“Herein is expounded the means of attaining
for the acquisition of final liberation. Only the pure in heart should constantly and with all effort meditate upon the truth herein taught.” – Sri Sankara
From this day forward know that the true Self(atman) is God(Brahman)! The worst slavery in the world is the false teaching that God is outside of Self. May this wisdom of Self Knowledge rid us all of this poison, and be an aid to Self-God Realization. Non Dual Advaita is the science of God based on ONEness. Advaita does not see duality between man and God. One of the founders of this school of philosophy was Sri Sankara. A Hindu proverb says that “knowledge is a benefit to people, and Sri Sankara was a benefit to knowledge.” Sri Sankara’s thought was revolutionary in the time period that he came. Hinduism has 108 deities. Sri Sankara clarified the understanding that all of the Deities that the Hindus worship are manifestations of the ONE Supreme Brahman. Just as in Islam we worship Allah who has 99 attributes. In Hinduism Brahman has 108 attributes, that are worshiped as individual Deities. The 7 principles for Self realization are explained in Sri Sankaras short text “Aparokshanubhuti-Self Realization.” This text serves as a summary, and introduction to my favorite philosophy, Non Dual Advaita. In reality, the 7 principles are qualities that a seeker must have to take the journey to Self Realization.
The first principle is indifference. Indifference means that the seeker should have no attraction to the material things of this world. The example in the text given is that the things of this world should be viewed on the same level as cow dung. Pure indifference means that the seeker is not even interested in the rewards and blessing one may receive from the Creator in another life time or heaven. Ckeikh Abdul Qadir Jilani alluded to this level of pure indifference when he said “sufism is two steps, a step out of this world into heaven, and a step out of heaven into the Divine Presence.
The second principle is discrimination. Discrimination is having the knowledge to know the difference between what is Real, and what is illusion. In Budist dharma, this is almost the same as the concept of impermanence, which says that all things in the universe are impermanent, and therefor have no real existence. Discrimination is the ability to know/see God as the only reality, and untimely to see and know that the Self is God. One of Sri Sankara’s famous teachings is that “a rope may be mistaken for a snake, but upon finding out that it is a rope, the false existence of the snake disappears.” In his philosophy, the universe and the false self, ego, are represented by the snake. Upon Self realization the Self, God, and the universe are seen as ONE and the same Being, Brahman.
The third principle is abandonment of desires. In the text Sri Sankara says that this means turning away completely from all sense objects. It is previous impressions laying dormant in the mind as well as the contact of the mind with external objects that creates desires. To abandon these desires the mind must become disassociated with the two main causes of desire by purification and meditation. Impressions laying dormant in the mind can be purified and removed by the use of sufi zikr or sacred mantras from Hinduism and/or Buddhism. Meditation, and the development of focusing the mind on the Divine, through developing one pointedness of the mind, remove the mind from contact with sense objects.
The fourth principle is endurance of all sorrow and pain. One sufi master from our sufi order, Cheikh Ibra Fall used to say “the harder the better.” Our beloved prophet Muhammad(peace be upon Him) has said “if you love Allah, prepare for trials.” In the Holy Quran Allah says ” I test those who try to come close to me. Do not think that you can come close to Me without being tried like those who came before you.” The sufi way is patience during test and trials, and thankfulness during times of affluence and blessing. From the viewpoint of Non Dual Advaita test and trials are the same as affluence and abundance.
The fifth principle is implicit faith in the words of the Holy scriptures and teachers(Gurus or Cheikhs). It is said in the sufi way “if you doubt you are out.” The seeker must have faith in the teacher, and the method he/she is teaching for Self Realization. The first level of faith is belief. The seeker must believe in the words of the scriptures and the teacher. The seeker must travel from the level of belief, to the level of certainty. It is at the level of certainty that the fruits of the path come to fruition. In this faith principle we find the subtle implication that the scriptures alone are NOT enough for Self Realization. One must find a Self Realized spiritual guide to help guide them on the path.
The sixth principle is concentration of the mind on God, the ONLY Reality. This principle is the end result of Realization. The mind of a Self Realized being is absorbed in God. The mind of a Self Realized being does not see any existence other than God. In the sufi way one of the main mantras/zikr is LA EE LA HA ILL ALLAH. The esoteric meaning of this zikr is God is the only Reality. Constant repetition of this zikr is one way to bring the mind to absorption in God.
The seventh principle is burning desire in the heart for God. This burning desire in the heart for God is the ONLY desire that a seeker should have. This burning desire is a flame in the heart that burns all and everything, leaving only the presence of God. This burning desire for God is a flame that has the power to burn the negative karma of a seeker, opening the way for the seeker to reach Self Realization. Once while sitting with our beloved master Cheikh Betchio in Senegal he said ” I can do anything for a disciple on the path, but if the disciple does not have the internal desire to reach God, there is nothing I can do for him.”
These are the 7 requirements that a seeker must have to journey on the path. Before Sri Sankara starts his explanation he says “only the pure at heart” should meditate on theses teachings. So in essence the 1st and most important unstated principle is having a pure heart. In the Holy Quran Allah says “he indeed succeeds who purifies it.” It, refers to the heart.
living in the light of love…sufi ananda http://www.786sufiwisdom.com