The Reflection Theory

Cover of Self-Knowledge Journal Summer Issue

Based on teachings in volume three of the Shankara Source Book (on the Soul) The reflection theory is an account of human nature for those who are seeking the highest wisdom. It shows how this wisdom is essentially present in every human being, and how the mind can be progressively adjusted so that what is…

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The Ultimate Aim of Our Enquiry

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This Self is the one unbroken witness of the dance of every intellect… It is the light that illumines all intellects and is illumined by none. It stands motionless amid the presence and absence of modifications of the mind. Naishkarmya Siddhi, 2:58 and 2:66. Our path to Self-knowledge brings with it the awareness of our…

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The Light Behind the Mind

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There are two entities which comprise the whole Universe, the perceptible and the imperceptible. The perceptible is only a small part of the imperceptible, that which is unimaginable. These two entities are really one. It is not that they have split themselves into parts. They are like two aspects of the same coin. At the…

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Non-Duality—Preparation and Achievement

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The greatest achievements are usually hard-won. The achievement that surpasses all others is the awakening to the higher self-knowledge. This is to realise, as a matter of direct experience, that one’s innermost Self is not different from the Reality which underlies the whole cosmos. Through sustained efforts and an ever-deepening interest in the goal, we…

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Endeavour to be a Sant

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Whose bodies, minds and words overflow with goodness; Whose chief delight and satisfaction is benevolence to all beings; Who swell the merits of others to mountains when they are like atoms, And are ever fully pleased by the inner vision— Such sants are indeed rare. Bhartrihari A Sant* is not distinguished by any external signs.…

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The Realisation of Brahman through Love and Knowledge

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Knowledge in the sense in which Shri Shankara uses the term, means the highest knowledge, a supra-mental knowledge through a spontaneous experience of the Self as the highest good and supreme Reality. The otherness of the absolute Reality passes away like a dream, and the individual self (jiva) realises its essence in identity with the…

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The Secret of Action

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Action is held to be one of the traditional paths which lead to freedom, as are also meditation and knowledge, but you may need greater courage to start on either of the inner paths than you will to embark on the outer path of action. Action seems all too easy at first, especially to those…

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Dance Away Your Limitations

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The Skanda Purana is one of the great epic poems in the Vedic tradition. It includes the following story about the asura (demon) Bhasma, and hints at how to lead the mind from limitations to eternal freedom. This version formed part of a presentation given by the Warden of Shanti Sadan. The mind’s powers of…

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The Perceptual World of the Individual

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In one of Bishop Berkeley’s dialogues, two philosophers are looking at a distant castle, only a tiny speck on the horizon. They agree that they can both see it, but are unable to make out its doors, windows and battlements. From where they are, it looks like a small round tower pointing upwards on the…

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Meditation—Keeping the Mind on Track

Cover of Self-Knowledge Journal Spring Issue

A talk by the Warden of Shanti Sadan leading into a meditation session Those who meditate are well aware of the challenge posed by distraction, when our thoughts stray from the practice and turn to other things felt to be more interesting or pressing. This is not a conscious turning on our part; it just…

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