07 November 2010

Evgeny Kalashnikov:

Hello Ed,

I have found some guys claiming to be enlightened. They say they've realized there is no self. But as I start questioning things like deep sleep awareness and turiya they say they do not experience that.

They say they have pronounced experience of no self, and the feeling of being "normal" and that's it.

Am I misguided or what's going on?

Is turiya and beyond denote something meaningful?

Does enlightenment concede an unbroken stream of underlying awareness behind all the 3 states or dream, sleep and waking?

Very interested in your answers.

Good! This IS the most critical question of all. They seem to think that looking into the awake consciousness mind and finding no person there proves they are immortal, that awareness permeates everything, is deathless, universal, etc., but they only perceive anything in the waking and dream states.

In all the literature, I could find only a handful of people that claimed to have a continuous awareness in deep sleep.

However, I tend to question that, because I suspect they are saying they have a waking-style awareness when the body is asleep. But that is not what is generally meant by waking sleep as used in traditional advaita.

My experience is, when I am asleep, of entering and existing deep sleep, I feel first a "heavy" sort of darkness descending and taking over my waking mind, but when deep sleep leaves, I don't have an intuition of waking up, but rather an intuition that the layer-state of deep sleep was leaving, and the intuition and experience that "I" was never asleep. That is, sleep came and went, dreams came and went, waking consciousness came and went, but I never was touched by any of these states. I was beyond any of these states.

So, I can assert that I was aware of heavy darkness while in deep sleep, but it is only in transitioning to waking that I can "remember" it or say anything about it, because waking is when the mind arises and can remember or remark about anything.

Now I can consciously follow the comings and goings with total awareness of transitions between waking and dream states where I see no change in the nature of consciousness at all during such transitions.

Concerning those who claim to be awake all the time, I have heard or read of none of them to explain what they have experienced. Robert claimed to have that continuous awareness, but when he was alive, I never thought of questioning him about it.

But you see "awakening" for me, and the one Robert authorized, was not seeing that I was nothing, that there was no I, nor even a sustained I-thought, and continuous emptiness in the psyche, but rather an experience where I saw waking and dream states come and go, totally apart from me as "objects" as experienced states separate from me, and I was untouched by the coming and going.

Also, I was able in meditation to go from full waking awareness to total submergence in the deepest parts of the mind, even deeper into total unconsciousness lasting a few seconds, then coming out the other side into samadhi of total oneness of the world. But there was always a brief interval without a continuous awareness of a few seconds or so.

The traditional advaitins explain this as passing through the causal body of complete ignorance, not knowing, which is vital to go beyond knowledge.

Does this help? 

I think the neo advaitins have confused the method of looking within, self-inquiry, with actual enlightenment, which even for Nisargadatta took three years of doing nothing but abiding in the I. He too, so far as I know, did not state he was continuously aware (as a conscious type awareness) during deep sleep. Even Ramana, though he claimed we do exist during deep sleep and offered rather "tacky" proofs, I don't think ever talked about his sleeping experiences.

Even if some of these teachers did experience continuous awareness, it certainly would not be as a person. Personhood demands the presence of an ego and mind. Both are destroyed by deep sleep. Nisargadatta states this over and over. Therefore too, there is no survival if any individuality after death. That would require the continuity of the mind and ego, and if deep sleep can end the ego, the mind, and according to Nisargadatta, the I Am sense also, death would provide an even more effective terminator of the individual. 

What always survives is universal consciousness. That is, somewhere, there is consciousness manifesting in some sentient being, like leaves on a tree. Some fall off as individual leaves, but do not come back as another leaf, but other leafs and continuously generated unrelated in a specific sense to the one that fell off. Each is unique and an individual expression, never to be repeated.


  1. Thank you for clarifying this important point, Edji.

    I would like to take the opportunity to ask your opinion about Bernadette Roberts' experience of no-Self, since she has been your neighbor.

    I am familiar with the experience of the temporary vanishing of reflexive consciousness, which, as described in your post, often comes after a momentary cessation of consciousness. However, if awakening was an unshakable understanding of the fact that our my nature is unborn and therefore beyond birth and death, consciousness and the cessation of consciousness, reflexive consciousness is still present, even if I know that it is impermanent.

