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

Mahesh Ursekar mahesh.ursekar at gmail.com
Fri Mar 18 08:29:32 CST 2005


I agree whole heartedly on all points made in the first part of your
last post. Sri Ramakrishna tells of a Realized Soul showing two
fingers first and then folding one of them indicating without words
what you have so nicely put..

>> What is the difference between a philosopher and a master?  Was
>> Shankaracharya a philosopher or a master? 

The only reason for my last remark is that the lives and teachings of
Masters teach one more about Brahman than the theory of philosophers.
It is easy to sit in a comfortable study reading about loftly thoughts
and flights of genius but how these ideas can be bought into our lives
can only be learnt at the feet of the Masters and by reading about
their lives. And for that very reason Sri Sankaracharya is not the
best example. A genius no doubt but only his ideas are well
established. His biography, other than a few facts, is shrouded in
mystery. Which is probably apt since the whole purpose of his life was
to settle the storm of confusion that prevailed in India in those
times by stellar debate and argumentation. The danger in that is that
if one takes to the study his works, one could become a proverbial
pundita but be nowhere closer to the real knowledge of Brahman!

With respects, Mahesh

On Thu, 17 Mar 2005 14:26:01 -0500 (EST), Jaldhar H. Vyas
<jaldhar at braincells.com> wrote:
> 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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