru (teacher) and Shishya (disciple), the holy rituals, traditions, the three worlds, the three bodies and so forth are reality within the illusory duality. This seeming duality is a hypothesis, not to establish the duality, but to disprove it. Advaitic or the non-dualistic truth has nothing to do with the illusory duality. The formless soul is present in the form of consciousness. the soul or the consciousness is the ultimate truth or Brahman.
The soul or the consciousness is neither dual nor non-dual. Some orthodox claim Atman is dual, some say that Atman is non-dual, they do not know the ultimate truth. The Atman or soul is above duality and non-duality". The seeker has to realize the fact that, the duality is reality only on the standpoint of the waking entity or ego. One thinks that he is an individual separate from the world, and the world existed prior to him, and he is born in it afterwards. Till this conviction is there he will not be able to grasp the Advaitic or the non-dualistic truth.
Gnana is common to all religions. There is nothing like One Gnana for a Hindu and another for a Christian
The entire philosophy of Sage Sri, Sankara can be summed up in the following statement:~
Brahma satyam, jaganmithya, jivobrahmaivanaparah: - Brahman alone is real; the world is non-real, and the individual Self is essentially not-different from Brahman
This is the quintessence of Sage Sri, Sankara’s metaphysics.