Self-Inquiry (Atma Vichara)
Supreme Knowledge, Self-Knowledge is regarding Knowledge about the True Nature of the Absolute Self & instruction regarding a path or spiritual practice for Self-Realization or Enlightenment.
In the Teaching of Non-Duality, which clearly reveals the identity of the Self & the Absolute (Brahman, God), Liberation or SelfRealization is recognized to be of the nature of Self-Knowledge. A path of Knowledge results in Self-Knowledge, & the primary method of the path is that of Self-Inquiry. The Inquiry is the introspection, or meditation, that ascertains, in the most experiential manner, of what one's true Identity consists. It is the Self-Revelation of the nature of Existence, or Consciousness itself, unobscured by any definition or misidentification. Questioning inwardly as to "Who am I ?" one realizes one's true state of Non-Dual Existence, which is ever free, ever at peace, unchanging, without modifications, illimitable, timeless, indivisible, forever unconditioned, formless, undifferentiated – the One Reality.
Self-Inquiry involves the relinquishment of the false superimposition of forms & attributes upon the Self. This involves the recognition of the false definition & the Discernment of how it is not actually one's identity. It is the shifting of Identity from where it has been misplaced, such as being associated with the Body or with thought, & restoring it to its natural position, which is the Self alone. It is the ceasing of the confusion regarding what is Real & what is unreal. Erroneous attribution of Reality to the unreality, such as conceiving the World, objects, events, sensations, & thoughts to be real or to be the means of determining what is real, is relinquished
Summed up the in the concise phrase, "Who am I ?", Self-Inquiry by the seeker of Self-Realization can also directly realize Liberation from the unreal bondage by inquiring, with each experience & notion, "For whom is this ?" This approach negates the Identity or Reality from the objective aspect & returns it to that which is inward, the Subject.
Then, recognizing that whatever it is, it is for "me," one should inquire, "Who am I ?" This is, with a keen awareness, the inner discerning of the True Nature of one's Existence. The determination of the answer to Self-Inquiry cannot be in verbal, sensorial or conceptual terms, but is realized by the elimination of all definition, the dissolution of confusion regarding Reality, & the destruction of the Ego.
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"There is no Creation, no Destruction, no Bondage, no longing to be freed from Bondage, no striving for Liberation, nor anyone who has attained Liberation. Know that this to be Ultimate Truth."
– the "no creation"
, Shankara, Ramana, school of Gaudapada Nome – Ajata Vada
for very succinct summary of the teaching & practice, see: www.ajatavada.com/