Viveka (wisdom) gives inner strength and mental peace. A viveki (wise one) gets no troubles. He is always on the alert. He never gets entangled in anything. He has farsightedness. He knows the true value of the objects of this universe. He is fully aware of the worthlessness of these shallow toys. Nothing, nothing can tempt him. Maya (illusion) cannot approach him now.
Associations with mahatmas (holy ones) and study of vedantic literature will infuse viveka in man. Viveka should be developed to the maximum degree; one should be well established in it; viveka should not be an ephemeral or occasional mood in an aspirant. It should not fail him when he is in trouble, when any difficulty stares him in the face. It must indeed become part and parcel of his nature. He should exercise it at all times without any effort. If one is careless in the beginning, viveka may come and go. So the aspirant should live in the company of sages for a long time till viveka burns in him like a big steady flame.
Maya is very powerful. She tries her extreme level best to lead the aspirant astray. She throws many temptations and obstacles on the path of young inexperienced aspirants. Therefore the company of sages and mahatmas is like an impenetrable fortress for the neophyte. Now no temptations can assail him. He will undoubtedly develop true and lasting viveka. He will then have permanent and spontaneous viveka.
Then only he is truly and perfectly safe. The dangerous zone is past. Only a true viveki can claim to be the richest, happiest and most powerful man in the world. He is a rare spiritual gem. He is a beaconlight and torchbearer. If viveka is developed all other qualifications will come by themselves. From viveka is born vairagya (dispassion).
Discrimination is the faculty which distinguishes between the real and the unreal. The whole world outside and the universe that is inside, are unreal. Earth, water, wind, fire, the sky, the ocean, our bodies and the vital force animating them, our minds, our consciousness of ourselves all are but airy nothingness. The only real thing is the atman (self) or Brahman, the absolute.