Self-Realization is taught in every mystery school, and is in essence, discovering what lies before consciousness when all transient imagery is dropped for the moment. To move with the flow of consciousness, as opposed to the direction of the karmic monkey-mind, which only leads us towards fulfilling mental conditionings, was the aim for every mystic on this planet. Those capable of looking within the numerous aspects of one's psyche, including the shadow self, were rewarded heavily with "inner completion", or not needing transient material illusions to fulfill one's drive. Such provides a deeper rendering of Jesus' "Render unto Caesar", separating the darsan of the Kingdom of Heaven found within from the workings of the material planes.
Siddharta's tradition of Buddhism has placed heavy weight on "suffering" and "desire", where theologians and philosophers have sought to properly understand "enlightenment" by and through "mindful" practices, which often fail due to keeping the adept mindful to aspects within the body and its numerous sensory triggers to further engage the monkey-mind. Nonetheless, the "enlightenment" concept hinted at by both Siddharta and the Hindu tradition as described in Vivekananda's Raja Yoga, would be the place of moving beyond the monkey-mind, or Samadhi. It is important to note that Siddharta was simply one of many Indian yogi's, practicing many different types of techniques, all with the intent of approaching Samadhi. Similarly, Padmasambhava brought his techniques of enlightenment, as a further step beyond the "mindful" approach to the land of Tibet. Padmasambhava's techniques are quite similar to the Saiva tradition, as both fall under the banner of Tantra, with the higher schools invoking wrathful Goddess energy as meditative purging under the Sakta/Vajrayogini Left-Hand Path. As found in the Sakta tradition, Kali, the Mahavidyas, and the 64 Yogini are quite acceptable to assist on the path of physical and mental stillness to approach Samadhi, should the adept be capable of handling such energies as I would consider these beings as a volume knob for the kundalini.
Though taught in every mystery school including the Oracles of Chaldea, Upanisads (Cream of the Vedas), and the Hermetic tradition, etc., Adi Shankara's Advaita Vedanta appears to be the quickest and simplest approach to Self. The self-inquiry technique is simply logical self questioning of removing all transient images from one's mind, Neti (not this) Neti (not this), until one is lingering in a psychologically baggage-free state within the moment. One is in the flow of what is being done as opposed to being directed and controlled by the monkey-mind. Such is accomplished when the adept recognizes a drop in the personal-story for an "observer" state of consciousness, hence, ego-death.
Though such practices fall under the banner of "ego-death", where wrathful Goddesses such as Kali make an excellent choice in assisting in turning "off" the matrix, many choose this approach to have a better materialistic transient life. As an example, many may choose the Goddess Kamakhya for earthly pleasures such as love or regenerative family, as opposed to learning the mysteries of the creative sexual energy and its capabilities. Many simply do not understand "ego-death", and hence, wrathful beings such as Kali. When approaching ego-death practices, particularly Advaita, the need to "let go" arises. If you are looking for a spouse, to save the "state of humanity", or some other transient delusion of fulfilling some egoic desire, ego-death practices will be difficult for you. As an example, in meditation, should a blessed thought arise while practicing Advaita that can assist many human beings, etc., many people would choose to assist. Very few people truly understand that, "when you see the Buddha on the road, kill him". The goal is to reach deeper until one is out of the drama of the monkey-mind. The ending result is actually moksha-liberation for the monkey-mind, where the mind feels like a "feather" as one moves in harmony, where the ego works with spirit. Hence, in practice one looks for ego-death in order to enjoy the ego from a non-attached state. Best of both worlds, be in it, but not of it.
Samadhi appears to be the goal of both the Right Hand Path ("RHP") and Left Hand Path ("LHP"), including that of the Western occultists. The RHP can be seen as working on the higher chakras, where the adepts attempt to stay away from practices that would engross them further in samsara. The LHP works on the lower chakras first in an attempt to fulfill, master, and transcend for stillness. The LHP needs to understand that higher self has a reason for incarnating, the RHP needs to understand that after yoga comes bhoga-enjoyment. After Adi Shankara had attained Advaita (Oneness) moving his consciousness beyond transient existence, the Goddess appeared before him and showed him the beauty of merging Spirit with Matter (Shiva with Prakriti-Shakti). Therefore, the adept is to liberate themselves, and enjoy samsara from a non-attached state.
By placing one's consciousness into the 3rd state of the intelligence body, such has the effect of putting one into the "observer" state or the feeling of "presence". Nonetheless, adepts will face issues regarding the physical body and energy body. Techniques such as Hatha Yoga and Pranayama can be used for the physical body, where I personally choose Mantras (shakti) and energy healers for the energy body (and mental). Nonetheless, to tap into the 3rd state of the intelligence body, as depicted in this video, would be the beginnings of Samadhi. It is the beginning of simply being "present" for the moment, where the adept can simply say, "I just am". It is existence beyond the personality self, as the observer, highlighting the clarity of the moment.
Once the adept has noticed the difference between the 3rd state of the intelligence body in comparison to the 1st state of the physical body, or rather the difference between "presence" and the "monkey-mind", the adept then must do the work of anchoring "presence" as the "monkey-mind" will throw tantrums. Basically, there is an oscillating process.
