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Advaita - Non-duality
Sri Bhagavan was not a philosopher and there was absolutely no development in his teaching. His earliest expositions, 'Self-Enquiry' and 'Who am I?', are no different in doctrinal theory from those he gave verbally in his last years. When, as a lad of sixteen, he realized his identity with the Absolute, with That which is Pure Being underlying all that is, it was formless, intuitive knowledge of which the doctrinal implications were recognized only later.
"I did not yet know that there was an Essence or Impersonal Real underlying everything and that God and I were both identical with it. Later, at Tirovannamalai, as I listened to the Ribhu Gita and other sacred books, I learnt all this and found that they were analysing and naming what I had felt intuitively without analysis or name."
It was no question of opinions but of Truth recognized; that is to say that he was not convinced by what he read but simply recognized its conformity with what he already intuitively knew.
All modes and levels of doctrine are comprised within Hinduism, all of them legitimate and corresponding to the various modes of approach required by people of varying temperament and development. The approach through love and worship of a Personal God exists, as it does in the Western or Semitic religions. So also does the approach through service, seeing God manifested in all His creatures and worshipping Him by serving them.
the recognition of Pure Being as ones's Self and the Self of the universe
and of all beings in the supreme and ultimate Truth, transcending all
other levels of doctrine without denying their truth on their own plane.
This is the doctrine of Advaita, Non-duality, taught by the ancient Rishis
and pre-eminently by Shankaracharya. It is the simplest as well as the
most profound, being the ultimate truth beyond all the complexities of
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