Don't Learn Vedanta

Treasure Map
It's not ever about learning Vedanta. Vedanta is not a philosophy or a belief system. It is simply a means. It is a methodology. It's a toolbox, a road map. You don't learn it, ever. You just use it to get where you’re going, that's all. And at the end, you throw it out.

Learning Vedanta is not jiva's job here. Jiva's job is to destroy his own ignorance by following the road map, by applying the tools Vedanta offers, to analyze his own experience and find out for himself what is true. This – learning the teaching of Vedanta versus applying the knowledge to ones own experience – is an important distinction.

A former teacher of mine warned me away from Vedanta, and I think it was because he didn't understand this distinction. People can get stuck in the intellect studying Vedanta. They become experts on the subject, but may still not discover who they are. There is nothing wrong with anyone studying Vedanta as an academic subject, and it is a valuable service to others when they share their expertise, but being an expert on Vedanta doesn’t bring about moksha. Using the tools, doing self-inquiry, analyzing your own experience based on what Vedanta shows you as the truth of who you are – this is what brings moksha.

Listen, evaluate, and assimilate. This is all Vedanta asks you to do. And then your map will no longer be needed.

Nothing Needs to Change

You have to remember that jiva is never happy, never satisfied. Not ever. It is not jiva recognizing the Self that puts an end to the search. Jiva will mess that up. Jiva will think it’s not enough, will want something more dramatic, or some guarantee of permanence. He’ll think he’s lost it, or worry that he’s going to lose it. There simply is no pleasing jiva. So remember this, when you are investigating into your true nature. Jiva can investigate, and jiva can self-inquire.* Jiva is good at these things because jiva is so dissatisfied all the time. He’s the perfect guy to put on this job. Jiva can work like a dog, digging away at the false beliefs that keep his separateness alive. But jiva cannot realize the Self.

When your true nature is realized, it is not an imaginary person doing that. It is your own true Self. You, the Self, recognizing yourself shining here as you have always been. No body, no mind. Just this one timeless, formless, conscious Radiance.

So remember what you are trying to do here. You are not trying to convince jiva of anything. Jiva has ignorance built in, and will never be convinced. All you are doing is removing the ignorance, with the help of jiva, and the removal of ignorance is also the end of the belief that you are jiva. So all at once, ignorance is gone, jiva stops being a differentiated object, and you know yourself as only this radiant consciousness. And this is the truth of being.

Jiva can continue to be dissatisfied – it’s okay. The dissatisfaction will not stand in the way of your realization. In fact, it’s helpful. Just remember that the end point is not the satisfaction of the jiva, in some kind of enlightened jiva state. Jiva will never be satisfied with any state. The “end point” involves dissolution of that very jiva, and all other divisions of one thing from another. In this dissolution, there is only one boundless love – all that was ever there in the first place. “Enlightenment” already is, and always has been.

If you like a tool, try this: Say, “Nothing needs to change.” This is a statement from the standpoint of the Self. Everything is already just as it should be. Now say, “I really need to recognize this. I really have to get it.” This is a statement from the standpoint of the jiva. Jiva will never see that nothing needs to change, because jiva’s existence is dependent on change. Switch back and forth between the two standpoints. Which are you?

*Vedanta is the means of self-inquiry I recommend.