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

praveen.r.bhat at exgate.tek.com praveen.r.bhat at exgate.tek.com
Fri Mar 18 10:12:47 CST 2005

praNAm all,

Forgive my jumping into the context...

Maheshji wrote:
> 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. 

May I humbly object to this statement? Its vague to say that *only* his
ideas are well established. If I say that I'm unable to capture the essence
as written by Shankara, is it not my understanding that is at fault, in the
same way that no matter how much ever a *master* teaches, there's no
guarantee that I'll understand? I'll try to relate something that I read in
Swami Venkatesananda's book... he says that when someone talks/writes
(source/guru), its *conveying*, but one can *communicate* only when the
other (disciple) raises himself to the level of the source.

Maheshji wrote:
> 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. 

How could it have been the *whole* purpose of his life? It may have been
*one* of the purposes, since we do have his works for our aid!

Maheshji wrote:
> 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!

Perhaps... but only based on one's own limitations! In a similar argument,
no master can probably take all to liberation, else all disciples of known
masters would have been liberated (and its a good guess that they're not).

jai bajrangabali,

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