Were my Dvaitam practices a waste?
After coming onto the Advaitam path, the thought arises whether all the Dvaitam practices done for the past decades were a waste?
No dear, that is just the Ego throwing tantrums. Ignore the tantrums and recognize the progression of the teachings that help one move from Ignorance to Knowledge.
When a person is Ignorant, he has no idea that he is not the body-mind. He has a firm conviction in being the body-mind.
The conviction is borne out of the wrong identification with the body-mind. Because of the wrong identification, it is almost impossible for such an ignorant person to be convinced of the opposite. The Ignorant man feels that the Sage is asking him to stop breathing when he is asked to recognize that he is not the body-mind.
For wiping out such a strong ignorance, practices directed towards the body-mind were created. These practices help give some time to the mind to absorb this truth. All Dvaitam practices are done to soften the mind so that it can finally surrender to the witness. A stiff ego will never ever surrender. Without surrender, how much ever, a sage shows the path, the mind will resist.
So please don’t consider the Dvaitam practices of mantra, breath technique, yoga postures, pranayama, etc as a waste. They are like school. School is required before you get admission into University.
Seeds of Knowledge:
On the Dvaitam path, you were given controlled doses of ‘You are not the doer’ and ‘This world is a dream’. These were seeds being sowed in the soil of your mind.
One did not have the [Patrata] ability to tolerate/bear the Truth, yet, so the details were not discussed. This was preparation time.
Once you start the Advaitam path, and manage to grasp the Knowledge, it means that you have developed the Patrata. On the Advaitam path, you are first shown a glimpse of ‘You are the Witness Consciousness! You are not the Ego!’ This creates a shift. The direct experience of recognizing the ‘witnessing aspect within yourself’ creates the shift.
This glimpse also provides the strength to recognize the hard-to-swallow truth for Ego:
- The world is an illusion.
- Only Consciousness IS!
Now that you have made the journey from Dvaitam to Advaitam, recognize that you are the Pure Consciousness! Don’t think you are! Know you are!
Lastly, I would like to add that there are several people who make the journey from Ignorance to Knowledge without ever stepping onto Dvaitam practices. We all have our own individual journeys. Everyone’s journey is essentially crafted by the Consciousness as per the individual’s needs. Respect the design of this journey! Respect what has come your way!
#AtmaNirvriti #AtmanandaKrishnaMenon #AdvaitaVedanta #Non-Duality
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“So please don’t consider the Dvaitam practices of mantra, breath technique, yoga postures, pranayama, etc as a waste. They are like school. School is required before you get admission into University.”
Thanks Ektaji for highlighting how Advaita practise is the direct path. Unfortunately the folks following the Dualistic practices do maximum propaganda. They try to proselytise and claim they have superior god.
Vivekananda, one of the most revered saints of hindu lineage, was extremely critical of strong practices in dualistic religions. Following is what he said (very stern tone indeed).
“Therefore use your own minds, control body and mind yourselves, remember that until you are a diseased person, no extraneous will can work upon you; avoid everyone, however great and good he may be, who asks you to believe blindly. All over the world there have been dancing and jumping and howling sects, who spread like infection when they begin to sing and dance and preach; they also are a sort of hypnotists. They exercise a singular control for the time being over sensitive persons, alas! often, in the long run, to degenerate whole races. Ay, it is healthier for the individual or the race to remain wicked than be made apparently good by such morbid extraneous control. One’s heart sinks to think of the amount of injury done to humanity by such irresponsible yet well-meaning religious fanatics. They little know that the minds which attain to sudden spiritual upheaval under their suggestions, with music and prayers, are simply making themselves passive, morbid, and powerless, and opening themselves to any other suggestion, be it ever so evil. Little do these ignorant, deluded persons dream that whilst they are congratulating themselves upon their miraculous power to transform human hearts, which power they think was poured upon them by some Being above the clouds, they are sowing the seeds of future decay, of crime, of lunacy, and of death. Therefore, beware of everything that takes away your freedom. Know that it is dangerous, and avoid it by all the means in your power.
He who has succeeded in attaching or detaching his mind to or from the centres at will has succeeded in Pratyahara, which means, “gathering towards,” checking the outgoing powers of the mind, freeing it from the thraldom of the senses. When we can do this, we shall really possess character; then alone we shall have taken a long step towards freedom; before that we are mere machines.
(Paragraph 5 and 6)
Ektaji is right that deviatam practices are useful. But, always be on guard that after embracing Advaitam, aka path of mastering the soul, environment internal and external, we do not regress back to Deviatam. That will be travesty of sorts as Vivekananda highlighted.