The ultimate truth or Brahman dwells within the three states like fragrance in the flower; Musk lies within the Musk-deer yet seeks it afar." Until one trace the truth within the three states the illusion of birth, life, death and the world is experienced as reality.
Religious truth is individualized truth whereas Self-Knowledge or Brahma Gnana or Atma Gnana is the universal truth. This means religious believers takes the belief as the ultimate truth whereas the Gnani takes his reasoned judgment, which will be the same under test everywhere in the universe.
No one has seen God. They do not know God’s capacities, what He can do, and what he cannot do. Therefore any statement one might make about God would only be an imagination. God is only a settled fact for believers, but for others Gods existence is problematic.
It is impossible to prove the existence of God by any reasoning without belief system. Every belief- system has its own idea of God and idea of creation. Without belief, the religious God ceases to exist. One must take rational position in order to unfold the mystery of his true existence. Thus the seeker of truth does not know whether God exists or not. He starts his quest without belief and belief system.
Unless one gives up the religious ideas of individual god, karma, sin heaven and hell, self-knowledge or Brahma Gnana or Atma Gnana is impossible. Truth must be proved here and now, on this very life. If that cannot be done, one cannot consider any such idea, as existence of individual god, karma, sin heaven and hell, as true.
People see visions of Gods and Goddesses and adepts, according to their own inherited religious samskara or conditioning. How does one know that God who tells about himself in meditation or vision is truthful! He may tell you a lie! His statements must therefore be tested. Supposing a mystic has a vision, which experience is true, but he must prove that it is really what it purports to be, and that he is not deluded.
When the 'Self' is not him then all his claims of seeing God or talking to God as the himself is bound to be a falsehood because he exists within the waking experience and the waking experience itself is an illusion. If the three states are illusion created out of the formless Soul, which is present in the form of the consciousness. on the standpoint of the Soul, the innermost Self, all the visions are also mere dualistic illusion created out of the consciousness. wherever there is duality there is no reality.
Only in yogic paths such visions of God and saints are taken as reality because yogis’ approach is more practical, and they are stuck with the reality of the waking experience, and they take it as real.
That is why Buddha said:~
Believe nothing because a wise man said it,
Believe nothing because it is generally held,
Believe nothing because it is written,
Believe nothing because it is said to be divine,
Believe nothing because someone else said it.
But believe only what you yourself judge to be true.
Authoritarianism merely assumes as true what another says, but what has yet to be proved. One may believe in a position, but he is required to prove the truth of his belief. A belief is a feeling, the truth is knowledge.
Looking to all these diverse idea of every belief system create the doubts and confusion. "Which belief system is the right and which belief system is wrong?" .There is the certainty in any belief system.Thus, doubts arise and the inquiring spirit comes and impels to search elsewhere for truth where it will not be possible even to have doubt.
The test is therefore in reasoning. Only through soul-centric reasoning one can reach the ultimate end of understanding. If one is soul-centric than there is no scope for argument about views or to have a difference of opinion and one is in the realm of doubtlessness.
If one seeking ultimate truth or Brahman then he should not accept anything as truth without verification.
As per the scriptures the three "Ashrams" or stages in life were originally intended for three grades of intelligence thus:
v Religion: low intellects had to do 'karmas' works, ritual actions, chanting of mantras and indulging in bhajans and prayers etc.
v Middle intellects: Yoga: taking yellow robes, going to caves, ashrams etc.
v High intellects: wisdom who wanted the truth is concerned with no external rites or sanyasa but depend solely on the Soulcentric reasoning for their path.
Thus, the seeker has to choose his path, according to his choice. Without an intense urge to know the truth, and sharpness to grasp the truth, it is difficult to tread the path of wisdom or reason. Never mix different path with each other and make cocktail because it leads to all sorts of doubts and confusion.
The seeker should be beware of everything that is untrue: stick to the truth and he shall succeed, maybe slowly, but surely.