Tat tvam asi?

nanda chandran vpcnk at HOTMAIL.COM
Mon Feb 18 21:59:14 CST 2002

>On planet earth, the AchAryas of advaita Vedanta teach that the Knower >IS
>the Atman.
>Verse after verse of Shankara's upadeshasaahasrii affirms this:
>viGYAturnaiva viGYAtA paro.anyaH saMbhavatyaH .
>viGYAtAhaM paro muktaH sarvabhUteshhu sarvadA .. (2.12.12)
>"I am always the free supreme Knower in all beings as there cannot be a
>more comprehensive knower different from Me."
>viGYAteryastu viGYAtA sa tvamityuchyate yataH .
>sa syadanubhavastasya tato.anyo.anubhavo mR^ishhaa .. (2.12.8)
>"It is the knower of knowledge that is referred to by the word "Thou" in
>the shruti. The understanding of the term "Thou" in this sense is correct.
>The other sense different from it is due to superimposition."

Mere quotations from Shruti are hardly proof enough to substantiate the
argument that the Self is the "knower" as it is understood in the normal
sense. Because the fundamental question here would be : how would you know
that you're interpreting the texts right? For all you know the Upanishads
might mean one thing when the talk about "knower" and you might be
interpreting it in some other way.

So here is where logic comes into play. As the great Gauda says : "only that
which is taught by the shruti and proved by reasoning is the truth and
nothing else".

Can there be a knower independent of the known?

Neither experience nor logic can prove it to be so.

So when the Upanishads say that the Atman is the "knower", they cannot mean
knower in the normal sense.

Note that though I oppose "selfness" to the Atman, I've very clearly said
that on liberation, you are the Atman where you can clearly say "aham
brahmaasmi" in a personal sense. Understand the subtlety of the issues

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