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

Mahesh Ursekar mahesh.ursekar at gmail.com
Mon Mar 21 01:17:15 CST 2005


Since you reverted back in time for you post, let me do the same if
only to clarify what I meant in brief when I said "Brahman is
knowledge to be lived and not acquiired", this being a corollary to
the importance of learning from the Masters.

As you are well aware, as per the shastras, a Guru is a must on the
path to realizing Brahman. Since, only a few are blessed with this
luck, we must resort to books and probably lists like this to clarify
our understanding of the subtleites of Vedanata. And this might be
taken as Jnana Marg in one sense but it is not the complete sense of a
Jnani as understood by Vedanta.

Say, one day, you deeply read Vedanta from morning to evening and then
go out with a bunch of good friends in your car for a night out. While
driving, your give in to anger at some pedestrian misdemenor that
obstructs your smooth travel. At a resturant where you eat, you
indulge the senses in good food and then follow that with a movie
exciting the senses even more, then all your efforts so far have fed
your brain about Vedanta but your spirit is right where it was before
you started. So, to truly understand the essence of Vedanta (and
thereby elvate your spirit), you need to live like a Vedantin. And
that can be only leaned at the feet of the Masters.

As said before, for this knowledge, most people don't have access to a
live Guru, so books act as a possible but not complete substitue. So
books like like "Vedanta Treatise" by A Parathasarthy or
"Brahmacharya" by Swami Sivananda (for example) may serve as guides to
help us live this knowledge. Swami Vivekananda has oft said "it is
only through spiritual practice that one can trascend the
body-mind-ego bondage" or in other words study, though important, is
not not the summon bonum of Vedanta.

I hope I do not need to continue on this thread becuase all my
postings on this topic have come from the heart with an effort to
either clarify what I meant or shed light on how I have interpreted
the teachings of the Masters and not with the idea of proving a point.
If I have caused offense to hurt to anyone, it was purely

With love, Mahesh

On Sun, 20 Mar 2005 22:46:35 -0800, praveen.r.bhat at exgate.tek.com
<praveen.r.bhat at exgate.tek.com> wrote:
> Humble praNAm all,
> (I read your next posting suggesting that we end this thread, but since I
> read this one first, may I safely post the following?) :)
> Maheshji wrote:
> > All your points are well taken and I would agree to most of them. But
> > the purpose of my mail was different. In my opinion, Brahman is not
> > knowledge to be acquired (like we would do physics or chemistry) but
> > knowledge to be lived.
> I can see two points in above:
> --You do not believe in following jnAna mArga, which I don't have anything
> to say about.
> --brahmaN is not knowledge to be acquired. Perhaps, comes from the first
> assertion or the first comes from this one. May I say I agree
> (hypothetically, for what I want to say next) with the way you worded
> "brahmaN is not knowledge to be acquired" and then try to twist the
> statement and say "but acquiring knowledge (of brahmaN), one acquires
> brahmaN"?
> Maheshji wrote:
> > As Jaldhar has oft pointed out that we are all
> > Brahman but have forgotten it, I can only say that we can remember
> > this original state only when we live like the Master's did
> By renouncing everything? Maybe, maybe not. Some *masters* renounced, some
> didn't. Which one are we to follow? By reading/hearing of them or their
> works, right? Aren't we all doing the same?
> Maheshji wrote:
> > and not by
> > understanding their subtle theories about why Brahman is Advaitic only
> > or Vishistha Advaitic or Dwaitic!
> In jnAna mArga, without refuting the *wrong* (unreal, not real) attributes
> of brahmaN, one can't know brahmaN (real) or acquire It or be It.
> Maheshji wrote:
> > That makes you a pundit and not a
> > Master!
> Neither being a master guarantees moksha nor being a punDita. Who wants to
> be either and not brahmaN? :)
> jai bajrangabali,
> --praveeN

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