I must confess to having had a sheltered journey so far: I found a school that was being guided by a teacher who they said was the ShankarAchArya of Jyotir Math, they practiced meditation, they studied Gita and Upanishads, they taught Sanskrit. So I was pretty comfortable in the belief that, not only was I following a traditional path, but there was no other path. Little did I appreciate that all these ingredients don’t necessarily add up to a traditional path. And only after coming into contact with this site a couple of years ago did I realise that there were several approaches that purport to teach advaita, the ‘philosophy’ of non-duality: direct path, neo, Western satsang, etc.
It is only since coming in touch with traditional advaita, as taught by Swami Dayananda Saraswati that I realised how different each approach really was: what once seemed like nuance, now loomed like a chasm. Needless to say that adherents of each of the different streams all claim that their way, their teacher, their group, is the real deal. And that it leads’ all the way’. And so do the traditionalists.
I’ve therefore decided not necessarily to take on any of these ideas head on (and that includes the plethora of other ideas that claim to be spiritual from channeling, to past life stuff, to crystals, angels and more like these). All this blog will do is present a viewpoint: I will simply attempt to present the way I have come to understand things.
I claim to be no different from any reader and thus invite a robust challenge to the things I write. I’ll leave this opening salvo with a thought from Swami Dayananda which cuts across most people’s ideas and blew my socks off:
Neither experience nor knowledge can destroy the perception of duality.