Shining World

Self-Knowledge is Not Self-Improvement

Rafael: I’m glad to be part of this movement of self-improvement and auto freedom! It’s an honor to be helpful and useful.

Sundari: Thank you. The teachings on nonduality, Vedanta, are not about self-improvement, or improving the person, though this does happen indirectly if the teachings are assimilated. As the Self, your true identity, you cannot be improved as you are already perfect because you are what is real, i.e., always present and unchanging. The person or body/mind cannot be perfected either because they are not real – unreal defined as that which is not always present and  always changing. The nondual teaching of Vedanta are about removing the identification with the body/mind as your identity, i.e., the  ignorance of your true nature as the ever present, unchanging, Self – or Consciousness.

This gives you the ability to discriminate between the ego or ‘small’ limited self under the hypnosis of duality, and your true unlimited nondual Self. Identification with the small self (body/mind) and confusing it with Consciousness, is the cause of all suffering. Once ignorance of your true nature is removed by Self-knowledge, the personal identity does not disappear.  It is just understood in light of Self-knowledge. Freedom from limitation means freedom from and for the person, because as the Self, you are already free. But here lies all the teachings of Vedanta, and to assimilate them, you need to be properly qualified and taught.

Rafael: I’m from Brasília, Brazil and I’m disposable  to help others from Latin America to seek and find the way. Because of the dynamicity of material life, needed to maintain the search and development, I am giving few steps to understand the Vedas with help of friend Alois from Germany and Mr. Ravi Prakash from India from Vedas Science Institute, but the Shinning world suggested from Alois is a wonderful place and full of what I really want to know, do and feel.

Sundari: Thank you Rafael, it is wonderful that you are prepared to communicate with other inquirers and want to share the teachings. But teaching Vedanta requires very specific qualifications and training. And most importantly, it requires a pure mind NOT under the influence of the ego. To truly help people you need to fully understand the whole methodology of Vedanta and be able to unfold the teachings without confusing others. To do this, you need to be very clear about who you are and what Vedanta is teaching. I can tell you are very sincere and passionate about the teachings, but go slowly. First make sure you understand what is involved for your own inquiry. 

Rafael: At this moment I’m reading the Marash Patanjali Yoga Sutras and the Yoga Dharsana, but the Vedanta teachings from Shiningworld are amazing and I’m on my way with love! So, I intend to follow the steps shared on Shiningworld, but if you have any suggestion, please share with me! 😉 

Sundari: Patanjali’s teachings are good, but they are written mostly for the yoga crowd, people who think they can ‘do’ their way to freedom by becoming better people. These people confuse experience with knowledge. Vedanta teaches the difference between experience and knowledge. All experience ends but Self-knowledge does not, and only knowledge can set you free of ignorance. Make sure you read James’ book How To Attain Enlightenment, particularly chapter 2. 

Patanjali’s teachings need to be clarified.  James has rewritten the Patanjali Sutras, and his book is called The Power of Know. I strongly suggest you read it, and follow the steps we have given on Shiningworld regarding what self-inquiry actually entails.  We have three free courses online, and thousands of satsangs. I have attached the two digital books on Experience and Knowledge and the Power of Know for you.

Shiningworld does not have its own teachings.  What we teach is strictly traditional Vedanta.  None of it is ‘our’ teaching. Vedanta is the priceless science of Consciousness, the truth of the ages, and it does not come from anyone or belong to anyone.

Hari Om


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