Vedanta gives four tests of direct perception of Reality that harmonize faith and reason.
- First, direct perception is never negated or superseded by any subsequent experience.
- Second, it does not contradict reason.
- Third, it is always conducive to the welfare of all beings.
- Fourth, it transforms the seeker forever.
His moments of mystical intuition, his ecstasies and trances, dreams and visions, cannot be taken as meaningful until they permanently transform his personality. The sure mark of his transformation is his self-expansion that embraces all beings and things of the universe.
A person of such transforming direct perception is called a free soul. Such a person is free because he has risen above all ideas of convention and tradition, culture and race, attachment and aversion. He sees his Self in all and all in his Self. His selfless love for all beings knows no bounds. An embodiment of Universal Truth, he becomes a moving temple of Universal Truth. Only such a free soul can demonstrate the validity of the scriptures and the reality of God – not the dogmatist with his blind belief, the philosopher with his analytic reason, or the theologian with his creedal assertion.
… to be continued.
SWAMI ADISWARANANDA, in Meditation and Its Practices, Introduction, xi-xv (emphases, if any, are mine. – nytanaya)