New member introduction: Ganga Karmokar

Stig Lundgren slu at CHELLO.SE
Fri Oct 6 12:57:55 CDT 2000

On Friday, October 6, Sharon Tang / Ganga Karmokar wrote:

> the intellect can only tell you what you are not...
> Then you must surrender all concepts... all pre-conceived notions... even
> those that you have on advaita....

Yes, Brahman is beyond our concepts. But that doesn´t mean that the concepts are worthless. On the contrary, they are absolutely necessary - at least to most of us! - as an aid to get rid of ignorance and thereby realize the very same Brahman/Atman. Until then, it´s not recomendable just to "surrender all concepts"!

> I speak from direct experience not the hearsay of books and writings... Your
> scholarly knowledge affords you nothing... except more to have to let go
> of...

Since Jaldhar H. Vyas emphazised the importance of studying the tenets of advaita vedanta, you by "scholarly knowledge" apparently mean knowledge from reading Gaudapada, Sankara, Suresvara etc. Well, in my opinion those books are of invaluable help for those willing to undertake the efforts necessary for attaining moksha. At least in the western world, there seems to be a prevalent opinon among some people - and I do not claim that you are one of them! - that self realization would be easily attained if you stare into crystals, playing with tarot-cards, listen to hidden messages from dolphins etc. etc. A caracteristic mark not only of the New-Age movement but of some other branches of "spiritual" modernism as well, is the view that everything should be so very easy. Those people seems to believe that Self-realization would be fulfilled only if you turn your back at the classical culture, learning, spiritual self-discipline etc. So instead of taking part of intellectually highly demanding books and living a disciplined life, it is sufficient just to "feel" the spirit within you, or to be blessed by some "cosmic light"! But from the writings of Sankara and other classical advaita vedanta authors we learn something very different from this, namely that the way to moksha is a very demanding one - at least for most of us! - and that the serious seeker has to study the sAstras and the tenets of advatia vedanta.

> Advaita is not an intellectual pursuit... it is the realization of the
> Source of Being....

But it is most certainly not an anti-intellectual pursuit either! The fact that Brahman is beyond our ordinary concepts does not mean that the intellect is an obstacle in our search for Brahmavidya. Until we are able to get intuition of Brahman, our mind and our concepts are the best tools.

> you cannot explain an orange to one who has not seen nor tasted it... but
> when you taste it then you will know.....

But the problem is: How do we get that orange? And how do we know that the taste is the taste of final truth? After all, we have to rely on something. I believe the classical advaita vedanta authors wrote their books in order to help us on issues like these.

Warmest regards

Stig Lundgren

bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam

Archives :
Help     : Email to listmaster at
Options  : To leave the list send a mail to
           listserv at with
           SIGNOFF ADVAITA-L in the body.

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list