The paradox of EFFORT and GRACE
I recently encounter more and more innocent people who fall in 2 familiar holes:
(1) Trying to depict the transcendental truth and draw conclusions using conventional logic which does not allow paradoxes.
(2) Pseudo advaita's confusion of absolute truth with relative truth and consequently a forceful trial to apply non-duality in the wrong context and relative daily realities.
These mistakes are typical to beginners on the path who haven't yet explored the existing wisdom works already achieved by sages. Surprising enough there are several "teachers" that make the same mistake and thus harm not only themselves but worse: also others. We all fell in this same hole and so I decided to try to help by bringing the words of a great man called Timothy Conway (guru profile: http://www.gurusfeet.com/guru/timothy-conway) who is better and best in expressing these prognosises. It is taken from http://www.enlightened-spirituality.org/ramesh_balsekar.html :
By contrast, both Nisargadatta and Siddharameshvar along with Ramana Maharshi and other "real Advaitin sages" taught a subtler, more nuanced view that involves the PARADOX of effort and Grace. They were not constrained by an "either-or" logic but easily and freely utilized an inclusive "both-and" logic of mystical reality. So these eminent sages affirmed that, yes, on the Absolute-truth level, there is only unmanifest Absolute Awareness, and this phenomenal play of consciousness—the manifest beings, bodies, experiences—is ultimately insubstantial because it is fleeting and not solid, "a dream," and that, Absolutely-speaking, there are no individual persons or souls, free will or choice, and that whatever happens is Divine Will or the lîlâ (play, sport) of consciousness. But these authentic spiritual masters also taught, on the more "conventional-pragmatic level", that great earnestness, persistence and "effortless effort" are needed, that "you," Consciousness manifesting as the apparent individual person, can and must dis-identify from narrow identification with the bodymind personality. Through radical self-inquiry ("Who am I, really?" "What is prior to the 'I Am' sense?") and receding-returning-relaxing into/as the Source-Self, there is consequent awakening, by Divine Grace, out of the conditioned "me"-dream into real freedom from binding likes-dislikes, attachments-aversions, the samskaras or vasanas (egoic tendencies of selfishness and limited individuality). In other words, there is a transcending of apathy, ego-attachments, and mere theoretical understanding to actually living and fully being the Liberated Truth of "only God," only Absolute Awareness.
Yes, it is quite true that Nisargadatta Maharaj (and Ramana Maharshi, et al.) often succinctly said, for the sake of balance and to undermine egoic identifications, "there's nothing to do" and "no efforts are to be made," so "just be." But Nisargadatta also many times spoke of a developmental process of stages (from individuality to universal consciousness to Absolute Awareness) and he paradoxically urged that we be tremendously earnest about meditating and abiding in our real Nature as the Absolute beyond false identifications, body-based desires, pride, hypocrisy, fears and selfishness. He often said, "You must enquire and meditate on the root 'I Am-ness' sense and get free of it." The Maharaj accused certain people of being "pseudo-sages" (pseudo-jnanis) because they had not (yet) genuinely awakened to the Absolute but were still "indulging their beingness" on the level of the bodymind ego-personality. Over the decades Nisargadatta certainly echoed in different ways the message frequently uttered by his guru Sri Siddharameshvar, "Realize the Self and behave accordingly!"
Furthermore, Nisargadatta and advaita tradition, while ultimately revealing the truth of "only the birthless-deathless Self, no soul-karma-rebirth," do teach the plain fact of karma-driven rebirth on the expedient level for those still identified with selfness and selfishness, whereas Ramesh and neo-advaita refuse to talk at all on this expedient-pragmatic level, constrained as they are to always talk in a dangerously one-sided, imbalanced, "Absolute-only" style of parlance.