Non-Dual – Non-Real


ome proponents of Advaitism*, even those who may genuinely understand the core truth of Advaita Vedanta, often belong to what Adi Da calls the “talking” school of Advaitism. Their engagement with others is mainly through conversation, focusing solely on verbal debate. This approach contrasts sharply with the traditional practices of deep meditation and rigorous discipline that are essential in the ancient Advaitism tradition. Therefore, modern “talking” school teachers fall outside both the traditional and practical aspects of true Advaitic realization.

*This world of duality is our reality now. When we overcome the delusions of ego-consciousness we will achieve the Reality of non-duality, enlightenment. Advaita means non-duality, the identity of the soul, Atman, with Brahman, God.

This “talking” school can be likened to the story of the “Emperor’s New Clothes.” They claim that various practices are necessary only for those who are immature, and few want to admit they’re not ready for the ultimate realization. As a result, many listeners stubbornly deny the need for their own challenging practices to overcome the ego. They prefer to keep talking and thinking without engaging in real, transformative practice.

In contrast, the original tradition of Advaitism demands significant preparation and genuine qualifications for realization. This includes self-surrender, discipline, a detachment from worldly desires, and a strong motivation towards transcending the self. Only those who were truly prepared were allowed to listen to teachings about transcendental truth, and only those who demonstrated readiness would become practicing devotees.

This distinction between the “talking” school and the “practicing” school highlights a fundamental debate within the Advaitism tradition, which has existed since at least the time of Shankara. The “talking” school generally attracts those who are not inclined towards renunciation or deep spiritual practice, preferring intellectual discussions. As a result, their understanding and realization tend to be superficial and temporary, drawing rightful criticism for lacking depth and true discipline.

Read more on those that ‘only think’ and those that ‘practice’