    So my question is: it there a further important stage where (reflexive) consciousness vanishes completely on a permanent basis, like what happened to Bernadette Roberts, or do you consider that this is not necessary, as long as we clearly see through the sense of existence as being impermanent and therefore empty, like everything else?

    Kind regards,


  2. I used to know Bernadette quite well. We met frequently and talked frequently on the phone. However, that was even before I met Robert.

    I have not read anything by Bernadette in 20 years, so the words and concepts you are using are not familiar to me. I'd have to read her books to know what her position is and I really don't have the time to do that.

    I limit myself to explaining Nisargadatta, Robert and Ramana, and sometime Zen people.

    "Enlightenment" isn't once and fixed for all. Many claim enlightenment for experiences I would not call enlightenment, but that is just my opinion. All that I can do is talk about my own experiences and of those I studied deeply, but I certainly am not a college lecturer on enlightenment experiences or the process.

    In fact, I may post soon the satsang where I talk about what the path of Jnana Marga--Robert's Path, is all about.

  3. I will say that awakening is not just a conviction. The identification with the body is broken. For me, for a long, long time the primary identification was with "space" both outer, and the inner voidness, experienced as One.

    However, now I do not experience anything as oneness, voidness, spaceness, individuality, etc. All adjectives have disappeared. There is just a procession of experiences.

    Your query is too narrow and assumes only one sort of awakening and a possible progression.

  4. Nisargadatta would talk many many times that consciousness is not the end of the road for the seeker. That there is a place(maybe state) that is beyond consciousness and that is what we all seek.
    Edji when you talk about the leaves and universal consciousness always surviving this is not really important for the seeker as the seeker is always working to arrive at the place beyond consciousness and it is in this place that no-self can be be identified.

    Though I do not know Bernadette Roberts'but this is exactly what she is pointing to.

    Nisargadatta was very clear that the end of the road for the seeker was the end and beyond any form of consciousness.
    The question now could be ask how can you know that you are experiencing the no-self if there is no consciousness? The answer is simple there are no words to explain it, It's beyond words.But just because it's beyond any possible explaination does not mean that a seeker can never arrive there.

  5. I have to agree with the Nisargadatta would talk... post.
    He/she is spot on this is exactly what Nisargadatta taught. I was in a satasang only 2 times in 1979 and in one of his talks that subject was all he spoke about. He would shout and his poor translator would speak in English. He wanted to make it crystal clear that the end of the road as the previous poster said is not consciousness. Consciousness only survives in consciousness it cannot do anything else but survive but believe what Nisargadatta and I are saying there is definitely something beyond consciousness..
    something wonderful .


  6. I hope I was not giving the impression that there was nothing beyond consciousness. Indeed, there is. Rajiv and my book Autobiography of a Jnani explore the experience.

    One discoveries those states beyond consciousness by practicg ever deeper abidance in the I Am.

    But, there is no personal survival after death. That which is beyond consciousness is not heaven. We are that, but we, as Tom, Dick and Harry do not survive death.

    We, as sentient beings, always were beyond consciousness and death and that "witness" or "absolute" has to be discovered, and that takes us as individuals beyond death because that individual entity is an illusion, concept, thought structure.

    This is why I say just looking inside to see various things in consciousness, like the sense of presence, the Void, thoughts, etc., is NOT awakening. That exploration is a method of getting to awakening, but is not the awakening itself.

  7. Thank you all. We all agree with the fact that if one doesn't wake up to that which is prior to consciousness, it is not awakening, regardless of traditions and lineages.

    My question was: does the 'I AM', the sense of existence, or what Mrs Roberts calls 'reflexive consciousness' disappears permanently at a certain stage?

    I had a very interesting and fruitful exchange of emails with Rajiv last summer [thanks again Rajiv if you are reading these lines!] and we realized that we were in fact talking about the same shift of identity, even if we didn’t share the same vocabulary due to my Zen background. I cannot talk for Rajiv, but in my case resting in the background or the foreground of consciousness does not annihilate the sense of existence (it may drop temporarily but comes back), even if life can seem to go on its own, pretty much life a film.

    What intrigues me is people like Bernadette Roberts (and I know a few) who claim that they have completely lost the very sense of existence. This would mean that they are not only prior to the I AM, but that, in their case, the I AM had disappeared permanently.

    Kind regards,


  8. Hello, Ed. I would like to ask you something regarding this topic and I´d like to use a metaphor. All metaphors are imperfect, but this particular one has been useful to me, and I´d like to know whether you think it is more or less correct or not. I´ll use a radio as an example.

