|The study of
Vedanta without the direct teaching of a father or a guru is not much avail. But more than
all, the imparting of spiritual knowledge can avail nothing without the previous purging
of character necessary for the knowledge and realization of the highest truth.
It should be easy to understand that what is in the back and beyond of the mind, so to
say, cannot be seen unless the medium is clear and free from passion, which distorts
vision. It is not intellectual ignorance that blinds our vision, but desires and
These prevent us from
seeing. If this is realized, it will be understood why a virtuous and pure
heart is necessary to see the soul within us. It will then also be evident that all the
three paths sometimes referred to in the classic commentaries on Vedanta as distinct
paths-the way of enlightenment or jnaana, the way of faith and worship or bhakti, and the
way of good works or karma-are one and the same.