Advaita Vision

Advaita for the 21st Century

From the 'Scriptures'

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According to the scriptural tradition, in order to discover the Self (i.e. become enlightened), one should first understand that nothing is to be gained from the world – objects and experiences will never bring lasting happiness because they are always changing. This is understood as a result of developing such faculties as discrimination (viveka) and detachment (vairAgya). Once this understanding has been reached, the natural progression is to want to search for true meaning and purpose, i.e. one becomes a seeker looking for enlightenment – a mumukShu. Then one seeks out a teacher. These ‘mental preparations’ must be carried out to some degree (see 341 ) in order that the subsequent teaching may be appreciated, although the methods of traditional teaching will themselves also help develop these mental qualities. (N.B. Note 228 – that it is ultimately discovered that there is no meaning/purpose to life but, by then, this discovery does not cause any problem.)


Neither satsang nor neo-advaitin teachers will usually refer to scriptures in any form or at any time. Satsang teachers may quote from Ramana Maharshi or Nisargadatta or from their disciples. Neo-advaitin teachers do not usually quote from anyone else (‘there are no others’).


It must be admitted and acknowledged that a skilled teacher, who is able to use the scriptures as a pramANa, is what is needed. The words themselves do not have any magical properties. Consequently, quoting the scriptures alone will not achieve anything. (The exceptions to this are the key mahAvAkya-s, which are able to give direct knowledge in one who is prepared – see 64 .)


The scriptures are claimed to have no value by neo-advaitin teachers. (Satsang teachers in general often also hold this view.)

Such teachers have probably not read them and will certainly not have understood them. As noted above, the scriptures truly are of no value if you do not know how to use them.


The neo-advaitin argument is that: since there is no one to become enlightened and the Self is already free, it follows that the scriptures cannot serve any useful function.


According to this argument, it must also follow that teaching of any sort is also of no value, including that of neo-advaita.


Extracts from the Book
Summary and Endorsements
List of Contents
1. From 'Foreword' - NonTraditional advaita
2. From 'Purpose of the Book (and Disclaimers)'
3. From 'Self-Ignorance'
4. The 'Person'
5. From the 'Scriptures'
6. From 'What Enlightenment is Not'
Page last updated: 07-Jul-2012