There are several schools of Advaita. One says you must abide in the self and one day you will realize that all you thought was true, is not. The other school proclaims that the world is illusion and there is nothing to attain, but offers no clue how to get this understanding. You might say one is the practice school and the other, the no-practice school.
The latter group starts with the conclusion, while the former tells you to abide in consciousness and all will be revealed as conclusion. The former says it is not enough to hear it and cogitate upon it, you have to see it directly by abiding in the I.
Ramana talked from the position of liberation but he gave methods to those who needed them.
Nisargadatta talked from the endpoint and had people try to catch up — at least Nisargadatta as portrayed by his editors. Yet, before Nisargadatta awakened, he stated he spent three years absorbed in his sense of beingness as directed by his guru. Hearing Advaita philosophy is not enough.
In his talks, if you listen closely, Robert says all practices, whether self-inquiry or breathing exercises, as well as all philosophical discourses, are meant to still the mind, nothing more, and out of the still mind the Absolute shines forth. He says dive within to find the source of I, of the ego. Then he says there is no source and there is no ego. These kinds of contradictions exist throughout his lectures, but the intent in all is to still your mind. So simple, yet, as Robert says here, “You want to play with the I.”
Both he and Ramana say the quickest way to awakening is self-inquiry, not mindlessly repeating, “Who am I?,” but introverting awareness to find and rest in the Void. The Void is the edge of realization. Abide there and let your Self do the rest.
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