Advaita : Non-duality, the doctrine that nothing exists apart from the Spirit, but everything is a form assumed by the Spirit Hindus is between the schools of Advaita and Dvaita. The Dvaitists or Dualists worship a Personal God separate from the worshipper.The Advaitists, while recognising the truth of this conception on its own plane, go beyond it to the conception of the Absolute in which a man is absorbed back into That which is his Source and real Self, surviving in the pure Bliss and boundless Consciousness of Being.
Everywhere his Presence is felt, and yet there are differences of atmosphere. Morning and evening there is parayanam (chanting of the Vedas) before the samadhi, as there used to be before his bodily presence, and at the same hours. As the devotees sit there in meditation it is the same as when they sat before him in the hall, the same power, the same subtlety of guidance. During parayanam, puja is performed at the samadhi and the 108 names of Bhagavan are recited. But in the old hall is a softer, mellower atmosphere breathing the intimacy of his long abidance. Some months after the Mahasamadhi (leaving the body) this hall was damaged by a fire that broke out, but was fortunately not destroyed.
For a few moments people stood bewildered. The singing continued. The French press-photographer came up to me and asked at what precise minute it had happened. Resenting it as journalistic callousness, I replied brusquely that I did not know, and then I suddenly recalled Sri Bhagavan’s unfailing courtesy and answered precisely that it was 8.47. He said, and I could hear now that he was excited, that he had been pacing the road outside and at that very moment an enormous star had trailed slowly across the sky. Many had seen it, even as far away as Madras, and felt what it portended. It passed to the north-east towards the peak of Arunachala.
Ocean of nectar, full of Grace, engulfing the universe in Thy Splendour, Oh Arunachala, the Supreme! Be Thou the Sun and open the lotus of my heart in Bliss.
Oh Arunachala! in Thee the picture of the universe is formed, abides and is dissolved. In this enigma rests the miracle of Truth. Thou art the Inner Self Who dancest in the hearts as ‘I’. ‘Heart’ is Thy name, Oh Lord!
On the whole the devotees were very normal people. By no means all were scholars or intellectuals. In fact, it not infrequently happened that some intellectual preoccupied with his theories would fail to perceive the living Truth and drift away, while some simple person would remain and worship and, by his sincerity, draw on himself the Grace of Bhagavan.
Sri Bhagavan wrote: “What avails the learning of those who do not seek to wipe out the letters of fate by asking, ‘Whence is the birth of us who know the letters?’ They have made themselves like a gramophone. What else are they, Oh Arunachala? It is the unlearned who are saved rather than those whose ego has not subsided despite their learning”
“The Guru is one who at all times abides in the profound depth of the Self. He never sees any difference between himself and others and he is completely free from false notions of distinction — that he himself is the Enlightened or the Liberated while others around him are in bondage or the darkness of ignorance. His firmness or self-possession can never be shaken under any circumstances and he is never perturbed.”