“‘Awakening’ doesn’t change the appearance. Contrary to what some seem to claim, the world does not effectively disappear. Everything is seen as before; the difference is that it is now known not to be separate. All the ‘people’ are still there, living out their apparent lives, still acting as though there were free will, including the body-mind in which ‘awakening’ has occurred.”
“If you are looking for personal happiness or an end to personal unhappiness, then advaita is not the answer. Advaita is about the realization that there is no person, that who you really are is already limitless, full and complete. One comes to advaita when it has been acceptedthat lasting happiness is never going to be found in people or things - how can anything that is transient and ever-changing bring lasting happiness?”
“The teaching of Advaita regarding the existence of free will (or any other topic for that matter) really depends upon the current level of understanding of the student. For one who believes that he or she is a separate person, Advaita teaches that it is possible to exert self-effort in order to discipline the mind, acquire self-knowledge etc. and ultimately attain liberation. As you know, the ‘bottom line’ of Advaita is that everything is brahman and you are that. There are no persons who could choose to do anything. The world-appearance is simply the ever-changing form of the never-changing reality. So, clearly, in the end the concept of free-will is meaningless. Apparent individuals are just following a chain of cause and effect at the level of the appearance.”
“The questions as to why the world appears, why there is ignorance etc. are not ‘valid’ questions in advaita. From the vantage point of reality, there is no creation, there are no minds, there is no ignorance. The confusion is only in the mind of the person, which concepts (confusion, mind, person) only have validity in relative reality. Yes, it is all paradoxical from the mind’s point of view but all is resolved in self-knowledge.”
Advaita believes in teaching, to have a Guru or Teacher, in tradition, lineages of Teachers. It differs from other thoughts about Nonduality. There is a point to have a Teacher, and it is this:
“On the subject of ego, whilst you believe yourself to be a separate entity, a doer and enjoyer, the concept of ego has validity. And a teacher has to begin from where you believe yourself to be. All of what a teacher tells you has provisional validity only and is ALL rescinded in the final analysis - this is the technique of traditional advaita.” Says Dennis Waite.