Reason and Experience

Ravi Mayavaram msr at REDDY20.TAMU.EDU
Tue Apr 21 20:04:25 CDT 1998

On Mon, 20 Apr 1998, Parisi & Watson wrote:

>Date: Mon, 20 Apr 1998 19:45:39 -0500
>From: Parisi & Watson <niche at>
>Subject: Reason and Experience
>I have been very impressed with the high quality and helpful nature of
>the responses that have been offered to my questions, but I confess to
>being a little confused on one point. Almost everyone has reminded me
>that an understanding of the ultimate nature of things cannot be had
>from reasoning or the intellect alone, and yet I have been given a long
>list of Advaita texts to read. Is there not a discrepancy here? Could I
>not spend, say, the next ten years learning Sanskrit and studying
>Shankara and the Upanishads, only to remain in the end as divided and
>confused as I am now?

I believe that one has to have proper balance between reading the
right books, meditation, prayer and other activities. One of the
important things one has to bear in mind is death can snatch one away
anytime. Lord yama needs no invitation ;-). Think of the first verse
of bhaja govindam ( you can get copy of this Giri's ftp site with
translation, site address was posted few days back by giri). What will
come to one's aid whe (s)he is in deathbed? And think of it, it can be
even few minutes from now.  I think the solution is "bhaja govindam
bhaja govindam" Pray to Ishvara and keep HER/HIM (based on your iShTa
deivam) on your mind. For a beginner like me, I have to remind myself
of this fact once in while. I hope in course of time, it will become
natural. Bhakti plays a very important role. When you are in the
clutches of mAyA, you need a support. God is that support and refuge.
If at all someone is keen on your release, it is God. Good books are
great aid to one's sAdhana. But they will not replace it. Mere reading
without practice will lead to problems, it is like eating without
digesting.  To practice correctly, one needs to read. For instance,
for meditation, patanjali's yoga sUtras (with vyAsa's bhAShyam and
shankara's vivaraNa on it) is a great aid. They are coupled and they
help each other. When one is confused, best is to pray. SHE is
avyAja karuNAmUrtI, karuNamR^ita sAgara, out of compassion and love
SHE will show the right path.

bhaja govindam bhaja govindam
 govindam bhaja mUDhamate!

bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam

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