[Advaita-l] How can one claim to know Brahman?
sksrivastava68 at hotmail.com
Mon Mar 21 07:09:48 CST 2005
>On Mon, 21 Mar 2005 Sri Praveen wrote:
>Still, as usual, I'm going to say the same things that you know of, but its
>only for you to reconsider your views *if* they say: reading/studying on
>your own doesn't bring anything and living with the masters brings
IMHO, a modification is needed here. Reading/studying on your own cannot in
fact bring anything and neither can just living with the masters. It is only
reading/studying in guidance of a master that brings brahma-jnana. As far as
reading/studying on one's own, Shankara himself pointed out the danger of
trying to wade shabda-jAl-mahAraNyam through one's own reading and very
explicitly prohibited brahma-enquiry on one's own: ShAstrajnopi swAtantreyNa
brahma jnAnanusandhAna na kuryAt.
> > Since, only a few are blessed with this
> > luck, we must resort to books and probably lists like this to clarify
> > our understanding of the subtleites of Vedanata.
>So we're in unison.
If we do not have the luck of learning from a teacher, the luck is to be
created. There is absolutely no escape. Resorting to books and lists like
this to clarify our understanding, is fraught with serious danger. Doubts
must be clarified only from a teacher who has got this knowledge and is
versed in the method of vedanta. Books and lists like this can at best be an
aid to learning from a teacher; they cannot be a substitute for it.
Chandra-shakha-nyaya embedded in the method of vedanta makes it incumbent
upon the student to shift perspectives after reaching a certain level of
understanding. How will a book or e-list decide your level of understanding?
And how will you know when to change your perspective to reach closer to
understanding? "Learning at the master's feet" is inescapable precisely due
to this reason. Indispensability of a teacher arises from the shifting-gear
teaching menthod of vedanta, not because of some mystical energy flow from
the master to disciple,
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