[Advaita-l] How can one claim to know Brahman?

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at braincells.com
Thu Mar 17 13:26:01 CST 2005

On Thu, 17 Mar 2005, Mahesh Ursekar wrote:

> Dear Jaldhar:
> While your observation that my lack of knowledge on (what I call) the
> "technicalities of Brahman" put me at a distinct disadvantage in
> understanding Brahman, are you sure that that very advantage is not
> doing the same to you? I say this because I observe the "I" being very
> prominent in your statements. And as any Guru or layman, for that
> matter, would tell you, the statement, "I know Brahman" is an
> impossibility.

On the contrary if I (or you etc.) cannot know Brahman than this is all
gibberish and we are wasting our time with Advaita Vedanta.  What you are
asking for is agnosticism.  And God knows there are plenty of agnostics in
the world but why put fancy Sanskrit wallpaper on it?

Doubt whether what we think or no is really true or merely superficial is
good but it has to be placed correctly.  I remarked here earlier that this
Vedanta is not "one" it is "not-two" because "two" is the natural state of
most peoples understanding.  "Two" has to be negated through doubt and
then and only then you get "one"  So I use "I" because it is reasonably
certain to me that "I" exists.  "Mahesh" whom I have never met could for
all I know be a clever artificial intelligence programmed to simulate a
person writing to advaita-l.  How can I know?

> So, even as your "thought"ful advice to me is to brush up on my
> Advaita, my "heart"felt recommendation to you is to leave the
> philosophers alone for a while and read form the lives and teachings
> of the Masters.

What is the difference between a philosopher and a master?  Was
Shankaracharya a philosopher or a master? Both? Neither?   How about,
let's say Jagannath Shastri?  How would you know?

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>

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