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Once upon a time the great sage Ramana Maharshi was asked the following question: "Dear Master, on the spiritual path, is a householder hindered by such things as spouse, children, domestic life, and other worldly concerns, which occupy so much time and energy? Are these mundane affairs hinderances to realization of the divine?"

Ramana Maharshi replied: "Not so much as the learned man's books."

In other words, the aim of spirituality is to go beyond the mind. And while reading spiritual books can help to catalyze that process and turn the attention inwards, too much erudition only serves to develop the mind that you are trying to transcend; too much philosophy can lead to arrogance so characteristic of the scholar/academician, who after a time becomes merely a parrot repeating supposed truths. But the nature of truth is that it cannot be known by the mind, which is itself a concept, and since words are a product of the mind, words cannot convey truth.

Besides, we must remind ourselves that the great sages and mystics like Buddha and Christ lived before the written word, and had no recourse to book knowledge, nowhere really to turn but inwards, to the true authority that we all are. Indeed the very words of Krishna, spoken to Arjuna over 5,000 years ago, form the substance of one of the oldest sacred texts, the Bhagavad Gita. Better than read it, listen to the Krishna that resides as the chariot of your own heart.

So it comes a time to put down all the scriptures, sages' sayings, textbooks and tomes, and forgetting everything that you know, go beyond the mind to realize the blissful awareness that is your very nature. You can't learn it, develop it, hone it, or even know it. Just be it.

Anything you can attain in this dream called waking life, fame, money, prestige, vanishes once you wake up (in death). Once you realize a mirage for what it is, you no longer seek it to slake your thirst. Kill the mind while alive and reside in pure Awareness, truly free. Every night you go to sleep and dream up a body that interacts with other bodies in a dream world figment entirely of your imagination, then you awaken to the real you, viz. the one who dreams. Focus your attention on the dreamer on whose consciousness the manifest world (whether in night dream or in day dream) appears. That's what's truly real. The seeker (you) is what you seek.

The Srimad Bhagavatam tells us: "The Supreme Self (God) created the universe and then entered it in His own essence, like the sleeper creating a new world, that of dreams, with his own mind and then imagining that he lives and moves and has his being in it."

Realize your connection with the cosmic dreamer (God) whose dream is the manifest universe. That grand dreamer is you.


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