It appears that all Gurus in the Self-Realization camp are saying the same thing, all are simply attempts to get the adept to look deeper within oneself. Nonetheless, those that have accomplished this to a high degree tend to have some "magic" in their assistance of others, which I can only label as telepathic, transmission, etc. Being new to Mooji, it was Bentinho's silent retreats which helped me push my psychological boundaries, and actually was a stepping stone to be able to properly hear Mooji. There is also Panache Desai's immense energy work, which has pushed my understanding of the capabilities of Advaita. Typically, the Guru assists in purging the adept, whereas Ramana Maharshi did that for Papaji, Papaji did that for Mooji.
There is also Nithyanandaji, who has moved his ashram well beyond Advaita into traditional Saiva practices to further push ancient practices in a scientific manner. Though I am not an adept of his ashram, I have paid attention to his community and have also noted his mantras to be quite expansive. If he can help my personal practice, why not? Nonetheless, such Gurus will be hated as the ego must be purged of everything holding it back. Again, this is the practice of ego-death, and ego will try to run. It is important to note that when Nithayandaji speaks of his egoic-self as he has expressed on facebook, he simply states, "I am just a Sakta". Though I may not consider him as Guru, in the sense that I do not invoke him for stillness, he has become my inspiration in the "if he can do it, I can do it" category. Therefore, I do bow to his feet, as we do in the East, to honor the footsteps that he has walked.
Further I will concede regarding Nithyananda, I am someone who has been more than privy to confidential information and legalities of the numerous horseshit allegations against, not just his organization, but Hinduism in general in a Country where Atheists/Christians are attempting to "Fox-News" the numerous traditions of India. As has been quite alleged, people are often paid to go into these traditional organizations and cause a mess, where further, legal "standing" is not a requirement to file a legal complaint in certain Countries. In other words, to get into a legal mess, anyone can "cry wolf" leading us into endless witch-hunts (meaning lack of evidence). Moreover, when a Westerner, such as attorney F. Greene, who quit the job because opposing counsel gave him too much work (as stated in his motion to be removed), discuses Hinduism, it is done through the eyes of a eurocentric self-centered and overly white-privileged mentality who will not do two-minutes of research to get over themselves and understand someone else's culture. Such was the frustration of every moment of sitting in a Courtroom with this conditioned monkey-mind latching onto the inability to see anything beyond his own personal issues, and henceforth, his personal projections were quite noticeable as we had discussed with the State Bar of California. As an example, in India, we bow to others feet as a sign of honoring the footsteps someone has walked, such as our own parents, where attorney F. Greene took that as an opportunity in all of his Complaints and Moving Documents to degrade the Hindu Religion as being a submissively degrading act signifying mind-manipulation. What I have disclosed can all be found in publicly recorded documents. In defending Nithyananda's organization, I had to deal with rich and organized Anti-Hindu organizations and attorneys, who had no evidence, and sadly overall, no clue.
To those wondering about Nithyananda, he's teaching the same thing as every Advaita Guru, which is to de-condition from what we have been conditioned into, for Self Realization. In the Indian traditions, the Goddesses are synchronized with the Kundalini, allowing for clearing and realigning, where Deities thereafter can help the adept navigate their journey, particularly through the practices of yantras. What Nithyananda is doing in India for the traditional Indian population, is the same as what most "Ascension" alchemists of the West are doing for the Western World. He's "downloading" information and providing all of it to his devotees, using the traditional practices in a scientific manner to assess efficacy. Nithyananda has his own Guru which he is constantly admiring, and of course, his Kaula Devi, Village Godddess. I personally prefer wearing Black, listening to Heavy Metal, and isolation, where the traditional means is too far for this Westernized adept. Nithyananda and I have much in common as he is simply teaching Saivism, as we understand Rudraksha beads are significantly more valuable than gold. Nithyananda has clarified that gold maybe more for traditional purposes, but he sleeps with Rudrakshas under his pillow. In addition, I manage to catch a few of his "activations" throughout the year, which provide significant gnosis unlike any other, and is the same current as Sadashiva that I personally tap into using the traditional mantras, which is simply the Atma-Soul expanding itself slightly painfully within the physical vessel. For me, the Rudrakshas are the golden tears of Shiva, as Shiva terrifyingly mourned the loss of his Sati. Moreover, what really is the physical gold of a demiurge monarch in comparison to a multi-dimensional consciousness, or even further, the eternal-bliss of dropping the egoic-mind for Self Realization? The kingdom of heaven is found within, and there are many mansions. Such would be the spiritual teachings of the ashram, I'll leave the political-material-social conduct and continued accusations to those who are equipped to judge (assess and discern from a wider perspective aka "judge not lest ye be judged") evidence properly.
For serious practitioners of both the RHP and LHP, discover Self beyond transient existences (including dogma), and enjoy your time in samsara.
Combining my love of philosophy, mythology, and the occult in pushing my abilities to work with such "permission slips" for my own Ascension. As I have discovered, true power is found in the ability to walk each other home. This is where the inner stairwell becomes the inner sanctuary.
Virtue is the Religion of Siddhas" -Jivanmukti