    We, as body-mind, would be like the radio receiver. The Absolute would be the unmanifest radio waves, and the sounds we get from the radio receiver while it´s interacting with the radio waves would be like Consciousness with all its objective and subjective perceptions that only exist while the body is alive.

    Then, the radio waves, while interacting with the radio receiver, would come to believe that they exist just while the radio receiver exists, because there are only sounds when there´s an interaction between radio waves and radio receiver. That is, we come to believe that we only exist while there is manifestation.

    Awakening would be something like the radio waves realizing that they existed before the manufacturing of the radio receiver, and even if the radio receiver gets broken and there aren´t manifest sounds. In other words, awakening would be us realizing that we exist even if there´s no manifestation, even if there´s not a body who could transform the unmanifest into something manifest.

    Is this correct or am I deluded?

  9. Alex, I am sure you are aware that questions like you ask are the kind the mind generates to interfere with progress. A sticking point.

    But here is my answer: the I Am "disappears" permanently for some, as the identity switches from the watcher and the I Am interplay, being one or the other, or both, to identification with the void and the watcher, with the spacious aspect of awareness rather than the beingness aspect.

    Yes, just as in samadhi, the I Am disappears "permanently." But in fact it is not so. That I Am is still there are available as part of experience when useful as a tool.

    When the I Am goes, there no longer is happiness, sadness, motivation, etc., only silent stillness that absorbs everything.

    But the availability of the I Am alloys one to come back to the world.

    Robert was usually totally in the beyond the presence state, but he deliberately cultivated certain relationships to keep him in the world, such as with certain students and most especially with his dog Dimitri.

    If it were not for that, he never would have taught.

  10. Edji, thank you very much for this sharp answer that makes full sense. I suspect that this is also the reason why you take time to answer our questions and take such good care of helpless homless cats.

    Be assured that my only motivation it to find what's next. This is what brought me to your blog in the first place, because I know they are one of the few living jnanis.

    All the best,


  11. According to Nisargadatta the fully realized master who you can say"coined" the Iam phrase it's not possible to permanently give up the Iam while you are still in the body.
    If you think this through it makes perfect sense your Iam is what makes the world you see through your eyes it really makes all forms of consciousness available and visible.
    The Iam in fact is pure consciousness when you give up consciousness permanently you have left the body.
    Nothing in this world exist without the I am and that includes you as the body/mind you.
    Even in deep samadhi the Iam is not there this is why they tell you in the yoga sutras and other works that if you stay in samadhi for a certain length of time you will not be able to come back to the body. In simple terms you are dead as far as the body goes .


  12. I would warn people about clinging to ANY concept, conclusion or intellectualization, whether provided by Maharaj, Robert or me. Anything stated in words misses the point and is false. These intellectualizations really don't help one's own progress.

    They would help only if all people wen through the same progressions, experienced the same layers of consciousness, had similarly functioning minds and unconsciousnesses. But fortunately there is a very wide spectrum of minds and developmental sequences so that general opinions and general patterns are rife with exceptions.

    I spent much time with Benadatte and she did not seem to act different from a normal person in any way. There did appear to be someone home at all times.

    In my dealings with many so called self realized people that proclaim there is no one there, I have instead found people whose ego is invisible only to them.

    U.G. Krishnamurti, for example, was an extremely chatty little Indian man who had tones of opinions about everything when I talked to him.

    Jean Dunn was always complaining about her physical ailments and would talk about the tricks Maharaj played on her to cook her.

    Soen Sah ALWAYS was talking Zen talk, really exposing very little of himself, but spending the day watching soap opera TV, and screaming at other Koreans at the top of his lungs for long intervals.

    Only Robert came from a different world from my perspective.

    Therefore, mostly I saw nothing different from ordinary, non-spiritual in most of these world noted teachers. They certainly acted as if they had normal egos, resistances, sensitivities, anger, etc., no matter how many books they wrote or how famous they were. Only Robert was different.

    Therefore, I find none of this kind of discussion valuable, and only a distraction from one's own self-inquiry. Worry only about your own experience. You are never going to have Bernadette's experience, Robert's, or mine except in the most general way.

    I was extremely fortunate to have Rajiv come along, because his experience were most like mine, and our joint books Autobiographu of a Jnani states those experiences.

