J. Krishnamurti once said, “Truth is a pathless land.” This pithy, enigmatic quote does not really mean that there is no path to truth; rather it signifies that we are already the truth that we are seeking. Since there is no separation from the truth (Reality) to begin with, no path is really needed.

Thus, self-realization is a matter of “re-cognizing” what “Is,” a matter of attaining the ever-attained (prāptasya-prāpti).

It is not a problem of “becoming;” it is a matter of “being.”

However, our mind craves for “experiences” and looks for “things to do.” Hence, sages, out of their infinite compassion, and by way of concession for teaching, have recommended several practices to suit the needs of various spiritual aspirants.

It is important to bear in mind that all such practices are in the realm of “duality” and at the “mind” level and have little value in the realm of non-dual Self, our true nature. Every activity is within time and the Absolute Reality (our true Self) is prior to (and beyond) time. Anything that is created/attained through actions is time-bound and limited.

As Muṇḍakopanisad 1.2.12 declares: नास्त्यकृतः कृतेन nāstyakṛtaḥ kṛtena: Mokṣa, which is uncreated, cannot be attained through action. How can finite reach the Infinite and how can temporal touch the Eternal?

Śri Śaṅkarācārya in his commentary to Bṛhādaraṇyaka Upaniṣad 4.4.6 declares:

समैकरसम् अद्वैतम् अविक्रियम् अजम् अजरम् अमरम् अमृतम् अभयम् आत्मतत्त्वं ब्रह्मैव स्मः
— इत्येष सर्ववेदान्तनिश्चितोऽर्थ इत्येवं प्रतिपद्यामहे:

[Ātman] is admitted to be always the same and homogeneous by nature….We hold that it is the definite conclusion of all the Upaniṣads that we are nothing but the Ātman, the Brahman that is always the same, homogeneous, one without a second, unchanging, birthless, undecaying, immortal, deathless and free from fear. [trans. Swami Madhavananda]


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