Anand Hudli anandhudli at HOTMAIL.COM
Mon Jul 10 11:45:59 CDT 2000

Here are some excerpts from the book "Enlightening expositions",
a collection of discourses by Shri Abhinava Vidyateertha.

We have to bear in mind that we are not really qualified to call
ourselves advaitins unless we have actually realized the non-dual
Truth. Until that time, we may call ourselves something like
"aspirants" or "could-be-advaitins". On the other hand, those
who simply behave as if they have had mystical experiences of
the Truth, with no proper basis, are to be considered as pseudo-
advaitins. I am not saying that we should necessarily point fingers at
others and call them pseudo-advaitins. Some of the pseudo-advaitin
qualities may be present even in ourselves. In that case, we should
take care to see that such qualities are given up. Perhaps the first
step in the process of becoming an advaitin is to be stop being a



True advaitins and Pseudo-advaitins are poles apart


 Strictly speaking, a true advaitin is one who has realized as
 a matter of experience that one is the Supreme Brahman. Others
 who hold the advaita philosophy as right are also called advaitins
 but the usage is somewhat figurative.

 Those who have directly realized the Truth are called Jnanis;
 they are liberated even while alive. Such persons are most
 uncommon. Krishna points out in the Gita, " He who knows
 that Vasudeva is all is very rare to find." Unegoistic, such
 sages do not flaunt their wisdom.

 On the other hand, there are many who have not acquired such
 realization but who talk and behave as if they have attained
 liberation. We even find that they are not very regulated in
 their conduct. When questioned, they say, "After all I am
 not the body or the mind. I neither act nor am I affected by
 action. Further, the world is only unreal. So why should I
 bother much about what the body and mind are engaged in doing?"

 One should be true to one's conscience. One may deceive others
 by high-sounding talk on advaita but it will not be of any use
 if one does not mend one's ways. It is said, "He who is attached
 to worldly comforts but still says everything is Brahman is
 actually one who has fallen from Karma and also from Brahman.
 Such a person must be discarded like a lowly one." Because such
 a man fails to realize the Truth and procure liberation, it is said
 that he has fallen from Brahman. Because he is putting up a show
 that he is realized, such a man does not perform the ordained
 duties sincerely. Hence, there is the declaration of his having
 fallen from Karma.


 Such pseudo-Advaitins are not a rarity these days. They will do
 well to bear in mind the declaration of the Katha Upanishad, "
 One who has not desisted from bad conduct, whose senses are not
 under control, whose mind is not concentrated and whose mind is
 not free from hankering for the result of concentration
 cannot attain the Atma through knowledge." It is clear that
 true knowledge can dawn only after the mind has been rendered
 very pure by the practice of spiritual discipline.


bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam

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