  13. Martin, please do not be so certain. Of course you can live without an experience of I Am. I have no idea if this is similar or identical to Robertson's concept of reflexive consciousness or not, but everyones' minds here appear to be upset about concepts, and ontology and epistemology--that is, what exists and how it is known, whether Robertson's experiences are possible or not, (therefore whether she is nuts or not), and Nisargadatta's opinions.

    Forget what they say, and focus on your own sense of I Am and continue the meditation to the end.

    It is your experiences you should be concerned with, not Maharaj's or Robertson's. You want to become totally comfortable and knowing about YOU, not someone else's verbalizations of their experiences, which you filter through your understanding and experiences.

    The freedom comes when you drop below all these questions and conceptualizations and find out for yourself that which cannot be expressed.

    You think an answer you can understand will help your quest? When you are deepest inside, all things are possible.

  14. In other words, if you want to get before the I Am, you have to get before all questions, answers, opinions, into the deepest part of yourselves where there is not even consciousness of any sort. You go through these levels.

  15. Yes, abiding in the foreground, background, emptiness, etc. is part of exploring the I Am. The sense of presence also has to be explored. If you become very still, you drop lower. Lower than all these experiences, below I am, but that is not known by normal mind or consciousness. You become it. Becoming it is a different, non-conscious way of knowing.

  16. True Jnana is NOT seperate from Bhakti.

    In the early stages it is devotion towards your beingness and Guru and then when awakening takes place it is devotion towards the SELF Itself.

    When one truly remains as the SELF he doesnt bother whether IAM drops off completely or not.

    You have to become a nobody. You decide nothing.

    Even the desire or thought that the IAM must leave permanently while in waking is NOT seeked. It will happen when it has to or may not happen because there may be much to do in the world.

    Did the IAMness ask your permission when it first appeared?

    Does it ask your permission when it leaves?

    Find the source from where the I-thought or IAMness first appears. That is all which needs to be done.

    That is what the sages declare again and again. They dont say make the IAMness permanently go away.
    How the IAMness manisfest is different to every individual based on what Destiny requires.

    A Jnani will remain completely unconcerned with the workings of the IAMness.


  17. I agree very much with the above post however it's not germane to my point at all. The simple fact is you can not live in the body without the Iam. I experienced the "I am" myself and once you have you begin to see exactly what Nisargadatta was saying. To me this has nothing to do with how different we are as a person goes.
    I agree no one has the exact experience but the basics are set into place. I never met Robert but it would had been wonderful I'm sure. Yes the basics are there this is what I believe Nisargadatta
    was speaking about. A quick example lets say your a skier and your going down a long run called "Last Will" though the experience will differ somewhat. The turns on the hill, the sloapes on the hill, the chairlifts overhead.
    All these things will be in the experience of each skier and if you mention a certain turn or where was the chairlift as long as they did not have a hangover or a low IQ they all would be able to tell you the samething . Of course you can go deeper into the experience but the basics are there and that is what Nisargadatta taught IMHO.


    November 08, 2010

  18. Rajiv wrote: “find the source from where the I-thought or IAMness first appears. That is all which needs to be done. That is what the sages declare again and again. They dont say make the IAMness permanently go away. How the IAMness manifests is different to every individual based on what Destiny requires”.

    Beautifully said, Rajivji! This also confirms my experience and intuition. Thank you all for your wise answers and inputs.


  19. What you wrote on your site http://itisnotreal.com/new_site_home_page.htm about deep sleep touched me and quenched my thirst for intellectual knolwedge, when I read it a year ago.

    Investigation of deep sleep was for quite some time the main focus and driving energy for my enquiry.
    Here are some quotes about deep sleep collected a few years back, during my readings. They were useful to me and I hope it will be the same for other readers.


    Nisargadatta - from I Am that, p28:
    Questioner: What do you do when asleep?
    Maharaj: I am aware of being asleep.
    Q: Is not sleep a state of unconsciousness?
    M: Yes, I am aware of being unconscious.

