Advaita Vedanta is direct perception. If we apply intelligence through the process of directed investigation, Advaita Vedanta points directly to our Nature, our Reality, shredding to pieces the many veils of ignorance that presents itself before us as the World.
Understanding the position of the great Acharyas of Sanatana Dharma is a preliminary condition for one to be accepted by the Power of the Dharma. Unless one learns and understands the high philosophy of these great world- teachers one cannot probably be qualified to enter the spiritual realm that Sanatana Dharma represents.
To understand Sanatana Dharma well, it becomes important to understand the pillars of the Dharma which are the various philosophies that drive faith within the Dharma. The ontological viewpoint of the Dharma were well-defined by the Acharyas such as Adi Shankara, Sri Ramanujacharya, Sri Madhvacharya, Sri Vallabhacharya , Sri Nimbarkacharya and Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Without understanding the basic philosophies as established by the Acharyas, the Dharma is least explored.
Mantra is a great tool to know ourselves. If we want a mini hologram that entirely represents us, it can only be a mantra that we have been chanting with our heart suffused in the vibration of the mantra. The mantra represents a pathway that bridges the mortal dimension to the immortal one. If we want to know what is immortality, we have to know the efficacy of the mantra. The more we chant a mantra, the more we shall graduate towards the nuances of life and get near to the fixing of the the life riddle.
Certain small areas are not looked into as we try to fine tune our spiritual practice. We often meet roadblocks and although we try to progress in our spiritual journey it is surprising to see that we have not moved an inch. Looking at praises and insults from a spiritual angle becomes very essential to take that giant leap towards perfection.
To appreciate the Ramayana, one needs to hear the Ramayana from the lotus mouth of a pure devotee of Lord Rama. Sri Rama is the Lord of Lords and hearing His glories is the surest way, available and open to all in this Iron age, that can easily take one across the ocean of nescience.
It is important to understand the position and philosophy of every spiritual statement. More so when it comes to interpreting the spiritual works such as the Bhagavad Gita etc, one may find extremely contradictory statements about the same subject which may appear to starkly oppose each other. This is where one has to become vigilant and take the help of one who has undergone spiritual rigor in understanding the scripture. While analyzing such scripture, the rule of thumb is to be able to harmonize contradictory statements and arrive at one universal meaning in the most profound manner. This shall happen only if one has the power of spiritual practice behind him.
Without a guru there can be no spiritual progress. This is one of the fundamental precepts of the spiritual framework. More importantly one needs a teacher who may hand-hold us to our destination, What is the subject that is to be learnt?. How is that relevant to our spiritual progress and what is the guarantee of a specific spiritual system that promises us to grant us the keys to an eternal abode. All this one ought to know and assimilate if one is serious with regards to undertaking the spiritual journey.
One needs to understand one's "true" purpose of life. When this point is missed, life oscillates up and down endlessly like a see-saw with no brakes. Having discovered the purpose of life, a new journey begins, like the journey that is to begin as we wait inside a rocket, which may take many years to take off, but once the rocket takes up, there shall be many lands of unexplored dimensions waiting to be discovered by you.
It is important to understand, how the Ramayana began. One should understand the greatness of the work, the greatness of the one, who has authored this scripture. One should know about the spiritual masters who have been the driving force behind this work , that continues to maintain the balance of the world even today and shall continue to do so for eternity.