Ekta ji, can you point to any references in scriptures or your own experience on how to identify the symptoms of being half baked in vedanta knowledge or being caught up just in the theory of advaita?
It is a big danger if you are caught up in the theory of the spiritual texts rather than sincerely applying the spiritual knowledge in your life. You could lower yourself spiritually below the level of an ignorant person who has not even started walking the spiritual path by doing so. That’s why, all masters warn against intellectualization of the spiritual texts.
Why is it considered so low?
Because an ignorant person who has never walked on the spiritual path, usually will have less spiritual knowledge and if he creates karma with his little spiritual knowledge, his Karmaphalam is also tiny. This is only because he still does not know so it is excusable.
On the other hand, someone who has been walking the spiritual path for a long time, knowingly sows karmic seeds through a similar thought/speech/action without applying the spiritual knowledge is bound to suffer an extremely severe Karmaphalam. That’s why we called it Pragya Aparaadha.
Signs that you are caught up in the theory of the spiritual texts rather than the application of the spiritual knowledge:
1] Anything you read/hear from a spiritual source, you feel you already have it and have already attained it.
For e.g. you read about Vairagya and start labeling your ‘frustration with life’ as ‘Vairagya’. But in reality, you fail the true test of Vairagya.
What is the true test of Vairagya?:
- The ability to go beyond your comfort zone to let go of ANYTHING in the world EVEN FAMILY, MONEY, etc is true Vairagya.
- To do something unconditionally for ANYONE in the world [including enemies] is true Vairagya.
2] You want to understand everything intellectually but you actually don’t meditate very long. You do not invest more time in being with your own self. You have assumed that only 40-60 mins a day is sufficient.
You definitely fail the true test of going within:
- When you have to take up a challenge like a solo weekend sabbatical where you need to meditate alone by yourself for 2 days consecutively / 10 hours per day but you cannot sit even for 4-5 hours.
- When you intellectually try to prove that meditation is NOT a pre-requisite on the path.
3] You tend to condemn others for not being spiritually intelligent like YOU!
- Looking down upon others comes from the stink emanating from the accumulation of intellectual garbage. True test – A sincere yogi never looks down upon others and never condemns others in speech/action or thought.
- There is total absence of REAL compassion to help others rise higher on the spiritual path, in fact you walk the spiritual path to prove how others are not good enough. True test yourself and see if you would do some seva at the cost of your own personal comfort WITHOUT CRIBBING, without even thinking about it once.
4] Becoming fake is a product of intellectualization instead of knowledge application. What are signs of being fake?
- You wouldn’t be moralistic and spiritualistic if there was no-one watching you. This suggests that your spirituality is just a fake mask that you wear to impress. This mask has a lot of intellectual words but lacks real substance. You don’t do seva/satsang/courses, etc but you actually just show-off. It is a way to prove to others how you are better than the spiritually lagging-behind mortals. Truly test yourself and see if you would do any of this if NOBODY was noticing.
- Manipulation is one of your main traits when you are fake. You not only manipulate your own self, you manipulate others too.
- You do NOT understand the true meaning of being NATURAL and REAL. You just pretend to understand. Just being with WHAT IS, is not your experience just a make-belief concept in the head.
- You have a hard time swallowing the truth that YOU ARE FAKE! You tend to justify your spiritual idiosyncrasies. But remember, justification is not required for a Spiritual Seeker because he is always NAKED HONEST. Understand that justification is just a cover-up for the initial manipulation. One is just digging his own grave and going deeper!
5] You truly don’t have any desire for Liberation from Samsaara.
- You are still enjoying this Samsaara and think that ‘Renunciation’ and ‘Enlightenment’ is only for sages and saints. Therefore, you lack the effort required [Purushartha] for applying this spiritual Gnyana.
- You think that you do not need to make efforts, it will happen automatically. This is a self-hypnosis you have done to yourself.
6] You have NEVER ever had any Self-realizations of your OWN.
If you have been walking on the spiritual path, self-realizations of Vedanta Gnyana happen automatically.
- If you have had any so called ‘Aho moments’, those have been only the intellect understanding a spiritual concept for the first time. I call these pretend ‘Aho moments’ as they don’t leave an impact on your life.
- The real experiential Aho moments change you as a person totally. You are completely stuck in intellectualism if you have NOT had any experiential / actual / real ‘Aho moments’ like ‘I am not this body’.
7] The biggest disease you have is ‘You know everything already’!
- There is in essence a true lack of humility. You are humble only on the outside cover but within there is a monstrous fake belief saying ‘I know’.
- You are just acting on the outside that you know and understand all the spiritual knowledge. This act of yours is the biggest OBSTACLE to your own Self-Realizations from sprouting. It gets even worse from here.
- When you notice that a fellow colleague has had some Self-Realizations, your Ego cannot take it. It now tries to pull out the intellectual junk collected and tries to connect the dots, but it fails so it fills up the gaps with knowledge fluff.
- Knowledge fluff is a sure shot way to Spiritual Doom! One is bound to go lower than an ignorant person. Such a person even degrades down to the lower realms of existence [means he can be born lower than the human level of existence in the next lifetime].
If one identifies even a single sign mentioned above, he must work very hard on himself. How?
The real challenge you can put in front of yourself is to BE AWARE of every thing you say, you do, you think. Be NAKED HONEST with your own self in your actions/speech/thoughts.
- Speak less but speak honestly, from the core of your being!
- Do few things but do them with complete integrity!
- Learn to filter out thoughts. Sift through them and learn to ignore the garbage thoughts!
- Watch the Ego CEASELESSLY! Know when to withdraw and throw it into the garbage can!
This is the true test.
Being aware of ‘Being Aware’ is the next step. We will get there soon after you master this first one. Sukhi Bhava!
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