    U.G. Krishnamurti - The Mystique of Enlightenment:
    My body exists for other people; it does not exist for me; there are only isolated points of contact, impulses of touch which are not tied together by thought. So the body is not different from the objects around it; it is a set of sensations like any others. Your body does not belong to you.
    Perhaps I can give you the 'feel' of this. I sleep four hours at night, no matter what time I go to bed. Then I lie in bed until morning fully awake. I don't know what is lying there in the bed; I don't know whether I'm lying on my left side or my right side -- for hours and hours I lie like this. If there is any noise outside -- a bird or something -- it just echoes in me. I listen to the "flub-dub-flub-dub" of my heart and don't know what it is. There is no body between the two sheets -- the form of the body is not there. If the question is asked, "What is in there?" there is only an awareness of the points of contact, where the body is in contact with the bed and the sheets, and where it is in contact with itself, at the crossing of the legs, for example. There are only the sensations of touch from these points of contact, and the rest of the body is not there.

    John Wren-Lewis from Dazzling Dark:
    My erstwhile spectacular dream life has been replaced, on most nights, by a state which I can only call "conscious sleep," where I'm fully asleep yet distantly aware of lying in bed. It is as if the Dark has withdrawn its game of "John Wren-Lewising" to a nonactive level where the satisfaction of simply being is totally unrelated to doing.

    Suzanne Segal - Collision with the Infinite:
    In sleep, the mind finally stopped pumping out its unceasing litany of terror, and the witness was left to witness an unconscious mind. [...] Ater months of this mystifying witness awareness, something changed yet again: The witness disappeared. [...] The witness had at least held a location for a "me" albeit a distant one. [...] The experience of personal identity switched off and was never to appear again. [...] Sleeping and dreaming now contained the awareness of no one who slept or dreamed, just as the waking state of consciousness contained the awareness that there was no one who was awake.

    There was a quote from Bernadette Roberts, but I can't find it out anymore. I may be wrong, but it was something like: the gaze into the Unknown was continuous and no activity could interrupt it, it never changed, not even in sleep.

    Also, Krishna Menon Atmananda talked a great deal about deep sleep & the jnani. His hefty book is freely available on the web.


    Now, as we are seeing, it's all too easy to start and categorize people, to make comparisons. But enlightenment has nothing to do with an awareness contest.

    As Ed emphasizes again and again, what is supremely important? The fruits of liberation: joy, bliss and an active compassion for living beings.


  20. Dear Edji and Rajiv,

    Your last 2 posts are before my last post but were actually posted after my last post. If I was able to read those 2 posts before I posted my last post may have been a little different.
    Rajiv what you posted makes a lot of sense to me and I agree with almost all of it.

    I do have a question for you and Edji. If everyone's I am experience is different why is it that you find the basic experience of the I am to be the same with most of the realized masters/teacher are the same. Example When you read Niz or RM works they both speak about the I am the same was others also do and with my own experiences I find the basics there when I am completely sill. I use certain yoga breathing kryias that slow down my breath to such extent that you could put your fingers under my nose and in front of my mouth and you would not feel any air at all. It's at times like this when my body/mind is still and this is when I experience not only the I am but something deeper. For me it's like a falling balloon first comes the I am and it comes and goes they way a balloon will float down and a bit of win pushes it up again but the direction of movement is down and then the I am goes away as it feeling like I am descending but without no I. This is the part that I have no words for.

    Okay so when I read the literature that speaks about this I see it as my own.
    This is why I say the basics are the same not different. I mean not every one would have the balloon experience like me but they would have the same identified marks of perceiving the I am and the I am falling off. That is what I meant to say about the basics. As far as putting the experience in words like I have with the balloon analogy sure every one would have a different was of illustrating it..

    with love

  21. Dear Martin,

    Yes Ofcourse Martin there are some basics involved. There is no denying that fact. Traditions have laid down maps or pointers.
    I have mentioned about them in the text "Steps in hunting the I."

    They are called the 4 bodies. Each dedicated sadhaka must necessarily pass through these 4 bodies transcending the earlier one. These are basic to every seeker.

    Autobiography of Jnani extensively deals with my experiences with these bodies and how Edji guided me through them.

    I was answering to Alex regarding Ms Robertsons experience of making the I AM permanently gone. Somewhere I felt that Alex was equating that to a spiritual progress. I was questioning that.
    Once SELF is known there is no I which abides or holds, it is the SELF which abides in itself. You become only a puppet. After that whether IAMness manifests or not is not anymore of a true Jnanis concern.

    In fact seeking that the IAMness leaves permanently suggests that there is still a lack somewhere (I dont mean Ms Robertson or Alex here).
    I mean to those who feel this is a sort of spiritual advancement.

