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Do mystics say what Vedanta says?

It is true that we find statements in different civilizations and traditions that speak about oneness and non duality. The question relevant to us here is: are they able to communicate what they see or know and make one see that truth? If they do, excellent!

However, it is important to note that often these statements of oneness talk about experiencing everything to be non dual. In contrast, Vedanta says that it is not a matter of experience, but of knowing. This is because no experience can be conclusive about anything. For example, the experience of flat earth is contradicted by knowledge that earth is round. Similarly, experience of rising sun can be contradicted by knowledge that sun is stationary and earth moves around the sun.

One can also argue that experience of non duality which some people equate to discovery of truth, is contradicted by universal experience of duality, as one sees many objects in the universe. How is the mystic going to prove that his experience of non-duality is more valid? But if the understanding of non-duality is born of knowledge, it can not be shaken by any experience. Any knowledge requires appropriate means of knowledge. Vedanta constitutes a means of knowledge in form of words to know the true nature of I; it has a systematic methodology for this teaching.

If one does not recognize that non-duality is the understanding of what is already here and now, one may think that it is a mystical pursuit leading to some super sensuous states of consciousness. In fact, some mystics teach esoteric techniques or powers to lead one to these experiences. They claim that one can comprehend truth only intuitively as it is not explicable logically. They might support their claims by very inspiring and beautiful poems and some striking paradoxical lines. However, they can only produce other mystics who are looking for experiences but will not be able to lead one to discovery of truth, unshaken by any doubt or vagueness.



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