6–Requisites: Discrimination viveka
Discrimination refers to the ability to Discern what is true & what is not true. It may commence with deep thinking or contemplation, yet as it becomes clear & firm, it is a matter of actual inner experience. It may start with what is very basic, yet continues to be instrumental in the Knowledge until Realization itself. Unless a person Discerns the Source of Happiness, there is not much of a possibility of finding that Happiness, let alone retaining that Happiness without subsequent loss.
Unless a person Discerns the purpose of Life, it will not be fulfilled. It is only for a person exercising keen Discrimination regarding what constitutes Realization that a corresponding clear way of realizing will become evident. Otherwise, the seeker will practice in a random fashion, practice will not correlate to unexamined ignorant tendencies. Rather serving to destroy such delusive notions & patterns of conceptualizing, the practice will overlook the unexamined ignorant tendencies (vasanas).
It will not be possible for one to know oneself without releasing the mis–identifications that currently bind or obscure. It will not be possible to thoroughly release such mis–identifications unless they are discerned as being mis–identifications rather than being assumed to be one's actual nature, which instead is the Absolute Self ?
Discrimination enables one to know Reality as it is. Ignorance consists of taking the Real to be unreal & the unreal to be Real. One must Discern which is Real & which is unreal in order to be free of Illusion Maya or Ignorance (avidya, ajnana) or Superimposition vivarta , or moha Delusion.
Freedom from Ignorance is true Knowledge, the non–conceptual Wisdom that sees Reality as it is. This Discrimination cannot be a sensory activity. As long as one assumes that the Senses determine what is real, so long one imagines a supposed external World to be existent & objects to be real.
The Senses display only tiny impressions – minute & momentary, no matter how varied, complex, or large they may appear to be – & not the ever–present Existence as it is. The Senses are incapable of determining the Real Nature of the Existence that is the Self.
One cannot expect to see the formless Self, to hear the silent Self, to touch the intangible Self, etc. Moreover, what is Real must always be Real, in order to be Real. If it is not always be Real, a thing is entirely unreal or a mis–perception of what is Real.
The transient Senses are incapable of perceiving the eternal Reality. The Self which one seeks to realize is the eternal Reality. Therefore, Self-Inquiry utilizing Discrimination to know the Self is not a sensory activity, does not depend on the Senses, & eliminates the belief in the validity or reality of the sensory “perceptions”.
4–Requisites: Discrimination viveka (continued)
Discrimination may manifest as a practice of comparison & contrast in meditation & as the elimination of the Super–imposition of various things & ideas upon the Self, which alone is the source of Happiness, one's identity, & Reality. Discrimination causes these – Happiness, Identity, & Reality – to be known where they truly abide: as One & as the Self alone. This comparing & contrasting takes the form of discerning the unchanging from the changeful, the Eternal from the transitory, the continuous from the sporadic, the non-objective from the objective, the non-dependent from the dependent, the indivisible from the multiple or divisible, & by similar distinctions between the Real Self & the unreal mis-identifications or things with which one mis-identifies. At its zenith, Discrimination reveals that which has been negated as utterly non-existent & that the Reality alone is.
Discrimination should not be wrongly associated with mere intellectual learning, cogitation, & theory. On the contrary, Discrimination reveals that which is beyond the Intellect, what is not a product of thought, & destroys the personal opinions of the pseudo–entity, the Ego, to reveal what actually exists. In practice, Discrimination may be subtle or vivid revelation, but it always signifies a shift in what one feels one’s Identity is.
If one supposedly knows better but cannot live up to it, sees Attachment but cannot abandon it, recognizes a binding emotion but continues to dwell in it, understands a concept to be such but continues to mis-identify with it, such is a lack of Discrimination or Knowledge. Indeed, such means that one has only added the new term to the old Delusion, Illusion, Bondage, & Suffering. That is not Discrimination. No such thing occurs in real Discrimination, just as one does not run for water in a mirage when one knows it to be a mirage, does not touch something burning hot when one knows it be hot, & is not fooled or frightened by a supposed snake when one knows it to be only a rope.
Spiritual Discrimination may come quickly or slowly, in a flash or after repeated Contemplation & Meditation, entirely on one's own or after detailed instruction. What is essential is that one develops the ability to keenly Discern. Without such Discrimination, the light of Wisdom, or Knowledge, will not dawn, even though the Reality is ever present & within oneself.
Spiritual Discrimination reveals the Truth, which transcends all forms & actions, all words & thought. The aspirant should exercise Discrimination to arrive at the actual experience & true meaning of the Teachings of Sages, using one's best reasoning powers for an innermost purpose. The seeing of the Self beyond all notions is a result of Discrimination.
It is only that which one truly knows that is actually experienced. It is only that which is actually experienced that one truly knows. Spiritual Discrimination commences when one abandons any illusory division between understanding & experience, & they are one & simultaneous. The Path is the fusion of understanding & experience. One's own Existence is simultaneously known & experienced, & it is precisely at such inner depth that spiritual Discrimination should be practiced.
Spiritual Discrimination gives rise to the other Requisites for Realization. It is the cornerstone of spiritual advancement. It is a like a bright lamp taken with one. It illumines the way & in the hunt for shadows, everywhere it is brought, no darkness is seen to exist.
Discrimination is of the very essence of the path of Knowledge, & it is such a way in Knowledge that results in Self-Knowledge. The significance of Discrimination & the actual experience for those on the path of Knowledge are far-reaching.
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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/