    Jnana without devotion is still incomplete. Many Jnanis are brought back in this world to serve. They cant choose this. It is just happening-- destined.

    You are a nobody and you decide nothing.


  22. I just wish everyone here could become nobody. Just drop all this intellectualization, conceptualizing and criticality, as well as analyses of the true experiences of dead gurus.

    What is your experience?

    Do you like it or not?

    What are you going to do.

    Some of the last words Sasaki Roshi left me with in 1971 after I offered to help edit a book he was supposedly writing, were, "You write your own book!"

    I say that to you all now. Don't explore what others have seen or understood, find your own map and teachings.

    This, of course is not meant for everyone, this is meant for those who think they have reached 90%, and look for one more step, stage, advancement--bullshit.

    The concept of nothing does not appeal to many.

  23. Rajiv and Edji,

    Thanks you both for clearing this up.
    I guess Rajvi you make a good point for the need of a guru. Suppose there are 4 bodies for me I don't use numbers as numbers tend to be tricky. Example if I told you to mark the number 2 on the wall 2 inches above my head and you came from the jungle and had no idea what a inch was as far as a measurement where would you put the 2? Anywhere would be the correct answer.

    So back to the gurus I can see why they would be necessary to be able to answer you about what body you are in know when your progressing.

    I will download your book.

    Thank you both


  24. Dear Rajiv and Edji,

    Amongst my awakened friends there has been a discussion about possible further stages, which lead to my original question, assuming that Edji has discussed these issues with Bernadette Roberts.

    I took your comments and advice to heart, including Edji's last suggestion since I am actually working on my own first book. Rajiv, I take the opportunity to thank you again for your guidance last Summer. My conviction is that you are not only a jnani, but also a great bhakta and above all a saint.

    All the best,


  25. Dear Ed,

    This I is more clear when waking up from sleep. The sensation is the same when going to sleep and waking up. No change.
    Because it gets busy during the day at work, the I is there and it is felt like knowledge or a stream of knowledge that knows it is apart from anything that is happening in the world. This is continuous.

    Thoughts are there, likes and dislikes are there, but deep peace is also there. No change on this either.

    A small anecdote….One morning, again when waking up, the I was there as usual, but for a brief moment, the I disappeared. There was nothing there that I could begin to describe but I am sure there was something. There was no memory, no mind, no I, no world and no awareness of anything. But yet there was something. The knowledge of this is not like any other knowledge. I just cannot describe it. It is simply a mystery. The biggest mystery is how did I remember this “incident” when I clearly did not have any memory or awareness. In that “incident” there was only “THAT”.

    THIS is my biggest mystery EVER. Any kind of knowing in this world or any world would totally fail against this.

    So now, any knowledge I get from the world, I have an attitude like “So what” and I keep quiet.

    It is always a pleasure to write to you.

    Thank you,


  26. Dear Alex,

    Your understanding was already in place. I just happened to be there where you seemed stucked.
    You trusted my guidance and took those few instructions very well. You dint question even though we belonged to different traditions.

    Your awakening was due to your own past dedication to the path and the complete faith you had in the one whome you surrendered. Awakening was never going to be difficult for you.

    I am sure you will write a wonderful book. All the best Alex.

    You say >>> My conviction is that you are not only a jnani, but also a great bhakta and above all a saint<<<

    If I can be close to be like what Edji is at the end of this journey, I will consider that to be a true achievement.

    To few awakening is only a sort of beginning for things to come ahead-- by way of teachings or by inspiring others to contribute in welfare of all sentient beings or both simultaneously.

    You will know your way too Alex.


  27. Yes Martin,

    A physical Gurus presence is very much essential. The physical Guru does nothing except reflect the voice of the inner Guru. There is no doubt that the true Guru is within and His is the only true voice. But even the most dedicated of all Sadhaka can fail to recognize the inner Gurus voice because it is faint in comparison to the voice of your own mind which is clouded with concepts, judgments and various kinds of experiences.
    A physical Guru helps break those concepts. But that must be backed by the sadhakas own dedicated practice. One cannot rid oneself of all these mental concepts just by listening to them like the Neo-Advaitins thinks. At most words of the Masters can create a "dent" but only practice can break it.

    That is why dedicated practice and Gurus guidance are both needed.