How to understand the theories of “advita, dvaita and visistaadvita”? how far these theories are relevant to the needs of sincere sadhaka? how much are these theories necessary to know about?
please enlighten the use of “so ham” feeling in pranayama and dhyana.
Mind is like an empty dustbin without a bottom, you keep on filling it and it will never be full to the brim. Its hunger and thirst continues.. the more you feed it the more it wants. Mind wants to understand things but understanding is not the experiencing at all. However unfortunately due to lack of guidance and also due to the associated pleasure of being able to speak on subjects where people would calmly listen to you, a seeker gets vary of the original quest. He gets focused on studies rather than meditation. A seeker becomes informed by virtue of studies but at best he gets aware of jargons.. like you have used in your question. Adviata, Dvaita and Vishishtaadvaita and all. Most of people who are in search of truth lean against the shelves of libraries instead of occupying the altar of meditation or a place in the lotus feet of a master with surrender for books give you knowledge and can not pester you for not doing things but the master will.
Mantra is a beautiful word – it means death of Mana (mind). The mere repetition of words verbally, semi-verbally or mentally doesn’t lead you to a state of no mind nevertheless there is always a possibility associated with it. A mantra in literal sense (collection of words) can become a yatch which can slowly take you to the other shore where there is no mind. But you must have patience and skill to use it.. you should know how to sail against winds of thoughts and waves of desires while using it. Sadly so, but people keep on chanting one or other mantra throughout their lives without any transformation happening in their lives. Not that mantra was wrong.. it is because they did not know the right way to use it.
But if at all you succedd in your endeavours and your mind is gone you will suddenly find that you have crossed the turbulant river and landed on the other shore. If you compare it with your real life picture.. like you crossing the the river and landing on the other shore. You may understand it. Few moments before you were in the noisy, stinky, narrow, crowded and dark bylanes of a town and suddenly you are away from it.. so much distance from it. Now you are in a place where nothing of that city is touching you. You are away from city and you can see it as a whole for the first time. Its skyline, its colorful hues on the canvas of horizon. If someone asks that person who has reach the other shore “How do you define your experience?” probably he would say – “It is peaceful. Its beautiful. It is tranquil..(Vishistadvaita?)” Someone may say “It is NOT noisy. It is not disturbing.. (Neti Neti?)”. Someone may have another opinion and say “I can see the silence and noise both are part of the same reality.. one I experience while I am in there and one when I am out here…. (Dvaita)” Someone may say “All the manifestations of noise and peace are happeing in this space which is omnipresent and the space is a reality. Noise and peace is a hinderance for me to experience the real space and thus manifestation (maya) of space…. (Advaita?)”
In everyone’s expression there would be some uniqueness – Some would define it using affirmation, some negation and some may have a fusion of both. Some may altogether give up the idea of expressing it and relish its beauty and taste in silence; Without bothering to take pains in futile exercise of explaning it like Ramana Maharshi.
But the fact is when you move away from the world of thoughts, perceptions and bodily senses using mantra (you can use any word for that matter), when your mind is dead; You experience this existence in a completely new way which words find almost impossible to define. In that state the whole existence around you changes its meaning to you. It may be felt as unified cosmos – free of individualities and subjectivities. It may look like extension of your own being. It is this experience of different seers which finds different connotations like dvaita, advaita etc..
The seers who have been able to travel and experience that shore on the otherside have tried to narrate their experiences (they used ‘saadhna’ instead of books) using ordinary language. When the most expressive and vocabulary rich language on this planet could not define the experience it is their mercy for fellow travellers that they took pain in describing their experiences, so what if they failed to put it across. At least something can be pointed out to you.. These theories and concepts are just pointers and inform you that it is possible to travel there.
People think the definition of Braham, its experience with or without its attributes is possible and I say it is NOT. That is the reason I am against the accumulation of knowledge because any knowledge presented to you is just the expression of the experiencer and it can not be imparted upon you. It can never become a part of your experience!
On such a question like yours, I ask people to first define love.. define respect, define taste etc. People do try it and give their best.. they use so many meaningful words but I have not come across a single person who have been able to successfully define the exact taste of jalebi (kind of sweet made of fermented flour and sugar) to someone who has never tasted it. And irony is we expect the God can be defined and his definitions can be wrapped up in black and white characters of a book. No one could define love or respect for that matter…. and we thought we could catch the glimpse of the ultimate truth through understanding the books. (laughs)
So Reddy, use any tool, use any technique, take shelter of any master, learn anything which can push you towards experience rather than knowledge for experiencing is liberating. May you be able to invoke divinity in your being.